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darkvizier Re:Philosophy is fundamental (515 comments)

(that in reply to ... ("energy" for example, but there are hundreds) have been invented by a single guy named Aristotle who lived 2500 years ago and always invented a new word when he had an idea which was unamed (sorry for nesting brackets)))

Ah, a vi user I see. Fixed that for you. You might be interested to know about paredit-mode, if you ever decide to convert.

more than 4 years ago

What Is Holding Back the Paperless Office?

darkvizier We live in a physical world (511 comments)

Our brains like to map things in a model similar to that which we already know. I can write on a piece of paper, I can doodle. I can draw arbitrary lines and shapes wherever I choose, and I can put it in a physical space on my desk which isn't limited to my screen real estate. It is real to me, in a way that a window on my desktop is not. It follows laws of physics. The matter will not be destroyed if my machine reboots and I forget to click save.

Because our computer applications do not follow the same laws as our physical world, we can't think about them in the same way. In many cases we don't need to. There are advantages of course to not being restrained to the laws of the physical world. We can make copies of our data, we can apply different templates and formatting to it without rewriting the content.

Can we create technologies which carry both the benefits of the digital world and the solidity and predictability, and reliability of the physical world? I think this is possible, but it requires a much greater discipline than we normally apply to our product design. It requires that intuitive workflows be established and well supported, and that the interface itself have parallels to our experience of the physical world. It requires a lot of thinking about what we do and how and why. We just don't hold ourselves to very high standards in this regard. We are lazy. And we are unimaginative about the ideal role of technology.

more than 4 years ago

Health Care Reform

darkvizier My experience working in healthcare insurance... (2044 comments)

From my experience, healthcare insurance companies are disgustingly inefficient from an IT standpoint. I've worked at two, including one major national provider and one that is the main provider for state employees where I live. Both of them were using outdated technologies and hiring entire departments of people to manually push claims through the system, since their software was consistently unreliable. Quality software in this industry would cut out a huge amount of overhead. It would also force a lot of lazy people to find new jobs, so there is a big political force in these companies opposing this sort of change. I think the best hope for this market is competition. The industry needs some startup companies who are doing things smarter, faster and better, and are taking huge swaths of customers away from them. That's the only thing that will actually motivate them to change. I'm looking for a bill that actually finds a way to encourage and help new companies get started in the industry.

more than 4 years ago

Health Care Reform

darkvizier Re:A false choice, of course... (2044 comments)

who prescribe medically needless tests & procedures to make more money

What about those who prescribe medically needless tests to avoid ridiculous litigation? Will they somehow benefit from additional legal oversight?

more than 4 years ago

SETI Is 50 Years Old; No Sign of ET

darkvizier In other news... (454 comments)

Life on Earth is now 4.8 Billion years old and no one's found us yet.

more than 4 years ago

China To Tap Combustible Ice As New Energy Source

darkvizier Sounds like an interesting game of Risk (185 comments)

...but this is one of many possibilities 20 years from now, and probably not a likely one.

more than 4 years ago

China's Human Flesh Search Engine

darkvizier Re:4Chan (248 comments)

Compared to the promise of stripper factories and beer volcanoes, what does the Church of the Subgenius hold for me? Enlightened path, indeed...

more than 4 years ago

China's Human Flesh Search Engine

darkvizier Re:do you treat the iliad and odyssey (248 comments)

because there really are people posting here, and that you meet in real life, who think of orwell as some sort of religious prophet about the coming armageddeon. that every sign and signal and portent of news from real life is merely evidence of the coming state of big brother and 1984 as reality. the same as any other idiotic apocalyptic cult

We are not idiots. Steve Jobs will lead us to freedom.

more than 4 years ago

8-Year Fan-Made Game Project Shut Down By Activision

darkvizier Ah well... (265 comments)

You know what they say. Heir today, gone tomorrow...

more than 4 years ago

The 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors

darkvizier Re:Yeah, right. (534 comments)

prepared statements solve 99% of it

What's the 1% they don't solve? (Genuine question...)

I think he already answered that. His second paragraph talks about the occasional need for dynamically generated SQL. Dynamically generated != prepared, therefore you have your 1%.

more than 4 years ago

StarCraft II Beta To Begin This Month

darkvizier Re:Who cares? (182 comments)

This is Slashdot. We should be griping about the DRM, or the removal of LAN play which is obviously intended to keep us as indentured servants to the corporate behemoth, not talking about trivial things like when the game is going to be released.

