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Comment What about length? (Score 1) 100

I just bought this during Steam's huge sale a week or two ago. It's a 30GB game, and I beat it in 11 hours, a large portion of which was replaying levels / bosses due to the combination of extremely cheap deaths and really shitty placement of autosave / checkpoints. 22 minutes per GB? Are you fucking kidding me?

Mom Arrested After Son Makes Dry Ice "Bombs" 571

formfeed writes "Police were called to a house in Omaha where a 14-year-old made some 'dry ice bombs' (dry ice in soda bottles). Since his mom knew about it, she is now facing felony charges for child endangment and possession of a destructive device. From the article: 'Assistant Douglas County Attorney Eric Wells said the boy admitted to making the bomb and that his mother knew he was doing so. The boy was set to appear Tuesday afternoon in juvenile court, accused of possessing a destructive device.'" She's lucky they didn't find the baking soda volcano in the basement.

Comment Droid Eris User (Score 4, Interesting) 198

I have a Droid Eris, and as a guy with bigger hands that usually has trouble with these kinds of devices, I have to say I'm very happy with the accuracy - I almost never make a mis-click, even typing quite fast on the touchscreen keyboard.
However, I'm disappointed in responsiveness. The interface reminds me of playing an online game on a shitty internet connection when your roommate is loading a new YouTube video ever few minutes - without warning, for no apparent reason, and rarely in doing the same action twice, a click / tap will take up to 2 or 3 seconds to register. It's accurate, sure, but that's meaningless when I can't tell whether the thing is froze up or it just didn't detect my click, and don't dare click again for fear of accidentally clicking whatever happens to be in that same spot on the next page if the first click did register.

Comment Re:Any animator knows... (Score 1) 521

I think it also depends quite a lot on the type of game or what's going on in the game at the time the frame rate dips*. If quick, precise reactions / controls are important, a dip in fps is just horrible. For e.g. adventure games (even with free movement instead of in 'steps' like in Myst), or RTS's where you may need to act quickly, but not terribly precisely due to the map being made up of a grid, or an MMO like WoW or Eve where again speed is necessary, but not really precision because you lock onto and switch targets by clicking anywhere on them, and then all actions thereafter are automatically applied to the target, dipping down to 24 - 30 won't hurt gameplay. It might be annoying to me, but it's not going to really hurt me.
OTOH, with games like First Person Shooters or Platformers with difficult 'jumping / timing puzzles' or enemies that have to be attacked in a special way to be defeated, a sudden dip in frame rate will make the game noticeably more difficult.

*This is another important thing that others have alluded to - suddenly dropping from 60 to 30 fps in the middle of a game is BAD, especially since it's likely that the reason the frame rate dipped is because the game just got a lot more difficult / complicated. However, running consistently at 30 fps on the exact same game might be playable (if still somewhat annoying). Noticeably bad fps is not nearly as frustrating as generally good fps with a few points of noticeably bad fps mixed in.

Comment Re:Warcraft (Score 2) 235

What then happened was a major overload of games, most of which were not worth buying, and consumers got feed up and simply stopped buying.


I got a Wii about two years ago, and haven't bothered to even browse the Wii section of games in stores in probably 1.5 years. It's basically just a convenient emulator as far as I'm concerned - it's simply not worth the bother of browsing through the gobs and gobs of utterly horrible movie-tie-in and mini-game shovelware to find the bare handful of games that are Wii exclusives and worth playing. I can understand trying to hit a broader / more casual market, but I don't think anybody can deny that the vast majority of Wii games are simply shit without crossing their fingers behind their back.


FBI Investigates Liberator of Court Records 445

eldavojohn writes "Federal court documents aren't free to the public, they cost $0.08/page through a system called PACER. During a period when the US Government Printing Office was trying out free access at a number of courthouses around the US, a 22-year-old programmer named Aaron Swartz installed a small PERL script at the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals library in Chicago — a script that uploaded a public document every three seconds to Amazon's EC2 cloud computing service. Swartz then donated over 19 million documents to That's when the FBI took interest in the programmer responsible for this effort and ran his name through government databases. How did he discover this? His FOIA was approved, of course, and he received the FBI's partially redacted report on himself. The database was later merged with that of the RECAP Firefox extension, which we discussed a couple of months back." Update: 10/06 18:22 GMT by KD: Timothy Lee pointed out that the summary as originally posted garbled the Swartz / RECAP connection. Improved now.

NASA Testing Breakthrough In Water Safety 60

Jerry James Stone writes "NASA and University of Utah chemists are developing advanced tech for testing the drinkability of water. The process just began a six-month run aboard the International Space Station. Water will be sampled either from the Space Station's or Shuttle's galley using a syringe. It is then forced through a chemically-imbued membrane, which changes color based on toxicity. The process itself will take about two minutes. It checks drinking water for iodine and silver, which are used to kill unwanted microbes."

Comment 'Up To' (Score 2, Insightful) 248

Net Neutrality is important and I hope it succeeds, but I what I would really like to see - that is, what would have the greatest impact on me personally - is requirements for reasonable QoS and limits on the 'up to X speed' marketing. That would be in keeping with the 'upgrade your hardware' statement. I'm tired of paying for a certain level of service, only to discover that between 3:30pm and midnight or so, my bandwidth / latency are utter shit because the ISP has more customers than it's hardware can handle during prime use times, but they get away with it because, on average (figuring in non-prime time hours), their service looks pretty good.

Comment Re:Don't forget games... (Score 1) 450

You indirectly bring up another point I was thinking of - as recently as 5 or 6 years ago, I would routinely 'juggle' games off of and onto my hard drive. These days, I generally install a game and leave it. Note that that isn't entirely a luxury provided by bigger drives - to some degree, it's become a necessity, due to some game publishers limiting the number of times a game may be reinstalled.
Sun Microsystems

62% of Sun's Stockholders Vote For Oracle Deal 152

Moon Workstation writes "In an special meeting held at Santa Clara, CA, 62% of Sun's stockholders voted for the acquisition by Oracle. As a result of this Sun's stock will be taken from the stock market as of Friday. The acquisition is still waiting for approval by the US Department of Justice and anti-trust offices in other countries. The planned acquisition is source for rumors and speculation about the future of different Sun products, like OpenSolaris, CPUs and others." (MySQL among them.)

The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else doing it wrong, without commenting. -- T.H. White