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Player-Run MMORPG By Former Ultima Online Devs Finding Kickstarter Success

Ranbot Re:Probably the future of online RPGs (31 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...

yesterday
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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 three weeks 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 a month and a half 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 a month and a half 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 a month and a half 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 months ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

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

But you can buy a Nexus 7 tablet ($229) and a $100 phone for less than the price of many smart phones or phablets. You don't really have to spend double.

That does not factor in costs for mobile data on two devices, which is typically much more expensive than the actual device. If someone only gets mobile data on one device then it limit functionality of the other device. One can tether/mobile hotspot to the connected device, but then they are carrying two devices around everywhere. Some people will choose to pay for and/or work around the issues of 2 devices [as millions of users already have], but some people will take the Phablet compromise [as millions of users already have].

about 2 months ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

Ranbot Re:Very sad (277 comments)

I hate, hate, hate, hate large phones. If I needed a bigger screen, I'll pull out my tablet or my laptop. I'm a skinny guy, I wear tight-ish jeans.

There are the millions of smartphone consumers in the world who don't have the disposable income to buy a smartphone and tablet. Pocket size is not driving the phablet market. The driving force is consumers who want/need to do computing tasks with their phone, but can't afford or don't want to pay for a secondary tablet. Samsung saw this need in the market [particularly in Asia] several years ago, Apple is just now trying to address it.

about 2 months ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

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

Guess it really depends on how big your pockets are.

Wrong. For most people choosing phablets it has nothing to do with pocket size. It's mainly by consumers who are migrating their traditional desktop computing to their mobile devices and the tasks are just easier with a larger screen. Many people don't want to spend double for a phone and a tablet, so they opt for the compromise single-device phablet.

For example, my 27-year old sister does not pay for cable/internet at home, but has a smartphone that she does most of her computing from. In the rare times she really needs a computer for something, she will use PCs at her work during her off-hours or drag out her old laptop at free Wi-Fi cafe. She does not have the disposable income for tablet, so a phablet is perfect for her.

about 2 months ago
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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

Ranbot Re:Nope they are clever (336 comments)

I'm no fan of Apple, but you can't argue that they aren't strategically clever bastards.

First they attempted to lock-up the PC hardware/software market (and thankfully failed). They colluded with AT&T to lock the smart phone market. Walled off iTunes to corner the MP3 market. Tried to fix pricing in the digital book market (which a federal court slapped them for). Now Apple our credit/debit cards in their sights... Bastards is right on.

about 2 months ago
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Scientists Twist Radio Beams to Send Data at 32 Gigabits p/s, Faster Than LTE

Ranbot Amazing, but.. (1 comments)

...you know people will still complain that their wireless data speeds are too slow!

about 2 months ago
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AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

Ranbot Re:You mean... (243 comments)

Netflix is a case study in how to do video technologically wrong and it seems like they're just totally ignoring common sense. Why shouldn't doing things like a luddite, be relatively expensive? (Really, having storage in your box is still considered prohibitively expensive? It sure wasn't expensive in 2000 with Tivo series 1. Things got worse since then?!?)

I agree with this in part, but I don't think the comparison to Tivo is fair, because Netflix doesn't sell physical hardware and they don't want to get into hardware for good reason. Convincing most consumers to buy a new piece of hardware for a service is a big hurdle, but Netflix operates on the existing hardware that people already have (tablets, phones, Smart TVs, game consoles, etc.). That's a huge advantage they (or other streaming content providers) would never willingly give up.

With that said, I think Netflix should be working on programming more local buffering and pre-loading options regardless of this net neutrality decision. Honestly, I'm surprised Netflix has not done this for the benefit of it's customers already, because there are times that ISPs at no fault of their own simply can't keep up with peak loads and streaming content suffers, which in turn hurts Netflix.

about 2 months ago
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Say Goodbye to that Unwanted U2 Album

Ranbot Apple tools (3 comments)

They achnowledge this was a mistake, but Apple still believes they know what what customers want [and what music they should listen to] better than the customers.

about 2 months ago
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AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

Ranbot Re:You mean... (243 comments)

I think the idea is that you pay the ISP for a "Netflix booster", and then your Netflix traffic gets un-humped into the fast lane.

That's how I interpretted it... and with this model ISPs could bundle website traffic into packages just like cable TV. No thank you.

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

Ranbot Re:To be fair... (405 comments)

This is an amusing story, but I'll cut the announcers some slack, because filling an audio void for ~4 hours (pre-game, game, post-game) mistake free is not easy. I used to be a college radio DJ and in just an hour show talking between songs I had plenty of screw ups.

What I find more amusing is that Microsoft didn't seem to consider this hazard before dumping $400 mil into advertising with the NFL.

about 2 months ago

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