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Comment: Re:Big Data (Score 1) 105

by lgw (#47710161) Attached to: Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

as anyone who's ever wanted to save a Netflix movie for offline viewing on a flight

They offer that service separately, and I use it all the time: DVDs - but for most people that's a corner case. The problem most people have with Netflix (myself included) is the tiny amount of streaming content in the first place. Even with the DRM they can barely get any content owners contracted. The studios just have recto-cranial inversion over streaming in the first place - the DRM is just a distraction from the real issue.

In both cases - content owners and big ISPs, you've got abuse of government-granted monopolies. The real issue is our alleged democracy selling monopolies in the first place!

Comment: Re:Big Data (Score 1) 105

by lgw (#47709931) Attached to: Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

Hastings, Netflix, and 99.999999% of all streaming customers give approximately 0 fucks about DRM. They pay Netflix, they see the content, there's simply no problem. And they're right. Technology makes life better by working. If it "just works", then it's fine. This ISP-throttling-Netflix BS, OTOH, is punishing customers until Netflix caves. That's not fine.

Comment: Re:Flaws? (Score 3, Insightful) 71

by lgw (#47709861) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Min/maxing is half the fun of the game, unless it leaves the PCs woefully unbalanced between one another. What you want is a system where min/maxing produces reasonable character concepts, and reasonable character concepts produce well-optimized characters. That was the huge flaw in 3.5 - it was impossible for the new player to figure out what worked mechanically and what didn't. When I play an RPG, I want to play a hero, dammit. I can play the flawed loser in real life, thank you very much.. But I shouldn't have to know or care that if my idea of a hero is a martial monk that I'll bee all but useless in any encounter, while if it's a pure caster that I'll have an "I win" button if I do it right.

That's the problem. Not the idea that if I'm going to be a wizard, I'm going to be the smartest guy around, or if I'm going to hit people in the face with my axe, then I'm going to be the biggest, toughest guy around. Those are totally viable character ideas, especially your first time playing before you've grown bored of the shallow archetypes. And yet, that's min-maxing. Bah, min-maxing is fine. It's a broken system where in order to be an non-cliche character you have to be disadvantaged mechanically, because the game is build on archetype enforcement, that's the problem.

OK, it's worse still if you buy what you thought was an RPG and it turns out to just be miniatures combat rules. 4E got combat right, but the game had little else. At least in 3.5 with a veteran DM guiding new players to make effective characters, or any previous D&D version, there was a deep game there that only occasionally focused on combat.

Comment: Re:Chess (Score 1) 257

by lgw (#47709785) Attached to: Of the following, I'd rather play ...

Which is why chess is dull as dirt, IMO. It's the element of chance that makes a game interesting. That makes "strategy" meaningful. It's easy to even out the luck in an organized event, but it's the element of chance that makes it all fun. Like physics, it's not deterministic, but you can still determine the optimal path, the "path of least action" to victory. The trick is, well-designed game, predictable play gives your opponent an advantage. It's that element of "do I do the obvious, and walk into whatever plan he has, or do I do something not quite as good, but unpredictable". Chess is just missing that - there's one optimal play, period, just a matter of seeing it; might as well be doing my taxes.

Comment: One small problem. (Score 1) 160

by Chas (#47708941) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

Fusion isn't developed to the point where it's viable yet. It's currently short-duration and net-energy negative at the moment.

Second, trying to get to fusion with existing fossil fuel plants will just kill the planet that much faster. DUMB!

There ARE relatively clean and safe options for fission power. And in the long run, we're better off transitioning base load power to fission plants, eliminating coal, oil and NG now, then chasing fusion while not poisoning the planet.

Is there a possibility of something like the original article describes?


But there's also a possibility of a rogue black hole eating the system too. Do we crouch here, wet ourselves and just wait for it to happen?

It's called "risk management" for a reason.

