$299 Android Gaming Tablet Reviewed
Dolphin has made some significant progress. See this for yourself.
Mind you, the real consoles cost a lot less than this tablet so it's still novelty.
No RIF'd Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months
You see, company policy demands that we cannot use these qualified local applicants, therefore we are forced to look for out-of-country employment. We really wish this weren't the case, but do you really expect us to go against company policy?
Google To Stop Describing Games With In-App Purchases As 'Free'
Sorry AC, but your opinion is worthless because you don't know how this business model works. If you don't want to release your content for free then don't, but don't harp about how others do it.
Free to play, or freemium, games have three major business models. I'm not a fan of freemium as even fair models are still laden with DRM but some are much worse than others.
1. Pay real money for in game consumables. - This is basically trying to bring the idea of an arcade where you continuously have to drop quarters to play. In a few instances, this is fine because the consumables aren't required to advance in game but are optionally available to make it easier. Most of the time though, this is pure money grab as the game is tuned to require purchases to advance. Do not support this. In the case of multiplayer games, this becomes "pay to win" in which case they can go fuck off.
2. Allow access to part of the game and allow purchasing of more with real money. - This is an advanced form of shareware which is borderline acceptable as long as prices are nominal, up-front, and the buyer is able to re-download content at any time. Sometimes this is as simple as the "free" part being a demo and there being a one time purchase to open the rest of the game. Most of the time, however, this is just an excuse to sell every single thing piecemeal. The idea being that they will try to get considerable more money from an invested player than they would if they just sold the game for an up-front price.
3. Allow all players access to the entire game but force non paying players to either wait or earn it. - Like the others this ranges from tolerable to insipid. I'm more of a fan of having the player earn their access as I believe that wasting a player's time watching a countdown timer is one of the worst gaming sins. World of Tanks falls squarely into the "earning access" part of this group. The entire game can be accessed without spending money but you have to work for what other players can get simply by paying.
How does this work then? Well, it's not exactly free. When you play, even without paying, you are providing a service to the game owners by being an opponent to potential paying customers. Most MOBA (or DotA style games) fall into this group. TapeCutter spent an entire year playing without paying but was still indirectly supporting Wargaming.net by being a (potentially undergeared) target for paying customers to attack. The fact that he then spent money on the game down the road is just gravy as he had already contributed. And yes, this is probably where "free to play" shines the brightest.
FTC To Trap Robocallers With Open Source Software
Don't you get it? The robocallers have been classified as terrorist organizations by the NSA so anyone that they contact can now be classified as "persons of interest" and can now legally have their data snooped, er I mean "collected".
Seriously though, this isn't the movies; tracing a call is instantaneous. The telco can relatively easily follow it back to whoever is paying for the trunk. The problem being that someone is actually paying, which means that someone has a vested interest in keeping a paying customer happy. What makes it even worse is it's hard to justify that type of volume from a robocaller and still claim ignorance under the assisting violators clause of the telemarketer sales rule. Yet somehow they still get away with it.
The FTC needs to focus less on outside efforts like homemade honeypots and instead go directly after the telcos that sell service to these bastards. Under their own regulations, a telco is just as responsible and would have to pony up to 16k a pop per each robocall. If they want to zap Rachel, well they know where she lives and works.
Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water
This process is called "toilet to tap" and is perfectly safe. I would guess that any first world location that doesn't have easy access to ground water will be completely doing this in the next twenty years; it's that damn useful.
Probably the worst part about reverse osmosis is that it eliminates the water "taste" that people are used to because it gets rid of minerals as well. That's why they usually mix it with some other source like lake or ground water before it gets piped out to homes. Unfortunately the secondary source also adds in the usual pollutants as well as minerals.
For people who get the "ew yuck" factor, there's always bottled water, but just don't tell them that it comes from the same source.
Your Old CD Collection Is Dying
I've had pressed CDs and DVDs fail. I'm finding that the DVDs are worse, although I have a larger sample size for them so it may be just that.
In the case of DVDs (or CD based games) there are tons of DRM to prevent legal backups. Good luck with getting manufacturers to replace them for less than the original purchase price though.
The Connected Home's Battle of the Bulbs
Someday, scholars will see the portmanteau as being even worse than the pun. There is no real wit in the creation of a portmanteau. Compressing words because you're lazy does indeed make a new word, but it's not a word that helps further the language. I would actually consider it a form of literary mumbling.
As for your Fluttershy tags, well I bet you were nervouscited about revealing your brony status on Slashdot. ...I hate myself.
Sony & Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward
You can transfer them over to another 360 but without either the license key, or having the purchaser's account actively signed into XBL, they will run in demo mode. The 360 will treat them as if they are unlicensed copies of the game. If you've ever purchased a game after playing it in demo mode and it downloads the "full game" practically instantly, it's because it was just downloading the license key.
