The First Against The Wall...
Hello Microsoft? The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation called. They would like their business planning and marketing departments back.
286 posts • joined 11 Sep 2007
Hello Microsoft? The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation called. They would like their business planning and marketing departments back.
Windows Media Center that is.
The only media player I have ever used which doesn't use the space button as a pause / restart - but instead changes the channel to the previous channel you watched, thus ditching what it has been recording (for real time pause etc..)
yes and inevitably some websites enforce password rules that prevent you from using your system because they won't accept the length or won't allow punctuation characters.
The ones that really annoy me are those who won't let you use a password you have used previously. Surely this means they are storing all the passwords you have ever used with them before - so if that data gets robbed it provides an even richer source of password material :/
It sounds like windows 10 is the same old spaghetti with a thin layer of fresh sauce on top then?
It just makes me think of Gordon Ramsey inspecting the fridge of one of the nightmare restaurants.
"Microsoft is still working out how the Windows 10 virtual desktop feature should work. In this build, alt-tab only cycles through windows in the current desktop, and the taskbar only shows apps running in the current desktop. This means apps on other desktops are near-invisible, which could cause confusion.
“We are doing some A/B testing for this where there will be different defaults for different users,”"
So here's a clear case of functionality that simply needs a configuration option so that the user can choose which way they prefer to work. Now maybe they are just working out which behaviour should be default and include a way to switch, but on recent form I fear they are simply determining how they will force you to use it...
Anyone know if this behaviour is configurable?
I use the same scheme if I am going to surf the web at all without ad-block (I hate ads, but some decent sites wouldn't exist without them).
Exactly what I was thinking.
I suppose it is naive not to expect successive governments to repeatedly attempt the same thing.
This is basically a battle that will repeat itself until the snoopers win or our civilisation ends :(
Perhaps greater efficiency would leave more money for hospital care? Is that unreasonable?
Also the government is probably charged 50% more than the rest of us for paper & ink.
The government needs to, for accountability and history.
Most of us don't have any need to print e-mails it is true. However the government really does need to.
It is necessary to archive the machinations of government on a medium not tied to a particular technology. For transparency, legal and historical reasons.
His idea is not at all unreasonable simply on cost and efficiency grounds.
I'm sure that with modern technology we could design a society where it was virtually impossible to commit a crime without being caught. Such worlds have been considered many a time in fiction, and just think what some of the fascist regimes of the past could achieve with modern tech.
I presume this whitehall official will be volunteering to be the first to have the 24/7 monitored cameras installed in every room in his house?
There certainly are some horrible, nasty, exploitative people out there. Always have been and always will be. Some of them even work in government.
Get warrants, employ more people and treat everyone equally.
If the security services don't act within the law it makes them no better than the other criminals they are trying to catch.
I didn't down vote your insanity post, but this idea that the budget and time estimate were somehow fixed at some early stage seems fallacious to me.
The budget is based on what the backers pay and backers choose whether or not to take that risk based on the promises given of how that will benefit them.
The time estimate can only be set by the developer when they have an idea of what features they are going to be implementing.
In this instance Frontier Development changed the proposal when many, many people asked if a single player, offline mode, would be implemented.
As a consequence people who hadn't backed it because of a lack off-line mode, did so - thus increasing the budget available for implementation.
Frontier Development should not have promised off-line mode if they thought they couldn't implement it within the promised time. It is as simple as that.
Their budget was dictated by the willingness of the backers to believe in the promises given.
The time estimate is entirely within their control.
As a Software Engineer, my opinion is that they have been incompetent in their project management.
However an angry out of pocket backer might reasonably conclude they have been ripped off.
FD were fully aware of the importance of SP mode to their backers, aware enough to promise that functionality, which persuaded a lot of people to enthusiastically invest money to make it possible.
Personally I am only a little sad that I won't get to see the game I wanted, but I invested nothing. Anyone who invested on the promise of off-line mode has every right to feel aggrieved.
It wasn't a review - just reporting the 'controversy'
Some people only backed it after the off-line promise was made.
It was entirely Frontier Development who changed the proposal. They could have said "no" and had less backers and a smaller budget, but no complaints afterwards.
It was entirely their choice.
I can't see how you can defend the way they have handled it.
I agree that was when they should have evaluated the requirement against their vision and rejected it.
However I can guarantee that some backers - all those requesting a refund in fact, would not have backed the project. It was the main reason I actually considered backing it. Fortunately I decided to wait and see.
Hence it was either incompetence or a cynical money grab. Both reasonable reasons for people to complain.
PS. Their budget was provided by the backers.
Or they could have ensured that every time they had to make a decision about where certain functionality should reside (server or client) that they consult the requirements of the project and design accordingly.
The way this has happened really makes it look like all the way through development someone kept saying "oh we'll deal with that requirement later".
The off-line promise was only added because it was explicitly requested by so many backers. Which to my mind makes it probably one of the most important requirements of the project.
In software development, any time it looks like you are not going to be able to meet one of the requirements, the most important thing to do is to communicate that to your clients at the earliest opportunity.
The one thing you should never do is pretend it is not an issue until the delivery date.
Oolite's a good bit of nostalgic fun.
If you liked Frontier, you can also try pioneerspacesim as well
It seems the quote I attributed to FD, was not from them - apologies.
The only game I have ever pre-ordered was GT5 and even then I was nervous. For me at least it turned out to be the worst most soul-less & pointless racing game I have ever played. I promised then I would never pay for another game until it was released and I had read many reviews.
When I first heard about Elite:Dangerous, I immediately thought "I bet it will be online multi-player rather than the single player game I would like"
So I scoured the website & FAQ's every now & then to see how the plans were progressing. I can remember my joy when they announced single player offline mode. I'm sure that nostalgia was a major factor in this project's very successful fund raising and that nostalgia was based on an offline experience.
I certainly wanted to give them money up front simply because I was so desperate to see it succeed.
Nonetheless, fortunately for me, after some wavering I decided I just couldn't pay for promises. I am now so relieved that I didn't pay, because the current offering is not the game I was expecting it to be (based on the promises made on the website).
An offline game is a completely different beast from an online multi-player one.
I don't want my single player game re-balanced to satisfy constraints of the MMO paradigm
I don't want my SP game to progress without me while I am on holiday
I do want to be able to pause my game to deal with family issues, or pets, or phone calls, etc....
I want to see what interesting and exciting MODS the community can create
I want to be able to have multiple saves so that I can approach the universe in multiple different ways.
I want to be able to play the game on holiday
I want to be able to play the same game in 10 years time
Finally we come to the reasons why they cancelled the offline mode....
dan1980 has already destroyed their argument regarding the effort it would take, but here is another. When they first announced the dropping of off-line mode. Someone from FD said this...
There has been a lot of uproar about this but the bottom line is that they have moved so much stuff to the servers they physically cannot produce an offline version now. All of the commodity prices, background simulation, module upgrade availability, bulletin board missions, injected events and I suspect even the NPC AI are run from the servers. *
That functionality did not end up on the server accidentally.
Since offline mode was one of the requirements, one that was specifically requested by the kickstarter backers, that requirement should have informed every decision they had to take on whether functionality should have been client-side or server-side. In fact I'm sure that they could have greatly reduced the effort to provide both by some forward planning.
Finally Mr Braben said this...
"We have developed a multiplayer game with an unfolding story involving the players, and groups collaborating with specific objectives and taking account of all players' behaviour. This is what the game is about. Without this it would not be the rich gaming experience that we will deliver, and would be a great disappointment to all players.
"Any offline experience would be fundamentally empty."
From all the reviews I have seen the main complaint appears to be that the experience they have delivered is already a shallow and empty experience even with the online component.
It seems to me that either
a) their development methodology was non-existent, not adhered to or deeply flawed
b) There were other non-technical, financial reasons (DRM, pressure to release, etc...) which they are never going to admit to.
I do really feel for the people who paid up on the basis of single player. At this point I can't see me buying this in the near future as it seems to me they are going to have to find a way of funding the on-going maintenance of the servers. Which to me implies micro-transactions or P2W and other practices that I will not support.
*This quote now seems to have disappeared from the internet, fortunately I had copy & pasted it from the FD website into a different post at the time.
PS. El-Reg: please disable the auto <p> functionality in your comment form, not every line-break is a new paragraph.
+10 for you
As with any tool, they can be misused or misunderstood. There's nothing inherently wrong with CCleaner & other registry cleaning tools. The problem is usually the user.
That's not to say I haven't borked a couple of dev installations in the past, but through my own fault not the cleaners. Back when I was a windows developer registry cleaners were an essential item when developing COM based software. Yes I remember DLL hell too!
You should also check out oolite. It is based on Elite & is very similar (same ships, universe etc..), but has been added to over time and has loads of Mods available.
I do have the BBC version I linked earlier, but I prefer Oolite.
There has been a lot of uproar about this but the bottom line is that they have moved so much stuff to the servers they physically cannot produce an offline version now. All of the commodity prices, background simulation, module upgrade availability, bulletin board missions, injected events and I suspect even the NPC AI are run from the servers.
Which seems a pretty odd thing to do if one of your requirements is for the game to be playable off-line yes?
That code didn't end up on the server accidentally surely? At each point they made a decision to move some code to the server where was the sanity check on the requirements?
There are other reasons than direct griefing and lack of internet connection to want an off-line game.
