Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2003:March:10 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2003/3/10 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq] UID:27638 Activity:high
3/9     Look at these desperate losers trying to call a crop duster a 'smoking
        \_ A remote-controlled crop duster with a 25-ft wingspan?  In
           combination with the anthrax that Iraq has?
           Note also that it wasn't declared by Iraq.
           \_ You don't have to declare farm equipment!  And they don't have
              any anthrax.  The inspectors haven't found any because there
              isn't any.
        \_ I didn't know Iraq was remotely dusting their crops, why don't we
           do that here in the U.S.? Thanks for the insight.
           \_ Well, I guess we haven't wanted to dust israel with aerosolized
              anthrax or botulin toxin lately.
2003/3/10-11 [Recreation/Computer/Games] UID:27639 Activity:high
3/9     Interested in coding games for a living?
        Check out Three Rings Design.  They are working on a game called
        Puzzle Pirates.  It's a massively multiplayer game that's not
        'just another treadmill' (TM), and may appeal to a wider demographic
        than the traditional hard core gamer set.  They are looking for
        a kickass Java hacker.
        Job details at:
        I met Daniel James, Three Rings' CEO and one of their game designers
        at the annual MUD-DEV dinner held during GDC.  He seems like a pretty
        cool guy, and I have it on good advice that he is a standup guy when
        it comes to business stuff.  Mention you heard about this from me,
        by way of the Berkeley Computer Science Undergraduate Association.
        If you have further questions, feel free to drop me an email. -dans
        \_ Other random info... their head art guy is Rick Keagy. Cal
           grad, and cool fellow that worked with blojo and me in the
           Bolt-Action days. -bz
        \_ I'll check it out right after I kill just one more mob.  I think
           he'll drop the stone shield of karthas for sure this time!
        \_ Oh, yeah, as an added bonus, you get to make piratey noises
           as part of your job, without having to be a warez kiddie. -dans
           \_ Is that part of the interview?  "AAARRRRR!  AVAST YE MATEY!
              SHIVER ME TIMBERS IF IT ISN'T EDONKEY SCUM!"  Like that?  Do
              I win?
              \_ I dunno.  I don't work there.  I just got a very good vibe
                 from Mr. James, and heard good buzz about the game.  Of
                 course, this begs the quest, why am I not trying to get
                 this job?  Main reason is that I'm a little busy with
                 trying to finally graduate, and, apparently, they want
                 someone NOW.
        \_ A general observation on game developers.  I'm not one and I have
           this image of game developers being a bunch of slackers who slap
           something together that sort of works and never fix bugs.  Seems
           like the nature of the industry.  It's not critical and there's never
           a version 1.1.  Another thing is commitment to the job.  Turnover
           seems high.  Can't get their ass in gear and do maintainance work
           or write specs.  That's why I haven't hired anyone with a background
           in gaming industry and is looking to switch.  Am I being too harsh?
           \_ I'm inclined to disagree with you entirely.  I work for a MUD
              company, and everyone here works his/her ASS off.  We have
              limited resources and often need to choose between maintenance
              and feeping creaturism.  This is an engineering tradeoff like
              any other with costs and benefits associated with each option.
              Unlike business/productivity software, when it comes to games,
              one can make pretty strong arguments for features over bugfixes.
              Basically, new features in games often make all users happier,
              while new features in a word processor will probably only appeal
              to a small portion of existing users.  Bugfixes in games only
              please the people affected by the bug.  That said, when a game
              crashes, what have you lost?  Some play time.  When your word
              processor crashes and you lose your PhD thesis, you're going to
              be pissed.  Like many things, ymmv. -dans
              \_ dans, you're confirming my views on game developers as far
                 as fixing bugs go.  Nothing personal, but it's the nature of
                 the industry not to fix bugs but put out features.  Fine.
                 If I need a guy to sit down and fix bugs and write specs,
                 game developers aren't a good fit.  Writing design specs and
                 test plans is more important than actually doing the work
                 for nearly all non-gaming businesses.  Are game programmers
                 cut out to do this?
                 \_ I think you misunderstand what I said.  I'm not saying
                    that game programmers choose features over bugfixes
                    because that's what they like to do (though that may be
                    true for some), I'm saying they make this choice because
                    it is often the correct engineering decision for the
                    situation.  The same can be said for folks who chose to
                    use two digits to represent the year in systems that were
                    never meant to last until Y2K.  I have seen people that
                    program games, and are capable of writing a solid spec,
                    testing plans, and following up on the project.  For
                    example, our very own appel holds the distinction of being
                    the most frighteningly good documentation writer I have
                    ever met.  He also happens to be the guy who hired me
                    at Skotos. :) -dans
                    \_ sounds like you don't know what an SDLC consists of
        \_ Considering many game engines are used by multiple teams at once
           over a lifespan of several games and possibly even for several
           generations of consoles, I think good game programmers need to be
           able to document code, fix bugs in a timely manner, all the while
           adding features to keep the engine cutting edge.  Oh and as far as
           bugs go, console games don't get to be patched and so the console
           company tends to be pretty anal at making sure there are no bugs
           in there.  (Not to mention a computer game's complexity is insane
           compared to something like a word processor.)
        \_ Game development is so much more difficult in every way than
           the puny "software development" you're familiar with, that this
           discussion is pointless.  Go try and make a modern game before
           you go slagging game developers.    -blojo
           PS: Not to say that a lot of game developers aren't lame.  Just
           like any industry, there are plenty of dumbasses.  Yet most other
           "software developers" don't even measure up to those dumbasses.
           Sad but true.
           \_ I see blojo has done some empirical studies of the software
              development industry and has come forward to present his
              results.  Hear hear!
              \_ I'd agree with him... game dev salaries are lower than
                 elsewhere in CS because the supply of geeks who want to
                 do games is high.  Companies can afford to be picky, and
                 their interview processes are usually tougher.  You can
                 argue that perhaps game developers are more willing to
                 use hacks to squeeze some more performance out of the
                 engine, but to question their overall professionalism
                 and engineering quality is probably misguided.
                 \_ Game development is all he knows.  He may be right, in some
                    limited sense (I am still not convinced) but more likely
                    he is just shooting his mouth off.
2003/3/10 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq] UID:27640 Activity:insanely high
3/9     Does anybody here really support going to war?  I saw Blix giving
        his report on Friday and it seemed like he was making progress.
        If you do support the war, why?
        \_ You don't seem to understand that the inspectors are there only to
           confirm that voluntary disarming has taken place.  They are not
           detectives.  They do not have the capability of finding anything
           that the Iraqis might be trying to hide.  Once you understand and
           accept that fact you'll understand why the anti-Saddam folks want
           to see this happen and get his ass dead or in prison along with the
           rest of the bastards in the Baath party.
           but sometimes it is less bad that "containment".  Also Sadaam is
           \_ you don't seem to understand that the OP was asking a
              question, not making a statement.
        \_ The real issue for anti-war has nothing to do with Saddam,
           at least for me personally.  United Nation was founded on the
           base of national soverignty.  Whatever we think we are doing
           the right thing, fundamentally, what we are doing is no differ
           from Japan's invasion of Manchuria / Soviet invasion of Czech,
           and yes, Nazi's invasion of Poland.  War, idealogically, should
           be last resort.  If there are more than one country who adopted
           preemptive strike policy, then the world will be in a much
           terrible place to live.
           \_ So you believe that anything going on inside the borders of
              another nation is a-ok and no one on the outside should do
              anything about it because of national soverignty?  You think if
              we knew for real what was going on in the concentration camps
              we should have left the Nazis be so long as they didn't stomp
              on their neighbors?  Would you agree that Milosevic was ok
              with all the ethnic cleansing going on?  It was inside his
              country, after all.  What if Israel forced all the Arabs out of
           policy transformation the likes of which has not seen since the 1940s.
           This was expected at the end of the Cold War, but was delayed
              pre-1967 Israel by force?  Or executed them all just because they
           That aside I think his domestic agenda has been a disaster,
           namely spending like a liberal.
              can because it's their country, right?
              \_ Well we are supporting Pakistan. Angola seems to always be
                 below the "killing our own citizens" limit as is Indonesia
                 and North Korea. The US still refuses to sign many
                 international treaties against things like bioweapons,
                 chemical weapson, land mines, war crimes, etc. Too bad about
                 all of that.
           have had to argue against the hawk's strident remarks.
        \_ Too many people on Earth. War = death. Death = good, as long as
           it's not my death.
           \_ Ah, techno-libertarian-geek politics in a nutshell.
           \_ then, US should unleash all its nukes on China and India
              first.  Take out those 2 countries will elimate almost
              1/3 of world's population.
        \_ Yes, because the people in Iraq deserve to be freed from a
           tyrant dicator and get a try at "democracy". Tyrants like Saddam
           only respond to force and violence.  The only reason Blix is in
           Iraq is because of the threat of war.  I do not like violence,
           but sometimes it is less bad than "containment".  Also Sadaam is
           but sometimes it is less bad that "containment".  Also Sadaam is
           aparently manufacturing more al Samoud 2 missles to replace the
           ones he's had to destroy. If you lived in Iraq, what would
           \_   I say we overthrown Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Jordan
                government first.  Saddam may be a dictator, at least its
                a republic.  I would think absolute Monarch should go first.
                \_ A republic?  It's a dictatorship.  You can't have both.
                   Sheesh.  Anyway the other Arab states you mention are mostly
                   heading in the right direction, albeit slowly or at least
                   have a chance of doing so.  The Baath party in Iraq will
                   never give up power.  Force is a last resort.  Saddam is
                   beyond that point.  The others are no where near it.
           you want, freedom or more inspections?
           \_ You're in the minority on this one.  Pretty much everyone cares
              one way or the other.  Go back to hacking Java.  We'll wake you
              when it's over.
        \_ A better question might be does anyone here really care?
        \_ "Those who are good at getting rid of trouble are those who take
            care of it before it arises" - Master Sun
            \_ unfortunately the Supreme Court kept that from happening.
                \_ That gosh darned electoral college - what were
                   the founding fathers thinking.  Oh thats right, you have
                   absolutely no idea.
                \_ "If your forces [votes] are not equal to those of the
                    enemy, avoid their edge for the time being, waiting for
                    a gap; then make a determined bid for victory."
                    - Master Sun        \_ Unless you're Al Gore.
                                           \_ "When you know neither the
                        arts of defense nor the arts of offense, you will
                \_ You're way off topic, trollboy.  Move on, nut head.
                        lose the battle"
        \_ Yes, I think Bush has handled the war on terror impeccably,
           policy transformation the likes of which has not seen since the
           1940s. This was expected at the end of the Cold War, but was delayed
           above reproach.  We are in the midst of an overarching foreign
           policy.  Nato is dead (has been dead), so is the U.N. The
           geopolitical alignment is shifting, regardless of the who the US
           president is. That aside I think his domestic agenda has been a
           disaster, namely spending like a liberal.
           \_ Hey!  Clinton didn't do-nothing, know-nothing!  He did a lot!
              He started the current shitfest in Israel/Palestine.  He blew up
              an aspirin factory.  He blew up some camels.  He chicken shitted
              out when the going got tough in Somalia.  He did a lot!
           \_ The New Pax Americana? The world's policemen? I thought the
              Republicans were against that.
           policy transformation the likes of which has not seen since the 1940s.
           This was expected at the end of the Cold War, but was delayed
           for eight years by Clinton's do nothing know nothing foreign
           That aside I think his domestic agenda has been a disaster,
           namely spending like a liberal.
        \_ You can't beat the locals at their own game in their own country.
           Stronger or more inspectors won't work. Inspectors are meant to
                \_ The Soviets never honored the ABM or SALT treaties either,
                   they were a joke.
                   \_ Neither did we.  What's your point?  So they spent their
                      country into the ground and are now quite happy to dump
                      their nukes.  Sounds like Reagan's Soviet policy worked
                      pretty damned well.  "The bombs will drop in 5 minutes".
                   \_ The Soviets did honor the ABM treaty. They were allowed
                      to build a test facility (which they tricked the US into
                      thinking was real) near Moscow. It was covered. The US
                      never signed SALT or SALT II.
           \_ To paraphrase Harry Belafonte, Powell's a house servant.
              You know that the smartest and scariest guy in the fray is
                \_ Riiight... I suppose Condi is too.  Modern liberal philosophy
                   is implicitly racist, and you are a disgusting wretch.
                \_ If you're going to base your political philosophy on what
                   an aged song writer/singer of little ditties has to say, you
                   have no business having an opinion.  Perhaps you should see
                   what Streisand or Garafalo or a number of other hollywood
                   knuckleheads are saying?  At least they were born in the
                   last century so senility isn't an issue yet.
        \_ Here's the end deal with me. The reason for war can be stated for
           humanitarian reasons. But not getting our traditional allies to
           join us is just plain stupid. There is no rush for war. Iraq has
           been slowly toturing and killing it's own people for decades, in
           no small part thanks to the US and it's allies. Hussain will make
           an error and then war can be had. The US needs to PROVE to the
           world that it is right. And it really hasn't.
           verify when a state truly wants to disarm (like former Soviet
           states). Saddam will only be disarmed by force, and disarming by
           force de facto equals "regime change". We'll end up where we would
           have ended up anyway, but Rummy and Wolfy should have watched their
           words and followed Powell's advice. Then France, et al. may not
           have had to argue against our dig in, for whatever reasons.
2003/3/10-11 [Computer/SW/WWW/Browsers] UID:27641 Activity:moderate
3/10    Has any of you win98 users with dial-up experienced this?  Clicking
        Explorer (folder explorer) will bring up dial-up networking.
        \_ this happens usually if you are using a yahoo or google toolbar
           and you have a dial-up adapter to dial-on-demand.
           \_ I'm not sure about the toolbar bit, but go to the internet
              options, connection, set to directly connected, and uncheck the
              'autodial' and pick nothing in 'use this dialup connection' -dwc
        \_ You registry is mushed.
2003/3/10 [Reference/Law/Court] UID:27642 Activity:moderate
3/9     More on the belligerent lawyer at the mall.
        \_ He was just looking for a lawsuit.
2003/3/10 [Uncategorized] UID:27643 Activity:nil
3/9     Unlink loses email.  Film at... ah, fuck it.  We saw this coming.
2003/3/10 [Politics/Domestic/California] UID:27644 Activity:high
3/9     What's peoples' general view of the economic situation in California
        right now, specifically regarding the technology/job market?  This
        seems like an interesting place to ask (lots of people with academic
        backgrounds working in the industry).  I'm curious because we're
        generally considered to be about 6 months behind the US cyclically,
        and I'm interested in getting an idea of how people feel about the
        economy right now.  Bottomed out?  Getting worse/better?  -John
        \_ If we start dropping bombs, we'll head for a bottom.  within
           a quarter or so, we'll reach that bottom.
           \_ nonsense.  the economy is waiting for the war to be over before
              anyone is willing to spend money on anything.  business hates
        \_ I started job search maybe 3 weeks ago.  Things are still 'bad',
           but nowhere near as bad as they were 6-9 months ago when other
           friends of mine were looking. -dans
           \_ ditto here
        \_ California economy will be in the toilet until Bush
           is out of office.
           \_ California economy is in the toilet as long as Davis is in
              \_ 1998-2000? Seemed pretty good to me.
                 \_ Hello?  It was based on VC money and lies.
        \_ I think the Bay Area is still in aweful shape.  Of the unsolicited
           resumes that I sent out, they all got suck into the blackholes; no
            \_ maybe your resume sucks?
        \_ There's still room to drop before going back up. Lots of problems
           still with housing costs and lower wage nonprofessionals plus the
           VCs aren't gonna get over their bubble anxiety attack. If the war
           goes as predicted, the Bay Area won't see a return to 1996 levels
           for at least five years. That would get us back to a hopeful,
           preboom happiness. Good jobs, but no widespread boom.
2003/3/10 [Uncategorized] UID:27645 Activity:nil
        Read now.  Pretty decent speculative sci-fi on the Singularity,
        especially for someone's first novel.  Paypal the author a couple
        bucks if you like it.  Please don't bitch if you already knew
        about this from Slashdot or K5.
        \_ No it isn't.
2003/3/10-11 [Computer/HW/Laptop, Computer/Networking] UID:27646 Activity:nil
3/10    Just set up a new wireless network, but my ssh sessions all time out
        if i'm idle for over 5 minutes or so.  This has happened with three
        different laptops on two different networks.  Anyway to stop it?
        \_ if you're lucky, your router will have a way to adjust the idle
           timeout.  Unfortunately, the open access point above westside
           bongo burger (netgear MRsomething) does not.  The rest of the AP's
           I've been on have saner timeouts.
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2003:March:10 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>