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Xbox One: No Always-Online Requirement, But Needs To Phone Home

silentbrad Re: GameStop, etc. (395 comments)

Most of GameStop's profits come from used game sales. They make next to no profit on new games--that money goes almost wholly to the publisher.

That's what I thought, too. Then I read this today:

Interestingly, [GameStop president Tony] Bartel revealed that 70 per cent of GameStop's $1 billion market sales comes from the sale of new games rather than pre-owned ones.

about a year ago
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Canadian Official Escorted From House For Others' Facebook Comments

silentbrad Re:Oh Canada... (205 comments)

Unfortunately, Alberta's isn't that great. This article mentions having to move equipment from hospital to hospital in taxis. My dad, because of Redford's (and previous Premiers') health care cuts, has to spend his time in one hospital, and will have to be moved back and forth to another one on the other side of the city up to three times a week for the treatment he needs. The Conservatives keep pushing for a more privatized health care model - which means cutting funding for the nurses to staff the beds at the hospitals.

about a year and a half ago
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Man Thinks He Never Has to Eat Again

silentbrad To the editors (1 comments)

After reading Rob's blog, it's probably best to change the second link to http://robrhinehart.com/?p=298. Adding his third post about it may be beneficial, too: http://robrhinehart.com/?p=474.

about a year and a half ago
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Gabe Newell Reveals More About Steam Boxes, New Input Devices

silentbrad Re:All very well and good, but... (218 comments)

Hopefully Ep3 will be worth the weight.

So if it's distributed digitally, it'll be worthless?

about a year and a half ago
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New Documents Detail FBI, Bank Crack Down On Occupy Wall Street

silentbrad Re:peaceful protesters? (584 comments)

Maybe it's just differences in education in different parts of the country (although, considering the political leaning of Alberta, and especially the town I grew up in, it was probably just my specific teachers), but I was taught that Socialism and Communism are not the same - Socialism being a combination of Capitalism and Communism using the selected best bits of each to form a mixed economy. And I agree (if I'm reading your "ruin things" correctly) that it's too bad that more people can't see Harper and the Tories he's leading for what they are. Although, with only 40% of the popular vote, I guess most of us tried to get rid of them and screwed ourselves through split-votes.

about 2 years ago
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New Documents Detail FBI, Bank Crack Down On Occupy Wall Street

silentbrad Re:peaceful protesters? (584 comments)

You do realize that the person you replied to is from Canada (a Socialist country), right? Socialism, unlike Communism, does allow for private ownership.

about 2 years ago
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Philippines' Cybercrime Law Makes SOPA Look Reasonable

silentbrad Re:Libel is controversial? (103 comments)

I didn't want to have an enormous summary, so I didn't flesh that out. FTA:

Now, as someone who has been the target of many a vicious attack from commenters or forum posters, I can understand frustration with the nature of online anonymous criticism. But to actually try to make such a thing illegal? You wade into dangerous waters that anything resembling freedom of speech will likely drown in. And that’s overlooking the free speech implications trampled by banning pornography and file-sharing as well, two provisions getting less attention due to the severity of the libel section.

Via CBS, a senator who opposed the bill explains its potential ramifications:

“If you click ‘like,’ you can be sued, and if you share, you can also be sued,” said Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, one of the lawmakers who voted against the passage of the law.

“Even Mark Zuckerberg can be charged with cyber-libel,” the senator said.

The provision, according to Guingona, is so broad and vague that it’s not even clear who should be liable for a given statement online. And if you’re found guilty, get ready to spend up to 12 years in prison.

Guingona poses the question, who exactly is libel for the libel? Is it the person who made the statements? Anyone who reblogged or retweeted them? The website on which the comments were made? Anyone who commented in assent or even clicked ‘like’? The way the law is worded, the Filipino police could actually charge you with simply criticizing them or the government in a way they deem “malicious,” a word very much open to interpretation.

about 2 years ago
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Voting Begins For Canadian Digital Currency App

silentbrad Re:*facepalm* (84 comments)

Here in the West, you hear "couple of loonies", "couple of twonies", "a loonie or two", and so forth for values under $5. You'll even see "loonie bin" and "twonie bin" for the value items in some stores.

I don't know what West you're talking about, but in the Edmonton area (where I've lived my entire life), I've never heard anyone talk like that unless they were specifically referring to the coins (rather than the dollar amount).

more than 2 years ago
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Telco Company Claims Freedom of Speech Includes Misleading Ads

silentbrad Re:Alrighty then... (244 comments)

Pretty close in Alberta, now:

Therefore, the government’s position appears contradictory. If indeed naturopaths offer “safe and effective” treatment, then why wouldn’t they be covered? However, if these services do not meet the evidentiary standard laid out by our health-care system, then why is the government giving what surely amounts to tacit approval of naturopathy?

more than 2 years ago
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Face To Face With the 'Human Barcode'

silentbrad Re:but you can change a password (111 comments)

According to the article, this particular one reads the sweat glands on the fingertip: "In addition to the metaphorical connotation, he trademarked his technology as “the human barcode” because the sweat-gland patterns create a numerical reading like a computerized barcode." There's also a Japanese one in the article that reads body pressure, "technology dubbed 'butt biometrics' by some tech press following its introduction last year." And one other that can recognize a face based on partial images like "a criminal wearing a balaclava".

more than 2 years ago
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What's Next For Superhero Movies?

silentbrad Re:write a new story? (396 comments)

I'm assuming you're talking about Impostor, an awesome movie featuring Gary Sinise based on a Philip K. Dick short story of the same name. Based on preexisting content. Although, I can't speak for The Queen of Versailles.

more than 2 years ago
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Oldest DNA Recovered From 7,000-Year-Old Skeletons In Spain

silentbrad Re:JP (146 comments)

I saw that in the discovery channel. I think the guy was talking about doing the same with emus or ostriches. Of course, it might also be that I saw the chicken embryos he'd been messing with and started thinking about an ostrich with teeth, scales, arms with clawed digits, and a tail as long as the rest of its body.

about 2 years ago
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Canadian IP Lobby Calls For ACTA, SOPA & Warrantless Search

silentbrad Re:Probably unlikely (129 comments)

Unfortunately, I have a feeling they'll be of the mindset of, "we'll do what we want now, and use the last year to make everyone think we're the best option again."

more than 2 years ago
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Canadian Copyright Board To Charge For Music At Weddings, Parades

silentbrad Re:Who is receiving the money? (349 comments)

The article specifically mentions that these are new fees being paid to Re:Sound in addition to the fees paid to SOCAN. And, as others have mentioned, the fees are being expanded to private functions, as well.

more than 2 years ago
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Childhood Stress Leaves Genetic Scars

silentbrad Re:Not the point. (334 comments)

It leads to aggression, lower test scores, etc.

I have a problem with this. Sure, we're a small sample group, and spanking wasn't the only form of discipline used, but my sister and I don't fit that mold. I've been a pacifist since elementary, and my sister (at 36) just got her first grade below 4.0.

more than 2 years ago
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Canadian Bureacracy Can't Answer Simple Question: What's This Study With NASA?

silentbrad Re:Bureacracy sucks but (164 comments)

or the guy who thinks he's better than his opponents because he's white?

To be fair to this guy, the question he was asked was something along the lines of, "In such a multicultural riding, do you think you are at a disadvantage as a Caucasian?" Then again, he thinks Sikh and Muslim are in the same category as Caucasian.

more than 2 years ago
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Canadian Media Companies Target CBC's Free Music Site

silentbrad Re:Crybabies and whingers (215 comments)

No. The article explicitly states that they do pay licensing fees; they simply pay less than the other corporations because they're non-profit.

more than 2 years ago
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PlayStation 4 'Orbis' Rumors: AMD Hardware, Hostile To Used Games

silentbrad Re:Say it ain't so, Sony! (371 comments)

From the article (and the summary):

it's believed used games will be limited to a trial mode or some other form of content restriction, with consumers having to pay a fee to unlock/register the full game

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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10 years later, 'Star Wars Kid' speaks out

