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Windows 10 Review for Dummies
By Ivory_Soul
Posted on 08/11/15
After all these years, and growing up with Windows 3.1, I have seen an entire evolution of computers and software. Touch screens and large resolutions were a pipe dream just 15 years ago. Now it's the norm. Going from a Packard Bell (yes, before HP) that couldn't run 3D Ultra Mini...

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Pre-Orders: A Relic of a Time Gone By Turned Malodorous
Posted on Tuesday, September 8 2015 @ 15:07:45 PST

Pre-orders date to the days when games shipped exclusively as content on physical media.  With the need to print discs or cartridges came scarcity of a physical good.  That scarcity in turn meant that a particularly desired or niche title might not be available at launch.  Hence the pre-order; pay a portion of the price and be put on a list of guaranteed recipients on launch day.  Downloading a whole unit of software from servers as even a practical possibility largely didn't exist at all or was exclusive to the PC and for the most part only applied to either very small indie titles like the Exile trilogy or small bits of additional content such as custom WADs for Doom.  Nowadays nearly anything can be gotten entirely digitally, with the optical drives heading in the same direction the 3.5" floppy drive went nearly a decade ago.  Getting something the size of GTA V (60 Gigabytes, so large it would need a triple-layer Blu-Ray to hold it all) on Steam no longer requires prohibitively expensive internet access for most consumers.  Between the loss of scarcity through digital marketplaces and improved accuracy in gauging interest for stock keeping purposes the pre-order no longer serves its original function.

Today the pre-order serves to sell a product that doesn't exist to a customer who has no real way to appraise its quality prior to purchase.  Even if the product is good the practice remains dubious for it insists upon an uninformed purchase.  To incentivize what is inherently imprudent behavior a set of content is either cut out and thrown in as a 'bonus' for early adopters or a bunch of inconsequential accessories are offered up as inducement.  Either way the inherently deceptive nature of it still stands.  Even if it's perfectly well-intentioned it still remains nothing more than an outdated holdover of a time and industry gone by.  However, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided shows how bad it can actually get.

Here's a link to the video offering it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U01UgykSXiU

Now, let all that hideous nonsense percolate for a few minutes before clicking that down vote button if you have a Youtube account.  This is really what it's come to.  I can't think of a sleazier and more dubious pre-order scheme than this one.  No matter what bits and pieces of the game are getting cut out.  Given the 'total work' sensibility that drove not only Human Revolution, nor even the Deus Ex series as a whole, but is in fact a project which began with Ultima Underworld, continued through System Shock and Thief and saw spiritual children in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, this is beyond commercially dubious - this is an offense to art.  Please, if you're reading this, do not pre-order this game.  Signs point to it likely being good on release so buy it then.  If Square Enix wants to turn top shelf into down market it is in nobody's interest to enable it.

Here's a few more takes on the matter:
Totalbiscuit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-Vx4_prmvo
Jim Sterling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7EI9YCsuBQ (Sterling reacts to the video with a mixture of violent twitching and spurting of blood from the mouth - overall an understated reaction)
Razörfist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ6KYeY-9sU (given Razorfist did both a review of Human Revolution which was overwhelmingly positive and a glowing overview of the entire series to date one can imagine the linked rant is...a little upset)

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Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics Return to GoG With Sale Offer
Posted on Wednesday, August 26 2015 @ 18:09:30 PST

CD Projekt has apparently come to terms with Bethesda again and have brought not only the old Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics releases up on GoG as before but have also brought other Bethesda titles aboard and they're all on sale with a bonus of Arena and Daggerfall as extras with any purchase.

The sale features atop the main page and lasts until September 2.

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Airplay Debate Disrupted by Bomb Threat
Posted on Saturday, August 15 2015 @ 14:55:53 PST

A gathering hosted in Florida by the Society of Professional Journalists to discuss and debate the substantive issues of the Gamergate controversy in a formal context, understandable seeing as it's a controversy which centers around allegations of widespread malfeasance by journalists, was disrupted by a series of bomb threats.

No information yet on how credible the threats actually were.  Apparently something which may be a bomb has been found.  Multiple threats were called in.  They've since received the all clear to return to the hall to resume discussion.

Amid this a wave of doxing of the participators occurred on Twitter signed with various anti-Gamergate slogans.

The following is editorial.

Not to put too fine a point on it but the two events are likely connected and likely tied to the harassment, invasions of privacy and abuse both sides have received from the very same trolls who have kept the heat up on a discussion that shouldn't have much at all, nor should it ever.  The various outlets caught up in the original fracas could have simply fired the guilty parties, made disclosures and policy changes, got back to work and everyone could have moved on with their lives.

This is a problem which has gone on too long.  As controversies go it could have vanished overnight in August of last year had Stephen Totilo had the managerial fortitude to fire Nathan Grayson when his misbehavior became a matter of public record.  Now, a year later, even the attempt to discuss the events' implications for ethical journalism formally before the Society of Professional Journalists is receiving bomb threats and anyone with the temerity to get involved at all directly runs the very severe risk of having their privacy invaded.

Contrary to the self-gratifying myth clung to by fringe-left slacktivists and agenda-driven pseudo-journalists (but I repeat myself) that the status quo consists of reactionary hate mobs (who always seem to perfectly embody the peculiar features of whichever prejudices the narrow-minded bigot invoking that particular bogeyman happens to harbor) the status quo actually consists of themselves.  They hold the contemporary command posts of communication infrastructure.  They're the ones who work for multi-million dollar media companies and whose positions are threatened by the existence of counter culture.  People openly discussing every form of misconduct and impropriety committed in a field so often that it has become more routine than graft in Chicago under Richard Daley are a bigger threat to the likes of Kotaku than Kotaku's pet shrieking puritans are to the art they don't understand.

I won't recommend a solution because I don't have one and even if I did no one in a position to do anything with it ever would.  On the astronomically unlikely chance that whoever did this happens to be reading this I have a few questions.  What did this achieve?  What was the point?  Are you proud of yourself?  You've befouled the temple of public discourse far more than Andrew Breitbart and Keith Olbermann ever did.

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The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt Patch 1.08 Out Now
Posted on Friday, August 7 2015 @ 10:19:27 PST

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt 1.08 patch just released today.  While not as hotly anticipated as the 1.07 patch, it does provide some things users will be glad for, such as bugfixes for quests, and workarounds for those caught flat-footed by bala...   read more...

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The Last Goddamn Straw
Posted on Friday, July 17 2015 @ 12:40:23 PST

Gawker media.  There's a phrase that should make any self-respecting activist, advertising canvasser, editorialist, journalist, editor, or reader get a slight sense of dyspepsia.  The slight will become severe if the individual should e...   read more...

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A Revised List of Cautionary Notes and Concerns About Fallout 4; a Jeremiad
Posted on Monday, July 13 2015 @ 13:46:01 PST

Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed th...   read more...

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Leland Yee - Busted!
Posted on Thursday, July 2 2015 @ 17:55:33 PST

Leland Yee, famous for being the version of Jack Thompson with the ability to create law and not merely the rescinded ability to practice it, has pled guilty to racketeering.

The San Jose Mercury News has the scoop.  One could spo...   read more...

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The Burst of the Narcissistic Hipster Indie Bubble
Posted on Sunday, June 21 2015 @ 13:57:26 PST

In the 'art-game' feeding frenzy of the post-millenial years one name stood out above Blow, Fish, Cage, and even the Chinese Room for unmitigated egotism, pretention and vacuousness.  Work devoid of original ideas or meaning, work which ...   read more...

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A Feast of Crow Part I: Fallout 4
Posted on Friday, June 19 2015 @ 15:45:45 PST

A Feast of Crow

    So I've made some ostentatious claims about Fallout's development over the past few years here on GR.  In the "Why Has Bethesda not Made an Announcement?" piece I presented seve...   read more...

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The Witcher 3 Patch 1.06 Out Now
Posted on Monday, June 15 2015 @ 18:32:31 PST

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt has seen the release of a new patch, 1.06.  It contains five bug fixes listed below.  For GoG users the new patch is a cumulative 1.02-1.06 patch instead of the smaller individual patches released until 1.05.&nb...   read more...

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