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Comment: Has McAllister met any programmers? (Score 1, Insightful) 262

by jsac (#39014759) Attached to: Why Microsoft Developers Need a Style Guide

'Occasionally, Microsoft's recommendations verge on the absurd. For example, you might not think it necessary to admonish developers to "not use slang that may be considered profane or derogatory, such as 'pimp' or 'bitch,'" but apparently it is.'

IT skews dramatically male, and those men skew dramatically towards the socially inept. Making explicit rules about not using profane or derogatory slang in your UI is completely appropriate.

Role Playing (Games)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Announced for November 2011 231

Posted by Soulskill
from the ugly-things-biting-me dept.
Bethesda took advantage of the Video Game Awards this weekend to announce the fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series, titled Skyrim. The game is planned for November 2011, and a teaser trailer has been posted on the Elder Scrolls website. Details are sparse, though the game will apparently run on an "all-new" engine.

Comment: Re:Article is Clueless -- Reviews are Jokes (Score 1) 240

by jsac (#34507980) Attached to: Amazon Fake Products and Fake Reviews

Having been recently thrown out and banned from Staples, Bestbuy, and Futureshop, for setting the IE Homepage on the display computers to the small local competitor down the street, I had no where to reasonably go but online.

Shoulda gone to the small local competitor down the street...

Comment: Re:And he needs a computer to do it for curves (Score 2) 473

by jsac (#34461374) Attached to: Medical Researcher Rediscovers Integration
"If you can't get rich off of that over the course of your career, you are doing it wrong" -- remember, this discussion was started by an article in which a med school graduate and research scientist reinvented the trapezoid method of integration, presumably because he never learned it in math class. So we're not talking math geniuses here.

Comment: Re:*yawn*. Call me when we lose at Go. (Score 2, Informative) 178

by jsac (#33874150) Attached to: Computer Defeats Human At Japanese Chess
Computer programs have already beaten Go professionals at 7-stone handicap games. Mogo and Many Faces of Go have both done it for sure, and Zen is very competitive with both of them. If you go to and sign into the Computer Go room you'll see that Zen is ranked 3 dan and ManyFaces is ranked 2 dan, and they routinely win games off strong amateur humans. Both Zen and ManyFaces are single-box SMP programs, and the algorithm they use is a Monte Carlo algorithm so it should scale to hundreds of machines, while Mogo already runs on 600 processors...

So Go programs are getting there. Not as fast as chess, but they're still getting there.

Comment: Re:Yep! Time to pack it up and go home! (Score 1) 343

by jsac (#31501870) Attached to: Google Readying To Pull Out of China
Microsoft can't possibly withdraw from China -- it has a huge investment there that has nothing to do with the search engine market. Microsoft Research Asia is headquartered in Beijing; and a number of product teams have development teams in Shanghai (disclosure: including mine). They just opened a 4000-FTE office complex in one of Shanghai's technical districts. So I doubt Microsoft is going to close down Bing China out of principle.

Comment: Re:Age and quality. (Score 5, Insightful) 443

by Nemyst (#30409038) Attached to: Slashdot Turns 100,000
Isn't that symptomatic of how the "net culture" has changed, though? Back when Slashdot was new, being on the Internet was something few people did, even less so without inhibitions. It was the lair of tech and science geeks, and that was that. People would dig up interesting science/tech articles and then the comments would debate it over and over (with of course random quotes).

However, nowadays you can't help but notice the politicization of the Internet and, by extension, of all things related to computers and science. I'd argue the politics section you noted highlights that fact: politics now influence this community far more than it did before. There are now ideological debates, megacorporations to praise or decry, lawyers to monitor, laws to bash or applaud... Blogs, social networks, all have changed the face of the Internet and I only believe it normal that Slashdot changed to reflect that.

I honestly wouldn't mind seeing more science and tech articles and less law stuff, but at the same time I'm glad I have a good source from which to read the latest developments in copyright crap or ISP abuses... I guess. Bah, you see my point!

Comment: Re:requires 18000kg of antimatter (Score 1) 392

by david.given (#30409026) Attached to: How To Build a Quantum Propulsion Machine

Certainly, but given that there's no magic way of turning ordinary matter into antimatter, the only way of getting that 18 tonnes of antimatter is to make the stuff --- which is where the 4e21 joules of energy comes in.

And frankly, if I wanted to devastate a planet and had 18 tonnes of antimatter around, it would be far more convenient just to take the lid off the bottle than to do all that fiddly messing around with space travel.

(Right now state of the art is just about at the stage of producing one fundamental particle of antimatter at a time. I recall a few years ago that someone had actually managed to assemble a single anti-hydrogen atom that was stable for a while, until they dropped it.)

Comment: Fake Personalities, Real Scams (Score 0) 85

by (#30409014) Attached to: Virtual Money For Real Lobbying
Stories like these illustrate the reason why I've stopped using these social networking sites, especially Facebook. The amount of scams on there is ridiculous... all of those little "games" that your friends ask you to sign up to play are just scams to get you to agree to give them your contact information. Now lobbyists are succeeding to make themselves even more unreputable. Way to jump on the bandwagon.

Comment: Re:Evil (Score 1) 645

by AK Marc (#30194932) Attached to: Facebook Photos Lead To Cancellation of Quebec Woman's Insurance
See the problem with that approach is that there is nothing to fall back on if you drive the private insurers out of business

Yes, because having them rely on medical diagnosis for medical problems will bankrupt them. They should be charging fees for what they deliver. If their fees can't cover what they promise to deliver, then there is some problem with their fee structure. Trolling sites with pictures for evidence of fraud may be appropriate (or not, I'm just not getting into that), but canceling treatment payment against the written policy should be illegal (I say should be because I know it is in some places, but don't know about all, not "should be" in the sense of I wish it were). If they are accusing her of fraud, then they should do so and cancel it because of that. If they are coming to a medical diagnosis from a couple snapshots, they should be thrown in jail for practicing medicine without a license, then shut down for unethical practices.

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)