I Read Stuff!

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

PS3 Already Old News

Crytek is a relatively new comer to the game industry. They put out FarCry in 2004 which did very well for itself. Then at this last E3 they unveiled Crysis. This game is so graphically stunning it has won every graphics award in the industry. It truly is beautiful.

Yesterday Crytek announced that the game will be PC exclusive because the PS3 and Xbox 360 are NOT POWERFUL enough to run their engine. It's the normal pace of things that eventually consoles are out paced by PC graphics technology, but for consoles to lose ground so quickly is hilarious.

Today, the head of Sony's entertainment division said they will support the PS3 for the next 10 years, and the PS4 is more than 5 years away. He explains that their $600 price point represents a good value since the PS3 will be with you for all those years.

The PS3 will be available for 2 months before games will be released that it doesn't have the power to play. How is it going to be a viable gaming platform for 5+ years?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

You say Tomato. I say Tomahto

Those wacky Spaniards are gearing up for the only nationally sanctioned food fight in the world. With over 220,000 pounds of tomatoes it looks to be another successful year of La Tomatina.


Choose Carefully

I read a photo blog called 'scene from my life'. Basically, photographers sign up and take pictures of their daily life. The pictures get posted with a little caption explaining why and where the photo was taken. The majority of photographers live in countries I've never visited, so their images are generally of very foreign lifestyles.

Unfortunately, these aren't always National Geographic caliber photographers. Today's example:


Walking with friends today and near to my home is a village called, like me, Goodrich. Has a castle dating from the early 11th Century and is set in utterly beautiful countryside.
This guy lives next to a 11th Century castle in 'utterly beautiful countryside', and he post a picture of a wooden sign.

No Pulitzer for you.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Mini-Mines

A cluster bomb is an air-dropped bomb packed full of munitions. The most common type is filled with hundreds of little bombs that spread over a large area before detonating. It's a highly effective form of blanketing a region with flaming death. At least on paper.

In practice, a lot of those little bombs don't go off. This doesn't mean they are duds. It just means they are death waiting to happen. Some military guy thought this was a 'feature', so he developed a cluster bomb that actually spreads mines instead of bombs.

Time and time again, mines have proven to be a really, really dumb idea. This is mainly because they don't conveniently go away when the war is over. A cluster bomb that lays a mine field with unknown boundaries has got to be one of the dumbest weapons ever conceived.

The U.S., of course, had to build some of these to make sure they were a stupid idea. What do you do with these bombs after figuring out that they're a bad idea? Why, you sell them to Israel of course! Israel doesn't think these bombs are such a dumb idea, so they drop them on Lebanon. Brilliant!

Now the Lebanese refugees are returning to their homes, and they are walking into mini-mine fields deployed throughout the region. This is on top of the unexploded regular cluster bombs lying about in people's living rooms.

I can only imagine that the people dropping these things KNEW this would happen. This is the desired result!

Congratulations.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

MacGyver Unemployed

The longest running American sci-fi series in the history of television has been canceled! Well, at least the Sci-Fi channel won't be carrying it anymore. It's possible another network will acquired it, but since UPN has vanished things are looking grim for the show.

I personally have never watched it, but I’m told that they travel to a new planet every episode. They seek out new life and civilizations. They boldly go where no man has gone before. Yes, Stargate SG-1 is no more. Oh, you expected it to be yet another Star Trek spin off? Well, you wouldn't be too far off after reading some of these plot summaries.

In commiseration of Col. Jack O'Neill, here is a list of the problems solved by MacGyver before his hair turned grey.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Smooth

This is so ridiculous I had to share. A man plans a fun filled trip to Turkey with his dear ol' mum. He packs his bag like anyone else, except he includes an important piece that most of us have only seen in the movies, a penis pump. Apparently, like any muscle, atrophy occurs unless exercised daily.

So, when our happy fellow goes through security at the airport the strange object appears on the x-ray monitor. When asked to identify the strange device, our hero is put in a tough position. Should he identify the object in front of his mother, or lie through his teeth. Feeling like 007, he smoothly lies to the security personnel.

He says, "It's a bomb."

Mother and son's adventures in Turkey will have to wait until he gets out of jail.

What GTA Has Taught Us

A friend of mine mentioned this last week, but I didn't get it up before I left town. Better late than never!

You have just won the Altamont 150. You are flush with excitement as you roll into the winners circle. The obligatory girls in bikinis are there to great you and hold you up while you impart golden words of wisdom to the undulating crowd of NASCAR fans.

Unbeknownst to you, some guy has calmly walked up behind you. He climbs into your car, and steals it. This fool takes the car for a joy ride around the track until security is able to block the road with some tow trucks. Needless to say, the thief got his ass kicked.

Thankfully, ESPN has the video for your enjoyment.

School Days

School has started once again. A new influx of freshmen. A new set of experiences and expectations. In order to manage those wide eyed know it alls, Beloit has once again released their MindSet List. A list of 75 differences between the environment the freshmen grew up in and the environment where the teachers grew up.

Here are some fun ones:

1. The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.

6. There has always been only one Germany.

11. A coffee has always taken longer to make than a milkshake.

12. Smoking has never been permitted on U.S. airlines.

16. DNA fingerprinting has always been admissible evidence in court.

19. "Google" has always been a verb.

21. Milli Vanilli has never had anything to say.

33. They have no idea why we needed to ask "...can we all get along?"

73. They grew up with virtual pets to feed, water, and play games with, lest they die.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is that Nirvana?

Yesterday I was with a friend driving to our weekly get together. His little girl had decided things weren't going her way, and she was being very vocal about it. In an effort to calm the child, my friend pops in a CD filled with high pitched overly happy singers. A children's CD. I sat there thinking, surly there is a better way.

Today, I found it. From Baby Rock Records comes the Rockabye Baby series of CDs. Basically, it's all the good music from the last 20 years remade as lullabies with baby xylophones and rattles.

You may fall asleep to these lullabies, but you will have nightmares.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Moon Landing Faked!

There are a number of web sites dedicated to debunking the Apollo moon landing. Most people believe we have visited the rock, but there are some very vocal individuals who think space was made in a Hollywood basement. In an effort to provide proof that Armstrong really did walk on the moon, an ex-employee of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center asked to review the original tapes.

NASA's response: We lost them.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Shame on Illinois

It's become quite the popular pastime for politicians to invent anti-violent video game legislation. The good old ESA has cleared out that crap from at least 7 different states. The most recent cleansing added a new wrinkle to the whole affair.

"As result of trying to enact a law banning the sale of violent videogames (which was found unconstitutional), the State of Illinois must pay the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), game industry trade group, $510,528.64 in attorney fees." - source

I'm glad the ESA is finally getting paid for the work they do. Hopefully, the threat of a fine will stop this kind of silliness, because just looking stupid hasn't stopped politicians yet.

Star Trek XI

The marketing machine is warming up now that Damon has officially joined the Federation. Here is the first one sheet.


Friday, August 11, 2006

The Platinum Mach 14

This is getting ridiculous. How many freaking graphics cards do you need?



Will the next version of SLI include micropulses?

I Want To Work Here

Look closely at the label on the back door.



Yes, it says 'Secret Entrance'.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Turkey By Candlelight

My friends and I get together about once a week and have a group dinner. It's a good way to keep in touch, and it forces my wife and I to eat something besides Mac & Cheese. My parents had given us a turkey on our last visit. I forget why they had a turkey, but we ended up with it. We had also received a bunch of sweet corn from my brother-in-law, so it seemed predestined that we would do a Thanksgiving practice run.

We had never cooked a turkey before, and we were a bit nervous about how it was all going to turn out. We figured we could get pizza quick enough to cover any disasters. A friend pointed us to this product for our adventure with the fowl. It looked easy, and Reynolds even supplied a simple Holiday recipe.

After borrowing a roasting pan, we removed the turkey from it's wrapping. The first thing we learned is that the neck bone is stored in the chest cavity while the 'giblets' are stored in the neck. Why are the giblets stored in the neck? I have no idea, but I guess it's fair since the neck bone is where the giblets use to be.

Anyway, we lovingly messaged the herbs and spices into the bird, and wrapped the sucker up. When I got home from work I knew we'd done something right. The smell was amazing. I cut the bag open and pulled the turkey out. The second thing we learned is that the bag is no good if you want any kind of presentation. The meat just came off the bones in my hand. Good and tasty, but very messy. We opted for the pile of meat on a plate, as opposed to the pile of meat around a bony carcass.

We set the table for 11 adults, 4 kids, and 3 babies. Our little house considers that to be 'bursting'. Everyone arrives, and things go without a hitch, unless you count the mixing of turkey stuffing and chicken stuffing. We're still discussing the prudence of that move.

Everyone is eating and talking, and I'm cutting the last loaf of home bread machine made bread. Suddenly the life giving electricity gives up. Uh oh. I check the breaker box, nothing. I go outside where an seemingly random group of houses have lost power. Goodie. A friend navigates our utility companies automated phone system while we serve dessert. It should be fixed between 1 and a half and 3 hours.

Just picture this for a bit. 18 bodies in a small house. It's 95 degrees outside, and the inside is working its way up. We're all talking by flashlight, while the kids blindly run around in the dark. The very definition of 'good times'.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Today's Waste of Time

I ran into this fun little flash game the other day. It's called Dicewars. The premise is very similar to Risk, only you earn dice rather than armies. When you attack a country you roll all the dice you attack with and they roll all the dice available for defense. If the attacker loses they are reduced to one die on their region. If the attacker wins the defender loses all the dice in the region and the attacker advances. At the end of your turn you gain dice equal to the largest grouping of adjacent regions you own. Because of this, it's better to localize your regions. (If you own 5 regions but only 3 are touching. You only get 3 dice.)

Note: Sometimes the game doesn't load correctly. Just hit refresh if you get a blank page.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears

A couple of weeks ago we were visiting my family in Tulsa. We went on a bit of an adventure. Said adventure really needed pictures to describe, which is why this post is so late.

Now armed with the proper images I'd like to tell you about Safari's Sanctuary. Like a lot of things, it starts with stupidity. Apparently there are a number of people who think that a tiger or a bear would be a great pet. They're so cute when they are little. The problem comes when they grow up and start eating the neighborhood kids. Right about then the police get involved and the animal is taken away. Safari's is where those animals end up.

My family enjoys the zoo, so we decided to roll out to BFE and have a look. Safari's isn't exactly a state of the art facility. It's actually a plot of land in the back of a trailer park. It's obvious that they are trying to make some decent homes for these animals, but there are way more animals than there is room.

What they do have is an absurd number of meat eating predators caged by chain link fences. I'm sure you have all climbed chain link fences as children, so you are aware of the effect your little 60 pound ass had on such a fence. Now imagine a full grown tiger and the same fence. A little bit scary.

Now, just for kicks, we'll sell RAW CHICKEN to the visitors. That way they can feed the animals. Needless to say, the cats knew exactly which visitors were carrying the chicken. Here is a picture of a visitor feeding a male lion.



That's a 500 plus pound animal behind a chain link fence working to get some chicken. Try not to tease the man-eater.

This scene was repeated at a number of tiger and lion cages. They also had black leopards, bob cats, a pack of wolves, bears, monkeys, foxes, crocodiles, etc. The crown jewel of their collection was Napoleon's favorite animal, a liger. I'm pretty sure the fence is magic, because how else could it contain such a mythical beast.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Time Travel

I'm not an Apple person. I don't have anything against Apple, but I just prefer the PC. Some of the crazy kids I work with are certifiable Mac Heads. They keep watch for every little thing that happens in the world of Apple, and therefore I get to hear about it.

Apple's next OS, Leopard, is coming out next year, and they released a sneak peak. Check out this new feature. I'm not sure how often you would use it, but it looks damn cool.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Taxes and Debt

In 1898 the U.S. decided that Cuba should be a free nation. Luckily, Cuba felt the same way. On April 25, Congress declared war on Spain to free the Cubans. Soon after a luxury tax on telephone use was enacted to pay for the war. Apparently we are still paying.

Yes, the IRS and US government failed to repeal the tax once the war was paid for. It has raked in over 300 billion dollars over the last hundred years. 50 times the amount needed to fight the 6 month war. Our stout defenders, Verizon and AT&T, have just recently won a court battle with the IRS to remove the 3% tax.

The question is, will our bills go down or will the ILEC's profits go up?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Half Second of Fame

Roughly 2 months ago I told a story about a dog, her owner, and a country music video. The fruits of that effort have finally born out. It seems that we are destined to be a part of the CMT's version of popup video.

You can view the video on Lance Combs' myspace. You'll have to stop the music that automatically plays. Then scroll down a bit to the About Lance Combs section. There you will find the video for 'Short For Gone'. Hit play and watch the first 20 seconds carefully.

Unlike an actual starlet, she actually ate the fish sticks.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Publicity Nightmare

How do you sabotage a commanding lead in the laptop business? You rig your laptops to explode. Seriously, one exploding laptop is a little bit funny. Two is enough to make me walk softly around mine. Don't install that Yahoo toolbar, you might piss it off.

As much fun as it is to believe that all Dell laptops are malevolently sentient. It is more likely that these individuals failed to follow up on Dell's battery recall last Christmas

Work, Work, Work

Hello Boys! Did you miss me?

My work weekend started when my brother-in-law showed up with a power washer to prep my fence for staining on Friday. However, the 220 plug did not fit into the 220 socket. I might have given up here, if not for my brother's deep seated desire to get electrocuted. I pulled the plug off of the dryer while my brother pulled the washer's plug apart. After screwing the wires together, the washer started right up. A few exposed wires never hurt anyone. It was a pretty good time. The back spray felt good in the heat, and with two of us it went pretty fast.

I woke up the next day at 7 am to go play racquetball. The rest of my in-laws had shown up at midnight, so I'm sure they would sleep in. Wrong. They were up at 6 ready to go. My wife sent them for donuts while I went and chased the blue ball. When I returned they had all ready replaced some carpet padding that had been missing. I guess they understood how much work was ahead of us.

We ran to Home Depot and picked up some stain. We also picked up some hand sprayers to do the actual staining. Yeah, they don't work. In fact, they really suck. A sprayer was brought from the far west, but we hesitated in using it. It was setup for paint, and stain is a lot thinner than paint.

We pulled it from the truck, but it didn't work. We had to pull all the valves, clean them, and oil them. We then primed the thing by pouring water directly into the pump housing. Oddly enough this worked. I cannot stress enough how much faster things went with the sprayer. It was amazing.

Meanwhile, back in house, a busted screen was replaced and quarter round fit to our bathroom. Food was prepared and we were all done about 3 in the afternoon.

We then ran to my brother-in-laws house to put in some carpet spacers and mop boards. I have to admit that I was starting to lag as an effective worker, but luckily my in-laws are a bit more focused.

Now that I'm back to work, I have an Alpha deadline looming. Apparently, the other pirates have discovered I've gone soft.


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?