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User information for Dave Something

Real Name Dave Something   
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Nickname DG
Email Concealed by request
ICQ None given.
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Homepage http://
Signed On Oct 12, 2002, 03:11
Total Comments 1666 (Pro)
User ID 14793
 
User comment history
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News Comments > Video Games Can Hurt Schoolwork
16. Re: Video Games Can Hurt Schoolwork Mar 16, 2010, 19:35 DG
 
While the conclusion that owning a video game increases the time kids spend on such game might seem obvious, Weis, a clinical psychologist, said it was important to scientifically prove that conventional wisdom was correct.

Correct.

"Obvious" things are rather subjective. The gaming community spends a lot of time disputing things that some other people believe to be obvious, for example that gaming leads to violence. Once it was "obvious" that the sun spun around Earth.
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
2. Re: affordable' SSD Mar 16, 2010, 13:47 DG
 
About time they moved in this direction. SSD probably be my next upgrade but they kept increasing capacity while maintaining the too-high price.

40gb is cutting it a bit fine though, W7 apparently recommends 16gb reserved for itself and my Program Files (holding a fairly minimum amount of games) is 22gb, total 38gb.

I'd like to have room for another game on there plus say 15% margin so 50gb is what I'd be looking for. 64gb more comfortable and get better bandwidth on those so...

 
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News Comments > What Killed Ensemble and Pandemic
11. Re: What Killed Ensemble and Pandemic Mar 15, 2010, 15:24 DG
 
Most companies fail due to... I'm not going to say bad management but rather management that isn't good enough. Taken to extremes it's always the fault of management - they should have foreseen any difficulties and resolved them.

Taking arguments to extremes often means taking it beyond plausibility however. Events are only so predictable, risks have to be weighed against the cost of countering them and people are only human.

I often think games companies are badly managed, only need to consider DRM fiascos and the fact that the only company who regularly talks with emphasis about putting the consumer first is Valve (some others do seem to value customers but there's no evidence that it's a clear, very important priority).

But I also think games companies require a hell of a lot from management. Funding is obviously a complete nightmare, it takes several years of high investment for extremely risky returns. Seriously, what kind of "expected" (i.e. vaguely hopeful) returns would you need to invest in a game development? Other than a relative few consistent hitters I'd want to double my money after 2/3 years or it's just not worth risking my cash.

Since games are each relatively unique project management must be very hard. Development is long term which leaves you open to a change in technology and market conditions, yet there isn't the economies of scale for major market research. Talent seems to be in abundance but, who can really and reliably deliver? I'm not sure the discipline is all there.

Why then is there such a lack of management expertise when the demands are so high? How many developers have any executives who come from a business background, rather than some other gaming-related job? I'd expect it to be gaming and other software heavy, but it's a bit extreme. Sometimes you need someone who can sit back and take a broad view with experience from other fields.
 
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News Comments > NVIDIA's 3D Push
16. Re: NVIDIA's 3D Push Mar 15, 2010, 14:24 DG
 
BobBob wrote on Mar 15, 2010, 12:40:
This is superior to '3D':

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw

See part: 2:30
That is quite impressive and cheap to implement.

It's also what I'd look for in "3D", not merely eye-trickery illusion of a 3D image but actual function.

Still not convinced I won't get headaches and sore eyes from using any of the 3D for the amount of time I normally spend playing games and watching films etc.
 
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News Comments > Newell on DRM
43. Re: Newell on DRM Mar 14, 2010, 12:07 DG
 
this is why we don't have the next half life game yet http://i.imgur.com/3rTii.jpg (via Digg)  
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News Comments > Newell on DRM
18. Re: Newell on DRM Mar 13, 2010, 19:57 DG
 
PHJF wrote on Mar 13, 2010, 17:42:
For the past month my TF2 has, on top of the already rather significant load time, been crippled with ~30 seconds of "preparing to launch team fotress 2" bull shit. I have no idea what Steam is doing during that time.
Taking mine longer than usual with that also, though nothing like 30 seconds (maybe 5)
 
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News Comments > NVIDIA Responds to ATI PhysX Comments
27. Re: NVIDIA Responds to ATI PhysX Comments Mar 13, 2010, 09:09 DG
 
I prefer whatever gives me the best card for my money.

Brand loyalty is what they use to get people to make an inferior purchase. If it makes you happy or whatever then I guess it has some value but bear in mind with the actual product you're paying more for less.

As for fanbois, well that's just sad.
 
