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Comment: Links and Explanation (Score 3, Informative) 57

by perlith (#47421701) Attached to: Homestar Runner To Return Soon
OK, for those who have no idea what this is (the internets is a big place):
http://www.homestarrunner.com/

From Wikipedia:
"Homestar Runner is a Flash-animated Internet cartoon series. It mixes surreal humor with references to retro pop culture, video games, classic television, and popular music. [....] The site is one of the most-visited sites with collections of Flash cartoons on the Internet and is notable for its refusal to sell advertising space (the creators pay for everything through merchandise sales, which includes a line of T-shirts)."

Try this cartoon to understand a bit of the site's humor:
http://www.homestarrunner.com/...

Comment: Story or Go Home (Score 1) 169

by perlith (#46852687) Attached to: Why Should Game Stories Make Sense?
TFA is actually interesting. The headline and summary are completely the opposite of the TFA:

Microsoft Studios' user research group developed a narrative usability method to test story early in production, allowing for iteration driven by player experience. Narrative usability can identify twists that don't work and conclusions that are confusing, removing understanding blockers so that characters can shine.

Having played a number of FPS games, you know the one I remember the most? Spec Ops: The Line. Why? The plot and voice acting.
Having played a number of flight sim games, you know the one I remember the most? Wing Commander 3. Why? The plot and acting.
Having played a number of indie games, you know the one I remember the most? To the Moon. Why? The plot and dialogue.
Having played a number of adventure games, you know the one I remember the most? Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Why? The plot.
Having played a number of puzzle games, you know the one I remember the most? Deus Ex. Why? The plot and depth of gameplay.
Having played a number of sci-fi games, you know the one I remember the most? Half-Life 2. Why? The plot and voice acting.
RPG games take their own special category as plot makes or breaks an RPG - Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 9 + 13, Mass Effect 3, etc.

I may not remember the plot, but I certainly remember how I felt at the end of the game. Same as with other forms of entertainment - movies, books, theatrical performances, etc. Glad to see they are offering research to make a game more memorable because of the plot and characters.

Comment: Re:The Night of the Living Mainframe (Score 1) 169

by perlith (#46689599) Attached to: Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

A cluster can easily outperform a mainframe at lower cost, while having much higher reliability.

I'm an advocate of mainframes, clouds, and traditional "servers". Each have their advantages / disadvantages. Just because it can doesn't mean it will.

I'd also REALLY like to see where you are pulling your reliability numbers from. I'd like to see such a study that compares modern mainframes to modern cloud technology for reliability purposes.

Comment: Re:experience (Score 1) 314

by perlith (#46332519) Attached to: Ford Dumping Windows For QNX In New Vehicles

I rented a for focus, and drove it for about 2 months, the MSFT stuff installed in it was a total piece of junk. It would crash, hang, and reboot in the middle of navigating to the destination, just like a windows PC.

Ford SYNC has a few different versions:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F...

"
SYNC v1, which debuted September 2007, offered the ability to play certain entertainment media, the ability to connect to certain mobile phones and digital audio players and to utilize SMS.[3] In January 2008, SYNC v2 was released, which enabled two new Ford developed applications: 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report.[3] SYNC v3, released in April 2009, enabled the Traffic, Directions and Information application. Later that month, Ford Work Solutions, a collection of five applications marketed towards professionals who buy Ford trucks, was added. The applications included in the Ford Work Solution were Crew Chief, Garmin Nav, LogMeIn and Tool Link.[3][3] SYNC v4 and v5 were released in January 2010 and January 2011, respectively,
"

Owning two different Ford vehicles with SYNC v3 I can say I'm quite pleased. I passed on purchasing a new vehicle with the v5 touch screen version as it was indeed garbage. YMMV.

Comment: Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (Score 1) 302

by perlith (#44653035) Attached to: Obama Seeks New System For Rating Colleges

. Fixing those sorts of policies at a systemwide level and giving bonuses for finding ways to improve efficiency are what is needed. Unfortunately, that sort of thinking seems to be very contrary to the university culture, at least in the United States

Having worked at a major US university as a staff member, I can attest to this. There is absolutely no incentive for improvement. And if you decide to try to make a suggestion for improvement, it will often be shot down because it tramples over somebody else's previous work / existing process in place. Note: This behavior isn't limited to universities, however, as a culture it tends to be a lot worse there.

Comment: Re:old people have higher Health Care and don't 80 (Score 2) 365

by perlith (#43586703) Attached to: Can Older Software Developers Still Learn New Tricks?

By way of substantiation, note that the typical European worker at ~37 hours/week is typically as productive as an American or Asian worker supposedly putting in way more hours. The equalizer is, Europeans tend to plan better and waste less time.

Please provide a source on this. I'd like to read the source of the studies showing this.

Comment: Re:Rootless? (Score 1) 215

by perlith (#43349421) Attached to: Remote Desktop Backend Merged into Wayland

I've used it on LANs. I've used it across my crummy IDSL link. And I've even used it on dial-up

Try it on a satellite connection with 700ms+ ping times. Usable, but significant delay even when trying to do a simple tab completion when changing directories ... 1 second delay between each directory change. Not bad by itself, but extremely annoying in total delay when working long periods.

I have a Windows box at work which I RDP into and then daisy-chain from the Windows box to X or VNC into other *Nix machines at work because RDP is that much better over my satellite link. If I had to pick a good second behind RDP, I'd go with NX.

Comment: Re:Lab book (Score 1) 317

by perlith (#43087649) Attached to: Best Buy Follows Yahoo in Banning Remote Work

Keep a bullet proof lab book with verifiable work and you'll be fine. The issue is that no one tracks what work they do so months after you finish everything there is no trace.

You should be doing this regardless of whether you telecommute or not. Other than CYA, I also find it makes end of year performance writeups incredibly easy to do.

Comment: The Sims 3 (Score 1) 303

by perlith (#43030217) Attached to: EA Building Microtransactions Into All of Its Future Games
started this a LONG time ago with SimPoints. There is a good bit of fun to be had in the base version of the game. However, if you want a laundry basket in your bathroom you have to pay for it!

P.S. I have an alternate suggestion for EA: Season passes. For the Sims3, sell me a season pass for $25/year. You will probably get the same total amount of money out of me over time with this method vs. selling each expansions/stuff packs individually. However, you will have a continuous revenue stream from a flagship game ... something every gaming company desperately wants but has difficulty pulling off after initial release.

Comment: Re:The Problem with Yahoo! (Score 1) 524

by perlith (#42990661) Attached to: Mayer Terminates Yahoo's Remote Employee Policy

Why should I come to Yahoo.com?

The new look and feel offered me the following five items at the top of the screen where the premium "eye candy" should be:
- World's worst tattoo fixed
- Husband's smelly revenge
- New name for Jackson
- Kendra's scary "Wife Swap"
- Boy's 911 call backfires

I can promise you I have boatloads of cookies and other tracking information available that would indicate _NEVER_ choose those items as news stories to display to me. I should not have to customize the page, it should have intelligence built in based on public data about me. Tab closed pretty quickly. If Yahoo wants to remain a portal-like site, start by leveraging technology proper. Otherwise, Yahoo will running to catch up to their competition indefinitely.

Comment: Re:American Wage Slaves are an Even Better Value (Score 2) 1313

by perlith (#42965327) Attached to: US CEO Says French Workers Have Three-Hour Work Day

The lesson is: use your vacation. You may not get a chance later.

No, the lesson is work for a company that forces you to take your vacation or you lose it at the end of the year. Vacation benefits both the employee and employer. If you work for a company where management and/or HR secretly discourage vacation, GET OUT.

Where I'm at presently, we only need to work out vacation among my team. Management and/or HR could care less. If somebody hands off some shoddy work to a teammate, they _WILL_ hear about it when they get back from vacation. If somebody wants to take a long vacation and only announces it the day before, they _WILL_ be given sour looks by the team who now must scramble to provide coverage at the last minute. This system tends to work out incredibly well as we are accountable to the people we work with on a daily basis. Professional peer pressure works.

Comment: Shutdown? Try 30-60 minute delay. (Score 1) 284

by perlith (#42487239) Attached to: Scary Toothbrush Prompts Shutdown of World's Busiest Airport
I know RTFA is unusual around here, but:

was interrupted for more than half an hour Friday morning because of a toothbrush. [...] A portion of the North Terminal baggage claim area was cordoned off while the bag was investigated, officials said. Airport passengers and MARTA passengers were diverted to the Terminal South entrance.

Good job by Atlanta airport for having sensible policies and rerouting traffic in the event of a real threat.

Comment: Re:Supply and demand? (Score 2) 308

by perlith (#42449269) Attached to: A Subscription-Based Movie Theater

If they would lower prices of everything, tickets and refreshments/food, they'd see way more people, and way more money, come their way.

Worked at a theater for several years. A few interesting tidbits for the chain I worked for:
- Movie theaters are in the business of selling popcorn and concessions, not in the business of showing movies. You could substitute the movies with another popular activity in a public space and the same business model would exist.
- Movie theaters largely do not set prices of tickets ... the studios do that. Local market conditions do factor into the ticket price though ... one of the local towns near where I live only charges $5 for a matinee vs. $7.50+ everywhere else ... otherwise the local town theater WOULD go out of business.
- You pay for the container the food or drink is put in, not the contents of the container. Accounting is also done the same way. Management freaked out when 1000 nacho trays were lost at one point ... $0.05 to produce, $5000+ in inventory.
- Staff is not cheap. Weekdays Monday-Thursday usually operate as a loss ... the revenue is not enough to keep 3 minimum wage people (box office, usher, concessions) + 2 managers (1 customer service/other, 1 projectionist) around. On Friday-Sunday, look to a 1 employee to 250 patron ratio.
- Marketing and customer data is poorly collected and analyzed. This is probably the biggest issue with movie theaters, they do not know their customers or market well enough to make global decisions yet allow for local adjustments. Example for concessions: Mountain Dew and Hotdogs _ALWAYS_ sell more at the midnight showings then popcorn does and the hotdogs need to be thrown out at the end of the day if not consumed. Not every theater does a midnight showing. For those that do, why not discount the hotdogs at the midnight showings to sell them instead of throwing them out? This is an extremely simple example and proper analytics would reveal much more interesting customer trends.



I do agree with your point on the concession prices. During the summer twice a week they would show a kids movie from the past 1-5 years at 10am each morning. Tickets were $1 each, and kiddie popcorn trays prices were halved. The combination dropped the total price per child to about $5. Having 500+ kiddies running around at 10am in the morning was a bit of a headache, but made more money during the weekdays from those two showings than the rest of the weekdays combined. Another example, refillable plastic cups that were $10 initial purchase, $1 to refill ... had people looking in the trash for these things, taking them home + washing, then bringing back all summer. Lowering the prices all of the time does NOT make sense, but mixing up discounts, special offerings, a real rewards program, etc. all combined have a huge return on business ... and none of this is rocket science.

Biggest issue is movie theaters still operate largely in a static mode with their business model. The price is one such element of static thinking as parent pointed out. A subscription based model like this I applaud as it does give an example of dynamic thinking that will encourage customer loyalty. Otherwise, competition such as Redbox and Netflix that is more dynamic in their business model will eat away at profits. I only hope we don't see the opposite of the supply/demand curve, that is, movie theaters go bankrupt and available supply of theaters become so low that prices naturally DO go up.

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