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Comment Re:Online trolls, really? (Score 1) 962

...and that's why I think the UK approach to take away the protection of anonymity is the right way to do it. Being sheltered by layers of anonymity and remoteness gives people a false sense of security. If they spoke like that on a personal face-to-face basis they'd be either shunned by their peers, have their noses bloodied, sent down for harassment, get a court order or in extreme cases spend some time courtesy of the state. It may be true that trolls go for the soft spot. But in these cases what they say is actually actionable and not acceptable. This is not freedom of speech issue, either...

Comment Re:Government attracts parasites (Score 1) 143

Then there is complexit. Even at a federal level the states still have a lot of wriggle-room to do things slightly different. And even on a lower level different branches of the same agency may be allowed to do things slightly differently.

Next thing is tha the requirements may not be stable. If it is an IT system for some hot-button political matter(healthcare springs to mind) with lots of eleventh hour requirement changes then you basically don't stand a chance.

Then there is almost always somebody on the customer side who will want you to fail so they get to show their face on national TV.

Once your project has a couple of hundred of staff on your side working on it you are bound to fail. There is a thing as "too big to succeed".

No amount of money will make up for that kind of risk in your projects. How do you expect to give an cost estimate in a situation like this that doesn't potentially break your neck? Big government contract? Only if I'm settled for life afterwards to make up for the emotional and reputational damage afterwards. Payment preferably in nice Pacific islands. Hawaii would do nicely.

Comment Re:13 deaths? (Score 1) 518

Also over the years car windows have become smaller and smaller. Nowadays you get visibility to the rear as you had in a 1970ies Italian supercar.
Windows: great for visibility, bad for crash-test performance.

I can fully understand why even a Renault Migraine needs cameras. There's no point in looking out those windows.

Comment Re:Question! (Score 1) 535

What's even worse is that I think Zuck actually bought it because he genuinely thinks it is cool and it needs more money. It will get fucked up once the suits try to figure out how to make money off it.
It wouldn't be as bad if a technology company had bought it. Beneficial even. Buying power and whatnot. But the business model of Facebook makes this a catastrophy. The way they "monetize" their product(which is their userbase) makes you wonder what they are driving at. Whatever their suits come up with will be ghastly. This move has the potential to kill the Oculus Rift stone dead in the gaming world. It's like a thug turning up at his street corner in a Hello Kitty sweater he knitted himself. Insta-street-cred permadeath. And without developers this thing will be dead in the water. It was a potential success by the sheer enthusiasm of people outside the company. Now....not so much.

Comment Re:Awesome - excited to read this! (Score 1) 94

I remember watching an odd movie and I thought: Hang on! this sounds vaguely familiar. The movie was "The 13th Warrior" and Antonio Banderas' character learned what I have to assume was Norwegian in one evening. He must have written the original Klingon(which he picked up during the intro sequence of TOS while juggling four marmots) to every language ever. Some of which were never spoken or heard in this neck of our galaxy.

There is no better language for glorious battle than Klingon. They still sing about the Great Tribble hunt!

Comment Re:Better notification of in-app purchases (Score 1) 321

These games are targeted at core gamers and not kids. Those brick walls you encounter during game play are intended to be viewed as a challenge and the only way to overcome it is with cash. Hook, line and sink.
I can see how choosing the right game for your kid can be a challenge. And I'm afraid you will have to carefully choose yourself. Peer pressure at school will be a problem. IMO the freemium model has gotten so bad it needs regulation. It already has become predatory.

Comment Re:Please.... (Score 5, Interesting) 321

This is not a mom/dat CC issue but goes quite a bit further.

I will try to demonstrate this on a particular piece of shite brought to us from the people we love to loathe.
Enter Heroes of Dragon Age. This thing is a deck-building game. Think Hearthstone but the game plays your matches for you. In that respect I would consider it nothing more than an elaborate animated screensaver rather than a game. In HoDA the rarest cards pretty much guarantee your wins. You could grind for months and get lucky and get a couple of them. Or you could cough up monies to buy gems. 99 bucks buy you roughly 20 card draws, 18 of which will not be useful in any way shape or form(+/- statistical variance, but bear with me). You could play matches to earn gold to buy the packs which cost gold but your chance to get anything useful from those is so low that people who get lucky immediately start a forum post about that which in turn will become quite lively. Grinding for gold is a possibility but for one snag. You are limited to 6 PvE and 6PvP matches every two hours. Unless of course you pay gems to play more. So far so bad. The PvE campaign is designed in such a way that you will need the best cards after about an hour of play time. You will encounter multiple major brick walls.

This is one of the freemium offenders I know. I've been grinding as a free player since Christmas since it is a nice diversion which doesn't require a lot of thought or interaction. But I do have to say one thing about this: It smacks of gambling. In fact it is an elaborate variation of a slot machine. And I can see how a gambling addict could sink hundreds if not thousands of dollars into such a thing. And it seems to be completely unregulated.

OTOH if I gave you 99 bucks to spend on games and you headed over to the nearest Steam sale you would get so many games that you wouldn't emerge until next year if you completed them all. No value for a lot of money driven by addiction. Children are the easiest prey for this but certainly not the most lucrative.

So if you compare prices for gems with Steam sales you would think that these are not hardcore gamers. Wrong. Surprisingly so:

We are way, WAY beyond "you morons, stop buying gems!". At this point we are in need of regulation Nevada-style. In the meantime suing Google and Apple is the easiest way to apply some pressure but it sure as hell is not enough.

I would imagine you weren't totally shocked that EA is one of the worst offenders in that particular arena...

