Monday
Sep052011

I was dug in with Trenched for Xbox 360 (finally done with it). 

Now I don't take the decision to buy a video game lightly. In order to  buy a game its either a completely emotional purchase or one that is a very belaboured process. If I'm on the fence about purchasing a game I usually check with multiple review sites, check who wrote the reviews and check my podcasts to see what I can get from it contextually. Do they have the same hang ups about certain genre's, mechanics etc.  Usually it's good to listen to any podcasts the site puts out because it gives me a greater sense of the colour or opinion when it comes to a reviewer's perspective about a particular game (which helps me decide if I should buy it).  Trenched was one of those games, I usually don't gravitate towards the tower defence genre but, I LOVE mech games of almost any sort. There is something about giant robots that are extremely fascinating and how this game couches there use is as a extension of motorized wheelchairs in post-war Americana with a sci-fi twist. There TV technology and broadcasts are alien in origin (the aliens are made up of CRT monitors) and it's up to you to fight off its indoctrination with strategy. The motorized trenches of this game are most akin to walking tanks, along with turrets and the help of random(s)/friends you complete waved based missions, earn better guns, trench cores, legs, marine clothing and emplacements.

Now while I don't like tower defence, being able to control the trench first person, plus the games great visual style (think WWII bond/  enlistment  posters) was satisfying enough to overlook that fact and spend a great deal of time S-ranking it.  In order to achieve this it took a great deal of random games trying to ace missions to get the required gold medals for the final achievement, which was frustrating but worth the challenge . However the game as a whole was short and kind of repetitive which was weird considering its forward thinking DLC format. Essentially, you're doing the same thing 10 or so times , so the lack of local co-op (online only) is disheartening. That being said, I really hope this game does well enough to justify a sequel that includes this feature and has you doing something other than defending some structure of strategic importance.  Perhaps if the developers introduced different factions or different opponents it might liven up some of the gameplay and make the game seem more varied and more worth the 15 dollars the game cost.

Bottom Line: 4/5 It's endearing style and quirky nature makes up for repetitive gameplay PLUS IT HAS MECHS!!!!!!

Images are "taken" from google image search please don't send Liam Nealson after us because of it

Saturday
Jul232011

I'm not (actually) done with this podcast...yet (we are not on hiatus). 

I know it's been close to a month since the last post of audio and anyone that cares probably doesn't visit the site, but in hopes that your rss reader pulls the posts as well I am letting people know that the show isn't on hiatus and that new episodes are being recorded regularly (it's just taking a very long time to edit them due to various circumstances).

So... on the upside people who say "I'm sorry" usually make more money then people who think they're right all the time. The study suggests that as they are usually more secure, allowing them to admit fault. I guess that will mean I will be very, very poor. In fact, people earning over $100,000 a year are almost twice as likely to apologize after an argument/mistake (showing a willingness to learn from their mistakes, the mark of a good employee) as those earning $25,000 or less, the survey found “a person’s willingness to apologize was an almost perfect predictor of their place on the income ladder”.

But, in place of an actual apology are some google images for "I'm sorry".

Here is a link for a blog post from a site about creating your own law practice. But it does have an exerpt of the study itself:

http://solopracticeuniversity.com/2010/07/06/can-saying-im-sorry-to-a-client-create-more-income-for-you/


Sunday
Jul172011

I'm done with my Dell M1340 and Dell laptops as a whole.

Well after a 2 years of hard time with my Dell M1340 and 2 with it's predecessor the M1330 I can say will all assurance I am done with Dell computers. This is not a boycott or an empty threat i'll rescind later, but owning a Dell laptop has been a very costly and painful experience. The original computer (The M1330) was bought with all the bells and whistles and cost about $2100 and included  was the only truly helpful feature the "Completecare" warranty (which includes accidental damage). I have to say I have used this feature on more than one occasion and it's a shame it's bundled into only the most expensive warranties. Any physical defects or failures  (which there have been quite a few resulting in more than one complete rebuild) are taken care of through on site service.

You would expect with such pricey service plans the service itself would be exquisite but sadly this has not been the case. Technicians have shown up with the wrong parts resulting in follow up appointments to repair the numerous issues.  On top of that anything that is software related requires that you call a separate department that is $150 (learned that the hard way out of one desperate call to Dell Support when I had some malware that bypassed my anti-virus software). I have had every internal component repaired at least once in both models and at the same time last year I was calling into support once a week to resolve some sort of audio chipset/ media key/ wireless card / motherboard/ overheating issue.  I've had special hotline numbers to "more trained" technicians, but that hasn't stopped them from denying me a repair because "the battery is on separate limited warranty that bizarrely enough doesn't include physical cracks". In summation, Dell computers cost way more than their price tags show. Even now my eject button is broken (but I don't want to call them so they can  "propose" a reformat or blame my software). If it weren't for specialized multitrack recording software I would be in the process of shopping for a new laptop.

Monday
Jul112011

Something the US government is done with: lunar discovery and the space shuttles.

Now I know times are tough, but the US gov has cut funding for a return to the moon (scraping an awesome and expensive new lunar rover) and as of this week sent the US space shuttles up for the very last time. After 135 launches  and over 30 years, the space shuttles will never set the sky alight again.

Top Gear UK covers the new lunar rover. See it here: http://www.wimp.com/lunarrover/ 

I can't say I'm sad about losing the space shuttles. They were old and frankly  quite dangerous. And in the current economic climate it's easy  to see why Obama has made many cuts to NASA. Shuttle flights aren't cheap and its certainly not a necessary expense. But what does concern me is that it also includes a return to the Moon. Also the shuttle has performed some historic feats during its many flights such as being deployed to repair important pieces of scientific hardware like the Hubble Space Telescope and helped build the International Space Station (this last flight will deliver supplies to and a 50 ft extension to the Canadarm2 to the ISS). The shuttles were the workhorse that made space exploration possible (a key factor being that they were reusable).

Another, detracting factor is that many have argued that the space shuttle launch is little more than theatre then it is scientific endeavour. That is to say that now that the government doesn't have the burden of exploring the stars,  private enterprise can begin the "REAL" discovery. However, private space exploration is more likely to be the beginning of space flights dominated by sponsorship and spacecrafts covered in logos. This space launch is brought to you by Mountain Dew.... BECAUSE SPACE IS EXTREAME!!!!!  Robert Pearlman editor of collectSPACE.com and SPACE.com contributor said

"For an entire generation who grew up with the space shuttle, this is a moment that won't be appreciated for some time to come... People have taken it for granted; I don't think its absence is going to be immediately felt."

One immediate outcome of the absence is that without the space shuttles, NASA will  have to rely on Russian Soyuz vehicles to ferry astronauts to and from the space station. The agency  hopes that private craft will take over this taxi service eventually, but that isn't a plausible reality in the near future as  the most famous of the private groups Elon Musk's Space X and Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic are only capable of low orbital flight.  In fact, it might not be profitable enough in the short term to warrant private companies spending the money to bolster craft R&D.  Government is one of the few bodies capable of putting the necessary resources behind space exploration,  private companies simply don't have the scale to achieve the next level.

Even as theatre, Sci-fi drives children to become  scientists and dream up the new technology and innovations of tomorrow. Cell phones,  for example have analogues to Star Trek and the communicator badge. One possible outcome is the destruction of the fantastical visions of the future cooked up by science fiction that are often the template for reshaping the ideas of what is possible instead of being bound to what already exists. Be that as it may I think it would be impossible to separate space exploration from the notion of spectacle, the original space program  through recently released audio demonstrates was designed primarily so that Kennedy and the US could beat the then USSR into putting humans in space.

"[G]oing to the moon is the top-priority project. . . . I do think we ought to get it, you know, really clear, that the policy ought to be that this is the top-priority program of the agency and one of the two—except for defence—the top priority of the United States Government."

[W]e’ve spent half the expenditures, we’ve wrecked our budget on all these other domestic programs, and the only justification for it, in my opinion, to do it in the pell-mell fashion is because we hope to beat them [the Soviets] and demonstrate that starting behind it [them], as we did by a couple of years, by God, we passed them. I think it would be a helluva thing for us.

