Saturday, August 11, 2007

1Up Sucks...

... but you already knew that. I am speaking about the 1UP podcast specifically. Lately, I have taken to listening to podcasts while working out. I get sick of the same music played over and over again. I subscribed to a bunch of podcasts and picked the 1UP podcast due to it involving video games. The four or five guys doing the podcast desperately want to make you think that they aren't geeks or video game nerds. They REALLY want you not to think of them in those terms. It comes across as desperation in their insipid jokes about games, gaming and those who partake in the pastime. They want to you to know that they are far above these sorts of things and are in fact really very cool guys. Their lame jokes and too ardent fervor with which they mock games and gamers comes across a bit forced and definitely not a bit funny. They are actually the same type of jokes you would hear if you hung out with geeks and nerds of any stripe, which I have done often.

You know what? It's ok to be really into something. It's ok to go to Blizzcon and dress up as a Murloc. If people don't like it, fuck em. I would rather see people into something and involved in something they have an interest in instead of pretending to be aloof and above it all. Do I think some people go a bit overboard? Sure, but you know what? In the end, if that person is happy who gives a rat's ass if people think they look stupid or look like a geek or a nerd?

Anyway, in between desperately trying to give the impression that they are above the common ruck who partake in video gaming and spouting off lame jokes the crew at 1UP try and give some information about the latest goings-on in the gaming industry. Rarely do they provide any insight or what one would call news. If you are into podcasts and have an interest in gaming, I would not waste my time with this one if I were you. I'll post my top five podcasts in the near future.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Update: Sleep Study Aftermath

Well, I made it through the night. Last night's Sleep Study was an interesting experience. I have had one before, about three years ago so I knew what to expect. I wasn't looking forward to it though. By the time everything is set up the patient has got two belts around their midsection and chest and numerous wires pasted to their heads and affixed to legs and index finger. Needless to say, it makes sleeping difficult, unfortunately enough since that is the reason you are there.

I am a little claustrophobic so being trussed up like that and attached to the bed was not enjoyable. After about two hours of sleep the tech came in and put the CPAP machine on my face and began to regulate the pressure. I was pleasantly surprised out how much it helped me. It felt great to be able to lay down and breath normally. Even though I didn't think I slept very deeply, I feel great today. I feel like I should feel after having a good night's rest which I haven't had in over a decade. I'm looking forward to actually getting the CPAP machine now so that I can start to experience a consitant amount of good rest. If you have sleep problems I highly recommend getting a sleep study done even though it is uncomfortable.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Personal Note: Sleep study tonight.

I have to go in for a Sleep Study tonight. I get to be wired up like a lab animal and try and sleep in a strange room. I had one done about three years ago so I know what to expect, but I am still not looking forward to it. This time, I get to try out a CPAP machine during part of the study. This is a small or large mask you wear which applies positive air pressure through your nose so the airway doesn't collapse causing a stoppage in breathing. I'm told breathing is an important thing, so I want to check it out to see if it will help me. The last test I had revealed that I had eighty instances of Apnea per hour. So obviously, I need some sort of help. We shall see if the CPAP machine offers any relief. If not, then I will need to have my tonsils removed and my partial deviated septum fixed. So I guess I will have the choice of sleeping like I am Darth Vader or having a couple weeks of pretty severe pain. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

NCAA mini review

Bill Harris over at Dubious Quality has a mini review of NCAA 2008. Check it out if you are interested in the game. As usual, his thoughts are pretty spot-on. Check the site out for some great video game commentary even if you aren't into football games.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Xbox 360 price cut is official

SEATTLE – Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 video game console will be $50 cheaper starting Wednesday, confirming fuzzy snapshots of leaked advertisements posted by bloggers in late July.

The company said its most popular console, which comes with a 20-gigabyte hard drive, will cost $349.

A basic console without a hard drive or wireless controllers will retail for $279, $20 less than its current price, while the Xbox 360 Elite, a black version with a 120-gigabyte hard drive and high-definition video support, will drop $50 to $449.

In July, the company clipped the price of its add-on HD-DVD player to $179, from $199.

Microsoft has been dodging questions about a console price cut since competitor Sony Corp. slashed the price of its 60-gigabyte PlayStation 3 to $499, from $599, in early July. Nintendo Corp.'s Wii, the least expensive of the so-called next-generation consoles, costs $250.

Last week, spokespeople for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Toys “R” Us Inc. and Microsoft all refused to say whether blurred images found online – purportedly showing weekend ad circulars reflecting the price cuts – were authentic.

Aaron Greenberg, a group product manager for Xbox 360, said in an interview Monday that the ads were real.

Greenberg also said competitors' prices had no impact on Microsoft's decision.

“In fact, we had this in our plans from the very beginning,” he said, and added that the timing was linked to the release of several highly anticipated video games, including “Madden NFL 08,” which hits retail shelves next Tuesday.

“There is nothing too shocking about this,” said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at JupiterResearch. He said it's normal for companies to cut console prices between one and two years after launch.

The analyst added that the $50 price cut will bring in a whole new group of customers who ruled it out at the higher price, and that Microsoft should enjoy increased sales immediately – even though the official holiday shopping season is still months away.

Microsoft also said Tuesday that the green and gold “Halo 3”-themed console, will go on sale in September for $400.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Death Cat for Cutie?

I hate the media. Here is an example of how they take a story and run with it without any kind of critical thought or reflection. It seems there is a cat named Oscar who lives in a home for old folks and according to the people running the home, can sense when a patient is going to die. It has gotten so bad that the people in the home will call families when Oscar lies with a patient and inform them that their loved one only has hours to live. It's bad enough that the media ran with the story, but what is worse is they got their information from the AMA of all places. I can't think of a better case of confirmation bias than this example. The residents and workers in the home are basically just recording the "hits" they get to confirm what they want to believe. The Press reports the story as some sort of fluff piece implying that the cat is laying with the patients to comfort them in their last hours. Well guess what? According to the story, Oscar is not very friendly normally and only lays with people when they are about to die. I guess it is equally likely that that cat is some sort of sadistic monster or death merchant seeking the souls of old helpless people. Now we have idiots running around claiming that cats, or at least a certain one can predict when someone is going to die. I hate the media.

Now playing: Breaking Benjamin - Breath
via FoxyTunes