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Comment Thanks Citizens! (Score 1) 713

Thanks, citizens of Oregon! With your continued efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle, you are helping to ensure that this planet of ours is around for generations to come. Kudos to you for cutting down on your driving, buying new, fuel efficient vehicles, and using alternative methods of transportation.

Unfortunately, we're gonna have to fuck you.


Does Obama Have a Problem At NASA? 479

MarkWhittington writes "Has NASA become a problem for the Obama transition? If one believes a recent story in the Orlando Sentinel, the transition team at NASA, led by former NASA Associate Administrator Lori Garver, is running into some bureaucratic obstruction." Specifically, according to this article NASA Administrator Michael Griffin made calls to aerospace industry executives asking them to stonewall if asked about benefits to be gained by canceling the current US efforts to revisit the moon; we mentioned last month that cutting Aries and Orion is apparently an idea under strong consideration by the Obama transition team.

Comment Huh? (Score 1) 412

I didn't have anything except a cell phone when I signed up for FiOS. Granted, I signed up for FiOS TV + Internet, but I could have just as easily left the TV off and they would have connected it. My neighbor has that setup, and I've been thinking about dropping the TV myself.

Comment What a stupid reason to hate Python (Score 1) 997

As someone who has no particular love for Python, I'm not encouraging you to use it. Still, of the possible criticisms of the language, the whole "using indentation to delimit blocks" is probably the worst. It just works, people. I went into it skeptical too, but Python's parser is smart enough to handle just about any style of indentation you throw at it, so long as you're at least somewhat consistent in its usage.

If you want "Python without mandatory indentation", Ruby is probably about as close as you'll get, though they're significantly different. Still, if that's your gripe about Python, you owe it to yourself to at least give it a try before you write it off.

Comment You have to compensate (Score 2, Insightful) 1123

If you're not going to go get the degree, you have to compensate for it by being more competent than you otherwise would have to be to get the same job. When I walk into a job interview people look at my resume, and bang, strike one. I have to make up for that by being better than their other candidates by enough to overcome the bias. You say you're an enthusiast, but almost everybody trying to get an entry level position at any decent company in this industry is to some extent. The question becomes, are you better than most enthusiasts with degrees?

If I had it to do over again, I'd just get a degree. With the economy in the crapper, now's the perfect time to do it. If I didn't love my job and have a mortgage to pay I'd probably do it myself.

By the way, there's always the tech support route. It's real easy to get a tech support job without a degree. Sure, the work sucks, but you get your foot in the door somewhere. If you're good, you can move out of there into a "real" job. The flip side to that is that a resume with nothing but tech support on it might actually be worse than no resume at all. There have been "Ask Slashdots" about that before.

Comment Re:Its worth noting (Score 1) 603

Give them an HD Content for a month and they'll quickly learn however.

Not bloody likely. My parents have a 50" LCD that does 1080p with FiOS and all the networks in regular and HD. They often watch the standard def versions. They couldn't really tell the difference between DVD and VHS, either. They're in their 50's, decent eyesight. It just doesn't make a difference to them.

They also have a nice 5.1 setup and had their receiver locked in mono for about 6 months. Couldn't tell.

Comment Whoa, whoa, whoa (Score 1) 604

Yes, non-compete agreements have been difficult to enforce in IT because it's hard, as an IT worker, to get another IT job that doesn't violate the non-compete in some way. They're not going to let the companies take your livelihood away based on a non-compete. That said, if you quit your job and go implement something which is pretty obviously the *same* product, they'll have no problem getting you for that.

Get a lawyer, since it's stupid to ask slashdot for legal advice, and maybe he'll tell you something different. Don't be surprised when he tells you to (*ahem*) not quit your day job, though.

Comment How out of touch can an insider be? (Score 1) 446

We don't make any money when someone rents it, and we don't make any money when someone buys it used

Sure you do. That copy of the game came from somewhere. You want to sell games in boxes like physical goods, you should be ready to have them treated like physical goods. Toro doesn't make any money off the sale of a used lawn mower, either. That's not something that needs fixing.

