Vic B’s Techdirt Profile

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  • Jan 13th, 2014 @ 3:18pm

    (untitled comment)

    I agree with Mike's first paragraph but I think he isn't being fair when blaming the "victims". Taxi drivers and the companies managing cab fleets have had to expand time, effort and money to meet ever increasing government regulations over the years and it is only right that they shoud fight to ensure they are competing on an even playing field. Uber et all are only disruptive in that they don't come from that world and its rules and are only concerned with supplying demand. The real fight should be directed at government regulations and those who seek to preserve them, and yes, that could also be the cab companies.

  • Dec 6th, 2013 @ 11:03am

    Participative versus representative democracy

    I see what you're trying to say Mike although I'm not sure that you fully grasp the consequences of your wishes. Democracy doesn't necessarily mean everyone gets to chime in everything for a number of reasons, from process efficiency to competency and many others reasons, some good and some bad. That's why we elect and pay people, preferably with the required intellect and experience to make decisions for us. Representative government is the cornerstone of democracy. The kind of democracy you espouse, the populist so called participative democracy may be idealistically pure but, except for cases with relatively few participants, is always been a social disaster corrupted by fundamentalists of the worst breed, from religious zealots to right wing nuts. I realize it is more popular than ever to flame elected officials but at the end of the day it does nothing to strengthen our democractic principles but instead encourages anarchy or dogmatic crazies. Just my opinion.

  • Jul 12th, 2013 @ 1:39pm

    (untitled comment)

    ... and we prevent Chinese companies from purchasing US communication companies on "national security" grounds...

  • Apr 15th, 2013 @ 2:28pm

    Agism...Really?

    Of course there should be a mandatory retirement age for lots of professions! Be it based on age or motor/psych evaluation doesn't matter but why should businesses be burdened by individuals living their retirements at work? At my job there are several guys in their late 60's who can't be let go for fear of getting sued for age discrimination and yet aren't able to keep up with the speed of change, from computer to smartphone usage to simple drive to get things done. I say let them go and rehire them as consultants when there's a specific need for their experience and let new blood in the workforce!

  • Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    To have or not to have

    I don't listen to commercial radio because music only serves to occasionally interrupt advertisers. I've been listening to Pandora for at least 2-3 years but have been getting turned off by it because of the louder, more frequent and longer ad interruptions. As a consequence, I've actively searched for and downloaded one of its competitors (Slacker) which I listen to more now because it is what Pandora used to be.
    Some might suggest I pay Pandora $50 ($60?) per year to hear music with no commercial interruptions. The problem I have with paying for listening to music is that it turns me from a passive listener (which I happily am) to an active stakeholder (am I getting what I want for my money? Are there better ways to spend that money?...) I don't know about you but I have enough on my plate not to want to think about such questions and more financial commitments than I care to juggle with.
    Something tells me I'm not alone with this dilemma...

  • Mar 29th, 2013 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can understand some of the frustration with the online-only model which can become an expensive addictive model. But developers have spent years trying to figure ways to increase revenue from gaming and the fairly recent online-only model is showing to be by far the most lucrative of them all. Yes, EA is charging upfront for online-only SC and I think that's a big mistake. Like WoT, it should be free to play and then add micro charges for expansive options such as buildings, land, etc.. If the game is addictive, people will eventually send the $60 that they would have charged with a CD distri model.

  • Mar 29th, 2013 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think it's because online-only can't be hacked (thus no need for DRM) unless the main servers are hacked of course. Also, with online-only, developers can instantaneously offer you (paying) incentives. Finally, online-only isn't well suited for mods (unless approved by the developers) which are out of reach to the developers.
    Ultimately, this is about how to get more money from game production knowing that gaming is still cheaper than most other forms of entertainment.

  • Mar 28th, 2013 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re:

    Fighting online only is like fighting automobiles when they first came out..it's a bit dinausorish.

    I discovered the difference a couple years ago when I started playing an online-only game (WoT). Before that I was playing games that I purchased for $60 from a store and played for a couple of years. Before that I was playing game copies that I bought for $2 from street vendors and played for at least 3 years. Maybe I should have started there to make my point... Over the last couple of years I must have spent close to $800 on WoT and something tells me I'm not the only one who followed that path.
    This is why WoT (Wargaming.Net) is the most successful game model in the industry and one likely to be followed by all gaming companies, including EA.
    Put yourself in the gaming developers' shoes for just a second and you'll understand the economic model.
    From a player's perspective it sure is going to be costly to win but free to play (a friend calls them free-to-play, pay-to-win games). Another advantage of the online only model is games that are free from hacks and that's a big deal to me as a gamer.

