Wednesday, December 30, 2009

stoopid criminals

when you steal an xbox, don't forget to delete the account on the hard drive.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


It is possible that I maybe could have sorta been mistaken about Borderlands.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tim Rogers on FFXIII

I'm not even done reading it, but I had to share. This guy makes me so fucking jealous. Damn is he a good writer. Maybe the best writing about games.

FFXIII Impressions [Kotaku]

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fully Operational

You are all invited to my house, to play video games.

Monday, December 7, 2009

You Know You Wish You'd Been There

Dedicated Dragon Age event? $50,000 grand prize? If Electronic Arts is the Devil, then show me where to sign.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Death Day by Sam Hiti

Sam Hiti's webcomic Death Day is, indeed, killing it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Score One for the Good Guys

I figure Gus would doubly appreciate this one

Side A: DJs Win Laptops Back

News Update by Jennifer Granick

Following a hearing in the San Francisco Superior Court today, DJs and party guests Justin Credible and Matthew Higgins had their illegally seized laptops returned to them. This is great news, and a real relief to the pair who have been without their machines for over a month. It started on Halloween, when San Francisco police officers broke up a private party and took the computers -- even though neither laptop was being used to play music. The police department attorney conceded at today's hearing that no charges would ever be filed against Credible or Higgins, which was clear from the very beginning.

San Francisco law currently requires after-hours parties with live DJs to get a permit, and failure of those throwing the party to do so can be punished as a misdemeanor. But DJing an unpermitted party is not a crime, and certainly not one for which one's laptop could be forfeited and held. EFF brought witnesses from the Halloween party and other events to testify that what happened to our clients was part of a pattern of illegal police practices, including rifling through purses and backpacks to find and seize laptops by people who were not even DJing. Both the SF Guardian and the SF Weekly have covered the story. The Court said EFF's offer to prove that the laptop seizures were both illegal and for the improper purpose of punishing after-hours party guests should be heard by another judge at a later time.

Side A of our efforts: accomplished. Stay tuned for Side B of our effort to protect the privacy of San Franciscans' laptops.

FFXIII Perfume

I thought S-E had bad localization in their games. Check out the description for my wife's Christmas present.

Rollin' High

I'm not seeing a rule book.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Evil Dead

Uptown breaks in the new print of the original Evil Dead in on January 8 and 9.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Because We All Like Unlocking Content


Seriously. Log in with the same account you log in with when you're playing Dragon Age: Origins and make off with some phat loot!* If you don't have the retail game, tantalize yourself with this as-close-as-you-can-come-for-free teaser. Or, if you have the retail game, enjoy this version that you can play at work! It even has a paper-doll style inventory screen where you spend a moderate amount of time making sure that your new equipment is marginally better than your old equipment- just like a real computer RPG!

That last slam notwithstanding, it's actually pretty fun. The EA junior programmers who are working their way up from the free web content room really put a lot of care into it, no doubt in a feeble attempt to rouse the notice of their evil, corporate masters.

* "phat loot" means an okay amulet and decent helmet. Source Dorks, as a whole, is not responsible for the wild and sometimes incoherent ravings of avk.
Edit: ...and some kind of belt. I forgot to mention the belt.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009


Don't bother me. I'll be busy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Choose Your Own Adventure

Christian Swinehart has analyzed the structure of Choose Your Own Adventure books, a series I am sure we all enjoyed when we were younger. Be sure to explore the site a little bit, there is tons of interesting, well-designed stuff there.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dragon Age: Origins - How good are you at relationships?

For months now BioWare has been telling us how they are bringing story telling in video games to new levels with ‘Dragon Age: Origins’ and the forthcoming ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic.’ The main way they set about doing this is to have relationships be central to the story and therefore drive the game. That is a good plan because, let’s face it, ‘Dragon Age: Origins’ may have dirtied up high fantasy but that’s about it and we’ve been playing around in the Star Wars galaxy for three decades now. Those wells have long run dry. Having said that, BioWare most certainly accomplished what they set out to do with relationships and story telling. However, I don’t think they realize how well they succeeded or how close they came to the real thing.

Think back to your first ‘adult’ relationship. You know the one that endured the first disagreement, survived beyond the first fight. That first fight that you lost. The honeymoon period was over and the both of you realized the other wasn’t perfect either and that at times this was going to take some hard work.

At this point in a relationship it is very tempting to compare your new love to past flings. Don’t do this. ‘Dragon Age: Origins’ won’t ask how many other RPG’s you’ve played. Return the favor. Don’t think back to the glory days of Baulder’s Gate. Don’t make troublesome comments about how it kind of looks like World of Warcraft. Do not mention Gambits and Final Fantasy XII. Instead, look at the game in the context of itself and appreciate what it is offering to you – and your relationship.

After the fight when apologies are exchanged and the temptation to compare has been defeated your eyes are opened and able to see the value of the game. For example not only is the music a wonderful highlight it is amazing that it doesn’t get repetitive in a game this long. The first time you figure out how to set up effective orders and switch control in the heat of battle and realize the necessity buffs and win a hard slough is a rewarding feeling of accomplishment. Dragon Age won’t even say, “See, I told you so.”

But like in other mature relationships sometimes it will say, “Not right now,” or, “Not tonight, honey.” Many a time you will want to get back into that action but a prolonged conversation stands in the way and with conversations come more codexes. Talk talk talk, words words words. Now here is the secret: pay attention to the talk, read the words because when you do the action is that much sweeter and more meaningful.

In order to win over and ultimately win the game you must give of yourself. Don’t bring the baggage of your gaming past to the table and blame it on Dragon Age: Origins. If you do that the relationship is doomed to failure from the start. Conversely if you get over yourself and start anew you will enjoy many long hours together.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Attention Wolf and Party!


We should get to work. Give me a task. Someone. Please.
(I just failed a 'control-your-excitement' roll.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rob just figured out how to edit a title so it don't look weird on RSS feeds. hooray!

I thought you guys might like this video

Google Wave, RPGs, and the Future of Online Communication

You may or may not have heard of Google Wave, it's an ambitious attempt by Google to reinvent email that has not yet been released to the public. It's got a number of features for group communication, but adds complexity. Some people have wondered what it's really good for, or speculated that it is doomed to failure. Ars Technica has today posted a story about pen and paper roleplaying using Wave which makes the medium seem a little more compelling. I'm thinking that we might at least do some character creation for our 4E game when I get my invite and send invites to you guys. And yes, it is named after the communication medium in Firefly.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Methinks Dock was luring me into the open.

I have always been a sucker for simple, cute and cheesy lyrics that pretend to be deep. For example:
"The silence isn't so bad
'til I look at my hands and feel sad
'Cause the spaces between my fingers
Are right where your's fit perfectly.

You see, stuff like that makes me smile and then giggle. And that makes Karri laugh. At me.
Then he finishes off with an old and tired rhyme. Rhyming for crying our loud:

"Oh, if my voice could reach back through the past
I'd whisper in your ear,
"Oh, darling I wish you were here"

Auto-tuning makes it sound new again - but it isn't. However, I might be okay with that anyway.

Unfortunately the reality of this situation that Dock and I know we are to old and male for always comes along and shames us back into being wistful thirty-somethings.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wolf, get this while you are at it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

If You See One Opera This Year

The Metropolitan Opera is running its "Live in HD" series this year, where they beam performances to movie theaters so we can get some culture out in the sticks. As much as I love the Minnesota Opera and all the great stuff they do, if you only see one this year it's got to be the Met's Les Contes d'Hoffman (the Tales of Hoffman). This recommendation is partly because Hoffman is my favorite opera by a long shot, and partly because the design of the production is based on the work of Franz Kafka. The mere thought of this synthesis makes me want to lie down with a damp cloth over my eyes. It also makes me want to see it. A lot.

For those of you with wives who are interested in dancing, Hoffman has more of it than any opera I can think of. The one warning I would give you is that Hoffman is written in an older style- that is, it has a really long overture and a tedious (by my modern sensibilities) prologue, but once you're past them the rest of it is absolutely riveting.

The live date is December 19, and the encore date is January 6. Ticket prices probably vary by location, but tickets at Block E are around $20 with discounts for students, seniors and kids.

Link to tickets

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tim 1 - AVK 0

The skirmish was unfolding the way they always did. Not the plan, plans are worthless once contact is made. ‘Stealers were massing and flanking. Space Marines were on the move setting up positions and firing lanes. If it wasn’t for the Space Marine’s zealousness this worship experience would be one of many thousands of exercises in meaninglessness.

Radio silence had been broken. There was no element of surprise to be had. It’s unnecessary when the swarm knows where you’re going. Well communicated and coordinated maneuvers and firing runs were more beneficial to the task at hand.

Unfortunately the risk of counterproductive com-chatter comes along at times like this as well. It is amazing how many Space Marines still have so little faith this far into the war. Their panicked cries into the com system could start to eat away at a squad from the inside like a cancer.

The Flamer was experiencing just such a crisis of belief. He had watched as the Sergeant went out in a blaze of unfortunately impotent bravado. His leader’s last act, meant to inspire, left him in a stupor. In desperation he pulled the trigger, flooding the hall that led to his objective with fire. Unbelievably most of the Genestealers escaped the blast causing the Flamer to cry out, “How do you kill what can dodge righteous flames?”

The rear guard heard the entire exchange. They were in position and ready to fight off the flanking ‘Stealers that were now charging down the hall. Watching the enemy crawl over itself in an attempt to get to your throat while your leader’s com link goes dead and your squad mate ends up worthless will test the most hardened of warriors. Thankfully, the rear guard’s faith was strong.

With an encouraging glance at his partner he drew down and bolted the bug that was winning the race for his neck. Finally - a blessing from the gods! With renewed fervor and sustained fire he stood his ground as the enemy continued their assault. Suddenly there was silence. Not until he caught the look of terror on his partner’s face did he realize the silence was because his Storm Bolter had jammed. He wasn’t being blessed. He was being tested.

Before his partner died he would witness a pillar of the faith who will only be known and rewarded in death. The rear guard lowered his thunder and his head. He closed his eyes on life with a prayer of thanks on his lips unto death.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Essen 2009

The best part about Essen is none of the games suck yet. On paper, they all sound good. Here's my Top 30 exciting games:

Dungeon Lords: Looks like Dungeon Keeper and done by Vlaada (Galaxy Trucker, Through the Ages). Yes please.

Dominion: Seaside: Hey look, an expansion. Where's my wallet?
Campaign Manager 2008: Followup to 1960, but we lived the campaign. Must have.
Alcazar: Kramer, castle-building, and lots of wood. Sign me up.
Luna Llena: "Semi-cooperative" game with werewolves. If I get to hang Hose I'll buy it.
Thunderstone: Dominion-type, with a better theme. Worth a look.
Savannah Tails: Ostrich racing and quicksand. The Lamont's are fulfilling my dreams one game at a time.
Day & Night: 2p assymetric card/tile game. Hype is growing. Watch it.
Vampire der Nacht: Glow in the dark dexterity game. Lots of potential there.
Funkenschlag - Fabrikmanager: Follow up to Power Grid. Guaranteed to be quirky. Watch list.
Rise of Empires: Martin Wallace + Civ makes it worth watching for.
At the Gates of Loyang: Uwe's next work after Le Havre. Chances are good.
Macao: #13 in the Alea set. Must keep the shelf full.
Opera: Budget-managing for and Opera house? It's not German-regional elections, but...
Agricola: Farmers of the Moor I'll try one more expansion for sure.
Albion: Wrede's first non-carc game, on my watchlist
Skyline 3000: Re-implementation of Capitol, which is a great game that no one has played. Watch it.
Krysis: 2-4p card game set in the 30s. Great art. High ratings. Watch it.
Stronghold: Worker placement during a siege. Sounds painful and interesting.
Carson City: City-building in the old west. Watch it.
Peloponnes: Great-looking civ game. Watch list.
Vasco da Gama: Looks like a true navigation game, which the world needs.
Chaos in the Old World: Great theme. Dock probably can't resist.
Tricky Trek: Predatory animal-racing. That can't be as much fun as it sounds.
Greed, Incorporated: Another big Splotter game. Hoping Dock buys this one.
Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans: Interesting for the name more than anything else.
Imperial 2030: Fix to Imperial, in the future.
Samurai: The Card Game: Skeptical
7: 7-player co-operative fantasy. That never ends well.
Ticket to Ride: Europa 1912: Another unnecessary expansion. I think I can resist.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Welcome Myself to Last Week

I finally got around to listening to the first few Penny Arcade/PvP D&D podcast sessions. Series 1 is a basic primer on 4e and was super fun. It then gets even better when Wil Wheaton joins the party for Series 2 & 3, and they actually do some role-playing.

I also didn't know how to manually add a podcast subscription to iTunes, so these instructions were handy...

  1. From the dropdown menus, select Advanced --- Subscribe to Podcast
  2. When prompted for a URL, enter and click OK.
So I'm not going to attempt another campaign-over-IP, but I think someone should start another one and we should have a session at each of the quarterly main events: Con of the Dorks, Wolf-fest, BGGcon/PAX/Gencon, and DockCon.

Going to pick up the 4e PHB this weekend.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What are the chances?

If you have an hour and would like to learn about Stochasticity and be entertained at the same time listen to this. (If you didn't just listen to it on MPR.) Radiolab is so cool.

Warhammer: Invasion

Tim, I think you mentioned this game last Thursday night. This is Eric Lang's new LCG, he's on quite a roll with the new FFG Warhammer license. It looks interesting, and the initial impressions seem positive. I may try to pick it up before Thursday.

Awkward (say it in your head, or aloud, like wolf does)

I mean c'mon, what would you say?
"Sorry about that one time I ... you know."
"It's okay. It worked out ..."

What's really awkward isn't the cosplay post shrouded in a FFVII joke pointing to the GameSpot TGS09 gallery. It is that I recognized a couple of the professional cosplayers by name. (for those that wont be following the link THEIR NAMES AREN'T POSTED)


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

“We went to war for that?”

At the end of HALO 3: ODST a throw away character named Romeo delivers that line in an attempt to be clever. Instead the result was irony and back when said line was written it was unknowingly prophetic.

Let’s talk about the war first. The war part of ODST is almost as good as video game type war gets. Solid Halo 3 game play with an almost messianic return of the Mag-pistol, complete with scope, and the added layer of scrambling in the dark or fighting through a pack of Brutes for a life sustaining med kit. Quickly swinging the game experience pendulum from ‘head shot god’ to ‘frail human on the run’ adds a missing layer of tension, which is also fun, to the third installment of the series.

Bungie has been, not so transparently, telling anyone that will listen that Firefight is a survival game type and that survival modes have been around since the beginning of the video game era. Everyone knows Firefight is their answer to Gear’s Horde mode but having said that Firefight is the strongest part of the package and is the reason for the product’s being. Let me put it this way. Firefight is good enough the get four grown men, who set up their own little worlds in such a way that they wouldn't have to deal with anything they don’t want to, to set their interests aside and work together so they can survive longer the next time around.

It is a good thing that the mechanics of the game are so compelling because there isn’t any story to drive it along. Everything about the single player campaign is terribly shallow. You play as a speechless rookie and your name is … Rookie. There is a love story in there somewhere but why should I care if Bungie didn’t? Dear Bungie, repeatedly alluding to one shallow evening long past and not taking it anywhere or developing it doesn’t qualify as a story. Cliché is too kind a word.

At certain times the wandering of the deserted city of New Mombasa by your silent avatar is interrupted by well presented cut scenes. Well presented yes but still empty. During these attempts at story telling the rookie looks around or shakes his head and wonders, much like you do, “Why am I here?” “Do I really care how this got here?” At one point Rookie picks up a piece of scrap metal and shakes it vigorously literally begging for some sort of reason to fall from it. Nothing does.

Monday, September 28, 2009

sonuva ...

Looks like Gus was right.

From GRRM.

"I decided to take a break from tearing and fumbling at the Meereenese knot, and completed a chapter about another character today. A character who is very far from Meereen.

Finishing the chapter felt good. Especially since it also completed that character's arc for the book. Admittedly, she has only two chapters in DANCE, so I am not sending up any flares. But hey, I'm done with one of them for the present, that's something.

Only thirty-eight more POVs to wrap up... "


"A DANCE WITH DRAGONS: I took a good hard swack at the Meereenese knot. The sword bounced off and cut my nose off. Bugger."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Worlds Greatest Human dies at age 95

for another video see:

Norman Borlaug: The Man Who Saved More Human Lives Than Any Other Has Died

Norman Borlaug, the man who saved more human lives than anyone else in history, has died at age 95. Borlaug was the Father of the Green Revolution, the dramatic improvement in agricultural productivity that swept the globe in the 1960s. For spearheading this achievement, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. One of the great privileges of my life was meeting and talking with Borlaug many times over the past few years. In remembrance, I cite the introduction to Reason's 2000 interview with Borlaug below:

Borlaug grew up on a small farm in Iowa and graduated from the University of Minnesota, where he studied forestry and plant pathology, in the 1930s. In 1944, the Rockefeller Foundation invited him to work on a project to boost wheat production in Mexico. At the time Mexico was importing a good share of its grain. Borlaug and his staff in Mexico spent nearly 20 years breeding the high-yield dwarf wheat that sparked the Green Revolution, the transformation that forestalled the mass starvation predicted by neo-Malthusians.

In the late 1960s, most experts were speaking of imminent global famines in which billions would perish. "The battle to feed all of humanity is over," biologist Paul Ehrlich famously wrote in his 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb. "In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now." Ehrlich also said, "I have yet to meet anyone familiar with the situation who thinks India will be self-sufficient in food by 1971." He insisted that "India couldn't possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980."

But Borlaug and his team were already engaged in the kind of crash program that Ehrlich declared wouldn't work. Their dwarf wheat varieties resisted a wide spectrum of plant pests and diseases and produced two to three times more grain than the traditional varieties. In 1965, they had begun a massive campaign to ship the miracle wheat to Pakistan and India and teach local farmers how to cultivate it properly. By 1968, when Ehrlich's book appeared, the U.S. Agency for International Development had already hailed Borlaug's achievement as a "Green Revolution."

In Pakistan, wheat yields rose from 4.6 million tons in 1965 to 8.4 million in 1970. In India, they rose from 12.3 million tons to 20 million. And the yields continue to increase. Last year, India harvested a record 73.5 million tons of wheat, up 11.5 percent from 1998. Since Ehrlich's dire predictions in 1968, India's population has more than doubled, its wheat production has more than tripled, and its economy has grown nine-fold. Soon after Borlaug's success with wheat, his colleagues at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research developed high-yield rice varieties that quickly spread the Green Revolution through most of Asia.

Contrary to Ehrlich's bold pronouncements, hundreds of millions didn't die in massive famines. India fed far more than 200 million more people, and it was close enough to self-sufficiency in food production by 1971 that Ehrlich discreetly omitted his prediction about that from later editions of The Population Bomb. The last four decades have seen a "progress explosion" that has handily outmatched any "population explosion."

Borlaug, who unfortunately is far less well-known than doom-sayer Ehrlich, is responsible for much of the progress humanity has made against hunger. Despite occasional local famines caused by armed conflicts or political mischief, food is more abundant and cheaper today than ever before in history, due in large part to the work of Borlaug and his colleagues.

More than 30 years ago, Borlaug wrote, "One of the greatest threats to mankind today is that the world may be choked by an explosively pervading but well camouflaged bureaucracy." As REASON's interview with him shows, he still believes that environmental activists and their allies in international agencies are a threat to progress on global food security. Barring such interference, he is confident that agricultural research, including biotechnology, will be able to boost crop production to meet the demand for food in a world of 8 billion or so, the projected population in 2025.

Meanwhile, media darlings like Worldwatch Institute founder Lester Brown keep up their drumbeat of doom. In 1981 Brown declared, "The period of global food security is over." In 1994, he wrote, "The world's farmers can no longer be counted on to feed the projected additions to our numbers." And as recently as 1997 he warned, "Food scarcity will be the defining issue of the new era now unfolding, much as ideological conflict was the defining issue of the historical era that recently ended."

Borlaug, by contrast, does not just wring his hands. He still works to get modern agricultural technology into the hands of hungry farmers in the developing world. Today, he is a consultant to the International Maize and Wheat Center in Mexico and president of the Sasakawa Africa Association, a private Japanese foundation working to spread the Green Revolution to sub-Saharan Africa.

Borlaug's achievements were not confined to the laboratory and fields:

He insisted that governments pay poor farmers world prices for their grain. At the time, many developing nations--eager to supply cheap food to their urban citizens, who might otherwise rebel--required their farmers to sell into a government concession that paid them less than half of the world market price for their agricultural products. The result, predictably, was hoarding and underproduction. Using his hard-won prestige as a kind of platform, Mr. Borlaug persuaded the governments of Pakistan and India to drop such self-defeating policies.
Fair prices and high doses of fertilizer, combined with new grains, changed everything. By 1968 Pakistan was self-sufficient in wheat, and by 1974 India was self-sufficient in all cereals. And the revolution didn't stop there. Researchers at a research institute in the Philippines used Mr. Borlaug's insights to develop high-yield rice and spread the Green Revolution to most of Asia. As with wheat, so with rice: Short-stalked varieties proved more productive. They devoted relatively more energy to making grain and less to making leaves and stalks. And they were sturdier, remaining harvestable when traditional varieties--with heavy grain heads and long, slender stalks--had collapsed to the ground and begun to rot.
Let us mourn the death of this truly great man.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Scot After My Own Heart

Warning: Two F-bombs and several "dick"s.
Qualification: The accent is thick enough that you and your boss might miss the f-bombs
Clarification: There's no way anyone is going to miss the dicks.

DowntimeTown Episode 7: Space Hulk from Robert Florence on Vimeo.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Great Tits Eat Bats"

That's the title of the video which, unfortunately, wasn't about what I expected it to be about at all. Peruse the article for more. My favorite quote: "Péter Estók ... first saw a bat being captured by a tit in a Hungarian cave in 1996." When I get a spare minute, I'm going to write up a business plan for a club called "The Hungarian Cave."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Still Not A Movie

Embedding jacked up for now - go here.

Extended version.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

When the Going Gets Nerdy, the Nerds Drink Soda

You know you want to try it.

My question is, why not a 10- or 15- pack? Last time I checked 5 didn't go into 12 evenly. Also, I'd be disappointed if the "necromancer's tonic" wasn't unpalatably bitter.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Inherant Story in the Numbers

I am listening to a podcast of all currently available FFXIV Online information. It is bearable as far as podcasts go. One guy has a great voice for it, one guy keeps the show going with information ... and then I think there is a 12 year old that just says things or makes noises at times.

The reason for this post's being is Dock's quote in the title. FFXIV will not have EXP. There won't be as many little numbers becoming big numbers this time around. Character growth will be based on leveling skills and not the character. I wonder how this will work out and what Dock's thoughts are.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Over Eight Pounds of Game

Games Workshop announced a "single print run" of Space Hulk, due for release September 5. GW has also beaten the nerds to the punch and published their own pre-release unboxing so we know just what we're getting for our hundred bucks.

I would have included that Space Hulk video on YouTube, but its soundtrack got propietaried.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mind Blown - Achron

We heard and talked about this game before but my mathy compy brother just asked if I knew about it. He is all over this and will kill me every time - past, present or future.

When a demo has quotes like, "the red line indicates WHEN my opponent is," you know there is something new and good there ... I mean, then.

I think.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Just Making Sure

Everybody's seen this, right?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

LIVE ACTION! G.I. JOE PSA: Don't Go With Strangers - Spielbay Movie #6

damn, I was looking forward to GI JOE. Not doing screenings for critics is usually a pretty bad sign

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Desperate Measures - or something I dunno anymore


I was coming here to post something about some ODST video or something but I don't remember now.

I started watching the other Gregorian videos from Andy's post and ended up somewhere I had been before. In a day dream yes but I have been there none the less. If only all of life was three links away from Alizee.

*married men

With Or Without Gregorian?

I didn't expect this.

Friday, July 31, 2009

"Where'd You Go?" indeed.

This song was just on the current and it made me remember Gus singing lead on RB. Sad Tim is sad ... and a dork.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On XBOX Live Censorship

Maybe today's Penny-Arcade hit me differently because I was RRODed for almost a month. I haven't had a 12 year old call me a fag and whine to his perental unit in my ear for far too long.

PA's wordy part linked to Kotaku where this was said:

"My team spends a lot of time learning as slang evolves, as the Internet drives new communications. We have to work very hard to be abreast on those sorts of things."

Heh, he said breast.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Knights Tale keeps on giving.

GRRM gave a casting update.

Mark Addy as Bobby Baratheon.

This brings up a nerd question of the highest sort. Who would Heath have played in ASOIAF?

If I Wrote a Love Letter to Tim it Would Look Something Like This

Not an ordinary Rick-roll.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Secret Command my Red White and Blue A$$

This week the Wii virtual console 're-released' Secret Command from the SEGA Master System. I swear when I was kid it was some kind of Rambo* game here stateside. (*it was)

My brothers and I played the heck outta that game. Some of the sound effects are top notch, I can hear them now, and a few of the 'boss' levels are almost relentless.

I'm buying it - again. Unless it was my parents that bought it the first time.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Almost afraid to read the rest.

"Imprimis: I am a man who, from his youth upwards, has been filled with a profound conviction that the easiest way of life is the best. Hence, though I belong to a profession proverbially energetic and nervous, even to turbulence, at times, yet nothing of that sort have I ever suffered to invade my peace. I am one of those unambitious lawyers loan officers who never addresses a jury, or in any way draws down public applause; but in the cool tranquillity of a snug retreat, do a snug business among rich men’s bonds and mortgages and title-deeds. All who know me consider me an eminently safe man."

Ah Bartleby indeed.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ben and Regina & Tim and Eric?


Embedding disabled by request.

Never saw that coming.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Transformers (RotF) getting their butts kicked.

Rotten Tomatoes 21% This means I will probably love it.

I read this review this morning and laughed here, "Or how Shia LaBeouf's "performance" has him spend half the film doing third-rate Danny Kaye tricks to depict mental freak-out and the other half running in slow motion yelling "Optimus!""

No no no no no!

Don't read the entire review if you don't want to know the ~suprise~ ending. *SPOILER* After all of his cheap talk about sacrafice disguised as unnecessary suicide in the first movie I wonder how they are going to do it. *END SPOILER*

I might take a long lunch and watch it today.

Why is he wearing a glove and why is she holding her boob?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

For Your Health

Some kind soul has embedded all the Brule's Rules segments here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thoughts on a recent Penny Arcade

Tyco explains Gabe's feelings about Tiger Wood's PGA 10 (I assume) as " if your golf game allows you to shoot thirty under par, it's probably not a simulation of golf. He's not sure what it is, but it's not that."

Gabe himself goes on to say "Immagine if every time you tackled a guy in Madden your players got stronger. Then immagine you could buy footballs that flew further or were easier to catch. Sure some people might like it but most fans would say "this isn't football"."

Both times I read those lines I had a bit of a laugh and thought 'welcome to my view of FPS games'

I think it is funny that often you see reviews of FPS where people launch the criticism of them being unoriginal, and then point out specific game-play angles that are rehashed...or even laud a FPS original, but they never seem to point out to me what is the most glaring cliché angle: Presenting all firearms as Super-Soakers that squirt out lead. It's like we still have movies with the villain all dressed in black tweaking his mustache, and no one ever mentions it.

Of course, only the fans of football would raise a clamor about Gabe/Madden NFL 2012, and here you are being criticized by a fan-base similar in size to the number of people following cricket in the USA.

IMHO one aspect that could improve most games is a wider array of weapons (both firearms and other) to choose from. I think stumbling upon a new gun in a shooter game is akin to getting Fat Epics in WOW, something just a little bit better, different, or new is going to get attention. Think back to playing L4D and the first time you came upon the improved think if they had a 3 tier system instead of a 2 tier system.

I'll add more in the comments later.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Augmented Reality Boardgame / Video Game Thing

Perhaps a little peek here into the crazy games we'll be playing with our phones in a couple years. This could make boardgames pretty interesting.

From Joystiq.


Fox Shopped

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Radio Spirit World

It's an interdimensional radio broadcast from the afterlife. Listen here, unless you have one of the select Ouija Board models.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Squeaky Wheel Gets the Click!

Keep your eyes on OneClick Dog Games. Their current offering, "Little Wheel," is a slick and quick point-and-clicker. There aren't any particularly difficult puzzles here, so it is my sincere hope that this is just a skills demonstration and we'll see some meatier fare forthcoming.

For better or worse, the game does not refer to the song in the following clip.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Conquest! Medieval Realms

Grab the PC demo here.

via Rock Paper Shotgun, which you SHOULD be reading.

zombies reales!!

always save one bullet for yourself

Monday, June 8, 2009

More Zombie Action

Via The Current this morning.

Stagger Slide [Nomad]

The studio version is a little better than the live version.
But just a little.

Oh crap, they're local.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Peed Myself a Little Bit

If you can't be bothered to read the "News" page on Steam (and, who can blame us for being lax in our reading with all those plants in our Zen Gardens to tend to) you might have missed the Left 4 Dead 2 announcement. I know, I know! If the mere mention isn't enough to get you worked up, then you are unrepairably broken on the inside but can try to salve your dry, cracked and unused soul by watching the teaser trailer.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Um guys, Final Fantasy XIV (FOURTEEN!) is coming out in 2010 as well.

But I'm really just here to say that this is a great poster:

I'm not so sure about the art direction for the actual game but this poster works.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Images 6 and 7

As you guys know Phil was in Afghanistan and Iraq. I think I posted, maybe emailed, a different story by Rick Loomis not too long ago. Mr. Loomis was the reporter/photographer embedded with the unit.

Anyway, Phil and our other brother found some more of the guy's work. (Here and here.) Same work different publications.

Notice the NOT uparmored HumVee.

Notice the too many similarities between a skirmish trench and a shallow grave.

