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Valve Announces Steam Controller

xtrafe I agree. Completely Unacceptable. (317 comments)

I really don't understand why it's so hard for console manufacturers to get this right.

6 buttons on the right. 2 rows / 3 columns. Labeled as follows:

Jab Strong Fierce
Short Medium Roundhouse

FFS Steam.

about 10 months ago
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Java API and Microsoft's .NET API: a Comparison

xtrafe Just listen to all these lofty debates... (319 comments)

...over all these wonderful features of both languages. And here I am, a mobile developer on the vanguard of technology, still stuck with dumbshits that suggest maybe we ought to somehow shoehorn ourselves back into JS.

I can hear them now: "Here, just use this mile high stack of libraries with hipster names and it'll be workable, I swear. It really is a functional language, and the New Assembly, after all. P.S. CSS3 Sucks Less(TM)!"

Forgive the troll.

about a year ago
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Stephen Hawking Warns Against Confining Ourselves To Earth

xtrafe I'm all for being a virus. (414 comments)

We should try to get up to 100% utilization of this planet as fast as we can, because we're not going anywhere until we do.

The problem is, we can't change because all we care about is money.

Can't agree with you there. People don't give a shit about money. You can't eat it, you don't build your house out of it, and you can't fuck it either. What people care about is what money can get you: Resources. ...and that gets back to your original point. We all want resources, and short term ones at that. It's pretty hard to care about the long-term since we don't really live all that long anyway.

So you can say it's human nature, and that we're basically like a virus, or just that it's a problem of incentive. Either way, most people find it hard to care about what happens after they're dead until they're relatively close to dying, by which point they're off to a very late start for making change.

It follows that there's 2 semi-steady states for humanity. A: Where we exist in an environment where we don't consume all the resources, in which case we compete & grow. B: Where we are limited by the resources in our environment, in which case we suffer and try very hard to get back to state A.

Alternate ideas are unlikely to be stable. For example, "The hippie state of humanity" where we all suddenly stop caring about resources would probably mean humanity's stagnation, as we would sit around smoking dope until we run out. Another good one is "Slashdot Utopia" where scarcity ends, and again we stagnate, gorging ourselves off the products of our 3D chocolate printers and devolving into an "Idiocracy" like society. Eventually we pass through 'B' back to state 'A'.

Never be ashamed of who you are.
-Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would You Include In a New Building?

xtrafe Japanese Style Toilets (422 comments)

Trust me: You will thank yourself every day.

It baffles me why we in the western world are still walking around with dirty backsides.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Stay Employable?

xtrafe It's a lot easier to find a job... (708 comments)

...if you've already got one. If you really think you're a candidate to be laid off, get going while the going's good. Shoot for a more senior or mgmt position at a smaller firm, get some experience in that role, and then rise with the tide when / if it comes back in.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Defines Good Developer Culture?

xtrafe Re:No micro manages or quotes with NO TPS reports (239 comments)

That sounds like a pretty big project. Let's break it down into action teams, and have each one run with a scrum, and do the scrum of scrums at lunch.

I'll see you at the sprint planning...

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Defines Good Developer Culture?

xtrafe Re:culture? (239 comments)

I think it's safe to say that such a thing as "developer culture" exists, insofar as it is reasonable to say that something called "culture" comes into play any time humans interact, and "developer culture" is something that goes on when developers interact.

...but if desirable developer culture is anything like any of the other big concepts in software dev that we've been figuring out over the last couple decades, (such as how to plan things well and how to satisfy our customers) it almost certainly can't be brought about by a silly HR campaign, conferences, breakroom snacks, or passing around the CEO's favorite book. Rather, like everything else, I expect the foundation of good developer culture is in communication and conversation.You might notice that I'm cheating here because this, like most discussions of culture, is highly self-referential. Good developer culture would seem to both imply and require good planning practices & satisfying customers, etc.

Anyway, this is all just a lot of hot air to say: be cool to each other, really try to listen for what the other person needs to know or cares about before offering your own opinion, don't get angry, don't be an ass, don't try to assert yourself over others, strive for empathy, recognize merit, don't let others into your club unless they can meet the bar, and try to foster these notions as shared values though effective communication. If putting foozeball in the breakroom looks like it might be a useful tool to help you do that, fine. But if the foundation isn't conversation, you're not going to really get what you want, IMHO.

about 2 years ago
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The Long Death of Fat Clients

xtrafe Google Dart (277 comments)

+1 For this & link included.

I was huddled under my desk in fear that I'd get rolled into a massive corporate JS goose chase, but then Dart gave me a ray of hope. I just tried it out for the first time yesterday and it held up to its promises: I was productive within 30 minutes of downloading the SDK, and it didn't relieve me of all my most powerful tools for fighting complexity (like proper OO, and by 'proper' I mean non-prototypical).

It's still pretty bleeding edge, and there's some ground left to be covered, such as reflection and JS library integration, but it's a damn sight better than the alternatives I've seen (Ember, Backbone, etc).

about 2 years ago
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Are We Failing To Prepare Children For Leadership In the US?

xtrafe Re:Answer: (754 comments)

Can we answer any sensational headline ending with a question-mark with the word 'No' !?

about 2 years ago
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Google's Nexus Tablet To Be Unveiled Next Week

xtrafe Re:Makes me wonder... (198 comments)

Oh, I think they did something smarter than that.

Having benefited from a Series 7 Slate loaded with the procession of Windows 8 since January, I can honestly say now I 'get' Win8. I have a tablet big enough to be a tablet, and then I throw it into a dock and have a full-blown PC, replete with all my desktop applications-- no syncing, no fuss, one set of applications, and a generally seamless experience. I know this is giving them too much credit, but it seems to make sense that they'd call their tablets 'Surface' as well as the up-'til-now-silly table. Tablet, TV, Table, Phone... it should all just be one platform: Surface (If you go with Microsoft's option). Which brings me to my point:

Apple has to get iPad and iOS up to par with desktop, but at least they have a shot. Microsoft actually stands to be ahead. Google is is releasing a 7" tablet? Now?! That's big news? That's idiotic. This is sad for me, since Android is by far my favorite mobile platform to develop for.

Google doesn't have desktop OS play. ChromeOS flopped. I don't want all my apps in the cloud, fuckyouverymuch. If Google doesn't make a grab for some serious traction in the tablet market with a translation to a full desktop experience _right now_, Android will be budget-phones only in 5 years. Up 'til now I'd rip on M$ with the best of 'em. I fear after this posting I'm gonna have my /. licence revoked. Still, it needed to be said.

more than 2 years ago
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Materials From Tough-as-Nails Crustacean Could Inspire Better Body Armor

xtrafe Re:So it is a peacock? (144 comments)

Technically, a peacock is also neither.

more than 2 years ago
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ASCAP War On Free Culture Escalates

xtrafe ASCAP's whole bit is pretty funny (335 comments)

"We're here to protect your rights. If it weren't for us, you'd be going broke. In fact, the sky could come falling right down on top of you! ... so, uh... got a dollar?"

Walks like a scam, talks like a scam, I think I'll call this a scam. That ASCAP is working for the good of society is a pretty tough sell when it has declared war on organizations that work to make things free to the public, and ASCAP itself is looking for a handout.

about 4 years ago
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Mpeg 7 To Include Per-Frame Content Identification

xtrafe Sorry for the troll post, but... (273 comments)

When I look around and count the number of my peers going to law school, observe the burgeoning size of the US government, talk to 'corporate communications executives', etc., I wonder if something sociological isn't going on. It's like there's just not enough productive work out there (or it's too difficult to figure out what productive work _is_) for everybody to be doing something useful, and bullshit like this is the result. I guess Ayn Rand ought to be rotating in her grave, or something.

I mean, who comes up with this crap? Why wasn't this idea ridiculed into oblivion? Somebody is actually paying good money for this?! There's a million things wrong with this idea, but at the least I guess you could say: "There are many, many ineffectual ways to deter copyright infringement. Altering your encoding format is probably near the top of that list." Bad ideas get tossed around all the time, but this one is a little disturbing.

