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Comment Re:Who's afraid of the big bad Pathfinder? (Score 1) 133

Prices don't even surprise me anymore on any tabletop game stuff. This year was my first Gencon, and when I went to the exhibit hall I saw a bunch of stuff I had no idea even existed. Then, I walked by a booth selling stuff for a TCG called Weiss Schwarz, which has sets that are all based off various licensed animes and video games.

Not knowing the draw of the whole thing, I blew $15 on a Kill la Kill "Trial Box", which is basically a starter deck that always contains the same cards. I didn't intend to play it, more to use the cards as part of a display.

The real draw of Weiss Schwarz is that there is a ridiculously small chance to get a foil-stamped card of a character from whatever set you're buying with the signature of the voiceactor from the Japanese run of the anime on it. I pulled a signed Matoi Ryuko (main character of Kill la Kill) out of the box and found out later that they can go for $90 USD. There's actually a UK shop that sells it at something like 56 pounds.

That card is nothing compared to some of the Attack on Titan ones, which can go for upwards of $200 each.

Even stranger is that no one seems to actually play Weiss Schwarz. I actually asked in the TCG hall, and there were zero tables for it.. yet somehow, the Weiss Schwarz booth was totally sold out of everything but the two most popular sets within three hours of opening.

This has led me to the theory that a mysterious, invisible force I have nicknamed "Neckbeardus" exists in this universe, having entered it via a portal from a universe where people actually play Weiss Schwarz. Neckbeardus has one goal: buy all W-S stuff he can find, and then cart it off to his home universe. Legend has it that if you buy a box off W-S and leave it in a locked cabinet long enough, Neckbeardus will find it and when you go to open the cabinet you'll find the box replaced with money. If you put a microphone near the cabinet, it will pick up heavy breathing and talks of "Needing a mint foil Mikasa".

I also have the theory that if Heroclix was ever to launch a joint venture with the company behind Weiss Schwarz, the entire world economy would wind up collapsing as Neckbeardus buys all of the miniatures the moment they appear on the production line, making the production of any goods other than anime miniatures pointless. In the first week, all tabletop games permanently dissolve as they realize they can never possibly keep up with the money coming from Neckbeardus. Within two months, the United Nations is forced to declare any factories producing this theoretical hybrid as disaster zones as the massive amount of money causes buildings to collapse as they can no longer contain the sheer amount of currency inside.

The next year, anime miniatures have become a new one world currency and your company has created a space elevator made entirely of money going directly to Neckbeardus's home dimension to increase sales.

Really, it's a win-win until Neckbeardus runs out of money and the global economy collapses.

Comment Re:Who's afraid of the big bad Pathfinder? (Score 1) 133

Heroclix definitely still exists. I saw a whole bunch of booths at Gencon selling Heroclix stuff, some of which I know sells for a metric ton of money. As for playing it, I have no idea - I didn't see it there, but it's entirely possible that it was there and I just missed it.

Comment Who's afraid of the big bad Pathfinder? (Score 1) 133

The reason they're doing this is pretty clear - for the first time, there's another tabletop RPG competing with D&D for the title of dominant brand in the fantasy tabletop RPG field, that being Pathfinder. I don't think the exact numbers have been released, but at Gencon this year it looked like Pathfinder was on pretty much equal footing with D&D in terms of people playing it (not to mention that Pathfinder got the entire Sagamore Ballroom this year when I've heard in previous years they only got half).

Honestly, it sort of surprises me they're trying to solidify the D&D brand given the stranglehold they have on the TCG market - Magic is easily bigger than most of the other top 5 TCGs (owned by companies that aren't Hasbro/Wizards) combined, and their godawful My Little Pony TCG is consistently the top seller at physical retailers (Target, Wal-Mart, etc).

Comment Re:how is babby formed (Score 5, Funny) 247

In AD 2015, Uber is violation the Ontario Highway Traffic Act!!

Uber Executive: "What Happen??"
Uber Executive: "Somebody set up us the lawsuit!!"

The Taxi and Limo Drivers And Owners in the Province of Ontario, Canada: "HOW ARE YOU GENTLEMEN"


Comment Hope this doesn't encourage a controller monopoly (Score 1) 105

One of the biggest problems that existed in previous-generation games on Steam was the monopoly Microsoft had on controller support. Most games that were console ports only natively supported the Xbox 360 controller, and would only display button prompts in the X360 format. I don't think it was necessarily an intended monopoly on MS's part - part of it was definitely that PS3 controllers need custom drivers to work properly on the PC and part of it was lazy developers who figured that supporting the X360 controller was "good enough". The only recent game I can think of with native support for Sony controllers is Axiom Verge, but that was originally on PS3/PS4/Vita.

Oculus Rift and VR support is a growing thing in the industry, and I'd hate to see developers continue the Xbox-only trend because the Rift ships with an Xbox controller.

Comment Re:Good and Bad (Score 1, Interesting) 53

While I agree that a law is necessary to cement net neutrality in place, I think that it's actually better that the regulation started at the FCC level. The massive list of comments in favor of net neutrality is a warning to any member of Congress who would dare stand against net neutrality when the time to make legislation comes: if you stand against net neutrality, there are thousands of people who are going to do anything in their power to ensure you do not get re-elected, and no amount of corporate money is going to save you.

At the same time, I think that the FCC regulations will create a strong track record that shows net neutrality works and won't kill the big ISPs, thus removing that as a valid argument when the push for legislation arrives. When people see that net neutrality works (and makes their internet service better), it will be very difficult for the ISPs to make a case against no matter how much money they offer to donate. At the same time, the people in favor of neutrality can say, "The internet is a better place now that neutrality rules exist, and allowing the regulations to expand beyond Title II will only make things better."

Submission + - Uber's Rise in China May Be Counterfeit->

retroworks writes: Josh Horwitz' story in Quartz today reports both the apparent rapid success of Uber adaptation in China, and a queasy footnote for shareholders applauding the rapid growth. While China is a natural ride-sharing haven, it also has a tradition of gaming the western system.

"Accomplices can sit in their apartments, disable location settings, and specify a pickup not far from the actual location of driver’s vehicle, the report said. The driver then accepts the hail, and goes on a trip without a passenger. After the accomplice approves payment, the driver will – hopefully – pay back the fee and share a cut of the bonus. It’s not the most clever get-rich scheme on the planet. But for drivers, it’s better than waiting for a hail in a parking lot."

Uber's spokeswoman told the Quartz writer that the company has an on-the-ground team who investigate into these various type of fraud, then uses "deep analytics, and new tools developed by our Chinese engineers in our dedicated fraud team to combat against such fraud.” The Uber spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the nature of these tools.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:What was the goal ? (Score 4, Interesting) 73

Kaspersky themselves said that the Duqu authors were probably using them as a "utility target" to gain more access to their main target, which is believed to be anyone involved in the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. The people from Kaspersky posited the idea that Duqu has no value to the people who wrote it - likely because by the time they attacked Kaspersky, they had already infected the people they were really after and could safely throw it away. It could also be that they purposely attacked Kaspersky for two reasons: to gain information on their detection methods and find ways around them, but also to ensure that no one else gets infected (thus avoiding a possible scandal for a state actor behind the attacks if people unrelated to their targets get hit).

I'm with the camp that thinks Israel is behind it. It only makes sense, given their involvement with Stuxnet and their high level of interest in Iran's nuclear program, plus the connection with the Auschwitz liberation date.

Comment Might be useful in the northeastern US (Score 3, Informative) 77

The northeastern United States has some of the worst potholes in the country, which are largely the result of heavy road wear from traffic combined with cold winters that either create or expand cracks in the pavement. The problem is that it gets so cold here in the winter that road crews are unable to apply asphalt to the road and have to use this "cold pack" stuff that serves as a temporary fix until it gets warm enough to spread asphalt. The "cold pack" is prone to erosion and often wears out multiple times during the winter.

I could see the road departments here using these sensors to figure out where the cold pack is eroding and fix it before it degrades completely.

Comment Re:Technically, they are correct. (Score 4, Interesting) 165

This is true, but there would still be a huge contradiction in the law if the FISA courts ignore the Second Circuit. You'd have the FISA courts saying "Bulk surveillance is authorized under the USA Freedom Act for six months in the entire United States" versus the Second Circuit saying "Bulk surveillance is unconstitutional and any law authorizing it within the jurisdiction of the Second Circuit is void for that reason."

My guess is, if the FISA courts ignore the Second Circuit there will be a Supreme Court case on this, as tends to happen when you have conflicting authority at the appeals court level.

Submission + - How Industry Lobbyists Basically Wrote The TPP->

An anonymous reader writes: Watch has a full writeup showing how industry lobbyists influenced the TPP agreement, to the point that one is even openly celebrating that the USTR version copied his own text word for word.

“Hi Barbara – John sent through a link to the P4 agreement. I have taken a quick look at the rules of origin. Someone owes USTR a royalty payment – these are our rules. They will need some tweaking but will likely not need major surgery. This is a very pleasant surprise. I will study more closely over the weekend.”

Link to Original Source

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly