Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Gaming on Linux will matter... (Score 1) 191

by MBGMorden (#49139257) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

Windows still has the problem of spyware. Whether that's due to lack of security or its popularity is a matter of debate, but still, to me at this point using the internet on Windows feels like sex without a condom. Relatively safe if you truly trust what's on the other end, but definitely a risk.

On the other hand I surf the internet without so much as a care on my Linux machine. You still have to not be an idiot (ie, don't type your info into phishing sites), but I have no fear that simply visiting a particular site is going to hose up my machine.

As to the Office competitor - Office is being marginalized. Even in our corporate environment we just implemented Office 365, and when you do that you have an option: an "E1" license which has browser-based office, and "E3" which includes the full MS Office suite. We've put about 80% of our users on the browser based version and they're doing fine. That browser-based MS Office actually works just fine on Linux, and is actually far more limited than LibreOffice - it just is branded MS Office so people will accept it.

Microsoft is being marginalized. My guess is that if PC gaming survives, it'll eventually shift to Linux. I'm just not sure there will be too many people aside from geeks and gamers still using a desktop computer by that time.

Comment: Re:Easy of porting over is the key (Score 5, Interesting) 191

by MBGMorden (#49139135) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

They don't require a user have expert knowledge.

This isn't 1998 anymore. Linux doesn't require "expert knowledge" to run and use. My parents in their 50's are using Linux full-time (even though they don't know they are) as is my sister - who knows it but doesn't really regard the fact as more than an interesting piece of trivia.

Linux works just as simply as any other OS these days. You want a program? Go to Software Center and search for it. It installs. The icon appears in your menu.

Yes, you CAN get technical and in depth with the system if you want, but that's no different than Windows having the registry and Powershell available if you want to tweak things.

Right now Linux just isn't popular with gamers because there are no games for it, and there are no games for it because gamers don't use it. It's chicken and egg problem, but it's changing, albeit slowly. I personally use my Linux system for everything EXCEPT games, though I'll admit that I'd be excited to ditch Windows even for the games if I could (I do have a PS4 that I play some stuff on). It is nice though that Pillars of Eternity will be available for Linux and is coming out very soon. I've been waiting for that one for quite a while and it may be the first "real" game I'm able to play there.

Comment: Re:I thought that was Nintendo's failure... (Score 1) 151

by MBGMorden (#49128293) Attached to: Is Sega the Next Atari?

CD burners that cheap didn't come out until years after the Dreamcast was already dead.

Sorry, but you're wrong on that, or didn't know how to shop. By the time Dreamcast came out CD-R's had been available for 10 years and had dropped in price significantly. I already had a CD burner (actually my second one) in my computer when I went to college the same year Dreamcast was released. It was less than $100 - bought on a part time minimum wage teenager's earnings.

And someone won the Powerball last week. Extraordinarily rare anecdotes do not a median make.

The point was that it wasn't extraordinarily rare. Broadband was very much available at the time the Dreamcast came out. Certainly not at the speeds available today (my current connection is 50x faster than what I had back then), but it was still broadband and downloading a single ISO wasn't all that bad.

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 593

by MBGMorden (#49128191) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

1. The USA is near the bottom when it comes to internet service among 1st world countries, so what we have isn't working well at all.

In all fairness though, the US has one of the lowest population densities among 1st world countries as well.

Japan: 873 people per sq mile
UK: 662 people per sq mile
France: 301 people per sq mile
Germany: 583 people per sq mile
China: 373 people per sq mile
India: 988 people per sq mile

The United States has 89 people per sq mile.

Its a lot easier to service bigger chunks of your population with broadband when they're closer together.

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 3, Interesting) 593

by MBGMorden (#49128051) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

Party support isn't the same. I'm a Republican myself - I'm against Obamacare, and every other Republican I know is too.

Compare that with Net Neutrality. I completely support Net Neutrality, as does almost every other Republican I know that is younger and/or understands the internet. The only ones really against it are the old guys who don't even understand it but simply say "Regulation is bad, mmmkay.".

Like it or not, everything doesn't boil down to corporate donations and dollars. Popular support weighs in too, and the right just isn't as united in this position vs Obamacare.

Comment: Re:Too many consoles in a short period of time (Score 1) 151

by MBGMorden (#49120541) Attached to: Is Sega the Next Atari?

Interesting, but no CD drive and it was never actually released.

A 32X CD system for technical specifications wasn't quite in the same league as the Saturn - but it was close. Close enough that I'd wager they could still have done most of the same games on that setup and started with an installed userbase that could either upgrade their system, or buy a Saturn if needed.

I ended up with both a Sega CD and 32x eventually - after they hit clearance shelves. I think both of them were like $30 each brand new at the time.

Comment: Re:I thought that was Nintendo's failure... (Score 3, Interesting) 151

by MBGMorden (#49114685) Attached to: Is Sega the Next Atari?

Dreamcast had some issues that were hard to overcome that weren't just marketing related.

1. The proprietary "GD-ROM" disc format. 1GB of storage space which was a fraction of what PS2 had with DVD's. It also didn't let people play DVD movies at a time when DVD movie players were still expensive.

2. Incredibly easy piracy. Most of the games targeted for GD-ROM's were capable of fitting on a regular CD, and people figured out how to make easily burnable pirated games without even needing a modchip.

#2 was a fluke, but #1 was just a bad decision in general. I honestly think if Dreamcast had shipped with a DVD drive Sega would still be making hardware.

Comment: Re:Would French not have worked? (Score 1) 132

by MBGMorden (#49037691) Attached to: Paramedics Use Google Translate While Delivering Baby

Was about to say the same. In most parts of the US (I think it's a state-level thing) you need 2 years of a foreign language to enter college. At the college I went to you had to take another 2 semesters of foreign language if you were are liberal arts major. Math/science majors didn't have to take anything over what they had in high school.

I took 3 years of French in high school (didn't do anymore in college) because it was the only foreign language my high school offerred (which is a bit insane - Spanish IMHO should be the required language these days with others optional). I got to where I could carry on a conversation in French - albeit a basic one.

Problem is in the US you're not exposed to that language in a natural setting - pretty much ever. ~15 years later now I still remember a decent amount of French words but all the grammar and structure is almost completely gone.

At this point I'm thinking I may go to the local technical school and take some Spanish classes actually. My love of taco stands has me exposed to that a decent amount. On my own I've gotten to where I can count, place an order, etc in Spanish, but occasionally someone who speaks only Spanish will hear that little bit and try to spark up a conversation and I'm left unable to understand or communicate.

Comment: Re:Another silly decision (Score 1) 480

by MBGMorden (#49037197) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

Probably because I'm not installing hot tubs and the like.

My home costs less than renting. Like everything I shopped around. I paid $115k on my house as a foreclosure in a neighborhood where most of the houses are $150-160k. Rent is typically $1100-1200 per month though my house payment is $700. The "bursting" of the housing bubble may have been bad for some but it was a great time to BUY a house.

There are certainly some upkeep costs associated with owning the home, but they don't come anywhere near that difference between buying and rent (but then again I worked in construction as a teenager and am pretty handy. Most basic stuff I can handle myself). In say, 5 to 10 years, if I wanted to move, as a renter I'd just be leaving the home with nothing. As a home owner, even though I wouldn't have the entire house paid off, I still would have a decent part of it out of the way and that is my staked interest in selling. If I still owe $80k but can sell the house for $140k then I've made a lot of money.

And that's IF I even sell it - ever. I have no desire to leave the area. In 20 years while the insurance and tax escrow portion of my payment may go up, the actual principal/interest part that I'm paying will still be the same - it doesn't scale with inflation. A very old mortgage payment is an even bigger savings over rent. After 30 years if I'm still here that payment goes away completely.

Financially, I home out FAR ahead as a home owner. Yes making payments depends on having a job, but realistically I have to make payments SOMEWHERE or I'm homeless. Homeless vs homeless with a bad credit rating doesn't make that much difference to me.

"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned." -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky