The Haus

Friday, April 28, 2000

Gov't Asks Judge to Break Up Microsoft

Unless you've had your head in the sand all evening (ok, I just found out about it myself), you've heard the news everyone has been expecting all week: the U.S. Department of Justice and 17 of the 19 states which successfully sued Microsoft have asked Judge Jackson to break Microsoft into two. Lots of people never thought it would go this far, but now the media are seriously discussing the implications of a breakup. Yep, it's very possible that this could be the verdict and yep, it'd take a long, long time to implement.

Would it be best? I wonder. Some fear that breaking up Microsoft would simply create that many new monopolies and would be more harmful than leaving Microsoft alone. Yet leaving Microsoft to carry on business as usual isn't good either. The people I hear howling loudest about a possible breakup are those who stand to lose money. I have no sympathy for that. Microsoft broke the law to foist off its own software on the world and close down other companies with better software. It deserves what it gets, and those who didn't sell when they saw Microsoft making a mockery of the antitrust trial deserve what they get too. I want good software, not to line the pockets of those who sell junk. It shouldn't be all about making piles of cash, but putting out a quality product. That's why I'm not going to pay another cent to Microsoft for its software. I can get far better software for free or cheap, and support those who want to make an honest living from it.

As always, these are my opinions and they do not necessarily reflect the views of The Haus' staff. But they might.

A.T. Hun comments: If I had any inclination that the government could figure things out better than anyone else I'd be all for a break-up. Unforunately they don't have a stellar record when it comes to breaking up monopolies.

Bill G. can also spare us the crap about a break-up stifling innovation. I suppose he would know since M$ has been stifling innovation for some time. The sad fact is that it is all about "making piles of cash," no matter who gets crushed along the way. Found Liable

According to this ZDNet story, violated copyright law. What I don't understand is that the heart of this issue is "" which allows people to access their MP3s from any computer. In order to use the service, users must already legitimately own the music they are storing. This case looks ripe for appeal. I would like to have the Supreme Court hear it before the RIAA makes it illegal for me to listen to my own CD collection. Thanks sCary for the link.

News flash to RIAA: if you would lower the prices on CDs to something reasonable, piracy would have no reason to exist. As long as you continue to gouge consumers for $16 for a CD that has two good songs and the rest filler crap, there will be piracy. Neither I nor the rest of The Haus staff condone piracy, but, dear RIAA, you have created this situation with your own greed. You have no one to blame but yourselves.

It's kind of like Microsoft complaining about piracy of their software while Bill and the boys enjoy their multi-million (Ed: billion) dollar stock options. I hope both groups make so much money that they choke to death on it.

More on NVIDIA 5.16 Drivers

There was an update to the story on the NVIDIA 5.16 Detonator drivers that were leaked yesterday. Although they don't seem to help out too much in the speed department, several people are reporting that stability has been greatly improved, especially on ALi chipsets.

History today

Thursday, April 27, 2000

Video Games and Violence Revisited

A few days ago (story) I reported on a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology which seemed to indicate a link between video game violence and violence in real life. After reading the study, I did not think that the study supported the conclusions. Today, over at Tech Report, this article written by someone with a bachelor's degree in psychology takes a closer look at the study and finds it just as wanting as I did, only he does a better job at explaining why. It's not the lightest reading in the world, but it is definitely worth the effort. Thanks Shugashack.

UT Single Player Map Pack

A couple of people have asked about the single-player map pack for Unreal Tournament that I alluded to in my Daikatana review. The maps are a conversion of the original release for Unreal. Since all the monsters, textures, etc. from Unreal are present in UT, all that needed to be changed was the weapons. It's called Peril on Mars and I highly recommend it. Weighing in at 8.7M, it's exponentially smaller than the Daikatana demo, and exponentially more fun.

Romero on Daikatana

Billy W. at Voodoo Extreme copied this post from the Planet Daikatana forums from The Romero himself about Daikatana not being at E3 this year and the game in general:
Daikatana is not going to be on display at E3 and it should be in stores around that time. I will be at E3 promoting the game by doing interviews.

I've read lots of negative flames and all the negative reviews and such, but let me just say this: Daikatana is the best game I've ever created so far. Period.

And regarding hype and information about my next project, thanks to what's happened with Daikatana, I will be staying silent.

Thanks to everyone who is supporting Daikatana and spreading the good word about the game. I love the game just as much as you do. :)
Well, since this is the only game he personally has ever created, logic would demand that this would also be his best. FWIW, Billy W. referred to the game as Daikatana - Frogs in Space. ROTFL

The Master comments: You must be physically holding yourself back from the keyboard A.T-the false kindness is overwhelming :-)

NVIDIA 5.16 Drivers

Reactor Critical has the NVIDIA 5.16 Detonator drivers available for download. These are the drivers that all the current GeForce 2 GTS reviewers were using and will most likely ship with those boards. It is the Win9x version. I'm actually somewhat surprised that they haven't surfaced on the NVIDIA site. Thanks sCary.

UPDATE! Harvey over at Evil Avatar has tested these new drivers and compared the results to the 5.13 and 5.14 versions. Basically the differences are minor. Unless you are having some compatibility problems, you might as well stick with whatever 5.1x version you are using.

AMD Duron Announced

AMD has announced that their Celeron-killer CPU codenamed "Spitfire" will be sold under the name "Duron". I just have two questions: which firm do they pay to come up with names like this and will they please go bankrupt? Fortunately the processor sounds way cooler than its name would imply. Thanks Shugashack.

A Positive Daikatana Review

I know, I promised no more links to reviews of Daikatana lest the long-deceased horse be beaten further. But this one is unusual in that it is actually a positive review! Check it out at 3DGN. Here's a snip:
Storyline aside, the cutscenes, which are rendered via the Quake II engine in-game, are absolutely breathtaking. The Catacomb level has a stunning opening cutscene that I found myself wowed by.
Well, either this person is the patron saint of the Church of the Easily Wowed or he never played Shogo, which did in-game cutscenes substantially better over a year and a half ago. The other interesting thing is that the whole review seems to be written as if the author were the official apologist for Daikatana, yet in the end he only gives it a 3 out of 5 rating. Curiouser and curiouser.

These are the kinds of reviews that I normally wouldn't link to because of those very problems. However, I thought at least a somewhat positive review should be heard. Thanks Blue for the link. I think.

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