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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 2717 (Senior)
User ID 13410
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News Comments > etc.
13. Re: etc. Sep 27, 2014, 22:32 Scottish Martial Arts
I've had the Warthog HOTAS since 2012. Easily the best stick I've ever purchased and have had zero reliability problems. Prior to getting the Warthog, I could never pull off an air-to-air refueling in DCS A-10C; after I got one I could, without difficulty. It's strange that the article didn't discuss how tightly integrated the HOTAS into the DCS module: you flip a switch on your HOTAS, you see it flip on screen; you control the A-10C EXACTLY how it is controlled in real life. It's really a great setup. And as others have pointed out, if lack of stick twist throttle is a deal breaker, you aren't in the target market, i.e. the market that already has dedicated rudder pedals. The biggest thing about the HOTAS however is how REAL it feels. It's made of steel. In the winter, when you sit down with it on a saturday morning, the stick is cold, as are the throttle handles. There is no holding the thing steady with one hand while flying with the other. It's just rock solid.  
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
4. Re: Evening Tech Bits Sep 20, 2014, 12:25 Scottish Martial Arts
jdreyer wrote on Sep 19, 2014, 21:27:
I think this is the most entertaining video of why the moon landings couldn't have been faked. Ties in nicely with the VXGI vid above.

That's an old favorite of mine, and really presents the most convincing argument possible: we probably had the technology to go to the moon in 1969, but we most definitely did NOT have the technology to fake it in a film studio -- video technology just wasn't mature enough yet. I was really a bit disappointed with the Maxwell video though, since much of what it was debunking can be shown to be fallacious with a basic knowledge of photography and lighting, no advanced computer lighting engine required.
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News Comments > Evening Mobilization
17. Re: Evening Mobilization Sep 12, 2014, 13:14 Scottish Martial Arts
Cutter wrote on Sep 12, 2014, 01:23:
And you mean the market cap that places America's corporations as Exxon, Apple, and Google in that order? You mean that it only took them less than 10 years to crush what easily should have been Microsoft's #2 spot? Who doesn't know about market cap? Uh huh, keep derpim' away.

And what's the number 4 US publicly-held corporation by market cap? Microsoft. What was number 3 in the first quarter of this year? Microsoft. Also, Exxon is the number 2 US publicly held company by market cap; Apple has the number 1 spot. It's almost like these corporations move up and down in their relative rankings but all are in the same tier of competition!

I frankly don't give a shit who is the biggest corporation, but if you're going to make an asinine comment (Apple and Google don't do stupid stuff like Microsoft) and then support it with a metric that cannot be directly compared (stock price) then you need to be called on it. And if you're suddenly so concerned about market cap, then why two days ago were you quoting stock prices as if that had any meaning? It's almost like you had the stunning revelation that not all publicly held corporations have the same number of outstanding shares, subsequently googled "market cap", and are now backpedaling and shifting goal posts in a desperate attempt not to look like a jack ass.
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News Comments > Evening Mobilization
8. Re: Evening Mobilization Sep 12, 2014, 00:57 Scottish Martial Arts
Beamer wrote on Sep 11, 2014, 20:05:
It's a shame Cutter never reads any responses to how wrong he is, as we never got him to clarify this boneheaded comment:
Cutter wrote on Sep 10, 2014, 20:00:
The Pyro wrote on Sep 10, 2014, 19:23:
For reference, Microsoft is currently the 3rd largest company in the world with a market capitalization of $340 billion. They have 100,000 employees. This offer puts the value of Mojang at almost 1% of that... an indie game being valued at almost 1% of the dominant business software company on the planet!

It's ridiculous.

But of course this isn't real money, here... it's inflated shares of stock. If you try to cash out all at once then you destroy the value of your stock in the process. You still end up filthy rich, of course...

MS Stock? 50 bucks a share.

Apple? $100. Google? $600. Why? Because they don't do dumb stuff like this.

Silly Beamer! Don't you know that all publicly traded corporations have exactly the same number of shares on the market? It's totally an apples-to-apples comparison! No one even knows what market capitalization is anyway!

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News Comments > Gatherings & Competitions
13. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Sep 7, 2014, 20:18 Scottish Martial Arts
Cutter wrote on Sep 7, 2014, 17:08:
Most sports aren't even sports. They're glorified hobbies. Baseball, golf, et al. are all hobbies IMO.

Eh, baseball requires some pretty phenomenal athletic ability, both in terms of sheer physical prowess and in terms of mechanical skill. No, it does not involve a lot of running back and forth, but I find it really hard to watch a short stop make a successful diving catch, spin onto a knee, and then make an accurate, fast throw in a split second to make the double play, and then, having watched such a feat, turn around and liken the game in which it occurred to darts, pool, or golf.
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News Comments > Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Announced
22. Re: Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Announced Sep 1, 2014, 19:03 Scottish Martial Arts
djinn wrote on Sep 1, 2014, 16:47:
JohnBirshire wrote on Sep 1, 2014, 00:10:
Trying to remember if I played through ICW1 or 2. Which one had a museum towards the end with a frozen whale in it?

That was near the end? I must have been so close to completing, but got stuck on some boss in a dungeon beyond that point.

The glacier and ice museum is between upper and lower Dorn's Deep as I recall. Lower Dorn's Deep is the last major dungeon, although it's a freaking huge one and there's still an end game area afterwards.
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News Comments > Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Announced
17. Re: Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Announced Sep 1, 2014, 10:29 Scottish Martial Arts
Domgrief wrote on Sep 1, 2014, 02:45:
I think the larger problem with these remakes is that, no matter how much you polish the engine, AD&D 2.5 still feels 20 years old. Most people who know what THAC0 means are probably grandparents by now.

Although the AD&D 1e and 2e THAC0/AC/Saving Throw system was pretty obtuse -- lower is better except when it's not! -- once you got your head around the mechanics I thought it made for pretty decent gameplay. The weaknesses of early D&D, and how they continue to influence latter editions, have been beaten to death, but compared to modern cRPGs the system was challenging, yet fair, and forced you to respect the limitations of your character and the dangers of resorting to combat. Of course the computer implementations of D&D didn't really give you many alternatives to combat, if any, but that sense of danger and need for precise tactics which persists from the early through the mid levels of DnD is something modern games really don't capture,
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News Comments > Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Announced
16. Re: Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Announced Sep 1, 2014, 10:22 Scottish Martial Arts
JohnBirshire wrote on Sep 1, 2014, 00:10:
Trying to remember if I played through ICW1 or 2. Which one had a museum towards the end with a frozen whale in it?

If I recall correctly, Icewind Dales were more linear and combat focused than the Baldurs Gates.

That was Icewind Dale 1.

They were linear, although the emphasis on combat was about the same. Furthermore, most people misremember how "open" Baldur's Gate 2 was: although it's predecessor was pretty non-linear, BG2's main plot was completely linear, and once you got on the boat to go to the asylum island, which was at the end of chapter 3, you were committed to proceeding linearly through the plot content, without deviation and no way but forward, until the very last quest. In effect, you get out of the opening dungeon and discover a huge open world, and then get locked out of that world as soon as you get past the first major plot quest. Likewise, Throne of Bhaal was just as linear as either of the Icewind Dales. In contrast, BG1 was mostly non-linear, but much of it's game world was very content light.
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News Comments > Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Announced
4. Re: Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Announced Aug 31, 2014, 16:05 Scottish Martial Arts
Icewind Dale 1 was superb. Easily the best dungeon design of the IE series, and among the best of CRPGs in general. Each one oozed with atmosphere, had its own backstory, and had some great encounters and puzzles too. The first expansion was kind of weak, but the fact that they made a second, excellent expansion and gave it away for free in response to the disappointment more than made up for it.

I miss Black Isle.
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News Comments > Op Ed
22. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 22:51 Scottish Martial Arts
Creston wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 13:00:
The fact the girls are dressed like they're getting ready for a Brazzers shoot doesn't bother me.

Completely off-topic but that reminds me of something a friend recently said: "It's getting increasingly difficult to tell female Fox News anchors apart from Brazzers porn stars." I'm kinda inclined to agree.
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News Comments > DCS: Fw 190 D-9 Dora Open Beta
6. Re: DCS: Fw 190 D-9 Dora Open Beta Aug 8, 2014, 19:08 Scottish Martial Arts
Tom wrote on Aug 8, 2014, 18:25:
DCS terrain includes Georgia and southern Russia. It does not include Crimea.

No, but it was in Lock-On, and adding it back into the DCS map is due with EDGE, which is only a month or two out.
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News Comments > DCS: Fw 190 D-9 Dora Open Beta
3. Re: DCS: Fw 190 D-9 Dora Open Beta Aug 8, 2014, 18:11 Scottish Martial Arts
Wildone wrote on Aug 8, 2014, 17:43:
In the Crimea.. FFS they need NEW MAPS....

Which was a major Eastern Front battlefield...

Yes, they definitely need new maps, but the Crimea, the Kuban, and the Caucasus were the primary AO for Army Group South. The classic Peckinpah WWII film, Cross of Iron, was all about the German retreat from Crimea. So in this case, for the first time since they started branching out beyond the modern day air/land environment, it actually fits. Plus, the Western Front WWII-era terrain map is due in the Fall.
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News Comments > Dota 2 (Source 2?) Workshop Tools
2. Re: Dota 2 (Source 2?) Workshop Tools Aug 7, 2014, 14:40 Scottish Martial Arts
If the speculation is accurate, then that means the technology that would conceivably run a Half-Life 3 is live. I'd call that significant.  
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News Comments > etc.
3. Re: etc. Aug 6, 2014, 19:05 Scottish Martial Arts
Cyanotetyphas wrote on Aug 6, 2014, 15:40:
Never understood pre-orders. Games are not in limited quantity and the game never ages (or does so extremely slowly). I've been playing Dark Souls II a few months behind everyone and it's still amazing.

I remember preordering N64 games in middle school, because copies were always so scarce on and for a few months after launch. It literally took me the better part of a year to track down a copy of Shadows of the Empire. These days though, particularly with digital distribution, there is no reason to pre-order a game. The last time I did so, it was for Doom 3, a decade ago.
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News Comments > Op Ed
7. Re: Op Ed Jul 31, 2014, 22:44 Scottish Martial Arts
NewMaxx wrote on Jul 31, 2014, 16:03:
I'm not going to read the article, but I've had the argument with many people about whether video games are inherently "good" or "bad."

Unsurprisingly, the article isn't that good of an argument for why game's are vacuous, although that really isn't the main concern of the article, being a film review. The author's justification is that as an adult he no longer finds games interesting, as he did as child and teen, and that therefore they must be shallow. Also unsurprisingly, most of the gaming sites which have attempted to rebut this article offer up "I like games, therefore they must be good." as their counterargument.

I won't attempt to answer objectively whether games are good or bad, but I can say subjectively, looking at the role they have played in my own life, that as my life has changed for the better, and as I've grown into a happier person who makes more meaningful and fulfilling use of my time, games have increasingly fallen into the background. I still play them, and enjoy them, and probably always will, but when it comes to media consumption, it's not difficult to find richer fare, and when it comes to experiences in general, for me at least there are other things to do which contribute a lot more to my happiness.
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
6. Re: Morning Metaverse Jul 28, 2014, 23:01 Scottish Martial Arts
saluk wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 17:10:
I had my close-up digital view of liberty island back in 2000! Still remember how cool it was to play in liberty island in the first Deus Ex - back when using real settings as game backdrops was a rare novelty.

Definitely. I took a trip to visit NYC in 2002, and when I went to Battery Park and Liberty Island, I was matching up my mental map of the game levels with what I was seeing for the first time in real life. Real life Liberty Island was quite a bit smaller.
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News Comments > DCS: F-86F Sabre Pre-purchases
7. Re: DCS: F-86F Sabre Pre-purchases Jul 27, 2014, 22:26 Scottish Martial Arts
CJ_Parker wrote on Jul 27, 2014, 21:08:
Going by the current pace of development that must be scheduled for the year 2525 or something like that, right?

The new terrain engine, EDGE, will release with the next patch, which is due in 2-3 months. Nellis AFB will launch with it, the WWII Western Europe Theatre is due by year's end, and several unannounced terrain maps are confirmed as being in develop with unnamed 3rd party partners, for what that's worth. All of this is subject to change of course, and it's been a LONG wait, but it does look like 2014 is the year the terrain floodgates finally open.
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News Comments > DCS: F-86F Sabre Pre-purchases
2. Re: DCS: F-86F Sabre Pre-purchases Jul 27, 2014, 14:32 Scottish Martial Arts
Tom wrote on Jul 27, 2014, 14:11:
even though I have little idea how to successfully engage other planes.

Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering

There you go! Be warned, it's not a read for the faint of heart, but it is THE textbook on fighter combat.

Also, I'm in complete agreement on the quality of the F-86 module. The amount of content in the beta is quite slim, and thus only worth a purchase in the pre-release phase if you're a huge fan of the Sabre, but the simulation of the aircraft is superb. I downed my first MiG-15 this morning.
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News Comments > Saturday Legal Briefs
3. Re: Cable companies: We’re afraid Netflix will demand payment from ISPs. Jul 26, 2014, 17:15 Scottish Martial Arts
LittleMe wrote on Jul 26, 2014, 15:39:
The road to hell is paved with good intentions... Net Neutrality can do a lot of damage to the Internet. And classifying the Internet as a utility would be even worse. But the control freak in us wants it of course.

Kinda sounds like you don't know much about Net Neutrality or the challenges facing US internet infrastructure and are just having a knee jerk Libertarian "all regulation is bad" response. Here's a hint: we already have Net Neutrality and have had it since the dawn of the internet. The debate isn't whether to implement Net Neutrality or not; it's whether or not to maintain that policy in the face of ISP lobbying to be able to charge content providers for the privilege of not having their traffic throttled.

Whether or not US internet infrastructure would benefit from becoming a public utility is an open question, but one thing is for certain: it's the overwhelming, monopolistic market power of ISPs like Comcast and AT&T that gives them the chutzpah to seek the power to throttle content providers traffic. After all, where else are the content provider's customers going to get their internet but from the only choice in town?

If you really feel that Comcast et al. being able to act as a toll keeper to any business which uses the internet to deliver content to its customers will be good for consumers and internet commerce, then I'm all ears. To me it just sounds like giving a monopoly yet another tool to maintain their rentier status.
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News Comments > Dragon Age Inquisition Delayed
23. Re: Dragon Age Inquisition Delayed Jul 23, 2014, 02:40 Scottish Martial Arts
LittleMe wrote on Jul 23, 2014, 00:41:
Also it has to be introduced bit by bit, slowly, and those pieces need to seamlessly fit together. Movies and books often do a fantastic job of that. Games that overindulge in voice acted dialog such as DA:O (from what I remember of it), not so much.

Yup. I like dialogue in games and I enjoy interactive dialogue, but Bioware has been pretty bad at it for a pretty long time. The terms poorly-paced, long-winded, and overly-expository all come to mind. Many Bioware dialogues drag on for the better part of ten minutes; in how many well made films are their scenes of purely expository dialogue that goes on for that long? Not many. And that's the other problem: Bioware uses dialogue primarily to recount and explain events that either the player has already experienced, or which occurred in the NPCs past and explains their current daddy issues. Any writer that uses dialogue to explain plot really doesn't know much about dialogue or writing in general. Plot is a sequence of ACTIONS, and the strength of VISUAL media is that you can SHOW actions, rather than having to TELL your audience about them retrospectively through the mouths of your characters. Yet Gaider, Karpyshyn and co. seem perfectly content to interrupt gameplay with lengthy dialogue breaks that mostly consists of the following:

PC: What just happened?
NPC: The long ago prophesied evil has returned and begun to inflict its revenge!
PC: But why would they do such a thing?
NPC: Because they are evil and they have been in hiding for a long time, biding the centuries, waiting for their moment to return!
PC: Well what am I supposed to do about it?prophesized
NPC: You are the prophesied chosen one, and the only way the chosen one can defeat this evil is by collecting four items that will ultimately be proved irrelevant to the task of stopping this ancient evil after a plot twist you'll never see coming at the start of the third act.
PC: Oh okay. Do you have directions on how to get to where these four items are?
NPC: Of course, but first I must know: do you intend to stop the ancient evil so that all may live in peace and harmony, or will you defeat said evil only to coopt its power and use that power to murder puppies?
PC: The blatantly good (evil) option of course!
NPC: *Paragon (Renegade) points unlocked* Wise answer! Oh, and by the way did I mention that I really enjoy gay sex and you are exactly my type?
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