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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
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Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 2740 (Senior)
User ID 13410
 
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News Comments > Sunday Tech Bits
3. Re: 7 new hardware technologies for Windows 10 PCs. Apr 12, 2015, 23:28 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Not all electromagnetic radiation is a gamma ray. You get exposed to high quantities of electromagnetic radiation every second of every day. This was true even before humans discovered electricity (we orbit a sun after all). There is a whole spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, and it only becomes ionizing, i.e. dangerous to your cells, at ultraviolet wavelengths and above. Everything below that simply doesn't have enough quantum energy to cause cellular damage. At worst you're looking at a burn, but that requires prolonged exposure to high energy non-ionizing radiation, like, say, the non-UV part of sunlight. Wireless charging operates on the same principle as any electric generator (EM induction), and wireless charging itself has been around in limited applications for decades (own an electric toothbrush?). Remember that EM spectrum I mentioned? Guess which end of the spectrum contains the radiation produced by EM induction? Hint: at the very low end of the scale, far from the UV ionizing threshold, and well below the radiation levels of natural sunlight. If you're that worried about wireless charging, aside from only going outside at night, you'd better get rid of your car too: the alternator is emitting the exact same radiation wireless charging pads do/will.

Is it just me or are the Bluesnews forums becoming more crankish by the day?

This comment was edited on Apr 12, 2015, 23:44.
 
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News Comments > FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband
104. Re: FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband Feb 27, 2015, 02:25 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Wildone wrote on Feb 27, 2015, 02:01:
The free market would sort it out, now we can have full gov censorship and biasing. Its not like they used the IRS to target political enemys or anything was it...oh no...

Except that American broadband isn't a free market. When was the last time you had a real choice between competitive broadband providers? Never? Then that's not a free market: that's a market held captive by incumbent monopolists/duopolists.
 
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News Comments > FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband
103. Re: FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband Feb 27, 2015, 02:21 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Zanthar wrote on Feb 27, 2015, 00:26:
If you spend that 17 trillion that your don't have, yes you owe that money to someone.

Do you honestly think the government can just inject that much imaginary cash into the economy with no consequences? They are propping up wall street right now, just wait until it catches up with them.



Well first off, there is a difference between the Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing program (injecting "imaginary" cash into the economy) and the issuance of debt through the sale of Treasury securities. A big difference, as in "the flow of money is in opposite directions" different. But more to your point, when an economy is experiencing deflationary pressure, like after a financial crisis and severe recession, then inflationary monetary policy is GOOD thing, because it helps to counteract that deflation. When economies enter deflationary spirals, they tend to stay depressed for a very, very long time: see Japan.

Now certainly a central bank can overestimate the amount of monetary expansion necessary to drive down longer term interest rates, and in the process create too much inflationary pressure, but here's the thing: despite 6+ years of quantitative easing, the US inflation rate has been well under 2% for four of those years (2% being the Feds target inflation rate for optimal economic growth), was 0.8% for 2014, and is currently -0.1% for 2015 thus far. The de facto deflation of this year and last is primarily a function of falling gas prices, but even when gas prices were high, inflation was still low, too low. At its "worst" inflation was 3% in 2011, which was nowhere near Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe territory, and in fact was probably even desireable given the economic circumstances: when money will be worth a little less tomorrow, people tend to spend it today, boosting economic activity.

To sum up, the Fed engaged in Quantitative Easing to counteract deflationary pressure and stimulate economic growth by lowering longer term interest rates. It could have back fired if they were too aggressive, but the persistently low interest rates show pretty clearly that they weren't too aggressive. As it happens, when an economy is severely depressed and experiencing deflationary pressure, you CAN "inject that much imaginary cash into the economy" without negative consequence.

Moving on to the national debt, a completely separate issue from "injecting imaginary cash" I might add, I was going to give a more detailed break down but this post is long enough already. Suffice to say that of the 17.8 Trillion Dollar national debt, 11.7 Trillion of that debt is money that the Treasury owes either to other governmental departments or to US taxpayers. In other words, the Treasury borrowed money from its spouse (the US taxpayers), but the spouse is part of the same household (economy and tax system). So again, if you borrow money from your wife, and thus owe her a debt, has your household become poorer? Or has money simply changed accounts without an impact on your household's net worth?
 
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News Comments > FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband
77. Re: FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband Feb 26, 2015, 21:30 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Zanthar wrote on Feb 26, 2015, 21:13:

No, I've just been around long enough to see what a festering shithole the USA is turning into.


But evidently not long enough to know much about monetary policy, macroeconomics, or global finance.

A question: to whom does the US Federal government, and by extension the American people, owe that $17 Trillion? Hint: if you're answer is "The Chinese", you're only accounting for $1.24 Trillion. Another hint, this time by analogy: if you borrowed 11 trillion dollars from your wife, is your household 11 trillion dollars poorer?
 
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News Comments > FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband
18. Re: FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband Feb 26, 2015, 19:27 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Wildone wrote on Feb 26, 2015, 19:16:
AHahahah wow all these government lovers..just mind blowing.

Yeah, it's totally mind blowing that anyone would want some sort of check on a monopoly's ability to exploit captive customers.
 
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News Comments > FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband
17. Re: FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband Feb 26, 2015, 19:25 Scottish Martial Arts
 
killer_roach wrote on Feb 26, 2015, 19:11:
Simply put, telecommunications, like most other areas of the American economy, was never remotely an open market, despite industry defenders vociferously claiming the contrary. The FCC merely closed the circle with these decisions, resulting in a de jure, rather than merely de facto, controlled market.

True, but at least now the incumbent providers are recognized for what they are and will be held to a higher standard, i.e. they get to keep their market power, but now they abuse that power at their peril, rather than their pleasure.

What I would really like to see would be some sort of last-mile unbundling proposal becoming law: require incumbents to lease line access for broadband services. Back when dial-up modems were all the rage, i.e. the second half of the 90s, there was a competitive ISP market in the US, for the reason that the medium of transmission, phone lines, were a public utility available to all. When cable internet became the only realistic option for broadband, the competitive ISP market disappeared with dial up modems simply because Cable providers had no requirement to lease access to their infrastructure and a new provider building out their own infrastructure isn't economically feasible.

This vote won't make the US service provider market competitive, but at least now the incumbent service providers don't have free reign to abuse their market power, as they have for the past 10 years or so.
 
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News Comments > FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband
10. Re: FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband Feb 26, 2015, 19:10 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Mad Max RW wrote on Feb 26, 2015, 19:03:
It's nice how whenever someone questions anything they are automatically labeled as supporting one extreme or the other.

If the position of Verizon, Comcast, et al. is one extreme, then I would call regurgitating their lobbyists' arguments as supporting one extreme.
 
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News Comments > FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband
4. Re: FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband Feb 26, 2015, 18:56 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Rattlehead wrote on Feb 26, 2015, 18:42:
Call me cynical, but I don't see anything good from this.

I'll just be charitable and assume you don't know much about net neutrality, Title II common carrier classification, or what the FCC actually voted on today.

It's really quite concerning that there is a segment of the population that will reflexively take the side of organizations as despicable as Comcast, rather than even consider the possibility that, on occasion, there is a need for government to curtail, in some limited fashion, the excessive market power of anti-competitive incumbent corporations for the sake of the public good.
 
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
4. Re: Morning Tech Bits Feb 12, 2015, 10:58 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Prez wrote on Feb 12, 2015, 10:31:
I am all for vaccinations myself but I just don't get the hysteria over measles. All the children in my family including myself got it and it was just no big deal. I think I may have been born be for MMR vaccination was developed.

Well the outbreak this year isn't THAT big of a deal, and more just a wake up call that, yes, vaccination is important, and only works if everyone does it. However, if vaccination rates were to continue to decline, and the outbreaks to get larger each year, because measles is so infectious, then we'd start having fatalities and permanent disabilities that would be entirely preventable otherwise. The disease has something like a 90% infection rate among the unvaccinated, and can be devastating when caught in infancy/early (under 5) childhood, because among the very young it tends to cause the brain to swell, either killing the child, or causing permanent brain damage.

Children's literature prior to the 1960s was filled with the specter of death: "if I die before I wake, pray the Lord my soul to take" was not an idle request. Thanks to vaccination we've forgotten how deadly early childhood has been for most of human history, where you only stood about a 50% chance of living to your fifth birthday. Unfortunately, it's probably going to take a few deaths before vaccination rates go back up to where they're supposed to be.

This comment was edited on Feb 12, 2015, 11:38.
 
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News Comments > Gearbox on Homeworld: Cataclysm
7. Re: Gearbox on Homeworld: Cataclysm Feb 3, 2015, 19:10 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Cataclysm was superb, my favorite Homeworld episode in fact. I still have the original disk, but here's to hoping we get a rerelease.  
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
28. Re: Steam Top 10 Feb 1, 2015, 22:30 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Krovven wrote on Feb 1, 2015, 22:16:
I'm not sure what you are intending to debate with me, as I've already agreed it was crap. People seem to forget the console versions were shit too. PC version was still a step up.

I'm debating the general sentiment you present across several posts, namely that GTA4 wasn't bad enough to justify not preordering. GTA4 may have been a fluke, but if it was, it was an epicly bad fluke. As others have pointed out, Steam isn't going to sell out of copies, and the preorder bonuses are non-starters, so there's no reason to put down $60 now as opposed to waiting until the day of release and see what, if any, problems are cropping up for users.
 
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
24. Re: Steam Top 10 Feb 1, 2015, 21:59 Scottish Martial Arts
 
As I said in the post I just made, their only misstep was GTA IV and it still ran and looked better on the PC than the console ports.

Uh, did you play it at release? Terrible performance, crashes, and pop-in that would make Rage blush were the order of the day. Like many others, it took a new PC built 18 months later before I could really enjoy the game.

Just look at the reviews that were published Dec '08/Jan '09: even when the scores are high out of an appreciation for the game itself, they consistently complain about poor performance, a myriad of technical issues, and almost universally call it a bad port. http://www.techspot.com/products/pc-games/grand-theft-auto-4.86986/

It also routinely shows up on worst PC ports of all time listicles:
  • http://gearburn.com/2014/05/the-worst-and-the-best-console-to-pc-ports/

  • http://www.maximumpc.com/worst_pc_ports_2014


  • This comment was edited on Feb 1, 2015, 22:05.
     
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    News Comments > Grim Fandango Remastered & More Star Wars Games on GOG.com
    12. Re: Grim Fandango Remastered & More Star Wars Games on GOG.com Jan 27, 2015, 15:40 Scottish Martial Arts
     
    nin wrote on Jan 27, 2015, 14:19:
    Kajetan wrote on Jan 27, 2015, 14:18:
    It does work well. Only thing negative is no proper support for widescreen resolutions. The image is just stretched, looks horrible. But they offer the original 4:3 resolution with some nice looking borders left and right, so ...

    Much rather have bars on the side than a stretched image. Glad they offer it.


    The backdrops are 2D prerendered bitmaps made when the 4:3 aspect ratio was the only game in town. In other words, in 16:9 or 16:10, the backdrop image simply isn't big enough to fill the screen. Getting widescreen support would mean redoing all the backdrop artwork for a different media size. Anyone who has ever done some semi-serious photography can tell you how important the size of your frame is for your composition: the image is composed based upon where the edge of the media will be. Lucas Arts had some pretty good, and competent, artists back in the day, and I'm sure they composed those bitmaps very consciously and carefully, and a switch to 16:9/16:10 would ruin those compositions.

    Just as an example, check out the perspective lines in this screenshot, how everything in the room is leading your eye to Manny's boss's chair. Getting the same effect in widescreen would mean redoing the backdrop from scratch.
     
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    News Comments > More Star Wars on GOG.com
    9. Re: More Star Wars on GOG.com Jan 24, 2015, 00:05 Scottish Martial Arts
     
    TangledThorns wrote on Jan 23, 2015, 19:53:
    After seeing the dated graphics the sense of nostalgia dies pretty quick.

    Speak for yourself. The graphics are dated, but what actually matters -- gameplay, atmosphere, and storytelling -- are just as solid now as they were 15-20 years ago.
     
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    News Comments > etc.
    6. Re: etc. Jan 22, 2015, 19:23 Scottish Martial Arts
     
    I thought the article was pretty spot on myself. I'm a little dubious about his comments on white, hetero, male bias. Certainly 95% of games, at least, are told from such a perspective, but that doesn't mean that games are actively racist, homophobic or sexist. Just narrow and clueless.

    That said, none of this is particularly new stuff. Anyone that reads fiction seriously -- and no, nearly all genre scifi and fantasy series don't count -- will have noticed these recurring elements of poor craftsmanship seemingly inherent to video game writing. Heck, I've been bitching about a lot of these things on this forum for the past decade or so. As long as the industry keeps relegating writing responsibilities to fanboy hacks, then I guess all we're going to get is fan fiction.
     
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    News Comments > More on Windows 10 and Xbox
    30. Re: More on Windows 10 and Xbox Jan 22, 2015, 12:38 Scottish Martial Arts
     
    Slick wrote on Jan 22, 2015, 09:05:
    lol cutter, you can't get mad/defensive when you use numbers in an argument, that are then (very politely) pointed out to you to be inaccurate/improperly used. beat me to it Bundy!

    presenting stock prices on their own doesn't give any real information. that's like just quoting the atomic weight of gold as an indicator of the total weight of a 200 ft. tall gold statue. you simply don't get any information by quoting half the equation.

    we're all disappointed with MS that they do nothing with pc gamers, even though they have an install base of a bazillion trillion computers already, but you don't help your argument by spouting things that don't have any bearing on what you're saying, then getting upset when corrected on it. it's a simple mistake that we've all done before. chill.

    The really bizarre thing is that Cutter has made the exact same argument in a previous Microsoft thread, and had his error explained in exactly the same way, eliciting just as defensive and misguided a response from him. I guess Cutter is not a learning animal. Either that or simple algebraic equations just aren't his thing. That said I agree with his sentiment that, regardless of market valuation, Microsoft has been way off track as a company for well over a decade and doesn't show any sign of getting on track -- Nadella at the helm, or no -- anytime soon. It's just that stock price alone doesn't say ANYTHING, either for or against such a sentiment.
     
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    News Comments > Cross-Platform Windows 10 Fable Legends Announced
    19. Re: Cross-Platform Windows 10 Fable Legends Announced Jan 22, 2015, 05:19 Scottish Martial Arts
     
    I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the marketing department which decided to name the third XBox, XBox One, would also write a press release that reads like parody without even realizing it.  
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    News Comments > Alien: Isolation Sells > 1M
    12. Re: Alien: Isolation Sells > 1M Jan 21, 2015, 18:51 Scottish Martial Arts
     
    Just out of curiousity, for those trashing the alien AI, how many were playing on Hard?  
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    News Comments > LucasArts Wave II on GOG.com
    34. Re: LucasArts Wave II on GOG.com Jan 21, 2015, 02:22 Scottish Martial Arts
     
    Tumbler wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 13:55:
    Woohoo! Never played Xwing Alliance, always heard it was great.

    In terms of graphics, features, and story, its even better than Tie Fighter. It's one weakness, in my opinion, is that the difficulty can get quite extreme. X-Wing and Tie Fighter, both generally regarded as games of above average difficulty, have nothing on Alliance. If you can tolerate repeating some missions a dozen times before you finally get it right, you're in for a real treat. And if you can't tolerate that, the game gives you 3 mission skips over the course of the campaign.
     
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    News Comments > LucasArts Wave II on GOG.com
    10. Re: LucasArts Wave II on GOG.com Jan 20, 2015, 13:34 Scottish Martial Arts
     
    dj LiTh wrote on Jan 20, 2015, 13:27:
    For me it was all about Tie Fighter, i played Xwing and XvT but i didnt enjoy them nearly as much.

    They rereleased Tie Fighter back in October. The game is still as awesome as it was 20 years ago.
     
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