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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

Chibi Merrow Re:Translation ... (390 comments)

It's suprisingly more common than you would think. Really depends on the state. They'd be strung up in the northeast for sure, but 'Castle Doctrine' states are usually a little bit more reasonable about giving leeway to people in their home when armed men kick in the doors.

3 days ago
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NASA Considers Autonomous Martian Helicopter To Augment Future Rovers

Chibi Merrow Re:Lift? (83 comments)

You mean like this?

Granted, it's actually targeted for Titan, but yeah...

4 days ago
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Nintendo Power Glove Used To Create 'Robot Chicken'

Chibi Merrow Re:A bit of a failure? (40 comments)

Nintendo didn't make the power glove...

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Rocket Launch Succeeds, But Landing Test Doesn't

Chibi Merrow Re:Reinventing the wheel -- Am I missing something (213 comments)

Yes, that's exactly what they're doing. No one has soft-landed the first stage of a rocket after using it to launch something into orbit before. That stage normally burns up on reentry or is debris in the ocean.

about three weeks ago
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The Making of a 1980s Dungeons & Dragons Module

Chibi Merrow Re: 5th Edition kind of sucks (59 comments)

Crafting has always been unimportant to the games of most people, who would rather splatter some goblin brains than make some arrowheads or trade in exotic spices.

Considering the intricately detailed magic item creation rules in the 3rd edition derived games, I have to disagree with you. There's obviously a market for it, as Pathfinder spent a lot of effort on refining the existing mechanics.

And I said metallic dragons. Chromatic dragons were in the 4e Monster Manual. And that was exactly the problem: The book only had things for you to fight, and only the details you needed to fight them.

about a month ago
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The Making of a 1980s Dungeons & Dragons Module

Chibi Merrow Re:5th Edition kind of sucks (59 comments)

I'm pretty sure there's precedent for staggered releases of the core rulebooks. 3.5 and 3rd edition were like that, from what I remember, which actually allowed some third-party publishers to swoop in and fill the gap a bit for a few months.

Also I find it amusing that the things you list as "positive" changes to 4th edition are the exact things people like myself didn't like about it. Considering Pathfinder is far and away the best selling tabletop RPG today, it seems people who liked the 4e "improvements" are in the minority.

I'd also add that when I bought the 4th edition books, I was shocked to see they lacked rules for crafting (or anything not related to combat, really), stats for metallic dragons, or really any information about monsters other than their most basic combat statistics. So, again, precedent.

After seeing 5th edition played, and talking to the designers, I'm much more hopeful for it. At the very least, my group is going to try the starter once we're done our current Pathfinder campaign.

about a month ago
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Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

Chibi Merrow Re:What does Net Neutrality even mean??? (127 comments)

The real aim is to move the internet under Title II so that it can be heavily regulated. It would also be subjected to the 16.1% universal service fund tax (as spelled out in the telecom act of 1996).

Neither of those assertions are remotely true. There were already periods where Internet access was subject to Common Carrier regulations, and parts of Verizon's FiOS network are still under it to this day because it gave a tax and subsidy benefit to Verizon. If anything, internet access is already HEAVILY regulated, and Title II would simplify things immensely.

The bit about the USF tax is just propaganda from the NCTA.

about 1 month ago
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Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

Chibi Merrow Re:First Do No Harm (127 comments)

Let's see - Jesse Jackson, the Urban League, and Comcast don't agree with you. That's quite the diverse collection of people from all over the political and ethnic spectrum

Yes, such a wide spectrum, consisting of Comcast and political activists funded by Comcast...

about 1 month ago
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Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

Chibi Merrow Re:First Do No Harm (127 comments)

Thankfully no one is proposing 'strict regulations'. The modest and reasonable regulations (which already apply to not-insignificant chunks of Verizon's FiOS network) being pushed for by Title II advocates would cut off things such as paid prioritization schemes and providers favoring their own paid services by exempting them from technologically unnecessary bandwidth caps, however.

about 2 months ago
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Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

Chibi Merrow Re:Yes, but you are even worse. (240 comments)

Dude, by your argument, "compatibility" counts as "place your arguments in registers A, B, C..."

The compatibility between C and C++ goes a bit deeper than that.

about 3 months ago
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Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

Chibi Merrow Re:Wait... (341 comments)

Comcast and Verizon have an government-approved agreement to not compete. Comcast sold Verizon spectrum, and in return Verizon has stopped rolling out FIOS. Now you can walk into a Comcast store and buy Verizon Wireless Plans bundled with your cable sub, and buy Comcast subscriptions in Verizon Wireless stores in regions where FIOS isn't available.

about 5 months ago
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Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

Chibi Merrow Wait... (341 comments)

What competition?

about 5 months ago
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Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

Chibi Merrow Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (419 comments)

So, what you're saying, is you didn't know what anyone was talking about and opened your yap, and now you don't know how to extricate yourself from the thread without admitting you're an idiot and didn't read the post that was being responded to. You know, the one that implied the DoD was funding the development of Call of Duty for propaganda purposes.

about 5 months ago
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The IPv4 Internet Hiccups

Chibi Merrow There are new routers that don't work (248 comments)

I actually bought a new router within the last year. A "nice" Buffalo model with DD-WRT built in. Only to find out DD-WRT doesn't support native IPv6 (which my old, faulty NetGear did, go figure). They just support Toredo or other tunneled IPv6 solutions.

Man, was I disappointed.

about 6 months ago
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Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval

Chibi Merrow Re:Very disappointing. (93 comments)

I always found it amusing that the Author's Guild always seems to enthusiastically back whatever it is the publishers want to happen, even to the detriment of their supposed constituency...

I'd rather hear from authors, personally, than a group that fought against libraries/universities making electronic archives of books for research...

Look, if authors/publishers aren't happy with Amazon, they don't have to do business with them. They can sell their books direct to the customer, even in a format the user can load right onto their Kindle, nothing's stopping them. Saying Amazon is the "only buyer" is B.S. The term 'buyer' doesn't mean anything (in the way you're using it) when you're dealing with purely electronic goods. Amazon doesn't "buy" an inventory of ebooks to sell, there's no supply to monopolize.

about 6 months ago
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Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval

Chibi Merrow I don't buy it. (93 comments)

Excluding (only for the sake of argument) outlier cases like textbooks, with significant expense spent on gathering and checking specialized materials, I don't believe for a moment the "fixed costs" for the average mass-published novel, self-help book, or whatever are anywhere high enough to justify the publishers' objections to Amazon's "maximum" price of $9.99 for an ebook. Let's see some actual numbers to back up these assertions.

And even if (again, for the sake of argument) it's true that traditional publishers' costs are high enough to justify $14.99 for an ebook, then maybe they should consider changing the way they do business to bring those costs down instead of illegally colluding to raise prices.

about 6 months ago
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Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval

Chibi Merrow Re:Very disappointing. (93 comments)

Yes, it's a serious question. How do you sell something with a reproduction cost of zero below cost?

about 6 months ago
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Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval

Chibi Merrow Re:Very disappointing. (93 comments)

How do you sell an ebook below cost? Do you pay a customer to take it?

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Mass Effect 3 Launch Tarnished by Import Bug

Chibi Merrow Chibi Merrow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Chibi Merrow writes "Already in the running for Developer Troll of the Year for releasing Mass Effect 3 during the Game Developer's Conference, Bioware has earned a little more negative karma with some of their most dedicated fans due to a character import bug.

As of right now, it seems that a player's character's customized appearance in saved games from Mass Effect 2 that were created by importing characters from the original Mass Effect cannot be imported. The bug affects both the PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game, and there are unconfirmed reports it also affects the PS3 (even though the Playstation did not have the original Mass Effect). Note that this only affects the character's appearance, not any of the storyline choices made by the character.

What this means is that players who have spent perhaps over 100 hours of playtime with their own, distinctive Commander Shepard are now left with the option of either playing with the default 'Broshep' appearance or trying to recreate their character's appearance again by fiddling with the customization options in ME3. Of course, the differences in customization options between the three titles means that it probably is impossible to use the ME3 customization tools to perfectly recreate "your" Shepard.

Several news sites have picked up the story. Bioware has provided an official response that they are aware of the problem, and offered suggestions (including copying your save game to a thumb drive, loading it on a PC, and editing it in a save game editor to get the 'appearance code' out of it) to try and work around the problem in the mean time.

Honestly, this is all kind of hard to believe as one would assume the most obvious import path to test would be ME1-ME2-ME3, so it's curious that this bug launched."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Signature

Chibi Merrow Chibi Merrow writes  |  more than 11 years ago "You're so vain, you probably think this signature's about you."

At work my e-mail signature for the past three years I've been working there has been:

"There are only two things that are infinite, the Universe and Human Stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the former." - Albert Einstein

I work tech support for local government, and this was as much a comment on both the stupid beaurocracy I must work within and the idiotic design of the systems and software I must support.

One day, a user called saying she wasn't recieving e-mail. So while I was on the phone, I fired off a test e-mail to her and sure enough she didn't get it. Went over to her building, was a quick thirty second fix. Told her have a nice day and to call me if she needed anything else. She was a slightly elderly lady who had started working with Environmental Quality less than a week before and a self proclaimed computer neophyte. I made special note to check up on her later to make sure she was settling in well. After three years of sending and recieving mail on the city network, my signature had completely left my mind. It hadn't left hers.

The next day I was called into a coworker's office who explained that she'd gotten a call from the head of EQ that one of her employees was hurt by my signature. The user was upset that Tech Support would "call the people they're supposed to support stupid". Of course I'd done no such thing and the head of EQ said she understood that my signature was innocent, but asked me to voluntarily change it, so that her employee wouldn't pursue the matter further.
My coworker told me she couldn't TELL me to change my signature, but she advised me that doing so would probably save a lot of trouble. So for the time being my signature became:

This space for rent.

I spoke w/ a few other coworkers about it as I passed them in the hall (avoiding mentioning specifics, just that a user had complained and I had to change my signature) which led to surprise and shock amongst them, as most people had found the signature funny and incredibly appropriate. I recieved a few suggestions, but none seemed to fit. And then as I was talking to someone I began humming "You're so vain..." Don't really know why I did, but I did.

So when I sat back down at my desk, I rewrote the signature to:

"You're so vain, you probably think this signature's about you." and fired off an e-mail to the first coworker to bring this to my attention. She found it hilariously appropriate and just warned me about sending it to the user who made the initial complaint.

So a few weeks later this obviously superior signature replaced my old Slashdot signature--a lousy attempt and mis-quoting Newton's laws of motio--and the rest is History.

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