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Comment: Re:Not Really a Fact (Score 1) 515

by CougMerrik (#40175737) Attached to: The Poor Waste More Time On Digital Entertainment
I agree... the Internet is cheap entertainment. There's more out there than you could ever consume - having Internet access and watching Hulu is cheaper than a day at the museum, even with free admission. And also, if you were interested in the things at the museum, you could probably just pull videos up on your Internet connection and save the gas money. Either way you're going to be looking at glass. Poor people who are budget conscious and not using the Internet to replace as much entertainment as they can are doing it wrong.

Comment: Re:How DARE they! (Score 1) 515

by CougMerrik (#40175647) Attached to: The Poor Waste More Time On Digital Entertainment
When corporations become effective monopolies / oligopolies and provide invaluable services then you have a problem stopping them. Look at the banking crisis - the banks weren't even necessarily engaging in coercion, corporate slavery, etc., but the government could not let them fail and now cannot effectively force them into not risking the entire economy on whatever bets they're making this month. There are many companies in the US today that, if they were poorly managed or embarked on a seriously risky venture, could cause major damage because they provide invaluable services or hold major market share of a necessity. This is a growing lack of redundancy in the business world - every business will eventually fail, and you just hope it was due to the pressures of rivals who can swoop in.

Without strong anti-monopoly and anti-cartel laws you will always end up shifting power from the government to the corporations until the people get fed up with it and move the government away from libertarian ideals. Corporations need to be downsized so that no one corporation or cartel of large corporations can effectively coerce or bribe the government. Already these huge companies are able to outgun municipalities and some states in order to weasel their way out of environmental regulations, engineering studies, and other regulations that look out for the welfare of the people who happen to live where these corporations are conducting business - just yesterday United tried to coerce Houston into adopting anti-competitive policies (their coercion failed because a competitor offered to foot the bill on a proposed expansion). We have too many national and global corporations operating in the US which are capable of doing serious damage through the same sort of coercion we've seen the banks and the airlines use in order to keep government from doing its job, keep competition out, and keep the public at large dependent upon their specific products or services.

Comment: Re:When jobs are scarce, this happens (Score 1) 330

by CougMerrik (#36875980) Attached to: Is the Master's Degree the New Bachelor's?
Perhaps this article is merely trying to be ironic. I know a lot of people who are working on their masters because they can't find a job, and/or want to put off paying their student loans. I know a lot less people who were getting a masters because they needed one, and even less who got one and said it made a major difference in their overall skills.

Comment: The Cycle (Score 1) 568

by CougMerrik (#35449388) Attached to: How the PC Is Making Consoles Look Out of Date
I guess we're on that part of the cycle now. I think a few years ago PC gaming was dead. Pretty sure that a while before that, console gaming was dead (before the last time PC gaming was dead).

In the end some people like having general purpose gaming systems, some people like having dedicated gaming systems, and some people like both. The next generation of consoles will have capabilities that your PC won't, until they do, albeit at a much higher cost of entry. The consoles are out of date.. hell, they've been out of date for a couple of years, and in the Wii's case, the graphics have been out of date since it launched.

Comment: It was a fun game... (Score 5, Insightful) 235

by CougMerrik (#33890746) Attached to: Why <em>Warhammer Online</em> Failed &mdash; an Insider Story
The game was actually really fun up to a point. They did a great job with the low level experience. Once the game got to the high end, and especially once keep runs or city seiges were the norm, the game became as much fun as actually pursuing an extended siege on a castle. Not so much RvR as RvDoor. I think most of their gameplay systems were great -- expanding tactics slots, passive vs. active talent points, etc. The problem was with the content, largely devoid of alternatives to RvR at the high end, repetitive PQs and their strange and arcane reward systems which turned into a grind for gear that ended up being just really bad compared to stuff you could get just as easily from other places. In the end, once they started flailing wildly in patch after patch to try and make their content fun, I knew it was probably over.

Comment: Re:I Am Damaged Goods from World of Warcraft (Score 1) 401

by CougMerrik (#33890658) Attached to: Final Fantasy XIV Launches To Scathing Reviews
By the time WoW came out, basically everyone I knew who had played EverQuest were really interested in jumping ship. EverQuest was dated, people were pissed at the direction the game had taken (more hardcore) and basically the game had begun to really strain and break under the weight of all the baggage of a billion expansions. There were whole classes that just didn't have a unique place in the game. Not even marginally unique. There were whole zones, whole continents, almost, that were just deserted. Not because people weren't playing, but because there were a dozen zones for the same level range and the old ones were uniformly worse, not fun, etc. WoW's launch was basically like what Warhammer or Age of Conan was for WoW PvPers, except that the game worked for more than 6 months.

WoW is doing something smart with cataclysm by removing a lot of baggage they've created for themselves and getting the game back to a more simple, core fun experience that has optional depth. This seems to be something they learned well from EverQuest's wanderings in the desert of shitty expansions after Velious. Major change now will piss some people off, but if designed with the right mix of fun, simplicity, and optional depth, it will probably set the stage for further dominance in the genre.

Comment: What I heard here was.... (Score 1) 218

by CougMerrik (#33120918) Attached to: NAMCO Takes Down Student <em>Pac-man</em> Project
Wahhh why can't I copy stuff and put it out on the Internet for free?

You can code up pretty much any copyrighted works you'd like. Once you start becoming a distributor of that software then you run into other companies and their work and they can get pretty upset with you stealing something they've worked to cultivate and promote into a viable source of income. So yes, sure, you can code up space invaders and pacman and whatever when you're learning to code. Don't 1.) Try and distribute it and definitely don't 2.) Fail to acknowledge the sources. Rewriting a clone of something and then distributing it for free isn't "Fair Use", it's just dumb.

Anyway, you're not learning much about writing code from putting your code up on a website anyway, are you? If you want to do that maybe you should just take a few days, add a banana cream pie that lets "Cap-Nam" shoot lasers at the little ghosts or alter the terrain, some other random additions and modifications that change the game from being a "clone" to being a "-like", and there ya go. Learning how to copy things that exist is probably half the goodness of programming. The other half is dreaming up new ideas.

Recap: Code, yes. Distribute, no.

Comment: Re:Science moves, belief is static (Score 1) 892

by CougMerrik (#32381284) Attached to: The "Scientific Impotence" Excuse
The truth is out there, and once science gets its game together and figures out what that happens to be for some topic, I'm sure people will be happy and be glad for the info.

If everyone including scientists are wrong, then what's the point of everyone keeping up with their wrong answers? Some might take new answers that are supposedly better on a regular basis, but for most people that theoretical science isn't too useful and whether they have a good or bad set of beliefs about it is a lot less important than just about anything else in their lives.

Comment: Re:Scientific 'Facts' Change more often than Relig (Score 2, Insightful) 892

by CougMerrik (#32381000) Attached to: The "Scientific Impotence" Excuse
A belief is just an assertion that may or may not be backed up by good facts. There's nothing about a belief itself that would inhibit someone from discarding it, or force someone to reject all contradictory conclusions.

Positioning "Science" and "Belief" as opposites is interesting. Science requires you to believe things. For instance, science requires that you believe in the usefulness of science. I think you're just trying to drag "Belief" through the mud by assigning it some sort of evil meaning.

Comment: Can I get you some cheese with that whine? (Score 1, Troll) 892

by CougMerrik (#32380652) Attached to: The "Scientific Impotence" Excuse
Science doesn't speak with one voice on pretty much anything. Ask a group of paleontologists what happened to the Neanderthals or the Dinosaurs. Then run out, lock the door and come back two days later to let the survivor out.

Even when science does speak with one voice, it takes years for consensus to filter down because people who are not exposed to the debate (non-scientists) will continue to support things which have been proven wrong. Why? Well, because that's what they heard, and your new theory probably doesn't have a laundry list of "Here's how all previous theories were proven wrong" attached to it. You're telling people that the Celtics won the championship when they never found out that the Lakers had been eliminated in the second round. I can still pull up scientific articles that contain conjectures that are known to be wrong - yet they don't have that information about their legacy attached to them, so maybe I just assume that that's the "best" science.

"Science" is also known to be highly influenced by money. Scientists, like artists, need financial backing. The works they produce are sometimes tainted by that. Instead of doing pure, unbiased research, they are simply out with a mission from a master with an axe to grind on some issue.

Long story short: Science is done by people. And you can't trust people.

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 531

by CougMerrik (#30963308) Attached to: Has Apple Created the Perfect Board Game Platform?
Well I'd like the concept anyway even if it wasn't 2010. However in my experience board games by and large just aren't as fun when you play them digitally. A lot of nuances of the experience are lost including the power to have really the final say over the rules of the game. Not being programmed into a box with one set of rules is a pretty big advantage for people who play board games and might evolve their own non-standard rulesets over time. It's the same reason why playing an online version of a tabletop roleplaying game isn't as fun as playing a tabletop version of a tabletop roleplaying game.

I'm wary of using one product to get all of my digital media (books, games, music, video). I consider this the Wal-Mart of media devices. I am not okay with handing Apple a monopoly on my digital content.

Comment: Oh no (Score 1) 364

by CougMerrik (#29294445) Attached to: Game Over For Sony and Open Source?
Oh man, what will Sony do without Open Source? /s Seriously, when they had the time and were throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the PS3 (remember PS2 emulation?), it was feasible. The PS3 slim is "What can we cobble together for cheap that does what most people expect a PS3 to do?", and Linux just happens not to be a big sticking point for 99.99% of console gamers. If enough people cared, I'm sure they'd love to support it and take your money.

Comment: Okay (Score 1) 1091

by CougMerrik (#29158899) Attached to: How To Prove Someone Is Female?
Genetic testing. If Y is found, then male. If hermaphrodism is diagnosed, do a random sample from various parts of the body. If more than 50% return as male, the subject is male. Otherwise, the subject is female. If exactly 50% or within margin of error return male, subject is allowed to declare their own legal sex. These outliers are too rare to disrupt the system and start claiming more than 2 sexes.

APL hackers do it in the quad.

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