Doug D's Techdirt Profile

Doug D

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  • Dec 02, 2014 @ 03:28pm

    Bespoke will do for me.

    I'd take "bespoke" over "modular" if that's easier for the manufacturers to pull off.

    The thing is, I want to be able to specify things like "give me a 3.5 inch screen", "I do not need any camera at all", "I do not need bluetooth at all", and "I don't need a gyroscope or compass".

    Modular phones would be a way for me to do that, but so would bespoke phones.

  • Oct 29, 2013 @ 07:26am

    To be fair...

    ...I could also hypothetically see them being embarrassed about how little data was collected. "What, you mean you went to this effort to lay this groundwork and build out all these systems and you collected data on seven people? We're going to have to talk about justifying those funding numbers again..."

  • Oct 25, 2013 @ 01:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: And so I have no driver's license.

    Well, "where you live" is itself an option. It's all about choices. I've made choices that confine me to major metropolitan areas, but let me live without any real ID. We're all more willing to accept some constraints and less willing to accept others, but in almost all cases, there's a choice involved somewhere.

  • Oct 25, 2013 @ 12:34pm

    And so I have no driver's license.

    This article gets at why I've managed to reach the age of 45 without ever getting a driver's license or a state-issued non-driver ID.

    (To be clear: I'm not driving illegally. I'm not driving at all.)

    The only government-issued ID I have at all is a passport, period, and I routinely don't carry it on me.

    If you're in a setting with sufficient public transportation, you might be surprised at how easy it is to live this way. (And perhaps by how much money you save by not having a car.)

    Lots of folks tell me that living this way just can't be practical. "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they often differ."

  • Oct 16, 2013 @ 01:26pm

    I'll be disabling it.

    If DRM makes it into HTML, then I am certain that at least some open source browsers will have an option to disable it (if they support it at all). Some closed-source browsers probably will too, I'm guessing.

    I'll disable DRM, just as I do not install Flash today (except in cases where I'm required to do otherwise for my job, and am using employer-provided equipment). I will encourage those around me to do the same, where they have that option.

    I'm actually okay with losing access to much of the web, if that turns out to be the consequence of this. There are plenty of people who aren't on the web at all. I'll manage.

  • Jul 24, 2012 @ 02:50pm

    For some reason, this reminds me very much of the stuff Krugrman writes about downward wage rigidity (sometimes called "sticky wages").

    There are just some sorts of things that pure abstract theoretical free-market economic modeling says should be easy, but which turn out to be very, very hard due to human psychology. I guess they are both just examples of that, maybe?

  • Jul 24, 2012 @ 07:23am

    Re: Re:

    It's quite possible that it was correct the first time.

  • Jul 23, 2012 @ 09:27am

    What I'd suggest to Microsoft is, instead of "one free patch, period, game over, the end", how about "one free patch with no restrictions on scheduling it, plus, a new free patch is permitted after certain precipitating events".

    The main events I'm thinking of are things like: new revs of the hardware and new dashboard updates. Because, those things can introduce changes to the platform that impact older games.

    Heck, just look at "Uno" for one example. A long time ago, they updated it to add support for the old pre-Kinect video camera -- you can have a video chat with the people you're playing Uno with. But that feature doesn't work if your camera is a Kinect. Shouldn't "update video-using games so they can support the Kinect camera" something it'd be in Microsoft's interest to do?

    If devs know they'll get a free patch once every year or so, very expensive otherwise, this still has the advantage of encouraging them to be prudent and not just assume they can patch like crazy to fix things after release, but with a "safety valve" of sorts. Or so it seems to me.

  • Jul 17, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    Yeah, I found out about this when DirecTV tweeted links to the content.

    I wish I could believe they're going to end up with what I *really* want: unbundling of the Viacom channels, so I can buy Comedy Central and ignore MTV/VH1.

  • Jul 12, 2012 @ 08:03am

    I love DirecTV's counter-move.