 John F. Kennedy, November 21, 1962

Kennedy called the November 21 meeting to convey his desire that the lunar landing assume top priority within the agency. Those attending the session that are of note were  James Webb head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and David Bell, budget director for the Kennedy administration. It was through conversations like these that the space program got the resources needed  to achieve a human good (space exploration) and helped achieve the success it has, no matter the cost. On the other hand maybe NASA could do with some hardship and leaning of their budget. Maybe it might force them to do more with less and make them really innovate. Obama's challenge to them to land on an asteroid is smart if they can mine it for valuable resources (CA-CHING!!).  All I do know is that I worry about China being the big player in space exploration (China + spacecrafts= SPACE LAZERS!!!!)  

 

Sources:

http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-launches-space-shuttle-historic-final-mission-153202937.html

http://whitehousetapes.net/exhibit/jfk-and-space-race

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_space_shuttle_missions

Picture Credit:

http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/space-shuttle-launch3a.jpg

care of google image search (please don`t sue)

 

Monday
Jul042011

"Not to be confused with Tree hugger."

Thanks Wikipedia, of course this is a real thing. I should have known better. According to them...

Dendrophilia (or less often arborphilia or dendrophily) literally means "love of trees". The term may sometimes refer to a paraphilla in which people are sexually attracted to or sexually aroused by trees. This may involve sexual contact or veneration as phallic symbols or both. Though some humans are known to derive pleasure from the act of arboreal copulation, most instances are evidenced by animals such as deer and other small marmots.

So that's a thing that people do. Well I'm done with this internet, I give up. You can keep it, all yours. Just try and remember to turn the lights off on your way out please.

Thursday
Jun232011

Hey, have you had your day ruined yet? Well then get ready for the ep 2 milestone.

 Well episode 2 is ready for download of the non-award winning: I'm Done With This Podcast. All I have to say is that duck rape is really prevalent. For your informational and entertainment needs here is two links about the subject I found somewhat interesting. We'll eventually put theme music and  SOME production values into this as we record more content.

http://www.cracked.com/funny-2938-duck-rape/

and a article from the New Scientist that explains the evolutionary chess game between male and female ducks and how rape isn't exactly/ always the "checkmate" in that game.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11764-female-ducks-fight-back-against-raping-males.html 

In episode 2 we also briefly talk about Alan Turing, the genius/ code breaker/ mathematician/ bad ass mother fucker. While reading up on this guy, turns out he did some awesome stuff like being a godfather of computing, running the group that cracked the german enigma machine codes and got involved with something called mathematical biology because, I don't know, I guess being a master cryptanalyst and the father of artificial intelligence just wasn't enough for him.

You think with all that he would have a day honouring him or something. But no instead, according to our good friends at Wikipedia...

"Turing's homosexuality resulted in a criminal prosecution in 1952, when homosexual acts were still illegal in the United Kingdom. He accepted treatment with female hormones (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. He died in 1954, several weeks before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined it was suicide; his mother and some others believed his death was accidental."

Help save countless lives, do they call you a hero? No. Create some of the early concepts that are essential to modern day computers, do they call you a genius? No. You suck one dick...

Enjoy your fucking lolcats, world.

Episode 2

Wednesday
Jun222011

Something I am not done with

 Recently I have been interested in/ reading up on is synaesthesia, or the idea of having sense and experience relate in unusual ways. We often take for granted how our senses translate into physical feedback. Sight, touch, taste, hearing and smell are in those with this condition, associated differently and as a result one can hear the taste of a piece of music. This YouTube video is pretty interesting  visual representation of this phenomenon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHnnGHgeyC0

As for how this is relevant, people often hold miracle berry parties where they take tablets made from the berries because it alters the taste receptors (short term), re-associating them, making sweet things taste bitter etc. Now I know Think Geek sells these tablets and it would be interesting to try, but I am wondering if it's worth the effort. A photo of the berry itself follows.

Monday
Jun202011

Badass Probe or Bad Ass-Probe

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