To be selfish for just a moment seeing a picture of your little brother in a hole in the ground in a far away land is at a certain level of fucked-up-shit. Forgive me, I am not capable of saying that in a proper manner.

So I asked him what went through his mind and how he prepared for it all besides just the Marine training. He said what he did was to unplug from everything in this world and concentrate only on the task at hand - killing and not being killed.

He even unplugged himself from his feelings for mom.

An entirely higher level of fucked-up-shit. Not even on the same scale. Thankfully, as you also know, he survived and was able to plug back in to the world and mom. One of the things we didn't really understand when he got home was the unplugging in the first place or how long it took to recover and to be fully plugged back in. It was a long walk back. It took a few years. He is different, or changed, but he is back.

Pennsays Rapelay

Short version. Crazy Japanese game where you are supposed to rape. A lot of people are up in arms saying this game will cause more rape. Others say 'fantasy is fantasy' and to outlaw fantasy is to create a catagory of 'thoughtcrimes'.

He does state that he believes he could watch any number of violent movies, or violent games with murder and that he do the same with rapegames and rapemovies, and he would NEVER rape nor murder.

My first thought was 'as an adult, yes, but what about a child watching/playing rapelay day in and day out?'

But then I realized the problem with the above scenario is blaming the videogame rather than the parent. The reason we divide humans into adult and child has nothing to do with size, it is all brain development. That's why children are not held in full account for their actions, not allowed to sign binding contracts, and not allowed to do anything they want.

Of course, that opens up the can of worms of 'If a parent is 'neglecting' a child and allowing that child to play unending hours of violent rape games (with no interjection of context...'this is just a game Billy and this conduct would not be okay in real life') is it acceptable for the state to remove the child? Who gets to decide what other games/movies besides rape based ones are serious enough to be considered child endangerment?

Ultimately, I agree with Penn, but I think it might be a little less cut and dried than he states it

Friday, May 29, 2009

Paranoia and ...


Oh snap!

I was just re-researching the Lexicon game Dock showed us a while back. I want to try and set one up again; a smaller one with a couple rules variants. During my homework I found this.

So the two questions I have for all of you are:

When is AVK going to run us some Paranoia?
Is there enough interest to get a smaller, leaner Lexicon off the ground?

Monday, May 25, 2009


From Square-Enix Members Blog.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Paul Barnett: My Hero or My New Man Crush?

The fact that he couldn't care less about either choice or even simply me makes me like the guy even more.

Seriously, who is this guy and why didn't I know about him before? I can't type out any sense right now so just watch the videos. Fast forward the first one to four minutes in because his partner is ... Well, I can't tell if his partner is just stupid or looks stupid next to the greatness that Mr. Barnett is.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wolfram Alpha

Stephen Wolfram is the guy behind Mathematica. His company, Wolfram Research, is releasing a new product next week called Wolfram Alpha, a screencast of which was made available today. The product is being billed as a competitor to Google, but I'm not sure that's the feel I get from the demonstration. It is fairly impressive at delivering answers to questions, rather than webpages that may have answers, although it must be noted that these questions have been hand-picked for the demo. Check out the screencast, I think you'll find it interesting in a science fiction future kind of way.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Remember: Don't use the fish

all your Left 4 Dead performance statistics should now increase

Thrones HBO Ireland

At last it can be told.The news has finally been made public, so I'm finally free to whoop and holler and share the great news -- the HBO pilot of A GAME OF THRONES will start filming in October, in Northern Ireland. The announcement was made in Belfast. Here you go:, I'm thrilled. Ireland should be a great place to film. And the facility we'll be using, the Paint Hall, is amazing as well: Before it was a film studio, the Paint Hall was part of Belfast's famous Harland & Wolff Shipyards, where the TITANIC and many other ships were constructed. The facility is pretty titanic as well. Of course, all of us connected with A GAME OF THRONES are hoping we'll fare somewhat better on our own maiden voyage.Yes, Parris and I will be going over to Ireland this fall to see at least part of the filming. Not for the whole shoot, alas, I don't have time for that... but we have to be there for at least part of it. Maybe we'll see some of you in a Belfast pub.There's lots of other exciting news on the pilot as well, but nothing I can share. Sorry, lips are sealed. You'll have to wait for Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss... and HBO.
Mood: excited

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ruth's Chris helps internet security

I was doing a little bit of looking for a new freeware firewall when I came across an article entitled

The Six Dumbest Ideas in Computer Security

Even for a nontechy like me it is an interesting read, as is this guy's broad histocal view of the techworld. I've included the link on the bottom.

One of his listed dumb ideas is 'Action is Better Than Inaction' which he counters with a fake Sun-Tzu quote of "It is often easier to not do something dumb than it is to do something smart." (This of course reminds me of Mark Twain's line 'Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.)

He then relays the following story:

Several years ago I had a client who was preparing to spend a ton of money on a technology without testing it operationally. I suggested offhandedly to the senior IT manager in charge that he should send one of his team to a relevant conference (in this case, LISA05 ) where it was likely that someone with hands-on experience with the technology would be in attendance. I proposed that the manager have his employee put a message on the "meet and greet" bulletin board that read:"Do you have hands-on experience with xyz from If so, I'm authorized to take you to dinner at Ruth's Chris if you promise to give me the low-down on the product off the record. Contact, etc..." The IT manager later told me that a $200 dinner expense saved them over $400,000 worth of hellish technological trauma.

