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About Ran

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    King o' the Board
  • Birthday 05/06/1978

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  • Blood of Dragons
    Balerion (Admin), Aidan Dayne, Rhodry Martell

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    Westeros! History (ancient and medieval), SF/F, adventure and strategy gaming, MUSHes and MUXes (but not MUDs), Linda.

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  1. Board Issues 4

    Hrm, don't seem to have gotten it. Can you message me with a copy of what she sees?
  2. Board Issues 4

    Can she get you the precise message she is getting? Or she can mail it to [email protected] Isobel, Afraid we've no control over that directly. Will see if there's anything that can be done via plug-ins or hooks, or if an upgrade might improve the functionality.
  3. Limited Edition Stamps Contest

    Thanks for your interest, all. Winner has been chosen and contacted. They were one of the Facebook entrants.
  4. Forum Downtime

    Christmas seems to have been a bit too much for the forum, and there was an extensive downtime right when we were largely away. Should now be working again properly. Our apologies!
  5. Netflix's new epic drama - 'Marco Polo'

    Allegedly it cost ~$200 million for those two seasons (I think these numbers are likely somewhat exaggerated). So the $200 million "loss" would basically mean that no one, anywhere, watched the show or subscribed because of the show... and yet, Netflix claimed that the show did "well" in Asia, as you say, and also Europe. Assuming they were exaggerating a bit, but still, I find it hard to imagine that the losses associated with the show are anywhere near $200 million. Unless this figure is, in fact, a "Hollywood accounting" situation where Netflix has decided to pile on a bunch of things on to the Marco Polo budget to make it a net-loser and thus something they can write off.
  6. Star Wars Rogue One: Now With Less Rouge

    Google tells me there'll be a novel about Baze Mablus and Chirrut Îmwe next year, written by Greg Rucka. Just need something for Cassian Andor and/or K-2SO.
  7. Star Wars Rogue One: Now With Less Rouge

    Got back from seeing the film with Linda. We both enjoyed it. It's very much a genre piece -- war films like The Dirty Dozen or The Great of Escape -- and it's certainly well-constructed with some excellent set-pieces. It's not a deep film in any way, its characters are fairly lightly sketched, but all the actors are quite game to play their parts. It feels like, in this transmedia world, that we'll likely see comics or cartoons or books filling in details for some of the more popular new characters who all hint at having stories of their own. (In fact, I see one of the characters, Saw Gerrera, is actually from Star Wars: Clone Wars). 3 of 4 stars for me, I think. Would certainly be happy to watch it again. Donnie Yen and Alan Tudyk's characters were particularly fun, but all the cast did quite well.
  8. Brynden Rivers, Bloodraven - The Dreamer. Novella content.

    My guess is that George just liked the symmetry of it. You know, ice and fire and all that.
  9. Brynden Rivers, Bloodraven - The Dreamer. Novella content.

    Not too much to add beyond saying that I stand by what GRRM said in the interview, namely that he had known from back when writing AGoT that the three-eyed crow was connected in some fashion to the Targaryens, but he didn't start sorting that out until he hit upon Bloodraven and the other Great Bastards.
  10. Why does this website go down so much?

    Further update as we have had two down times the last few days. The first one was caused by the Redis memory management system -- the new one we installed -- running out of memory. It's a new system for us and we needed to do some tweaks to prevent it from eating all the available memory. We've now done those tweaks. The one yesterday, on the other hand, is less explicable now that we have its memory properly limited -- it just seems like Redis crashed for no obvious reason. There are ways to get detailed debug logs but we'll have to wait a bit for that. It seems to be behavior similar to what happened to memcached as well, so ... something's going on, perhaps with the forum software throwing out garbage that the cache system can't really parse. We'll see. Until then we plan to periodically restart Redis just to see if that helps the situation any.
  11. Why does this website go down so much?

    It is quieter here, and from what I can see it is quieter at just about every other ASoIaF site than at a similar time last year. Lots of possible reasons, but certainly the fact that there's not been any new ASoIaF material in a year -- and no new novel in the series for more than that -- certainly has something to do with it. We expect it'll zoom right up once TWoW is announced as completed, however.
  12. Why does this website go down so much?

    As a follow up, after another inexplicable crash of our caching system (memcached) leading to a long downtime over the evening, we have gone ahead and installed Redis and set that up to see if it will be more stable. We have not moved all parts of the site (the wiki and Westeros.org-proper) to Redis yet, but that is currently the plan. In the interim, we're hoping that loading memcached with less work will stabilize it and we should be more stable overall going forward.
  13. US Elections: Apocalypse Now

    At the very, very best, Bush deluded himself into believing that Iraq had WMDs and that agencies were failing to turn it up because they were just not good enough. At very best. The idea that he was simply a puppet to Rove and Cheney and was too incurious to recognize the fact that evidence was being ginned up strikes me as ludicrous.
  14. US Elections: Apocalypse Now

    She did create a narrative and she did present a vision. There were many, many people who sincerely felt the "I'm With Her" message, the message about her decades of public service, about her resilience in the face of gross slanders and misogyny, about her willingness to work toward a better tomorrow for everybody, about her very detailed and thoughtful policy plans, and so on and so forth. The problem is that those who decided to stay home, or those who decided to go for Trump instead of Hillary, did not care, or were unimpressed, or actually decided that the narrative was distasteful in some way or another. She didn't lose because of a narrative problem. She lost through a host of factors, but I'm convinced that the largest of them is that Trump's pie-in-the-sky promises were simply more appealing in the Rust Belt than her solid, considered policy solutions. No amount of narrative could get around the fact that she's a deeply knowledgeable policy wonk and has thought long and hard about these things, which basically confirmed she was part of the hated "establishment" that had been failing them.