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Comment: I have done lots of both and say C++ absolutely. (Score 1) 111

Basically some asshat at NeXT chose Objective-C and that has sort of percolated through Apple. Originally the only way to do iOS apps was Objective-C; so I learned Objective-C. I hated every minute of it. All those damned, [][]][[. The moment I found an environment where I could go back to C++ I was gone.

So if you have to make an iOS app and you must use the iOS SDK then I guess you should learn objective-c. But under any other circumstances learn C++.

Comment: Re:Thank you Epic (Score 4, Informative) 105

by EmperorOfCanada (#49168037) Attached to: Unreal Engine 4 Is Now Free
Already a few disappointments. One is that the installed app is around 250Mb for what is effectively hello world. Also the whole environment is slow as molasses and I have a mac pro 2013. On the good side I think that I could develop just about anything that popped into my head. I am a bit worried about this being one of those silver bullets where the normal parts are developed so quickly that the project is seemingly 90% done in no time but the fiddly bits then take 10x as long. One other thing is that I like to release my iOS apps going back to iOS 5.1.1

I love cocos2dx but I am starting to balk at the 2d part. They are introducing 3D so that is good. The documentation for cocos2d is sparse. The executables are small and the startup delay isn't too bad. It is 64 bit for IOS (critical). Very multi-platform (Win, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and I think mobile windows). Their release schedule is very fast. Also the C++ is pretty close to the bone which means that the project sort of marches forward at a steady pace including the fiddly bits.

I recently played with Gameplay3d and was actually quite impressed. Very simple and it just sort of works. The only huge thing was that importing assets in from something like Maya was cumbersome and sort of sucked. The documentation is nearly nonexistent (documentation with useful examples) their sample code was trying to show off how they were such efficient coders and didn't separate out each bit of functionality.

The platform that attracts me the most is Openframeworks. Except that they don't yet do 64 bit on iOS which is a show stopper. They are promising this with their 0.9.0 release.

But I might have spoken too soon. I am going to continue now with cocos2d and probably deploy version 1 of my present project in that. But I am going to spend an hour an evening seeing how hard I can push Unreal.

What worries me is that with Unreal I might alter my game to fit their environment which might make for a very beautiful game that isn't much fun instead of the ugly game that I make that is fun.

Comment: Hardly anyone says, "I don't use Google+" (Score 2, Interesting) 136

by EmperorOfCanada (#49163957) Attached to: Google+ Divided Into Photos and Streams, With New Boss
Hardly anyone says, "I don't use Google+". I know people who say, "I don't use Facebook", or "I dumped facebook." but with G+ it is just sort of assumed. Sort of like it is assumed that people don't use MySpace.

The only time anyone I know mentions G+ is when they blah blah about how G is being an ass about linking it to other things. Google tried to make it relevant but offered nothing that was really new. I found the whole circles thing a confused mess.

In fact the only people who I find tend to have a google plus presence also seem to have something to do with Google. Either they work for google or do something with Stanford and thus probably are surrounded by googly people.

I would be curious to know how much money has been spent trying to prop up G+?

Comment: Who decides as to what is correct (Score 3, Insightful) 356

by EmperorOfCanada (#49160989) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links
If a site says the world is flat and is filled with rationals about it being flat then that site should probably come up on a "flat earth" search. Yet we can all agree that the facts in this case are completely bogus.

But what about inconvenient facts, for instance the various western governments put out employment numbers that are pretty hard core "facts" yet other people will look at the same "facts" and realize that they have had massive amounts of spin put on them. For instance in my neck of the woods they desperately hide the fact that most jobs being created are really crappy. Thus these "facts" then become politicized.

Or what about someone writing about NSA evildoing? Those are facts that the government would love to go away. Or what if every stock analyst suddenly agreed that Google was doomed as a stock?

Then there is group think. Prior to the 2008 financial crisis there were some "crackpots" who called it exactly and made fortunes based on their predictions; yet those facts flew in the face of general consensus. The same in economics. One joke at many economics universities is that the questions never change on the final exam, it is the answers that change year to year. If you look at something such as to the best time to loosen monetary policy and every major economic school has its own "facts".

I don't think that Google's search engine problems come from facts it is more that SEO whores like huffpo or the various directories are driving all the results to their crap sites. I don't know how many times I have searched for a company that has a perfectly good site that has not been through an SEO pimping putting it on page 3 or more while the first many pages are all kinds of crap yellowpages that ask "Is this your site?" where they want to upsell the owners on crap services.

Comment: Ha ha they used JAVA; morons! (Score 0) 106

by EmperorOfCanada (#49155315) Attached to: Blu-Ray Players Hackable Via Malicious Discs
I have hated blueray since the day it came out. I hated the initial cost of the players. I hated that the first generation of players were often incompatible with later disks. I hated that they made you watch FBI warnings, company logos, etc. I hated that they wanted me to rent them from sleazy stores like blockbuster. I hated that Sony slimed the HD DVD thing. I hated that you couldn't get a reasonably priced blueray burner for a computer. I hated the exorbitant cost of a blank blueray for a computer.

But if I had known that the core of the technology had anything to do with Java I wouldn't have hated them, I would have pitied them. Sort of like I don't hate a cripple who walks slowly in front of me. It's not their fault their crippled. I so I guess it isn't Sony's fault that they are retarded.

Comment: Most developers suck, even more "rockstars" suck! (Score 1) 145

by EmperorOfCanada (#49125251) Attached to: Attention, Rockstar Developers: Get a Talent Agent
Most of the developers that I have met really sucked. While I have met some stunning rockstars who could code up solutions that were magical on so many levels the bulk of the "rockstars" were simply blowhards that were probably more destructive than the worst boring developers. These were people who would literally dig into the kernal of Linux instead of writing a simple python script. But the sure sign that a "rockstar" is in fact just a blowhard is when they become religious zelots for one technology or another. They will make statements like "Procedural coding is so 20th century" or "You must recode your entire well oiled system using language X in order to add that one feature."

These "rockstars" usually come in and create massive amounts of work. Destroy pretty much everything and then leave before the cleanup is barely started.

Whereas the true rockstars will simply come in, quietly code for a short while, and solutions are born. Often these are things that other people can then work with making them better as well. If there is horrible work that does have to be done then again the rockstar will quietly nod, find the few in-house good programmers, spend a weekend or two, and then present a working robust replacement for the terrible system. Not something that is "almost done" (as in half baked) but a complete solution with in-house talent that can work with it.

If anything the surest sign of a rockstar is that there will be little or no squabbling. If there is any squabbling with the in-house developers it will be with the resident blowhard who will be heard saying, "That system won't work, we need to stay the course and use the technology that I have 8 certifications in."

Comment: AI endpoint is key (Score 1, Interesting) 71

There is a point where the first marginal barely even an AI, wouldn't win any Turning contest, largely useless AI will be created. But if the algorithm is evolutionary in nature it could be the point where it then improves itself, then improves itself, and so on until pretty much out of nowhere you have an indisputable AI.

I regularly employ genetic algorithms and can say without hesitation that I have little idea how they got to where they got and the results are often fantastic. But my code is usually a single layer. That is I have a target, I set up the parameters it needs to explore, and then I set it loose. This is because the number of permutations exceed what my computer can handle in a reasonable time (a-la travelling salesmen problem) and a GA will get me close enough much faster.

But if I added a second layer where the GA was noodling with my code then I suspect interesting things could happen; not an AI but I doubt that I could comprehend the code it would generate. This will be the route to an AI. Basically the key will be an algorithm that generates not only code that we can't comprehend but generates the next generation of the GA which generates another generation of the GA and so on until we have code so far removed that when it works it will be just like where we are with understanding the overall design of the brain (we largely don't).

