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Chinese CEO Says "Free" Is the Right Price For Mobile Software

donscarletti Re:Profit? (133 comments)

I'm the CTO in a Chinese technology company. The government has never paid us to install spyware or anything else for that matter. In fact, the government just cares about 1) blood not being too red, 2) gambling not being too overt 3) users not being able to use words equivalent to "fuck" or "cunt" in English, names of prominent politicians or particular terms in reference to disagreements with neighboring countries, 4) characters being in simplified and not traditional script. 5) under 18 not playing video games for more than 4 hours per day.

Beyond that, they don't give a shit.

Westerners often revere the Chinese government as being some all knowing all powerful being with a profound understanding of technology and deeply nuanced plans that span decades, roughly in the same way they view their own government. Fact is, the Chinese government is interested in keeping its people more-or-less satisfied with the status quo, just like your own government is. Chinese old people with too much free time to cause trouble get their panties in a knot about sex drugs and violence and "young people these days", so that's what the Chinese authorities crack down on. They simply do not have the time or inclination to be bothered with who you are and what you are doing.

Think about the last time you interacted with your own government. Did they know who you are? Did they know what your life circumstances were? I'll wager they didn't know shit about who you are and why you were there, nor did they care, they just wanted you to either shut up and go away or pay your tax and go away. Now imagine that level of caring, divide that by 1000, that's how much foreign governments gives a shit about you. Your own government couldn't even be bothered installing spyware on your computer, why would the Chinese government?

about three weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

donscarletti Re:Is it true... (355 comments)

As countries go China's political history was remarkably stable. How many modern nations actually existed in a recognizable form in 1644, much less 1000AD.

United Kingdom (Commonwealth of England and Scotland), Spain, Portugal, Japan, Thailand, Ethiopia (Solomonic Dynasty), Russia (Russian Empire), Iran (Kingdom of Persia), France (Ancien Reigime), Austria (Archduchy).

England and Scotland restored their king a few years later and continued with the same parliament and same royal family (subject to the Act of Settlement), same military and same government until today. Spain, Portugal, Japan and Thailand have the direct heirs of the kings of the day on the throne.

China on the other hand, was more chaotic. Ming was toppled by Li Zicheng's bandits and China was invaded from the north. For the half century it was essentially under foreign occupation until the Manchu slowly became more Chinese and the Chinese started identifying with the Manchu impositions. Qing was disrupted in the early days by Wu Sangui (the very man who let the Qing through Shanhaiguan and fought along side them at the walls of Beijing) and later by the Taiping Kingdom of Heaven, the Yihe Tuan (Boxers), the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and other uprisings. Finally it was toppled in the very much foreign supported Xinhai Revolution and fractured into warlord states, which fought amongst themselves until the Northern Expedition under Chiang Kaisheck and established the Republic of China. Finally, in the rubble and smoke of the Second World War, this republic was driven to the island of Taiwan by the People's Republic of China. This new republic's institutions, its government and its premier were overthrown once again in the 1960s by the CCP's own chairman and students loyal to him. Finally, the government of the People's Republic was restored and rebuilt by the Chairman of the Central Military Commission Deng Xiaoping who, with his successors built China into the modern state that it is today.

China's history is long and complex but China (Zhonghua) as a concept is only a bit over 100 years old, based on European concepts of nationalism that scholars like Sun Zhongshan learned abroad during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Great Qing for most of its history definitely did not see itself as a nation state, more of just the holder of the mandate of heaven that did not discriminate between nations nor recognise states. Ming was even more so.

about three weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

donscarletti Re:Is it true... (355 comments)

Japan, China, and South Korea were never colonized nor significantly ruled by foreign powers and they're doing great.

