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Comment: Re:Someone wanted an Xbox One at launch??? (Score 3, Informative) 28

by RogueyWon (#48046015) Attached to: How Hackers Accidentally Sold a Pre-Release XBox One To the FBI

Actually, lots of people wanted an Xbox One at launch. The XB1's sales curve has been really weird.

It had pretty great month-1 sales. It would have had the fastest month-1 sales of any console in history - if it hadn't launched alongside the PS4 (which broke the previous records by an even larger margin). But some time shortly after Christmas, the sales basically flatlined. First MS switched to talking about "units shipped" rather than "units sold" and then it stopped issuing new numbers at all.

By piecing together bits and pieces of retailer and regional sales data, it's possible to get a broad understanding of where the console stands now. Having originally been tipped to pass the Wii-U and take second-place in current gen sales somewhere around April, it appears that it probably only did so some time in September (and indeed, it certainly hasn't officially been announced yet, so there's at least an outside chance it's still in third). It's had several significant sales blips, driven first by the price cut when Kinnect was removed and then again by Destiny, but background sales outside of these blips have been generally very slow throughout 2014.

It's actually pretty similar to (though marginally better than) the sales profile for the Wii-U. That console actually sold well during its first 6 weeks or so on sale, before flatlining. Each first-party Nintendo game since then has caused a small 1-week spike in sales, but after Mario Kart, diminishing returns appear to be kicking in.

In regional terms, The Xbox One appears to be in a fairly solid second place in the US (behind the PS4), a distant second place in Europe (again behind the PS4) and third place in Japan. Indeed, the PS4 is also doing badly in Japan - home console gaming is dying in that market and even the Wii-U (which holds first place there) is doing badly compared to the last gen consoles.

The Xbox One does still have a few big irons in the fire and isn't quite in a Wii-U style Last Chance Saloon yet (if Smash Bros and Bayonetta 2 don't turn around the Wii-U's fortunes this Christmas, the console essentially can be considered dead). Forza Horizon 2 is a fairly big draw and Halo 5 will be a bigger one. But MS have certainly gone backwards since the days of the 360, when they dominated the US and managed a reasonable draw with Sony in Europe. In marketshare terms, the Xbox One looks a lot more like the original Xbox.

Though in general terms, this has been an extremely boring year for console games anyway. People get excited about new console releases, forgetting that they tend to be followed by 12 months during which there isn't much worth playing for them. It's always the later years of the cycle that are more fun in terms of game releases.

Comment: Re:Just Kill Microsoft Already (Score 1) 363

by RogueyWon (#47997787) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

By any measurable metric, the US economy has rebounded from recession far better than the Eurozone. GDP growth, unemployment... take your pick.

And the comparable growth rates you cite since 1989 are based, in Argentina's case on a "percentage of fuck all".

Military coups are the kind of thing that happen in a society that does not abide by the rule of law and respect property rights - which is exactly the kind of society you have been advocating. The moment the US embarked upon a programme of nationalisation of industries like Microsoft would be the moment that the US economy crashed with a speed (and irreversibility) that would take the world by shock. You think you have new solutions? They're the same failed "solutions" that have been tried for a hundred years or so around the world, leaving nothing but disaster in their wake.

Comment: Re:Just Kill Microsoft Already (Score 1) 363

by RogueyWon (#47995633) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

Yes! Why not kill off all of the major companies in one of the shrinking number of industries in which the US remains a world leader?

That will help massively.

And 20 years later, the Indians will be complaining about cheap illegal immigrants from the US taking all of the menial jobs in their country.

Comment: Re:Just Kill Microsoft Already (Score 1) 363

by RogueyWon (#47995557) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

Currency has nothing to do with it.

Or rather, a Government which showed it was happy to nationalise a private company's assets on such flimsy pretences as you put forward would forfeit its nation's ability to do any kind of business on the world stage. Nobody would care about doing business in the US when it became clear that the moment the US Government didn't like them, it would nationalise their assets.

So the US dollar would quickly reach (and then fall below) parity with the Mexican Peso.

It will, of course, never happen. Thank god.

Comment: Re:Just Kill Microsoft Already (Score 1) 363

by RogueyWon (#47992993) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

Because that wouldn't have any wider consequences at all...

Like perhaps a total flight from the US of almost every other significant business (on the grounds that "we might be next"), a total economic collapse and a catastrophic reduction in living standards.

Certain parts of South America are performing this particular experiment for our education at the moment. Watch how that pans out before wishing to see it replicated in your own country.

Comment: Re:Can't help plugging Atwood (Score 3, Interesting) 404

by Artifakt (#47974365) Attached to: It's Banned Books Week; I recommend ...

Probably, it's more like the reason Kurt Vonnegut did the same thing. Slaughterhouse Five, for just one of his works, really needs to be read like the reader isn't allowed to be sure whether Billy Pilgrim is objectively experiencing being unstuck in time and meeting Tralfamadorians and such, or has become a trifle unglued coping with tremendous shell-shock from WW2. If it comes prelabeled as SF, the deliberate ambiguity is ruined. Wondering if Tralfamadorian anatomy makes sense for a realistic alien is not even close to the biggest points Vonnegut hoped people would take away from Slaughterhouse Five.
              Even Heinlein, who didn't usually mind being called things like the "number one Science Fiction author ever" and such, had cases like this - Glory Road deliberately switches at the very end from Fantasy tropes to SF, and Stranger in a Strange Land exists in two published forms, one more clearly SF, one deliberately deemphasizing those elements.


Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World 166

Posted by Soulskill
from the trading-privacy-for-convenience dept.
An anonymous reader writes: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke on Thursday to faculty and students at the University of Oklahoma City about the privacy perils brought on by modern technology. She warned that the march of technological progress comes with a need to enact privacy protections if we want to avoid living in an "Orwellian world" of constant surveillance. She said, "There are drones flying over the air randomly that are recording everything that's happening on what we consider our private property. That type of technology has to stimulate us to think about what is it that we cherish in privacy and how far we want to protect it and from whom. Because people think that it should be protected just against government intrusion, but I don't like the fact that someone I don't know can pick up, if they're a private citizen, one of these drones and fly it over my property."

Comment: Overall death toll under communism: 100 Million (Score 2, Informative) 540

by Nova Express (#47880553) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Let's not forget that the best estimates for the death of communist regimes killing their own people is right around 100 million people. Both The Black Book of Communism and R.J. Rummel's Death by Government come up with roughly the same number of people killed.

Communism is incompatible with both human rights and a healthy economy, and never has, never can, and never will meet the needs of its own people or offer better lives than those under capitalism.

Embargoes have nothing to do with it...

Comment: Re:Can someone explain to me (Score 4, Insightful) 123

by Artifakt (#47873533) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

"There is no purpose to manned spaceflight. The scientific return comes from unmanned spaceflight."

You are currently modded +4 Insightful for having claimed, essentially, that the HST repair and upgrade missions could have all been done by unmanned systems. I have points, I could have modded you as you deserve. I could just ask for a citation - you're making an extraordinary claim there and you really do deserve to have to back it up or retract it. Instead, I'm taking a couple of months vacation from Slashdot - there's too many like you around - the signal to noise ratio keeps dropping towards an absolute zero, and I join all the 3 digit old farts in saying "This site just ain't what it used to be!" .

Comment: Re:HALO (Score 3, Informative) 368

by Artifakt (#47868581) Attached to: Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

Halo was really based in the same universe (or a very similar one) as an earlier series of games usually called the Marathon trilogy. These were Bungie's first big hits, and had two major properties that make them remembered fondly.

1. They were like Doom (2 1/2 D shooters), but with great plots and characterization for their time. (And most of this keenness was something more players saw there for the first time, often before Doom came out, or at least caught on, because Apples were around more then- see point 2). Bungie may have been first with some features, was definitely first to get them right with others, and it took some time for Id games to even be taken seriously. Think of the story everybody wanted for Mass Effect 3, and mostly felt disappointed in. For most gamers who started the series, Marathon 3 was like everything more modern players hoped Mass Effect 3 would be. Plus, many players felt they got a lot of other things right, like squad level control, vehicle movement, microphone talk in multiplayer, weapons/ammo ratios (and not being able to carry 10 or so weapons and thousands of rounds of ammo all at once), being able to design your own levels, and the whole blend of Single Player/Multiplayer/Deathmatch modes.
2. They ran on Apples, and were so big there that many people actually complained about how there was notihng in gaming for the PC as good as for the Apple. (There were other games, such as Myst and Armor Alley contributing to this effect too, I'm not saying it was all Marathon, but Myst and Bungie doing ports to Microsoft shifted the whole gaming scene away from Apple over just a couple of years).

Halo was supposed to be the updated version of those, going to a fully 3D engine, and it delivered an really exciting story with a giant ring around a planet, a weapon that could destroy whole worlds, and A.I. systems that would burn themselves out in 3 years or so just through being so ubersmart (and you had to hope the one you were relying on got you through the next scenario before it popped). And for the first time, there was a version for the X-Box and you didn't ahve to have an Apple Mac!

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose