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Comment: AOpen AX4B 533 Tube (Score 1) 489

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) 200

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) 412

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) 160

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.

Comment: Expert System (Score 1) 160

by DarthVain (#47401837) Attached to: The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

Makes me recall the project I did for AI class back in university. Built an Expert System using VB (v6 probably) and Access (ya ya I know), where I took a pub that was a favorite in the City, that had 30+ different beers on tap. I then classified each beer by a number of different metrics (dark, light, ale, etc...). The user would then answer a number of questions about what their drink preferences were, and at the end, the system would spit out beer recommendations.

Was a pretty small easy fun system to build! As I recall I got a pretty good mark. Probably helped a lot of the professors used to frequent the pub. Wonder if any of them had some fun with the system "testing" how accurate it was....

Comment: Beach Volleyball (Score 1) 220

I think the real reason is popularity and ratings.

I think it is very easy to say that there are WAY more guys playing video games than girls. Of that ratio, I would also say it is very easy to assume that of that subset it is even further segregated by having WAY more guys interested in playing e-sports than girls also. Due to the simple inequity in numbers, girls and guys being equal at e-sports aside, very few girls will make it anywhere in e-sports. The same way as making a hockey team out of Canadians who have a population of say 1,000,000 who play the Hockey, VS say Italy who have maybe 1,000. If you make a sports league, how many Italians will make the big show? Answer: Zero.

Add to that, the ONLY people that actually watch or pay any money to e-sports, are people already in e-sports or gamers, who as already discussed are predominantly all male. Do you know what would be more popular than today's e-sports? Female e-sports, the cuter the better. Well they be as good as the guys? Hell no. Does it matter? Nope. They would probably have more viewership than the guys, simply due to the audience. Bare in mind these are all YOUNG guys also for the most part.

Anyway, call it right or wrong, but I would bet that is where it was coming from. Probably even more so if lead by a bunch of sexist Koreans. Heck I remember a thing in gamer news a few years ago about a girl gamer group that had everyone fixated for awhile... Anyway if you market is young males, combining girls and video games is not a bad way to make money and popularity.

I think it is a numbers game, and to include girls on any meaningful level you need to segregate, and while maybe not for completely altruistic reasons, not really in the sexist guys are better at video games than girls... Heck if you wanted to really spin it, I would say it might be a good way to draw more interest of girls to the sport, increasing population, allowing for fairer competition eventually among the sexes...

Comment: Re:I'm not so sure... (Score 2) 185

by DarthVain (#47379081) Attached to: Judge Frees "Cannibal Cop" Who Shared His Fantasies Online

Pretty sure the differences between "fantasy" and "conspiring" are what ACTIONS you actually take to plot or do something.

Writing about how to make a bomb, or talking about it, could just be fantasy. Buying the components, constructing things, etc... point to a more real intent.

Likely it is a judgement call, but likely based on what evidence. Context is likely a big thing. Talking on a forum is one thing, then again directed cooperation, and planning might be something else.

In this case, the act of using a police DB to select victims was probably seen not only as an illegal act in itself, but also an ACTION towards perpetrating a conspiracy. Logically the police officer knew what he was doing was illegal, would put his job in jeopardy, is it likely that this was only done to satisfy a fantasy, or in preparation for committing a crime?

One Judge clearly thought that it was, the other has read more 1984, but should maybe read it again... As it was about people in authority abusing power for their own ends in the future... Either way it isn't really a clear case, and the guy did serve max sentence for the DB access crime...

That said I just finished watching Hannibal so this is probably all part of his master plan...

Comment: IANAL... (Score 2) 286

by DarthVain (#47335375) Attached to: What To Do If Police Try To Search Your Phone Without a Warrant

The first thing you should do is avoid eye contact, slowly back away, making calm reassuring noises. You should also keep your arms wide; it makes you look bigger and less like prey. Finally, you should lie on the ground, and play dead. They will quickly lose interest and move on. Do not run, as it will trigger their hunter/prey instincts.

If however they start to eat you, you should start to fight back vigorously.

Or if you are really worried about it, encrypt your phone and lock it...

Comment: Double Dipping (Score 2) 454

by DarthVain (#47335189) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

It is all about the details and perspective really. It is usually really hard for people to understand what is going on behind the numbers as opposed to simply taking the values at face value. There is always the cause VS causality issue as well.

Didn't read the actual article (bc frankly I don't care that much), but I did read the abstract. My thoughts are this: So those deaths that were found to be attributable to alcohol, most of them are not "direct" but rather "attributed". So technically the alcohol didn't kill, the abrupt stopping of the car into a tree did (or the blunt trauma caused by said tree really). Not only that, but many of these "causes" are more like "contributed to" rather than attributed to. That is more like a percentage, not a whole. Not to mention how far down the cause train do you want to go... what caused the drinking, depression? What caused the depression, impotence? So on and etc... Now on all those things, car crash, liver problems, etc... that single death is counted exactly how many times? Then you take those extrapolated values and compare them to population data? Laughable. If however your went through your numbers and made decisions based on some threshold or determined tolerance, to count the one death to exactly one and only one issue, then removed those values from all other counts, and then compared it to population data, it would be somewhat meaningful. Otherwise all you are saying is booze is associated with a bunch of stuff that can kill you, which pretty much everyone knows already.

I recently had a similar issue doing analysis for a client. Where statistically values fell into more than one camp. If you add them all up, you are going to get a number much larger than your actual population. In that instance, I suggested evaluating each individual point by a set agreed upon criteria, which would put it into one particular bucket and not multiple buckets. In this manner you can produce meaningful statistics and can include in your analysis the cravat of exactly how you arrived at your values, which is verifiable, repeatable, and defensible. However doing that is a lot of work and computation, though I saw a lot of letters after the names of people doing that research, so perhaps I should assume they also looked at this.... somehow I doubt it however.

I put up my thumb... and it blotted out the planet Earth. -- Neil Armstrong

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