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Comment Re:Atari 2600 & Pong (Score 1) 368

There's so much irony here...

You know, about 10 years ago, I would've probably made a similar rant about the advantages of consoles. Nowadays, though, the difference between gaming on PC and on consoles tends to be a thin line. Every time I start playing something on my X360, the first thing to happen is a notification of a patch. The games *really* are much more buggy than they were on the previous console generation, I think they even crash more often than before. And when it comes to games aging very well, note that these days games are mostly about yearly iteration and sequels. No point ever playing Gran Turismo 3 or NHL 2005 again when the latest and the greatest versions are only available on the latest consoles. Funny thing, it also seems that the amount of console exclusive titles has diminished lately, whereas the selection and amount of PC exclusive titles (good ones, too) is going through the roof. The point about cheating is valid, though the single player modes have always been more important to me, and it's also worth noting that games on Steam are pretty good at blocking cheaters.

Long story short, the sad fact that those points have been rendered invalid as of late is the reason why consoles will be leaving my home soon :( had plenty of fun with them, there's no denying that, but things have been going downhill for a while and I don't think the direction is going to change.

Comment Re:Unexpected boon (Score 1) 233

"No monthly fee" is hardly a requirement for aggressive banning policies, though. Microsoft has been banning (paying) users from Xbox Live for eons for inconsiderate gamertags, behaviour etc., and that kind of ban is much more severe since it means no more online gaming EVER on that particular CONSOLE (not just user account). Note also that while it's "free to play" they still have to turn profit from their game, and right now they're actively turning customers away - even many of those dicks could be willing to purchase additional content. Microsoft can afford to be aggressive about this since it's running a whole platform with a dictatorship, but a free-to-play game could be quite a different case. I don't think Arenanet could simply replace micropayments with advertising.

Comment Re:Reading too much into the cover of The Economis (Score 1) 999

Do you like to have to bribe your way around the local bureaucracy?
Do you like to live within a mile of crushing poverty?
Do you like to endure social, natural, and economic crises?

If you answered yes to all of these, then yes an emerging market is for you (i.e. Brazil, China, India, etc). If you answered no to any of them, stay in a Western country.

A nice, cozy, Western country like the United States?

If you want to avoid all these, you pretty much don't have other choice than one of those OMIGOD SOCIALIST! wellfare states, and even then these are not guaranteed. Nitpicking aside, all these three problems seem to be a part of everyday life in the US, just in a (slightly) different scale.

Comment Re:It sucks to be a Windows OEM right now (Score 1) 192

Still, selling Windows licenses to OEMs continues to be Microsoft's meat and potatoes. So if everything goes catastrophically wrong, they lose their OEM customers AND they'll never break through to the tablet market... right?

Just some optimistic thinking, but from my (naive) point of view, Microsoft is making plenty of phenomenally bad business decisions in a row.


Submission + - Breakthrough in drawing complex Venn diagrams (wordpress.com)

00_NOP writes: Venn diagrams are all the rage in this election year, but drawing comprehensible diagrams for anything more than 3 sets has proved to be very difficult. Until the breakthough just announced by Khalegh Mamakani and Frank Ruskey of the University of Victoria in Canada, nobody had managed to draw a simple (no more than two lines crossing), symmetric Venn diagram for more than 7 sets (only primes will work). Now they have pushed that on to 11. And it's pretty too.

Submission + - Is new Samsung tablet a true iPad alternative? (slashgear.com)

SternisheFan writes: "The next game-changer in tablets could come from Samsung, not Apple, as a perfect storm of processor, screen and platform coalesces to make the Korean firm an innovator not a copycat. Samsung has already demonstrated its abilities in processors –even Apple would have to agree with that, having co-developed the A4 chipset powering the original iPad with its Korean rival –but the new Exynos 5 Dual raises the bar significantly; according to the rumors, meanwhile, that will find its way into the Samsung “P10, a new uber-tablet packing a display that squarely challenges Apple’s Retina tech"

Submission + - Apple offered expensive licensing option to Samsung in 2010 (edibleapple.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The treasure trove of documents from the ongoing Apple-Samsung dispute continue to flow on. The latest startling revelation touches on Apple and Samsung’s licensing discussions pre-litigation.

In October 2010, 6 months before Apple said “enough is enough” and initiated its lawsuit against Samsung, Apple offered Samsung a licensing deal for its patented technologies. As part of its offer, Apple said it was willing to offer Samsung a royalty rate of $30 per Android smartphone and $40 per Android tablet. Apple also indicated that it would wipe 20% off of its royalty asking price if Samsung was willing to cross license its own patents with Apple.

As part of its presentation, Apple explained: "Samsung chose to embrace and imitate Apple’s iPhone archetype. Apple would have preferred that Samsung request a license to do this in advance. Because Samsung is a strategic supplier to Apple, we are prepared to offer a royalty-bearing license for this category of device."


Submission + - Humble Bundle: Linux Users Pay Most For Music Too (humblebundle.com) 2

dylan_- writes: It's well known that in the various game Humble Bundles — pay whatever you want for a variety of games — Linux users have consistently been the ones who voluntarily pay the most. Some have attributed this to the lack of games on Linux but the latest Bundle is for music rather than games and the trend continues. Linux users paying an average of $11.95, Mac $9.92 and Windows $7.50. Perhaps the old complaint of it being more expensive to hire Linux sys-admins is correct, meaning they tend to earn more and leaving Linux users with more disposable income?
The Internet

Submission + - Realtime Gets $100 Million To Build "Whole New Era Of The Internet" (techcrunch.com)

CaryGarcia writes: Realtime, a technology developed by a company which has been around since the Internet’s earliest days with the practically un-Googleable name “Internet Business Technologies,” has just received a massive $100 million investment to help fund its lofty plan to build the real-time web. The company offers a developer framework that now powers 2,000 real-time client applications, but, until now, it has only been available outside the U.S.

Submission + - US Freezes Nuclear Power Plant Permits Because of Waste Issues (cnn.com)

KindMind writes: All permits for new plants and license extensions for existing plants are being frozen. From the article:

"The U.S. government said it will stop issuing permits for new nuclear power plants and license extensions for existing facilities until it resolves issues around storing radioactive waste. The government's main watchdog, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, believes that current storage plans are safe and achievable. But a federal court said that the NRC didn't detail what the environmental consequences would be if the agency is wrong."

The NRC says that "We are now considering all available options for resolving the waste issue, But, in recognition of our duties under the law, we will not issue [reactor] licenses until the court's remand is appropriately addressed."

Affected are 14 reactors awaiting license renewals, and an additional 16 reactors awaiting permits for new construction.


Submission + - Facebook approves real-money gambling app (tgdaily.com)

SternisheFan writes: "A story posted by Emma Woollacott on TG Daily: Facebook's launching a gambling site that allows users to stake real money -but only in the UK. Bingo & Slots Friendzy has been developed by online gambling company Gamesys, which operates Sun Bingo, Heart Bingo and Jackpotjoy.com. It's the first ever cash gambling app on Facebook. "You won’t find these games anywhere else." The game's limited to the over-18s, and the company says it'll include the ability to set spending limits, as well as self-help tools to minimise the risk of gambling addiction. Facebook's defended its decision to the BBC, saying: "Real money gaming is a popular and well-regulated activity in the UK..."
    However, Bingo & Slots Friendzy may just be the first of many gambling apps on Facebook. Long-time partner Zynga, for example, has said it plans to introduce real-money gambling versions of its poker, bingo and slot machine games next year."

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Rugged e-book reader?

Augury writes: "I'm about to undertake a lengthy trip involving travel through dusty, damp and drop-inducing environments. When it comes to packing for such a trip, reading is a fundamental need, to help while away the inevitable hours spent in transit lounges, at bus stops and on beaches. The weight and bulk of the dead tree approach makes it impractical, so an e-book reader seems ideal — does anyone have any experience with ruggedising an e-book reader for such conditions?"

Submission + - WikiLeaks Under DDoS Again (techweekeurope.co.uk)

twoheadedboy writes: "After being hit by a "72-hour" DDoS in May, WikiLeaks is claiming to be under attack yet again. All its sites appear to be down and fingers have already been pointed at government entities. WikiLeaks, posting on Twitter, said it had its suspicions of why it was being targeted. It was either because of its ongoing releases related to Stratfor and Syria, or because of an upcoming release, Julian Assange's organisation speculated. The fact that everyone is currently engrossed in the Olympics may have given attackers good reason to target the websites right now, WikiLeaks said."

Submission + - Facebook facial recognition under scrutiny in Norway (computerworlduk.com)

Qedward writes: Certainly not the first country to raise concerns, but Facebook's facial recognition feature will now be investigated by the Norwegian Data Protection Agency.

Last year, Facebook added the ability to use facial recognition technology to help to tag images as a default feature to users worldwide. Ove Skåra, communications manager at the Norwegian Data Protection Agency or Datatilsynet said: "Facial recognition, is a technology that it is important to have critical view of, and see how it is actually used."

Outside of Europe, US Senator Al Franken, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's privacy subcommittee, called on Facebook to turn off the feature by default in July.

But Facebook doesn't think that is a very good idea. Facebook is an opt-in experience, and people choose to be on Facebook because they want to share with each other, according to Rob Sherman, manager of privacy and public policy....


Submission + - Cable Cut Takes Out Wikipedia (techweekeurope.co.uk)

twoheadedboy writes: "Wikipedia went down for over an hour yesterday, thanks to some cut cables between its two data centres. The site uses its Ashburn, Virginia data centre for most traffic, but relies on another in Tampa, Florida for certain backend services such as databases. Despite having two fibre cables running between the two facilities, a cut cable led to a complete blackout of the online encyclopaedia. Wikimedia itself is baffled by the situation and has asked its network provider what is going on and why resiliency measures failed."

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