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+ - In Advance Of Upcoming Steam Summer Sale, Valve Introduces Steam Refunds

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner writes: Despite all of its competition, Valve's Steam service remains the most popular digital PC game store around. While Steam does do a lot of things right, it can sometimes stumble in the worst of ways. Look no further than April's Skyrim mod debacle as a good example. Well, just as Valve fixed up that issue, it's gone ahead and fixed another: it's making refunds dead simple. While refunds have been possible in the past, it's required gamers to jump through hoops to get them. Now, Valve has set certain criteria, and if it's met, a refund will be granted, no questions asked — a definite step in the right direction.

Comment: Re:Same performance different Memory Capacity (Score 1) 152

Yeah, well, you have to pay a premium to get on top of the list:
http://videocardbenchmark.net/...
(BTW, very useful resource for making rough sense of the alphanumeric soup)

For my part, I'd be happy with the $200 GPU that gets me in the top 20... (GTX 960). I'm guessing that will get the Ti treatment next.

Though I'm still pretty happy with my 560 Ti, which is still pretty decently placed at roughly 1/3rd the speed of the top card. I think the last couple of generations have been skippable, though I'm now starting to get interested in the triple-monitor capability of the GTX 900 series... once I go out and buy 2 more monitors. My only fear, of course, is that VR headsets will make peripheral monitors pointless soon, though it doesn't seem like any of them really tickle your peripheral vision the same way.

+ - Demographers Says Older, Better Educated Women Are Having More Children

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: The Economist reports that based on an analysis of census data the proportion of all women who reach their mid-40s without ever having a child has fallen, but the decline is sharpest among the best-educated women. In 1994, 35% of women with a doctoral degree aged 40 to 44 were childless; by last year, this had fallen to 20%. Their families are bigger, too. In 1994, half of women with a master’s degree had had two more or more children. By last year, the figure was 60%. Why might older, better-educated women be having more children? Partly because access to education has widened—and so women who were always going to have children are spending more time in college. Another reason is that fertility treatment has improved dramatically, and access to that, too, has widened. Older women who, in the past, wanted children but were unable to have them are now able to.

But according to demographer Philip Cohen this does not explain the entire leap. Social changes in the nature of marriage seem to be driving the change. Whereas marriage was once near-universal and unequal, in recent decades it has become a deliberate option and more equal. Well-educated women have been able to form strong relationships with similarly brainy men, in which both parents earn and both do some child care. Getting an education and having a career are no longer always a barrier to having children; sometimes, they make it easier. Also as more career-minded women have had children, they have become powerful enough to demand time off from their employers. Although America has no national system of paid maternity leave, many professional firms now offer paid maternity leave—Ernst & Young, an accountancy firm, offers 39 weeks to its employees, for example. Meanwhile poorer women have had little luck of that sort. "Iif I’m a lower-income woman," says Stephanie Coontz, "do I want to hitch myself to a guy who may become just another mouth to feed?”

+ - Scientist fools millions into thinking chocolate helps weight loss->

Submitted by __roo
__roo writes: Did you know chocolate helps you lose weight? You can read all about this great news for chocoholics in the Daily Star, Daily Express, Irish Examiner, and TV shows in Texas and Australia, and even the front page of Bild, Europe's largest daily newspaper. The problem is that it's not true. A researcher who previously worked with Science to do a sting operation on fee-charging open access journals ran a real—but obviously flawed—study rigged to generate false positives, paid €600 to get it published in a fee-charging open access journal, set up a website for a fake institute, and issued press releases to feed the ever-hungry pool of nutrition journalists. The doctor who ran the trial had the idea to use chocolate, because it's a favorite of the "whole food" fanatics. "Bitter chocolate tastes bad, therefore it must be good for you. It’s like a religion."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ways to travel faster than light without violating relativity

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: It’s one of the cardinal laws of physics and the underlying principle of Einstein’s relativity itself: the fact that there’s a universal speed limit to the motion of anything through space and time, the speed of light, or c. Light itself will always move at this speed (as well as certain other phenomena, like the force of gravity), while anything with mass — like all known particles of matter and antimatter — will always move slower than that. But if you want something to travel faster-than-light, you aren’t, as you might think, relegated to the realm of science fiction. There are real, physical phenomena that do exactly this, and yet are perfectly consistent with relativity.

Comment: Re:Answer : as little as practical (Score 1) 335

by rwa2 (#49788291) Attached to: How Much C++ Should You Know For an Entry-Level C++ Job?

Well, you really weren't that far off the mark.

I went to an Ivy League engineering school about 2 decades ago. They did just about all of their classes in anything *but* C++ . Intro to intermediate courses were in Java, because it pretty much worked as documented. Higher level courses were in scheme, lisp, or whatever. Low-level assembly language classes were done in your own virtual machine that you had built in the java courses. Engineering programming classes were in C (for low-level I/O), Labview, and Matlab. There was *one* small 2-credit elective on C++ that taught the vagaries of C++ for the students who wanted official exposure to that stuff. That was enough to land them at Microsoft or Apple or Google or whatever big shop they wanted to run off to or start their own thing.

My wife and most of my friends went to State University. Intro-intermediate CS were total weed-out classes, and taught in C++ . They spent all of their homework time fighting the tool, debugging stack and buffer overflows, adjusting ulimits, tracing pointers... anything but actually learning about data structures or algorithms. The smarter students figured out how to use the debugging tools and source control to get by, which weren't covered in the curriculum. The State U. didn't exactly produce CS grads so much as CS survivors. Which I guess is an important quality for employers too.

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