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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Research takes on Go (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: Microsoft Research has used F# and AI to implement a consumer-quality game of Go — arguably the most difficult two-person game to implement.
They have used an interesting approach to the problem of playing the game which is a pragmatic cross between tree search with pruning and machine learning
to spot moves with a "good shape". The whole lot has been packaged into an XNA based 3D story based game.

Comment Re:Anyone who asks this question should not be in (Score 1) 450

Using thin clients in an enterprise or small to medium business environment gives you a lot of benefits to the long term bottom line. From a security perspective, you cut the "attack surface" of your network very sharply - from dozens if not hundreds or even thousands of desktops that each need antivirus, security updates, administration, and security monitoring, down to a handful of servers that you can lock down pretty tightly. From a support perspective, you are no longer managing all those desktops, you are now managing a handful of servers.

BULLSHIT From that statement alone I can only surmise that you have never ever worked in IT, the client is ALWAYS part of the equation, a thin client still has firmware and connectivity issues. Not to mention that rolling out any sort of network upgrade goes from being a minor project, to a critical time sensitive operation. Furthermore there is some benefit to having the infrastructure distributed, if your central server fails (and it will) then you're entire company can continue to work locally while you repair or rebuild.

Now, once you've gotten your THICK client computer, running your THIN client setup (wait... is it Windows 7? Is that thin client possible? Or is it "thin" client possible?).

Technically with Windows 7 enterprise you can set up a client to boot from a VHD (I have seen this implemented as this is how Windows deployment services works), and in-fact to use network licenses of software(office etc.) however I've never actually seen this implemented. That said you could in theory go for a medium client? if that is a term? where the software is run locally but is based on network licenses. Personally I wouldn't want to try it, but that's me

Comment Re:Send the wah-mbulance. (Score 1) 481

There is one and ONLY one reason the DRM code wasn't released to Mono, and that reason is called the MPAA. The MPAA is scared shitless of linux and open source, which is why both the flash and silverlight DRM modules have never been released. So if you want to complain complain about that.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 2) 275

I talked to the IT department at my company recently about this... all of our infrastructure supports IPv6... only one little bit that doesn't... our upstream provider... so until ViaWest gets their act together... we won't have IPv6.

Comment Re:Ok, I'm convinced (Score 1) 213

I don't think it's really correct to call anything in Silverlight a "web app" not only is it a client based runtime... but it really didn't get the necessary features to support a full featured webapp until Silverlight 3. What Silverlight is... is a step between a clickonce app, and a web page. I think MS's message is going to start becoming along these lines: "If you can do it in HTML5 the do, if you can't then use Silverlight." What that message says to me is that Silverlight is for apps that you want to make REALLY REALLY easy to deploy and are willing to live with the restrictions Silverlight places on that application.

<rant>Personally I think the tragedy of Silverlight... and indeed .NET in general is that MS has not made it more open, not so open as Java where it degrades into detrimental infighting, but open in the sense that it would be easy for Novell to implement Moonlight and Mono. I am one of the many .NET developers who wishes that Mono had brought WPF to linux. Why? Because at least then I could make apps that don't look like shit on linux. I presume that it never happened due to licensing issues over DirectX with MS, which is really a shame. Mono as a client runtime is a tragedy, what it could have done, and what it did is good... but not really any better than java. While the server runtime is worth talking about, it is as far as I am aware not used extensively, thus making it a failure.</rant>

GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Moodle 2.0 Released (moodle.org)

Jamiemeister writes: After two and a half years of development by hundreds of developers the open source Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) project Moodle 2.0 has been officially released. It is available for download now and is typically updated weekly. http://download.moodle.org/

"Moodle is an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. It's also a verb that describes the process of lazily meandering through something, doing things as it occurs to you to do them, an enjoyable tinkering that often leads to insight and creativity."

Comment Re:C#, Windows.Forms, and Managed DirectDraw (Score 1) 331

Right now, I'm using C#, Windows.Forms, and Managed DirectDraw for graphics. DirectDraw is very fast at creating and rendering graphics, it does a good job. It's a little tricky to set up, but performance is much better than System.Drawing. I do get tons of warnings that my code is using classes which are marked as deprecated, and the built in XML documentation is also drowned out with a big long warning about how DirectDraw is deprecated, blah blah, then finally when you look at the last sentence, there's your actual documentation.

Also, the program is made for a Windows XP machine, and refuses to run on another Windows 7 machine. I have no idea which dependency it doesn't like.

For C#, SDL is a non-starter. There is an SDL library available, but you are restricted to only using the single SDL window that's created, you can't make other windows or controls in that window. There is also a SDL panel control for Windows Forms, but it's a bad joke that draws to the screen by assigning System.Drawing.Bitmap objects.

The one SDL object per form...that is because WinForms is very thinly wrapped MFC/GDI+ and while for very simple UI applications it works great. It is fundamentally limited due to the fact that it is legacy reaching back to the 16bit windows days and is dependent on USER and GDI objects (these are very limited resources) and also has NO hardware acceleration on most machines.

As for DirectDraw... that IS the reason it doesn't work on Windows 7, Microsoft doesn't even ship those libraries to 7 unless they are specifically installed by the user, and why would they! They have Direct2D, a well designed (but currently buggy because it's new) framework. If you're programming .NET and want access to that power just use WPF which is a thinly veiled layer over DirectX10 (with a built in back compatiblity layer for XP) with some basic work already done for you. Why would you waste your time programming on an obsolete (and soon to be removed) component, when there is a fully supported, well documented framework already available!

While I know the OP wasn't interested really in 3D as a C# guy I have to give a shout out to XNA which has some excellent 3d capabilities from a managed language, I wish that MS would allow others to implement XNA as it would be a major boon to linux gaming if they did

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 897

To para quote a former boss of mine who worked on the Windows 95 team:

"Oh we never coded any thing in Perl... if we needed anything we just asked Larry to do it"

-David Theilen

Submission + - Cracks found in Shuttle external fuel tank (nasa.gov)

Mysticalfruit writes: During an inspection of Discovery's external fuel tank, two cracks in the stringers were found. Currently NASA is evaluating its possible repair options. Considering how critical these stringers are to the structural integrity of the tank, I'm surprised that they'd be so willing to repair in place. This launch will the the last launch of Discovery before she is mothballed.
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Intel glibc "improvements" break memcpy (lwn.net)

An anonymous reader writes: Recent changes in glibc's implementation (http://sourceware.org/git/?p=glibc.git;a=commitdiff;h=6fb8cbcb58a29fff73eb2101b34caa19a7f88eba) of a 25-year old standard C function, memcpy, are playing havoc (http://lwn.net/Articles/414467/) with some applications' assumptions about the function. Fedora 14 users have been hit (https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=638477) with a Flash player that doesn't play sound properly on recent Intel chips and even Linus Torvalds weighed in, noting that the changes seem only to have hurt users without any properly benchmarking or demonstration that they helped anybody.

Submission + - Is HULU blocking Linux clients now? (hulu.com) 1

WolphFang writes: "I was watching the Anime, Vandread, when the video sequence suddently became:

Hi! We notice that you are trying to access Hulu from Boxee. It's not
available, but we're working hard to bring our Hulu Plus subscription
service to Boxee! Stay tuned for updates."

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