Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

[caption id="attachment_1178" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Gateway LX6200 Computer"]Gateway LX6200 Computer[/caption]

Merry Christmas all!

I decided to treat myself to buying a new computer, I bought a Gateway LX6200-01 Computer for $699.

Specs of the computer:

  • AMD PhenomTM X4 9500 64-bit Quad-Core Processor (2.20GHz, 2MB L3 Cache, 3600MHz HT3.0 Bus)

  • Microsoft® Windows Vista® Home Premium (64-bit) with Service Pack 1

  • 8192MB (8GB) 800MHz Dual-Channel DDR2 SDRAM (4-2048MB modules)

  • 750GB 7200rpm Serial ATA II/300 hard drive with 16MB Cache

  • ATI® RadeonTM HD 3200 Integrated Hybrid Graphics with up to 256MB of Shared Video Memory (video card doesn't really matter to me at this point, this is not a gaming machine for me)

  • 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port)

  • Media Center Edition computer, includes remote control

  • Analog/Digital TV Tuner with 3-D Comb

Damn good deal from Frys.  I want to to thank my friend, Dale for stumbling across this awesome deal, had he not found it wouldn't be $700 poorer.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Burger King creates "Meat Scented" cologne for men

[caption id="attachment_1159" align="alignright" width="312" caption="Burger King coudln't have done a better job then using their pedophile looking mascot to advertise their 'manly' cologne."]Burger King coudln't have done a better job then using their mascot to advertise their 'manly' cologne.[/caption]

You know, Burger King is one of major corporations that have underwent numerous  internal reorganizations then any other.  And I can't imagine why.  I wonder what pencil pushing nut-job gave the green light on this decision.

Burger King now has available to purchase in their cologne for men called "Flame by BK" that comes in these 5-ml bottles and these are available in Ricky's stores (in NY City) and on a special website for the product: for $3.99.

On the website, they use the satire "Sexy is Serious."  Judging by the design of this website, I can't take it seriously; but then again, how could you take it seriously to begin with?

[caption id="attachment_1158" align="alignleft" width="88" caption="The Flame Colonge by Burger King"]The Flame Colonge by Burger King[/caption]

Luis Bejaran whom manages a Ricky's store said "My assumption when I heard about it was that it would smell like french fries and burgers.  It's a combination of Axe body spray, TAG and this YSL cologne I have.  It's one of those scents that's not sweet, and light at the same time."  But as of the afternoon of Wednesday, Dec 17th, the store sold 10 bottles.

One of Luis coworkers said "It doesn't seem like the best choice for a man."  (I couldn't agree more.)

Shouldn't the cologne be for women to use to attract their man?  It would make more sense if it were marketed that way, although I don't know a single chick whom be caught dead wearing this stuff.  In regards to a man using the product, I can't help but only picture a hick redneck, or some fat lumberjack man wanting to wear this stuff.

There have been more bizarre products out there to buy, but a fast-food chain attempting to sell products other then food is going to be really tough.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Metal Gear Solid on the iPhone/iPod?

[caption id="attachment_1151" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Metal Gear Solid on the iPod (image courtesy Kotaku)"]Metal Gear Solid on the iPod (image courtesy Kotaku)[/caption]

This comes as exciting news to me!  Apparently Konami confirmed a rumor going around of an iPhone/iPod Touch version of Metal Gear Solid.

The game is to be set in the MGS4 universe, and will consist of 8 stages. (where the developers promise to expand the game overtime)

Controls are obviously going to utilize the touch interface of the devices.  Features like zooming in to snipe will use the same type of gesture users would use to zoom in with other applications.

Expected release date is to be sometime in Spring 2009.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Egyptian offers his daughter to the "Shoe Thrower"

[caption id="attachment_1145" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Show throwing reporter, Muntazter Al Zaidi"]Show throwing reporter, Muntazter Al Zaidi[/caption]

This is a follow-up to the article I posted a few days ago.

Muntadar al-Zeidi has become a hero through out the middle east.  Within a day after his arrest, there were protests happening all over demanding his release.

One Egyptain father, Saad Gumaa is willing to have his 20 year old daughter, Amal Saad Gumaa marry Zeidi.  Amal Saad Gumaa was ok with this idea saying "It would be an honor."

No idea what Muntadar al-Zeidi's response was to this proposal yet.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Airborne agrees to pay $7 Million settlement

[caption id="attachment_1133" align="alignright" width="196" caption="One of the Airborne products"]One of the Airborne products[/caption]

Airborne Health Inc. agreed to discontinue their claims about the health benefit performance, and efficacy or saftety of their Airborne product on Dec. 16th.

This settlement was a result of people whom purchased Airborne that were not getting their money's worth as there was no actual proof that Airborne could help against your cold symptons.

Bob Cooper, Tennessee Attorney General, filed the lawsuid claiming that their marketing materials implied that its products were approved by the U.S. FDA.

"Airborne dramatically misrepresented its products as cold remedies without any scientific evidence to back up its claims," California Attorney General Brown said. "Under this agreement, the company will stop advertisements that suggest that its products are a cure for the common cold."

Despite the $7 million settlement, Airborne didn't admit to anything wrong.


The reason for the posting of this story is to point out the obvious bullcrap this product Airborne is.  A few of my good friends take this stuff whenever they're sick and I know for a fact that this stuff doesn't do anything.  I've taken it on several occasions in the past and I didn't feel any different one day to the next.  As far as I'm concerned, this stuff doesn't work.  But that's just me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Expansion packs.... How many is too many?

I'm not a big follower on the Sims, but I was shocked and disgusted when I recently went to my local Best Buy and saw an entire section dedicated to just the Sims 2 games.  Now don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against the concept of the game itself, but my god how many fucking expansions does one game need?  Here's a current list of all possible expansions for the Sims 2:

  • The Sims 2 (now known as The Sims 2 Double Deluxe) $19.99

  • The Sims 2: Apartment Life - $19.99

  • The Sims 2: Bon Voyage - $16.99

  • The Sims 2: Celebration Stuff - $24.99

  • The Sims 2: FreeTime - $14.99

  • The Sims 2: Glamour Life Stuff - $17.99

  • The Sims 2: Happy Holiday Stuff - $8.50

  • The Sims 2: H&M Fashion Stuff - $21.99

  • The Sims 2: IKEA Home Stuff - $16.99

  • The Sims 2: Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff - $16.99

  • The Sims 2: Mansion & Garden Stuff - $14.99

  • The Sims 2: Pets Expansion Pack - $14.99

  • The Sims 2: Seasons Expansion Pack - $14.99

  • The Sims 2: Teen Style Stuff - $19.99

  • The Sims 2: University Expansion Pack - $14.99

Excluding the original game, that's 14 fucking expansions.   These prices are from Amazon for the Windows versions of the games, and like any other store, prices are subject to change.  But with the prices listed above the total cost if you wanted to buy all of them comes to $259.36.  Can you imagine the amount of time one would have to spend just to individually install all of these?  Imagine how much hard drive space the game would need?

You would think that maybe somebody within EA or Maxis would reach a point and say "Ok enough with the expansions, we should probably start consolidating more of these expansions."  I would think during the process of installing all these expansions, you'd run into an issue where it would ask you to install a certain expansion first before the one you want to install.  Come to think of it, I remember I had a similar problem with some other game, it may have been the Sims 1.  But regardless, in my opinion, seeing THAT many expansions for ONE GAME is just disgusting, and over-excessive.

[caption id="attachment_1121" align="aligncenter" width="344" caption="Sims 2 Expansions... There are simply too fucking many"]Sims 2 Expansions... There are simply too fucking many[/caption]

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Man gets warrant for arrest for paying fine using pennies

Frank Gilberti of Nutley NJ, tried to pay off a $56 traffic fine using 112 rolls of pennies.  Gilberti had to pay the fine at the Bloomfield Municipal Court.  The court itself has a sign saying "Cash is Accepted" and pennies are considered legal tender.

"I went to the bank and got $56 worth of rolled pennies and went down to the court house and they refused to take it.  They had to told me to bring cash.  I was under the assumption this was cash."

Gilberti then found out there was a warrant out for his arrest.

"It's injustice.  This is U.S. currency accepted all over the county [but] apparently not in Bloomfield, NJ" Gilberti said.

Gilberti had a court date arranged for Tuesday but no news yet on what the outcome was.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Print your very own Link Paper Hat

[caption id="attachment_1099" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Link's Hat"]Link's Hat[/caption]

Attention Link freaks, would you like to have your very own Link Paper Hat? If you have the time and patience, you can have your own for free!

After stumbling across website: Nintendo Papercraft, you can actually download and print out and build all sorts of  interesting Nintendo origami!

Zelda origami models you can build include:

  • The Happy Mask Salesman

  • The dog from Clocktown in Majora's Mask

  • Gossip Stone

  • Waterbomb

  • Beamos

  • Deku Guard

  • Deku Scrub

  • Miniblin (smallest & weakest of Ganon's army)

  • Princess Ruto

  • Akindo Nut salesman

  • Fierce Diety Link

  • Ganon (transformed)

  • Princess Zelda (from Wind Waker)

  • Zora

  • Goron

  • Midna

  • Poe Salesman

  • Darunia (Goron Leader)

  • Link (in Zora form)

  • Aryll (from Wind Waker)

  • Dark Link (from Ocarina of Time)

  • Link & Epona (Ocarina of Time)

  • Skull Kid (Majora's Mask)

  • Adult Link (Ocarina of Time)

  • Tetra (Wind Waker)

  • Deku Link (Majora's Mask)

  • Tingle

And that just covers the Zelda characters.. There's other sections as well.  Check them out!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shoe throwing Reporter now considered a Hero

If you haven't been living under a rock these past couple of days, you most likely heard about an incident that took place in Baghdad, Iraq on December 14, 2008.

[caption id="attachment_1081" align="alignright" width="300" caption=""This is a farewell kiss, you dog!""]"This is a farewell kiss, you dog!"[/caption]

President Bush was at a news conference most likely in regards to something that you'd forget about in two seconds.

In Arab culture, showing the sole of your shoe is considered very insulting, it's even worse when you throw it.

Arab journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi (pictured holding the shoe) is quoted saying (in Arabic) "This is a farewell kiss, you dog!" and then throws his first shoe, but Bush quickly dodges.  Al-Zeidi then throws his second shoe, Bush dodges again.

I do have to say it's interesting how long it took the Secret Service to react.

[caption id="attachment_1091" align="alignright" width="298" caption="Muntazer Al-Zaidi pictured throwing his shoe"]Muntazer Al-Zaidi pictured throwing his shoe[/caption]

You gotta give Bush some credit here, he has some damn good reflexes.  I think the best part of this whole story is what Bush said afterwards: "I don't know what the guy said, but I saw his sole."

Muntadar al-Zeidi was detained by Secret Service and the Prime Minister's guards.   His arrest caused angry protestors in Sadr City holding signs saying "Go out USA" demanding his release.


Phil Hendrie Flashback - Bud interviews Phil

[caption id="attachment_650" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Phil Hendrie, radio personality best known for the voices he does on his show."]Phil Hendrie, radio personality best known for the voices he does on his show.[/caption]

Here is another segment from the Phil Hendrie Show that dates back at least 8-10 years ago.

Bud Dickman, an intern for the Phil Hendrie Show wanted to interview Phil Hendrie for a school project he was doing.  When Bud asked Phil what prior radio stations he worked for, the interview goes downhill from there.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Providing an update

It's been awhile since I've last posted anything on the site.  I've been rather preoccupied playing Wrath of the Lich king.  My friend & coworker Kyle talked me into re-rolling onto his realm Anetheron.  I've been playing a Death Knight, the new hero class of the expansion.  I do admit, I wasn't really into the class at first, but after playing around with it for some time, I now see the true capabilities of the class.

[caption id="attachment_1059" align="alignright" width="221" caption="Lich King, the Death Knight class"]Lich King, the Death Knight class[/caption]

I do have to say my experience playing WoW has been at a all time high.  I've been really enjoying the class, but I do have concerns that this class is going to get nerfed some time soon.  I can only hope that the nerfs to the class aren't going to be significant to the point where I have to entirely change my playstyle with the class.  Since I rerolled, I've taken my Death Knight from level 55 to 80.  My total playtime on the character is about 45 hours.

Check out my Death Knight Profile on WoW Armory

I actually tanked a few instances for the first time in my WoW career.  Normally I play a DPSer, and just face-roll my keyboard.  My experience tanking was fun, I will admit I forgot I had abilities that would've probably saved my ass while running through the Nexus or Utgarde Keep.  All Death Knights have an ability called Icebound Fortitude that basically acts like a Shield Wall for Warriors.  Also being unholy, I can add in another 40% damage reduction for a few seconds.  Bone Shield.   However in my defense, I've never had much reason to have to use these abilities as I don't normally solo 8 mobs at the same time.

The lead class designer, Ghostcrawler spoke about some upcoming changes to the Death Knight class.  Most of the changes to be expected I don't think are going to hurt the class too much.  The one change that alot of people are worried about is the changes to Rune Strike, as they're lowering the damage from 200% to 150% but raising the threat from 100% to 150%.  I'm ok with that change; the class is new and these sort of tweaks are to be expected as they try to balance the class.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A cartoon Disney would never want you to see

This video was originally put up on YouTube, but they have been pulling videos left and right, at least for me> I've had several videos I've linked to people only for them to tell me the video doesn't work.  In any case here's a bit of Disney history for you:
[flashvideo filename= /]

Saturday, December 6, 2008

How can you not love Family Guy

[flashvideo filename=wp-content/uploads/2008/12/stewie-grape-stomp.flv /]

Thursday, November 20, 2008

10 Reasons to own a Blackberry

[caption id="attachment_1020" align="alignright" width="300" caption="From left to right: The Blackberry Pearl, Bold, Curve, and some older model that I can't identify"][/caption]

Ever since I purchased my Blackberry, I've been discovering and learning all sorts of cool things you can do with them.  I wanted to share with you some of these discoveries I've come across while scavenging the internet, learning all sorts of things they're capable of doing.  I've compiled together 10 reasons why you should go out and purchase a Blackberry.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Couple in Second Life divorce from an online affair

[caption id="attachment_981" align="alignright" width="292" caption="David Pollard and Amy Taylor met in Second Life. Now they're divorcing on account of David's "online affair.""]David Pollard and Amy Taylor met in Second Life.  Now they're divorcing on account of an "online affair"[/caption]

Amy Taylor and David Pollard are ending their marriage after 3 years when Amy found David's avatar in Second Life literally "screwing around" online.

The couple met online in 2003 and, within months, she had moved into 40-year-old Mr Pollard's flat in Newquay, Cornwall.

After two years, the pair married – in real life and in the game – but Ms Taylor said she knew something was wrong.  She ended up hiring a "virtual private detective" to scope out David's activities online.

Apparently her instincts were right.  David had begged for Amy's forgiveness after the first affair unfolded.

However, it wasn't until she filed for divorce after witnessing her husband's avatar banging some new chick that went by the name: Modesty McDonnell.

"I caught him cuddling a woman on a sofa in the game. It looked really affectionate," said Ms. Taylor, who filed for ­divorce the next day. "I just couldn't believe what he'd done," said Ms Taylor, 28. "I looked at the screen and saw his character having sex.  It's cheating, as far as I'm concerned."

Ms. Taylor apparently already has a new guy now that she met in a different game...  You guessed it World of Warcraft.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Wrath of the Lich King is AWESOME

[caption id="attachment_971" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Thumbs up for Wrath of the Lich King"]Thumbs up for Wrath of the Lich King[/caption]

Once again, I've been lacking in updates for this site.  And I apologize.  I've been sidetracked with the new Wrath of the Lich King expansion that came out on Thursday.  I managed to get ahold of a collectors edition of the game (thank you Kyle!), making it so that I now have 3 out of 3 of the WoW Collector Editions.

I didn't get much of a chance to tryout the game when it came out last Thursday (11/13/08) as I went bowling that night.  Friday night was even worse as my realm Kil'Jaeden is a high population server and had like a 30+ minute wait (800+ queue).  Saturday and Sunday were the days that I got to play, and I must say that the leveling process is much easier now then it was when leveling from 60-70.

Blizzard really went all out with the quests.  There are so many quests jammed-packed within the zones, that I really didn't even know where to begin.  Since there are so many things to do, I wouldn't know where to start and I probably would have overwhelmed myself.  Thank god for QuestHelper & TomTom as they have been a lifesaver.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Just providing an update...

[caption id="attachment_939" align="alignright" width="255" caption="From level 60-70 in a matter of 28 hours."]From level 60-70 in a matter of 28 hours.[/caption]

I just wanted to follow up with some things I've been doing these past couple of weeks.

Seeing as Blizzard's Wrath of the Lich King is coming out on the 13th of November, I figured I'd level my alts since there's not much else to do at this time.  Since the last big patch 3.0.1, Blizzard included the level 80 talent specs for everybody.  The game right now is still tailored to level 70 content, however the new level 80 talents greatly increased the damage & abilities for every class, reducing the time it takes to level from 60-70.

The hybrid classes (Druid, Paladin, Shaman) will benefit the most with this new expansion coming out since Blizzard is claiming everybody will be able to passively switch between two talent specs.  What this means for a hybrid is you can get the best of two worlds.  One world is being able to efficiently do damage, and the other world is being able to effectively heal.  So in any event, if you're PVPing with a friend, it'll be nice to have the option to effectively fulfill either role people need you for.

In a two week timeline, I've managed to get my Shaman from 60-70 from 28 hours of gameplay.  I must confess I did get help thanks to Zygor's Leveling Guides, which definitely help cut back on the time it took to level my guy.

I also respecced my mage from frost to arcane, to try out the new abilities they got with the 3.0.1 patch.  I have to say that there really isn't any skill involved playing arcane.  It's definitely turned into a (what the WoW community refers easy/simple things as) "faceroll" spec.  It's simply too easy to kill people.   I feel kinda dumb playing it to be honest.  There's only 2 things you need to win in PVP, Slow & Arcane Barrage.  It was nice to be effectively kill people after awhile, but then I started getting bored from it, as I was only having to hit 2 buttons over and over to win.  As a result, I'll probably end up respeccing back to full frost before the expansion this Thursday.

Fallout 3 came out a few weeks ago, and I took some time to play the game, and while alot of people & critics love the game and gave it fantastic reviews etc, I can't talk myself into playing the game for more then 10 minutes at a time.  I've launched the game several times, and attempted to play it a few minutes here and there, but I end up losing interest.  I even tried making things interesting by accessing some cheat codes and spawning in a bunch of enemies within the Megaton city causing the citizens there to declare war against the enemies I spawn in.  While it was entertaining at first, it got boring pretty quick.  I never played the first two Fallout games, although it's not like it really matters as the story for Fallout 3 is independent of the other two.   In fact I never even heard of the Fallout series until my friend Nick introduced them to me.

Far Cry 2 came out a couple of weeks before Fallout 3, and despite it getting mixed reviews, I've had more fun playing that then Fallout 3.  I like being able to drive around in a jungle with several options being able to take out the enemies.  I always get satisfaction from running people over in vehicles.  Also I like the new system they put in place when it comes to managing weapons.  As you explore the game in Africa, you have a GPS with a tracker that allows you to find diamonds through the zones.  The diamonds are used for currency allowing you to purchase and upgrade weapons as you progress.  You can use weapons dropped from the people trying to kill you, but on occasion you'll find their weapons tend to jam, or break overtime in mid-battle, so it's advisable to use your own weapons.   My only complaint is that Far Cry 2 apparently has some kind of memory leak; as I've noticed my frames gradually decrease over time.  I'm sure one of the patches addresses this issue, but I'm currently running a crack that prevents needing the DVD to play the game and haven't bothered with it since I'll get stuck dealing with that "Insert-the-game-in-my-DVD-drive" DRM bullshit.

That's pretty much it for now.

Friday, November 7, 2008

RIP Michael Crichton

[caption id="attachment_930" align="alignright" width="210" caption="Michael Crichton (October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008)"]Michael Crichton (October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008)[/caption]

Michael Crichton , one of my all time favorite authors, passed away November 5th in Los Angeles.  Crichton's death was a result of cancer.  He was best known for his science fiction and techno-thriller novels.  A list of books he wrote can be found below:

Outside of writing, Crichton was also a producer.  He created ER, an Emmy/Award winning popular medical drama TV series that still airs on NBC today.

A private funeral service is expected but no details have been released.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

AT&T currently testing 150GB broadband cap

[caption id="attachment_915" align="alignright" width="200" caption="The real AT&T as I see it."]The real AT&T[/caption]

I had posted about Comcrap imposing a monthly 250GB cap for internet usage.  Now AT&T (American Telecommunications & Tapping) is following Comcast by doing the same.

I think we've reached a point where in today's age, where there's alot of content on the internet to explore, and with today's society embracing high definition, this poses a big problem for users.   For starters, high definition content uses significantly more bandwidth then standard definition.  The higher the quality, the more bandwidth it takes to deliver that content to you.

When you have ISPs imposing broadband caps, essentially what they're doing is kicking everybody in the balls.  This especially can impact several online services like iTunes, Amazon's Video on Demand, and Netflix as it prevents them from being able to do business by placing obstacles in their paths.

The cost of bandwidth should be very cheap now compared to what it was 5 years ago.  Nearly every hosting company today offers packages that have unlimited bandwidth for your website(s), at a very reasonable price.
AT&T believes the caps are more than sufficient for average users, pointing out that a small subset of its customers -- about 5 percent -- uses a full 50 percent of the network's bandwidth, slowing things down for the remaining majority." ¹

If 5% of AT&T's customer base is using 50% of their network, that number is only going to increase over time.  If ISPs cannot handle the current flow of data going in and out their networks, they should be investing in upgrading their infrastructure instead of slapping their customers in the face.  As technology evolves, you don't see it slowing down, if anything it's doing the exact opposite.  Those ISP's need to do the same.


  1. PC World: Broadband caps coming to AT&T

Related Links:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CNN using holograms for their news

[caption id="attachment_897" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Jessica Yellin talking about the presidential election."]Jessica Yellin talking about the presidential election.[/caption]

Wolf Blitzer from CNN interviewed Jessica Yellin via a "hologram" to discuss the presidential election. (By the way, congrats Obama!)  I can't help but feel very annoyed at the fact that CNN has to go through all this effort for a fucking interview...  I mean seriously... Are we watching the news here, or are we watching Star Wars?

I can appreciate the fact that CNN is trying to take part in the new technologies out there, like using Twitter, etc, but I think using this hologram technology is way over the top.  I watched this interview, and honestly I could give a shit what they were discussing.  I was so annoyed/distracted at what I was watching I'd had come here to bitch about it.  It's just stupid, leave the special effects for the movies, your viewers have nothing to gain from watching a hologram of somebody.  We want news, not Star Wars. That stunt isn't going to help your ratings honestly, if anything it's going to freak alot of people out, especially those southern rednecks. (if they actually watch CNN)

I should note that obviously a hologram means it's just a projected image of something being displayed, what Wolf Blitzer was looking at was a blue or red dot where Jessica is supposed to appear.

Just keep the interviews simplified?  There's nothing wrong with having two boxes side by side on my screen.  I'm okay with that you know...

[caption id="attachment_898" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="...Why?"]...Why?


Monday, November 3, 2008

EA - Red Alert 3 Installation Code issue

[caption id="attachment_884" align="alignright" width="300" caption="EA:"Sorry bitch, just figure it out!""]EA: 'Sorry bitch, just figure it out!'[/caption]

You might remember awhile back I was talking about how EA was going to be linking their forums to users online EA accounts.  Apparently their latest game, Command & Conquer - Red Alert 3 had a misprint on (what they claimed) a small number of instruction booklets that contain this code.  The code itself if supposed to be 20 digits long, but some users were reporting that there were only 19 digits.

Lets pretend you didn't know anything about I've talked about here.  You're a gamer, and you head to your local Best Buy/GameStop store and purchase a copy of Red Alert 3.  You go home and open up the game and pop it in your DVD/CD drive, punch in the code provided in the instruction manual and find out the code doesn't work.  What would you do?  Today's laws prevent you from being able to return opened computer software because of piracy, so now you're stuck with the game.   After just spending $50, I'd be pretty pissed off.

So lets just assume that is the case, how much time would you be willing to waste attempting to install this game?

I wanted to share with you what EA considers their workaround:
If you are trying to install Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 and the code is only 19 characters long, then it is missing the last letter or number. This was due to a misprint on a small number or manuals and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

There is currently a work around that may allow you to bypass this issue. Since you have the first 19 characters of the code already, you can basically try "guessing" the last character. To do this, simply enter your existing code, and then for the last character, try the letters A-Z, and then the numbers 0-9. You should eventually get the right combination, and be able to play the game.

So if you go that route, there's a 1 in 36 chance you'll get the combination right.  Now I personally haven't tried this out for myself but I want to speculate what usually happens when you get codes wrong...  The boxes automatically clear themselves resulting in you having to type the whole damn code again.  And in most cases they divide the code up so that you have to 5 boxes containing 4 characters each, further complicating the process.

The other route you could go is to contact EA:
In order to get a replacement code, please click the "Contact Us" link on the left side of the page, and attach an image of your code to the incident.

If you do not have access to a digital camera or scanner, you can fax us a copy of the back of your instruction booklet, along with a copy of your receipt, to (512) 949-4994.  Please include with your fax your First and Last name as well as your incident number.

If you would like, once you have created your incident, you can also contact us by phone using the number found on page 28 of your manual.

I just find it sad in general that a major publisher like EA didn't catch this problem before releasing the game.  I can understand, mistakes do happen.  But something like this that prevents the user from being able to even install the game is a pretty serious issue.

Way to go EA.



Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sarah Palin pranked on Canadian radio

I usually try to stay away from discussing politics because I find when people disagree politically, these situations become very messy.  In any case, I couldn't help but mention this because this is not only embarrassing to McCain's campaign, it's also kinda scary.


[caption id="attachment_870" align="alignright" width="300" caption="A picture is worth a thousand words"]A picture is worth a thousand words[/caption]

What makes this scary is how easily these radio DJ's got through to Palin.  The implications regarding the McCain campaign's utter lack of ANY sort of security/screening measures is nothing short of amazing.  This mockery is exactly what the McCain campaign has been trying to avoid.  Why do you think after the Katie Couric interview she wouldn't talk to the media?  Because McCain's campaign couldn't afford making her look like an idiot.  Well too late there.

It's really surprising to me that Palin had no suspicion at all when "Nicolas Sarkozy" (French President) said the following to her:
I must say, Governor Palin, I love the documentary they made on your life, you know, Hustler’s "Nailin Palin."

Is she that dumb?  Clearly.  I mean the guy mocked her so many different times... "we could go hunting in a helicopter but don't bring Dick Cheney" "I can see Belgium from my house!" Making fun of Joe the Plumber, and of course, "Nailin Palin."  On top of that I think the guy pulling the prank realized she was THAT DUMB that he finally had to come out and tell her "you've been pranked."

As McCain would say: "My friends..." ...This woman could very well end up being the President of the United States.   McCain is the oldest candidate to ever run for president, and he doesn't have a very good track record in terms of health... We CANNOT have a woman like her representing this country.

Good god...


Halloween 2008 at Hollywood

I wanted to share with you my experience going down to Hollywood, CA at Sunset Boulevard.  I went down there with my friends Kyle, Becky & John.

Kyle went as Master Shake from Aqua Teen Hunter Force, John went as Frylock.  We had no Meatwad. DON'T ASK ME WHERE HE WAS EITHER!

Becky (Kyle's wife) went as a Pirate Wench.

The pictures you see below were taken by me as I was walking around dressed as an Pimped out Agent from the Matrix.

Also I want to thank Kyle for the invite and for driving down there.  No other day will you see people dressed the way they were... Enjoy!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Photoshop: from Ugly to Uglier

This was a quick project I did at work for my boss to kinda scare her husband to stop overfeeding their dog treats.

This isn't my best work either, as this project took me like 20 minutes to do.


EA to link user forum accounts to their in-game accounts

[caption id="attachment_824" align="alignright" width="264" caption="Just pointing out the obvious."]Just pointing out the obvious.[/caption]

It looks like EA is taking a stand against those whom are talking smack about their games.  If you remember a few weeks back, EA had released Spore and the game reviews (especially from Amazon) were awful primarily because of the included DRM.  I made a post specifically about this awhile back.

Looking at the EA Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 forum, community manager Aaron Kaufman (user: eaapoc) had this to say:
"Your forum account will be directly tied to your Master EA Account, so if we ban you on the forums, you would be banned from the game as well since the login process is the same. And you'd actually be banned from your other EA games as well since its all tied to your account. So if you have SPORE and Red Alert 3 and you get yourself banned on our forums or in-game, well, your SPORE account would be banned to. It's all one in the same, so I strongly recommend people play nice and act mature."

There's more...
"All in all, we expect people to come on here and abide by our ToS. We hate banning people, it makes our lives a lot tougher, but its what we have to do.

Those banned will stay banned, but like most other internet services, its not that hard to create a new fake e-mail account. However, its a lot harder to get a new serial key =)"

Now there hasn't been any official announcement from EA about this, but it really wouldn't surprise me if this does turn out to be the case.  EA has always been on my shitlist; but this as far as I'm concerned, that stunt now makes their listing stand out like a Vegas light show on my list.

And while I'm bashing EA, lemme point out some obvious things about EA:

They are the only game publisher that can somehow get away with releasing the same pile of shit sport titles and slap on a new year; yet for whatever reason, sport fanatics continue to buy their shit.  The only difference between each title (besides the year being different) is an up-to-date roster or whatever sports organization the game belongs to.  It's the SAME FUCKING GAME.

Boycott EA, stop buying their shit, in fact if you really want to play that EA game, just download the torrent off The Pirate Bay.


  1. C&C Red Alert 3 Thread: Source: New C& Website Q&A - What you need to know about the launch (10th post down)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jack Thompson officially disbarred

[caption id="attachment_810" align="alignright" width="300" caption="A screenshot from the Florida state BAR showing Thompson's ineligibility to practice law in the state of Florida."]A screenshot from the Florida state BAR showing Thompson's ineligibility to practice law in Florida.[/caption]

Well it's official.  Jack Thompson after 31 years as a lawyer in the state of Florida can no longer practice law.

Thompson had 30 days to provide to the courts a reason why he shouldn't be disbarred.   No idea if he acted upon the opportunity or not, but in any case he's done.

Upon looking at the Florida state BAR website, you can see John B. "Jack" Thompson, is no longer eligible to practice law.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

A followup on "The little things that piss me off"

I just wanted to post a follow up on the Sonic Rush game.  I made a few extra attempts on the that 1st boss encounter, and as usual I couldn't beat him.  So I started looking around at the other options the game had and came across a difficulty setting on the game.  I switched it from normal to easy and it actually made the boss encounter beatable.

So I managed to get pass the first boss, and I'm pursuing my way through the other levels.

Other then that the game been pretty fun

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The little things that piss me off.

I always wanted to get Sonic Rush for the Nintendo DS, as it looked like a pretty fun game to play.  The asking price for the game for the longest time was $34.99 and there's no way in hell I'd pay that much for a handheld game.  I ended up buying it after seeing it on sale at Best Buy for $19.99.

In any case, I started playing the game and so far so good.  The first two levels of the game are your typical "beach" themed level w/ palm trees everywhere, and the bright blue sky.  Basically like any other Sonic game, you run very fast going from left to right, collecting rings, and completing the stages.

[caption id="attachment_773" align="alignright" width="200" caption="This is the obscure angle you get when Eggman attempts to run you over."][/caption]

Now here's where it turns to shit... The first boss encounter is FUCKING hard... And it's not hard in a way where the encounter itself being hard, but hard in the result of the fucking camera angle.  Eggman (formerly known as Robotnik) has this hammer type weapon that slams into the ground and on occasion unattach itself from the neck and rolls around trying to run you over.  When he attempts to run you over, the camera point of view changes obscuring your point of view, and makes it difficult to time your jump.

As Eggman gets closer and closer to defeat, the speed increases making it harder to time that jump.  What really sucks is if you miss the jump, you're dead... Not the type of death where if you get hit, you lose all your rings, I mean DEAD, as in you have to do the damn encounter over, as the asshole knocks you off the stage.

I don't know what it is, but when it comes to Sonic games and 3D, these games become a curse; but I wouldn't necessarily put this game under that category.  The 3D Sonic games for the newer consoles are the cursed games, as they are fucking awful.  Awful in many ways:

  • Shitty level designs

  • Shitty stories

  • Shitty new characters (Bunny, Rogue, that Alligator guy, and a few thousand others)

  • Shitty voice acting (god give it up Sega)

  • Shitty feeling when you lose your rhythm from having Sonic brush up against shit causing him to constantly stop or slow down

Sega has never been able to truly make a 3D Sonic game as fun to play as the classic Sonic games that were on Sega Genesis.  Even Sonic 3D Blast, despite being on the Sega Genesis was pretty bad.

Back to Sonic Rush...

In any event, I'm annoyed at the fact that Sega implemented this pseudo 3D crap for this particular boss encounter as I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO FUCKING BEAT IT DESPITE THE COUNTLESS ATTEMPTS I'VE MADE.  Why in the flying FUCK is the 1st boss encounter so easy and so difficult at the same time?  If you assholes kept the damn camera locked in one position, I wouldn't be tearing my god damned hair out and venting my frustration about this fucking shit.

So you know what?  Fuck this game, I can't beat it, and I've become so frustrated with it I don't want to play this shit anymore.


There is a follow up on this.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mage "l33tn3ss" music video from Mitalis coming soon!

I've got about 30 minutes worth of footage of me kicking ass in Alterac Valley showing off one of the awesome changes Mages got in patch 3.0.2.  Hopefully I should be done putting the video together and have something up by mid-next week... But then again I am a lazy bastard, so it might be longer.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Holy Shit BATMAN! Lots of WoW changes!

[caption id="attachment_759" align="alignright" width="200" caption="If you think you hate Ice now, just wait... "]If you think you hate Ice now, just wait... [/caption]

If you've recently played World of Warcraft, then you're probably aware of the new patch that just came out.  This patch primarily was in preparation for Wrath of the Lich King which is due out in stores November 13th.

This patch was massive.  A whopping 1.2GB in size.  I was pretty annoyed at the fact that Blizzard didn't provide a full compilation of the patch to release FileFront or the major websites that offer downloads for games.  I got stuck having to use the Blizzard patcher which took about an hour and a half on my freaking FIOS connection.... It was basically me capping my upload speeds 300kb/sec while downloading at a whopping fast 200kb/sec, despite my max download speed being 1800kb/sec.  Regardless, I eventually got the patch, but of course once the patch process was complete, the login servers were down so it really didn't matter.

The change in the WoW login screen is nice, everything's now frosty, and wintery (just the way I like it, GO FROST!)  You also don't hear that repetitive login music everytime you start the game, unless you're at the loading screen for more then 10 seconds.

About an hour later, the servers came back up and my server (Kil'Jaeden) was kinda laggy despite having 100ms ping.  Everybody had their talent points reset as Blizzard revamped every class, and gave them new spells/abilities.

As a Mage, one of my issues has been the lack of survivability, I'm frost specced, so I have more tools at my disposal, but prior to patch 2.0.3, things just felt subpar.  Since this patchI'm VERY happy with the changes Mages got.  Mages for quite some time were pretty behind where they should've been in damage; even the developers agreed.  They did a bunch of nice things for Mages:

  • Upped the AOE (Area of Effect) damage cap

  • Changed the spell pushback mechainc (this affects all spell casting classes)

    • When casting a spell:

      • The first and second hit will add .5 secs each to the cast time.

      • All hits after the second will have no effect.

    • When channeling a spell:

      • The first and second hit reduces current duration by 25% of total duration each.

      • All hits after the second will have no effect.

    • Reduced the fade time of Invisibility from 5 seconds to 3

    • Reduced Evocation from 8 minutes to 5

  • Increase absorption from Damage for Ice Barrier, also if you specced in Shattered Barrier, after the Barrier has been dispelled/consumed, you get a free Frost Nova from it.

  • Brain Freeze - (61 talent point ability) 5 second stun on a 30 second cooldown that can be used against targets frozen.

