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Comment: Re:Depends on Embargo Lift (Score 1) 474

Reviewers could do that, but they feel that 2 hours worth of play isn't a very good basis for review, and I agree with them. But I think they have decided that publishing a late review to comply with a crappy embargo is a bigger evil than a rushed review with no advanced copy. It is best for the reviewers and the consumers if they get advanced review copies with a good embargo are allowed to publish in time to inform us before the launch, and that is usually what we get when the game is good and the publisher expects positive reviews.

Comment: Re:Automation versus human instinct (Score 1) 178

by phriedom (#41469051) Attached to: iPhone 5 A6 SoC Teardown: ARM Cores Appear To Be Laid Out By Hand
I'm also a designer, though perhaps not as knowledgeable as stevew at least as far as digital circuitry goes. But I'd like to add a little more explanation on WHY auto place and route tools are not as good as a person, because "instinct" doesn't tell the whole story. All the tools I have used do not do any prediction, look-ahead, or planning; so they tend to paint themselves into corners and rely on sheer horsepower to find a way out. Secondly, all the tools I have used work their way through each stage of the layout one-at-a-time, completing a stage before moving on to the next with no method of returning to an earlier stage with new ideas when opportunities and difficulties present themselves. So, for example, the APR tool might place the devices 10,000 times and then pick the best one based on whatever criteria are selected for. Obviously it can do this in a teeny tiny fraction of the time a human could do it. Then the APR tool might proceed in the same fashion to connect power, do buss routing, do point-to-point routing, then "clean" or "optimize" these routed connections. What it can't do is get to step 5 and see that it is having some trouble and if it just when back to step 2 for a moment and nudged that block over 2 microns I wouldn't have to do this or that. There is stuff you can do when you are looking at the big picture that you just can't do by looking at little pictures millions of times per second.

Comment: Re:Radiation at that frequency penetrates less tha (Score 1) 154

by phriedom (#41365459) Attached to: 50 Years of Research and Still No Microwave Weapons
I've wondered about that since I first heard about this kind of weapon. I wear hard contact lenses, and I vividly remember a safety film we watched in junior-high before they let us weld anything. The film explained that looking at the flash from an arc welder can vaporize the liquid between the lens and your eye and cause the lens to adhere to your eye. Then when you try to take your contacts out, you pull off the front of your eye. So I wonder, have they deemed these micowave crowd-dispersal weapons as "safe" because it will only blind 1 in 200 people or something like that? I mean, how many people still wear hard contacts anyways. And they should know better than to be protesting.

Comment: Re:Nope, Apple did not start it (Score 1) 328

by phriedom (#41336671) Attached to: Wozniak On the Samsung Patent Verdict
You're wrong right there in the first sentence. Just because they copied, doesn't mean it was illegal; it wasn't copyright, it wasn't a trademark violation, and it is only a valid patent if there wasn't prior art. And secondly, IF it was violation of a valid patent, the remedy is NOT supposed to punish Samsung, it is supposed to pay Apple back for damages done. But your second sentence is right on, $10 per device for pinch-to-zoom and "snapback" is absurd when real patents on important communications tech are licensed for pennies or fractions of pennies per device.

Comment: Crappy Data for an article. (Score 1) 385

by phriedom (#41185117) Attached to: Side-Effect of the Apple v. Samsung Trial: Increased Sales for Samsung
The guy went to 16 stores, probably in one city and got some anecdotes from salespeople. Really? And we're supposed to conclude that lots of people who would not have otherwise bought a Samsung went out and bought one because of the trial? Okay, well I can play that game too. I had a lot of trouble finding a case in stock for my Galaxy S3, therefore I conclude that the S3 is a very popular phone that outsold what case makers predicted. It is a runaway hit! I don't need to bother with actual sales data because I have an anecdote. Facts are not needed when I have a good story.

Comment: Re:MS wants to destroy the Intel/AMD desktop PC (Score 1) 360

by phriedom (#40925149) Attached to: Acer: Microsoft Surface 'Negative For The Whole PC Industry'
It would be tremendously risky for MS to deliberately wreck the product line, PCs, that they still have the lion's share of, in order to push people towards tablets, where Apple currently dominates, and I predict Android will pass them in less than two years, just as they did on phones while MS phone ran a distant 4th behind Blackberry. Once things like a full-blown Quicken are on Android, the last bit of leverage MS will have will be Exchange and Office. So they can hold out and try to get business and consumers to buy MS pads so that they can have Exchange, or they can port Exchange and Office to Android and not rely on the O/S business so much any more. Since Office and Exchange are their real money makers, and their tablet business is non-existent yet, I think we can all guess which division will win that political battle inside MS. But of course they have to try to preserve their O/S.

Comment: Re:All Best Buy jokes aside.... (Score 1) 300

by phriedom (#40907423) Attached to: Best Buy Founder Makes $8.5 Billion Bid To Take Company Private
Actually, putting lots of expensive inventory that loses it's value over time in a bunch of stores with a bunch of employees is much more expensive than the Amazon business model. A specialty store for commodity products just doesn't make sense. Best Buy IS a fairly bad business in a shrinking market and I think it is completely fair to compare it to Zynga and Chrysler.

Comment: Re:All Best Buy jokes aside.... (Score 2) 300

by phriedom (#40901151) Attached to: Best Buy Founder Makes $8.5 Billion Bid To Take Company Private
I'm excited to see what this guy might do with the company if he doesn't have to answer to shareholders, but I disagree that his willingness to gamble $8.5 billion means anything as to the quality of the plan. Cerberus took Chrysler private and were still losing money when they sold it to Fiat. Smart people valued Zynga at $7.5 billion not too long ago and it is worth $2.23 billion today and I don't think it will stop falling soon. The fact that this guy thinks he can make it worth more than $8.5 billion just means he has a lot of confidence.

Comment: I think he's trolling. (Score 1) 197

by phriedom (#40702777) Attached to: The Decline of Fiction In Video Games
So the gist of his argument is that no one else is creating new worlds like they did in Bioshock. It is all New York (GTA) and Military Shooters(CoD, Battlefield, Medal of Honor, etc.) No one is doing historical fiction (Assassin's Creed, Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire) or SciFi (Halo, Killzone, Gears, Dead Space, Bulletstorm, Crysis, Homefront, Rage, Resistance) . He totally ignores the fantasy genre, which I can kind of understand since they all have similar worlds, but some are well designed and have strong storytelling. Basically, he is full of crap, and I think he knows it and knows that getting a lot of people to disagree with you is a good way to get some publicity for your new game.

Comment: Re:What exactly is suffering? (Score 1) 204

by phriedom (#40645105) Attached to: The Ugly, Profitable Details About Xbox Live Advertising
If you had all your media on a Windows PC, which you probably don't but lets pretend you do because lots of people who don't read slashdot do, then an Xbox would be a pretty good way to get that media into the livingroom for $200. The big thing it is missing is that it isn't a DVR, but it is actually a pretty good solution for the rest of the problem.

Comment: Re:Design right? (Score 1) 325

by phriedom (#40598015) Attached to: UK Judge: Galaxy Tab "Not Cool" Enough To Infringe iPad
That doesn't answer the question. I don't believe the shape of the tablet, or the look and feel, is something that can be copyrighted, patented or trademarked. So unless the UK has something else, I don't see how their similarity matters. I could decide that I like your style and copy you, getting the same haircut and wearing the same clothes. Everyone would agree that I copied you, but why should the law care? So I ask an honest question, does the UK have another kind of intellectual property where "registered design" means something?

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller

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