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Comment Foresight (Score 1) 394

There was one theme to his answers that I've never noticed before:

I regret to say I have no response. I never try to think about what computing might be like 25 years from now; it would be a waste of time, since I know that I don't know.

I found these responses severly disappointing for that reason. Agree with him or not, it's sad to see the responses be essentially "I don't have a vision for the future of FSF, because I can't know the future." That sounds needlessly self-limiting.

Comment Re:What about Magic? (Score 3, Interesting) 136

I agree 100%. A lot of people will say that you don't have to spend a lot of money to make a deck that wins. Those people are kidding themselves! Sometimes, you've just gotta pay the money to get the good cards.

Luckily, there are formats that are designed to reward skill more than the size of your bank account: sealed deck and booster draft. Both require participants to buy unopened packs and use them, but paying $15 or $25 every once in a while is far less expensive in the long run.

Comment Am I really that old? (Score 1) 375

I believe that the oldest one on my computer right now was created December 16, 1989.

I think that means that it's been copied through at least eight computers.

It's a text file called CLASSICS.TXT, which is a large compilation of what can only be described as BBS etiquette.

Also, an interesting treatise from an anonymous author about "software proliferation" (since he refused to use the word "piracy".)

Comment Re:can we call it OSXI yet? (Score 1) 647

It's not like the 10 was ever a version number anyway, in that it's a derivative of Next, not ("classic") Mac OS, which they had to ditch. The "X" has always been a marketing thing.

Calling it "X" has always been a marketing thing, it's true, but Apple have been very adamant that it be pronounced "ten" and not "ecks". So I don't know if it has that much to do with it being a NeXT derivative. After all, the OS before OS X was OS 9.

Role Playing (Games)

Ultima Online Expansion Sept. 8, WAR Expansion In Near Future 40

IndustryGamers recently spoke with Mythic Entertainment execs about the futures of Ultima Online and Warhammer Online. UO's newest expansion, Stygian Abyss, was recently given a September 8th release date. As for WAR, they say, "... we just finished up a major patch for Warhammer Online and there's a lot of stuff we're thinking about for improving and enhancing the gameplay experience and guaranteeing that the product lives up to the legacy of the Warhammer franchise. You should expect an expansion in the near future." The Overly Positive blog suggests that recent developer interviews have undergone a change in tone, demonstrating a greater willingness to acknowledge the game's flaws and work out ways to correct them.
PC Games (Games)

Does Professional Gaming Have a Future? 116

mr_sifter writes "Three years ago, celebrity gamers such as Fatal1ty were bagging millions in prizes, and TV channels were queuing up to broadcast games on TV. Professional gaming looked set for the big time. It never happened, and in the current economic crisis, sponsors and media organizations are cutting costs, resulting in the closure of many pro gaming competitions (as we recently discussed) and a down-scaling in prize money. This feature looks at whether pro gaming can bounce back, and whether it will always be a PC sport, or if pro gaming on consoles is the future."

Dell's Rugged Laptop Doesn't Quite Pass 4-Foot Drop Test 113

narramissic writes "Dell's new Latitude E6400 XFR laptop is designed to withstand drops, dust and high pressure water spray. The company claims the laptop, which is intended for military use, can withstand rain and wind gusts of up 70 mph, and can work in temperatures from -20 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also work for an hour at an altitude of 15,000 feet and is designed to withstand drops of around 4 feet (48 inches) when not operating and 36 inches when operational. The LCD screen floats a little bit within the LCD cover so it can take impacts and shock, said Jeremy Bolen, a Dell spokesman. But watch as the laptop that Dell used to show these features wasn't able to withstand the rough treatment that was part of the company's demonstration."

Mobile Gaming Market Heats Up 18

A few days ago, we discussed Sony's announcement of a slew of new titles for the PSP, part of their plan to reinvigorate the platform. Unfortunately, according to analyst Nicholas Lovell, it may be too late for the PSP to achieve what Sony had hoped. He says gaming on the iPhone and iPod Touch are rapidly expanding to fill that section of the market. Despite this, rumors have been swirling once more that the PSP2 is under development, and while Sony wouldn't confirm or deny, they were at least willing to talk about the rumors. Meanwhile, the App Store is dealing with a flood of titles that shows no sign of slowing, making it somewhat difficult to keep tabs on the higher-quality games. An Apple spokesperson discussed this in an interview with Pocket Gamer, and also mentioned that they'd be OK with a community gaming service similar to Xbox Live, should somebody decide to make one. It's likely that Apple will soon see more serious competition from Android Market; now that a pricing system is going online, the major publishers have more of an incentive to bring games to the platform. The Guardian's games blog recently went over some of the top games available on Android.

The Broken Design of Microsoft's "Fix it" Tool 165

$luggo writes "Curious about MS Fix It, I recently went hunting in the MS knowledge base for articles that provide the new EZ-button. After locating on few, I decided to click the button to download the Microsoft Installer package containing the executable and/or files that automatically enable the DVD Library feature in Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate — on my XP Media Center. 'Surely, MS will use some scripting, HTTP User-Agent sniffing, or even Genuine Windows validation to verify that I am running Vista,' I thought. It did not and I canceled the download when I received the prompt to save the file. So, I wonder: is there a Fix-it for Fix it? Because I can easily imagine someone doing what I did without scrolling to the bottom of the KB article and verifying that the article applies to their OS/version. This is a great example poor design. Why not simply use the download approach that other articles / fixes / service packs use, whereby the user must select the appropriate OS?"

Can We Create Fun Games Automatically? 198

togelius writes "What makes games fun? Some (e.g. Raph Koster) claim that fun is learning — fun games are those which are easy to learn, but hard to master, with a long and smooth learning curve. I think we can create fun game rules automatically through measuring their learnability. In a recent experiment, we do this using evolutionary computation, and create some simple Pacman-like new games completely without human intervention! Perhaps this has a future in game design? The academic paper (PDF) is available as well."

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