Jump to content


Member Since 10 Sep 2008
Offline Last Active Aug 14 2017 04:03 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Doom 4 / DOOM by Bethesda / New Doom

13 August 2017 - 10:02 PM

playing it at the moment, and ... very impressed!

this is what reboots/reimaginings should be:  plausible as a fully realised vision of what the original creators may have had in mind — but at the time had to comprimise on — due to the limitations of immature tech.

its like they looked back at what DOOM brought to the old-school shooter experience, dispensed with the bad, and highlighted everything good.

its got very simple movement mechanics and the level designs to match.  you can discern an underlying 'blockiness' to every corridor or thing you can jump on or crouch under.  but all of this feels very deliberate, and super slick.  the textures on structures and surfaces for example are retro enough to 'fit', and yet modernly minimalist and polished.

theres not much to slow you or the game down either. your character runs by default (you have to hold SHIFT to walk - and why would you?), theres no reloading of weapons (yes!), hardly any desctructible items or other shit in your way, no physics based puzzles, no inventory management, no tedious cutscenes and belaboured "story".  just find the next coloured key and open the door to mayhem.

and the mayhem is just right.  its contained to certain areas, just like it was in the original.  its very different to the mindless haphazard waves of enemies you get in a game like Serious Sam (as fun as that can be).  you are thrown into the thick of onslaughts, with enemies spawning around you, but the pacing is controlled by what doors you open, and you are never cheated out of 'clearing an area'.  some of these are HUGE wide open arena-like spaces with a lot of shit happening at once.  but there is still the opportunity of small scale encounters in chambers and hallways, and the odd chance to thin out the hellish herd in the next room from a safe vantage point.  just like in the original.  

its a big, dumb, frenetic, shoot-everything-that-moves, classic FPS, yes.  but this game's greatest strength is that it lets you play SMART.  it has been crafted with a wonderful attention to balance.  

i was apprehensive about the RPG stuff — would it bog things down, or veer too far from the core DOOM feel?  not at all.  the UI (and that of the whole game) is a dream.  its very spartan and uncluttered.  weapon mod choices are nicely constrained.  one mod or the other on your right mouse button at any one time per weapon.  and none of these feel thrown in just because they look like cool — they are all tactically useful.  different tools for different jobs, in a context where the quirks of differing enemies actually create fertile circumstances to intelligently exploit them (rare!).  running gunning and funning.  yes, you just read that.

so far, the reimagined versions of original baddies are fairly true in spirit to the original.  imps for example fire faster than ever before, but their projectiles are still slow enough.  slow enough, that is, that in open areas with lots of enemies popping off shots from different angles you still have a lot of critical choices to make in the moment as to what ball of fire you will move away from or towards before you dodge or hurdle it, or decide where you should linger breifly to draw fire in order to set up another pocket of open ground.  its the frenetic bullet dodging equivalent of a classic side-scrolling shoot em' up but played out across layers of horizontal planes, in 3D.  and these new imps do unpredictable shit too, like leaping onto platforms and along railings like monkeys, feindishly lobbing their fire at you from above and below.  but here's the thing: the creators didnt go overboard.  these guys are still imps, and its awesome.

so far so very good...

In Topic: What Did You Watch Lately ?

13 August 2017 - 06:45 PM

In Topic: X-Plane 11

09 August 2017 - 10:57 PM

yeah, it is looking real good.


plus, you can add extra detail with the FREE tool Ortho4XP -  amazing!



(fast forward to 11:22 or follow this https://youtu.be/z-bgtLuKdlU?t=682 )

In Topic: Hide your atmospheric noise - new SA laws to force suspects to surrender pass...

09 August 2017 - 10:41 PM

i am going to retread the same ground, because its understandable if there is confusion about some of the points made which rest on some distinctions that are fairly obscure IMO.  

there are two very different types of 'encrypted files' being discussed here.


type 1: 'a thing'

this is analagous to an A4 piece of paper with printed gobbledygook on it. this sheet of paper quacks like a duck, announcing in black and white that it is almost certainly an "encrypted file":


Version: SecretData V1.2


type 2: 'um...'

not so straightforward!

consider that any two ordinary blank sheets of A4 paper are never the same under a microscope.  at that scale, none of them are uniformly white. instead, you will see an ocean of random patterns of tiny fibres with varying degrees of whiteness.  in truth, every sheet of A4 paper is as unique as a snowflake.

now, suppose its possible to tweak a paper making machine so it can manufacture perfect blank A4 sheets of paper but also mathematically encode secret data into the apparently 'random patterns of tiny fibres' within ordinary paper.

then, there would be no process of analysis, no fancy machine in an NSA facility, no nobel laureate chemist, no OfficeWorks employee even, on the entire planet that could distinguish one of your encrypted sheets of A4 paper from an ordinary one.

at this point, which blank sheets of paper might contain hidden information?  every single blank A4 page inside every office or home.  all of them.

whilst you could hand the NSA one of your special encrypted blank A4 sheets and easily make 99.99% sure it would be impossible for them to decrypt it within your lifetime, it would actually be 100% impossible for them to know you didnt just hand them an ordinary sheet of paper until they did so!


when it comes to encryption stored in digital form on computers, type 1 and type 2 are 100% real.  

examples of type 1: a zip file with a password, an email or word document containing a block of alphanumeric gobbledygook, a garbled end-to-end message.


examples of type 2: an audio recording of noise, the random '1' and '0's in the unused space on a hard drive

in the case of type 1, you *might* be tempted to argue that suspects should be compelled to produce passwords when a strong circumstantial case can be made that an ostensible 'encrypted file' exists.  

in the case of type 2, it is all but impossible to make a strong case that an ostensible 'encrypted file' exists at all.  moreover, it is 100% IMPOSSIBLE for any person to prove their hard drive contains no encrypted data.

TL;DR re: this hopefully beat up news story — the notion of drafting any law that would make it possible to convict people of a crime on mere suspicion of guilt, but even worse, in specific instances where proof of innocence is impossible to produce, is inconceivably daft.  

In Topic: Opinions are like arseholes,

25 June 2017 - 01:27 PM