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Comment Counting users by game accounts? (Score 2, Interesting) 360

Everyone who's ever intensively played a 'social game' on Facebook knows the simple truth: they're surrounded by fake accounts. For over two years I managed in excess of 40 Facebook accounts without ever being flagged... I presumed most of my 'friends' were fake as well. Even now the accounts are just sitting there, untouched, unused, but inflating FB's user numbers.

I recognize I was cheating. It was wrong and I shouldn't have done it. For my actions, I've chosen to exile myself from FB games altogether. Certainly, not everyone cheats or creates multiple accounts as I did. But I venture that enough 'gamers' do it to seriously distort Facebook's numbers.

Comment looks good at 16:9- not so much at 16:9 and 5:3 (Score 1) 432

When the iPad came out, it had polish and the market to itself. This allowed it to grab a surprising toe-hold in a field that many thought futile. Android 3.0, by contrast, comes to market with a bit less polish and facing stiff competition. The field is no longer empty- Developers must decide whether to focus on Android, WebOS, iOS etc.

The iPad 2 builds evolutionarily on its first-to-market experience... Faster, but with no changes in the physical layout. As a result every iPad 1 app looks as good on the iPad 2 as it did on the original. If you develop for the iPad, you shoot for one resolution (1024 x 768) and one ratio (4:3). While there isn't a guarantee, future displays seem sure to maintain the same 4:3 aspect ratio with a doubling or tripling of resolution. In other words, the transition will be no more difficult than iphone 3 to iphone 4. Screen elements will be no larger or smaller... just the same or clearer.

Because Google doesn't control the hardware (for better or worse) it can't give the same guarantees. Thus, developers face multiple resolutions, e.g., 1024 x 600 (Galaxy Tab 7 and Viewsonic Viewpad) vs. 1280 x 1024 (Galaxy Tab 10.1, Motorola Xoom) and, at the same time, design for different aspect ratios, e.g., 16:9 or 16:10. This will only get worse when Ice Cream Sandwich throws smart phones into the mix. So... assuming you KNOW you're target audience is running a compatible version of Android... what resolution and aspect ratio do you go with? If you let Android do the corrections... can you expect your app to display with the polish you designed into it? The iPad's 4:3 aspect ratio may be limiting and imperfect... but its constancy allows design to move forward with certitude. If you're spending time and money to develop for a platform, you want to deliver something that looks good now, will look good later, and does so on tens of millions of machines.

Comment The royalty argument (Score 0) 493

There is simply no sword of damocles. MPEG-LA has stated it will increase royalty payments, if at all, by no more than 10% every 5 years. Google currently pays $6.5 million to license h.264. In five years, that could rise to a SHOCKING $7.15 million. Five years after that, Google could be looking at license fees of $7.865 million!!! In other words... it's just silly to argue that Google, is worried it might find itself paying (in 10 years) licensing fees of less than .00005% its current market cap.

Comment Re:WTF Slashdot? (Score 1) 980

- Slashdot allows me to filter information by acting as a specialized and trusted news aggregator. It saves me from wading through news that is
(1) anonymously sourced,
(2) anonymously submitted,
(3) green-lit by the biased department of "oh please let this be true" and
(4) distributed with a flame-bait lead that something is about to "blow up in the face" of a major computer company.

WTF Slashdot?

Comment Re:Stop buying crippled devices (Score 1) 228

Wrong. The utility of any tool is judged by what it can do, not by what it can't.

The Economist COULD print hot nude photos. It won't. Club COULD print incisive articles on Pakistan's diplomacy with China and India. It won't.

As for the iPhone, most people I know wouldn't recognize Steve Jobs if he knocked on their door. They buy it because of what it CAN do; which it does better than most phones.

I'm happy to brick my iPhone when Android and the Palm Pre show their everyday superiority. But I'm not going to buy an inferior product just because it's "open". It's the responsibility of handset makers to sell a product that beats the "closed" iPhone.

Comment Banned by Jimbo without explanation. (Score 2, Insightful) 471

I see the battle a little differently. My block log reads: 16:58, 29 December 2006 Jimbo Wales (Talk | contribs) blocked "Snorklefish (Talk | contribs)" with an expiry time of indefinite (WP:NPA, see edit to User_talk:Fram). Looking at User_Talk:Fram, I surmised it had something to do with Darrin McGillis. Going back to the McGillis article, I realized Jimbo had deleted the entire article and left no trace. He added "please do not recreate without emailing me privately first..."

So I was banned without prior warning and all trace of what I had done wrong was deleted. No one could see if my comments were sourced or pulled out of my ass. When one person holds such power over information the potential for abuse is manifest. Can we trust Jimbo Wales to always use his influence benevolently? For me, the answer is a qualified "maybe." I was reinstated because no one could figure out why I had been banned in the first place and Jimbo didn't respond to inquiries. Hardly a confidence inspiring result.


Submission + - Kiwi ingenuity to conquer Everest again writes: "
Once again Kiwi ingenuity will conquer the world’s highest mountain
Adventurer Peter Hillary and double amputee Mark Inglis lend their support for the Everest Rescue Trust and

Auckland, New Zealand, 1 February 2007: Today, the Everest Rescue Trust launched the ‘Rescue on Everest Challenge’ to design, build and operate a self-funding rescue helicopter service for the extreme altitude regions of Nepal. This humanitarian project aims to save lives on Everest and improve the safety and emergency services in Nepal, while directly benefiting the Nepalese people.

The Everest Rescue Trust has also launched ; an official website with information, regular updates and the history of the project. It will contain real-time news and information and will be made available to a global audience. This site also hosts an interactive, distance learning schools programme, which will further stimulate interest in the project and allow children the world over to learn about Nepal, Everest and the Nepalese people.

Most helicopters are not designed to operate above a ceiling of about 14,000ft (4,300m), it’s just too dangerous. Everest Base Camp is at nearly 18,000ft (5364m) and the summit is another 11,500ft (3,486m) above that so having a rescue helicopter that could get that high safely will make a huge difference.

“Through innovation, design and cutting edge technology we’re going to challenge the science of aviation at extreme altitude and conquer new frontiers on Mt Everest and in Nepal,” says Trevor Rogers, President of TGR Helicorp Ltd, the New Zealand company building the helicopter for the Trust. “We hope that the success of this project will increase the Trust’s capability to help other people all over the world. The potential for pushing the boundaries of long range, high altitude rescue is unlimited, it could change the course of modern alpine aviation history.”

After six years research, development and building of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) TGR Helicorp has designed and developed an unpiloted full-size alpine rescue helicopter; the Alpine Wasp, which will be able to operate safely and autonomously at altitudes up to and beyond 30,000ft (over 9000m).

The company will be donating the Alpine Wasp to the Everest Rescue Trust after it has undergone testing and systems evaluation in the harsh mountain environment of the Mt Cook region of New Zealand during 2007. It will be capable of airlifting up to two sick or injured climbers at a time from extreme altitude, using ultra-modern composite technologies, a revolutionary diesel helicopter engine and rotor blades designed especially for maximum performance in thin air. The Alpine Wasp represents a huge leap forward in helicopter performance and technological capability.

TGR Helicorp intends to establish an alpine rescue base at Namche Bazar, a village sitting at 11,300ft (3,440m) on the approach to Mt Everest in Nepal. This base will include an aircraft hangar and rescue facilities, a prosthetics facility for the Porters and Sherpas in Nepal, and a frostbite prevention facility, providing clothing and footwear. The base will provide jobs for the local Nepalese people and all donations will be funnelled back into the community.

“I’m excited to be a part of a project that will benefit the Nepalese people in so many ways,” said Mark Inglis, Goodwill Ambassador for the Everest Rescue Trust. “It’s terrible to see porters and Sherpas without the proper equipment in the high mountains and as well as helping the locals who have already lost limbs to frostbite, the Trust is planning to equip them properly too, free of charge. I think that’s great.”

For additional information please contact Angerie van Wyk or visit

About TGR Helicorp Ltd:
TGR Helicorp is the only helicopter manufacturer in the Southern Hemisphere and specialises in full size Rotorcraft UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).
President and Chairman: Trevor V. Rogers
Chief Executive Officer: Glenda Rogers

Angerie van Wyk
Marketing and Communications Manager
Everest Rescue Trust
Tel: 64 9 273 6307
Mob: +64 21 140 8398"
The Internet

Submission + - The Future of Online Dating

eldavojohn writes: "Scientific American is running an interesting article on online dating. Points out a lot of the problems existing with online dating today but also notes that it's here to stay and will only get better in the future."

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