Archive for December, 2005

PVP Online

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

PVP Online is a moderately interesting webcomic strip combined with blog style posts of an oftentimes technical nature.

Cow Tipper’s Journalism Career

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

You never really know just what you will find in comments to other folks posts on other blogs. For example, here is the journalism experience of one Cow Tipper as a freshman member of the MSM or Main Stream Media:

It’s refreshing to see the MSM implode. Having started my professional career in the journalism field, I quickly left after clearly not relating to the “write this story in this perspective because the managing editor says the publisher says so” model. Early assignments shocked me at first — being sent to interview the “man on the street” (a typical new reporter assignment) and get opinions on proposed ordinances that reflected a certain view (with one or two street people to be the uncredible opposition). One memorable assignment was a proposed city council sign ordinance change restricting the height of all commercial signs, which the Council Bluffs newspaper publisher strongly supported but the business community opposed. I found nothing but disinterested people – how could you expect the man on the street to give a damn about sign ordinances – but was expected to have “five for the ordinanace, one opposed” so the paper could prove the citizenry supported the publisher’s position – I bribed college friends from Omaha with beer to get my quotes and finish the publisher’s exercise in fraud.

Even after having left shortly after and proceeded into a successful IT executive career, I’ve always been puzzled at the tolerance for complete incompetence in the MSM. Reporters who’ve interviewed me consistently missed basic facts and their editors never considered any sort of verification.

When your software is mostly bugs, your software business fails. The MSM’s product has been nothing but factually-flawed opinion pieces posing as news for at least two decades. Their demise is well overdue.

Mortality.net

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

Are you interested in the old fashioned game “Dungeons and Dragons?” Well, then, Mortality.net may very well be the news and resources website for you.

Celerita’s Weblog

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

Celerita’s Weblog is a heavy duty online gaming blog that gets right into the technical nitty gritty. Currently, it focuses on both Worlds of Warcraft and the incoming Dungeons & Dragons Online game.

Here is the blog’s Official Introduction:

Introduction

Monday, September 19, 2005, 22:42
The Site

Alot of people have messaged me asking how I created the site .. while I wish I could take credit this site is built using simplePHPblog. Basically you download, unzip, upload (using ftp), set a few permissions then pick a few colours ;) It only requires your server to support PHP 4 and uses plain text files instead of a database thus most free webhosts are fine ;) There are various hacks with tricky features and it’s easy to customise it yourself but I tend to prefer a simpler site with hopefully better content.

The site is fundamentally a blog, so it operates as a diary in reverse date order and can be filtered by categories .. which are selectable under the ‘Categories’ heading on the right. I also have a few static pages to link it all together and highlight certain key features .. and a simple search function for finding that which eludes the eye.

In Real Life

In short I am a 28ish year old male, living somewhere in Australia. My passions include most things to do with computers, writing, science (esp. physics and electronics) and fantasy literature.

Gaming

My preference in computer games is RGP orientated worlds though I have always been a big fan of RTS inspired by the Warcraft series and have been known to load up a FPS.

I have always preferred sorcerous and healing classes, and esp. Elven spellcasters in various fantasy genres .. strangely in contrast I prefer tough characters .. or perhaps I have a fear of death :P

My true introduction to gaming began as a young child in the realms of ADnD on paper and Muds through a local BBS over the net … all those years ago.

To this day I still play DnD on a semi-regular basis with a local group of friends. I can mostly be found online these days playing World of Warcraft.

Machines

My gaming rig is a P4 2.4 (c1 stepping core) overlocked @ 2.8 featuring 1gb ram, 200gb sata RAID Level 0 (performance striped), winfast a6600 gt tdh agp video card, antec truepower 380w. The next upgrade will be to pci express and given my processor and ram are dated now it will likely be a full core overhaul.

I am a strong believer that your mouse, monitor and muffs (earphones) make more difference than a faster machine to your overall computing experience .. it really shocks me that people use cheap ear buds with high end audiophile sound cards or old monitors with latest generation video cards and feel they invested their money wisely .. their systems are out of date in months if not weeks .. I have a philips 109b5 monitor as my primary, logitech mouse (and keyboard) and sennheiser hd 497 earphones (which I highly recommend).

My main machine is setup with 3 partitions within the raid, two windows xp installs (one with coding languages) and a stuff partition .. I install applications into stuff/apps not /program files and keep one xp install clean for maximum gaming performance, all unneccessary services disabled, cutting edge drivers and unnecessary bloat removed (less fonts, optimisations) and the other is my working xp install.

Cele

Cele is short for Celeritas .. Celeritas is latin for: speed, swiftness, rapidity, quickness .. I chose that name as my online handle in years past and it has stuck with me.

RaidSpace

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

RaidSpace is an increasingly popular website catering to players and guilds active in Worlds of Warcraft. As the name implies, it is a place where players and guilds can plan upcoming in-game raids.

Here is the website’s Official Description:

Welcome To RaidSpace Beta 0.8.2122.39486
Organize Your World of Warcraft Raids

To create new raids or manage existing ones, you must log in.

What is RaidSpace?
RaidSpace is a web based application that allows raid leaders to easily organize World of Warcraft raids in a volunteer/draft fashion. It also makes it easy for the raid attendees to volunteer for a raid.

Why use RaidSpace?
Because it’s annoying organizing raids on forums. Both the raid organizer and attendees dislike it – at least most of the time.

How much?
1,000,000 Gold! Just kidding, it’s free.

Is this it? Is it done?
No, it’s not done – this is just a beta. There are many features to come. Here is a blog to discuss such features.

Trent Yawney Lays Yet Another Egg

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Last night, before a horrified CSN Chicago TV audience, the Chicago Blackhawks under the “guidance” of head coach Trent Yawney, blew yet another game straight to Hell.

From the Dec. 27th, 2005 Chicago Sun-Times:

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Blackhawks suffered a monumental meltdown in their last game before Christmas, blowing a 2-0 lead in the final 38 seconds against the Detroit Red Wings before losing in overtime. Their collapse Monday, in the first game after the NHL’s holiday break, was almost as bad.

The Hawks lost 4-3 in overtime to the Columbus Blue Jackets — who had the NHL’s worst record at the start of the night — after taking a 3-2 lead into the final minute of regulation. Nikolai Zherdev’s highlight-reel goal tied the score with 23.2 seconds left, and Jaroslav Balastik finished off the Hawks with a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle 2:35 into overtime.

Though the Hawks earned a point in each of the last two games, they’re saddled with a four-game losing streak and have six losses in their last seven games. The Blue Jackets snapped a six-game losing streak and moved ahead of the idle St. Louis Blues in the Central Division standings. The Hawks host the Blues on Wednesday and the Blue Jackets on Friday.

These defeats, coupled with Yawney’s passive behavior during games, have lead to long-suffering Blackhawks fans to call for his head. For example, here are some choice posts from a thread on the BlackhawkZone Forum:

I know it is to early to judge Yawney, not even one full season under his belt, but I don’t see Yawney as the coach the hawks need. The hawks are having way to many break downs, there positioning seems off, still to many penalties and the majority of there players are way to streaky this year.
Yawney needs to get this team going or blackhawk management needs to get someone who will. The hawks are better than what they record shows. Maybe it’s time the hawk go after a coach that know’s what to do with the kids because I don’t see Yawney doing it.

and:

His can’t get his veterans to play so he has to use his rookies

He is throwing them into the deep end and crossing his fingers they know how to swim

He keeps using the tired excuse that the Hawks have a plan

Whatever he is doing in practice is not translating to the game. He has 12 veteran players who are not playing well and he doesn’t seem to be able to motivate them. Yawney is a developmental coach and even that is suspect. With the exception of Duncan Keith, name one player he has coached that has lived up to their potential. Not Bell, not Calder, and certainly he has had no success turning Arneson into a team player.

And for those who say be patient this team is developing for the future…..if they don’t start putting people in the seats they won’t be able to afford to put the product on the ice.

also:

This guy should be fired tonight. No accountability! Blames everything on the refs.. Your team just played 59 minutes out of a 65 minute game.

The following game they do the same crap.

Maybe I am looking for a scapegoat for this poor performance, but man I would really like to see some emotion out of him. Hell, I seem more frustrated then he is and he is getting paid to do this.

I can see you pushing the best team in the league to OT and losing, but not one of the worst. He just seems to be sleeping at the switch.

Please don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of blame to pass around, but how long does this guy get a pass? Many good coaches have been fired for not being able to motivate players.

I will also ask the taboo question. How is his system working any better then Sutter’s? Ohhh wait, Sutter didn’t have a system……..

Of course, the rookie GM/former broadcaster Dale Tallon also shares a great deal of the blame for the meltdowns since he traded away some good players and brought on board some real Free Agent turkeys such as Martin LaPointe of the dirty mouth and low scoring.

If this season is to be salvaged, assuming of course that it can be, a big change needs to be made and made soon.

ISN: Interstellar News

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Back in the good old days of the original Space Merchant game, there was a popular fan written feature on the SM Webboard called ISN or Interstellar News. This was an objectively written report on the ongoings of SM. This was not always a perfect source since there was a tendency to overuse abbreviations. For instance, the initials “TU” were used for a strong alliance in the game despite the fact that there were 2 major alliances in SM at the time with those initials: Trade Union & The Unforgiven and it was often unclear just which TU was meant when TU was invoked by the ISN writer. Ditto for “TPB” which could stand for either The Politburo or The Port Busters.

In any event, from the files of the Yellow Moon Alliance Library here is the first ever ISN News Report:

From: ISN (isn_editor_3@hotmail.com)
Date: Friday, January 01, 1999 02:53 PM

——————————————————————————–

THIS IS INTERSTELLAR NEWS FOR JAN 1, 2499

POST WAR ESCALATES, CLAIMS FIRST CASUALTY
The posting war between TPB trader WARBONE and TU trader ARMAGEDDON continues to escalate as many wonder if these two actually hate each other or are participating is some weird Thevian mating ritual. After missing a day of posting on the Intergalactic Web Board (to make his cool new logo), the “wrestling black-belt lacrosse ultimate fighter of the human galaxy and everywhere else”, STARBLADE, returns for more mindless posting, often answering himself. STARBLADE has toned down his sabre rattling since the TPB has taken several hits from DUDEMAN of TU. One trader commented, “SPAMBLADE seems to be doing his best to back peddle now that TU is striking back. Typical Stellar Pride politics”. Protesting the senseless posts ELVIS FETT and B1SCOTT set their jump drives to “random sector” and left the web board in search of intelligent life elsewhere. ISN hopes they find it.

ALLIANCE LEADERS FIGHT TO GET CREEL
A fight broke out at the Alliance Draft Conference on Mars between alliance representative wishing to have CREEL join their ranks. Every alliance in the top 10 was there except two. Several arrests were made for disorderly conduct and CREEL remains a unsigned free agent.

RACE WARS THAT NEVER WERE
The Race Wars never really happened in the RW universe. Rather alliances battled it out for several months for domination of the universe. With only 7 days left to the end of the RW universe, several major alliances are calling for an All-Out-War to end the game. While many of the alliances were at peace prior to this week, this No Grudge War will prove to be an explosive ending to the RW universe. Good Luck to everyone in RW!

WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND
12/30/98 4:17:38 PM
Chubbo killed XB_70 in sector #229
12/30/98 5:59:41 PM
Dude killed Chubbo in sector #262
12/30/98 6:07:29 PM
Mike Charm killed Dude in sector #222
12/30/98 6:12:22 PM
Punisher killed Mike Charm in sector #291
12/30/98 6:32:56 PM
dogg father killed Punisher in sector #1359
12/30/98 6:55:55 PM
Muse killed dogg father in sector #847

SOCIETY PAGE

Picture of NORAD, Kind of looks like STARBOY don’t you think? ;)

TONIGHT ON SMCN
EVERYBODY LOVES CREEL (Sit Com)
VIRTUAL JERRY SPRINGER: Women Who Date Robots

AT THE MOVIES
WHEN HIVEY MET SYLLY (Remake of When Harry Met Sally)

ISN POLL

Ban the music?

Should music be banned from web board posts?
Yes, ban them allYes, ban them all (except mine)No, let the music play!Don’t knowDon’t care

Current Results

ISN BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

STOP THE INSANITY! STOP THE MUSIC COALITION

EDITORIAL
WarBone has declared that Jake-The-Snake News is better than ISN. As we have stated before, ISN is for a more sophisticated audience.

Editor #3

Shafe’s StarCraft Source

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

One of the benefits of a service like web.archive.org is the ability to revisit old cyber-haunts long since given up to the wisps of cyber space and cyber time.

For a lot of StarCraft players, one such website is/was Shafe’s StarCraft Source. This was a SC fansite that literally had it all in terms of both features and also a willingness to take on Blizzard when it came to the failings and deficiencies of the company that got rich off SC and battle.net.

Unfortunately, this fansite gave up the cyber-ghost in the Spring of 1999 and has not been heard of since.

New Uranus Moons and Rings Discovered

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Further proof of the Hubble Space Telescope’s being the most successful part of the U.S. Space Program has come with the Hubble’s recent discovery of previously unknown moons and rings around the planet Uranus.

Here’s more about it from CNN:

Astronomer Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute and his colleagues were not looking for new moons or rings when they submitted a proposal to take deep exposures of the planet with Hubble’s most advanced optical camera. Rather, they planned to study the 11 previously known rings and several moons embedded within them.

Once they saw the new moons, they re-examined images that the Voyager 2 spacecraft took when it flew by Uranus in 1986. The two moons are clearly there, but no one recognized them at the time.

“The discoveries all came from Hubble,” Showalter said. “The Voyager results came because it’s much easier to find something you are looking for.”

The Hubble images also confirmed the existence of another moon, Perdita, which was first identified in the Voyager 2 pictures but had eluded telescopes ever since.

Overheard in New York

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

One of the more unusual websites around is Overheard in New York. This is a website that posts stuff that’s overheard in New York City.

Here’s a few examples:

“Actress” #1: I have tennis elbow.
“Actress” #2: You do?
“Actress” #1: …Well, I don’t know what tennis elbow is.

–Elevator, 37th & 8th

and:

Hipster girl: I though she was like, moving to Africa or something to save the children or something.
Hipster boy: Well that didn’t happen. She moved to Williamsburg to save the trendy from hurting themselves with accessories.

–Happy Valley, East 27th Street

and:

Chick #1: You know if I was going to be homeless, I wouldn’t choose New York. I’d go someplace warm.
Chick #2: Yeah, I’d go to Florida.
Chick #1: Or New Orleans. Well, not now, but it would have been good.
Chick #2: At least Myrtle Beach.
Chick #1: Yeah. If I were homeless I wouldn’t stay here. I’d go to Aruba.

–58th & Lexington

Overheard by: Tricia Morall

Slashdot Gaming News

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

Slashdot is a widely known news and views website pertaining to computers and technology. However, what most folks don’t know is that it is also a source of really up to date online gaming news.

Fire Trent Yawney

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

The current NHL season is about halfway over and its already clear that Trent Yawney is a failure as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. The team has suffered a series of humiliating defeats with such scores as 9-1 and 6-1. Even worse was Friday night’s game against Detroit where the team was ahead 2-0 with only 38 seconds left in regulation. The team thereupon gave up 2 quick goals in succession and proceeded to lose 3-2 in overtime.

Even worse, was Yawney’s reaction to the horrific defeat: He just simply stared into space just like he always does. He is a soft coach who wants to be loved by his players. Yawney is the exact opposite of his Hockey Hall of Fame predecessor Coach Brian Sutter who was a hard charger and who did not play favorites among his players. Yawney has clearly lost this team and it is time to bring Sutter back.

The sad thing is that all this was easily predictable. General Manager Dale Tallon has messed this team up by letting go/trading experienced players such as Goalie Michael Leighton and Defenseman Bryan Berard. On top of that, it was Tallon’s brilliant idea to dump Sutter in favor of Yawney whose coaching experience was limited to the bush leagues.

