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Is Free Really the Future of Gaming?

daigu Re:All I Play Are Free Games (230 comments)

True enough. I am removed from mainstream game culture. But, I also pointed out a few kinds of games that I know most mainstream players have never tried. Presumably, there are a lot of games out there that even mainstream players don't know about.

And then when you talk about a new TV series like Battlestar Galactica, there are reasons to watch it. It explores modern ethical issues. It's more realistic. Whatever. Why it is a better recommendation than say another in the genre like Farscape or even other shows like Arrested Development? When you start looking over a decade, there are a lot of great shows that might be worth watching - that even regular TV watchers never saw.

Same can be said of music, film or any other cultural endeavor. If I said, "Hey, I spent the last 10 years listening to electronic music, what did I miss in country?" A country music fan would talk about all the great music that came out that they liked.

But interestingly enough, that doesn't seem to happen with games. The assumption is that gamers know all the games - despite the fact that there are many games, many platforms and few can afford (in time or money) to know them all. And in an age of Everquest, WoW and other games that require a lot of time, I'm willing to bet that my situation isn't even all that uncommon among mainstream gamers.

If you never played Halo 1 or 2 yeah, you probably won't be eagerly awaiting part 3. But there were plenty of people who were.

Again, I have no doubt this was true. If I was set-up for it, I would have bought new versions of Metal Gear Solid as soon as they came out. But, I'm left wondering what happens to those people that come in, mid-stream.

Anyway, this is just my thinking out loud. I don't have the time for most games these days, so I probably should just focus on those that meet certain requirements, turn-based or whatever.

Thanks for the feedback. I know it was a bit odd - or offtopic, and appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

more than 5 years ago
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Is Free Really the Future of Gaming?

daigu All I Play Are Free Games (230 comments)

It started when I reformatted my drive and started using Linux exclusively and gave up TV about 10 years ago. Up until then, I used to buy games and had game consoles around. I last remember playing Metal Gear Solid like a man obsessed and getting a sound beating or two playing Starcraft online.

On Linux, there were plenty of games - GNU Chess, Same Gnome and so forth. There was no buying any games for Linux at that time, so I learned to like these games a lot. I imagine people must have had a similar experience with Microsoft's Solitaire.

When I got married, my wife needed a Windows machine to access work applications, so we had a Windows machine and I could purchase games again if I were inclined. But, it just didn't occur to me to buy games anymore. I found free games to be more interesting in some respects because they didn't have money for graphics, so they focused more on other things. This isn't knocking professionally created games. In my experience they're great, I just wasn't looking for them at this point.

I tried playing games that won The Interactive Fiction Competition because I remember playing Zork back when I was young. I couldn't get into text adventures anymore, but I think it is worth exploring.

I had played Civilization before too. So, I tried freeciv, which led to other free turn-based games like Battle for Wesnoth and even returning to older games like Nethack.

I then went on to try independent games that you had to pay a small amount for, like those made by Positech.

I also tried Second Life and similar and found them to be glorified IRC chat rooms.

I'm getting into this history because I think it raises an interesting question. Why would anyone buy Halo III when they have never played the the first one? Particularly, if someone can buy the earlier editions for a fraction of their original cost now, and they would likely enjoy them as much as most people did the first time they played them, why not start there?

You may not be as extreme an example as I am, but I bet there are older games, free games or low-priced independent games that you have never played and would like. So, why are you buying the newest WOW expansion set (and paying the subscription fees) or HALO 3 - as soon as it comes out? Is it that you are so involved in these games? I can understand that because the one game I have purchased was Sid Meyer's Pirates - again, partially because I had played it before and liked it a lot. But, I don't want to assume that is true of everyone.

What about a new game? It's one thing to get the new Grand Theft Auto. It's another to get a totally new game. How do you decide to go with something just released - rather than buy something older that you haven't played before? Is it about having the newest and greatest in graphical features? What's the appeal?

Maybe you are such a hard core gamer that you've played most new games. But given the amount of time they require - is this really so? Maybe it is playing with friends, a la Quake. Maybe it's checking the review on Gamespot or Slashdot. Since I don't play them, I don't know. So was wondering if someone can offer a clue.

I guess part of my question is that I am looking at new things to try. I know there are a lot of good games out there that I haven't played. So, why would I be interested in these new models of game production or even new games? What do you suggest? What games do you think everyone should know? Is there a great game out there that you think most gamers have missed?

For example, I remember reading about one game in Slashdot where you are a pencil or something and you role around and things stick to you - something from Japan. I've also heard someone that taught for a year teaching English in Japan about a game where you try to run a bullet train on schedule. I suppose this also brings up the question of games from outside the U.S. and the English speaking world that don't necessarily require an understanding of the original language.

Anyway, this article just started me thinking, and I was hoping someone who understands it would be interested in explaining one of these points. Thanks in advance, if you do!

more than 5 years ago
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Man Robs Convenience Stores With Klingon "Batleth"

daigu Re:Enact the assault sword ban! (579 comments)

Personally, if someone is in my home without my knowledge, I wouldn't assume they were there to take my property. You don't know why they are there, and the safe assumption is that your life and the life of the people that live with you is in danger.

more than 5 years ago
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A Hacker's Audacious Plan To Rule the Underground

daigu Why didn't the FBI do the disruption? (313 comments)

Most illegal online loot was fenced through four so-called carder sites--marketplaces for online criminals to buy and sell credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and other purloined data. One by one, Butler took them down.

The obvious question: why didn't the FBI do this rather than set-up a honeypot site? I understand the focus on gathering evidence, but it is interesting the disruption isn't a more important part of the law-enforcement toolkit.

more than 5 years ago
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Stallman On the State of Free Software 25 Years On

daigu Re:Free NOT EQUAL TO freedom (367 comments)

Technically, anarchy is the absence of the state. You could still have mutually agreed upon restrictions and sanctions without a state. Pirate ships in the Carribean are a good example because they explicitly operated outside the law of states.

more than 5 years ago
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How Do You Stay Upbeat Amidst the Idiocy?

daigu Re:Maybe being upbeat is the idocy... (442 comments)

No, it's not going to happen because we'll see it coming and do something about it, like we have for everything ever.

Who, now, has an irrational belief? We do see it coming. I've explained the relevant facts to you, but instead of offering some kind of argument why these issues are not a concern, you resort to using the magic wand and the idea that humanity has seen everything coming, ever. Interesting.

Like you, I was unaware of these problems until recently. When someone explained it to me, I couldn't reject it for any rational reason. It seems like a sound argument. If you were able to provide some reason, not to be concerned, I'd go with that - but I'm not going with the magic wand argument that we'd know it was coming and do something about it. That doesn't match up with my empirical observations about how the world works.

The only thing I get out of it is that I might be slightly more prepared for these problems. I don't think it is a trivial thing to be more prepared, and I'd like other people to take precautions, if we do, then perhaps it might be a little less bad that it might otherwise be, or it might help in actualizing your argument - which is increase awareness to the point where we, collectively, do something about it. But, I don't have much hope that will be the case because of attitudes like yours - that people don't want to face the difficult facts that confront them until it is too late to do anything about it. Part of the problem is that it may very well be too late, right now.

more than 5 years ago
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How Do You Stay Upbeat Amidst the Idiocy?

daigu Re:Maybe being upbeat is the idocy... (442 comments)

They've always been declining, and yet at the same time we have centuries of reserve.

The first sentence is true. The second sentence is false. Take a look at the oil depletion on Wikipedia for a starting point. Here's the key:

The American Petroleum Institute estimated in 1999 the world's oil supply would be depleted between 2062 and 2094, assuming total world oil reserves at between 1.4 and 2 trillion barrels and consumption at 80 million barrels per day.[4] In 2004, total world reserves were estimated to be 1.25 trillion barrels and daily consumption was about 85 million barrels, shifting the estimated oil depletion year to 2057.

And that's total depletion. Want to consider what happens on the downward side? Take a look at oil consumption patters in the United States after 1970s for a clue.

You have an extremely different definition of the word "food chain" than any biologist I've ever heard.

Food supply chain. The fact that you never heard a biologist say it and what I meant is obvious from the context, this comment is simply asshatry on your part.

Sure I have; but what's the point since that's not going to happen?

It is going to happen. The question is when. It is obvious from the American Petroleum Institute figures and thinking about where the top of the production curve is going to happen that it's not far off.

Seriously, what do you get out of believing this crap?

What do you get out of ignoring inconvenient facts?

more than 5 years ago
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NASA Mars Rovers Hit 5-Year Anniversary

daigu Re:Take that flaky humans! (147 comments)

Perhaps part of the ISS science is figuring out the engineering and logistical problems of how human's can live for extended periods in space, which is a much harder problem. I'd say getting something so big into orbit, operational and supporting an onboard crew for more than 8 years is a significant accomplishment.

more than 5 years ago
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How Do You Stay Upbeat Amidst the Idiocy?

daigu Re:Maybe being upbeat is the idocy... (442 comments)

Your argument is bad. The fact that "[p]eople have been saying that since the beginning of time" is irrelevant.

The relevent facts are that, unlike the beginning of time until the 1850s when fossil fuels started to be used, we now live in a society predicated on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel resources are declining and will soon be very expensive. Everything in the food chain that relies on fossil fuels from fertilizers to the trucking to the keeping the freezers cold will be impacted. And have you considered what will happen when you can no longer get your food trucked in from thousands of miles away? Have you considered what would happen to the other billions of people on the planet who have no local agriculture or markets for their agricultural products? Not to mention every other sector of the economy. Or what would happen to your house if you weren't able to keep the inside above freezing? So forth and so on.

Of course not. You too busy trying to be fucking upbeat about it and telling yourself that some unspecified energy technology and energy infrastructure is going to come online and save you and your lifestyle.

You'd do well to re-read the fable of the ant and the grasshopper because winter's upon us, my friend.

more than 5 years ago
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How Do You Stay Upbeat Amidst the Idiocy?

daigu Maybe being upbeat is the idocy... (442 comments)

Try reading The Long Emergency or Kunstler's blog. While he's a little doom and gloom, the basic fact that we aren't living sustainably, and when the oil gets more scarce or environment starts getting all up in it, there's going to be a lag before any major energy change or sustainability movement is going to kick in - and it is likely going to require a significant reduction of the human population.

So, make sure you have some basic tools on hand and have done what you can to prepare. The next few decades are going to be interesting.

more than 5 years ago
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Using Speed Cameras To Send Tickets To Your Enemies

daigu Re:yeah great idea. (898 comments)

Putting the fakes on, driving through a light that just turned red, pulling off on a side road and removing the plates should take no more than 5 or 10 minutes. The chances of a cop pulling you over in that amount of time is close to nil.

I agree it would be monumentally stupid to drive around with the fake covering on, but then again, anyone smart enough to want to do this in the first place isn't going to do that for exactly that reason.

more than 5 years ago
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Personalized Spam Rising Sharply, Study Finds

daigu Re:Not just them (142 comments)

Aren't the people that work for telcos also citizens of this country? As citizens, it is our responsibility to make sure that the government does not over step its bounds. So, I think I'll remain pissed at them too, thank you very much.

more than 5 years ago
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Black Hole At Center of Milky Way Confirmed

daigu Re:OMG we are all going to die (392 comments)

Your contempt for arts students doesn't say much about art students, but it sure says a lot about you.

more than 5 years ago
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Saline Agriculture As the Future of Food

daigu Re:The present is the future (153 comments)

Yet, almost a billion people are currently hungry. This suggests a distribution problem - and systemic problems such as lack of subsidized food availability such as food stamps in the poorest countries.

more than 5 years ago
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Anathem

daigu Re:have a problem with made up words? (356 comments)

I generally agree with your statement regarding making up words. Typically, it is a sign of sloppy cliche thinking and someone trying to dress it up in semantics.

But I think you have to recognize that depicting a believable future sub-culture in a novel that you want to stand the test of time - that's a special case. You need to use language that won't become dated over time - eliminating the possibility of using current jargon. You also cannot use standard English because it misses conveying how differences of this future sub-culture. So, you have to make something up - particularly because standard concepts don't tend to cover what authors are trying to convey in this context.

Clockwork Orange is an excellent example of the technique. Even novels like Stranger in a Strange Land do it with some degree of success - and grok is a good addition to the language. On the other hand, using a cliched abortion of a word like Islamocfascist, deserves the limited lifespan it gets. It's a fine line, and we won't know whether authors that attempt it like Neal - whether they walked it successfully for a decade or two.

more than 5 years ago
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Interviewing Experienced IT People?

daigu Bad Question (835 comments)

You should be asking everyone the same questions - questions focused on specific objectives of the position you are hiring for and getting the candidate to explain how their previous work experience makes them the best qualified candidate for the job. It helps to understand how their previous organizations functioned, and it is also interesting to get them to explain the single biggest impact they made in those positions.

