20061229

MMO stuff

New MMO
So I found a new MMO.
Thanks very much Tycho and Gabe for the link. It was posted on the news page for PA for all to follow. I did and I'm impressed so far.

The game is Xiah, an "Asian martial arts MMORPG epic" the site says. The art drew me to the site. The fact that it's an MMO turned me on a little (damn you Baren). The fact that it's completely fucking free from what I can see has me more than interested.

Just a short one, go check out the game now you tools.

Gryyphyn, out.
Section-9

20061227

Yarr matey! There be comics here!

New web comics
So I found some new web comics today
. PA had a link to it, I think. Soze I thinks to meeself "Sure, why not? Gabe and Tycho love me, right?" and I goze to teh site. Funny shit there. It's actually a partnered list of some web comics and I started at the top with Action Trip. The comic is OK, though a little out of context if you either a) don't work in the worlds they talk about (i.e., WoW) or b) just aren't in to the occasional B-rated humor, but it's funny for the most part. And they have nakeds! Lots of them! A new hot chick of the day contest every day! And they just released their hot chick of the year awards!

Not as high-quality as the stuff I normally read (e.g., MegaTokyo) but it's good. Haven't checked out the others yet but I think I'll like most of them...

Some new reading material
So I've finnaly picked up the Inheritance series. This is the one Eragon comes from. I've been wanting to read it for a while now. Christmas was good to me. I didn't get any gifts to speak of but was able to buy some things for some of my best friends (Baren, yours is coming soon...) and some stuff for myself that I've needed. I spent damn near $100 at Barnes and Noble alone. Then went to a really cool home decor store called Tai Pan Trading Co. I found a lot of cool stuff there, not the least of which is candles I actually like. Haven't found any of those since Glifx went out of business. If you have one near you I highly suggest you at least go browse for shits and giggles.

Yeah, I'm done now. I'm keeping a promise to keep my posts shorter. I guess it can be a real drag to wade through all of the shit I write sometimes.

P.S.
Check the link in the title.

Gryyphyn, out.
Section-9

20061222

This shit is weird...

I've been watching a fairly new anime, Ergo Proxy, and it's fucking weird. That may seem strange to those of you who know my tastes in anime (NGE anyone?), but it's weird even for me. I'm having a hard time following it.

There's a lot of hidden meanings behind the story, as there is in any fictional work. But this takes the principles of read between the lines to a whole new game, not just a new level. I've got the Shinsen Subs version and I'm on episode 9. Already there's been reference to the beginnings of science fiction as a genre, multiple references to greek, norse, celtic, hindu, chinese, japanese and wiccan lore and five psychologists/psychiatrists (none of whom my teacher, who has a masters in clinical psychology, recognized!) that I could count. This one definitely goes in my "Shows for people who think to much" for sure.

I'm not going to get in to what the series is about. There's plenty of people who've done that already, and much better than I can at 0300 wee-fucking-hours. Just watch it, or at least look at it.

DFQ of the year!
I know it's been a long time since I did one of these
but I've got a doosy.
"But then you can't get to the same internet, can you?"
Honest to god story here. I was doing some work for someone on their computer. I introduced them to Mozilla Firefox with the expressed desire that they use it instead of exploder. So I tell them how to use it and they actually whether the could because they thought they wouldn't be able to get to the same internet. Do I really need to fucking elaborate on why this is one of the dumbest fucking questions ever?

gryyphyn@section-9, out.

20061215

Music

I love music. Music has a power that no other force on earth can match in intensity. No extreme emotion, love or hate, can match the experiences that can be brought on by music. Music can invoke emotions, can move thoughts, and can take you places that words can't. There really is no force like it.

Sometimes, like now, I'll sit and read while listening to music, not noticing that subconsciously I'm reading at the pace of the music. My mind has grown so accustomed to the music I listen to, and can predict it without bringing it to the forefront, that fantastic points in the story are mirrored in the music and make the experience and the picture that much more complete.

There are other times when I will watch the images on my screen, moving rhythmically to the music, and my mind and emotions will be taken somewhere else entirely. My mood will shift dramatically through the effects of emotions and that will call up memory cues while my mind pieces together some new story.

Other times music can be meditative, taking me to new places within my sense of self, helping me discover new things or reach some realization that has been out of grasp. There may be some place in my mind, a feeling or a location, that I've been trying to reach but that has been elusive, even just subconsciously. The right music will come on at the right time, with no prompting from me, and I'll be taken there. I'm always satisfied, even if I didn't find what I was looking for when I set out on the metaphysical journey.

Just some thoughts...

20061202

The Spoils of War

So I recently sent a post to my Linux group with reference to a certain article and this has spawned a very serious and heated argument.

The post, as you'll see, is related to French Parliament's decision to incorporate, even replace, Microsoft Windows with "the open source operating system, Linux" for their government office computing. Before I get much further in to this whole story let me make one thing very clear: THIS IS A VERY GOOD THING FOR THE LINUX COMMUNITY. This is government openly recognizing the power, capability, cost benefit and ease of deployment of using a Linux infrastructure.

So the post spawns a debate about which distro will be chosen. Myself and a couple other users suggests that Novell's SuSE Linux would be a good choice (find the open version here). I stated that the interoperability with closed-source functionality will be a key factor in their decision. That's a founded concern in the IT field and I felt justified in saying so. Many agreed with me. But some didn't, and voiced their concerns vehemently.

This all turned to an ongoing argument about the partnership between Novell and Microsoft. Some good arguments were made about this, both for and against the two rival companies cooperating. I even commented on the parntership, which I am very much for, by the by. So "what's the big deal?" you ask.

It was off topic. I'm all for being a little off topic but this was getting out of hand. In the space of a single day the argument had turned to insults, innuendo and general backbiting. I don't approve of this and stated so. I was greeted by semi-apologetic replies from the offending parties and now all is well.

What the fuck am I talking about?
The deal between Microsoft and Novell is that Microsoft will, over the course of the next five years, distribute SuSE Linux to 350,000 of their customers in an effort to "work together to improve the interoperability between Linux and Windows". This is good, right? Microsoft gets to lie and say they don't fear or hate Linux and SuSE, at least, will get more exposure to the world.

SuSE is, at least in my opinion, the easiest Linux distro to use. I set it up just today and it just friggin' works. With the exception of DVD playback, which is easily solved by getting libdvdcss. Everything else, from simply browsing the web to installing programs to reading (not writing to, unfortunately) from NTFS partitions, is unbelievably easy or works automatically. I RPMd Firefox 2.0 and it just worked. It replaced the existing version (at least as far as I can tell it's gone) and just started working. I had to run a version check just to make sure because I wasn't interrupted by install scripts and wasn't asked to reboot, something that happens quite frequently in Windows and other Linux distros.

Sound worked from the get go, as did video and networking. The cards were detected automatically (and correctly, much to my surprise...), drivers loaded for them and they just worked. I set my monitor type (LCD), resolution (1280x1024) and aspect ratio (4:3) and rebooted. I was logged in automatically and there was a beautiful, high res desktop in about 23 seconds. I've never had to work less!

I've yet to run in to any issues that I didn't cause myself (tried to download libdvdcss the first time and grabbed a package that contained the utils but not the library; my bad). Changing system settings is never more than a few clicks away. The shell is still BASH, so no change there and it has yet to fail me. Things load exceedingly fast, close faster and the whole thing just works almost flawlessly (I won't say completely flawlessly because a) I'm not that far in to it yet and b) it'd just be stupid; there's always some little thing that makes it incomplete).

These are a few of my favorite things...
GET OUT OF MY HEAD, JULIE ANDREWS! Sorry, stroked out for a second there.

1. YaST, the installer/configurator/guru tool for SuSE is much improved over previous versions. It's not nearly as invasive as it has been in the past and is truly enjoyable to use now.

2. RPM management, whether through YaST or the other system installer tools, has gotten a hell of a lot better over the years and I don't have to think as much if I don't want to. You click to download an RPM and 99% of the time the browser asks if you want to save or launch the file with the appropriate utility, resulting in a fast install.

3. GNOME (haven't played with KDE yet and don't think I will now... :) is just as fantastic as always. The re-org on the interface, namely the sys bar, makes it way too easy to use. The menus make more sense and things are where they are supposed to be. If you browse your applications and go to the "Multimedia" menu you expect to see media players and tools. That's what you see. Isn't it great when you don't have to think?

4. Size has always been an issue for SuSE. My last installation, SLED (SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, these are the boxed versions) 9.3 Pro, was a whopping 8.5 GB. That's huge. Open 10.1 is a mere 3.44 and theres probably stuff I'll remove. I didn't install everything for either of them but being less than half, almost 1/3 the size, of 9.3 is a huge accomplishment and Novell should be very proud of themselves.

