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Kickstarter Technology Projects Ship

deweyhewson Kickstarters Aren't Venture Capitalists (100 comments)

"Shouldn't we be glad to have Venture Capitalists cut out of the loop so that companies actually listen to us?"

I like the concept of Kickstarter, and have donated to one of the projects over there myself, but nobody should go into it thinking it makes them anything more than what they already were to the company: a customer with a potentially open wallet. One could argue that you don't even have influence on the company, because they've already decided what they're going to try to bring to market; your only role is in deciding whether it's something you want.

In a word, I would argue no. Primarily because you are a customer with Kickstarter, but you are an investor with venture capitalism. In a way, "investors" in Kickstarter projects are getting a raw deal, because they receive only the product (which you could buy eventually anyway, if it does come to market), but with venture capitalism you receive an ongoing share of the profits of the company in exchange for the risk of giving them money. The scale of the investing is also a key point in this.

I can see how Kickstarter is motivating the comparisons, because there hasn't really been anything exactly like it before, but the two roles are not the same.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Draw the Line On GPL V2 Derived Works and Fees?

deweyhewson No Enforcement, No Restriction (371 comments)

A restriction is only as binding as its enforcement mechanism. If the developers behind DOSBox aren't going to hold other developers accountable who are trading on their name, and nobody else is willing to take them to court over it (and obviously nobody will over $3.99), then the restrictions are meaningless.

Another incident which comes to mind is that of DD-WRT - there are several articles on this, but I'll just link to the first on Google's listings - where they derived their product from open source code (OpenWRT), then closed source key parts and refuse to release the code in workable form.

It seems to me that this is the fundamental problem with GPL, and some other, open source licenses; it all depends on the honor system. Sure, they are technically legally binding, but if nobody holds anybody's feet to the fire, that means nothing.

As it pertains to you if you really care that much about it, I suppose you have three choices: (1) Swallow it, and pay the price they are demanding; (2) Go without, and refuse to give developers like this your money; (3) Buy a license of the source code, and then release it publicly out of principle. Since this stemmed from wanting to play games from your childhood, the pragmatist in me says to choose option two and move on.

about a year and a half ago
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Valve's 'Steam Box' Console Is Real, Says Gabe Newell

deweyhewson Steam Still Locked to One Concurrent User (298 comments)

Until this is resolved, I'm wary of locking myself into Valve any more than I already am. The thought of a locked down environment worries me, too; that seems antithetical to what has made PC gaming and enthusiasm what it is.

Still, it's Valve, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, but being trapped in one more walled garden not only with software but hardware is not the direction I like the industry to move.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Will You Shop Local Like President Obama, Or Online?

deweyhewson Slashvertising? (430 comments)

Is this supposed to be a news story, or an excuse to get an Amazon advertisement on Slashdot? That summary only needed a © Amazon PR Department notice at the end.

But I'll bite anyway and offer this perspective: people generally know you can find better deals online; that's not a marvel concept. B&M stores simply can't compete with low overhead online warehouses dollar to dollar. But lower prices are not why people shop local. They shop local because of in-person browsing, personalized services, and loyalty to their community, probably in that order.

about 2 years ago
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Apple Orders Memory Game Developers To Stop Using 'Memory' In Names

deweyhewson In USA or in Germany? (409 comments)

The article doesn't make this clear, so does Ravensburger own the trademark in the USA or just in Germany? If it's the latter, then it would seem to me their complaint would only hold validity within Germany, and they could be told what to do with themselves everywhere else.

IANAL, but my understanding of trademark law in the US is that you can only trademark common words if they are unique to your business. For example, Apple, Inc. could trademark "Apple" in the computer business, because the word is unique in that business, but Kroger could not trademark the word "apple" in selling produce.

It seems to me that this would be a rather clear case of the latter, and Ravensburger would have no grounds for their complaint in the US, assuming they hold a trademark here.

about 2 years ago
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Valve Reveals Gaming Headset, Teases Big Picture

deweyhewson Re:ya know (151 comments)

Proof of concepts always focus on capability, not aesthetics.

about 2 years ago
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EA Sues Zynga For Copying Sims Game

deweyhewson I Hate Zynga, But... (197 comments)

I'm not really seeing what Zynga has done here that is illegal or violating copyright. You can't own copyright on an idea, only on an implementation of that idea; Tolkien's writing of the Lord of the Rings does not prevent anyone else from writing fantasy with orcs and goblins themselves.

I'd enjoy seeing these two companies bloody each other up in a grudge match, but the more pragmatic side of me doesn't want to see a precedent set where an entity implementing an idea suddenly grants them complete control over anything like it which might follow. If that happens, it will be the rest of society which ends up paying the price.

about 2 years ago
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Federal Appeals Court Orders TSA To Explain Delay In Body Scan Public Hearing

deweyhewson All Bark and No Bite (186 comments)

What in the world kind of justice is this? "We're going to tell you to do something, and then, if you don't, we're going to tell you tell us why!"

I'm sure the TSA are just quaking in their boots.

Why don't the courts and judges grow some balls, and start issuing warrants for arrests, for contempt of court, if nothing else? At this point, the system is so laughably broken I don't know why anybody even bothers using it in the first place. Vigilante justice is more justice than this farce.

about 2 years ago
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Reports Say Apple Is Shrinking Its Docking Connector With iPhone 5

deweyhewson Just More Gizmodo Apple Worship (427 comments)

Did anyone else read the actual article? It's nothing more than continued blind Apple adoration on the part of Gizmodo, and they're even willing to grasp at straws to do it.

Not only does their entire argument hinge on some vague defense of Apple "looking forward" on this issue, whatever that means, but they even make statements such as the following: "And while we don't know much about its specs for now, it wouldn't be unimaginable for it to enable faster data transfer rates."

That's right, folks. We support this because of some vague, unsubstantiated belief in possible greater technical capabilities from this move!

Give me a break. If Apple really cared about new abilities, or smaller size, there are already a myriad of non-proprietary standards they could have gone with. Let's just quit with the apologism and accept that they saw an easy opportunity to once again squeeze money from a new proprietary standard, and are taking it.

more than 2 years ago
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Bill Gates: the Traditional PC Is Changing

deweyhewson PCs Aren't Going Anywhere (552 comments)

*sigh* Another "IS THE PC DEAD?!?!?!" headline, another dollar. People who try to view tablets as "desktop replacements" are consistently missing the fact that tablets are not PCs, are not intended to be PCs, and aren't going to replace PCs.

For many people, they may even totally replace the need to have a typical computer at home. If anything, it is only for this group of people that the PC will be "dead".

But for anyone wishing to do serious work, so long as the PC remains exponentially more powerful, expandable and capable than tablets, it won't be going anywhere. Go try using Photoshop Express on the iPad, then use CS6 on the desktop. Use any of the multitude of word processors for tablets, then go use Word. Use a mobile browser, then use Firefox or Chrome. Play the popular games on a tablet, then play the popular games on a PC. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Tablets have created, and filled, an entirely new niche in computing, and done so very well, but they aren't PCs.

more than 2 years ago
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Despite Game-Related Glitches, AMD Discontinues Monthly Driver Updates

deweyhewson The NVIDIA Transition? (213 comments)

As someone who is generally an AMD fan - their processors and video cards generally provide much better performance for much cheaper - their driver support, or lack thereof, is frustrating. NVIDIA consistently has far better driver support, and features, than their AMD counterparts, even if their cards don't provide as much bang for the buck.

If AMD falls even further behind in that game, I may just bite the bullet and switch to NVIDIA just to stop having to worry about driver-related frustrations altogether.

more than 2 years ago
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Senators To Unveil the 'Ex-Patriot Act' To Respond To Facebook's Saverin

deweyhewson Don't let the door hit you on the way out... (716 comments)

I must be one of the only ones here agreeing with this move, and I find all the fearmongers and FUD-spreaders comparing this to Communist Russia more than a bit amusing.

Saverin was able to amass his wealth specifically because of the overall environment which existed in America. If Facebook was started in Singapore, there's now way that it would be where it is today. As such, he has an obligation to pay back into the system that fostered his wealth in the first place. If he wants to renounce his citizenship in a bid to avoid that obligation, don't let the door hit him on the way back.

A person who renounces citizenship - something which thousands of people dream about achieving someday - so readily simply to avoid taxes should be barred for life from reentering the country. If they don't want to pay back into the system, they have no right to enjoy the benefits it provides.

In my opinion, it's worth the loss in whatever taxes he owes just to get leeches like Saverin out of the country for good.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Holding ISPs Accountable For Contracted DSL Bandwidth

deweyhewson SOOL (345 comments)

ISPs typically hide behind "speeds up to..." garbage to ensure you can't hold them accountable for this. My own horror story went along a path of seeing maybe 50%, at best, of the speeds I was promised, and that was when it was working. Endless tech support calls being forced to talk to moronic agents, if they called me back at all, only compounded the frustration.

At one point, I actually had one of the main guys at the company tell me point blank, on tape (I was recording the calls by this point), that they knew I wasn't getting the speeds I was paying for, that they knew it was their fault, that there was nothing I could do about it, and that if I tried to cancel they would hit me with a $400 early termination fee as well as the costs of service for the remaining months on my contract. By the way, never sign a contract if you at all can avoid it. I could have probably beaten them in court, with recorded evidence I had, but at that point I was so worn out I just cancelled and switched providers as soon as possible.

Long story short: suck it up while keeping your eyes open for other options. I don't know how close you are to another area that does have more options, or what your level of technical expertise is, but if you're within a mile or two, and you know someone living there, you may consider going in on a connection at their place together and beaming it up to your house using some nice roof antennas over long distance WiFi. The Ubiquiti Nanostation M5 is suited for this purpose, and is actually what my own wireless ISP uses on each home (for speeds up to 50mbps).

If even that is not an option, you may just have to deal with the consequences of living in a rural area, and being stuck with a provider who knows the leverage they have over their customer base because of it.

more than 2 years ago
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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Benchmarked

deweyhewson Re:WTF (119 comments)

I've seen it rumored in more than a few places that Tom's Hardware is very Intel and Nvidia, shall we say, "friendly". Obviously colloquial evidence is nothing to base a hard opinion on, but the thought does come into my head whenever I see review discrepancies like this pop up.

more than 2 years ago
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Hobbit Film Underwhelms At 48 Frames Per Second

deweyhewson Re:Can people actually tell the difference? (607 comments)

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt since it appears as though you are asking a valid question, but I do have to say I'm tired of hearing the argument implied in this question pop up in every discussion of framerates, whether in film or games.

First and foremost, everyone should visit this link: http://boallen.com/fps-compare.html Put simply, the human mind, and eyes, can perceive far more than 24, 30, or even 60 frames per second. Not consciously well enough that we can point out which image is operating at 58fps and which at 60fps, but our minds perceive the difference even if we don't know it.

As far as it pertains to film, there is a long history with 24 frames per second that we don't need to go into here, but suffice it to say it's an stylistic choice that films have been shot in for a century. The problem is that it's really a rather slow framerate, which looks just fine - I would argue great - on normal films, but on 3D, due to their doubling of frames to create the depth illusion, ends up looking muddy and, frankly, gives many people a headache. The idea behind shooting at 48 frames per second was that, since 3D is double the frames, just double the framerate and you'll solve all those pesky problems with 3D.

Apparently, people still aren't liking that, but I'll hold out judgment until I see for myself.

more than 2 years ago
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Gaming Clichés That Need To Die

deweyhewson Video Games Have Crashed Before (416 comments)

People seem to forget, or never learned, that the gaming market has crashed before; in the 1980s, to be precise. And why? Because loads of shovelware titles were being released to capitalize on gamers' increasing willingness to buy them, while development costs were skyrocketing, and every other game was a ripoff of another title that came before it. Sound familiar?

Eventually all the bloat collapsed in on itself and the market for video games nearly died.

Personally, I'm of the opinion another video gaming crash may not be such a bad thing. The price of games is already many times over that of other forms of media (would you buy a typical book or movie for $60?), while development costs are starting to outpace even most big studio movie productions. Ingenuity and creativity are among the casualties, while developers and publishers are trying every way under the Sun to extract as much money as possible from customers, from activation limits, to invasive DRM, to serious considerations to kill used game sales (a first sale right that extends to every other product on the market, yet gaming companies seem to think they, somehow, should be a special exception). Financially, the market is booming, while creatively, it is dying.

Without the gaming crash of the 1980s, we never would have had Nintendo. I'd like to see what major boons would come out of another crash.

more than 2 years ago
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Technology Makes It Harder To Save Money

deweyhewson Anomaly Here (320 comments)

I can certainly see how, for the majority of people, this is the case. It is certainly easier to shoot money off here and there almost on a whim for various things we would have just gone without before.

For me, though, I'd have to say that technology has made it easier to save. Cash has always tended to burn a hole in my pocket until I find a way to get rid of it, but being able to just have a set of numbers show up in my accounts and move them around with ease has relieved most of that spendcrazy drive while making it more satisfying to move that money into my savings.

I suspect the true root here isn't that technology itself is to blame for the lack of saving, but that people are driven to spend, spend, spend anyway, and technology has made it far easier to do so without ever even leaving the couch. If you're not motivated to save already, technology isn't going to help you, I think.

more than 2 years ago
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Florida Thinks Their Students Are Too Stupid To Know the Right Answers

deweyhewson What To Think, Now How (663 comments)

Another classic example of the system - and this is hardly unique to public education - putting emphasis on teaching what to think, instead of how.

I had a 4th grade teacher who I used to drive bonkers because, while teaching mathematics, she would teach that it was not possible to subtract to any number smaller than 0, similar to teaching that you can't divide by zero. This was because, at that point, the curriculum had not yet reached the level of negative numbers. Well, I would constantly insist that no, you could subtract to a number smaller than 0, but because it was contrary to the point she was trying to teach she would tell me I was wrong.

The problem is in having a system which is so structured to the point of quantifying learning to a set of metrics based on what we want children to think that any actual education, or independent thought on the part of the students or the teachers, is completely marginalized and often destroyed.

more than 2 years ago
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CryENGINE 3 Updated, Crysis 3 Announced

deweyhewson A Game Now? (60 comments)

Hey, maybe now they can actually make a game, instead of a glorified tech demo (Crysis) or an interactive movie (Crysis 2)...

more than 2 years ago

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