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Comments

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Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

Sarusa It sure is, just like every other year (171 comments)

Everyone thinks this when their specific little niche goes away for whatever reason. Or even when it changes.

Opportunists who are just in it for easy money will bail out and find whatever the land rush is this month. The others will find a way. Remember when AAA gaming crushed all small budget games forever? Yeah.

(This can be 'bad' as well if you're one of those people who think income is the only thing that matters... some of those people could have done better financially elsewhere).

about two weeks ago
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The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of Battlefield

Sarusa Fool you six times... (208 comments)

"he doesn't really offer an opinion on how good the game is"

The game's not out yet. But odds are, based on every other entry in the franchise, it will be terribly broken and buggy at launch and the servers won't stay up. That's the point of the article.

about 1 month ago
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Report: YouTube Buying Twitch.tv For $1 Billion

Sarusa All of Twitch is a 'Copyright Violation' (142 comments)

Since by YouTube's standards, everything on Twitch is a 'copyright violation' (streaming footage of a video game and completely ignoring that most of it is Fair Use with added content) I really have to wonder how they intend to deal with the corporate trolls who are now going to descend on Twitch like the vultures they are.

I imagine that will involve giving most of the money currently going to the content creators to the copyright asserters. The RIAA model.

about 2 months ago
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Job Postings For Python, NoSQL, Apache Hadoop Way Up This Year

Sarusa Re:Percentages? (52 comments)

TFA is kind of dumb for not giving the numbers, but a quick search on Dice turns up 4800 python listings.

Compare to 1770 Hadoop listings, 1490 NoSQL, and 3250 for 'Big Data' and you can see that it's kind of the opposite of what you were suggesting. The reason Python is only up 16% is because it had so many listings last year already.

2700 Ruby listings for comparison, regarding another post.

about 3 months ago
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C++ and the STL 12 Years Later: What Do You Think Now?

Sarusa It's great, but we try not to use it. (435 comments)

Compared to what it used to be, C++11 is very nice. But it's still one of the ugliest, most obfuscated languages for general production work. I realize why this is so - speed and memory concerns still make it the go to language (har) when you really care about either of those.

I used to use C++ constantly. But it's very rare now that we can't just write what we need in C# (medium to large scale) or Python (small to medium scale) in 1/3rd the time (or 1/10th for anything GUI). And for embedded we're still using pure C.

So we use C++ in that very rare intersection where we have some complexity and speed actually matters. Most recently in an image pipeline where the app itself is all C# and the heavy lifting (billions of pixels) is done in non-managed C++ (they didn't want to require GPU). It was okay, but using C++ and C# together makes you really aware of just how much administrative overhead C++ has, though the classes certainly made things better compared to pure C.

So... it definitely has a niche, but it's not normally the most efficient way to do things, for implementation speed, cleanliness, or maintainability.

about 3 months ago
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Biofuels From Corn Can Create More Greenhouse Gases Than Gasoline

Sarusa We already knew corn is a very bad biofuel. (159 comments)

Corn (maize) is one of the worst possible plant masses you could grow to make biofuel. It's horribly inefficient compared to other crops.

We've always known this. And it drives up the price of food. Globally.

Why are we still using corn to make ethanol? Farm lobby.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?

Sarusa Pick a problem first, not the solution (306 comments)

I've been programming longer than you have and I'm still learning new things every day. That's not an exaggeration - we have so many cool projects at work that I can't stagnate.

The key here is to have a problem to solve, then learn whatever you need to learn to solve that problem.

You don't decide 'Well I should learn PHP now... okay, now what do I do with this?' or 'I hear Java is good on a resume.' You find a problem that's interesting to you (I want to make a game that... I want to make a neat device that...) and then you learn whatever it is you have to learn. For instance starting to deal with firmware, motors, devices, etc is like a rebirth for a lot of people compared to the boring ennui of database and web services. It's amazing how much you can do with a little Arduino or Raspberry Pi or the equivalent, and that's often enough to kick you out of your stupor.

If you can't think of anything, or if coming up with a game or trying a neat little embedded system doesn't put you back into obsessive creative mode then it's probably time to consider a new line of work, or just how to ride out your days till retirement.

about 4 months ago
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PC Game Prices — Valve Starts the Race To Zero

Sarusa Make sure you read the dev comments (212 comments)

If you're going to read the article, read the comments (on Gamasutra). Other devs point out that you've always been able to set your price on Steam games - it just takes less intervention to change it now. You could always launch a free or 99 cent game there. The Steam market is not the mobile market (thank god).

about 5 months ago
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Good Engineering Managers Just "Don't Exist"

Sarusa They exist. I work for one right now. (312 comments)

I work for one of them. I've worked for two others previously.

Current boss likes being able to have his fingers in all the design pies, which he can do because he doesn't have to code any more. That could be a disaster if he were a micromanaging ego driven tool who wanted to own everything, but he knows what he doesn't know and defers to the area experts/leaders. He comes up with very good ideas or ties it together with another part of the project, so he's also contributing.

He spends the other half of the time doing all those horrible managery things the rest of us don't want to do. And for that he makes more money.

Everyone wins!

Of course this /requires/ someone who can manage his time and his ego effectively to work well, but they do exist.

about 5 months ago
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Headhunters Can't Tell Anything From Facebook Profiles

Sarusa Recruiters can't even tell anything from a resume (209 comments)

This seems to be a common theme, but recruiters on LinkedIn, who have easy access to prefiltered data right from my own fingers, can't even manage to comprehend that.

My info: EE/CS, no interest in management, no interest in relocating from west coast.

Recruiter: Hey Sarusa, plz call me about this great ME (Mechanical Engineer) management opportunity in Madison, Wisconsin that just opened up.

I'm not making that one up. I wish I were. Ones that bad happen rarely, but weaker forms of that happen constantly.

about 7 months ago
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Clam That Was Killed Determining Its Age Was Over 100 Years Older Than Estimated

Sarusa Ming the Aphrodisiac King (366 comments)

Since the Chinese formula is rarity + cost = raging boners, I sure hope they ground this guy up into aphrodisiac powder and saved a couple tigers or black rhinos.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Choose Frameworks That Will Survive?

Sarusa You're at the whim of the owner. It's political. (227 comments)

Sadly, this isn't a technical question, it's a political question. You've got the following considerations:
      - Is it a clean, well designed framework with good docs and good support?
      - Can I count on the ecosystem it's designed for surviving?
      - What's the owner's record on this?

Only the first is really technical. In the case of Flex, at the time you couldn't predict that Flash would fall from grace so fast and that Adobe would abandon the Linux version. In the case of Qt, well, there's always a need for embedded device GUIs - but there was a chance that after Nokia bought Trolltech it might have ended up being bought and killed by Microsoft when they bought Nokia. Luckily it was already spun off into Digia.

I guess you could collapse this into 'Do I trust the owner?' I don't trust Adobe, so I would have skipped Flex, but on the other hand Flash had a good long run. I know going in that any MS framework like XNA will be obsoleted in a couple years, but will be supported for quite a while at least. I trusted Trolltech, but then they got bought by Nokia - that's the sort of thing you can't really predict.

about 9 months ago
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Facebook May Dislike the Social Fixer Extension, but Many Users Love It (Video)

Sarusa Re:"Moo"ving off-topic (176 comments)

And of course in theory you can actually leave Facebook, though in practice the peer pressure works pretty damn well.

Let me just bury that metaphor under a rock somewhere.

about 9 months ago
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Facebook May Dislike the Social Fixer Extension, but Many Users Love It (Video)

Sarusa They don't want your experience streamlined (176 comments)

The fundamental bad assumption here is that FaceBook would be happy about the user experience being streamlined and more efficient. If they're showing something to you it's *because they want you to see it*, even if (or especially if) it slows you down and means you have to click more and see things you didn't want to see. You didn't want to see it, but *they* want you to see it. This extension takes away their total control.

You aren't the customer, you are the product. The cow doesn't get to choose how it gets milked.

about 9 months ago
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What Developers Can Learn From Healthcare.gov

Sarusa How about management? (267 comments)

When your boss says you're going to launch on October 3 no matter what, you get whatever you've got.

I've occasionally (thankfully not often) had to turn out things I'm not proud of for customers who have no idea how to schedule and won't hear otherwise. Stuff like the front end/back end error handling is high up the chopping block.

about 10 months ago
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Will New Red-Text Warnings Kill Casual Use of Java?

Sarusa That would be great - drive by malware protection (282 comments)

Nobody should be running Java in browser. It's a blinking, gaping 'zero day me here!' for any drive-by malware and Oracle can't keep up with the exploits (though they still keep trying to re-enable their plugin on install, along with trying to install junkware, the evil bastards).

I do use Java for standalone apps, this is not an anti-Java thing - it's the browser plugin that is the problem.

Big slow institutions that are stuck using Java can pay the $100 and still get the extra drive-by protection. Everyone wins. Of course the baddies could still get a cert... but then we're back to 'don't run it in browser.'

about 10 months ago
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Reddit Bans Subreddit Dedicated To Finding Navy Yard Shooters

Sarusa Hiding the truth! (159 comments)

And right after they'd managed to finger Lee Harvey Oswald.

Coincidence? Follow the money, sheeple!

about 10 months ago

Submissions

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FunnyJunk steals The Oatmeal's cartoons, sends him $20K extortion demand

Sarusa Sarusa writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sarusa (104047) writes "From the Oatmeal: 'Almost exactly a year ago I published a blog post about my comics being stolen, re-hosted, and monetized on FunnyJunk's website. The owner of the site responded and some of the comics were taken down, He still had a ton of my comics hosted without credit, but the energy it would take to get him to take them down wasn't worth it. I thought the issue was done and over with so I let him be.

A few days ago I was served papers informing me that the owner of FunnyJunk is going to file a federal lawsuit against me unless I pay him $20,000 in damages.'

The text is not quite safe for work, as The Oatmeal rarely is, but well worth reading."

Link to Original Source
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Sony working hard on DRMing AC power

Sarusa Sarusa writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sarusa writes "It takes a very special company like Sony to realize that something as fundamental as 120v 60hz power could be DRMed and crippled. After making this fundamental conceptual breakthrough, they're devoting all their technical skill to making AC power fragile, which certainly takes a world class company like Sony. Of course, the proprietary Sony electrons will spin the wrong way, so you'll need a proprietary Sony transformer — that last bit isn't true, but only because they can't figure out how to do it yet."
Link to Original Source
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How Voodoo Kills You (The Nocebo Effect)

Sarusa Sarusa writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Sarusa (104047) writes "What you think you know can kill you. The Nocebo effect is the evil twin of the Placebo effect — if you think you're dying you have a real chance of actually dying, even if there's nothing wrong with you. My favorite case in here is 'The Overdose' at the bottom, where someone tried to kill himself with a drug overdose, and was dying till someone realized the 'drugs' were just harmless sugar pills from a study and informed him of this. Or were they? Will either way, it worked!"
Link to Original Source
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Sony's Little Big Planet Moderation Inscrutable

Sarusa Sarusa writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Sarusa (104047) writes "Sony, being Sony, are being arbitrary and random in their deletion of some of the best user created levels in Little Big Planet. Hours and days of work vanishing into the ether without recourse or explanation. Azure Palace was incredibly good (video included in the story), and as far as anyone can tell had nothing banhammer-worthy, but now it's gone. So is World of Color. I suspect they're just being dumb again instead of malicious, but since they're not communicating at all it's all the same. This is your only killer app, guys, stop screwing it up."
Link to Original Source
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Sarusa Sarusa writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Sarusa (104047) writes "If this is true, it's Beta vs VHS all over again and HD-DVD may be the foregone winner of the format wars. First, Heise reports (summarized from the German by sgknox.com) that Digital Playground (NSFW), who were committed to Blu-ray last year, are now producing HD-DVD titles instead. No Blu-ray disk manufacturer would make their disks because Sony doesn't want porn on Blu-ray (just as with Betamax). Second, as reported by tgdaily, the porn industry at CES overwhelmingly favors HD-DVD because it's much cheaper and easier to produce. As noted in the tgdaily article, porn was a huge factor in VHS winning the VHS/Beta format wars even though most people don't like to acknowledge it. Porn, like gaming, pushes tech adoption."

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