July 2006 Archives



July 3, 2006

One Rat + One Rat = 1300

Look, it sucks to feed snakes live food. Sometmes, it'sjust something you have to do. When your heart gets into it, things like this happen.

July 4, 2006

How Do You Not Feel It Going In?

That's only one of the many questions I have after reading this story. To make you want to click it, a guy got a light bulb stuck up his ass in prison. Really.

July 5, 2006

Is White PSP Ad Racist?

No.

Both Kotaku and Joystiq are reporting on a new ad Sony is running for the new (if you live in North America) white PSP. Of course both of these upstanding social institutions started the FUD off right with well written headlines.

They say "offensive" (Kotaku) and "racially charged" (Joystiq) but I say "bull shit." Of course hundreds of commenters hash out why or why not the ad has racial connotations to it.

The dominance card just doesn't fly, considering the third image. Not to mention that the symbolism that black and white PSP equals black and white human being is so plane and simple -- and quite frankly, brilliant marketing.

The people who are racist here are the people writing the articles and commenting on them. If you cannot understand symbolism then I am not sure you would understand racism to begin with.

Of course these are the people who say that Loco Roco is racist, because it has black (OMFG!) bad guys in it.

Chill out people. If you go looking for a black eye, you will likely find one.

July 6, 2006

Laughable Line from the PTC

I can truly say I HATE the Parents Television Council. It's things like this from their review of the CGI animal-based family comedy Over the Hedge that make me sick:

"Finally, the acts of vandalism committed by the animals when they take food from humans are illegal."

Seriously? Yeah, seriously. Yes, animals knocking over trash cans is apparently illegal. Wonder how the cops enforce that in the PTC's own little fantasy world?

July 9, 2006

Man Sues Jordan, Nike for $832 Million

The question of the day: Is it Michael Jordan's fault that this guy looks like him? Apparently so and Allen Heckard thinks it's worth $832 million in damages for Jordan to pay because (hold for laughs):

"... is suing Jordan for defamation and permanent injury and emotional pain and suffering."

And Nike founder for:

"... defamation and permanent injury for promoting Jordan and making him one of the most recognized men in the world."

Permanent injury? This is must be a reality check to make sure we all know we're still in America.

Ultimate Block Party is mine, finally

I want to personally thank "dojosky" from the Digital Press forums for sending Ultimate Block Party. I have to admit, buying things from people you do not know feels a lot better when it is from a forum you visit every day.

You may recall I got screwed over on eBay on this item a little while ago. But now I have the game, and I love it. It is a great puzzler for the PSP.

Continue reading "Ultimate Block Party is mine, finally" »

Adobe To Phase Out FreeHand, GoLive -- Revisited

Several online Web sites have posted information in the past couple of days stating that Adobe Systems will discontinue development and support for two of its products: GoLive and Freehand. Adobe says the reports are not correct and the products are not being discontinued.
Source: Macworld News

I posted about this earlier, from a MacNN story.

Rob Griffiths sent me an email Friday about the story on Macworld, as he saw my post on Breaking Windows. Oddly, both the Macworld and MacNN articles source the same post on the French site MacGeneration.

Continue reading "Adobe To Phase Out FreeHand, GoLive -- Revisited" »

July 13, 2006

Hitman: Blood Money Impressions

Hitman has been a great series. Contracts wasn't the best, but since I got it free with my Alienware rig, I played it too. Blood Money adds so much depth. The notoriety system and accidental deaths are great additions to the series. You have to be smart with your money. If you are sloppy, you can bribe officials and witnesses.

The graphics in the 360 version are top notch. This is most apparent in the Marty Gras level "The Murder of Crows." The streets and balconies are lined with hundreds of people. It is quite a sight.

With an emphasis on stealth, this stealth-action game delivers on every level. It is a shame the demo held your hand every step of the way, it might as well given you a blow job too. The game itself is very unforgiving. The offset is the shear number of ways to complete any given objective. This freedom is heightened further in Blood Money more so than in previous installments.

So far my favorite "accident" involved rigging the grill with lighter fluid. You can imagine what happened when a specific someone tried to use it. Evil? Sure. But quite effective.

Plus, it was an accident.

July 18, 2006

Real Life Tekken

Sweet video of two guys "playing" Tekken. Far more entertaining than the game itself. You can skip to the 1:30 mark and miss nothing.

R.I.P. iPod Shuffle

My iPod shuffle had a good life. It was even replaced for free when it fell apart. But Apple is not going to replacing it this time. Not when I leave it in my pants pocket and run it through the washing machine.

I need the USB drive more than I need the MP3 functionality, so I think I have found a suitable substitute.