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  about a year ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "Almost a billion viewers across the planet know him as the Star Wars Kid, but they’ve never heard him speak, until now. Ghyslain Raza was a normal high-school student in small-town Quebec back in 2002, a shy 14-year-old who liked to make videos. In 2003, classmates posted one of those videos on the Internet without his knowledge–in it, Raza wields a makeshift light saber, clumsily imitating a Star Wars Jedi knight. The video went viral, and the Trois-Rivières teen became one of the earliest and highest-profile victims of a massive cyberbullying attack, one that played out among classmates and strangers online. Recorded while Raza was “goofing around” alone at his school’s TV club studio — the group had been working on a Star Wars parody — the video had soon been seen by tens of millions, all the more remarkable in a pre-YouTube world. Raza said he lost what few friends he had in the fallout, and had to change schools. “In the common room, students climbed onto tabletops to insult me,” he told L’actualité. Raza, now a law-school graduate from McGill, said he was driven to speak out by the recent spate of high-profile cases of cyberbullying, some of which have pushed their victims to commit suicide. If the same situation were to happen today, he said he hopes school authorities would help him through it. “You’ll survive. You’ll get through it,” he said. “And you’re not alone. You are surrounded by people who love you.”"
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Hollywood Studios Fuming Over Indie Studio Deal With BitTorrent

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  about a year and a half ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes ""It's a deal with the devil," one studio executive told TheWrap. "Cinedigm is being used as their pawn." Cinedigm announced this weekend that it would offer the first seven minutes of the Emily Blunt-Colin Firth indie "Arthur Newman" exclusively to BitTorrent users, which number up to 170 million people. ... Hollywood studios have spent years and many millions of dollars to protect their intellectual property and worry that by teaming up with BitTorrent, Cinedigm has embraced a company that imperils the financial underpinnings of the film business and should be kept at arm's length. "It's great for BitTorrent and disingenuous of Cinedigm," said the executive. "The fact of the matter is BitTorrent is in it for themselves, they're not in it for the health of the industry and Cinedigm is being used as their pawn," the executive added. Other executives including at Warner Brothers and Sony echoed those comments, fretting that Cinedigm had unwittingly opened a Pandora's box in a bid to get attention for its low-budget release. ... "Blaming BitTorrent for piracy is like blaming a freeway for drunk drivers, " Jill Calcaterra, Cinedigm's chief marketing officer said. "How people use it can be positive for the industry or it can hurt the industry. We want it help us make this indie film successful." ... "We'll be working with all of [the studios] one day," [Matt Mason, BitTorrent's vice president of marketing] said. "It's really up to them how quickly they come to the table and realize we're not the villain, we're the heroes." ... "I really missed them being at the forefront of the piracy issue," the studio executive said. "I don't remember them going, 'Naughty, naughty, don't use our technology for that.' They don’t give a shit.""
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Man Thinks He Never Has to Eat Again

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  about a year and a half ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "From Vice: "You know what's a complete waste of time, money, and effort? Eating. I mean, wouldn't you rather just ingest a tasteless form of sustenance for the rest of your life and never have to go through that tedious rigmarole of opening and eating a premade sandwich or feasting on a pile of fried delicacies ever again? Rob Rhinehart—a 24-year-old software engineer from Atlanta and, presumably, an impossibly busy man—thinks so."

The article continues as Vice interviews Rob about his drink Soylent, which contains "Everything the body needs—that we know of, anyway—vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients like essential amino acids, carbohydrates, and fat"; why he stopped eating, "I started wondering why something as simple and important as food was still so inefficient, given how streamlined and optimized other modern things are. I also had an incentive to live as cheaply as possible, and I yearned for the productivity benefit of being healthy"; the merits, drawbacks, and more."
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'Zorro' Rights Challenged as Invalid and Fraudulent

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  about a year and a half ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "The Hollywood Reporter has a story about a playwright who has filed a lawsuit claiming that Zorro is in the public domain: "For nearly a century, the masked outlaw Zorro has been a popular character who in books and films has been featured defending against tyrannical villains who seek to oppress the masses. Zorro has been played by Douglas Fairbanks, Antonio Banderas and others. ... But now comes a big attempt to free Zorro from any intellectual property grip. On Wednesday, a lawsuit was filed that asserts that Zorro is in the public domain, that trademarks on the character should be canceled and that the company currently professing rights on Zorro has perpetrated a fraud and that the masses should be able to exploit Zorro as they wish. According to complaint, "Defendants have built a licensing empire out of smoke and mirrors." The lawsuit, filed in Washington federal court, comes from Robert Cabell, who says that in 1996, he published a musical entitled "Z — The Musical of Zorro," that's based upon author Johnston McCulley's first Zorro story published in 1919 and the Fairbanks film that was released the following year. Cabell now says that he has been threatened with litigation after licensing his musical so that it can be performed in Germany this summer. The threats allegedly come from John Gertz, who owns Zorro Productions Inc. As a result of the reported threats, Cabell has gone to court with a complaint that's similar to the one that was recently filed in an attempt to declare "Sherlock Holmes" in the public domain. Except this one goes even further by alleging fraud on Gertz' part. "Specifically," says the lawsuit, "Defendants have fraudulently obtained federal trademark registrations for various 'Zorro' marks and falsely assert those registrations to impermissibly extend intellectual property protection over material for which all copyrights have expired. Defendants also fraudulently assert that copyrights for later-published material provide defendants with exclusive rights in the elements of the 1919 story and the 1920 film." In a 2001 decision, in a footnote, a federal judge said, "It is undisputed that Zorro appears in works whose copyrights have already expired, such as McCulley's story 'The Curse of Capistrano' and Fairbanks's movie, 'The Mark of Zorro.'" Cabell says that despite the ruling, Gertz and his company have fraudulently obtained multiple trademark registrations on "Zorro" and after allegedly duping the Trademark Office, have been using the registrations to prevent others like him from exploiting expired Zorro intellectual property. Cabell now seeks a declaration of non-infringement, permanent injunctive relief and cancellation of trademarks. He's also seeking damages for tortious interference, fraud and violation of the Consumer Protection Act. ... Read the entire lawsuit here."
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Cliff Bleszinski: vote with your dollars

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  about a year and a half ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "Cliff Bleszinski, formerly of Epic Games, posted a blog entry titled "Nickels, dimes, and quarters" yesterday:

"The video game industry is just that.An industry. Which means that it exists in a capitalistic world. You know, a free market. A place where you’re welcome to spend your money on whatever you please or to refrain from spending that money. ... Adjusted for inflation, your average video game is actually cheaper than it ever has been. Never mind the ratio of the hours of joy you get from a game per dollar compared to film. To produce a high quality game it takes tens of millions of dollars, and when you add in marketing that can get up to 100+ million. In the AAA console market you need to spend a ton of cash on television ads alone, never mind other marketing stunts, launch events, swag, and the hip marketing agency that costs a boatload in your attempts to “go viral” with something. ... Another factor to consider is the fact that many game development studios are in places like the San Francisco bay area, where the cost of living is extraordinarily high. (Even Seattle is pretty pricey these days.) Those talented artists, programmers, designers, and producers that spent their time building the game you love? They need to eat and feed their families. ... I’ve seen a lot of comments online about microtransactions. They’re a dirty word lately, it seems. Gamers are upset that publishers/developers are “nickel and diming them.” They’re raging at “big and evil corporations who are clueless and trying to steal their money.” I’m going to come right out and say it. I’m tired of EA being seen as “the bad guy.” I think it’s bullshit that EA has the “scumbag EA” memes on Reddit and that Good Guy Valve can Do No Wrong. ... If you don’t like EA, don’t buy their games. If you don’t like their microtransactions, don’t spend money on them. It’s that simple. ... The market as I have previously stated is in such a sense of turmoil that the old business model is either evolving, growing, or dying. No one really knows. “Free to play” aka “Free to spend 4 grand on it” is here to stay, like it or not. ... People like to act like we should go back to “the good ol’ days” before microtransactions but they forget that arcades were the original change munchers. Those games were designed to make you lose so that you had to keep spending money on them. Ask any of the old Midway vets about their design techniques. The second to last boss in Mortal Kombat 2 was harder than the last boss, because when you see the last boss that’s sometimes enough for a gamer. ... If you don’t like the games, or the sales techniques, don’t spend your money on them. You vote with your dollars.""

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Don't call it a comeback (working remotely)

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  about a year and a half ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "From a blog I came across: 'Remote working has existed for centuries. And now is the perfect time for it’s comeback. ... Prior to the Industrial Revolution, goods were manufactured by contracting individual craftsmen who worked out of their homes. The merchant would drum up sales, and would coordinate the production with at-home sub-contractors. ... This all changed with the Industrial Revolution: production was centralized in factories and cities. For merchant capitalists, this made sense: it was cheaper and more efficient to produce goods in one place, with machinery. ... We’ve been in the Information Age for at least 25 years. We’ve made huge leaps in technology. Many of us would describe ourselves as Knowledge Workers: we don’t work in factories, we work at desks in front of glowing screens. We don’t make goods with physical materials, but rather things made out of bits. The great thing about bits + the internet is that the materials and means needed for production aren’t dependent on location. But here’s the funny thing: the way work is organized hasn’t changed. Despite all these advances, most of us still work in central offices. Employees leave their computer-equipped homes, and drive long distances to work at computer-equipped offices. ... CEOs, like Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Apple’s Steve Jobs, think that a central office fosters more innovation and productivity. I think they’re wrong. We’re still early in the research, but recent studies seem to dispute their claim. ... Managers have developed centuries worth of habits based on the central workplace. The hallmarks of office work (meetings, cubicle workstations, colocation) need to be seen for what they are: traditions we’ve kept alive since the Industrial Revolution. We need to question these institutions: are they really more innovative and efficient?'"
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Gabe Newell: Steam Box's biggest threat isn't consoles, it's Apple

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  about a year and a half ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "The biggest danger facing the success of Steam Box or any other PC ecosystem hoping to find space in the living room is Apple, according to a lecture given by Valve co-founder Gabe Newell to a class at the University of Texas' LBJ School of Public Affairs. "The threat right now is that Apple has gained a huge amount of market share, and has a relatively obvious pathway towards entering the living room with their platform," Newell said. "I think that there's a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed down living room platform emerging — I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there, and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes over the living room? ... We're happy to do it if nobody else will do it, mainly because everybody else will pile on, and people will have a lot of choices, but they'll have those characteristics. They'll say, 'Well, I could buy a console, which assumes I'll re-buy all my content, have a completely different video system, and, oh, I have a completely different group of friends, apparently. Or I can just extend everything I love about the PC and the internet into the living room.' ... I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together.""
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New Sony Patent Blocks Second Hand Games

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  about a year and a half ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "From IGN: "... the patent application was filed on 9 December 2012 by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, and will work by linking individual game discs to a user's account without requiring a network connection meaning any future attempt to use this disc on another user's console won't work. The patent explains that games will come with contactless tags that will be read by your console in much the same way as modern bank cards. When a disc is first used, the disc ID and player ID will be stored on the tag. Every time the disc is used in future, the tag will check if the two ID’s match up and, if not, then the disc won’t work. The document goes on to explain that such a device is part of Sony's ongoing efforts to deter second-hand games sales, and is a far simpler solution than always-on DRM or passwords. It's worth noting that Sony has not confirmed the existence of the device, and the patent doesn't state what machine it will be used in, with later paragraphs also mentioning accessories and peripherals. ... There's also the issue of what happens should your console break and need replacing, or if you have more than one console. Will the games be linked to your PSN account, meaning they can still be used, or the console, meaning an entire new library of titles would need to be purchased?"
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The Philippines' Cybercrime Prevention Act makes SOPA look reasonable

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  about 2 years ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "From Forbes: "The dark days of SOPA and PIPA are behind the US, at least temporarily as copyright tycoons reground and restrategize, attempting to come up with measures that don’t cause the entire internet to shut down in protest. But one country has already moved ahead with similar legislation. The government of the Philippines has passed the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which on the surface, as usual, sounds perfectly well-intentioned. But when you read the actual contents of what’s been deemed “cybercrime,” SOPA’s proposed censorship sounds downright lax by comparison. Yes, there’s the usual hacking, cracking, identity theft and spamming, which most of us can agree should be illegal. But there’s also cybersex, pornography, file-sharing (SOPA’s main target) and the most controversial provision, online libel."
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TV Will Be Apple's Undoing

