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Microsoft's New Windows Monetization Methods Could Mean 'Subscriptions'

KingSkippus They're already doing it with some apps (415 comments)

I bought a Surface, and I've been playing with some of the little built-in "free" games. (Solitaire, Mah Jong, etc.) There's an option to pay a small amount to remove the ads from them, and not being a fan of ads (and really not minding paying the microtransaction amount), I clicked the option. It took me to the store where, for $1.99, I could remove the ads for a month. Or for something like $10, I could remove them for a year. No option to remove them permanently.

Um... Seriously?

No thanks.

about two weeks ago
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How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

KingSkippus Re:What about long-term data integrity? (438 comments)

Well, the Samsung 3.2 TB drive claims that you can read/write the entire drive every day for five years before failure. It's my understanding that at one point, SSDs were notorious for gradually declining over time, but that today's generation of SSDs basically has reliability out the wazoo. I can't quote you stats on it, but anecdotally, I've had a couple of SSDs in my computer for several years now, I leave it on 24x7, and I've never had a problem.

...Yet. YMMV.

about three weeks ago
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Of the following, I'd rather play ...

KingSkippus Re:Munchkin! (274 comments)

It can be, but it can also get to be a bit of a slogfest with more than two or three players. I've played games that have lasted six hours because the incentive is to constantly team up against the person in the lead, and there are so many ways to knock them down. I've also seen people get pissed off at other people while playing, which is probably to be expected in a game that openly encourages you to stab your buddy in the back.

It's clever and the cards are especially funny the first three or four times you play it, but after that, I really prefer games like The Resistance, or Ticket to Ride, or even Pandemic (which is cooperative play, and very rarely results in any one person getting pissed off or feeling like a loser).

about 4 months ago
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New PostgreSQL Guns For NoSQL Market

KingSkippus Re:How about Parallel Query Execution? (162 comments)

I like the way the linked page uses Web 2.0 when it means scalability.

Great job with the buzzwords.

You know, I was just going to let this go, chalked up as random Internet stranger being an asshat, but seriously. Are you SO bored or jealous of other people's achievements that you have nothing better to do than to sit around and nitpick the friggin' ad copy of a marketing page that was undoubtedly written not just for people who want to know the technical specifications of the product, but common usage applications for it also? What you're calling a "buzzword" is information that business wonks need to know when faced with the question, "Will this solve my problem/fulfill my needs?"

When you develop your own database system, you can write your own ad copy to say whatever you want it to. Or if you prefer, apply for a job at Postgres as their chief marketing guru, and if they're dumb enough to hire you, you can write its ad copy to be purely technical-oriented until the product is completely irrelevant in an actual production environment. ("Now for OS/2 Warp and BeOS!") Otherwise, forgive me if I don't put much weight into your opinion on the matter over the people who have written a kick-ass enterprise-quality system that is pretty much given away for free.

Seriously, what exactly are you implying by your comment, that PostgreSQL isn't a capable database system? That they just use buzzwords instead of actual technical brainpower and muscle as the basis of their software? Because I can tell you that to people who architect, engineer, administer, and eat database systems for breakfast, you are sadly off-base here, and this comment comes off as extremely pompous and ignorant.

about 7 months ago
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"Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

KingSkippus Re:A few questions (1374 comments)

...you don't know what you're talking about.

As long as you insist this, then I am completely unmotivated to continue any argument with you, as you have already made up your mind that anyone with a contrary opinion "doesn't know what they're talking about."

That's why we fight for every inch.

That's why ultimately you will lose this battle, because you have exactly zero interest in passing reasonable gun laws based on facts or data. You activities are based solely on a zealous ideological bent driven by beliefs that you cannot back up.

The only way my guns pose any threat to you are if you pose a threat to the safety of my family or if you're the poor dumb slob sent to try to take them from me.

...Says every dumbass whose kid or other innocent victims of deliberate or accidental gun violence ends up dead because "I had no idea that this could ever happen to my family!" Read up on the Sandy Hook massacre. Nancy Lanza thought the same thing. Or just open up your local paper and read about the latest four-year-old kid whose twit of a parent said exactly this before the ensuing tragedy.

about 7 months ago
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"Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

KingSkippus Re:A few questions (1374 comments)

You're not talking about "military-grade" anything, you're talking about "scary looking" guns.

No, I'm not. I'm referring to weapons that meet certain criteria such as maximum rate of fire, maximum accurate firing range, muzzle velocity, etc. "Scary looking" doesn't have a damn thing to do with the weapons I'm referring to. Do you honestly think that the only reason I have an issue with people getting their hands on, for example, a Bushmaster XM15-E2S (the weapon used by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School), is because it's "scary looking"?

