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1  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Suggestions for a great mattress on: February 04, 2014, 12:31:51 PM
My wife and I like very firm mattresses. Much better for the back. So instead of paying Sealy or someone some ridiculous amount for a thing with springs and coils and 450-count Egyptian cotton ExtraFluffy stitching, we have this sucker sitting on a simple slat base:
2  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Things that make you want to puke. on: August 30, 2013, 12:42:41 AM
MRE sounding more like Meal Ready to Expel, right there.
3  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: headphone advice please on: August 20, 2013, 01:18:55 PM
Love my Audio Technicas for $60:
4  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Your favorite opening line of a book on: July 25, 2013, 02:05:07 PM
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the riverbank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book', thought Alice, 'without pictures or conversation?'

or, if we're going with Adams:

It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression “As pretty as an airport.”
5  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Hey, you know what show I miss? Whose Line Is It Anyway. on: July 22, 2013, 11:54:52 AM
Fans of the UK version should check out other British panel comedy shows (QI, Would I Lie To You, etc.). Scratches a similar itch.
6  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Burgers Part Deux on: July 18, 2013, 12:37:12 PM
Yes, proportions. I hate the recent trend of boutique burger places making patties an inch thick so that every mouthful is a bit of bread, a wisp of lettuce, and a giant meatball-worth of ground beef. Everything in balance, please.
7  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apple WDC 2103- iOS 7 on: June 11, 2013, 07:41:54 PM
As usual, pictures worth a thousand words.
8  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apple WDC 2103- iOS 7 on: June 11, 2013, 11:07:45 AM
Stunned by the generally positive response. I think it's awful. Hideous. Take your pick: Fisher Price. Reminds me of when I discovered airbrushing when I was twelve. When I discovered freelance "web design" in 1996 when I was nineteen. Crappy photoshop tutorials. Like someone wanted to rip off different aspects of all the other mobile OSes, but do it as badly as possible. The goggles do nothing. Vice City color scheme.

I repeat: hideous.
9  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Switch in schedule. on: September 07, 2012, 12:12:12 PM
I find I can get up at any time as long as I have Aztec of pancakes to kick off the day.
10  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Olympics 2012 - London on: August 01, 2012, 08:04:50 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on August 01, 2012, 07:04:57 PM

He's a successful swimmer, sure, but I think what zinckiwi means is that his gloriousness is a bit overblown because he happens to be an awesome athlete in a sport that happens to have a lot of medals for very similar activities. 

Yes, thanks Wonderpug smile A javelin thrower who won gold in every Olympics for 20 straight years, and thus entirely dominated his sport, would still be sitting on a "mere" half a dozen medals. Just saying that the number won isn't the end-all, be-all of the measure of success.
11  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Olympics 2012 - London on: August 01, 2012, 06:24:02 PM

Quote from: USMC Kato on August 01, 2012, 06:13:17 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on August 01, 2012, 05:14:38 PM

The USA women's gymnastics team won gold for the 1st time since 1996, and Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time last night, having now earned 19 medals to date (15 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze).  But, he may not be done just yet.   thumbsup

Grats to the women's gymnastics team and Michael Phelps! Micheal is now the most decorated Olympian, but does this mean he is the greatest Olympian of all time so far? I'm not even remotely qualified to speculate who is the greatest, but IMHO the Olympians that compete in the decathalon, triathlon, or gymnastics seem to have a much harder events than swimming.

It irritates me that people equate medal count with success. Michael Phelps is "a swimmer". There are dozens of swimming events each Olympics. Valerie Adams is a "shot putter". There is one event per Olympics. There is no way Adams could get more than one medal in her sport. Granted, Phelps is a gifted athlete to be able to contest as many events as he does, with multiple distances and styles, but things like the relays (again, multiple distances and styles) stack the medal counts firmly in some disciplines' favour, most notably swimming.

12  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Olympics 2012 - London on: August 01, 2012, 12:58:49 PM
Some people have suggested that they haven't really done anything wrong because it does not state this in the rule book,but i guess it is still throwing the match

I put it down to the same stuff as Blizzard's stance on exploits. At some point, explicit rules either existing or not have to give way to common sense, similar to the legal concept of a "reasonable person".

Personally, I'm delighted they're disqualified.
13  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Windows Phone] Mango on: July 19, 2012, 11:42:45 AM
The death march continues.

[Nokia] has clearly failed to crack America, selling a paltry 600,000 handsets in the States [in Q2]. The cash pile has also continued to dwindle, with the piggybank currently standing at €4.1 billion ($5.1 billion), down from $6.3 billion in Q1, despite getting a further $250 million in kickbacks from Microsoft.
14  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Windows Phone] Mango on: June 21, 2012, 05:39:27 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 21, 2012, 04:35:23 PM

If anything, the MS Marketplace is lousy with useless, quick-to-release crap apps like that.

Ain't that the truth. Remember, this is the app store that had to limit a developer's app submissions to 20 per day, down from 100.
15  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Windows Phone] Mango on: June 21, 2012, 03:40:54 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 21, 2012, 02:46:21 PM

By the time WP8, WP7 will have been out for 2 years, so it's definitely not the year it was released.

However, it does explain why they've been dropping even the small amount of momentum WP7 was building.
I was referring to the Lumia 900, not the OS itself. As another commenter over at Ars said, it would be like Apple saying "iOS6 won't be supported on the iPad 3, and iOS6 apps won't work on prior versions." Suddenly the Marketplace is essentially frozen for WP7 users (give or take a couple of months).
16  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Windows Phone] Mango on: June 21, 2012, 01:49:49 PM
If looks could kill, Microsoft...

Not for anything that they announced yesterday. I think the common kernel is fantastic and a much-needed step forward for the establishment of an ecosystem where there is a large knowledge and skill overlap between platforms.

Rather, for the fact that they rushed out WP7 without it, stranding the users of that OS in a single generation. What goodwill they've built up through the small WP7 userbase is going to rapidly erode once that userbase realises that few developers are going to bother making WP7 versions of their apps once the WP8 beta is in their hands. They've basically end-of-lifed their flagship phone the same year it came out. I can't decide if it's a blessing that so few people adopted the platform to be screwed by the move, or a curse that the people most likely to have evangelised about WP are going to be left with a bitter taste...
17  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: iOS City Builders? on: June 05, 2012, 05:25:07 PM
Yes, CivRev of course too, thanks.

I'm a bit amazed that there doesn't appear to be a steady supply of real strategy (not board; not tap-tap; not themed-match-three) games, but then I guess I'm sitting here complaining instead of writing my own, so.

My favourite part of those games is the tetris-like metagame of designing a city grid that is ruthlessly efficient and cosmetically attractive. You know, I should damn well make my own.
18  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / iOS City Builders? on: June 05, 2012, 03:31:24 PM
I'm not talking about FarmVille, We City, or all the other IAP-driven crap that comes up when you actually search the App Store for "city builders". I mean two types: mostly the Impressions-style and/or Anno-style city builders, a cross beween economic sims and god games; and also the real-time Nile Online-type long-term strategy multiplayer games.

I have the Settlers, and SimCity (though I'm not a huge fan of that series, oddly) and just grabbed the latest Kairosoft yesterday. Any other ideas?
19  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What's your street name? on: May 21, 2012, 06:59:45 PM
Saul Goode.
20  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 2012 NHL Playoffs (1st Round) on: April 19, 2012, 01:25:32 PM

Quote from: El-Producto on April 19, 2012, 12:52:34 PM

Quote from: Arkon on April 19, 2012, 12:20:59 PM

Can anyone tell me why the hell Matt Cooke got ejected last night?  From what I could see, he held Kubina's stick, then got crosschecked twice, went to get up, got crosschecked again, tried getting up again and got crosschecked yet again, then somehow gets tossed.

Matt Cooke is not exactly Miss Innocent, so they were just preventing a potential rage mode.
This year he is. He's been, by and large, above reproach when it comes to anything other than the usual 2-minute hockey stuff (and even that's much declined).
21  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Mac] Code Editor on: April 19, 2012, 02:46:11 AM
After finally being fed up with Textmate 2's perpetual vaporousness, I switched to Sublime Text 2 last year and haven't looked back.
22  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon Kindle: Kindle Fire, Touch and Keyboard unveiled! Lending Unleashed! on: April 02, 2012, 08:48:03 PM
I was excited about this:

This update will also bring some of the features customers have requested, including faster re-connect of Wi-Fi after Kindle Fire has been asleep, and general performance enhancements.

...but buggered if it's even shaved a second or two off the wifi reconnect time.
23  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NHL Season 2011-2012 on: April 02, 2012, 07:32:53 PM
Dan needs to quit it with the 5-forwards-on-the-PP crap.
24  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Work decision on: March 28, 2012, 07:36:03 PM
You put VB -> C# in the wrong list smile

Run, don't walk.

(Also, 45-60 mins beats my 1h30 in, 1h45 back, though I do get to sit back on a bus for it.)
25  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 Enhanced Editions - Baldur's Gate 3 also possible? on: March 23, 2012, 06:54:43 PM
The first thing that's made me seriously intend to pick up an iPad for myself.
26  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help me pick my new mobile phone on: March 23, 2012, 01:59:59 PM

Quote from: Calavera on March 23, 2012, 01:17:49 PM

Quote from: zinckiwi on March 23, 2012, 12:20:45 PM

  • Poor state management on behalf of many third party apps. Accidentally brush the ridiculously oversensitive capacitive search button with your thumb while watching a Netflix video? Spend a minute getting back to where you were.

I'd argue this is a failing of the way some 3rd party apps are tombstoning than a specific failing of WP7. From a developer perspective, the way WP7 is pausing apps is aggressive and works really well if you write your app to take it into account. It sounds like the Netflix app isn't written to handle the way WP7 tombstones.

Android shares this problem, it's just less pronounced because Android is less aggressive about tombstoning. Specifically, HTC's Sense UI is notoriously bad and inconsistent at this. They tombstone the UI whenever you run an intensive app for some length. This is a good idea because Sense is pretty resource intensive. However, when you leave the app my phone is useless for 10 seconds while Sense reloads.

Well, yes, but it's just semantics really. If there's a form that users keep filling out incorrectly, is that user error or user interface error? I say the latter.

I'd say I spent fully 50% of my time developing Wayne Gould Sudoku on the tombstoning and restoring, discovering little quirks and things you could do but shouldn't, or assumed you should but couldn't. The damn back button has very specific rules about its handling that you violate at your peril (i.e.: your app will be rejected), but don't fit at all into a non-linear navigation system within an app.

So. An over-engineered and under-documented system that I found challenging to use -- my flaw, or Microsoft's?
27  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help me pick my new mobile phone on: March 23, 2012, 12:20:45 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on March 22, 2012, 01:14:14 PM

And even if, you as a developer, give up on WP7 - does that make my phone, which I own now, less functional or less useful?

Yes.  Yes, it does.  It's given far fewer opportunities to be useful, as fewer and fewer developers are doing anything unique or useful with it.  If you don't use apps, that's great for you.  However, the rest of the world does.  More importantly, apps are what keep a phone relevant and afloat today.  Even if you don't use the apps, the lack of them are killing the phone.

Yeah, exactly. If there were no app stores anywhere and we were comparing the first year of the iPhone without a Marketplace-less WP7, I'd give the nod to WP7. But phones have rapidly moves into something akin to the computer wars for 99% of people -- it's not "which OS do I want?" but "what apps to do want to run?".

With tiny (and more importantly, stagnant) market share, they're not going to get good indie developers. And with non-existent mindshare, they're not going to raise that market share.

I didn't get my phone as an investment into the future - I bought it because it has what I want on it. Metro. I'm not recommending a blackberry here.

Metro is fantastic for the phone (I'm way less convinced about it's usefulness in a desktop OS).  To reference the stuff you mentioned in your previous post, I love the way it integrates with my contacts and facebook and Office.  Love it.  And I totally agree that copy/paste is way more functional here.  Hell, the fact that the keyboard physically changes to capital letters so you know you're using the shift key is so obvious, it hurts when I use the iPad's keyboard.  And don't even get me started on Apple's autocorrect.  MS has that nailed, too.

If it were a world without app stores, and we were comparing iPhone to WP7 out of the box, I'd back Metro all the way.

There are so many no-brainers -- right with you there on the keyboard. But there are equally huge failures in my opinion. Some massive, massive gripes:

  • The universal back button. Great on paper. A solution in search of a problem in practice, and one that completely breaks the browser navigation model.
  • Poor state management on behalf of many third party apps. Accidentally brush the ridiculously oversensitive capacitive search button with your thumb while watching a Netflix video? Spend a minute getting back to where you were.
  • "Windows Phone", possibly the single worst name they could have gone with, and one that sounds desperately uncool.

