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Comment: Mass Effect 2 (Score 1) 439

by ben there... (#34515998) Attached to: Single-Player Game Model 'Finished,' Says EA Exec

Look at the list of the highest rated games of 2010. See how many times Mass Effect 2 and its expansions shows up. I count 3 with a score of 85 or better. The game of Mass Effect 2 itself is the top scoring of the year with a 94, which makes it tied for 3rd place with a bunch of games as one of the best PC games of all time.

Sorry, got a little excited there for a second. It's a great game, with RPG elements and FPS elements that does a better job than Fallout in my opinion and has a *much* better story too. It's like Final Fantasy story and FMV meets Star Wars mythology meets RPG inventory and upgrades meets FPS combat with the unique twist of pause-and-plan combat and the best use of cover I've seen, and a pretty good balance as far as how much damage you can give/take before dying (unlike the ridiculous amount of damage enemies can take in Borderlands) and realistic feeling accuracy spread of weapons. The weapons and upgrades are good too but I have to say I preferred the inventory of the first Mass Effect, other than how you had to manage hundreds of ammo upgrades and such. I've looked for a comparable game now that I'm done with Mass Effect and halfway through Mass Effect 2 but nothing compares with all of the same elements.

A bonus is that the dialog choices and storyline options you made in Mass Effect get transferred to Mass Effect 2 by importing your savegame, and will also continue into Mass Effect 3. That's just amazing in my opinion. It's the way games should be made. I could keep going but you get the picture. I put the game up there in the same league as the Zelda series, which says a lot.

Comment: Too many ways to count (Score 1) 320

by ben there... (#33157796) Attached to: 400 Turns of <em>Civilization V</em>

Besides the 9 difficulty levels, the many expansions, the wildly varying victory conditions, and the improved AI in the expansions, there are some interesting economy strategies that aren't outlined in any way in the game's interface.

You can use a "cottage economy", a "specialist economy", or an "espionage economy". Most people start with a cottage economy but using Great People and the new features of the expansions without using near-100% on the science slider are an interesting alternative.

I'm still learning those after playing casually for years. The real pros are on CivFanatics.com. They could tell you more about those strategies than I ever could. They can be way more fun.

Comment: Re:Linux? (Score 1) 320

by ben there... (#33157752) Attached to: 400 Turns of <em>Civilization V</em>

Linux would be nice. As it is, Civ4 is the only reason I have to boot into Windows. Everything else I need from it runs in Wine.

Civ4, not so much. I got it to work at first, then tried everything from making it windowed to disabling audio and it just kept crashing. That's with Beyond the Sword 3.19 and latest Wine from Ubuntu 10.04. No idea what the problem is.

Comment: Re:wait, add-ons don't have a permissions model? (Score 1) 201

by ben there... (#32920220) Attached to: How the Mozilla Sniffer Backdoor Was Discovered

Or, you could just create ~/.mozilla-standard/, ~/.mozilla-ebay/ and ~/.mozilla-testing/, and point a ~/.mozilla symlink at whichever profile you want to use, like you can do for ... any other program at all. Again making the "profiles" feature completely redundant on Unix-like systems.

Are you seriously suggesting altering a symlink every time you want to run a different session? Nevermind that it wouldn't work if you wanted to run 2 different profiles at once.

Profiles are immensely helpful if you have 2 logins (say to all of Google's services) and want to use both at the same time. Separate search histories, separate Gmail accounts, etc etc. All running at the same time in 2 different windows. Use different themes to tell them apart.

Comment: It's not even a ribbon (Score 1) 1124

by ben there... (#29520845) Attached to: Firefox To Replace Menus With Office Ribbon

It looks more like IE7 or Chrome than it does any version of Office.

They:
- hid the menubar.
- condensed common menu items into Page and Tools drop-downs, to apply to the current page and whole app, respectively.
- merged the search and address bars (which imo should never have been separate--I always hide the search bar).
- merged some other buttons (stop/reload etc.).
- plan to simplify the 4 different ways to access bookmarks.

Full description of mockup here: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Sprints/Windows_Theme_Revamp/Direction_and_Feedback

Other than a brief mention of possibly adding ribbon styling, none of the above looks much like Office ribbons to me.

Comment: WinMo had it first (Score 1) 54

by ben there... (#29445115) Attached to: iPhone As a PC Game Controller

GRemote on Windows Mobile (*shocker*) did it first. Air mouse over bluetooth or wifi, anyone? Click and drag works, on screen scrollwheel works, everything is rebindable. Also works as touchpad, joystick, and game wheel for racing games.

It can be used exactly like the wiimote is used for menus except there is more than one interface you can use depending on what you're trying to control. For example, one that prominently displays media play/pause buttons.

On my HTC Fuze, it feels like a very solid, very capable remote and air mouse. Works with all games, apps, and of course also the Windows desktop.

Hardware Hacking

Build Your Own Open Source Twittering Power Meter 31

Posted by timothy
from the diy-with-some-help dept.
ptorrone writes "Open source hardware company 'Adafruit Industries' has released a 'Tweet-a-watt' kit. It's an open source power monitoring kit that mods an off-the-shelf power meter which can 'tweet' (publish wirelessly) the daily KWH consumed & Cumulative Kilowatt-hours to your Twitter account, Google App Engine, Facebook, IRC, whatever ... They recently won the 'GreenerGadget' design competition and have now released an open source hardware kit."

Comment: Re:Many variables (Score 1) 603

by ben there... (#25919935) Attached to: 18% of Consumers Can't Tell HD From SD

The primary reason I like the digital channels is that they are true 16:9 widescreen. Opening up the edges of the scene makes a much bigger difference than the horizontal resolution, as far as I'm concerned.

Except that's only true for some films and some shows. Many others recorded over the last several years actually show more of the scene in the full-screen version, whereas the wide-screen version is just the full-screen version with the top and bottom cropped off. It completely depends on how it was filmed and the transfer process.

Google

Google Re-Refunds Video Purchases 129

Posted by Zonk
from the who-would-have-thought dept.
holymodal writes "In a new post to the Google blog Bindu Reddy, the Google Video product manager, admits that only offering refunds via Google Checkout was a bad idea: 'We should have anticipated that some users would see a Checkout credit as nothing more than an extra step of a different (and annoyingly self-serving) kind. Our bad.' Google now plans to issue customers a full credit card refund, while allowing them to keep the Checkout credit and extending the life of purchased videos another six months."
Supercomputing

+ - DDR4 RAM released by Hynix

Submitted by
nithinraju
nithinraju writes "The Technology is developing daily and it causes great changes in our daily life. A Real proof for the above statement is the DDR4 RAM released by Hynix . HynixSemiconductor has developed a 512Mb graphic DDR4 memory that can process DVD-quality movies of 12 hours in a single second. Running at a voltage as low as 1.5V,the graphic chip of Hynix Semiconductor is suitable for next-generation notebook PCs.It also supports all interfaces required by next-generation graphic memories.Certainly, this is a good news for those who are expecting better performance from their computers."
Privacy

TiVo Selling Data on Users' Watching Habits 244

Posted by Zonk
from the that-little-antenna-guy-is-watching-you dept.
Gyppo writes "The San Francisco Chronicle reports that TiVo is collecting and selling data on what parts of broadcasts people are rewinding for review and what commercials they are skipping. The data collection is part of a service the company provides to advertisers and television networks, collecting anonymous data on their users' commercial-watching habits. The data they provide is a random subset of their overall userbase, detailing which commercials are skipped and which are actually watched. The article mentions the possibility for privacy abuse, but with this application of technology Tivo is not providing access to what any one individual user watches via the service."
Media

RIAA Members Sue Allofmp3.com Over Infringement 323

Posted by Zonk
from the long-time-coming dept.
fair_n_hite_451 writes "To the surprise of no one, several members of the RIAA have filed suit against MediaServices, the operators of Allofmp3.com. The suit was filed for Wednesday, primarily by Arista Records LLC, Warner Bros. Records Inc., Capitol Records Inc. and UMG Recordings. The language of the litigation was very confrontational; The companies claim the site sells millions of songs without paying them 'a dime'. 'The defendant's entire business ... amounts to nothing more than a massive infringement of plaintiffs' exclusive rights under the Copyright Act and New York law.' AllofMp3 has always maintained that a Russian licensing group makes their business legitimate, while the RIAA here claims the organization has no authority to make such a deal."
Microsoft

Get on the 'Gates for President' Bandwagon 654

Posted by Zonk
from the jobs-for-vice-president dept.
netbuzz writes "Dilbert's Scott Adams kicked off the idea in his November 19th blog post, saying there isn't anything wrong with this country that President Bill Gates couldn't cure in less time than it takes to get a new operating system out the door. Today, the idea is moving forward with a brand-new 'Bill Gates for President' Web site. Adams is also back on the campaign trail, flogging the site and Gates' candidacy." A blog post at Network World includes a lot of eye-rolling about this idea, but neither Adams nor the folks at the 'Gates for President' website seem to be taking this lightly.

Video of Fedora On PS3 331

Posted by kdawson
from the dual-boot dept.
klippoth writes, "I just thought I would let you guys know, not only do I have Fedora Core 5 for PPC installed on my Playstation 3, but I video-captured running through the boot loader to demonstrate how it works. And yes, I am selling the PS3 on Ebay, although that was not my original intention. But hearing about people making ten grand... well, let's just say my love for my PS3 is NOT unconditional. Metal Gear Solid 4 doesn't come out for another year anyway! (Although it seems that sales of PS3s are starting to slow down... oh well, I can think of worse things to be stuck with!!)"

"Your stupidity, Allen, is simply not up to par." -- Dave Mack (mack@inco.UUCP) "Yours is." -- Allen Gwinn (allen@sulaco.sigma.com), in alt.flame

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