Kevin’s Techdirt Profile

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  • Nov 1st, 2019 @ 9:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > kicking off the latest battle in a thirty year console war between Microsoft and Sony

    This could have been worded better, admittedly, but it is technically a true statement.

    I would be willing to be money that if you asked 20 people, the majority do not parse that as anything other than a "thirty-year console war between Microsoft and Sony", of which this is "the latest battle". You have to really reach to even find the other meaning, and when 9/10 of the sentence is specifically about Microsoft and Sony and their two respective consoles, all listed with proper nouns, nobody thinks it should be read as anything but a war between Microsoft and Sony.

    > MS hasn't announced their next gen console - Project Scarlet -> announced E3 2019,
    But it has no official name. Project Scarlet is just the code name used internally at Microsoft and minimal details are known. Meanwhile Sony just recently announced that the next Playstation would officially be called "Playstation 5" and released additional details about it. Microsoft has not followed suit, yet. So again, technically true.

    So because it has no "official" name, it hasn't been announced yet? That doesn't even make any sense. CNET has an article comparing the known specs between the two, and while there are unknowns on both sides, on balance, about the same is known about the two consoles.

    Microsoft will also be extremely surprised to learn that the announcement at their press conference at E3 last year of Project Scarlett resulted in them not actually announcing it. As will the rest of the world.

    > Also comparing lifetime PS4 sales to lifetime Switch sales is misleading.
    Perhaps misleading but not a false statement, so it doesn't count. Though I would say it's not entirely irrelevant as the Switch is selling faster than the PS4 so it could potentially outpace the PS4 at some point.

    The exact statement is

    The Switch, meanwhile, has been successful as well, but nothing at the level of Sony's current console.

    It does not say "nothing at the level of total unit sales of Sony's current console." Switch has sold faster than PS4, therefore without any other context, the statement as listed is false.

  • Nov 1st, 2019 @ 8:51pm

    Re: Re: Oh, the crying

    I'm bent out of shape because the article went out of its way to point out anticonsumer behaviors by two companies while giving the third one a pass and providing misleading glimpses at unit sales, and then drawing conclusions from that.

    I'm more bent out of shape that Techdirt has the stones to criticize NYT for having to issue corrections on opinion pieces when they clearly have problems of their own in that very arena.

  • Nov 1st, 2019 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh, the crying

    It's clear that Sony is on track to win this generation, depending on what you include in this generation. (For example, does it include WiiU? Does it include Switch, since it launched so much later? Do you look at Xbox One X and PS4 Pro separately from their respective base consoles? And so forth.) I don't dispute that. I'm not thrilled about it, but I also am not having a temper tantrum about it.

    My issue with the article was more that it seemed to go out of its way to find reasons to dismiss competing consoles as being from companies that are harmful to consumers versus no mention of, for example, Sony's recalcitrance for years on cross-console play. In addition to the shit that was just made up (like MS not having announced their next console).

  • Nov 1st, 2019 @ 8:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh, the crying

    I own all three current-gen consoles (PS4, XB1, and Switch), and intend to buy a PS5 when it is released, presuming Sony doesn't repeat their PS3 launch pricing mistake. You can believe whatever you want, of course, but you're making assumptions, and you are wrong. My issues with the other article are not about disliking Sony, they are about making shit up and using those invented facts to draw conclusions, all the while criticizing other companies and giving the subject company a pass for similar behaviors.

    Perhaps I was misguided in posting a concise summary of the particulars of the corrections they need to make on that article here, but it was more about criticizing this article with a mirror (in which three corrections were issued here, and I listed about three corrections needed to Techdirt's article) to point out the hypocrisy of Techdirt in criticizing the NYT for an opinion piece needing corrections.

    It also seems to be a larger issue of the quality of Techdirt being on a pretty significant decline as of late, such as when the Adobe-Venezuela article was posted 10 days after refunds were offered stating that Adobe was refusing to offer refunds, despite the fact that Adobe reversed that stance about 9 days before publication, and not only that, but the Verge article that appeared to be Techdirt's primary source had been long-since updated to reflect that. Techdirt did eventually get around to posting an update, so I guess that's something.

  • Nov 1st, 2019 @ 12:12pm

    Oh, the irony

    The fact that Techdirt runs this article the day after their own "facts optional" Sony blowjob clears the way for a stupid new level of absurdity.

    I note that the Techdirt Sony article doesn't have any corrections listed, such as fixing the misleading statistics regarding Wii unit sales; comparing lifetime sales of the Switch, which has been out for a little over three years, to the PS4, which has been available for six, and drawing baseless conclusions from that, and ignoring the fact that the Switch is the fastest-selling console in North America ever; and the most ridiculous of all, claiming Microsoft hasn't even announced its next console.

    At least the NYT issues corrections when they're wrong.

  • Oct 31st, 2019 @ 10:46pm

    Re:

    As far as dismissing a comparison to the Wii, Nintendo publishes sales numbers by fiscal year dating back to 1998. The "5-7 additional years" that the Wii had compared to PS4 amounted to about 7 million units. In its first six years on sale, it sold nearly 93 million. Yes, PS4 obviously outsold it at equivalent points in their histories, but you certainly couldn't be blamed for coming away from the article thinking that the Wii's 102 million sales were spread equally across 12-14 years, instead of about 93% being in the first six and being within spitting distance of PS4 during that time frame.

  • Oct 31st, 2019 @ 10:19pm

    (untitled comment)

    So in the 30-year console war apparently doesn't involve Nintendo, but does involve an Xbox from the '90s, and Sony is winning against the Switch because the PS4 has outsold the Switch to date, the fact that the PS4 had a four-year head start be damned. Sony's announcement "in the last few weeks" that the PS5 is coming must be referring to a different product than the one that they very clearly said several months ago is on the horizon, and it's really headscratching that Microsoft didn't announce Project Scarlett for holiday 2020 at last E3. I do hope they catch up soon and announce theirs.

    Was this article written in an alternate universe where Techdirt writers just tap on the predictive text buttons on their phones to generate articles?

    One of this site's recent articles made much out of some government agency or judge starting at their conclusion and working backwards to make their argument fit it. You clearly started at your conclusion (Switch is a walled garden [never mind the fact that it's more open and has been more open than PS4 in terms of cross-console play, which is really the only thing you could possibly be referring to, not to mention working with Microsoft to bring Xbox exclusives to the platform]) and then literally rewrote history to make it fit your narrative.

    (And just to make absolutely clear, nearly every single paragraph of your "story" has a factual error or typo in it, even beyond the incredibly lousy logic and hellbound determination to worship at the altar of Sony, as if they aren't the company behind CD rootkits, the great PSN data breach of 2011, removal of the ability to install Linux on PS3s after advertising it as a feature, ditching of backwards compatibility in favor of reselling your old games to you, and steadfast refusal to allow cross-platform play for years.)

  • Oct 24th, 2019 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re:

    No problem, as a purely descriptive term with the only difference being the absence of a single letter in a fashion that's hardly unknown, it should never have been granted.

    That is a completely different story than the one that appears at the top of this page. One I happen to agree with, by the way.

    Yes indeed, all three(out of twenty-two) of the items on the menu could be seen as referring to other fast food places(or in the case of the feature a show/book), truly the most dastardly of fiends.

    The point is the owner is certainly not the innocent he makes himself out to be and is intentionally capitalizing on the trademarks of others. The "Crispy Colonel" (which is certainly not merely descriptive when taken as a whole mark) is a US trademark. As I noted elsewhere, while it's not a registered trademark in Canada, it certainly isn't very likely the name was invented by this guy out of whole cloth and just reinforces he knows exactly what he's doing, which is bad dealing.

  • Oct 24th, 2019 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re:

    That's a bad example. The word "colonel" isn't a trademark, is it?

    No, but "Crispy Colonel Sandwich" is, by KFC, in US trademark serial number 87878351. Granted, that mark does not appear to be registered in Canada. "Colonel Sanders" and "Colonel's" are, though.

    But it also seems extraordinarily unlikely that the proprietor of this restaurant who just so happened to name his fish sandwich the same as one giant fast food restaurant happened upon the name of his chicken sandwich, which is identical to another giant fast food restaurant's, by happenstance. If anything this just provides further proof of bad faith in the name of his fish sandwich.

  • Oct 23rd, 2019 @ 9:26pm

    Re: Re:

    Policy issued by the federal government (assuming they're not just pulling authority out of thin air) effectively is law, it's just called regulation. It's the implementation of law.

    Authority is given by the Constitution for some matters, as well as discretionary authority given by Congress for others. So long as the EO stays within the confines of those authorities, they can effectively make law from the Oval Office.

  • Oct 23rd, 2019 @ 9:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: They are, in fact, offering refunds

    There are certainly other tools that can read PSD files, layers and all. It's not like there's nothing else on the market that they could transition to.

  • Oct 23rd, 2019 @ 9:14pm

    (untitled comment)

    So many problems I have with TechDirt's portrayal of this story.

    If the trademark shouldn't be valid, argue against the trademark being valid. That's not mentioned in your story, at all. But so long as it is valid, this is very clearly a violation of trademark law. It isn't even "well, if you squint at it just right, it sort of resembles it." No, it's a wholesale ripoff of the registered mark in the exact same industry. No idea where you get off calling that bullying.

    Woodshed Burgers may have one location, and they seem more sit-down than fast food, but they are certainly competing directly with McDonald's in terms of their menu. Burgers, chicken and fish sandwiches, and fries. Sound familiar?

    Third, Woodshed seems to be going out of its way to misappropriate names for their entrees, such as their chicken chicken sandwich being dubbed the Crispy Colonel. Another is called the Smurf, which while I'm pretty sure there's not a burger-related trademark involved, is certainly not being used just for it being an interesting arrangement of letters.

    Finally, Woodshed itself is one location, but they do have at least one related restaurant with them under "Robert Spencer Hospitality". Doesn't seem to be much on the web about the parent company (and the link on the Robert Spencer logo on Woodshed's site goes nowhere) but it's clear that it's not just one guy running his passion project restaurant.

