Archive for May, 2008

Communists in St. Petersburg are referring to the latest Indy film as "crude anti-Soviet propaganda". Ummm…yeah, right, we’re still in the Cold War. C’mon, have a sense of humor guys, it’s a film based on fake history with an archeologist as the main character! Oh well, since the commies can’t laugh at themselves, let’s laugh for them, shall we?

Our women don’t look like Nazis, but maybe Cate Blanchett was threatened by unemployment, so … she made this film

The character played by Alison Doody didn’t look like a Nazi, but she was. Wasn’t Cate just supposed to look like a bad-ass? And hey, if Lucas OR Spielberg calls you for a job, you ain’t anywhere near the point of filing for food stamps.

Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett (are) second-rate actors, serving as the running dogs of the CIA

Yup, after paying for Spielberg’s services, the CIA is too strapped for cash to afford Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.

We need to deprive these people of the right of entering the country

Just a guess, but I don’t think they have Russia on their sched+, dude.

The film is low-quality

Yeah, I can just imagine Lucas and Spielberg shooting the entire movie on 8MM…

What galls is how together with America we defeated Hitler

Let’s just keep in mind that Stalin signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler in 1939, dividing Poland between them, and giving the Soviets Finland and the Baltics after the war. Together, they would have ruled all of Europe…if it wasn’t for Hitler making the critical error of stabbing Stalin in the back and invading. If you wanna be two-faced about it, direct your indignation toward somebody who cares, ‘k?

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Imagine the entire world’s surprise when they go to msnbc.com and see the following headline:

Wait…we’re happier with cable service? Comcast totally kills my bandwidth whenever I launch BitTorrent. They didn’t make available to me to watch Thursday Night Football until the end of last season, nor did they let me watch several play-off games…and wanted me to pay them a massive 30% premium for just 24 hours of entertainment. They charge me for 30 channels of shit that I will never watch…no, I don’t want to shop on TV or watch golf all day. And up until the gas crisis started a few months ago, they had the highest yearly increase of fees by a VERY large margin over any other industry for decades. Comcast isn’t getting better…they are much, much worse than they were just one year ago, and they weren’t good back then. We’re happier about all this?

Then I opened the link. It turns out that smaller cable companies screwed the curve in a huge way, with 15 points superiority to Comcast scores and 10 points superior to Time-Warner, which off-sets the average numbers and makes the last-place, mega-huge bottom-feeders such as Comcast look better overall…and gives some dumb-ass news editor a reason to spin a positive headline. In addition, satellite TV providers are also included in these numbers (what…? They’re not cable!), and satellite gets far better scores as well…over 10 points superior to Comcast…screwing the curve that much further.

In truth: the largest cable company in the country took a massive two-point hit as compared to last year’s survey. It’s not so much that they retained their crown as last place champions, what matters is that they are getting even WORSE.

Consumers are happier with cable services? The vast majority of us have either Comcast or Time-Warner, and it’s PAINFULLY obvious that we are getting more infuriated over cable services with each passing year.

Whomever wrote and/or approved that headline should be fired and shot…not necessarily in that order.

And I still don’t have my flying car. Yes, he is working on upgrading his LED light to a laser…

Let me begin by saying I believe in God, I break as few commandments as possible, and I believe in freedom of religion. With that said, I do not believe in organized religion, nor do I believe in (most of) the men who lead those religions. When you get saturated by stories about things like David Koresh, religious sects that practice polygamy, the so-called "Islamic extremists", and a couple-hundred Catholic priests sinning away with young boys, you get a little jaded after a while.

So then I read this story about an investor who wants to build a bible-themed amusement park. That sounds nice, right? He just wants additional funding from the county to help pay for it. Well, a little digging into his past found that he was once a photographer for Penthouse magazine, taking pics of neked women. Whoops…that’s frowned upon in bible-belt states like Tennessee, they don’t like giving their money to people like that. But it happened a long time ago, back when he was hungry, and the mayor said, "I am not going to judge what any person did 35 years ago that might
not be appropriate," Burgess said. "It isn’t illegal, but it was not
anything I would have participated in."

That’s very noble and forgiving, Mr. Mayor. You appear to be a true Christian. However, consider this: that man also was a founder of a company called C2 Media, which wrote perhaps the single most annoying and pervasive piece of malware in computing history, infecting tens of millions of computers worldwide, and almost impossible to get rid of. Yup, I’m talking about LOP. You might be able to forgive him as a Christian, Mr. Mayor, but everyone on the Interweb hates his guts.

Then we have this guy, who claims that God told him that he is the Messiah (rolling eyes emoticon). And of course, that the world would end on Hollow’s Eve of last year. So when the sun rose on November 1st and we all checked ourselves to make sure we’re still in one piece, he naturally says it’s cuz we’re living on borrowed time. So since he’s got nothing better to do (hey, it’s hard to schedule stuff past your last day on Earth…), he’s decided to relax, kick back, and lay neked with a bunch of teenage girls. Of course, it’s not his doing, he’s just going along for the ride since, "It was God. God came down on them and told them to do it." Yeah, well, God told me I should go buy a 52" plasma, but after I pointed out that my wife would kill me, he said, "Ya know, maybe that isn’t such a good idea after all…"

Updated games list

Posted: May 4, 2008 in Uncategorized
I kinda dropped off of gaming a few months before my son was born…that means it’s been nearly two years since I fragged regularly! At the time, I was about half-way finished with HL2, but ya know, more important things need to be accomplished on a daily basis now. So I built my new machine last October with an 8600GTS cuz I knew I wouldn’t get the value of a card that cost more than twice as much.

Since I have a huge hard drive, I installed all the games I’ve been meaning to play (or play again) when I did a rebuild a few months ago…stuff like Jedi Outcast, Far Cry, MoH, Quake4…even Deus Ex! But still didn’t play. Last Xmas I received UT3 as a gift, and that kinda changed things: I started playing it, and have run thru all the "instant action" maps. So I downloaded a bunch of maps from independent designers, and ran thru all of those as well. BTW, I will soon be adding all of the maps I have found to my Skydrive account, in case you’d like to have an easy place to find them.

The shocking thing was that I cranked UT3 settings to 1600×1200/Intense, and the game doesn’t hiccup. It’s silky smooth on my 8600GTS. The Unreal3 engine is amazing. Anyway, I finally weened myself away from UT3 last week to try playing F.E.A.R…which has been sitting unopened on a shelf for well over a year (the previous year’s Xmas gift). Although it’s a 2005 release, I can’t crank everything to maximum, although if I drop to 1280×1024, I can enable 4x AA and it’s pretty-darned performant and looks stunning. And it truly is as fun as everyone sez it is…and kinda scary. After that, I’m going to finish HL2. Next up will be Quake Wars and Gears of War, although I tried launching GoW a few weeks ago, and my video card DEFINITELY doesn’t cut it for that game. I’ll likely upgrade to a real gaming card by the time I finish HL2…since I can only devote an hour or two a day, a 9800 X2 should cost less-than $200 around that time…

Finally got around to changing my theme…for Pete’s sake, why use a theme of a game that I can’t even play? Well, at least until they release a Windows version of Halo 3, which probably won’t be for at least another year…if ever.

It’s a concept that’s been around for many years, but has never really taken off. And now office-style online software, such as word processors and spreadsheets, is once again getting a lot of press. Google has had their online office software in beta for awhile now, but if it’s anything like their email service, it will still be in beta five years from now (you might think that was an attempt at humor or sarcasm…it wasn’t). Microsoft has also been working on an online version of MS Office, as has IBM with their Lotus suite. There are also lesser-known productivity suites from names like ThinkFree, Zoho, Ajax13, etc.

They don’t stand a chance of replacing desktop software. They probably won’t even achieve mediocre success. Here’s why:

Security
These companies argue that your computer is compromised, while their service is secure. Well, they’re right about your machine, anyway. Crackers love to target those services, and more often than not they eventually will get in…maybe even deep enough to look at your private documents. For example, have you lost count yet of the number of banks and credit card companies that have had their databases breached? Or more likely, they will crack the service to get directly to your machine. You might recall last month when poor programming by the web site developers resulted in a massive attack on Microsoft-powered web sites, giving crackers the ability to compromise your machine. There are other ways crackers get to you as well: last year Tom’s Hardware hosted a banner ad on their web site that contained a trojan, which would redirect you to a drive-by install of malware. A very similar advertisement snafu happened to customers using MSN/Windows Live Messenger. Search around, you’ll find lots of examples that opened corporate customers to harm. Do you truly trust the providers to write their code correctly and securely, and serve uncompromised content? It only takes one mistake, folks.

Connectivity/Accessibility
You go into a meeting with an important client, open your laptop so you can display your slide presentation, and…whoops, the room is shielded. No wireless. Now you can’t get to your presentation. That will look lovely on next year’s performance review. Or perhaps you’re on an airline flight and want to work on your documents. Or you’re at a Starbucks and your minutes ran dry. Or you’re in the middle of nowhere trying to write your latest novel. Or your own hard-wired Internet connection is on the fritz. Sorry, no soup for you.

Reliability
Data loss. Dontcha hate it? A network router dies, a RAID array goes fubar, the backup system didn’t run today, or any number of other things could cook your data. You’re hosed. Happens more often than anyone wants to admit, too. Hey, suppose you suffer a power outage or your battery suddenly quits, or the computer totally hangs before you can save a document…was there an automatic draft saved every 10 minutes or so? Probably not with online services…

Collaboration
They’re touting collaboration as a positive aspect of online software suites, but come on…you’re NOT collaborating. You’re simply sharing, or making accessible, your documents to others. The other person makes changes, you aren’t aware of those changes, and you send this huge report to your boss that has a new comment about shaving your dog’s butt and making him walk backwards. Collaboration is specifically what products like NetMeeting were designed to do: the other person sees YOUR document hosted on YOUR machine in REAL time, and you decide whether or not to give editing control of it over to the other person.

Features
Admittedly, when it comes to a word processor most people probably don’t need anything more than WordPad to kick off a letter to be printed. But just how many features can you get to work in a browser? I really have no idea how equal the feature sets are between installed office suites and online office suites, but I suspect the online stuff is rather bare in comparison.

Speed
You’ve got this crazy-fast Core2 Quad processor. Does the speed of your Internet connection compare? (Yes, that is a rhetorical question). Firefox 2 has more than twice the performance as IE7 (Firefox 3 will eventually have 10 times the performance), but what if the particular online suite you’re using doesn’t fully support Firefox? You go half as fast (or later, 10% as fast) as you could have, that’s what. Which leads to…

Compatibility
You like to use Firefox, but do you really think Microsoft will design their product to work just as well in Firefox as it will work in IE? And those other companies are probably focusing more on one browser than the rest as well. Kinda puts you into a pigeon-holed situation.

I just don’t see online office suites gaining much of a foothold…