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Comment Recent Example (Score 1) 244

Often performance issues are caused by a sub-optimal algorithm. It works, but a different approach would be better. A recent dev post about the game Factorio highlighted a more straightforward issue:

Finally the blueprint tooltip preview: this one stumped me for a while. I've known it was slow since I first started with Factorio 2+ years ago but could never pin-point exactly what was causing it. The drawing of the blueprint preview is near identical to what happens when you view the normal game but would always take 4-5 times as much time to render. Finally recently I found that we did zero batching of sprites to be drawn when rendering the GUI: for every sprite that we would draw it would go out to the graphics card and tell it to draw it. Fixing that was as simple as turning a flag on and now it has no measurable impact on performance when rendered.

A one-parameter fix to a long-standing bug. Gotta love it.

Comment Re:waste of money (Score 2) 28

That's a silly comment. GitLab is buying Gitter so it can be incorporated into their own platform eventually. They're buying a well-made codebase to improve own product. They could have written it themselves, but they decided that their time to create an equal feature would have been longer or cost more that buying it.

GitLab needs to compete on features with GitHub, who is winning the popularity contest by a wide margin.

Also, "will not be adding it directly now" is not the same as never. I still think the long term goal is to improve GitLab using features borrowed from Gitter.

Comment Humans Need Not Apply (Score 1) 644

Just 'get a new skill' will soon be an ineffective solution. I work in technical customer service, so I think I'll last a bit longer than some jobs, but nearly any job has the potential to be on the chopping block. By 2050 I bet an AI system will be able to take calls and assist users with every program under the sun faster and cheaper than I can, 24/7, while always being friendly and never needing a lunch break.

No job is safe.

Comment Re:Earliest evidence of life on Earth? (Score 5, Informative) 82

I know it's a joke, but just for the sake of discussion I'd like to address it.

Finding out that life took 'only' 100 million years to appear after the formation of liquid oceans makes it a lot more likely that life (as we know it) is ubiquitous in favorable conditions. It means that if we are ever able to investigate the cosmos, we may find that most worlds that have liquid water have at least primitive life on them (rather than 'some' or 'occasional'). And there is always the possibility of life as we don't know it; life in gas giants, on neutron stars, in the gluon soup of the first moments of the cosmos (Stephen Baxter, but I can't remember which story), in the accretion disks of black holes, in the photosphere of stars.

There are so many ways that organization could form out of chaos, and that life would be invisible to us. If there was a form of life that lived in our sun's photosphere how would we tell it existed? We only recently learned that there are microbes in our upper atmosphere that is evolved to survive there permanently... and we flew through it for decades!

The more alien life is, the easier it is for us to overlook or not recognize the signs of its existence. Not only that, but the less likely we are to visit (or closely investigate) the environment it lives in because that environment is inhospitable to us.

So yeah... finding out that life evolved early on on Earth is fascinating, and it really lends weight to the possibility of life being all over the place... even where we have not tried to look.

Comment Re:$700 GTFO (Score 5, Insightful) 151

Some people go to a couple movies a month. $50 a month, easy, with tickets and concessions. More if you're not alone. Others go cycling on a $2000 cycle. Some hit the bar... $30 a night (or more).

And others buy an expensive video card so they can play the newest games at the best settings. Seriously... you're right it'll be obsolete in a couple years, but are you simultaneously making fun of what everyone does on their time off? That tequila shot costs $8 and all you get is a buzz for half an hour.

You may not like gaming. That's fine. You might not have a lot of money lying around. Also fine. But millions of people spend much more than the cost of that video card every few months on their personal past-times and hobbies. A gaming computer, especially one built yourself, is a pretty inexpensive investment to play games that you can't get anywhere else.

There are thousands of games you can only play on a computer, and dozens of AAA titles every year that just don't work on any other platform. A console is not a substitute for a PC for many gamers. It's not worse... it's just different. Stop being a hobby bigot. :-) Let people enjoy their technology any way they like it.

Comment Re:Good luck with that (Score 1) 181

So you're saying that if EA stopped putting out regular-remakes of their sports franchises, and instead only released a game when it was good, worthwhile, and offered something new... that would be a bad thing? If they just put out 'Madden' and upgraded it for free every year without charging customers a dime? If they made their money with optional DLC that didn't affect the core game?

I'm sorry, but you've failed to convince me that switching away from a 'release drek on schedule' model to a 'only release when it's good' model is a bad thing.

Comment Re:I'm pretty sure.... (Score 4, Informative) 88

Gabe never 'positions' himself. You are confusing him with normal 'people in high positions'. He is not a spokesman, or a mouthpiece, or even a manager. He built the entire company of Valve in a way so he doesn't have to be the decider. He's just a smart dude at a company on the forefront of VR, and like any new and risky technology, it could fail. Like John Carmack, he pulls no punches... if something sucks, he says it sucks. If he fires someone, he publicly calls them an ass (not necessarily his best moment).

He is not in Marketing, and he doesn't really care what consumers think about his verbiage. In fact, his lack of a filter is part of why Valve as a company is so reticent to talk to the consumers directly, as his quotes have been used against him many times in the past.

So I'm not saying your options are false, I'm just saying that you ascribe too much forethought into his choice of wording.

Comment Exaggeration (Score 4, Interesting) 82

Our attention span has not reduced to 8 seconds. Heavy consumers of media and tech do not pay attention to non-interactive content (TV, ads), but are better at paying attention to interactive content (games, software). This is a shift of attention from passive consumers to active participants. When presented with passive content, tech users tune out... no surprise. But that's not the same as a globally reduced attention span.

The full report is available.

Comment Re:What is up with this anti-gluten bullshit? (Score 1) 292

While I agree that 'gluten sensitive' people are mostly full of bullshit, I'm all for making the lives of the small percentage with real allegies to wheat better.

A small portion of the population is crippled, but we have parking and mandatory accessibility for them. It's a significant expense for businesses, but it makes their lives notably better. Having a more widely available (and cheaper) gluten free grain would improve the lives of those suffering from celiac; even if a large chunk of other people unnecessarily take advantage of it too, what's the harm? I've been known to push the 'door open' button and I'm not in a wheelchair.

Comment Re:Immigration, not Indentured Servitude (Score 1) 834

As I said, it can take over a decade to get a green card, and longer to get citizenship. It's not easy. We have an unknown number of H1-B workers, but it's probably over 600,000 (as of 2011), probably more now. So saying that green cards and citizenship are 'available' is ignoring reality. Most workers on H1-B are trapped in that status, and as long as they are they cannot fight back against poor working conditions or unequal pay... and that is depressing wages more than any other single factor.

Comment Immigration, not Indentured Servitude (Score 5, Insightful) 834

I think we should abandon H1-B completely. If someone wants to work in the US, and has a job lined up here, then we should allow them to become a citizen within a year assuming they jump through the necessary hoops (take a night class, pass the citizenship exam, etc). This idiocy of requiring people to wait years, sometimes over a decade, to become a citizen while they work in the US at a well paying job is stupid.

We are a nation of immigrants. It's in most of our blood. Immigrants start businesses far more than native born Americans because they are risk takers... if they are willing to uproot themselves and move to a foreign land, they are likely willing to take other risks as well. That kind of risk taking is what built our nation, and shutting it out only harms us in the long run.

The H1-B program creates trapped workers who have to toe the line and rock no boats, lest they be fired and deported. This allows companies to abuse them in ways citizens would not put up with. An immigrant with citizenship is less of a threat to the livelihood of tech workers than an H1-B visitor, as companies would not be in a position to deport them if they asked for a raise; they could look for other jobs with impunity, and thus would compete on equal footing... and similarly, would not have to put up with artificially depressed wages.

So open up immigration, and fuck the stupid fake 'work' visas.

Comment Bullshit (Score 4, Interesting) 98

Predictions are not worth the toilet paper they are printed on.

Apple has suffered from a lack of progress ever since Jobs died. They are treading water... it took them 5 years to update the MacBook, and what we got was lackluster. 'Predicting' that they will succeed and Microsoft will falter is dubious.

The only real winner is Google, with Over 3/4 of the market for device operating systems.

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