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Comment What about non-free-to-play with f2p elements? (Score 1) 181

say, for example, cut the rope 2, which was not free but where you had to use consumable powerups to get certain items in the levels (the "clovers") in order to unlock some levels, only after a major outcry the developer changed it so you could get access to the extra levels if you got 3 stars on all the others. You also get a 'daily gift' (usually a powerup or two) just so you are semi-forced to check in every day, and there are also other obnoxious mechanics so as soon as you spend a little bit of time thinking about a level the "level solution" powerup starts blinking annoyingly. And this is on a non-free game!

I had insta-bought all previous cut the rope games pretty much and 3 starred most of the levels in all of them (great mechanics, om nom is cute) and I had gotten a lot of my friends into them, but I have honestly given up in disgust with cut the rope 2 (only gone through 1-2 worlds) and will not give the developer a dime for "powerups" or any further games they will release.

In terms of "pure" f2p I am actually enjoying hearthstone, I had never played a card game before but it is definitely fun (after you lose enough games to get matched up with similar "f2p" opponents without tons of rares/legendaries), it took me losing about 15-20 games in a row before I ended up at a level where I more or less win 50-60% of the time and my opponents also only have "standard" cards. I figure blizzard is losing money on me as a player, but I figure the wow subscription I have been paying for many years more than covers this (if at all I think Blizzard should give a free card pack every month to WoW subscribers as a random gift, if it was retroactive it'd be even better ;) )

Comment Re:Clarification (Score 1) 277

you would use the HSM (or a usb key on a trusted computer with your passwords, for lower security scenarios, say, where you have a colo and/or don't want to buy an hsm) to 'prime' the system to avoid having the issue where you either have to leak a little bit of info or you don't know for sure if the first few users' passwords are correct or not right after a reboot, as part of the reboot process you would log in in turn with all these known usernames/passwords in order to get the system up to an initialized state so it can validate 'real' users properly.

Comment Re:Clarification (Score 3, Insightful) 277

why would you need multiple people assigned to this job? seems to me if you are really concerned you could 'prime' this system by using an attached HSM with however many random accounts/passwords you'd like to be logged in at bootup: outside of somebody physically breaking into your server room and stealing your keycard it would seem quite secure to me...

Submission + - More on the Disposable Tech Worker (sciencemag.org) 1

Jim_Austin writes: At a press conference this week, in response to a question by a Science Careers reporter, Scott Corley, the Executive Director of immigration-reform group Compete America, argued that retraining workers doesn't make sense for IT companies. For the company, he argued, H-1B guest workers are a much better choice. "It's not easy to retrain people," Corley said. "The further you get away from your education the less knowledge you have of the new technologies, and technology is always moving forward."

Comment Re:Devs don't want to maintain old versions (Score 4, Insightful) 199

who asked for maintenance? I just want to be able to reinstall the same version I was already running before, if to do so I have to click a 'this is unsupported, you are on your own' checkbox then whatever, I just want to:

- if I have an old device and I wipe it, I want to be able to reinstall the applications I ALREADY HAD ON IT even if new versions are available (which would not run on it)

- if a developer releases a bad update (significant changes in functionality, crash bugs in my scenario, redesign, whatever), I want to be able to downgrade to the previous version I ALREADY HAD

developers would totally be free to say 'if you want this issue fixed you need to upgrade to version x.y.z', that's fine with me, but as things stand now the state of walled garden app markets is not very good: if in my job I told my customers that they have to force upgrade to every release (major OR minor) I put out and they won't be able to downgrade after doing so I would (rightly) go out of business very quickly.

Comment Re:Which is why I recommend running 1 version behi (Score 1) 199

that works until your old version has a major security hole and your choice becomes moving to the new version or risking being exploited: for example I've always run my ipad2 on ios5 until ios7 was released, then ios6, but now I *had* to update to ios7 due to the ios6 patch for the major security hole not being available to me (given that my ipad2 can run ios7 itunes only gave me the choice to update to that).

I completely agree with this article, I also think there are no reasons but greed to prevent itunes from installing old applications on your old idevice, I have an old ipod touch 1st gen that still works perfectly, have a lot of still very useful apps on it, but if something happened and I had to wipe it I would not be able to reinstall pretty much any of them due to the itunes store not allowing me to, it's a really bad state of affairs (for users) but then again that's what happens when you buy into a walled garden ecosystem, you are at the mercy of what's more convenient/makes more money for the company, not what's best for you.

Comment Re:Why worry - its natural selection in action (Score 1) 747

thing is that measles doesn't have only death as a serious side effect, much more common is deafness and inner ear disorders, which make your life not a lot of fun, believe me, and those are not necessarily always linked in the stats (esp. considering that the risk for things like meniere's goes up A LOT if you've had measles as a child, but you might not get it until decades later)

Submission + - 1GB of Google Drive Storage Now Costs Only $0.02 per Month

SmartAboutThings writes: Up until today, I always had the impression that cloud storage was pretty expensive and I’m sure that many will agree with me. It’s a good thing that some bright minds over at Google have the same impressions as they now have drastically discounted the monthly storage plans on Google Drive. The new monthly storage plans and their previous prices are as follows: $1.99 for 100GB (previously $4.99), $9.99 for 1TB (previously $49.99), and $99.99 for 10TB.The 2 dollar plan per month means that the price for a gigabyte gets down to an incredibly low price of only two cents per month.

Comment Re:Just a Tool (Score 1) 181

if you have a set of slides there is no flexibility, if you are giving a chalk talk (and you actually know what you are talking about) you can tailor the talk to the audience, if you know a part is understood you can skip things, if you find a point that is more difficult to understand you can add context, provide more examples etc.

Slide talks are best at presenting facts, not that great at conveying information (since there is no flexibility), and quite bad at fostering discussion (since your audience generally won't be very engaged), so the decision here to stick to chalkboard talks seems like a good idea.

Comment Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (Score 1) 482

the same thing that you would do if you don't vaccinate and your kid gets measles and ends up permanently deaf, in the end it's about probabilities, the probability of measles having bad side effects seems a LOT higher than the probability of vaccines having bad side effects, ergo it should be obvious what to do.

This said people are not rational, the odds of getting run over crossing the street are much higher than a lot of other events people worry way more about...

Submission + - Bug in the GnuTLS Library leaves many OSs and Apps at risk (arstechnica.com)

williamyf writes: According to our friends at ArsTechnica:

"The bug in the GnuTLS library makes it trivial for attackers to bypass secure sockets layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protections available on websites that depend on the open source package. Initial estimates included in Internet discussions such as this one indicate that more than 200 different operating systems or applications rely on GnuTLS to implement crucial SSL and TLS operations, but it wouldn't be surprising if the actual number is much higher. Web applications, e-mail programs, and other code that use the library are vulnerable to exploits that allow attackers monitoring connections to silently decode encrypted traffic passing between end users and servers."

What's even more, the coding error *may* have been present since 2005, so one has to wander, again, where were those "many eyes that render all bugs shallow" one keeps hearing about...

Submission + - Goodbye academia : Says MIT researcher (blogspot.co.uk)

mage7 writes: Some excerpts from the blog post :
"In 2001, about to graduate from college, I turned down a programming position at a hedge fund. Instead, I chose to do bioinformatics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for a much lower salary...
As a postdoctoral researcher at MIT, I am not even back to earning what I did ten years ago as a junior programmer with no skills or domain-specific knowledge...
However, one aspect of being a professor has been terrifying me for over five years now – the uncertainty of getting funding from NIH. No let me rephrase that. What is terrifying is the near-certainty that any grant I submit would be rejected. I have been waiting for the funding situation to improve, but it seems to only be getting worse"

It me also be noted that the said researcher has launched a kickstarter campaign to fund protocols.io, "A free, up-to-date, crowdsourced protocol repository for the life sciences".

Comment Off the top of my head (Score 3, Interesting) 531

Windows:
- microsoft security essentials
- windows firewall control (commercial)
- cygwin
- notepad++
- sysutils (procmon etc.)
- ultramon (commercial)
- launchy
- sharpkeys
- autohotkey
- visual c++ express
- 7-zip

Mac:
- little snitch (commercial)
- macports
- better touch tool
- keyremap4macbook
- iterm2
- alfred
- geektool
- menumeters
- caffeine
- xcode

Linux:
- whatever distro-specific set of packages gets me all the dev stuff
- (if needed) whatever distro-specific repository gets me extra packages (say, epel)
- kde
- xfce
- various personal customizations done over the years (xmodmap, ...)

Everywhere:
- firefox (noscript, requestpolicy, adblock, flashblock)
- emacs
- python / virtualenvwrapper / git ...
- bash customizations (powerline, bash completions, personal scripts)
- libreoffice and latex
- truecrypt
- virtualbox
- dropbox
- gimp

these are the baseline, beyond that it depends from what I am using the actual computer for

Submission + - Income Inequality Through Assortative Mating: Marry Up (pewresearch.org)

retroworks writes: While tax laws, minimum wages, and patent extension are frequently blamed for the rising gap between "haves and have nots", an international economics study finds another simple factor behind income inequality. Marriage. As gender equality has improved in the professional workplace, paired incomes don't occur randomly. "Better educated people are increasingly more likely to marry other better-educated people while those with less formal schooling are more likely to choose a less well-educated partner." Using Census data, the (UPenn directed) researchers found that "across the board, the income gap between couples with relatively high and those with relatively low levels of education had widened substantially since 1960 relative to the average household income... the relative earnings of couples with high school degrees had fallen by 20 percentage points relative to the average while the household incomes of highly educated husbands and wives had increased by 43 points."

The Economist http://www.economist.com/news/... notes, " The economic incentive to marry your peers has increased. A woman with a graduate degree whose husband dropped out of high school in 1960 could still enjoy household income 40% above the national average; by 2005, such a couple would earn 8% below it." And in Slate, http://www.slate.com/articles/... Matthew Iglesias puts it in terms a nerd can related to. "She likes Doctor Who; I like Star Trek...But one thing about us is pretty similar: We both went to fancy colleges full of people with high SAT scores. And in that regard, we’re pretty typical." Perhaps "Natural Selection" is the best explanation for rising college tuition, and increasing student debt.

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