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Comment IOMMU (Score 4, Informative) 125

Yes, when I saw this I thought that this was a reason to make motherboard IOMMUs a security feature. Also, the DMA destination memory pages should not have the executable bit turned on. Recent generations of Intel/AMD CPUs have provided the ability to turn that bit off.

Comment Re:All well and good, but... (Score 1) 473

You are "dumb". You have nothing to say about the line of work I'm in. I am also "dumb". I have nothing to add about the line of work you're in. I don't see you as being in an ivory tower, I'm just the one who knows that I've nothing of value to add to your industry/science/line of work. Unless we work in the same fields, or related fields, in which case, I have plenty of other means of being exposed to your work, and addressing and debating any problems I may have with it. Scientists are not in ivory towers, and they don't think they're in one. All that said, there's a reason why they have offices and aren't doing work on whiteboards on the corner of the street.

If you really think a town hall meeting is a productive forum to work on highly specialized fields of domain knowledge, I'm not really sure what to say to that.

Comment Re:Not me but friends (Score 1) 189

Knowing GL/DirectX is pretty meaningless in games unless you're looking to be hired as a graphics programmer. Even more interesting these days is that as more of the gaming experience moves online, we're seeing fairly traditional skillsets such as DBA or server side programming become much more in demand. It all depends on what you want to do *on* a game development team. Knowing graphics programming doesn't guarantee you a job anymore than being demonstrably skilled in any other facet of game programming. In fact, going in and thinking that just because you can write a hobby game front to back yourself is far less interesting to employers than being able to demonstrate an interest in a specific area.

Comment Re: What does the job entail? (Score 3, Informative) 189

I work for one of the top 5 developers on console games, as a programmer. Are there crunch times? Yes. Do you get comp time? Yes. I'm going to be taking 35 days vacation this fall. The work itself is vastly more interesting and personally rewarding (to me) than working on business intelligence software, which is probably where I'd be otherwise.

You get what you put into it, and you also get what you put up with. I don't recommend that anybody sacrifice their quality of life simply to be in games, and certainly some studios are worse than others, but in making games for 9 years, if you can put up with a some crunch every year or two, it can be a really fun job. Just put up resistance if you're being treated unfairly (80 hour work weeks? Never.) .. once you get some experience, you can move around. The entire industry is a game of musical chairs, so you should be able to find something at your 'pressure' level. Some people will put up with those insane for the privilege of working on a GTA title, but there is plenty of middle ground.

And as somebody else pointed out above, just because you like playing games (or even making them for yourself) doesn't necessarily mean you'll like making them in the AAA game space. I just wrapped up a title where the credits take about 40 minutes to watch, so there are lots of considerations in terms of how much time you're willing to put in, how much individual credit you're looking for, etc.

Comment Where is it practical? (Score 1) 127

But it does not allow rockets to reenter the Earth's atmosphere at orbital velocities, slow down, and land.

How about the Moon and Mars? It seems to me that the fuel capacity of Dragon isn't enough to do both lunar descent and ascent just on the Super Draco thrusters and the trunk's fuel capacity.

Comment What's really impressive (Score 2) 127

The impressive part is that they do it with an actual rocket that is 106 feet tall, and that they have launched it 7 times with 0 failures.

Using the same engine, rather than treating the engine as a disposable object that only performs one burn in its lifetime. Most rocket engines can't be throttled, can't be shut down and then restarted in flight or otherwise.

The tricky part is going to be for any stage to have enough delta-V to return to the pad after lifting a payload to orbit. Also, as far as I can tell, this takes a drag chute for lower stages, and a re-entry shield for upper ones.

Bruce

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