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Comment Re:I've come to hate VS (Score 1) 496

> Visual Studio, specifically VC++6, rocked in the days of writing Windows apps.
> ...the editor itself was just awesome. It was solid, never crashed ...and was
> fast fast fast.
> ...Later versions, though, got seriously sluggish, and yes, ultimately it's
> just a glorified text editor, so why are all these windows sliding in and out
> at odd times, they rearranged all the project settings...Plus everything up to
> VS2008 has just been slow for me...from constant annoyingly-slow to
> wait-did-it-freeze-up-on-me-oh-no-it-just-came-back slow. Plus I've been
> able to crash pretty easily all of them...It's just that painful.

Hear, hear. Same pain on my end.

Especially with SSIS; redrawing the pretty little boxes seems to suck up all the processing power, and bring any other MS tools, like instances of SQL Workbench, to a halt.

Add to it the fact that, while the tools allow you to build project using msbuild and useful tools, the defaults are still exactly wrong. I work with a couple of teams at work who regularly have deployments to our production servers bomb, and they can't back out, because setting up the msbuild scripts and properly versioning the right files isn't the default.

It requires you to override the tools and do it manually. The pointers and clickers don't know how to do that and don't want to learn. So where I have Rakefiles (I was using ms-build, hoping to get others to use a decent tool by choosing one from MS. After fighting for months, I said screw it and just started using rake), they have 40 page manual checklists and tons of committee meetings to prevent errors -- and they still fail as often as not, and they never know what changed.

My Rakefiles track changes and version numbers, and I can back stuff out when needed (which isn't often).

Good to hear that 2010 seems to be better; but around here, that means we'll probably start using it in about 2025...

Image

Tokyo Scientists Create Mobile Slime Screenshot-sm 111

Sockatume writes "Shingo Maeda and colleagues at Waseda University have created a polymer gel that walks under its own chemical power. The team exploited the oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction to create periodic changes in the size of the polymer, and built a tensed structure that would amplify those small movements into a horrifically potent gait. The current version only walks across a notched surface, but the team are working on a terrible new form that will cross smooth surfaces like a snail. The team say they intend to apply it in the self-assembly of small structures. Suddenly, I can't stop screaming."
Privacy

Researchers Snag 60 TB of Everquest 2 Behavioral Data 66

A group of researchers who went from game developer to game developer looking to acquire data for studying online social interaction got more than they bargained for. Sony Online Entertainment keeps extensive server logs of everything that happens within Everquest 2. When the researchers asked if there was anything they could look at, SOE was happy to share the entire EQ2 database — upwards of 60 TB — for their perusal. In addition to basic gender and age queries — who interacted with whom, and when — the scientists are also trying to find ways to track more subjective characteristics, such as performance, trust, and expertise. "To get estimates of them, the team is experimenting with trying to track physical proximity and direct interactions, such as when characters share experience from an in-game victory. To give a concrete example of the data's utility, Srivastava described how he could explore the phenomenon of customer churn, something that's significant for any sort of subscription-based service, like cell phones or cable TV. With the full dataset, the team can now track how individual customers dropping out of the game influenced others who they typically played or interacted with. Using this data, the spreading rate and influence factor could then be calculated, providing hard measures to work with."
Update: 2/18 at 21:04 by SS: Sony contacted us to set the record straight about the shared information. All information that could identify players was removed from the data given to the researchers. Chat logs were not shared at all. Read on for SOE's full statement.
Patents

Groklaw Says Microsoft Patent Portfolio Now Worthless 219

twitter writes "P.J. concludes her look at the Bilski decision: 'you'll recall patent lawyer Gene Quinn immediately wrote that it was bad news for Microsoft, that "much of the Microsoft patent portfolio has gone up in smoke" because, as Quinn's partner John White pointed out to him, "Microsoft doesn't make machines." Not just Microsoft. His analysis was that many software patents that had issued prior to Bilski, depending on how they were drafted, "are almost certainly now worthless." ... He was not the only attorney to think about Microsoft in writing about Bilski.'"
First Person Shooters (Games)

10 Years of Half-Life 182

intenscia writes "After 10 years of Half-Life and dealing with its silent protagonist Gordon Freeman, ModDB looks back at everything that Valve made possible with the release of its first game. The freedom and flexibility the Gldsource platform gave modders resulted in a plethora of user-generated content such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress. In this article they take a brief look at the mods that made the jump to retail as well as the top non-commercial mods that have become perennial classics." Planet Half-Life used the occasion to look back at the history of Valve. Valve is celebrating by offering the original Half-Life for less than a dollar on Steam.
Security

What a Botnet Looks Like 122

Esther Schindler writes "CSO has an annotated, zoomable map of real botnet topologies showing the interconnections between the compromised computers and the command-and-control systems that direct them. The map is based on work by security researcher David Voreland; it has interactive controls so you can zoom in and explore botnets' inner workings. Hackers use botnets for spamming, DDoS attacks and identity theft. One recent example is the Storm botnet, which may have comprised 1 million or more zombie systems at its peak. As with any networking challenge, there are good (resilient) designs and some not-so-good ones. In some cases the topology may be indicative of a particular botnet's purpose, or of a herder on the run."

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