A Dan’s Techdirt Profile


About A Dan

Manchester NH, USA.

A Dan’s Comments comment rss

  • Apr 11th, 2018 @ 2:59pm

    Makes sense to me

    There's no way I'd be okay with Fortnite downloading weekly 1.5 GB patches, or downloading games which run around 30 GB, if I have a monthly cap I have to worry about running into. The game industry needs net neutrality, particular the prohibition of throttling and caps, in order for people to bother with electronic purchases and downloads. Expensive, slow, and metered connections may not kill mainstream gaming, but they'll certainly maim it.
  • Jul 14th, 2016 @ 8:25am

    Where it really starts to add up

    Naturally, the things they don't talk to you about are the things that really add up. With games it isn't the gameplay that takes up large amounts of bandwidth, it's the installation. A few Xbox One games (like the handful that come free each month with Xbox Live Gold) really start to eat away at that allotment.

    Remember that one reason there was such pushback on Microsoft's attempt to kill physical discs was that we don't all have high-bandwidth plans with unlimited data to get our games.
  • Jul 5th, 2016 @ 8:08am

    Names and terrorism

    I'm surprised this wasn't already mentioned, but some college friends named their daughter Isis (after the Egyptian goddess) before all this Islamic State stuff happened. It wouldn't surprise me if people with that name start running into issues like this.

    Also in the interesting camp, my girlfriend's name is Renee. When she got her computer, Windows wouldn't let her set up a user account with her name, because it said her name contained profanity. She was able to set it up with a nickname, but it was very frustrating. We were never able to figure out what profane word was involved.
  • Apr 4th, 2016 @ 11:21am

    Who Reports Piracy

    My assumption has always been that the typical informants are disgruntled employees looking to scorch some earth after departure. A quick Google search points to several articles claiming this to be the case.

  • Jun 4th, 2015 @ 12:15pm

    Is this typical now?

    I see an army of non-logged-in posts, so that you can't really tell if any of them are the same person or see any kind of historical trends. I suppose this is part of why a bunch of sites have gotten rid of anonymous postings - at least with pseudonyms, even if someone has a bunch of separate ones, you can keep track of reputation somewhat.

    How do we foster good anonymous or pseudonymous discourse in the face of these kinds of attacks? Add "verified" accounts? There must be a way.
  • Apr 10th, 2015 @ 1:17pm


    There was a study I read about a while (a few years?) ago about violence and video games. What they discovered was that it wasn't violent games that caused people to respond aggressively/violently, it was frustrating games. I wish I could find the link, but some simple Googling isn't turning it up.

    Basically, I think the experimental evidence has shown that your comment is correct.
  • Nov 25th, 2014 @ 9:11am

    What a coincidence

    Well, now that we're past the mid-term elections, it's a much more convenient time to have potentially-incriminating or emails come out. They have almost 2 full years to do damage control before the next election.
  • Aug 20th, 2014 @ 3:01pm


    In a manner consistent with, not manor (unless I'm missing a pun).
  • Aug 3rd, 2014 @ 10:17am

    More mainstream articles

    There are a few criteria that really determine whether I send someone a link to a story.

    1. Does it have a simple, obvious explanation which differs from other sites? Things like "No, [country] didn't really just [kill/embrace] net neutrality" or "No, [country] didn't just abolish software patents" are useful to send to people, because they tend to put the whole situation in perspective with background and an update for where we currently are.

    2. Does it need community knowledge? If a story has a lot of snide references to past stories, I will often avoid sending it to people. I recognize your meaning, but they will not. Talking about how something has been thoroughly "debunked" in the past is not always convincing. I don't want them to be put off and think the site is just a self-reinforcing single-narrative perspective. Anything that says "nobody said" typically falls into that same bucket. You may not have said it, but that doesn't mean nobody did.

    3. Does it have useful links to past stories? The lists of when things happened in the past, often included as several links-as-words in a sentence, are actually really useful for developing background.

    So it looks like the things that I am most likely to send people are stories that help build background on an issue without needing community involvement of any kind. I like the site, but I want anything I send to people to be as objective, informative, and professional as possible.
  • Aug 1st, 2014 @ 10:41am

    Reminds me of another absurd reaction

    This is similar to the ignorant reaction when some high-profile people have used the word "niggardly", but it's even more absurd since "homophone" is a word in common usage. These people should not be running a language school.
  • Jun 5th, 2014 @ 8:38am


    That paragraph was a nightmare. I took the test in 2003 or 2004, and even then most of us didn't know how to form several of the letters (because we hadn't used cursive in years). It took about half an hour for the single classroom's worth of kids to copy that paragraph. The proctor eventually told us to just make it up if we didn't know letters.
  • May 5th, 2014 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Online ID (as )

    Please spread this around anywhere you feel the message would be better-received than our "beware the government" message - The mark of the beast has staved off a USA national ID and RFID tracking of students, to some extent. Maybe it can help with this as well.
  • Mar 27th, 2014 @ 12:34pm

    Re: (as )

    They're probably doing an exact match against the machine-readable zone at the bottom of the passport page. Since those are read extremely reliably by machines and have guaranteed transliterations, it's not really necessary to have that kind of matching - you know exactly the letters you need to be looking for.

    The likely issue is that the person entering the data didn't realize the spelling would be different between his typical name spelling and his MRZ name spelling. So, despite being correct, the data entered was not what it needed to be.
  • Mar 27th, 2014 @ 12:29pm


    The worst is that it's not even a misspelling, it's just a slightly different transliteration of his name. It's like how '' should be considered equal to both 'ss' and 'sz' if you're doing a good job. Their name matching was obviously not done well.
  • Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:15am

    Re: I think someone needs to do more proofreading

    Beat me to it - typo in the article, using "pubic" instead of "public".
  • Oct 3rd, 2013 @ 9:25am

    ... So Far

    This is true at this time. I hope I am not alone in hoping that some day technology truly does destroy jobs. In my ideal world, "jobs" are not be necessary. If we can automate away our needs, everyone can do what they choose to do, instead of being forced into a job in order for themselves (and the economy) to survive.

    Yes, there are social changes necessary. I hope someday, due to advances in technology, they will happen. Jobs are a necessary evil, not something we should idealize.
  • Sep 30th, 2013 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re:

    My first thought was OnStar as well. I would bet they have all of the data from it.
  • Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 6:29am

    Different types of "points"

    There are 2 different types of points on the Xbox. 1 is "achievement points" or "gamerscore", and the other is "Microsoft points". Microsoft points are what you can use to buy stuff. Achievement points are what you earn for completing pieces of games, and aren't actually used for anything (they're basically just an aggregate high score for yourself.)

    I would assume that this would reward you with Microsoft points, not achievement points. They already do something similar with small rewards through their Xbox Live Rewards program, which rewards you with Microsoft points for completing their survey each month; this sounds like a logical expansion on that program.
  • May 15th, 2013 @ 3:38pm


    Timothy Geigner, you are a Hater!

    (I'm sure you were already a sinner.)
  • Mar 5th, 2013 @ 5:14pm

    The beer merger

    If you listen to Planet Money's podcast on the potential beer merger, it's really interesting. Apparently the big two act together with price increases, and it's only the competition from Corona that keeps the beer prices down. It definitely sounds like it's anti-competitive, not an acquisition because they really like the company.

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