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Comment: Autism rising/not rising (Score 3, Interesting) 398

by benengel (#39518437) Attached to: CDC Reports 1 In 88 Children Now Affected With Autism In the US

My mother has runs a special needs unit of about 3 classes in a normal government primary school in Western Sydney for about 5 years and has been a teacher of "normal" kids for about 30 years before that. She is convinced that the percentage of special needs kids (autism, downs etc) as compared to "normal" primary school kids is rising due to advances in medical technology. She feels that 30, 40 or 50 years ago a lot of the kids she teaches would have died due to complications at childbirth related to their conditions whereas with better medical technology today more survive. This judgement is just based on her experience only. Whether its true or not I don't know but she has been teaching kids for over 35 years.

Comment: Re:Piracy: Free Advertising (Score 5, Interesting) 321

by benengel (#38888573) Attached to: <em>Angry Birds</em> Boss Credits Piracy For Popularity Boost

I have been a web and graphic designer for over 10 years and have pirated countless copies of photoshop, dreamweaver, flash etc over the years for personal use beginning in the days when i was at uni. Since I started working in the industry every position I have ever worked has always had fully licenced software and I have been involved in several purchasing decisions where I strongly advocated buying new licences for the business for new staff etc. If I had never pirated photoshop in my earlier poor uni days I would never have had the skills to get a job as a web designer. Since then both I and Adobe have benefited from that initial piracy monetarily and continue to benefit.

If effective restrictive DRM has been in place or criminal penalties highly draconian when I was considering whether to pirate photoshop I would instead have trained myself on Corel (an inferior but similar product) and would be working at places where they had corel licences not photoshop. I would be trained in a crappier product and Adobe would have much less money as a result.

Comment: Re:Evolution in action (Score 1) 591

by benengel (#37055018) Attached to: Reaction To <em>Diablo 3's</em> Always-Online Requirement

But what if people want to stir fry their games or boil them? Or maybe deep fry them? This fascist DRM has got to stop! Only when I am able to purchase a copy of Diablo 3 take it home and barbecue it up on my 4 burner in my backyard without having to PHONE HOME to Blizzard HQ will I be satisfied.

Comment: Lighten up Francis (Score 1) 591

by benengel (#37054848) Attached to: Reaction To <em>Diablo 3's</em> Always-Online Requirement

Most of the outrage in this thread sounds a bit like this guy

http://videosift.com/video/Francis-takes-exception-to-Diablo-3

also relevant :)

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/8/8/

Blizzard consistently make some of the worlds most awesome games. If at some point they start churning out crap then I will start to look at moves like this with suspicion. Until that happens though I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt - they have definitely earned it.

Comment: Cant change your Google accounts primary address (Score 1) 560

by benengel (#36861454) Attached to: Google+ Account Suspensions Over ToS Drawing Fire

I thought I would let everyone know one thing I noticed since google plus launched is that you can't change the primary email address on your google account. So if you created a google account not using the email address you normally use and instead say a gmail address then you will have a problem. As Google plus sends all its notifications to your primary email address (you cant change this either) you cant use it properly. Make sure if you create a google plus account you use a google account that has a primary address you monitor often as you cant change it later.

Comment: Rage is looking pretty interesting (Score 1) 280

by benengel (#36821456) Attached to: Carmack Addresses FPS Creativity Concerns

For all the people here saying ID is yesterdays company churning out boring generic games then i would suggest looking at these videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBuGZCzPxRc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSABcqGtJo4&feature=related

They show off the gameplay from their upcoming title RAGE and while I wouldn't say they are bringing any amazing groundbreaking new elements to the FPS genre with it there are definitely enough unique and interesting elements within it that are keeping me interested in its upcoming release. I also believe the decision to go with a new IP and not just stick with an established cashcow signals a conscious choice by ID to try something a bit new and interesting. Coupled with their ususal polish and graphical excellence I am very keen to see what they can bring to the table.

I wouldn't be counting Carmack out yet :)

Comment: Re:There's a great documentary about Donkey Kong (Score 1) 47

by benengel (#36729334) Attached to: 30th Anniversary of <em>Donkey Kong</em>

Its also viewable on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQZ9wXO8RVs - definitely check it out - its awesome. I think Billy Mitchell rates as one of the worlds all time greatest douches and Steve Wiebe is one of the best underdogs of all time. You just can't help but root for the guy all the way throug the the film. Its great. Beware though it is a descent into the pure geekiness of reto competitieve gaming and the twin galaxies universe - shouldn't be a problem to the average slashdotter though i guess :) Read more at its Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_King_of_Kong:_A_Fistful_of_Quarters

Comment: Joe Public will be fine with this (Score 1) 158

by benengel (#36709446) Attached to: 5 Concerns About Australia's New Net Filter

I know a lot of people on Slashdot might think that this is the thin of the wedge and the first step on the slippery slope towards a more comprehensive censhorship scheme the likes of what labour tried to bring in recently but to be honest I think that as long as this filter remains voluntary and restricted to hardcore CP then it wont get any airplay in the wider media at all because the average member of the public will be pretty much fine with it. The real question is a) will its current authority be expanded to material beyond hardcore CP and b) if its current authority expanded would the average joe have issues with it?

a) is up for debate however I would expect that joe public will be much more concerned if there was evidence of scope creep on the filter and therefore it would get more airplay in the wider media and be shot down as it was last time http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/conroy-backs-down-on-net-filters-20100709-10381.html?autostart=1.

The wider public has shown that they are fine with filters as long as it stays restricted to Child Porn only - anything further and governments can expect serious opposition from large sections of the community which can have repercussions for them at the ballot box which is exactly why the last aussie filter was shot down - it started to look like it was going to cost the labour party votes so they ditched it

Comment: I disagree (Score 1) 96

by benengel (#36659742) Attached to: In Australia, Censorship vs. DNS, and Porn As Network Driver

Whilst I think being able to see all kinds of interesting and high quality porn is definitely a factor that people take into consideration when deciding how much they are willing to spend on their internet connection I think its pretty far fetched to say "adult content will be the major driver of consumer adoption." of the NBN. (Can't see that quote in original story BTW)

Considering what people can get already right now pornwise with a decent adsl connection I'm not really seeing how the National Broadband network will dramatically improve things in the porn world provide apart from higher quality porn at higher speeds?

I mean sure it will be an contributing factor but I would imagine that the ability to stream "any" kind of high quality video would be much more of a driving factor - for instance we don't have netflix in australia yet - I'm sure if netflix launched in australia coupled with the NBN that would drive demand for the NBN much more than just porn alone.

Comment: we do the same thing in Australia (Score 4, Informative) 177

by benengel (#36645344) Attached to: Facebook/Twitter Banned In Thailand For Election

see here http://www.aec.gov.au/FAQs/election_advertising.htm#blackout

"This three-day blackout effectively provides a "cooling off" period in the lead up to polling day, during which political parties, candidates and others are no longer able to purchase time on television and radio to broadcast political advertising"

This entire story and headline is slanted to portray what the thais are doing as chinese style censorship when it is nothing of the sort. Many western countries including australia do the exact same thing

Comment: A pretty interesting move (Score 1) 244

by benengel (#36620994) Attached to: World of Warcraft Goes Free With Starter Edition

You know its quite a uniquely funny position that Blizzard are in from the point of creative game development. No game ever made before has been such a financial success over such a long time as wow has been.

Even todays announcement that possibly indicates subscriptions are plateauing or possibly in decline still doesnt mean that Blizzards isn't going to continue to make absolutley bucketloads of cash from it for years to come.

You wonder how the game designers that worked on the game over the last 7 years feel about the ongoing amazing financial success of the game - obviously they put their hearts and souls into it and produced one of the most fantastic games of all time but as anyone who has ever worked creatively knows there is a time and place where you should always move on to the next project and put your old one up on the shelf.

I am really excited about whatever Titan is going to be - with blizzards track record Im sure it will be amazing but I wonder if the real leading creative lights at Blizzard at some stage will actually prefer World of Warcraft to die so it becomes another historical jewel in the crown of Blizzard alongside Starcraft 1 Warcraft 2 Diablo etc and not stick around outdated and ugly alongside whatever new and amazing thing they come up with in the future merely because it continues to pump out rivers of gold for Activision.

Space

Pluto — a Complex and Changing World 191

Posted by timothy
from the can-imagine-quite-a-bit dept.
astroengine writes "After 4 years of processing the highest resolution photographs the Hubble Space Telescope could muster, we now have the highest resolution view of Pluto's surface ever produced. Most excitingly, these new observations show an active world with seasonal changes altering the dwarf planet's surface. It turns out that this far-flung world has more in common with Earth than we would have ever imagined."
Businesses

Failed Games That Damaged Or Killed Their Companies 397

Posted by Soulskill
from the cause-or-symptom dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Develop has an excellent piece up profiling a bunch of average to awful titles that flopped so hard they harmed or sunk their studio or publisher. The list includes Haze, Enter The Matrix, Hellgate: London, Daikatana, Tabula Rasa, and — of course — Duke Nukem Forever. 'Daikatana was finally released in June 2000, over two and a half years late. Gamers weren't convinced the wait was worth it. A buggy game with sidekicks (touted as an innovation) who more often caused you hindrance than helped ... achieved an average rating of 53. By this time, Eidos is believed to have invested over $25 million in the studio. And they called it a day. Eidos closed the Dallas Ion Storm office in 2001.'"
Image

Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi 428

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-you-never-wondered-why-I-drink-only-distilled-water-or-rain-water-and-only-pure-grain-alcohol dept.
Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies,' and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

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