Chad Vader

Yeah, I could sit here and post crap from YouTube all day, but Chad Vader is special. What if Darth was a day manager at a grocery store?

"It's Randy!"

Original Resident Evil 4 Footage

We've all read about how they completely changed the game, but here's what it used to look like. In all honesty, if it wasn't for the camera, I'd probably like this version better. Tons of scares in this video alone.

July 19, 2006

Snake Eats Queen Size Electric Blanket

Slow news day or not, this one is a wild one. This guys snake managed to take down an entire blanket with his dinner!

July 20, 2006

PSP NCAA 07 Bugged

After last years fiasco with Madden on the PSP (the game would lock up everytime after a franchise game in week 2 and they recalled it a week before Christmas), you would think they would learn.

Nope.

This years debut of NCAA on the PSP has an unbelieveable, impossible to miss glitch. I don't have the game yet to test this, but it's been confirmed by everyone, including IGN who re-did their review. Why is it impossible to miss?

How can testers not see that when a runner is touched on a running play, that's where the ball is spotted? Clarification: Not tackled, touched. In other words, if you break a tackle say 2 yards in the backfield, and run for 20 afterwards, the ball is considered down in the backfield. EA's response?

"During running plays the ball will be spotted at point of first contact where the tackle is initiated. The ball will not be spotted where the player is ultimately taken down."

That's from their FAQ on the game. Seriously. They act like it's a proper gameplay feature, which is utterly baffling. After looking through various message boards, it seems that the glitch is around 50% of the time, which is enough to ruin the running game entirely.

Once I get my hands on a copy, I'll do a full write up on this for Blogcritics. Until then, I think fans have a reason to complain.

Update: Someone on the EA forums has a video up of the glitch. Might want to look around the same forum too. Lots of heated bitching!

Screw It

That sums up just about everything right now. This is my official request to restart this year from scratch. Earlier, we lost our five year old ferret Marvin to cancer. A month or so later, our 19 year old dog Bitsy needed to be put down due to cancer. This morning, I broke my big toe, and it's now one of the most disgusting things you'll ever see. A guppie in the fish tank was found floating and dead as well about the same time.

Tonight, we also lost another ferret. Hermes didn't make it to two years. He died after 90-minutes of surgery to remove a spleen that had outgrown his body and was litterly sucking his blood dry. He died twice on the operating table and was brought back both times. Post op, he died again, and this time was gone for good. Hermes survived a previous surgery when he was barely a month old and died then on the table too. He fought for everything, and I can only hope he enjoyed some of the short time he had with us. I know I did.

July 21, 2006

iPod Shuffle Replacement Found

While helping Jordan find a dirt cheap PC laptop, I found a replacement for my iPod Shuffle. A 2 GB Kingston DataTraveler USB pen drive will fit the bill quite nicely -- on sale for $55 at Circuit City.

Why they see the need to put all this crap software on these things is beyond me. It has all this U3 software pre-installed, plus more I can download from the site! Oh boy, I'll go do that right now.

A whopping 45 MB of software is was on my Kingston drive. What is the purpose of this crap? There is also a virtual CD that mounts with the pen drive, it has an EXE on it to install this U3 software. Absolutely worthless.

Who knew buying a USB pen drive would net you as much crap to uninstall as buying a name brand PC laptop.

Jordan got a new laptop

The other day Jordan and I found one heck of a deal at Best Buy. He needed a laptop on the cheap, and this one is on the cheap!

Costing $600, after a $150 in-store rebate, this 15" Toshiba Satellite is one nice find. It has a Centrino chip (1.43 Ghz if I remember correctly) plus 512 MB RAM, 80 GB HD, DL DVD-RW, and 128 MB Integrated Graphics.

We found similarly priced Acer and HP laptops, but they both had Celeron chips, which suck compared to Centrino. Now all Jordan needs is a wireless signal he can steal use.

Six New Intel iMacs

Because of BGSU's Desktop Replacement Program, we recently got six new Intel iMacs. We had to give up six iMacs to get them, but those were seven years old! I don't mind that trade one bit.

These are 2 Ghz Dual Core Intel, 2 GB of RAM, 20" display, AirPort Extreme, ATI X1600, and SuperDrive. This is a step up from our 2 Ghz G5 17" iMacs, but I wonder how the Adobe and Macromedia software will run emulated.

The only bad news is that I have to configure them all separately. For "security reasons" the university will not give me the install discs to make my own image, which is what I do with all of our PowerPC based Macs.

Less than 20 minutes and I can clone any of the computers here at Student Publications. This is also how I handle troubleshooting, at least with the PPC based Macs. If one computer has a problem, I do not waste time trying to fix it, I just re-image that computer. It looks like I will not be able to do that with these new Intel Macs because of a change in university policy.

If we had more than six, the IT department would help out with making a Radmind image, but with only six, there is no help. This is total BS, but something I will have to live with.

Of course this means I have to install all of Student Publication's software, including six user accounts each, on every stinking computer. Now that just sounds like fun.

Oh, they also will not give me the main admin account password. Again, for "security reasons." So now the computer is cluttered up with two different admin accounts. Thanks.

University bureaucracy is really wearing me thin, to be honest.

July 22, 2006

Q&A: 360 Backward Compatibility pro Albert Penello

Microsoft's director of global platform marketing tells us why some games make the cut and others don't, and what Barbie has in common with Tommy Vercetti.
Source: GameSpot

This was posted at the beginning of June. I am cleaning out my bookmarks. But this is a good interview to read.

W3Counter Global Web Stats

This report shows statistics aggregated across all active websites tracked by W3Counter.

For example, 11% of all viewers still look at the web at 800x600. That is a lot, considering the stats are gathered based on an analysis of 1,536,728 distinct visits across 1,507 websites (today).

Users of Firefox 1.0 and 1.5 make up 26% of viewers. That is an encouraging number for web developers everywhere.

Source: W3Counter.com

They even offer stat tracking for your own site. It costs money, of course, but it looks like a good service if you do not have a stats package on your web server.

The Patent That’s Keeping the Stars Apart

This is a good discussion on the effect patents have had on video games. I could quote something, but I am feeling rather lazy right now.

I Found the Bottom of my Inbox

I have major news to tell you today. I found the bottom of my Inbox! This has to be a first time in well over a year. It took a couple days, but I actually have less than 10 emails in it right now. That is down from who knows how many. 100? 500? Blame the great sorting and coloring options in Entourage 2004.

It is such a good feeling to have Entourage organized again. Now to get my Blogcritics Inbox down to that same level...

Why Macintosh Skills Matter in Tech

Once viewed as a plaything, the Macintosh is now the PC of choice for many hard-core technology professionals, and Macintosh skills are now an in-demand specialty among IT pros, rather than an afterthought.
Source: Monster.com

Yea. Take that!

Freep Jobs Page

I have been here before, but should post it here. The editor for the fall suggested this site, and it is a wonderful suggestion.

The following web site is invaluable for journalists. The links are endless, full of writing advice, resume advice and lot of Q/A just about the journalism field in general.

July 23, 2006

Microsoft Makes Virtual PC Free

Microsoft said this week that it will make its Virtual PC software free — not just the older Virtual PC 2004 version, but its upcoming software for Vista, too.
Source: ABC News

I missed this entirely. Nice for Windows users, what about Mac OS X and Virtual PC 7? Oh yea, Parallels took care of that.

What Game Developers Hate About Videogame Reviewers

They smile at junkets, exchange pleasantries at E3 and treat the enthusiast press exceptionally well, but behind closed doors, many game developers take a dim view of videogame reviewers. Media Coverage looks at the key reasons why and asks you for more.
Source: GameDaily

Yet another link I bookmarked a week ago or so. The short version:

  • Developers hate game reviewers that only play their games for a few hours
  • Developers hate game reviewers because they don't understand games that are targeted for a specific audience
  • Developers hate game reviewers who review games in proxy for an entire genre.
  • Developers hate game reviewers who have no idea what it takes to make a game.
Sadly, I see these things in a lot of reviews I read.

Which New Browser Is Best: Firefox 2, Internet Explorer 7, or Opera 9?

For a long time, there was nothing to talk about in web browsers. You used Internet Explorer, and that was it. Oh, to be sure, some Mozilla/Netscape holdouts clung to their ways, as did a smattering of users of Opera, Konqueror, and other obscurities. Internet Explorer itself hasn't had a major version change since the release of 6.0 in 2001, so there wasn't much to talk about there, either for five long years.
Source: ExtremeTech

Granted, IE7 and FF2 are still in beta, but this is one very in-depth look at these three "next-gen" web browsers.

On a related note: if you have not downloaded Opera 9 yet, you really should.

July 24, 2006

MCM News Update 07-24-06

Wow, it has been since September 12, 2005 since I last posted something on MCM. It makes you wonder if it even still exists! Well, it does, don't worry about that.

I am actually very busy. Web hosting is going well, as I am hosting 31 domains (pick your flavor!) right now. In recent months, four or five new ones were added. This allowed me to purchase a larger plan with more bandwidth and more file space. More is always better!

I am hoping to finish up (this week if possible) a redesign of the NORWELD site. I am also currently working on a new site for GoodLife Inc., as they currently do not have one.

Beyond that, I have been working with some past clients -- updating existing sites and discussing the addition of others.

And the big news, which I have been keeping under my hat for a week now, is that I was offered a job at X2GO in Toledo. I don't want to get into any specifics of it just yet, but so far there is nothing in writing, it is merely verbal at this point. But they did offer, and I did accept. I will wait to celebrate until the ink is dry, as they say.

What will this mean for Meancode Media? It would mean I would be scaling back projects, that is for sure. Right now I am working as many hours as humanly (inhumanly?) possible to get my current projects "out the door" and get ready for the new gig.

More on the new job soon. Hopefully as soon as this week.

Games industry 'burns out talent'

The games industry has a long hours culture that is burning out young talent, UK union Bectu has warned.
Source: BBC NEWS

To be honest, I have not ever heard of someone working less than eight hours a day, when working on a video game.

Mac OS X Widgets for Xbox 360 Users

Desktop Stats has two different Widgets available for OS X. Desktop Stats Viewer is the newest, and most customizable. The Gamercard Widget just displays a gamercard. Both are great at what they do, and I encourage you to download both of them.

The developer is working on newer versions of both Widgets, and has said will incorporate some suggestions I have made. Here is a screen of the DSV Widget:

Prey Platform Decision 2006

GameSpot has a head-to-head of Prey on PC and Xbox 360. If anything, it makes me happy I paid for a $400 Xbox 360 and not a $400 graphics card.

Can Your Xbox 360 Blog?

360voice.com has a really neat site you should check out if you are an Xbox 360 user. There seems to be a cottage industry for web sites generating reports from Xbox 360 data, but none integrate things as well as 360voice.

I have used it since April and the feature set of the site has grown by leaps and bounds since then. The longer you have been a user, the more useful the data becomes, as expected.

Continue reading "Can Your Xbox 360 Blog?" »

Star Wars Spoof on Youtube

Too funny to miss from what I believe is Robot Chicken. What happened after the Death Star went down? Vader had to call the emperor and explain himself.

July 25, 2006

Hot Coffee Old News, Princess Peach on DS New Threat

We here at Breaking Windows have discovered a new mini-game inside the DS title Super Princess Peach that brings with it entirely new ways to enjoy the touch features of the DS. It could be an entirely new threat to modern civilization.

Actually, I found it browsing a message board. And it's only a phony photoshop. Still pretty damned funny after the break.

Continue reading "Hot Coffee Old News, Princess Peach on DS New Threat" »

I'll Take Two Doc

It'll be hotter than Viagra. Pic after the break.

Continue reading "I'll Take Two Doc" »

July 26, 2006

Adobe targeting traditional designers with GoLive CS3

Adobe will take its GoLive Web site authoring software in a new direction when it releases version 9 as part of Creative Suite 3 next year, insiders have tipped off Think Secret. Having acquired Macromedia and its Dreamweaver application, which Adobe will continue to develop and target at professional Web designers, GoLive's focus will shift towards providing traditional graphic designers with a means to easily deliver their creations on the Web.
Source: Think Secret

Take it that this is Think Secret, but this "news" would be music to my ears. Because I don't want to see Dreamweaver destroyed.

Metallica catalog added to iTunes

One of the longest standing holdouts on selling digital music at online stores is Metallica, the band that initially started the backlash against Napster years ago.
Source: Playlist

What's next? The Beatles? I can't believe these Metallica tunes can also be purchased individually, given how much the band has protested in the past. Maybe they finally figured out after all these years that a lot of people actually buy digital music from iTunes?

360 Friendspot

I simply cannot believe the number of ways Xbox Live data has been turned into fun websites. This one is 360 Friendspot who linked up with 360 Voice, the one Ken linked to the other day. They take your favorite games, gender, and Gamerscore (and probably more) to match you with people you'd be compatible with. My insanely high Gamerscore makes it a little harder for me since Achievements are all that matter and I'm so damn good, but it's a fun site nonetheless.

Pay To Learn Halo 2

One of those "why didn't I think of that" scenarios, this guy has made a buisness out of teaching people "da skillz" in Halo 2. Yes, people are paying $45 AN HOUR to become better gamers. Maybe they should head to EB and get a strategy guide for $12?

July 28, 2006

Iconfactory Rebuilding

Rob alerted me to this. It seems that Iconfactory is rebuilding their site. The animations they have are pretty funny, and must have taken some time to produce!

