The commercial gaming business shares some aspects of the movie business. Development costs can go sky high with no guarantee of success. Flops often outnumber hits. Like Hollywood, game company management is more often than not at odds with its customers.
While piracy has been on gaming’s radar, it’s suits have been most offended by the lucrative resale market. Once beaten, the complex game becomes less interesting for its player. Since the cost is usually high, it makes sense for the gamer to sell or trade to help pay for the next challenge. Gaming’s suits have held a long standing vendetta against the resale market. That vendetta has brought lawsuits. and schemes like crippleware to thwart the the individual’s right to resell what he owns.
Startup Postgamer hopes to partner with game makers by paying them a portion of revenue to insure used games function like new.
PostalGamer.com, scheduled to launch this fall, will let gamers buy used games and trade in old ones by shipping them to the site’s warehouse in prepaid envelopes, not unlike Netflix or GameFly. In exchange for stuffing PostalGamer’s envelopes into packaging for new games, participating publishers will receive a 10 percent cut of sales generated by their titles from their catalogs. (Wired)
If game publishers buy in, this could revolutionize the used gaming market. There’s also a guarantee that Hollywood, big music and big publishing will be watching. So will the legal profession. These folks will want a cut of the transaction every time their product is resold too. The slippery slope on this one is steep. With the current level of legal trolling, it’s not much of a stretch to see Honda demanding a cut from the sale of every used Accord. The next intellectual property law rewrite could make this mandatory if a little common sense isn’t brought back into the system.
While I hope a solution can be found to the problem of crippleware and reduced functionality in the used game market, this is the wrong approach. Seemingly great ideas often create many more problems than they solve. Common sense dictates that the makers’ cut comes from the original sale. Once sold, it is the property of the buyer regardless of what sort of item it is. Copyright and patent law must protect against reproduction for resale for a limited time. It cannot not demand a never ending tax on the resale of the original item the maker produced. If that happens, we will have moved from a free market back to a feudal tribute system.
The bottom seems to have fallen out of the DVD market according to a startling report out this week from SNL Kagan. The research firm says that studio shipments of DVDs fell 43.8% to 226 million discs last year. Wholesale revenues fell about the same amount, 43.9%, to $4.47 billion. The study compared 415 titles released in 2010 to 352 in 2009. Helped by Avatar, Fox accounted for 13.6% of the 2010 wholesale revenues. That barely beat Warner, which had 13.5% of the market, closely followed by Disney with 13.4%. “Consumers are now opting to sign up for streaming and-or rental services such as Netflix,” analyst Wade Holden wrote. “They are using video-on-demand services more and more as they discover these services can be cost-effective.”
Well Duh! Fact I would hazard that we will see a trend to that similar to book publishers. Buy the eBook for $2.99 or borrow from the Library. If its a keeper then pop for the hard cover. Only in Moveland, go Netflix or RedBox for the view. If you like it a lot, then buy a copy.
Well I saw the announcements of the code release of 3.3.1 of Libre Office. Figured it was about high time to take a look. Especially since many distros will be switching in the coming months to this tool.
Anything that just freaks me out? Not really. The fork of Libre Office at least for now is very similar to Open Office. The icon sets are the biggest change. Libre just on an anecdotal basis seems a little peppier. All the extensions I am used to using on OO still work in Libre.
Base, and Presentation other than the theme makeover are nearly identical. The VarGuy blog has some more information if you want to take a gander.
My impressions are based on a direct .deb download not a PPA. Install went without a hitch and was clearly laid out in the readme that came with the tar.gz file. If you give this a go, keep in mind that you must uninstall the entire OO suite first. Not that daring? Well wait to the next Ubuntu upgrade. Rumor is Libre will be in it.
…. as the Samsung Tab. Yep. Saw one live-virtual on the Linux Action Show. (Issue 14, Episode 9.) Take a look, should be up and for display later this evening.
Has all the same attributes, handheld size, good screen and reasonably thin. The parallels between what Roddenberry suggested and what is now being produced here are uncanny.
Go take a peek later this evening and I bet you will say — yep.
There’s a new outfit that is leveraging the use of UPC and QR codes as a social avenue. The name is StickyBits. Now the tech they are using is not that earth shattering. But the way they are tying social aspects, visual recognition and digital imprinting is unique and novel. It would not be something I would have thought of.
Is the social aspects of it a downer? Oh no. I could see some great uses. Why not use StickyBits as part of a geocaching social game? The participants would not even need to compete in real time, the system could track it all. Or as a tool in metro systems. Or a means to get buyer comments on a garment while standing in the store looking at the very item. So no, there are some great uses for the social aspects.
However I think there would be even more uses if one could go private with the data. Set up your own account and make the decision whether you wanted to share or not. Given that ability. Why not an inventory app for your phone? You shoot the pic of the item, say that new baby grand you bought for the misses. You scan the invoice and enter the buy date, price, some comments. The cloud maintains an inventory for you for insurance purposes. Or maybe an insurance company offers that as a premium for getting insurance from them. Or how about the standard biz inventory system? Only StickyBits is providing the inventory component in the cloud with an API so you can tie it to a MRP system. Or records management with the UPC on the doc and the source doc out in the cloud.
That is only a few of the services I could see something like StickBits offering. Its really an indexing service tied to barcodes. Very narrow. But is has as many uses in the private sphere, if not more, than in the social sphere.
Another words this is a case where the social aspects may not be the profit center.
Another words no need for the FCC if this tech took hold. –
A trial cell-phone network in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, gets by without something every other wireless carrier needs: its own chunk of the airwaves. Instead, xG Technology, which made the network, uses base stations and handsets of its own design that steer signals through the unrestricted 900-megahertz band used by cordless phones and other short-range devices.
It’s a technique called “cognitive” radio, and it has the potential to make efficient use of an increasingly limited resource: the wireless spectrum. By demonstrating the first cellular network that uses the technique, xG hopes to show that it could help wireless carriers facing growing demand but a relatively fixed supply of spectrum.
Its cognitive radios are built into both the base stations of the trial network, dubbed xMax, and handsets made for it. Every radio scans for clear spectrum 33 times a second. If another signal is detected, the handset and base station retune to avoid the other signal, keeping the connection alive. Each of the six base stations in xG’s network can serve devices in a 2.5-mile radius, comparable to an average cell-phone tower.
This is the type of tech I have been harping on here from time to time at ThridPipe. Spread spectrum intelligent CPE that can navigate the band to find an open channel to operate on and be looking for a better channel in the background. Were this mandated by the FCC and then broad ranges of bandwidth allocated the need for licensing for many services would not be necessary. The CPE mfrs would just need to have their equipment confirmed for the band range it is spec’d for.
Course the military has been doing the spread spectrum tango for many years now for crypto reasons. In the last 3 years the DoD has eliminated the theatre based band allocation schema in favor of a global allocation ‘as conditions require’ for their transmission needs. That has opened up a tremendous amount of bandwidth that in the past would go wanting. The same could be done in the civilian realm if we would just get off our tush and do it.
A big hat tip to KnightHawk for this story.