Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Nintendogs Official Podcast

Get the cast from Carl's blog Here (Nintendo doesn't have a central site yet). It is clear that this is going to sell very well, especially with young families without pets.

Random Fact

The Original XBox was built with off the shelf hardware. So instead of a custom CPU it used a 733MHz Celeron.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Blue Shift High Definition Models

Valve Have Added the high def models, but you have to open STEAM and then click on This Link to get STEAM to download and use them.

Monday, August 29, 2005

My Phishing Attack Adventure

This is only like the third time this has happened to me, but I thought I would mention it here in the hopes that if it happen to you then you will recognise the attack and not fall victim.

If you don't know, phishing is a type of attack where somebody will send you an email pretending to be a Bank, PayPal, or in this case eBay and ask for personal information. The best phishing attacks will forward you to a very convincing functional website that collects this information, that is then later used by the attacker fraud or identity theft.

This is the email I got:
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This is the site it linked to:
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This is the page it sent me to after I provided a false login (u:Bob p:password):
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For referance this is the real login page as it looks now:
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This particular attack was very convincing because if details need updating in someones profile then sites will often ask you to signin and update your details. The only differences I can see between the two login pages is that the fake one has a Microsoft Passport login button image, where as the real one has a text link, and there is two addresses in the address bar on the fake page (I think that might be because I am running XP SP2). After I logged-in with a fake username and password it asked me to enter in my credit card details. And after putting fake information in there, it send me to the real eBay help page. So very convincing on the whole and I have reported it to eBay, but there isn't much they can do because these emails are sent from zombie networks (that topic for another time).

Sunday, August 28, 2005

First Sign Of Christmas

Yesterday I seen Christmas cards, 155 days until Santa.

Gaming Industry Insider Podcast Idea

After listening to so many podcasts of late I have this urge to do one myself, but I know it would be a huge mistake. I am an introverted guy, so me talking about stuff would be dull and make me feel very awkward, but podcasting seems like a great way to get a message out there. This has put me in a difficult position because I have a desire to tell the world what is wrong with gaming and how it can be better. Even talk about stuff that I haven't posted about because it is too indepth that I can't be bothered typing about it. Like the whole innovation in gaming post I have wanted to do for so long, but realise that it wouldn't be an accessible read for anybody.

Me doing it would be a mistake because I would say a lot of unpopular stuff too, but then I would only be saying what developers around the world already think now anyway. So it would be so cool if an industry person was to do an anonymous show riping the industry and telling everybody how it is, and should be. Currently the only time developers do this is at the GDC and that isn't accessible to all, so the greater gaming population don't know how angry developers are, and it doesn't have any community following outside the industry.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Revolution On The 16th

Apparently Nintendo president Satoru Iwata will be doing a very long speech on the 16th at the Tokyo Game Show about the Revolution's hardware, controller and the controller mechanics.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Odd UK Chart Entry

I just got thismorning's post (I know, what the hell am I doing up before noon) and I get sent the UK games charts (might go into that some other time) and Sonic 3D for the PC is at #13!!!

Sonic 3D is like OLD, never played it myself, but WTF!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

New Doom Movie Trailer

Before I seen This I wasn't sure about the Doom film, but now I know I want to see it at the cinema.

It shows some of the FPS sections of the film and wow, looks fun.

DivX Problems

There is something wrong with the new version of DivX's codex because I was unable to hear any audio from some of my Anime's earlier. Yet they would work inside DivX, but when I uninstalled the new versions everything was fine. And that made me discover something interesting. If you have XviD installed then it will decode both XviD and DivX encoded videos. So I never needed DivX in the first place.

Pixar's Lighting Preview Tool

Traditionally guys who do CGI lighting have had a hard time because they will set all the points to light a scene, and then have to wait for a preview to be generated so they can see if what they have done is right or not.

Well Pixar has a New Tool that generates a realtime preview of the scene.

Penny Arcade Made Me Laugh

Penny Arcade made me laugh again with This Strip about Nintendogs.

Considering they are one of the biggest webcomics, I think they should do that more often. Cuz too many of their strips are about video game company politics and that just isn't funny.

Blue Shift Available On Steam

Just as I Posed About Sunday, Half Life Blue Shift is now available on STEAM.

And to think this has had almost no news coverage. Yet this is great news.

Additional: No high polygon models, but load times are good.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

X3 Screenies

3D Gamers has some screenshots from X3 The Reunion and although I can't get the first game to run correctly, the second one has issues, I find myself looking forward to the third instalment.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Right Now

This is the problem I am dealing with right now. And it isn't getting better.

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Revolution Details Tomorrow

There are rumours that tomorrow Nintendo will talk more about their revolutionary black box.

My best guess is that the controller will have a spinning gyroscope inside so it can jolt itself around in specific directions.

EDIT: Nope, Apparently it is next month now.

Random Fact

Audio files bought from iTunes are encoded at 128Kbps.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Podlisteners Anonymous

*stands up*

Hi my name is Brook and I have a podcast addiction

*polite clapping*

It started six weeks ago when I downloaded a copy of iTunes to manage my .Net Rocks subscription.

I then subscribed to a few other podcasts like the Rock and Roll Geek Show, Dawn And Drew and thats when things got out of hand.

*quiet mumbling*

Since then I have been trying to keep the number of podcasts I subscribe to down, but there so so many good shows that I couldn't do it. I even tried ruthlessly unsubscribed to great podcasts like Yeast Radio, but after going cold turkey for a few days I always resubscribe.

Now I am spending all my time listening to podcasts, even going to the extreme of staying up until three in the morning writing blog posts just as an excuse to spend more time listening to my beloved subscriptions.

*sits down, polite applause*

Thankyou for coming here today Brook, I know myself and the others appreciate your honesty and...

Brook, I can see a pair of white headphones hanging out of your pocket!

*Brook runs out crying*

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Half Life Blue Shift For Free

Apparently if you have registered your copy of Half Life with STEAM or bought Half Life 2 over steam in the Gold or Silver pack. Then you will be getting Half Life Blue Shift for free in the next few days.

For me however that means I will be able to play a game I already own.

Doom Movie Query

So there I am watching the Doom Movie in Insane Quality and I have a question.

Why didn't they just do a story about some scientist opening a hellgate and demons taking over the Mars research facility?

On one hand America is a very religious country and doesn't like anything that is seen to be a subversive occult influence on the population like Harry Potter or Dungeons & Dragons, but it would have made it a better film and I don't believe that the outrage would hurt sales at all. Infact I think it would help a great deal, so why the crap about the human genome!?

Stop IE

I was having a look at This website titled stopIE and reading it I realise they are full of BS. The idea of the site is to convince people that they should abandon IE.
  • Prone to viruses and worms
    Not if you leave autoupdate on and FireFox has had more security vulnerabilities exposed in the past four months than IE has.

  • Renders pages incorrectly. Web designers then need to spend extra time working so that pages work in Internet Explorer. This puts costs up, and slows the web down.
    If you put the page's !DOCTYPE tag at the top of the webpage then IE will use the correct rendering engine, otherwise it has to use a special compatibility engine. And just because IE looks different to other browser's, some people think that IE is broken somehow.

  • Doesn't let people resize certain text sizes. This means those with poor sight cannot read small text on many sites.
    That will happen if you use a pix value.

  • Far slower program than other web browsers
    That is yet to be proven, but I don't see it. Not when FireFox takes so long to start.

  • Far larger program than other web browsers
    Not sure about that, but you should have the disk space, otherwise you should seriously consider getting a bigger drive.

  • Isn't as user-centric as other web browsers. It lacks many handy features such as tabbed browsing and integrated search
    Coming in IE7.

  • Doesn't support PNG images properly
    The alpha layer (transparency) support is coming in IE7.
I don't know why they didn't attack it's CSS support, but that will be fixed in IE7 too. Microsoft does very well when they need to, but they don't maintain all their code. Especially what they don't believe to be broken.