I loved my WP7.  My enthusiasm for it has faded as Microsoft's has.  I imagine I'll be getting the new iPhone in the fall.  I've got enough apps from my iPad that it has practically backdoored me in.  There are many things I'll be sad to lose.  Live tiles are another example (though I imagine Apple is working on that).
Oh yeah, Apple is working on that alright. That native weather app's icon is going to be "real" by iOS 6 or someone's getting canned.

The ads boggle my mind as well. Useless masses of phones flying past with the same start screen, telling you NOTHING. What are the two great aces that MS has in WP7?

Office integration: ad shows all the first-party MS Office tools. Text at tail end of ad says, "You have an app for that? We have a PHONE for that."

Metro interface and snappiness for mundane tasks: ad shows a real sequence, say Home -> People -> Person -> Facebook wall -> pictures -> share on own wall, all inside the native interface. Text at tail end of ad says, "Unlike the other guys, 'Sequences NOT shortened'".

28  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help me pick my new mobile phone on: March 22, 2012, 11:57:10 AM
As a WP7 developer, it (almost physically) pains me to say... avoid. I had faith a year ago that by sheer financial and marketing force MS would make WP7 a viable contender, but I just can't see it happening now.
29  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Blizzard Entertainment to Layoff 600 Employees on: March 01, 2012, 05:44:56 PM

Quote from: msduncan on March 01, 2012, 04:45:36 PM

Blizzard is pulling in, what, somewhere in the neighborhood of $149,900,000 per MONTH on the 10 million subscriptions to World of Warcraft.

That's a huge layoff for a company that is making that kind of cash.

Okay, I'll feed the troll slywink

Many of those 10 million subs pay less than US$15 a month. Some substantially less.

WoW subscription money is directly funding other projects.

I don't even want to guess at what it takes to keep WoW running. ISP connections, hardware, maintenance, monitoring...


Yes, we can assume that they make a great deal of money. But to imply that Blizzard has a hundred and fifty million smackers coming in every month is disingenuous at best. It would be nice if they didn't have to lay people off, but companies and their needs change over time. They can't hold onto everyone they've ever hired for sentimental reasons.
30  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New Laptop: Apple or Windows on: February 15, 2012, 05:58:09 PM
I use Macs at work at Windows at home, which is round the other way from most, and would have a hard time giving up one or the other. I do django/python work on my Mac; Lightroom and games on my PC. Photoshop on the Mac because that's where the license is. Coding on the PC because Microsoft hasn't seen fit to release a Visual Studio for OS X. Etcetera.

I don't think the "Macs are more expensive" line holds water anymore, and hasn't for years. Yes, you can buy a Windows laptop for $600. Just because Apple doesn't have an offering at that price point doesn't mean that (pound-for-pound) they're more expensive. When you factor in the software suite that Macs come with, the build quality and specs, the after-market service and the vasty superior resale value, I'm pretty sure the TCO is comparable.
31  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Psychonauts 2? on: February 08, 2012, 01:33:28 PM
I've often wondered why patronage hasn't reemerged in the modern world. I know for certain that if I were a Buffet or a Zuckerberg or otherwise became filthy rich, I would basically just bankroll Joss Whedon to do Whatever The Hell He Wants.

I'm loving this idea and, even though as Notch says it's a one-way conversation so far, hope that it not only succeeds but sets a precedent.
32  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic (GT forum member characters) on: December 30, 2011, 12:36:26 AM
True, though that was 12 years ago and everything else about it was so good that it made up for it. I assuredly wouldn't have the tolerance for it now. The Rift bard and WoW pally and druid would be the most relevant takeaways from that list.

Edit to clarify what I mean by micro; I don't mind needing to do things on every GCD as part of a rotation. I enjoyed the early iteration of the WoW blood DK as well. By micro I mean having to constantly refresh short term debuffs or buffs, positional mechanics, and the like.
33  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic (GT forum member characters) on: December 29, 2011, 11:54:02 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on December 29, 2011, 11:04:25 PM

Operative is very micro heavy AND requires stealth to solo well once you get to the higher levels. 

You sound picky enough that there is no class in any mmo that would make you happy fwiw

Oof, bit harsh! I know that something will have to give for SWTOR but there are plenty of classes in various MMOs that I've loved: Bards in EQ, DAoC and Rift; Theurgist and Paladin in DAoC; Druid and Paladin in WoW.
34  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic (GT forum member characters) on: December 29, 2011, 08:11:58 PM
(Forgive the GT-OO crosspost, denizens of both!)

Having my usual crisis of class choice paralysis, or "CCCP".

I usually play healers, but always try to break out of that mold when I start a new MMO (usually to limited-to-no success). Tanking also appeals. Here's the overly-brief breakdown of what I look for in a class:

A. Not YADPS. Healing, tanking and/or support when in a group.
B. Self-sufficient when solo. Able to handle large pulls, tougher encounters, bad luck etc.
C. Not reliant on pre-fight setup (max range, stealth, etc.). Optimal is fine; necessary is not.
D. Minimal micro-management and busywork. (I'm looking at you, short but necessary WoW rogue buffs.)

I've made and remade a bunch of characters in the few days I've had the game. So far only a trooper and an agent have made it to 10.

SWTOR makes it harder than most other games because in addition to the usual differences in classes' playstyles, there's the voice acting, storylines, companions and allegiance/alignment too. So far:

  • I think I'd like both Combat Medic and Vanguard for healing/tanking respectively, but the trooper kind of bugs me because I don't generally like the military-bravado-type.
  • The agent kind of bugs me because the sniper is too one-note (req A) and the operative is the opposite -- can't quite figure out how I'm supposed to fight (req C, D).
  • The light side kind of bugs me because it's so obsequiously goody-goody that I can't take it seriously.
  • The dark side kind of bugs me because it's so comically heavy-handed in its evilness that I can't take it seriously.
  • Not worrying about alignment kind of bugs me because the (small but vocal) part of me that is a powergamer knows that the game punishes neutrality, at least presently.
  • The Republic is more relatable, but the Empire is more interesting.
  • I like both the double-bladed lightsabers and the idea of a dark jedi shadow tank, but from the YouTube videos I've watched it doesn't feel or play like what I have in my head.
  • I want to like the Bounty Hunter, avoiding the military feel of the Republic mirror, but hear the story is rather boring.

Help me break through the rebel mental blockade!
35  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I passed! I'm now a 4th Dan on: November 22, 2011, 02:46:08 PM
Neat! Which one are you?

36  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: November 16, 2011, 04:10:27 PM
I think we should just call it a whitewash.

Sorry, just felt the need to edit my post.
37  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: November 15, 2011, 06:51:30 PM

Quote from: stimpy on November 15, 2011, 06:41:29 PM

Ya know....I see this at sporting games all the time and I just dont get it.......

D-Gate? Makes no sense.........

Two guys fighting with gates makes just as little sense to me.......

Ha ha ha! You misunderstand completely. Let me explain.

38  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Netflix Instant Watch recommendation thread on: November 14, 2011, 06:15:00 PM
The Trip

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon playing a variation of themselves on a foodie tour through England. Wonderfully under-acted except in certain scenes, and all the funnier for it.
39  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Blizzcon on: October 22, 2011, 12:25:11 PM

Quote from: rittchard on October 22, 2011, 12:51:15 AM

Quote from: leo8877 on October 21, 2011, 09:51:33 PM

Pandarians have been in the WoW lore since WC3. 

Either way still seems like they are just pandering to their audience (chortle snort chortle)!

Really, though, wouldn't you expect a Chinese-influenced race by this point? Western (human, worgen, forsaken, dwarves, blood elves). Jamaican (trolls). Japanese (night elves). Eastern European (Draenei). Native American (Tauren). Seems more surprising to me that they didn't go to Southeast Asia earlier.
40  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: October 05, 2011, 12:19:30 PM

Quote from: msteelers on October 05, 2011, 11:53:47 AM

This is why I didn't upgrade past my 3G and have been holding out to see what their new phone would be. Now it's just a financial question of whether to spend the full $200 for the 4s, or just the $100 on the iphone 4.

8gb is extremely limiting. I'd be completely content with the 4's performance, but not its capacity.
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