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Comment Re:D&D (Score 1) 336

The EarthDawn group I play with use a combination of Skype, Palbee (webservice for video conferencing & white-boarding), and occasionally Twiddla for whiteboarding when Palbee refuses to work. Twiddla has a die-roller built into the chat client which is nice, but no video. We're a small group scattered across 3 timezones, so we're trying to get away with free services as much as possible. I'm really hoping Wave can integrate all these elements.

Comment Re:Dear Westerners, please leave Iran alone.. (Score 1) 1032

They gave the UN plenty of time to verify it last time. Hans Blix was run off his damn feet inspecting Iraq, and he kept coming back saying there wasn't anything there every damn time. The US, in spite of his non-findings, chose to invent evidence where there was none to justify an attack. It was like a news station with an on-the-spot reporter telling us that it was sunny, summer day, and the anchor man correcting him by saying 'Actually, we have some anecdotal evidence that it's actually snowing there right now, so we're going to go with that.'

Comment Re:Better than red dye, apparently (Score 1) 324

Blue No. 1 is called "brilliant blue" and, as is typical of modern dyes, was originally derived from coal tar, although most manufacturers now make it from an oil base. Blue No. 2, or "indigotine," on the other hand, is a synthetic version of the plant-based indigo that has a long history as a textile dye. Indigo, which comes from the indigo plant (Indigofera), has been used for probably at least 4,000 years. There is a written recipe for dying wool with indigo on a Babylonian cuneiform tablet dated to the seventh century B.C. There is evidence that it was used in neolithic Europe and in pharaonic Egypt. It also comes from the woad plant (Isatis tinctoria), and was used by the Celts in Scotland to dye their faces.

Comment Motor City Online (Score 1) 1120

Probably the best game EA ever made. It was really quite sad that they didn't know what to do with it once it was done. It needed better marketing, more support, and a few bug fixes, but it had a fantastic community and game-play that they haven't matched since. You could really tell that they had no clue how to support an MMO. ( and I'm not sure that's changed)

Comment Re:off the top of my head (Score 1) 506

"But how many games does the low end actually buy?" Are you counting World of Warcraft? IMO, the lower barrier of entry is at least half the reason WOW outsold and continues to outsell its competitors. Even Maple Story has millions of users, and I'm guessing that has plenty to do with the fact it can be played on essentially anything (free doesn't hurt either).

Comment Re:dev perspective: MMOs not made to challenge pla (Score 1) 463

The point of MMO's isn't skillful play. MMO's are more like Snakes and Ladders, keep rolling the dice until you get to the top. And yet, Snakes and Ladders is still a successful game, you can still go out to a Toys R Us or Walmart and purchase it. The real draw of Snakes and Ladders, (like MMO's) is that everyone can win, and it's something you play socially.

Comment Re:You're in a lost cause (Score 1) 902

It's not an entirely lost cause, but there are some caveats. I work in an environment with a similar ratio. ~400 users and 6 IT people. 2 administrators, 2 techs, 1 on help desk, and 1 web guy. We inherited several kludgy systems when we came on the scene 10 years ago, and daily network interruptions were common and over a hundred trouble calls a day were the norm. We started by streamlining the networking services. We began replacing the desktop hardware with new equipment to take advantage of warranties and reduce our stockpile of obsolete replacement gear. We upgraded and standardized everything. We purchased tools so we could do a lot of things remotely. We locked down our users. No unauthorized software gets installed, ever. They use a standardized desktop and nothing gets saved to the desktop. Within 2 years we were down to less than a dozen calls per week. It's gone back up since then, but those are external factors. It was all possible because we had a budget, and really good management.

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