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Sci-Fi Author Timothy Zahn Is Creating a Video Game

Intropy Re:Heavily influenced by Master of Orion (116 comments)

What makes you think that isn't what this is? I'm a big fan of the genre, and several recent efforts have been mechanically decent. Endless Space, Galactic Civilizations II, and Distant Worlds are all solidly designed (relatively) modern games. So why is MoO2 still the gold standard? Because it has character. The game is constantly giving you little touches like news reports or animated ambassadors and researchers that draw you in and make it feel like a fleshed out galaxy. You don't get that from these other titles. They are fun and engaging from a gameplay standpoint, but have about as much atmosphere as Excel.

about a year ago
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Court Declares Google Must Face Wiretap Charges For Wi-Fi Snooping

Intropy Re:Twisted logic (214 comments)

Your honor, I didn't say anything. I was merely vibrating the air as is my custom.

about a year ago
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What Marketers Think They Know About You and What They Really Do

Intropy Re:Seriously? (277 comments)

Alright, here's what we know about you:

Name, physical address, email address, and last four digits of your ssn.

Gotcha!

about a year ago
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What Marketers Think They Know About You and What They Really Do

Intropy Doesn't matter (277 comments)

They're not _really_ trying to figure out data about who you are because they don't really care. What they care about are what ads are most likely to affect you. That's a clustering problem not an identification problem. And if those clusters happen to have similarities to a well-defined, named demographic category that just helps humans talk about them.

about a year ago
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Google Patents "Scroogling"

Intropy Re:Patent novelty? (135 comments)

This comes up every time a patent gets mentioned on Slashdot. They did not patent the concept of targeting ads based on content. They patented a particular method for doing that.

about a year ago
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Van Gogh Prints In 3D: Almost the Real Thing For $34,000

Intropy Re:Oh, come on... (104 comments)

Only one comment and it's exactly the one I would have made. It's not to knock the technology or even complain about the price, since they're still clearly in the recovering R&D costs phase. I wouldn't mind spending a couple hundred dollars on something like this if the claims of accuracy hold up in person. But that's never going to happen if you're limiting the supply to 260 copies worldwide.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It OK To Not Give Notice?

Intropy Emergency and Conscience (892 comments)

The two reasons off the top of my head where it would be acceptable not to give notice would be for emergencies or conflicts of conscience. If you find you have an illness that required immediate attention, or you have to move across country immediately to take care of a relative or are called for military service or something of that nature, then you're fine not giving two weeks notice. If you find your company is preferentially hiring on the basis or sex or hunting Man for sport, then you're fine not giving notice (might want to blow the whistle too).

about a year ago
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Federal Judge Rules NYC "Stop and Frisk" Violated Rights

Intropy Re:Why isn't Bloomberg in jail? (308 comments)

If Bloomberg is for it you should pretty much just assume it's a bad idea until proven otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt.

about a year ago
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Federal Judge Rules NYC "Stop and Frisk" Violated Rights

Intropy Re:Because of race? (308 comments)

In general I agree with you. But there are some privacy concerns that should be addressed. The video wouldn't be able to view anything the officer couldn't have seen, but perfect permanent storage compared with imperfect memory and the ability to automate searching through footage could be troublesome. Perhaps if you needed a warrant. It should be easy to say you saw a crime at 12:43 and then get a warrant saying you can look at the footage from around 12:43.

about a year ago
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Hands On With Motorola's Moto X

Intropy Re:This got me, too. (120 comments)

It tries to determine when you're looking at it, and it shows the screen then instead of waiting for you to press the power button. Obviously since it can't really know when you're looking at it it guesses based on movements and touching the screen.

about a year ago
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Congress Wants FCC To Auction TV White Spaces

Intropy Re:So? (127 comments)

They don't want to own the band, they want the band to be open for everyone and to produce devices that YOU can use in that band. The difference isn't like that between two tv stations. It's more like the difference between a tv station and everyone's walkie talkies.

about a year ago
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Congress Wants FCC To Auction TV White Spaces

Intropy Re:is the super wifi going to be free? (127 comments)

They wouldn't own that band anymore than Linksys owns the wifi band. Anyone with a device that obeys the band's rules could broadcast into it.

about a year ago
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Google Argues Against Net Neutrality

Intropy Misplaced sense of entitlement (555 comments)

The service providers own their service. They sell what they want to sell. You are not entitled to get your way in all things. Just because someone offers services that differ from what you want doesn't mean it is okay to force them through governmental action to offer what you want. If you want a gallon of milk and Costco only sells in 2 gallon increments, do you ask congress for a bill commanding them to sell single gallons? Of course not; that would be wrong. You would buy somewhere else. The same is true of internet service. You don't like what they offer, buy somewhere else. If enough people agree with you, they will get the message, or maybe your preferences aren't the same as everyone else's. Either is fine.

I've only heard one good argument about why net neutrality should be enforced by law, and that's that there are too few options in internet service, effectively making them monopolies. That argument actually makes sense. But if that's your position, then you don't want the FCC involved, you want the FTC. Having the FTC do it is fine. It follows the common precedent that it is justified to compel fairness in the behavior of a company when there is not a real open market for its services. If the FCC does it then the precedent is very broad, that it's okay to compel a company to offer a particular set of services merely because the services deal with communications.

None of this is to say that net neutrality itself is a bad thing. I want it. I would prefer if my ISP offered it, and I would pay a modest amount for it. I also think it's a good (in the being a good citizen sense) position for the providers to take. But the government is the biggest, meanest bully on the block. If they're going to be asked to wield that considerable power to force someone to do something, you want to be damn sure it's justified, and it has to be done for the right reasons.

about a year ago
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Forget Apple: Samsung Could Be Google's Next Big Rival

Intropy Rival, yes. Biggest, no. (223 comments)

Samsung competes with Motorola, a side business of Android, one of Google's side businesses. Google has far bigger rivals in Microsoft's Bing and Facebook. Samsung sells a lot of phones, which is just what Google wants. It may be a version tarted up with a bunch of crapware, but it's still Android, and it's still funneling people into Google's web suite.

about a year ago
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Fake "Speed Enforced By Drones" Signs On California Freeways

Intropy Re:"FAKE" (218 comments)

The reverse vampires.

about a year ago
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Atari Facing $291 Million Debt Claim From... Atari

Intropy Re:holy fucking shit (121 comments)

To pile on, yes the GalCiv series is extremely bland. Toss Endless Space onto that pile as well. Master of Orion II holds up remarkably well. The patterns for me is that a new entry into the genre comes out, I play it a couple of times, then I reinstall MOO2 and play that for a week.

about a year ago
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Atari Facing $291 Million Debt Claim From... Atari

Intropy Master of Orion, please (121 comments)

World of Tanks is pretty fun. Master of Orion is a completely different kind of game. Hope they can manage it okay. I'd love a decent sequel.

about a year ago
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US Gained a Decade of Flynn-Effect IQ Points After Adding Iodine To Salt

Intropy Re:Not the only public health benefit. (270 comments)

I believe you are referring to hookworms, which were found in an estimated 40%-70% of people living in the Southern US in the early 1900s in sufficient amounts to cause disease. They cause anemia and fatigue. They're expelled in feces, and can live in soil for a while. The problem was them digging out of outhouses through the soil and finding their way into people walking around barefoot. The solution was to dig deeper outhouses, so that the hookworm couldn't live in the soil long enough to reach the surface, and to wear shoes. On the flip side, there's serious current research into using small-scale hookworm infestation as a treatment for inflammatory diseases, including crohn's and multiple sclerosis.

about a year ago

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