TEH 041: Don’t Copyright My Loot Box

In This Episode: Update on the Brazilian State Museum fire: social media to the rescue! Another month, another new EU law: copyright — will it affect those outside the EU? Game “Loot Boxes”: is that gambling?

This Week’s Hosts

  • Leo Notenboom, “Chief Question Answerer” at tech education site Ask Leo!
  • Gary Rosenzweig host and producer of MacMost, and mobile game developer at Clever Media.
  • Kevin Savetz, web site publisher and Computer Historian at Atari Podcast.
  • Longer Bios on the Hosts page.

Show Notes

  • In the warmup, Gary tried SpotHero for parking, and Kevin uses ParkingKitty, a parking app for Portland, Oregon. Kevin interviewed Bruce Artwick, creator of the first flight simulator. Leo was the subject of a profile in the Microsoft Alumni Network discussing his volunteer work at the Washington State Animal Response Team, and he feels it captured WASART well. Randy was out this week.
  • Leo had a follow-up to the Brazil Museum fire discussed last week. Sure enough, photos people were taking within the museum is helping recover, in a sense, digital versions of some of what was lost. Sure enough: Wikipedia Has Received Thousands of Images for Their Archive of Brazil’s Museum Fire Losses.
  • Kevin tried to get his head around the EU’s Article 13 copyright law, and Leo wonders how (and if) it will affect those of us in the United States (ZDnet and EFF and EFF.
  • Gary thought it was fascinating how “Loot Boxes” in games may now have some legal implications. They are random items you can earn in games, but sometimes you can buy them as well. Since luck is involved, and money, some experts think that they should be considered gambling and regulated as such. (TechCrunch).

7 Comments on “TEH 041: Don’t Copyright My Loot Box

  1. Hello Gentlemen, on episode 41 you were talking about Daylight Saving Time. It seemed as if each of you didn’t care for it. I was wondering why? I like it because it gives me more time after work to bicycle and get chores done around the house. Of course while mowing the lawn, or working on the pool I listen to your podcast. Once the end of September rolls around I barely have enough time to get in 20 miles before it’s dark and if I didn’t have the time shift in the spring I wouldn’t be able to get riding as early in the season. Part of my problem is I live just north of Scranton PA and I can’t adjust my work hours. I love the podcast and have been listening from day one. Thanks for keeping me entertained and enlightened.

    • Thanks for listening! While I wasn’t on this episode, I agree with the others. I can only speak for myself, but I see little point in the back and forth. Studies show it costs us plenty in money (nearly a half-billion a year), health, and lost lives (Google it). The benefits are few: it doesn’t even do what it’s designed for (saving energy).

    • I don’t dislike it, I dislike that we have to change twice a year. It doesn’t add any daylight to the day, it just moves it one way or another by an hour. For the few for which that actually matters, perhaps getting up an hour earlier or later or whatever would be a solution for them. But to force the entire country (minus the sane states like Arizona) to switch clocks for no good reason annoys me. As you can tell. ? As Randy says it costs way more than it saves. Pick one time and stick with it.

  2. Same here. It is the *change* that is the problem. As a software developer, this has always been a PITA with needing to account for the exact date and times for the change each year, and which states and parts of states make the change. Plus you end up with one hour per year not existing and another hour per year existing twice!

    The time is arbitrary anyway. Is midnight really mid-night? No. So agree on a time, agree on time zone lines, and then it all gets simpler.

    Making sure everyone has a few daylight hours after work is fine, but what about the people then that complain it is too dark in the morning? Which is more important, having it be light when your kids walk to school in the morning, or getting to ride your bike in the evening? These kinds of trade-offs exist with and without DST.

  3. I don’t understand how selling a loot box is any different than a pack or box of baseball cards. In both cases, the value of the contents is unknown. I can only wonder if there is a difference from a legal point of view between physical and virtual objects that would make selling one gambling but not the other.

  4. I’m way behind in listening to Podcasts, but the discussion of ParkingKitty sounds like how Pango works where I live. Does anyone know of such an app that would work for people who use a borrowed car and you aren’t the car’s owner. It would be very useful, especially for those of use who use a number of different cars.

    I love the idea of Pango because it uses GPS to know where the car is parked and picks the correct fare and it also stops when parking in that area becomes free.

    • Pretty much, you’re limited to whatever solution the place where you’re parking supports. You’d have to discover that first, and then see whether that specific app supports the use of different cars, or not. One that I’ve used (Boulder, Colorado) was based on the specific parking spot — you paid to park in spot “A-250” for two hours, or whatever. The make/model of car wasn’t specified.


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