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.
LEGO Announces GNU/LInux-Powered Mindstorms EV3 Platform
There are plenty of Lego clones on the market, Mega Bloks being the easiest one to find in the USA. They are often cheaper than Lego products, both in cost and quality. If all that you care about is cost, go with the them.
The cross-licensing deals are what keeps the products on store shelves (as they do sell very well) at major retailers instead of just hobby shops. If you think that Lego products are expensive now, you really wouldn't like the price if they didn't have the licensed sets.
So everyone, enjoy your Mindstorms. I know I will! But know that these wouldn't exist without Lego also producing licensed stuff, average video games, and other geek reviled products (Bionicle/Hero Factory, Lego Friends, etc.)
Minecraft Documentary Premiers On Pirate Bay As Well As Xbox Live
I wish I knew about the "one-time showing" bullshit going into this. The other news sites never even mentioned it.
I hop on the Xbox this morning and all it says is that it will start at 8PM. I spend the rest of the day with family/friends ('tis the season) and then before bed I realize that it's after 8 so I should grab it. After downloading their stupid app I get a screen saying that it's over. Huzzah!
I have had a DVR for about 14 years now, and even though I watch considerably less TV now than back then, I am certain of one thing: I watch on my time, not yours. Nielsen data is showing that other people do too.
The really sad thing is that if this was on normal TV, I could have recorded it and watched it when I damn well felt to. Microsoft, this was a pre-recorded film not an event. There was nothing that needed to be streamed live, and nothing that needed to have me schedule time during a holiday weekend outside of some pretty viewer numbers that you can report immediately instead of waiting a nominal time to also include time-shift viewers.
Know this that if you want to replace the usual set-top boxes and be the TV device of choice that you better not have less functionality than a simple DVR. If you do, then you lose the battle. Nintendo, I'd say that you should be paying attention as well, but I've used your hardware and you clearly don't have a clue.
Dice Buys Geeknet's Media Business, Including Slashdot, In $20M Deal
Take a look at the history of Digg to see what happens when you mess with a community site. You have a choice to make. If you screw it up, people will leave.
Microsoft Certificate Was Used To Sign Flame Malware
The certs issues from the Terminal Server Licensing Service were intended to be used only for connections and not code signing. This is Microsoft's blunder. They weren't actually licensing malicious certificates but they were giving people tools to issue what appeared to be valid certs coming from MS.
The fixes are going to be changing TSLS so that its certs can no longer be used to sign code and revoking the intermediate CA certs that are affected.
An Early Look At Mac OS X 10.8
The OS only ever costs $30. . . .That means you could buy version 10.0 Cheetah all the way to 10.7 Lion for the cost of Windows 7.
Except of course for the fact that it hasn't always been this way. Sure, 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and 10.7 (Mountain Lion) may be $30 but previous versions have been much more. Excluding 10.1 which was given away to appease the users of the broken 10.0, OS X has been similarly priced with home versions of Windows. Leopard (10.5) and Tiger (10.4) were both $129. The window between releases there was only two and a half years. If you want to compare Apples to oranges, those two upgrades are practically as much as your Windows 7 Ultimate quoted price.
Also, if you happened to purchase Windows XP back in the day you wouldn't have to upgrade if you didn't want to. Windows XP is still supported with security updates coming until 2014. Apple's support is usually about only three years after release, forcing you to upgrade. On the Windows side you could skip Vista if you wanted to. You may even make it to Windows 8.
Don't get me wrong, I like the Mac. This post was composed on a Mac! I know these prices because I have rode the Mac upgrade train that you are talking about. I just have a problem with posts like yours which are clearly wrong being modded to a +5 informative.
The Case For Piracy
if I create something and decide to stop selling it, lock it away, and never let it see the light of day, that should be my right. At least until it becomes public domain anyway.
Once you start selling it, you have distributed it into the public. Copyright is a limited time after initial distribution where the copyright holder is the only one who can control the distribution for the purposes of profit. The reason others cannot distribute it for free is because it would affect the copyright holders profit. Copyright is not a right, it is a limited privilege granted for the purpose of furthering the creation of more works.
Public domain is a right. It is the shared cultural knowledge that moves humanity forward. If you don't want to participate in the public domain then keep your works to yourself! You can't take your ball and go home because once you've distributed it from that first sale, it is now the public's ball not yours.