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Stop Being a Broken Record

tepples (727027) writes | more than 2 years ago

User Journal 16

People tell me my Slashdot comments are repetitive. I'd appreciate some hints as to how to be less repetitive.

Sometimes it looks like I'm reminding other users of an unsolved problem, but the problem has in fact been solved. Perhaps the real problem is that the solution hasn't been well publicized. For example, one solution to a lot of problems with home entertainment is to put a PC in the living room, but almost nobody knows about this.

People tell me my Slashdot comments are repetitive. I'd appreciate some hints as to how to be less repetitive.

Sometimes it looks like I'm reminding other users of an unsolved problem, but the problem has in fact been solved. Perhaps the real problem is that the solution hasn't been well publicized. For example, one solution to a lot of problems with home entertainment is to put a PC in the living room, but almost nobody knows about this.

If it looks like I'm reminding other users of an edge case too often, consider that a solution that covers more edge cases will appear better thought out and more robust than a solution that covers only the common cases and leaves the edge cases unnoticed.

And sometimes I get confused as to which is the common case and which is the edge case. For example, h4rr4r has pointed out that whenever someone brings up Netflix as an alternative to cable television, I often bring up the fact that Netflix lacks sports. I try to phrase it like "Netflix is fine for people who aren't into sports", recognizing that both non-sports-fan and sports-fan markets exist but apparently putting undue emphasis on the sports-fan market. This goes back to discussions that I've had with heads of household in my survey sample. They tell me they don't see how Netflix would be worth an extra $7.99 per month on top of what they already pay for TV. So I try to make room for Netflix in their budget by suggesting how much they could save by switching from cable Internet+cable TV or fiber Internet+satellite TV to their current Internet+Netflix, and then they mention sports. I guess the survey sample of households in my extended family with broadband access must be a biased sample with more sports fans than the general population, and thus I have a biased view of the relative size of the sports-fan and non-sports-fan markets.

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Any comments? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37047108)

I'm having trouble finding the checkbox to enable comments for the first time.

Maybe you should just revel in it (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37049966)

Perhaps if you repeat yourself often you should just create a "real life FAQ" and simply refer people to it. Cite yourself. Don't be afraid to be authoritative. Eventually other people will link you and then you will laugh last.

That, or find another hobby, but I'm a fine one to talk. I think between us we account for about seven percent of the comments on slashdot.

On the other hand, is there anyone who doesn't know you as the guy who's always on about split-screen gaming? :)

Re:Maybe you should just revel in it (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37050078)

Perhaps if you repeat yourself often you should just create a "real life FAQ" and simply refer people to it.

That was sort of the idea of Category:Mini-rants [pineight.com] . I've also been including tweet-length entries [pineight.com] in my signature here. But linking to essays like pros and cons of Netflix [pineight.com] and HTPC marketing failure [pineight.com] has itself been seen as broken-recordish.

Re:Maybe you should just revel in it (2)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#37050236)

But linking to essays like pros and cons of Netflix and HTPC marketing failure has itself been seen as broken-recordish.

That's because your axes to grind are not everyone elses. I know the pros and cons of Netflix so telling me them isn't going to tech me anything, and I suspect most other Slashdot readers are the same and made their decision on Netflix..years ago. Same goes for HTPC's.

Lets put it another way....you've got your focus on samescreen mutliplayer because, IIRC, you used to babysit for a living and played videogames (mostly older machines) with the kids you were watching. Said kids's video game systems were also connected to SD displays., which is why you were heavily "opposed" to people saying HD is the norm, and posted many many times referencing scan converters. .though for many people HD WAS the norm, because they don't babysit kids with cheap old consoles and cheap SD "second set" displays. And because you were supposed to be watching and interacting with the kids, you had to be in the same room, thus samescreen, which is why you lack interest in internet multiplayer that "regular non-babysitting adult gamers" tend to be more interested in.

So your gaming background is an "edge case"

And another thing, most people wanting a job in the game industry KNOW they're going to have to relocate to some tech centric area, either a large city , or places like Silicon Valley or the Redmond, WA area. Or put it another way, if you want to be a star on Broadway, you're going to have to go to New York City.

If HD is the norm, why not HTPC? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37050852)

I know the pros and cons of Netflix so telling me them isn't going to tech me anything

I'm not one for ad hominem reasoning, so I tend to overlook the parent post's byline except when figuring out why one Slashdot user disagrees with another. For example, you and h4rr4r appear to disagree on the role of PCs in the living room.

and I suspect most other Slashdot readers are the same and made their decision on Netflix..years ago.

Sometimes I remind Netflix fans that staunch sports fans exist as my way of asking for 1. updates on the availability of professional and college sports programming without a cable TV subscription, and 2. ways to talk sports fans out of being sports fans.

which is why you were heavily "opposed" to people saying HD is the norm

Since then, I believe I've dropped that angle, as you might have seen from the shift in my posts toward discussion about HTPCs. Even before I realized that HD was the norm, I was pimping Sewell scan converters [sewelldirect.com] . But if HD is the norm, and HDTVs have VGA and HDMI inputs suitable for use with VGA and DVI-D outputs on PCs, why haven't Xbox 360-sized PCs like Acer's Aspire X1 series [acer.com] or GameCube-sized PCs like Dell's Inspiron Zino [dell.com] become more common? I have an X1, and when I use it with my HDTV, it doesn't look any more out of place than an Xbox 360 does, and a keyboard and mouse fit fairly comfortably on a folding TV tray. I've tried to express most of the anti-HTPC arguments and some ideas for solutions in this article [pineight.com] ; is there anything I missed?

And another thing, most people wanting a job in the game industry KNOW they're going to have to relocate to some tech centric area

Which brings me to a question that will fill a huge hole in my career plan: How much does it usually cost to relocate and find a job?

Re:If HD is the norm, why not HTPC? (1)

bingoUV (1066850) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066748)

Sometimes I remind Netflix fans that staunch sports fans exist as my way of asking for 1. updates on the availability of professional and college sports programming without a cable TV subscription, and 2. ways to talk sports fans out of being sports fans.

Not answering your main question, but seeing that comments are already talking about offtopic subjects, I'll continue :

Real sports fans don't need live sports. If they watch sports for the sake of results - they need live feed but they are not sports fans then, they are fans of a particular team. They are driven by an intense desire for the team to win and watch a match as an adventure that risks their team's loss.

Real sports fan would watch a game for the sake of the gameplay, love of the game, enjoying observing nuances of the game. He can watch even if he knows the results from news last week. For him, downloading game would work. Though :

1. Not sure if American games are downloadable
2. My definition of "real" sports fan is, of course, my own and may not be shared by others.

Sports geeks vs. team fans (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066858)

Real sports fan would watch a game for the sake of the gameplay, love of the game, enjoying observing nuances of the game.

Which sounds to me like a "sports geek", not unlike a "wrestling geek". Such sports geeks that follow a whole league are more likely, say, to play fantasy football (not necessarily Blood Bowl). But people I've observed tend to act more like team fans than sports geeks. Team fans need premium services in order to follow the team to which their favorite player was traded, the team local to their relatives who stayed behind when they moved, the team of the college from which they graduated or which their college-age child attends, etc. These premium services often involve pay TV, Internet services that are authenticated to their pay TV provider, or Internet services such as ESPN3 that are authenticated to a premium ISP that offers pay TV for nearly no extra monthly charge to Internet customers.

Re:Maybe you should just revel in it (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#37050338)

That, or find another hobby, but I'm a fine one to talk. I think between us we account for about seven percent of the comments on slashdot.

:-)

On the other hand, is there anyone who doesn't know you as the guy who's always on about split-screen gaming? :)

Most likely they see tepples as:

"that guy who goes on about splitscreen and SD and how Nintendo won't give garage developers dev kits, but all his own games are puzzle game clones derived from others ideas, so he doesn't have any original ideas to put in a portfolio so that he could get that game developer job he so desperately wants"

Sorry to say tepples, but that's pretty close to how I see you,
And I figure most know he's an "Aspie", pretty easy to figure out even if you don't google him.

I'm probably a bit more tolerant probably because I work with persons with disabilities for a living. (I work in CILA houses) I suspect I may have a touch of the ol Aspergers myself, social interactions are harder for me than they are for most people.

Originality (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37050702)

but all his own games are puzzle game clones derived from others ideas

And Linux is derived from UNIX ideas. By now, it's been two years and two months since I've touched falling block games; my last checkin to LJ65 was in June 2009. But at this point, what game isn't a clone? Doom is first-person Robotron [vectorpoem.com] , Geometry Wars is vector Robotron, and Katamari Damacy is Bubbles as a 3D platformer.

I do have an explanation for my lack of output over the past couple years. For one thing, I've been trying off and on to build a framework on top of SDL to replace the Allegro library, which appears not to be as high on Linux distribution maintainers' priority as SDL. For another, I got sucked into helping with NES homebrew game development competitions. Third, I've been learning to model in Blender. And finally, I'm still working at a day job, with the eventual goal to have enough money in the bank to support a move to Texas or somewhere else where there are mainstream video game developers but whose cost of living isn't quite as high as southern California.

I'm probably a bit more tolerant

And thank you for your patience.

You also need to update your knowledge. (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#37050390)

So so many times, your rants and screeds are based on outdated info or your own misinterpretation! For example Netflix does support 1080p and 5.1 surround sound, at least on the PS3 it does. Things change fast in the tech world. And you often misinterpret things because you're so literal...that's what tripped you up with the GFDL rant you did.

Literality among programmers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37050586)

your rants and screeds are based on outdated info

I appreciate corrections. I notice that other people have the same habit of ranting based on outdated info, such as Adobe's former ban on third-party SWF players and AT&T's former practice of hiding "Unknown sources" on its branded Android-powered phones. I try to phrase my corrections like this: "That changed in $month, when $event happened; to learn more about this, read $article."

or your own misinterpretation

I revised my essay on XNA once I discovered my misinterpretation, which incidentally was around the same time that I discovered forum posts about getting DynamicSoundEffectInstance to work.

For example Netflix does support 1080p and 5.1 surround sound, at least on the PS3 it does.

Thank you for the correction. If you have any more, feel free to give them.

And you often misinterpret things because you're so literal

I might need some help in learning how to avoid that. Perhaps being literal is what draws people into programming in the first place. In essence, programs are lists of instructions for the most literal agents ever created: computers.

Sports - meh (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#37051772)

One problem with using the sports metaphor on Slashdot is that you're probably a member of a fairly normal cross section of Americans. Americans like our sports. We love our teams. We even create shrines to dead NASCAR drivers that would make Buddha jealous (either the number 3 or the number 8 figures into that one somehow.)

Except most of the people I know and hang out with in the tech field don't care. Really, we don't. There are some, sure, but I think there are many fewer sports fans among the "nerd" population (which I was typing with one hand while pushing my glasses up the bridge of my nose!) We'd rather shoot the bull about the latest geeky project on hackaday than watch a game. Of my friends who are "into sports", even most of them are not into the wildly popular mainstream sports, such as baseball or football. Participatory sports are definitely popular, such as soccer, ultimate frisbee, mountain bike racing, etc. Otherwise, most of us don't know, or perhaps have overheard the score on a news program, just enough to be able to cough our way through an elevator conversation. "How 'bout them Twins, eh?" "Yeah, they really pounded Boston the other day, huh?" "This is my floor, see ya."

So given that most of the people I know don't care, I would find your argument that "Netflix doesn't have sports" to be a tiny bit annoying. Just enough to perhaps remember. The second time you trot it out, the annoyance grows a bit larger, and I definitely remember. If I cared about sports, I'd agree with you and you wouldn't be annoying. That's why I don't think this is the right crowd for that argument.

Re:Sports - meh (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37051800)

So I guess it's yet another geeks vs. mass market issue. Unlike geeks, the mass market wants sports and thus has trouble making room for Netflix in the monthly TV budget.

Not sure what advice you need... (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37142038)

You could try commenting in other kind of news. Stop commenting in articles that talk about Netflix, for instance.

And, of course, you'll say the same stuff if you don't learn anything new. That means (a) you need to consume more news about what's going on in the geekosphere or (b) learn something completely different. I did the latter (growing tired of the tech world, ya'now) and interacting with non-geeks (mostly people from Social Sciences) really enriched what I have to say, as now I write comments about technology that also involve aesthetics, philosophy of science, morality, ethics, and all that jazz. This is stuff that a lot of people in /. couldn't care less to learn, but it "sounds right" when they read it, so it has some value in the end.

Or maybe you need to update your sig... ;)

Re:Not sure what advice you need... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37142192)

Not sure what advice you need

I'd like help with how much it costs to relocate, how much it costs to start a business, how to reliably appreciate all intended subtexts in a comment (such as sarcasm), and how to start interacting with non-geeks outside my family without being shunned for cluelessness.

you need to consume more news about what's going on in the geekosphere

What should I be reading in addition to or instead of the articles posted to Slashdot?

Re:Not sure what advice you need... (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37142978)

Sure!

Relocating is as costly as all the stuff you need. I had a friend who could have lived with just his underwear, but social cues suggested him otherwise. He, back then, would have payed 0. It goes up from here, but you can do it with a ticket to anywhere, a backpack full of canned fish and a can-opener (don't forget it! Opening cans with a rock is not funny!). Start a business is quite easy, just steal a car, run over a few people and grab the money they drop. Don't worry about the cops or dying, as you'll respawn at the hospital. The only people that appreciate sarcasm are the ones that use it, the receivers are irritated most of the time, and I heard the same thing about insults. A unique exception is when the sarcastic speaker and its audience have different mother tongues, and especially when the medium is text: then, they'll just pause before playing along, completely unaware of the scheme. You just have to suck it up. As for interactions, smoke pot (alcohol works too but it may numb your brain too much) and try just to listen to the conversation, eventually they'll name a writer or book, they all do (Memorize it immediately!). Non-geek are extremely repetitive, trust me on that.

What should you read other than sweet and dear /. ? There are a few alternatives in Quit Slashdot.org Today! [washington.edu] , and a few are surprisingly insightful (sorry, the sarcasm facade is hard to maintain).

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