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Comment: Re:Well, to be fair... (Score 1) 109

by PPalmgren (#47533705) Attached to: eSports Starting To Go Mainstream

I liken it to motor sports. Its one level of abstraction from direct physical involvement like most of the major sports. Driver masters the skill of driving which is used to control a car for racing instead of racing themselves. Players control an avatar for competing instead of themselves directly. I find eSports intrigueing but driving to be insanely boring so your mileage may vary.

I'd argue that level of gaming definitely requires a type of physical skill, though it'd be closer to badminton or chess than that of driving. Its about reaction time, quick twitch reflexes, and teamwork/strategy.

I agree on the classification though, and think the term sport is the root of the issue. What makes these things exciting isn't usually the sport action itself, but the fact that the sport/league is set up in a way that enables competition. These are a competition, as is poker, diving, football, and hell even debate, and should be called competition. I think the use of sport in its place is simply because competition is a mouthful and most competitions are sports.

Comment: Re:user error (Score 1) 708

"I also don't get people who get pissed off when I let off the gas early coming up to a red light."

I know in my case and some others, its the frustration of the self-fulfilling prophecy. You slow down coming to a stale light, and it changes, so you're satisfied with yourself because you didn't waste energy. Problem is, in some cases, if you had stayed with your speed or upped it a little you would have made the light. I'm not saying you do this, but its is quite common among people in my driving area, they'll slow to 5 under as they approach a light and it changes on them.

There are two routes I take where making that light by one second means you also make the next 4-5 lights. One is a straight-line on the way home from work, if I make the first light then I'll make the next 3 lights and get home without having to stop, and being that the road is slightly inclined, a lot of people like to drag ass 10-15mph under the speed limit. I've taken to using the ending lane (which I merged on from anyway) to mitigate this. The other place is a left turn coming home from my mother's house, where if I accelerate quickly when the left light turns green, I'll make the next light barely and the next 8 (yes, 8) lights all the way home. In these cases its advantageous for me to get at the front of the left turn lane to do this, so sometimes I will pass others just to make it to the red light first (which doesn't usually have too many cars) to save myself 8 minutes and some gas.

I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes people blowing past you aren't always angry, maybe they just have a route plan with light timings.

Comment: They should also do an infamy list (Score 1) 285

by PPalmgren (#47408895) Attached to: The World's Best Living Programmers

I don't know names, but just as an example:

The guy who came up with and implemented the Blizzard always-on DRM for Starcraft II and Diablo
The lead designer for Sim City (2013)
The man behind Active Desktop for Windows 98
The innovator behind the wondrous idea of multi-page web ranking articles
The team behind stuxnet (debatable, pretty snazzy piece of work, could use Zeus or some other example)
Key PRISM database team

Comment: Re:Car Insurance Companies Too! (Score 1) 353

by PPalmgren (#47408703) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

I always found the commercial for that ad very fitting. She's in a dark shady street corner and its parodying a black market dealer. I wonder if the advertiser had a sense of humor.

That said, you should read TFS. "We've already seen the stories on using black boxes to monitor drivers" isn't an exact reference, but its the kind of behaviour they're referring to.

Comment: Re:Finance (Score 3, Informative) 158

You're completely off the mark and are thinking of sales and contracts, not finance. Finance from a company that sells a product or offers a service usually has a few key parts: Billing, Accounts Receivables, Collections, Accounts Payables, Accounting, Treasury, and Payroll ( which is sometimes tied to HR) are the big ones with others in tow.

Ever wonder how your 401k and other deductions get credited every week and all those corresponding companies, including your taxes, get paid to various entities? Payroll and HR does that. Ever wonder who figured out those line items on your bills? Billing does that. Ever wonder how a company funds all of their rent/electricity/payroll/operations on time without sitting on a massive wad of wasted cash but not overdrafting? Treasury does that, AP pays it. Ever wonder how they keep track of all that shit and make sure the right stuff is getting done, nothing more or nothing less? Accounting does that. There's a lot of background stuff that has to get done to keep all this working in a big company.

In my case, I started as what would usually be considered AP, but we had to figure out our own bills based on operational data and pay them with the backup for said bills. Lots of data sources, lots of reporting requirements, lots of special nuances in reporting, so hard to automate but useful to understand how to work with data. Now I'm doing something similar, but with payroll data instead of operations data.

Comment: Finance (Score 5, Insightful) 158

Not that is a major career switch because I only had two years in IT, but I have been working in Finance for 7 years now after going to school, but not finishing, for electrical engineering.

I actually landed the finance job by selling my technical aptitude. You'd be amazed at the kind of elementary mistakes people make in other fields just because they don't know how to properly operate a computer, and how they can get hung up on the most menial tasks because they are scared of the system in front of them. It took a while to learn the finance side of things, but once I got rolling, I was able to double or triple the productivity of others with lower error rates. Add on to this that someone from IT understands enough to automate menial tasks, and you have a recipe for efficiency and process improvement. A lot of finance is simply getting the data into custom forms or formats for transmittal to the next or from the previous step, with 1 or 2 points where human intervention or review is required. The career change has worked out well for me.

It also helps to be able to liason between departments. I noticed that in meetings between IT and Finance managers, sometimes there's a 'language barrier.' You get rewarded nicely to solve these miscommunication issues before they show up at the end of a development project.

Comment: Got it with a new GFX card for free (Score 4, Informative) 123

by PPalmgren (#47104275) Attached to: <em>Watch Dogs</em> Released, DRM Troubles

I'll straighten out the details on this clickbait.

First, while uPlay is indeed a complete flaming piece of shit, it doesn't prevent you from playing the game once installed. When you launch it and press 'play', even if it wont sync with ubisoft's servers, it will still launch. It takes a good while (couple of minutes) for uplay and the sync to time out, but it works.

An actual gripe on uplay: what kind of game publisher doesn't institute predownloads for people who've already bought the game? It didn't show up in my games list until today so I couldn't even get the DL started. Their servers being crippled is partly due to not distributing downloads for pre-purchasers properly, forgivable 5 years ago but not in today's distribution systems.

Console port gripe: mouse acceleration is on by default and you must turn it off by actually going in and editing the xml settings file. If that doesn't scream lazy, I don't know what does. The menus and mouse control aren't bad overall, but that mouse acceleration makes the gameplay infuriating, felt like I had a joystick deadzone on my mouse. After googling and changing this setting, the game felt much better.

Overall though, I'm happy with the game, though I've not gotten far into it. I wouldn't have bought it straight up, partly due to bitterness about destroying the Thief franchise and partly due to their shitty company policies, but I've enjoyed it as a bundle purchase. Ubisoft is a frustrating company. Their policies and DRM money-grubbing aspects make them almost as unlikeable as EA, but they make the type of games I tend to enjoy. I prefer to stay away on principle but its hard.

"Ask not what A Group of Employees can do for you. But ask what can All Employees do for A Group of Employees." -- Mike Dennison