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Jul. 3rd, 2014

Comic Book
As expected, all the 'seen for a second' signs and newspapers in "The Grand Budapest" have actual meaningful text and tell stories of their own.

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Jun. 30th, 2014

Comic Book
The context of this awkward salute is hilarious!

So, the season three premier for Legend of Korra is actually really really good, and right up there with the best of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It makes no apologies for instantly moving us onwards into new territory, while at the same time managing to smooth over some of the issues from season two. And gawd damn are the character designs for the new antagonists wonderful.

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Jun. 28th, 2014

Comic Book
Huh, I missed this when it was announced... SoE have finally accepted that it was a huge mistake to give ProSieben their all of their EU player base and are going to be transferring players back to SoE accounts and presumably ending their association with ProSieben.

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Jun. 26th, 2014

Comic Book
Prediction: Few at Google will understand why the “Android Wear” Google watch failed.

The Google Watch is that classic thing of an answer to a question no one asked. It is a product they are only releasing, because they want to release a Google Watch before Apple release an Apple Watch. They don’t know what the Apple Watch will actually be or do, but they can throw some stuff together and hope.

Do you want your watch buzzing and saying “It is time for you to BUY PIZZA from these RECOMMENDED RETAILERS!”, because I’m pretty sure I don’t. Do I want my watch to become a billboard for shops and diners I’m walking past, trying to entice me in because “Your friend came here once!”, I’m pretty sure I don’t.

Also, because it’s ‘always on’ to do these things, and of course to also be a watch, the Google Watch has an “estimated battery life” of 36 hours. Which in real terms means if you forget to put your watch on the charger when you go to bed, it’s battery will run out somewhere before lunch while you’re at work.

Now, maybe Apple’s Watch will have all the same issues. But was it wise to rush to be first to market when you don’t know if you’re actually running in the same direction as Apple are?

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Jun. 24th, 2014

Comic Book
This probably needs to be signal boosted around the Fandom. MCM Expo are reacting to reports of harassment by their 'security staff', reports of harassment and difficulties caused to disabled people, and other such reports; by deleting the reports and banning the person who made them from the MCM Expo forum. And that their history of doing so dates back to 2010.

There was a public tumblr for people to put the reports they had deleted but it seems to have gone unused (person running it disappeared?) - http://mcmexpotakedown.tumblr.com

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Jun. 15th, 2014

Comic Book
I was having a nice day out. Then some scrote stole my ipod touch. Lifted from my pocket at an open air music thing.

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Jun. 14th, 2014

Comic Book
Video game idea. Attack of the Steves. You play as a Black Female protagonist, against the army of White Male Dudes called Steve who all want to take your place.

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Jun. 5th, 2014

Comic Book
I love Guillermo del Toro, such great movies, but ye gads is he bad at doing movie commentary tracks. The one on Pacific Rim is... very very dry, in his odd flat monotone, talking almost solely about scene composition and colour theory.

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Jun. 3rd, 2014

Comic Book
So, the post WWDC decision on a new macbook has been... to wait till next year for Broadwell, while upgrading to an SSD and some more memory to squeeze the last drops of utility from my existing one.

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May. 29th, 2014

Comic Book
People suck. Just had to break off a relationship with someone after discovering they're the kind of person who lectures disabled people for not having a job. "'Oh well you can obviously type so go work in an office doing data entry'."

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May. 28th, 2014

Comic Book
You know what I hate. When you spend some time away at a hotel, and you're eating out all week. And then you get back home. And you're flailing about because you forget how to kitchen.

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May. 27th, 2014

Comic Book
I’ve been hearing anecdotal accounts of there being a student campaign to vote UKIP in order to “Punish Clegg”. If it occurred in large numbers, it seems like a replay of the disaster of the AV referendum where significant amounts of people were “voting to punish the Lib Dems” rather than on the issue.

My personal advice would be to stop trying to engage with “The UKIP Voter”. Just stop. It was that behaviour that has cast the party as “legitimate” and a focus for protest votes. There is no policy short of a full on isolationist withdraw and ‘national identity by legislation’ that appeases UKIPs core votes. And all engaging with them did in the way that has been done was make them out as the anti-establishment protest vote.

Why are people insisting that the parties should all go fight on the ground UKIP wants them to fight. It’s insanity. Immigration isn’t an issue, it’s a distraction. Stop telling people who are wrong that they are right, show some background and actually be leadership. Yes it’s scary that UKIP got votes, but remember it was a protest vote in a very small turnout election few in this country treat seriously. I don’t see how this has altered the political and economic realities.

Someone needs to say “Actually, no, we don’t need to listen to Farage, we heard what he had to say and it’s rubbish. UKIP’s declared policies are inane, and they were shown to be totally wrong about how much immigration was going to increase from Romania! I’m appalled that so many people voted for idiots. They should be ashamed.” Sometimes you really do have to tell some of the voters that they are wrong.

Chasing popularisim is a fools errand, because Farage set out his stall there first and you’re only going to make him look like he was right. The mistake was ever taking him seriously in the first place, and allowing him to frame debates the way he wanted.

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May. 22nd, 2014

Comic Book
 'A Million Ways to Die in the West' trailer had me convinced it might be worth seeing, right up until the 'Black Guy' joke, and then I realised Seth MacFarlane still doesn't get why you shouldn't use humour to punch down.

And I just know that the usual suspects are going to defend it by saying that “Blazing Saddles” used racial humour. And I’m going to have to try and explain the difference between a Black comedian delivering jokes at the expense of racists and doing so to highlight contemporary racial tensions, and Seth MacFarlane telling a joke about how Black Men like girls with big bottoms. And no the “But he’s just portraying a racist of that time” defence doesn’t work when the entire rest of the set up is that Seth’s character is actually acting like a modern guy. It’s a throw away racial stereotype joke that shouldn’t even have made it into the screenplay, let alone be highlighted in the trailer.

Do not waste your money on this movie. No link to the trailer included, it does not deserve your attention.

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May. 22nd, 2014

Comic Book
 If you're not a racist, please do vote in today's European elections. Don't let the enthusiastic nutters vote alone. Entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth. Post a comment there or here, there are comment count unavailable currently posted on dreamwidth. (You can login with your LiveJournal OpenID account.)

May. 20th, 2014

Comic Book
 Congratulations Pennsylvania and Oregon.

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May. 17th, 2014

Comic Book
 I bought a new antenna that has a suction cup attachment on the base that I will likely throw away as a) I do not need it b) it doesn’t stick to anything.

WHY DO THEY MAKE THESE?

Cheap to make suction cups are a solved engineering problem. It is not cheaper to make a suction cup that doesn work properly than to make one that does. And yet I have never ever bought any peice of consumer tat that comes with a suction cup, and had said suction cup ever actually stick to anything. It’s not even as if there’s a big secondary market for replacement suction cups! Why do they do this?

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May. 11th, 2014

Comic Book
 Congratulations Arkansas, pending appeals.

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May. 7th, 2014

Comic Book
Considering scalar processing is done in hardware now, does the 'swap two integers together using only two variables' question still get asked in interviews? Entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth. Post a comment there or here, there are comment count unavailable currently posted on dreamwidth. (You can login with your LiveJournal OpenID account.)

Apr. 27th, 2014

Comic Book
Poll #1966069
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 1

Which of these statements are actual beliefs expressed to reporters at the Bundy Ranch?

View Answers
This is a sovereign state, the sovereign state of Nevada. The federal government has nothing to do with public land in Nevada.
0 (0.0%)
The Bar association encourages lawyers to have sex with their clients.
1 (10.0%)
The Bureau of Land Management is stealing the land to sell it to the Chinese so they can build a Solar Plant on it.
1 (10.0%)
It's okay to chain illegal immigrants by the neck to trees.
1 (10.0%)
The Bar association requires lawyers to pledge allegence to the British Government.
1 (10.0%)
If you were born after 1980, your doctor may have implanted you with a tracking chip.
1 (10.0%)
The Bureau of Land Management is run by the UN.
1 (10.0%)
God has issued instructions to tear down the toll booths at Lake Mead and disarm the Park Service.
1 (10.0%)
Bundy is trying to keep Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream alive.
1 (10.0%)
Unemployment benefits are a way to keep people in slavery to the government.
1 (10.0%)
Obama has banned the pledge of allegiance in schools.
1 (10.0%)


Answers behind this spoiler tag -

Apr. 25th, 2014

Comic Book
Big Data keeps trying to tailor my advertising. Unfortunately, Big Data does so by giving me adverts for things I have just purchased. The advert for the "Frozen" is not going to make be buy another copy of the movie. Now that I have bought a new mobile phone, I'm probably good for mobile phones for at least six months, showing adverts the week after I bought one is probably the worst time to advertise. Likewise, as I have just booked a room at a Hotel, showing me adverts for that same Hotel for the next month will not make me spontaneously book another weekend there. I am not a landscaper, stop showing me adverts for fence panels because I bought some, I do not need that much fencing. And I have heard from someone who after buying a second hand car, kept getting adverts for the car they bought for the next three weeks. Seriously, there are not a lot of people who buy a second car three weeks after they bought the exact same one.

Big Data is getting smart enough to be really stupid. Entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth. Post a comment there or here, there are comment count unavailable currently posted on dreamwidth. (You can login with your LiveJournal OpenID account.)

Apr. 19th, 2014

Comic Book
 What's the suitable punishment for people who use 'The Fact Is' to state a supposition? Entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth. Post a comment there or here, there are comment count unavailable currently posted on dreamwidth. (You can login with your LiveJournal OpenID account.)

Apr. 12th, 2014

Comic Book
Poll #1964303
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 3

Straw Poll, are Fedoras so tainted by MRAs that its now a social faux pas to wear them?

View Answers
Yes
1 (33.3%)
No
2 (66.7%)
Abstention with cause in the comments
0 (0.0%)

Apr. 12th, 2014

Comic Book
So the Great Password Changing of '14 has brought up some of my huge bugbears with sites that poorly handle passwords...

Sites that limit the length of the password.
There's no reason to do this. Seriously, arbitrary long strings entered as a password is a solved problem. It only requires a little extra coding effort to do it right and do it securely. Failing to do so suggests that the password system you're putting these passwords into was written in a weekend by someone who has no experience with setting up secure systems.

Sites that allow you to set an arbitrary long password, but silently truncate it and only work if you used the truncated version.
See above but worse.

Sites that mandate the use of punctuation marks, numerals and capital letters - but only allow eight to sixteen character passwords.
See XKCD 936

Sites that for any reason at any time can send your password in a clear-text email.
Say you happen to be on a public wifi-network at the time you get that email. Say someone else on that network is packet snooping. Say they're looking for email address and password pairs. Say they just got your account details. Say they quickly log on with them, change all the settings to appropriate that account away from you.

Sites that allow you to reset a password using some code sent in a clear-text email, without a follow up verification of some kind.
See above.

Sites that allow you to set a password, but never, ever change it. And just send you the password in clear text when you say you've forgotten it.
I'm looking at you Costa Coffee you bunch of morons.

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Apr. 12th, 2014

Comic Book
Thing I had to look up for a screenplay: Those things red ropes hang on in museums are called stanchions.

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Apr. 10th, 2014

Comic Book
Just a quick shoutout to see if anyone I know plays Planetside 2 on the east-coast servers? (The EU servers are basically trash for a variety of reasons centred around their being subcontracted out to a third party.)

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Apr. 9th, 2014

Comic Book
What worries me most about the Heartbleed SSL security flaw is that it appears to have been identified after Google’s audits of trying to work out how the NSA got into their network. Which suggest that the NSA discovered a security flaw in a system used every day by people to make credit card exchanges and access their bank accounts. And rather than following their mandate to provide security, they kept their findings secret so they could use it as a global back door into the general public’s communications.

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Apr. 7th, 2014

Comic Book
One of the neighbourhood cats tried to use ninja tactics to get my chips when I was walking back home from the shops.

Weaved it's way between my legs, jumped onto a bench, then leapt on and ran up the side of a tree to leap out and try to knock the chips out of my hands.

Alas, ninja kitty mis-timed the jump, and flew off in the wrong direction.

Stuck the landing with the classic "I meant to do that" pose.

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Apr. 2nd, 2014

Comic Book
So... Was just challenged to do a quick on-the-spot improvised drabble with the prompts of burnt umber, the alimentary canal, and "twang".

Took a bit over ten minutes, and it ended up a little risqué.

Read more...Collapse )

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Apr. 2nd, 2014

Comic Book
Using inapt sweeping generalisations to demonise a group of people, and back it up with bad science, is wrong.

Even. When. People. On. Our. Side. Do. It.

Mar. 31st, 2014

Comic Book
Saving a copy here for future reference, as this seems like a reply I'll have to use again some time...

-- Cut Here --

The base level of human respect I owe you is to not cause you harm, and offer you aid when you need it, no more no less.

I am not required to treat your opinions as meaningful or valid.

In fact, where your opinions if enacted cause other people harm, or deny them needed assistance, my duty to the basic level of human respect is to oppose them.

You seem to cite Stalin as to say "I am not as bad as Stalin, therefore I am good, and worthy of more respect".

I counter this by pointing out I could go next door, steal all their belongings, set fire to the house, murder my neighbours, and kick their dog; and still not be as bad as Stalin.

If you measure what "evil" is by only ascribing true evil to being on the level of Stalin, you have a fucked up moral compass.

Evil is not just some far distant spectre, something that other people in foreign lands do to each other, something a man in uniform does from his throne... It's also in all the little evils. The woman who parks in a disabled spot because she doesn't think disabled people are really that important. The man who signs into law a ban on transgender people using public bathrooms. The parent who lashes his child with a belt because that's what his dad did, so his kid should suffer too.

There are petty evils. Denying someone some specific aspect of health care, when it's cost is not only negligible to you but subsidised by society, and doing so by mis-representing science and demonising medical practitioners. This is a petty evil.

Most people will get by managing to balance out all their petty evils. Some however fall into obsession with them. They become the Fred Phelps of the world. And unchecked, they can turn into the "banality of evil" that slowly makes it so that a little more evil is not such a bad thing. And that can grind someone into being a callous twisted being we are only required to call human because of their biology. And then the bigger evils come.

This is perhaps the true horror of "All opinions are valid. You're just Intolerant!" thinking. Instead of introspection of your ideologies, it promotes defence by simply repeating your opinion again and again and ignoring any suggestion of wrong or harm. Fie on "Science", because "Opinions can't be wrong". Fie on "Statistics", because "Opinions can't be wrong". Fie on "Evidence", because "Opinions can't be wrong". It forms the marching cries, it builds the chants that comforting ignorance is better, it says "Don't listen to the people who oppose you, because simply by doing so they are wrong!". It coddles and swathes, makes people isolated and oblivious to the harms and horrors their decisions and actions cause.

And the ultimate irony is you do not want me to treat you like a real human being capable of defending your ideologies. You want me to treat you like a spoiled child who is too fragile to cope with opposition.

Entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth. Post a comment there or here, there are comment count unavailable currently posted on dreamwidth. (You can login with your LiveJournal OpenID account.)

Mar. 26th, 2014

Comic Book
So MCM Expo have started deleting threads and posts on their forums that mention their problems with Disabled Access at the London Expo.

Perhaps because their moderator said some truly stupid things.

For example, access to some of the disabled toilets was blocked by booths and erected walls, and there were no signs saying which disabled toilets were still available for use, or how to get around the booths to them. Some signs for accessible disabled toilets where blocked by promotional banners, or erected walling. While other signs mislead you to disabled toilets that could not be accessed. It was hard to navigate through tightly arranged and over crowded corridors between booths and tables, with no signage provided by MCM for their booth layout. It could take quite some time to get somewhere and find there was no through access to the disabled toilets there, or these disabled toilets were entirely inaccessible.

The reply was that you simply had to find the information booth to get a map.

How do you find the information booth? Simple, it's on the map!

I've been personally berated by this moderator for being "out of touch with reality" because they refused to believe me when I said I'd seen fake 'out of order' signs put on disabled access lifts, and been shouted out for 'not looking disabled enough' to use one of the lifts. And also for having said that the crowd crush at the entrance of the London Excel during the Saturday of the event was a dangerously tight packing in of people almost the entire day, and that's dangerous to physically able people let alone the disabled. MCM Expo claim that there was never any risk. However, I personally witnessed Paramedics trying to get into the site when there was very slow movement through crowds around the entrance. And I've been informed that wasn't the only such incident that day.

So I am now strongly recommending against attending any MCM Expo events. Particularly if you have a disability, or would be wearing a bulky costume that limits your mobility. They have shown a callous disregard for the health, safety and wellbeing of their attendees, particularly disabled people. I think if they continue acting this way, it's only a matter of time till there are multiple serious injuries during the London Expo.

Signal boost resharing would be appreciated.
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Mar. 22nd, 2014

Comic Book
 From a conversation elsewhere... Imagine a world where Freiberger had still been around to 'save' Firefly and give it a second season. 

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Mar. 22nd, 2014

Comic Book
 Congratulations the state of Michigan, appeal pending.

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Mar. 9th, 2014

Comic Book
There is a Stephen Chow version of Journey to the West?
There is a Stephen Chow version of Journey to the West!?
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Mar. 9th, 2014

Comic Book
Here is an abridged version of Gaiman's explanation of why he has taken off his Hugo Pin:-

"Don't you people understand, Ross is my cool showbiz friend, which means he's one of us! I was worried about him, but then he showed me how cool he is by doing a documentary with me where we tracked down a reclusive comic book creator, ignored his pleas for privacy, bullied him into giving an off camera interview, then showed the front of his recognisable New York apartment building."
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Mar. 7th, 2014

Comic Book
Under the in-force 2004 constitution of Ukraine, it takes 219 votes in parliament to remove the president from office. The vote to remove former president Yanukovich from office was passed with 328 votes. His removal was entirely legal and constitutional.

Anyone who says Yanukovich is still president of Ukraine is either ignorant of Ukraine's actual constitution or trying to support Russian intervention by lying about his impeachment.

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Mar. 5th, 2014

Comic Book
I posit the following. 1985 was the most 80s of all years for movie releases.

The Goonies, Rambo II, Rocky IV, Legend, The Breakfast Club, A View to a Kill, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Brazil, Clue, Police Academy 2, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and of course Back To The Future.

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Mar. 4th, 2014

Comic Book
I’m developing a theory that Putin is acting in fear of political challenge from Sergei Glazyev, that vocal “aide” who has had his own presidential ambition having run for president of Russia in 2004, and having been a fierce critic of Putin. He was given his position as a coordinator of the Russian “Customs Union” proposal, as an attempt to get him inside the tent and directing the liquid stream outside.

Glazyev has been a hardliner to Ukraine being tied to Russia, and is the one who is currently making all kind of threats about “banning repayment of Russian held loans to any country that imposes sanctions”, which is going to destroy Russia’s credit rating and devalue the Ruble even further if he doesn’t shut up.

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Mar. 2nd, 2014

Comic Book
So, Jonathan Ross was going to host the Hugo Awards, and now he isn't.

Here's my opinion. It is now patently clear that there just wasn't the community tolerance for having the Hugos presented anything at all like the UK Comedy Awards are presented by Ross. Now that the SF&F Industry is in it's fifth glorious year of drama coming from finally dragging it out of the 1950s, a fairly large amount of people are really not in the mood for "ribald" jokes and offence "all in good fun" at Worldcon. And this included one of the Loncon Board members who resigned over it.

It's clear that the board were not fully consulted. And had they been it's clear objections would have been raised a lot earlier than now.

While I think that Ross would have been entertaining as host, I can certainly see his tone would have been inappropriate for the Hugo awards at this time. I now see that his act would probably have fallen flat with a huge amount of the audience, particularly the foreign audience who would not have any prior knowledge of Ross. It would perhaps have been as bad a choice of presenter as McHale at the VGX awards. Yes, it might be 'boring' to have the Awards presented by an Editor or one of the writers not up for consideration... But right now, we want something non-contraversial while the industry is going through social upheaval.

Further I am deeply and bitterly disappointed by the counter-reaction. Starting from Ross's initial reactions which included personally berating and calling those who were showing concern idiots. But particularly members of the semi-celebrity british 'comedy' establishment who circled the wagons. They chose to stick their oars in, almost all of them not being members of Loncon, and shout down concerns with accusation of "keyboard bullies" and saying that "You can't have comedy with out offending people!" and showing total disregard for the difference between punching-up and punching-down.

I even feel compelled to apologise, and say that not all British writers are arseholes.

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Mar. 1st, 2014

Comic Book
You know what the infighting SF&F industry crisis really needed. Input from Midlist British Celebrities about being too Politically Correct.

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Feb. 27th, 2014

Comic Book
TV pitch: Two relatively well adjusted individuals work for a well run police department. Together they investigate crimes using authorised methods.

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Feb. 21st, 2014

Comic Book
So people are complaining that the first half of Broken Age is too short for the money paid.

Well, let's ignore for the moment that it's just the first half, and the price covered the yet to be released second half as well. People also complained that the wonderful "Gone Home" was too short, possibly those that ran through the place not stoping to look at anything, which was of course the point of the game. And people even complained that Portal 2′s Eight Hours of epic entertainment was too short for the price paid. There were even complaints that 2013's Tomb Raider 10-11 hours of game play was "too short"!

And thus we live in a world where companies either pour money into Single Player AAA Titles to ensure quality throughout 12+ hours of game play, then lay off studios because they can’t make back the money within six months… Or contract out to the lowest bidder to get a game made that’s 12 hours long and looks near enough to other good games to sell.

The bottom line is there’s been a race to the bottom on pricing games, that has set the market price lower than you can recoup the costs of production within a year. Inflation has been making the cost of operating ever higher as time goes on, yet release day prices have been static or falling. And often there are price slashes and sales not within months but within weeks of release. And that means companies either going bust, cutting corners and releasing sloppy product, making shorter games or raising the prices. (Or ‘investing’ in DRM, or ‘Zero Day DLC’, or ‘In Game Microtransactions’… But that hasn’t actually solved the problem for any of them.)

Ultimately, this is why we got Aliens Colonial Marines, The failed 'bet it all on multiplayer' Brink (remember Brink?) and Battlefield 4 in the state they were released in… It costs a lot of money to run a development studio, and there’s only so much time you can wait for ‘long tail’ sales to pay the bills or pay off the loans and credit lines that will have been put up to finance them.

tldr: If you pay peanuts, you won't even get monkeys because the cost of monkeys went up, you'll get cockroaches.

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Feb. 19th, 2014

Comic Book
Anyone still hesitating over buying Broken Age, I have some 25% discount coupons for it if anyone wants.

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Feb. 18th, 2014

Comic Book
Man what is it right now with transformative third acts in movies pretending to be just for kids but are ground breaking works of cinema? I just had to throw away the treatment I have to create an entirely new third act so it defies the conventional expectations, and that's just more hard work, but I guess I gotta do what I gotta do. Speaking of, it's Taco Tuesday, so go see the Lego Movie.

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Feb. 17th, 2014

Comic Book
Reminder for Science Fiction writers: Internet Drama does not qualify for the "Best Dramatic Presentation" Hugo.

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Feb. 17th, 2014

Comic Book
Really want to go see the Lego Movie today, but social-anxiety-hind-brain is acting like there's a wolf outside my front door.

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Feb. 17th, 2014

Comic Book
On several recent subjects...



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Feb. 16th, 2014

Comic Book



Haddock poached in herb butter and grilled, with grilled aubergine, courgette and hash brown potatoes.

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Feb. 14th, 2014

Comic Book
And I just got a opinion survey about McDonalds to which I answered almost all questions with "No. Because I'm vegetarian."

The poll wanted to know if people would find the new products that McDonalds are going to serve to be Exciting and Unexpected.

Spoiler, they are not.

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