Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
What's the story with these ads on Slashdot? Check out our new blog post to find out. ×

Comment Poe's Law (Score 5, Insightful) 154

Since i can't tell if the parent is being sarcastic or doubly sarcastic, i'll say this.

If GG had only focused on issues like this, i for one would be cheering them on. But GG didn't come into existence when, for example, Jeff Gerstmann was fired under pressure from a game developer whose game he reviewed poorly, way back in 2007.

They didn't erupt into fury until an indie female developer had sex with a journalist who never even reviewed her game. _That_ was the ethical violation so shocking that it demanded the creation of a movement. And then followed up by throwing a hissy-fit about Sarkesion's and Wu's op-ed pieces. And because there was no rational reason for the level of objections they were raising they resorted to misogynistic threats and insults of anyone who disagreed with them.

So now actual violations of ethics in game journalism are being overshadowed by the group that's using ethics as a flag to wave over their apparent rage that women are involved in gaming and have opinions about it. Claiming to be concerned about "ethics" while focusing almost exclusively on categories of people you dislike is like saying "think of the children" while drafting laws to enable spying on and imprisonment of the kinds of people you dislike.

Comment Agreed (Score 4, Insightful) 132

I have opinions about the subject and i still think it's not worth a Slashdot story.


Aesthetically the new logo looks okay. Of course the old logo looked okay too, and as someone who's usually not enthusiastic about change for change's sake i really don't see the point.

However, it is also clearly meant to reference the new "flat" "Material Design" that Google has been pushing in their apps and OS. So even though the logo itself looks okay it still makes me grit my teeth a little because of all the other UI changes they've forced on us that make my eyes bleed.

But what really bugs me is that they changed the favicon to match the new logo. I have a habit of doing a google search, opening a couple of the results in new tabs, looking at them, and then jumping back to the google tab to either open some more results or refine the search. So now by habit my brain is looking for the old favicon in the tabs and keeps skipping over the new (and arguably less distinct) favicon. This is a problem that i'm sure i'll get over relatively soon, but it's going to be annoying for the next couple days.

(See? That totally wasn't worth having a Slashdot story to discuss it.)

Comment Not really "suddenly" (Score 1) 824

Here is a very abbreviated timeline of events, from a couple different wikipedia pages:

2009-05: Mojang founded and Minecraft first publicly released.
2010-06: Alpha version of Minecraft released
2011-01: One million copies of Minecraft sold
2011-09: First Minecraft convention
2011-10&11: Official release of Minecraft on PC, Android, and iOS, four million copies sold.
2012-05: Minecraft released on XBox 360, sold over 400,000 units within 24 hours.
2012-05: Over $1 million in merchandise sales.
2012-06: Minecraft Lego sets released.
2013-12: Playstation 3 version released.
2014-09: Playstation 4 and XBOne versions release.
2014-09: Sale of Mojang to Microsoft for $2.5 billion announced.
2014-10: 60 million copies of Minecraft sold.

So i'd hardly call this "suddenly" becoming wealthy, it's not like he won the lotto or anything. It involved a lot of hard work (albeit with an even larger amount of luck) over half decade. He probably became a millionaire sometime in 2011, though the writing was probably on the wall in 2010, and there was a lot of news about him becoming a multi-millionaire in 2012. (And according to the reports i've seen Notch is actually worth about $1.5 billion now, not $2.5 billion. Presumably due to a combination of taxes and not being the sole owner of Mojang.)

I'm sure it may have seemed like it all went by in a blur to him, but if he wanted to work on maintaining normal relationships with the people around him that's something he should have been doing the entire time and it's going to be hard to start now.

Comment Re:Idiots. (Score 4, Insightful) 293

Agreed. Like so many other lines of business there are two general strategies they could go for, wide or deep. In the case of media distribution you can try to have as much content as possible, "why subscribe to all those other channels/distributors when you can get it all here in this one spot?" Or they can try to have unique programming that is unavailable anywhere else. "If you want to watch this show you have to subscribe to us."

Doing both can be difficult, both in terms of balance and expense, (but it is the way to go if you want to become a monopoly.) Unfortunately it seems like Netflix is trying to transition between the two, which is a tough sell to the people who originally bought into the service because of what they _used_ to be. They not only have to convince me to be interested in their new original content, they also have to convince me not to care too much about the old licensed content that they're losing.

If any other service (Hulu being at the top of the list) were able to snag all the content that Netflix is dropping Netflix might be in some serious trouble. From what i understand though the reason Netflix is dropping so much content is that the owners have started realizing how much streaming rights are worth, so luckily for Netflix it seems unlikely that any single provider will be able to acquire the same range of content that Netflix used to have.

Comment Re:Greenland is land (Score 3, Funny) 382

"None of the ice lost from Greenland is sea ice."

But if the sea level rises enough then Greenland will be underwater. Then the ice will have been going to be in the water, so it will be have been sea ice. So the sea level will be not have been going to rise!


Comment Nice start (Score 2) 176

Can we extend this technology to people who spit gum on the sidewalk or toss their cigarette butts on the ground?

The only time i'm ever tempted by the idea of mass surveillance is when i think of the possibility of wreaking a little legal vengeance on all those people who fuck up public spaces for the rest of us because they're too lazy or sociopathic to bother handling their waste properly.

Comment What? (Score 1) 192

"The legislation would also drastically diminish the usefulness of camera-centric drones like the ones being rolled out by GoPro."

You make it sound like this is some unexpected side effect of the bill, rather than one of the primary reasons for passing the bill.

"would prohibit drones from flying under 350 feet over any property without express permission from the property's owner." [...] "Industry groups say this restriction will kill drone delivery services before they even begin."

If i order a delivery via drone, presumably part of that process would be to give the drone permission to fly into my property. If your delivery drone is unable to go above 350 feet outside of my property and has to buzz everyone else in a direct line between you and me then perhaps you shouldn't be using it to deliver things?

Comment Predictable (Score 3, Interesting) 57

Since Kickstarter came online in 2009, board games and card games have accrued $196 million in pledges, 93% of which went to successful projects. That's even better than video games have done, at $179 million and 85%.

Board games are much more predictable than video games. You need to spend approximately as much person-power figuring out the rules to a board game as you do to a video game. However the art requirements are probably the equivalent to that of a comparatively simple puzzle video game. (Which is not to say that they don't both require good art design to be effective, just that they don't need to come up with designs for dozens of worlds and hundreds of enemies, like you might in an RPG.)

After that however, you're pretty much done with the design. You don't need programmer to develop the entire platform. You need to play test the game itself, but you don't need a QA team continuously checking a whole list of things like "is it still possible to walk through the wall in quadrant three if you do a charge attack while crouching?"

You _do_ need to find a manufacturer to produce the components, but unless you've come up with something really crazy that's pretty much a solved problem. I'm sure that trying to find the best build quality you can for a decent price is a lot of _work_, but you're not going to ask them to change the color of a piece and then be surprised the next day to find that the game now crashes if you try to perform a certain move with that piece.

Board games are also much less prone to feature creep. Too many video games kickstarters get a lot of money and then decide to expand the scope of the game. Or they just fall prey to the natural temptation to add features during development. Very rarely do people working on a board game stop and say something like "but wouldn't it be cool if we also added a mini-game where you capture and train monsters?"

So if you can clearly explain your concept to the audience then they can be very confident that you'll be able to pull it off given proper funding (assuming that your intentions are honest of course) and pretty confident that what comes out at the end is similar to what they were promised at the beginning. That's reflected in the 93% success rate and feeds into the relatively high enthusiasm compared to the size of the total market.

Comment More than the past few years (Score 1) 110

I know that there's a big difference between "hey, i've got a cool idea" and actual scientific proof, but as is usually the case in such things there were a lot of precursors to this "once-heretical" idea gaining traction. Greg Bear's Darwin's Radio is one of the more famous SF examples (though certainly not the only, and quite possibly not even the first) of speculation that junk DNA could actually be useful for something. It came out in 1999, and although i don't know if he based his ideas on any research that was happening at the time it certainly wouldn't surprise me.

Comment Re:Enough with the "democracy=freedom" tripe (Score 4, Interesting) 124

Some of the worst governments in the modern age were ones built on being "for the people." Let's start judging governments based on what they do, not their structure.

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except all those others that have been tried from time to time."

You're cherry-picking two cases of worst-case scenarios, one of which wasn't even really a democracy. (Stalin was appointed to power long before there were any "democratic" elections.) There have been plenty of monarchies that have done things just as bad.

That said, democracy is "least bad" when:

1: Everyone can vote
2: Everyone is educated
3: Most people _do_ vote
4: People feel like their vote actually matters
5: The government is responsive to the will of the voters

The sum combination of all those is that it is impossible to have a (successful) revolution (other than in the sense of voting out the current party) because in order to have enough people to violently overthrow the government, you'd already have enough people to vote someone else in.

Unfortunately many modern democracies screw up one or more of those. The US is screwing up almost all of them:

1: There continue to be many attempts to disenfranchise voters in many states through various means. Statistically the number of attempts at voter fraud are non-existent compared to the number of people whose legal votes are denied, but it makes better show to pretend otherwise.

2: The US tends to fail on both the systemic and systematic levels. As a society we're not providing enough support for the education system, and when it comes to elections allow ourselves to fall prey to the spectacle of network news soundbites and commercial advertising too easily, rather than really educating ourselves about the people and issues involved.

3: The US passes this one. Barely. On years with presidential elections. But barely passing on a technicality but only some of the time is rather damning with faint praise.

4 & 5: These two are rather tied up together, and contribute greatly to the issues with #3. A first past the goalposts election system almost inevitable leads to a two party system, in which the voters grudgingly and unenthusiastically vote for the (perceived) lesser of two evils and in which the winner feels only a vague sense of responsibility to those who elected them. (If you piss off your constituents what are they going to do? Vote for the greater evil instead of the lesser one? Not likely!)

Comment Re:No problems for me (Score 1) 203

Apparently my post was too long and you didn't read it. I never complained about posts being off topic. Some of the most interesting things i've seen on Slashdot have been off the topic of the article. The OP's comment got a negative response not because it was off topic (it was actually very on topic) but because it added no information content to the conversation. It was literally the null set. And it should be noted that i was not one of the people making the original complaints, i was just explaining to the OP why other people complained.

The fact that he complained about getting a negative response led to a bunch of off topic conversation about why he got a negative response, parts of which have been entertaining. So it was not the fact that he made a zero information post that led to the conversation we are having, it is that people criticized him for that post and then he complained about the criticism, and then people explained the reasons for that criticism. So if you wish to argue that the ends justify the means you shouldn't complain about people complaining, because complaining just generates more grist for the mill. (Of course that means you should complain, just to generate more grist for the mill. Complainception!)

TL;DR: I agree with you that off-topic is a silly complaint, so there is no point in debating it because we already agree. Next time read more carefully before assuming people said something that they didn't. Welcome to the internet.

"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality." -- Dante