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Ask Slashdot: Tech-Related Summer Camps For Teenagers?

HanClinto I enjoyed the Hillsdale Science Camp (177 comments)

When I was your age I was in a similar boat. I went to the Hillsdale Science Camp for two or three summers -- I loved it, and can speak very highly for it. Definitely worth checking out!

more than 2 years ago
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Mario's Raccoon Suit Enrages PETA

HanClinto One word (491 comments)

Parody.

more than 3 years ago
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Does Italian Demo Show Cold Fusion, or Snake Oil?

HanClinto Re:This is scientifically impossible (479 comments)

"higher binding energy" -- meaning that it's harder to pull them apart. Imagine you've got two pits, and you're moving bricks from one to the other. The deeper pit has higher binding energy -- it's tougher to pull the brick out of the pit, and place it into the shallower pit -- lower binding energy. The GP post is asking how this could result in a net gain of energy, when you've had to expend more work pulling bricks out of deep holes and placing them into shallow holes?

I don't know enough about chemistry to comment further, but that's my layman's understanding.

more than 3 years ago
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World's Best Chess Engine Outlawed and Disqualified

HanClinto He did not combine them. (315 comments)

He didn't even do that, he combined two separate opensource engine making one better engine.

According to the allegations, he did not combine two open-source programs into a super-bot. They claim that the current version of his bot (Rybka) is a copy of Fruit, and an earlier version of his software was a copy of Crafty.

As you said, he closed-sourced them and claimed them as his own without giving attribution -- thereby breaking the software licenses of at least one of them (Fruit), which is GPL.

more than 3 years ago
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'Motherlode' of Data Seized At Bin Laden Compound

HanClinto Re:Truecrypt (718 comments)

I know you're speaking in jest, but it's a bit more chilling to consider how many of them (such as the 9/11 suicide hijackers) had college degrees -- they were no flunkies.

more than 3 years ago
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Garry's Mod Catches Pirates the Fun Way

HanClinto Re:What's the point? (365 comments)

I think that's absolutely brilliant. :-D You can just imagine the complaint comments in the Torrent... "This says version 1.2.3.2, but it's only the old 1.2.3.1!!!!11"

more than 3 years ago
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Building the LEGO MMO

HanClinto Re:How's the game? (116 comments)

It didn't sound like it, no. You can find more info on the LU beta website.

more than 4 years ago
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Building the LEGO MMO

HanClinto Re:How's the game? (116 comments)

It ended this past Sunday evening -- sorry, you just missed out!

more than 4 years ago
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Building the LEGO MMO

HanClinto Re:How's the game? (116 comments)

Oh no -- it's definitely very different.

You run around, you smash things, you collect things, but you also do a lot of building, a lot of racing, and a LOT more customization than is present in the TT games. You're building up your character -- clothes, equipment, weapons, armors, special pieces that give abilities. You're competing -- there are foot races and car races -- you're building specialized space ships and hunting around for hidden treasure chests that hold rewards.

The TT games had very limited collectibles. You basically collected money and special golden bricks -- I don't think there was much else in the way of collectibles, and you couldn't buy much with your stuff -- just more characters. In LU, you can not only collect money (to buy clothes or equipment), but you can also buy pre-made models to go on your property, or you can buy race car parts, or rocket ship parts, or whatever -- and then there's the whole thing of just finding and collecting those parts on their own. There are flags to find, pets to find, special bricks to find, special blue bricks to find, achievements to find, challenges to complete, etc etc etc.

A BIG thing in LU is pets -- there are tons of unique pets in the game in every world, and finding, taming, and collecting them all is a large minigame that spans the entire set of worlds. You can name pets and have a whole menagerie. You have your own properties that you build up with things that you've collected in other worlds, etc.

The TT games didn't really have "collecting" the way LU does. LU lets you "collect" a VERY wide variety of things -- shoulder parrots are a fun one to collect because they're extremely rare and really fun to have flap around on your shoulder. There are also a wide variety of "elite" weapons that are very rare -- you can collect all manner of elite weapons -- not just swords and spears, but also silly things like pushbrooms or oars. It's impossible to collect everything in the game, and there's a lot of depth and opportunity for showcasing your collections -- this is VERY different from the "collect" aspect of TT.

There is also a story here with factions -- something that isn't present in the more linear TT games.

All that to say -- it's NOT "pretty much the same". I more just meant that their strongest appeal is with the LEGO branding, and if that wasn't enough to draw you into the TT games, then you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a justification for your monthly bill.

more than 4 years ago
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Building the LEGO MMO

HanClinto Re:How's the game? (116 comments)

Okay, yeah. If you're not a fan enough of LEGO games to even buy LEGO Star Wars, then there's almost no way you'll find LEGO Universe worth it. :)

more than 4 years ago
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Building the LEGO MMO

HanClinto Re:How's the game? (116 comments)

If you don't like subscriptions (like me) and are able to play with most of your friends locally, then I think I could have quite a bit of fun just sticking with the Travelers Tale games (Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones, etc).

The beta was a good time, and especially if I had remote friends that I wanted to play a family-friendly online game with, I'd definitely consider subscribing.

more than 4 years ago
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Building the LEGO MMO

HanClinto Re:How's the game? (116 comments)

I played through a fair chunk of the beta with my brother-in-law. It got kindof boring when we had maxed the endgame, but it was still fun to go in and hunt dragons and work on building up my second tier of equipment. There is a TON of stuff to collect in the game, and the achievements were fun (I didn't max nearly all of those). Lots to do and explore, and it was getting better every week in the beta as far as making it more fun to coop with friends. Not a traditional MMO by any means, but if you can enjoy "light" MMOs like Puzzle Pirates and whatnot (and particularly if you enjoyed the Traveler's Tale games), then I felt it was fun (even for an adult) -- but especially if you play alongside kids. It was fun for my brother-in-law to build up the character, and his sons enjoyed playing with all of the higher end equipment.

more than 4 years ago
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Just Where Is The Lincoln Memorial, Anyhow?

HanClinto Re:Politics aside, wtf is wrong with Google? (650 comments)

I wish I had time to show up at the rally with some MLK Jr quotes on signs...I think 'A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.' would be perfect.

If you don't have time to do that, perhaps you maybe might have time to educate yourself as to how much we actually spend on defense vs. social uplift?

For one -- we spend more on Social Security alone than we do on the entire Department of Defense -- not counting other social uplift programs such as welfare, foreign aid, national parks, environmental services, or whatever.

I guess I'm not sure I understand what you're railing against. Which countries in particular are you saying are approaching spiritual death?

You sound angry and ignorant.

more than 4 years ago
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YouTube Explains Where HTML5 Video Fails

HanClinto Re:I read the blog post by "YouTube" (426 comments)

Nothing is impossible.

The bottom line is that the video tag is not yet mature enough to imitate (much less exceed) the current user experience provided through Flash, so YouTube is not planning on moving, because to do so would be to provide an inferior user experience to their customers.

Given how several other companies have been weighing in on this issue (Scribd and Apple being to notable examples), I appreciated hearing YouTube's take on it.

more than 4 years ago
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YouTube Explains Where HTML5 Video Fails

HanClinto Re:I read the blog post by "YouTube" (426 comments)

According to the article, AJAX overlays don't work properly / consistently in full-screen, which many people like to use.

more than 4 years ago
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YouTube Explains Where HTML5 Video Fails

HanClinto Re:I read the blog post by "YouTube" (426 comments)

Sorry for being unclear. "Links" in the sense of linkable hot-spots that creators of YouTube content can add to their videos to provide contextual hotlinks to other videos, websites, etc. Sortof like "super captions / tags". I was assuming you'd seen these on YouTube videos lately -- I think they added this feature some time last year or so -- at least that's when I noticed it starting to show up.

