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Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money 210

Posted by timothy
from the such-high-standards dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this piece about Digital Knights, the studio behind the Kickstarter campaign project Sienna Storm, which was cancelled this week after the team raised only 10% of their $180,000 target, despite a compelling concept (a card based espionage game) and a reputable team including the writer of the original Deus Ex, Sheldon Pacotti. The team is now seeking alternative funding before reaching out to publishers, but in an interview given this week, Knights CEO Sergei Filipov highlights what he sees as a recent and growing problem with crowdfunding games: an expectation to see a working prototype. "It seems at least 50 or 60 percent of the game needs to be completed before one launches a campaign on Kickstarter," he says. It's a chicken and egg cycle some indie developers will struggle to break out of, and shows just how far we've come since Tim Schafer's Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter burst the doors open two years ago.

Comment: General Emergency Preparation (Score 1) 150

by KermodeBear (#47886529) Attached to: To prepare for a coronal mass ejection, I ...

I don't do anything specifically for a mass ejection from the Sun, but I do have six months of food, three wells on the property with potable water, plenty of fire wood, a few thousand rounds of ammunition (not expecting a war or anything, I've just come across some good deals so why not), etc., etc. Six months isn't a super long time but it's better than nothing at all.

I haven't done anything to protect my electronics against a mass EMP type of deal, but if the whole electrical grid and everything else is all fried, a working computer won't do me a whole lot of good anyway. So, whatever.


DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins 354

Posted by timothy
from the granting-license dept.
New submitter Maxo-Texas writes One of the primary programmers, Wesley Wolfe (Wolvereness), who contributed over 23,000 lines of code to the Bukkit project (which enhances Minecraft server performance and allows others to write mods and plugins) submitted a DMCA request September 5th, preventing use of his code in the popular Bukkit or Spigot (and numerous other Minecraft plugins, mods, and other open source enhancements that depend on them). This has the effect of freezing all further development for multi-player server Minecraft based on these add-ons until the issue is resolved.

The programmer says that Mojang must release the Minecraft server code to the public domain since decompiled, deobfuscated versions of the Java code are included in the Bukkit project before he will withdraw the DMCA. Mojang has never released the real source code and has stated they will not open source the server code to meet the GPL and LGPL licensing requirements. This approach might be a risk for other GPL and LGPL projects out there which are derivative of or enhance non GPL programs or products.
Mojang COO Vu Bui writes in a post at the Bukkit forums The official Minecraft Server software that we have made available is not included in CraftBukkit. Therefore there is no obligation for us to provide the original code or any source code to the Minecraft Server, nor any obligation to authorize its use. Our refusal to make available or authorize the use of the original / source code of the Minecraft Server software cannot therefore be considered to give rise to an infringement of any copyright of Wesley, nor any other person. Wesley’s allegations are therefore wholly unfounded.

Comment: Re:Great (Score 4, Insightful) 175

by KermodeBear (#47629551) Attached to: Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

This kind of functionality would be enough for me to switch mail providers.

Yes, yes, it can always be done manually, but I have a lot of friends that aren't as tech savvy as I am. Generating a key, keeping the private one somewhere safe, copying text from the PGP application, pasting it correctly, copying incoming text, pasting, decrypting, etc., etc., it's all a pain in the butt for the typical computer user.

If Yahoo can manage to implement this correctly so that it is safe AND easy to use that's a big deal.


Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-a-bit-easier-being-green dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Toyota is on track to launch the first consumer fuel-cell car in Japan next year, and the country's Prime Minister says the government wants to assist the new alternative to gas-driven vehicles. Shinzo Abe announced that Japan will offer subsidies of almost $20,000 for fuel cell cars, which will decrease the Toyota model's cost by about 28%. He said, "This is the car of a new era because it doesn't emit any carbon dioxide and it's environmentally friendly. The government needs to support this. Honda is also planning to release a fuel-cell car next year, but experts expect widespread adoption to take decades, since hydrogen fuel station infrastructure is still in its infancy."

Comment: Re:Ridiculous fear factor (Score 1) 186

Why not give people the choice?

They can choose to expose all of their personal medical information to the world for public consumption and sale, or they can keep their information private. Better yet, allow people to sell their medical information to companies.

That way people who enjoy their privacy can keep their privacy. People like you who care more about data can have their data. Everyone wins.

The major problem here is the brokering of private data, not only without consent, but also without any knowledge that it is happening.

As a side note, since you're so fascinated with the transparency and the data-driven-without-consent thing...

We should also have access to all of your financial transactions, too. After all, bad financial situations can cause lower standards of living which also affects health. We should also have access to all of your communications - email, instant messages, phone calls - so that we can use that to evaluate your mental health and build a graph of your relationships. We should also keep tabs on where you are at all times in case you are making bad decisions like visiting "the wrong part of town".

After all, just think about how all that data can help!

If that is how you want to live your life don't let me stop you from living it. You can do whatever you want. Just don't force me to live it as well.


Girls Take All In $50 Million Google Learn-to-Code Initiative 548

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-good-coders-more-good-software dept.
theodp writes: On Thursday, Google announced a $50 million initiative to inspire girls to code called Made with Code. As part of the initiative, Google said it will also be "rewarding teachers who support girls who take CS courses on Codecademy or Khan Academy." The rewards are similar to earlier coding and STEM programs run by and Google that offered lower funding or no funding at all to teachers if participation by female students was deemed unacceptable to the sponsoring organizations. The announcement is all the more intriguing in light of a Google job posting seeking a K-12 Computer Science Education Outreach Program Manager to "work closely with external leaders and company executives to influence activities that drive toward collaborative efforts to achieve major 'moonshots' in education on a global scale." Perhaps towards that end, Google recently hired the Executive Director of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), who was coincidentally also a Advisory Board member. And — itself a Made With Code grantee — recently managed to lure away the ACM's Director of Public Policy to be its COO. So, are these kinds of private-public K-12 CS education initiatives (and associated NSF studies) a good idea? Some of the nation's leading CS educators sure seem to think so (video).

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 2) 118

Do you remember the days when a politician would do something slightly out of line, he'd get caught, and then he'd resign? Well, I'm only a touch over 30, so I don't remember that happening but I know that it used to happen. Modern politicians seem to have no shame, no honor, no integrity; they will say whatever is required to get elected, do whatever they want while in office, and tell you, "Yeah? What are YOU going to do about it?" if you call them out on it.

The worst part - the absolute worst part - is that they're allowed to do this. Too many people look at the ballot and like zombies pick the 'D' or the 'R' after the name instead of looking at what that person has done or considering the person's character.

Character and principles matter. If you're a scumbag then you're a scumbag no matter what party you're in. Stop circling he damn wagons around some slimeball just because he has the same R or D that you do. If someone is scum toss them out. If you're stuck in the tribal mentality then it is even more important to do this so that YOUR tribe isn't the tribe of scum.

(You != the person I'm replying to; You = the public in general )

Comment: Just Maybe... (Score 5, Insightful) 435

by KermodeBear (#47261745) Attached to: Yahoo's Diversity Record Is Almost As Bad As Google's

Just maybe this has nothing to do with race or sexism and they just hired the best people they could find.

Like a lot of people at Slashdot, I work in the IT industry too. Most of our people are male, and either Caucasian or Indian. Does that mean that the company I work for is part of some evil conspiracy to keep aphroditic purple martians out of the IT work force? Nope. We'd hire my dog if she was good at what needed to be done. Nobody cares what your body looks like as long as you're Nice and Competent. We simply don't get a lot of female, Chinese, Norwegian, Mexican, Brazilian, etc., people applying.

Is that a problem? I don't think so. Maybe certain demographics - gasp - have a majority of their interests in other areas. There's far more female nurses in hospitals than male nurses and although I see it mentioned from time to time, I never see hospitals being excoriated and dragged over the coals because they don't have a 50% male nursing force. Basketball is dominated by people with dark skin and I don't see people complaining that the white guys are under-represented.

This isn't any different. The opportunities are there. The education is available. Maybe certain demographics just aren't as interested in IT.

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

Comment: Does it really matter? (Score 5, Insightful) 248

by KermodeBear (#47173507) Attached to: In the year since Snowden's revelations ...

Anything I do on a network connected device is vulnerable to the NSA or other alphabet soup in some way. At the very least, the data is. As we have seen there is no real expectation of privacy; these guys are too deeply connected to everything that happens, they have too much data, and they sure as hell have enough smarts and computing power to decrypt whatever they want.

I still use cash when possible, when given the choice I use very long keys, anything important is encrypted, but to be realistic if "da gub'mint" wants to get me there's little I can do. Heck, unplugging entirely and living in an isolated cabin out in the far reaches of Alaska probably means I'm automatically labeled a terrorist which would draw even more attention. And if for some reason someone wants to create false records, who is to stop them? They will wave their "state secret" flag around and you won't even be able to question them.

So, realistically, there's not much one can do. Big Brother won. There's no way it will ever go away, either. Even if they say they will stop, or that they cannot defeat X, will you really believe them?

Comment: Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (Score 1) 208

by KermodeBear (#47053493) Attached to: Congress Unhappy With FCC's Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality

I dunno... I ordered something by 2 day mail and it was shipped via USPS. It was shipped Thursday of last week. It's still not here. This is not uncommon. FedEx and UPS don't seem to have these problems.

I know, I know - anecdotal, one person - but it's is annoying to have people scream that USPS is the pinnacle of efficiency when 2 day shipping regularly turns into 4 and 5 days.

There can be no twisted thought without a twisted molecule. -- R. W. Gerard