top Windows 8 Killing PC Sales
Games are still primarily console driven (with a few notable exceptions); so they are still targetted at decadish old technology like directX 9 with cosmetic bolt on DX10/11 upgrades for their PC versions. That and as someone later notes, toss in an SSD and a modern graphics card, and a 6 year old computer has very few bottlenecks until you are trying to drive multiple mointors at 1080p for call of battlefield duty .
There are very few reasons to have moved beyond XP in the windows space, except for it end of lifing and to be able to see prettier textures in games... that being said, there are no reasons to move on from Windows 7 yet (hell, most large corporates have barely even moved TO windows 7, let alone from...).
Microsoft have certainly strangled themselves to death on the doorknob whilst wanking this time round. Whoever thought sticking a touch centric interface on desktop PC's is the stupidest person born into their generation.
Just my $0.02
err! jak. about a year and a half ago
top Using Winemaking Waste For Making Fuel
You can have my Grappa when you take it from my cold, dead hands; HIPPIE!
Use corn, thats easy to grow and would just be wasted on feeding poor people otherwise!
top Why Microsoft Killed the Windows Start Button
I use the start button about once every 5 minutes. Since my desktop is completely-clean of any icons, the start button is the only method I have to open new programs. Microsoft is probably lying through their teeth about "people don't use it".
Or, perhaps, it is completely true for the subset of win7 users who didn't opt out of the customer experience improvement program?
TFA notes that the telemetry from which this decision was made was from the customer experience improvement program; you *did* read it first, right?
It is possible that the set of users who did not opt out strongly represented users who pin everything they use to the taskbar. Hell, the 19 most used apps of mine are pinned to the taskbar on my windows box and there is still half a screen of air for running apps to appear on. My start menu is regularly used for the search function.
Personally, I am not bitching. Its a change, I'm not certain it is superior in a mouse/keyboard environment but I would not call it inferior to the start menu.
Anyway, to my point. Those of us who opted out (me included) actually voted not to care about influencing interface design decisions. Even if we did not realise this was out vote.
This is ithaca railway stuff, the tyranny of small decisions, we protected our right to privacy by opting out of the system used to gather data about how the UI is used. Therefore our preferences were not able to be counted.
There is a charming americanism (amongst many less so), 'If you don't vote, don't bitch!'. So before you whine about removal of the start button, first check wether or not you bothered to include yourself in the decision.
Of course, this assumes that the 'don't use start menu' group is strongly represented with the improvement program group and the 'do use start menu group' is strongly represented in the opted out group. My theory here being that power users with complex usage needs are more likely to opt out (for all kinds of sound, logical arguements...) and, therefore, not be counted.
Just my $0.02,
top Why PCs Trump iPads For User Innovation
Oops, logging in first would have been wise; I claim the above... karma punishment or reward as appropriate.
Clearly I 'don't know' very much myself!
top Military Set To Develop Smart, Robotic Cameras
Mostly true, but digital devices almost certainly would not suffer inattentional blindness/deafness; so are more trustworthy when any chance of having an invisible gorilla moment is unacceptable.
Just my $0.02,
top Inside Australia's Data Retention Proposal
Current government is incredibly totalitarian in its data retention and censorship policies, but is funding the rollout of a national fibre broadband network... making the task of achieving their former policies definately non trivial and probably impossible...
Other side is lead by a foaming at the mouth christian but we dont quite know where they sit on censorship and data retention (although we can perhaps add one and one there...), but they will cancel the funding of the national broadband network... making sure we get stuck wandering around with out pants around our ankles as the former state owned monopoly continue to monopolise telecommunications and, coincidentally, make sure it is slightly less impossible to implement a totalitarian information dictatorship.
The real question; is a giant cluster of fat glass pipes enough sugar to make me eat a guaranteed dose of big brother or risk a possible dose of bush scale christian extremism along with the bigbrotherness that accompanies it... or are there other issues to decide this election on (we haven't seen them roll out this terms big wedge issue yet, although there are a few hints).
Perhaps we could use a third party?? No, USA, we dont want to borrow Nader!
Damn democracy, pity all the alternatives are even crapper! just my $0.02. err! jak.
top Aussie Attorney General Says Gamers Are Scarier Than Biker Gangs
Indeed... If a person placed a note under my door threatening my family in the middle of the night would be cause for concern regarding the behavior of deranged and possibly violent people who stalk my house. I just do not see what this has to do with gamers. I can't think of any way in which the alleged commission of any crime can be caused by your enjoying video games.
I mean, they arrested a shotgun wielding bandit in Adelaide recently and he had a drivers license and lived in a house... so are we to be scared of drivers and people who aren't homeless now because they will all shoot us in the face with a shotgun??? or should we perhaps reserve that particular fear for shotgun wielding bandits regardless of their hobbies?
It is a gross overstatement to tar all people who share a hobby with the acts of a single individual who claims to share that hobby but cannot prove it.
I could go on to discuss the base rate fallacy in this context but I feel my point is made.
top How Can I Contribute To Open Source?
