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  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 4:34am

    (untitled comment)

    "We've talked about this a few times before, and the head in sand approach the government takes to pretending that publicly available leaked classified information is still secret."
    Which is precisely why Purdue, nay, every American, isn't overreacting in these situations.

    Between overzealous prosecutors (both state and federal) and any law enforcement agency itching to shoot first and ask no questions later, this reactionary (and protectionist) fear is completely justified.

    Gellman shouldn't have taken this path. Instead, he should have shown how it's a clear example of instilling fear by government abuse.

    Journalist gets 25 years for "password hacking". Aaron Schwartz took his own life. Snowden is a traitor, not a Constitution defender.

    If these few examples don't give a valid reason why Purdue is justified in its actions, well, someone isn't paying attention to the abusive roles authorities are using to quell the information, public or not.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 11:49am

    (untitled comment)

    Just another reason why my web usage has dropped significantly in the past few years.

    Rue the day ISPs start blocking VPN usage.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 10:51am

    (untitled comment)

    Raise your hand if you're surprised by the headline.

    That's what I thought.

    Now raise your hand if you're excited as hell for Fallout 4.

    That's better.

    A little exercise helps make the day go better.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re:


    Assuming the NSA has access, it's still a moot point. You can bet if the NSA has access on our side, the GBHQ has access on their side, making the whole privacy issue pointless.

    What's at stake here is far more important than whether or not government agencies has access to the data.

    It's more important to focus on the ruling's complete and utter ignorance, because it's just a first step toward more asinine and ignorant law making.

    We work with the Safe Harbor all the time, so I'm well versed on what we need to do to capture and protect EU data. Not only is our transfer encrypted, but the data itself is twice encrypted, which actually exceeds the recommendation.

    If the NSA/GBHQ has access to that, everyone is fucked and no law will change that. Ever.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 7:55am

    (untitled comment)

    Full stop.

    It's impossible to say this ruling affects US businesses at the fault of the NSA.

    Because to claim otherwise means there's a terrifying consequence: The NSA can read encrypted traffic.

    Safe Harbor means US companies must encrypt the data as it transfers over the Atlantic. No encryption means the law was violated to begin with, regardless if the NSA was snooping.

    This has zero impact on the internet as a whole, except by those who don't understand what's going on, which sadly, means those who just changed the EU ruling.

    You can't have it both ways: you're either violating the law without encryption or your not affected because of encryption.

    Someone needs to sort this mess out before even more ignorance spreads.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re:

    I haven't played the game in many years, so I'm going by memory here.

    The power ratings are taken from the actual specs of the real locomotive. In addition, they don't have any relevance to the game (which is more a simulator than a game).

    The items you can make for the game are, for the most part, skins. Just bytes and bits of digital code rendered by the base.

    "DLC" is a synonymous term for "micro-transaction", though it seems fair there is a difference when it comes to detailing what the offerings are.

    I see the new layouts as DLC while I see the locos as being micro-transactions.

    The DLC allows players to take what the game gives them and expands it. There's no requirement the locos are necessary to play on them.

    Again, this is just the way I see gamers call the offerings.

    Not that I care in any way.

    The reality of the situation is this: you can either buy it or complain about it.

    If people don't buy the over-priced goods, then it sends a message back saying "Huh. Let's try a different price."

    We'll definitely see this with Destiny, people will "throw money at the screen" because value > price.

    Truth be told: shouldn't all digital goods be no cost? Economics say so!

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 4:50am

    (untitled comment)

    Two gaming authors. Two articles. Both wrong.

    Let's get the obvious out of the way. DLC != micro-transactions. I believe this is a common understanding.

    DLC is used by publishers because "Micro Transactions" on a menu isn't going to be well received.

    Now that we've clarified this, let's move on.

    These locomotives aren't DLC. They're micro-transactions. Individually, they're on par with other things I've seen in games offering micro-transactions.

    Often referred to as "horse armor" (after Bethesda charged people $5 for a visual change to the in-game horse that did nothing else), gamers have learned the difference and quickly voice their opinion when the offering(s) are priced foolishly, if not stupidly.

    This game is offering additional locos which doesn't have any impact on the game other than a visual change from the game's base engine.

    The pricing makes sense, when you realize it's not designed to allow a single player to download every loco, but rather, allow them a few options if they choose to want them.

    If you think these prices are outrages, then head over to ZoS' Crown Store, where a single motif will cost people $49.99 in real, cold cash if they can't wait to find it in the game.

    Outrageous? That all depends on one's definition of value.

    You see, I've purchased quite a few things from the Crown Store because I don't look at the item as being "$25".

    Instead, I look at it this way: "$25 to support this game I'm having a blast with, and look, they're giving me a lioness for free!"

    ZoS doesn't require a subscription to play the game (it used to for PC players, but this was lifted when the console versions were released).

    Thus, one has to ask: does value mean bitching about a few optional micro-transactions to earn revenue to keep several servers online so people can play the game or does value mean an entitled gamer is supposed to own everything the game offers for little to no cost while expecting companies to earn revenue selling.... t-shirts?

    There's only one logical choice in the above, that is, unless you're Tim or Alex, who can't tell the difference between DLC and micro-transactions.

    If you want clarification on this, I suggest hitting up on the latest gaming news where the headlines are shouting how Destiny is going to offer micro-transactions in its game.

    I find it rather comical none of these titles are calling the new items "DLC".

    Is that how this "DLC" game works, writers?

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 6:26am

    (untitled comment)

    "Paramount Pictures Thinks"
    Syntax Error

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 12:09pm

    (untitled comment)

    Oh, wait. There's Verizon's silver lining. By preventing Malibu Media from getting the extortion payout, Verizon defends their "customer" so they can do the extorting.

    Clever, Verizon. Makes the company look like a rose shaped as an ass.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 8:46am

    (untitled comment)

    Has anyone read the fine print on Charter's website?

    There's a little caveat, in 1px font:
    "Our services cover the entire state, except when any or all of the following conditions are met:
    -The serviceable area is covered by one or more internet service providers

    -The serviceable area is locked out due to state or federal restrictions, such as military bases.

    -New housing developments, but only after construction is near or has been completed.

    -Three kilometers, or less, to a pole servicing a node.

    -Customer has a beating heart.

    -National parks or recreation areas owned by state or private parties.

    -Fourteen steps, due south, of any gas or electrical utility box, not painted green, and within a neighborhood of 1 or more homes.


    -Areas with increased risked of severe natural disasters, such as "Tornado Alley", flood zones, and solar radiation exceeding 12SPF.

    We reserve the right to update this list without any notice, because we often do."

    What's funny about the above "string" attached, it's still better than Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T combined.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 3:29am

    (untitled comment)

    I have no worries about this, despite being a T-Mobile customer.

    Target has me covered.

    I'm used to it. With all the credit monitoring I'm getting, I believe I'm now set for life plus 70 years.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 2:57am

    (untitled comment)

    There's going to be a fantastic irony set when these chip and pin systems see a spike in "Anonymous/V for Vendetta" face mask purchases.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 2:55am

    (untitled comment)

    Just one more reason why my shopping at Amazon continues to decline.

    Once the holidays are over (wife wants the two-day shipping during present buying), we're canceling Amazon Prime.

    It's just too damn confusing to know why a retailer don't want to retail.

    I don't want to shop at a store who blocks products on a "just because" basis.

  • Sep 30th, 2015 @ 10:04am

    (untitled comment)

    Good thing Facebook's all about turning off the hate speech.

    Not only will cops actually be looking to curb real crime, no one gets arrested illegally.

    Maybe there is a silver lining to forcing people to keep their mouth shut.

  • Sep 30th, 2015 @ 7:55am

    (untitled comment)

    Slowly, I'm migrating to Linux. Microsoft is pulling a Google on everyone and it's crystal clearly they've no intention of changing their plans.

    First: I'm absolutely sick and tired of this "your files on all your devices" tactic these corporations are pushing onto people. Why in the hell would I want my personal income taxes pushed to my Xbox or Windows Phone?

    Take a picture and automatically have it uploaded to the cloud? I'm sure the celebrities who had their personal pictures exposed to the world loved that.

    Second: the options are becoming too conflated for anyone to manage. If a user turns "off" Cortana, another service will be more than happy to cover for the disabling. In fact, with Windows 10, disabling some options may require changing them in more than one damn place!

    Third: Screw these corporations. It's bad enough I pay for the software and now to be told I'm going to have to deal with ads is utter nonsense. Do these shitheads not make enough money to funnel out of the United States via the Irish Double?

    I once quipped Corporate America would ruin the internet in 20 years. I am not surprised they beat this estimate by 5 years.

    I'm really starting to hate the internet. Unfortunately, it truly has become a utility. Don't have it? Good luck trying to function in the digital society.

  • Sep 29th, 2015 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A game of statistics

    I remember reading a few years ago about the amount of money McD's spent to let the country know it's rib-shaped meat-by-product was back.

    Interestingly enough, someone decided to actually ask the people if they found out via the ad, and if not, how they found out.

    Over 70% saw it had returned because it was on the menu.
    Of the remaining 30%, 62% heard it through word of mouth (which included social media - not ads on social media).

    McD's said the "investment" was worth it because sales increased 40% after the ads were released.

    I firmly believe this is what bean counters believe, that somehow, the (potential) consumer is disconnected from the product so far, an ad is the only way to reach people.

    I learned long ago word of mouth is, and always has been, the best form of advertising.

    Everyone else is just wasting their money.

  • Sep 29th, 2015 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re:

    Are you kidding me?

    Fine, edit of my original post:


    It's the "anti-ad" complaint since Techdirt is doing the anti-ad option for all its users.

  • Sep 29th, 2015 @ 10:43am

    (untitled comment)

    What the hell, Techdirt. I just renewed my subscription for another year at $50 and you go and pull off the ads? I want a refund, please.

    If you're going to force me to visit a page without ads, clearly you don't need my money.

  • Sep 29th, 2015 @ 4:33am


    *slams head on desk.

    I didn't even see the "Not" in the title. Time for coffee.

  • Sep 29th, 2015 @ 3:02am

    (untitled comment)

    Can someone explain to me why this article didn't end with a "/sarcasm" tag?

    $5000 to take a course on how to fly a drone? Has to be renewed every 6 months? What, at another $5000?

    This doesn't even consider the cost of a walkie-talkie. Wait. Do they even make these anymore? To contact a control tower whose sole purpose it is to guide planes to let them know a drone is nearby (well beyond an airport's concern at 5k) is asking for trouble.

    These "laws" are just plain stupid, though I do agree with the training portion of it. ONCE, with a license issued at completion.

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