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3561  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Self Publishing and eBooks? The future of Print? on: February 02, 2010, 01:30:44 AM
Long long ago in high school I dreamed of being a writer.  But my conservative (practical?) parents crushed any thoughts of that and I became an engineer instead.  I always told myself that I would write in my spare time or after I was retired but I was just kidding myself.  In college I had so many different novel ideas which I would dream about and plot out during boring classes but I never really had the time to flesh them out and actually finish writing something.  That's always bugged me.  The closest I ever came was turning the first couple chapters of a book I was trying to write into a short story and submitting it somewhere off the advice of one of those books that's supposed to help you get published.  It wasn't really my best work but it was the only thing that I'd actually "finished" writing.  Of course it was horribly rejected and though I wasn't surprised I think I was pretty crushed by the experience.

This self publishing thing actually gives me some hope.  Now I know at the bare minimum if I ever get my act together and finish writing something, I don't have to worry about some editor telling me I suck, I can just publish it myself and I know at least ONE copy will get sold (to myself lol)!  I have to say it's pretty exciting, I haven't thought about writing in many years now.
3562  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Self Publishing and eBooks? The future of Print? on: February 01, 2010, 09:56:58 PM
Just looked this over briefly:

That's absolutely wonderful, I had no idea this even existed.  Which does kind of beg the question if someone as big as Amazon is doing this, why hasn't it gained more attention? 

But anyway, the one thing I think is missing is some way for the independent guys to get more attention for themselves.  I don't know how the Kindle search system works but it would be neat if you could choose an option to see only "independent" authors along with the search, and if there were top 100 lists or whatever per genre for the indie guys. 
3563  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Self Publishing and eBooks? The future of Print? on: February 01, 2010, 09:48:38 PM

Quote from: depward on February 01, 2010, 09:44:04 PM

I've already published a short story I wrote on the Kindle Store for $0.99. In fact, Amazon's DTP (Digital Text Platform) is super easy and, really, anyone can upload any story they wish. As for price, as far as I could tell, the lowest I could set it was at $0.99.

Tilt is correct about the percentages... however, I think previously it was Amazon 65%. Now they moved to Apple's 70%.

That's pretty cool, I guess that's what the guy in the blog was referring to.  So does Amazon handle all of the "publishing" and legal and copyright issues?
3564  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dollhouse Season 2 on: February 01, 2010, 09:47:13 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on February 01, 2010, 07:58:54 PM

I think the Joss Whedon projects get fractured before they start....and probably not by him.  It appears they never really know what audience they are aiming at....mainstream or people who really dig story arcs and so the starts are always awkward and almost guaranteed to not generate large audiences......and then the slow (or quick) death ensues.  Kind of reminds me of the war between game makers and game publishers.

It seems like with the last 2 shows at least, Joss comes up with a "quirky" core concept that sells well on paper to the execs.  He may have some larger arc or deeper storylines in the back of his mind but not necessarily a full season and character arcs fully fleshed out.  It seems to take him some time to start revving up and get familiar with the actors/characters.  (Note this is the one thing he did stronger with the original Buffy series, which I read he never thought would last.  It seems like he had the main season arc planned out in advance.) 

He then puts together a decent premiere which is intended to slowly warm the audience (an presumably himself and everyone working on the show) up.  Then the execs see the premiere and it isn't what they envisioned, not sexy or actiony enough, so they force him to retool it.  He ends up grabbing a second or third episode idea and shoving some premiere-ish elements into it, leaving us with a kind of cold premiere.  In the mean time, Fox loses its interest, shoves it in a crap timeslot, and gives it no promotion.  It sucks for everyone involved. 

I really hope Joss gets another shot, and is allowed to flesh his show out the way he wants to, at the pace he wants to.  However I also think its in his own best interest to have a stronger full season story arc and plan (as well as a multi-season plan) laid out, and not hold too much back at the outset.  The premiere needs to be tight, and get the core story arc at least introduced.
3565  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Self Publishing and eBooks? The future of Print? on: February 01, 2010, 09:36:56 PM
aka... Is traditional print publishing on its way out?

This is kind of an offshoot out of the iPad thread, but with the advent of eBooks and more and more newspapers going out of traditional print, it seems to be an interesting topic for discussion.  There are actually quite a few sub-topics, such as what services a publisher provides (such as editing and promotion) and just how necessary they will be if/when traditional print media goes the way of the dinosaur (which of course is also debatable.

Crusis posted a very interesting link comparing an author's print vs ebook numbers:

- - -

And finally just to mix it up a bit, over lunch I was actually thinking about whether anyone would want to help develop an "Indie Reader" app for the iPhone/iPad.  The main app would be a Reader + Store, similar to Kindle, except we would allow any Joe Blow to upload their text, keywords, summary etc. and set their own price.  The app would have all the bells and whistles, top 10 lists, user reviews, user favorites, our own personal favorites, searches by genre and topic, etc. - basically a complete venue for wannabe/"independent" authors to show off their work.  All we would do is maintain the software, database and collect money lol.  But I forgot about all the legal crap with copyrights and such, so I kind of thought it wasn't worth mentioning, unless someone has an idea to get around all that.  I suppose we could just have a disclaimer but that doesn't seem very satisfying.
3566  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dollhouse Season 2 on: February 01, 2010, 07:47:17 PM

Quote from: disarm on January 30, 2010, 03:31:07 AM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on January 30, 2010, 02:56:12 AM

I've caught up through the end of last week.  Seeing as the first thing that they did was recap Epitaph One, I'm going to wait until I get that on rental to watch before I watch this one.

i did think that it was a little strange that they showed such an incomplete and vague recap of Epitaph One at the beginning of tonight's finale.  if you haven't actually seen Epitaph One, those few clips really didn't explain anything.  that said, i think the events of the finale would make sense to anyone who has watched the show whether they've seen all of Epitaph One or not.  there are a few minor characters and references to events that might not make make complete sense, but the major events of the finale stand pretty well on their own.

It was strange/unfortunate they didn't make this a "2 hour event" and just show the 2 episodes together back to back.  I know a number of people who were pretty confused and disappointed by the finale because they had no idea of even the existence of Epitaph One.  Fox clearly just did not give a crap about the show, and were simply begrudgingly honoring their promise to air the final episodes.  I don't think I saw a single preview or promo for the series finale, which is I suppose consistent with their poor treatment of the show. 

While I thought it was a decent closer, it definitely felt rushed and certain elements that looked to be really interesting (like Victor's tech subplot and the Paul/Echo relationship) were just not able to be fleshed out in the short amount of time they had to wrap it up.  Such a shame, I really hope Joss's next venture gets the respect it deserves.
3567  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season on: February 01, 2010, 07:36:08 PM
One more day, I can't wait!!!!

The most recent commercial I saw on Desperate Housewives last night seemed to reveal quite a bit (or not).
BUt it seemed counter to what we saw in that 4-minute teaser thing.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I couldn't tell what was going on, but clearly in the commercial Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley and Jin at least were all still on the island.  Sawyer points his gun at Locke a couple times and threatens him.  Locke asks Sawyer if he wants to know the answer to what/where the island is.  Which seems to imply the "reset button" did NOT work, though the teaser video implies it did.  It looks more like the explosion just bounces our main cast into yet another different time period, or is it another different timeline?
3568  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: February 01, 2010, 07:28:04 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 01, 2010, 07:23:37 PM

Quote from: rittchard on February 01, 2010, 07:18:01 PM

Quote from: Crusis on February 01, 2010, 05:38:15 PM

Seriously, why should an eBook cost $15? There is no overhead. No warehouse cost. And the authors don't make any more royalties off the books. If they kept the price reasonable they would sell a hell of a lot more ebooks. AND Amazon has already announced that they are bumping royalties on kindle to 70% provided the books are priced under $9.99. I've actually asked my publisher to lower the price on my new book for Kindle. If I had my way it would sell for $2.99 but it looks like $4.99 will have to do. BTW. eBooks sell 6 copies for every 10 paper copies on Amazon.

This is slightly OT, but if you think longer term, doesn't the whole idea of "ebooks" make "publishers" completely irrelevant?  At some point won't the price of a new "book" simply be set by whatever the market/readers are willing to bear?  Imagine this: you are an author, you "release" your new book electronically, say for argument as an iPad "app" or through iBooks exclusively, so there is no other publisher side middleman, so you get 70% (or whatever it is) of all the profits.  Technically is there anything stopping any budding writer from doing that right now (aside from Apple approval) and setting the price of their book to whatever they want or think is fair?

I'm not really trying to make any partiuclar point and I am kind of confusing myself to be honest.  I just think it's an interesting topic.  If you believe that printed media is slowly on its way out (maybe 10 years, 20 years? I don't know), it really starts to re-define the entire "book" industry, doesn't it?

Most authors interviews I've read indicate that a publisher support is invaluable, especially in terms editing, copy editing, and promotion.  

Well they pretty much have to say that right now, don't they?  Without a publisher they have no means to... publish or get their material out there.  But things are changing really fast, and I'm sure it's scary for people used to doing things the traditional way.  

The fact is, though, even right at this moment, I could write a novel, have a friend edit it (or not), and then build it into an iPhone "app" and promote it through the web however I wanted to, sell my novel for $0.99 (or whatever) on the App store and have access to 75 million potential customers.  

Thinking out loud now: from an established author's POV, they could likely reap a great deal more profit with no middle man.  Just imagine if JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer decided to release their next Harry Potter or Twilight sequel this way.  They could set the price to whatever they felt like, say $9.99 and you know everyone and their grandma and tween niece would buy it, and they get all the profit.  Do they really need a publisher to promote them?
3569  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: February 01, 2010, 07:18:01 PM

Quote from: Crusis on February 01, 2010, 05:38:15 PM

Seriously, why should an eBook cost $15? There is no overhead. No warehouse cost. And the authors don't make any more royalties off the books. If they kept the price reasonable they would sell a hell of a lot more ebooks. AND Amazon has already announced that they are bumping royalties on kindle to 70% provided the books are priced under $9.99. I've actually asked my publisher to lower the price on my new book for Kindle. If I had my way it would sell for $2.99 but it looks like $4.99 will have to do. BTW. eBooks sell 6 copies for every 10 paper copies on Amazon.

This is slightly OT, but if you think longer term, doesn't the whole idea of "ebooks" make "publishers" completely irrelevant?  At some point won't the price of a new "book" simply be set by whatever the market/readers are willing to bear or whatever the author feels like charging?  Imagine this: you are an author, you "release" your new book electronically, say for argument as an iPad "app" or through iBooks exclusively, so there is no other publisher side middleman, so you get 70% (or whatever it is) of all the profits.  Technically is there anything stopping any budding writer from doing that right now (aside from Apple approval) and setting the price of their book to whatever they want or think is fair?

I'm not really trying to make any partiuclar point and I am kind of confusing myself to be honest.  I just think it's an interesting topic.  If you believe that printed media is slowly on its way out (maybe 10 years, 20 years? I don't know), it really starts to re-define the entire "book" industry, doesn't it?
3570  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (2/1) on: February 01, 2010, 06:52:53 PM
Just White Knight for me!
3571  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 31, 2010, 06:31:47 AM

Quote from: Hrothgar on January 31, 2010, 05:53:06 AM

If I understand you correctly, this isn't targeted at me.  As a typical gamer geek, this is the Wii for computers.  It's from a company I've supported in the past even through hard times.  They tease me that they're giving me a new present that'll revolutionize my life.  It'll change the way I think about gaming (or computing).  Against my better judgment, I get all excited thinking they'll rekindle (har)  the old flame.  But no, they're not interested in me at all.  They want the mass market.  I want to say I understand, but just like Tycho, I'm hurt.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean here - I guess you are saying you are not part of the "mass market"?  What market do you consider yourself then?  Either way, I think they *are* targeting this at you - because they are targeting pretty much everyone that uses computers in their everyday life (that isn't an inherent Apple hater).  Just because it's a popular mass market device doesn't mean a techie geek (like myself) can't enjoy and benefit from using it.

As a baseline, Steve Jobs is claiming this device was targeted to be a "better" experience (than an iPhone or a laptop) for:  Browsing, Email, Photos, Video, Music, Games, eBooks.  Judging by what I've seen so far, I think they've probably succeeded on all accounts but Video, with Gaming being a question mark.  I don't see how they can claim Video is better than on a laptop, though it is clearly better than an iPhone.  Gaming at best they can say will be a different/unique experience compared to a laptop, but better than the iPhone due to the size.  So anyway, if any or some combination of these functions interest you in a single device, you are clearly in the target audience.  

As a gadget freak like me, this can also become the home "hub" command panel from which you control and access all your other gadgets and goodies; this is the part that really gets me excited.  I want to stream content from my home server, watch TV off my slingbox, control my TV and other devices, check my home surveillance camera feeds, remote control my desktop, play music off my remote speakers, etc.  Sure I can (almost) do all of this on my iPhone, but it's not quite the same as being on a larger panel where I imagine it will just feel more natural.
3572  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 31, 2010, 03:20:27 AM

Quote from: Wargus on January 30, 2010, 08:07:20 PM

Once you get to the size of the ipad, I'm thinking well - what can I do with something that size?  The answer is a LOT.  The unfortunate part is it doesn't do any of it.  Do I want to check my budgeting? Invoicing? Full featured web surfing?  Work on my spreadsheets or business plan?  It won't do any of that well enough (if at all) that I'd use it for that over a computer. So really all this is is a media or media control device (meaning if you want anything but a book you have to buy other proprietary technology or use another method to hook it into your existing systems).

Everything it does do I can already do on my iphone, you only sacrifice in screen size.  So, what does this do that the iphone doesn't?

You really seem to have little faith in Apple (given that you're an iPhone user) and/or for some reason have completely made up your mind on what this product can and can't do.  Obviously you have your reasons and I won't begrudge you that.  Still, some of the concerns you have brought up are worth discussing for people who haven't made up their minds.

Earlier you were talking about the size/weight as compared to your 4 pound laptop.  The difference is that in the case of a tablet, you are meant not just to have it in your lap (which is perfectly fine), but also to be able to hold it in one hand and interact with it with the other.  The interaction is meant to be more intimate and personal, for lack of a better characterization.  Having used the iPhone, I'm sure you'd agree that touching your way through the internet is an overall more visceral experience than using a mouse or keyboard or stylus...  On the work side, this is something that you could easily carry from place to place that would have a lesser impact than a 3-4 pound laptop, essentially more like carrying a notebook or organizer.

So now you're saying anything you can do with the iPad you can already do with the iPhone.  While I'd agree in basic principle, here I think it's important to keep an open mind and engage your imagination.  Having a larger screen may seem like a simple enhancement that just allows you to see more or see things larger, but you can't discount the fact that this is a multi-touch screen, which also means your ability to interact with it is going to also be enhanced multi-fold.  It's too early to tell exactly how this will play out, but I'm sure you can imagine that this might drastically change the way a game feels when you play it, or how any number of the musical apps will be enhanced with a much larger surface area to work with, or how an artist might be able to paint and draw with much more freedom.  I think size is going to matter a lot more in the long run than you are giving it credit for, particularly as people get more and more creative.

As for productivity capability, as already mentioned iWorks will give you access to spreadsheets, presentations and word processing.  Omnigroup just announced they are bring a suite of productivity products to the iPad as well (looks mostly like Visio and Project Management).  I'm reasonably sure there will be plenty of other work-oriented apps making their way to the iPad as well, as it starts to be seen as not just an entertainment device by developers.

As for budgeting and invoicing, there are already a number of apps for both on the iPhone, and if there's demand, I have no doubt they will be improved and enhanced for the iPad.
3573  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 30, 2010, 07:01:47 AM

Quote from: farley2k on January 28, 2010, 10:11:41 PM

Quote from: rittchard on January 28, 2010, 09:37:35 PM

Nor did they have an installed base of 100,000 apps developed specifically for them. 

Really?  There aren't 100,000 apps developed for Windows XP?  That is what most notebooks run and I am pretty sure there are a lot of apps for it.  There are really more apps for the iPhone than for windows?

Oops missed this - you took the quote out of context, or maybe I wasn't clear enough.  I was talking about specific apps developed for that specific hardware platform (that adapted specifically to the size of the device, the touch screen or stylus, etc), not just apps on the OS itself.  My quote was referring to devices like the Samsung Q1 all the way through the Archos 9 - they may run Windows XP/7 but there are very few specific apps that were developed or optimized for them.
3574  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 30, 2010, 06:55:32 AM

Quote from: SkyLander on January 29, 2010, 05:52:06 PM

Why did they choose 4:3 instead of making the device a little bit longer to get a nice widescreen aspect ratio out of it?

My first guess is it had something to do with availability of screens from that Chinese company rumored to be supplying them.

But more probably it was a painstaking tradeoff between all the main functions the device was meant for.  And my guess is they went in favor of a stronger web browsing experience (and possibly book reading?) in lieu of movie/video watching.  The Archos 9 as a reference went with 16:10 (1024x600).  HD video plays and looks pretty nice.  But web browsing is clearly compromised.  In landscape mode, you get a long and skinny browser which feels like half of a real screen, it's almost worthless.  In portrait mode, where browsing is much more serviceable, you get a tall and skinny window which just doesn't look/feel right.
3575  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 30, 2010, 06:30:36 AM

Quote from: Blackjack on January 29, 2010, 10:37:59 PM

I'd like to think people will come up with great, compelling apps that truly use the screen size to do unique things that wouldn't work well on an iPhone screen, but it's a shame they didn't wait until someone did just that before announcing it to the world.

You know, for all the bitching about Apple being a "closed" system etc. this is one of the hugest advantages Apple has.  It's a subtle point, and I'm sure there will be people who will complain about one thing or another, but the early release of the SDK I think is just wonderful.  This opens the device up to an entire world of skilled people who might just have the next big thing in terms of software ideas but no other venue to share it.  In other words, why wait to do it themselves when they can just release the tools and have access to an entire world full of possible designers?

So yeah, Apple's own custom apps for the iPad demo were a bit dull, but I have complete faith in outside developers, who now have 2 months to build something prior to release, to come up with some slick and unique ideas to take advantage of the larger screen and larger interface touch area.  And of course this is just the beginning.
3576  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 29, 2010, 10:10:43 PM

Quote from: farley2k on January 29, 2010, 10:04:03 PM

I would be happy if he got me one!  I promise I would buy lots of apps from the store.

Yeah, the govt will then take a tax out of every app that's downloaded!

But seriously, for myself I do kind of seeing this device as a "central hub" command center kind of thing, kind of how it appears they use tablets in Stargate and such, but on more of the entertainment side.  On its own it stands alone fine, but in tandem with all the other electronics in your life, it becomes that much more powerful, sort of the "cloud computing" mentality with a bunch of dumber home-based clouds.  Which reminds me, I know you can set iPhone up to check home surveillance cameras and stuff like that, which would look much better on the large screen.  Either way I think the display is going to be a huge boon, because as much as I love my iPhone, there are definitely times I wish I could be doing the same thing on a bigger screen.

My question is on the overall size, I'm not sure it's light enough to justify carrying all over the place.  I'm imagining it will be, but I'd have to feel it in action.
3577  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season on: January 29, 2010, 10:02:06 PM
Holy cow!!!!!  Was that for real or a side teaser they filmed to throw us off?  It certainly looked pretty real.
3578  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 29, 2010, 10:01:08 PM

Quote from: farley2k on January 29, 2010, 09:59:38 PM

I like your post, but I was shocked at how many extras you will need to buy just for a normal day!  "Hit the Infrared Remote app (this requires an additional attachment)", "At the meeting, I use the VGA adapter to put my presentation up on the projector screen", "and start playing some background music through the Airport-enabled speakers".... not to mention a bluetooth enabled stereo in the car!  Seems like your iPad is going to need a lot of stuff to help it along. 

LOL, don't you realize the whole thing is just a way to jump start the economy?  I'm pretty sure Obama will have one on Day 1.
3579  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 29, 2010, 09:52:24 PM
There's been so much focus on what the iPad can't do and all the missing features, I think it's easy to lose perspective as to what it CAN do.  So here's a post I did on my blog, trying to relate the positive side to the new iPad, or at least to give a personal example of how I imagine it's usage in a normal day:
3580  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 29, 2010, 04:36:39 AM

Quote from: Laner on January 28, 2010, 10:33:21 PM

Quote from: Clay on January 28, 2010, 04:54:03 PM

I don't really buy into this. Nobody is forcing these down the throats of consumers. Apple made it quite clear that this falls between a phone and a laptop and is good for relaxed browsing, gaming, movie watching, etc... The iPad never was supposed to be a "personal computer."

Really?  I lost track of how many times Jobs either alluded to or directly referenced netbooks - which are most definitely "personal computers".  The iPad is being positioned as a netbook-killer, and as such is going to be compared to them - the "open-ness" of the platform being one of those criteria.

I actually agree with both of you.  Now my question is, exactly what is the netbook market targeting?  I think the netbook is a different animal to different people.  For the more tech savvy, it's definitely like a mini-laptop that you'd like to be able to do just about anything a "real" laptop can do, but maybe a bit slower and on a smaller screen.  People like me will go as far as to swap out the hard drive and add RAM, or try to overclock or whatever to get the most performance.  With the ION chipset in the HP Mini 311, the netbook really becomes a 3 pound mini-laptop that does a great job running Windows 7, and I was even able to get Dragon Age running on it; pretty sweet.  However, I've heard from many of my friends that their wives just want a "cute" computer that they can check email on and occasionally browse the web.  I suppose they may also want to check out some photos, listen to some music or watch a movie or play a very casual game.

For browsing the internet, the netbook is still not quite the convenient experience I'd like it to be.  Booting the unit is fast but still takes 45 seconds.  I can put it to sleep, but even the wake on sleep takes enough time that it's not the "instant gratification" device I'm looking for. The trackpad is OK, but it's nowhere as good as the one on Macbooks, and I am convinced a handheld touch interface is going to be much much better.  For email, it probably doesn't matter much, but from what I saw in the demo, email looked like a lot more fun on the iPad than it is in webmail or Outlook.  Ditto on media like photos, videos, music, and of course books.  The book reading experience will clearly be better than on a netbook, if only by virtue of the ease of rotating to an instantaneous portrait view.  

Gaming is probably the most interesting place for comparison.  A netbook (particularly with Ion) will have an almost limitless access to all of the best PC games of all time, even including some of the newest releases.  That's hard to beat.  But the iPad has a big following, tons of casual games and an interface that is unique to it, something the netbook cannot duplicate.  I think casual users are going to prefer the iPad, and hardcore gamers would likely be gaming on something more powerful for the power games.  

So all in all, for a generic casual user (who may or may not be the target audience for netbooks) the iPad pretty much accomplishes everything they might normally use it for, but in almost every instance, it will do it *better* - easier to use, faster to access, more fun to get involved with.  Where netbooks and iPad cross-over in usage, the iPad is likely to win in every category.  Netbooks can ultimately do more and are of course much more versatile, but that may not really matter.

In some ways it boils back to the same thing.  Feature sets and pure specs on tech devices are not the end of the story.  You could have the best hardware feature for feature and all the bells and whistles any one could dream of, but it would still be worthless if the end user experience wasn't as engaging as a lesser device.  Look at how successful the Wii has been with lesser hardware; people just love the interface.    
3581  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Giving blowjob can be good for your health on: January 29, 2010, 04:14:16 AM

Quote from: morlac on January 29, 2010, 12:13:25 AM

Quote from: Geezer on January 28, 2010, 11:13:36 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on January 28, 2010, 10:50:36 PM



That's gross.

Yea, where is that thumb supposed to go?  icon_eek

I don't do that unless you ask really nicely.   saywhat
3582  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Workaholism on: January 29, 2010, 04:13:37 AM

Quote from: YellowKing on January 29, 2010, 03:24:36 AM

One of my coworkers is like this. The only reason he leaves work is if his wife calls and begs him to come home.

At Thanksgiving he took no time off, working all day Thanksgiving Day. He just had a baby and took a week off. The day after the baby was born I was getting work emails from him and saw him logging into the servers to check things.

He has told me that he actually sleeps with his pager beside him, even when not on call. He has his servers set up to page him for everything - CPU load, disk space, paging files, etc. and responds to every page, even if it's in the middle of the night. I know he works most of the weekend, and when he's not actively working on issues he's reading vendor documentation in his spare time.

Don't get me wrong, I admire a strong work ethic. And the guy is really smart and one of the best engineers on our team. But seriously - that's got to take a toll on your family and your health.

Wow that is actually a bit frightening.  I guess it's all relative because it sounds like in comparison I'd have to say my partner is not that far gone.  Then again I guess it all depends - if you can work that hard and then shut it all off when you are interacting with friends and family, that's one thing, but if you are just never really able to turn off that little voice that's telling you to work, that's another.
3583  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 28, 2010, 09:37:35 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on January 28, 2010, 08:12:56 PM

Having had a night to sleep on it, I think probably I'd want to wait and see how content and unique apps shake out for it. It's funny to read some of the hard-core techie sites and how they seem to want it to be exactly like umpteen other tablets (mostly Win7 gizmos) that are already on the market and aren't selling in any appreciable numbers or creating any sort of new audience. Apple wouldn't make something for that narrow an audience, at least not on purpose  icon_razz.

This is the thing I find kind of bizarre, people whining about it not having x set of features that I've personally already owned on numerous devices since 2006.  The fact is none of those took off, and none of those were nearly as friendly or fun to use as an iPhone or iPod Touch.  Nor did they have an installed base of 100,000 apps developed specifically for them.  So the iPad (version 1) is basically a giant iPod Touch - that's still going to be infinitely more useful to me than any of those other devices.

BTW, have any of you used Logmein?  This allows you to remotely control your own desktop, so effectively you can do your own "cloud computing" and "multitask" to your heart's content.  It will only be that much more awesome and easy to use on a large screen.
3584  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Giving blowjob can be good for your health on: January 28, 2010, 09:31:11 PM

Quote from: Alefroth on January 28, 2010, 08:45:36 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on January 26, 2010, 04:51:12 PM

Sweet!  Anything goes while Naednek is at work.  W got the next 8 hours to raise hell!
On topic:  I like blowjobs.  

Any preference as to who performs this activity for you?

Are you offering?


Don't offer or people will get mad at you!!!
3585  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Workaholism on: January 28, 2010, 09:29:54 PM

Quote from: DragonFyre on January 28, 2010, 09:20:57 PM

When you hear nothing but bad stories, it sounds like a shit job. But I'm the kind of person who will never be relaxed and upbeat about a job. There's always negatives, and they often seem to outweigh the positives. And when you're buried under the shitstorm, it's hard to find breathing space. Yet I always squeak through.

That's definitely interesting Dragon...  I wonder though without being too nosy are you married or spoken for?  Do you have any issues with your relationships that might be affected by your work?  Are you able to relax when you do finally get time?  Do you feel like you have time to pursue hobbies or other interests outside of work?

It actually sounds like you have quite a few of the "symptoms" they talk about in the book (and much of what you describe sounds very much like my partner's day in a very different type of job), but it sounds also like you are pretty happy overall, so that is definitely a much different perspective.  If my partner came home happy from all the hard work, I think I'd actually be much more able to live with it - it's seeing him miserable and constantly complaining that is also driving me a bit crazy.  I hate to sound selfish, but I don't think he has any inkling of what the effect of his overall work and home attitude is on me.  Even when I've mentioned that, he just gives me a sarcastic "boo hoo" - because obviously nothing could possibly be as bad as what he has to deal with (from his perspective).
3586  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Workaholism on: January 28, 2010, 09:23:04 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on January 28, 2010, 09:05:07 PM

What you're describing actually does sound a lot like alcoholism.  Switch out working for drinking, and the story is the same one I've heard a thousand times in different AA rooms.  Unpredictable temper, wanting to stop but can't, repeated promises to change that don't go anywhere.  The story is disturbingly familiar to me.

You can't change him.  That's the bottom line.  If he wants to change, that's got to come from within.  You have to accept who he is, and find a way to live with the situation, or you have to decide to leave him.

Thanks for the feedback...  I think that's where I'm at right now, trying to figure out if there's some way I can at least help with the process.  I actually told him I was considering an "intervention" (half jokingly) but the problem is the only friends I think he might actually listen to are hundreds of miles away, and are unlikely to visit.  I'm going to finish reading through the book and see if there's anything useful in there, and I may or may not give it to him to read as well.  We'll see.
3587  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Workaholism on: January 28, 2010, 07:47:54 PM
It's recently come to my mind that my partner is a real workaholic.  Not in the conventional sense that we all might generally talk about it, but in a deeper, clinical sense more akin to alcoholism - as a serious disease or obsession.  I checked online briefly and was surprised to see there was actually a Workaholics Anonymous site, as well as numerous books that treated this as seriously as I finally am starting to think I should.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still skeptical about it, and some of it sounds like self-help mumbo-jumbo, but the more I learn, the more I feel like this is something I need to understand more.  I'm reading a book now called "Chained to the Desk" which helps define the difference between people who work hard and true workaholics.  It's pretty fascinating as it is helping me to identify and grasp some issues from a slightly different perspective.

Now I suppose at some level I've always known this about my partner (we've known each other over 15 years now) but I didn't really know how to address or identify it.  He has always been more stressed out about his studies (then research, then degree, then job 1, job 2, etc) than what I'd consider is "normal" but I just chalked it up to him being him.  And as the book points out, workaholism is a devious addiction because it is generally celebrated and promoted and even encouraged in our work-based culture.  So I think I've unfortunately also helped to enable him to continue with this pattern, even as it's been getting progressively worse over time.  The worst part of it now is that he is in a job and position that utterly and exhaustively feeds on a workaholic.  This is a job that simply will take as much as an individual will give with no let up.  He works on site for at least 11 hours a day, and then brings home more work at night.  Saturdays he works about half a day, and then again brings back more piles for Sunday.  Hours-wise it may not sound that horrible to some people, but trust me, the overall impact is huge.  Because ultimately there's nothing else on his mind, the only thing I can always easily get him to talk about is whatever the latest problems at work are.  The longest vacation he took last year was I think 3 days for Christmas, and 3 days for his mother's 70th birthday - of course half of the time was spent driving and there was no relaxation involved.  I can tell that most of the time I talk to him he is not paying attention.

He makes OK money but it's more or less a dead end job where he can never catch up, always runs in crisis mode, gets routinely yelled at by his manager, and the owner is a cheap bastard who doesn't want to pay him what he's really worth or spend more money on hiring people to help him, or buy the equipment they need.  And yet he won't leave this job, even after 2 years of telling me day in and out that the job is "a living hell" and that every day he thinks can't get any worse, but it does.  Then he complains I am unsympathetic and not understanding of his situation.  And at this point, yes I'd agree.  I think I've run out of compassion for someone who seemingly won't take a stand for himself or even accept that part of the problem is inherently within himself.  I've tried to suggest therapy but he poopoos that and tells me he has no time (the last time he went I believe it was really helping but ultimately it made it difficult for him to qualify for life insurance, I think it was, and now he blames me for that).

There have been a couple of break points where I almost left him, or we almost broke up over the years, or more recently where we'd finally have some discussions about changing things for the future, but generally they've amounted to nothing much different.  Most recently we had a bizarre incident where I walked in to where he was sitting at the computer at home and made a snide joke about watching TV together, to which he looked enraged, grabbed a ruler and hurled it at me; it drew minimal blood but I was pretty shocked as he is generally a pretty nice guy without a big temper.  He later apologized and said he was trying to be funny, but we both know that was not the case.  The overall stress and resentment is constantly there and this just hit a boiling point.  His temper has been getting worse and worse these days.

At this juncture I don't know how to properly confront the issues at hand.  He claims he is going to start working on his resume this weekend, but I've heard that a dozen times now and nothing has come of it.  But more to the point, I don't think just changing a job is going to solve the deeper underlying issues, which I am now thinking true workaholism is at least a part of.  A new job (if he can even find one in this market) might help mask some of the problems but really isn't confronting them.  And of course a bigger problem is that at this point, he doesn't want to hear this from me (I guess no one likes to get criticized or confronted by their partner?), so I have to be very careful how to approach it.

Any thoughts or similar life experiences?
3588  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 28, 2010, 06:57:25 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on January 28, 2010, 05:20:38 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on January 28, 2010, 05:13:24 PM

This is a good one!

OMG, you guys are going to get me fired I was laughing so hard on this one.  I thought the Darkfall one was the best I'd seen but this is definitely number one!
3589  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 28, 2010, 05:49:26 AM
Gaming - whoa!

