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Comment Re:Meh. Not cross-platform enough. (Score 1) 42

I may be out of date. UE4 used to be $20/month (i.e. essentially free) and 5% royalty all the time; it's now 5% when you ship. Unity 3D lets you go free, but makes you pay $75/mo or $1,500 all at once per seat if you make over $100,000 of income as a business (1.5% per seat). As mentioned, UE3 was expensive as ass--starting around $1.5 million when first released and eventually falling to $375,000 for a full, unrestricted license with engine source code (it was still $750,000 when UE4 came out).

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 2) 274

Technically, the climate scientists are the "friends" here, of the politicians who have latched onto this as the latest excuse to take your money and give it to their friends.

Wait. Let me try to wrap my head around this argument. You're saying that global warming is an excuse for politicians to steal our money so they can give it to climate scientists? Because climate scientists are their buddies?

I'm speechless. Gobsmacked. Utterly bereft of words to express the stupidity of this argument.

Let me read what you wrote again, in case I missed something and have got it wrong:

Technically, the climate scientists are the "friends" here, of the politicians who have latched onto this as the latest excuse to take your money and give it to their friends.

Nope. That's what you said. I think I need to sit down. This level of stupidity is giving me vertigo.

Comment Re:Economics is a social science (Score 1) 274

Some economists can very accurately be called scientists because they use the scientific method and economics is quite properly categorized as a social science.

If this is enough for you to say Economics is a science, then it is the softest science of all. Parapsychology (and I'm absolutely serious about this), is based more on data and scientific rigor than economics. Psychology is many times more rigorous than Economics. Fucking Gender Studies is more rigorous and data-based than Economics.

I'm guessing you don't actually know any real economists.

I am probably the only Slashdot user who has actually taken a course from Milton Friedman. My views on the pseudoscience of Economics is based on 30 years experience having economists as colleagues, friends, neighbors and lunchmates. I have played in a weekly poker game with economists. I lived next door to a Nobel-nominated economist for years back in Chicago. I watched Superbowl XLI with him and had to explain what it means to arbitrage a point spread that has moved 10 points.

Plus, if you read any Economics articles, you will find that their math is very unimpressive, and even suspect.

Comment Re:Math is a Chore (Score 1) 181

They train first-graders with this in every Japanese primary school. They start using a Soroban, which is a 4/1 abacus where the top bead represents 5 and the lower 4 beads represent 1, which provides a visual and mechanical representation of numerical computation.

As I said: the first set are complements on 5. (1,4) are complements across 5: 5 - 1 is 4, 5 - 4 is 1. If you have 8 on a 4/1 abacus, you have 5 + 3. If you subtract 4, you have to toggle 5 and add 1: you get 0 + 3+1. Mechanically, this is just moving the 5 bead and moving one of the 1 beads. You'll notice that's a lot of abstract bullshit, and yet ... it gives you 4. 8 - 4 is 4. It's a rote mechanical action.

The other set is on ten. (7,3) tells me I'm just running 5-3, which is of course 2 (3,2). Since I'm adding 7 + 5 and I know 5 is greater than or equal to 3 (again: 7 and 3), I know to increment the next column to the left and toggle 5. I'm left with 12. Somehow. I see two things: a conversion to 2 and an increment in the next column, so I get 12.

In America, we only use this system to teach kids with severe learning disabilities, since they can't follow the standard math curriculum.

People often underestimate what small children will understand. You can get pretty technical in some subjects, notably in the psychology and some of the neuroscience of memory. That's a specific example: human memory is such a universal experience that even a three-year-old can verify anything you explain about its mechanisms simply by thinking for about four seconds. More abstract topics like numbers are *extremely* difficult to grasp for the uninitiated--children aren't special in this regard; just try teaching direct arithmetic in hexidecimal or *universally* to any random adult--and a Soroban quickly turns that abstraction into something concrete. More complex topics are removed from human perception: you can't get into engineering without math; you can't get into chemistry without an understanding of the elements; a lot of things require a *lot* of background knowledge, and that doesn't change when you're no longer five years old.

When I was in 10th grade, one of my teachers spent 3 weeks trying to get his class to learn subnetting of IPv4 networks. It didn't work very well. The first day, I looked over the subnets, then recognized that the mask was a simple AND mask. Eventually I drew up a logic table, gave a quick explanation of basic discrete operations to several of my classmates, and outlined the rules specific to subnet masking (e.g. your subnet mask is a stream of 1s and then a stream of 0s, not an arbitrary binary sequence). They got it.

Most people think I'm a genius because of shit like this; I've more recently been inclined to acknowledge this as fact when explaining how human intelligence operates. In this case, my teacher made note of my explanation and showed me the results for the next two years: his students picked up subnetting in half an hour. All of them. Nobody took weeks to sort-of get it working; nobody was frustrated, nobody dreaded subnet masking for all eternity. They picked it up *immediately*. None of them were any smarter than my classmates had been, either.

I understood the mechanism. I showed my teacher how to *explain* the mechanism. His future students understood the mechanism *immediately*. They didn't get an explanation of some rote process; they got a full understanding of how and why that process works, and then carried out that rote process *repeatedly*. Instead of stumbling over pieces and wondering if they messed something up (and frequently doing so), they could constantly and continuously verify the process. When something didn't make sense, they could go back and find the error in their understanding, and *self-correct*. That's exactly the same way I had approached the problem.

That ideal you have in your head about talent, giftedness, and intelligence is all backwards. It doesn't exist; we just suck at teaching. We haven't shown them how to use their brains.

Comment When did this nonsense start? (Score 2) 58

This "we're announcing that we'll be announcing something soon" crap, I mean.

The first time I was really aware of it happening was with "Ginger", that silly self-balancing scooter. Then, and every time since, the announcement has been underwhelming at best. Most of the time it's a complete waste of time - so I now let these pre-announcements go in one ear and right out the other.

We have the Internet. If something cool is announced, we'll know about it right away. Stop wasting our time - and yours - with pre-announcements about coming announcements!

Truly we live in the future... but, unfortunately, too often this future makes Futurama look like a prescient documentary.

Comment JOB DESCRIPTION (Score 0) 137

1. Maintain integrity of confidential US Federal Government

2. Ensure no publicity exists for anything that violates #1
      a. Snowen
      b. Hillary's top-secret emails on a private server box in somebody's back room
      c. General Petraeus [oh wait, that's been pled, spanked, and done]
      d. DHS employee data release in the wild because Palestine (?!?)
      e. FBI employee data release in the wild because Palestine (?!?)

3. Give speeches
      a. Going dark
      b. Silicon valley is unreasonable -- encryption can be made to only be used by "good guys"
      c. The NSA are good guys. Come on. Don't we all love the NSA?
      d. Palestinian hackers who release DHS and FBI employee lists are bad
      e. But the other Palestinian hackers, they must be good because #antiIsrael #antiJewish #proTerrorism #islamForPeace

and finally
4. Go into the private sector
      a. Sell underwear
      c. Profit

Comment Re: The science is not settled (Score 1) 274

No one asked how settled it is. The fundamental question of are we causing climate change has been answered by the overwhelming majority who are in agreement on the issue. Just because there's a flat earth society doesn't mean we need to check again if the earth is still round.

Now you turning a yes / no question into a sliding scale of "settledness" is disingenuous.

Comment Re:Math is fine! (Score 1) 181

Technical knowledge expires quickly, education lasts a lifetime.

I remember all my chemistry from college. All my math, too. Those history classes really changed my life.

Wait, no they didn't.

Even if I remembered all of this, it wouldn't be much use. What's of use is what's used in my other knowledge areas, the active ones. Engineer? You'll remember your math. Chemist? You're going to remember some chemistry. Computer programmer? I bet you've forgotten your history and physics.

No, that "education lasts a lifetime" thing is a platitude. You haven't suggested what education *does* for you, what it provides, how it strengthens the individual, much less the economy in aggregate. That last point is important: taxing the economy with dead weight means that maybe you, as an individual, have benefited from the effort that's dragging us down, but you've benefited over a lowered baseline. In other words: Rather than having what might equate to $100,000, you have $80,000, *and* part of that $80,000 is only available to you because of your education (or other dead-weight factor).

Businesses will find the most efficient way to reduce costs. They'll then find they can make a smart phone for $150, while Motorola makes the same one for $220 and sells it for $600. Then they'll sell their smart phone for $190 and Motorola will sell theirs for $250, and then fade into irrelevance as Americans decide they don't care for overpriced junk.

If giving you a lifetime continuous education in your ever-changing field minimizes their expenses and maximizes your productive output, they'll do that. If padding that education with supporting skills minimizes their expenses, they'll do that instead. Riddle me this, though: Why do you need to learn history or biology if you're never going to use that stuff? Why not learn paralegal, since everyone can use the ability to wiggle their way out of a frivolous lawsuit?

Fix the K-12 education system. College gen-ed is a waste. It's a good political sell, as evidenced by your complete lack of a solid argument and your romantic, starry-eyed recitation of a glowing platitude as a substitute for careful thought and reflection.

Comment Re:Alternate title (Score 1) 127

Its unacceptable when you stop providing something to someone who has nothing, and start actively taking away from someone who otherwise could have something.

I remember accessing the internet through the local library for free. It was amazing, but it was also censored and limited. But it was better than nothing which is what the people now have.

As I commented on the other post, when people start complaining about Net Neutrality for Wikipedia Zero and stop applying double standards because %corporation% then I'll let it be.

Comment Re:Meh. Not cross-platform enough. (Score 4, Insightful) 42

Unity 3D even has continued support for years and years, whereas Mighty No. 9 is all like, "We're having trouble and have to mess with the source code and maintain and bugfix UE3 ourselves because it's no longer updated even though it cost $350,000 per seat!" That was fucking irresponsible, and I called it from the start: they initially budgeted under a million dollars and wanted a (then) half-million-dollar engine instead of the $1,500 Unity 3D engine; they're struggling now even though they got nearly five million dollars of funding.

Maybe if you're Blizzard or Bethesda you can use UE4. It makes sense, even though it's expensive: Ubisoft dumps like 30 huge games every year, so of course they get a lower marginal cost (no matter how low you go, when you divide up a licensing cost across dozens of units, there's a limit to how much you're going to save by taking the less-expensive option). If UE4 does something Unity 3D doesn't and your game will be significantly harder to develop without that feature, deal with it; if this happens and you generally develop dozens of games each year, then maybe you should buy UE4. Of course this applies less now than it did with UE3, since UE3 was ridiculously expensive compared to UE4.

The financials don't make sense. I'd try to fund a moderately-complex game on $100,000 with Unity 3D Pro. It can be done. I computed $58,000 for art for a 2D top-down ARPG, plus another $19,000 for music; I can do the story-writing and much of the programming myself, but a competent programmer will cost you $26,000 in under a full-time 4 months. I'm also a project manager, so I can plan these sorts of things out with reasonable effectiveness, instead of dicking around on a long tail of things going wrong on top of other things going wrong, turning a $100k budget into a $6 million, 9-year project; again, a competent project manager will throw you $100k a year himself. Your real resource costs for a simple 2D or 3D game might be $150k per development-year, plus a relatively fixed cost for assets (3D models, textures, music, animation). If you're making *one* *game*, the cost of your engine is your biggest factor.

That leaves a big question: What are the marginal costs of Lumberyard? Is low cost plus royalty, like UE4? Subscription, like Unity 3D? High cost, like UE3? Answer: It's free plus monetization, like UE4, but with monetization being tie-in service: you can either build an in-house support infrastructure for your online experience, or you can use Amazon. That means if it comes down to engine cost, you might want to go Unity 3D or UE4. The cost of internal infrastructure would exceed the cost of almost *any* outsource service--Amazon, Azure, Verizon--and being tied to Amazon might cost you a lot more than $1,500 for each developer. If so, you need to decide: Will the royalties on UE4 cost you more than Unity? Between all three, will selecting any given one save you enough programmer time to offset the *lifetime* cost of any of these factors?

Financials. I love it.

Comment Re:Feminists Destroy Companies (Score 1) 494

I still don't know what you think is going to happen.

Skylake has a period of support on Windows 8.1 Do you think either Microsoft or Intel are going to magically make a major change to either product or processor that suddenly will cause a problem? Please remember we're talking CPU support here. It's the one thing no one in the world cares about until a system becomes unbootable. Not even corporate interests. And while we're talking support also remember that Windows 7 formally ended mainstream support before Skylake was released. Not only did the world not end, but in fact no one noticed.

FUD being intentional? More like the a VP was accidentally given a keyboard and spoke his mind. If we jumped on everything that a MS CEO or VP actually said at some point then the world would have well and truly imploded by now.

Anyway draw any conclusions you want. But effectively we're already living in a world of "non-support" that has been FUDed. And nothing happened.

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