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Comment: Re:Good idea, bad implementation (Score 4, Informative) 239

by Schnapple (#49569295) Attached to: Valve Pulls the Plug On Paid Mods For Skyrim

Valve and Zenimax should have given at least the big-name modders some heads-up, so they could think and have time to rationally decide whether to start selling, and for how much, and to work out any licensing issues in multi-person teams.

I guess you missed it but they did exactly that.

Creator of removed paid Skyrim mod gives his side of the story

Basically Valve contacted him and several other high profile mod authors over a month and a half ago to participate in the rollout. In this particular case, the Art of the Catch mod (adds fishing to Skyrim, I think, I haven't tried it) needed some files from another mod to run, or it had a dependency, or both. Valve told him their legal team thought it would be OK but that the author should consult a lawyer on his own. He didn't, and many butts got hurt over the result.

But your assertion, that they did this with no notice to anyone, least of all the high profile modders, is wrong. They did exactly that.

Comment: Re:Comcast and Time Warner, a match made in . . . (Score 2) 112

by Schnapple (#49545045) Attached to: Comcast Officially Gives Up On TWC Merger

Time Warner, a copyright focused company would have brought to the relationship.

It's worth pointing out that Time Warner Cable is, confusingly, not owned by Time Warner Inc. It used to be, of course, and for some reason it still has the name (likely some sort of obligation with an expiration date) but since 2009 it's been an independent company.

It's resulted in some asinine incidents, like how TWC for a while could not use HBO Go even though Time Warner proper owns HBO.

Comment: Re:Apple may outlive Acer - But will they make PCs (Score 1) 417

by Schnapple (#49544991) Attached to: We'll Be the Last PC Company Standing, Acer CEO Says
You make some good points but there's one thing I think is going on and is worth pointing out.

Apple is in an interesting spot at the moment in that, due to the sheer popularity of just about everything they make, they're selling more Macs now than ever before. People are switching to Macs more now than ever did during that "I'm a Mac" campaign. It's anecdotal evidence, sure, but my wife switched to OS X from Windows and didn't lose any momentum.

The issue Apple faces is that they've always had this small but devoted group of people to sell to. They could get away with software being done the way it was and at the quality level it was because they knew their core contingent would lap it up. And they did. But it likely left them with software that was difficult to maintain and lacking in features which would be difficult to add to the existing code.

Take Microsoft, for instance. By all accounts, the source code for the Office products is a fucking nightmare for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the need to maintain compatibility with all of the documents already out there (and we know they don't always get that right either). The story goes that a several years ago they tried to rewrite everything from scratch while maintaining compatibility with existing documents. It was called Project Pyramid or Triangle or something. It was a disaster and after years of work and millions of dollars it was canceled. Fortunately they had continued to work on the regular Office suite so they still had something to ship (no Netscape level mistake made) but they simply had too much code in use by too many people to merit changing it. Look what happened when they tried to redo large portions of Windows - Vista was the result and it was a disaster that's kept a lot of the world on XP to this day.

Apple has their iWork suite and they realized with as many people getting Macs these days, and with Microsoft for a long time refusing to upgrade Office for Mac, if they were ever going to redo the code base now would be the time. Now, before millions more people use it and maybe make it part of their workflow. Same as Final Cut Pro. Thing is they don't know which features are really being used and which ones aren't so they come out with basic versions missing those features and when people complain that Thing X is missing, they put it back in.

It's true that the killing of Apeture is becaue they're not interested in the pseudo-pro photogtapher scene but I think that their other recent maneuvers with software are because if they want code that is long term maintainable, now would be the time to do it, before tons of other people use it and then they're stuck.

As for the DJ's and the cables, I would think anyone who wants to use a Mac professionally would know to get something other than the new MB. Its likely neither the most durable or portable Mac (11" MBA probably has it beat on portability) but its worth noting that if you have AppleCare (yes, an added expense) they'll replace broken cables for free just by bringing them to the store. Not an option if there's not an Apple store in the area but as a counter point to the "they make the cables crap so you have to buy new ones" argument, they'll replace your worn out cables for free under AppleCare.

Comment: Re:It's about time (Score 1) 86

by Schnapple (#49283321) Attached to: Nintendo Finally Working On Games for Smartphones

decent price? 16 bucks for a re-re-release on a system where you can emulate the original or probably the re-release too.

Just because it's old doesn't mean it's worthless. They spent a lot of time and money making a 3D version of the game for the DS, which they released for $30 and sold a ton of. The iOS version has better graphics and a higher resolution and they charged $16, just over half of what the DS version cost. And you're still complaining.

baldurs gate enhanced edition ios is 9.99$.

Baldur's Gate is $9.99 on iOS because it's on sale. Its normal price is $19.99. Baldur's Gate II is normally $24.99. I know because I bought both at those prices. Also, they sort of suck on touch devices. And even if I'm wrong and they're both $9.99 because the price has permanently dropped it just proves my point that cheap people like yourself drove the price down to such a level that the only reason the games are profitable is because they're 17 years old and only the porting costs need to be covered. But you can fucking forget about new games of that depth coming out.

But thanks for proving my point about how mobile gaming drives prices down to the point where the only good RPG's are going to be ports of ancient games. Enjoy your F2P hell you've created.

Comment: Re:It's about time (Score 5, Insightful) 86

by Schnapple (#49279227) Attached to: Nintendo Finally Working On Games for Smartphones

The days of selling "kiddie" handhelds with QVGA screens and $40 games are numbered.

God I hope not. Mobile gaming is nice and all but it's a race to the bottom. Every game has to be $0.99 or free, and IAP tied to gameplay (just 5 more moves for $0.99!). This is why there's nothing of any depth in mobile gaming. No one is going to sink millions into an RPG on an iPhone. Square has tried to charge decent prices for their games (like $15.99 for FF3) and no one buys them.

A lot of 3DS games are really good and it's because you can charge $40/pop for them and make a profit. Heck, the stupid AR games that come built into the 3DS are better games than 90% of the stuff on the iPhone.

I agree with your premise that dippy little games on Mobile with Mario will get the kids interested in Nintendo and hopefully pick up a Nintendo system but man I really hope that portable consoles and $40/game pricetags don't go away because otherwise everything is going to be a F2P mess.

People who think portable gaming on the 3DS is in any way analogous to modern Mobile games has no idea what they're talking about. Hopefully the market is large enough to carry both.

Comment: Re:Valve did it in 2007 (Score 1) 468

Another fool blathering on about "rights".

Says the coward.

Look, I don't give a fuck what you, some sleazy corporate lawyer, or some crooked, bought-off government thinks my "rights" should be, or what rights they think should be privileges.

So... no laws for you then, I guess?

I'll do what I see as right, and that's that.

And the rest of us should just hope you're some upstanding citizen, I suppose?

If some shitbag corp exec makes a decision that legally but unethically screws me, I'll look for a quick way to screw them right back.

Ah, vigilante I see. You're a regular digital Robin Hood.

This system is broken, and going through what's considered proper channels is extremely time-consuming, expensive, and rigged against you.

Are we still talking about region lockouts? Because it sounds like you're trying to take on City Hall or something.

This means you have to take things into your own hands if you want even a minute amount of justice.

Justice? Look just don't buy a CD key from a shady site and you'll be fine.

Seriously, you're acting like some white knight when really you're some jerkoff on Slashdot who wanted Far Cry 4 for $3 or something.

But let me guess, when that shady site then uses your credit card to buy CD keys in bulk from Origin for resale to other suckers you'll want that "system" to protect you and fix things, right?

You're pathetic.

Comment: Valve did it in 2007 (Score 2) 468

Valve did this same thing in 2007 with keys to The Orange Box bought from Thailand, which were considerably cheaper. They were very up front about it, they showed the Thai box packaging which clearly stated in English that this was not to be used outside of Thailand, etc.

