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Comment Software development as a hobby (Score 1) 385

However PC's would probably be more like Workstations reserved for more computer intensive work such as Software Development

I code in Python on my netbook. If a tablet with a keyboard can't do this, and devices capable of software development become no longer affordable to the general public, then on what machine should high school kids be exposed to programming?

Comment Seven advantages of PlayStation 4 over PCs (Score 1) 385

Hairy, meet Crono. I know console fans have some points, and I know PC fans have some points, and I just want to make sure I have the complete picture.

Thanks to the blessing that is HDMI its beyond butt simple to plug a PC into a TV

But you'll need the right case in order to get a spouse to agree.

and you'll be rocking your games in glorious 1080P in no time, with your choice of controller. Hell with Steam having Big Picture mode

Does Steam support buying in Big Picture mode? And a few weeks ago, I tried going to Big Picture mode on Steam on my aunt's PC running Windows 8 (with Classic Shell) and either Steam crashed or the video driver crashed.

if they want to game i can take something like this quad core

PlayStation 4 has eight cores. Eight is greater than four.

and just have me slap it into one of the mini cases

For one thing, you don't serve my area. For another, a PlayStation 4 allows one to walk in and walk out 15 minutes later with a console.

So if they want to sell more PCs and laptops frankly they need to be putting out some ads showing folks just how easy it is

Someone in another thread claims that any gaming PC under $500 will lack most or all of these:

  • An 8-core CPU. It's a Jaguar; do the ma+h.
  • 8 GB of unified memory at least as fast as GDDR5.
  • Ease of use: downloadable games for the platform can be installed through a one-step, controller-operated game installer, as opposed to clicking through EULA, what components to install and where, etc. I'm told GOG installers are traditional mouse-driven Windows installers.
  • Ease of use: not having to troubleshoot Windows administration problems or Wine incompatibilities.
  • A wide selection of AAA games in genres historically under-represented on PCs, including "3D platformers, singing games (and music games in general), light gun games, kart racers," and Eastern-style role-playing games.
  • A consumer electronics-style case as a standard feature.
  • Availability in a brick-and-mortar store in under an hour.

What answer should I give?

Comment F-Droid, games, and anti-features (Score 1) 76

According to this post, using any of the anti-features will hide an application from most users. How should one fund the development of, say, a video game to be distributed to users who have switched to F-Droid without putting in ads (which requires the "Ads" anti-feature) or charging for mission packs after the first (which requires the "NonFreeAdd" anti-feature)?

Comment Permission rationales (Score 1) 76

Most of the permissions on the Cineplex app are perfectly justifiable. "Full network access" is needed to contact the payment processor and venue to buy your ticket. "Add or modify calendar events" is to remind you when the event for which you bought a ticket is about to occur. "Take pictures and videos" appears to be needed for scanning barcodes on tickets and related documents. And perhaps "precise location" is used for getting directions to the venue. My only suggestion is to make Google Play Store require the application publisher to add an explicit rationale for each permission it uses.

Comment Establishing trust through SSL CAs (Score 1) 76

The chain of trust still depends on trusting the first install

There are ways to establish trust for the first install even if it is not from Google Play Store. For example, if I download the APK of VLC from https://www.videolan.org/ then I'm piggybacking on the SSL CA infrastructure, which assures me of one of the following:

  • A. The APK is authentic.
  • B. Somebody compromised www.videolan.org and uploaded a trojan.
  • C. A man in the middle compromised the private key of www.videolan.org and my Internet connection.

How likely are the scenarios other than A?

Comment Split-screen (Score 1) 76

I agree that an Android smartphone is a personal computer. But when you plug your smartphone into an HDMI cable, how many windows can you keep open on the screen at once? Like you, I own an Android device and an Ubuntu netbook, in my case a Dell Inspiron mini 1012. When I'm programming on my netbook while riding the bus to and from work, I routinely split the screen down the middle to see the source code on the left and the output, another source code file, or documentation on the right. I imagine that even non-programmers find it useful to see both the document you're referring to and the document you're writing. But Google has strongly resisted any sort of split-screen feature in stock Android.

Comment Re:Playing together on a sofa (Score 1) 132

The Settlers was released for the Amiga and PCs running MS-DOS. This was possible because it was possible to read a serial mouse with serial port commands (whether Microsoft protocol or Mouse Systems protocol) and a PS/2 mouse with PS/2 port commands. But the Amiga and MS-DOS are no longer commercially relevant; Windows is, and by default, Windows conflates PS/2 and USB mouse input into one stream of deltas.

Comment When the person controls the computing (Score 1) 385

I define "PC" to mean that the person who owns a device controls what computing is done on it. If a device's owner needs permission from some other organization to run a given piece of software, it's not a PC. Kindle Fire and anything with Galaxy or Nexus or both in the name are PCs. Apple devices whose name starts with iP are not. PlayStation 3 was until system software 3.21.

Comment I thought light gun games died with SDTV (Score 1) 132

8 core CPU

I'm getting conflicting results while trying to figure out whether the 8-core CPU refers to eight independent cores or to eight half-cores like in AMD Bulldozer.

8GB of GDDR5 [and moreover, installation of a game for Windows is] not as quick and easy as PSN.

Good point. I'll try to ask the PC fans how important a one-step, controller-operated installer is in the next article, and I bet that by the end of the year, they'll probably have come up with some drawback of unified GDDR5.

music games in general

To pick random examples from the sixth and seventh generations, my cousin plays StepMania and a lot of other people play Audiosurf.

3D platformers

A lot of the Sonic games are on both consoles and PC. Sonic Generations, for example, is on Steam.

light gun games

I thought those had gone out of fashion on consoles after the sixth generation because light guns don't work on LCDs. Or are you including the Wii Remote (and Namco's clone thereof called the Guncon 3) in the category "light guns"? In any case, there are plenty of mouse-controlled shooting gallery games for the PC, many in the style of the classic Area 51/Time Crisis style arcade light gun games.

kart racers

You mean like Split/Second, Blur, Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing, and its sequel? But in general, thanks for reminding me of what genres are still underrepresented on PC.

if you buy an Xbox, you want the exclusives, just like if you buy a PSfoo you want those exclusives

And if you buy a gaming PC, you want the exclusives. There are currently a lot more exclusives on PC than on any given console, though that includes a lot of non-AAA games, and it may change in this generation depending on whether one classifies OUYA as a PC or a console.

Comment No gamepads on iPod touch 4 (Score 1) 289

Apple is also dropping support for the fourth-generation iPod touch, which was the current model nine months ago. Because gamepad support is new in iOS 7, and game developers who haven't been able to get into Nintendo's far more selective developer program will be itching to finally have access to physical controls, watch games get quickly updated to be incompatible with the iPT4.

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