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Comment Re:Gotta raise his Joel Test Scores, first (Score 3, Insightful) 182

Oh yes, and its worth noting that if you're not careful - easy deployment can quickly result in lower software quality. If you make deployment too easy quality drops like a rock if people think they can fix it easily the next day or even intraday. Some cultures reward by the # of releases/features in prod without looking at the total impact. 'Faster' is not necessarily better although useful in certain situations certainly.

Comment Re:Gotta raise his Joel Test Scores, first (Score 3, Informative) 182


One-step prep/audit/deploy/post-deploy audit/rollback/post rollback audit are critical and not dependent on your tool stack, pretty much any stack can be made to perform this function with proper attitudes/process design/automation. (also needs some break-point analysis ~ things like DB schema changes complicate roll-backs if you don't want to lose production data - some low latency design shops leave error checking out of certain high traffic code areas on purpose and they'll break on a rollback. This is also true of internal product dependency with multiple-roll outs that overlap, I'm sure there's many examples).

Where/what you check is situation dependent ~ ie name/value config pairs, binary checksum's, target env state/settings, do you have enough drive space, etc ~ depends on your particular organizational weaknesses.

I'm a big fan of buttons, downstream users tend to regress as you make their environments easier until button clicking is your final stop. Besides, humans make typo's, just accept it, buttons rock.

Meetings/forms - I'd recommend pushing most of this to electronic data entry that is prefilled based on use case ~ saves a ton of time/work, gives you clearly defined queues and gives you CYA all at the same time. I'm a big fan of really limiting facetime meetings that don't involve some type of problem related brainstorming on a whiteboard. The rest are typically low bandwidth information exchanges that are best communicated through data systems.

Nimble company - You can have nimble areas in larger companies, the data-driven ins/outs are critical in that, you'll never escape CYA in a large corporate environment, just build it into your framework and make sure to publicly display your KPI's, people will go after easier targets. You need a champion though, its lonely on the bottom.

elephants/peanuts ~ we usually talk about monkeys/banana's but that works to. ;)

Comment Re:A lot of improvements (Score 4, Informative) 117

I didn't play the first version and bought the 2nd with high hopes only to be horribly disappointed.

-Quests are far too linear and repetitious. You can play this game quite "into your cups" and do just fine (and that's probably how it should be played)
-Meh - some mildly funny stuff, Claptrap ruins it for me
-The Guns are awesome, but the ammo stacking limitations are frustrating. To maximize the firepower you can carry you have to have one gun for each ammo type, which gets annoying.
-Then wow the old AI must've been terrible, you can duck down behind a simple obstruction and the AI will totally forget about you. Just make sure you aren't LOS and in about 5 secs you're clear.
-Depends on positioning, there are tons of holes in the scenario designs where you can fight up many levels without peril. In a standoff, as much as they try to create those, I'd agree that there's decent balance.
-Sure they have enemy variety, but they all behave similarly enough that its gets boring quick. Renderings are excellent though.-
-You can customize your skill trees to, but to balance the bad scenario design they try to bottleneck you into a play-style that really limits your options.-
-No where near as good as many other games in terms of world interaction, you can have ammo but your ammo stack is limited to X of each ammo type, so you can't have all sniper ammo. Its really not that flexible.

FPS - if COD is a 10 this is a 4
Immersion/world - if Bethesda is a 10 this is a 2

Mostly I think this is just a boring linear shooter with good graphics (and you have to be a fan of that style of graphic art). Having seen the style of game 2k produces I'm going to skip X-COM now (and I'm a huge old X-COM fan).

My first few hours were so horribly boring I'm not sure I can pick this back up, but I'm intrigued by mechs and the mechromancer class coming up so maybe I'll check back in later.


Websites That Don't Need to Be Made Anymore 161

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but there is a finite number of social networking or selling websites that the world needs. Here is a collection of the eight kinds of websites that absolutely don't need to be made anymore. I'd add dating sites and anybody who uses pop-up ads myself, but I think that would eliminate half the Web.

Jordanian Mayor Angry Over "Alien Invasion" Prank 217

krou writes "Jordanian mayor Mohammed Mleihan has taken a dim view of local newspaper Al-Ghad's April Fools prank, which saw a front page story claiming that 'flying saucers flown by 3m (10ft) creatures had landed in the desert town of Jafr.' The paper claimed that communication networks had gone down, and people were fleeing the area. The mayor called the local security authorities, who combed the area, but they were unable to find any evidence of the aliens. Mr Mleihan is now considering suing because of the distress it caused to residents: 'Students didn't go to school, their parents were frightened and I almost evacuated the town's 13,000 residents. People were scared that aliens would attack them.'" I guess they've never heard of Orson Welles in Jordan.

Disputed Island Disappears Into Sea 460

RawJoe writes "India and Bangladesh have argued for almost 30 years over control of a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal. Now rising sea levels have ended the argument for them: the island's gone. From the article: 'New Moore Island, in the Sunderbans, has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols, he said. "What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Hazra.'"
PC Games (Games)

EA Editor Criticizes Command & Conquer 4 DRM 266

Command & Conquer 4's DRM hasn't garnered Electronic Arts as much bad press and fan outrage as Ubisoft's scheme, despite being very similar. Nevertheless, it's been causing problems and frustrations for some users, including's own editor-in-chief, Jeff Green. An anonymous reader points this out: "Green wrote on his Twitter account late last week: 'Booted twice — and progress lost — on my single-player C&C4 game because my DSL connection blinked. DRM fail. We need new solutions.' He continued later, 'Well. I've tried to be open-minded. But my 'net connection is finicky — and the constant disruption of my C&C4 SP game makes this unplayable. The story is fun, the gameplay is interesting and different at least — but if you suffer from shaky/unreliable DSL — you've been warned.'"

Scientists Discover Booze That Won't Give You a Hangover 334

Kwang-il Kwon and Hye Gwang Jeong of Chungnam National University have discovered that drinking alcohol with oxygen bubbles added leads to fewer hangovers and a shorter sobering up time. People drinking the bubbly booze sobered up 20-30 minutes faster and had less severe and fewer hangovers than people who drank the non-fizzy stuff. Kwon said: "The oxygen-enriched alcohol beverage reduces plasma alcohol concentrations faster than a normal dissolved-oxygen alcohol beverage does. This could provide both clinical and real-life significance. The oxygen-enriched alcohol beverage would allow individuals to become sober faster, and reduce the side effects of acetaldehyde without a significant difference in alcohol's effects. Furthermore, the reduced time to a lower BAC may reduce alcohol-related accidents."

Comment My two cents (Score 1) 865

Note: sorry if any of this is badly formatted, I don't post often

Health is a broad topic and it really comes down to what you're actually trying to achieve, 'staying in shape' is a really broad area (gain lean mass, reduce heart risk, age well, endurance, fast-twitch response, weekend athlete, don't throw my back out doing the lawn, etc), however, here's some general advice on overall directions:

Focus: Work can bring you down, and when you're sitting down it can be hard to focus (or the opposite, if you've ever done a 10 hr marathon coding session, looked up and said 'damn'), relax, or keep a stable mental state (depending on your user base) ~ ~ is one method of staying focused and giving yourself the reinforcement that will help with the other steps (you can get it down to about 3 minutes front to back by the end of the cycle).

Nutrition: Other than a balanced diet (there's too much info on google to address that here) a good vitamin pack ~ ~ can go a long way to stabilizing your diet and 'rounding off the rough edges'. I like the chelating package because it helps cleanse some of the crap that gets into the food lifecycle out of our system.

At work exercise: ~ is a solid reference on isometric exercises (many of which can be done at work) - optimally spread out throughout your shift (and some can be done discretely on an hourly basis). There are many isometric references out there so if you find this trend working for you then you should continue to do research until you find a series (with variations) that meets your specific (and evolving) needs.

Day off exercise: 2-3 30m cardio sessions are good, but I also recommend 1-2 yoga sessions as well (or in place of perhaps). Yoga is an excellent method of flushing your lymphatic system and has solid health benefits for arterial plasticity as well (make sure you do your own research however), a good at home example guide is:

You can get the info in the books above on the internet as well, but I like books for my library. The above require the lowest investment in equipment that I've seen and still allow for considerable improvement and variation. There's no magic pill here, you have to really define what you want to achieve and keep learning to adapt your regime to your lifestyle/goals. Keep in mind there's a difference been an 'optimum' workout strategy and 'making a difference'. Doing 5 minutes of isometrics or a breathing exercise or two every hour at work isn't an optimum way to build muscle, but every little bit helps.

Best of luck

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