What this boils down to is that I very much doubt that AI will be the step by step process like most of human endeavour where we can see it coming but one where it is like trying to open pandora's box "just a crack". One day we will have an interesting algorithm and that evening we will have AI. Sort of a directed emergent property.

One other bet is that it won't be an "AI" researcher who will build it. It will be someone working on some other NP hard algorithm such as protein folding or image recognition.

To me the only question is one of math. Is there a minimum processing power required for an AI that can deal with a real time universe? At that point we can at least calculate when we might have an AI that is something that needs to be dealt with. I am also fairly certain that the moment we cross that computational threshold an AI will soon follow.

Comment: Blech (Score 0) 194

by EmperorOfCanada (#49107523) Attached to: The Imitation Game Fails Test of Inspiring the Next Turings
The technology in the movie more reminded me of metropolis where the guy is having to needlessly move all the levers. This was a movie mostly about relationships and how it sucked to be gay in mid century England.

It also taught me that if you give an apple to some engineers they will put their careers on the line and entirely stop opposing your ideas that they had previously vehemently opposed.

Maybe the only true to life lesson is that if your government owes you a favour that you can't collect.

Comment: Re:Credibility to rumors? (Score 1) 196

by EmperorOfCanada (#49102721) Attached to: A123 Sues Apple For Poaching Employees
Yes, a number of people are thinking that an Apple/Tesla merger or blending of some sort might be in the works. I think that the two cultures are different in too many ways so I don't think so but who knows.

As for the complexity of steering I was referring to how many cars are switching to a fly by wire system that requires so much less experience engineeringwise. Before when someone would create a steering system from scratch it would often feel "wrong' this was more art than science and required people who could look at a design and know that it wouldn't work. Now you just make it work from an engineering perspective which is easy and then fiddle with the feedback and inputs until it feels "right".

As for when self driving cars really arrive (i.e. can be a taxi) I think that it will be much sooner than later. In that once there are a statistically significant number of cars (maybe 0.001%) and they don't crash then people who lose loved ones to manually driven cars will begin to scream for all SDCs.

Most manufacturers are making the switch to entirely fly by wire designs so adding automatic driving won't be an assembly line challenge. Thus if a viable self driving system comes along the manufactures will be able to implement it very quickly.

Comment: Re:Credibility to rumors? (Score 3, Insightful) 196

by EmperorOfCanada (#49094163) Attached to: A123 Sues Apple For Poaching Employees
Apple's expertise in cellphones was considered to be a joke when they were rumoured to be working on a phone. People pointed at them and laughed saying, "Motorola and Nokia will eat them for a snack."

There were huge scholarly style articles breaking down the myriad of reasons apple couldn't succeed. I even read an interview with a blackberry employee who said that when they saw the iPhone they were all relieved that it was going to be a flop as they knew with certainty that it could only have a 1 hour battery life as a computer plus a screen plus a transmitter would require a battery that was much larger than the one that must be inside. Then the guy said that blackberry crapped its collective pants when they got their first iPhone and found that it had a pretty good battery life and that inside the thing was mostly battery as Apple had managed to uber shrink the computer/transmitter part and that the screen was really thin.

I am not saying that Apple will succeed but that to suggest that they will fail because they haven't been doing this for 50 years would be foolish.

That said; one of my theories is that they don't really intend on building a production car but to build awesome prototypes that will teach them what an all electric self driving car will be like and how apple could sell things that will make it better. Plus they will no doubt build up a portfolio of car patents that will pay for the whole effort.

But on the other hand, self driving cars combined with electric cars combined with new materials such as aluminum and carbon fibre are a transition point for the automotive industry. This might allow a competitor such as apple to completely end run the industry because all those years making gas driven drive trains and the complexities in making a great steering system all vanish in this transition. This might then leave the car companies with a legacy of old school engineers who have "seniority" a legacy of pension costs, a legacy of factories not suitable for modern materials, a general lack of computer knowledge, and a legacy of sleazy dealerships. All things that would hold the old school people back.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn