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Comment Re:Have you asked them? (Score 1) 314

Indeed, the only hope we have of discovering the true cause of this phenomena is to ponder in slashdot comments. That will certainly be more productive than asking adults to share the reasons they aren't programmers. Highly unlikely that they made any sort of rational decision!

Social Networks

Xbox Live Now Allows Gender Expression 348

Last year we discussed news that an Xbox Live gamer was banned for identifying herself as a lesbian on her profile. Microsoft said at the time that nothing sexual in nature could appear in Gamertags or profiles. Now, they seem to have reconsidered their stance, and they've updated their Code of Conduct accordingly. Xbox Live General Manager Marc Whitten wrote: "[The update] will allow our members to more freely express their race, nationality, religion and sexual orientation in Gamertags and profiles. Under our previous policy, some of these expressions of self-identification were not allowed in Gamertags or profiles to prevent the use of these terms as insults or slurs. However we have since heard feedback from our customers that while the spirit of this approach was genuine, it inadvertently excluded a part of our Xbox LIVE community. This update also comes hand-in-hand with increased stringency and enforcement to prevent the misuse of these terms."

Comment An Indie Developer? (Score 1) 61

How long until an indie developer creates an MMO that has different interfaces for PC and mobile

Why specifically an indie developer? The Eve Online guys will probably do this within a year (just speculating, from what I remember of the game mechanics it would make good sense in that game).

Comment They're still useful, but they should change (Score 2, Interesting) 571

I still find computer labs on campus useful. Some of the reasons have already been mentioned (printing, obscure software licenses, collaboration, etc..).

What I'd like to see more of is docking stations for laptops. USB keyboards and mice, large monitors, no boxen. Its still difficult to get access to these in most labs, they're often locked to the box in an inconvient manner...

The modern computer lab can still have computers, but they should accomodate the fact that many students have their own computers. Just include an actual computer at every other station or something...


AMD — "We're Not Entirely Honest" About Batteries 154

Slatterz writes "In an apparent attack of the bleeding-obvious, an AMD rep has come clean and admitted (on behalf of the industry) that notebook and phone battery life figures are completely unreliable. AMD's senior vice president Nigel Dessau says that 'we are not being entirely honest with users about what PC battery life they can expect to actually experience.' He says AMD will now use a combination of idle time (where the machine is left to sit idle, and timed to see how long it takes for the battery to go dead), and 3DMark06 to measure battery life. Great in theory but some of the industry already bases battery figures on a two-test measurement, and the results are still wildly inaccurate."

Comment Braid (Score 1) 507

Braid got rid of (most) of the save/load BS. Still had to occasionally reload a room when the level had tricked you thoroughly.

Braid is also better for casuals, imho. Fewer dimensions (har har har harh ahrharharhahrahrhar) and other graphical distractions. A little patience was the only requirement, something I've found older folks (esp. former(?) parents) have in spades.


Proprietary Blobs and the Pursuit of a Free Kernel 405

jammag writes "Ever since the GNewSense team pointed out that the Linux kernel contains proprietary firmware blobs, the question of whether a given distro is truly free software has gotten messier, notes Linux pundit Bruce Byfield. The FSF changed the definition of a free distribution, and a search for how to respond to this new definition is now well underway. Who wins and what solutions are implemented could have a major effect on the future of free and open source software. Debian has its own solution (by allowing users to choose their download), as do Ubuntu and Fedora (they include the offending firmware by default but make it possible to remove it). Meanwhile, the debate over firmware rages on. What resolves this issue?"

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?