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Comment: Depends on medium and content of the test (Score 1) 776

by Korbeau (#42544959) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Timed Coding Tests Valuable?

I would be nice to have more insights as to the content of the test and the medium used.

If it is a complex algorithm (for instance I don't know, writing a compression method, an digital filter etc.) these kind of questions are better suited for pen&paper where the candidate will mostly spill out pseudo code, ideas and comments. As others said, in such a test I would not expect the candidate to write flawless code, but it will give me an idea as to whether he knows basic concepts of programming, possibly of a particular language, and most importantly if he knows how to think.

On the other hand, if you are given 45 minutes in front of a computer, I would expect it to be a very very simple task. This could be for instance writing a form where the user inputs some values that get serialized on disk. I would more be interested to know if the candidate is as fluent as he says with the tools provided. I would expect him to finish on time and evaluate the real quality of the code. Or if he had problems this would be a base of discussion as to what happened. Of course, in such a context I don't see why this test would not be "open books" with access to the Internet and any reference documentation needed.

Both tests are valid enough I think. But mixing them (doing a pen&paper test for code that is meant to compile flawlessly or doing a seated test with a complex algorithm) is just malicious! Maybe that is what your friend encountered.

Comment: A canvas to paint custom objects? (Score 1) 331

by Korbeau (#34362414) Attached to: What 2D GUI Foundation Do You Use?

I was about to reply some pros&cons and that in the end all frameworks have their limits and how if you try something else than asking for a birthdate in a textbox and outputing the age in another when the user hits a button you'll spend hours and hours tweaking little details (why won't it let me put an icon here! Why won't it align correctly!)

But I re-read you question and you talk about re-writing all the GUI yourself, so I don't really understand why you need a UI toolkit to start with. But you probably have not phrased your needs completely.

Anyway, the obvious answer is to try WPF for Windows if your app is for Windows.

Comment: Hmm ... (Score 1) 142

by Korbeau (#32656682) Attached to: China Restricts Minors From Using Virtual Currency

I also think that it is a good thing to prevent minors to do online transactions, particularly of "virtual currency" stuff, without some kind of monitoring or parental consent etc. This sounds perfectly reasonable.

And to put the "unwholesome" comment into context which seems to annoy everyone, imagine a US politician saying vague words like "it is morally irresponsible to do X" or "it is to protect the rights our fathers gave us" etc. I mean, it's a speech.

So China makes what seem a sensible law ... can someone explain to me why it is that bad?

Comment: Re:Thanks god. (Score 3, Insightful) 466

by Korbeau (#32527800) Attached to: Google Introduces, Then Scraps, Bing-Style Background Images

My guess about this one is that they don't want you to notice that you are almost always "logged in" into Google search if, for instance, you have a Youtube or Gmail account. With the fade-in, you don't really notice the "log out" option in the top-right corner.

I remember being very surprised to see that I was always searching in "authenticated" mode because I told Gmail to keep me logged in (btw, the option is checked by default so probably most users are).

I find it very frustrating that they decided to link all the accounts like this. I want to keep my search separated from my Youtube views/comments separated from my mail.

(of course: they can still deduce who you are without being officially authenticated, but that's another story)

Comment: FCC vs Canada's CRTC (Score 1) 790

by Korbeau (#31750794) Attached to: Net Neutrality Suffers Major Setback

Did the FCC at least force ISP to give the users the exact throttling rules like Canada CRTC ruled last autumn?
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/10/21/2223229/

I would have loved to see slashdotters' reaction to the CRTC announcement after this news came it, would have put things in perspective. It's good to be pro-net-neutrality (CRTC also is pro-net-neutrality), but even with limited power it tried and succeeded to at least get some basic ruling done so we are not (the users) completely screwed.

In the end though, I guess both organizations will reach the same kind of decision (Canadian politicians being what they are) and Big Industry will flourish.

Comment: Re:Well, I sure am glad (Score 1) 279

by Korbeau (#31718544) Attached to: Ubisoft DRM Causing More Problems

The trick is, you can't judge the success of this strategy on the sales of Settlers 7. Sure, there might be an uptick in sales for this game, because they can't pirate it, but what happens when users frustrated by this don't buy Settlers 8? Will people blame that on DRM?

Yeah, I totally agree. Big Game Industry is making experiments these days with all sorts of DRM and DLC schemes. Even some titles shipped without any kind of DRM or even a basic form of CD-Key to see if it would change a thing.

My guess is that the effect of such schemes are minimal. I think good PC-only title can still make good money, but for all console ports the PC version is pretty much dead.

Currently Big Game Industry still allocates some resources in the last mile-stone to make a shippable PC version. Shippable meaning buggy, hungry on resources, needing the latest video card and often still with console artifacts in them (like you are asked to press "O" and "X" buttons instead of key names). They also "consolize" most game genres and now you cannot do without dumbed-down interfaces, targetting aids, etc.

At some point, my guess is that they will stop to bother.

Who I really blame for this are the gamers themselves. They don't realize their consoles are just a DRM-packed, slow PC, and proudly decide to chose for a DRM, costly solution to gaming, instead of refusing to buy consoles and stick to PC.

Comment: Re:Well, I sure am glad (Score 3, Insightful) 279

by Korbeau (#31717736) Attached to: Ubisoft DRM Causing More Problems

As far as I can tell, the article you are pointing to refers to Silent Hunter 5, and both Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers 7 remain uncracked.

Also note that the solidity of DRM techniques like these depend at how much time the developers spend to "secure" their product. My guess is that for Silent Hunter 5, a very niche product, they only did the minimum. But for their big titles they probably have hordes of programmers messing the game pretty much beyond recognition without the connection to the server. Oh, that never makes it impossible to crack, but it's no longer a simple matter of by-passing some CD key checks by inserting NOPs, you really have to build a set of tools around a particular title and it can take weeks to do so ...

And that's really their goal. Most of the sales of a game are done during the first few days / weeks. If it takes a month to crack the damn thing, they have reached their goal.

If they sell 10'000 more titles because frustrated kids can't find their free crack and must beg their parents to go to the store, they have reached their goal. I'm eager to see their financial numbers about this - I'm still skeptical it will change anything, but we'll see.

Now to answer your question: you are supposed to pay because 1) it is illegal to do otherwise 2) you support the developers of the games you love.

Wiseass like you wonder why all PC games are crap and developers focus on console gaming since the Internet got popularized ...

(PS: that is not to say I'm all for these draconian DRM practices. I don't really care about the "always connected" feature as long as the requirements are clearly visible when you buy the game, but I don't like the fact that it prevents resale).

Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him. - Fyodor Dostoevski

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