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Comment: Re:Movies (Score 1) 167

by nabsltd (#47438853) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

But it's a huge task just to put the shoot together; they don't just drive up with some kind of aircraft and start flying around.

Because they are generally flying over property that they don't own.

I'm willing to bet that an insurance company would laugh at me when I ask for insurance to protect my own home against what might happen if I crash a model airplane into it.

Comment: Re:Manager (Score 4, Informative) 183

by nabsltd (#47437763) Attached to: New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

USB sockets also lock you in to using USB leads.

You're missing that point that anybody can make both USB sockets and USB leads with a very minimal royalty payment.

What if only one company made USB sockets (Microsoft) and they charged $100 for it (Windows). Then, once you did pay and had your USB device working, they stopped supporting the current USB standard, which encouraged your device manufacturer to stop supporting it. Then, all new USB devices would only work on the new USB sockets, so if you buy a new camera/scanner/mouse/keyboard/whatever, you can't plug it in to your current USB socket, and need to pay another $100 to get the new socket. If Microsoft didn't see Windows as a profit center, but instead used it as a platform to get you to pay for everything else they do, 90% of the complaints about them would stop.

I didn't mind paying for the first versions of Windows, because they gave me something I didn't have: a windowed UI. Then, Windows NT gave us real multi-tasking and 32-bit code. Windows 2000 and XP were just more polished versions, although XP gave us 64-bit that wasn't supported much. Windows 7 finally gave us 64-bit with real support. Windows 8 is just a different UI. So, the reality is that over that span of nearly 20 years, I feel like I should have paid "full price" for about 3 versions (truly major upgrades), and some token amount (about 20% of the full version price seems right) for the "maintenance" releases.

Instead, if you wanted to play the latest games, you had to upgrade to XP (2000 was just fine for running productivity apps) and 7, and even before the end of support of XP, you had to upgrade to 7 if you didn't use an alternate browser (unless you like getting burned by the most common security exploits). Then, add in that the more recent OS often don't have drivers for older hardware and have a lot more system requirements, and you end up with Linux getting traction because of this endless cycle.

Although Linux is really hurting the inroads that MS made into the server market, it will never touch the desktop until it's just as easy to use. It will never be just as easy to use as long as there are 14 different Linux distributions with 43 different GUI implementations (numbers pulled out of my ass, but you get the picture). Until there is one GUI, no large percentage of companies will heavily invest in converting to a Linux desktop because they won't want to train every new hire in how the system works. And yes, I know that the vast majority of people don't do anything complicated, but things like connecting to a network share, changing the screen resolution, changing the GUI colors, playing a video, scheduling a meeting with co-workers, etc., are all things that real people do and which have to be easy and consistent. In addition, until all the standard software is available (no, Linux doesn't have to have Microsoft Office, but it has to have a package that does everything that Office does, and Open/Libre Office ain't it), there won't be a large shift, either.

I maintain Linux servers for a living, but I still use a Windows desktop (even though my employer does support Windows, Linux, and OSX for personal desktops) because it still is easier to get everything done using that. I have lots of options to get to a Linux system and run programs (both text and GUI), and not everyone in my office uses the same toolset as I do. But, the other direction is painful. Without Windows, you can't easily find out when everybody is available for a meeting, and can't stay logged in to your e-mail (OWA times out, while Outlook does not). I can connect to a Windows share from a Linux system, but I can't adjust the ACLs. With a Windows desktop, I can connect to both Windows and NFS shares and adjust the ACLs.

Comment: Re:Outside of Valve I don't think many developers. (Score 1) 80

by nabsltd (#47437627) Attached to: What Happens When Gaming Auteurs Try To Go It Alone? enough attention to game design to consistently produce quality games.

You're saying this mostly because of Portal. Without that game, you'd be left with the taste of Half-Life 2, which showed they were losing their touch because they had to have enemy spawn points that never run out of bad guys.

It also was a very linear game, where even the more open sections were just an A->B->C->D path for the player...there was no side exploring of any consequence. In particular, you very rarely left a building by the same way you entered. You would often see areas where you would soon be or used to be through windows/fences/etc., with the path between the two a very long maze.

Comment: Re:Daikatana failed because it was too Japanese. (Score 1) 80

by nabsltd (#47437565) Attached to: What Happens When Gaming Auteurs Try To Go It Alone?

The opening level for Daikatana was death by a thousand mosquito bites and killer toads. I never got past that level. A FPS game is supposed to ramp up the difficulty as the player gets used to the new game world. Killing them off at the get go is bad design.

I never played the game until I picked it up from GOG last year. I didn't find the first section very hard at all until the giant dragon. Even that was easy after I realized there's no shame in hiding and sniping. I even killed the sentry guns by destroying them instead of destroying their power link until I got to the door that could only be opened by destroying the power link, at which point I felt like an idiot.

The first weapon you get has essentially unlimited ammo (carry 100 shots with 50-shot packs sitting around every corner) and does a respectable amount of damage per shot. It can also fire around corners via bouncing off walls.

The only real problem I have with the game is that although there is a story, there isn't any game-play info in the story, so I wasn't sure if the cowering technicians were OK to kill or not (being used to games like Deus Ex where you don't kill something unless it's trying to kill you). I haven't finished the game yet (only gotten to the point where I have both sidekicks with me), as I had to rebuild my gaming machine and don't have a lot of time for games in general, so it could get a lot more sucky.

Comment: Re: Murphy says no. (Score 1) 247

by nabsltd (#47433473) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

so once a week you have to get up early and do some work.

I don't think that the "2am" listed in TFS is "getting up early". Instead, it's more like "staying up late".

For me, it's not really a problem, but I have had to do that kind of maintenance as a team, and some people are just useless if they stay up that long, or even got a short nap. My current job gives us all day one Saturday a month for maintenance, so you can sleep like normal and get up when appropriate (one hour worth of work, start at 2 in the afternoon if you want...7 hours of work, better start before noon). A lot fewer mistakes seem to be made with this sort of schedule.

Comment: Re:Puppet. (Score 1) 247

by nabsltd (#47433387) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

Especially with VMs, it is so easy to snapshot and test things.

How, exactly, do you snapshot and test the production VM before the maintenance window and guarantee you won't affect (and by "affect", I mean anything that changes behavior in any way that is not expected by the users) any services running on that VM?

If you meant "clone" instead of "snapshot", that doesn't help either, as the clone will have to have a different IP address, can't connect to the production database, etc.

We've had VMs that have become corrupt in very strange ways so that they would not reboot. The corruption didn't affect any running services, but existed for at least six weeks (we had to go back that far to get a backup that didn't have the issue). Testing a kernel patch that requires a reboot wouldn't have revealed this corruption, as the dev and staging servers didn't have the problem. Testing it on the production server would have revealed it, but we would have to do that during scheduled maintenance anyway....

Comment: Re:Murphy says no. (Score 1) 247

by Culture20 (#47432565) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

say the patch unexpectedly breaks another critical function of the server.

When this happens, it usually takes a lot longer to fix than it takes to drive in to work, because the way it breaks is unexpected. The proper method is to have an identical server get upgraded with this automatic maintenance window method the day before while you're at work or at least hours before the primary system so that you can halt the automatic method remotely before it screws up the primary system. If the service isn't important enough, let your monitoring software wake you up if there's a failure or ignore it until you get in at your normal time. Most of the time, having a regularly well-rested sysadmin is more important to a company than having "light-switch monitoring server three" running between 4AM and 8AM.

Comment: Nature of the beast (Score 1) 247

by Danzigism (#47432175) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?
Although I do feel this is the nature of the beast when working in a true IT position where businesses rely on their systems nearly 100% of the time, there are some smart ways to go about it. I'm not exactly sure what type of environment you're using, but if you use something like VMware's vSphere product, or Microsoft's Hyper-V, both allow for "live migrations". Why not virtualize all of your servers first of all, make a snapshot, perform the maintenance, and live migrate the VMs? You could do it right in the middle of the day and nobody would even know. This kind of setup takes a lot of planning however. I personally wouldn't want any maintenance performed on my servers without manual approval. Unattended maintenance sounds a bit too scary for my likes, and in my experience with even small security updates for both Linux and Windows servers, there's bound to be a point where something would fail and you could potentially get in a lot of legal trouble if you fail to meet you SLA, or cause a loss-of-profit due to downtime with a business.

Comment: Re:Lessons not learned (Score 1) 200

I went across the street and told my elderly neighbours (both have since passed) who had survived the great depression and served in world war 2 that no, they had seen worse in the world, and it wasn't going to end, all they had to do was change the batteries in their smoke detectors and get a good nights sleep.

Well THERE'S the problem right there! Your neighbors were in charge of fixing the DMV's software!

Comment: Re:Already happened? (Score 1) 280

by Culture20 (#47421737) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

people who want other people to think that are smart, but aren't actually smart enough to do science, you know: philosophers.

remember kids: philosophers are to science what homeopaths are to medicine.

And also remember that anyone with a Ph.D. in a science field isn't a scientist. They're a doctor of philosophy. Without philosophy, science doesn't exist.

"The geeks shall inherit the earth." -- Karl Lehenbauer