* Posts by fizz

17 posts • joined 15 Jun 2012

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw: Well, lookie here! For once a space game that doesn't promise the universe

fizz

Oolite

To those nostalgic for the old 1984 elite, I suggest giving this open source remake a try.

It's still surprisingly playable, especially with some of the abundant mods installed.

Electric cars can't cut UK carbon emissions while only the wealthy can afford to own one

fizz

Remember that the sum of all yearly volcanic activity is quite less than 1 billion tons of CO2 per year, while the sum of human activities is over 29 billion tons of CO2 per year, and that considering all the world volcan and not only a single one, volcanic activity have been quite constant on not geological timescale, and so all that CO2 is already balanced in the natural CO2 cycle.

The danger of human CO2 is not simply its size, that's dwarfed by the total sum of the natural emissions, but that's is unbalanced by the natural carbon-sinking activities.

Said that, I agree that the age of the private car going on is likely going to end, and good riddance in my opinion.

I studied hard, I trained for years. Yay, now I'm an astronaut in space. Argggh, leukemia!

fizz

Summing it up

Like the writer Charles Stross wrote regarding the space travel problem, "Canned monkeys don't ship well".

Can your rival fix it as fast? turns out to be ten-million-dollar question for plucky support guy

fizz

Re: recompense?

Ah, but unions and that kind of stuff require ideas of social justice and "doing what's right" and so on.

Management rarely care much about that kind of stuff.

It could even get a manager fired, and maybe even without golden parachute.

It's not by chance that when you've an enlightened manager that does that kind of stuff it's news material.

Even when you *really* need the top technical talents and can't afford appropriate salaries in a very competitive market and so do that stock options thing that helped so many American start-ups, you do it at the moment of enrollment. After that, management knows that the average techie will go on doing their best no matter the situation.

Salesmen tend to remain much more unreliable, and needs a more direct system of control...

fizz

Re: recompense?

From the management point of view, it goes this way: neither the salesman nor the technician could have brought the deal in on their own merit, you need both.

Most technicians are willing to go the extra mile for the simple satisfaction of seeing the job well done.

Most salesmen are willing to go the extra mile only if they see a clear opportunity to bring home an huge amount of cash, while risking being left without anything if they don't go the extra mile.

So, wanting to minimize expenses and maximize earnings, you pay a standard salary to technicians and a percentage to salesmen.

Four techies flummoxed for hours by flickering 'E' on monitor

fizz

Similar thing

An old IBM sysadmin told me a very similar tale few years ago, only happening in Italy.

The protagonist was a brand new IBM mainframe that refused to boot up: it started, but a few seconds in, it blinked out before accomplishing anything.

After a lot of head scratching, a guy watching out of the window recognized the timing of resets was the same as the military airport radar not far from the building.

Mutating legend? Common event? Who knows?

Pair programming – you'll never guess what happens next!

fizz
Mushroom

The right pair

My personal experience, having tested on my own skin both successful pair programming experience and unsuccessful ones, is to find the right programming pair.

I tried first with a good programming partner, and the level of success we had was astounding: our productivity was unbelievable, as working in pair made the experience funnier, kept us focused, reduced enormously the chance of bugs.

Often we managed to achieve the results right at the first try, without any debugging being necessary.

Even problem solutions were smarter, as my nitpicking was compensated and compensated his pragmatic approaches.

Then I tried with others, even friends, and the experience were jarring: endless wars and discussions about every single line of code, lost time, messy code, or no contributions, passive acceptance and almost no utility.

So my conclusion is, pair programming is wonderful, but with the right person, or at least one of the two must be very good at interpersonal skills.

Frustration with Elite:Dangerous boils over into 'Refund Quest'

fizz

I'll repeat the post I just made on the previous topic to answer comments like your:

I love the fan crowd...

.. how they seems to be unable to grasp why somebody could be inconvenienced by online only.

We go on repeating the reasons:

- unreliable connection = impossibility to play

- impossible to pause the game to go to bathrooms, answer kids/wife/dog/other

- impossible having multiple saves and characters

- if you do not play for a while, you find all your missions expired while you were away and your cargo possibly worthless

- impossible to have mods

- constant top-down "re-balancing" and gameplay compromises to nerf exploiters, even if you play solo

- server troubles = difficult play

- they have kept the rights to do direct advertising to online users (ironically they said it was avoidable only by playing offline... now they amended their EULA to take that away, obviously).

But they seems to blithely ignore this and say "Oh, but it does not require a big bandwith" or "Oh, but you can play solo". Swearwords come to mind...

And to those that encourage us to take it behind silently, I remember that if we do not make noise when corporations are behaving badly, we only encourage them to behave in this way more often than they already do.