Maybe I'm just missing something, but it seems that this is a technological idea that demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of technology. The fact that there have been so many of its ilk proposed lately is cause for concern:
I understand that there are CEOs and 'media executives' whom are out to make their shareholders (and themselves) money, and will try just about anything that stands a chance of forwarding that goal. I presume that this is ultimately where this kind of bad idea comes from. That's capitalism, and I'm O.K. with that. The thing is, given the salaries that such individuals are paid, they ought to be highly informed experts in their business... or at least not _more_ ignorant than the average individual.

It's one thing to be overpaid-- That's fine. I can live with that. It's another thing to be overpaid, under-qualified, non-productive, and prolific. That's a real problem.

more than 4 years ago
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China Criticizes Google's "US Ties"

xtrafe Re:Let's not forget (280 comments)

The internet is its own society which is free from cultural and geological borders.

...The failure here is that almost no government believes that the Internet is a sovereign society.

[The internet] WAS free. Past tense. And prepare for ACTA, this is only getting worse.

I like this analogy. Lets say the internet is some kind of territory fighting for its sovereignty. Speaking to the large number of software developers that hang around here: you and I would constitute frontline combatants in the Internet's guerilla army. We're a bunch of highly-trained soldiers fighting on our home territory against a horde of misguided interlopers that have little idea what they're getting themselves into.

How many congresspeople and spoiled media moguls does it take to lob a piece of legislature like the DCMA, or dismantle an operation such as Napster? Then one of our 'specialists' like Bram Cohen, or the guys at the Pirate Bay, blow everything they've done to shit in short order. Every time some asshole has a greedy, inefficient, or nearsighted idea that the internet, as a people, do not want, an army of the most highly educated and intelligent people on the planet get straight to work at dismantling it. In fact, even beyond computer specialists, the number of intellectuals that are in favor of internet regulation is exceedingly small, so I'd say that the internet has the pick of the best that society has to offer fighting for it.

It's not unlikely that this is a war of attrition. I wouldn't worry much, though. The Internet's army is filled with problem solvers; We're fighting against a bunch of 'consensus-builders'. I don't mean to belittle consensus-building (much), but when the virtual bullets start flying, I know which camp I'd like to be a part of. ...I guess what I'm saying is that it's lambs and lions, and you and I are the lions. I wouldn't be too worried. Now get to work.

more than 4 years ago
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Google.cn Attack Part of a Broad Spying Effort

xtrafe Speaking of Google's thinking... (515 comments)

Google faces some pretty stiff competition in the Chinese market from domestic competitors like alibaba and baidu. This move allows Google to get a leg up on the competition by nosing into a possibly large and untapped market: Chinese people that would prefer to have their internet search uncensored. Of course this assumes that Google can remain operating in China with or without the government's consent.

Either Google wins in China in spite of the government, or they're trying to penetrate a market in which the government works against them, and it's not worth their while. No matter how it turns out, Google gets plenty of press, and is acting as though it has some semblance of a moral backbone, which is more than we can say for Google's competitors (read: M$). If I were a shareholder, I'd be proud.

more than 4 years ago
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Bono Hopes Content Tracking Will Help Media Moguls

xtrafe Re:Artists are actually making more money... (569 comments)

No, it does.The vast majority of working musicians I've known over the years acknowledge that their job title is more "entertainer" than "musician."

more than 4 years ago
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Myths About Code Comments

xtrafe Re:One person's myth is another person's fact. (580 comments)

Proven? Where? Even if it were true that commenting is useful in some situations, are you certain it universally increases productivity? Given your degree of certainty, why did you omit the study that supports your point?

It is my experience that code commenting encourages people to not read code. Commenting an API is a great thing, since it aids encapsulation. Commenting class-internal methods might be a bad thing, since someone who is trying to understand how a class works really ought to be reading and understanding all of the code. Also, lets not forget that code is a _human_ language; the code itself says what it is doing. Finally, programming has changed a lot over the 'decades' you speak of. Are you sure that the habits that were formed when people were programming pascal in a waterfall development process are equally applicable to C# in an Agile environment with an IDE that can instantly jump to any method declaration?

I'd humbly like to encourage you to be a little more analytical an open minded about your coding practice beliefs. It's also my experience that there typically is an inverse relationship between how good a programmer one believes oneself to be, and how good of a programmer one actually is.

more than 4 years ago

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