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    Is anyone else getting a karma-boner over the saga of Martin Shkreli?

    ...

    Just me then?

    Last edited 22/12/15 9:25 am

      The schadenfreude has been delicious! Although he's not in prison yet, and these types have a tendency to get out of trouble on a technicality and end up living a life of luxury in a tax haven somewhere.

      Who?

        The dude that bought the rights for Daraprim and then hiked the price by 5,500%. He is now in jail on securities fraud and has been kicked out of both of his companies... it is very satisfying.

          Ah. I'd only heard the first bit. I am out of every loop :P

          Always great to see someone cop a karma boot to the face.

          I have never felt delight from other peoples suffering, i would much rather see them learn to be a better person than see them publicly flogged. After all he is more than just a guy, his family probably received death threats, i dont know if he had kids but they would of been publicly mocked. I think we have to be careful to jump on a hate wagon for it takes you down a very shitty path. Maybe ive just watched a muppet christmas carol one too many times.

            Usually I'd agree with you but read up on this guy. His entire life is one long string of shitty behaviour. He's incapable of learning to be a better person since he already thinks he's better than everyone else. Literally. He's come right out and said it on several occasions.

            We also can't just excuse an incredible lack of ethics with the line "guy was just doing his job". Even other pharmaceuticals were shocked at the Daraprim stunt, and pharmaceutical companies are generally not known for shining morals. And even if what he did with Daraprim wasn't illegal, it certainly attracted enough attention to trigger the investigation into his business practices, hence the arrest.

            Incidentally, this is exactly the same process that happened to FIFA - awarding Qatar the world cup was a decision that was so outrageous, it was impossible to ignore or excuse the flagrant corruption in the organisation. Once the US authorities started tugging at threads, it all unravelled.

              Im not disagreeing that the guy was a dickbag, i just am not a fan of relishing in his misfortune. He fucked over alot of people and is probably not even a little remorseful. But I dont think we should enjoy that he is being punished.

              again ive been watching too much star wars recently.

                My girlfriend had the same perspective when Osama Bin Laden was killed. She believed that killing should never be celebrated, whereas I thought the killing of a renowned terrorist was worth celebrating; not so much as punishment for what he had done but because it prevented all the harm he was likely to cause in the future.

                I mean, this guy is pretty much the textbook definition of the scum of the Earth. His removal from positions of power is likely to help ordinary people in their time of need, when they will once again be able to afford their essential medication. To me, that's worth celebrating.

                  The celebration of Suddam and Osama's deaths creeped me right the fuck out. I was happy to accept that them dying could potentially remove a lot of bad in the world (still a point of contention with a lot of people, but not relevant here) but the fact that people were partying over their deaths was incredibly sobering and made me realise that I don't ever want to be in a position in life where I feel like I could do that.

                  Back on point, I'm having a laugh at Shkreli getting caught as comeuppance for being a dickbag, but when people go overboard about it it's just unsettling.

                  At what point do people stop seeking revenge from the people who have wronged them. Once the wrong has been righted and the guy has been held accountable? Once he has done his time? He will forever be hated no matter if he changes or not, to me when we split everyone into "good" people and "bad" people we ignore that some good people can do bad things and those bad things go unrecognized because we are blind to them. Just like when all "bad" people do something good we are blinded to that because of hatred. The world is full of grey area and celebrating the downfall of a "bad" guy seems like just hate that is redirected into a more publicly acceptable form.

                  I will add that i could be completely wrong and i have been thinking alot about moral relativism lately and how good people can do bad things.

                  Last edited 22/12/15 11:44 am

          Didn't know about that second bit but that is delicious.

      Is he the one that bought that rare Wu-Tang album?

        Yep, and he has no intention of ever listening to it.

    In other news, I know the Steam sales start tomorrow... but I am finding it impossibly difficult not to buy Total Annihilation right now.

      Me too. It's only a couple bucks and it is SO GOOD.

        I just wish it came with Core Contingency and Battle Tactics. I never got around to playing them the first time round.

          I think it does? Some of the Steam reviews I read said it does.

            what? What!? WHAT?!?!?!

            I don't think anyone has opened a website as quickly as I opened Steam after reading that.

          Was battle tactics the fantasy kingdom version of it? Or what was that.

            Wasn't TA: Kingdoms a separate game?

              Yeah it probably was. I don't think I ever had battle tactics which is why it isn't familiar

      I still have my original CD but think I will grab it on steam for convenience

    I caught the pink chicken much earlier than expected:
    https://twitter.com/CannonFodderJnr/status/678865498847600640?s=09
    That was only about 2,000 resets. Previous ones were Groudon at 4,500 and Mewtwo at 9,400 before that.

    Two birds to go. Need to level up my smeargle squad a bit and teach them agility so they can still outspeed the last 2.

      How many is that now?

        Legendaries?
        Well, I cleared out all 28 from the new games earlier this year.
        This is now 3 from gen 4, making 31 total. Got 2 more left (Articuno and Zapdos) that I can catch in Soul Silver. Only other regular ones possible outside that are Kyogre (from either Heart Gold (gen 4) or Sapphire (gen 3 - that's a whole new playthrough back on GBA though)) and Rayquaza (same 2 options, plus SS if I have the HG kyogre). I have sapphire and a working DS original, but I don't have HG.

        Only other ones outside that:
        Darkrai and Shaymin - diamond / pearl / platinum event long gone and buried in history, would need some sort of hack or cheat to access the encounter.
        Arceus - diamond / pearl / platinum event that was never released. Hack / cheat to access, can't transfer it forward as it's not a possible 'legitimate' catch.
        Mew - was only ever a Japanese event for emerald (Gen 3) - needs to be hacked / cheated in to emerald to access it now, and the legitimacy of a non Japanese one is questionable.

        So, 31 / 33 of what I've aimed for with available gen 4 and 6 carts in my possession. 31/35 of regular ones available through normal play, 31/37 of everything ever possible in an English region.

        General shiny count? I'm probably close to filling a third box, so as a rough estimate I probably possess ~90 and have caught / hatched ~105. This is just what I've done personally, I don't count trades or distributions, only things with me as the original trainer.

        Yes, I'm probably ready for a break soon.

          Question. How are you going to reset captures with the new Pokemon ARG coming out?

            Hmmm...

            IF shinies are implemented in Pokémon Go, I'd say it wouldn't be so much of a reset thing as a farm the shit out of an area thing. I mean, it'd be pretty silly if you can only 'capture' one of any given poké given how much they've talked up the necessity of trading recently.
            Basically, I don't see what I do in the handheld games as being compatible with the kind of experience that Pokémon Go will be. But we don't know enough yet.

            I'm hoping it's not just going to be Ingress with a new coat of paint and some minor tweaks to mechanics, but there's every chance it'll fall more on that side of the line than the Pokémon side. Capture wild pokés with the watch thingy and no interface? Having to find gyms to level up and battle? There are many ways this could become an idle curiousity due to being far too limited for the average player rather than a proper Pokémon experience, but we'll just have to wait and see.

              I nominate a Pokemon GO TAY Vacation where we travel to one gym a year as a group and catch all the pokemon in that city! =O

    I'm approaching Christmas with mixed emotions. My parents are in Bunbury having Christmas with my sister and her fiancee's family, which is fine, as I've spent a few Christmases in a row with my parents and my sister deserves to spend Christmas with them. So I'm going to one uncle's place (Dad's youngest brother) for Christmas lunch, and going to Dad's middle brother's place for Christmas tea. Don't get me wrong, both my uncles are awesome blokes, and I'll probably get a couple of decent presents from them, but I'm nervous.

    Why am I nervous? Well, as a few of you may remember, I have Aspergers Syndrome, and when I get overstimulated, I get very tense and can often lash out either verbally or worse, physically. I'm worried that I might have a meltdown and hurt someone either emotionally or physically. One of my triggers is people yelling at other people, and I know that one of my Auntys will be yelling a lot trying to organise my Uncle's preparation of the meal, mainly because she's frustrated she can't do it herself.

    I'm just hoping that my fears of a meltdown are unfounded and that I'll survive the day without too many hassles.

      Dude, that sucks, maybe if you know its gonna be a issue, just arrive a little later or offer your services so your aunty is less likely to wanna yell. Otherwise just be honest with your fam bam, they are family, if you cant be honest with them who can you be honest with. anyway i wish you luck. Merry christmas dude.

        Don't really have a choice on when I arrive as my uncle will be picking me up (I don't drive). There's not a lot I can do in the kitchen as it's a small kitchen and my aunty is in charge of the kitchen even though she physically can't do the work. She gets annoyed and is constantly telling my uncle what needs to be done, even though he knows exactly what he's doing. In other words, my aunty is a backseat driver. They are aware of my AS, but I'm not sure whether they fully understand, hey I'm not fully sure that I understand. My main problem is that my escape from those situations is to mindlessly check my iPhone and Twitter and stuff, and then I get told off for being antisocial.

      You can always talk to your aunty/uncle ahead of time and organise a safe space for you to go to if you start feeling pressured. It'll let you remove yourself from the situation so you can have a breather.

        I also use earplugs, I can hear people talking easily, but it takes the edge off people shouting, and clears away a lot of background noise.

          Take out your headphones and tell them you hear them loudly as it is, and there is no need to shout.

          With heapdphones people often assume they need to speak louder.

          tHen again, no idea. My problems were/are different.

          Last edited 22/12/15 11:07 am

      Hooray for family Christmas. I get to spend all day with my in law's pointedly ignoring my presence as they do their usual shutting me out of their family (house is full of photos of my wife, kids, brother in law and his partner but none of me to the extent I've been photoshopped out of two of the photos with my wife and kids). My wife hates that it happens but she knows they won't talk to me so she gets upset at me for not trying constantly to reach out to them. 14 years of dealing with it I've had enough so Christmas night usually is a fight between my wife and I.

        Ok, well that puts my problems into perspective. I can't imagine what that must feel like as I don't have inlaws (or outlaws) and I get along pretty well with my family. Seriously, mate, I hope you survive Christmas.

          Oh no, don't get me wrong, mines just irritating and awkward. Yours sounds like a big bucket of stress for you. Is copious amounts of cider a solution? Each one chased by a slug of whiskey? Alcohol, the solution and cause of all our problems.

            Not much of a drinker, as I suspect I'd be worse under the influence of alcohol, and I have an addictive personality. I did take alcohol last year, so maybe I should check if I should bring stuff this year. I think the stress is mostly me being stuck in my own head and overthinking things as per usual.

        I was in the same boat for over ten years, I decided to go all Zen about it, accepted that they are total dicks, but that I love my wife, so I just smile and nod and be nice, and have no expectation of getting anything in return, other than the love of my life being way more relaxed and happy.

        However... to my inlaws:
        http://cdn.meme.am/instances/59034977.jpg

        But I manage to go stress free now, and can bathe in my on smugness of owning the high moral ground each Xmas ;^)

        Photoshopped out? That just sounds like time and effort for something so trivial.

          Yeah, that escalates way beyond disdain and into full blown passive aggressive hostility.

          Mine just fold the photo so that I am not in the shot, they don't have the nouse to photoshop me away. :)

        I hear ya. I have lovely in laws but my family are...let's say...unstable at the best of times.

        I get annoyed when my husband abandons me at christmas and goes to hide and watch the cricket or whatever, but I can't hold it against him - they can be very hard to take for a whole day. I'm cracking open the hendricks at christmas this year.

      The problem with anxiety is that it feeds on itself and worrying about something is usually far worse than it actually will be. I'm spoilering the rest because wall of text:


      Firstly, if you have a counsellor or psychologist that you see about your Asbergers, then NOW is the time to go and talk to them about your anxiety. They can help you prepare, which is better than putting pieces back together in the new year.

      It's good that you know what is likely to set you off, so instead of worrying that you might have a meltdown, instead you need to plan ways that you can actively manage the situation to keep yourself calm. Remember that things like exercise are incredible for dissipating anxiety, and we often neglect to exercise in the festive season. So planning a walk or run early in the morning might be a way to kill some of that negative energy, and help you relax for the rest of the day.

      Then, at the event, take activities that let you focus and stay calm without appearing antisocial. Take cards and play solitaire, or one of those adult colouring books (don't laugh, they're brilliant for keeping hands busy and mind quiet). Get a couple to share and a nice pack of colouring pencils or textas. Read a book. If there are kids, then bring something fun for them, like christmas playdough (it's also good for calming sensory overload), or a box of lego, or bubbles outside in the garden. Get on youtube to learn a napkin origami and then spend some time methodically folding all the napkins for the table. Bring noise-cancelling headphones and your favourite calm-down music.

      And if all else fails, then take yourself out of the situation. Find a quiet space and calm down. You can't control other people, but you can control yourself if you plan ahead.

      My youngest sister passed away 3 months ago, and now it's christmas without her. My parents are not coping. Christmas has already been cancelled once and I'm still not confident they actually want us to come visit (but they want to see the grandkids). Christmas rarely passes without an incident in my family, but this one is going to be extra awkward.

        Wow, I can't imagine how I'd cope if I lost my little (only) sister. I hope you can get through Christmas without too much stress and that your parents can cope as well. The first Christmas after losing a loved one is never easy. Thanks for your suggestions. I think I'm going to be ok, was just stressing but being able to talk has helped a lot. I think my biggest worry will be not having my parents there as a buffer.

      Bunbury!
      BUNBURY!
      Who lives in Bunbury!?!?

      Dunsborough 4 lyfe.
      ... Except now I'm in Perth :\

        Fuck Bunbury, right?
        Though Dunsborough is a bit of a hole as well...

          Excuse me.
          In Dunsborough there's nothing but sunshine and rainbows.
          It's the top tourist town of WA, don't you know :V

            I don't think school leavers count as tourists...

    Secret SanTAY arrived today, all wraped up in Star Wars paper, going to wait till Chrissy to open it as I won't have much else to open on the day :)
    Unfortunately I ran out of filament printing the present for my recipient, so I had to send them something else I am working on, hope they like it, and will forward on the print once some new filament arrives, everyone is out of stock of the good stuff!

      Uh, I think that one was meant for me. I'll pm you my address. :P

      I have a stockpile of filament to use I ever plug my printer back in. Sitting on a total of 10 untouched rolls :x

        We need to be friends :)
        I chewed through my 8 roll stockpile building BB-8

          I tend to just buy rolls at random hoping to use them but I'm way too impatient and do other, more manual, methods.

    Love the new avatar, @freezespreston Uncle Phil!

      I guess that does look a bit like James Avery, yes.

      You can tell Team Diaverik thank you for taking such liberties with my body there. I now know what awaits me 10 years from now...

        At least they look like an enjoyable ten years!

      Out of curiosity,

      I get a feeling that the mustachioed person on the late night commercial in the bonus chapter is supposed to be someone. Are we allowed to know of the other special people that got character placements in the novel?

      On a side note, Doctor @beeawwb is always responsible.

        Due to doctor patient confidentiality I'm not allowed to comment, but I will say that I'm great.

        I don't mind. All the likeness people know about each other, so I don't think it's a secret.

        The guy on the late night TV show isn't a likeness character.

        BDKIAF and my brother are the cops that arrest Brett. BDKIAF appears as the same cop again at the start of Issue 8. Freeze is Uncle Phil. TheCracks is the psych who looks after Jason. HighPerformance and a dude from my work are the two older kids who call Jason over and recruit him into their bite-fetish gang. Beavwa (pet store manager) and (doctor) B-ob reprise their roles on TV recounting their experiences with Brett. Transientmind is Veronica's date and (impossible to find EASTER EGG) is an actor typecast as the victim in every zombie movie shown in the Undad series. An old friend from another circle is Veronica's larger friend. The kid of some other friends is Brett's daughter in the petting zoo flashback. Cakesmith is Brett's Uncle Robert. The dude carrying goodies around Robert's farm in the last flashback is my father-in-law.

        I think that's everyone. Apologies to anyone I missed - I'm working from memory here.

        Last edited 22/12/15 2:51 pm

          That's really cool how you've managed to work everyone into the story. It certainly makes me regret not chipping in a bit more for my own cameo but I'll certainly set some aside for next time if you do another kickstarter. :)

            Appreciated, man, but I'm not currently planning another Kickstarter. Honestly, I'm hoping I don't have to do that ever again. I'll be sure to let you know, though, when I inevitably break that rule.

            Last edited 22/12/15 2:56 pm

    @shane Some book arrived in the mail with your name on it. It might have been sent to me by mistake? It's called Undead or something.

      Yeah, that's a mistake. Sorry, dude. Can you send it back ASAP, please?

      Unread?

        Ow!

          Shane will point me out if I ever overstep a line and in Return, of the Jedi, I'll readily apologise.

    Wow, they've finally added user playtime back to Elite's stats. Well, it used to be on a separate stats screen back in the original beta, then disappeared for release. Looks like it's getting added to the right hand panel now.

    I'm scared to see where it's at now :P

      I have no idea how much time I've put into it, especially because switching between active goals and just screwing around makes it super easy to lose your ability to track time.

      I did manage to reach 5 million credits last night. Almost all my profit has been through bounty hunting, too. Loving the speed and firepower of the Viper MkIII!

        I sold my discount Clipper the other night (bought it after a community goal got a 20% discount, back before Powerplay and Li Yong-Rui's power-wide outfitting discounts), so I'm sitting on about 25 million now. That's all been gathered by bounty hunting and mission-running in my Sidewinder, especially assassination missions. At least, back when I could still do them :P

        Think I'll need to jump on and examine my stats, try and figure out whether it's worth trying to press on or if I should just jump to the DBS. Although for the time being I'm mostly just planning on roaming planet surfaces and hoarding materials.

          I liked the look of the Clipper but after blowing up tonnes of them as bounties it's kinda ruined my impression of them :P
          Other than wanting to try out a Python I don't really have a plan for what to switch to next. The Asp Explorer looks like a decent ship, and they're a pain to take out in 1v1 proving their performance is decent, but they almost sound OP? Pixel told me the other night that they're insanely popular so that gives credence to that theory.

            Yeah they are pretty popular. They've got good hardpoint placement and seem to be able to take a beating. Plus they sound pretty cool too.

            You should check out the Asp Scout, that thing can dance. Seems like it might be a little on the squishy side though.

              Yeah, I was weighing up the Explorer and Scout. I really do like having good manoeuvrability which gives the Scout a lot of points, but I can't stress how much of a beating the Explorer can take, and having so many friggin' hardpoints shooting at once means one misstep and it beats the shit out of me. I can take an Anaconda with little or no help if I dance away from its front, but Explorers I'll either wait for help or not bother.

              EDIT: I forgot about the Vulture...hmm...

              Last edited 22/12/15 12:12 pm

                That's interesting, I find Asps not that bad to take down. Although I guess Sidey's got more manoeuvrability than the Viper, so it's probably easier to keep out of their way. Can't remember what the Viper's speed's like but I assume that'd help you keep up with the Anaconda, that seems to be my biggest problem with them. Either can't stay far enough away from them or can't keep close enough to stay safe, then get shredded unless there's other targets around to distract them.

                Also pfft, Vultures :P

                  My speed without boosting is about 310m/s, and if I pump points into my engine the boost recharges fast enough that I go up to 400, then drop to 375 before boosting again. It's seriously fast for what it is, and this is half the reason I won't go for the newer Viper. It's slow and sluggish.

                  With the Vulture, the idea of becoming a headhunter in fights sounds like a lot of fun for me. It seems like it could easily be set up to take down the big bounty targets with some well placed shots. Though I think I prefer the potential adaptiveness of the Asp, with so many hardpoints you can cover a lot of options and have decent ammo reserves for long runs.

                  @rize I've just been reading this thing on ship sizes and roles with the new hull reinforcement balances and in response to some guy's complaint about them. It's been an interesting read, I like the idea of there actually being a scissors/paper/rock relationship between the different sizes.

                  It kind of sucks that it makes the most sense to just stick to lasers, for the sake of not having to return to base for restocks or never running out of ammo before you've managed to take down a huge bounty. I'd like to play around with other weapons more, fixed multicannons are pretty fun with how you have to lead your shots and everything. Actually that's what I like a lot about CQC, you get to play around with more things because ammo limits just don't matter any more. Though of course I say that having settled on burst lasers being pretty much the best thing ever.

                Coincidentally i picked up an Asp Scout (mainly because it looks like the Ghost from Star Wars Rebels... i mean COME ON LOOK AT IT! :P) last night and i can confortably say it's my new smuggling ship! It can't top my Cobra for speed, but then again, nothing can.... But 350 under boost is not too shabby and it can dance around most ships to avoid scans... good fun!

      Retroactive time as well or just tracking from now on? It'll be interesting if it's able to track back to when we all started playing. I won't be beating my 1072 hours on X-Com, my 667 on Borderlands 2 or my 492 on Arma 3 but it'll be pretty high I suspect

        Retroactive, yeah. They've been tracking it the whole time, just haven't had it exposed to the players. Seen a few guys with like seven weeks of playtime so far.

        Wondering how far back it goes, I guess it'd probably go to the last wipe at the end of Beta 3/start of Gamma. Last I remember when we still had the separate stats screen I was somewhere around 168 hours, so it'll be interesting to see what I've done on top of that.

      I've apparently put more than 3 weeks in... Which equates to something like 550 all up... NEED TO PLAY MOAR! :P

        2w1d14h... 374 hours for me.

        Welp, guess that beats Splatoon still :P

    Internets question: Is anybody here with Exetel? Their Unlimited 100/40 NBN plan is $10 cheaper than TPG, so I'm giving it some serious consideration.

      *cries in a corner next to my meager ADSL2+ that can't even go over 3Mb/s down*

        I've felt your pain. I'm greatly looking forward to being back on the NBN.

          This is the only - the only - real issue I have with my place, it won't ever get NBN for the foreseeable future, and this is the best I can get, it's stable for playing games but when it comes to getting them off Steam/Origin, blergh such a long wait!

            Yeah, I use the NBN roll-out map as a guide of acceptable places to move. :P

            Yeah, I am stuck at <2Mb/s and we are not even on the NBN map. Plus it dies whenever it rains.
            *sigh*

        I'm on ADSL 1 over here. NBN talk leaves me with a taste of bitter, bitter rage.

          Any reason you're not on ADSL2+? Pretty sure it's available where you are.

            It's not. Not at our house anyway.

            All the automated maps say we should be eligible and in area for ADSL2+, but then when you get to the specific checks, the only companies that could even find our house at all were Telstra and TPG.

              Considering we're talking about companies that just could not process the idea that a farm doesn't have a street number (I was helping my sister get her house connected) I'm not even remotely shocked.

    Decided I'm going to go and buy a new outfit for Christmas Day. I think I'm going to get a Star Wars T-Shirt and a new pair of shorts (29 degrees, I will wear shorts). Hopefully having a new outfit will make me feel good about myself and will negate some of the stress I'm likely to feel.

      Can't be stressed in a new Star Wars T-Shirt!

        My nephew got a new shirt to watch the movie and it has a little button in a waterproof pocket that plays the star wars theme

        I got a Chewie shirt and a pair of cargo shorts. I think that will do nicely. Only spent $50 too.

          Uniqlo has some cheap Star Wars shirts :). Designs are okay too!

    There's no greater honour than having a cat use you as their pillow.

      Or your dog being your new alarm clock

        I don't know about that, you try having a 40+ kg dog clock you in the wedding tackle at 6am and see if it's so "Honourable" XD

          What? Not licking-your-face style awake? Ouch!

          Last edited 22/12/15 11:55 am

    STAR WARS

    I've seen the film twice now and much like Red's reaction, I too love the film. It's just so much more entertaining than the Prequel trilogy and I even went back and watched them again this week to verify. In fact, when I first saw Menace, Clones and Sith back in cinemas I probably didn't dislike them as much as I did after rewatching them. Young and stupid, I was. *in Yoda's voice*

    I've now read multiple people's opinions and the consensus is that the new film is really A New Hope 2.0. Except that it's not. We get so much more than just that. There's elements of ANH however there's also the villain reveal - something that doesn't happen until Empire in the OT - and going into the film I even pondered whether they'd leave this until Episode VIII.

    If I had to nitpick I'd simply say that Adam Driver looks nothing like the offspring of Carrie Fischer and Harrison Ford and that's it. TFA is brilliant and George Lucas is a hack - he fluked it with the original film and has proceeded to ruin it by touching it ever since. And I only say that because I just discovered he didn't direct Empire and Jedi - but he did direct all three of the Prequels.

      people hate on the prequels too much,
      Are they star wars, no not really
      Do they have bad acting and shitty dialogue-yes
      Do they have fun fight scenes with lots of lightsaber on lightsaber action mixed with some genuinely fufilling starwars moments HELLS YES
      There is a LOT to not like with the prequels, but there is also alot of fun if you want to find it. @sernobulus and i had a grand old time rewatching them, i think we just appreciated them for what they were. Which is a bit of fun with a mild star wars flavour.

        I don't like the prequels, and have made a decision to not watch them again, but I absolutely agree that there's too way much hate for them. It's gone way beyond rational criticism, and the expiry date for outrage (if it was ever a valid response) has long since passed.

        I also think people are way too quick to condemn Lucas as well, and launch personal attacks against him rather than against his work.

        I'm glad that Disney have control of Star Wars now, because it looks like they'll be doing some good things... but it makes me genuinely sad to imagine the circumstances and feelings that led to Lucas deciding to sell the rights to someone else.

          The circumstances of Lucas writing the sequel trilogy stories so he could drive up the price of Lucasfilm before the sale to Disney? Very blunt, I know but my there's a hint of truth about all this just being a business venture to him in there somewhere.

            My opinion: He wasn't trying to do that. Or at least, he wasn't just trying to do that.
            Evidence: He was already richer than God, and ended up giving almost all of the money he made from the sale to charity.

            I genuinely believe he had a creative vision for the series, and the idea of a prequel series has clearly been on his mind since they added Episode IV to the original film (just after its cinematic release in the late seventies, IIRC). It just wasn't realised nearly as well as it could have been.

              I will add that yes Star Wars was his baby and letting go was likely extremely difficult - as would have been for me were I in his position. However! If one of my creations ever blew out to the scope of Star Wars (uh.. what?) then I would have to accept the fact that others I have inspired have the ability to take that creation and turn it into something bigger and better than I could have ever done, no doubt.

                Which is probably the conclusion he came to when he sold it. I just feel bad that he was not eased gently into that conclusion, but rather flung there by the full fury of nuclear rage from a world of butthurt nerds who turned on one of their idols with unbelievable suddenness and savagery. Despite what I think of the prequels, I now regret being a part of that pack.

                  It is a little sad, indeed. However thirty years is a huge amount of time and the Disney deal clearly intended to keep the toys and films going, just now in a course-corrected direction.

          The artist is not the art, but bad art deserves fair criticism. Of the art. Which is bad.

            Fair criticism is fair. But (unpopular opinion time!) surely the time for that has pretty much passed. The TPM movie was more than sixteen years ago.

            Film criticism, whose aim is arguably using one person's opinion to influence the moviegoing or purchasing activity of another person, surely has lost most of its utility with regards to the Star Wars prequels by now.

              We continually celebrate excellent movies for decades after the fact, why should the positivity of the criticism affect the duration of how long it's relevant?

              I.e. I will continually talk about how great WALL-E is on an emotional and technical level and how other movies should aspire to do more like WALL-E (fun fact: I compared certain technical elements of TFA to WALL-E.) - conversely I'll continue to look at TPM and discuss examples of what movies shouldn't do if they aspire to be good.

                Because positivity is life-affirming and makes the world better. Negativity, especially of the kind you frequently see regarding the prequels, is corrosive and corrupting when held onto. Light side and dark side, #YodaLifeLessons etc.

                But yep, I take your points and accept them.

                  @freezespreston I'd argue that a balance of both has led to the world being the way it is now. I'd like to cast a vote for a little (or a lot) more light side in the world.

                  I'm not really good at embodying this ideal yet, but it's my personal development project for the foreseeable future.

                  Last edited 22/12/15 3:17 pm

                  Science says that matter won out over antimatter, so the world is the way it is now because there was a little more positive than negative. Hooray!

                  ...unless it's just what we happen to call and view as positive, but is actually negative /o\

              My beef was more with refusing to release the Original Trilogy in any hidef format, and actively hunting down and destroying survivng prints.
              His pig headedness about having the SE being the only surviving versions of the OT was what rattled my chain.
              The Prequels were just bad movies, and really disappointing, but messing with the original movies and stopping the originals being released, well that was vandalism.

      Yep, pretty much agree with all of this. I remember liking Episode 1 when it came out (I was ... 17?) but then when Episode 2 came out I was decidedly underwhelmed and it took me ages to get around to Episode 3 (never saw in theatre). On rewatching I found myself completely bored by Episodes 1 and 2. They're just so poorly made.

      One of the comments I made about TFA was that JJ Abrams sat down and actually remembered to MAKE a film, rather than just putting together a series of disconnected shots and conversations and hoping people wouldn't notice because "Star Wars". One of the most important things to do when making a movie is MAKE A MOVIE and I feel Lucas forgot that point when making 1-3.

        Episodes 1-3 were just weighed down with too much detail and too much Serious Important Stuff. JJ brought back the popcorn and it makes such a difference. He's just genius at distilling the things that make a franchise unique, and then blending it with his own style.

          If you want Calculon to race to the laser gun battle in his hover-Ferrari, press one. If you want Calculon to double-check his paperwork, press two. Enter now. Replace Calculon with Jedi and paperwork with Trade Federation Negotiations and Senate Hearings.

      Eh, Lucas knew what he was doing. Star Wars always was nothing but a giant toy commercial and it was super successful at that. Granted they're fantastic toy commercials I've fully brought into but Lucas was always about the merchandising.

        You could say that for Empire and Jedi, but the original Star Wars (ANH) had very little merchandising available at release. It took months for those to become available. (Cite: Wikipedia)

          Lucas also gave up a large chunk of pay for directing ANH in exchange for merchandising rights. He knew what he was doing.

            I was not aware of that, but it checks out. Very interesting reading.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coPi6fvskF4

              Enjoy!

    Wow, nearly three hours to download the STEM SDK. Only 667MB, but this box.com site they've used to host it is sloooooow aaaaaas shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

    All these Star Wars posts! Finally I can click the spoiler tags!

    All these Luke = Rey's dad theories makes me wonder who the mother was? I for one would prefer a storyline where Rey was his most gifted padawan and he sent her into exile for protection. Something about how she got to Jakku just doesn't make sense if it was his daughter; as there was someone holding her hand as a ship flew away? Seems like there's a gap in the story that is yet to be filled before we can tell for certain. I'm also very curious as to how they build Kylo's character; what did he learn that would be sufficient for a child to turn against his own parents and mentor?

      After watching the scene she was left on Jakku very closely the second time the one holding her was the cranky thing handing out portions for the scrap.

        Was it? Slave heritage? He doesn't seem like "i'll look after your kid" kind of guy? She did say she was waiting for her family implying she knows who they might be? Curiouser and curiouser. Can't wait for the next instalment and the eventual 12 hour 6 movie marathon I'm going to have 6 year from now.

          He doesn't say I'll look after you, he says quiet girl. Someone said it was Simon Pegg holding her so I made sure to look closely second time. Big bloated webbed hand and the same voice.

            So most likely she got sold so they could get the ship and go and do the Thing

          Seconding Freeze on this one. I took a pretty damn close look the second time around, too. Same conclusions.

        I should have taken the risk and recorded that one flashback scene to my phone for future referencing.

        Last edited 22/12/15 12:34 pm

          DVD/BR is only a few months out. We can freeze frame all the frames!

      I'm torn between the "Luke's daughter" theory and the "Leia's daughter" theory - I'm pretty sure she's a Skywalker. Her "awakening" points to some prior training, perhaps repressed, which means she was likely trained by Luke. I want to see it again to get a better look at a couple of scenes - the flashback on Jakku, Luke's reaction at the end, and Kylo's reaction to learning of the "girl" who helped BB8 and Finn escape from Jakku - he seemed a little quick to latch onto her, which makes me wonder if he knew about a pupil of Luke's he may have missed when he turned to the Dark. Or maybe he just felt a force-strong person with Finn and BB8 when they left, and that's why he latched onto her so readily. *shrugs* Given the explanation for R2's wakening, Ren's reaction could be hugely important or inconsequential.

    Spoilered cos.. well.. I'm sure you'll understand..
    Just back from the doc again. According to him, I have narcolepsy, 95% chance of bowel/colon cancer, problems with my bladder, issues with my cyst (and more investgiation once it's been cut out to see if it's infected by brain), and apparently my involuntary leg movements are as yet, a medical mystery. (Apparently it's different to restless leg syndrome).
    Next to mum passing on, possibly my worst day ever.

      Jesus Christ man, I'm so sorry.

      Any chance the narcolepsy/leg issues are related to the head cyst and will resolve once removed, assuming there was no secondary infection?

      95% chance of cancer? Man, I'm so sorry. How long do you have to wait for confirmation?

        Zero clue if the narcolepsy is related, but the latter I should find out on or after Jan 8 when they actually take a look.

      Shit... :( sorry Welbot I'm just completely speechless after reading this, I'm so sorry man.

      Bloody hell dude, that's the worst fucking thing. Hope they can get you on a treatment regimen.

      Oh, no. That's really awful :(

      I'll have my fingers crossed for the 5% outcome and for a speedy recovery in all fields.

      All the best, bud. I'm really sorry this has happened to you.

      Well... fuck!
      I'm so so sorry man!
      I realise that absolutely nothing i say will help you get through this, but just know that my thoughts are with you! Here's hoping for the 5% or a quick treatment!

      I'm still hoping for the 5% myself. What choice have I got really. Just as yet, all signs point to there being some sort of growth :\ No matter what it turns out to be, it's not going to be pleasant.

    Eugh. Went to check Facebook as a quick distraction from work, 2 minutes later I have backed the Kickstarter for Secret Hitler. Et tu, willpower?

    I seriously feel like death walking at the moment. I have no idea why I'm so tired.
    In other news, may have a new bookmark to show off in a few days

      Upvote for the bookmark, not the dying bit.

      Have you tried asking a doctor? My girlfriend was always tired a while back, turned out she had an iron deficiency or something similar.

        he said my iron is okay (for now) so it must be my cold (???)

          Oh yeah that'd do it.

          I always get hella tired when I'm sick - I like to think it's because I'm using all my energy fighting whatever bug I've got, but it's probably because I finally have an excuse for never getting out of bed.

            I get out and get frustrated because I just feel tired.

              Are you a coffee drinker?

                Not allowed coffee as it makes my panic attacks last longer

                  Ah, not that then!

                  How about regular exercise? It sounds counter intuitive, but I always feel like I have more energy during the footy season when I'm training than during the off season where I'm just sitting around doing nothing. Gotta spend energy to get energy, or something like that.

                I get plenty of exercise pushing Mum around the shopping centre =P

                  =)

                  Still though, something to consider if you find the lethargy sticks around for a while.

    Ooh, Rift SDK 1.0 shipping this week. Happenings intensify :P

    Ooh, and that puts the ball in Frontier's court now I guess. Wonder how long it'll take them to sort that out.

    @shane

    I'd probably attack @transientmind as well if I thought he was hitting on my wife.

      For the record, I encouraged him to do it.

      Annnnnnd that makes me feel like a pimp lying in ambush in a dark alley while my employees drag johns into range...

    So I've been playing the Uncharted series for the very first time with the remastered edition.

    Thoughts!

    I don't think the games have aged very well in terms of the gameplay mechanics? I've only finished 1 and am about 60-70% through 2 and the graphics hold up well but after playing the Last of Us which just felt so polished and the revamped Tomb Raider the game feels lacking? I enjoyed the story in the first game; shooting sections were more annoying than entertaining and I lost my way in exploring more than a few times. The second game feels a lot more polished; better movement and platforming and the environment directs you a lot better (i.e. camera swivels; highlighted paths, etc.), much better platforming puzzles absolutely loved the temples and the characters felt more fleshed out. However the shooting sections just became more annoying. Kind of feels like in this game the devs had an identity crisis between this being GoW or something like Tomb Raider. Atm feels like the games telling me to eat my greens with shooting sections before I can have my dessert being the exploration/platforming.

      I've always considered face-shooting to be the dessert.

      People like me, ruining your games for you.

        But it's just so bad! There's never enough ammo for any of the fun weapons; the weapons themselves have no discernible feedback and for some reason he cant shoot anyone in the head unless you use a sniper rifle [email protected] Also Uncharted 2 saw the presenting of enemies/bosses that were just massive bullet sponges. Yeah sure a sleeveless army looking guy needs 8 cartridges of assault rifle ammo emptied into him before he gets knocked out cold. Not even dead! [email protected]

        In comparison in the first game the enemies felt better to fight against but still annoying =P

      Yeah, gameplay is definitely a bit simplistic now. Uncharted 4 looks to be adding some more complexity. :) Just enjoy the ride with these stories.

        I recommend that instead of suffering through un-fun and dated gameplay which hasn't aged well, turn to teh YouTubes for that sweet, sweet narrative goodness! https://www.youtube.com/user/morphinapg/playlists?&ab_channel=AndyGilleand

        They make movies out of games, now! It's only really ethical if you own the games, of course, but a Godsend in many cases. To hell with tiring puzzle bullshit and collectibles and achievements and reloading checkpoints for that one shitty bit and quicktime events and blahblah etc.

        GIMME THE STORY

        You can definitely see them trying out new mechanics through each game which fed the eventual polished product that was the Last of Us. It's kind of cool to watch the evolution of a development team in that sense =]

        To be fair to Naughty Dog up until Uncharted they were well known for Ratchet/Jax games.

          I still absolutely love the first three games too, but I agree The Last of Us is Naughty Dog's best work so far. :)

      Psst: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBAF6C25C590C7FE5?&ab_channel=AndyGilleand

        Noooo!! My resolution this new year is to not buy any game I won't finish! I bought it so now I have to finish it :@ *looks over at Darksiders 2 & Syndicate*......

      Interesting! I love, love, loved replaying those games, and appreciated the simplicity.

      It's a bit rough playing them for the first time after you've played the new Tomb Raiders but I recommend sticking with it. Uncharted is fine but Tomb Raider really raised the bar on that sort of movement. It's like going back to Super Mario 64 after playing Sunshine/Galaxy. A perfectly fine game that hasn't aged badly as much as it's just sort of primitive in some spots. The gravity of everything feels just slightly off and slow. I can't wait to see what they do with Uncharted 4 on that front. With things bouncing back and forth between them and Tomb Raider we're bound to see some really solid work from both.
      Totally agree with the shooting. It feels like they just randomly spawn enemies around you (Gears of War deserves more credit for controlling the flow of cover based fire fights). Each encounter feels like it drags on for maybe two waves of enemies more than it should. It's weird, it's almost like two games. You've got this awesome story driven adventure game and then you've got this basic shooter that's just beginning to learn how to use cover, and the game flips back and forth between them.

        Yeah defs agree; I dropped the difficulty down to easy and found the shooting sections more bearable mostly cos I could just rush through them. Just started Uncharted 3 and this game feels significantly more polished than the last. The platforming feels so fluid and the graphics got a massive facelift as well. Looking forward to completing this one :)

    The more I think about it, the more I realise that the reason I did so poorly at this weekend's Netrunner tournament was not because I had access to fewer cards than everyone else there. It was that I didn't know how to play around the cards I didn't have.

    My decks are perfectly serviceable. Definitely not tier 1 but they have a plan and can execute it. Everything that I saw on the weekend that disrupted that plan was a pain in the ass. Not because I didn't have the tools to deal with them (well, mostly I didn't have the best tools to deal with them) but because I didn't know the game well enough.

    That being said, I really want to scrap my corp deck. I could buy a handful of cards to tweak it into one of the most dominant decks going around right now. I don't want to do that. I want to try some of the other strategies out there. They look more interesting. More fun and more importantly, let me learn more about the game. The only problem? I need a lot more cards to do that.

    I'm going to fall deep into this rabbit hole.

      Will that require more core sets to sort out, like with Conquest?

        I've got 2x Core sets, so I've got three copies of every card that I own (except for the cards listed as one ofs on this list).

        Since I stopped buying cards, they've released three cycles of Data packs (360 cards) and three Deluxe expansions (165 cards).

        I'm fairly sure that a Deluxe expansion and two Data packs turns my mediocre Corp deck into something close to a tier 1 deck (another Data pack would mean I could copy a t1 list card for card). However I don't want to play that style of deck and it will take at least one Deluxe expansion and more than 5 Data packs to get the cards to do what I do want.

        Same goes for the Runner side. I can make something very close to a tier 1 or tier 2 deck with these cards plus a few packs. Hell, if I plan it right there's some overlap between the two sets of packs I need. If I want to try more experimental decks, I need to get more packs and they're very different packs.

        On the other hand, I could just use the various unofficial online ways to play. At least that way I could figure out what I want to buy with some certainty. It does lose the magic of playing in person but I would improve much, much faster.

          if you have the option of playing it online I think that is a better idea to at least see what kind of cards each pack has to help you decide which packs you should get and try to use them in matches, might save you a bit of money in the long run, no point getting other packs if you have no interest in the cards inside after reading them.

            Pretty much every data pack/deluxe expansion has cards that are useful to some archetype. The deluxe expansions also don't rotate out, so they'll always be useful.

            I'll probably end up using Jinteki.net as a bit of a testing ground but playing is person is so much more valuable to me. Mostly because it's more fun.

      So, I guess what you're saying is that you're a scrub that needs to git gud?

        Nah, I'd've wiped the floor with those fools if we were playing on the same level.

    Ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    *vomits uncontrollably*
    Hahahahahahahahabahahahahahaaaaaaaa*sniff*
    *starts crying*

    This is why we can't have nice things.

    www.returnofkings.com/75991/why-star-wars-the-force-awakens-is-a-social-justice-propaganda-film

      Not clicking. My day is better for it. :P

      I read a white supremacist analysis of the film the other day that was equally disappointing.

      His favourite part of the movie is the part with the blatant Nazi parallels? Truly, I am shocked.

      Did I ever mention that time I read about 8, uhhh, rants? Let's go with rants, in a row from return of kings? The first one I assumed it was a parody website, by four I wanted to cut out my own eyes, and by eight I was back to assuming that it was some sort of elaborate art piece on the stupidity of man. Wonderful website, a truly bountiful location of spite and stupidity. Nothing makes me feel smarter of more rational than dealing with places like that.

    I've finally managed to have a few matches of Warhammer 40k Conquest with a friend of mine and unsurprisingly I had a lot of fun with it.

    We had two games, he went Dark Eldar and I tried Tau, got absolutely crushed due to bad card draw unfortunately, lots of cards to help troops, but no troops to actually play, and I had so many resources too xD. If you don't have the military strength to push back Dark Eldar early, bloody hell do they snowball with the commander ability of summoning a token unit every round along with them that do 2 damage each! It was at a certain point that there was nothing I could do and was forced to concede.

    Round two he decided to try and stick with the Dark Eldar and I bring out the SPAYCE MAUREENS! This one was more even as we both started having a grasp on what we were doing, but we both still made misplays, that'll just come down to practice. He started the snowball again, however Space Marines had a certain trooper that had area of effect damage, completely obliterating his swarm of critters and finally giving me an advantage as every enemy I killed gave me a resource token each (As per my commander's ability), and then there was the planet ability that allowed both of us to bring a card out to the field for free, and I happened to have a Dreadnought in my hand xD. Having 2/3 Green and Blue victory world cards and the next one was a Green resource planet to capture, I threw everything I had at that planet to secure it. Victory was mine!

    So can't wait for Necrons to come out, this is already looking like something crazy and awesome.

    Last edited 22/12/15 3:11 pm

    Now there's a few of us, I've added an Elite Dangerous column in the tay tags spreadsheet... :)

      Great idea! we really should get a Tay get together in Elite at some point!

        Yes. I am going to fly home soon. ;)

        just missed an exploration CG, but they're quite regular so I'm hoping one happens when I get back...

          Yeeeaaah you'd score big if you can get in on one of them... One started 3 days AFTER i got home and sold all the data XD
          just my luck!

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