Fuck yeah! That's the spirit. Bring back the /. I know!

more than 4 years ago

StarCraft II Beta To Begin This Month

darkvizier Re:This beta should (182 comments)

PC games are losing ground to consoles because the fucking game manufacturers keep trying to turn the PC into a console.

Turning PCs into consoles? That won't happen easily in the RTS genre because the controls are so different.

But in other genres, let me know when multiplayer PC games designed for use with a single PC and HDTV become common, and I'll agree with you. But right now, they appear to be limited to Serious Sam, Left 4 Dead, and EA Sports.

I think the GP was talking about DRM/anti-pirating measures, not the user controls. Essentially they're trying to turn computer games into the black box that console games are.

more than 4 years ago

Blizzard Previews Revamped

darkvizier Re:Map Publishing (188 comments)

Good points. I find the map features interesting as well. I like the idea of having some sort of organization there, as with Starcraft you just had people appending a bunch of random ascii characters to a name and throwing it out there. Dunno about others but I often found it confusing to determine exactly what I was looking at. Giving the option of paid maps/mods is a good idea too... players can decide for themselves whether something is of value, and conversely map/mod makers will have to tell a convincing story in order to get people to pay.

Also really looking forward to a more robust set of editing tools. One of the funnest things for me was building storyline maps. Triggers were a wonderful asset for that, but some customization was still missing. Can't wait to get my hands on the new map editor.

more than 4 years ago

Blizzard Previews Revamped

darkvizier Re:Will it stay free? (188 comments)

Yup. There's still quite a few playing Diablo 2. Though Blizzard has pissed a lot off with the upcoming patch... lot of failed expectations there.

more than 4 years ago

Hackers Attack AU Websites To Protest Censorship

darkvizier That'll teach 'em. (334 comments)

I'm sure parliament is trembling in their shoes about now. They cannot hope to stand against anonymous. Who can possibly save them? Maybe... batman...

more than 4 years ago

Game Development In a Post-Agile World

darkvizier Re:Not sure how Agile helps game development (149 comments)

... yet I still see fewer bugs in V1.0 of a console game than I do in V1.0 of released "professional" software. Ironically, the main factor worsening this is the industry's widespread adoption of "internet patches", a hack used for a decade by your professional software developers to cover up the known & accepted fact that no software is perfect. For 10 years before that, our software was bug-free from day one, with a *very* few notable exceptions.

All this tells me is that these companies understand the nature of their respective mediums. If you're releasing to a console with no possibility of updates it *is* important that you be meticulous and catch any bugs. If you're releasing to a webserver, then you've got more flexibility. Either way though, I will agree that I've seen a lack of discipline in ensuring code correctness, both at places I've worked and in commercial products where the results are apparent. I think the damage of releasing something low quality is vastly underestimated by most companies.

Tying this back to the original topic, I think agile has contributed in meaningful ways, but in most situations it's not a complete solution. In a large project, you need an overall strategy, with milestones that tie into your business model. I don't think agile provides that. I see agile's role more in the tactics of breaking up goals into manageable chunks and then working to complete those goals. It's effective at this because it provides a framework for accountability and proactive resolution of roadblocks. This is very important in a long term project, because if you don't have short term goals and feedback on intermediate tasks, it's easy to lose site of the overall purpose of your endeavor - that is to provide something of value to the consumer.

more than 4 years ago

The iPad Questions Apple Won't Answer

darkvizier Re:Real Answers (671 comments)

Uhm.. New to Apple's stuff? The answer is big NO!

How do you get that? There are plenty of media services/apps (Rhapsody, Pandora, etc.) you can use on the iPhone OS that are not connected to Apple. The author of the article complains there's no Netflix app - but how is that Apple's fault? Netflix is free to make such an app if they choose. The only issue is the inability to play in the background - something that primarily affects music apps.

How it has been before is that Apple has disallowed software that "duplicates features of existing software". I would see any competitor to iTunes being one.

(messed up the quote.. gets complicated on this level :)

You mean like clicking "quote parent"?

more than 4 years ago

Silicon Valley VCs and the Gender Gap

darkvizier Re:Why should I care? (375 comments)

We'll agree there are too many white guys, and it's a good ole boys club.

That is an indefensibly racist statement.

So... racism gets +1 interesting and the guy who points it out gets -1 troll. Good job moderators!

more than 4 years ago

Tesla Motors To Suspend Roadster Production

darkvizier Re:You left out a viable and cheaper option (401 comments)

A range extender turns your pure electric commuter into a "modular hybrid"

That is exactly what the volt does, except without a trailer lugging behind. Unlike the Prius it is not as you say, a "traditional hybrid".

more than 4 years ago


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