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Comment Re:no scalping (Score 1) 221

All Google has to do is ban scalping of the tickets. You buy a ticket, YOU get in, not the holder of the ticket.

How would one implement that while maintaining the ability for a business to decouple purchasing a ticket from the decision of which member of a development team gets to go?

Comment Re:Try this on Earth first, noobie. (Score 2) 279

That's why you need multiple layers in your transmission. The obvious signal should be a long, slow count of all of the prime numbers up to some arbitrary cut-off, like 9973. Then the transmission should repeat. This will give the aliens a strong clue that you're operating in base-10. Then, layered in your transmission - perhaps in a side channel, or by having different signals in amplitude modulation, frequency modulation, and polarization modulation, you can give multilayered information.

The next-most-obvious signal in your "palimpsest" should be a primer of some sort. This is where you can build basic mathematic, chemistry, etc. — ultimately building up to the detailed instructions for building a device the aliens can build that will transport one of them through a wormhole to talk to her dead father.

That should do it.

Comment not so fast, cowboy (Score 3, Interesting) 132

That would be true if we were to use this display for the uncreative purpose of displaying whatever threat-level the DHS is currently at.

I would pay for a display like this. Back in 2004 I had to resort to using the various colors of the dry-erase-marker rainbow to create a threat-level display on the whiteboard in my office. Back then my team's product had a memory leak somewhere in it, and nobody believed me. The servers would be up for a handful of days, and then just when everybody was lulled into a false sense of security we would get a flurry of random OutOfMemoryExceptions as the whole thing would sieze up and become unresponsive - pulling system administrators out of their scheduled meetings to conduct emergency rolls in a panic. And then, back to business as usual.

At first I was alone in suspecting a leak. Back then we didn't have any memory monitoring in place so it was all thruthiness from my gut. But worse than being alone in my suspicions was the sinking feeling that the leak was proportional to user load, which was on a steady incline with no sine of abating. So over the course of a few months - while everybody went about their business of making sure to only work on things that could be billed to client project numbers - the frequency of emergency rolls steadily increased, and I kept elevating my threat level in response.

"What's that on your whiteboard," some would ask. I would explain that a shitstorm was on the horizon and that we had better take some time to find and fix the memory leak even if it meant taking a hit to billable hours. "Leak? What leak?"

By doing this I got a partner onboard who put some hand-rolled memory monitoring in place using JFreeChart to plot the decline. "See...a memory leak!," we would insist. "No, no," said the best and brightest of our software engineers. "It'll pick up," he continued, suggesting that maybe I didn't really understand how the garbage collector worked and that maybe it merely needed to fall below some threshold before it kicked in.

And with that, I once again elevated the threat level, and kept elevating it until it hit the top. Eventually we got to the point where one out of four nodes in our cluster was always in the process of being rolled, with users spilling over to the remaining 3, and one of them would crumble just as the 4th node was coming back up.

We eventually discovered a dubious use of ThreadLocal in the old version of Xalan (the pre-xsltc version), and fixed the problem by upgrading the library. But without the threat-level indicator in my office, I might never have gotten attention to the problem before it was too late.

I'll pay $200 for one of these boards. And I want all of the colors, damn it.


Estimating Game Piracy More Accurately 459

An anonymous reader tips a post up at the Wolfire blog that attempts to pin down a reasonable figure for the amount of sales a game company loses due to piracy. We've commonly heard claims of piracy rates as high as 80-90%, but that clearly doesn't translate directly into lost sales. The article explains a better metric: going on a per-pirate basis rather than a per-download basis. Quoting: "iPhone game developers have also found that around 80% of their users are running pirated copies of their game (using jailbroken phones). This immediately struck me as odd — I suspected that most iPhone users had never even heard of 'jailbreaking.' I did a bit more research and found that my intuition was correct — only 5% of iPhones in the US are jailbroken. World-wide, the jailbreak statistics are highest in poor countries — but, unsurprisingly, iPhones are also much less common there. The highest estimate I've seen is that 10% of worldwide iPhones are jailbroken. Given that there are so few jailbroken phones, how can we explain that 80% of game copies are pirated? The answer is simple — the average pirate downloads a lot more games than the average customer buys. This means that even though games see that 80% of their copies are pirated, only 10% of their potential customers are pirates, which means they are losing at most 10% of their sales."

New Call of Duty Titles Announced, Fired Devs Sue For Name 134

eldavojohn writes "Activision has announced new Call of Duty titles while fired Infinity Ward Developer leads Jason West and Vince Zampella sue them for the rights to the name. According to Activision, 'The company intends to expand the Call of Duty brand with the same focus seen in its Blizzard Entertainment business unit. This will include a focus on high-margin digital online content and further[ing] the brand as the leading action entertainment franchise in new geographies, new genres and with new digital business models.' Ars opines that Activision is set to over-saturate the market with tons of CoD titles similar to how it expertly brought down Guitar Hero."

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