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Comment: Re:Still no decent source browser integration (Score 1) 151

by Dixie_Flatline (#48199537) Attached to: GNU Emacs 24.4 Released Today

Oh, thanks for the tip. I'm using ECB...sort of. I'm mostly just using helm to search through all my files and trying to force semantic to parse through my humongous project and not screw up the class referencing. :/

Projectile looks interesting--I'll give it a shot. Any other stuff you like? :)

Comment: Re:Fantasy based laws. (Score 1) 458

by Dixie_Flatline (#48188773) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

Even if the person is never weaned off the images, as long as they never offend against a real person, I'd consider that a win.

Every once in a while a story comes up about a doctor that says that these people should be protected if they come out to a medical professional so they can get treatment, and inevitably in the comments, people scream about locking them up and punishing them right away, even if they've never done anything wrong. As a consequence, these people DO go on to offend because they can't get help, and two lives are ruined in the process. I never understand why, if we're interested in harm prevention and reduction, that they'd allow even one innocent child to be hurt when that could be prevented with significantly more humane laws.

(Actually, from what I understand, that IS how it works in Canada--you can ask for treatment and get it--and I hear there are good results here. I don't know the comparative statistics, though.)

Comment: Re: Moral Imperialism (Score 5, Insightful) 458

by Dixie_Flatline (#48188711) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

Don't forget Australia's law where if the person looks young, it counts as CP. It effectively puts a ban on taking pictures of women with small breasts (if they're in their 20s or otherwise look young). http://theweek.com/article/ind...

What this means is that it would be illegal to take pictures of a young-ish looking 24 year old with A-cups, but perfectly legal to have sex with her 16-year-old sister as long as you didn't take pictures of it.

Remember, laws always exactly reflect what is moral. If it's not illegal, it's not immoral!

Comment: Re:First taste of Mac OS X (Score 1) 303

by Dixie_Flatline (#48170297) Attached to: OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

I prefer the OS X method of window/application switching. But more to the point, I think expose is a better method than the alt-tab method, straight up. You can do it for all windows or just the application you're in. I've always found it faster. It's something I miss when I'm on other systems. (I've tried the Windows versions, but I've yet to find one that's nearly as good.)

Comment: Re:First taste of Mac OS X (Score 1) 303

by Dixie_Flatline (#48169469) Attached to: OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

You may want to look into uBar (ubarapp.com)--I've heard good things about it. I'm considering it myself, though I've never had problems with the dock.

Different systems have different control paradigms. The fact that things don't work the way you expect doesn't mean they're bad, just that they're different.

For instance, cycling through open applications makes a lot more sense to me. I really like that I can raise a single window without bringing the entire application to the front. This is something that consistently infuriates me in Windows with certain applications. I also like that an inactive window that you have your cursor in will still respond to the scroll wheel. (I know that's something that works in most XWindows window managers, but it doesn't in my Windows work environment.)

Anyway, a lot of the functionality can be hidden, but that's why Macs are popular among us that are buying computers for other people. Most of what you want is available in some form or another. You may have to learn some new tricks, just as I'd have to relearn a bunch of tricks if I went back to Linux or OpenBSD. Context switches are never free.

Comment: Re:Inequality isn't harmful (Score 1) 832

by Dixie_Flatline (#48162221) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Yeah, you're right. I was distracted and I didn't complete my thought.

It basically boils down to this: large accumulations of wealth are effectively outside of the economy, and inheritors of wealth wield outsized influence with respect to the contributions they've made to society.

These massive disparities in wealth would be fine if there were reason to believe that we really are all equal under the law, but I've seen more evidence against that than for it. The Waltons are effectively a new form of landed gentry, contributing little, but manipulating the system to be favourable to them and to keep other people from displacing them. We can see that money effectively creates a new tier of citizen that exists beyond the normal confines of the legal system--not only can they pay for legislation favourable to them, the super-rich generally get lighter sentences than everyone else, and can afford to buy better lawyers to begin with.

Comment: Re:Inequality isn't harmful (Score 4, Insightful) 832

by Dixie_Flatline (#48160971) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Inequality is harmful when it persists without merit.

That is, the Walton family has made a lot of money from Wal-Mart, but the wealth of the youngest Waltons isn't money that they earned, it's money that came to them because of how they were born.

Sounds like a landed gentry, to me. I have zero problems with Warren Buffet being rich, but it seems unreasonable that his children would also be multi-multi-billionaires just because he made a lot of good decisions. And Buffet agrees with me, since he's giving away most of his money and leaving his children with a lot, but not much in comparison to the total value of his fortune.

The vastly wealthy horde money over generations, and the fact is that money begets money. If you have a million dollars and invest it in something that returns 7% a year, you can live off of that forever if you're careful. You don't have to work or do anything at all--money and markets do all the work for you. If you're a multi-millionaire, you've made some money by your efforts but far more because after you have a lot, the rest is easier to come by.

Comment: Re:On one hand... (Score 1) 564

by Dixie_Flatline (#48149901) Attached to: Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

I dunno, it might make up for all the things they've used to kill people over the years. If they can make more money producing reactors than selling missiles that blow up people that have oil that we're fighting over, they'll save more people than they ever killed. Available fusion power suddenly makes all sorts of other problems moot because it suddenly doesn't matter how energetically expensive the process is, we'll just throw more reactors at it, and that solves a lot of resource issues in the world.

Comment: Re:Cell (Score 1) 338

Probably. But that's a big trade-off to make in this era of ever-increasing graphical demands. We're talking about a game that's running at 900p and people aren't happy that it isn't 1080p. If you offload AI tasks to a GPU, those are cycles that you're not getting back for rendering later.

Additionally, it's much too early in the generation for anyone to have any decent libraries that could do such a thing, even if they were willing to make a much simpler game graphically in exchange for something more complicated gameplay/AI-wise.

From a gameplay standpoint, good AI is almost entirely smoke and mirrors. There's no meaningful difference from an agent being smart because they're calculating a lot of different options and picking the best one, and me programming an agent to do something that LOOKS smart. When they worked on the AI for the original Halo, the little grunt guys would throw themselves on grenades so that only one of them would die instead of the whole group. Playtesting revealed that players thought that was stupid (why would he kill himself? That's dumb!) even though that's actually a fairly clever thing to do. In the end, I believe they just upped the HP of everything--that had the most positive effect on the perception of AI. Just taking longer to die was interpreted as something being 'smarter'.

Comment: Re:Cell (Score 5, Interesting) 338

Disclaimer: I work for Ubisoft. I did not work on the game in question and I won't comment on it.

Now, the PS3. I have a friend that's made a very good living for the last few years doing nothing but PS3 optimisation. He'd go in 3 days a week and make more than I would in a year. The PS3 setup was fiendishly complicated and difficult to wring real performance out of. Even by the end of the cycle, I'd say there were only a few games that significantly made use of the potential power that was available in the PS3. On paper, it was impressive. In practice, it was a mild nightmare. You had completely different tools than when you were making a 360 game. The compiler was different. You had to be a lot more meticulous about where data was and how you were moving it around.

I worked on the PS4 earlier this year, and it's dead easy to use. The tools integrate well into the environment, and you don't have nearly the same optimisation headaches that you did on the PS3. It's trivially faster than the XBone, and there's virtually no platform specific code (except for the obvious stuff, like connecting to the respective online services, etc.)

From a developer perspective, the PS4 is a lot nicer than the PS3. That'll mean more simultaneous releases on the PS4 and XBone, and this time there's no delay before the PS4 is at or past parity with its competition (which is more important for Sony and Sony fans, really).

That's just my opinion on the matter, but Sony really listened to the developer community when it came to tools and ease of use. It may be less interesting, but interesting generally means 'troublesome', not 'exciting' when you're writing software.

Comment: Re:What's in a name (Score 1) 427

Yes, yes I would. Geez, what's in a name? Do you really need it to be called something more aggressive and manly? It's a tool used for chatting with other people. I talk to my Google-employed friends using Hangouts. I chat to my Human-Rights-Lawyer friend using Hangouts. And if it were called "The Pink-Lace Chatroom App" and my friends preferred that, I'd use it. I don't care--my applications are there to get things done, not impress people with their branding.

Are you somehow concerned about the perception people will have of you if you use something to talk to people you know? I figure the only thing my apps say about me is that I know people and I like to talk to them. I'm only a few years away from 40 at this point--maybe it's just my age that makes it so wildly unimportant to me what the name of the application is.

Honestly, I think Hangouts is among the worst of my chat applications. It's among the least reliable, and has the fewest features. If they decided to make it 10 times better and give it the name 'My Little Pink Unicorn' as you suggested, I would 100% keep using it. What's wrong with pink unicorns anyway?

You know that feeling when you're leaning back on a stool and it starts to tip over? Well, that's how I feel all the time. -- Steven Wright

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