There was a bit of blowback, and some hemming and hawing like we're seeing here, but ultimately it wasn't a big deal. Whether or not you agree with it, most people knew they were basically cheating by buying a cheap key from a shady foreign website, and they got busted for it (although they weren't out much money because, you know, cheap)

Honestly, when you're buying software you have to agree to the terms or else you don't buy it and you don't get to have it. Yes, if you think this is a dick move from Ubisoft then you're perfectly within your rights to avoid buying their products anymore. But don't think that they're the only ones who do this. Or have the right/ability to do this. And don't think this gives you some sort of right to pirate their games. Or that they had better give you what you want or else you'll pirate their games. You're wrong.

Comment: Re: Any actual examples? (Score 1) 598

by Schnapple (#48740527) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive
There are numerous examples of people writing apps that do something you're not supposed to do in code but it happens to work, or that use something that's depreciated but hasn't been removed from the OS. When the OS upgrades and the code that was written incorrectly stops working, or when the new OS drops the depreciated functionality, the app breaks. It happens. It comes with the territory of having a computer in your pocket. Your old flip phone never had these issues but it was also never upgraded and couldn't do fuckall compared to a smart phone.

I personally had a perfectly fine iOS app I was working on that completely motherfucking broke, layout-wise, in iOS 8's SDK. In studying how to fix it I realized I had been doing a whole bunch of shit wrong and once I got those things fixed it worked great.

Apps breaking and the original author abandoning them is an issue but thems the breaks on a rapidly changing platform.

Comment: Re:Swift (Score 1) 211

by Schnapple (#48485419) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Objective C Vs. Swift For a New iOS Developer?

I imagine it will be approximately the same, or less, as the uptake for Obj-C when iPhones became a thing, which is "not terribly impressive".

Suddenly becoming one of the fastest growing programming languages in use and making several top ten lists isn't terribly impressive? Ok...

And now you're telling me that Swift -- which is essentially a tweaked Obj-C -- is "the biggest new language in a long time"? You can't even USE the language to program on anything other than OS X and iOS!

So, one of the most popular platforms on the planet (Apple is going to sell 71 million iPhones this quarter alone) isn't significant? Also when you say that it's a "tweaked Obj-C" that shows you have no idea what you're talking about.

I'm not seeing it, man. If a single popular smartphone and 10% desktop OS market share were enough for a language to piggyback off of to mainstream adoption, Objective C would be mainstream for cross-platform development. And it's not.

I like how you cite a number for OS X but not for iOS.

One last thing? Apple's only the "world's biggest company" because it overcharges for all its shit products, and stupid people don't see what a bad deal they're getting. In importance to the programming community, they're well below Google and Microsoft. Don't believe me? Take a look at C#'s popularity versus Obj-C.

Wow, where to begin. First you try and poison the well by saying that yes, Apple is the world's biggest company but only because they charge money. For their "shit products" no less. However, iOS is sitting at 44% market share which is #2 only to Android at 47%. But Android is only at 47% because it's on everything from high end Samsung devices to the crappy devices you can get at the checkout line at your local grocery store. Your disdain is for a company whose OS is only #2 to an OS that literally built its empire on "shit products".

But that's not the best part. The best part is that your example of a well done programming language is C#. I love C#. I've made my living in C# for close to a decade. It's a fantastic language. It is also, like Swift, a proprietary language designed by one company for their own proprietary OS. That's your yardstick. Yes, there is an always-behind implementation by the open source community but it's also a language that's over ten years old, as opposed to Swift which is literally six months old come Monday.

Again, this is a new, modern programming language introduced by the biggest company on earth for one of the biggest platforms on the planet and the uptake on it is unprecedented. C# didn't experience uptake this quickly because Microsoft had to explain what .NET was. Java didn't grow this fast because people thought it was used to make flashing thingies on websites. Swift has the advantage of a mature Internet age (the official guide is an eBook, not even a printed book, which Apple can patch as need be) and it's being unleashed onto a developer community starving for a better language.

Comment: Swift (Score 5, Insightful) 211

by Schnapple (#48482097) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Objective C Vs. Swift For a New iOS Developer?

I've been doing Obj-C for a few years now and I'm using Swift in a new project.

Swift all the way, mainly because Swift is just a much nicer language. Obj-C has a bizarre late 80's syntax which is not found anywhere else so it's very strange. Except for random places where it's not. There was a half-assed "Objective-C 2.0" which introduced dot notation but not everywhere or consistently. There's tons of things you can do with it that are unsafe and shouldn't work (found out a lot in translating some Obj-C code to Swift)

There's still going to be a bunch of Cocoa stuff to mess with (i.e., there's no intrinsic date concept so you have to mess with NSDate) but at this point learning Objective-C is a waste of time. At best you will have a few more online resources to consult with versus Swift but Swift is the biggest new language in a long time - a language designed by the biggest company on earth for one of the most popular platforms on the planet. The uptake is more or less unprecedented.

Anyone who prefers Obj-C just doesn't want to learn something new. Apple didn't invent a new language because of hipness reasons, they did it because their platforms are saddled with this shitty language which is missing modern conventions and is difficult to learn and use.

Just use Swift.

Comment: Re:Why have we not solved this? (Score 1) 203

by Schnapple (#48386789) Attached to: Window Washing a Skyscraper Is Beyond a Robot's Reach

but is there any reason to not have windows that simply rotate 180 degrees so that they can be cleaned from the inside?

Fifty or more floors up the wind flying through would be enough to usurp anything in your office not nailed down.

You would have to design office spaces such that window washers would be able to get in and clean the windows which is tricky and messy especially given a lot of windows go to people who have offices with locked doors.

There's probably a ton of architectural issues involved with a building where very high up you could potentially have openings on a regular basis. One day one of the revolving windows doesn't close right and Susie from accounting trips and falls and lands on the improperly closed window and falls to her death.

A stock trader on a bad day knows the window can be opened so he jumps to his death

This is something a lot of smart people have thought about for decades and the end result is no, there's not a better way. But let's not stop a bunch of computer engineers on Slashdot from thinking they have a better solution after a couple of minutes brainstorming.

Comment: Re:Barney (Score 1) 487

by Schnapple (#48103803) Attached to: Texas Ebola Patient Dies

The second person you're referring to does not have Ebola. The deputy did not come in contact with the patient.

The patient was not at home when he went in to the apartment.

The family of the patient was home but they were not showing symptoms (still aren't) and so they could not have spread the disease even if they have it.

Ebola is not an airborne virus so a facemask would have been pointless.

Basically you're a moron and the fact that you're doing so on a site famous for science facts and propagating the truth is just sad.

Comment: Re:Overblown (Score 0) 170

I have to disagree with you there.

My take on OpenArena was based largely on this comment from last year which reads in part:

I had done all the work necessary to update the OpenArena port to the latest version at the time, and then played "follow the patchlevels cause their dev practices suck" for several more versions. I edited their wiki, writing out directions for getting the game running from source on FreeBSD, which was pretty easy to do...Which they promptly deleted and said, "just use the Linux version."

When I was working on the port I asked them repeatedly what the build deps were and such...They didn't know. They generally just banged on it and installed stuff until OA built and ran. Never once did they actually document what it took to build the game. They were truly representative of the kids-table level of QA/RE that seems to be commonplace in the small-project OSS development community at large. How many times did they make a major release, followed quickly by several patches to fix minor oversights that resulted in major problems and could have been avoided with checklist of "what to check before we release?"

The person who you reference, Time Doctor, who heads up the ioquake3 project, is the polar opposite: someone who's probably done more for Linux gaming than just about every other developer combined. Also, the original posted said he had to switch to using ioquake3's code for the FreeBSD port because of the OA assholes.

Time Doctor posted a follow-up comment:

The experience of working with the OpenArena project was similar to that described by HEMI_426. At this point they have cut off communication with us and I would be surprised, but happy, if that relationship ever improves.

So, now we are attempting to create our own freely distributable, creative commons licensed, game to distribute whenever anyone downloads ioquake3 that won't be "adults only" and won't have anything to do with OpenArena's direction.

Time Doctor is widely credited as being the "go to" person if you want to make a Linux port of your game and don't know how. He's personally responsible for the Humble Bundle having Linux games, which is one of the biggest catalyst for the recent surge in Linux gaming and may have led to SteamOS.

Your AC hit and run bashing makes me wonder if you're part of the OA project, which if true basically means that no, it hasn't changed.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of code." -- an anonymous programmer