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Comment: Re:Pleasant? (Score 0, Troll) 166

by ugen (#47946635) Attached to: The Minecraft Parent

Any game that takes an effort to make "safe" cannot be described as pleasant or safe by default.
It takes more than a little effort or research. Unless you constantly monitor servers for content or audit server list daily - you cannot claim that the game is played "safely". Server content can change at any time, and your children can add and delete servers as they see fit.

Something is up with /. reader's ability to comprehend the material today :)

Comment: Re:Pleasant? (Score 0) 166

by ugen (#47946505) Attached to: The Minecraft Parent

1. I am not in the micromanaging my kids business. Sitting next to my child every minute they are on the computer, and watching their every step is not viable. I prefer services (and games) that are designed from ground up to provide child enough freedom without having to have a permanent guard set next to them.

2. You are making my point for me. As a game universe, in general, Minecraft is *not* nonviolent or purely creative, as it is being generally described. It has its fair share of sex, violence and useless junk. It takes a conscious and significant effort to protect players from that. This is something that articles about Minecraft seem to conveniently omit.

Comment: Pleasant? (Score 1, Flamebait) 166

by ugen (#47946357) Attached to: The Minecraft Parent

As a parent, I don't see Minecraft through the rose-colored glasses, as it seems to be commonly described. While a game was supposed to be nonviolent, plenty of Minecraft servers seem to have added functionality that allows direct fighting and ability to kill other players. Chat capabilities go unmonitored and "adult language" is widespread.

Due to Minecrafts de-centralized nature there are no effective technological age or content controls, leaving children (mine anyway) exposed to kinds of things that I would prefer them to consume in limited amounts or not at all.

The only realistic technical measure of control is to prohibit playing Minecraft at all, or at least prohibit network play. Unfortunately, given Minecraft popularity this is not feasible. My parenting approach does not include use of force or abuse of my authority, (where safety or law is not directly concerned), so I can't in good consciousness prohibit it outright.

On a personal level, it annoys me that a game world with a level of 3d graphics and physics sophistication that was state of the art 20 years ago is extremely popular today, but I can see the draw of "retro" look and feel.

+ - NASA awards "space taxi" contracts to both Boeing and SpaceX->

Submitted by ugen
ugen (93902) writes "Contrary to the rumor posted on Slashdot earlier today, "NASA will partner with Boeing and SpaceX to build commercially owned and operated "space taxis" to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, ending U.S. dependence on Russia for rides, officials said on Tuesday... Boeing was awarded $4.2 billion to SpaceX's $2.6 billion. ""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Analyzing the FBI's Explanation of How They Loc (Score 1) 142

by ugen (#47852843) Attached to: Feds Say NSA "Bogeyman" Did Not Find Silk Road's Servers

That'd be one useless network though. If your devices have no information worth stealing - than what are they doing?

That's the problem with anonymity (and security in general). To be perfect, it's got to have no value.

In a more practical case like this one, I fully expect that administrators of those servers made one small mistake (more likely simply could not check every possible bit of code for information it may leak) and that was their downfall.

Comment: Seat size is well defined (Score 1) 818

by ugen (#47845829) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

On most airlines size and pitch of seats is well defined and listed when you purchase tickets. I mostly fly United (not that I like them, they just go where I need to go) and seat size is clearly listed.
You can pay extra and get an "Economy Plus" seat that is promised to have extra leg room and may otherwise be more convenient.
Seats that do not recline are also clearly marked.

  That is to say - you pay airline for a very specific set of conditions, and it is airlines job to provide those (as limited as they might be).

People that need more knee space/seat space etc are able *now* to buy seats that fit to their specific size. What they cannot do is buy a cheapest ticket and then attempt to make up for lack of space by taking some of the space *I* paid for.

Comment: Re:A solution to a problem (Score 3, Informative) 152

by ugen (#47813659) Attached to: Google Serves Old Search Page To Old Browsers

Yes, and that's precisely what I've been doing. Firefox + UAControl = score :)

I get to use normal-looking and convenient Google maps (instead of the recent monstrosity that shows up in Safari and other "current" browsers)
I can easily remove trackback links (because Google returns them in plain text to IE6 but goes to great lengths to obfuscate them for current browsers)
And otherwise Google looks clean and neat.

This is one feature of Google I happen to love :)

+ - US arrests son of Russian MP in Maldives for hacking ->

Submitted by ugen
ugen (93902) writes "The son of a Russian lawmaker has been arrested by the U.S. on charges of selling credit card information he stole by hacking into the computers of American retailers.
Roman Seleznev, 30, was arrested overseas by the U.S. Secret Service on July 5 and was ordered detained today during a hearing in federal court in Guam, the Justice Department said in a statement."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Greater per car occupancy? (Score 1) 260

by ugen (#47184255) Attached to: Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

So what you are saying is that Uber is not even a ride "sharing" platform so much as an enabler for unlicensed car service business? I did not know that.

I have to admit that my opinion on Uber was, so far, essentially neutral. However, if what you are saying is true - I would be inclined to reconsider and think of them as a net-negative. If they are a taxi cab - they should register and operate as one, any instant online hailing and optimal vehicle routing sauce notwithstanding.

I will vote accordingly if/when this comes up in my locality.

Comment: Greater per car occupancy? (Score 5, Insightful) 260

by ugen (#47183715) Attached to: Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

I am not sure trying to pass Uber as an environmentally friendly solution will pass muster. Uber drivers operate essentially as unlicensed taxi cab drivers, rather than true "rideshare" or carpool services. They pick up new clients wherever requested and drive them to wherever client wants to go. These are trips that would not have happened otherwise. Since these services are, generally, cheaper than licensed taxi cabs (though, curiously, not by much in the area I just checked) - they may prompt people to call for and use an individual car, whereas otherwise the same riders might have chosen less convenient but cheaper public transportation.

Comment: Re:Good bye source compatibility (Score 3, Insightful) 636

by ugen (#47152165) Attached to: Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

That's not what cross-platform compatibility implies. Placement of specific elements and their view is a subject of "themes" and is readily customizable.
As a developer I care about underlying primitives - things like "windows", "buttons", "menus" or more generically "events", "inputs" etc. Once those underlying things can no longer be shared - you have to write a new product from scratch for every platform.

Think of something like Adobe Photoshop (I assume as a UX person you are using it?). It is possible to have a version for Windows, and one for Mac precisely because you have those common underlying primitives and APIs, even though they don't necessarily look the same in all respects.

If commonality of platforms is gone - even a company like Adobe will have really hard time building products for both platforms. That will eventually affect users too, since they will likely have to select different (and no longer compatible) products for each platform as well. For now that's not the case - but given where things go, it probably will be.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson