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Sony Agrees To $17.75m Settlement For 2011 PSN Attack

donscarletti Re:The games (64 comments)

Metacritic rating of 82, GameRankings rating of 83.13%. I'm guessing that quite probably there are a lot of worse racing games.

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

donscarletti Re:Lol (272 comments)

I thought it was in retaliation for the shelling of York (Toronto). At any rate, the British reaction, safely evacuating and then burning public buildings in the war of 1812 was far better than the Americans policy of simply lobbing bombs at loyalist civilians and exterminating British friendly native tribes.

4 days ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

donscarletti Re:And in totally unrelated news.... (383 comments)

Here's the thing.

We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months."

They are announcing layoffs that will not be implemented, in some cases for over 6 months in the future. That means, for over 6 months, Microsoft employees won't know for sure whether they will be laid off or kept. In management terms, that is going to result in dramatically lower morale and productivity for half a year for what? So that Microsoft can announce 5,000 more layoffs than they are actually capable of firing right now.

It really just shows how much more Microsoft cares about stock value than running a good company.

about a week ago
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Geographic Segregation By Education

donscarletti Re:bars, restaurants, dry cleaners, art galleries (230 comments)

There is no culture in rural areas. There is no learning. For the active mind, it is a fate worse than death. Intelligent people want to be around other intelligent people. Who wants to live in the country with a bunch of bigots who dismiss any ideas they don't agree with?

You don't think the thing you just said then was maybe, well, super bigoted?

I grew up in the country, there are smart people too. The town's "intellectual elite" tend to know each other and be friendly regardless of their profession, age and views, meaning that if you're smart, you get a diverse group of friends. In cities, people form microcosms of folks just like them, with roughly the same job, the same age, the same personality and the same views. A metropolis is the antithesis of diversity, they bring every kind of person together from all over the world, so you can find the ones just like you.

The only thing bad about the country is the job situation. And the lack of entertainment and fine dining. And there being no choice in schools. And the Internet being slow and expensive. And that you have to drive everywhere. And it is inconvenient to take international flights. And consumer goods are expensive. And quite a few other things.

about two weeks ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

donscarletti Re:Cry Me A River (608 comments)

However, one thing that has always bothered me is when we say "well we're using ruby xx.xx (or node xx.xx or php xx.xx or whatever) on our development machines, so we must install that version on production" and then the hoops taken to do that. It should be "production can run ruby xx.xx so that's what you have to develop against".

I doubt that will ever be the case.

The main issue is, developers usually have a work backlog and those in charge have very little interest in what version everyone is running. If it already works on _a_ platform version, then chances are that the users will get better value for the developers time through adding another feature to the web app itself, than whatever benefits the upgrade or downgrade in platform version will bring.

You can try negotiating with the development team before the work commences though, or putting it in the initial delivery requirements if it is outsourced. It's just you would have to take initiative here, since nobody in your average business would consider operations to be a stakeholder until the system is live, so nobody is going to go out of their way ask you.

about two weeks ago
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How Did Those STAP Stem Cell Papers Get Accepted In the First Place?

donscarletti World loves a cute little Obokata (109 comments)

Everyone also wants to believe pretty little Dr Obokata, who is has adorable cartoon characters on her lab equipment and wears a cooking apron while experimenting managed to cure mortality. I mean, she would be such a fantastic science poster girl.

I mean, I just looked at her pictures and completely forgot about anything scientific. One look and I was: "Forget about the chimeric rats, lets see if I can inject some of my non-pluripotent cells into her and create some embrionic stem cells!"

about three weeks ago
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Eric Schmidt and Entourage Pay a Call On Cuba

donscarletti Re:Good luck with that ... (190 comments)

So Cubans are oppressed but Americans deserve to be punished?

Man, you should be writing speeches for anti-American demagogues the world over (apart from Raul Castro of course).

Also, lots of blacks in Cuba. Cuban censuses distinguish "negro" from "mullato", whereas they are all called "black" in the US, but put them together and the numbers are much higher in Cuba. So your little eugenic theories below don't even work.

about three weeks ago
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Eric Schmidt and Entourage Pay a Call On Cuba

donscarletti Re:I live in Canada (190 comments)

also known as the Republic of China.

Officially, Taiwan is simply a province of China. Whether it is a province of the Republic of China or of the People's Republic of China is still a matter of disagreement.

about three weeks ago
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The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of Battlefield

donscarletti Not EA's fault. (208 comments)

DiCE was bought out in 2004, Battlefield 1942 came out in 2002.

Did anyone play BF 1942 when it came out? It was still far buggier than to BF2 or BF3 on release. It's just that people didn't care back then because:

  • It was ground-breakingly awesome.
  • Computers just crashed randomly anyway back then because a lot of folks were still using non-NT Windows systems.

I think it's been a long standing policy to push forward on optimisation and game refinement at the expence of stability. Which does work for a lot of teams and seems to be standard practice in Sweedish studios, which can be inferred by looking at games like Magica, Goat Simulator or even to a lesser extent Minecraft. You cannot blame EA for this.

about a month ago
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Average HS Student Given Little Chance of AP CS Success

donscarletti Re:So China is the new Japan? (293 comments)

I work in China and recruit Chinese game developers.

It is just amazing the difficulty to find developers with technical proficiency. Everyone who can code worth a damn has a job that pays very well, and you're stuck training kids from scratch every time. Luckily there are always clever kids willing to learn, there just seems a lack of people able to teach them.

"Game planners" here, which kind of work a little like designers in the west can not and will not learn basic scripting. Show them a few lines of Python or Lua and they will throw up their hands saying "it's all in English! I can't read it!" They also have no inclination or ability to learn the basics about what engine you're using, what it can do and how it does it. Meeings with them feel like meeting with the marketing department, the same level of technical know-how and coherency of suggestions, just without the understanding of the marketplace.

And game programming and programming in general pays fantastically in China, 2x what a doctor is paid at least, it's just there are so few candidates.

The other thing is kids graduate from a computer science degree without ever writing an entire program. I've taken to hiring maths graduates recently, since they have no less hands-on experience, but actually know basic linear algebra, quaternions and other useful stuff.

about a month ago
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Grand Theft Auto V For Modern Platforms Confirmed

donscarletti Re:Big deal (133 comments)

No, still Rockstar North.

It would have made sense if the ultimate gaming tribute to California was made in San Diego, but no, it was made at the foot Carlton Hill in auld Edinburgh and dare I say many a wee dram was imbibed during crunchtime.

The dead givaway though was the Forth bridge appearing in San Fierro.

about a month and a half ago
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Behind the Great Firewall: What It's Really Like To Log On From China

donscarletti Re:Wishful thinking (90 comments)

limiting the amount of time that our leaders are in power (at least the President) and peacefully transitioning between those leaders makes it easier to let go. China doesn't have any of that going for them.

I call bullshit. Jiang Zenmin: General secretary of CCP 1989 - 2002, PRC Chairman 1993 - 2003, Hu Jintao: General Secretary of CCP 2002 - 2012, PRC Chairman 2003 - 2013, Xi Jinping: General Secretary of CCP 2012 -, PRC Chairman 2013 - notice a pattern? Maximum of 2 terms for both positions, 5 years each. Jiang had an extra part term as General Secretary because his predecessor was deposed early. Premier is similar, maximum of 2 terms, 5 years each.

The main difference is only the manner of the leader's choosing.

Anyway, term limits are not enforced in any Westminster style government and they are stronger for it since at no time a leader is in his final term without chance of re-election and the nation may choose to continue with a great leader for as long as he is great. America should really consider getting rid of term limits, since without them Clinton could have been president for the last 22 years as he is not even 70 yet and more than capable of doing a better job than the last two. Consider FDR who

about a month and a half ago
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Grand Theft Auto V For Modern Platforms Confirmed

donscarletti Re:Big deal (133 comments)

I have no respect for a company which became successful and famous due to a game that was originally designed for the PC (the DOS version of the original GTA), but has now completely forgotten its roots and either releases (a) a shit PC port of their console-focused games (e.g. GTA IV), (b) doesn't release a PC port at all (Red Dead Redemption)

GTA was by DMA Design (now Rockstar North), Red Dead Redemption was by Rockstar San Diego (formerly Angel Studios), completely unrelated companies / teams, although currently they have the same owner. Interestingly enough, DMA's breakthrough hit was not GTA nor was it on DOS, it was Lemmings on Amiga. However, from the start they were a very console friendly company, releasing versions for NES, SNES and Sega and published through Nintendo exclusively for a time (Unirally, Body Harvest). All before GTA 1 came out.

However in 1999, two years after GTA, DMA was bought out by Take Two Interactive (owner of the "Rockstar" brand) and probably lost a fair amount of control over things like release platforms. So I think it's pretty much understandable.

about a month and a half ago
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Tech Worker Groups Boycott IBM, Infosys, Manpower

donscarletti Re:Pay versus billing rate. (234 comments)

The japanese officer showed how "human shelves" works. You get into what looks to be a 1m high bookshelf, and sit cross legged. The POWs absolutely thought this to be insane, and demanded better transportation. The Japanese asked why POWs needed luxury transportation, and couldn't use the same transport as the japanese army.

You mean the same Imperial Japanese Army that worked prisoners to death building railways and in mines and decapitated or mutilated captured soldiers for trivial offsenses?

The same ones that killed 300,000 civilians and committed 30,000 reported rapes in a few weeks in Nanjing?

The ones that locked vast quantities of women into military brothels to be raped roughly every half hour?

The one that conducted medical experiments on civilians in captured territories?

Of course they are an authoritative source about what treatment is humane according to East Asian norms, which is why the Chinese and Koreans are so much more understanding with the Japanese over the whole war and hardly mention it at all on domestic media or in international diplomacy.

about 2 months ago
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Is It Really GPS If It Doesn't Use Satellites?

donscarletti Re:Well ... (298 comments)

A sextant can find longitude through the lunar distance method, comparing the moon's position to that of a reference star and looking up that position in a Nautical Almanac to find Greenwich Time. This method was actually discovered a few years after the marine chronometer was invented, but was the dominant method during the 18th century because of the insane cost of chronometers at the time.

A sextant is also needed to find the local time at your current location regardless of whether you use a chronometer or the moon to find GMT, so it's at the least half of the process in finding longitude either way.

about 2 months ago
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Jono Bacon Leaves Canonical For XPRIZE

donscarletti Re:fuck you Jono. (62 comments)

Oh, PS:

The content of this communication clearly demonstrates lack of approval, but is still very unspecific about what they dislike about my record. The tone is quite rude and disrespectful, and the context appears to be passive (not the result of an argument, for example). Given the tone and the fact I don't know the person and they are outside of my target audience, I would ignore this. It is trolling...don't engage, just ignore and enjoy your life. Let's file this in disagreeable; it is quite rude and disparaging, but it is not abusive or threatening. [Bacon 2014]

about 2 months ago
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Jono Bacon Leaves Canonical For XPRIZE

donscarletti Re:fuck you Jono. (62 comments)

Even though you have a book about dealing with being flamed, but it would be way more enjoyable for Slashdot readers if they could just enjoy the "Slashdot experience" and just write trash about you without having to worry about you reading it.

I'm not really familiar enough with you to be able to libel you, but I'm sure there are at least some folks who would be enjoying themselves far more if they hadn't seen your name in the comments section. It has a chilling effect on discussion.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Easy-To-Use Alternative To MS Access For a Charity's Database?

donscarletti Easy to use for who? (281 comments)

Microsoft Access is designed for people with good intuition in computing but little technical knowhow to be able to build simple databases and database related applications by themself. This is not to say that the systems built are easier to use than something built using a competing system or the databases are easier to maintain, but simply that it takes less learning to build them.

So, if you already know how to use Django/MySQL, then why not? Take the time you didn't spend learning a different platform and spend it designing a better User Experience for your end users, really make it easy to use for the people who use it day to day.

And honestly, whatever tool that you are just hearing about today is probably too obscure and poorly supported to be handed off to a new maintainer in future. Access is well known and well supported with plenty of people familiar with its operation, yet so is MySQL, and MySQL also has ample information online as well as Worbench and other tools to make its operation easier for whatever less technically adept person this is thrust upon when you're no longer there. There may well be more intuitive systems out there, but they do not have the benefit of having 10,000 relavent google results for any question typed in.

about 2 months ago
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Russia Bans US Use of Its Rocket Engines For Military Launches

donscarletti Re:Space programs as a crowbar? (522 comments)

Sure the majority of the people in eastern Ukraine might want to belong to Russia, but those people have only lived there since the 40s through the 70s for the most part. In which case I propose they just move back to Russia, and leave Ukraine to the ethnic groups that were cleared out.

The median age in the Ukraine is 40, meaning half of people were born during or after 1974 and thus have no home on the Russian side of the border. So you would have them pack up and find a new city for the convenience of certain people (Crimean Tatars I think you mean) that have been living outside the area for 60 years? I can't think of how that could possibly make you any better than Josef Stalin that kicked the Tatars out of their homes in WWII, maybe worse, since he at least had the excuse of alleged Nazi collaboration.

about 2 months ago
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How Concrete Contributed To the Downfall of the Roman Empire

donscarletti Fall of the Republic, birth of the Empire. (384 comments)

The article itself quotes historians saying "One could even say that [concrete] played a significant role in bringing down the [Roman] Republic" due to concrete being used in Pompey and Caesar's civic building programs, then starts the title of the article "Downfall of the Roman Empire", which was a completely different sequence events that started centuries later.

The awkward truth of the matter here is, at the time she wrote the article, the author didn't realise that the historians quoted were describing the events that lead to the birth of the Roman Empire and not the death.

about 3 months ago

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