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The Almighty Buck

America's Army Games Cost $33 Million Over 10 Years 192

Responding to a Freedom Of Information Act request, the US government has revealed the operating costs of the America's Army game series over the past decade. The total bill comes to $32.8 million, with yearly costs varying from $1.3 million to $5.6 million. "While operating America's Army 3 does involve ongoing expenses, paying the game's original development team isn't one of them. Days after the game launched in June, representatives with the Army confirmed that ties were severed with the Emeryville, California-based team behind the project, and future development efforts were being consolidated at the America's Army program office at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. A decade after its initial foray into the world of gaming, the Army doesn't appear to be withdrawing from the industry anytime soon. In denying other aspects of the FOIA request, the Army stated 'disclosure of this information is likely to cause substantial harm to the Department of the Army's competitive position in the gaming industry.'"

Comment Have to agree, from experience... (Score 5, Interesting) 203

I had a Newton Message Pad 100 (the very first model) which I bought cheap in '94 on a whim. It was already totally outdated when I bought it. Still, in its lifetime, I printed from it, sent and received faxes from it, all kinds of stuff you'd normally need a computer for. Totally handy.

Come '96 and I'm in grad school and I take every note for the whole two years on that thing and it was GREAT. I mean really, had it been a pain would I have kept on the entire time? Having a pretty big screen meant you had plenty of room to scrawl out those notes on the screen, and as I had maybe not 'neat' handwriting, but at least consistent handwriting it worked great.

In 1996, being able to search your notes on the computer saved me so much time that I could have a band. So maybe having a Newton didn't get me chicks, but at least the band did!

Then, in 2000, I was still using it. But I accidentally left it on a conference room table after a meeting and it disappeared. It actually got STOLEN. In the 21st century.

Submission + - What scares you most about Russia?

andhar writes: In the comments to the story of the Russian policeman turned YouTube celeb, there were lots of comments that warned caution for Russia when visiting the cop's site. My question is, what scares Slashdot readers most about Russia today?

Also, I ask all commenters to post as AC as a show of support for the non-anonymous non-cowards out there letting the sun shine in.

Comment Re:Unnecessary surveillance? (Score 1) 125

The 'Windows 7 Sins' stunt was pretty retarded, but the guy (I admit I don't know who he is, and what he's known for) in the interview afterwards is really articulate and makes a very good argument against proprietary software. No beard, no stink of geek, just a smart guy with a cause.

Maybe someone out there can edit out the giant garbage can?

Comment Obligatory Trackman Marble FX... (Score 1) 137

This baby, the Trackman Marble FX, is the gold standard for pointing devices. Four programmable buttons and mousing position that doesn't require you to twist your arm and put your palm on the table. I would gladly use it today, except that if you use a PS2 to USB adapter, the buttons are no longer programmable. Major, major sadness!

On the other hand (no pun intended), I now make good use of a tablet with stylus -- another pointing device that doesn't require the arm-twisting. It takes getting used to, but it's sooo much easier on your arm. Take care of your arms -- don't just start using a mouse with your left hand.

Comment Found my list! (Score 1) 513

Here's my market survey (of serious contenders) -- it doesn't mention Reaper, though we checked that too.


OK, so we seem to be slightly cutting edge with our hy-tek plans for fame and glory. As I kept searching, I could hardly believe that there was such a gap in the software market between Macs and PCs. It all seems so very 1993 or something. I mean they all run on Intel processors now, so WTF, mate?

By my market survey, here's the options...

Tracktion -- Mac & PC, slightly dodgy, but it's 100 bucks (or free if you want to try the keygen).
Cubase -- Mac & PC, not at all dodgy, but it's 500 bucks.
Audacity -- Mac, PC, Linux, but please...way too limiting even for us.
Traverso DAW -- Mac, Linux, Windows, kinda better than Audacity, but not really. Need I say more?
Logic 8 -- Mac Only
Protools -- Must have Digidesign soundcard
Cakewalk -- PC only
Ardour -- Mac, Linux

So, 400 bucks difference is a lot of beer money or like a plane ticket to Berlin or something.

Comment Compared ALL the OS's and options... (Score 1) 513

I was recently kicking off a recording project with my sister, who lives in the US and uses Vista. I use OSX and live in Sweden. I did a complete market survey, trying to find a cross-platform solution for OSX and Windows (also taking Linux into account, since I'm a geek that way) and there was simply nothing that measured up to Cubase in terms of compatibility and interoperability and capability.

I really wanted to NOT come to that conclusion, but I couldn't. I didn't want to support Big Software, but I couldn't get around it for professional use. I've tried Ardour with Jack and all that, but except for the simplest projects, it just doesn't make it. And I just couldn't possibly support someone else in trying to get all that installed and working on another OS on another continent.

Sometimes you just have to bite the sour apple, as they say in Sweden.

Comment Sociolinguistic filter... (Score 2, Insightful) 341

When all is said and done in this case, the fact that it was not an English-speaking courtroom will indelliby color its legacy. There are few 'neutral' mainstream sources for information on the proceedings. Much of the translated materials is provided by activist translators, people with an agenda, and this information is going to be left on the interwebs for evermore. No matter the outcome, the egg's on IFPI's face.


Submission + - The sound of perceptual transparency? 1

andhar writes: I hate audiophile audio and mp3 audio almost equally, though for different reasons. I was sitting contemplating lossy audio compression and the concept that you can throw away data and have the result be perceived just like the original — perceptual transparency. I then wondered to myself, is there a sound of the data thrown away? I.e. the sound of that which is not perceived.

Does anyone know how this would be calculated or even if there are any examples of this posted on the interwebs somewhere?

Submission + - Pirate's Bay book on Pirate's Bay

andhar writes: The Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports that the new Swedish book Piraterna, which pieces together the stories of Pirate Bay, anti-pirates and fil-sharers themselves, popped up on Pirate's Bay two days prior to its release.

I'll leave it to you to google translate the whole article, but the highlight for me was when the author tells how at first he was quite angry. Then, however, he begins to wonder what's the meaning of it all. "Fscked?" Maybe. "Read" is more like it.

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