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Alex W.

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  1. I did the maths and after shipping, VAT and duty, the $199 console+cover bundle should still come in a bit under £199. Really tempted.
  2. I think they might have once or twice said “this is serious enough to go over the bad warp speed” in TNG before they invented the fancy nacelles, but that’s it.
  3. “A command officer may need to order someone to die to save the ship” is actually something that comes up in TNG a few times. I don’t think they actually ruled out someone dying to save the Enterprise in TWoK, it was just not discussed. But that’s Starfleet command ethics, this is a moral question.
  4. It’s a bit varied but by the most consistent picture is that the transporter is all about capturing and storing a “pattern” which is both the mass-energy of the object being transported, and a body of information that permits you to put everything back together. It is too large and complex to be stored for later retrieval and can only exist for a limited period of time in a “pattern buffer” before it degrades. This is in contrast to the replicator and holodeck which use the same basic matter-generation hardware but with simple, stored patterns. The pattern can be analysed to gain information on the objects being transported, from the presence of infectious diseases in an organism to the discharge state of a firearm. It can even be edited. How conscious you are as a “pattern” is something that’s dabbled with but never conclusively elaborated. Edit - Star Trek writers clearly felt that because it was “your” energy being transported and used to construct your duplicate, it was still you, and you would experience continuity of consciousness throughout the process. But of course energy is perfectly fungible; there is no “Jean-Luc Picard’s energy” in the pattern buffer, the pattern buffer itself has just been put in to a high energy state.
  5. Well then you’re back to the thing where the transporter takes a scan of someone, makes a copy, then annihilates the original to get the energy back. There is no moral transporter use if you are concerned about the subjective continuity of consciousness of the original.
  6. Thinking about it, the only reason the transporter actually "works" as a story device is that they stubbornly refuse to acknowledge any of the philosophical problems with it. Doing episodes which actually engage with those ideas was always going to be a recipe for disaster. It'd be like if they decided that part way through season 4 they'd really tackle the fact that the Warp Drive violates relativity. Just don't go there!
  7. 100% All kinds of hijinks are possible. They should've done a DS9 episode where someone's not sure whether they want to join the Maquis or not so they make one copy who goes and joins and one of them stays in Starfleet.
  8. I'm not yet on the 4K disk train, but I can see myself doing it as soon as I have a next-gen console, so I had a question: is there any problem with grain in HDR? I've seen complaints about specific 4K HDR disks looking oppressively grainy, and I've seen a couple of 4K HDR streams that have been DNRed to hell for no clear reason except, presumably, removing grain. But I'd assume that on a well-mastered HDR picture, they'd only be punching up the dynamic range in appropriate parts of the image, and not amping up the contrast on everything. I assume it isn't possible to watch an HDR disk in SDR. As a purist I'd prefer to watch a movie in the theatrical dynamic range but I doubt there are many 4K SDR releases.
  9. I wonder if that’s part of the reason for the £350 model. At that price it will be in the reach of the less-enthusiast audience and Valve can afford to cut the margins down to the bone on the assumption that they’ll mostly not get modded.
  10. Honestly this isn’t even the worst moral conundrum the transporter causes. To save time flying over short distances, Starfleet uses a machine that scans you, spits out a photocopy somewhere else, and then murders you. Didn’t Janeway also abandon a group of Warp 10 hyperhuman amphibians on a strange planet or are we all still pretending that never happened?
  11. I think a boycott will have less of an impact than the reasons for a boycott, and its visibility. I doubt they want their carefully cultivated negative space of a brand image to become “the company that hates women”. Yeah, they only care about the PR but eventually internal problems become part of that.
  12. Valve has said that they’re targeting 800p30 for “modern” (current gen?) games. That’s at least PS4 performance right? Probably higher?
  13. Finally, a way to play Switch games on a handheld with the same size of screen, the same controls, but twice the mass and volume.
  14. I only kind of vaguely remember those, weren’t they super low-grade compared to the rest of the game? Like someone grudgingly put it together with the assets they had lying around, or it was a mini-game someone had put together for a laugh that worked its way in by accident.
  15. It really doesn’t seem to be, it sounds like a ground-up remake with all-new assets: https://news.ea.com/press-releases/press-releases-details/2021/Electronic-Arts-Announces-the-Return-of-Dead-Space-a-Remake-of-the-Sci-Fi-Classic-Survival-Horror-Game/default.aspx
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