Monday, September 27, 2010

It's a Matter of Principal

So I recently got a droid and did the usual game-finding for it. One of the games I got was Dungeon Wonder or something. Within the first 5 seconds of the tutorial they mentioned weapon durability. I uninstalled it immediately. For people over 20 who have actually had the ambition to play GOOD video games, it's pretty much the same way. If we don't like it we don't play it. Why should we subject ourselves to the monotony of the 450th FPS to come out this week or an 80-100 hour RPG where your weapon breaks down?! Easy. We don't. If you don't like sardines you don't eat them. Don't call me stodgy because I have preferences.

A Case for Singletasking: The One-Task-At-a-Time Method [Focus]

A Case for Singletasking: The One-Task-At-a-Time Method [Focus]: "

You juggle a lot of balls every day, and it's easy to feel like everything gets 20% of your attention but nothing ever gets 100%. It's time to start giving your work your full focus. More »

Dave's Take: Another one of my credos - multitask equals multifail. This article has a FEW of the reasons listed here.

Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch Has More Than 50 Weapons [Video]

Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch Has More Than 50 Weapons [Video]: "

With more than 50 classic Mega Man weapons represented, upcoming fan made game Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch has something to kill everyone. More »

Dave's Take: Ooooo this looks nice....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

DownThemAll! � No Google Chrome support

DownThemAll! � No Google Chrome support

Dave's Take: And that's how it should be. I've tried Chrome, hate it. Tried it again later, hated it. All I've ever seen said about Chrome is it"FEELS faster". FEELS. MAYBE. I THINK. Sticking with Firefox until I find something better. I'll have to try some other browsers soon like Maxthon, Avant, etc...

The Day the Gaming Industry Died: Impressions from E3 2010 |

The Day the Gaming Industry Died: Impressions from E3 2010 |


More Proof the Video Game Industry is Out of Ideas (E3 2010) |

More Proof the Video Game Industry is Out of Ideas (E3 2010) |


Monday, September 20, 2010

Take Back Your Free Time: Establishing Boundaries Between Work and Play [Time Management]

Take Back Your Free Time: Establishing Boundaries Between Work and Play [Time Management]: "

Widespread Wi-Fi coverage, smart phones, ultra-portable computers, and other technological marvels of the 21st century blur the line between work and play more than ever. Here are a few tricks for reclaiming your time by setting boundaries between work and play. More »

Dave's Take: This is a real serious problem nowadays. I'm glad Naomi isn't TOO bad with her workphone, but it still pisses me off that she's required to answer it for stupid shit on her days off. Really annoying. But one of the suggestions I might try is the separate user accounts for different uses; it sounds like a good idea. There's also a comment here which made me take a step back and re-evaluate my choice of phones when I upgrade. Even though I'm a tech junkie, I can see how even a Droid phone might turn into reverse ownership (possessions owning owner) with all the apps and tweaking I could spend hours on. Naomi's not a victim of reverse ownership with her Droid, but I can get a little compulsive with tech. Here's the comment:

"Here's the big one that's missed: Using one phone for both work and Personal? STOP. The smartphone is the biggest contributor to this problem, IMO at least, and one that's ironically easiest to correct. Unless you are paid to be on call, or need to be on call leave your BlackBerry/smartphone/work phone at work and pick up your home phone. Same thing goes the other way. You home phone, unless you don't have a job that demands a smartphone, should be a dumb phone. No, Seriously. Here's why:

If your work phone is a Blackberry/Smartphone - leave it at work, or at least leave it in the car when you get home. Don't have it in your pocket, don't think about it, set clear guidelines on when you'll check it. Get a DUMBPHONE for a personal phone. Why? First: cost - if work already picks up a smartphone data plan, why spend more? No, seriously. Really.. truly.. why? If you need a smartphone well, bam, you've got one in your car. I bet that 99% of the time you won't need one.

It's also oddly freeing not to have email on your phone. You aren't constantly distracted by the buzzing, or constantly tempted to look. Hell, get the right phone and you won't even be tempted to text. Guess what happens? If someone really needs you - they call. And unless you are some social magnate or decide to give your phone number out to a ton of people (more on that in a second) - you won't get many calls. Instead of the phone, you'll be able to be truly social. You can hike. You can play with the kids. YOU CAN HAVE FUN! with life instead of constantly checking your phone for the newest bit of useless information or work.

This is now all truly possible. Give only your closest people your dumbphone number, everyone else give either your work cell or your Google Voice number. They can text, call, and whatever all that they want - but you can be free. Give several chosen, trusted co-workers your personal number with the explicit instructions that it's only to be used in the case of emergency, letting your boss know of the very same thing. If your job doesn't like that - tough love here - find a new one because your job, frankly, sucks. If they value you they won't bother you on your time away, and they will respect your decision.

I went that route for a year, then I did something stupid: I bought an iPhone for my personal phone. My freedom and sanity slowly disappeared as I began to check tons of useless apps on it. Then texted friends. Then texted work friends. Then I setup my work email account. AND THEN I got rid of it because it was pointless, now back to just using my BlackBerry for everything.

Is this all harried, hard to understand, scattered and off? It's because my stress level is beyond measure, I'm constantly working, and have no real separation between work and home.

This afternoon I'm going to get a Nextel tough-as-a-brick dumbphone activated on my personal account, and then my BlackBerry is getting left in my truck for the weekend. I know work doesn't care - they've outright said it - and I trust 3 people who will call me if it really is an emergency.

Check back with me in a week, and I'm sure I'll be sane again. I won't have a black chain in my pocket or on my belt, and I don't give a damn what people think of my brick of a Nextel phone. Why? It's a freedom brick, that's why."

Now like I said, Naomi's not at risk with her choice of phone (which is admirable), but I'll at least make a concerted effort to turn the damn thing off sometimes.

Yahoo Mail Rolling Out "Faster, Cleaner" Beta Soon [Updates]

Yahoo Mail Rolling Out "Faster, Cleaner" Beta Soon [Updates]: "

Yahoo Mail users, keep an eye on your inbox over the next few weeks. According to the Yahoo Mail Blog, they're working on a new, cleaner interface, a faster backend, better spam detection, and integration with both Twitter and Facebook. [Yahoo Mail Blog] More »

Dave's Take: Well how nifty. When they say "faster" do they mean taking out the fucking java/flash crap that has kept me with Classic Mail since? Hopefully. And for god's sake don't add widgets and feeds and all manner of ADHD shiny objects. I don't mind a new coat of paint but it's still just EMAIL. It's going to be a close call with the FaceTweetBookSpace integration THAT IS NEEDLESS AND WORTHLESS, though.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

iTunes Store Rejects The Onion's Face-Shooting Joke App [Satire]

iTunes Store Rejects The Onion's Face-Shooting Joke App [Satire]: "

Remember 'Close Range'? The Onion's violent video game satire got a web-based flash game after its hilarious introduction in April, and soon the satirical publication began work on an iPhone app. Until Apple killed the fun, of course. More »

Dave's Take: Once again Apple thwarts ingenuity and creativity. But what I LOVED about this article was this guy's comment:

"I'm so glad to be rid of all my old Apple products. Nothing worse than having such a capable piece of technology that is so severely restricted. It's kinda like having 20 super-hot girlfriends but having no dick."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another Frustrating Attempt at Real Time "Strategy"

Every once in a while, I revisit or try things that are known to cause me anguish, sorrow, nausea and regret. Just in case something changed since the last time and to keep my mind open. Well, I tried Starcraft 2 recently and it went good for the first few missions. Then the inevitable happened and I was getting stormed/obliterated in the first 4 minutes. On casual. God forbid I STRATEGIZE and actually PLAN my moves ahead of time instead of . You know what a fucking RTS game is? It's fucking ACTION GAME that RESTRICTS your actions. "You need to train 500 troops within the first 3 minutes of the mission. But first you need 6000 *insert resource here*. To do that you have to build 300 *insert resource gathering unit here*. This whole process takes 6 minutes, so you lose. Go take more ADHD medication."

Fuck RTS.

Back To School In The Mushroom Kingdom [Screengrab]

Back To School In The Mushroom Kingdom [Screengrab]: "

Mural on the side of a student union building at the Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, Ohio, seen by reader Pat K. Two more views of the mural on the jump. More »

Dave's Take: Ok, this has to stop. Seriously, how many millions of cutesy wall/sidewalk stop-motion movies can you college fuckers make? I admit it's creative but SHIT, let it DIE.

Walmart Lists Ico, Shadow of the Colossus Set for PS3 [Rumor]

Walmart Lists Ico, Shadow of the Colossus Set for PS3 [Rumor]: "

Walmart is taking pre-orders for a box set of popular Playstation 2 action games ICO and Shadow of the Colossus for the Playstation 3 for just under $40. More »

Dave's Take: AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! MUST GET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Poll: 72 percent of adults would support sales ban on violent games to kids

Poll: 72 percent of adults would support sales ban on violent games to kids: "
A poll from Common Sense Media could affect the legal challenge against California's ban on violent video games, at least in the court of public opinion.
According to Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that deals with matters dealing with family and children in media and technology, 72 percent of adults would back a law that bans minors from buying 'ultraviolent or sexually violent' video games without parental consent. The poll, conducted by Zogby International Media, surveyed 2,100 adults from August 13 to August 16.
Common Sense Media Vice President Alan Simpson confirms that the nonprofit timed the poll to coincide with the upcoming oral arguments on California's ban on the sale of violent games to minors in the U.S. Supreme Court. Simpson says the poll backs his group's concerns about violent media.

'We think they confirm a lot of things we've been worried about. Most adults are concerned about the impact of violent video games on kids,' Simpson says in a telephone interview. 'They want parents to be in control of this entertainment.'

Common Sense Media recently filed an amicus brief in support of the law with the Supreme Court. The Entertainment Software Association filed a brief of its own with the court in Schwarzneggar v. EMA/Entertainment Software Association.

'We think it's important that these decisions are made by parents instead of a vendor or clerk in a game shop,' says Simpson, who says he isn't a parent.

Entertainment Consumers Association President Hal Halpin called the poll's results into question.

'Methodology is always key with any research or poll, so it boils down to the intention of the organization that's conducting it,' Halpin says. 'If their motives are pure and their method, scientific, you may see data that's of interest. Given CSM's history, I would fully expect to see results that skew toward supporting their position. A more interesting question might be: if the research is valid, would CSM reverse their position if the results had come back the other way 'round?'

An interesting aspect of this debate is evidence from another recent poll of American adults on video games that counters the Common Sense Media poll. In a KRC Research poll of 1,003 adults between late February and early March, 78 percent of respondents believe video games should be afforded First Amendment protection.

In an e-mail statement, Senior Vice President of Communications and Industry Affairs Rich Taylor of the ESA says the First Amendment is the center of the debate.

'The Federal Trade Commission has lauded the work of the computer and video game industry in restricting sales of M-rated games to minors,' Taylor says. 'In an independent study conducted by the FTC, in an overwhelming number of instances, minors were prevented from purchasing M-rated games. So the real question here is whether video games can be constitutionally treated differently than other forms of First Amendment protected material, and that answer from every court has been 'No.''

Simpson notes the KRC poll may not tell the full story.

'Obviously, every poll is different, and every poll is going to get different questions,' Simpson says. 'That poll probably focuses on all video games, and we're talking about violent video games. When you look at what people realize is a violent video game world -- we're talking about games industry itself rates as adults only or mature. I think a lot of parents are looking at video-game market and aren't interested in kids accessing a game that lets their kid become a Taliban fighter and fight U.S. forces overseas.' That game is EA's Medal of Honor, which is drawing fire for allowing players to assume the role of the Taliban in its multiplayer.

Other findings from the Common Sense Media poll include:

  • Sixty-five percent of parents say they're concerned about the impact of ultraviolent video games on their kids.
  • Seventy-five percent of parents would rate the video game industry negatively when it comes to how they protect kids from violent video games. More than half of both parents and adults in general would go so far as to rate the industry 'poorly.'

Got any tips, corrections, or feedback? Contact GamePro's news team or follow the author on Twitter.
Dave's Take: FUCKING HYPOCRITES! Like all those adults, especially the guys, didn't watch Rambo First Blood when it came out in 1982 when they were 17 or even younger on vhs. That part with the cop's leg tendons wrapped around the spike trap didn't seem to emotionally scar YOU, now did it?!? You turned out fine besides being caught up in this touchy feely soap box trend. Stop clamoring for praise and attention and raise your children right; let them play what they want, like your parents did. FUCK. YOU. ALL.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Started Classes

This Tuesday I started class at SCCC. Very part time, as I only have 3 classes until I get my A.A.S. I walked there and back before classes started which took me an hour one way and an hour back. I got my bike up and running, though, so I've been biking instead. I still leave an hour before class despite the fact I get to the bike rack in 20 minutes or so because I'm a tad out of shape now and I get there all sweaty. Meh. Gives me time to cool down so I'm not a sweaty stink bomb in class.

My marketing professor has wildly differing views from me that he voiced numerous times the first class. I can agree to disagree but I hope it doesn't get to the point where I have to switch classes mid semester. He can believe that the iPhone4's antenna issues are "BS" all he wants. Seems like he loves anything shiny and eye catching as opposed to being functional. Again, his opinion. Just as long as he focuses on the material the rest of the semester. Unfortunately, the textbook is a little too tree-huggy for me in the first place and seemingly written by ADHD hippy business consultants who fill 3/4 of the book up with examples and don't know how to follow their own subtitles within the chapter sections.

On the flip side, my Business Law professor is dry and old fashioned with a bunch of charming humor. I'm thinking I'll be loving his class.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

$75,000 Is the "Perfect Salary for Happiness" [Money]

$75,000 Is the "Perfect Salary for Happiness" [Money]: "

According to a study focusing on 450,000 Americans and how they evaluate their happiness, a salary of $75,000 a year is the magic number after which people's day-to-day happiness no longer improves. More »

Dave's Take: Typical socialists, seeking happiness and fulfillment in life  instead of exorbitant wealth and fake friends. O wait, that sounds good.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Trapster is a Free Mobile App to Help You Avoid Speed Traps [Downloads]

Trapster is a Free Mobile App to Help You Avoid Speed Traps [Downloads]: "

We've taken a look at how can help you avoid speed traps, but now you can locate speed traps in real time while you're on the go. More »

Dave's Take: Doesn't exactly seem useful as a mobile app but the site is worth a look see.

Zoomy Automatically Enlarges Web Pages to Fit Your Screen [Downloads]

Zoomy Automatically Enlarges Web Pages to Fit Your Screen [Downloads]: "

Chrome: Zoomy is a small Chrome extension that automatically enlarges websites to fill the available screen space. Whether you're trying to read small text more comfortably or you're tired of the massive page gutters on your widescreen monitor, Zoomy can help. More »

Dave's Take: After getting my first widescreen monitor, I tried many ways to do this, albeit unsuccessfully. Still, I won't touch Chrome to save my soul. A shame.

Thursday, September 2, 2010 Home Page

While looking for a new home page for my laptop, I came across Blazoon:
  • Uncluttered layout
  • Loads fast
  • Search any website you want from one textbox
  • Customizable buttons for any site you want (pic, font, transparency, etc.)
  • Add any website to your buttons, doesn't need to be a search
  • Choose whether to open results in own window or another
  • Click the buttons or use directional arrows to navigate
  • Use your personal Blazoon page from any computer
I'm definitely hooked, and now it's on my desktop computer. I made custom Gamestop, Gamespot, Gamefaqs, BTJunkie, Dem0n0id and Craiglook search buttons for mine as well as having the results show up in another tab. What's nice is that it's URL based, so if you wanted, you could make a separate ebay search button for only buy-it-nows or whatever advanced search you want. For example, I have my Craiglook button set to the URL of the search query that gives me anything within 100 miles of Schenectady NY. From one button. Cool? Yes. Get.

Here's what mine looks like right now when I'm signed in:

...and that's pretty much all of what's on screen at any one time. Told you it was uncluttered.

I arranged my email, online banking and weather sites lined up down the left side, as those are the ones I use most frequently. All my online shopping is on the second row and so on. You can organize it however you want, though. When I made the Yahoo Mail and BANK buttons, I didn't use their "TEST" method, so I got a little popup that said I wouldn't be able to use it as a search, but the button would still take me to the URL. Which is PERFECT. This is all I need for a homepage for now.

"Starchive" Tag

To strike a balance between quality and quantity, I'll be randomly posting starred articles from my Google Reader. This way I'm still not inundating you with hundreds of articles a month, but you still get some trivial/interesting articles here and there.

Devote Four Minutes Every Morning to Actual Couple Talk [Relationships]

Devote Four Minutes Every Morning to Actual Couple Talk [Relationships]: "

It's easy to make mornings into an impersonal assembly line—get showered, get caffeinated, eat, get to work. One early riser suggests making a serious habit of focusing four minutes every morning on significant others. No, not those four minutes. More »

Dave's Take: You mean what couples used to do before we were overworked by the American Sweatshop®? What a concept! My wife and I have made damn sure work doesn't take any form of priority in our lives, and that's one of the many reasons our relationship is as enjoyable as it was 5 years ago.

With This Gun, Your First-Person Shooters Can Surround You [Gun Week]

With This Gun, Your First-Person Shooters Can Surround You [Gun Week]: "

In Dallas, last month, I spotted a big inflatable igloo. It had been erected by a company called Microvision on the exhibition floor at QuakeCon. Inside of it, I discovered, was a man holding this gun. More »

Dave's Take: This looks NICE. If they can somehow increase the size of the projected image, I'd live in this damn thing.

Further Streamlining

Apparently I needed some valium when I first started tagging the posts. Now most posts have only one tag. Some have two tags only if called for. Deleted all the "rants" and "ramblings" tags, not sure how much LSD I was eating that I thought that would be a good idea. Added "software" and "gaming" tags. Decided against a hardware tag, as I don't foresee getting all pumped up about hardware.

Review - MSI Click BIOS - Evaluating UEFI |

Well, this is nice - UEFI BIOS. A little eye candy never hurt once everything's running at peak efficiency (the reason I skipped Vista and went straight to 7). Apparently Macs have had fancy BIOS screens prior to this, but that's Apple for ya - form before function. Microsoft will give you an F1 racer painted primer grey. Apple gives you the Mona Lisa stapled to a Hot Wheels car. Personally, I'd rather go somewhere and do something as opposed to looking cute in the parking lot.

Review - MSI Click BIOS - Evaluating UEFI |