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Comments

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Making a Game of the News

thermian Not interested (91 comments)

No really. The television news services are really only interested in whose been raped/killed/imprisoned, and when it comes to foreign affairs, they show the nasty stuff more than anything.

if ten people out of thousands in a protest start to fight, or do something like break windows, *thats* what they show, and they call everyone there anarchists. Honestly, it makes me sick.

more than 5 years ago
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Worst Working Conditions You Had To Write Code In?

thermian Absolute worst? (1127 comments)

My last Employer actually expected me to write code in the morning! We are talking pre 10am here. I still have nightmares...

more than 5 years ago
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Paid Shilling Comes to Twitter

thermian Re:Post Spamming... (134 comments)

I agee completelly with your sentiment. (This post was brought to you by the new iPod shuffle).

more than 5 years ago
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Time Warner To Offer Unlimited Bandwidth For $150

thermian Re:Oblig (479 comments)

- Obligatory note that broadband in the UK is even worse.

Rubbish. I pay £12 for an unlimited 8mb connection. Really unlimited, we have caned it for three years now, sometimes over 200Gb a month, and its been fine.

more than 5 years ago
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Spammers Say the Darndest Things

thermian I know what he means (115 comments)

I use Gmail, so the spam I get is nicely packed into the spam folder.

I don't just clear it though. An amusing minute can be had reading the subject lines they come up with before hitting the delete button.

more than 5 years ago
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Open Source Shooter Nexuiz 2.5 Released

thermian Re:Nexuiz can't compete with Quake Live and Tremul (309 comments)

Yes, but those are *new* games. We've already seen Quake like 15 times. We don't need more Quake, but if you're going to make more Quake, you have to make it *damned* good to compete against all the other Quake out there. (Much if which is also free, in the sense that matters.)

This is a viewpoint I hadn't considered. I saw this and thought initially of the great programming experience the people involved would be having, not of the lack of originality.

more than 5 years ago
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Open Source Shooter Nexuiz 2.5 Released

thermian Re:Nexuiz can't compete with Quake Live and Tremul (309 comments)

Why should it try and compete? They don't have the money, true, but so what?

Did the people who wrote Narbaculer Drop have much money? Nope, did they create an awesome game that got picked up and remade as a hugely succesful commercial product? Yep.

Tried World of Goo yet? That was low budget, almost certainly less graphically pretty than would have been the case if they'd had more cash, but the game is a commercial success.

Good graphics and funding won't create good ideas. For that you need a passion for the subject, artistic ability and lots of experience with games in general.

Possibly the guys writing it may be getting more out of the experience then the people who play it, but thats because they are also getting exactly the skillset that would put them in a good position to apply for positions at games development companies.

more than 5 years ago
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Open Source Shooter Nexuiz 2.5 Released

thermian Re:Looks like FUN (309 comments)

I find a lot of younger players are habituated to beleive graphical goodness == a good game, so they look at these less visually impressive works and extrapolate that the game itself is poor. Its hard getting past that. My son has managed it, but only because he was trying to 'get' why I still play games that were written before he was born.

The simplest answer it "don't like something in a project? Join the project and improve it". Alas this isn't usually what happens, because for every person with the skills, there are a thousand with loud ideas and critisism but no actual ability. Trying to clear the cruft from the mass of potential project members is a problem that can make you just reject everyone.

I know, I had the same problem. After receiving a huge amount of offers to assist in my project, I only found one person with the right attitude and skill. Most came in with grand plans, and then disappeared before doing anything more than taking up my time with emails.

more than 5 years ago
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Kentucky Officials "Changed Votes At Voting Machines"

thermian Re:Hang them. (494 comments)

It might be easier if you ask them who paid BEFORE they are swinging from the rope. Unless you plan on hanging them by their ankles.

Unless the names or the people who paid were 'grnfrgleArghhhBurble' or 'snap'.

more than 5 years ago
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Watchmen Watched

thermian Never Read it, but (489 comments)

Alan Moore's Judge Dredd was a major part of my staple fiction diet during my youth. Those stories were dark, amusing, insightful, prophetic, and downright nasty and callous in places.

All in all excellent stuff, with some stories that still make me dig out my collection.
Yup, still got every one up in my loft, as bought from the newsagent each week as they came out.

Never read Watchment though, to be honest I hadn't heard of it till this movie. My main fascination is SF pulp from the fifties and sixties though, so I kind of hang out elsewhere in the SF biosphere.

How does it compare to Judge Dredd? (anyone who thinks I mean that godawful film needn't reply..)

more than 5 years ago
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UK School Introduces Facial Recognition

thermian Re:Misleading summary (shock!) (214 comments)

this is primarily used to see who is in the building if there is a fire, so I'm not really sure that the "OMG, BIG BROTHER!1!!!!1!!" spin is warranted.

Especially since they have not exactly kept it quiet.

Any system to be used in the event of a fire *cannot* be optional, or under the control of those subjected to it. Thats a fact, one learned the hard way in the past, that cannot be argued. Give people the option of not doing something, and they won't, at least not always, because 'nothings going to happen'.

more than 5 years ago
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UK School Introduces Facial Recognition

thermian Re:Bloody idiots (214 comments)

Tell me... did the head of the school come up with this idea? I very much doubt it was the staff who were handling the registration systems in the first place.

Most likely it was someone who looked at the amount of physical registers needed for the current system, thought an electronical system would be cheaper/more efficient, and it got pushed through. I agree with the fire safety side,. Its a shame that people will likely need to die in fire even to start an 'urgent review' of the system if it gets widely adopted.

Whenever I read of things like this I'm always reminded of the university office of a lecturer whose research speciality was issues around the paperless office. Her room was so full of piles of papers, boxes of papers, books and other processed tree junk that she only had around a third of her desk available for her laptop. She also had *really* nice legs, but thats off message somewhat..

more than 5 years ago
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Amazon.com To Accept Game Trade-Ins

thermian It was never non ligitimate (242 comments)

The issue is not whether to legitimise it, the issue is whether the industry trying to kill the second hand market will succeed in getting enough corporate mindshare to have it thought of as a bad thing.

Every major high street game pc/console game retailer I have seen has a secondhand section.
Amazon sell used books too, another practice that printed word distributers tried to kill off (a bizarre strategy in itself).

This limited activation DRM thing is part of the idea that secondhand game sales can be prevented, but it still doesn't work. All it means is those games become useless to someone in the habit of selling off their used games to buy new ones (I used to), so they tend not to purchase them new either.

more than 5 years ago
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NY Bill Proposes Tax Credit for Open Source Developers

thermian Re:Yeah... (111 comments)

What if people make software like "Hello World v5" or "My First For Loop v2.1" just for the tax credit?

And don't tell me it requires LOC counts or a certain team size or number of downloads or user base. Because I'm sure that people wanting a tax credit wouldn't mind teaming up...

Did you actually read my post?

more than 5 years ago
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NY Bill Proposes Tax Credit for Open Source Developers

thermian Re:How to prevent abuse? (111 comments)

The idea sounds excellent in principle, but how do you tell a true open source developer apart from a poser looking to abuse this program?

Release history on a well known open source project hosting site, Sourceforge, Google Code, places like that, or a large easily verifiable team.

more than 5 years ago
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The Real Reason For Microsoft's TomTom Lawsuit

thermian Re:Slashdot's Super Accurate Information Bandwagon (408 comments)

And yet we wonder why Kdawson hasn't been reprimanded.

He was reprimanded most severely. That is I mean I think he was. Actually I heard they denied him cake once. Well, someone I know said they read it.

I think.....

more than 5 years ago
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Google NativeClient Security Contest

thermian dangerous code impossible? (175 comments)

I doubt that. More likely they intend to make its detection and negation easier.

After all, the best language man can devise can only work as well as the coders who utilise it. If they are forced to cut corners in order to meet deadlines, errors will creep in, and we all know the urge to be first to profit is a prime reason for such things.

more than 5 years ago
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Is Climate Change Affecting Bushfires?

thermian historical perspective (397 comments)

When Europeans first started to exert control over large areas of the Australian coast, they put a stop to the Aboriginal practice of starting bushfires annually. This was done to stop such fires damaging their crops and newly built properties for the most part.

