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Comment Not enough crunch (Score 2, Insightful) 242

Having written, albeit small bits, in the gaming industry, we often talk about crunch, the real rules and meat that you can really grip onto and take and run with. I mean, the backstory is nice on some products, but the crunch is the stuff I can use as a player or gamemaster.

Gleemax never had much in crunch. It was all fluff and drove me crazy. It had a crappy name. (Seriously, the concept of maximum glee brings up either the image of a hyperactive 5-year-old or a massive of singing sweater vest people - either way, not attractive.)

It also seemed to try to be everything to everybody, which is a failure.

They SHOULD have tried a scaled back thing oriented towards a product line and then expanded slowly to guarantee enough content and interaction. The way it was, when I first checked it out, was that I couldn't do anything, and there was rarely enough new to see, so I stopped coming back.

And seriously, if I play an MMORPG, then I already HAVE a community. I don't need a second. I play a few single/multiplayer games (Civ IV, NWN2, etc.) and one MMORPG (EVE).

Government

Infringement 'Detrimental To the Public Health, Safety' 348

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has declared that copyright infringement 'substantially interferes with the interest of the public in the quality of life and community peace, lawful commerce in the county, property values, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare of the county's citizens, its businesses and its visitors.' You might laugh, but that means they can close up a property for up to one year for violations of the anti-infringement ordinance [PDF] and the owner can be fined $1,000 for each infringing work produced on site. Not to mention the penalties in the PRO-IP Act, which just sailed through the House."
User Journal

Journal Journal: New life

Well, long time since my last journal entry.

I live in Georgia now, not California. I have a synagogue I like here. I'm no longer married and that relationship is over. I'm happier now. I'm in a wonderful, loving relationship with someone who really likes who I am.

I find myself growing frustrated with the way things are in this country. Too much divisiveness. No one is getting anything done in D.C.

DS Games for Pre-readers? 256

ProfJonathan writes "My daughter just got a DS from the grandparents for her 6th birthday. She's only beginning to read, but wants a bunch of games of her own rather than just playing her older brothers' games. She got Nintendogs with the DS, so that's taken care of, but other relatives are asking what she might want. Can anyone recommend some good DS games that don't require reading skill, that might be age-appropriate and interesting for a 1st grade girl?" Wouldn't it be creepy if the kid had a really good brain age?
Enlightenment

Submission + - Rolling my own parental controls in Linux

ZekeSMZ writes: It's been a year since I made the switch from windows to Ubuntu, and I can safely say I'm never going back. One of the best things I've done is to set up an Edubuntu system for my kids — ages 4 and 2. With applications such as Supertux, TuxPaint, G Compris, Stellarium and even Kolf, they amuse themselves for hours with the machine and can't damage it like they can a Windows box.

Now that my 4 year old is learning to read and type, I'd like to set up some form of parental controls on my network. I consider myself a moderately competant Linux user, but I do not have anything approaching the skills of the talented sysadmins I've worked with over the years. So, I'd like to reach out to the Slashdot community for advice on how to lock down my network so that they won't accidentally bump into the seedier side of the web.

What are the best firewall apps to use for internal filtering? Do (or could) any of them support pro-active whitelisting, where I could get an email with a blocked URL that my kids tried to visit, and in response — I set up a rule to allow or deny access to the URL. This is a fairly mainstream feature of various parental control software out there, how could a similar solution be set up in Linux?

I'm going to assume that my kids are smarter than me and will one day figure out how to own the network. You get bonus points if you can give pointers on setting up a dual system, one that they can hack, and one that is running in the background in silent or stealth mode to monitor activity. My intent here is not to be big brother, but rather a responsible parent.
Networking

Submission + - Timewarner DNS Hijacking

Exstatica writes: "It looks like Timewarner is taking botnets into their own hands. They've hijacked dns for a few irc servers. The latests being irc.vel.net, irc.mzima.net, and irc.nac.net all part of EFNet. Using ns1.sd.cox.net the lookup returns an ip for what looks to be a script that forces the user into a channel and issues a set of commands to clean the drones. There have been different reports of other irc networks being hijacked and other dns servers involved. Is this the right way to handle this? Is hijacking DNS illegal?"
Security

Submission + - Nearly 900K US Troops health care records exposed

blueser writes: Military Times reports that "personal health care records of nearly 900,000 troops, family members and other government employees stored on a private defense contractor's nonsecure computer server were exposed to compromise". Exposed information includes social security numbers, names, addresses and coded health data. The contractor has been aware of the data breach since May 29, when USAFE notified them about an insecure data transmission. The Petangon and FBI have already been involved, and the contractor is already notifying those that have been affected.
Power

Submission + - Oil (or Not) in Your Future (connectlive.com) 1

mdsolar writes: "Over at The Oil Drum there is an interesting discussion going on about a report released (in draft form) by the National Petroleum Council. The report is a response to questions from Secretary of Energy Bodman about the ability of oil companies to meet projected demand for oil (at a reasonable price). The report seems to say that this cannot be done and recommends that the government 1) force conservation through efficiency regulations, 2) shift to other energy sources, 3) reduce regulation on drilling in the US, 4) use US power to force open markets in oil, 5) pay for the education of engineers in the oil field, allow retiring workers to consult without tax penalties and raise H1-B quotas and 6) pay the oil industry to accept carbon dioxide from coal use for sequestration.

The discusion at The Oil Drum is finding that the report is fudging on the peak oil issue while at the same time predicting a greatly increased oil supply mainly from the Middle East using new technologies and discoveries. My own acerbic take on the report findings can be found here."

Republicans

Submission + - White House Says Hill Can't Pursue Contempt Cases (washingtonpost.com)

rook2pawn writes: Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege. The Moderate Voice asks "what is Congress remedy? Increasingly, Bush administration actions appear to be actually provocative aimed at throwing the matter into court. Could it be because George Bush now has more friends on the Supreme Court who believe in a stronger executive and will back him in the end? If they back him, the United States traditional definition of checks and balances may have to be heavily revised."
Google

Submission + - Which Google Should Congress Believe? 1

theodp writes: "In Congressional testimony last month, Google's VP of People Operations told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration that, due to limits on the number of H-1B visas, Google is regularly unable to pursue highly qualified candidates. But as Google stock tumbled in after hours trading Wednesday, Google's CEO blamed disappointing profits on a hiring binge and promised Wall Street analysts that the company would keep a careful eye on headcount in the future. So which Google should Congress believe?"
AMD

Submission + - Processor: AMD Releasing Phenom (blogspot.com)

Suray writes: "Officially, AMD have been releasing new generation processors named Phenom. Phenom processors are based on Barcelona's architecture. As soon as possible, this new label of processors name called Phenom will be found in the next generation of desktop processors family from AMD. AMD's processors called Phenom with previously processors (AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Sempron) will comply with a request on the computing needs."

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