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Comment: Re:David Weber (Score 1) 236

by StoneyMahoney (#46293543) Attached to: I'd prefer military fiction books that are ...

Clear and Present Danger is definitely the last of the Ryanverse films worth watching - I'd advise seeing the films before you read the books as they are fairly hefty tomes and have a huge amount of extra material that would've turned each film into an entire TV series, but the films are pretty faithful adaptations nonetheless and will give you a good idea of what you might like to read. It's not "America, F*** Yeah!" stuff either, it's warts-and-all.

The translation of Sum Of All Fears from book to screen was a travesty from start to finish. Avoid like it's infected with ebola.

My favourite of Clancy's works isn't a Ryanverse book - Red Storm Rising charts the entirety of a fictional World War 3 scenario, from inciting incident to the political process leading up to it, the combined operations of air, sea, land and intelligence units, and all the way through to the conclusion of hostilities. It is utterly superb in it's portrayal of the contribution each branch of the military makes to an overseas campaign on both sides of the conflict. It's also a standalone novel, as opposed to the majority of Clancy's series-based stuff.

Oh, and if it says "Tom Clancy's" instead of "Tom Clancy" on the book cover, it was ghostwritten. *shudders* Ick.

Comment: Re:Great (Score 1) 320

by StoneyMahoney (#46287931) Attached to: E-Sports Gender Gap: 90+% Male

Totally agreed. Some people seem to totally forget neurological differences in gender and race, not to mention the historic sociopolitical/economic differences between genders and racial groups, might actually have some affect on what people like to do with their time. Fix the injustices in the world, by all means, but this just isn't one of them.

Comment: Data (Score 1) 320

by StoneyMahoney (#46287775) Attached to: E-Sports Gender Gap: 90+% Male

Let's shed some more light on the subject here with some more data.

Market research on computer games by studios:

http://www.theesa.com/facts/pd...
- "Women 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (31%) than boys age 17 or younger (19%)"
- Women make up 45% of the gaming population

Compare with this Time Business article about women in competitive jobs:

http://business.time.com/2010/...
- "...anecdotally at least, it appears the industries and positions with the most competitive work environments tend to pay the most."
- "Females were more likely to pass on the job once they found out part of their pay would be based on their performance versus a co-worker."

Women come to gaming later in life than men. Studies have shown that fast action gaming develops the areas of the brain associated with rapid decision making, so taking into account the predisposition for young boys to play games with big guns in, neurological development means men will be inherently better at the kind of games that come under the e-sports umbrella. Case closed.

Comment: Kentucky Route Zero (Score 1) 669

by StoneyMahoney (#46284077) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

Kentucky Route Zero cannot be explained to people, they have to experience the jaw-dropping beauty of that game for themselves. Ostensibly a point-and-click adventure game, it departs from the usual notion of narrative progression in some marvellous ways and all it's design and art features have been carefully polished to mesmerising effect. Currently has 2 of 5 episodes released and I couldn't care less how short each episode is or how long episode 3 is taking to complete.

Comment: Re:Where? (Score 1) 88

by StoneyMahoney (#46260117) Attached to: EU Parliament Rejects Asylum For Snowden

However, it also states that prisoners should be allowed to vote in elections, a right the UK denies it's prison

It declares no such thing. That's all intrepretation by the judges. Unfortunately, it does not matter how well you word a law, nothing can stop judges from intrepreting it in a stupid way.

Well, there we go - I thought I was reasonably well informed, turns out the arguments being thrown around have far more hyperbole embedded in them that I suspected. Kinda makes a mockery of having a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU if the electorate is being misled by politicians and media outlets.

Comment: Re:Where? (Score 3, Informative) 88

by StoneyMahoney (#46244295) Attached to: EU Parliament Rejects Asylum For Snowden

It would seem that some people find it hard to understand why any sovereign nation would subject it's decisions to peer review and subject itself to blanket over-arching authority. Speaking from a UK perspective, this is completely understandable given the experience most people have.

While some EU regulations have had direct consequences for the masses both positive and negative (eg: metric-only selling practices, declaration of human rights) there has been a tendency in the media to wildly exaggerate (and in some cases completely fabricate) some of the things coming out of the EU's regulatory system (eg: Bombay Mix must be called Mumbai Mix, all EU member states must use the EU flag for their sports teams) while under-reporting the retraction of some of the sillier ones (eg: cucumbers must be straight, limits on how bent bananas can be). However, there is no smoke without fire and some of the EU's enforced regulations are truly head-scratching (eg: bottled water packaging cannot claim to combat dehydration, diabetics banned from driving*).

An interesting case is the media and political representation of the European Declaration of Human Rights. It is frequently portrayed as a way for criminals to either evade punishment or force the provision of luxuries (eg: TV, porn) in prison. However, it also states that prisoners should be allowed to vote in elections, a right the UK denies it's prisoners who account for 0.0015% of the overall population, so granting them voting rights in accordance with the declaration would make no measurable difference to the overall elections but may have some effect on local elections where adding the prison population to the electorate could cause a significant political swing and require consideration during a campaign. The media represented this as a further attempt by the EU to soften the punishment prison was supposed to be and politicians couldn't agree to this without fearing they appeared soft on crime to the electorate. When issues are this muddied by the agendas of politicians and media outlets, it's very difficult to accurately gauge the true effect of the declaration

As an intelligent human being taking a scientific approach to the governance decisions of the country, I would refrain from making any judgement call on whether EU membership has been an overall positive or negative thing for the UK as the debate has been skewed by the media's misrepresentation and used by politicians to score political points with particular demographics. Unfortunately I am very much in the minority when it comes to making such assessments.

*Genuine but currently unenforced

Comment: Things You Shouldn't Take Abroad (Score 1) 159

by StoneyMahoney (#46120653) Attached to: Canadian Spy Agency Snooped Travelers With Airport Wi-Fi

It seems the fact you travel internationally is a great reason to keep tabs on you. Add mobile phones and laptops to the list of things you shouldn't carry when traveling internationally if you wish to avoid security hassle, along with explosives, guns, drugs, knives, scissors, nail clippers, tweezers, breast milk, toothpicks, sports equipment, medicines, tent pegs, children, people named Mohammed....

Comment: Custom Built PC (Score 1) 371

by StoneyMahoney (#46120513) Attached to: How loud is your primary computer?

I had a PC a while ago that my friends called the Fish Tank. It had a UV-reactive clear acrylic case, Zalman GPU and CPU aftermarket HSFs, the HDDs were in acoustic suppression sleeves and the PSU was specifically chosen for it's low noise output. Nothing was overclocked, the optical drives were restricted to 4x rotation speed and all the case fans were quiet models with dust filters and rubber gaskets for vibration filtering.

Considering all that cost a full third of the total budget of the system, I could have got far more performance for the money, but I would have got a lot less sleep. (Or scored rather less on distributed.net RC5-72)

Comment: Re:Wonder why NSA didn't go to Fox network first ? (Score 1) 504

by StoneyMahoney (#45705245) Attached to: CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

Good explanation, thank you. It's always seemed from this side of the pond that American politicians have had the bone removed from their head that makes them able to compromise, empathize or sympathize with anyone outside their immediate circle, which they populated by order of campaign contribution totals.

My spidey-sense tingled when everyone was saying how blatant this propaganda piece appears to them. Usually when something biased airs here in the UK you can tell who it was aimed at by looking at it's newspaper and radio coverage the next day - the least moderate and most inflammatory coverage is the bullseye, work it backwards from there to that outlet's audience and you can usually pick out it's intended recipients.

It seems that one thing people on both sides of the Atlantic have in common is that they react to bullsh*t far more passionately than reasoned, moderated debate, and almost not at all to anything positive. No wonder we're all drowning in vicious rhetoric. And I'm watching with fascinated interest to see what the NSA's next play will be, because that one seemed to have sucked - options seem to be some kind of Hail Mary reversal, some weird kind of land mine long play, or their spin doctors update their LinkedIn profiles with "Unemployed".

Comment: Re:Wonder why NSA didn't go to Fox network first ? (Score 1) 504

by StoneyMahoney (#45703685) Attached to: CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

Hey, park that Americentric horse for a second. The only exposure we've ever had to 60 Minutes in the UK was when it was mentioned in Die Hard and turned up in Charlie Wilson's War. I wouldn't expect you know anything about who takes to heart the opinions of This Week or PM's Q's. And, you know, the Internet is connected to pretty much the *whole* world.

Want to try and expand on that answer a bit? Sub-groups, outsiders, age/sex/location demographics, stuff like that? Anything?

Comment: Re:Wonder why NSA didn't go to Fox network first ? (Score 4, Funny) 504

by StoneyMahoney (#45703589) Attached to: CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

Strange bedfellows and all that. I bet there were some surreal scenes when the anti-NSA protest groups gathered, met their usual opposition, read each other's placards and banners, did a double take, then started checking their directions to make sure they were at the right protest. Hell, you want to really freak them out, get Tammy Baldwin and Sarah Palin on the same soapbox denouncing the NSA, it'll be the most ambivalent crowd in history.

But seriously folks, between the UK and the US, I don't think there's one decent, credible politician with even the slightest scrap of meaningful power making themselves heard right now.

"No problem is so formidable that you can't walk away from it." -- C. Schulz

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