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Comment: Smallpox: The Movie (Score 1) 190

Sounds like a script from a movie...

Earth 2110 A mutated smallpox pandemic is sweeping the world.
Researchers desperately need an original sample from which to make an vaccine.
Man foolishly destroyed all samples back in the dark years of 2014.
Now a ragtag group of adventurers attempt to find the last remaining sample, the world depends on it!

Comment: I put on my robe and wizard hat... (Score 1) 127

by DarthVain (#47500919) Attached to: Dungeons & Dragons' Influence and Legacy

Table top gaming made its way early into the Internet and computing. Things like MUD, and NetHack (Mines of Moria, etc), Dwarf Fortress. In fact I remember some of my first video games being Curse of the Azure Bonds, and Pools of Radiance, which were both officially licenced AD&D products. Later things like Neverwinter nights, etc... even Skyrim.

Not to mention all the writing (some good, others no so much), such as Forgotten Realms, etc... Much of it had an birth with D&D.

Hell I was at a pub last week and was able to answer a crazy trivia question about an evil fiery demons in Islamic mythology being called Djinn because I remember them from the Monsters Compendium.

Comment: "treating it as an accident" (Score 3, Interesting) 503

by DarthVain (#47481917) Attached to: Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

As someone pointed out in the first thread of this tragedy, this is not the first time something like this has happened.

Obama may be being diplomatic so as to not call the kettle black so to speak. The US accidentally did the same to Iran years ago, except they were in Iran air space, the weapons were fired from a warship, by professional soldiers. Consequently rebels accidentally (and I have no doubt they did) shooting down an airliner, using stolen unfamiliar technology with little or no training by militia in the middle of a civil war seems rather less bad.

Also it dredges up the result which was all dead, and the USA not admitting any blame or fault, and instead writing a check for a few million to throw at the hundreds of victims families.

Comment: Disagree (Score 3, Insightful) 278

by DarthVain (#47474391) Attached to: The debate over climate change is..

It isn't really the science that is being debated, but the economics. They might make a show about it being about the science, but it is really a political debate on economic development. This is the same as "environmental groups" debating wind power citing bird strikes, when really it is about preserving real estate values on cottages.

It is a political debate, because political lines are crossed by climate change. Meaning any meaningful action also *requires* significant change from all parties. However the folks proposing the change, are also those that caused most of the issue by burning fossil fuels to enhance economic and industrial growth over the last 100 years. The same that are now trying to tell booming growth centers like China and India, that they are not allowed to do the same? Yeah, that's going to go over well. Add to that any plan going forward that doesn't include such large producers, is pointless, not to mention politically impossible domestically.

So ya, the debate is entirely political, only the debate isn't really about the actual science at all.

Comment: Re: Maybe, maybe not. (Score 1) 749

by DarthVain (#47456547) Attached to: Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

LOL.

They can do whatever they want. If they aren't currently able to do it, they can create a law that will allow them to do so.

Look at China and Google a few years ago. China said, you must do this. Google said take a hike. China said get out of our country. If you want to do business in a country, you need to follow their rules, no matter how much you dislike them, or move your operations elsewhere. That said the end result of the above was Google doing exactly that. Now which would hurt more, MS not doing business with the US or the US not doing business with MS?

The again this has more far reaching than just MS, as all companies doing business with the US may be affected, so perhaps the US will back down.

That said this is ALREADY happening to entire countries, so I am not sure how a corporation is going to matter much. The US has already done this to the banking system, basically saying that all banks everywhere must comply and give all personal information over to the US in their search for tax evaders. It is supposed to only be used against US citizens, however in practice that will not be the case as many will be fishing trips for possible citizens. This is done. Countries were given the option of not doing business with the US banking system (how many do you think agreed to that?).

So I have a feeling that MS and Co. will bitch and moan for PR purposes, but in the end will capitulate.

Comment: AOpen AX4B 533 Tube (Score 1) 502

I'll see your dedicated audio card and raise you the AOpen AX4B 533 Tube!

http://www.maximumpc.com/artic...

Don't waste your time with a audio card, integrate a GD vacuum tube into your motherboard for the best integrated sound around! If you are an audio nut, nothing like going retro back to putting analog tubes into your digital computer! Time Travel to 2002 may be required however.

I never bought one, but I kind of wish I had just so I had one... maybe I can find a used one for cheap.... :)

Comment: 01/01/1900 (Score 1) 205

Meh. Crap like that happens all the time, Y2K or no. Migrating 400k records stuff is bound to come up, particularly with old data, likely legacy systems, and probably shoddy migrations the 3 previous times this occurred. What is more concerning is the lack of QC or validation that led to the issue. Meaning likely those doing the migration no nothing of the DB contents, or are understaffed and underfunded to the point that no one has time to do it properly.

I've seen 01/01/1900 time date mix ups which is likely a formatting issue combined with assigning NULL values. When you analyse the data (even 400,000) a boatload that say 01/01/1900 sort of stick out as a red flag. From the sounds of it, not only did they not understand the content, but perhaps not the structure and relationships either as how else are you going to mix up data like that? Some weird composite key using two digit birthdays? Yuck. Then again I have had to interpret some pretty ugly "designs" without a shred of any real documentation and it isn't easy. I'm sure they made sense at some time, but after the nth migration, and the nth attached application, and nth half completed enhancement, what you are left with can be pretty confusing.

Comment: Re:Pascal (Score 1) 415

by DarthVain (#47414453) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

I had the last year of intro programming using Pascal at University in 1995. Which was messed up, as they switched over to C. Soooo my second year, not only did I have to do the course material, but I had to figure out an entirely new language. Thanks for that. Though in retrospect, something to get used to in life really, I don't do much real coding at my job (other then SQL), but have dabbled with both Java, and Python more recently. That said I also took a courses on COBOL and Assembly which I haven't exactly used since either... Then again I can also safely say I have never used Calculus again either ;), so it isn't like this sort of thing is limited to programming languages. I know it sounds terrible, but I have probably used more from my old VB days, doing .NET stuff and little scripts for VBA in access and excel (data processing/collection mostly) etc... Most of my recent stuff has been PL/SQL which is a bit of a different cup of tea.

Comment: Disney (Score 1) 49

by DarthVain (#47408993) Attached to: Indie Game Developers Talk About Why They Struck Out On Their Own

Since Disney bought the rights Starwars and Lucas Arts, I would think it would be a much more attractive prospect. Who doesn't want to work on the next Starwars videogame!

Then again if you want to make the next X-Wing VS Tie Fighter, and all they have you do is Cantina Simulator, Degobah Swampville, or Princess Amidala Fashion Workshop for facebook... that might also be very depressing.

Comment: Re:I can't imagine something like that in the U.S. (Score 1) 162

by DarthVain (#47401921) Attached to: The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

The guy obviously has no clue. Look at ANY large IT project in the US.

1) Unions not involved. It is all outsourced to consultants.
2) Consultants hire overseas employees, and overcharge services
3) Blame government, make off like bandits with all the loot.

My favorite recent example was the 600 Million wasted by NY city trying to automate payroll called CityTime.
Please tell me how "Laws, paperwork, unions, paperwork, regulations and paperwork" caused that?
The same "Laws" that sentenced three of the contractors to over 20 years prison?
So much oversight and regulation that a 63$ million dollar contract was able to spend 700$ Million?

Soooo pretty much the EXACT opposite of what that guy is saying. Tighter control and responsible and answerable employees might make IT projects more feasible. However when you have no in house staff, because you outsource everything, well prepared to get hosed.

Two can Live as Cheaply as One for Half as Long. -- Howard Kandel

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