×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

I'd prefer military fiction books that are ...

StoneyMahoney Re:David Weber (236 comments)

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.

about 9 months ago
top

E-Sports Gender Gap: 90+% Male

StoneyMahoney Re:Great (320 comments)

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.

about 9 months ago
top

E-Sports Gender Gap: 90+% Male

StoneyMahoney Data (320 comments)

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.

about 9 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

StoneyMahoney Kentucky Route Zero (669 comments)

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.

about 9 months ago
top

EU Parliament Rejects Asylum For Snowden

StoneyMahoney Re:Where? (88 comments)

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.

about 9 months ago
top

EU Parliament Rejects Asylum For Snowden

StoneyMahoney Re:Where? (88 comments)

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

about 9 months ago
top

Mozilla To Show Sponsored Links To First-Time Firefox Users

StoneyMahoney Re:Time to switch to Pale Moon (182 comments)

Mozilla based with plugin support? SOLD!

Oh, an IRC client. How quaint!

about 9 months ago
top

What Are the Weirdest Places You've Spotted Linux?

StoneyMahoney Running on a recycling bin in the City of London (322 comments)

Well, I say "running", it was actually complaining the bootloader was screwed. I have pics. It was one of those wifi enabled bins that's been accused of eavesdropping on the MAC addresses of mobile phones as people walk by. What a shame.

about 10 months ago
top

Satya Nadella Named Microsoft CEO

StoneyMahoney Re:Doomed (293 comments)

Priority 1 - ensuring long-term economic security.
Priority 2 - everything else.

which is what the textbooks say, yet it's not what happens in reality. Hence the frequent economic slumps that Capitalist theory says shouldn't be periodic.

about 10 months ago
top

Canadian Spy Agency Snooped Travelers With Airport Wi-Fi

StoneyMahoney Things You Shouldn't Take Abroad (159 comments)

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....

about 10 months ago
top

How loud is your primary computer?

StoneyMahoney Custom Built PC (371 comments)

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)

about 10 months ago
top

CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

StoneyMahoney Re:Wonder why NSA didn't go to Fox network first ? (504 comments)

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".

about a year ago
top

CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

StoneyMahoney Re:Wonder why NSA didn't go to Fox network first ? (504 comments)

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?

about a year ago
top

CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

StoneyMahoney Re:Wonder why NSA didn't go to Fox network first ? (504 comments)

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.

about a year ago
top

CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

StoneyMahoney Re:Wonder why NSA didn't go to Fox network first ? (504 comments)

Forgive if I'm being naive and out of touch, it's a long way to America from here, but I was under the impression that Fox News was the outlet of choice for Tea Party supporters and activists - they already seem to be out protesting against the NSA's surveillance, so maybe they realized it wasn't worth the shot at convincing them otherwise?

about a year ago
top

CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

StoneyMahoney Re:Rah! Rah! NSA! (504 comments)

In some ways the NSA are their own worst enemy in this situation. Snowden leaked huge quantities of documents directly from the horse's mouth, so to speak, that broadly incriminates the NSA of a host of crimes they were supposedly able to self-regulate against. The problem they have now is one of credibility - they have no channel through which to put out their version of the story that will allow it to carry the same credibility as Snowden's leak.

I work in the media sector and myself and know that no self-respecting spin doctor could get this so badly wrong as it seems on the surface - there was a target demographic of supreme importance that they hit square in the face for some reason. Not that I can go looking for them from the other side of the pond...

about a year ago
top

CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

StoneyMahoney Crocodile Tears (504 comments)

Not having access to 60-minutes in the UK, it would seem the main thrust of the NSA's argument is that the system has checks and balances for exactly this sort of situation, and that Snowden should have notified the right people about his findings rather than go public. What it doesn't seem to mention is that these very same people should already have known about this - everyone whose responsibility it was to either refrain from these actions or say "No" when someone else asked if they were allowed had already said "Yes" so I think removing the system's responsibility for self-regulation by public release in that context is exactly the right thing to do.

By trying to paint Snowden's actions as irresponsible by failing to follow the preapproved script for this sort of violation, they are also trying to cover the arses of the self-regulators by claiming ignorance of the matter on their behalf. It's simultaneously a smear-attack on Snowden and an attempt to save the faces of the people he's made like utter f***wits. The logic-fail in this case is that they can't cover up what we already know from their own documents happened, so the ignorance play only makes the self-regulation argument even weaker as, prior to Snowden's releases, it had already comprehensively failed to protect those in it's charge over a long period of time.

about a year ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Best Laptops For Fans Of Pre-Retina MacBook Pro?

StoneyMahoney Re:Lenovo. (477 comments)

While most people replying to this seem to have gone the way of the Thinkpad T-series, I went with a 15" Edge. They are significantly cheaper than the T and are obviously not as durable, but the keyboard is excellent and I'm very impressed with the engineering on this thing. Removing a single panel from the bottom exposes the RAM, HDD and the Mini-PCI slots. The keyboard is easy to remove and, although it's not got the Ultrabay system, I picked up an aftermarket caddy and swapped the optical drive with the HDD (SATA2 port) and put an SSD in the free bay (SATA3 port). The battery is easy to replace and the screen has a matte finish to it - I'll never buy another laptop without that last part.

On the downside, the screen resolution is not great at 1366x768 and the battery life is mediocre at best - 3-4 hours of light use or 1 hour if I really push the AMD A6-3420 APU hard. Speaking of which, while I may have sprung for the quad-core option at build time, I wish I hadn't - the reduced overall clock rate of a single core when running a single threaded process doesn't hit the speed the dual-core would have managed, even with it's turbo boosting features working flat out.

So, although I have misgivings about this thing, there is one massively important thing that just wipes the floor with almost every other option I looked at - price. It was around a third of the price of other options I considered (Thinkpad T-series and Macbook Pro included) so the fact it's survived two and a half years before the rising threshold of my processor requirements has started to outpace it is highly impressive.

about a year ago

Submissions

StoneyMahoney hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

StoneyMahoney has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?