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The Minecraft Parent

way2slo Single Player Creative Mode (167 comments)

Put the kids on single player in a creative map and just let them create. When they get older, introduce survival mode.

Not quite sure how they got there, but I believe it went something like this:
1) Kids watch daddy play Minecraft and watch Paulsoaresjr's videos along with daddy. (Paul is very family friendly in his videos) They scream when surprising things happen.
2) Kids start playing around with Daddy's copy of Minecraft PE on iPad and eventually take it over.
3) Kids get plush Creeper stuffed animal with explosion noises from Santa and use it sneak-up and scare Daddy. Kids: (whisper) "Lets creep Daddy!" Creeper: "ssssSSSSBOOM!" Daddy: "Ahhh!" Kids: *Giggles*
4) Kids beg Daddy to let them play Minecraft on PC and eventually Daddy sets up a single-player creative world for them. Kids show-off their creations to Parents.

It's not all the time and as with any toy it goes in and out of their attention, but they are having a good time and I feel that it is beneficial.

2 days ago
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I suffer from jet lag ...

way2slo East - Sleep, West - Awake (163 comments)

When you fly it is important to coordinate your sleep schedule with your destination while en-route. This is harder to do on short flights. Also picking the right flight time is critical. Horrible jet lag is due to poor sleep in the plane, dehydration due to the dry air in the cabin, and non-adjusted body clocks. The latter can easily be fixed.

Lets say you travel from NYC to London. To minimize jet lag on arrival, you want to take an evening flight and sleep the whole way. As soon as you board the plane, set your watch/phone to London time. If you can fall asleep before take-off you are golden. When you land it will be morning and you should wake up better prepared for a new day. You will be tired, but not dead tired. Use caffeine and sunlight liberally to stay awake until your desired bed time. Now you should be well on your way for your body clock adjustments for your stay.

On the return trip from London to NYC, you want to take a morning flight and stay awake. Watch movies or read a book. Again, as soon as you board set your watch/phone to NYC time. You will get tired after dinner, so just force yourself to stay awake until your desired bed time and then get your sleep.

With short flights, you have to start adjusting your body clock a day or two before you leave by going to bed earlier or later depending on the timezone of your destination. So if you are going from NYC to LAX you need to stay up 3 hours later and sleep in 3 hours just before your flight.

For really long flights, like LAX to SYD, set your watch/phone to SYD time and begin following that time for your sleep schedule. Even if you cannot fall asleep, just closing your eyes and relaxing or meditating will help. When it is daytime in SYD, stay awake. Read that book or watch movies.

about 3 months ago
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E.T. Found In New Mexico Landfill

way2slo Solution to Raiders of the lost Ark (from memory) (179 comments)

To find the Ark, you had to locate the mesa it was on. To locate the mesa, you had to search random baskets until you found the head piece to the staff of Ra then you had to get the Inca grappling hook from the spider cave (which you find my using a grenade to blow a hole in the right side of the first room. If you get trapped in a cell in the lower corners just go back and forth at the bottom while pressing down and you will find the secret passage out. The treasure room is on the upper right wall via a secret passage that you have to search for by doing up and down while pressing right), before the spider cave door closed slowly over several minutes, and then use the Inca to navigate the mesa field to the bottom and enter the map room by going down exactly in the middle. Then you had to stand in the right place while having the headpiece active when the sun appeared and a dot would show you the location, which changed each game. Then you had to go down and escape the Nazis back to the market place so you could bribe the Black Sheik to take you to the Black Market so you could purchase a shovel and then you need to get back to the normal Market and buy a parachute. Then you had to get another Inca from the spider cave, all the while the door is slowly closing. Then you grapple through the mesa to the location shown to you in the map room. Then you jump off the mesa and activate your parachute at the right time to navigate into the opening on the left but not hit the tree. Drop the parachute before the thieves steal all your gear. While dodging the thieves, go the the dirt pile at the bottom and use the shovel to dig up the ark.

about 5 months ago
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Movie Review: Ender's Game

way2slo Good, but could have been Great. (732 comments)

Acting wise: Butterfield was Great, pretty much carried the film. (which is good because he had to) Ford and Davis were Good. Kingsley and the rest of the cast were OK. There was not much room for character development outside of Ender, and even he felt rushed.

Plot wise: It was too fast. They easily could have spend another 15 minutes or so developing relationships or showing more Battle Room scenes. Spend time in Salamander showing how Ender thinks outside the box. Spend time in Rat showing how effective Ender's ideas are. Spend time in Dragon showing his command superiority. And there was no reason to tip their hand several times about the ending.

Visuals: They were Great, as expected. However, they were confusing in the Battle Room scenes as you clearly see kids getting "flashed" several times but it wasn't freezing them. You really could not tell if someone was "frozen" until they told you they were. If we have to be told, why have the special effects for it at all? The special effects teams should have done better there.

Direction: Hood messed-up the ending. Here, less subtlety was needed. We need to hear Ender and Bean say what they are thinking. And the observers were just standing there having discussions like it was half-time when they should have been going crazy like they just won the Super Bowl. And Ender should not have spiked the football and done a touchdown dance because Hood never had Ender doing those things before. It was out of character. Also out of character was when Ender became the dual-weilding, Battle Room Bad-A** after just one shooting lesson from Petra. Instead of that, Hood should have had Ender just talk to Petra while observing the battle, pointing out where Bonzo was tactically inept.

about 10 months ago
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Auction Houses To Be Removed From Diablo III

way2slo Re: Leave the AH in: (219 comments)

Time = Money is not the only reason. And it is not simple. And it is a design flaw, though not directly evident.

MMO economies are very dynamic, more so than real life. I've read a few papers, grad students I believe, on trying to analyze MMO economics. One of the papers said most MMOs have issues with rampant inflation because they do not have enough money sinks. IRL, we all spend most of our income on Shelter, Food, Clothing, and Transportation. These are all vast money sinks, mostly due to maintenance of items or its use it and it's worthless nature. (food you have already eaten or clothing you have worn out) Basically, IRL we destroy wealth every day we live. At the same time we create wealth every day we live by performing a job whether it be producing something physical or performing a service. The difference is inflation (a net increase of money supply) or deflation (a net decrease of money supply). In the MMOs, wealth creation is as easy as finding a chest or slaying a mob. But the money sinks are few and far in between. The result is massive inflation which is the less worth a stack of gold coins has for a player because things cost more on the AH. The game designers built in the inflation, though they did not know they were doing it.

Another issue is a shift in the Supply/Demand principles as a byproduct of the wax and wane of the MMO player base over its life. Early game life sees high demand and low supply, mid life sees high demand and high supply, and late life sees low demand and high supply. Economic changes made to fix issues in one phase tend to cause issues in the following. For example, in early life the players complain that things are too expensive and they are constantly broke and cannot afford the best gear at the AH they want to buy. The devs respond by increasing the gold drop from mobs and chests. This fixes the issue until the game's mid life arrives, along with the rampant inflation they introduced. Supply catching up with demand should have brought prices back down, but the inflation prevented that from happening.

Probably the biggest economical issue with MMOs is that they break their in game economy deliberately. They sacrifice economical stability for fun. Let the player hack through the game and easily accumulate vast sums of money and fantastic gear in a few months of casual gaming time because that is what fun means on this MMO. It is not necessarily a bad thing as long as they do not try and pretend to care. Perhaps Blizzard has come to realize that it does not care about D3's economy and decided to stop pretending.

1 year,3 days
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How Did You Learn How To Program?

way2slo Applesoft Basic on Apple IIe (623 comments)

A friend and I wrote a text based Baseball simulator on our own. And we did it without using "GOSUB" because we didn't know it existed.

about a year ago
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Little Miss Sunshine Screenwriter Gets Nod For Star Wars: Episode VII

way2slo Re:Going against the /. grain (321 comments)

I agree. Just keep them as supporting characters. Luke & Leia are Jedi masters and give advice to the new main characters. Han , Chewie, & Lando are business partners and perhaps save the new characters once via some connections. However, along the way the plot kills a few of them to make things real.

about 2 years ago
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The Sci-fi Films To Look Forward To In 2013

way2slo Starship Troopers... (277 comments)

Well yes they would call the book facist seeing as how it spend a good bit of time telling us how democracy was stupid. Then again, considering how democracy is faring in Europe and the US, perhaps we should all go read it and see how it relates to the current political crisis of "people had been led to believe that they could simply vote for whatever they wanted... and get it, without toil, without sweat, without tears."

A faithful movie adaptation would have our stars debating political history in classrooms for most of the movie with intermittent combat sequences. In a word, boring. I think they did a good job with the movie. It's entertaining. "Medic!"

about 2 years ago
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The Sci-fi Films To Look Forward To In 2013

way2slo Re:ah, Ender's game (277 comments)

That depends on where you post your wisdom.

The book describes a USENET system that is used by professional political analysts to debate issues and post opinion pieces, the best of which get selected to news media publication. Eventually they both get hired by national papers to write regular columns.

They were columnists, not bloggers. They cut their teeth on the professional level discussion boards, then started writing articles for legitimate news papers, and eventually became professional columnists for prominent new agencies.

They were smart enough to realize that the path to political clout was not though a blog or an amateur discussion site, but by acquiring real jobs as columnists for the best news sites. We can post political genius all day on our Facebook page or here on Slashdot and it will not get us anywhere. However, if instead we became professional columnists and worked hard to get a regular column on the WAPO or NYT and posted our wisdom there...the political powers will begin to materialize.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Does Time Tracking at Work Go Too Far?

way2slo When they start out-lawing overhead (630 comments)

Lots of companies force employees to track their time. Even salary employees who legally do not have to punch a clock to get paid. That's fine. It helps them for future estimates and proposals involving labor hours. It can be a very valuable tool.

However, all too often management begins to use these time tracking systems to try and shift overhead expenses to something billable to a customer. You walk in and read e-mails on billing guidance on how regular staff meetings, training, and even fire drills are billable to customers. Then another e-mail on billing guidance informs you that the normal overhead related billing is now forbidden unless given explicit authorization (that you will never get). Essentially, they are lying to themselves, that they have zero overhead when running their business. That nothing ever goes wrong and no one has to wait for anything.

But the one thing they forget is that by charging their customers for everything, they are charging them too much for services. The business is now vulnerable to any other business that can provide the same service and not charge their overhead to the customer.

about 2 years ago
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Could Flying Cars Actually Be On Their Way?

way2slo directional layers (381 comments)

A while back, a friend an I talked about this and we had a pretty neat solution for problem 4.

The problem is preventing collisions while still allowing freedom of navigation. We came up with a system where at a certain altitude you must travel in a certain direction and at a certain speed. (We assumed that take-off and landing would be done at something resembling an airport where a control system of some sort would manage transitioning down from a certain altitude.) As you increase altitude, your direction yaws right and your speed increases. (speed being a target speed you should be flying at) Basically, like cars travel on roads that are directional lines with assigned speeds, flying cars travel on roads that are directional layers with assigned altitudes and speeds.

GPS, transponders, and mapping software aid the drivers. GPS units can plan routes between destinations and coordinate the proper altitude and airspeed to the autopilot. Transponders transmit vin, altitude, airspeed, position, and heading to traffic around it to allow them to make adjustments to avoid collisions (all within the altitude-airspeed-direction framework). Mapping software can tell the GPS where there are Restricted Airspaces like airports, cities, or tall mountains so the GPS can route around it. The tricky part is anticipating possible collisions, but with transponder info it should be much easier to calculate.

more than 2 years ago
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Peter Jackson Announces Third Hobbit Movie

way2slo I could stand a bit more... (303 comments)

Q: "How much of Middle Earth would you like to see on film?"

A: As much as they can. The Silmarillion would make a great TV series.

As for The Hobbit. I had thought that two films at 3 hours a piece would be just enough to tell the bulk of the story. (starting the journey and a couple of the incidents up to Mirkwood along with the white council and some Dol Guldor scenes in the first film then Mirkwood, Dale, and Erebor and wraping up Dol Guldor in the second) But I had thought they would have to skimp on the Dol Guldor action to make it fit.
With 3 films to work with, you can cut them down to 2 and a half hours each and have an extra hour and a half to tell more about the White Council and Dol Guldor. I'm OK with this.

more than 2 years ago
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The Physics of the Knuckleball

way2slo Knuckleball Pitcher here.... (87 comments)

Knuckel-balls are not as simple as "a tube .... that follows a smooth curve." That is a wobbling knuckle-ball, and is generally what people think of. This is usually the first pitch knuckle-ball, does not really move much but you can control it better to get that first strike. But if that is all you have got, then you are going to hit around a bit. That is not the strike-out knuckle-ball. By making minor changes in the grip, you can produce more movement that can cause it to dive, cut-in, and break-away. One of the guys that taught me had a knuckle-ball that he could snake in almost at will, much more movement than the smooth curved tube. If first broke slightly left to appear to be wide of the strike zone but then broke hard right to fall back in for a strike. The problem is that good hitters can anticipate it after seeing it a few times.

A good Knuckle-ball has a slight rotation. Somewhere between half a turn and a turn and a half on it's way to the plate. This slow rotation slightly changes how the seam are presented to the high pressure area in the front thereby changing the disruption of the airflow around the ball. Just like an airfoil will cause low pressure on the top of a wing creating lift and moving the plane up, these changing disruptions cause temporary low pressure areas on the ball and cause a small amount of "lift" in a vectored direction from the center of the mass of the baseball. If these happen rapidly and evenly over the front surface, you get the wobbling knuckle-ball like he describes. If they appear mostly on one side, it will move in that direction. With practice, you can begin to throw the wobbler when you want a strike and a hard breaking knuckler when you want to get them to chase a pitch out of the zone by slightly changing your grip and orientation.

As an aside, and interesting read is The Physics of Baseball by Robert Adair
http://www.amazon.com/The-Physics-Baseball-3rd-Edition/dp/0060084367
(Though, I have to disagree with his opinion on the effect of ball rotation on a batted ball. If I remember correctly, he states that the effect is negligible. IMO and experience, I believe it is noticeable and sometimes determines fair/foul as some batted balls hook much more than others.)

more than 2 years ago
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Who Is Your Favorite Fictional Robot or Android?

way2slo Re:Gort from 1951's "The Day the Earth Stood Still (608 comments)

Agreed. '51 Gort's first appearance in the movie is a classic "Oh SNAP!" moment in cinema. That and the fact that he has no lines, but does all his talking with his death/disintegration beam and karate-chop-action. Oh yeah, and "There's no limit to what Gort could do. He could destroy the Earth."

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: The Very Best Paper Airplane?

way2slo YMMV (183 comments)

The "Best" is going to greatly depend on lots of things including, but not limited to, how well you folded it, throw it, paper type, relative humidity, altitude, etc.

That said, I ran across this a few years ago:
http://www.instructables.com/id/KlineFogleman-Airfoil-1-Paper-Airplane/
It requires very accurate folding, but if done right with the right kind of paper and flown in good conditions it can be impressive. The airfoil turns some of the drag into lift and stability. The two guys that patented the airfoil wrote a book about it some years ago.

Also, there is a difference between making a plane for record distance and making a plane for record time aloft. The former needs minimal drag while the latter needs maximum lift.

more than 2 years ago
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NOAA Study: Radiation From Fukushima Very Dilluted, Seafood Safe

way2slo Re:Sanity vs. politically motivated scaremongering (267 comments)

This should also be linked with that chart:
http://blog.xkcd.com/2011/04/26/radiation-chart-update/

Even since then, more data has been collected as noted by it's Wikipedia article.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster
A quick excerpt:
"However, the largest study, as of 21 October 2011, on Fukushima fallout concludes that Fukushima was "the largest radioactive noble gas release in history not related to nuclear bomb testing. The release is a factor of 2.5 higher than the Chernobyl 133Xe source term.""

While politically motivated scaremongering is not sane, Sanity's position on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster may have to take a few steps in that direction.

more than 2 years ago
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New SimCity To Require Constant Internet Connection

way2slo Re:The Sim City franchise jumped the shark (418 comments)

Have to disagree. I had a lot of fun with SimCity 2000, even bought Streets of SimCity. But I am having more fun now with SimCity 4 + Rush Hour. Jumping into a police car and turning on the siren and racing around town while the citizens pull over, climbing into a tank and blowing up a building or two (hopefully the right one), that's FUN. The rest of the game is generally better too, more road types, zone types (like agricultural).

If you are a SimCity fan and don't have SimCity 4 + Rush Hour, you are missing out big time.

more than 2 years ago
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Diablo 3 To Be Released On May 15th

way2slo Re:My beta impressions, as a major fanboy... (246 comments)

FYI, a patch came out for D2 a few years ago that allowed for a free character respec. I believe there was also a way to get another one, via some items.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Journals

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way2slo way2slo writes  |  1 year,3 days

Time = Money is not the only reason. And it is not simple. And it is a design flaw, though not directly evident.

MMO economies are very dynamic, more so than real life. I've read a few papers, grad students I believe, on trying to analyze MMO economics. One of the papers said most MMOs have issues with rampant inflation because they do not have enough money sinks. IRL, we all spend most of our income on Shelter, Food, Clothing, and Transportation. These are all vast money sinks, mostly due to maintenance of items or its use it and it's worthless nature. (food you have already eaten or clothing you have worn out) Basically, IRL we destroy wealth every day we live. At the same time we create wealth every day we live by performing a job whether it be producing something physical or performing a service. The difference is inflation (a net increase of money supply) or deflation (a net decrease of money supply). In the MMOs, wealth creation is as easy as finding a chest or slaying a mob. But the money sinks are few and far in between. The result is massive inflation which is the less worth a stack of gold coins has for a player because things cost more on the AH. The game designers built in the inflation, though they did not know they were doing it.

Another issue is a shift in the Supply/Demand principles as a byproduct of the wax and wane of the MMO player base over its life. Early game life sees high demand and low supply, mid life sees high demand and high supply, and late life sees low demand and high supply. Economic changes made to fix issues in one phase tend to cause issues in the following. For example, in early life the players complain that things are too expensive and they are constantly broke and cannot afford the best gear at the AH they want to buy. The devs respond by increasing the gold drop from mobs and chests. This fixes the issue until the game's mid life arrives, along with the rampant inflation they introduced. Supply catching up with demand should have brought prices back down, but the inflation prevented that from happening.

Probably the biggest economical issue with MMOs is that they break their in game economy deliberately. They sacrifice economical stability for fun. Let the player hack through the game and easily accumulate vast sums of money and fantastic gear in a few months of casual gaming time because that is what fun means on this MMO. It is not necessarily a bad thing as long as they do not try and pretend to care. Perhaps Blizzard has come to realize that it does not care about D3's economy and decided to stop pretending.

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A few thoughs on US Politics...

way2slo way2slo writes  |  about 10 years ago The PotUS does not write legislation. The Legislative Branch writes the laws that spend the money. It was a Republican controled Congress that reduced the deficit in the 90's by spending less, not the president. All the president can do is support or veto, but the veto can be overridden by a 2/3rd majority vote.

"Trickle Down" economics, where tax cuts free up money for business and people to spend, is far better for the economy than raising taxes. The government should not be redistributing the wealth of hard working americans, like all of us. :) We can spend our money better than the federal government. The federal government should not be Robin Hood.

Raising the minimum wage hurts small businesses and their employees. Here's a little example:
A 25 cent mimium wage hike can devistate the budget of a small business. One employee working 9-5 every day 6 days a week, that's $12 per employee per week. $624 per employee per year. 5 people, that's over $3,000 out of your profits. You now have that much less to grow your business. Odds are, your business was making the most it could already so making up that extra $3,000 is impossible. If your business is not doing well, you are forced to fire one of those minimum wage employees to keep yourself out of bankruptcy. Also, the employees that still have jobs have to pay taxes on that 25 cents so they are not even getting all of the benefit of making the extra quarter per hour.
End result is you put a strain on small businesses that may be forced to sacrifice some employees jobs to make the others insignifigantly better. That does not sound very compassionate to me.
If you want to help the minimum wage earner, do it by letting them keep more ofthe money they already earn via tax cuts across the board. That is far better for them, you, me, and the economy as a whole.

In a golbal economy, unskilled labor will be moved to where it costs less. Nothing can stop this. Companies do this to stay competitive. In some cases, they would be under-cut by their competitiors and possibly go bankrupt if they did not relocate. End result is the unskilled workers lose their jobs anyway. (see US steel industry) Putting industries on governmental life support to try and fight Supply and Demmand is a Lose-Lose situation. Horrible for the US economy for in the long run it forces us to pay more while not saving jobs anyway.
In the course of history, the value of certain tasks have changed. At one time, you could make a living by cutting blocks of ice out of a frozen lake and ship them to peoples homes. Times change and so do the ways you can earn a living. You have to adapt to the new ways and give up the old. The government should not artificially protect them.

