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Comments

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Xbox One: No Always-Online Requirement, But Needs To Phone Home

CodingHero Re:Used games, borrowed games, etc (395 comments)

This isn't any different than the way Steam works right now...

I never said I agree with how Steam does it. In some ways, this is different from Steam (which is currently a primarily PC-based service) in a cultural way.

For the sake of argument let's only focus on activities done within the bounds of the law. In the console world part of the common culture is sharing, trading, and re-selling games. Not everyone does it but it's commonplace. (Sure, it happens with PC games (maybe not so much reselling) but my impression is that it's never been nearly as common as with consoles.) Moreover, console gaming has always been a place where two or more people can sit in front of the same machine to play together, something that PC games rarely do. Does this new model mean that when my friends come over to play Rock Band or Mario Kart they all have to ante up to the game publishers first?

It's more as if the console manufacturers and publishers are trying to change console gaming culture in the name of profit. This is certainly great for their bottom line in theory, but much of the console community is understandably upset.

about a year and a half ago
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Xbox One: No Always-Online Requirement, But Needs To Phone Home

CodingHero Re:Used games, borrowed games, etc (395 comments)

It also reads as if two different profiles on the same physical console can't both play a game without paying for it twice. So now if my wife and I want to play a game together each using our own profile or, god forbid, want to have our own separate single-player campaigns, we are stuck paying twice?

about a year and a half ago
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World of Warcraft Loses 1.3 Million Players in First Quarter of 2013

CodingHero Re:Entertainment vs. Chores (523 comments)

Mod parent up, it is spot on. I quit years ago for this reason (among others).

about a year and a half ago
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Google Glass and Surveillance Culture

CodingHero Re:Sure, record me in public (318 comments)

But I reserve the right to hack into your image recognition software and replace my face with some other image of my choosing, Ghost in the Shell style.

That's truly an interesting concept. You may have the right to record everything around you but I have the right to forcibly alter my own image by gaining access to your systems, encrypted or not. Or perhaps we could extend that to "alter or delete any information about me."

about a year and a half ago
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FAA Pushed To Review Ban On Electronics

CodingHero Re:Not the technology (369 comments)

Takeoff and landing, you're supposed to concentrate on safety instructions which (very rarely) you might need to think about right soon and seriously. Just... put down the gadget for a moment, and join the real and dangerous world of the paid staff.

Then why are non-electronic devices, such as books and magazines, allowed during said safety briefing?

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: New To Linux; Which Distro?

CodingHero Pandora's Box (573 comments)

Asking this question on Slashdot is akin to opening Pandora's Box.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Best To Set Up a Parent's PC?

CodingHero Re:Have her use what you use at home (418 comments)

Okay, fair enough: Migrate her to the platform(s) you are most comfortable supporting and/or use at home. "But, but..." Give your mother some credit - she will adapt.

This is exactly the reason I plan to migrate the machine to Windows 7. I have a hard time remembering what things are called in XP anymore since I use Windows 7 at home and at work. True I could load up XP Mode and figure it out, but it's also time to move to something newer and more secure.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Best To Set Up a Parent's PC?

CodingHero Re:Why not linux? (418 comments)

He's not willing to do that due to the time involved.

He is likely to have to spend far more time re-training on Linux than just fixing the problems via remote log in.

These are big reasons why I say Linux is not an option. The other significant one is that I'm no Linux guru myself. While I'd certainly like to learn more and this is a great opportunity to do so, I just don't have the time in my life right now.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Best To Set Up a Parent's PC?

CodingHero Re:iPad (418 comments)

To the article submitter, what does your mom use AOL for? The AOL experience isn't necessarily much different than the browser experience, for certain activities, so you might want to try setting up Windows 7 and then seeing if the browser is "close enough"..

I think she just uses AOL because it's what she is used to and what we used in our house literally 20 years ago. You're absolutely right about the browser experience. Trying to make it a replacement seems like a good option.

about a year and a half ago
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How Do You Backup Your Data?

