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Comment: Jack Horner's TEDx talk (Score 4, Interesting) 68

by PhrostyMcByte (#49423327) Attached to: "Brontosaurus" Name Resurrected Thanks To New Dino Family Tree

Jack Horner put on an TEDx talk a while back discussing research that asks an interesting question: where are the babies?

Jack's research indicates many of these similar species may in fact be the same, but merely at different levels of development -- an adolescent thought to be a difference species from one fully developed.

The crux of it is that in the early days of our rediscovering dinosaurs, these guys would find a visual few differences in the dinos and name it as a new species, turning a blind eye to many similarities that might suggest otherwise.

Comment: Re:Good for them. (Score 1) 140

by PhrostyMcByte (#49399073) Attached to: Building an NES Emulator

It depends on the games, but honestly I miss arcades. It was more than just playing games. It was a social experience. Very little in life do you get to be in a room full of people who're intensely passionate about the exact same thing as you.

You're thankful for not waiting in line, but some of my fondest memories are not of playing a game, but waiting in line for them. Cheering on an amazing Street Fighter match up with the 5+ other people who're in the queue watching with you, and the chaotic buzz of the arcade around you. You can't get that rush at home.

Comment: Well, he's not wrong there (Score 2) 117

Universal believes that Spotify is directly hurting sales at stores like iTunes.

Universal's belief is most certainly correct to some extent, but is that a bad thing? True fans, I think, would find other ways of supporting the artists they love, and I'd guess the ones who do nothing but stream wouldn't have spent more money on it in the first place.

Comment: Re:It's interesting, but... (Score 4, Insightful) 116

by PhrostyMcByte (#49180789) Attached to: NVIDIA Announces SHIELD Game Console

Streaming over the internet is okay, but it's SO dependent on your connection quality (and your bandwidth limits). It can work, though, obviously.

Maybe it'll work in the future, but it's a pretty poor experience right now.

I have the original NVIDIA Shield, the one that looks like a 360 controller with a screen strapped to the top. Late last year they announced a free trial for their GRID cloud gaming service. One caveat was that their servers were all in San Jose, and if you're too far it warns you. I tried it from my home in Illinois, and it was predictably horrible with just a ~70ms ping. I tried it again from California and it was only slightly less horrible with a ~20ms ping.

Driving games become drunk-driving games. Another driver comes in and hits you? Good luck recovering. Forget that there's a turn at some point in the track? You'll never react to it in time. Things that require constant micro-adjustments like drifting are virtually impossible.

Fighting games become button-mashers because you can't react fast enough to block or counter-attack.

Seriously, these were launch titles! I assume 99% of testing happened with local-network latency. If I were the guy at NVIDIA who okayed go-live, I'd be deeply embarrassed.

The only thing I'd use it for right now might be a turn-based strategy games, or other things where latency really has no effect on gameplay.

Comment: Technology takes a long time to catch up. (Score 1) 257

by PhrostyMcByte (#49134649) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken

I'm sure many devs have had jobs where they're working on some sort of killer automation. Something that makes them look out into a sea of office workers thinking "by end of year, we'll only need half of you..."

They're jobs that technology has long since claimed, yet they still exist. Nothing's perfect. It'll be a slow road.

Comment: To be expected (Score 2) 677

by PhrostyMcByte (#49039623) Attached to: Empirical Study On How C Devs Use Goto In Practice Says "Not Harmful"

This makes sense for a couple reasons.

First, abusing goto really serves noone. It doesn't make code quicker to write. It certainly doesn't make it easier to understand. There is no benefit to it.

Second, I'd argue that very few people want to write new code in C these days. Those who do have specific reasons for it and are probably a bit more experienced or passionate and thus aren't the kinds of people who'd readily abuse things. The ones who would are going to be mostly attracted to easier high-level languages that don't allow the abuse in the first place.

Comment: Re:Hmm... I thought it was *my* vehicle. (Score 1) 157

by PhrostyMcByte (#49005415) Attached to: Automakers Move Toward OTA Software Upgrades

Do you happen to have any reference numbers or links so I can argue with the dealer mechanics about getting the update?

See these: page 1, page 2.

The easiest way to get the ECU update is the Idle dip TSB, which you're likely also experiencing. This'll update you to version B01, which includes all prior fixes. Print it out and bring it with you.

Comment: Re:Hmm... I thought it was *my* vehicle. (Score 3, Insightful) 157

by PhrostyMcByte (#49000119) Attached to: Automakers Move Toward OTA Software Upgrades

It does have some advantages. I got the Scion FR-S the day it came out. The original firmware had a number of small issues and one very serious one.

At a specific load and intake volume, the car wouldn't push enough fuel. It ended up being dangerously lean and it was found that those who stayed at that point for too long would have a catastrophic failure from their direct injector seals melting, necessitating a full block replacement.

An ECU update came out a while later that fixed it, but nobody was notified. Cars coming in for service don't get it automatically -- the techs aren't even told about it. 99% of those original cars remain unupdated. Anyone who chooses some "spirited" driving on a hot day is at risk.

An OTA update would solve issues like this really smoothly for a lot of people. I'm all for it.

Comment: Re:It's a first... (Score 2) 108

Makes me wonder if any other astronomers or other scientists to discover celestial objects will have their ashes sent in homage...

It's a romantic notion, but strikes me as not really in the spirit of science. If I knew someone was going to explore this awesome thing I discovered, I would much rather have them use every bit of available weight to further that discovery.

Comment: Re:utf-32/ucs-4 (Score 4, Informative) 165

by PhrostyMcByte (#48787983) Attached to: NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

Extracting a character - trivial. Length of string - trivial.

I don't think it's quite as simple as you think. UTF-8 is a variable-length encoding, but UTF-32 is too when you consider grapheme clusters.

When you extract characters and and determine length, are you only talking about code points (not very useful) or are you taking into consideration combining characters to account for actual visible glyphs that most people would consider to be a character?

The overwhelming majority of apps are only doing trivial operations -- string concatenation and shuffling bits to some API to display text. For these apps, choice of encoding really does not matter. NetHack is very likely in this category.

Anything more and you'll have to deal with variable-length data for both UTF-8 and UTF-32. So it doesn't really matter. Choose whichever uses less storage space.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling

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