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Comments

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How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

CrashNBrn Re:5thed is irrelevant (179 comments)

Ah! verrrrrrry interesting :-)

For some reason makes me think of the classic Best of's iirc Dragon magazine prints, Blue, Silver, Gold, Platinum (?).

Perhaps that review's distillation evokes the in-between-time of AD&D and 2E.

Possibly, taking the freedom of feats (when you get them), with the Conceptually and Spiritually, of the classes portrayed within those Dragon magazine pages (useful *Abilities* at specific levels), along with the mechanics that were in place prior to the atrocious Unearthed Arcana and awesome Oriental Adventures.

yesterday
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How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

CrashNBrn Re:5thed is irrelevant (179 comments)

That certainly sounds interesting (at least), although D&D 3E was (at its core) really good too in the beginning. Yet it didn't take long at all for the warts to spread like wildfire.

I really can't see them ditching "feats" - even Paizo's Pathfinder suffers from being saddled with "Feats & Specialty Classes".

I think the key difference between (3E+ Style) Feats & Specialty Classes vs the 2nd-Edition class splat-books boils down to RolePlaying. The former (feats et al) try and cover all possible actions/RP opportunites, whereas the 2E splat books provided settings, optional rules, specialties and additional mechanics --- and since it was limited by "Proficiencies" the whole shebang was (somewhat) kept in check. Feats&SC proved to be popular and took on a life of it's own and added a whole 'nother meta-game with yet another obfuscating layer of min-maxing --- things that other gaming systems build in from the beginning with reasonable limits via Quirks/Talents/Curses/Advantages/Disadvantages.

yesterday
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How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

CrashNBrn Re:Oh please. . . (179 comments)

I think it was like an unholy merging of WOW and MtG-CCG-like-mechanics with D&D's setting and backstory.

yesterday
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Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

CrashNBrn Re:Yay.. This is easy to imagine (322 comments)

Definitely a lot of truth there. But... come on - opening a PDF is a breeze (in win8) -- it's just is a full-screen "app". At least we *CAN* open a PDF without Adobe or yet another 3rd party tool.

about a week ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

CrashNBrn Re:Maybe 35,000 in 1980. (285 comments)

Mine was in '87, $5 to $6 / hr for selling bingo tickets. McDonalds pay was less iirc, $4 to $5 / hr. If you were less than 18, there was some loophole where Students could be paid ~3.50.
My decade may be off by 5 years, but that still doesn't change the end result by much ~20% (1.78 instead of 1.96).

There's an interesting chart kicking around that shows wealth distribution/incomes from the 1930's to 2010. There is a decided shift that occurs beginning in the 1970's, but it is much more pronounced from 1980 onwards.

Prior to the shift, the total is split in 5 pieces Top-20%, Next-20%, etc. Each group has nearly the same rate of increase (wealth/income). At some point in the last 30 years that growth - that can be neatly split into pieces falls apart. One has to split out the top 1% or 0.1% and THEN break the groups down into pieces to see the catastrophic effect this redistribution of wealth has had.

My explanation is poor, but along with other economic indicators, including the nearly frozen minimum wage rate, things are not looking all that great for the bulk of the populace in North America.

about a week ago
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No RIF'd Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months

CrashNBrn Re:Not about leaks (282 comments)

It's pretty much the same at Google. Contractors have to take 6 months to a year off after an employment term. It would seem any of the tech-sector companies that utilize contractors play the same song and dance.

Especially that last bit of the "elusive promise of a hire" - which just fucks the employee since they wont really be prepared for not having a job at the end of the choreographed BS.

about a week ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

CrashNBrn 9" Nook (285 comments)

A 9" Nook HD, with Google Play now included (without hacking) is $179.99. The older version with 16GB on-board flash can be had for about $50 less.

about two weeks ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

CrashNBrn Maybe 35,000 in 1980. (285 comments)

$35,000 was a decent Salary in 1980.
Lets inflate that 2% per year over 34 years. ( x 1.96)

Merely adjusted for inflation, that should be:
~$59,000 (from $30,000) to ~$69,000 (from $35,000)

$5/hr was also the median minimum wage for student-like jobs in 1980-85 (~10,500/yr). Over three decades later most States don't even have a minimum wage at $10 or above.

about two weeks ago
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New Digital Currency Bases Value On Reputation

CrashNBrn Tradeable Facebook Pokes (100 comments)

Excellent. Now all the social-media pokes and teddy-bears can have collectible value.

about two weeks ago
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CCP Games Explains Why Virtual Reality First Person Shooters Still Don't Work

CrashNBrn Re:Or is it unrealistic speed? (154 comments)

That's one of the prime reasons I don't bother with most FPS-like games. Movement/directional schemes are almost exclusively tied to your mouse report rate. Many of the Action/RPG's have similar movement schemes as well, unfortunately.

about two weeks ago
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MIT May Have Just Solved All Your Data Center Network Lag Issues

CrashNBrn Nginx? (83 comments)

I thought Nginx was created by Igor Sysoev?

about two weeks ago
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Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

CrashNBrn Re:One switch to rule them all? (681 comments)

If the Ribbons in MS's various products were even remotely configurable/customizable, they wouldn't nearly be such an atrocity to me at least (maybe others?).

MS has almost always had customizable toolbars, floaty-undockable, multiple toolbars and drop down menu's that hide unused features.

Vs. the Ribbons: Hide/Display and can't change.

If you try and make a custom Ribbon, you can't accomplish the same layout due to placement and sizing restrictions.

Performing an action via Toolbar or Drop-Down menu, doesn't change your menus or interface. Whereas the Ribbon requires - changing to a "specialty" ribbon, finding said function on the ribbon, clicking, changing back to "Home".

Conceptually the ribbon is good, but when it's implementation comes with the complete removal of previous functionality it completely goes against the flexibility that we've become accustomed to over the years, and feels like a slap in the face.

about 1 month ago
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Opera Releases a New Version For Linux

CrashNBrn Re:Mod parent up. (99 comments)

I wish I could still use Opera 12.x - I've run into far too many JavaScript problems. Go to any sitepoint article that has "disqus" comments, each Opera (sitepoint) tab will consume 12-20% of the CPU; other sites are worse than that.

Opera would of been much better off either replacing their JS engine, or Hooking up with FF to bring out a browser that is stable with lots of tabs, and still has a usable (non-lagged UI). FF is getting their with the multi-process Nightly.

I think if Mozilla would stop pulling options out of the browser, and leave the infrastructure in place (Add-On Bar, Status Bar options) without forcing users to recover removed features via Extensions they could very well be on track to be the best browser: both in terms of Stability (with heavy tab usage) and customization --- the new "Customize" option is a page out of Opera's playbook, and its pretty damned cool.

about a month ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

CrashNBrn Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

Best Response. Funny and Insightful.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

CrashNBrn Re:8.1 !=Start Menu.. Why Win8 was doomed... (516 comments)

I think if I could of gotten drivers for my last PC upgrade, I might still be running Win2k. Windows 2000 was a Rock-Stable OS that I used from 2004-2010/2011. It didn't take that long to acclimate to Windows 7, so it was a worthy upgrade. Win8 is "ok", I really hate the control it has removed from the user - in so many small ways, along with hiding things - just to make it difficult.
e.g. After applying Win 8.1 update, you have to bounce around until you realize it *IS* possible to login without a fucking MSN/Hotmail/Live/whateverthehell login.
Or when you try to download and run an installer from IE... blocked outright, until you realize clicking on "details" will allow you a button to override that block.

Another poster mentioned discoverability and how Win8 basically shits all over that concept. On that I totally agree. Some things are just a complete pain in the ass.

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

CrashNBrn Re:flame away, but... (516 comments)

Windows 8 would be fine if the Start Screen was moderately customizable. Even Windows 7's Start Menu was degraded - you could no longer custom-arrange folders, like you could in pretty much every other MS OS.

The Start Screen - if it allowed SubFolders - when clicked open's a blank Start Screen that you could organize. Assign a hotkey to said SubFolder. Instead we have a single Start Screen, and horizontal scrolling bullshit.

Even Stardock's Fences allows for multiple "desktops" as such - although that too doesn't allow you to organize your Fenced icons at all, making it nearly useless. Along with it's "pin a folder view to the desktop, which sounded really awesome... except it's just a crippled directory view with - yep - no sorting option or any of explorer's Menu's/or toolbars.

I've been testing out ReviverSoft's Start Menu Reviver 2. It's decent, but lacks in a few key areas:

No "normal" right-click context menu on the replaced start-button - which normally shows most of the utilities/tools that a power-user would need to access.

No way to customize where it appears; with a TaskBar on the left, it appears to the right. If one could make it appear on top of the TaskBar, and change the left-column buttons, it would allow for two clicks - without moving the mouse to still open the Start Screen --- instead click the replaced start button, move the mouse to find the Start Screen "button" - if yer actually trying to get to the start screen, instead of Reviver's start menu. Or even allow assigning Shift+Win to display the Start Screen.

Other than that, I think it's probably better than Stardock's Start8 or even "classic-shell" which has far too many quirks.

about 2 months ago
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HP (Re-)Announces a 14" Android Laptop

CrashNBrn Re:$400 ain't cheap for that hardware (121 comments)

November last year, I got a HP 17" (non-touch), AMD A8-5550M, 8GB Ram, 640GB HD, with Windows 8, for $450. Granted the touchpad mostly sucks, and the keyboard layout is non-optimal even with the NumPad. But it was $450. I just use an external keyboard sometimes, and mouse.

If the 14" even has a SSD - and not just basic flash-ram, a 64GB SSD should be about equivalent with a 500-650GB HD. A touch screen tends to add nearly a $100 to a laptop... but with only 2GB of ram, and a standard dimension screen, I don't see how that can be worth much more than $250-$300.

about 2 months ago
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4K Displays Ready For Prime Time

CrashNBrn Re:3D capable models (207 comments)

Monitors are a dead end. Real 3D or "natural resolutions" will come from hologram-like tech. Of course unlikely most of us will live to see that advance.

about 2 months ago
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Mozilla Ditches Firefox's New-Tab Monetization Plans

CrashNBrn Re:That's not who we are at Mozilla (195 comments)

Opera did this - maybe still does - who knows only the sheep and clueless haven't abandoned that sinking ship. Wasn't a big deal, it was just a handful of bookmarks, and ~9 Speed Dial items, that most "geeks" replaced. They should of just gone forward with it, bring in some extra non-google sponsored-directly revenue, and let people change the defaults from a clean install as they wish.

about 3 months ago
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$200 For a Bound Textbook That You Can't Keep?

CrashNBrn Re:The textbook industry... (252 comments)

I used textbooks.com a few years back. Prices were 1/2 to 1/4 the MSRP on used, and you would get something like 50%+ back for a new book if you returned it at the end of the semester. Amazon used books is also decent. And you need to keep an eye out for the school's own book drive --- usually run by the student council - for good deals on next semesters books.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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The Pirate Bay R.I.P.

CrashNBrn CrashNBrn writes  |  about 5 years ago

CrashNBrn (1143981) writes "We have heard rumblings of The Pirate Bay going the way of the DoDo Bird. The possibility that the current owners were considering selling. This has indeed occurred.
According to BetaNews, "Wayne Rosso, former president of Grokster has been working with Global Gaming Factory X, the Swedish firm that recently bought the Pirate Bay, to turn the service legit and legal without changing the user experience at all."
Rosso said, "I'm calling this new model 'resource supported'. In short, the more computer resources the user contributes to The Pirate Bay, the more his content consumption is subsidized. I won't drill down any further due to commercial confidentiality, but it can actually work. And if it does, it will be huge."

While the piratebay blog goes on to say, "If the new owners will screw around with the site, nobody will keep using it. That's the biggest insurance one can have that the site will be run in the way that we all want to. And — you can now not only share files but shares with people. Everybody can indeed be the owner of The Pirate Bay now. That's awesome and will take the heat of us."

Color me skeptical, but it should certainly be interesting seeing the fallout from this."

Link to Original Source
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Apple Declares War on Palm Pre

CrashNBrn CrashNBrn writes  |  more than 5 years ago

CrashNBrn (1143981) writes "Fairly brief blurb on Gearlog, regarding an iTunes Support note on how Apple doesn't guarantee third-party syncing with iTunes... "because software changes over time, newer versions of Apple's iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with non-Apple digital media players". Considering the timing of the support note and the Palm Pre's release, it looks like a passive agressive attack on the Pre. Interestingly, Gearlog mentions the Pre was designed by a number of ex-Apple employees — which I hadn't seen mentioned elsewhere before.
Palm spokeswoman Lynn Fox states, "If Apple chooses to disable Media Sync in a future version of iTunes, we just think it will be a direct blow to their own users""
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Judges upholds $107,834 award against RIAA

CrashNBrn CrashNBrn writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CrashNBrn (1143981) writes "Judge upholds $107,834 in attorneys' fees award against RIAA
In the long running saga of Atlantic v. Andersen the judge has awarded the exonerated P2P defendant over $100,000 in attorneys' fees. Her malicious prosecutio lawsuit against the RIAA is still pending."

Link to Original Source
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MacBook Pro external drive... and Windows?

CrashNBrn CrashNBrn writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CrashNBrn writes "My GF has a macbook pro, does Video and Music editting on an external drive. She inadvertently formatted it to Fat32, which in this case is next to useless. The problem as it stands, the drive will periodically need to interface with Windows machines. NTFS as I've read is not natively supported by Mac, and Mac's filesystem is not supported by windows. Is there some middle ground that doesn't rely on the Windows machine in question to be running WebDav or the like?"

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