August 2005 Archives



August 1, 2005

Despite feud, 'Simple Life' to return

NEW YORK (AP) -- Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are stuck together for another season of "The Simple Life" -- even if they're not speaking to each other.
Source: CNN

Oh thank heaven! I mean, I was losing sleep over this one.

Bush honors fallen scout leaders

BOWLING GREEN, Virginia (AP) -- Succeeding on his third try to visit them, President Bush comforted thousands of Boy Scouts on Sunday at a national jamboree marred by the electrocutions of four leaders and stifling heat that sickened 300.
Source: CNN

The Boy Scouts have had some freak accidents lately. Not only did these Scouts get electrocuted at this year's National Jamboree, but some Scouts were killed by lightning in California this weekend as well.

My heart goes out to their families. I never had anything like that happen at a Jamboree or a camping trip.

HP to stop selling iPods

HP will stop selling its branded Apple iPods in September. HP will continue to install iTunes on its PCs and laptops, however.
Source: Playlist

This union between Apple and HP never did make sense to me. It all begins with HP's Invent slogan. Ironic, really.

It is HOT out

It is H O T hot hot hot. It was like this last week too. I cannot express, without swearing, how hot it is. But this is a family friendly site (ha!) so I will curb my vulgarities. Lets just say I had to take a shower after I got done with my errands today. This has got to be one of the warmest summers on record.

As I hear "What's global warming?" from the cheap seats.

Geek joke of the day

"You know you subscribe to way too many mailing lists when 99% of your email on the 1st of every month is from mailman-owner@domain.com."

Or, for the uninitiated:

"You know you subscribe to way too many mailing lists when 99% of your email on the 1st of every month reads "mailing list memberships reminder."

The rising cost of health care

I am really getting tired of seeing "the rising cost of health care" in a letter from Anthem, my health care provider. This time it is rising from $158 to $185. This has got to be the 4th rise in my premium since I started using Anthem in Sept. 2002.

I really need to get a full time job. Health care is killing me, figuratively of course. If I change my deductible from $500 to $1,000, I can bring my premium down to $152. This is not the best, but I have no choice because I cannot afford an extra $30 every month.

Now for the good news. Good news at the cost of a higher deductible of course. I got my first bill at the new rate, and it is only $133. That took an extra glance. I called just to make sure! The rep. I talked to quoted me too high. In 3 years I have never had to use Anthem for more then an office visit, so right now that $1,000 deductible doesn't look too bad.

We will see.

*crosses fingers*

August 2, 2005

Wow... something other than hate mail!

Got this today from DP member Dji:

Hello Mr. Paprocki,

Just wanted to say thanks for the many reviews you have here. I've found many of them quite informative and/or funny. I've nodded in agreement at most of your assessments. Of course I haven't read them all, but one thing's for sure: I'll be reading any review I encounter with your name on it. And that's saying something, since I can't stand reviews 95% of the time, especially mainstream ones. In fact I don't even read them anymore. Especially those by Matt Casamassina, of IGN fame. 9 out of 10 for Donkey Kong 64? ("Buy it.") What about Ivan Sulic's review of Jak 3 ("If you like games, you'll buy this immediately or we'll come to your house and beat you to death."). Bleh Damn I can't stand being told "you're not a true gamer if you don't buy this" or other such nonsense (I hate the phrase "must-have" with a passion), which most reviewers are extremely fond of... as well as calling every other game the best ever and giving 9's all over the place.

And what about Hilary Goldstein's review of Metal Slug 3 for Xbox, in which he (yes, he) actually recommended that the reader download a rom instead of paying the "ridiculous amount of money SNK was asking" (not actual quote). This was taken down shortly thereafter. Damn IGN sucks. And it's not like GamePro, EGM or especially the official mags are better. I'd be willing to bet that most of these guys have never seen a Neo Geo (whether AES or MVS) in their lives, yet alone played one. GameSpot seems a little better, yet it's skewered towards PC gaming too much for my tastes.

Anyway... I can see you're a huge fan of beat 'em ups, run and gun, fighters, etc. and so am I, so that's nice. I'm eager to read your reviews for genres I'm less familiar with/interested in, too. You are obviously knowledgeable and you have strong opinions. Nothing worse than a wishy-washy review, except maybe a fanboy's review. Thankfully, you've found a nice balance as a reviewer. Keep it up. However, I've noticed a few typos here and there, and that always bugs me. Otherwise I couldn't ask for more. Thanks again.

Dji

Hootie and the Blowfish, Toledo Zoo Amphitheater, 8-1-05

Hootie makes sure they end up in Toledo every time they tour the country, and always at the Toledo Zoo Amphitheater. It's a great outdoor venue as far as audio is concerned, even for an older structure. Barring the heat (in the 90s, and staying there for most of the show), everything went smoothly as the band mixed both old and new flawlessly.

Continue reading "Hootie and the Blowfish, Toledo Zoo Amphitheater, 8-1-05" »

August 3, 2005

Solve InDesign type trouble

Thanks to its elegantly designed text controls, Adobe InDesign (CS and CS2) offers endless possibilities for perfecting your type. But not all of its features are obvious.
Source: MacCentral

Macworld posted an excerpt from Adobe InDesign CS/CS2 Breakthroughs. It's a good read, I might actually buy the book.

Apple introduces the Mighty Mouse

Apple Computer on Tuesday introduced Mighty Mouse, the company’s next generation USB 1.1 and 2.0 mouse. Mighty Mouse offers users up to four independently programmable buttons and a Scroll Ball that lets users scroll in any direction — vertically, horizontally and even diagonally, according to Apple.
Source: MacCentral

Hell hath frozen over. I never thought I would see the day when Apple saw the light, and released a multi-button mouse. I just hope this mouse is included when you buy a new Mac now. I am also not sold on the name. I almost expected it to be named something like "iMouse." But aparently Apple liked the name Mighty Mouse so much that they licensed the name from Viacom, who own the property now.

As you would expect, it is designed very well. I do like the ability to scroll sideways (something the Microsoft IntelliMouse has). I am a little surprised at the price too, $49 is cheaper then Apple has previously sold its corded single button mouse for ($69). It still costs more then an IntelliMouse though.

My only questions is this: Where is the Bluetooth? Since Apple has a BT single-button mouse, why not have a BT multi-button mouse too?

I have a Logitech MX 700, and I do not think I could go back to a corded mouse.

Phishers Steal Trust from eBay Sign In Pages

Fraudsters have exploited a flaw in the eBay web site that allows them to orchestrate phishing attacks using eBay's own Sign In page.

Registered users of eBay's popular online auction web site must sign in using a username and password in order to participate in bidding and listing of items. A new style of phishing attack reported through the Netcraft Toolbar [which does not work on the Mac] community shows fraudsters exploiting flaws on the Sign In page and on another ancilliary page which results in victims being redirected to the fraudster's phishing site after they have logged in.

Source: Netcraft News

Using URL parameters is not new. Using the official page is. Spammers just found out how to use the redirect parameter in the URL. These login pages redirect to pages on that site usually, to your My eBay page for example. So it is not odd to have parameters in the URL. This is amazing, I did not think phishing could get any worse. It just got a lot worse.

It is hard enough to get non-techies to notice that the URL is not the official site, think how hard it is to explain URL parameters to them.

Incidentally, if you get phishing emails from eBay or PayPal, which are the most prevalent, you should send them to spoofs@ebay.com.

Australia Bans 'Grand Theft Auto'

SYDNEY, Australia -- Banned down under. That's the fate of the video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas."

Officials for the Australian agency that rates software and game titles says the game has been banned from sale.

That means the game can no longer be legally sold, rented, advertised or exhibited in Australia.

Source: KSBW-TV

If you want to talk about a raiting system that needs an overhaul, take a look at Australia. Their highest raiting is 15! This would be like at T rating here in the US. I can't believe San Andreas had a 15 rating in Australia in the first place.

Is he dead or alive?

I am going to have to call him on this one, (sorry) Paprocki asked me today if Jimmy Buffet was dead. He's not. But I found this Dead or Alive Info site in the processes of proving a point. As one quote on the site says, it's very useful in a very limited, specific sort of way.

After you found out that someone is dead, you should head on over, as Matt was quick to point out, to Find A Grave. And yes, you too can add to the Find A Grave site.

Now that I think about it, I have gone to The Blog of Death before, but have never heard of the above two links.

Rockstar draws protest

It's not for GTA either (though sort of in a way). It's for Bully, their latest attempt at ticking someone off, and well, they have. Apparently, some group called "Peaceaholics" doesn't want the game released, and Rockstar is comprised of felons. Yawn. $100 says they've never played it.*

Continue reading "Rockstar draws protest" »

August 4, 2005

Orca DVD Review

Not content to just destroy King Kong in 1976, a year later Dino De Laurentiis decided the success of Jaws was enough to warrant Orca. This "killer whale gone mad" flick might have had some merit if it's obvious the release wasn't so obviously a cash-in. There's a fantastic performance by Richard Harris, and Bo Derek takes her first role in a movie that's just not worth watching.

Continue reading "Orca DVD Review" »

Interview: Hootie and the Blowfish's Mark Bryan

Mark Bryan is the lead guitarist for Hootie and Blowfish. He has released his own solo album (30 on the Rail) and composed a short downloadable album titled State Your Peace available on their website. The band is currently touring in promotion of their latest album, which comes out August 8th, Looking for Lucky. I had the opportunity to interview him over the phone before a Tennessee show on August 4th about the band, his solo career, and the new album.

Continue reading "Interview: Hootie and the Blowfish's Mark Bryan" »

Sony to release PSP 2.0 firmware update Aug. 12

Sony has already released a 2.0 firmware upgrade to its PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Japan. Sony has announced plans to release that software in North America on August 12. the update adds a Web browser, photo sharing options and more to the handheld gaming console and media player.
Source: MacCentral

This we know (or should). This article focuses on the Mac side of things.

Nonprofits slam Microsoft's Vista name

The VistA Software Alliance and WorldVista, two nonprofit groups that assist American veterans hospitals, nursing homes and clinics with the VA’s VistA software, have denounced Microsoft’s name choice, citing possible confusion between the operating system and the software used to store and manage veterans’ patient information.
Source: MacCentral

Do you ever just think that they wanted to get their name in the news thanks to good old Microsoft?

Duke learns lessons from the iPod

At Duke University, administrators are reassessing how best to use the devices as educational tools. After an experiment last year that involved giving all 1,650 incoming freshmen iPods, Duke has decided to distribute the devices more selectively.
Source: Playlist

Ha, this is funny. Now the student has to be enrolled in a class that requests an iPod. Great idea. Maybe the freshman were using the iPods for a little too much music and not enough lecture recordings?

August 5, 2005

Ghostbusters 1 & 2 Gift Set DVD Review

There have been a recent rash of double dips in the DVD market, some of which add the most minor of content just to reap the profits from die-hard fans. Jaws, The Jerk, and Underworld come to mind. Now Ghostbusters, in all of its brilliance, is sadly stuck on that list.

Continue reading "Ghostbusters 1 & 2 Gift Set DVD Review" »

Soc 101 Advertising Portfolio

The second and final assignment for this summer class is to put together an advertising portfolio. It has to contain ads, in any 10 of 12 categories, that objectify women. Not that hard to find in even the tamest of magazines these days.

I did some extra work and got a 103% on the project. Yawn.

I am really glag I payed $1000+ to cut up magazines. [/sarcasm]

A9 Instant Reward — Save 1.57% On Virtually Everything at Amazon.com

Did you know about this? My friend Eric mentioned this to me the other day. I had no idea. You could even be evil about it and set up a script to search the site, but I wouldn't do that. No, never.

Apple alters iPod trademark to include video

Well, this will certainly add some fuel to the fire on those video iPod rumours — Apple has updated its trademark for the iPod from “portable and handheld digital electronic devices for recording, organizing, transmitting, manipulating, and reviewing text, data, and audio files” to read “portable and handheld digital electronic devices for recording, organizing, transmitting, manipulating, and reviewing text, data, audio, image, and video files.”
Source: Engadget

I was just thinking to myself, it has been a while since I bought a new iPod (joke). After seeing how video can look on my PSP, I do not think the 2" screen of the iPod will be very inticing. What will be great is the ease of use via iTunes, of course.

Sony really needs a good interface for getting video onto the PSP (they also need a Mac compatible version; the current 1st party software is Windows only). There are good 3rd party Mac apps out for the PSP, but with the 2.0 firmware coming, they all have to update for a quasi AVC/h.264 format. If it was true h.264 video we could all use QuickTime 7 Pro, but that would be too easy, wouldn't it.

I wonder how much that video iPod will cost? The 60 GB iPod photo is $399. Will they charge $499 or more for a video iPod?

First family of Windows Vista viruses unleashed

An Austrian hacker earned the dubious distinction of writing what are thought to be the first known viruses for Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Vista operating system. Written in July, the viruses take advantage of a new command shell, code-named Monad, that is included in the Windows Vista beta code.
Source: MacCentral

Microsoft is its own worst marketing nightmare. Getting people to adapt to XP was tough. I imagine it will be even harder to convince people to adapt to Vista. I really didn't think we would see any Vista exploits this soon in the game.

Oh well, you have to make your name some how.

Here is a radical idea. Buy a Mac.

PlayStation 3 processor could support Mac OS X Tiger

It's unclear at the moment exactly what this will mean for Mac or PlayStation 3 users. Sony's Cell processor is a derivative of IBM's PowerPC chip used by Apple in its personal computers.

Source: AppleInsider

I love rumor mills. Especially the far out bizarre claims. I would think that Sony would put a Linux distro on the PS3, since it already has one for the PS2. But thats just me. But whatever. Anything could happen. I mean Apple switched to Intel chips and finally after 21 years released a multi-button mouse.

Jaws 3 DVD Review

There was potential for Jaws 3. The original title, Jaws 3, People 0, would have made it the greatest film ever just based on the title. Anyone involved knew there was nowhere left for the series to go. Let's all take a moment to thank Universal for shooting that idea down and leaving us scarred for life with this disaster.

Continue reading "Jaws 3 DVD Review" »

August 6, 2005

Orignal video games and sales numbers

If you're a member of any video game message board, you've certainly seen your fair share of gamers complaining about the lack of originality in today's games. There's a reason for it. Here's a stat from the latest Electronic Gaming Monthly:

Continue reading "Orignal video games and sales numbers" »

Congrats to Ken

After royally busting his ass, Ken managed to pass his sociology class with a score of 93%. He was probably going to post something on it, but this will save him the time. This is all after he claimed he had a "project" to look through magazines for ads that "exploited women." How convienient.

Congrats!

MT RebuildBlogs

I am really behind the curve on MT plugins. MT RebuildBlogs is really worth installing.

MT Tabs from Movalog.com

I thought I posted this a long time ago. I can't find it. This is an indispensable tool for finding Movable Type tags fast. MT Tabs adds a sidebar in Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Ghostbusters UMD movie Review

As if a weak DVD double-dip wasn't enough, American classic Ghostbusters is now on UMD. The film will always be the same regardless of the format, a laugh out loud comedy (one of Ivan Reitman's best certainly) that has stood against time. Besides a few special effect shots, it remains as close to flawless as possible. (**** out of *****)

Continue reading "Ghostbusters UMD movie Review" »

Tidal Wave Sci-Fi Channel premiere

Tidal Wave is one of those movies that might have worked as a single episode of an hour-long TV show. Drug out into feature length, this 1997 direct-to-cable flick becomes a dull, uninspired mess. It's predictable, the characters are uninteresting, central logic is lost, and even the few destruction sequences don't provide much in the way of entertainment.

Continue reading "Tidal Wave Sci-Fi Channel premiere" »

August 7, 2005

The week in video game violence starring Jack Thompson

One of the major networks should start a new reality show on video games. They only need to look at one small portion of the industry, which would make the budget small, because that's the only one most of the nation knows about. So, in the past few weeks, Bully, Sims 2, and Killer 7 along with a few flash games have made the news.

Continue reading "The week in video game violence starring Jack Thompson" »

Another training day

I know it is almost time for a new school year when we have our annual training session. It is time to train all the new people on how to use InDesign and our work flow to put The BG News together every day.

This time went better then others. In the past year I have been doing a lot to make the News' staff job a lot easier. Last year I overhauled out style guide, as well as supplement the InDesign library with even more drag-and-drop parts.

I still have a list of things to edit before we start classes in three weeks.

Peter Jennings has died

Just broke in with a special report on ABC News, complete with video montage. Lung Cancer was the cause.

August 8, 2005

Destroy All Humans Xbox Review

While nothing will ever replace them, classic sci-fi schlock like Plan 9 from Outer Space has probably inspired more modern cinema and video games than true classics like Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. The parodies are constant, and Destroy All Humans runs with just that. It's been regarded as Grand Theft Auto with an alien, and it's hard to find a better description.

Continue reading "Destroy All Humans Xbox Review" »

Goldeneye: Rogue Agent DS Review

It just should not be possible for a game to do this much wrong. First person shooters have officially been sent backwards five years by Goldeneye: Rogue Agent. This abysmal title barely even covers first-person shooter basics, while adding the most aggravating, annoying, and repetitive soundtracks in recent memory.

Continue reading "Goldeneye: Rogue Agent DS Review" »

August 9, 2005

Hootie and the Blowfish: Looking for Lucky Review

If Hootie and the Blowfish have any chance to be back in the position they were in 12 years ago, Looking for Lucky is it. This is their most enjoyable, addictive, and easy to listen to album since the criminally under appreciated Musical Chairs. It's not going to create a new audience, but for those who have stuck with them and those who may have forgotten, this is the album the band needed.

Continue reading "Hootie and the Blowfish: Looking for Lucky Review" »

Soc 101 final test and grade

Although Matt already let the cat out of the bag early, I still wanted to comment on this grade.

First of all, it was so nice to not have to wake up for a 9:30 AM class today! It is so nice to have it done and over with.

I got a 95% on the last test. And to be honest I only studied for half an hour before the test. If I can get a 95% by doing that, I don't see the point in burring my nose in the books for longer. That and taking classes while working two jobs is a not-so-fun juggling act. It does not leave a lot of time to study.

Continue reading "Soc 101 final test and grade" »

Macromedia unveils Studio 8

San Francisco-based Macromedia Inc. on Monday will announce Studio 8, the newest version of the company’s suite of applications for content authoring. Studio 8 sheds FreeHand, but adds two other applications giving the suite a better mix for its target customer, according to the company. Studio 8 now includes Dreamweaver 8; Flash Professional 8 (including a new Flash 8 Video Encoder); Fireworks 8; Contribute 3; and FlashPaper 2.
Source: MacCentral

There is only one application I get excited about more then Photoshop, and that is Dreamweaver.

MacCentral has a preview of the new Dreamweaver, Flash, and Fireworks. Dreamweaver just looks amazing.

After looking at the new features of the entire suite, I will be plunking down the $399 for the upgrade to Studio 8.

I am very interested to see the new text rendering engine in Flash 8 Professional. I am glad they "unsplit" Flash, last release had a Pro and non pro version, which I thought was pretty dumb.

As for the new Dreamweaver, the new background FTP is about time. The redesigned CSS panel looks great as well. The visual tools for CSS development look outstanding. The Mac version now finally has a tabbed interface for open documents too. Thats another "its about time" feature, as the Windows version of Dreamweaver has had this feature for some time now. New coding tools look great. This looks like a really solid upgrade for Dreamweaver, and may be some foreshadowing in regards to GoLive.

BG News Alumni Society

This is my first web site using Movable Type as a back end. MT is great to work with, as it is much more then a blogging tool. The BG News Alumni Society was recently formed, and now they have a site. It has been up in some form or another for a couple months now, but it is now mostly complete. The last thing I need to do is make the MailMan templates look nice. Plus some other small tweaks.

It took the most work to take the SMARTY templates of The BG News site and convert them to MT templates.

The BG News is having its 85th anniversary this year. I put together my first PayPal shopping cart for this site. PayPal is really great to use for Point Of Sale (POS) work.

RockOrchestra games

Finally, my two loves together: The Los Angeles Philharmonic is doing some video game music. And it looks like they'll be the first of many classical orchestras doing this sort of thing.

Sample playlist:
"Some of the greatest game franchises and music ever created are being showcased including Mario, Zelda, Halo, Metal Gear Solid, Warcraft, Myst, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, Medal of Honor, Sonic, Tron, Tomb Raider, Advent Rising, Headhunter, Beyond Good & Evil, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, EverQuest II and even a classic arcade game medley featuring games from Pong to Donkey Kong."

Ha ha, friggin' sweet.

Microsoft settles with 'Spam King' for $7 million

Microsoft Corp. has settled a lawsuit that it filed two years ago against the self-proclaimed "King of Spam," Scott Richter, who at one time helped distribute more than 38 billion unsolicited e-mails per year, Microsoft said Tuesday.
Source: MacCentral

Poor guy, he had to pay MS $7M. I hate spam. I don't feel bad for him.

Code war heats up between Microsoft and Adobe

Redmond-based Microsoft just announced two products that will compete with offerings from Adobe, and Adobe is about to buy a company with products that challenge Microsoft's.
Source: Seattlepi.com

Microsoft does have a competitor to PDF. I just don't think it will topple Adobe. But then Microsoft only had 4% of the browser market at the beginning of the browser wars.

NCAA Cracks Down On College Nicknames/Mascots

The NCAA announced today that mascots making Native American or Indian references will not be tolerated in postseason play. Schools will be asked to cover up any logo on uniforms or clothing that suggests such references.
Source: WCAP

One one level I agree with this. But as far as I know, the FSU Seminoles have the permissions from the Seminole Nation to use their name and the Indian mascot. So I do not think this sanctions by the NCAA should affect FSU.

Windows offers new vistas of spending

People wanting to upgrade to Windows Vista are likely to need not only a new computer with more robust hardware, but a new monitor as well.

A US tech consultant says technology in the new version will fuzz protected digital content unless it is viewed on a monitor which has High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Subscription Required. My only question is: What does Windows need copy protection of this magnitude for? There are plenty of other ways on a computer to secure content compared to a TV (where this technology came from).

August 10, 2005

Start Your Engines: Developing Driving and Racing Games Review

Unlike a lot of recent set of game design books, Start Your Engines has a focus, and it's a good one on top of that. A dominant genre, racing titles take up a large market share, and this is a book that will get you moving on designing one. That's assuming of course you know what you're doing.

Continue reading "Start Your Engines: Developing Driving and Racing Games Review" »

Man dies after long gaming marathon

Well lookie here, just what the industry needs! These Korean people are crazy about their online games. This is the third or fourth story I've heard about serious addiction over there (Lineage in particular). I've pulled a few all nighters in my day, but 50 hours? That's too much even for me.

Economist article on video game debates

Fantastic read, and the first major media source I've ever read that says it's the generational gap causing all these problems. Well that and Jack Thompson. It also cites studies that show there isn't aggression coming from players. Kudos to the author (who is sadly uncredited) for understanding, and writing something other than "Games kill people!"

Backyard Football Gamecube Review

Sports games do one thing in the current video game market: Clog it... fast. Each year we are bombarded by countless iterations of NFL games. Someway, somehow, these things sell millions upon millions of copies leaving collectors diving into $.25 bins two years later trying to complete collections. It wouldn't be so bad if they all played like Backyard Football though.

Continue reading "Backyard Football Gamecube Review" »

August 11, 2005

Silpheed PS2 Review

Silpheed is probably familiar to most gamers on the Sega CD. The intense faux polygon backdrops, simply shocking at the time, covered up some rather generic gameplay. While still a nice shooter, it hardly did anything to change or move the genre ahead. This latest edition on the PS2 does pretty much the same thing, this time with impressive results.

Continue reading "Silpheed PS2 Review" »

Cool game download

Edge magazine had a snippet showing this. All the gameplay elements are clay animated, from the ships to the explosions. Could use some more variety and it's a basic (although fun) shooter, but it looks great.

Stop Stop Kill

Finally, someone is speaking out against insane anti-game crusader Jack Thompson. Mr. "I'm better than all gamers and I know more than you's" website is www.stopkill.com. This is a great way to post actual truths, and rib on his website. Kudos guys for doing something anyone who plays games wanted to do.

King Kong Lives DVD Review

There's a small but dedicated fan base for bad movies. These are not the type of movies that are actually terrible, just so incompetent, they become an absolute joy to watch for their sheer stupidity. That's King Kong Lives in a single sentence. This is a miserable film, and no honest critic is going to praise it. However, you know if you fall in this category, and if so, King Kong Lives is a necessity.

Continue reading "King Kong Lives DVD Review" »

Brutal collision in the Mets game

This one is hard to watch. Link to the video is on the right side.

Car Battler Joe Game Boy Advance Review

Car Battler Joe is definitely one of those games. A strange hybrid of Pokemon, Twisted Metal, a dash of Final Fantasy like RPG elements, and open ended gameplay much like the Grand Theft Auto series, Joe won't appeal to anyone who refuses to give it some time, but these people are missing out on one of the best portable RPG's in a long time.

Continue reading "Car Battler Joe Game Boy Advance Review" »

August 12, 2005

Review: Verizon VZMinutes

The Verizon VZMinutes widget shows off the best reason for using the Dashboard. Its just a shame that widgets in general take up between five to 10 MB of RAM each. Some people are spoiled with RAM though.

In short, Widgets are Sherlock without all the overhead. Search engine widgets are great, RSS widgets are nice, comic widgets are fun, but these web services widgets like the VZMinutes widget are the reason Dashboard really shines.

They work mainly because, in this case, I hate going to the Verizon Wireless web site and login every time I want to check my minutes.

Of course I would not store my PIN on any computer other then my own, for obvious security reasons.

I should note that this is in beta, and it very much acts like it. It does work though, just not all the time.

Double Dragon EX cell phone game review

Even after countless awful (and at times unplayable) sequels, Double Dragon is one of those games that has refused to die. This 1987 arcade classic has reasons to stick around too. As the innovator of the beat-em-up, it's still a great time killer, and that's just what you're looking for on a cell phone.

Continue reading "Double Dragon EX cell phone game review" »

August 13, 2005

My overall GPA went up

To say that my GPA is in the crapper is an understatement. It was at an all time low of 1.61 before the summer. As you can see, this is why I got kicked out a couple years ago. But I got an 'A' in Sociology 101 this summer - a huge help.

My GPA is now a 1.67. Since I have a sub 2.0 GPA I am still dismissed but can continue (because BGSU wants my money) because I have kept at least a 2.0 GPA this summer session. I now have 85 credits to my name. Yay.

D is for diploma, right? I need a 2.0 GPA to graduate (OK so that is a C) and a total of 122 credits. At least I am more then half way there. And I am getting close to that 2.0 too.

Mac Hacks Allow OS X on PCs

That future may already be unfolding: Hackers have found a way to bypass a chip designed to prevent the Mac OS from running on non-Apple PCs, which are often cheaper than Macs.
Source: WIRED

There have been conflicting reports about Apple using a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) in their new development kits. It sounds like they did.

And you just knew it would only be a (short) amount of time before this new Mac OS on vanilla Intel hardware was hacked. It was as if Apple was just taunting people to defy them.

Sony Flakes on 2.00

Sony pulled a switch on us today. Although reps for SCE originally reported to us that the Firmware update 2.00 was going to be downloadable this week, its release has now been moved to next week. According to SCE's press release:

"The PSP Firmware 2.0 Upgrade for the North American market will be available during the week of August 15th, instead of on August 12, as previously reported."

Source: IGN PSP

Hey, it's August 12th, and I cannot download the 2.0 update.

Sony really likes to piss people off. It really doesn't matter what it is, PSP related or not.

This is just absolutely preposterous. I am going to download the Japanese 2.0 firmware update (that has been reported to work just fine on US models). I say it is absolutely preposterous because there has been this barren desert of releases since the first few weeks of the PSP's existence and now Sony is pushing the release of their web browser back to a soft date of next week? There is no reason for that.

They could have just put the date at August 15th or whatever for the US release of the update. What do they have to do for the official US release? Point the home page to a US server? I would like to think that the US release will see something above and beyond what came out in Japan weeks ago. But I doubt it.

The DS is killing the PSP in the games department right now. There is no reason for Sony to delay the release of the web browser, especially since there are so little games, and very few quality games that have been released since launch. Your goal is to give your users what they want.

It seems Sony itself, not the DS, is its own biggest problem lately.

Someone screwed up. Good one Sony. Strike one.

Windows Vista Beta 1: A Guided Tour

Scot Finnie takes a long, detailed, and expert look at the features, foibles, and functionality of Microsoft's upcoming OS.
Source: InformationWeek

Alien Express Sci-Fi Channel Original Review

Unlike so many other Sci-Fi Channel cheapies, Alien Express had some small potential. It's goofy fun until the effects take over (and these are mercifully done practically for the most part), which showcase the budget in the worst way possible. It's a somewhat enjoyable low budget schlock, but only for those used to this type of movie.

Continue reading "Alien Express Sci-Fi Channel Original Review" »

Another experiment with Windows

I was getting bored. I guess. Never say never. A month ago or so I bought a Dell Inspiron 700m. Yes, it is true, I have gone back to the dark side. And I got some great rebates along the way!

I have flirted with getting another PC for a little while now. After a year (or so) without a Windows box I have come to the conclusion that I need a PC for my business.

Continue reading "Another experiment with Windows" »

August 14, 2005

Movie billboards don't feature ratings

This is funny (you'll need to register to read it all). Apparently, parents can't figure out that Deuce Bigalow European Gigolo isn't for their kids, because the billboards that advertise it don't show the rating (the ads were made before the MPAA handed down their ruling). The Leaning Tower in the ad is "conveniently" placed too, let alone the title of the movie.

Online police scanners

For when you have nothing better to do.

Fable Xbox Review

Keeping promises is tough, especially when you're dealing with a fickle group of video game players. Director Peter Molyneaux has the ideas; there are just times when the technology isn't there to match them. Fable was promised to be so much more, yet when you're done with this 10+ hour adventure, you'll never realize things that were promised were missing.

Continue reading "Fable Xbox Review" »

August 15, 2005

Madden 06 DS Review

There's hardly anyone who would consider last years Madden entry on the DS a quality addition to the franchise. It was obviously rushed, and even as a port, it wasn't very successful. Significant strides have been made this year, both visually and gameplay wise. They're immediately apparent, and for die-hard fans, this isn't such a bad choice.

Continue reading "Madden 06 DS Review" »

Midnight Club: Dub Edition PSP Review

Starting life on the Playstation 2 with a dull (though promising) entry, Midnight Club has blossomed into one of the top racing titles in the industry. Its impact has been felt in numerous other titles, including Need for Speed Underground. This latest edition is a top-tier racer, plagued by unacceptable load times that simply are not suitable for portable gaming.

Continue reading "Midnight Club: Dub Edition PSP Review" »

August 16, 2005

The greatest flash game ever devised

If you're a guy at least.

Nintendo DS gets price cut, now $130

That was quick. This is the version without a game included (that one remains $149). Great time to pick one up with some great titles that have come out in the past few months.

Flatout PS2 Review

Flatout suffers from something called "Super Monkey Ball Syndrome." What is this new disease? The unlockable mini-games are far more entertaining than the main game itself. If Flatout didn't offer its side games, then it would have little redeeming value.

Continue reading "Flatout PS2 Review" »

August 17, 2005

Xbox 360 pricing confirmed

Just ouch. $400 for the budle, $300 without.

I find it funny that the bundle includes a hard drive, wireless controller, Hi-def cable, and more junk, yet no game, the single most important item for a console. There's no reason to buy the $299 model (and as the article states, that's what they'll advertise), at least depending on what sort of functionality the hard drive has. $400 console and $60 games. Ouch again.

Game Boy Micro in September

Launching September 19th for $99.

Simpsons Season 6 DVD absurdity

Dear Fox,

Thank you for sucking. Thank you for making this new season set with an impossible to handle Homer head box, from which the discs easily fall out, is fragile, and isn't even remotely logical. Thank you for changing the box so it doesn't match up with the rest of the sets. Thank you for making us go to your website and pay $2.95 for the REAL box. Thank you for printing the wrong phone number to tell us where to go for this redemption inside the Homer head box.

Thank you,

Matt Paprocki

APA wants violent games toned down

They seem to be missing two key points:

Kids shouldn't be playing the games to begin with.

Other research shows they have no ill effects.

I particularly love this quote:

"Showing violent acts without consequences teaches youth that violence is an effective means of resolving conflict. Whereas, seeing pain and suffering as a consequence can inhibit aggressive behavior,"

So, shooting someone and watching them grab whatever body part was just shot doesn't show pain? Watching their head blow off doesn't show they die? But again, none of this matters. "Youth" shouldn't have them, period. Research wasted... again.

This is one high reporter

Funny stuff (WMV). Thanks to Dan for sending it in.

NCAA purchases NIT for $56.5 million to end legal fight

NEW YORK (AP) The NCAA owns college basketball's postseason. Really.

The organization that made March mad with the 65-team national championship tournament, purchased the rights to the preseason and postseason National Invitation Tournaments as part of a settlement that ends a four-year legal fight between the two parties.

Source: CBS SportsLine

That's five New York City colleges that get 56.5M each.

Interview: Stopstopkill.com's Brendon Lindsey

Brendon Lindsey was one of the countless video game players frustrated by the current attacks on the medium. Instead of just thinking to himself or posting messages on a forum, he decided to start a website. In just a short time, this published writer has created something that has received an unexpectedly huge response. This interview was conducted through e-mail to see how this all came about, and just why anti-game crusader Jack Thompson is under attack.

Continue reading "Interview: Stopstopkill.com's Brendon Lindsey" »

August 18, 2005

The Simpsons Season 6 DVD Review

While fans can complain and debate about the current string of Simpsons episodes, there's no argument to be had for season six. This is one of the best, featuring some of the strongest writing, sharpest humor, and brilliantly constructed parodies. There's not a single dud in this collection.

Continue reading "The Simpsons Season 6 DVD Review" »

Cellular DVD Review

Written by a phone-obsessed Larry Cohen (he also wrote the tense Phone Booth with Colin Farrell), Cellular is a movie that relies on some logic gaps to get started. Characters do dumb things, and you can only yell at the screen in an attempt to help them overcome their mind block. Once things begin rolling, the action scenes start, and the tension can build, all of that is excused.

Continue reading "Cellular DVD Review" »

August 19, 2005

Super cool shooter

Found this on this months Retro Gamer cover disc. It's a great issue and the disc is filled with nothing but shooters. This one is really special. If you could imagine Katamari Damacy as a shooter, this is it.

August 20, 2005

So where the hell is it?

"The PSP Firmware 2.0 Upgrade for the North American market will be available during the week of August 15th, instead of on August 12, as previously reported."
Source: IGN PSP

Hey Sony: Do you want a black eye? It seems you do. It is now Saturday, August 20th. Tell me, what do you consider "during the week of August 15th" because I would consider that between Monday and Friday. If I don't see it by Sunday at midnight I am going to turn into a rather irritated customer and start calling as many Sony numbers as I can, starting with that one from inside that PSP box.

So screw you Sony. I can count the games released for the PSP in the last three months on one hand, which the DS has seen a number of (quality) games in that same time period. There is no reason to alienate your (somewhat) loyal fans who payed a lot of money for a next generation portable gaming/media device. Our investment in your PSP doesn't seem to look as good right about now. Your UMD movie smoke screen might work on other people. It doesn't work on me.

Screw you Sony.

UPDATED (from my Blogcritics post):
The ONLY reason I bring this up is because Sony promised twice, and broke that promise twice. First they said we would have it August 12. Then they said the week of August 15. If Sony had come out with a press release saying it needed to be delayed because of, say testing, I would have no problems at all.

Besides, I am running 2.00 on my PSP, the Japanese install file works just fine on US units.

Most people won't go to the trouble of going to a Japanese site to download the update though.

Sony is not being up front with their customers.

BG News Freshman Edition

Every fall we start with two rather large newspapers. It seems odd that you would put a fresh staff through such torture, but it is when we have the highest readership and therefore the most ad revenue. For the new writers and designers it is a gantlet.

Continue reading "BG News Freshman Edition" »

Medal of Honor: Rising Sun Xbox Review

Video games are meant to grab a player immediately, draw them in, and then keep them there. That's what the Medal of Honor series has always done well, offering staggering accounts of real World War II events in game form. It's always incredible, and the opening level of MOH: Frontline, still stands as a masterpiece of game aesthetics. That's still true for Rising Sun, opening with the brutal, hard to even watch telling of Pearl Harbor. After that, this is the same game it's been since 1999.

Continue reading "Medal of Honor: Rising Sun Xbox Review" »

King of Fighters Maximum Impact PS2 Review

Celebrating 10 years of brutal battles against rival Capcom's fighters, King of Fighters has been tossed into 3-D. Street Fighters move was less than stellar even after three attempts, but KOF works surprisingly well. This is a deep, complex fighter for die-hards, yet on the surface, it's easy to understand and grasping the perfect combo system isn't as intimidating as it usually is.

Continue reading "King of Fighters Maximum Impact PS2 Review" »

Do you buy a Media Centre PC, or an Xbox 360?

MICROSOFT'S DECISION to make its Xbox 360 box available for the Yule season is likely to put pressure on PC OEMs, distributors and dealers attempting to sell full blown Media Centre PCs.
Source: The Inquirer

This is a good argument. If you are looking for a Media Center PC, the $400 price tag of the Xbox 360 is surely tempting. It does have a User Interface, although it is just not Windows XP. That might not be such a bad thing. The Xbox 360 will be able to do music, photos and video just like a Media Center PC, plus it can play Xbox and Xbox 360 games. You could go as far as saying that the Xbox 360 is much more a "Media Center" then the Windows XP powered Media Center PCs that are on the market.

Install PSP 2.00 update on US PSP

As you know I am mad as hell that Sony has not released the 2.00 update in the US. So here are easy to use instructions (adapted from the official US Sony update page) for updating to 2.00.

CAUTION: This update is only for customers who obtained PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) for Japan which model number is PSP-1000 or PSP-1000 K. Upon completion of preparing, we will announce update information for the other countries/areas customers via SCE Group Web Site or other channels . For these customers who obtained PSP® in the other countries/areas, please DO NOT update PSP® through this web site. There are no guarantee of proper operation of the other PSP®.

Yea. There is your disclaimer. If you update your PSP and it catches on fire, or stops working after you update, it is not my fault. The Japanese update works just fine. All my games work on my US PSP.

Continue reading "Install PSP 2.00 update on US PSP" »

Mac & PC hybrid?

This is a nicely animated movie with a cute story (QuickTime). Thanks to Rob for the link.

Blogger for Word

Now you can use Blogger right within Word. Just download and install the Blogger for Word add-in and a Blogger toolbar will be added to Word. Its for Windows of course, with at least Word 2000. But thats pretty nice if you are a Windows Blogger user.

The hidden currents powering Intel's next gen chips

AT NEXT WEEK'S Intel developer forum, the firm is due to announce a next generation x86 processor core. The current speculation is this new core is going too be based on one of the existing Pentium M cores. I think it’s going to be something completely different.
Source: The Inquirer

Isn't it interesting. Now we (Mac users) have another market to watch. Now everything Intel is everything Mac. The speculation is a new 64 bit Intel chip based on the M core. Did Apple know something when they announced the switch to Intel that we don't know yet. Probably.

One of the major concerns that came out of that Apple-Intel announcement was "What about the 64 bit OS X?" I guess it is just a matter of time. 64 bit OS X might not be dead in the water after all.

August 21, 2005

Nintendogs only $15 at Amazon

This one could be a mistake, but there's no reason not to at least try at this price. It's for the Taco Bell dog version ONLY. Retail is $30.

Must be heard Jack Thompson interview

This is funny (direct link). I think it was around the 40-minute mark where he calls Take Two racists for making San Andreas, and then calls their programmers drunken Scots who sit around in kilts drinking beer all day. Yes, all in the same sentence. The guys interviewing him start off so calm, so professional, but simply can't stand it at a few points and go off. It's impossible not to.

Men of Valor Xbox Review

More so than any other medium, video games have the ability to let players experience something they would otherwise never be a part of. It can put them anywhere, and with Men of Valor, that's Vietnam. In a flood of wartime shooters, Valor stands out for its intense and thought provoking depiction of the war and the issues surrounding it. It's one of today's games that prove what a capable story telling device they are.

Continue reading "Men of Valor Xbox Review" »

Video game journalism needs an overhaul

A month ago, longtime gaming journalist Dave Halverson wrote an editorial in Play about what the video game industry needs to do in order to become "accepted." It was an excellent piece (unfortunately not available online), and brought up the similarities between gaming and Hollywood. There's one that needs repeating, and one that needs to be added.

Continue reading "Video game journalism needs an overhaul" »

August 22, 2005

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory DS Review

The DS has niche games captured. No other console will end up pulling off some of the software this console will. In their effort to be unique, Nintendo didn't make the console readily available to some of console gaming's biggest names, Splinter Cell included. While fans love the series for its deep involving gameplay, the DS is not the console that should feature this style of play.

Continue reading "Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory DS Review" »

August 23, 2005

Iridion II Game Boy Advance Review

Launching with the Game Boy Advance in North America, Iridion was developer Shin'ens main product. It was an impressive game visually, pushing the hardware past the notion that this was just a portable Super Nintendo. What the game lacked in the gameplay department, it made up for in visual awe. Iridion II fixes the first games major problem, and still keeps the innovative graphics engine alive.

Continue reading "Iridion II Game Boy Advance Review" »

My Soc 101 book

Selling used college books sucks. Especially when they decide not to use that specific book for the current semester. So my $70+ book got me a cool $20. Could I have got a better price elsewhere? Like eBay? Maybe. But not worth the effort.

I am usually not disappointed in the value of the books I sell back, but this one was brand new when I bought it. Oh well, I got an 'A' so it was worth it, I guess.

Super Monkey Ball Deluxe site

Some funny videos. Stupid, but funny.

August 24, 2005

Screw EB Games

Um no. No, no, no, no. You want me to pay $700 for a $400 Xbox 360 and I don't even get to choose the games!?!? No, just no. This is ridiculous, and there's no way in hell I'm paying that much. I don't care if it's online only or not. Your business practices suck. Time to find a Gamestop in the area.

Online Chinese gamers regulated

Depressing that a government can determine how long you can play because of a few people.

August 25, 2005

Current University of Northwestern Ohio commercial

"I am a whiz at email and browsing the web, I'm virtually an information systems technologist."

Those are the exact words. I feel really bad for UNO. This commercial is so bad, I can't believe someone green lighted it. It takes a bit more then being able to get your email and browse the web to be an IT professional. I know many people who can check their email, browse the web, but could not tell you the difference between an RJ-11 and RJ-45.

I understand that they want to encourage people to enroll in their IT classes, and it is good to see advertising for IT classes, but they should not be using false advertising.

Pathetic.

August 26, 2005

Attack leaves BGSU student beaten, bloody

A University freshman was arrested for allegedly assaulting her roommate early Tuesday morning after the victim was found beaten and covered with blood on the second floor of Harshman-Anderson.
Source: BG News

I meant to talk to Holly today about this, didn't get the chance. This is just horrible.

Video games aren't violent enough

Video games aren't violent enough. I want intestines spewing all over the place, legs ripped off, eyes popped out, and people torn limb from limb. That's right, more violence.

Continue reading "Video games aren't violent enough" »

Pokemon Dash DS Review

There's simply no other word suitable for Pokemon Dash than stupid. It's incomprehensible. This wasn't even a good idea to begin with for a full-fledged game. It may have fit in as a cheap Mario Party DS mini-game (whenever that finally happens), and even then, it would be completely forgettable.

Continue reading "Pokemon Dash DS Review" »

Want to know why health care is so expensive?

It's because of stupid fu...

*calm down Matt...*

It's because of stupid shi...

*keep going*

It's because of stupid idiots like this.

Stuck on You DVD Review

It's not unexpected to head into a Farrelly brothers movie and be shocked. It's expected actually. Stuck on You is different though. It's still shocking, yet it's not making every attempt to offend people at every turn. It's a somewhat different comedy from the same guys who made hair gel users think twice about the product. It actually shows restraint.

Continue reading "Stuck on You DVD Review" »

August 27, 2005

What can a rattlesnake bite do?

This kid found out the hard way, and had to go through nearly a dozen surgeries to get his life back to normal.

Even though that web page says it many times, the photos are not for the faint of heart.

Thanks Dan for the link.

Samurai Western Playstation 2 Review

Following the rather disappointing Way of the Samurai 2, Samurai Western enters the series with a new developer and publisher. Out of Capcom's hands, the series has turned into nothing but a hack and slash title, fun in short bursts. Its lasting value depends on your patience for the genre and how much repetitiveness you can handle.

Continue reading "Samurai Western Playstation 2 Review" »

Google endorses open source XMPP with Google Talk

Google Talk was the talking point this week. It was long speculated about a possible web browser and an instant messaging client from the world’s most popular search engine after they showed interest in directly competing with Microsoft’s MSN and Yahoo! in various similar fields.
Source: TechWhack

Google Talk is out. At first try it looks like a nice chat client. But does the world need yet another chat client? Will Google take Jabber to the mainstream? Google is taking over the world. When will we see the Google Web browser?

So where is the Mac client? At least they used Jabber so that Mac chat clients such as iChat and Adium can connect to their service. They even have detailed instructions for other IM clients, with screen shots to help you connect to the Google chat servers.

Continue reading "Google endorses open source XMPP with Google Talk" »

Three indicted in US spam crackdown

Three people accused of sending massive amounts of spam face possible prison sentences after being indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. state of Arizona and accused of violating the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and other charges, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.
Source: MacCentral

So the CAN-SPAM Act actually caught someone. But why not nab the prOn peddlers who put up the money for the these spammers? Otherwise they will only go to another set of spammers.

Pterodactyl Sci-Fi Channel Original Review

Pterodactyl opens with the single greatest gore sequence in the short history of Sci-Fi Channel originals. As one of the resurrected title creatures swoops down, it picks off a hunter right at the waist, leaving half of his body on the ground, the other half in the creature's claws. It's unmatched, and right around (if not over) the decency line for standard cable.

Continue reading "Pterodactyl Sci-Fi Channel Original Review" »

August 28, 2005

Kid goes nuts on Xbox Live

Guess this has been around for a while. This is so not work safe. And remember everyone... it's going to be the video games fault when he grows up and becomes a nut job, not moms who should have the good sense to smash the console into a few thousand pieces. Way to parent your children soccer moms!

The Word Detective will fix your spells

I'm fascinated by languge and words, like the origin of words and phrases, especially obscure ones. So stumbling across The Word Detective the other night while searching for the origin of the overused term "irony" was a trip; I ended up spending half the night browsing the archive of about 5,000 words. Not sure if the guy's always right (Evan Morris, from Columbus; his parents also wrote about word origins in some famous book ,I am made to understand), since sometimes his explanations don't jive with what I've read (he says "cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey" involved decorative little brass monkeys, but what I read elsewhere about it having nautical origins, involving canonnballs and the "brass monkey" doohickeys that held them on deck), but he does offer several different theories on a lot of words even when he can't say which is right.

Picking an example at random: He says the word "nincompoop," in use since at least the 17th c, is possibly a butchering of the Latin "non compos mentis," or "not of sound mind." However, he notes, earlier forms of the word included "nicompoop" and "nickumpoop," which bear a bit less resemblance to the Latin.

French fries, chips to have warning labels

Yes, because if you're stupid enough not to know they're bad for you, please eat more. Seriously, who honestly believes this is high quality food? It doesn't matter what they cause. They suck as far as nutrition is concerned, and who is actually going to read the label?

The Bard's Tale Xbox review

The best introduction for The Bard’s Tale game comes straight from the introduction portion of the game manual: “[The Bard’s] tenure as a barrel maker came to an abrupt end when his barrel mentor Henry, the proprietor of The Barrel Barn, ran him out of town for producing barrels that shattered with a mere whack of a sword. ‘A key won’t even be safe in these things!’ Henry screamed…” Not exactly your typical RPG character history, but then again The Bard’s Tale is not your typical RPG.

Continue reading "The Bard's Tale Xbox review" »

Sandisk Memory Stick Pro Duo 1GB

1 GB Memory Sticks are finally widely available. It took them long enough. What a lost opportunity for the likes of Sandisk. Oh well. I found Buy.com to have a great price on the 1 GB Memory Stick, $99.95. They also take PayPal for those of you who use PayPal.

I also know the difference between the "Gaming" Memory Stick and the standard one. The Gaming Stick comes pre-formatted. This is something small, but its convenient. It allowed me to copy all my data from my 32 MB Stick over right away.

Anyway, Buy.com, good buy on the 1 GB Memory Stick. Be careful, they have a listing for the same thing for about $150 for some reason. The $99 one has free shipping too.

Thurstin Avenue construction

There are times when this town does things that make no sense at all. Right now, the second week of classes, they have started construction on part of Thursten Avenue and Court Street that I am told will go until November.

So now part of both Thurstin and Court are ripped up. Right at the beginning of the semester. Someone is smart. How about doing this work during the summer semester? Thurstin is a main drag for the west side of campus, which is where I work.

Smart move BG.

Fenway turf needs repair after Rolling Stones shows

BOSTON (AP) -- The Rolling Stones left the Boston Red Sox in need of some serious grass.
Source: Sports Illustrated

I just have to laugh at these type of stories. No kidding they are going to kill the grass! I remember a Jimmy Buffet show at Jacobs Field that left the outfield dead.

I don't know if it is the stage, the beer, or the people, but I am sure its the combination of the three that kills the grass.

August 29, 2005

Armstrong shouldn't have to explain away allegations

I'm waiting. I know it's only a matter of time. It will be the story that rocks the sports world down to its very foundation. A French newspaper will come out with a front-page story to taint the other major accomplishment in Lance Armstrong's career. They will prove that Armstrong never really had cancer. All that Livestrong talk -- nonsense, the belief that you can conquer a sport after being given a virtual death sentence -- lies.
Sports Illustrated

That's just great writing, and the best I have seen on this latest Armstrong fiasco. This is truly sad, there is no way possible for Lance to clear his name. His accomplishments will always be tainted. He will always have a stigma. It doesn't matter if he did dope or not.

Do you think he doped? I don't.

Good luck if you're Katrina's path

If we have any readers in New Orleans, good luck with this incredible hurricane. When you hear the mayor refer to the Superdome as the "refuge of last resort," you can almost see this as a disaster movie. The resemblance is uncanny. The NOAA released this freakish statement:

Continue reading "Good luck if you're Katrina's path" »

Toast 7 includes PSP video export; many new features

Roxio at the end of the month will release a new version of their CD and DVD burning software for the Mac — Toast 7 Titanium. While the new release looks similar to its predecessor, it features extensive changes under the hood, including support for the DivX video compression format, the ability to browse iLife content and many other changes.
Source: MacCentral

Forget iPSP - which last I checked was not that great - I will use Toast 7 for all my PSP video needs. I rely on Toast for all my other burning needs as it is. Buy.com has Toast 7 for $78.99, by the way.

It will be interesting to see how this DivX support in Toast 7 is, as he official DivX site says the latest version of the DivX codec is not compatible with QuickTime 7, and therefor OS 10.4.

I am also glad to see that Roxio added all the goodies that are in their Popcorn app to Toast 7.

Data spanning is another welcome feature. This is a big upgrade from 6.0.x, and I am really looking forward to it.

Pat Robertson In Legal Trouble?

(AP) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that his government could request the extradition of U.S. religious broadcaster Pat Robertson for suggesting American agents should kill him.
Source: CBS News

You may have read about this last week. I always thought Pat Robertson was a crack pot, but I never thought we would see anything like this.

How did that air in the first place? They have a delay, don't they?

But I think the Venezuelan government has a pretty good case here, unfortunately. After all, the US does not like it when people make death threats on our president.

Using ARTstor at BGSU for off-campus students

To use ARTstor.org at BGSU you have to jump through hoops. If you happen to live off campus, you have even more steps. ARTstor is not free, so there is a reason for the steps. There could just be some clear cut instructions given to art students. Thanks to a few emails back and forth between my art history professor and myself, this process is a lot clearer now.

Step 1: Go to the BGSU Libraries site.

Step 2: Click on Research Databases.

Step 3: Click A.

Step 4: Go to page 3.

Step 5: Click on the #28, Artstor listing.

Step 6: Click on Off-Campus Access on that page.

Step 7 : Type in your last name and P00#, click Submit.

Step 8: Click the "SEARCH AND BROWSE FOR IMAGES."

Step 9: Wait a really, really, really long time for the massive Java app to load.

See. That was less then 10 steps, piece of cake. The site is very helpful. I wish I was told about it the FIRST time I took an art history class (that would have been years ago, say 1999).

Sony Calls DS 'Gimmick'

"With the DS, it’s fair to say that Nintendo stepped out of the technical race and went for a feature differentiation with the touch screen,” Harrison continued. “But I fear that it won’t have a lasting impact beyond that of a gimmick – so the long-lasting appeal of the platform is at peril as a direct result of that.”
Source: MCVUK

Let the mud fly. Ever since Sony decided to get into the handheld market, and invade Nintendo's utter dominance in the space, both Sony and Nintendo have been trading blows.

Continue reading "Sony Calls DS 'Gimmick'" »

Metal Slug 4 & 5 Playstation 2 Review

The Neo Geo hardware may be gone, but Metal Slug will be with us a long time. Ending the series on the long standing hardware, Metal Slug 4 and 5 are both great ways to go out, though 4 does feel a little forced in spots. These Playstation 2 ports are as accurate as they can be, retaining the feel this series became famous for.

Continue reading "Metal Slug 4 & 5 Playstation 2 Review" »

Lord of the Rings: The Third Age Xbox review

Tolkein purists, your bane has arrived and its name is LOTR: The Third Age.

Continue reading "Lord of the Rings: The Third Age Xbox review" »

August 30, 2005

The Urbz DS Review

The Sims broke new ground. It captured a lost demographic (women), broke into the mainstream, and became PC gaming's major franchise. Faced with a need to move on, the series continued through expansion packs, until finally branching out into something like The Urbz. There are a few nice ideas crammed into this enhanced DS version (almost identical to the Game Boy Advance title of the same name) that are unfortunately lost due to the usual Sims elements.

Continue reading "The Urbz DS Review" »

Ong-bak DVD Review

There are hardly any words to describe the visual flair of Ong-bak. Tony Jaa is as intense as anyone on screen, refusing wires or special effects assistance. That's something you need to be aware of before watching. Most of the stunts included here shouldn't even be humanly possible without assistance, yet they're here.

Continue reading "Ong-bak DVD Review" »

August 31, 2005

.hack//INFECTION PS2 review

Remember the good old days when hackers simply wanted fame or fortune? Or even hacked simply for kicks? Unfortunately viruses and hacking have taken a turn for the worse – much worse – in the .hack saga.

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T-Mobile: Where your sense at?

What a generous corporate donor. These fine folks at the English-challenged T-Mobile have given residents in Hurricane Katrina's level 5 path free Wi-Fi service in hotspots. Maybe they should drop off laptops to the people stranded on their roofs.Or better yet, donate money for the clean up efforts. Or maybe they could figure out a way to provide service under the water, since the states are under it. Surely those people who are now out of house and home will gladly take a dive into the water to find their laptops and then head to a local Starbucks, right?

Gas to hit $4 a gallon

Speechless.




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