top John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter
Try Mirror's edge too, very minimal violence. Arguably, if the player needs violence it means they've failed to play the game as intended.
about a month and a half ago
top John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter
Take a look at Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. Class-based arena shooter, but just mild semi-cute cartoon violence.
about a month and a half ago
top Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling
I think Putin is crafty and Machiavellian is a great way to describe his choices.
But with that said, we don't have to assume Putin to be insane or foolish to concern ourselves with nuclear escalation. His gradual conquest of the Ukraine is a calculated risk that essentially says to NATO, "I bet you haven't got the balls to stop me, I can take what I want."
He's moving slowly and boiling the frog in the water slowly so that he can get what he wants with slower and safer escalation...but it's still escalation. He's planning to push until he himself is convinced that NATO is actually willing to go to war to stop him.
Basically, he's started a nuclear game of chicken, and the worst part about nuclear war is that the best outcome goes to the one who issues the first strike since it's hoped to at least partially blunt a portion of the counter-strike. In a nuclear missile crisis, you can't know when the point of no return is crossed because at that point, there's no response to the opponent's latest gesture of escalation, at that point the missiles are simply fired without notice to reduce the enemy's response time as much as possible.
I don't expect nuclear war to be imminent right now, but with the trajectory Putin is taking, I expect that he won't stop until he's pushed us all to the very brink of nuclear war, and the risk is that Putin may accidentally push us just a hair too far and find us in a situation that even he cannot de-escalate from since he won't know when he's overshot his limits.
about a month and a half ago
top Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study
"We did not evolve eating carbs"
I'm confused, do you mean processed sugars or something rather than "carbs"?
I mean, carbs are all over the place. Fruits, roots, grains, etc. We had definitely evolved eating carbs, Isn't the trope of monkeys loving bananas suggestive of carbs as being a part of man's early diet?
about a month and a half ago
top Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?
I keep seeing this complaint, but it doesn't make sense. Are people assuming that for every 1 police officer, they will hire 1 video reviewer to watch that officer for his entire shift? That's silly.
Any real-world application, would be local recording on the device. When an incident is reported, the police officer logs the time of his response just like he/she already does all the time. He/she turns in his camera, and any video corresponding to the officer's incident report is then archived and tagged to that incident. You don't need to save 12 hours of video per officer. You just need the time of the incident which will be very brief indeed. If you want more manual control of the evidence. Let the officer pick the video times he wants to log, submit it to evidence dept., evidence dept. fast-forwards through the video to simply verify the officer selected the right times to capture the incident (if not, kick it back to the officer to reselect his times and resubmit to the evidence dept.).
The result is 1) The officer is the only one picking out the video to archive, and no personal/private information will be submitted without the officer's consent. 2) Someone who isn't the officer is ALSO explicitly responsible for ensuring that a video of the incident was submitted to evidence that day. 3) You don't have 4 hours of video recording an officer just filling out paperwork.
top NRC Analyst Calls To Close Diablo Canyon, CA's Last Remaining Nuclear Plant
This is spot on. I have thin, cheap, builder-grade (i.e garbage) windows that were original to the home's construction in 1986. They leak heat like crazy but it'll cost $20k to replace them. Meaning I'd have to live here about a decade to make that cost back in energy savings. But I've also picked up a new job where relocating for 2-3 years is a strong prerequisite for advancement. The major outlays in energy efficiency that would make a big difference for me are incredibly wasteful from a financial perspective. I would love to get my windows replaced, improve wall insulation, get solar panels, solar water heating, the works...if it meant I could save money in the long run. But because I can't take any of that with me, or recover a decent portion back in the home's sale price, I'm never going to do any of those things until I move into a permanent home. Even when I think I'm settling in for the long term, life can be unpredictable, and I'll always have some uncertainty as to how long I'll live in a home before I'll want or need to move. Just last night I was reading in the local paper that a company is attempting to assert right-of-way to build an oil pipeline straight through my suburban NJ township to pipe oil to NYC, which will further impact my home value. Not something I had been planning on happening 4 years ago, but something I might have to move to escape from.
top NRC Analyst Calls To Close Diablo Canyon, CA's Last Remaining Nuclear Plant
You started off pretty well with a reasoned and comprehensible response on the topic of what the future's energy generation profile might have to look like.
....Then you went waaaay off topic and into paranoid-insane areas and crash-landed into talking about Noah's ark and space space stations. Don't you hear how crazy that sounds? I mean, at least it was interesting, but joking aside, maybe get that checked out or something.
top The 2014 Hugo Awards
I really liked Europa Report and I recommend it to sci-fi fans. But the criticisms against that movie were well placed, and Best Dramatic Presentation? If anything, the movie was intentionally downplaying the inherent drama of their predicament in order to keep the movie grounded in a more documentary format. Sci-fi fans should definitely check out Europa Report, but I don't think it would have won here.
top Twitter Reports 23 Million Users Are Actually Bots
I'm seeing a lot of incorrect responses to you. The SEC isn't directly involved here at all.
For the time being, the SEC is merely the hosting site. Twitter voluntarily disclosed this factoid on it's own. All public companies in the US must file quarterly reports (a.k.a 10-Q) to the public, and all of those are filed on the SEC's site for investors (or aggregators) to access. Twitter decided to disclose this fact in it's latest report because it's important information for investors to have (and they don't want to get sued for withholding material information from investors if this somehow leaks out).
If Twitter is suspected to be withholding material information or puts out incorrect information, THEN the SEC might start to get directly involved.
top I'd most like to (personally) explore:
I like the advice I heard from an economist on a Freakonomics podcast when asked by a teenager what economics can teach us about romance(specifically with regard to asking a girl out to prom).
The economist starts off by admitting he doesn't know anything more than anyone else on romance. But he suggested that many people suffer from "loss aversion", a tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains(
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... ). The young man was afraid of rejection, which might sting briefly, but will likely have minimal negative impact and likely no long term impact. But if she says yes, he'd have a date to prom and a memory of prom he can look back on for years. The guy was just focused on the possibility of rejection.
Unfortunately, "Reduce your loss aversion" isn't as catchy as "YOLO" or "Carpe Diem". But it's more practical life advice for many people.
top Valve Discloses Source 2 Engine In Recent
DOTA 2 Update
"If and when Valve ever makes Half-Life 3, you wonâ(TM)t have to get Steam to play it. In an interview with IGN, Valve says that it wouldnâ(TM)t dream of using its software division to make exclusive games for the Steam OS, because that just isnâ(TM)t the way Valve looks at the world.
âoeYou wonâ(TM)t see an exclusive killer app for SteamOS from us. Weâ(TM)re not going to be doing that kind of thing,â Valveâ(TM)s Greg Comer told IGN."
"...âoeBecause if it can run in both places, we donâ(TM)t like to create those artificial barriers to accessing content. We believe that, in maybe five years from now, folks will find it a quite antiquated notion that you should assume that when you change devices or platforms, that you lose all of your other games and friends. Weâ(TM)re hoping to unify, to get Steam to be as platform- and context-agnostic as possible. You shouldnâ(TM)t have to shed that every generation, or even slightly shed it.â"
top Satya Nadella At Six Months: Grading Microsoft's New CEO
Well, let's look at it more closely. If he'd announced a massive general layoff at all levels due to falling profitability, I'd agree that it's a sign the company has one foot in the grave.
But really, a little more than 2/3rds of the layoffs are redundant positions taken on in a recent acquisition. Layoffs are always sure to follow in large acquisitions like this. The remaining third is targeted at MS itself to reduce the layers of management that they've accumulated (i.e further reducing redundancies)
MS was also heavily panned as a company from a financial perspective for piled on bureaucracy, redtape, and piling resources into dead-ends. Under that light, wouldn't it make sense for MS to reduce bureaucracy, red tape, and dead weight?
Really, at this point, the only thing this CEO is known for is announcing a restructuring of MS that has been called for, for some time now.
If he had fired core personnel from the profitable branches of the business, then he'd be hurting the company in the long term for short-term savings. But in THIS case, he's getting rid of redundancies that are hurting the company in the short-term AND in the long-term.
