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Comment: Re:Lame.. (Score 1) 158

by Yaztromo (#47771747) Attached to: A Horrifying Interactive Map of Global Internet Censorship

For example, this week I saw a video of a beheading. Now after watching it I probably wish that somebody had filtered that for me.

If it makes you feel any better, unless you watched a completely different video than I did (something other the what has been in the news recently), you didn't see a beheading. Did you see the blood spurt/drain out as the carotid/jugular were severed? Did you see the disarticulation of the spine? Those weren't in any version of the video I saw. It moves from a guy making a sawing motion with a knife in front of a guy throat, to a picture of the disembodied head sitting atop the body.

That's not to say that the guy is any less dead, or that it was any less horrific. But there was a lot of somewhat creative editing going on in that video. Shadows seem to shift at different points relative to the background, indicating that some of the later parts may have been recorded an hour or two after the earlier parts. There is some analysis that seems to indicate the "terrorist" may have been two different people at different points in the video. There are a lot of cuts, and quite a bit you don't see.

I'm not saying the video is a complete fake. The guy obviously suffered a horrific death, and the perpetrators need the full weight of the western worlds power brought down upon them. But don't beat yourself up about watching a beheading -- what was shown was both sad and shocking, but it left out the actual beheading part (again, unless there is some special uncut version out there I haven't heard about).

Yaz

Comment: Re: Doing it wrong? (Score 1) 112

by Yaztromo (#47751921) Attached to: Is Dong Nguyen Trolling Gamers With "Swing Copters"?

Sure, you could cobble together all the assets and code together in no time...

That depends on the game, which supports my thesis.

Strong AI is difficult to do, and can be the real differentiator between a great game and a cheap copycat. Likewise for a physics engine or a rendering engine.

If your game doesn't feature any form of AI, or is easily reproduced with off-the-shelf physics and/or rendering engines, then your game is probably trivial. And if it took you years to put together your trivial game when it only takes the next guy days to replicate it -- than as I've said, you did something wrong.

Yaz

Comment: Re:Doing it wrong? (Score 2) 112

by Yaztromo (#47751863) Attached to: Is Dong Nguyen Trolling Gamers With "Swing Copters"?

Not necessarily. I don't particularly care about Flappy Bird, but let's look at Chess. Chess took centuries to develop, and almost anyone could reproduce it now.

Chess has evolved over time, and wasn't the product of a single development team, so it's not exactly an apples-to-oranges comparison. It took roughly 900 years of evolution for chess to take on its modern form, and there have been many variations of chess (Wikipedia claims more than 2000 published variations).

Early versions of chess weren't unplayable, in-development versions. They were proper, stand-alone games. You could think of modern chess as actually having been a "rip-off" of these earlier games. Indeed, several of the basic game mechanics were seen in earlier games that predated chess by centuries (pieces on an X-by-Y grid, for example, was used 600 years before the earliest variants of chess in Ludus latrunculorum). Indeed, if chess hadn't freely borrowed from games that came before it, it wouldn't exist today.

As such, chess evolved in exactly the way this article is railing against. Over the years, people who had nothing to do with the original "developers" of the earliest chess forked their own versions with slightly different rule-sets, and those with rule-sets that provided for an improved game were adopted by others, who then adapted those rules with their own improvements. Without these "copy-cats", we'd be sitting down to play Chaturanga right now instead of chess.

Yaz

Comment: Re:Doing it wrong? (Score 1) 112

by Yaztromo (#47751697) Attached to: Is Dong Nguyen Trolling Gamers With "Swing Copters"?

Well, you mean as an Indie developer if I start from scratch, do the design, generate graphics, coding, testing, then it should still takes me as much time as some one who can simply download the app, and replicate without having to 'think' (or like in case of Android apps, just download the apk, decompile and open it up, grab the resources) and put out a clone. Interesting.

You have a fair comment, so I should clarify somewhat. I'm assuming that whomever does the copy is not only generating their own code, but is also generating their own resources. If they're copying your resources you have the ability to go after them for copyright infringement. That's not really a new thing in game development, and there is legal recourse (and yes, I know it's a shitty thing to have to go through, as it has happened to me personally with someone who ripped off both code AND resources from an OSS game a friend of mine and I coded 8 years ago).

But the summary is talking about differing orders of magnitude here. If you've developed something that took years and someone is able to replicate your work (without stealing code or resources) in days, then yes -- I still submit you're doing something wrong.

Yaz

Comment: Re:Doing it wrong? (Score 1) 112

by Yaztromo (#47751567) Attached to: Is Dong Nguyen Trolling Gamers With "Swing Copters"?

Unless that "someone else" happens to be a game studio of 500 artists and 50 devs, in which case it makes sense that they can do it faster.

Personally, I've never known a team of that size to be able to ramp up development all that quickly. What that many devs, you'd probably wind up with a month of design meetings before any coding got started.

Yaz

Comment: Doing it wrong? (Score 1) 112

by Yaztromo (#47750923) Attached to: Is Dong Nguyen Trolling Gamers With "Swing Copters"?

While coming up with good game mechanics is important to a successful game, if it takes you years to develop a game, and someone else can copy it in weeks or days, then you're probably doing something seriously wrong. Either your game is too trivial, or you weren't a very good developer to start with.

Yaz

Comment: Re:thanks for the info (Score 1) 371

by Yaztromo (#47634693) Attached to: Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

You're welcome -- glad to help.

I should note that I am assuming that with 16GB of RAM you're running a 64-bit OS. If you're running a 32-bit OS (with PAE to access all the extra memory), you're going to be more constrained. While an OS with PAE can access quite a lot of RAM, 32-bit processes are still limited to a 32-bit virtual memory space (with a maximum addressable memory of 4GB, but functionally less on some OS's depending on whether or not they do things like mapping kernel memory into process memory space (Windows, I'm looking at you...)). On some OS's, Java also expects that the heap memory space will be completely contiguous (virtually, not physically), which may not seem like a problem until you run into a virus scanner or some such that loads some library resident into every single process ("DLL Injection") at the 2GB mark or some other fixed virtual memory location below the maximum (yeah, I'm looking at Windows again. Had this one bite a customer pretty badly a few years back who for some odd reason still insisted on running 32-bit Windows servers). 64-bit OS's can still support DLL Injection, but typically the injected memory location is so insanely high within VM (quite a large amount higher than you can physically install in your typical system), that it doesn't cause any problems.

The point being (before I go off into too long of a rant), on the off chance you're still running a 32-bit OS and 32-bit Java (I'm reasonably sure you can run 64-bit Java on OS X 1.6, even when booting with the 32-bit kernel), tuning may only take you so far for Java applications that are really memory hungry -- you'll still hit a wall well before even 1/4 of your installed RAM is used. In that case, upgrading to a 64-bit OS and 64-bit Java is highly recommended, if possible.

(As an aside, this is actually one reason why Android handset developers were quick to jump into using quad-core processors. When programming Android using Java, all of these memory and garbage collection issues arise, in a package with less RAM and less processing power than a standard PC. The best way to handle being able to create responsive applications under GC in such a model is to do as much of the GC as you can in the background on one or more independent cores to minimize whole-application pauses. Contract this to iOS which uses retain/release cycles (or better yet, Automatic Retain Counting, aka ARC) where memory management is either hand-coded by the developer, or resolved at compile time (in the case of ARC), requiring no GC at all).

Yaz

Comment: Re:Pauses my 16 GB desktop working on 4K program (Score 1) 371

by Yaztromo (#47633539) Attached to: Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

I use a few Java programs on my desktop, which has 16GB of RAM. One program I use is a little editor / mini-IDE for microcontrollers which have 4k of memory. While writing these 4K programs, Java will largely lock up the machine for 30 seconds, probably while it's doing GC.

Check your settings. For better or worse, Java doesn't run like other native programs (on most platforms at least) -- the maximum heap space it will allow programs to use is fixed at runtime (i.e.: it won't grow dynamically as memory allocations are requested). On the system I'm sitting at right now, the default is set to just under 2GB (Win7, JDK 1.7.0_45 (both 64-bit), 8GB RAM). No matter how much actual memory my application wants (or needs), this is the maximum that can be allocated for objects on the heap. Attempting to allocate any new objects once this 2GB of heap space won't use any free RAM available on the system; it will instead trigger garbage collection.

Additionally, with Java 7 at least, there are seven different garbage collection algorithms. The default is the Parallel Scavenger Collector, which is a "stop the world" collector. You might find on your system you have fewer pauses if you enable the Concurrent Mark/Sweep collector, in conjunction with the Parallel Copy Collector. Concurrent Mark/Sweep runs in the background, and only stops all application threads if it can't keep up with demand.

Tuning those should help with your specific performance issues. I completely recognise that none of this should be necessary in a well-written application; unfortunately for all too many Java developers, "I don't need to worry about garbage collection" also seems to mean "I don't need to care about the lifecycle of my objects", which of course isn't true. There are a lot of badly written Java applications out there, and in some ways understanding how Java handles memory is actually harder than understanding memory allocation in a lower-level language like C (Garbage Collection makes things pretty complex), and all too often I run into Java developers who simply have no idea how the JVM manages these things. IDEs for embedded systems always seem to be particularly bad for this. That's not entirely Java's fault -- you can write memory-efficient Java applications, it's just that too many Java developers (and frequently their managers) seem to think you can ignore memory issues with Java because it has Garbage Collection, as if it's some magical solution to memory allocation/deallocation.

Yaz

Comment: Re:$7142.85 (Score 1) 419

by Yaztromo (#47568255) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

But.. but...but didn't mac's come with some magic magnetic connectors to safeguard them against cable strain ??

No. The MagSafe connector was never designed to eliminate cable strain. It was designed to break away from the laptop should you trip over the cable, preventing the laptop from being damaged.

Cable strain can come from many sources. The cable can simply be bent in a funny angle repeatedly over a long period of time. A MagSafe style connector isn't going to protect against that. Yanking out the cable by gripping the cable and pulling (as opposed to holding the connector directly) also causes cable strain, and again -- MagSafe won't help you here (other than by ensuring you can't also accidentally yank the laptop with the cable).

Even the very ad you linked emphasizes this -- the whole point is that the "PC" is damaged -- not the PC's power cord. Apple has never claimed you can't damage the cable by straining it inappropriately, and MagSafe was never designed nor marketed to prevent such damage.

Yaz

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 1) 419

by Yaztromo (#47568071) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

When you pay for gas with a credit card and the pump asks you to punch in your zip code, it's not collecting marketing information. It's using the zip code as a (rather flimsy) security measure to protect against someone buying gas with a lost/stolen credit card.

I had never seen this done prior to a trip through the US earlier this year. Of course, it wouldn't accept my Canadian postal code (which is a six character mix of alternating letters and numbers). I had to cancel the transaction and go in and have the cashier run everything manually, and then go in after filling up to complete the transaction.

Not the end of the world, I suppose. I suspect we don't bother with doing that here in Canada due to a) stronger privacy laws and b) near global use of chip-and-pin for credit cards. At the time, my natural first thoughts were "why on EARTH would you need to even ask me that???". Now I know why, and will know better the next time I'm down that way.

Yaz

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 5, Insightful) 928

That's all good reason for boarding them last - so they don't slow down those who can board quickly.

I promise the plane won't take off without you. What, are you in a hurry to cram yourself into an airline seat instead of enjoying the comfort of the airport lounge for another 10 minutes or so? Entitled much?

Yaz

Comment: Re:it is the wrong way... (Score 5, Insightful) 291

by Yaztromo (#47479995) Attached to: Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

But because such penalties impact all businesses in whatever country is collecting them, it won't really change things - because all of those businesses will simply pass along the new government-mandated increase in their overhead along in the form of higher prices.

However, if you believe in capitalism this creates a space for an aggressive innovator to come in with new reduced-energy practices/processes, and pass those savings onto consumers, causing the existing players to either likewise update their practices/processes to compete, or have them diminish/die. Such changes don't happen overnight however -- it could take many years for the selective pressure to bear.

Yaz

Comment: Re: Maybe, maybe not. (Score 1) 749

by Yaztromo (#47455149) Attached to: Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

You apparently never heard of United States vs. Conrad Black

.

In this case, Black (born Canadian, but renounced his citizenship after becoming British in order to sit in the House of Lords), who was CEO of Hollinger International. As part of a series of criminal charges against him, he was ordered by a US court not to move or tamper with documents relating to the case. However, he and an accomplice were filmed removing boxes of paperwork from an office in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was charged and ultimately found guilty of obstruction of justice in the US for this, and served 48 months in prison.

.

Yaz

Stats

"Eskimo Diet" Lacks Support For Better Cardiovascular Health 166

Posted by timothy
from the quit-your-blubbering-and-eat-this-wheat-germ dept.
jones_supa (887896) writes Monthly Prescribing Reference reports that the "Eskimo diet" hypothesis, suggested as a factor in the alleged low incidence of coronary artery disease (CAD) in Greenland Eskimos, seems not to be supported in the literature, according to a metastudy published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology (abstract). Researchers found that only one study directly assessed the prevalence of CAD or CAD risk factors, and that study showed that CAD morbidity was similar among Inuit and American and European populations. In most studies, the prevalence of CAD was similar for Greenland Eskimos and Canadian and Alaskan Inuit and for non-Eskimo populations. The original studies from the 1970s that formed the basis of the supposed cardioprotective effect of the Eskimo diet did not examine the prevalence of CAD. "The totality of reviewed evidence leads us to the conclusion that Eskimos have a similar prevalence of CAD as non-Eskimo populations," the authors write. "To date, more than 5,000 papers have been published studying the alleged beneficial properties of omega-3 fatty acids not to mention the billion dollar industry producing and selling fish oil capsules based on a hypothesis that was questionable from the beginning."

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