  • Mar 13th, 2013 @ 1:35pm

    relax girls

    The editor expressed an opinion leading to an ambiguous conclusion that Tim called him on in a well written article (thanks Tim!) Now why do we have to have so much angst and name calling in the comments? All you're doing is showing your close mindedness!
    As for the free speech bs, let's agree to disagree. When fanatics call on fanatics to harm non fanatics then I have no moral dilemna shutting them off.

  • Jan 14th, 2013 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Moral of the story

    It doesn't take 10 years to get caught, it took him 10 years to get caught.

  • Oct 18th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    Re: It's, "opt-out of phone book deliveries", Mike!

    "And be damn glad, people, that the USPS has means to keep them and countless others from putting stuff physically in your mailbox. Bad enough the USPS stuffs it with bulk-mail crap."

    Right...next thing will be "let's give them a medal for their hard work"?!? USPS is very happy to see all that junk mail in our mailboxes. It's money in their coffers and continued overpaid jobs to undereducated staff.

  • Sep 25th, 2012 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re:

    American universities still have unmatched financial resources at their disposal to pursue R&D at the graduate level and that's enough of an incentive to come study in the US.
    If the US makes it difficult for these students to establish themselves here and/or their country universities figure out a way to match US funding then, no they won't come to the US. This is in fact happening and the reason why prestigious US and European universities are opening campuses abroad.

  • Sep 25th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    (untitled comment)

    Really? What job was that? How long ago was that? What "cool" stuff are you talking about...your iPhone? It is unquestionable that America's smarts has been and still is driven in great part by foreign talents, often from India, China or former Eastern European countries because their education systems emphasize sciences. Look at the name of the brightest PhD science students from our top universities if you need any validation.
    What these foreign students and countries don't have is the cultural understanding for making the "cool" things you crave to buy although that is slowly changing as you can now find in Asia (Korea, Japan,..) high end toys that are not available in the US. However, it is still easier for Asia to put their scientific and manufacturing minds to work on US or European ideas than it is to figure out what people from another culture on the other side of the world might want to buy. Thankfully the world isn't as homogenous as Americans think it is...

  • Aug 9th, 2012 @ 4:24pm

    Repur...what?

    What are the repercussion for not using a basic spell checker?

  • Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 8:43am

    Re: You underestimate the power of the dark side...

    I really like this, is it haiku? So powerful! Never mind that it doesn't ryhme, you made your point short, cut.

    Innovation is hard work, try it sometime. If you ever catch it, give it away to those whose business skills will get them wealth and fame while you watch it run away.

    Then sit by the warm rock and repeat your psalm in a loop.

  • Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:18pm

    Re:

    At the risk of being the devil's advocate, your point isn't logical... The police has the burden of having to get warrrants to tape/record individuals who are often thugs yet individuals are free to record/tape police in their line of work.

  • Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 9:55am

    (untitled comment)

    UFC puzzles me. I'm an outlier fan who would definitely not pay $50 to watch a live fight but certainly would pay $5-10/month to stream past and recent fights online. But UFC doesn't allow option #2... it's either $50/fight every few months or nothing. So I'm left streaming illegal and bad quality feeds found on the web. Shame really.

  • Nov 29th, 2011 @ 4:45am

    basic logic

    Actually the math is more of this order:

    12 guys for 3 months = $70K (salary) + $70K (business cost of employee) x 12 employees / 4 (3 months) = $420K Any slippage (very common) adds $140K/month.

    50,000 copies x $15 (30% margin on $50 product)= $750K

    Based on above, it's not worth porting to pc.

    If the company's pc sales tripled or more (very possible based on sales of competing products) then it's a poor business decision not to port to pc.

    At the end of the day, the issue is less about piracy than faith in one's product.

  • Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Dunno about privelege unless you mean privilege

    Can't read an article with a misspelled word in the title.

  • Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Ima Fish

    That is Mike's point...you can compete with free if you are able "to offer it in an easy and convenient manner".
    I face the same issue every time I want to watch UFC fights. I'd pay a few bucks a month for last week's or last month's fights if Dana White would stream them online in a quality format and secure transaction. Instead I have to search the web for streams of free but dubious quality sites... One thing is for sure, I'm no longer willing to subsidize my other tv shows (available on the net) and my cable company $120/month just to watch UFC fights.

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