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About BladeOfWraith

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  1. Microsoft and the Xbox One. Thoughts?

    This means nothing. You still have six people paying over $200 for a game where the publisher ends up making $25. Gamestop should not make 3x as much as the developer. I'm using pretty well know estimates. Publishers make about %50 of the retail sale value on average. Gamestop makes about $10 on a new game. They make about $20-25 on used games.   I made that example to illustrate a point. Most people who buy used games use the "But I can't afford new games!" defense. Fine, but that's what pirates often say. I'm pointing out that it's better for the industry for you to never buy another used game, as they make as much money on used as piracy. That is a fact you cannot escape. Either buy new, or go grab a torrent.   Don't like that used games are the exact same thing as piracy? That is not my problem. The people buying used games are contributing the exact same amount of money into the publishing houses as if they just downloaded it. And when they buy used, they have less money to buy new.   People who say "If you can't afford to buy a game, you shouldn't play it" have a fair point. Especially when one considers the plethora of quality free games and sub $10 games on GoG and even Steam. But it applies to used just as much as piracy. Buying a used game does not one more thing for the industry. If you have $20 to buy a used game, then go hit up the year old discounted new games. Failing to do so because of a sense of "I want to play the newest stuff and screw the developers" entitlement, is a pirate mindset. 
  2. Microsoft and the Xbox One. Thoughts?

      In fairness, you're right there is a difference. Used games are actually worse than piracy if we use money here.   New game sale: $50 Used game sales total: $175 Total sales: $225 Publisher profit: $25 Gamestop profit: $125   So Gamestop makes 5x as much as the publisher. Now let's imagine that instead of buying used games, the people pirate %50 of their games and buy 1/2 new.   New game sale: $150 Used game sales total: $0 Total sales: $150 Publisher profit: $75 Gamestop profit: $30   Well, I see how that sucks for Gamestop, but even people pirating %50 of their content is better than having a used market. The publisher makes 3x more if people pirate half of their games than if they get them used. Bear in mind, the average used game passes through six owners over the course of its life.   It's pretty darn difficult to defend used games.
  3. Microsoft and the Xbox One. Thoughts?

    Good point. I bought an album on iTunes. Then my GF said she wanted that album. So I emailed a copy to her. Then a couple of my friends mentioned they would also like to hear it. So I setup a local ftp repository and point everyone there to download it. I don't see what the big deal is, iTunes still has my money. So what if ten people ended up with it from one original sale, right?
  4. Microsoft and the Xbox One. Thoughts?

    When I say they aggressively push used sales, I am speaking of corporate policy, not personal interaction(which should be plain from the context of my post).   I don't mean their employee tells me to buy a used game and then tries to convince me if I say no. By offering used on almost every purchase that is aggressively pushing used sales(as a matter of sales impact, not as the personal feelings of a consumer).
  5. Microsoft and the Xbox One. Thoughts?

    Everywhere I've lived it's been like this. I think that is how it is at most Gamestop locations. That is [url=]official company policy[/url]. They did revise it recently to preclude games for the first 60 days after launch, but once it hits 61 days, every time a customer tries to buy a new game, if there is a used copy available the employee is supposed to offer the used game.
  6. The Wisdom of noreply and Commerce

    I have long wondered why emails are sent by companies from noreply, with no custom reply field. The email typically warns you not to reply to this email but if you do want to contact them, them send an email to <this> place. I have to strongly question the competence of anyone using this system. They have sent you an email, typically for a specific purpose, often including things like transaction ids. Your next step if you want to contact them is to either begin a whole new email chain, or fill out a form, enter into a ticket system or possibly even call them. All of that could be avoided by filling the reply field with a transaction unique address. Or alternatively, they could use a common reply address and fill the subject line with a unique id.   Why do you think so many companies do this with electronic business?
  7. Microsoft and the Xbox One. Thoughts?

    Have you ever been to Gamestop? Have you ever tried to buy a new game, only to have them try to push a "like new used game for $5 less" off on you? Gamestop does this because their profit margin on it is huge.   And do you know how much money the developer makes on each used sale? Zilch. Used games are exactly the same thing as piracy when it comes to developers making money.   Gamestop has for years been deliberately harming new sales by aggressively pushing used. Whereas the developer makes more money when there are no used games, who makes money on used games? Just Gamestop, which is a parasite that contributes nothing useful.   Meanwhile, on pc, you have Steam. Steam games are cheaper than console games and new games regularly go on firehouse sales. I've picked up six month old titles for $20 on Steam. You will never see that on consoles ATM, and that is specifically because of the used market.   This new system is much better for developers and it will be better for people who actually buy a lot of new games. It will be worse for people who mostly buy used games, but they may as well just go pirate their games anyway, for all they contribute to the useful parts of the industry. The only group that truly suffers here is Gamestop.
  8. Writer looking for writing advice.

    At times. And at times not. Honor killings are nowhere in Islamic law anyway. It's entirely vigilantism and that's because they don't particularly have a legal system to deal with issues, so they handle things outside of the law. There is not even a cultural standard on a lot of this. It pretty much boils down to what each member of each family/tribe decides to do about it.   I don't think you are using a dictionary definition of law. A law is a formal rule that is enforced by some type of authority, be it a police force, an army, your tribal leaders, etc. A corporation paying you less than you need to survive and working you for ninety hours a week is not in any way shape or form a law.   I am speaking to specific areas without law. IE there is no law against picking wild blueberries in my state, but in Indiana, there is. Therefore Georgia has no law regarding picking wild blueberries.   Many countries in the third world do not have labor laws. That means they have no formal rule that says you or cannot do anything. There is simply no law whatsoever. There are not "bad" laws that say you must treat employees badly. There are no "good" laws that prohibit what you can do. You are free to pay them well, or chain them to the floor and refuse to feed them for two days. There is simply no law at all.   In those areas, "Sharia law" is not a particular thing. It is not enforced by a central body with consistent views on the matter. Every individual makes up their mind what is within or outside the bounds of "Sharia". It is absolutely a system of vigilantism.   This is totally different than something like Saudi Arabia which has formal definitions of Sharia and have uniform rules regarding it and designated authority figures tasked with enforcing these laws.
  9. Writer looking for writing advice.

    First you say that your primary concern is dealing with laws that cover anything other than direct 1-1 physical harm to another person. You then start making a demonstrably false case that absent any law, things only get better(behold Somalia, Mr William's wonderland).   I would not be inclined to see vigilantism used to fix rape and murder cases. It does not go well in the Islamic countries that handle it that way, today. You've already agreed that those laws have a positive application, but then you insist that their existence is still a net negative, because clearly, every person being their own law is a much better idea, because freedom. This is why Ron Paul flamed out in the primary. He uses this exact same frame to argue. It is not persuasive.   And mind you, I actually agree with you, that we have too many laws and the law should primarily deal with prevention of harming other people, rather than keeping people from harming themselves or behaving in a certain fashion. Yet even I find your case to be unpersuasive, because I can easily look to other countries in our own time and see your desired lack of law playing out. It is much worse.   The same goes for corporate law. We basically had no laws in the late 1800s and you'll never find a worse time to be an average citizen in America. It was not uncommon to work ninety hours a week and die in debt, thanks to the wonder of company towns. Labor laws are needed. Without them, nearly everyone's quality of life is absolute crap. It doesn't mean we can't go too far, but the minimum wage and overtime laws are vital to maintain a decent quality of life.     If your goal is truly to open someone's mind to the concept that a law is not automatically moral or right, simply because it is the law, perhaps pick laws that harm people doing no wrong. Or better, relate the story to them in a way that makes it feel personal. A lot of people supported the Patriot Act because they felt it would only be used on "the bad guys". The numbers slowly fell as it became apparent that the "bad guys" were not a handful of foreign terrorists, but millions of people. And with the revelation that literally every single American citizen has the entirety of their contact history logged in intelligence agency tracking, I imagine those numbers will fall a lot more.   If you want to get someone over to your side, tell them why the law is bad for them or people they care about, not how it might be bad for other people. No one cares about strangers. How many starving children could the sale of my luxury electronics and donation of money save? I don't know, but I'm very confident that number is at least "one" - yet I don't do it. Because I have distance from the issue. It would take on a whole other dimension for me if I found a homeless child rummaging through my garbage for rotten food scarps.
  10.   I do. Does that make a me a nerd? I would have relations with Excel if that wasn't weird.   Having relations with Excel isn't as fun as it sounds. You end up doing all the work and it just goes through the motions.   If you're looking for a varied experience with your office applications, you may want to try Dragon Naturally Speaking. It's experimental, unpredictable and always results in a big mess to clean up afterwards!
  11. A $95/%1 fine isn't particularly daunting.
  12. There are usually clinics for people without insurance. Contact your local social services office for locations. They are usually staffed by nurse practitioners. They provide basic services like any general practitioner. I believe they are mostly located in rather poor areas, but it should be within driving distance. Unfortunately, any specialized need you have, they can't help with. You'll be stuck heading directly to the specialist and paying out of pocket. Still, if you do get a referral, tell the doctor up front that you don't have insurance and are out of work. Sometimes(sometimes) they will reduce their fee.
  13. Boston Marathon, a terror act

    My first three results say the opposite. I think your google search is falling victim to their PR cleanup attempts. I think you've just created another ignorance based conspiracy :) You didn't bother to actually watch any of those videos I take it?   Video one: Donald Trump says he thinks they cause autism, at which point, the Fox News host Gretchen Carlson says "And you know that most physicians disagree with that and the studies have said that there is no link. It used to be thought it was the mercury in those vaccinations, which they have not had for years, and yet we're at the highest number in recent times of autism, so maybe it's environmental". The Fox News host just debunked the claim and proceeded to blame pollution.     Video two "The vaccine for measles, mumps, etc aggravated an unknown mitochondrial disorder that Hannah had which did not cause her autism, the court found, but resulted in it". So they reported on a legal ruling. Oh my!   Video three is the same story as video two.   But thanks for backing me up by mistake ;)
  14. Boston Marathon, a terror act

    So is FOX  They belong in the same category as InfoWars. Seriously, everyone I know in treats FOX as comedy. But as long as they continue to fit the legal definition of 'journalists', then they should be treated as such.  My first three results from fox news on vaccines all state there is no risk. I'd like some proof of your claim that Fox endorses this position. Thanks in advance :)