Friday, August 24, 2007

Little Sister ethics. What would YOU do?

In the new game Bioshock, you are presented with a nasty dilemma. In the twisted world of The Rapture things have gone quite wrong. Without going into details, one thing that has happened as that little girls were transformed by an evil scientist into something other than human. They go around collecting something from dead bodies that is called "Adam". This is a major currency in the game used to upgrade your character's abilities. In order to get this "Adam" from them, something you have to do in order to complete the game, you have two choices. You can either kill the "Little Sister" as they are called our you can "save" them so they revert back to being little girls. If you kill them you get a great deal more "Adam" than you do if you save them. What would you do? Personally, I couldn't bring myself to kill the cute little girl. The game makes it even worse because they squirm away and beg and plead not to kill them. I'm sorry but there is no way I am gonna kill a little girl even in a video game. So hopefully I can get enough "Adam" from saving them in order to finish the game.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Gateway: A whole lot of suck.

To the left is a picture of the Gateway FPD2185w monitor. A few years back, I purchased one of these at Best Buy and suggested to a friend of mine that he get one too. He was pretty happy with it for a while and now a little over a year later it has stopped working. He called Gateway to see about getting it repaired but was informed that since it was no longer under warranty, they wouldn't help him. The rep on the phone even mentioned that she knew something he could try but she couldn't tell him unless he paid forty dollars to extend the warranty. My friend, declined not wanting to waste forty bucks on something that was probably not gonna help anyway (he had already scoured the message boards and tried the things he found).

He the brought the monitor to Best Buy and they sent it off for repairs only to inform him later that they wouldn't be repairing it because Gateway refused to send them the parts needed to fix it. This would mean that Best Buy wouldn't be able to guarantee their work. To their credit, Best Buy is refunding the money that my friend had to pay up front and shipping the monitor back to him. Bottom line: Gateway are a useless pile of turds. Don't buy anything from these assholes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bioshock info you need to know. Curtesy of Tom Chick

Five Things I Wish I`d Known about BioShock (spoiler free!)
TomChick - 08/20/07

1) Look at your map during recordings
Sometimes you’ll pick up a diary recording, only to get into a fight while it’s playing, at which point you might miss what’s being said. But the diary recordings are worth hearing. So note that you can bring up the map to pause the game without pausing the playback. Take this time to get a look at where you are and where you’re going, while listening to the story unfold. Or you can sit tight and rejigger your weapon loadouts at that point, as the weapons menu won’t interrupt the recordings either.

2) That silver cage is an elevator and there’s a "call elevator" button next to it
If you find yourself stuck at a clear door that isn’t opening, even though it’s obviously between you and where you need to go, this would be the time to note the elevator system in Rapture. I know of at least three people who got stuck at this point and assumed the game was bugged (me being one of them). The problem is that BioShock hasn’t yet showed you that elevators have call buttons, much less what closed elevators look like.

3) "That’s telekinesis, Kyle!"
Some areas that look like you should be able to reach them. After all, there’s stuff in there you'll want to pick up! But trust me: you can’t get in there. Look around as much as you like, come back and visit to see if you’ve somehow triggered a door, or waste all your ammo trying to blast your way in. No dice. You can’t get in. It’s not going to happen. Instead, you can get those items with a particular plasmid that lets you reach out and touch something.

4) Yes, the game will get harder
Don’t make any assumptions about BioShock’s difficulty level based on the early game. It’s not necessarily that it gets more difficult as it forces you to play more carefully and make more choices. The early parts have a more carefree approach. That’s the honeymoon. Don’t get too used to it.

5) Avoid spoilers
I’d actually recommend avoiding reviews, some of which are revealing too much information and even playfully giving away plot points in an attempt to be clever (fuck you, Game Informer). And for Pete’s sake, stay out of the official forums, which are crammed with retards splashing important information around. There isn’t necessarily any Big Twist or Super Secret Sixth Sense Reveal or Amazingly Awesome New Thing You've Never Seen Before. But there are some really nice surprises that help drive the game. The less you know about these, the better.

Monday, August 20, 2007


'This time round Richard Dawkins controls his temper, focusing it like a laser beam'

Charlie Brooker
Saturday August 11, 2007
The Guardian

In the 18th century, a revolution in thought, known as the Enlightenment, dragged us away from the superstition and brutality of the Middle Ages toward a modern age of science, reason and democracy. It changed everything. If it wasn't for the Enlightenment, you wouldn't be reading this right now. You'd be standing in a smock throwing turnips at a witch. Yes, the Enlightenment was one of the most significant developments since the wheel. Which is why we're trying to bollocks it all up.

Welcome to a dangerous new era - the Unlightenment - in which centuries of rational thought are overturned by idiots. Superstitious idiots. They're everywhere - reading horoscopes, buying homeopathic remedies, consulting psychics, babbling about "chakras" and "healing energies", praying to imaginary gods, and rejecting science in favour of soft-headed bunkum. But instead of slapping these people round the face till they behave like adults, we encourage them. We've got to respect their beliefs, apparently.

Well I don't. "Spirituality" is what cretins have in place of imagination. If you've ever described yourself as "quite spiritual", do civilisation a favour and punch yourself in the throat until you're incapable of speaking aloud ever again. Why should your outmoded codswallop be treated with anything other than the contemptuous mockery it deserves?

Maybe you've put your faith in spiritual claptrap because our random, narrative-free universe terrifies you. But that's no solution. If you want comforting, suck your thumb. Buy a pillow. Don't make up a load of floaty blah about energy or destiny. This is the real world, stupid. We should be solving problems, not sticking our fingers in our ears and singing about fairies. Everywhere you look, screaming gittery is taking root, with serious consequences. The NHS recently spent £10m refurbishing the London Homeopathic Hospital. The equivalent of 500 nurses' wages, blown on a handful of magic beans. That was your tax money. It was meant for saving lives.

Inevitably, the world of science and logic is slowly fighting back. Hence the recent slew of anti-God books, one of which, The God Delusion, was written by Richard Dawkins, writer-presenter of The Enemies Of Reason (Mon, 8pm, C4). Dawkins has softened his style somewhat since his previous series, The Root of All Evil, in which he toured the globe interviewing religious extremists. Trouble was, their views made him so uppity, he occasionally came off worst. They remained eerily calm, while he huffed furiously. And because he looks and sounds precisely like Professor Yaffle from Bagpuss, the end effect was often unintentional hilarity.

In The Enemies of Reason he's still angry - how couldn't he be? - but this time round Dawkins controls his temper, focusing it like a laser beam, taking on spirituality and superstition in all its forms. The overall tone is less hectoring, more persuasive, and occasionally outright playful. It's more likely to win people over.

The end result is possibly the most important broadcast of the year so far; important because it presents a passionate argument we really all ought to be having right now, if we want to prevent a great slide backwards into mud-eating barbarism. And if you think that's hyperbole, I suggest you pick up a newspaper and see how many of the world's problems are currently being caused or exacerbated by the rejection of rational thought. From fundamentalist death cults to arrogant invasions: a startling lack of logic unites them all.

Cold, clear, rational thought is the most important thing we have; the one thing that can save us. If I was made Emperor of All Media, I'd broadcast something akin to The Enemies Of Reason on every channel, every day, for 10 years. This is an urgent message that must be heard if we want to survive, as a species. Oh. And I'd also broadcast a load of Tex Avery cartoons, just to show off my lighter side. Man, I loves dat Droopy.