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Comment: Re:No. "Theory" is not "hypothesis". (Score 1) 772

by TREE (#47111035) Attached to: Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

Repeating the statement that the word "theory" means something different to you than it does to the general populace does nothing to help your cause. In this case especially, using terminology that is different from the common use is what is preventing "Science" from reaching the masses.

We really need to come up with a better term than "theory" if we want people to understand what you mean.

Comment: block indenting = visual (Score 1) 876

by kisrael (#46202189) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

I'm probably coming at this too little too late, but:

for C-looking languages (C, Java, Javascript) etc that use curly braces and block, there's usually a strong visual element: no one wants to look at code that's not "properly formatted". So while language is super awesome and powerful (almost any programmer is going to have a hard time expressing himself or herself in, like, that block language that came w/ the original Lego Mindstorms), the graphical element is still present

Comment: advertising on faulty assumptions (Score 2) 120

by kisrael (#45650047) Attached to: Twitter Will Track Your Browsing To Sell Ads

Man, there's an err of pathos to when similar strategies are applied elsewhere, somehow Youtube noticed I went to a standing desk site, now half my adverts are from there. And also, they don't notice when I've actually bought a damn thing, so more advertising is just down the drain... I guess advertising is such a small % game that they'll take whatever "bump" they can get, no matter how stupid they look.

Comment: the idea that it loops and we see old stuff-- (Score 2) 94

by kisrael (#41364439) Attached to: Australian Study Backs Major Assumption of Cosmology

So, isn't there a concept that the Universe is closed, and we're just seeing older versions of the same stuff, but kinda repeated? (but hard to recognize because of the time lag involved)

Is this still considered a possibility, or have they figured out a way of ruling that out?

Comment: Flickr for Offsite Backup (Score 1) 499

by TREE (#37557374) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Long-Term Video/Picture Storage?

You can very quickly generate a lot of data with pictures of your kids. I have on the order of 80 GB with two kids under 5.

You definitely want multiple layers of protection, both locally and remote. For remote storage of pictures and videos, Flickr can't be beat price-wise. It is *unlimited* storage for $25 per year. And you can always retrieve the original file, and there are tons of APIs and clients available.

It's also useful for sharing photos and videos, with a strong security model that lets you control who has access to pictures of your kids.

Flickr does have a 500 MB per video file limit for uploads, and a 90 second limit for playback (you can download the original longer than 90 seconds, but no one else can view more than 90 seconds), but splitting videos up can be scripted with tools like ffmpeg, of course.

The key, though, is to *always* have more than one accessible copy of the originals in different physical locations. (i.e. two hard drives in your house doesn't count)

I also use an online backup solution. Look for unlimited storage for a reasonable price. I settled on CrashPlan+ Unlimited for $50/year, but there are a lot of options out there, now.

Comment: rounding error (Score 1) 190

by kisrael (#36084294) Attached to: The Psychology of Steam Wallet & Microsoft Points

I'm more concerned about "rounding error", at least for the USD market.
Most people probably use a rough "point = penny" heuristic in their head and call a, say, 1000 point game "about ten bucks". In reality it's about 12.50 though, so they consistently underestimate the cost of everything by about 20%...

it's to videogames what the "and 9/10 of a cent" is to gas... maybe a little more weasle-ish than that.


Game Prices — a Historical Perspective 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
The Opposable Thumbs blog scrutinizes the common wisdom that video games are too expensive, or that they're more expensive than they were in the past. They found that while in some cases the sticker price has increased, it generally hasn't outpaced inflation, making 2010 a cheaper time to be a gamer than the '80s and '90s. Quoting: "... we tracked down a press release putting the suggested retail price of both Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64 at $69.99. [Hal Halpin, president of the Entertainment Consumer's Association] says that the N64 launch game pricing only tells you part of the story. 'Yes, some N64 games retailed for as high as $80, but it was also the high end of a 60 to 80 dollar range,' he told Ars. 'Retailers had more flexibility with pricing back then — though they've consistently maintained that the Suggested Retail Price was/is just a guide. Adjusted for inflation, we're generally paying less now than we have historically. But to be fair, DLC isn't factored in.' He also points out all the different ways that we can now access games: you can buy a game used, rent a game, or play certain online games for free. There are multiple ways to sell your old console games, and the competition in the market causes prices to fall quickly."

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 1) 165

by kisrael (#33652024) Attached to: Twitter Suffers Web Interface Exploit

"For personal one to one text communications I don't see how you can improve on texts/SMS, and for anything else what does twitter do that a web site can't?"

It's the one to many thing -- not "many" as in "countless hoards of fans", but many as in "a set of people I know in real life and who I've run into online" -- most people don't generate enough content to make a website worth coming back to on a daily or more basis, but amalgamated with a bunch of other people's thoughts, and now you've got something!

There are other paths to the same thing -- if everyone used RSS heavily, you could be part of your audience's RSS feed, and still get a proportional amount of timely attention. And Facebook has a similar "fax machine effect" as Twitter -- for close friends, I would hope to get personal email or a call or word in person of important events, but for a big mass of people who I'm not that close to but not entirely distant, FB fills a niche. (That said I barely keep up with FB -- in general it's more "day to day" boring stuff and less people trying to be clever than twitter)

So that's what twitter does that a website (in practice) "can't" - aggregation is the key.

"In fact, I would say it is the communication (real or imagined) with "famous" people that makes it so appealing."

I'm sure this is true for many twitter readers, but it's certainly not universally applicable. I might follow some famous people, but only ones who seem to be trying to write funny or smart stuff.

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 1) 165

by kisrael (#33650166) Attached to: Twitter Suffers Web Interface Exploit

Ironically, your clever (and shibboleth-ish; I had to google UDP to make sure I got it) line about twitter is an excellent example of what twitter is excellent for, as a "tweeter" -- the sharing of an engaging twist of perspective.

There's a lingering perception of twitter as a "what I'm having for dinner right now" kind of thing, but in practice that's a small fraction of the use of it (YMMV)-- conversely I would say Twitter's "right in the moment" aspect makes such talk a little more engaging and less banal, because there's more a chance of it being part of the shared human experience, distributed across space but unified in time -- but I think most people who "tweet" in that mode don't have big followings outside the group of people they know in real life.

So I'd say, as a tweeter, if you can come up with lines like the UDP one frequently, then you should be using twitter to increase the sum total of cleverness online and garner some of that old school egoboo. If all you're going to post about is what you're doing right now, then why bother?

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling