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Comment: I've already got one, thanks (Score 1) 233

by Veritech_Ace (#39231363) Attached to: Valve Reportedly Working On 'Steam Box' Gaming Console
I've had a gaming PC connected to my HDTV for some time now, running both XBMC and Steam. If Valve will just release their 10-foot interface (now we know why they've been working on it), I think I'm all set. A Q9400 and a HD5850, with an SSD underneath, basically runs everything out there at 1080p quite nicely.

Comment: Re:Vote or Die (Score 1) 836

by Veritech_Ace (#34103294) Attached to: 'Cellphone Effect' Could Skew Polling Predictions
It's far more accurate to say that as a result of the 2000 election, hundreds of thousands of people didn't die. Check the figures for Saddam's historical murder rate vs. the civilian casualties during the war and subsequent occupation before you start accusing our leaders or our electorate of killing people. I doubt you'd care to argue that because of the 1940 election, hundreds of thousands of people died, right?

Comment: Re:No Displayport == No luck (sortoff) (Score 1) 138

by Veritech_Ace (#32246216) Attached to: AMD Multi-Display Tech Has Problems, Potential
Actually, you only need to shell out for one of the $100 adapters if you're planning on using DVI to connect all of your monitors. You can connect 2x DVI and 1xVGA using a $25 passive adapter. VGA is sub-optimal, I know, but that's what I did. I can keep the remaining $75 and put it toward another 5850 card, which will solve the DVI problem and give me CrossFireX performance.

Comment: Re:here's where we get to hear someone spew (Score 1) 932

by Veritech_Ace (#30076862) Attached to: Easing the Job of Family Tech Support?
This is exactly what I did, and have not had a tech support headache since. Yes, there's a price premium, but the Mac is a perfect solution for a low-tech user. Anyone who actually needs the advantages of a Windows machine (more software, hardcore gaming, etc.) is probably also technical enough to know not to click on malware sites, to know how to install drivers, etc. For the rest, a simple and safe Mac environment is optimal.

Comment: Educational priorities? (Score 1) 1021

by Veritech_Ace (#29652021) Attached to: What Belongs In a High School Sci-Fi/Fantasy Lit Class?
"Possible areas of interest will be topics of the environment, energy conservation, war, social issues, and others." Environment, energy conservation? It's been 20 years since I was in high school, so I'm pretty out of touch with the modern educational climate, but are these topics now the primary lens through which everything else is studied? If so, that's pretty weak.

Adding to the excellent selections already offered:
  • "Alas, Babylon" by Pat Frank: yes, it's a bit dated, but offers a compelling view of life after a nuclear war, and covers interesting topics of societal breakdown, rediscovery of pre-modern techniques for survival, etc. I think it was pretty popular on high school reading lists during the Cold War.
  • "Inherit the Stars" by James Hogan: a fascinating portrayal of how the scientific method is applied to understand new discoveries, and a great page-turner to boot
  • "The Sword of Shannara" by Terry Brooks: infinitely more readable than the Lord of the Rings series from which it borrows heavily, this is an exemplary entry in the fantasy canon. Probably too long a read for a high school class, though.

Comment: Re:Puhlease! (Score 1) 443

by Veritech_Ace (#29178891) Attached to: Avatar, Has Sci-fi Found Its Heaven's Gate?
Nor, I suspect, have we developed the technology to completely exterminate every creature on such a planet so that we can just sweep up the ashes, swallow our iodine pills, and get to work mining these minerals. Looks like we've figured out how to negate all military advantages of remote-controlled destruction and send our men off to be eviscerated by large creatures, though.

Comment: You've lost me, Jim (Score 2, Interesting) 443

by Veritech_Ace (#29178803) Attached to: Avatar, Has Sci-fi Found Its Heaven's Gate?
When I first heard Cameron say (many years ago now) that he wanted to revisit the sci-fi epic, I was giddy. Then, as details of this project trickled out, I started to have some doubts. Now that I've seen the latest, I'm crestfallen. I have absolutely no interest in a Last of the Mohicans meets The Last Samurai meets Dances With Wolves bit of tedious sermonizing on the topic of colonization or imperialism. Even less so if it's infused with the pacifist, blame-ourselves-for-everything-evil subtext that pervades modern cinema and other media. Perhaps I could overcome my aversion to this type of post-modern drivel if at least I could be treated to an extraordinary visual experience. Even here, it seems that Avatar will not deliver; it looks like cut-scenes from some Pixar/Halo mashup. I thought (hoped) that Titanic was the exception to an otherwise amazing body of work, but it seems that it was a course change for James Cameron. Bummer.

Comment: Re:Forgot to mention.... (Score 1) 439

by Veritech_Ace (#29122665) Attached to: Average Gamer Is 35, Fat and Bummed
Exactly. Title should read "Average Seattle Gamer is 35, Fat, and Bummed [Possible Because He Lives In Seattle]". No offense to Seattle, but I would imagine that the climate and its effect on the populace skews this study a bit. Would the same conclusions have been made if the study were conducted in San Diego?

Comment: 'Gamer' too coarse a categorization (Score 1) 439

by Veritech_Ace (#29122483) Attached to: Average Gamer Is 35, Fat and Bummed
I'd be interested to hear how these dimensions (weight, age, happiness) would score if the extremely broad category of 'gamer' were broken down along favorite genre or at least along the core/casual/MMO subgroups. Are mostly-FPS players more or less content with their lives than MMO players or Peggle addicts? Do their predilections for certain types of games correlate to other life patterns which could better account for their relative happiness or physical health? For my part, I'm 35, in good shape, and very happy with my life. Games have been my major entertainment activity for my entire life, and I follow the industry like mad when I'm not playing. I'm right in the center of the age and interest demographic; why am I not overweight and depressed? Because I have other interests. I would imagine that sports gamers are more likely to engage in physical activity when they don't have a gamepad in their hands, and it would be interesting to know if serious WoW players are seeking community because they have poor social lives, or are rather embracing community because they're naturally more happy and social people. This broad-brush study, and its similarly broad-brush conclusions, aren't particularly enlightening or interesting, but the subject certainly is.

1 Billion dollars of budget deficit = 1 Gramm-Rudman