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Comment: I'll say something nice about Comcast for a change (Score 1) 59

by GoodNewsJimDotCom (#49617857) Attached to: Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers At Comcast
Sure you might only get 2-10 Mb/s download compared with other countries many thousand, but the ping times are unrivaled outside a university. If you want high end gaming, it suffices... Part of me longs for 8000 Mb/s internet with low latency because I'm sitting on networking code for an action based MOBA which could allow more players in the same zone than there are people living on Earth now. Forget 64 player limit FPS, have everyone on a single server in a single zone kungfu fighting. But another part of me thinks I wouldn't be able to balance it and it'd be dumb :P

Comment: Re:Two million lines of code (Score 1) 160

by GoodNewsJimDotCom (#49591617) Attached to: US Switches Air Traffic Control To New Computer System
My numbers on how many programming man hours it would take could be under by an order of magnitude or so due to the complicated nature of the software. And I didn't factor in all the other employees required in this huge task. Don't criticize me too hard on quickie back of the envelope calculations.

Comment: Re:Two million lines of code (Score 1) 160

by GoodNewsJimDotCom (#49591585) Attached to: US Switches Air Traffic Control To New Computer System
I make apps. I was converting a web app to cell phone app, and it was around 100,000 lines of code with the game + 2d level editor. I don't think it was any super achievement, but just something a guy like me can do in about a year.

I think if you want to account for all sorts of things like weather, fuel of the planes cycling in the sky, collision pathing avoidance, and so on, it might be very complex. You factor in some functionality you can automate to make air traffic controller's lives less stressful, and I'd think the software could get bloated. 2 million lines sounds like it isn't bloated at all. It sounds right about the right number for next gen air traffic control software. A bloated 20 mil+ line of code would sound like they're trying to automate more than they should be instead of relying on air traffic controller's minds. 2 mil is good to start, see what they like, and move on from there.

Those air traffic controller guys have been on their toes stressing out for decades! Hopefully they should be able to relax a bit, get a feel for the automation, without becoming useless in case of computer failure(I'd make them run drills a few times a year with some hardware/software down).

Barring any stupid bugs: What is nice is that this software can be tested and see if the air traffic controller guys can be happy. If so, have them also be given a end user evaluation observation and see if there is more to be done in the next update. The cool part is you have modernized code that you can just keep updating moving forward. Unlike stuff written 40 years ago, this code should be maintainable and updatable if written by a competent crew. Giving the air traffic controllers a break is long overdue.

What would be interesting is if both systems can run simultaneously in case of emergency or some sort of system failure. Give this new system a breaking in period of about 4 years before worrying about scrapping the old system fully. Anyway, that's what I'd do.

To me, 2 million lines of code sounds good. That's about 20,000 man hours. 20 man years on 20 hour work weeks(you shouldn't expect programmers to just code non stop, give them breaks). If you're paying the coders 150,000$/yr, that's only 3 mil you pay the programmers which is basically free in terms of how important improved air traffic control automation is direly needed.

Comment: Re:Since when (Score 1) 629

by GoodNewsJimDotCom (#49561951) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame
The thing I hate most about Sucralose is that if you don't squint hard enough on the ingredient list, it looks like Sucrose. The first time I encountered that evil poison, I kept wondering why the pop I drank tasted foul as if it had an artificial sweetener. Only months later did I learn of the Sucrolose vs Sucrose deception.

Comment: A stupid/scary thought I had on AI. (Score 2, Interesting) 197

by GoodNewsJimDotCom (#49522841) Attached to: Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer is my AI site for a how to.

One thing I thought about AI is that it will do two things: Concentrate wealth and allow one man to control a perfectly loyal army.

So whoever makes AI really needs to think deep and hard about how to control it with back door access or secret password inputs or something. You'd basically yell some strange series of words to the robots and they'd shut down. The technology could easily be used to have mankind have extra factory workers. But it'd also be be easily abused and exploited for harming people.

So the stupid/scary thought I had is,"Don't shy away from making AI because it could do harm. Be the first guy who does it, so you can put some obfuscated code in there that can shut it down if it goes rampant because a bad guy gave it commands."

Now truth be told, I'm not going to be the first guy who does it. All I know is the rough components/software needed to make it.

Its interesting to think of what society would be like if robots did all the labor. Who gets all the wealth then? The guys who own the robots? I'm sure that's how it'd begin, but as more and more people lost jobs, how will they survive? (we're kinda moving to that now even without AI, but with automation/cheap labor)

Comment: Re:Probably best (Score 1) 649

by GoodNewsJimDotCom (#49514697) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars
Anyway, there's probably studies and stuff that trumps my anecdotal evidence for crashes in a 70s car. I'm not trying to say they're wrong. :P I'm sure cars today are much safer. It's just the low-medium crashes with a 70s car might not require much body work to keep driving, where a new crumple friendly car might have serious work to do. Kinda like how they used to make helmets to be reused, but then they did disposable helmets designed to break when you wreck. The newer helmets are better, no need to risk your brain on a wreck, but the older ones might not be bad if they're all you can afford.

I always wonder why a motorcyclist can get away with passing safety regulations, when cars are so heavily regulated with safety. My theory is that the big auto manufactures just don't want little auto manufactures competing in the US market. If a motorcyclist will get hurt 29x more likely than a car driver, you'd think they'd be more generous on what passes safety in a car.

I'm all for safety, we should all drive safe, but people should have the right to buy super cheap foreign cars with less safety regulations. Even if you're twice as likely to get hurt in a car, you're still 15x better than driving a motorcycle.

Comment: Re:Probably best (Score 1) 649

by GoodNewsJimDotCom (#49514585) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars
I owned a 74 chevy nova as my first car. I was racing with my friends. I wrecked my car into a guard rail, and jammed it back a bunch of feet. My car's damage? It had about a 1/2 inch dent which wasn't noticeable since I had so many other dents :) Big ol steel bodied cars are okay for people in them, but not so much the things you hit... kinda like how trucks operate...

I live in a family of people who can do pretty well under the hood for repairs. They've said they think it'd be great if auto manufacturers would go the reverse direction and make vehicles designed to be worked on. I'm not surprised car manufacturers are admitting they've been designing vehicles harder and harder to work on.

I don't know how many of you watch the auto auction sites on television, but those old 60s/70s vehicles seem to only go for a couple grand. If you're in the market for a car and you're low on cash, a nice shiny chunk of steel could be superior to whatever you might get used locally. Used cars always a risk because the people selling them might be doing it just because the car has hidden problems.

Comment: Re:Microtransactions (Score 1) 150

Hey, I've used micro transactions in games I wrote in the past to be honest! I just personally avoid games I pay for that also have micro transactions. I have enough games in my library that I don't have to lower myself to that level. Also I am not a fan of EA ever since they've been shutting down so many company's offices to slow competition. That is toxic for the game player who wants quality games being released.

Comment: Re:How long (Score 1) 150

The exception was the late 80s. Better graphics = better production budget = more likely to be quality. Judging a game by its graphics ended somewhere around the time 3d was being experimented with, then everything was hit or miss. Even a lot of big budget companies had no idea how to make a 3d game early on...

Comment: Re:Microtransactions (Score 2) 150

Followed by: I should have never bought that blaster battery from EA. I switched over to force sensitive for 100$. They didn't tell me advancing to deeper levels costs incrementally more money. But I get powers other players don't get, soooo worth it. The downside is that there is now permadeath for force sensitive characters, but I can revive myself at any time for 1$ with no loss of experience!

Comment: It'd be nice to have radio on my phone (Score 1) 350

I don't have a data plan so I can't stream. And the 20$ portable radios you buy from Target break after a few months. I'm not sure I foresaw the smart phone revolution, but I did think they'd try and jam as many features into them as they could. Sad they have the FM feature disabled. I listen to radio all day long. It isn't as great rhythmically as old 60s-70s classic rock and 90s alternative, but the lyrics are enriching.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 118

by GoodNewsJimDotCom (#49496973) Attached to: Exploit For Crashing Minecraft Servers Made Public

You don't keep running back to town for a ton of arrows and selling stuff. That's just boring. If you're really trying, you might have even tried to check every time the elite object guy was selling. This was boring.

No hovering next to stairs for easy escape which feels like cheating

Identifying potions, equipment and mushrooms becomes a lot more fun. Um, I have no food left! I guess its time to id the mushrooms and scrolls

Rules: Never take up stairs or recall. If you accidentally recall from id by reading, don't use the store or stairs, just recall back to where you were by buying a scroll( you should have enough gold). If you find down stairs, you don't need to take them until you're ready.

Spoiler strategy:

The only sane approach is Half Troll warrior. It sounds far fetched since they need to eat twice as mutch, but you need the brute strength for extra attacks to fight orcs and trolls before you have: Phial and enough food.

Sell everything you have to buy food/light. You may want to keep your weapon. You may want to add to the challenge by saying no town even to start.

You will want to clear the first 5-10 levels and just go down stairs without resting for wandering monsters.
Once you're about 10-20, you need to figure out if you want to rest or go down in stairs.

I go down in stairs if:
I'm getting low on food, fresh levels are more likely to have food.
There's a boss critter I can't handle. But going down in stairs makes it more challenging, so you might end up spiraling downstairs to a death condition because monsters are too tough.
When light is low, I dive for more light. Remember to make your rest macro remove your light before you rest. If you're really detail oriented, have a light removal macro when you enter rooms with light, but I find you don't need this. Light isn't as big as a problem as food(but is a possible loss condition)
The results is sometimes you dive further than you want to just to get food/light or avoid a boss or situation. Then you need to be aware of monsters that paralyze or breath you can't resist. It feels great when you get a Phial, or pile up satisfy hunger scrolls.

Now other classes can win! I especially started with the cleric/priest/druid or whatever gets a book of satisfy hunger, but I find that Morgoth needs to be whacked in melee, and the best melee is a fighter to do damage quickest. Also there's nothing more annoying than getting belted with a bunch of flames and your spell books all disappear and can't easily be restored. Play around, see what you can do.

No up stairs Angband is a whole new game, one which actually has challenges you can't exploit your way around. I'd say its one of the best games of all time, but few people even know about it. Make sure you get a version with autosquelch so the end levels don't slow you down sorting through trash on the floor.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 118

by GoodNewsJimDotCom (#49496193) Attached to: Exploit For Crashing Minecraft Servers Made Public
Nethack? Angband is the superior choice for digging. If you think its too easy, don't ever take upstairs again, the game is beatable(and adds a whole new couple levels of fun and strategies).

Boulderdash wasn't bad either for an early C64 game when I experienced it. There was something about the rising sun coming over the horizon in more complicated games than atari2600 could provide that just opened a young kid's mind.

In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences. -- R.G. Ingersoll