Saturday, February 27, 2010

Stuff Sucks

I love being a gamer. I totally dig playing whatever comes along, or whatever I can afford. But as with any gamer, I have complaints.

Ubisoft. DRM sucks major amounts of ass. The way Ubisoft is doing it should be criminal. This will not work. The company's games, which include the glorious Assassin's Creed 2, will be cracked, and hopefully, due to the DRM fiasco, the PC version won't sell more than 3 copies. We need to band together to send the bullies a message.

Incompatibilities. Oh hell yeah. When a game won't run because of the sound card you bought, or because of your system's motherboard's load balancing, or something, it's a real bitch. My father just had to switch from ATI to Nvidia because the latest Need for Speed game stuttered on the former. That's expensive and unnecessary. I think the bottom line is, game devs need to listen to, not stifle, their QA departments.

Consolitis. I know I've talked about being a multi-platform gamer, but I grew up on PCs. When games get specifically dumbed down for the lack of decent consoles, PC gamers lose (and I know some folks are saying Crysis 2 won't be dumbed down on the PC side, but we'll see when it comes out). Kudos, however, to BioWare for putting out significantly different versions of Dragon Age: Origins. The combat in the console versions is simplistic, but on the PC it's deep and tactical.

Piracy. Part of the reason Ubisoft is criminally overreacting regarding its DRM is that ordinary, smart people who wouldn't steal from retail stores still pirate games. On one of my insider's message boards, I learned of a major developer's nephew who, in a casual and hapless manner, told his uncle that he pirates games all the time. His uncle actually didn't know how to respond. Were it me, I would have ripped his teeth out. As a writer of books, I've been a victim of piracy, and I'd have all intellectual property pirates strung up by their genitalia if I were king of the world. It's a happy dream.

That's enough bitching for now. I got most of it off my chest. I have to get my prospective novel out to publishers now, hoping that it will get published, become a bestseller, and get scanned and pirated by Google.

Peace.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Capcom COO Mark Beaumont Dies

I wish to offer my heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Mark Beaumont, European and North American COO of Capcom Entertainment. Beaumont died this morning of a heart attack.

Though I never met Beaumont, I read of him frequently and he was a popular presence in the gaming industry. He will be missed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

School Spies on Students Through Notebook Webcams


If this doesn't make you sick, what does?

According to a court filing discovered by BoingBoing, at least one school in the Lower Merion School District, in an affluent Philadelphia suburb, is using, as I understand it, school-issued notebook computers to spy on students via the machines' webcams and microphones.

The school isn't relegating use of the digital bugs in school, either. It's spying on kids outside of school, including in places like students' own homes.

Thankfully, the school made the mistake of citing a student for wrongdoing at his own home, and the district's parents found out about the school's slimy, creepy practice. They've leveraged a class action suit against the school district. Which to me isn't enough; there should be a way to saturation-bomb the entire district for this wrongdoing.

Imagine the abuses. Perverted school officials watching students undress, or do whatever students do in their bedrooms, unbeknown to the students or their families. Imagine a sicko watching your daughter in her room...well, I'm past the point of rage.

The only option? Allow the students to bug the school officials' homes. Let the students watch the officials who made the underhanded decision, as they go about whatever nefarious business they do at home.

Oh, and students of other districts that have issued laptops? I'd suggest you put some electrical tape over the webcam and turn off the microphone, or cover it with putty. You never know who could be watching you.

(Image source: Zazzle.com)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Going Under the Knife Tomorrow

Tomorrow (that is, Friday the 12th of February, 2010), I get minor surgery. I'm getting a permanent neurostim implant. Not only will it forever relieve my sciatica pain, but it'll also give me superpowers on the level of Cole in inFamous. Seriously, I'll be able to surf on power lines and toss cars like candy.

The good news is, the procedure will relieve my pain and make me able to lead a more-normal life. The bad news is I'll be awake the whole time and I'll need about a week to recover due to the fact that it is, after all, minor surgery. Thus, if you don't see much going on in this space, for once it's not because of sheer laziness. This time, I have an excuse.

Wish me luck!

That is all.

EDIT: All went well. You may now refer to me as your Cybernetic Overlord. :)