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Comment: Mod Parent Up (Score 4, Informative) 64

by kupekhaize (#42267041) Attached to: Learning Rocket Science With Video Games

Mods, please mod the parent up. Orbiter is a 100% free realistic simulator that is every geek's dream. It strives for realistic physics (in most cases, there are still some bugs); and includes lots of space vehicles including the Shuttle (which is damn near impossible to launch and achieve a stable orbit on manual control, just like you'd expect). Very entertaining simulator. It has a very extensive selection of mods (http://orbithangar.com is one of the more popular places to find them).

My friend has modded his version so much that he's built and launched his own Space Station. He has some of the vehicles timed so well that he can launch from Cape Canaveral, and within 26 minutes match the ISS's orbital specs and dock with it. Each time he plays the game he's reloading his prior state and launching new cargo and expanding the station.

Aside from the Shuttle there are also lots of next generation vehicles including orbiters with SCRAM engines to help achieve orbit and other items as well. There's also a recent mod to add all of the future and planned SpaceX vehicles as well.

When I first started playing, I was familiar with some math but knew hardly anything about orbital mechanics. Playing the game at first was fun --- there's nothing quite like launching the space shuttle straight up, then turning off the shuttle engines and watching the thing do backflips at 10K off the ground -- but once you start wanting to achieve something useful, like a dock with the ISS you've really got to start to understand what is going on in order to get where you're going.

Comment: Re:New Method (Score 1) 306

by kupekhaize (#40682925) Attached to: Apple Wins Mobile Patent On Displaying Lists, Documents

They don't sell them any more, but: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Mighty_Mouse

BTW, Mac OS has responded to control clicks as a right click on one button mice for 15 or more years. Also, pretty much any 2 button USB mouse that is connected gets recognized for what it is, and the right mouse button works just like you'd expect it to.

Comment: And nothing of value was lost! (Score 1) 424

by kupekhaize (#38165784) Attached to: Ubisoft Blames Piracy For Non-Release of PC Game

Ubisoft is the company known for the worst DRM in the world. I've had so many of their games become virtually unplayable due to the DRM. I refuse to buy any of their games any more, period. They can blame piracy all they want, but the fact is, I know a lot of people that are now intentionally boycotting their products.

In order to "recover" from their image, they kept touting this game or that game that are shipped DRM free -- frankly, we don't care. We've been screwed by you guys far, far too often to trust anything you release. It doesn't matter to me that they come out with an occasional DRM free game. The company's ethos is corrupt, and frankly, I don't have any intention of buying anything from them in the future.

P.S. My list of games on Steam is over 140 *paid* titles. I buy lots and lots of games. Just nothing from UBIsoft any more. *NOTHING*.

Comment: Don't care - Blizzard blew it! (Score 0) 106

by kupekhaize (#36299710) Attached to: <em>StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm</em> Details Released

Personally I have no intention at all of buying this game. I bought the first game without realizing what i was getting in for. There are a thousand things about SC2 that piss me off and make me wish I'd never purchased it. No offline multiplayer, no true LAN games, no more spawn copies, having to type in my fucking name and password each time I want to play a single player game, buying the same game full price 3 times just to get all 3 races, an awful in game map management system, awful online play, and a company that stopped caring about their players a long time ago make this

Blizzard dropped the ball with Starcraft 2. They've become nothing but money-grubbing corporate monsters, and I strongly encourage everyone to avoid their games like the proverbial plague.

P.S. I LOVE the starcraft series. I *still* play Starcraft 1 constantly. I prefer version 1 (on 640x480 graphics) to Starcraft 2 on a monitor that runs 1920x1080 by default; the graphics are poor, but it's still a thousand times more fun then anything I've gotten out of Starcraft 2. Sc2 is awful, awful, awful compared to Starcraft 1, and not worth the money. Go pick up 6 indy games for the same price that Blizzard wants to charge for this DRM fest. Or 18 games for the price blizzard wants to charge for all 3 "chapters" of their 1 mediocre game.

I mean, seriously. $180 by the time I am done for Starcraft 2? Get fucking real.

Comment: Possible uses (Score 2) 172

by kupekhaize (#35698206) Attached to: Amateurs Spy On US Spy Plane

It's amazing what you can do when you've got an object in space that you can set up with minimal overhead. I mean, hey, its not like those big expensive spy satellites have a limited fuel or anything. Sure, Libya had always been kind of a nuisance, but I assume there weren't that many spy satellites within range before. One of the features of this thing was that it had oversized engines for what it was, meaning it could make drastic orbit changes at short notice. Anyone know how long its been in this orbit over Libya?

It's been speculated (more assumption...) that the X-37B could be a test platform for new surveillance equipment. Could be they have some new cameras with some awesome resolution to test out. Might be some kind of new sensors, or maybe some kind of a mirror or laser communication relay, to bounce a signal for someone covert down in Tripoli. For all we know, it could be some crazy new concept we won't hear about for another 20 years.

Anyone know if its orbit brings it within close proximity of any other satellites? Some people have said it could be used to interfere with the satellites from other countries. Maybe, its secretly plotting to activate SkyNet in conjunction with another satellite that recently went up and we have no idea what its doing..

Or, for all we know, its just a camera, the same one they've been using on the other spy satellites for years. Just one that has lots of fuel, and thus, lots of orbit changes before coming down to be refueled and given newer tech cameras.

The world may never know. Or may already know, and just not know it.

Comment: Re:TSA confiscates nail clippers from soldiers (Score 1) 741

by kupekhaize (#34295500) Attached to: Bruce Schneier vs. the TSA

Yes, because its ok if they only screw us a little now. They're the government, they won't make it even worse over time. We can trust them, right? They're really looking out for our interests, and not the paid lobby groups pushing useless scanner machines and constantly whispering nice shit in their ears to get their own laws passed, right? They won't pass CALEA, then PATRIOT under our noses, right? Won't insist that legal, private, law abiding citizens hand over their encryption keys to the government "just in case" right?

Hitler only wanted to kill a FEW jews at first, right? He only wanted to take over a FEW countries at first? So, this isn't as bad as nazism, and that makes it ok?

It's time we all stood up and stopped this bullshit before it gets any worse. Just like Germany should have done.

"Those who would give up a little liberty to obtain a little security deserve neither liberty nor security." - Thomas Jefferson

It had been a long standing belief of this country for over 200 years.

Until 9/11.

These bullshit, asinine security rules have negatively affected my life far, far more then any terrorist act ever has.

Comment: TSA confiscates nail clippers from soldiers (Score 2, Informative) 741

by kupekhaize (#34288640) Attached to: Bruce Schneier vs. the TSA

I haven't seen this story posted yet, and it's far too good to pass up.

http://www.redstate.com/erick/2010/11/18/another-tsa-outrage/

To summarize: 330 soldiers coming back from Afghanistan were flying back to the US. They were carrying (all unloaded) M4 assault rifles, some carrying M9 pistols, and some carrying M-240B machine guns. After flying part of the way back and dropping off 100 soldiers, the TSA decide the rest need to deplane and all need to go through screening again. They find a pair of nail clippers on a soldier, and confiscate them, saying they are a potential weapon.

The soldiers continue on with their unloaded guns and fly on to their destination.

Now really, are the TSA so moronic, that they don't understand the ASSAULT RIFLES could be used as a bludgeon weapon far more effectively then a pair of toenail clippers? I mean, come on, these guys just got back from fighting in the terrorist's safe haven. About the last thing they're going to do is to help the psycho idiots, and yet they confiscate their toenail clippers, and let them continue on with the rifles?

Really?

No, REALLY?

Comment: Re:I agree that it's indecent, here is why. (Score 1) 821

by kupekhaize (#32338694) Attached to: Decency Group Says "$#*!" Is Indecent

"Watch my Dad! He's about to do a really cool trick!" "Tag my dad! He's it!" "Flag my dad! He committed a football penalty, holding." "Push my dad! He's about to get hit by that train." There are lots of things that could fit in your example that aren't "indecent."

Just because your mind is in the gutter, doesn't mean the next person's mind is. This is exactly the reason why one group of idiots should not be responsible for managing what the rest of us say. You don't really know what the person may have intended. You just think you do.

Comment: Another sale lost, Ubisoft (Score 2, Insightful) 279

by kupekhaize (#31719902) Attached to: Ubisoft DRM Causing More Problems

I was playing a game on Steam last night and got a Steam ad for this game. I don't have them turned off because once in a while they show good games, sometimes for $4.95, others full price at $49.95+ or whatever, but I have no problems paying for good games. Started looking through the screenshots and got more interested; I've never played any of the Settlers series before but 7 looked pretty good. Then I saw the publisher was Ubisoft... instinctively I started scanning for what kind of DRM was being included. Couldn't find anything, surprisingly enough. Nothing in the right hand columns about SecuROM or the others. But, it didn't seem right to me, so I googled it. Low and behold, "Permanent internet connection required." I went back and rescanned the Steam listing again, and sure enough it was listed. Wasn't in any small print or anything, it was just the middle section below the description; someplace I wasn't expecting it before.

As soon as I found that out, the game instantly became unplayable to me. Yes, I have an internet connection 99% of the time. No, I don't want to be kept from playing a game that I ****ing PAID FOR when my internet, or your DRM servers are down. End of story. Not the first time I've been kept from purchasing games; and it won't be the last.

I have a special message for you, Ubisoft, and anyone else willing to implement these DRM schemes. I hope you son of a *****es either get a clue or go out of business before you kill the rest of PC gaming. You're the ones keeping me from purchasing games right now, not the availability of some virus infested warez version. I'm your paying customer, the one who keeps you in business, and you're losing me. I'm not against DRM in general, I pay for lots of games via Steam and there's DRM in there. But having offline playability for up to two weeks at a time says one hell of a lot about a company who actually gives a **** about their customers. Especially ones that add features (unlimited download and install on any # of computers) vs 3 activations, ever. Please get a clue.

Comment: Re:People need to stop bitching (Score 1) 454

by kupekhaize (#31551140) Attached to: Internet Explorer 9 Will Not Support Windows XP

While I can certainly understand the need to deprecate older software and hardware, there are lots of times MS has been famous for claiming the need to do such things, when the sole purpose is to force people to give them more money.

Case in point: one you already mentioned; DX10. Microsoft claimed there was no way to get DX10 working on XP, and everyone *had* to upgrade to Vista to get it. Several games came out (Microsoft Flight Simulator X was a good example....) that required DX10 for advanced graphics and features, and Microsoft claimed there was no way to get them available in Windows XP.

However, it wasn't long before people bypassed the installer's OS checks, and got DX10 running on Windows XP. The end result? Flight Simulator had all of the extra graphics options that were "impossible" on Windows XP. First hit on Google ATM for "DX10 on Windows XP" gave me this page which does a good job of summing it up and giving graphic examples.

There's a reason we all stopped taking what Microsoft says at face value a long time ago.

Comment: Re:Insolvent Company (Score 1) 678

by kupekhaize (#31367824) Attached to: Ubisoft's New DRM Cracked In One Day

I was worried about just such a thing due to the number of games I've purchased from Steam. The list is up to 71 now, with some including some expensive new games. I was worried about losing access to them some day, and so I emailed Steam's support department. This is what I got back:

Subject: RE: End of life for steam authentication servers? - [4131-****-****] [********]

From: Steam Support
Date: 11/3/2009 2:12 PM

========= Please enter your reply ABOVE this line =========

Hello,

A staff member has replied to your question:

Hello *********, Thank you for contacting Steam Support. In the unlikely event of the discontinuation of the Steam network, measures are in place to ensure that all users still have access to their Steam games. If you have any further questions, please let us know - we will be happy to assist you.

Anytime you wish you can view your question online:
https://support.steampowered.com/view.php?ticketref=****-****-****

It is up to each person on whether or not to believe them, but it was enough for me. "Measures" doesn't seem very specific to me, but I just assumed it was some kind of a software patch that permanently turns offline mode on. I've purchased something like 25 games since then... Their xmas deals racked up quite a few extra dents in my bank account, but they had a lot of $5 deals too. They aren't perfect. Most games can be redownloaded an unlimited number of times, but some of the newer ones are limited on # of installs or still have DRM, but at least Steam warns you about the DRM ahead of time.

BTW, Attention UBisoft: Its very unlikely I will ever buy one of your games again after the DRM systems you've been implementing lately. Yes, Steam wants an internet connection, BUT IT WORKS IN OFFLINE MODE TOO FOR UP TO LIKE 2 WEEKS AT A TIME AS WELL with most games, except, ahem, YOURS. Kick me out of my game if my net connection goes down? Ubisoft, that's bull***, and you've lost me as customer for a long time. I'm obviously not one of the pirates you're so worried about, yet you won't be getting any of my money either. NICE JOB YOU MORONS.

Comment: Symantec needs to get a clue (Score 1) 136

by kupekhaize (#31090756) Attached to: New Russian Botnet Tries To Kill Rivals

The youtube thing that Symantec put up really, really bothers me. Sure, they did a good job of blocking out the website they are going to, and trying to block other information from keeping script kiddies from accessing the same pages.

However, when you can watch them scroll through forums, and see usernames as unique as the ones that are present, all someone has to do is to throw the username into google, and immediately get the damn forums with the hacking toolkit. Quickly scrolling through that particular website, it seems several of the "toolkits" posted have been backdoored with some other virus or trojan, so even trying to build one means you get infected. Sure, anyone who tries to actually use that stuff is just going to wind up getting what they reserve, but even so, it bothers me.

I really, really wish companies would stop thinking they are "clever" and showing people how easy it is to access this crap in order to scare them into buying their magical products.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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