  • Fingers of Frost - Chilled Effects basically acts as if your target was frozen, good if you've specced Shatter, as you'll benefit from the crit.

  • And more...

These changes were much needed, especially the spell pushback as this was the one mechanic in the game that screwed me over countless times.  They also changed the way Blizzard (the spell works), you can now crit from the targets frozen.  For me this is a HUGE deal, because Mages were limited to 3 (4 if you include Blast Wave which you have to spec for) spells w/ AOE (Area of Effect), Arcane Explosion, Blizzard, and Flamestrike.  And they were lousy as a result from the AOE damage cap.

Arcane Explosion, is a mana hogging spell for starters, secondly your easily targetable because you have to be in the middle of the crowd when casting it, which means you'll most likely die in 2 seconds...

Flamestrike is a channeled spell that has one big blast, followed by a DOT if your opponent is still standing in the area where the spell was cast, it does the weakest damage of the 3 AOE capable spells

Blizzard is a ranged channeled DOT spell, if you spec Improved Blizzard, it slows down your opponents to a point where they're having to crawl out of the Blizzard.  Add permafrost to that and it can proc a root effect where you're stuck.  The beauty of Blizzard is the fact that they've changed it so that it can do CRITICAL damage to your opponent.  Before the spell was just channeled and it could never crit, now that it can, the damage has increased significantly.  In addition, since they upped the AOE damage cap, the more opponents within that radius of the Blizzard spell, the more damage you can do. I'll have a movie clip of the new Blizzard spell up shortly and you'll see the damage it can cause now, it's freakin' insane.

One last thing, since I was really excited over the changes WoW did, I played an Alterac Valley game before leaving for work.  When the game was done, I did over 500,000 damage topping the DPS chart; 200k more then the person in second place.   And the majority of that damage was from casting Blizzard.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm not dead...

[caption id="attachment_748" align="alignright" width="298" caption="Image speaks for itself."]Image speaks for itself.[/caption]

Sorry about the lack of updates...  I just haven't had the time to add content to the site.

This week for me has been restless, between the hot nights we've had lately, and just me not sleeping in general hasn't helped much either.

I'm thinking of doing video reviews because it gives me more flexibility being able to put that content on several video websites like YouTube, and drive more traffic to my site.

When things start settling down, I'll provide more updates...

I promise...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Logitech Harmony One Video Review

Here's the video review as promised.

[flashvideo filename= /]

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Anti-game partisan, Jack Thompson DISBARRED

[caption id="attachment_731" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Jack Thompson, part douchebag, part asshole loses his privileges as an attorney."]Jack Thompson, part douchebag, part asshole loses his privilages as an attorney.[/caption]

If you're a fan of video games, and find yourself frequently reading up on video game news, then you've probably heard the name Jack Thompson before.   Jack Thompson is one of these dumbass people that have a personal vendetta against violent video games.  He makes these cases claiming the violence in todays video games are what bring kids to go on shooting rampages, (like Columbine) and therefore these games ought to be banned.   There have been numerous tests & surveys performed that have resulted in similar conclusions stating that video games have an insiginificant role on the decisions that todays kids make.

To give you an idea on Thompson's douchebag-ness, here's an example of a stunt he pulled:
In 1992, a complaint from Thompson led Florida Secretary of State Jim Smith to withhold a $25,000 grant to the Miami Film Festival; Thompson claimed that the festival was using state money to show pornographic films. In response, Thompson was named an "Art Censor of the Year" by the ACLU.  The next month, Thompson faced disbarment over allegations that he lied while making accusations against prominent Dade County lawyer Stuart Z Grossman.  Thompson ultimately admitted violating bar rules of professional conduct, including charges that he contacted people represented by an attorney without first contacting their attorneys, and agreed to pay $3,000 in fines and receive a public reprimand. **This excerpt is from Thompson's Wikipedia article**

Judge Dava Tunis recommended permanent disbarment for Jack Thompson, on account for being a complete douchebag against video games...  No, really.....

Kidding... He's been disbarred on account of ignoring the sanction placed upon him from being able to self-submit frivolous filings against video game companies.  Thompson ignored this rule and even attempted to submit a file against the referee asking for the report against him.

This whole disbarment started when Thompson was at the Florida Supreme Court February 19th - March 20th and was going through disciplinary proceedings, on account of abusing the legal system by submitting "numerous, frivolous and inappropriate filings".   Despite being warned not to do so.  In fact, it was reported that Thompson walked out of the courtroom at the final hearing in this matter because the Judge would not allow him to "to turn the disciplinary proceeding into a press conference.
"Thus, after careful consideration of the underlying facts in the instant cases, together with the Florida Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions, the applicable aggravating and mitigating factors and the precedent case law, this Court makes the following recommendations for John Bruce Thompson:

A. Permanent disbarment, with no leave to reapply for admission.
B. Disciplinary costs currently totaling $43,675.35"

This guy is not a rational thinker.   He's the type that shoots first, then asks questions later; doesn't ever think about the consequences.   As far as I'm concerned, the idiot had it coming.

To learn more about douchebag Thompson, check out the following links:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Professor gets $100,000 grant to study World of Warcraft

The National Science Foundation has agreed to give the University of California Irvine a  $100,000 towards studying World of Warcraft (WoW).  Now the only reason why I can imagine they would choose the University of Irvine is because the campus is closest to Blizzard's HQ.

Note: Blizzard's offices used to be literally within walking distance of the University until Blizzard recently relocated to expand their company.

I can't fathom why somebody would need that much money towards a game that costs about $70 + $15/month subscription.  Lemme break down the actual costs here:

  • World of Warcraft: Classic - $19.99

  • Burning Crusade Expansion - $29.99

  • Wrath of the Lich King Expansion (not yet out) $39.99

  • Monthly subscription cost: $14.99

TOTAL COST: $104.96 (not including sales tax into the equation)

So where else would the remaining $99,896 go towards?  Well assuming you don't have a computer (who doesn't now a days) you could spend about $2,000 for a respectable gaming machine that would have more then enough power to run the game at maximum graphical settings.

That brings it down to  $97,896.

Ok, ok.... Enough speculation, this is where the focus of the money is going...

According to the OCRegister, the money is going to be used to study the disparity including the cultural and institutional factors.  Nardi a WoW fan herself did some of her own studying and had this to say:
The vast majority of Chinese players are not ‘gold farmers’ (people who play to generate game gold, which is then sold for real money).  They’re ordinary players like anyone.  The media has blown that story out of all proportion. Many people think Chinese play for a job.  They play for fun.

Chinese people play the more challenging form of World of Warcraft almost exclusively.  They find the less challenging form of the game ‘boring.’ Here, about 50 percent play the challenging form of the game and there, about 95 percent do.

I would agree that the media has blown the whole "all people that play WoW are gold farmers" stories out of proportion, and at the same time I think Nardi's research is pretty damn accurate.  World of Warcraft currently has about 5 million players alone in China which equates to about half of WoW's subscription.

I think the National Science Foundation could have put that money towards a better cause... I don't think they're going to learn anything new that's going to benefit anybody.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Harmony One Remote review... Coming soon!

[caption id="attachment_707" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Logitech Harmony One Universal Remote Control"]The Logitech Harmony One Universal Remote Control[/caption]

Wanted to give a heads up...

I have an upcoming review coming out (hopefully sometime early next week) on the Logitech Harmony One Universal Remote control.

