Monthly Archives: March 2013

Sim City Always Online DRM

This story is interesting. The new version of Sim City has “always online DRM”. Even if you are playing the game in single-player mode, you need to be connected to EA’s server in order to play.

Always-online DRM is offensive. There are a lot of problems with always-online DRM. Some people do not have a reliable Internet connection. In a few years, the corporation that published the game may go bankrupt or shut down their server. When that happens, you won’t be able to play the game at all.

For example, the Rise Of Legends Patch server is down, after the corporation that published the game went bankrupt. If the game had an always-online requirement, I would be unable to play it at all.

The “benefit” of always-online DRM is protection against “piracy”. However, it makes it hard to play a game that you bought. The servers can go down due to overload or incompetence. Someday, the servers may be shut down, making the game unplayable.

There are rumors that the new Xbox and Playstation will include always-online DRM.

There is one solution to always-online DRM. You should refuse to buy any game that includes always-online DRM. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough people who do this. This form of invasive copy prevention may become more and more common. It’s a disturbing trend, that people don’t own software they paid for.

Reader Mail – 03/03/2013 To 03/09/2013

Erik commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
Thank you for the early indicator that you hate JavaScript. It made all the inaccurate stuff amusing rather than annoying, which it always it when the person criticizing points out at the end of a long list of things that aren't really true. Also thank you for hating on TDD. Let us unite our hatred across your funky-ass bolted together Frankenstein of a server-side language with highly similar API methods with arguments in no discernible pattern that nobody wants to use anywhere else and my beautiful first-class function-wielding complexity reducing/normalizing beast of a rapidly evolving language that's spreading everywhere like wildfire and really hate on TDD together, in love and admiration for how much we can hate on each other's choices yet still hate something even dumber more.

jeremy commented on Test Driven Development - How Stupidity Spreads.
"How Stupidity Spreads"

Do you mean like this blog post?


John Rambo commented on Reader Mail - 02/24/2013 To 03/02/2013.
Paul Elam, A Voice for Men- the biggest conjob in the MRA and disinfo agent

http://www.crimesagainstfathers.com/australia/Forums/tabid/82/forumid/107/postid/4658/scope/posts/Default.aspx

A short commentary on MRA leaders

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ElZzB4P2D4

The so called "Leaders" of the MRA area are lying to you all. They are telling you that governments make legislation that you HAVE to obey and that they can FORCE you to obey using the police FORCE. This is a lie. They know it is a lie. And they are telling you lies that they know are lies.

The TRUTH is that legislation is NOT LAW and you do not have to obey ANY legislation. Here are links to videos that go into this in detail. This is not a new idea. Many people KNOW that legislation is not law and have been telling you so for a long time.

The excuse offered is usually "well the guvment can hurt you if you do not obey" is just that. An excuse. The only reason that guvments do hurt men who do not obey is because men have TOLERATED these crimes and not formed new courts to put criminals in guvment on trial. Men only have themselves to blame.

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 02/24/2013 To 03/02/2013.

I've been advertising with the Google Clowns for years and have put quite a bit of money their way.

In my niche my software was the first practically of its kind in terms of quality. As such loads of real people linked to my website.

I used to have a very high natural Google search ranking. Suddenly it went inexplicably down. My Adwords Cost per Click steadily went up over the years far above the rate of inflation. Occasionally a competitor in my niche advertises on Adwords but always after a few months they give up.

At the moment there is no competition in my hiche on Adwords. Yet my Cost Per Click is high - high enough to eat a big chunk of my profit.

In the early days of the Google Clown Display Network (your adverts appear on 3rd party websites), I got cheated out of a bundle of cash. I emailed Google exclaiming my daily budget went in seconds right at the beginning of the day and that my webserver logs showed something fishy was happened.

Despite being a long-standing customer, the Google Clowns sent me a form email back denying any Click Fraud.

This is no way to treat a long-standing customer.

The Google Clowns are clowns and money grabbing clowns at that.

They are not decent people. A decent person would have returned the money.

This is a common problem, when dealing with people who partially crack their pro-State brainwashing. People see the truth in one area, but not the other.

In this case, he understands "State law is biased against men." and "Due to pro-State brainwashing and the welfare State, most women don't act responsibly when choosing partners." He does not understand "Government is one big criminal conspiracy. All taxation is theft. Just because a bunch of politicians write something down on a piece of paper, that doesn't make it true or a good idea."

That's what I do better than most people. Various writers have different pieces of the truth, and I've remember the good bits while ignoring the other mistakes they make. As long as someone has some good ideas, I'll keep reading. For example, Captain Capitalism has some good ideas on economics, but he doesn't get "Soldiers are not heroes. Soldiers are criminals!", and shows the usual pro-State troll hostility to that idea.


Anonymous Coward commented on Retroarch Android Emulator.
Google may distribute Android for free to phone manufacturers, but Android was developed from Linux and by another company. Google just purchased Android from another company.

It is ironic Google likes to crow how wonderful and smart they are, but Android was written without any baby Google clowns around.

How's that policy of hiring recent graduates straight out of university going Mr Clown?

Are you suffering yet from a lack of real word software experience?

Obviously as you don't write software anymore and you can only buy stuff in.

Jim Hodge commented on Retroarch Android Emulator.

"Jim Hodge - Allied Home Mortgage have been attacked by lawyers and the liberal press. A self made man of humble means is working hard to restore the jobs lost by these baseless attacks"

What does that have to do with Retroarch Android?

If you're a spammer, you're a pretty pathetic one. Your website "jimhodgeblog.com" is just an empty WordPress installation.

According to piwik, you came via the toplibertarian website, so you get the benefit of the doubt. You almost wound up in spam.


Anonymous Coward commented on Stupid Interview Question - "Rate Yourself On A Scale Of 1 To 10".
About ten years ago I applied to a job at Google ClownLand, UK.

The recruiter they were using at the time sent me a questionnaire with the sort of questions you are complaining about here i.e. rate yourself for buzzword skill X from 1 to 10. It also asked other questions as well and it took me a little while to complete it all.

I emailed the recruiter my completed questionnaire. I heard nothing for several months and then the same recruiter asked me to complete exactly the same questionnaire again for a second time.

As several months had passed I had given up on the job and had deleted my original completed copy. So I did it again. I emailed it back and I never heard from the recruiter ever again.

Roll on a few years and I got contacted by another Google recruiter in another country. That led to face-to-face interviews. At the end of the interviews a woman asked me into an office and told me if I didn't get the job Google wouldn't contact me.

Google were true to their word and they didn't contact me - well at least for 5 years.

Five years after my face-to-face interviews, yet another Google recruiter contacted me. He told me I had nearly got the previous job and it was a close decision.

I was somewhat annoyed Google had point blank been so lazy they couldn't tell me that by email 5 years ago. I didn't think he was being entirely straightforward. If it had been such a close decision why didn't Google contact me in those intervening 5 years?

I said that I was prepared to interview again. The recruiter then said I would be tested in a certain programming language. As for the past 5 years I have been using Microsoft technology and programming languages, I asked the recruiter whether they would make allowances for the fact I'm programming in a Microsoft language and technology. The recruiter would not contact the hiring manager about this and so I declined the interviews.

Just a waste of time really. All I wanted to know is that I wouldn't face an interviewer that wanted to quiz me on precise syntax on a programming language I haven't used for 5 years.

Jim Hodge commented on Stupid Interview Question - "Rate Yourself On A Scale Of 1 To 10".

Thanks for taking this opportunity to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and I take pleasure in learning about this topic.

Anonymous Coward commented on Stupid Interview Question - "Rate Yourself On A Scale Of 1 To 10".

> and told me if I didn’t get the job Google wouldn’t contact me.

I feel I didn't make it properly clear my disappointment with Google's attitude.

After several face-to-face interviews I was told that if I didn't get the job, then I would not be informed about the decision. Effectively I was not be contacted at all.

I thought at the time this was "off". It costs nothing to send an email to someone saying they didn't get the job.

Then five years later, a Google recruiter contacted me by email and asked to speak to me over the telephone. He then referred back to the interviews I had five years ago. So it took Google five years to tell me I didn't get the job!

For some reason this pissed me off. I should have been told at the time.

Stupid Interview Question – “Rate Yourself On A Scale Of 1 To 10″

This question is surprisingly common.  The headhunter or HR person asks “Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10.”  For example, “How strong are you in C#, on a scale of 1 to 10?”

Whenever someone asks that question, I mentally translate it to the interviewer saying “I’m a clueless twit who knows nothing about hiring programmers.”

What am I supposed to say?  If I say “10″, I sound overconfident.  If I give a number too low, they’ll filter me out for giving a low answer.  I usually say 8 or 9.  The correct answer is “I’m highly skilled.  I’ll be one of the top performers in any language quickly, even if I’ve never used it before.”, but that response is too complex for someone dumb enough to ask that question.

That question is “useful”, because it tells me that the asker is completely clueless.  That’s the most frustrating part of searching for a job.  Most of the middlemen are technically illiterate.  They can’t do any evaluation more complicated than matching keywords on a resume.

That question completely misses the point.  If an interviewer asks you to rate yourself, obviously you’re going to give yourself the best rating possible.  The interviewer has to be technically oriented himself, so he can tell the difference between competent people and fakers.

Retroarch Android Emulator

There’s a new free emulator collection on the Android market, Retroarch Android. The UI is confusing and has some flaws, but overall I like it.

If you like emulation and retrogaming, that’s a strong reason to pick Android over the iPhone. The iPhone has a strict “no 3rd party runtimes” rule, which has prevented most emulators from being approved. Someone snuck MAME into a Gridlee app, which hasn’t been pulled yet.

On Android, there’s no ban on emulators. There are multiple emulators for every popular system. However, many of them are closed-source ports of GPL code, a violation of that license. Some people took an open-source GPL emulator, put an Android wrapper around it, and then started selling it without disclosing the source code. Retroarch is 100% open-source.

Retroarch already existed for other platforms. People use it to play old games on their PS3, Xbox 360, or Wii. (You may need to hack or mod your console to run Retroarch.) Now, there’s an Android port.

Retroarch uses a different “core” for each system.  That’s the reason many different emulators are packaged as one.

Retroarch covers a lot of systems:

  • Playstation (via PSXReArmed)
  • Super Nintendo (via SNES9x Next)
  • NES (via NESTopia)
  • Game Boy/Game Boy Color (via Gambette)
  • Game Boy Advance (via GBA Next)
  • Sega Genesis/Master/Game Gear (via Genesis Plus GX)
  • and quite a few others!

The only major omission is MAME, but it does have Final Burn Alpha.

I had already bought fpse, and compared it to Retroarch.  I compared 3 games, and I’m surprised that Retroarch emulated them better!  For example, Pro Pinball Timeshock on fpse leaves ball trails as it moves, but it works on Retroarch.  Unfortunately, Devil Dice neither works in Retroarch nor fpse.  Now, I feel silly buying fpse, but that was before Retroarch Android was released.

I compared SNESoid and NESoid to Retroarch.  Retroarch is better.  SNESoid and NESoid can’t handle when you have multiple simultaneous keypresses, like run+dash+jump in Super Mario Brothers.  I thought it was a problem with my phone, but Retroarch handles it perfectly!

There are minor annoyances with Retroarch.  It doesn’t support analog controls, for the few PS1 games that use it.  You have to use the overlays to access the “quck menu” for saves; there’s no option to map a key to the quick menu.  For some bizarre reason, the overlay opacity was too much in NES; it worked with other cores.  If you have a physical keyboard, you have to disable controller autodetection, so you can map keys yourself.

I still haven’t found a good Android emulator for Atari 800.  The two I tried didn’t work well.

Overall, I like Retroarch.  It’s better than the other emulators I tried.  It’s open source, so it should continue to be upgraded.  It has some minor UI flaws, but they should be fixed soon.

Reader Mail – 02/24/2013 To 03/02/2013

Anonymous Coward commented on Google Play Demands Google+ Account For Reviewing Apps.
Beware of the Google Clowns.

I strongly recommend you read the following article about Google and Infospace.

http://www.benedelman.org/news/010510-1.html

The Google Clowns wrote web search and they are to be congratulated over here. From my narrow range of searches, I think bing.com is producing better search results now.

But after that they seem to have given up. They purchased Android from another company.

Their Chrome web browser is based on many Open Source modules including that from WebKit and the original browser Konqueror. Konqueror was available long before Google came along and everyone acknowledges Konqueror is a fast web browser. I find it wholly unpalatable that Google boasts about the speed of Chrome, when in the same space do not acknowledge the contributations of the Konqueror team that originally produced a fast web browser that ulitmately Google Chrome uses some of.

Yes, I live in a city that has big posters of Google advertising how fast and efficient Chrome is. Yet, Konqueror is not mentioned. There is a word for this.

StreetView was again bought in by Google.

Google boast about how their interview process selects for smart people, yet these clowns buy in all their new stuff.

Anonymous Coward commented on Google Play Demands Google+ Account For Reviewing Apps.

It seems your precious Google bozos, have messed up their use of Open Source modules given Kent Frederic's comment on the following web page.

http://www.catonmat.net/blog/code-reuse-in-google-chrome-browser/

Google have copied multiple Open Source modules in such a bad way that bug fixes and enhancements will be propagated back and forth between Chrome (which uses them) and the original Open Source modules.

This is pillaging Open Source without contributing anything back.

I heard that at least Apple does try to contribute back.

Android is based on Linux. Chrome is based on Open Source modules.

I fear the Google clownery will subtract support and attention from Linux and other Open Source efforts.

Anonymous Coward commented on Google Play Demands Google+ Account For Reviewing Apps.

Sorry, "bug fixes and enhancements will be propagated" should read "bug fixes and enhancements NOT will be propagated "

Anonymous Coward commented on Google Play Demands Google+ Account For Reviewing Apps.

The Internet needs an index / search and Google provides this. It has almost a monopoly on search. I would advise people to start switching over to bing.com or other search providers. Their monopoly is unhealthy.

Although Google has done good work on web search, Google is becoming more like a parasite every day feeding off the people doing real work provided useful content and software on the Internet.

Google makes its money from advertisers.

There is an inherent conflict of interest. If Google provides a good natural search and advertisers with profitable, well liked products rank highly within natural search results, the Google clowns cannot make a profit.

Google will make most money when advertisers (or anyone with a product to sell) rank poorly in natural search results, so they are forced to buy advertising from them (with a monopoloy).

In my niche, I've seen many competitors start off advertising with Google Adwords and then stop after a few months when they realize Google sucks off so much of their money they can't make a profit. So they even give up, rack up prices or fall back on natural search results.

I've had a dominant product for most of the time head-and-shoulders above all competition and so have been able to afford Google clown Adwords.

But Google squeeze me. The clowns have increased the price per click well above the rate of inflation and I can't see how these prices are determined by competition.

As an example the price per click has increased 3 - 5 fold in the space of 5 years.

I could afford these high click prices as I had good natural search results where the bulk of my sales came from. But the Google clown is squeezing me again. My natural search results dropped dramatically and for no valid reason.

In my niche, poor quality forums rank highly but all the websites with software products are ranked much lower.

The Google Clowns squeeze and squeeze. Their clicks are almost double the price as on bing.com and download sites.

Think about moving to bing.com. Do it before the Google clowns come for your business and start to squeeze you.

Anonymous Coward commented on Google Play Demands Google+ Account For Reviewing Apps.

Where is your blog post about your interview experience at Google ClownLand and how you felt the baby clowns there were declining in quality?

Anonymous Coward commented on Google Play Demands Google+ Account For Reviewing Apps.

Damn. I've said so much and I just need one thing to make it useful.

1) Try not to use Google Adwords. This monster must be starved of cash. Use download.com or bing.com

2) If you must use Google Adwords, don't use automatic bidding. Set manual maximum prices for clicks.

3) I personally don't advertise on the display network, but this is my personal preference. I got burned once and Google refused to acknowledge what went on. This was years ago when things were different, but my whole daily budget for advertising all went at the start of the day. Fishy.

I don't know why you keep writing "your precious Google bozos". I don't work for Google. Except for their search engine cash cow, none of their products make any money. I moved from Blogger and Google Analytics because it was such a POS. With Linode+Wordpress, I get much more customization options than available on Blogger, such as my "Best Of FSK" script/page. With Piwik, I get much better data than with Google Analytics.

I did interview for a job twice at Google. The second time, the intelligence of the interviewers was much lower than the first time. The second time, one of the interviewers was clearly incompetent. It was an algorithms question. There's an obvious O(nlogn) solution, but being an interview question, there's a clever O(n) solution. I couldn't see it, and when I asked the interviewer, he couldn't explain the correct algorithm to me.

I was unfairly banned from Google AdSense, and no longer use it. I was considering writing a Firefox extension that randomly clicked on ads, just to ruin Google's advertising system.

Anonymous Coward commented on Google Play Demands Google+ Account For Reviewing Apps.

The worse interview I had was at Microsloth in Denmark.

As I had to travel overseas and answer many pre-interview questions and whitboard sessions, the whole interview process easily occupied 4 days of my time in total.

I had multiple face-to-face interviews spread over two days.

I had one interview with the group's manager. I got every single one of his questions correct.

Then he asked me one final question. I said the correct answer and had virtually written the correct answer on the whiteboard.

The manager then said he was in a hurry and had to interview someone else.

He re-phrased my correct answer and the interview ended there.

After 2 -3 more interviews that day, the recruiter said I didn't get the job as I had answered the final question to the manager incorrectly.

This was a lie at the worse. At best the manager couldn't be bothered to listen to my answer or was looking for an exact word answer to his answer.

If they have rejected me for a truthful reason it would have been OK.

But what the manager did was shitty to say the least.

I did tell the recruiter at the time that I had got the correct answer.

But it is fishy. Why jump to reject someone on the very last answer in the interview when every single question was answered correctly beforehand?

Shame on these dishonest clowns!

Anonymous Coward commented on Google Play Demands Google+ Account For Reviewing Apps.

> I was considering writing a Firefox extension that randomly clicked on

> ads, just to ruin Google’s advertising system.

I really strongly suggest you read the web page given below.

http://www.benedelman.org/news/010510-1.html

You will find the clown's clownware advertising system is already up the spout.

It is hard to break something already broken. Perhaps you would end up fixing the ClownWare.

Pay-per-click is an inherently defective advertising model.

1. It leads to arguments, over what's a valid click or not.

2. It rewards spammers, because only stupid people will click on a spam link.

Anonymous Coward commented on Google Play Demands Google+ Account For Reviewing Apps.

When Adwords was new the cost per click was between $0.05 to $0.15.

It was easy to Google Adwords campaigns to be profitable as you would get a reasonable amount of traffic from them for a decent price.

Remember even if you have a good shareware or trialware software product you will only get 1 - 5 sales for every 100 downloads of your product. This is pretty much a fundamental of the industry.

That is why it is important for the cost per click to be relatively low.

But the Google Clowns have lots of bellies to feed now. They need money for big posters and television commericals advertising "their" Google Chrome web browser (developed from Open Source and Konqueror source code).

The Google Clowns need money to buy in StreetView and Android, which they give away free.

Clicks on Adwords can cost 60 cents to 5 dollars now. It is just too expensive.

It is no longer sensible.

The Google Clowns are sucking the blood out of the Internet.

Unfortunately they have a monopoly. It is erode only slowly at best.

They will make life difficult for people for years to come either due to incompetence or having to make up for their own software incompetence and thirst for buying software developed outside their company.