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Comment: Re:we're talking about controllers (Score 1) 203

by Xest (#47924925) Attached to: Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

Microsoft aren't trying to produce a magic controller that is perfect for everyone, because given the manufacturing constraints of producing a million different shaped controllers that'd be impossible.

What they're doing is targetting something that pleases the largest amount of people in a representative sample, this is real design testing and it's a shame you don't understand that.

This is why when you buy t-shirts or similar you have a choice between small, medium, large, and maybe extra large and xxl, but what you don't get is a thousand different shapes with a few millimetres here or there.

You apparently don't understand the reality of producing a product and the use of samples to provide a solution that's pleasing to the largest amount of people in a sample as possible. Sure they could've made it bigger all around for people with large hands and their cramping problem, but they'd be satisfying 1% of their user base whilst making it too big for the other 99%. Likely they've landed up with something that was preferable to a decent majority (like 80%) even if 20% preferred other designs.

You cannot design something like a controller around a minority, the fact you think you should shows that contrary to your early comments about HCI it's most definitely you that absolutely does not have the slightest clue about the combined topics of HCI and the reality of providing a manufacturable and marketable solution.

Comment: Re:NSA scorecard on on truth? (Score 1) 193

by Xest (#47924909) Attached to: New Details About NSA's Exhaustive Search of Edward Snowden's Emails

Bless, you've missed the entire argument about effective spying vs. blanket surveillance of targets it's illegal (under the US' own laws) to surveil. I'll give you a hint, since the US ratified the UDHR into law it's just as illegal for the US to spy on foreign civilians that have no threat dimension to the US (i.e. are not terrorists, criminals, or foreign spies) as it is to spy on your own people.

Yes of course all countries spy, everyone knows that, you're stating the obvious and repeating something that's already been said. What most countries do though when spying is focus on threats, not snoop illegaly through the communications of foreign civilians that have no threat dimension.

Which is why when you support illegal spying of foreign innocents, you're supporting the exact same illegality that you're bitching about with non-foreigners.

But I get it, you're one of those crackpot American exceptionalists, you believe you're the master race and everyone else is irrelevant and that only you matter, which would also explain why you're not very smart and missed the entire point above- they're spying on you because you support and defend their illegal spying- you can't say it's okay for them to spy illegally in some cases, but not in others, you don't get to pick and choose, the law is the law and if you want them to break it then don't be surprised and don't bitch and moan when they do exactly that to you.

Comment: Re:while... (Score 1) 113

by Xest (#47924891) Attached to: Indian Mars Mission Has Completed 95% of Its Journey Without a Hitch

But we're not talking about 1946 - 1999, that's irrelevant to what's happening now. It's like going back 300 years and saying, well, look at the growth of the UK with it's empire, obviously that means it's kicking ass in the world! It's meaningless.

"China's overwhelming advantage over India and much of the rest of the world is its 5000 years of centralization, plans that would have been non-starters in a decentralized government and economy, like One Child and the open development of the Great Firewall, are acceptable there. Brasil is a special case, drastically underpopulated and resource-rich, while India is the exact opposite. You're not even comparing apples and oranges, more like apples and Barkaloungers."

If you think you can make India a special case by arguing that there is something different about the country then you're severely misguided. We all operate in the same world economy and all countries have their differences. Whatever differences you want to argue for India you can't hide from the fact that it has failed to take advantage of the same growth in largely ex-3rd world nations that China and Brazil have seen. We have evidence of why it's failed too - India's great outsourcing of services plan was too much of a leap and it failed because it didn't have the talent required to support those sorts of high

"Stand back and take the long view, look forward a generation or two. Other cultures do it, which is why Japan, China and India have repeatedly risen from the ashes like the phoenix."

What you're effectively saying is "Yes, we've fucked up in the short term but maybe it'll all be okay in the end!" that's nonsense, it's pointless speculation. Maybe India will also collapse and split into 20 different nations, predicting the future is a mugs game. What matters is the heard and now and the much more predictable near future - it's still clear that whilst India's neighbours like China have massively prospered, India has failed.

Your whole argument is based around "but the past!" and "but the future!", it's a pathetic attempt to hide from the reality of the recent past, the current, and the near future and it shows a profound lack of will to accept reality and instead make up a pretend future in the hope it'll come true and somehow absolve your nonsense arguments about why it doesn't matter that it's failed in the present.

Comment: Re:not like megacorps don't control OSS already (Score 4, Insightful) 53

by Xest (#47916755) Attached to: Industry-Based ToDo Alliance Wants To Guide FOSS Development

That, and frankly, the FOSS community needs to make a choice - if they want the year of Linux on the desktop to stop being a joke and start being a reality there has to be a move towards this sort of professionality that gives corporations the confidence they need to roll it out onto the desktop - they need to know it will be supported for x number of years, they need to know there will be frequent updates to keep it competitive and so on.

There are a non-negligible number of participants in the FOSS community that want both global domination for their software, but just want to continue to developing in a laissez faire attitude - avoiding the responsibilities of creating something genuinely competitive and reliable enough to become dominant such as decent planning, professional efforts on documentation, design and UX stuff whilst also complaining that it doesn't get the attention they want.

IMO there are two choices developers have when working on FOSS projects:

1) Do it for fun and don't give a shit who or how many people use it, don't care how they use it, when they use it, just develop it because you like developing and because it's a good opportunity to showcase your skills and keep them sharp.

2) Care about how people use it, how successful it is, how widespread it is, but accept that there is a cost to this - the cost being that you have to expend effort doing the non-fun parts of software development like offering support, quashing bugs in a pre-agreed timeframe, providing documentation and so on and so forth.

Those who want the success and want to crush proprietary software without wanting to put in the effort of doing the boring stuff that makes proprietary software so successful in so many cases are living in fantasy land. Personally I have respect for people whatever decision they make above, what I don't have respect for are those who want to achieve the political agenda of 2) but simultaneously demand the lack of responsibilities of 1) - that's not realistic.

Comment: Re:hope for improvements (Score 1) 324

by Xest (#47916043) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

"Are you running it full screen at your maximum screen resolution with the highest graphical settings "

Yes absolutely, I think the laptop resolution is only 1366 x 768, but given the lower specs it shouldn't result in such a disparity. The laptop does struggle a little with Diablo 3 unless you turn the settings down a bit but certainly have never had any problems with Minecraft (it's actually the laptop my girlfriend uses to play - the system I play on is a 2.83ghz quad core with 8gb of RAM from 2008 with just the graphics card updated to a 650ti a year or two back and that easily gets 60fps at max settings on Minecraft and close enough on Diablo 3 too for reference).

"I'm pretty certain it's the game, not the drivers. It's the same regardless if it's on Linux or Windows."

Would it not be a universal issue if it was the game? This is genuinely the first I've heard of glaring Minecraft performance issues and I know of many people who run it at 60fps or more on far lower spec systems than you're running. I was going to suggest that maybe there's a problem with your Java install, but if it's effecting Linux and Windows equally that that seems unlikely (but not impossible of course) too. There must be something that Minecraft or Java/JNI doesn't like about your specific hardware configuration, but I really couldn't guess what.

Comment: Re:while... (Score 2) 113

by Xest (#47915827) Attached to: Indian Mars Mission Has Completed 95% of Its Journey Without a Hitch

The problem is you're taking that evidence and extrapolating it to "Asia" is a powerhouse. In doing so you're effectively feeding off the success of countries that have done exceptionally well like China when the reality is that different countries in Asia have had very different experiences. China has grown rapidly but Japan has stagnated, India has disappointed whilst in South America, Brasil has completely outflanked it.

Whatever India's policies, one thing is clear - it's not done very well compared to China and Brasil so those policies most definitely have not paid off. Starting from a low point with over a billion people India should've done much better than it has- it's policies have been largely a failure- not as big a failure as they could be sure, India is still growing well, but it's nowhere near it's potential, not even close, and it still has massive problems where little progress has been made despite neighbours like China making far greater progress on those issues (access to education, poverty).

Comment: Re:hope for improvements (Score 1) 324

by Xest (#47915809) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

Okay, let's make one thing clear - I am not saying that Java programs are always faster than C++ programs or any such thing. I am saying, correctly, that there are technical reasons why there are circumstances in which Java can outperform C++. Over the course of a large complex program these benefits will almost always be outweighed by the disadvantages. I'll address your points one by one:

1. "1. Java is faster than C/C++?! Citation fucking needed. Any time Java meets or exceeds C/C++ for speed is probably because the library that the Java program is leveraging is an extremely optimized, pre-compiled, native binary... probably written in C/C++."

Incorrect. When Java is faster than C++ it's because it compiles with more context than a C++ application does when it is compiled. This allows for things like better virtual function inlining and subsequently things like better loop vectorisation. Again, this has to be taken in context, this does not mean that these optimisations that Java can make but C++ can not always make Java faster, that's absolutely false, but in practice it does mean that contrary to the common myth that Java performance is abysmal that performance has in the last decade rapidly approached (and again, in specific circumstances, surpassed) C++ performance.

2. "2. JIT compilation doesn't magically transform inherently slow semantics into super-fast-omg-native-speeds. Guess what? New'ing up a bunch of objects, destroying them, checking the bounds on every array, boxing and unboxing, pausing everything to run a garbage collect, using linked lists instead of arrays, and other similar abuses of memory and cache are fucking slow. Guess what Java does a lot of? You can pull the same stupidity in C or C++, but at least there's the option not to."

You are partly right here, and partly wrong. Some of the issues you cite are reasons why, in practice, large Java applications rarely perform as well as C++ counterparts, but you are also partly wrong - a number of the things you cite are either not issues, or are regularly optimised away by the compiler in practice. The garbage collector is indeed an issue that is the bane of obtaining deterministic performance with Java, but it's not a beast that is impossible to tame, which is why Java has had many successful applications to HPC tasks.

"3. "Well just write your Java program with memory stuff in mind." So... write it like C++ and STILL pay the penalty of the GC kicking in at random times and trashing your frame rate? No thanks. There's a reason engines like Unreal, Crytek, and id's are all written in C++: they write their own stuff to handle memory in an efficient fashion instead of a random stop-everything-while-I-clean-this-mess-up GC."

Sure, and there's a reason indies are almost entirely using JIT'd languages like Java and C# through tools and frameworks such as Unity and MonoGame - because when you're not going AAA then these types of frameworks perform perfectly well for gaming as proven by so many brilliant indie games in recent years. I absolutely agree that if you're making the latest and greatest cutting edge 3D engine that is going to blow away people with it's visuals that you'll still want to do it in C++, but let's be clear - this isn't most game development, far and away most game development in recent years is being done with managed languages - even on mobile there is a massive slant towards things like Unity. Even big studios like Blizzard are using it sometimes for games like Hearthstone.

"4. Why pay the penalty of waiting while the JIT converts stuff to optimized machine code? Why not START with optimized machine code?"

Because there is an absolutely massive development overhead in doing so.

There are a lot of folk stuck in the past, believing that C++ is still the god language, the be all and end all that should be used for everything, just as there is an even smaller subset of folk who see those C++ zealots even as heathens and believe everything ever should be written in C, and I'm sure it goes all the way down the chain to the one guy in a basement of some office block somewhere that insists everything should be written in machine code directly.

But that's not the real world, the fact is that lines have become blurred, it's not so clear cut any more that the lower level you go the better performance you get, hell, this isn't even a new thing - in the early 90s you could always write C/Assembly that performed better than C++, but by the end of the 90s and start of the 00s this was no longer true, there were few assembly programmers with the level of talent required to write more efficient assembly than a C++ compiler could churn out. The same is happening now with managed languages - as the last decade has progressed it's become ever less clear that there is any tangible performance benefit in using C++ for many applications and that's why even the game development world, one of the most high performance of all consumer facing worlds of development has even started to stray away from C++. There absolutely are still places where C++ matters, and professionally, I know this for a fact, because I use C#, Java, and C++ primarily and as a software architect it's been up to me to make the call as to when it's time to use C++ - a call that I most certainly do make when it makes sense. The reality is though that the time and place for C++ has consistently declined over the years relative to other technologies.

Now you might not like this, it might offend you greatly, you may take great issue with it, but it is reality, and no amount of bitterness and language fanboyism will change it, so you can really just make a choice - either sit bitter, posting anonymously (presumably because you're embarrassed to put your name to something you deep down know you don't fully understand) about something that wont change because your viewpoint is based on a few various fundamental lacks of understanding of the nuances of the technologies in question, or get over it and embrace it like everyone else that's actually being productive in this constantly changing world.

Comment: Re:NSA scorecard on on truth? (Score 1) 193

by Xest (#47915721) Attached to: New Details About NSA's Exhaustive Search of Edward Snowden's Emails

You pay the NSA to spy arbitrarily on civilian photos, files, and text messages in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that the US has ratified into law?

