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Comments

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Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

Sasayaki Re:Like DRM? (448 comments)

Do you think that if the Republicans (or any other political party) were in power, this mess would have never happened?

If your answer is an affirmative, unconditional yes, you're probably not thinking rationally. The Republicans started this whole mess after all. The Democrats continued it. Both are bad, neither is blameless. To believe otherwise is to be an unthinking automaton.

about a month ago
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After Celebrity Photo Leaks, 4chan Introduces DMCA Policy

Sasayaki This probably won't work. (134 comments)

This probably won't work, because either:

1) The influx of content will overwhelm 4Chan's very few mods.
2) Trolls will flag every single image and overwhelm 4Chan's very few mods.
3) 4Chan's very few mods will not care.

about a month ago
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News Corp Australia Doesn't Want You To Look Closely At Their Financials

Sasayaki Re:Good! (132 comments)

The problem is, if he's a sociopath he sleeps like a baby every night.

about a month ago
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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Sasayaki Re:Pathfinder? (203 comments)

It is my experience, locally, that everyone and their dog has moved to Pathfinder.

My local university gaming club, and almost all major conventions in Australia, were 100% Living Greyhawk (which is D&D) until the end of that campaign. These days, they are almost all 100% Pathfinder.

about a month and a half ago
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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Sasayaki Re:Can a little guy publish successful PNP RPG tod (203 comments)

Are you kidding? Today is the absolutely best time to be an indie game system developer, ever.

Back in the day, the only way you could get your stuff into the hands of the players was brick-and-mortar stores, word of mouth, or occasionally mail-order systems in magazines and stuff. That was it.

These days, there's so many online distribution points like DriveThruRPG, Amazon's KDP, iTunes, Google Play, etc that getting your game out there is easy. Just write your game system, publish it on any/all of the above, and bam. There you have it -- distribution, complete. Almost all these retailers allow discounting, promotions, bundling, etc. The amount of promotion tools available is staggering.

You can set your price, including as low as $0.99 for most retailers. If your idea is really good (and you're good at marketing) you can use Kickstarter or Indie GoGo or any other service to bootstrap a little funding. You can create and publish video promotions for free on YouTube. You can get a website for free, or very minimal cost, and run ads on it to bring in a little extra income.

You have total control over the distribution process. You might choose, for example, to make your core rules set available for free, and then charge for supplements. You can make it OGL if you want, or licence it how you want. You can write and publish electronic tools to help run games. You can even create your own game worlds, adventures, or whatever.

And the best thing is? All the tools you need are available for free or for staggeringly low cost. LibreOffice is your free word processing suite, although I recommend you drop $40 on Scrivener (it's like sex, except I'm having it). GIMP can do covers and basic image work well enough, but again, I'd suggest dropping $40 on Photoshop Elements. On DriveThruRPG you can get gaming stock art, templates, images and all kinds of art beautification your heart could desire, all extremely cheaply. When that fails you, there's ShutterStock, iStockphoto, or any number of stock image websites. Failing that: ask artists on DeviantArt to draw exactly what you want. $200-$500 will get you a sweet digital painting from an awesome artist, which is a good investment for something like your Core Rule Book.

We are living in the publishing future.

about a month and a half ago
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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Sasayaki It all comes down to the OGL (203 comments)

Long time d20 (and variants) player here. Not as long as some, but long enough to have played 2nd Edition when it was still current.

IMHO, 5th Edition's success will come down to their acceptance of the OGL (Open Gaming Licence), which we will discover in the coming days. All signs point to no, but Wizards might surprise us yet.

For those who don't know, the OGL was introduced in the 3rd edition (and continued its minor update, v3.5) of D&D. It was truly revolutionary. The OGL not only permitted players to redistribute the base rule system as they wished, including publishing it online for free almost in its entirety, but empowered players, writers, and campaign masters to edit, change and adapt the rules as they saw fit -- and publish those changes, as long as they too were under the OGL. It's open source for gaming systems.

One of the leading benefits of this was the publication of "Adventure Paths". As the OGL did not cover game worlds, only the mechanics and rules of the game, any writer or publishing company with a solid working knowledge of the game could create, publish, and distribute (freely or for profit) their own adventures, rules variations, optional mechanics, and thousands of various changes. One of the leading companies was Paizo, who specialized in publishing these so-called Adventure Paths. They were not the only ones. For example, I personally published a Pathfinder flavoured novel about a kobold, "Ren of Atikala", set in the original world of Drathari (oblig. plug: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EZ...). Using the OGL, I am able to legally use, alter, and draw inspiration from the rules and mechanics of OGL-licensed publications and create original works.

As I said earlier, it's open-source for gaming systems.

Between 3rd edition and v3.5, this was the state of D&D for almost 8 years, until June of 2008, when D&D 4th Edition was released. Unfortunately, D&D 4th Edition used a different version of the OGL, which was much more restrictive in what it permitted players, authors, and creators to edit, change, and redistribute (IIRC, it was essentially, "you may only reprint the *name* of the rule, and then reference the Player's Handbook", which meant if you were playing Star Wars you had to look up Power Attack in the D&D Player's Handbook... ugh).

Because of this change, and the simplifications made to the rules system which were often disfavourably compared to a video game, many players took a distinct, sight-unseen dislike to 4th Edition.

This restrictive change to the OGL also strongly disinsentivised Paizo from publishing Adventure Paths. After some internal discussion, it was decided that 4th Edition was not for them, and released a revised version of v3.5 of Dungeons and Dragons, known as the Pathfinder RPG (sometimes informally referred to by the player base as D&D v3.75), specifically intended to be backwards compatible with v3.5 of Dungeons and Dragons material. It was published shortly after 4th Edition's debut.

For many reasons -- a feeling that v3.5 was "good enough", Paizo's open-beta policy and staunch support of the OGL even for expansion books, and for viewing companies such as Green Ronin as allies rather than competitors -- Pathfinder has flourished in the wake of the relatively-poorly received 4th edition and is now a common staple at Roleplaying conventions and tabletop gaming communities, where previously only Dungeons and Dragons was played.

D&D Next seems, to me, to be squarely aimed directly at bringing Pathfinder converts back into the fold, promising to address some of the issues in both 4th Edition and Pathfinder, by providing a linearly scaling advancement, reducing preparation time for Game Masters, and simplifying many poorly thought out and complicated legacy rules which most players will admit probably need to go.

For me, though, D&D Next will live or die the same death 4th Edition did, based on its acceptance of OGL. Gamers typically play the most popular gaming system, even if it's not necessarily the best. If 5th Edition doesn't have a full OGL, then irrespective of what it does wrong or what it does right, Pathfinder (and the huge-mongous amount of compatible 3rd party expansions, modifications, and adventures) will just crush it.

Paizo knows this, though, and I think they're afraid. They recently announced Pathfinder Unchained, a variant (but still, in many ways, compatible and familiar) reworking of many base classes to free them of "legacy cruft". Clearly, this change is a counter-point to 5th Edition, and Paizo's platform of "small, incremental change" has worked well for them in the past... but the first OGL version of Dungeons and Dragons is now 14 years old and there is a feeling, in some corners, that a true revolution is needed.

It is clear that the future is currently in flux, and on the year of Dungeons and Dragons's 40th birthday I can't help but shake a distinct feeling that, for Wizards of the Coast, D&D Next will either be the product that restores Dungeons and Dragons to its former glory as the undisputed champion of tabletop roleplaying systems, or the anchor that drags the brand down to a final, well earned resting place in the annals of roleplaying history.

The 5th Edition organised play campaign seems interesting, though.

about a month and a half ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Sasayaki Re:I don't see the problem. (667 comments)

FatLittleMonkey is correct, the Ukraine has many Buk SAM systems. The one that allegedly shot down MH-17, however, appears at the present time to be a Russian-supplied and crewed loaner to the separatists they are backing.

Not that a Ukrainian error of identification would have been any more or less tragic, although it's less plausible since the separatists are not operating any air assets that I'm aware of so the Ukrainians are much more likely to be very conservative with regard to their anti-air grid.

It's important to note: At this stage it is clear that neither the Russians, nor the separatists, intended to shoot down a civilian airliner. They were targeting military assets. That point should be remembered. It's not like Putin's on his dark throne, cackling away at all of this. In fact I suspect he's currently having his men find and quietly dispose of whoever ordered the missile launch.

That doesn't change the fact that the Russians are clearly supplying the separatists with weapons and trained crews, and that in war people die, including people who had no horse in the race at all. Supplying rebels with state-of-the-air medium range anti-aircraft systems is a significant escalation of the previous conflict which has, as we've seen, the potential to cause all kinds of misery for third parties.

about 2 months ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Sasayaki Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (667 comments)

> shot down a Ukrainian fighter

I'm seeing this a lot. Minor point of order: The craft that was shot down was an SU-25 Frogfoot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_Su-25), which is a ground attack aircraft; the Eastern Bloc equivalent of the A-10 "Warthog" Thunderbolt II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairchild_Republic_A-10_Thunderbolt_II).

I agree with the broader point though that it seems clear that whoever was operating the Buk SAM system was aiming for Ukrainian air assets, based on their previous actions, but they dun goofed and shot down a civilian aircraft.

At this particular point in time, it does not seem to be a deliberate action. The fact that the agencies involved (Russia for supplying the expensive, specialist equipment with crew trained in its use; Russian-backed Separatists for ordering the anti-air action) are going to great lengths to attempt to cover up their involvement speaks volumes in support of this conjecture.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon Is Testing a $10-Per-Month Ebook Service

Sasayaki Re:yeah it is a good thing for me (as an author) (87 comments)

Fellow author here. The problem is, it requires Prime, and the payment is only a borrow. Expect the borrow rate to increase. Of course, that's fine if Amazon increases the pool accordingly; they might treat Kindle Unlimited as a loss-leader and just accept that some people will read 50 books a month and accept the loss, or recoup it on those who buy subscriptions but never read anything.

Prime just isn't worth it for me, because it requires KDP Select, which is essentially Amazon exclusivity. I make about equal amounts between Amazon, Google Play, and Apple. Last month I did particularly well on Google Play and it doubled my Amazon revenue. This month, due to a Bookbub promotion on my best selling novel, Amazon's equal to Google Play + Apple. But that's rare.

Even if Kindle Unlimited takes off and doubles my Amazon sales, I'll still lose money, and exclusivity always makes me nervous. Back in 2012, when I started publishing, I was exclusive and it meant heart-attacks every time Amazon did something messed up like de-activate my product page, or put me in the wrong category, or ranking problems, or whatever.

I might give it a shot with some of my smaller series such as my paranormal romance serial, or my fantasy novel, but I'm not going to put my cash-cow into Amazon exclusivity without something more than Kindle Unlimited behind it.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon Is Testing a $10-Per-Month Ebook Service

Sasayaki Re:Make it $4.99 and epub, not mobi (87 comments)

Kindle author here (and other platforms too).

The book is genuinely DRM free. The .mobi file format, which is what Amazon uses, is well documented by FOSS projects such as Calibre. You can transcode your DRM free .mobi files into .epub (which is just a .zip with HTML in it), into PDFs, Word documents, even plain text.

All of my books are DRM free for this reason (and many are also free-as-in-beer).

about 2 months ago
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Walter Munk's Astonishing Wave-Tracking Experiment

Sasayaki Re:Now that's what I call... (55 comments)

I'm not really sure why this whole thing is offensive.

My Mum had sex. At least once because, you know, I'm here. This much should be clear. And if she wanted to have sex with you too? Well, she's a grown woman, she can do whatever she wants. Hell, I hope that at age 60 I'm still getting some as well, especially from people who are around a third my age.

I mean, really. That's some high grade success there. Having earth-shattering sex with nubile young 20-something's when you're 60. That's hardly an insult.

I love my Mum a lot. I want her to be happy. If that means having all the crazy sex she wants, by all means. She can. I'm not going to judge her.

And another thing... what does that say about you? "Yeah bro, I had intercourse with a 60 year old woman! Fuck yeah!". I mean, by all means, if that's what you're into then whatever mate, go for your life. Some people like that. It's fine. Some people are into having sex with blowup dolls. That's weird but if it's their thing, then I'm cool with it. They tend to brag about it a lot less though.

Honestly, the most offensive thing about that is the waterbed. Those things are a piece of shit.

about 3 months ago
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TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

Sasayaki Glory to Arstotzka. (702 comments)

Glory to Arstotzka.

about 3 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

Sasayaki Re:Bad media coverage (1330 comments)

Where's my mod points. This.

about 3 months ago
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Want To Resell Your Ebooks? You'd Better Act Fast

Sasayaki Thoughts of an author... (72 comments)

I write books for a living (see sig). I've published 7 novels and 20-ish short stories/novellas, whatever.

My gut feeling is that if you paid for anything I wrote, you can resell it, as long as you do it once and delete the original. Yes, I know there is no way I can enforce this, but I also don't really give a shit.

Most authors do not feel this way and I'm not really sure why. I suspect it's because there's a feeling that most people won't do this and will just be reselling books en-masse for their own profit. Obviously, this is bad. If anyone can take a book I wrote and sell hundreds of copies for their own gain, well, that's not good for me. I wrote it, only I can sell it in that manner. If you bought a copy, you can re-sell it, but only that copy. It makes sense to me.

Opposition to re-selling of purchased ebooks (once, and with full transferal of the right to read the ebook) is quite prevalent amongst the author community, but I feel that this fails, largely, to take into account that there are hundreds if not thousands of ebook piracy sites where almost all of our for-pay work is available for free with no such restrictions. Yet I still sell thousands of dollars of books a month.

Accordingly, I still feel confident that I can sell books, for profit, mainly because I price aggressively, and sites like Google Play/Amazon/etc are convenient and people are happy to pay a few bucks for convenience.

If your readers are your enemy you've already lost.

about 3 months ago
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What Happens If You Have a Heart Attack In Space?

Sasayaki Re:huh (83 comments)

Does your average voyage contain a zip-lock bag big enough to house a body?

Weight is a huge concern for space voyages. It's something like $10,000 a pound. Quite a lot for a even a simple bag that doesn't have a dual, or tri, purpose.

I know nuclear submarines don't have airtight bags big enough to hold a body and they're much more free with what they can bring aboard. I was reading an article about one where a guy, what do you know, had a heart attack and died while they were submerged for a long duration. They ended up having a "feast" as a wake, because they cleared out one of the food freezers and chucked him in there.

about 3 months ago
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What Happens If You Have a Heart Attack In Space?

Sasayaki Re:huh (83 comments)

It's actually not about that. It's about not having a corpse up in space.

Seriously. A dead body is a significant biohazard and in the cramped, oxygen rich, closed-system environment of a spaceship having a corpse floating around is a serious biohazard. That thing's not going to stay in one piece; it's going to rot, break up, liquefy, and all in zero gravity.

If the crew starts breathing in dead guy, they too are in a lot of trouble.

These ships don't have a morgue or any way to properly dispose of a body. Although the idea of a "burial in space" is appealing, by simply casting the body out into the void, the problem is that this has its own problems. Assuming the vehicle's crew are capable of spacewalks, and they may not be, it's an unplanned excursion which takes up a surprising amount of resources, most notably time. Sure, the body would burn up for most vehicles -- the shuttle sees a temperature of around 1500 C for 15 to 20 minutes which I'm confident would do the job -- but it's a non-trivial exercise. They can't just open the window and toss 'em out.

Then there are the side effects, on crew morale least of all (the types of people picked for these missions tend to be hardy, very pragmatic folk who understand the risks and more than intelligent enough to realise this event was completely unavoidable and they're in no danger), but to the ground crew morale (who often feel extremely protective of the crew and are often, it's said, more nervous and frightened than the actual crew themselves), and to the broader space program in general.

There's also the broader financial implications. Training astronauts is EXPENSIVE. Research on keeping them alive, especially if such research can lead to other medical breakthroughs, is money well spent. Sure, that one guy is never going to fly into space again, but the ground crew for any mission is vast and tends to include other former astronauts. If he dies up there, we lose his experience and skills set, which we've paid a lot of good money for.

about 3 months ago
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Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

Sasayaki Re:Now think of the implications (649 comments)

> militant godbothering atheist

What? That makes no sense. It's like saying militant beef-eating vegetarian.

> Just imagine it: Some child asks Mr Jones in science class in some primary school full of 8 year olds whether God made the world. Jones gives a diplomatic answer. Little Johnny goes home and tells his parents. The next thing Jones hears is that he is now on a disciplinary charge for "teaching Creationism".

Yes. That is exactly what should happen.

If some child asks Mr Jones in science class in a primary school full of 8 year olds whether God made the world, Jones should say, "The verifiable, testable evidence suggests that this is not the case. See here and here and here. Some people believe that a supernatural being, such as God, Vishnu, or Ra did create the world -- they are entitled to their beliefs, but those beliefs do not stand up to scientific rigor."

This is the only reasonable position for a science teacher, in class, to take.

Imagine, for a moment, if some other part of the school curriculum was able to be influence by the religious beliefs of the teachers. Let me give a few examples:

History student: "Mr Jones, is it true that horses were introduced to North America in the 16th century?"
Mormon Mr Jones: "Horses were always in North America, as documented by Nephi in 590 B.C."

English student: "Mr Jones, is it I before E, except after C, or is that rule not taught anymore?"
Muslim Mr Jones: "Actually, Arabic words have holy power and a special relationship with Allah. It is the most holy language and you should write in that instead."

Maths student: "Mr Jones, if the train leaves at 5:30pm, heads west, and goes for months, won't it just circle the world?"
Hindu Mr Jones: "No, of course not. The Earth is flat, as told by NARASINGA PURANA. If you go too far west, you will fall off."

You think it's fine to let other religions do as you want Christianity to do? Let a teacher's religious viewpoints influence what they teach? That's insane.

> This is the intention. This is the design purpose of the law; to permit malicious local atheists to harass church schools.

No. It's not. The purpose is to stop lying for Jesus, where Christians -- slowly but surely confronted with the evidence that their worldview is a fiction -- resort to either deluding themselves ("I choose not to accept the evidence"), or worse, resort to indoctrination of children in order to validate their life-long beliefs.

> And why do people even want to teach Creationism? Because of all the atheists who did trolling tours of the bible belt sneering, "Science proves your religion is a lie! Har har!"

People want to teach Creationism because fundamental, Biblical literalists realized that if they didn't convince people that the Bible is real when they were children and highly susceptible to manipulation, they wouldn't accept it as adults because the tale is, frankly, ludicrous.

The cornerstones of Creationism are:

- Science and evidence are lies/conspiracies/not to be trusted.
- Faith -- believing in something in spite of evidence -- is a virtue and superior to believing in things because of evidence.
- Never change your point of view for any reason, no matter how overwhelming the evidence to the contrary.
- Because we don't know everything, this is justification to prove anything wrong. Except God.

> No society is well served by making ideologically-based denunciations possible.

Science isn't an ideology. It's a search for facts. It makes no moral judgements, no pronouncements, and has no dogma. It is simply facts.

> No society is well-served by trying to prevent members of the world's largest religion - which created our society - from running schools and teaching in them.

Here's a perfect example of why teaching Creationism in schools is wrong.

My initial reply to this question was: "The world's largest religion? You mean Islam, right?"

And then I thought -- no. I don't know that for sure. I should check that. So I googled it. Yep, Christianity is the world's largest religion. So what did I do then?

I changed my position in light of the evidence presented to me.

The truth is not a popularity contest. Even if the facts make you feel uncomfortable -- I, like many others, don't like being wrong -- the facts stand. They are what they are. I may not like Christianity being the dominant religion on this planet. I might love it. I might hate it. I might despise it with all my being and try, with everything I have, to undermine and destroy it at every turn.

None of that changes the fact of the matter, which is that Christianity is the dominant religion on this planet.

The evidence strongly suggets that the Earth was not created 6,000-10,000 years ago by a God. This is fact. It, too, many make people feel uncomfortable -- but the fact stands. The Earth is billions of years old. You might not like this. You might hate it.

It doesn't matter. It is fact.

Creationists don't care about facts. They don't want to know the truth. They just want to create more Christians, either through lying for Jesus or deluding themselves that they'll "eventually" be proven right, even if that has to happen after they die.

> The real story in UK schools is that Moslems are trying to hijack the schools in order to indoctrinate suicide bombers. So the government rushes into action and passes a law ... against the Christians. It's appalling.

I think it's hilarious how badly Christians are reacting to the idea that Muslims are infiltrating schools and influencing kids, indoctrinating them into a religion. They hate it because IT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT TO DO, just for a different religion.

So they're really just jealous that Muslims are doing it better.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Android 4.4 is named Kit Kat

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  1 year,28 days

Sasayaki (1096761) writes "News.com.au reports that the 4.4 release of the popular Android mobile operating system will be named after a brand name food, Kit Kat. This comes as a surprise, given that most pundits had suspected that the "K" iteration of the operating system, each version typically named after a dessert food, would be named Key Lime Pie.

Google and Hershey Co. are already working together to cross-promote the two brands, with special Android-branded Kit Kat bars and promotional tie-ins."

Link to Original Source
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Ridley Scott Loves Hugh Howey's Wool

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sasayaki writes "Hugh Howey's Wool, the self-published sci-fi story that's made him the best selling Indie sci-fi author of 2012 and currently the best selling sci-fi author on Amazon.com, has found its way into the hands of Ridley Scott (director of Alien, Prometheus and others)... who loved it. Rumour is the Hollywool movie will be coming to cinemas in 2013 or 2014. With Fifty Shades of Grey and now Wool getting the attention of Hollywood, it's clear the self-publishing revolution is here to stay."
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How To Get A Self-Published Novel Noticed?

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sasayaki writes "Hey Slashdot,

I'm a software engineer who's always had a passion for writing, a passion usually expressed in various play-by-email and text-based RPGs throughout the years. I've decided to turn my hand to writing a science-fiction novel, but now it's done and on the Kindle store I have to ask... how do you appeal to the sci-fi crowd, who generally rely on word of mouth to learn about what's hot and what's not?

I'd love to just say, "the story is good on its own merits give it time", but that's not good enough if nobody knows about it... has anyone had any success stories they wanted to share, or any advice?"

Link to Original Source
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How to Protect Your Audience From Yourself?

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sasayaki writes "I've recently self-published a naturalistic sci-fi book called Lacuna: Demons of the Void. I want to encourage fan-fiction and reader participation as much as I can while still offering the book for sale.

However, in light of stories like this, if my book becomes popular (okay, it's no Star Wars, but it's good!) I want my younger, more idealistic self to protect my audience from my older, more possessive self.

I've already released the first three chapters and prologue under CC-NC-ND, and a CC-NC-SA licenced universe bible is in the works to help fan-fiction authors and the like, but how can I do more?

Additionally, the Creative Commons licences seem to be a poor fit for what I'm trying to do, since they seem to apply to whole works instead of characters, plots and universes. Is there something better I can use? How can I do the right thing here?"

Link to Original Source
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Music From "You Wouldn't Steal A Handbag"... Stole

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sasayaki writes "Everyone knows that anti-piracy clip played on every home DVD, with its distinctive music, comparing media piracy to stealing a handbag, a car, etc.

It turns out the music used for that clip, written by Melchior Rietveldt, is not authorized for that use and was created for a small Indy film festival on behalf of BREIN, a Norweign anti-piracy group. He did not authorize its broader use and now seeks to recover approximately €1 million (at least) in potential lost revenue."

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Phelps Clan Tweets Intent To Picket Steve Jobs Fun

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sasayaki writes "Margie Phelps of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church today declared the church's intention to picket Steve Jobs's funeral.

A declaration sent via her iPhone.

The text read:

"Westboro will picket his funeral.He[sic] had a huge platform; gave God no glory & taught sin. MT @AP: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has died at 56.

2 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone"

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Interview with Trek author David Mack

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Sasayaki writes "The Star Trek Play By E-mail group Starbase 118 recently conducted an interview with David Mack, author of numerous Trek novels and associated works. The interview includes information on how to be a professional writer ("Marry someone rich"), how to write villains, and gives insight into the world of writing for Star Trek."
Link to Original Source
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Cyclone Yasi to hit Queensland

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Sasayaki (1096761) writes "Right on the heels of widespread flooding in the area last December, a massive Tropical Cyclone named "Yasi" is about to strike eastern Queensland. Yasi is classified as a Category 4, or approximately the same strength as hurricane Katrina.

The city of Cairns (population ~164,000) is directly in its path and has began evacuations.

News.com.au gives readers this blunt warning: "HUGE AND LETHAL: GET OUT NOW"."

Link to Original Source
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Hating the Google ToolBar

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Sasayaki (1096761) writes "I'm a software engineer working a technical support job (in a small town I don't have much choice) and one issue that comes up over and over again is our clients putting our 'Remote Assistance' web addresses into the Google Toolbar, apparently unable to tell the difference between it at the address bar despite clear verbal instructions via telephone. Has anyone else encountered this? Since our clientbase is extremely varied and often completely inflexible regarding change, removing the toolbar is not an option.

On a broader topic, is the "Google is the Internet" attitude a unique issue regarding browser layout or is it symptomatic of how computers have become so important to modern life that nearly everyone must have one to survive, even those who have absolutely no skill or desire to use them?"
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Firefox Automatically Disables Microsoft Addon

Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Sasayaki (1096761) writes "After it was revealed that the .net update to Firefox pushed through Windows Update left the browser vulnerable, Windows users today discovered that their browser had automatically disabled and blocked that addon (you could 'opt-in' again if you wanted). An interesting move- will Microsoft take it laying down?"
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Sasayaki Sasayaki writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Sasayaki writes "I recently purchased a Compaq Presario C500 notebook in Brisbane, Australia which came bundled with Microsoft Windows Vista. However, I wish to install Ubuntu as my Operating System. To that end I wish to reject the Windows Vista EULA which is presented to me when I turn on said notebook, yet I find there is no way for me to do so; when the EULA is displayed to me in the "Set Up Windows" stage of installation, I am presented with what I interpret to be a standard Vista EULA and then a second HP EULA. There is no obvious way to refuse either of these license terms; the only options I am presented with are two checkboxes (one for each EULA) and a greyed out button labelled 'Next'. The two checkboxes read: "I accept the license terms (required to use Windows)" and "I accept the license terms (required to use your computer)". Reading the second (HP specific) EULA carefully, it makes it clear that I cannot use this laptop without agreeing to the Vista EULA. Specifically, ".... YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS EULA. IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THESE LICENSE TERMS, YOUR SOLE REMEDY IS TO RETURN THE ENTIRE UNUSED PRODUCT (HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE) WITHIN 14 DAYS FOR A REFUND SUBJECT TO THE REFUND POLICY OF YOUR PLACE OF PURCHASE." Naturally (since I still have the notebook) I still have not accepted the terms of the EULA. I crawled Microsoft's website at www.microsoft.com, searching for some recourse for myself and those like me who wish to reject the EULA and receive a refund on the Microsoft Vista Operating System when I do not agree to the EULA's conditions, but did not find anything (unsurprisingly). Can any slashdotters offer any suggestions where I might go to receive said refund?"

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