I Read Stuff!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Yea! Ryan Reynolds and Jeremy Piven!

Here is the first full preview of Smokin' Aces that I've seen. It's along the lines of Lucky Number Sleven, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Gross Point Blank. That is to say, it's a dark comedy about assassinations. The body count in this one seems like it's going to be pretty high so brace yourselves.


Yelling Is Funny

I'm not really sure why I find this so funny, but I laugh every time. This is MC Chris(?) doing a quick compare and contrast of Kingdom Hearts II and Resident Evil 4. If you don't know anything about those two games, this will not be funny. Do not watch.



Thanks to VG Cats for pointing it out.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A New Perspective

I spoke with a few of my friends about the previous post, and they brought up some interesting points that I had not considered. I think I'd like to revise my position slightly to incorporate some of their ideas.

The main issue that I had not considered is that single-sex schools would be a form of Affirmative Action. AA's main purpose is to promote diversity. The idealistic view is that a corporation who does not discriminate will have employees that are a proportional cross section of the diversity found in the available work force of particular fields. i.e. If 25% of the nation's sales managers are black then 25% of a given company's sales managers should be black.

The government enforces diversity by saying they will not do business with a company unless the above is true. A company must maintain a reasonable representation of the nation's work force from a diversity stand point. I agree with this philosophy because I can't think of a better way to ensure corporations are conscious of the racial problems in the U.S.

Single-sex schools do not promote diversity. They promote segregation which is why the concept gets my hackles up.

However, the evidence at hand says that girls do better at math and boys do better at literature in single-sex schools. It was argued last night that we should do everything we can to give everyone the best education, and I agree.

The evidence does not say that girls do better at literature in a single-sex environment. To me, this indicates that not all subjects benefit from single-sex education. Obviously boys are leaning math just fine in a co-ed environment. I also haven't read any complaints about co-ed band, art, social studies, political science etc.

Given that I think that single-sex schools promote segregation. Also given that only a few subjects benefit from single-sex education my new stance is thus:

Instead of creating a whole single-sex school, just create single-sex classes in the subjects where it has been proven to be effective such as math and literature. Keeping the schools co-ed allows for diverse conversation and interaction in social activities and those classes that benefit from a co-ed context. Creating single-sex classes allows for the most conducive environment in the specific areas where separation of sexes improves education.

It's win win.

How To Subvert Women, Step 1: Segregation

The U.S. Education Department today announced that it will allow districts to create single-sex schools with federal funding.

WTF?

There are provisions on the rule change to make people like me feel better, but they don't. The rules say that enrollment must be voluntary and the option to attend a comparable coeducational school must be made available to the members of the excluded sex.

Let's pretend that this is a social success in some town. You get transferred to said town for whatever reason. You now have the choice to enroll your daughter at a school that is 100% girls or at a co-ed school that is 90% boys. In a town that supports such a setup, how do you think the town feels about the few girls that go to the co-ed school? Perhaps a quick interview of some women in the Naval Academy could tell you how easy it is for women in a male dominated totalitarian environment. I would 'voluntarily' send my girls to the all girls school, and I would hate every minute of it.

Nancy Zirkin of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights says it best, "Segregation is totally unacceptable in the context of race. Why in the world in the context of gender would it be acceptable?"

Source

Sponge Bob Is Like A Drug

Is it ok to cage children if they are surrounded by stuffed toys?



Well, that's not what happened. This kid got a dollar from grandma and went scampering off to the Bear Claw machine to win himself a prize. We've all done it. We all figure we can get one of them nifty toys. Then the stupid claw shuts too early or doesn't have the strength to lift a hunk of cotton. Stupid claw.

This kid was having none of it. He told his grandma he can get it, so by God he got it! He crawled on top of the machine and down through some kind of ventilation shaft. Now he's stuck, but he's got his damn toy!

The fire department was called, but rather than break the machine they decide to continue the boys education in breaking and entering. They passed him a screwdriver and talked him through jimmying the lock from the inside.

The worst part is they didn't let the kid keep the Sponge Bob toy. What a travesty that the kid would work so hard and get nothing. You lose! Good day sir!

Grandpa Joe would have let him have it.

Source

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tag Is Da Devil!

Yes, it's more evidence as to why obesity is the number one killer in America. An elementary school in Boston has banned their kids from playing tag and any other unsupervised 'chase game' during recess. They consider such play a liability! They're afraid a parent is going to sue them if their kid falls and chips a tooth.

Here is the money quote from Celeste D'Elia, "I've witnessed enough near collisions." Like she's sick to death at the prospect of her son actually running into another kid. Well I feel better knowing that her kid won't have any reason to be active.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Nerf Sniping

This popped up on Penny Arcade yesterday, and it has to be one of the best toys out this Christmas season. Really, the only thing that's been missing from the nerf arsenal is the ability to shoot your friends with precision from half a football field away.



Who wouldn't want a three and a half foot long nerf gun?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Put This On

And the award for best fashion accessory of '06 goes to Toshiba for their 360 degree view monitor.



Seriously, who thought this was a good idea? It wouldn't be so bad if it was some crazy hobbyist, but it's Toshiba! You're suppose to be smarter than this.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hot Fuzz

Those crazy kids from Shaun of the Dead are back! Check out the new teaser:


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bully

Jack Thompson won himself a small victory yesterday, but I really don't understand it. He's been on a campaign for the last year or so to prevent the release of a game called Bully. He claims that the game "shows you how to — by bullying — take over your school. You punch people; you hit them with sling shots; you dunk their heads in dirty toilets. There's white-on-black crime in the game. You bludgeon teachers and classmates with bats. It's absolutely nuts." Now Jack hasn't actually played Bully. He has only seen the trailers and the previews just like the rest of us, so whether he is right or not is hard to say. Though to be perfectly clear, the trailers do not show hitting people with sling shots, dunking heads, white-on-black crime, or any use of bats let alone hitting teachers.

When Jack started this campaign it was seen as extremely ridiculous. The game wasn't done, and no one outside of Rockstar Games had played it. Jack decided to sue for a chance to play the game early to personally determine if the game was suitable for kids. The gaming community as a whole laughed in his face since the game was not going to be for kids. The game would get an M rating indicating it was for gamers over 17, and once again make a fool of Jack Thompson.

Except the game didn't get an M rating. After the ESRB reviewed the game content they gave the game a T rating. They decided the game was suitable for kids 13 and up. Now we have a game made by Rockstar who is notorious for making violent games. The ESRB is under fire and close scrutiny to see if it is an effective watchdog group. And we have a game called Bully produced in the GTA style that has just been deemed acceptable for kids. Suddenly this looks like trouble.

Yesterday, the judge over seeing Jack's lawsuit to prevent the release of bully ordered Rockstar to produce a copy of Bully for him to review today. So there are two possible outcomes from the judge's session with the game. He can either agree or disagree with the ESRB. If he agrees with the T rating then nothing will come of it. If he disagrees with the T rating what can he do? The game is still protected by the First Amendment. Just like movies and music there aren't laws against a minor purchasing a game with adult themes. The only thing on the line here is the ESRB's reputation. What legal ground could the judge stand on that would allow him to bar the release of the title? It really feels like our judge is about to grossly exceed and abuse his power.

Who is ultimately responsible for what minors watch and play?

(Answer: Parents)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Horror Films

Here is a fun little trivia game that tests your knowledge of horror/thriller films. It's a large picture with various visual clues. For instance there is a large fly crawling through the country side, which represents the movie "The Fly". Just click on the clue and enter you movie title guess. It will go green then dark if you get it correct.

I've got 30 so far...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Format End Game

NEC has come to the rescue! They have developed a chip capable of running the play-back of Blu-ray and HD DVD. Combined with Ricoh's new optical laser a device can be made to run both formats. The best part about it is the chip is priced the same as the stand alone chips. Effectively making it pointless to own a Blu-ray or HD DVD only device.

The downside is the format war isn't going to be decided by early adopters of the hardware. Instead, movie studios can assume that we own a dual device, and release their movies in whatever format politics has chosen for them. Which means the format war is going to last a very long time.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Internets Is Tubes

Mr. Cringely decided to weigh in on the Internet Gambling Prohibition bill that was recently passed as a rider on the Safe Port Act. As usual, he is right on point. Read this excerpt and keep in mind how much money those nerds have to spend.

Any random group of 535 nerds is smarter than the 535 members of the U.S. Congress and able to circumvent ANY regulation if there is enough profit incentive to do so. Well the U.S. Congress has just created such an incentive where there was none before. And once these various payment schemes start appearing, what's to say some of them can't be equally used to finance terrorism? Of course they can be used for that purpose. Thanks a lot Senator Frist.

Here's a law that purports to end Internet gambling but will instead enable it, a law that is intended to make certain types of financial transactions harder to do but will ultimately make them easier, a law that says nothing about terrorism but will ultimately abet it, making us all less secure in the process.

There is, to my knowledge, no center for Al-Qaida hacking, nor is terrorism as an industry big enough to attract much third-party software development. But ally the interests of terrorists and Internet gamblers who all want to be paid, that's a $20 billion incentive to corrupt the world financial system -- an incentive that didn't exist before last week.

And what will be our institutional response to these obvious flaws when they come to light? More regulation of course! More scrutiny of financial transactions, not less. But as we've seen in recent years, this greater scrutiny often comes with lax or unequal enforcement, depending on your campaign contributions.

Once again, Congress is proposing to regulate something it ought not to -- something that in any practical sense is probably beyond its power. And the result will be only bad, not good.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Dessert Watch

Those wacky Taiwanese have developed a new way to eat ice cream. Through the use of powerful black magic they have designed a machine that exactly replicates the mouth-feel of freshly fallen snow. Except where snow has no real flavor, this new dessert has all your classic ice cream taste.



Dipin' Dots's title as Ice Cream Of The Future may be in jeopardy.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Terrorist Win!

Yesterday, a 40,000 sq ft warehouse caught fire and consumed 4% of the total hop supply in the US. The effect on beer prices is unknown, but be prepared to see a jump.

Where was Homeland Security? We Will Never Forget!

Thanks for the heads up Mike. I'll drink a pint in memorial.

U.S.A!!!



The Toyota is the only thing actually made in America. The rest of the patriotic crap comes from China.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Nitrogen Will Save The World

I went out and picked up some new tires for my birthday. While in the shop, I read a brochure that proclaimed, "Fill your tires with nitrogen!"

But why? Here are the three points the pamphlet provided,

"Nitrogen is a larger molecule than Oxygen. Therefore, it cannot escape as easily as oxygen through porous material such as a rubber tire wall."

True, but regular air is 70% Nitrogen, so at best you've managed to slow the escape of 30% of your air.

"Nitrogen is a dry, inert gas. Oxygen in a tire provides unwanted oxidation"

True, but how many of you have tossed your tires because the inside has rotted due to oxidation? Maybe if you didn't drive your car for 50 years that might be a problem.

And my favorite one of all,

"Oxygen is a flammable gas while nitrogen is an extinguishing gas. In a vehicle fire, ruptured air-filled tires fuel the fire. Nitrogen filled tires slow the fire."

Brilliant! As my astute wife pointed out, your vehicle is still on fire.


Games
GameInterestRelease Date
Civilization IV1
C&C 31
Company of Heroes1
Half Life 21
Half Life 2: Episode One1
Supreme Commander1
Call of Duty 22
Darwinia2
Dungeon Runners2
Dungeon Siege II2
Far Cry2
Galactic Civilization II2
Hitman: Blood Money2
Jade Empire2
Neverwinter Nights 22
Prey2
Psychonauts2
Sam & Max: Episode 12
Titan Quest2
Dark Messiah Might and Magic3
Defcon3
Heroes of Might and Magic V3
Indigo Prophecy3
KOTOR II3
LEGO Star Wars3
Marvel Ultimate Alliance3
Space Rangers 2: The Rise of the Dominators3
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl3
Stubbs the Zombie3
War Front3
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos3
Infernal35/8/2007
Shadowrun25/9/07
Pirates of the Burning SeaM6/1/2007
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars?6/5/2007
Two Worlds?6/26/07
Sins of A Solar Empire?8/1/2007
BioShock18/21/2007
Mass Effect19/7/07
Age of ConanM10/30/07
Crysis1Fall 2007
Elveon?Fall 2007
Half-Life 2: Episode Two1Fall 2007
Portals1Fall 2007
Spore1Fall 2007
Stranglehold?Fall 2007
Tabula RasaMFall 2007
Team Fortress 22Fall 2007
Dragon Age?Winter 2007
Fable 2?Winter 2007
Field Ops?Winter 2007
Halo Wars?Winter 2007
Gods & Heroes: Rome RisingMWinter 2007
Haze?Winter 2007
Hellgate: London1Winter 2007
HuxleyMWinter 2007
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men?Winter 2007
Left 4 Dead?Winter 2007
The AgencyMSpring 2008
Empire Earth III?Spring 2008
Guild Wars 2 MSpring 2008
Jericho?Spring 2008
Sacred 2?Spring 2008
Savage 2?Spring 2008
Time Shift2Spring 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault3Spring 2008
The Witcher?Spring 2008
CellFactor?2008
Darkest of Days?2008
On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkeness: Episode 122008
Warhammer OnlineM2008
Alliance: The Silent War??
Alone in the Dark??
Assassin's Creed??
BioWare MMO??
The Crossing??
Dungeon Hero??
Fallout 3??
Lego Batman??
Mythos??
Overloard??
Space Seige??
Culdcept SagaPC??
Gears of WarPC??
God of WarPC??
Beautiful KatamariPC??
OkamiPC??
Resistance: Fall of ManPC??
Odin's SpherePC??
Castle CrashersPC??

1 - I will buy it
2 - I'll buy it at discount
3 - Other people think it's good, but I wasn't interested when I first heard about it
M - Mainly Multiplayer. See if friends get interested.
? - Find out more about this game
PC? - Will it be released on the PC?