You can perform a license transfer to a new system which will let you then manually download individual license keys to the new console. The license transfer can only be performed once per four months.
Once Microsoft stops supporting XBL for the 360 then your games will only work on the system with the license keys, and when the console dies (or HDD as the license key cannot be copied to other media), the games will be gone.
Apple Drops Snow Leopard Security Updates, Doesn't Tell Anyone
10.6.8 is the last version that you can use if you don't want to have an Apple ID as everything after (Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks) requires it during installation.
If they release a version of Mavericks with Rosetta and without forced Apple ID then I'll upgrade. Otherwise I'll just run Linux/Windows on them when Apple does stop supporting Snow Leopard.
Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!
I despise the beta site. I tried it back when they made the first big notice about it. When I went to comment on it, I found that other people had already commented with the exact same problems that I experienced (although perhaps wording their comments more eloquently than I would have). There wasn't much for me to do except maybe post "me too" which as proper adult Internet users, we've been trained to not do. I figured that the powers-that-be would read the comments, see their mistake, and euthanize beta humanely.
For months I continued to read /. practically unaware that beta still existed, let alone be the unstoppable train of the future. I thank the #fuckbeta users that were the 25% of randomly fucked users forced into using beta for alerting me that the train is still coming. Admins take note; this is just a taste of what will happen when it goes live. If you need a car analogy (and hey, I understand), the check engine light has been on for months and now the oil light is on too. Perhaps you should get the site properly serviced instead of sticking Type-R stickers everywhere, adding a spoiler, and silly underbody lights.
The simply amazing thing here is that this is fucking Slashdot! When Dice bought the site, they had to realize that this of all sites on the Internet is a place where the community is the consumer and product all rolled into one. Toy with this ecosystem with extreme care as once it's injured, it will devour itself and all you'll have is a silly domain name of historic note. This will happen quickly and you may not even have enough time to backpedal from New Coke back to Coke Classic. Seriously though, the admins here should have been able to come up with the idea of forking the site. Keep Slashdot basically the way it is and make a new site that 'speaks' to this 'wider audience' of the future that gets its content from good ol' classic Slashdot. Call it Hip Techie and Political News for Cool Future People or something. Add a "Powered by Slashdot" note with a link to the old site so that the kids can go and occasionally poke the neckbeards.
So I will participate with the others on a Slashcott this week. Likely nothing will change except the train will be a week closer. I may just settle on civil disobedience and post "me too" until my karma goes to the point where all of my messages start at -2. Perhaps the most interesting thing about all of this is that we nerds here have always talked about combining our efforts to change this and that. If we can't even combine our efforts to save our playground from being paved over in the name of progress by the villain in a cheesy 80s movie, then we've really lost. Until then, we'll fight as hard as we can. Now cue the montage music!
#saveslashdot #fuckbeta #slashcott #awesomehashtags #eightiesmovies #neckbeards #metoo
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How Can Nintendo Recover?
No one will read this, but it will sit on /. so I can eventually point to it years later and say "I told you so".
They've already messed things up royally with the Wii U. Some things they can easily fix, some things are difficult, and some will just have to be ugly warts. The 3DS is going strong so there's nothing here that applies directly to it.
1. Win back the hardcore fans! This is going to be hard as Nintendo has been actively attacking their customers for some time now. We understand that sometimes you need to protect your trademarks but don't go overboard. Yes, some people may not buy your game if they see it on YouTube but many more people will due to the free advertising. There's no need for you to demand ad revenue from those vids because it doesn't belong to you. Also stop with the limited uses counter in demos as that stops people from even bothering with them. It's just not possible for multiple people to demo a game when the use count is per system... which brings me to the next point.
2. Improve the eShop store. Nintendo has the worst store out of all three console manufacturers. Seriously, try searching for something sometime. Fix the UI, make it universal, and make it usable available online through a browser. Also, purchases need to be tied to the console (for any user) and the account. Take a page from Xbox Live on how this is done. Purchases should also be cross platform compatible if it is an option; Virtual Console games should be the easiest of these to "port". Convert those Wii VC games so that users don't have to run them in Wii Mode and in doing so add them to the users eShop account. Start doing Steam style sales... but more on this later.
3. Win back the developers. This is a hard one, and a lot of those triple-A devs are gone and not coming back. Focus on the indie devs and put out a devkit that anyone can download and use. I don't care if it's sandboxed, it just needs to be in people's hands. Work with them. Fund them if needed. Feature them in the advertising, including the TV ads. Get some games on your system right now. You cannot compete with the PS4 and the Xbone. Your only chance here is to be a better OUYA. Also, whatever obstacle is in the way on getting Minecraft on the Wii U needs to go away as soon as possible even if that means licensing it and developing it in house.
4. Go big or go home. If you intend on keeping the Wii U around, you're going to have to spend some significant money to get it into people's minds, and once they purchase it, make sure that they still turn it on. The Steam style 'price drastically slashed' sales need to happen. Give games out to users each week or give a few games out each month and announce that in the commercials. You need a pack in set of games and simple, but useful, utilities that every Wii U sold will have. I figure that that is what Nintendo Land started out as but somewhere things went wrong. Get these things developed and out there immediately. It'd help if they were killer apps, but those can come later as long as they are always part of the core apps.
So start there. I'll leave with a few odd questions like: Why doesn't the OS have some sort of "working" icon? It tends to be painfully slow and appears to be locked up and many people especially kids are impatient. Why isn't there an off switch on the Wii U Gamepad? Why didn't you use the DSi/3DS power supply for the Gamepad? Oh and when is the next good Metroid game coming out?
Valve Releases Debian-Based SteamOS Beta
People still enjoy 50-year-old movies. Why is a video game necessarily "expired milk" just because it's five years old?
The games industry makes their money on game sales, so they want customers to purchase something new and not play something that is five years old. People do in fact play old games, some even are new customers paying for these old games via re-releases or emulation from gog.com (formerly Good Old Games), Nintendo's Virtual Console, or any of the other digital distribution services. It does happen but it is not the norm, nor what the games industry, and certainly not the triple-A game makers, really wants.
1. Playing games is time consuming. Where the average movie may clock in at slightly over 2 hours, most games require ten times that much time. In fact, some gamers demand that a game occupy their time for a certain length or they feel that it's not a good value. These people are a problem too but that's another story. Games also require more of the user's attention. You can have a movie on in the background, and maybe even be having a conversation about it. For the most part games require significant more concentration by the user in order to be completed.
2. Playing games requires a higher cost of entry. If you purchase a cheap $20 DVD player, you can watch practically any movie released on the format. (yes there are region coding issues but anyway...) And since Sony was able to finagle Blu-Ray to be the de facto standard, purchasing a cheap $60 player will let you watch practically any movie on that format as well as the ability to play DVDs. Contrast this to console gaming where someone would have to purchase a specific console if they want to play an exclusive game, or if it's a PC game, have one that meets the minimum system requirements. These are more complex than the "purchase disc, put disc in player" that even your grandparents can perform.
3. Video games have their opening month where they make the most money for the publisher. This is the closest thing the industry has to a theatrical release. When they start being traded in to the second hand shops, the price starts to fall and the major money making starts to slip. This is why triple-A titles are trying to go for a long tail sales period and sell DLC to extend the life of the game. This unfortunately means that points 1 and 2 are made worse by the publisher trying to make money. It also leads into...
4. Video games, or at least newer ones, are ephemeral. They are more and more reliant on hosted servers and active player bases in order to simply function. This point alone makes the "expired milk" comment simply due to the fact that once a game is unsupported by the publisher, it is no longer playable. In some cases, games that could be perfectly playable otherwise have been removed from digital download services and are no longer available for purchase.
Any time that a publisher is selling you an old game, it is either as shovelware or due to the fact that they are banking the nostalgia to sell you the latest version... or in some cases it's because they have such a small lineup of games for their new console that they have to bank on Earthbound which could have easily been also ported to the previous console but hasn't because they are trying to move stock... but I digress.
The Brains of Men and Women Are 'Wired Differently'
"It is what it is" only because we're still getting out of the dark ages where women were being held back. I'm not saying that it will gravitate towards 50 percent and then stay there, but it will certainly change.
These studies are only trying to explain why there are differences between the sexes. This is news for nerds, stuff that matters. Personally I've always wondered exactly why I've found I could handle multiple projects much more easily than my male co-workers. Just getting a "you're a girl, duh" response is pointless. Back that up with some research and now you're cooking!
Also, this could also show why a corpus callosotomy can be more problematic for females than males.
FOIA: NSA Contracts Stored In Paper Files, Unsearchable, Unindexed
Then the purpose of gathering the data was pointless too. If these files are truly "unsearchable" then it has absolutely no value and the act of storing it is a waste of taxpayer money.
This is simply a tactic to make it more difficult for FOIA requests. Terry Childs went to jail over this sort of gross negligence. Whomever designed this system should also be held responsible.
Sadly the text of the FOIA doesn't really talk about penalties for non compliance, it just states that the AG should submit a report. Yea, good luck with that.
CyanogenMod Installer Removed From Google Play Store
The only known threats on iOS devices have come to jailbroken phones and the jailbreaks themselves.
Apparently you utterly fucking fail at understanding security. Those jailbreaks exploit holes in the walled garden to install tools that do other things, like allowing users to install their own software. Malware authors can exploit those same holes to install their crap.
