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Comment Re (Score 1) 294

The only reason I ever saw "Downfall" was having seen parodies of this scene on YouTube, then thinking "Damn, that movie looks good!", then adding it to my Netflix queue. I'm very pleased that I saw the movie (it's excellent!), and I never would have if not for these ridiculous parodies.

'Iceman' Gets 13 Years For 2nd Hacking Offense 289

Hugh Pickens writes "Computerworld reports that Max Ray Butler, who used the hacker pseudonym Iceman, has been sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for hacking into financial institutions and stealing credit card account numbers, the longest known sentence ever handed down for hacking charges. This isn't Butler's first time facing a federal hacking sentence. After a promising start as a security consultant who did volunteer work for the FBI, Butler was arrested for writing malicious software that installed a back-door program on computers — including some on federal government networks — that were susceptible to a security hole. Butler served an 18-month prison term for the crime and fell on hard times after his 2002 release. In desperation, he turned again to cybercrime and by the time of his arrest in September 2007, he had built the largest marketplace for stolen credit and debit card information in the world."

Avataritis — On the Abundance of Customizable Game Characters 78

Martyn Zachary writes "The Slowdown has posted a new critique, 'Avataritis,' that attempts to portray the utilization of character customization as a pandemic, emotional response on behalf of publishers and developers to finding the easiest, most efficient solution to the very unique dilemma presented by the enlarging, widening player base of video games. 'No mechanisms are in place stopping developers from writing and designing heterogeneous yet fully structured, narrative-based computer games with carefully constructed and immutable, unchangeable characters.' The article discusses the emergence and role of gender criticism and research in relation to the recent proliferation of the customizable avatar. The story also dissects the very act of character creation, subsequently aiming to clarify several semantic distortions related to the terminology utilized in character creation, and in turn breaking apart the concepts of relatability and understandability, wholly differentiating the two. The overarching analysis is finally related to examples from the gaming marketplace, where many continue to corroborate apparent falsehoods and misunderstandings in relation to the utilization of the avatar. Ultimately, the writer hopes to dissuade readers, developers and players from believing that written narratives are going away as customization and emergent content are entering video games with full force."

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In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.