You're absolutely right, I don't use Apple products either... nor Microsoft. Defenestrated completely 12 years ago and have never seen a reason to go back, nor to accept Apple's very pretty handcuffs as a replacement.
On the other hand, we bought all three gaming consoles last generation. I've been playing home video game consoles for literally over 40 years at this point, so not having a lot of access to the system software is something I've come to expect. But this time around, we'll have Steamboxes available as an option, and one of them might end up being our main console. In the world of gaming consoles, the Steambox is a huge step forward for openness -- arguably a bigger one than Ouya because Valve actually matters -- and I have an instant game collection of dozens of Humble Bundle purchases as soon as I request the keys, many of which I haven't played because I think they'd be better suited to a television and all 165 of which (and counting; they have a great bundle going as I type this) should be SteamOS compatible whether they're on Steam or not.
I won't be installing Steam on anything I use for normal computing tasks, though. Yay for Valve shaking up both the console and PC gaming markets, whether they succeed or not. Boo for Valve wanting to treat my laptop as though it's theirs and I'm just renting it. Windows and OSX/iOS users may be used to that stuff, but I like to own the computers I pay for.
His "Napster Bad" Flash animation, released at the height of the anti-Napster hysteria and targeting Metallica for their hypocrisy, was actually pretty awesome. (He also did the album cover for one of the worst albums by one of my favorite artists. But he's been on my radar for a long time, in a mostly positive light.)
Today, though, his desire to defend Obama, Feinstein et al. over their own tooth-and-nail defense of far-right authoritarian tactics like secret courts and domestic spying at the cost of his own credibility while demonizing the first great patriot to emerge in this century is... well, less awesome.
So many amazing cartoons about the NSA's spying could, and should, be made. But we've already had too many "my side did it, so it must be okay" editorials.
Living in a rural-suburban area, we have wireless phone service issues inside our house, so bad that our carrier has provided us with two femtocells (devices that plug into your broadband connection and act as a tiny cell tower, routing your calls over IP). Both of them have had a GPS antenna on a long wire that you have to stick in a window so it can geolocate you. Until it does, there's a red light flashing on the front of the unit and it's essentially a brick.
Someone at Sprint told me when I first got it that it's due to export regulations, and I know I've heard of satphone users getting in trouble in countries whose governments are also monopoly phone companies. Maybe it's that, maybe they need location data on every phone to share with the mighty US government. Who knows? Either way it's annoying as hell.
While I'm sure it's not intended as such, this seems like pretty much the ideal test case for corporations who want to use "parodies" of popular music in their ads without paying royalties or getting permission. You've got the unsympathetic source material, the plucky upstart who's "fixed" that material to make it more palatable in the process of selling their product, and a product that looks like it really could make society better or at least educate a few kids.
I love what they did, but I agree that it would be pretty bad in the long run if they got their declaratory judgment. Given that Tom Waits once got a multi-million dollar judgment against Frito-Lay for a similar work of "parody" (the outcome of which, I suspect, people here would cheer for, not because of the merits of the case but because Frito-Lay is a less sympathetic company than Goldieblox), I would think that won't happen, but you never know.
That said, I would think the Beastie Boys wouldn't have as much of a complaint as whoever it was who wrote "Shout", upon which "Girls" has always transparently been a riff of the sort that would make Led Zeppelin blush.
And they didn't just throw it up there after getting the nastygram. It's been there since January. If you're going to make a tribute game, this is how to do it -- put the source out there so that if you do infringe, people can take your code and use it to make something non-infringing.
As for why they didn't contribute code to SMC or Supertux, I'm guessing the reason is that they wanted to make a HTML5 game. Those other two are both C/C++-based and can't be played on the web (unless someone got them running under NaCl and I just haven't found it yet).
I'm still able to play the game without a problem at fullscreenmario.com . For that matter, every mention I've found of the supposed shutdown eventually links back to that Washington Post article. I question whether this is even news.
When I was a kid, I didn't even like guns. Never played cowboys and indians, war games, any of that stuff that my brothers and their friends did. All I cared about was books and the arcade. But what I absolutely hated was going to school.
If this had happened in my town at the time, I would have been right there on my front lawn with a BB gun every morning in hopes that some creepy neighbor was calling the cops. It probably would have been a Spartacus moment. The next day the only kids in school would have been the girls.
Hey, RIAA, Google's already provided a mechanism for fixing their search results when you don't like what shows up at the top.
It's called AdWords. You want your stuff to show up above the results people are actually searching for? You can damn well pay, like everyone else does. You guys have enough money to bribe legislators, so you clearly have enough to pay Google to show your choice of ad whenever someone searches for the names of your imaginary properties, or even The Pirate Bay since legal precedent is piling up in favor of buying your competitors' trademarks as ad keywords.
That said, the second part of that statement is actually a tiny step forward, in that it's President Obama actually signalling -- for the first time -- that the program has been abused and that highly-publicized announcements of new rules that are completely toothless due to a lack of accountability or oversight are possible.
Billy Ray Cyrus is a board member of the PTC, because a guy married multiple times with children outside of wedlock is super in line with conservative family values.
Since "conservative family values" are essentially a charming blend of hypocrisy and 'unique' definitions of morality based on highly selective reading of an inconsistent, politically edited and often mistranslated book, Billy Ray Cyrus is indeed in line with "conservative family values".
Of course pretending to kill someone isn't actually the same as killing. Even fundamentalist Christian actors make violent action movies, even though acting requires you to actually feel that murderous rage well enough for viewers to believe it from your involuntary responses. Robertson knows this, too. He's gotten way more than his 15 minutes of fame, and is just trying to keep it going until he drops dead.
But a realistically violent game isn't exactly Pong or Space Invaders, either. I always ask my friends who enjoy the bloodier games -- you know, the kind where you see blood splattered on the wall when you make a head shot, and the corpses just lie there on the ground staring at you -- would you play a realistic, graphic rape game too? If not, why is pretending to kill someone more fun than pretending to rape him or her? It's just a game... isn't it?
The first time I was confronted with a situation in a real-looking first-person shooter where I had to take out an American soldier, I realized I don't have it in me to play those anymore, any more than I'd play a game where one of my objectives is to rape someone. And that was a very, very well-reviewed, big-selling game, not some indie morality play that does the festivals and then disappears.
Sure, there are always justifications in the story. Maybe the soldier is part of a vast alien conspiracy trying to blow up the planet. Maybe the target of the rape is possessed by Cthulhu or whatever and it needs to be literally screwed out of him or her (let's be realistic... mainstream game designers being who they are, it would be a her) or else the world is going to end. Either way, I don't have the stomach for it. If you do, good for you... I guess.
All the convenience of having to know in advance what you'll want to watch and download a big file at home, plus all the flexibility of needing to be connected to a network to watch it! Why on earth would someone ever download a torrent now?
Oh yeah, when they're planning to be up in the woods, or in an airplane, or want to watch something Netflix (or whatever) doesn't have, or when they don't feel like filling half of their phone's storage with useless-by-design data, or....
OK to lie on their own police reports too, then, and not get so much as a day of suspension when video evidence to the contrary shows up? Having to "put up" with "sh!t" is justification for making shit up?
If Texas should be executing anyone, it's cops who give false testimony. That's the very definition of "bad cop".
Two members of LE in my immediate family too, btw, one of them a state trooper.