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Comment: Re:Don't foget (Score 1) 186

by ConceptJunkie (#48566229) Attached to: NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Between that and a quote from Crow T. Robot, I salute you, sir.

The only sad thing is that your ascension probably doesn't earn you as much money. I've never ascended or even gotten close, but I hit a point about 10-15 years ago where I realized that beating Nethack amounts to reverse-engineering the spoilers list, a lot of which is arbitrary and capricious. I still play once in a while, but I don't ever expect to win.

I don't know if I've changed or the game has changed, but I don't recall Hack being so unforgiving when I first played it (29+/-1 years ago). Maybe I had more patience back then. Nowadays, I tend to prefer games like WazHack (which also runs on Android) because it is meant to capture the spirit of roguelikes without being quite as tedious and unforgiving. It's a lot of fun, but I miss some of the richness of Nethack. There's just no pleasing me, I guess.

My all-time favorite roguelike was Omega, which was pretty obscure, and hasn't been actively developed (to my knowledge) in well over a decade. I actually ported it to C++ back int he late 90s, but lost my momentum and never finished the project. It's sad, too, because I was probably 90% done. I frequently think about dusting it off again. Omega was almost unique (especially in the late 80s) in that it had a whole world including towns and several dungeons (and even some trips to alternate planes). I came _this close_ to winning Omega back in the day, but could never figure out what to do in the endgame.

For ancient and obscure roguelike fun, I used to play Oubliette back around 1983. It was also pretty unique in that it supported up to 6 characters and implemented the idea of multiple trips to the dungeon with realistic amounts of time required for resting and healing in between such that aging became a factor. It was pretty buggy, but did an amazing amount of stuff in an executable that was all of about 40k in size (with about another 60k or so in data). I figured out the semi-trivial encryption used in the data files with a friend and wrote a suite of Turbo Pascal programs to modify the game files (for instance a utility to reset the ages of your characters so they wouldn't get old and die). We also hacked our way to level 9 with a maxed out party just to see what it was like and experienced a TPK in the first encounter most of the time. I never legitimately got past about level 3 or 4, and I seriously doubt it was even possible to get down to level 9. Fun times.


Ubisoft Apologizes For Assassin's Creed 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the mea-culpa dept.
BarbaraHudson writes in with the latest in the Assassin's Creed Unity debacle. This time it's good news. "As an acknowledgment of the botched launch of Assassin's Creed Unity, Ubisoft has offered free additional content to everyone who purchased the title, cancelled the game's season pass and offered a free game to users who purchased the pass. The anticipation for Assassin's Creed Unity was such that the myriad of bugs and technical issues experienced at launch felt like an even greater slap in the face for gamers. In a blog posted yesterday, Yannis Mallat, CEO of Ubisoft Montreal & Toronto said: 'Unfortunately, at launch, the overall quality of the game was diminished by bugs and unexpected technical issues. I want to sincerely apologize on behalf of Ubisoft and the entire Assassin's Creed team. These problems took away from your enjoyment of the game, and kept many of you from experiencing the game at its fullest potential.'"

Comment: Re:Nope... (Score 1) 186

by ConceptJunkie (#48449143) Attached to: It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process

They key word here is "small". The complexity of managing a company grows at an geometric rate as a function of employees. The complexity of a project grows at an exponential rate as a function of the number of developers (at least after you get past a handful of people). Small companies that don't produce quickly die. I work at a medium-sized company where the scaling issues I described above really apply, so even though it's a good environment and management isn't a hindrance to making things happen, there's no way I would say work gets done quickly. However, the work does get done, and the environment is such that I feel like I can really make a difference. This contrasts to when I worked for a large company where I felt like nothing I said or did mattered in the long run (even though I did really good work for them.).

It sounds like you are in a good situation, and I hope it stays that way.

Comment: Re: Not quite true (Score 1) 307

by Zeinfeld (#48430745) Attached to: UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

Whether the term is enforceable or not is debatable and almost certain to be rendered moot. Unlike US Republicans, UK Conservatives do actually believe in the rule of law and honest business practices (sort of). There isn't any party who believes that screwing the consumer is a constitutional right. There will be a bill passed.

A rather more direct question is whether the hotelier was entitled to collect the charge under the credit card agreement. And that is unambiguous, he isn't. A credit card merchant cannot use a charge card to recover a disputed charge. It does not matter what the purported contract term was or if it is enforceable. The credit card agreements are designed to prevent cardholders from dishonest merchants. So the consumer will get their refund and the hotelier will find themselves facing a 30 quid chargeback fee.

The only option for the hotelier to recover would be to take the matter to court. The most he could win is the hundred pounds, if he lost he would likely be out the legal costs which could be a couple of thousand. Small claims courts don't usually award costs but they might well do so in this case. Judges tend to detest bullies.

Comment: Re: Ask the credit card for a refund (Score 1) 307

by Zeinfeld (#48430547) Attached to: UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

Its more than that, without regulation you end up with a lemon-law market.

Lots of times the difference between an honest product and a dishonest one only becomes apparent years later. If the product is safety equipment you only find out if the hard hat works when someone drops the brick on your head.

The libertarian theory that self interest will drive people to make honest products has turned out to be utterly false. In fact it turns out to be quite difficult for a company that intends to do the right thing to do so. I once had to get a guy fired after I found he had goosed his response rates for customer support calls by deliberately setting the phone tree up as a maze.

People do all sorts of idiotic short sighted stuff. This hotelier for example got his pants in a twist over a bad review and now he has probably sunk his business completely.

Rational choice is not an empirical fact of human behavior. It is a modelling assumption that tends to give good results in certain cases. But it does not hold for corporations because the interests of the corporation are not identical to those of the employees. All those banks who go belly up because the traders get big rewards for raking in profits and face no consequences for a loss. I don't gamble with my own money but if you want to give me $100,000 to gamble with I am happy to take it to Vegas, find a roulette wheel and let you take 100% of any losses and 90% of any gains.

Comment: Re: Embrace has started (Score 1) 192

by ConceptJunkie (#48398287) Attached to: Visual Studio 2015 Supports CLANG and Android (Emulator Included)

I very rarely saw XP crash in a way that wasn't obviously attributable to a hardware/driver issue. Vista blue-screened on me a couple times, but I stopped using after about 2 months because it was such a turd. Windows 7 was better, and Windows 8 is too, once you do what you can to eliminate all the "Metro" stuff. Both of them are still slower than XP in my experience, especially when copying across a network to a Samba share, which I do a lot. But blue-screens are almost a thing of the past in my experience.

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.