This time it may be a matter that do not influence that many people, and mostly old geezers, but it will come the time the now adoring fan legions will be asked to bend...

Space Commanders lock missiles on Elite's Frontier Devs

fizz

I love the fan crowd...

.. how they seems to be unable to grasp why somebody could be inconvenienced by online only.

We go on repeating the reasons:

- unreliable connection = impossibility to play

- impossible to pause the game to go to bathrooms, answer kids/wife/dog/other

- impossible having multiple saves and characters

- if you do not play for a while, you find all your missions expired while you were away and your cargo possibly worthless

- impossible to have mods

- constant top-down "re-balancing" and gameplay compromises to nerf exploiters, even if you play solo

- server troubles = difficult play

- they have kept the rights to do direct advertising to online users (ironically they said it was avoidable only by playing offline... now they amended their EULA to take that away, obviously).

But they seems to blithely ignore this and say "Oh, but it does not require a big bandwith" or "Oh, but you can play solo". Swearwords come to mind...

And to those that encourage us to take it behind silently, I remember that if we do not make noise when corporations are behaving badly, we only encourage them to behave in this way more often than they already do.

This time it may be a matter that do not influence that many people, and mostly old geezers, but it will come the time the now adoring fan legions will be asked to bend...

Aussie AI boffins let fly with Angry Birds automation code

fizz

It does also need to compute strategies, decide how to use the different bird powers to help the following birds to accomplish the total goal, essentially it does need to properly rcognize complex causal-chains.

If you think that understanding that if I throw a small bird at that anonymous block instead of at that uncovered pig, I will then open a path to throw the bomb-bird at the base of the pillar that falling will knock out the whole lot of pigs included that protected one that I would have no chance to hit does not involve a good level of AI, I don't know what it does...

Even in nature only very few animals, all considered pretty intelligent, understand the concept of causation at more than few steps of separation.

Elon Musk envisions small town of vegetarians on Mars

fizz
Mushroom

Re: Mid-40s?

This will be instead the secret of its success: 40s something men will pay for their tickets and additional tickets for 20s girls... and as most of the colony will be necessarily automated and there will be a lot of free time and few distractions, people will multiply like rabbits... see Dr.Strangelove final subterranean mines plan...

Is lightspeed really a limit?

fizz

Re: Relativity, causality, FTL: Choose two

If timeand speed are not really linked as we think, relativity is not true, and so my statement remains: causality and FTL remains, and relativity goes out of the window.

Said that, relativity have been verified at quite an impressive range of conditions, so to throw it out of the window is not a small task.

fizz

Re: Relativity, causality, FTL: Choose two

The part about hoping to live was directed to those that when you speak about FTL suddenly start jumping around all happy like puppies... if causality is not assured, our very existence become very precarious.

Said that, I agree with you that what it is, it is: when exploring nature belief have to remain out of the window.

fizz
Terminator

Relativity, causality, FTL: Choose two

There's also the small problem of causality: if FTL is consistent with relativity, relativity is still true, and FTL is possible, suddenly our concept of causality is thrown out of the window.

As far as I can understand, that does not change with this paper.

Do we really hope to live in an universe where retro-causality is true?

Apple: I love to hate, and hate to love thee

fizz

No addiction...

...simple low-grade hypocrisy: the comfort of the immediate moment is more valuable to you of your ideals.

Oh, it's perfectly natural, everybody does it... the same way people that knows oil is depleting have no troubles driving cars even when not strictly necessary, religion believers routinely sins, etc. etc.

Somebody mask this cognitive dissonance by denying that's a problem in the first place (very common feature in this website), some others recognize it for what it is and struggle to find a balance between inconvenience and what's right.

I would say that, while sharing your beliefs about Apple being bad for the industry, I have absolutely no troubles avoiding their products like plague, but I've to admit that I find their systems quite unusable from my point of view, so that's not a big effort on my side...

'Scientists' seek to set world social, economic, tech policy at Rio+20

fizz

Re: What's so damn bloody annoying

A pity that so many economists tend to work under assumptions that do not take into account the real world, i.e. actual people psychology, enthropy, thermodinamics etc. etc.

A fun read:

http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2012/04/economist-meets-physicist/

fizz

Re: Been here before

Nope, they predicted the collpase for the second middle of this century.

In fact, according to recent verifications, we're following their most pessimistic forecasts ina remarkably precise way.

Reducing our lifestyles is not a choice for us, it will be only a choice if we will do it the easy way or the hard way.

Oh, and hoping in tech advance to keep out nuts out of the fire indefinitely is an illusion for the math and physics uneducated: do some math and consider implications of exponential growth. It's not a matter of being "green" or "treehugging" or anything, it's a matter of facing reality.

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