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Comment: Re:The alternative angle (Score 1) 77

by Idarubicin (#46832137) Attached to: "Going Up" At 45 Mph: Hitachi To Deliver World's Fastest Elevator

I'd like a really slow, large elevator containing a restaurant or a bar. Have dinner or get pissed on the way home! Perfect.

The problem, of course, is that instead of the restaurant taking up space on one floor of the building, it would then occupy a restaurant-sized hole in every floor of the building. (Yes, this could be partially offset by stacking several floors of restaurant in this hypothetical elevator shaft, but you're still wasting many multiples of the restaurant's floor area in the building. And floor area in high-rise towers isn't cheap.) We'll leave aside the challenges of providing working utility connections, and the likely-to-be-appalling costs of construction and maintenance.

Comment: Re:Answers: (Score 1) 277

by dywolf (#46824129) Attached to: 'The Door Problem' of Game Design


its like the difference between drawing a really cool airplane...
and actually designing the thing so it can function.

drawing a shape is easy.
drawing one that will fly, not really much harder (unless you get really carried away with cool factor stuff).
deciding where to route the miles of electrical wiring and plumbing, where to place the holes in the structural bulkheads for them pass through, how much space to leave between the inner skin and outer skin for them to be routed, where to place the systems the wiring/plumbing connects to, keeping everything balanced so the craft is stable, how much clearance around moving parts (like control or action rods) within the skin is required, where access panels should be located for maintenance, which panels need welded, which riveted, which screwed in, which are accessible....and this is just a short list focused on wiring and panel accessibility.

Comment: Re:Easy answers (Score 1) 277

by dywolf (#46823961) Attached to: 'The Door Problem' of Game Design

we can go further: how much time and money and resources should we spend on a closet not even vital to the gameplay, or story, or that 99% of players wont even see or use? will players get tired of seeing the same bleach bottles that are inexplicably all over this world? ("boy, sure is a lot of Product X in this world"). is our goal a total open world (0% linear), or to essentially put the player on rails (100% linear)?

thats why they talk about feature creep, and design decisions and compromises.

its like the question in structural engineering of why we dont make buildings able to withstand X? because $$$. the more X you want to withstand, the more $$$ you require, usually with severe diminishing returns on the relations between $$$ and X.

Comment: Re:Easy answers (Score 1) 277

by dywolf (#46823889) Attached to: 'The Door Problem' of Game Design

note that I dont disagree with your opinion on arbitrary restrictions, and the door problem is mostly handled by the level designer, and how much work/effort he wants to put into the level (assuming the engine and computer can handle anything he creates).

but in your haste to answer the questions, you're making design decisions on just one minor facet of the game while assuming infinite resources, in terms of what the computer can handle, and in terms of what you can actually create, in terms of money you have to spend, in terms of time you have to deliver a product. all while ignoring the larger point: there's a door. it opens. ok, what's on the other side? a mop closet. ok, now we gotta add a mop closet to the game. what's in the closet? brooms. just brooms? a mop bucket. and a sink. does the sink turn on? can the player grab the items? how much interactivity does the engine handle? how finely detailed are the textures we're going to use? are they unique to this closet or are we reusing from elsewhere? how much space on the media will it take up? how far down the rabbit hole are we going?

that's the author's point: just because you have played games doesnt mean you grasp the complexities of actually creating and managing a project. its like saying you can design an airplane because you're a pilot.

America Online

David Auerbach Explains the Inside Baseball of MSN Messenger vs. AIM 84

Posted by timothy
from the doesn't-seem-that-long-ago dept.
In N+1 magazine, David Auerbach explains what it was like in the "Chat Wars" of the late '90s, when he was the youngest person on the team developing Microsoft's brand-new messaging app, in the face of America Online's AIM, the 900-pound gorilla in the room. Auerbach explains how he used a network analyzer to fake out AOL's servers into letting Microsoft's client connect to AIM as well. "AOL could only block Messenger if they could figure out that the user was using Messenger and not AIM. As long as Messenger sent exactly the same protocol messages to the AOL servers, AOL wouldn’t be able to detect that Messenger was an impostor. So I took the AIM client and checked for differences in what it was sending, then changed our client to mimic it once again. They’d switch it up again; they knew their client, and they knew what it was coded to do and what obscure messages it would respond to in what ways. Every day it’d be something new. At one point they threw in a new protocol wrinkle but cleverly excepted users logging on from Microsoft headquarters, so that while all other Messenger users were getting an error message, we were sitting at Microsoft and not getting it. After an hour or two of scratching our heads, we figured it out." Eventually, though, AOL introduced x86 assembly code into the login protocol, and that not only stymied the MSM team, but led to some interesting warfare of its own. Auerbach's story sheds a lot of light on both good and bad aspects of corporate culture at the start of the 21st century, at Microsoft as well as other companies.

GitHub Founder Resigns Following Harassment Investigation 172

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the don't-be-mean dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Late Yesterday, GitHub concluded its investigation regarding sexual harassment within its work force, and although it found no evidence of 'legal wrongdoing,' Tom Preston-Werner, one of its founding members implicated in the investigation resigned. In its statement, GitHub vows to implement 'a number of new HR and employee-led initiatives as well as training opportunities to make sure employee concerns and conflicts are taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.' Julie Ann Horvath, the former GitHub employee whose public resignation last month inspired the sexual harassment investigation, found the company's findings to be gratuitous and just plain wrong."

Comment: Re:Please justify $5 for one rental (Score 2) 137

by Idarubicin (#46808785) Attached to: Joss Whedon Releases New Film On Demand

Dear fan,

I am sure that you can find many other entertainment content options that also cost significantly more than $5, especially among those available on the first day of theatrical release. Many of them also require you to get off your ass and go somewhere, rather than letting you enjoy your entertainment experience in bed, at home, on your tablet.

So, yeah. $5. It costs that much because we think it's worth that much, and because we think that enough people will agree with that assessment to make this business financially viable. In a very real and tangible way "what people will pay" is very much "what something is worth", at least for dollars-and-cents pricing decisions.


Joss Whedon

P.S.: I'm funnier than Louis CK, so there's that, too.

Comment: Re:One word: FUD (Score 1) 270

Don't forget the people living on a... um... "government income"...

You know that by far the largest group of unemployed people living on a government income are retired old folks collecting Social Security, right?

But I'm guessing that "grandma" isn't the demographic group I'm supposed to think of when you blow your ill-informed dog whistle.

Comment: Re:Don't be ridiculous (Score 1) 207

by Idarubicin (#46804351) Attached to: Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

I'm using "unenforceable" in the same sense that Wilson is; that anyone who cares to break the law can, and in nearly all cases won't get caught.

The same is true for speeding. But even if you want to narrow the scope to "things I can do in my own home, where I won't get caught except if something goes terribly wrong, or by happenstance" there is still a pretty big field.

Suppose I live in a high-rise apartment tower. It would be trivially easy for me to buy a couple of dozen propane cylinders from local retailers, and slip them into my hypothetical apartment. (Put each one in a suitcase or cardboard box to carry it upstairs, and spread the purchases out over a few different stores, across several weeks of summer barbecue season. Pay cash.) No one knows my apartment is now a giant bomb. Totally illegal under an assortment of fire codes and municipal bylaws. Probably runs into state and/or federal rules about the transportation and storage of dangerous goods. To be honest, I can't be bothered to look up all the different ways in which it is illegal.

Anyone could do it. No one who does it would get caught (unless they talk about it). Should it therefore be legal to store a quarter ton of compressed, flammable gas inside a residential apartment building?

Comment: Re:Don't be ridiculous (Score 1) 207

by Idarubicin (#46801297) Attached to: Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

They're already unenforcable -- against criminals, who steal them (both wholesale and retail, sometimes even from police evidence rooms) and illegally import them.

I have to admit that I am always surprised by people who confuse and conflate the notion that something is possible with the notion that laws against that possible-to-do thing are thereby rendered unenforceable.

It is extraordinarily easy to acquire an automobile with a top speed exceeding 75 miles per hour. They can be found readily on our city streets, in the garages of our homes, all across America. Millions of such vehicles exchange hands, legally, every year. Shockingly, that doesn't actually render laws against speeding unenforceable--even though every driver has access to technology with which they can speed, available at the twitch of a foot.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson