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161  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Supernatural Season 7 on: November 06, 2013, 10:16:03 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on November 06, 2013, 07:34:38 PM

of course, they could be putting it in for a possible spin-off or something to focus on should they continue the series....


No, there shouldn't be a separate series for every single obnoxious character that actively disrupts whatever series originally birthed them.  The CW has already dedicated a primetime slot to The Originals so they'd stop shitting up The Vampire Diaries -- they could just as easily make Felicia Day's character join that cast and we'd still never have to see her again.

In fact, they should let all the networks in on this deal.  Can you imagine how much better television would be if Charlie from Revolution, Amelia from Private Practice, Scarecrow Joe from Under the Dome, Debra from Dexter, and whats-her-face from The Blacklist were all forced to leave their respective shows to be characters on The Originals?

-Autistic Angel
162  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [XB1] Dead Rising 3 on: November 06, 2013, 09:51:50 PM
Game Informer's Dan Ryckert says Dead Rising 3 will "be a standout of the launch lineup."

Quote from: Dan Ryckert
Many of the complaints about the original games revolved around frustratingly restrictive systems for saving and other necessary mechanics. The first game’s save system was horrible and the sequel’s combo system constantly required players to seek out work benches. Both issues are remedied in Dead Rising 3, as both saving and combining items can be done on the fly. Saving is a basic pause menu command, and combos are performed with a couple quick button presses in the item menu. With these two additions alone, Dead Rising 3 is instantly more enjoyable and accessible than its restrictive predecessors.


Quote from: Dan Ryckert
Basically, I just ran around and enjoyed myself. Previous games in the series have been good for this, but there was always some issue that kept me from really letting loose and having fun the way this third entry allows me to. Thanks to my hands-on time with the game, Dead Rising 3 is now one of my most-anticipated Xbox One titles.


Hopefully Tim Turi will be handling the full review -- he's their resident zombie expert -- but all signs point to this being a great exclusive for the XB1! thumbsup

-Autistic Angel
163  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Re: [360/PS3/PC/Wii U/PS4/XB1]Call of Duty:Ghosts on: November 05, 2013, 11:57:10 PM

Quote from: Canuck on November 05, 2013, 03:04:27 PM

Sounds like the PS4 version is going to pay for 1080p. Sounds like the framerate bogs in places where the 360 and PS3 are stable.


For what it's worth, Dan Ryckert said the opposite of this in Game Informer's Test Chamber, stating that the PS4 version does not suffer the occasional frame rate hitches he saw in the current-gen version of Ghosts.  He also speaks very highly of the PS4 controller.

Skip to about 14:10 for the relevant section.

-Autistic Angel
164  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Healthcare Exchanges Are Live. How's it Looking For You? on: November 05, 2013, 09:27:16 PM
I'm going to vote that we skip the next few plot points and get right to the climax: "Stop preventing insurance companies from competing across state lines!" is Conservative newspeak for "We demand the federal government eliminate the right of each state to determine its own healthcare policies."

Large insurance carriers like Anthem, Aetna, Cigna, and Humana are free to offer competing health insurance plans in all fifty states, and to the best of my knowledge, they all do.  The thing they *weren't* allowed to do was craft a health insurance plan that met regulatory requirements established by the state government in Tennessee and then sell that plan to residents of California where the requirements were more strict.  That would have allowed the largest insurance companies to adapt their plans to the lowest, most lax regulations in the country and sell them nationwide, circumventing state laws and easily undercutting smaller local competitors.  It's literally using the power of the federal government to take away existing state rights -- which Conservatives often claim makes them so mad! -- and reset the median quality of health coverage to the lowest possible level in the name of making everything better.

Ironically, the passage of the ACA gave Conservatives exactly what they said they wanted: insurance providers can now easily craft plans that pass muster in nearly every state in the union.  Instant competition across state lines!  The thing they're all upset about is that this was accomplished by establishing strict new national requirements for all insurance plans, so rather than picking and choosing which state regulations would net them the greatest profits, insurance companies are competing in a marketplace where everybody has cover pre-existing conditions, charge reasonable premiums and co-pays, and actually honor the terms of the policy when one of their consumers get sick.

-Autistic Angel
165  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Healthcare Exchanges Are Live. How's it Looking For You? on: November 05, 2013, 08:03:43 PM

Quote from: Moliere on November 05, 2013, 02:40:06 PM

Stop pretending that prior to Obamacare we had anything remotely resembling a free market in the health care industry. A free market requires unregulated prices and the ability of any company to enter the market to compete. Companies can only overcharge when the government limits their competition through regulations (i.e., making it too expensive to run a start-up) or outright barriers (e.g., not letting insurance companies do business across state lines).


Here's a list of the top 25 most profitable health insurance companies as of 2009.  Together, they accounted for about 64% of the marketplace with a few hundred smaller providers divvying up the final third.  Under the crushing yoke of excessive government regulations, these poor persecuted conglomerates barely able to scrape together $650,000,000,000 in premiums that year.

How much more competition do you believe is necessary to constitute a "free market?"  Also, can you link us to a list of which states have passed laws preventing certain insurance providers from doing business within their borders?

-Autistic Angel
166  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Previous Launch Console Experiences on: November 04, 2013, 11:36:07 PM
I picked up a PS2 and XBox long after their original launch, when there were enough games to justify the cost.  The N64 and GameCube were Day 1 purchases though, and although those systems are remembered as being overshadowed by the competition, I absolutely adored them.

The 360 is the only system where I missed the preorder window and was left trying to get one on launch day.  Here's how that went:

Quote from: Autistic Angel on November 22, 2005, 07:29:08 PM

I waited outside in the rain from about 5:00am until the local BJs Wholesale Club opened at 8:00.  Fifteen minutes before opening, an employee came out, handed ten tickets to the first ten people in line, and told them they were guaranteed an X-Box 360 Premium.  I was second in line at that time.

When the store opened at 8:00, the employee opened the doors only after cautioning everyone not to run or act crazy because everyone with a ticket was guaranteed a system.  Believing him, I didn't bother trying to push to the front of the very short line.

The final X-Box 360 sold to the person in front of me.  The cashier, under the watchful eye of an extremely professional supervisor and an extremely unprofessional assistant manager, had sold ten 360 systems and only collected nine tickets.  The assistant manager, Paula, started by telling me I was wasting my time asking what had just happened, and proceeded to intimate that I had either swiped someone else's ticket or had produced my own from thin air.  This ended somewhat after the supervisor pointed out that the number on my ticket matched in perfect sequence with the others, but the assistant manager succeeded in vanishing without even the most insincere apology.

Actually, if I want to be completely accurate, the last 360 was in the process of being sold when I held up my ticket and asked for an explanation.  Since the cashier couldn't remember if the buyer had given her a ticket, the supervisor tried to stop the transaction from going through until the issue was solved, but the assistant manager wound up ramming it through a short time later.  I probably could have raised a stink about that point, but since I'm confident that the buyer really was entitled to a system, there was no way I was going to levy a bad-faith accusation against him just so I could take his system from him.

Anyways, it'll be a few weeks before I'll be getting my 360, I guess.  On the plus side, I've already spoken directly with BJs Wholesale Club's VP of Branch Management, and while I may have put the supervisor on the fast track to promotion, I think the assistant manager is going to be wallowing in place for a while.  I'll be sure to drop off a duplicate of the formal written complaint at the local store, and I'll get to look the assistant manager in the eye when I do

I don't really care much about waiting for the X-Box 360, but I react badly to being called a liar, especially when every shred of evidence is on my side.

-Autistic Angel

A few weeks later, Purge was kind enough to help my friend and I acquire one from his neck of the woods.

Quote from: Autistic Angel on December 30, 2005, 01:48:22 AM

This will probably be moved to a different board almost immediately, but I really need to talk about what a great trading experience I had with Purge, and I think it should be as public as possible.

Most people who've been able to acquire multiple X-Box 360 units have been taking advantage of the huge holiday shortfall to make tidy profits selling them on E*Bay.  Whether you think that's pure greed or simple capitalism, I think everyone would agree that a person who would willingly forego a profitable opportunity in order to help out someone else -- especially a complete stranger -- is a remarkable human being.

After camping out overnight twice, once on 11/22 during the official 360 launch and once on 12/18 for the Best Buy relaunch, I came out empty handed both times.  Fortunately, Purge not only started an X-Box 360 Request Thread on this forum, he was also hunting around on his own time to find systems to help people like me out.

One week ago, Purge sent me a private message that he'd purchased another 360 if I still needed one.  Twenty-four hours later I PayPal-ed him the money for the cost of the system plus shipping, and the system arrived right on time and in perfect condition.  Also, going above and beyond the call, Purge even took the time to gift wrap the system and pen a nice Christmas message inside the shipping box.

I really can't overemphasize what an incredibly positive experience this entire trade was, and considering the circumstances, I wanted to make sure it was said publically.  I've thanked Purge via private message, but I'll do so again here: you've really made this a good holiday!  Thanks again! smile

-Autistic Angel

Two years later, that 360 got the Red Ring of Death and I sued Purge in small claims court for selling us defective goods.  People still recognize me from the episode of Judge Judy. icon_cry

-Autistic Angel
167  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Orbis. aka PlayStation 4? The rumors are put to rest. on: November 04, 2013, 11:08:54 PM

Quote from: Turtle on November 04, 2013, 10:57:46 PM

This list was floating around soon after the initial announcement, all known Sony studios and what they might be working on.


The bad news is, no matter what the next game in the series is actually called, it will never surpass my love of the title Tales of ??.

"Yes, you can help me.  I'm here to preorder a copy of 'Tales of Question Mark Question Mark.'"

It's just like seeing those screenshots of the Japanese version of Super Mario Sunshine.  No matter how many years go by, I've never stopped wishing that every level in the American release ended with the congratulatory message, "SHINE GET!"

-Autistic Angel
168  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Orbis. aka PlayStation 4? The rumors are put to rest. on: November 04, 2013, 11:03:20 PM

Quote from: TiLT on November 04, 2013, 10:14:31 PM

There's been a worrisome rumor over the last week or two that the PS4 has problems with overheating. It's been repeated on NeoGAF a couple of times, and Marcus Beer mentioned it in his latest Annoyed Gamer episode (he had heard the rumor. He didn't have personal experience with the problem). Despite all this, there wasn't any credible source to lean on, and nobody seemed to know anyone who could truly back the rumor up, despite the rumor saying that the claim came from multiple developers. This is also the reason I never reposted the rumor here. It was just too flimsy. I was waiting for some kind of confirmation.


I remember there were pervasive stories ahead of its release that the PS3 was prone to overheating.  They were eventually linked back to the fact that stores like Best Buy were encasing their demo units in airtight plastic shells and then wondering why they were howling like banshees and constantly crashing.  By contrast, I don't remember any prerelease rumors about the 360 having an effective 90% failure rate within 18-months.

Obviously those are different from the "multiple unnamed developers say...." type of rumor this appeared to be, but it was a good reminder that there's no substitute for for a good old worldwide release.  It's also the reason why I haven't ruled out buying an XBox One later this year -- if the PS4 actually did turn out to have some sort of fatal design defect, I'd reverse my console preferences in a heartbeat.

-Autistic Angel
169  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 11 days until launch. Which system are you getting? on: November 04, 2013, 10:28:34 PM

Quote from: YellowKing on November 04, 2013, 09:43:26 PM

Quote from: wonderpug
(to Purge) Your arguments and msd's basically boil down to "it's not illegal, so it's ok."  I think it's possible for practices to be despicable even if they're completely legal.

It's hard for me to get worked up over a game console which is not only NOT a necessity, it's a luxury a great many people in the world could never hope to afford.

Guy selling bottled water after a hurricane for $20 a jug = despicable. Guy trying to make some money off a PS4? Business man.


There are a great many people in the world who don't have access to clean drinking water.  If Guy takes it upon himself to package up a shipment of potable water and transport it into a hurricane-ravaged zone, missing out on whatever other profitable work he would have had scheduled, why is it more despicable that he seek compensation for his time and effort?  Is he seizing something away from others to hoard it for himself, or offering a service at considerable risk to his own interests?  Besides, if the Poors were really so desperate for clean water, maybe they should have taken some personal responsibility rather than laying about dying of dysentery.

It's possible to rationalize anything if you want it bad enough.  The other option to make choices that don't require elaborate justifications to sound palatable.


Quote from: YellowKing on November 04, 2013, 09:43:26 PM

Furtherfurthermore, the seller is assuming some amount of risk, in that Sony could decide to flood the market with new units leaving him holding the bag for a bunch of units he now can't offload. So it's not like he's in a foolproof situation to take advantage of someone.


I wonder where your exemplar would purchase his hoard of consoles that he could not return the unopened units for a full refund within a generous time frame.  Perhaps he should choose Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Toys 'R Us, GameStop, Sam's Club, BJ's Wholesale Club, or CostCo -- all places where a liberal return policy would help immunize him from risk as he tries to take advantage of people.


Quote from: YellowKing on November 04, 2013, 09:43:26 PM

Furtherfurtherfurthermore, every retailer has the ability, if they wish, to limit number of purchases per individual. If an individual tries to "game" this system by using multiple addresses/identities then I agree he's a cad and a scoundrel.  But if he's legally purchasing up to the number of units he's allowed to purchase, what he does with them is his business.


