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Comment Re:Let me have my many offline alts! (Score 1) 594

It seems reasonable to me for Blizzard to not want millions of people to fill up their server-side storage with eleventy-million characters, most of which will rarely, if ever get played.

I agree; maybe I was unclear. What I want is the ability to play an unlimited number of single-player-only characters and store the save data on my own, local machine.

There's no reason for Blizzard not to provide this option, except as DRM and maybe to encourage real-money exchanges. The only official explanation I've seen is some limp-wristed story about how they don't want players to spend a lot of time building up a locally-stored character, then decide they want to use it to, and get upset when they find out they can't. Just sounds like an excuse though.

Comment Let me have my many offline alts! (Score 5, Informative) 594

The real evil here, where players will suffer even if they don't mind jumping through the hoops, is the limit of 10 characters per game copy, even if they are only used for single player. That pisses me off. I've been told you don't "need" more than that many, because there are only five classes times two sexes, and apparently no exclusive character choices such that you would need alts for game-mechanics reasons. But you're SOL if you want to enjoy the game experience from level 1 forward and don't want to delete any of your old characters.

But... I went and picked up my collector's edition this morning anyway. I already play all-online games such as World of Warcraft with similar limitations. I can reluctantly live with with paying for Diablo III as long as I think of it that way: as a limited Internet service and not a game you can really, you know, have. It would be a better product if it were the latter, but oh well. Hopefully it will at least be fun.

Comment Re:Security through obscurity? Again? (Score 2) 111

The only way this would be "security through obscurity," in the sense that cryptography experts typically use that piece of jargon, is if they trying to be obscure about the means of hiding the flu data, in addition to hiding the flu data itself. Hiding the flu data is just plain old secrecy.

Since we are talking about scientifically reproducible data, I guess you might be hinting at an analogy to the mathematics or source code behind a cryptographic system: it's foolish to assume that bad guys wouldn't be able to learn facts about H5N1 anyway, in the same way that you shouldn't assume that crackers won't know how your security software operates. But, in a pragmatic context, some temporary secrecy might work out to be a good if imperfect idea—I don't really know.

Comment Re:Security through obscurity? Again? (Score 1) 111

All security is through obscurity. If somebody knows your key, or your hiding spot, or what time you have to put down your shotgun to take a crap, you're through. All cryptography does is let you protect a large secret with a smaller one.

What you say is true, but it doesn't really address security through obscurity. Yes, all information security is carried out through some form of literal obscurity, but the phrase "security through obscurity" is a piece of jargon that involves keeping the security system hidden. In other words, some security engineer has Idea A that can be used to protect Secret B, but only if A remains secret as well. That's bad.

Avoiding security through obscurity means drawing a clear box around the information you intend to obscure—that is, the key—and saying with confidence, "Nothing other than this needs to remain secret."

But then, the flu studies are the informational content, not the key nor a system used to keep that content secret, so security through obscurity really has little to nothing to do with this thread.

Comment Re:I have an idea for the style guide (Score 4, Informative) 262

How about, when naming variables, you have to put the first letter of the typename in the start of the variable name!

Hungarian notation isn't about using the typename at all.

Indeed. Here is some good reading on the actual purpose of Hungarian notation, although of course it's used wrong far more often than not. I've never used it myself, correctly or otherwise, but I acknowledge that the original intent was at least sensible.

Comment Math quibble (Score 1) 355

in 2009 ebook sales began to rise exponentially

As a geek I'm honor-bound to demand some sort of support for this mathematically interesting statement. Were ebooks really adopted at a rate proportional to the number of ebooks already out there? It's plausible, but sadly I suspect this is just careless hyperbole.

Comment Re:Oh, they can fuck right off. (Score 1) 258

2) If the protesters are interfering with mass transit, they're just being assholes.

Agreed, however...

1) BART has no obligation to assist them in doing so. BART had every right to turn off their equipment.

...the BART authorities did have an obligation to keep that equipment turned on for normal, paying riders. We're not talking about a private business here; BART is a public, government-run facility and those transponders were paid for by our taxes and fares. They were shut off out of needless and stupid paranoia and it wouldn't have helped prevent an unlawful protest even if one did materialize, so it inconvenienced riders including me for no benefit whatsoever.

And yes, the inconvenience was relatively small. But do you think it's wise to let them take an inch here?

Comment I want more than ten characters! (Score 2) 591

I'm surprised that more people aren't complaining about the limit on purely-offline, single-player characters. (I.e., you can't have any, and can have only ten online characters at a time, even if they never see any multiplayer.) It's enough to keep me from buying the game. I'm a chronic altitis sufferer and I won't be able to relax and enjoy the game if I know I'm tapping a finite resource when I click the "New Game" button. Even if the game is good—especially if it's good—I'd rather avoid the temptation to get invested and be all the more be frustrated when I eventually hit the ten-character limit. Better to just play Diablo II and Torchlight instead.

And by the way, the game will still be cracked.

Comment Re:Excellent! (Score 1) 445

Except it is not a punishment in that sense. It's bail. You have to post that even without conviction. It's not like they'll keep it.

But then what is the value of showing the defendant "what it was like to have something he really valued taken from him" if the court hasn't even concluded yet that he's guilty of taking anything of value from anyone else?

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