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3201  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Name! This! Movie! on: February 24, 2007, 02:51:50 PM
Starship Troopers sounds like a pretty strong guess.  I'll have to ask him about that when I speak to him Sunday evening.  Thanks for the tip!

-Autistic Angel
3202  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Name! This! Movie! on: February 23, 2007, 09:36:28 PM
Quote from: Crawley
There was 60's monster movie called Navy vs The Night Monsters where they ended up napalming a valley full of plant creatures. So it meets the criteria but I'm not sure how you could mistake one movie for the other.

I'm going to assume there isn't going to be any discernable reason why my friend would confuse his mystery napalm movie with Tremors.  Perhaps someone will produce information about some little-known movie named "Trembler" which ends just like that, but in the meantime I'll be happy to hear information about any sort of movie that ends that way.

Quote from: kronovan
In fairness, SciFi horror movies are one of the genres I can safely say I haven't see everything; especially the B rate ones. I know some real film junkies at work and my local video rental outlets, so I'll ask them.

Thanks!  Odds are that it was the sort of movie that would air on the Sci-Fi Channel, but thinking outside the box might help.

I asked my friend last night if he could remember anything else from "Tremors," but he only seems to retain his intense dislike for the fifteen or so minutes he caught at the end.

Quote from: Purge
The Smurfs and the Magic Flute?

You're probably thinking of this UniCef commercial, but it isn't fifteen minutes long.  slywink

-Autistic Angel
3203  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Name! This! Movie! on: February 23, 2007, 05:49:40 PM
Oops!  I meant to post this in 'Off Topic Discussion'.  Could somebody move it over for me? Tongue

-Autistic Angel
3204  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Name! This! Movie! on: February 23, 2007, 05:48:00 PM
I have a friend who is insisting that he hates the Kevin Bacon movie Tremors for two reasons:

  • 1) He only watched the last fifteen minutes of the film.
  • 2) He hated "that part at the end where the air force napalms the whole valley."

We can make a whole list of all the things wrong with those two reasons, but for those of you who may not have seen Tremors, it's a little like complaining about that scene in Star Wars where Michael J. Fox's character gets killed by the vampire.

Now, I don't especially care whether or not somebody likes Tremors, but since I can't remember any movie I've ever seen that ended with airplanes firebombing a valley, I have become very curious to know what movie my friend *thinks* is Tremors.  Does that description ring any bells with anybody here?

-Autistic Angel
3205  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: February 23, 2007, 05:09:16 PM
Quote from: naednek
For those of you who are having good performance results, can you tell me if you have a dual core processor?  Also, is there a big difference between the performance from the demo and the performance on retail?

I have a dual-core processor -- not one of the newer Core 2 Duo chips, but the earlier Pentium D model -- and I get excellent performance out of Supreme Commander.  I was originally experiencing a odd "clipping" of certain sound effects during the campaign missions, but that appears to have been addressed in the recent patch.

I would classify the performance as being about the same to what I had during the demo, except that things look significantly better.  Units often collapse in a sequence of multiple explosions, stumbling and trying to regain their footing before second or even third detonation reduces them to a smouldering wreck, and that wreckage now produces a dark plume of smoke that was absent in the demo.  Big units like factories or experimental units are particularly satisfying to take out, and the thermonuclear blast produced by killing an enemy commander is *slightly* less blinding so that you can make out the shockwave that goes rippling across the landscape.

There is some room for improvement in the graphics.  As aesthetically nice as the explosions are en masse, I can't help but think how much nicer they could look if they were goverened by the same sort of physics that caused towers to topple over so realistically in Rise of Legends.  Wouldn't it be great to see an anti-aircraft gun shear the wing clean off an incoming bomber, or have a dying spiderbot split in half and blast reclaimable shrapnel over a large area?  The physics in Supreme Commander are so extensive and well-implemented, it would just be cool to see them generate some more dynamic destruction sequences.

-Autistic Angel
3206  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: February 23, 2007, 04:18:19 AM
Quote from: ROTC1983
You have Xfire Autistic Angel?

No.  icon_cry

-Autistic Angel
3207  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: February 22, 2007, 11:19:49 PM
I vote that we either get together for an online match of Supreme Commander, or have a funky Teen Witch-style rap-off.

Or both.

-Autistic Angel
3208  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Revisiting: Space Rangers 2 on: February 21, 2007, 05:36:54 PM

You might want to consider starting as a Faeyan or Gaalian merchant.  Those races have higher quality equipment than the others which makes them less likely to wear down or break, and completing simple Fed-Ex deliveries and short-range trading runs in a good way to ease yourself into the game mechanics.  I'd recommend skipping any assassination or escort missions at first, though: even if you start as a fighter or a pirate, your primitive early weaponry makes it extremely difficult to complete those sorts of tasks without running out of time, dying, or taking a financial loss on the subsequent repairs.

-Autistic Angel
3209  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Ninja Gaiden Black Tips on: February 21, 2007, 05:27:06 PM
Dodging is key in Ninja Gaiden.  You need to master the roll-jump-roll-jump loop to remain in constant motion, repositioning yourself to a more advantageous location rather than allowing yourself to be surrounded or blind-sided.  Make use of wall attacks and heavy aerial blows to break your enemy's guard, and you'll find openings to unleash a good combo attack.

By the "second boss," I'm assuming that you're talking about the big samurai on the horse.  He isn't hard at all once you figure out the trick to beating him:

Spoiler for Hiden:
The most challenging part is to take out all the teleporting footmen he brings with him.  They have a nasty habit of alternately peppering you with energy balls or warping right behind you to take a swipe with their sais.  You may think these guys constantly respawn, but once you kill 6-8 of them, they stop coming.

Then the boss is easy.  When you have some room between you and him -- preferably while he's busy turning his horse around at the far end of the bridge -- hold down the 'Y' button to charge up your super attack and just let go as soon as he comes into range.  The staff weapon works particularly well for this part, as I recall.  The boss can't hit you while you're in the middle of that animation, and you'll certainly inflict some significant damage while his horse rears and turns to get away.  Rinse and repeat until he's dead.

This tactic also works in the unpatched, non-Black version of Ninja Gaiden for the X-Box.  Even though you can't charge up a super attack over time like you can in the re-release, your phantom sword-dash will still carry you through through the boss' attack unscathed while inflicting some damage against him.  Properly timed, this strategy allows you to beat him without ever taking a hit!

-Autistic Angel
3210  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (2/19) on: February 19, 2007, 02:34:59 PM
Supreme Commander.

-Autistic Angel
3211  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Demo - Impressions? on: February 17, 2007, 06:01:07 AM
I'll be interested to hear more detailed impressions.  Some other reviewers have already hinted that the retail release has been greatly optimized, and one poster on said that it's one of the most profound cases of a demo *underselling* the greatness of the final product that he'd ever seen.

Personally, I think that award would have to go to Hitman: Contracts, but considering how much I'm enjoying the Supreme Commander demo, it's good news nonetheless. icon_cool

-Autistic Angel
3212  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you like Carlos Mencia? on: February 17, 2007, 05:56:57 AM
Does anyone know how that confrontation on the stage came to pass?  It looked like Carlos Mencia was in the middle of a set when Joe Rogan just got up and started laying into him.  If that's the case, I'm really amazed at how quickly the audience turned against Mencia -- you'd think the scheduled comedian would get a little more sympathy, but the crowd seemed to side overwhelmingly with Rogan.

I listened to that entire audio clip, and it sounds to me like Rogan's really passionate about nailing anyone who steals jokes from other comedians.  Like him or hate him, he's not wrong.

-Autistic Angel
3213  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: US Military tells Jack Bauer: Cut out the torture.. or else! on: February 16, 2007, 09:09:53 PM
I was reading some information about the upcoming Fox News show The Half-Hour News Hour when I ran across this TVGuide interview with 24 / THHNH producer Joel Surnow where he touches on the topic of this thread.

Quote from: A New Yorker story said the producers of 24 recently had a visit from Brig. Gen. Patrick Finnegan from West Point, who expressed concerns about some of the torture methods used by Jack Bauer and the effect that has on cadets who watch. Joel, the story said you weren't at the meeting, but is the depiction of torture something you're thinking about more?

Surnow: First of all, let me clarify. It was very unfairly skewed the way it was written in the New Yorker about how I missed the meeting. We have a show to run, and whenever we have visitors — these were visitors of [producer] Howard Gordon — some of us go to those meetings and some of us continue to work on the show. [New Yorker writer] Jane Mayer made it sound like I was concocting right-wing conspiracies with Roger Ailes. We do talk about it. But again, we believe that unlike her assertion — that cadets in Baghdad are watching 24 and getting riled up and going in and torturing and interrogating people — our assertion would be more that cadets in Baghdad may be seeing their buddies beheaded or killed or innocent people being killed and get riled up, not an hour of television.... Our show lives in its own world, and I don't really know what answer people want to hear. I just don't believe that adult behavior is changed by watching a TV show. Then it gets to the premise we start with. If that's the standard that 24 is going to be held to, we should be looking at every other television show and asking questions — how did this particular show affect adult behavior? Will promiscuous behavior by teenagers cause more AIDS deaths because [the] TV shows teenagers having sex? At least be intellectually honest and apply it to every show.

I may or may not come back to comment on this later, but I thought it was germaine to the conversation.

-Autistic Angel
3214  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Guitar Hero II on: February 16, 2007, 02:19:35 PM
Quote from: Ted Lange
We are planning on having more online content than anyone has ever seen in a game to this date.

Does he mean compared to any console game to date, or *any* game to date?  If Guitar Hero II can deliver more online content than Neverwinter Nights, there won't be a need for Guitar Hero III.

-Autistic Angel
3215  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: US Military tells Jack Bauer: Cut out the torture.. or else! on: February 15, 2007, 05:30:20 PM
Quote from: Andrew Buncombe
The United States Military Academy at West Point yesterday confirmed that Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan recently travelled to California to meet producers of the show, broadcast on the Fox channel. He told them that promoting illegal behaviour in the series - apparently hugely popular among the US military - was having a damaging effect on young troops.

According to the New Yorker magazine, Gen Finnegan, who teaches a course on the laws of war, said of the producers: "I'd like them to stop. They should do a show where torture backfires... The kids see it and say, 'If torture is wrong, what about 24'?

Despite the article's title including the "...or else!" part, I can't find any indication that he threatened or pressured anyone in that article.  What I see here is career military man, charged with teaching the rules of warfare at West Point, voicing his concern about how he sees the glorification of torture affecting the attitudes of the recruits.  He is not only an American citizen, but one who is in a unique position to see what's looming on the minds of our young servicemen.  I'm having trouble thinking of any reason why he shouldn't be allowed to speak his piece.

For the sake of conversation, let's assume for a moment that he is acting inappropriately by "speaking out" against 24 ("speaking out" being defined as "having a private meeting with the creators of the show").  How is that different from the news commentators and political pundits who frequently laud the series on a national level?  I have not seen anyone on these forums getting upset when a nationally syndicated columnist cites the series as "what could be our prophetic and imminent future, with a nuclear device exploding in major cities," or a radio personality refers to it as "a national referendum" on whether or not torture is okay, yet now we're all outraged because a military general is troubled by those same themes? 

If Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, and Cal Thomas are allowed to hold up Jack Bauer as the embodiment of how things should be done -- and they certainly are allowed to share their opinions -- then clearly Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan is permitted to share his personal experiences with how those ideas are starting color the attitudes our military recruits.  And frankly, if he's even a little bit correct, he has a rather urgent responsibility to let us all know about it.

-Autistic Angel
3216  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Good XBox games I might have missed (and are BC) on: February 08, 2007, 10:28:52 PM
I would like to add that in my experience with Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2, the X-Box 360's backwards compatibility software suffers from extreme slowdown problems anytime more than a few enemies are on screen.  Your mileage may vary, but given how much it would cost to acquire, I don't think you'd be pleased with the performance problems on the 360.

-Autistic Angel
3217  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GalCiv 2 - Dark Avatar GOLD on: February 08, 2007, 12:54:30 AM
I pre-ordered it back in November for $24.95, plus and extra $5 to get a physical copy shipped to me in the mail.

-Autistic Angel
3218  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Revisiting: Space Rangers 2 on: February 07, 2007, 06:47:09 PM
Quote from: fyedaddy
How does [Space Rangers 2] compare to Galactic Civilizations?

Much in the same way that driving a car compares with eating a bowl of pasta --there's virtually no crossover between the two activities, and although it might be possible, you probably should be trying to do both at the same moment.

Galactic Civilizations 2 is a classic entry in the 4X strategy genre where you do things like colonize and develop habitable planets, fund lots of long-term research into new technologies, and move fleets of ships around the galaxy like pieces on a board game aggressively pursue your interests.

Space Rangers 2 is also set in space, but for the most part, you won't be doing any of those things.  The core of the game centers around your lone character tooling around the galaxy in his spaceship looking for ways to earn money for upgrades, gain experience to boost his personal stats, enhance his reputation with various factions, and eventually help eliminate a race of bad guys who are trying to do typical bad guy stuff. 

There's a wide spectrum of very different gameplay styles here.  The galaxy and all combat therein trundles along in a continuous turn-based fashion similar to Baldur's Gate or Knights of the Old Republic, with your weapon and shield systems taking the place of your sword and armor.  Other tasks in the game, however, can include peaceably trading goods between planets, taking real-time command of planetary robotic armies, searching for artifacts in spherical pocket dimensions that play like they were inspired by the combat in Star Control 2, and text-based challenges ranging from "Choose Your Own Adventure"-style narratives to pizza-cooking contests to mind-bending alien brain teasers.

But for all the different genres included in Space Rangers 2, there's nothing that could rightly be categorized in the sort of 4X game play found in GalCiv2.  They're both fantastic games that I would highly recommend, just for entirely different reasons.

-Autistic Angel
3219  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS2 480P - talk to me, people on: February 06, 2007, 10:41:19 PM
Adrian Monk says:

"Look here: this chair is much too short.  There's no way Elmo could been standing here...somebody *put* this chair here to make it look like a suicide.  Captain, I think this muppet was murdered."

-Autistic Angel
3220  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS2: Rogue Galaxy on: February 05, 2007, 10:27:08 PM
Quote from: Andrew Mallon
I'm curious though about how you handled your companions when fighting the mid-boss [on Juraika]. By far the most difficult part of that fight was keeping my two companions alive, and I finally just gave up and stopped resurrecting them and fought him alone.

I did the same thing.  The issue is that when the mid-boss
Spoiler for Hiden:
electrifies the water with his tentacles, you can easily avoid about 90% of the damage by simply holding "Block"...except your allies never, ever block.  Unless you're willing to pause the game every twenty seconds and commit every item in your inventory to keeping your party up and fighting, it's best to just let them roast and focus on winning the battle by yourself.

It makes me wish there was a "Defensive Strategy" command you could give where your party members would focus on ranged attacks and blocking incoming damage whenever possible.

-Autistic Angel
3221  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS2: Rogue Galaxy on: February 05, 2007, 08:10:12 PM
The challenge level of the combat seems to vary pretty steeply from one encounter to the next: one moment you're cutting down your enemies before they can even launch an attack, and the next battle spawns a group of beasts who slaughter your entire party.  I also had a lot more difficulty defeating the mid-boss on Juraika than I did the final boss.

It can be a little frustrating at times, but so far I'm really enjoying the Treasure Island-meets-Star Wars motif and I'm looking forward to spending even more time with it this week.

By the way, how old is Miri supposed to be?  Maybe it's just the contrast between her and Lilika, but I thought she was about 12-13 at best and that made some of the other characters seem a little creepy....  icon_neutral

-Autistic Angel
3222  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: ATB MIA? Weekend Recap 5/Feb/2007 on: February 05, 2007, 07:08:24 PM
I finished Halo 2 for the first time, and put a couple hours into Rogue Galaxy and F.E.A.R. for the PC.

-Autistic Angel
3223  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Oh no! Joss Whedon quits as WW director on: February 05, 2007, 06:47:47 PM
Wonder Woman isn't a character I have any particular affinity for, but I was still willing to see the Joss Whedon version in the theaters.  Now, I might check it out on DVD some day, but only if the reviews are especially favorable.

On the plus side, hopefully this will get Goners on a faster track to release!

-Autistic Angel
3224  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Qarls Texture Pack 3 - Oblivion on: February 03, 2007, 08:35:31 PM
Are there any mirrors for this that don't require FilePlanet registration?

-Autistic Angel
3225  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Qarls Texture Pack 3 - Oblivion on: February 03, 2007, 05:42:23 PM
Does this texture mod work okay with the "Natural Environments" mod?  I only ask because it says something about retexturing falling snowflakes...?

-Autistic Angel
3226  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist, Fools! 2/Feb/07 on: February 02, 2007, 11:27:12 PM
I'm working on finishing Halo 2 for the first time, and once I do, I'll be turning my full attention to Rogue Galaxy.  What a great game so far!

I'm also playing through F.E.A.R. for the PC.  I was through a good chunk of the game during my first attempted run-through, but one of the patches came out and broke my savegames.  Another subsequent patch fixed the problem, but I decided to take it as an opportunity to start from scratch (it's been so long, I've forgotten much of the plot and such).

-Autistic Angel
3227  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS3 price cut in the (near) future? on: February 01, 2007, 11:18:57 PM
Now that the latest firmware patch has fixed the problems the PS3 was having rendering PS2 games, I'm starting to consider purchasing one more closely.  Rogue Galaxy is a fantastic looking PS2 game, but I can't help but think of how much nicer it would look upscaled to 1080i.  To say nothing of God of War II....

The real problem is that there just isn't much out for the system right now that I'm excited about.  Some future titles sound promising, but hearing confirmation of new PS3 versions of Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper, or another similar PlayStation-exclusive franchise would probably help seal the deal.

-Autistic Angel
3228  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GalCiv 2 - Dark Avatar GOLD on: February 01, 2007, 02:54:24 PM
The version of Dark Avatar that I preordered said I'd be receiving a copy of the game on CD after its release.  I have no idea if that's a full retail package, or just a CD in a paper sleeve.

-Autistic Angel
3229  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 32-bit vs. 64-bit systems on: January 31, 2007, 09:54:23 PM
Now that all the new Core 2 Duo processors support 64-bit systems and Vista packages are offered in two identically priced 32-bit and 64-bit SKUs, the question arises: what is the real difference?  Does anyone have a breakdown of the advantages or disadvantages, if any, to going with a 64-bit system these days?  I'd be especially interested in knowing how it affects different sorts of uses like

1) New games.  Are there any performance differences one way or the other?

2) Older games.  How would older titles like Baldur's Gate, Thief, or Majesty feel about a 64-bit system?

3) Current business applications.  From TurboTax to Adobe Premiere Pro, what is the value of a 64-bit system?

4) Older business applications.  Defying all logical sense, some people still rely on rickety old custom-designed programs from 1993 to store all of their vital business records -- would a 64-bit system be even more hostile than a modern 32-bit one?

5) Internet & multimedia.  I'd be really surprised if basic, everyday applications cared one way or the other, but maybe there's something I don't know...?

6) Hardware & drivers.  Discounting outright OS incompatibility, if someone wants to continue using their old Sound Blaster Live! card or Pinnacle TV tuner card, do pieces of hardware require 64-bit compatible drivers or will their normal drivers suffice?

I know that's a broad set of questions, but I'll be interested in any information or experiences people have to share. icon_cool

-Autistic Angel
3230  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS2: Rogue Galaxy on: January 31, 2007, 08:55:59 PM
When I picked up mine, some guy who smelled of District Manager asked me if I preordered Rogue Galaxy, and when I said no, was surprised that the store had some available for sale anyhow.  He said something about other GameStop stores in the area were sold out and that I was very lucky to be able to get one.

-Autistic Angel
3231  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii] Virtual Console Releases for 1/29 on: January 29, 2007, 06:28:43 PM
I wonder: if Nintendo ever releases a VC version of Majora's Mask, would it have the same audio and stability problems that the GameCube version had?  I know it's a controversial opinion, but I thought Majora's Mask was a better game than Ocarina of Time, and I'd happily pay a few dollars to get a more flawless remake.

I'd also love to see Chrono Trigger appear as a VC title someday... nod

-Autistic Angel
3232  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (1/29) on: January 29, 2007, 06:06:01 PM
Rogue Galaxy.

-Autistic Angel
3233  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mass Effect inches closer to launch on: January 28, 2007, 04:41:58 PM
I have a feeling that a lot of people are expecting Mass Effect to play a lot like Gears of War or Halo, and that those people are going to be very disappointed.  It's a lot like how Jade Empire's combat had little in common with Ninja Gaiden -- Mass Effect may put you behind the scope of a futuristic rifle, but the underlying mechanics are still those of a role-playing game.

Nobody expected Knights of the Old Republic to play like Jedi Knight II, but accepted it as an RPG set in the Star Wars universe.  Mass Effect has some elements of a shooter -- you do take direct control of your character and pull the trigger to shoot your weapon -- but  unless people can reset their expectations and accept this this is more RPG than FPS, I predict a lot of complaints from people who were expecting the next Ghost Recon: Advanced Warrior.

Personally, I'm *really* looking forward to this game.  Bioware proved to me with Jade Empire that they're fully capable to creating a deep and engaging new franchise from scratch, and if anything, the sci-fi setting of Mass Effect is even more in line with my tastes.  This is a Day 1 purchase for me.

-Autistic Angel[/i]
3234  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: PASTE! on: January 21, 2007, 11:21:02 PM
The good news is that although these parts in the game are slow and clunky, they’re also brief, forgiving, and infrequent enough that


This is part of a sentence referring to the combat and stealth portions of Dreamfall for a review I was working on.  It was relocated within the paragraph, had "in" changed to "of," and concluded with, "...they never interfere with the story."

-Autistic Angel
3235  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Hillary Announces White House Run. Oh God No... on: January 21, 2007, 12:25:48 AM
Maybe, but shouldn't you at least acknowledge that Knightshade Dragon was referencing a real incident instead of some "bullshit mission that didn't exist"?  You can't really fault President Bush for failing to own up to his mistakes if you're too comfortable brushing off your own.

-Autistic Angel
3236  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Hillary Announces White House Run. Oh God No... on: January 20, 2007, 10:40:43 PM
Knightshade Dragon hasn't specified exactly which incident he's referring to, but I believe he's talking about an aborted operation against bin Laden in Khandahar, Afghanistan in 1999.  From the 9/11 Commission Report:

Quote from: The 9/11 Commission
It was in Kandahar that perhaps the last, and most likely the best, opportunity arose for targeting Bin Ladin with cruise missiles before 9/11. In May 1999, CIA assets in Afghanistan reported on Bin Ladin's location in and around Kandahar over the course of five days and nights. The reporting was very detailed and came from several sources. If this intelligence was not "actionable," working-level officials said at the time and today, it was hard for them to imagine how any intelligence on Bin Ladin in Afghanistan would meet the standard. Communications were good, and the cruise missiles were ready. "This was in our strike zone," a senior military officer said. "It was a fat pitch, a home run." He expected the missiles to fly. When the decision came back that they should stand down, not shoot, the officer said, "we all just slumped." He told us he knew of no one at the Pentagon or the CIA who thought it was a bad gamble. Bin Ladin "should have been a dead man" that night, he said.173

Working-level CIA officials agreed. While there was a conflicting intelligence report about Bin Ladin's whereabouts, the experts discounted it. At the time, CIA working-level officials were told by their managers that the strikes were not ordered because the military doubted the intelligence and worried about collateral damage. Replying to a frustrated colleague in the field, the Bin Ladin unit chief wrote: "having a chance to get [Bin Ladin] three times in 36 hours and foregoing the chance each time has made me a bit angry.... [T]he DCI finds himself alone at the table, with the other princip[als] basically saying 'we'll go along with your decision Mr. Director,' and implicitly saying that the Agency will hang alone if the attack doesn't get Bin Ladin."174 But the military officer quoted earlier recalled that the Pentagon had been willing to act. He told us that Clarke informed him and others that Tenet assessed the chance of the intelligence being accurate as 50-50. This officer believed that Tenet's assessment was the key to the decision.175

Tenet told us he does not remember any details about this episode, except that the intelligence came from a single uncorroborated source and that there was a risk of collateral damage. The story is further complicated by Tenet's absence from the critical principals meeting on this strike (he was apparently out of town); his deputy, John Gordon, was representing the CIA. Gordon recalled having presented the intelligence in a positive light, with appropriate caveats, but stating that this intelligence was about as good as it could get.176

Berger remembered only that in all such cases, the call had been Tenet's. Berger felt sure that Tenet was eager to get Bin Ladin. In his view, Tenet did his job responsibly. "George would call and say, 'We just don't have it,'" Berger said.177

The decision not to strike in May 1999 may now seem hard to understand. In fairness, we note two points: First, in December 1998, the principals' wariness about ordering a strike appears to have been vindicated: Bin Ladin left his room unexpectedly, and if a strike had been ordered he would not have been hit. Second, the administration, and the CIA in particular, was in the midst of intense scrutiny and criticism in May 1999 because faulty intelligence had just led the United States to mistakenly bomb the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the NATO war against Serbia. This episode may have made officials more cautious than might otherwise have been the case.

Now, we can talk about how George Tenet, Sandy Berger, and Richard Clarke all agree that they, not the White House, were responsible for these decisions, or we can talk about the missile strikes in August of 1998 that missed Osama bin Laden by only a few minutes, but we can't really debate whether or not the incident ever occurred.  icon_cool

-Autistic Angel
3237  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist 19/Jan/06 on: January 20, 2007, 12:05:59 AM
Quote from: Gratch
Still on my adventure game kick, so I'll try and finish up The Longest Journey and am also going to try and track down a copy of Indigo Prophecy.

That's interesting: Indigo Prophecy was the first game I played after finishing The Longest Journey, too!

On that note, I'm planning to put more time into Dreamfall this weekend.

-Autistic Angel
3238  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Oblivion] Technical Help Needed! on: January 18, 2007, 01:25:31 AM
Okay, it was set to 9, so I've lowered to 5.   I'll see how it works...thank you very much for the tip!

-Autistic Angel
3239  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Girl dies trying to get a Wii. on: January 17, 2007, 11:36:36 PM
Quote from: Eduardo X
It looks like the DJs discussed the dangers on the air.

I read the article you linked to, but my question lingers: should that be "discussed" or "dismissed?"  I've heard the same thing that unbreakable did: CBS has reported that a nurse phoned in during the contest to mention the dangers of drinking too much water, and was brushed off by the on-air personalities.

One way or another, the tapes of the show should be very enlightening and hopefully move this tragedy towards a just conclusion.

EDIT: Here is the article I was thinking of:

Quote from: KFMB News 8
CBS News station KOVR-TV reports that during the contest, a listener - self-identified as a nurse - called the live radio broadcast and warned that the game was dangerous.

"I want to say that those people drinking all that water can get sick and die from water intoxication," said the caller.

"Yeah, we're aware of that," replied a DJ, according to the broadcast news report. "They signed releases so we're not responsible, okay?"

Donnie Logsdon – one of the 18 contestants trying to win a Nintendo Wii gaming console by drinking the most water without going to the bathroom – tells KOVR-TV news that they didn't hear that on-air warning in the room where he and the others were filling up way beyond comfort.

"Maybe she would have walked away," says Logsdon. "But we didn't hear that inside there."

Strange was second to last to stop drinking, and when she bowed out, she did say on the air that she was not feeling well.

"My head hurts. They keep telling me that it's the water...that it will tell my head to hurt and it'll make me puke." Strange told the DJ, live on the air, before leaving the station. "Who told you that, the intern?" was the DJ's response, according to the KOVR-TV news report on the radio show.

Saying, "They signed releases so we're not responsible, okay?" doesn't not qualify as a "discussion of the dangers" in my mind.

Autistic Angel
3240  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [Oblivion] Technical Help Needed! on: January 17, 2007, 09:07:54 PM
I have an ongoing technical problem with Oblivion for the PC where zones in the overworld don't seem to load properly, resulting in tracts of landscape which *look* proper, but are not treated as physical objects.  This means that I can be running along in the great outdoors of Cyrodil when I'll suddenly enter a section of the world where the ground doesn't "exist" and I'll start falling through it.  However, rather than actually passing through the ground, my character will snap back up a foot or so, start falling again, snap back up again, over and over again.  If I take a few steps back and exit the problem area, I'll arrive back on solid ground again.

I *believe* the problem is that my character is actually running faster than the game is prepared for, so he's crossing zones in the game world before they're being properly loaded.  My character is a Khajiit thief and I've put a lot of points into speed.  A *lot.*  He can run faster on foot than he could riding a horse, and I think he might be too fast for the game.  I'd prefer not to start over from scratch though, so I'm hoping someone can help me make an .ini tweak to fix the problem.

Here are some other facts:

  • This problem never affects the immediate area after I load the game; I need to run some distance to encounter a problem.
  • If I save the game on the edge of a problem area, everything will work fine after I reload.
  • I have the official patch loaded.  The problem started before I ever loaded a single mod, but for the record, I'm currently using the "Natural Environments" mod.
  • I have tweaked the Oblivion.ini file in several ways based on GameSpot's "Make It Pretty" guide to Oblivion.  I know there are some settings to control how the game preloads the landscape zones, but I don't recall what they are or how they should be manipulated.
  • I have tried totally uninstalling the game and reinstalling it from scratch, preserving only my save games and the Oblivion.ini file.  This had no affect.
  • Yes, I could almost certainly circumvent the problem by using Fast Travel to get every place.  I really enjoy wandering the countryside as I journey from one place to another, though, and I'd prefer to solve the problem if I possibly can.

Can anyone help me out?  icon_confused

-Autistic Angel
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