Ryan

Ryan

  • Commented on What can possibly go wrong?
    Often computer tests are done in a set room with access to the internet restricted, but in other types of tests the questions themselves nullify the internet as a cheating tool. A well designed test question wouldn't be "What is...
  • Commented on What can possibly go wrong?
    I'm 6 years out of uni and while many of my exams were pen, paper and nothing else a lot of them were computer based or open book. I appreciate that there is some need to test whether or not...
  • Commented on What can possibly go wrong?
    Automated lawbots already exist. If CGI porn using other people’s images grows to be a problem a counter might be bots with visual recognition software that crawl through the web looking for hits, DMCA’ing any they find. That might help...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Thinking a bit on a tangent, if cars are programmed to always avoid pedestrians (slow down, stop, give them lots of room, etc) then will pedestrians take over the streets again once they trust that cars won't run them down?...
  • Commented on We get reviews (contd.)
    Looking forward to diving back into the world, particularly the Commonwealth. Having re-read Empire Games recently I can’t help but have caught a bit of the Stross bug/curse where on-paper dangerous societies seem attractive compared to the real world. Would...
  • Commented on From Here To The Holodeck
    Regarding movement I'm quite surprised at the amount of VR games that are first person shooters/adventure games. Perhaps it's just because the FPS is such a mainstay of AAA games but flight sims (like elite dangerous) or even genres like...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    That's assuming they can make portals, which may turn out to be significantly more of an engineering challenge than culturing some self replicating interdimensional-teleporting-organelles. A medium term policy would be to transfer the most polluting industries off world. For example;...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    Not realllly. It’s more like if the US had one Supreme Court judge who was appointed by an elected committee once the last one dies (to compare to Iran...but there’s a whole more complexity there like two entirely separate militaries)....
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    Charlie, I said 'world-walkers'. The Commonwealth + the world-walkers can put a nuke on every US city and major base quite easily - with trucks, bombers not needed. However, the Commonwealth military would be well aware of the fact that...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    You seem to be under the impression that the constitution of Iran explicitly enforced these conditions rather than them being due to much more complicated factors. The US constitution existed long before women's/minority rights, the decriminalisation of homosexuality and AFAIK...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    So it's a bit of a mix of China and Iran. Iran for the life-long supreme leader (what's the NAC's version of the Assembly of Experts?) and the Radical Party acting as the Council of Guardians. The China vibe comes...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    While the NAC seems to be a one party state with an elected head of state for life (and possibly no local elections...? Can't remember but it would surprise me if they did not) they are more economically democratic. IIRC...
  • Commented on Book day!
    Bought and finished in a day. Given the ending it's going to be an agonising wait until the next instalment. One thing... Aw der gal amedn aset Who is he? The Pharoh is here...hmm....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Nightmare Stacks
    Looking forward to another Laundryverse novel. I'm re-reading Nightmare Stacks in preparation and one question comes to mind; is it anything more than a bizarre coincidence that an Alfar skeleton is found and studied by Laundry affiliated scientists just months...
  • Commented on Introducing new guest blogger: April Daniels
    I really enjoyed Dreadnaught :) Danny was a great character and the subtle worldbuilding of a modern world with super powers was great compared to many other superhero settings. Looking forward to Sovereign!...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    If we see the development of automated video editing software sufficient to alter lip movements then combined with voice translation we may see a flood of media from non-anglophone countries worldwide. Currently TV, film and new media like twitch/YouTube are...
  • Commented on Some notes on the worst-case scenario
    Charlie didn't invent the term Carbon bubble. The concept has been around for a few years and big players from Citigroup to the Bank of England have given estimations of how overvalued the fossil fuel industry is (and how much...
  • Commented on Some notes on the worst-case scenario
    IIRC the thinking behind the carbon bubble is that fossil fuel companies (and the industry as a whole) are often valued on the assumption that all of the fossil fuels they have access too will be pulled out of the...
  • Commented on Theme, Fiction, and Empire Games
    Just finished the book...how long until the next one? The tension really ramped up in the last 50 pages or so. I was hoping we'd find out more about the NACs government organisation, it wasn't entirely clear what is supposed...
  • Commented on The dog ate my homework
    Looking forward to Empire games, I re-read the earlier books last summer so they're still quite fresh in my mind. Will you be doing a signing at all in London? Forbidden planet is conveniently close to work for all my...
  • Commented on Duelling - Essentially a Bloody Stupid Idea
    (Self driving cars will be dead in the water the first time a terrorist uses one as a fertiliser bomb carrying cruise missile.) No technology has to be 100% safe before it's implemented. Terrorists already have more than enough tools...
  • Commented on Wooden Train Parenting
    Agreed that the unplugged mentality is little more than moral panic. It's frustrating to hear people decry the amount of time kids spend staring at screens as though all they're doing is literally staring. My younger cousins have enjoyed most...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Small microgravity research stations perhaps? Along the lines of a single module space station, packed with equipment and a robonaut. Might be affordable by the wealthiest of universities or companies....
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    Personally I'd just be ecstatic if, within my life time, a seriously large telescope array was built in orbit of the sun. The mind of thing that, after enough time, could give you a crude Google exoplanet. Combine that with...
  • Commented on Empire Games
    Another clue is that Paris Hilton is very briefly mentioned as having died in a car crash....
  • Commented on Empire Games
    If it helps this is how I imagine it: http://imgur.com/4wF6P06 Each square in the grid is a universe, each number is a direction a knot can take you. The in-universe description seems different, but this one seems to make sense...
  • Commented on The Nightmare Stacks: US Launch
    I finished my signed copy too but perhaps that question is a bit of a spoiler given that this is a launch announcement? Hopefully we'll get a spoiler post soon....
  • Commented on "Tomorrow belongs to me"
    Just finished The Nightmare Stacks in a fevered day of trying to avoid social media, news and gut wrenching dread. Very much enjoyed it, how wrong is it to look at the Laundryverse Britain and feel like it would have...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Annihilation Score
    Sure but it's not just the references so much as the public seemed to base their response to the super-power situation on an old-fashioned idea of superheros (get lycra, get silly name, get out there and fight crime). I got...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Annihilation Score
    I really liked Mo as a character, more than anything it introduced the idea of the invisible middle-aged woman which I had never considered before. Having said that TAS still didn't sit well with me. I was a bit put...
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