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Comment Re:More Info & Dashboard (Score 1) 1657

I'm not denying climate change, far from it, I am saying that there are aspects of it that smell of bad science, and the demonisation of skepticism is a very dangerous precedent. I'm sick of the whole debate honestly, but one thing I know for certain: climate scientists, a while ago and ever since, bought into the politics of the debate, and as far as I'm concerned they can go fuck themselves

Translation: you're not denying climate change because that would make you sound unreasonable, considering the vast amount of evidence, so instead you'll perform an ad-hominem attack on the messengers. This is a standard tactic of climate deniers.

Comment Re:Slashdot Had the Option to Interview Him in Mar (Score 1) 489

I guess some people harbour angry feelings towards him for releasing that military video - something along the lines of loose lips might sink ships. I think more good than harm came from releasing the video, but I can see where it strikes a nerve with some people.

To me, this highlights the crux of the problem with Slashdot - moderators with a political agenda. Just because some Slashdot readers might have a negative opinion of his previous work releasing the helicopter videos because their politics don't agree with him, they downvote a potentially interesting story. Whether you agree with his agenda or not, you have to admit it would be an interesting interview.

Now I fully expect this comment to get down-modded by the exact same people that down-modded the interview in the first place.

Slashdot over the years has turned from a forum that used to house excellent discussions to a tyranny of the majority - democracy at it's worst where any few idiocracy wannabes with mod points can make sure your post never gets read, not because it is an unworthy post, but because they don't personally agree with it.

Comment Re:I have one. Meh. (Score 1) 780

But Apple insists on offering no price breaks, they insist on going through iTunes to activate the stupid things, they insist on going through their company for any sort of new application installation (yes yes, I know about the court case and jail breaking), and currently they insist on using AT&T.

You just said earlier that a $500 iPad + $400 ruggedized case ($900 total) replaces a $5500 toughbook. That sounds like a great discount to me.

Regarding your wireless issues - Get Verizon Myfi's on your business plan and put them in every cruiser, connected to the cigarette lighter so they battery never runs out. Use Wifi iPads - problem solved. The cruisers have full wireless access using your existing Verizon business plan and you save $130 each on the iPads because you don't have to buy the 3G version.

Also, regarding your third problem of iTunes activations - corporate administrators can activate and deploy Exchange, Wireless, and VPN configurations to devices remotely. Apple has some great tools to do this. You can even deploy updates to all your devices through your Exchange server. You don't need iTunes to do this.

Comment Re:Elf needs food badly! (Score 1) 164

Well, kind of - I love Gauntlet. It's really a lot different because the aliens can come from any direction also above or below you, so they quite often have the element of surprise. There also aren't really monster generators, except there are some biomass you have to burn with a flamethrower or a mining laser.

But yeah, it's kinda like Gauntlet in space...

Comment Re:Game idea (Score 1) 422

Sounds like it would make a great game!

If done right, it could be an awesome game. If a great development team could channel rage against past employers, maniacal bosses, and crazy deadlines into a Postal style rampage game it could be awesome.

Sadly, in order to have the material necessary to create a game like this, the working conditions would have to be so intolerable as to insure that any such game would be terrible, thus, it will probably never happen unless a bunch of disgruntled developers form their own indie studio to create it.

In fact, I think DudeBro 2 just might be something similar, made by some industry veterans. I can't wait for more games parodying the industry in general.

Comment Re:Hunter/Gatherers may have had more fun at work. (Score 1) 422

Yet when you come to examine it the original affluent society was none other than the hunter's - in which all the people's material wants were easily satisfied.

If by "all people's material wants" you mean plenty of furs, bones to make tools out of, and lots of meat to eat, and a life expectancy of 30, then yes, everyone's wants were satisfied. If, on the other hand, your wants consist of hot and cold running water, sewer treatment, medical care, police, firemen, roads, transportation, and a life expectancy of 80, I would suspect a great deal of wants were not met by a hunter-gatherer society.

I love these Luddites that claim everything would be great if we would just go back to living in caves or tents somewhere in the woods. Why don't they try it themselves for a few months first and tell us how it is?

Comment Re:Welcome to the Real World (Score 1) 422

Those benefits do sound extremely nice, however, keep in mind what Sony-Ericsson is - a failing mobile technology company that is currently getting their lunch eaten by Apple. Does giving most employees 10 weeks off per year, 6 months paternity leave, etc, make them better able to compete against US companies like Apple that give their employees only 2-4 weeks off per year?

