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Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

donscarletti Re: Boys are naturally curious... (603 comments)

When you are looking for why a segment of the population is or isn't doing something, working out generalised patterns between members of the group should be the first thing you should do.

There is an exception to every pattern, but means little when answering questions of percentages. If you are the exception, then maintain that it doesn't apply to you and move on.

4 days ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

donscarletti Re:Cue slippery slope arguments now... (366 comments)

The standard deviation of IQ is 15 points.

So it can be the difference between being dumber than 84% of people (85) and being exactly average (100). This makes a huge difference in career and life prospects.

It can also be the difference between being mildly disabled (70) and being just a little bit on the thick side. Or being profoundly disabled and completely incapable of self care (55) to being able to more or less appear to be normal and somewhat functioning.

So yes, it makes a huge difference in the real world and is very important.

Being a genius is not so important, not so easily defined and not so clearly related to IQ. But being able to function in society, have a job and raise a family is all of those things.

about two weeks ago
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Oxytocin Regulates Sociosexual Behavior In Female Mice

donscarletti Re:Your conclusions are invalid. (216 comments)

Whereas men are always perfectly rational when choosing a partner?

I don't think he was claiming this.

I don't really believe that anyone who is a man or even knows a man would claim that.

about three weeks ago
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Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

donscarletti Re:Linked? (338 comments)

I'm an engine programmer who has been lead on 2 published titles (PC not console).

I'm pretty sure they thought of that too and already did it. One has to write multi-threaded code for these consoles since they are multi-cored and otherwise most of the resources are wasted. Multi-threaded code is really easy to arbitrarily set tick frequencies and lock contention on the rendering thread is actually lower when you set the tick frequency of things like physics and AI to a lower frequency to your FPS, especially if your FPS is not an even multiple of this frequency. We run Havok at 50hz and render at 60fps, it sounds counter-intuitive, but it looks and feels great.

The things is though, this game is obviously either GPU limited or close to becoming GPU limited. The key here is not the 30fps, which without looking at profiling results, could be equally easily explained by CPU limiting or GPU limiting, but the resolution of 900p, which the CPU should have absolutely nothing to do with. So you cannot confidently say that it is GPU limited now, but it certainly would be at 1080p, otherwise they would have just upped the res without it slowing the framerate.

The issue here is Vincent Pontbriand is probably not a technical guy. Roles between companies vary and it's hard to know who if anyone reports to a "Senior Producer". If the engine programmers reported to him, it would be possible that he was lied to, since explaining exactly why framerates are the way things are is often tiresome and complex, since bottlenecks can be in many different places in the GPU pipeline (geometry, shader, input, texture, ROP, framebuffer) and the position of the bottleneck may shift while rendering a single frame, the bottleneck can also shift between the CPU and the GPU during a singe frame if the instruction buffer fills up. As it is, they probably don't report to him, so I would say that he probably just doesn't know the whole picture.

about three weeks ago
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Euclideon Teases Photorealistic Voxel-Based Game Engine

donscarletti Re: Dubbing (134 comments)

As far as I know he's Australian and a Queenslander at that. It's not his accent anyway, it's just the smug, condescending tone he has.

about a month ago
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Euclideon Teases Photorealistic Voxel-Based Game Engine

donscarletti Dubbing (134 comments)

"Oh, looking at the time I've used up one minute and twenty seconds of this video (audible snigger) and according to Youtube statistics, I've only got about one minute and forty seconds to show you something really interesting and get your attention before the majority of you decide you're bored and move on to something more interesting (slight snigger at the end of sentence). How inefficient of me to use my time to show you all of these video clips of all of these nice real world places we filmed when we should have been showing you some amazing new lifelike computer graphics!.

This guy has an annoying, self satisfied way of speaking that just makes me want to beat the snot out of him.

Voxel graphics are interesting and the laser measurement plus automatic texturing from a real world scene is cool, but this just does not compare in detail or framerate to a mesh generated by the exact same laser scanner and a little bit of pre-processing, all of which has been possible for over a decade now.

Plus, what are you going to do with this 3D scene? An interactive game? But games need dynamic objects, which cannot really be done well with voxels and will contrast dramatically with the scene's lighting model. You don't have any light probes, or spherical harmonic coefficients or anything useful for static lighting dynamic objects, let along dynamically lighting static objects.

about a month ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

donscarletti Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

Whose fault is it when you have 50% of the voters and can't fill 50% of the seats?

With voting age limited to 18 and over and with a highly unbalanced incarceration rate, there are far more eligible female voters than male. For example, in the United States, there are 8 million more women eligible to vote than men.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

donscarletti Re:Change Jobs (275 comments)

It really depends on management style.

In democratic management styles, then what you said is correct. The manager is just a conduit for information.

But in authoritarian management or top down management, which is having an alpha male (or female) with a lot of talent and ego calling the shots and making the big decisions really works well when it works (and fails catastrophically when it fails). In this style of management, professional skills in whatever it is that the team is doing, which means technical skills in development teams, towers above management or interpersonal skills in important towards the success or failure of the team. Someone with good technical skills tends to make good decisions and someone with bad technical skills makes bad decisions. You cannot build success around bad decisions. Beyond that, the only thing really useful is a bit of charisma to keep the team happy and the ability to get most of one's meaning across. Mostly one just has to be 70% understood anyway, since a bit more latitude in interpreting orders is only going to be a good thing in giving workers room to move.

I've found, especially in Asia where a more paternalistic style is favoured, the outcome of a project is especially determined by the technical skills of a manager and little else. Guys who get into little fights, throw temper tantrums and rarely get their meaning across, but make good decisions tend to have better success than good communicators who don't quite understand the problem at hand.

about a month and a half ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

donscarletti Re: Free Willy! (474 comments)

Technically speaking, it is impossible for a Lord to sit in the House of Commons of even vote.

While the prime minister does not have to be a member of the House of Commons, or be a commonor at all, he is chosen by them and they are unlikely to choose anyone but one of their own, meaning no lord has been Prime Minister for well over a century. Walpole who founded the post three centuries ago was a commoner and most of his successors have been too.

about a month and a half ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

donscarletti Re:No, It Won't (326 comments)

The Chinese youth are divided 2:1 in favour of males, and the young females that survived the 1-child policy aren't too interested in being breeding machines, they're more interested in careers and independence.

The Chinese youth are divided 1.1:1 in favor of males. Given Chinese women demand the man they marry already own a house, regardless of their own desirability, this number will just reduce the number of spinsters (or "leftover women" as they are called). It's getting nowhere close to where it would have to be that an eligible bachelor today would be unable to find a wife in the next generation.

Chinese women also have the advantage that they can have a baby at 26, then go back to work fulltime while her parents or her in-laws care for it. A career does not influence fertility in China like it does in the west. Chinese career women are just as mindful of reproduction as any other, not to mention the fact that they will be nagged by family until they have a baby, but absolved from having to do anything but play with her child when she feels like it, after the baby is weaned or even can drink cow milk, so it seems an easy choice.

about a month and a half ago
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On Independence for Scotland:

donscarletti Re:A miracle of modern diplomacy (192 comments)

If Scotland votes to go independent, and England allows it, this would be the first peaceful independence movement in the history of mankind.

Apart from you know, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and pretty much every other former British Colony, apart from the 13 crazies of course.

Hell, even India got its independence peacefully, though the peace ended moments after independence.

Ireland left somewhat less gracefully, though it was separated after almost a millennium (rather than 307 years) of common rule.

about a month and a half ago
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Digia Spins Off Qt As Subsidiary

donscarletti Re:Linux-oriented? (33 comments)

Linux has uses it as a primary desktop toolkit

Don't get me wrong, it is extremely well used, but nothing close to universal.

Now that it's been LGPL for a while, possibly if it ditched moc and used standard C++ templates for signals and introspection it could be the primary desktop toolkit. Though to be honest plenty of Linux developers have no love for C++ either.

about a month and a half ago
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BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

donscarletti Re:So if I... (363 comments)

Even in China where the vast majority of VPN use actually is solely to bypass legal restrictions on various websites, VPN is not considered by the authorities to be an inherently malevolent technology. I'd hate to see the "Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free" take the first initiative here.

about 2 months ago
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In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

donscarletti Re:Sue the bastards (441 comments)

If his books are any good in the slightest, then he's going to make a killing on this publicity.

about 2 months ago
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Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

donscarletti Re:If the Grand Ayatollah's against it.... (542 comments)

Ah, but the book of Revelations was written in Greek, not Hebrew, so WWW must not abbreviated to Stigma Xi Chi, (possibly after a frat), otherwise the Antichrist cometh. P.s. damn Slashcode for its lack of Unicode, you're about 15 years overdue.

about 2 months ago
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Air Force Requests Info For Replacement Atlas 5 Engine

donscarletti Re:Let's do what every other third world country d (108 comments)

Let's just copy the RD180. I doubt it has any patent ecumberances.

They've already licensed the damn thing for domestic production from the beginning and had a good decade where they could have set up their own factory and had the Russians come in and willingly ensure they are being produced correctly and fix any detail not conveyed properly on the plans. In fact, I believe that the RD-180 is more of a work-for-hire specifically commissioned for Lockheed's requirements.

Now everything is sour and steps to remedy it look political, rather than just a way of giving jobs for American blue collar labour, which is how it would have appeared before.

The RD-180 is a good engine that provides staged combustion performance and efficiency at similar cost to American gas generator cycle engines. The only problems with it is that it was really hard to design, which is irrelevant when you have the plans anyway. It would be a shame for NIH syndrome to screw up America's capability to launch satellites.

about 2 months ago
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Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

donscarletti Re:Too much good content is deleted at Wikipedia. (239 comments)

Notability is important for preventing a potentially slippery slope towards Wikipedia being expected to have an article on every shop, every street, every apartment complex, every popular teacher, and every creative work ever appreciated by more than 10 people.

However, there is something frankly awful about the way it is handled.

Deleting an article should be a grim and thankless task, carried out in the stoical way that a county bailiff would hang or brand a petty thief. Instead, it seems to be a matter of great pride and satisfaction to those who elect themselves to carry it out. These folks really seem to enjoy making up pedantic excuses to remove things, even when faced with strong opposition and enough evidence to at least raise reasonable doubt. When I have checked many of these editor's commit logs, I frequently find that they do little else but marking other articles for deletion, adding "citation needed" after junior highschool level facts and giving barnstars to other like minded nimrods.

If one has contributed in good faith to an article that has been marked for deletion or even appreciated reading one of these articles, it is hard to maintain one's passion for the project. Back when I was a regular contributor, I was creating articles for large international airlines and the like. Then when those were all finished, I made ones for well known video games, books, composers, etc. After those were done, there seemed like nothing remaining but the obscure. But at this time, it was so hard to be excited when one needs to justify each time why Wikipedia would not be better off if what you just wrote was erased, So for the last 7 years, I've pretty much just changed a comma or semicolon here and there.

about 2 months ago
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News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

donscarletti Re:Sigh (748 comments)

there were endless posts about how "just not liking gays" was somehow a perfectly okay position to take

Who determines what positions are and aren't OK to take?

about 2 months ago
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Entire South Korean Space Programme Shuts Down As Sole Astronaut Quits

donscarletti Re:So no engineers? Scientists? Designers? (186 comments)

There has never been an Australian citizen in space.

Of the two Australian born persons who have been in space. One of them took American citizenship in order to join NASA's astronaut program, the other already was an American Naval Officer when he joined NASA.

The only British Citizen that has been to space went up with the Soviet space program.

To my knowledge, the NASA human spaceflight program was for Americans only since its inception.

about 3 months ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

donscarletti Re:Or don't be... (561 comments)

What's the percentage of white male computer-science and technical graduates?

If I can recall back to my university days, approximately:

  • 100% - A - B
  • Where:
  • A = percentage of East Asian males
  • B = percentage of Indian males

about 3 months ago

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