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Comment Quote from The Mythical Man-Month (Score 1) 356

I don't like the "rockstar" label, but excellent software developers are more than worth it, as Fred Brooks knew years ago...

Study after study shows that the very best designers produce structures that are faster, smaller, simpler, clearer, and produced with less effort. The differences between the great and the average approach an order of magnitude.

I don't have the book in front of me, but there is a reference at

That book is worth rereading every few years.


Games Workshop Goes After Fan Site 174

mark.leaman writes "BoingBoing has a recent post regarding Games Workshop's aggressive posturing against fan sites featuring derivative work of their game products. 'Game publisher and miniature manufacturer Games Workshop just sent a cease and desist letter to, telling them to remove all fan-made players' aids. This includes scenarios, rules summaries, inventory manifests, scans to help replace worn pieces — many of these created for long out of print, well-loved games...' As a lifelong hobby gamer of table, board, card and miniature games, I view this as pure heresy. It made me reject the idea of buying any Games Workshop (read Warhammer) products for my son this Christmas. Their fate was sealed, in terms of my wallet, after I Googled their shenanigans. In 2007 they forbid Warhammer fan films, this year they shut down Vassal Modules, and a while back they went after retailers as well. What ever happened to fair use?"

Comment Re:And things like this are why... (Score 1) 597

Then, and this is the absolute most important part, I walk away when I hit my goal, usually $50 or $100.

If you really can get a positive expectation on a particular roulette wheel because of a flawed wheel or flawed croupier (which I doubt), then this does not make sense. If you have an advantage, then it doesn't matter whether you have hit your goal or not. Over the very long run, if you always bet when you have an advantage, you will have a positive expectation. Or maybe does the croupier change his behavior or the house level the wheel after you have made your $100?

Comment Well, I've got 19 years and 3 kids... (Score 1) 1146

First, before marrying, discuss and make sure you can agree how to handle the following things:

1. Money
2. Religion
3. Children
4. In-laws

Second, make sure that both of you view marriage as a final, irrevocable decision. If either of you keep divorce in your back pocket as an option, then you have two strikes against you.

Comment Re:Potential for translations (Score 1) 568

Actually, I did read those lines, and found nothing remotely suggesting the Bible is considered by the Catholic church to be "fallible and contradictory," which was what was asserted by the poster I quoted.

On the contrary, I line 107 claims the opposite: "The inspired books teach the truth. Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures."

How does interpretation and contemplation suggest fallibility or contradictions? How does trying to read the text in the sense it was intended (not necessarily literally) imply fallibility or contradictions?

Many people assert that the Bible is fallible and contradictory, but to say the Catholic church holds that position is ignorant.

Role Playing (Games)

Managing Player-Created Content In City of Heroes 43

Superhero MMO City of Heroes recently went live with its 14th expansion (release notes), one of the main features of which is the Mission Architect, a system to allow players to create their own quest content and then submit it to be implemented into the game. Now, Joe Morrissey of the City of Heroes team has written an article about how they plan to manage the content that players create. "You have to decide how draconian you want to be. The more hardcore you are, the fewer people who will see inappropriate content, but you expose yourself to potential grief voting. Grief voting is when a player flags perfectly acceptable content as inappropriate just because it's fun. If it only takes a single vote to eliminate content from the game, clicking that button is going to be the game for a lot of players. You don't want perfectly good content getting pulled because someone's a jerk."

Comment Re:The solution is 2D games (Score 1) 511


They make it expensive, and they can make it more immersive, but they do not contribute automatically to making a game fun, which is what it's all about.

I agree that if it isn't 3D, it isn't immersive. An for me if it isn't immersive then it might as well be FreeCell. I might play FreeCell while waiting for my kid's soccer game to start, but I sure won't pay for it.

Granted I am just a single data point, but to get me to buy a new game, it needs to have something even more ambitious than what has been done before. Figure out how to do an MMORPG with full PvP while keeping griefers in check, with a fully dynamic world in which changes made by players stick, and with NPC AI that immerses me enough that I don't think about "aggro radius," and you will have my purchase in a heartbeat.

Comment Re:Yawn. (Score 1) 610

Everyone makes decisions with the implicit belief that their decisions matter. Now, if we have free will, then they actually do.


So why the eternal wanking over whether or not we possess a property that cannot be measured and doesn't effect our lives in any way?

Because people care whether their decisions matter?

Comment Re:Worse yet. (Score 1) 610

We are not changing. We are growing.

Minor nit: growth is change. If your concept of space and time is accurate, then from the outside looking in we are no more growing than we are changing.

I understand (in a wimpy pop-science kind of way) the 4D space-time "block" concept...the concept that all of space and time just is.

However, that concept in and of itself doesn't preclude free will. Rather it only means that from some god's eye point of view all of the free will choices within space-time have "already" been made.

What I don't understand is how experience emerges from a static space-time. I don't even understand how experience emerges within time. (I've written enough software to be skeptical of increasing complexity at some point magically producing sentience.) I think the question of how conscious experience happens is somehow related to the free-will question.

Comment Offtopic trip down memory lane (Score 5, Interesting) 135

I got a chance to use a Connection Machine (real, not emulated) in the late 1980s, just a couple of years out of college. It was an internal R&D project for a defense contractor, porting a computational fluid dynamics program I didn't understand from Cray vectorized Fortran to the CM's *Lisp. Fun stuff.

I even got a chance to visit Thinking Machines headquarters in Boston, and hear Danny Hillis speak. Here he was speaking to a room full of suits, dressed in jeans, sneakers, and a T-shirt. I remember thinking at the time that being able to do that was quite an indicator of success.

Yeah, yeah, I know...offtopic, overrated, etc. So mod me down if you must. (Or is that just reverse psychology on you moderators? Muhahaha!)

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Global warming ( 2

WhiplashII writes: According to a leading environmentalist, walking to the shops 'damages planet more than going by car'. Walking 3 miles (and the food burned to do it) releases 3.6 kg of CO2, driving only releases 0.9 kg. Other surprises: Diesel trains outpollute cars, someone who installs a "green" lightbulb undoes a year's worth of energy-saving by buying two bags of imported vegatables, and killing all our cows would do more to prevent global warming than ending all air travel.

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