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Comment: Re:Kids are waaaaay more tech savvy than parents (Score 1) 568

by DataBroker (#39560357) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Aren't Schools Connected?
I'll give personal testimony with regards to web development. My 11 year old (now 13) was able to open the grade page, save it as html, edit the html (change his grade), then open that page in the browser directly.

Mom was fooled (until I explained it).
I was proud.

Granted this isn't "web development", but it has a passable similarity.

Woman Trademarks Name and Threatens Sites Using It 273

Posted by samzenpus
from the keep-my-name-out-of-your-mouth dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Be careful mentioning Dr. Ann De Wees Allen. She's made it clear that she's trademarked her name and using it is 'illegal... without prior written permission.' She even lists out the names of offenders and shows you the cease-and-desist letter she sends them. And, especially don't copy any of the text on her website, because she's using a bit of javascript that will warn you 'Copyright Protect!' if you right click on a link."
The Almighty Buck

Letting Customers Decide Pricing On Game DLC 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-map-and-a-hat-are-not-worth-ten-bucks dept.
An anonymous reader writes "How much should game developers be charging for DLC? It seems that one indie dev has decided to carry out a unique experiment. The latest expansion pack for Gratuitous Space Battles is priced at $5.99 — or is it? It turns out there is both a standard ($5.99) version and a discount version ($2.99). And the difference between them is... nothing. The buyers have been left to make their own decisions on whether or not they should pay full price, and send more money to the developer, or treat themselves to a deserved discount. The buy page even lists comparisons of national incomes, average salaries and even the price of sausages to help buyers make up their minds. Will this catch on? Will Microsoft start asking us whether or not we should get a discount and trust us to answer honestly?"

The Proton Just Got Smaller 289

Posted by samzenpus
from the size-does-matter dept.
inflame writes "A new paper published in Nature has said that the proton may be smaller than we previously thought. The article states 'The difference is so infinitesimal that it might defy belief that anyone, even physicists, would care. But the new measurements could mean that there is a gap in existing theories of quantum mechanics. "It's a very serious discrepancy," says Ingo Sick, a physicist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, who has tried to reconcile the finding with four decades of previous measurements. "There is really something seriously wrong someplace."' Would this indicate new physics if proven?"
PC Games (Games)

Valve's Battle Against Cheaters 336

Posted by Soulskill
from the busting-punks dept.
wjousts writes "IEEE Spectrum takes a look behind the scenes at Valve's on-going efforts to battle cheaters in online games: 'Cheating is a superserious threat,' says [Steam's lead engineer, John] Cook. 'Cheating is more of a serious threat than piracy.' The company combats this with its own Valve Anti-Cheat System, which a user consents to install in the Steam subscriber agreement. Cook says the software gets around anti-virus programs by handling all the operations that require administrator access to the user's machine. So, how important is preventing cheating? How much privacy are you willing to sacrifice in the interests of a level playing field? 'Valve also looks for changes within the player's computer processor's memory, which might indicate that cheat code is running.'"

Comment: Re:The problem ain't quantity... (Score 1) 1073

by DataBroker (#29586693) Attached to: Obama Makes a Push To Add Time To the School Year
Were any of you in band? There was a "first chair" idea. Essentially, the best people were ranked highest. Skill was determined anonymously. At any time, you were able to improve or lose rank.

Why can't we simply do something like this in all subjects? The best brains are all grouped together and given the most attention. If anyone in that group can't keep up, they drop down to the next group down. If anyone in the lower group wants to improve, and is able to, they're welcome to.

Why can't we implement something like this, if we really want to be competitive in the world. Yes, it would hurt the feelings of the kids that weren't in the top group, but only if we keep telling everyone (starting at birth) that you can be anything you want to be. (I want to be a world-class sprinter, but I don't think that's going to happen no matter how much I work on it.)

The pace being slow isn't necessarily the fault of the teacher, it's the fault of our expecting the best minds to be grouped with the middle minds.
Role Playing (Games)

Ubisoft To Shut Down Shadowbane 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the another-one-bites-the-dust dept.
tyen writes "Ubisoft has announced the shutdown of Shadowbane, the first major, fantasy role-playing MMO with true PVP (full asset destruction possible). The shutdown will take place in about two weeks, at the start of May. No official reason has been given by Ubisoft, but running an MMO for free for the past three years, with no significant improvement in market growth during that period, could play a part in the decision. There's been no response from Ubisoft yet on calls to open source the code. "

Comment: Re:The cost does seem high (Score 1) 409

by DataBroker (#26638911) Attached to: Umbilical Cord Blood Banking?
Due to the cost and limited use, I chose not to store the cord blood. I also saw the donation option and thought that an interesting and fair middle ground would be for the donation centers to pay for the processing, and in return, you keep rights to the blood for X years. After that time, they take ownership of it. I just figured that if they really had use for it, they could cover the costs using economies of scale, and I would still have the option to use the blood if needed. Everyone would end up better off.

Comment: Re:What's missing... (Score 1) 82

by DataBroker (#26606477) Attached to: <em>Guitar Hero: Metallica</em> Setlist Released
I prefer disks to DLC. There are many reasons to prefer a disk too. For me, I can move the game to either of my 360's without being online. Or, if I don't like the content, I can sell it or give it away.

I agree that the disk swapping sucks, but they could work around that easily enough by making you do it just once a month (to verify you still have the disk).

Of course, the real reason they won't offer $50 DLC is that when most people spend that kind of money, they want something to have and to hold -- a new game package.

Comment: Re:Different pockets, same taxpayers' money (Score 1) 1026

by DataBroker (#26564189) Attached to: What will Obama change most in the first 100 days?
I agree with you. You easily have enough time to read everything and understand it. Just signing whatever someone gives you is begging for trouble.

When I sat down to close on my first house, they brought in that stack of papers and a couple of pens. The lady from the title company immediately flipped to the first signing spot and slid the packet to me.

I closed the packet and started reading on page one. The lady looked incredulously at me. After I read the first page and flipped to the second, she huffed and asked me, "Are you going to read that entire thing?".

My response to her was, "Only the parts I'm supposed to sign." (To those who don't know, you end up signing or initialing just about every page.)

Comment: Re:I worked 9/80 for 4 summers (Score 5, Interesting) 1055

by DataBroker (#26442139) Attached to: How Does a 9/80 Work Schedule Work Out?
I've worked 9/80's for a couple of years. They're great! It's nice to have a weekday off because you can easily get through a weekend's errands in a day because of the lower crowds, and in my case, no kids to slow me.

As for management respecting the day -- that's like any off-day. You have to enforce it yourself. I've been asked to work on my 9/80 day, and never had a problem agreeing to it. I just swapped it for a different day. Management loved my flexibility (in when I took a day off).
The Courts

+ - acquitted. RIAA demands pricefixing?

Submitted by DataBroker
DataBroker (964208) writes " site.reut/index.html

A Russian court found the former boss of music download Web site not guilty of breaching copyright on Wednesday in a case considered a crucial test of Russia's commitment to fighting piracy.

Denis Kvasov, head of MediaServices which owned the site, always said he was within the law because the site paid part of its income to ROMS, a Russian organisation which collects and distributes fees for copyright holders. The court has agreed, stating "Everybody who uses soundtracks has to pay a certain amount of their income to the rights holders and this company has done that," she said. "MediaServices has paid a certain amount of money to ROMS."

In short, the court says "a certain amount of their income" is proper and legal. By the prosecution appealing, are they really complaining that AllOfMp3 isn't cooperating with the monopolistic price-fixing? The guise of "protecting intellectual property rights" is looking thin when the court is agreeing with the defense."

It is masked but always present. I don't know who built to it. It came before the first kernel.