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Comment: I didn't read the article because I went to the ta (Score 1) 195

by Mystiq (#46556045) Attached to: <em>Final Fantasy XIV</em> Failed Due To Overly Detailed Flowerpots
The focus on flowerpots, while a little misguided, is still correct. Yoshida explained (or rather, a translator in my ear explained because he was speaking in Japanese) that, because they had such great success with FFXI, they failed to look at where the MMO genre had gone and stuck conservatively to their (cartoonishly large) guns. Undeniably, Square-Enix is a graphics powerhouse. Their games look gorgeous. Correct me if I'm wrong but style is just part of Japanese culture. The systemic problem was that the focus was not where it should have been: player experience. This is a game, after all. He emphasized that the success of FFXI blinded them in the creation of FFXIV and development time was spent in all the wrong places because they believed they were doing a good job without realizing what was going on right under their noses.

There's also the part that the game suffered upwards of 400 crashes per day (I'm assuming across the various servers worldwide), which was just a symptom of the larger problem.

Comment: Private interests work when they have to compete (Score 1) 520

by Mystiq (#46319677) Attached to: Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access
Can we all agree on this one at least? You don't have to socialize something if there's enough healthy competition. In fact, I would recommend against it because the social agency is under no pressure to provide anything better than basic service based on its funding. I wouldn't call the state of internet service in the US "under healthy competition." My particular area is out of the ordinary because we have Verizon, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable. Of course, let's not forget that the apartment complex I live in has a deal with Cablevision so they're the only choice I really have.

There's little competition with cell phone service. Why? The upstart cost is ridiculous because you have to put wires and towers all over the place and all the big companies bought up the little ones to have more coverage.

There's little competition with internet providers. Why? See above. Add on the fact that content delivery companies are merging with internet providers and now you have to compete with a company that has more money, more lawyers and more weight.

There's little competition with content delivery companies. Actually that's a lie but as ISPs merge with content companies and become bigger, they'll have more weight to push out content delivery startups. I can see Netflix being forced to buy up an ISP like Time Warner if the Comcast deal fails. TimeFlix Warner? (Comflixcast?)

In both the cell service and ISP cases, the trouble I see is lack of regulation and conflict of interest with the companies involved. One company should be the one to lay lines down and build towers for cell companies. AT&T should not be responsible for laying its lines down. Or else, Google could come to areas with Verizon and lease their fiber lines. Line-laying companies would be in competition with one another and want the business of the ISPs and cell companies. Also, I agree that content companies should not be able to merge with internet providers.

Split up line companies from delivery companies and you'll see costs go down because you only have to lease from a company that will have others leasing as well. Split up content companies from ISPs and you'll see Comcast playing nice with Netflix because it'll be one of many content companies its customers will demand access to -- or switch ISPs because they'll have a choice. You take out choice and you take out the only card customers have in determining what fails and what succeeds. If the company holds the cards, they only get bigger, which, as we can see, ultimately leads to regulatory capture. People are greedy and want money. I'm not against the fact that companies exist to make money but when they stop serving the public interests and only their stockholders' because they can then something has to change. If a company doesn't have to compete with anyone else for customers, then they're going to do all they can to raise prices and lower costs without losing too many customers to their non-existent competition.

Case in point: T-Mobile disrupting the cell industry, Apple disrupting the tablet industry and then Microsoft, and Google Fiber disrupting ISPs. (Time Warner increasing speeds to 300 Mbps near Google Fiber not because of Google but because customers [i]there[/i] are demanding higher speeds? Bullshit. I was talking to my ISP once for service and somehow Google Fiber came up. told the tech if they came here I would drop them so fast. He laughed.)

Comment: Re:Survey results != Real world (Score 1) 293

I would argue that the first troll in the world didn't know what they were doing. The behavior probably evolved as a form of blowing off steam, people who can't keep tangents to themselves or someone who is just stupid and doesn't know how to argue a point and just spouts nonsense in return. Ever since it was given a name and definition, it's certainly become a lot more deliberate.

Comment: Re:There is a way to reduce trolling... (Score 1) 293

Truth be told I remember hearing on the radio that the qualities we admire in leaders are the same exact qualities that make someone one step closer to being what we might normally call a horrible human begin. As such: quick thinkers (rash decisions?); can make emotionless decisions or separate the people from the process (lack of empathy: "people are just resources" and "I can lay them off because they are just employees"); and self-confident (egotistical).

Think of someone you know at work or elsewhere who you would consider a great leader. Now, realize that they very likely have the above qualities. Think of the kind of people who are made to helm company mergers, the people who have to decide who stays and who goes. Now, remember that those kinds of psychotic, unhealthy people are running major corporations as well as countries.

Is that guy apathetic towards you; can he make quick decisions, no matter how horrible; and is he very confident in what he says? Sure! Hire that fucker or vote him in as president! The most dangerous has to be self-confidence. Trolls sure as hell aren't humble, but a humble person isn't getting into a leadership position any time soon because empathy, humbleness and indecisiveness is considered weak.

A few weeks ago, the corporate division I work in decided it wanted the employees to feel more empathy towards our end-customers (I work in a medicinal-label pressing company). It's sort of a sick game of marketing: by increasing our empathy towards the patients whose medicine will be bearing our labels, they believe we will work harder. The plan? Take down the abstract art pictures in the building and put up pictures of patients. I honestly see it as a sort of disgusting: in an effort to get the employees to be more productive, they want us to have more empathy towards our end-customers. To make us feel more empathy, they play with our emotions by putting up pictures of people. The division has been around for 15+ years and they're just thinking of this now?

Business people, especially those who make company decisions based on money, are some of the scummiest people I can think of. It's no wonder society sucks. It's run by a bunch of trolls.

Comment: Re:Your biggest opponent is freedom (Score 1) 324

Socialism is bad, mmkay!

I know you're just AC but please stop with the hyperbole. Lots of areas have stupid laws. There are websites dedicated to finding them. The problem with above-ground wires is trees, birds, wind, snow, rain, cars and big animals.

Case in point: a few years ago a car drove into a pole in my neighborhood. That pole happened to service the entire rest of the development south and since it was the only street leading into the development, it took out at least 60-70 houses (poor planning, but hey, that's what you get for living on the shore). They blocked off access past the downed pole for a few hours, since power was also knocked out and the wire was live for a while.

I also can't tell you how many poles Sandy took out. Other companies contracted out here to help looked at us like we were nuts with all the poles and the trees nestled in the wires.

Comment: Re:call this guy (Score 1) 324

I understand people need to make money but the monthly cap on that service is ridiculously low. (Caps period make me squeamish.) I blow through 4 GB a month on my phone. Insert rant here about how downloading one application can probably blow your cap.

I'm sorry, I fucking hate caps. At 3 in the morning when your service is probably at 10% utilization, there should be no cap in place. The cap is creating artificial scarcity.

Comment: So Sad (Score 1) 324

I think it's just upsetting period that a company carrying what arguably is a modern necessity won't invest at all in an area because the profits are too small and the politics surrounding the fact in this country make competition extremely difficult. As a result, people have to suffer with poor service, non-existent service or, as in most areas of the US, insanely high-priced service.

People in other countries must think we're so fucking backwards.

Here's to hoping (wishing) that the FCC says fuck it and just declares ISPs common carriers. So many problems would be solved in one fell swoop.

Comment: Medical billing most f'ed up thing I ever saw (Score 1) 637

by Mystiq (#44560573) Attached to: Medical Costs Bankrupt Patients; It's the Computer's Fault
I used to work for a company that wrote applications that process medical billing. If someone figures out who it was, I don't have anything against them, but this is just how the industry is. I lost more brain cells than I can count (have since grown them back) trying to understand the medical billing process, and EDI made me want to kill babies. Trying to understand medical billing itself, along with all the conditions? Hell no. Having read some of the comments here, the situation is even more egregious than I thought possible.

Every other first-world nation has a single payer system. Why doesn't the US?

(It seems you can do that with a lot of things. "Every other first-world nation has X. Why doesn't the US?")
The Military

Queen's WWIII Speech Revealed 147

Posted by timothy
from the we-are-the-champions-of-the-world dept.
EzInKy writes "This BBC article provides details of the script the United Kingdom's Queen was to deliver in the event of a nuclear holocaust. The document, released by the government under the 30-year rule, was drawn up as part of a war-gaming exercise in the spring of 1983, working through potential scenarios. In it, the Queen was expected to urge the people of the United Kingdom to 'pray' in the event of a nuclear war. Although it was only a simulation, the text of the Queen's address — written as if broadcast at midday on Friday 4 March 1983 — seeks to prepare the country for the ordeal of World War III. The script reads: 'Now this madness of war is once more spreading through the world and our brave country must again prepare itself to survive against great odds. I have never forgotten the sorrow and the pride I felt as my sister and I huddled around the nursery wireless set listening to my father's inspiring words on that fateful day in 1939. Not for a single moment did I imagine that this solemn and awful duty would one day fall to me. But whatever terrors lie in wait for us all, the qualities that have helped to keep our freedom intact twice already during this sad century will once more be our strength.'" I prefer Tom Lehrer's approach.

Comment: The CEO wouldn't be the only one to blame (Score 1) 569

by Mystiq (#43208689) Attached to: SimCity 5: How Not To Design a Single Player Game

Frank Gibeau:
"We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers. I have not green lit one game to be develped as a single player experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365." Fire him, too, please.

Comment: Re:This is news? (Score 1) 684

by Mystiq (#42034347) Attached to: Young Students Hiding Academic Talent To Avoid Bullying
I would like to point out that I went to Hebrew school, and was summarily bullied by the same people -- and more -- who were bullying me in the public school I also went to.

Basically, you're bullied if you're outside the norm. It doesn't matter who it is doing the bullying, although I might agree that some groups may be more likely to be bullies based on how closely they value tradition or how afraid they are of individualism. Unfortunately for me, I am socially awkward and way outside the norm. Delightfully weird, but outside the norm.

I like to think my personality traits make me a creative thinker but they do me no favors in other situations. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of the pluses of the things that made me different until late high school.

This article disturbs me because I would do anything I could to encourage people to be different. I wouldn't change. I like different. Different stands out. I like people who stand out. I seek it out. I like creative free thinkers. Homogenization is bad for the species. It's unfortunate because bullies only encourage people to be clones of one another. I hated every last one of the bullies because they wanted to group everyone into one of two groups: the jocks and the skaters. I was neither. If you didn't fit, you had no identity and were game from either group.

This country needs to stop punishing the different and intelligent. Maybe when that happens we'll see a push towards science and people who are less religious. (I went to Hebrew school but it went in one ear and out the other.) The smart (and benevolent) people should be the ones running the country, not the politicians and religious people.

Comment: Re:The US FCC does not have the authority (Score 1) 161

by Mystiq (#41215665) Attached to: The Danger In Exempting Wireless From Net Neutrality
If you are for net neutrality, the FCC can't mandate it and Congress has bigger problems to deal with, where is the net neutrality mandate going to come from? You are against Internet regulations so I assume you are against it as an actual mandate. I assume then that you simply hope ISPs will operate under it. The number of ISPs in the US has already shown that this will not happen naturally. Providers are gobbling up content creators, creating a conflict of interests that goes against net neutrality.

I see where your "I am against the FCC mandating it but I am for it" comes from.

I want the Internet to remain (mostly) as it was 10 years ago, before all this garbage with throttling, usage based billing and caps started, which has the net effect of slowly pushing out companies that rely on bandwidth increases. Someone else said throttling and usage-based billing is absurd anyway and that anyone with half a brain knows the technical reason why: because usage-based billing and caps aren't going to force people to stop using bandwidth during peak times, when it's at its rarest, and at which point the provider's lack of capacity is actually a problem. I'll argue usage based billing is also crap: charge people in tiers, like they already do.

A large number of applications are just waiting in the wings to be developed but can't be because bandwidth is not yet where it needs to be for them to work. If the Internet develops speed lanes, and you have to pay your ISP extra for Hulu to work, it will be a sad day. I'm sure some ISP somewhere is already working out the technical aspects to charge tiers, bundling the Internet into websites and declaring Hulu and Netflix to be "premium" websites (and their own streaming video website is standard). How do you think the customers of that ISP are going to react when their $7 subscription to Netflix suddenly stops working? And now they have to pay $10 more per month to their ISP to activate their $10 subscription to Netflix. They're probably going to drop Netflix and use their ISP's service. Netflix just lost customers to strong-arming. ISPs have already talked about this. Comcast is already sort of doing it. It is not enough to hope that they will follow the spirit of net neutrality on their own, because they won't. Someone has to step it in and force it on them.

Comment: Re:The US FCC does not have the authority (Score 1) 161

by Mystiq (#41211385) Attached to: The Danger In Exempting Wireless From Net Neutrality
Federal Communications Commission. I would like to believe the Internet is a form of communication. By all rights it should have jurisdiction to regulate businesses that deal with the Internet in the US. The only people that don't want the FCC do have any authority over the Internet are the ones that are against net neutrality. Congress doesn't care. Thankfully the FCC does.

To do nothing is to be nothing.