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Comment Re:Tracking users' favorite shows? (Score 2) 34 34

Yeah, there are other reasons it's not really the issue though.

I'm going to come out and admit that I like the Wii U, I have all last gen and current gen consoles, and it's one of my favourites. It's not got the power of my PS4 or my X1, and sure it's been screwed on 3rd party game support leaving it few titles.

But it does have some quality titles, at the end of the day Nintendo has still put out more high quality 1st party titles that deserve game ratings in the 90%+ range than Nintendo and Sony have managed to acquire even with heavier 3rd party support.

Though it doesn't really matter, because Nintendo games are DIFFERENT. I don't play Wii U because I want to gun some bitches down, I don't play Wii U because I want to rip someone's heart out, I don't play Wii U because I want to pretend I'm a wizard battling vile demons in dark dungeons full of dismembered corpses. I play Wii U because sometimes pratting about bouncing around the screen or doing puzzles with colours flying at me left and right is actually also fun, and the Wii U does that like no other. So I'm not saying I think the Wii U is the greatest thing ever, it's not. What I am saying is that it's a fantastic complimentary console to the X1, the PS4, or a PC - it has it's place alongside the big hitters in providing a type of fun that the others just do not offer.

But despite my love for the Wii U in spite of it's failings, I didn't even know this TVii service existed. I've never heard of it or seen it, or if I have then it was so irrelevant that I've forgotten about it.

I'd say that if this failed, it failed because most people didn't even notice it. Certainly I never did and I suspect I've put as much time into my Wii U as your average owner, if not more. Tracking would be the least of my concerns if I never even really noticed it was there, or what it did to even use it so it could track me in the first place.

I'd say this is a failing based more on the fact it's a service few people even realise exists, on a console which hasn't sold well. Combine those together and you'll end up with a userbase so small that it's just not worth the cost of supporting. I'm not surprised therefore that the first I hear of this is that it's shutting down, and as a Wii U user, I don't really care either.

Comment Re:No chance of winning (Score 2) 176 176

Well I think it is more of a stretch, because no society is even remotely considering dealing with the problem of bank executive, as abhorrent as their actions are, with violence.

But many society have decided that dealing with violent criminal gangs with violence is an acceptable move, thus, it is in fact far less of stretch to think that dealing with such gangs that engage in poaching in the same way is a plausible option.

I don't really understand your bracketed sentence, it seems contradictory - you seem to be suggesting violence is okay to protect Africans, but not the animals that live near by, and yes, protection of the animals that live near by does inherently protect Africans, that's kind of the point.

I have posted before some examples of why poaching in places like Africa isn't a human victimless crime, some examples of how poaching can lead to the death of Africans (and non-Africans) in the following ways:

- Directly, where poachers kill African wardens and locals who bump into the poachers

- Poachers often poison the carcasses of animals they've killed, they do this to kill the vultures that feed on the carcasses, this is because the circling vultures give away the position of poacher activities to the authorities. This has led to the deaths of locals in the following ways:

1) The poison has made it into the limited water supplies in the region

2) The lack of vultures due to their populations being decimated from this sort of practice has led to spread of disease from decaying carcasses- disease can then be spread and kill by eating, by seeping into water supplies, or spread by insects. Vultures job in nature is to dispose of said carcasses so this doesn't happen

3) Other creatures may come into contact with the poison and are themselves used as a food source by locals, leading to the locals also ingesting the poison and dying

- Poachers have been known to destroy entire herds of elephants, destroying entire local ecosystems in the process. Some fruit bearing trees requires elephants to reach and eat the seeds, and shit them out where they grow. The saplings and the trees themselves when they make it to adulthood provide food to locals and their livestock. Without the elephants to spread and germinate these plants these species have been dying out causing subsequent death by starvation in some villages. Elephants are but one example - all poaching to the point of extinction or near extinction cripples ecosystems, destroying them not just for the animals, but also the humans that depend on them.

- Poaching funds human death. It funds terrorism, organised crime gangs, and drug cartels. It helps these groups afford weapons and explosives, which they use to kill people.

- Poaching creates no go areas and has killed tourism in some parts of Africa, this has destroyed livelihoods and had the obvious negative effects on people's ability to survive in those areas.

Thus, I'm not really sure why you think protecting animals against poaching, and protecting Africans (though it's not just Africans that are victims of poaching - these direct and indirect killings from poaching happen elsewhere too, i.e. prominently in Asia) are two separate things, they're not, they're deeply intertwined. The animals and the people who live in Africa do not live isolated and unlinked lives, people are as much dependent on ecosystems as animals, and both are necessary for each other to survive in an environment.

But this is true anywhere, even in places like the UK where the natural ecosystem has been destroyed and replaced largely with invasive species. For example, non-native ticks to the UK for example have led to people contracting lyme disease. Their natural predators are typically creatures like Pheasants, and Turkeys, but as we cull pheasant populations and such on a large scale, ticks can spread unchallenged, which means the prevalance of lyme disease (and the cost financially and in terms of human health has grown):

It's fine if you don't care about animals, but you seem to be implying you do care about the people, and unfortunately if you care about the people you need to care about the plight of the animals if nothing else because people are often dependent on said animals. The idea that humans exist in a bubble, independently of the rest of the world is one of the most naive, and unhelpful views that is prevalent in society.

Comment Re:Why are we even discussing this again? (Score 5, Interesting) 213 213

Okay Nerval or whichever Dice employee you are you're just embarrassing yourself and your company now, please, just stop.

Certainly in the development world, no one who actually has these roles you're theorising about gives the slightest shit about certifications. I can say this with absolute certainty because I've made it right to the top in a large and successful company without needing any and similarly when I'm hiring I pay exactly zero attention to certifications because they do not in any way tell you anything about the competency of the candidate.

You see the issue is that anyone can get these certifications, so your theory of who can and can't get them is meaningless, even junior devs can get them if they can be arsed, but ultimately they're just not worth the money. They have exactly zero impact on employability (and some even have negative impact).

So keep theorising all you want, those of us who actually work in the field and have worked our way to the top will keep laughing at how wrong you are and how desperate your shilling is. Even if I genuinely wasn't capable of getting these certifications, I frankly wouldn't care, because it's had no impact whatsoever in my ability to grow my career, hence even if you were right (which you're not) so fucking what? It's still meaningless, they still don't matter, not having them still hasn't dragged my pay down at all because I'm already getting paid as much as a developer can get paid, and I still enjoy my job regardless. There isn't any other metric that matters that these certifications could improve even if they did somehow matter as you're desperately trying to claim.

Really, it sounds like you're the bitter one simply because you blew all your money on certifications and have no actual skills so the only person you could find to employ you was Dice. I guess it must suck being in a dead end Dice job, but at least you have your pointless and irrelevant bits of paper to flap around right?

Comment Re:No chance of winning (Score 2) 176 176

"If 'politically correct' means not wanting to award a prize to a game encouraging vigilante, or state sponsored, murder of low level minor criminals then I suppose that's what you should call it, personally I prefer 'not being a dick'. "

Why? We already hand out awards left, right, and centre to games that encourage this. How is an award for a game like Battlefield Hardline where encouraging the killing of low level drug dealers or small time smugglers any different? Do we treat it differently because it's an indie attempt?

But let's be clear, you imply poachers are minor criminals. That's a bit of a stretch. Poaching comes in all flavours, at one end there's the guy with a small rifle shooting a Pheasant one day outside hunting season in rural England because he got his dates muddled up but takes the pheasant home to eat. Then there's the guy trying to make a quick buck to pay off a debt and as a result ends up funding a Mexican drug cartel that takes and sells on the black market an endangered cactus he pulled out of it's habitat for a few thousand dollars. Then there's the Africans poaching endangered species without a care to sell them as food and inadvertently bringing the world Ebola and AIDS as a result. Then at the other end of the scale, there's the organised crime groups who destroy an entire herd of elephants, and kill all the circling vultures to boot, shooting a gamekeeper and local or two that catch them and using the proceeds of this poaching to help fund groups like IS and Boko Haram. All of these things are poaching. Not all of them can have the perpertrators listed simply as minor criminals - really the descriptions here range from accidental criminal, to desperate guy, to fucking idiot, to worst type of criminal going, and there are of course examples outside those I just gave.

"We don't encourage people to stalk and kill murderers, rapists etc."

Well that's not entirely true, I think those things are actually the key justifications for supporting vigilante groups, and acting directly as a state against groups like IS.

So here's the question, if we're willing to do it then, is it really such a stretch to also hunt down, or encourage the hunting down of those industrial scale poachers that are also involved in murder, rape, and the funding of groups like IS? If it in turn decreases finances for groups like IS and cripples them then is it not a viable alternative to just fruitlessly trying to bomb them directly?

My usual disclaimer applies- I'm not pretending I know the answer, because I don't have enough evidence to way the pros and cons, and even if I did it'd still be a wholly subjective choice at the end of the day depending on your personal values, but I don't think this is as simple an issue as being suggested. It would be reasonably possible for example to make the case that by hunting and killing poachers involved in criminal and terrorist funding we'd actually save a lot more civilian lives in the long run because poachers themselves take human lives both directly and indirectly, but again, whether killing even one bad person to save many innocent is acceptable is really a very personal choice and probably depends on how utilitarian your views are.

Comment Re:im sure the meeting was interesting (Score 2) 132 132

"xbone makes money but I agree it hasn't been as successful as 360"

Depends what you mean by not as successful, certainly they've sold more X1's than they had X360s at the same point in their lifecycles.

The problem is more that the PS4 is doing even better again.

So the X1 is doing better than the 360 did when comparing unit sales, but worse than the 360 did when compared to it's competition.

Comment Re:Why are we even discussing this again? (Score 1) 213 213

Given that his post was basically the complete anti-thesis of reality, what's the bet that the AC was Nerval's Lobster or whoever trying to troll the discussion back on topic by posting inflamatory nonsense?

Dice posts story trying to pretend certifications matter, presumably because some certification peddler has paid them to do so. Everyone posts about Dice posting shill articles, with a few posts about how Dice's story is bollocks, then an AC posts a post claiming certifications matter in an inflamatory way.

I think this AC is a case of Dice agreeing with Dice.

Comment Re:Very important link left out: the agreement tex (Score 1) 485 485

"It's amazing isn't it? We've got so much information available at the touch of our fingers, yet we can't be bothered to spend the *seconds* it would take to find a source document regarding the matter at hand."

But that might mean us finding out that we were wrong about something, and no one is ever wrong on the internet.

Comment Re:Privatize the profits, socialize the loses... (Score 2) 485 485

"But I do think it's interesting that very few eastern European EU nations have adopted the Euro so far (and instead, a couple of non-EU eastern European nations like Montenegro have unilaterally adopted it)."

It's because entrance into the EU is staged. It goes something like this:

1) A country expresses interest to join

2) That country must make political changes to meet EU standards- this means matching EU standards on things like product quality/safety, human rights, law enforcement and so on and so forth

3) The country can, once reaching European standards in this area join the political union promising to advance towards joining the monetary union

4) They must then reform and change their economy towards adhering to the standards required to join the monetary union. If they're a poor country, this means waiting until their economy has grown sufficiently to not be too out of par with the rest of the eurozone countries. The EU gives them financial help to do this, and being part of the political union makes it easier because they have free trade as a result of that with the rest of Europe.

5) When they're ready economically, they must join the eurozone.

Now that's how it's supposed to work. The reason most of those countries you cite aren't in yet is because they were relatively poor, and are simply at the political stage having not grown their economies sufficiently to join.

Of course, Greece was one of the early adopters when they were still trying to kick the thing off and at that point they just wanted as much membership as possible to kick it all off. In hindsight Greece should've been lumped in with the not-yet-ready club, because they were fiddling their figures and lying about the state of their economy.

So those non-members you cite aren't non-members out of choice (that only applies to the UK, Denmark, and Sweden), they're non-members because they're not yet ready. Countries like Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary and so forth aren't yet strong enough to sustain the euro as their currency. In reality neither is Greece, and arguably a country like the Czech Republic is now probably a more suitable candidate than Greece, but it's apparently not an option to return Greece to candidate status.

Greece is alone in the region because most of those members in the region are fairly new entrants to the EU, Greece was alone in being a much earlier entrant to the EU- Most of that is down to the cold war. Many of those poorer nations that are non eurozone members but EU members were stuck behind the iron curtain as part of the USSR whilst Greece was not.

So the idea with the EU is that it's a one-way track, you join politically, then you switch economically. Even Sweden is committed to this, but has quite reasonably said "Not until you get your house in order!". Only the two countries with opt-outs, the UK and Denmark can get away with it indefinitely. I don't know why Denmark has an opt-out, but the UK has it because there was no taste for losing the pound amongst the UK public, and the EU really wants the UK to be an EU member because a) It's one of the top 5/6 world economies, b) It's one of 5 permanent UN security councils, c) It's nuclear armed and one of the best militaries in the world, d) It's Europe's political and economic gateway to America and the Commonwealth. The UK therefore got special treatment.

Most of those countries you mention may not be members yet, but they're legally committed to becoming so as part of their EU membership agreement.

I think it's true that Greece could be dropped back to EU member status without being a euro user, but that would require treaty amendments and keep in mind that even the Greeks themselves don't want this because they don't want to lose the purchasing power the euro affords them (Greece is an import economy, based largely on tourism, so a weak currency doesn't benefit them as much as it would a manufacturing economy). Had Greece said 5 years ago "Guys, this ain't working for us right now, we need to print drachmas again and drop to political member until we're properly ready for the eurozone" then I suspect that's exactly where they'd be. But there's no will by them to do that and have less ability to buy massive TVs and Xboxes or whatever, and there's no will by the big eurozone states to see the european project go backwards in this way so it hasn't happened.

So I hope this clarifies euro useage- it's not a choice in itself per-se, it's part of a legal agreement of being an EU member to become a eurozone member when ready. The only countries that is not true for are those with explicit opt outs like the UK.

Comment Re:Credibility is key (Score 1) 485 485

"Varoufakis was very vocal about the need for the reforms, but he has been forced out (by the EU !)"

Yeah but that was exactly the problem. The EU didn't need someone who was very vocal. They needed someone who was actually willing to do it. Varoufakis was not that person - he's a charismatic populist, he talks the talk but does not walk the walk.

The same thing was true in Italy for a while where you had these very vocal characters saying the right things to try and make everyone happy but not actually doing what needed to be done, but it wasn't until they fucked off and some competent technocrats came in to do the actual necessary that things started to improve.

Some people like Varoufakis are simply focussed on making people like them, they say everything right to achieve that, but they wont do what's necessary because doing what's necessary would make many people no longer like them. That's why he had to go - it's not a fucking popularity contest, it's about actually solving the problem.

Tsipras has learnt that the hard way, he's approached leadership as a popularity contest, desperately trying to avoid responsibility for the position he's put himself into, and now he's been faced with a choice between being the guy that finally bankrupted Greece and turned it 3rd world, or being the guy who accepts painful necessity, he's realised that some things are more important than just trying to be Mr Popular. Varoufakis never had that realisation, which is why he just had to go.

Comment Re:The Charlie H killers were roommates (Score 1) 174 174

If the question was being asked of Gordon Brown when he was pushing the same thing back in 2009, I'd agree, he had no clue. But the thing to bear in mind with Cameron is that he's surrounded himself with tech advisors - from Ian Livingstone, BT's old boss, to Martha Lane Fox, founder of He's also quite close to Google, having been a key driver in involving them with his Silicon Roundabout initiative. He's also spent a lot of time with Berners Lee on the open data initiative, so whilst I really don't identify with Tory policies, I think credit is deserved in that him and his government are and have been far more tech savvy at least than previous governments, what little good it actually does.

But he's also made comments in the past about how he understands that you can't simply legislate away encryption - he's made reference to the failed attempts in the US at this in the 80s/90s. That's why I think he probably knows full well that that would be a non-starter, and why I don't think for one minute the conclusion IBTimes has jumped to that he wants to legislate for banning of apps is in any way what he was suggesting.

Comment Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 33 33

"China has a decade or two of growth over India"

Yeah but I think that's kind of his point. There's no inherent reason China should have a decade or two of growth over India other than the fact that India decide to skip the whole industrial revolution phase and try and jump into competition with 1st world nations on services. It looked good at first, and then it failed, and it failed hard. Mumbai went from being theorised to be the number 1 world financial centre now to currently being sat around 53rd in the world behind such well known financial centres as Almaty, Kazakhstan and Casablanca, Morocco.

The problem is that you can't have a services based economy without a great education system, and whilst India put a lot of money into marketing the propaganda that India has more graduates than the US has people or whatever, it turned out to be complete nonsense because your average India graduate was less well educated than your typical US high school student is at the age of 16.

That's not to say India doesn't have some great universities, and doesn't churn out some great graduates - you only have to look to see how many end up in Silicon Valley in well paid jobs, but the number of actual good universities is pretty poor. For example both the QS and Times world university rankings don't see an Indian entry until 200+, so if India can't even create a university that's within the top 200 world universities then it's at a clear disadvantage in the services sector. Simply sending students abroad to university cannot produce the volume you need.

China is basically pursuing the path of Western development at warp speed, it's going from an agrarian society, through an industrial revolution, to services in the space of 30 or so years - something that took the West a few hundred. India made a fundamental mis-step when it tried to skip that because you need the industrial step to create the necessary infrastructure and to provide the necessary income base.

"but does anyone really doubt manufacturing is on its way out?"

This is nonsense, it may be on it's way out, but you still need to produce those factories one way or another. We're nowhere near, not even close to robots that can self-assemble for any purpose. People are going to be essential in the field for a long time yet, and even as robots do take over some jobs, those robots are still drastically more expensive than 3rd world salaries workers. So whilst they may make sense for high tech manufacturing in the West where salaries are high, the business case just isn't there and wont be for some time in places like India and China. You can't just linger around until the tech does become available and then build all your factories with robots and have robots build your manufacturing base for otherwise India will be waiting another 50 years at which time the rest of the world will have forgotten about them completely.

"China has had rough economic times for the past decade as American manufacturing returns to American robots (at least, if the Chinese stock market is any guide - hard to be certain)."

You say you've researched things considerably before putting your money where your mouth is, but this doesn't even remotely resemble reality. The Chinese stock market has been in turmoil for the past week. not the past decade, and is now stabilising anyway. Over the last decade China has grown rapidly. It's growth has been between 7.5% at it's lowest, and 15% at it's highest since 2005. In contrast India has seen a low of 4% (barely better than developed economies) and a high of 10%. Chinese average growth has been far faster than India over the last decade. Yes Chinese growth is slowing but it's still much higher than Indian growth and that's more a sign of the fact that China has now grabbed most of the low hanging fruit and is having to compete on tougher terms. In India the low hanging fruit is still there, desperately waiting to be picked.

"Does the word "symbol" in my initial post confuse you? What about the word "inspiration"? As in "half the people my age I know who work in tech were inspired by NASA and science fiction". It's important for mankind that our reach exceed our grasp."

You're exactly right, but whilst India has neither the infrastructure to maintain growth in this sort of area without massive state subsidy, and whilst it completely fails to provide an education system that is sufficient to fulfil those aspirations that that symbol creates for the vast majority of it's people then still, what's the point? It's no use inspiring people to want to travel into space if you have not the means to give them the education required, nor to grow the sector due to lack of infrastructure.

India has a population of 1.25 billion people, but only about 0.5 billion of those people are able to match Western standards because that's all their institutions are able to support, and sure that's enough to get them a space station, but not much else.

China in contrast has made a point of starting from the beginning and following through every step, it has the infrastructure from the ground up, and more and more universities are reaching Western standards. China has 7 in the top 200 vs. India's none for example.

15 years ago India and China were the golden boys of the world economy, the up and comers, both expected to be the top two world economies. China is on track in second place, India fell by the wayside at 9th place, just beneath Italy - you know, one of the PIGS nations of economic crisis fame.

It's possible now that India has a relatively new leader they can finally turn things around, there's really nothing stopping them other than political will, but they've ultimately lost a decade.

Comment Re:The Charlie H killers were roommates (Score 2) 174 174

"The choices are communications you (GCHQ/MI5/etc) may not be able to decrypt, or communications that anyone may be able decrypt."

Actually I think that's exactly what he was gunning for, having followed the original announcements and speech. This Australian IBTimes article seems to be putting a completely different interpretation on what was said at the time.

At the time, Cameron was talking about increasing funding and tools for the security services, as such, it seemed pretty clear he was talking about bolstering the ability of the security services to crack encryption be it through making it easier to perform MITM attacks, or by simply increasing funding for crypto research aimed at breaking common encryption.

Cameron is a prick, there's no doubt about that, but he isn't stupid. Even he knows a ban on certain applications would never work.

I don't even know why the IBTimes has come up with this theory now, 2 months after the queens speech. It seems like a classic case of sensationalism for hits. The timing is about 2 months too late, and the content seems to be entirely speculation with no evidence.

The communications bill is bad news for sure, but every time I see nonsense that distracts from what's really contained like this I'm becoming more and more concerned that stories like this may well be getting thrown out there to distract from the bad things it actually contains. I think they figure if they get the internet riled up arguing over something the bill doesn't and will not contain, then there'll be no debate over the problematic things it does contain which can then pass without debate because no fuss was made about them. If nothing else they can claim the bill is now fine because they climbed down over things the internet was arguing about even though those things were never really drafted to be in there in the first place.

If this did make it into the bill, sure, argue about it, but there's no evidence of anything like this right now, there is however evidence of things that should be argued for that aren't there - like the enforcement of the fundamental principle that police and security services should not be able to access private data without warrant.

Comment Re:They are trying to get off... (Score 1) 104 104

That's why the obvious solution is to move somewhere where the local mob doesn't have any presence.

These people had the money and resources to do that but they chose not to and to remain complicit.

Head abroad, claim asylum if need be, and work with the police there. It becomes impossible for them to follow you and touch you. The strength these organised gangs have is also their weakness- you're absolutely right that in their home territory they have tough and sophisticated networks, but as soon as they start trying to dabble in those networks elsewhere, in someone else's territory, they're out of their depth and in trouble - they'll need local criminal support to do what they need to do, but criminals tend not to like other criminals infringing on their territory.

I'd wager the life expectancy of a couple of Italian-American mobsters from Chicago in somewhere like Croydon, South London, for example is probably about the duration of a couple of jabs with a knife. That's assuming local informants haven't already tagged you to the police because you stood out like a sore thumb. The best bet is probably to pay someone local to do the job, but in a country like the UK you'd be hard pressed to find someone who had the resources to both do it, and do it without being caught and without you similarly being tagged.

I'm not saying it's still without it's risks, but I'd wager the risks are still lower than working with them in the hope that they wont suddenly decide you're a loose end, a risk, or surplus to requirements regardless.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.