NYPD's Twitter Campaign Backfires
Why are cops in cities terrible?
Is it because of bad apples? ( Maybe, but even good cops still do jerk things)
Is it because they have a lot of legal protection for bad behavior (maybe, but in the US you can get some restitution, and they can get punished)
It's really because police are just giant revenue generating machines for the city.
In order for a police officer to advance in his career, he is measured by the number of citations, summons, and arrests he has achieved.
And if performance is based on the number of bad things happening in your area, all of a sudden you see bad things happening everywhere.
A police officer does not get promoted for the number of old ladies he or she helps cross the street, the number of kittens retrieved from trees, or having effective patrols that result in zero incidences. They only get promoted for getting the high stats of bad actions.
And if police departments institute quotas, then you feel compelled to find a sucker (usually a minority or poor person because they lack the resources to fight back) to harass and induce them to break a minor infraction to get them into the station or write a citation.
Take away the performance metric of citations, summons and arrests, and you will have a much better police force who is delegated to truly being servants of the community rather than the rich and powerful.
Vikings' Secret Code Cracked
"...other translated inscriptions turned out to be playful taunts at the person doing the decoding."
Remember to drink your ovaltine!
A Math Test That's Rotten To the Common Core
While Bill Gates and others may talk about the declining state of education, there is a real movement by conservatives to use public money that funds education to enrich those who teach, by privatizing schools.
The Common Core is a strategy to standardize the curriculum across all the 50 states (which isn't a bad idea) but the people who write the standards and create the tests don't have our best interests at heart. By creating ludicrous tests, they are going to "prove" that the US students are failing terribly, especially those in public schools. Then there will be demands of reform, where they will promote pseudo public schools that use public funds ran in a for profit manner.
Once that happens, education which should not be a for profit enterprise, would be transformed into private enterprises that uses public funds to enrich companies like Pearson, Amplify, Thompson, etc.
Wired Youths In China & Japan Forget Character Forms
The Japanese call people who forget how to write characters "waa puro baka" which is a short way to say "Word Processor Idiocy".
However, even if today's youth are forgetting how to write on paper; the Japanese government has decided to revise the list of kanji Japanese citizens must learn to be considered literate. Thanks to IME's (input method editors) Japanese are starting to use hard to write Kanji more and more thanks to modern input systems.
Licensing an Abandonware Game?
First thing I did was emailed a few of the principal owners of the game, and told them about my intent, and asked about who holds the copyright and trademarks. I got the go ahead, with the caveat that another company owned the trademark to this particular game.
I also searched the web to look at other projects based on remakes. It seems that the best way to handle remakes of abandownare games is to not to bother the company that made it (especially if they're big like EA or Activision). The unwritten rule seems to be if you don't bother them, they won't bother you. Otherwise, they'll just say no and might put the kibosh on the project.
This should also be obvious, but don't sell the game. Just don't.
I never finished the game I was remaking since writing the tools to make it got laboriously time consuming.
Best Buy $39.95 "Optimization" At Best a Waste of Money
I can't speak for Best Buy calibration, but I have had my plasma TV ISF certified calibrated. The calibrator brought his 20,000 USD sensor, and his blu-ray (standard stuff you can buy/download) and calibrated my plasma through the service menu (not the regular settings menu); then he set the regular settings (contrast/tint/brightness, etc). He also had some gizmo that connected to my cable box STB and adjusted my colors for cable TV.
I've heard that stores like Best Buy might get some guy to use an LCD sensor like iDisplay or a Spyder and calibrate a TV that way using the standard PC software; that's not too bad but you can get the best results when they can adjust the (hidden) service menu options. However I won't pay 300 bucks for cheap device calibration. 350 is the average rate for plasma tvs calibrated by ISF certified techs. That is worth the money.
Is Console Gaming Dying?
The problem with the Wii according to the game dev is that it costs a lot of money to license the games. And if the game doesn't sell well, they won't recoup their investment. In fact EA and Ubisoft have stated that their general revenues make up for the poor sales of their Wii games.
As for the PC side of things, faster and latest gen cards are not a bad thing, but it will take a good year or two before a worthwhile game comes out that can take advantage of the capabilities without it being some variant of a shooter. I love games like Half Life (and a few of the mods) but I would prefer to see more variety now a days and I hope to see novel games that use 3d in a fun way. Something like Trine.
Is Console Gaming Dying?
I have an acquaintance who works in the console gaming industry, and based on his look at his market data, he has mentioned these points:
- Microsoft laid off huge swaths of internal game studios/developers, so they're limiting their output to only surefire titles for the Xbox 360
- Many major publishers prefer to sell games on consoles, pirating on the PC and the difficulty and expense of supporting PC users makes it less desirable
- The Wii is not a good console to publish for due to low sales. The only games that sell well are made by Nintendo, and Nintendo offers little help to third parties; and they have unusual rules as well. Most third party games tend to be shovelware.
- Major publishers have announced many exclusive games to come out for console only. PCs are considered too expensive to support.
- Though nvidia and AMD make their video cards faster and better, only a few independent development houses are interested in taking advantage of faster cards, like Crytek. He feels Valve software still uses old technology for a lot of its games, so faster video cards are not worth the money. Developers hate Unreal Engine 3.0 so Epic games won't get too far trying to get new licenses with major publishers.
- There will probably be many exclusive games for the PS3 since there are no pirated games for it (yet) and support from Sony is a little better than Microsoft. Though Microsoft has better development tools.
I don't agree with this guy on points but when I think about my own habits, I have bought more games for my console than my PC. The games I have bought for my PC have been mostly small games from indie publishers, the only excpetion being Fallout 3.
On the Wii and PS3 I have bought some of the downloadble games.
When I look at potential games for the PC to get, I look for RPGs or something unique that can't be done on console. But I don't see too many compelling games. And those that do look good often come to console first. PC games that are based on console games tend to be poorly programmed so I avoid those.
Berners-Lee Launches New W3 Foundation
What Tim needs is Hulk Hogan endorsing the new "WWWF!"
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