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Comment Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in polls (Score 5, Insightful) 358

The NSA scandal has been so earth-shattering with regards to raising awareness of government surveillance that concerns over civil liberties now outweigh concerns over protecting the country. The shift is across party lines as well. It's no wonder politicians of either party have been decrying a rising trend of libertarianism. Whether or not it's accurate to classify today's anti-government fears as such, the fact that the U.S. has become the kind of country to seek asylum from is staggeringly insane. The "trust us" defense isn't good enough.

Comment Re:The move to HD hurt them (Score 1) 212

If you mean that their disinterest in HD in 2006 didn't hurt them, I agree with regard to the first few years of the Wii's life, but its lack of power eventually caught up with them when cross-platform developers left the Wii. Today, the Wii U isn't selling because it doesn't have much first-party software available to showcase the system. Miyamoto acknowledged that this is the result of underestimating the scale of labor required for HD development and subsequently having to delay their software releases (another area where it's behind is in providing competitive online services). The rest of the industry went through this transition this seven years ago, and Nintendo was able to ignore it at the time because of the money they were making.

Comment The move to HD hurt them (Score 4, Insightful) 212

Nintendo dragged its feet in the move to HD and is paying the price. They underestimated the time and money expense, and now their first-party releases are behind. On top of that, there's barely been any marketing for the Wii U, which has a name that implies it's an accessory for the Wii rather than a new console. The console's tablet controller doesn't offer anything that people's existing smartphones and iPads can't do better. It was likely released in reaction to the iPad (Nintendo stated in 2010 that Apple is their biggest threat). With the lack of hardware power and user base, there's nothing with which to court third-party developers, who are focused instead on the more powerful consoles coming out later this year.

Nintendo's stronghold remains handheld gaming. However, even that is under threat from smartphones. On top of what Android already supports, iOS 7 will ship with native physical controller APIs, and Apple is working with hardware manufacturers to release official attachments and wireless controllers. While the 3DS certainly won't disappear, it will be interesting to watch how well it fares among adult gamers when physical controllers become commonplace in the iPhone accessory aisle.

Comment Quote from another dead hero (Score 5, Insightful) 347

"They don't want the voice of reason spoken, folks, 'cause otherwise we'd be free. Otherwise we wouldn't believe their fucking horseshit lies, nor the fucking propaganda machine, the mainstream media, and buy their horseshit products that we don't fucking need, and become a third world consumer fucking plantation, which is what we're becoming. Fuck them! They're liars and murders. All governments are liars and murderers, and I am now Jesus. Now. And this is my compound."

- Bill Hicks, Live at Laff Stop in Austin

Comment Re:sick of windows at work (Score 2, Insightful) 251

People have invested in iOS and Android apps, leaving little incentive to switch. Additionally, WinRT lacks functionality compared to Win32. Microsoft has become reactive and conservative, following what others do rather than leading. They had the opportunity years ago to shake things up with the Courier tablet, which was focused on content creation. The project was killed because Bill Gates wanted it to be a more traditional device that interfaced with Office.

Submission + - Google Flip-Flops on Net Neutrality

bonch writes: Google has backtracked on its previous position for net neutrality, arguing that citizens don't have the right to run home servers on its Kansas City broadband network. Defending a prohibition against home servers in its Google Fiber Terms of Service, Google argues that its policy is consistent with other broadband providers. Google plans to offer its own business class service in the future.

Comment It depends (Score 1) 656

Maths is always good, no matter what situation. It goes side by side with logic, and calculus is a way of thinking about the world and its processes.

For some areas, there's a lot of math involved. Consider data analysis. At first, it may seem like you will never need data analysis, but many people end up working for companies where they have to track performance and efficiency issues (if you can save those 5 bits for each of those 10M clients, you'll get a nice raise). Another example: picture a situation where you are developing a phone application to determine if the user is riding a bus or not. In these kinds of situations (not that rare), you'll need to know data analysis, frequency analysis, time-frequency analysis....and for that you'll always eventually wind up having to understand some concepts of 'Advanced Math' (though do note that this isn't 'advanced math' at all)

I often hear that there are engineers and programmers. If you just want to be a programmer, maybe you won't need maths, but if you want to be an engineer, it will not only boost your way of thinking, but also simplify a lot of problems. (I'm not saying you'll ever have to know how JPEG or GIF works -- this involves maths --, but I'm saying that if you do, then you can do great things with that information).

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