So when I said "captions", I didn't mean "closed captioning" (that was covered more by "subtitles"), so much as these dynamic captions that can be added by the authors after the video is uploaded.

"I'm not aware enough of any problem a flash container for video provides for translations. Really? Translations of what?"

(sidenote: I didn't say that Flash containers provided problems for translations -- not sure how you got that?)

What I mean by "translations" is either alternate audio tracks, or multiple subtitling options.

Much of this can be added with Javascript, but as the blog post pointed out, fullscreen adds a whole 'nuther dimension to the mix, and it sounds like it's tricky (if not impossible) to display Javascript-controlled dynamic content (such as these links, captions, and subtitles) on top of full-screen video.

If one can (as you say) include these alternate audio or captioning tracks in the video file itself, it certainly presents an inferior solution to Flash, where such content can both be added after-the-fact, and displayed in full-screen.

Re: giving a skewed perspective, I'm happy to let the reader decide if you were conveniently neglecting to mention these extra features that YouTube provides to content creators that are hurt (in addition to ads).

Besides, you act like ads are a bad thing? TANSSAAFL, and I'm not sure I'm ready to pay money to subscribe to YouTube -- I think I'd prefer the ads. Minor note: when someone has music playing in the background of their YouTube video, I kindof like knowing the author and the title of the song being provided for me by YouTube -- that's a nice and unobtrusive popup that I appreciate, and is a heckuva lot more convenient than digging through the comments trying to find someone who happened to know what it was.

I guess all I'm saying is that your original post made it sound like all we had to lose by YouTube moving to the <video> tag was ads, ads, and more ads. While that's partly true, I think it's also important to remember that YouTube has a very good user experience, and a lot of the little niceties (such as the small handful that I mentioned) would also be lost -- in addition to the ads that support the site.

more than 4 years ago
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YouTube Explains Where HTML5 Video Fails

HanClinto Re:Stop raining on our OSS parade with your "facts (426 comments)

Now you're repeating yourself, and I point you back to u17's comment. The question of Flash plugins is a totally separate problem decoupled from H264. Free software implementations of the <video> tag will not be able to handle H264 either.

You're confusing the issue by mixing two separate problems.

more than 4 years ago
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YouTube Explains Where HTML5 Video Fails

HanClinto Re:I read the blog post by "YouTube" (426 comments)

Funny that you conveniently forgot to mention subtitles, translations, captions, and links.

Nono, don't change it. Your argument sounds better when you spin and skew. You report, we decide.

more than 4 years ago
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Nostalgic Elation — the Super Mario Crossover

HanClinto Re:Far more time than money (67 comments)

I read Steve Fulton's article that you linked. The gist is that nobody has yet written support libraries for Canvas-based game development.

On top of the fact that there aren't support libraries, it's also that the core API doesn't support basic functionality needed by game developers (such as playing two copies of the same sound simultaneously -- I.E. gunshots or explosions).

My cousin. He and others in his position have far more time than money, which is why they stick to Free or otherwise free tools. Imagine a high school student on summer break whose school isn't on the list of schools that get a discount on Flash CS5. These people are likely to be the people who write the support libraries that Canvas currently lacks.

Then he might be one of the people who is interested in the free and open-source compiler that Adobe released several years back. FlashDevelop is one of the best free tools for doing Flash development, though there are many many others.

I developed several games in Flash before I ever paid a single dime to Adobe -- using only free and open-source tools.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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HanClinto HanClinto writes  |  more than 8 years ago

HanClinto writes "For everyone who is a fan of the Code Monkey in their warm fuzzy secret hearts, Quick Stop Entertainment is hosting a Code Monkey Remix Contest. Entrants have until Dec 9th to remix their own version of Jonathan Coulton's song Code Monkey and submit them to vie for autographed box sets of Jonathan's entire "Thing A Week" project awarded to the top 5 mixers. Even if I don't get a mix done in time, I'm still looking forward to expanding my music library with more versions of my favorite Jonathan Coulton song. What do Slash Monkey think?"

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