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Comment: Re:Im all for fixing classification but.... (Score 1) 129

by 615 (#35358818) Attached to: WB To Appeal Australia's Effective Ban on <em>Mortal Kombat</em>

Typically I would agree with a statement like this, but MK is different. The original arcade versions contained silly red spray and spatter. Dismemberment looked cartoonish. Technology changed that, and today's versions of MK can be quite gruesome.

Your comment intrigued me and I decided to see for myself how Mortal Kombat has progressed since I last paid it any mind many years ago. So I watched a few gameplay trailers and I do not agree that MK has gotten any less silly or more gruesome, relatively speaking.

Yeah, there are more pixels on the screen now, but, importantly, the characters don't really seem to suffer. They don't realistically shriek or cower. They more or less shrug off being stabbed through the chest with a giant icicle, or having their bones beaten into dust. It may not be cel-shaded, but it's cartoon violence in capitals. Like Wile E. Coyote being flattened under a boulder. In reality, any one of the fighting moves in MK would absolutely lay an opponent out. Most would never fight again, IF they didn't die from their injuries.

I think what bothers people about these sorts of things is what they themselves imagine that other people get out of them. I don't really care for fighting games, but if I did, I might play Mortal Kombat for the reason that, like the late George Carlin, I like excess in my entertainment. I don't want to hurt people. I won't even squish a bug. But ripping someone's entire skeleton out through their butthole? What a delightfully absurd idea. But the busybodies worry about sickos using MK for porn. Or children being - wait, Mortal Kombat is in no way a children's game, so what the fuck?

Today's MK is no worse than yesterday's Doom. Some people will wring their hands, and 10 years from now we'll all shake our heads in wonder at how naive and prudish we were.

Comment: Re:I read this on Slashdot more than 5 years ago (Score 1) 287

by 615 (#35119674) Attached to: Research Finds That Electric Fields Help Neurons Fire

Someone had used a programmable curcuit board and let it evolve using some simple evolutionary algorithm. After thousands or perhaps millions of iteration where only the best design solution(s) were allowed to survive they examined the final results. Strangely, one of the finalist could not be understood by the circuit board analysis program. So, they took to analyses the device manually. What they eventually found was that it had designed a little radio telescope of sorts which had sent its signal across an unconnected, empty area without wiring! I have tried several times to find the article again. If someone else remembers it, please, reply and gives us a link.

Here you are, sir.

See also this comment by Dachannien.

Comment: Re:What's that sound? (Score 1) 106

by 615 (#28469275) Attached to: Google To Promote Web Speed On New Dev Site

For the record, Google's very first claim (about copying variables doubling memory consumption) is dubious. Although the language itself passes most variable types by value, the PHP interpreter copies variables lazily using copy-on-write. So in general, "aliasing" variables for readability should be OK. However, I'm not sure whether the interpreter copies individual array elements lazily...

Comment: Re:Gold selling is a good idea (Score 1) 424

by 615 (#27565793) Attached to: Game Developers On Gold Selling

... I don't find playing the auction house fun. In fact, I find it highly unethical. You're taking advantage of people who don't know what things really should cost.

Uhh, just because I choose to undercut my competitors (other sellers) doesn't mean I don't know what my loot is "worth". I hardly feel taken advantage of when the gold's rolling in faster than I can run to the mail box - gold I can put to work immediately, while my higher-priced competitors twiddle their thumbs.

Comment: Re:Perfection Has a Price (Score 1) 726

by 615 (#26438279) Attached to: More Than Coding Errors Behind Bad Software

One thing I cannot understand: How programmers continue to fail to encode data in a context-appropriate way before operating on it. When I code, I don't even think about it - I just do it. The brain cycles I save, I spend on higher-level problems.

If I need to output some data in the context of an XML document, I entity encode the data. Bam! - done. I don't stop to think about how likely it is the data will contain control information; whether it'd be worth the extra 1.5 seconds (of typing) to encode it; that the data provider (a user, say) ought to know better than to include "funny" characters...

I agree with you that the price of perfection is too high for most applications, but come on. Failing to sanitize data moving across major boundaries (the client/server boundary, for example) is like failing to check whether the garage door is open before attempting to drive through it. Don't excuse that crap.

Comment: Re:Learn C and Python (Score 2, Insightful) 997

by 615 (#26018685) Attached to: What Programming Language For Linux Development?

... and those extra semi-colons "just in case" are also ugly.

En garde!

To me, omitting syntax that isn't strictly necessary is a form of premature optimization. It takes more work to determine whether a statement needs to be terminated with a semi-colon than it does to subconsciously terminate _every_ statement; it takes more work to translate between the block and inline form of an if-statement as code evolves; it takes more work to rearrange case statements if some include an implied break.

I used to strive for "compactness" in my code. When I realized how much keeping track of all my own formatting rules and exceptions was costing me brain cycles (plus the aforementioned issues), I switched to striving for consistency.

Do you suffer painful illumination? -- Isaac Newton, "Optics"