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Businesses

Former Exec Says Electronic Arts "Is In the Wrong Business" 180

Posted by Soulskill
from the inspiring-internet-outrage-is-a-bad-business-model dept.
Mitch Lasky was the executive vice president of Mobile and Online at Electronic Arts until leaving the publisher to work at an investment firm. He now has some harsh things to say about how EA has been run over the past several years, in particular criticizing the decisions of CEO John Riccitiello. Quoting: "EA is in the wrong business, with the wrong cost structure and the wrong team, but somehow they seem to think that it is going to be a smooth, two-year transition from packaged goods to digital. Think again. ... by far the greatest failure of Riccitiello's strategy has been the EA Games division. JR bet his tenure on EA's ability to 'grow their way through the transition' to digital/online with hit packaged goods titles. They honestly believed that they had a decade to make this transition (I think it's more like 2-3 years). Since the recurring-revenue sports titles were already 'booked' (i.e., fully accounted for in the Wall Street estimates) it fell to EA Games to make hits that could move the needle. It's been a very ugly scene, indeed. From Spore, to Dead Space, to Mirror's Edge, to Need for Speed: Undercover, it's been one expensive commercial disappointment for EA Games after another. Not to mention the shut-down of Pandemic, half of the justification for EA's $850MM acquisition of Bioware-Pandemic. And don't think that Dante's Inferno, or Knights of the Old Republic, is going to make it all better. It's a bankrupt strategy."
Wii

Wii Hardware Upgrade Won't Happen Soon 325

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-show-ugly-mario-in-hd dept.
As high-definition graphics become more and more entrenched in this generation of game consoles, Nintendo has had to deal with constant speculation about a new version of the Wii that would increase its capabilities. Today, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime bluntly denied that a hardware revision was imminent, saying, "We are confident the Wii home entertainment console has a very long life in front of it." He added, "In terms of what the future holds, we've gone on record to say that the next step for Nintendo in home consoles will not be to simply make it HD, but to add more and more capability, and we'll do that when we've totally tapped out all of the experiences for the existing Wii. And we're nowhere near doing that yet."
Math

Man Uses Drake Equation To Explain Girlfriend Woes 538

Posted by samzenpus
from the less-math-more-social-science dept.
artemis67 writes "A man studying in London has taken a mathematical equation that predicts the possibility of alien life in the universe to explain why he can't find a girlfriend. Peter Backus, a native of Seattle and PhD candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, near London, in his paper, 'Why I don't have a girlfriend: An application of the Drake Equation to love in the UK,' used math to estimate the number of potential girlfriends in the UK. In describing the paper on the university Web site he wrote 'the results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.'"
Games

The Murky Origins of Zork's Name 70

Posted by Soulskill
from the murky-enough-for-a-grue dept.
mjn writes "Computational media researcher Nick Montfort traces the murky origins of Zork's name. It's well known that the word was used in MIT hacker jargon around that time, but how did it get there? Candidates are the term 'zorch' from late 1950s DIY electronics slang, the use of the term as a placeholder in some early 1970s textbooks, the typo a QWERTY user would get if he typed 'work' on an AZERTY keyboard, and several uses in obscure sci-fi. No solid answers so far, though, as there are problems with many of the possible explanations that would have made MIT hackers unlikely to have run across them at the right time."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Duke Nukem Forever Not Dead? (Yes, This Again) 195

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-didn't-think-it-was-over-did-you? dept.
kaychoro writes "There may be hope for Duke Nukem Forever (again). 'Jon St. John, better known as the voice of Duke Nukem, said some interesting words during a panel discussion at the Music and Games Festival (MAGFest) that took place January 1 – 4 in Alexandria, Virginia, according to Pixel Enemy. Answering a question from the crowd regarding DNF, St. John said: "... let me go ahead and tell you right now that I'm not allowed to talk about Duke Nukem Forever. No, no, don't be disappointed, read between the lines — why am I not allowed to talk about it?"'"

Comment: Some ideas (Score 1) 298

by Josh Wieder (#27041553) Attached to: Best Solution For HA and Network Load Balancing?
It is interesting that most of the posts so far have focused on ensuring that our original poster has sufficient business acumen to make the decision to build a clustered hosting environment. There are reasons other than straight margins why downtime for a website is an absolute no-go. For instance, I work for a medium sized data center. Although we do few direct conversions through the website, the embarrassment of that site going down more than justifies a clustered solution. I will assume that OP has done the math. That being said, I have had excellent experience with ultramonkey / ldirectord. Ldirector has a single primary conf file that provides for pseudo custom service requests to check availability. I have found this to be much more intuitive than Windows clustering services, however if you are planning to have IIS boxes using SSL you may run into trouble loadbalancing HTTPS traffic. The problem with 2 boxes and heartbeat only is that often times a box will stop serving websites but will not drop ping. You need a service that is smart enough to realize that a 404 page is not what you are looking for. That being said, custom validation queries can include SQL queries, SMTP, IMAP and POP sessions, HTTP requests that look for specific responses, etc. This would need to sit on a dedicated firewall in front of at least two identical hosts. Note this introduces a single point of failure - a philosophically sound cluster will have two identical firewalls running heartbeat. Another point of failure will be the switch providing link to these hosts. I would recommend redundant uplinks configured using VRRP to avoid lost availability due to a dead switchport. I can go on, and the scale of a cluster topology is limited only by one's imagination, but I think this is a good start. Josh Wieder Atlantic.Net

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