My hopes are so high for is movie!
I'm wondering if Clark Kent (with glasses) ever makes an appearance?
My hopes are so high for is movie!
I'm wondering if Clark Kent (with glasses) ever makes an appearance?
As discussed here, the climate models that predicted a rapidly warming earth continue to be way way off.
The measured results and the projected results are way off.
I’ve received a lot of grief over the years from friends, family and colleagues because I’m a global warming “skeptic” (particularly about AGW).
Now mind you, I drive an electric car powered by a solar array and live in a house heated and cooled through Geothermal and had a gold rating from the NAHB. I personally fall into the “the less impact I can have on the environment, the better” line. But there’s a big difference between what I voluntarily do and what the government tries to coerce me and other people to do and when it comes to AGW, I don’t think the evidence is compelling enough to justify a world wide economic depression.
6 years ago, I wrote an article called “What happens if the Earth starts cooling?” which speculated on what would environmentalists say if their predictions turned out to be wrong. 6 years later, the measured temperatures for 2012 are less than those of 2006 which in turn were less than 2005 which where less than 2003 which were less than 1998. I’m not arguing a trend down but now that global temperatures have gotten highly politicized, the measured temperatures are now much more scrutinized than they used to be (which is why I take the precision of temperatures in say 1950 with a grain of salt).
What should be reasonably irrefutable at this stage is that the climate models are wrong. By a lot. According to the models, the mean atmospheric temperatures should be well over almost 0.50 degrees higher than they were in 2000. Instead, it’s within the margin of error of being the same.
None of this should mean that we shouldn’t try to reduce our impact on the environment. But hopefully people will start to decouple their political beliefs from their scientific beliefs. Skepticism isn’t a bad thing.
I’d like to think I’m doing my part but I did this voluntarily.
Windows 8.1 is scheduled to bring the Start button back to the Windows 8 desktop. However, it will not include the Start menu. Instead, it’ll simply transport the user out of the desktop and back into the Metro Start screen environment. This is a mistake.
I realize that there lots of people out there who like the Start screen metaphor. And we can argue whether the Start screen is a more productive environment than the traditional desktop until the end of time. However, what isn’t debatable is that such a radical departure from 20 years of training is very expensive and disruptive.
Not everyone, in fact, I would argue not even most people are particularly familiar with using computers even today. They have some expertise with some piece of software but in terms of navigating the operating system itself, their understanding is remarkably fragile. I run into this every day when I deal with enterprise customers (who, I might add, represent a significant percentage of the 5+ million Start8 users out there).
I don’t think most technically savvy people realize just how reliant on documentation the average user is. Whether that be a computer book, a website, or even the training manual for the support people who are trying to help walk through people updating their cable modem or the streaming video service or access their online banking account, people rely on existing documentation. And that documentation – those 20 years of accumulated knowledge – has real value. This is value that Microsoft is discarding for purposes that make little sense.
I personally have no issue with the Start screen or Metro. I find Metro (even the Windows 8.1 iteration) to be wholly inferior to the desktop for trying to get work done but it’s not something that can’t be improved on with a few more iterations. What I do object to is forcing users to completely switch paradigms where the new one offers no tangible benefit to the bulk of the existing user base. The user base should be gradually migrated over to the Start screen/Metro/ModernUI environment based on the intrinsic advantages it delivers (which, right now, are not very apparent to the non-touch user).
As much of a boon Microsoft’s design choices have been to our business this past year, our first concern has to be for the health of the overall ecosystem. Start8 and ModernMix are products we’ve created to make Windows 8 more usable for our customers. But they are features that should have been part of the OS from day 1. They should never had to be made. Microsoft should realize that the immense popularity of these programs indicates that people want these features and should have made them part of Windows 8.1.
With Legendary Heroes out, I can finally start reading how people are playing the “finished” game. Kael’s gotten me tons of reports and I’ve started tackling them one by one.
I am hoping to have the first batch ready for the next update (perhaps as early as next week). But that won’t be the end of it. I plan to take care of some low hanging fruit strategy suggestions first and then go on and deal with the more challenging aspects that will require a lot more play testing to do.
In the meantime, check out 8 out of 8’s video impressions of Legendary Heroes:
The Atlantic found this highly interesting cartoon from the 1950s:
We are gradually losing this dynamic as the United States (and Europe) move away from a manufacturing economy and into an information economy and it’s not likely to get better.