Even if the garden wall was perfect and didn't have holes, you still have to trust the guard who doesn't work for you, but for the gardener.
When Android doesn't require essentially every app you install to get access to private data BEFORE YOU CAN EVEN FUCKING INSTALL IT, then you MIGHT be able to start talking differently here. Until then you just make it obvious you're nothing more than a fanboy.
Well that time is now because Android doesn't require this. There are so many problems with every security model but by defending iOS in such a half-assed way, you have proven that you are nothing more than a fanboy as well.
Have 100GB Free? Host Your Own Copy of Wikipedia, With Images
If all you want is an offline Wikipedia reader, just use Kiwix. It uses the ZIM format which was created specifically for offline use and runs on Win/Mac/Linux/Android or anything else if you want to compile it yourself.
While the full English Wikipedia ZIM sans pictures is a bit old (January 2012), it has the benefit of being only 10GB and split up into 2GB chunks so it will fit on a FAT32 device like your phone's SD card.
Raspberry Pi Hits the 2 Million Mark
I actually could mod you down, but I'm posting this because there is some confusion that you are having and I would rather inform than just smite.
The word that you're missing is "bootloader". When you apply power to the pi, the boot process starts by the GPU running some closed source binary blob which eventually get around to doing things like turning on the CPU and letting you run your OS.
Yes, you actually do have to use the closed-source video even if you use ssh or run completely headless.
I'm not saying that you should never use a pi, you just should be aware of what it is and what it is not, and it is not completely open.
PlayStation 4 Released
I'm one of the people who is still mad about the OtherOS removal. Yes, I'm aware that due to how the PS3 hypervisor limits the system that running Linux on a PS3 is comparable to running it on a Raspberry Pi. Heck, you've got more usable RAM on the current Pi than on the PS3. That's not the point.
The end result of the SCEA v. Hotz fiasco is that once the warranty period is up, Sony can do whatever the hell they want to your console. Any feature is fair game. Sony could legally push an update that turns it into a paperweight if they desired and you would have no recourse. As an addendum, the warranty isn't transferable so this could legally kill the used system market if they so desired.
The warranty time used to be a safe period at the beginning of a piece of consumer electronics usable life where if it broke you would be able to get a replacement. Now, it should be seen as the entirety of the devices usable life.
If you are planning on buying a PS4, make sure that you buy the extended (2yr) warranty. Make sure that you get your $450 worth over then next 3 years. Go into this with eyes wide open.
Yes, this doesn't just apply to Sony but they are the ones specifically have it in their warranty clause, went to court to confirm the legality of it, and are otherwise actively hostile to their customers.
Biggest Headache For Game Developers: Abusive Fans
Games, just like any other art ever produced, are subject to criticism. Some of this criticism is constructive and some is not. Some of it is downright insipid. The difference between games and most other art is that the audience is well versed in Internet-fu and sadly, is usually immature.
Just like any other artists, developers need to have somewhat thick skins when it comes to taking their criticism. Some like Phil Fish will either start or escalate a flame war and then try to play a victim afterwards. I'm definitely not justifying the comments made against him or his game, but he was not completely blameless in how the events went down.
Like I said, the gaming audience is often immature. Many pieces have been written about how it needs to grow up and how bullying needs to stop but it's not going to change overnight, if ever.
So how about this devs, stop making the violence porn that keeps the gaming audience in its immature larval state and start making more games like Spec Ops: The Line that forces the gamer to think. Bully wasn't flawless but at least it tried. Those are the only two games that I would consider to be mature out of the thousands that the ESRB has rated M.
AMD/ATI Drops Windows XP Support
Don't blame Intel for dropping AHCI on XP. Don't blame AMD for dropping it either. Developing drivers for an OS that Microsoft has been telling people to move away from for over 5 years now is a bad business decision. Driver updates cost money. Not just in developer time but in QA time as well. In AMD's case, it's a completely different model (Kernel vs. WDDM).
Microsoft has always been about poor UI choices. Do you not remember Microsoft Bob or Clippy? Do you not remember a time when people complained about how candy coated XP was when compared to Windows 2000 Workstation? Now there was an OS you could be set your watch to, or at least you could until 2007 when Microsoft decided not to release the time zone change patch for it. If you ask me they didn't get bored of "the old way", they embraced it and said "Let's make this look like old Windows!" Everything in 16 colors and only runs fullscreen.
My advice would be to start using Linux. At least with that, you can continue using what you're used to well after the original authors have moved on to relieve their boredom. If you don't like GNOME3 then go fork GNOME2, mate. Take the months that you would have spent ranting and start doing something productive. The idea with Open Source Software is that people can't take it away from you.