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Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 5, Insightful) 27

Doom is actually pretty different than modern shooters. Everyone right now is doing near-future sci-fi military conflicts. Doom may still be sci-fi, but it's got a different aesthetic - borrowing from Christian demonology and pseudo-medieval fantasy for the art, and heavy metal for the audio. I can actually think of very few other things that do that sort of mix, definitely very few games.

As for the gameplay, both the DooM 1/DooM ][ sort of shooter, and the Doom 3 sort of shooter, are pretty different from the modern standard. Classic DooMs were extremely fast, but had slow-moving projectiles that could be dodged, and had extremely nonlinear maps. Doom 3 was slower and more methodical, and much more linear, but made a decent attempt at making a good horror shooter (it didn't fully succeed, but it was at least a novel attempt. Some lessons could be taken from FEAR, which had the same goal but different methods, which brought it more success). Both of those are different from the modern ultra-linear, setpiece-focused level design, and the twitchy, aim-focused shooters that are practically just reaction tests.

The Doom Reboot seems to be going for the more classic style, which (if true, and if done competently) would make it significantly different from all the other shooters out there.

Comment A few considerations: (Score 1) 379

In Apple's defense, it does seem reasonably plausible that the biometric sensor widget built into the 'home' button(and quite possibly the cable connecting the home button to the logic board) is a 'trusted' element of the system, in the 'the integrity of the system depends on this part performing as expected and not being malicious' sense of 'trusted'. So, I can see why it would be impossible or prohibitively difficult to keep the biometric authentication feature secure while also allowing random people to swap random hardware in to that part of the system.

However, what is a lot less clear is why(especially when many iDevices, including current-model ones, simply lack this feature entirely) 'security' demands that the entire phone be bricked, rather than just the biometric features flushing any private storage associated with them and leaving the phone usable as though it were a model without that feature. This might involve wiping all locally stored data, if the device encryption keys are tangled up with the biometric authentication feature's private storage; but it should still be able to function as though you had just restored it to defaults.

This also raises the question of whether, with the correct incentives, it is possible to induce authorized repair services to introduce malicious components when doing these repairs, and whether doing so would allow you to extract highly sensitive information. Since Apple-blessed repairs can apparently fix home buttons without destroying the handset, and since Apple's line is that tampering threatens the integrity of the authentication system, this seems like a natural place to try to get your malicious part introduced: much more likely that an authorized repair outfit exists in your jurisdiction than that Apple Inc. does; many more low-level techs you could potentially lean on; and home button repairs are a pretty common service request...

Comment Re:The gun is pointing at the foot (Score 1) 385

Something of a biased set. I've been using Firefox on Android for over a year, and I am very happy with it. I wasn't aware until your post that Mozilla was collecting satisfaction stats, and even now I can't really be bothered to post there - but I probably would if I were unhappy with it. Firefox with the self-destructing cookies add-on is the only mobile browser that I've found that gives me the cookie management policy that I want.

Comment Re:Firefox 44 (Score 1) 385

Perhaps they're expecting people to install add-ons? Fine-grained cookie management was why I switched to Firefox on Android, but I actually ended up using the self-destructing cookies add-on, which has exactly the policy that I want: any site can set a cookie, but unless I explicitly opt in (which I can do retroactively with the undelete button) to keeping it, then it's deleted when I navigate away from the site. Everything works as if I had cookies set to automatically accept, but doesn't get to persist any state for me across visits unless I permit it to.

Comment Re:How is this newsworthy? (Score 1) 285

I did a check of firearms law in Canada. There are very, very few guns that are wholly illegal there:
Machine guns or any other fully-automatic firearm
Pistols with a barrel under four inches
Long guns with a modified barrel under 18 inches, or under 26 inches length overall
Handguns in .25 or .32 caliber
Various other weapons specifically prohibited

#1 is completely sensible. There is no practical use for automatic weapons outside of the military. Even police do not have an actual need for them. Now, the American model of civilian machine-gun ownership (register, inspect and tax the crap out of) seems to be working just fine, and I could even get behind a repeal of the Hughes Amendment, but on the whole, a blanket ban on automatic guns is not a problem.

#2 and #3 are debatable. The purpose is obvious - to prohibit guns that are used chiefly for criminal activity, which requires that they be readily concealable. Their limit on pistol sizes seems rather low - even some 1911s would not meet this, and those are pretty beefy handguns. And they did seem to recognize that carbines have practical use, so they sensibly banned only modified short-barreled rifles/shotguns. There's room to argue over the specific definitions, but this is at least a sensible law in pursuit of a sensible goal.

#4 seems very peculiar to me. Those are very weak pistol cartridges, not something I would use for self-defense. At the same time, I don't expect they would be very popular with criminals - although, perhaps their low power makes them easier to produce for cheap, and criminals tend to favor cheap guns. If you don't have to actually shoot someone (eg. a mugging), it doesn't matter how lethal it actually is. So I'm not going to judge this one either way until I can find out what the rationale behind it it.

#5 is eminently sensible. Whenever you have laws like this, covering technical aspects, you need to be able to both cover the cases you couldn't think of (like taser-dart projectiles), and hold back the law where it would overreach (US laws allow weapons to be exempted from NFA Title II restrictions, not sure if Canada has similar means). A quick glance at the list of guns banned by name did reveal some surprises (all Kalashnikov-pattern rifles?), but many of them were sensible (Barrett M82).

Also noteworthy are some guns that were specifically placed on the "Restricted" list instead of the "Prohibited" list. Namely, any semi-automatic variant of the AR-15 - which means, with a license that seems easier to obtain than a passport, you can own several guns that were banned in the United States, at least until the AWB expired.

There's also the Non-Restricted class, which contains most long guns, and AFAICT requires no license. Considering a shotgun is by far the best weapon for home defense, this seems like a pretty easy way to defend yourself legally with almost no hassle.

So in other words, it seems the government of Canada does indeed respect your right to bear arms. I actually found more to be concerned with in their laws on melee weapons, many of which were pointless or mystifying.

PS: With the rampant availability of guns just south of the border, I have a very hard time believing that criminals will have substantially better access once 3D printing becomes commonplace. I'm sure any serious crook who wants a gun has made a trip down south to buy one, then smuggled it in. And with the quality of current printed guns, by making 3D-printed guns plentiful you would probably take more stupid crooks off the street (and into the hospital) than you would enable to commit crimes.

Comment Re:Mars is impossible (Score 1) 307

Go back and read 'Red Mars'. Before he goes all political KSR describes a pretty rational plan to get to Mars. For that matter, so does Andy Weir in 'The Martian'. It just takes money. Lots and lots of money.

Something that NASA never manages to get. Kinda pointless coming up with detailed plans when you know you won't get funding for it. Might as well just make a movie....

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