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Comment A counterexample... (Score 4, Insightful) 130

"It's important to realize that making a first-person game almost necessarily means making a game for the dedicated gamer." ...emphasis on the "almost." I think Portal is a great example of a FPS that's interesting to serious gamers while still accessible to casual ones. One of the main reasons I don't play more FPS titles nowadays is their length: a lot of games, like Half-Life and GTA, build these epic saga storylines and take many days to play thoroughly. In high school, I thought both of those were awesome (especially HL2 and Vice City, respectively) but now, in college, I just don't have time. Portal is so short, I played it in one sitting. It's also simple: you have exactly one kind of gun throughout the game, and only a handful of opponents. It's the antithesis of a game like WoW, (which I realize is not FPS), and which requires a lot of in-depth game-specific knowledge and deep time commitment to become good at. Portal goes to great lengths to teach players how to play as they go along. The developer commentary is fascinating... each of the first few levels has a specific concept that it's designed to convey. If you understand quickly, these levels go by fast. If you've never touched a controller in your life, I'd bet money that you could still do them. It's all part of the challenge.

Comment This Will End Badly (Score 5, Interesting) 296

I bet Bruce Schneier will post on how bad an idea this is any hour now. Some classic Schneier: "Why Technology Won't Prevent Identity Theft" http://www.schneier.com/essay-255.html ...and what about the old-fashioned Law of Large Numbers? If you give 390,000 people access to something, the chance that some of them are criminals is: 100%! (Rounded to the nearest six decimals or so.) Simply because there are 390,000 of them.
Linux Business

Linux Flourishes In 200-Year-Old Gold Markets 195

tbarkerload writes "H-Online [a spin off of a major German daily] reports on a gold trader managing over 15 tonnes of gold, worth $660m, with a platform built on open source tech. BullionVault operates a 24-7 electronic market in gold bullion open to both retail and professional traders. Their systems handle thousands of daily transactions from both human traders and bots operating through their API. If Linux has reached the world of hundred year old assaying firms, and Swiss vaults buried in mountains, can final world domination be too far away?"

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