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Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 2) 567

by donscarletti (#47421007) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

However, one thing that has always bothered me is when we say "well we're using ruby xx.xx (or node xx.xx or php xx.xx or whatever) on our development machines, so we must install that version on production" and then the hoops taken to do that. It should be "production can run ruby xx.xx so that's what you have to develop against".

I doubt that will ever be the case.

The main issue is, developers usually have a work backlog and those in charge have very little interest in what version everyone is running. If it already works on _a_ platform version, then chances are that the users will get better value for the developers time through adding another feature to the web app itself, than whatever benefits the upgrade or downgrade in platform version will bring.

You can try negotiating with the development team before the work commences though, or putting it in the initial delivery requirements if it is outsourced. It's just you would have to take initiative here, since nobody in your average business would consider operations to be a stakeholder until the system is live, so nobody is going to go out of their way ask you.

Science

When Beliefs and Facts Collide 689

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-do-you-think dept.
schnell writes A New York Times article discusses a recent Yale study that shows that contrary to popular belief, increased scientific literacy does not correspond to increased belief in accepted scientific findings when it contradicts their religious or political views. The article notes that this is true across the political/religious spectrum and "factual and scientific evidence is often ineffective at reducing misperceptions and can even backfire on issues like weapons of mass destruction, health care reform and vaccines." So what is to be done? The article suggests that "we need to try to break the association between identity and factual beliefs on high-profile issues – for instance, by making clear that you can believe in human-induced climate change and still be a conservative Republican."

Comment: World loves a cute little Obokata (Score 1) 109

Everyone also wants to believe pretty little Dr Obokata, who is has adorable cartoon characters on her lab equipment and wears a cooking apron while experimenting managed to cure mortality. I mean, she would be such a fantastic science poster girl.

I mean, I just looked at her pictures and completely forgot about anything scientific. One look and I was: "Forget about the chimeric rats, lets see if I can inject some of my non-pluripotent cells into her and create some embrionic stem cells!"

Comment: Re:Good luck with that ... (Score 2) 189

by donscarletti (#47348001) Attached to: Eric Schmidt and Entourage Pay a Call On Cuba

So Cubans are oppressed but Americans deserve to be punished?

Man, you should be writing speeches for anti-American demagogues the world over (apart from Raul Castro of course).

Also, lots of blacks in Cuba. Cuban censuses distinguish "negro" from "mullato", whereas they are all called "black" in the US, but put them together and the numbers are much higher in Cuba. So your little eugenic theories below don't even work.

Comment: Not EA's fault. (Score 1) 208

by donscarletti (#47312477) Attached to: The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of <em>Battlefield</em>

DiCE was bought out in 2004, Battlefield 1942 came out in 2002.

Did anyone play BF 1942 when it came out? It was still far buggier than to BF2 or BF3 on release. It's just that people didn't care back then because:

  • It was ground-breakingly awesome.
  • Computers just crashed randomly anyway back then because a lot of folks were still using non-NT Windows systems.

I think it's been a long standing policy to push forward on optimisation and game refinement at the expence of stability. Which does work for a lot of teams and seems to be standard practice in Sweedish studios, which can be inferred by looking at games like Magica, Goat Simulator or even to a lesser extent Minecraft. You cannot blame EA for this.

Comment: Some Public Records ... You Know ... Just in Case (Score 5, Informative) 448

by eldavojohn (#47304885) Attached to: $500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now
So a whois.net domain name lookup on their site yielded nothing. And there are suspiciously no patents mentioning "wetag" or "ifind" and the names they listed (Dr. Paul McArthur) are in patents but for cold fusion BS in California.

Surely, though, they must have registered the "iFind" trademark? And if you search on TESS we find:

Owner (APPLICANT) WeTag, Inc. CORPORATION TEXAS 3309 San Mateo Drive Plano TEXAS 75023

With an attorney listed as "Richard G. Eldredge" which corresponds to a local attorney. Before you deploy the door kickers to lynch somebody, that address is just somebody's $200,000 house and could possibly be a random address used by a jerk. Remember that it's entirely possible that this is all a front by some other actor and someone was paid western union/bitcoin to register this trademark through this attorney without realizing they were just being used by literally anyone in the world ... of course, kickstarter should have even better transaction details (hopefully).

Earth

Climate Change Prompts Emperor Penguins To Find New Breeding Grounds 215

Posted by samzenpus
from the moving-to-better-quarters-on-campus dept.
An anonymous reader writes Researchers have discovered that emperor penguins may not be faithful to their previous nesting locations, as previously thought. Scientists have long thought that emperor penguins were philopatric, returning to the same location to nest each year. However, a new research study showed that the penguins may be behaving in ways that allow them to adapt to their changing environment. Lead author Michelle LaRue said,"Our research showing that colonies seem to appear and disappear throughout the years challenges behaviors we thought we understood about emperor penguins. If we assume that these birds come back to the same locations every year, without fail, these new colonies we see on satellite images wouldn't make any sense. These birds didn't just appear out of thin air—they had to have come from somewhere else. This suggests that emperor penguins move among colonies. That means we need to revisit how we interpret population changes and the causes of those changes."
Education

Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job 538

Posted by Soulskill
from the dollars-and-sense dept.
An anonymous reader writes When you think of people who teach at a college, you probably imagine moderately affluent professors with nice houses and cars. All that tuition has to go into competitive salaries, right? Unfortunately, it seems being a college instructor is becoming less and less lucrative, even to the point of poverty. From the article: "Most university-level instructors are ... contingent employees, working on a contract basis year to year or semester to semester. Some of these contingent employees are full-time lecturers, and many are adjunct instructors: part-time employees, paid per class, often without health insurance or retirement benefits. This is a relatively new phenomenon: in 1969, 78 percent of professors held tenure-track positions. By 2009 this percentage had shrunk to 33.5." This is detrimental to learning as well. Some adjunct faculty, desperate to keep jobs, rely on easy courses and popularity with students to stay employed. Many others feel obligated to help students beyond the limited office hours they're paid for, essentially working for free in order to get the students the help they need. At a time when tuition prices are rising faster than ever, why are we skimping on the most fundamental aspect of college?

Comment: Re:So China is the new Japan? (Score 1) 293

by donscarletti (#47246349) Attached to: Average HS Student Given Little Chance of AP CS Success

I work in China and recruit Chinese game developers.

It is just amazing the difficulty to find developers with technical proficiency. Everyone who can code worth a damn has a job that pays very well, and you're stuck training kids from scratch every time. Luckily there are always clever kids willing to learn, there just seems a lack of people able to teach them.

"Game planners" here, which kind of work a little like designers in the west can not and will not learn basic scripting. Show them a few lines of Python or Lua and they will throw up their hands saying "it's all in English! I can't read it!" They also have no inclination or ability to learn the basics about what engine you're using, what it can do and how it does it. Meeings with them feel like meeting with the marketing department, the same level of technical know-how and coherency of suggestions, just without the understanding of the marketplace.

And game programming and programming in general pays fantastically in China, 2x what a doctor is paid at least, it's just there are so few candidates.

The other thing is kids graduate from a computer science degree without ever writing an entire program. I've taken to hiring maths graduates recently, since they have no less hands-on experience, but actually know basic linear algebra, quaternions and other useful stuff.

Democrats

After Non-Profit Application Furor, IRS Says It's Lost 2 Years Of Lerner's Email 372

Posted by timothy
from the computer-crashed-whaddya-do dept.
As reported by the Associated Press, via US News & World Report, the IRS says that it cannot locate much of the email sent by a former IRS official over a two-year period. "The IRS told Congress Friday it cannot locate many of Lois Lerner's emails prior to 2011 because her computer crashed during the summer of that year. Lerner headed the IRS division that processed applications for tax-exempt status. The IRS acknowledged last year that agents had improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status by tea party and other conservative groups." Three congressional committees are investigating the agency because of the allegations of politically motivated mishandling of those applications, as is the Justice Department and the IRS's own inspector general. As the story says, "Congressional investigators have shown that IRS officials in Washington were closely involved in the handling of tea party applications, many of which languished for more than a year without action. But so far, they have not publicly produced evidence that anyone outside the agency directed the targeting or even knew about it." CBS News has a slightly different version, also based on the AP's reporting.

Comment: Re:Big deal (Score 1) 133

by donscarletti (#47219589) Attached to: <em>Grand Theft Auto V</em> For Modern Platforms Confirmed

No, still Rockstar North.

It would have made sense if the ultimate gaming tribute to California was made in San Diego, but no, it was made at the foot Carlton Hill in auld Edinburgh and dare I say many a wee dram was imbibed during crunchtime.

The dead givaway though was the Forth bridge appearing in San Fierro.

"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned." -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky

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