1) Economics: They will need to find a way to fund the on-going server requirements - this can fundamentally affect game play eg; Micro-transactions & play to win
2) No pause button: I suspect many of the backers for this project are grown adults with jobs, families, children, cats etc... Last night I was playing oolite in a fit of nostalgia. At 11:30 I decided to install the povray planets extension and do one more trade run before bed. Due to a firefight and then being mass-locked forever, I was still no-where near the station at 00:45. Fortunately I Was able to just pause the game & go to bed. I will get back to it later.
3) Consistency: The game universe moves on without you. If I can't play for two weeks, or two months, the game universe has continued changing. Those changes are effected by other players actions while I am on holiday or just too busy to play. When I return I am effectively playing a game in a completely different state.
4) Re-balancing: Because this online universe is shared with multi-player. I may even return after a couple of weeks hiatus and find that my ships or weapons have different statistics. Anything in fact could have been tweaked solely in the interests of the multiplayer game.
5) Economic Griefing: You may be able to play Solo online mode, but the markets & missions are still going to be affected by the actions of MP players. You can rest assured that if there is a way to grief the shared galaxy, humans will find it. Economic griefing and scamming has been well practiced in certain other MMOs. Don't expect it not to happen here.
6) Modding: Some people were really looking forward to the proposed modding API. This very obviously can't happen now can it
7) DRM: They promised a DRM free version. Online authentication is DRM.
8) Longevity: The future playability of the game is entirely bound to the success of the company. You will only be able to play it while it is economically viable for Frontier to support the server. If sales tank quickly or no-one is buying spaceship skins that might not be very long at all. Equally it could continue for 15 years - the point is it is entirely beyond your control.
How many other products do you buy without any guarantees for how long it will actually function?
Many people seem to be completely unaware of the possible implications of this allegedly trivial decision.
One of the Frontier staff said in the linked thread that they did not want to place the server code in the hands of the player & allow them to discover all the secrets of the universe.
So it seems obvious that some of the 'limitations' preventing them from offering offline play are Intellectual Property & DRM based.
I agree with all your points.
On the plus side if you want to relive the BBC micro version, you can do so..
They offer the 1984 BBC Micro version + the emulator required to play it for free (as far as I can tell).
Well the other problem is how long can a buy once business model support the required servers for? I think it is reasonable to infer that the business model will have to change to micro-transactions or subs at some point in the future? Both very negative points for me.
The gaming industry really pisses me off in this way.
We have thousands of old games, who by necessity relied on excellent game-play to be successful. If the graphics were relatively good it was just a bonus.
Whilst the movie industry almost constantly releases rehashes of old movies, the games industry largely ignores the wealth of old games. Unfortunately when they do revisit something they often completely miss the essence of what the game great in the first place.
I would be so happy to get some reboots, with identical gameplay, just updated graphics and resolutions.
Elite / Frontier / Frontier-2
Spy vs Spy
Geoff Crammond's F1 GP
X-COM: UFO Defence
Would be great for me!
For as long as they can fund the servers right? So in the long term without subs or micro-transactions how will they do that?
So how are they going to fund the required servers after everyone has bought the game? Expect a Micro-transaction pay to win experience in the future to keep the servers online.
Yes server costs is a big issue. How are they going to fund the servers once all the potential players in a fairly niche market have bought the game?
The only real ways I know to do so are through subs or micro-transactions, both great reasons for avoiding online only games.
Expect the purchase model for the game to change at some point in the future possibly.
All great points
Having read some of the rage thread linked in the article. It appears that solo play is still possible, but it still requires a connection to the servers.
In which case, for me at least, that's not so bad (until the game company folds of course).
I was really looking forward to this, but only for offline. Glad I didn't stump up for the kickstarter. There must be many more like me who only really wanted it for the offline experience. :/
I'm sure the subscription is within the Daily Fail's budget
if I had that kind of money to throw away, would be spending all day on a computer looking at pictures of people's cats (on luxury yachts).
The reason I spend all day on my computer is because I am not rich.
They are not the same thing.
I use both together and feel technologically crippled by the absence of either
As long as they copy the useful things it's not a problem is it?
Sadly you instantly negate any point you might be trying to make by generalising all criticism by labeling it as just 'whining'. Do you not consider your own post to be 'whining'? I do.
What sort of things do you expect people to post on a discussion forum?
Maybe you should spend all day just waiting for a new article to be posted and then get in there with a 'First!' followed by your list of acceptable viewpoints?
Anyway two points...
1) People, especially IT professionals, these days tend to spend an inordinate amount of time interacting with a computer. For me personally it is very close to 'every waking moment'. So it is understandable that changes to that interaction, whether an improvement or not are going to provoke a reaction.
2) This is a discussion. I can only assume you have some kind of learning disability, because it is clear that you have visited some of these things before. Evidently however, despite your intimate knowledge of the same old comments which appear time after time, you still felt the need to read them (I am generously assuming you have read the thread) and then tell us all how pointless they are. Well done.
If you can't see the irony in your own post there's really no fucking hope for you. Or are you just trolling? If so I guess I made your day.
I'm not usually so belligerent, but people who use the whining "argument" deserve a special hell of their own.
Or the fewer people that upgrade, the more pressure there is on Microsoft to provide a quality OS informed by 40 years or so of HCI research, which allows the user to configure the desktop(s) to suit their aesthetic and workflows instead of an OS designed by marketing whose sole purpose is to increase sales of their other products by manipulative and anti-competitive strategies.
However at least 9 looks more useable than 8 even if at this stage it still looks bloody ugly. Including multiple work-spaces is a step in the right direction (although very late to the party)
I still can't understand why they don't copy linux at a more fundamental level and increase separation of the GUI from the the core.
This would allow them to sell GUI's targeted at different user groups on top of the one core OS.
Business users might be happier to fork out more often for improvements to performance if they could do so without impacting the user experience. Much the same for many home users I should imagine?
I'm sure they could bank masses of goodwill by creating an OS that allowed the user to choose how it looked & behaved, you know like an Operating System (designed to allow you to operate your hardware the way you want / need to) instead of forcing new GUI paradigm's and aesthetics down your throat because marketing says they need something new & whiz bang or that they need to transition the operating system to simply a consumer device.
Admittedly such a scheme is not simple and takes a lot of design & planning but I'm sure the MS folks consider themselves some of the best developers in the world.
Sadly MS is much more defined by its marketing strategies than decent software design. It has always seemed to me that they have some marketing troll in the basement who doesn't understand that you can compete by providing really excellent products instead of treating users like cattle and exploiting their market dominance. It seems to me they have no confidence in their own abilities.
Seems confused about the term "add-on", which does not mean included
Reading back through the thread would answer your question.
Linux Mint on my old netbook it's infuriating that a slip on the mousepad sends me off to another workspace that I never use and I then have to alt-arrow to get things back again. Most annoying and unwanted - if there's a way to turn this off for an old Gnome (Mint 7!)
I don't know about mint 7, but on later Mint's you can certainly turn off the hot corner for workspace switching - it's the first thing I do on any Mint install. You could try a later Mint, using the Mate desktop & see if it runs ok, or install a lighter GUI?
I have found Mint pretty good. I have an HP Elitebook which came with Win 7, however after a re-install of the OS - including all the correct HP drivers, W7 wouldn't recognise any of the hardware or fn buttons - whereas in Mint 14 and later they all work fine, including bluetooth & wi-fi (and the hardware & fn buttons to control them)
I use it all the time, in both Linux and W7 (via 3rd party software) even though I have 3 screens
technically having to install something else to provide the functionality means it is not included in Windows.
Are you going to claim Windows has CAD software because you can pay Autocad several thousand quid & install it?
Additional monitors, IMO, are much better than multiple desktops. This minor feature, unused by most and likely to stay that way, isn't going to change minds...
I like to use multiple monitors and multiple workspaces personally.
But imagine the disk thrashing and CPU burning that would happen if you tried that with Windows and VS. I tried the 3rd party virtual desktop hacks on Windows, but Windows just can't handle having more than one "work session" at a time - that's a fact I've painfully learned over the years.
This is also one of several uses I have for multiple desktops. IF you want it on windows you should look up dexpot - it does an excellent job of multiple desktops & several other things too, You can even make it do the cube (I don't bother). I have had no performance issues with it.
However I would've thought these days, more and more people would be using VMs to meet the same goal rather than running hundreds of applications on one PC?
What do you suggest one or two cores per desktop perhaps?
I do use VM's, but not to achieve the same functionality as virtual desktops - the overhead for each VM is much more than running an application on the host machine, but on a virtual desktop.
It's not really that useful a feature for most people.
I have been using Dexpot for my virtual desktops on win XP & win7 for years.
It is both excellent and really very very useful.
When I'm working I tend to have a lot of code & browser windows open, but if I want a five minute news break etc... I switch to another uncluttered desktop view to browse the web etc.. check e-mail.
My machine is hooked up to two monitors and the lounge TV via HDMI, I can set dexpot to not switch desktops on one or more monitors, so I have it set to not switch the TV screen. So when we are watching a movie etc.. I can still flip between desktops on the other monitors without affecting what's on TV.
It's also useful if you want to look at something saucy, but might want to switch to a non-naughty desktop at the drop of a hat - like a more useful boss key.
virtual desktops rock.