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FTC Drops the Hammer On Maker of Location-Sharing Flashlight App

Sparton Re:This app never seemed necessary (187 comments)

There is a way to "self censor" the app, which is to download it, mark it 1 star and give a crappy review. Enough people do that, and the app fades into obscurity.

Depending on how the store works, downloading to crappy rate it may just boost it's popularity, which gives it more visibility, not less.

At least, that's how it works on the Apple App Store (which I believe has popularity which uses downloads/time, and grossing which uses revenue/time). Not sure if Android's equivalents use that or just have lists that are just based of ranking alone.

about 10 months ago

Apple Now the World's Most Valuable Brand, Knocks Off Coca-Cola

Sparton Re:At the rate they are going..... (208 comments)

Apple has sold over 600 million ios Devices.

I'm sorry, you were saying?

600 million devices in the states? Or worldwide?

about a year ago

Apple Now the World's Most Valuable Brand, Knocks Off Coca-Cola

Sparton Re:Obligatory Steve Jobs quote (208 comments)

The 5 and 5s have the exact same dimensions so cases are interchangeable.

Same dimensions, not necessarily same button positions.

At least, the 4th gen iPod Touch I had doesn't have the same volume button positioning as the new 5C. Perhaps the 4/4S iPhones match the 5's, but the subtle difference in my case meant the case couldn't be closed without attempting to crush the volume buttons (which would be quite worthless).

about a year ago

GTA V Proves a Lot of Parents Still Don't Know or Care About ESRB Ratings

Sparton Re:Some people... (621 comments)

There isn't anyone better than the parent to decide what his/her kid can handle.

Is that so? I don't think you're as categorically correct as you state.

(Pardon the terrible wikipedia page; the point is in the concept, not necessarily the content of the page, and all Google is returning for me is Canadian pages that seem to be too Canadian-centric.)

1 year,5 days

Comments About Comments

Sparton Re:No More Anoymous Moderating. (276 comments)

Moderators should be identified.

I disagree. Moderators who must be identified would just lead to harassment of moderators. There's always going to be asshats who moderate stuff down they disagree with (and I doubt every asshat who does that being exposed for doing that would change their tune), but I'd foresee that exposing the handles of moderators would be like not allowing anonymous posting; it'd try to cut down on the problem, but also cut out a lot of moderation that doesn't follow the conventional groupthink.

Much like commenting, at least the choice of moderating anonymously should still be kept (at least for Slashdot's method). Similar to non-anonymous posting, though, non-anonymous moderations being weighted differently could be a possible avenue for improvement.

1 year,6 days

Gabe Newell Talks Linux As the Future of Games at LinuxCon NA

Sparton Re:Guess that's why Valve is so behind Linux (369 comments)

The link he posted showed a grand total of 23 games.

For what it's worth, that search link doesn't filter at all when viewing the page with NoScript (it just shows a list of... all of the games on steam, I think?).

1 year,13 days

Gabe Newell Talks Linux As the Future of Games at LinuxCon NA

Sparton Re:Guess that's why Valve is so behind Linux (369 comments)

How did the parent get to +5 Informative? The GP said...

almost all their newer games like Portal 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive weren't available on Linux

...which is two of Valve's five most recent games, and they're not on this list.

When the only recent games a company releases on a platform are a free-to-play game and a sequel, I think it's safe to say said company isn't taking the platform seriously.

1 year,13 days

NJ Court: Sending a Text Message To a Driver Could Make You Liable For Crash

Sparton Re:Idiocracy (628 comments)

How about this:

It is illegal for a person (call him Fred) to drink while driving, but nobody would argue that giving Fred (who is over 21) sealed beer to take home with him with the intent of him drinking them later, and then Fred choosing to drink the beer while in the car on the way makes you liable.

It's almost a perfect analogy of the original scenario, and it shows how this DOES in fact, strip the actual person responsible of their moral responsibility.

Except this isn't a perfect analogy.

The judge ruled:

that a person sending text messages has a duty not to text someone who is driving if the texter knows, or has special reason to know, the recipient will view the text while driving.

The key is "if the texter knows, or has special reason to know, the recipient will view the text while driving." As in, you know or have reason to know that you are putting the recipient at risk.

So the perfect analogy would be as you describe only if you add the knowledge that the gifting person knows Fred has a history of drinking and driving and knows that he will do so with the beer you've provided, or that Fred mentioned he will drink it as he's driving.

Knowledge that the risk is (or almost certainly is) increased is key. This does go hand in hand with reducing the responsibility for a given party to less than 100%, but it is not the completely stripping it that you have stated.

about a year ago

Better Factories Through Role Playing

Sparton Re:The Marine Corps Called... (160 comments)

Well clearly it requires materials and effort.

But when the first caveman skinned a bear and sat on it he didn't make anyone else's arse any colder.

Except for... you know, the bear.

For some people, that doesn't matter. For others, there's concerns about the long-term that may not be obvious; for example, the survivability of the bison... I mean bear.

about a year ago

Nintendo Hijacks Ad Revenue From Fan-Created YouTube Playthroughs

Sparton Re:Their Game, Their Content (297 comments)

If a video of somebody playing a game is a good, or even adequate, substitute for that game, I think that it's fair to say that the game must really suck, badly.

Some games aren't trying to be good games, or at the very least aren't defined by good gameplay. The Uncharted series is a good example; a lot of people don't care about the gameplay, but the story (and it's execution while playing) is considering quite enjoyable. Watching a video of a game will never be a perfect substitute for playing it, but it can be good enough for some people, and that shouldn't speak poorly of the game itself if it's trying to be entertainment outside of just being game-y.

about a year ago

Florida Teen Expelled and Arrested For Science Experiment

Sparton Re:Playing the race card again (1078 comments)

Erm, there may be a whole host of differences, but there's no point ignoring the fact that:
- it's pretty easy to find lots of pairs of cases where the circumstances are very similar, but the punishments are different, and the black kid gets the more severe punishment

If it's so easy, why do we get stories like this one that compare non-violent punished case to resulted-in-death non-punished case? If we're supposed to compare apples to apples, we've got some really different fruits here, at best.

about a year ago

Microsoft Game Director Adam Orth Resigns Following Xbox Comments

Sparton Re:Fantastic. (261 comments)

With all the negative PR that this whole mess is generating, wouldn't Microsoft want to publicly contradict what he said if it wasn't true?

But then anything they don't publicly contradict you'd know (or at least rightfully assume) is true. That's why companies don't want to comment on speculation or rumor; they have little to gain for positive news and much to lose for negative news.

about a year and a half ago

Video Game Industry Starting To Feel Heat On Gun Massacres

Sparton Re:The Stupidity, It Hurts! (1006 comments)

Can't let people hurt themselves, now can we?

Not when there's sufficient risk they will cost others, yes (stealing to support habit, health insurance costs, psychological issues for friends/family).

In theory, letting people do whatever to themselves is fine. In practice, connections run deeper than that.

about a year and a half ago

Can Valve's 'Bossless' Company Model Work Elsewhere?

Sparton No, but... (522 comments)

The short answer is no.

The long answer is probably no, as you need a certain mix of incredibly talented people with very specific attributes. Valve is notorious for only hiring the absolute best, going for those with wide specialist knowledge (but shallow knowledge of all other aspects of game development... some kind of "T" metaphor is used by them?), and ensuring everyone they hire can be an effective leader/is capable of following an effective leader when needs be. And you can't just have a few people with those attributes; everyone in the company has to be like that.

If you can hire only people that meet the above qualifications, then sure, you could make another Valve. But it's a very difficult (or at least expensive) proposition, and no doubt incredibly challenging to scale.

about a year and a half ago

Tech Leaders Encourage Teaching Schoolkids How To Code

Sparton Re:Great video, but will it help... (265 comments)

You have to have the combination of love of creating things, along with the desire to know fiddly technical details of things, and then also on top of that constantly be solving problems layered in other problems.

That sounds like an abstract, but adequate, description of how many genres of games function, though (4X, simulation, puzzle, RPG, to name a few).

I ended up as a Game Designer. It's what I really enjoy doing (even though I didn't know it was a valid career path until right at the end of high school), but I would have definitely considered programming if I knew it was an actual thing, especially since their pay/job security is way better than my career path...

about a year and a half ago

Tech Leaders Encourage Teaching Schoolkids How To Code

Sparton Re:Cheap labor trained with tax dollars (265 comments)

Having said that, if they really wanted to solve the problem, they'd try to educate Human Resources better[...]

That is what their proposal of teaching kids from school basic programming would do, yes?

I know lots of people view HR as an obstacle, but they are people too, you know. :P

about a year and a half ago

The End Is Near for GameStop

Sparton Re:I doubt it (393 comments)

There is only one group that benefits from the console system today, the game publishers.

And, you know, game makers, since a more stable and known platform to make things for makes for less development headaches for supporting whatever bizarre way people could have their PC set up for.

So after you add that to publishers, and as other people who've replied to you have noted advantages for consumer consumption (larger screen for viewing, subjectively better controls, less upgrade costs over time to stay on top)... doesn't everyone benefit from consoles, aside from people who just don't like consoles? And that segment of "everyone" (while not of course being everyone) is more than enough of people that they're a useful construct?

about a year and a half ago

Xbox Originator: "Stupid, Stupid Xbox!!"

Sparton Re:Engineering vs Marketing (245 comments)

Perhaps we are seeing the difference between the product as conceived by a visionary and the product as delivered by Marketing.

Being a game developer myself, I think it's more likely that he's just used to the "code name" version/spelling than anything. It's sorta hard to change what you call the thing you've been working on for months/years to something that probably was decided much closer to the end of that period.

That, or maybe it's his spelling that he likes to use, even if it didn't get traction with many others/anyone else in the company. Just means that he's also wrong, not absolved of all wrongdoing just because he was part of the creation process.

about a year and a half ago

Xbox Originator: "Stupid, Stupid Xbox!!"

Sparton Re:Primary Problem? (245 comments)

Actually, the thing I hate, in any modern game on any platform, is 'press start'. Why the fuck do games still have video arcade-style attract screens?

Off the top of my head, Prototype 2 did it right; it loads your most recent save and starts playing it in the background under the menu. When you click 'continue,' the menu simply goes away and there you are.

To my knowledge, it's because it's a standard mandated by one (or more) console holders. Since publishers don't like paying for platform-specific stuff they don't need to, the convention holds... and in all honesty, I think the main three all have some kind of guideline along those lines anyways.

There is some seriously inane shit platform holders will call you on to certify the game will be allowed to run on their device.

about a year and a half ago

Student Expelled From Montreal College For Finding "Sloppy Coding"

Sparton Re:My Ass (633 comments)

If you stumble onto a defect in an information system while developing an application front-end to that system, there is no unauthorised access.

The issue is, according to TFA:

Two days later, Mr. Al-Khabaz decided to run a software program called Acunetix, designed to test for vulnerabilities in websites, to ensure that the issues he and Mija had identified had been corrected.

Harsh? Yes. Despite that, he should have tread more carefully, I'd say. As nice as finding and communicating the issue is, he should have known that trying to access whatever it was when he was obviously known by said company (and as such being watched) was going to put that company on edge.

about a year and a half ago


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