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Comment: Re:On the subject of games (Score 4, Interesting) 200

by Iftekhar25 (#34098556) Attached to: Developing <em>StarCraft 2</em> Build Orders With Genetic Algorithms

Well, to be fair there's a lot more to SC2 than just build-orders. :-) Build orders are mainly concerned with the "macro" aspect of SC2 gameplay, which is base management and economy, and they're also relevant only in the opening. Everything past the 7 or 8-minute mark is beyond build orders. Good micro (unit-level manipulation of movement and actions), harassment of workers, and timed expansions all kick in after that point, and those become the difference between winning a game and losing a game.

Also, there is an element of "good practices" in SC2. Rushes, especially "all-in" rushes (referred to by TFA) are generally considered bad practice. Beating your opponent every time is cool, but this is usually indicative of a game imbalance that Blizzard will probably patch at some point down the line, at which point you'll rapidly fall in the leagues as you lose to high-level players clued in on countering that or who simply have the good practices to beat it (like early scouting, etc.).

The other (more important) factor is that a gamer specializing in an all-in rush deteriorates his/her gameplay, because he won't have the variety to compensate for a failure of that rush. A rush usually means a sacrifice of something or the other (the tight game-mechanics of an SC2 opening means there's always an opportunity cost; to get that extra army, your economy suffers, or to get those extra resource-collectors, your army will be smaller). All-in rushes, and rushes in general sacrifice some thing or the other which a good opponent can exploit if he/she manages to push back the rush. Someone over-playing one tactic will lack the skills to compensate for its failure, so varying one's game by mastering different build-orders and plays is the better way to do this (if slower).

+ - Tech Sector Slow to Hire-> 1

Submitted by Iftekhar25
Iftekhar25 (802052) writes "The New York Times has a frontpage article about soaring unemployment rates for IT in the US (6 percent) despite a tech sector that is thirsting for engineering talent. It reads: '[Many] high-tech companies large and small say they are struggling to find highly skilled engineering talent in the United States. "We are firing up our college recruiting program, enduring all manner of humiliation to try to fill these jobs," said Glenn Kelman, chief executive of Redfin, an online brokerage agency for buying and selling homes that is based in Seattle and San Francisco. "I do think we're still chasing them, not the other way around."'"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Stupid Flamebait Topic... (Score 1) 436

by Iftekhar25 (#32664184) Attached to: Developers Expect iOS and MacOS To Merge

This is a stupid, flamebait, troll's topic. "iOS and OS X will merge, THEREFORE... all apps will be solely distributed by Apple in a walled garden."

Where's the logical connection there? How do you get from one to another? Why not conclude that since iOS and OS X will merge, the app distribution model will completely open up like on OS X? Mac OS X doesn't even have an activation key, for goodness sake. Apple is the patron of many an open source project, including WebKit which is the most prolific rendering engine on mobile devices. No, no, the geek outrage on /. is reserved for the App Store.

If anything, Apple has shown itself to be responsive to the market. From opening up the SDK, to multitasking, to a host of other issues, they wear their ignorance on their sleeve and they have shown themselves to be responsive, and when the market speaks, Apple will, I believe, listen.

If it doesn't, it will fade away into obscurity like many tech companies before it. Sheesh.

This topic (and most of the ensuing Apple-hating group think on slashdot) is sheer bullshit. I got karma to burn, make my day.

Comment: Re:I'm a Muslim... (Score 4, Informative) 677

by Iftekhar25 (#32408202) Attached to: Pakistan Lifts Ban After Facebook Deletes Offending Page

I agree with you on that but it's during these times that Muslims least want to be identified as such. Muslims watch the same news you do and we have a pretty good idea what's going through the average person's mind. And it's not your fault either, that's the admission: if I was not a Muslim I'd be pretty mad at Muslims too (in fact even as a Muslim I'm fairly annoyed).

And so the moderates are kind of, I feel from personal experience, in limbo. Now is the worst possible time I can imagine to have to admit being even remotely associated with people I deeply disagree with and, in fact, have very little in common with.

It's really a weird spot to be in. They're a half a world away, I disagree with them (and honestly kind of dislike them), but somehow I need to dissociate myself from them.

It's an unenviable position to be in for any reasonable person, Muslim or not. All reasonable dialogue is drowned out by shouts of exclusion from both sides. The best time to talk is usually after the full-throated yelling has ended, and is best demonstrated by actions rather than words.

These things really set back that long term, grassroots dialogue back. Depressing.

Comment: I'm a Muslim... (Score 5, Interesting) 677

by Iftekhar25 (#32407242) Attached to: Pakistan Lifts Ban After Facebook Deletes Offending Page

And even if I am offended (which I reserve the right to be), I don't think any of this should be happening (i.e., censorship). There has been defamatory material on the prophet for centuries, and in fact were around even during his time. This is nothing new; anyone as prominent as him had to have grown pretty thick skin to get anything done.

His followers 14 centuries on, however, can't seem to follow in his footsteps even half as much as they claim they do.

Every time something like this comes up, I try to dig a hole and disappear best I can. Yet another dysfunctional government like Bangladesh or Pakistan come up with a way to do their magical rabble-rousing and distract from the real issues at hand: economic development, education, and healthcare. All of which they are failing *miserably* at.

This is all *political*. Almost all Muslims (both in the "West" and in the "East") have no beef with anyone or anything, and just want to go ahead living their lives. These idiots in government, who can't even ensure their citizens get basic utilities like garbage collection and electricity, are spending their energy on some drawings, which is perverse on multiple levels.

The minority here is basically speaking for the majority. And honestly... the majority (like me) are looking to dig their own holes as well. We don't want to stick our heads out because we don't want the confrontation. This isn't something we particularly care about. I honest to goodness don't want to argue about the merits and demerits of my faith with some of the slashdotters on here, who are convinced that Muslims "don't belong."

But someone's gotta say it. Most of us are not like this. Most of us just want to get on with our lives. Please don't let the vocal minority dominate the debate. This is political distraction tactics and has little or nothing to do with free speech, Facebook, or the prophet.

Comment: Re:several interesting issues (Score 1) 647

by Iftekhar25 (#29186349) Attached to: Apple To Ship Mac OS X Snow Leopard On August 28

Oh, really?! I was waiting for Snow Leopard so I could make the jump from Tiger in one go, and then it sounded like you couldn't do that!

Are you sure this is possible? Because their marketing certainly seems to strongly *suggest* that it's not. They're saying, and I quote:

Snow Leopard Upgrade Requirements

Snow Leopard requires an Intel-based Mac. Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard users, buy the upgrade. Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger users, buy the Mac Box Set.

Find out which upgrade is right for you.

Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard): Upgrade your Mac by purchasing Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

Mac OS X v10.4 (Tiger): Upgrade by purchasing the Mac Box Set, which includes Snow Leopard, iLife â(TM)09, and iWork â(TM)09.

I'm thinking, "what would Apple do," and it might be possible they'll block upgrades from v10.4, so I might have to back up all my data, clear my hard-drive and do a clean install.

What's your take on that?

And I'm not doing this just because I'm cheap, but because I already purchased iWork '09, and I don't want to pay for it again.

Comment: Re:Talk about a misleading title (Score 5, Insightful) 429

by Iftekhar25 (#28689591) Attached to: Most Companies Won't Deploy Windows 7 &mdash; Survey

Mod parent up.

This survey means absolutely nothing. It was taken before Microsoft announced a release date, and that means it's no longer relevant.

Considering that, the number is quite strong.

Windows 7 has a lot of mindshare as "Microsoft [finally] gets it right."

I don't mind burning some karma here, but you gotta call it like you see it.

NASA

"Dark Flow" Outside Observable Universe 583

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-comes-galactus dept.
DynaSoar writes "NASA astrophysicists have discovered what they claim is something outside the observable universe exerting an effect on the observable. The material is pulling clusters of galaxies towards a region of space known not to contain sufficient matter to create the effect. They can only speculate on what the material is and how space might differ there: 'In these regions, space-time might be very different, and likely doesn't contain stars and galaxies (which only formed because of the particular density pattern of mass in our bubble). It could include giant, massive structures much larger than anything in our own observable universe. These structures are what researchers suspect are tugging on the galaxy clusters, causing the dark flow.'"
Programming

+ - Are you proud of your code? 6

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I have a problem and I am hoping /. group therapy is the cure, so get on with the +5 comments, post haste! I am downright embarrassed by the quality of my work; specifically, my code. It is buggy, slow, fragile, and a nightmare to maintain. Documentation, requirements, automated tests? Does not exist. Do you feel the same way? If so, then what is holding you back from realizing your full potential? More importantly, what if anything are you planning to do about it? This picture, which many of you have already seen, captures several project failure modes. It would be humorous if it weren't so depressingly true. I enjoy programming and have from a young age (cut my teeth on BASIC on an Apple IIe). I have worked for companies large and small in a variety of languages and platforms. Sadly the one constant in my career is that I am assigned to projects that drift, seemingly aimlessly, from inception to a point where the client runs out of funding and the project is abandoned. Like many young and idealistic university graduates I hoped to spend my life programming passionately, but ten years later I look in the mirror and see a whore. I'm just doing it for the money. Have any developers here successfully lobbied their company to stop or cut back on 'cowboy coding' and adopt best practices? I'm not talking about the methodology-of-the-week, I'm referring to good old fashioned advice like keeping SQL out of the UI layer. For the big prize: has anyone convinced their superiors that the customer isn't always right and saying no once in awhile is the best course of action? Thanks in advance for your helpful advice."
Microsoft

+ - Researchers blast Vista Service Pack 1

Submitted by Stony Stevenson
Stony Stevenson (954022) writes "A group of researchers has described Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista Service Pack 1 as a "performance dud". Researchers from the EXO Performance Network claimed that a series of in-house benchmark tests showed that users hoping to receive a speed boost from the update will be disappointed. "After extensive testing of Release To Manufacture and SP1-patched versions of Vista it seems clear that the hoped-for performance fixes that Microsoft has been hinting at have not materialised," the group said."
Space

+ - More solar panel problems for ISS

Submitted by rufey
rufey (683902) writes "This week there have been two pieces of bad news from the International Space Station. First was the discovery of metal shavings inside a problematic rotary joint used to keep one set of solar panels in the optimal position for power generation. At the close of a subsequent spacewalk, after it was relocated to its permanent location, the unfurling of the 4B solar panel resulted in it tearing in two places. A spacewalk is now planned for November 4th to attempt to fix the tear. The upcoming spacewalk is not without risks, including the remote possibility of electrocution since it is impossible to stop the solar panel from generating electricity during the repair attempt. NASA says the ripped wing needs to be fixed or the solar rotary joint problem solved before any more shuttles can fly to the space station and continue construction. With a hard deadline of 2010 for Shuttle retirement, NASA does not have much wiggle room in the schedule in order to finish ISS construction."
Privacy

+ - UK to imprison for inability to decrypt data

Submitted by mrbluze
mrbluze (1034940) writes "Ars technica has an article describing new laws which come into effect on 1st November in the UK. Up to 2 and 5 years imprisonment can be inflicted on any person who refuses or cannot provide keys or decrypt data as requested by police or military for criminal or anti-terror purposes, respectively. From the article:

The Home Office has steadfastly proclaimed that the law is aimed at catching terrorists, pedophiles, and hardened criminals — all parties which the UK government contends are rather adept at using encryption to cover up their activities.
It refers to a potential problem faced by international bankers who would be wary to bring their encryption keys into the UK. Some how I doubt that is the real problem with the law."

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.

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