I can see that yes, in a perfect world, every father would like 6 months off to help raise their newborn, but what happens if that father is an engineer in a critical position 3 months before the launch of a new smartphone? Do you just say "sorry guys, we'll release the phone next year after Jens gets back from paternity leave"?

Comment Incredible (Score 3, Informative) 164

Wow, 149 comments and not a single one modded up about actual gameplay?

I'll go first - it's a pretty fun game. It's a squad based top-down shooter based on the Source engine. Multiplayer using either shared or dedicated servers. You choose one of 4 roles - Commander, Special Weapons, Tech, or Medic. There can be more than one Medic for example, but most missions require at least one Tech to hack open doors.

You choose your weapon load-outs and characters/roles and enter the mission. You can carry two main weapons and one off-hand weapon. Some of the main weapons are unique to the character type - for example only Special Weapons can carry an auto-gun, and only a Medic can carry a medic gun, and some are available to all players. As you complete missions you gain XP and levels, which unlocks additional weapons. The levels are account specific, not character specific - for example I can get to level 9 playing as Special Weapons, which unlocks the Medic gun, and then I can switch to Medic so I can actually use it.

The controls are fairly simple - W,A,S,D for up/down/left/right, and the mouse controls aim/firing, but since it's top-down you do have to aim in 3d space - you can aim close or far away. Friendly fire does happen with all but a couple weapons so you need to be careful not to hurt your teammates.

Aliens swarm from almost everywhere - I guess that's how it got the name. They do come from creative places - climbing up from hatches in the floor, jumping down from the ceiling up above, climbing walls and tunnels. You can never be sure where they will come from. The missions seem to be mostly linear objectives, like gain access to this area, go here, destroy the alien biomass, escape, etc. and are filled with choreographed sequences of alien battles to keep you on your toes. If you stay too long in one area you will start to get random alien attacks as well, so it's not 100% choreographed/scripted.

There are only about 7 or 8 missions in the game, and a group of friends and I were able to complete all of them on Normal mode in a few hours last night. We got to level 10 or so and unlocked a lot of weapons in doing so. I guess now the only thing to do is play it on Hard modes or wait until they release more maps/content.

Some standouts: Your off-hand weapons are very unique and can be used for tactical advantage. For example, you can get combat flares that increase auto-aim effectiveness when dropped, hornet swarm missiles that are heat seeking, even adrenaline that makes the game go into slow motion - which has to be the coolest effect. In slow motion everything goes into The Matrix-like mode where you have tons of time to aim and line up your shots. The game also does it at certain times on it's own just for dramatic effect.

Conclusion: A fun but short game - it will be interesting to see what type of content the mod-community creates for it. The squad-based tactics can be surprisingly deep if you have a good group of players on voice communication. Definitely worth a download for at least an afternoon or evening of fun with 3 friends.

Comment Re:The shining irony of this event (Score 1) 757

is that Verizon will be the first one out of the gate with Block C 700MHz LTE service -- which will put them on the spot: they are *required by the terms of the license* -- thanks, Google -- to allow any device that meets their published tech specs to connect to that network.

That sounds really awesome, but what happens if there is no manufacturer out there that will sell devices directly to consumers? What if Motorola is so in bed with Verizon, seeing as how Verizon is their biggest customer, that they only sell LTE handsets to Verizon, which are horribly locked down?

The monopoly players will still price fix and play the same carrier/handset mfgr. monopoly games they've been playing for years. We will still not have any freedom to legally run as root on our endpoint devices. "The man" will still try to control us and keep us locked down in any way possible.

Comment Re:As do other products... (Score 1) 757

If you could figure out the necessary code to flash to the chip - which wouldn't be easy - yeah, you could reflash the chip via the JTAG port.

This assumes that you could even access the JTAG port. In the "olden days", JTAG was a 300 baud serial port with a DB9 connector. It's still serial but chances are it's either a couple very small pins on the board, or the JTAG port may not even be physically accessible at all on the PCB except in engineering samples that are designed to be reflashed many times.

I wouldn't count on being able to "un-brick" your phone after the eFuse has been tripped, unless you have some highly specialized lab equipment.

Comment Re:Flash, that big a deal? (Score 1) 159

(And Jobs could easily force Adobe's hand by requiring third-party platforms support new features by new OS release date. App store apps using said platform will be removed until updated runtimes are available. Thus, native developers have advantages in having apps ready all the time, while those reliant on 3rd party platforms get locked out until the platform is updated. And everyone saves face, except Adobe has to work harder in getting their Flash updates in time with iOS updates...).

