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Comment Re:Nice technical solution (Score 1) 71

It's important to make the distinction between platform-specific optimization and "hardware-level" optimization. The former undoubtedly occurs (e.g. managing video memory buffers, which is one area the two platforms have some significant differences), but doesn't necessarily imply hardware-level access, like what used to happen on the PS2 (since those didn't even have an OS to speak of). All that stuff is typically managed through OS-level APIs these days, not by poking around in raw memory.

So, when I say "bare-metal isn't a thing", I meant that direct to-the-metal programming is probably not even an option for console developers these days. I hesitate to say that for certain, because as I said, I'm no longer a console programmer, but that's the gist I get from other friends in the industry. I guess we'll see pretty soon, but again, my prediction is that you're not going to see too many problems with compatibility. I'm not sure why you think this is such a hard problem when the PC industry has been doing backwards compatibility and hardware abstraction for many years now.

Comment Re:Sounds good (Score 2) 57

No one (sane) questions whether solar works or not. It's a pretty straightforward technology, and it's intuitively ideal for reducing demand during peak hours, typically the middle of the work day. There are, however, questions about whether the economics make sense without government subsidies, which is where we'd like to eventually end up, I think.

For businesses, obviously an economic incentive is the most straightforward driver, and if it's good for the environment too, that's a happy bonus. I'm hopeful that over the next few years we'll start seeing some actual results with real numbers for installations on a mass scale over time - not projections, but real, historical data. I guess it also depends whether these corporations are willing to release those numbers over the next decade or so. You'd think that would be a requirement of getting these generous government subsidies (anyone know if it is?).

Comment Re:Nice technical solution (Score 2) 71

"Bare-metal" coding / optimization on modern consoles isn't really a thing anymore, according to colleagues working on current gen console games (I worked on consoles two generations ago, but have been mostly on PC since then). Modern console game code, as far as I know, doesn't have access to raw hardware - it's all done through API libraries provided by the OS.

This means that minor changes to hardware specs don't matter as much, since the console OS provides a hardware abstraction layer just like the PC platform does, making backwards compatibility much easier. As a result, I don't foresee either console having many issues with backwards compatibility.

Comment Re:Hollywood loves reboots (Score 2) 197

I'd be a lot happier with Hulu if they didn't plaster the local station logo in the corner of the screen, which is somewhat distracting for me.

Other than that, I feel that TV has already been rebooted just fine. I have a massive on-demand selection that I can watch at any time for a reasonable price. And no commercials at all, as I value my own time. I cut the cable a decade or so ago, and don't miss it at all. You can sign up for half a dozen streaming services and still you're probably paying equal to or less than basic cable. Of course, you do have to factor in internet connection costs, but most people want that service anyhow.

If Apple wants to create a compelling streaming service, they'll have to compete with existing services out there. I'm happy to take a look and see if it's worth a subscription. But since I have consoles that run any streaming app just fine, I can't imagine myself wanting any hardware they could possibly offer.

Comment Re:Why not use Linux (Score 5, Insightful) 259

You haven't worked with normal users much, have you? It can be a shock how little most people understand their computers and how they work. They simply memorize the actions needed to accomplish specific tasks, and that's good enough for them. The big blue E icon on their desktop means "the internet", until it drives someone they know who's a bit more knowledgeable insane, and they replace it with a Fox or round primary icon, and then THAT becomes "the internet" for them.

I'll put it bluntly. No, normal users should stay away from the terminal, nor should they *need* to use it for daily operations. If they're interested in learning how to work at a command prompt, that just means they're probably on the verge of becoming a power user. That's not a bad thing, of course, but it's not what most people want to spend their time doing.

Figuring out how to use a terminal requires a non-trivial learning curve. That's because there's no intuitive method of command / feature discovery, unlike with a menu, toolbars with tooltips, and dialog boxes that show you all the options in a visual, hierarchical format. There's a reason GUIs are ubiquitous in nearly all computing platforms today, with the possible exception of headless servers, embedded systems, and other specialized systems.

I'm a programmer, so yes, I'm comfortable with various shells, but I think some people seem to overly fetishize it, like it's a badge of their geekdom or a symbol of their arcane power over a computer. The command line is just power and flexibility at the expense of user friendliness. Once learned, it's a very handy tool in your arsenal, and can be more efficient for some type of operations. Don't pretend it's anything but that, or you're just fooling yourself.

Comment Re: What's wrong with hate symbols? (Score 2, Insightful) 377

It almost seems to me that some peoples' ideal free society is where certain people can literally say anything they want, and no one is ever allowed to call what they say into question. Again and again, what I see from the Trump camp and the Alt-right isn't the notion of freedom of speech, but rather freedom from consequences.

In another article on Slashdot, we have people boycotting a Silicon Valley business associated with a CEO who has dared to donate to Trump. And we have a GOP office being firebombed just the other day. But hey, it's all good because those are evil Republicans, right?

Don't you dare pin this all on the right. I've seen more than plenty from the left as well. Fascist assholes who simply want to silence their opposition are all over the spectrum, sadly.

Comment Re: But what is it used for? (Score 1) 252

I would be OK writing desktop application and games in Go instead of Java or C++.

In the context of videogames (my line of work), "needs some libraries" means "would need to rewrite the entire videogame ecosystem from scratch." In other words, not a chance in hell, no matter what the virtues of the alternate language happens to be. The videogame industry isn't moving away from C++ as it's primary language anytime soon, mostly due to sheer inertia. Every major game engine and 3rd party or platform library is written in or has interfaces available in C/C++.

Comment Re:AR could be Apple's Metro (Score 1) 55

I don't believe AR will become Apple's Metro. First, Apple is often isn't the first ones to push risky new technologies, so I have my doubts they'll have anything ready for shipping by next year. They watch what others do, then try to do it with more polish and style. Second, even if they did some AR-focused product, I don't believe Apple is so stupid as to think AR should replace the fundamental iOS UI paradigm.

Whatever mistake removing the phone jack may (or may not) be, and however overhyped AR may be, I think it will probably be an order of magnitude less terrible than what was inflicted on Windows users with Windows 8. Windows 10 *finally* got the "modern/metro" integration mostly correct, but burned through a lot of user goodwill in other areas (privacy, intrusiveness, forced upgrades, etc).

Comment Re:An annoying thing about visting the USA (Score 1) 97

It's not just a thing in the US. However, perhaps you didn't have to deal with tipping because they simply added an extra 10 or 15% to the bill. There are some non-tipping cultures such as China, Japan, S Korea, New Zealand, Australia, etc, but I'm not sure they outnumber tipping cultures.

Comment Re:Not new (Score 1) 84

  But when someone pulls out a phone these days, we are increasingly accepting that they must be doing something important (e.g., responding to a critical message) and also can " multitask" (hint -- that doesn't really work well).

Ah, no, I'd still be irritated. If a family member has an emergency, they'll call. Otherwise, there's no reason for you to be constantly checking your phone. That's just compulsive behavior, and I still think it's rude to do it in front of company that you're engaged with. Or supposed to be, I guess. Am I old-fashioned? Maybe so, if that's the new norm.

Technology can certainly become a distraction to your life and relations if you let it. People have ruined their lives because of addictions to online games - more notably when they were new, but I'm sure it still happens. Same with social media, no doubt, and lots of other things.

All things in moderation, as they say. I still think it's pretty good advice, and applies to just about any new disruptive tech that comes along. That's because it's human nature we're dealing with, and our frequent tendency to get obsessed to the point of distraction with interesting new things, if we let ourselves.

Comment Re:Vote with your Wallet! (Score 2) 99

These guys may not be exactly unique in eschewing DRM, but it's great that we see more people talking about it, and that a lack of DRM is a positive marketing bullet point. Indie game developers like me can simply make an executive decision about releasing multiplatform and without DRM since we have fewer strings attached. It would be great, though, if larger companies and publishers were to join the party as well, not that I'm holding my breath.

It's certainly true that you'll always have a piece of your revenue pie cut out by piracy, often a fairly large piece, but I still think that the ill will generated by DRM isn't worth it. Instead, focus on making excellent games, and figure out a way to reward your paying customers instead of punishing them. Try to win over your current non-paying non-customers and convert them into paying customers.

Comment Re:As a Verizon subscriber... (Score 2) 56

Obviously, it's not truly "unlimited" (hint: nothing is), but

Then maybe they should stop using that word in their advertisement of services. Most other industries get called out if they outright lie in advertisements. Pretty sure there are even laws about it. Why the special pass for carriers and ISPs?

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