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Ubisoft Points Finger At AMD For Assassin's Creed Unity Poor Performance

qwak23 Re:In 2003 Internet-disconnected PCs were more com (262 comments)

That still happens to me from time to time. My current workaround is if I know I'm going to be away from an internet connection for awhile, I put my laptop into sleep mode with steam running in offline mode, and it retains its state upon laptop wake up. I also try to keep a bunch of the games in my steam library that I know will run from executable without steam just in case I need to do a reboot.

Origin seems a little better about this, at least in regards to the client, but can lose them for individual games, as I found out on my last trip. I only have a handful of games in Origin, so it wasn't a huge deal. Only reason I even have it installed in the first place is that I accidentally killed my installed steam library trying to troubleshoot why steam wasn't connecting once I got to a temporary internet connection on another trip. The error message given with steam installed gave me the impression something in my steam install had corrupted, reinstalled it as a troubleshooting measure (figuring I had a fast enough connection to re-download a few small indie games and at least one or two of the larger AAA ones) and got a better error message essentially informing me that steam was blocked on the connection I was using. Bought a couple discounted Origin games, installed them, authenticated with a slow mobile connection and was good for the rest of that trip.

I travel for work frequently, so this has become a major issue for me. Not everywhere I go has reliable wifi access, and in some cases the access I can get restricts things like gaming (probably amongst other things). While I still have my 3DS, some days the best way to kill time is a game of Civ. One good thing is it has at least motivated me to pursue more productive hobbies such as coding.

about two weeks ago
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Philae Lands Successfully On Comet

qwak23 Re:Congratulations! (188 comments)

1 Rosetta Period (RP) and 1 Rosetta Length (RL).

I typically prefer to work in units where whatever quantity I need is equal to one.

about two weeks ago
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Alienware's Triangular Area-51 Re-Design With Tri-SLI GeForce GTX 980, Tested

qwak23 Re:What a nice ad... (138 comments)

I had a much longer response typed out but lost it.. meh.

DIY isn't always about saving money, sometimes it's about customization and getting exactly what you want. I baked my first loaf of bread ever last night (without aid of a bread machine), total labor was about 30 minutes spread across 4 hours. I mixed fresh chopped spinach into the dough and topped it with some shredded chedder that was in the fridge and needed to get used. I now have spinach chedder wheat bread to make lunch with for the rest of the week and probably part of next. In this instance, it also saved me a trip to the store.

I started building my own cabinets and shelving units because it was difficult to find units at the store that could fit where we have space and serve the function we wanted them for. Next I plan on attempting a dining table, chairs, and maybe even a sofa. Hell, if I make the sofa, I might build in usb ports, maybe a laptop desk as well.

I got back into programming about a year ago so I could automate some repetitive tasks. The last language I dealt with was BASIC, many many many years ago. Getting into C++ and Java was a bit rough at first but didn't take too much effort. Am I going to be writing my own OS or drivers? No. Can I write some basic software to automate some repetitive tasks at home and work? Yes.

I've been building my own towers for about 20 years now. The first was a 386DX40 that dual booted MS-DOS and Linux. In all those years I have never spent more than a couple hours putting everything together and installing OS and drivers. I probably spent more time shopping around for parts and reading reviews/benchmarks. If I was just buying a prebuilt I'd still be shopping around and reading reviews/benchmarks. I think the only way a build could take longer than 2 hours is if you didn't have the necessary tools on hand and had never seen the insides of a PC before. For the 10 years I worked with PCs prior to building my first, I had opened every system I owned and taken a look inside, upgraded a couple of them myself and overall become familiar with most of the basic components, so I had a pretty good starting point when I did my first build.

about a month ago
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Alienware's Triangular Area-51 Re-Design With Tri-SLI GeForce GTX 980, Tested

qwak23 Re:Bloatware (138 comments)

I have an Alienware laptop, it came with some bloatware, but not as bad as others (mostly dell crap, backup, performance scanner, etc). At the time of purchase Alienware was still shipping windows 7 as the default OS after everyone else had shifted to 8. It was a little pricier than similarly spec'd laptops on the market, but I was able to customize it and get exactly what I wanted (14" 1600x900 screen, decent GPU/CPU, etc). A little heavy, but the overall design is nice, power cord in the back center, no other ports on the back. SD card, HDMI, USB and dvd all on the sides. I like the keyboard and feel of the space provided for wrists. Another nice thing is that the GPU is actually supported by the actual GPU drivers (in my case NVidia), as opposed to almost every other laptop I've bought over the years where the GPU drivers were under laptop manufacturer support vice GPU manufacturer support and never updated.

Of course that's a laptop, I have no experience with their towers. I still build my own towers and haven't bought a pre-built since the 286 days. I love the laptop, best one that I've ever owned, but I don't think that I'd be willing to throw down on a tower rig from them, when it's something I can reasonably handle myself.

about a month ago
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Black Swan Author: Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin

qwak23 Re:A mathematician commenting on biology (432 comments)

We could argue that everything has a non-zero risk of causing global catastrophe. Which I suppose just backs up your point ;)

about a month ago
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NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

qwak23 Re:Comparison (399 comments)

Most to least wouldn't be too bad if the two populations are separate enough and the compare the "most" from the lower average group to the "least" from the higher average group.

Although realistically, averages between the two populations would be a better comparison. The way it's put in the article reeks of cherry picked data.

Granted, from a physics stand point, smaller crew with a lower BMR could make a huge difference on longer trips, at least so sayeth Diff. Eq. and from a statistics standpoint, there is probably a larger pool of women to choose from than men in order to minimize food and fuel supplies, at least if we're looking at average American body sizes.

about a month ago
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Searching For Ocean Life On Another World

qwak23 Re:Obligatory (49 comments)

100km of water is nothing for SONAR, especially since Europa probably lacks a lot of noise pollution sources that exist in earths oceans. Getting equipment and a power source capable of putting out enough dB would be difficult though. Also, that 20km of Ice would likely act as a mirror and just reflect any transmissions back downward. ELF SONAR as you mentioned might actually get through the ice, but probably with a large loss in signal strength.

Though putting a receiver below the ice and a transmitter deeper in the water, with a cable running up from the receiver may be feasible. You may be able to get away with relatively low dB levels for your transmitter that way. Really depends on the properties of the water body itself and ambient noise level.

about 5 months ago
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New Sensors Will Scoop Up "Big Data" On Chicago

qwak23 Re:New Features (64 comments)

We're actually holding out for a base 2 unit system.

about 5 months ago
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Computational Thinking: AP Computer Science Vs AP Statistics?

qwak23 Re:AP Stats is the easy AP math (155 comments)

I don't think it's necessary for everyone to be able to do statistics, but having enough of an understanding to evaluate testing methodologies, sample sizes, data collection methods and conclusions, at least a rudimentary level is extremely valuable and a college level stats course should be able to do at least that. In regards to intro college level stats courses I've taken my n = 1, so not the greatest data set, but I felt I got the above out of the class.

about 5 months ago
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Computational Thinking: AP Computer Science Vs AP Statistics?

qwak23 Re:AP Stats is the easy AP math (155 comments)

Anecdotal, but most people I know who've signed up for a stats class as a math based elective (working adults pursuing a college degree in their free time) have no clue what statistics actually is. The last one told me almost verbatim "It's just a bunch of percentages, how hard could that be?".

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Way to Learn C# For Game Programming?

qwak23 Re:Pick up a book and turn off the internet (254 comments)

Maybe they are just trolling?

Any question about programming on /. is bound to start several arguments about which languages do what and blah blah blah.

To the OP, if not trolling, Pick a language, any language and just try making simple 2d games for awhile. Try recreating classic games like pong (very simple) to space invaders and tetris. You don't need to worry about engines or anything so much as the graphics are simple and the games themselves are easy to tweak and experiment with. Then once you have a good feel for that you can always move on to something more complex and maybe consider using a game engine.

about 5 months ago
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Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

qwak23 Re:Yep. (649 comments)

Not necessarily. I briefly attended a public school which was a "free school". As the GP mentioned, the school was not required to adhere the state curriculum. The main difference I noticed (this was High School) was that the classes were named differently and the style of the exams were different. As an example, my original high school followed the state's program and labeled their math classes sequentially (math 1, 2, 3 and 4, along with honors versions of each) and students took a statewide examination in those courses. The "free school" offered algebra, geometry, trigonometry and pre-calc, no honors versions and did not participate in the statewide exams. The sequential courses mapped to the free school's equivalents though there were noticeably different standards between the honors versions offered at the non-free school and the versions offered at the free school (the free school's versions were less structured and far less challenging). I can't speak as to how the non honors track compared as I didn't take them.

Granted, this was around 20 years ago so things may be different now, but both schools were public schools.

about 5 months ago
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Robotics Engineers: "We Don't Want To Replace Humans. We Want To Enhance Humans.

qwak23 Re:It doesn't matter what Robotics Engineers want. (124 comments)

Robots for the poor!

Tired of your mundane, labor intensive job? Worried you might be replaced by a robot scab? Have we got a solution for you! RoboYou! RoboYou will go to your job for you, do your work for you, and your employer will still have to pay you! Always wanted to write the great novel? Been meaning to take care of the weeds growing in the backyard? Just want to spend your whole day drunk? RoboYou is for you! Need a second job? Why not 3 jobs? RoboYou doesn't need to sleep, doesn't need to eat, RoboYou doesn't even need a break!

Apply now! Government subsidized financing options available! Act now before all the jobs are gone!

about 6 months ago
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Microsoft Confirms Disconnecting Kinect Gives Devs 10% More GPU Horsepower

qwak23 Re:Why the hyperbole? (174 comments)

I am now tempted to get an Xbone and do this with my cat.

about 6 months ago
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Lego To Produce Three Box Sets Featuring Female Scientists

qwak23 Re:To me, this is a step backwards (208 comments)

I used to carry a pink, flowery screw driver around for just that reason.

about 6 months ago
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Microsoft Confirms Disconnecting Kinect Gives Devs 10% More GPU Horsepower

qwak23 Re:Poor experience for those that do have kinect (174 comments)

I was going to mention something about kilobytes, but at this point it's probably just as cliché as beating a dead horse.

about 6 months ago
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Strange New World Discovered: The "Mega Earth"

qwak23 Re:Science Writers: Stop Causing Us Intellectual P (147 comments)

Technically the volume expands at a rate of 4 pi r^2 with respect to the radius ( d/dr 4/3pi r^3 ). But yeah, should be obvious to people anyway based on 4/3 pi r^3 alone.

about 6 months ago

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