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Bethesda Criticized Over Buggy Releases 397

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-don't-kill-off-patrick-stewart-at-the-beginning dept.
SSDNINJA writes "This editorial discusses the habit of Bethesda Softworks to release broken and buggy games with plans to just fix the problems later. Following a trend of similar issues coming up in their games, the author begs gamers to stop supporting buggy games and to spread the idea that games should be finished and quality controlled before release – not weeks after."

Comment: summary is economically confused (Score 5, Insightful) 292

by philgross (#30705606) Attached to: China Luring Scientists Back Home
The summary makes it sounds like the US is doing a favor and donating generously to the rest of the world by funding foreign PhDs. A more accurate description would be that we taking the extreme cream of the crop, educated at great expense in other countries, and then luring them to the United States, where they further strengthen our already best-in-the-world universities, and the great majority stay permanently. The article describes a slight moderation in this trend, with a few more scholars choosing to return (although also describing the obstacles they face when they do).

The overall benefits of this system continue to be overwhelmingly in the favor of the United States. Even those who do return to their home countries go back with a much deeper understanding of the US, not to mention greater English fluency.

The restrictions on foreign students in the aftermath of 9/11 stood out among the other security-theater policies for their active harmfulness.

Comment: Re:The suckitude that was DARPA head Tony Tether (Score 1) 54

by philgross (#30563456) Attached to: What DARPA's Been Up To, At Length
Long term, heavy-academic-contribution stuff was exactly what he choked off. He was bad for America's research base and bad for big-picture American security, IMHO. Apologies for the gratuitous Dubya swipe (as you say, mod-bait on /.), but I do feel that Tether and GWB shared a disdain for academia, which was no problem for the president, but had terrible consequences for what is supposed to be the blue-sky research arm of the DoD.

Also, you're aware that this not some hindsight Bush-bashing here, right? I mean, they actually had Senate hearings on the Tether/DARPA mess back in 2005.

Comment: The suckitude that was DARPA head Tony Tether (Score 4, Interesting) 54

by philgross (#30562866) Attached to: What DARPA's Been Up To, At Length
No mention of the disastrous Bush-era reign of Tony Tether at DARPA? With an incurious, aggressive president, we got an incurious, aggressive DARPA head, who cut long-term and academic research in favor of short-term corporate research. His dumping by Obama led to joy and celebrations (OK, cautious hope) across the land.

Comment: Re:They're not big. (Score 1) 283

by philgross (#28518761) Attached to: Google Claims They "Just Aren't That Big"

Google did maps, it was okay but not #1, they bought Keyhole(now google earth) and advanced their tech to become #1

They hired the guys who made the Google Maps precursor, but it was a separate acquisition (and technology) from Keyhole / Google Earth. They only recently got the two systems to use the same imagery data, I think.

Comment: Re:Easily identifiable source = easy blocked traff (Score 1) 195

by philgross (#28299029) Attached to: Is China Creating the World's Largest Botnet Army?
I was going to add the same comment. The point of a botnet is that the computers, being hijacked consumer/corporate pcs, are from all over the world and indistinguishable from random traffic IPs. If you're getting attacked by an all-China botnet, just cut off a well-defined set of addresses and the threat vanishes.
Education

MS Word 2010 Takes On TeX 674

Posted by timothy
from the math-journals-won't-be-switching-anytime-soon dept.
alphabetsoup writes "Office 2010 Technology preview was leaked a few days back. With its leak, a feature which was rumored to be present can now be confirmed. Office 2010 finally adds support for Advanced Typographic features (ligatures, number forms, alternates, etc.) of OpenType, allowing one to create documents so far possible only in TeX or InDesign. Between this, the new equation editor and styles, what are the chances of Word replacing LaTeX as the editor of choice in academia?"

Comment: Re:Why is it taking so long? (Score 4, Interesting) 308

by philgross (#26409843) Attached to: Chrome On the Way For Mac and Linux
Nope. Win32 is emphatically not Unix. If anything, it's closer to the old DEC VAX VMS OS (Dave Cutler's earlier OS). While there are POSIX compatibility adapters, the native OS provides services that look pretty different from the classic UNIX ones (process creation, IPC, security, etc.).

I recommend Windows System Programming by Hart if you want to get a feeling for it. It's arguably a better (and certainly more modern) API than the classic UNIX set. I mean, fork() is a pretty weird way to create a new process, if you think about it.

This is _not_ an endorsement of the entire Windows OS, which has miles-deep layers of cruft and crap on top -- just talking about the kernel and core system services.

Apple

Apple Intros 17" Unibody MBP, DRM-Free iTunes 1079

Posted by kdawson
from the life-after-jobs dept.
Phil Schiller delivered the keynote at MacWorld, the first after the Steve Jobs era of keynotes. Here is Engadget's live blog. The big news, predicted by many rumor sites, was the introduction of the unibody 17" MacBook Pro. As rumored, the battery is not removable, but it's claimed to provide 8 hours of battery life (7 hours with the discrete graphics): "3x the charges and lifespan of the industry standard." $2,799, 2.66 GHz and 4 GB of RAM, 320GB hard drive, shipping at the end of January. There is a battery exchange program, and there is an option for a matte display. The other big news is that iTunes is going DRM-free: 8M songs today, all 10+M by the end of March. Song pricing will be flexible, as the studios have been demanding; the lowest song price is $0.69. Apple also introduced the beta of a Google Docs-like service, iWork.com.

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