Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:It is Oettinger now. What did you expect? (Score 1) 41

by TheRaven64 (#49194929) Attached to: EU Free Data Roaming, Net Neutrality Plans In Jeopardy

There have been a few proposals recently to abolish SIMs. They were created back in the days of rented carphones so that people could move their phone number and contacts between phones easily. Now, they basically serve the same purpose as a WiFi password. It wouldn't be too difficult to provide the keying material in a QR code or similar so that when you get a new phone you just photograph it and have an app provide it to the baseband processor.

Carriers are very hostile to this, because if the SIM isn't a physical device there's no constraint on the number that can exist in one phone - you could easily have an app that would select the best rate from a dozen or so pre-pay virtual sims for whatever country you happened to be in.

Comment: Re:FREE free or "free with strings attached"? (Score 2) 72

by tepples (#49190543) Attached to: Source 2 Will Also Be Free

Althouh $100 is not much

To put it in perspective: This one-time $100 fee is less than the annually recurring fees of registering a domain, leasing a VPS for web hosting, buying an organization-validated TLS certificate, buying an organization-validated Authenticode certificate, and buying an Apple developer ID if you want to target OS X. And it's probably far less than what your studio pays its accountant every year, let alone programmers and artists.

Comment: Installation on what machine? (Score 2) 160

by tepples (#49190359) Attached to: Software Freedom Conservancy Funds GPL Suit Against VMWare

But does it include "compilation and installation" on the end user's machines, or only on developer hardware available only to a select few? The latter interpretation leads to the Tivoization loophole in the GPLv2. GPLv3 tightened this by defining "Installation Information", its counterpart to GPLv2's "scripts used to control [...] installation", to require that execution be possible "in that User Product" if the work is designed for a consumer platform.

Comment: Re:Right to remain silent where? (Score 1) 320

You're assuming that he's alluding to the fifth amendment, the Miranda warning is just a notification of it

Exactly. Each country phrases its notification of rights of the accused differently. For example, the police caution in Great Britain begins "You do not have to say anything." Use of a particular country's wording alludes to the statutory and case law regarding the rights of the accused in that country. For example, the police caution used in England and Wales since 1994 includes "it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court", a concept of guilt by omission that doesn't apply in the States. This difference was a plot point in an episode of the first season of Life on Mars, if the trope page about the British caution is to be believed.

Comment: I want to help make other platforms less bad (Score 1) 116

by tepples (#49189449) Attached to: NVIDIA Announces SHIELD Game Console

My consumer choices do not require your approval.

I never meant to imply that they did. If I did end up implying so, please help me figure out where so that I can learn not to do so again. I'm only trying to understand how consoles are ideal for your use case with the intent of figuring out how to make other platforms less bad. Or is wanting to know what makes a platform good itself an "entitled attitude"?

Just to deal with fiddly and horrible, the second you have to think about a file system or running processes or system configurations, you've blown it as far as UX for games go. So there's fiddly and horrible for you.

If you're moving saved games from one console hard drive or memory card to another, or freeing up GBs on a console's hard drive for a downloadable game or for a disc game's mandatory install, that's a file system. And as for "system configurations", some console makers' naming conventions don't make this easy either: "DS" vs. "3DS" vs. "2DS" vs. "New 3DS", or "Xbox" vs. "Xbox One".

I doubt a PC can match the idle power consumption

Anyone know how much power a PC uses in suspend?

Comment: Re:How to explain default key bindings? (Score 1) 116

by tepples (#49188445) Attached to: NVIDIA Announces SHIELD Game Console

I have yet to see one that shows the keyboard as a graphic in the way I've seen some games show the controller, as a graphic or technical drawing with clearly defined labels.

Good point. I worked on a game back in 1999 whose key bindings configuration screen showed the current bindings on top of a generic keyboard. Will players be confused if I show a generic keyboard, such as a Unicomp Model M, instead of the specific keyboard model connected to the system?

Another problem is that controllers for PCs are highly varied. Except for Xbox 360 controllers, you can't predict how the controller's buttons are laid out to display a diagram without either A. restricting yourself to Xbox 360 controllers (which use the XInput API) or B. buying hundreds of controllers, building a massive VID/PID database, and including this database with each copy of the game. So all you can display is something like "controller 1 axis 2 +" or "controller 1 button 3". How have other PC game developers solved this?

Comment: Consoles have even more strings (Score 1) 72

by tepples (#49188279) Attached to: Source 2 Will Also Be Free

Oddly enough, not even Xbox or Playstation is mentioned.

Only a few hand-picked developers are allowed to buy devkits for Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo platforms in the first place. They demonstrate this ability by producing and selling a few PC games first to establish "relevant video game industry experience" (source: and through other means. If your organization has the money to become a licensed developer of console games, then it is more likely to have the money for a traditional engine license.

Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 1) 356

by TheRaven64 (#49187757) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

Nuclear is expensive. Look at page 11.

Page 11 is talking about capital cost. The figure for nuclear is $7,591/kW, which is a lot more than some (although not the highest). But how does that work out over the lifetime of the plant? Assuming 100% uptime, that's 8,760kWh in the first year, so that's less than $0.90/kWh. If the plant is operating for 20 years, then that's around 4/kWh. Most nuclear plants are built with a 40-60 year expected lifespan, which makes the capital cost negligible over the lifetime of the plant.

The correct page to look at is Page 2, which gives the unsubsidised cost of electricity from all of the generating mechanisms. Nuclear is $124/MWh - that's lower than all of the other fuel sources in their 'conventional' bucket that have a little representative diamond listed (coal doesn't, and has a range that extends both above and below nuclear). Only Gas Combined Cycle is cheaper on average, and that's only when excluding most of the costs. Only utility-scale PV comes out cheaper overall, and you also need to add in storage costs if you want to use PV for a significant amount of grid supply.

Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 1) 356

by TheRaven64 (#49187713) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

You're better off building a containment wall against flooding and keeping the reactor not too far above the water level.

That's fine too. The problem is building neither. The other problem is not fixing the design that was known to cause hydrogen build-up and explosions that breach containment in any problem scenario.

Comment: Re:Really? Come on now, you should know better. (Score 1) 343

by TheRaven64 (#49186783) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?
For every anecdote of a human taking over and saving the day, you can find a similar one of the human taking over and crashing. It mostly boils down to the amount of training that the pilot has had - and even the ones that end up crashing in situations where the automatic systems would probably have managed have had vastly more training than almost any driver on the road...

Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line