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  about 2 years ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "From the Wall Street Journal: "Forget the maps farrago. Look at Apple's agony over the TV puzzle. Apple is frustrated because there is no solution to TV that will let Apple keep doing what it has been doing. Like schnauzers overreacting to the postman's arrival, the tech press was in a tizzy a month ago on reports that Apple was talking to the cable industry about bringing cable's linear channel lineups to a future Apple device. But the technical feat is no technical feat. Time Warner and Cablevision managed to roll out iPad apps within days of the device's debut 2½ years ago. These TV apps proved unsatisfactory not because of any lack of Apple magic, but because only certain channels were available, and because consumers were allowed only to watch in the home (the whole point of an iPad is its portability). Even so, the Hollywood studios that actually own the shows sued saying the apps violated their contract rights. Apple's fans imagine the company can do for TV what it did for music: breaking up the existing distribution model. Forget about it. Television is about to demonstrate the inadequacy of Apple's own business model. ... Can Apple CEO Tim Cook and company make the turn? Two years ago, in a column on the Microsofting of Apple, we noted that a company preoccupied with products was in danger of becoming a company preoccupied with "strategy"—which we defined as zero-sum maneuvering versus hated rivals. ... A similar miscalculation led Microsoft to treat Netscape as a mortal threat and into a self-defeating tussle with a reciprocally purblind Justice Department. The Web did indeed create enormous opportunities that were seized by companies other than Microsoft, but Microsoft is still around and doing fine. Let it be said that some techies see evidence of a more rational impulse within Apple. They say Apple's browser and HTML5 support are conspicuously superior to Android's. Within Apple apparently there are teams committed to making sure Apple devices are competitive in the open-ecosystem world that is coming. The real test will be for senior management. The time to worry will be if Apple's quixotic quest for TV leads it to block more realistic solutions that emerge on the open Internet. When Apple admits defeat about TV, that may be the best sign for the company's future.""
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Facebook denies leak of users' private messages

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  about 2 years ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "The CBC (among others) reports: "A Facebook spokesperson is denying reports that private messages sent by users on the social networking site have become public. The purported glitch began generating attention Monday after French newspaper Metro reported that private messages dating from 2007 to 2009 had become accessible to friends and acquaintances on their profile pages. Other newspapers across the country began reporting similar incidences, citing reports from the site's users. The issue may be related to Facebook moving to its Timeline layout worldwide. ... The company issued a statement in response, saying: "A small number of users raised concerns after what they believed to be private messages appeared on their timeline. Our engineers investigated these reports and found that the messages were older wall posts that had always been visible on the users' profile pages. Facebook is satisfied that there has been no breach of user privacy." TechCrunch.com wrote that there was no evidence the messages in question had been private, and posted an explanation from a company spokesperson. "Every report we’ve seen, we’ve gone back and checked. We haven’t seen one report that’s been confirmed [of a private message being exposed]. A lot of the confusion is because before 2009 there were no likes and no comments on wall posts. People went back and forth with wall posts instead of having a conversation [in the comments of single wall post.]“"
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Canadian musician fined $1200 for pennies on album cover

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  about 2 years ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "The National Post reports: "The [Royal Canadian] Mint recently issued a warning to Halifax-based folk music singer Dave Gunning — whose upcoming album depicts pennies on both the front and back cover — that he has violated the government’s copyright on the currency. Most of us have probably never thought of inspecting our money in great detail, but Canadian bills do indeed contain a copyright notice in the lower right corner, and coins are covered under the same provisions. The album, entitled No More Pennies, includes lyrics about the coin and features a man sitting in a coffee shop with a bunch of pennies strewn across the counter on its front cover. On the back is a picture of a giant penny falling below the horizon like a sunset. The Mint says it will not charge Mr. Gunning a fee for the first 2,000 albums he produces, but will levy a charge of $1,200 for the next 2,000 copies — a cost this struggling artist says he cannot afford. According to one government bureaucrat, however, the Mint is helping 'this guy out by giving him a break.' ... 'It is pennies to them but is pretty substantial for me,' said Mr. Gunning, who has launched a 'Penny Drive' to try and raise the money to pay this unexpected tax. ... The Canadian dollar is not the only major currency protected by copyright — the British Pound and the Euro also feature copyright notices. But the idea that the government can own the copyright on its works is a concept that’s completely foreign to Americans and citizens of many other countries. Under this country’s Copyright Act, all government works 'belong to Her Majesty' and remain copyrighted 'for a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year.' This is known as 'Crown Copyright,' which is different from how public works are handled in countries such as the United States, where government documents are automatically put into the public domain.""
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PC has a Piracy Rate of 93-95%, says Ubisoft

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  more than 2 years ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "From GamesIndustry International: "Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has told GamesIndustry International that the percentage of paying players is the same for free to play as it is for PC boxed product: around five to seven per cent. ... 'On PC it's only around five to seven per cent of the players who pay for F2P, but normally on PC it's only about five to seven per cent who pay anyway, the rest is pirated. It's around a 93-95 per cent piracy rate, so it ends up at about the same percentage. The revenue we get from the people who play is more long term, so we can continue to bring content.' ... 'We must be careful because the consoles are coming. People are saying that the traditional market is declining and that F2P is everything — I'm not saying that. We're waiting for the new consoles — I think that the new consoles will give a huge boost to the industry, just like they do every time that they come. This time, they took too long so the market is waiting.'"
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What Happens to Your Used Games?

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  about 2 years ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "From IGN: "GameStop’s bosses are obviously tired of hearing about how used games are killing gaming, about how unfair they are on the producers of the games who get nothing from their resale. One astonishing stat is repeated by three different managers during presentations. 70 percent of income consumers make from trading games goes straight back into buying brand new games. GameStop argues that used games are an essential currency in supporting the games business. The normal behavior is for guys to come into stores with their plastic bags full of old games, and trade them so that they can buy the new Call of Duty, Madden, Gears of War. GameStop says 17 percent of its sales are paid in trade credits. The implication is clear — if the games industry lost 17 percent of its sales tomorrow, that would be a bad day for the publishers and developers.""
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Big media struggles to adapt an old model to a new world at Olympics

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  more than 2 years ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "From the Globe and Mail: "The first Olympic broadcast crackled over the airwaves 64 years ago in London, as a few thousand people who lived near venues were able to pick up some events on their black-and-white televisions. The decades since then have been kind to Olympic broadcasters, who raked in billions of dollars from advertisers eager to get their products in front of the massive worldwide audiences glued to television sets. As the Games return to London, that model is coming apart ... The future is so unclear that all of Canada’s broadcasters have pulled out of bidding for the 2014 and 2016 Games because they aren’t convinced the old model will still work only a few years from now as more consumers move online. ... Sixty-four years after television came to the Games, the Olympic Broadcast Service employs 13,000 to produce 2,500 hours of content covering virtually every sport. Canada’s Olympic Consortium – 80 per cent owned by BCE Inc. and the rest by Rogers Communications Inc. – will send more than 5,000 hours of content to televisions, phones and computers. Unlike the Canadian broadcasters who are threatening to walk away completely because of high costs, NBC doesn’t have the luxury of sitting out the next time Olympians gather to compete. It signed a $4.38-billion deal last year that will see it broadcasting through 2020."
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Face to face with the 'human barcode'

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  more than 2 years ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "From the Financial Post: "Fast-evolving biometric technologies are promising to deliver the most convenient, secure connection possible between you and your bank account — using your body itself in place of all of those wallets and purses stuffed with cash, change and plastic cards. Biometrics is the science of humans’ physiological or behaviourial characteristics and it’s being used to develop technology that recognizes and matches unique patterns in human fingerprints, faces and eyes and even sweat glands and buttock pressure. Its applications in the financial realm are a potentially huge time and effort saver, but that’s just a beginning for the technology’s usefulness. ... [BIOPTid Inc.]’s One Touch cube, set to be on the market within a year, is an external device that users can hook up to their computers and mobile electronics to replace passwords for Internet logins and banking. The cube reads a personal sweat gland barcode to verify identity from the moisture on a user’s fingertip. ... “Biometrics is something that’s used by governments, it’s used by ‘Big Brother’ to keep an eye on us and we want to change that,” says Mr. McNulty. “We think biometrics is something that can be actually used by the people and it becomes their technology that they use to protect themselves.”"
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Canadian banks rushing to offer virtual wallets

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  more than 2 years ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "From the Globe and Mail: Canada’s big banks are preparing to launch “virtual wallets” as early as this fall that will allow consumers to digitally consolidate their credit and debit cards from any financial institution, and use them to make purchases online and through their cellphones at cash registers. It is being called the biggest change to the way consumers pay for goods in Canada in decades, and for the banks moving quickly into this space, the strategy is about keeping ownership of the vast and potentially lucrative stores of data that are involved in transactions. Royal Bank of Canada is expected to be first into the market in October, when it launches a digital wallet for mobile phones that will use RBC cards at first, but will eventually expand to welcome all brands of debit and credit cards. A few months later, the bank will launch a digital wallet for online purchases in partnership with Visa that holds all varieties of cards, regardless of brand. The majority of the banking sector is expected to follow suit in the next year or so, with each financial institution relying on the concept of “aliases,” where a password lets consumers access their payment cards, but protects personal information from being passed to the merchant. The alias method is similar to how online services such as PayPal work. ... Retailers can use the information contained in transactions, stripped of details that violate privacy laws, to tailor offerings or promotions to consumers. And the banks figure they can build a new business from that new world. Location data on phones can help neighbourhood stores connect with customers in the area, while transaction data online can give insight into consumer habits and tastes. Consumers will be able to turn this feature on and off, Mr. McKay said, but will have access to offers, promotions and sales that would make it attractive. It is a potentially lucrative new business for the banks – making money off the data collected from each payment made via credit or debit cards, and the access the bank has to the consumer."
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Canadian Copyright board to charge for music at weddings, parades

