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Comment Re:All FPS do this (Score 1) 366

I'm not entirely sure I agree with you when you say "we don't like [moral ambiguity] in games".

I'd argue the problem is more moral ambiguity is difficult to write in games. It is hard to create characters and situations that are both morally ambiguous and rewarding to play, but when it's done right it can be extremely effective. The problem is it's extremely easy for a writer or game designer to take the easy way out and just state "this man is bad" versus "this man is driven by a series of complex emotions and decisions".

For example, Deus Ex is pretty much in every single Top 10 Games list ever made, and that's a game which takes great pains to make almost every character morally ambiguous. Everyone you're up against will have some plausible logic behind their actions, and you're frequently chastised and praised for your violence or passivity as a player by NPCs. And it's undeniable that players responded extremely positively to that game.

People *are* drawn to ambiguous characters for the simple reason that they reflect ourselves: nobody is perfect, after all. I'm not saying every game should offer you differing ethical choices and perspective (hey, sometimes its fun to just gun down Nazis without worrying about the consequences of your actions), but morally ambiguous characters *can* be enjoyable to watch (hey, The Sopranos and The Wire were based around that entire premise), and to play.

Comment Re:I would just like to take this opportunity to s (Score 2, Informative) 530

It amazes me that people here just don't get the fact that Assange has no case. If you actually read the ruling (, you'll see that not only legally did he have very little to actually complain about, but his own defense lawyer basically lied to the court.

So go ahead, rant about big government and scary oppression all you want, but it's completely irrelevant to this case. Britain and Sweden are members of the European Union. One of the major benefits of the EU is the easing of border restrictions. You can cross from France to Germany, for example, without a passport. Citizens of one EU country can legally work in any other EU country. However, this runs both ways. You can move freely between EU countries as an EU citizen, but so can the law. That's the whole point of a European Arrest Warrant. That's why Assange has no case. It's got nothing about the US, nothing about him...and all about the law.

In case you didn't get it: every single point of Assange's defense was demolished by the judge. Now, you're probably going to say "well, of course, the judge was in on it too", but read the ruling. He allegedly committed a crime in Sweden. He may well be innocent, but that's completely irrelevant. This hearing had absolutely nothing to do about his guilt, and everything to do about whether Sweden is legally able to extradite people in another EU country for crimes they are wanted in connection with. And there's not question that Sweden has that right under EU law.

I'll say it once more: read the ruling I linked to above. Assange's legal defense was very bad, and never stood a chance. It's not about people out to get him, it's about a terrible legal team


Comment Re:A History of Brilliant Behavior (Score 4, Informative) 189

Exactly - it wasn't unusual. It happens in almost every new piece of media - for a time its cultural value is under appreciated, and much material is lost. The same things happened in the 1910s-20s with film. Film stock *was* volatile, but with the right storage could have been preserved. Today, less than 10% of films made during that time period exist, mainly because the rest got thrown out.

The same thing happened in the 60s/70s with video tape (the stuff cost a fortune, and nobody thought people were going to care about the programs they were erasing 50 years in the future), and again with websites until crawling and archiving became commonplace.

Comment Too late for developers... (Score 2, Interesting) 336

It seems that Nokia has a bit of a following on /., probably because their hardware is pretty decent, and key handsets like the N900 appeal to the demographic here. But the fact is in terms of an *ecosystem*, Nokia has nothing. They are in the gutter.
Nokia are at the point where they are actively having to pay developers to write apps. And we're not talking small apps here - big, branded apps for global companies, who are being approached by Nokia asking them if they'd like an app for Ovi. I couldn't tell you the number of clients I deal with day in day out during my day job who have already been rung up by Nokia. Even with an app developed at no cost, very few companies will take Nokia up on it.
It is simply not a space that people want to release software into right now. It doesn't get you press, and it doesn't get you sales. At least Blackberry have realised their previous app space strategy wasn't working, and are attempting to engage with mobile developers in a meaningful way. Nokia's left there without a clue.

Comment Re:thrusting (Score 4, Insightful) 594

I don't know where you're getting the idea it's cheaper to shoot on film than digital, but in the vast majority of cases it's much, *much*, cheaper to shoot digitally than on film.

Film is costly for several reasons, including having a finite supply of it (when shooting a film you tend to shoot between 3-4x more footage than you end up using. On digital it's much closer to 15-20x more footage), having to scan it to work on it digitally in post production (optical effects and tints being very rare today), and increasingly in today's world, a lack of people trained to handle it.

Not to mention the fact that stock itself is very expensive, and for digital you're either shooting on magnetic media or SSD.

Finally, your assertion that "depth is a known problem with filming" is nonsense. You may be used to seeing films with a shallow field, but it's entirely possible to shoot films without any depth of field at all. There was a movment in the 1930s to this effect - some really classic films such as 'The Rules of the Game' are shot almost entirely in 'deep focus', where there effectively is no depth of field, and everything is in sharp clarity.

Comment Re:iPhone? (Score 1) 266

"C) With no restrictions on app development, the person who makes a $.99 fart application loses business to the teenager with an hour of free time and an SDK who makes his own one and releases it for free for his own amusement. With the iPhone that app might cost $50 or more to develop"

Ah, but that's not strictly true, is it? Because to get onto the Android Market you need to pay a $25 registration fee. Now, I'll admit the App Store requires a $99 fee, but I think it's worth noting both platforms require some form of payment to actually get onto the main storefront.

Comment Ooo, deja vu (Score 5, Insightful) 317

It's sort of ironic that Facebook is trying to stop someone crawling public profiles on their site, because that's exactly what Mark Zuckerberg did while he was at Harvard (I was a grad student in the CS department at the time).

Pre-Facebook, Zuckerberg created a site that let Harvard students compare each other, a bit like Hot or Not. Obviously nobody was going to go to a site that wasn't populated with their classmates, so he basically crawled the websites of the various residential houses that put their students info online (but behind passwords and auth) and copied it into his own site.

He actually got into a fair bit of trouble for this, and ended up being sent to Harvard's ad-board for discipline (I think he got put on probation, but I'm not entirely sure).

The key difference here is that this guy actually did everything by the book and followed robots.txt, whereas Mark Zuckerberg didn't.

Comment Re:I'd hope so. (Score 4, Insightful) 171

Exactly. People who are stupid enough to fall for it deserve what they get.

This isn't the government going behind your back, putting you under covert surveillance. It's completely in the open. A friend of mine used to work for the MA state police, in the computer forensics unit. He was amazed at the number of gang members who would just openly accept his friend request on Facebook, which would lead to him quietly beavering away to figure out the social network of the gang, where they met, what they got up to. Sneaky? Perhaps, but not illegal.

Really, people are just plain stupid.

Comment Re:Of course it is easy! (Score 2, Insightful) 684

I think I disagree - the beauty of programming is everyone codes in a different way. I taught entry-level CS. A simple java 'print "hello world" 10 times using a for loop' question may only have one solution, but dozens of stylistic variations. Square braces on the same line? Spaces between your commas? System.out.println() or System.out.print? Cheating in CS is generally pretty easy to catch when somebody is just copying code, because it will be totally out of style with their usual work. The problem comes when someone is cheating to such an extent that *none* of their code is original!

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