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Can There Be Open Source Music?

Rizimar The Real Question (183 comments)

If I am in a small crowd that is listening to a musical performance and I let out a cough that the other audience members can hear, could I consider myself a closed-source music hacker?

about a year ago
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New Animated PNG Creation Tools Intend To Bring APNG Into Mainstream Use

Rizimar Re:Trip to Japan (246 comments)

From the Kickstarter page:

2 months of living and office space at Genshin Souzou in Aichi, Japan. We have a room and working space specifically for visiting creators/developers/makers and our office has a shower and a ktichen. You can even drive the company car (international manual license required)!

I saw this, too, and was thinking that it might almost be worth it for the experience

about a year ago
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Geeks.com Online Shop Has Closed

Rizimar Re:You should have told me it existed! (187 comments)

The focus of Geeks.com was largely on refurbished equipment, but when your customers have options like Amazon, Overstock, and Newegg, it is hard to compete. I've been following them for a couple of years, always getting notices of their latest deals in my inbox, and it seemed like they had a lot of the same sorts of products on sale: 1TB internal hard drives, 23" monitors, and always a ton of the same Dell desktop computers that had features that might would have been acceptable in an office environment a couple of years ago (limited RAM and hard drive space, sometimes with a basic Windows install). They recently started offering a lot of first-generation iPads for a couple hundred dollars each as well.

Part of the problem is that customers new to Geeks will quickly lose interest if they bought one of those items because the inventory never really changed, and the deals were always around the same price points. In a market where newer items often sport better features and tend to get cheaper over time for the amount of power and functionality you get, there's less incentive to turn to a refurbished marketplace, especially for such a limited selection of hardware.

about a year ago
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My NSA-induced paranoia level:

Rizimar Re:First and third (290 comments)

I'm glad the NSA has an excuse to collect data on everyone. It's almost certainly harmless to Average Joe, so it is okay, apparently.

Nevermind the fact that this "potential stuff" of the NSA using blackmailing tactics has actually been employed to attack individuals, even without an otherwise just cause. Or the fact that it's illegal for them to even do this to begin with. Or even the fact that the NSA is showing no disregard for anyone's right to privacy. It's likely not going to be used against you personally, so we might as well not even bother thinking about it.

about a year ago
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Green Lantern Writer To Pen Blade Runner Sequel

Rizimar Re:Vangelis (326 comments)

If Vangelis came back for the soundtrack on this one, it would be incredible. But if they got Com Truise to do the score, I definitely wouldn't mind.

about a year and a half ago
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Green Lantern Writer To Pen Blade Runner Sequel

Rizimar Replicant (326 comments)

Maybe the sequel will smash us over the head with whether or not Deckard truly is a replicant to try to put an end to the perpetual debating among the fans.

about a year and a half ago
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Oculus Rift Guillotine Simulation

Rizimar Re:It's cool and all, (120 comments)

If you guys keep making lame puns, I swear, heads are gunna roll!

about a year and a half ago
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Yahoo Is Going To Stop Email Service In China

Rizimar Re:Dissidents (70 comments)

I do. Their interface isn't too bad and the spam filter is accurate enough to sort out most garbage messages. I've had my account for over a decade and don't see much of a reason to change because they keep it up to date. Sure, Outlook is more elegant in its interface and Gmail is more robust in its features, but Yahoo Mail gets the job done just as well.

about a year and a half ago
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How Not To Launch a Gadget

Rizimar Re:creeper (160 comments)

Considering this was a booth for what sounds like an interesting product, it's perfectly reasonable to expect someone or something to be at that booth to illustrate what it is, exactly. Having an empty booth is a waste of floor space and of people's time.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Was Your Favorite Web Comic of 2012?

Rizimar Re:Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (321 comments)

Me thoughts exactly. I also like the little red button on each comic that delivers a second punchline, too.

about 2 years ago
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Best reader-submitted /. logo of October 2012?

Rizimar Dennis Ritchie, Oct 12 (137 comments)

I'm casting my vote for the Dennis Ritchie logo in memory of a great man and in celebration of an excellent website.

about 2 years ago
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Building Babbage's Analytical Engine

Rizimar Re:With all due respect... (56 comments)

Alan Turing, for one. I'm pretty sure this is mentioned in the book The Mechanical Mind in History in the essay "Alan Turing’s Mind Machines" by Donald Michie (unless I'm mistaken; it could have been in the biographical film Codebreaker, too. I recently read/watched both). Turing knew of Babbage, but may not have been aware of the particular details of either the Difference Engine or the Analytical Machine. Though, I really wish I had more sources to back this up.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Richard Dawkins About Evolution, Religion, and Science Education

Rizimar Non-Religious Prophet (1142 comments)

It's clear to anyone who's seen your work that you have a strong passion for biological science. Like anyone who has an affection for something, you want to be able to share it with other people, but religion has been a major roadblock for this. What I have been wondering is, if religion wasn't such a large force in driving people away from science, do you think that you would have been such a strong proponent against organized faith?

more than 2 years ago
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If I had a time machine, I would first visit...

Rizimar Galactic Empire (Distant Future)? (658 comments)

Shouldn't the option be "Galactic Empire (distant past)" rather than future?

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Actual Best-in-Show For Free Anti Virus?

Rizimar Re:Comodo (515 comments)

FWIW, I turn off the Sandbox and Defence+ stuff, just running the AV and Firewall.

Me too, and it's great. I haven't experienced any serious malware infections on my computers in a long time.

I also use the Comodo Dragon browser, which is basically just Google Chrome that uses Comodo's DNS server to make sure that you're not being directed to dangerous websites.

more than 2 years ago
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Art School's Expensive Art History Textbook Contains No Actual Art

Rizimar Reading the summary (371 comments)

Before I got halfway into the summary, I started to think that this was some kind of self-referential post-modern art book.

more than 2 years ago
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Torchlight 2 Release Date: 20 September

Rizimar Re:Definitely looks like a sequel (61 comments)

That's how I played, too. I hoarded gems for most of the game, trying to get them as refined as possible. It wasn't until the end where I started spending all of my money on enchanting my equipment to try to make as many sockets for them as possible so that I could actually use them. But it also wouldn't have been so bad if you could swap gems to get them back rather than destroying a valuable piece of equipment in order to salvage them. I'm really happy to hear that there's a new gem system for the next game.

more than 2 years ago
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Torchlight 2 Release Date: 20 September

Rizimar Definitely looks like a sequel (61 comments)

I've been playing Torchlight a lot lately since I got it on the Steam Summer Sale not too long ago. It was fun for a while, but then got to be really repetitive. Playing through as the mage, I ended up getting spells that healed me, pushed enemies backwards, and dropped massive fireballs on their heads. Because many of the enemies only had melee attacks, I could just put my cursor over them and hold down "3" until they died. Or I would get to a section of the map where enemies were physically obstructed by a geographical feature and drop fireballs on them until they died; they couldn't avoid the attacks because they wanted to attack me, but once the enemies are out of your viewport, they vanish, which means that they don't move until you run over to where they last were seen.

The gem system was a bit tedious for no seriously noticeable gain, too. You can get gems that give you different abilities once you slot them into a piece of your equipment, such as the Fire Ember, which will make you hit enemies with fire damage if you slot it into a weapon, or will grant you some degree of fire resistance if you put it into your armor or an accessory item. These items can be refined if you have two or more matching types. For example, if you have two Cracked Fire Embers, you can have someone in town make those into a stronger Dull Ember. Two of those make a Discolored Ember. Two of those make a Fire Ember, and those make a Cut Fire Ember, and so on. One problem is that these aren't easy to come across. You can buy weak gems from two merchants in the game, one of which appears randomly in the dungeons. These merchants always have randomized inventories, too, so there's no guarantee that you'll get something you're looking for. You can also find gems in dungeons, but those are often limited to secret areas of the map, and again, those are uncommon there as well.

Finally, the boss battles were all ridiculously easy. Even the final boss, which could summon hordes of fire-breathing dragons and fast skeletons to attack you, was really easy. It's not because they had simple attack patterns, either (which they did). It was that they were often physically weak with really strong defenses. Most of the battles with these bosses consist of holding down the left mouse button until they die (unless they had a really strong melee attack and you're better off using magic, in which case you can hold down the right mouse button until they die).

Maybe it's my fault for playing on a Medium difficulty setting, but really, there were only a few enemies that ever posed a serious threat throughout the whole dungeon crawl experience.

That said, I did enjoy the game. The levels were visually detailed and very interesting. The environmental interactivity was better than in a lot of games I've played (you can blow horns in the molten fire prison levels to make bridges spin to uncover secret areas, go fishing in ponds for fish that grant you special powers, run over booby traps that you can time to hurt your enemies instead, and so on). The enemies were imaginative and had their own personalities; rarely would you see two enemies with the same special powers, and unless they were the same type of monster, they do not look alike. It was also very helpful to be able to give your inventory items to your pet and have them run to town, selling them for you, so you don't have to stop fighting through the dungeon.

After looking at the video linked in the article, it's hard to tell for sure if anything I didn't enjoy was fixed. However, it looks a lot like the first one with an increased level of detail; the player in the video has a light around him to more clearly indicate his field of view, the HUD is simplified and easier to understand, and the gameplay tips are off to the side rather than popping up right in the middle of the screen. Meanwhile, the gameplay itself looks identical to the first. Even some of the sound effects are the same. This seems like a good indication that they just took what they already had and refined the entire experience.

Torchlight II may not be on the top of my To-Buy list, but it's in there. I'm interested to see just what else the developers can offer with this dungeon crawler.

more than 2 years ago
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Bill "The Science Guy" Nye Says Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

Rizimar Re:Bill Nye..... I'm not your serf (1774 comments)

Bill Nye made a simple and important point about why people should encourage their children to learn about evolution. How did you interpret that as a tyrant bossing you around?

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Microsoft Surface Now Available For Preorder

Rizimar Rizimar writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Rizimar writes "Microsoft is now taking preorders for their new tablet, the Surface. This computer comes pre-loaded with Windows RT, Microsoft Office 2013 RT2, and various Xbox apps. Prices range between $499.00 for a 32 GB device to $699.00 for a 64 GB version with a black touch cover. The price is comparable to the Apple iPad which also ranges between $499.00 to $699.00 depending on the Wi-Fi model. Both devices also offer a one-year hardware warranty and tech support for 90 days."
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