This is why we need a policy that doesn't depend on cosmetic appearance or that consists just of a list of weapons, but one that specifies objective measures of destructive capability.

We have sitting members of congress who in fact do want to remove all firearms from civilian hands...

So? We also have sitting members of Congress who want to repeal Social Security. We have sitting members of Congress who want to do away with the capital gains tax entirely, which would basically reduce the tax on super wealthy people to zero. We have sitting members of Congress who want to do away with minimum wage laws. Hell, we probably have sitting members of Congress who would love to repeal the 13th Amendment and re-institute slavery, though hopefully most of them who want that are smart enough to keep their damned mouths shut. I'm not particularly worried about these things happening because it doesn't take just one, a few, or even a lot of sitting members of Congress to get a law passed, it takes a majority. (Or as is the case on any bill that's even a little bit controversial and many that aren't today, a supermajority.)

The fact is that Congress will never be able to "remove all firearms from civilian hands" without a complete repeal of the Second Amendment. And if those sitting members are able to eventually get enough support behind them to pass a repeal in 2/3 of BOTH houses of Congress and 3/4 of all of the states, then who the hell are you to dictate that it shouldn't happen? Or do you only believe in the Constitution when it's personally convenient to you?

Of course, you and I both know that this argument is just a shitty "slippery slope" argument that will never actually come to pass. I heard the same argument in 1994 when Congress passed the Assault Weapons Ban, and of course, it never came to pass then, either. No one ever showed up to confiscate all of your guns then, did they?

...coincidentally these are the same members of congress who push bullshit like "universal background checks", which are backdoor registration and semi-automatic gun bans.

...Except that it's not. You say this like universal background checks is this weird unsupported idea that only a few kooks in Congress want to see happen. At one point, polls showed that over 90% of Americans supported this law. Now that it's out of the public eye, the number has gone down, but it's still in the high 80s, something like 87% today.

The only people who DON'T support universal background checks are pretty much paranoid idiots who think that the gub'ment's out to get them and that they need semi-automatic weapons to defend themselves against some imagined tyranny.

What's that, you don't think you fit that description? Then tell me, why do you not want your weapons tracked? Are you really so grossly irresponsible with them that you're genuinely afraid that you'll lose them or they'll be stolen and used in crimes? Do you plan to use them in crimes yourself? Why do you feel like you need a semi-automatic weapon so badly that it's worth, for example, 20 children in Connecticut being mowed down? I don't have any semi-automatic weapons; in fact, I don't even own a gun, and somehow I've managed to get through several decades of existence without ever once thinking, "Wow, this is a situation in which having a semi-automatic weapon sure would be warranted!"

about 7 months ago
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"Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

KingSkippus A few questions (1374 comments)

I'm curious, how did you know that the guns that they used were illegally purchased? Were the assailants both caught and convinced of illegal possession of firearms? Did you manage to look at and remember the serial numbers or something? This just smacks highly of a hypothetical anecdote; not that you weren't robbed, but that your assertion relating this to gun control holds any water.

That aside, how exactly how those weapons were procured? Were they stolen? If so, from whom? Wouldn't it have been nice if there were some law mandating that the person from whom the guns were stolen had to keep them stored safely so that maybe they wouldn't have been stolen? Wouldn't it be nice if the guns were registered so that when the police recovered them, they could track them back to the original owner and possibly take away his permit so that he doesn't let even more guns flow into the hands of assailants? Would it be nice to have a law mandating that all gun owners prove their proficiency in the safety and use of firearms, like a driver license but for gun owners, so that maybe the original owner would have been more responsible?

Or maybe the guns were bought at a gun show, where in many places you can buy firearms without so much as even showing an ID. CNN recently did a segment in which they sent a reporter out to some gun shows to do precisely that, and he was extremely successful. Wouldn't it be nice if we had universal background checks to makes sure that even when Bob sells a gun to Steve, we have some assurance that Steve hasn't recently been convicted of mugging BronsCon in a parking lot? Or to keep Steve from just going to a gun show and buying military-grade weaponry?

Even most liberals I know aren't against "legal gun ownership." All we want are some common sense laws to ensure that the people who are buying guns are mentally competent and aren't violent criminals, that people who own guns are proficient in their safety and use, and that when guns are used for crimes, they can be tracked back to find out where they're coming from so that, hopefully, the flow of guns into the hands of lawbreakers can be stopped. If you really are a responsible gun owner, you should support these laws too.

When right-wing gun nuts and the NRA oppose things like universal background checks, training and/or testing to obtain a license, registration, and bans on military-grade weaponry, it makes people like me EXTREMELY skeptical that all you're interested in is being able to protect yourself. None of those laws would prevent you from doing so, unless you're not mentally competent, a convicted criminal, grossly irresponsible, or you think you might have reason to shoot up an elementary school someday. And if that's the case, to be blunt, yeah, I don't think you should be able to own guns.

And please, don't start with the "first step to confiscation" bullshit. We require no less to legally drive an automobile; in fact, there are thousands more regulations on that activity. Yet somehow for more than a century, we've managed to keep the government from confiscating all of our cars, go figure.

about 8 months ago
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"Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

KingSkippus Re:A firearm that depends on a battery? (1374 comments)

That's why you teach your children how to use guns at a young enough age that they understand it isn't a toy and they don't touch it.

Right, and we all know that kids never do anything stupid or immature, especially at a young age. Everyone knows that the penalty for young children being childish instead of acting like miniature perfect adults, paragons of responsibility who always make the right choice, should be death. If more people would just teach their children at a young enough age that cars aren't toys, we could start issuing driver licenses to six-year-olds.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Does Your Employer Perform HTTPS MITM Attacks On Employees?

KingSkippus DING DING DING!!! (572 comments)

You, sir (or ma'am), are doing it right. This is precisely the thing that gets me so mad at companies today, that they view these issues as an IT problem, not an HR problem. So they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (sometimes millions) in hardware, software, salaries, support contracts, and lost time when shit breaks, just so that management 1) won't have to do their jobs--you know, managing people, and 2) will have plausible deniability when someone does do something stupid. ("It's not my fault for not making sure my workers were working on what they were supposed to and not violating company policy; IT should have blocked that site!!!")

It's refreshing to see someone who actually gets where company policies should actually be enforced and where responsibility really ought to lie when there are gaps. Thank you!

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Does Your Employer Perform HTTPS MITM Attacks On Employees?

KingSkippus SSL Interception (572 comments)

Yes, it's actually extremely common. Google "SSL Interception", as that's the name of the feature that is advertised on hardware/software that performs this function.

This is why I never browse private web sites on work hardware. You simply do not know how they've mangled the machine, what all it is revealing or to whom. (That's right, most large companies actually outsource security, so all of your private account numbers and passwords are going to third parties that you don't know and never will, third parties who have been indemnified and are completely immune to any kind of action or recourse from you if they screw up.) If I want to browse the web, I use a VPN connection to my house and my own personal laptop. I don't use my work smartphone for Facebook or personal email, I have my own personal phone using my own provider. When I'm working from home and VPNed into the office, I don't use my personal workstation for any work stuff, except as a VirtualBox host for a work VM, which my company has altered through group policy and direct installation of software to be configured how they want.

It's a shame that in today's work environment we have to worry about such things, but if you think the NSA is bad about spying on you, it's small potatoes compared to what your own company does. Never trust your company to just be innocently looking for malware or other intrusion detection means. Never install any software or services on your personal equipment from your company, no matter how much more convenient it will make your life. (This includes, for example, accepting elevated permissions to connect to your work email on your personal phone.) Always assume that they're watching you, looking for anything that can be used to fire you, cancel your severance, or extort whatever they want from you, whether you're just a paean on the low rung of the corporate ladder or the CEO.

I've worked very closely with both the network and security people in a large multinational corporation, and I've seen firsthand the kinds of things they do. It ain't pretty. I've seen people leave because they have moral qualms with the kind of monitoring that goes on, and people screwed because something innocent that everyone does was turned into a major issue. I cannot emphasize this enough; never, ever, ever mix your personal life with your work life, especially when it comes to communications and technology.

about 9 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

KingSkippus Re:Could someone answer this? (520 comments)

Good. The exits are clearly marked. Door. Ass. All that shit.

Actually, you're the one who should be going if you don't understand the basic concept that the Supreme Court's job is to interpret how the laws are applied and what they mean, not just in the historical context in which they're written, but in the context of our ever-changing modern society; that laws are meaningless on paper, that only how they're enforced and upheld lends them any power. It's people like you who don't understand that simple concept--in spite of the founding fathers making it explicitly clear that they understood the need for what they were doing to continually be expanded upon and interpreted as times change--that are responsible for a large number of the problems in this country today.

You're the modern-day equivalent of a flat-earther. So yeah, good riddance to you. Or else good luck when you get arrested and try the "my rights are only subject to MY interpretation and I don't recognize this court's authority!" defense.

about 10 months ago
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Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory To Win At 'Jeopardy'

KingSkippus How to play for the tie (412 comments)

I'm sorry, I didn't realize that folks weren't more familiar with Jeopardy!.

Normally if a player is in the lead by more than twice as much as the next closest person (that is, a guaranteed win), he will bet an amount that, if he misses the question and the second-place person answers it correctly, will leave him or her in the lead by a dollar. For example, if Alice has $15,000, Bob has $7,000, and Carol as $4,000, Alice will bet $999. If Alice misses the question and Bob gets it correct, Alice will end up with $14,001 and Bob will end up with $14,000, thus securing Alice the win.

To play for the tie instead, Alice would bet $1,000. Thus if she answers incorrectly and Bob answers correctly, they will both have $14,000. Both win the cash prize instead of the consolation prize(s), and both come back on tomorrow's show. If Alice is hardcore nice, she might even miss the question deliberately (yes, that means she'll be foregoing $2,000 extra in prize money) since that will net Bob $14,000 and she'll be bringing someone into the game tomorrow that she's relatively confident she can beat.

If Alice does not have the game locked up, then normally she would bet just enough so that, if she and Bob both answer correctly, she would end up one dollar ahead. For example, if Alice has $15,000, Bob has $10,000, and Carol has $3,000, Alice would bet $5,001, assuming that Bob will bet the entire amount. If both answer the question correctly, then Alice will end up with $20,001 and Bob with $20,000. If both answer incorrectly, Bob will likely end up with something close to $0, and Alice will end up with $9,999. If Alice answers incorrectly and Bob answers correctly, then unless Bob really screwed the pooch on his betting strategy, he will win and there's nothing Alice can do about it. (Which, incidentally, I have seen before.)

However, if Alice is playing for the tie, she will bet $5,000. That way, if she and Bob both answer correctly, they will both win $20,000, and again, she will carry a player she's likely to beat into the next game.

Obviously, that's not the whole story, because you might adjust your betting strategy based on where the third place person is to ensure that you capture at least second place, and sometimes you tweak the amount so that if everyone blows it, you come out ahead. Or sometimes you might do something irrational if you have some ulterior reason for it; for example, Alice might bet more on the question if it is about 18th Century Authors and she happens to be a literature professor with extensive knowledge in that field. But still, hopefully that paints a good enough picture to understand what "betting for the tie" means, versus trying to win outright.

about 10 months ago
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Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory To Win At 'Jeopardy'

KingSkippus Play for the tie (412 comments)

I've wondered for years why more players don't play for the tie instead of the win. For one thing, doesn't that mean that the person who would have been in second place but who tied instead also gets to keep their money? Seems to me like it's kind of a dick move to not play for the tie, unless you just don't like the person for some reason. For another, wouldn't it be to your advantage to take someone with you into the next game that you already know you can beat? I mean, I'd feel safer going up against Steve from Montana who I was a few thousand ahead of going into Final Jeopardy than risk facing Watson and Ken Jennings on tomorrow's show.

about 10 months ago
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Super Bowl Ads: Worth the Price Or Waste of Time?

KingSkippus Re:Commercials (347 comments)

WTBS went national on December 17, 1976. Nickelodeon dates back to December 1, 1977. ESPN started broadcasting September 7, 1979. USA Network was broadcasting nationally via satellite by the late 70s. CNN brought us the 24-hours news cycle on June 1, 1980. MTV told us that Video Killed the Radio Star on August 1, 1981. 1982 brought us CNN2 (later Headline News, on January 1), The Weather Channel (May 2), and a slew of other ad-supported channels.

While HBO was started in 1972, and Showtime in 1976, Cinemax started in 1980. The Disney Channel, originally a premium add-on channel, launched in 1983. Those were the only ad-free premium channels in the early 80s, as Starz didn't launch until 1994.

So I don't know what all of these "movie channels of some sort" you remember in the early 1980s, but there were only three mainstream ones out there, four if you count Disney's launch in '83. Meanwhile most other popular cable channels such as ESPN, CNN, MTV, and various "superstations" with advertising were staples of cable television line-ups by then, as well as the national broadcast networks, plus some local access channels that, as I said, broadcast almost nothing but commercials..

Now, I suppose you could argue that C-SPAN and maybe some local religious stations (many of which also ran ads) that no one watched were really what made the "good ol' days" of cable television the good ol' days, but even accounting for those, I still stand by my assertion that, with very few exceptions of possibly some small cable providers that didn't provide many national cable networks at any given time, cable television has always been predominantly ad-supported. Again, you are mixing "most ad-free channels were on cable" with "most channels on cable were ad-free." The former is true, but the latter, although a common misconception, is far from it--a fact that is easily verified by looking at any cable channel line-up from the 1970s or 1980s (or if you can find material back that far, even the 1960s). Insisting that it is only shows a very selective and inaccurate memory.

about 10 months ago
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Super Bowl Ads: Worth the Price Or Waste of Time?

KingSkippus Re:Commercials (347 comments)

You mean, like subscription TV service, aka, cable or satellite? I vaguely remember when our house got hooked up for cable about 30-ish years ago and the promise* then was that the cable-based channels would be mostly ad-free since we were paying up front. That lasted more or less 10-15 years I'd say (if you give networks a pass on promos for their own lineups).

Then you're misremembering. There's a huge difference between ad-free networks being mostly on cable (the actual historical situation) and cable being mostly ad-free networks (how many people incorrectly remember the "good ol' days" of cable). Cable television has always had advertisements, barring a few notable premium channels such as HBO and, of course, public television stations. Many channels were nothing but ads, such as home shopping channels and local access stations that ran infomercials for something like 20 out of 24 hours a day.

Originally, cable television was merely a way to get television into areas that were unable to receive broadcast signals, thanks to geography or other factors, and carried only the networks, which had ads. Eventually some "superstations" rose up that were only available via cable out-of-market, the first of which was Ted Turner's WTCG (later WTBS) and eventually stations like WGN and WOR, and all of those had ads. Later, almost all cable-only channels such as ESPN, MTV, and CNN have run ads since their inception.

What you're mostly likely remembering is the commercials for specific premium channels like HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, and Disney (prior to 1997) that advertised that their channels were ad-free, but these were the exception and commanded extra fees in addition to your normal cable bill, not true of cable television in general.

about a year ago
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Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

KingSkippus Re:Learn to freaken drive. (723 comments)

THANK YOU!!!

You have no idea how frustrating it is as a Southerner to be constantly condescended upon because of our supposedly lousy driving skills. I don't care HOW skilled you are at driving on snow or ice, when you crest an ice-covered hill with a curve at the bottom, even if you're driving 1 MPH, you're going to go off the road or crash into the curb (or the car) at the bottom.

Every time I see one of these "lrn2drv" smug posts, I want to invite that person to come on down and drive on a road that is completely untreated in a car that is completely unequipped for snow/ice driving. In this case, I'd love to get them to try it in the middle of an Atlanta rush hour that was as popped out on steroids as it has ever been in the history of the city. Yes, we're not used to driving on ice. Yes, there are some fools who do it wrong. But I've seen people who are the most careful of drivers creeping along at a snail's pace still have wrecks because, believe it or not, when your roads have no snow or ice for 999 out of 1000 days in a row and no one has prepared for the eventuality that they might, and your government is run by "don't spend money for any reason"/"let's err against the side of safety" idiots, shit happens.

about a year ago
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Jury Finds Newegg Infringed Patent, Owes $2.3 Million

KingSkippus Re:SSL? (324 comments)

How can that company not be a patent troll?

I don't think that there's any doubt that they are. Unfortunately, and I think most people don't really grasp this, being a patent troll in the United States is not just legal, it's extremely lucrative. That's why, while I certainly hope that Newegg eventually successfully appeals this case and continues defending against patent trolls, what we really need is better legislation to make all of this shit illegal.

1 year,23 days
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Jury Finds Newegg Infringed Patent, Owes $2.3 Million

KingSkippus Re:Good advertising? (324 comments)

NewEgg stands up to patent trolls.

Amazon... well, one-click.

This. Exactly. I'd rather pay Newegg a few bucks more knowing that those bucks will be spent fighting patent trolls than saving a few bucks at Amazon knowing that the reason they're able to offer prices a few bucks lower is because they sued some other company out of existence for having the audacity to put a button on their web page that charges your credit card and checks you out in one action.

1 year,23 days
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Sex Offender Gets New Hearing After Hearing Officer Rants Against Arial Font

KingSkippus Re:Priorities much? (312 comments)

Not surprisingly, the submitter grossly misrepresented what was said. In TFA, the Arial font thing was just a couple of lines in a much more troubling string of rants, stuff like:

- "it’s always awkward when I see one of my pervs in the parking lot after a hearing"
- he (the hearing examiner) “likes taking motions under advisement, but gets greater satisfaction denying them”
- On November 20, 2008, the day of the plaintiff’s hearing, the following comment was posted during working hours: “it’s always a mistake when people testify, because they get destroyed in cross examination”
- On that same day, the day of the plaintiff’s hearing, the hearing examiner also posted the following (apparently with reference to a different sex offender): he (the examiner) “hopes this guy doesn’t show up!!” which was followed up with “Tyson Lynch says yay!! He didn’t show up!”

...And so on. This is someone who is supposed to be fair and impartial, and the guy clearly has issues with the people he has a duty to work with.

So yeah, if I had a hearing before the guy that went south, I'd be trying to have it overturned also. I hope that the guy is fired and the people who did have hearings before him get new hearings.

1 year,23 days

Submissions

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Abandoned City of Heroes Fans Kickstart Successor

KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  about a year ago

KingSkippus (799657) writes "Last December 1, NCsoft shut down the long-running City of Heroes superhero MMORPG. Undaunted, a group of fans formed Missing Worlds Media, a new studio to develop City of Titans. The new game is a spiritual successor with original art, stories, and code. A Kickstarter project to raise funds for software and hardware for the mostly volunteer team of developers and artists reached its funding level less than six days later, and the total is currently approaching stretch goals. Missing Worlds Media is currently targeting a November 2015 release date for City of Titans."
Link to Original Source
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City of Heros Sunset, NCsoft Paying the Price

KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  about 2 years ago

KingSkippus (799657) writes "At midnight Pacific on Saturday, December 1, NCsoft shut down the City of Heroes servers for the final time. Since announcing the closure, a group of players has been working hard to revive the game by getting attention from the gaming press, recognition from celebrities such as Sean Astin, Neil Gaiman, and Felicia Day, and assistance from fantasy author Mercedes Lackey. Meanwhile, NCsoft has been drawing negative publicity, including a scathing article about the shutdown from local news site The Korea Times noting that the game was earning $2.76 million per quarter and that "it is hard to comprehend what NCsoft means when they say they closed it for strategic reasons." NCsoft's stock price has fallen over 43% since the announcement in August, almost 30% below it's previous 52-week low, right when investors were counting on the success of the recently launched Guild Wars 2 to help boost the company."
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City of Heroes Moving to Hybrid Payment Model

KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 3 years ago

KingSkippus (799657) writes "The superhero-themed MMORPG City of Heroes announced this morning that it is rebranding the game as City of Heroes Freedom ("freedom to pay and play as you choose"), and moving to a hybrid payment model including a free-to-play option. "VIP" players who still pay a monthly subscription will have most features of the game unlocked and will be given credit towards purchase towards others. City of Heroes Freedom is due to hit later this year with the next major game update."
Link to Original Source
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Hulu Plus officially launches

KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 4 years ago

KingSkippus (799657) writes "Hulu is sending beta members an e-mail today announcing the official launch of Hulu Plus. Among the announcements is a price drop in the service, from $9.99 per month to $7.99. Beta members are being retroactively refunded $2 for each moth they were subscribed. Also announced is a referral program, which will split a free month of service between an existing subscriber and a new referred subscriber. The service, however, still does not include the whole catalog of shows, does includes ads, and is only be available on computers and select devices."
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City of Heroes Players Create Charity Drive

KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  about 5 years ago

KingSkippus (799657) writes "Players of the City of Heroes superhero-themed MMORPG are collaborating to collect donations for three real world charities this holiday season in the Real World Hero donation drive that is running through the end of the year. The charitable drive caught the attention of the game developers and community reps, who are supporting the efforts through in-game perks, news posts on the official site, and forum posts. So far, the drive has collected over $2,500 for charities Child's Play, Donate Games, and Operation Gratitude."
Link to Original Source
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Roy Scheider dead at 75

KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 6 years ago

KingSkippus writes "Roy Scheider, who starred as Captain Nathan Bridger in SeaQuest DSV and Police Chief Martin "You're gonna need a bigger boat" Brody in the classic creature thriller Jaws, died at the age of 75 on Sunday. The official cause of death has not been released, but Scheider has been treated for multiple myeloma in Arkansas for the past two years and his wife stated that it was due to complications from a staph infection."
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Copyright Alliance: Fair use not a consumer right

KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 7 years ago

KingSkippus writes "In response to a complaint to the FCC filed by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) to change copyright warnings before movies and sporting events, Executive Director Patrick Ross of the Copyright Alliance tells us in an editorial that "fair use is not a consumer right." The Copyright Alliance is backed by such heavy-hitters as the MPAA, RIAA, Disney, Business Software Alliance, and perhaps most interestingly, Microsoft, who is also backing the CCIA's complaint."
Link to Original Source
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New $100 fights counterfeiters with microlenses

KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 7 years ago

KingSkippus (799657) writes "The $100 bill is the most widely counterfeited denomination outside the U.S., and high-end equipment available to counterfeiters has made it easier than ever to do so. To buck this trend, the new $100 bill will be getting some high-end copy protection added, including 650,000 microlenses on each bill that cause an image to appear to move counter to the bill's rotation. The new presses will also be capable of printing currency in varying sizes, possibly in response to the ruling that indistinguishable denominations violates federal law, though there are no plans to do so yet."
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KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 7 years ago

KingSkippus (799657) writes "Dell is now selling PCs with Ubuntu 7.04 preinstalled. Dell is offering hardware sales and support only, with fee-based software support options available from Canonical. Three systems (two desktops and one laptop) will be initially available, and according to the post, 'Initially we will offer a subset of the component options we support on the three systems. We will continue to work with vendors to improve the stability of the associated Linux drivers moving forward.'"
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KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 7 years ago

KingSkippus writes "BBC news is reporting that publisher Acclaim Games is working with developer Dave Perry to develop Top Secret, a new MMORPG using 'crowd sourcing.' It will be a commercial game with a paid professional core team that works with a larger volunteer community to develop the code, stories, art, and audio in the game. Perry says, 'With 20,000 people signed up we are already the biggest development team in history. We will end up with 100,000 people on this team. If 1% is any good, we are good to go.' Could this be a missing link that brings us commercial-quality community-developed gaming?"
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KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 7 years ago

KingSkippus writes "Debbie Foster, who was accused by the RIAA of sharing music on a peer-to-peer network and fought for a year and a half to have her case dismissed, has won a countersuit seeking $55,000 for attorney's fees. Ars Technica reports, "The industry cartel will have to tread carefully with any secondary infringement claims now that there is case law that owning an Internet account used for infringement does not automatically make the owner liable for said infringement. Attorney Ray Beckerman told Ars that he believes there are huge implications from this opinion. 'It sends a message to the RIAA... that there are consequences to this 'driftnet' litigation strategy.'""
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KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 7 years ago

KingSkippus writes "The US Department of Transportation rejected Virgin America's application to operate an airline because of restrictions on foreign companies operating in the United States. In response, Virgin has launched a "Let VA Fly!" campaign with a petition web site and two videos on YouTube. The latter video shows off the Linux-based computer system on every seat. Charles Ogilvie, Director of In-Flight Entertainment, says of the system:
Another cool thing, and for gamers out there, you're going to love this: We're a Linux platform... We're going to be having an invitation in the future for savvy Linux game developers to actually come to us with ideas and we're going to give them the opportunity to develop for us on our platform.
If Virgin America successfully petitions the DoT, this could give the term 'high score' a whole new meaning. Other features include airplane chat rooms, an 'integrated food application,' and on-demand television, movies, and music."
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KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  about 8 years ago

KingSkippus writes "Stephen Colbert calls it "truth that comes from the gut, not books." Merriam-Webster calls it their 2006 Word of the Year. The word, first introduced [Windows media] on "The Word" segment of The Colbert Report, won by a five-to-one margin. In spite of Colbert's ironic dismissal of dictionaries and other reference books, will Colbert's coined word actually be added to those books? With media outlets like CNN and MSNBC covering it, the idea may very well have truthiness."
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KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 8 years ago

KingSkippus writes "MSNBC is running a story about taking passwords to the grave. It's a problem that is becoming more and more common: people storing information online, and that information becoming inaccessible when they die. Google and MSN have policies about dealing with e-mail accounts of the deceased, and in April 2005, a court had to order Yahoo to release a deceased Marine's e-mail account to his father. Many people have blogs, online games, hosted sites, special-purpose e-mail accounts, and other online resources that these policies would not apply to. Have you prepared for the inevitable day when you expire, and if so, how? Do you have online information that you don't want to be passed down, and if so, what steps have you taken to ensure your posthumous privacy rights? And how do you balance the desire for your online information to survive you against possible risks to privacy and security while you're still alive?"
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KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 8 years ago

KingSkippus writes "You've got mail! ...and no job! The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that RadioShack has notified 400 workers by e-mail that they are being laid off. The e-mails state, "The work force reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately your position is one that has been eliminated." Nothing says thank you for your years of service to our company quite like an e-boot out the door."

Journals

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KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 9 years ago

As you can probably tell by my semi-frequest comments in posts and such, I really like reading Slashdot. But I continually see a bunch of comments knocking Slashdot for various reasons, so I thought I would join the rest of the cattle and post a list of what I hate about Slashdot. Here goes, have fun!