That's an interesting idea, but what do you do when someone purchased an app only compatible with iOS 3.1.3 and they want to update to iOS 4? Do you just break all their existing (already purchased) apps? I suppose a lot of apps already break in this manner, but I would be more concerned with customers that may have bought very expensive apps like Omnigraffle ($50) who end up without being able to run it on future iOS versions.

Comment Re:Flash, that big a deal? (Score 1) 159

To be fair, the version of Flash that people are installing on their iPads is a hacked version of the Flash Player 10.1 for Android that was just barely released a couple weeks ago. It still has a lot of issues with Flash that requires hover actions, and playing back video at a decent framerate. Most of the complaints I've seen are that it is impossible to scrub video because the controls are too tiny to actually tap on with a finger.

Personally, I don't blame Apple for not including it with the iPad - It wasn't even available when the iPad was released, and it doesn't have the user experience Apple products are known for - trying to watch Flash video that is so small you can't even click on the play or pause button is going to be an exercise in frustration for anyone.

Once Adobe fixes these bugs, I have a feeling we might see something change from Apple, and they may include it with a future release of iOS or Safari.

Comment Re:Pointless (Score 1) 204

Cheap, dead-simple "Game rental", buffet-style. Pay per hour, not per game.

I've tried OnLive, and yes, it is simple, but their game rentals are in days, not hours. I wish they had a pay per hour service, but unfortunately right now the game publishers are killing the service before it even started. Every game has a different rental price. For example, Borderlands costs $8.99 for 5 days or $5.99 for a 3 day rental, while Batman: Arkham Asylum is only $6.99 for 5 days or $4.99 for a 3 day rental. The publishers even have arbitrary restrictions like "this game may be played on PC clients but not Mac;" even though the OnLive client runs fine on Mac.

I will give them credit: most games have a free 30 minute demo mode which lets you play 30 minutes for free. This is a great way to try out new games and find out if they suck or not before potentially buying them in a store. I would not buy a game here though - If OnLive goes out of business, and I can't see how they're going to make much profit, to be honest, all my games I've ever purchased are GONE permanently.

When the "1st year free" offer runs out, I'm not going to resubscribe. $50 a year just to be able to pay full retail price to buy games stored in a digital locker that I can't even download to my own PC, and can only play at 720p with compression artifacts? No thanks.

Comment Re:In order to avoid Microsoft and Apple ... (Score 1) 344

... they could provide their games on bootable Linux discs. No install needed, no patches possible, full control over the player's experience, with the added bonus of being able run the games in Linux. Just a dream? Also no need to update DirectX.

This would never work because of the myriad hardware/driver configurations necessary to support, and distribution rights for chipset, graphics, and sound drivers. Even if they could produce the magic Linux boot CD that would work on every gaming PC made for the last 15 years, on Intel, AMD, Nvidia, ATI, Matrox, and any other graphics card known to man, Nvidia would still go after them for distributing Nvidia copyrighted software without the rights.

Comment Re:What a sham! (Score 1) 833

Nonsense. First, Blizzard already has the real name associated with an account. If they want, they can already do all that data-mining you're so concerned about. The publishing of the RealID names on the forum are completely unrelated to this.

You're right, but one thing you haven't thought of is that up until now, they have never had a way to map a social network of real life friends, or friends that play multiple games together. Just because your character friended a good healer that kept their group alive didn't mean they had a real world connection. But now, with Real ID, in order to map your social network, you have to know your friend's email address. This mapping persists across characters and even realms (servers). In other words, Blizzard wants to be the next Facebook for gamers. They've already announced the next will have targeted ads within the loading screens. This is just the first step in Activision destroying the Blizzard franchise by milking it for all it is worth.

I knew Bobby Kotick would destroy Blizzard, and it looks like it has just begun. I play games to escape reality, not to get griefed in real life because I pissed someone off in a PuG (pick-up group). Being anonymous on the Internet is important, because even if you aren't a troll or an asshole, there are a lot of trolls and assholes out there that might want to make you into a target for abuse. Especially if you are female or different in some way (gay, perhaps).

The first time a person gets ganked in real life after forum combat, you will know that Activision/Blizzard is a soulless corporation that cares more about profits than the safety of their customers.

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Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde