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Comment: "Emerging Space" (Score 1) 147

Is "emerging space" a synonym for "didn't go anywhere?" As it stands, there is the Ouya, which is dying, a bunch of android consoles dying on the vine, and a Playstation Vita TV, which hasn't caught on enough in Japan to bother shipping elsewhere. As it stands, the only microconsole-like object that is doing OK is Chromecast, and that has nothing to do with games.

Comment: Re:IMO, it is not going to work (Score 1) 166

by cgenman (#45388643) Attached to: Why Project Flare Might Just End the Console War

For network gaming, physics engines get rewritten with deterministic results. This can include very base-level things like re-writing platform code, as the platforms handle floating point calculations differently.

It takes a lot to get your physics simulation to be deterministic, but every game out there with multiplayer has to do it. Really, it's the player inputs that cause problems.

Comment: Crashplan would be fine (Score 1) 285

by cgenman (#45322483) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Simple Backups To a Neighbor?

If you don't have an intermediary server, you'll only be able to backup when the receptacle is running. This isn't unique to crashplan, but rather is the nature of direct computer to computer communications. Honestly, Crashplan is the easiest I've worked with.

Alternatively, you can setup an FTP server on their network reasonably easily, and backup to it regularly. This could be a special piece of hardware, like a $200 Synology Diskstation, or a Raspberry Pi with an attached USB drive. Or it could just be a regular computer, though crashplan might be a better option in that case.

You could also do something cheeky if your friend is within wifi range, like giving them a USB drive attached to a router that connects to YOUR Wifi network. Then back up to it as if it were local to your house. But, of course, you're not as protected in that circumstance.

Comment: Re:And nothing of value was lost... (Score 1) 330

by cgenman (#45309489) Attached to: Microsoft To Can Skype API; Third-Party Products Will Not Work

Requiring a particular piece of hardware for your software, while free alternatives remain, is not good ecosystem. Will people give Microsoft $50 to replace their hardware in order to stay in the Skype ecosystem? A system that came into dominance from being free?

My guess is that switching from Skype to any other a/v chat medium is almost trivial at this point, and certainly not worth replacing your hardware to avoid.

Comment: Re:Missing feature enterprises waiting for.... (Score 1) 496

by cgenman (#44673025) Attached to: Windows 8.1 RTM Trickling Out, With Start Menu and Boot-to-Desktop

I used to run support for a small business whose power-line hardware regulators were designed to speak with DOS... over a modem. Unfortunately, we couldn't quite get the bugs out of an upgrade to communicating with a FreeDOS installed on a 2k dollar laptop of today.

It wasn't so much that the "enterprise" software hadn't been updated to support it. The small company had an investment in older but still completely viable technology, and couldn't afford to remain profitable if updating to newer (and more unreliable) hardware.

Comment: Re:Too little too late (Score 1) 496

by cgenman (#44672927) Attached to: Windows 8.1 RTM Trickling Out, With Start Menu and Boot-to-Desktop

ME had major stability issues. *major*. This is definitely complaint #1 against it.
ME restricted DOS mode, as a first step towards Windows 2000. This broke a lot of stuff, including software and hardware compatibility. This is major complaint #2.
ME was supposed to be based upon NT, but they couldn't finish that version in time. So it got rushed, and all of the system builders who signed up for the NT-based ME got the DOS 98+. The original ME became XP. Hence, derision.

The UI was fine, overall. Unlike Windows 8, Windows ME's main problems were stability and compatibility, with no real reason to exist over Win 98. Windows 8, on the other hand, is just terrible, terrible UI. We have an office full of touchscreen game developers using the thing, and we couldn't figure out how to close an application. It's terrible.

Comment: Re: Damage control (Score 4, Insightful) 611

by cgenman (#44026145) Attached to: Microsoft Reputation Manager's Guide To Xbox One

The big problem problem that new consoles are fighting for is: a reason to exist. Most games demo-ed so far look possible on the current generation of hardware. Crowd sources AI is an interesting twist, but possible on current consoles. Killer Instinct is an odd thing to revive, but it would play just as well on a PS3.

Suddenly Microsoft comes out with a console that:
1. Phones home every day.
2. Bans game lending.
3. Possibly cripples the used game market, or maybe not, nobody is really sure.
4. Requires Kinect to be always on, because that wasn't a disaapointment.

Their sales pitch of "You can play games that are basically last-gen games, but with fewer rights" has had shocking trouble resonating with consumers.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

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