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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).

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Comment: Re:Alternate Bank of Canada Press Release (Score 1) 211

by mark-t (#49185497) Attached to: <em>Star Trek</em> Fans Told To Stop "Spocking" Canadian $5 Bill
They don't owe you money if you refuse to accept cash... but neither do they owe you the services or goods for which you may have wanted to pay for in cash... in which case they are typically asked for immediately in advance of such services rendered or goods exchanged.

Comment: Re:Easy of porting over is the key (Score 1) 199

by mark-t (#49159649) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

XBox isn't capable as a standalone development platform in the first place, Linux is.

Offering a "port to Linux" button without actually having the development tools work natively on Linux treats Linux as if it were a standalone gaming console, like the XBox, but most actual Linux installs are not used for gaming as an XBox might be.

Clearly, the developers of Unity itself don't actually feel that taking the effort to even port their dev tools to Linux was worthwhile, so why should on earth should a game studio take Linux seriously, when,. as I said, most Linux installs are not generally used exclusively for gaming anyways?

Comment: Too much information is lost in the photo (Score 1) 412

by mark-t (#49154473) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

Sampling the pixels directly from the image reveals that the dress color in the photo has a hue between in or around the range of 230 or so, which happens to be blue. However, because it appears that the dress was not directly lit, that hue may be arising because of diffuse interreflections with its surroundings, something that anything which has a lighter shade can be very susceptible to if the only light hitting it is diffused, and which is the kind of lighting that this dress does appear to be exposed to in the photo.

So there is simply too much information about the surrounding lighting conditions that has been lost from the photo to ascertain with any certainty what the actual color of the dress is... at least from this one photograph alone.

Debating the matter is pointless, because it is impossible to actually arrive at a logically valid conclusion merely from what one can see in this photograph except through sheer guesswork.

Comment: Estimates are fine if.... (Score 1) 347

by mark-t (#49147141) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

... the functional requirements are clear, and do not change during the development lifecycle.

Except what usually happens is that a feature change will come along *AFTER* the design phase has already started, or else the requirements weren't unambiguous enough in the first place. Oh... and in the real world, at least in my experience, a developer isn't often in the position of being able to say "we can't do that", unless the developer is also very amenable to finding a different employer in the extremely near future.

This usually puts the programmer in the position of having to be a sort of prognosticator, and anticipating what the most likely types of design changes are going to be while doing development, and designing software that will be robust enough to accommodate such changes with only a modest increase in time spent, without losing any work on design that has already been completed. Sometimes, particularly with an experienced programmer, or one who really knows the people who are likely to make design change requests, and so may be able to predict what they are liable to really want beyond what was stated in the functional requirements documentation, this kind of forecasting is within the grasp of a human being to accomplish But it's never easy.

Comment: Re:Get ready for metered service (Score 1) 631

by mark-t (#49146675) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

I kind of picked that up.... my point is that a land-line telephone doesn't ordinarily have any "per use' charges in addition to the flat rate unless you are making long-distance calls.... and even then, at least for residential lines, you can often get plans that allow unlimited long distance at a rate that is quite attractive if one is in the position of making many of those calls in a month.

So sure... while there's precedent for utilities being metered from water, power, and gas... there's also no lack of precedent for utilities being flat-rate, such as telephone... or cable, for that matter.

Comment: Re:Easy of porting over is the key (Score 1) 199

by mark-t (#49145087) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era
Having the Unity editor work under Linux was, at least as of about this time last year, by far the most popularly requested feature enhancement... outweighing the number of user votes for just that one feature by almost an order of magnitude more than the next most requested feature for Unity.... and still the developers do not care.

So clearly, it's not hurting Unity any that they aren't porting the editor to Linux.... Considering the price of their software compared to the average game, I highly doubt it would cost game companies as much as you suggest.

That's not to say that the company couldn't make that money from a linux game, but that's also not to say that the company wouldn't have made that much anyways from windows or mac version sales simply because a linux port wasn't available... since most gamers tend to have one of those systems at home anyways.

Comment: Re:Get ready for metered service (Score 1) 631

by mark-t (#49141225) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules
In my lifetime, there has never been a per minute cost of using a land-line phone in any region that I have ever lived, except for long distance calls, which I only very rarely make. I used to have per-minute billing on my cell phone, but have moved to a flat-rate fee per month on that as well, and have unlimited local calling, 24/7... just like the land line.

Parts that positively cannot be assembled in improper order will be.

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