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National Censorship Plan Offensive, Says Aussie Shadow Minister

Merusdraconis Re:So... (116 comments)

Dude, Australia started off as a prison. It's right in line with the values Australian society was built upon: wowserism.

To Americans: yes. This is a real name for a political philosophy.

more than 5 years ago

Tech Publisher O'Reilly Slashes Jobs

Merusdraconis Re:More mealy-mouthed BS (207 comments)

Because these sorts of layoffs are cutting out dead wood, and the economy is a great excuse. The whole point is that CEOs have already learnt that being honest about why someone's being fired is a good way to have people hold an unnecessary grudge. Obviously, you can't say that, because it comes back to them and they get to find out that the company felt they were astonishingly mediocre.

People tend not to deal with evidence of their own incompetence well.

more than 5 years ago

Can We Create Fun Games Automatically?

Merusdraconis Re:PDF isn't a proprietary format (198 comments)

I find it's hard to believe it's truly open when Microsoft were sued for trying to implement it.

more than 4 years ago

UK Government To Outsource Data Snooping and Storage

Merusdraconis Re:Left on a train (114 comments)

They should outsource it to the train companies, cut out the middle man.

more than 5 years ago

Wikipedia Almost Reaches $6 Million Target

Merusdraconis Re:Monetary Reward : Bad Idea (412 comments)

Well, that doesn't actually change the point - there are knowledgeable people who get paid a lot that aren't going to summarise an aspect of their field, or a field they know a fair chunk about, for $2. Wikipedia's anti-expert bias doesn't really change that.

more than 5 years ago

Wikipedia Almost Reaches $6 Million Target

Merusdraconis Re:Monetary Reward : Bad Idea (412 comments)

The little I know of economic theory suggests that replacing intrinsic rewards - like the warm fuzzy feeling you get from contributing - with a small cash reward means that people will value contributing to Wikipedia at the price of the small cash reward. This is invariably less than the dollar amount they'd attach to an act of charity that also spreads knowledge.

tl;dr: don't offer cash rewards for people doing things for fuzzy emotional reasons. It doesn't work.

more than 5 years ago

Adventure Game Interfaces and Puzzle Theory

Merusdraconis Re:If only most MUDs had the puzzle solving aspect (149 comments)

Part of the problem with team-based puzzles is that they're very difficult to do in a persistent world. Once they're solved, they're solved. Do you put them back? The person who knows the solution is wandering around some place, and is free to post the solution on the Internet. If you don't, then players not at the cutting edge of the game essentially play clean-up -- assuming, of course, that one *has* a cutting edge. An ARG is essentially a kind of MMO - it has a persistent world that's shared amongst all players, after all, and they assume that players are working together, and so are free to make the puzzles as tough as they can, confident that players will eventually find a way through.

To WoW's credit, most of the bosses in the dungeons in the two expansions require players to work out and execute on a strategy to defeat them. Unfortunately, the strategy is generally worked out during the beta testing, well before most players reach it, and players generally don't have the luxury of figuring out the strategy on their own.

Someone will eventually crack the way to do a persistent world with puzzles and discovery while being able to renew solutions. I expect it'll be done by designing a class of puzzle that the game can assemble hundreds of unique variations on, but players can't solve by building their own solver.

more than 5 years ago

Google Chrome Is Out of Beta

Merusdraconis Re:Credit where credit is due (444 comments)

Can you go and get some RAM, at least? My old computer is 5 years old, and I can still get RAM for it. It's ridiculously cheap right now, and as a bonus your game'll run loads better.

more than 5 years ago

SOE Allows Purchase of In-Game Items In Everquest I, II

Merusdraconis Re:These people deserved to be crushed by WoW (173 comments)

Changing your race and class is a fair bit different to selling XP (and let's be honest here, this is more or less what they're doing.)

more than 5 years ago

Warner Music Pushing Music Tax For Universities

Merusdraconis So Very Close (375 comments)

They're so close to stumbling across a subscription service model it's not funny.

Of course, ideally they'd hash out a model that doesn't assume that distribution and copying are hard to do, but it'd be a good start!

more than 5 years ago

Technical Specs Released For Aussie Net Filtering

Merusdraconis Re:Voluntary (231 comments)

I'm confused: as far as I can see, about the only people who want this implemented are Stephen Conroy and Family First. The Liberals don't want it, the Greens don't want it, citizens don't want it, child protection groups don't want it, and ISPs are only doing it to prove to the government that they're lying about the speed impact.

more than 5 years ago

Silverlight On the Way To Linux

Merusdraconis Re:Javascript (475 comments)

And, of course, the ability to write a app for web deployment using C#.

Really, Slashdot, I'm disappointed. You go for the knee-jerk "fuck Microsoft" when really we're looking at Microsoft's attempt to cede the Windows monopoly and rebuild the Win32 API lock-in that delivered that monopoly across the Internet? That's a much scarier prospect, especially seeing as .Net is the only product of theirs they haven't run into the ground yet.

Of course, it's also much more unlikely, but Slashdot's record on predicting the future of technology is the stuff of legends. Only on Slashdot do you find people claiming for half a decade that Linux would finally make inroads on the desktop then turn around and claim the iPod'll never take off.

more than 5 years ago

Ballmer "Interested" In Open Source Browser Engine

Merusdraconis Re:The third "E". The other browser. (410 comments)

Ballmer pretty much confirmed (was there yesterday) that was the strategy later on in his answer - to beat the standards bodies to new features. The entire strategy they presented was building a new Microsoft-only Web stack built on .Net, and then trying to lock people in with IE8+.

more than 5 years ago

Geneticist Claims Human Evolution Is Over

Merusdraconis Re:Darwinian evolution? (857 comments)

Yes, but that's balanced by the possibility of smart kids being born from dumb parents via genetic mutation. How else did the smart parents become smart?

more than 5 years ago

Mono 2.0 and .NET On Linux

Merusdraconis Re:Oh just go away (405 comments)

Except that C# is a decent little language? It's good to see it open-source, that way it can have a life after Microsoft tires of it.

more than 5 years ago

Stallman Says Cloud Computing Is a Trap

Merusdraconis Re:Dear RMS (621 comments)

Gmail's popular because it's free. Try monetising it.

You can either charge less than a desktop solution, or more. If you charge less, you're eating your desktop division's lunch. If you charge more, you're providing less service for more money, because the company ultimately doesn't own its data.

It's a lose-lose situation.

more than 5 years ago


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