I think this is a good outline.

  1. One or two minutes for the candidate to give an overview of how they are prepared to take on this position.
  2. Go through their resume and make sure the candidate explains what they did for each significant position, how the organizations they were part of worked and their greatest impact there.
  3. Lay out each objective of the position and have the candidate relate what they have accomplished in their previous jobs that is most similar. Ask them how they might approach solving a problem or two that they are likely to encounter.
  4. A character question, such as tell me about a time when you were totally committed to something.
  5. A personality question, such as What are three or four adjectives that describe your personality. Get examples where this has been both good and bad.
  6. Give them an opportunity to make a closing pitch. Say, for example, we think you are a strong candidate (if they were), what are your thoughts now on this position?

During the course of the interview, you try to find out what kind of work type of the candidate (creative, builder, organizer, producer), communication style (driver, analytical, advocate, facilitator), their focus (internal vs. external and/or task, department, function, multi-function), whether their previous experience is comparable to the position, technical competency, whether you felt their were being forthright, etc.

Try to keep standard interview techniques in mind - such as getting the candidate to talk four times more than you, make sure you have some standard questions to tease out details about dealing with constraints, conflicts, their leadership style, their perspective on what others thought of their work (which you then cross-reference against their references), and so forth.

The key is finding the right person for the role. When a job interview becomes a personality contest or wanting someone you'll like, you've failed. Get a good interview technique book. Hiring the right people is the single most important thing you are going to do. Don't think any the advice you get here is going to be good. You need to carefully think this through, have prepared questions and do everything you can to make a good assessment. It's not an easy skill - and it is one you will pay for in the long run if you muck it up.

more than 5 years ago
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The Neurological Basis of Con Games

daigu Re:You can't con an honest man (218 comments)

The light that should go off in your head is - Who walks around with $3,000 dollars in cash in their wallet? Followed by, if it was one of those rare instances where perhaps someone had to make a big purchase in cash, who's going to be so careless as to misplace the wallet?

This ain't about rational thought.

more than 5 years ago
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How To Build a Web 2.0 Government?

daigu Re:comm theory (249 comments)

I'm sorry, but the medium fundamentally changes the message. One example among legions: a hand written thank you note on a good card that you took the time to mail after a job interview sends a completely different message than an email - even if the words used in both are identical.

Spend some time thinking about the last time complex emotions were conveyed using television. Try listening to this interview with Neil Gaiman that has a brief discussion about A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where something works over radio that doesn't work over television or in a movie.

Style and method of delivery are part of the content.

more than 5 years ago
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The Trap Set By the FBI For Half Life 2 Hacker

daigu Re:shouldn't be legal (637 comments)

If people came and wasted their time, they did so voluntarily.

They came because they were decieved, and if they were not decieved, they would not have wasted their time. That's different than voluntarily wasting one's time.

Suppose I were a contracter and my going rate for an hour of work is $150. If you invite me under false pretenses to talk about a nonexistent job for an hour, you'd get an invoice for my time. Maybe if you were a new client and we were not sure how we might work together, you might get an hour of time gratis, but we'd negotiate that up front based on who has vouched for you, whether I needed the work, etc.

Which leaves us with the question: Why is it that you feel like you can waste non-contract employee's time for free? It also leaves open the question of what means the government can employ to capture people it believes are criminals. Deception? Kidnapping? Where does one draw the line?

I think the matter is a bit more thorny that your post suggests.

more than 5 years ago
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Beating the College Bubble

daigu Re:Student Loan = Indentured Servitude (616 comments)

You are aware that your first sentence is describing fuedalism, which describes a set of mutual obligations between a king/queen and a vassal - typically for life. Indentured servants, by way of contrast, are a time limited contract with an employer that never conferred any sense of ownership of individuals and certainly not of any people related to them, such as their wives.

I agree with the latter part of your post. I studied philosophy at college, and while some people might view that as a vacation from reality, it was the best money I ever spent, well worth the time - even when I include the four years in the military I served to partially pay for it.

more than 5 years ago

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daigu hasn't submitted any stories.

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Good Advice

daigu daigu writes  |  more than 10 years ago

No stile of writing is so delightful as that which is all pith, which never omits a necessary word, nor uses an unnecessary one.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, December 7, 1808, to his grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson, p. 369, eds. E.M. Betts and J.A. Bear, Jr. (1966).

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