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Comment Re:50 hours of crap. (Score 3, Interesting) 249

For those who have someone escaped the drama associated with NMS and want to learn what all the fuss is about, this review does a great job of explaining - not just listing the missing features, but showing the emotional impact it had on fans who were incredibly hyped for the game.

There are some scam games on Steam that are designed to last two hours to get past the refund limit.

No Man's Sky is one of these.

I think that may be accidental - at least, I don't credit the devs with the skill to cook that up. The problem here is that the game is missing nearly every promised feature, but there's no way to discover that until you leave the first planet. Then it all turns to shit. The timing, specifically, was likely a coincidence, but Hello Games definitely knew what they were shitting out.

Also, the game crashes frequently even on console, but it can go hours between crashes. For PC, we're used to that sort of shit, and while I think that's still worth a refund, you wouldn't get mass outrage. On the console OTOH, Just Works (TM) is the freaking point of console games.

Still, had the game not been missing almost every promised feature, I think the player base would have been content to wait for a patch to fix the crashes.

Comment Re:It's Sony - duh (Score 4, Insightful) 249

50 hours? No way.

You could spend 50 hours in NMS just looking for any of the 100 missing promised features. Sure it's not all a lie? Surely it's there somewhere? Dammit.

The marketing for this product was likely illegal under most nations' consumer protection laws - heck, it was so blatant that even under US law they probably crossed the line. When a product is "not fit for purpose", playtime isn't a relevant factor. If Sony's giving refunds, it's only because their legal team told them to stay clear of fraud. I'll give Steam credit for actually caring about customer trust.

Comment Re:Extraordinary claims require ... (Score 1) 128

Indeed. But Occam's Razor only applies to a conclusion's relation to the information you have at hand. It is conceivable that if you collect enough information the same heuristic can lead you in a different direction.

It should be able to confirm his genetic relationship to his putative great-great-great grandchildren, and thus let a lower limit on his age. That and other documentary evidence of him and his descendants could make his age seem plausible. In a world with seven billion people, outliers can be very unusual indeed.

Comment It's hard to believe. (Score 5, Interesting) 103

The amount of data you need assemble a global navigation system is enormous. You don't hire some intern to transcribe data out of Wikipedia, you license it from companies like Tele Atlas.

Now for geographic place names you'd turn to sources like the USGS GNIS system for the US, whatever the local equivalent of GNIS is, or for places that don't have that datasets like GNIS the DoD's Defense Mapping Agency.

It can't possibly be that Bing gets their place/position data mainly from Wikipedia. The only thing I can think is that they did some kind of union of all the geographic name sources they could find in order to maximize the chance of getting a hit on a place name search, and somehow screwed up prioritizing the most reliable sources first.

Comment Re:No, but... (Score 1) 306

You seem to have a bug up your ass about Republicans, but I don't understand it. Most Republicans in DC are indistinguishable from most Democrats, once you look past the theater to what bills actually get passed, which are whatever the billionaire donors want. Everything else is just theater, on both sides.

Not all Whig politicians were able to get re-elected as Republicans, BTW. The platforms weren't the same and some had doubled-down on increasingly unpopular ideas (otherwise, the party never would have faded). I can't predict what coalition will arise from the ashes of the GOP, but Trump proves that catering to the religious whackos has become unnecessary and pointless - it never actually mattered that Trump is pro-choice, and not particularly religious.

And yes, today's GOP is "dead party walking", unless Trump somehow wins (Hillary would have to stroke out) and even then only the name would survive. Trump supporters are furious with the GOP, and without them it's a 40% party.

And of course, there's the legal cases still working their way through the courts where various entities are arguing that even saying to the insurer (who has no practical objection to birth control, it's a cost-saver for them), that they don't want to be involved, is a burden on them, to fill out a form, saying leave us out of it.

The court cases are about filling out a government form registering your religious beliefs. I object to that too: history suggests that sort of thing never ends well.

I'll at least expect a conscientious objector to report their status to the draft board.

Different case. The rule is that the State cannot not compel you to act against your strong moral beliefs unless there's a compelling state interest and the action is the narrowest possibly to address that. Registering as a conscientious objector is a perfect example where both are true. The court found no compelling State interest in having birth control paid for by insurance (rather than, you know, money).

Be open at some hours. Be closed at others. Access for people, even service animals.

You'd be surprised by what gets waved for legitimate religious objections. A strictly kosher restaurant, for example, doesn't follow all the same rules (of course, it has rather more self-imposed).

As for birth control, if it's against your moral principles for a person under your employ to make their own choices about their reproduction

Now you're talking about a very narrow subset of Catholics, and we're effectively back to fringe cults. But if you had it as corporate policy that employees couldn't use birth control, that would be very different legally from not paying for it via insurance. The former is an undue burden on the employee, the latter isn't.

Personally, I'm against any law mandating insurance coverage in all policies for that only women in a certain age range need - that's singling out a group of privileged people for elevated legal treatment, and again history shows that sort of thing never ends well.

Comment Re: Logic Says It Should Be Legal (Score 1) 341

I've been injecting insulin and other drugs for 16 years now. No fuckups. No reactions. Nothing, and i'm no one special in this regard. It sounds like epinephrine is less stable than insulin in storage, but I could work with that - I used to carry my drugs in a sealed metal thermos on travel. Deployed to Iraq and back that way in 07-08.

Comment It's fine to let companies set prices (Score 1) 341

What is not fine is to give a very long monopoly to only one company to make them... without competition the price will not naturally fall.

You have to allow some time let companies have some profits on research, but how long has the Epi-Pen been around? Long enough there should be more than one company making hem now.

Comment A few obvious corrections (Score 1) 49

First, DES is 56 bit (near enough 60). Triple DES as per first mode (the authorised standard) is 168 bits. The article fails to distinguish, implying the authors are just a little bit naff. 3DES seems to be quite safe, as long as not used in DES emulation mode. And who the hell emulates a mode that was broken in the 80s?

Second, Blowfish was replaced by TwoFish, ThreeFish and Speck. Skein, an entrant to the DES3 challenge, makes use of ThreeFish.

Third, the Wikipedia page states it has been known for a long time that weak keys are bad. This particular attack, though, is a birthday attack. You can find all the ciphers vulnerable or free that you should be using. Anything not on the list is something you are solely responsible for.


In other words, this information is about as useful as telling up that Model T Fords weren't good at cornering at highway speeds. Below are some links, I can't be buggered to HTML-ify them.


I do not trust most encryption software these days, but that's because programmers these days are sloppy and arrogant.

Comment Re: It's research... (Score 1) 142

Tee hee! Back in the day, one of the points I made to the old farts was that I had passed the 20 WPM exam and had my K6BP call to show for it, but refused to use the code on the air until the requirement was gone. Nobody spat at me or punched me out, the worst that ever happened was a poor behaving slim using my call and a postcard from the ARRL observer who thouht it was me.

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