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Comment: DayZ Standalone et al (Score 1) 669

by zhrike (#46303297) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

Loved the mod for Arma 2, got the alpha right away, have over 100 hours in. Features are still coming, but for me it's already fun. Been snowed in a lot lately, so lots of time for gaming.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution: The original game is one of my all time favorites. I like this one, too.
Banished: Cool, indie strategy/building game.

Also love FTL, and Dwarf Fortress is always on rotation.
Others have mentioned Alpha Centauri, one of my all time favorites, and it reminded me that a spiritual successor is around. Haven't tried it yet:

Comment: Whatever games incite creativity (Score 1) 285

by zhrike (#45800689) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Will You Start Your Kids On Classic Games Or Newer Games?

I don't think the question as posed is particularly valid. It's not about "classic" vs "newer." It's not even about games. It's about the philosophy of parenting and how it might involve various aspects of our culture (wherever we are, and however we define it). We each need to make our own decisions, as parents, in terms of the types of games that we might want our progeny to sample, and they are going to be derived from who we are as parents and as people. Do we wish to enforce our ideas of what games/movies/sports/music are and should be? Or do we want our children to discover themselves and the things that will excite, stimulate, and invigorate them?

Obviously these are big questions and there are many right answers. For me, as a father, I want my son to engage in games that stimulate his creativity, regardless of era. So far, that's been easy, because that is where he generally wants to be.

In terms of operating systems, I watch where his interests go, and lead him towards things that might further develop those interests. While I might explain to him, or show him, the CLI of linux/unix systems, it will always be in the context of "here is why this is cool and powerful," with a concrete example that was arrived at naturally. It won't be forced. I'm also a musician, and the house is full of instruments, and yet I never force him to play. I want him to arrive at the joy of music naturally, or not at all. Same thing with art ( and all other things). I think that there is a larger question inherent in the question posed, as I said, and it needs to be understood.

Comment: Re:Better games came along right after? (Score 4, Insightful) 374

by zhrike (#44943261) Attached to: <em>Myst</em> Was Supposed To Change the Face of Gaming. What Is Its Legacy?

I agree with you entirely. The environment was a big draw - and by that I include the sounds and the music, but the puzzles themselves were, at the time, all encompassing. Why didn't it have a bigger impact? Perhaps because creating something so original and unique is rare. The mechanisms of the game were the framework around which the story was wrought. The story, and the puzzles and the way they were integrated, was the thing (IMO).

Comment: Re:Oracle will do just fine (Score 5, Interesting) 154

they're (sic) sales people are legendary, and that's all that matters. IBM doesn't even bother giving IT a thought nowadays. It's all about the sales people. Oracle realized that ages ago.

Nonsense. I work for a fairly large university in the NE. We were an virtually exclusive Sun hardware/Solaris shop. Due to Oracle's behavior, we've moved wholly away on both hardware and software since they acquired Sun. Good riddance. I also know of an enormous urban school district (where I used to work and still know many people) that has done the same. While this is only an N of 2, I doubt we're all that rare.

While it is certainly true in some cases that sleazy snake oil salesmen snow decision makers, there are also organizations that will make informed decisions.

Comment: Re:Simple protesters were not pepper sprayed (Score 2) 1109

Do you have any idea of the notoriety of this incident? It was caught on video, I suggest you watch it. The officer was out of line, and he did walk up to people, who were sitting, immobile, and pepper sprayed them in their faces. They weren't "surrounded."

Here is an image:


Comment: Revenue models and user behavior (Score 2) 978

by zhrike (#43130559) Attached to: Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

There isn't a website that has yet existed that is necessary. That could also apply to every movie and television show that has even been produced, and most books. If your content is valuable, it will generate value. You just have to find out how.

If I visit a site where ads ruin the experience, I'm gone. There is no content that can justify that reality for me, so I act accordingly.

I find advertising to be reprehensible in its mass form. It conveys the very worst of us, and exists upon, and strengthens, a platform of dishonesty. There are exceptions, yes, but that is the general rule IMO.

I block ads in every way that I can - if I find a site with great content that interests me, I pay for it. That's exceedingly rare.

Point being: if you want to exist, find a different revenue model. If your users are blocking ads, that should be communicating something to you - and very strongly at 50%! Change your behavior, don't try to change theirs.

Comment: Re:What incentive? (Score 2) 179

by zhrike (#42341183) Attached to: Most Kickstarter Projects Fail To Deliver On Time

Many times, I've considered creating a project that is an Open Source, Apple product related, DIY bullshit thing and just taking the money. Heck, I still might.

Congratulations. You're a dick.

Kickstarter is set up in a way that there's no incentive, at all, for anybody to do anything once they get the money.

Except integrity.

Comment: Re: I can assure you... (Score 1) 642

by zhrike (#42104599) Attached to: Hello, I'm a Mac. And I'm a $248 Win8 PC.

Worse, you can't leave windows box without antivirus, so you're screwed

Yes, you can. I've been using windows since the mid-90s, in addition to MacOS, linux, and unix. I've never used AV, and I've never contracted a virus. The performance degradation is unacceptable, and thus far wholly unnecessary. I used to manage an enterprise level AV vendor's product (on a Solaris server, amusingly) and saw firsthand how utterly useless it tended to be. Unless an old virus variant was making the rounds, it was effete. In that environment zero day viruses were far more common than viruses for which the software contained definitions, so what was the point? Maybe things are different now, but I fail to see how. Are the black hats sending definitions to the AV companies before releasing them into the wild?

Comment: A couple (Score 1) 1244

by zhrike (#39273683) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good, Forgotten Fantasy &amp; Science Fiction Novels?

SF: not terribly old, but doesn't get a ton of notoriety, particularly when compared to her other books, is The Faded Sun trilogy by CJ Cherryh.

Fantasy: another book/series that doesn't seem to receive many accolades: The Master Of The Five Magics (and sequels) by Lyndon Hardy:

Others have mentioned The Foundation series by Asimov, both the original trilogy and the later sequels are fantastic, though they are pretty well known.

Another fantasy: The Reluctant King series by L. Sprague de Camp:

SF: I'll second (or third or fourth or whatever) The Berserker series by Saberhagen. Not high prose (but what in these genres is?) but entertaining:

Comment: The "popular press," as usual, gets it wrong (Score 1) 270

by zhrike (#37724504) Attached to: Correlating Psychopathy With Speech Patterns

Most experts count roughly one percent of the population as psychotic. The researchers want to take methods used to analyze the language of psychopaths and apply it to the general population using social media.

Psychotic != psychopathic. These are two entirely differing diagnoses.

For the record, most experts count roughly 4% of the population as psychopathic, though a much smaller percentage actually commit violent crimes.

Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time. -- D. Gries