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Comment Port to GCC, then ensure no backdoors in GCC (Score 5, Interesting) 171

One way to detect a backdoored compiler to a fairly high certainty is diverse double-compiling, a method described by David A. Wheeler that bootstraps a compiler's source code through several other compilers. For example, GCC compiled with (GCC compiled with Visual Studio) should be bit for bit identical to GCC compiled with (GCC compiled with Clang) and to GCC compiled with (GCC compiled with Intel's compiler). But this works only if the compiler's source code is available. So to thwart allegations of a backdoor in Visual Studio, perhaps a better choice is to improve MinGW (GCC for Windows) or Clang for Windows to where it can compile a working copy of TrueCrypt.

Comment Adding yet another box (Score 1) 433

You can use a small box like an Apple TV, which has a 6W power supply, or something like an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 and use from 10 to 20 times more power for absolutely no reason.

If you happen to already own the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 console, how much energy does it take to manufacture and ship an Apple TV box and an automatic HDMI switch box?

Comment No true Scotsman changes industries (Score 1) 97

I agree that under our present constitution there ought to be at least some limits on contracts to prevent de facto indentured servitude. But allow me to argue the other side for a moment to ensure your argument isn't rooted in fallacy:

If his choices were to sign a non-compete or not be employed in the industry, that's not a real choice.

Please be careful of falling into "no true Scotsman". One could always make ends meet by being employed in a different industry.

If you violate a non-compete, who the hell do you think the company goes to for enforcement? We allow, and even expect, government to interfere with contracts all the time: either because they have no meaning without some third party to actually enforce them

Under some libertarian ideologies, that's the whole reason a government exists: to enforce private contracts.

Do you believe that government should not interfere with a contract that, say, grants ownership of one human being to another?

Governments already enforce custody agreements, which grant ownership of a child to a particular parent or guardian until the child reaches the age of majority.

Comment Will it help them get a job? (Score 2) 431

If the text written using this method can be read as easy and fast as text written according to the rules, what really is the problem?

The problem is that a lot of people with the power to hire and fire may pretend that they cannot read the text "as easy and fast as text written according to the rules". HR may judge a prospective employee as "uneducated" for not following traditional prescriptive rules.

Comment Re:Simple math (Score 1) 245

Then why don't you just hook the computer up to a TV?

Because apparently not enough people know it's possible. And if the comments listed here are to be believed, most of those who do know about using a TV as a PC monitor aren't willing to rearrange the house (e.g. HDMI through a hole in the wall, keyboard and mouse on TV tray) to make it happen.

Comment Money to make the first thing (Score 1) 245

Most artists don't expect anyone to actually pay money for their portfolio.

I was under the impression that established video game studios would consider a portfolio "better" if it contains contributions to a finished commercial game. This shows HR that a candidate not only can produce but has produced well enough to sell something. As Jon Evans of TechCrunch put in "Why The New Guy Can’t Code": "So what should a real interview consist of? Let me offer a humble proposal: don’t interview anyone who hasn’t accomplished anything. Ever." If anything, I guess a credit in a commercial game might help elevate a candidate's standing with HR from "we'll hire you if you already live here" to "we'll help pay for your relocation". But then what do I know? I've never been hired in the mainstream video game industry.

The notion that step #1 is, "asking people to pay, no strings attached for what you haven't made" when you haven't made anything yet is relatively recent.

An indie studio needs money to make the first thing. And when there isn't such money, a studio has to fall back to what its artists can put together alongside a day job in another industry, and that often means 2D pixel art.

Comment One KBM per machine, and Internet lag (Score 1) 245

Why would games even need to be KB+M - hostile?

Because of the practical limit of one keyboard and one mouse per PC. I've read reports that few PC gamers have multiple gamepads connected to a single PC, but even fewer have multiple keyboards and multiple mice on a PC (other than the case of a laptop with a USB mouse that the user is using instead of the built-in trackpad). This means multiplayer games using keyboard and mouse are overwhelmingly played over the Internet. But there are several video game genres that don't work well over the Internet. I tried playing a fighting game over the Internet a week ago, and it was full of control lag that the game introduced because you can't dead-reckon as much in a fighting game as you can in a first-person shooter. And forget about party games; those rely on the out-of-game social interaction made possible by putting two to four players in a room. See editorials by The_Netcup and Damien McFerran.

Comment Practical problems with gamepads on PC (Score 1) 245

You can plug PS3, PS4 and wired 360 controllers without any hardware adaptors and most modern games work just fine with them.

Gamepads on PC have at least four problems I can think of:

  • Do the Dual Shock 3 and 4 work with the gamepad drivers included with Windows, or do they require a third-party driver? At least under Android, this third-party driver for the Dual Shock 3 is a paid app that doesn't even work with all Android devices, so the developer had to release a second app just for testing compatibility. And because Windows requires all input device drivers to be kernel mode, and 64-bit Windows requires all kernel-mode code to be digitally signed with a commercial kernel-mode code signing certificate from a certificate authority approved by Microsoft, how is this third-party driver signed?
  • DirectInput and other APIs for reading HID joysticks return the button states as a numbered list. The game can't tell in what order the buttons are listed unless it looks up the gamepad's name or VID/PID in a massive database. And this is why...
  • A lot of modern games work only with Xbox 360 controllers because they use the XInput API, which works only with controllers licensed by Microsoft. In fact, games sold as Windows Store apps aren't even allowed to use the DirectInput API that every non-Xbox 360 USB gamepad uses.
  • A lot of modern games don't work with gamepads at all because the publisher wants to sell three copies to a household with three desktop PCs instead of one copy to a household with one home theater PC and three gamepads.

I'm sure these problems have solutions, and I'd appreciate help figuring it out other than "just buy a console; the games are better because developer approval keeps out the riff-raff".

Comment Monitors for players 2, 3, and 4 (Score 1) 245

I have to wonder though, do you include the cost of the television when you consider the cost of a console?

Only if the console doesn't support an existing television. My cousin asked for an HDTV specifically for use with an OUYA console, which lacks any sort of analog video output. Nor do I include the cost of the first PC's monitor. But because so few PC games support use of multiple gamepads, I have to include the cost of the monitor for the second, third, and fourth PC in a household.

Comment Nintendo pushed me onto Wi-Fi (Score 1) 245

Cost of a router applies equally to both console and PC.

Not necessarily. I upgraded from wired to Wi-Fi in early 2006 specifically to play Mario Kart DS and Tetris DS because unlike my PCs, a handheld system can't use wired Ethernet. Last time I checked, PCs still came with Ethernet jacks, unless you consider a tablet a PC.

Comment Always-on DRM (Score 1) 245

Also, not every game is played over a network.

Major publishers have started to change this, requiring network connections even for single-player, primarily to deter use of unauthorized copies. See: Assassin's Creed 2, Diablo 3, SimCity 2013.

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