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The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming

CopaceticOpus Re:Never been a fan of multiplayer. (277 comments)

I did have first-person shooters in mind, since that's the type of game I always seem to encounter others playing. I've only had a couple of opportunities to play co-op multiplayer games, and those were far more enjoyable.


The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming

CopaceticOpus Re:Never been a fan of multiplayer. (277 comments)

I've always enjoyed single player games as a sort of kinetic puzzle. Even if the action involves racing away from the cops or jumping across platforms, a single player game rewards the ability to learn patterns and find weaknesses in the enemies and rules of a closed system. It's both relaxing and rewarding to master the mechanics of the game.

Multiplayer, on the other hand, is a spastic experience which seems to be dominated by obsessive players with endless time to practice. The reward for the average player is not mastery, but rather learning to die a little less often.


WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

CopaceticOpus Re:SSDs will outpace platter drives (296 comments)

I've been watching storage price trends for the past five years.

Cost per 10TB of storage:

  • Jul 2009: Platter = $750, SSD = $28,125
  • Jun 2012: Platter = $567, Flash = $8,200
  • Nov 2013: Platter = $450, Flash = $5,417
  • Today: Platter = $373, SSD = $3,750

SSD progress has been amazing. The price for SSD storage is now 10x that of platters, compared to 37.5x in 2009. The cost for a platter drive today per TB is 50% of what it was five years ago, but for an SSD it is only 13%! Does it look like SSDs are about to take over? Not so fast. The rate of advancement has been slowing every year, and meanwhile platter drives are adopting major new technology this year.

Using a simple historical price model, I don't expect we would see price equivalence by 2020. However, by the end of that year SSD's may only cost 2x that of platter drives, and platter manufacturers will be very nervous.

Cost predictions per 10TB of storage:

  • Dec 2016: Platter = $275, SSD = $1560
  • Dec 2020: Platter = $160, SSD = $328
  • Oct 2023: Equivalence. $109 for either technology.
  • 2035: 10TB costs under $1 and is included in Happy Meals.

about a week ago

Feynman Lectures Released Free Online

CopaceticOpus From the preface (70 comments)

I was reading about the project to put these lectures online. It's amazing how well these lectures have held up over time.

This excerpt from History of Errata is quite enjoyable:

It is remarkable that among the 1165 errata corrected under my auspices, only several do I regard as true errors in physics. An example is Volume II, page 5-9, which now says “no static distribution of charges inside a closed grounded conductor can produce any [electric] fields outside” (the word grounded was omitted in previous editions). This error was pointed out to Feynman by a number of readers, including Beulah Elizabeth Cox, a student at The College of William and Mary, who had relied on Feynman's erroneous passage in an exam. To Ms. Cox, Feynman wrote in 1975,3 “Your instructor was right not to give you any points, for your answer was wrong, as he demonstrated using Gauss's law. You should, in science, believe logic and arguments, carefully drawn, and not authorities. You also read the book correctly and understood it. I made a mistake, so the book is wrong. I probably was thinking of a grounded conducting sphere, or else of the fact that moving the charges around in different places inside does not affect things on the outside. I am not sure how I did it, but I goofed. And you goofed, too, for believing me.”

about two weeks ago

Feynman Lectures Released Free Online

CopaceticOpus Re:misleading (70 comments)

I found a simple but terrific site,, which has compiled links to Richard Feynman videos. This includes the series "The Character of Physical Law."

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

CopaceticOpus How about your employer? (635 comments)

Tangential question: What old technologies can't your employer give up?

I work for a large technology company which is currently undergoing a heroic effort to erase tech debt. Despite this, there are certain technologies that have a tenacious grip. The two that bug me the most are some of the most well known, IRC and email. Email especially is a giant time sink, with 5% of the messages essential and the other 95% filling up a time-sucking slop bucket. Email becomes the go-to solution for every sort of discussion and notification, blasted out to wide audiences.

Only one thing is more infuriating than that: New technologies that throw out everything we've learned and take giant steps backwards in terms of usability. Who the heck builds a web based application in the 2010's which doesn't use bookmark-able URLs?

