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About DocBrown

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  1. Another word for "Spells" or "Blessings"

    If the skill in question is being chanted, you could use the word incantation to describe them.   At any rate, why not just use abilities or skills to describe everything in mass. D&D did this and it worked just fine :)
  2. "Don't Eat Fruit" - World Health Organization

    That's an entirely different issue from the obesity problems mentioned in the white paper.  It metabolizes the same, but high concentrations of sugar being eaten - which predominately come from processed and concentrate foods - are stored  - making it extremely hard to burn off. The article is based on rises in obesity and foods that everyone already knows is bad for them.   Either way, too much of anything is a bad thing.  If you eat more than you burn off you store it.
  3. "Don't Eat Fruit" - World Health Organization

    Did you read the white paper transcript on this?  They're speaking of "Free Sugars".  Sugars that are either artificially added, or those in a concentrate form from a natural resource(such as juices or dried fruits).   This has no bearing on natural sugars that originate from whole foods. 
  4. Acquired by _____!(fill in the blank)

    I find that specifically targeting, or dropping blame on larger business' for buying out competition of smaller business' is a bit absurd truthfully.  No one pointed a gun to the smaller studio and told them to sell their company, they willingly did it for a chunk of change - and when it comes down to business - that's all it is - which way the money flows.  I don't see anything wrong with this.
  5. Can you talk the programming techno talk?

    SE/SO is where highly intelligent programmers go to get back at all the kids who bullied them in school.  If you happen upon SE/SO to find an answer to a question, or look up some other bit of material you'll probably miss this point.  Those that frequent it regularly though, have probably seen the divide in almost elementary school-level antics and drama that swirl within the moderators and top users.    It is of no misunderstanding that the SE/SO veterans are good at what they do and highly intelligent, however most are condescending in their answers, as some even to the point of harassing or insulting - for this, while I browse SE/SO, I very rarely ever post - to avoid some sex-deprived DBA for laughing at me because I didn't use the word tuple instead of trying to describe an unordered set.    A good example of this is Jon Skeet, the often-sung superstar of SO.  He knows his shit, I enjoy the books and blogs that he's written, he's very precise with his answers and his knowledge of C# is probably unmatched.  However, he's a complete dick.  Time and time again I've viewed him giving answers on SO that were, for-lack-of-a-better-word, cruel.  It is for this, that while his skill in undeniable, if he ever walked into my office for an interview I'd walk him back out as that level of solo heroism has no place in enterprise development.    You find this a lot on SE/SO, and if you plan to play with the big-dogs I'd suggest learning the academia portion of computer science just as much as the applied portion - that and a bit of Shakespearean satire.
  6. Why XML is all the rage now?

      Not quite.  There are a load of tools out there that does this for you.  Most of the tools you use to build the interfaces have this automatically added to them.  Much like trying to figure out where everything is in the BCL in .NET, Intellisense works wonders, as well as the Library Explorer.    That being said.  Most people revert back to the standard specifications that are released by, as this positional data tends to change slightly depending on the version of the standard you're using. (Again, much like the different .NET Framework versions)
  7. Why XML is all the rage now?

      It's actually rather simplistic and all your information is viewable in a tight, concise manner.   Each message that comes across a network interface has an MSH segment, a Message Header.  The message header displays information like who sent the message, who's supposed to receive it, what type of information are you going to find in the message, when was it sent, etc.    MSH|^~\&|GHH LAB|ELAB-3|GHH OE|BLDG4|200202150930||ORU^R01|CNTRL-3456|P|2.4     Each line of the message consists of a 3 letter identifier that tells you what information is going to be housed in the following line. Such as the MSH(Message Header), PID (Patient Identification), OBR(Oberservation Request), OBX (Oberservation Result), etc. These lines are known as Segments.   Each segment contains a host of fields, sub fields, sub-sub fields, etc.   Each field is separated by a | delimiter, which each field containing a particular set of standardized data.     MSH|^~\&|GHH LAB|ELAB-3|GHH OE|BLDG4|200202150930||ORU^R01|CNTRL-3456|P|2.4   Take for instance the MSH segment - Field number 9.  This field states the Message Type (what type of information you can expect to see in the rest of the message).  MSH-9 in this example has a field and subfield delimited by the ^ symbol.  The caret delimits fields and subfields.   So MSH-9.1 is the Message Type, and MSH 9.2 (Subfield) is the Message Event.   MSH|^~\&|GHH LAB|ELAB-3|GHH OE|BLDG4|200202150930||ORU^R01|CNTRL-3456|P|2.4   The message structure looks like this:   [Message (Type & Event] [Segment] [Field] [Subfield] [Field] [Subfield] [Segment] [Field] [Subfield] [Field] [Subfield] [Segment] [Field] [Subfield] [Field] [Subfield] ...and so on...   Anyways, figured I'd share.  It's not often I get to speak about my profession as it's so niche.
  8. Why XML is all the rage now?

    From a strictly professional/commercial standpoint - I do EDI development as my day job.  Things such as EDIFACT, X12, HL7, FiX, etc.    Back several years ago, many of these large, business-type data standards decided to try and push the market from using Length-Encoded textual files to markup files via XML tags.  It went horrible.  Those that implemented it probably wished they hadn't, and those that didn't still have to deal with those that did.  Here's an example of HL7v2 and HL7v3(XML-based).  Can you pick which one you'd rather try and troubleshoot and view data in?  I pick Option #1. I honestly wish XML would die.   HL7v2 MSH|^~\&|GHH LAB|ELAB-3|GHH OE|BLDG4|200202150930||ORU^R01|CNTRL-3456|P|2.4 PID|||555-44-4444||EVERYWOMAN^EVE^E^^^^L|JONES|19620320|F|||153 FERNWOOD DR.^ ^STATESVILLE^OH^35292||(206)3345232|(206)752-121||||AC555444444||67-A4335^OH^20030520 OBR|1|845439^GHH OE|1045813^GHH LAB|15545^GLUCOSE|||200202150730||||||||| 555-55-5555^PRIMARY^PATRICIA P^^^^MD^^|||||||||F||||||444-44-4444^HIPPOCRATES^HOWARD H^^^^MD OBX|1|SN|1554-5^GLUCOSE^POST 12H CFST:MCNC:PT:SER/PLAS:QN||^182|mg/dl|70_105|H|||F<cr> HL7v3  <POLB_IN224200 ITSVersion="XML_1.0" xmlns="urn:hl7-org:v3"   xmlns:xsi="">  <id root="2.16.840.1.113883.19.1122.7" extension="CNTRL-3456"/> <creationTime value="200202150930-0400"/> <!-- The version of the datatypes/RIM/vocabulary used is that of May 2006 --> <versionCode code="2006-05"/> <!-- interaction id= Observation Event Complete, w/o Receiver Responsibilities --> <interactionId root="2.16.840.1.113883.1.6" extension="POLB_IN224200"/> <processingCode code="P"/> <processingModeCode nullFlavor="OTH"/> <acceptAckCode code="ER"/> <receiver typeCode="RCV">    <device classCode="DEV" determinerCode="INSTANCE">      <id extension="GHH LAB" root="2.16.840.1.113883.19.1122.1"/>      <asLocatedEntity classCode="LOCE">        <location classCode="PLC" determinerCode="INSTANCE">          <id root="2.16.840.1.113883.19.1122.2" extension="ELAB-3"/>        </location>      </asLocatedEntity>    </device> </receiver> <sender typeCode="SND">    <device classCode="DEV" determinerCode="INSTANCE">      <id root="2.16.840.1.113883.19.1122.1" extension="GHH OE"/>      <asLocatedEntity classCode="LOCE">        <location classCode="PLC" determinerCode="INSTANCE">          <id root="2.16.840.1.113883.19.1122.2" extension="BLDG24"/>        </location>      </asLocatedEntity>    </device> </sender> <! –- Trigger Event Control Act & Domain Content -- > </POLB_IN224200>
  9.   So I have the great awesomeness that is Safari Books Online ( - a full subscription (by the way, any U.S. Army vets get this resource for free, and damn is it an awesome technical manual resource).  - based on what I see, there's a good amount of books out there dealing with Android game development that use Java and OpenGL in their tutorial code, or rather specific sections if you will.  They don't cover both in the whole book, but usually carve out sections of the book specified for Java + OpenGL.  So you might find some gems in Android development books.
  10. Most Unique Mental Experience

    I've struggled with defining this for quite some time, and when I talk to most people about the issue they tend to just laugh or shrug it off as "just not being an idiot", though I tend to dismiss these claims as the level of the syndrome/mindset/etc. is relatively strong.   I'm set on defining this mental state as "Enhanced Situational Awareness", though it's a challenge to try and describe.  My ability to know what's going on around me at all times seems otherworldly.  If I'm sitting in an office with nigh dozens of people in the room, I could be in my office and subconsciously know how many people have walked in our out of the office as my brain likes to count how many times the door has slammed open or shut.  I have the ability to detect subtle changes in a person, or pick up on their habits that they perform under certain situations. To add to this, I can play simultaneous pre-emptive situations in my head based on the environment around me - if something in that environment changes, those fictional situations will change based on the variables.  Much like the ability to see all routes in any given situation prior to that situation happening.  Sometimes I miss a situation or two, but the ability to see all of these situations almost simultaneously without as much of an effort given on my part to do so always amazes me when I catch myself doing it.    A couple of examples: Office Worker A is standing out in the hallway in front of my office talking to Office Worker B, I subconsciously see that Office Worker A's posture is pointed toward my doorway, and that his demeanor is that of - once he gets done talking to Office Worker B he is headed into my office to talk to me about something.  My mind then shifts to all the different scenarios for which the future conversation might unfold.  What questions he might ask, my answers to those questions, counter-questions, greetings, etc.  Obviously, anyone trying to could do this but I don't know I'm doing it unless I catch my mind wandering while it's doing this.  I'm still able to focus on the work that I'm doing or whatever else it is that has my conscious mind at the time.   I often catch cups, bottles, pens, etc. that people are holding, have set down, what have you.  These notices of them not holding tightly enough to an object, or the object sliding, etc. are plain-as-day to me even if I'm doing something else, or somebody else has my complete attention.    I've never been in a wreck before, and I live in a heavily congested traffic city.  While I'm driving I can pick out who's not paying attention in their cars, who's from out-of-state and who isn't based on their license plate, who will probably need to turn off this ramp or this one depending on time of day and county that's displayed on their license plate, who's going to cut across lanes based on how hard they're looking in their rear view mirror etc.  It's not my focus on one driver either, I could tell you everything I've observed for all drivers around me quite easily if asked.   I think this is what makes me so great at online-RTS or strategy games in general as I'm constantly replaying events in my head for every situation I could possibly be placed in and making sure that I don't get put into a situation I don't want to be in.    It's possible you may think this whole description as a bit of a quack, but based on what I've observed other people's perceptions to their surroundings, and my own, I tend to feel I'm light years ahead of the game around anyone also tends to be quite the overburden at times - more like an information overload.   The easiest way I think I could possibly describe this is with the show House of Cards - how Frank Underwood tends to talk to himself/camera prior to events happening or understanding what people are going to say before they say it based on body languages, current events in his surroundings, etc.
  11. Zynga

    This is called restructuring of assets while trying to reduce costs. Their finance team probably did some number crunching, took at a look at their EBITDA number, and saw that there were rooms for improvement.   Having multiple studios increases the cost to do business, it's more overhead.  A capital expenditure like acquiring another company was probably done with the help of a partnership or investor - and therefore didn't directly cut into the business' yearly expenditures. There are probably a dozen or more examples to give reason for the choices that they've made, based on their new, current predictions on where the industry and the company should go.   Business houses large gambles based on predictions.  It's the best that any business can hope for, is that their predictions are correct.  The only thing that's certain for a business is change - those business' that do not keep up with the pace of change often see a restructuring of assets and money like what it looks like Zynga is doing - those that stay stale in such situations often find themselves in a bit of a cluster - like we're now seeing with Yahoo!.   I know what Zynga is, but do not keep up with the company nor know of it's relations - I will say though that there are people at the top of Zynga who get paid a lot of money to make these decisions to make sure that their EBITDA is in the positive and changes like this at least show that they've recognized the need for change and are doing it.    
  12. Looking for Feedback on Canon Material

    Thank you SotL for the great write-up and critique of my work! Most of these questions I can answer with the notes about my world that I haven't fully fleshed out, some though stand to reason to be thought upon, and definitely help in further resolving any holes in my lore.  Below is a quick, brief, to-the-point explanation of how Tyne was and how time started.  Along with a bit more on Emon and Vita.  Then, I'll answer your questions directly.   Dark Matter, or what we know of it as humans currently, is that it is theorized matter that makes up a vast portion of our universe - that matter which is unaccounted for.  In truth, based on the lore of my world, dark matter is the single smallest unit of matter.  The building block of all matter, a blank slate if you will - a clean canvas for which other matter can be written and created from.  It's smaller than an atom, smaller still than a proton, neutron, or electron - and is the reason why we cannot see it.    I've modelled Dark Matter this way in my world to act as a single point of energy, but yet that can be explained by science.  It could be described as The Force (Star Wars), Chakra, manna, or any other form of extraordinary power that often weaves it's way into our fictional tales. For my world, Dark Matter is that key.  An explainable power, that can be harnessed possibly by those willing to understand or know of it's existence.  Theoretically, then, if dark matter is the building blocks for all other matter - it could be molded into anything that you wanted it to be.  A person, a fireball, a sword - what have you.  Not to throw high-fantasy in the mix, as most in my world do not even know of it's existence, let alone understand how to harness it. Know though, that it is the basis for everything.   Vita then, can be thought of as more of a religious or faith based form - when speaking about dark matter as a whole, or the personified form of dark matter you would think of Vita.  This is who the Elmari find their guidance in.  Is Vita a person?  Who knows.  The text written above is written from the beliefs and research of the Elmari, though it is to note that the Elmari probably understand dark matter better than anyone.     So how did the Elmari come to the conclusion that there is supernatural power playing a bigger role in Tyne?  Well, this would be based on the origin of the Elmari themselves.  Elmari are beings that possess some super-natural ability.  Such as Emon, who is the Elmari of Time - he controls the flow of time.  Or Baal, the world-eater.  Or The Weaver, the Elmari that weaves and bends the strands of time, giving everyone and everything more than one decision.  Elmari are born when they are needed in Tyne.  Emon was born when Tyne, or most notably believed, when Vita felt a need for Time to exist.  Marius Glek was born when the need arose to record the happenings in Tyne.  And so on, and so forth.  How the Elmari are born, and when they're born isn't really known.  Emon does not recollect how long he had been counting time before he asked himself such a question.  Just like all Elmari, they tend to just show up - or so it would appear to the rest of the Elmari.   So beings with a specific, needed, super-natural power just show up?  How?  Why?  The Elmari believe that this symbol of theirs, this Vita is the reason.  The master of puppets if you will.  Is this truth, as what the writings say, we may never know.   Simply put, Vita is a belief of the Elmari, as they understand something more is at play.   As denoted in my definitions list, Tyne is a segregated multi-verse.  When Emon counted time, time commenced.  Emon, however, stopped counting time at one point - further is explained on this. Emon, as stated multiple times, counted time but did not know why - and he never questioned such.  He did his task diligently.  At one point, however, he seen something or envisioned it (as the writer I have no idea which to be true).  He would later find out that what he seen or envisioned was color.  The world was dark prior to this, and he saw a light, a color, a sharp, crisp glint of something.  It was so deliberate that it startled him and he actually stopped counting.  My own beliefs for what this was, with me as the writer knowing more about the world than anyone, would state that this was the first dark matter dissipating into dark energy, or possibly the first dark matter forming into some other type of matter - releasing some form of energy (I like to leave a bit of ambiguity, can you tell?).  When Emon stopped counting time, time stopped.  Emon has no idea how long he stopped counting - it could of been a second, a minute, a million years - time wasn't running so he has no idea how long it was - more importantly, time wasn't recorded so he had no idea where he had left off counting. Emon decided to not continue counting until he had investigated the matter in which he had seen.  He wandered on this for what seemed like eternity, failing to recreate the event in which he saw.  Little did he know of what was to come next.   He began counting again, and something happened.  When he started count again, it threw everything off-kilter.  It was as if the darkness around him didn't know how to start over.  In that instant, though he would not know it until much later, Tyne began to form.  Light and colors began to dance across the pitch black, and the world came into view.  This wouldn't of been a spectacular view for you or me, and would probably resemble that of a clear evening sky with flashes of light and color in the night sky naming the stars in the heavens.  But it was that glint that he had worked to recreate, a million times over.  Was this formation of Tyne in progress the first time Emon stopped counting and he just halted it's progress until he began again, or did his halt of time create such discord that it reenacted the event?  Either way, Tyne was born.    With this birth of Tyne, many say, came the birth of Marius Glek.  For with this movement of evolution to create Tyne, came the importance that Emon never lose his count again - and so, by the will of Tyne (or perhaps Vita), Marius Glek came to be.  To record historical events, or Epochs in Time, if you will - to record all.  Marius Glek's supernatural power is his ability to see all as it is happening, and remember all.    The time in which Emon had originally counted, and that time in-between him stopping count is considered "pre-time", unrecorded by Marius Glek.  It was also at this point that the famous Elmari(or are all of them famous?) Relkin Kord came to be.  Well, actually, this is perceived - as Emon had his first inquiry regarding the existence of something (the vision he saw) - how it happened, why it happened, etc.  Relkin Kord is the Elmari of Inquiry, Explanation, and Invention.  More appropriately named scientist.  As far as my developer notes are concerned, I have Tom Bombadil written down for the type of personality Relkin Kord has.  He's quiet a queer fellow, often misunderstood and most definitely a social stigma. But he's an amazing scientist and engineer.  So amazing in fact, that he helped Emon create a device that would count for him automatically - called a counting lock, or clock for short :D.   Then there's the topic of strands of time.  As mentioned before - Tyne is a multi-verse, this is derived from separate strands of time splitting off from one another.  The strand of time in which the Elmari reside is called the Genesis Strand.  The alpha strand, if you were.  When Emon started counting time again, or somewhere around this timeframe, the Genesis Strand split - into what we now know as the Relkin Strand - as discovered by Relkin Kord himself.  Throughout history, there are certain epochs that occur that may split a strand of time into another strand, cause one strand to weave or bend into one or more multiple strands, etc.  Earth resides in one of these strands!  Which gives a lot of versatility in what one may find throughout all of these strands.    My fingers feel like they're about to fall off now, so I'll stop typing and just leave it at that.  Hope this answered, most, or at least some of these questions.        
  13. What is wrong with "Big Data"?

    How big of "big data' are you speaking of?   I've always worked more on the enterprise-level of development/analytics - most companies I've worked for to handle their big data (financial transactions, healthcare data, even some BI) have always used mainframes for this sort of work as your old IBM iSeries and such still can process more transactions per second than any newer machine out there.  Then again, we're talking several thousand/hundred thousands of transactions per second - which probably isn't what you're looking for.
  14. Below is a part of a series of texts that make up a large portion of the canon in my world.  The text I've provided is to be used as more of a historical depiction, and less of that of a tome that you may find while traveling the world.  Strictly speaking, this would be defined as a history book of sorts for the entire universe(or rather segregated multi-verse as Tyne is).   Below are some definitions and key terms to help reading the text more understandable, these definitions are, however, not part of the actual text:   Tyne - The world in which my story is based.  Tyne is a segregated multi-verse that consists of multiple, linear strands of time.   Elmari - A god-like race of biped humanoids that lives within the Genesis Strand [of time].  The Elmari are not immortal, but play major parts in the shaping of Tyne as a whole.   Emon - The Elmari of Time, Judge of the Elmari Estate, and Creator of Mathematics.   Marius Glek - The Elmari of Epochs and Record Keeping, Master of Tomes. Founder of the philosophical research haven known as House Glek.   Teagus Aton - A famous writer, historian, and master of linguistics.   Now onto the actual text: _____________________________     Transliteration - Insert by Teagus Aton   This text has been transliterated by myself, Teagus Aton, from the original works and descriptions recorded by Marius Glek and the scribes and scholars of House Glek.  Firstly written in Mari cuneiform as a direct account of Emon's views of the events transpiring prior to recorded Time.   Preface   As being imparted with the task of absolute record-keeping by Vita, it has been House Glek's due diligence to provide an accurate as possible time-lapse of the events that transpired prior to Time, as accounted by Emon himself.  This series of texts directly accomplishes this goal by piecing together interviews that House Glek has conducted with Emon over the past forty-three millennia.   Quoted text from these interviews as stated by Emon have been penned in highlighted red, while conjectures and theories scribed by House Glek have been penned in highlighted blue.  All other text, as denoted by highlighted white, should be found as items native to the series of text itself.   While House Glek has worked tirelessly to provide evidence supported by fact in this account of Tyne, please be advised that without assumption too many missing pieces of explanation would be laid aside in a fashion in which this text would not make relative sense.  In knowing this, House Glek has taken the advantage of making assumption of events when necessary to piece together major happenings in Tyne before Time.  These assumptions have been outlined as Elmari theory, and have been sent for draft by Marius Glek himself to receive approval by all Elmari prior to the finished work of this draft being published.   It is with great honour that House Glek presents the first draft of these findings outlined in Tyne Before Time to the Elmari state.  Further revisions to this text may appear in the future.  However, the scribes and scholars of House Glek are certain that this detailed account be true based on the knowledge that has been provided at the time and date of this writing.   -Principle High Scholar Anu, House Glek, 1E44M   Emon & Vita   Prior to the thought of the Elmari, and establishment of House Glek - Before formation of the first celestial body or strand of Time - there existed only two entities, that of Emon and Vita.    While an exhausting amount of research, by House Glek, has been poured into the discovery of those precious, beginning moments of Tyne - it is with great regret that no supporting evidence has been found to make concrete the generally-accepted theory that Vita predates all.  Based around the nature of evidence that has been collected by House Glek over the past forty-three millennia, it's quite possible that this theory may never be proven.    In the words of Emon himself:   "While my remembrance of early pre-time is opaque, it is with certain memory that Vita had made an appearance as early as I can recall.  As I sat in darkness, with only the vast nothingness surrounding me, I performed the task that was given unto me with perfect obedience - never swaying in either thought or errand - always counting…always counting.   It had never occurred to me as to why I was counting, something inside me tore at my inner conscious, though, reminding me that it was of utmost importance that I never halted this elementary form of arithmetic. I now understand that this was Vita guiding me, thankfully, as little did I suspect of what the consequences would be if I ever were to stop counting.   Based on these events, it is of my opinion that Vita has always been.  Sleepless nights have vested with the thoughts of how Vita and myself came to be, though it is of my best opinion that Vita begat myself, and that being of a particular reason.  While I had not known of it at the time, that reason would lead to the transcendent performance of beginning Time within Tyne."   Vita   To understand Vita, we must correctly define who or what Vita actually is.  Many nights have been toiled away with how exactly to describe Vita, however the general consensus, after speaks with Emon and the whole of Elmari, rests with this definition:   "Vita is the disconnected embodiment and personification of all dark matter, and it's expended counterpart - dark energy - acting as the mortar, clay, and cornerstone of Tyne."   It Is with great importance that distinction is made when understanding that dark matter is not Vita, but Vita is dark matter.  When flora sprouts from the forest floor with the beginnings of only a small seed - this is Vita.  When fauna cohabitate in what was once lifeless seas, this is Vita.  When chaos comes to control, or control disevolves to chaos - this is Vita.  The flora and fauna, chaos and control, and anything above or below, in-between or to the side - all starts with the building materials of our world.  The Elmari State's own sigil may hold words that best describe this explanation:    "May dark matter be the stone, and Vita our stonemason." - Elmari State Official Seal, Motto   Vita speaks to us all, both through small actions in the world around us - to the largest events that we've known to-date.  However, we cannot share this same extraordinary conversation.  Our own experiments to communicate with Vita have fallen on deaf ears, and so it is to be known that Vita's presence remains at the forefront of Tyne, and that presently, only our actions may sway her merciful judgment on us all.
  15. Ideal script writing software for videogames

    Two choices that I don't see listed here are below.  Please be aware that both come with a bit of a learning curve, but are extremely useful once you've understood how to navigate them:   Scrivener - (Mac and Windows) - - This is used by an array of individuals, including professional script/book writers.  It's a pretty amazing product for strictly writing/brainstorming/research.   ConnectedText (Windows Only) - - This is a desktop wiki application that has a bit of a higher learning curve than that of Scrivener, but it's what I use for both analytics at work and for my world building.  It's more programmatic-based than Scrivener, which adds to the higher learning curve.