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Comment: Re:Not all bad (Score 1) 329

by miasmic (#37334924) Attached to: NZ Illegal Downloading Crackdown Law In Effect
Hadn't had chance to check Slashdot but I thought I'd reply to your post anyway.

My Integra is an 94 LS too, it's in a pretty sweet condition considering the age, inside and outside, I've seen 98-00 models in worse shape. Just wish it had VTEC, but it still seems plenty fast for normal driving, and I've got some decent (as in performance rather than looks) wheels and tyres on it.

Here in NZ it pretty much seems that classic Integras in good condition aren't likely to depreciate at all in value any more, which makes owning one quite a bonus. Other Jap classics from the late 80s/ early 90s like Corolla Levins, Skylines, Silvias, 300ZX etc are in a similar boat I've always wanted a Skyline and if I got something else to replace the Integra I might take that route (an R33 probably, definitely not one of the newer fake Skylines), though I wouldn't be able to expect the same fuel economy.

The key to the Integra's handling seems to be the light weight, that would be my concern with the Camaro at 1700kg. Maybe the suspension, increased torque and wide tires/stance can compensate for it though. The fuel economy is very impressive though without a doubt.

Comment: Re:Not all bad (Score 1) 329

by miasmic (#37281484) Attached to: NZ Illegal Downloading Crackdown Law In Effect

Good Post, I also drive a DC2 Integra coupe (not a type R though, but still they're all nice cars), and used to drive a DA3 (mk1 with pop up headlights) a few years ago. DC2 is by far the best car I've owned, the light weight (1181kg), double wishbone suspension f+r and the stiff chassis make an incredible car to drive. It's 16 years old but everything electronic works and the engine is still smooth all the way to the fuel cutoff. Nothing like dropping a couple of gears to overtake a line of trucks. The DA3 was maybe more fun in traffic though as it had a lot better visibility and handled like a go kart at low speeds, but the engine was no comparison to the DC2.

Fully agree that Honda and many other manufacturers have gone to shit recently. Nearly every car looks like an MPV, ridiculous blade runner interiors to impress housewives who want to look trendy, electronic power steering that feels like, ah, um, doesn't feel. Fully agree, the Civic Si is a very poor mans relation to the sporty cars they had 15 years ago.

Comment: Re:As culture dies in New Zealand (Score 4, Interesting) 329

by miasmic (#37272924) Attached to: NZ Illegal Downloading Crackdown Law In Effect

NZ is the only English speaking country I've been to where the music scene isn't dominated by US or UK bands/artists. Local bands regularly make up a fair portion of the charts.

NZ's trademark sound is a Maori influenced 'pacific' flavour of reggae/dub (check out Fat Freddy's Drop), but drum & bass (and d&b influenced stuff like dubstep) is also much more popular in the mainstream than elsewhere. There's also quite a few decent homegrown alternative/rock groups, some of which have achieved international success. I have listed some of the most popular NZ originated bands/artists in the last 10 years.

Roots/Dub/Reggae

Fat Freddy's Drop
Katchafire
Salmonella Dub
The Black Seeds
Trinity Roots
International Observer

Rock/Punk/Metal etc

Stereogram
The Mint Chicks
Evermore
Minuit
The Datsuns
Head Like a Hole
Fur Patrol
8 Foot Sativa
Dawn of Azazel

Drum & Bass

Concord Dawn
The Upbeats
Shapeshifter

Comment: Re:As a kiwi. . (Score 3, Insightful) 329

by miasmic (#37272808) Attached to: NZ Illegal Downloading Crackdown Law In Effect

Yeah I'm already over my data cap, I've been waiting a week before I can start watching Youtube videos and download again, only a couple more days to go.

It really is appalling and a backwards attitude is seen from both Telecom providers and the government here. It results in usage of search engines, smart phone apps etc that's years behind countries like the US and UK, even taking into account population differences. I'm totally disappointed to hear that this passed. The country I feel in many areas takes too much notice of what is going on in the US in legislation and corporate policy and not enough of what is going on in Norway, Sweden and Findland, for example, which have more in common with NZ in many significant ways than the US does.

From a previous /. article about undersea cables, NZ is currently poorly serviced, but a more direct, much larger link is going in directly towards the US in a couple of years (as I remember from the map) which should hopefully improve things, with NZ having better connectivity than Australia in that direction rather than the other way round. But it's still little excuse for the current setup of things.

Comment: Re:You can do that right now (Score 2) 436

by miasmic (#37240084) Attached to: SignalGuru Helps Drivers Avoid Red Lights

I would agree 100% with your assessment, North Americans generally drive like 'soccer moms' as they call them compared to UK drivers, I noticed this while living in Canada.

Drivers in New Zealand though look like Michael Schumacher compared to both UK and US drivers, particularly in rural areas. The speed limits and speeds people drive at are faster here, but the big difference is corners - people in NZ know how to take corners at speed. I've seen refuse trucks overtaking rental cars round the outside of bends and pickups with trailers going faster than most of the pricks you see in Audi coupes would drive on a similar country road in the UK. It's easy to spot American/European tourists here on anything short of a freeway, even without seeing their rental car because they're the ones driving well under the de facto speed limit (which is about 68mph, including rural roads), slowing down to walking pace for every bend with a 20 car long tailback behind them.

Refreshingly, more people here than in the UK seem to know how to overtake, and not just endlessly tailgate, stopping others from overtaking. Shame they don't know how to drive on freeways (undertaking is legal because lots of people never move out of the fast lane here) or indicate properly on roundabouts though.

Comment: Re:You can do that right now (Score 2) 436

by miasmic (#37239948) Attached to: SignalGuru Helps Drivers Avoid Red Lights

Mod parent up - This is one of the most common misconceptions I've come across in any walk of life.

Most people really don't understand the importance and value of engine braking in general, and believe the opposite of reality, that it's bad for the car and that it uses more gas. I am so sick of tailing behind people crawling down mountain passes, breathing in 6 months driving worth of their burning brakes.

Using the engine to slow down saves gas and brake pads, and down steep hills is much safer as the car isn't waiting to run away / depending on brake pressure to stay under control.

Comment: Re:A question borne of helplessness... (Score 1) 358

by miasmic (#37238576) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Math Curriculum To Understand General Relativity?

Actually, in some arenas, you see the opposite problem: People sometimes give a "Don't worry your little head about it" answer, and fail to give any useful information while being oh-so-friendly to the n00b.

Totally, I've found exactly the same thing on several occasions. It kills the atmosphere in such places for me. It's worse than useless and gives the impression people are posting from some kind of fanboyism that they don't believe anyone else should be having problems with the things they love so much.

The fact that offensive replies can still fly, stupid questions get stupid answers (though I think this question about relativity personally is a really interesting one) and the AC system is one of the things that keeps me coming back to Slashdot. If it ever got suport nice and trolling died off I probably wouldn't read the comments anymore.

My homepage for years was an obscure PC gaming support/discussion forum I used to post on back in the early noughties until it died a slow death - almost no moderation and a constant stream of airheads asking stupid questions answered in the FAQ or stuff like "We played Team XXX and lost, we tink they r cheaters". All the regular posters were trolls posting just to wind up the idiots and fanboys in tow for the entertainment. I don't know how many imbecilic teenagers we discouraged from online gaming or asking questions in forums, but I do hope that we made a difference.

Comment: Re:Sceptical (Score 1) 109

by miasmic (#37082236) Attached to: Valve Announces <em>Counter-Strike: Global Offensive</em>

Being owned is a shitty experience. But if a game is well designed with a decent learning curve, 'beginners' servers exist (as they did back in the day with CS), and the player doesn't have ADHD, the path to improvement should be not so hidden as to appear impossible and I do think most will persist. If that wasn't the case, why did CS become so popular (relative to other online games) during the pre-Valve and pre Steam era and slowly decline afterwards? How do you explain the success of Quakeworld and Quake 3 where this factor was even bigger? And why do some of these games still stick around with more online players than many more recent supposed successors?

If a beginner was to take up CS 1.6 today, they would find it a far more difficult and frustrating experience than in the past, despite changes made to the game, simply because nearly all the players left are high skilled. Some changes they made, such as nerfing accuracy while moving, could be argued to not be noob friendly. It makes noobs less likely to die, but less likely to get frags too. The game became a slow campfest full of peering round corners and spamming flashbangs, instead of the action movie style game of fast paced assaults it had been in the past.

Comment: Sceptical (Score 1) 109

by miasmic (#37076328) Attached to: Valve Announces <em>Counter-Strike: Global Offensive</em>

[Valve] wanted to create a game with a different feel, and overall it was really smooth.

'Smooth' means hideous frame buffer mouse smoothing / lag compared to HL1 engined games? I'd bet on it. Only source players invited would seem to back that up

unanimously felt that the first three bullets of the M4 and AK in particular were too inaccurate, which took out the art and skill of "tapping"

This sounds like deja vu, but obviously even more nerfed than recoil and accuracy have already in existing versions of the game. The less random accuracy is and the faster the game is paced, the more skilled players will dominate/ the more noob campers will get owned. Back in 1.3 you used to see players with 40/0 stats on publics taking out 5-6 of the other team every round. But that became a LOT harder afterwards with more of a luck aspect (combined with changes to slow the pace of the game). The game becomes easier for whining noobs on the Valve forums who complain that things are 'unreallistic', but less fun and more frustrating for those passionate players that made the game the success it was.

As a former big time CS player 2000-2003, I just can't think that Valve will pull anything except a tired, graphics orientated cash-in on the now largely forgotten CS name mainly aimed at console players, full of gimmicks, biased so that noobs can't get owned, and with the gameplay feel of a 30m telescope rotating through treacle.

Comment: Re:Give it a few tries and go with what's fastest (Score 1) 514

by miasmic (#37010976) Attached to: The Mathematics of Lawn Mowing
Yeah from a year or so of past experience working as a lawnmowing contractor, that's the fastest way to mow, at least with a push/self propelled (ie not a ride on) mower, because there is little time spent making sharp corners and the tricky perimeter area is dealt with at the start, speeding up the rest of the job. Of course, this doesn't produce a lawn as nice looking as a vertical stripe pattern, but this requires a 180 degree hairpin turn at the end of every pass.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 585

by miasmic (#37003822) Attached to: Saving Gas Via Underpowered Death Traps
People that are used to a large engine like a v8 with plenty of low end torque have to adjust their habits when changing to a smaller, 4 cylinder engine which in most cases in the US is a petrol engine that gets most of its power from high revving. Turbo diesels, you are right though are much more similar in character.

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