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Comment: Re:Games (Doom) helped me into an IT career (Score 1) 170

by sheetsda (#49754871) Attached to: Video Games: Gateway To a Programming Career?

Your story and mine are similar, and I suspect Zuckerberg's is also close. I suspect Zuckerberg said was true - for the people now in their early to mid 30s but I think circumstances have changed in the last 20 years. All the digging through manuals and "ATDT" tweaks we had to make back then are all, standardized, GUI driven and automatic these days. Save for DayZ, it'd been years and years since I downloaded and installed a mod on a game. It isn't even possible to mod most games out there these days.

Younger than that and video games are a more widely accepted past time, and require almost nothing in the way of technical expertise to make work. There are programmers in this demographic but you won't be able to say with 90% accuracy someone has a future in IT because the group of people playing video games is not limited to the people willing to spend hours hand tweaking system files to get it to run well (or at all).

Older than that and (I suspect) there wasn't much gaming to do.

Comment: Re:Cheaper (Score 1) 349

by sheetsda (#48696651) Attached to: United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

Instead, the entire industry would rather piss around with games and "loyalty" programs and such.

For those that might not be aware, the purpose of those loyalty programs is so that business travelers have their corporate travel agency to get them flights on particular airlines every time they fly. The points belong to the individual, not the company. The employee collects the points which can be turned into free vacations and the airline charges the corporate account the difference.

Ironically though when you travel frequently for work the last thing you want to do is spend more time away from home.

-A former business traveller

Comment: Re:I have worked at a few ISPs (Score 4, Interesting) 251

by sheetsda (#47709107) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

"...attempts to retain customers at any cost."

I use this to my advantage.

1. A competing trash service sent me a flier offering the same service at about 60% of the price I was paying. The current service matched the price for 1 year. Even if they're not making a dime on me they're dividing their fuel cost one more way.

2. Last month I called Time Warner and told them I wanted them to match the introductory price of competing internet service (~75% of regular price for 1 year). They did. This is the second time I've had my price lowered to an introductory rate without being a new customer.

When these prices run out I'll call again and get the rate lowered again. Or I'll cancel and go to the competitor. Either way, these add up to about $360 saved this year for two 15-minute phone calls. Pretty good $/hr.

Comment: Re:He's not "conceited". He's absolutely correct! (Score 1) 400

by sheetsda (#45778725) Attached to: Is Ruby Dying?

Its development tools are a decade or more behind those of Java and C++.

It's worse than just being behind. Behind is a solvable problem. Basic IDE features like auto-completion/typo checking are impossible for the IDE when the content of an object can't be known until run-time. Consider a simple example that uses a random number to either define a given property on an object or not - the IDE fundamentally cannot know whether than property should show up in its autocomplete list. So I think the poor quality of the tools can also be blamed on poor JS design. JSDoc provides reasonable solution to this problem at the cost of writing a bunch of documentation that would be pedantic in other languages and negates weak types (not enforced unfortunately). I compare this to documenting every "int foo = 0;" in C++ with a comment saying "//this is an integer".

Ultimately, I feel the lesson comes down to this: Weakly-typed languages are for smaller projects than strongly-typed languages.

Unfortunately, if you need to do something in a browser you don't really have a strongly typed option right now. That is also a solvable problem, and as the browser becomes more and more important as a platform someone will solve it. Though, if you'd have asked me 10 years ago I'd have at least expected to be able to see the solution on the horizon by this point. :-(

Comment: Without a security vulnerability? (Score 5, Insightful) 161

by sheetsda (#45590199) Attached to: How To Hijack a Drone For $400 In Less Than an Hour

"All of this is done wirelessly and doesn't require the use of any exploit or security vulnerability"

"...detects the wireless signal sent out by a target drone, injects WiFi packets into the target’s connection, de-authenticates it from its real controller and then authenticates it to the Skyjack drone"

Uhh... for what definition of "security vulnerability" is this not a "security vulnerability"?

+ - Virtual World Money to Aid Real World Relief Effort

Submitted by sheetsda
sheetsda writes: You've probably heard that you can pay for your EVE online subscription with the in-game virtual currency, ISK. EVE developer CCP has now taken that system a step further, and more noble by allowing players to spend that in game cash to donate to the Phillipines typhoon relief effort. Spend ISK for PLEX, donate the PLEX, and CCP will donate $15 to the Icelandic Red Cross relief effort.

Comment: Re:These big battles are a rarity (Score 2) 296

by sheetsda (#44419331) Attached to: Epic Online Space Battle

but there's SOO much downtime in between PVP fights

I reopened my account a little under a month ago (originally quit when Diablo 3 came out, THAT game was a waste of time and money.). After two weeks back with my old alliance, spinning ships, AFKing in station, I joined a new one. Night and day. I have seen more action every day in the new alliance than all 2 weeks with the old one. The problem for me was that the old alliance had largely faded from glory and the remaining members are 80% people in a 12 hour different time zone, and located way out in the middle of where there was nothing for a lone player to shoot at. The remaining 20% were insulated in their own system 15 jumps away and own teamspeak server. They invited no one else to come with them. The new one is right in the sweet spot for my time zone, and in a much better location for PVP and quite active. There is so much PVP going on I haven't had as much time to try out the new exploration mechanics as I would like, and best of all I don't feel like I need to be on all the time so that I don't miss what little action there is.

Ultimate lesson: A new corp solved your situation in my case.

I felt barely competent after 4 months of play.

But competent nonetheless... Mastering a game ultimately makes it boring. Four months would be quite a short time scale to master any decent MMO. The deeper the game, the longer it takes.

The curve is just too high for people looking to have fun and not turn the game into a way of life

I assume you have seen this, but I will post it for the amusement of others: EVE Learning Curve

Unrelated comment: I have only recently come to realize that EVE is only cosmetically a game about space ships. Its true nature is more a game of risk versus reward. You can mine in 0.5 space and make money faster... but those suicide gankers are 2 jumps away, or you can mine in 0.9 space and make less. Make your choice and live with the consequences. Trust no one, and never undock anything you cannot afford to lose.

Comment: Re:What about gamers (Score 1) 564

by sheetsda (#43439941) Attached to: Why PC Sales Are Declining

Gamers and engineers and other hardcore users comprised a larger % of the PC market. These users tend to upgrade often to run the latest Doom at max 640x480 resolution with all options on.

Speaking as a gamer who was on the 1-2 year upgrade cycle 10+ years ago, even my PCs last a lot longer now too. My last 2 PCs have been play able to play the latest games at good settings for upwards of 4 years. This longer lifetime change coincided with my budget for building PCs increasing significantly (thank you, computer science degree). I'm unsure how much of an effect that has had, so take this with a grain of salt.

Comment: Re:Because you don't pay, you just complain (Score 1) 978

by sheetsda (#43145045) Attached to: Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

Bulk mail does not get returned to the sender. The post office will just throw it away.

I would argue this is helpful nonetheless as it increases the post office's costs related to bulk mail. I may adopt this practice myself. Here's an amusing thought: I pay for my trash service, a government agency is delivering some trash - can I write some portion of my trash service off my taxes? I understand typically you need to determine what proportion of the service is used for the purpose being written off. In the case of trash would that per unit of mass, per unit of volume, per discarded article?

Slight related, if only we had a similar solution to all the "free newspapers", advertisement fliers and other litter that gets tossed onto my driveway or hung on my mailbox once a week. I fail to see why *I* should be forced to deliver *their* garbage to my trashcan every week. After several attempts I was finally able to get one local free newspaper to stop delivering... mostly. No such luck with the advertisements.

Comment: Re:Because you don't pay, you just complain (Score 2) 978

by sheetsda (#43130929) Attached to: Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

Slashdot allows you to choose to turn off ads by paying.

There is (was?) also an option to turn off ads for 'positive contributors' whatever that means. I'm having trouble finding it in the UI right now, maybe pissing off the Blizzard fanbois a couple weeks ago cost me that option. :)

Anyway, this positive contribution concept could certainly be extended to almost any bulletin board like system and perhaps generalized into something like the captchas that are used as a way to digitize books. Find some minuscule task that somebody is willing to pay for being done on a large scale and you've got a business model. Imagine a future where Amazon's cloud service becomes a P2P network made up of the computers of people offering up their electricity and idle cycles as a ticket to free internet content for example.

Comment: Re:Where are you going to go? (Score -1, Flamebait) 303

by sheetsda (#43030545) Attached to: EA Building Microtransactions Into All of Its Future Games

You are not buying things from Blizzard

You're fooling yourself. Blizzard is a publicly traded company. It is under no obligation to provide you with any more of a game experience beyond what is necessary to increase its share holders bottom line.

Until you can tie an item back to a players name (not character name - Blizzard holds the keys to that too) there is zero accountability. Bits in a database are cheap for Blizzard to flip.

Low risk, high reward, and really simple math.

Kiss your keyboard goodbye!