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User information for Ratty

Real Name Ratty   
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Nickname Ratty
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Signed On Apr 11, 2005, 20:15
Total Comments 1178 (Pro)
User ID 22908
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
3. No subject Feb 1, 2007, 12:57 Ratty
Really the only thing about Vista I can't tolerate is all the new DRM it's infested with. I'm not a pirate--haven't stolen software or entertainment for decades--but even I'm pissed off about all the things the entertainment industry is taking away from legitimate users. Will I be able to save over the air HDTV content to my harddrive and take screenshots without it becoming downrezzed? Will I be able to fast forward through commercials? Skip the obnoxious FBI warnings and movie previews? Save HDTV to Blu-ray or Digital tape?

I just bought my first LCD HDTV and so those things are on my mind lately.

The only thing I really WANT from Vista is DX10. I'm wondering whether it'll be possible to do a dual boot system, Windows XP and Vista?

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
9. Re: Global Warming Effects Could Be See Jan 30, 2007, 13:19 Ratty
I hope these aren't the same guys who are telling me what the weather will be like next week.
I couldn't agree more. I hate when a few scientists proclaim some hurricane or heat wave is due to global warming. They get all the headlines while the more cautious ones are ignored. We're having weird weather, cold snaps, heat waves, unseasonable temperatures here in California, and respectable climatologists, the vast majority, will point out that it is due to El Niņo, not global warming.

Yes, global warming caused by man is real. It is serious and we're in big trouble. The oil companies and Republicans use the tactic of introducing doubt, claiming there are real scientists out there who do not agree, when the science couldn't be more clear. This is the same strategy they use to combat the teaching of evolution in our schools.

Ten years isn't a long time. When scientists predict half of Indonesia will be underwater in 10 years (seriously!), what will happen when ten years have gone by and Indonesia is still fine? What happens when we have a mild hurricane season? It plays right into Republican hands.

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News Comments > Morning Screenshots - DNF?
7. Re: No subject Jan 26, 2007, 12:02 Ratty
It looks more like an action figure to me. But if it is a real game shot, then that is pretty impressive. Although it could be a cinematic from the game and not actual game play.
I'm thinking maybe it's true in-game as George claims but with some kind of super computer setup. 4 high-end SLI video cards, quad CPU, something like that. And it probably plays at something like 10 FPS or something. Whatever it is I'll bet 99% of players won't see anything like that when/if the game comes out. More like a marketing stunt, sell it to people using screenshots like that I'll bet.

This comment was edited on Jan 26, 12:03.
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News Comments > Ritual Ends SiNning Ways?
40. Re: No subject Jan 25, 2007, 13:39 Ratty
Quite frankly I think they deserved this. Their business decisions and miscalculations of the desires of the consumer combined with arrogance have taken them here. Had SiN 2 been a regular game they'd likely been in a different position.
I don't think they had a choice. They'd shopped SiN2 around to different publishers with a demo they'd made and simply couldn't sell it. Steam was their ONLY recourse. I imagine the decision to make it episodic also had mostly to do with finances (regardless of what their marketing guys may have claimed). Without the money from a publisher it was probably their sole option.

Too bad about Ritual, I always liked them. But at least they haven't gone out of business.

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News Comments > Evening Legal Briefs
2. No subject Jan 23, 2007, 13:29 Ratty
Mmm, misread that last article title ...

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News Comments > Matto4 for Far Cry
7. No subject Jan 5, 2007, 14:21 Ratty
I only just discovered user created sp levels for farcry. I hadn't know there were so many. I played just about all of them over a 2 month period. The Matto levels were the best. I'm looking forward to this one.

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News Comments > Saturday Safety Dance
8. No subject Dec 31, 2006, 14:10 Ratty
No big surprise here. When my phone is next to the computer or the TV I can tell it's doing something because there's a burst of static every once in awhile. Very occasionally it does this just before it rings but most of the times there doesn't seem to be any reason. I just figured it was checking for messages or something. It's a prepaid phone--paid for with cash--because I don't use it that much. I wonder if the FBI is triangulating in on it to find the location of the owner, me.

I'd heard this story before but in that case they had to get their hands on the phone first and plant something inside it. There was nothing about this feature being available in every phone as built by the manufacturer.

This comment was edited on Dec 31, 14:14.
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News Comments > Saturday Consolidation
26. Crysis Dec 31, 2006, 14:05 Ratty
Crap! I had pointed to Crytek as an example of a company that could still make a PC game without compromising it for XBox 360's lower tech and dumbing it down for the Box's audience. Sure, it'd come to a console someday but they really were going to make it the very best PC game they possibly could first.


I know, the article isn't definitive and they're not saying they're doing parallel development, but still, if true it's got to be influencing their design. Parallel development is GREAT for publishers and developers but it's NEVER a good thing for players.

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News Comments > Saturday Legal Briefs
6. Re Morse Code Dec 17, 2006, 13:47 Ratty
I learned morse in college. A buddy and I ran a wire between his building and mine right next door. He knew morse and we spent hours talking to each other as I got better and better. Started with the old-fashioned key type then graduated to the double paddle model.

Why? It was fun.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
10. High IQ link to being vegetarian Dec 15, 2006, 13:46 Ratty
I myself am not a vegetarian, though I eat very little meat and generally only fish at that (I make exceptions for Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey). Nobody in my family is vegetarian. Except my niece. She's 12 now but became a vegetarian when she was 9 or 10. She's very devoted to it--absolutely will not eat meat of any kind. Nobody understands why or how this happened or where she got it. Her parents and siblings eat a LOT of meat. Probably her damn liberal left wing tree hugging NEA loving teachers!

She's really really smart too. Smartest kid I've ever seen. I wouldn't be surprised if she tests as a genius.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
8. Re: Pears Dec 15, 2006, 13:39 Ratty
Confirming Mr. Barnum's observation yet again.
Dan =0) is right. Everybody on Earth has bought something they knew was extravagent and most certainly not worth the price, but it's fun. Buying things and spending money is fun if you have it. If you haven't bought something you need in a while, sometimes you have to buy something you don't need. And $3.95 won't make anybody bankrupt. Bought some Grapples myself a little while ago (half grape, half apple) KNOWING they wouldn't be as fabulous as I imagined. And they weren't. It was a novelty to bite into an apple and taste the hint of grape but I wouldn't eat them very often even if they were free.

My weakness is for expensive wine. It's good alright but probably not THAT good.

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News Comments > The Early Show - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Movie
6. Re: No subject Dec 15, 2006, 13:15 Ratty
The graphics still look very good. Most of the current generation of games are just the same except everyone needs to see some kind of shiny bump-mapping now to consider it "cutting edge".
And the shiny bump mapping makes things look weird anyway, most of the time. I'm replaying FEAR Extraction Point and turned everything down to the lowest graphical setting to get the best performance. I discovered I liked it a lot better that way anyway. No more harsh, razor sharp black shadows--it was a lot easier to just *see* the game. No artifical looking plasticy shiny surfaces. I did turn the water quality back up to high though.

I guess it depends on the skill of the artists. I remember I though a lot of the shiny effects in Riddick looked pretty awesome. But I'll always hate those sharp edged shadows. Give me DirectX 10 and soft shadows!

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News Comments > Evening Q&As
3. Gay gaming Dec 12, 2006, 15:25 Ratty
Are there enough gay gamers to make a developer and publisher profitable?
Are there enough gay TV viewers to make Will and Grace a successful show? How about Ellen? Will and Grace was funny, it was a good show and despite homosexuality being the principle theme it attracted plenty of viewers. Ellen wasn't funny and even though it didn't focus on homosexuality as much as Will and Grace it failed. Our mass market is pretty much used to gay themes in entertainment and what matters is whether or not it's good.

But the video game market is still quite different, dominated by young men of a certain age range who are more immature and intolerant than the general population. Plus Wal*Mart is the big socially conservative 500 lb gorilla in this picture. Incidental gay themes pop up in games like the Sims with its broad appeal and do fine but anywhere else (FPS, RPG, Sports, etc.) I think it'll be relegated to very small-budget niche games.

Or else just hard core porn sex simulations where it'll sell like gangbusters.

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News Comments > New Alien Games
19. Fantastic Voyage Dec 11, 2006, 13:27 Ratty
I think Fantastic Voyage would make a pretty awesome computer game. I'm surprised nobody has done it before now.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
26. Re: No subject Dec 8, 2006, 16:22 Ratty
So if i stumble upon a patch of mushrooms in my yard, can i tell whether they are poisionous by just looking at them? is there a dead-set, obvious notifier that tells me they're poisonous?
There is NO such generic test for mushroom poisonousness. No kit, no quick little color-change test tube thingy, no visual appearance clues. Sorry. You simply have to learn not only the mushroom but any potential lookalikes.

and how does one become a mushroom hunter?
You find another experienced mushroom hunter to teach you and go out and hunt with you. There is NO other safe way. I have friends in the mycology department I go out hunting with. Though I know how to use a key, take a spore print and all that, I'd never eat anything I didn't first take to my expert friends a few times for identification until I really knew them intimately (the mushrooms, not the experts). Thus I'm confident about 6 or 7 varieties only--everything else I have identified first.

Every case of people dying from mushroom poisoning I have ever heard of were immigrants, usually slavic or asian. They were experts in their own country but not here. Every case. So pick your expert carefully.

It's a wonderful hobby. Just like easter egg hunting except for adults. Taking a long walk through the woods is fun. Taking a long walk while hunting for hidden treasure is even funner.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
13. Re: No subject Dec 8, 2006, 14:57 Ratty
Around here chanterelles grow like weeds. $13.00/lb at Berkeley Bowl, free when you pick 'em yourself. They are curiously devoid of taste though compared with ones that grow up near Mendocino (my favorite mushroom hunting grounds) or Oregon. Still, they have a nice texture and I use them in just about everything.

Hedgehogs are delicious ($19.00/lb) I've found the occasional patch here and there. They're my absolute favorite, except maybe of course boletes which are *awesome* when you can find them--Tilden's good for those though you have to sneak them out past the rangers.

I find bluetts on people's lawns and it's always cause for excitement when I spot a patch of shaggy manes I can rush home, dip in batter and deep fry before they melt away to inky nothingness.

*Rarely* I'll find morelles in new piles of landscaping bark imported from the east coast.

That's about my complete repertoire. I don't care for oyster mushrooms and I stay away from ones that look like anything else that might be poison. I mean I'm 98% sure they're safe but it's that 2% of uncertainty that scares me off.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
5. Weather Dec 8, 2006, 13:23 Ratty
I typically go mushroom hunting at the end of November but there has been so little rain here in the Bay Area that the mushrooms aren't mushing. I haven't actually checked, are we behind in our rainfall compared to other years?

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News Comments > Into the Black
19. Re: Judge rules paper money unfair to bl Nov 29, 2006, 15:31 Ratty
What is comes down to is a judge being an idiot.
I don't think so in this case. Judges interpret laws and Congress passed a law, the Rehabilitation Act, under which our paper money is a violation. We may argue that changing all of our paper money to accomodate a small portion of the population is unreasonable (or not) but it's not up to a judge to decide that. It's up to Congress who needs to modify the law if they want.
Great point, now let's wait until a politician points that out and forces all stores to get brail recipt machines!
Not under the Rehabilitation Act, which only pertains to federal services and agencies which receive federal funds. Let's not get all hysterical here.

This comment was edited on Nov 29, 15:35.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
10. Re: Bullshot Nov 12, 2006, 13:17 Ratty
That's a pretty good piece of nasty by Penn and Teller.
I didn't used to but in the last couple of years I've really come to despise Libertarians. They are more fanatically devoted to the purity of their ideology than the most stalwart communists ever were. Libertarianism looks good on paper--I always thought so at least--but *any* good philosophy will involve compromise, recognition that not everything is black and white, that different problems sometimes require different solutions,. Even the most promising and well-intentioned philosophy should actually have to *work* in the real world.

P & T (and other Libertarians), you could rebut them with the most reasoned, factual, and well crafted argument and their hands will still stay firmly fastened over their eyes and ears.

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News Comments > Morning Q&As
3. Re: No subject Nov 10, 2006, 15:47 Ratty
I loved Ender's Game but yeah, OSC's politics have pretty much spoiled his stuff for me. Same for Terry Goodkind. I liked his stuff until I read the dedication to one of his books, can't remember what it said exactly but it was right wingy. Thought WTF? then read the book portraying a faction of people who wanted peace as stupid, moronic, ideologically intolerant, hopelessly naive tree hugger types who deserve the slaughter they are inviting. The comparisons to Iraq were overpowering. I think this was all before even the most die-hard right wing yahoos came to realize Iraq was a horrible, horrible mistake.

Unlike Goodkind though, I'll say I never noticed OSC's views coming through in his work. He did one series of books about a prehistorical North American civilization whose over mormonsim left a bad taste in my mouth but at least did not overtly offend (and after all, Battlestar Galactica was originally imbued with a great deal of Mormon symbology thanks to its Mormon creator). It was all his extra literary nut job rantings on his blogs and columns and what not that put me off him for good.

It's a shame when an artist's political or personal views and foibles get in the way of what may be a great opus of creativity taken on its own merits. But that's the way I feel.

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1178 Comments. 59 pages. Viewing page 42.
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