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Comment Bad summary and/or FUD (Score 3, Interesting) 367

Users who upgrade to 10 will have their default browser automatically changed to the new Edge browser

No they won't. It popped up a screen that asked me if I wanted to change my defaults for four common tasks to the new Win10 apps for those tasks. Photos, videos, music, and browser. I clicked no on each, and my old defaults carried over.

Comment Re:Could? (Score 1) 170

But the article is talking about Steam Machines, not the Steam Link. The Steam Link is basically a Chromecast for streaming games from a computer running Steam. A Steam Machine is a full on gaming PC/set top box that runs Steam by itself. I don't really understand why you'd by a Steam Machine for streaming from another PC instead of the cheaper Steam Link, but whatever.

Comment Could? (Score 1) 170

Will. If I wanted to stream PC games to another box and I had the choice between streaming to a box that plays exactly those games and nothing more (a steam machine) or plays all those games and some console exclusive games (an XBone,) I'd go with the latter every time.

As is my gaming desktop is already hooked up to my TV so I'm not in the market for either, but if I were it would be a no-brainer, especially if they're around the same price or the XBone is cheaper.

Comment Re:Reaction (Score 1) 571

Also....who cares? These election promises are just hot smoke to blow up the public's collective ass. "Of course I love you, baby! No way, I'd never leave before breakfast!". etc.

This is the thing to remember. Past behavior is a much stronger indicator than campaign promises. Once elected, Clinton would have no motivation to actually follow through on any promises; she'd just make the same promises again when she runs for re-election and then have four more years of not needing to keep any promises.

Comment Re:The reason is more simple (Score 4, Interesting) 688

Right now I feel the problem is a range/cost issue. You can lease an egolf for $200/month because your wife has a regular gas car. As a single person who makes 100+ mile trips with some frequency, I wouldn't be able to lease an egolf. I'd have to go with a higher range car, and even, for example, the cheapest Tesla model S is $600+/month to lease. And even then, I don't have a convenient place to charge it. At an apartment complex without a garage. Sometimes I have to park quite a ways away from my apartment, too far for an extension cord from the 240V outlet inside my apartment. Also, I'd have to run the cord out my apartment door and leave my place unlocked to charge my car.

My situation isn't all that uncommon either. An analogous situation applies to pretty much every single person who can't afford a nice house in the suburbs, both rural and urban.

Comment Rolling staaaaart! (Score 1) 79

I never much cared for realistic racing games... except the arcade games. Something about trying to get to the next checkpoint before the timer runs out is very satisfying in a primal, visceral way. I'm glad that the power of PCs and home consoles has let us explore the world of game design like it has, but I wish more developers would look back to the arcade era for design cues. Just about any game is worth spending a quarter to try. It's the game that get you to come back and spend more quarters that really had something going for it, and I think there's something to learn from those.

Comment What rules to the reddit admins follow? (Score 5, Interesting) 474

I used to moderate a couple of forums about a few different video games, sizable at the time but nothing the size of Reddit, for sure. But there were some rigid things about our setup that I liked.

  • We had very specific rules. No "community guidelines," but hard rules.
  • When disciplining a user, we had to cite specific rules that had been broken, and it was good form to cite or quote the infraction.

I feel like the backlash (maybe shitstorm is more appropriate) on Reddit is because the users don't feel the admins are playing by a set of rules. They haven't cited any specific rules the banned subreddits were violating, just "harassment" (which they didn't define.) Moreover, the punishment has not been doled out uniformly, with plenty of users pointing out subreddits that also should have been banned if harassment subs are banned.

The judgements being handed down seem, to apparently fucking everyone on Reddit, arbitrary. Like some far off god on Mt. Olympus has suddenly decided mess with people at random.

Maybe I'm just talking out of my ass because I've never had to manage a community the size of Reddit, but this just seems like an admin took offense to something ("got triggered," in the parlance,) and dusted off the ol' banhammer without thinking. I don't know if that's what happened, but that's how it seems, and that sort of abuse of power always triggers (the way the word is really used) a community schism.

Comment Re:False early advantage (Score 2) 150

When I was a kid, I had a book called the Young Naturalist, or something like it. Published probably sometime in the mid-80s. It was full of nature activities: building a bat house, setting up a freshwater aquarium with fauna from your local creek, how to distinguish and identify bird calls, that sort of thing.

Towards the end of the book, there was a chapter on computer-aided nature observation. The book claimed that if you had a microcomputer, with a little BASIC know-how and a little bit of math, you could get the computer to do things like predict what birds were around in a given time of year based on your bird-call observations. At the time we had a Packard Bell Windows 3.1 machine, and I really wanted to be able to do this, and I was just crushed that apparently computers don't come with BASIC anymore. I eventually settled on using some kind of spreadsheet software.

But I never forgot the feeling of power I had when I learned that with a handful of commands and some math I could get a computer to do anything. My rural community had a local access number by the time I hit middle school, and I learned after some AltaVista-ing that Windows (or MS-DOS, really) had qbasic all along. So I finally got to write my bird observation program.

Mostly I wanted to tell this story. But also, I feel like a lot of kids just aren't exposed to the notion that the computer is something other than a Facebook and games machine. A lot of kids probably think "computer programmer" is up there with "rocket scientist," when it used to be the case that any 12-year-old with a microcomputer had to learn a little programming to get a computer to do anything outside of running purchased software.

I don't know enough to advocate programming classes for kids, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to make programming more accessible. I wish Microsoft or Apple would include a "hey kids, make the computer do anything you want!" entry in a menu somewhere.

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