Well, I'd say they own the phone outright, period. But they also have an financial obligation they must fulfill. The carriers can already make their life super-difficult for not paying the $250 fee, or whatever it is. There is a huge, nasty industry in the US devoted to collecting debt.
I'd say that's enough. Once they sign the paperwork, the phone belongs to them, and they can do any damn thing they want with it. They're already on the hook if they break it, so they've got the responsibilities of ownership. They should also get the benefits.
And then if they try to cheat their phone provider, well, there are tons of legal remedies available.
My unlocking story: I spent $600 on a phone (a Galaxy Nexus, imported from Europe) that would work on any GSM carrier, and would allow me to run whatever I want. (in other words, it's unlocked at two levels; it's both compatible with all GSM frequencies in use, and also offers me full control over the user-visible software running on the phone.)
I thought this was a fairly ridiculous price, and a law requiring that phones be fully unlocked would have meant I could have spent far less.
Now, it's gotten better since I bought my Galaxy Nexus, as you can now get equivalent unlocked phones for $400 direct from Google, but that's still about $200 or $250 too much. Even cheapies should be easily portable. Note that I do NOT mean subsidized phones; those only look cheap. I mean the actual cheapies, the ones you can buy for $100 to $150, should be usable with any carrier using that technology.
Note that simply allowing unlocks is not enough, because at least with AT&T and T-Mobile, the phones they sell themselves will be deliberately crippled, so as not to work well on their competitors' frequencies. I'm not sure this legislation can be modified to fix that problem, but if it's in scope, it's something Congress should be thinking about.
and they remove the right to sell or swap or loan downloaded games.
I don't think they really have an option there. If the console isn't checking in routinely, then you can't be sure that only one copy is in use per license. So they're planning to handle digital sales like Steam does; they're permanent and non-transferable, but once you've bought something, you can keep the console offline for extended periods.
If trading/selling is important to you, then you'd want to stick with disc-based versions. Considering how easy they are to get, I don't personally see that as much of an impediment.
Are you sure it works that way? Can't you just take the disc from one machine and play it on the other? Or are they locking disks down to consoles, even though they say the Xbone is now just like the 360?
jameshogg: Also, I expect very gradual creeping-in of the DRM. Everything might be okay for now, but I strongly suspect the DRM software will be on the Xbox One just waiting.
Yeah, I think this is exactly right. For this to even work, there would need to be unique serial numbers encoded on each and every disc, and those serial numbers are still going to be there. This means that Microsoft can, at will, return to their 'vision for connected consoles' or whatever that day's marketroid drivel happens to be. Since the hardware capabilities are still going to be there. I would suggest just avoiding the console completely.
The PS4 looks like a stronger machine anyway, it's $100 cheaper, and you don't have to deal with that stupid Kinect.
The only thing I don't like (at present) about the PS4 is that you have to pay Sony an ongoing royalty to play online. I don't play console games online, so that's not really a problem for me, but I think it would be entirely legitimate to complain about that fiercely.
There are very few modern people with the mental discipline and fortitude to read and write as well as people did in 1871. People back then carried around enormous amounts of information in their heads, and had an incredible ability to concentrate.
Modern people have outsourced all that, and most of us are largely reliant on technological devices to function as memory, organizational tools, and instant research assistants.
Is this better than what we were doing before? I don't know. I think the jury is kind of out on this one.
But I guarantee you that those writers from the 19th and early 20th century would absolutely amaze you with their mental prowess. Perhaps it's like comparing muscle power with a steam engine, but those folks had mental muscles like Charles Atlas had physical ones.
The vast majority of us, who think we're so very strong/clever, are actually flabby and weak compared to our predecessors.
Yeah, these sponsored posts seem to be doing the lead balloon thing. I have no particular beef with either Insightly or with you guys, but trying to force geeks to talk about things that benefit a sponsor is just not going to work. I've seen two of these posts, and in neither one did any useful conversation happen.
You'd probably raise more actual revenue if you came up with better price tiering. I wanted to give you $50/year, but that wasn't easy to do; it was either $15 once or $10/mo. So you got $15 from me instead of $50.
I think you're falling away from your own major drives, the ones that got me to sign up in the first place... engaging your users and giving them something excellent. Looking for ways to make it easier for your primary revenue source to grow, like better tiering, and maybe attractive little perks to go with the tiers, strikes me as much more likely to increase revenue than by cannibalizing your user base to chase sponsor money. From where I'm sitting, that looks very inconsistent with your stated business model.
And don't get me wrong, I'd love it if you were wealthier than Croesus. I don't mind you making money, and I hope you make a lot of it. But these sponsor posts really put a bad taste in my mouth.
Talk about Insight.ly because they are interesting, not because they pay you.
Remember, Mike, they legally must lie if they say anything at all, so they're remaining silent.
Silence speaks volumes no more than speech does. You can't trust anything that anyone is saying, because if they don't lie about the existence of classified programs, they can be put in jail for a long, long time.
You're still in the mode of thinking that people are telling you basically the truth when they stand up on those podiums (podia?), but they can't. They just can't.
Mr. Masnick, there's one thing you absolutely must remember, whenever you're writing these articles.
Google, and any other civilian entity, is legally required to lie about its involvement in these programs.
Their execs can be jailed for long periods if they come clean and tell the truth about classified projects.
You can't take anyone at their word here. You can't. You have to see the physical evidence, or you have to just assume that it's exactly the way it says it is on the slides.
The slides are a form of evidence, truth telling within the agency. All other verbal communication to non-privileged participants (ie, us) should automatically be assumed untrue. It HAS to be untrue, by law.
It's not a matter of if they are lying, but where.
I haven't seen an independent data source to verify the claim, but a poster on Ars Technica wrote that bandwidth costs have been dropping by about half every nine months, or about double the speed of Moore's Law in transistors.
My ISP, EPB in southern Tennessee, is able to give me 250 megabit bidirectional service for $140/mo, which strikes me as an absolute refutation of the idea that an exaflood is about to happen -- especially when you consider that they upgraded me, for free, from the 100 megabit service I originally signed up for.
You can get colocated servers now with 100tb of monthly bandwidth, non-Cogent, for $200/mo. A hundred terabytes: $200. That's still unusually low, but it won't be for long.
Bandwidth is astonishingly cheap, at scale. Network routing is able to avoid saturated areas, routing around congestion; this is a problem that can be inherently parallelized, as every packet is a separate computational problem. This means that global bandwidth can scale to degrees that mere mortals will have trouble imagining.
Gigabit to every house in the country would be easily possible with present technology, though the buildout would be expensive. I see no fundamental reason why it couldn't someday be terabit.
Considering that there always seem to be arms dealers, no matter what horrors are inflicted, I figure Moxie is pretty much pissing in the wind. It's a damn shame, and I wish it weren't so.
But, if you are a security researcher, and you are selling exploits to governments, don't kid yourself. You are a modern arms dealer, and you are probably going to be getting people killed, very possibly people you would like.
Going off on a bit of a tangent: this is another reason why I get so frustrated with the Linux kernel devs for treating security with such a cavalier attitude, actively going out of their way to hide security problems in the kernel. In the modern world, people's lives depend on the security their systems claim to provide.
I can't help but wonder if someone's deliberately vague commit has ended up causing people to be imprisoned, tortured, or even killed, because the bad guys figured out the security implication, but the good guys didn't.
No, but you can tell it to run offline and never have the requirement to connect to Steam again
I don't think that's true -- I'm nearly sure that Steam requires a login about once a month.
There was a really long period where the Mac client could stay disconnected; I had my Mac laptop in offline mode for, man, six months or more. But from comments I've seen since, that was a bug, and it has been fixed. You have to go online about once a month.
I have not, however, actually seen this myself; this is from sources that I trust, but it is not observed fact. I almost never run Steam on my Mac.
Oh, and as a corollary... when good deals come along, like this one, you should buy them!
People who are trying to make genuinely good games, rather than aiming at extracting the maximum revenue from you they possibly can, are getting rarer and rarer. Buy their games. It's important. Just like avoiding the bad guys matters, so does buying stuff from the good developers.
Most people don't really pay attention to games, it seems, so if you're one that does, what you do matters more.
I don't mind a little bit of DRM; Steam is pretty acceptable. This is largely because I know Steam is easy to crack. It's DRM made of cobwebs, just enough so that you know what the limits are.
If Valve ever turns evil, or decides to change the terms of the deal in a way I find intolerable (which they can do, unilaterally, because it IS DRM), I know I'll be able to get pirate versions of what I've already bought, because Steam is so easily stripped out. And it is a nice, convenient service, so I go along with it. I have JC2 on Steam, for instance.
But the really draconian flavors, especially always-on, are just not acceptable to me. Ubisoft stopped me from buying at least seven titles in the first year they went to those insane DRM regimes, and probably nearly as many since. Each year, I buy fewer and fewer big-ticket titles, because the terms are unacceptable.
I really wish more people would pay attention to this stuff, and realize that the short-term gain of the fun game is not worth accepting the long-term loss of the lousy deal to get it. If we, as gamers, keep taking lousy deals, the deals will only get lousier, until we reject them. The big gaming companies see us as something to be exploited, and they will exploit us until we refuse to play along anymore, at which point they might back off just a little.
We should have been up in arms years ago, but naw, we just keep taking shittier and shittier deals, going along with systems to take more and more money from us for less product, and a good chunk of the gaming community heaps scorn on the people pointing out that this is a pile of crap.
It feels a lot like being told that I just don't understand, that payday loan places are the way forward, and that my insistence on using a bank is old-fashioned and stupid.
Does anyone really buy a greeting card based purely on the name of the company that produced it, as opposed to the design and/or written sentiments?
Well, people probably don't, but someone's making the decision about what cards are on the shelf to buy. Seeing a few cards from Inman could lose Oatmeal Studios all business controlled by that person for a long time, maybe permanently, since even professionals would be likely to mix the two up.
This is precisely what trademark law is for; Oatmeal Studios has been building up their brand equity for thirty-five years. They have registered Oatmeal Studios as their trademark in the greeting card space. They absolutely have the legal right to tell The Oatmeal to bug off.
Further, I'd say they have the moral right, too. As a store manager choosing what cards to carry, if I saw these new "Oatmeal" cards, I might very well think that Oatmeal Studios had lost their freaking minds, and refuse to buy anything more from them. The Oatmeal's humor is, um, let's call it specialized, lest I offend those of you who actually like that drivel^H^H^H^H^H^H controversial content.
For better or worse, his stuff is incredibly memorable, and I can't imagine Oatmeal Studios would be able to reasonably differentiate themselves from the newcomer, at least in the minds of people who aren't paying very close attention to the issue (ie, almost everyone, everywhere.) Since they're already in that market, it's up to Inman to make the differentiation, not them.
3 years from now, what incentive does anyone have to purchase one of his books when it's freely available just about everywhere?
It will be freely available just about everywhere anyway -- and he's $4 richer doing it this way. All it takes is one person breaking the DRM, and it's dirt-easy to do that, and everyone can have copies just as easily as they can get them from the library. There's no value in copies.
Without the content, you would be copying nothing.
Right, so we need to work out how to pay someone to create content, not how to pay them for copies. Making copies is worthless. It's not worth charging for that.
The only reason we think that's the right approach is because plastic disks could only be made in specialized factories, so the business model that emerged was the plastic disk makers bribing authors and musicians for content, so they could sell more plastic.
But we don't need plastic anymore. Every single person with a computer has a fully functional bit-duplication facility. Trying to bend the old models to suit the new reality doesn't work at all. There are no more plastic disks, and pretending that there are is fundamentally stupid. And not just stupid, but STUPID, in all-caps skywriting.
We need to pay for the act of creation, not for making copies. In the old world, the people with the duplication facilities, the record companies, defined the terms of the relationship. In the new world, the people with the duplication facilities still define the terms of the relationship, at least as far as the copies go -- except that's end-users. Everyone reading this comment has a fully operational factory that can make millions of copies of anything.
When every one of your customers can, for a cost so small it disappears into their monthly overhead, make thousands of copies of any digital product you produce, well, selling copies to these people is like selling ice to Eskimos. It can be done, but your ice had better be really good, and really, really cheap.
Or, we can move to the new economic reality of the digital age, which is that creating things is hard and expensive, so that's what we should pay for, by funding those we love directly. "Hey," we'll think, "I loved Imogen Heap's last album, so I'll kick in $5 or $10 so she'll make another." And then superfans can give more. See: Kickstarter.
Over the long haul, charging for copies is a deeply flawed, probably impossible business model. If someone can easily do something themselves for free, there's not a lot of money in doing it for them.
And deploying the guns of the government to enforce the idea that plastic disks exist, where none actually do, will cause economic harm far in excess of any harm caused by record companies going out of business. Even if every author and every musician and every record company stopped producing content tomorrow, that would still do us far less harm than trying to sabotage the Internet and everyone's computers.
And, of course, nothing that severe will ever happen. There will always be authors and musicians, because some folks need to do it like they need to breathe. They'd write and compose and perform even if there was no money in it at all. And, I would argue, we'd probably end up with better music and writing, because people doing it for the love of it are usually better than those who are in it for the lucre.
But even that won't happen, because we've seen just how much money can be raked in by people who give stuff away for free. It hasn't scaled yet to the tens and hundreds of millions, but it doesn't need to -- that was all going to the plastic disk and paper book industries, which are dying. The part that's going to the musicians and authors is all that really needs to be preserved, and that very clearly can happen without them selling even a single copy of anything.