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PC Games (Games)

Valve Apologizes For 12,000 Erroneous Anti-Cheating Bans 202

Earlier this week, there were reports that large numbers of Modern Warfare 2 players on Steam were getting erroneously banned by Valve's Anti-Cheat software. While such claims are usually best taken with a grain of salt, the quantity and suddenness caused speculation that Valve's software wasn't operating correctly. A few days later, Valve president Gabe Newell sent out an email acknowledging that roughly 12,000 players had been inappropriately banned over the preceding two weeks. "The problem was that Steam would fail a signature check between the disk version of a DLL and a latent memory version. This was caused by a combination of conditions occurring while Steam was updating the disk image of a game." Valve reversed the bans and gave free copies of Left 4 Dead 2 to everyone who was affected.

Comment Re:How about some decent mac support this time? (Score 1) 183

Same here. I went out of my way to show support for the Mac version of Origins. Before realizing that there was to be a Mac version, I had initially bought a PC version, which I ran in BootCamp. Then when the Mac version came out, I bought it too, mostly just to show support for their doing the Mac one. Being able to avoid rebooting into BootCamp was a slight convenience, but not really enough to justify buying a second copy. My main reason was just to show support.

But I've felt pretty ill-supported in return. As you say, no 1.02 patch. No expansion pack.

And now, looking at the list of platforms for Dragon Age 2, I don't see the Mac listed.

Comment Re:Can someone explain to me why people buy this c (Score 1, Insightful) 297

What's wrong with real books?

Here we have yet another example of "I don't have an interest in a product, so obviously anyone who does must be stupid." Since several million people (myself included) were interested enough in a Kindle to pay several hundred dollars for one and you don't understand why, that obviously means all those people must be stupid. Indeed, whenever *YOU* don't understand something, that means someone *ELSE* must be stupid. Yep.

I have a personal library of several thousand books and I designed my custom-built house specifically to have a library room.

I also bought a Kindle and am very pleased with it. I bought it before going on a 2-week cruise last summer. If you can't think of what is wrong with lugging several dozen "real books" along with you on a trip, then I don't think I'm up to educating you. I worked pretty hard to keep my luggage down to something that was practical to lug through, for example, the London underground. It wouldn't have taken very many books to blow that.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Duke Nukem Forever Not Dead? (Yes, This Again) 195

kaychoro writes "There may be hope for Duke Nukem Forever (again). 'Jon St. John, better known as the voice of Duke Nukem, said some interesting words during a panel discussion at the Music and Games Festival (MAGFest) that took place January 1 – 4 in Alexandria, Virginia, according to Pixel Enemy. Answering a question from the crowd regarding DNF, St. John said: "... let me go ahead and tell you right now that I'm not allowed to talk about Duke Nukem Forever. No, no, don't be disappointed, read between the lines — why am I not allowed to talk about it?"'"

Comment Definitions so broad as to be pointless (Score 3, Insightful) 245

Their definitions almost allow grandma to count time sitting in a rocking chair on the porch watching the outside world as "consuming information". Lots of bits of data comming into those eyeballs. Or maybe even if she closes her eyes and starts daydreaming, those dreams count too. :-)

When a "report" spends a substantial amount of time explaining the notations for large numbers, it is a pretty clear sign that it isn't a very serious work.

PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

Comment Worst summary ever (Score 1) 619

Well, ok, not really the worst, but only because the competition for worst slashdot summary is pretty intense. I don't think I'll bother to comment on the merits of the actual proposal. The summary says more about whoever wrote the summary than about the proposal.

No, the regulation does not "target your big-screen TVs for elimination." Those few who RFTA will note that it doesn't say anything close to that. I note that the summary says nothing about what the proposal actually does say.

And I see that the poster makes sure to throw in spurious knee-jerk words like "unelected bureaucrats" because that certainly constructively contributes to the debate. Why would one want to debate issues when you can instead throw epithets? Going to claim they are child molesters as well?

Anyone who starts out like this summary isn't worth arguing with. When you start by blatantly misstating the most basic of facts in the matter and then continue by using irrelevant epithets in hope of getting knee-jerk agreement, I don't think you are looking for reasoned debate.

Comment It isn't an exclusive or (Score 1) 183

You don't have to choose one or the other. I don't understand why so many presumably smart people here (well, ok...) pick on a problem of some backup method or other and then conclude that it is therefore not a choice. If you really care, you have multiple backup methods - not just multiple copies, but multiple methods. They then compensate for each other's weaknesses.

Well, security issues can be another matter, as having multiple methods doesn't help your security if one of them "leaks". But I'm talking about just being able to recover the data.

I use about 4 different backup methods - some regularly and some occasionally. Apple's Time machine is real handy and I have it on all the time. That's one local copy. Mozy Pro gives me something remote in case the house burns down or whatever. It also auto-runs regularly. If I'm about to do something with extra issues such as an OS upgrade, I first make sure I have a fresh full clone using SuperDuper. And files that I particularly care about I tend to have copied onto multiple machines. If any of those methods goes belly up for some reason, I've got the others. It takes three major failures (ok, only 2 if one of them is my house going) in quick sequence to loose anything - more to loose critical stuff.

For my mother-in-law, I have her set up with Mozy (free version works because she doesn't have over 2 GB of stuff that needs backup). That's because it will happen without her attention, which is really, really important. And it also happens without me having to remember to take care of it for her regularly. She doesn't have computer stuff critical enough to need much more. If Mozy goes, I'll set her up with something different. If her computer dies right around the same time as Mozy does, then she'd loose stuff, but she'd get over it.

Comment Re:Their site... (Score 4, Insightful) 454

Thinking that something "should be illegal" is not particularly close to it being illegal. It sounds to you that you are just saying that it is unethical. I agree with that, but the point was that a prior poster said he "considered this to be illegal", and the parent asked why it was illegal.

Saying it is unethical does not answer that question. You have to actually find a law that says it is illegal.

Likewise, asaul says that it is illegal because it is misleading. Again, he doesn't cite any law against being misleading.

Even blatantly lying is not, in general, illegal. There are cases where it is, but those are specific cases; there is no general law against lying. (Mom's law doesn't count here. :-))

There are laws against false advertising, which are probably the closest things to applicable ones here. But the standards applied to that in practice tend to be awfully lenient. (Heck, as far as I can tell, darn near all advertising attempts to give false impressions in at least some way. Apparently the lawyers don't use the same standards that I do, since I don't see darn near all advertising slapped down.)

Comment Re:US Customs Isn't Kind To US Citizens, Either (Score 2, Insightful) 1040

Amen. I'm a US citizen (by birth, and I've lived here all 59 years of my life). The border folk of my own country give me far more hassle than I've ever had with any other country. I don't even fit any particularly common "bad guy profile" (independent of any questions about the use of such profiles). I'm quite the nerdy, white middle-class American image. They don't pick on me in particular; its just that the way they are to most people is so much worse than the border folk of most other countries.

This summer I had my first trip to Russia. The cruise ship folk warned us about how painful the border folk were. This appeared to be mostly a push to buy the cruise ship tour excursion so that they could help you smooth it. I didn't do that; did have my own Visa. Went through the Russian officials more quickly and easily then the US ones when I returned home.

As far as so-called security goes, if someone in my family mysteriously disappeared, never to be heard from again, agents of my own government would be a lot higher on my list of likely culprits than foreign terrorists. I don't really run around every day worried about either possibility (and I don't even brink my tin foil hat with me when I travel), but I sure know which one is higher on my concern list.

Comment Re:Server vs. client (Score 3, Insightful) 270

The server market is competitive - very much so (as I presume you are well aware). That makes the situation very much different. Most of the reason why we need net neutrality rules is the lack of competitiveness in the ISP market. If the market were really competitive, to the extent that Joe Blow customer (such as me) could realistically tell his ISP to go jump in a lake, then we wouldn't need net neutrality rules. Market competition would indeed do the job.

If I tell my ISP to go jump, I'm back to dialup... or I suppose I could get Satellite, but that's pretty worthless for anything interactive. It is clear that I'm far from alone and am closer to typical in this.

Market competition doesn't work when there is a small group that controls the market and there are substantial barriers to entry by others. That is really the crux of the whole matter, and the part that the big players who do control most of the ISP market would like to distract people from. It does make a difference - a huge one.

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