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121  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Why do I need to defend purchasing music? on: November 07, 2009, 07:53:43 PM
But what's the real difference?  Neither George nor the publisher is getting any more money in either scenario.
What's the fair ideal?  I suppose it must be pay-per-use, which is of course not very feasible.  You pay to read a book one time.  You pay to hear a song one time, even at a friends house.  With music, pay-per-play was de rigeur until recording technology (which, to be honest, is just making additional money for no additional effort besides packaging/distro - basically moot with mp3s).
It's an interesting problem that I've been thinking about for years, but one that I'm glad doesn't affect my own income.  I've also recently had an argument with some friends about paying for music.  They think I'm a chump, but I'll fork out for new music and software to support producers' efforts.  Now, I will also not feel particularly guilty about downloading Dark Side of the Moon rather than seeing if it's in the attic or buying it for the fourth time.
Finally, a theoretical about indie bands: how bummed would they really be if everyone's iPod has their music on it, even for free?  As a representative of live bands (who should admittedly handle it better than studio bands), would Borzaya be OK with that?
122  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bad Company 2 Trailer on: November 06, 2009, 04:00:04 AM
I never do betas anymore for games I know I'm going to be playing anyway.
123  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: November 03, 2009, 01:07:51 AM
You guys are kind of testy.
124  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bad Company 2 Trailer on: October 30, 2009, 07:20:04 AM
Don't tell me I have to buy a special addition to get my tracer pistol!
...unlocks...  thumbsdown
125  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Demon's Souls PS3 US version on: October 27, 2009, 05:47:30 AM

Quote from: DamageInc on October 26, 2009, 11:28:12 PM

Quote from: RuperT on October 26, 2009, 07:03:18 PM

I also beat Maneater last night, but it took me HOURS.  The other demon fights are generally challenging, and interesting to figure out, but this one was just cruddy, providing a disappointing finish to what was otherwise my favorite arch so far.
Spoiler for Hiden:
I'm a magic user.  I tried to finesse the fight a hundred times because it's just more fun that way, but you don't have much chance to figure out his 'thing'.  After I finally tired of getting checked off the edge, getting attacked trying to stand up, trying to keep the wonky targetting on him without dodging myself off the edge, and more, I just went home and memorized Fireball, then came back and blasted him repeatedly until crispy.  Weee!  Then I read in the guide that the imprisoned demon I freed might go to the Nexus and start killing my NPCs?! At least now I think I can get past the rubble in the prison area, and free Ghosty McClangbars, unless I'm missing something on World Tendency... or is it Character Tendency?  I still don't get it.  thumbsdown
I've seen you guys mention chained attacks raising damage per hit... are you sure about this?  Rather, I think it just adds the damage to the currently displayed figure if you hit before the display can fade out.
It's a great game, but our relationship is a bit love/hate.  Hehe, my RPG-freak kid digs it, too, but he had a scary moment when he accidentally cleaved Waxeye in twain... and then she came back and apologized for not being able to die properly.   icon_lol

Spoiler for Hiden:
LOL "Ghosty McClangbars" You can only get the key if you have Pure White WT in World 3. There is a bridge that appears at the top of the first chain area (where the four disciples chant to hold the chain up). It will take you to a secret key.
You can then use this key to free Rydell and get the loot on the other side. There is rubble that blocks the path to the cells on the opposite side of him if you do not have Pure White WT