Where in the 50s, the “captains of industry” had a symbiotic relationship with their workforce – their objectives required the labor and ingenuity and productivity of their middle class workers – that is no longer the case today and our society suffers as a result.
Today, a combination of computer automation and globalization (outsourcing of labor) has resulted in the wealth of the very top to dominate every other tier. Being in the “1%” myself, I can see how this has happened as capital now generates accelerating returns (our machines displace human workers at an increasing rate and this is likely to continue to accelerate).
I don’t have any suggestions or policy proposals to change this. But if you watch the video linked above, it really sends home how much our economy has changed over the last 50 years.
My office has a lot of light in it. It’s one of those catch-22, people want windowed offices but the light can be very distracting. Rather than constantly fighting with my blinds, I decided to try some computer glasses.
This is what I picked:
I can’t say enough good things about these. Not only do they let me work in a well sunlit room in comfort but they make working on my Cintiq a joy since I don’t feel like I have a flash light in my face.
In the good old days of gaming, the game studios weren’t public and so they could give little sneak peeks and teasers of things they’re working on.
Unfortunately, the number of indie studios is dwindled and so there’s very little spontaneity in what companies share (which the Xbox One unveil showed us can be quite a bummer).
Below is just some artwork from a few of the things that are in development.
As a tablet OS, Windows 8 is pretty decent. I don’t have a problem with the Start screen in theory. But I spend 8+ hours a day in front of a PC doing real work and that means using a desktop OS.
Windows 8 includes the desktop but it relegates that to being a program you run from the Start screen. What we really want is to get the good stuff in Windows 8 (faster performance, new Modern app support, etc.) without the negatives. That’s where Object Desktop comes in!
So with Object Desktop, the beta of WindowBlinds 8 is now available which brings back “Aero glass” to Windows 8 users on the desktop. Plus with ModernMix, Start8, Fences and the other goodies you can have the best of both worlds.
Here’s the UI of WindowBlinds 8:
We include some “skins” that are timeless favorites plus a few that represent what we thought (hoped) the Windows 8 UI might have been like to choose from. Plus there are thousands of skins available at WinCustomize.com.
If you want to get our whole package, you can get Object Desktop at www.objectdesktop.com. When you buy it you also get a 1-year subscription to ObjectDesktop.net which gives you access to everything new we add for a subsequent year (Object Desktop is always improving and changing as the needs of PC users change).
So why hasn’t anyone made a Master of Magic 2 or a remake of it? The answer is that the rights to this game are a tangled web.
Our story begins in 1994. Master of Magic was designed by Steve Barcia, one of the greatest game designers in our industry’s history. That is not something I say lightly. At his level of game design, you’re not talking about skill, you’re talking about some sort of divine gift. I’ve only met a handful of people that fall into that category on game design (needless to say, I am not in that category).
His company, Simtex, developed Master of Magic and it was published by Microprose. Microprose was acquired by Hasbro Interactive in 1997. While Microprose had the publishing rights to Master of Magic, it is unclear what their rights were beyond that. In 1999, Hasbro shut down Microprose sold its assets to the French company Infogrames which was subsequently branded as Atari (a wholly owned subsidiary of Infogrames).
In the early 2000s, Atari (USA) approached us about relaunching some these franchises. This was post-Master of Orion 3. The idea was to bring back Star Control, Master of Orion and Master of Magic. The plan ultimately bogged down due to the complex legal relationships in place at the time, particularly around Master of Magic.
Now, fast forward to 2013. Who has the rights to Master of Magic? I don’t know. Atari doesn’t seem to think they do beyond their original publishing agreement for the DOS game from 1994. The trademark for Master of Magic expired some years ago and Nival (makers of King Bounty) registered the trademark with an intent to use (so we might end of with a game with that name at some point in the future).
But it’s not clear who, if anyone, has the legal right to make a Master of Magic game that can lay claim to the original game except for perhaps, Steve Barcia and that’s just my speculation.
What I can say is that anyone hoping that Atari’s upcoming bankruptcy auction will result in someone “bidding” on the Master of Magic rights can stop wondering now. At this stage, it doesn’t appear that’s an option.
Did anyone else watch the Microsoft unveiling of the Xbox One? I was embarrassed for them. Seriously, do they even have gamers involved anymore over there?
It’s like more and more decisions at Microsoft are being made by aging business fraternity people.