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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 2682 (Senior)
User ID 13410
User comment history
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
14. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 11, 2013, 12:44 Scottish Martial Arts
The only reason LotR is still so successful is because of the movies and the ensuing games/toys/etc. Try to get any teenager to read the books nowadays and they'll be asleep by page 10.

I got the impression that he would gladly forgo the money and new found popularity of his father's writings if it meant that Middle-Earth hadn't been turned into "an action film for teenagers" as he put it in the interview. Tolkien was a philologist (of Old English, no less) -- that's not a field you go into because you have a great love of or desire for money and fame. From what I can gather, The Silmarillion, and its associated stories, was his chief interest and passion, but no one was willing to publish something that demands a background in the epic poetry of dead Classical and Medieval languages in order to be fully appreciated and understood. Hence, the Hobbit, and subsequently, and due to continued publisher resistance to The Silmarillion, The Lord of the Rings. One of Tolkien's first publications was a volume of poetry called Songs for the Philologists -- the title should make clear whom he envisioned as the audience for his fictional work. As such, I think it's a mistake to think that Tolkien's aim was the creation of a commercial product to generate a profit and everflowing revenue stream for himself and his heirs. Rather, it was the creation of a prose epic that would appeal to those who know Homer and Beowulf well (and hopefully in Greek and Old English) and that would give to England a legendary and mythical alternate history, in the style of the Norse and Ancient Greeks, that would be distinctly English. With that in mind, I can see why Christopher Tolkien is a bit dismayed that Middle-Earth is now chiefly associated with some entertaining, but loud, bombastic, and utterly unsubtle films from a director of great visual imagination but little story telling talent.
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News Comments > Steam Linux Stats - Linux Console This Year?
6. Re: Steam Linux Stats - Linux Console This Year? Jan 6, 2013, 14:42 Scottish Martial Arts
The Half Elf wrote on Jan 6, 2013, 13:35:
If you have never used Linux before (namely Ubuntu) and never used Windows 8 before, how likely is the average joe going to switch to it just for gaming?

The average user will not have any difficulty using a modern Linux distro to write email, use the internet, manage their finances, etc. In fact, for Grandma, Linux might be preferable in that she won't have to worry about "those computer viruses crashing my computer." Likewise, as long as you don't give her root access to the computer, and thus the ability to fuck things up, her computer will remain stable and speedy far longer than the average Windows installation tends to. On the other hand, Linux is much less commonly used, and Grandma won't find a How to Use Linux class at the senior center. So in that sense, it is a bit of trade off, but either way, there is nothing particularly hard about using the GUI of a modern Linux distro: if you can use Windows you can use Linux, and vice-versa.

Now for those who are more sophisticated computer users than Grandma or Average Joe, Linux comes with more challenges and more rewards. Most PC gamers obtain at least a passing familiarity with how a computer works, how to tweak settings, and how to troubleshoot problems; someone wanting to use Linux for more than web browsing absolutely MUST have those skills. With Linux, you are your own tech support. While there are copious resources on the web for working with Linux, and while nearly every problem you encounter will have a step by step solution just a google search away, it is incumbent upon you, the user, to find those resources and solutions and to implement them. With Linux, becoming comfortable with the command line really is essential, where as in Windows, even an intermediate power user can get away with only rarely using the command prompt. So what's the upside of this? I'd say Linux is more satisfying to use, more customizable, more powerful, and engages more of your intellect. Were my Steam and GOG catalog, plus DCS World, all to work on Linux, I probably would stop being a Windows user.
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News Comments > Bond Games MIA
6. Re: Bond Games MIA Jan 4, 2013, 22:35 Scottish Martial Arts
Anyway, I've always wanted to see a good Bond game - never played Goldeneye. Was it like NOLF?

There were some definite similarities. Goldeneye's big thing was that it was objective driven rather than "find the exit" driven. Now, often times your last objective was to exit the level, but prior to that you would explore relatively non-linear levels to find key items, blow up certain things, kill/talk to key NPCs, etc. The difficulty levels were also quite interesting in that difficulty not only affected the number of enemies in the level, but also what objectives you had to complete, what doors were initially locked, etc. Now that said, there was only one level that involved anything approximating stealth, the environments were pretty non-interactive and didn't fell terribly alive, and there wasn't nearly the focus on gadgetry that NOLF had, so in that respect the games are quite different, but at the least you can see some influence of Goldeneye upon NOLF.

At any rate, I haven't played Goldeneye in over 12 years, so I have no idea if it still holds up, but at the time it was a pretty solid shooter.
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News Comments > Boxing Day Mobilization
12. Re: Boxing Day Mobilization Dec 26, 2012, 23:43 Scottish Martial Arts
The idea that pilots will use them in the cockpit is bollocks. Consumer navigation equipment is classified as "for information only", which means you shouldn't trust it. Certified GPS / navigation equipment costs an arm and a leg, but BA planes will have it anyway.

I highly doubt that BA hopes to replace a glass cockpit moving map system with the GPS on the iPad. Rather, I would expect that the iPad would have a database of sectional charts, ILS approach charts, airport diagrams, etc., i.e. stuff that they'd carry around in paper form anyway.
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News Comments > Boxing Day Mobilization
7. Re: Boxing Day Mobilization Dec 26, 2012, 19:22 Scottish Martial Arts
I'm not a pilot so I'm not keen on the details but.....shouldn't that kind of stuff be done by the PLANE? Ground and cabin I suppose I could see, but pilots? Why don't they already have that?

Depends on the airplane and what kind of avionics package it has. Regardless, having a redundant source of navigation data is never a bad thing. Ideally, you should be treating a modern INS/GPS navigation system, and older (but still VERY useful) radio navigation tools such as ADF, VOR and ILS, as a backup to the traditional dead reckoning tools of clock, compass, and map, but often times it's the other way around.
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News Comments > IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad Announced
3. Re: IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad Announced Dec 11, 2012, 11:22 Scottish Martial Arts
Eh, Cliffs of Dover turned out pretty decent in the end; it just took over a year of patching to get there. Still a bit slim on content though.

It's odd that this will focus on Stalingrad though, because for months, the communication from the devs on the official board was that the next release would focus on June '41 to December '41, i.e. Barbarossa to the German advance being turned back just a few miles from Moscow.
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News Comments > Evening Safety Dance
3. Re: Evening Safety Dance Dec 5, 2012, 22:03 Scottish Martial Arts
Cutter wrote on Dec 5, 2012, 21:04:
Wow, scary article on the NSA - as well as several other articles on that site.

While it wouldn't surprise me in the least if this whistleblowers claims are true, do keep in mind who's doing the reporting here: Russia Today, which is to Putin's Kremlin as Fox News is to the GOP.
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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition
9. Re: Ships Ahoy - Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Nov 28, 2012, 23:42 Scottish Martial Arts
New intro cinematic:

Good god, who thought THAT was an improvement? Never thought I'd prefer 15 year old CGI to much of anything, but here we are.
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News Comments > etc.
28. Re: etc. Nov 17, 2012, 17:12 Scottish Martial Arts
Other Congresses and Administrations, both Democrat and Republican in the past have been able to negotiate and compromise to pass budgets without one side having total dominion of the legislative branch.

Politifact says:

Ornstein referred us to the gridlock of 2011 that resulted from the debate over raising the debt ceiling. The budget control act, which was passed to avoid a default on our debt and signed by Obama wasn’t a traditional budget resolution, Ornstein said. But he noted: "That was actually a budget adopted by a president."

Ornstein also noted that during George W. Bush’s presidency, there were years that Democrats in Congress failed to pass joint resolutions.

"To suggest that was Bush not passing a budget would be a misstatement," Ornstein said. He called Romney’s rap on Obama "at best a gross exaggeration."

In his speech, Romney faulted Obama for failing to pass a budget. He was correct that the two times Congress voted on the president’s budget requests, both times they were voted down. But the job of passing a budget resolution is not the president’s. That responsibility falls to Congress, and even then the president doesn’t sign it. As Ellis, our expert, put it: "The president has no role in passing a budget. The president can cajole Congress about passing a budget and advocate for positions and funding levels, but in the end, Congress approves the budget resolution for their own purposes." That’s the difference between this and other claims we’ve rated which blamed Congress for inaction on the budget.

Romney’s statement contains a grain of truth, in that two of Obama’s budget requests failed to pass. But citing those votes leaves a wrong impression -- namely that the votes were anything more than political theater. Romney omitted the more critical information that passing a federal budget is the job of Congress. Given all that, we rate his statement Mostly False.

Sorry, didn't mean to introduce some nuance to your right-wing talking points.
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News Comments > etc.
12. Re: etc. Nov 16, 2012, 18:53 Scottish Martial Arts
ledhead1969 wrote on Nov 16, 2012, 17:10:
"Growing up from nothing taught me a couple of valuable lessons, though, #1 being: The system isn't designed so that everyone can get ahead just by working hard, regardless of what people tell you."

Spoken like a true loser.

If only the Tea Partiers would follow through on their vows to emigrate or secede. It's hilarious that the party of "personal responsibility" would attract such perpetual adolescents.
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
8. Re: Morning Consolidation Nov 16, 2012, 18:37 Scottish Martial Arts
Smellfinger wrote on Nov 16, 2012, 17:24:
strong placebo wrote on Nov 16, 2012, 13:54:
halo 1 multiplayer was quite a phenomenon for its time.

Halo 1 wasn't playable on Xbox Live, though. Live was around for two years before you could play a Halo game on it and it was already well established by then.

Yup. Halo 1 was a system launch title in 2001 and its multiplayer was limited to split-screen and LAN only. Xbox Live didn't go online until 2002, with Mech Assault as its flagship product. Halo 2 didn't hit until 2004, at which point Xbox Live was already there to stay.
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News Comments > Deus Ex Film Director & Writer
10. Re: Deus Ex Film Director & Writer Nov 15, 2012, 22:52 Scottish Martial Arts
DX:HR was a great game, but it had a meandering, unfocused, borderline incoherent script. To me, it seemed as if their writers had a couple ideas for a story, but never quite figured out how to develop them, how they would fit together, and where they would go. In the end, it was a superb game with great artwork and atmosphere, but the story itself just wasn't very good, which is especially glaring in a Deus Ex game.

As for the director and writer for the movie, Sinister was a surprisingly good horror movie, but I'm not sure the folks behind that are a good match for a cyberpunk thriller.
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News Comments > Baldur's Gate II Enhanced Edition Next Year
5. Re: Baldur's Gate II Enhanced Edition Next Year Nov 11, 2012, 15:34 Scottish Martial Arts
From what I can gather, there's very little that's "enhanced" about this release. Primarily it's a port for tablets, with a few new NPCs and a new quest/area. I think I'll just stick with BGT.  
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News Comments > Free Skyfall DLC for 007 Legends This Month
4. Re: Free Skyfall DLC for 007 Legends This Month Nov 9, 2012, 23:45 Scottish Martial Arts
I'm hearing a lot of 'best Bond ever' feedback.

I was a bit let down precisely because that was the sort of thing I was hearing going into it too. Don't get me wrong: it's a good Bond flick and totally worth seeing, but "best Bond ever" is REALLY stretching it.
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News Comments > Diablo III Expansion Plans; StarCraft: Heart of the Swarm Early Next Year
13. Re: Diablo III Expansion Plans; StarCraft: Heart of the Swarm Early Next Year Nov 8, 2012, 01:23 Scottish Martial Arts
Have they announced how much heart of swarm will cost? I can't see paying another $60.

$39.99 same as every other Blizzard expansion since at least Lords of Destruction. I kinda recall getting Brood War for $30, but it might have been on sale when I picked it up, or the mere fact that it was 14 years ago means my memory has faded a bit.

I still enjoy Blizzard releases, even the much reviled Diablo 3, but good god, they're even worse than Valve at this point when it comes to timely releases. It's been over two years since Starcraft II was released, and it'll still probably be another 6 months or so before Heart of the Swarm is out -- a ridiculous amount of time for what's supposed to be 20+ single player missions, and a half dozen or so new multiplayer units.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
50. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 7, 2012, 17:51 Scottish Martial Arts
xXBatmanXx wrote on Nov 7, 2012, 16:17:
I went half hour before polls closed, figured the weather would keep people away....not the case. I stood in line for 3 is fucking 2012....and it felt like it was the 1700s....

Man, what is it with these third world polling places back East? Here in California I was in and out in about two minutes. Of course, we have a huge absentee balloting system, where you can opt to have your ballot mailed to you about a month in advance, and then you can either mail it in, or drop it off at your polling place on election day, as I did.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
174. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 7, 2012, 14:54 Scottish Martial Arts
I think you're quoting the wrong person, every US citizen has the right to vote, and that's how it should be. Or you didn't realize my reply was 100% sarcasm.

I understood that your reply was sarcasm. My point was that if you're going to wave around the Constitution like it's the word of God, then it might help to read it one day and discover that ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTION ordinary people don't get to vote for President or for US Senators. Obviously, the election of Senators by popular vote was amended (18th amendment, I think? I need to look it up), and state legislatures have turned over the selection of Electors to a popular vote. But that's not what's in Articles I and II of the US Constitution, and certainly was not what was intended by the Founders.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
169. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 7, 2012, 14:27 Scottish Martial Arts
Yep it totally sucks that voting isn't totally restricted to socialists and those that share the view point that in order to prosper again, America needs to become another Europe.

You're a tea partier, right? So you view the Constitution as a document to be unerringly followed to the letter, correct? Did you ever notice how US Senators and the President are "voted" for? Go look it up: I'll wait. Back now? What's that? You couldn't find any provision for citizens to directly vote for either their US Senators or their President? Did you notice that Senators are to be selected by the state legislatures, with no voter input, and that Electors for the Presidency are to be selected by the state legislatures as well, again with no input from voters?

See the thing is, the Founders were HIGHLY suspicious of ordinary citizens being given too much power. They looked at the example of Ancient Athens, and generally recoiled in horror at the influence of demagogues on the hoi polloi, especially during the Peloponnesian War. As such, while they wanted to give ordinary citizens a voice in government, they didn't want to give them TOO MUCH of a voice. Therefore, they sought to insulate the Senate and the Presidency from the volatility of the public mood, by ensuring that only "the right kind of people" had the power to elect them, i.e. state legislatures, and electors, who were envisioned as being prominent citizens reputed for political wisdom, and thus less likely to be carried away by the will of the mob.

The point of all of this is that if you were truly a "Conservative" trying to preserve (the literal meaning of conservare, the Latin root of conservative) the original meaning of the US Constitution, then you'd very much be in support of only "the right kind of people" being allowed to vote.
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
8. Re: Evening Tech Bits Oct 30, 2012, 16:52 Scottish Martial Arts

My bad was thinking I was responding to someone else.

This comment was edited on Oct 30, 2012, 17:00.
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News Comments > Game Reviews
2. Re: Game Reviews Sep 19, 2012, 13:07 Scottish Martial Arts
I got as far as "We've got Hostiles" before I realized that I didn't think anything of value had really been added and that I'd rather just play HL1 again, which is what I've been doing. Black Mesa isn't bad, per se, but it just feels unnecessary -- you can't really improve on what was a perfect shooter.  
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2682 Comments. 135 pages. Viewing page 13.
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