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The EU is going after Valve and others for "geo-blocking", a statement from Valve
5 April 2019 at 4:46 pm UTC Likes: 7

Geo-blocking is BS, so for once the EU is in the right of it with their demands.

In Canada, the price for a game is the same across the country, whether you're in Ontario or the Yukon (barring GST/PST/HST differences, similar to VAT).

In the US, same deal - it doesn't matter what state you're in, the price of a game is the price of that game.

The article lists some EU member states in the Eurozone and some that aren't - sure, the requirement for currency exchange tends to mean there are winners and losers on the price difference... but isn't the point of the EU the whole 'single market' thing? So set the price of a game in Euro, let non-Eurozone-but-still-EU members buy it for whatever that converts to in their local currency, and otherwise treat the EU as a single 'country'.

I'd argue a step further and say games should just be priced globally in whatever the local currency of the developer/publisher is (e.g. Yen for Japanese games), and the rest of us pay whatever the equivalent of that is in our currency. The devs/publishers want to be paid in their own currency at the end of the day, right? If people are going to pirate it because they can't afford it, going to all the extra effort to get a pittance fraction of the cost from poorer regions just doesn't seem worth it.

But maybe it is, because the 'actual cost' is mostly fixed, and the reproduction/transmission cost of selling additional copies is next to nil (barring translations, etc.). So a game that sells for $60 in the US might still be worth translating and selling for the equivalent of $5 somewhere else. How much of that $60 is profit vs. the $5? What if the game was just... $20 everywhere in the world?

Global economics is hard. ;) But the internet is global. Artificial barriers will get broken, so it's a difficult proposition to figure out how to position your work so that poorer countries with weaker currencies could still afford and enjoy it, while not taking a chunk out of your earnings in wealthier nations. Maybe the 'cheaper' cost version is still enough to break even or make a little bit of money, and the 'wealthier' costing version is pure profit. Maybe the sales in wealthier countries subsidize the sales in poorer ones (though I doubt it - they'd just not bother offering it for sale in said countries then, right?).

I worry for smaller, Indie devs/publishers trying to get this right. I have no sympathy for the likes of EA/Ubisoft/Activision-Blizzard/etc., though, who abuse the crap out of their employees and give their execs multi million dollar salaries and bonuses.

Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm is out with Linux support as expected
14 February 2019 at 9:55 pm UTC Likes: 4

As much as I'd love to jump on this, the EULA shenanigans are gross:

Quote"By installing and using the Software, you consent to the information collection and usage terms set forth in this section and Licensor's Privacy Policy, including (where applicable) (i) the transfer of any personal information and other information to Licensor, its affiliates, vendors, and business partners, and to certain other third parties, such as governmental authorities, in the U.S. and other countries located outside Europe or your home country, including countries that may have lower standards of privacy protection; (ii) the public display of your data, such as identification of your user-created content or displaying your scores, ranking, achievements, and other gameplay data on websites and other platforms; (iii) the sharing of your gameplay data with hardware manufacturers, platform hosts, and Licensor's marketing partners; and (iv) other uses and disclosures of your personal information or other information as specified in the above-referenced Privacy Policy, as amended from time to time. If you do not want your information used or shared in this manner, then you should not use the Software."

"The information we collect may include personal information such as your first and/or last name, e-mail address, phone number, photo, mailing address, geolocation, or payment information. In addition, we may collect your age, gender, date of birth, zip code, hardware configuration, console ID, software products played, survey data, purchases, IP address and the systems you have played on. We may combine the information with your personal information and across other computers or devices that you may use."

The Humble Double Fine Presents Bundle is out with some nice games
15 January 2019 at 11:56 pm UTC

Oh wow. Watching the Game Grumps play through a bit of Everything was pretty hilarious, and it's still... interesting (different? Weird? But in a good way?)

Epic and Improbable are taking advantage of Unity with the SpatialOS debacle, seems a little planned
11 January 2019 at 5:36 pm UTC Likes: 5

Remember the days when devs would pride themselves on building their own custom game engines?

id Tech, BUILD, and yes, the original Unreal? (GoldSrc only kind of counts since it was Quake/Quake II-based, and I think even Source still inherits some of that)

Oh hey, remember when id Software were awesome and not only released Linux builds of their games, but when the next id Tech engine came out, they quickly moved to open source the previous generation? Which is why we have a bunch of stuff based on everything up to Quake 3-and-a-bit-of-Doom 3/Quake 4?

But nothing after, with all the personnel changes that happened, and, y'know, Bethesda.

I mean, don't get me wrong - going through all the notes for UE4 and there's some amazing work being done there, but yeah - if you don't want to write your own, there's got to be plenty of open source resources out there, or just take a look at Godot, apparently.

Oh, wait, I think I get it - we've had an entire generation of developers trained on Unity and/or Unreal Engine, so they don't know anything else / aren't trained/adaptable. It's the same vendor lock-in that gets us Microsoft Office as 'the only office suite anyone knows' (despite LibreOffice being perfectly fine and awesome), Oracle as 'the only "good" database server', Windows as the only OS the general public knows how to work, and how the little blue 'E' is 'The Internet'. At least that last one is now 'the primary-colour spinny wheel', and 'Facebook' is 'The Internet' for people.

The people who actually care about this stuff already know about the alternatives and are either already using them, moving to them, or at least learning of them and planning their next projects with them in mind. The people who don't care and continue to use proprietary stuff in spite of there being better, open alternatives... don't care. And we can't really make them care. All we can do is keep chugging along in our own parallel universe and ignore what goes on in proprietary-land. ;)

The Long Dark is leaving GOG tomorrow although it will still get updates
6 November 2018 at 5:47 pm UTC Likes: 10

Just going to throw this out there: Every time I hear someone complain about 'SJWs', and how they're ruining-our-whatevers, all I can think of are articles about 'Millenials are killing X industry'.

GOG's social media manager made an insensitive mistake, and in typical fashion, they doubled down on it rather than apologizing or admitting fault.

There's better places to spend your hard earned cash, on DRM-free games or otherwise.

If people want to stop buying games from GOG because of their actions as a company, and if developers want to pull their support, that's all within their rights. Obligatory XKCD.

tl;dr, you start foaming and raving about 'teh SJWs', it's a big neon sign that says 'ignore what this person has to say and move on, as they've missed the point'.

System76 reveal the Thelio, their new custom-built Linux desktop with three versions
1 November 2018 at 3:47 pm UTC Likes: 11

Wood grain finish?!

Someone get LGR on the horn, ASAP! :p

NVIDIA have officially announced the GeForce RTX 2000 series of GPUs, launching September
21 August 2018 at 6:23 pm UTC Likes: 9

After what nVidia tried to pull with forcing OEMs to drop AMD from their 'gaming' brands or risk not getting GPU stock/shipments, coupled with the fact that as far as I'm aware they STILL haven't released the firmware blobs to enable the GTX980 or newer under an open source driver like Nouveau?

Yeah. Boycott nVidia completely. Intel's not much nicer, but honestly, if their upcoming discrete cards are competitive and have good open source drivers like their current integrated stuff? It's a toss-up between them and AMD.

But never nVidia. Never again, and I say this owning a GTX980. :/

Thoughts on the Corsair STRAFE RGB Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Silent Switches
23 July 2018 at 10:29 pm UTC

I've had the Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire (paired with a Corsair Scimitar RGB) for a number of months now - the Rapidfire uses Cherry MX Silver ( 'Speed' ) switches instead, which as far as I know are the exact same as the MX Reds, but with a very very short distance-to-activation of ~1mm. You barely brush your fingertips across a key and it triggers.

One thing I've noticed both testing with Xubuntu and later carried over when I migrated to Gentoo is that there's a bug in the way the kernel's USB HID brings up the keyboard (and occasionally the mouse, too) - if you've ever had to unplug and re-plug your Corsair devices under Linux shortly after boot to be able to get them to 'wake up' and allow you type and log in, you probably want this fix. I've wanted to ask about getting it merged upstream for a while, but the hurdles are too daunting for me to bother (but hey, anyone reading this wants to ask them, go for it!).

I found someone else had already done the hard work of putting in the right quirks for other Corsair devices (e.g. the K70 LUX), but they just hadn't pulled my particular board's USB IDs and added them, so here's the patch I use when building updates to my kernel:

$ cat /etc/portage/patches/sys-kernel/gentoo-sources-4.17.9/corsair-rapidfire-quirks.patch 
--- a/drivers/usb/core/quirks.c 2018-04-03 10:29:45.301480010 -0700
+++ b/drivers/usb/core/quirks.c 2018-04-03 10:30:42.163902011 -0700
@@ -233,6 +233,10 @@ static const struct usb_device_id usb_qu
  { USB_DEVICE(0x1b1c, 0x1b20), .driver_info = USB_QUIRK_DELAY_INIT |
+        /* Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire */
+        { USB_DEVICE(0x1b1c, 0x1b38), .driver_info = USB_QUIRK_DELAY_INIT |
  /* Corsair K70 LUX */
  { USB_DEVICE(0x1b1c, 0x1b36), .driver_info = USB_QUIRK_DELAY_INIT },

If you want to adapt this to your own device, you can try something like:

$ lsusb -vd 1b1c: | grep -E 'Vendor|Product'
  idVendor           0x1b1c Corsair
  idProduct          0x1b38 
  iProduct                2 Corsair Gaming K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE 
  idVendor           0x1b1c Corsair
  idProduct          0x1b1e 
  iProduct                2 Corsair Gaming SCIMITAR RGB Mouse

to get the IDs. Corsair's seem to all be 0x1b1c for the Vendor.

Saves having to crawl under a desk and keep unplugging and re-plugging my keyboard in (or rebooting a bunch) until it finally wakes up. Sometimes the mouse suffers the same fate, and I couldn't get the same quirks to fix it, but since I chain the mouse through the USB port on the keyboard that's easy to unplug + replug (and that tends to work the first time doing so).

Can also vouch for ckb-next - those guys have done a great job!

Microsoft acquires GitHub for some loose change
4 June 2018 at 3:49 pm UTC Likes: 4

I only ever used GitHub for the free source access to Unreal Engine (not that I ever actually did anything with it), some stuff to do with Eco (again, basically never used it), and for the odd bug report/comment/issue watch.

Just deleted my account, too. Not that mine really mattered in the first place, but eh. Spring cleaning. ;)

SEGA Mega Drive and Genesis Classics now officially supports Linux with a big update & price drop
29 May 2018 at 7:28 pm UTC

LeopardGo to Steam settings and clear the download cache.

I hadn't tried that... so I just uninstalled the game, hit that clear download cache button (with the associated logout / log back in) and re-installed... same issue. I wonder if maybe my local node I'm downloading from just hasn't caught up yet?

I'm in no rush anyway, since I'd rather just pull these into Retroarch, but still. Thanks for the tip though!

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