What we've found lately is that the tone of our comments (and some of our commenters) is getting a little too aggressive and negative...
This, readers, is a classic case of denial. What The Verge really meant to say was this:
"At The Verge, we've noticed more negative commentary regarding our news stories, and how readers are mislead by titles and are greeted with less-than-stellar reporting.
Since we can't stand constructive criticism regarding how we try to generate more ad revenue (please be sure to Like us!), we're basically going to tell our readers to shut the hell up."
Congratulations, The Verge. You will do precisely the opposite of what you intended to do.
As a veteran, here's a response I'd like to share with you when people sometimes asked why I volunteered to face death: "I may not like what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."
Enter Corporate America to kill the very definition of the word "freedom".
See, the thing here is the corruption isn't from other AGs, it's from the MPAA, a fact that shouldn't be buried. It's not going to surprise any Techdirt reader if the AGs listed above also have pockets lined by MPAA money.
When the hell is this country going to wake up and realize corporations are the true problem?
Agreeing with the first comment: just a number used similarly to Social Security.
As a side note: the SSN wasn't supposed to be used for anything other than Social Security as well, but, as is always the case, the number slowly crept into our daily lives and has become our national identifier.
You can't even get a job without one. Well, legally, anyway.
You're conflating several issues to cloud the discussion.
The entire "online only" has absolutely nothing to do with Kinect, though Kinect's bundling was an issue. Not of the device, but for the extra $100 price difference of the PS4.
The NSA "tracking" joke is still going on, regardless what the device is. Any form of communication which leaves the house is now NSA fodder (though I certainly don't disagree).
I don't read much of Kinect's voice activation being of concern to people the information is being used outside of its purpose. The ToS even states this information isn't used but for Kinect.
Samsung did not instill this confidence (much like LG's infamous data transmission without any consent or knowledge).
You can hate on Microsoft all you want, but don't try to pretend what was said was fact. Most people arguing over the E3 fiasco still have it wrong, because they didn't listen to a thing said as they were too busy sticking their fingers into their ears and screaming like a ill-tempered child.
XBox One has its Kinect, which has both a camera and speaker. The console has a dedicated OS specifically designed to pick up key words from the speaker, using an off-site database to help it translate what it thinks the user wants.
That database is wholly owned and operated by Microsoft and it does not share access information with any third party.
Where Samsung screwed up is it allowed third parties to access these voice commands, no doubt to try and lure ad services to shill products on a personal level.
That's the difference, and it's a huge one. No one gave Microsoft any flack because of its Kinect's passive eavesdropping because people were comfortable this information wasn't being used or sold to target them.
Marketing tie-ins are annoying, but tolerated, which is how I see this Comcast gig.
Marketing used to suck in personal information, however, is something consumers are (somewhat) aware of and will stand against intrusions which go beyond what they expected.
The latter is already collected by Comcast and sold to third parties, who then market those "Comcast ads" via Comcast services, such as its menu guide or customized 404 error messages when you mistype a web address.
Finally, my own point of view: advertising sucks and I'm sick and tired of companies using this as an excuse to "exist". It's worse when there's now the crap of getting people to pay for said service and still deliver ads.
Let's get one thing out of the way: anyone who signs with a publisher no longer has distribution rights. They're given up in exchange for the first check, often inflated to ensure poor decision making on the artist's part (when actually, it's a damn loan).
That is why you don't see JK Rowling books by every publisher.
That, in itself, starts the monopoly chain.
Artists still retain the copyright of the book itself, but since publishers also have a strong hand in distribution, that's what makes "best sellers": getting the book out there.
This lawsuit stems from this. Because publishers were intentionally preventing distribution of ebooks, it harmed not only them, but the very authors who have no control to dictate distribution, as they no longer have those rights.
That's why you rarely see artists suing fans, but rather, distributors, because they own that copyright under distribution.
There's a reason for the entire section of copyright law solely dedication to the distribution of works.
The US is one of a few countries which allows for this. Most other countries make it 100% illegal to transfer any copyright, though these restrictions (such as in Japan) are under attack.
In short: copyright sucks for everyone, except the distributors.
Sorry, Ninja, but this actually has nothing to do with copyright, but you are right in one regard: this can only happen when you have a monopoly.
By colluding with other publishers, this set the definition of monopoly, or rather, oligopoly, to force price points.
Apple set the ball rolling, but unfortunately, the Big 6 pretty much got away with their actions.
The group will try again. It's inevitable. Of all the entertainment industries, the publishers seem to be the last of the holdouts. Even the movie industry is starting to make some progress, especially after Sony's "oopsies" releasse of the Interview, and how much money was made, legitimately, online.
It wasn't record-breaking, but it sure as hell wasn't $0. It makes me wonder how well Jurassic World would have done if Universal released it online at the same time, even if said ticket price was the average $8/person.
One of these days, rather than fining these companies, Big Brother will slap the shit out of them, forcing them to break apart, and scrutinize their day-to-day activities to ensure it won't happen again.
Sadly, Apple gets slapped with a fine that it's still laughing at because it'll only take a few weeks to make up the loss of it.
Bethesda pulled the paid mod (from Steam) option because the backlash of putting it in place was the real mistake. Mods have always been free to use and make, and while some developers asked for financial support, most did not.
Plus, there was the whole issue of mods enhanced from other mods, making it impossible to determine where the fees go (the final mod or the original mod creator).
As for the simplification, it makes sense, and Skyrim has proven that a workable balance between all player types was possible.
Yes, it was very easy to go OP in Skyrim, especially fresh and not really getting the scope of perks, but once known, it was up to the player to determine how to manage their upgrades, making difficulty something the player could (mostly) control (the only downside being the level scaling).
TESO does the same thing, albeit perks are now skills, and because of the various skills, makes it outstanding to truly develop a character as you want to play, all the while keeping leveling and controls simple to use for everyone.
Mmm... Fallout 4. November can't get here fast enough, but at least I'll be busy for a while until it does arrive.
Bungie didn't back off at all. Instead, they offered an even more insulting offer: allowing players (fans are the nutjobs that keep supporting this stupidity) to buy the specialized emotes for the low, low price of $20.
So an avatar can dance a special move.
After the "throwing money at the screen" comment, I decided right there and then I am officially done with this game. Sadly, it has fantastic potential to be a great franchise, but Bungie not only blew it, but actually made EA look like a saint in the gaming industry.
Even EA didn't have this much balls to piss of fans this bad, and that's with microtransactions with DRM! Oh, my.
On the flip side, Bethesda/Zenimax Online releases Elder Scrolls online with tons of emotes, the damn-near entire world of Tamriel, and fantastic game play for a one-time fee of $70.
In fact, I even asked ZOL to consider a lower $7.99/mo fee so I can help support the game, given I feel the current $14.99/mo isn't valuable to me (it boosts character xp, gold, and Crowns and I don't want the extra xp - sadly, a "take it or leave it" option).
Despite the real money price of $14.99, I even bought a Senche-Lioness because it offered me fantastic value for what it gives my character. Some may not see this similarly, and that's fine, but the sheer number of people using real-money items is proof people are willing to "throw money at the screen" when they clearly see value.
I can't wait until ISPs take advantage of these changes...
"Sign up today, and we'll offer a FREE one-way controlled CCTV camera with installation! After we bugger your speed, we'll sell your angry expression for adverts while providing a copy of your face to the local authority's database. Hurry soon. This deal is set never to expire, because really, what choice do you have now?"
Maybe Comcast should pick up and move to countries "governed" by the EU.
This is the difference lies. What people are confusing with APIs is the structured reference the compiler uses to structure machine code, this the procedure Add is part of that translation code.
It is NOT an API. An API, as the name states, is an Application Programming Interface, with emphasis on the second word.
What makes this problematic is the API general definition. However, what's important to realize is APIs are NOT transferable between systems.
One cannot use Windows APIs in a Java world, without additional software. In the previous example of using WINE, Windows APIs are translated to work within a Linux environment, but the actual code of the API is not altered.
Again, most companies who wrote the APIs aren't going to stop programmers from using them, but I certainly don't believe anyone believes a company will allow another business to take those APIs, verbatim, and create a new operating system.
I feel far too many people are confusing API with ABI, and ABIs are what cannot be covered by copyright. ABIs are what makes APIs work.
For those unaware, an ABI is an Application Binary Interface, which is the compiler code needed to ensure the API of "Add(x,y)" translates correctly, regardless what API is written to use the procedure."
I'm sure some will argue this is all "one in the same", but it's not. APIs are written code. Thus, under current copyright law, they are covered by that law.
So yes, my 30 years of experience in programming still has me confident APIs are written software.
If there's still confusion, keep this in mind: if you can't write it, it's an ABI. If you can, it's an API.
I don't believe I'm incorrect in this, but I'm also not sticking my fingers in my ears screaming everyone is wrong.
I really do want to know why people believe APIs aren't covered under copyright, and so far, all I've seen is the confusion between API and ABI.
The whole point of an API is to define what it means "to perform identically". The whole point of an API is to make code shareable between applications rather than developers having to rewrite the wheel every time they create a new program.
APIs are bound by the OS and the software/hardware they're written for. I've been programming for 30 years, so I'm confident what an API is used for. Hell, I've written my own, as well as encapsulated some by Microsoft.
In this world, Microsoft knows it's beneficial to share these APIs. Hell, they don't even charge to use them even if one wants to profit on their own software. It's a mutually exclusive relationship.
However, I absolutely cannot fathom for one second Microsoft wouldn't send the hounds after me if I took all their APIs, wrote my own OS, used those APIs, and competed with Windows.
WINE translates Windows APIs to use in Linux. Microsoft isn't going to raise a fuss here because WINE isn't an OS. It would be no different than someone writing software for Windows to run Linux programs using Linux APIs (though, that would be funny considering most Linux APIs are open source).
@The other AC: No, Java is not open source. At least, not as of today. Rumor has it Oracle is leaning towards making it open source, but time will tell.