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Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 5, Informative) 134

Since I enjoyed StarCraft, can you point me in the direction of one or two that has similar quality? Most RTS I have tried are pretty crap.

Total Annihilation

Its Circa 1996, but It can scale graphics to whatever resolution your hardware supports. I have played it on my 4K system, and its unbelievable what it does for game play. Unlike any Blizzard games, higher resolution gets you more of the map at once. This can be tremendously useful when playing an insane large map. The game can also support far more simultaneous units than anything from Blizzard. It is also true multi-threaded, so it scales up with more processor power available. At 4K resolution, an I7 6950X can handle upwards of a quarter million units in battle before it starts to knuckle under. The game supports up to ten players in virtually any combination of teams. The AI is ridiculously easy to beat, but thats what you would expect from that era. The game defaults to 250 units per player, but you can up that to 500 easily with a config setting. To get more than that you will need one of the myriad of patches available for the game. You can get it on Steam or GOG, or order the Frisbee version off Ebay, I would also recommend getting the commander pack and battle tactics expansions. Many patches will already include these enhancements.

The overall game controls are also vastly superior, with the ability to select an arbitrarily large number of units into a single grouping, and the ability to queue instructions for units or groups to follow, it allows you to automate much of the boring and tedious parts of RTS while giving you more of what you really want: Glorious Battle

Comment Re:Law mandated technology (Score 1) 260

So, what in the Constitution allows the Federal government to do that?

Our Constitution was written at a time before Humanity was fundamentally capable of wiping all life off the face of the planet. There is a whole class of things it was never intended to deal with. They could not possibly have understand what the consequences of free speech would be on something like the Internet, nor what the right to bear arms would mean in a society where any citizen could learn how to build weapons powerful enough to kill thousands of people at a time. Our Constitution is held up as a shining example of enlightenment, but its true genius is that it was supposed to be modified when the times required it. We are long since past due for some serious constitutional changes, but as long as our country is so politically divided, and our citizens are so demonstrably ignorant, we don't dare let anyone near that document.


Unfortunately, having an educated opinion is a very difficult thing. A great many people believe they know the truth when in fact they do not. The simple truth is that as a species, we have only ever once invented something that allows us access to real truth. That single thing is the scientific method. My sad observation is that a large majority of people (even including many educated people) simply do not understand the scientific method, nor its consequences. They are not equipped to evaluate the information they are given as to its trustworthiness, and so they believe whatever information they are given that reinforces their own preconceived prejudices. Ironically, the scientific method has been applied to that very question and discovered that people are in fact extremely susceptible to self delusion in that regard. The net result of that effect is that people can be very easily manipulated into a course of action that is counter to their own best interests simply by manipulating the information they have access to.

By way of an anecdote, I would like to share the progress of the Space Shuttle Columbia accident investigation board. I think we can all agree that the folks at NASA are fairly bright individuals, and what we would consider to be champions of science. When they were collectively told that the prevailing theory about the accident was that a 5Lb chunk of foam insulation fell off the main tank and struck the front of the wing and put a large hole in it, most of them expressed their *expert* opinions that it was impossible. These people are in fact experts in the very fields of engineering and physics related to the theory. When the investigation board insisted on a series of experiments however, the results were shocking. The foam piece did in fact produce the hole that the theory predicted in contrast to the collective opinions of all those experts. After the experiments, the consensus changed as a result of the evidence and supported the new theory. The new theory also was supported by many other bits of evidence over the course of the investigation, which led the investigation team to conclusive findings.

The mark of an enlightened individual is not the ability to have the right answers all the time, in fact in our modern society, our instincts mostly betray us. The mark of enlightenment is the ability to change your mind when the evidence indicates you should. A person that "sticks to their guns" long after the evidence has pointed in the other direction should be ignored or treated for the mental illness they have, not followed blindly.

If you wish to be a better person, stop reading the "news" source of the hour, and look to the actual evidence that is available. The Internet has made all of that evidence available to all, but it has also given a huge voice to people who wish to express an opinion that is devoid of any scientific value. If you choose to go read the opinions of people who have not had to look at the raw data, then you are only deluding yourself that your opinion is based on anything other than schoolyard gossip.

I myself have not seen the data for AGW. I make no claims as to its validity or not. I make only the claim that almost everyone I have ever met forms the vast majority of their opinions on flawed information, and AGW proponents and opponents are worse than most.

Comment Re: Why not? (Score 3, Interesting) 130

Not true, menial labor serves to convince people they don't want to do menial labor and strive for something better. It's up to the individual to find their motivation. Would tablet permissions as a reward work for good behavior?

Most people who end up in jail are there for one of two reasons: Drug crimes or property crimes. The ones who are there for drug crimes, didn't commit the crimes because that is the life they wanted, its the life they got stuck with, and they would gladly trade it in for something better. The same is true for property crimes. The thing that has been lacking from their lives that got them into prison in the first place wasn't motivation to be better, it was opportunity. Society failed them, and failed them hard. Now that they have been to prison, there is no road back for most of them. What few opportunities they may have had evaporated the moment they were convicted. What this country needs to fight the "crime epidemic" is not more prisons and more guards, but better education for all, and a system that guarantees that everyone who wants opportunities can find them. Stop punishing people for never having had the chance to do better, and start giving them those chances.

Put in another context, what percentage of the prison population in this country would have made excellent programmers with a lifetime of quality education instead of the shit show they actually got? Even if its just 2% of the population that is currently incarcerated or on parole, that would exceed 100,000 people, and would be plenty to make up for the shortage of tech workers that we insist on importing from other countries by way the H1B visa program. The only reason we have a problem with a shortage of smart people in this country is that we insist on putting as many hurdles in front of the masses as possible.

Its high time the people in this country start looking on education and health care as a fundamental human right. Not because of any kind of altruistic belief, but because it is cheaper than paying for a huge prison system, an unbelievably large police force, and the cost of unemployable citizens.

Comment Re:Lots of links to articles, phfft (Score 4, Interesting) 234

I'm sorry, but a program that's thousands of methods and small classes is not clearer than a program with fewer, larger, structures. Yes, write code for Humans, not machines, I agree. BUT remember your other programmers want to understand your program - not any one individual method - so making each method simple only moves the complexity into the interrelationships between methods, something considerably harder to understand.

What the author was implying is that you should take relatively straightforward components of a function and break them out as their own sub-functions with a very descriptive name, especially the inner workings of nested loops. If you take the inner loop and replace it with a function call that describes what the inner loop does, then your outer loop actually gets much easier to read, as it does not have the distraction of the gritty details of how the inner loop performs its duties. With properly written sub-functions, you can simply read the name and understand what it is doing without having to actually read the function at all. I have personally done code reviews on code that has been re-factored in this fashion, and the readability of the code is night and day.

Comment Re:AFK != IRL (Score 2) 151

you are describing a tort claim, not a federal crime at the end of the day we are still talking about minimal damages and harm. I think an argument for a simple assault may hold a little water but I am unaware of a federal statute that covers simple assault.

I have an epileptic son. Seizures are not the trivial things you seem to think they are. A grand mal seizure is often life threatening as it causes everything in the brain to go off kilter, including autonomic functions. When my son start having a seizure, he stops breathing, and if it goes on long enough, his heart stops beating. This has only happened once, and he had to be resuscitated. Most of the time, the lack of breathing induces hypoxia and that stops the seizure, but it is by no means a sure thing, as the hypoxia can prevent the normal resumption of autonomic functions after the seizure stops.

The instrument this assailant was using was a deadly weapon. That makes this assault with a deadly weapon, or attempted murder depending on what they decide his intent was. Any way you slice it, this guy belongs behind bars, if only to protect the general public from his overarching ignorance coupled with his complete indifference to the consequences of his actions, and his demonstrated ability to access and deploy deadly weapons.

Comment Re:AFK != IRL (Score 1) 151

simple assault is not a federal crime even if we were to stipulate that it applies here. The further claim that cyberstalking happened is also very weak. Stalking needs more than a few emails over a very short period of time.

Any crime that crosses state lines becomes an FBI matter. That is *why* the FBI exists. One of their primary purposes is to have jurisdiction when no single state agency would clearly have jurisdiction. Their purview has expanded a bit since the agency was created, but that is the basic idea behind it. The failure to do that fundamental job in all respects led to the creation of the DHS.

Comment Re:Goal post has not been moved (Score 4, Insightful) 632

Where the hell do you find the time or energy to do these things?

I'll try to be a gentle with this as I can. There are two fundamental things that need to be said here. First, unless you went to an ultra-competitive university, or were tracking a dual major / BS-MS program, Classes simply should not have taken that much effort. I know a lot of people who worked very hard for their degree, and most of them aren't worth much as employees go. Show me the kid who barely showed up to class at all and still graduated. Thats where I'll put my bet every time.

The second is that not all majors are created equal. If you have no idea what to go to school for, so you pick what seems like it will pay well, you might want to reconsider. In 5 years, the entire economic outlook can change dramatically. If you are very passionate about your chosen major, you can be successful even if the economy changes direction, but if you chose the major because you thought that was where the money is, you have chosen very poorly.

