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Comment: Re:really? (Score 1) 165

by dissy (#48437829) Attached to: Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

For what software? Certainly not any I use, nor the various versions of MS-DOS from the company in question I used back in the 80s and 90s.

Back from the 60s one heavily used convention was: [major-version] dot [minor-version] dot [revision]

The dots are separators not unlike those in an IP address, not decimal places (of which more then one of doesn't make much sense)
Within the same major-version number the API would remain backwards compatible. New commands may be added in, but old existing commands should both still exist and still function identically.
Within the same minor-version (rev changes) the API would remain identical and data/file formats would keep the same structure.

This would allow the operator to assume a revision update can be installed at will and not worry much about breaking compatibility for anything not listed in the change log.
One could also assume any additional applications made to work with the upgrading app should still function without modification, at least if you follow the API docs and don't do anything too hacky.

For minor-version updates you assumed API using additions and apps should still work, but anything hacky by-passing the API due to limitations needs revisited and possibly edited.
An example is one program that creates input to the program in question via documented API calls should be fine, but your second program that is run after output being generated that goes to parse internal data files you "shouldn't" be touching likely will break until updated to parse the new data file structure.

For major-version updates, all bets are off. Pretend it is a brand new app and all interaction with it by other system components may need redesigned or be obsoleted.

Of course version numbers are only conventions. Those conventions can be changed to mean something more fitting for your particular software.
Or simplified to "Start at 1.0 and keep adding one" if you can predict not many updates being needed or for very simple one-off script type things.
Dates have turned out to be quite convenient version numbers with the time making a good developer compile/commit identifier that already keeps revisions in the correct order.

The only real rule is "pick a convention and stay consistent for the life of that software, else the wrath of dragons upon your head be"

Comment: Re:Ads (Score 1) 275

by dissy (#48437567) Attached to: Google Launches Service To Replace Web Ads With Subscriptions

So how does this not make you a worthless freeloader?

It makes me not a worthless freeloader in exactly the same way as you using an ad network doesn't make you a script kiddie hacker trying to infect millions of peoples computers with malware viruses and keyloggers deserving of imprisonment.

But if you insist on going there, allow me to remind you that my actions of not watching an ad are perfectly legal (and explicitly stated so in law), while your actions of infecting millions of computers is explicitly a federal criminal offense...

Comment: Re:Ads (Score 1) 275

by geminidomino (#48435831) Attached to: Google Launches Service To Replace Web Ads With Subscriptions

Another obvious difference is that buying a legal copy of a creative work does not in itself subject me to severely degraded system performance, wasting arbitrary amounts of bandwidth I'm already paying for on things I didn't ask for, or assorted security and privacy risks.

Unless the "creative work" is a computer game, of course.

Programming

It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-not-the-heat,-it's-the-humidity dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Software engineers understand the pace of writing code, but frequently managers don't. One line of code might take 1 minute, and another line of code might take 1 day. But generally, everything averages out, and hitting your goals is more a function of properly setting your goals than of coding quickly or slowly. Sprint.ly, a company than analyzes productivity, has published some data to back this up. The amount of time actually developing a feature was a small and relatively consistent portion of its lifetime as a work ticket. The massively variable part of the process is when "stakeholders are figuring out specs and prioritizing work." The top disrupting influences (as experienced devs will recognize) are unclear and changing requirements. Another big cause of slowdowns is interrupting development work on one task to work on a second one. The article encourages managers to let devs contribute to the process and say "No" if the specs are too vague. Is there anything you'd add to this list?

Comment: Re:It's all bullshit (Score 1) 143

by geminidomino (#48433507) Attached to: Greenwald Advises Market-Based Solution To Mass Surveillance

Because the actual choices are evil, evil, I-don't-know-you, never-heard-of-you, who-are-you and I-don't-care-enough-to-actually-check-who-the-choices-are.

And it's naive to assume that I-don't-know-you, never-heard-of-you, and who-are-you aren't just as evil, or at least as enthusiastically corruptible, as the scumbags we keep getting stuck with.

Comment: Re:It's all bullshit (Score 1) 143

by geminidomino (#48433487) Attached to: Greenwald Advises Market-Based Solution To Mass Surveillance

Saying you won't because there's little chance they'll win is a self-fulfilling prophecy

What about saying you won't because, in the end, you're not likely to see any appreciable difference anyway?

When the game board is made of toxic waste, going out and buying a new set of plastic tokens doesn't fix the whole "getting deathly sick" thing.

Robotics

Microsoft Rolls Out Robot Security Guards 138

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-register-that-copy-of-windows.-you-have-20-seconds-to-comply dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft is testing a group of five robot security guards. They contain a sophisticated sensor suite that includes 360-degree HD video, thermal imaging, night vision, LIDAR, and audio recorders. They can also detect various chemicals and radiation signatures, and do some rudimentary behavioral analysis on people they see. (And they look a bit like Daleks.) The robots are unarmed, so we don't have to worry about a revolt just yet, but they can sound an alarm and call for human officers. They weigh about 300 lbs each, can last roughly a day on a battery charge, and know to head to the charging station when they're low on power.

Comment: Re:So close, so far (Score 1) 541

by geminidomino (#48430151) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

Though back in my day we didn't have the Internet or easymode, and I was much too sane to call a $3.99/minute ($294,829,482/second in today's money) "tip" line.

Back in the day before the day, the tipline was free, except for LD charges.

Other than that, I have pretty much the same history, I just couldn't pass up the "get off my lawn" moment. ;)

Comment: Re:Games are getting to be like TV shows (Score 1) 31

Just how much control is given to the players? Creating our own quest lines and NPCs, etc is kind of obviously intended, but just how far down the rabbit hole can we go?

Can players define their own weapon/armor stats? What about models?
Can players modify their rulesets to add, for example, new loot drop tables? How about new crafting professions?

And, actually a really important question: Is the digital release going to be available without Steam?

Comment: Re:Go back in time 5 years (Score 1) 534

by geminidomino (#48417285) Attached to: Debian Votes Against Mandating Non-systemd Compatibility

There have been plenty of those: legitimate, technical complaints about design flaws, suitability, and downright broken shit. Yet, somehow, that all seems to fall under the "Lul Change-hating luddite uniz nekbeard" response. So I really don't think we can take any proponents of systemd seriously, either.

Since Debian's not going to protect me from this svchost-cum-kitchen-sink abortion after all, looks like we're going to FreeBSD!

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein

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