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Comment: Re:I love you man (Score 1) 305

by camazotz (#49039967) Attached to: Alcohol's Evaporating Health Benefits

I'm not drinking alcohol at all this year (just as an experiment - I'm not a recovering alcoholic or anything like that). I don't think that this has made any difference to my socialising.

Yeah, but you've probably already established a (meatspace) social network prior to this.

Surely you don't think you need to drink to establish a meatspace social network.

Comment: Re:I love you man (Score 1) 305

by camazotz (#49039947) Attached to: Alcohol's Evaporating Health Benefits
Yeah, it is entirely possible to socialize without drinking. In fact, one could argue that alcohol has the opposite effect. Try socializing with some excessive drinkers sometime (and play the teetotaler or designated driver). Excruciating experience, and if you're lucky one of them won't vomit up a lung before the night is over.

Comment: as a home-school survivor.... (Score 1) 700

by camazotz (#48993537) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
I was home-schooled, and I don't plan to do it with my children if I can avoid the need. I'll be brief, but I feel that any parent considering home-schooling needs to really consider carefully if they are doing it for the child or for their own needs. Overly protective parents seeking to shield their child will do a great deal of harm. Parents who are not able to reasonably assess their own strengths and weaknesses as teachers will also impair their children's development. Finally, and most significant: you may avoid the pitfalls and perils of high school, and that could be an advantage, but I personally know that going straight from home schooling into college was an arduous journey, as I arrived with the social proficiency of an adult, and had no idea how to relate to those in my age group. It effectively took me until age 40 before I reached the point where I felt I could comfortably manage life and family in an "adult" manner (and it still feels weird, to be honest), and I strongly believe that the way I was sheltered and home-schooled by my parents contributed to this very odd form of arrested development.....and it's still not something I've overcome; I've just learned to compensate. There's not enough room and time to talk about it here, but I firmly believe that the home-schooling I received was a blessing for my education but a curse for my general social prowess.

Comment: Re:i'm not going to see this (Score 1) 351

by camazotz (#48668243) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy
You need to watch more movies. We can debate at length about the decisions made in these adaptation when compared to the books, and I certainly think Jackson AT BEST could have made 2 movies out of the book, but the fact is: compare these films on their own against other films on the market, and you will ultimately have to concede they are are far better and more entertaining on average than most Hollywood dreck out there now. If you still think otherwise dunno, you've got problems.

Comment: Re:Blah (Score 1) 351

by camazotz (#48668213) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy
What you highlight here is a fundamental difference between what can be accomplished in fiction on paper and what works well for film. The scene you described worked well in the book, obviously, but I can't help but feel you're missing something about the experience, the resonance, of reframing the action of the ents on film as it was done. This strikes me as important because when that scene came up in the movie it was powerful...actually the only real scene in the second film that I distinctly remember, and it was precisely because of how Jackson did it that the event went from "story bit that moves things forward" as it was in the book to "defining point of change" as it was in the film. It was a powerful scene. There's a lot I disagree with on how The Hobbit was handled, padding being a key issue.....but the LOTR films were outstanding, and at least partially because they were not (thankfully) done as 9 movies instead of 3. This led to a lot of "short cut" approaches to telling the story, which forced Jackson to reach for quicker but more poignant and resonant, emotional events in those films. Unfortunately, had they been made now in the same manner as The Hobbit, we not only would have gotten that lengthy debate among the ents you suggest, but it would have been 30 minutes long and involved lots of slow motion and drawn out voice-modulated speeches.

Comment: Re:Even I bought a PS1 and PS4 (Score 1) 101

by camazotz (#48549767) Attached to: The PlayStation Turns 20

"But I did buy a PS1 (because I hate Nintendo even more than Sony) and a PS4 (because MS made all the wrong moves in the early days of the XboxOne). So that says SOMETHING about the quality of their consoles."

No it doesn't. Microsoft making wrong moves pre-release says nothing about their actual released system.

I have all current gen and last gen consoles. The PS4 has the least polished software and controller, but has the nicest physical console design and best specs. The Xbox One has the most good games, by far the best controller, and a joint best UI with the Wii U, but the Xbox One is physically much to big and ugly. At release the Xbox One was also overpriced relative to performance but now it's often much easier to get it cheaper than the PS4 so offers better value for money at this point just over a year in to the X1/PS4 release.

The Wii U is different, it's UI is polished, it's games are almost entirely consistently excellent quality, but it's underpowered relative to it's price, and there aren't enough games even though the bulk of what's there is incredibly high quality.

So they all have their pros and cons, there's nothing inherently high quality about Sony's console, in fact, whilst the Xbox One and PS4 both had far more release issues than they should have I'd argue the PS4 had the lowest quality launch in terms of number and seriousness of defects. Neither were ready for release when they were.

Which is interesting because as an owner of both the Xbox One and PS4 I tend to feel differently about the two by contrast. The PS4 has a smoother, more polished UI and overall experience, the controllers are more comfortable and the game selection is superior. Xbox One meanwhile feels like it has a UI which tried to innovate and failed to do so (in fairness I do not use Kinect) leading to a rather clunky and hard to navigate bastard offspring of the Windows 8 tile system....something the 360 also suffered from. PS4 just feels like it was designed with goal and that goal was reached and maintained. X1 feels like it's goal got shifted somewhere along the way....multiple times....and the end product does not quite match the expectations.

Comment: The usual mistake (Score 1) 368

by camazotz (#48548909) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi
Stross makes the usual mistake of assuming that SF is exclusively about modeling potential futures in all their various aspects. Most science fiction is actually about saying "what if WE as a culture were actually in the future and had cool stuff." It's about modelling our culture today in a different SF-based context. As many others have pointed out this is at least partially to engender familiarity with the intended focus of the SF elements. Social science fiction is its own beast and alive and kicking, albeit with the caveat that they did it better a few decades ago when the SF market was narrower and therefore more tolerant of the concept. Be that as it may, these are all valid forms of SF; at best I'll side with Stross and say we're not getting enough of the social SF elements these days, and it would be nice to see more of that and less of, say, IP tie-ins and military SF which are massively over-represented in today's market.

Comment: Shocked... (Score 3, Interesting) 203

by camazotz (#48386181) Attached to: Window Washing a Skyscraper Is Beyond a Robot's Reach
I'm shocked that those window cleaners make "up to $26.89" WTF seriously? They just bragged like that was a good number for that sort of work....? I guess, relatively speaking, it might be good for the alternative choices those workers have, but I sure as hell wouldn't do that for $26.89. Why is it that all the high mortality rate jobs have such shitty wages?

Comment: Just talking about it is enough for some... (Score 1) 300

by camazotz (#47759411) Attached to: Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video
It is morbidly disturbing just how many posters here seem to need to see the video to experience emotion or empathy for what happened. Just being told it happened is enough to wrench my stomach....I really don't need to view this in order to experience worst watching it might lead to depression and despair.

Comment: Re:Mixing Nintendo and Microsoft (Score 1) 276

by camazotz (#47750089) Attached to: Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

Especially because people who mod their Xbox consoles to run Nintendo emulators are the same kind of people who run ad blockers.

Don't be so literal. Very few people mod their consoles. Parent was basically meant "people who play platformers on consoles"

Then Parent may excuse himself from this conversation for having the temerity to link Mario to an Xbox. Unclean non-gamer, leave this house! There is nothing for you here.

Comment: Re:A win for freedom (Score 1) 1330

by camazotz (#47376113) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

Perhaps I misunderstood.

Who said the employee couldn't use contraception? The employee is still free to obtain and use contraception on their own or through a provision - it just isn't forced upon the company to purchase it which seems equally fair. In addition to the employee purchasing (or using the provisions) for the contraception, then they are also free to work in another with/without religious beliefs who will purchase it.

Although ironically the company's insurance does include coverage for vasectomies and viagra.

Comment: Re: The site does not commit piracy ... (Score 1) 72

by camazotz (#47351399) Attached to: Want To Resell Your Ebooks? You'd Better Act Fast

Who reads a book twice?

Everyone else has jumped on you for this, but...seriously: do you really think books are one-off disposables? Really?!?!? I've got an extensive library and I read a ton of content every week. I have a lot of favorites I have read a second, third or sometimes even fourth time. I have reference books and informational books I draw upon time and again. Who reads a book twice? People who read, that's who.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.