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Comment: Re:Just pollin' (Score 1) 671

by shadowrat (#31074394) Attached to: The iPad Questions Apple Won't Answer
The iphone was revolutionary because it packed a lot of functionality into a device that i needed. I need a phone. the fact that i can have a phone that does other stuff and plays cool games makes it a killer platform. It successfully combines my phone and my DS into one unit that i will always have.

I also need a computer. the macbook does a wonderful job there. it's portable, it's powerful, i can make stuff on it.

The ipad is just this thing that sits there and you would only pick it up occasionally. i'm sure it's a nice e-reader, though i can't wait for kindle for osx. i don't have problems reading on my macbook. It would be neat if it had a comprehensive tv remote and my tv somehow worked over wi-fi. my iphone could do that too though.

To decide where these devices fit in my life, i imagine packing for a trip. I would take my phone. I need my phone, and hey, i can play some games on it and check emails, etc. I would probably take my macbook. i still like to putz around in blender and unity on vacation. the ipad obviously isn't going to work well for content creation. at this point, i have no reason to bring the ipad. the ipad seems to have a permanent spot sitting next to my couch. That seems like a stupid thing to spend $500 on.

On the other hand, i think in the future we will have tons of these devices. Your microwave door will be a transparent display that is all one big touch surface. it will display info about what's inside via little labels that appear to hover over your food. Your car's instrument panel will probably be the same. Something like the ipad will cost much less. You will take it for granted. You won't think twice about packing it because you can always get another if it breaks, etc. You won't feel like you wasted a bunch of money on a thing that just sits by your couch or bed because that's all you will expect of it.

I think those future devices had to start somewhere. technically, i think they started on phones, but this is another step towards that future. Magical and revolutionary? Probably not. Another step towards appliance computing? maybe.

I'm not running out to get one now. In 5 years why wouldn't i spend $50 on one?

Comment: Re:15 years? (Score 1) 402

by Hadlock (#31073560) Attached to: Space Shuttle Spy Gets 15 Years

It still sets a precedent. What about the 24 year old foreign exchange student-come-NASA intern? If treason gets downgraded from "death" to "uh, 15 years I guess", a (good) judge is going to have to sentence future treasonists according to precedent. I don't know if you've checked lately, but retiring at 40 in rural China on 3 million dollars allows you, your children, and your children's children to live very comfortably. That's an appealing prospect for some.

Comment: Facebook pressured to change to style before last (Score 1) 197

by David Gerard (#31073464) Attached to: Google To Challenge Facebook Again

Facebook has outraged thousands of obsessive shirkplace F5-pressers by changing its layout from the layout it changed to after the layout before that.

The change has met a storm of protest from users going so far as to click "Join This Group," with nearly two million people with, apparently, nothing whatsoever to do that they're actually being paid to stepping forward to demand that Facebook switch back to the layout before the last one, or the one before that.

"This new format makes absolutely no sense at all," said aggrieved office administrator Brenda Busybody, 43 (IQ), who had said the same thing each of the last three times it changed. "There's, like, all this stuff all over the place. It's not like the old one at all ... ooh, that's interesting, I hadn't seen that before."

The users vowed to continue their campaign assiduously for at least a day or two, in between working on their imaginary farm or joining "I Bet I Can Find A Million People Who Believe In Facebook Petitions Before June" or observably not giving two hoots about handing their personal details, fingerprints, DNA and probably first-born to Facebook's advertisers if it meant they could get thirty coins on Petville.

Facebook engineer Jing Chen explained on the company blog how the changes had been extensively tested on the 599.5 million Facebook users who hadn't joined such groups, and that he hoped everyone who wasn't a whiny little bitch would appreciate the new experience. "There's really nothing quite like the complaints of someone getting something for free that what they're getting for free just isn't perfect enough. It's what makes Monday Monday."

Comment: Re:Excellent opportunity to ask Slashdot (Score 1) 189

by Arykor (#30837426) Attached to: Looking Back At <em>Dungeons &amp; Dragons</em>

If you set up Napolean vs. Wellington at Waterloo, you didn't have to worry about players saying, "I think I'll take my army and move back over Belgian fronteir, then negotiate a treaty which will apparently give Britain what it is looking for, under the cover of which I can build other geopolitical alliances that will undercut her."

The group I play in switches periodically between a few campaigns/DMs, but that is pretty much what our main campaign is doing.

After you did all the work of researching and setting up the initial conditions for an elaborate battle simulation, the players were jolly well going to play out *your* scenario.

The conflict hasn't reached a point where the armies of the conflicting nations are facing each other, but they are on the move. We were given complete freedom of how we wished to proceed, and none of us would have it any other way. Even the guy who is DMing that campaign, when he is sitting on the player side for other campaigns, will not hesitate to ditch a major plot/quest line if the party wants to do something else.

It seems to me that roleplaying rules should focus on (a) forcing player decisions

I think I understand what you're getting at with decisions on a personal situation level, but I disagree. From a player's perspective, the rules exist to enable my character to accomplish what I want them to accomplish.

D&D 4E can make adapting to party tangents much easier than earlier editions, especially if you use some of the software tools available, & not just the official ones.

Comment: Re:Refunds for broken merchandise. (Score 2, Insightful) 362

by rainmaestro (#30458948) Attached to: Are Complex Games Doomed To Have Buggy Releases?

Sellers *choose* to allow returns for buyer's remorse because it is good PR. They are not legally obligated to do so. Similarly, I can *choose* to give you a refund if you don't like your game, but I don't *have* to. If the product/game is defective, then yes, there are legal issues to force me to refund your money. But I'm not aware of any laws in the US forcing me to accept returns for any random reason.

Comment: Re:Marshall, TX (Score 4, Insightful) 227

by Zordak (#30458928) Attached to: BetaNet Sues Everyone For Remote SW Activation

Still, it is awfully suspicious that patent trolls seem to be significantly more successful in East Texas compared to other District Courts. Patent issues are Constitutionally a Federal issue, so there's no legal reason for this one court to consistently rule contrary to the Federal standard for patent infringement. Perhaps a higher court should hear an appeal from one of this court's patent infringement cases and make precedent whether they are really following the law or simply "legislating from the bench."

This paragraph does not make a lick of sense. The court in question is the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. It is a federal court hearing matters of federal patent law. And like all federal courts, its decisions are appealable to a Federal Court of Appeals. And since federal patent law is such a specialized area, Congress even gave us a special Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which hears all patent appeals and sets precedent. The CAFC has heard LOTS of cases from the Eastern District of Texas, and has reversed when they felt it was necessary.

Seriously, reading a patent thread on Slashdot is like watching a couple of MBAs argue heatedly about whether it's better to write Linux drivers in AJAX or SCSI.

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel

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