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Comment: Re:Bad summary (Score 4, Informative) 149

by Sockatume (#47580781) Attached to: NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive

Unfortunately in this instance they measured the anomalous thrust on a version of the instrument designed and built by its own inventors in such a fashion as to not produce thrust at all. I'm inclined to believe that the anomalous thrust is some sort of weird ideomotor effect related to the fact that they had to manually control the frequency of the RF excitation as the test ran.

Comment: Re:Sensationalism at its worst (Score 2) 149

by Sockatume (#47580773) Attached to: NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive

The relevant quote:

Thrust was observed on both test articles, even though one of the test articles was designed with the expectation that it would not produce thrust. Specifically, one test article contained internal physical modifications that were designed to produce thrust, while the other did not (with the latter being referred to as the “null” test article)

Comment: Poignant memes (Score 1) 118

by Sockatume (#47573781) Attached to: Crytek USA Collapses, Sells Game IP To Other Developers

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those developers, huddled around a makeshift campfire, dreaming of the days when they were masters of their own software universe, and wondering what might have been.

2014 is the year of Linux on the desktop at the bankruptcy auction.

*a black and white photo of some hot grits while a melancholy piano plays*

Comment: Re:Interesting comparison (Score 1) 110

by Sockatume (#47573755) Attached to: Countries Don't Own Their Internet Domains, ICANN Says

Unfortunately as long as ICANN is under US jurisdiction, you're going to see disputes like this heading to US courts. (That said, I'm growing more and more wary of moves to internationalise the infrastructure; leaving it with the US's stewardship the least-bad option right now, even after the NSA revelations.)

Comment: Re:Awkward (Score 1) 118

by Sockatume (#47573741) Attached to: Crytek USA Collapses, Sells Game IP To Other Developers

TimeSplitters actually came up in said profile; I forget exactly what they said but it came down to "no, we're not doing it as a major release, and no, we don't think it'll make enough money to work as an F2P or niche title either". Given that was in an interview that was otherwise warily optimistic, I dare say its chances are even poorer now.

Comment: Re:Easy for Marco Arment to say... (Score 1) 241

by Sockatume (#47573657) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

I see, just get rid of the edge for people who get curated. I wasn't sure if you also saw some way that it would benefit people stuck in lower end of the charts. (I wonder if maybe it would encourage people to dig deeper into them.)

I'm all for dropping the lists simply because they've got exactly the same godawful discovery issues as the charts, in that they tend to recommend the same few popular apps over dozens of different lists scattered around like advertising flyers.

Comment: Awkward (Score 3, Interesting) 118

by Sockatume (#47573543) Attached to: Crytek USA Collapses, Sells Game IP To Other Developers

I was reading last month's Edge, and it had a studio profile with Crytek UK that was written and published just before the word of non-payment started coming out. The angle of the piece was all "Free Radical had an awful experience, David Doak had a nervous breakdown and quit, but things are okay now" which was kind of heartbreaking to read.

Comment: Re:Curation: Apple does high profile reviews... (Score 1) 241

by Sockatume (#47572829) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

There already were several "app discovery" apps; things like AppShopper and Toucharcade that let you see news and reviews, friends' preferred apps, and so on. However Apple got kind of ban-happy with them a while back for replicating App Store functionality and the ones that are still around are on thin ice. They should be cultivating that category instead. The whole point of Apps is to fill functionality niches that the host company overlooks.

Comment: Race to the bottom (Score 1) 241

by Sockatume (#47572817) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

The big issue is that there is a "race to the bottom" in apps. There's always someone with deep pockets who can create an app that does what yours does, a little worse, and a little cheaper or for free, and because you've got a market with low discoverability, it's the cheapest app that wins. You only have to look at the startling decline in iPhone gaming over the past few years; after a lot of promising experiments in new titles around 2010-2012, games over $1 now almost exclusively ports of successful titles from other platforms to minimise development costs. The vast majority of iPhone gaming lies under that line, and is dominated by F2P and a few 99-cent apps that win the popularity lottery.

Apple seems to be actively cultivating that price-driven market, in particular through its ruthless promotion of F2P games as its "free app of the week". It's in Apple's favour because they make money selling hardware, and an iPhone is more attractive if it has lots of apps that do whatever the customer needs for free or next to free. Heck, they've all but killed off several app niches themselves by giving away iWork and iLife. It's not something that can go on indefinitely unless they plan on being the only quality iPhone app developer though.

If they want to solve this problem, they have to put discoverability of apps back to the fore, so people bother to find good things and not just the first cheap or free option.

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

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