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Comment: Re:Age or experience? (Score 1) 352

by slycrel (#36795608) Attached to: Study Shows Programmers Get Better With Age

With a bit more experience than you I can say (per usual) that it depends. But the best business answer is usually both. Get the fix out as fast as you can, but schedule the time to refactor the code and get it right. Too far towards one way or the other leads to your hands being tied too often. Sometimes a quick hack makes sense. Sometimes it doesn't. Experience (and not always programming experience) is the best way to determine which would be better -- speed or maintainability.

Comment: Re:Not really the full picture. (Score 1) 161

by slycrel (#35497684) Attached to: Utah Governor 'Honored' With Blackhole Award

Thanks for the links, I didn't know personally how that process worked.

I was not saying that's a fact, that's just what he said and it seemed reasonable at the time. I really am casually following this. As in, I'm listening and paying attention, but I'm not a wannabe lawyer or legislator or researcher -- I don't have time to be. His solution sounded reasonable and I am familiar enough with local politics and his stances to have an idea that he's not BSing on his answer here. I may not fully agree with what's happening, but it doesn't really matter; I'm glad that this isn't settled, that it's getting more attention. I've also heard there is more to this story than just privacy concerns, and this extra time will help address those issues as well. Throwing it all out is setting the stage for another potential sneak attack. This way it gets addressed.

Comment: Not really the full picture. (Score 5, Informative) 161

by slycrel (#35495396) Attached to: Utah Governor 'Honored' With Blackhole Award

As a resident of Utah, I've been casually following this Bill. I was very perturbed to find out that it had passed, but I think I understand after hearing the governor's explanation. He gave an interview the day after and said basically that even had he vetoed it it would have passed. So he instead amended it, calling a special session so that there would be time for public debate and changes. I don't know all of the nuts and bolts of the process, but as a casual interested party that was good enough for me. In fact I respect the fact that he told the public why he voted for it and why he amended it -- it was in everyone's best interest (except Utah's congress maybe) for him to do what he did. He was handed a crap sandwitch and he sent it back to the kitchen, even if he's still sitting in the restauraunt that served it. In the end basically it's a law that will be re-voted on before it goes into effect, with public participation and transparency. The fact that the governor is being given this award over those who pushed the bill through in the first place is fairly disgraceful, assuming that it would have gotten through regardless of what he did.

I'm cautiously optimistic, and I know enough people involved in the political process here in Utah that I expect this won't stand for long even if it goes through in a bad state.

Comment: Re:I think Beck has started to believe his own con (Score 1) 1276

by slycrel (#35214464) Attached to: Glen Beck Warns Viewers Not To Use Google

As much as I think this isn't a good idea, as a practicing Mormon, I've got to clarify a few things here.

It's fairly offensive to hear you say that "Mormons believe that the God of Earth is nothing particularly special". We've been given everything by him. He is our Father and we are his children. God is still God and will always be our Father, just like you would expect from a parent. You may grow up and move out, but He is still your father. Mormons certainly believe he is the God of all creation, not just of earth.

To further clarify... I believe that someday I can become like God. Unlike many other religions, I have a decent idea of what I can actually be doing once I'm resurrected (via the atonement of Christ) and living forever. I get to grow up and become like my heavenly parents if I choose to do so, and take my family with me. Not exactly a terrible thing, and not particularly illogical.

Comment: Civilization (Score 1) 176

by slycrel (#35057658) Attached to: Has China Already Flown a Space Plane?

This reminds me of close to end game in civilization, where the AI who has been antagonistic to you pretty well all game catches up technologically with you and passes you in some branches while you're off doing other tech advancements. Isn't always a bad thing, but can be devastating if you're not paying attention to it, and definitely something important.

Engadget: XBMC comes to the iPad->

From feed by feedfeeder
We were politely asked to keep quiet about this until today, but here's the truth: XBMC now runs on the Apple A4, period. As in, there's no reason why you can't install that shiny new Apple TV 2 version of the media center software on your jailbroken iPad or iPhone 4 too. Find instructions at our more coverage link... then give the hackers and developers a cheer.

XBMC comes to the iPad originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 20 Jan 2011 21:07:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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"Farming" Amoebas Discovered 49

Posted by samzenpus
from the rise-of-amoeba-agriculture dept.
Researchers from Rice University have found a type of amoeba that practices a sort of "primitive farming behavior." When their bacteria food become scarce, the Dictyostelium discoideum will group together and form a "fruiting body" that will disperse bacteria spores to a new area. From the article: "The behavior falls short of the kind of 'farming' that more advanced animals do; ants, for example, nurture a single fungus species that no longer exists in the wild. But the idea that an amoeba that spends much of its life as a single-celled organism could hold short of consuming a food supply before decamping is an astonishing one. More than just a snack for the journey of dispersal, the idea is that the bacteria that travel with the spores can 'seed' a new bacterial colony, and thus a food source in case the new locale should be lacking in bacteria." It's good to know that even a single celled creature is not immune to the pull of Farmville.
Games

Balancing Choice With Irreversible Consequences In Games 352

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-takebacks dept.
The Moving Pixels blog has an article about the delicate balance within video games between giving players meaningful choices and consequences that cannot necessarily be changed if the player doesn't like her choice afterward. Quoting: "One of my more visceral experiences in gaming came recently while playing Mass Effect 2, in which a series of events led me to believe that I'd just indirectly murdered most of my crew. When the cutscenes ended, I was rocking in my chair, eyes wide, heart pounding, and as control was given over to me once more, I did the only thing that I thought was reasonable to do: I reset the game. This, of course, only led to the revelation that the event was preordained and the inference that (by BioWare's logic) a high degree of magical charisma and blue-colored decision making meant that I could get everything back to normal. ... Charitably, I could say BioWare at least did a good job of conditioning my expectations in such a way that the game could garner this response, but the fact remains: when confronted with a consequence that I couldn't handle, my immediate player's response was to stop and get a do-over. Inevitability was only something that I could accept once it was directly shown to me."
Communications

Why Creators Should Never Read Their Forums 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the lalala-i-can't-hear-you dept.
spidweb writes "One full-time Indie developer writes about why he never goes to online forums discussing his work and why he advises other creators to do the same. It's possible to learn valuable things, but the time and the stress just don't justify the effort. From the article, 'Forums contain a cacophony of people telling you to do diametrically opposite things, very loudly, often for bad reasons. There will be plenty of good ideas, but picking them out from the bad ones is unreliable and a lot of work. If you try to make too many people happy at once, you will drive yourself mad. You have to be very, very careful who you let into your head.'"

Comment: Re:How long will it be optional, though? (Score 1) 429

by slycrel (#34771878) Attached to: For Mac Developers, Armageddon Comes Tomorrow

While I mostly agree with what you're saying in this thread, apple did specify that they were porting the carbon API to 64 bit and then the next year told everyone (again at WWDC) that carbon would never be 64 bit and they should rewrite using the cocoa APIs. This didn't go over well for a number of developers (adobe was a big one IIRC). As a mac developer myself, not caring about 64 bit carbon I heard about it from a number of sources. Granted, this didn't make it to release, but it wasn't one of apple's better moments with it's 3rd party developer community.

That said, I agree with their decision to go cocoa only and understand it. However it was handled very poorly.

Games

How To Make a Good Gaming Sequel 150

Posted by Soulskill
from the forward-to-square-enix dept.
Kantor48 writes "In today's world of unimproved gaming sequels and saturated franchises, Arthur Kabrick looks at the best and worst sequels in recent history, and compares the changes they've made to the formulae of their franchises. By doing this, he comes up with a list of lessons that any game developer creating a sequel should follow, if at all possible, to ensure that the new game is a step up, rather than a step sideways or, as in some cases, a step down. The criteria include ensuring the game does not spend too much time in development, updating technology, and trying not to change the development team, as well as being wary of changing the basic formula so much that fans of the franchise are alienated."

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments

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