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Comment Re:This actually looks really unusable (Score 1) 317

It looks like the main buttons are on the top and back. I see the usual two sets of triggers, but there are also two big buttons going down the middle. I guess you'd press them by squeezing your middle and ring fingers, which I don't think has been done before. It's a neat idea; trying to put four fingers on the triggers always makes me feel like I'm going to drop the controller.

Comment Re:Today's Slashvertisement brought to you by... (Score 1) 317

Second... no, it isn't interesting new technology. It's technology that's been around for the past two decades at least, wrapped up in a slightly different package.

To be fair, that is what basically all new products are.

For gamers, a new type of video game controller is a big deal. Compare a DualShock 4 gamepad (2013) to an SNES gamepad (1990). They're still remarkably similar. The basic concept of two analog sticks, a D-pad, start/select, four face buttons, and some shoulder buttons has been the standard for well over a decade. The exceptions are some niche attempts at motion control that haven't worked so well for actually gaming. Using trackpads to replace the analog sticks on a gamepad is a new idea. It sounds pretty clever, assuming they can optimize the design.

I personally don't find vaporware advertisements interesting -- when they have an actual product, that I can hold, or buy, or at least get a fucking diagram to build a prototype of it, then it's interesting. Because in my world, interesting is defined as "shit I can use", not "shit someone in marketing dreamed up."

Part of the announcement is a request for beta testers. Beta hardware will be shipped in the next few months with plans for release early next year. That's not vaporware. As someone who's eligible for the beta, I appreciated the heads-up.

Comment Re:It was a casual game (Score 1) 374

Well, I didn't say it was *justified* sneering. But I wouldn't call it 100% artificial either. Big-name casual games are usually not the most sophisticated of their genre. (Fans of tower defense games complain bitterly about the simplicity of Plants vs. Zombies, for example.) There are legitimate criticisms of any work of art.

Myst players weren't all part of the gaming community. Many (most?) never played other games, except for stuff like Solitaire. And Myst sold 3-6 times as many copies as the most popular hardcore games of that year (e.g. Doom, Secret of Mana, Mega Man X). It might have been niche in an absolute sense, but it didn't seem that way at the time.

Comment Re:This isn't the history I remember. (Score 1) 374

I do not perceive that there are any more than there were in the late 70s/early 80s (remember Dallas, Dynasty, etc?).

Well, I was born in '82, so no. I turned 18 the year Survivor launched, so my view is probably colored somewhat. I fled to anime for a few years, and when I came back to American TV it looked very different.

Comment Re:This isn't the history I remember. (Score 1) 374

Of course, on the other hand, they answered their own question when they compared the hype to "The Sopranos", as far as I can tell, "The Sopranos" changed nothing about television shows.

I don't know; it sure seems like there are a lot more serial dramas on American TV in the post-Sopranos era. In the first few years of the millennium it was almost all sitcoms and reality shows. (Not that there's a shortage of those today, but when I was a kid, it seemed like *every* TV show as purely episodic.)

Comment It was a casual game (Score 3, Insightful) 374

Why didn't Myst have a larger impact? The answer is in the article:

Much of the game's popularity was thanks to casual players who found themselves drawn to its evocative, violence-free world; many hard-core gamers found it obtuse and frustrating, its point-and-click interface slideshow-esque and stifling. Maybe Myst wasn't for hard-core gamers. Maybe it wasn't even really a game.

It also explains the distinction and the draw:

I was about 11 when I landed on the island for the first time — a couple years late; CD-ROM technology took a few years to come to our house. NES and Sega were more or less verboten throughout my childhood. That didn't stop me from playing hours of Zelda at my friends' houses, but because I didn't have nearly as much time to practice getting "good" at console games, I remember having a bit of anxiety about navigating a virtual world, feeling painfully inept in comparison with my friends, for whom a controller felt as natural in their hands as a no. 2 pencil. But now, here I was in a world where video game aptitude was irrelevant: rather than a mastery of timing and hand-eye coordination (ah, remember that old argument to get your parents to buy you a Nintendo? "It'll improve my hand-eye coordination, Mom!"), Myst required little more than your eyes, your ears, and a healthy sense of curiosity.

To that I would add that the pre-rendered graphics looked much nicer than most other games available at the time.

I was a gamer when Myst came out. I remember it being sneered at by the hardcore crowd. The people talking about it changing the face of gaming were the ones salivating over its sales figures. But casual games don't seem to create new genres so easily. For a while it was Myst, then it was The Sims, then Angry Birds, Farmville, Plants vs. Zombies, and who knows what else. And they're all different! Whatever makes a casual game popular, it doesn't seem to be easy to clone. At a guess, I'd say it's personality.

(Why did we sneer at Myst? Because every gaming executive secretly wants their company to be a casual gaming money machine. When they start talking about "the future of gaming" being being point-and-click slideshows, it sounds very threatening to us. The modern version of this is "the future of gaming is mobile", i.e. games with a terrible touchscreen interface. But since gaming happens across so many different platforms now, it's less scary. Plus, we're older, so we've seen this pattern a few times.)

(Also, I was 12, so I sneered at everything.)

Comment Re:One skeptic's impression (Score 2) 310

The task also appears partially hindered by the better safe than sorry attitude (among the scientists?) that we should skip the science and go straight to the cure.

I must point out that this is pretty standard risk mitigation, particularly given that reducing CO2 emissions will take many years. (The more the better, for economic reasons.) You're not supposed to wait for 100% confirmation of an impending disaster before taking steps to prevent it -- ask any insurance company. Had we started seriously trying to cut emissions 20-30 years ago, we'd be in a much better position now. Likewise, starting now is much better than waiting another ten years. And reducing fossil fuel usage is something we need to do anyway, both because of pollution and because we're running out of them. Again, starting on those problems early is a good idea.

The enviromental movement has been a good force, but to much of a good thing here would result in economic disruption backed only by good intentions ... I just hope that society and planet survives the cure. It would be tragic if folks pushing their agenda to save the planet end up killing it.

Those are some pretty big assumptions given the state of economics as a science, and the lack of consensus therein. What makes you think the economy is that much more fragile than the climate?

Comment Re:Yep (Score 2) 488

They show a difference of ~30-50ms between iOS and Android. Based on previous discussion about input lag in LCD monitors, that seems to be a range that some people find very annoying and others don't notice at all.

Comment Re:Yep (Score 1) 488

The part that really bugs me is how they implemented the "scroll up = reappear" part. If I drag the page up, stop, then lift up my finger, nothing happens. I have to fling the page so that it keeps moving on its own momentum to get the toolbar to reappear. How do you screw that up? Was anyone really upset about not having those pixels to begin with?

Comment Re:It's slow and just plain ugly (Score 2) 488

I agree with your criticisms. I have found a way to fix one thing, if it helps:

Almost everything is smaller and harder to read, and it's not obvious what is a "button" and what is just text in a corner somewhere.

In the accessibility options, turning on "Bold Text" will make the app names in the home screen bold again, which makes them much easier to read. Unfortunately, the other problems seem to be unfixable so far.

Comment Re:Yep (Score 0) 488

This may have been true a few years ago with Android handsets generally being underpowered, but the hardware caught up a while ago already.

I'm talking about stuff like how much lag there is between me swiping my finger and the app list scrolling to the next page, or between me pushing a button on the phone keypad and the phone responding to the button press. I tried several a few different Android phones that my friends had and several store models, but always saw the same thing. I went with an iPhone 4S (this was last year).

If the responsiveness has improved since then, that's great news, and I'll definitely pay more attention to Android next time I go phone shopping.

Comment Yep (Score 5, Informative) 488

There seem to be two different kinds of slowdown. The first is due to the new animations for things like going back to the home screen. The second is more intermittent, and happens mostly when task switching. Both of them are annoying. The whole reason I went with iOS over Android was the snappier UI.

The disappearing Safari toolbar also drives me crazy. I wish I had held off on upgrading. Hopefully Apple will have some tweaks and patches out soon.

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