  • China: Qing Dynasty, 1644 - 1912; China was invaded by the Manchu army lead by Hong Taiji and Durgun. Manchu replaces Chinese as administrative language for first decades of rule, Manchu officials replace Han officials in highest administrative posts. Manchu dress and hairstyle are mandated on all subjects on pain of death.
  • China: Yuan Dynasty, 1271 – 1368; China is re-instated as a country by Mongol ruler Kubli Kahn after his ancestors Ghengis and Bantu absorbed it completely into the Mongol empire. Chinese subjects are denoted as fourth (and lowest) tier subjects after Mongols, central Asians and Europeans. Chinese subjects are forbidden to use given names, instead being assigned a family name and a number.
  • Korea: Japanese Empire, 1910–1945; Sovereignty of Korea transferred completely to the Emperor of Japan and exercised in person by the Governor General (a Japanese national). Hundreds of thousands of Korean women abducted and used in military brothels and possibly millions of Korean workers deported to work on infrastructure projects throughout the empire.
  • Japan: Occupation Period, 1945–1952; Japan's unconditional surrender as per the Potsdam Declaration made Japan a military governorship under the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, General McArthur. Japan's current constitution was written, including it's current system of election, legislation and public service was devised under the absolute military rule of the United States. So much so that most Chinese still consider Japan to be a semi-independent satellite state occupied by the United States.

What about Vietnam, the Philippines, and Mongolia? Are their genes so different that they missed out on the Chinese/Japanese smarts?

Mongolia was never a colony. It was still lead by the Borjid Dynasty, who were treated by the Manchu Asin Gioro as a particularly honored Vassal. Many empresses dowagers of this period were Borjit princesses, including Xiaozhuang Empress who acted as regent for the young Kangxi. They also ruled over China for a century and made a giant mess of it, which is the key reason Chinese have historically often considered them to be somewhat mentally inferior (though they probably aren't, just their territory doesn't lend itself to intensive farming or city building).

Philippines and Vietnam are better compared to other South East Asian nations, rather than North East Asian nations. Thailand was never a colony, but it's not doing so great. Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei however all were and tower over all Asian nations but Japan in standard of living. Hong Kong was a colony too and if treated as a country is possibly on average the most prosperous on earth.

In fact, if you look Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, all former colonies, you will find that the Chinese ethnic group does extremely well economically whether they go. Particularly when you see how well the Chinese do compared to the native Malays in economic pursuits, you will see that cultural values make a lot of difference

So hence the north-south theory, the same as Europe. Northern societies tend to be more industrious since they have to endure the scarcity of food and heat every winter. Japan, China and Korea are all freezing f---ing cold in December-March and the trees are bare and fruitless, a human society if they want to survive here must spend its time preparing clothing, and stores of grain for the winter so they lend themselves to tens of thousands of years of economic focus. Vietnamese, Thais, Malays, etc. are not stupid, they're just not economically minded. You cannot starve or freeze in these countries, coconuts litter the ground and fish teem in the rivers and the sun shines warm every day, a bit of shelter from the monsoon and you can live indefinitely.

Colonialism is a red herring. Everything is more interesting if you actually learn about Asian history rather than trying to mold it to prove a point.

about three weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

donscarletti Re:we ARE different (355 comments)

If you have ideas, whether they are right or not, there are some people are going to disagree with you.

If others have ideas, whether they are wrong or not, there are some people who are going to agree with them.

I do not believe that there will ever be an impartial and scientific study conducted to definitively prove anything and one sure as hell sure that none could be conducted in my life time. Humanity has believed many things about race in its history, humanity believes many things about it today and humanity will continue to believe various things about it in years to come. Perhaps in your country, or your community or just in your circle of friends, there is a consensus that you are right, but in the wider world, this is still very much an open topic. This applies whether or not arguments to the contrary offend you.

One of the best ways to promote one's ideas as being rational is through civil discourse and tolerance. Your profanities and ad hominem demonstrate neither.

about three weeks ago
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Want To Work For a Cool Tech Company? Hone Your Social Skills

donscarletti Re: I'll never be employed (139 comments)

Great. You'll be pleased to know that the "cultural fit" referred to above is codeword for weeding out anyone with life commitments they would consider more important than work.

45 with three kids? No worries! Hope you like pizza fuelled all night gaming marathons and our monthly team trip to Vegas! Oh, you don't? Sorry, you aren't a cultural fit.

I'd decry the practice if I didn't know that I would do the exact same thing if it was my own money on the line. If you want success you need obsessive commitment from every layer. The only reason one would compromise would be if one simply couldn't find enough talented workers any other way. Experience goes a long way, one 40 year old bachelor or divorcee for every ten 20 year old virgins will keep the team functioning as if they were all greybeards. Diversity can be achieved by hiring some Indians and Asians too. There is no economic reason to hire someone who has interests outside of work over someone who doesn't.

about three weeks ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

donscarletti Re:writer doesn't get jeopardy, or much of anythin (455 comments)

Terminator isn't a peer-reviewed scientific paper. In fact, it's often thought that much of its sources were fabricated with special effects and clever camera work.

In fact, it's author James Cameron is not even an established scientist, it has been recently discovered that his oceanographic work on Titanic was published BEFORE he underwent any deep sea exploration, and it's speculated that he only went down there afterwards to further fabricate his already published results. It's also speculated that he never produced unobtainium in his lab before claiming its discovery.

In fact, I'm not even sure if Judgement Day even happened, and whether or not any Cyberdyne Systems products were responsible for it happening.

about a month ago
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Great Firewall of China Blocks Edgecast CDN, Thousands of Websites Affected

donscarletti Re:Yeah right (128 comments)

It just amazes me to think that anyone would believe that the same China that is currently blocking Google, Youtube and Facebook would hesitate for a second before blocking Edgecast.

As far as they are concerned, there is no economic damage, in fact there is an economic incentive since anyone wanting their website to be usable in China would now be best hiring a CDN within China.

This is similar to what happened when Facebook was blocked and it allowed buggy local clones, notably Renren and Kaixinwang which were previously maligned by users to surge in popularity. Similar also when Google was mostly blocked, allowing Baidu to fill up the void. The thing is, they have every economic reason to block large foreign online services that compete with domestic ones, it's just they cannot block them on economic grounds, since that would be in violation to the free trade principles they espouse and would lead to retaliatory import sanctions. They can however block whatever they like on political grounds.

I do not disagree with Google's pride and principles in not continuing in their previous manner of following Chinese censorship guidelines. However, the net result to the present date is that users have been forced from a service that follows the guidelines only as far as they must and was allowed a fair bit of leeway in their implementation, to others that take the initiative to censor what _might_ be required to be censored for fear of greater pressure if they don't go far enough. The users are also getting exposed to less worldwide ideas. The feeling amongst former users is that Google has abandoned them because of their pride and they are afforded less and less respect by Chinese netizens.

It seems that this whole project was simply going to isolate Chinese netizens further and push China further towards its own separate Internet. This edgecast block will be faced with far less uproar than the ones that came before it, and those caused very little uproar.

about a month ago
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Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

donscarletti Sweeden (642 comments)

As far as I know, the Swedish game industry consists of DiCE (Battlefield series: faceless men with guns + bugs. Mirror's Edge: slightly poorly thought out controls + bugs), Arrowhead (faceless mages + bugs) and Coffee Stain Studios (goats + bugs). It seems like Swedish game developers have a huge struggle against writing code that actually does what it is supposed to, not in its representation of female characters. It has gotten to the point that until you see a Swedish game in the "bargain bin" at your games retailer that it is guaranteed that won't be patched to a playable state yet.

It seems that since King Gustavus Adolphus or whoever the hell it was convinced the vikings to stop going on voyages to rape remote villages and settle down to do "civilized" work that entire country has been writing code the way that IKIA builds furniture, by which I mean that it is good for the first ten iterations and then crashes hard thereafter. I have yet to play a Swedish game that has remained stable for long enough to degrade women before it runs out of memory, reads from/writes to a null pointer, totally screws up the render state or overwrites a vertex buffer with random garbage.

Seriously, look at your supposed "retard cousin" next door Finland, does Trine crash? Does Angry Birds crash? How about Crayon Physics, Super Stardust or Clash of Clans? No, they run beautifully and smoothly. And does anyone give a shit that the Theif in Trine covers her face and not her legs? No, not even Germaine Grier, Simone de Beauvoir or any of your feminist type authors would pick a deeply nuanced female character over one that actually runs for 10 minutes without crashing. I mean, how could you be a female role model while accessing a null pointer.

Seriously Sweden, you have to learn to code before you get all preachy on us all.

about a month ago
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Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

donscarletti Re: Boys are naturally curious... (608 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.

about 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months ago

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