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Comment: Re:Trial and extradition were never the goal (Score 4, Interesting) 345

by acidrain (#39757443) Attached to: US Judge Say Kim Dotcom May Never Be Tried or Extradited

He was put out of business and lost tens of millions of dollars from the raid. His punishment has already been served, without trial, and without due process.

Except this whole thing was orchestrated to prove to legislators that the current law cannot be used to stop the bad guys and that America needs those tougher laws that the lobbyists cannot get though.

"Ok, they won't give us the powers we need to make it impossible to send movies to your friends... How about we try and do everything possible we can to take down someone we can paint as the bad guy (fat douche looking hacker with an attitude, nice!) and when it backfires we can say it isn't cause we are not trying hard enough. It is because we need bigger legal guns."

Kim will get his stuff back. He will put Megaupload back online, even without everyone's data, because Kim will want to make a point, and the point will be exactly the point the RIAA and MPAA want him to make. "Look we even had the bad guys raided by a swat team... And they went right back to selling bandwidth to pirates."

Comment: they are worth it (Score 5, Insightful) 345

by acidrain (#28322751) Attached to: Are Code Reviews Worth It?


You often *have* to review a entry level programmer's work until it reaches an acceptable quality. I consider code reviews as a method of improving the programmer more so than the code. One an engineer is producing generally acceptable code it becomes safe enough to treat their code as a black box and wait for problems to be unearthed by testing. If you are shipping bugs your problem is testing, not code reviews. Finally, the cheapest way to do code reviews is for a manager to just scan submitted code from time to time and send out polite emails if they see something amiss. On the other hand getting five senior guys in a room to discuss the work of another senior engineer is a just going to result in unproductive, cranky engineers.

Comment: it is worth it (Score 3, Interesting) 290

by acidrain (#27572793) Attached to: Google Losing Up To $1.65M a Day On YouTube
YouTube positions Google to try and be the next iTunes, to turn Android into the next iPhone and be the place where video and audio providers need to be to sell their content. I'm sure Google knows this and considering the economic realities of the day are looking at ways to move in on Apple. I mean really, why else would they be burning that much money folks. There has to be more of a plan when it comes to Google and media than to spend 5 billion waiting for bandwidth to become cheaper.

Comment: fail early (Score 4, Insightful) 260

by acidrain (#27549701) Attached to: The Perils of Pointless Innovation In Games
With our budgets the conservatism is understandable. At the same time when you are trying to make a new product there is also pressure to be the one that stands out. So the creative process demands that you try new things, preferably early on in the project. I think the real problem here (sorry to parade out an industry truism) is not failing quickly enough. If a new feature or mechanic becomes a *big deal* and is not allowed to fail when it starts to suck, the investment of money and ego may require it to ship. However, trying new things when you have time to take the risks, and are not overly committed to shipping them, is the thing that keeps us evolving.

Comment: Re:Inaccurate wiimote description (Score 1) 187

by acidrain (#26408717) Attached to: TrueMotion Game Controller a Step Up From Wii Remote
Ok, look. The Wiimote has no idea what direction it is currently moving in. It only knows about *acceleration* in it's local space. So for example due to gravity, (a kind of acceleration) when you hold it still it knows exactly which way is down. But that is about it. Also the accelerometers are bloody cheap, so all they are really good for is triggering an event when you jerk the damn' thing.

Microsoft's New Programming Language, "M" 334

Posted by timothy
from the well-it-sounds-delicious dept.
Anthony_Cargile writes "Microsoft announced Friday their new 'M' language, designed especially for building textual domain-specific languages and software models with XAML. Microsoft will also announce Quadrant, for building and viewing models visually, and a repository for storing and combining models using a SQL Server database. While some say the language is simply their 'D' language renamed to a further letter down the alphabet, the language is criticized for lack of a promised cross-platform function because of its ties to MS SQL server, which only runs on Windows."

Optical Character Recognition Still Struggling With Handwriting 150

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-can't-read-my-handwriting-either dept.
Ian Lamont recently asked Google if they planned to extend their transcription of books and other printed media to include public records, many of which were handwritten before word processors became ubiquitous. Google wouldn't talk about any potential plans, but Lamont found out a bit more about the limits of optical character recognition in the process: "Even though some CAPTCHA schemes have been cracked in the past year, a far more difficult challenge lies in using software to recognize handwritten text. Optical character recognition has been used for years to convert printed documents into text data, but the enormous variation in handwriting styles has thwarted large-scale OCR imports of handwritten public documents and historical records. took a surprising approach to digitizing and converting all publicly released US census records from 1790 to 1930: It contracted the job to Chinese firms whose staff manually transcribed the names and other information. The Chinese staff are specially trained to read the cursive and other handwriting styles from digitized paper records and microfilm. The task is ongoing with other handwritten records, at a cost of approximately $10 million per year, the company's CEO says."

+ - Europeans taller than Americans

Submitted by
theolein writes: "The BBC has an article up on a recent study that concludes that Europeans are now on average taller than Americans from being shorter some 200 years ago. It seems that Americans have grown about 1 inch in that time, whereas Europeans are between 3 and 6 inches taller than they were 200 years ago. The study does not include Asian or Hispanic immigrants to the USA and makes no conclusions about why this is, but states that factors, such as dietry, social and economic factors may play a role in the results."

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.