Note To Editors
A 6% drop in a stock is not a "plummet". It's a "fall".
I know this having worked for a company whose stock fell 40% in one day. Now that's a "plummet".
28 posts • joined 12 Jun 2013
That would be great. There was a very sheepish article linked from the news page with no real description of the issue. Within hours of the outage the main screen ((c) 2009) should have been updated with information. Standard Major Incident management (he says, fingering his ITIL documentation).
And yes, much of BBC's web output was borked over the weekend.
Also why was this AC's post downvoted?
In years to come, the release of SimCity will go down as a perfect example "How not to release a videogame".
There was a public beta test, which seemed to indicate that there was a large number of people interested in playing it, and the response from the servers indicated there would potentially be an issue with volume.
There were a large number of pre-orders.
There was massive interest in the gaming/IT press, including this site.
And then....it didn't work. At all. The first few weeks were a disaster, and then when people came to play the game for any length of time, it was obvious that the "Sim" aspect of the game was hopelessly, dreadfully flawed. Traffic didn't go where it should do, the Sims just went to the nearest house or factory to sleep or work, making a mockery of calling it a simulation. The city size was pathetically small, meaning that you could easily fill all available space in a couple of hours. Plus a million smaller bugs and inconsistencies.
Terrible, terrible game. It seems as though EA/Maxi spent all their time building out a useless "social" aspect and forgot about the actual game, and then tried to DRM it out of existence.
Looked nice though.
You don't need an MS account to log into it, or run anything. Whilst it wants you to do so, to run the Calendar etc, you don't have to use their versions and you can happily install the Calendar of your choice - or indeed, the anything else of your choice.
But yes, I take your point about the coercion. I got driven crazy by the Nexus for this kind of thing, and weirdly, the Surface Pro 2 is actually better at this than either Android or iOS.
I'm liking it more and more, the more I use it.
Yes, there are challenges with the hybrid tablet/laptop format; some apps really don't like it. Yes, Win 8.1 is still a bit clunky. Yes, it's still Windows.
But...because it's Windows I can run anything I want. I'm not tied down to the Apple or Google/Android stores. I can run proper versions of applications, not cut-down "mobile" versions; anything from Civ V to iPlayer.
If I don't like a particular app, I've got the choice of hundreds, or even thousands. I'm not tied to whatever a huge corporation wants me to be able to run.
As for security...it's Windows. Again, pick and choose your security vendor.
I'm happily using it on my commute (a 40-minute train ride each way, always seated), so the form factor and weight isn't too much of an issue. And frankly, being able to run Steam apps (anything from Civ 5 through FTL to CK2, which displays acceptably), LibreOffice, proper iPlayer etc, is just great, and miles ahead of what I can do on an iPad or a Nexus. More expensive, yes, but you gets what you pays for.
(And yes, the performance is fine, and yes, it does get a bit toasty!)
So, if it's running proper Windows 8.1 and has an Intel Core i5, and a decent-sized SSD, does that mean I can run Steam, and anything on Steam that doesn't need serious graphics grunt?
You know, like Civ 5, or one of the Total War games, or some of the fantastic Indie games out there like Gone Home, or Kentucky Route Zero, or FTL, or Papers Please etc?
If so then that might make me shell out some money on one....the only time I get to play games these days is on the commute and for about half an hour in the evenings when the kids aren't yelling.
"I wonder if they want any freelance testers just to check the games comparability on a home made rig."
They already have all the data from Steam, which gathers lots of information about the PCs Steam is running on, and what's being played.
Take a shufti around the Steam statistics pages some time - fascinating* stuff.
* If you are a little bit ASD, that is.
Funnily enough, the quality of the software used on these things in directly proportional to the quality of the store you are in.
The Waitrose one are fine; rarely have an issue with them, decent software, responsive, easy to use. Same with M&S.
The Sainsbury's ones - less so. They like pulling the 'Unexpected item in bagging area' trick.
As for B&Q...sheesh. I hate them. Totally useless and take you longer than going to a normal till.
....I'd be surprised. Unless they've renamed it to be HL3 in order to fit with the 1, 2, 3 announcement.
Valve are absolutely loaded, and it'd be no skin off their nose to release HL3 as a Steambox exclusive, which would give a million+ gamers going out to buy a Steambox. They might then bung it out on the PC six to nine months later, but by then, they've got a decent number of boxes out there. Hey, I'd happily get one if it wasn't too pricy.
As far as the spec goes, let's not forget that most TV's won't do the default 1920x1280 that most gamers now use; they go much lower. Therefore the hardware spec doesn't need to be that high. And Valve know EXACTLY what people are running games on - take a peek around the hardware section in Steam sometime. They'll know exactly where to pitch the hardware for maximum bangs per buck.
Sure, the Nexus 7 is great value at £200.
But my experience of it - with its annoying Wi-Fi, irritating lack of user-friendliness, inability to play movie files properly (unless you buy a separate app), and general "designed by a developer" feel - means that, now it decided to commit hari-kiri after 13 months of ownership*, I'll be in the queue to get the new iPad.
Sure, more expensive, but in tablets, as with everything, you get what you pay for.
* The screen decided to crack. On its own, without me touching it. Quite a good trick in this day and age. I broke my iPhone 5 screen too, but that was after dropping it about 5 times (not in a row, I'm not that clumsy).
Interestingly the iPhone 5 screen continued to work fine, even as my finger filled with shards of broken glass, but the Nexus 7 screen stopped working entirely, even though it only had a couple of cracks through the middle of the screen.
When Surface was announced, my immediate thought was "Windows in a tablet format? Able to run my desktop apps, and more specifically games? Even if it'd be quite a bit slower than my gaming PC, it'd be able to run Civ 5, Crusader Kings II, loads of Indie games. They could be onto something. I'd buy one".
And then of course it transpires that no, Surface wasn't really Windows on a tablet, but a cobbled together mess on a different hardware platform, that hardly any developer was supporting. Yep, the technical challenges would be tough (getting an x86 into that form factor with decent graphics and not suck the life out of any small battery in a couple of hours), but it would have been worth it. After all, being able to run PC apps on a decent sized tablet? Yes siree. But moving to ARM, removing that compatibility factor, meant that Surface was DOA.
A few months back I was reading the edition of "The Hydrogen Sonata" with the author's notes at the back, and thought "It's great that I'll probably still be reading his books in both mine and his dotage". A few weeks later he announced he had cancer.
I've been reading his stuff since not long after The Wasp Factory came out. He could be hit and miss, but by and large, he was hugely readable, and had the ability, at least in his SF form, to pick up ideas from other (often less-readable) authors and present them in a more readable manner. Must re-read Use Of Weapons and Consider Phlebas one day, once I've got through the 93 other books on my shelf that I need to read.
Alasdair Reynolds is far more hard sci-fi than Banks, but very good - I'd strongly recommend the composite author James S A Corey's Expanse series for true Banks-style rollicking space opera. The first (Leviathan Wakes) is one of the best sci-fi books of recent years.
Hopefully I'll share a pint with him one day in the Sublime.
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