This is a device I've owned for about 7 months now and I'd like to share with you my experience in using probably one of the most unique remote controls out there.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Each Nintendo employee generates $1.6 million for the company

[caption id="attachment_701" align="alignright" width="257" caption="Each Nintendo employee generates the company about $1.6 million per year."]Each Nintendo employee generates the company about $1.6 million per year.[/caption]

This statistic came as a surprise to me.  According to Financial Times, "the programmers of Super Mario Galaxy will generate more profit this year then the average Goldman Sachs banker has ever managed."  The average Goldman Sachs employee generates about $1.2 million, each employee at Google about $626,000.

Nintendo employs about 3,000 people - most of which work in game development and R&D.  The interesting thing about this is Nintendo actually outsources alot of the production, but has the producers of Nintendo overlook the projects.  The results of their profits comes from the volume of sales Nintendo has received from the Nintendo DS and the Wii.

Pretty amazing stuff.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

McCain - Rick Rolled Obama Style

You may remember the first version of the video posted here, the same guy whom edited that video released this awesome compilation of footage staging it as if Obama took over the Republican Convention:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fitbit - Tracks your physical activity, & sleep

[caption id="attachment_655" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Fit Bit, (prototype displayed) a tiny monitoring device that tracks your physical activity"]Fit Bit, a tiny monitoring device that tracks your physical activity[/caption]

I've never been one that's been too conscious of my physical well-being though I need to start taking it into consideration.  I was listening to Leo Laporte's TWiT podcast, and they mentioned this website, that's working on a device which will monitor your physical activity throughout the day as well as monitor your sleeping habits.  The idea seemed interesting so I decided to dig a little deeper and get a better idea as to what this product does.

The company Fitbit Inc., was founded by two former members of CNET, Eric Friedman and James Park, both who were former co-founders of Windup Labs, a P2P file sharing photo site which later was acquired by CNET.

The Fitbit Tracker is a ultra-compact wireless wearable device that automatically tracks and wirelessly uploads data about your activities, such as exercise intensity levels, calories burned, sleep quality, and measurement of the number of steps/distance traveled. (1)

One interesting about the FitBit tracker is that it uses motion sensing technology (similar to the Nintendo Wii) which allows it to capture your movement/activity throughout the day.  The pictures you see are not the finalized product; the tracker is to include an OLED screen which will provide you calories burned, steps and distance taken.   It will also provide you information showing progression towards your goal in a form of an avatar that will change as your advance or fall behind.  They mentioned that it's been tested hundreds of times on several different body sets; meaning they've had people of all sizes try this thing out and the accuracy of this tracker is said to be about 95-97% accurate. (2)

[caption id="attachment_657" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The Fitbit tracker charging station.   It's my guess that it also acts as the base station that receives the information from the tracker and loads it online automatically."]Charging station for the fitbit.  It's my guess that this is also the device that recieves the information from the tracker, and loads it online automatically.[/caption]

The tracker will include a base station which uploads your activity wirelessly online to the Fitbit website where you can view a more detailed report of your status.  Synchronization is automatic assuming you're within range of the base station.

Although I wasn't able to find any information about your physical activity and goal information being private, I am assuming this is the case.  According to their press release, the website is supposed have a "motivational looking" interface, which can be sharable among family and friends, and allow you to log your nutrition weight and other health information in order to gain a complete picture of your health.

The estimated battery life (between charges) they claim is approximately 10 days.  I would hope this is true because the longer this device is off you, the less accurate reports you'd get.

[caption id="attachment_666" align="alignright" width="259" caption="A sample of what the Fitbit Report/Dashboard will look like."]A sample of what the Fitbit Report/Dashboard will look like.[/caption]

The entire Fitbit bundle will cost you under $100 and there are no additional monthly fees to access the reports online.  The Fitbit device should be available late Dec. 2008 - Early 2009.

I've decided to pre-order one of these things, to at least try this thing out, granted I'm not content in saying this device works, I'll play the guinea pig here and write about it whenever I do get it.


  1. Fitbit Website

  2. Fitbit Press Release

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Phil Hendrie flashback.... "Clang"

[caption id="attachment_650" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Phil Hendrie, radio personality best known for the voices he does on his show."]Phil Hendrie, radio personality best known for the voices he does on his show.[/caption]

I stumbled across this audio bit while I was trying to make space on my hard drive.  This is a flashback to the Phil Hendrie Show where Phil's assistant Bud Dickman helps Phil order out Chinese takeout.  Phil is unable to understand what the guy is saying, and Bud out of the blue starts speaking "Chinese" with the guy taking the order.   Hilarity ensues.  Listen to audio clip below.


Also see:

  • The Phil Hendrie Show Story

  • Phil Hendrie

  • Bud Dickman

Monday, September 8, 2008

Spore's DRM causing major backlash

It shouldn't come as a surprise that once again DRM (Digital Rights Management) is causing an uproar within the internet community.  There have been other games which have had the same issues in the past including Mass Effect, and Bioshock.  The game Spore includes DRM from SecuROM which places the following restrictions upon you:

  • 3 Installations of the game*

  • Mandantory online activation to play the game

  • After the 3rd installation, you are required to contact EA and explain why to them you need to reinstall your game

* EA is claiming it's 3 "concurrently active" licenses, however other documentation found online from EA counters these claims.

[caption id="attachment_633" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="SecuROM restricting the legitimate people who fork over the cash to buy this game are ultimately the ones that get screwed over with this copy protection crap."]SecuROM restricting the legimate people who fork over the cash to buy this game are ultimately the ones that get screwed over with this copy protection crap.[/caption]

Because of the DRM included, users were claiming that SecuROM is installing rootkits on their computers.  However no true evidence of a rootkit has ever been found.   This accusation was a result from Microsoft's Rootkit Revealer which gave a false positive because of some folder and registry entries placed by SecuROM.  Ken Fisher from Ars Technica helped clear the air with this rootkit rumor by investigating the issue himself.  The result of his investigation was exactly what SecuROM stated "Those folder and registry entries are only used for storage of license information to assist in activating the game online." (1)

People are pissed off at this DRM because they are essentially "renting" the game from EA since the installations are limited.  I can't blame these people honestly.  The reviewers from Amazon are certainly expressing their frustration.  The average star rating for this game (currently as of 9/8/2008) 1½ of 5 stars.  Reviewer J. Stewart from Amazon gave his opinion of the game:
I have long awaited purchasing this game. I have been slavering and drooling over videos since they were released. NOW I find out that there is simply no option to purchase this game, that it's a $50 rental or nothing else.

I won't rent my video games, EA.

The DRM on this thing is less friendly than my recent colonoscopy- You get three installs. That's it. No install returned for uninstallation, or anything else. You install it three times, then you're out $50.

No, thank you, EA.

When you take your head out of the sand and realize that this DRM prevents MANY more sales than it "saves", (As it doesn't save a single sale. Pirates were passing a cracked version of this game around 5 days PRIOR to release date.) give me a call, won't you? (2)

EA should have learned learned from the mistake 2KGames made.  2KGames, publisher of Bioshock removed their DRM a few months later because of the backlash the game received.  The midnight release of Bioshock was canceled in Austria because of technical issues that stemmed from the activation servers which unlocked the game. This among other issues drove 2KGames to the point where the activation was more trouble then it was worth. (3)

What will it take for these publishing companies like EA to realize that they're doing more harm then good?  It's one thing to put in a product key activation to allow people to play the game online, but limiting users from being able to install the game THEY OWN as many times as they want is not the way to handle the situation.  You're always going to get backlash from your fans, and these stunts are result in people turning to piracy because it removes these restrictions.

Hey game publishers, get it through your heads, DRM hurts nobody but the honest consumer...  Stop screwing them over.


  1. Ars Technica stating no rootkit found from SecuROM on Bioshock

  2. Amazon's reviews of Spore

  3. Bioshock's DRM controversy on Wikipedia

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Famous voice over actor, Don LaFontaine dies aged 68

[caption id="attachment_618" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Don LaFontaine, famous voice actor, dead at age 68. (August 26, 1940 – September 1, 2008)"]Don LaFontaine, famous voice actor, dead at age 68.[/caption]

That sucks!  Don LaFontaine had an awesome voice!  He was the guy you'd hear doing the voice overs for movie trailers.

He died on Monday at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.   He had complications of Pneumothorax. (collapsed lung)

LaFontaine, had been doing voice overs for the last 25 years, and earned the title "King of Voice overs."   Outside of doing voice acting for trailers, he also voiced Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, as well as other shows on the ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX networks.  If you've ever listen to the TV or radio, chances are you would recognize his voice as he's done hundreds of thousands of voice overs between the two.

Don was considered one of the most busiest actors in the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).


  1. Entertainment Tonight - link broken

  2. Don LaFontaine's article on Wikipedia

Google launching their own browser: Google Chrome

This came as a surprise to me that Google themselves would develop their own open source internet browser when Firefox is already (to me) the most superior browser out there today.

However upon further reading, Google might have something that could make the Firefox browser yesterdays news.  John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla doesn't seem at all worried, yet.  Google had some agreement for funding for them for the next 2-3 years.  Although it's not an issue now because they're buddies now, but this is the internet, and things can change and evolve without notice.

What makes Google Chrome interesting is what they're focusing on.  Rather then divulge all their time focusing on what all internet browsers do, render pages on your screens, Google is really focusing on adding better application integration and memory management into their Chrome Browser.

[caption id="attachment_607" align="alignright" width="256" caption="Google explaining how if there is a bug encountered with many of the applications that run within a browser, the tab running that application will display a sad face file if something is wrong."]Google explaining how if there is a bug encountered with many of the applications that run within a browser, the tab running that application will display a sad face file.[/caption]

The idea is rather then have the browser run things like JavaScript, Java, Flash, and other applications into one process, have each of these processes run separately.  Google wants to run each process in a separate tab on their browser.  So while the one tab is busy processing that Java application, you can still easily browse elsewhere without it impacting your browsing experience.  If that Java application for whatever reason crashes, then rather then having to shut down the entire browser and lose what pages you're looking at, that tab running the Java application will close itself out instead.

Now considering this multi-process idea,  the browser will use more memory up front to handle these applications.  But over time, it'll also mean less memory bloat.  You might be asking yourself "What does that mean?"  Let me give you an example:

Say you open your existing browser to start a new web browsing session, none of the components used to render web pages are loaded.  You go to your favorite website say for example, this website requires an application to playback the videos on your browser.  YouTube requires Adobe Flash which is one of the many applications you use, and you may not even know that.  You type in a different web address and visit some other website, like for example.  That Flash application will still remain in memory even though you're not using it anymore, and will until you shut down your browser entirely.  Now lets assume you haven't shut down your browser yet and you open up a new tab and leave open.  The new website you visit (we'll use in this example) will also use Flash, but when visiting Newgrounds, you'll notice for whatever reason the site is sluggish and you grow impatient because of how slow loading it becomes. Google Chrome will allow you to look at the running processes (just like Windows Task Manager when you press CTRL+ALT+DEL) and see what the problem is, and allow you eliminate it instead of having to shut down your browser entirely.  This will allow you to eliminate the process causing memory bloating and keep better control of things.

There is much more that Google explains about their Browser, if you're into these nerdy things, I'd advise you to check out their comic explaining how their browser is going to work.  They did a very good job explaining the idea.  Very interesting stuff.

Google Chrome is available for you to download and try out: (keep in mind this is a BETA)

Monday, September 1, 2008

My review on the Blackberry Curve 8330

Well here is it guys, I promised you a review on this phone, although I wished I could have got it out earlier this week but I was busy with other things.  My apologies for the delay.

The Blackberry Curve 8330 is the 4th model of the Curve series.   Like other Blackberries, this phone has the basic features you'd expect any Blackberry to have:

  • Phone capabilities (duh)

  • Wireless E-mail

  • Camera

  • Organizer

  • Text Messaging

  • Mobile Internet

This particular Blackberry Curve 8330 has the most features available for the Curve series.  This model has everything listed above and more including GPS as well as video recording unlike the other Curve phones.

Placing Calls/Receiving Calls & Quality

[caption id="attachment_577" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="The screen you'd see as a call is in process"]The screen you'd see while a call was in progress.[/caption]

Surprisingly, there are a few cell phones despite being called a "phone" that actually suck at being a phone, yet they have other features which are FAR better then the "phone".  There could be a number of things that attribute to this; a crappy earpiece speaker, making it hard for you to hear or understand the call; or a crappy mic, making it hard for the caller to understand you.  OR... The antenna within the phone which could be core problem with the call quality in general.

The phone quality for the Blackberry 8330 is very good.  People are very easy to understand and the people whom I've made calls to claim they can hear me clearly on their end as well.  The phone includes a speakerphone, which I've also used on numerous calls and it would seem that if the volume is turned all the way up, the output becomes so loud it'll actually distort what people are saying.  My recommendation if you use the speakerphone is to leave the volume setting to halfway and you should be able to understand what the caller is saying.

One neat feature I've noticed with this phone is the microphone seems to change when you toggle the call between the earpiece and speakerphone.  When the call is on speakerphone, the mic sensitivity increases itself to compensate so that anybody within 4½ feet from the phone will be picked up and the caller can easily hear the conversation on your end.

The built in antenna seems to be as good as any typical cell phone.  The signal quality inside the house where I am is usually 3 out of 5 bars.  My prior phone, the Motorola IC902 gave off the same signal strength, so judging between both phones I would say that the antenna is as good as any other phone.

[caption id="attachment_574" align="alignright" width="225" caption="An incoming call on the Blackberry. You can also see a picture that appears to the left of the caller information."]An incoming call on the Blackberry.  You can also see a picture that appears to the left of the caller information.[/caption]

When you make a call, you can clearly see the numbers (appearing in a large font) displayed on the screen as you're dialing the number.  You'll see additional information on the screen as well when you're in a phone call. (refer to the picture on the right) When you receive a call, you can easily see caller ID details (name & number) as well as a picture displayed to the left (if one is set) on the screen.

The Blackberry Curve 8330 also have Bluetooth capabilities and when used in conjunction with my Jawbone, the call quality when using the earpiece is very good.  Read my Bluetooth Jawbone Earpiece Review.

The Blackberry of course like any other cell phone has a call log showing a list of calls placed/received as well as a timestamp.  Clicking on any of the entries in the list will pull up additional options allowing you to call them back, e-mail, text message, etc..

Additional Features: E-mails, Instant Messaging, & Applications

This review is rather long and I'd rather not have this review stretch my home page 2 miles down, so if you like to read the full review on what else the Blackberry phone has to offer click "continue reading" below.