    Right after this happened, what did DirecTV do in response?

    They decided to give all the "Encore" movie channels to subscribers for free until the 31st.

    I couldn't watch a re-run of the Daily Show last night, and had to instead make due with a free Sean Connery "Bond" film? Okay, *which* company are people going to side with?

  • Jul 05, 2012 @ 10:47am

    Synergy / Larry Fast

    This reminds me of the oldest album (vinyl LP) I have that includes assembly language source code.

    Larry Fast's "Synergy" project is an old (as far back as 1970s era) effort in computer/electronic music. Most of the stuff, he composed the music and programmed old computers (eg. Apple ][ with tons of custom MIDI hardware) to perform it.

    But at least once, he instead programmed the computer to compose the music.

    It doesn't exactly sound great. The album is sometimes colloquially referred to as "Pink Noise". But it came with (at least some) source code!

    (I never tried to type in enough to get something to work. As I recall, it's all Apple ][ assembly language source code, 6502 or whatever, and back in those days I went from Z80 to 8086 myself.)

  • Jul 02, 2012 @ 09:01am

    Re: Show me the money.

    You're misreading it. It's $95000 to NWF and $95000 for cancer, and then there's IndieGoGo's fees.

  • Jun 27, 2012 @ 07:42am

    pro-competition anti-monopoly benefits

    Hey, maybe this'll serve to get more customers off of Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon.

    Remember when there were a gazillion small ISPs out there? That was better for the health of the internet than the current situation. It'd be good to see those days come back.

    (Me? I'm currently on speakeasy/megapath.)

  • Jun 21, 2012 @ 12:23pm

    Maybe Oracle is counting on the verdict being stored in an Oracle database somewhere -- their software can then corrupt the data in the AMOUNT column more easily if the rest of the row has the right structure.

  • May 23, 2012 @ 11:23am

    API copyright, yes?

    All that's left is to decide the issue of whether APIs are subject to copyright, and if so, what the damages based on just that would be, yes?

    And Europe answered the question, with a "no, they're not".

    If the US decides this the other way... am I the only person predicting a mass exodus of cloud/SaaS providers from the US to Europe? Hey, this might just be the thing to jump-start the European economy!

  • May 22, 2012 @ 02:24pm

    Re: Clarifying Question

    No, I believe the Righthaven case determined that you can't assign just a right to sue. Remember, Righthaven didn't have the right to distribute (or even license?) the stuff they were suing over. If these folks do have the right to distribute, that seems very different.

  • May 22, 2012 @ 07:59am

    This is a bit like condoning shoplifting if it?s done at a successful store.
    Isn't it more like condoning the violation of a "no shirts, no shoes, no service" policy if the best stores make considerable (and possibly even more) money even when such policies are violated?

  • May 22, 2012 @ 07:52am


    Ripping out the DRM would be a lot more work that, at this point, probably wouldn't make them any more money.

    A lot of work, except, someone's already done it! Aren't cracked copies already out there?

    If they were to infringe on the intellectual property of the "pirates" who cracked their game, who exactly would take whom to court over that? Would the crackers identify themselves in order to sue for infringement? What would the consequences be?

  • May 22, 2012 @ 07:48am

    I'll wait for the GoG version.

    If it's a game I might want to play, I can wait for the GoG version. It's okay if it takes ten or fifteen years. If it's a good enough game, it'll still be worth playing (and the required hardware will be cheaper). I still play "Master of Magic" and "Master of Orion 2"... heck, I still play Zork sometimes.

  • Apr 24, 2012 @ 01:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you think what happens on XBox Live is comparable to what happens in day-to-day life, either you've never been on XBox Live or your day-to-day life is very different from mine (and I grew up in NYC).

    And I'm not reasoning from a false premise, I'm making an observation. There are plenty of people who refuse to play online on XBox Live because of what the social environment is like.

    I understand that you believe that in theory nobody but the platform can exclude people. But it happens.

    In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there often is.

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