Friday, July 06, 2012

DNSChanger FYI

Regarding this DNSChanger-related internet blackout coming Monday...

Read this: http://money.cnn.com/2012/07/06/technology/dnschanger/index.htm

Also this: https://forms.fbi.gov/check-to-see-if-your-computer-is-using-rogue-DNS

Then check your connection here: http://www.dns-ok.us/

If you need more info, read this: http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2011/november/malware_110911/dns-changer-malware.pdf

What I don't get is why nobody I know seems to have heard about this until two days before it's happening, especially since the bulk of the work was done on it months ago.  I wasn't aware the govt could just "turn off the internet"; that's the whole point of not having it centralized or being filtered/censored by the government.  If it weren't being reported on multiple web sites and the radio, I'd think it were a hoax for the paranoid, or might actually be driving users to download some OTHER virus/trojan in a panic to get rid of an imagined threat.  Do with this info what you will, and for god's sake change the default password on your router, people.  It's not that hard.  P.S. For all the Lolras out there, our router/DNS servers appear to be in the clear.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

DC Universe Online

It's good. Damn good. Especially for being free-to-play since November 1st. Available on PC and PS3, you should check it out if you love the fast action and constant instant gratification offered by MMOs, superheroes, and things that are free. It's not going to topple WoW anytime soon, but it doesn't have to. Can't beat the price tag, either.

Oblivion

Let's see, if Oblivion debuted in 2006, I probably started it on PC in 2007, couldn't get into it, tried again a year later on PS3, still couldn't get into it, but NOW -- a mere four years later -- having forced myself to spend a few days just pushing through and trying to make sense of the openness and dealing with janky, stiff animations and niggling issues (and no longer being spoiled with certain MMOs conventions I'd grown used to, like selling anything to anyone, learning all spells from one person, having a much clearer path to success, etc.), I'm finally starting to see the light. When I started, it was while I was still playing WoW, which I still think is a more accessible experience, but not necessarily better. I also realized MMOs are designed for constant instant gratification to keep players subscribed or staring at ads, but titles like Oblivion and Morrowind (which I also struggled with initially) can be more deliberately paced and deeper, more subtle experiences.

Having said all that, as someone who found Oblivion terribly boring and unfocused for quite some time -- not realizing it has more in common with Sid Meier's Pirates than anything with Warcraft in the title -- last night I found myself purchasing a home in the game, savoring the experience of exploring my new digs, being able to store items and gear safely there at last, and learning that the reason I got it for such a "steal" is because there's an ominous sealed portal on a wall in the basement. Do I open it and risk filling my new house with demons or something worse? Do I ignore it and focus instead on the 20 other quests I'm buried beneath? The choice is entirely mine! I had to save my progress and resist the urge to open said portal since I desperately needed to go to bed. And this was AFTER stalking the seller halfway across the continent on foot, hoping he'd get mauled by a mountain lion so I could get my 5000 gold back, guilt-free. :) No such luck.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Section 8: Prejudice -- PS3 Impressions

Ok, first things first -- there are still things missing. They left out the ability to change the time limit and score limit on the game, and botmatches can only house up to 16 players. If you played the original S8 on PS3, you probably noticed the same limitations.

For comparison's sake, consider that the PC version of both games allows you to customize all these features, your control scheme for every single button, and does allow up to 32 bots or players or whatever in any game mode. Plus, it's higher res and the textures are better.

So why these limitations in the console version? Why do gamers who don't want to put up with Games for Windows Live get screwed on options? I don't know, honestly. They had to actively remove content to do this. Granted, you get the first batch of DLC maps, modes, and skins for free (though we had to wait a couple extra months to get the game at all), so that kinda helps offset it.

But still, put things in and let people skip it rather than cut things out and leave us wanting.

The PC version looks better, runs better (on the right hardware) and overall has more going for it, EXCEPT for that huge caveat of GFWL. It makes backing up save files terribly difficult, separates your progress between offline and online profiles, and causes problems left and right from a technical standpoint.

All in all, it's still a fun game and a welcome change of pace from the one-hit-deaths of Call of Duty. Here's hoping they put a bit more polish into it with a patch or two.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Share and Share Alike

Mom said "When your kids bicker about money, tear a dollar in half and say 'Fight over it.'" I said, "Yeah, that's pretty good. But it's a bitch when you try to do that with a quarter." :)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Porn Help Us

So It Begins: Small ISPs Begin Cutting Download Limits

I expect the porn industry to get involved and throw some money at reversing this trend as it will eventually cut into their bottom line. They helped win the fight of VHS over Beta and Blu-ray over HD-DVD. Maybe they can save us from conservatives, too.

Updates

My astute readers -- all none of you -- have probably noticed a dearth of content for the last year until the past few hours. While some of these are just status updates yanked from other social media outlets, I have a feeling it will be constructive and somewhat cathartic to get back into the swing of things here. If that has to start with just a couple of reposts to get me feeling reconnected to the goings on here, so be it. And while I know blogging is considered passe and "so last year," I don't really care. I'm less likely to put pen to paper and risk a hand cramp, but I need the same end thru whatever means is available and comfortable.

And besides, I like the sound and the feeling of fingers flying across the clickety clack keyboard on my laptop. I don't hear it nearly enough these days outside of simply working. Something needs to pry open my head and get all the debris out so the truly useful content can flow through my mental capillaries unimpeded.

Plus, it's rare that I get to use big words like that in my day to day writing. :)

Another Windows 7 Bug

Just spent an hour or so dissecting the Windows 7 registry. Apparently sometimes in Win7, the critical battery level is stuck at 98% (should be more like 5%) and can't be changed, so as soon as you unplug the laptop, it hibernates and turns off. Wonderful. At least I fixed it. Stupid Microsoft.

Meatball Croissant = OMG!

Searching for nothing more than a vehicle to transport delicious BBQ meatballs from the crock pot to my eating orifice, I settled on the only bread-like object in the immediate vicinity -- croissants. It was awfully tasty.

My Ass

Usage of sarcastic expression 'my ass!' Appropriate: "The Browns are going to the Super Bowl MY ASS!" Inappropriate, pertaining to silicone sealant that was purported to expand/contract without cracking: "This caulk sure stretches MY ASS!"

Google.lol -- You Saw It Here First

Ok, how long before someone makes available the domain suffix ".lol"? I would use www.google.lol every single day for my entertainment needs.

It Came From The Kitchen

Mom asks if this thing sitting next to me is a plate (it is). I say, "No, its a tiny flying saucer. Frickin aliens, comin in here, making more dishes for me to do." She gives me that "you're stupid" look. Undeterred, I said, "And they brought crumbs, to boot. Probably landed and said 'We crumb in peace.'" Then we both lol'd.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Another telling of the story

Tired of the uppity and scolding version of Christ's birth? Get a load of this (originally here)....

Christmas is here and that can mean only one thing: and while I have no idea what that one thing is, I'm sure it's a huge load. But whatever it means, I thought now would be a good time to share with you the story of how it all began. Christianity is so pervasive in our society that even the staunchest atheist and most indifferent agnostic think they know the story, but you've been sold a lie. Here, the TRUE story of the first Christmas.

Long ago in the town of Nazareth, there lived a girl named Mary who was engaged to a man named Joseph. One day a man named Gabriel, clearly in the midst of an opium-induced freak-out, broke into Mary's room and nervously muttered something about Mary having a "God-baby" and how she must name it "Jesus" so Gabriel would be forced to give his penis a new name. Mary sat in stunned silence, wondering why this man had ripped the wings off a goose and nailed them to his back.

Soon after Gabriel's visit, it became obvious Mary was pregnant. Mary explained to Joseph this must be the "God-baby" the "winged man" told her about. Joseph quickly agreed and convinced Mary her unexplained black-outs and vaginal bruises were nothing to be concerned with. They were quickly married and Joseph told Mary they must head for Bethlehem immediately to pay a "special tax." When Mary asked about this special tax, Joseph responded, "Just get on the damn donkey."

At last they reached Bethlehem. After being turned away from several inns, it dawned on Joseph that others were not sympathetic to his plight. There was simply no way this many inns became "full" every time Joseph asked the innkeeper to "take care of this thing for me." But eventually a kind innkeeper told Joseph, "Yeah, I can do that. Just wait out back next to the goats."

Upon seeing Mary, it became obvious to the innkeeper that Joseph had misled him about the state of Mary's condition. He reneged on the deal and told Joseph to "do what you gotta do" in the stable and that the fee for his discretion would be "the same as for the other thing." Joseph tried to handle it but was constantly interrupted by curious passers-by. It was too late. The baby Jesus was born.

Meanwhile, on a hill overlooking Bethlehem, some shepherds watched their sheep. Suddenly, a man on fire appeared on a hill above them. Suffering unimaginable pain, the man shouted "STRANGE SMELL FROM COD! TODD'S SON HAS BEAN-CORN AND BETH THE HAM!" The shepherds heard something different and, with nothing else to do, headed to Bethlehem to see what that was about.

Once there, the shepherds searched for the Son of God. They tried to start the search in a tavern, but were stunned to see a baby lying in a pile of straw and animal waste. Deciding one baby is as good as another, they knelt down to worship him. Mary asked if the "winged man" spoke to them too. The shepherds exchanged glances before one responded "Um, I only noticed the glowing, but now that you mention it, he DID have wings." Joseph was weirded out, but decided to run with it.

In the East, Wise Men saw a new star in the sky. They had no idea what this meant. And since Wise Men must appear wise, one of them, while the others weren't looking, grabbed a scroll and jotted down that this meant a new ruler had been born. The others wondered how they had never before seen this text on their only scroll, but didn't want to look foolish by questioning a Wise Man.

The Wise Men set off to find this baby. They followed the star to Bethlehem. Stars are in space and can, for all intents and purposes, lead you to any location, but Bethlehem was here and they were tired. Later, while relieving themselves outside a stable, they heard Jesus cry. Appalled by the sight of a mother so young, they left the child everything they had, which included a small amount of gold and a couple sacks of gum resin they regrettably traded a camel for.

These men, angry with Joseph, waited for his return. Joseph pulled the men aside and explained. The Wise Men, while outraged at the idea that anyone would attempt to justify impregnating a young girl, decided it was better for her and the baby to live the lie. They assured Joseph his secret was safe, but did ask if they could use his tale for "this book of silly stories we're writing."

And that's why there's a tree in your living room and you annually put your kid on a fat stranger's lap. Merry Arbitrarily Chosen 24 Hours, everybody!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Why NHL 09 Sucks

A brief list of reasons...
  1. No matter how aggressive you set your breakout, YOU will always be leading the charge. Even if you're a defenseman, last one back.
  2. Your morons will reach out and grab a loose puck when no one's around, but when it's contested, they just let the other team have it.
  3. Your team's shooting accuracy is zero. If you're standing in the crease and let it rip, they'll hit the rafters.
  4. The net can be wide open, and your idiots will not hit it.
  5. One timers do not work. Slap shots do not work. Scoring for your team does not work.
  6. The other team can walk right up to your goalie on the side and, with the pads flush up against the post, teleport the puck THROUGH either him or the net or both and get a goal.
  7. The computer can score literally at will. I had a 0-0 game till the third, and when I finally scored, they scored twice, and kept ahead of me the whole rest of the game.
  8. Hitting does not work. Shoving does not work. Essentially, any form of contact does not work. Your guy will ignore a player within striking distance, give him an all clear, and then once he's 10 feet away, shove dead air.
  9. Manual shot aim only goes to extremes, never actually on net.
  10. Auto shot aim always puts it right in the goalie's jersey or glove.
  11. One timers still do not work.
  12. Shooting from the point during a screen does not work.
  13. Shooting from the point and hoping for a redirect does not work.
  14. The AI team can control the puck and pick off your passes while laying face-down on the ice, but your guys lose control of it if somebody in the upper deck so much as farts.
  15. Your goalie will let total bullshit go right by him and never try to get a rebound. Theirs will stop goals from this game AND the one being played down the street.
  16. The game resets your strategies whenever it feels like it.
  17. If you have a breakaway and would really love to have another winger coming up with you to pass to, it won't happen. He'll go for a line change and a coffee break.
  18. Your poke checks will rarely stop a thing. THEIR poke checks are laser-guided.
  19. They can shoot through your entire body. Their players all must have goalie pads on, since you can't get anything between their legs.
  20. You can win every faceoff, control the puck the entire time, get all the power plays, have all the hits, and be playing 5 on 3 and still not get a single fucking goal.
  21. What fucking moron decided to put "hit" and "shoot" on the same stick? So you're trying to crush an asshole, he hands you the puck, and instead of hitting, you end up lobbing the puck down for icing.
  22. Conversely, when you're trying to set up in front of the net to receive a one-timer, you can't tap the shoot button, because you'll be swinging your stick around like a fucking lariat polearm, and draw a penalty for doing nothing but trying to make this piece of shit game actually WORK.
  23. The game will randomly switch who you're controlling. On top of that, the stupid arrow over the head is hard to see at times. What was so wrong with a circle around the feet of the guy with the puck?
  24. Goalies cannot pass to someone standing two feet in front of them; they will always turn it over to the other team standing further back, and let them score on him.
  25. The "custom controls" in Options only switches two buttons. They don't let you customize a goddamn thing.
  26. They got rid of the speed burst button. As someone who actually plays hockey in real life, this is bullshit. When you need a sudden sprint, you sure can muster it. But not in this game.
  27. The opposing team will almost always get the pass off before you can hit them. The ones they don't pass, they never lose control of, even if they spin around four times and fall down and DIE. Seriously, what the hell is this?
  28. Your buttons will not work when you have a chance to actually score.
  29. The opposing team can score best when they're face-humping your goalie.
  30. Screens only work against you, not for you.
  31. The camera typically cuts off your guys up high, making it impossible to know if you can pass back and across.
  32. The shootout camera is absolutely horrible, and cannot be adjusted except from bad to worse.
  33. You cannot score. You will not score. If by some accident you do, it won't matter becuase even on Easy, the computer cheats like you would absolutely not believe.
The only "tip" (if you can call it that) I received on how to score in this game is to throw random shit all over and not try to set up any plays. That isn't hockey. I don't know what that is, but I'm done with this stupid game.