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Comment Re:Better Interview w/ the Creator of Brogue on To (Score 1) 77

Big fan of Brogue and I find that the author did a great interview explaining how it works in his game here:


He gets more into how the terrain is generated as well.

That is a MUCH better article. Brian Walker has a good overview of dungeon pathfinding too.


Comment Re:Half the story (Score 4, Interesting) 213

There are more than a dozen companies distributing these cartoons on DVD and not paying anyone or asking permission. If they want to name-check "Superman", they can do that too. It's factual information, not product branding.

Where there might be a legitimate copyright issue is copying someone else's film transfer or encoded video, if something creative was done with the presentation, possibly including restoration. In similar cases, the court has ruled that exact duplication, even that requiring a high degree of skill, has no creative element and not covered by copyright.


Submission + - Blindness and reading Slashdot 1

An anonymous reader writes: Hi, I’m a longtime Slashdot reader and a big fan of the site. Your site is definitely in the top 5 sites I check out every day and find it to be a great way to find out about news, tech culture, and generally interesting and entertaining information.

That said, I’m writing to you becuase reading the site has been become a chore, mainly because I’m starting to go blind. I don’t mean that in the literal sense of losing all vision, just my up close reading vision. As a guy in his 40s I’m starting to have harder time seeing things up close. This affects me as a computer professional because my career is based on reading things up close.

Luckily, the technology we use specifically for vision-impaired people and allows changing most content size via a zoom functionality or changing the font size. Most every operating system and application supports this. So, here are things I use to make text larger when reading web pages:

When I load a website, I generally enlarge the page via web browser zoom functionality. On all major browsers for Macintosh, this is Cmd +. And on most websites this works well enough. Some web sites handle layout issues with zoom better than others but it’s generally readable. Slashdot is an unfortunate exception. When I zoom the Slashdot page, the left side that has the actual content becomes smaller and the right bar overtakes the page. Zooming enough so that I can read the text means the articles become almost impossible to read.


At this level of zoom, you can only see a partial headline. Less than 15% of the area of the page is a news posting. More than 85% of the page is non-content, that is, an actual article I wanted to read. Those ads sure don’t get smaller though; they are shown at correct zoom and aspect ratio.

Additionally, reading the articles is painful. The text is flowed such that you can see at most 3 words per line, and sometimes one or two words per line. At this zoom level, one third of the page is actual content, 2/3 going to that right sidebar. In general, this bar has ads and some incidental navigation content that I’ve never used in my life and has no interest to me. So, forcing this to overtake the page makes reading content unbearable.

Override Font Size
OK, since I like your site I will go through some more hoops to make it more readable. Maybe I can change the text size in my browser to make the site look better and I can still read the text. Whoops, Safari doesn’t have that preference any more. OK, let’s try Chrome. It has a ‘font size’ preference, so I’ll change to the largest ‘Very Large’. Andnothing happens. Apparently your site overrides the browser’s built in font setting. Fine, I’ll go to Firefox which still allows you to override the page font. Unfortunately, not much luck.


1. Only the headline size and the top menu font size changed. The actual article content can’t be overridden by Firefox for some reason. I tried changing every font size in the preferences I could find with no effect.
2. The layout is now messed up, with text overlapping in the menu, and the comment number for each post going outside it’s bar.
3. The font I picked (Times New Roman, a standard serif font) doesn’t have glyphs for all the characters on the page so there’s a lot of broken areas of the page that draw unknown characters.

Another tactic I try is to go to the mobile version of a site, which generally has a much simpler layout and handles showing content and ads better at ‘smaller’ sizes. I even see on your desktop site it tells me how to go to the mobile site.
No such luck, going to the mobile URL redirects back to the desktop version.

All this means that the Slashdot site is very hard to read with my current vision. The maddening thing is that the technology to make the site readable exists on all major operating systems, applications, and browsers. Except Slashdot manages to circumvent these options.

The Blind Manifesto
I don't think it's too much to ask that I can read a web page that has non-obtrusive ads and side bar. Or some way to dismiss them when they get in the way.

I don't think I should be penalized for my declining vision. Someone with better vision has more of the web site with actual content, and has the optimal layout that the developers created. I have to either squint and hurt my eyes, or see a crap version of the page.

May I humbly ask for one of these:

When zooming, don’t mandate that the right sidebar has to be onscreen at all times. All other major websites don’t have this problem. I tried the top 10 websites and many others to prove it, so hopefully Slashdot can do the same.

Allow the right sidebar to become squished like the content.

Have some control on your website to zoom the font size. And not just 2 or 3 settings. Allow as much zoom as I want. As an example, I use somewhere between 200% and 300%.

Allow overriding the font in Firefox.

Allow going to the mobile site on the desktop.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and I very much hope I can go back to reading Slashdot.

Comment Of course, we all saw it coming ... (Score 1) 100

... the moment Slashdot posted a story about it two days ago. Nintendo would not have cared if Slashdot and other big sites didn't overexpose this project. Too many fan games have been destroyed this way.

If you actually like these projects, carefully consider the consequences of your reporting.

If you want to play copyright tattletale, carry on.

Comment Re:Windows (Score 1) 611

I've never liked that setting. It doesn't really make anything any easier for me and just slows down the Start menu (at least with earlier version of Windows). It also doesn't change that fact that so many things have been pointlessly renamed, muddled together, and hidden away. It takes 3 or so extra clicks to get to the settings of a network device. Why can't I just right-click the system bar icon of an active network and select properties?

Comment Re:Windows (Score 1) 611

More or less the same, though 98 is better than 95 and NT4 is better than both.

I preferred 2000 over XP but accepted XP once I configured it to be more like 2000. With time I considered XP to be marginally superior.

I strongly resisted 7 over XP but accepted 7 once I configured it to be more like XP (thanks in large part to Classic Shell). With these changes I consider it markedly superior to XP but remain annoyed by some changes to infrequently used tasks such as the navigating the control panel. In most ways it is more user friendly and capable and much less glitchy.

Excepting missteps like ME and Vista, Windows has generally improved with each iteration. I'm not so hopeful if it comes to using 8 but admit I don't know much about it.

Submission + - The Pirate Bay Bundle 1

Comment Re:How can you trademark a color? (Score 1) 653

It's called "trade dress" and it isn't uncommon. Seven Towns claims ownership of its Rubik's Cube color scheme for example. Recently Apple successfully sued Samsung on trade dress grounds for the visual similarity of their products. It's look-and-feel infringement. If the claimant has a powerful enough brand and can show enough similarities, they can easily prevent competitors from diluting their trademark with a trade dress infringement argument.

Comment Re:Lenz v. UMG (Score 2) 268

That confirms that the claimant should act in good faith, believing the material to be infringing. The court merely found that counter-claims of notices believed to have been sent in bad faith cannot simply be dismissed.

DMCA 17 U.S.C. 512(c)(3)(A)(v):

(v) A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

The perjury clause is specific to only a portion of the next subsection (emphasis added).

DMCA 17 U.S.C. 512(c)(3)(A)(vi):

(vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.


I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.