The Gentleman in the article who got his degree in mechanical engineering might or might not have had the wherewithal to know what was coming, but the reality is that the majority of mechanical engineers are employed by the transportation industry, and that industry is in the middle of an epic upheaval. The entire industry used to need huge numbers of mechanical engineers to design car, trucks, buses, planes, and every other damn thing. Now, CAD has gotten sophisticated enough that it has made the mechanical engineers out there 5 times more efficient meaning the companies only need 1/5 as many. Couple that with the impending transition from internal combustion to electric vehicles, and an entire generation of mechanical engineers has been trained for jobs that will never exist again.

TLDR: If you don't have passion for something then don't bother going to school for it. In todays economy all you will accomplish is six digit debt and no way to pay it off. Better to wait until you know what you want to do, and then go to school. You will be far better served, and might even be in a financial position to accomplish the job without sinking the first two decades of your career into soul crushing debt.

Comment Re:One word (Score 4, Interesting) 474

Something about less distance making for faster signaling

Actually, it has very little to do with the distance. The single biggest speed improvement in die shrink comes because the gate capacitances are smaller due to smaller footprint, and as such the gate charge / discharge time is shorter. The shorter distances does have a small effect as well, but the primary effect is due to the gate capacitance.

Comment Re:One word (Score 5, Insightful) 474

The problem is everyone is hell bent on smaller for the sake of performance. and it's stupid. dont make smaller, make bigger.

There are a whole host of problems with that.

First and foremost, physics strikes again with the speed of light. Pretty much all modern processing is done synchronously which means that it requires a clock signal that changes everywhere at the same time. As you expand that size of the processor, suddenly things get out of sync. There are ways to fight this, but they are tricky and dont scale well.

Second, As die size increases, Power consumption increases faster. All the current your processor draws passes through some parasitic resistance in getting there. The bigger the die, the more parasitic resistance. If you take a chip that draws 50 watts and put two of them on a die, the power draw is now 105 watts because the new chip draws more than 50 watts (it has to pull power through a slightly longer set of wires, as does the original one)

Third, cost. The single most important factor in processor cost is yield. Any given silicon wafer will have a certain number of defects on it that will render any chip at that location unusable. If you get on average two defects per wafer, and you have 100 chips on a wafer, then you get 98 good chips and two bad ones (98% yield) . If you have two defects per wafer and there are only 10 chips on that wafer, you get 8 good chips and two bad ones (80% yield) (gross over-simplification).

There are a whole cadre of other issues that chip designers and manufacturers have to deal with such as interconnects and shared resources, etc...

Comment Re:Instruction set (Score 1) 77

So if you write code to do a task, and then you write it again for someone else, is it not going to be nearly the same?

Hahahahaha, No.

There are multiple ways of solving, even simple, problems. Some are better than others. Some require a leap of intuition that most people simply will never have. Software patents are no better or worse than any other patents. *All* patents are stupid.

Comment Re:Zenimax ButtHurt (Score 1) 77

Zenimax got half a billion dollars and they're still butthurt?

They haven't got the money yet. Thats part of the issue. Oculus filed for an appeal, and as such do not have to pay the judgement until the appeal is over.

This is a pretty common tactic for a company, even if they know they will probably lose on appeal. The idea is to delay the payment as long as possible on the off chance that the plaintiff will simply fold up shop and go away. At the very least, they can enjoy a few more years of profits in the mean time which may or may not enable them to gain a greater market share, making the judgment easier to pay.

To counter that, the plaintiff files the injunction. Basically it is argued that the appeal is nothing more than a delaying tactic, and if the judge agrees, then there will be an injunction. This puts tremendous pressure on the defendant to simply pay up. If they don't think the appeal can be won, then they will simply give it up and pay up. If they do think they can win, then they have massive incentive to make sure the appeal happens fast. It effectively pulls the rug out of the "delay the inevitable loss" tactic. The down-side for the plaintiff is that the judge will never allow it unless (s)he believes the defendant is just stalling.

Comment Re:Biggest troll there is... (Score 2) 77

They never did anything even related to VR. Only because that one guy who used to work for them also worked on the side on VR, they claim his work is theirs. This is why contracts that says the company own EVERYTHING you make or work on while in employment, should be illegal.

There is a huge overlap between fast and powerful rendering engines and VR. Even while it was still Id, Carmack had an express interest in VR, and that was no small part of the value Id had when it was sold. For Carmack to subsequently leave and take that value with him to join a startup *using* much of the material he developed while at Id (note I said material, not knowledge), is simply unconscionable, and Carmack and Oculus are in deep shit as a result.

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