Hey Mikey, I don't think he likes it

1. The package selection used to be as granular as I wanted. Not so much now. During install YaST makes many of the decisions for you, just like it should. But I like to get picky, to the point of taking an hour or so removing this and adding that (why do I need the Arabic help for PERL again?). I can't do that as much now. While the packages are available for review it's pretty much grouped by dependencies or application. In other words "you take all of this stuff or none of it".

2. Partitioning and disk setup is somewhat lacking. All of the partitions are available but the expert mode isn't as expansive as I prefer and mounting Windows partitions is a little... weird.

3. Documentation, while available online, feels like it was relegated to the back seat. I downloaded all of the docs that were available but they didn't go much beyond "this is your computer, it has disks; this is SuSE; go at it, big guy". In other words it was lacking in the detail. They should really get O'Reilly to write their docs.

Wait, that's it?
Yep, that's it. Those are really my only complaints. I'm used to being on the phone with Squall while I'm configuring stuff. I'm smart but he's miles ahead of me when it comes to Linux. After all, he introduced me back when SuSE 8.0 was "new" (god, I'm old... :( ). But this time I was able to call and tell him "it just...fucking...works!". And that's a really good feeling.

Dumb fucker of the week
Maybe it's DF of the past few months. Haven't had one for a while, but this is a doosy.

"Is that those flappy things that look like wings?"

Yeah, this one was fun. My friends and I were up camping on a four day trip a while back. We'd been getting drunk until well in to the evening. The group was mixed company and all but one of us had someone of the opposite sex on our lap. Except Scott. Kid is completely fucking hopeless.

So we're pretty sloshed and talking about sex in general. You know,... well, you know. Drunk and sex are like peanut butter and jelly, they go between bread (or sheets, as it were). Somebody gets on the topic of female anatomy and brings up labia, a subject I never get tired of talking about (god I need to get laid!). We've been having a serious discussion about what types of labia we enjoy, what we like to do to them and whether or not it's proper to dress them in little dresses or make them carry heavy objects when Scott pipes up with what I thought was a joking comment. "Labia (he pronounced it lab-by-uh)... is that those flappy things that look like wings?"

I looked at him, as did everybody else. He had a serious look on his face, like he was in math class and wanted to know what the pythagorean theorem was. The rest of us thought he was in math class and had just asserted that 2+2=5. So everyone completely fucking lost it.

We'd been laughing for about 15 minutes when we all finally regained our composure. Then Brandon (not you, Baren) decided to fuck it up for us again with an impersonation of what should have been a baby seal but wasn't. More hilarity followed by weird barking sounds, accompanied by wet sloshing and slapping sounds. I really have to get some new friends...

Gryyphyn, out.
Section-9/The Wired

20061122

Green Society

What is a 'Green Society'?
Apart from being an environmentalist society tied up in politics
a green society is one where many public laws and regulations, pertaining largely to environmental decisions, is governed by a naturalist viewpoint. This means that a good portion of the society is interested in so-called 'green energy' that does not harm the environment to produce and low-emission, non-petroleum based fuel sources for transportation.

Many ideals that have come from this point of view are: electric rail transportation (New York's subway system is a great example); bio-diesel (diesel fuel manufactured by purifying and modifying vegetable oils used in restraunt deep fryers and corn oils); solar and wind power (this solution is expensive to implement but works exceedingly well); and electric/hybrid car designs.

One of the more revolutionary ideas comes from GM: the hydrogen fuel cell platforms. Their Hy-wire designed skateboard platform vehicles run entirely on hydrogen fuel cells and put of clean, pure water. A renewable resource that is clean and *could* help our environment recover some.

What the hell am I talking about?
I was out driving earlier tonight (which for me, coincidentally, is about 0300 hrs) and was looking at the dealerships along our local auto row. 4.5 miles of auto dealerships, most of which are full of SUVs and trucks. I love trucks, having owned three previously, but hate SUVs. Why? If you've ever looked at a) the people who drive them and b) their mileage specs you know why. Before I explore this tangent let me make one thing very, very, clear: I don't hate the smaller SUVs such as the Toyota Rav series or the Subaru wagon/SUV concoctions. We're talking about the larger vehicles here. The kind rappers usually drive, incedentally...

Why do I hate SUVs so much? Their mileage is horrid. "Our new SUV has an industry standard high mileage of .5 mpg!" The other reason: they cost way too fucking much. "Our high mileage means we can charge you $48,000 for $8,000 in materials!" Don't believe me? Ever check what kind of mileage the Hummer gets? 15 piddly-ass miles per gallon. You know how bad that sucks? It sucks real bad. My '04 Cavalier costs half as much as I have it configured and gets almost twice the mileage. If I stay off the pedal and stick to the high speed roads it gets more than twice the highway miles.

Who needs SUVs? People who carpool with large groups. I can fit four in my car comfortably and I don't know many people who carpool with more than that. People who run sports teams, but a van is better suited to this purpose. People who haul pets around, and I'm talking about medium to large dogs or many pets, not your fucking poodle or chihua"annoying little yipping bastard"hua. No contention there. And people who haul Girl Scout cookies. Soccer moms, you know who you are. Now buy a damned van because it's better suited to what you do!

What I'm trying to say here is if you're not in the military and running through bogs you don't need a fucking Hummer (and the new ones, bless GMs stupid think-tank brains, suck). If you're not rock crawling and camping in a different canyon every weekend you don't need a big Jeep. If you're not hauling a soccer team all over the place and their gear at least once a week you don't need a Yukon Denali. 'Nuff said.

Trucks and their place in society.
Ah, the truck. It's the perennial choice of transport for Americans... that are farmers and contractors! The people who need trucks are the guys hauling just enough hay to fill a small trailer but not enough to require a flatbed. Guys that are hauling loads of lumber and sheetrock to do one house, not five. Guys that go up in the hills at least once a week when they're not hauling previously mentioned articles and get muddy heading to a favorite camping spot!

You know who doesn't need a truck? Your 17 year old son who managed to pass a test for once in is wretched life. I'm serious here! An old friend of mine had his parents co-sign on an F-350 because he got better than a C average in school for a year! A-fucking-mazing, isn't it? "You're a failure at life and you've had too many accidents to get a fast care so we'll get you a big truck!" Then, and this is my favorite part, he jacked it 4", put 36" tires on it and, get this, refused to take it on a dirt road because "I'll have to wash it once I get home". Why don't you just chop your dick off now and save your future wife (or husband, you fucking nancy) the trouble?

As I said previously I don't hate trucks and have owned three. First was a '69 F-100. Beat the hell out of it. Sunk it 6' in to a river bed up in the hills (heh heh heh, that one was fun!). Rebuilt the trans myself. Next one was a '79 GMC C2500. God, that thing was a beast! Shit mileage but ran perfect (until the engine seized going down the freeway). Managed to put 130,000 miles on it myself, bringing the total to 300,000 w/ rebuild. They don't make 'em like that anymore... Last one was a late 1980's Toyota pickup. Great little truck, perfect for the city, the hills, the highway and haulin' stuff. Know what I did with all of them? Hauled stuff around, moved people's homes, made regular runs to Lowes, got them dirty (and fucked up) in the hills and had the self-satisfaction of being able to fix them myself. I did a lot with those trucks. Even made a trip across country in the GMC with 1500 lbs. of my friends life in the back to move him 1400 miles! Yeah, I used them like the trucks they were meant to be.

What's the point, Gryyphyn?
My point is that to get to a green society we should start with our transportation. If you look at other countries there are strict limitations on what types of vehicles you can own/operate under normal circumstances. Gas prices are higher to help influence people to use mass transit. There are also manufacturing standards that are 300% more strict and effective than ours, cutting pollution drastically. I've made the vow to many of my friends and I'll make it publicly here: the moment GM releases one of their hydrogen platforms I'll be first in line to get the coupe. I am committed to making the environment a better place for future generations because I just might sire kids in to the future (gods help us...). And because I know that I don't need a seven-ton SUV to drive 1/2 mile to work and back every day.

I'm going to continue this line of thought for the next little while. Next post I'll be delving more deeply in to electrical power and alternative systems for achieving a green environment and lower cost than is currently available.

20061118

Sony's PS3 vs. Nintendo's Wii

The Contenders
In the black corner, weighing in at a, *ahem*, hefty 16 lbs, Sony's next-gen contender: the Playstation 3!


Yeah yeah, I'm a bit late posting this. But I haven't had time to gather enough information for this battle until now! Sony owns my soul, so this article should be biased. But I've got a soft spot for Hyrule's princess, right in the nethers, so it won't be too bad.

Sony's PS3 came out on Friday. You would have to live in some god forsaken spot in the north pole not to know this. Hell, my mom knew! I don't think she's touched a controller since I torched my last Atari 2600! And by god, the commercials... If it wasn't for the fact that Sony has put forth one of the most elegant, simple and understated advertising campaigns seen in 5 years I think that only 98% of the world would know about this in stead of the 99% of the world that does. (I think I heard some Amazon forest pixies talking it up.)

I've seen arguments all over the web about the pricing for the PS3. Whiny little bastards if you ask me. "I don't want to pay $600 for a console that plays BD (Blu-ray disc for you 'kunt-ry folk'); PS1, PS2 and PS3 games; DVDs; can browse the web; can connect to my PSP and any other Wi-fi enabled device; has 7.1 audio and up to 1080p Hi-def resolution; can read most major SS (solid-state) memory devices;" etc..., blah blah blah, boo Hoo HOO!

You know what else it can do?
Play and record CDs in three formats (MP3, WMA and ATRAC)
Dual boot with the "Other OS" feature (going to test this soon...)
Respond to motions via the (fan-fucking-tastic!) SixAxis controller
Back up data from your PSP, PS2, PS1 and PS3 memory cards
Handle up to six players
Download PS1 games (feature to be unveiled later this year according to SCEA)
Do online gaming (is this a de facto feature now?)
And, although unconfirmed, I'm pretty sure it can give a pretty kick-ass blowjob.

I can see where, normally, you wouldn't judge a console by it's first day, or even first week's, sales. But the PS3 is a whole different ball of wax.

Sony, JP, is playing the box as more than "just another console". In fact, the PS3 is: the cheapest BD player on the market; the cheapest actual HTPC with Hi-Def video and audio support and one of the cheapest web-capable, set-top type devices on the market. Cisco and Apple's partnership will provide a web-ready box for about the same price and functionality (minus the disc-based playback and game support?) but the date has yet to be set for that device.

Playability is fantastic, at least from my limited play time. The controller is impossibly light and feels like nothing. But it remains ultra-responsive and the inclusion of two full-travel 'triggers' is a welcomed addition. It's wireless, so no more "cord flip" (sorry, couldn't find the Penny Arcade reference I was looking for...). The issue I do have is the text input system on the main menu: it's based on a cell-phone type text entry scheme! Yeah, I really don't like that. My suggestion is to have a USB keyboard of some kind on hand for browsing and other text-based needs.

Also included is a "removable" 20 60GB hard drive which may or may not allow for upgrades. My guess, indeed hope, is that it is user servicable and upgradeable. If this is the case I'll not hesitate to throw an 80Gb or larger in, install Linux and make the thing in to a true HTPC. God, wouldn't that be nice (insert dream sequence here...).

Sony has stated that there are some games from the previous systems' libraries that won't play, but "8000 plus games is nothing to scoff at". I did cause the box to crash at one point, though this was probably due to a layer-8 conflict on the physical interface. Shit happens. Given information like this it's easy to see how this will be one of the most widely desired devices on the market for a good, long time.

And in the white corner, weighing it at an impossible (figure to be added when Nintendo's site stops being a bitch!), is Nintendo's highly playable cutie of a box: the Wii!

The Wii, Nintendo's next-gen console due out 11192006, doesn't even compare, technologically speaking. Although it's biggest selling point is a better use of motion-based gameplay, a sore spot for many PS3 gamers, and the ability to browse the web, the only other visible reason to pick one over the PS3 is the price: a full $250-$350 less than the 'black box'.

Wii's web capabilities come from the Mozilla camp, a group of highly talented programmers who provide some of the best web-browsing software available. We shall soon see if Nintendo was able to cram the svelte browser in without mucking things up on launch day.

The Wii's most anticipated capability is it's motion detection prowess. Using a sensor bar that is placed by the unit itself the Wii is capable of detecting the motion of the controller in 3d space. This gives you the ability to pull off some kick-ass Kung Fu shit in your living room. Pair this with a karaoke version of DDR and you can really make an ass of yourself!

While the Wii can't play DVDs (unconfirmed at this point is a firmware upgrade to allow standard defenintion DVD playback), you can download the entire (?) Nintendo cartridge library. That means N64, SNES, NES, Sega Genesis (OMG!) and TurboGrafx-16 (OMGWTFBBQ!, gotta find a towel...) games will be available for a small fee and downloaded directly to the console's hard drive. (Maybe this is what pushed Microsoft and Sony to enable similar features?)

There's a slew of controllers available for the Wii:
The standard "Wii-mote" controller
The 'Nunchuk' attachment
The "Classic" controller, reminiscent of the SNES controller with two analog sticks
And, rumored by the now defunct E3, is another gun. This elusive controller combines the Wii-mote and Nunchuk in a large, gun-shaped casing. No official word yet on availability though.

Nintendo has officially announced a service that will update your games while the system is in standby mode. Dubbed "WiiConnect24", the service is designed to seamlessly update your games and includes "other surprises" each time you turn the system on. This should be an interesting feature.

The verdict
There's touting and, conceivably, failure at every major console launch. Sony has informed it's customers and vendors that the promise of 1-1.2M units out by years end would be broken. We're some 400,000 units short, bringing the total to somewhere in the neighborhood of 750,000-800,000 units. These delays are due "to the availability and production times of the Blu-ray drives", which is (in my humble opinion, anyway) a forgivable offense. Some analysts say that early adoption of the newest technology, namely BD and Cell technology, is a faux pas. But if the PS2 is any indicator of Sony's potential for marketing, packaging and support prowess then we have a lot to expect of the PS3. I personally think sales will live up to expectations if Sony can get their production facilities up to snuff within the next two weeks as predicted.

The Wii, on the other hand, will be shipping between 7M and 9M consoles. The fact that they had 2M consoles produced and sitting in warehouses waiting to be shipped for the launch date alone is amazing. According to certain 'sarces' I've managed to scour, Nintendo's aim is to have some 11M units out by end of calendar year. That's amazing! I don't think that any launch has ever gone off this well. Nobody can make these numbers without some serious forethought, something that, unfortunately, Sony did not accomplish. While only time will tell which system rakes in the numbers better I'm going to give my opinion as to who the winner in this match will be.

And the winner is...
Microsoft, given weak numbers so far, will finish fQ42007 in second place by system numbers and second in revenue.

Sony, due to the high cost of the system, will finish in third in both respects. Even taking in to consideration the lowered price of the unit in Japan there are too many people with too small a wallet to pull this one off. Hell, I won't have one for a good long time (being moping and self loathing session...)

Nintendo, both by numbers and revenue, will out perform both by percentage. They may fall behind in apparent gross earnings due to the higher cost of both competitors' boxes, but the low cost and high production numbers will ultimately put them in the lead worldwide for console sales and revenue.

Something else to remember: XBox 360 only has one prior system and a small smattering of downloadable content to count on for game revenue. PS3 has some 10,000 (approx.) games, both downloadable and physical. And the Wii has an ungodly number of games for download and due to the GC's library. I'm pretty certain that those of us who are market and brand whores (yes, you are, you're just in denial) will be paying for the games of our childhood all over again, mostly to Nintendo. All hail Miyamoto-san!

Gryyphyn, Section-9 out.

20061117

Smash my PS3!

Smash my fucking $600 PS3!
Yeah! Smash the holy living shit out of it!
Why? Because you can! I love SmashMyPS3.com! It's fucking hilarious! Go, watch, enjoy.

Other links of interest:
Smash My XBox (360)
Coming soon...
Smash My Wii (Nintendo)


Begin edit...
I forgot to add this:
I'm an asshole!
This guy's a serious piece of shit. Everyone knows (or should know...) that I hate stupid people. Everybody also knows (or again, should know...) that Sony owns half of my soul. Probably more. But I was cheering for this one. Hell, I've been waiting for it since the announcement of the PS3! I hate stupid people.

Stupid-assed comment of the week!
"I hope that you all put up douchebag comments and I hope a big pile of shit falls on them!"

20061031

Blurb

UPDATE
I've just upgraded to the Blogger Beta which runs on a Google platform base. I strongly urge you to make the switch if you can. This should help in getting the new Blogger up and going faster. ^_^ But I'll be god damned if I can figure out how to edit a friggin' post with the new interface!

For the love of...

It's official: I'm a jerk
It's been months since I've updated. And yes, I am aware of this.

Have you ever been just unbelievably busy? I have. I am. And it's not stopping.

Quickies
Head over to Baren's blog and you can see his update about Anime Banzai! 2006. I'll have mine up soon with more pics.

Check out Hookie Dookie Panic!, a new favorite web comic of mine.

That's all folks!
That's all I have for today. Look for a more detailed update soon.

Gryyphyn, out.

UPDATE
I've just upgraded to the Blogger Beta which runs on a Google platform base. I strongly urge you to make the switch if you can. This should help in getting the new Blogger up and going faster. ^_^

20060614

Dumbass

Dumbass: Contraction of the words 'dumb' and 'ass'.
Dumb: Definition: voiceless; Synonyms: impaired, inarticulate, incoherent
Ass: Definition: idiot; Synonyms: blockhead*, bonehead, dolt, donkey*, dope, dunce, fool, halfwit, idiot, imbecile, jackass*, jerk*, nincompoop, nitwit*, numskull, schmuck, simpleton*, twerp, twit*

These words are perfect descriptions for Scott Kurtz. This guy is a fucking idiot. A moron. A dumbass. And I'm done reading his shit.


PVP, what would be a decent web comic, is now totally bullshit for me. I've been reading for a year now and my opinion, my thoughts on it, have changed due to Scott's desire to prove he's a fuckwad on a daily basis. This is not designed to be a flame or a personal attack. I could care less for this shit. My biggest problem with Kurtz is it's so damned easy to make him feel like he's making a difference. He's begun going right-wing on the Net Neutrality issue and touting savetheinternet.com, a site that I disagree with on principle.

Yes, net neutrality is something the everyone should be pushing for. Yes signing petitions is a good idea. However this site has taken things to another level: personal attacks. You should not make something like this a person to person issue. It's about government regulations and big business limiting our right to accessing information. And the COPE act is a hollow injunction similar to the Emancipation Proclimation. It doesn't do anything, doesn't sanction or ban anything and has no real reprocussion except what you want to make of it.

My point is that this site is garbage in my opinion. Also I'm not trying to force you to stop liking Scott Kurtz or stop reading his comics and thoughts. What I'm trying to tell you is he's a dumbass. Fighting on the internet is like running in the special olympics: even if you win you're still retarded.

Oh, yeah, here's what I envision Scott Kurtz being like in real life, minus the anonimity thing. He knows he's getting traffic and that people 'listen' to him. What a fuckwad.

20060605

Such a freaking slacker...

I'm a slacker!!!
And yes I'm fully aware of this. There is no need to remind me.
But damnit I deserve to slack a little bit. I'm a busy man! Anyway, since it's been over a month since I last updated I'm going to give you a real present: a full review on some flash animations. First up is one that, from the reaction I have received, needs some explanation.

Before I begin let me state that, for the record, I am not the artist for these animations. I do not know the artist nor am I aware of their opinions or motivations for the creation of their flash anims. The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone and any correlation of my opinions to the authors are sheer coincidence and good artistic taste on both sides (viewer/creator). On the link provided for each animation is the author's report on the flash and I highly recommend viewing their statements. Also please watch each animation before you read my review. That said enjoy!

For what it's worth (I'm sorry)
Ok, so what I'm hearing from everyone is that this is a creepy animation. But how far from the truth are we here? We're talking about recycling humans for use as 'helpers'. Let's look at the title first: "For what it's worth (I'm sorry)". Which side of things is this statement coming from? There's no remorse from the 'person' who is making and selling this contraptions. Aside from the fact that they can't think there is no emotion from the automatons. No, the appology is coming from the 'users'.

That's what they are. They're users. They are using an appliance that is designed to make their life easier. What correlation do we have in our world? Computers, perhaps? I would say yes. We mindlessly use computers every day. We rely on them to help/force us to get up in the morning. We use them to give us the news of the morning as we are getting ready for school/work. We rely on them to get us to work in the morning when we start our communte. We rely on them to keep traffic flowing. To tell us how much we owe for breakfast. Keep track of hours at work... Print out reports and other things for work... We use them to learn... We use them for entertainment... To make our food... To track our resources... Manage our time... etc...

What if they all stopped working? The artist for this video, Matt Merrill, has shown us a different aspect of the computerised world that we live in. Rather than spending gobs of cash to make a computer or computerised man he takes a man, severs his free-thinking mind from his body and markets the 'robot' as a do-all machine to do our work for us. Then, when the robot malfunctions we get angry at it as though it will solve the problem or make them work harder. Only when one person realizes what's happening to things change for him. He realizes that having another do his work for him is accomplishing no good and he feels sorrow, remorse for his actions.

We've become a complacent society that gladly gives up working for itself and pushes the actual or perceived work off on others. We gladly force someone else to do our work so we can work on things that are more entertaining, more desirable, more fun. So we can be lazy.

On the horizon...
Within the next few years we are going to see a change, a shift in the computing and daily living world. There some devices and computing shifts that are going to affect our daily life in ways that most can't imagine. I'll highlight a few of these here.

1. HTPC (Home Theater PC)
Commonly known as Tivo, variations on this device are already prevalent on the market. Tivo uses a slimmed down version of Linux and a hard drive to record shows, replacing your VCR. It is able to record more than a typical tape and is much easier to maintain and program. You can even tell it what your favorite shows are and it will tape them automatically by downloading the times from a distributed database held by it's manufacturer.

You can build a similar device at home and completely replace your entire home theater system. For the same price you would pay for all of the components in the typical home theater/tv/gaming setup you can build a PC with the same functionality and better components. DVD player, Tivo-like functionality, good TV and a great 5.1 or better sound system. And it all fits in one box. Later I'll outline my ideal HTPC setup.

2. Quantum Computing
A new development coming down the pipe is the thought of quantum computing. This involves more than I can fully list here but I'll give you a rundown.

In computing currently you have what are called bits. A bit is a single-state object: either a 1 or a 0. Combinations of bits make up larger collections called bytes, then kilobytes, then megabytes, then gigabytes, etc... It's these collections of bits and bytes that make up things like documents and songs on storage devices within your computer.

The principle behind quantum computing is the qubit. A qubit is a quantum bit. Rather than existing in one state it is in a constant state of flux. The principle that allows it to hold information, in fact many times more information, is Quantum Bit Discovery. The theory holds that the bit does not have a definitive state until you examine it. Then and only then do you see what information it holds.

I wouldn't be able to say how viable the technology is. The reason is I can see both sides: It will work because the theory is sound and we have the ability and mindpower to make it happen. It won't work because we don't have anything that can exist in multiple states except for plasma (not blood plasma you phlebotomists) which is too unstable to work with currently.

3. Perpendicular recording
This technology, specifically for harddrives, reorganizes the magnetic structure of the recording layer by aligning the bits vertically rather than horizontally. This allows for higher bit compaction than is available currently: approximately 75% more compact for increased storage.

4. Mass quantity solid state storage
We are currently coming to a headway in harddrive technology where we are exceeding the physical limits of the recording media. The next closest technology that could solve these problems is solid state storage. Working similarly to the memory module in your digital camera they store bits within an electrically charged core of silicon, also similar to a processor. The current issue is the sophistication of these devices requires an extremely high price right now, upwards of $100 per GB. The technology is effectively here but it is not in high enough capacities or low enough price to be truly effective. But it will be soon.

5. Blu-ray
The industry is facing another format war similar to what was seen between DVD + and -. The difference is there is a clear winner this time: Sony's Blu-ray. BD (Blu-ray disc acronym and common reference) has 8x the capacity per single layer than a single layer DVD and 1.7x more than it's competitor: HD-DVD. The reason for this is the tighter focusing tolerance of the blue laser and the ability to cram more info on the same diameter disc. It is also thinner, lighter and more scratch resistent: it has a protective coating over the disc's play side, similar technology to your plastic-lensed glasses. This means a more resilient disc with higher capacity. And it's backwards compatible with your current collection. Oh, yeah, it's going to be the new format for the PS3. Need I say more?

Dumb fucker for the past month...
This award goes to someone who can't speak. She can't even walk anymore. Nope, she's dead now. And she used to be a ninja. Now she's not. My pet rat decided to take a header of the top shelf of her new cage apparently. I got home for lunch and Baren told me she was dead. She was more than dead. Her legs and tail were blue. We just can't seem to keep the little fuckers alive.

Dumbass award number two goes to Baren's little shit who drowned herself last week. I wish some people would do that to themselves... Wishful thinking.

Closing thoughts...
Get bent. It took to long to write this post and longer to read it. Good night.

20060425

Life... doesn't completely suck?

The hell is this?
Life doesn't completely suck for me? Why didn't anybody tell me! And here I was thinking that I just couldn't be happy even though this is my year.


Why so good?
Well... Let's have a review of last month. I got sick, depressed, wound up in the ER, didn't get to go to a concert, didn't get anything for my birthday, lost my computer to a rootkit, etc...

Now let's have a review of the month so far. I got to meet Lacuna Coil, met a few of the members from Empty Spiral, got to see LC in concert, finished the install of some new components in Motoko, got a pet rat, found out that my insurance isn't going to completely fuck me over, etc...

I guess I can't do much complaining about this month. It's been pretty rockstar so far and it seems like it might just stay that way, save a couple people trying their fucking hardest to piss me off to the point of absolute self destruction. Fucking bastards.

What's this LC news?
So LC came to SLC last Tiw's Day and Baren and I already had our tickets. The night before I received a message from Gandoof over on ES stating that they were doing a signing and acoustic performance before the show! Sweet Sejenus, how can I turn that down? I had been working on a piece of LC art: Cristina, taken from March's Revolver centerfold with Angela Gossow. I wasn't satisfied with the piece at the time but I am fairly proud of it none the less. Rather than taking my liner notes from the LC albums (yes, I have every last full album) I decided to take the art piece down to the signing. What better way to show my love than to show them my fan art? Besides, I've never seen another piece of fan art signed by the subject, let alone an entire band.

What happened...
We got to the cafe where the performance was to be held (Borders Books Cafe, just for reference) and picked a spot. We had a lone camera with us (I left mine in the car in a frenzy) and tried to get the best spot we could. That spot, due to the amount of people in the cafe (thank God, I was worried/happy that we would be two of just a few), happened to be stage left, right behind the sound equipment. We were standing literally right-the-fuck-there when the band came in! We were standing not ten feet from one of the band members who was walking around the whole time, though nobody else seemed to notice.

We waited for some time for everything to be ready. When the band finally came out, speaking Italian phrases, the crowd just about lost it. We maintained our composure for the most part. My hands started sweating and my heart started racing. (I don't think many people understand just what Lacuna Coil means to me.) The band played, made jokes, and Criz (I think, can't find a pic to tie to the name; Yes, I'm fired) spent the time on the sidelines finding books that he found humorous and flashing them to the crowd. That was an FTW (fut the wuck for you lamans) moment if ever I saw one. Missed taking a few great shots cause I was laughing my ass off.

Unspoken, Closer, Within Me and a special treat, Swamped were the acoustic performance songs. All I can say is see them live when you can, see them acoustic in that wonderful, intimate atmosphere if you can. If/when they come again I will be there with fucking bells and whistles on. It was just that fucking good.

The signing
Baren and I were in the line working our way through from about the halfway mark. I had my art pad in my hand, trying to keep from soaking it with sweat. I was shaking a little and was having to wipe my palms on my levis almost constantly. No, constantly. Baren had to leave the line when we were getting close, leaving me with his ticket 'just in case' because he didn't have anything for them to sign! Can't blame him really: we were in a serious hurry and neither of us were thinking straight. I digress...

As I approached the table I caught a glimpse of our wonderful siren, Cristina, just over the counter. (I'm still getting butterflies thinking about it...) I had my finger marking the page in my art pad so I didn't have to search for it when I got to the table. Quick glimpse of what was going through my mind: I get to present a piece of fan art to my favorite band! They're going to sign a piece of my fan art! Cristina's first in line and the art is of her! I get to meet my favorite band! My favorite band is going to sign some of my stuff! That all took place in about half a second. Then I was up next.

I was shaking, nervous as hell and couldn't decide if I wanted to be sick, jump the band or just have a hysterical breakdown of some sort. I got to Cristina and fumbled with my art pad. I almost didn't get it open! When I did I handed it to Cristina. I didn't set it on the table, I handed it directly to her. It was the most exhilirating and terrifying moment of my life. She glanced up at me (she looked at me) and gave me a strange look. I still can't decide whether she was saying "the fuck is this garbage", "the hell is this?", "my god this is gorgeous" or "you brought this?". I don't care and I'll continue delluding myself by believing she thought it was fucking great. She signed the piece, almost reluctantly I thought, then passed it to Andrea who was next in line. I quickly handed Baren's ticket to her and moved on.

I stepped in front of Andrea. He looked at the piece and considered it for a moment. He looked up at me with, I swear, astonishment and said (with a fairly thick Italian accent) "You want me to sign this? It's of Christina!". All I could manage to say, because I wasn't really thinking at that point, was "yes. FuckJesusGodFuckingYesPleaseSignIt!". His reply was a simple "Okay" with a questioning tone. I honestly thought he was going to say something like 'this sucks' or 'I'm not going to sign it and I'm insulted that it's just Cristina!' but they really aren't like that at all. They're one of the nicest groups of people I've ever met.

As I made my way along the line to the rest of the band they all happily signed it and three of them congratulated me. I felt like a schoolgirl I did. A giddy little schoolgirl who just got her cherry popped (what a horrible analogy!).

I can't put in to words the elation that I felt. I wanted to laugh, scream, cry, die, etc..., anything that would relieve the tension! All I could do was walk away and let out a sigh of relief. That drawing is the only thing that I got signed. I considered, quite heavily, buying one of the albums again just to have them sign it but it would have ruined the moment. I just wanted to revel in the whole thing until the concert later that night.

Please check out Baren's blog for his part of the signing and check out Gandoof's (aka utah_coiler, aka Paul) review of the whole day (it starts on the second post). You think I write a lot? This guy just might, with practice, beat me some day... >:)

Before you think I've lost my cynisism...
I'm still a cynical fuck even if I'm having a great day. In fact being happy (or something close to it) gives me focus. While I'm not going to tell you about the concert I will tell you about

The sluttiest girl at the concert contest
5'5", dark brown hair, good looking if not a little young (about 19). She really was attractive, then she turned so I was looking at her ass (yes, I do that kind of thing). All I can say is: cammo g-string that was hitched up to her ribs. It was like a vine caught in a canyon. Butt floss can't begin to describe it. And what made it worse was her pants (or what was there of them) were hanging off her ass. Nuff said.

Dumbass question of the week
So it'll have to be the dumbass question of the last two weeks. Sue me. Yes it's a joke but it's actually happened. Got it in an email, you've probably heard it and I don't fucking care. It makes me laugh and makes me want to destroy humanity just on principle.
"What were you doing last Tuesday morning Dr. Autopsy?"
"I was performing an autopsy on Mr. DeadGuy."
"Did you check for a pulse?"
"No."
"Did you check for breathing?"
"No."
"Did you check for reflexes or blood pressure?"
"No."
"So the deceased could have, in fact, been alive?"
"No."
"Well if you didn't check for vital signs how could you know?"
"His brain was in a jar on my desk."
"Okay but taking that aside he could have conceivably been alive, couldn't he?"
"Yes. He could have been alive and practicing law."

Tee hee hee... makes me humorous.

Links
Ha! No links for you! I really do expect you to check out the LC official site and LC fansite EmptySpiral.

Thoughts...
"So she said 'that's not my 39 pin interface'. I said 'that's okay cause that's not my gold plated connector'!"

20060411

Books, games and legislative battles...

Before I start
I would like to make very clear before I start this rant that I am in no way a law expert.
I'm just an intelligent, educated person and consumer.

The story so far...
Legislation in multiple states have attempted, many times, to pass legislation that would limit the sale of video games, on all platforms, to minors. The proposed legislation almost always involves the ESRB rating "M", ensuring that the games cannot be sold to minors.

A short blib on the ESRB: I have a lot of respect for what these people do. They are trying to uphold the values that our country was formed on. That's formed on, meaning past tense. The evolution of the american society, and most societies in the world for that matter, has progressed to the point where we are beginning to explore things outside of the core values that were instilled by our forefathers. The fact that a group of people would seek to enforce their values on others is oppressive and demeaning, not to mention unconstitutional.

The ESRB rating of "M" or higher (yes, it goes higher, just follow the link you tool-user) is reserved for games that have extreme violence, sexual themes and content and graphic language. All the things that make up our society. After all, you can't define "light" without "dark" as a reference. The principle of this thought process is, admitedly, very sound. But government intervention is an intrusion on our rights as americans and it tells parents "it's okay to be a lazy fuck. We'll take care of the tough stuff for you."

The real problem
The real problem, especially in the united states, is lazy parenting. Why the hell should a five year old have an xBox? I've long lived by the principle that GameCube is more for children and xBox/PS2 is more for adults. This isn't a design flaw and I'm not saying that adults can't play the GC. For hell's sake I own one myself! What I am saying is that GC has more games designed for and targeted at younger consumers, i.e. "kids". And I use that term loosely.

Think for just a second about the games available for the GC. Mario Party, Super Monkey Ball (if you don't like SMB as an adult then you're fucked up in the head) and Pikmin. These games are designed to be played with your friends and really aren't too violent. After all if the ESRB says it's okay it must be (guffaw).

