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Science

Why Time Flies By As You Get Older 252 252

Ant notes a piece up on WBUR Boston addressing theories to explain the universal human experience that time seems to pass faster as you get older. Here's the 9-minute audio (MP3). Several explanations are tried out: that brains lay down more information for novel experiences; that the "clock" for nerve impulses in aging brains runs slower; and that each interval of time represents a diminishing fraction of life as we age.

Comment: Caveats (Score 1) 829 829

[spoiler] I can't be unique in being annoyed by "drama" involving characters I barely know. Unfortunately SC Universe insisted that someone had to play the tragic hero and die in the first 50 minutes. The next 10 minutes were, surprise, filled with a hysteric woman, related to the dead "hero", crying, screaming, yelling and waxing nostalgically. I fucking hate that. Why do writers think they need these cliches and emotional breakdowns to give their story meat? Is this really what they think the audience had in mind when they turned on science fiction? [/spoiler]
PC Games (Games)

The Challenges of Class Balance In MMOGs 209 209

Karen Hertzberg writes "Balancing classes in MMOGs may be one of the most daunting challenges of the industry. Few games are immune, and no game has ever claimed complete, perfect balance. So how does a developing company deal with the ever-impending demand to keep their games fair in both PvE and PvP environments? Ten Ton Hammer spoke with four industry professionals about the issue in an effort to glean some answers. Age of Conan's Craig Morrison said, 'It is part science and part intuition and experience, I think. We do, of course, have all the ... "spreadsheet" work in the back-end and development tools that calculate as many of the parameters as possible. On top of that, though, you then have the knowledge and skill of the designers involved. Working with a system, you have the general overview of how things interact and how players tend to behave in your game. Sometimes nothing beats spending time in the game itself and actually seeing how the players have been using the skills and abilities you have provided for them. Players are nothing if not inventive, and they never cease to surprise designers with their ingenuity, so it is vital that the designers are also watching and learning themselves.' "

Comment: Re:what does open mean? (Score 1) 197 197

"How it works" ... that's lunacy ... I know full well HOW it works it's just that doing manual memory allocation is beneath me. Sort of like how I know how to clean the office yet it's not the best use of my time. C guys always acting like malloc() is rocket science when in actuality it's the sort of mindless book keeping that any programmer worth a damn (and any human being with a shred of self worth, actually) will avoid like the plague.

Comment: Anyone saying that ... (Score 1) 509 509

Anyone saying "it's just a hobby" either doesn't understand what a hobby is or what "just" means. If people actually have a hobby it's going to be very very important to them. Anyhow, I wonder how many people would accept / defend a Microsoft app store that was there to ensure no kiddy porn or trojan could be loaded on your Windows PC.

Comment: Re:Well, at least it's a new-ish excuse (Score 1) 895 895

you realize he did this in a designated PVP zone, right? So actually the problem is that he is being harassed by passive / aggressive carebears that arranged it amongst themselves to have a smooth farming experience there. The thought that farming should be a secondary activity with a lower priority than the actual goals of the game doesn't even enter the minds of these flaming turds.

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