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Comment Re:SC2 Lan Play (Score 2, Interesting) 368

Starcraft has sold 11 million units worldwide. That's pretty good, it's one of the best selling games of all time.

World of Warcraft has over 11.5 million monthly subscribers. More people play WoW in one month than the copies of SC sold in a decade.

So, when you consider target audience, and whether or not they're likely to have an internet connection... yeah. SC2 is going to sell really well.

Not including LAN play is a calculated risk that I think will pay off just fine. Reduce the pirates, increase revenue. Works for me!

First Person Shooters (Games)

ZeniMax, Parent Company of Bethesda, Buys id Software 147

CelticLo writes "ZeniMax Media Inc., parent company of noted game publisher Bethesda Softworks, today announced it has completed the acquisition of legendary game studio id Software, creators of world-renowned games such as Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein, and its upcoming title, Rage. In an interview with Kotaku, John Carmack said, 'We're really getting kind of tired competing with our own publishers in terms of how our titles will be featured. And we've really gotten more IPs than we've been able to take advantage of. And working with other companies hasn't been working out as spectacularly as it could. So the idea of actually becoming a publisher and merging Bethesda and ZeniMax on there [is ideal.] It would be hard to imagine a more complementary relationship. They are triple A, top-of-the-line in what they do in the RPGs. And they have no overlap with all the things we do in the FPSes.' The press release confirmed that id's projects will remain under Carmack's control."

Ball And Chain To Force Children To Study Screenshot-sm 346

You haven't tried everything to get your kids to study until you've tried the Study Ball. The Study Ball is a 21-pound prison-style device that locks onto your child's leg and only unlocks after a predetermined amount of study time has passed. The homework manacles can't be locked for more than four hours, and come with a safety key. The product website states, "Quite often, students who are having problems concentrating tend to get up every ten minutes to watch TV, talk on the phone, take something out of the fridge, and a long list of other distractions. Were they to dedicate all this wasted time to studying, they would optimise their performance and have more free time available. Study Ball helps you study more and more efficiently." Stop Teasing Your Brother Pepper Spray coming soon.

Man Gets DUI Driving a Bar Stool Screenshot-sm 14

ByOhTek writes "A man is being charged for driving under the influence, on a motorized bar stool. He stated that it was only a minor accident, from the report, nobody else was injured. According to the police report, 'Wygle claims his unique vehicle can reach a speed of 38 miles per hour, though at the time of the crash he was going around 20.' At 38 miles per hour, he could do a lot of harm if he struck someone. Should such a vehicle be considered when DUI charges are applied?"

Comment Re:Dunno about the beta, but the release was worse (Score 1) 44

1. SWG, even before NGE, was/is an abomination against the gaming gods and should never, ever have been released. For one, it fails the "interesting combat" test. For two, it was just atrocious.

2. I thought UO was great *then*, regardless of what it is now.

3. There wasn't a "minority that actually likes UO." You're mistaking the vastly increased MMO market of now from what it was 11 years ago. ~12 million people didn't try UO and decide they didn't like it.

The "cold hard fact" is that UO was really, really popular at the time. It grew the MMO fanbase, and EQ grew it even more with a generic fantasy world and true 3D graphics.

The fact that it STILL has players is proof enough that it is fun.

4. You're wrong. :) I'm happy to argue with you about that, because you're the one making the incorrect assertions.

Comment Re:Dunno about the beta, but the release was worse (Score 1) 44

"UO didn't _have_ to invent everything. There were already thousands of text-based MUDs, and whole discussions, correlations and theories (e.g., Bartle's) as to what works and how it works. You could tell from the start why a whole bunch of Lord British's ideas won't work, or won't make players happy, because the exact same had happened a thousand times before on MUDs."

I'm confused by this; are you saying that UO was rife with ideas that didn't work, or didn't make players happy?

Because 11 years later, it's still alive, and still above the 100k subscriber mark. And regardless of the ravenous hordes that have descended upon the industry, none of them have reached the level of interesting immersion UO has. I challenge you to name one MMO without classes that has player made housing, player made shops, and still a full combat experience.


3 Cups of Coffee Increases Hallucinations 628

PearsSoap writes "The Telegraph and other sources are pointing out a study on 200 students which has found that a high caffeine intake can cause visual and auditory hallucinations, and can make people think that others are 'out to get them.' The abstract (and full version if you have access) is available. 'The volunteers were questioned about their caffeine intake from products including coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate bars and caffeine tablets.'"

Comment BASIC and Logo (Score 1) 962

3-2-1 Contact (and encouragement from my father) got me started programming Basic on our family's Apple IIe computer. In elementary school, Logo helped it along.

Either of those, or their modern equivalent, should be great. Basically anything where you start off seeing direct, tangible results and then move on to the theoretical stuff.

Wow. That really took me back. Is there still good media like 3-2-1 Contact and Square One for kids?

Comment Re:Can't rely on homeowners' associations (Score 1) 307

Nah, I just go to all my HOA meetings. And in every one, we have to go over how 5-6 houses in the clusters still haven't paid, have no intention to pay, and yet complain when their area isn't serviced (lawn cut, trees trimmed, etc). It's compounded when a house in the cluster goes up for sale.

Unfortunately, we've also had a couple cases of liens. One of the homeowners are about to lose their place, so the lien is just one more bill for them. As far as we can tell, the other guy just doesn't care.

I'm just not sure that "service provider" is a great role for HOAs to fill. I like the concept of fiber fiefdoms, I just want to see it work before I consider it for my neighborhood.

Comment Can't rely on homeowners' associations (Score 4, Insightful) 307

"Once constructed, each home would own its own fiber strand, while the shared costs of maintaining the "trunk" cable from the individual homes to a central switching location would be managed in the same way that condominium and homeowners' associations currently manage the shared areas of condos and gated communities."

So, that is to say - not at all? We have a hard enough time collecting homeowner's fees as it is. I can only speculate that it would be harder at a higher cost.

And what are you supposed to do if/when one home stops paying its part? Not upkeep that portion of fiber? Have everyone else absorb the costs?


Ethical Killing Machines 785

ubermiester writes "The New York Times reports on research to develop autonomous battlefield robots that would 'behave more ethically in the battlefield than humans.' The researchers claim that these real-life terminators 'can be designed without an instinct for self-preservation and, as a result, no tendency to lash out in fear. They can be built without anger or recklessness ... and they can be made invulnerable to ... "scenario fulfillment," which causes people to absorb new information more easily if it agrees with their pre-existing ideas.' Based on a recent report stating that 'fewer than half of soldiers and marines serving in Iraq said that noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect, and 17 percent said all civilians should be treated as insurgents,' this might not be all that dumb an idea."

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?