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Comment GTGD (Score 1) 254

I like Unity - it is a powerful tool and helps to put all the pieces together. I used XNA to write a single person game modeled after the board game Pandemic and when I wanted to take it to multi-player, it became quite a chore. Unity has built in networking (RPC style messaging and also object sync), so I ported my game to unity and was able to get the networking pieces done in days. It uses c#, but can also use javascript for the scripting language. Finally, the asset store is amazing. Filled with quality free assets (and even higher quality paid) - everything from full 3d models with animation, to scripts that you drop on your project that make the camera function exactly like the camera in Civilization.

Lastly, there's a "game" you can buy through Steam - called GTGD (Gamer to Game Developer) - some Aussie walks through creating a first person shooter with teams and multiple weapons. There's a S1 and S2 and after about 12 or so of the videos (out of 20+ in S1) I had enough to start programming my own game. He's writing it all in c# and explains the code decently.

Comment Re:No! (Score 1) 255

This. I wish I had mod points. Most of all the car should be able be take commands and execute on them immediately. Oddly enough, Demolition man (the movie with Sly Stallone) gets it right - let the car do the easy stuff, but allow for an override configuration. I recently got stuck in traffic in Dallas, bumper to bumper on a 4 lane tollway, sitting, move a foot, sit. I'd have loved to have my car take over and just freaking follow the guy in front of me. And I know it'll take some bumps and bruises - but when there are no longer human drivers as primary, the roads will be safer. Bottlenecks happen because of wrecks caused by inattentive humans. Or they happen because some human thinks he needs to get in front of everyone else because he's late for a meeting and swerves in and out of traffic. That all goes away. And that is probably why it won't ever happen - because it is the alpha jerks that'll say, "you'll get my steering wheel when you pry it out of my cold dead hands".

Comment Re:Depends on your definition of legacy (Score 1) 247

I've always considered legacy code to be code that isn't under any sort of unit testing. A well tested, thoroughly vented library will always be "production ready" for the tasks and behaviors that that code was intended for. If you are writing code (in whatever language) that isn't unit tested, then you are writing legacy code.

Comment Re:Unprofessional all around (Score 1) 692

I normally don't respond, but are you sure we are all adults? Far too often it seems decisions are driven by greed, selfishness, or a religious self-richest goal that they now longer seem to be "grown up", much less even humanistic I wish everyone would "grow up", but frankly I don't think grown ups know what the fuck they are doing.

Comment Re:Kudos (Score 1) 1061

Does bombing funerals count? It doesn't happen often, but I remember it happening every so often during the first couple years of occupancy in Iraq (where one sect would hit a funeral and then when all those people would have a funeral there'd be a counter strike by the other sect). That's pretty mocking...

Or is all fair in war?

Comment Re:To elaborate on the hardware difficulties. (Score 1) 179

Will 3D printers help move open-source hardware circuit design to the next level? I know that they have great potential in helping the open-source ecology project (, but that is mostly in the reprinting of complex parts for repair or initial construction of larger pieces. If more EEs / home enthusiasts could print out complete modules along with printing out testing nodes - little snap-off diodes whose sole purpose in the print is to prove some inner working of module, would circuit design explode? Just curious about what you thought.

Comment Re:It was a good launch (Score 2) 272

But what if the cost to fix the failure is deemed to high? It is an acceptable engineering practice to just plan on something going wrong x% of the time. Now if 1/9 is the maximum failure rate, and you can still get to orbit (meaning you design in the possibility of an engine exploding - can you imagine!), and the probability of 2/9 is astronomical, is something that is "forseen" have to be mitigated? Now granted, I hope the engine failure is truly something anomalous, given that even the smallest fracture can cause problems, and you have to test the engine at least once before use...

Will space travel ever enter the "good enough" phase of manufacturing? Being an A.E. I applaud the design of the falcon engine system. Just like most large aircraft can land with 1 out of 4 engines being functional, a system that can take a full system failure on one of its parts and still perform is quality engineering.

Comment Judge Rya Zobel (Score 2) 312

Ok, I respect old people, but I don't trust them - not one bit. This lady is 80 - how is she qualified to be a judge on a case that involves technology? The RIAA must have convinced her that "downloading" somehow stole their copy and they had to get them back... Anyways, I'd be curious to see the list of songs - just to see where those songs are in the charts / profit margins.

Comment Re:A good start (Score 1) 122

Someone else mentioned that it would be nice if apps gave justifications for their various access rights - like "full internet access" - this would be a perfectly good reason, and it would be pretty cool if all apps would tell you, when you are installing - "this app uses internet access to send which functions get used, if it is uninstalled, and the ability to rate the app - no personal information sent."

Of course a baked in analytics service for all apps, that could be disabled, would be pretty cool too... Maybe an android level API?

Comment Re:democracy is the weakest form of governance (Score 1) 594

much like Douglas Adams' ruler of the universe

The Ruler of the Universe is a man living in a small shack on a world that can only be reached with a key to an unprobability field or use of an Infinite Improbability Drive. He does not want to rule the universe and tries not to whenever possible, and therefore is by far the ideal candidate for the job.'s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy_characters#The_Ruler_of_the_Universe

Comment According to Notch, Minecraft isn't on Steam (Score 1) 203

"In the case of Minecraft, the sad fact is that the Xbox 360 is the only console (handhelds excluded) on which it will be released, specifically because Microsoft forced Mojang into an exclusive contract."

According to Notch, the creator of Minecraft, they aren't on Steam for a completely different reason, not because MS forced their hand.

Why No steam notch

Comment GameInformer Magazine (Score 1) 418

I subscribe to the Game Informer magazine ( and the number of titles that are being produced is staggering. I like all genre's of games from Plants vs Zombies to Bioshock to LotR online and find each different style of game to have unique advantages. MMORPs offer a social aspect, while an intense FPS immerses you in storyline more completely, while the simple logic and strategy involved in some games keeps the mind fresh.

My own personal favorites include Batman: Arkum Asylum - the story line and game play is first rate. BioShock, another very immersing FPS. Bioshock II was "give me some more of that" and also highly recommended (if you enjoy sometimes being kind of terrified). LotR online and D&D online are both free to play (so you can jump on for a couple days every 6 months and not feel like you are being screwed by the man because you payed 6 months subscription). World of goo is very nice as is Plants vs Zombies and even kingdom for keflings is a hoot for a builder game.

Now to the question of whether you have lost your mojo... it is easy to see the game for the math that it is - a simple counter (if I click in the right place enough times, "I win" - whatever that means in a virtual game). Once you understand a game, sometimes the senselessness can make even the idea of the playing seem rather like a waste of time and so you project that feeling onto other games thinking you have been there, done that. But it's not true. Batman is completely different from any other game I've played - and completely changed what I thought was possible. With the new input devices (I'm thinking kinect here) and new display capabilities (3-D is pretty wicked on games that program for it), I think there are games coming out that will make even that pale in comparison.

Comment Re:So the government is forcing me to buy somethin (Score 1) 2424

That is very insightful. You belong to groups - family, friends, co-workers, people at community organizations (church, clubs, HOAs), school (from your kid's grade school to your alma mater), state, and nation. In health care, people (especially the health nuts) like to group into "those that deserve good health for living the lifestyle they do, and those that don't". Those that deserve to pay more because of smoking or for not wearing a seat belt.

Unfortunately that relies on knowledge that we do not have. We can't figure out that the health nut for the 20 years lived in a mining community as a child. Everything you've done and not done plays a critical role in determining your overall health - and not only have we barely scratched the surface of understanding, our understanding sometimes stands at odds (took them 30 years to figure out which part of the egg does what for our bodies). And some eastern beliefs and practices are wholly ignored because of disbelief or pharmaceutical interests.

So we need to stop drawing that line around our yard, or around our workplace, or around smokers and just have universal health care. I know this bill doesn't do that, but it is at least a step, and maybe in another 20 we can take another.

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Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?