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Comment: Re:grandmother reference (Score 1) 312

For that to work, the vast majority of the game has to exist on the client (i.e., it has to be single-player or capable of LAN play or something). Hackers are not going to be coding up an offline server for an MMO. Maybe they'd be stealing the server-side code and adapting that, but not coding it up from scratch.

Comment: Re:Money *needs* to be removed from Politics ... (Score 1) 138

Unless a sufficient number of people vote for the 3rd party candidates, you are diminishing your selection power. At least voting for the top 2 gives a reasonable chance of making a small difference. (I think such stalemate is called the Nash equilibrium.)

And just because you are a third-party candidate does not mean you cannot be bribed.

Comment: Forest knowledge, not just tree knowledge (Score 1) 154

by Tablizer (#48911613) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

In my opinion, those likely to be end users or power users mostly need to know about factoring (redundancy), set theory versus hierarchies; and associations, such as 1-to-many relationships versus many-to-many relationships.

Understanding loops and IF statements is good knowledge perhaps, but end users seem more lacking in practical knowledge about relationships of data objects (information) than they do relevant knowledge of loops and conditionals, and this leads them to poor decisions and confusion when working with developers and analysts.

In other words, focus first on enabling them to work better with IT rather than to potentially be or replace IT. And understanding factoring and relationships is good education for future programmers anyhow, if they go that route.

Roughly half the students will eventually be involved with IT design decisions, but only 1% or so will be developers. Thus, rather than try to improve or increase just that 1%, enable the 50% by making them better able to communicate with IT. It's a larger total benefit to society.

Comment: Re:CC chargeback and if they ban you fully paid ga (Score 1) 312

Chargebacks can seriously hurt the affected merchants. For one thing, usually the merchant has to pay a fee on top of refunding the full amount for each individual chargeback, possibly losing that fee even if they subsequently challenge the chargeback and win. For another thing, an unusually high chargeback rate overall can result in much worse terms for future card payment services or even being denied the facility entirely, which for many businesses is effectively a mortal injury.

If it's Ubisoft that was taking the money directly, this hurts them directly. It potentially even follows their officers if they move to other businesses later as well. If it's not Ubisoft taking money directly, then it hurts their resellers, and word quickly gets around that being a reseller for Ubisoft is a lousy gig. Either way, Ubisoft are losing something.

Comment: Re:grandmother reference (Score 1) 312

All true, but paying actual money for a licence key at an unusually low price from an unlikely source is like paying five bucks for a 60" 4K TV off the back of a lorry. If you're the recipient of stolen goods, however unwitting, the law in most places will leave you empty-handed if the goods are identified and returned to their original owner, unless you can find and take legal action against whoever sold you the goods.

I'm not saying the situation doesn't suck for the innocent party, and I'm certainly not supporting Ubisoft's generally aggressive use of DRM, but in this case it does seem that the situation is exactly analogous on-line to how the law has worked in the real world for a long time.

Comment: Re:Money *needs* to be removed from Politics ... (Score 4, Insightful) 138

Democracy doesn't mean we get the government we want, just the government we voted for. The people in congress were elected in free and fair elections.

Technically, perhaps. Effectively, no. Contrast our typical ballot:

[__] Bribed Politician A.
[__] Bribed Politician B.
[__] No-name who has no chance of winning such that you are throwing away your vote.

with a typical dictatorship ballot for representatives:

[__] Dictator-selected Candidate A.
[__] Dictator-selected Candidate B.
[__] Dictator-selected Candidate C.

This difference is relatively minor. The plutocrats are pretty much fulfilling the same role as the dictator(s).

Comment: One-sided PR (Score 2) 138

I see their pro-merger ads on TV and the web. Why are there no anti-merger ads? The public is only hearing one side.

It would be nice to crowd-fund some ads that describe how we need more competition and more competitors rather than huge bribe-heavy oligopolies. I'd donate $10 or so to such.

Comment: Re:Terrible names (Score 1) 340

by Tablizer (#48909775) Attached to: Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

Being short is not much use if it doesn't tell you much and/or is misleading. Might as well call it "Do". Better vague than misleading. Or, just use a Windows logo icon with a roll-over if space is your main concern. I still find the case for "Start" very weak when weighing space versus communication success.

Comment: Re:Money *needs* to be removed from Politics ... (Score 4, Insightful) 138

It's indeed disgusting. We are largely a plutocracy and few citizens seem to give a fudge. We chastise China, Cuba, N. Korea etc. for not having democracies, but neither do we, making us hypocrites.

(I know, technically we were a "republic", not a "democracy", but they functioned as mostly the same thing for most of our history.)

Comment: Re:"Science"? (Score 1) 182

by Tablizer (#48909429) Attached to: Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

What's a good example of a "useful" independent study cited in the book?

And some statements were outright false, such as claiming OOP sub-classing reduces code over switch/case statements (as I interpreted Meyer's claims). Although it's arguably language-dependent, my experiments suggest that switch/case statements are about the same amount of code. (C-style code has one of the most awkward switch/case statements out there.)

We've had some long and heated debates over switch/case statements versus sub-classing at the wiki. My own observation is that the net benefits depend on future change patterns of the code, which can vary widely per domain and project.

Comment: Re:Block Styles [Re:Modula-3 FTW!] (Score 1) 463

by Tablizer (#48909347) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

You are correct that one can use comments for such, but if it's part of the language, then first, It's always there rather than relying on the good-will of team coders; and second, the parser can use that info to make error messages a bit more useful (typically a message closer to the actual problem block).

Comment: Re: That's a nice democracy you have there... (Score 1) 372

Neither the US constitution, nor does any commentary I'm aware of, state that electors are pledged to represent the interests of their state.

U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Clause 2: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors..."

The idea that a state legislature would choose electors that represent its interests should be common sense.

Of course, at every crucial point in history prior to the 1860s, somebody suggests reducing the power of states in favor of either democratic populism (Jackson) of federal power (Hamilton, Washington...), and the argument against goes something like, "You're just trying to abolish slavery!" American federalism was invented as a pretext to sustain slavery in the colonies where it was economically entrenched.

You could just as validly claim that slavery was a scapegoat excuse for the Federal government to usurp power from the states. Preserving states' rights is yet another reason why we would have been better off if slavery had never existed...

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson