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Comment: Re:Journalists being stonewalled by Apple? (Score 1) 269

by demachina (#49340881) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple

Hacker News has a fairly good track record causing something resembling the Slashdot effect at least on lower capacity servers. Its pretty rare you hear anyone comment that they got a traffic surge when their blog appeared on the front page of Slashdot any more, though it is quite common to hear comments about traffic surges from Hacker News.

Comment: Re:Countries without nuclear weapons get invaded (Score 3, Interesting) 228

by demachina (#49340853) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

Iraq used chemical weapons to pretty good effect to stave off Iranian human wave attacks during the Iran Iraq war. If they hadnâ(TM)t it would have somewhat increased the likelihood that Iran would have won the war. With the help of chemical weapons Iraq fought a much larger country to a stalemate.

The Reagan administration and numerous western companies were fine with Iraq using chemical weapons against Iran during that era. They didnt want Iran to win that war.

+ - Nintendo Announces Smartphone Publishing Deal, New Hardware

Submitted by Daetrin
Daetrin (576516) writes "At a press conference yesterday in Japan Nintendo announced a stock-exchange deal with DeNA, which will give Nintendo a 10% interest in the company. DeNA is the owner of Mobage, a mobile gaming platform, and through them Nintendo will be releasing games on Android and iOS devices. It was emphasized that these games would be new games made specifically for the platform rather than ports of existing games.

Nintendo also announced that they are working on new gaming hardware with the codename "NX", which will feature an "entirely new concept." Nintendo did not state if it would be a console, a handheld, some kind of hybrid, or something completely different. Iwata, Nintendo's CEO, did state that the new hardware is unrelated to the collaboration with DeNA and the announcement was intended to emphasize that Nintendo is not abandoning it's core business of dedicated devices.

Engadget has a write-up detailing Nintendo's (non-)history with mobile gaming."

Comment: Re:Heinlien (Score 1) 104

by Daetrin (#49236393) Attached to: Some of the Greatest Science Fiction Novels Are Fix-Ups
Agreed, i'm usually ready to extol the virtues of Heinlein, but fix-up novels are not a thing he did.

As stated, the key elements of "fix-up novel" is that you fix-up something that wasn't a novel, and at the end of it you have a novel. If you just put a bunch of separate short stories together into a book without editing them at all then you've neither done any fixing-up nor ended up with a novel, regardless of whether the stories are all set in the same universe or not.

The _real_ grey area is serials. Some (eventual) novels were written with the intent to be a single story but were serialized in magazines as chapters/short stories. In some cases it's probably hard to tell the difference without knowing what the author was thinking at the time.

Comment: Re:Sometimes this helps, e.g. Beggars in Spain (Score 1) 104

by Daetrin (#49236319) Attached to: Some of the Greatest Science Fiction Novels Are Fix-Ups
I'm confused, because it's really too bad that she never wrote a sequel to Beggars in Spain. And it's _really_ too bad that she never wrote a sequel to that theoretical sequel. I'm sure they would have worked out all their differences and everyone and everything would be happy and wonderful at the end of it!

Comment: Re:Another FPS (Score 1) 225

by demachina (#49219851) Attached to: Another Upscaled Console Game: Battlefield Hardline

Iâ(TM)d still play BF2 if there were any servers left for Karkand Infantry that didnâ(TM)t suck. For pure fun to play 64 man infantry only Kirkland was about the pinnacle of PvP, way better than any newer COD or BFn.

Game companies are spending way too much money on graphics and gimmicks and nothing at all on good PvP.

Good PvP requires evenly matched teams and gear in a space big enough for variety and small enough so the teams are compelled to be in contact.

You wanna see an example of a horrible PvP game, try PlanetSide 3. The teams were/are never even, you spend most of your time running around trying to find the other team, when you find them either they are massively outnumbered or you are outnumbered.

Then there are the microtransactions so someone foolish enough to blow the money can advance with no skill whatsoever.

Most COD Iâ(TM)ve played you circle endlessly in a fur ball killing and being killed, there is never any discernible point or strategy.

Seriously if you want a great game that people will want to play forever look at CS and BF2. The graphics kinda suck, BF2 is certainly buggy, but they are still pure fun to play.

Comment: Yet another voice in the darkness... (Score 1) 698

Given the number of comments made so far, the odds that the OP will see this (or more than a handful of people, for that matter) is vanishingly small. That said, I laude you for your creativity and insight to do such a thing for your daughter. You might want to do something similar for your wife, as well; I expect she will want to hear encouragement from you, even after you're gone.

My father passed just under a year ago, due to complications from stage-4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. There was about 10 days between his diagnosis and when he died; he didn't have a chance to make any specific goodbyes. Admittedly, my situation is different -- I'm cis-male and my father died well after I became a (nominal) adult. However, I can offer suggestions based on what I would have liked to know, and never had the chance to ask. I can also offer some advice based on the efforts my brother and I have had to go through to deal with his papers and documents.

I'd like to have had more records of my extended family and those who came before. My father was a first-generation American, the child of Holocaust Survivors. I don't know that much in the way of specific stories about my family from Europe, or the struggles of leaving, my grandparent's emigration, or similar. I know my father (and uncle) had stories told to him by his parents, though. Few, if any, ever made it past that; I hope my uncle will pass on the verbal record as he best can.

I'd like to have known more about my father's life and who he was. In going through his papers, I've found letters of commendation from Under-Secretary (US Cabinet) level offices about subject I had no idea he had any expertise. I never realized how many patents he had gotten over the years (none of which were software, FWIW), or some of the weird adventures he had. I know he was a prankster when he was in college, but I didn't realize the extent until I found a letter from a college friend that read like an indictment. =)

I'd like to have known more about things he wish he could have done and any regrets he might have had. I know he never visited Israel and wanted to, but little else. I can't right any mistakes he made, but maybe I can make some sort of amends or do things in his memory.

I would like to know what he would have thought of any kids my wife and I might have. I personally regret not telling him that we plan on having kids -- I think he died thinking that my brother and I were the last of our line (My brother has no intention on having kids, only cats).

Give whatever advice you think best. You know your daughter, and while she will change over the years, the best you can do is to be honest and frank. Inevitably she's going to fall; give her your advice on how, somedays, the best thing is to get up and fight back and others it is to eat a pint of ice cream and fight the battle a different day. Someday, someone is going to violate her trust; give advice on both how to rebuild that trust and how to walk away.

Perhaps my strongest piece of advice is don't make videos for specific events. Make videos for types of events, and maybe for different ages. She may or may not ever marry, graduate high school or college, or have children; make videos for days of celebration. She may or may not ever lose a partner or close friend, have a divorce, get into a car accident, or fail a class. Make videos to cheer her up after a bad day and encourage her for future endeavors.

Regardless, make sure you let your personality come through; don't get so caught in the effort that you miss the most important message.

Some advice on the non-video aspects, though. Go through your papers (or files or whatever) and trim them down to what is important and what isn't. I didn't need to find 2 dozen copies of my father's Thesis, or his college notes, much less his stacks of punch cards (... which were unnumbered. There's a special kind of hell for people who don't number their punch card stacks). Nor did I need his collection of square-dancing ribbons (hundreds). Letters from him to his mother at camp, a family tree, or a 'camp' songbook from the friend-his-parents-warned-him-against? Those are the things that are treasures. Relevant financial records, not a stack of correspondence about whether someone sent him a check or not 30 years ago. Label photos of important people or places, and trim the rest. Especially if no one else will recognize the items in the photo. Make sure heirlooms are documented to the best of your ability,

And put your passwords into an escrow, so that anything new isn't lost or forgotten.

Comment: Consider Artifacts, too (Score 1) 698

One of the artifacts that I've held on to, is my granddad's slide rule. He was an engineer, and I've treasured the slide rule.

As a programmer, I can't think of many artifacts I would be able to give to my daughter, or that she would give to her children. I have kept the old Compaq BASICA reference book that I used as a kid, but without moving parts like a sliderule, it doesn't strike me as cool. It seems like everything is virtual and ephemeral in this time of glass touch screens and constantly upgrading software.

None-the-less -- something tangible that doesn't take up too much space, -- that could be really important to her.

Comment: Re:Instilling values more important (Score 1) 698

Paypal is a scam company now. It wasnâ(TM)t really a scam company when it was originally founded. It broke new ground in paying for stuff on the web when the web was in its infancy. It was also had to deal with massive scams coming from the other direction, faux customers.

Bitcoin companies seem to be having a much worse problem with being scams than Paypal did, at least until it was sold off by the founders to EBay at which point, yes it turned in to an obnoxious, kind of a scam company.

It should also be noted 9/11, the Patriot act and the 2008 crash all happened in there which made Paypal increasingly obnoxious in reaction to crushing Federal scrutiny of and intrusion in to financial transactions.

Comment: Re:Instilling values more important (Score 3, Interesting) 698

Point her to the Elon Musk TED talk. When asked how he did so many amazing things, one of his more insightful comments was he learned physics, and he learned how to approach things from the bottom up the way a physicist would. If you learn something at a fundamental level you can do amazing and new things. If you learn stuff, shallowly, from the top down, you often end up copying others which is both less amazing and less valuable.

Also has pretty good lessons for all the wanna be startup founders in Silicon Vally who are doing Uber of . . . or AirBNB of . . ., me too companies.

He also covers doing big, hard things for the benefit of humanity part pretty well.

Comment: Huh? (Score 1) 131

by Daetrin (#49088089) Attached to: Carnegie-Mellon Sends Hundreds of Acceptance Letters By Mistake
"The program accepts fewer than nine percent of more than 1,200 applicants, which places the acceptance level at about a hundred, so they're bad at math, too."

Does this joke depend on some fact in TFA? (Which i am unable to read at work.) Are they actually supposed to be accepting some number that is significantly higher or lower than 100? As it is that statement stands out as a total non-sequitur.

Comment: Re:No reason to go there (Score 2) 294

by Daetrin (#48998277) Attached to: Radioshack Declares Bankruptcy
Radio Shack serves a need, it just doesn't serve it very well. I needed a 6' USB extension cable last weekend on short notice. I checked at Radio Shack, Staples and Office Depot. If i remember correctly the prices were:

Radio Shack: $35
Staples: $25
Office Depot: $20

I'm probably wrong about the specifics, but that was the general range. Meanwhile i could go online and get a cable from Monoprice for $3-4, and, rather insultingly, Office Depot's online store had one for $5-6.

If Radio Shack had a cable for about $10 i probably would have given up and bought it there just for the convenience, even though i still would have considered that price gouging. But paying an order of magnitude more was just out of the question. This ought to have been exactly the case where Radio Shack came to the rescue, but instead they were the worst of the bunch.

Good day to avoid cops. Crawl to work.