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  • Feb 23rd, 2015 @ 3:27am

    Re:

    many modern games dont want longevity. most of the cod releases for example could have just been community created free mods.
    This is, of course, the problem with the theory that modding is "good for games". Certainly it's good for gamers, so yes, it's probably good for "games". On the other hand it's kryptonite for most game companies.

    Let's face it, most of the major game companies prefer to recycle the same (usually) crap game as many times as they can possibly get away with, repeatedly polishing the same turd to squeeze out another £40 a time from it with "new" releases. Playing into the modding culture would not only kill that "money for old rope" business plan, but would require the games to have gameplay with an appeal lasting beyond a few 10's of hours, which is a pretty rare commodity in games. Can't see that happening somehow... be nice if a company gave a flying f*ck about it's customers, though, wouldn't it?

  • Feb 13th, 2015 @ 1:32pm

    Re: I most certainly can

    they died for what it stands for, the ideals it represents
    Maybe I missed, but I read David's post as facetious... If I'd died for either the US or UK I see today I know I'd be pretty pissed off... hence the "flag is all that's left" comment perhaps?

  • Feb 11th, 2015 @ 5:28pm

    If only that were true

    Dumb TVs, with less sophisticated internals, should also be cheaper to buy.
    You'd think that ought to be true, but sadly it's not. I had exactly the same thought when I recently needed to replace the TV - "Why the hell do I need anything but a big monitor?" Reality is that anything much above 30" is either non-existent or counted as "specialist panel displays" for advertising etc and priced way higher than much more complicated "Smart TVs"

    Unfortunately, most people don't seem to know of care about the implications of "Smart TVs", they just want a single simple box to do all their thinking for them. By the time enough people notice it's a bad idea, they'll be ubiquitous enough for it to be too late and the internet connection will probably be as mandatory as a bad computer game.

    And yes, I caved and bought a "Smart" TV to use as a screen, though the only things connected to it are (non network) HDMI cables and the wall.

  • Feb 11th, 2015 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Oh yeah, I'm sold....

    There are small changes that need to be made to the car to sell it in both markets, and the harder and more expensive it is to do, the less likely it is to happen
    I'll admit I don't know the regulations so you could be right, but that seems counter-intuitive to me. The fact is you do see examples of various (domestic) US cars in the UK (and the rest of Europe), which I've always assumed are privately imported (the "high-end" US stuff has the occasional specialist dealer, but not as far as I know the "standard" cars).

    Examples I've seen of either class seem to have no modifications and while one might pay a premium to have, oh, maybe a mustang modified to import it, it seems a stretch to think that a private importer would pay for expensive alteration and testing to have one of the cheaper cars.

    While I can understand that safety testing might be mandatory for "import for sale" but might be waived for a private importer, I have to assume the cars themselves are UK-road legal since they are UK registered. Either that, or the changes are so small as to be economic for a private importer on a cheap car that they'd pose no problem for a manufacturer.

    Observation of roads on both sides of the pond suggests more that Americans and Europeans simply tend to look for different things in cars (obviously with some common ground), and I suspect that regulation has little, if anything, to do with design choices. After all, as far as I know the Ford F150 is one of the best selling vehicles in the US is it not? I think you could remove import duty as well as regulation on this and you still wouldn't sell that many in the UK

  • Feb 10th, 2015 @ 5:02am

    Really?

    If we are trying to track a network that is planning to carry out attacks [snip] and they are communicating primarily in cyberspace, [snip] how do we make sure that we’re able to do that, carry out those functions, while still meeting our core principles of respecting the privacy of all our people?
    Well, if you're "tracking a network" you must have some idea who you're tracking, so how about you put that evidence before an independent body (Oh, say a court) to see if there's good reason to go further. You know.... like you're supposed to do instead of hoovering up everything and sifting through it whenever you fancy.

  • Feb 10th, 2015 @ 2:24am

    Oh yeah, I'm sold....

    Take cars, we could look at the differences in our car crash tests or the way we check if the seat covers are flame-resistant. Reconciling small differences like these, without compromising on safety, would be a huge step forward.
    Well that all sounds just fandabulous, except for 2 things:
    1/ Must be well over 90% of cars in both EU and US made by major motor companies, for whom getting a car tested to 2 sets of regulations is hardly a major impediment, so are we really suddenly expecting a massive influx of tiny car companies, who can barely sell to a domestic market to suddenly become giants of export and a major boost to the economy?
    2/ The "American" cars you see in the UK (and EU) are all mostly the expensive "cool" ones - Mustangs, Corvettes, etc. Here, of course, I'm not including US-based brands like Ford that have international manufacturing and appeal, I'm talking about cars built exclusively in the US. If they shipped every car I've ever driven in the US here and made them 1/2 the price of similar cars in the UK, I still wouldn't buy them because I've never driven one that I'd feel comfortable driving on British roads. I suspect this, more than any split regulations, is why those cars don't get sold over here.

  • Feb 3rd, 2015 @ 1:56am

    Re: Not even like books and music...

    The idea that I must wait weeks or months for this opportunity is strange and old-fashioned... and by the time the movie is released on disc (or streaming), it's already lost a lot of it's luster and interest. They're excluding a huge audience here.
    X-Men: Days of Future Past...
    UK cinema release date: 22 May 2014
    UK DVD (purchase) release date: 10 NOVEMBER 2014
    UK Rental release date: January 2015

    Me: Cancelled my Lovefilm/Amazon Prime subscription because
    a/ Their back catalogue sucks and any film you might actually want to watch isn't available
    b/ Any new films take forever, even after the DVD release, to be available and by then I've lost whatever tiny will I had to watch them in the first place
    c/ The streaming quality and availability sucks even worse than the back catalogue

    Your point, sir...

  • Jan 19th, 2015 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Re: There's convenience and forced convenience

    PDF is supported by the kindle
    Well, if by "supported" you mean it can display it, sure. But it can't re-flow it if you change viewing size for example, so it's support is limited.... again many are likely to go for the "user friendly" option. (And yes, I know Calibre will convert, but we're talking non-techies here)
    Second, that one, easy bit of software is called calibre.
    Fantastic piece of software, but hardly mainstream sadly. Plus, in the Kindle case, it's great for getting stuff on and off and format conversions etc, but the Calibre meta-data, like series info for example, isn't compatible.

    This is my point - there's no reason at all this stuff shouldn't be as easily converted as the books themselves but I've only ever seen 1 app external to kindle that can manage "Kindle Collections", and that was a bit of an abortion, presumably because of the stupid proprietary coding for it.
    Oh, and how many people know that AZW is basically MOBI with a bunch of DRM added? Not something Amazon go out of their way to advertise.... in a sane world that'd be the top selling point "Hey you can buy this cool device and then get your books anywhere."

  • Jan 17th, 2015 @ 4:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: He's right about one thing

    but good luck getting someone to watch your movie with no actors they've never heard of
    Seriously? You're suggesting people are that shallow that they only went to see "The amazing spiderman" because of the cameos by a handful of "stars"? Me, I'd never even heard of Andrew Garfield before that - not that that improved the film any... I also didn't recognise anybody in Guardians of the Galaxy.

    Who would you say are the "stars" in Ouija? (Which did better that Exodus it seems despite the latter's smattering of "stars")

    Sure if you're going to expand the definition of "stars" to "people who have been in other films so you might recognise them", you might have a hard time getting funding without - I imagine film makers as well as investors like a certain amount of actual proven acting talent most times. On the other hand a genuine "big name" tends to discourage me and many people I know since they're often extremely 1-dimensional actors (/actresses)

  • Jan 17th, 2015 @ 4:01am

    Re:

    MPAA & RIAA repeating the same old mantra of how copyright infringement is killing their business and plundering their profits
    And yet, in the midst of a recession, studios post record profits. Yeah, that's really happening.

    "If only these nasty pirates would stop, we'd make a gazillion quadrobigillion dollars and solve all the world's ills! Pirates are ruining the planet!"

  • Jan 16th, 2015 @ 10:14am

    Re:

    Aaaaaand once again I wish TD had collapsible treads to get rid of stuff like this when reading comments. This is some serious trolling (at least I assume so... nobody's that thick as to believe what this guy is spouting, right? /troll)

  • Dec 17th, 2014 @ 3:10pm

    Re:

    But for me it was worth spending $2 for the convenience of getting the book quickly and easily and in a format that displays nicely on my Kobo.
    Ah, yes. Didn't see this 'til after I posted... That's pretty much my point

  • Dec 17th, 2014 @ 3:04pm

    There's convenience and forced convenience

    Yet, it appears that the convenience factor has made it worthwhile to an awful lot of people, who are willing to pay the money rather than figure out how to get the PDF onto their kindle. As we've pointed out for years, things like convenience and ease-of-use are real selling points
    While I totally agree with the sentiment, this doesn't strike me as the finest example. It sounds like people are paying for it because of the inconvenient, locked-up nature of the Kindle itself. Amazon's (and, judging by other stories around here, the publishers') insistence on a single, locked-down, DRM-ridden platform is what makes the "convenience" of buying it attractive.

    In a truly level playing field, an e-reader that would take any e-book format you care to name, (it's basically text for heaven's sake!) and using any one of 5 dozen suddenly-popular e-book management programmes, would have long-since supplanted the Kindle and others like it. When you can use an easy bit of software that you use for everything else book-related to drop the free PDF straight onto your device, paying for this particular book wouldn't look quite so attractive.

  • Oct 29th, 2014 @ 9:44am

    Just a thought...

    Did anyone check if the person running the hotspot was named "Albert Quida"?

  • Oct 4th, 2014 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Design patents

    No, the link you provided does NOT suggest that anyone making the toothpicks shown is likely going to get sued, because the toothpicks shown have GROOVES, not two colored stripes.
    Really? The three links seem to show that a faintly similar shape of design, a faintly similar font or a vaguely similar (obvious and logical) positioning of a different logo is more than enough excuse to sue.

    I make no claims to be a lawyer, nor am I suggesting that such a case would be won, but observable reality suggests that patent or trademark + "from a distance they look sort of the same" is ample reason to cost someone a fortune trying.

  • Oct 4th, 2014 @ 4:30am

    Re: Design patents

    "Substantially similar" in this case means virtually identical in appearance. The patent doesn't stop anyone from making toothpicks like the ones on the photo.
    "Substantially similar" seems rather less defined than you make out. Looks like "even faintly similar" is more than enough to start an expensive lawsuit over these things... Reality seems to suggest than anyone making the toothpicks shown is likely going to get sued.

  • Sep 30th, 2014 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

    What I'm wondering is, does it matter?
    Does it matter? Probably not - as many others have pointed out authority will always find a way to justify its actions.

    Should it matter? Isn't it kind of the point of living it a "free country" that it's supposed to? Especially one that has it written right there in the alleged basis of their laws.

    Sure you can re-define the word "reasonable" to mean anything you like.... but by any "reasonable" definition of the word this isn't.

  • Sep 30th, 2014 @ 3:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: General corruption?

    The cop said [snip] that he could smell weed
    The article says he could smell something, not necessarily weed and the cop claims to have been looking for heroin. And even assuming it were true that he could smell weed it still leaves 2 problems:

    First, for what reason did he pull Mr Zullo over in the first place? Could he smell weed from his car while driving? Or are the police just allowed to pull over people committing no motoring or other offence when they feel like it?

    Second, it's still thin as a reason since, absent any other evidence, it seems "smelling weed" is not a very good reason to suspect a criminal offence is occurring, personal possession being legal and all...

  • Sep 16th, 2014 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re: To put it mildly

    I hope you don't end up in jail for selling it.
    Nah! I'll just make sure the advert is completely true:
    For Sale:
    1 2nd hand Subwoofer manufactured by overly litigious audio company without a clue about customer relations
    I should be fine...

  • Sep 16th, 2014 @ 7:30am

    Re: To put it mildly

    I'd never even heard of the company before this point,
    I have - in fact I've owned a Velodyne sub for several years. At some point in the near future I will probably sell the kit I have and upgrade.

    Guess which manufacturer will not be in the upgrade list?

    Looks like they are making the most of that tiny marketing budget, huh?

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