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Information Security and Linux

way2slo way2slo writes  |  about 10 years ago (In response to a debate about Solaris vs. Linux security)

There were two seperate kernels in development at Sun. One was the regular solaris most of us are use to and the other was something they called Trusted Solaris [sun.com]. I have had the....joy of working with it. According to their "master plan" they merged the two kernels in Solaris 10. So, you would have the features of Trusted Solaris (TSol) available, if you so desired.

TSol is one of the most secure OS's I've administered. I had the opportunity to speak with one of the kernel developers and the one quote I'd like to convey about what we talked about is "That which is not explicitly permitted is implicitly denied."

However, Linux can have this level of security also. If you go here [nsa.gov] you will see the webpage for Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux). Although, it is only a technology demonstration and may not be suitable for a real world environment.

These OS's are based on mandatory access control policies using roles. This is where the quote comes in to play. If you do not specifically give permission for an executable or a user to perform a specific action, that action will fail. There is no root user. Regular users have no rights themselves but are granted roles they can assume. These roles are given the rights and permissions to perform the tasks they have been asigned. You can create a "backup-admin" role so that it will have access to the tape drive and be able to read all files on the system, but not write anywhere but the tape drive and not be able to do anything else.

Now, I have not read if this part of the code will be "Open Sourced" and it was not discussed in the article. However, it has to be deeply embedded into the OS kernel for it to work so I must assume that it will be a part of it.

Mark my words: Mandatory Access Control, Labeled Security, and Role Based Access Control are the future of secure operating systems. If an operating system does not do these things it will not be considered for use in environments that have a high priority for information security (infosec). IMO, anything that connects to the Internet or a WAN or hosts sensitive data should have infosec as a high priority. If SELinux is not further developed, or a suitable replacement is created, then Linux will fall off the infosec curve.

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How to deal with Cheating and Griefer's in multiplayer games

way2slo way2slo writes  |  more than 10 years ago I believe that cheating is a symptom of a logical game design flaw. Solutions are either a better way to implement what they are exploiting, or a workaround in the game that makes it the cheat irrelevant to other players (somehow design it so that the other players don't mind that others are cheating).

The first is very hard because network games rely on sharing data and off-loading some of the work to the clients. Even if every computation was done on the server and your computer did a remote GUI login, you could still figure a way to exploit it. (perhaps by sniffing the video packets for something that looks like a player's head and then having it automatically send the proper mouse/keyboard commands to aim at it and shoot). Trying to prevent it is a never ending battle. A more elegant solution would be the latter.

Have a system built into the game where the players not care if the others are cheating. How? Well, why do players get mad at cheaters? Because they are so much better than they are and never have a chance to do well against them. The same can be said for very gifted non-cheaters. The problem is not the cheating, it's the lack of balance between the players skill level, artificially enhanced or not. Therefore the answer is to build in a balancing system into the game, often reffered to as ranking. Rank the players according to how well they do in the game, wheither it is acquired by cheating or not, and make the rank public. In a short time it will be obvious which players are in your rank range and which are not. Each game will be more enjoyable because each party within your rank has a good chance to be victorious. It will be a fun challenge, not excersise in futility.

Of course, how do you do it in an MMORPG where everyone is interacting with everyone else? Well, fortunately in this case "everyone" is a relative term and can be redefined. I have seen implementations that keep users of different levels in different areas. Newbie areas, secret passages that cannot be seen until you are a certian level, etc. Mostly, the level difference in RPG's are not that much of an irritation however abusive PK'ing and griefing are. A couple of ideas. First, keep the people that want to PK away from the non-PK'ers. How? Different sever or different world. You can do the same for griefers too. Send them to a "grief" version of the world and let them grief themselves to their hearts content. This grief world could even be on their own client machine. A private hades just for themselves. They may have to work at a few tasks before being allowed back to the public server. Anything is possible.

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Why it's ok to not love your job

way2slo way2slo writes  |  more than 10 years ago I'm afraid I have to disagree with most of the posts that I've read so far that talk about how you should pick a field to major in college. While it is nice to hear "choose the field because you love it", I believe that is a secondary reason one should choose a career field. The fact of the matter is this: You work to earn money so you can provide for you and your family. Therefore, you should pick a career field in which you believe you have the best potential to earn a living. Pick something that you have an aptitude for doing. This may be something you like, but it may not. In a perfect world, we would all get to do what we love. However, it isn't, so we don't.

Another point: How often do we change what we love? More often than you think. How many girlfriends have you had? How ofen do you love to hear a song, then eventually tire of it? How often do you change from one hobby to the next? How often do you get bored with your current job and want a new challenge? Love can be fickle. If you want to have something that will last and be fully satisfying, you better have more reasons for doing it than love alone.

Things you love are better off as hobbies than as work. I know people that went to work at Hershey Foods, Inc. and thought they found their dream job because they were major choco-haulics. However, they soon lost their love of chocolate because they were saturated with it every day. Now, chocolate makes them think of work. It is a rare thing indeed when we find something that we can love for the rest of our lives. That's why it's so special when you have found someone you can marry.

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Your job may depend upon this information

way2slo way2slo writes  |  more than 10 years ago Beleive it or not, I have seen too many good workers get fired, laid-off, down-sized, you name it all because they could not make their co-workers and supervisors believe they worked hard. I have been working in the corporate world for over 5 years and this I know: Illusion is more important than reality. You can work your tail off and do a good job, but if your superiors don't believe you are working hard then your career is over. You have to give the illusion that you are a hard worker, weither you are or not.

Example: A friend of mine had a job and he was a wiz. A guru. He could do anything they asked him to do. Yet he was down-sized. Why? Because he never gave the illusion that he was working hard at what he did. He did his work quickly. He finnished every task assigned to him, however he then went back to his desk and idled while waiting for the next assignment. The reality of the situation was that he worked hard and did as much, if not more than his collegues. But to his manager, all he saw of my friend was him sitting at his desk playing games on his computer. That's what his collegues saw too. When review time came around, naturally they all had bad impressions of him. He got a low rating. When it was time for lay-offs, his poor review made him one of the first on the list.

Another Example: A fried of mine, who worked with the friend in the first example, is not the sharpest pencil in the drawer. He's not very techincialy savy, but knows enough to get buy. He usually takes his time working on things and he is always bugging other people on how to do his assignments. He comes in late, around 10 am and is prone to take vacations during periods of mandatory overtime. So how come he gets a better review than my first friend? He milks his assignments, so he's always busy. He's alwasy bugging other people, so they think he has a ton of work. It takes him five times as long to do the same task as the first friend. This guy always has something to say at the meetings and always has something to tell his manager. End result is that his co-workers and manager all think he is really busy and working hard, when really, he takes his good old time doing things. I'm even skeptical about his hours, because he tells me that he gets in late and stays until the manager leaves, then he does to. Basically, his job is not to do work, but to make it look like his is doing work. He's pretty good at it too, cause he's been around for 10 years.

What should you learn from this? Perception is more important than reality. The facts do not matter. What does matter is how people interpret the facts, what point of view they have, and what conclusions they draw using the facts from their point of view. You want job security? Being an indespensible guru is nice, but if you can't be that then you have to put yourself in the position to be viewed as a valuable productive member of your organization from the view points of your collegues and managers. You can do this by communication. Make sure you talk to everyone on your team, weither it's about your assignment or theirs. Help others out with their stuff when you can. At the beginning of the day, have a question ready for your manager about your assignment and always have something to tell him that you are working. Always have a comment during status meetings, even if it is just a re-hash of stuff you have already said to others earlier in the week. The trick is, the more you talk about what you are doing, the more it looks like you are busy doing it from their point of view. Part of your job is making your peers believe you are doing a good job. This is not advice on how to slack, but how to keep your job weither you slack or not and someday it may save you from the unemployment line.

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My take on Saddam Hussien...

way2slo way2slo writes  |  more than 10 years ago I once read that diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggie" and petting it on the head with one hand while using the other hand to reach for a club to wack it on the skull.

It's simplistic, but not far from the truth.

It was obvious back in the mid 90's that diplomacy with Saddam would not work. He views himself as a decendant of Nebuchadnezzar destined for power and glory. Saddam has billboards in Iraq that pretty much say exactly that. He's rebuilding ancient Babyloinan ruins and including his name on the stones. The guy wants to go down in history as a great and powerful leader. But you don't do that by letting the UN tell you what to do. You do it by conquring nations and defying your enemies. Diplomacy never had one chance with him.

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