  • Trolls. Why some people exist seemingly only to make other people's lives miserable is beyond me. I'll never forget the first time I saw an anonymous coward left-field post about Nazis and niggers and such. I was flabbergasted that some sorry-ass pathetic moron has so little time that they think it's cool to pee on everyone else's parade. Pardon the language, but these fuckers should be taken out back and beaten within a half inch of their lives. The term "Anonymous Coward" is sort of facetious and funny, but not in these posts; it's right on the mark. These people are true cowards, and I dare them to let me know who they are.
  • First post "look at me!" idiots. So you happened to log on and see an article before anyone else. Who the hell cares? Do you think that we're all impressed by your keen timing skill? Get a life.
  • "Dupe"-ers. Another worthless post. If an article is a dupe, why is simply ignoring it so out of the question? I'd rather see a handful of duplicate articles than a billion "this is a dupe!" posts.
  • "This is old"-ers. See above.
  • "Moderators suck"-ers. You know what? I see posts in which I disagree with the moderation as well. Hell, I GET moderated a lot of times in a fashion in which I disagree. But overall, it works pretty well. If you don't like it, then metamoderate and stick it to the mods you hate so much. If it's simply intolerable, then stick to your AOL portal for news.
  • "Editors suck"-ers. I find that only around 50% of the articles I see on Slashdot are personally interesting to me. But you know what? That's about 49% more than articles and segments I see in other news outlets. As a general rule, the editors do a pretty good job, I think. Again, if you don't like anything the editors put up there, then stop bitching about it and start getting your news somewhere else.
  • "+5 funny" moderations. I actually have a -1 modifier to funny posts, because most of them just plain aren't. Jerry Seinfeld is funny. Jerry Zucker is funny. Steven Wright is funny. "In Russia the (whatever) (does whatever to) you!" is NOT funny. If you feel the need to incessantly spout clichés, please go to Fark instead, they've got plenty of them there. Please note that this complaint is posted in my journal, not in a zillion comments.
  • "Mod parent UP/DOWN"-ers. If I'm a moderator, I will make the decision whether or not to mod a comment up or down and your plea will make no difference whatsoever to me. If you've posted this comment as yourself and not an anonymous coward (which if you do, you are), you are likely to be modded -1 offtopic by me for posting such a stupid and irrelevant comment. If you actually have something to say, do it, but don't tell me what to do.

Well, that's it for now. There are other things that irritate me, such as journal entries that go on too long. I wish that people who do that would just shu--

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Rant fans...

KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Hey all, I just wanted to jot a short note for those of you who saw my recent rant in a story about feds shutting down a torrent site.

It was kind of odd seeing the mod on that post bouncing up and down like it did. I could tell some folks read it, thought, "Hell, yeah," and modded it up, then more would read it, think "Hell, no," and modded it back down. It ended up at +5 Insightful, so I guess it really did resonate with some folks.

I have to emphasize that I do try to avoid posting anything too politically provocative on Slashdot, as I don't think that "News for Nerds" is an appropriate forum for that kind of thing. The parent to my post really did just happen to catch me at a bad moment, which prompted the post.

After looking at some of the replies, I actually would have to say that my post probably was overrated a bit. I think that krysith's post in reply was a lot more insightful, and a good example of what I was talking about. Just because some stupid people make some stupid decisions and suffer doesn't mean that everyone who suffers does so because they're stupid or have made stupid decisions. Personally, I think that these days, more and more people are in bad circumstances through external forces beyond their control. That's what I meant in my rant when I said, "You think you've earned everything you have, and if someone else is poor, they're not unfortunate, they're just lazy because they didn't work as hard as you did." Maybe they were lazy and didn't work hard, but assuming that is a popular conservative idea that makes it really easy to morally justify not having compassion for people less fortuante than they are. (Disclaimer: Not all conservatives are like this, just like not all liberals are PeTA radicals...)

So if you're tagged me a friend because I'm a left-wing liberal, thanks, and I do what I can to change things for the better. Don't expect many all-out rant posts like that, though.

If you want to know more about what goes through my head, I invite you to visit my blog, in which I try to be a little more light-hearted and clever. In the near- to medium-term future, I also plan on creating another blog where I post longer discussions about my political beliefs. When I get a few more posts in it (I hate starting out a blank blog), I'll post more information here and at the blog listed above.

In the meantime, thanks for those who tagged me as a friend and modded me up. Since I live in an ultra-conservative red state (Georgia), it is refreshing every once in a while when some of the things I think and believe are validated as not being totally crazy.

Take care,
KS

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KingSkippus KingSkippus writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I keep my journal at Google's BlogSpot. If you want the random thoughts of a tired mind, check mine out there. (My thoughts, not my mind--I keep my mind in my head, and that's just the zany kind of crap you'll read on that site.)

Oh well, I guess if I have something specifically Slashdot-related to say, I'll post it here. Otherwise, you should probably really be checking out someone's journal who is a lot more interesting than me, like I dunno, Wil Wheaton's, for example

Crap, you're still here? (sigh) I've got to go now, no kidding.

Okay, one little tidbit, and that's all. I learned tonight that to say hello in Tagalog (the Filipino language), it is "Kumusta". Now, that is all, for anything else you've got to go to my BlogSpot journal. Seriously. Get going now!

Cheers,
King Skippus

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