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Comment: Scratch (scratch.mit.edu) (Score 4, Informative) 237

by andi75 (#38503782) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Tools For Teaching High School Kids How To Make Games?

Check out http://scratch.mit.edu/. It sure looks like kiddy stuff at first glance, but its awesomeness cannot be described, you have to try it yourself.

Since scratch takes care about all the nitty-gritty details, you can focus on actually *designing* good games, which is awfully hard.

Comment: The *consent* will be buried in the EULA (Score 2) 90

by andi75 (#36454968) Attached to: Franken Bill Would Protect Consumers Location Data

Asking for consent is absolutely meaningless. In order to get security updates, you'll have to accept the new EULA and will be forced to agree to whatever they ask.

The only way out is to make it illegal to store any more data then is absolutely necessary (e.g. a train time table app only needs your location *now* to find the nearest station, but has no business of retaining that data) for the normal operation of the application.

Comment: Re:Not a new idea, and not a good idea. (Score 1) 365

by andi75 (#35807598) Attached to: <em>Garry's Mod</em> Catches Pirates the Fun Way

> I don't see how you can say that this piracy detection fails occasionally. What is your reference?

Some games refuse to install when CD emulation software is installed on the computer. Some games refuse to run when the CD has minor scratches. Some games refuse to run if they can't reach the authentication server. Some operating systems want to be 'reactivated' when they detect one too many hardware changes.

I don't know enough about Steam to tell you where its failure points are, but it's far from the only DRM system in town.

If, in any of those cases, the software stopped throwing an error (which is already quite annoying) and instead started to sabotage me quietly, I'd consider legal action.

Comment: Re:To expensive (Score 2) 695

by andi75 (#35651330) Attached to: Europe Plans To Ban Petrol Cars From Cities By 2050

> Google lightbulbs and mercury and see that the result comes at a (possible unacceptably high) price though.

After following my own advice I come to the (certainly not expertly derived) conclusion that the benefits far outweight the drawbacks..It'll probably turn out very similiar for the electric vs. petrol fueled cars...

Comment: Re:Interview (Score 1) 509

by andi75 (#34846596) Attached to: An Interview With C++ Creator Bjarne Stroustrup

There are certainly a lot of competent C++ programmers out there. But there's also a lot of less competent ones. And sometime you get one who appears to be compotent, but actually isn't. With C++, these guys can do A LOT MORE damage to your project than they could do with simpler languages, and after a few years, the project becomes an unmanageable mess that's far more expensive to maintain and extend than it should be.

Comment: Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (Score 4, Informative) 260

by andi75 (#34829194) Attached to: Tevatron To Shut Down At End of 2011

I think it was the famous 18th century mathematician Laplace who once said "there is no military application for number theory", and less then 150 years later, its applications (cryptography) where probably one of the deciding factors for the outcome of World War II.

I don't think we can rule out that high energy physics will give us cool stuff to play with eventually.

Comment: Generally awesome, transparency sucks though. (Score 3, Interesting) 107

by andi75 (#34588088) Attached to: Browsing the Body

While I think this is awesome, and biology teachers all over the world will love it, the transparency rendering is quite terrible.

The problem is that some surfaces are rendered, while others are not, which looks very wierd. You can reproduce the effect by only displaying the skeleton and setting transparency to 50% or so.

There are two generally accepted solutions:

1) To a topological sort and render all triangles back to front
2) Use a so called depth-peeling algorithm to render the scene in multiple passes

Unfortunately, they do neither right now, but there's always hope for the next version.

Personally, I favor 2) since you can offload all the work to the GPU. I had to implement this once for a CAD/CAM system for hearing aids (they are often custom-built, and you want to render the exterior semi-transparent so you can place the battery and electronics inside perfectly, before sending the thing to the manufacturing machine).

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