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Comment I Do Call Center Work (Score 1) 20

For a cellphone company. And a fairly small percentage of the customers call so often that it bleeds away a lot of the profits. Trying to figure out how to get these people to stop calling so much is a full time job for many thousands of people in my industry. Next solution: Replace me with Siri-like bots. Customers won't like it at first but someone has to pay for me for my time and my benefits and the cost of the call center. AI customer service and sales bots are coming and not that far into the future.

Comment Send Them Back To Hell (Score 1) 215

Sending IS back to hell with airpower is easy when they are out in the open. But once Islamic State fighters retreat to towns like Fallujah it will be very difficult to twist them out of their holes. It will require house to house fighting and the towns will be more or less destroyed in the process with great cost to any civilians in the area. If the Shiite dominated Iraq Army does it there will be all kinds of payback. But I doubt they will step up. It will be up to mostly the US with help from the UK and some token help from a few other countries. Colin Powell was right. We broke it, we bought it.

Comment Gates Is Right, shockingly (Score 1) 503

Let's say you're sending your 19 year old off to college and for this argument you have to choose between and iPad and a netbook to give her. Which one would get the job done better? Netbook wins hands down for the real keyboard, ability to use a mouse and wide variety of software. The iPad is for gadget hounds to play with while sitting on the toilet (I hope they are easy to clean) and for tech-savvy older folks to read their Wall Street journal from the easy chair. The biggest drawback of the iPad that needs to be discussed more is the lack of a courser and mouse support because of Steve Job's Don Quixote quest to create something with no mouse and keyboard that works entirely with your fingers on glass. We take the mouse and keyboard for granted and forget how good it is until we try to do something without it. The touch interface works on the iPhone but will fail when compared to the netbook for general purpose computing because of the superior dexterity of the mouse compared to the finger on glass interface.

Comment Ken Silverman and Levelord (Score 5, Informative) 325

The part of the story that needs to be talked about a bit more is the under-recognized talent that worked on Duke 3D and made it so much fun. 3D Realms got lucky once because of a brilliant young programmer named Ken Silverman who wrote the engine while he was still in high school, and the talents of their design team, people like Levelord and others. The management of the company took credit for the success of Duke 3D. But once the talent left, management lived for years off the residual income from the various Duke ports and publisher advances while showing their utter lack of competence by being unable to ship a single product. While we mourn Duke and scorn Broussard and Miller let's remember the fine work of the team. Good work, guys!

Comment High Paying Jobs (Score 1) 362

If you can stand the mental torment, the pay taking cancellation calls at Sprint call centers starts about about 45k a year and tops out at 80 to 90k if you are good and do 20 to 30 hours of overtime a week. Before the scam was exposed 3 years* ago AOL call centers taking "retention" calls pay also started at about 50k and topped out over 100K for those willing to do heavy amounts of overtime.


Comment My Question (Score 1) 246

Short Question: I play Mythic's current MMO Dark Age of Camelot and, like a bad relationship, I love it and hate it and can't leave it. The addictiveness and superior PvP make me optimistic that Warhammer will be the WoW killer that EA hopes for. Almost everyone who plays DAoC considers it a superior game to WoW. But some glaring flaws in the game design and underlying game engine concern me that the same type of mistakes and flaws will be in Warhammer. How are the Warhammer designers and programmers working to avoid the well-know problems with their current game, Dark Age of Camelot? Long Question: The abilities of the three realms in DAoC are unusually asymmetrical for a game of this type which does make it interesting . But it seems like over and over and over one of the three realms gets buffed. I know Hibernia had low population in the first years of the game (probably because the newbs usually picked Albion and the Hib characters looked freakish). So you gave Hib mages baseline stun which renders their opponent helpless as they get nuked to death, while you gave mages from the other two realms root which freezes the targets feet to the ground but does not render them helpless. That flaw is still in today and is a constantly given reason for quitting the game after people get stun-nuked one time too many. Hib baseline stun has driven thousands of people away from the game. And the carebear type players who love WoW will head for the doors after experiencing that a few times. You gave Hibernia Group Purge exclusively - since removed from the game as too powerful. You gave them Thornweed field first - a mistake that was corrected when you gave it to all three realms. Hib primary healers have pets programmed to make a beeline to the enemy healers which completely shuts them down until the pet is killed - the other two realm's primary healers do not have pets (still in the game today). When New Frontiers came out you put the boat docks on the other side of the river for two realms (to make players vulnerable to attack while going to the boat) but not for Hib - another mistake since corrected. It goes on and on and on. What were your game designers thinking and are these kinds of mistakes going to be made in Warhammer? Game Engine: The technology used in DAoC was impressive when it came out in 2001 and has been updated successfully and looks pretty good by today's standards, but has some glaring problems that your programmers can't seem to fix. Is the game engine fundamentally flawed or are there no programmers at Mythic skilled enough to go deep into the engine and fix this stuff? I don't expect you to have a John Carmack on the payroll but some of these problems seem beyond your ability to correct. Walls in keeps stop most spells and all arrows but certain kinds of spells go right through them. Again, the worst offender is in Hibernia - the Bainshee - with the highest damage and the longest range of anything that penetrates keep walls. The people who play that class know this and exploit it shamelessly giving them huge advantages in siege. The Animist who casts a turret in the form of a cute little mushroom has the only turret in the game which gives (surprise surprise) Hibernia another advantage, this time in siege warfare. Animists place these "shrooms" all over the place while sieging keeps in spots where the shroom can attack enemies who cannot attack the Animist which infuriates the other two realms. Bad design or bad programming? Probably a little of both. Necromancers cannot cross certain bridges without losing their pets (bridges are focal points of PvP and losing the pet makes the Necro absolutely vulnerable. Why is that so hard to fix?

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Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken