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The Kindle Killer Arrives

p0tat03 Re:Canada (542 comments)

Blame Canadian content laws. Amazon is classified as a bookstore in Canada, and therefore must sell X percent Canadian content - a protectionist policy that supposedly protects us from evil Americans taking over our media. The net result is that Amazon could either stock and attempt to sell a boatload of Canadiana which sell poorly (and in Amazon's low-margin line of business, is death), or Amazon can choose not to operate in Canada at all. It has chosen the latter. is operated entirely from within the USA (no employees or warehouses in Canada), and all shipping is contracted out to a 3rd party (which, being a shipper, is not subject to the content laws).

Funny enough though, the shipper that handles all of's work, the one that helps the company dodge Canadian law - is none other than Canada Post, owned and operated by our government. Some things just don't make sense.

more than 4 years ago

Contrasting User-Driven Play With Developer Vision

p0tat03 Re:L4D is maybe not the best example (60 comments)

'Tis the problem when the opponent doesn't learn - play L4D in Versus mode and see the difference. Instead of playing for story, you're not playing for that sublime moment when everything comes together for a truly spectacular experience.

For example, I remember one time I was on the zombie team, the survivors were in the generator room right after the subway, classic faceoff situation. Our boomer bile-bomed two survivors, who got swarmed with zombies at the worst possible moment. Their buddy who tried to help got snake-tongued by me and dragged through a hole in the floor into the sub-basement. His other friend decided to come help, and got ambushed alone by a hunter on my team. Sublime, perfect takedown.

Even after months of playing, these moments still occur, and they are just as satisfying every time.

more than 5 years ago

"Good Enough" Computers Are the Future

p0tat03 Re:Smart enough... (515 comments)

While we're on the topic of aesthetics and usability - IMHO Linux will not be truly competitive at the consumer level until FOSS developers start taking UI seriously.

Look at apps like VLC, or worse, the GIMP or Blender - the UI is an unmitigated mess. Even relatively easy-to-use apps follow absolutely no UI design guidelines, creating islands of usability that have no consistency in between.

Compare with something like OSX - preferences always in the same place, menus always displayed the same way, options always organized in a particular manner... it's consistency that users enjoy that Linux currently cannot offer.

more than 5 years ago

US Military Issuing iPod Touches To Soldiers

p0tat03 Re:The real question is.... (323 comments)

Er... You know that Apple officially supports "Enterprise apps" on iPhone? Which is to say, privately developed apps available on an intranet "App Store". The bonus here is also that these apps do not require Apple approval, just the appropriate develpment licenses.

Next time do a little research before getting sarcastic.

more than 5 years ago

Obama Proposes High-Speed Rail System For the US

p0tat03 Re:In a word... (1385 comments)

I agree, while it would be nice to have fast inter-city rail, the amount of traffic you're saving is peanuts compared to how much you could save with proper heavy-rail transit.

As a civilization we need to start packing our people in denser cities, it's both economical and more environmentally friendly.

more than 5 years ago

Obama Proposes High-Speed Rail System For the US

p0tat03 Re:What is it that Amtrak does wrong? (1385 comments)

The problem I've noticed with Amtrak is that most trains are non-express, and will stop at every little podunk town on the way.

more than 5 years ago

Obama Proposes High-Speed Rail System For the US

p0tat03 Re:In a word... (1385 comments)

There's a better way. In Toronto, Canada, the entire downtown core is connected underground - not just scary pedestrian tunnels either, I'm talking about a virtual underground city. This has a few advantages:

- Allows people to travel between train station, subway stations, bus stations, and everywhere, to everywhere else downtown, without ever stepping foot outside in the rain or snow.

- Creates massive foot traffic that encourages retail business. Who'd trek all the way out for lunch when food is downstairs?

Toronto honestly has one of the best transit systems I've seen, despite its recent mismanagement.

more than 5 years ago

Google Losing Up To $1.65M a Day On YouTube

p0tat03 Re:REALLY now? (290 comments)

Where/when have we heard this argument before?

No worries boss! It doesn't matter if we're losing money hand over fist! Once we have a kajillion users we'll just show ads to them or something! Oh please, if we can generate a penny a month off every human being on Earth we're still filthy rich!

So sayeth everyone before the dot com crash.

Excuse me if I only have faith in companies that *make money*, as opposed to companies that are perpetually *this close* to having something to sell. YouTube never had a business model going in, and this has been obvious for a while.

more than 5 years ago

Star Trek Premiere Gets Standing Ovation, Surprise Showing In Austin

p0tat03 Re:I hope it's better than Nemesis..... (437 comments)

What about "structural integrity down to 20 percent!"?

How is it that you can quantify "structural integrity"? If they said "aft bulkheads 3 through 7 have been breached!" it would be a hell of a lot more believable.

more than 5 years ago

New ICANN TLDs May Cause Internet Land Rush

p0tat03 Re:Alternative viewpoint: (443 comments)

That's incidental - you use because they're a well-known brand, or because you like their service. You don't visit their site because it's the first thing that entered your mind when you thought "I need a book a hotel".

They could very well have been and you would've still used their service.

Case in point:

more than 5 years ago

Flawed Map Says L.A.'s Crime Highest Next to Police HQ

p0tat03 Re:OT - thanks for SimCity tag! (123 comments)

I've gotten this with almost every city I've ever built in that game... I would have a poorly-covered area that would be crime-ridden. Then I'd slap down a police station right next to this "crime den", and 50 years later I'm still getting hassled about how dangerous the area is. Oops?

more than 5 years ago

No More OpenMoko Phone

p0tat03 Re:Of course we will... (219 comments)

Joe Public didn't buy the OpenMoko because it was a terrible phone. My roommate a while back bought one, and it was something not ready to see the light of day.

Don't blame Joe Public for not supporting your idea of freedom, when your free alternative can barely make a call (and crash half the time while doing it).

The hardware was clunky, the phone itself was massive. The touchscreen was of poor quality compared to its contemporaries... the only good part was the really well-done stylus. The software on the other hand was an unmitigated disaster. Things just didn't work - the phone couldn't play media, much less have a nice UI for doing so, and it even had trouble making calls.

more than 5 years ago

Microsoft Asks Fed For Bailout

p0tat03 Re:wait a minute here... (346 comments)

The analogy works... FOSS is like an M1 tank - made with space-age materials, packed full of sophisticated technology, and also complicated as hell to drive, and offers none of the creature comforts that regular drivers demand.

Ubuntu in this case will probably be an M1 tank with plush leather seats ;)

more than 5 years ago

Cold War Standoff Over ISS Toilet

p0tat03 Re:Don't use the Vulcan's toilet (417 comments)

The same reason perfectly wealthy people quibble over pennies on a dinner bill? When scarcity is no longer a concern, you're still left with the assholes of the world :)

more than 5 years ago

American Airlines To Offer Wi-Fi In Planes

p0tat03 Re:Are you that addicted to the internet? (303 comments)

I don't know about you, I can't name a single magazine that'll last a 5-hour cross-continent flight.

more than 5 years ago

Update — No DRM In New iPod Shuffle

p0tat03 Re:Boing Boing Unreliable (264 comments)

Very well, then I will accuse BoingBoing and any other sites who reported on this to be grossly incompetent at basic first-year electrical engineering.

Anyone can figure this, even yours truly (who isn't even trained as an electrical engineer: Apple has added extra pins to the headphone jack in order to support things as simple as a single-button headset control on the iPhone. Clearly it was not feasible for Apple to keep just adding pins onto a short headphone jack in the hopes of cramming more buttons in.

It's patently obvious that in this case, given the number of buttons and gestures that the Shuffle supports, there needs to be more complex signals than merely having button-mapped pins into the device. And lo and behold, this is exactly what it turned out to be - an encoder chip so that the input signals can be fed into the Shuffle.

Anyone even familiar with rudimentary electronics would come to this conclusion at first glance. To go the "OMG DRM" route was either trolling, or sheer incompetence.

more than 5 years ago

iPhone App Causes Google To Shut Down SMS Service

p0tat03 Re:Yes and No (420 comments)

I don't know how you got modded insightful - if you truly believe that our economy is third world, or that our health is third world, or that our education is third world, you are delusional.

While there are plenty wrong with the US economy, health care, education, etc etc... To claim that we are in a third world state (or even close to it) is an insult to people who actually live in third-world countries.

more than 5 years ago

What Has Fox Got Against Its Own Sci-Fi Shows?

p0tat03 Re:And Futurama (753 comments)

Nailed it on the head. This isn't just media also, but other highly technical and "science-y" fields like software are not immune. There is a tremendous belief that businesses have to be run from the "gut", as opposed to being guided by metrics.

more than 5 years ago

H.A.W.X. Brings New Perspective To Tom Clancy Series

p0tat03 Re:The big issue (27 comments)

I'm a huge fan of the Ace Combat series (despite the boneheaded stories they have) - how does HAWX compare to, say, AC6?

I've been desperately wanting a good arcade flight sim for a long time now, and may pick this up if the non-expert mode is fun to play. How does the regular flying mechanic stand up to the normal fly mode in hawx?

more than 5 years ago

Game Developers Becoming Similar To Hollywood Studios?

p0tat03 Re:yea. alright. (171 comments)

I wish I had mod points. I've had some console DVDs scratch on me, and it's always a pain. With Steam I never have to worry about the longevity of the physical media. I can burn it to a disc, or put it on a USB drive, or do anything with it that has a helluva better chance of being there in 5 years than a frigging disc.

more than 5 years ago


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