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  more than 2 years ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "The CBC reports that the Copyright Board of Canada will begin charging for music played at live venues: 'Money can't buy love — but if you want some great tunes playing at your wedding, it's going to cost you. The Copyright Board of Canada has certified new tariffs that apply to recorded music used at live events including conventions, karaoke bars, ice shows, fairs and, yes, weddings. The fees will be collected by a not-for-profit called Re:Sound. While the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (otherwise known as SOCAN) already collects money from many of these events for the songwriters, Re:Sound will represent the record labels and performers who contributed to the music. ... For weddings, receptions, conventions, assemblies and fashion shows, the fee is $9.25 per day if fewer than 100 people are present and goes up to $39.33 for crowds of more than 500 people. If there's dancing, the fees double. Karaoke bars will pay between $86.06 and $124 annually depending on how many days per week they permit the amateur crooning. And parades, meanwhile, will be charged $4.39 for each float with recorded music participating in the parade, subject to a minimum fee of $32.55 per day.'

Also reported by Sun News, Metro News, and others."

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Are Porn and Games Basically the Same Thing?

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  more than 2 years ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "IGN published an article, today, discussing an editorial from CNN: Pornography and videogames are pretty much the same thing, according to a sensational and terrifying editorial published on CNN today called ‘The Demise of Guys: How Videogames and Porn are Ruining a Generation’. Games and porn are not only equal, they are equally damaging to young men, destroying their ability to connect with women, and therefore threatening the future of our entire species. ... The article, by psychologist Philip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan argues that young men are “hooked on arousal, sacrificing their schoolwork and relationships in the pursuit of getting a tech-based buzz”. ... Zimbardo, has danced this jig before. At the Long Beach TED conference last year he told a delighted audience that “guys are wiping out socially with girls and sexually with women.” He added that young men have been so zombiefied by games and porn that they are unable to function in basic human interactions. “It’s a social awkwardness like a stranger in a foreign land”, he said. “They don’t know what to say. They don’t know what to do.”"
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Disabled teen incurs $8,000 texting bill

silentbrad silentbrad writes  |  more than 2 years ago

silentbrad (1488951) writes "From the CBC: A mentally-disabled B.C. teen was hit by an $8,000 cell phone bill from Koodo after texting someone he thought was a girlfriend through a "premium" text dating site. “She had told me that she would meet me maybe in July . . . once we were ready,” said 19-year-old Brandon Kobza. “I just feel ripped off. With my disability, I only get $900 a month. That’s not enough to even pay like a portion of [the bill].” Kobza is a former foster child with fetal alcohol syndrome and other disabilities. Because Kobza didn’t qualify for a cell phone contract on his own, Ben Woodman, a church youth worker from Burnaby, B.C., reluctantly agreed to put the phone in his name — but with strict limits due to Kobza's disabilities. “I said, 'You know I don’t want any data or extra charges' and they said, ‘We can block that.' I made sure he had unlimited texts,” said Woodman. “I put a lot of faith in Koodo. I’m asking the representative 'What can go wrong ? Can I get charged for anything else?' And they said nothing about premium texts.” ... “It’s preying on the weak. It’s preying on people. It’s preying on kids with cell phones,” Woodman said. After he saw the bills — $8,243.06 for a month and a half — Woodman cancelled Kobza’s phone. He said he also asked Koodo to cancel the texting charges, but the most the company would offer was 80 per cent off. “If they forgave my bill, I would not necessarily care to come to [Go Public]. But in some ways I’m glad that we get to do some of these stories, because people need to know. You can get totally ripped off.”"
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