Monthly Archives: July 2010
As a software developer, I’ve dealt with the subject of piracy of my product long before it was hip for the RIAA and MPAA to demonstrate what dinosaurs they were with their business model.
What’s the bottom line?
Don’t treat your customers like criminals. Yes, you are going to have some loss to theft. But you only have so much time and energy, so how do you want to spend it? Fighting the people who spoil it? Or making the product better for everyone else?
Granted, with the rise of the Internet and a new “electronic-based” generation, the times have changed somewhat: digital piracy is easier because we’ve got more ways to share files, distribute files, and a whole generation that views things differently than us old folks. But in the end how a developer chooses to spend their time is still the developer’s choice.
I prefer to make better software.
Yes, I still think it’s worthwhile to put some restrictions and registrations in place. I still think some measure of anti-piracy prevention is necessary. If nothing else, it lets legitimate users know this software isn’t free and here’s an avenue through which they can properly obtain it. But it will always be an arms race between the good guys and the bad guys, and if you spend all your time fighting the pirates then you’ll spend none of your time making good and useful features — things that actually will sell your product and get people to use it.
Jeff Vogel is a games developer and he makes the case that yes, you should steal his software — to an extent.
Generally, I agree with him. Piracy is wrong and I won’t go out of my way to encourage it. I think Mr. Vogel rationalizes the behavior of pirates a little too much, but it’s refreshing to see developers trying to look at the situation from the other side.
And while I’m not sure his solution is truly the best solution, it’s an interesting one:
If you like PC games but you usually pirate them, I want you to start actually paying for one game a year. Just one. Please. You should do it because you need to do it to help something you like to continue to exist. Sure, you might find that doing the virtuous thing feels surprisingly good. But, in the end, you should do it for the reason anyone ever really does anything: Because it is in your best interests to do so.
In his bottom line, he’s right, and I’ve known this for years — especially when the whole Napster thing started. It is this point that folks need to be educated about and it is this point that needs to be driven home. After that, it’s up to the individual if they wish to continue to steal or not, and it’s their moral and ethical judgment call to make. There’s not much more we, as content producers, can do.
For you see, whether we make software, porn, music, movies, digital images, any sort of this media or anything other sort of product in this world… we do it because we like it. We do it because we’re good at it. And we do it because we need to make a living to feed, clothe, and house ourselves and our families. Consequently, we hope to get a return on our labor. The way our markets work, that means if you want our product, you buy it; you get our product, in exchange we get your money and can then use that money to buy food, clothing, shelter and whatever else we need or want in life. If we exert this effort to make a product or provide a service and this product/service does not make us any money (for whatever reason), we will not be able to spend our time on that product/service because it’s not being fruitful and we’ve got tummies to fill and backs to clothe. Thus, if there’s no return on the investment, then the investment will stop.
Why should you care if I can’t feed my family? Because if I can’t feed my family, then the thing I make that you love will disappear.
If you like the music I make but I’m unable to make it any more, no more new albums from me.
If you like the movies I make but they take weeks or months to make and I need to spend that time doing something else to pay my bills? Then I won’t be making any more movies for you to watch.
If the software I write is useful to you but you found a bug or the software is no longer compatible with your latest computer upgrade, don’t expect me to be able to fix and update my software unless I’ve got the time and money to do so.
In the end, if you like what I do and want to continue to enjoy what I do, you need to support what I do. If you support what I do, I can then continue to produce what it is that you find good, and we all live happily ever after.
So yes, there can be some interesting points about piracy, and it is a Sisyphean task to fight it. But only addressing symptoms will never make it stop nor even reduce it. Educating the consumer about how their theft only comes back to bite them and it’s in their own best interest to not steal, that’s what will truly help the cause.
A dominant position is when one has a significant time and/or manuever advantage.
It was a discussion about a possible situation. Guy went into a fast food place and was at the counter ordering. Dude comes in and acts very odd and suspicious. Guy is able to use some verbal and positioning tactics to get Dude to leave. Win. SouthNarc complements Guy on how well he handled the situation and offered a suggestion on how to improve handling. In this case, instead of staying at the counter and immediately adjacent to Dude, move away (e.g. to the drink or condiment bar).
What’s important to understand is the core concept that drives this and being able to apply it across a range of tactical problems. Divergence, orientation resets, kicking the guys ass back to the second O in the OODA loop…..whatever you want to call it, is all the same.
Here’s the core concept:
What you’re trying to do constantly to create a dominant position is narrow your field of responsibility while broadening the field of the adversary. This closes the time deficit for you and opens it for the bad guy.
One creates a 90 or 180 degree angle for the bad guy and inversly [sic] shrinks their own field of responsibility. In the example laid out by [Guy] the reason the bad guy is un-nerved is because of the amount of time it takes to constantly scan between his victim and the other customer.
Ponder that for a bit.
Aikido master Gozo Shioda demonstration.
I love the segment that runs from 1:14 to 1:36. He never lets his opponent regain his balance and always works to upset the man’s balance. Thus the ease with which he can keep the man on the mat.
His style of Aikido is still Aikido, but it’s much more rough and harsh. You see more strikes and slams (I even saw a foot stomp), not just gentle redirects. This stands to reason, since Shioda started training with Ueshiba in his early days when it was more aiki-jūjutsu than the more spiritual art that Aikido evolved into later in O Sensei’s life.. I like it.
Watching this gives you a different take on Aikido. Many consider Aikido an art that strives to not hurt your opponent (it’s gentle). I’d say it’s more about not harming your opponent. There’s certainly a lot of hurt and pain being felt by uke in these videos.
The book is intended to be an introduction to Aikido, and is typical of martial arts technique books. The book starts with a little history and background, then explanation of concepts, then into a lot of step-by-step technique demonstration. Major Aikido techniques are demonstrated and illustrated, because this is what people buying books want to see.
The last chapter of the book covers “practical application” and shows pictures of people in street clothing and situations, demonstrating the application of a technique. For instance, the series of pictures show a man washing up at a sink in a public restroom. Another man comes up behind the hand-washer to steal his wallet, and the hand-washer applies kote-gaeshi to defeat the pick-pocket. These practical application of fancy Aikido techniques goes on for many pages.
But the last practical application technique is never covered in the book. It doesn’t have to be.
This final movement is a good example of how in some situations simple, short measures can be effective. Indeed, this should be the criterion when considering techniques for self-defense; the less complicated a technique, the faster it can be applied and, more importantly, the less chance there is of failing.
In the pictures you see two men sitting at a bar. One man grabs a beer bottle and swings it like a club to hit the other man. The other man merely applies a palm strike to the first man’s chin (Aikido would more push than hard strike, but let’s ignore stylistic details for now). The technique is simple, direct, fast, and effective. Sure it’s not sexy, but it works and that’s the bottom line.
Like many things in life, Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS principle).
The trailer food scene is booming in Austin, and there are some really choice finds.
Since it’s my blog, I’m happy to plug The Flying Carpet, owned by two long-time friends of mine.
Austin folks… give this place a try. There is NOTHING else like it in Austin (seriously: there’s no other Moroccan food place in Austin).
The food is simple, but ever so delicious. And it’s run by two of the warmest, kindest people I know. Support your local folk.
I’ve been keeping up my daily ritual of reloading every morning. I did bump it up to 200 rounds a day, and that’s made a big difference. Doesn’t take much more time out of my day, but is making everything go well… twice as fast as before. I’m out there almost every morning, and at this rate I reckon I’ll be done reloading all my 9mm components by end of August or so. Then a brief stint to get all the .38 Special I have loaded up. And then… rifle loading.
Let’s go back to February 2010 and look at my long term reloading plans. I am sticking with the goal to get a lot of 9 loaded up.
The thing that’s different? Back then 6.8 SPC wasn’t in the picture, but it is now. Now that I have it, I’m not sure I’ll bother with .223 because I was wanting .223 for hunting and well… 6.8 is filling that role. However, loading for 6.8 is a LOT more expensive. And I must admit, after all the failure and problems I had before with rifle reloading, I’m a little gunshy and unsure where to go. I think the biggest thing that got me not just the frustration factor but the cost involved — those Barnes Bullets aren’t cheap.
Was it the single-stage press and inconsistency there? Was it the recipe? Was it the way the bullets were being seated or crimped? Was it just me? I don’t know. Too many factors to consider. And now, I’m going to load on the progressive press. foo.c’s zombie loads were done on his Lock-n-Load progressive press and they came out excellent, so I’m hoping for greater consistency due to that factor.
Still…. I’m not sure what I should do. Should I start loading some .223 plinking loads? I’ve got a bunch of brass and bullets (.223 55grain FMJ’s) and usable powder (e.g. Ramshot TAC). Loading them could help me shake out any process issues (resize, deprime… might even set up the single-stage to do that; brass prep (trim, clean/ream primer pockets, etc.); prime, powder, bullet; skip the crimp for now). Plus help me gain confidence in loading, after the prior fiasco. I’d have to shoot these with irons, but if I could get a group doing 0.5″ at 50 yards, that’d be bueno.
I may do that. Then after that, do some 6.8 plinking loads, because it’ll be a little cheaper and I want plinking loads anyways. Then finally move to those Barnes 95 grain TTSX bullets and make a hunting load.
Probably what I’ll do. I’m really excited about it and kinda want to get done with the handgun loads so I can get to experimenting.
We’ve got one of those “under-sink” water filter units. City of Austin water is fine to drink, but a little extra filtration is nice (especially when the water supply gets those algae blooms).
Trouble is, the filters cost $46. Gets expensive to replace them every 6 months. Plus the only place in town I know of that sells them is Home Depot and they’re frequently out of stock. So since it was time to replace them again, I opted to go online.
Found this website: waterfiltersfast.com.
The filters are being sold for $31. That $15 price difference is substantial! Order $99 worth of stuff and shipping is free. And no sales tax. Overall savings was huge… basically 4 sets for the price of 2. I’ll eventually use them all so no harm in stocking up.
And fast is right. I ordered on Saturday and received the “now shipping” invoice a few minutes ago. Happy happy.
Yea! Legislation I can get behind. A Federal Resolution to protect citizens that videotape the police.
Of course, it’s really just a resolution… but still a good one.
I really like the empty-hand work at the end. But you know, it goes to show… the style doesn’t really matter. In the end, the body only moves so many ways (and doesn’t move in many other ways). Lock is a lock, throw is a throw.