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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request
ICQ None given.
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 3188 (Veteran)
User ID 13410
User comment history
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News Comments > Morning Mobilization
16. Re: Morning Mobilization Jul 13, 2015, 13:45 Scottish Martial Arts
Cutter wrote on Jul 13, 2015, 11:10:
And what direction was that? Rectangular? iPod - rectangle, iPhone - rectangle, iPad - rectangle, MacBook Pro - rectangle. Yeah, real visionary stuff.

Hint: business leadership is only tangentially about the objective newness or quality of the product being sold.
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News Comments > FINAL FANTASY XIV OS X Pulled, Refunds Offered
21. Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV OS X Pulled, Refunds Offered Jul 5, 2015, 22:41 Scottish Martial Arts
Axis wrote on Jul 5, 2015, 18:47:

Mac Gaming market - now that's funny! For a second there, I though you were serious!

Maybe you haven't heard but it isn't 1996 anymore.
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News Comments > FINAL FANTASY XIV OS X Pulled, Refunds Offered
9. Re: FINAL FANTASY XIV OS X Pulled, Refunds Offered Jul 5, 2015, 18:31 Scottish Martial Arts
Axis wrote on Jul 5, 2015, 17:32:
Why game companies humour mac is beyond me...

Presumably for the same reason they "humor" the PC: there's a market there, albeit not the largest, and they can make a profit in it.
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
13. Re: Evening Tech Bits Jul 2, 2015, 13:31 Scottish Martial Arts
InBlack wrote on Jul 2, 2015, 03:21:
SMA you have obviously never heard of the R27ET have you? It is a Russian infrared missile with a maximum reported range of 120 km. (The latest versions). No radar required. Let's take that reported range with a grain of salt, and halve it to get to a realistic max range of 60 km. Thats still well beyond visual range, and no its not short range. (My point being that its a myth that IR missiles are necessarily always short range)

The R27ET is certainly an exception; on that point you are absolutely right. The Russians have invested a lot more heavily in thermal sensors, and in fact the Su-27 and Su-33 carry their own dedicated infrared search and track system.

More broadly though, the nature of a thermal sensor is that it can't 'see' as far as a radar; the radar is using echo-location by active, directed radio wave and the former is using temperature contrasts between an object and its background. Relative to radar-guided missiles, infrared missiles are much shorter range. Likewise, all IR missiles within the US arsenal, and nearly all within the Russian arsenal (the R-60 with its 8km range is a whole lot more common the R-27ET), have ranges that limit their use to a close in fight.

So while I went to far by saying that infrared weapons are "necessarily" for short range combat, it wouldn't be wrong to say that an infrared sensor "heavily implies" that a missile is for short range use.
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
9. Re: Evening Tech Bits Jul 2, 2015, 02:55 Scottish Martial Arts
eRe4s3r wrote on Jul 1, 2015, 23:13:
25km is close, but gun attack range is 1km to 2km You carry these missiles not to get into dogfight distance, but to have something superior than a gun should anything get into YOUR range despite a best try at avoiding it ;p And would you rather have a gun in a F35, or 8 IRIS-T ?

25km is the operational maximum range. That's not the range at which you have a reasonable pK (probability of kill).

The nature of infrared guided missiles is that they are employed at close range. Here's a physics problem for you: if two fighters are each traveling in excess of 1000km/h directly towards each other, how many seconds does it take for the two planes to go from 25km apart, to 0km apart? (less than 45 seconds). Realistically though, the sensor on an IRIS-T is not going to pick up the thermal signature of an aircraft in head-on aspect at 25km, since the exhaust of the engines are going to be obscured by the body of the airplane. Toss in other things which can limit the sensor's ability to pick up the thermal signature, such as things as innocuous as clouds, to IR jammers and flares, and realistically you're looking at an engagement range of 10km: which is really good for an infrared guided missile! At that range, you can see your target, are less than 18 seconds from merging, and are already setting yourself up for your opening maneuver in a dogfight.

The point of this isn't to say that IR guided missiles are useless, but that they are close range weapons which are used by non-fighters in emergency self-defense, or by fighters who have committed to fighting a maneuvering battle. An F-35 that's about to use an IR guided missile is an F-35 that's about to experience the limitations of its weak single engine, heavy airframe, and sluggish maneuverability. Futhermore, it will never be a choice for an F-35 pilot to carry 8 IRIS-Ts, because to do so would mean carrying no long range weapons, and even worse, 6 of those missiles would have to be carried externally, negating the F-35s stealth.

The thing people forget about air to air combat is that prior to the merge, fighters are traveling EXTREMELY fast and therefore most weapon ranges really aren't as far as they sound, relative to how long it would take the airplane to travel the same distance. The other thing people forget is that missiles are still very imperfect, complex weapons that are prone to missing. A fighter that is going to shoot down enemy fighters needs to carry a mixture of medium range active and semi-active radar guided missiles, short range infrared missiles, and, yes, a cannon, so that the pilot has an array of options as the fight develops, because in all likelihood the enemy pilot isn't going to cooperate about when he's supposed to be shot down.
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
2. Re: Evening Tech Bits Jul 1, 2015, 21:29 Scottish Martial Arts
eRe4s3r wrote on Jul 1, 2015, 20:07:
Dogfight ability has zero relevance to plane performance in a modern AWACS supported war.

And... F-35 in Dogfight.. would be a major fail of the command structure. Considering the US can get the IRIS-T, which is a "furball" missile. Meaning it can turn around and chase targets that are behind, below or above a plane without having to turn the plane in that direction....

Yeah... no.

Nearly all air to air kills made in the past 30 years have been made well within visual range. In terms of beyond visual range combat, the F-35 represents an incremental improvement over existing technology; Moore's law does not apply to aerospace. The F-35 will be carrying the same AMRAAM missiles for beyond visual range combat that existing fighters carry -- although only 2(!) of them at a time -- and there is no reason to expect that its radar will have revolutionary performance gains over existing technologies. Likewise, the F-35's stealth capabilities are only effective in head-on aspect. While the F-35 is clearly designed to be most effective in the Beyond Visual Range arena, that does not mean we can reasonably expect all future F-35 air to air engagements to be won, or even fought, at that range.

As for the IRIS-T, that is a short-range infrared missile, one which will only ever be employed in a dogfight. If the launching platform is slow and unmaneuverable, like the F-35, then getting close enough to use such a missile is to cede any advantage or chance at survival you might have.

You also vastly overestimate what thrust vectoring can do. Yes, it is possible, under ideal conditions, for a thrust vectored missile to intercept and destroy a target that is below/behind/whatever the launching aircraft. That does not mean the probability of such a kill is high, or that such capability can be relied upon. Under most firing conditions, missiles really only have a small chance of hitting their targets. That's why pilots wait to fire them until the firing conditions improve to the point that the missile stands a reasonable chance of hitting. Counting on thrust vectoring to get an IRIS-T to the target, rather than maneuvering the launching aircraft into ideal firing conditions, is a near certain way for the missile not to hit its target.

The chief problem with the F-35 is that ignores everything we know about fighter tactics, air combat maneuvering, and Energy-Maneuverability Theorem in the hopes that the engineers will come up with such awesome avionics that it won't matter. I'm reminded of the initial run of F-4 Phantoms in Vietnam not being equipped with cannons because "missiles have rendered the dogfight obsolete": my concern with the F-35 is that, like North Vietnam's fighter pilots, our future adversaries may not cooperate with us about when and what range we'd like to have air engagements.
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
9. Re: Morning Metaverse Jun 22, 2015, 22:50 Scottish Martial Arts
KezClone wrote on Jun 22, 2015, 20:12:
Cutter wrote on Jun 22, 2015, 14:53:
I'm not defending Apple, I'm condeming the model that Swift and other parasites like her want. Apple in this case is doing musicians a favour. Giving people the opportunity to check out stuff they normally might not if it's a purchase or not at all scenario. It's bad enough they have everything skewed in their favour as it is. And then they wonder why piracy is still so rampant. The unmitigated greed of musicians is breathtaking.

You clearly don't understand the first thing about online streaming revenue models if you think musicians are raking in money with it.

He also -- as is his norm -- clearly didn't read the article: Swift explicitly states that she doesn't need to be paid more, but that she won't support a model in which artists who DO need that money are expected to finance Apple's own marketing promotions.
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
6. Re: Morning Tech Bits Jun 16, 2015, 03:37 Scottish Martial Arts
Axis wrote on Jun 15, 2015, 13:40:
Someone let Nick Statt in on the joke yet? PC games have never, ever suffered. Ever.

Just one of the many fads and falsehoods people will feel stupid to have believed in and propagated about in their lifetime.

Not even in 2004-2008ish when AAA development had almost entirely abandoned the PC, but Steam and other digital distribution platforms hadn't reached maturity?
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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.

It also routinely shows up on worst PC ports of all time listicles:


  • This comment was edited on Feb 1, 2015, 22:05.
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