The demo today they showed Nova, a 3D FPS which takes advantage of the touch interface to add special things like 2 finger gestures to hurl a grenade, or drawing a window around multiple enemies to fire at them all at once.  EA showed Need for Speed where you hold the iPad like a steering wheel and the accelerometer allows you to control the steering by rotating the unit.  Very very cool, as they describe it it's like holding an HD screen in front of your face and interacting with it.  The added screen space allows them to add other small touch screen finishes like touching the mirror to see what's behind you or a gear shift that pops up for you to adjust via touch.  I'm glad the devs are finally starting to take real advantage of the touch screen.

- - -

Again if you are on the fence or are truly interested in seeing what this is capable of, I'd definitely recommend watching the keynote address or at least the mini video demo.  Just the internet browsing alone is going to make this device worth the price of entry. Like the iPhone at release, though, it's hard to describe in words.  It's going to take people seeing it in action to really drive sales up and suck in some of the skeptics.  Then again they claim there are 75 million users already (iPhone and Touch), so the initial fan base is already there.
3590  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 28, 2010, 05:21:07 AM

Quote from: Destructor on January 28, 2010, 05:06:18 AM

I'll be honest - if this was a Windows based device (instead of iTouch OS), with a bit more storage (like say 32GB, for $500), I'd consider this a hit. I'd quite possibly grab one, even though I already have a gaming rig, a laptop, and a netbook.

But for what it is? There's no way I'll ever own one in its current incarnation. It really doesn't 'fill the gap' between netbook and laptop. Or much of anything else.

The only niche it fills is the one that Apple just made up, and decided that you need.

What you just described is exactly the Archos 9 pctablet.  Did you read my review of it?  There's a difference between making something that sounds great on paper like the Archos 9 with tons of capability and features, and something that actually is useful in practice.  The Archos 9 can probably beat the iPad on a feature by feature basis, plus it runs Window 7 Ultimate!  But guess what?  It is awkward to use for just about everything, because the OS and interface were just not thought out well enough.  It has touch, it has a stylus, it has a little mini mouse thing, but none of them work well enough on their own.  It can multi-task, but with 1GB of RAM it does everything slow, so you pretty much won't want to run more than one application on it at a time.
3591  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 28, 2010, 05:14:41 AM

Quote from: Wargus on January 28, 2010, 02:08:46 AM

Huh, color me unimpressed.

So, this essentially a 64gb touch screen computer with no keyboard selling for $500 and a monthly data fee? And you are all excited? REALLY?  I have this bridge...

Keyboardless tablets have been tried in the past, lack of keyboard killed them.  Also, if you have black cover with a flip screen cover, why on earth wouldn't you just put an ultralight keypad in that?  So this is a not-computer, not-phone that needs a dataplan, has extremely limited memory for a device of its size. It is an e-reader, email checker web surfer that will play limited casual games.  WOOhooo!!!!!

I realize the memory is par with tablets, but please explain why I'd want the ipad over a laptop?  The HP Pavilion tx2110 is a tablet that will have up to 3gb ram, 250gb hard drive, touch screen, keyboard that folds away.  The only thing the ipad has over it is weight (1.5 lbs vs. the HPs near 4).  It is essentially a laptop with a touchscreen. OH, and it is going to sell for $600.

If you don't get the difference between a 4 pound laptop and a 1.5 pound tablet, you are clearly just not the target audience for a device like this.  This is not about specs-manship, this is about the casual, intimate space where you might want to cuddle up in your favorite chair and browse the web, or read an ebook in bed, or watch a TV show while on the treadmill, or check email at the kitchen table while eating your cereal, or play a few rounds of a TBS game on the toilet.  You aren't going to do this with a 4 pound laptop, and trust me, even on a 3 pound Macbook Air it's awkward at times to do some of these things, and there are times you might just not want to take the unit around.  Instant-on + lightweight + 10 hours of battery life means this will always be available to you when you want it.  Not 45 seconds later after booting up, or even 20 seconds to wake from sleep, but exactly when you want, instantly.

Lack of a keyboard is not a killer.  For general surfing and quick emails, the iPhone has already proven the touch keyboard is adequate.  If you must do true work and typing on the machine, there are bluetooth keyboards and the docking option they showed.
3592  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 28, 2010, 04:56:26 AM
It's always interesting to see the various reactions to Apple's inventions and releases.  There's always the haters that jump out and hate on whatever it is, then the skeptics, the fanboys and then a smattering of in-betweeners.  For those that are skeptical but interested, I encourage you to watch the demo show because that will give you a much much better idea of what the user experience might be like.  More intimate, more convenient, more compelling because it's in your hand and yet big enough to give you a more full-featured experience.  Steve Jobs clearly lays out the intentions to create tech in this space, not just to fill the spot, but to do things like web browsing and email *better* than conventional devices.  Watching the internet browsing experience alone makes this a winner in my book, even without Flash.  Knowing what it feels like on the iPhone, I can only imagine how much better it's going to be on a much larger screen.

There's definitely some misses here, but remember who you are dealing with.  This is Apple and they WILL hold things back, either on purpose or because they simply aren't ready.  What's important is to see they are going full force to tackle this intermediate space and like it or not, it will inevitably change the landscape of the portable computing world in the same way the iPod did.  This is just the initial release, so it's probably worth waiting for the second or third generation if you aren't a rabid fan.  I'm thinking that like the iPhone, it will probably the third-ish gen that's really going to command the market.  But by launching this version early, it can start building the App base (games games games!!!) and peripherals NOW so that by the time the third gen comes out (again like the iPhone) it can completely dominate the market.  

Misses (with commentary):

Weight - 1.5 pounds is on the border of being too heavy, I know this because that's the weight of the Archos 9.  It's OK with one hand but not great.  My target would be 1 pound to seal the deal.

No Flash - ouch but it's just a matter of time I believe.  This is probably the biggest disappointment overall

Multitasking - would be nice, but honestly is this really that big a deal?  What exactly is it you feel you have to be doing in the background of a casual device while you are watching a movie or reading an eBook or playing a game or browsing?  If it's just listening to music, that an already be done.  In any case, this is just a matter of time as well as the work on multi-core ARM processors is already in progress

Front facing camera/iChat - my guess is they are purposely saving this for a later release, this will be a key selling feature later on, possibly 3rd gen.

Large bevel - looks kind of awkward and photo frame-ish, but as you could even see from Steve Jobs' demo, you want an area to hold the device that is not the responsive touchscreen

No eInk - not ready yet but coming soon, look at Pixel Qi to sign the death warrant of the Kindle.  A relatively cheap screen tech that supposedly matches eInk for reading but also changes to regular LCD screenlike performance.  If Apple gets its hand on this or something similar (maybe third gen?), it can take complete command of this space

Keyboard - I'm skeptical about the giant keyboard on-screen.  Once it's on your lap it will be wobbly and hard to type.  I don't think this is the best solution, I think I'd prefer something like what the Samsung Q1 does with 2 small thumb based keyboard on the left and right sides.
3593  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 27, 2010, 09:17:34 PM

Quote from: Caine on January 27, 2010, 09:00:39 PM

it really bums me that multitasking is out.  when you have such a powerful device in your hands, running just one app on it at a time knocks it down a notch, especially compared to similar devices.  

the 3g is nice, but $130 nice?  they need to drop the price difference down for me, but having 3g would make this a glorified phone with voip, no?

Keep in mind this is just the first iteration, and is just a precursor of where they are heading.  Mutli-tasking is likely already in the works as they develop their own chips via PA Semi.  I'm sure there will be deals with Verizon and subsidies, etc to tackle the 3G business as well, and of course price drops and feature adds in the coming months and years.

This article pretty much states what I was saying a few posts ago, if you look down the line, with this device Apple is trying to take over conventional "casual" internet/computer/laptop use, or re-defining it the same way they did with music and the iPod.  Whether they succeed will have to be seen in the next few years.
3594  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 27, 2010, 07:26:46 PM

Quote from: Devil on January 27, 2010, 07:24:21 PM

Am I missing something? Why would you pay MORE for 3G when you would pay MORE per month?

No subsidy - it's essentially "unlocked" so you are paying for the feature itself.
3595  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 27, 2010, 07:21:06 PM

Quote from: kathode on January 27, 2010, 07:20:00 PM

Starts at $499.  Even below my lowest estimate.  Nice smile

Very nice!!  Someone called the $500 rumor yesterday, right?
3596  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 27, 2010, 07:19:55 PM
Starting $499!?!??!?!
3597  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 27, 2010, 07:19:16 PM
Damn this price structure is just tempting enough to whet my appetite!  Must.... resist....
3598  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 27, 2010, 06:56:22 PM
I guess they really are going straight for the jugular against Kindle, ouch!!!
3599  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 27, 2010, 06:42:53 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on January 27, 2010, 06:31:42 PM

Quote from: rittchard on January 27, 2010, 06:29:47 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on January 27, 2010, 06:25:46 PM

Looks slick, but how are they gonna market this thing.  It's a big iphone without the phone.

Uhhh hasn't that been covered a bunch of times already?  It's the space between the iPhone and a full laptop/desktop, eventually replacing newspapers, magazines, books - and likely becoming your primary home web browser and email client.  I could go on and on but I won't because I know how people hate when I keep revealing I am an Apple fanboy icon_wink

Yes that's Apple's line, but I'm not getting the draw here.

I'm sure there will be many people like you who won't see the draw at first but might get interested later, and there will likely be some haters that will always refuse to recognize the potential.  But keep in mind it took some time for the iPod, and later the iPhone to really move to a more mass appeal status.  My guess is it will take about a year or so before this really sinks into the mainstream population.  I think a lot of people will be skeptical at first until they see how their friends, colleagues, schoolmates, etc are using the device in their everyday lives - but again it will take some time for that kind of market penetration to occur.

For early adopters though, it's like a wet dream.  You don't know how long I've been waiting for a decent slate/tablet like device - I actually own one of the original old Newtons lol.  Every single one (and I'd include things like larger PMPs from Archos and UMPCs) has failed in one aspect or another, all the way up through the Archos 9 I recently purchased (reviewed in Hardware/Software).

My prediction: this style of device is going to be the next-gen of computing, possibly overtaking the netbook and low-end laptop market over time (a few years or so).  If the majority of people use their netbooks/laptops for browsing, media, light gaming, email - why not use a device that is even handier, lighter and (theoretically) easier to use?    
3600  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24, Season 8 discussion (there are spoiler tags for a reason) on: January 27, 2010, 06:33:46 PM

Quote from: Scraper on January 27, 2010, 02:57:27 PM

Quote from: whiteboyskim on January 27, 2010, 02:52:31 PM

The difference with Sam though was it ultimately was a ploy by the bad guys who then executed the useless sub characters. Which was orders of magnitude awesome. I hope something similar happens here bu I'm suspecting that won't be the case. Just a feeling. And I'm all over Dark Renee. Not sure what that says about me though.

Also Sam only left CTU once during the entire season and that was for 5 minutes when he got mugged. Other than that he was balls to the walls mean with his managerial style. Really his silly plot twist only lasted 2 episodes and then it was done.

Plus it ultimately set up his awesome sacrifice scene which looked like it could have been pulled straight from Lord of the Rings - the 24 Edition. 

I'm not saying it's the same exact plotline, it just feels soooo familiar.  Hopefully they will go a completely different direction with Starbuck and surprise us.
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