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Comments

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Ubisoft Hands Out Nexus 7 Tablets At a Game's Press Event

MtHuurne Re:I went to see WATCH_DOGS at PAX East (38 comments)

Give a discount on a digital download. Generate unique discount codes (random numbers) and allow each number to be used only once by keeping track of which numbers have been used.

Alternatively, accept the fact that the code will be shared and make it a small discount and/or only valid on launch day, to stimulate impulse buys. People will feel they got a good deal by outsmarting your system, while it was calculated from the start.

yesterday
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Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

MtHuurne Re:I on the other hand... (159 comments)

The computer lab in my primary school ran on C64s and I own a working MSX (home computer from the same era as the C64). I know how fast they boot. I haven't booted a Raspberry Pi yet, but I have run and built several embedded Linux systems. I'm sure booting Raspbian into X11 will take a while, but if you build a dedicated image for running a single emulator it could boot very quickly.

I'm not comparing a full XFCE/X11/GNU/Linux stack to a dedicated emulation OS, I'm comparing the Linux kernel plus a boot script to a dedicated emulation OS. Sure a dedicated OS could be more efficient, but then you'd want support for HDMI, composite video, audio, SD card, file systems, USB mass storage, USB keyboards and game controllers etc. and when all that is implemented and working reliably you've spent at least months and probably years in development. That's a lot of effort to go from a 3 second boot time to 500 ms. And then you find out that the real limit to boot time is how long it takes for your TV to switch to the right HDMI input...

Besides, you could cheat: screenshot the C64 title screen and display that as a splash screen. That's what iOS apps do to make it feel as if they launch instantly. Then run the first second or so of emulation in fast forward mode to compensate for the time the kernel took to initialize.

yesterday
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Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

MtHuurne Re:I on the other hand... (159 comments)

The real question is why a C64 emulator would require a dedicated OS instead of just running it under Linux. If you want to reduce boot time, just turn off all unnecessary features in the kernel config and put the emulator in the initrd, you should be able to have a C64 BASIC prompt in less than 3 seconds.

2 days ago
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Do Free-To-Play Games Get a Fair Shake?

MtHuurne Re:Hearthstone is good. (181 comments)

I'm enjoying Hearthstone as well.

Something some players may not realize is that when you're playing other humans in a ranked system, if you win half your matches, you're doing OK. You can win more if you're new or if you're improving rapidly, but then your ranking gets adjusted and you'll face tougher opponents.

It's a collectable card game, so having more cards will give you more options. If you want to be able to compete with people who have been playing for months on your first day, you'd have to spend a lot of money. But you wouldn't be able to build a good deck out of those purchased cards with so little experience, so it's a rather pointless criticism. If you play now and then for a few weeks you'll get a decent set of cards and you'll learn how to use them. And every level of rarity has good cards, you don't need a lot of rare cards to make a good deck.

Reading the forum posts about Gelbin Mekkatorque (a promo card given to people who purchased something during beta) was hilarious. Some people complained that handing out a promo card like that was pay2win. Others complained that the card was seriously underpowered and they felt ripped off. So in the end it shows that you simply cannot make everyone happy. (In my opinion, the card is way too random to be used in a competitive deck, but it is quite funny.)

about a week ago
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Smart Car Tipping Trending In San Francisco

MtHuurne Re:It's not trending. (369 comments)

Now that it's been in the news, it might become a trend...

about a week ago
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European Court of Justice Strikes Down Data Retention Law

MtHuurne Re:Good for them. (77 comments)

As far as I know, ISPs were forced to implement the data retention. For them, even if they aren't opposed to it on privacy grounds, it's additional infrastructure costs that they would rather get rid of.

about a week ago
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A Rock Paper Scissors Brainteaser

MtHuurne Re:Bonus question (2/3 paper 1/3 rock is opt) (167 comments)

Another possible strategy for the opponent is to play the first round with each move at 1/3 chance. That leads to an expected win of 0 for the first round. For the second round, if he played rock in the first round he has no obligations and gets an expected win of 0 again, but if he didn't play rock (2/3 chance) he'll be forced to play rock and lose, so an expected win of -2/3 for the two rounds.

In fact, any opponent first round strategy with scissors 1/3 and rock between 1/3 and 2/3 will lead to an expected win of -2/3 for the opponent (by the player always playing paper on the first round).

about two weeks ago
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A Rock Paper Scissors Brainteaser

MtHuurne Re:Two Games (167 comments)

Yes, that's what I meant. I originally though the stronger claim might be true but it is not: as Reaper9889 pointed out in another post, you should never play scissors. If you stick to that and are not so greedy to play 100% paper (to be exact: 1/2 < paper < 1, optimum at 2/3), you make a profit no matter how the opponent responds.

about two weeks ago
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A Rock Paper Scissors Brainteaser

MtHuurne Re:No actual advantage? (167 comments)

You're right about never playing scissors. Since the perfect opponent will know you're never going to play scissors, he won't play rock any more than is required, so 50% of the time. This leads to an overall win frequency (profit) of (1 - 3 * Rp) * Po + Rp / 2, where Rp is how often you play rock and Po how often the opponent plays paper.

With 1/3 rock, the profit becomes 1/6 no matter what the opponent does. If you play less than 1/3 rock, Po is positive for your profit, so the opponent will opt to never play paper: 1/2 rock and 1/2 scissors, leading to a Rp / 2 profit, which is less than 1/6. If you play more than 1/3 rock, Po is negative for your profit, so the opponent will play as much paper as possible: 1/2 rock and 1/2 paper, leading to 1/2 - Rp in profit, which is again less than 1/6.

about two weeks ago
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A Rock Paper Scissors Brainteaser

MtHuurne Re:Two Games (167 comments)

This is where the two games key comes in. You and I both recognize that 2/3 paper is the right move because 1/2 of his moves will be rock. But by playing the other half as regular RPS with a win/tie/loss of 1/1/1 you can expect the win/loss to cancel out, leaving you with your 1/3 lower bound advantage

If you're playing 2/3 paper and 1/3 rock vs 1/2 rock and 1/2 paper, the regular RPS subgame is 2/3 paper and 1/3 rock vs paper, which has an expected result of 1/3 loss for the subgame, or a 1/6 loss contribution to the total game. It won't cancel out: you can't get a consistent 0 result from the regular RPS subgame since you play paper more than 1/3 of the time and the opponent can take that into account by not playing rock in the subgame at all.

Versus 2/3 paper and 1/3 rock, it actually doesn't matter in which frequency the opponent plays paper and scissors, the result is always 1/6 overall win for you, assuming the opponent never voluntarily plays more than 1/2 rock.

about two weeks ago
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A Rock Paper Scissors Brainteaser

MtHuurne Re:Two Games (167 comments)

I listed the chances in the context of the opponent move ("if the opponent plays rock"). The chance of playing rock or playing scissors is 1/2 each (the coin toss), so if you list it as overall chances you get 1/3 win and 1/12 loss (same as you wrote) due to the opponent playing scissors and also 1/3 loss and 1/12 win due to the opponent playing rock; the expected result result is still 0.

about two weeks ago
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A Rock Paper Scissors Brainteaser

MtHuurne Re:Two Games (167 comments)

The opponent could respond to this by playing scissors on all non-forced-rock turns. If the opponent plays rock, you win 4/6 of the time and lose 1/6 of the time, but if the opponent plays scissors you lose 4/6 of the time and win 1/6 of the time, so overall you'd be even.

about two weeks ago
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A Rock Paper Scissors Brainteaser

MtHuurne No actual advantage? (167 comments)

First, make sure you read TFA, since it explains what the summary doesn't: how the 50% is determined and how the opponent can play in the non-forced turns.

If you play using a deterministic algorithm, for example always play paper, the opponent can figure it out and beat you on all the non-forced turns. At best you'll get an even result.

If you play using a random algorithm, the opponent can figure out the frequencies you're using and compensate for that. For example, if you decide to play paper 50% of the time and rock and scissors 25% of the time, you'd win against an opponent playing rock 50% of the time and paper and scissors 25% of the time. However, if the opponent decides to play rock 50% of the time and scissors the other 50%, the result is even again. If the opponent would be forced to play rock more than 50% of the time, there is no room to compensate and you would win consistently with 100% paper. I think that with 50% rock, there is enough room to respond to any frequency distribution you can come up with, although I have no proof for that.

You could change your algorithms during play, but if there isn't any algorithm that results in an advantage when playing it consistently, gaining an advantage from changing your algorithm would depend on how well your opponent responds to your changes. In other words, you're playing mind games. I don't think the 50% rock restriction is going to be of any help here.

about two weeks ago
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MariaDB 10 Released, Now With NoSQL Support

MtHuurne Crash free vs crash-safe (103 comments)

The summary says the replication slaves are now crash free, but TFA says they are crash-safe. My database knowledge doesn't go very deep, but I think the latter means they won't lose data on crashes, not that they never crash.

about two weeks ago
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Latest Humble Bundle Supports Open Source GameDev Tools

MtHuurne Re:Lets Clarify....... (29 comments)

A Ren'Py story does need graphics to shine. A possible alternative if you want to create a text-based interactive story is Twine. The editor (1.4 series) is written in wxPython, stories are created using wiki syntax and optionally CSS and JavaScript. It packages stories as HTML files for playing.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Consider Elegant Code?

MtHuurne Re:Linux kernel (373 comments)

Code quality in the Linux kernel varies a lot per individual driver or subsystem. Many interfaces are under-documented: you have to read the implementation code and make an educated guess at what the intended interface was. And a lot of the error handling paths contain bugs, since those are rarely exercised when testing manually.

The Linux kernel might seem elegant if you just read the code superficially. Once you start making changes and have to know exactly how it works, you'll see the problems that many parts of the kernel code have. While there is certainly a lot worse code out there, I wouldn't use the kernel as a shining example of elegant code.

There is one thing I learned from the Linux coding style though: avoiding typedefs and just writing "struct blah" in full helps make code accessible to new readers: the less indirections, the sooner you find what you're looking for. The same thing holds for avoiding typedef aliases for integer types and using macros sparingly.

about three weeks ago
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The Spy In Our Living Room

MtHuurne Re:BS (148 comments)

The door lock analogy works best, I think: if there is something really valuable in the house, a door lock won't stop a thief, but for an average house a good lock could make it not worth the effort. Likewise, if my government (the Netherlands has a population of almost 17 million) can afford to spy on a thousand people, I won't be among them, but if they can afford to spy on a million people, I might be. So if you want privacy, make sure mass spying does not become too easy.

about a month and a half ago
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Blizzard To Sell Level 90 WoW Characters For $60

MtHuurne Boost price vs expansion price (253 comments)

It's tremendously awkward to tell someone that you should buy two copies of the expansion just to get a second 90.

A bit of searching shows that in the past WoW expansions were introduced at $40, so why wouldn't a player opt to buy the expansion twice rather than buying the level upgrade for a second character?

Note that the pricing for this expansion hasn't been published yet, but I doubt they're going to price it at $60, since people expect a full game for that price.

about 2 months ago
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Meet the Developers Who Want To Build the Next Snapchat

MtHuurne Re:Stupid (61 comments)

Indeed there is no such thing as secure self-destructing messages. What is more interesting is end-to-end encryption, where you can at least ensure that no-one except the recipient can open the message.

about 2 months ago
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Who's On WhatsApp, and Why?

MtHuurne Re:In the Netherlands.. (280 comments)

And when the largest Dutch telco announced plans to charge extra for the "privilege" of being able to use IM or VOIP on a mobile data plan, net neutrality legislation was passed in record time.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Using a Ground Source Heat Pump System in China

MtHuurne MtHuurne writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MtHuurne (602934) writes "We regularly read about China's problems with pollution. You may have heard that China is also investing a lot in renewable energy such as hydro, solar and wind. However, there are also smaller scale initiatives like people installing a ground source heat pump in their home. The article documents the installation of such an efficient heating system with text, photos and diagrams and discusses the costs and expected savings."
Link to Original Source

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