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Comments

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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

_merlin Re:Move "ZIG" (701 comments)

That was my first though, too.

about two weeks ago
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The lightbulb I've most recently acquired ...

_merlin Re:I genuinely cannot remember... (196 comments)

Wow. Glad you got that out. You and the other four guys on the internet that are 1) from a non-US country and 2) like to bitch about every fucking submission that doesn't follow euro standards really gotta get that out or you'll die right?

He claims to have paid in sterling - they don't use sterling in Europe. Learn your geography, goddamn ignorant Americunt. He's not European, he's a Britfag.

about a month ago
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Grandmother Buys Old Building In Japan And Finds 55 Classic Arcade Cabinets

_merlin Re:No story here (133 comments)

There are a bunch of DVD-based adult mahjong games there. Dumps of these are quite rare.

about a month ago
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Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Heads Into Home Stretch

_merlin Re:Turn off the TV (68 comments)

We don't have a TV, but we got a Wii U (it's driving a 4K monitor, there's a complicated story behind it). Legend of Zelda is the biggest incentive our six-year-old has had to improve his reading.

about a month ago
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Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

_merlin Re:Dumb questions (216 comments)

Industrial-scale hydrogen production comes from natural gas anyway, so it solves nothing (look up steam reforming).

about a month ago
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I prefer to settle down at night with a good..

_merlin Re:More missing options (139 comments)

Usually Australian craft ales. I don't eat much - in fact I'm hungry most of the time. My diet is pretty "clean" too apart from the beer - mostly vegetables and lean meat, not much else.

about a month ago
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I suffer from jet lag ...

_merlin Re:Of course it depends... (163 comments)

Three hours' difference is the worst for me. One hour I can absorb and just keep going, more than five hours is a clean break so my body clock "resets" itself. But in between I just can't deal with it - if I go west (e.g. Sydney to HK) I'll want to go to sleep before work finishes for the day, and if I go east (e.g. HK to Sydney) I can't wake up in the morning.

about a month ago
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3D-Printed Material Can Carry 160,000 Times Its Own Weight

_merlin Re:Really? Stiffness correlates with density? (60 comments)

Read it again: declines with density. DECLINES. Mercury is very dense, hence its stiffness has DECLINED to the point where it is very low.

about a month ago
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I prefer to settle down at night with a good..

_merlin Re:More missing options (139 comments)

I don't get this. Seriously, beer makes me lose weight. The alcohol increases metabolism and hence carbohydrate burn, and the dehydration it causes reduces fluid retention.

about a month ago
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Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

_merlin Re:Nice looking bike... (345 comments)

My uncle had been riding a white BMW for decades, and one day he decided to paint it black. After that he noticed that people weren't keeping out of his way the way they used to. It may have been because people associate white BMW bikes with cops (NSW police used them for years before switching to Yamaha) and normally don't give a fuck about motorcyclists, or it could just be that a white bike is easier to spot.

about a month ago
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HUGO Winning Author Daniel Keyes Has Died

_merlin Re:Other variants (66 comments)

The 1992 Lawnmower Man film is about increasing intelligence (but not the short story it shares a title with)

about a month and a half ago
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Even In Digital Photography Age, High Schoolers Still Flock To the Darkroom

_merlin Re:The actual appeal (240 comments)

DLSRs can produce great images but there are so many times it produces cold, lifeless images. You can take hundreds of images and choose the best.

White balance - learn to set it, or if that isn't possible to adjust it in post. If a shot looks cold and lifeless, the white balance is probably wrong.

When I used film, a cheapo camera produced more brilliant pictures per shots. Yeah, you have to wait and have them developed but in every reel there were always some amazing shots. Now, with DLSR there are thousands of lifeless images and you edit them and enhance them until they are good. There is just so much rubbish and then a good one among them.

The minilab operator was better at setting parameters when printing the photos than you are at your digital workflow. Minilab operator skill can make a huge difference to the quality of prints you get.

Maybe it speaks to my skill as a photographer but there are some film shots that are absolutely perfect to me - like something out of a magazine. I have perhaps 100 times more digital images but most are horrible and only a few that are amazing mostly because of the composition and I would probably have to set up a professional lighting to achieve that perfect shot I got a few times with film.

Firstly a new tool requires new techniques. You can't just shoot digital like film. For example digital clips hard on overexposure while film handles this more gracefully, but digital gives you more detail in underexposed areas. Secondly, you're likely doing the entire workflow yourself with digital while someone else was probably developing and printing your film. You need to learn about the digital equivalent to this part of the process as well. (If you were developing and printing yourself with film, the same applies: learn the equivalent part of the digital process.)

about a month and a half ago
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Unisys Phasing Out Decades-Old Mainframe Processor For x86

_merlin Re:Half a century (113 comments)

Probably depended on the broadcaster. Whoever had the rights to broadcast the cricket in Sydney in the late 80s was using Unisys, and displaying their branding.

about a month and a half ago
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Unisys Phasing Out Decades-Old Mainframe Processor For x86

_merlin Re:Half a century (113 comments)

I first became aware of Unisys in the '80s when the Australian TV broadcasters used their stuff for instant replay, drawing annotations over stills, and slow motion. They got to display their "Unisys Computer" logo in the corner. Never actually had to use them professionally though. Looks like the future is becoming homogenous. IBM dropped the specialised AS/400 and System Z CPUs and migrated to POWER; everyone else seems to be dropping specialised CPUs and moving to x86 or POWER as well.

about a month and a half ago
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Human Blood Substitute Could Help Meet Donor Blood Shortfall

_merlin Re:Let gay men donate (172 comments)

Well it comes down to statistics. In Sydney, there's now supposedly greater than 20% HIV infection rate amongst gay men. It's quite high, and much higher than the HIV infection rate amongst the general population. This probably isn't the case everywhere, but in Sydney, a randomly selected gay guy is far more likely to be carrying HIV than a randomly selected person from the rest of the population.

In Sydney the HIV infection rate amongst prostitutes is actually very low. However in Hanoi it's supposedly 30% (now this number might be inflated - prostitution is illegal in Vietnam, so the government might be stretching the truth a little to justify policy). One again, this is far higher than the HIV rate amongst the general population. A randomly selected prostitute in Hanoi is far more likely to be carrying HIV than a randomly selected person from the general population.

What's the HIV infection rate amongst gay men in Hanoi? I don't know, but for argument's sake let's say it's lower than the general population. If this were the case, using the HIV statistic alone, it would make sense to accept blood donations from gay men but not prostitutes in Hanoi. But it makes sense to accept blood donations from prostitutes but not gay men in Sydney (one again, based on the HIV statistic alone; there are other statistics that could be used to argue against accepting blood donations from prostitutes in Sydney).

Profiling is imperfect, but in theory it's still a useful like of defence. In reality it won't work so well, as people can lie pretty easily, especially if there's an incentive to doing so (e.g. prostitution is illegal in Vietnam, so a prostitute would be unlikely to list this as their occupation when donating blood). A lot of people also have some basic sense of responsibility, so gay or not a person who knows they're HIV positive is generally unlikely to donate blood (unless they're an arsehole, but then they'd likely lie to pass criteria anyway). Ultimately it's best to just trust no-one and test everything.

about a month and a half ago
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Sony Overtakes Rival Nintendo In Console Sales

_merlin Re:Not just that (127 comments)

Mario Kart 8 is intolerable on a Wiimote.

It's fine on a Wiimote plus Nunchuck: stick to steer/glide, Nunchuck buttons for item/horn and rear view, Wiimote buttons for accelerate/brake/drift. The only thing you lose over a pro controller is analog accelerate/brake with the second analog stick, but who bothers with that anyway?

about 2 months ago
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Sony Overtakes Rival Nintendo In Console Sales

_merlin Re:3DS (127 comments)

Nintendo went from always being stronger than the competitor's hardware (SNES was stronger than the Genesis, N64 was technically stronger than the PSX) to being the weakest on the market.

That isn't really true. The SNES had a weaker CPU than the MegaDrive, but stronger graphics hardware to compensate. The N64 had strong CPU performance, but poor memory latency, very limited texture memory, and limited storage. The consoles back then had very different trade-offs.

The gap between the Wii and the PS3/360 was big, and the gap between the Wii U and Xbone/PS4 is bigger.

Yeah, but it's got to the point where consoles are powerful enough for most people. From the distance I sit from the display, I really don't care that Wii U games are often 720p upscaled, and there are enough polygons to get the job done. This wasn't the case in the GC/PS2/Xbox days.

about 2 months ago
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Sony Overtakes Rival Nintendo In Console Sales

_merlin Re:Not just that (127 comments)

I dunno. The gamepad makes a some things far easier. The remake of Zelda: Wind Waker makes very good use of it for the maps. Sailing is so much easier when you can look down at the map and up at the view (kind of like sailing a real boat). Team management mode in FIFA13 is far easier to work on a touchscreen than with a controller. It's also very, very good for navigating menus, text input and all that stuff that's normally painful with a controller.

A lot of the games are moving to more traditional control schemes than they had on the Wii. The touchscreen isn't really used for much in Mario Kart 8, and the Mario platformer plays far better on a traditional controller than with motion controls. At the same time there are still games that depend on Wiimote control, like Wii Party U. Perhaps it's all just a scam to sell more controllers - I'm up to two pro controllers, two Wiimotes and the touchscreen. Yes, I can now host a 5-player game of FIFA 13, but it's expensive buying all that crap.

about 2 months ago
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Sony Overtakes Rival Nintendo In Console Sales

_merlin Re:ZOMG PANIC! (127 comments)

I've got a Wii U, and one of the most fun games for playing in a group is an EA title: FIFA 13. Up to five players, cooperative or competitive, all the leagues and players, recognisable faces. What's not to like? Seriously it's great, and the retailer threw it in as a freebie with the console, along with the pack-in Mario/Luigi platformers.

I've got Mario Kart 8 already. It's a lot simpler and more approachable than some of the previous titles (e.g. Mario Kart DS had a far steeper learning curve) - it feels more like the arcade Mario Kart games than previous console titles. It also defaults to more traditional controls than the Wii incarnation. It's very approachable for casual gamers. My wife and my mum absolutely love it.

Will it be enough to sell consoles? It'll probably sell a few, but on its own it won't make or break the platform - Nintendo needs to follow it up. They need a great Super Smash Bros, a Metroid, a Zelda, and maybe an F-Zero or Star Fox. It's either going to be a great time to have a Wii U as the hit parade arrives, or a disappointing time as ti fails to materialise.

about 2 months ago
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Sony Overtakes Rival Nintendo In Console Sales

_merlin Re:I used a wii console (127 comments)

Yeah, well I used a Wii U console and then I got laid; my dick definitely didn't fall off. I guess that means the Wii U solves the major issue you encountered with the Wii. Did you manage to get your dick reattached? If you did, I can assure you the Wii U is safe to use. And if you didn't, then I guess it really doesn't matter which console you use.

about 2 months ago

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_merlin hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Reinventing myself as a troll

_merlin _merlin writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I keep having these thoughts of reinventing myself as a troll. I could try to make first posts, and join the GNAA, and post goatse links and ASCII art, and flame Mac users and other stuff like that.

But then I'd lose karma, and I'd start out at -1, so no-one would see my trolling, anyway, and if I did post something worthwhile, no-one would see that, either.

I could make another account, just for trolling, but that stinks of effort. Oh well, I guess I'll just stay my boring self.

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