Simply listing ALL software that is used, the vendor and the cost. This is then not an endorsement, simply informing the public.
If it happens that alot of the software is open source and cheap, then that is just fact; not endorsement.
Just my $0.02
top First Look At Latest Ion-Infused Asus Eee PC
yep. my main is 12", so >=10" does not a netbook make.
Spot on... if the form factor of the netbook is much larger than my moleskin then I cant carry them both in the same hand and will have to start encumbering myself with bags and crap. 9" is ideal, 10" is acceptable... 12" is approaching the size of my huge arse slate... just not readily portable unaided and regular notebooks already well serve this portion of the marketplace.
just my $0.02
top Modeling the Economy As a Physics Problem
1) as people get wealthier they don't need as many children to "run the farm", so to speak. They in fact become an economic liability.
Actually, it is as excess agricultural production increases labour is freed up from the demands of subsistence and can now be deployed to other activities. This eventually leads to the creation of 'wealth' by trading that excess labour created by excess food. The rest, health care, sanitation etc; these are just engineering solutions to maximising the effectiveness of urbanisation.
Well, that is a gross simplification; still... economies have grown on this basis for at least 3,000 years.
The problem is we don't have another paradigm... and if climate change (man made or otherwise), population growth (well, this has to be man made) or some other factor starts to reduce the excess agricultural production; well, then, those of us who aren't farmers will no longer be able to get the food required to keep us off the farm and being useful in other areas...
Just my $0.02 err! jak.
top Modeling the Economy As a Physics Problem
...the map is not the landscape.
This is a compelling model in that it significantly differs from the form of modelling used in Macro economic forecasting, which makes it useful for debate.
This is still, however, a process model that grossly simplifies the system and is therefore subject to the same limitations as all models; that they are not reality. You can use them to determine relative weightings between different situations but cannot use them to predict the future.
I applaud the concept of introducing different modelling techniques into economic (indeed any) debate; but do not make the mistake of drawing long term conclusions from the results of any one technique, no matter how appealing.
The sad thing is that Academic publication is so insular that a paper such as this did not get play in economic journals... in the same way that an economists take on super symmetry would never get published in a physics journal. The mono-disciplinary goggles that most journals apply is the real danger to progress in almost every field of science. It is more important that we consider the merits of the views and arguments of those who disagree with us than wrap ourselves in a comforting blanket of people who agree with us completely, as they do not inform us.
Just my $0.02.
top We Really Don't Know Jack About Maintenance
and the sentiment is no less true.
My observation is that we shaven monkeys that make up the human race are fundamentally incapable of maintenance in any sense. Rather than maintain something in as-new functional condition (maintenance) so it does not fail, we choose to either fix it (fixenance) or replace it (buyenance) when it does.
A factory that makes plastic widgets is just as likely to make these same mistakes in relation to their machinery.
Just my $0.02
top App Store Developer Speaks Out On Game Piracy
The key point missing here is how many actual transactions that 20% of non pirates represents. That such a large proportion pirated it is interesting, but is there any harm? is there sales diversion (I think we may safely assume that someone who is willing to circumvent a fee of $3; $2 now apparently; can never be considered a lost sale; granted there may be a small subset who live in a region it isnt offered for sale or do not have a means of payment acceptable to iTunes.)? or is this noise obscuring the real signal, did the effort of developing the app and submitting it to iTunes store pay off?
It might be that an 80% piracy rate is a broadly unavoidable part of the system; are the two even comparable sets of data or do 100% of people who have heard about it and are willing to pay for stuff buy it and 100% of idiots who have heard of it and like to fill their phone with a bazillion things for no useful reason pirate it. The real question should be does it impact profits and return on investment and are the costs of preventing it ever going to be recouped with additional sales?
Personally I am firmly in the category where I would shell out $3 on the strength of a few screenshots without a demo, it just isn't expensive enough to worry about for me. Hell, I shell out much more than that on steam pre-orders just on the strength of who is developing a game. The question remains is this level of piracy even causing a problem?
I am not going to attack the morals or ethics here, you make your choices and takes your chances; Personally I am of the view that piracy can not be justified; it is something you do as a child before you have finished learning right from wrong. You want to make a free software stand, then do not use commercial software. You want something, buy it, build it or trade for it; not willing to do that, live without it. Sure, current business models may be broken and I am sick of being treated like a fscking criminal by every game publisher who isn't stardock, but that doesnt change my view.
Just my $0.02
top Tomorrow's Science Heroes?
Dr. Tim Flannery is someone whose work I have introduced all of my young relatives too. He may not be as well recognised outside of Australian and I can honestly say I don't always share his viewpoint; but he conveys the points well and with great passion. Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki has been doing a scientifically credible, entertaining and honest version of what the mythbuster's do on radio in Australia for donkeys years and is pure gold when it comes to making science fun and accessible.
top Tomorrow's Science Heroes?
BZZT. False. Science rests on the belief that order and rationality exist in the universe.
You got the order wrong... Science has nothing to do with faith. It is about choosing the absence of faith. It matters not how strong your faith in an ordered universe is if there exists data that it is not so; as soon as out hypothesis is falsified, we must analyse it with a view to discarding it, no matter how much we want it to be true. If you have faith in science then it has become as dangerous as every other crackpot dogma. Simply, a superior approach to explaining observations rationally to our existing scientific method has yet to be discovered, our current hypothesis remains sound.
Science is about being willing to be wrong (well, it used to be... these days it is about getting published in A journals, sadly). It is about suggesting other than absolutes, about being willing to discard opinions and hypothesis as soon as there exists evidence which falsifies them. The instant your hovering apple is observed, repeated and verified; then we must consider changing or completely discarding the currently accepted hypothesis; if we had faith in this hypothesis, we could not.
To be clear, I have no problem with people having belief's in areas where it is not feasible to prove or disprove or where a falsifiable hypothesis cannot be constructed; I *believe* that is their right and freedom. Belief is not science and vice versa, although they can overlap. Faith is different, it is mutually exclusive, it allows us to justify ignoring data to retain flawed judgements. Faith is where idiots with explosives strapped to them and creationists come from.
It is one thing to personally believe in the existence of a god, it is another thing to have faith that an anthropocentric supreme being shat out the universe in a 6 day marathon and turned people into salt and gave immaculate birth to a magical resurrection fairy so strongly that no evidence of the human tendancy to make up stories and write them down and speak falsehoods to maintain power will dissuade you from it.
Faith is the most dangerous thing a human can have, because it involves blinding ourselves to other views and evidence.
I don't have faith in an ordered universe, for all I know there may be a deranged supreme being fiddling with everything we do for their own jollies; but I cannot offer data which supports such a hypothesis nor form an exclusive null hypothesis. However, the hypothesis that the universe is amenable to observation and measurement is supported by reams of data showing repeatable results from controlled methodologies.
Of course, this doesn't consider retrocausality!
Just my $0.02.
top Ballmer Scorns Apple As a $500 Logo
...a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be.
Since when did Apple give a shit about the "Average Person"; for all their failings, what I will always respect is that Apple would rather make Dollars on one sale than cents on a hundred.
Their value proposition is aimed at the top of the top of the market with significant disposable income and a great interest in non technical attributes (such as brand, design etc...).
If average people or even "power users" buy them, thats just cream; but they will remain happy as long as they are the device of choice for the wealthiest slice of the market.
This is why they punch so far above their weight in terms of media coverage, sales margins etc. considering how relatively small a company they are.
No, that Ballmer doesn't get this should be truly worrying to Microsoft employees and shareholders.
Colour me amused.
top Legal Trouble For MMOs In Australia
Classification does not equate to censorship per se. Classification of games is required to SELL PRODUCTS IN AUSTRALIA, so this only applies to boxed objects or MMO's run from Australia.
If you downloaded the client from the offshore game website and signed up online with the offshore organisation; no harm, no foul. There may be some fuzziness with steam and other digital storefronts that may have a presence in Australia and technically SELL in Australia, but if I buy a boxed game overseas that is not classified here, I can still bring it in, provided it doesnt contravene OTHER laws; just cant sell it second hand.
Storm in a teacup; seriously who buys boxed MMOs anyway?? Normally they are so out of date they have to re-download the entire game as an update anyway... easier just to grab it online and sign up too...
Game time cards; that could be an interesting legal arguement, but probably a hiding to nowhere since the arent covered by the act.
In summary, little or nothing to see here; move along.
top How Best To Deal With WiFi Interference?
Clearly all you need to do to protect yourself from wifi interference is to surround your entire house/apartment/unit with appropriately sized copper mesh, duh!
Mike gave us that one before wifi was even invented! Course, there might be a couple of small engineering challenges in implementation...
perhaps I need more sleep...
top Australian Court Lets Lawyer Serve Papers Via Facebook
For the record - I don't think anything other than in person should be a legal way to serve, but email is not superior to Facebook.
TFA Clearly states that the Court only allowed this because it was presented clear evidence that every other avenue had been attempted and exhausted to serve the couple. Our Courts have allowed in the past innovative approaches to serve papers where defendants have failed to respond to traditional means or attend court in their own defence.
Also note that courts in Australia have DENIED such requests in the past, as they were not convinced in those cases that other avenues had been exhausted.
This approach is not "legal" per se but rather only as instructed by the Court in this case; our Judges have discretion in cases where parties are evidently avoiding the serving of papers through "traditional" channels.
This is a story about a clever investigator providing a lawyer with another approach to serve papers after all available means had been tried and failed. And it worked, the day after this was publicised locally, lo and behold the folks in question re-appeared at the address they are about to be evicted from and basically confirmed that they had indeed been found.
top Used Game Market Affecting Price, Quality of New Titles
Around here I think we're just special
YAAAY! I get to wear a helmet and ride to school on the short bus!!!