CodingHero GMail (212 comments)

If it's super important, I email it to myself. If it's double secret super important, I email it to work.

about a year and a half ago
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Degree Hack: Cobbling Together Credit Hours For Cheap

CodingHero Re:Lots of Cheap Education (368 comments)

All good points and very doable. Understand that it will take you at least five years to do this.

To be fair, it's becoming more common for the "4-year" Bachelor's degree to take five or more years anyway, at least with engineering.

about 2 years ago
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Auto-threading Compiler Could Restore Moore's Law Gains

CodingHero Re:Meh. Not that big a problem. (404 comments)

Honestly, you know what this says? This just says some programmers still need to go practice in the threading space.

. . .

Seriously. If threading seems that hard, you need to go do some studying. It's not the threading. It's you. You really should get on this bus.

That's true. Threading concepts aren't hard, they're just not as widely taught as they should be. In my computer/software engineering education, I can't recall any required classes that really put a focus on developing multi-threaded applications.Operating Systems took a look at some of the issues associated with multi-tasking and thus multi-threaded programming, but it didn't really go so far as to force you to develop complex applications that put such lessons into practice.

The real issue is that debugging your multi-threaded application can be difficult and becomes more difficult as your application becomes more complex, requiring more and more threads. Maybe that's not hard if all your threads are doing exactly the same thing, but if they're all heterogeneous then it becomes tough. How do you know what caused this dead-lock or that crash? Why does it only happen sometimes and not others? Why did adding this line of code here break all the other threads? It's not an easy problem to solve and requires either better tools (that don't exist yet) or a lot of experience to get a feel for where to look and what to do (or not do).

Then again, some problem spaces lend themselves very well to multiple core approaches -- I just finished a library that slices up images and then applies various separable algorithms to the slices in a variable number of threads (the user of the library can specify.) I wrote it in pure C, used posix threads, no sweat at all, in my 8-core machine, you get just about exactly the gains you'd think (x the number of cores) when the process is CPU cycle intensive, less as the ops are simpler and memory I/O rates rise.

If you are trying to accomplish the same amount of work in a shorter amount of time, Amdahl's Law calls you a liar. If, on the other hand, you're trying to do more work in the same amount of time, then Gustafson's Law agrees with you but you will still NEVER get a speedup of N by adding N cores; it will always be somewhat less than N.

about 2 years ago
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Bring On the Decentralized Social Networking

CodingHero Re:Sounds familiar (238 comments)

It'll be like Web 2.0 but with open standards for ultra-mega-social networking so everyone can make their own customized part of the web but only share it with their friends or have content that changes based on who their friends are/are not. Instead of "Web 3.0" we can call it something like "MySpace 2.0" complete with flashing text and automatically playing videos and music!

more than 2 years ago
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Executive Order Grants US Gov't New Powers Over Communication Systems

CodingHero Re:The "most transparent government..." (513 comments)

Yeah, Mr. O. - we can see your "transparent" government now :-(

It is transparent, in a way. At least they're telling you "hey we're going to spy on everything you do and shut you down if we don't like it" whereas previous administrations have just done it and not told you or anyone else. It's still a despicable practice though.

more than 2 years ago
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Teaching Natural Sciences To Social Science Students?

CodingHero Re:statistics a soft science? (265 comments)

I'm sorry, am I misreading or are you saying statistics is a "soft science"? If you're that confused about things, then just go to the textbook, and teach one chapter a week.

The OP is asking how to teach statistics to people who major in soft sciences. It does not in any way imply that statistics is a soft science. In fact, one might argue that it is a "hard science" for multiple definitions of the word "hard." We didn't refer to it as "sadistics" class for nothing.

about 2 years ago
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Reversing the Loss of Science and Engineering Careers

CodingHero Re:Engineering shortage? (375 comments)

You forgot the work is boring.

There's certainly a fair share of "boring" engineering work but a lot of it is not. We all have days where nothing goes right, where we're stuck writing a long boring report, or in a meeting, but when you get that final working product at the end of it all, it makes it all worth it. Maybe I just haven't been in the field long enough, but, overall, the work is far from "boring."

If, however, by boring you mean from the viewpoint of, say, my mom, well then sure.

more than 2 years ago
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Reversing the Loss of Science and Engineering Careers

CodingHero Re:Engineering shortage? (375 comments)

Your posts of:

Or, you can just do what today's smart kids are doing, and avoid the field altogether.

and

Way to miss the point. You're never going to get, working as an engineer at a small company, the kind of pay that you'd get as a middle manager at a large corporation. Plus, your career is over when you're 40; managers don't have to worry about that.

Of course, the downside is that you do little of value and you sit in meetings all day when you're a manager, but so what? Bring your laptop/smartphone and play games and claim you're answering emails, and then enjoy the cash after work is over (while the engineers you supervise are still hard at work into the evening hours to meet the unrealistic deadlines you set).

make me feel like you are an engineer who has somehow become embittered with the profession. I'm sure you have a reason you feel the way you do but I work as an engineer at a small company with around 20 other engineers and none of any age are nearly this cynical about it. As previous posts have mentioned, engineering classes are hard, there's no girls, and you probably will never get the respect you deserve from the rest of society, but we do it because we love it. To be successful as an engineer requires that you enjoy what you're doing. Once you stop enjoying it, then it's time to move on. Keep in mind here that "successful" does not necessarily equal "high pay" or "upper management" position; many would define it as having a job where they don't actually feel like they are going to work.

more than 2 years ago
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Math Textbooks a Textbook Example of Bad Textbooks

CodingHero Math textbooks are the worst (446 comments)

Setting aside for a moment that the article is concerned with K-8 specifically, college textbooks are just as horrible. Math (calculus) is the worst. TFA says that: "It could be that key information or steps are missing." If you wanted to teach yourself calculus, my calc book was the worst. Sure there would be some examples, but, in almost all cases, some term would magically turn out to be zero, one, or negative one, meaning that you got to skip a number of steps in solving the problem and never actually learned how to use the technique that was being taught. Fast forward to the problems for that chapter, and none of them are anything like the example.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: How best to set up a parent's PC?

CodingHero CodingHero writes  |  about a year and a half ago

CodingHero (1545185) writes "My mother uses a recent enough PC running Windows XP and has a broadband connection, but her primary method of interacting with the online world remains the AOL software. She also likes to download and use various seasonal wallpapers, screensavers, etc. Usually all this works fine and I don't get family tech support calls, but occasionally something big goes wrong. Since she lives 400 miles away, that means I get to provide phone tech support. While I can usually get something fixed through simple instructions, sometimes it's just too complicated to properly diagnose and explain over the phone (e.g., a trojan infection that anti-virus won't get rid of on its own). I'd like to set up the system so that her account is not an Administrator and that I can easily (and securely) remotely connect to fix problems, install stuff she really wants to use (after proper vetting of course), and so on. Moving to Linux or a Mac is not an option. Upgrading the system to Windows 7 and breaking the AOL habit, while seemingly the best course of action, is going to mean a lot of my time up front to explain how to do things all over again, time that I don't have a lot of right now. Has anyone else had a similar experience? If so, what did you find was the best way to re-educate a parent and/or set up a method to securely remotely manage a system, or at least lock it down to better protect it?"
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There are zero viruses for Mac OSX

CodingHero CodingHero writes  |  more than 5 years ago

CodingHero (1545185) writes "A story on CNN Money explains why there are no (zero) viruses for Mac OSX, dismissing the claim that it is due to the Mac's small market share. The author makes this claim saying, 'Academic proofs of concept and theoretical vulnerabilities don't count. Neither do computer worms, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, spam or any of the other nasty species in the zoology of malware,' and going on to define a 'virus' as concerning only software that, 'attaches itself to a program or file so that it can spread from one Mac to another.' It argues that not only are viruses passe, but discusses how the Unix-based OSX kernel is inherently more secure than that of Windows."
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