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Comment You havn't played the game, have you? (Score 1) 447

Since the game plays _just_ _fine_ without a connection to "the servers" (at least on PS/4) because it's not WoW in space, the presence of item 2 on this list tells me that you've never actually played this game. "The Servers" in No Man's Sky are just data repositories for the discoveries you upload, and the chance to download other peoples discoveries if you find anybody else's planet. There's no "instancing" because your machine is the instance.

Meanwhile, I have not seen a single broken promise in the game. I don't know what the munchkin power-gamer types _thought_ they were buying... but what I got was pretty much exactly what I was sold: An exploration and survival sandbox game with a rich story that you have to "discover" (by reading the texts you farm out of ancient monoliths and ruins).

Now I know the people who didn't pay attention to what was being sold are quite disappointed because they were thinking they were getting Destiny "life full of boomstick!" redux. But go find me a single video from the makers that tried to sell that at all. They talked about exploring worlds, mining, crafting, and dodging sentinels.

Is the game flawless? Fuck no. It's essentially impossible to find your way back along your flight path to that one planet that had that one resource that you desperately need, and ibid for finding your way back to an on-planet trade hub. So the mapping and waypointing needs some work. And I can see signs of bigger things that got waylaid (like observatories that talk about locations in distant space that, instead, direct you to far-away points on the planet you are on), but I suspect that that became a question of things simplified in play-testing.

So I agree with the parts of your sentiment that "you pay your money and you take your chance", but I disagree with any part of anybody's complaint if they are bitching about "the servers" and the lack of WoW-in-space behaviors.

I've yet to see a single complaint that really boils down to a broken promise. I've seen a lot of complaining about things that were fully disclosed in the advanced coverage where the complainer took great liberties with their imagination, insisting that what they were promised was not delivered. But those undelivered promises seem to be entirely in their heads.

Comment It's _exactly_ the game they sold in all the hype. (Score 1) 447

Minus a couple small things (like every planet has lots of upload points instead of having to find an upload point on just some planets) this is _exactly_ the game Hello Games was hawking. I just don't think the audience was paying attention.

Procedurally generated universe: Check. Of _course_ the universe is therefore limited by the number of procedures and skins available in the download, duh...

Rich Story: Check. You of course have to farm the sources (like monoliths) to extract the story.

Completely customizable personal tool, suit, and ship: Check.

Peace versus War is your choice: Check.

Basically the game was marketed as the opposite of Destiny et al. It's survival and exploration instead of "closet full of boomstick!" : Check.

So I went online and found guides on how to quickly max out your ship, suit, and multitool. In other words guides on how to skip the game content. Skipping game content is boring. Check.

I've seen screenshots of people who've advanced further and faster, including people surrounded by sentinel walkers and whatnot.

I got a great sense of accomplishment when I finally figured out how to properly kit out my ship to take on a swarm of fighters (hint, the cannon is dumb fire but the burst beam is on a tracking turret).

And with a low-slot multi-tool, built poorly, I was _everything's_ bitch. But now I've built up a tool that I barely have to aim to take down large creature in moments. (hint, wide-shot bolt thrower and rail-gun mod then build up all the mining beam distance and focus, then never switch to bolt mode, the mining beam gets an invisible halo of destruction).

I did a free-flight (no pathing) and found myself in a world of hurt, and got back on path.

There are six or eight pathing pips and I've only unlocked one (you get two for free) so I'm assming eventually those other pips mean something.

I've had only one group of crashes on my PS/4 (version 1.4 had a tendency to crash if you opened your inventory in space). Other's have had more crashes. I've hat that same experience on other games, and when it's happened I've done a "rebuild database" on the PS/4 and then reinstalled and the problem went away, so that's more of a platform issue than a stability issue IMHO.

So I've seen a lot of bitching by power gamers and power levelers who then discovered (or didn't figure out) that they should be reading the text in a story game, and no, you _won't_ end up in a one-man super fortress because _duh_, that's not this game.

Quite frankly some times it is boring, which is the nature of exploration, but I've managed to sit down and play for eight hours straight... completely engrossed in the game.

So a bunch of whiners want their money back because they didn't pay attention to the advertisements. Ha Ha, sucks to be stupid. But in terms of being a "bad game"... not so much.

What I regret is that this means that the money won't keep floating in so the company probably won't be able to roll out the next chunk.

TL;DR :: Everything promised has, so far, been present in the game. But if you are a stupid munchkin power gamer, who wants every room to have one monster and one treasure, then you will be sadly disappointed. If you were looking for world of warcraft in space, this is not your game, and its developers never pretended it would be. The people who want their money back are essentially guilty of bad decision making and failure to pay attention to plain-spoken promises.

Transportation

Vienna Airport Says Glitch That Disrupted Dozens Of Flights Resolved (reuters.com) 13

On Sunday, Vienna Airport was at the receiving end of a number of flight delays and cancellations due to data transmission issues. On Monday, it announced that all the issues have been resolved. Reuters reports:"Austrian air traffic control has solved the issue," the airport said on its website early on Monday. "At the moment there are no delayed or canceled flights. We advise passengers to contact their airline." The automated transfer of flight planning data between air traffic control centers in Brussels and Vienna collapsed completely for a while on Sunday afternoon, said a spokesman for Austro Control, which monitors Austrian air space.

Comment Re:Apple only? (Score 1) 236

They generally do support multiple lines for multiple customers, but that doesn't automatically let Apple of the hook. I'd imagine that each customer has a specific and confidential contract negotiated based on guaranteed volumes, excess volumes, complexity of assembly, and so on, which would make a direct comparison problematic even if the numbers were in the public domain, so it's going to be far from clear cut. However, if it can be shown that only Apple is insisting that Pegatron (and presumably other assemblers) push the costs below what they can sustain while remaining in compliance with China's laws (which are not that great to start with), or - perhaps more likely - is doing so to a greater degree than other companies, then it's absolutely an Apple story.

Of course, regardless of Apple's culpability (or not), it's mostly a "western consumers generally don't give a crap about conditions in third world sweat shops" story. Perhaps if someone like Fairtrade, or a similar organization, started establishing and enforcing some standards, putting the brand names on a guilt trip to take more responsibility, and gaving people a choice between paying a bit extra for the peace of mind an "approved supplier" logo brings or just saving a few bucks and conscience be damned, then we might see some traction on this. Until then, it's going to be minimised costs, maximised profits, and screw the cheap labour for every drop of blood and sweat you can get away with.

Submission + - Mediterranean diet better for the heart than taking statins, major study suggest (telegraph.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: A Mediterranean diet could be better than statins at reducing the risk of an early death for millions of Britons, research suggests.

Leading heart experts said patients should be prescribed the diet — rich in fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, whole grains and olive oil — before being put on drugs.

In the first major study to look at the impact of the Med diet on survival of heart patients, experts found it cut the chances of early death by 37 per cent.

Previous research has found just taking statins cuts mortality by 18 per cent. Experts said the figures were not directly comparable, and that many heart patients could get maximum benefit by doing both.

Comment Re:Fair use (Score 1) 171

It would be fair use only if used infrequently. For example, if you want to quote someone else's article in your article, that's fair use. However, if your entire business is dependent upon making snippets from thousands of articles, that's no longer fair use, it's commercial use.

No, you're wrong.

First, fair use applies to both commercial and non-commercial uses. For example, when Mad Magazine did a movie parody, that would be fair use, even though the magazine us sold for an increasing cheap price and is a commercial venture.

Second, the previous poster didn't really explain it well. Fair use is when a copyrighted work is used without permission in a way that, but for fair use, would be infringing, but which is not infringing because it is in the general purpose of copyright to allow such a use. It's evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and is completely fact dependent. This, any particular use might be a fair use, but not just any use actually is.

There's a test for finding out whether a use is fair or not. It has four factors, though it isn't a matter of adding up how many factors go one way or another, and depending on the case, one factor might be treated as outweighing another. Plus, it's just a tool; other factors can be considered too.

The factors are: 1) the purpose and character of the use, such as whether the use is for profit or not, whether the use would advance the progress of knowledge by resulting in something new or otherwise helpful; 2) the nature of the work being used, such as whether it is fictional and therefore very creative and worth protecting, or factual, and therefore not worth protecting quite so much (how a work presents itself is also often relevant in copyright; if you claim that something is a fact, even though it's made up or is just a hypothesis, others may get to treat it as a fact) as well as whether the work being used has already been published or not; 3) the amount of the work used, and how important to the work that portion is; and 4) whether the use will have a negative effect on the value or market for the work (positive effects are not considered).

Snippets of this type -- in aggregate, mind you -- have repeatedly been found to be fair use in the US because for the first factor, although the use is commercial in nature, it provides a benefit to society in being able to search for this material (which of course requires as much material as possible to be used in constructing the index, even though the index itself, as opposed to the results of a search, is not made available), the second factor may weigh against the use depending on the material being indexed, but it is not treated as being very important, obviously the whole work must be used to make the index for the index to be useful, so the third factor doesn't matter, and for the fourth factor, it doesn't harm the market for news articles to be able to find them and to see in one or two lines why they match your search terms. It doesn't matter if that's the business model.

And if you think this is extreme, look at time shifting, which is bad on all of the first three factors, but is sufficiently successful on the fourth so as to be fair use (in a general way, since again it is highly fact dependent)

Comment Re:Many reform proposals (Score 1) 171

Perhaps, but again, it just demonstrates that the media companies simply don't get it and having cut of their own nose have now proceeded to remove other facial features. People don't use search engines to find out what's going on in the world (e.g. the snippets of news articles of TFS), they'll go directly to their MSM site(s) of choice for that with no linking or royalties required, or go through a new aggregator. People use a search engine for news stories because they either already know what they are looking for but don't know where to look for it or are looking for an alternative take on it, and in that case having some indication of how relevant the results are (in the case of the snippets) or any results (in the case of linking in the first place) are going to dictate where their clicks go.

What the MSM sites don't seem to grasp is that this is free traffic generation for them; when a user searches for some given event/gossip/whatever and ends up on some random news site purely because it happened to pop up in the search results with a relevant looking snippet of the article, they've got an opportunity to serve up some ads, sell other services they offer, and maybe even acquire a new regular reader. Remove the snippets, let alone the links, and all of that traffic is not just going to go away - it's going to go to one of your competitors that had more of a clue about how things work. Both the search engines and MSM companies need each other for this arrangement to work, but the relative numbers of major search engines to MSM sites puts the advantage firmly in the hands of the search engines; they need *some* MSM sites, but they don't need all of them, and they certainly don't need the ones the like to haul them into the courts at the drop of a hat.

Comment Re:Many reform proposals (Score 2) 171

Even if it does pass, I really don't see this one being a problem for the search engines - just the opposite, in fact given the way Google responded to a similar legislative attempt in Spain. It's a "request for payment", at least in this version, so I would imagine it'll go down like this: Some media outlets "request" payment. The search engines cough up some cash for past transgressions and strip the snippets from future search results for those companies. Search engine users click on alternative links that still provide snippets. Media outlets that made the requests for payments have to go back to the search engines and beg for a new deal, which will obviously be loaded in favour of the search engines.

As a bonus, as search engine users and media consumers, we'll also get to sort out the dinosaurs in the media business (Hi, Rupert!) from those that are actually willing to try and embrace the new Internet order and make it work for them; I know which group I'd rather support...
Transportation

Domino's Will Deliver Pizza By Drone and By Robot (roboticstrends.com) 74

An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes CNN Money's report that "pizzas will soon be dropping from the heavens": Domino's demonstrated its ability to deliver food via a drone Thursday in New Zealand and plans to test actual deliveries to customers next month. "It doesn't add up to deliver a two kilogram package in a two-ton vehicle," said Scott Bush, a general manager for Domino's Pizza Enterprises, which is independent of the U.S. chain and operates in seven countries. "In Auckland, we have such massive traffic congestion it just makes sense to take to the airways."

A Domino's customer who requests a drone delivery will receive a notification when their delivery is approaching. After going outside and hitting a button on their smartphone, the drone will lower the food via a tether. Once the package is released, the drone pulls the tether back up and flies back to the Domino's store.

Robotics Trends has video from the flight, and reports that Domino's is also testing a pizza-delivering robot. Their Domino's Robotics Unit "has four wheels, is less than three feet tall, and has a heated compartment that can hold up to 10 pizzas. It can deliver pizzas within a 12.5-mile radius before needing to be recharged."
The Internet

New SWEET32 Crypto Attacks Speed Up Deprecation of 3DES, Blowfish (threatpost.com) 53

Researchers "have devised a new way to decrypt secret cookies which could leave your passwords vulnerable to theft," reports Digital Trends. Slashdot reader msm1267 writes: New attacks revealed today against 64-bit block ciphers push cryptographic ciphers such as Triple-DES (3DES) and Blowfish closer to extinction. The attacks, known as SWEET32, allow for the recovery of authentication cookies from HTTPS traffic protected by 3DES, and BasicAUTH credentials from OpenVPN traffic protected by default by Blowfish.

In response, OpenSSL is expected to remove 3DES from its default bulid in 1.1.0, and lower its designation from High to Medium 1.0.2 and 1.0.1. OpenVPN, meanwhile, is expected to release a new version as well with a warning about Blowfish and new configuration advice protecting against the SWEET32 attacks. The researchers behind SWEET32 said this is a practical attack because collisions begin after a relatively short amount of data is introduced. By luring a victim to a malicious site, the attacker can inject JavaScript into the browser that forces the victim to connect over and over to a site they're authenticated to. The attacker can then collect enough of that traffic -- from a connection that is kept alive for a long period of time -- to recover the session cookie.

Comment Re:Young engineers ... (Score 1) 237

These engineers went on to build software that re-created every mistake in the book about how and OS should be designed and implemented.

Microsoft had a client OS that ran on the hardware-challenged commodity PCs of the early eighties and nineties --- not a trivial achievement. It's future was not dependent on the success or failure of any single computer manufacturer --- and in the early days it presented a plausible and relatively straight-forward upgrade path from CP/M.

Comment Car stereo (Score 1) 379

My car stereo only takes CD's, so yeah... still using optical media. I rarely ever use DVD's any more; only for archival grade DVD backups (and even those are becoming increasingly rare) and have never even bothered with BD. I own a BD player as an amplifier for my TV because the audio quality was better than a similarly priced home theater system or *spit* "soundbar", but have never tried an actual BD disc.

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