zarprime’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Apr 3rd, 2021 @ 9:31am


    That game was No One Lives Forever, and you probably read about it in one of these articles:

    NOLF and its sequel were great stealth games and a lot of fun. They were also quite well known for their humourous dialogue. I've heard stories of players who would stop while crawling through a ventilation shaft to listen to the banter of the guards.

    There is of course still ONE way to get your hands on these games.

  • Feb 26th, 2021 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh don't even get my started on the whole "antifa" thing. Again, people calling out "antifa" as "the enemy" and "terrorists" - so you don't like people who are anti-fascist? So you're PRO fascist then? Because that's how you're coming off. How does this point never get made?

  • Feb 25th, 2021 @ 2:19pm


    Wait, so some people do know there's a real (if vacant) left? About a year ago I got into a bit of a political discussion with a friend who lives in the US, and they, being Republican, expressed some fear of "the left". I chuckled, and they asked why, to which I replied "you don't even know left, the Democrats aren't the left, they're like the middle." They literally said "I can't imagine what left of the Democrats even looks like." In my head I was thinking "holy crap, NewSpeak is alive and well". If you've got no words for it, you can't discuss it. I know this was a small sample size, but I genuinely came away with the impression that this was how it was in the US - that the Democrats were as left as left could be, and would seem to explain why Republicans always seem to be implying that "Democrat" is just a euphemism for "Communist".

  • Feb 25th, 2021 @ 8:44am

    View from the outside: "conservative bias" a uniquely US problem

    I think in just about any other democratic country this would be called "polar bias" or "extremist bias", and even in the US you could call it that, but it doesn't make any sense because you don't have representation across the political spectrum. As a Canadian, it boggles my mind that your government can even function with only two parties. We have, at any given time, at least 4 major political parties covering a much greater proportion of the spectrum. Heck, we have a communist party. And you can be sure that if someone here on the far left started spouting off conspiracies, misinformation or hatred that tech companies would treat them exactly the same as they do far right wingnuts.

    It boggles my mind that you guys (US) call the Democrats "the left". You don't have a left - you have the far-ish right Republicans, and the center, maybe even right-of-center Democrats. You really need a proper left, if only for perspective.

  • Oct 2nd, 2018 @ 12:38pm

    I have a stupid question...

    So the whole problem is that a face or a fingerprint, or even a passcode on a phone isn't "testimony" and so the 5th Amendment doesn't factor in. So what happens if my passphrase for unlocking my phone is "I robbed a bank"? I suppose if they let me type it in and didn't see what it was then it wouldn't be an incriminating statement, but what if I had to say it aloud, or if they wanted to type it in themselves (so I couldn't do it incorrectly several times and lock up the phone)?
  • Sep 28th, 2018 @ 8:03am

    I've had this discussion with a few people...

    since just about every service has something of value it would be nice to have all of them, but that's just going to be too expensive. However, most of these services have shows up for quite a long time (or indefinitely for their own content), so we came up with this idea: only subscribe to two services at a time. The first is one you really like, and adds a lot of content continuously. You keep your subscription to this one year-round. The second is one that you rotate. You sign up for a month or two, binge the crap out of what it has to offer, and then you cancel and switch to a new one. It's a little bit more work, but you're not going to miss anything you'd really like to see just because it's on the "wrong" service.
  • Jul 25th, 2018 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Trying to deflect attention?

    Could be. I might have the nomenclature wrong. I'm not a psychologist. Sorta beside the point though, almost like you're trying to deflect from the point I'm making by fussing over minutia. =)
  • Jul 25th, 2018 @ 11:15am

    Trying to deflect attention?

    So apparently there's this thing called "guilt transference" when you accuse another party of the thing you're actually guilty of yourself.

    Not the RIAA, but it's not like they're too good to take a page from the MPAA's books. -despite-letter-he-sent-google-revealed-as-written-mpaa.shtml 515/23305631025/mississippi-attorney-general-jim-hood-insists-his-emails-with-mpaa-are-super-secret. shtml

    Anyone care to lay odds?
  • Nov 8th, 2017 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Vague FUD.

    Let's say that Facebook steps up. What's it going to cost? Let's postulate that they have only 100M users, posting only twice a day, and every post must be reviewed. Given this volume of posts, reviewers can't take a lot of time to review - let's give them only 10 seconds. That works out to over 555000 hours of reviewing, per day. With a normal 8-hour day, they need almost 70000 employees JUST FOR REVIEWING. I asked Google, and apparently Facebook currently employs something in the neighborhood of 17000 workers.

    How do we pay for these workers? Mandatory ads all over people's pages? How did that work out for MySpace? Chances are, you now have to pay to be on Facebook.

    But that's just the cost to Facebook. Once your post has been approved, you're now a publisher, and responsible for any comments on your post. Now you have to spend time reviewing comments. This starts to sounds like a job and not a fun place to meet new people or find old friends. Screw comments - just let people apply a couple of emoticons to your post, nothing controversial there.

    How is this a place you want to be? How often will something interesting happen there? Yes, Facebook isn't perfect. NOTHING IS. Public (physical) bulletin boards have the same problem, but the good they serve generally outweighs the bad.
  • Nov 7th, 2017 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Vague FUD.

    Actually, those sites won't shut down. They'll move, base themselves in a country that's more accepting of what they're doing, and stop making themselves available in the US. And the US will become a backwater for discussion. This is no different than when the US tried to regulate cryptography - all the best work was being done outside the US. A programmer in the US trying to participate could be prosecuted as an arms dealer. Eventually someone realized that if they couldn't regulate the world then they'd better make sure they could participate. They're about the make the same mistake all over again. Do you think at this point Facebook, Twitter and Reddit need the US? They don't. They are there because that's where they started. I'm sure a disproportionate number of their users are there too, but sometimes you need to cut off a leg to save the body. Killing off these companies would be bad, but driving them away is even worse.
  • Feb 23rd, 2017 @ 6:28am

    I'm sure they'll do their "best" to secure this information.

    So we have DHS compiling a massive database of userids and passwords for e-mail and social media accounts. That's not a high-value target at all. Given virtually no government agency has managed to receive a passing mark for securing their systems it's only a matter of time (and probably not a lot of time) before at least one organisation (hackers, foreign gov't, et al) gets their hands on it.

    I expect you'd see lower distribution if you wrote your userid & password on a bathroom wall.

  • Aug 13th, 2015 @ 6:23am

    What's good for the goose...

    Since it gets said every time a proposed new law encroaches on citizens' rights, I feel it needs to be said here (and every time something like this is proposed): "if the police aren't doing anything wrong, what have they got to fear?"
  • Jul 9th, 2015 @ 10:30am

    If a solution exists, shouldn't the NSA already know that?

    Remember way back in the days of DES, when the NSA shortened the key and changed a couple of other things, and no cryptographer (in the public) knew why? It took years and years before it was figured out. The gap has been narrowed since, but I think the general consensus is that the NSA's cryptographers are still a couple of years ahead of the public. So if there is non-magical solution to this problem, shouldn't the NSA already have it, or at least be closer than the software industry?

    More likely, given that the NSA hasn't put forth a proposal, their cryptographers have instead a mathematical proof that this is impossible. Of course politicians, presented with incontrovertible evidence that their position is unsupportable, tell the experts to shut up, and possibly destroy the evidence.
  • Apr 20th, 2015 @ 1:30pm

    Now when one of these kids in India creates the next great app...

    Will MZ put his money where is mouth is and zero-rate that app as well (without first having it acquired by FaceBook)?

    This initiative is just the latest that tries to frame Internet users as "consumers" instead of creators.

    (And what idiot came up with the phrase "zero-rated app"? The first time I read it I assumed it was an app that was so universally reviled that its average rating the the store was 0.)

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