Except neither option is against the law.  Again, I am mystified as to why buying up consoles you do not want so you can turn a profit on other people's desires is impressive, but doing so through multiple e-mail addresses or website identities is deplorable.  Both paths result in transactions that are technically legal, and if that's how we're going to define "morality," at least the second one requires modicum of effort.

-Autistic Angel
170  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 12 days until launch. Which system are you getting? on: November 04, 2013, 06:46:30 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on November 04, 2013, 05:59:47 PM

Quote from: Soulchilde on November 04, 2013, 02:26:13 PM

cancelled the PS4 .. my guilt wouldn't allow me to make a profit off someone willing to pay double for it.  I just can't be that guy


Good for you.  I find the practice pretty despicable and right up there on the "this is why we can't have nice things" list along with abusing return policies so much that companies scale them back enough and hurt legitimate returns.
 

Ditto.  I'm disappointed, personally, that I'll have to wait a while to see you on my PS4 friends list, but I'm glad to hear you're choosing dignity over cheap profiteering.

Console flippers don't produce or contribute anything.  They don't even risk anything, since an unsuccessful attempt leaves them free to return the unopened box to the store.  All they do is buy up stock for the express purpose of denying out other people, and hope to exploit the desperation of others for their own gain.  It's nothing but lazy, parasitical greed.

I was denied the chance to buy a 360 at launch by not one, but two encounters with eBay leeches.  But rather than find some way to abuse a local store's return policy, rationalizing to myself that it wasn't -really- stealing since they're so profitable, I worked with a friend to buy one through Purge fair and square.  He didn't seize  upon the opportunity to try and turn an easy buck either, and it's a demonstration of his character that I have never forgotten.

So good on you, Soulchilde.  Whatever you might be giving up in quick money, I think you're making back tenfold in good karma. thumbsup

-Autistic Angel
171  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 11/1/13 on: November 03, 2013, 10:37:14 PM
It's no secret that I was disappointed when Gratch revealed GamingTrend hadn't even approached him about participating in this year's Extra Life charity marathon.  I thought it would have been great to see him do a really deep dive on something like Final Fantasy Tactics, Tales of Xilia, or Lost Odyssey, and it would have been for such a good cause.

Having witnessed the multiple Denial of Service attacks against the donation site, though, it's harder to feel like we missed out on anything.  Preventing people from donating money to children's hospitals?  They're going to have to open up a new wing of Hell for whoever pulled that one off. icon_frown

-Autistic Angel
172  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Orbis. aka PlayStation 4? The rumors are put to rest. on: November 02, 2013, 06:33:56 PM

Quote from: The Grue on November 02, 2013, 05:59:51 PM

Here's what I don't get.  People keep saying the reason the XBO games look worse is because the devs are still learning its architecture.  But isn't the Sony platform the one that is most different from last gen since it was cell and now it's not?  I would think it would be easier for devs to move from 360 to XBO than from PS3 to PS4.


This would affect developers trying to port, remake, or emulate PS3 games on the PS4, but wouldn't impact new projects which have been developed from the ground up for the PS4.  Unlike last generation where the two consoles were built around very different processor technologies, the PS4 and XB1 are both utilizing similar architectures and are a lot like mainstream PCs.

The concept of "learning the architecture" of the XB1 comes from the fact that it relies on a smaller amount of memory, but utilizes ESRAM which sports a higher bandwidth.  Games written to take full advantage of this design will theoretically perform extremely well, but much like the PS3's Cell processor, it may take some time for developers to learn how to code for it.

-Autistic Angel
173  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Healthcare Exchanges Are Live. How's it Looking For You? on: October 31, 2013, 09:37:11 PM
One of the most basic points of the Affordable Care Act was to stop insurance companies from continuously hiking premiums and co-pays without providing any additional services.  To that end, here's part of the Glenn Kessler article that pr0ner didn't include in his quotes:

Quote from: The Washington Post
The law did allow “grandfathered” plans — for people who had obtained their insurance before the law was signed on March 23, 2010 — to escape this requirement and some other aspects of the law. But the regulations written by HHS while implementing the law set some tough guidelines, so that if an insurance company makes changes to a plan’s benefits or how much members pay through premiums, co-pays or deductibles, then a person’s plan likely loses that status.

If you dig into the regulations (go to page 34560), you will see that HHS wrote them extremely tight. One provision says that if co-payment increases by more than $5, plus medical cost of inflation, then the plan can no longer be grandfathered. (With last year’s inflation rate of 4 percent, that means the co-pay could not increase by more than $5.20.) Another provision says the co-insurance rate could not be increased at all above the level it was on March 23, 2010.


In short, the ACA was written to allow people to keep their existing plans while forbidding insurance providers from ratcheting up the price for that privilege.  It also requires that insurance companies actually honor the terms of their contracts by paying out when people get sick, rather than rescinding the policy and keeping years of paid premiums for themselves.

This means all those cheap "junk policies" aren't lucrative any more, so the insurance companies are responding by offering comprehensive coverage plans as mandated by the law.

That's what Conservatives are lashing out about right now: the fact that the ACA has made it unprofitable for insurers to sell people ever-more expensive snake oil, so people are being "forced" to receive actual coverage.

-Autistic Angel
174  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Supernatural Season 7 on: October 30, 2013, 09:30:29 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on October 30, 2013, 05:12:07 PM

figured I'd toss this here.  This week's episode was.... odd.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Oz as a real place in the Supernatural verse?  did someone writing for the show get Once Upon a Time envy?


I was wondering the same thing.  The entire premise of this week's episode fell so far outside the established Supernatural mythos it really did feel like Sam and Dean were acting out a rejected Grimm script.

Felicia Day's character should die in a fire.  I'm not one of those fanatics who thinks that any regular female presence on the show (Jo, Bella, Ruby, Meg) automatically destroys the chemistry, but she's the worst.

-Autistic Angel
175  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 30 days until launch. Which system are you getting? on: October 30, 2013, 09:16:51 PM

Quote from: TiLT on October 30, 2013, 08:54:12 PM

Quote from: YellowKing on October 30, 2013, 08:51:37 PM

Quote from: TiLT
I'm disappointed that the PS4 doesn't seem to support MP3s or media servers. Especially the latter is an important part of my living room experience. It's not a worse problem for me than to just boot up my PS3 instead when I need to use a media server, but with the improved CPU and network support, I was hoping that it would work.

I thought all PS4 buyers cared about were games...


The PS3 was widely renowned for its capabilities as a media player, something it did better than the Xbox 360 (at least last I checked. There may have been firmware updates that improved the 360 in this regard that I haven't heard about). Features not present in PS4 which were present in PS3 is a bad thing.


Yeah, I have a friend who uses his PS3 as a major media hub for streaming movies, music, and family photos throughout his home.  The omission of those features from the PS4 means he's in no rush to buy into a new generation.

I, on the other hand, don't care about media streaming or custom soundtracks at all, so the idea that Sony or anyone else would float the idea of adding a subscription fee for those features just seems distantly amusing, like hearing the description of someone's silly dream.

-Autistic Angel
176  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: What will Obama's Scandals Be? on: October 30, 2013, 09:09:03 PM

Quote from: brettmcd on October 30, 2013, 03:42:16 PM

But I wish someone could explain to me why we should both punish people for not having insurance or for having what the government considers to be too good of insurance.


Levying fines against individuals who choose not to carry health insurance was a Republican addition to the Affordable Care Act, based on the logic that once private insurance companies were no longer allowed to deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, there would be no incentive for people to acquire health insurance until they were sick enough to need it.  The entire concept of insurance is reliant on having many healthy people paying into the system to cover the needs of a few very sick people.  Also, people without insurance still receive exorbitantly expensive life-saving medical care at tax payer expense, so the individual mandate was proposed to ensure everyone has at least some minimal level of contribution to the system.

The so-called "Cadillac Tax" on uncommonly generous healthcare plans, characterized by minimal or nonexistent co-pays and usually made affordable through heavy employer subsidies, was another Republican proposal for the Affordable Care Act.  Previously backed by George W. Bush, John McCain, and most recently by Mitt Romney, conservatives often claim that people who have access to health care that is too affordable overburden the system and drive up costs by demanding professional medical treatment for every hangnail, every bump, every bruise.  Despite a total lack of empirical evidence to support this claim, it is often circulated by right-wing media as a reason to detest union-negotiated health benefits, and a reason why a single-payer healthcare would destroy the United States.

Now, who wants to bet me that brettmcd's question was purely rhetorical, and the answers have no measurable impact on his belief that Democrats are at fault for everything he dislikes about the law?

-Autistic Angel
177  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: GeForce GTX TITAN announced -GTX 780/770 on: October 29, 2013, 12:26:53 AM
Several sites are reporting that nVidia has just knocked $150 off the MSRP for the GTX 780, and about $70 off the 770.  Here's one.

And they still come with those free games! nod

-Autistic Angel
178  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (10/28) on: October 28, 2013, 09:47:35 PM

Quote from: Teggy on October 28, 2013, 02:34:21 PM

I expect I will get BF4 eventually, but probably a ways down the road. AC IV when I finally get around to finishing Brotherhood, Revelations and III.


Man, the road ahead of you fills 33% of me with envy.

-Autistic Angel
179  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 30 days until launch. Which system are you getting? on: October 27, 2013, 01:57:08 PM
It will be fascinating to see what effect, if any, the Call of Duty differences have on sales.

To *me,* this news increasingly credible rumor would seem catastrophic.  Call of Duty is the biggest console franchise in the world, and Microsoft's big sales pitch over the next month will be to ask consumers to wait longer and pay more money to play an inferior version?  Sony couldn't have orchestrated a worse narrative about the XBox One launch if they tried.

But as YellowKing pointed out, how far does this sort of news penetrate and what percentage of people care?  I wonder:

1) How many "dudebros" are planning to buy a new console anyway?  If my annual gaming budget was just $60 every autumn for the new version of CoD, I'm not sure I'd be excited to suddenly pony up $400-$500 for a new console when the game is still available on the one I already own.

2) Where will the Friendship Factor push things?  Less technically savvy gamers might not care about 720p vs. 1080p, but they're very likely to want the same console that all of their friends are getting.  XBox has been the default choice for an entire generation now, but will more dedicated gamers be able to sway their friends' purchasing decisions?

3) Does the wider public care at all about things like Kinect 2.0, media sharing, or TV integration?  I couldn't possibly want those things less -- my first priority with a new XBox One would be to turn them all permanently off -- but then, I don't particularly understand what makes the iPad so popular.  If there really is a demand for these things, "a few more lines of resolution" might be a small price to pay for a box that "does so much more!" than the PS4.

-Autistic Angel
180  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 30 days until launch. Which system are you getting? on: October 22, 2013, 09:36:10 PM
inFamous 2 is one of the very few games I've ever finished, then immediately started up a new game and played the whole thing through a second time.  I'm really looking forward to Second Son. nod

-Autistic Angel
181  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Healthcare Exchanges Are Live. How's it Looking For You? on: October 22, 2013, 11:16:33 AM

Quote from: Victoria Raverna on October 22, 2013, 05:36:31 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on October 21, 2013, 09:57:54 PM

Quote from: Victoria Raverna on October 21, 2013, 04:03:01 PM

Before Obamacare, why employers pay for health insurance for their employees? Is there a law that force them to do so?


No, it is a legacy of the 1950s, when both healthcare and insurance were very cheap. 100% employer-paid health insurance was a standard part of most companies' compensation plans.

That was all well and good until costs started to skyrocket in the '90s. Whether or not it still makes sense for employers to be in the insurance business is a matter of opinion. Obamacare makes companies with 50+ employees either provide insurance or pay a fine -- the first time they've been mandated to do so.

If there is no Obamacare, what is stopping brettmcd's employee from dropping their insurance then? Why people are blaming Obamacare for employee dropping insurance coverage if before Obamacare, there are no law that forcing employee from providing it?


Employer-provided health insurance became a norm in America because unions demanded it and organized worker strikes to get it.  The campaigns were so widespread and effective that even non-unionized businesses were providing insurance because it was the only way they could be competitive, and with so much market participation, insurance plans for large pools of people were extremely competitive and relatively inexpensive.

Then two things started to happen.  First, union bosses got caught doing all sorts of nasty things like extortion, bribery, and theft of union funds.  Power corrupts, and after a few high profile cases, the mainstream image of unions morphed away from groups of hard-working middle class Americans banding together to secure basic rights and benefits and into gangs of lazy thugs who relentlessly shook down their employers as part of a nationwide protection racket.

Secondly, because union-like benefits were so commonplace, workers at Company A started wondering why they had to deduct money from their paychecks for union dues when people at Company B had similar health, dental, pension, and vacation plans without a union.  The idea started to take hold that basic government labor laws had rendered the unions obsolete, and that successful corporations would gladly continue providing benefits for their workers because it was just basic decency.

Here's how that's worked out:



Quote from: ThinkProgress.org
Wages for the working class have been essentially stagnant for wages, while income inequality in the U.S. is the worst its been since the 1920s. At the moment, the top one percent of households make almost 25 percent of the nation’s income, while making about ten percent in the 1970s. Last year alone, CEO pay grew by 27 percent, while worker pay grew by just two percent.


This is what large, multinational corporations mean when they say health insurance and retirement plans are just too damn expensive to remain the norm.  These companies are more productive and more profitable measured against GDP than any other venture in human history, able to reimburse their top echelons millions of dollars a year in pay, stock options, and benefits...but by God, we must at all costs avoid returning to the days when high-rolling pensioners would start sucking the company coffers dry after barely thirty-five years of loyal service.


In other words, people are blaming ObamaCare for the expected elimination of company health care benefits because

a) Fox News seeks out affable-seeming old men to claim that's what they're doing, even if they aren't,

b) they are either unaware or uncomprehending of the marketplace forces that have been eating away at those benefits for decades, and

c) people believe the United States was founded in 1776 by a bunch of anti-slave gun enthusiasts, and then nothing happened for a really long time until Jimmy Carter handed a bunch of hostages to the Iranians and Ronald Reagan was formed out of rays of divine light to show us the one true path.

-Autistic Angel
182  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Healthcare Exchanges Are Live. How's it Looking For You? on: October 21, 2013, 05:41:43 PM
Year-over-year cost increases in healthcare have been pushing coverage out of the range that most businesses could afford for the last couple decades.  It's been a self-perpetuating cycle: premiums rise, businesses cut coverage options for their employees, those employees then leave minor problems to fester until astronomically expensive emergency care is required, bankruptcies ensue, and healthcare costs rise as a result.  Goto 10.

Democrats originally wanted an employer mandate, requiring businesses to provide comprehensive health coverage for their workers.  Large pools of healthy people in the system bring down costs for everyone.  Republicans complained -- stop me if you've heard this one -- that this would kill jobs and wreck the economy, so they proposed the individual mandate which exists in the ACA today.  Same end result, but more of the burden is shifted from big businesses onto people who may our may not be employed, self-employed, part-time, etc.

Will businesses take advantage of this to start pushing workers off their company insurance and towards the government exchanges?  Almost certainly, but the crucial thing to remember is that there is no plausible circumstance in which that wasn't going to continue happening anyway.  brettmcd can bemoan the prospective loss of his awesome subsidized insurance plan all day long, but rising costs would have stripped it away within a few years no matter what.  The difference is that IF that happens now, he'll have guaranteed alternatives that won't cost him $20,000 a year.

Finally, I have to agree with brettmcd and Gratch that companies choosing to eliminate health insurance benefits are very unlikely to pour all the savings back into their payroll.  Those that do will undoubtedly make up for it in other ways, such as classifying it as a pay raise and placing a freeze on additional raises for rank-and-file workers.  That's not evil; it's elementary capitalism, and the idea that all the really talented workers would pack up for greener pastures implies there's someplace left to go.

Need proof?  "Stingy employers will be punished by the Invisible Hand of the Free Market!" has been a major argument used to combat unions for forty years, steadily whittling away membership as workers are promised better pay and benefits without all those needless union dues, purely because companies treasure their workers so much.  The result has been a nationwide flattening of wages during decades of unprecedented corporate profits as people are required to work harder, longer, and more productively without any commiserate rise in their take home pay or benefits.

I can't imagine why eliminating healthcare benefits would work out any differently.

-Autistic Angel
183  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Healthcare Exchanges Are Live. How's it Looking For You? on: October 20, 2013, 01:27:46 PM

Quote from: Gratch on October 06, 2013, 07:45:41 PM

One of my Tea Party friends posted this morning on FB that the ACA will cost her family $14,400 more per year than what they are currently paying.  Bookended with a "Thanks Obama", of course.

I'm sorely tempted to throw the bullshit flag...


Were you ever able to extract any more details about this claim? 


Fox News' Sean Hannity did a segment about a week ago "exposing" the terrible costs ObamaCare piles onto the helpless citizenry.  The problem?  It turns out the three all-American couples Hannity chose to share their stories were either lying or being pridefully ignorant of the law, and Fox assumed no one would conduct follow up interviews to fact check their claims.

OOPS!

Quote from: Salon.com
First I spoke with Paul Cox of Leicester, N.C.  He and his wife Michelle had lamented to Hannity that because of Obamacare, they can’t grow their construction business and they have kept their employees below a certain number of hours, so that they are part-timers.

Obamacare has no effect on businesses with 49 employees or less. But in our brief conversation on the phone, Paul revealed that he has only four employees. Why the cutback on his workforce? “Well,” he said, “I haven’t been forced to do so, it’s just that I’ve chosen to do so. I have to deal with increased costs.” What costs? And how, I asked him, is any of it due to Obamacare? There was a long pause, after which he said he’d call me back. He never did.


Read the whole article.  The second story is particularly striking: a brettmcd-esque tale of a family that loves their existing health insurance plan even though it won't cover their daughter due to a preexisting condition, and is really angry about being forced into a plan that will cover everyone.  The catch?  They don't know the new plan will be a lot *less* expensive because they haven't bothered to look.

Fox sets out to highlight how badly ObamaCare is hurting average Americans and goes 0-3 on finding anyone in the country to help make that case.  They earnestly *believe* they're being hurt though, so that's practically the same thing.

-Autistic Angel
184  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: GeForce GTX TITAN announced -GTX 780/770 on: October 19, 2013, 01:42:13 PM
nVidia has also announced that, starting Oct 18th, people purchasing their 700-series cards will receive downloadable copies of Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Assassin's Creed IV and Batman: Arkham Origins.  Those three games were already on my Buy List for this year, so that works out to about $150 off a new GPU for me....

(There's also a $100-off the nVidia Shield for people buying the 780, but I'm not interested in that myself.)

-Autistic Angel
185  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [USA] SHUTDOWN SHUTDOWN!!!!!! Sequel is in the works, slated for Q1 2014 release on: October 19, 2013, 01:33:02 PM

Quote from: Purge on October 19, 2013, 01:37:09 AM

I think Brettmcd just agreed with you guys on the methods being wrong. What else were you looking for?


brettmcd says the methods are wrong, but the goal is laudable and Republicans just need to pursue other avenues to achieve it.  This ignores two critical points:

1) There actually aren't any other avenues to achieve it -- Republicans have tried them all and failed.

2) brettmcd either cannot or will not provide any reasons *why* repealing the ACA is such an important goal.  It's going to wreck the economy -- moreso than the Republicans' active sabotage of the economy, apparently -- but he can't specify how that's going to happen.  It's going to strip away the sweetheart deal he gets on insurance from his own employer...a deal that would somehow have been immune from the skyrocketing healthcare costs that have been stripping away employer-based insurance plans across the country for decades.

He also seems to have this weird idea that politics is about having one side vehemently oppose the other at (almost) any cost.  I would submit that the actual goal is to strengthen the country and improve the quality of life for its citizens, and that "stopping Obama from getting what he wants 100% of the time!" is not a rational or patriotic way to run a government.

-Autistic Angel
186  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [USA] SHUTDOWN SHUTDOWN!!!!!! Sequel is in the works, slated for Q1 2014 release on: October 19, 2013, 01:17:30 PM

Quote from: brettmcd on October 19, 2013, 04:26:59 AM

Quote from: Lee on October 19, 2013, 01:40:36 AM

Quote from: Purge on October 19, 2013, 01:37:09 AM

I think Brettmcd just agreed with you guys on the methods being wrong. What else were you looking for?

The part where he dogged on Obama for no reason. Thought it was out of place with his other comments.

No not for no reason, a recurring theme with Obama is that he thinks the opposition should just shut up and do what he wants.


A statement so sweeping and vague, surely you'll have no trouble providing some reasonable examples.

I mean, if someone wanted to point out how you're *still* dead wrong about this, he or she could start with,

Quote from: Reality
A recurring theme with Obama is that he opens negotiations with Republicans by asking for their ideas on how to address an issue and incorporates their ideas into the proposed legislation, only to have the Republicans unanimously oppose the idea and start making more demands.


...and examples would include well-documented debates over health care reform, immigration reform, and budget negotiations over the last four years.  How the individual mandate and the DREAM Act were actually widely popular Republican-backed proposals until Obama offered to make them laws -- that sort of thing.  I mean, the Sequestration cuts we've got sapping our economic recovery right this moment are the direct result of Obama attempting to negotiate with Republicans, offering them 10:1 spending cuts over revenue increases and they still refused to deal.

So how about it, brettmcd?  What are some of your examples of President Obama telling the opposition to just shut up and do what he wants?

-Autistic Angel
187  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [USA] SHUTDOWN SHOWDOWN!!!!!! Exclusive DLC 'The Ceiling' coming soon! on: October 19, 2013, 01:06:18 AM

Quote from: brettmcd on October 18, 2013, 02:23:27 PM

Quote from: Lee on October 18, 2013, 03:10:41 AM

Quote from: brettmcd on October 18, 2013, 12:45:57 AM

Well in our system of government they HAVE won enough elections to control part of government.


So that means it is no longer majority rules? I understand what you are saying, but winning the House doesn't mean they can just do as they wish. Anyway, the House seemed to be frozen by inaction after a few members that the majority did not support  went nuts because they didn't want to go against their own party. In the end the House decided not to vote because the vote wouldn't go the way of the vocal few.


No it means if Obama wants his policies to be passed with no questioning and no opposition his side needs to win more elections.   Until that happens he can't just get whatever he wants 100% of the time.


Why not?

In this case, the things President Obama wanted was for congress to raise the debt ceiling so the country would not default on its debt, and a Continuing Resolution so the government would not shut down, damage the economy, and add billions of dollars to the deficit?  Why shouldn't he have gotten 100% of what he wanted when it was all in the best interests of the country?

-Autistic Angel
188  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 30 days until launch. Which system are you getting? on: October 18, 2013, 08:02:35 PM

Quote from: farley2k on October 18, 2013, 05:19:34 PM

I just voted and I am really surprised at the results.  I know we don't represent the average public but I do think we represent average gamers so is the Xbox One really not getting people more excited?


Among the people I know, they're all aware that Microsoft has abandoned their always-online and Kinect requirements, and will allow games to be sold and borrowed like normal.  Unfortunately, reducing the number of reasons to avoid a console is not a very strong sales pitch.  For all the policy reversals, the Xbox One remains the console that's almost as powerful, almost as affordable, and has almost as much developer support as the faster, cheaper, and popular PS4.

There's also a big friendship factor at play.  Once a couple people in a group of friends make the decision to go with the PS4, everyone else in the group becomes that much more likely to follow suit so they can continue gaming together.  Hell, I *still* think about getting the XB1 just because I know it'll be the preferred console for Harkonis, USMC Kato, and PhillyPeteRock.  The trouble is, since that's the only reason I have right now, I'm putting it off until there's a better selection of games I'd want to play with them.

-Autistic Angel
189  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [USA] SHUTDOWN SHOWDOWN!!!!!! Exclusive DLC 'The Ceiling' coming soon! on: October 18, 2013, 10:34:43 AM

Quote from: Lee on October 18, 2013, 03:10:41 AM

Quote from: brettmcd on October 18, 2013, 12:45:57 AM

Well in our system of government they HAVE won enough elections to control part of government.


So that means it is no longer majority rules? I understand what you are saying, but winning the House doesn't mean they can just do as they wish. Anyway, the House seemed to be frozen by inaction after a few members that the majority did not support  went nuts because they didn't want to go against their own party. In the end the House decided not to vote because the vote wouldn't go the way of the vocal few.


This is exactly right.  I think it's very important for everyone to understand that the last-second bill to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the federal government was not some new piece of daring bipartisan compromise forged by strong leaders or tough negotiating tactics.  It is exactly the clean CR that could have passed the House of Representatives weeks ago if John Boehner had simply allowed it to come up for a vote.

Similarly, House Republicans could have joined with the Democrats to push through a discharge petition and force a vote over Boehner's objections.  They chose not to.  In fact, they worked to *increase* their leadership's ability to block any votes on the eve of the shutdown.

Quote from: Talking Points Memo
In other words, if the House and Senate are gridlocked as they were on the eve of the shutdown, any motion from any member to end that gridlock should be allowed to proceed. Like, for example, a motion to vote on the Senate bill. That's how House Democrats read it.

But the House Rules Committee voted the night of Sept. 30 to change that rule for this specific bill. They added language dictating that any motion "may be offered only by the majority Leader or his designee."

So unless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wanted the Senate spending bill to come to the floor, it wasn't going to happen. And it didn't.


Republicans added $20 billion dollars to the deficit for this year, damaging the outlook for millions of poor and middle class Americans, for absolutely no reason.  It might have been some tiny minority within the party that really wanted to see the country burn, but let's not fool ourselves into believing the GOP wasn't organizing shifts to help spray around the gasoline.

-Autistic Angel
190  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [USA] SHUTDOWN SHOWDOWN!!!!!! Exclusive DLC 'The Ceiling' coming soon! on: October 17, 2013, 10:47:45 AM

Quote from: Purge on October 17, 2013, 03:19:24 AM

So what was the coles notes on what has been agreed to? Is Obama-care passed?


I understand your meaning, but in the interest of underscoring just how fucking stupid this entire exercise has been, I'd like to clarify that "ObamaCare" was passed in 2010.  

It was then re-litigated in the states and challenged all the way to the Supreme Court where it was affirmed as a just and constitutional law.  It was also a primary focus of the 2012 presidential election in which every Republican in the country ran on the explicit promise to repeal ObamaCare.  That platform cost them the presidency and whittled their presence in the senate even further.

*This* fight was over whether or not House Republicans, sitting in their exhaustively gerrymandered districts, could strong-arm the Democrats into repealing their own law by threatening to destroy the economy.  At various points in the process, they also demanded

- construction of the Keystone Pipeline,

- an end to Net Neutrality regulations,

- the elimination of birth control coverage from health insurance coverage,

- lessened pensions for federal employees,

- expanded oil drilling rights on federal lands,

- a weakening of EPA regulations on coal plants,

and on and on and on.  Those aren't other pieces of legislation considered during the same time period, mind you -- they were the things Republicans wanted in exchange for releasing their hostage.

But as Lee said, Republicans did not get anything on their list of demands.  They did, however, cost the United States upwards of $20,000,000,000 in lost economic activity and contingency measures during the shutdown, and their threat to default may still cause Moody's to lower the nation's credit rating.  It'll likely be several weeks before we know for sure.

In any sort of a sane world, this sort of behavior would end the GOP at a national level for a generation.  Here, I doubt we'll have to wait a full week before one of the 144 Republicans who voted against the bill last night is invited on television to complain about what a dangerous anti-American spendthrift Barack Obama is.

-Autistic Angel
191  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What is your 2nd PS4 Launch Game on: October 15, 2013, 05:10:36 PM
Interesting question.  If you'd asked me three months ago, I would have answered Killzone on the grounds that I would play Assassin's Creed IV on PC.  Now, with the updated system requirements, the PlayStation-exclusive Aveline content, and my expectation that Ubisoft will be investing heavily in getting their flagship next-gen franchise off on the right foot, I'm voting AC4.

That said, I'm still planning to pick up Killzone at or near launch.

-Autistic Angel
192  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360/PC/PS3] Borderlands 2 on: October 14, 2013, 04:19:08 PM

Quote from: Harpua3 on October 13, 2013, 07:21:03 PM

Same here. Had it on ps3. Played a bunch of different chars to only level 20 or so. Ps3 died. Refuse to buy it again on 360, but on vita, hell yeah ill buy that when its released!


If Borderlands 2 on the Vita turns out to be a faithful port that would be an immediate purchase for me.  Unfortunately, other releases like Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens: Colonial Marines have proven that Gearbox isn't above shoving a half-finished product out the door, so I'll definitely be waiting on reviews.

I hope we're not in for another Black Ops: Declassified situation.

-Autistic Angel
193  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: How are you feeling about your pre-orders now? on: October 14, 2013, 12:40:33 PM
Quote from: Thread Title
How are you feeling about your pre-orders now?


One month before the PS4 arrives, it occurs to me that I'm actually feeling better about my pre-order than I did even before.  All indications are that that Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed IV, inFamous: Second Son and The Order: 1886 are shaping up great, and I'm looking forward to them all quite a lot.  My biggest hope at this point is that Sony has improved their online infrastructure and Trophy integration by the same amount as their marketing, since those elements always felt tacked onto the PS3.

On the other side, I'm also feeling more content about my decision to hold off on the Xbox One for now.  I'd like to play Dead Rising 3, but the other exclusives like Ryse and Forza 5 just aren't doing it for me and the multi-platform releases listed above sound likely to run even better on the PS4.  That's not to say the XB1 versions won't be good...it just seems like they'll be equally good, at best, but for $100 extra on the console.

I still fully expect that I'll buy an XB1 in the future.  As more information has surfaced about each system and their games, though, I feel like "in the future" is further out than I'd originally thought.

-Autistic Angel
194  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [USA] SHUTDOWN SHOWDOWN!!!!!! Exclusive DLC 'The Ceiling' coming soon! on: October 14, 2013, 12:16:42 PM
Something to keep in mind as we head into a new week of Equal Blame false equivalencies:

This weekend, senate Republicans filibustered a clean CR bill to prevent it from coming up for a vote.  For clarity, that means the Democratic majority wanted to end the government shutdown right now and had the votes to pass that bill in the senate, but the Republicans blocked anyone from voting at all.

Then Republican Senator Suzanne Collins from Maine formally proposed a "moderate compromise."  If Democrats were willing to lock in Sequestration spending for another six months and delay the ACA's medical device tax for two years, Republicans would stop sabotaging the economy by raising the Debt Ceiling...for three whole months.

Quote from: hepcat on October 05, 2013, 12:01:01 AM

Remember a little thing called sequestration? 


Yes.  In July of this year, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that if Sequestration were reversed by August, it would result in an additional 900,000 jobs being added to the economy by the end of 2014.  That's not the result of doing anything new, mind you -- that's simply undoing the Sequester cuts forced upon the country by the Republicans the last time they decided to take the economy hostage by threatening to breach the Debt Ceiling. 

So that's "compromise."  Democrats agree to Republican demands, and Republicans agree to wait three months before making additional demands.

And the best part?  Speaker John Boehner said that even if this deal did pass the senate -- which it didn't -- the House wouldn't even bring it to the floor for a vote because it wouldn't give Republicans enough.

Quote from: The Washington Post
Boehner’s closest friends in the Senate, including Graham and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), pleaded with him Friday to modify his legislation along the lines of what they were trying to broker across the Capitol. The speaker told them Saturday that the Collins plan would face opposition from too many Republicans for him to put it on the floor, Chambliss said.

“We don’t support it,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters, saying that the reasons for opposition were “too many to go into.”


By the way, the 2% tax on medical devices is one of the ways in which the ACA pays for itself and reduces the deficit. 

Mark my words: if Republicans ever do manage to push that through, watch for them to *immediately* start screaming about how "ObamaCare will cost BILLIONS MORE than they originally promised!!1! mad icon_evil mad "

-Autistic Angel
195  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Pokemon X and Y. It's coming ya'll on: October 12, 2013, 11:14:51 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on October 12, 2013, 09:16:13 PM

so, probably asked this before, but with the new look of these games (in 3D!) I may grab one to dabble with.  Are X & Y going to be the same game, just with different Pokemon (in 3D!), or are they two separate stories (in 3D!)?


Pokemon X and Y are fundamentally the same game with a few exclusive pokemon in each game, distinct legendary mascots, and different mega-evolutionary forms.  I don't think there's a comprehensive list of the differences yet, but you can see the different Mega MewTwo and Mega Charizard forms if they'll sway your preference.

In terms of canon, X is presumed to take place in the slightly lighter universe of LeafGreen, Sapphire, Pearl, HeartGold, White and White 2.  Pokemon Y is set in the darker reality of FireRed, Ruby, Diamond, SoulSilver, Black, and Black 2.

-Autistic Angel
196  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo III --Impressions start on page 36 -- on: October 12, 2013, 01:44:21 PM

Quote from: Gratch on October 11, 2013, 01:41:36 AM

Picked it up for PS3 today, working through Act I with a Monk.  It feels more fun than the PC version, but I can't really put my finger on why.  There's two things that jump to mind though:

1.  This is strongly reminiscent of Baldur's Gate:  Dark Alliance on PS2, which was one of my favorite hack-n-slash titles ever made.  
2.  Knowing this version is properly balanced and that I won't be required to dredge through an AH to get decent gear makes a big difference.


I'd like to play the console version of Diablo 3, but I've decided to wait for the PS4 version.  I'll be interested to hear how it goes, though!  The Monk was my primary character in the PC version and I enjoyed the class a lot!

Before I forget to ask again, are you going to be doing any sort of live stream playthrough for this year's Extra Life marathon?

-Autistic Angel
197  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Pokemon X and Y. It's coming ya'll on: October 12, 2013, 12:50:20 PM

Quote from: Victoria Raverna on October 07, 2013, 01:46:55 AM

Quote from: wonderpug on October 06, 2013, 12:34:17 AM

Jesus, they added a subscription scheme to the series?! It's not enough of a subscription that we keep on willingly buying the same game year after year?


It is optional and it is $4.99 per year.

I think while free is better, the pokemon bank is a good idea and good thing since in the future it is likely that you'll be able to use pokemon bank to transfer to newer pokemon games. It makes things much easier for hardcore pokemon gamers that like to transfer their exclusive pokemon to newer games. Instead of having to do thing like transfer from game A to newer game B then from B to newer game C then from C to D, etc. In the future, we just transfer the exclusive pokemon to the bank and from there to the newest pokemon game.


The online bank will also allegedly help eliminate Faux-kemon from the trade pool.  I don't know how Nintendo plans to root out Shaymin or Darkrai that were obtained by holepunching, but if it seals out the infinite tide of Pokedited forgeries, I'll gladly pitch in my $5 a year.

I've missed out on some legendary pokemon over the years.  It sucks.  But speaking as someone who has invested a lot of time and effort into breeding *legitimate* tournament-grade pokemon for the last couple generations, seeing eugenicists hack a full Pokedex of genetically perfect, slavishly obedient shinies into their games with a few keystrokes and then selling them off makes my blood boil. 

But that may be a debate for a different thread.  Is everyone settled on whether they're going with X or Y?  I'm feel like more people are going with X because of the fairy legendary, so I've been planning to stick with Y for the increased trading opportunities.

-Autistic Angel
198  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [USA] SHUTDOWN SHOWDOWN!!!!!! Exclusive DLC 'The Ceiling' coming soon! on: October 11, 2013, 06:08:19 PM

Quote from: Purge on October 11, 2013, 04:34:23 PM

So the entire US political system is being held up by Boehner?


Short answer: yes.

Long answer: In the United States House of Representatives, the Speaker decides the agenda.  There are some procedural mechanisms the caucuses can use to conduct a formal vote without the Speaker's say-so (a discharge petition, for example), but as a general rule, if the Speaker of the House chooses not to bring a bill up for a vote, it doesn't get a vote.

The House requires 217 affirmative votes to pass a bill.  The 200 Democratic representatives are, by all accounts, ready to vote unanimously for a clean CR.  Add in the two-dozen House Republicans who have publicly claimed they're willing to join them, and that's a successful bill.  You can find a list of the 24 Republicans right here, complete with links to each of their public declarations.

Are those Republicans lying to make themselves appear more moderate and reasonable than they actually are?  Maybe, but we don't know because Speaker Boehner won't allow the vote.  He's the logjam that ensures no one in his caucus ever has to own up to their promises.


Finally, you'll see people refer to the "Hastert Rule," which holds that the Speaker will never bring a bill up for a vote unless a majority of the dominant party is expected to support it.  As Canuck has pointed out, though, this is a purely informal practice employed by House Speakers to pretend they have no discretion in how they set the agenda.  That included Democrat Nancy Pelosi during her tenure as Speaker, by the way -- an example of something that both sides *actually* do.

-Autistic Angel
199  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [USA] SHUTDOWN SHOWDOWN!!!!!! Exclusive DLC 'The Ceiling' coming soon! on: October 11, 2013, 10:34:14 AM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on October 11, 2013, 03:53:09 AM

I don't consider John Boehner to be a devil in any of this, either. I feel sorry for the speaker. This is clearly not how he hoped he speakership would go. He doesn't have any way to control the tea party, and it seems to be ruining his tenure in the job.


If this were October 2011, I'd be agreeing with you.  I firmly believe that if you or I had the opportunity to speak to John Boehner one-on-one, we would find him to be a solemn and intelligent man who is acutely aware of the havoc his party is wreaking upon the party and extremely frustrated by his ability to stop it.

But it's 2013 now.  Boehner sought and won reelection as Speaker of the House with a full understanding of what his job would entail.  I still agree with you that he is no devil, but at the same time, there's is precious little evidence that he's doing much to improve the situation.  How much pity does a man deserve when he willingly throws himself back to the crucible and stubbornly refuses to help notch down the heat?

Boehner has it within his power to end this shutdown today by allowing a clean CR to come to the floor for a vote.  He could even give a speech about no longer standing idly by while a small minority of gerrymandered lunatics is allowed to hobble the global economy, and it would make him a goddamn national hero.  Would it also end his tenure as Speaker?  Maybe.  I suspect a lot of Republicans are feeling increasingly desperate for someone to stand up and restore sanity to their party, so he might fare better than we think.

But even if he lost his position, it isn't like he's been getting much use out of it.

-Autistic Angel
200  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [USA] SHUTDOWN SHOWDOWN!!!!!! Exclusive DLC 'The Ceiling' coming soon! on: October 10, 2013, 11:22:59 AM

Quote from: brettmcd on October 10, 2013, 02:40:08 AM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on October 09, 2013, 11:28:17 PM

Quote from: brettmcd on October 09, 2013, 06:28:50 PM

Yes they did get a shutdown, and the dems want the shutdown to hurt as many people as possible for political gain.

No, we don't. How do we gain politically from it? This insanity is not doing anything to help the member of Congress I'm most concerned with (other than the historic polling collapse for the GOP, I guess... but that's hardly worth this cost). There is a bill in the hopper of the House, passed and engrossed by the Senate, which the Speaker could put on the floor any day with two hours notice. It would pass. The shutdown would end.

Why is he prolonging the shutdown by not doing so?


Of course your party gains politically by people being hurt as much they can be by the shutdown as you can blame the opposing party for everything.    The people don't matter to anyone in DC anymore, whatever gains the most power over the opposition is all that matters.


Democrats are ready to vote in unanimous support of a clean CR at any moment.  Still, brettmcd argues that they bear an equal share of blame for the government shutdown because they secretly want to impose misery on people while disguising it as the predicted and publicized effect of the shutdown.

In other words, brettmcd believes Conservatives are even stupider than we think. He says they have charged headlong into a Liberal trap -- despite weeks of advance warning -- and are now affirmatively choosing to remain inside, unrestrained, while sinister Democrats twist the screws.

I'd put a laughy-face here to underscore the absurdity of "defending" the GOP by characterizing them as too dim-witted to walk out of the Pain-O-Tron and towards the brightly lit 'EXIT' sign...but it's not funny.  People like brettmcd put these people in power and clap their hands when things start coming apart at the seams.

-Autistic Angel
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