Comment: Re:Oh god so what? (Score 1) 167

by lgw (#47707617) Attached to: C++14 Is Set In Stone

You can definitely over-do auto typing to the point where a human can't figure out the types involved, but that's just a team coding standards thing. For sure, auto is better than any type spec that doesn't fit on a single line in the editor. Obviously class v struct is a historical relic, but I like it. I use class and struct for different things - all members private in the former, vs all public in the latter. I also like the convention that struct is the right keyword to declare an interface, since C++ has no 'interface' keyword.

Comment: Re:Oh god so what? (Score 1) 167

by lgw (#47706683) Attached to: C++14 Is Set In Stone

If you don't use obscure features of C++ just for fun, you won't have that problem. Most of the obscure features in C++ exist to solve a very specific sort of problem. If your job is to solve that problem, you already understand what the relevant C++ feature does - to you it's not obscure, it's quite handy and much cleaner to have in the language than to write an test yourself.

No one needs to master all the obscure crap, because there's no single software product than needs it all - but all of it is needed by someone, somewhere.

And if you're being deliberately obscure, well, others have mentioned the C obfuscation contest. No language is maintainable without at least some basic effort to reject needlessly obfuscated code through code reviews.

Comment: Re:Oh god so what? (Score 1) 167

by lgw (#47706571) Attached to: C++14 Is Set In Stone

Well, you'd just need a chuckugly type declaration for it. The new ability to use auto in declaring the parameters to the lambda expression itself - that's one I don't see how you'd do without auto, as it's effectively templating in a place where you can't syntactically declare the template.

Comment: Re:Oh god so what? (Score 3, Informative) 167

by lgw (#47706465) Attached to: C++14 Is Set In Stone

So in the real world, you have to understand nearly all of it in order to be able to maintain other people's code or to work as a team.

If you don't have coding standards and a firm code review process to enforce them, you have already lost.

C++ has a lot of cruft to allow you to cleanly solve problems that 99% of coders will never encounter. I'd say that these days, if your not in some dark corner where you need at least 1 bizarre C++ feature, you should probably use a higher level language.

As an example of what I mean - C++ lets you overload the 'new' operator. Why would you ever want to do that? There no reason to learn how that feature works until and unless you need it. But if you need to do "slab allocation" or otherwise change the memory allocation pattern away from "just malloc", suddenly overloading 'new' is an amazingly useful and clean way to do this. In C you have to replace malloc with some other call (or #define malloc notmalloc) and police it everywhere in your codebase, which gets ugly when you have 20 different objects each allocated from its own slab, and gets horrifically ugly when you discover that you need to do this a couple years into a project. In C++ you just overload 'new' on a class-by-class basis.

C++ has many features like that - stuff that you'd almost never have any use for, but is wonderful when you find yourself in that dark corner. You just need to guard against that guy who just wants to play with some C++ cruft when it's not needed, just because it looks neat.

Comment: OCZ drives? Toshi(t)ba customer hostility? NOPE! (Score 2) 63

by Chas (#47705537) Attached to: AMD Launches Radeon R7 Series Solid State Drives With OCZ

Sorry, but no way in hell.

OCZ crashed and burned its goodwill in the industry for a reason.
Toshiba, one of the most customer-hostile electronics companies I've ever come across bought them.

Sure, Toshiba COULD have improved the OCZ line drastically. At this point, it's a Zenith-type brand label and nothing more.
And if it means having to deal with those noxious pricks at Toshiba? NO FUCKING WAY IN HELL!

I'd rather buy something like a 1TB Samsung 850 Pro and film myself:
Running software to burn it over it's write limits till it dies.
Repeatedly throw it on the ground from the top of a 10 story building.
Run over it with a forklift a couple times.
Douse it in lighter fluid and light it up.
Wipe my ass with the remains.
Emasculate myself with an ice cream scooper.

Then try to the drive, the video and the schlong into Samsung demanding warranty service.
I'd have better luck with everything working out okay than I would for even a minor problem with Toshiba.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce