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Comment: Use remote outlets if concerned (Score 1) 120

Standby mode can be convenient because (I think) all of the consoles will download updates/newly purchased games while in standby (maybe a slightly elevated level).

But, if you are truly concerned with power usage from consoles (and other devices) on standby, here's my advice: Get an outlet adapter that has a remote. These can be had for super cheap shortly after Christmas, as they're mainly used for switching external or Christmas tree lights on/off at will. I have one between the outlet and my entertainment center's surge protector, so my TV, media center, and consoles are all 100% off while I'm not using it. I don't know how much power the switch draws, but I reckon it's far less than even one of the consoles on standby.

Comment: Re:I find it interesting we are bashing tech (AGAI (Score 1) 342

by RyoShin (#49362941) Attached to: Win Or Lose, Discrimination Suit Is Having an Effect On Silicon Valley

Male engineers and programmers are often stereotyped as "nerds" before someone even meets with them, and high school (with Hollywood backing) has taught everyone that "nerds" are super-easy to push around. Thus, if someone has an agenda, they'll go after whom they see as the softest target first, which is why there seems to be such a big blowup about gender inequality in tech-related fields vs any other field (but I get most of my news from /., so I could be biased.)

Any actual outcome is immaterial so long as it can be painted in a light positive to those trying to push an agenda.

Comment: Re:This validates the US policy... (Score 1) 727

by RyoShin (#49350031) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

You don't think the guy would be capable of doing the same thing if a clueless flight attendant was there while pilot is taking a leak ?

Well, the "clueless" flight attendant would be less clueless after the nose-dive started. Then they'd know to unlock the door for the pilot. I guess the co-pilot could have subdued him/her first. But, unless the co-pilot was a ninja, there would have been a struggle of some sort, which would have alerted front-row passengers, who would have alerted the pilot. (Or the pilot would be alerted himself, if the head was right outside the cabin.) The flight attendant may also have been able to fling open the door, so that even if s/he was overwhelmed other passengers could go in and try to wrest control while awaiting the pilot.

But, even if the co-pilot was a secret ninja, having a second person in there would have immensely lowered the possibility of his success. The attendant could have been an unwitting distraction to him until they passed over the mountains or the pilot came back; the guy might have done this as sheer end-of-the-world depression and having another physical human could have dissuaded him; maybe the attendant's idle banter while waiting could have made the co-pilot tip his hand, at least putting the attendant on guard.

Perhaps incorporate emergency biometric scanner or something like that on the door that can override the "unlock" option ?

(I assume you mean lock and not unlock.) Yes, because let's use technology to completely defeat the purpose of the technology put in place already. Then someone trying to hijack the plane can wait for a pilot to come out, grab him, and use his thumb/eye/whatever to get in even after the copilot flips the switch to "locked". You could use a remote system from the control tower to override the lock, but good luck keeping it completely uncrackable (or just having someone storm the tower and threaten the air control).

I'm a big computer guy and think we'll get some incredible tech in the future, but there will still be many times when human presence is still miles beyond any tech, even after the AI singularity.

Comment: Re:I hate this word, coding (Score 1) 211

No, I think it's apt. "Programming" (ideally) involves the discipline of being able to plan out how to approach a problem, testing, best practices, etc. "Coding" is just hacking away until something seems to work and then moving on to the next thing. We use the term "code monkey", as in "a million monkeys with a million typewriters" saying, but the term isn't apropos in layman circles, so "coder" and "coding" suffices.

95%+ of the kids that come out of these classes will not be budding programmers. A good programming class will include the basics of planning/bug catching, but most students will be "coders" at best.

Comment: Re:Popup messages are completely ineffective (Score 1) 79

by RyoShin (#49323483) Attached to: MRIs Show Our Brains Shutting Down When We See Security Prompts

We had a similar thing at my workplace. We have a number of network drives assigned by GP, to all accounts, but over time most have become obsolete. Two years ago we migrated to from WinServer2003 to 2008. In 2008 or an update installed shortly thereafter, you couldn't assign a username/password when making a network connection through GP due to it being a big security hole, and without that one of the network drives always failed to connect. However, that drive was not used anymore, so it wasn't a problem

What was a problem was the "Could not connect all network drives" message that every user got every time they logged in. Some people actually did ask me about that (I'm not really IT, but I do a lot of IT-ish stuff) and, while I reported it to the boss/owner who does oversee all of that stuff, nothing happened. Now it's white noise to the end-users. I finally convinced her recently to disable the GP, just to have less white noise, and hopefully in time the other employees will become unused to that and report when they actually have a problem with network drives. (It also put entries into the Event Log when the connection fails, making it more annoying to track down problems.)

We have other problems like this, but one at a time. Of course, it won't stop people from just hitting OK: I had a guy who was trying to remove a password from a PDF in Adobe Acrobat. He would clear the password and it would show him an error message. He asked me what to do and I had him to repeat his steps; the second paragraph of that message explained exactly what he had to do, he just never read it and hit Cancel instead. Too often non-experienced computer users assume that if there's an unexpected message of any kind that they are completely incapable of dealing with it, and so will ignore it or send a non-helpful report to the support desk.

Comment: Re:EA got too greedy (as usual) (Score 1) 256

by RyoShin (#49288249) Attached to: SimCity's Empire Has Fallen and Skylines Is Picking Up the Pieces

While I agree in general, I don't think that yearly installments are necessarily a bad idea, they've just been handled very poorly for the reasons you mentioned.

Consider Marvel's Cinematic Universe: We're getting multiple movies per year for the same universe, each of which costs about the same as a AAA video game to make. Video game franchises with established or potential enormous universes could go well, if approached correctly:
1) Games would have to be made by different studios on a rotating basis[1]
2) Games cannot be mere iterations off each other (this is the main failure of Battlefield/CoD in their yearly releases)
3) Games should explore different aspects/facets of the universe they reside in to avoid fatigue (another failure of Battlefield/CoD)
The benefit is that the plot/universe could be built up and maintained by a small handful of people, so the devs only have to focus on the smaller details. Having such a setup also makes it easy to expand into other things, like books, comics, and "graphic adventure games" (like Telltale did with Borderlands). Going back to Marvel, I'm sure someone has a giant Word document/Wiki that has the basic overview of the universe and how all movie plots will progress through at least 2017.

[1] Battlefield (I think, might be CoD) is on a three-year rotation now, one dev per year, with Hardline as the first game from this new rotation. Prior to this, both Battlefield and CoD were on two-year rotations, which crunched the devs quite hard

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 760

Changing it to a percent of wealth or income would encourage more rich people to hide their assets overseas.

These days it seems the wealthy will hide their assets overseas if someone so much as farts too loudly, so I don't see this as an argument against.

They have plenty of money to hire fancy lawyers and accountants to make sure their wealth remains in tact.

And they have to pay these fancy lawyers and accountants, which means that their wealth still decreases and the money is spread around. If they have to pay another, or pay an existing one more, in order to avoid these fines, that seems like a good outcome to me.

Meanwhile, the middle class would probably get hosed because they have enough to be hurt by higher fines, but not enough to defend against it or hide their assets.

Fines are supposed to hurt at least a bit; that's how they're a deterrent. There's also no guarantee that the rough amount would increase for the middle class, either, depending on the fees already in place and the equation that replaces them. A proper equation would leave fines about the same or slightly less for the middle class.

And what happens to the poor? They'd get zero fine because they have nothing and earn nothing?

The class tiers aren't "Upper, Middle, Zero". Someone with no income is extremely unlikely to have a car in the first place. You can be poor and still have some discretionary funds, though quite small; or do you think that not a single person below the poverty line has a TV? So, while the rich are paying the lawyers, Joe Poor isn't tossed in jail for failing to pay a fine that is onerous to his income, a fine he got because he didn't slow down enough on a steep downhill slope.

But wait, there's more! Fines that are more in line with your income make them a more effective deterrent for the poor, too! Imagine that you only make $2K/mo. Something happens and you get a fine for $500. You get the fine, laugh, and throw it away; there's no way you can pay this fine, you're on a shoestring budget as it is. If there was some long-term payment option maybe you could pay it, but AFAIK this isn't a common thing. In a risk vs. reward scenario, it makes more sense to keep the $500 and hope no one tracks you down (which is incredibly unlikely for that amount.)

Now imagine the fine is only $50. The risk vs. reward balance changes greatly now: It's not worth the risk of getting arrested over $50 if you can realistically pay the fine, even if that means a bit more ramen and a bit less McDonald's for the month. It not only becomes more likely to pay but also to avoid offending in the first place.

I do agree about many driving laws being too strict, or the attention paid to them imbalanced (speeding is the common stopping reason, but tailgating and failing to pass in the left lane are more likely accident causes), but even if those were improved fines would still be a problem.

Comment: Re:well.. (Score 1) 760

The government is going to touch the money at some point in order to collect the fines, even if they don't hold onto it, so you can't completely remove government from the situation. The way I think it should be:
1) Fine as % of income
2) Put each amount into an emergency relief fund, to be used in "Act of God" disasters
3) If unspent after a year, remove the amount (and any interest generated from it) and use it for one or all of the following:
A) A public work, such as a park (something that is a nicety but not necessity)
B) Lottery for those who have registered vehicle in the area, that are not government employees, that have not gotten a single citation during the year (this gives an extra incentive to drive well in addition to the disincentive to not break the law )
C) Equal tax refund/credit for all citizens

The reason it's not kept for more than a year is because the area would become reliant on it as a primary emergency fund; instead it's used as a boost, if available.

Comment: Re:Cops (Score 1) 132

by RyoShin (#49271713) Attached to: Self-Driving Car Will Make Trip From San Francisco To New York City

I imagine there will be some sort of two-factor authentication. The car can recognize the lights or, more reliably, a standardized signal from the police vehicle. It begins to pull over and, while it does so, contacts a standard system to verify that the copy signalling is a legitimate one. If not recognized as a police vehicle, or the police car sends a "move past" signal, it would just move over/slow down to allow the emergency vehicle to pass.

There are layers involved, of course, and wouldn't be fool-proof, but I think this is one of the easier problems to solve with self-driving vehicles.

Comment: Re:no it won't. (Score 1) 132

by RyoShin (#49271695) Attached to: Self-Driving Car Will Make Trip From San Francisco To New York City

While it's true that this isn't a test of a fully self-driving car, solid, long distance driving is going to be the "kickstarter" for getting full self-driving automobiles into people's homes. Families are going to love setting out on the highway, setting the car to "maintain", and then everyone (driver included!) can just sleep or play games or whatever. Car alerts when it's running low on gas, there's a potential problem, or you're coming to a more congested area that requires human take-over.

But then there are semis. Allowing truck drivers to sleep while their semi drives a steady route is going to save serious man hours and real hours (and likely many lives). This will likely come before the minivan does, because there are all sorts of extra pressures put on the trucking industry that are miniscule for consumer driving. You don't want to test this kind of thing with a giant truck, though, which is why it's a car. Test with the car, apply to the truck, prove the usefulness and reliability on the truck, apply to the car.

As with most things consumer, we're going to see heavy use by businesses before they're common amongst people. City street auto-driving will likely be taken by FedEx or UPS first, moving on to driverless, inner-city taxis, and so forth.

Comment: Re:Does resolution matter? (Score 1) 225

by RyoShin (#49235885) Attached to: Another Upscaled Console Game: Battlefield Hardline

And Wii-U fans have a strange obsession that they have some kind of monopoly on fun.

Not fun in general, but Nintendo fun via Nintendo properties. These will never be multi-platform, so if you want to play Zelda, Star Fox, Mario, or Pokemon you're going to have to buy a Nintendo console. The reason the Wii U's main reason wasn't "brand" like Xbone is because most Nintendo fans (so far as I can tell) are tepid about decisions Nintendo made with the console. Despite this, they still get one because they want access to those games.[1]

Not that you can't get light-hearted affairs and platformers on other systems, but they usually take a far back seat to games rated T/M.

[1]At the very least, that's why I'm planning to get one this year, when a number of large names come out or will come out early 2016.

"I may kid around about drugs, but really, I take them seriously." - Doctor Graper