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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

Ranbot Re:As with all space missions: (197 comments)

Okay, a fundamental question then... What's the mission?
 

To establish Cloud City...preferably before Blly Dee Williams passes away.

2 days ago
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Valve Rolls Out Game Broadcasting Service For Steam

Ranbot Re:sounds bad for Amazon's investment (92 comments)

I think you vastly overestimate the theoretical viewerbase.

I disagree and I can prove my point with real numbers: http://store.steampowered.com/...

That shows over the course of one day approximately 4 to 7 millions users log into Steam ALONE. The actual number of worldwide gamers only goes up from there and it's a largely uptapped market. Current tournament viewership isn't even close.

about two weeks ago
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Valve Rolls Out Game Broadcasting Service For Steam

Ranbot Re:sounds bad for Amazon's investment (92 comments)

Many of these viewers are casual gamers. That's what you have to understand

I get it, but what you don't seem to get is that tournament viewers are still a small sliver of the potential pie. 400k viewers for CSGO Dreamhack is great, amazing even, but there are many more millions of worldwide gamers. That's Valve's target market.

about two weeks ago
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Valve Rolls Out Game Broadcasting Service For Steam

Ranbot Re:sounds bad for Amazon's investment (92 comments)

Those numbers would still pale in comparison to the millions of worldwide casual gamers that is a mostly untapped market.

I don't think tournament streaming is good analogue to Steam's streaming service either. Tournaments are big one-time events, which get a lot of attention, but the event and any revenues generated from it quickly come to an end. Valve integrating streaming into Steam is an attempt to have game streaming a regular part of casual gamers every day lives, which is how they could tap into previously unrealized markets. Those are very different business models.

about two weeks ago
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Valve Rolls Out Game Broadcasting Service For Steam

Ranbot Re:sounds bad for Amazon's investment (92 comments)

I'm not so sure. Take GOTV/DotATV as examples. Tournaments can fund themselves by tickets(and many do) to watch the matches in-game(with commentators streamed in-game if you so choose)....

I'd like to see statistics for what percentage of all gamers watch tournaments, because my strong suspicion is tournament viewers are and probably always will be a niche market - a very profitable niche for some companies, but niche nonetheless. The much bigger piece of the pie will be getting the vast majority of casual or "average" gamers to get on board with streaming and I think streaming integration with Steam could potentionally open up that larger market.

about two weeks ago
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Valve Rolls Out Game Broadcasting Service For Steam

Ranbot Re:sounds bad for Amazon's investment (92 comments)

Agreed that it's bad for Twitch/Amazon in the short term. But it's also going to bring many new users into game streaming/viewing. Because there are people like me who have zero interest in streaming from Twitch or other third party, however I will surely at least check out an integrated game streaming service directly from my own network of Steam friends. More people in the market and general buzz about streaming, could mean more growth opportunities for Twitch/Amazon even if they do lose some users to Steam initially.

about two weeks ago
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Ben Harris Shows off the Electric Vehicle Challenge Simulator (Video)

Ranbot Re:Deathtrap (37 comments)

The conversions are as good as the people doing it. Yes, some folks will trust their lives to duct tape and fishing line, and others will do a better job then the pros... It is not about DIY, but about who the Y is.

Yes, anyone is welcome to risk their own lives, but when they are manuevering a ton of steel and batteries held together by duct tape and prayers at high speeds on public roads the danger is increased for everyone else too.

about two weeks ago
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Ben Harris Shows off the Electric Vehicle Challenge Simulator (Video)

Ranbot Re:Deathtrap (37 comments)

I've seen amateur battery conversions on a couple vehicles. The results look like deathtraps to me...This is cool for education and demonstration purposes, but amateur conversions are not roadworthy and no one should be misled about that.

The added weight causing extra wear and tear on brakes and suspension, which will increase maintenance costs but are also critical for avoiding accidents. It's safety issue for everyone else sharing a public road with a DIY EV. We are so accustomed to manuevering our individual ton of steel on wheels at high speeds that we tend to forget about the inherent danger.

That said, I'm not against EVs at all, and I'm honestly looking at an EV for my next car, but I completely agree that these retro-fitted DIY EVs should be saved for education and demonstration purposes only.

about two weeks ago
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Top Counter-Strike Players Embroiled In Hacking Scandal

Ranbot Re:Difficult problem to solve (224 comments)

Part of the problem is that it is very difficult to tell a player using hacks from a player who is simply good at playing the game. I remember, a long time ago (10+ years) my brother was a counter-strike player who specialized in head shots. He was very good at it, but standing behind him while he played there were numerous occasions where he got kicked off a server due to players thinking he was cheating... -Matt

I just like this subject so I'll keep talking.... The move that usually got me kicked from servers was this: I would wait quietly behind a corner listening for the footsteps of an enemy and as they came around the corner I would jump/strafe and fire down on them. At that extremely close distance and firing angle the hitbox for the head was huge and very east to hit, so more often than not I got headshots. If I could tell there was more than one enemy coming up on my corner, then I slipped a flashbang in before my attack. In either case if you specced me it looked exactly like a wall-hack and/or aim bot, but I just knew the levels and sounds extremely well.

Sorry if I come off like I'm bragging, but your story of your brother reminded me of my own experiences as a CS player, which have always made me careful of calling hack on others... as you say it's not always clear.

about three weeks ago
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Top Counter-Strike Players Embroiled In Hacking Scandal

Ranbot Re:Difficult problem to solve (224 comments)

Agreed. Many (not all, mind you) of the article's tips for spotting aim-botters and wall-hackers describe "suspicious" actions that a good non-hacking player would likely do anyway. It's been years since I played CS, but I was pretty good when I did and I had more than my fair share bans from servers for alleged hacking. Needless to say, I never did hack. It's not as easy as just as watching a few rounds or even a whole match to say someone is hacking. Honestly, I sometimes I think the only way to tell a hacker apart from a legitimately really good player is that over a longer period of time the legit player will have the occassional off round or match, because no matter how good you get there's still some element of chance/luck. I think being a high level legit CS player is similar to be a pro poker player...They both develop skills, tactics, and instincts that can tip the odds in their favor [considerably], but the element of chance is never completely gone unless you resort to hacking.

about three weeks ago
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Player-Run MMORPG By Former Ultima Online Devs Finding Kickstarter Success

Ranbot Re:Probably the future of online RPGs (33 comments)

The player community can be ruin a game too though. So many player-run worlds become stupid arena-style PvP or modded-up messes. There's also the underbelly of the community of gamer griefers/cheaters/exploiters which are best kept in check by an active developer coupled with server admins. Player run worlds are great in theory, but there is a role for designer to be involved enough to protect gamers from themselves without making them feel too restricted. That's a tough balance to strike...

about a month ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Ranbot Re:Good luck with that. (558 comments)

Not only that, but it's a huge pile of data mining/theft. They requires direct access to take money from your current account (it bypasses the credit card companies, which is why they want to use it), and it requires access to your health data (for no known reason, but it requires it). Basically, it's a cluster fuck of ID theft.

In fairness, Apple would be just as willing to mine your data and then sell it to retailers/marketers... after they already took their percentage of your credit card transaction, mind you.

about 2 months ago
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Study Weighs In On the Reliability of Eyewitness Testimony

Ranbot Re:The whole juror system needs to be abandoned (102 comments)

I think you need to put more responsibility on the shoulders of the highly paid professional lawyers and presiding judges to present the case to the jurors so they can understand the issues and facts, including any emotional elements. These professionals are paid not only to be experts in law, but to effectively communicate the law to jurors, judges, and clients. If they fail in that, that's on them, not necessarily the jurors or the larger system. Unfortunately, their failure could cause injustice to individuals involved in the trial. However, it's no different than any other technical/professional fields where one needs to interact and convey ideas to the layperson. If a scientist, a doctor, a financial planner, an engineer, an IT specialist, a lawyer, a judge, etc. can't effectively communicate with the lay person it could have dire consequences and those professionals have failed at least part of their job (emphasis on "part" because they may be very good at other aspects of their job).

Too often people in technical fields fall into a trap of blaming their troubles on "inferior minds" around them, instead of reflecting on how they could be better communicators.

about 2 months ago
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Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

Ranbot Re:If yes then what ? (389 comments)

(and really, it's not super difficult to get good grades in high school).

Exactly. On the other end of schooling spectrum, the US has been battling with and failing horribly at raising minimum graduation standards for students. Today's high school standards are so low you have to wonder about a student who can't get decent high school grade.

Colleges also get rated by their graduation/retention rates too, so if a student can't work within high school structures a college has to consider if that student can flourish within college structures. If a C-student really is a genius, but can't get high school to work, they might find college to be just as restricting and it could be a disservice to direct them into the conventional 4-year college track. Not everyone has to go to standard 4-year college to be sucessful.

about 2 months ago
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Online Creeps Inspire a Dating App That Hides Women's Pictures

Ranbot Re:Unworkable. (482 comments)

It seems pretty unworkable to me....Which means that the men who are willing to put up with these kinds of hoops wouldn't be attractive to these women in the first place.

You could be right, but consider this... As I understand things most dating sites typically have many more male members than female, which is a problem for men looking for responses. However a dating site focused more strongly on women's needs would hopefully have a higher percentage of women members. The men willing to jump the hoops would have the benefit of a larger pool of women to date.

about 3 months ago
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Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

Ranbot Re:This is aimed at carriers like Verizon Wireless (427 comments)

I don't appreciate any bloatware, but I'll take Google's over Verizon's. I have had Verizon for years and I like them fine as carrier, because they have the best networks in my area, but their mobile apps are terrible and not being able to remove them is aggravating.

about 3 months ago
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NASA Expands Commercial Space Program

Ranbot Re:Turf building (24 comments)

On the topic of "turf building" it seems that this a big step for NASA to have less dependence on Russian launchers. NASA can't be happy about the rhetoric and threats between the US and Russia over Crimea and is worried about being caught in the middle.

about 3 months ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

Ranbot Re:Bigger is better for some, bigger... (277 comments)

I think now that the 6 plus is available we'll see a lot more movement away from android to better options.

I assume by "better" you mean Apple. Some people might switch to Apple, but my experience is that as long as people don't have a horrible Android experience (which to be fair, does happen sometimes) they typically don't go back to Apple. Switching from Android to Apple involves paying more for the device, losing or repurchasing Android apps, entering Apple's walled garden, and if they aren't familiar with iOS, then they have to learn that too. I know iOS is supposed to be very user friendly, but I've always been an Android user and when I have to use iOS I struggle doing basic functions that I'm accustomed to with Android...I'm sure iOS is good, it's just what you're used to. I'll probably get modded down for this, but I don't care...People that understand the tech in phones know that going from Android to Apple is like take a 2 year technological step back, but paying more for it.

If you pay attention to the markets it's clear that the iPhone 6 Plus is reactionary to retain Apple customers who are considering phablets, particularly in overseas markets (China, Japan, Korea, etc.) where phablets adoption is much stronger than the US and Apple has seen big losses to Samsung.

about 3 months ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

Ranbot Re:Bigger is better for some, bigger... (277 comments)

I'll choose to have 2 devices.

That works for you and the market shows there are millions of people who agree with you, but the market also shows there are millions of people who would choose the single phablet option. There are costs and benefits to both and there's room in the market for both.

about 3 months ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

Ranbot Re:For the price of an iPhone, you could have both (277 comments)

Counterpoints:
1) For some people two devices is a hassle
2) You're not factoring in the cost of mobile data plans for 2 devices vs 1. I know you can tether/mobile hotspot, but then you're back to point #1.
3) For users already invested in the Apple garden of products, then what Android has to offer doesn't really factor into it. (Although I personally agree that Apple prices are outrageous, but the market seems to think otherwise)

about 3 months ago

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