Today, MS is seen as simply a dividend stock with strong profits but little growth to look forward to. But they have a considerable cash balance and they're increasing cash flow from the layoffs. Cash allows a company to try things, and to change things, and so long as they've got the cash for it, there's still the possibility for them to put the cash into a successful venture. 6 months in, it's too early to determine whether this new CEO has found such a venture, it's also too early to write him off.
In the meantime, I hope these employees will get decent severance, and hopefully an even better job elsewhere at a company that needs their skills. There's no sugarcoating it, there is an immense human cost to putting 18,000 people out of work, that will likely affect many more lives than just the 18,000 employees.
top Amazon's eBook Math
According to some of the people interviewed for this NPR piece, some authors are indeed making more through Amazon. So despite Amazon making what appears to be an inordinate margin for simple digital distribution, it might still be better deal for authors than going through traditional publishers who take a larger margin, and spend significantly more overhead to support the older physical distribution model.
top Nuclear Missile Command Drops Grades From Tests To Discourage Cheating
Who are you talking to?
The summary states that 90% will continue to remain the minimum requirement for success, as it was before.
The "unrealistic expectation" was making promotion decisions based solely on the difference between 93% vs 95% on the test score. A 90% was the equivalent of a "D". The problem was that to be promoted, the expectation was to hit that 2% difference (which may very well be a single question on the test) and that would mean the difference between being promoted or not being promoted (which means a host of different responsibilities). It's nice to have a firm metric you can point to in order to justify the decision that was made.
The problem is that the single question out of many, was the deciding factor between 2 candidates to take on a multitude of increased responsibilities, their qualification for which may not be accurately gauged by a single question out of many on a graded exam. For comparison, let's say you have 2 programmers take a test, programmer A gets 93%, and programmer B gets 95%. They both clearly have a very strong grasp of the requisite knowledge, which would you promote? The 95%? Well what if programmer B has excellent book-retention, but is lazy and disorganized in his personal and professional life? Maybe he has poor leadership skills over the people that he/she oversees? The idea of promotion based on a tiny difference in already-strong test scores starts to fall apart.
top 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'
This is exactly what I'm going through. We're overdue on a medical bill from the hospital for my 21month old son's birth. In addition to my wife's insurance coverage through her employer, I'd purchased additional 100% coverage for her through my employer.
So, she's got primary insurance and secondary insurance. But the hospital doesn't care. The correct way to bill is to send it to the primary insurer, receive a statement identifying the remaining amount, then send the remaining amount to the secondary insurer, then receive a statement identifying the remaining amount, then send the remaining amount to the patient (which in our case, should never be more than the co-pay as we'd purchased 100% in-network coverage). 1) Primary, 2) Secondary, 3) Patient.
80% of the bills we'd received had been sent after going through just the primary insurance. You can't just pay the bill and claim from your secondary insurance (we'd tried that). Because sometimes the hospital bills you, and then claims from your secondary insurance simultaneously, and then the check from the secondary insurance could go to the hospital, and the hospital gets double-paid by both the patient and the secondary insurance, and god help you trying to explain to the hospital why they need to send you a check. Every bill required multiple follow-up calls to explain to different agents at hospital how to claim from a secondary insurer. My son was born 10/27/12. We're still dealing with the medical bills from his birth.
top Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell
Well here's a counterpoint view:
It has a lot of charts and modeling that I don't understand, but at a high-level view, this analyst pins the lack of profitability to Amazon's revenues growing in less profitable business ventures while growing relatively slower in the more profitable business lines. In 2002, 78.8% of revenues were from Media, 19% EGM, and 2.2% Other. In 2014, it's 29.6% Media, 64.8% EGM, and 5.5% Other. Media has much bigger profit margins than EGM(electronics and general merchandise), and the company's weight has shifted heavily behind EGM. AWS has good profit margins, and will grow quickly as it's a relatively new and blossoming business arm, but it's unlikely to grow to the kind of size that would shift Amazon's sales mix away from EGM. Under this guy's reasoning, this means we can expect Amazon's profit margins to continue to bump along the bottom tied to the low margins on EGM, and can't foreseeably create the kind of high margins on EGM that would justify it's high share price, since it's an extremely price sensitive business. It makes this stock questionable in the long-term.
Nevertheless, I still bought shares today because it's a 10% discount off of one earnings report that doesn't show some kind of underlying catastrophe. They'll probably rebound to some degree within a year. And hey, I don't have that author's powers of analysis, but maybe Amazon's shotgun strategy of trying to find new ways to grow their business will find a winner (This latest phone isn't going to be it, but maybe something else will be).
top Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows
Unifying the underlying architecture to enable different platforms to talk to each other, while allowing for different UIs for each platform, is a good idea.
But it's pointless, because MS has no mobile presence worth speaking of. Android and iOS are what people use and have already bought into that environment with their data and apps. Just like you can't push people off windows because their customers are already entrenched in windows as their desktop OS, MS won't be pushing anybody off their mobile devices onto a windows-based mobile device. Maybe MS might even develop a few attractive feature for windows phones, but it'll still lack apps, and lack a customer-base needed to drive app development, and ultimately, it's doomed to fail. If they were going to pull this off successfully, it would have had to have taken place years ago.
Now, if they want to unify desktop and mobile, they need to build in Android and iOS support, because that's where people are.. Otherwise, this whole endeavor is pointless.
top The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry
This is a pretty key mistake in the summary.
This article is not about harassment of women in the game industry. It's about harassment of women when they go on the internet.
Gaming isn't even relevant to the article or the issue. On the internet there are people will want to hurt you with whatever information they can get about you. Show that you're _____, you're going to get insulted for _____. Go on the internet, show that you're black, you're going to get called a nigger. Go on the internet, show that you're female, state an opinion, you're going to get called a cunt. Show that you're anything but a medium-built, white male, you're going to get called something unpleasant relating to those differences. If you ARE a medium-built white male, you'll still get called unpleasant things, but they won't be related to your differences because you're considered normal in at least that regard. Bottom Line: the more you get noticed, the more disgusting messages you'll get. If you decide gaming is the source of this problem, you'd be missing the root cause: People are shitty when they're anonymous. I sure wish people weren't like that, but changing the primal behavior of humankind when they're freed from consequence is what we're really talking about here. Not gamers being somehow better or worse than any other constituents of the internet.
I thought the article might have been interesting if it was exposing some unusual treatment they get in person when they're working at their job in the games industry. Instead, it's about them going on the internet making public statements and being upset at the shitty people on the internet. It's sad, but it's also not a surprise, and the conclusions drawn in the article are woefully misplaced.
top Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees
I wonder how this will affect Microsoft's stock price? If you cut a lot of heads you might lose some productivity and the quality of your product might drop. But it seems like everybody already hates what Microsoft is selling, but they have to buy it anyway. In that kind of situation, lowering their costs to expand their profit for no change in revenue doesn't seem like a bad idea. This is, of course, assuming those layoffs aren't coming out of key R&D departments (though the company is already seen as primarily a dividend stock with limited growth prospects). They've got a ton of cash and steady profits, this certainly isn't a move forced by necessity.
The article suggests that the cuts are primarily hitting ex-Nokia employees that serve redundant functions with the pre-existing MS departments, as well as marketing and engineering. Should they have been kept on? He did mention his future focus would be in mobile. Anyway, I hope these people land on their feet, maybe in a better job and in a better work environment. A lot of people's lives get upended when big layoffs hit, more than just the employees laid off.
top FCC Public Comment Period For Net Neutrality Ends Tomorrow, July 15
That's a very important point to make, people give up on writing to their politicians because they always get canned responses, but those canned responses (at least in NJ) are relevant to the point of my letters, which meant that a staffer read the letter, understood my position, and had to pull up the relevant response template.
In the process of doing so, the staffer adds my position to the politician's mail summary to get a sense of where their voter base stands (as only a few voters bother to even write). This doesn't necessarily mean the politician will do what I want, but in their own self-interest they'll weigh the cost of votes from going against their base, against the lobbyist's campaign contribution buying access to substitute votes, thus their mental calculation is still impacted by my letter.