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Comment Re:More advertising data (Score 1) 86

New services don't have to pay off directly or immediately. The only value they need to offer Google is to encourage customers to also use their other services, many of which *are* monetised, or they may figure out a way to get more direct value from it later. If neither turns out to be the case, they eventually discontinue it.

Nobody is required to use this, but I'm having difficulty seeing what new privacy-destroying features it adds. Any company that syncs your contact list already has your friend network, and if that company also offers location services (or even just sees your IP) then they already know where you are.

Comment Re:Not misleading? (Score 3, Informative) 76

Can you be specific? I just rewatched the two videos on the Steam page, and apart from a number of minor graphical differences, there was nothing in there that I haven't seen in some form while playing the game. Caves, megafauna, alien monoliths, space battles over huge freighters, trading posts, walker robots, space stations - everything's in there.

Well, there were sub-second shots of a large beast pushing trees aside and what looked like a crashed freighter - not seen those, but they were only shown briefly as set decoration, not gameplay-related.

Comment Re:Steam Page (Score 4, Informative) 76

Leaving aside that the vast majority of the so-called "bullshit" in that video is purely subjective (e.g. "real" dinosaurs, "will you get bored") or trivial (e.g. a creature pushes aside trees), it's clear that nearly all the player grief stems from Murray's responses to questions about multiplayer - and the video shows those responses entirely out of all context.

I watched a lot of the original interviews at the time, and while Murray did on some occasions answer with tentative "yes" responses to questions like "can you play with your friends" and "can you grief other players ("kinda") - questions that could be ambiguously interpreted, but I agree he should certainly have answered differently - he also spent considerable time downplaying any suggestion of multiplayer, saying it's not that sort of game, it's not about playing with others, it's not designed for that, and anyway there'd be virtually zero chance of meeting other players anyway. You saw none of that in the video, which was obviously designed to pick over everything he said in hindsight and show it in the worst light.

I get that some people really wanted multiplayer in there, but that was never claimed on any marketing material, and Murray invariably tried to steer away from those questions if it came up in an interview. Personally I never thought for a moment that it was a multiplayer game in any sense, and was surprised by the backlash from people that wanted to think that it did. The reviews were certainly very clear that it was solo only.

Comment Re: bah humbug global warming (Score 4, Informative) 235

To be accurate, coral bleaching is caused by environmental stress, as it said in my first link - and polluted water or heavy sedimentation are possible sources of stress. Even excessive freshwater can cause bleaching (which contributed in 2008 and 2011).

However, those are not the cause of this event, as my second link made quite clear.

Comment Re:bah humbug global warming (Score 5, Informative) 235

Thank you Mr Coward. But while water quality does impact the health of the GBR in a few specific areas, it does not cause bleaching.

This is what AIMS has to say about recent bleaching events:

In 2016, record oceans temperatures have led to record widespread coral bleaching on Australian coral reefs. This bleaching is part of the ongoing third global bleaching event, declared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2015.

Between February and May, the Great Barrier Reef experienced record warm sea surface temperatures. Extensive field surveys and aerial surveys found bleaching was the most widespread and severe in the Far Northern management area, between Cape York and Port Douglas. Here, bleaching intensity was ‘Severe’ (more than 60% community bleaching). Bleaching intensity decreased along a southerly gradient. While most reefs exhibited some degree of bleaching, this bleaching varied in intensity (from less than 10% to over 90% community bleaching) and was patchy throughout most of the management area.

The impact from this bleaching event, the most widespread and severe ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef, is still unfolding. Based on in-water monitoring surveys, overall coral mortality is (as of June 2016) at 22% for the entire Great Barrier Reef. Coral mortality is highest in the northern section. Post-bleaching reef monitoring surveys towards the end of the year will provide further clarity on the full extent of coral mortality.

Comment Re:At least Trump may actually do some good (Score 3, Insightful) 351

So your solution to corporate pollution is rescind all the regulations that currently prevent them, disband the organisation that enforces those regulations, wait until after the newly-unrestrained corporations have inevitably polluted everything nearby - then hope some nearby affected citizen is willing & and able to fight them in the civil courts (hopefully with sufficient legal resources to match the corporate legal team), then winning convincingly enough to a) stop them polluting, b) force them to clean everything all up & fully compensate any affected parties (possibly for decades to come - assuming they don't go bankrupt beforehand), and c) recover all legal costs on top of all that. Then go through the whole process again the next time some random company decides it's cheaper to pollute.

Comment Re:Exactly. Terrible idea. (Score 1) 42

Oh absolutely some people are fine with it, and I agree many can build good tolerance, with graduated regular exposure. I'm certainly not arguing that decoupled motion should never be offered even as an option. I've been playing FPS games since the late 80s and I've built some tolerance, but I've seen people manage both more motion and a lot less, when playing in VR. There's been a great deal of research into this over the last couple of year, and susceptibility can vary widely.

Comes down to the fact that if your FPS game uses the same instant accelerations & strafing that FPS games traditionally love to do then you're going to significantly limit your customer base in VR, unless you can also provide a scheme that lets them start playing comfortably and get used to more over time.

Comment Re:Exactly. Terrible idea. (Score 1) 42

It really isn't. While some people are fine with any decoupled motion, moving the camera sideways or backwards in VR is the easily fastest way to make a lot of people immediately queasy. Restricting it to forward & occasional rotational movement (with an "instant spin 180" button) is significantly more tolerable, particularly if you ensure all accelerations are low, but many will still find that uncomfortable before long. Putting a static frame around the view helps a lot (like a cockpit, or Google Earth VR's "tunnel vision" approach), but a few can't even handle that much. A teleport mechanic is the only way I know to get more or less universal acceptability.

It's interesting to note that Doom 3 BFG was originally promised as a bundled game with the Oculus Rift DK1, but that deal fell through. No word if that was due to the movement issue or the current Zenimax lawsuit, however.

Comment Re:Another week another "battery breakthrough" (Score 4, Insightful) 29

And every article there's at least one comment grumbling that they don't have it now.

You already have batteries that are triple the capacity of the 1050mAh Li-Ions used in old Nokia phones, and dramatically better than the 30-minute talk-times of the original DynaTAC bricks. "Breakthroughs" in the lab can take many years to reach consumer products; silicon nanowire anodes were developed in 2007, but are only now reaching factories - and will take a couple more years before they scale capacity enough to be usable by major phone vendors.

Comment Re:You know, just saying they can't bend the inter (Score 1) 135

Look how much effort China puts into censoring the internet. Are they willing to go to those lengths? And 'subversive' information still gets through pretty easily, for anyone that wants it enough.

That said, basic restrictions can discourage casual browsers, average people that aren't invested enough to try to circumvent the blocks. Then again, that's almost never the group that caused the problem they're trying to fix.

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