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Shawn Rapp
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I'm not a fan of Hillary Clinton.  I would like nothing more for her to go to prison on acts of treason with her buddy pal Obama.  While we are at it, throw their predecessor and partner in crime George Bush in there too.  But this controversy of her transporting classified information through insecure means has made me think.  If the Secretary of State doesn't have the authority to classify and declassify information... who exactly does?  Who audits and regulates that person(s)?  Think its time we clean out all this big government doing all these things "for our own good."   Before you call me a simpleton, I know DOD classifies and declassifies documents.  But who regulates that group?  Congress?  Think again, all they control is the DOD's budget. Why does a department public employee have more authority than our elected and appointed officials?  Can police deputies now make department policies and fire the sheriff for not following their policies?  US government has gone beyond strange.

Today SETI is begging for money with it's "Giving Tuesday."  My thoughts.  Kind of a waste of money.  Don't get me wrong funding exploration is good.  But funding projects to try to "hear" radio signals half-way across the galaxy, absolutely the most asinine thing possible.  I think the worst part is... they know it too.  If there was an alien planet that had a nuclear war and we just so happened to have our radios pointed directly at the planet and the planet wasn't obscured from view behind its star and every condition was perfect... we MIGHT be able to hear the radiation generated from those bombs.  Would we be able to figure out OH gee our galactic neighbors just blew themselves up.  Again... doubtful.  It's just a harsh fact, at our primitive level, we can't even make a blip on the intergalactic CB radio.
Any colonizing race of aliens is not going to be using radio.  They will have some sort of communication that is instantaneous no matter the distance and use a fraction of the power radio uses.  Technology always pushes to do more with less.  Their supposed theory of a alien race building a trillion watt radio to communicate with neighboring solar systems because they can, is absolutely ridiculous.  The idea that somewhere out in space is live showings of "I love Lucy" that is identifiable is also absolutely ridiculous.
We are like chimpanzees proving to ourselves there is no life outside of our jungle by trying to communicate banging sticks and rocks. IF the chimpanzees had the technology to make a radio that could listen to the 800MHz range they would quickly learn that there is indeed intelligent life outside of their jungle.
If extra terrestrial intelligence is out there.  We will only discover it, once we have discovered the means of how to communicate near infinite distances instantly.  Because more likely than not that is what alien life of this caliber is going to be using.
Don't get me wrong about this.  Radio astronomy is VERY important.  I'm just not hip with the rouse of trying to find alien intelligence this way.  Even if we did for instance found life on Alpha Centauri this is how a conversation would go.  Earth: "wassup"  <10 years passes> Alpha Centauri: "notta"
Absolutely NO point to trying to find and communicate with alien life until we truly have technology that they would be using to communicate.  Instead resources should be spent searching for "class M" planets.  As Star Trek coined it.  So once we do have the ability to communicate we know where to try to place a call to.

24 hours with the new Steam Controller and my thoughts: First off i'm no stranger to the idea of adopting new ways of game controllers.  This controller is not as radical as the Nintendo Wii.  But it does very much put a new spin and requires learning how to ride the bicycle again. So this controller reminds me VERY much of the old MadCatz Panther XL.  Which in my opinion worth every bit of its learning curve to use.  When you learned the MadCatz Panther XL you could flip around on a dime while running and never deviate or stop moving from the direction your running.  It was absolutely inhuman what you could do with it... which got me accused more than once of using cheats.  I can see that the Steam Controller has this potential.  Problem it faces is very much like the Panther.  It has a learning curve to it.  With the Panther, it was using a flight stick which is your direction controller in your right hand which is normally your POV controller and a trackball on the left for POV which is normally your direction.  Steam Controller isn't trying to switch your hands but its POV pad mod very much responds like a trackball. The feed back even feels like a trackball.  Not many folks are used to trackballs is one major learning curve.  I'd adapt pretty fast if the pad was convex like a ball but it is actually concave.  So my brain is struggling with what feels like trying to control the game with a trackball with the trackball missing from the socket.  I'm having many of the issues I had when I first started learning how to use a trackball.  Spend most of the time staring at the floor and ceiling.  I will get past this I already know. I've been practicing with it in mouse mode and moving around the desktop and I can see my accuracy improving.  Using the touch pads as a D pad is another thing that is going to take time getting used to.  They are about twice the size of a normal D pad and i'm not centering over them right.  I know the plus groove on the left side is supposed to help me center but it doesn't work.  I need a bump or divot in the center of the pads so I know where to recenter my thumb without looking.  Or at least until I get used to the monstrous size of the D-pad.  If/When I do get used to it I will never be able to play a PS or Xbox controller ever again.
All in all.. It's an amazing first gen controller trying to do something radical.  This is not something easy to do at all.  And all the tiny nuances of making a great controller are well guarded secrets by their manufacturers and they won't openly say what small tweaks here and there they did to make us comfortable using their controller and it's not something obvious that we the consumers can describe accurately to the manufactures.  It's very finite tweaking and tuning.  Where to put weight and where you want it to be light.  What materials to use, where you put press seems.  These details are worked out over years of fine tuning.  Look at Microsoft and the original Xbox controllers.  Those beasts were a great way to fatigue and make your hands hurt.  Over time small subtle changes, building on what they learned from past designs.
So with Valve coming out of the starting gate with some radical new ideas which could quite possibly solve the first person shooter on a console problem.  I'm VERY impressed with their starting point.
Excellent job guys!  Now I just have to learn how to use this controller.
Don't be discouraged by the nay-sayers that just don't want to have to learn something new.  They will come around once the rest of us start to figure these things out.  Than they will flip on their story and attempt to rewrite their own history.  "No I was always down with the Steam Controller design since day one!" ;-)
I think i'm getting pretty close to getting them to that autonomous level needed to play immersively in a game already.

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Just read this article
Man it's great to hear someone else telling the truth about Lint.  I've worked at a place that used Linters as a part of its build process.  Periodically you would have masterfully written code that couldn't be merged because Lint didn't like something.  The code structure was good, the Linter was what was wrong.
Here is a recent example.  By default all these linters want you to keep line lengths bellow 76 characters.  Why?  Oh the Python linter has a doozy of an explanation.  "It's easier for side by side comparisons."  No the real reason, it's legacy.  Back many moons all terminals were standard 80 column.  Wide printing printers (daisy chained) were 160 characters... and sounded like a freight train.
Well for MOST languages... you can fiddle fart with your line to get it to go under 80 columns.   THAN THERE IS COFFEE.  With indention and a line like
"item = (menuItem for menuItem in scope.topMenuItems when menuItem.label is label)"
which HAS to be on a single line.  On top of that the default coffeelint makes over 80 characters a error instead of a warning... meaning you can't use anything good in Coffee by the default Coffee Linter rules.
Another precious one.. it is a warning but for those of you that use Angular+Coffee will enjoy
"scope.currentMenu = menuItem for menuItem in scope.topMenuItems when menuItem.label is label"  
Will earn you line too long error and "Comprehensions must have parentheses around them."  But what if your wanting to pass the actual object not just the data?  TOO BAD! CoffeeLint says no!
Yes I know you can change the rules... and I did for line too long being an error to a warning.  But in my humble opinion Lint should only be used in editors where it can be ignored if needs be, and not in the actual build processes where it can shove it's ugly head in and break builds.  Don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say... Linting code is good.  Having it at the decision point of a successful build or not is just stupid.  It's there to make good suggestions on code formatting, not be the voice of truth.  Well at least in my opinion.

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Merged in the in-development branch in Floe just now.   Getting very close to mile-stone 1.
Whats left to do:
- install/update scripts.
- unit tests. (A lot of code was moving around too much for my level of lazy.)
- Angular-Floe services/factories.
- Web Socket with Angular wiring.
- Publish all the Node modules I made to write this project.  :)
- MCP controller to load and unload subs and configure server.

But on any case you can see what I've been working on hidden away the last few months.  In a nutshell... a web server written in Node JS.  For developers... its a popup website framework that is highly scalable.  Everything runs on a bus as a sub system.  You can write sub systems in any language you want.  Floe doesn't care as long as it can talk to the Party Line bus.  Also sub systems do not require any socket developer knowledge because it just uses console IO.
Any ways ... this is why I've been so quiet and unseen lately.

When i'm working on big projects it's not uncommon for me to binge on a genre of movies while i'm working.  Lately it's been Russ Meyer.  Master of the sexplotation genre and created such classics as "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!"  where Rob Zombie had looted a album worth of samples from.
I'd like to share a quote from one of his movies that really struck a nerve.
"In the face of recent events, some of which threaten our very existence, there are still those who concentrate their puny efforts in areas where no concern is needed.  They call love evil ... the human body obscene ... where they can never be anything other than beautiful.  Our rivers and lakes fill slowly, with death.  The air we breathe strangles the mighty oak.  Little by little we can see human compassion and love growing less.   And still there are those who wave their toy banners of protest.   They attempt to think for the rest of us.  Dictate our freedom of choice.  Decide what is 'safe' for us to read and see.  They, the strong and pure of heart, must protect those of us who 'they' have decided are weak.  We do not question their right to protest.  But let their decisions be for themselves, for no man has the right to decide for another." - Russ Meyers 1970

Ahmen and may you rest in peace Russ!
Politics and government in general is really simple as long as we follow the general rule.  As long as your neighbor isn't robbing, hurting, maiming, raping, vandalizing, and killing others; IT IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM!
As soon as we start trying to legislate ANY set of morals the whole system goes straight into a mess.  Laws are for ethics, which are things we can universally agree on.  Morals is everything else.  Legislating based on popular census and statistics is discrimination against the minorities.  I'd like to point out the Prohibition ended abruptly because they could have a person caught cold with a confession and the jury would still not find the individual guilty.
I'm not going to point fingers at political parties.  If you haven't figured out yet that all the parties are guilty of trying to oppress minority factions, races and minority beliefs,  than your too stupid to be able to read and comprehend any of this.
In fact the key problem with discrimination against minorities isn't right now a racial thing.  The problem is with those who don't share a mainstream ideology are getting lynched.
We don't have to agree on anything and still be able to co-exist and act decent to each other.  Nor should we feel we need to make laws so we can cram each others belief's down each others throat's.
This current behavior of acting like a spoiled baby and throwing absolute fits and calling each other names has got to stop.  We have to grow up and become adults MENTALLY and realize more likely than not your not going to agree on how your neighbor does anything. Just shut up with your thoughts that no one asked for and be nice.

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I think we need more immigrants.  More immigrants like this guy who understands our country better than those who were born here.  Ones who understand big over-stretching government is how their native country they left got turned into a disaster.
I see people who had to leave their state because it was a complete disaster and than they are trying to turn the state they moved to in the same disaster they just left.  When will they ever look in the mirror and ask "is it my actions that are causing all this mayhem?"
It's complete ideological to think we could ever have enough police to make it unnecessary for the people to police themselves.  Even more dangerous is the concept of law enforcement being super-citizens.  Citizens with extra rights and abilities.  A sheriff's office is completely optional expense.  The people elect a sheriff who is just a normal citizen, to do the law enforcement job so we can focus on our own businesses and jobs.  If the town/city/state can't pay for a police force, they don't have one.  It's not some constitutional thing written into our by-laws that is a mandatory thing a place has to have.
It is absolutely unconstitutional for the police to have rights that all the other citizens don't have.   I really struggle to understand how any of these places get away with their super-citizen law-enforcement system.  LA, New York, Chicago, Washington DC all want to have gun bans...  I say go for it!  But that should go for all law enforcement as well.    Technically, if they want this at a state level.  That's fine too.  Disband your national guard.  There should be no problems.  I mean after all since criminals are going to follow gun laws, i'm sure invading armies are going to follow the gun laws as well.

Yet another MMO is going to launch in a month.  Elder Scrolls Online.  I played the weekend beta.  It had some really good things... but unfortunately it seems to be pulling from the same mediocre playbook of all the other MMO's for a guaranteed position of mediocrity.    It's more than clear the goal is to start off the gate with a AAA single player price tag game $60 with optional DLC of just $10 more and a monthly fee of $15.  The game is hyped up.   It releases with a big ad campaign.  There is a huge surge in sales.  They try to quickly make up for the lack of content and the excess of bugs.  Sales decline rapidly.  Once they get to a low point, they make the initial start of the game free and $15 a month.   Than they hideously break the game on about the 5th major patch.   Sales almost stop completely and subscribers leave in droves.  They quickly enable the free to play system which was probably already made since day one and fix the bugs so it becomes yet another mediocre free to play game.

If a MMO game TRULY wants to be subscriber based they have to follow my 7 golden rules to MMO gaming.

1) Grind or epic quest to get to higher levels. I personally hate grinding. But i'm not a big fan on being dragged around all the time doing grocery list fetch missions. Strike a balance. If a person grinds a bit and gains some loot and levels makes doing the quest easier. Quests should be rewarded with things not in regular loot drops.

2) Treat VIP payers like VIPs. This is one of the biggest colossal screw ups that even myself have done in my own business has done. Don't try to be fair. Those who pay big should get big and everyone should know it. Those who give you the most money deserves the most from you... PERIOD. Make it "fair" and your making it unfair for those who put in more making them not really care.  Why should they?  Everyone is treated the same.

Which leads to...
3) Limited accessible items. Having items that were only available if you were playing back in <fill in date range> People LOVE these things. YES absolutely all the newbies whine and cry. But ignore them... as soon as they get a limited item X they will stop whining. To make it more epic and memorable you can have a quest to accomplish and a big boss to over come. You don't really have to announce stuff is a limited time frame. In fact it adds to the mystic if you don't. Yes people again will go... waaaah I didn't know it was a limited time frame. Again ignore them. Giving them what they want, isn't really what they want. I highly recommend silently enabling and disabling being able to get epic items over long periods of time.   Maybe use a cap system that there is only X amount of the item in play on the server.

4) Epic items. It's okay to have a grind to get them if it's like your gathering pieces and there is a clear believable progression. It's total fail if you just have this as a progress bar grinding. Star Wars Galaxies tried this both ways and the "epic loot" was far from epic gathering it. Where like gathering all the elusive pieces to a jet pack was insanely fun. So if its like a sword, have it like you have to get the blade, the hilt and the handle and than do some epic quest to reforge it back into one type deal.

5) Reward players with useful and/or fun things for being a steady player of your game. SWTOR's rewarding with credits to buy things in their store is just meh. It's sterile. Anybody can buy the same stuff on the store. Dedication to the game means nothing.   You can use the limited epic loot rule in a for cash system but don't make them as great or the same as a game played earned one.

6) Players should be able to alter the game universe and leave their mark on it. Personal houses was the winning one for SWG. But this could be accomplished in other ways. Wanted posters with the characters face for example if they are ruthless. Something others can see as well which helps to immerse and is inspiring. The reason why so many MMO's don't hit the mark they think they should is that the players are really not making a difference or changing the game world like they do in a single player game like Skyrim. Many of the sterile quests systems in MMO's become like the monotony of waiting in line at the DMV.  The world being altered by the main character is just proper game and story designing. I know its hard when your trying to funnel millions of people through a story. BUT MMO's need to put some serious thought and innovation to go into this rule but if you don't your game is doomed to boredom.   Make top spots for players and the city hall has a picture and name plaque of them hanging up in a hall or something.

7) WoW is already made. WoW is sterile, boring and everything is PC and fair in WoW world. The day you start to the day you leave, you leave absolutely no impact of the sterile world of World of Warcraft. It's not that its the ultimate of what a MMO can be... it's the ultimate of what a sterile MMORPG can be. Everything is perfectly safe and fair. Economy has little to nothing to do with players and their crafting.   No one really gets ahead of  anyone else.  Why this is rule 7 ... every MMO tries to copy the sterile fair factor of WoW and than are amazed that everyone didn't just leave WoW and run over to their new sterile game. Why would they? They already been playing what your offering. Be bold. Don't play too safe. Let players interact and direct the story of the world. Don't try to pull them around by a nose ring or they will just all rollback to WoW where they get treated like livestock but they are already well established livestock there.

These rules, IMHO, is what it takes for a MMO game maker to make a game worth $15 a month.  Bench your MMO game to the price of DLC in a single player game.  As a MMO you have a little bit of window of flexibility in time frame and size of releases but I highly recommend throwing something out there that changes something even if it's in name only every month.  Keep people in suspense of what might be next. 
If your game is going to focus on PVP for max level characters than you should seriously consider going to a free to play game model.   A game with a $15 a month fee needs to earn that money in fairly steady new content. 
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