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

CopaceticOpus Re:Simple (635 comments)

This reads like a letter to the editor in the Onion, if the Onion cared about vi. I honestly can't tell if you're being ironically pro-vi, or if you're just a simple Pico-loving soul.

about three weeks ago

New Digital Currency Bases Value On Reputation

CopaceticOpus Disco Stu Likes Barbecue (100 comments)

'For example, the coin my disco singer friend created and gave me at my barbeque might be what gets me past the rope at the club,' Anderson says.

The fact that he thinks this is a good example says a lot about his relationship to reality.

about 2 months ago

'Curiosity' Lead Engineer Suggests Printing Humans On Other Planets

CopaceticOpus The end (323 comments)

I can just see it. A billion years from now, on a planet a trillion miles away, the last remaining message from the human race will be displayed in black pixelated letters on a small rectangular display: PC LOAD LETTER.

about 4 months ago

ICE License-Plate Tracking Plan Withdrawn Amid Outcry About Privacy

CopaceticOpus Can we stop and ask why? (152 comments)

As if the privacy implications and police overreach weren't bad enough, I have been feeling more and more frustrated over the financial aspect of programs like these. Who decided that this program was good or desirable in the first place? We've been getting along fine for a long time now without a national database of license-plate scans.

The same can be said for many other surveillance and technology initiatives by police and government agencies. These programs cost vast amounts of money which could be used for cancer research, or schools, or bridge repairs, or space exploration, or countless other positive things. Alternatively, just give the money back to the taxpayers and let them put it to good use. I'm pretty sure that only a tiny percentage of people would volunteer to fund programs like these out of their own pockets.

about 7 months ago

Google Tells Glass Users Not To Be 'Creepy Or Rude'

CopaceticOpus Glassholio (341 comments)

It's very smart of Google to recognize that "Glasshole" is an inevitable slang term to be applied to some (most?) Glass users. They're trying to get ahead of the term and define it to apply to only the worst kinds of users.

Still, they face an uphill battle if they hope to create a positive public image for Glass. If only 1 in 10,000 Glass users behaves in a socially unacceptable way, that one person will be the focus of endless sensationalist news coverage.

about 7 months ago

Animal Drug Investigation Reveals Pet Medication Often Doesn't Work

CopaceticOpus Re:"supplements" don't work (279 comments)

Did you read the article, by chance? It doesn't say that "pet medications don't work." It says that sometimes they don't work because they're prescribed even though they're not supported by evidence.

You also said that people need to do their research... which is the same conclusion written in the article! Gah.

The surprising thing is that it is often vets making these poor recommendations. I expect many average folks without veterinary degrees to make these mistakes. Vets should be held to a higher standard.

about 8 months ago

Anti-Polygraph Instructor Who Was Targeted By Feds Goes Public

CopaceticOpus Divided Opinions (197 comments)

Critics of this federal investigation have claimed that it has the potential to trample free speech, create an atmosphere of fear, and could lead to the wrongful imprisonment of those that the government deems troublemakers.

However, unnamed sources within the government have taken a more positive outlook, stating that this investigation has the potential to trample free speech, create an atmosphere of fear, and could lead to the wrongful imprisonment of those that they deem troublemakers.

about 8 months ago

Illinois Law Grounds PETA Drones Meant To Harass Hunters

CopaceticOpus Re:Good! (370 comments)

The real issue to discuss should be the appropriate use of drones by the public, and what limitations should be applied across the board to all citizens. That's an important topic which really has nothing to do with hunting or PETA. (Animal rights is also an important topic, but it is separate.)

Think in terms of free speech -- those rights are determined without respect to the beliefs of those people who are granted those rights.

The strange thing here is that the law was applied to a specific situation only. Can the NRA use drones to monitor PETA protests? That doesn't seem fair.

If the point of the law is to allow hunters not to be interfered with, then it should be written that way (since drones are only one of many ways a person might interfere.)

about 8 months ago

Explorer Plans Hunt For Genghis Khan's Long-Lost Tomb

CopaceticOpus Hmm... (243 comments)

Let me get this straight. His hypothesis is that Khan is buried somewhere in the geographic region in which he died? And his next "phase" is just to pinpoint the location?

This is a great way to solve problems! I'd like to hypothesize that P=NP can be proven using clever mathematical methods. I plan to do this next fall. My next phase is to pinpoint which mathematical methods to use.

about 10 months ago

6TB Helium-Filled Hard Drives Take Flight

CopaceticOpus Storage Price Predictions 2013 (297 comments)

I evaluated storage prices in July 2009 and June 2012. This is a good chance to check how prices have changed.

What's the actual retail price for 10TB of storage?

July 2009: Platter = $750, Flash = $28,125
June 2012: Platter = $567, Flash = $8,200
November 2013: Platter = $450, Flash = $5,417

Based on the trends from 16 months ago, I would have expected the platter price for 10TB to be $495, and the flash price to be $4,506. Traditional drives beat my predictions, which seems to show that the industry has fully recovered from the various production and reliability issues which plagued the 3TB generation of drives. The pace of improvement for flash drives has slowed, but it's still jaw-droppingly quick. Will this pace continue to slow as the technical challenges become more complex?

New Prediction for July 2014: Platter = $416, Flash = $4,204
New Prediction for July 2015: Platter = $370, Flash = $2,875
New Prediction for July 2019: Platter = $231, Flash = $629
New Prediction for July 2024: Platter = $128, Flash = $94

This is all good news for the hard drive industry, and bad news for those of us hoping to stop relying on rapidly spinning disks. The predicted date when the technologies reach price equivalence is pushed back to May 2023, from the previous prediction of August 2020. If the pace of flash memory development continues to slow, and hard drives get a boost from helium technology, this date will drift even further out of reach. I don't want to imagine that hard drives could still have a meaningful role into the 2030's, but it's conceivable.

To end on a happier note for flash storage, consider that the price ratio for flash storage vs. platter storage was 37.5x in July 2009. After a little more than 4 years, the ratio is down to 12x! That's unbelievable progress, especially considering that flash technology is chasing a fast-moving target.

about 10 months ago

Android KitKat Released

CopaceticOpus Re:No replaceable battery as far as I can see (358 comments)

I hate this trend too. I have a Nexus tablet, and I accept its limitations because there isn't much competition for Android tablets. This is an opportunity for some company to come along and grab a piece of the market.

Imagine a tablet with a back cover which can detach. This cover houses the battery, and it's available in 2 or 3 different thicknesses. The thinnest size is for those who value sleekness and having a device .01" thinner than the competition. The slightly thicker sizes are for those who are more concerned with lasting battery power.

This concept could extend to other options as well. There could be a back cover which adds an HDMI port and a full-sized USB 3 port. There might even be a cover which turns the device into a mini-computer, with a fold-out keyboard, external connectors, and an SSD drive.

Some users would choose a cover at purchase time, and never need to detach it. Power users would probably have 2-3 covers and swap them as needed. The body of the device would include the screen, motherboard, 8GB of flash memory for applications, and an SD card slot for general storage. It would also have a tiny battery to allow the user to swap out covers without shutting down.

about 10 months ago

Facebook May Dislike the Social Fixer Extension, but Many Users Love It (Video)

CopaceticOpus Bullying (176 comments)

For most websites, banning would be a limp threat. However, Facebook has an unusual amount of power - for some users, the site may be the primary way that they keep in touch with family and friends, and could even be important to a person's career. There is no ready replacement for this. Unlike email, a person can't just switch to another provider and have a similar experience.

Facebook is being a bully here and trying to make Matt Kruze fear what he will lose if he continues development of this free browser extension. His development hobby has nothing to do with his personal, social use of Facebook. It's an irresponsible, dickish use of the power that Facebook derives from their unique market position.

about a year ago

Amazon Selects Their Favorite Fake Customer Reviews

CopaceticOpus Re:Where's Harry Raddick? (98 comments)


Claudia Schiffer: Perfectly Fit Arms (VHS Tape)

Though I didn't follow the workout as stringently as Claudia would have wanted, I did indeed give my arm a vigorous workout using this tape.

about a year ago

MMO Fan Site Removes Character Stats Over Trademark Claim

CopaceticOpus Re:What? (139 comments)

If this complaint is valid, then any Slashdot user name which contains a term that is trademarked anywhere on the planet would be subject to deletion (or at least forced renaming.)

If I decided I didn't like a user here, I could attack them by trademarking the person's user name and then submitting a complaint!

about a year ago


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