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When Rewriting an App Actually Makes Sense

WDot Re:Here's my short list (289 comments)

You could just put in a comment that says "This regex tests for an email address."

I've massaged if-else code into regexes before. Having several if-elses for a piece of data is rickety and (in my opinion) would take more work to rework than a regular expression if the data changed.

more than 4 years ago

Woman Filming Sister's Birthday Party Gets Charged With Felony Movie Piracy

WDot Re:Punishment almost fits the crime (705 comments)

I've taken my girlfriend to see both Twilight movies so far. It was a really rowdy crowd, with everybody cracking jokes and MST3King the movie and throwing popcorn at the screen. I'm not a huge fan of the Twilight series, but both times I saw the movie it was a lot of fun. I don't know who would sit silently through these films when there's so much to make fun of.

more than 4 years ago

Public School Teachers Selling Lesson Plans Online

WDot Re:Higher taxes needed (590 comments)

It's not always a problem with not enough money in the budget. Some schools manage budgets horribly. The high school I went to purchases all kinds of Smartboards and projectors and regularly-upgraded computers. Somehow, after buying all these expensive toys, they found themselves broke and had to cut wages, buses for high-school students, after-school activities such as drama club. Yet the tax levies they always try (and fail) to pass are never for what the community wants (wages, busing, drama club), they are for building new schools to replace the old ones!

It's not always so cut and dry as "why won't the community accept new taxes for the poor schools?"

more than 4 years ago

Will Mainstream Media Embrace Adblockers?

WDot Re:No problem. So what's the alternative? (417 comments)

Actually, I think the worst problem are ads that are ugly (like some fairly recent weight loss ones) or tasteless (Evony's barely-covered breasts). Give me some ads I'd actually want to look at.

more than 5 years ago

StarCraft II Delayed Until 2010

WDot Re:LAN (453 comments)

So if everyone is in the same room and the room does not have an internet connection, are we SOL or will it realize that we simply want a LAN game and leave it at that? Not all LAN's have an internet connection as well (for example, a LAN in a garage that can't reach a wireless access point) Sometimes patches and mods are transported via sneakernet.

more than 5 years ago

The Music Industry's Crisis Writ Large

WDot Re:The $250,000 economy car (554 comments)

Download prices are actually slightly smaller. Whereas an album may be anywhere between $12 and $18 (depending on where you buy it), Amazon regularly lists $9 and $10 albums (Itunes sits somewhere in between). That's not a huge difference, but it is a difference, and it's a lot better than the game industry, where the boxed copy is often less than or equal in price to the digital download.

more than 5 years ago

Can Video Game Accessibility Go Too Far?

WDot Re:Finally! (164 comments)

One of the most frustrating things with many fighting games are the ridiculously cheap final bosses. Soul Calibur IV is a recent exception, but I remember many games that required beating the final boss several times to unlock all the game's characters. This isn't terrible except that final bosses aren't particularly smart AI, they just have lots of cheap moves that make fighting them frustrating. I don't plan on playing in fighting game tournaments, I just want to mess around in the game with friends with whichever character I choose.

Honestly, I'd play a few bucks for DLC that simply unlocked all the possible unlockable content: characters, stages, modes, and other goodies instantly. I remember Guild Wars' PVP component allowed you to pay $10 to unlock all the spells and items instantly. This worked because Guild Wars PVP was more about skill and strategy than having the "BEST EVER" gear. Something similar for other games I think would be reasonable. I wouldn't always pay for it, but in some games I would.

more than 5 years ago

Indian CEO Says Most US Tech Grads "Unemployable"

WDot Re:outsourcing and unemployment (1144 comments)

If that's what you want me to answer to hire me, I feel a bit more confident about my ability to get hired. (: (Saying this as a Junior in CS).

more than 5 years ago

Researchers Find Gaps In Iranian Filtering

WDot Re:I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (156 comments)

As much as I respect the Iranians who protest, what's going on in Iran is a big example of why the US may be hesitant to protest: protesting is SCARY. One of the most watched videos on Reddit recently is a gruesome video of an Iranian girl being shot to death for protesting. I think a lot of people in the US just want to be left alone by the government. Is protesting the government worth risking your neck or your job? What about your spouse and children? It's sad, but that seems to be the case.

more than 5 years ago

The Perils of Pointless Innovation In Games

WDot Re:Damned if they do, damned if they don't. (260 comments)

They should listen to what their customers want.

For example, many Sonic the Hedgehog fans have been begging for a Sonic game with absolutely no innovation whatsoever, just pretty graphics and genesis-era gameplay. Sega acted ridiculous by announcing that Sonic Unleashed would be old-school Sonic gameplay--with the innovation that Sonic could now turn into a werewolf that punched things. Seriously, if somebody shoehorned in Sonic 2 game logic into a modern graphics engine, I wouldn't mind, just stop the innovation!

On the other hand, Half Life 2 Episode 2 felt pretty stale, especially compared to the rest of the Orange Box. Episode 1 was exciting because Alyx Vance felt chillingly like a real person, so I didn't mind playing what was basically more HL2 levels. However, the innovations in Episode 2 were mostly graphics and animation related, the one gameplay change (the "strider buster") was too minor and came too late in the game to make the game feel fresh.

If a publisher asked its customers whether it wanted innovation or just rehashing in several upcoming titles, they'd find that the answer really depends on the title.

more than 5 years ago

Review: Lord of the Rings: Conquest

WDot Re:Probably because it has nothing to do with LoTR (68 comments)

I do seem to remember some short guy in the books (probably a kid) that had some hardware that could turn him invisible, but he couldn't kill for crap and he was always being harassed by this monkey-goblin.

more than 5 years ago

Do Game Demos Have an Adverse Effect On Sales?

WDot Buggy game demos == Lost sale (178 comments)

I remember downloading the Bioshock demo when Bioshock first came out and discovering that it I would get a BSOD about a couple minutes into it. I remember downloading the Timeshift demo and discovering that the executable wouldn't even... execute. I remember downloading the Unreal Tournament 3 demo and having to spend a couple of hours searching forums and playing with obscure settings just to get it to run.

The only game out of those three I bought was UT3. However, Epic seems to have considered UT3 PC as a sales failure. Is it any surprise that sales are lost if the company is unable to provide a demo that even works?

The two best demos I ever played were Doom (obviously, a third of the game is not a bad demo) and Unreal Tournament 2004, which provided 1 map for every single game mode except the new one (Onslaught) which had TWO maps. Not only that, but there was not one but TWO demo releases, the second fixing bugs and adding content. Is that good business sense? I don't know. I played the UT2004 demo for a LONG time, but I was 17 and penniless, so I don't think I'm a good sample.

more than 5 years ago

Abused IT Workers Ready To Quit

WDot Re:Severe lack of respect for IT (685 comments)

I have a question--how do I estimate the time it takes me to do a particular task and communicate that to my employer?

In my first internship (as a programmer, not an IT guy) I was asked often how long I think I would need to do a particular task, and I usually had no idea because I had not done something like it before. I would be noncommittal about it, work to get the job done, and get derisive comments from my employer about how he would have had the job done much faster. Perhaps he was correct, but I took as long as I personally needed to get the job done. How do I resolve these communication issues?

more than 5 years ago

Resurrecting Old Games, What Works?

WDot Make the experience better. (381 comments)

You don't need to do much to the graphics of an old game--if it was reasonably detailed to begin with (SNES and beyond) just "rez up" the sprites or 3d models so that they look sharp and crystal clear in HD. That's what the Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix did, it works. Honestly, that's all Katamari Damacy would need if ported to a modern console.

Sound you can probably do even less if it was just beeps and boops. Just keep the beeps and boops. If there was actual recorded sound, rerecord or remaster it so that it sounds clearer, don't play with it.

As for the controls/gameplay, keep the basics the same, but if there were quirks that were clearly because of the limitations of the hardware, take them out. If Goldeneye was being remade, why force people to use one thumbstick instead of two? Why have laser pellets disappear after 2 inches or have enemies respawn simply because the console didn't remember they died? That might result in some games being easier, but I'd rather play a challenge that was designed as a challenge, not a hurdle that was put up because the console it was first programmed for had 10KB of RAM.

more than 5 years ago

The Slippery Legal Slope of Cartoon Porn

WDot Re:SCOTUS and drawn CP as actual CP (933 comments)

The Daily Show's "America (the book)" has a 2 page spread that depicts the Supreme Court of the time completely nude. It's eye-burningly hideous, but it's there if you really want Rule 34 on SCOTUS.

more than 5 years ago

What Carriers Don't Want You To Know About Texting

WDot Re:Correlation (570 comments)

I disagree. To get the equivalent of a text message in a short call, I would have to say "My plane landed safely in Phoenix, I love you, bye," and then hang up before they have a chance to respond. I use phone calls for conversations, even short ones. However, if I can fit the entire conversation into 160 characters, I use a text message instead.

I, like almost everyone else on Slashdot, think that text message rates are exorbitant, but I have no room to talk since I signed up for a plan. Yes, I'm a "feckless youth" like conureman says, but I pay out of my own pocket for my plan. I justify it to myself by saying that I'm paying for convenience, and I am.

more than 5 years ago

Chemical Pollution Is Destroying Masculinity

WDot Re:What does the drop in sperm count imply? (773 comments)

Thanks. I've never taken college Biology, so your post certainly fixes a couple of misconceptions I've had about conception. (:

more than 5 years ago

Chemical Pollution Is Destroying Masculinity

WDot What does the drop in sperm count imply? (773 comments)

Whether it's 150 million sperm or 60 million sperm per milliliter, isn't that still a hell of a lot of sperm? Or will we suddenly have to worry about (or celebrate) a reduction in children conceived?

more than 5 years ago

American Nerd

WDot Re:Those are america's problems (240 comments)

I don't think it's the problem in America it once was. I graduated from high school in Spring of '07. In my high school the nerds/geeks were either left alone, sought after for homework help, or treated just like anybody else. The most nerd bullying I can remember was a bit of occasional verbal abuse in middle school, but people grew out of it.

Video games now are especially not considered a geek thing anymore. Obviously the popularity of Halo, Madden, Guitar Hero, and Call of Duty have cemented that, but I can even remember going to a party hosted by one of the "popular kids" and even he couldn't resist joining in some pickup fighting game tournaments. Fighting games are definitely nerdy compared to Guitar Hero, but that didn't stop him.

I think the trend of nerdiness becoming socially acceptable is only going to increase. My little brother is an epitome of nerdiness--his computer is an old laptop that runs linux, DWM, and a firefox extension that makes his browser feel like vi. He plans on majoring in math and he competes in the AMC/AIME/USAMO. He also regularly gets calls from girls asking questions or inviting him to parties.

Today the US has no problem with accepting nerds, as long as they can be the least bit sociable.

As for the definitions of "dork," "geek," and "nerd," it's a waste of time. I thought about it for a while, came up with objective definitions that clearly separated them, but found out that even I didn't use my definitions with any consistency.

more than 5 years ago



Are you nostalgic about software?

WDot WDot writes  |  more than 5 years ago

WDot (1286728) writes "I'm not talking about video games--that's its own separate topic. But do you miss any applications that were perhaps built for older hardware, or dropped by the developers, or even developed by companies that are now defunct? I'd like to learn a little history about "classic" software, but the only thing that comes to mind that I would feel "nostalgic" about is the After Dark series of screensavers. What about you?"


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