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Comment: Re:Life of Iridium satellites (Score 3, Informative) 71

by pushing-robot (#49718189) Attached to: Apple Acquires GPS Start-Up

The Iridium project bankrupted Motorola (it was motorola right?). Are they putting up new satellites to the Iridium constellation? Did they ever completed it and put up all the planned satellites in orbit? How long are these satellites going to last?

Iridium Corporation has been healthy since the bankruptcy (amazing what ditching your debts can do...). They've already launched some replacement satellites and are planning to replace the whole network over the next several years.

Comment: Re:Automation and outsourcing (Score 1) 204

You can definitely do this (I have, back when it was a lot harder) but I'd suggest picking a PvE server and a stealthy class like Rogue or Druid if you plan to explore areas significantly beyond your character's level. Stay out of enemy cities and give mobs with skull icons a wide berth and you can explore a lot of the world with a low level character. As beautiful as the zones are, though, I'm not sure you'll keep busy for more than a week or three *just* exploring.

On the other hand, there's really no grind to speak of until you approach/reach the level cap. Pick up a questline and follow it, run some dungeons (there's so many at low levels you don't need to do the same one twice) and you'll level up extremely fast and with very little boredom. If you're a casual player, the rest system will make your leveling go even faster. There's even a class they added recently, the 'Monk', which gets an big boost to leveling, and their refer-a-friend program bonus makes leveling just ridiculous. And if level capping faster than most single player games wasn't enough, they've started offering a huge boost when you buy the current expansion, so you can start a character at close to the maximum level, ready for almost anything in the game.

Of course things get dull again not long after you hit the level cap, so you might also consider rotating MMOs; there are tons of them these days; play one till you get bored or hit the "grind starts here" level cap, then switch to another; when you get back round to the first it should have new content to keep the grind away a while longer.

Comment: Re:Automation and outsourcing (Score 4, Insightful) 204

People cheat at every game, because there are always people who want more reward for less effort. WoW was actually a lot less grind-y than other MMOs when it came out, and it's driven the competition to be more friendly to casual players. It's been some time since I played, but from what I hear they're still making efforts to make things easier for casual players, and if you're not obsessed with minmaxing and getting rare stuff you could certainly explore and play for years without ever grinding content. With upwards of 10,000 quests and continents bigger than many games' worlds, it absolutely puts the 'massive' in MMO.

If you *are* grinding, I'm sorry, but Blizzard isn't forcing you to aim for piles of gold, rare mounts, or heroic gear sets. *You* want to be a top tier player with better stuff than everyone else, but then you complain about having to work harder than other players to get it. It is hard because you want it to be hard, it is a chore to keep the 'riff-raff' out, so you can show off what a special snowflake you are. If the stuff was easy to'd want other stuff.

Now I won't argue that Blizzard is guilty of exploiting players' OCD; there's always something you really want tantalizingly within reach. It's very much a 'one more more more level' addictive sort of experience. It's well balanced, in that lots of things seem to be *just* worth the effort to aquire them, and once you do, there's more...and more...and more. Addictiveness is of course not a bad quality in entertainment, like a novel you can't put down, but if you can't keep in control and balance it with your life, or have to resort to exploits that make the game worse for everyone, then it's simply not for you. Sorry!

Comment: Re:Since when rewarding pirates is "good"? (Score 2) 214

There's tons of extant hardware from the late Core 2 era which would still be perfectly serviceable were they not loaded with XP (obsolete) or Vista (slow and obsolete). Microsoft charges so much for standalone licenses that you might as well buy a new PC these days.

I don't have much sympathy for pirates either, but this also means millions of potential PCs for elderly/low income/third world families will now be just that much e-waste.

And yes, I know Linux is still free, but I've yet to find a distro that the average user can accomplish more with than browsing web sites.

Comment: Try a carrot (Score 1) 244

Offer tiers of service ranging from free (ad-supported) to dirt cheap (fewer/no ads) to cheap (mobile/offline support) to still reasonable (higher quality, international content, user uploads).

Allow artists to choose whether to make their content available at the 'free' tier.

Write the contracts such that paying users will always be able to access music they've added to their library, even if the artist/label throws a fit and leaves.

Comment: Why? (Score 2) 182

by pushing-robot (#49659921) Attached to: The Challenge of Web Hosting Once You're Dead

Do you really need to bequeath your blog to your next of kin? If you're talking to your family about funds and credentials, you're telling them 'here, I expect you to keep spending money forever on pointless sentimentality'. Keep a backup of the content, that's all.

But don't get me wrong; we should all be ready for our inevitable demise. I can't overestimate how important it is to prepare a will, insurance, a small untraceable account and a few years of queued posts offering a food tour of the afterlife.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten