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Comment: Re:"small catalog" and "subscription" (Score 1) 58

by Frobnicator (#47563849) Attached to: EA Tests Subscription Access To Game Catalog

There are quite a few games from their back catalog of acquired games I would love to play again. Remember that EA has bought a long list of companies and products.

It is terribly unlikely that most of the games will be brought back (which is a shame) but potential is there. They added a few to Good Old Games but most of them have problems or require dosbox or have multiplayer disabled.

My short list:

* Wing Commander series, including Privateer (some already on GoG, but buggy on some systems)
* Ultima series (already on GoG but buggy on some systems)
* Populus series, with LAN multiplayer
* Old Dune and old C&C games that allowed LAN multiplayer
* The Neverhood

My long list would include a considerable number of games that are not on GoG and have not been updated to run on newer platforms. For that cost and a catalog including updates or even patched current versions of those games, it would be worth it to me.

I fear it will just be games that have the full version still available at a reduced cost, and become more of a games preview service. But hey, maybe they will get this one right.

Comment: Re:Public Service (Score 4, Insightful) 206

That's similar to a BOFH story arc.

1. Configure the servers to serve as a 'cloud' resource using various open source software.
2. Show executives that this cloud computing system has much faster ping times than all the competitors.
3. Get the contract to provide cloud services.
4. PROFIT!

Comment: Re: Transparency (Score 1) 139

Well, I don't think anyone is likely to rebel against the US government -- not by force anyway, given that the latter is armed to the teeth. 1.6 billion bullets for DHS, was it?vBut not everybody is claiming that the possibility of armed rebellion (preposterous though it may be) makes for a valid argument in support of the second amendment.

Well, we could always quote someone from the previous administration:

"The cost of one bullet, if the [...] people take it on themselves, is substantially less than [the cost of a war]." -- White House press secretary Ari Fleischer 1 Oct 2002.

At the time they were talking about an overthrow of Iraq. It applies well to the US as well.

Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 1) 212

It sounds like this transformer had its center tap grounded and was the path to ground on one side of a ground loop as the geomagnetic field moved under pressure from a CME, inducing a common-mode current in the long-distance power line. A gas pipeline in an area of poor ground conductivity in Russia was also destroyed, it is said, resulting in 500 deaths.

One can protect against this phenomenon by use of common-mode breakers and perhaps even overheat breakers. The system will not stay up but nor will it be destroyed. This is a high-current rather than high-voltage phenomenon and thus the various methods used to dissipate lightning currents might not be effective.

Comment: Re: surpising (Score 5, Interesting) 168

by Frobnicator (#47531905) Attached to: Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

How long do long term investors have to wait for consistent profitability?

Math time... $126M loss / $19B revenue = 0.66%, less than one percent loss for a quarter. The company is worth about $140B, so the quarter's drop is less than a tenth of a percent, meaning absorbing a the loss is a tiny decrease in a large bucket. In contrast, the skittish investors yesterday cost the company about $12B compared to the $126M business loss. The skittish investors who cause huge overnight drops like this create opportunities.

We're not talking about a company that is hemorrhaging money. It isn't a company plagued by mismanagement. It is a company that since their first day built a track record of tinkering with models. That is all Amazon has ever done. They have the resources to continue operating when they discover unprofitable ones. It takes money to make money, and many tests and changes cost time and money. Yes, some investors refuse to see the long term and demand a profit every single quarter. Other investors see this as an opportunity to buy or to hold.

Last night they took a 10% drop because short-term investors are skittish. Today you can buy it at a 10% discount; so thanks skittish investors!

+ - Letter to Congress: Ending U.S. Dependency on Russia for Access to Space 1

Submitted by Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens (3872) writes "I've sent a letter to my district's senators and member of congress this evening, regarding how we should achieve a swifter end to U.S. dependency on the Russians for access to space. Please read my letter, below. If you like it, please join me and send something similar to your own representatives. Find them here and here. — Bruce

Dear Congressperson Lee,

The U.S. is dependent on the Russians for present and future access to space. Only Soyuz can bring astronauts to and from the Space Station. The space vehicles being built by United Launch Alliance are designed around a Russian engine. NASA's own design for a crewed rocket is in its infancy and will not be useful for a decade, if it ever flies.

Mr. Putin has become much too bold because of other nations dependence. The recent loss of Malaysia Air MH17 and all aboard is one consequence.

Ending our dependency on Russia for access to space, sooner than we previously planned, has become critical. SpaceX has announced the crewed version of their Dragon spaceship. They have had multiple successful flights and returns to Earth of the un-crewed Dragon and their Falcon 9 rocket, which are without unfortunate foreign dependencies. SpaceX is pursuing development using private funds. The U.S. should now support and accelerate that development.

SpaceX has, after only a decade of development, demonstrated many advances over existing and planned paths to space. Recently they have twice successfully brought the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket back to the ocean surface at a speed that would allow safe landing on ground. They have demonstrated many times the safe takeoff, flight to significant altitude, ground landing and re-flight of two similar test rockets. In October they plan the touchdown of their rocket's first stage on a barge at sea, and its recovery and re-use after a full flight to space. Should their plan for a reusable first-stage, second, and crew vehicle be achieved, it could result in a reduction in the cost of access to space to perhaps 1/100 of the current "astronomical" price. This would open a new frontier to economical access in a way not witnessed by our nation since the transcontinental railroad. The U.S. should now support this effort and reap its tremendous economic rewards.

This plan is not without risk, and like all space research there will be failures, delays, and eventually lost life. However, the many successes of SpaceX argue for our increased support now, and the potential of tremendous benefit to our nation and the world.

Please write back to me.

Many Thanks

Bruce Perens"

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 4, Insightful) 613

The problem has been that once a relatively few people got all that authority, under a socialist or fascist regime, they then never wanted to give it up. So societies never "evolved" beyond that to true communism. Nor is it likely to ever happen. Marx was a loon.

Pure communism is an interesting idea that is unlikely to work with humans in the long run.

It does not follow that "Marx was a loon". Given a society or species that is much more altruistic, willing to contribute to the entire society rather than focusing on personal benefit, the result would be elevation of everybody.

The idea by itself has merit, where all of society is doing all it can to contribute to everyone. But humans are greedy, selfish, lying, power hungry, egoistic creatures. Good idea, just not for humanity.

Comment: Re:Evolution (Score 1) 253

by Bruce Perens (#47485313) Attached to: New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes

:-)

You make it sound like starving people are getting fat too.

If they are becoming obese, the particular individual has a surplus of caloric intake, if only for this year or month. This is not to say that they have proper nutrition. So I am not at all clear that the fact that there is obesity in the third world is confounding evidence.

Comment: Evolution (Score 1) 253

by Bruce Perens (#47480445) Attached to: New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes
For most of the existence of mankind and indeed all of mankind's progenitors, having too much food was a rare problem and being hungry all of the time was a fact of life. We are not necessarily well-evolved to handle it. So, no surprise that we eat to repletion and are still hungry. You don't really have any reason to look at it as an illness caused by anything other than too much food.

Comment: Re: If you pay... (Score 2) 15

Martin,

The last time I had a professional video produced, I paid $5000 for a one-minute commercial, and those were rock-bottom prices from hungry people who wanted it for their own portfolio. I doubt I could get that today. $8000 for the entire conference is really volunteer work on Gary's part.

Someone's got to pay for it. One alternative would be to get a corporate sponsor and give them a keynote, which is what so many conferences do, but that would be abandoning our editorial independence. Having Gary fund his own operation through Kickstarter without burdening the conference is what we're doing. We're really lucky we could get that.

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr

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