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Comment Re:This can happen only in Korea (Score 1) 136

After teaching English in both the Korean and the Japanese public school systems for years, I honestly have no idea where these stereotypes come from. The kids in this part of the world don't have as many bad influences outside of the classroom and they do spend a lot more time with their heads in the books but they're equally as zany, off the wall and out of control as their Western counterparts. They still skip class, smoke and get into all sorts of other trouble outside school, especially here in Westernized Japan where the precursors to gang/swarming behaviour are already taking route. The main difference between the UK, Canada and Korea is that kids spend so much time studying and are under so much more pressure to perform on academic tests that they really don't have time to be silly.

Comment Play mods. (Score 1) 854

I hate how people claim that games are too easy, yet they refuse to really dig into the internet and see what mods are popular that might enhance their experience of any number of games. There are great mods out for many major titles and since they're developed by gamers instead of large companies, you get more of the things you want and fewer of the things you're made to think you want. I can name dozens of mods that have more enriching, engrossing multiplayer than their host games to the point where I don't even buy new games anymore.

I haven't bought a new game in a year yet I'm constantly playing new and more enthralling stuff. I recommend taking a few hours and looking at to see what's out there for you, unless you're a console gamer... in which case, there is no hope.

Comment Re:Maybe it wasn't timing, but milieu (Score 1) 235

The problem is that PC gaming is dying as online console gaming gains ground.

Most new exciting games are being released for consoles. There are only a few really hot titles for the PC.

I'm going to start from the assumption that you know very little about modern PC gaming and work my way back.

If you were to say: "major titles being PC exclusives" I'd agree with you. That is relatively true. A combination of a large console market with the fact that most major titles are released on the PC as ports has a lot to do with it. A big part of the reason for this is that PC games are pirated so often that developers don't seem to put much effort into creating a unique PC experience anymore. Consoles are squarely in the spotlight here.

I'd only say PC gaming loses out to console gaming in this one area. Consoles get all the "big" titles. PC gaming, on the other hand, gets all the user-made content (modding), the community, MMOs (very few on consoles) and most developers who will one day make games for consoles start out on the PC. I guess a valid analogy would be between Hollywood blockbusters and independent/Cannes films. If the consoles get all of the former then the PCs get most of the latter.

PC gaming has only lost out to console gaming in the sense that it doesn't generate nearly as much revenue. Creativity wise, PC gaming kicks console gaming's ass.

Also, take a trip to Korea or China. Notice how those countries produce a ton of PC games for the domestic market and in both countries, consoles have hardly made a dent. PC gaming is far from dead, it's just adapting.

Submission + - SpaceShipTwo completes first manned glide flight (

incognito84 writes: Good news for anyone interested in future space tourism ventures. From the news article: "10th October 2010, Mojave, CA. Virgin Galactic, the US company developing the world’s first commercial manned space flight system and tourism business, is delighted to announce the successful completion today of the first piloted free flight of SpaceShipTwo, named the VSS Enterprise. The spaceship was released from its mothership at an altitude of 45,000 ft
(13,700 metres)." I look forward to buying a ticket on one of these flights when they become affordable for run-of-the-mill dreamers.

Comment That'll be the day. (Score 1) 104

I can see this happening for casual gamers as most of the games they play can already be played on a smaller, handheld device. Like you really need a PS3 to run Tetris, The Sims or Farmville.

For serious gamers? Unless by "mobile" you mean a VR device I can mount on my head/stick in my retina, I don't think I'm going to be switching over to any "mobile" device any time soon. Gaming is important enough to me that I'm content having it as the main attraction in my living room.

Comment Stay away from... (Score 2, Informative) 121

I just made my fifth or six trip to Akihabara over the weekend.

Stay away from any store that says "PC game" (in Katakana). Chances are, by "game" they're referring to softcore-porn DVD roms... They're usually B1 level and full of otaku perverts. I went into a few looking for a specific PC title and it took me a bit to realize what was actually going on.

I highly recommend taking a couple thousand yen to a big arcade like Club Sega. Fun times.

Comment I think parents are to blame... (Score 3, Interesting) 477

I was talking to my folks recently about whats going on in my hometown.

I grew up on a dead end street where lots of kids live. Lots of kids still live there. There is hardly any through traffic. When I was a kid, we'd play games on the street pretty regularly. Anything from street hockey, to improvised soccer, to water gun fights... you name it.

Recently a new generation of kids on that street started doing some of the same things. The police were called, parents fought and eventually it was decided that it was beyond inappropriate for the kids to play there. One of the main reasons that seemed to be cited was a large fear of child abductors and the fact that they couldn't always be supervised.

So thanks to years and years of pampering and isolating our children from fears both real and manufactured, a new generation of kids won't have any memories of the street I grew up on. Instead they'll all stay inside and get fat in front of their Playstations and we'll blame the Playstations for all their problems. Might as well put them on Ritalin to keep them from using all that pent up energy, too.

Nuclear Energy Now More Expensive Than Solar 635

js_sebastian writes "According to an article on the New York Times, a historical cross-over has occurred because of the declining costs of solar vs. the increasing costs of nuclear energy: solar, hardly the cheapest of renewable technologies, is now cheaper than nuclear, at around 16 cents per kilowatt hour. Furthermore, the NY Times reports that financial markets will not finance the construction of nuclear power plants unless the risk of default (which is historically as high as 50 percent for the nuclear industry) is externalized to someone else through federal loan guarantees or ratepayer funding. The bottom line seems to be that nuclear is simply not competitive, and the push from the US government to subsidize it seems to be forcing the wrong choice on the market."

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