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About Werthead

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    Social Justice Robot from the Future
  • Birthday 01/22/1979

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    Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom

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  1. F1 2016

    I have a strong suspicion that Liberty Media will be pointing out to Mercedes that having Alonso and Hamilton in the same car next year would be great for their brand, great for the sport and great for the spectacle, especially if they are both racing Vettel and Raikkonen (and potentially the Red Bulls) for the championship. Bottas would lose out unfortunately in that situation (and Massa, if he'd have to retire again to make room for Bottas going back to Williams, but hey, there'd be a space at McLaren!), but that's racing for you. If Raikkonen retires I suspect that Ferrari will also be happy to have Alonso back. I don't think Alonso burned his bridges with them and hell, you can't get bridges any more burned than what happened between Alonso and McLaren in 2007. Definitely. Fighting another driver in another car with your whole team behind you and your whole team behind them seems to be a really great feeling in F1, allowing both hard racing but also some good respect as we saw with Massa/Hamilton in 2008, Vettel/Alonso/Hamilton (and, for part of the season, Webber/Alonso/Hamilton) in 2010 and Vettel/Alonso in 2012. Fighting your own team-mate can be interesting, but it can get really silly and bitchy really quickly.
  2. Chris Wooding's upcoming epic fantasy trilogy: The Ember Blade

    I should get round to reading his YA and faux-manga stuff, as it's supposed to be very good. One of my friends offered to lend me all those books.
  3. My (Catholic) grandmother from Derry left Ireland for London during the 1930s after clashing quite badly with republican friends and families over a lot of these issues, particularly over the legitimacy of violence (so it's possible I wouldn't be here without it: my grandmother only met my grandfather after moving to London). My mother was caught up in the aftermath of one of the 1990 London bombings (might have been the stock exchange one, not sure). The company I was working in on 9/11 had its headquarters in the twin towers and lost over 300 people, although I was only a temp worker so didn't know anyone there personally. A friend of mine was on the train behind the one that was blown up at Aldgate on 7/7. My former workplace in Westminster was put on lockdown during the attack last week. Fortunately I've never come close to an incident myself, but I have plenty of friends and family who have.
  4. Video Games: Dawn of Waaaaagh!

    Thimbleweed Park comes out on Friday. It's made by Monkey Island/Maniac Mansion creator Ron Gilbert and it uses the SCUMM Engine of those games, and is deliberately retro, apart from a few lighting and effect things that would have blown up a Pentium I. The game will be released at $19.99, thus fulfilling an important promise made by The Secret of Monkey Island 26 years ago.
  5. Video Games: Dawn of Waaaaagh!

    StarCraft Remastered and Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition have both been announced (well, SCR has just been announced and PTEE will be tomorrow). So that's (arguably) the greatest RTS of all time and (much more certainly) the greatest RPG of all time both getting new licks of paint for the summer. Sweet.
  6. Video Games: Dawn of Waaaaagh!

    Ha. Typo or deliberate satire?
  7. F1 2016

    Alonso pointed out that compared to pre-season testing, where they ended up wasn't too bad. But it was still ridiculous considering how competitive they were (at certain moments, anyway) last year. They haven't dropped in performance compared to last year but they've not improved any, which I suspect was his minimum red line for extending his contract. If he's not at least trying to go to Mercedes next year, I'll be shocked. Hamilton seemed reasonably chill at the end of the race. He pointed out that he called the pit stop as his tyres were gone and he had nothing left on them. If he'd been asked to stay out for a couple more laps to miss Verstappen in the pit stops, he would have lost even more time and would still have been behind Vettel, so the situation was unavoidable. From some of the discussions it sounds like Mercedes' old (pre-2014) problem with their higher tyre degradation has never really gone away, they could just cover it with the engine during their dominant phase. Now they can't do that so it's a problem that might come up. Also, the Mercedes apparently has issues with hotter air going through their diffuser which the Ferrari doesn't have. Hamilton even said he thinks if Vettel had gotten in front at the start of the race, the Ferrari would have been able to pull away from him because it handled being in turbulence a lot better than the Mercedes did. Still, interesting to see how the season shakes out. It requires both Hamilton and Vettel to be on the top of their game every race. Bottas also did well on his maiden Mercedes drive. I wouldn't be surprised to see him win at least a couple of races where Hamilton and/or Vettel have problems. Red Bull didn't start disastrously, but compared to their great form last season they are way off where they should be. Hopefully their normally excellent in-season development kicks in and they can make up that ground in a few races. That's also the danger with Ferrari: they won the second race in 2015 and everyone was suddenly saying it was going to be a real championship and then they fell off a cliff and weren't able to keep up mid-season development like Mercedes could. Williams, Toro Rosso and Haas (until they blew up) did very well, Renault were shockingly bad (and can't blame a Lotus-designed car this time) and Force India were about where I'd expect them to be, although I also expect them to improve over the course of the season like last year. I hope they can change the livery a bit though, it was like watching a dessert on wheels.
  8. It'd be interesting if they issued a statement explaining why they fired Brad's wife. "We decided to take this action because of Mrs. Brad's use of nonstandard ingredients. You want to know what was in those crackers she was serving? People."
  9. New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
  10. He was elected as a Conservative and as a UKIP candidate, so the people of Clacton seem to like him as an individual, not just for the party he represents. Science is still struggling to answer the question why, but that's Clacton for you.
  11. Rothfuss XII: The Doors of Twitch

    Yes. That was bollocks. When even the mild-mannered Sanderson was going, "Er, this wasn't what I thought it was going to be," they really needed to stop and rethink. No, you need your editor to be a fan, to be supportive, to be fighting battles for you with the publishers. But that relationship needs to be collaborative, the author needs to take on board editorial suggestions and they need to work together. To be honest, editors are just as guilty (if not moreso) as authors are of resting on their laurels once success bites. But also every editorial relationship is different. Raynor Unwin was Tolkien's editor on LotR but he admitted he never did anything at all to the book (apart from a bit of back and forth on whether to include the epilogue or not, resulting in Tolkien chucking it). Goodkind, famously, said he he produdly refused to change one word in his entire series (allegedly this is crap and he did change a lot on WFR in response to editorial, but the second that book became a hit he stopped listening and Tor stopped pushing). I actually think that the end result of that would have been far worse. From Tor's perspective, they had the biggest-selling work of epic fantasy since Tolkien (although Martin may still overtake it), a series of books that sold 60 million copies + in North America alone and which subsidised hundreds of other authors and books getting off the ground. From that perspective, the collaboration was a massive success and they're upset they can't extend it further with more books.
  12. Rothfuss XII: The Doors of Twitch

    I'm really not sure this was a problem as much as has been suggested. In fact, Harriet being married to RJ probably gave her far more of an ability to exercise editorial judgement on him than a random yes man. It's also worth nothing that she was his editor on all of his books. I really don't know where this idea that she joined halfway through the series came from. The first book she edited of his was his very first novel, a decade before WoT. It's also worth noting she was an experienced editor with several major hit books for Tor (Ender's Game and the first few Black Company novels) long before WoT started. More problematic was the level of success and the requests made of them by Tor Books, and Tom Doherty encouraging RJ to write more books and explore every single subplot idea he had, regardless of whether it was a good idea or not. You can see growing author power with ASoIaF: Anne Groell told George to take out half of the "Words are wind" in ADWD and he pointblank refused. Even less popular authors can have that power: Steven Erikson avoided almost all of his editorial advice because Bantam had spent so much money on the series that they needed to publish the books regardless, which gave him immense power far beyond his initially very modest sales. Ultimately, however, editors are more like consultants then directors or even producers. Once a publisher has bought a novel, they have to publish it or be in breach of contract. Editors refusing to publish a book is a legal minefield, even if the quality is inarguably poor. Random House tried to do this with a Joan Collins novel they regarded as too shit to be publishable and she absolutely took them to the cleaners in court, even saying that she agreed the book wasn't very good but that was irrelevant to the contract (!).
  13. Since 9/11, 64 British people have been killed in the UK by Islamic terrorism (including the attackers). You can increase that to 94 if you include the tourists at the Tunisian resort in 2015. In contrast, in the last 16 years of the Troubles, 1,177 people were killed in the UK, 569 of whom were civilians. The IRA wanted to overthrow the majority wish of the people of Northern Ireland in wishing to remain part of the UK. When they couldn't get their own way they started killing people. Their cause was unjust, undemocratic and unattainable. It was not logical and it was as sure as fuck not rational. There was a massive amount more concern over the IRA then there has been about Islamic terrorism (perhaps outside of a limited timeframe after 9/11 and 7/7). For all of the IRA's "precautions" in giving warnings, they still killed a ton of innocent people and carried out successful assassinations and nearly-successful political attacks, such as trying to blow up a large chunk of the British government in Brighton in 1984. They were a considerably greater threat than any of these clowns have been.
  14. Video Games: Dawn of Waaaaagh!

    Testing out the new PC with Just Cause 3. Whacked everything up to maximum and the new machine handled it so well it didn't even switch on the extra fans (which only kick in when the GPU produces extra heat). Impressive. What's the latest on the PC version of Dishonored 2? It is fixed and playable yet? Online sources seem to disagree whether it's playable or still problematic.
  15. Chris Wooding's upcoming epic fantasy trilogy: The Ember Blade

    Tales of the Ketty Jay and The Braided Path were both superb, as was The Fade, so this shoots to the top of my most-wanted queue.