I thought that was both funny enough and clever enough to share.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Man of Constant Sorrow

Bob doing what he does best, although a little less harmonica blast like he does at 1:30 would find even greater appreciation with my ears. Maybe it is just due to lack of exposure of modern man to harmonica music meaning I need to work on my mouth-harp palette.


The new Noby Noby Boy update is up. It's free, adds tons of music options and multiplayer. Also: farts.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Before Tim Posts It

Nyle "Let The Beat Build" from Nyle on Vimeo.

Nyle, am optomistic NYU student plays live his classmates. Gawker, where I found the clip, makes the point that all NYU kids aren't whiny, trust-fund idiots. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Planning on going to Contra Costa

"District Attorney Robert Kochly also said that beginning May 4, his office will no longer prosecute felony drug cases involving smaller amounts of narcotics. That means anyone caught with less than a gram of methamphetamine or cocaine, less than 0.5 grams of heroin and fewer than five pills of ecstasy, OxyContin or Vicodin won't be charged. "

Okay, that is a very reasonable stance in these economic times.

"People who are suspected of misdemeanor drug crimes, break minor traffic laws, shoplift, trespass or commit misdemeanor vandalism will also be in the clear. Those crimes won't be prosecuted, either."

Huh? Does this include traffic tickets? (major source of revenue) I got to say, if there is no risk of tickets, how many stop-signs in urban neighborhoods will get blown through without people reducing speed much at all? While I don't get my undies up in a bunch about a bit of tagging (misdemeanor vandalism) I suspect that once people figure out that shopkeepers cannot kick them out for causing a ruckus, and that shoplifting won't be prosecuted, there is going to be a big outcry.

"Kochly said prosecutors will still consider charging suspects with certain misdemeanors, including domestic violence, driving under the influence, firearms offenses, vehicular manslaughter, sex crimes and assault with a deadly weapon."

HUH? Sex crimes is a broad category, I admit, but that one is surprising. The fact that vehicular manslaughter may or may not result in charges, well, that is going dovetail really well with not worrying about bothersome traffic laws. Same with firearms offenses and assaults with deadly weapons, that is pretty surprising. Yes, technically, the prosecutors always reserve the right to not prosecute due to mitigating circumstances or lack of evidence or whatever, but this place sounds like it is going to be going to hell in a hand-basket at very high rates.

I also wonder why they bothered to announce it. Seems to me you'd not release that kind of info and most people would still think laws were in effect.

Maybe it's designed to get people to start committing all sorts of crimes, and all of a sudden 'hey, we decided to go back to the old way, here are your 147 speeding tickets!'

Hey Gus, is this where you plan on moving to?

Little Daft Punk

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hosted By Tay Z

Shawty, be sure to click (more info) at the You Tube site for the lyrics.

Jedi Cops

Britain's first Jedi police woman harnesses the Force to catch criminals

Meet PC Pam Fleming - the first Jedi police officer to admit she is a devotee of the Star Wars-inspired religion.
PC Fleming, a beat officer who has patrolled the mean streets of Glasgow for the past 23 years, stepped proudly forward today - light sabre in hand - to say 'I'm a Jedi and I'm proud'.
She even admits to using Jedi mind tricks during interviews with suspects in 'an effort to achieve the truth', although she tells industry magazine Police Review that she does not use 'The Force' to influence what suspects say or do.

The rest can be found here:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not the movie

Not the original cartoon either.
Dayum Yo, Joe. Peeps be die-n and shit.

Can't embed; go here.


Del Toro Trolls Twilight

Guillermo Del Toro will co-author a trilogy of vampire novels (starting with The Strain) with author Chuck Hogan. His next films, of course, will be the two upcoming pictures based on The Hobbit.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Internet 2.x

A means of discourse that can be summed up in a Billy Joel parody cries out for examination. Despite decades of trying, I haven't managed a similar feat pertaining to the Socratic Method.

Lovingly brought to us by the folks at College Humor, who also brought us "Minesweeper: The Motion Picture" and that font conference video.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Not really about food.

It is about sex, you see. Anyone ever listen to Bessie Smith? I'm kind of enthralled. Is there a word for when innuendo stops being innuendo?

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Thirst stars Song Kang-ho (The Host - watch it now, J.S.A. - watch it now) and is directed by the amazing Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance). The poster is a photoshop by _dementia inspired by the NeoGAF thread about the movie. Turns out this imagery has been slightly modified after the original was banned in Korea.

Here's the trailer.

Independant lens

lets see if I can get this hulu video embedded

otherwise, here is the link.

I like both the content and the delivery.

Maybe that should be 'both contents'

It starts a tad slow, but once it starts depicting life in Prague it gets pretty good.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Let The Right One In

Disproving Tim's assertion that there are no good movies on Netflix "Watch it Now." Let The Right One In was just added. Easily one of my favorite movies last year. Like Adventureland, total bildungsroman.

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