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Comment: Re:Arduino Compatible (Score 1) 47

by QuasiSteve (#47865745) Attached to: Intel Releases SD-Card-Sized PC, Unveils Next 14nm Chip

Correct - though that's only one option. You can also plug it into other boards (termed 'bricks', so Arduino has Shields, BeagleBone as Capes, and Edison has Bricks). SparkFun - next to Adafruit probably the best-known company for this sort of thing - has got a bunch of bricks plus the Edison available for pre-order starting today:

Among those is the standard Arduino form factor breakout out of Intel itself, but also a brick for an Arduino Pro Mini form factor, and a bunch of more generic bricks like accelerometer/gyro, GPIO, (tiny) display.

I do wonder why there doesn't appear to be a sound brick.. seems like an oversight especially when they've got everything else required to make a tiny little portable gaming unit.

Comment: Re:At the risk of blaming the victim... (Score 2) 311

by QuasiSteve (#47817179) Attached to: Apple Denies Systems Breach In Photo Leak

I'd imagine that most of them really didn't want that stuff leaked - or they'd just leak them, themselves, in a coordinated manner.

Of course now that they are out, most of them will be working with their PR agent(s) to put as positive a spin on it as they can - be that to be indignant, outraged, shrugging it off, claiming it's not them, thinking of how they're going to put themselves in a PSA about password security so that their idolizing fans don't make the same mistake, etc.
And, yes, some of them will probably come out of this better.
But that doesn't mean that this is what they wanted all along.

Comment: Where we're going, we don't need rules... (Score 1) 312

by QuasiSteve (#47808949) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

I'm not so sure that's right. I'm certainly not equating the two here, but certainly there's a comparison to be made with e.g. Time4Popcorn.

Time4Popcorn effectively aims to play in the market of non-interactive entertainment delivery (films and TV series, mostly), but its developers - and certainly its users - have no interest in wanting to play by the existing rules (i.e. having to license the content at great cost, and only after spending weeks if not months of being unable to license it at all).

I don't think there's a great many people suggesting that it, and other such upsetting technologies, be required to play by the rules. If anything, they see these technologies as being instigators of having those rules changed, if not abandoned altogether.

I see Uber and the like as being in the same vein - and while Germany, London, whatever ends up 'banning' these services, I'm sure they realize that it's not going to stop then and there, and the rules will eventually have to be adjusted.

Comment: Re:srcset attribute (Score 1) 94

by QuasiSteve (#47795123) Attached to: Google Introduces HTML 5.1 Tag To Chrome

This allow to change the img source according to media queries, which is not possible using CSS

Could you explain this in more detail?

I thought it was perfectly possible to have an @screen CSS with one image source, and an @handheld CSS with another image source?

( Not to mention the 'device-pixel-ratio' tricks. )

In addition, while sub-optimal, servers themselves can already send different media based on the request headers; isn't that how the whole 'mobile vs desktop mode' in smartphone browsers works (or rather, is supposed to work) anyway?

Comment: Re:Her Videos Are Shit (Score 1) 1262

I think that in the case of e.g. Wolfenstein, you're right, there's a storyline (well.. sort of) that is written for a particular character.. but that's mostly the character's background/mindset/etc, and not so much its looks.

I just think it's silly to expect developers to build games that always take a specific set of players preferences into consideration over another.

This is why I mentioned that they should leverage the technology that they're already using and come up with a unified way to re-use assets. This doesn't require customization options in-game at all - all it needs to be able to do is load a mesh, associated texture maps, and skeleton parameters, and it should be good to go, regardless of whether that game is an army warfare game, an RPG, etc.

Comment: Re:Her Videos Are Shit (Score 1) 1262

Movies and games are intrinsically different, though. You also have no control over the protagonist's actions.

Perhaps the easiest way to make this obvious is to ask you to watch one of the 'no commentary' playthroughs of a game. I think you'll find very quickly that you'd be wondering why the player didn't check out a certain room, why they shot a person and alerted a bunch of their buddies when they could have just snuck past, etc. etc.

Note that almost hidden in that very paragraph is part of the realization that it's different - you'd be wondering about the player, not about the character. Even if, during a movie, you wonder why a protagonist did / did not do X, you're wondering it about the protagonist, and not the screenwriter / director / etc.

As for whether or not it's appropriate for any type of game - no, probably not. That is why I did limit it to at least humanoid type games, limiting one to a humanoid type skeleton. If somebody wants to drop that inside the model of a penis because they're 14 and think it's funny, they should go for it (and get banned for violating the rules if it's an online game, most likely). If they're playing a game where they're a snake, then obviously the humanoid skeleton simply wouldn't apply.

So within the genre of having humanoid type characters - which is the vast majority of games - what element of customization do you believe would be incompatible with, say, a Battlefield type game? If you think that some players would wear fur coats over bikinis while wielding a gun.. well they're just making themselves a bigger target, aren't they? ;) But if you think that some players would choose to be a bit more on the L4D Coach side of physique mesh, or that a player might choose to have that shirt texture buttoned all the way up to the top because they want to show a little less cleavage...well, I'm not sure what would be wrong with that.

Comment: Re:Her Videos Are Shit (Score 1) 1262

Just because she shares some of the traits that she discusses as miss-ification (I don't remember the term she used - watched it a long time ago; the bow in the hair being ubiquitous is hilarious though), doesn't mean she's undermining her argument.

That's the same silly observation-jump-to-conclusion people make about e.g. those who are part of Greenpeace driving cars, taking flights and having their main fleet be diesel engine ships, and thus should not be taken seriously on their talking points on pollution.

Specifically, she chose to wear make up and wear earrings - for whatever reason. In the case of a game character, that choice is made entirely for you.

Now, do I think that every game should have a characters with complete customization options? Well, actually, yes. Why not. In fact, it would be about time that the game industry picked up on the Wii's 'Mii' construction and allowed gamers to play with their own humanoid avatars in any game so that people can design their own characters to their heart's content, or have it designed professionally for them. The technology has been there since games started using skeletal systems instead of rigid pre-defined poses.

But assuming that's not within budget constraints, there's at least little to no reason to always put a bow on a cartoonesque character to indicate it's supposed to be female, or to give more human-like characters large breasts, a voluptuous behind, and skimpy clothing - just like the male characters don't always need to be six pack buffs with a 5 o'clock shadow and a deep-but-not-too-deep voice. If that's exactly what the game calls for (hello, Mortal Kombat), fine. Otherwise, spice things up, keep things interesting, and stop reinforcing the stereotypes that the games industry has, even if the criticism comes from somebody who may very well embody that stereotype.

Comment: 'Social Media' and APIs more likely to kill feeds (Score 3, Interesting) 132

by QuasiSteve (#47387639) Attached to: Google Reader: One Year Later

Google Reader was merely the most popular 'client' app - its disappearance wouldn't spell the doom of feeds (RSS/atom/whatever), and here's why: practically all the major publishing apps have RSS functionality built-in.
Do you use Wordpress? You probably have an RSS feed whether you're aware of it or not.
Using phpBB? You probably have an RSS feed.
Started a subreddit? It comes with a bunch of feeds.

Now try to get an RSS feed for, say, .
Or how about an RSS feed for ?

facebook still offers an RSS for timelines, but you'll have to get it first as it's keyed.
twitter doesn't offer an RSS at all, you'll just have to use the APIs (and you'll need to authenticate even if you only want public read access, so you'll have to register, too). And don't think about trying to offer an API-to-RSS bridge, Twitter doesn't take kindly to such awesomeness;

These 'social media' platforms of course want you to stay inside their boundaries. If you want to know what @Whoever is up to, you'll just have to view twitter or, better yet, 'Follow' that user and make sure you've got yourself logged in on as many devices as possible preferably with the official twitter apps.

So what happens when a company no longer regularly posts their news or blog posts via their regular content delivery, and instead takes to twitter / facebook? The feed dies out. Sure, it's still there, and maybe once in a blue moon some new content does pop up on there.. but for that same content and everything else you'd be interested in, you'll just have to check them out on facebook and/or twitter.

It's only when companies start realizing this shift - and, again, they might not even be fully aware that they're offering a feed in the first place - that they might try shutting it down for fear of not reaching the right viewership (in the way they want, including the possibility of deleting a post that they later regret).

At least feeds will remain as the premiere way to deliver podcasts (hacked on as they are) ... until some sort of social podcasting platform emerges as the de facto standard and requires you to use their website/proprietary apps.

Comment: Re:Not about consumption, but about sales (Score 1) 532

by QuasiSteve (#47332615) Attached to: NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks

For instance, the local mom and pop store could not sell a 44 ounce soft drink, however the local 7-11 (convenience store) could sell it without any problems.

A local mom and pop store could also sell them just fine.

the ban only applied to businesses under the auspices of the health department*

If the mom and pop 'store' was actually a small local food joint (including, say, an establishment that sells giant sugared-up bubble teas), you're absolutely right. But then, they're already subject to a whole slew of different laws.

So you'd really have to question how 7/11 with their soda dispensers etc. are categorized as merely a convenience or grocery store, when in the element of providing beverages effectively 'to go' they're not all that different from, say, a McDonald's. Not so much a problem with this law, as it is with whatever law governs business categorization and how that affects what other laws are applicable.
( Note that 7/11 could still sell their half gallon bottled products, regardless. )

* From a BBC article. You can read the full definition in the actual health code (as long as it isn't changed after the ruling):
Page 38.

New York City Health Code



81.53 Maximum Beverage Size

  • (a) Definition of terms used in this section.
    • (1) Sugary drink means a carbonated or non-carbonated beverage that:
      • (A) is non-alcoholic;
      • (B) is sweetened by the manufacturer or establishment with sugar or another caloric sweetener;
      • (C) has greater than 25 calories per 8 fluid ounces of beverage; and
      • (D) does not contain more than 50 percent of milk or milk substitute by volume as an ingredient.
        The volume of milk or milk substitute in a beverage will be presumed to be less than or equal to 50 percent unless proven otherwise by the food service establishment serving it.
    • (2) Milk substitute means any liquid that is soy-based and is intended by its manufacturer to be a substitute for milk.
    • (3) Self-service cup means a cup or container provided by a food service establishment that is filled with a beverage by the customer.
  • (b) Sugary drinks. A food service establishment may not sell, offer, or provide a sugary drink in a cup or container that is able to contain more than 16 fluid ounces.
  • (c) Self-service cups. A food service establishment may not sell, offer, or provide to any customer a self-service cup or container that is able to contain more than 16 fluid ounces.
  • (d) Violations of this section. Notwithstanding the fines, penalties, and forfeitures outlined in Article 3 of this Code, a food service establishment determined to have violated this section will be subject to a fine of no more than two hundred dollars for each violation and no more than one violation of this section may be cited at each inspection of a food service establishment.

Comment: Re:The Sugary Slope (Score 1) 532

by QuasiSteve (#47329337) Attached to: NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks

The analogy doesn't entirely hold. Analogous would be if they put extra taxes on sugary soft drinks, put warning labels on the bottles/cups, and banning their consumption in public places.

Vice versa, the analogy would be that places that sell cigarettes can only sell the filter-less cigarettes in packages of 10, forcing those who want to buy more cigarettes at a time to buy two packs.

( The analogy doesn't quite hold as cigarettes tend to be consumed over a longer period of time, rather than gulped down in one sitting at a restaurant/movie theater, say. )

Though this bit off of wikipedia makes me curious:

In the United States of America, the quantity of cigarettes in a pack must be at least 20.

I guess that was enacted to keep cigarette companies from dropping 2 out of a pack without people really noticing while still paying a similar price. I can only imagine there's strict rules on length and diameter, too.

Comment: Not about consumption, but about sales (Score 5, Insightful) 532

by QuasiSteve (#47329295) Attached to: NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks

If people want to smash down 44fl oz of sugar like that then let them. If you need to regulate that

But it wasn't going to regulate people drinking 44fl oz of whatever, or even 16.5fl oz

If a patron wanted, there was nothing stopping them from buying, say, 3 x 16fl oz drinks and gulp that all up. Alternatively, there was nothing stopping them from getting one 16fl oz drink and going for refills.

This was entirely on businesses, disallowing them to sell anything over 16fl oz.

Changing it to say that they wanted to prohibit people from drinking more than that certainly incensed people who are against government intrusion into personal affairs - but that really only helped the case of businesses who would rather sell you one bigger drink of which more is likely to just get tossed anyway or drank because people didn't want to toss it so they drank more than they actually wanted, than that they sell you a smaller drink and then have more people realize that they really don't want any more than that.
There's a reason that the other party was "the American Beverage Association" and not, say, the ACLU or some rights group that defends individuals' personal freedoms (rather than business' freedoms).

That's what the goal was, which as a side-effect may have been that people would drink less of it - but if they really wanted to, they could always go and drink more.

Well, that and of course tell people what to eat, when to eat, and how to eat. /sarcasm

So if there's any argument to be had, it should be about whether businesses should be free to serve whatever size drink they damn well please, no matter the content (aside from those regulated already, like liquor).

"Oh dear, I think you'll find reality's on the blink again." -- Marvin The Paranoid Android