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Comment: Re:Talk about creating a demand (Score 2) 334 334

Nuclear is expensive and needs a huge amount of public subsidy. Private industry doesn't seem to have found a way of doing it cost effectively. People also seem to have problems with it being a global solution to power needs, given all the jumping up and down about countries like Iran getting into nuclear power. Then there's handling of waste and water consumption, so it's hardly problem free.

Comment: Re:This is stupid (Score 1) 109 109

The kid in the parallel universe was still dying, it's just that his character had worked out how to save him whereas the father in the parallel universe had been distracted just as he was about to hit on the solution.

I don't think playing eccentric characters says anything about the psyche of John Noble, probably more to do with casting agents etc. who need to fill the role of a crackpot.

Comment: Great news! (Score 1) 101 101

I've always found the rootkit story an interesting one. There are a large number of third party DRM systems that have been in use on Windows over the years. This was just another one of them. Sure this one had some nasty side affects, but so do a lot of DRM systems that Windows has supported. As far as I'm aware this DRM did nothing on any other system. So why is Windows given a free pass on this one? It was designed to allow auto-install of software from CDs that were placed in the drive. Designed to be a DRM friendly system. So you you boycott Windows as well?

Comment: Re:Cars are just part of what's on the road (Score 1) 454 454

Well if all the self-driving vehicles communicating with each other, they could easy make room for the tractor-trailer to turn at that busy intersection. That's the one big difference I can see with self-driving cars, the possibility of them knowing what neighbouring vehicles are doing: what speed they're going, what turn they're intending to make. You could end up with the situation where vehicles are collaborating in the same way that ants do.

Comment: Re:Linux desktop never happened (Score 2) 265 265

It happened and it's worked fine for a long time, the problem is there is just no channel for the hardware and never has been. The high street chains where a lot of people go to get their hardware are effectively Windows only and when those Linux netbooks starting appearing Microsoft did a good job of making sure they stayed that way. With even Apple having to open their own chain of shops to get their hardware in front of people. Ubuntu just don't have the resources to open a huge chain of Ubuntu stores.

Comment: The Articles Intel Dropped the Site For (Score 1) 724 724

You might want to try watching her lo-fi let's play videos on YouTube where she plays through some 80's text adventure games them see if you feel the same way. That's where I first encountered her, without a clue that she was busy terrifying people elsewhere on the internet, she's far more a geek than a lot of self professed gamers. If anything I think she harks back to the era before the COD crowd came to dominate everything.

Comment: Re:So Intel pulled out (Score 1) 724 724

She was talking about gamers as a marketing demographic rather than as individuals who play games. The idea that there's a whiteboard in Activision somewhere with "GAMER" and a bunch of stereotypes written on it and they target/market their games at that demographic:

* dudebro
* unwashed
* likes violent games and rock music
* watches summer blockbusters

That this is not a true representation of people that play games and that this concept needs to go away and is going away. A lot of people seem to have read the article and gone, "How dare you, I represent that demographic!" rather than, "Yes, that's not us, stop treating us like morons".

I remember reading it and thinking it was inflammatory, but at the same time understood what it was saying. I guess everyone wants to have their turn at being offended and outraged.

Comment: Is the immune system working? (Score 2, Insightful) 724 724

The mass censorship of gamers over the last month has raised questions about how well functioning that immune system really is. Gamers and the game media have never gotten along. But the degree to which gamers were thrown out of sites for talking about Gamergate was disturbing, and the "trivial" nature of gaming as a subject matter does not soften the blow.

Gamers were ejected from all major game news sites/blogs, almost all major game forums, news media outlets, subjected to shadow bans and mass deletions across the whole of Reddit, barred from editing Wikipedia, and finally -- in the the most absurd capstone to the whole farce -- all gamergate discussion was banned from 4chan, a place which still openly permits the posting of severed human body parts and rabidly anti-semetic hate speech. What few remaining forums for discussion were left ended up being DDoSed.

What happened during gamergate was what we were told could never happen to free discussion on the web: Site by site, the lights on the internet went out for video gamers.

In retrospect, it could only have happened for something as "trivial" as video games, and to a group as "subcultural" as the gaming community. But it has happened; It is still happenning. The entire concept of the Internet as a "fifth estate" or a forum for open debate has been severely discredited by recent events. If video gamers are unable to discuss or dispute that "Gamers are dead", or that games are not misogynist on the internet, then what can be discussed or disputed?

If the internet has an immune system, I don't see the patient recovering yet, and even in the event of a return to "health", the complications of this acute inflammation of censorship will be with us for a long time. This may yet end up being a watershed for the medium and our assumptions about it. Something has just gone very, very wrong.

Comment: Re:It's not feminism at this point. (Score 4, Interesting) 724 724

The majority of the gamers who wrote Intel agree with you. In fact, the entire furore over the past month seems to have cemented the idea of "gamer" as a inclusive, universal identity into the collective mind of the gaming community across the web.

However, that was not the argument the Gamasutra and other articles made. The gaming press collectively declared that "Gamers were dead", that gaming as a descriptor was obsolete, that the "identity was dead", or referred only to a obsolete subset of exclusionary, female unfriendly, "selfish", "conservative", "tribalistic", and -- implied by the accompanying stock images -- fat angry unkempt adult males.

Meanwhile, games companies, marketing firms and online game fansites were still actively using the term to refer to everyone who, well, plays games. Even Forbes magazine was shaking its head in disbelief at the game media's attack on its own consumers. People are now asking how much damage recent controversies may have done to the public image of the gaming industry.

A $80 billion dollar industry which had achieved almost universal consumer acceptance and success may have just been torpedoed as a woman-hating "Cathedral of Misogyny" by its own press publications. Intel is cutting its losses before the conflagration spreads to the rest of tech.

Comment: The Articles Intel Dropped the Site For (Score 5, Informative) 724 724

For anyone interested, here is a link to the article Intel pulls ads from Gamasutra over. It is ... colourful in its descriptions of gaming to say the least.

'Game culture' as we know it is kind of embarrassing -- it's not even culture. It's buying things, spackling over memes and in-jokes repeatedly, and it's getting mad on the internet. ...

It's young men queuing with plush mushroom hats and backpacks and jutting promo poster rolls. Queuing passionately for hours, at events around the world, to see the things that marketers want them to see. To find out whether they should buy things or not. They don't know how to dress or behave. ...

Traditional "gaming" is sloughing off, culturally and economically, like the carapace of a bug. ...

These obtuse shitslingers, these wailing hyper-consumers, these childish internet-arguers -- they are not my audience. They don't have to be yours. There is no 'side' to be on, there is no 'debate' to be had.

About ten or so articles like this appeared over the course of a few days at the end of August across most of the top game news sites. Apparently, a lot of gamers were upset enough to write into site advertisers to request they stop sponsoring the offending site with ads. Intel have evidently made a dash for the door out of a building the owners have decided to set on fire.

The author of the piece, Leigh Alexander is a described feminist critique of video games and video game culture, as well as wider "geek" cultures. Her personal views on geeks and their fandoms are ... equally colourful.

Why do you sometimes mock 'nerds' and 'gamers' so virulently? Isn't that the same kind of bullying you rail against? ...

Self-identified nerds are often so obsessed with their identity as cultural outcasts that they are willfully blind to their privilege, and for the sake of relatively-absurd fandoms â" space marines, dragons, zombies, endless war simulations â" take their myopic and insular attitudes to "art" and "culture" with tunnel-visioned, inflexible, embarrassing seriousness that often leads to homogeneity, racism, sexism and bullying.

Nerds escaped high school. Some of them made millions making video games. Digital literacy doesn't make you special anymore, it makes you baseline employable. Fantasy is on mainstream cable. ...

The fact you got a Game Boy for Christmas and liked it so much you stopped doing anything else doesn't entitle you to a revolution. Your fandom is not your identity. Your fandom is not a race.

I am not convinced that this person is not an ultra-conservative plant sent to discredit feminist and progressivism in geek and gaming culture. If she is, she's making a spectacular effort at doing so. This entire furore is doing real damage to the genuine participation of women in the video game and even wider tech. Intel's pulling of ads might help take the oxygen out of this fire before the industry gets burned.

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