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Comment Re:A way better solution (Score 1) 231

Literally never seen another stuck signal, and that was a temporary kit pulled from the trailer of a work vehicles. What makes you think this is a big problem?

And signals should change periodically WHETHER OR NOT the loops detect a vehicle. Anything else is a design flaw. It just adjusts the timing if vehicles are detected on one and not another.

P.S. traffic lights pre-date mobile phones by quite a bit. It's not a problem. Guess what country had the world's first?

Comment Gated telecommunications (Score 1) 60

I wonder how long until we have deliberately gated telecommunications, where you pay extra and your phone number is "protected" -- no incoming calls from poor countries, poor neighborhoods, hell, they could probably reference some kind of database profile that estimates the socio-economic status of the caller and if it falls below your preference threshold, they get blocked.

Comment Re:What if RoboCall industry creates jobs? (Score 1) 60

I've long suspected that the fact that we're where we are now with rampant robocalls, spam and (still!) huge volumes of junk paper mail that literally nobodylikes is because business interests want it that way.

Further, I think it's somehow ingrained in the hucksterism of American culture, this notion that all you really need is a good sales pitch and anyone who gets in the way of delivering one is somehow anti-business.

Comment Re:If self driving cars take off (Score 1) 184

I would expect RVs to be the first with self-drive capability considering the amount of highway miles they operate. Even some of the more advanced self-park features cars have now would be useful for RVs when parking them in complex locations.

Hell, some of that self-park functionality could be useful for the GPs questions about launching a boat. Backing up a trailer is easy once you know how to do it, but why not apply AI to it and make it easier?

Comment Re:Poor business (Score 1) 332

Probably not. He's likely better at saying things with big words; and he's also human, and likely looks at people playing real instruments and people doing exactly the same thing with a thing shaped like a real instrument as ... well, performance art. His brain would immediately recognize the visible, physical aspect of playing the game as something he's accepted as performance art, and would build his entire appreciation of the game based on the presumption that it's leading people to engage in a non-video-game artform.

From there, attacking the game is attacking performance art. He might have actually had the impulse to attack the game based on his existing bias against video games, with the uncomfortable sensation of attacking performance art pushing back--simultaneously.

Whatever he then came up with from there is, in all likelihood, compensation for said irreconcilable conflict.

Seriously, what's the difference between Guitar Hero 4 and The Beatles: Rock Band? GH4 has a 5-button, plastic guitar; The Beatles: Rock Band has a two-octave keyboard that you can play in the same physical manner as a real instrument. Why wasn't Guitar Hero art?

Comment Re:Holy Blinking Cursor, Batman! (Score 3, Insightful) 166

Yeah, my old Commodore 64 had a blinking cursor, and it somehow managed that remarkable feat with an 8-bit 6510 CPU running at 1MHz!!!

Behold the power of Javascript! It gives a modern PC with 8-16 GHz of total CPU ... less actualy processing power than a Commodore 64.

Well done JS engine guys. Well done.

Comment Re:Poor business (Score 2) 332

Uh, April 2010, "Back Then". Roger Ebert says "video games can never be art." Can never.

Let's make a new Plinkett/Bechtel type test right here. Describe artistic game expression without relying on irrelevant (to the medium) things like pretty backgrounds, models, or movie cut scenes.

Video games are mechanics affecting these things. Even Atari games move a few pixels. Those things have to be identifiable.

Xenosaga does this with cutscenes, voice acting, complex 3D graphics, orchestral music, and the like; Golden Sun did it with two-dimensional sprites and some transformations, along with text-based dialogue and some sound-effects, and music; and Adventure: Colossal Caves did it with only text. The first two have immensely complex stories and deeply-developed characters, like a Brandon Sanderson novel or a TV series such as Babylon 5; the last is largely an exploration of a descriptive and somewhat-fantastic world inside a mountain cave, with much less depth of plot and character.

The Metroid games does the same kind of thing, notably with Fusion, Other-M, and Prime; Super Metroid is said to have a strong story backing it, but doesn't express it directly via any kind of dialogue or cut-scenes, which draws some argument from people like me who say a game that doesn't demarcate plot and purpose isn't exactly conveying a story from the writer's mind to the player's. Nevertheless, even the original 8-bit game had complex level design and creative ideas of how a game is played, combining the "platformer" and "action-adventure" genres.

Video games are often a medium to tell a story (any genre), evoke an emotion (e.g. horror), or describe a place (the world in which the game occurs). Movies and books have to tell a story; static art (images) can only describe a situation at a moment (although, as with my argument about Super Metroid not demarcating plot elements, many people argue that a picture implies a timeline events leading into and out of the situation, and thus can tell a long and complex story on its own). A video game can just world-build, giving you a place to explore without explanation or purpose other than to see it; or it can create that place and then render it in a particular art style to show off the visual medium; or it can deliver a deep and immersive cinematic experience with the player in control, or at least the illusion of control. It has options.

Ebert's main argument was that video games aren't art because art is a thing you do and show others. Video games allow players to control the outcome--you can go left or right at this point--thus they have not expressed what the player will see and hear, and so aren't art. He essentially claims anything that doesn't play out exactly the same for everyone who observes it is not an artistic expression.

Comment Re:Amazon isn't moving (Score 1) 74

These aren't taxes on activities that happened in America. If they decided to incorporate in e.g. the Caymans, they'd still owe US tax on US activities, just like today, but they wouldn't owe US tax on stuff made, shipped, and consumed in Europe, like they do today.

It's the tax system that's fucked up here.

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