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Comment: Re:Reminds me of The Wonderful Burt Wonderstone (Score 4, Insightful) 89

by jd (#47413427) Attached to: The Billionaire Mathematician

Humans nearly died out entirely from hunger and thirst, it was visionaries that led them out of a dying region of Africa into Asia, by a route that appeared to defy reason to any non-visionary of the time.

Pre-humans nearly had their brains the size of a grapefruit and wired backwards. It was visionaries who developed fire, 2.5 million years ago, providing the much-needed nutrition that allowed us to avoid the same fate as every other lineage of hominid.

Visionaries allowed the Norse to split quartz in a way that permitted them to track the sun even in cloudy skies and well into twilight, giving them greater access to the seas, trade and food than any other society of that time.

Visionaries developed cities to handle the logistics of the brewing and baking industries, again counter to any "obvious" logic that farming and hunting were how you got food.

Visionaries are the reason you can post stuff on the Internet, and why persecuted minorities around the world can have a voice and education.

So don't tell a visionary that he is defying your common sense. His work may have implications for society that you cannot imagine simply because he has the imagination and you don't. That does not mean that it will have such an implication or that he does have that extra imagination. It simply means that visionaries have a track record of saving people from starvation.

What about normal people? Those are usually the ones who manufacture conditions suitable for mass starvation. They're the ones who create nothing but buy the rights to sue to oblivion those who do. They're the ones who have allowed security holes to develop in critical infrastructure, like nuclear power stations, and then place said infrastructure on the public Internet where anybody can play with it. They're the ones who deny Global Warming and have endangered all life on this planet.

At this point in history, we'd be better off if the normal people were rounded up, put on some nowhere continent, and left to rot at their own hands. This would also solve much of the operpopulation crisis, as they're also the ones that breed morons like rabbits. If they choose to become civilized, they're free to do so. That would be helpful, in fact. But as long as they remain normal (read: proto-human), their fate is their lookout but they've no business making it everyone else's fate too.

Comment: Popularity != Quality (Score 1) 192

by jd (#47390533) Attached to: IEEE Spectrum Ranks the Top Programming Languages

There should have been modifiers for typical bugs per kloc and security holes per kloc.

Also, there are many more layers to the industry. Scientific computing? Avionics? Publishing?

The subdivisions between languages are also a bit... strange. Java/Oak isn't truly uniform, whatever anyone claims. C and C++ have standards that aren't always backwards-compatible - if you ignore such changes, why bother listing C# or D as distinct? Lump the lot, together with B and BCPL under a single header.

My guess is that accurate representation of languages isn't possible (when does a dialect become a distinct language?) but that if it was, none of the so-called "big three" languages would be in the top 10. Computer languages are as bad as natural languages when it comes to classifiers.

Last, but by no means least, people rarely directly code any more. They code within engines, usually using some weird fringe language nobody has ever heard of that turns out to be Lua or Visual Basic with the keywords words renamed for the theme. Real programmers (as opposed to integer or complex programmers) tend to be in the minority, have become rarer after Qualcomm outlawed them, and are mostly in mourning for Freshmeat. But as a lot are Goths anyway, it's hard to tell.

Comment: Re:Haha, nobody will do this. (Score 1) 208

by demachina (#47311531) Attached to: The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of <em>Battlefield</em>

Game engines already exist. People already develop content though you kind of need a working and enjoyable game first, with some content, before people will develop more content for it.

Who funded Linux development in the early days, answer, noone? Would need to be a volunteer effort to some extent.

Hopefully Carmack will be disillusioned with working for Facebook soon and do it for love of gaming and graphics programming.

Kickstarter is the obvious answer if you really want cash.

Comment: Re:Haha, nobody will do this. (Score 1) 208

by demachina (#47310923) Attached to: The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of <em>Battlefield</em>

There is a pretty obvious solution to the steep decline in modern games. Its the same solution that was found to over priced, proprietary, commerical operating systems.

We need an open source gaming system. Its probably the only escape from eternal damnation to over priced, poorly designed, crap games.

Some critical issues need to addressed up front for it to work.

For starters you need to settle on an open source gaming engine. Torque3D would be one possibility, people here could probably name others. It needs to be capable, open source and multi platform, with as few licensing restrictions as possible. You need high caliber game developers, like Carmack to emraced it and work on it, with someone like Linus holding it together.

You need to develop a small number of core games based on the essential archetypes, FPS, MMORPG, Space battle/trading, racing.

You need to create councils for each game selected from game developers and excellent players who set rules, direction, maintain order and hold the game economy together.

As always if a game/council fails to satisfy their constituencey a solution is a fork but you want to ACTIVELY discourage forking when it leads primarily to fragmentation and wasted resources. You want as much wood behind one arrow as possible.

Each game needs to actively support and leverage mods and user developed content. In fact that will be the primary source of content.

The core games need to be designed for extreme longevity, its the content that needs to constantly changing and growing.

Councils need to design intelligent tournament systems and leader boards that actually put the most skilled players at the top, where they belong, not the grinders, scammers and cheats.

I'm a long time gamer who no longer plays games, because the games I loved the most died at the hands of corporate greed and stupidity. In particular they died because decisions were made by executives who were for the most part not gamers and made decisions that were all wrong.

If I could, I would probably still be playing the original EQ, the original WoW and Battlefield 2, Karkand Infantry only.

Battlefield 2, Karkand Infantry only was, in my mind the pinnacle of PVP. If you had evenly matched teams, with evenly matched gear, fighting a battle decided by 1 point there was no better adrenaline rush and it never got old. The map never changed, the rules seldom changed, the thing that constantly changed was the people playing it, their skills, their tactics and strategy. Developing huge maps like PS3 where you can never find an even fight, or in game purchases that allow the fools with the most money to win, developing massively too dense graphics, that are way to expensive to develop, require to much graphics power to run and add no FUN to the game, and adding too many gimicky weapons and gear that cause nothing but unbalanced matches, are just some examples.

If I could have kept the original EQ or WoW and just added a never ended series of new dungeons, quests gear and battlegrounds I would probably still be playing them. The first rule is you NEVER raise the level cap, because as soon as you do the game turns in to a pointless treadmill. New dungeons, gear and PVP is all a game needs to stay fresh.

I'd still be playing BF2 if there were any servers left that didn't suck.

Comment: Re:This is what a right is (Score 2) 128

by jd (#47296425) Attached to: Prisoners Freed After Cops Struggle With New Records Software

You are correct that nothing abridges that right. (I take the highly deviant and unpopular line that rights are inalienable, that that is why we don't just call them permissions.)

To say that it is an unmitigated good is, though, perhaps not a conclusion you can safely draw. It carries the implication that all contributing causes were also good, which is self-evidently false. The right is good. The requirement that things be properly documented is good. The staffing levels are bad (police officers should be providing the raw information, not reconstructing it to fit a specific system - have data entry specialists handle data entry). The system sounds very very bad - and unstable (who wants HAL running a criminal justice system?).

Releasing the individuals was correct, but correct for the bad reason that every level of the system failed.

That they couldn't manage in three days what police in Britain were once expected to do within 24 hours (now expanded to 48, as computer technology has been added, which seems kinda weird) shows that the wrong people are doing work that is wrong. If a manual system could do the job in one day, a computer-based one should be faster. Yes, there's more complex analysis to be done, but mass spectrometers can be thrown into the back of a van and give you results in minutes. DNA analysis for a tiny handful of markers (typically 12 for criminology, versus the 150 often needed for genealogy) can be done in an hour, tops. In-the-field DNA sequencers designed to look for specific information can also be thrown into said van.

Actually searching and finding things is the slowest part, but you shouldn't be looking for evidence to convict someone, you should be looking for evidence in order to determine who it is who should be convicted. In that case, search and lab time should only ever precede an arrest, which means everything that matters will already be known and in the computer.

In that case, the only new information is that surrounding the arrest and any supplemental information provided by the suspect. Confirming that supplemental data should not be relevant to the case, if the case warranted bringing the person in at that point. Even if it is, you're looking at three or four hours in parallel with the data entry. Raw data is raw data, that can be delivered live from a mobile lab or detective, so it's merely the time to get there, find the supplemental evidence and run the analysis.

With a modern setup, the time between initial arrest and completing the filing should never exceed 6 hours. Three days is stupid.

If six hours isn't enough time to do everything, do more (much, much more) beforehand and parallelize the shit out of everything after. If you don't have the money, find it. If necessary, reduce coverage until you can afford it, then demand taxes pay to cover everyone else correctly. If a couple of extra people get robbed or murdered, you've reduced false convictions by far more than that, so there's a net reduction in deprivation and death. You trade a negligible bit of extra crime in the streets for a massive reduction in crime by cops and/or in prisons. You get a miniscule dash of extra cynicism in the populace, but carve vast chunks of cynicism and contempt within the constabulary.

Seems an acceptable price to pay in order to have acceptable cops and acceptable standards.

Comment: Re:Any good shows with lots of episodes (Score 1) 139

by jd (#47296321) Attached to: I prefer to settle down at night with a good..

Start with the first ever Doctor Who. Make sure you take a break between episodes to get the cliffhanger effect. There's audios of all missing episodes. Include all of the Big Finish stories for the Eighth Doctor and the Pertwee Radio Episodes, plus the first three Stranger and Miss Brown for the missing season, plus the Auton trilogy, plus the PROBE series.

If you are still alive after all that, I suggest you follow that up with both Ivor the Engine series, Sapphire and Steel (TV and Big Finish), The Tomorrow People (ITV and Big Finish, plus maybe the latest reinvention of it, but not the Nickelodeon one) and The Avengers (British 1960s spy-fi).

Comment: The last option is a hoax (Score 1) 139

by jd (#47296307) Attached to: I prefer to settle down at night with a good..

To have a good Internet, you need early-spec IPv6 or TUBA, pipe-balanced network neutrality, and fully secured DNS and routing. And the complete elimination of Windows.

Books no longer exist, due to the prevalence of Kindle-style devices, so option 1 only applies to us geriatrics.

Good movies... there are two or three of those, I suppose.

Video game - Elite: Dangerous and Kerbal Space Program are brilliant but redirecting the display to something you can settle down with isn't easy.

This is the theory that Jack built. This is the flaw that lay in the theory that Jack built. This is the palpable verbal haze that hid the flaw that lay in...