I think you might be correct about the damage not chaining. I did a test on a Medium Bearbug in 2-2. It has 1333 HP. All it was doing was adding the total damage together.
I then tested this out on the Souls chaining if you quick kill multiple enemies in a row, and I was incorrect about that as well, it is just adding it to show a total. Nice catch.
Spoiler for Hiden:
So I killed Maneater last night, which should've put Latria in Pure White Tendency I thought.  The rubble opposite Rydell was still there tonight, and since looking I fell to my death in body form which I suppose pushes WT more towards black (I guess I might've done so previously as well, which is why I never hit PWT?).  So I have no shot now at getting the mage set from the rubbled cell, or getting Rydell's key?  I guess I'll try going to Pure Black and killing the archdemon, but it doesn't look like that'll take me to PWT either... crap, looks like I missed out on the only set of armor for me in the game then (not to mention failing Rydell)...  crybaby  Can't say that I'm too crazy about all these tendency triggers...
[edit] hold on... I'd missed the passageway after maneater... Hope springs eternal!
[edit2] well... shit
126  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Demon's Souls PS3 US version on: October 26, 2009, 07:03:18 PM
I also beat Maneater last night, but it took me HOURS.  The other demon fights are generally challenging, and interesting to figure out, but this one was just cruddy, providing a disappointing finish to what was otherwise my favorite arch so far.
Spoiler for Hiden:
I'm a magic user.  I tried to finesse the fight a hundred times because it's just more fun that way, but you don't have much chance to figure out his 'thing'.  After I finally tired of getting checked off the edge, getting attacked trying to stand up, trying to keep the wonky targetting on him without dodging myself off the edge, and more, I just went home and memorized Fireball, then came back and blasted him repeatedly until crispy.  Weee!  Then I read in the guide that the imprisoned demon I freed might go to the Nexus and start killing my NPCs?! At least now I think I can get past the rubble in the prison area, and free Ghosty McClangbars, unless I'm missing something on World Tendency... or is it Character Tendency?  I still don't get it.  thumbsdown
I've seen you guys mention chained attacks raising damage per hit... are you sure about this?  Rather, I think it just adds the damage to the currently displayed figure if you hit before the display can fade out.
It's a great game, but our relationship is a bit love/hate.  Hehe, my RPG-freak kid digs it, too, but he had a scary moment when he accidentally cleaved Waxeye in twain... and then she came back and apologized for not being able to die properly.   icon_lol
127  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Screw the labels, what are YOUR stances? on: October 26, 2009, 06:42:09 PM
Scuzz, the OP asked that we not directly engage each other on our declared stances in this thread.
I generally agree with DBack above on his stated issues (excepting the guns, I've got a bunch), and Ironrod is sensible in all things.  It kind of surprises me that not everyone considers themselves a free-thinker in politics. I guess most folks like to be on a team, though, and there are only two.
The Drug War is a sham.  Marijuana should be legalized, and the rest should be more or less decriminalized in regards to possession (procurement/distribution is another matter).
I'm ambivalent on immigration.  On the one hand, my vision of America embraces every one of those huddled masses yearning to breathe free.  On the other hand, our preposterous standard of living must be protected, and we seemingly can't afford an open border.  It should be easier to become a citizen.
I'm trying to figure out Healthcare.
I'm trying to figure out lots of things.
Agnostic it is, then.
128  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Demon's Souls PS3 US version on: October 25, 2009, 05:25:07 AM
Protip: The blacksmiths can get to your ore even if it's in storage.  Talk about taking a load off....
129  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Awesomely Bad Movies on: October 23, 2009, 05:49:48 PM
I saw "Cemetary Man" the other night.  It qualifies.
130  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Sean Hannity is a douche (2nd in a series) on: October 23, 2009, 05:39:56 PM
As much as we talk about pandering, they do always host opposing viewpoints so they can act either bemused or indignant as the situation requires.  You also have to give them credit for finding such an incredibly squirrely-looking liberal as Allen Colmes.
Douchey?  He got his own show, and names it "Hannity's America"!  I think they changed it now.
131  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Glenn Beck is a douche on: October 20, 2009, 08:33:53 PM
To be fair, KD started with some things Beck said about Obama (which mikeg ostensibly agrees with), but then he went a bit afield into Beck's quotes about things mikeg did not address.
132  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Gotta love hypocrisy - The other side on: October 20, 2009, 08:30:00 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on October 20, 2009, 04:55:32 PM

The courts have spent the last four years deciding if Jamie Leigh Jones' case will ever be allowed to bring legal action against KBR for their gross negligence.  The cost so far must be astronomical.  I disagree with your usage of "obviously not true."
I rather think you guys are arguing about the usage of "stipulated".

Quote from: Autistic Angel on October 20, 2009, 04:55:32 PM

The Franken amendment was introduced for the sole purpose of making government contractors responsible for the physical safety of their employees from the most grievous forms of personal injury.  It had to be one of the easiest votes I've ever seen, and a whopping 75% of the Republicans sided against it.
Hell, I wouldn't stop at "grievous forms of personal injury".
As stated, the Republicans justification is just silly.  On the bright side, they're not inhumanely voting against the rights of rape victims, they're just voting against Democrats.   disgust  It's the politics of spite.
133  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Scientist figures out suspended animation. Now we can all be Ripley. on: October 15, 2009, 11:30:38 PM

Quote from: Caine on October 15, 2009, 10:04:30 PM

Quote from: kronovan on October 15, 2009, 09:27:33 PM

Quote from: Caine on October 15, 2009, 06:29:03 PM

and he now has the crazy arm of the military research, DARPA, backing him.

DARPA isn't all about funding mad scientists and evil inventions. They were actually the initiators of ARPANET which evolved into the Internet. They were also a big factor behind the creation of time-sharing which revolutionized mainframe computing in the 60's & 70's.

i know that, but darpa is also the group responsible for funring powered exoskeletons

i just think that they get to be pretty kickass and create stuff out of sci-fi ideas
Did you mean Funyon powered exoskeletons?  icon_razz
Cool.  This idea is also the basis for one of my favorite sci-fi books.
134  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Health Bill Passes Senate Committee on: October 15, 2009, 09:12:15 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on October 15, 2009, 08:22:48 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on October 15, 2009, 06:13:16 PM

Personally, the only place I hate moderating is in here.  



For all this talk about the quality of moderation around here, does *anyone* except brettmcd and cheeba have a problem with it?  As hard as they're trying to make this into some sort of liberal plot to persecute erstwhile conservatives, other self-declared conservatives like YellowKing, msduncan, Eco-Logic, or pr0ner have been able to express themselves just fine without drawing the attention of the mods.

brettmcd and cheeba are throwing a big stamping tantrum over how victimized they are for their political beliefs.  In reality, the topic of potential banishment was not raised in response to their opinions of the capital gains tax; it came up because brettmcd was actively trolling the owner of the site.  Forget a political thread in a political forum: when would that ever be considered acceptable behavior?

If this were a forum about car repair and brettmcd had idiotically implied that Knightshade Dragon was "lying" about the gauge on a particular socket wrench, this thread would have played out exactly the same way.  brettmcd and cheeba are not targeted by the mods for their political beliefs, favorite Chevys, or number of tooth fillings, but for their malignant lack of decorum.

The moderators of this message board are doing a fine job, and in my opinion, that includes their decision to allow brettmcd and cheeba to continue posting here.  Hardly a day goes by where their posts haven't had me laughing out loud.

-Autistic Angel
I don't see where cheeba made any claim about political bias.  I also haven't seen where they or frankly anyone has been targeted by a moderator for anything at all (of course, maybe they're all PMed).  Coincidentally, I can't recall the last substantive involvement from any of those "self-proclaimed conservatives" whose decorum you approve of.  Coincidence? Maybe.
Naednek has always been an admirable moderator IMO, here and elsewhere.  I've hoped many times to see him drop a "Less personal, please", but at this point it would seem to be too much work to untangle some of these deep resentments.  I don't want to put words in his mouth, but it is a lost cause unless the entire team has a consistent and comprehensive approach to moderation of this depth.  I think GT in general doesn't consider this "nonsense" subforum important enough to warrant such effort.
So what are the rules?  Be as insulting and personal as you please, unless it's toward KD?  I can live with a Thunderdome, I guess.  It doesn't gibe very well with my own personal goals for discussions of controversial material with intelligent gamers, but I am learning who wants to engage me honestly and who wants to "win" discussions for nerd glory.

As to the excessive testing, is the problem that there is too much of it, or that it just costs too much?  Can some approach from government bring these costs down? Is it feasible to consider some kind of subsidized testing labs, or equipment clearinghouse?
135  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Some GTAIV questions on: October 14, 2009, 09:45:48 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on October 14, 2009, 09:09:43 PM

Quote from: RuperT on October 14, 2009, 09:04:07 PM

Quote from: Brendan on October 14, 2009, 03:57:02 PM

In my vague recollection, there were only two people that truly merited the effort:

Spoiler for Hiden:
What's-his-name with the trunk full of guns and what's-her-name who could call the cops off if you got in a jam.

It's worth noting that The Lost and Damned expansion doesn't have any of the relationship obligation issues.
Spoiler for Hiden:
Trunk full of guns is indeed useful, but I got the most out of Dwayne, who will send his two pals for backup if he likes you.  I never dated any of the perk girls, and anyway thought call-off-the-cops girl sounded like a party pooper.
Regarding TLatD, calling your pals frequently to ride backup with you would upgrade their combat abillities and, IIRC, weapons.  Socializing of a sort, but definitely not the PITA that was "get here (two islands away) in an hour (3 ingame minutes), or I'm going to be pissed anyway".
I think everyone should at least see GTAIV.

I'll agree that backup was always appreciated and helpful.  And well worth the basic socializing required to earch such a perk.
I got a kick out of imagining their reactions to rolling up and joining some of the situations, like, say...
Spoiler for Hiden:
a botched bank robbery in progress. They were always at least a distraction for the fuzz, and, yes, worth putting up with even such a psychic vampire as Dwayne.
136  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Some GTAIV questions on: October 14, 2009, 09:04:07 PM

Quote from: Brendan on October 14, 2009, 03:57:02 PM

In my vague recollection, there were only two people that truly merited the effort:

Spoiler for Hiden:
What's-his-name with the trunk full of guns and what's-her-name who could call the cops off if you got in a jam.

It's worth noting that The Lost and Damned expansion doesn't have any of the relationship obligation issues.
Spoiler for Hiden:
Trunk full of guns is indeed useful, but I got the most out of Dwayne, who will send his two pals for backup if he likes you.  I never dated any of the perk girls, and anyway thought call-off-the-cops girl sounded like a party pooper.
Regarding TLatD, calling your pals frequently to ride backup with you would upgrade their combat abillities and, IIRC, weapons.  Socializing of a sort, but definitely not the PITA that was "get here (two islands away) in an hour (3 ingame minutes), or I'm going to be pissed anyway".
I think everyone should at least see GTAIV.
137  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Older movies that caught you by surprise on: October 14, 2009, 03:50:58 AM
I caught A Touch of Evil last night, and quite enjoyed it (particularly Orsen Wells).
I also picked up The Thin Man from the library, and might watch it tonight.
138  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [WTF?] 4-month old baby declared obese, denied insurance coverage on: October 13, 2009, 07:13:44 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on October 13, 2009, 04:27:38 PM

Quote from: Toe on October 13, 2009, 12:20:25 PM

Quote from: Gratch on October 13, 2009, 03:34:35 AM

The insurance company changed their mind.  Kudos to them for applying some common sense to the situation.

Me thinks it had little to do with common sense and more to do with the political climate. No kudos for them.

RuperT's makes a noteworthy point about the parents' culpability, though.  If they didn't want to risk having an overweight baby, maybe the mother should have wasted less money of prenatal vitamins and spent it instead on whiskey and Virginia Slims.

-Autistic Angel
You've come a long way, baby.   icon_neutral
139  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [WTF?] 4-month old baby declared obese, denied insurance coverage on: October 13, 2009, 05:28:25 AM

Quote from: Gratch on October 13, 2009, 02:30:45 AM

Quote from: RuperT on October 13, 2009, 01:29:12 AM

Quote from: Gratch on October 12, 2009, 11:28:57 PM

Quote from: RuperT on October 12, 2009, 10:14:39 PM

Quote
Bernie and Kelli Lange tried to get insurance for their growing family with Rocky Mountain Health Plans when their current insurer raised their rates 40 percent after Alex was born.
I interpreted this to mean that Hoss is currently covered, in case he should break a heel and fall down a flight of stairs.  It seems to me that the family is in fact the party trying to save a buck.
I have a big kid, too, and I personally think it's a pretty stupid criteria for underwriting, but if Mom doesn't worry enough about it to take the tit out a little quicker, then I won't either.  The guy's a news anchor; it's an "evil mosquito" story.

While I get your point (I interpreted the article a little differently the first time, but can see how your angle makes some sense), that's one of the stupidest things I've read here in a long time.

Would you care to discuss what aspect of my statement you find so stupid, or is it too emotional for you?  I mean that seriously, kids are a touchy subject.  Tits are too, for that matter.
To clarify, if a couple of pounds are keeping them in a "pretty freaking disturbing situation" and preventing adequate health coverage for their baby, is it so insipid for me to suggest that they might monitor the baby's intake for a couple of months and reapply?  Does "considering an appeal" seem the most appropriate response for concerned folks in a real parenting crisis?  I don't think so; frightened parents do what they must, in spite of the tears. 
Is it a shitty system where they have to jump through such an absurd and arbitrary hoop?  Yes.  Yes, it is.


Nearly every doctor will tell you that the best thing for babies - especially breastfeeding babies - is for them to eat as much as they can for the first 6 months.  They eat what their bodies need to grow and, frankly, chubby babies are healthier babies  Artificially limiting an infant's food intake so they actually lose weight during that period basically runs counter to what nearly every doctor will tell new parents about feeding their youngun and is a pretty ludicrous idea.  Doubly so when it's being done to jump through an insurance loophole.

I also think that's the best thing for babies, and that's what we did.  Some people might think it better to decrease the rate of weight gain if it would secure insured health care for their baby.  I, too, think that would be stupid.  However, it's their choice instead of mine, and that's what I actually meant by the remark in question - not that I thought that was the way to go. 
140  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [WTF?] 4-month old baby declared obese, denied insurance coverage on: October 13, 2009, 01:29:12 AM

Quote from: Gratch on October 12, 2009, 11:28:57 PM

Quote from: RuperT on October 12, 2009, 10:14:39 PM

Quote
Bernie and Kelli Lange tried to get insurance for their growing family with Rocky Mountain Health Plans when their current insurer raised their rates 40 percent after Alex was born.
I interpreted this to mean that Hoss is currently covered, in case he should break a heel and fall down a flight of stairs.  It seems to me that the family is in fact the party trying to save a buck.
I have a big kid, too, and I personally think it's a pretty stupid criteria for underwriting, but if Mom doesn't worry enough about it to take the tit out a little quicker, then I won't either.  The guy's a news anchor; it's an "evil mosquito" story.

While I get your point (I interpreted the article a little differently the first time, but can see how your angle makes some sense), that's one of the stupidest things I've read here in a long time.
Would you care to discuss what aspect of my statement you find so stupid, or is it too emotional for you?  I mean that seriously, kids are a touchy subject.  Tits are too, for that matter.
To clarify, if a couple of pounds are keeping them in a "pretty freaking disturbing situation" and preventing adequate health coverage for their baby, is it so insipid for me to suggest that they might monitor the baby's intake for a couple of months and reapply?  Does "considering an appeal" seem the most appropriate response for concerned folks in a real parenting crisis?  I don't think so; frightened parents do what they must, in spite of the tears. 
Is it a shitty system where they have to jump through such an absurd and arbitrary hoop?  Yes.  Yes, it is.
141  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: SCOTUS: War Memorial with Cross Violates Separation? on: October 12, 2009, 10:31:10 PM
The only sticky part about this in my view is the involvement of veterans.  Would the Fed be justified in providing spiritual succor for specific groups of veterans?  What is the constitutional status of Army chaplains?  Are they only appropriate in the field?  Is this not a congruent issue?
142  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [WTF?] 4-month old baby declared obese, denied insurance coverage on: October 12, 2009, 10:14:39 PM
Quote
Bernie and Kelli Lange tried to get insurance for their growing family with Rocky Mountain Health Plans when their current insurer raised their rates 40 percent after Alex was born.
I interpreted this to mean that Hoss is currently covered, in case he should break a heel and fall down a flight of stairs.  It seems to me that the family is in fact the party trying to save a buck.
I have a big kid, too, and I personally think it's a pretty stupid criteria for underwriting, but if Mom doesn't worry enough about it to take the tit out a little quicker, then I won't either.  The guy's a news anchor; it's an "evil mosquito" story.
143  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [WTF?] 4-month old baby declared obese, denied insurance coverage on: October 12, 2009, 08:27:55 PM
Fat babies are either higher risk or not.  This insurance company apparently thinks they are.  If they're wrong, they're losing money from another premium, and this is not good business for them.
Quote
Health insurance reform measures are trying to do away with such denials that come from a process called "underwriting."
Lolwut?  I'm no insurance expert, but this sounds like trying to "reform" automobiles by putting wings and propellers on them.

Finally, give me an effin' break with all the references on that page to this poor couples "plight".  This isn't spina bifida.  I don't find this tragic. 
144  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: You've lost that loooovin' feeeeelin'...whoa....that looooovin' feeeeeeelin'... on: October 12, 2009, 08:00:39 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 12, 2009, 07:20:11 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on October 12, 2009, 07:08:31 PM

No job.  No money.  No new games.  I first need to cope with what I have.  Like I said, I really want Batman.  So much so that I'd rather play it than anything in my backlog, but if my wife were to come home from work and find me in the living room with a cold beer in my hand, playing a new videogame, even if she didn't mind or care, I'd feel like a piece of irresponsible garbage.  I could have picked up a used copy in the Trade forum for $40, including shipping, but for some reason it just feels "wrong."  I'd never be able to look my wife in the eye.  My integrity wouldn't allow it.

Sell stuff.  Seriously- just sell the game that aren't doing it for you.  If you really want to come back to them in a year or two you'll probably be able to rebuy them for $10-15 used.  Or just burn through the really short ones (Mirror's Edge and CoD5 can both be finished in 5-6 hours.  Gears 2 is probably 8-10 hours and you probably don't have more than 5 hours of Bioshock left) and then sell them so you can buy Batman.  I'd place Batman well above most of the stuff in your backlog.  
Right on.  Also, I think you might re-evaluate your distaste for rentals (particularly monthly plans like Gamefly or Blockbuster where you keep one game or movie out at all times; it's been a real boon for my "latest hotness" problem).
Definitely try Batman, especially as I recall you enjoying ass-kicking brutality in the Bourne game.  This ain't no damn Michael Keaton! 
Finally, I suspect your guilt will be constant until you're employed again.  Maybe limit gaming to weekends or evening (ie, "unproductive") hours.
145  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I may have just become a believer in universal healthcare on: October 02, 2009, 06:05:54 PM

Quote from: Doopri on October 02, 2009, 05:55:18 PM

Quote
Please re-explain why this woman's experience "is not a moral issue".  I truly don't understand why you would assert that it isn't.

brendan im guessing (mostly from his response to my post) rupert meant in wasnt a "moral issue" in the sense that all bureaucracy is going to have regulations and norms about what is payed for where, how and when.  in this particular case, the insurance company obviously tried to screw the woman out of something.  but generally speaking, in certain schemes of care this could happen by the nature of a bureaucracy.
Yes, that's exactly it.  I wandered in the weeds a bit trying to refine and express my ideas, but in the end it wasn't a very hefty point and not worth spending much time polishing.
146  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I may have just become a believer in universal healthcare on: October 02, 2009, 04:51:33 AM

Quote from: Doopri on October 02, 2009, 01:50:24 AM

market principles have only a marginal (hehehe i made a joke smile) impact on health care because the "product" is highly inelastic.  "increasing supply" is also incredibly difficult.  this may be shocking, but medical schools DO NOT ACCEPT EVERYONE WHO APPLIES.  frankly, i think this miiiiiiiight be a good thing.

i do agree that bill standardization is necessary.  i will tell you this though.  the way that many large corporations maintain cost and billing standardization is by negotiating long term contracts, and not via the market system.
I agree wholeheartedly.  This product is, and I guess always has been, a bitch.  Hell, we had to invent a lottery system to pay for it!

Quote from: Doopri on October 02, 2009, 01:50:24 AM

Quote
Would you expect your proposed system to deny their services to people who don't need them?  In other words, could it impose eligibility criteria on premium or emergency treatment?  If so, there will always be analogous ambiguities in triage guidelines, that's all I'm saying.

and as far as the case of this woman.  i think what you are injecting here isnt very genuine.  the woman WAS IN NO WAY DENIED CARE at the ER.  she wasnt turned away.  the doctors and nurses at the er made the determination that this was "worth it."  it was a bureaucrat, months after the fact, who decided it wasnt.  now perhaps youre implying that in a govt run system, the ER doctors will go to special classes at medical school, on how to properly deny care at the er to save the tax payers a few bucks.  maybe that would be the triage dilemma of a government run health care plan.  but frankly, i think thats a bit insane on your part.
It might be genuinely half-baked, hadn't it?  Look, I missed the thing about how the insurance company reversed itself, and I didn't mean denying care.  Let me turn this thing down a little bit.  I at least mishandled the 'triage' metaphor.  How insane would I be to say instead, "Any bureaucracy will make a dickhead move"?  You'd at least get a nasty letter for having a wart removed at the FedER, I bet.
147  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Reviews on: October 02, 2009, 12:39:10 AM

Quote from: Eseell on October 01, 2009, 10:50:24 PM

Quote from: DamageInc on October 01, 2009, 05:53:09 PM

The ending is hilarious though, during credits and ending audio disk after credits .

Spoiler for Hiden:
Excerpts from Hulk

There are also
Spoiler for Hiden:
two more funny audio logs that unlock after the end of the game. One with Deadpool and another with Hulk.

Spoiler for Hiden:
148  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I may have just become a believer in universal healthcare on: October 01, 2009, 09:09:32 PM

Quote from: Brendan on October 01, 2009, 01:02:01 PM

Quote from: RuperT on October 01, 2009, 08:07:33 AM


Quote from: Brendan on October 01, 2009, 05:15:58 AM

A better question is why you think this isn't a significant indictment of the current system.
Because every other feasible system will also have similar misinterpretations of emergency payment guidelines.

Why do you assume that's the case?
The contrast between the binary nature of accounting and the protean nature of medicine.

Quote from: Brendan on October 01, 2009, 01:02:01 PM

Quote
I don't think it's a significant moral issue, no.  It is tragic, but mostly due to plain old miscommunication and ignorance which costs the unwary a toe (or nipple) to the grinding machine of beauracracy.  Any payment system's members will benefit equally from fixing these kinds of issues (eg the hospital discloses what additional non-emergency services are covered).

