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Comment: Do we really care about advertising? (Score 1) 75

by Talar (#45057615) Attached to: Microsoft Exec Says Xbox One Kinect Is Not Built For Advertising

If it was just built for advertising I'm sure Microsoft could make it evil enough in it's own right to make people feel uncomfortable. But if we consider the bigger picture and throw in some NSA interests, then it becomes scary.

So we have a device in the living room that is always on, always connected and can recognize who is in the room. This means you have to assume there will be a record in some NSA database not only of your playing habits, but also of all people who ever sat there in the couch with you.

Add to this the possibility to join data from several sources. Like some friend visiting, no problem, just match his face against what people tagged on Facebook, match against people you emailed or skyped with. Verify with location data from your smartphones and why not run an automated fingerprint check while they are at it and your phone anyway has a fingerprint sensor. Or add in some voice recognition..

Automatically identifying people with high accuracy and keeping a permanent database of who associated with who at what periods of their lives seemed like science fiction just a couple of years ago. So do we live in the future now? Yes we do, unfortunately it's the one described in 1984.

Comment: Re:if Linux was asked, the MS were asked (Score 1) 576

by Talar (#44892225) Attached to: Linus Torvalds Admits He's Been Asked To Insert Backdoor Into Linux

Either they will be replaced, in which case the problem is addressed

Depends on how and by who they were replaced I would say. If things get too bad a name change and a some $$$ into a propaganda campaign about the "new NSA" could probably get them by on trustworthiness in the eyes of the general public. At least until the next whistleblower.

Comment: Re:Would probably be found (Score 5, Insightful) 576

by Talar (#44891601) Attached to: Linus Torvalds Admits He's Been Asked To Insert Backdoor Into Linux
This, and add to it that whatever is 'bad' doesn't have to be 'bad' today since the data will be kept practically forever for any future government to analyze. If you still don't have anything to hide you must have a confidence in both the current and all future governments that is so unshakeable I'd almost call it stupidity.
Social Networks

Game Distribution Platforms Becoming Annoyingly Common 349

Posted by Soulskill
from the looking-at-you-games-for-windows-live dept.
The Escapist's Shamus Young recently posted an article complaining about the proliferation of distribution platforms and social networks for video games. None of the companies who make these are "quite sure how games will be sold and played ten years from now," he writes, "but they all know they want to be the ones running the community or selling the titles." Young continues, "Remember how these systems usually work: The program sets itself up to run when Windows starts, and it must be running if you want to play the game. If you follow this scheme to its logical conclusion, you'll see that the system tray of every gaming PC would eventually end up clogged with loaders, patchers, helpers, and monitors. Every publisher would have a program for serving up content, connecting players, managing digital licenses, performing patches, and (most importantly) selling stuff. Some people don't mind having 'just one more' program running in the background. But what happens when you have programs from Valve, Stardock, Activision, 2k Games, Take-Two, Codemasters, Microsoft, Eidos, and Ubisoft? Sure, you could disable them. But then when you fire the thing up to play a game, it will want to spend fifteen minutes patching itself and the game before it will let you in. And imagine how fun it would be juggling accounts for all of them."
Role Playing (Games)

Looking Back At Dungeons & Dragons 189

Posted by Soulskill
from the lightning-bolt dept.
An anonymous reader sends in a nostalgic piece about Dungeons & Dragons and the influence it's had on games and gamers for the past 36 years. Quoting: "Maybe there was something in the air during the early '70s. Maybe it was historically inevitable. But it seems way more than convenient coincidence that Gygax and Arneson got their first packet of rules for D&D out the door in 1974, the same year Nolan Bushnell managed to cobble together a little arcade machine called Pong. We've never had fun quite the same way since. Looking back, these two events set today's world of gaming into motion — the Romulus and Remus of modern game civilization. For the rest of forever, we would sit around and argue whether games should let us do more or tell us better stories."
Games

City of Heroes Sr. Designer Talks Architect System 56

Posted by Soulskill
from the farming-made-easy dept.
Kheldon writes "The MMO Gamer sits down with Joe Morrissey, a Senior Designer at Paragon Studios, to discuss the inspiration behind, and current implementation of, the Architect user-generated content system in City of Heroes. Quoting: 'Really for me, wanting tools so the rest of the team could actually come up with content was the idea. Because we have a lot of guys on the team that are hardcore players, they play the game all the time. Then they come to me like, "I’ve got this idea for this story, we should really do this arc with this guy!" And I’m like, "That’s great. I haven’t got time to do it. I’ve got plenty of other story arcs to work on." But, if we made the tools easy enough, then they could actually come up with the arcs, and we can put them out. Then somewhere along that road it dawned on me: Why stop with the rest of the team?'"
Graphics

DX11 Tested Against DX9 With Dirt 2 Demo 201

Posted by Soulskill
from the shadows-with-shadows dept.
MojoKid writes "The PC demo for Codemasters' upcoming DirectX 11 racing title, Dirt 2, has just hit the web and is available for download. Dirt 2 is a highly-anticipated racing sim that also happens to feature leading-edge graphic effects. In addition to a DirectX 9 code path, Dirt 2 also utilizes a number of DirectX 11 features, like hardware-tessellated dynamic water, an animated crowd and dynamic cloth effects, in addition to DirectCompute 11-accelerated high-definition ambient occlusion (HADO), full floating-point high dynamic range (HDR) lighting, and full-screen resolution post processing. Performance-wise, DX11 didn't take its toll as much as you'd expect this early on in its adoption cycle." Bit-tech also took a look at the graphical differences, arriving at this conclusion: "You'd need a seriously keen eye and brown paper envelope full of cash from one of the creators of Dirt 2 to notice any real difference between textures in the two versions of DirectX."

Comment: Re:you are off (Score 1) 759

by Talar (#29437649) Attached to: Microsoft Says No TCP/IP Patches For XP

XP is not the latest software, it is simply the most popular. Even if the majority of people in the world preferred the original VW Beetle from the 30s (or whenever it started production, I think it was in production for something crazy like 50 years), it doesn't mean that VW are still obliged to find and fix design flaws in it.

Sure, they are not required to. But there are a lot of third party manufacturers that would produce replacement parts, sometimes even better parts than the originals if there was a demand for it. This is simply not an option for Win XP no matter how high the demand is.

This should not be news to anyone making themselves dependent on Microsoft products, but lots of companies are doing it anyway. Guess it would be a bit different if the market was not monopolized.

Comment: Re:Squids (Score 1) 803

by Talar (#28249993) Attached to: How Do You Greet an Extraterrestrial?

If a civilization is advanced enough to travel here, they're probably advanced enough to not have any good reason to be hostile.

And we who are the equivalent of amoebas compared to them would know that how?

We can't just assume that advanced civilizations will be nice just because we want it to be like that, there is simply too many unknown factors for us to assume anything. They could just as well have the attitude that there's another little developing planet, blast them quickly before they too invent the Xyz rays and can start to compete with us

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"

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