ESRB
The ESRB would have you think that they are the be all, end all of ratings commitees in the US. The reason that perception is correct is nobody else has stepped up to the plate. How many rap albums do you see with the PA sticker? What about rock albums? Ok, now think about pop albums. Britney Spears with a PA sticker? Never. Why? "She's wholesome music and little girls should look up to her" is what the parents would have you think. Review her last two years: Dating at least three "men", married one then divorced him, then married another right after, all while singing songs that promote promiscuity in teenage girls and jerk-fests in stupid, pre-pubescent boys. Yeah, that's a real good fucking role model.

Now let's take a look at the games side of things. First, fuck San Andreas and all the sniveling little pissant fucks who use it as a scapegoat. Fuck them right in the ass with their xBox turned sidways. How about sports games? First raise a child to be a fan of a violent sport like football (sports! yeah!) and introduce them to their parent's beer swilling, wife beating foul mouthed friends. Add a dose of "I won't love you if you're not QB" and we have the average teenage male fucktard. I'm not worried about Trenchcoat Johnny and his obsession with morbid music. That shit paints an accurate reality in which life sucks. No, I'm worried about the dipshit jock and his 15 drunk friends who think it's fun to taunt, tease and otherwise make life miserable for those who are smaller than them.

Violence isn't caused because of games, other than the rare cases with the really fucked up individuals. Again, not the point.

What does this have to do with books?
Well if you look at the current level of literature being produced today the only censored media within the print world is graphic novels. The reasoning behind this is "you can see her nipples" arguments. Apparently people have forgotten that many people are still aware that their imagination exists and that they can use it, though very many more have forgotten how to use their imagination, most of them sports fans ("Sports! Yeah!").

One of the series I'm reading (yeah, like I have time) right now is Prince of Nothing by R. Scott Bakker. It's a very vivid tale of Earwa, his world, but it has many moments which are sexually explicit. The pictures are painted beautifully. But I would definitely want anybody under 12 reading it. (I chose twelve because that's about when I started reading this stuff.) There's no need for a child to be exposed to that type of stuff at such a young age. But there's no problem with that type of literature. It enriches our lives.

It becomes a problem when people lose the ability to differentiate reality from fiction. I don't think that's the issue with games. Games are most decidedly unrealistic most of the time and the ones that aren't are typecast and geared for a specific audience that understands the place for the type of actions in said game. For instance there's Full Spectrum Warrior. The original intent and use of this game, by design, was a tactical, full emersion simulation for use by the military. It was in fact comissioned by the US military by the game maker for exactly the purpose of training. It was released to the public because, for it's purpose, it would make a significant impact in the gaming world. In short it's fucking gorgeous at what it does.

But the people who play it are, in all honesty and from experience, either current, prospective or ex-military. The fucking point is that video game violence doesn't breed real violence, being a complete fuckwad breeds real violence.

Why legislation shouldn't be passed
There's nothing I could say that hasn't probably already been said. What I'll say instead is that I don't want our society to end up like this. If you've never read Farenheit then you need to. If you have then you know why I'm terrified of shit like this.

There's really not much else I can say. It's bullshit, it affects every gamer and it's the fault of the parents, not the "vid-ya games", that american 'kids' are fucked up in the head.

Gryyphyn out.

20060410

Just... fucking... no.

Recent discoveries...
It has come to my attention recently that I may be too smart for my own good.
What I mean by that is I have recently taken up arms ethically against perceived atrocities within the technology industry. I'd like to pick up where I left off last...



Three personality types
I hate to do it but I must quantify three distinct personality types. The first is the intelligent log, aka the 'nerd'. A nerd is someone who is so tecnically inclined that they bury themselves in their chosen arena. This type of person is completely detached from the outside world and, therefore, completely incapable of holding an average conversation without offending or "putting off" almost anybody.



The second type of person is the exact oposite of nerd: social overachiever. This personality type tries too hard. The one who considers themselves 'extra special' because they have more friends than computers. In all actuality this person winds up alienating people due to the fact that they try so fucking hard to be everybody's friend they ignore the basic courtesies everyone should be afforded. More on these people later.



The third personality type, the catagory which I fall in to, is the 'geek'. I'm not talking about the Websters dictionary version. No, they would have you believe that geeks and nerds are the same, just interchangeable names. The person I'm talking about is the one in your office who helps you fix your computer or shows you how to use a new program without acting like a condescending asshole. This is the person who offers to fix your computer but shows you the process along the way. The one person in the office who you can go to who a) knows what the hell they're doing and b) doesn't make you feel like a complete fucking idiot in the process.



Scenario: Your office has recently made the upgrade to a new version of the operating systems on your computers. For the most part everything is familiar but there are a few intricacies that you don't know how to set up.



The nerd's solution: Use a lot of technical jargon, describe the process once and expect that you will remember it for all time. While this may work for some you feel like he doesn't want to take the time to help you with it because he thinks such things 'are beneath me'.



The condescending asshole's solution: Don't use a lot of technical jargon and take the time to help. The problem is this type of person over simplifies, making you feel like a preschooler who's being shown how to pull up their pants. This type of fuckhead (as you can most likely tell it's this type of person who pisses me off the most) seems to gain some kind of satisfaction by debasing everybody else because 'they just need to be taught what I know, even if they don't want to hear it'. Fucking bastard assholes.



The average geek's solution: Find out the technical acumen of the person requesting the help and gear the solution and description to their level. The reason I group myself in this category is because I am, by trade and experience, a customer service expert. Even if you are the lowliest tech at the biggest corporation in the world everybody expects that you will be willing to help without resorting to overtly simplistic or technical terminology, i.e. your demeanor is professional without being a jerk or condescending.



What does it all mean?
Well... shit. I just don't know. I would say to take the path less travelled. Three suggestions that I could make to help anybody achieve the status of great technical support rep:
a) Work in a fast food joint at least once. The humility you are forced to undertake gives you the perspective that every blue collar has. You absolutely must realize the level of intellect that you will be dealing with 99% of the time.
b) Be a phone support rep at least once. The ability to convey information through language is an absolute must and this will force you to learn how to control situations that are frustrating for both parties when communication is limited.
c) Learn from mistakes, both yours and others. Pierre and Marie Currie discovered how to halt the progression of cancer cells by working with the basest of chemical and energetic reactions on the cellular level. However this exposed them to a time based radiation sickness. In the current world even children understand the basics of the reactions from radiation exposure and know what the consequences are. This illustrates perfectly the act of learning from mistakes.



I've followed all three of these pieces of advice. I currently work as a phone rep, I just left a job in the food service industry and I've been fucking up for my entire life as well as watching others screw things up. I've learned from all of these situations and I know when to force my hand, when to let others force their will and I now know when someone needs to have a little humility interjected in to their life.



More slack-assery
Ah, you poor uneducated fools. So the number one past time on the net is decidedly porn. The second most popular internet past time is friend to friend communication, whether via email, 'IM' or blogs like this. (warning: possibly insulting material follows. Please don't take any of the following comments to seriously unless you meet all of the criteria for punk ass kid who thinks 1337 5p34k is the 'bomb diggity'.)



For the most part none of you know how to spell. I'm not talking about the people who are educated. I'm talking about the lazy fuckers who would rather text their friends from home than walk the two blocks to talk to them. The spoiled little ass heads whose caudling mother and doting father baught them an xBox for their sixth birthday and a new game every two weeks. The little pricks who have never had to make a living no matter how old they got.



These are the types of children that people have been raising since 1993. I don't know about the rest of you but I bought my first game system, car, computer, etc..., by myself and I'm disgusted to see these kinds of things going on. Back to the point they're also the people who are too lazy to lrn how 2 fukin spel rite. God, that took longer than I would have liked. Seriously it took about 5 seconds longer to write those six words than it did the two sentences before it. Why? Because I'm not some lazy little fuckhead who thinks that it's faster to read and write incorrectly because 'you don't have as many keystrokes'. How about learning to type correctly and well? It really doesn't take that much effort and people don't have to work so hard to understand you.



Dumbass question of the week
This brings me to the dumbest fucking question of the week:
Why do we have to type out the whole sentence? It takes to long and you get the same point accross if you type the 'shrt wy'.
Why you ask? Because it takes too fucking long to decipher which letters you've left out and build a cohesive sentence from the garbledy-gook you call fucking typing. And it bleeds over in to the professional world too. Everybody I know that types like that on IM has at least 5 spelling errors per page. Read one of my rants and you'll see correct spelling the whole way through. Lazy fucktard ass hats.
1, 2



Links and other shit
I'm just so pissed off right now. Sorry. I'll try to make your day a little better:

Under Power is the story of Mr. Cynical and his gang of really fucked up 'super heroes' who have to save the world. Read it at your own risk but it's hilarious.

Digital Purgatory is everything we've talked about today. Even the little xBox whores.

Twisted Links. Damn, I want a chainmaille bra! And the chick to wear it in bed!

Cable Organizers: Just another wierd fucking link from me to you.

Thought of the Day
"Always live within your means.
Endeavor to extend them regularly."
Gryyphyn, Section-9/The Wired

20060330

All tech, no personality...

What the hell is wrong with us?

What the hell is wrong with people these days? In particular I'd like to highlight a particular facet of our current society: nerds. First the defenition of nerd and geek:
A nerd is "A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept." A geek is defined by websters as the same thing but they are generally better looked upon than nerds due to a) a better sense of style; b) better grooming and personal health care habits; and c) they have better personalities and know how to interact with other generic carbon units!

Where's this all going? I was just on a site that is a commented techie blog. The problem with all of this? It gives space for the technically, though only sometimes sound, minded people to 'voice their opinion' on a particular news story. Only they aren't always the most intelligent people. One person, for instance, goes off on Sony's MiniDisc technology, stating "Here we go again, In the tradition of the Mini-Disc and other sony-only Proprietary formats, We are presented with yet another "this is the future" format that will flop within its first year..." Yeah, like that's even remotely true. MD is a very viable format. The problem is the i-Pod fever that's bitch-slapped the market-whores and teeny boppers of America. Do I hate i-Pod? Yes, but that's a personal thing. Am I a market whore? No. I'm a brand whore. Sony owns my soul and half of my body, but that's beside the point. I'm still objective.

The American marketing firms would have us believe that you have to have 250 GB on one device to be cool or have any kind of capability to carry music around. And then they put video on such devices. Is it so much to ask to have one fucking device do one fucking thing? And if hard drive type players are so fucking great then why doesn't everybody have a Kenwood Keg? Because it's not worth it. Back to the point...

MiniDisc: Generates shitloads of money for Sony and the other MD makers in the US. And God only knows how much money it makes in Japan. A couple of my friends recently came back from Japan and they made an interesting observation: there were more MD players walking around than there were mp3 players. Hell, even little grandmas were walking around with MD players.

According to them there were very few players on the market and in the shops there that weren't MD players. I've even read tales on the net of people being ostracized for having an mp3 player because the general opinion is that MD players are better. But it's the opposite in America. I have personally been made fun of for not carrying an mp3 player. Then people listen to me and the player for a few minutes. Here's my spiel (and do remember we're talking about Hi-MD players):

MD players cost about $100 - $200 less than the i-Pod. They come with a 1GB disc that is capable of holding (at max compression) approximately 45 hours of music. 1GB discs cost about $8 per. 80 minute discs cost about $10 for a pack of ten, or $1 per disc and hold about 13 1/2 hours of music max. i-Pods hold about 15,000 songs for a 60GB pod, 4 minute average at 128 kbps. The comparable MD format is Hi-LP, 64 k. How much for MD? Well, My player costs about $200. i-Pod 60GB costs about $400. That's about $200 worth of MDs.
Formula: (10.14 (hours approx) * 60 (minutes) / 4 (avg. song length in minutes)) * 200 discs = 30,420 songs. Run it yourself.

What does this have to do with BD?
Nothing. The point is that Sony has had the better tech for years and will continue to do so, considering market trends. The BD format has a higher bit compaction rate allowing for more storage. Better laser technology allows it to stay far ahead of the game. The number and size of studios already onboard, with lists of media ready to go, beats the hell out of HD-DVD.

The worry is that consumers won't buy either technology. Considering the format wars between plus and minus media over the past couple years gives them reason to do so. But that doesn't mean that adoption will be slow. The tech heads always lead the way and input from the geeks trickles down to the average consumer market area. Think people don't listen to guys like me? You're wrong. I spent 4 years in the tech-oriented sales field. I still have contacts within the consumer field who value my input. I see them in stores and they ask my advice. Now they trust me on blu-ray.

Look at the facts from both sides and the independant media and make the decision yourself. I'm just here to tell you that going with HD-DVD over BD is a bad choice. The more viable option, in this case it's honestly blu-ray, is the one that wins.

Enough of that tech stuff
So now it's time for the rant. Nerds. They're not all bad, just most of them. I'm a geek. The difference between myself and a nerd is that I have a sense of style and am good at, and actually enjoy on occasion, interacting with other Homosapiens Sapiens. Nerds on the other hand have poor hygeine, bad manners, and are 'wiring closet gnomes'. Don't get me wrong, I like the wiring closet. But I like to leave it and go enjoy the burning ball of death... on occasion.

The people I meet in message boards like the one above are spread in to these two categories. There's always a split when it comes to tech. xBox vs. PS (duh, PS is better. Fuck you if you don't think so you damn jock.) Jock vs. Nerd (I've been both and don't like either.) Gamer vs. Athelete (again, I've been both and gamers are a hell of a lot more intelligent. I've made my choice.) etc...

I'll not ask if we can all just get along. I'll just ask that the nerds shut the fuck up until they can articulate their thoughts better and the geeks to keep the bullshit down. We all love to do it, some of us are good at it and the rest are just dumb.

And the next person who calls me a biggot is going to get the tongue lashing of a lifetime. Not my fault that your world is black and white.

Believe it or not there is a grey area. That's where I live, I know it well and it gives me excellent perspective.

Links
Blu-ray official site
MiniDisc info site
The xBox deserves this. I'll watch later for the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Revolution just for fun.

Beware what you do and watch what you say. I practice my thoughts carefully so as to offend completely.

20060329

Oh shit...

I just realized as I was reviewing my blog that I've gone and fucked up Baren's blog name. It's not actually "Darkness Bunnies" it's "Birdhouse In Your soul". I've made the requisite change to the original post.

Have you ever...

Have you ever...
Have you ever had a day that just seems to drag you through razors? How about a situation that acts like a black hole, sucking you in to a pit of torment that is inescapable? An occurence that you not only created but continued to foster until it reached the breaking point? You should try it. It's a very sobering experience to have.


Shall we try to make better reading?
Hey, what do you know? I actually have a decent life. I've spent the last couple of months amassing a collections of books. Now that the government has finally, after three and a half months, decided I can have my money back I've gone and made improvements to Motoko, my PC (it just seems wrong to call her a 'PC').

Her new upgrades consist of:
An Asus 6600LE video card;
A FujiPlus 19" LCD Monitor;
And a DVD burner with a free 25 pack of DVD-R media.

WARNING: Shameless plug alert! I got all of the parts from Newegg. I was fairly impressed with the service, though it did take some time to contact their billing department when there was a problem (about an hour). Not bad though.

I received the drive and media last night. For being refurbished equipment (the drive, not the media) I am fairly impressed. Nothing was scratched, the software bundle was intact and the drive is pretty freaking quiet. I burned my first DVD last night (yes, Motoko broke my cherry again ^_^) with the drive and it seemed to do okay. I still have a couple gripes about Nero but hey, who doesn't?

I haven't received the monitor or video card yet so keep watching for a review of the hardware.

What about that first thought?
Well... That thought at the top of the post is hard to explain. If you've read my previous posts (and damn you if you haven't!) then you'd know my life is usually sugarcoated shit. This this week, today in particular, has been the culmination of a storm front. Now that storm is threatening to tear down everything in my life. What a fun fucking day this has been.

But enough of that shit, let's get back to the good stuff, mwahaha...

Who's the dumbfuck today?
Let me give a quick shout out to Hellen Powers of KBER 101.1 radio in Salt Lake City, UT. You, my dear child, have the best theme song ever. What? You've never heard the song? I'll give you the lyrics. You can set them to pretty much any childs song and it will sound good.
"Dumbass roundup here to stay. Dumbass roundup... have a nice day!"

So it's only Wednesday night, not the end of the week yet, and I already know what the dumbest fucking question of the week is:
"Why is corn the second most evil vegetable?"
My answer:
"Because brussel sprouts are the absolute worst, therefore making them 'el numero uno'. But the reason it's on the list is there's no other edible substance on the planet that you can chew the hell out of and still shit whole kernels. It's the same way with creamed corn and tortilla chips." That's just vile.

But it is the truth.

The "piece de resistance": Links
The Prince of Nothing series by R. Scott Bakker
Megatokyo web/print comic by Fred Gallagher
Half Life site with all of the information you'll ever need about the greatest game series ever. Yes, I'm sorry to say that it really is better than Final Fantasy. (Now Baren's really going to kill me for making such a sacriligious comment.)
And last but not least my other best friend Squall's blog. Be gentle, he's just been let out of the cage and hasn't eaten for a while.

Final thought
Did I just taste purple for a second?

20060321

Welcome to the fold...

"And if I don't see you later good afternoon, good evening and goodnight!"

This post has been edited.

Baka baka baka!
In our wonderful little shithole that is Utah we've created a new society that communicates through bastardized words that have lost all meaning and semblance of what they once were. Of what do I speak? I affectionately refer to it as "utah-nese". After all, this is one of the few places in the world where you can have a true amalgam of ethnicities coexist. They actually do so peacefully part of the time! We're just so fucking cool, aren't we?

Now you have phrases like "howdy yall niggas!" and "wutch yu talkin' bout homie?". Welcome to my life. Okay, so that's a bit of an allegory, allusion, hyperbole or whatever the hell you want to call it. But walk through the local underage whore's sellin' post (old-school hick reference) and you'll see 14 year old girls wearing pounds of makeup and hairspray and more perfume than clothes shouting phrases at eachother like "wutch you talkin bout bitch! that thar's my man, g girl!"

I shit you not.

Ah, gamers.
I'm saddened to say that we'll all be mourning the passage of a current GameStop employee soon. Yes, he's going to die. Why you ask? Well it would seem that he's recently told one of my good friends that the PS3 will not be backwards compatible, that the revolution will not have access to old NES, SNES and N64 games and that the xBox is the king of all gaming platforms, PC/MAC included. What a horrible way to die: me shoving your beloved xBox 360 sideways up your ass, cords and controllers included.

You see children people like this young man are called morons. Morons are a curse put on this world by God to see just how long I could go without killing one. So far my self control has gotten me through 24 years, give or take a week. But my patience wears thin; Pam Anderson's tits in a latex glove thin. I'm afraid that I'm just going to have to go on a killing spree.

Happy happy joy joy
I have good news for once! It would seem that my life of shit has a creamy center full of stuff that tastes like shut but sure looks better. Here we go, counting down the top five reasons my week doesn't totally suck ass:

#5: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex gets another season! The official title is GITS:SAC Solid State Society and it will be showcased at the Tokyo Anime Fair in April.

#4: I went to the mall this weekend to pick up a book from my absolute favorite comic shop. There, a full two months earlier than it was supposed to be, was Intron Depot 4: Bullets, a book I've been waiting for for God knows how long (which means about two years). Now I have the whole ID collection. ^_^

#3: The Power Puff Girls Doujinshi has a new game written by a Bleedman fan.

#2: I've started downloading all of my media again since Motoko crashed.

And the number one reason my week didn't totally bite Goron ass: I've finally gone and picked up my first console! Believe it or not I've never bought a console in my life. My Ataris were gifts, as was my NES, the PSOne is actually my brothers and Baren owns the PS2, I just use it.


Well, isn't that a good way to end hump day?

Closing links
New thing here that I'll try to keep up. I'm going to start providing you with links. Links to cool shit. Just a few at a time though (don't want your brains to explode with all of the goodies you know).
http://www.ic#code.net
http://www.jlist.com
http://darknessbunnies.blogspot.com (yeah, I know, it's already here... blah fucking blah)

"And to the unwashed asses I bid a fond farewell
for the next time we meet I'll be kicking your ass in hell."

20060315

Ah, the Unwashed Asses

I'd love to have something positive to write. But I don't. I just can't get over short sighted, small minded people that I am forced to interact with.

I took a vacation that ended yesterday and now I'm back into the swing. I've never had problems getting back in to the swing. So I decided to catch up with some people. Note to self: never do that again.

The first person I caught up with had nothing but a friendly jab at the ribs. Gotta love friends who you can make all kinds of fun of. The next person decided to be a colossal asshole. That I can do very well without. He decided that it was his job to probe my vacation for weaknesses and then pummel the thin walls of what should have been a very relaxed catch-up day. What a fuck. He proceded to tell me that he knew exactly what had happened, why it happened and that my whole reasoning about life for the past 9 weeks is fucked up and my conclusion was incorrect.

Why is it that there's always someone who thinks that it is their duty to attempt to make you feel like shit if only to prove the point that "you can take it, I know you can do better" when in all actuality you're doing things exactly how you want to? I propose a solution to the problem: stop taking shit. Just fucking tell people exactly what you think of them and the way the talk to you. Let them know that they have no control over what you do with your own life. And be sure to tell them that they have absolutely no right or reason to talk to adults barely six years younger than them like they're fucking preschoolers!

People have this innate, inane, insane fucking mindset that they have to completely dominate "their" world and all of the people who interact with it. They believe that it is their right, privelege or what the fuck ever to make sure that you keep your shit in one hand. Some people just don't understand that others are entirely capable of making their own decisions and fuck up their life in their own fashion.

And I've just been informed that my life is fucked up.

On a more positive note I've also just been informed that I need to escape my world and start a new one. Have you ever met one of those people who just seem to know how to cheer you up or know a solution to a problem that you know how to solve but you just weren't listening to little Jimeny Cricket screaming at the back of your eyes? That's another type of person I get to interact with. Someone who's been through most of it, if not almost all. A veritable Socrates of human study. An Archemides of life's problems. A person who has spent most of their life studying people in order to better understand the insane species of Homosapiens Sapiens that he belongs to and then pass that knowlege along. And now I've come up with a solution to this problem: I'm going to leave the so called college that I'm currently attending and go to a full time university.

I now realize that he school I'm at now is the source of most of my stress. It's not learning everything that's got me so stressed. It's fairly the opposite: I feel that I've been spending money I don't have on an education I can't get. The principle of equivalent exchange states that you must give something to get something in return. The thing you give should be of equal "mass" to the return that it garners. One can only put in so much without a return though and I've far exceeded that amount. I've surpassed the return with effort. Everything I've learned so far I could have learned by spending 1/10th the amount on books. And I would have been able to keep the books. I will admit that it would have been harder to find the drive to do so, and I wouldn't have had the interaction that I did, but I fully believe that my money would have been better spent.

So, where does all of this leave me? Well, I now have to pray that my current credits will transfer over to a full time university and that I'll be able to work my schedule for study time and still keep my job.

A word of advice for all of the college age students who haven't decided where to go yet: DO NOT ATTEND Stevens Henager College. Spend your money somewhere better, like a community college. At least the people there have a reason to act like assholes: they've spent their whole life working with assholes to dig the diamonds out of shit.

So, what type of person does this make me? I'd say a philosopher with a fucked up sense of smartass-ism who likes computers. I think that sums it up pretty well.

Thought of the day:
Make sure that your endeavors are pointed, concise and that you take shit from no one because once it gets to your neck it's hard to breathe.

20060313

Terrible way to start a blog

Welcome to DFFAQ. Are you assailed by morons, idiots and generally stupid fuckers querying your database of useless and useful knowledge they'll never understand anyway? Welcome to my world. That's my life. Constantly receiving a barage of BS. Shit these people should have learned in fucking preschool. Feel free to now indulge yourself in tales of stupidity and fascinating idiocy. Welcome.



Formalities:

First, a heads up to my best friends blog:
Birdhouse In Your Soul
This is Baren's blog.



Let the fun begin.

Weather sucks. All weather. Good and bad it always fucks me up. I just bought a very nice Specialized Hardrock Comp Disc and it's now been snowing for since the day I got it. Nice joke ma Nature.



Then my computer, Motoko, decided to die. Horribly. Screams and all. Somehow or another I got a rootkit installed on to my MBR. Piece of shit. Lost almost 200 GB of data, most of which is irreplacable (downloads of TV series and anime that's not available on DVD or by download anymore). It's supposed to be my year!



Now, as you'll also see at Baren's blog, Dream Theater has had to cancel their SLC show. I blew all of my paid time off to go to this concert. I had been planning it for almost two months. I had dreams about it. God damn it. Don't get me wrong. I don't blame Dream Theater. If my calculations are correct they got caught in that shit-storm coming through Donners Pass in the Sierra Nevadas. I do hope they're okay. I just hate mother nature right now.



Now for some good news

Lacuna Coil is coming on April 18. I've been waiting to see them for two years. I own every album. I know the word to every song (that's been officially released anyway). I have seen every web and print-available picture of Cristina and the band. EmptySpiral has the best information available about what may be the best import band in history, bar none, including a countdown timer for KarmaCode on the main page. Yes, even better than The Beatles (gak) and, at the very least, right the hell up there with Motorhead (hi Lemmy).



Check them out if you don't know them. If you're a fan head over to EmptySpiral and show some love. If you don't like this type of music there's something wrong with you. Seriously wrong.