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Comment Console killer? Really? (Score 0) 263

"Valve's attempt at a console-killer"? Really? No, this is Valve's panicked reaction to what had been the Xbox One's planned digital game sharing, which MS had to temporarily shelve while they re-wrote how the Xbox One handles disc-based games. If you don't remember, the Xbox One was originally going to let any console owner set 10 people to be members of their family sharing plan. Those "family" members (MS stated that they didn't have to be family), could then check out any game out of the owner's library at any time.

Here's the difference between the two plans:

Steam: If the owner of a shared game wants to play any game in their library, any person playing the shared game will be booted, even if the owner wants to play a different game than the one being shared. You are accessing a shared account, not a shared game. Also, Steam knows this immediately. The person accessing the shared library "will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing." You can infer from this that shared gaming will not support offline mode... I.E., Always-on internet access is required to access a shared library.

Xbox One: The system treated shared games as a temporary license transfer. The library wasn't shared; individual games were. Your friend could play the game you lended to them without interrupting your play of any other game on in your library. To handle this license sharing, the Xbox One would, once per day, detect the status of the games and licenses on a console. Despite the constant FUD, the Xbox One *never* required an always-on connection. The requirement was for the console to be connected to the Internet at least once a day while the system did a license check for lended games.

So yeah, you can call this a great accomplishment by Valve and their "console-killer" if you want. You can hail the greatness Valve. But you have to ask yourself, why when Microsoft did it, were they burnt the stake and when Valve does it they're uplifted as a savior?

Comment Re:How to simulate dialup (Score 5, Informative) 120

Exede user here. Here's my typical experience with my satellite connection:

  • Minimum latency: 700 ms
  • Download speed: Paying for 12 Mbps. Real speed: around 20 Mbps. Yes, actually faster than advertised. However, due to the built-in latency, websites feel a little slower to load.
  • Upload speed: Paying for 3 Mbps. Real speed: Usually 1 Mbps. They obviously put low priority on uploads.
  • Data cap: 15 GB/month. However, data is unmetered between 12 AM and 5 AM.
  • Internet access Essentially unfiltered. Bittorrent is throttled. However, enabling protocol encryption bypasses the throttling.

My main issue with Exede is that it's DNS is flaky and sometimes requires me to cycle my network connection to fix. Even worse, it uses a proxy to hijack all port 53 DNS requests, so you can't choose an alternate server with the standard port. Netalyzr's log info on this:

UDP access to remote DNS servers (port 53) appears to pass through a firewall or proxy. The client was unable to transmit a non-DNS traffic on this UDP port, but was able to transmit a legitimate DNS request, suggesting that a proxy, NAT, or firewall intercepted and blocked the deliberately invalid request. A DNS proxy or firewall caused the client's direct DNS request to arrive from another IP address. Instead of your IP address, the request came from [Redacted]. A DNS proxy or firewall generated a new request rather than passing the client's request unmodified.

But other than that, it's still a *vast* improvement over the dial up I had for 15 years.

Comment Re:Windows 8 (Score 1) 255

Metro is intrusive? Your inexperience with Windows 8 is showing. If you're using the desktop, you'll likely only ever see the Start screen for a couple minutes in several hours of PC use. Even then, for most purposes, it works exactly like Windows 7 and Vista. Hit windows key->start typing to the first couple characters of the program you want->hit enter. You don't ever need to use the tiles unless you have some urgent need to use non-desktop apps. Even things like the classic control panel are still there and are easily accessible via a large shortcut on the the "Computer" section of Explorer.

Unless they're coming from Windows XP, almost all the behaviors from programs they know and love should work exactly like they did in Windows Vista and 7.

Comment Re:Brilliant (Score 1) 194

The main problem I've had is that every newer router I've tried in the 3 or 4 years have has had horrible reliability problems... dropped connections and the like. I got tired of messing with them and spent the $50 on the WRT54GL (which is what it's still going for on Newegg: and haven't had an issue like that since. Sure, the wireless is slower, but my WRT54GL's been running stably and consistently despite not having been rebooted in over 2 months. whereas the newest router I had required a full router reboot every couple days. That wasn't my doing. That wasn't a faulty hardware. That was the default setting in the router's setup page under its "maintenance" page. The default setting had the router set to reboot on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Do they make new routers that can maintain a stable connection for under $100?

Comment Dialup? (Score 1) 558

I wish I had the latency of dialup. I'm currently using Exede satellite broadband. So I exchanged a 56 Kbps connection and 250 ms latency with a 12 Mbps connection and 750 ms latency.

It's a trade-off that I had to make. No DSL/cable broadband in my area (southern Indiana).

4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."

Comment Helpful. (Score 2) 215

I don't know if many people on Slashdot have noticed, but this is *not* an untimely change. Why? The price of many new CD releases is now lower than the price of an MP3 album. When Taylor Swift's "Red" album came out, the CD cost $9. The MP3 album cost $15. This is not an isolated incident.

Comment Re:Stop "Hollywooding" the gaming industry (Score 3, Insightful) 337

A game that costs $100,000 to make, but sells at $2/game has to sell over 50,000 copies to make a profit. A game that costs $2,500,000 but sells at $50 has to sell the same. Your first point is only valid if you're willing to pay a higher percentage of the cost.

Dear Indie Game Devs:

  • Your game isn't intrinsically better than others because it looks like a SNES game.
  • Stop making games that think that difficulty for difficulty sake is the best mechanic a game can have.
  • Stop making clones of games from the early 1990s.
  • Stop refusing to sell your game on marketplaces like Steam, Origin, and the Windows Store. You are not hurting "the Man"; you are hurting gamers and yourself.

PC Gamers:

  • Buy games that you like.
  • If a game is worth playing, it's worth paying for. No excuses.
  • The *only* point made when you pirate a game is that the PC has a pirating problem. You are not hurting "the Man"; you are hurting gamers and yourself.

Comment Re:Sen. Wyden. (Score 1) 151

4G, if you can get it, isn't much worse than satellite. I currently have Exede. $75/month for 15 GB of data usage, 12 Mbps. Unlimited data 12-5 AM. However, satellite has a built-in latency of 700ms. Don't expect to be playing any games that require low lag. Also, that latency is definitely felt while surfing.

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