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Comment Re:All I Play Are Free Games (Score 1) 230

True enough. I am removed from mainstream game culture. But, I also pointed out a few kinds of games that I know most mainstream players have never tried. Presumably, there are a lot of games out there that even mainstream players don't know about.

And then when you talk about a new TV series like Battlestar Galactica, there are reasons to watch it. It explores modern ethical issues. It's more realistic. Whatever. Why it is a better recommendation than say another in the genre like Farscape or even other shows like Arrested Development? When you start looking over a decade, there are a lot of great shows that might be worth watching - that even regular TV watchers never saw.

Same can be said of music, film or any other cultural endeavor. If I said, "Hey, I spent the last 10 years listening to electronic music, what did I miss in country?" A country music fan would talk about all the great music that came out that they liked.

But interestingly enough, that doesn't seem to happen with games. The assumption is that gamers know all the games - despite the fact that there are many games, many platforms and few can afford (in time or money) to know them all. And in an age of Everquest, WoW and other games that require a lot of time, I'm willing to bet that my situation isn't even all that uncommon among mainstream gamers.

If you never played Halo 1 or 2 yeah, you probably won't be eagerly awaiting part 3. But there were plenty of people who were.

Again, I have no doubt this was true. If I was set-up for it, I would have bought new versions of Metal Gear Solid as soon as they came out. But, I'm left wondering what happens to those people that come in, mid-stream.

Anyway, this is just my thinking out loud. I don't have the time for most games these days, so I probably should just focus on those that meet certain requirements, turn-based or whatever.

Thanks for the feedback. I know it was a bit odd - or offtopic, and appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

Comment All I Play Are Free Games (Score 1, Offtopic) 230

It started when I reformatted my drive and started using Linux exclusively and gave up TV about 10 years ago. Up until then, I used to buy games and had game consoles around. I last remember playing Metal Gear Solid like a man obsessed and getting a sound beating or two playing Starcraft online.

On Linux, there were plenty of games - GNU Chess, Same Gnome and so forth. There was no buying any games for Linux at that time, so I learned to like these games a lot. I imagine people must have had a similar experience with Microsoft's Solitaire.

When I got married, my wife needed a Windows machine to access work applications, so we had a Windows machine and I could purchase games again if I were inclined. But, it just didn't occur to me to buy games anymore. I found free games to be more interesting in some respects because they didn't have money for graphics, so they focused more on other things. This isn't knocking professionally created games. In my experience they're great, I just wasn't looking for them at this point.

I tried playing games that won The Interactive Fiction Competition because I remember playing Zork back when I was young. I couldn't get into text adventures anymore, but I think it is worth exploring.

I had played Civilization before too. So, I tried freeciv, which led to other free turn-based games like Battle for Wesnoth and even returning to older games like Nethack.

I then went on to try independent games that you had to pay a small amount for, like those made by Positech.

I also tried Second Life and similar and found them to be glorified IRC chat rooms.

I'm getting into this history because I think it raises an interesting question. Why would anyone buy Halo III when they have never played the the first one? Particularly, if someone can buy the earlier editions for a fraction of their original cost now, and they would likely enjoy them as much as most people did the first time they played them, why not start there?

You may not be as extreme an example as I am, but I bet there are older games, free games or low-priced independent games that you have never played and would like. So, why are you buying the newest WOW expansion set (and paying the subscription fees) or HALO 3 - as soon as it comes out? Is it that you are so involved in these games? I can understand that because the one game I have purchased was Sid Meyer's Pirates - again, partially because I had played it before and liked it a lot. But, I don't want to assume that is true of everyone.

What about a new game? It's one thing to get the new Grand Theft Auto. It's another to get a totally new game. How do you decide to go with something just released - rather than buy something older that you haven't played before? Is it about having the newest and greatest in graphical features? What's the appeal?

Maybe you are such a hard core gamer that you've played most new games. But given the amount of time they require - is this really so? Maybe it is playing with friends, a la Quake. Maybe it's checking the review on Gamespot or Slashdot. Since I don't play them, I don't know. So was wondering if someone can offer a clue.

I guess part of my question is that I am looking at new things to try. I know there are a lot of good games out there that I haven't played. So, why would I be interested in these new models of game production or even new games? What do you suggest? What games do you think everyone should know? Is there a great game out there that you think most gamers have missed?

For example, I remember reading about one game in Slashdot where you are a pencil or something and you role around and things stick to you - something from Japan. I've also heard someone that taught for a year teaching English in Japan about a game where you try to run a bullet train on schedule. I suppose this also brings up the question of games from outside the U.S. and the English speaking world that don't necessarily require an understanding of the original language.

Anyway, this article just started me thinking, and I was hoping someone who understands it would be interested in explaining one of these points. Thanks in advance, if you do!

Comment Why didn't the FBI do the disruption? (Score 1) 313

Most illegal online loot was fenced through four so-called carder sites--marketplaces for online criminals to buy and sell credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and other purloined data. One by one, Butler took them down.

The obvious question: why didn't the FBI do this rather than set-up a honeypot site? I understand the focus on gathering evidence, but it is interesting the disruption isn't a more important part of the law-enforcement toolkit.

Comment Re:Maybe being upbeat is the idocy... (Score 1) 442

No, it's not going to happen because we'll see it coming and do something about it, like we have for everything ever.

Who, now, has an irrational belief? We do see it coming. I've explained the relevant facts to you, but instead of offering some kind of argument why these issues are not a concern, you resort to using the magic wand and the idea that humanity has seen everything coming, ever. Interesting.

Like you, I was unaware of these problems until recently. When someone explained it to me, I couldn't reject it for any rational reason. It seems like a sound argument. If you were able to provide some reason, not to be concerned, I'd go with that - but I'm not going with the magic wand argument that we'd know it was coming and do something about it. That doesn't match up with my empirical observations about how the world works.

The only thing I get out of it is that I might be slightly more prepared for these problems. I don't think it is a trivial thing to be more prepared, and I'd like other people to take precautions, if we do, then perhaps it might be a little less bad that it might otherwise be, or it might help in actualizing your argument - which is increase awareness to the point where we, collectively, do something about it. But, I don't have much hope that will be the case because of attitudes like yours - that people don't want to face the difficult facts that confront them until it is too late to do anything about it. Part of the problem is that it may very well be too late, right now.

Comment Re:Maybe being upbeat is the idocy... (Score 1) 442

They've always been declining, and yet at the same time we have centuries of reserve.

The first sentence is true. The second sentence is false. Take a look at the oil depletion on Wikipedia for a starting point. Here's the key:

The American Petroleum Institute estimated in 1999 the world's oil supply would be depleted between 2062 and 2094, assuming total world oil reserves at between 1.4 and 2 trillion barrels and consumption at 80 million barrels per day.[4] In 2004, total world reserves were estimated to be 1.25 trillion barrels and daily consumption was about 85 million barrels, shifting the estimated oil depletion year to 2057.

And that's total depletion. Want to consider what happens on the downward side? Take a look at oil consumption patters in the United States after 1970s for a clue.

You have an extremely different definition of the word "food chain" than any biologist I've ever heard.

Food supply chain. The fact that you never heard a biologist say it and what I meant is obvious from the context, this comment is simply asshatry on your part.

Sure I have; but what's the point since that's not going to happen?

It is going to happen. The question is when. It is obvious from the American Petroleum Institute figures and thinking about where the top of the production curve is going to happen that it's not far off.

Seriously, what do you get out of believing this crap?

What do you get out of ignoring inconvenient facts?

Comment Re:Take that flaky humans! (Score 3, Insightful) 147

Perhaps part of the ISS science is figuring out the engineering and logistical problems of how human's can live for extended periods in space, which is a much harder problem. I'd say getting something so big into orbit, operational and supporting an onboard crew for more than 8 years is a significant accomplishment.

Comment Re:Maybe being upbeat is the idocy... (Score 1) 442

Your argument is bad. The fact that "[p]eople have been saying that since the beginning of time" is irrelevant.

The relevent facts are that, unlike the beginning of time until the 1850s when fossil fuels started to be used, we now live in a society predicated on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel resources are declining and will soon be very expensive. Everything in the food chain that relies on fossil fuels from fertilizers to the trucking to the keeping the freezers cold will be impacted. And have you considered what will happen when you can no longer get your food trucked in from thousands of miles away? Have you considered what would happen to the other billions of people on the planet who have no local agriculture or markets for their agricultural products? Not to mention every other sector of the economy. Or what would happen to your house if you weren't able to keep the inside above freezing? So forth and so on.

Of course not. You too busy trying to be fucking upbeat about it and telling yourself that some unspecified energy technology and energy infrastructure is going to come online and save you and your lifestyle.

You'd do well to re-read the fable of the ant and the grasshopper because winter's upon us, my friend.

Comment Maybe being upbeat is the idocy... (Score 3, Insightful) 442

Try reading The Long Emergency or Kunstler's blog. While he's a little doom and gloom, the basic fact that we aren't living sustainably, and when the oil gets more scarce or environment starts getting all up in it, there's going to be a lag before any major energy change or sustainability movement is going to kick in - and it is likely going to require a significant reduction of the human population.

So, make sure you have some basic tools on hand and have done what you can to prepare. The next few decades are going to be interesting.

Comment Re:yeah great idea. (Score 3, Insightful) 898

Putting the fakes on, driving through a light that just turned red, pulling off on a side road and removing the plates should take no more than 5 or 10 minutes. The chances of a cop pulling you over in that amount of time is close to nil.

I agree it would be monumentally stupid to drive around with the fake covering on, but then again, anyone smart enough to want to do this in the first place isn't going to do that for exactly that reason.

Comment Re:Student Loan = Indentured Servitude (Score 1) 616

You are aware that your first sentence is describing fuedalism, which describes a set of mutual obligations between a king/queen and a vassal - typically for life. Indentured servants, by way of contrast, are a time limited contract with an employer that never conferred any sense of ownership of individuals and certainly not of any people related to them, such as their wives.

I agree with the latter part of your post. I studied philosophy at college, and while some people might view that as a vacation from reality, it was the best money I ever spent, well worth the time - even when I include the four years in the military I served to partially pay for it.

Comment Re:new territory (Score 1) 243

The CIA and NSA don't work for Johnson and Johnson - and they aren't going to go for outsourced IT who have access to their systems and who could potentially out their spies, black ops, or illegal wiretaping operations. As is frequently the case, there are relevant differences between government and business that you just can't treat one like the other.

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