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Comment: Re:Lol (Score 1) 272

I thought it was in retaliation for the shelling of York (Toronto). At any rate, the British reaction, safely evacuating and then burning public buildings in the war of 1812 was far better than the Americans policy of simply lobbing bombs at loyalist civilians and exterminating British friendly native tribes.

Comment: Re:And in totally unrelated news.... (Score 3, Informative) 383

by donscarletti (#47474241) Attached to: Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

Here's the thing.

We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months."

They are announcing layoffs that will not be implemented, in some cases for over 6 months in the future. That means, for over 6 months, Microsoft employees won't know for sure whether they will be laid off or kept. In management terms, that is going to result in dramatically lower morale and productivity for half a year for what? So that Microsoft can announce 5,000 more layoffs than they are actually capable of firing right now.

It really just shows how much more Microsoft cares about stock value than running a good company.

Comment: Re:bars, restaurants, dry cleaners, art galleries (Score 2) 230

by donscarletti (#47442549) Attached to: Geographic Segregation By Education

There is no culture in rural areas. There is no learning. For the active mind, it is a fate worse than death. Intelligent people want to be around other intelligent people. Who wants to live in the country with a bunch of bigots who dismiss any ideas they don't agree with?

You don't think the thing you just said then was maybe, well, super bigoted?

I grew up in the country, there are smart people too. The town's "intellectual elite" tend to know each other and be friendly regardless of their profession, age and views, meaning that if you're smart, you get a diverse group of friends. In cities, people form microcosms of folks just like them, with roughly the same job, the same age, the same personality and the same views. A metropolis is the antithesis of diversity, they bring every kind of person together from all over the world, so you can find the ones just like you.

The only thing bad about the country is the job situation. And the lack of entertainment and fine dining. And there being no choice in schools. And the Internet being slow and expensive. And that you have to drive everywhere. And it is inconvenient to take international flights. And consumer goods are expensive. And quite a few other things.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 2) 608

by donscarletti (#47421007) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

However, one thing that has always bothered me is when we say "well we're using ruby xx.xx (or node xx.xx or php xx.xx or whatever) on our development machines, so we must install that version on production" and then the hoops taken to do that. It should be "production can run ruby xx.xx so that's what you have to develop against".

I doubt that will ever be the case.

The main issue is, developers usually have a work backlog and those in charge have very little interest in what version everyone is running. If it already works on _a_ platform version, then chances are that the users will get better value for the developers time through adding another feature to the web app itself, than whatever benefits the upgrade or downgrade in platform version will bring.

You can try negotiating with the development team before the work commences though, or putting it in the initial delivery requirements if it is outsourced. It's just you would have to take initiative here, since nobody in your average business would consider operations to be a stakeholder until the system is live, so nobody is going to go out of their way ask you.

Comment: World loves a cute little Obokata (Score 1) 109

Everyone also wants to believe pretty little Dr Obokata, who is has adorable cartoon characters on her lab equipment and wears a cooking apron while experimenting managed to cure mortality. I mean, she would be such a fantastic science poster girl.

I mean, I just looked at her pictures and completely forgot about anything scientific. One look and I was: "Forget about the chimeric rats, lets see if I can inject some of my non-pluripotent cells into her and create some embrionic stem cells!"

Comment: Re:Good luck with that ... (Score 2) 190

by donscarletti (#47348001) Attached to: Eric Schmidt and Entourage Pay a Call On Cuba

So Cubans are oppressed but Americans deserve to be punished?

Man, you should be writing speeches for anti-American demagogues the world over (apart from Raul Castro of course).

Also, lots of blacks in Cuba. Cuban censuses distinguish "negro" from "mullato", whereas they are all called "black" in the US, but put them together and the numbers are much higher in Cuba. So your little eugenic theories below don't even work.

Comment: Not EA's fault. (Score 1) 208

by donscarletti (#47312477) Attached to: The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of <em>Battlefield</em>

DiCE was bought out in 2004, Battlefield 1942 came out in 2002.

Did anyone play BF 1942 when it came out? It was still far buggier than to BF2 or BF3 on release. It's just that people didn't care back then because:

  • It was ground-breakingly awesome.
  • Computers just crashed randomly anyway back then because a lot of folks were still using non-NT Windows systems.

I think it's been a long standing policy to push forward on optimisation and game refinement at the expence of stability. Which does work for a lot of teams and seems to be standard practice in Sweedish studios, which can be inferred by looking at games like Magica, Goat Simulator or even to a lesser extent Minecraft. You cannot blame EA for this.

Comment: Re:So China is the new Japan? (Score 1) 293

by donscarletti (#47246349) Attached to: Average HS Student Given Little Chance of AP CS Success

I work in China and recruit Chinese game developers.

It is just amazing the difficulty to find developers with technical proficiency. Everyone who can code worth a damn has a job that pays very well, and you're stuck training kids from scratch every time. Luckily there are always clever kids willing to learn, there just seems a lack of people able to teach them.

"Game planners" here, which kind of work a little like designers in the west can not and will not learn basic scripting. Show them a few lines of Python or Lua and they will throw up their hands saying "it's all in English! I can't read it!" They also have no inclination or ability to learn the basics about what engine you're using, what it can do and how it does it. Meeings with them feel like meeting with the marketing department, the same level of technical know-how and coherency of suggestions, just without the understanding of the marketplace.

And game programming and programming in general pays fantastically in China, 2x what a doctor is paid at least, it's just there are so few candidates.

The other thing is kids graduate from a computer science degree without ever writing an entire program. I've taken to hiring maths graduates recently, since they have no less hands-on experience, but actually know basic linear algebra, quaternions and other useful stuff.

Comment: Re:Big deal (Score 1) 133

by donscarletti (#47219589) Attached to: <em>Grand Theft Auto V</em> For Modern Platforms Confirmed

No, still Rockstar North.

It would have made sense if the ultimate gaming tribute to California was made in San Diego, but no, it was made at the foot Carlton Hill in auld Edinburgh and dare I say many a wee dram was imbibed during crunchtime.

The dead givaway though was the Forth bridge appearing in San Fierro.

Comment: Re:Wishful thinking (Score 1, Insightful) 90

limiting the amount of time that our leaders are in power (at least the President) and peacefully transitioning between those leaders makes it easier to let go. China doesn't have any of that going for them.

I call bullshit. Jiang Zenmin: General secretary of CCP 1989 - 2002, PRC Chairman 1993 - 2003, Hu Jintao: General Secretary of CCP 2002 - 2012, PRC Chairman 2003 - 2013, Xi Jinping: General Secretary of CCP 2012 -, PRC Chairman 2013 - notice a pattern? Maximum of 2 terms for both positions, 5 years each. Jiang had an extra part term as General Secretary because his predecessor was deposed early. Premier is similar, maximum of 2 terms, 5 years each.

The main difference is only the manner of the leader's choosing.

Anyway, term limits are not enforced in any Westminster style government and they are stronger for it since at no time a leader is in his final term without chance of re-election and the nation may choose to continue with a great leader for as long as he is great. America should really consider getting rid of term limits, since without them Clinton could have been president for the last 22 years as he is not even 70 yet and more than capable of doing a better job than the last two. Consider FDR who

Comment: Re:Big deal (Score 4, Informative) 133

by donscarletti (#47203551) Attached to: <em>Grand Theft Auto V</em> For Modern Platforms Confirmed

I have no respect for a company which became successful and famous due to a game that was originally designed for the PC (the DOS version of the original GTA), but has now completely forgotten its roots and either releases (a) a shit PC port of their console-focused games (e.g. GTA IV), (b) doesn't release a PC port at all (Red Dead Redemption)

GTA was by DMA Design (now Rockstar North), Red Dead Redemption was by Rockstar San Diego (formerly Angel Studios), completely unrelated companies / teams, although currently they have the same owner. Interestingly enough, DMA's breakthrough hit was not GTA nor was it on DOS, it was Lemmings on Amiga. However, from the start they were a very console friendly company, releasing versions for NES, SNES and Sega and published through Nintendo exclusively for a time (Unirally, Body Harvest). All before GTA 1 came out.

However in 1999, two years after GTA, DMA was bought out by Take Two Interactive (owner of the "Rockstar" brand) and probably lost a fair amount of control over things like release platforms. So I think it's pretty much understandable.

Comment: Re:Pay versus billing rate. (Score 3, Informative) 234

by donscarletti (#47162411) Attached to: Tech Worker Groups Boycott IBM, Infosys, Manpower

The japanese officer showed how "human shelves" works. You get into what looks to be a 1m high bookshelf, and sit cross legged. The POWs absolutely thought this to be insane, and demanded better transportation. The Japanese asked why POWs needed luxury transportation, and couldn't use the same transport as the japanese army.

You mean the same Imperial Japanese Army that worked prisoners to death building railways and in mines and decapitated or mutilated captured soldiers for trivial offsenses?

The same ones that killed 300,000 civilians and committed 30,000 reported rapes in a few weeks in Nanjing?

The ones that locked vast quantities of women into military brothels to be raped roughly every half hour?

The one that conducted medical experiments on civilians in captured territories?

Of course they are an authoritative source about what treatment is humane according to East Asian norms, which is why the Chinese and Koreans are so much more understanding with the Japanese over the whole war and hardly mention it at all on domestic media or in international diplomacy.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.