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Comment: Re:Tough problem (Score 1) 271

by nazg00l (#48867729) Attached to: The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

Perhaps in the Land of the Free, but it isn't necessarily so in all of the world. Relatively small labor regulations like in Europe, e.g. forcing a one- or two-month termination period, can do wonders simply by forcing the directors to think in terms longer than the next week to quarter end.

I have worked in several European offices of both US and European software companies and this small thing does wonders to both workplace atmosphere and relative balance of power. And it does not really significantly hamper the company, contrary to what MBA types will keep telling you - it is bullshit that multimillion corporations are today forced to reorient at a day's notice.

Comment: Re:I did a contract there briefly (Score 1) 166

by nazg00l (#47146071) Attached to: After the Sun (Microsystems) Sets, the Real Stories Come Out

Binary deltas do not solve the problem of HAVING TO RECOMPILE everything that uses the fixed library. On the oher hand, when a shared library is updated itself, everything that uses it, including closed-source third-party software, suddenly gets the benefit.

As for updated libraries breaking stuff, I honestly don't remember such case, and I have been using Linux as a sole workstation OS for well over 10 years now. Anyway, there are dynamic linker vars like LD_PRELOAD and LD_LIBRARY_PATH/LIBPATH that can be easily employed in such a case.

Moreover, how do you imagine "fully portable, self-contained binaries" for GUI programs? Statically linking half of X11 and GNOME/KDE/ into each calculator program? Well...

+ - Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community? 21

Submitted by wbr1
wbr1 (2538558) writes "It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format."

+ - Ask Slashdot: What's a safe way to name files for sorting? 5

Submitted by Keybounce
Keybounce (226364) writes "I plan on using numbers in filenames to make sure that things sort properly. I'm aware that some systems will sort as 9_file.txt, 10_file.txt, 11_file.txt; while others will do 1_file, 10_file, 11_file, 2_file.

But I'm curious about other things. Is 0 always going to sort below 1, or will it sort after 9 in some locales / languages / operating systems? Are A-Z guaranteed to exist and be usable everywhere?

At the moment, I'm planning on sticking to three digit numbers, from 111 to 999, at the front, and not use any 0's; while I'm pretty certain that will work, I'm told that this is excessive and unwarranted; that I'm being paranoid.

So how much freedom do I have in getting filenames that are sortable in a dependable way, for all locales, for Linux, Macintosh, and Windows? (And does this still work if I expand to other platforms?)

If it makes a difference, this will be in a java-based system."

+ - Dice, what are you getting by butchering Slashdot ? 2

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Before I register my account with /. I frequented it for almost 3 weeks. If I were to register the first time I visited /. my account number would be in the triple digits.

That said, I want to ask Dice why they are so eager to kill off Slashdot.

Is there a secret buyer somewhere waiting to grab this domain, Dice ? Just tell us. There are those amongst us who can afford to pay for the domain. What we want is to have a Slashdot that we know, that we can use, that we can continue to share information with all others.

Please stop all your destructive plans for Slashdot, Dice."

Comment: Re:Mr Krugman is an Economist not to be dismissed (Score 3, Informative) 540

by nazg00l (#42403569) Attached to: Krugman: Is the Computer Revolution Coming To a Close?

That is... not true, at least for Poland. I happen to live there, you see, and health insurance does not expire with unemployement benefits. It is tied to unemployed *status*, not benefits, and as long as a person is registered as unemployed, they have their health insurance paid by the State, whether they are still eligible for the benefts or not.

Comment: Re:Are we focusing too much on Mars? (Score 2) 212

by nazg00l (#41007765) Attached to: Indian Prime Minister Formally Announces Mars Mission

A very successful Saturn orbiter mission, Cassini, has been going on for years. Numerous moon flybys, lots of interesting data, pretty pics as well.

Beyond that, the main problem is cost. Uranus is four times farther away from the Sun than Jupiter, Neptune is six times farther away. Travel by direct transfer requires burning lots of fuel in Earth orbit, which makes it very expensive. Using gravity assist requires lots of time, and a long mission requires employing personnel and devoting resources for many years, which is also expensive. Not to mention that the probe must survive ten or twenty years in space and only then perform the actual mission, which makes the design expensive as well.

The singular pair of Voyager missions was only possible thanks to very lucky arrangement of planets at that time. Unfortunately, this won't repeat any time soon.

Comment: Re:outrageous! (Score 1) 177

by nazg00l (#36652212) Attached to: Facebook/Twitter Banned In Thailand For Election

I tire of repeating myself over and over. Read my other posts in this thread.

Believe me, I have...

I will only give you these hints: advertising has en effect that diminishes with time, so an established party with a huge budget and repeated media recognition (like the current government) will suffer far less then a small party whose tiny budget offered it only a modicum of advertising before the "cooling off" period. By the time the election comes the effect of advertising of smaller players will be nullified.

If that were true, smaller parties would be severely disadvantaged and would gradually disappear. Care to run a reality check for some European countries, where such laws are in effect?

As to the government being disadvantaged it is laughable. Exactly the opposite happens (that is why the laws were made - by the governments in power) as it affords whomever is controlling the process an opportunity to indirectly harass the other players by either accusing them of "breaking the law" or making exceptions for the ruling elite because of "particularly malicious attacks" etc.

I call bullshit. At least in the case of my country, there are no exceptions whatsoever to the radio silence period and all the media refrain from reporting anything even remotely political - which actually looks kinda weird, as for a day or two news program are filled with absolute trivialities.

And then there is the fact that most media these days are owned by affiliates of one of the major parties or even outright by candidates themselves and media are not exempt from "reporting" on the other, usually "upstart" challengers, who of course have no recourse.

Again, please run a reality check. All media are forbidden to report anything that could be considered election-related or politics-related. There have been some highly-publicised early transgressions that ended up with huge fines and universal disapproval, and now the situation is absolutely clean election after election.

Censorship never "helps" democracy. It is in fact the very anathema of it.

Citation needed. There are in fact multiple censorship laws in force around the world, like forbidding publishing Nazi ideology, hate speech etc., and democracy does not seem to suffer as a result. Care to point to some example country where there is no such restrictions and democracy actually flourishes?

If the laws were truly meant to help democracy they would concern themselves with ensuring that smaller players have a level playing field and that all candidates have a chance to make last-second replies. They would ensure that the voters get maximum exposure to information, complete with information kiosks at the polls where all parties could post last minute appeals free of charge so they stay fresh in the voter's minds, etc and so on.

There are multiple ways in which smaller players are being favoured in many countries I know of, including mandatory airtime in public media and state-allotted funds for running both the party and the campaign itself. If what you claim were true, the discussed laws would grossly favour current political establishment, and the government side in particular. Care to check whet the situation actually looks like in Europe and how often ruling parties change?

Comment: Re:outrageous! (Score 1) 177

by nazg00l (#36651448) Attached to: Facebook/Twitter Banned In Thailand For Election

Please note that in many countries outside the Rich West current government has an additional advantage in form of direct access to public media. One of the explicit goals of such "blackout periods" is often removing manipulation power from the current government. If you don't think such access could be used for aiding the currently-ruling political option to remain in power, think again.

On the other hand, could you please state the disadvantages of such mandatory silence periods? Yes, I know you call them "censorship", but anything besides that? Any side loses anything? Anybody is manipulated? Anybody gains unfair advantage? Or do you simply believe any restriction on personal freedom at all is always evil and must be opposed?

Comment: Re:not censorship at all (Score 2) 177

by nazg00l (#36646720) Attached to: Facebook/Twitter Banned In Thailand For Election

Nice try. It is not a question of being adults or not, but rather of human beings in general being susceptible to certain psychological tricks. Like the government of the moment launching a massive FUD campaign in public media just before voting commences. Or the same government publishing fabricated polls during the election itself with the aim of swaying undecided people. How would you have them handle the issue afterwards? "Ooops, sorry 'bout that"?

I don't believe telling all interested parties to shut up for a day or two and think the matter - arguably the most important matter for the country - through is not censorship. Furthermore, I believe much of the world agrees, judging by rules of this sort being in place in multiple countries of very diverse backgrounds.

Contrary to what I have heard sometimes, absolute and unrestricted freedom to say anything without any consequences is not the optimum state. Think crying "Fire!" in a crowded theatre. Think libel. And how exactly do you impose consequences after elections won by last-minute false mud-throwing campaign? "Oops, sorry"?

Comment: not censorship at all (Score 1) 177

by nazg00l (#36645858) Attached to: Facebook/Twitter Banned In Thailand For Election

As many have written already, this has very little to do with censorship and much to do with providing elections free from sociological manipulations. Mandating political silence just before and during the actual voting prevents primitive sociological tricks like "party X is doing really poor in the polls and is unlikely to clear the parliament-admission threshold, don't waste your vote on them, vote for similar party Y instead!" where people might get semi-consciously swayed at the last minute.

And, contrary to what many people write, such a ban is actually fairly easy to enforce. Simply monitor such cases, and post-factum declare parts of the overall voting process (in certain regions, circuits, whatever you have) invalid. This forces repeating parts of the election and, provided the society is at least somewhat legalistic, creates strong bias against the offending candidates or parties. (There may be significant financial penalties involved as well). In my country (Poland) this approach works surprisingly well, the ban is universally obeyed and the very rare transgressions are universally looked down at.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Crytek Dev On Fun vs. Realism In Game Guns 324

Posted by Soulskill
from the rocket-jumping-is-as-real-as-it-needs-to-be dept.
An anonymous reader tips a post from Pascal Eggert, a gun enthusiast and Crytek developer, who sheds some light on how weaponry in modern shooters is designed. Quoting: "Guns in games are like guns in movies: it is all about looks, sounds and clichés. Just like in the movies, games have established a certain perception of weapons in the mind of the public and just like in movies games get almost everything wrong. ... The fact is that we are not trying to simulate reality but are creating products to provide entertainment. ... if you want to replicate the looks of something you need to at least see it, but using it is even better. You should hold a gun in your hands, fire it and reload it to understand what does what — and at that point you will realize, there is nothing on it that does not have a function — because guns are tools for professionals. Lot of weapon designers in the game industry get that wrong. They think of guns like products for consumers or magic devices that kill people at a distance when really it's just a simple and elegant mechanism that propels little pieces of metal. Unfortunately 3D artists often only get access to the photos that Google Image Search comes up with if you enter 'future assault rifle' or, even worse, pictures from other games and movies that also got it wrong. This may explain a lot of common visual mistakes in games, especially since guns are mostly photographed from the side and egoshooters show weapons from the first person view." This article is drawn from his personal experience in the game industry. The images shown are Pascal's personal work and are not related to his work at Crytek.

"It's ten o'clock... Do you know where your AI programs are?" -- Peter Oakley