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Comment: The hubbub is misplaced (Score 1) 350

by astro (#47509265) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

The US Postal Service has been trying to cut losses by ending Saturday delivery of ALL mail for years. I used to be a Netflix DVD subscriber and am admittedly streaming-only now (DVDs are hard to squeeze through my VPN - I live in Germany now), but I fail to see the big deal. Feel fortunate you still receive Saturday delivery of junk mail and bills.

Comment: Not new, and not shocking. (Score 2) 242

by astro (#47438893) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

If anything it's shocking the process isn't used more. I know in my hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska, reverse-osmosis waste water filtering was used at least as early as the 1980s, perhaps even the 70s. I'm trying to find a reference for proof, but haven't come up with one in a couple of minutes of Googling.

The Wikipedia article on RO, by the way, is in pretty shabby shape if anyone gets a rise out of improving such things.

Comment: Re:This news piece has been greatly exagerated (Score 5, Insightful) 219

by astro (#47348873) Attached to: Facebook's Emotion Experiment: Too Far, Or Social Network Norm?

Bullshit. How do you know that you don't know anyone that was affected by it? Do you know which week in 2012 the experiment was conducted? Do you know which of the ~billion FB accounts were the 700k experimented upon? I find it pretty shocking that so many people are having difficulty understanding the difference between A/B testing and intentional emotional manipulation where a significant negative (or positive) result was the data point the study strove to measure.

I can quite imagine that a significant number of offline lives were impacted by this experiment. People exposed to negative content presumably don't limit their negative reactions to behavior only in the venue where they were exposed to the negative content.

Comment: Grrr. (Score 1) 259

by astro (#46845217) Attached to: Hulu Blocks VPN Users

I am a citizen of the USA, and I pay monthly for services (not Hulu) that I am not easily able to watch in my country of residence, Germany. It's really annoying to have restrictions on content that I PAY FOR.

I don't pay Hulu, I am not interested in their content, but there is a certain other major US-based content network that lulls me to sleep with usually shitty (but occasionally brilliant) movies and television shows.

I did get off the commercial VPN services and roll my own OpenVPN, as suggested by others here - It's not that hard. But I still think this whole thing is obnoxious and stinks. If I wanted to pay USD 7.99 per month for content and another 13 on top for the commercial VPN I was using - all to US companies and as an American citizen, why in the hell would they refuse my money and block my enjoyment of their services?

Comment: Wolfram Alpha (Score 3, Interesting) 164

by astro (#46839799) Attached to: Facebook Data Miner Will Shock You

I'd place a small wager that Ubi partnered with Wolfram Alpha on this - I did the Watch Dogs thing about a week ago, and thought it was actually a quite coolly stylized representation of basically very close to what WA spits out as analysis of my Facebook profile. I wasn't shocked. Rather, I thought it was pretty trick marketing, and was impressed.

Comment: I've observed this phenomena. (Score 1) 180

This, I am sure, will sound totally silly, but I've seen this in action. My wife's favorite games are the old "House Of The Dead" rail-shooters, and Angry Birds. House of the Dead noticeably relaxes her, and she doesn't hit much frustration it it. Angry Birds makes me fear for my life, practically, if she hits a losing streak. It's made worse by the social aspect - she gets furious if she is lower in the rankings than people she knows and competes against.

Note: My wife and I don't have fancy new gaming systems or high-powered computers. We're poor, which is fine with me, but it does limit our gaming options to things like the above.

Comment: Re:Lets Clarify....... (Score 1) 29

by astro (#46596753) Attached to: Latest Humble Bundle Supports Open Source GameDev Tools

I was only introduced to Ren'Py by this /. post and I am thinking of giving it a go. I've been wanting a rapid way to tell lightly interactive stories, and this looks to fit the bill quite well. I'm intimidated by the amount of time it might take me to source / create images, but that is of course not a failure of what you have created here. I read the quick start, downloaded a couple of games (and a couple of straight novels) and looked through their scripts... I'm intrigued. I'm medium-advanced with Python, and nothing I have in mind should require too much craziness. So... yeah, intrigued.

Comment: Re:ATMs? (Score 2) 367

by astro (#46544327) Attached to: Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs

Most countries, obviously including economically advanced and powerful Germany (where I live) also use ATMs (Geldautomaten). Here, the culture is still such that "cash is king". Other than supermarkets, huge chains like Ikea, H&M and McDonalds, there are very few places that you can use a debit/credit card to pay for goods and services. Asking "people still use cash?" is centered around a single first-world culture and in no way representative of the wider presence of ATMs.

+ - Is id Software a "sinking ship?"

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "All is not well at the house that Doom built. Gamecrastinate reports that a string of comments by current and former employees of id Software reveal long-standing problems with upper-level management. The most recent, made in December, shortly after the departure of id co-founder John Carmack, describes the company as a "sinking ship", one that has lost over a hundred people, including Carmack, in the prior two years. The anonymous whistle-blower lays the blame squarely upon the "incompetence" of id's managers, and their tendency to "re-invent" projects after as few as six months of work. Last year, Kotaku reported on the troubled development history of Doom 4, a game that was first announced in 2008, and one that has been rebuilt from scratch at least once. In February, id began offering beta access to the upcoming game, now simply titled Doom , as an incentive for pre-ordering Wolfenstein: The New Order. When it finally gets here, will it be enough to pull id out of their downward spiral, or is the company going to hell for real?"

Do molecular biologists wear designer genes?