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Comment: Re:Typical (Score 1) 293

by emilng (#29549029) Attached to: $529M Gov't Loan To Develop $89,000 Hybrid Sports Car

There are issues both with your so called, "enviro-nazis" and their opponents who will go out of their way to bash anything might be good for people in general just because it happens to be in line with the agendas of environmentalists. I think it's illogical and goes against reason to support shitting where you eat just to spite an environmentalist who points out that it's not a good idea to shit where you eat.

You say that 'humans are the most important thing in the world." One of the things that make people humans is the ability to reason. Abandoning reason for an emotional agenda regardless of whether it's pro-environmentalist or anti-environmentalist is the path toward losing our humanity and becoming no better than animals.

The Almighty Buck

The Outing of Pranknet 543

Posted by timothy
from the richly-deserved dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Smoking Gun recently published a story on their investigation and outing of Pranknet, an online cabal that aims to take pranks to the next level. Their legacy includes thousands of dollars of damage, and many harassed souls. Many of the pranks have clear criminal implications. Reading their report may send chills down your collective spines." From the linked article: "Coalescing in an online chat room, members of the group, known as Pranknet, use the telephone to carry out cruel and outrageous hoaxes, which they broadcast live around-the-clock on the Internet. Masquerading as hotel employees, emergency service workers, and representatives of fire alarm companies, 'Dex' and his cohorts have successfully prodded unwitting victims to destroy hotel rooms and lobbies, set off sprinkler systems, activate fire alarms, and damage assorted fast food restaurants. But while Pranknet's hoaxes have caused millions of dollars in damages, it is the group's efforts to degrade and frighten targets that makes it even more odious ..."

Comment: Re:August (Score 1) 1146

by emilng (#28958611) Attached to: Navigating a Geek Marriage?
I have to agree with all your points except for the money thing.

You never want to lose your own identity in a relationship and combining the money starts to do that. When I make big purchases I still confirm it with her, but the reply is usually "do what you want. It's your money" or "Are you sure you really need to be getting that" So it's more of a sanity check from my best friend rather than asking for permission, but keeping the money separate helps us to keep our identities.

Comment: Re:And I care why? (Score 1) 249

by emilng (#26420493) Attached to: The Scope of US E-Waste
If someone really wants to succeed they will.

I'm sure you're speaking from the first-hand experience of overcoming adversity of growing up in an innercity environment and all that it entails by going to a library and learning what you needed to succeed so that you could brag about it on slashdot today.

Comment: Re:And I care why? (Score 1) 249

by emilng (#26418919) Attached to: The Scope of US E-Waste
They have the same chances as anyone else - if they worked hard they could make something of their lifes. Clearly they can't be bothered so thats their problem

Clearly they have the same chances as anyone else

/sarcasm

I came from a very good public school district and used to wonder what all the fuss was about people not liking public school. I recently had the opportunity to talk to a school teacher who taught at a school that was split between my school district and a school district that encompasses some poorer communities. She happens to teach in the poorer district portion of the school. She said the difference between the quality of education between the two school districts just within this one building is like night and day as far as the resources that are available and quality of output from the students. Things that she would have to deal with is kids having immense pressure from their parents to do well not for academic reasons but because if they do well they would get free pizza which their parents expected them to bring home to help feed the family. Something like that happening in my school district was unfathomable thus I was never exposed to that reality.

This is just the tip of the iceberg and only dealing with the differences in educational opportunities. So if you can have the same chances as anybody else when playing with a loaded die, then yes I guess people in the inner city "have the same chances."

Anyway back to topic. I was trying to make light of the situation in China because I thought using a situation that's closer to home would give people some perspective, obviously I missed my mark by a wide margin.

Comment: Re:And I care why? (Score 1) 249

by emilng (#26412607) Attached to: The Scope of US E-Waste
I'm sorry but honestly why do I care what happens to projects in the inner city? They aren't innocent victums, they willingly bring in crack and sell it to their residents. As soon as they want to they can stop buying crack when they feel the health risks are too great... Until they do that, why should I feel bad for problems they have brought on themselves?

Comment: Re:Sounds like a tool assisted speed run.... (Score 1) 152

by emilng (#26405063) Attached to: Nintendo Files Patent For Game That Plays Itself
I think the view that the traditional play model of the player being the hero with the singular goal of "beating" the game is the only way to design and play a game is the problem here. The potential for a hero character that plays itself and allows you to jump into the game at any point would be much greater if you throw away that assumption.

Games initially had no end and were solely exercises in getting a high score. This was eventually replaced by the "reach the ending" model of gaming that you're referring to. I think this phase of game design is already starting to lose appeal and is giving way toward gameplay based on achievements. Even with achievements game designers are still putting too much emphasis on getting the player hero to the end as the end all be all goal of someone playing the game rather than allowing for other modes of gameplay.

The hero should be allowed to reach the "end" if left alone, but the player should be also be allowed to play as the antagonist who can choose to kill the hero character or try escaping before the hero reaches them. The player could also choose to play as the sidekick who may help the hero reach their destination sooner, backstab the hero and prevent them from reaching their destination or exact revenge on the antagonist who managed to kill the hero. So each different way of playing has its own set of achievements and associated scripted sequences.

The barnyard animal could choose to just sit back and let the hero reach the end while the "serious gamer" could try playing as the sidekick and reach the end of the game before the hero does.

Comment: Re:Nintendo does it, yes (Score 1) 152

by emilng (#26404607) Attached to: Nintendo Files Patent For Game That Plays Itself
One of my favorite quotes happens to be from Yamauchi via Miyamoto,

Do not try to compete with the others, try to be the only one.

I think it's a great quote in and of itself, but taken within the context of his anti-competitive practices it puts a whole new spin on things. I guess it makes sense that to not compete you either have to do something completely different from someone else or prevent someone else from doing the same thing as you.

As far as why people still have such a positive attitude towards such an "evil" company it's similar to why Walmart is so successful. The company gives its customers what they want. For Nintendo it is games that are fun and delivered in an accessible (cheap, easy learning curve) package. For Walmart this is cheap and plentiful products all in one location.

It's very difficult to be an angel consumer so we all have to pick and choose our fights. For me I buy Nintendo because the fun and cost beats out the evil but I don't buy Walmart because the evil beats out any advantages for me.
Nintendo

Nintendo Files Patent For Game That Plays Itself 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the say-what-now dept.
Kotaku points out a recent patent filed by Nintendo which automates gameplay unless the user specifically chooses to play a particular part of the game. Quoting: "The new system, described in a patent filed by Nintendo Creative Director Shigeru Miyamoto on June 30, 2008, but made public today, looks to solve the issue of casual gamers losing interest in a game before they complete it, while still maintaining the interest of hardcore gamers. The solution would turn a game into a full-length cut scene of sorts, allowing players to jump into and out of the action whenever they wanted. But when played this way, gamers would not be able to save their progress, maintaining the challenge of completing a game without skipping or cheating."

Comment: Re:Well, no... (Score 4, Insightful) 439

by emilng (#26342507) Attached to: How the City Hurts Your Brain
You can't just generalize about a city of millions. Try replacing New Yorker with a person from any country and listen to how offensive you sound.

I was born in NYC and am still living there currently. I also get really annoyed with the all the people who think New York is the greatest thing ever too, but you don't find me bashing it every chance I get on Slashdot. The amount of disdain you have for New Yorkers borders on the amount of homophobia you would find from a closeted homosexual. I'm not saying you're a closet New Yorker, but that's just what it comes off as... just saying...
Science

How the City Hurts Your Brain 439

Posted by kdawson
from the but-not-paris dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The city has always been an engine of intellectual life and the 'concentration of social interactions' is largely responsible for urban creativity and innovation. But now scientists are finding that being in an urban environment impairs our basic mental processes. After spending a few minutes on a crowded city street, the brain is less able to hold things in memory and suffers from reduced self-control. 'The mind is a limited machine,' says psychologist Marc Berman. 'And we're beginning to understand the different ways that a city can exceed those limitations.' Consider everything your brain has to keep track of as you walk down a busy city street. A city is so overstuffed with stimuli that we need to redirect our attention constantly so that we aren't distracted by irrelevant things. This sort of controlled perception — we are telling the mind what to pay attention to — takes energy and effort. Natural settings don't require the same amount of cognitive effort. A study at the University of Michigan found memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent after people spent an hour interacting with nature. 'It's not an accident that Central Park is in the middle of Manhattan,' says Berman. 'They needed to put a park there.'"

Comment: Re:pong (Score 1) 381

by emilng (#26266165) Attached to: Resurrecting Old Games, What Works?
Well you have the fans that complain about games being ruined by remakes then you have the fans who actually get up and do something about it and try their own hands at remaking the games.

I think there are some good examples of the latter being done over at Retro Remakes

For some good examples of the former check the rest of the comments.

Comment: Re:Update, or rebuild completely. Renovation = Rui (Score 1) 381

by emilng (#26266103) Attached to: Resurrecting Old Games, What Works?
I don't think there is any less creativity in games being created today. It's just that the most creative games don't get consumed by the mainstream public and thus are not exposed by the marketing machines of the major publishers. The games media is getting large enough that it has turned into media like books and film where you usually have to seek out the independent work in order to find the truly creative work.

If you go on sites like Game Tunnel or Kongregate and do some digging around you'll find some real innovation and creativity. The question is whether those games are executed at a quality level that the gaming public demands these days. Back then the playing field was fairly level due to limitations in technology and understanding of game design.
Nintendo

Club Nintendo Goes Live 59

Posted by Soulskill
from the who-doesn't-love-proprietary-currency dept.
AKAImBatman writes "Nintendo has launched their new North American Club Nintendo service that allows customers to earn 'coins' for purchasing Nintendo products. Coins can then be redeemed for items like exclusive DS games, playing cards, Wii Remote holders, DS cases, and other Nintendo branded items. Points are earned by registering Wii games (50 points), DS games (30 points), or by purchasing Wii Shop items (10 points) after your Wii Shop account has been linked to your Club Nintendo account. Users may link their account under the 'Settings' area of the Wii Shop channel. Prices range from 300 coins for a Wii Remote holder to 800 coins for the Game & Watch Collection for the Nintendo DS."

Blizzcon Begins, Diablo 3 Wizard Class Unveiled 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the zap dept.
Blizzcon is officially underway today, starting with a presentation showcasing the Worldwide Invitational tournament held earlier this year. A company spokesman went on to talk about the tournaments being held for World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena, Warcraft 3, and Starcraft 2, followed by word that Starcraft 2 was not yet ready for beta, but that Blizzcon attendees would be included in the first round of testers when the beta program starts. The big news of the presentation, though, was the unveiling of the Wizard class — the third such class to be announced, along with the previously mentioned Barbarian and Witch Doctor. Read on for some more details.

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