However, this frequent and deliberate starting of bushfires had come into being as a survival strategy. By starting such fires often, the Aboriginies avoided having vast, uncontrollable fires that posed a real danger.

Since that time, bushfires have occurred that are exactly what the aboriginal practice had been designed to avoid, and due to the high density of Australia's coastal regions, the dmaage cost and death toll have been high.
This has been noticed to a greater extent recently because the press are looking for things they can point to as evidence of global warming. This alas is no such thing, its just evidence of man failing to adapt to the requirements of an atypical environment.

more than 5 years ago
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Contest For a Better Open-WRT Wireless Router GUI

thermian Re:It is amazing how negative everyone is about th (217 comments)

As far as "new programmers" go, I would say (i) if they can't easily get through the included Emacs tutorial, programming is probably not going to work out for them (ii) they should not start off in Emacs anyway. Emacs solves a lot of problems but until you've written your first big program you're unlikely to have much appreciation for its features.

I get where you're coming from but when I was a post grad teaching first year students my experience was that that they found Emacs to be uncomfortable and used it only when the tutorial sheets required them too. Most of the time the dominant linux text editor in use by students I taught was kwrite.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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HitchHikers Radio Series is being remastered

thermian thermian writes  |  more than 5 years ago

thermian (1267986) writes "The true geek classic, 'The HitchHikers Guide to The Galaxy' Radio Series by Douglas Adams is being remastered by the Dirk Maggs Production company. Dirk and his production team have already completed several projects for the BBC based on the work of Douglas Adams, these being The Tertiary phase, based on Life, The Universe, And Everything, The Quandary Phase, based on So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, and The Quintessential Phase, based on Mostly Harmless and the non HitchHikers book, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency .

The Primary Phase (episodes one to six of the radio play, which formed the first series), has been completed, with the Secondary phase's final six episodes to follow. At the moment the only place that a preview clip can be found that I know of is on the Audible Website, where a four minute clip is available for free.

As someone who listened to H2G2 from the very first broadcast of the first episode (by pure joyous chance I must add), I'm a little concerned to learn that they are replacing the original theme music with the new version recorded for the Tertiary phase. The recording of the Eagles 'Journey of the Sorcerer' they used as the theme perfectly suited the radio play, and I've heard it so often as I replayed my copy of the series, that I doubt I'll like the change, old codger that I am. Aside from this, and what I assume will be the continued absence of the Pink Floyd Scene on Magrathea which was removed from the version sold on Cassette and CD (which I happen to have, since I recorded it when it was first broadcast), it will probably be worth a listen. As for anyone who has yet to experience HitchHikers in the 'pure' form, I recommend either this remastering, or the original versions, which still seem ok to me.

The original TV series adaption of the primary phase is also being remastered by Paul Vanezis."
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Royal Society back creationism in science class

thermian thermian writes  |  more than 5 years ago

thermian (1267986) writes "The BBC are reporting that Professor Michael Reiss, director of education at the Royal Society, advocates adding the discussion of creationism in science classes. He claims that rather than dismissing creationism as a "misconception", it should be seen as a cultural "world view". Note that the professor is also an Anglican preist.
Perhaps there is room for discussion, I'll not dismiss it. That's why we have religious education as a taught subject. But if it gets mingled with actual science I honestly think our already faltering education system will nosedive into farce."
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Recruitment options for small scal FOSS projects

thermian thermian writes  |  more than 6 years ago

thermian writes "I've been developing my open source project for several years now, and I've never found a solution to one fairly important issue.

How can a small scale project attract new members?

My project is pretty specialist, (sorry no url, I don't want to get my server nuked) and I find that while it gets a fair bit of use, most users come to my software out of a need to solve their problem, or use my tutorials to learn about the subject, and none seem inclined to stick around and help make the product better. This is a fairly serious problem for me now, because my software has recently been adopted by a university, and I'm just not in a position to manage the entire set of applications and update everything on my own. Not soon anyway. Just preparing a version for release to students has been especially hard, the open source maxim 'many eyes make all bugs shallow' only works if those 'many eyes' are available.

So does the slashdot community have any suggestions as to how, and where, to find people who fancy joining open source projects?"

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