PSP 2.8, Mercury Meltdown Demo Rock

Today Sony released version 2.8 of its firmware. PSP owners the world over look at upgraded firmware as either a blessing or a curse. I stand firmly in the "blessing" camp.

Adding the ability to subscribe to video podcasts is great. You no longer need to use arcane syntax to name video files either. It also appears that Sony no longer requires the PSP video "wrapper" as videos formatted for the iPod (MPEG-4) work just fine, with no transcoding required.

I am glad to see a sequel to Mercury, and the Mercury Meltdown demo is a lot of fun. The art design is a total shocker, but the real suprise is the additional game play elements introduced this time around. Check out the trailer on YouTube.

Limited Or No Connectivity

I hate Windows. I think that is well known by now. This is why.

Out of the blue, my Dell laptop will not connect to my wireless network. The last time Sophos was updated was 7:23 on 7/26, so I assume that is the last time the machine was on the network. I know Windows auto updated at that time too.

Now I have a full signal, and "Excellent" connection, but "Limited Or No Connectivity." When Googling this, I find so many links to ways to solve this problem.

That is never good. I see a lot of talk about this being a problem when XP SP2 is installed. This had that on it when I bought it.

I am trying to use System Restore to restore to the 18th, the last System Checkpoint. It has been sitting at the same spot, about 80% done on the progress bar, for at least 30 minutes.

I think my PC is FUBAR now. I hate Windows.

Jack Thompson on Uncyclopedia

Lots of immaturity between some priceless stuff like:

"In 1985, he successfully sued Mario for telling kids to eat shrooms and jump on turtles. Jack Thompson was awarded 500 gold coins from the lawsuit."

"In 1991, he successfully sued Kirby for promoting homosexuality, due to the fact he was pink and he liked to suck stuff."

My Gripe with Galaga (XBLA)

The only thing that really bothers me about the game is how slow it is. Not the actual game itself, but trudging through the menus is absolute hell. This was accepted in an arcade cab, but not now that we have a Start button on our controller.

Starting a game takes forever, and restarting a game after you die takes even longer.

You do not see this in Frogger, for example. It is annoying when we are used to instantly loading games on the XBLA, it does not matter if this is an arcade port or not. They have already modified it for the 360, they could have addressed the in-game menus as well.

Face-to-face with a Blogcritic

This past week I met Mark Buckingham for lunch in BG. The ironic thing to note is that he worked on The BG News as Copy Chief, and I didn't even realize it. Of course since I no longer have a desk in the newsroom, this is not a total surprise.

Mark plays games and can speak HTML, so we had a lot of geekey stuff to share.

Tomorrow I am going to see EO. Connie is driving and hopefully Suss will be joining the party. If I remember, I will pack my camera.

Blogcritics Headlines -- 'Been Putting It Off' Edition

Yea I have been putting this off. I will get into a regular habit of posting this on Sundays.

Continue reading "Blogcritics Headlines -- 'Been Putting It Off' Edition" »

July 31, 2006

BBQ at Casa de Olsen

This weekend I finally met Eric and Dawn Olsen. I have been writing for BC for four years now, and even though Eric lives in Ohio, this was our first meeting.

Oddly, Eric sounds just like he does on the phone, and Dawn has the same great sense of humor she has in her writing.

Connie even offered to drive, which was so nice of her! The food was great, oh, and Sussman was there too. I haven't seen him in a year or so. Fun times for sure.

I can't tell which Olsen is the better cook, but all the food was great. I wish I could make it to Vegas this year, but BG News duties call. This was a fine substitute that did not cost a plane flight and hotel bill.

August, September Will Be Expensive

The tumble weed-slow months of June and July are behind us today. Sure, there were a trickle of games worth buying in that time, but not enough!

Why doesn't the gaming industry spread these releases out? August, September, and October will see the release of some really hot games. Then the holiday rush starts in November.

The launch of the Wii and the PS3 will not help me at all, as their are titles I want for the 360, PSP, DS, and even the PS2 in that same time frame. This is an expensive time to be a gamer, that is for sure.

Continue reading "August, September Will Be Expensive" »

E3 2007 Not Canceled, Really?

Today was not the day to write an op-ed about this incident. I started and restarted, edited, and edited, and then had to add more. I *think* all the news of the day is out. You can read my op-ed that is published on Blogcritics.

You may also wish to read Next-Gen's Ten Reasons for E3's Collapse. It has some good points.

I am not sure what to think about the 5,000 people small show in a hotel in LA. I am going to wait for more news from the ESA. Is the "new" E3 a way to salvage a show without the big names (Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, EA) and is Lowenstein spinning this "evolution"? I have no idea. But I want more solid answers first, before I form a hair-brained idea.




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