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Comment: Re:Play hardball (Score 1) 100

by Kjella (#47710099) Attached to: Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

Overage fees are nothing but pure evil. They did use to offer capped DSL and my cell phone data usage is still capped, I ran into it this summer as I was watching videos at the cabin but it doesn't have overage. What happens is at 80% I got a text that I'm getting close on my cap. At 100% I got a new text saying my quota is now up, I'll now either get very, very slow internet connection the rest of the month like enough to check email and barely browse the web, or I can pay up for additional quotas. Back when they offered capped DSL it was the same there.

The biggest benefit to a flat rate connection is that it's flat rate. And particularly today when you got phones and tablets and laptops and consoles and smart TVs and whatnot that all like to go online keeping track of your aggregate data usage is not easy. Overage fees are like the credit card model offering you 30 days free credit. How to do they make money off giving people free money? Because people slip up, get unplanned or unwanted expenses and then they nail the suckers. It's just begging to exploit the people who think they can save a few bucks a month.

Comment: Re:Big Data (Score 1) 100

by lgw (#47709931) Attached to: Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

Hastings, Netflix, and 99.999999% of all streaming customers give approximately 0 fucks about DRM. They pay Netflix, they see the content, there's simply no problem. And they're right. Technology makes life better by working. If it "just works", then it's fine. This ISP-throttling-Netflix BS, OTOH, is punishing customers until Netflix caves. That's not fine.

Comment: Re:Flaws? (Score 1) 60

by lgw (#47709861) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Min/maxing is half the fun of the game, unless it leaves the PCs woefully unbalanced between one another. What you want is a system where min/maxing produces reasonable character concepts, and reasonable character concepts produce well-optimized characters. That was the huge flaw in 3.5 - it was impossible for the new player to figure out what worked mechanically and what didn't. When I play an RPG, I want to play a hero, dammit. I can play the flawed loser in real life, thank you very much.. But I shouldn't have to know or care that if my idea of a hero is a martial monk that I'll bee all but useless in any encounter, while if it's a pure caster that I'll have an "I win" button if I do it right.

That's the problem. Not the idea that if I'm going to be a wizard, I'm going to be the smartest guy around, or if I'm going to hit people in the face with my axe, then I'm going to be the biggest, toughest guy around. Those are totally viable character ideas, especially your first time playing before you've grown bored of the shallow archetypes. And yet, that's min-maxing. Bah, min-maxing is fine. It's a broken system where in order to be an non-cliche character you have to be disadvantaged mechanically, because the game is build on archetype enforcement, that's the problem.

OK, it's worse still if you buy what you thought was an RPG and it turns out to just be miniatures combat rules. 4E got combat right, but the game had little else. At least in 3.5 with a veteran DM guiding new players to make effective characters, or any previous D&D version, there was a deep game there that only occasionally focused on combat.

Comment: Re:Chess (Score 1) 257

by lgw (#47709785) Attached to: Of the following, I'd rather play ...

Which is why chess is dull as dirt, IMO. It's the element of chance that makes a game interesting. That makes "strategy" meaningful. It's easy to even out the luck in an organized event, but it's the element of chance that makes it all fun. Like physics, it's not deterministic, but you can still determine the optimal path, the "path of least action" to victory. The trick is, well-designed game, predictable play gives your opponent an advantage. It's that element of "do I do the obvious, and walk into whatever plan he has, or do I do something not quite as good, but unpredictable". Chess is just missing that - there's one optimal play, period, just a matter of seeing it; might as well be doing my taxes.

Comment: Re:Ready in 30 years (Score 3, Interesting) 148

by Rei (#47708629) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

You're arguing against Tokamak fusion. But what about, say, HiPER? Looks to me to be a much more comercializeable approach, yet it's still "mainstream" fusion, just a slight variant on inertial confinement ala NIF to make it much smaller / cheaper / easier to have a high repeat rate (smaller compression pulse + heating pulse rather than a NIF-style super-massive compression pulse). The only really unstudied physics aspect is how the heating pulse will interact with the highly compressed matter; NIF and pals have pretty much worked out the details of how laser compression works out. Beyond this, pretty much everything else is just engineering challenges for commercialization, such as high repeat rate lasers, high-rate hohlraum injection and targeting, etc.

I've often thought (different topic) about how one can get half or more of fusion's advantages via fission if you change the game around a bit. Fusion is promoted on being passively safe (it's very hard to keep the reaction *going*, it really wants to stop at all times), it leads to abundant fuel supplies, and there's little radioactive waste (no long-term waste). But what about subcritical fission reactors? Aka, a natural uranium or thorium fuel target being bombarded with a spallation neutron source. Without the spallation neutrons, there's just not enough neutrons for the reaction, so the second the beam gets shut off, the reactor shuts down, regardless of what else is going on. It'd be a fast reactor, aka a breeder, aka, your available fuel supplies increase by orders of magnitude. And your long-term waste would be much, much less in a well-designed reactor. Spallation neutron sources have long been proposed as a way to eliminate long-lived nuclear waste by transmuting it into shorter-lived elements.

Comment: Re:Oh god so what? (Score 1) 166

by lgw (#47707617) Attached to: C++14 Is Set In Stone

You can definitely over-do auto typing to the point where a human can't figure out the types involved, but that's just a team coding standards thing. For sure, auto is better than any type spec that doesn't fit on a single line in the editor. Obviously class v struct is a historical relic, but I like it. I use class and struct for different things - all members private in the former, vs all public in the latter. I also like the convention that struct is the right keyword to declare an interface, since C++ has no 'interface' keyword.

Comment: Re:Left or Right? (Score 1) 384

by Kjella (#47706703) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Why not just bump the signage by that much, and make the signs themselves the hard limit?

To avoid arguments. If the cops say 11 km/h over an artificially 10 km/h low limit then you weren't speeding just a little, if they said 1 km/h over the limit people go all "waaaaaaa it was only 1 km/h" and "waaaaaaaa your equipment must be off I went 1km/h under". "I wasn't speeding that much" holds a lot less sway than "I wasn't speeding".

Comment: Re:Oh god so what? (Score 1) 166

by lgw (#47706683) Attached to: C++14 Is Set In Stone

If you don't use obscure features of C++ just for fun, you won't have that problem. Most of the obscure features in C++ exist to solve a very specific sort of problem. If your job is to solve that problem, you already understand what the relevant C++ feature does - to you it's not obscure, it's quite handy and much cleaner to have in the language than to write an test yourself.

No one needs to master all the obscure crap, because there's no single software product than needs it all - but all of it is needed by someone, somewhere.

And if you're being deliberately obscure, well, others have mentioned the C obfuscation contest. No language is maintainable without at least some basic effort to reject needlessly obfuscated code through code reviews.

Comment: Re:Oh god so what? (Score 1) 166

by lgw (#47706571) Attached to: C++14 Is Set In Stone

Well, you'd just need a chuckugly type declaration for it. The new ability to use auto in declaring the parameters to the lambda expression itself - that's one I don't see how you'd do without auto, as it's effectively templating in a place where you can't syntactically declare the template.

Comment: Re:Oh god so what? (Score 3, Informative) 166

by lgw (#47706465) Attached to: C++14 Is Set In Stone

So in the real world, you have to understand nearly all of it in order to be able to maintain other people's code or to work as a team.

If you don't have coding standards and a firm code review process to enforce them, you have already lost.

C++ has a lot of cruft to allow you to cleanly solve problems that 99% of coders will never encounter. I'd say that these days, if your not in some dark corner where you need at least 1 bizarre C++ feature, you should probably use a higher level language.

As an example of what I mean - C++ lets you overload the 'new' operator. Why would you ever want to do that? There no reason to learn how that feature works until and unless you need it. But if you need to do "slab allocation" or otherwise change the memory allocation pattern away from "just malloc", suddenly overloading 'new' is an amazingly useful and clean way to do this. In C you have to replace malloc with some other call (or #define malloc notmalloc) and police it everywhere in your codebase, which gets ugly when you have 20 different objects each allocated from its own slab, and gets horrifically ugly when you discover that you need to do this a couple years into a project. In C++ you just overload 'new' on a class-by-class basis.

C++ has many features like that - stuff that you'd almost never have any use for, but is wonderful when you find yourself in that dark corner. You just need to guard against that guy who just wants to play with some C++ cruft when it's not needed, just because it looks neat.

Brain fried -- Core dumped