No wonder things like the Boston bombings and 9/11 happened if you're more interesting in paying your security services to arbitrarily breach the right of privacy of everyone and anyone rather than you know, real actual potential threats to your country.

If you think the solution to finding those threats is, rather than making better tools for finding the needle in the haystack, to simply make the haystack bigger and the needle harder to find than ever, then you're part of the problem. You obviously really don't understand what security services are for or how they can act more efficiently, your opinion of what they should be doing is the anti-thesis of effective security services so it's not surprising that they commit transgressions internally when you openly support committing of transgressions and ineffectiveness externally.

You apparently see these as two distinct problems, naively oblivious to the fact that they're one and the same- you can't openly support illegality and ineffectiveness when it suits and then bitch and moan about it when you suddenly take issue with it.

Comment: Re:suppliers tested? (Score 1) 203

by Xest (#47915693) Attached to: Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

That's not inconsistent, it's testing an untried proposition. What you're suggesting is taking a loved proposition and completely getting rid of it.

Obviously it's not me that doesn't understand about designing for HCI because I get something fundamental that you don't - I get that if you have something that works for users, and that is loved by users, then you don't throw it out the window and start all over again - minor 1mm adjustments to perfect an already great design are enough.

Comment: Re:hope for improvements (Score 4, Informative) 324

by Xest (#47908747) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

"They need to drop Java or figure out a way to compile Java to actual machine code so the game runs well."

Yeah, why has no one thought of this?

You realise the way modern Java (since like 1999) works is that you write an application in Java, that Java code gets compiled to Java bytecode, which you can think of as a cross platform version of assembly, and then that Java Virtual Machine on which you run that bytecode (i.e. the compiled Java application) does in fact convert it into actual machine code right? Not just machine code, but machine code optimised for the exact machine the JVM is executing on? This allows the JVM to reach C++ levels of performance and some cases go beyond, because C++ is generally only compiled for a specific architecture, whilst the JVM optimises for a specific machine.

This does mean slow first time execution of modules as each module is optimised to that executing machine's native machine code the first time it is used, but after that first execution of the program or library you're basically getting native performance.

For what it's worth though, the console version of Minecraft (360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One) is apparently written in C++ because some of those platforms - i.e. the Xbox - don't have a Java Virtual Machine on which the Java version could be executed on.

I have a relatively low end laptop, it cost like £300 a year ago, and it runs Minecraft absolutely fine. What spec are your machines if they can't even run Minecraft?

Comment: Re:An end to XBox? (Score 3, Insightful) 324

by Xest (#47908491) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

I doubt Microsoft cares how it does in Japan nowadays, Japan stopped being a relevant indicator of the health of a video game industry entrant about 10 years ago. Since then both the US and subsequently Europe became bigger markets by far, and even markets like Brasil and China are arguably more worth spending your time on now than Japan if you're in that industry. Japan's two decades of economic stagnation have really hit it's relevance to the industry hard in this respect - the struggling Wii U and Sony's precarious overall financials (The PS4 is doing well though thankfully) have only exacerbated the problem.

Despite their mis-steps this generation they actually did well last generation in the end in large part because they were pulling in over $1bn of pure profit from Xbox Live subscriptions alone within a few years of the launch of the 360. This couple with the highest attach rate by a decent margin coupled with higher profits-per-game than the Wii last generation allowed them to be more profitable despite not shifting anywhere near as many consoles as the Wii did.

Whether they'll keep doing well is anyone's guess, but the XBox division is currently a massively different beast compared to how it started last generation with it's RROD writeoffs and massive initial R&D expenses on the system.

There were rumours of them selling it off and such but I can't see them getting rid of it now that it's finally been a healthy net profit centre for a good few years now - it would seem odd to invest 10 years on profitably making your way into a key target area for Microsoft - the living room - only to then give up when you've achieved your goals of decent market penetration and real actual profit, still, stranger things have happened so I guess we'll see.

Comment: Re:NSA scorecard on on truth? (Score 4, Insightful) 193

by Xest (#47908375) Attached to: New Details About NSA's Exhaustive Search of Edward Snowden's Emails

I've no idea because personally I'm not American and hence not affected by the IRS' actions so nor do I particularly give a shit what they have or haven't lied about.

The IRS may be a bigger threat to liberty in the US than the NSA, but it's certainly a non-entity in terms of dangers to liberty for the whole of the rest of the world compared to the NSA which is a real genuine threat for those of us not living in America yet still having our data stolen and our privacy invaded.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!