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Comment: Re:Wait (Score 3, Insightful) 190

by MightyYar (#47725763) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

This is a common tactic I see on Slashdot: "How can Slashdot be praising x when they usually say y?"

The folks claiming that the "hiatus" is a denier hoax are not necessarily the same folks who published this paper.

Furthermore, the argument is not that "hiatus" is a denier hoax - any fool can see temperature readings have been flat in most measured areas. The counter-argument is typically that the Earth is really big and that surface measurements alone do not necessarily represent the amount of heat absorbed by the atmosphere. Where all of that heat has been going was where the speculation has been, with the usual supposition being "the ocean" or "the poles".

Comment: Re:5e: Best D&D, MHO (Score 4, Interesting) 195

by seebs (#47709565) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Doesn't matter how many advantage/disadvantage you have. If you have both, you have neither. If you have only one of those two, then you roll two dice, no matter how many things are giving you advantage or disadvantage.

There are still numeric bonuses, but a lot fewer of them. I think the ones that survive all stack.

But for an example, monks and mage armor. In 3e, the monk got to add their wisdom modifier to AC when unarmored, and mage armor gave a +4 armor bonus, so they stacked. In 5e, mage armor sets your armor class when unarmored to 13+dex, and being a monk sets it to 10+wis+dex, and you can take whichever one you want, but neither is "a bonus" so there's no stacking to resolve.

In general, the net effect is slightly "shallower", but the flip side of that is that you don't have parties where one player has +42 on a check and another player has +3. So you can set DCs that are actually meaningful and interesting.

In epic-level Pathfinder, it takes our party samurai 5 minutes or so to finish a round of full attacks, which can do ~1350 damage. Also lots of die rolls. In 5e, so far as I can tell, nothing takes close to that long.

Comment: 5e: Best D&D, MHO (Score 5, Insightful) 195

by seebs (#47709299) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

I have basically liked all the D&Ds, so I'm a little biased. I even liked 4e, although I recognize that it was a very different kind of game in a lot of ways from the others.

But basically, if you liked D&D pre-4e, and hated 4e, 5e may be what you were looking for. It's a much cleaner system than 3e/3.5e/PF; simpler and clearer. It's not as complicated in some ways. It doesn't have nearly as much detail in the rules, it doesn't have as many formal definitions. But it's clearer and easier to read. And before you dismiss "easier to read" as unimportant, consider: I spent about 10 years on an ISO language standards committee. I assure you, I'm not afraid of formal language. But I like 5e's system better.

Most of the bonus stacking rules are gone, replaced by a mechanic called "advantage/disadvantage". If you have advantage or disadvantage on a roll, you roll 2d20 and take the higher or lower respectively. If you have neither or both, you roll normally. Most things that used to be +2-+4 bonuses of various types are now "advantage", and most things that used to be penalties are now "disadvantage". In practice, you get similar results with a lot less addition, and without having to check the bonus types of 8 different modifiers to figure out which ones stack.

Everyone I know who's played it has been really happy with it so far. The system is much less focused on trying to resolve every possible question; instead, the assumption is that the DM is not an idiot and is not playing maliciously. If you tend towards adversarial player/DM relationships, avoid 5e; it's not designed for that, and it would be horrible. But if you are playing with people who are basically clear on the idea that games are meant to be fun, and who can cooperate without epic rules battles, this is probably the best D&D ever.

The anon coward's "MMO Crap" comment is well past "baseless" into "completely incoherent". 4e had a few traits that sort of, if you squinted just right, looked like it was MMO-oriented, but mostly it was more like wargames than like any MMO I've ever seen. 5e is pretty much like a cross between 3e and Rules Cyclopedia D&D, with a much cleaner and simpler rules set, and a lot more interesting flavor to things.

Other things:

Lots of the "missing" complexity is rumored to be in the DMG as optional rules.

Casters as a whole are significantly nerfed compared to 3e, or for that matter compared to any previous edition. (Max-level caster? You get a ninth level spell per day. Use it carefully.)

There's some really crazy Internet drama about some of the consultants, which is best ignored, and has no basis in reality.

+ - Google's driverless cars designed to exceed speed limit

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Google's self-driving cars are programmed to exceed speed limits by up to 10mph (16km/h), according to the project's lead software engineer. Dmitri Dolgov told Reuters that when surrounding vehicles were breaking the speed limit, going more slowly could actually present a danger, and the Google car would accelerate to keep up."

Comment: Re:Windows 8 app store? (Score 5, Insightful) 179

by MightyYar (#47698385) Attached to: Microsoft's Windows 8 App Store Is Full of Scamware

I'm going to throw an assumption out there: very, very few people are doing this. Yes, you could - in theory - "dock" your phone/tablet and do productive things with it. But a really top-notch phone is going to cost you $600+ and a really low-end computer that can kick the shit out of it will cost $200. I think that anyone who can afford the monitor, keyboard, and high-end phone will probably not sweat the cheap cpu too much.

So in the end, while I'm sure there are people in the fringes doing productive things on their phones and tablets, for the vast majority they are toys. This is not meant to be a disparaging comment - I have a smartphone, I have tablets... but I don't do anything more productive on them than take short notes and check email. Mostly they are consumption devices.

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.

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