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Comment: Re:Even better... (Score 1) 240

by sstamps (#46829523) Attached to: F.C.C., In Net Neutrality Turnaround, Plans To Allow Fast Lane

I've given up on mass media for nearly a decade now. I find independent sources of entertainment and pay the content creators directly.

The only way to kill the monster we collectively created is to starve it into non-existence. People have the power to effect positive change, but they have to be smart, educated, and courageous enough with their votes and their wallets to make it happen. Part of that entails educating their family and friends and spreading that knowledge and courage around.

For those that leave the system early, it's a lot tougher, but it will pay off in the long run.

Comment: Real users? (Score 4, Interesting) 72

by sstamps (#46829427) Attached to: WhatsApp Is Well On Its Way To A Billion Users

I'm sure Farcebork brought them some more visibility than they had, but what evidence is there that even most of them are actual bona fide new users, rather than just new accounts? FB has a history of having a significant percentage of their "accounts" being little more than "likebots" to float their "pay for likes" scheme.

(See VSauce's channel on YT for a rather telling commentary on the FB "like" scam).

Comment: As a game developer... (Score 2) 276

by sstamps (#46825185) Attached to: 'The Door Problem' of Game Design

I don't think she does a very good job of explaining why good game design is difficult.

It's not that game design itself is difficult, it is that GOOD (ie, fun) game design is difficult. She's basically addressing the wrong problem set. What she is describing is simply software design and engineering issues, which boils down to 3 real categories:

1. Functional / feature design: the rules which govern whether they exist and how they can function. AKA "business rules" in normal software development.
2. User Interface design: how the user (player) interacts with it.
3. Engineering/Implementation issues: how do you make 1 & 2 real and work, while reducing undesired side-effects.

1 & 2 generally form a specification for the feature's design, and 3 is the specification for how to implement it.

This is not unlike many common design and implementation processes for standard software design and engineering of complex systems. The real difference is that, while a software system designed and implemented correctly may fulfill all the intended design objectives, there is an additional objective which games add to the mix that is not generally present in normal business applications: fun. Unfortunately, it is not an objective criteria, and requires "play-testing" to discern whether a particular design is fun or not. It is very difficult to design-in "fun" from the very start of a project.

That said, with the advent of Serious Games, adding the "is it fun?" criteria to real-world business applications is happening more often.

Lastly, as a game developer, the single greatest challenge I have encountered is simply to keep going through the "hard times". Like any difficult software development project, there are times when things get dark and depressing for whatever reason, and there is difficulty keeping motivated to continue, but you have to bear down and power through the hard parts. The reason most game development projects fail that I have seen is that people don't really understand how hard it can be at times, and give up when the going gets tough. To me, this is a more difficult hurdle than in typical business application development, because many people get into the development of games with an incorrect level of expectation about said difficulty.

Comment: Re:Getting attention at the expense of 3D printing (Score 2) 207

by Tom (#46818471) Attached to: Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

Whatever you say, cowboy. The simple fact is that the USA has about 10k gun-related deaths per year, while almost every other industrialised country has less than 100.

That is a two orders of magnitude difference. So yeah, maybe your rates are at the lowest right now, but that's like saying it's especially warm in Antarctica today. It doesn't change basic facts, such as that warm clothes would still be a pretty decent idea.

Comment: Re:First they get rid of shop (Score 1) 250

by Tom (#46806303) Attached to: L.A. Science Teacher Suspended Over Student Science Fair Projects

I've worked with lawyers quite a bit during my career, both as in against them and as in I hired them. As human beings, they aren't better or worse than any other profession - you have assholes, you have great people, and a lot inbetween.

Sorry to hear you only got the assholes.

Comment: Re:Getting attention at the expense of 3D printing (Score 1) 207

by Tom (#46806273) Attached to: Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

And if we're talking about 21st century oppressive regimes, I'd go so far to say that any weapon that doesn't penetrate an APC or at least kevlar armour is pretty much pointless.