Comment EA mobile division are sleazy (Score 1) 367

All teir mobile games work this.

If you take a look at the forums of their Dragon Age non-game and do the math you will find that people are expected to sink hundreds of dollars into this thing.
Same goes for the Plants versus Zombies game.
In some cases people are even bragging about how much money they spend.

The EA Dungeon Keeper doesn't nickel and dime you to death. It does so by the Dollar. And if you do the math then the following is much cheaper:
-head over to GOG and get the first Dungeon Keeper
-install DosBox on your tablet
-get a Bluetooth mouse

And you will even get a proper game. Not only has EA included those rocks that either take 24h or money to dig through. The imps don't pick up gold. You are expected to pick it up yourself. Which means you basically have to babysit DungeonKeeperVille. I haven't spent more time with that game but that was the most obvious.

The amount of money EA wants from you for their mobile games WILL call legislators to action. Especially the Dragon Age thing might fall afoul of a couple of anti-gambling rules. Just wait for games like Hearthstone that get the f2p model right to be caught in the crossfire.
EA on mobile is pure sleaze.

On the bright side this whole mess inspired me to replay DK2. Apart from the wide screen issues the visuals of that game have kept up marvellously this last decade. And there still is the War for the Overworld which seems to be a proper DK sequel.

Comment Re:doesn't really sound like "cruel and unusual, (Score 1) 1038

While I do not particularly mourn his passing I do have a couple of problems with the process used.
First of all he had to spend a VERY long time on death row. That's just stupid.
Secondly the way he has killed off was known to be flawed beforehand and the DA called that there was no right to a humane death. Well. That both is disgusting. The first thought that came to mind was that the DA should kill himm off himself. You know, restrain the delinquent and choke him to death with your bare hands.

It would have been much more humane than what they did to him and it would have kept the DA honest. Frankly I do not understand how the various US states who insist on killing people can't come up with good ways to do so. That just boggles the mind.

Comment Re:Concerning... (Score 3, Insightful) 189

The combination of insane copyright claims and the overrelyance on comparatively volatile storage technology is steering us directly into another dark ages.
That's one take on things.
On the other hand we have already lost so much stuff over the centuries that perhaps what I just said is idiotic alarmism. After all we have rebuilt western civilisation after the fall of Rome(that just took the Dark Ages) and we didn't all die off after the Great Library of Alexandria burned down. The stuff that gets often replicated will propably not be lost. But let's hope it isn't a retweet of Miley Cyrus' knickers.

Comment Re:Ungrateful krauts (Score 2) 606

"But AC!" you cry, "Bettering myself and my position is hard! I'd have to like, study, and not have time to sit around mindlessly consuming mah cable TV while I've got a giant dildo up my asshole!"



Yes, rest of the world, we really do have people so stupid they literally believe this kind of crap. Not only that, those same wastes of flesh piss and moan endlessly about "class warfare" anytime someone tries to make a change that would better the lives of our nation's poorest citizens.

On behalf of all thinking, reasonable Americans, I would like to apologize for this douche-muncher and his ilk. Let's all pray he's too busy staring in a mirror and wanking to ever go out and vote.

While this is what is the core of the conservative mindset it by no means is limited to the US so there's no need to apologize.

If the mainland European conservative parties said in clear terms that they believe in an elite and that everybody is equally able and should strive to become part of that elite then they would lose each and every election. That myth has been dispelled. Hard graft by no means does guarantee you a living anymore. In fact if you wokr as hard as your parents did you will still not be able to maintain their standard of living.

Germany is at the moment in a very awkward position. While the unions had managed to negotiate reasonable wages the big employers manage to dodge their agreements by hiring third-party service providers who treat their people like crap. There have been cases where those outsourcers lured people from Spain to Germany, housed them in decrepid buildings and paid them next to nothing. Things like these are very unpopular here in Germany. A retailer made the news that they treated their employees like crap and suddenly had to face reduced sales because the customers stayed away. I know of a WalMart in Germany that hardly has any customers due to the bad image they have. Things like these go against the grain of a majority of the populace. The conservative parties in Germany win elections by not promoting their ideas of having and relying on an elite but by being perceived as reliable.

The Ayn Randers would be met with disbelief if they tried to be honest and vocal in Germany. There is a reason why a party that has been part of parliament for the whole existance of the modern German democracy has been shamefully ousted this year and they got very little sympathy.

Comment Re:Before you feed the article troll (Score 1) 113

Sir Humphrey would be proud!

Introducing job security based on merit whold have set a dangerous precedent. Why else would one keep ministers around? We are happy, they are happy and as long as we waste money efficiently no dangerous answers would be required. And as long as there is the odd man overboard required we still have got a lot of politicians to spare and in steady supply.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 113

There's a little bit more to it. The business requirements for gov contracts tend to be massively convoluted and a moving target. Our beloved legislative doesn't care for consistency and each rule is nothing but a series of exceptions. So this introduces a whole lot of risk into projects like these. Just look at what happened to the website for the Affordable Care Act. Negotiations up to the very end. Gov customers are very much special needs customers and they know it.

So enter the marketdroids and sales critters. They promise they nearly have what is needed and there is very little customizing required. On paper this sounds like something that reduces risk when compared to a custom solution. But it rarely works that way. Deadlines for gov projects are a menace and resemble very much a gunshot. Do not enter that market without a humongous legal department staffed with a rabid pack of attack-lawyers who have been in the loop ever since you handed in your tender. And do not enter a contract like this carried on a wave of idealism. Because you will get burned. To a crisp.

There is no room for naivety in gov contracts.

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