Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My Apologies.

My apologies to anyone who reads this blog. I have been busy the past few days moving some friends and I have not had time to keep up with gaming news or anything else. I will attempt to get back into a regular routine when all this moving business is done, which should be after tomorrow. Until that time, have a good read somewhere :)

Monday, May 29, 2006

No news was not good news

So, it has been a few days since my last post. the reason for that was my laptop got sick. It caught some nasty virus that blocked my anti-virus from opening to deal with it. I have no idea how I got it. I did not download anything, I do email through a web client, and I don't use messaging programs much. Although, I did leave MSN Messenger up the night before I went to bed. I am going to guess this as the culprit for now, since I had to do a complete restore to get my computer running again, there is no way for me to track down what it was. So, be careful out there, a computer virus can get anyone. This is the first one I have had in 6 years so I guess I was due one. I was using Avast 4 home edition as my anti-virus and I am going to continue to use it since all the others I have tried, except Windows Live Onecare(WLO), suck system resources or have to be tweaked manually all the time to get things to run right. WLO doesn't seem to slow my system any and the only manual settings I have had to adjust are the firewall settings for Windows Media Connect. I can't use WLO on this laptop due to insufficient memory so I will continue to use Avast until I get the memory upgraded.

This is the first time since I began using Avast that I have had to recove my system due to a virus. My guess is the messaging agent that runs was not as up to date as it needed to be. Truthfully I did not try alot of fixing before I did a recovery, Avast might have been able to remove the virus. I, however, was not in the mood to try so I just redid the whole thing. If there is a next time, I will just try to heal the computer instead of resetting it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Update to: The growing Xbox community breeds new services.

Tuesday I wrote about The growing Xbox community breeds new services.. Well since that post, I have learned some of these service are kind of endorsed by Xbox Live as they has been featured as a Community Showcase on Xbox Live. The ones I have seen so far are 360voice.com and MyGamerCard.net. I will also be posting on any other service such as these as I find them. Check back soon.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

RUMOR: PS3 Sony makes moves to stamp out lucrative second-hand market IS FALSE

UPDATE:
From guardian.co.uk:
[QUOTE]
Update: I contacted Sony to dig up the truth on the nasty rumours. They are unfounded, as confirmed by Jennie Kong, UK PR Manager at SCEE. From Jennie:

I would like to clarify that this is false speculation and that PlayStation 3 software will not be copy protected to a single machine but will be playable on any PlayStation 3 console.
[/QUOTE]

This article claims Sony has decided games are not owned by the people who buy them, they are only paying for a license to play them. That means it will be illegal to resell PS3 games.

I have to say this is probably the one thing that will keep me from buying a ps3 if it is true. I have seen some bad practices by Sony, such as the ps2 Hard Drive, which they promised could be used to store content from Sony online, never happened, they did not even say it was not going to happen, they just dropped all reference to it. The PSP is turning out to be not too great. Copying movies to it that you already own means you have to use a 3rd party conversion utility and go through a serious hassle to transfer the movie to a memory card. The movie quality sucks big time with their codecs. This is not how Sony described the PSP experience.

I like most of Sony's products. I even planned to buy a PS3 but if I can't resell or trade my games then it is not worth my time. It is because of trade-ins that I can continue to afford to play games. Trading games and buying used games makes up over half my games budget. Anyhow, Sony has made no official announcement and I hope this is rumor, otherwise serious gamers will probably pass this system up. Read more here: Games Radar - PS3 news - - [PS3] Sony makes moves to stamp out lucrative second-hand market

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The growing Xbox community breeds new services.

The Xbox 360 has become more widely available and the Xbox community grows with each new Xbox Live sign-up. As more people get involved in gaming and more ideas proliferate on what the community wants and needs, new services are born. Particularly since the Xbox 360 sends data to Xbox Live for your gamertag these new services are being created offering custom content centered around this data. Like a blog for your 360, custom gamertags for forums, friend matching services, and gamerscore tracking and comparison. Let's look at each of these services briefly.

Your Xbox 360 can blog. Seriously, ChangeAgent (Trapper Markelz) and Fatty Chubs (Stephen Sopp) created 360voice.com. This service takes the information from your gamertag and uses it to create a blog, check mine out at rijit's Xbox 360 Blog. The blog puts the information in blog form to let the reader know what games were played along with achievements made and does it in a comical way. Also listed on the blog page is a live feed feature, gamerscore chart, and a top ten games chart. 360voice.com also offers APIs for others to use to create their own custom content. Microsoft has taken an interest in this project so hopefully new things will come from it.

Gamercards on forums, blogs, and email is being made possible by Microsoft through the gamertag script offered at xbox.com. The problem is compatibility in certain forums, blogs, or websites. So some gamers thought it would be great to offer conversion utilities such as MyGamerCard.net which can convert your gamertag to snippet code, flash, or dynamic images as well as offer custom themes for gamertags. Custom gamertag images based on subjects ranging from games to music can be found on Icp4Ever.com Both of these service help with posting your gamertag on forums and websites making it easy through a cut and paste code.

Finding new friends on Live can be a daunting task even when you have the game your playing in common, it is hard to tell if someone shares the same likes and dislikes in other games as well without a lot of research. Well, it used to be, enter a new service called XBL Friends Finder. This service compares your gamertag info with other gamers who are members of this service and matches you up by comparing favorite games and your gamerscore. The service is brand new so there are only around 100 users registered as I write this.

Ever wondered when you made that benchmark gamerscore of 1000? Well you can post a chart on your blog, forum, etc of your gamerscore over time through GamerScoreChart.com. This service also has some comparison charts called Rivalry charts and promises new features are on the way.

Given how young the Xbox 360 is, these new services are in their infancy and it is very exciting, to me, to become a part of that, even if it is just beta testing their services. Using these services to show off "mad gamer skillz" is what this community needs, after all gamer life is about competition and bragging rights. Hope to see you on Xbox Live soon, I will be the guy skulking in the shadows trying to get a bead on a great headshot.

Updated 5/25/2006 12:57:23 AM

I have learned some of these service are endorsed by Xbox.com as they have been featured as a Community Showcase on Xbox Live. The ones I have seen so far are 360voice.com and MyGamerCard.net. I will also be posting on any other service such as these as I find them.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The American Dream: Gasoline free engines.

Clean energy cars, the American dream, are closer to reality. This company called Hydrogen Engine Center, incorporated in 2003 in Iowa and is working on alternative fuel technology. The engine can accept several different alternative fuels. Great read, check it out here...Wired News: Can Engine Make Gas Obsolete?

Astronomers Use Innovative Technique to Find Extrasolar Planet

It has begun, amateur astronomers using commercial gear found a planet. Well the program is lead by a professional working on a new system for discovering planets and scanning the sky. The project used around $60,000 work of equipment and much more developing the software to run the system. This program will allow amateurs to get involved in planet finding. Once this program becomes available to amateurs we should see planet discoveries come in a more timely manner. Great read, check it out here...HubbleSite - Full story about "Astronomers Use Innovative Technique to Find Extrasolar Planet"

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Da Vinci Code - Anti-Christian goes Hollywood - Join The Other-cott!

I am not a religious fanatic, nor am I fanatical follower. I am, however, a believer in Christ. I believe in Jesus, He is the Son of GOD. That is my belief. I took the time to read the Da Vinci Code. I doubt I go see the movie, in fact I plan to do something else opening weekend. The book changed nothing in me, it gave me no doubts, I never once thought what if, etc. I know The Real Truth, read it in The Bible. However, I do not think seeing the images described in the book is a good idea, for me. I associate most thoughts with pictures, it is part of how my memory has always worked I guess, some call it photographic memory, though mine is more of a sketchbook. So seeing this movie very well could put those doubts in me. I would not succumb to them, nor would I doubt long, maybe a fraction of a second. There is no point for me to make by seeing the movie. I do not want to support a company that says it is ok to doubt my Faith. I had such plans, this affects quite a bit for me, the upcoming PS3 for instance, now I have to decide if I am willing to support it, since Sony supports this Movie. So, I am joining the Other-cott opening weekend, read more about it here ...Join the Other-cott!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Gamerscore Blog : Xbox Live Marketplace surpasses 24 million downloads as Xbox Live Brings E3 Home to gamers around the world

Gamerscore Blog : Xbox Live Marketplace surpasses 24 million downloads as Xbox Live Brings E3 Home to gamers around the world: "Xbox Live becomes the world̢۪s largest platform for high-definition on-demand content

Xbox Live, the first and only unified online games and entertainment network, is now the world̢۪s largest platform for high-definition on-demand content, surpassing 24 million downloads following the launch of Xbox 360 on November 22, 2005."

Planets Found in Potentially Habitable Setup: Our future?

At the rate man is destroying our habitat here on Earth discoveries such as this one become important in case we eventually have to leave this world for another.
"Oh sure," you say, "go all sci-fi fruitcake on us." Well I hate to say it but I believe we are about to hit some seriously hard times since global "Peak Oil" is immanent and Global Warming through Green House Gas thereby changing our environment. Sooner or later if we do not stop, we are going to change it beyond it's ability to sustain us. So I see these kinds of news articles as a kind of future we could see since the private sector has decided space flight can be achieved through contests which helps to speed along developing new technology. Maybe we as a people can pull it all together in the end and survive. Anyhow, this article is about the discovery of another solar system that might be habitable, check it out... SPACE.com -- Planets Found in Potentially Habitable Setup

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Extra!! Extra!! Read All About IT!!



Check out the newspaper clipping above then check out Fodey.com for this and other unique image tools.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Supreme Court Buries Patent Trolls - Forbes.com

While our patent system needs a lot of work, stories such as the one below really do help the current patent situation out. I feel the courts are taking a step in the right direction but that step is not near big enough. Patent trolls should be wiped out entirely, they are a scourge to innovation. They sit on patents and wait for businesses to bring out a product then sue them to get money off the patent they had nothing to do with, other than buy it. Anyhow, the Supreme Court ruled automatic sanctions should be reviewed to see if the infringement is actually hurting the patent holder, nice read... Supreme Court Buries Patent Trolls - Forbes.com

Sunday, May 14, 2006

GIS Spy Agency

This is cool, well to me anyhow, since I do work like this now. Well sort of, I work in the GIS Industry making Orthorectified images for a local oil company. The process is long and tedious, right now while I am learning the ropes anyhow, and consists of long hours pouring over aerial photos and connecting them back together. So, this piqued my interest since it uses photo images, though from a satellite. This agency is top secret yet in the public eye, I love it. Anyhow, check out the story it is a good read on the government actually getting something right ;)...Wired News: Sky Spies Watch Us from Space

Friday, May 12, 2006

MPAA training police dogs??

It's a strange world we live in I think. The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.) have become part law enforcement now? I know they have a lot of backing and clout but since when did a company, notice they are incorporated, become part of law enforcement? Most law enforcement are hired by people who are voted into office. So where do I vote on the board of members of the MPAA? If they are part of the government, I want to vote for them, otherwise they need to sit down and shut up. Copyright is not the end all be all of this world, things have gotten out of hand. You have the Music Industry suing dead people and children for piracy. You have tons of money in DC being handed out like it is candy for companies like the MPAA to get more power. Enough is enough I say, companies like the MPAA and the RIAA need to be slapped down and told to shut up and be still. They are what is half the problem in this country. Deep pockets that think everything is for sell, well I am here to say I for one am fed up with both. I will probably boycott buying any dvds or cds and keep my media to downloads. I will not go looking for illegal pirated stuff, but instead use services like Google video and iTunes. I might even take the time to join some forums on it, write my congressman, write more articles, spread the word however I can.Spacegrinder! - MPAA training police dogs to sniff out DVDs

Monday, May 08, 2006

Chip Power Breakthrough Reported by Startup

This small company has come up with a new way to distribute power to processors. He invented a distrbutor. It is basically the same thing, it is a small square loop wich keeps the time on the powers signal, so it is 75% more efficiant than current methods. This is awsome news and should get processors back on the power tracks, going up in clock speeds since the power input was getting to be the bottleneck, but with this new technoligy, chip manufacturers can distribute the power more evenly. Great concept, though it truely has been done before, though not on chips, after all, car also have distributers that keep an engines time ;) Read more about it here...Slashdot | Chip Power Breakthrough Reported by Startup

David Blaine using news to boost ratings?

So, the need arises and I must ask, How much of current reports of Blaine's troubles are real and how much is "viral marketing"? After all, Blaine's life exists around PR and pulling these stunts. The more reports we read online about how bad it is getting for him, the more we all want to tune in and see him try to pull it off.
I think we are one morbid society when a man torturing himself inside a plastic ball full of water is considered entertainment. The "Frozen in Time" stunt where he spent time inside a block of ice was bad enough, now he is a living prune. The thing is, he is probably in serious shape physically and for the sake of his stunt, he will hold out till the appointed time and attempt to make some sort of Houdini escape out of it.
It still begs the question, How much trouble is he really in and how much of the current stories are exaggerated to help ratings of ABC's live coverage of his escape?
I respect the guy and his work to an extent but I do not think I will ever consider it entertainment and if he is making his condition sound worse just to boost ratings he should be ashamed. Read one of the many stories on the web here... New York Daily News - Home - Bubble trouble

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Da Vinci Code Stars committing career suicide?

With the movie due out this month, will The Da Vinci Code ruin the careers of the actors in this movie? After all, most of America's population is Christian and with Catholic and other Christian leaders saying nearly daily how wrong this movie is, how we should all boycott it, and now even take legal action, though they do not say what kind of legal action that should be. Will Tom Hanks regret playing this role?
My dad is a hardcore Born Again Christian. He has always liked Tom Hanks, that is, until now. His opinion is anyone committing blasphemy against Christ is not someone he wants to watch on screen. So to my dad, Tom Hanks will now and forever more be that actor that Blasphemed against Jesus. I doubt my dad will ever watch a movie with Tom Hanks in it again, and he will probably throw out any movies he owns with Tom Hanks in it, same goes with the other main actors in this film. So, I was just wondering how will the stars do another big movie when a lot of their fans no longer believe in them and won't go see anything they are in? Read more about Catholic reactions to this film... Cardinal urges legal action against Da Vinci Code | Reuters.com

Saturday, May 06, 2006

XBOX Controller Controller

To each their own I guess. Here is a project that was put together to make a wireless xbox controller, I think...
The basic idea is taking a PSP or DS and sending UDP packets wirelessly to control an Xbox controller. Funny thing here is, a physical approach was used. The signals are sent to a box that works a bunch of servos to push the buttons.
Kind of cool, though I could think of many other things to use it on instead of an Xbox, specially when you could spend less money and just buy a wireless controller which will be much more responsive. I like this project and may invest some time in it just to see how usable this system is, it would be nice to try it out on some various things that you could not normally go wireless with. Check it out, it is worth the read... XBOX Controller Controller

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Korean Andriod for Every home?

Wow, andriods in all our homes in the next few years? An army of mobile machines capable of doing whatever it is told. Funny, this things looks and feels like a woman... Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Daily News in English About Korea