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Comment Disagree with the characterization of the product (Score 1) 256

I don't care one way or the other if they use a paywall or not, but the characterization of the company as starting to charge for its "product" is ludicrous.

The New York Times is a newspaper company. Newspaper companies do not sell newspapers--those aren't the "products" that they charge for. Newspaper companies sell eyeballs. They use various techniques to attract readers, but most especially to attract subscribers. Then they sell the eyeballs of their subscribers to advertisers. That was the business model for newspapers that got them profit margins of over 20% in the 1970s and 80s.

Many internet sites essentially use the same business model. However, the profit margins aren't quite the same, and advertising can't keep up with expenses.

Making people pay to read or buy the newspaper has always just been a cost-defraying measure, not a profit-creation measure.


How To Make a Good Gaming Sequel 150

Kantor48 writes "In today's world of unimproved gaming sequels and saturated franchises, Arthur Kabrick looks at the best and worst sequels in recent history, and compares the changes they've made to the formulae of their franchises. By doing this, he comes up with a list of lessons that any game developer creating a sequel should follow, if at all possible, to ensure that the new game is a step up, rather than a step sideways or, as in some cases, a step down. The criteria include ensuring the game does not spend too much time in development, updating technology, and trying not to change the development team, as well as being wary of changing the basic formula so much that fans of the franchise are alienated."

Comment Re:Smirking Pluto Killer - Not My Favorite (Score 1) 799

The peer-reviewed paper that showed that the "brontosaurus" was really an apatosaur was published in 1903.

I've often used the brontosaurus/apatosaurus story to explain how often popular ideas lag behind scientific discoveries. Literally over 100 years after it was discovered that the apatosaurus was what we had been calling the brontosaurus, there are books, movies, t-shirts, cups, and all sorts of things *at science museums* which continue the false naming convention. This is why science needs "activists" to continue to represent to the public their most recent discoveries.

Comment Re:I have the great forturne ... (Score 1) 356

I've read his other books, and I loved the Baroque Cycle. I actually started "late" with Cryptonomicon, then read Snow Crash (and re-read it a couple of times, and listened to the audio version in a car trip) followed by everything but "The Big U", which isn't exactly ubiquitous.

In the other comments, I notice a certain self-identification that I don't think I have. I think the issue is that I'm more of a "literary geek" than a "technical geek". I enjoy the worlds Stephenson builds, I enjoy his sense of play, I enjoy his imagination and his characterizations, and, apparently in contrast to most Slashdot readers, I love all the endings of his books.

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"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer