Friday, July 25, 2008

Don't hose me, Hasbro!

Those of my six loyal readers who know me in Facebook know that I've developed a mild addiction to Scrabulous. I won't even try to type the words "I can quit anytime I want" with a straight face.

So, I'm more than a little hacked off that Hasbro is suing to ruin the fun that I'm enjoying along with 2.3 million other people.

Is this what innovation has come to in this country? Do corporations just wait for someone to advance their product where they should have and then sue the crap out of the innovators to hassle them into shutting down what so many millions enjoy--and wish that the corporation had done to begin with? Well, if we're thinking of the music industry, and if you're thinking that they would try to obfuscate their avarice by hiding in the cloak of an anti-terrorism law, the answer is yes. And if you think they're not still trying to spy on you, you're not paying attention.

I shouldn't be so surprised. Corporations argued that seat belts would cut us all in half rather than save lives, until an Air Force doctor used a rocket sled to prove that seat belts worked even when the person they were restraining was pressing against them with up to 45 times the force of gravity. Corporations--specifically the Ford Motor Company--have argued that it's cheaper to let people burn to death than to make safe products. Car companies have also argued that there was no way to install airbags in cars--too expensive, nobody wants them, blah, blah, blah. (Now that they realize, of course, that people want them, they can't get enough of the things into cars. I think all of the cup holders in our car have their own airbag.)

U.S. car companies have also argued that there's no way they can raise fuel efficiency of cars they make in the U.S., while they seem to have no problem making cars that meet Europe's continually more stringent mileage requirements. And while they're spending piles of money on lobbyists who fight against cleaner air, lower consumer costs and improved national security, all of which higher gas mileage would get us, they're losing piles of money to companies who are making cars we actually want to buy.

Then again, we have a president and his vice whose pockets have been filled by the oil companies and so agrees with the car companies that making more efficient cars is impossible and a vice president Dick who refuses to open emails from government agencies--how 1st grade playground petty is that?--because he doesn't want us to know that pollution is killing us.

Impossible? I don't mean to get all jingoistic, but ferchrissakes, this is the United States of America. What do you mean, we can't do that? What we do best is innovate. Unfortunately, with Uncurious George as president, exploration, science, creativity and our can-do spirit have suffered. (Seeing as how McCain doesn't even support educational benefits for veterans, this failure to inspire the American spirit would continue, should we have to suffer through four years of a McCain administration.)

And now, Hasbro is taking that to the next level--killing our fun. How about this, Hasbro? Why not fire a lawyer or two, which should give you enough money to hire 100 or so game developers to develop a game we like, rather than a lawsuit that offends us and makes us all choose to stop playing any of your games?

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  1. Sorry about your game bro. It seems the music industry has their fingers in more places than just our computers. How better to shut down Guantanamo than to suggest that they pay royalties?

    As far as the way the rest of the world is going, I am still complaining that my new Fit should get better mileage than it does, and yes, every cupholder has an airbag. I would not want to spill my Starbucks, would I?

  2. Anonymous5:49 PM

    I heard about that lawsuit a while back...has it progressed? Unfortunately US corporations have to aggressively pursue alleged copyright infringements, or they may lose their copyrights. Now why they just don't hire the damn programmers to assimilate their fans into the borg, I don't know. Probably Hasbro execs need to do a google to figure out what Facebook is.

  3. Anonymous10:44 AM

    Ahh, Scrabulous has been wiped from the face of the Facebook! WTF will I go there for now?