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News Comments > On Sale
4. Re: On Sale Mar 13, 2010, 08:56 DG
 
Damn, I'd go for Batman but I just had to get my card cancelled after they noticed some bugger was trying to defraud my card (all the transactions cancelled, fortunately).  
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News Comments > Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Idle Server Shutdowns
25. Re: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Idle Server Shutdowns Mar 12, 2010, 18:06 DG
 
They don't say they have 150k concurrent players, they say they have capacity for 150k concurrent players. It's just the number * size of servers. Not that they say it clearly, not sure how cynical you'd have to be to suggest they did that deliberately, though they are clearly intending to suggest that the game is very popular.

That doesn't tell us anything really, since there could be a large number of players in long queues or there may be a lot of idle servers. Considering this is worldwide I'd anticipate at least 1/3 (maybe more like 1/2 - 2/3) being idle simply due to it being 5am local time somewhere. Then presumably there's private clan servers, servers nobody wants to use...
 
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
3. Re: Enhancing Your Dual Boot System. Mar 12, 2010, 17:53 DG
 
Will do, ty  
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News Comments > On Infinity Ward Royalties
23. Re: On Infinity Ward Royalties Mar 12, 2010, 16:08 DG
 
Pannad wrote on Mar 12, 2010, 14:19:
I don't know if it's the same in the US, but in the UK the financial year ends 31 March, and that's when bonuses are paid.
Usually - it's the most common year-end in UK, but a company can choose whatever it pleases. It can also choose to pay bonuses whenever they like, though yeah often most bonuses are linked to company performance so is usually either around a month after the year-end (to give time to do the sums) or shortly before 5th April (so it catches the end of the personal tax year: bonuses at the beginning tends to result in employees overpaying tax in the first half of the year due to the PAYE system using averages).

A quick Googling suggests Activision's previous year-end was 31 December 2009.

As for whether the employees should quit, it depends. Firstly whether they are contracted or not - "royalties" suggests the employees have a contractual right which is unavoidable regardless of what they do. Quit and still get the bonus. However most likely IMO the source is technically inaccurate and it's not a true 'royalty'.

Bonuses may be part of the employment contract, in which case they may be owed the bonus regardless. BUT it's common to have a clause saying you only get your bonus if you're with the company when it becomes due. Since Acti year end is 31/12/09, the 2009 bonus conditions presumably have been met and therefore the obligation crystallises and Acti have to pay it. BUUUUT... They probably sold a ton of games in 2010 so quitting now forgoes that bonus.

If there's nothing in the contract at all about bonuses, it's just something that is regularly done, you'd be forgiven for assuming Activision doesn't have to pay it. But actually if it happens regularly it can become a constructive obligation - employer has to pay it because the employee had very good reason to expect it.
 
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
1. Re: Enhancing Your Dual Boot System. Mar 12, 2010, 15:08 DG
 
Very interesting article, since I recently dual booted a old system a flatmate is using (had been on w7 beta).

One thing I cant find tho is how to set the boot menu so that Ubuntu is the default. I found loads of guides but they all seem to refer to an older Ubuntu since they talk about editing settings in files that don't exist on my 9.10 fresh install.
 
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News Comments > Newell: Portal 2 is Valve's "Best Game"
24. Re: Newell: Portal 2 is Valve's Mar 12, 2010, 15:02 DG
 
Half Life Forever!

 
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News Comments > Newell: Portal 2 is Valve's "Best Game"
23. Re: Newell: Portal 2 is Valve's Mar 12, 2010, 15:01 DG
 
Slippery Jim wrote on Mar 12, 2010, 13:27:
Did I read that they used students to make the sequel?
http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=viewthread&boardid=1&threadid=108222

Valve Hires DigiPen Team

[Mar 09, 2010, 7:55 pm ET] - Share - Viewing Comments
Valve has hired the student development team from DigiPen behind Tag: The Power of Paint, described as: "a first-person platformer created by seven RTIS and BFA students at DigiPen, was chosen from ten IGF Student Showcase Finalists as winner of the Best Student Game Award." This is noted on Shacknews where they make the case that this team will contribute to Portal 2 based on how Tag allows "the player to manipulate the physical attributes of the game's environment using different colors of paint," which sounds quite similar to word from a Game Informer Portal 2 preview that says the game will feature "special paint that gives unique physical properties to surfaces." It would be appropriate to hire a student team from DigiPen for Portal 2, considering how the original Portal was a DigiPen student project known as Narbacular Drop before Valve hired the team behind that.
 
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News Comments > Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Idle Server Shutdowns
4. Re: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Idle Server Shutdowns Mar 12, 2010, 14:39 DG
 
The explanation seems to suggest (tho I'm on my 5th reading and still unsure) that they can't handle the number of players refreshing their list of the number of servers, so they're removing the idle ones out of the equation.

Strange if so, working around that should be simple as setting some filters on what gets returned by their master. I don't for 1 second believe that UK is the busiest location for the game so if they're only turning off one GSP's servers that suggests there are no location filtering on the master.

Oh so familiar from when I made the mistake of buying BF2142. By FAR the buggiest crap I've ever tried to play, funnily enough there were masses of servers problems too (like what I'm seeing when following the threads off TFA).
 
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News Comments > Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Idle Server Shutdowns
1. Re: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Idle Server Shutdowns Mar 12, 2010, 14:24 DG
 
...what?  
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News Comments > Evening Safety Dance
2. Re: Evening Safety Dance Mar 11, 2010, 04:51 DG
 
They recently put Norton on at work. What a pain in the arse. Apparently Symantec have realised the biggest issue with data loss is PEBKAC and the more it can hinder me the better it is doing it's job.

Every time I look at Task Manager it's burning CPU time and more memory than any other process. Naturally work gives me a 2gb machine even though I typically am using at least 3 different (RAM-hogging) productivity software at once, and need to quickly swap between them. It also seems to slow any HDD reads dramatically and half of those productivity software are essentially databases.

It's centrally forced to scan once a week, during which the machine is almost unworkable. Just enough to appear that it works while actually taking me an infuriating 10x (at least) to do anything at all. Been out at a clients all week and come back to the office at 4.45pm on Friday with 15mins of whatever to do? Maybe I'll be out at 6. The laptops, with much lower specs than my PC, don't have Norton and they do everything far, far faster. It even seems to know when a client has randomly turned up or phoned and I need to run a report.

It's anti-productivity software.
 
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News Comments > Evening Metaverse
9. Re: Evening Metaverse Mar 10, 2010, 08:39 DG
 
I block specific ad services (mostly thru hosts), generics like *banner* and specifically on some sites with irritating adverts.

Three reasons:
1. I don't trust any ad services, and history shows I'm right not to.
2. I don't have any faith in websites by default and history shows I'm right not to.
3. Using someone else's PC, browsing the web is largely an unpleasant experience. The volume of ads can be ridiculous and even the best of sites run extremely annoying adverts. I really cannot stand intellitxt. Unfortunately it hampers the few sites who keep it reasonable because this causes say doubleclick to get blocked.

Blocking actually makes a lot of pages slower to load (they try and fail to load the ads before anything else) but it's worth it.

Most of the ads I see have the ads being ran from the host. Sure, they're mostly running software from doubleclick or whoever and that'll be communicating with doubleclick or whoever. But I have some assurance that it's being managed by someone at that site: individual sites I can have a little trust in. Furthermore I have to block that's site's ads specifically, so my only motivation for doing so is when that individual site's ads are annoying.

There is no points in Ars complaining about me blocking their ads because I didn't block ads while at Ars, I blanket-banned doubleclick for offences elsewhere. I have no reason (or motivation) to whitelist doubleclick on Ars because I have no idea how much control they have over doubleclick on their site - they trip my block for http://ad.doubleclick.net.

Remember back in the 90s when google "saved the internet" because they did these text ads that nobody bothered blocking because they were inoffensive (and sometimes even relevant)?
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
18. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 9, 2010, 18:24 DG
 
Cutter: IIRC FFH is on BtS disk, they paid a bunch of the best modders so folks who don't check for these things online can play them. These guys have the best attitude towards modding that I've ever seen (purposely built game out of python for moddability, several times took an unofficial patch and released it).

Yeah get BtS. Not convinced there's a lot of fresh content on there, but the main game is just... Better. Espionage kicks in earlier (though AI still spams it a bit much) and random events somehow throws something good into the mix even though they rarely make that much difference. Most of the support is for BtS also. I don't think there's any point waiting either since BtS only improves on the original. Dont bother with Warlords since other than the scenarios there's nothing you don't get with BtS.

I tend to turn off corporations tbh as they're a bit annoying. Effect is somewhat unpredictable (unless I suppose you're one of those guys who alt+tab's out to Excel...) and I find usually negative. The jeweller and sid sushi were the only two I found reliably beneficial - other's better to setup HQ in a good finance city and then cripple your competitors' economy by setting up in their cities and avoiding your own. Might have tweaked it for the better since I last played, I darent run that game these days!
 
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News Comments > Portal 2 Co-op Details Leak?
20. Re: Portal 2 Co-op Details Leak? Mar 6, 2010, 06:04 DG
 
Could be great

On the other hand they could throw too much at it, overcomplicate and obfuscate the simple brilliance of the original.

I'm not sure there's much that could be improved on IMHO, though I don't mean to sound pessimistic - there's so much room to do worse and yet still have a superb game.
 
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1666 Comments. 84 pages. Viewing page 34.
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