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Comment: Only your mind... and lots of gesturing. (Score 1) 112

by astat (#30309588) Attached to: Brain-Control Gaming Headset Launching Dec. 21
There are two videos embedded in the linked article.

The first one is an utter fail, leading to moments of awkward silence during the official presentation.

The second one shows a guy performing simple taks: Moving a block into a certain direction. He does so not without making use of appropriate gestures: He either pushes imaginary obstacles away with his hand, lifts them up, or rotates them by circling his finger (block starts moving after 5 seconds or so)...

The system surely has potential. As of now, however, you can obviously pull off but a few simple stunts with high latency. The device is a gimmick, with a high-end price tag. A lot needs to be done in terms of calibration and fine-tuning to the specific user, which is probably possible; some day. The december release is a joke.

Comment: Re:pushed? not a big deal? (Score 1) 518

by astat (#29884335) Attached to: Lost Northwest Pilots Were Trying Out New Software

5. There is an automatic system called TCAS (Traffic Collision and Avoiding System) that would warn them if there was any chance of colliding with another aircraft. This system is mandatory (at least in Europe) and is why those 2 aircraft over Brazil collided some years ago.

Not quite working as intended then, ary they?

Comment: Steam unpowered (Score 1) 155

by astat (#29869061) Attached to: Game Retailers Facing Digital Distribution Transition
Much like Google watch, there's already a watchdog group for the big player Steam. You can find a comprehensive list of alternative online distributors on their site: http://steamunpowered.eu/steam-alternatives/

Personally, I got very angry about Steam when they decided to change their online shop pricing to local currencies for some European countries - of course not without some juicy price increases. Basically, one Dollar then was transformed into one Euro now. (One Euro currently equals to 1,5 Dollar)

Of course, this created a HUGE uproar among the community, with a notorious thread residing on page 1 of their general forum for several months now, currently at 449 pages despite heavy censorship: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=770231

The wave of complaints meanwhile caused many Steam sellers to demand price adjustments, since they were affected as well by all this negative publicity among European customers. Nowadays, the price situation varies from game to game for continental European customers who are forced to pay in their local currency - may be a fair deal, may be a rip-off when compared to US prices. And surprisingly, UK Pound prices are often even cheaper than US Dollars.

Okay, one last topic for my rant posting: The price issue in general. I mean what the hell?! As an Austrian citizen, it is far cheaper for me (like 30% cheaper!) to order a boxed game at http://play.com/ and have it shipped to me from the island of Jersey than purchasing a mere digital download on Steam. Yet Steam is very successful - they must be swimming in money. What infuriates me is that our economy/politicians/whatever created this bizarre situation, and are doing nothing to change it. It is an ecological nightmare! Producing DVDs and shipping them all over Europe by land and sea is less expensive than sending a few GB of data through some glass fibre? I want to see the person who's responsible for this. No, actually I just want to punch them in the face.

Hey this might actually become my first 5-star posting *hopes for the best*

Comment: Re:Australia's 911 number (Score 1) 380

by astat (#29367943) Attached to: Trapped Girls Call For Help On Facebook

000 (Australia's 911 number)

WTF? 000 is Australia's EMERGENCY number. Would you also say "they drive on the left side of the road (Australia's right)"? In China thay use chopsticks (Chinese knives and forks)?".

There is a point at which explaining by Yankie analogies just makes it more confusing. Try to realise that everyone in the world does not speak English, play baseball, use Fahrenheit.... I'm sure most of the readers here actually can cope with that, and you won't bamboozle the ones who AREN'T American either.

If I visited this site more often and had some mod points left, I would try to mod this posting insightful. For now, a mere reply will have to do.

While the posting is written in a funny way, it is indeed insightful to many readers, I'd assume.

Comment: Quite annoying restrictions, actually (Score 1) 731

by astat (#27322425) Attached to: Valve Claims New Steamworks Update "Makes DRM Obsolete"
I do have to use Steam on a regular basis for some of my games.

I know the platform is supposed to be functional without internet connection once you have activated your game online.
I remember playing HL2 offline a long time ago - Steam searched for an active connection for *several minutes*, then asked if I wanted to play offline since no connection was found.
Nowadays, however, I seem to be always requiring an active connection in order to play any Steam game, be it multiplayer or singleplayer (=offline) games.

Am I missing something? Additionally, I hate it when steam won't let me decide whether I currently have an active internet connection or not, but instead embarks on its epic quest of searching for the internetz for several minutes. An unnecessary hassle, I shouldn't have to wait that long when I feel like playing some "Empire: Total War" or whatever.

Steam has many advantages over other copy protection systems (infamous Starforce, anyone?), but there are some specific problems as well.

One last rant: I also hate how Steam will "download Steam updates" whenever I start the program. I can't tell for sure, but I have a distinct feeling that most of the time, these "updates" are nothing more than the flashy advertisment popups you have to click away before reaching your games list.

Comment: Re:Is this really surprising? (Score 1) 921

by astat (#27250985) Attached to: Study Finds the Pious Fight Death Hardest

Probably get modded down for this..

I have my Score threshold on 4, so I only ever read the 4's and 5's. Every so often, some guy with score of 5 has his posting start with something like "probably get modded troll for this, but.."

It always takes an act of will on my behalf to not spend one of my mod points (yeah, I have actually been getting these recently!) into voting the nonchalant guy right down to where he came from.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. -- Milton Friendman

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