Either fire Trent Yawney or watch the rest of this season go down the tubes.

Quest For Yap Help Files Revised

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

The Help Files for the free Browser-Based Game Quest for Yap have just been updated and revised. Here is the official introduction to those files:

What is Quest for Yap?

Quest for Yap is a free, browser-based game of trade and combat. You play in a multiplayer environment where you are pitted against every other player in the game to gather as much experience as possible before the round times out.

Quest for Yap, also known as just “Yap” or “QfY”, is set in a futuristic setting where mankind has been exposed to the other races in the galaxy. Forms of government have been largely unsuccessful in maintaining control of any significant portion of space. This has cleared the way for anyone who can afford it to stake their claim.

More recent exploitation of the universe centers around a mysterious fruit discovered in a galaxy previously uninhabited by intelligent life. This fruit is called Yap, and it has properties that are diverse and extremely powerful.

——————————————————————————–

These help files will guide you as you begin to learn how to play, but it is experience with the game that will ultimately make you a great player. The learning curve in Yap starts out steep if you have never played a similar game, but it quickly evens out and you can find yourself at the top of the rankings in no time!

One thing to consider is that rounds of Quest for Yap are currently on a 3-week cycle. Every 3 weeks, the entire game will Reset. At this time, scores are taken, winners assigned, and every account and ship in the game is wiped out so you can start all over. There’s nothing wrong with starting in the middle of a round, but keep in mind that you can expect everyone else to be much more powerful than you! The reset will then level the playing field.

Terra Nova

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

There are not all that many well maintained blogs in the online gaming world. Of the ones that exist, one of the very best is Terra Nova. TN is a group blog that is written by a group of folks who are both ardent gamers and prolific writers.

Give TN a try.

Therion Arms: Arms and Armor Resources

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

Perhaps the single best links page of resources pertaining to weapons and armor pertaining the ages long since gone by in which knights rode in shining armor is that of Therion Arms: Arms and Armor Resources.

Armor Links

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

If you want to know more about personal armor in warfare then one great place to start at is Armor Links. Although it is heavily oriented towards warfare during the Middle Ages, it is still a remarkable links directory for a subject of this specialized nature.

Twisted Links

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

Ever wanted to get your very own suit of chainmail armor? Well then, Twisted Links is just the place for you.

Here’s how the website describes itself:

Welcome to Twisted Links, purveyor of fine quality chainmaille. This site is always under construction, so please check back often for updates. We have recently added a new “In Stock” gallery that will be updated regularly. Due to technical difficulties with the anodizer, the color chart for the anodized rings is still a work in progress. However, we have a color chart for ring colors available in enameled copper, here. Also available but not pictured are: Orange, Off White, Magenta, Brown, Olive Green, and various colors of the Neon Spectrum. Please note, not all EC colors are available for certain ring sizes, so please email for further detail.

Ashen Temper’s Website

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

One website that exists solely to flack a game is Ashen Temper’s Website that exists solely to promote the MMORPG Shadowbane that was released as a manifestly incomplete game. The success that SB has had has led to more game companies such as Blizzard in the case of Worlds of Warcraft releasing incomplete games while charging top dollar for them.

The Corporation @ Corpnews.com

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

The Corporation @ Corpnews.com is basically a blog-like website focusing on MMORPG’s with a particular interest in the business side of gaming. Despite the sizable number of posters there, this website is not updated terribly often which is a shame.

NYC Transit Strike Near Settlement

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

It appears that the transit workers strike in New York City that brought the city to a near halt in the dead of winter is near a settlement. Reportedly, this is because:

The two sides returned to a Manhattan hotel around 1 a.m., the first time both sides were in the building since the strike was announced. One day earlier, union president Roger Toussaint — who faced the possibility of jail at a Thursday hearing — suggested a settlement was possible if the Metropolitan Transportation Authority took its current pension proposal off the table.

The tentative deal came without the MTA pulling its pension proposal.

Had the stupid MTA never proposed to slash workers pensions even when the MTA itself was running a billion dollar surplus, this strike never would have occurred. Shame on the MTA.