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Comment: Re:Funny how (Score 2) 123

by Midnight Thunder (#46609221) Attached to: Classified X-37B Space Plane Breaks Space Longevity Record

Civil expenditure vs military expenditure. It's sad that it takes a military budget to do stuff, when a civilian space agency could do just as well.

The reality is that when asked the question 'why are you doing this?', the answer in one case will be a fuzzy 'important defence stuff' and people will stop asking questions, while in the other "researching technology for future manned space flight" and then people will start questioning it even more and each want to be a stake holder in the budget.

Comment: Re:Crying wolf? (Score 1) 230

by Midnight Thunder (#46609179) Attached to: Geologists Warned of Washington State Mudslides For Decades

Not quite the same thing. Nature works at its own pace, but when you have geological evidence you should take heed of it. Geology can only help so much, because the exact time element is where things are fuzzy. On the flip side there are geologists who are more cautious about announcements and then get put in jail (case in Italy) - it's hard to win when everyone wants a scape goat.

For me it's like buildings or bridges that were built badly. You know they will fail, but not when. You know when the failure happens it won't be a pretty sight.

Comment: Re:Why .Net? (Score 1) 247

by Midnight Thunder (#46437103) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's New In Legacy Languages?

I think the problem comes from living in a bubble. We all live in a bubble and think of the reality around us being the reality for everyone else. It's not until you step outside of the bubble do you realise the assumptions ions aren't necessarily true. What will often be the case is different people solving different problems with different languages. Sometimes it's down to the suitability of the language, sometimes it's down to the local skill set and sometimes down to what's considered to be the latest trending language.

Learning a new language takes a time investment and changing the way we approach coding problems.

As a Java developer I am still wrestling with whether Scala will end up supplanting Java or whether it will be a side language that will simply influence the direction Java takes in the future?

For me languages fall into three main categories, those that stay in the main steam, those that influence the main steam languages and those that simply fade away, because they have been replaced by something 'better'. For the influencers they sometimes stay in the background because while innovative don't necessarily add a reason for such a radical change and by the time the look like they may be gaining steam, they lose it to the fact the 'mainstream' languages have picked up the best features.

Comment: Re:C/C++ (Score 2) 247

by Midnight Thunder (#46437073) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's New In Legacy Languages?

From what I see the game engines are still C/C++, but are scripted in things like Python. At the same time, using the right APIs a lot of the hard processing can be handed off to specialised hardware, such as GPU, whether for graphics or physics.

BTW while JS is not generally thought of a choice for high performance games, this demo shows what may be a sign of the future:

Comment: Re:C/C++ (Score 1) 247

by Midnight Thunder (#46437045) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's New In Legacy Languages?

Garbage collection is only as good as the algorithm in place and the load it places also depends on the type of application in place. In most cases it hasn't really caused me much pain.

There are cases where Java is actually more performant than C/C++, but can get brought down by the GC. The performance gains are down to the JIT.

At work, a team that uses Java in high performance application presented to us way of analysing program performance and ways of addressing them. One of the things we were made clear about was the way you analyse performance can actually mask a performance issue, so you need to be careful of how you analyse your application.

One other thing I learnt from this presentation is about a JVM called Zing. It was amazing how much better in certain circumstances it was than the Hotspot JVM. From what I understand the improvements are very much around the JVM. The only catch is cost. They know that companies are willing to pay for the gains it gives, so you'll need to decide whether the project warrants the extra cost for the performance boost.

Comment: Re:To the dump!? (Score 1) 168

What a horrible waste. I hope they at least had the libraries open to the public as a well-publicized "everything's free bookstore" for a few weeks before hauling the leftovers to the dump.

I must admit I got the image of book burning, without the burning. The end result is pretty much the same, in the sense it is destruction of knowledge and culture. Then again I see a lot of common with Harper and a certain historic figure with a narrow moustache (not Charlie Chaplin).

Comment: Re:Better Hardware (Score 1) 559

by Midnight Thunder (#46023655) Attached to: How Can Nintendo Recover?

The current Zelda offering for the Wii U is an 'HD' version of a previous generation game. Unless you were planning on replaying the game, it doesn't offer anything than 'HD'.

I am happy Mario World 3D came out, but Nintendo really needs to get their act together. They need to review their business model, possibly taking a page out of the tablet market. Non-game offerings are important too. In those terms Netflix and YouTube are the only offerings in Canada. Hulu is offered on the Console, but once you launch it (which requires an initial download) you get told it can only be used in the US - WTF!?

Nintendo generally succeeds on first party games, which aren't existing as a healthy selection at the moment. Nintendo also needs to get a third-party to make one serious outstanding title. Oh and they also need to improve their operating system.

Comment: Re:Better Hardware (Score 1) 559

by Midnight Thunder (#46023567) Attached to: How Can Nintendo Recover?

wii/u is seriously underpowered.

Possibly, but many of the issues I see with the Wii U are software related, in other words ones that can be fixed without new hardware. Things I feel that could help:
    - making it easier for small Indy developers, in terms cost and ease of distribution. Android and iOS show the way of the future.
    - copying the Apple App Store pricing model
    - getting more content onto the console, including non-gaming stuff. Things like the AppleTV and XBMC are offering.
    - use network time (okay, may not fix anything, but an example of a limited OS)
    - get some good third-party games
    - improve the marketing. Sometime I feel the 3DS gets too much focus.

Comment: Re:50$ (Score 2) 479

by Midnight Thunder (#46009289) Attached to: An Iowa ISP's Metered Pricing: What Will the Market Bear?

I take the attitude that you can show me commercials if I don't pay for TV, but if I am paying for TV thn I shouldn't see commercials. The problem is that if I have cable or IPTV I have to pay for the service and get commercials and every 10 minutes at that.

I prefer the antenna too, though it can be a challenge finding one with a clear signal in the city.

Comment: Re:User of service (Score 3, Insightful) 170

by Midnight Thunder (#45859447) Attached to: Facebook Being Sued Over Mining of Private Messages

It is attitudes like this that encourages treating users like crap.

You didn't read what I said. Without the users they have zero value of what they have to offer the advertisers. Also people should have legal rights with what they should expect from a service and what can and can't be done. In Europe this is certainly the case.

Comment: User of service (Score 4, Insightful) 170

by Midnight Thunder (#45859145) Attached to: Facebook Being Sued Over Mining of Private Messages

While people using Facebook aren't necessarily paying customer, they are users of the service. Without users Facebook has no point of existing and therefore has no need of sponsors. For this reason we are using a service provided to us and in doing so there are expectations of fair treatment. Even cattle have certain rights.

Brushing users off as 'non-paying customers' is a port excuse, since they are both users and customer of the service. If we don't 'like' as sponsor's message, then they can't ask for a exchange of fees from the sponsor.

Comment: Re: Audi have been doing this for years (Score 1) 521

Many of them. The BRZ is rear wheel drive (I just checked).

It should be noted that both Audi and Sabaru both have plenty of experience of creating cars that are designed with good traction and speed, since they both build cars for rally racing - sure not all of the design elements go into production models, but the experience is there.

Comment: Re:20 year old news? (Score 1) 521

Though, given that steel rusts, is the lifespan of an aluminium ground based vehicle any shorter than that of a steel based one? Steel has been improved over time, such that it is less brittle than in the past; has there not also been similar improvements when it comes to aluminium?

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel