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Comment Re:Man up! (Score 1) 314

I drink beer from a German brewery that is 700 years old (and there others that are nearly a thousand years old). Keeping an enterprise operating for millenia is already a solved problem.

To be fair, this is a much easier proposition when the enterprise in question is brewing tasty, tasty beer.

Comment Re:Remember National Opt Out Day (Score 1) 712

Admirable as the sentiment may be, this is idiotic. A one-day boycott will change nothing. I'd guess the actual message sent is that whatever policy being protested can continue, since there is no support for long-term protest. But I'm sure all involved will fell like they're DOING SOMETHING.

Earlier this summer, Slashdot ran a retrospective of the Birmingham bus boycotts. One of the major takeaways (which went unremarked-upon) is that the boycott persisted for an entire year before any change was effected.

That's how you fix things. Get you and everyone you know, and everyone they know, (etc.) to stop flying entirely, for as long as it takes.

If air travel drops by 20% across the board, and those numbers are sustained, things will change.

Comment Re:Fear & Ignorance (Score 1) 1530

Le'ts pretend for a moment, just for the sake of argument, that past actions can affect future outcomes.

As long as we're pretending, let's also imagine that the actions someone (or, say, an entire political party) takes can have an effect after the date that that person/party is no longer the majority.

Could you help me out and run through your "it's all the Democrats' fault" argument again, but set it in my (admittedly fantastical) pretend-land?

Comment The sky is not, in fact, falling. (Score 2, Insightful) 161

Observations, in rough order of significance.

1.) The default weapons are some of the most powerful, flexible weapons in the game. Rocket launcher, minigun, scattergun, butterfly knife, sticky bombs, medigun (etc.) are all core to game play, and you'll never be at an item-based disadvantage playing with a stock loadout. The new items (all the way back to the medic update), range from situational to strict downgrades. The only real mistake was version-1 backburner, when it gave 50 health, and that only lasted two months. (Melee weapons are the possible exception here--especially the ubersaw and equalizer--but it's probably okay balance-wise for the melee weapons to be above the curve.)
I played last night; some players had bought new item sets. I didn't really notice a difference. Sure, if you get hit with milk (non-milk substance!), another scout has a 1v1 advantage, but that's a corner case. The new sniper rifle is good, and makes the sniper more team-oriented, but that ignores just how absurd the default sniper rifle is. On the other hand, being killed by a fish IS mighty humiliating.
The upshot is, that you can compete on a level playing field without spending a penny at the store.

2.) The store is purely value-added. The new items are in the same mold as the community-created content added this spring. Valve could have continued to release them the same way, by adding them to the drop system. This time, though, the also provided the option (apparently a widely-requested one) to allow players to purchase the items instead of taking their chances with the drop system. The important thing, though, is that if you don't want to pay for additional content, NOTHING HAS CHANGED. From your p.o.v. the system is just like it was for every other set of new items since the sniper/spy update.

3.) The comments about "grinding" being a poor way to earn paid content pretty much entirely miss the point. Valve was wise enough to tie item drops to nothing but time played. There's no kill farming or achievement whoring required. If playing TF2 qualifies as "grinding" for you, I'd suggest that finding a game you enjoy.

4) TF2 players complain. About everything. Grenades (lack thereof), pyros, the Sandman, demomen, achievements, new weapons, hats, the drop system, idlers, should I keep going? It wouldn't surprise me if somewhere on the forum, someone is complaining that Red is OP. Lost in this is the fact that the game is incredibly fun, and has provided amazing long-term value. The game has never in it's life been 50 dollars (unless you count the Orange Box), and has never had a subscription fee. And yet Valve has quadrupled the number of available maps (not even counting the community-made ones that they incorporated and polished), tripled the number of available weapons, and added two entirely new game modes. Complaining that they began offering the option to purchase freely-available content three years into the game's lifespan is the very epitome of ingratitude.

Blizzard Rolls Out Real ID Privacy Options 145

tacarat writes "The last time Blizzard mentioned their new Real ID system, there was a strong backlash from users over privacy issues. Blizzard reconsidered their plans to require real names for forums, and little has been heard about it since. Now, they've announced new privacy settings, allowing users to limit how their name gets shared or to disable the system entirely. Quoting: 'These options provide Real ID users with additional tools for customizing the service based on their preferences, enabling the ability to opt in or out of the Real ID "Friends of Friends" and "Add Facebook Friends" features or to turn off Real ID altogether.'"

Comment Better a machine... (Score 3, Insightful) 430

Let's stop pretending that this is anything but a technological tool for doing what is already happening. Individuals are already differentially sentenced for all kinds of reasons, many of them terrible. Far better to use well-understood machine-learning/data-mining techniques instead of the discretion of individual judges and all its attendant biases.

N.B. This obviously has the potential for misuse (e.g. the first time some political hack suggests it is great for preemption.), but it is not a prima facie violation of individual's rights.

Eternal Vigilance, etc.

Comment Re:Thoughtcrime (Score 5, Informative) 430

Of course, if you'd bothered to read TFA (and were able to ignore the author's histrionics), you'd realize that the idea is to use this technology to differentially sentence offenders based on the likelihood of recidivism. That is, juveniles who have already committed a crime.

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