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Comment Re:Should be (Score 1) 198 198

They collected and saved a bunch of useless data. That's their mistake. There's absolutely nothing useful they could have done with little snippets of unencrypted IP traffic.

That's why allegations of evilness in this case are so painfully stupid. They knew they did something that would *seem* a little sketchy at first glance, but there's just no scenario where intentionally doing this would benefit Google in any way.

Comment Re:Almost 2 months (Score 1) 443 443

But as he says in the article, the goal was not to be unbreakable, but to delay the hackers -- 50 percent of the total sales occurred in the first 2 months.

There's an unstated, totally unproven assumption that pirates are impatient and will buy the game if it isn't cracked soon. There's been a lot of handwaving about this from people trying to justify DRM, but they're all assuming a link for which they have no evidence.

My theory, equally unsupported by real data, is that the vast majority of pirates are cheap bastards who aren't going to buy a game for $50-60, period. They'll wait, they'll play the game a little later.

Comment Re:Space Invaders (Score 1) 238 238

simulation-based games can have unexpected outcomes which might not be particularly beneficial from the designers' point of view.

But that's half the fun of open-world, sim-like games (the ones that actually deserve the "sandbox" term). Sure, major unintended functionality should be ironed out in testing, but the ability to approach a situation in a way the designer never anticipated is fantastic.

Comment Re:Let them get rid of free demos (Score 1) 379 379

Totally agree. I'm sure the big developers/publishers will continue to profit, but they'll also drive away a certain hardcore audience that has entirely different wants. Indie games are flourishing, and very likely will continue to do so. No DRM + a focus on gameplay over graphics = win.

I'd keep an eye on EA/BioWare, though. They're managing to be somewhat evil (neutering resale by offering "free" one-time DLC) while maintaining light DRM, a strong mod community, and damn good games.

Comment Re:so clam breaks if a remote server is down? (Score 1) 299 299

The Windows equivalent would be Microsoft Delivering a critical update with XP designed to disable windows, because you haven't updated to Vista yet.

No, not even remotely close. Upgrading ClamAV is trivial and costs nothing. If you're not keeping your security software up to date, you've failed utterly.

Comment xUnit Test Patterns (Score 5, Informative) 98 98

For anyone familiar with the basics of unit testing but struggling to implement it in real world scenarios, I'd strongly recommend xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code by Gerard Meszaros.

The idea is not only that automated testing is good, but that testable code is fundamentally better because it needs to be loosely coupled. I still struggle to follow TDD in many scenarios, especially where I'm closely interacting with system APIs, but just reading xUnit Test Patterns has given me tons of ideas that improved my code.

Comment Re:That is fast! (Score 1) 100 100

The characters in DAO are goddamn amazing. By far the best in any game I've played. They genuinely feel like people with consistent personalities, who react very differently to each other, to your actions, and to your words. You can't get away with mindlessly tapping the "positive" dialogue option (like you can in the Mass Effects) if you want, say, Morrigan to like you.

Comment Re:News Flash! (Score 1) 309 309

If you've played, say, Ultima Online in its heyday or Darkfall recently, you'd know what I mean when I refer to the "usual MMO", versus the entire MMO genre. Doom, Doom clones, BioShock, and Deus Ex (arguably) are all FPSes, dontchaknow. And yet many people who were sick of Doom clones probably loved Deus Ex.

Comment Re:Level based or skill based? (Score 1) 309 309

And a few years from now, will STO offer anything substantial beyond the usual MMO experience? Probably not. If you want a Star Trek flavored MMO, you probably won't mind the imperfections and you'll love the incremental developments. If you're sick of the usual MMO schtick, a big meh.

Comment Re:Level based or skill based? (Score 3, Informative) 309 309

you have a really, really lackluster game.

I only played this past weekend after I got a beta key, but I have to agree. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a Star Trek MMORPG, if your expectations were entirely unambitious. The bridge officers change things up a little, but mostly in a cosmetic way. Gameplay is fundamentally unchanged from the model EQ and WoW set over the past decade. It's sadly typical MMO quest grind, and not half as polished as WoW. The interface, for example, is sluggish, poorly designed, and buggy.

Maybe if you're a big Star Trek fan, it'll still be fun. But if you've had your fill of typical MMOs that do nothing interesting with the whole massively multiplayer thing, I'd steer clear.

Comment Re:Let's add a link. (Score 4, Insightful) 260 260

I can kind of excuse the crap job that Google has done with consolidating settings; lots of their apps were bought from other companies, and they're just starting to make the Google profile a significant thing. But what I absolutely do not get is why they (and pretty much every other website in the world) completely ignore the Accept-Language browser header, which is sent properly by every browser.

It's such an obvious bit of information to use, it requires no IP-based geolocation, there must be some reason I'm not thinking of that they don't use it. Can anybody explain?

Comment Re:Let's add a link. (Score 5, Insightful) 260 260

I know, this is total bullshit. I've been living in Germany for about 1.5 years now, I use an English-language browser, I've set everything I possibly can in Google to English, and it still constantly gives me random pages in German, like the OpenID login. What the fuck? Let me set my language in one place and then *keep it*, or recognize that if my user agent is in English, I probably want English. Overriding such things based on geography is astoundingly stupid, given the large number of travelers and expats in the world.

Belgium must be a particularly strange example...do the Walloons get Dutch too?

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