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Comment Meh. Not cross-platform enough. (Score 5, Interesting) 56

PC, Playstation and Xbox support, Android and iOS in the wings... no specific mention of Windows Metro, Linux or OSX (I assume PC only means standard Windows).

Unity3D has all the bases covered, and a large number of third-party support through assets and plugins.

The CryEngine is certainly nice, though.

Comment Re:Great way to get sued! (Score 2) 125

Well, it's possible, in certain countries, you might get banned or worse...

Of course, nobody has gotten sued for visiting The Pirate Bay, but if you can stream through your browser, you can bet your IP will be hanging out in the breeze to be picked up by outfits like Rightscorp to log and send through their subpoena mills.

While I'm bitching here on Slashdot... can anybody give me a reasonable explanation why Linux torrent clients had to lose their ability to use proxies? Yeah, I understand the libraries they used removed the functionality - WTF did the library maintainers remove the capability? I also realize the primary reason for proxies, but there are more than a few legitimate reasons for proxies, too.

Comment Re: Schools have regressed terribly (Score 1) 317

My school was a rural school who had less funding per student than ANY of the urban schools in our state (I've seen the budget numbers), yet in 1983, we had CP/M machines and wrote real, useful code.

I was delighted to see that my old school also fields a robotics team in the FIRST competition. I have no idea of the state of computer education there, but when I see them again, I most certainly will ask about it.

For my son's school, I will be pressing for something more likened to AP Computer Science, rather than a class better suited to elementary students. I understand the CS teacher has been pressing this issue lately, as well.

Do I feel every student should learn programming? No... but they shouldn't be insulted with a building-block Playskool-level programming education when they express an interest. We need to encourage well-thought out courses that challenge and prepare students for real world development and college-level education.

Comment Re:Schools have regressed terribly (Score 1) 317

Design patterns are about using the right tools, in the right way, for the right job. Going back to my shop class example, sure... a student might intuit that a table saw is useful to cut wood, but eventually, they start using the table saw for everything... even cutting lots of curves to make an intricate design, not realizing, because nobody taught them, that a band saw, used properly can safely allow them to cut those complex shapes in a piece of plywood.

I had to intuit a lot of the design patterns I used to develop in C++ back in the early days, because I didn't have the benefit of that book, but then, I consider myself a pretty decent software engineer (I'm well-regarded by my peers and sought after for teams). Still, the information in that book alone represents a solid progression in learning good practices in software development.

Comment Schools have regressed terribly (Score 2) 317

When I went to school, in the mid-80s, we were taught BASIC and Pascal, which was a good springboard to languages like C. Today, we have the benefit of more mature, object-oriented languages like Java which are great for educational use, but instead, my son's high school teaches with App Inventor, which is like teaching shop class with LEGOs.

We also have the benefit of great, now classic, books like the Gang Of Four's Design Patterns. We should be teaching kids something useful out of high school, yet we no longer do.

I'm mentoring on my son's Robotics Team, and find myself having to teach them Java programming from the ground up. I suppose it is good for them, but I'm not a teacher, I'm an engineer. Still, we are managing, and they are learning. I'd prefer it if a professional instructor had prepared them better, though.

Shame on educators for having gone this route.

Comment Awful format (Score 4, Interesting) 57

Forgetting the stupid costs and such, the idea of waiting to read the next part of a book is incredibly bad.

I typically read a book in a few days; then I read another. I don't interleave books, so I'd be dependent on the 13 week release schedule to complete this book to get another one to read.

Multimedia doesn't excite me at all, either. That's not why I read books.

Comment Sounds like: Stop liking what we don't like! (Score 1) 182

Every few months, we get another one of these sort of questionable "studies" like "Your cat really doesn't love you" or "Your dog is really dumber than a pile of doornails". Somebody gets a wild hair up their ass to prove their pet theory that supports their own petty biased world view, looking to knock down someone or something a peg.

Psychological studies are the worst... they analyze a group of people and determine that they are somehow "defective" (in this case, narcissistic, by whatever measure they used). It's punditry, plain and simple, in the guise of pseudoscience backed by being "published".

Ultimately, these sort of "studies" are almost always tweaked in some fashion (demographics, location, etc...) to inevitably come to the desired conclusion.

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"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354