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Do Free-To-Play Games Get a Fair Shake?

Rhacman Not my cup of tea (181 comments)

I played Dragon's Prophet for a while (a free to play MMO). While I thoroughly enjoyed the gameplay I just got tired of fighting my own temptation to spend on the cash shop to advance quicker.

So no, as the article points out I have no purely rational reason for avoiding free-to-play games. That said, I have no purely rational reason for playing games in the first place, it's a choice I make purely on how a game environment resonates with my own subjective perception. A game that feels like a shady carnival with carnival barkers clamoring for the most cash they can drain from me just doesn't appeal to me. How "fair" that attitude is to game developers and publishers is, to me, quite irrelevant.

about a week ago
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Drone-Assisted Hunting To Be Illegal In Alaska

Rhacman Re: Redefine hunting. (397 comments)

My brother and I use hammers for ranged attacks all the time. It's a clean kill in one hit if they don't have any power-ups.

about three weeks ago
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Unreal Engine 4 Launching With Full Source Code

Rhacman Re:Licensing if my game cost $0 ? (149 comments)

So if I make a game from this and pay people to play it, will Epic cut me a check for 5% of what I'm paying the players?

about a month ago
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Russian Army Spetsnaz Units Arrested Operating In Ukraine

Rhacman Re:We need a US base in the Ukraine (623 comments)

I agree. The US should hold back and let someone else get involved / invested first and then jump in later when that fails to cover it.

about a month ago
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Lies Programmers Tell Themselves

Rhacman Re:Commenting code (452 comments)

Hold that thought for a second, my caddy is lagging behind.

about a month ago
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Water Filtration With a Tree Branch

Rhacman Re:Take That, Capitalists! (205 comments)

Take what? Take their money to the bank when their plastic funnels and tree-branch-filtration kits sell like hotcakes to the very folks hoping to, ahem, "stick" it to the man?

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?

Rhacman What's good for the goose... (716 comments)

Suppose a manager promises a customer that they can have all the last minute changes they asked for ahead of schedule and under-budget. When the engineers work on their own time to make the delivery, does the manager pay their uncompensated time from his own pocket?

about 2 months ago
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Stephen Hawking: 'There Are No Black Holes'

Rhacman Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (458 comments)

Science makes none of these assumptions, you (and many others on both sides of the debate) make these assumptions of science. Science classifies knowledge into repeatable testable theories that can be used to make useful predictions. Science recognizes that there are limits to observation and in fact many theories characterize these limitations, the uncertainty principle is a good example of this.

It's all well and good to imagine what lies beyond human comprehension, but it belongs in the realm of musing and fantasy.

about 3 months ago
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Controversial Execution In Ohio Uses New Lethal Drug Combination

Rhacman Re:If that wasn't crueal and unreasonable... (1038 comments)

+6

Killing an unarmed and fully secured captive has no place in a mature and civilized society. I call bullshit on any claim that the death penalty is a deterrent and somehow weighed in the minds of a person who decides to rape and kill a pregnant woman. The real aim of the death penalty is to satiate the rabid mob of townsfolk who would prefer take matters into their own hands with a rope and a tree. Heck, I'll even admit that I'd be among those first in line to get a piece of this guy if he had done this to someone I knew but that doesn't mean I don't hope that calmer minds would prevail. Even in this case it doesn't really bother me that this man suffered, but that he suffered in the name of name of supposed 'justice'.

about 3 months ago
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Man Shot To Death For Texting During Movie

Rhacman Re:Texting during the *previews* (1431 comments)

The backlit screen in the darkened theatre is tremendously obnoxious (at least to me) by itself. That said, they could easily have resolved the situation like adults.

A: Sir, could you please turn off your cell-phone.
B: Uh, it's just the previews, relax.
A: I know, but I find the light irritating.
B: Fine.
-or-
B: I'm texting my kid, just give me a sec.
At which point A drops the matter and calmly summons a theatre employee if it continues into the feature.

Heck, even behaving like obstinate hormone-fueled adolescents and beating the crap out of each other would be better than what actually transpired.

about 3 months ago
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People Become More Utilitarian When They Face Moral Dilemmas In Virtual Reality

Rhacman Re:Measurement of utility (146 comments)

Personally I'd be overwhelmed with curiosity with how the game physics would respond to situations the developers may not have considered. What happens if you rapidly cycle the train switch or switch it right as the train is passing over it? Perhaps you could get the train to derail and start to accordion thus clearing both sides of the tracks and destroying the train itself.

about 3 months ago
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23-Year-Old X11 Server Security Vulnerability Discovered

Rhacman Re:Many eyes... (213 comments)

C is a very low level programming language. If you ever look at the assembly listing for a C program you will generally find that each line of code maps to a relatively short sequence of assembly instructions. This virtue of C is what makes it so attractive for its original (and continued) use as a tool for writing operating systems, OS drivers, embedded systems, or anything where the developer needs or desires fine control of exactly what operations will be performed. Adding bounds checks lessens that control and for many applications where C is an appropriate language choice, would have a very real performance impact.

That said, many C compilers, debuggers, and code analysis tools (such as cppcheck as mentioned in the summary) offer features to detect memory access violations (and other types of bugs) during development and testing but without adding permanent run-time checking to release builds.

about 3 months ago
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"Clinical Trials" For Programming Languages?

Rhacman Re:All hail Python! (232 comments)

I tend to agree. One thing I find annoying is that in order to temporarily comment out the body of a conditional you have to add a "pass" line. The ability to add members to classes at runtime has also created some situations for me that were very confusing to troubleshoot.

about 3 months ago
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New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

Rhacman Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (1010 comments)

School just teaches you what you need to memorize and later regurgitate on the paper to get credit. The after-school religious education programs are what teach you what you need to believe lest you disappoint friends, family, and community.

Been down that road, it just didn't click. On the plus side it sounds like the new Pope is letting everyone into Heaven these days so you don't really need to hedge your bets any more.

about 4 months ago
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How Asimov's Three Laws Ran Out of Steam

Rhacman Re:Why does anyone think they apply? (153 comments)

I think it's just a natural geek tendency to look for scenarios in real life that are even remotely related to one's favorite science fiction universe and then to fantasize about how one's favorite science fiction universe is finally becoming real. People who dream up headlines know that geeks will drool like Pavlov's dog over a science-fiction tie in reference. People have a tendency to conveniently forget that the reason advances in technology occasionally align to science fiction themes is that science fiction incorporates both real and hypothetical scientific theories in the first place.

Modern computer controlled weapon systems are far more similar to a guided missile or even a trip-wire mine than some "I, Robot"-esque machine with a hand-waved synthetic form of free-will. These systems do exactly two things: 1) match a pattern 2) deliver / activate a munition. It's no more relevant to get into a discussion over violations of the three laws of robotics of a trip-mine; the pattern matching of which consists simply of whomever / whatever snags the wire.

The appropriate use and legality of autonomous weapons systems is a serious and relevant discussion to have. Bringing Asimov into the mix reduces the discussion to intellectual masturbation.

about 4 months ago
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Comparing G++ and Intel Compilers and Vectorized Code

Rhacman Re:Very different code (225 comments)

That's not what Darinbob is saying. Both the declaration and the definition of the function take 4 parameters as mandated by the API he is writing to. In his particular instance, however, he does not care what the value the caller passes to one of the parameters. This is common with things like callback routines / event handlers. Often the callback API provides you with information that you don't need for your specific implementation.

I still recommend compiling clean with -Wall but it does mean that there will be times where code is already correct but you need to add something just to tell / trick the compiler into not emitting the warning.

about 4 months ago
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Medical Radioactive Material Truck Stolen In Mexico

Rhacman Re:Already found (98 comments)

Irradiated food doesn't spoil but it can still go bad, usually around the time it starts making anti-Semitic slurs.

about 4 months ago
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Blockbuster To Close Remaining US Locations

Rhacman Re:Wait, what? (419 comments)

I'm not sure why someone would do that either but the way you talk about it perhaps they should make a movie about it. It would feature the heroic adventure of a person browsing and reserving a rental online then trekking to the climate controlled grocery store to pick up the disk from the kiosk along with their groceries.

[spoiler] In the climax of the movie our hero returns the movie the next day and purchases a soda and bag of pretzels from the adjacent vending machines to celebrate the $2 he just saved. [/spoiler]

about 5 months ago

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