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Comment: Tragic, but useful (Score 2, Funny) 814

by Moraelin (#44294439) Attached to: Hardly Anyone Is Buying 'Smart Guns'

Well, we're talking types who think they absolutely need a loaded gun everywhere they might be in the house, including racks by the bed and whatnot. And that their life WILL depend on it any day now, when squads of evil government black muslim communist ninjas will burst into their home to confiscate their bible and replace their medicare with an evil socialized one. And their kids who think that playing cops and robbers with daddy's gun, presumbaly in between eating paint chips and being homeschooled in how many dinosaurs fit on Noah's arc, is a good idea.

I dunno, it certainly is tragic, but their noble sacrifice to improve the species' gene pool will be remembered.

Comment: You don't really want a black hole (Score 1) 284

by Moraelin (#44268623) Attached to: Mastermind of 9/11 Attacks Designs a Secret Vacuum Cleaner

Actually, you probably don't want an appliance powered by a black hole, because those convert matter into energy via Hawking radiation and the energy output actually ramps UP as the size decreases. A very small black hole, say, 1 kg in weight (a little over 2 pounds) would convert itself into energy in about 84 attoseconds and release the same energy as a 21 megaton nuke or so.

You'd need a pretty big one for it to be stable, and I doubt you really want a vacuum cleaner weighing as much as the Everest :p

On the other hand, if we ever tame one, it would make an awesome source of energy for something that needs a lot more energy. Such as a continent. Or a warp-capable ship. Hmm, the Romulans were up to something.

Of course, it would still be a Tamagochi that blows up with the fury of a supernova if you forget to "feed" it, but, hey, it's all good as long as we call it a warp core breach. Right?

Hmm, maybe I shouldn't have mentioned Romulan singularity warp cores though... I hear the Tal'Shiar are nastier than the NSA and CIA put together ;)

Comment: True story (Score 2) 641

by Moraelin (#44174265) Attached to: Things That Scare the Bejeezus Out of Programmers

True story, at some point in the past I had to work on a company's internal application for data entry. Well, it was a lot of data and, as requested by the PHBs, pretty much half the fields were needlessly mandatory. (Which brings us of the fear of working for incompetent people;))

Most of them were pretty much impossible to validate too, because they were stuff like city or street names, and even in telephone numbers people tend to use letters. So the only real restrictions were field lengths and that they're mandatory.

So then comes the request to basically make reports and searches on that data.

And I kid you not, half the records had stuff like "n.a.", "I don't know", "no idea", etc in at least one of those fields.

And these were internal users, not some 6 year old over the internet.

Comment: Re:Tea, Earl Grey, hot. (Score 1) 193

by Moraelin (#44132047) Attached to: Scientists Work To Produce 'Star Trek' Deflector Shields

Why not spend that time trying to produce a replicator?

Or am I to expect a "Replicating food is killing farmers, and it's illegal!" response?

There was news recently that NASA _is_ paying someone to develop a 3d printer that prints food, for their spaceships. Which I suppose is as close as we can get to a replicator with the tech level we have for now.

Comment: Err, no. Both were deflector shields (Score 3, Interesting) 193

by Moraelin (#44131981) Attached to: Scientists Work To Produce 'Star Trek' Deflector Shields

Err, no. Both kinds were called deflector shields, in the canon. See: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Deflector_shield

The lower level one emitted by the navigationa deflector (a.k.a., deflector dish) dish was nothing else than a lower intensity force field, but still a deflector shield. (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Navigational_deflector)

Comment: Well, sorta (Score 5, Informative) 193

by Moraelin (#44131933) Attached to: Scientists Work To Produce 'Star Trek' Deflector Shields

Well, sorta. If you do enough technobabble and you're willing to count close enough as a hit, then getting it right isn't that hard.

Point in case, in ST's case the Navigational Deflector (emitted by the deflector dish) was actually supposed to protect against space debris, micro-meteorites, etc. (Still a good idea, mind you, because when you're moving even close enough to the speed of light, a single grain of sand packs more energy than a broadside from a 20'th century battleship.)

Dealing with particles via magnetic field was actually the job of the Bussard Collectors (you know, those red glowing things at the front of the nacelles), a.k.a., ramscoops. Which actually didn't deflect it, but collected all that mostly hydrogen in the ship's path.

So, yeah, if you make a complete hash of which did what, and how, and still call it a ST deflector shield, yeah, you can count it as a hit.

But then by the same lax standard I can claim that Jesus endorsed binary code. Matthew 5:37: "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." :p

(And yes, I'm a huge ST and SW nerd. I know, I know, I'll go not get laid now.;)

Comment: Two wrongs don't make a right, though (Score 4, Insightful) 572

by Moraelin (#44060699) Attached to: Why Your Sysadmin Hates You

Well, yes, but my experience is that even if I've never screamed at an admin, nor informed them of their mothers' extramarital activities, the majority seem to make it their duty to keep me from doing my job anyway.

In fact, for some (I'm looking at the fucktard duo administering the MQ server,) the nicer you are and more willing to explain why you need a queue for the application already approved by anyone who had a legitimate say, the more they'll abuse that and your time by MAKING you have to explain for weeks or get nothing from them. The guys who do tell them to STFU and do their own job, now those get what they asked for.

Now I have sympathy for admins, and understand that other people shit on their day. But WTH does it solve to in turn have them shit on MY day and my coworkers' day?

If X bullied admin Y, and Y bullies innocent bystander Z in turn, what did it solve, other than make an extra person unhappy? And how does the former even excuse the latter, anyway? Much less make it right. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Comment: Actually, now that makes me wonder (Score 4, Interesting) 259

by Moraelin (#43128309) Attached to: EA Offering Free Game to Users After SimCity Launch Problems

Actually, now that I said that only morons would believe EA's BS about the CPU not being enough for their game, and that they're actually processing your city on the server... it kinda makes me wonder if they ARE trying to get morons as a target demographic.

I was reading a paper a few months ago about Nigerian widow scams and such. The question they had basically asked themselves was: why those scams don't try to be a little less ridiculous and more plausible? Why don't they try to snag more people?

Their conclusion was that basically the scammers don't really want everyone. They actually want only the morons, who are more likely to then go through with it. If a smart person gets tipped off that it's bogus... GOOD! That's one less dead end to waste time on.

So I'm thinking, hmmmm, maybe that's EA's plan. Maybe they do want to reach the morons. More morons with money probably means more crap DLCs sold down the line :p

Comment: Well, that much is clear (Score 4, Insightful) 259

by Moraelin (#43128291) Attached to: EA Offering Free Game to Users After SimCity Launch Problems

Well, that much is clear.

In fact, here's a thought: they said that the processing was so complex, they had to do some of it on their servers. But... if my still fairly top of the line 4 cpu / 8 thread Intel couldn't do it... what was EA going to do that actually makes a difference? Add one more CPU of their own for everyone who plays at a given time? Yeah, I'm so going to believe that they'll buy a 1 million CPU server farm just to handle everyone at launch. NOT.

So, yeah, it was clear that they're just shovelling ridiculous BS and hoping that enough morons would actually believe that.

The sad part, though, is that I've actually seen morons repeating it in excuse of the crashing servers fiasco.

Comment: Actually, I think they did consider the use-case (Score 4, Interesting) 259

by Moraelin (#43127065) Attached to: EA Offering Free Game to Users After SimCity Launch Problems

Actually, considering how the game works, I'm 100% convinced that it's the result of EA considering the single-player case... except in EA management lingo that use-case sounds a bit like, "OMG, gazillions of people will pirate our game, or buy it used on EBay."

Seriously, the game IS at heart a single player game. I've managed to squeeze in between server crashes and start a game or two, and guess what? The game functions exactly the same when the server crashes while you're in your city.

The lie that the game is too complex for a single CPU and they need to do server-side processing too, was just that: a lie. The only "server-side processing" they do is saving the game and publishing your game events.

But here's the funny thing: Steam for example manages just fine to send your achievements to the server in the background, without needing the game to be tethered to a server all the time. Skyrim, Fallout New Vegas, A Game Of Dwarves, etc, take your pick, they're all single player games that Steam can both provide DRM for and save the achievements (and for some even the save games) on their server without pretending it's an online game.

So anyway, the game IS perfectly able to run single player. It's not a real client-server product like WoW or EA's own TOR. It doesn't need a server or a server emulator to play exactly the same. It's a single player game, which is perfectly able to function without a server, plus some artificial tethering to their servers that doesn't really add much.

So why IS a single player mode missing at least as an official option to start the game, when the game functions perfectly well in single player?

It seems to me like the only reasonable explanation is that they considered single-player offline mode as something to prevent.

Comment: Spectacularly defeats the purpose of DRM too (Score 4, Insightful) 259

by Moraelin (#43126997) Attached to: EA Offering Free Game to Users After SimCity Launch Problems

You know, it just occurs to me... their problem with piracy and with second hand games is that someone gets to play one of EA's games, and EA doesn't get paid for it.

So let me get this straight, the result of putting the idiotic DRM in SimCity, is... that now a LOT of people get to play one of EA's (other) games, and EA doesn't get paid for it.

Sure, most of those wouldn't have bought the other EA game, but then neither would have most pirates. That is, outside of putting the BS in BSA.

But if you do the the maths BSA style, where every single copy downloaded is a lost sale -- and you just know whoever came up with that over-the-top DRM is -- yeah, great job, EA. Did you need a scope to shoot yourself in the foot so neatly, or is it a natural talent?

No, seriously, releasing SimCity without DRM would have probably resulted in less people playing an unpaid copy, AND saved them from all the negative publicity and angry customers.

Comment: Not just that (Score 1) 511

by Moraelin (#43115267) Attached to: In Wake of Poor Reviews, Amazon Yanks <em>SimCity</em> Download

It's not even just the personal attacks. It was also a combination of both annoying and amusing to see the fanboys come up with stuff like:

- Well, they said it would be online and have DRM, whoever is complaining can only blame themselves, bla, bla, bla, I'm giving it 5 stars out of principle!

(Really? Did they also say it would be impossible to play because the servers crash all the time? And what principle would that be? Fanboy devotion?)

- I don't believe any of the 1 star reviews, such a complex game can't be judged in just a couple of hours!

(Which part of "can't even start the tutorial" is too complex to judge? Would, say, 8 hours of servers crashing and being unable to even 'claim' an empty spot to build on, reveal some subtle nuances of experiencing a server crash, or what?)

- The game is pure genius and incredibly much fun, I'm giving it only 4 stars because I can't actually start it.

(Then how the eff would you know first hand if it's fun to play or not?)

- I didn't play it myself, I bought it for my kid and he seems happy with it, so I'm giving it 5 stars.

(Way to confess in public that you're paying exactly zero attention to your kid. Plus, if you have no personal experience with it, shouldn't the kid be writing the review?)

Loosely translated from German from Amazon.de, for what it's worth.

Really, it's the... faith-based giving top ratings or objecting to vad reviews for something they didn't even play that was disheartening at times.

Comment: Bullshit (Score 1) 511

by Moraelin (#43115109) Attached to: In Wake of Poor Reviews, Amazon Yanks <em>SimCity</em> Download

Nobody claimed that their servers were handling the number crunching. And even if they did, you'd have to be a moron to believe it. GPUs exist for a reason -- because CPUs are too slow for the job. The bus between your CPU and video memory is what, about a million times faster than an Internet server to your video memory?

However, that doesn't mean that critical logic to play the game doesn't reside on the server. The random things that happen in the game could very well be generated by the server. Certain mechanics, no matter how dull, simplywdon't exist in the game client. That makes it difficult to pirate -- you can remove the logic that prevents it from needing to connect to a server, but nothing would work. Want to place something? Well, the server dictates whether it's a valid location or not. Could someone "crack" that logic, effectively making it okay to place anything anywhere? Sure. But now it's not the same game.

The parent was 100% correct. The game is tied to logic on the server. It might be trivial (for EA) to such logic to the client, and you can dislike EA for not putting the logic on the client. But, it doesn't change the fact that the current design makes it very hard to pirate.

Bullshit. Stop just imagining what fantasy details might keep you trusting your corporate idol.

I can tell you first hand -- thanks to servers going up and down like a yoyo today -- that the game continues doing everything just fine, for extended periods of time, even while it has a message in the upper left corner that the connection is lost. People still move in and out, houses and businesses grow or shrink and merge adjacent lots when growing into something physically larger, cops still respond to crimes and firemen to fires, oil and water deposits run out, and the city responded just like I expected to stuff like my demolishing a power plant (which made the trade depot stop too, which stalled the factories) and then building a new one (which reversed those effects.)

It's not just that such code COULD be in the client, it's that it obviously IS in the client. The client continued doing all that just fine without a server connection.

If you know anything that doesn't, please do list it. Just asserting that EA's lie is true, won't cut it, no matter how hard your fanboy brain just wants to have faith in your corporate idol.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre

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