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Comment Worst timing ever (Score 1) 344

You can't charge for the Web. The experience that most users get sucks. They are in IE on a PC and it sucks. There are too many other sources that also suck to bother paying, with very rare exception.

They should be making non-Web content to charge for. For example, iPad apps, or eBooks, and so on. And advertise that on your Web site.

Think of a Sunday newspaper with a magazine in it. Make the newspaper free (Web), charge a low price for the magazine (eBook). Make the part you pay for downloadable and rich in photos and videos and audio. Make the Web compete with that.

The reason HBO worked was it was something née and different from free ad-supported TV. They didn't try to take NBC to a paid model.

Comment Re:Cannonical is just trolling us (Score 1) 984

> base 2 number system, which is ultimately the most
> important base system for people working with computers

That is a truly ridiculous statement. "People working with computers" is EVERYONE. And they all have 10 fingers and count in base 10 and have standard measurements based on 10's in which a kilometer is 1000 meters.

You're doing the elitest programmer priesthood thing, but even there you are wrong. Programmers also use maps and drive cars and none have 10.24 fingers. What's more, computer programs have to work internationally, and be maintained by arbitrary programmers, so they need to follow standards. If one programmer is working with nonstandard 1024 kB and the rest aren't you have a problem.

The argument against this is the same as other arguments against SI in general. Carpenters don't want to give up inches, etc. Give us a break. The world is international and connected and very tiny. If you're not using SI you're asking people to fix your shoddy work or for a Mars probe to smash uselessly into Mars.

Comment Learn C++, know your stuff, do a demo. (Score 1) 324

  • Learn C++. Game jobs that don't require C++ are very few and far between. A reasonable working knowledge of how it works under the hood will be advantageous in interviews.
  • Have an indepth understanding of general programming concepts. If you don't know your data structures and at least a couple of sorting algorithms (bubblesort and quicksort), you probably won't pass the interview.
  • Do game-related projects at Uni if you can. If you can't, do them at home. A demo goes a very, very long way. Small in scope but highly polished is much better than broad and half-working. Something like a physics simulation (ragdoll falling down stairs is classic), some interesting rendering stuff, some kind of AI demo, whatever. The important thing is to focus on one area, do it well, and then do the minimum required in all other areas. Don't spread your efforts too thinly.

In the UK the level of degree doesn't hugely matter, although impressive shiny degrees do look impressive and shiny. But degrees don't mean anything if you don't have the demo.

There are a few games companies that have sections explaining what they're looking for in applicants - one comes to mind, although I know there are others. is your friend.

Games dev is hard work and you will end up pulling long hours towards the end of a project - especially as a coder. If seeing your name on the credits when the game is finally released isn't enough of a payoff, it's probably the wrong job for you.

Good luck!


Submission + - Terry Pratchett has early onset Alzheimer's

JaJ_D writes: According to Paul Kidby's website, Terry Pratchet has been diagonsed with early onset Alzheimer's.

From the site:

would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news. I have been diagnosed with a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer's, which lay behind this year's phantom "stroke".


Submission + - A&E beaming adverts directly into your head. 2

Fantastic Lad writes: Hear Voices? It May Be an Ad. New Yorker Alison Wilson was walking down Prince Street in SoHo last week when she heard a woman's voice right in her ear asking, "Who's there? Who's there?" She looked around to find no one in her immediate surroundings. Then the voice said, "It's not your imagination." Indeed it isn't. It's an ad for "Paranormal State," a ghost-themed series premiering on A&E this week. The billboard uses technology manufactured by Holosonic that transmits an "audio spotlight" from a rooftop speaker so that the sound is contained within your cranium.

Submission + - Germany moves to ban Scientology (

An anonymous reader writes: "German federal and state interior ministers declared the Church of Scientology unconstitutional on Friday, opening the door for a possible ban on the organization.
Earlier this week, a Berlin district set up an office to deal with complaints about Scientology.
Koerting said Germany's domestic intelligence agencies should continue gathering information on the legality of Scientology's activities in Germany so that a decision could be made on what to do about it next year."