  • Oct 17th, 2019 @ 9:04pm

    They are, in fact, offering refunds

    Not sure how this was missed, but see Ars Technica's article from October 10, "Adobe backtracks, will refund customers after canceling their accounts". The Verge article you linked was also updated on October 9 to reflect that.

  • Sep 28th, 2017 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Too Much Data

    Amazingly enough, it even says what you did (that Verizon was removing people who were paying less than they were costing the company in roaming charges, not for using "excessive" data as this article claims) in the article, in a quote from Verizon.

    Yet, in the hysterical rush to vilify Verizon, that part was skipped right over in favor of "they don't explain why they're kicking people off." Yes, they did. Very clearly.

    Are we expecting Verizon to subsidize these users? For-profit companies can voluntarily make decisions to sell loss-leaders and things of that nature. But to dress a company up as the devil for daring to boot customers who are, month after month, not simply reducing profit margins but creating negative revenue is patently absurd.

  • Aug 30th, 2017 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re:

    > So its not steam reselling keys they are complaining about

    Steam doesn't resell keys. In addition to selling the games themselves, Steam generates keys which developers then either sell (directly to consumers or to companies like Humble Bundle) or give away. Some percentage of the keys sold or given away end up at "shady" resellers like G2A.

  • Aug 30th, 2017 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Steam Key Solution

    You are talking about official Steam store purchases. aerinai is talking about keys sold or given away outside the context of the Steam store itself.

    They could remove the gift option but then it would be impossible to buy games for your friends and family and gift it to them.

    Any number of Steam resellers would beg to differ. (places like the Humble Bundle store, BundleStars, etc.) All of them sell officially-obtained keys that are literally just keys to enter into Steam, that can be given to whomever you wish.

  • Aug 17th, 2017 @ 1:10pm

    (untitled comment)

    From the "order":

    ... [URLs] be removed from the internet along with the related search terms...

    How does one remove a search term from the internet?

  • Aug 8th, 2017 @ 12:00pm

    (untitled comment)

    But every channel from FX to AMC having their own streaming service presents its own problem: namely one of fractured exclusivity. Or, a world where you have to subscribe to a litany of multiple, costly services just to get access to your favorite programs.

    Remember how everybody wants a la carte cable? That's exactly what you're describing (except streaming is on-demand as opposed to network-scheduled). I've always wondered why people who think cable prices are too high already are deluded enough to believe that somehow you're going to pay less with a la carte.

    Let's say ESPN charges Comcast $10 per month per subscriber. Comcast has about 22 million subscribers. That's $220 million per month. In moving to a la carte, ESPN's relatively-fixed costs (content production and acquisition, physical premises, etc) wouldn't change, but the number of subscribers paying for the channel would. Let's be generous and say 75% of Comcast's subscribers would still be willing to pay for ESPN on an a la carte basis. But now you're dividing $220 million by 16.5 million subscribers, so suddenly the monthly cost per subscriber is $13.33. Some channels will likely cost less, and someone who really only wants one or a couple of networks will pay less overall. But in a family you're likely to have a diversity of networks that are demanded, and even if you "only want" 15 channels, and even if each network is only $5.99 instead of $13.33, that's still ~$90 a month, and my estimates are probably low. How much is your cable bill right now?

    And of course none of the above paragraph takes into account the more niche channels, which today are included in a package of "We'll give you MTV if you take the fishing network" (made-up example). Yes, MTV might only cost $5.99 a la carte because it's got a larger audience to spread costs across, but how much do you really think the fishing network is going to cost when it can't be subsidized by being included in a larger package?

    Separately from all of that, the original article this is based on is written very poorly, which in turn probably caused the article here to be pretty off-base. This new service is a "channel" only in the way that your electronic program guide is a "channel". You can use your TV remote to get to it, but it's not a channel broadcasting a linear schedule of content. Because you go from the premise of it being a channel, you act as if this is simply like HBO the channel, which is linearly-broadcast but has no ads. Instead it is a service much like HBO GO - it's an on-demand service, and Xfinity has apps where you can watch subscribed channels on other platforms like phones and tablets, just like HBO GO does. And as with HBO GO, the primary benefit is on-demand access to the shows (some of which are archival content) on the platform you want.

    After finding the original press release, which does not use the word "channel" to describe the new service at all, you do need to be an Xfinity TV subscriber to subscribe to FX+. So it is paying extra for the service when you already pay for the base channel (you can't just subscribe to Xfinity Internet and get FX+), but again it is paying for an on-demand service, not for a linear network devoid of ads.

    You can make the argument all you want as to whether the public is willing to pay (extra) for VOD for a single network, but to write the article as if you're paying FX again to get their exact existing network, simply sans ads, is just straight-up bad journalism. Again, probably based on the source article's repeated use of the word "channel", since of course if it has to do with TV, it must be a channel, completely ignoring VOD which has been around for decades (and which this service is), streaming services, etc.