You misunderstand - the moral issue is the nature of for-profit health care.  When the incentives are tilted towards denying coverage, this is the inevitable end
result.  It's working as designed.
What do you think I misunderstand?  I just finished saying that a particular case is not a moral issue;  I can agree that the state of healthcare in the US is a moral issue, if you'd prefer to zoom back out to Generalizationland.

Quote from: Brendan on October 01, 2009, 01:02:01 PM

"CNA/NNOC researchers analyzed data reported by the insurers to the California Department of Managed Care. From 2002 through June 30, 2009, six of the largest insurers operating in California rejected 47.7 million claims for care -- 22 percent of all claims."

22% of claims denied - clearly this is just "plain old miscommunication and ignorance" and doesn't merit any attempt at improvement.
That number doesn't tell me much without control or context, frankly. 
I clearly stated that "plain old miscommunication and ignorance" is always an enemy.  Must you extemporize with my words?

Quote from: Brendan on October 01, 2009, 01:02:01 PM


Quote from: RuperT
Yeah.  I'm still wondering about that... did they have to use a big square Band-aid or just that little round one? Tongue Details are scarce, but ideally she'd be appraised of the actual emergencyness of the event, at least in relation to the biller's and the payor's standards of emergencyness;  this likely didn't happen, and that's the "issue".  Finally, an "emergency cancer diagnosis" seems patently absurd to me.

The cancer diagnosis wasn't the perceived emergency - bleeding from her breast was.  A biopsy takes days.   I find it funny that you're essentially endorsing the republican "death panels" in tangential fashion.  A bureaucrat gets to decide whether this woman was reasonable in being alarmed?  A moral system errs on the side of protecting people's health.  Thank god for EMTALA or more people would be dying outside on the sidewalk.
I don't know what exactly was treated at the ER, nor how it was coded or billed.  I don't care to defend BC, particularly if they reversed a decision on approved treatment.  I do know that a bureaucrat decided she wouldn't be paid, and I think such a bureaucrat would be making similar decisions for any system that attempts to regulate emergency care.  I'm talking about where the rubber hits the road; moral rhetoric is of limited utility here.

Quote from: Brendan on October 01, 2009, 01:02:01 PM


Quote from: RuperT
I don't know what to make of this paragraph; I suppose you were treating my question as a rhetorical.
I don't know what to make of your inane response - health insurance or a single-payer system should absolutely cover emergencies, whether actual or merely perceived.
I'd prefer ER patients to have an actual emergency, requiring premium emergency treatment.  "Well, you're already here, let's get a CAT scan anyway, huh?"  No.

Quote from: Brendan on October 01, 2009, 01:02:01 PM

Please, RuperT, describe any changes you'd see made to the current healthcare system.  Is the status quo fine with you?  Are you a tort reform/"negotiate across state lines" kind of guy?
It needs to cost less.  Increase supply.  Decrease demand.  Billing standardization.  Transparency.  I'd like to see the equivalent of what happened with credit unions and banking.  I can't knowledgably argue the specifics of state insurance or tort issues.
149  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I may have just become a believer in universal healthcare on: October 01, 2009, 08:07:33 AM

Quote from: Brendan on October 01, 2009, 05:15:58 AM

Quote from: RuperT on October 01, 2009, 05:03:02 AM

Your analysis seems arbitrary to me, unless you have more data than BA's article presented.  Even so, why do you think this is a significant indictment of the current system?

Did you actually read the article?  
Yes, and found myself wondering at the nipples' fate.

Quote from: Brendan on October 01, 2009, 05:15:58 AM

A better question is why you think this isn't a significant indictment of the current system.
Because every other feasible system will also have similar misinterpretations of emergency payment guidelines.

Quote from: Brendan on October 01, 2009, 05:15:58 AM

A woman, who experienced bleeding from her nipples, went to an emergency room where she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The tumor, after further testing, turned out to be benign.  Her insurance company, 3 months later, billed her $3k because she should somehow have divined that it wasn't "acute distress."

You don't see any immoral behavior on the part of the insurance company there? Really?
I don't think it's a significant moral issue, no.  It is tragic, but mostly due to plain old miscommunication and ignorance which costs the unwary a toe (or nipple) to the grinding machine of beauracracy.  Any payment system's members will benefit equally from fixing these kinds of issues (eg the hospital discloses what additional non-emergency services are covered).

Quote from: Brendan on October 01, 2009, 05:15:58 AM



Quote
Would your best-case system pay for non-emergency treatment at the ER?  If not, then there will still be confusion with these borderline scenarios.  It's fun to imagine Snidely Moneybags red-stamping these things at Blue Cross, but I recall mostly middle-age ladies following guidelines and doing their job as clearly as they can figure out.  It will be the same for any sane determinative cost-control system (except that Uncle Sam would not be equally shamed by a local news story).

Your concerns defy common sense.  The issue is not whether or not she had a life-threatening emergency - it's whether she reasonably believed she had a life-threatening emergency.  Is it a judgment call in some cases?  Of course.  Is it in this case?  No, not even a little.  
Yeah.  I'm still wondering about that... did they have to use a big square Band-aid or just that little round one? Tongue Details are scarce, but ideally she'd be appraised of the actual emergencyness of the event, at least in relation to the biller's and the payor's standards of emergencyness;  this likely didn't happen, and that's the "issue".  Finally, an "emergency cancer diagnosis" seems patently absurd to me.

Quote from: Brendan on October 01, 2009, 05:15:58 AM

Would a best case system cover non-emergency treatment at an ER?  Perhaps a best best case might, but it's largely irrelevant, as in just a modestly "best case" country with universal coverage, people won't need to resort to going to the emergency room for procedures that would be handled by a primary care physician / family doctor / specialist / whatever.  They can just schedule an appointment.  Will some people still go to the emergency room?  Probably, but unless you have evidence that it'll be statistically important, why should we care?
I don't know what to make of this paragraph; I suppose you were treating my question as a rhetorical.
150  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I may have just become a believer in universal healthcare on: October 01, 2009, 05:03:02 AM

Quote from: Brendan on September 30, 2009, 08:24:58 PM

Quote from: RuperT on September 30, 2009, 04:53:52 AM

Would you expect your proposed system to deny their services to people who don't need them?  In other words, could it impose eligibility criteria on premium or emergency treatment?  If so, there will always be analogous ambiguities in triage guidelines, that's all I'm saying.
Will the Channel 5 Investigates team have more or less impact on such a system?

When you say my "proposed system", are you referring to my awesome Investigative News Team system, or a fictitious best-case single-payer system?

In this case, the woman was treated at the emergency room without incident; the post-treatment aftermath is the problem, where the insurer is claiming that her symptoms didn't warrant emergency care.  That's clearly disingenuous on their part.  This wasn't a "triage" decision - it was some insurance company bureaucrat at Blue Shield attempting to earn a few more bucks three months after the fact.
Your analysis seems arbitrary to me, unless you have more data than BA's article presented.  Even so, why do you think this is a significant indictment of the current system?
Would your best-case system pay for non-emergency treatment at the ER?  If not, then there will still be confusion with these borderline scenarios.  It's fun to imagine Snidely Moneybags red-stamping these things at Blue Cross, but I recall mostly middle-age ladies following guidelines and doing their job as clearly as they can figure out.  It will be the same for any sane determinative cost-control system (except that Uncle Sam would not be equally shamed by a local news story).
I don't know enough about the VA's services to make apt scale comparisons with the entire system.  Does the VA run emergency services?
151  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I may have just become a believer in universal healthcare on: September 30, 2009, 04:53:52 AM

Quote from: Brendan on September 30, 2009, 04:10:45 AM

Quote from: RuperT on September 29, 2009, 09:43:22 PM

Quote from: Farscry on September 28, 2009, 05:38:05 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on September 27, 2009, 05:40:02 PM


That's just rampant spending that a profit based system should be controlling; the insurance company was just doing what it's supposed to do! retard
Any money-based system will attempt to control spending for premium or emergency services, won't they?

Profit-motivated systems will attempt to control spending by denying their services to people who need them and by insuring the maximum number of people who don't take advantage of them.

That's why we should be trying to get to a single-payer system - lower costs, better outcomes, universal coverage and no profit incentive to motivate death-by-spreadsheet.
Would you expect your proposed system to deny their services to people who don't need them?  In other words, could it impose eligibility criteria on premium or emergency treatment?  If so, there will always be analogous ambiguities in triage guidelines, that's all I'm saying.
Will the Channel 5 Investigates team have more or less impact on such a system?
152  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I may have just become a believer in universal healthcare on: September 29, 2009, 09:43:22 PM

Quote from: Farscry on September 28, 2009, 05:38:05 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on September 27, 2009, 05:40:02 PM


That's just rampant spending that a profit based system should be controlling; the insurance company was just doing what it's supposed to do! retard
Any money-based system will attempt to control spending for premium or emergency services, won't they?
153  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Birthers vs Truthers on: September 23, 2009, 12:17:05 AM

Quote from: Jaddison on September 22, 2009, 11:43:45 PM

Because it "shows" that us liberals (anyone who doesn't agree with Brett or questions anything/everything he says is fact) are more nuts and more over the top partisan than conservatives
It's pretty obvious that most paranoiacs are liberals.
154  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Batman : Arkham Asylum on: September 20, 2009, 06:30:17 PM
I'll repost this just for Hardy and SL (you do have the upgrade to use Batarang in combat combo, right?)
Oh, and YGPM.

Quote from: RuperT on September 09, 2009, 06:44:55 AM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on September 09, 2009, 04:24:28 AM

Spent my entire play time with this game trying to get 3 bats on the first challenge and finally did it. The 5k Super Dark Night (or whatever) bonus put me over the top. W00t.
I just returned this spectacular game to Blockbuster today.  I'd hoped to 3-bat all the combat challenges, but gave up after getting the Silver combat achievement.  As you say, I'd spend hours just trying to finish each one which at the upper levels seemed to involve a good run of luck, like trying to flip heads 10 times in a row, with loadtime and a soon-annoying announcement between each try (compounded with the frustration of Bats spontaneously whiffing on an attack, or going for that long rotation spin-kick, or getting a collateral hit on an attacker I've just hit Y to counter, or.... yeah).
I recommend you don't get too obsessed with the perfect Freeflow and Health bonuses.  Once you get into the more extreme combat challenges, you will have a VERY hard time achieving this  perfection (I think I only managed to even survive a couple of the Extremes).  Instead, a good habit is to go for the Variation bonus every time you start a combo (a 3500 bonus is fairly easy to achieve each round, and I think it tops out at 5000 if you use every move in a single combo - which also gives an achievement the first time).  The tricky part to that is getting a good batclaw (you can use it as a round opener oftentimes), and getting a groundsmash before the last guy (who you will instead always take out with a critical unless he's already on the ground when you eliminate his pals).   Just remember to toss batarangs, throw in a stun even if there aren't any knife-wielders, etc. and you will achieve 3-bat very easily on your earlier challenges.
Also, notice which attacks give extra points and how much.  For example, throwing or kicking a thug over a railing nets extra points, and groundsmash will give you 100XComboMult, which is 1000 points even if you're just on 10X which is nearly trivial.  Use your unblockable as soon as you get it; a critical is a waste there.
Damn good game, but I'm glad I rented it as I don't see much replay value (unless I ran through again to kick get the Party Pooper achievement, at which you only get one shot).  I suppose I could've spent another week or seven maybe getting the Gold combat Ach., but that seemed just too frustrating as my LIVE ID doesn't rhyme with USMP Schmaeto.
155  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Exoskeletons? Bah. on: September 10, 2009, 02:07:17 AM
"Whoa."
156  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Batman : Arkham Asylum on: September 09, 2009, 06:44:55 AM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on September 09, 2009, 04:24:28 AM

Spent my entire play time with this game trying to get 3 bats on the first challenge and finally did it. The 5k Super Dark Night (or whatever) bonus put me over the top. W00t.
I just returned this spectacular game to Blockbuster today.  I'd hoped to 3-bat all the combat challenges, but gave up after getting the Silver combat achievement.  As you say, I'd spend hours just trying to finish each one which at the upper levels seemed to involve a good run of luck, like trying to flip heads 10 times in a row, with loadtime and a soon-annoying announcement between each try (compounded with the frustration of Bats spontaneously whiffing on an attack, or going for that long rotation spin-kick, or getting a collateral hit on an attacker I've just hit Y to counter, or.... yeah).
I recommend you don't get too obsessed with the perfect Freeflow and Health bonuses.  Once you get into the more extreme combat challenges, you will have a VERY hard time achieving this  perfection (I think I only managed to even survive a couple of the Extremes).  Instead, a good habit is to go for the Variation bonus every time you start a combo (a 3500 bonus is fairly easy to achieve each round, and I think it tops out at 5000 if you use every move in a single combo - which also gives an achievement the first time).  The tricky part to that is getting a good batclaw (you can use it as a round opener oftentimes), and getting a groundsmash before the last guy (who you will instead always take out with a critical unless he's already on the ground when you eliminate his pals).   Just remember to toss batarangs, throw in a stun even if there aren't any knife-wielders, etc. and you will achieve 3-bat very easily on your earlier challenges.
Also, notice which attacks give extra points and how much.  For example, throwing or kicking a thug over a railing nets extra points, and groundsmash will give you 100XComboMult, which is 1000 points even if you're just on 10X which is nearly trivial.  Use your unblockable as soon as you get it; a critical is a waste there.
Damn good game, but I'm glad I rented it as I don't see much replay value (unless I ran through again to kick get the Party Pooper achievement, at which you only get one shot).  I suppose I could've spent another week or seven maybe getting the Gold combat Ach., but that seemed just too frustrating as my LIVE ID doesn't rhyme with USMP Schmaeto.
157  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony on: September 02, 2009, 05:43:52 PM
I'm in for sure.  I really liked TLAD, more than plain GTAIV even;  it had a better story, better missions, better characterization.
I hope there is more DLC.  I think they could do a lot more with Liberty City; it's a plenty big sandbox, just put some more toys in there.  Drop me in there as a costumed vigilante.  Give me a good cop story; either SWAT or vice would be fine (hell, random Most Wanted missions would be cool).
More!
158  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Band names... on: August 30, 2009, 03:48:59 AM
War House
Red Flank
Low Horse
159  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Looking for a new fantasy novel/series on: August 24, 2009, 10:20:14 PM

Quote from: Gratch on August 24, 2009, 01:26:35 PM

100 pages into The Name of the Wind.  Damn, this is a good read.
Hey, whoa now!  I was requesting this book from the library, and I saw 'Book 1 Kingkiller chronicle'.  I have a geis against starting unfinished series (I was fooled into reading the Song of Fire and Ice 'trilogy'...).  I'll keep an eye on it (I've got about 20 book thread Favorites between here and OO).
One of my absolute favorites is The Warlord Chronicles.  It is very low fantasy, but I really dug it (much more than his later Grail Quest series, FWIW).
I noticed Glen Cook's Black Company tales have been released in a trade paperback omnibus; those are generally well-considered as a pragmatic alternative to Erikson.
I agree with others who were disappointed by Perdido Street;  too much setting and not enough plot for my tastes, buy YMMV.
Zelazny's more modern fantasy Chronicles of Amber is a long-time favorite.  If contemporary is cool, that or American Gods might be of interest.
If you found Wolfe too loquacious, I hesitate to recommend Jack Vance, but his Dying Earth series influenced us nerds more than we might realize, and I relish any of his works for their wordsmithing.  Steven Brust reminds me of Vance in some ways, but might be more accessible. 
 
160  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: police caption on: August 12, 2009, 07:07:03 PM
"No fingerless gloves?  I'm going to have to see some I.D."
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