Submission + - NIST Creates Perpetual Motion (

An anonymous reader writes: The DailyTech writes that "The National Institute of Standards and Technology, in conjunction with the University of Maryland's Joint Quantum Institute, created a short-lived "proof of concept" of perpetual motion. Using an exotic type of matter known as a Bose Einstein condensate, or BEC, the team demonstrated true perpetual motion. Though the state persisted only ten seconds, team members say it will one day lead to real-world applications."

Submission + - Should we have the right to breed? 11

An anonymous reader writes: I just finished reading Garret Hardin's Tragedy of the Commons and I'm having a little trouble coming to grips with it. In the essay Hardin argues that in a world with finite resources we must stabilize the population at less than the carrying capacity in order to maintain quality of life. However, "Confronted with appeals to limit breeding, some people will undoubtedly respond to the plea more than others. Those who have more children will produce a larger fraction of the next generation than those with more susceptible consciences. The differences will be accentuated, generation by generation." Hardin therefore suggests that we must legally restrict freedom to breed.

However such restrictions would require a invasion of our privacy to a degree that strikes me as simply intolerable. But I'm curious, what do slashdot readers think? Is Hardin's logic sound? If it is, is controlling the population important enough that we should give up what we have long accepted as some of our most basic rights in order to achieve it?

Submission + - Comment Spam with a twist - help!

An anonymous reader writes: My wife is the victim of porn comment spam. It isn't her site that's hit; it's her name. Some scum-bag porn-link site with about 10,000 pages dedicated to the most obnoxious "click here!" porn, is using comment spam to drive up it's search rank. Nothing new, right? But usually those comment links are a drug name or the name of a porn-star. This idiot, or his robot, however, have decided that my wife, due to her poetry page, is a porn star, and now a google search on her name comes up with a huge number of comment-spam hits. Those links, if you click them, take you to a pages filled with porn. Help!!

My wife is a very kind, moral, feminist, porn-hating, religious person, and a preacher's kid to boot. Needless to say, she's never stared in a porno, and none of those pics are of her. Her name is quite unique, and the offending source page has a ton of text copied from her site (without permission) to ensure it gets picked up in the searches — there is no coincidence in the name.

She's frenzied and quite beside herself. I've tried the obvious — the porn site is, of course, not listed with a real email or address in whois. The registrar doesn't seem reputable, and won't respond to emails. I keep submitting the blog or gallery pages with the comment spam on them to google's abuse department, but the scum-bag's comment spam robot can generate a lot more of these than I can.

My wife is on the verge of changing her name and moving to Tibet. All we want is for the offending page to be removed, and the spammer to stop using her name. How can I get through to these people?

I really don't want to drive up the hits on this site, but you can see the kind of page it is by opening nnnn dot sneerpan dot info, where nnnn is any four digit number (definitely NOT safe for work!) I'm desperate for any advice from the Slashdot community! Please help me prevent my wife's imminent nervous breakdown.

Submission + - CAPTCHA broken - thanks to a virtual stripper ( 3

Dynamoo writes: "A few months ago there was some speculation that spammers had managed to break the security CAPTCHA for many webmail systems and were using them to spread viruses and junk email. The problem was that no-one could actually demonstrate a mechanism to defeat the security code.

However, an novel approach has been documented by the BBC, suggesting that a virtual stripper application may be partly to blame. The woman in the application progressively undresses if the user types in the correct CAPTCHA code.. a code that is actually being generated by the Yahoo! mail security check. The application itself is a trojan, dubbed TROJ_CAPTCHAR.A by Trend."


Submission + - Genuine offer to hack my computer (

Gumbercules!! writes: "This is a genuine, most definitely one time only offer to attempt to tell me the root password to my own computer. You see, I am shutting down my ADSL account in a day and a half and before it goes, I thought it would be fun to see if the box that's kept me online since 2001 is really all that secure. The full story is located at Unfortunately, you only have until the 1st of November 2007 to break the password before the account is terminated."

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