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Comment I can guess the reason (Score 3, Informative) 473

There's already a single player mode, for days when you don't feel like interacting with other players, and a 'friends only' mode where you only interact with people on your friends list.

Your ships and money are shared between modes. If they added an off-line mode too, then they'd face complaints like "I've just spent 60 hours in off-line mode working my way up to an Asp, and now you're telling me that I can't use it when I play with my friends??!? W.T.H. You guys suck!"

Comment Re:Because RTFA is too much... (Score 1) 1017

Gary Taubes is an advocate of high-fat/low-carbohydrate diets. He seriously overstates the importances of the source of calories, compared to the calorie total itself, and willfully ignores the strong evidence linking saturated fats to heart disease.

He has a habit of jumping on any bandwagon that supports his conclusions, regardless of whether the bandwagon is valid or not.

His support should therefore not be given much weight in your deliberations.


German Kindergartens Ordered To Pay Copyright For Songs 291

BBird writes "Deutsche Welle reports: 'Up until this year, preschools could teach and produce any kind of song they wanted. But now they have to pay for a license if they want children to sing certain songs. A tightening of copyright rules means kindergartens now have to pay fees to Germany's music licensing agency, GEMA, to use songs that they reproduce and perform. The organization has begun notifying creches and other daycare facilities that if they reproduce music to be sung or performed, they must pay for a license.'"

How Zynga's CityVille Drew 70 Million Players In Less Than a Month 101

An article at Gamasutra takes an in-depth look at how Zynga's new browser-based social game CityVille managed to accumulate tens of millions of players in the relatively short time since its launch early this month. Quoting: "The Facebook interface induces a high degree of user blindness. It does not do a great job of exposing new games and applications, and lacks a directory or a 'Featured in the App Store' style of editorial (as Apple does for the iPhone), which means that for most developers there are huge problems in getting their games in front of users' eyeballs. With all of the free advertising channels on the platform now constrained or dead, this has meant that the Facebook economy has been acquiring an increasingly Darwinian shape. Where it used to be an egalitarian environment in which any developer could strike it big, over the last year it has become top-heavy with larger developers accruing exponential success, and cutting off oxygen to smaller companies by default."

Julian Assange's Online Dating Profile Leaked 334

Ponca City writes "The Telegraph reports that an online dating profile created by Julian Assange in 2006 has been unearthed from OKCupid disclosing that the WikiLeaks editor sought 'spirited, erotic' women 'from countries that have sustained political turmoil.' Writing under the pseudonym of British science fiction author Harry Harrison, Assange described himself as a 'passionate, and often pig headed activist intellectual.' Assange said he was seeking a 'siren for [a] love affair, children and occasional criminal conspiracy' adding that he was 'directing a consuming, dangerous human rights project which is, as you might expect, male dominated' and added enigmatically: 'I am DANGER, ACHTUNG.' Among Assange's listed interests were the 'structure of reality' and 'chopping up human brains' – although he added the caveat '(neuroscience background)' lest the latter put off potential admirers. 'I like women from countries that have sustained political turmoil,' Assange wrote. 'Western culture seems to forge women that are valueless and inane. OK. Not only women!'"

First Halophile Potatoes Harvested 117

Razgorov Prikazka writes "A Dutch-based company from Groningen is trying to create a potato race that is able to survive in a saline environment. The first test-batch was just harvested (English translation of Dutch original) on the island Texel and seem to be in good shape. The company states that rising sea-levels will create a demand for halophile crops. I do wonder if one still has to put salt on ones potatoes when they are grown in salt water."

Girl Seeks Help On Facebook During Assault 417

A 12-year-old girl who was being assaulted by her mother's ex-boyfriend used some quick thinking by sending a message on her iPod to a friend's Facebook account for help. The friend was able to contact the girl's mother who then contacted the police. 42-year-old Raymond Ernest Cesmat was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. He is being held at the Dakota County Jail on $175,000 bail.

Comment What is wisdom? (Score 1) 507

The interesting question is not whether all crowds are wise. (THEY'RE NOT.)

Nor is it whether a crowd can be arranged in such a way that it makes better decisions than the average person in the crowd. (THEY CAN.)

It is whether you can arrange the decision making process among a crowd to consistently make wise decisions, even if no individual member of the crowd is consistently wise.

Since, in any sufficiently large crowd, somebody is going to come up with a wise answer to any particular question, the key problem is getting members of the crowd to agree on which of two answers is the wiser. One solution is to get the members who don't have a clue to delegate that decision to others who they think are, in general, good at picking winners. With a sufficient track record, you have an objective basis to decide who is or is not good at recognition, provided there is some correlation between past and future problems, or at least some way to categorise which sort of expertise is relevant to each problem.

PC Games (Games)

Cloud Gaming Service OnLive Set For Launch 115

Steve Perlman's long-anticipated cloud gaming service, OnLive, officially launches today, finally ready to be put to the test by skeptical and hopeful gamers around the US. After granting some early sign-ups a free year to try out the service, OnLive also announced the list of 23 games that will available from the start, including Mass Effect 2, UT 3, Assassin's Creed 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and F.E.A.R. 2. Perlman spoke at length with Gamasutra about the beta, latency, and potential partnerships with other broadband providers. Future OnLive competitor Gaikai recently announced it's targeting 2011 for its own launch.

Doctor Slams Hospital's "Please" Policy 572

Administrators at England's Worthing Hospital are insisting that doctors say the magic word when writing orders for blood tests on weekends. If a doctor refuses to write "please" on the order, the test will be refused. From the article: "However, a doctor at the hospital said on condition of anonymity that he sees the policy as a money-saving measure that could prove dangerous for patients. 'I was shocked to come in on Sunday and find none of my bloods had been done from the night before because I'd not written "please,"' the doctor said. 'I had no results to guide treatment of patients. Myself and a senior nurse had to take the bloods ourselves, which added hours to our 12-hour shifts. This system puts patients' lives at risk. Doctors are wasting time doing the job of the technicians.'"
PC Games (Games)

Blizzard Boss Says Restrictive DRM Is a Waste of Time 563

Stoobalou writes "Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce reckons that fighting piracy with DRM is a losing battle. His company — which is responsible for one of the biggest video games of all time, the addictive online fantasy role player World of Warcraft — is to release StarCraft 2 on July 27, and Pearce has told Videogamer that the title won't be hobbled with the kind of crazy copy protection schemes that have made Ubisoft very unpopular in gaming circles of late. StarCraft 2 will require a single online activation using the company's servers, after which players will be allowed to play the single-player game to their hearts' content, without being forced to have a persistent Internet connection."

Cassandra and Voldemort Benchmarked 45

kreide33 writes "Key/Value storage systems are gaining in popularity, much because of features such as easy scalability and automatic replication. However, there are several to choose from and performance is an important deciding factor. This article compares the performance of two of the most well-known projects, Cassandra and Voldemort, using several different mixes of access types, and compares both throughput and latency."

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval