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StarCraft: Remastered

by CWS

April 20, 2017

Blizzard announced last month that they are going to release a graphically remastered version of the original Starcraft. Also, the original game is now available for free, so if you never played this RTS milestone you now have no excuse not to! :P
Blizzard wrote:

EVOLUTION COMPLETE! BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES STARCRAFT®: REMASTERED

The groundbreaking sci-fi real-time strategy game remastered in 4K Ultra High Definition, to include all content from the original award-winning game and its renowned expansion, StarCraft: Brood War®.

​​​​​​​StarCraft: Remastered maintains the gameplay and balance that set the standard for the RTS genre, while updating graphics and audio, and adding matchmaking, ladder, social features, and more!


IRVINE, California—March 27, 2017—One of the highest rated, most celebrated games of all time has evolved. Blizzard Entertainment today unveiled StarCraft®: Remastered, a reverently crafted modernization of the original award-winning real-time strategy game. StarCraft: Remastered will offer a full graphical overhaul of the original StarCraft and the StarCraft: Brood War® expansion, while preserving the sublime gameplay that captivated millions of gamers around the world and served as the foundation for professional global esports.

StarCraft is a pure distillation of Blizzard’s DNA—its story, its balance, and all the little details reflect our long-running commitment to epic entertainment, and it’s been a staple in competitive gaming and esports for almost 20 years,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With StarCraft: Remastered, we’re modernizing the original game’s visuals, audio, and online support to ensure that players can enjoy StarCraft for another 20 years and beyond.”

The remastered graphics and audio will bring a modern look and feel to the timeless classic, with widescreen UHD support for up to 4K resolution. Other updates will include new illustrations to enhance storytelling in the StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War campaign missions; advanced matchmaking; full connectivity to Blizzard’s gaming network for social features and updates; cloud saving for campaign progress, custom maps, replays, and keybinds; support for eight new languages in addition to the original five; and more. While these improvements will bring StarCraft to the modern era, gameplay and balance have been precisely preserved, for an experience that will feel identical to veteran players.

Blizzard is developing StarCraft: Remastered for release on Windows® and Mac® PCs, with an anticipated release date this summer. Pricing and related information on StarCraft: Remastered will be announced at a later date. Prepare to venture once again onto the planetary battlefields of the war-torn Koprulu Sector; command the forces of the zerg, protoss, and terrans in their struggle for galactic domination; relive the epic saga of Marshal Jim Raynor, Sarah Kerrigan, and Praetor Fenix; or just vie for the GG against fellow players in this rejuvenated version of the online competitive RTS that set the bar for an entire genre.

Learn more at http://www.starcraft.com.

In preparation for StarCraft: Remastered, Blizzard Entertainment will update StarCraft: Brood War later this week to version 1.18. The update will include bug fixes and improvements, including the ability to rebind keys; observer mode; modern anti-cheat measures; compatibility improvements for Windows 7, 8.1, and 10; and more. Once the update is live, StarCraft Anthology, which includes the original game and the Brood War expansion, will be free to download and play.

New subforums!

by CWS

April 18, 2017

I added new subforums for DC, Marvel, and Star Wars, since we have numerous topics relating to each.

Assad unleashes sarin gas; U.S. bombs launch site

by CWS

April 11, 2017

This is kind of a big deal (gee, you think?), so I suppose we ought to discuss it.

Last week, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrific attack using chemical weapons, including what was later confirmed to have been the banned nerve agent sarin, against civilians in the opposition-held Idlib Province in the north of Syria.

After viewing footage and images of the attack and its aftermath, President Trump ordered U.S. warships in the region to fire 59 Tomahawk missiles on Shayrat airbase, from which the chemical attack was believed to have been launched.

Much of the international community has spoken out in support of the U.S. response, with the notable (but unsurprising) exceptions of Russia and Iran. Many of Trump's domestic "alt-right" supporters are also unhappy.

While the Trump administration itself has subsequently been sending mixed messages about their foreign policy, one thing is clear: the Obama doctrine of "leading from behind" is officially dead and buried.

The Fucked Up Image Thread

by CWS

April 10, 2017

Well this should be fun...in fact, that's the whole point: here's a topic for posting truly messed up graphical amusements.

While both the global and forum-specific rules should (of course) still be observed, the real priority here is simply to make ourselves laugh. There's no other point to it. Post your favorite memes, dank and otherwise.

So there it is. I demand revelry. You'd better start posting stuff and it had better be fucked up. Or else.

Oh...I suppose I should start with an example, eh?

Image

Microsoft's "Project Scorpio"

by CWS

April 10, 2017

So it's been known for some time that Microsoft has been developing a significantly upgraded variant of their Xbox One console, to compete with Sony's already-released PS4 Pro. The new machine, which has so far been known only by the code-name "Project Scorpio", is slated for release sometime this winter, toward the end of 2017. MS has consistently touted it as the most powerful console ever designed, apparently hearkening back to their original design philosophy for the very first Xbox.

Last week, Eurogamer.net published a lengthy article detailing the Scorpio's technical specs, and they are indeed impressive. Their article is much too long to quote from, so I'll instead fall back on Gamespot's summary for that.
Gamespot wrote:

Project Scorpio Specs Revealed, Capable Of Native 4K/60 FPS
Microsoft offers another glimpse at Project Scorpio.
Last updated by Oscar Dayus on April 6, 2017 at 11:14AM

Microsoft has revealed fresh new tech specs about its upcoming upgraded Xbox One console, Project Scorpio.

According to a new report from Digital Foundry, the console's specs are beyond what we've seen in the current console generation. Scorpio was able to run a Forza Motorsport demo at 60 FPS in seemingly native 4K, with graphical settings at an "Xbox One-equivalent" level.

In terms of specs, the console boasts a 1 TB hard drive, as well as 12 GB of GDDR5 memory--the same type of RAM contained in the PlayStation 4, though Sony's device only contains 8 GB.

That 12 GB is split into two portions: 8 GB is accessible to developers, while 4 GB is reserved for system use. That's an increase over Xbox One's 8 GB overall memory, which was split the same way into portions of 5 GB and 3 GB, while GDDR5 represents a speed increase over Xbox One's DDR3 RAM.

Digital Foundry--which was shared this information by Microsoft itself--says Scorpio will run all Xbox One games "better," whether they're patched for the new console or not. This is because the console uses no emulation--Xbox One games will run natively using the system's internal power.

Scorpio's GPU--which is 4.6 times as powerful as Xbox One's--is described by Digital Foundry as "a beast." Combined with a faster CPU, the result is a more stable or higher frame rate, no screen tearing, and faster load times. All of that is also reportedly true for backwards-compatible Xbox 360 games, even though changes in hardware between Xbox One and Project Scorpio mean Microsoft has had to go through every existing game individually to make them run on Scorpio.

Scorpio also contains some improvements to Xbox One's features. Game DVR now lets you capture 4K, 60 FPS, HDR gameplay, and it will also allow you to scrub through captured gameplay to find the best screenshots. However, the new console does not contain a Kinect port--you'll need a USB adapter to use your Xbox One camera device.

The site says Scorpio's internal design brief was to scale existing titles up to 4K--and this latest batch of information suggests Microsoft has succeeded. it should be noted, however, that the demo only contained one test version of an unconfirmed Forza game--though the build apparently was built using the same tech used to make Forza Motorsport 6. Additionally, titles that were originally 30 FPS will not go over that unless patched to do so, while the level of optimization seen in all titles could vary.

Users who own 1080p televisions will still be catered for, too: "ultra HD-rendering should super-sample down for those 1080p displays," says the site, meaning games should look sharper, even if you don't own a 4K set.

Although no price has officially been confirmed, Digital Foundry and Eurogamer estimate from the specs they've seen that the console will cost US $499--the same price as the Xbox One at launch.

I hope they bump up the size of the internal HDD, because at this point, 1TB is frankly way too small. Especially since we can probably expect games designed specifically for this hardware to be significantly larger than "regular" Xbox One games, which routinely exceed 40GB in size.

But other than that, I'm excited for it. The idea of a mid-generation hardware upgrade for consoles is something that truly hasn't been attempted before (unless you count Sega's unsuccessful 32X add-on for their Genesis, 20 years ago), and suggests these companies are trying to move beyond the entire concept of hardware/software generations being distinct and separated. In other words, make the console market more like the PC gaming market. And with software libraries increasingly becoming strictly digital, rather than physical, that only makes sense.

John Clarke dies age 68

by snowman1989

April 9, 2017

A lot of you guys may never have heard of him or his alter-ego Fred Dagg, but he's a legend down in NZ as one of our finest comedians in the 1970s poking fun at rural life. As is too often the case with our homegrown talent, he later moved to Australia in the 1980s because NZ was (and still remains) staunchly anti-intellectual and working-class in outlook. Australia's enjoyed the fruits of his labours ever since, and Clarke enjoyed great success as a satirist on Australian TV.

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He died of natural causes while tramping in Victoria's Grampian National Park today. :cry: I'm both sad and a little bit angry at my own country right now for pushing this brilliant bloke away from us.

Phone upgrade

by CWS

April 4, 2017

So, having used a now-primitive basic cellphone for a decade or so, I'm thinking about finally joining the rest of the 21st century and getting a smartphone...only I have no idea what to get.

Any advice/recommendations?

Terror attack at British Parliament

by CWS

March 22, 2017

Breaking news on what will probably not turn out to have been an elderly Scotsman who was upset about Brexit...
The UK Telegraph wrote:

London terror attack: Knifeman shot by police outside Parliament after stabbing officer and killing at least one on Westminster Bridge
By Danny Boyle | 22 March 2017

A policeman has been stabbed and his attacker shot by officers after a major terrorist attack at the Houses of Parliament that saw up to a dozen pedestrians hit by a car, leaving at least one woman dead.

The attacker mowed down people on Westminster Bridge in a grey Hyundai i40 before crashing the car into railings - then running through the gates of the Palace of Westminster and stabbing the officer.

Witnesses reported at least two bodies on the ground on Westminster Bridge and "one in the water". St Thomas' Hospital confirmed one woman has died and a number of others have been hurt - including some with "catastrophic" injuries.

Witnesses said the attacker was shot by police as he approached a second officer clutching his knife during the incident at about 2.45pm.

He left a trail of destruction as paramedics tended to his victims on the bridge and at the gate. Up to a dozen gunshots were heard by witnesses.

Prime Minister Theresa May was seen being ushered into a silver Jaguar in the grounds of the palace as what sounded like gunfire rang out at around 2.45pm.

Minutes after the incident an emergency helicopter landed in Parliament Square as sirens were heard outside. Air ambulance medics ran from the helicopter towards the casualties on the ground.

See the original link quoted above for photos, maps, and updated information.

Your screen resolution?

by CWS

February 25, 2017

Just out of curiosity.

The long-awaited Splinter Cell movie is actually happening...

by CWS

January 30, 2017

...and will star Tom Hardy as Sam Fisher. :o

EDIT: Ahem. Well, "long-awaited" in the sense that it's supposedly been a plan for over a decade, that is...

RIP John Hurt

by CWS

January 27, 2017

And now we lose John Hurt. Damn. That stings. :cry:

RIP Mary Tyler Moore

by CWS

January 26, 2017

:cry:

EDIT: I guess that really wasn't much of an obituary, was it? :oops:

CNN wrote:

Mary Tyler Moore, beloved TV actress, dies at 80
By Lisa Respers France, CNN
Updated 12:22 AM ET, Thu January 26, 2017


(CNN) Actress Mary Tyler Moore, whose eponymous 1970s series helped usher in a new era for women on television, died Wednesday at the age of 80, her longtime representative Mara Buxbaum said.
"Today beloved icon Mary Tyler Moore passed away at the age of 80 in the company of friends and her loving husband of over 33 years, Dr. S. Robert Levine," she said. "A groundbreaking actress, producer, and passionate advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Mary will be remembered as a fearless visionary who turned the world on with her smile."

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" debuted in 1970 and starred the actress as Mary Richards, a single 30-something career woman at a Minneapolis TV station. The series was hailed by feminists and fans alike as the first modern woman's sitcom.

But that wasn't the role which catapulted her into stardom. Moore first found fame playing Laura Petrie, the wife on the "The Dick Van Dyke Show," which ran for five seasons beginning in 1961.

She also received an Oscar nomination for her role in the film Ordinary People, one of my personal favorite movies, two decades later. Read the rest here.

President Barack Obama finally leaves office.

by CWS

January 20, 2017

While I am no fan of his successor, I am sincerely glad to see Barack Obama's disastrous presidency finally come to an end.

Over the course of his eight years in office, President Obama added nearly $9,335,000,000,000 to the U.S.A.'s national debt, which officially stood at $19,961,467,137,973.64 as of Wednesday (01/18/2017). That is not just the highest debt ever accumulated in American history, it is the highest in all of recorded human history. (And when you factor in the government's unfunded liabilities and entitlement programs, the real total is several orders of magnitude higher.) Yes, he had a lot of help from Congress, but as President he set the direction with his initiatives.

When Obama took office, the economy was in bad shape. His policies pretty much kept it that way. One of his first priorities, back when his party had full control of both the Executive and Legislative branches of government, was to force through a radical health coverage law that nobody wanted, causing millions of Americans to lose their existing coverage and in many cases their doctors (despite Obama's explicit and oft-repeated promises to the contrary), and eventually leading to skyrocketing premiums and health care costs.

Race relations in America actually deteriorated under Obama, and significantly, and I think his administration's divisive rhetoric on that front often served to fan the flames -- sometimes literally. And the emergence of the violent "Black Lives Matter" movement led to a dramatic and alarming rise in the number of police officers to be shot in the line of duty in the past couple of years.

But the area in which President Obama did the most lasting damage was in foreign policy and international relations. The world has arguably become a much more dangerous and violent place than it was when he assumed office in January of 2009. A few highlights:

  • The infamous "red line" Obama drew very publicly in the sands of Syria, and then allowed dictator Bashar Al-Assad to cross with total impunity.
  • His precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, squandering years of hard-fought gains toward stabilizing that country and paving the way for the rise of ISIS, which has now become the most powerful and bloodthirsty Islamic supremacist organization on the planet, and his complete failure to do anything meaningful in the way of fighting them.
  • His support for the Muslim Brotherhood's (mercifully short-lived) takeover of Egypt.
  • His appalling indifference toward the democratic "Green Revolution" in Iran, and the subsequent nuclear "deal" with the hardline Iranian regime, in which the Obama administration has, astonishingly, actively assisted the leading global financier of Islamic terrorism, and a sworn enemy of the United States, in the acceleration of their nuclear program. Not coincidentally, said sworn enemy has become increasingly belligerent toward U.S. interests during Obama's term.
  • His obsessive pursuit of normalized relations with the Castro regime, at the expense of the Cuban people.
  • And last but not least, the way he has shunned, abandoned and alienated many of America's traditional allies, such as Great Britain, France and, most especially, Israel.

During his final days in office, Obama really revealed his true colors when he abandoned Israel at the UN, and used the power of his office to pardon traitors and terrorists. I haven't even touched on the repeated and flagrant abuses of power which characterized so much of Obama's presidency (many of which I've documented elsewhere in this forum), because the things I've already covered in this post are bad enough and frankly, I'm getting tired of digging for links.

Whatever skepticism I may feel about now-President Donald Trump (and I feel A LOT), I am definitely glad to see Obama leave.

The Electoral College, Democracy and Majoritarianism

by snowman1989

January 6, 2017

(EDIT: Split from So it's finally 2017. -CWS)

The Phiend wrote:

CWS wrote:
But that being the case, I'm also fairly indifferent about the whole matter, since I have no reason to defend anyone involved.
I dunno...I kinda feel you and I are victims of rigged party primaries here, to a much greater degree than any given New Zealander, and we're being blamed for it despite our best efforts to support candidates with merit instead of the two mutants. Seems an inappropriate to do to us (the victimizing and the blaming).


I'm not so much blaming you and Corey for all this, but the American people as a whole.

Here's my take on things. In a democracy, the people are the boss, the leader. The Prime Minister is our voice on the world stage, our MPs are our representatives locally, but WE ARE THE BOSS. WE are the leader. And when you are the leader, everything is your fault. For example, we currently have a housing and child poverty crisis in New Zealand, not to mention a lot of our rivers and streams are now badly contaminated with run-off from dairy farming. Yeah, my country isn't perfect, there's plenty of things wrong with it too. But it's our fault. So far, we haven't been doing enough to meet these problems, that's on us. We aren't leaning hard enough on our MPs to make them act. They should be acting anyway, of course, since our taxes pay their wages, but we don't live in a perfect world. A democracy is hard work. Everyone needs to be involved, or it falls apart.

I look at the US and I see an oligarchy in all but name. You have a deeply corrupt government apparatus that heeds the call of the super-rich, not the people as a whole. You still allow gerrymandering, the only Western nation other than France that does so. You even have that ridiculous Electoral College that chooses your President for you. Seriously, what the fuck even is that shit?! Nobody else has anything like it because it's retarded! It's like going to McDonald's and ordering a Big Mac combo, but then you have a chaperone step in and say "No, give him a Happy Meal," even though you paid for a Big Mac, you are a grown adult who shouldn't have to be treated like a child, but then you just shrug and go along with it. Are the American people made up entirely of children? :?

But what I find inexcusable is that the American people have allowed themselves to be caught in that trap. You've allowed your politicians to abuse you, turning back the clock on all the gains you've made over the last 100 years. And how have you allowed that? By not challenging them on their bullshit. By allowing them to redraw their electoral districts without oversight. By not showing up during elections; seriously, your voter turnout is pathetic.

Then you give me the argument "America is a republic, not a democracy." Yeah. I can see that perfectly clearly. You're no leader of the "Free World." You're a fake. And you're making excuses for yourselves. Because as I said, a democracy is hard work. And from what I see, Americans don't have the interest to do any hard work. Much easier to say you're just a republic and leave everything to some faceless suits in Washington whose names you've never bothered to memorise.

Istanbul: 39 dead in New Year's Eve nightclub attack

by CWS

January 2, 2017

So ISIS decided to ring in the new year by -- what else? -- launching yet another cowardly attack against unarmed, innocent civilians who were gathered in a nightclub to celebrate a holiday. :evil: This time they decided to change things up a little by choosing Turkey as the locale for their latest unprovoked massacre, claiming 39 lives before all was said and done.

Reuters wrote:

Breaking News
By REUTERS \ 01/02/2017 10:18

ISIS claims it was behind New Year's attack at Istanbul nightclub

Islamic State claimed responsibility for a gun attack on an Istanbul nightclub which killed 39 people on Sunday, the group said in a statement on Monday.

"In continuation of the blessed operations that Islamic State is conducting against the protector of the cross, Turkey, a heroic soldier of the caliphate struck one of the most famous nightclubs where the Christians celebrate their apostate holiday," the statement said.

You notice, these cockroaches keep getting bolder? The half-hearted counteroffensive the civilized world has been conducting against them for the past few years really doesn't seem to be deterring them much.

And as much as I might personally loathe Donald Trump, I will readily concede that I do have greater confidence in his ability to deal with these bastards than I did in Hillary Clinton's.

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