Never forget that the 2nd amendment was written in a time when tanks were a crazy idea that an italien painter had drafted a few schematics of.

Comment: Re:fucked up (Score 1) 240

by Tom (#46805667) Attached to: Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

Because that's not the only law on the book, and because just because it's written down doesn't mean its right.

There is no reason why the legal privileges that come from incorporation cannot be balanced with a set of legal responsibilities.

Which is exactly my point, yes.

Nor do I understand why people who incessantly complain about corporations don't work on reforming corporate law.

Because it's too late to do that the simple way. Corporations and the 0.1% who own them can easily outspend any and all groups of private citizens now that all limits are lifted.

Comment: Re:Getting attention at the expense of 3D printing (Score 2) 207

by Tom (#46803691) Attached to: Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

So if I'm the bad guy with the gun I just need to wait until my panicked, untrained victim with his low-precision gun has wasted its two bullets somewhere into the landscape and then put a bullet into his head?

The WW2 Liberator pistols were mostly designed to create fear. Germans at checkpoints could no longer largely assume the citizens were unarmed. It works in a war setting because you're already beyond the point where you are accepting friendly casualties as part of the plan.

In a peace setting, more guns == more gun deaths. Not just due to accidents, but also because people on either side (both criminals and law enforcement) are much more likely to shoot in uncertain situations because they have to assume the other guy is armed. In most european countries, when you get robbed you are likely to lose your wallet and highly unlikely to lose your life. In countries with lots of guns, the robbers shoot more often because when the guy makes a sudden move, it could be him drawing a gun, not just panic.

Comment: Re:First they get rid of shop (Score 0) 250

by Tom (#46803673) Attached to: L.A. Science Teacher Suspended Over Student Science Fair Projects

Lets burn the lawyers offices down.

That's bullshit. Lawyers are just dogs biting at whatever we (as society) tell them to bite at. It's the laws that need changing. If we hadn't allowed these ridiculous lawsuits in the first place, they wouldn't exist.

Case in point: In many countries in the world you can tell a stupid kid that its stupid without fear of a lawsuit. Or you can run science projects. And you don't have to print "contents could be hot after heating" on the package of microwave food and "don't use to dry pets" on the microwave itself.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 188

by Tom (#46798505) Attached to: Heartbleed Sparks 'Responsible' Disclosure Debate

True, most of my experience is with companies 10k, but you're just being arrogant calling that "really small". Almost all of those companies are part of a larger corporation, and you don't manage IT operating activities in multinational corporations on the corporate level. The corporate level decides if you go with SAP or Oracle, but not which patch level of Apache is used on the website of one of 20 subsidiaries.

At least that's the way it was in my last two companies (one a subsidiary of a 65k employee corporation, one part of a 30k employee corporation). If you know of any multinational corporations where the CTO of the top-level holding has to sign off on patch deployment, let me know.

We're talking operative emergency response here, not rollout of new corporate IT infrastructures. I hope you see the difference.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 188

by Tom (#46797065) Attached to: Heartbleed Sparks 'Responsible' Disclosure Debate

You're cute. I've done this shit for a living for a while. Yes, many companies' incidence response procedures are crap, but they shouldn't, and it is perfectly possible to get an emergency countermeasure deployed within 24 hours with all the t's crossed and i's dotted and perfect SOX compliance and whatever else you need. It's just something you need to think about before the emergency hits you.

Comment: Re:Not that good (Score 1) 188

by Tom (#46797047) Attached to: Heartbleed Sparks 'Responsible' Disclosure Debate

Of course everything else is never equal.

But what are you trying to accomplish here? Argue that a project with 100 developers has more eyes on the code than one with 4? Moot point, no argument.

We don't get the luxury of having 50 identical software projects with different team sizes and a size control, so we have to go with the real world and "everything else being equal" is just a way of saying that you if you want to compare closed vs. open source, you need to compare comparable projects, not an open source project with a handful of people with a closed source project two orders of magnitude larger - or the other way around.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.