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Classic Games (Games)

How One Company Is Bringing Old Video Games Back From the Dead ( 106

harrymcc writes: Night Dive Studios is successfully reviving old video games — not the highest-profile best-sellers of the past, but cult classics such as System Shock 2, The 7th Guest, Strife, and I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. It's a job that involves an enormous amount of detective work to track down rights holders as well as the expected technical challenges. Over at Fast Company, Jared Newman tells the story of how the company stumbled upon its thriving business. "Kick didn’t have money on hand to buy the rights, so he scraped together contract work with independent developers and funneled the proceeds into the project. ... Some efforts fall apart even without the involvement of media conglomerates. In early 2014, Kick tried to revive Dark Seed, a point-and-click adventure game that featured artwork by H.R. Giger. But after Giger’s sudden death, demands from the artist’s estate escalated, and the negotiations derailed. ... But for every one of those failures, there’s a case where a developer or publisher is thrilled to have a creation back on store shelves."

Comment Re:Gravity ... (Score 2) 242

Mars Landing Hoax.

Watney is playing all that in a soundstage somewhere in Nevada. That's why gravity is all wrong. It's all a plot to increase NASA funding and to stick it to the Russkies. ...

I'm sorry, that was the plot to Capricorn One. Carry on.

Comment Re:As opposed to... (Score 1) 215

I could see a lossy algorithm for HTML / JS that eliminates lengthy tags and inefficient structures, perhaps even perform code optimization on heavily JS-infested pages, while rendering identically to the original.
The result of course would look nothing like the source and couldn't easily be reconstructed.

Comment Here, there, and everywhere (Score 2) 55

When Nokia bought Navteq they bought one of two global mapping companies, for about US$ 7.5 billion. For that they got, almost immediately, free maps for every Nokia handset. Around the planet. Also data sets for some industry leading augmented reality. Those services were, and are, huge. They sold lots of handsets and led the way to lots of Microsoft collaboration (Windows Phone et al comes with Nokia Here built-in.) That eventually led to Microsoft buying the phone unit outright. Did Nokia lose money selling Here off? Maybe, maybe not. They sold lots of handsets around the world featuring Here. That augmented reality wowed lots of folks and sold some more, plus positioned Nokia products as forward looking. They sold some online mapping to websites, though that was probably not a big revenue stream. They eventually sold the failing phone unit (and kept Here!) So they got a lot of milage out of Here, maybe US$5 billion. Going forward, I hope the new owners keep the consumer editions of Here. I'm off to Glacier Nat'l Park next week, and have Here loaded on all my handsets. The iPhone has just the states I regularly visit preloaded. One of my Android handsets has all of North & Central Americas preloaded, for fast travel convenience. I'm used to sering legions of befuddled tourists wandering around national park attractions confused their smartphone maps (Google Maps & Apple Maps, both largely dependant on streaming maps) aren't working. I used to bring a Windows phone along explicitly for those situations, now I just load Here. Oh, and why not carry a dedicated GPS unit? They don't come with cameras, translators, phones, email, etc. Their maps? Likely sourced from, yes, Here.

Comment Re:Which services does it support? (Score 1) 105

> How many streaming music and video services does your preferred media player support?

One. It streams from my playlist. Only. Ever.

> And how can a new streaming music or video service arrange to be
> supported in your preferred media player?

Streaming services can go jump in a lake. I listen to what *I* want
to listen to. If I wanted to hear random ear-punishing junk somebody
else picks without consulting me that doesn't match my tastes at all,
I could turn on a radio.

> Finally, how should a browser-based video game play its music
> and sound effects?

A) I can't think of any reason for a video game to be browser based.
B) When I do play games that have sound and music, I normally
        turn the game's sound and music off so I can listen to what *I*
        want to listen to, which is generally much better than listening
        to video game music.

Comment Re:I'm not the target audience apparently (Score 1, Insightful) 105

Indeed. Web browsers have generally not been on my list of applications that are permitted to play sound, ever since the capability to play MIDI was introduced in Netscape. Why would anyone want that? I do NOT want random websites that I look at to be able to decide what sound comes out of my speakers. I already have a media player, thanks, and the web browser is not it.

Comment Re:Stupid reasoning. (Score 1) 1094

Businesses just raise their prices to compensate. The people who really get hurt are the people who make just a few dollars an hour more than minimum wage, because they've worked hard to get raises. Guess what happens to their raises when minimum wage goes up and drives inflation? Yeah.

With that said, I'm surprised California minimum wage wasn't already more than $15/hour. In real terms, that might actually be _lower_ than minimum wage in the Midwest. I say might, because it depends somewhat on exactly what you're buying. Electronics, for instance, are generally the same price nationwide, so your minimum wage job in California could buy a lot more iPhones than an equivalent minimum wage job in Ohio. OTOH, if you are mostly buying food and housing, you'd be better off with $5 an hour in Indiana than $15 an hour in Southern California. So figuring out an exact purchasing power ratio for the general case is not really possible. But anyway, my point is, $15/hour sounds high if you live in a place with a reasonable cost of living, but it's really not high in LA. Money's just worth less out there.

Comment This is probably good, but they're spinning it... (Score 1) 141

"Business users will have the option to set their own update cycle, so they can see if any of the patches accidentally break anything for home users before trying them out."

Stripping away the spin, updates will come out as soon as they're ready (which is probably a good thing on the whole), and business users will have to test and deploy them at that time, whenever it happens, rather than having a monthly scheduled day to do so.

That "option to set their own update cycle" spin is nonsense. If you do that, every single security fix Microsoft ever rolls out goes public days or weeks before you get it -- like what happens when a zero-day goes public and it takes Microsoft several days or weeks to get the fix out, but it'll be like that for you for every single security update ever. Yeah, no, that is not the way any reasonable large business is going to handle it.

This means effectively, if you are a large company, you will really need to have people on call or otherwise available every day in case an update comes out. But, in 2015, are there any large businesses left that *don't* already have IT people on the clock every day? I see this as Microsoft catching up with the reality that at this point large businesses *do* have IT people on staff full time -- they *have* to have them -- and everyone, including the large businesses, is put unnecessarily at risk when security updates that are ready to roll out are held back to wait for a certain day of the month. It does mean occasionally an IT department's going to have to reschedule a day full of department meetings and team-building exercises to test and deploy an update that just came out, but it's worth it.

So it's the right thing to do, but Microsoft's spin is so much nonsense.

Comment Re:Just get rid of it (Score 1) 314

You should move to Galion. You'd be happy here. We're under some kind of exotic grandfather clause from Hell that has prevented us from ever joining the twentieth century and getting fluoride in our water, even to this day. So we don't have it.

And actually, if you can get past the crazy high dental bills and somewhat low educational standards, Galion *is* a fairly nice place to live, in many other respects.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang