Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Protests about Mass Effect 3 Endings turns into a great charity opportunity.

Like many when I heard the alternate endings of Mass Effect 3 and found that none of them appealed to how I would play the character, I decided to not purchase the game. As well I chose to pass up on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning because it is another EA title. I thought nothing more of it after that. Generally there is no better way to protest a video game. It seems others went above and beyond in protesting the endings however. In what hast to be one of the most positive protests that has to have been seen in years.

Yes, they are talking with their money but not in a traditional sense. They are doing so by giving money to charity. How cool is that. As I said I see it as the most productive protest in a long, long time. It shows that these people are not trying to come from a position of entitlement that often they are disparaged as doing, but a true dissatisfaction with the state of the game.

Now you might ask how can you get involved? The best place is to start here. The community has been keeping on top of this and Bachuck's opening post is kept up to date with really great information.

Addational Links(warning some containt spoilers):
Game Front: 5 Reasons Fans Are Right

Friday, March 16, 2012

In responce

With the announcement of the Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 I became aware again of Trent Oster's (of BioWare Fame) blog. Reading down I was faced with a post he made to an issue that as far as I'm aware still isn't dead yet(though I haven't found anything more current than that). That being Lodsys and their attempt to collect on what they claimed was license fees due from Apple App Developers. Which brings me back to his post. While I can agree with where his comments came from I can't agree with what I read as a knee jerk reaction.

Below is what my response to his post would be. Since the post is over 10 months old I didn't post this to his comments. It would be pointless to start a discussion on something he posted that long ago. However since I have a blog where I can post my thoughts no matter their source I'm going to post what my response would be any way.

I just found your blog again after having not read it for over a year and I read this old post about the situation with Lodsys. While what you said at the time would be good in theory it didn't look at the other side of the coin. Those people that have the ideas, but are unable to produce them. In your example since a patent is public a company that can produce "it" need only wait the 5 years. They then profit off that persons work without which they may never have been able to create the item.

In many fields the 20 year(at maximum I believe) exclusivity rule works because the item will be either worth the money to buy right to produce it now, be improved to the point waiting to the end of the patent term is worth the money, or be obsolete and therefor not worth anyone's time to produce now or maybe ever. The length of time is generally dependent on those very facts and the impact the type of patent could have for the good.

I'm not saying that any of that stands in this case nor do I agree with what is happening as I know it. I find, by what I've read is happening, their actions totally abhorrent. And as much as I can agree we have major issues with our system and how much it promotes greed/stupidity the core is to protect those that do not have the ability to protect themselves. Sadly on the flip side of what is happening here is the people who do get cheated out of their hard work. Many is the well known that died poorer because of their invention which was then lost to those able to take advantage.

I guess that was all just a long winded way of say it works both ways.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Is the Social Media push going too far?

I find it both highly amusing and very sad that with identity theft continually on the rise as well the proof that no matter how secure these web based companies propose to be they still keep pushing "Give us your information".

With the recent changes to Google and their attempts to push everyone to use Google+ (Google's alternative to Facebook) one wonders if they've hit critical mass and all the college degrees are not now collectively bringing down the companies IQ. The aforementioned Facebook for quite a while now quit requiring people to use their real names, phone numbers, and other bits of information that they have had stolen in the past. It isn't a joke. It may not be the end of the world, but the last thing anyone should be doing is putting all their information into one basket.

It becomes even more annoying to hear some of the new things coming out with more ways to push your social media and more ways to reveal both your information and the information of those you know. Windows 8 (because when a person thinks of safety and protection they think windows) is giving you all new ways to share your personal information with both friend (and potentially foe) because it simply isn't easy enough.

I hate to sound like a doom bringer, post apocalyptic survivalist, or the guy at the corner that tells you "The world is ending!" because it isn't. However you can't tell people to put all their information into your database, use their real name, give you all of their contacts phone numbers, and make them believe if they change their passwords every month using the password you rate as strong they are protected. Then watch as database after database is compromised and personal information is stolen. At what point is it then beyond negligence and into a criminal action when these companies do loose people's information? It is one thing to allow people to add their information as it is their choice to enter that information and then should be for the most part on them. Attempting to force people into it because you have a service, product, or suite of products that are so pervasive that most people are loosing any alternatives should mean that they must be required to meet a higher standard or be held more accountable than just a civil suit in which they can pay people off.

Allow people to be as responsible as they choose don't force irresponsible behavior on them. Quit crossing these lines of telling people how to be secure and then push people into options that are not the most safety oriented ideas. Allow people that wish to protect their identity by that very anonymity that the internet provides people. If your luck is anything like mine that ability is important, because you are just as likely one of those people that has gotten some of their information stolen.

I should say I'm wholly against these lawsuits that win in court that amount to "I was stupid so you should pay for it", but that is a discussion for another time. I'm also more against putting your information on the web after having it sold by shady practices that skirt the law by a technicality or change the way they handle your information so that it is suddenly public. (Thank you Classmates and LinkedIn.)