I think a little bit of it is education so people realise that the reason there's no PC market right now is piracy. I mean, Crytek just put out some numbers saying the ratio was 20:1 on Crysis, for pirated to non-pirated use. So guess what? That's why there's no Gears of War 2 on PC, because there's no market, because copying killed it - and that's gruesome to a company like ours that's been in the PC market for so long.

Go tell Activision there's no PC market.

Sure, piracy is a problem, but you can pirate console games too ( The barrier to entry is slightly higher, but still pretty low. The problem for Epic -- and Crytek, since both companies basically make the same game -- is that the post-apocalyptic-13-year-old-wankfest shooter has been done to death on the PC already, and that's all they know how to do.

Besides, why buy an Epic shooter when you can buy a Valve shooter? They're doing fine in the PC market, too. Of course, part of that might have to do with them actually making good games instead of just tech demos for their engine (all Unreal games basically). Kudos on making a game with an actual story for once, but "humanity's home planet gets attacked by hostile aliens and an unlikely hero must shoot his way through all of them" was more fun when it was called Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, Half-Life, or even Halo.

I think we're a long way from losing the impulse buy when you walk into the mall or the game store and decide to pick something up.

Not really. Brick and mortar game stores are painful places to go nowadays. No, I don't want to preorder title-that-isn't-coming-out-for-6-months. Everybody I know buys everything they can through Steam, and preorders their console games and everything else they can from Amazon. I don't think I even know where the nearest Gamestop is anymore. Even if I did, if I really wanted to pick up a game in person, Wal-Mart or Best Buy usually have much more stock of any games I actually want.

This guy seems to have a good grasp of the sales figures. I'm sure Gamestop does a brisk business of grandmas going to the "game store" to pick up a present, and I know the console market in general is a lot bigger than the PC market. Still, I can't imagine this guy actually plays videogames. I get the complete opposite impression when I read interviews with, say, Gabe Newell or Mike Morhaime.


Beating Comcast's Sandvine On Linux With Iptables 361

HiroDeckard writes "Multiple sites reported a while ago that Comcast was using Sandvine to do TCP packet resets to throttle BitTorrent connections of their users. This practice may be a thing of the past as it's been found a simple rule in the Linux firewall, iptables, can simply just block their reset packets, returning your BitTorrent back to normal speeds and allowing you to once again connect to all your seeds and peer. If blocking the TCP packet resets becomes a common practice, on and off of Linux, it'll be interesting to see the next move in the cat-and-mouse game between customers and service providers, and who controls that bandwidth."

Must a CD Cost $15.99? 586

scionite0 sends us to Rolling Stone for an in-depth article on Wal-Mart and the music business. Wal-Mart is the largest music retailer selling "an estimated one out of every five major-label albums" in the US. Wal-Mart willingly loses money selling CDs for less than $10 in order to draw customers into the store, but they are tired of taking a loss on CDs. The mega-retailer is telling the major record labels to lower the price of CDs or risk losing retail space to DVDs and video games. (Scroll to the bottom of the article for a breakdown of where exactly the money goes on a $15.99 album sale.) "[A Wal-Mart spokesman said:] 'The record industry needs to refine their business models, because the consumer is the ultimate arbitrator. And the consumer feels music isn't properly priced.' [While music executives are quoted:] 'While Wal-Mart represents nearly twenty percent of major-label music sales, music represents only about two percent of Wal-Mart's total sales. If they got out of selling music, it would mean nothing to them. This keeps me awake at night.' [And another:] 'Wal-Mart has no long-term care for an individual artist or marketing plan, unlike the specialty stores, which were a real business partner. At Wal-Mart, we're a commodity and have to fight for shelf space like Colgate fights for shelf space.'"

Maine Rejects Federally Mandated ID Cards 621

WebHostingGuy writes "The State of Maine rejected the federally mandated ID cards passed by Congress. In a non-partisan vote the legislature flatly stated that they would not force its citizens to use driver's licenses that comply with digital ID standards, which were established under the 2005 Real ID Act. It also asked Congress to repeal the law."

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