Beta, Boys, and the USA-PATRIOT Act

[Mystery game] Before our ages reached double-digits, most of us realized an easy way to find out who someone was interested in. Romantically, that is, as much as that means when you are in elementary school. You simply ask names until you get a non-denial. “No” means “no”; “I’m not going to answer that!” means “yes.”

In a related story, after the PATRIOT Act, librarians were inflamed. We are not debating the politics of that one here, but librarian outrage was palpable enough to get the Attorney General joking about it. You see, one section (which no one has ever publicly reported being used) would let investigators seize all of a library’s records to check for suspected terrorists (kind of like in Seven); disclosure of such a record seizure would be a felony. One creative way someone thought of getting around this was to put up a sign by the front desk, “There have been no federal seizures of library patron records this week.” You’re allowed to say that. Take it down when appropriate.

Watch me draw this seamlessly back on topic…

You are always allowed to say that you are not in beta for a game, particularly when that is true. Under NDA, you probably cannot admit that you are in the beta. Therefore, we have two signals: a definite no, which means “no,” and an absence of denial, which pretty clearly seems to mean “yes.”

As a completely made up example:

Tuesday: “Hey Zxyrox, are you in the beta for Lord of the Rings Online?” “No, but I hear announcements are going out tomorrow!”
Wednesday: “Hey Zxyrox, are you in the beta for Lord of the Rings Online?” “I really can’t say…”

Gee, I wonder if anything has changed there.

: Zubon

2 thoughts on “Beta, Boys, and the USA-PATRIOT Act”

  1. Hmm. As far as I know LotRO has not started any beta yet so perhaps you are talking about DDO? And who is this mysterious Zxyrox? Anyway, I can neither confirm nor deny my participation in any of those alpha/beta tests. So does that mean I’m in? I hope so because I like to test.

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