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Comment: Re:Shut up and take my money (Score 1) 85

by sound+vision (#46744935) Attached to: <em>Civilization: Beyond Earth</em> Announced
The different leaders have different AI personalities - some just don't give up 'til the last man dies. Others may be willing to crack a deal. Montezuma is more likely to declare war on you than Gandhi, for example. I've played an unbelievable amount of Civ 5 over the past few years, and I'd say it's an 80/20 split in favor of the enemy surrendering if their army is wiped out and you have them surrounded.

I've seen *very* few games where other civs failed to expand. By 1500 AD even the slowest civs will have at least 3 or 4 cities founded. The only exception to this is if they have had their cities captured, or their neighboring civs simply claimed all the territory in the area and had the military power to defend it.
Which difficulty are you playing at? It sounds like it might be too easy and you need to bump it up another difficulty level. I play at 1 higher than the default. I go up to 2 higher if the risk of losing horribly that day doesn't bother me :)
Which version of the game are you playing? Early versions did have worse AI in many respects, but that was mostly resolved even before Gods and Kings came out.

Comment: Re:Shut up and take my money (Score 2) 85

by sound+vision (#46744875) Attached to: <em>Civilization: Beyond Earth</em> Announced
Shouldn't world wonders *inherently* give tourism? Shouldn't religious buildings have a cultural impact as well? It's weird.

Many world wonders (and most national wonders) contain a Great Work slot, or even a slot pre-filled with a Great Work. If you are trying to win a tourism victory, it's difficult if you only rely on non-Wonder buildings to provide Great Work slots. Unless you have a large empire (6+ cities) you will run out of building-provided slots sooner than you'd like - then you're left with slots from Wonders. FWIW there are also 1 or 2 wonders that directly give a tourism boost, not just great works slots.

There are also several religious buildings that provide a culture bonus. The Shrines and Temples don't, but once you or any other player found a religion, you can add religious tenets allowing you to purchase Mosques, Cathedrals, and I believe one other building. These advanced religious buildings [i]do[/i] increase culture, as well as giving +1 to faith and/or happiness depending on the building. Furthermore, they can only be purchased with faith, not gold or production. Not having to sacrifice gold or production is [i]very[/i] useful in the small empires you'd build trying for a tourism victory. True, you have to spend faith instead - but it's not a lot, and you should already have excess faith if you're taking this strategy.

Comment: Re:So cancel the domain (Score 1) 77

How long ago did the domains expire? My experience is that on the expiration date, your domains get held in a renewal period of 30 days where you can renew it at normal price without any possibility of losing the domain. After that period is an additional 1 - 3 months where the domain is in a different status where the registrar still has control over it, but you need to pay an additional fee (often called "redemption fee") to renew it. If you don't pay this fee the registrar is free to auction the domain or otherwise sell it to someone else.

NameCheap's website contradicts your experience, stating that most domains with them have a redemption fee of $200 : I presume your domains had been expired for several months and had been fully released by the time you checked. $200 is actually on the high side, most registrars are closer to $80 for redemption fees.

Other sources: Personal experience registering domain names since 1998, and professional experience of several years working at a company that resells domain registrations.

Comment: Re:Deserved (Score 1) 91

by sound+vision (#44312025) Attached to: Network Solutions Hit With DDoS
Not all - in fact the sure the majority of them don't do this. Besides Network Solutions, eNom, and a few others, many domain registration sites out there aren't fully-fledged registrars. Even if the only name you see in a WHOIS lookup is the company you directly paid for the registration, there's a good good chance they use another registrar on the back end. Essentially these companies are just resellers. They pay $6 or whatever for the domain, then charge you $12 for it. This means that even if you choose not to register, the domain, if they sneak-register it from under you, that does incur a monetary cost, making it unlikely.

I work for a domain reseller. Now, GoDaddy and Network Solutions may very well not have to pay anything for registration, so this tactic might be more useable for them. But for the company I work for, this tactic would be a financial loser.

Comment: Re:New requirements ... (Score 1) 41

by sound+vision (#44146261) Attached to: ICANN Set To Broaden World of Domain Names
As indicated in another reply, these requirements are for the *registrars* of the domain, not the *registrants*. What it means is that GoDaddy (or whoever your registrar is) will have a bit more work to do. Will they pass on the costs to end users? Maybe, but I doubt it's much. The end user might have a bit more difficulty entering fake contact information, since the registrars will be auditing that information better. Other than that there's no difference to the end user, at least from the things you quoted. IWAACTAADR. (I Work At A Company That's Also A Domain Registrar).

These "Domain management companies" you speak of are what I call "scammers". I've gotten similar notices in the mail, after registering my first domain. "Hey, your domain is expiring next year. Give the ownership to us and renew it for only $80 a year!" Of course, this letter fails to note the other option, which is leaving my domain where it's at and continuing to renew for $12 annually.

I can't fathom why anyone would want someone to "manage" their domain registrations, unless they have no clue what a domain registration actually is. This is how you manage it: You pick name. You type in your contact info, and optionally the name servers you want to use. You renew it annually. That's it. The most complicated thing you could ever do is trying to transfer it - which just means clicking the "Unlock" button on the registrar's site, getting the transfer key, and providing that to the new registrar. Way easier than doing taxes.

The only thing hard thing about it is that people don't understand domain registration is separate from DNS management and service hosting (web sites, for example). People commonly get the idea that all of these things are the same. If you have that conception, you're already on bad footing since you're trying to be webmaster and IT with zero skills.

The right thing for those guys to do isn't to succumb to the smooth talker who promises to make all the technical problems go away. (Then steal the domain.) If they don't or can't learn webmaster skills, they need to either (a) employ someone trustworthy who does, or (b) start *from the beginning* with an integrated registration/design/hosting service that takes care of everything end to end. It might seem cheaper to do it DIY in the beginning, but to successfully DIY you have to know how to DI first.

Comment: Re:In case you were wondering... (Score 1) 145

I haven't been working in web hosting quite as long as you, but I do have some thoughts on the matter, from dealing with these individuals on a daily basis.

Do you really think it's fair to call a 50 year old woman who wants a nice website for her cat-blog a moron?

Yes, if she expects to take on the role of webmaster and developer, with zero technical experience. I absolutely call that a moron. It's the equivalent of that same lady trying to build a kit car, which then loses a wheel and explodes rolling out of the driveway.
The right thing for her to do is find a qualified individual or company to create the site for her, if she wants that level of customization and control. Otherwise, she belongs on Blogger or Facebook, where she can post her cat pictures, but doesn't need technical skills beyond manipulating a GUI.

Comment: Password hashes? (Score 2) 54

by sound+vision (#42400899) Attached to: Popular Wordpress Plugin Leaves Sensitive Data In the Open
"The content of those directories could be downloaded, including directories containing sensitive data like password hashes"...

All the WordPress installations I've dealt with (quite a few, it's part of my job) had users' password hashes stored in a MySQL database. I wonder why the W3 plugin is writing them to the file system in the first place?

"The greatest warriors are the ones who fight for peace." -- Holly Near