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+ - Community Heroes for City of Heroes->

Submitted by
sfranklin
sfranklin writes "The player community isn't taking the City of Heroes shutdown lying down. The CohTitan folks are organizing a community effort to keep the game going, either through petitioning NCSoft or somehow getting the game themselves. Anyone who enjoyed City of Heroes at any time, current or past, is encouraged to get involved!"
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Comment: Nothing wrong here (Score 1) 507

by sfranklin (#39064233) Attached to: Sony Raises Price of Whitney Houston's Music 30 Minutes After Death

What a load of crap. Taking advantage of increased irrational demand isn't a problem. It's following market trends, and that's good business. The smart people that are interested in her music will simply wait a while before buying, allowing prices to go back to normal. Nothing wrong with capitalizing on people who are 1) willing to pay more or 2) have so little self-control that they can't wait.

Comment: I give it 12 months until it's free to play (Score 2) 389

by sfranklin (#38439398) Attached to: <em>Star Wars: the Old Republic</em> Launches

Lots of other "big" titles that launched recently have since gone free-to-play. Star Wars Online and DC Universe Online are recent examples. I give SWTOR a year (more than the average due to the Star Wars name) before they start letting people in free. They might not call it "F2P" but at the very least they'll have playable trial accounts that expose 75% of the game.

Comment: I ditched cable to avoid "packages" (Score 1) 447

by sfranklin (#37541526) Attached to: The Cable Industry's a La Carte Bait and Switch

I don't have cable any more. The main reason is that I was paying $60/month for a package that had only three channels that I used. (MLB Network, ESPN, Versus in HD - I watch live sports but not much else.) If I could pay $15/month just for those channels, I'd be doing it. But since I can't, I just ditched the whole thing. I realize I'm not the typical customer, but it would be awfully nice if there was a company that could cater to those of us that really only want a few channels, and aren't willing to pay ridiculous amounts for them.

Comment: Integration for web apps...love it! (Score 1) 59

by sfranklin (#37471578) Attached to: Mashing Up Multiple Web Services

I know I'm way behind on this, just now discovered IFTTT, but I have to say it's an awesome idea. I love the ability to automatically link up some of these web apps without requiring code. Could I code those linkages? Sure, but that makes me spend time, and host that code, and maintain it...with IFTTT all that work is abstracted away. This is just like the adapter integration model...build one adapter for each of your end applications, then hook up the adapters. Swap out an end application, and as long as you keep the adapter the same, your integrations still work. Same principle applies here and it's a great idea!

Comment: Well, glad I gave up Netflix months ago (Score 1) 481

by sfranklin (#37443116) Attached to: Netflix Creates Qwikster For DVD Only Business

Before this whole price thing blew up, I gave up on Netflix. Why?

1. If I want anime (my favorite genre), I'm better off with http://www.rentanime.com./ It costs $20/month, but the selection is significantly better. I'd already seen pretty much all the good anime that was on Netflix anyway.
2. If I want TV shows, go damn near anywhere on the Internet these days and you'll hit a way to get TV shows. From Hulu+ to iTunes, to Amazon, they're everywhere. Pretty cheap, too.
3. For new movie DVD releases, there's http://www.redbox.com./ Sure, it's not quite as convenient as Netflix was, but I only watch 1-2 movies a month, so it's a *lot* cheaper. Plus it has the spur-of-the-moment factor...as long as I'm willing to put some pants on and drive 5 minutes, I can get the DVD right away.

About the only thing left is older movie DVD releases. You can get most of those on Amazon too.

+ - NZ Illegal Downloading Crackdown Law in Effect->

Submitted by
sfranklin
sfranklin writes "As of Sept 1 at midnight, "anyone caught downloading copyrighted content illegally could face fines of up to $15,000 and have their internet cut off" in New Zealand. You don't even have to do the deed yourself. The "account holder needs to know what's going on even if they themselves don't do anything online..." Scary stuff, although I wonder how much actual enforcement is likely to happen."
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Privacy

+ - Privacy in the Future: USENIX 2011 Keynote->

Submitted by
sfranklin
sfranklin writes "Charlie Stross has posted his USENIX 2011 keynote speech at his blog. It's an interesting read, covering predictions for medium-term future (50-500 years ahead) and then focusing on the concept of lifelogging and how that will affect privacy and security. Besides the lifelogging, his description of democratic government in the early section is especially worth a look."
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Comment: Seems an odd response by DropBox (Score 1) 250

by sfranklin (#35944354) Attached to: Dropbox Attempts To Kill Open Source Project

If I were running DropBox, I wouldn't go after the guys who exploited a weakness in the way my filesharing worked...I'd fix it. Seems very odd that DropBox would worry about DropShip at all. Now I don't know anything about how this stuff works and so it may not be a simple change, but if you're going to be a company that wants to provide secure filesharing, then you've got to make the change anyway, DropShip or no DropShip. So, update your code to close the loophole so it doesn't work any more. Problem solved, not only for DropShip but also for any other person looking at the same thing.

Comment: Re:It's called a team (Score 3, Insightful) 426

by sfranklin (#30506258) Attached to: When Developers Work Late, Should the Manager Stay?

... being a manager and staying late with your developers, your first priority shouldn't be riding them but play a support role.

Absolutely. There's the very basic support, like ordering the food and making sure the cleaning people don't turn off all the lights, which is very useful. But more importantly, being available when something comes up that the developer needs help with. Question about requirements comes up? The manager can call the functional guy and ask. Problem with access? The manager can call up the sysadmins and get the ball moving. It's pretty rare that something is so completely cut-and-dried that the developer can work late hours with no outside support to get it done. When that outside support is needed, having the manager right there to get the help that is needed can be a great help.

Sci-Fi

+ - Charlie Stross explains How He Got Here->

Submitted by
Skip Franklin
Skip Franklin writes "Charlie Stross is in the midst of posting a mini-autobiography over on his blog. For those who don't know, Mr. Stross is a science fiction writer who spends a lot of time on technology's impact on society in the near future. His description of how he got where he is today really strikes a chord with my inner nerd. Start off with the first installment and keep going through the cliffhanger on part four: '...got a job interview at the British R&D wing of a successful UNIX OEM based in Watford...A successful UNIX OEM called the Santa Cruz Operation.' I'm looking forward to part five!"
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