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Comment Yes, you are being unproductive (Score 1) 311

A few years ago I was on a very large project (over 1MLOC of C++ code in the end). The customer required us to be using and audited to at least SEI CMM level 3 (I think this is called something different now) and so we underwent putting in all the processes in place. We all predicted we'd hate all the formal process, but an interesting side effect is we got very good at sizing new features and the various other change requests we'd get, and the consequence of this was it was very rare we actually needed to do overtime.

I think this had a huge positive impact on the quality of our code - our defect rate was well below what was expected of a project this size, and I think a lot of this was because developers were well rested when they arrived for work the next day and also got time to unwind, which in the 60+ hr/wk days wasn't happening. Unfortunately management forgot this lesson and put in a sort of back door mandatory overtime rule (despite it not being necessary) by making everyone commit to a certain "utilization rate" (100% would mean you never took any vacation, sick days, nor national holidays nor did any admin work, and they wanted everyone to commit to 95% utilization which meant realistically 60 hour weeks). Fortunately, I left at that point. Others have also left since because of this policy (I left for other reasons, but I'm not sure I would have wanted to stay too much longer).

Comment Re:Completely insane... (Score 4, Insightful) 202

That, perhaps, might be Will Smith's interpretation of Asimov's novels, but it's not any sane reader's interpretation.

Asimov's novels are pretty clear, the three laws do, in fact, restrict the robots from being OUT OF CONTROL KILLING MACHINES!!1!. There are only two appearances of such robots (and then, they're hardly described by such a term) - one short story, whose name I forget, has a deliberately weakened set of laws in it. The other is, of course, Giskard and Daneel's formulation of the zeroth law, where, again, the robots are no longer obeying, exactly, the three laws.

What Asimov does do is describe the consequences of the three laws, showing them to be imperfect in terms of creating universal machines, but effective at preventing the robots from going out and killing everyone.

Asimov's motivation for creating the three laws was to deal with the plethora of inane "Scientist builds perfect universal machine, doesn't realize that a perfect machine will kill maker until it's too late" stories that started entirely legitimately with Frankenstein but then descended into cliche hell, as story teller after story teller thought it was wildly original to pretend that scientists are dumb and would build destroyers of the universe to prove how clever they were. Annoyed, he wrote a set of rules and then wrote story after story explaining them. The stories didn't debunk the rules, or show they wouldn't work. The stories usually showed that they did, and worked in unexpected ways.

Comment Re:what exactly can you print on these? (Score 1) 347

Seriously, though, we use printers to set up chem assays, bioprint solar films, and lots of other stuff here.

Your problem is you think it's a difficult problem, when it's really more of a Costco run or drop by the commercial supply warehouse kind of issue.

Could the average person print clothes? Yes.

Would they have to stop being lazy, download the specs, get the supplies from the appropriate locations in sufficient quantity, and cut out the fashion and supply chain middleman? Yes.

Comment Re:Actually you can have both (Score 1) 396

You look at the hardware listed on the Steam hardware survey, which is where any dev frankly should be looking to find out what PC gamers are packing? A good 70%+ of the PC gamers out there are running hardware that would just slaughter either current gen console by a pretty large margin

Well, yeah, but that's filtered by the fact that most PC gamers who use Steam have had to upgrade their PCs or choose PCs that aren't ordinary by a long stretch of the imagination.

Most PCs out there are using Intel integrated graphics and have 2-4G of RAM and an i3 or even an Atom. They're usually hooked up to laptop-standard 1360x768 screens. They frequently don't have a proper mouse or trackpoint, using the suprememly gamer-unfriendly trackpad instead, and frequently don't even have numeric keypads.

And it's not that these configurations can't play games. Hell, I'm still blown away by what Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 looked like on my 800MHz (or was it 600?) Mac with a Radeon 7500. I held off putting a decent graphics card in what became my "games PC" for a long time (it has one now) and found that while UT4 looked like crap with the default settings, with the right settings it was smooth and had high quality video... on the default IIG system.

But at the same time, it's a hell of a lot easier to produce quality games for two game-optimized platforms than to deal with the above. Sure, Steam users have good graphics. But nobody else does. And as I said, Steam has the users who decided they had to upgrade their PCs or choose "the right" laptop; the users who decided it wasn't worth it left Steam because they couldn't get games to run decently without a lot of work.

All of which said: I'm looking forward to GTA V coming out for PCs, preferably on Steam, preferably at a decent price. I'm just wary of yelling at developers for not considering my wants first. Hey, they might surprise us, and produce the first 201x generation sandbox 3D FPS/etc game that runs well on an Atom with a 1360x768 screen and an Intel graphics chip...

Comment Re:Czar Putin (Score 1) 192

Because like a baby's nappy, a politician who is around for too long starts to get smelly and stained. Not literally (like the nappy) but they do tend to get increasingly out of touch and increasingly damaging to their own nation.

We've seen this happen in recent British history. Thatcher was prime minister for too long and her policies became more and more out of touch with reality towards the end until her party finally had to force her out of office, and the same thing happened with Tony Blair. Term limits are a good thing.

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