Friday, August 19, 2005

New Template

So to fix The Huge Gap issue I have followed Blogger's example and stopped using the old one and, now have this nice new one.

Not too shabby.

Internet Born Video Shows (Videocasts)

This is a list of videocasts that you can subscribe to and download free from the Internet. They don't update very often and most of them aren't very good, but it's all free.

From The Shadows
Technology show about somewhat obscure hobbies or interests you might not know about.
This show has the best content of all the others because these guys actually go places, like to a Beer factory or the Los Angeles Traffic Control Centre. My favourite one is the lightsaber episode, partly because the lightsabers the guy in the video is making himself are better than the ones you buy from a shop, but also because they interview a self proclaimed Jedis that don't sound like hippies. (Show Page)

The Broken
A code kiddie show for other code kiddies.

Best produced of all the shows here and some interesting features, like how to make your own audio cables.

Show talking about the news on Digg, which is an alternative to Slashdot.
I find this show very useless because I already read Digg anyway.

Open Alpha
Not a very good show about video games, they try, but the information content is very weak.

Hacking Defined
A show taking more of a tutorial approach, showing viewers how to hack and how certain kinds of attacks are done.
Although the tutorials show you how something is done, the instruction is very weak. This makes me wonder wither the people producing the videos know what is going on themselves.

Still not sure what macTV is, they just seem to post every Apple related video they can find, but I like it.

A drama played out on someone's desktop in chat windows. It's about a group of guys that create pirate videos and distribute them on the internet. Not good enough to get attached to, but still interesting from a clinical perspective.

If you have iTunes 4.9 then you can just click on one of the following links to subscribe to some of the shows (iTunes is great for managing podcast subscriptions).
System - Diggnation - macTV

Thursday, August 18, 2005

X2 The Threat (Not Completed)

X2 first appears to be your average space-sim-shooter, but the game has a very detailed economic system that allows the player to trade items, construct facilities and dynamically change the cost of stuff in the universe. This is nice, but the interface makes it difficult and the rewards for doing any of this are very limited.

I must admit when I started playing the game I found economic system a little slow so I altered my credit rating to 999,999,999Cr and bought myself a couple of capital ships. I am sorry, but it was either that or spend days (real time days) repetitively ferrying Nostrop Oil and Delexian Wheat from place to place. Anyway the game has some very big flaws in it's design, there is a good game in here, but there are just a couple of things that ruin it, for starters there is no way to transfer freight from one ship directly to another. Instead the game forces you to eject the freight from ship A and leave the ship in your spacesuit, drift over and enter ship B, target the freight drifting through space and do a flying intercept with the freight. And while all this is going on the freight is in constant danger of being stolen.

You might be wondering whither this is just an annoyance or wither this effects gameplay, well yes, it is and it does, because the bigger ships in the game have jump drives that make it very easy to travel across the galaxy (so you obviously want to use the drive because it knocks of real time hours of tedious flying), but require energy cells for power. The problem is that these same energy cells are only sold at space stations that these same ships are too big to dock at. So the game does indeed force you to do the whole eject freight maneuver.

The AI is bad (enemies will turn 45 degrees left when you hit them with a laser bad).

I have now completely given-up with the game. I am about half way through the game, but the missions are far too hard now. With each mission I am being asked to do increasingly more suicidal missions. Currently I am stuck on a mission where I have to do go deep into an asteroid belt find a hidden base, destroy it, and then escape with my life, but when I get near this hidden base (still haven't found it) I get swarmed by Xenon forces and die.

There is a good game in hear, the missions need a little restructuring and the interface needs just a little tweak and it would be brilliant.

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P.S. The huge capital ships are useless because they only fire on one target at a time (yes even the one with the six independently moving gun turrets) and fire at where the target is, not where it is going, so almost all shots fired miss.

Aeon Flux Trailer

I would not have liked the job of turning the anime shorts into a two hour film, but the Trailer is Here and all things considered, I am fairly pleased with how it looks. If the film was going to be a purist adaption of the anime then it wouldn't make much sense and wouldn't make a very good film at all.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

X2 The Threat

Been playing a lot of X2 The Threat and the game is flawed in many ways, but I can't seem to stop playing.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Garry's Mod

I was going to do a post about Garry's Mod last month, but that whole thing was STEAM not letting me login happened.

So I bring these to you now.
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I did do a lot of other stand creations, but Garry's mod is very fiddly and none of those look as good.

STEAM Works!

And it only took a month. Nothing was broken, just Valve screwing up.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Voice Recognition Is Crap Part 2

After a few hours of training. I realise that it is learning my reading voice instead of my natural voice, because to train the system I am required to read text. That means the system works fine as long as I speak in my reading voice.

This is a bloody pain, but it is still quicker than actually typing the text myself. So if I am writing a long reports I might consider using voice recognition when I can't be bothered typing or use it to cut down on the amount of typing I have to do.

Voice Recognition Is Crap

And having go to those set in the was recognition software. It is not going very well at all. Apart from the folk that it keeps leaving the will space is everywhere and completely misinterpreted thing what I want to say it is crap and mean and am going back more and she had and that spending more time changing what are morally set that should type himself it is so slow it's ridiculous.

In case you hadn't realised amusing that was recognition software to type out this post. And in a leave all the errors in see can see exactly what I'm talking about.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

That Squeely Sound

I have found what is causing that squeely sound from my computer and it is two of my hard drives (I have three) now I just have to decide wither they have always been like that or not. I think I am just being a little oversensitive of late because I am going to be playing round with a lot of voice recognition stuff next week (more on that when it is all working).

Nvidia Drivers 77.77

I was a little apprehensive about trying these new driver after the Problems I Had With The Last Set, but these ones are good. I still wonder if there is anything worth gaining in updating the drivers because according to the release notes this set only has changes that apply to the GeForce 7800 GTX series of cards.

Friday, August 12, 2005

New Doctor Who Costume

I was looking at This BBC Online page for pictures of the new costume. And I found it Here.

Much happier about it than Eccleston's costume. Big smile on my face when I seen the tennis shoes.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

New Power Supply And My Neon Fetish

So five months after (I didn't realise it was so long) I first suspected there was something wrong with my power supply, I finally got around to installing my new one.

The scary thing is, that when I tested my Thermaltake after I had removed it. I found that it is in perfect working order and whisper quiet. So I have no idea what was causing that noise a few months ago. When it happened I removed the side panel and had a listen and I thought it was the powersupply. And since then I thought it was causing a noise, but I now know that is my GeForce6 graphics card. So I was very wrong in my diagnosis (not the first time).

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The New Powersupply is good and the neon light inside complements the neon light on my GeForce6, and my neon tube light that lights everything else up, in neon.

A Survey That Still Bothers Me

This has been on my mind for the past month and I still find it hard to believe.

I was reading the raw results of a survey done at Loughborough university and there was two questions that caught my eye.

1) Have you had a HIV test at an STD clinic?

2) What is your HIV status?

The results suggested that 5% of everybody that had a HIV test discovered that they where positive. That is 1 in 20 people, but this is university students so probably aged 18 to 25. That means that the percentage for the greater population is much higher. Although there people did go and have a HIV test for a reason, it is still worrying.

HIV isn't the death sentence that it once was and that is show in This graph on the National Statistics website, but it is very clear that the rate of people getting HIV is still climbing at a very worrying rate.

There doesn't seem to be any statistics on how people with HIV contracted the disease, blood to blood, anal sex, vaginal sex, oral sex, kissing or other, but HIV is an unnecessary disease in this world because the simple use of a latex sleeve (a condom) can prevent transmission. There are religious people in this would who actively campaign against the use of contraception and state that condoms won't protect, but then there are couples where only one of them is positive, and that is because they use protection.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Channel4 tonight started showing Lost. Episode two is on right now as part of a double showing, but I already feel like I can comment on the series already so here we go.

The series is very vague about everything and is very much 'empty television' gaps when people are talking, lots of smalltalk and long sequences where people are just walking around looking for stuff. And nobody seems to be asking or tying to answer the big questions.

We don't know where they where flying from or where they where going, nobody seems to be interested in saying why they where travelling which is a natural conversation when you meet someone in transit.

The big monster, wow, so nobody has actually been talking about trapping, killing or defending against it in any of the conversations, not even naming the thing, just refering to it as 'that'. It is day two as far as I can tell and everybody is still very content to sit around the beach and look at the bodies. Normally people would be trying to setup a camp or at least search through and sort the wreckage or luggage compartments, but no.

If it is day two, and I assume it is because there was a night sequence with the monster an hour and a half ago during episode one, they why the hell hasn't people's cuts started the scab over!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A World Of Hello Worlds

A Hello World program (as I am sure you already know) is the first program anybody writes when tying to learn a new programming language because it teaches the budding programmer how to output useful information to the user.

This Wiki page has a list of hello world programs from what appears to be every single programming language ever created. It doesn't go as far as doing different flavours of languages like Basic, QBasic, Visual Basic and so on, but it does seem to have one example of a Hello World program for every mainstream programming language in existence.

Monday, August 08, 2005

First Podcast From Space

I was skeptical, but This (Direct Link) this is actually a very typical podcast. He just talks about his day and what has been going on.

HIV Testing At Home

HomeAccess is selling a blood sampling kit that you can use and sendoff to see if you test positive for HIV.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Free Prodigy Album

Always Outsiders Never Outdone is a remix album of the newest prodigy album Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned and you can download it free via bittorrent from The Website.

I prefer the Prodigy version to the remixed, but see what you think.

Revaluation Controller Mockups

Every day it seems like I am seeing more controller mockups, so Here is a flashpage where you can make your won.

Personnaly however, this would be my perfect controller.
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Global Frequency

I just finished watching the pilot episode to the most popular science fiction show never made, and i liked it a lot. Describing the backdrop is difficult so I tell you to go and read the description on the frontpage of instead of me just copying and pasting the whole thing here. The series wasn't made because Warner Brothers had a change in management and the new guys didn't like the look of it.

The series (or should I say the pilot) is based on a graphic novel series written by Warren Ellis. He seems to do a lot of hard edged stuff, but I don't have the cash to buy graphical novels so I don't know if it is any good or not.

As a show it is very intense (emotionally and pacing), has lots of stylised black leather, flashy gadgets and special effects. The dialogue is a little weak in places, but the shows focus is more on character development between the characters and the situation they are in than on dialogue. The stunning visuals make the show feel more like a film than a made for TV thing, but the only thing I can show you from the series is This cast picture.

Some nice quotes:
When I formed the global frequency, I made a bet, that ordinary people will do extraordinary things when given the chance
- Miranda Zero
we walk with blood on our hands so others don't have to
- Miranda Zero
If you get a chance to see it go ahead because it is great, but it doesn't look like it is going to be made into a series anytime soon.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

High Definition Xbox360 Videos

You might have seen the Gears Of War High Definition video being pimped on several download sites, well you can get that and more direct from Microsoft.

YAY 2.2Mbps!!!

Was just surfing the net and I got disconnected and when I reconnected 2.2Mbps!

And to update from This Post that I did a while ago.

My max download appears to be 240KBps (KiloByte Per Second) so that means I can download 1GB in about 1 hour and 12 minuets. Or if you look at it the other way, I can download a maximum of 844MB in an hour.

One of the things that was bothering me about this upgrade was they they might not upgrade my upload speed, but that has gone from 20KBps to 30KBps so I guess that is ok.

XBox Live Offer (Free Game)

If you live in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, Finland or Sweden and buy an XBox Live starter kit on or before August 31st directly from Microsoft (£40) then you will get a free copy of Forza Motorsport, Conker Live And Reloaded or Dead Or Alive Ultimate.

Don't worry if you are considering getting a 360 either because anybody with time left of their XBox Live subscription that buys an XBox360 will have their Live subscription moved over (might even mean one subscription for both consoles) and will not have to buy another subscription to get their 360 online.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Net Connection Upgrade To 2Mbps

See this connection status screen that currently says 1.1Mbps (see below), well that will soon be saying 2.0Mbps! YAY!

I just happened to be looking at the Wanadoo Connection Packages Page and they had it listed. So I phoned them up and like before when I want from 512Kbps to 1Mbps they are doing it all for a £20 service charge. Upgrade should happen within the next ten days.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Film Review Ichi The Killer

I thought the film was going to be about a loner who went around killing people as most killers are portrayed in film, but instead Ichi The Killer is a film about a Masochist (Kakihara) and a sadist (Ichi). Ichi as the anti-hero who has absolutely no control over his destiny, he is an introverted, scared, pathetic character who is used by his mentor as a weapon. I could analyse this a lot more and tell you exactly how things are in the film, but then that wouldn't leave much of a reason for you to see the film. Surprisingly for an Eastern film there is a woven plot and almost no character development.

The whole thing is based on a Manga and usually when films are based on Mangas they are made so that fans of the Manga will pay to see the film, but the films in themselves are very watered down versions of the original material. They contain a lot of plot holes and have a lot of unanswered questions in them. The same cannot be said for Ichi The Killer. The English DVD release contains all the scenes that where removed from the Hong Kong release (so it is the film the Director intended) and the relationships between all the characters are clear by the end of the film. So in itself the film stands on it's own very well. I am not sure why Karen (the bilingual temptress) pretends to be Ichi's girlfriend at one point in the film, but other than that the film is very complete.

Visually the film is brilliant, especially with Kakihara, the captain of one of the gangs. He dresses like you would expect a modern Dr Who to dress (big pink trenchcoat and baggy stripped pants) and with his blond hair he has a big presence in the film (blond hair in Asian culture is generally a symbol being cool, personally I think it is a dare to-be-different attitude that people who dye their black-hair blond express).

If you like Tarantino films then you will like this. There isn't any long monologue sequences that are common in Tarantino films, but the ultra violence and gang imagery punctuates the very essence of this film.

Ichi The Killer is many things including a comedy, love story (the relationship between Kakihara and Ichi, though these characters never truly meet) and gory gang war flick.

GTA Hot Coffee Video Tips

IGN has posted This Insider only, video walkthrough of the Hot Coffee crack and its funny.

I thought it was just a sex mini-game, but actually you have to go on dates and stuff before you can even attempt sex.

XBox360 Box Art

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Sonic Heroes Main Theme

Maybe it's just me, but when I first heard the Sonic Hero's theme tune I couldn't get it out of my head. And that is understandable when you realise that it is essentially a Saturday morning kids cartoon series theme tune. Anyway you can now get the full thing as an MP3 over at FilePlanet.

They also have all of the teams theme tunes and a couple of other Here.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

XBox360 Faceplate Contest Winners

For the past few months Major Nelson has been running a faceplate contest that has had well over a thousand entries (This Post has a link to the contest slideshow), but today he Announced The Winners.

Personally I like the black one with 360 written on it.

Beyond Good & Evil The Film

We have had The Game, now it looks like we are getting The Film soon too.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Sim Tower

Been playing Sim Tower today and it seems to be easier now than what I remember. I have a 45 level building with a four star rating and a metro station, but that game is not easy on the eyes at all. There is so much moving on the screen that it has given me a headache.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Starship Size Comparison has some great size comparison charts for lots of starsips from a load of scifi films. Red Dwarf isn't on there because the size of the thing changes depending on wither you read the books or even what series you watch, but they could easily add the TARDIS from Dr Who if they wanted.