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Large Hadron Collider is a Time Machine?

gravos 88mph? (332 comments)

Is it really so difficult to get the atoms up to 88 miles per hour?

more than 3 years ago

Google Broke the Law, Say South Korean Police

gravos Re:anyone who believes Google did this by accident (203 comments)

Personally I am not a huge fan of gargantuan multinational corporations, so if Google loses billions over this it wouldn't really bother me. But judging from the thoughts of people I know who actually work at Google (as opposed to someone whose handle is FuckingNickName), it's unlikely that the engineer who wrote the code was intentionally violating any laws. Even if he meant to collect the data, he probably didn't realize the implications of doing so.

about 4 years ago

Why Creators Should Never Read Their Forums

gravos Re:If you're not going to read your forum ... (221 comments)

If you're not going to read your forum... don't have one. It's really that simple. If you do have a forum on your site -- any site -- then users have a reasonable expectation that you'll read it...

I think this is a rather silly perspective. I personally provide a chatroom and forum services for players of a game I wrote and have similar services for other software I've written. Sometimes other users answer questions, occasionally I do, and sometimes they go unanswered. There is no "reasonable expectation" that I personally will read anything: if that's what you want, you should find a commercial product and purchase support at a nominal hourly or per-incident fee.

Time spent reading forums is time not spent developing a product. Jeff makes a good argument in TFA that, in many cases, this is a good tradeoff.

about 4 years ago

Game Prices — a Historical Perspective

gravos Price is not the only factor to consider (225 comments)

Remember that even if the real price of new games rise, that doesn't mean a gamer is in a worse situation than he would have been in the past. Quite the opposite in fact.

Today you can play thousands of older titles for very low prices. There are probably 10 times as many freeware games available today as there were 30 years ago. You can get on youtube and watch "Let's Play's" of virtually every popular NES and SNES title for free. Many of these games are only surpassed by current titles in the graphics department.

In other words, it's a great time to be a gamer even if you don't buy a single "new" game.

more than 4 years ago

Epic Games Predicts Console, Mobile Convergence

gravos Follow the Money (104 comments)

From TFA:

What we’re seeing with the success of Madden, GTA and Call of Duty on iPad and iPhone is that big brands and big marketing, combined with high production values, creates mindshare that lets them stand out in a crowd. It’s a natural evolution. When the audience size and expected sales justify a publisher like Ubisoft to spend $15m on a TV advertising campaign for their latest Assassin’s Creed mobile app, they will. This will happen.

You'd think this is a joke, but no. Game companies often spend more on advertising than product development.

And this is why I hate commercial games.

more than 4 years ago

Game Reviewers Face Odd Bribery From Publishers

gravos Honest Game Reviews: A Procedure (148 comments)

I don't play games very often anymore, but I've found the easiest way to get an honest opinion of a game is to do the following:

  • Wait for a few months after the game is released (initial or pre-release reviews are always too positive)
  • Go to a game review aggregator site (metacritic, gamerankings, etc)
  • Start reading from the lowest-scoring review, up

That works well.

Reviewers who scored a game low were not compensated by the publisher, almost definitely had to buy the game themselves, and usually point out legitimate flaws instead of glossing over them. It's a great way to innoculate yourself against hype.

more than 4 years ago

Look For AI, Not Aliens

gravos Re:Intelligence always implodes (452 comments)

Is this your personal theory or is this elaborated on somewhere? I'm curious to read the source material, it sounds interesting.

more than 4 years ago

Quake Live Beta Ends, Optional Subscription Plans Added

gravos Re:So silly. Just remake Quake 3 already! (100 comments)

If Id just re-made Quake 3 Arena with updated graphics, but the same gameplay, same customizability, same map-making and mod-ability, 95% of the copies sold would be pirated, just like every PC game. Id probably wouldn't make a profit.

There, fixed that for you. Really, why does the average slashdotter think they know better than the people who do this for a living?

more than 4 years ago

Schneier's Revised Taxonomy of Social Data

gravos Asymmetric Information Availability (28 comments)

Indeed. The real problem with social data today is how asymmetric the availability is... If everyone's lives were 100% public all the time, it would just become the new norm and we would all adapt and deal with it.

But that's not the way it is at all: some people don't show up on the web, some people who don't know what they're doing end up with all sorts of permanent self-incriminating data, and those of us who know the score work hard to ensure we look good through every available channel.

It's this asymmetry that creates unfairness. If I know your dirty secrets but you don't know mine, I have more power than you do.

It's not so much the fact that all the data is stored that matters in this context (whether companies should be allowed to store the stuff without your permission is a topic for another day), it's that some people get it and manage their reputation and many people don't and are exploited. But life isn't fair, and I don't suppose that will never change.

more than 4 years ago

Canonical Begins Tracking Ubuntu Installations

gravos Test Your Bias! (548 comments)

Test your Free Software bias! If this article had the following summary, would you react differently?

"Just released as part of the latest patch Tuesday for Windows 7 (and we imagine it will appear shortly in Windows Server, too) is a new feature called microsoft-census, which marks its initial release. Curious about what this feature provides, we did some digging and found it's for tracking Windows installations by sending an 'I am alive' ping to Microsoft on a daily basis. When the microsoft-census update is installed, the program is to be added to the daily scheduled tasks to be executed so that each day it will report to Microsoft over HTTP the number of times this system previously sent to Microsoft (this counter is stored locally and with it running on a daily basis it's thereby indicating how many days the Windows 7 installation has been active), the Microsoft distributor channel, the product name as acquired by the system's DMI information, and which Windows release is being used. That's all that microsoft-census does, at least for now. Previously there haven't been such Windows tracking measures attempted by Microsoft."

more than 4 years ago

'Old School' Arcade Still Popular In NYC

gravos Staged Photo (177 comments)

The photo at the top was obviously staged. No girl would kiss any guy who hangs out in an arcade all day.

more than 4 years ago

Wipeout Recreated With an RC Car

gravos batteries should be on the sides (90 comments)

Seems like the thing would be prone flip over with the batteries mounted so high like that. Even if the width of the car was increased by mounting them on the sides that would probably help.

more than 4 years ago

Why NASA's New Video Game Misses the Point

gravos Real Life Generally Isn't Fun (205 comments)

The problem with making a realistic or educational game about anything is that real life generally isn't fun. Space, like everything else, is boring. It's mostly empty with a few rocks here or there, all moving in a very predictable patterns. Even the life of an astronaut is pretty boring, they mostly carefully follow checklists that other people have written.

Humans are programmed to enjoy a few kinds of very specific things. People are different, but in order to be fun games have to exploit some subset of the quirky things we enjoy. There have to be stories, characters we can relate to, frequently-changing visuals, interesting soundscapes, or worlds we feel like we have more influence over than the drudgery of our daily lives.

Welding? Not so much.

more than 4 years ago

How Will Contemporary War Games Affect Veterans?

gravos TFA is sorta right. Key: USE GOOD JUDGEMENT (288 comments)

I guess the point that TFA is trying to make is that WW2, Vietnam games are tolerated because those are OLD, long-gone wars that don't have much resonance with most people these days. It doesn't get portrayed in the media every day, etc, etc... But games set in unresolved warzones are more tricky because fight hasn't finished and people still have skin in the game.

That's true and all, but I don't think it means you can't make modern conflicts into games. It just means good judgement is much more important. You can't apply some formula, you have to actually think about how you portray each side and how people are going to react. You have to be careful, but there is still a lot of room for creativity.

more than 4 years ago

Valve Apologizes For 12,000 Erroneous Anti-Cheating Bans

gravos Actual email from Gabe (202 comments)

Here is the actual email from Gabe that was sent out:



Recently, your Steam account was erroneously banned from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

This was our mistake, and I apologize for any frustration or angst it may have caused you.

The problem was that Steam would fail a signature check between the disk version of a DLL and a latent memory version. This was caused by a combination of conditions occurring while Steam was updating the disk image of a game. This wasn't a game-specific mistake. Steam allows us to manage and reverse these erroneous bans (about 12,000 erroneous bans over two weeks).

We have reversed the ban, restoring your access to the game. In addition, we have given you a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2 to give as a gift on Steam, plus a free copy for yourself if you didn't already own the game.

To share your extra copy of Left 4 Dead 2 with a friend, you can 'Manage Gifts and Guest Passes' from the 'Games' Menu in Steam, or visit this article on the Steam Support site for detailed instructions: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=4502-TPJL-2656.

To access your own copy of Left 4 Dead 2, visit your library of games in Steam. If you didn't already own the game, it will now be listed among your others there, and is available for download immediately.

Gabe Newell
President, Valve

more than 4 years ago

Fly Eyes Used For Solar Cells

gravos PETA Blocks Alternative Energy Research (73 comments)

I can see the headline now:

PETA Blocks Alternative Energy Research

What, they use inflammatory headlines all the time, might as well give 'em a taste of their own medicine!

more than 4 years ago

DefCon Ninja Badges Let Hackers Do Battle

gravos Wireless is cheap, why so unpopular? (77 comments)

Now that wireless hardware is so cheap I'm surprised we don't see more of these made commercially. Why are there so few of those little handheld electronic games that have wireless connectivity? They could sell like 4 of em together in one package.

more than 4 years ago

Too Much Multiplayer In Today's Games?

gravos Publishers, publishers, publishers (362 comments)

The current environment encourages developers to unnecessarily toss multiplayer into their games without caring about it — or even considering whether anyone will bother playing it. It’s like they're checking an invisible quota box that demands multiplayer's inclusion.

Developers? No. The checking-off box mentality is created by the execs who look at past performance, market research, and all that boring stuff to come up with very specific ideas about what they want in a game. The developers usually have to build what the publisher asks for if they want to get paid.

Of course if you as a developer think you know better you can always strike out on your own, but most that do don't end up making much money. Thems the breaks.

more than 4 years ago


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