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Comment Re:Not bad (Score 1) 248

It makes SO much difference when you can strafe AND turn at the same time, you can arc around your enemies while you fire at them. Although it would be possible to play without doing them at the same time, you would need to devote more thinking to maneuvering then to shooting hellspawn. You want to devote as much to shooting those demons.

Comment Re:Brillant (Score 1) 333

I've heard of a subway store that couldn't start business because daylight savings had occurred early and the computer didn't know this, so it wouldn't let things be bought for an hour. Imagine if the computer system refused to open the store if it thought it shouldn't be.


Leaked Activision Memos Compare CoD, Guitar Hero 101

Gaming site Giant Bomb got its hands on some internal memos at Activision discussing the status of their flagship Call of Duty franchise. One exec asks, "Isn't Call of Duty today just like Guitar Hero was a few years back?" A response assures him that Call of Duty is more firmly entrenched than the recently-collapsed music game genre, and adds that Activision doesn't get enough credit for innovating. Quoting: "If you really step back and dispassionately look at any measurement—sales, player engagement, hours of online play, performance of DLC—you can absolutely conclude that the potential for this franchise has never been greater. In order to achieve this potential, we need to focus: on making games that constantly raise the quality bar; on staying ahead of the innovation curve; on surrounding the brand with a suite of services and an online community that makes our fans never want to leave. Entertainment franchises with staying power are rare. But Call of Duty shows all of the signs of being able to be one of them. It’s up to us. ... Activision doesn’t always seem to get the credit it deserves in terms of innovation in my opinion, but there is no short supply of it, even in our narrower slate." An editorial at Gamepro takes exception to this, saying that Activision should stop trying to milk its franchises dry.

Comment Re:This will only hurt the users (Score 1) 267

Then you doom opensource software to be unable to use h264 in their products. FFmpeg and x264 get away with it due to their source-only distribution, although I'm sure MPEG-LA could come after them if they really wanted. If you wanted h264 in firefox, that will be a few million dollars please, per year that is. Considering that that amount of money is a significant fraction of their earnings, I don't think that they will be doing it anytime soon. So thankyou for dooming us all to propriety consumer equipment. Also consider that MPEG-LA reserves the right to start charging for the distribution of h264, although they are very unlikely to do this, vp8 has free use and distribution irrevocably given to you.

Also, h264 and vp8 are rather close, close enough that a lot of hardware can decode it with just a software update. This is truly the difference between having a codec that is only feasible to use by big companies, or something that is feasible for use in anything. If things get moving then you should get vp8 support in your devices, at that point you should be good.

Comment Re:I'm curious about codec efficiency (Score 3, Informative) 267

Of the tests that are floating around the internet, WebM is comparable to H264 base or main, but not high (the different profiles are almost like different codecs, requiring more features as you get higher). Considering pretty much no phones can play high, or maybe even main, the quality comparison is kind of moot, unless you roll multiple versions of the video for different devices.

But no, the one of the advantages of WebM is that it is patent free (there is always a chance of submarine patents though, same with theora, although since VP8 was originally made by a company it is hoped that the patent pool is complete). The other advantage is that it doesn't cost money to use it. Currently it costs a few million dollars per year to buy the rights to distribute a program with the h264 codec, if you look at mozilla for example, this is a significant fraction of the money they raise each year. Currently anybody is free to distribute h264 video, but MPEG-LA could change this at anytime (although, it would be a very bad move if they did). So you have a codec is irrevocably free, or something that requries money to distribute codecs of and could cost money to distribute videos in.

Comment iPad == no internet (Score 1) 350

I study at Adelaide University, and have seen what these introduced species do in the wild. Guess what the number one use for iPads in lectures is? Facebook. The wireless that used to be rather fast is now rather slow, due to the large influx of these new devices. This may just be the university not giving the network department more money for infrastructure updates though (they run quite a decent system, so you can't blame them).

Comment Re:And Yet, No Ogg Theora in IE (Score 1) 535

From memory, the licensing fee for h264 is about 5 million dollars, I think that was just for the year too. This is a significant fraction of firefox's income, which would mean a lot of cuts in other areas. The way VLC uses MPEG standards is technically illegal, and don't think MPEG-LA won't move if something like Mozilla uses h264 without paying.

It is also doubtful whether a USER distributing h264 material will be able to get away with no fee. The MPEG-LA has 'promised' this to be free till 2015 at least, but it is always possible they can charge people to distribute not just the codec, but video in the codec.

Also, I highly double HE-AAC or high-profile h264 will ever get onto the web. Portable devices can't play these, not even your iPad or iPod.

Comment Re:Browser process models and multitasking (Score 1) 261

If firefox is using userland threads, then the library they use must only be able to use one OS thread. This is a disadvantage in a computing world where desktop cores seems to be increasing in number and decreasing in power. Using a separate thread for each tab might be more trivial than trying to make the userland library OS thread aware.


Submission + - A lecture to engage students into Computer Science

cpcfoursixfour writes: I'm College Professor and I was challenged to give high school students a lecture to get them passionate about Computer Science. Our 3rd year students are organizing a small summer school for high school students. The idea is to motivate them to enroll into Engineering degrees. This summer school consists of several activities and classes on subjects like Electronics, Networking, Computer Science, etc.
Now, if you were given one hour to get high school students passionate about Computer Science, how would you go about it?
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - PlayStation Pull-Back Hurts Inexpensive Supercompu (itworld.com)

JimLynch writes: Yesterday, April 1st, brought the inevitable round of high-tech hijinks, as individuals and companies jockeyed to see who could be funnier. My personal favorite was Google renaming itself to Topeka, a move sure to consternate anyone not in the know and amuse those who were.

One tech company, however, released a software update that was decidedly unfunny.

Comment This is not censorship (Score 0, Flamebait) 1

This is not censorship. The leader of the protest had the authority to do what they did, which under the circumstances was probably a good idea, as they were trying to use the protest for their own ends.
The anti-immigration group also has the power to hold their own protest, for their own ideas. So there is no way you can call it censorship.

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