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Comment It could work... (Score 1) 331

This is probably my favorite book. The political philosophy discussions, the different culture, and the characters. I strongly suggest re-reading it a few times.
I believe they could get close to the book and still keep it interesting for general audiences.

Act I
Introduce main characters and explain political and economic situation including the discovery of "Food Riot Day". Aside from the initial riot, this will be mostly boring unless they fill it with comedy.

Act 2
Plan the Revolution and implement it. There are a few action sequences here and there that could be pieced together to keep things interesting until Revolution Day.

Act 3
Diplomatic relations with Terra and War. Plenty of action here. Lots of CG explosions and such.

The hard part is that they cannot totally ignore the difference in gravity between the Earth (9.8 m/s^2) and the Moon (1.6 m/s^2). It is central to the plot in Act 3. Might have to CG the human battle scenes too or perhaps do some sort of half-bullet time.

Comment Re:Yes! (Score 1) 242

Asimov bridged his two large series, "Robot" and "Foundation", into the same timeline with the book "Robots and Empire". You seem to suggest that the Foundation series starts with this book. I disagree. "Prelude to Foundation" is where I say the Foundation series starts, and it is many, many thousands of years after "Robots and Empire" and "Pebble in the Sky". The Galactic Empire was thought to have lasted about 12,000 years and the Foundation series starts at the end of that.

The question I have, which was not answered in the article is: Where will they start the series? Foundation? Or Prelude to Foundation?
Very different styles. With the prequels, you get to know Hari Seldon and his adventures and achievements. With the original trilogy, you get a bunch of loosely connected short stories where one season you have a cast that does something epic and then next season it is a hundred years later and last season's cast is all dead and you have a new cast to do something new and so on each season.

Comment It's a start... (Score 1) 720

My personal pet peeve with getting fast-food, besides the poor nutritional quality, is the near-constant order errors. McDonalds is by far the worst at this. I attribute it to poor/lack of training for employees working the register and taking the orders. Even seasoned personnel have issues working with the registers, are not aware of the special deals, or just simply make mistakes too often. When I can, I try to persuade friends/family to go somewhere else instead of McDonalds.*

Back in the 1990's I was driving to a Hamfest one early morning when I stopped at a Sheetz gas station for food and fuel. Lo, and behold they had this touch-screen ordering system that printed out my order. My order came up on a display in the food preparation station and the attendants there quickly read the screen and accurately prepared my food. After using it once, I was CONVINCED that it was the future of all walk-in fast-food, maybe even the drive-through. Now that McDonald's is finally implementing this after 20 or so years have passed, it could solve their ordering issues.

Now, McDonald's only needs to improve the quality of their food. Right now it's at the level of SPAM, which is just above Scrapple and just below Dinty Moore Beef Stew.

* Our local McDonald's is by far the worst McDonald's I have ever been to, which includes several international locations as well as many domestic ones. (I believe that gives me the right to claim it as the worst in the world.) It's dirty, slow, and highly inaccurate. Wrong sandwiches, no fries, no drink (I had to ask if they still sold drinks with their value meals.), no cheese, onions when asked to hold them, wrong sizes, etc. I once went 3 years between correct orders there, 2010-13. My family is addicted to them for taste and convenience despite my constant pleading to go somewhere, anywhere else. They went 2-3 times per week as they pick it up on the way back from school events/practices. 2*52*3=312 I complained about them on McDonald's own website and left my phone number. They called while we were out and left a message for us to call them back. The number they gave me was disconnected.

Comment Single Player Creative Mode (Score 2) 174

Put the kids on single player in a creative map and just let them create. When they get older, introduce survival mode.

Not quite sure how they got there, but I believe it went something like this:
1) Kids watch daddy play Minecraft and watch Paulsoaresjr's videos along with daddy. (Paul is very family friendly in his videos) They scream when surprising things happen.
2) Kids start playing around with Daddy's copy of Minecraft PE on iPad and eventually take it over.
3) Kids get plush Creeper stuffed animal with explosion noises from Santa and use it sneak-up and scare Daddy. Kids: (whisper) "Lets creep Daddy!" Creeper: "ssssSSSSBOOM!" Daddy: "Ahhh!" Kids: *Giggles*
4) Kids beg Daddy to let them play Minecraft on PC and eventually Daddy sets up a single-player creative world for them. Kids show-off their creations to Parents.

It's not all the time and as with any toy it goes in and out of their attention, but they are having a good time and I feel that it is beneficial.

Comment East - Sleep, West - Awake (Score 3, Informative) 163

When you fly it is important to coordinate your sleep schedule with your destination while en-route. This is harder to do on short flights. Also picking the right flight time is critical. Horrible jet lag is due to poor sleep in the plane, dehydration due to the dry air in the cabin, and non-adjusted body clocks. The latter can easily be fixed.

Lets say you travel from NYC to London. To minimize jet lag on arrival, you want to take an evening flight and sleep the whole way. As soon as you board the plane, set your watch/phone to London time. If you can fall asleep before take-off you are golden. When you land it will be morning and you should wake up better prepared for a new day. You will be tired, but not dead tired. Use caffeine and sunlight liberally to stay awake until your desired bed time. Now you should be well on your way for your body clock adjustments for your stay.

On the return trip from London to NYC, you want to take a morning flight and stay awake. Watch movies or read a book. Again, as soon as you board set your watch/phone to NYC time. You will get tired after dinner, so just force yourself to stay awake until your desired bed time and then get your sleep.

With short flights, you have to start adjusting your body clock a day or two before you leave by going to bed earlier or later depending on the timezone of your destination. So if you are going from NYC to LAX you need to stay up 3 hours later and sleep in 3 hours just before your flight.

For really long flights, like LAX to SYD, set your watch/phone to SYD time and begin following that time for your sleep schedule. Even if you cannot fall asleep, just closing your eyes and relaxing or meditating will help. When it is daytime in SYD, stay awake. Read that book or watch movies.

Comment Solution to Raiders of the lost Ark (from memory) (Score 1) 179

To find the Ark, you had to locate the mesa it was on. To locate the mesa, you had to search random baskets until you found the head piece to the staff of Ra then you had to get the Inca grappling hook from the spider cave (which you find my using a grenade to blow a hole in the right side of the first room. If you get trapped in a cell in the lower corners just go back and forth at the bottom while pressing down and you will find the secret passage out. The treasure room is on the upper right wall via a secret passage that you have to search for by doing up and down while pressing right), before the spider cave door closed slowly over several minutes, and then use the Inca to navigate the mesa field to the bottom and enter the map room by going down exactly in the middle. Then you had to stand in the right place while having the headpiece active when the sun appeared and a dot would show you the location, which changed each game. Then you had to go down and escape the Nazis back to the market place so you could bribe the Black Sheik to take you to the Black Market so you could purchase a shovel and then you need to get back to the normal Market and buy a parachute. Then you had to get another Inca from the spider cave, all the while the door is slowly closing. Then you grapple through the mesa to the location shown to you in the map room. Then you jump off the mesa and activate your parachute at the right time to navigate into the opening on the left but not hit the tree. Drop the parachute before the thieves steal all your gear. While dodging the thieves, go the the dirt pile at the bottom and use the shovel to dig up the ark.

Comment Good, but could have been Great. (Score 1) 732

Acting wise: Butterfield was Great, pretty much carried the film. (which is good because he had to) Ford and Davis were Good. Kingsley and the rest of the cast were OK. There was not much room for character development outside of Ender, and even he felt rushed.

Plot wise: It was too fast. They easily could have spend another 15 minutes or so developing relationships or showing more Battle Room scenes. Spend time in Salamander showing how Ender thinks outside the box. Spend time in Rat showing how effective Ender's ideas are. Spend time in Dragon showing his command superiority. And there was no reason to tip their hand several times about the ending.

Visuals: They were Great, as expected. However, they were confusing in the Battle Room scenes as you clearly see kids getting "flashed" several times but it wasn't freezing them. You really could not tell if someone was "frozen" until they told you they were. If we have to be told, why have the special effects for it at all? The special effects teams should have done better there.

Direction: Hood messed-up the ending. Here, less subtlety was needed. We need to hear Ender and Bean say what they are thinking. And the observers were just standing there having discussions like it was half-time when they should have been going crazy like they just won the Super Bowl. And Ender should not have spiked the football and done a touchdown dance because Hood never had Ender doing those things before. It was out of character. Also out of character was when Ender became the dual-weilding, Battle Room Bad-A** after just one shooting lesson from Petra. Instead of that, Hood should have had Ender just talk to Petra while observing the battle, pointing out where Bonzo was tactically inept.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Economics of MMOs

Time = Money is not the only reason. And it is not simple. And it is a design flaw, though not directly evident.

Comment Re: Leave the AH in: (Score 1) 219

Time = Money is not the only reason. And it is not simple. And it is a design flaw, though not directly evident.

MMO economies are very dynamic, more so than real life. I've read a few papers, grad students I believe, on trying to analyze MMO economics. One of the papers said most MMOs have issues with rampant inflation because they do not have enough money sinks. IRL, we all spend most of our income on Shelter, Food, Clothing, and Transportation. These are all vast money sinks, mostly due to maintenance of items or its use it and it's worthless nature. (food you have already eaten or clothing you have worn out) Basically, IRL we destroy wealth every day we live. At the same time we create wealth every day we live by performing a job whether it be producing something physical or performing a service. The difference is inflation (a net increase of money supply) or deflation (a net decrease of money supply). In the MMOs, wealth creation is as easy as finding a chest or slaying a mob. But the money sinks are few and far in between. The result is massive inflation which is the less worth a stack of gold coins has for a player because things cost more on the AH. The game designers built in the inflation, though they did not know they were doing it.

Another issue is a shift in the Supply/Demand principles as a byproduct of the wax and wane of the MMO player base over its life. Early game life sees high demand and low supply, mid life sees high demand and high supply, and late life sees low demand and high supply. Economic changes made to fix issues in one phase tend to cause issues in the following. For example, in early life the players complain that things are too expensive and they are constantly broke and cannot afford the best gear at the AH they want to buy. The devs respond by increasing the gold drop from mobs and chests. This fixes the issue until the game's mid life arrives, along with the rampant inflation they introduced. Supply catching up with demand should have brought prices back down, but the inflation prevented that from happening.

Probably the biggest economical issue with MMOs is that they break their in game economy deliberately. They sacrifice economical stability for fun. Let the player hack through the game and easily accumulate vast sums of money and fantastic gear in a few months of casual gaming time because that is what fun means on this MMO. It is not necessarily a bad thing as long as they do not try and pretend to care. Perhaps Blizzard has come to realize that it does not care about D3's economy and decided to stop pretending.

Comment Re:Going against the /. grain (Score 1) 321

I agree. Just keep them as supporting characters. Luke & Leia are Jedi masters and give advice to the new main characters. Han , Chewie, & Lando are business partners and perhaps save the new characters once via some connections. However, along the way the plot kills a few of them to make things real.

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