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Games

Review Scores the "Least Important Factor" When Buying Games 169 169

A recent report from a games industry analyst suggests that among a number of factors leading to the purchase of a video game — such as price, graphics and word of mouth — the game's aggregated review score is the least important measure. Analyst Doug Creutz said, "We believe that while Metacritic scores may be correlated to game quality and word of mouth, and thus somewhat predictive of title performance, they are unlikely in and of themselves to drive or undermine the success of a game. We note this, in part, because of persistent rumors that some game developers have been jawboning game reviewers into giving their games higher critical review scores. We believe the publishers are better served by spending their time on the development process than by 'grade-grubbing' after the fact."

Comment Re:Pirate Bay is dead. (Score 1) 102 102

They usually open up for registrations at the start of each month. I actually stumbled upon some blog which was posting invites out in the open, and I've been doing the same eversince. I thought the reason no one talked about it was everyone had them already. YMMV :)

If it's too much to ask, what privacy concerns trouble you so much? Having an account? What you d/l isn't stored anywhere (except the amount of traffic), peers/seeders are hidden on site and besides a username, you're pretty much good old anon.

Comment Re:Pirate Bay is dead. (Score 1) 102 102

Getting an account there is super-fucking-easy. Invites are everywhere and effortless to acquire (hint hint). Don't know about the downtime, I haven't stolen anything lately.

Yes, it's not so sunny up in torrent land, but this is only temporary. There's loads of other ways (albeit old-school) to get stuff: usenet (which I personally don't use), IRC bots, FTP servers (not that hard either, you just have to look in the right direction, pro-tip: paid sites who spam you isn't the place). Eventually there will be something new on the block, but until then, I don't see a shortage of warez/media channels.

Not dead yet!

Comment There is an alternative... (Score 2, Funny) 315 315

Lease the plants, specifically the plant's basements. In an year or two the required payment will more than pay off the costs, proving be quite a substantial investment for everyone. While some will be quick to argue that such an act would leave the subterranean structures flooded with geeks oozing from radiation, the Army will soon discover that it has enough material to bottle up and send straight to Communist Russia.

Comment Re:Deus Ex (Score 1) 1120 1120

At the risk of being down-modded, what exactly is so special about Deus Ex? Yes I've played it (and it was 2007-ish) and I liked it but I never caught on on the hype and praise surrounding it. I admit I rushed through the game in the latter parts, but it never seemed to me more than a cool sci-fi action/rpg hybrid with a dystopian story-line.

Idle

Submission + - Codeweavers to overtake Microsoft by 2018->

dazjorz writes: "CodeWeavers, Inc. today announced that recent sales trends position them to overtake Microsoft's operating revenue in 2018, based on Microsoft's fourth quarter report dated July 23, 2009 showing a 17 percent decrease in revenue quarter over quarter.

Yesterday while eating lunch at his desk, CodeWeavers President and CEO Jeremy White spied a story reporting that Microsoft's quarterly revenues had decreased 17 percent — leading to the first year-over-year decline in their 34-year history. "I nearly spit a mouthful of a Jimmy John's Turkey Tom sandwich onto my desk in excitement and awe," he said, "because our own revenues had grown by more than 20 percent during our fourth quarter."

Quickly firing up Microsoft Excel (which was incidentally running on Linux via CodeWeavers' revolutionary CrossOver product), White plotted out the point of intersection in which — current trends continuing — CodeWeavers would overtake Microsoft in sales."

Link to Original Source

Comment full article... before it gets slashdotted (Score 3, Informative) 1365 1365

Why Linux is not (yet) Ready for the Desktop

Preface:

        In this document we only discuss Linux deficiencies while everyone should keep in mind that there are areas where Linux has excelled other OSes.

        A primary target of this comparison is Windows OS.
Linux major shortcomings and problems:

0. Premise: proprietary software will stay indefinitely. Full stop. You may argue eternally, but complicated software like games, 3D applications, databases, CADs(Computer-aided Design), etc. which cost millions of dollars and years of man-hours to develop will never be open sourced. Software patents are about to stay forever.

1. No reliable sound system, no reliable unified software audio mixing, many (old or/and proprietary) applications still open audio output exclusively causing major user problems and headache.

1.1 Insanely difficult to set up volume levels, audio recording ... and in some situations even audio output.

1.2 Highly confusing, not self-explanatory mixer settings.

1.3 By default many distros do not set volume levels properly (no audio output/no sound recording).

2. X system:

2.1 No good stable standardized API for developing GUI applications (like Win32 API). Both GTK and Qt are very unstable and often break backwards compatibility.

2.2 Very slow GUI (except when being run with composite window managers on top of OpenGL).

2.3 Many GUI operations are not accelerated. No analogue of GDI or GDI+. Text antialiasing and other GUI operations are software rendered by GUI libraries (GTK->Cairo/QT->Xft).

2.4 Font rendering is implemented via high level GUI libraries, thus:

2.4.1 fontconfig fonts antialiasing settings cannot be applied on-the-fly.

2.4.2 Fonts antialiasing only works for certain GUI toolkits (see 2.1).

2.4.3 Default fonts (often) look ugly.

2.4.3.1 (Being resolved) By default most distros disable advanced fonts antialiasing.

2.4.3.2 By default most distros come without good or even compatible with Windows fonts.

2.5 No double buffering.

3. Problems stemming from the vast number of Linux distributives:

3.1 No unified configuration system for computer settings, devices and system services. E.g. distro A sets up networking using these utilities, outputting certain settings residing in certain file system locations, distro B sets up everything differently. This drives most users mad.

3.2 No unified installer across all distros. Consider RPM, deb, portage, tar.gz, sources, etc. It adds a cost for software development.

3.3 Many distros' repositories do not contain all available open source software. User should never be bothered with using ./configure && make && make installer. It should be possible to install any software by downloading a package and double clicking it (yes, like in Windows, but probably prompting for user/administrator password).

3.4 Applications development is a major PITA. Different distros can use a) different libraries versions b) different compiler flags c) different compilers. This leads to a number of problems raised to the third power.

4. It should be possible to configure everything via GUI which is still not a case for too many situations and operations.

5. Problems stemming from low linux popularity and open source nature:

5.1 Few software titles, inability to run familiar Windows software. (Some applications (which don't work in Wine) have zero Linux equivalents).

5.1.1 No equivalent of some hardcore Windows software like AutoCAD/3D Studio/Adobe Premier/Corel Painter/etc. Home and work users just won't bother installing Linux until they can work for real.

5.2 No games. Full stop. Cedega and Wine offer very incomplete support.

5.3 Incomplete or unstable drivers for some hardware. Problems setting up some hardware (like sound cards or TV tuners/Web Cameras).

5.3.1 A lot of WinPrinters do not have any Linux support (e.g. Lexmark models). An argument that user should buy a Linux compatible printer is silly since that way Linux won't ever gain even a traction of popularity. Why should I install an OS where my printer doesn't work?

5.3.2 A lot of web cameras still do not work at all in Linux.

5.4 It's impossible to watch Blue-Ray movies.

5.5 Questionable patents and legality status. US Linux users cannot play many popular audio and video formats until they purchase appropriate codecs.

6. Poor or almost missing regression testing in Linux kernel (and, alas, in other Open Source software too) leading to a situation when new kernels may become totally unusable for some hardware configurations (software suspend doesn't work, crashes, unable to boot, networking problems, video tearing, etc.)

7. A galore of software bugs across all applications. Just look into KDE or Gnome bugzilla's - some bugs are now ten years old with over several dozens of duplicates and no one is working on them.

8. Poor interoperability between applications and their components. E.g. many kernel features get a decent userspace support years after introduction.

8.1 Most distros don't allow you to easily set up a server with e.g. such a configuration: Samba, SMTP/POP3, Apache HTTP Auth and FTP where all users are virtual. LDAP is a major PITA. Authentication against MySQL/any other DB is also a PITA.

9. General slowness: just compare load times between e.g. OpenOffice and Microsoft Office. If you don't like this example, try running OpenOffice in Windows and in Linux. In the latter case it will be much slower.

9.1 Slow (libraries) linker. Braindead slow linker. Intolerably slow linker. Win32 OpenOffice being run from Wine starts in a less time than native Linux OpenOffice. Microsoft Office 2003 starts from Wine in a matter of few seconds even on 1GHz CPUs with a slow HDD.

9.2 (Being resolved) No parallel boot of system services. Questionable services for Desktop installations (Fedora, Suse, Mandriva, Ubuntu). No delayed loading of system services.

9.3 (Being resolved) Huge shutdown time.

10. CLI (command line interface) errors for user applications (see clause 4.). All GUI applications should have a visible errors presentation.

11. (Being slowly resolved) Poor documentation.

12. Bad security model: there's zero protection against keyboard keyloggers and against running malicious software (Linux is viruses free only due to its extremely low popularity). sudo is very easy to circumvent (social engineering). sudo still requires CLI (see clause 4.).

13. A very bad backwards and forward compatibility.

13.1 Old applications rarely work in new Linux distros (glibc incompatibities (double-free errors), missing libraries, wrong/new libraries versions, GCC source level errors). Abandoned Linux GUI software generally doesn't work in newer Linux distros. Most well written GUI applications for Windows 95 will work in Windows 7 (15 years of compatibility on binary level).

13.2 New applications linked only against lib C will refuse to work in old distros. (Even though they are 100% source compatible with old distros).

13.3 New libraries versions bugs, regressions and incompatibilites.

14. Enterprise level problems:

14.1 No software policies.

14.2 No standard way of software distribution.

14.3 (Being slowly resolved) No SMB/AD level replacement/equivalent (samba doesn't count): 1) Centralized and easily managable user directory. 2) Simple file sharing. 3) Simple (LAN) computers discovery and browsing.

***

Additions to and well-grounded critics of this list are welcomed.

Written during April 30 2009 - May 18 2009

©2009 Artem S. Tashkinov - All rights reserved. No reproduction of any kind is allowed without express permission by the author.

Comment Re:Crackfix please (Score 2, Insightful) 414 414

I know, I know... you are joking. But it's actually true. Taking a break once in a while does increase your productivity. By ALOT.

But I can see why it's an inconvenience, especially if you work on delicate tasks that require more than a few hours to complete. Of course the chances of a power user accepting to work with such, uhm, "feature", are slim to none. Truly by the time it expires, he will have already purchased/pirated the gold version and his productivity levels would be slumping back to what they used to be. *sigh*

Comment Re:lack of downloadable materials? (Score 1) 104 104

perhaps I didn't expand on that enough:

Go to ANY website and view it's source. Figure out why some things in the code work differently than others. Play around with the CSS and see how each change either breaks/shifts elements and gives you insight into the whole process. There's more "live" material to study on the web than there will ever be in a book.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein

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