Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

Hell No

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Newsflash, David Brooks: It ain’t a goddamn counter-culture.

In fact, while we’re talking about the moral “equivalence” of Democrats and Republicans, lemme just chirp up and say shut the fuck up: Jim Bunning’s Senate antics meant an estimated one hundred thousand Americans‘ unemployment insurance payments – including eight thousand New Yorkers – were cut. Charles Rangel’s Caribbean antics meant the treasury had to sell ten more bonds, and then they got the money anyway. Rick Perry cost the state with one of the lowest educational records in the country hundreds of millions in federal aid. Eliot Spitzer fucked a prostitute – and paid for her with his own money.

Seriously, now.

Marty Peretz of The New Republic and David Brooks (again) of the New York Times get to say openly racist and hateful statements but Obama is hammered for pointing out that the racial profiling of a Harvard professor was stupid.

Yeah, you know what? Fuck you, Brooks. Fuck the media that helps propagate that kind of bullshit.

Schadenfreude

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Ubisoft’s new draconian DRM that was supposed to require a permanent internet connection while playing single-player games has been cracked a mere 25 hours after release of the first PC game to have the DRM – Silent Hunter V.

For their part, Ubisoft deny the viability of the cracked copies:

“Please know that this rumor is false and while a pirated version may seem to be complete at start up, any gamer who downloads and plays a cracked version will find that their version is not complete.”

Specifically, the server-based cloud system for savegames is not available. Y’know, the “feature” they added along with the DRM that nobody gives a shit about because nobody plays the same game on two different computers. To quote the Tom Francis at PC Gamer:

“The only benefit we’re being offered is the ability to store our savegames online. Personally, I’m in the rare position of getting to play PC games at work, and even for me this is a fringe benefit.”

The Damage Has Been Done

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Brooklyn prosecutors have found no criminal activity in the actions of the Brooklyn ACORN offices that were video-taped by James O’Keefe and his slutty girlfriend. “They edited the tape to meet their agenda,” say the police, exonerating the advocacy group.

Now all we need is for network TV news to blare that message nonstop across the nation for two months. I mean, fair’s fair, right? How fast do you think Fox News will pick up the story, eh?

In other news, Harold Ford wrote an op-ed in the Times as to why he’s no longer running for Senate. Of course, nowhere in it does he mention that he wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning.

Pirates of the Seven Seas

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“Pirates are not consumers by definition

So says Tycho of Penny Arcade.

Actually, no.

Piracy is something a person does, and thus cannot be exclusive to any other thing a person may conceivably do, including consume. Declaring that a person is a pirate is no more meaningful than defining a person solely by any other activity they may have partaken in. I am a jaywalker: A scourge on traffic engineers everywhere, for I am physically incapable of not endangering myself and others around me via creative, consistent and pathological avoidance of the zebra walk.

Yes, that does sound silly. It sounds silly because it is.

I am not, however, unreasonable in my vocabulary: Judging by what we spend most of our time doing, we are all consumers. Even the most hardcore of criminals legally purchases the vast majority of his stuff. Some of us also pirate. A rare few pirate for a living, and by normal parameters may thus be called pirates. The irony of those professional pirates is that they are by definition the best consumers as they often-times must first legally purchase a copy of the game they mean to reverse engineer.

Pirates, using Tycho’s definition of the term, consume. Indeed, they are the best, most hardcore consumers of the industry, and their mere dross – those who have legally purchased the software – are what have made it thrive and keep it alive. In fact, I cannot imagine somebody who has diligently pirated every game in existence and has never once legally purchased a game – not even for five bucks off of Steam, or bargain-binned in GameStop – and should one exist he deserves all those games because that’s a lot of goddamn work.

The collection of games I have wantonly pirated is matched only by the collection of games I have legally purchased, and I have done a great deal of both. I am a fan of computer games – I grew up on the motherfuckers – and will get them any way I deem best.

The target market has never been bigger. It needs only be tapped intelligently – and therein lies the rub.

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