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Friday, December 19, 2014

Star Wars Commander Mourned

I have played several popular smart phone games over the last three or four years that use a client/server model. Typically, in exchange for some vaguely defined reason, if you log in with Facebook they will sync your saved game somewhere “in the cloud”. Every one of these games has eventually crashed and I have permanently lost all progress in the game.

This model of saving the game somewhere other than my phone is stupid. I want the game saved on my device and I want control over where to save a backup or whether it should be backed up. I also want more than one game save. I want my son to have a saved game that he plays so he can leave daddy’s game alone and vice versa. I also would rather have the backup saved on my One Drive than have to give somebody access to my Facebook account. Also, I want different saves on each of my devices. I don’t want my Windows Phone game to overwrite the one on my Surface tablet—which has happened recently with Tiny Death Star.

Today I woke up to find my last four months of effort on Star Wars Commander gone. I turned on the game today and ended up in the tutorial. I know I can play thru the tutorial and then try logging into Facebook but I know that I will either lose my Surface game or the phone game because both are not going to be backed up. This programming model is too stupid to let me have both saves.

This happened on Tiny Death Star and Ice Age Village. Push an upgrade and break the game. So, I’m done with any games from Game Loft or Disney or anybody else that requires a Facebook login to play.

For any programmers that might read this, this is also why I won’t do any in game purchases. When I can lose the entire game save with no reliable back up, why should I buy the weapon upgrade or game currency? Talk about Vaporware.

So far, only Blizzard has been able to make the client/server model work and they needs huge amounts of hard drive storage on my desktop computer to make it work. I don’t mind a few bugs in a phone or tablet application but when they result in lost games then I won’t be investing time and money in that product.

Posted by william on 12/19 at 03:44 PM
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Monday, December 15, 2014

CRA another Chartering Controversy

The Board of the California Republican Assembly is voting on approval of the formation of the Sutter-Yuba Republican Assembly. While you would think that Board members in northern California would be supporters of growth in the North, this is not universally true. A few malcontents have voiced opposition because they have been denied the opportunity to stand before the Board at a formal meeting and opine about their concerns that having two tiny counties represented in one chapter would be an offense.

Sage wisdom such as this has been put forward to delay the vote:

Not only do the two counties have different elected officials, but they are also distinctive in terms of their demographics, geographies, economies, histories, and politics. – Tom Hudson

Yeah right. Yuba City is in Sutter County and Marysville is in Yuba County across the Feather River Bridge. The towns are about 1,500 feet apart during the rainy season but somehow they are different in terms of “demographics, geographies, economies, histories, and politics”. The only thing they differ on is which has a higher unemployment rate and more folks on government assistance.

Charter Review Chairman, Carl Brickey, fire off a rebuttal to Hudson that reads in part:

1.  Sutter County has a population of approximately 93,500. Yuba County has a population of approximately 73,000.  This combines for a total population of approximately 166,500. This makes the purposed unit population for the proposed territory is smaller than most other CRA units in the state.
2.  The Sutter-Yuba Republican Assembly would be in one Assembly District, one Senate District and one Congressional District.

Hudson has had a spotty track record of interpreting the Bylaws and providing good counsel. Had he been any good at running his parts of the CRA meetings over which he presided, there would have been two or three fewer Board meetings during the last few years. In addition, there is his assertion earlier this year that CRA chapters were not required to have minutes of their meetings even though they are subject to Robert’s Rules of Order and Secretary is a required position. Such comments—which he reportedly still stands by—undermine any credibility that I would like to grant him.

Hudson also says,

I am not permanently opposed to the concept of chartering this combined Sutter-Yuba Republican Assembly.  Since we have a Board meeting already scheduled, I do not see any reason to rush into a decision on chartering this new group without a discussion.

It has been discussed at two previous Board meetings where Hudson was in attendance. His objection after a Board vote was called is the first question anyone has raised with Charter Review about this chapter. Unfortunately, this type of grandstanding is typical in CRA. Also the motion on the floor is vote Yes or No not delay; Tom is out of order.

The thing you need to know about Tom is that facts are secondary to him; he gets his way by bluffing. If he can make a statement with enough assertiveness and with enough force, people tend to defer to him because he is an attorney and therefore folks assume he has a superior understanding of the rules. This is not the case. Tom picks which direction that he wishes to push a discussion and then makes assertions of fact –true or not—that move the discussion his way. He knows that he who frames the issue wins the debate.

My advice to Tom and his minions is to allow the group to grow. Anybody that wants to identify themselves as Republicans anywhere in California should be welcome. CRA has booted enough folks out of the group over the last few years why don’t we let some new ones in?

I can’t help but wonder if Tom is setting himself up as the loyal opposition to John Briscoe in preparation for a possible run at the top spot in CRA. 

Posted by william on 12/15 at 05:00 PM
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