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Comment Use your own (Score 1) 435

Thunderbird as a client, IMAP server on a hosting account with spam filtering. No problems, no ads, no worrying about what will Google/Yahoo/Microsoft screw up next.

"Free" is too expensive.

Comment Re:Welcome to the rest of the world (Score 1) 312

...and how does region locking play in to that? Best I can tell, you could prevent multiplayer piracy without locking people out of the game in central ohio because you think their located in London for some idiot reason.

Region locking allows them to sell the game for different prices to different regions. YES, you pay more for video games then someone in Nigeria does - get over yourself!

Also, the biggest benefit you get from region locking is the ability to do a staggered release. This is CRITICAL for a primarily multiplayer title BF4, because they don't have to deal with the server load spikes (and associated technical support peaks) you get with a simultaneous release. Or have you already forgotten what happened when Rockstar let everyone rush online at the same time?

This is a BUG - the players here were supposed to be included with the rest of the US block, but were not. But this is a bug that will fix itself, and rather quickly - they will not die from waiting another day.

Comment Re:These bugs exist even *without* signed integers (Score 5, Interesting) 470

The problem is C's promotion rules. In C, when promoting integers to the next size up, typically to the minimum of "int", the rule is to use signed integers if the source type fits, even if the source type is unsigned.

I know. C's handling of integer overflow is "undefined". In Pascal, integer overflow was a detected error. DEC VAX computers could be set to raise a hardware exception on integer overflow, and about thirty years ago, I rebuilt the UNIX command line tools with that checking enabled. Most of them broke.

In the first release of 4.3BSD, TCP would fail to work with non-BSD systems during alternate 4-hour periods. The sequence number arithmetic had been botched due to incorrect casts involving signed and unsigned integers. I found that bug. It wasn't fun.

C's casual attitude towards integer overflow is why today's machines don't have the hardware to interrupt on it. Ada and Java do overflow checks, but the predominance of C sloppyness influenced hardware design too much.

I once wrote a paper, "Type Integer Considered Harmful" on this topic. One of my points was that unsigned arithmetic should not "wrap around" by default. If you want modular arithmetic, you should write something like n = (n +1) % 65536;. The compiler can optimize that into machine instructions that exploit word lengths when the hardware allows, and you'll get the same result on all platforms.

Comment Re: Technology is hard and dangerous (Score 1) 610

I'll trade $20k in vehicle damages against $200k in human damages any day. Newer cars are pretty impressive in moderate speed accidents. People walk out of wrecks that would have mangled bodies in the 1970s and before. You can certainly kill yourself in a car wreck. You just have to work a lot harder.

Comment Your tax dollars at work (Score 4, Interesting) 151

Going "private", right. The money supposedly comes from Silver Lake Venture Partners. But they don't have $24 billion. Most of it is borrowed. From banks. Which borrow it from the Fed at very low rates. Which creates Government debt to pay for it.

"Private equity" today is really equity to debt conversion. With interest rates so low, that's very attractive to management.

This is "quantitative easing" at work.

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In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982