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New Study Fails To Show That Violent Video Games Diminish Prosocial Behavior

Shandalar Portal is not violent? (113 comments)

I think I died 500 times in Portal.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?

Shandalar Kids already know about the reveal, though. (726 comments)

Interesting order theory. But my kids have not seen any Star Wars movie yet, yet they know all about the vader/luke reveal because of all the merchandise they own. The tortuous order is unneeded. I plan to just ignore the existence of the prequels.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are Your Tips For Working From Home?

Shandalar Mod parent up (480 comments)

Not only will there be endless distractions, but your significant other may resent you being present but not helping around the house. Even a very intelligent and rational significant other can fall into this resentment, and probably will. I don't recommend it.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Is Online Engineering Coursework Viewed By Employers?

Shandalar Mod parent up. (201 comments)

Mod parent up. As an employer at a small business, if I value a four-year bachelors degree at a university at, say, a 10, then I would value a degree of the same name obtained online as about a 2, partially because of introp's observation that the quality is all over the place and is an unknown; and partially, I admit, due to personal unfamiliarity.

more than 2 years ago
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Code Cleanup Culls LibreOffice Cruft

Shandalar I'll stand up for "who cares". (317 comments)

Am I the only poster who will stand up for the response "Who cares"? The transistors analogy and, especially, the bridge-and-girders analogy, are just terrible analogies. To the customer, the cost of having legacy dead code sitting there on the hard disk is zero. The incremental cost of duplicating that dead code is also effectively zero. Software is unlike every other engineering problem for this reason. (And probably other reasons.) In other disciplines, it costs real resources and affects the working systems' performance if half of the material in the system overall is not used. Even if it were a problem, it's mitigated by, as mentioned above, the compiler not even compiling the dead code, in many cases. The actual cost is to those of us who have to maintain the code, or create new projects based on the code. As mentioned in other responses above, the learning time and workaround time is the bad part. But, we're basically paid by the hour, when it comes down to it, so wrap the code up and treat it as a black box and move on! Ship quickly! I know we all want elegance but our job, really, is to ship working systems quickly.

more than 2 years ago
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Should Book Authors Pursue a Patronage Model?

Shandalar Same as iPhone games (342 comments)

The iPhone game market caused the same race-to-the-bottom that appears to have happened for eBooks. Game developers make an median of $3000 per iPhone game, clearly not enough to sustain anyone but development teams who live in Tadjikistan. Oversupply made iPhone games a bloodbath, and it looks like it's the same for eBooks (but, I assume, far worse because it's easier to write a median quality book than a median quality iPhone game).

more than 2 years ago
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Xbox TV Launch Planned Before End of Year

Shandalar No, it doesn't. (81 comments)

OnLive has a built in latency problem that is impossible to solve, which would be universally rejected by the Xbox 360's user base of fast-action gamers.

more than 2 years ago
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Xbox TV Launch Planned Before End of Year

Shandalar My Kinect video experience (81 comments)

I watch Netflix and Hulu + using my Xbox+Kinect with a DSL link, which saves a lot of money compared to Comcast, the cable TV monopoly in my area, which I used to use until six months ago or so. My observations:

1. The Kinect is a detriment to my TV watching experience, not a benefit. About once every 2 or 3 nights, the Xbox will start fast-forwarding or fast-rewinding for no apparent reason. The Kinect software did it, either because my wife or I said something it interpreted as a command, or because the actors on the TV commanded the Kinect to do it. I'm told the Kinect software attempts to subtract the Xbox's audio output from the room's environmental sound, in order to prevent the latter; but in my personal experience it seems to happen sometimes anyway. I know it's the Kinect because my wireless controller turns itself off after a few minutes, and it's always off when this event occurs. By the way, the event does suck; it's not minor. It takes about a minute to fumble with the controller to turn it on and rewind to where we were. We don't use voice command for this because my wife and I are usually shouting or throwing things at each other, and voice command isn't amenable to panic situations.

2. I love this setup for the ability to watch our favorite series one-after-another without waiting a week for each new show. However, now that NFL football season has started, I miss football. A lot. The PS3 we also have next to the TV has a new NFL Ticket option, I'm told, but it's over $300 for the year, which I can't afford.

3. More minor point: About once per week, the Xbox used to display an unwanted Kinect UI at the bottom of the screen in response to me stretching my arms out, shifting my position, or otherwise moving a little whilst sitting on the couch. This problem was unintentionally fixed by my wife when she actually rotated the Kinect to point away from us, and to point right at the wall, because she is sure there is some network hack available that will let strangers use the Kinect camera to spy on us as we sit in our living room. (Yes, the kids rotate the Kinect camera back to face them when they play Kinect games.)

Although point #2 is the most pedestrian comment above, it's the most important one. Content is the killer app. Not voice command while watching TV. As msobkow posted above, I, too, have always heard complaints about being able to access content, and I have never heard anyone complain about not being able to use gestures and voice to control their television.

more than 2 years ago
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PS3 Counter-Strike To Support Keyboard and Mouse

Shandalar Half-Life 1 on the PS2, too (168 comments)

Gearbox, who ported the original Half-Life to the PlayStation 2, also made sure to include mouse and keyboard controls.

about 3 years ago
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Google Algorithm Discriminates Against Bad Reviews

Shandalar Does this affect the "santorum" ranking? (175 comments)

I wonder whether this will affect the rankings that appear when you google "santorum". The google bomb has been a sort of bad review of the guy, after all.

more than 3 years ago
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Mass. Gambling Bill Would Criminalize Online Poker

Shandalar WA too (296 comments)

Mod parent up. In Washington it is a *felony* to gamble online. Is it because gambling online is a much more serious crime than the misdemeanor of, say, punching a stranger in the face? No, it's because lawmakers want to keep receiving lobby money from the Indian casinos and small poker houses that are the established, profitable businesses already in the state.

more than 4 years ago
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8-Year Fan-Made Game Project Shut Down By Activision

Shandalar Activision did not acquire Vivendi. (265 comments)

Activision did not acquire Vivendi. The merged company retained the ATVI stock listing, and Bobby Kotick is running the company, true; but VU got more board seats than Activision. If anything, VU bought Activision.

more than 4 years ago
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Best Open Source Business Tools?

Shandalar Bad idea (164 comments)

You want legal forms generated by Phil Grognard from his basement? No thanks - I trust Phil (mostly) to write software that doesn't crash all the time, but I don't want him looking out for my legal interests, and I don't particularly believe that he understands, for example, the limits of nondisclosure agreements with regard to pre-existing works in my particular state. Just use the Nolo books. They are inexpensive, far less expensive than 10 minutes of an attorney's time (literally).

more than 4 years ago
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Hardware Hackers Create a Cheaper Bedazzler

Shandalar Mod parent up. (282 comments)

So they looked at the patent and created a version of the invention. Big deal. This is a sort of abuse of the term "open source", isn't it? It's burdened by the patent. Anyone marketing these things would be sueable - and for treble damages because they infringed on the patent willfully.

more than 4 years ago
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How To Survive a Patent Challenge?

Shandalar Form an LLC. (221 comments)

Get the Nolo book about how to form an LLC. Read it. Form the LLC. Transfer ownership of the application to the LLC and make sure this is unambiguous. Then have the LLC sell your software. Be sure to use the LLC in a clear and unambiguous fashion. Distribute profits to the members immediately upon receiving them. If a big awful patent challenge occurs and you can't afford to oppose the bad guy, then you can have the LLC declare bankruptcy and the big awful patent owner can't pursue the profits that you have already distributed to the members. Also, lobby your senators and representatives for software patent reform, assuming you live in the US.

about 5 years ago
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iPhone 3GS Is Number One In Japan

Shandalar You forgot the DS and PSP, both Japanese. (250 comments)

The DS is the foremost portable gaming platform. The PSP is #2. Everything else is distant. "What's not to like" is that iPhone games to date are weak, compared to the quality of DS games. The game systems you see on the train in Japan are DSs.

about 5 years ago

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