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News for March 2010

Kevin Rudd v Robin Williams

“- AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has hit back at a jibe by US actor/comedian Robin Williams that Australians are just “English rednecks”.

Williams, who recently toured Australia, made the comment while appearing as a guest on the popular “Late Night with Dave Letterman Show”, the Herald Sun reports.

“The Australians are basically English rednecks. ‘You down there, how are ya? Good to see you. Hello’,” he said.

Speaking to Triple M radio show host Eddie McGuire in Melbourne on Wednesday, Mr Rudd said: “First of all, I think Robin Williams should go and spend a bit of time in Alabama before he frames comments about anyone being particularly redneck.” -”

Cool story News Ltd, just one thing K. Rudd my man; “NO U!” is NOT a witty response. In any circumstance. Unless you’re an internet tough guy slogging it out with fellow noble literati’s. That’s another story.

I concur with Mr. Williams. Any man brave enough to travel his years with a chicks name is clearly right in all things. And better be well hung to boot.

Posted: March 31st, 2010
Categories: general, op ed
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Metro 2033 Launch Review

The year is 2033, humanity lays in ruins, the subways of Moscow seeth with survivors barely surviving at that. One of the biggest FPS RPG’s released this year is Metro 2033, set in a post-apocalyptic underground environment in Moscow. Brooding, visceral, gloomy and imposing, this action/adventure is a definite for my list of games to trial.

If only it didn’t have disproportionately large monster creatures, making it utterly unrealistic. Especially given that it uses two songs from the 28 Days Later soundtrack, part of me (well, a huge part of me) was praying it was zombie survival horror. It looks cute and all, but the elements of the narrative lost me the second there were giant mutant things.

Take a look for yourself: –

Is it just me, or do you wince every time you see a brilliant potential wasted? Game designers always go for the over the top road of everyone’s the super hero who saves the planet, or monsters have to be monsterous. Most don’t understand the subtleties of the human drama. The most fearsome monster is man, and the most rewarding position is to play as a nobody, equally pitting your skills with others in an attempt to become a somebody. Don’t start us off as super hardened veterans, and don’t set unrealistic glow in the dark radioactive mutated goat-llama’s as the villains.

Before I review this game through a play through, I offer this one piece of advice to it’s creators: rethink your strategy and utilise your game engine and current graphics, put in zombies (YAY) that aren’t unrealistic with no special ability aside from say, being the fast viral type from 28 Days Later (considering you opened that can of worms by using it’s soundtrack songs which got me thinking) and apply some means of MMORPG to the concept and watch your company become a great like Blizzard.

I mean, surely game companies MUST realise that a survival horror MMO of packed humans living in fear, building relationships and friendships, working in unison just to survive and scrabble for scraps and enough fuel to not freeze whilst being oppressed by the omnipotent of bleak stormy weather outside is an instant winner with an MMO element thrown in for good measure? By winner, I’m talking billion dollar franchise type stuff here.

The world is still waiting for a game producer to hit that niche–that, for a niche is pretty damn mainstream and huge–but will Metro’s creators be able to take that challenge and release an expansion/mod?

Posted: March 30th, 2010
Categories: game reviews, games, reviews
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Big Bang Theory, Sheldon + Blossom?

Image Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.comIt’s a match made in TV geek heaven: The Big Bang Theory has tapped erstwhile Blossom star Mayim Bialik to guest star (and possibly recur) as a potential love interest for Sheldon.

Bialik’s character, Victoria, gets paired with Sheldon on an eHarmony-type matchmaking service — and with good reason. She’s described as the female version of Jim Parson’s theoretical physicist.

Bialik, who has a recurring role as the high school guidance counselor on The Secret Life of the American teenager, will appear in Big Bang’s May 24 season finale and could return next season in a recurring capacity. The casting comes amid a flurry of female activity for Sheldon. Judy Greer will “spend the night” with him in early May. Is this proof that exec producer Chuck Lorre has reconsidered creating a third gender for him?

Don’t wait years for your television provider to dole out old episodes of The Big Bang Theory, torrent episodes, from the pilot through to the most recent at: http://eztv.it/shows/23/

Here’s a question that would’ve left Einstein scratching his head: Is Big Bang Theory brainiac Sheldon straight? Gay? Asexual? According to executive producer Chuck Lorre, “other” may be the best way to describe him.“His entire focus is on the work that he’s doing — theoretical physics,” explains Lorre. “‘Alternate reality’ is another way of looking at it. Characters like Sheldon are drawn to an alternate reality that might be more comforting than the ones they live in. And why modify that? Why not let the character be that unique?”

Well, for one thing, because some viewers are dying to see Sheldon in a relationship. Jim Parsons, who plays the scientist, empathizes. “People want to see him cared for in a way that those of us a little more average have been able to experience through love,” he suggests. “But I also [understand] Chuck’s point that all Sheldon really wants is a Nobel Prize. That’s the warm embrace that he longs for.”

Lorre says it’s unlikely questions surrounding Sheldon’s sexuality will ever be answered. “Why would we have to [brand him ever] if the character is so thoroughly focused on his work?” he argues. “If touching other human beings of any gender is irrelevant to him, why label the thing? Why can’t there be a third gender — male, female and Sheldon?”

For his part, Parsons is more than happy to continue playing the ambiguity of it all. “Do I think that he’s ever going to sway one way or the other? I don’t know,” he says. “If nothing else, it keeps open the world of possibilities.”

Okay, now it’s your turn. Use the space below to explain why you think Cupid should target ol’ Smarty-Pants. While you’re at it, shall we take a vote? Straight, gay or… “other”?

Posted: March 30th, 2010
Categories: television
Tags: , , , ,
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11 Tips to Grow your Twitter Profile

Figured it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything Twitter related, I stumbled across this and it’s very very similar to the examples I’ve given on the @f4fhub profile account (follow it at http://twitter.com/f4fhub and add anyone who’s following it, they’ll follow you back usually within 24 hours), here goes: –

1. Find great stories from other people and share them with a link (and/or attribution). Do this 3 times or more a day!
2. Share useful information that others can use, too! example: “I’ve discovered that Blip.fm is very useful for sharing my musical interests.” (Bonus points if you provide the URL).
3. Participate in online events that use #hashtags, because others in the event will find you and appreciate you, too!
4. Respond to OTHER PEOPLE using the @reply method. This is advanced, so here’s an example: “@glendawh – Is it true you were out all night last night singing karaoke?”
5. Use Twitter Search (http://search.twitter.com) to find people talking about the things YOU talk about, and follow them!
6. Add your Twitter URL to your signature line in your email! (Easy to do!)
7. Don’t overtweet (more than 20 a day is a bit spooky to most people).
8. Don’t talk about your food (unless you’re me!)
9. Don’t use Twitter like IM (use direct messages for that)
10. Don’t tweet all about you: tweet all about them.
11. And never, ever, ever invite your friends to be part of your Ninja dojo (unless you’re @cspenn), your mafia family (unless you’re @jgottinotdead), or to participate in a “what type of piercing am I?” quiz.

Posted: March 29th, 2010
Categories: general
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OMG Video Rental Conspiracy

I wanted to know what time Blockbuster (one of Australia’s largest rental firms) closed, I went to their website and was shocked at how crap it was, there were jpeg compression artifacts all over their logo, bleed, and there was mad aliasing all over their nasty arse fonts. I figured I should send them a witty little email chastising them for sucking so much cock that there’s a drought in King’s Cross.

I eventually found their contact us link after getting lost in their abysmally designed site; you know I’m pretty sure the owners kid designed it or something, it’s so poor. Anyhow, I noticed that they can’t even use their own mail forwarders and they list their customer care email as bbcustomercare@fegroup.com.au and I wondered wtf ‘FE Group’ is.

Lo and behold, FE Group is a corporation that own not one, but all three of Australia’s top DVD and game rental stores. How the hell have I missed this? How has anyone?

Insert illuminati references here. Or not. But still, isn’t that rather odd that ONE company owns the top three rental companies in one nation without consolidating them? I mean, you often find two of the three firms competing in the very same territory! Maybe that’s their way of getting double dip action selling franchises?

Does anyone know anything about this, if so drop us a comment. <3

Posted: March 28th, 2010
Categories: general
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Weekly Tweets for 2010-03-28

  • 500 follow back twitlist http://bit.ly/b6PTdy #followallback #ifollowback #ff #followforfollow #follow4follow #F4F #follow #getmorefollowers #
  • When did all free to air TV in Australia become an advert filled mass of corny life insurance with 5 minutes of show between ad breaks? #
  • Watching Star Trek TNG S7E12 'The Pegasus, it has Terry O'Quinn (John Locke from Lost) in it! Eeeee! 😀 #
  • RT @Hollywood_Trey I've just saw some heartbreaking things working @ a Medical Clinic. – So horrible you fail at English it seems! :O #
  • Update on Ad.ly as a 'make money from twitter,' two months in, $0 made. RT this to those scammers who claim otherwise. 😉 #
  • RT @Miss_Desiibby ilost a follower;maybe cause im not qoin in ne more;#users . lol – No wonder, I can't understand a fucking thing you say. #
  • RT @Realityfan007 ..To all of this ugliness we must put an end, Before we leave we must make a stand – WHOA UR LYK 2PAC MAN! #
  • RT @WebStudio13 Looks like this party is going to be packed #entrepreneur http://bit.ly/omitted – packed full of scamming bullshit, mirite? #
  • DO A BARREL ROLL! #
  • The Project Runway all stars thing is so lol. I'm kissing my manliness goodbye just saying that aren't I. 🙁 #
  • My favorite designer got booted in the first wave. My phone has had no reception since 8. Night all. #
  • RT @worldprayr … Father of compassion & the God … who comforts us in all our troubles < Who punishes billions for the sins of two. #
  • I can't sleep, I have a strange craving for orange juice. 🙁 #
  • RT @forsgrens It takes money to make money because you have to copy the design exactly. – I lol'd. 😛 #
  • 500 follow back twitlist http://bit.ly/b6PTdy #followallback #ifollowback #ff #followforfollow #follow4follow #F4F #follow #getmorefollowers #
  • Possibly the coolest thing in Bioshock 2, a cameo by Schrödinger's cat: http://twitpic.com/1acmts My cat approves: http://twitpic.com/1acmxg #
  • 4/5ths through Bioshock 2, only a day and a bit play, taking it slow for 100% completion. Working on a review for http://bashpr0mpt.com ATM. #
  • Omg, nerdy Easter eggs of Schrödingers cat in Bioshock 2, dead: http://twitpic.com/1ad07o alive: http://twitpic.com/1ad0bx #
  • Congratulations Optus, your 3G mobile coverage is faster than TPG's ADSL2+ http://twitpic.com/1ae708 #
  • Just descended into Persephone, so close to finishing Bioshock 2! What should I clock next? #
  • I just invented several new expletives. My Xbox crashed just minutes away from completing Bioshock 2. Ffffffff- #xbox #bioshock2 #
  • Okay, it hung again, not at the same spot though, but equally close to the end. Wtf? #
  • The new Chanel ad is ridiculous. Some ugly bitch singing while applying lipstick. Seriously, Chanel, get a new advertising firm. #
  • The Happening (2008), horrible acting, such a forced script, Mark Wharlburg is an abysmal actor. GREAT concept poor execution. 4/10. #movies #
  • 500 follow back twitlist http://bit.ly/b6PTdy #followallback #ifollowback #ff #followforfollow #follow4follow #F4F #follow #getmorefollowers #
  • I've never noticed how overweight most people are! Also, I'm -SO- glad boys don't pewp babies. They're so fugly and … just no. #
  • Lost S06E09, I feel vindicated of my beliefs from the moment Locke outlined the rules of checkers! It's a cork Jim, but not as we know it. #
  • Where would speculative fiction be without mad scientists as a source of narratological deus ex machina? #
  • • I'd like to use my 2001st tweet to thank the nearly 7000 people I've met and shared my mundane life with the last 3 months! • #
  • Do penguins have knees? #
  • They're renaming Mr Shuffles the baby elephant, bet it'll be some lame Thai name, I vote for Phuck. 🙂 He looks like a harliquin baby. :/ #
  • Harti Har is his new name, even though there was heaps of Internet campaigns to keep Mr Shuffles. Lame Taronga, lame. #
  • 500 follow back twitlist http://bit.ly/b6PTdy #followallback #ifollowback #ff #followforfollow #follow4follow #F4F #follow #getmorefollowers #
  • Down tuned bass guitars may not hit the brown note, but if your amps jacked up to 11 it sure terrorizes cats! 😀 #
  • Close your eyes and visualize a horse race commentator narrating elements your day. Fun, right? 🙂 #
  • Hayfever has progressed into a bloody big headache. Can it be bed time now? 🙁 #
  • 500 follow back twitlist http://bit.ly/b6PTdy #followallback #ifollowback #ff #followforfollow #follow4follow #F4F #follow #getmorefollowers #
  • 4AM and I'm sleepless in Sydney. Halp. #
  • I question the quality of Twitter users when Justin Boober is trending every day. A lot of 12 y/o obsessive fangirls need therapy IMHO. #
  • My @Telstra ADSL2+ is still pulling ADSL speeds at best, why don't they use G bonding like other telco's to meet ITU standards? :/ #
  • 500 follow back twitlist http://bit.ly/b6PTdy #followallback #ifollowback #ff #followforfollow #follow4follow #F4F #follow #getmorefollowers #
  • 500 follow back twitlist http://bit.ly/b6PTdy #followallback #ifollowback #ff #followforfollow #follow4follow #F4F #follow #getmorefollowers #
  • I think I'll get a flu shot this year; anyone have experience (pos/neg) with them? Are they very effective? #
  • Grocery shopping Sunday evening is an extreme sport. Those housewives armed with steel death on wheels are hectic! 🙁 #
  • Final Fantasy XIII is SO amazingly crap and boring, like off scale boring; I've never played a more absolute rubbish game. #xbox #gaming #
  • Final Fantasy 13 has GOT to be a joke, still early on the first disk but wtf@lame jRPG flash game sold as epic Xbox game. :/ Abysmal. #
Posted: March 28th, 2010
Categories: twitter
Tags: ,
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Whacko Jacko Can’t Rest in Peace

Sensationalistic news source News Ltd came up with a GASPSHOCKHORROR report recently that Michael Jackson was actually a black man, however he used skin whitening creams to appear paler. Seriously, wtf, can’t they get over sensationalising that? Millions of women in Japan use skin whitening cream daily, it’s not a race issue, it’s purely a cosmetic / aesthetic thing for them, trying to apply race issues on a dead dude just to catch headlines is pretty off if you ask me.

INVESTIGATORS searching Michael Jackson’s home after the singer’s death found skin-whitening creams, Associated Press reports.

Search warrants released by Associated Press have detailed an array of skin-whitening creams and medical items found in Michael Jackson’s home after the singer’s death.

The documents were unsealed overnight following a legal motion by AP.

Detectives found four bottles of anesthetic and dozens of tubes of skin-whitening cream in a cupboard in the late singer’s room, the newswire reported.

Jackson was long believed to have had the skin condition vitiligo, that creates patches of de-pigmented skin.

The skin-whitening cream can be used to cover patches of skin that have retained their colour and give a more even appearance.

Posted: March 27th, 2010
Categories: general
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F1 Champion gets done ‘Hoon Driving’

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has apologised to fans after being caught ‘hoon driving’ outside the Grand Prix circuit last night.

A McLaren spokesman confirmed there was a passenger in the car at the time of the incident, believed to be a fellow team member.

Grand Prix boss Ron Walker this morning also defended the English McLaren driver, dismissing suggestions he should be suspended from tomorrow’s big race.

Hamilton, a former world champion, described his behaviour as “silly” in a statement issued by McLaren.

“I was driving in an over-exuberant manner and as a result was stopped by the police,” Hamilton said. “What I did was silly and I want to apologise for it.”

Mr Walker this morning said Hamilton should be forgiven his indiscretion, which he described as “out of character”.

What bloody wankers. Victorian police confiscated his car too under their ‘anti hoon’ laws. Naturally you can’t argue that it was a victimless act, because you get the road nannies all fired up.

Posted: March 27th, 2010
Categories: general
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Disgusting NSW Laws Criminalise Flight

The following is a bleeding heart conservative lean from News Ltd. publications on the equally soppy ‘Skyes Law’. This law was enacted recently without any consultation given the public backlash against Australian police for thinking they’re American highway cops and chasing cars that flee rather than reviewing video footage from their car and pursuing them the next day as they should. Rather than taking away the luxury performance squad cars and giving them 4 cylinder run abouts like the UK police. Rather than disarming them of their firearms, chemical weapons, tasers and kinetic weapons and giving them vocal training like the UK police. Need I mention the UK has six times our population and nearly twenty times our crime rate?

When the average human gets into a bad situation they enter fight or flight; it is a natural response for someone having committed any type of crime to do a runner, that’s a given. Just as any prisoner of war can’t be punished for attempting escape, a criminal should not morally or ethically be punished further for making the police officers job more difficult, that’s their job and what they get paid for. If they don’t like it, there’s a near 9% unemployment rate atm, I’m sure others will fill their jobs, let them leave.

Seriously, Australian police; no, I’ll name them outright, New South Wales police, legitimately think they’re Judge Dredd incarnate. We’re a nanny state where politicians are so detached from the common person that the views they represent wouldn’t even make up a percentile of the voter base, but in a bipartisan system of ultra-conservative or ultra-conservative you’re fucked.

“A 15-YEAR-OLD girl who led police on a high-speed chase through Dubbo in NSW is the first to be charged under “Skye’s law”.

The girl, who police said thought it was a huge joke when she finally pulled over, now faces up to three years in detention.

The tough new legislation with jail sentences for people who lead police on car chases was enacted six days ago by the NSW Government.

Police said they observed a Suzuki Swift speeding in Dubbo about 10.45pm (AEDT) yesterday and signalled to the driver to pull over.

Instead, the 15-year-old girl led police on a chase for 31 minutes, and in the end they had to use road spikes to stop the car, Police Minister Michael Daley said.

“The driver went out on to the Mitchell Hwy, evaded the police (and) refused their directions to stop for 31 minutes,” Mr Daley said.

“She will now be the first person charged under the new police pursuit laws.

“She will face a potential three years in jail for this silly act.

“She was one of the lucky ones. Police managed to stop her car before she hurt herself or anybody else.”

The maximum three-year jail sentence applies to juveniles as well as adults, Mr Daley’s office confirmed later.”

ANY government that can justify MANDATORY sentencing of gaol terms on minors is a fucking disgusting government.

They don’t speak for us.

Posted: March 25th, 2010
Categories: general
Tags:
Comments: 2 Comments.

Online Scams & Offline Reprocussions

Imagine you’re a member of X department of law enforcement and you arrive at a shopping complex to find 1,000 people looting. What will you do?You can’t arrest them all. You have a camcorder handy so you document them, some wearing ID cards that can be eventually traced back to their residences, some are fake and trace back to monestaries in Uzbekistan. You document the event anyway, because once this all blows over you can send a copy of this to the criminal investigation team back at the office and they can trawl through the data and eventually catch these people, right?

What if once these thousand leave another thousand come? And another, and another? What if half of them are severed arms with a sock on the hand bearing no identifying feature? Tens or thousands, many automata? What if half the real people are merely people who had their houses looted by the other half and are trying to make up for their lost kitchen appliances?

Then you’re on Twitter and the looting you’re seeing is the wallets of idiot users who humour any get rich scam.

Legal reprocussions are few and far between primarily due to the massive amount of scammers you see out there. Law enforcement can’t catch them all; albeit Twitter does have a duty of care to shut these scammers down, which I can safely say they fail at (I’ve been suspended for ‘spamming’ on one account because every 24 hours it posted a link to a list of users who follow for follow (@f4fhub on Twitter) only to note that I clean a good hundred MLM scammers per day off my friends list who scam with impunity.

How can you spot a scammer? They tend to follow a simple protocol, most have display pictures of greed motiffs or a business like face shot trying to be ‘approachable’, fair to say most impersonate females because females will get a thousand flowers for every hundred an identical male account would get. Quotes or inspirational snips will be the majority of their tweets, it fills in space between their scams and is often RSS fed in from a random web document.

There really is no excuse to fall for scams, or buy into get rich quick schemes. But rest assured, if you do buy into an MLM scam you’ll be spending the next hundred years spamming YOUR friends list (and thus marginalizing, eventually losing them) trying to con them into your scam to make up for your loss.

Posted: March 24th, 2010
Categories: op ed
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Movie Review: The Grudge 3 (2009)

Crazy kid in an asylum, ripped apart in an empty room, cut scene to crazy Asian man killing wife, cat, and other stuff; lots if lame long black hair. You just know you’re watching J-horror at it’s finest .. make that lamest.

Edgy when the Ring first came out, the Grudge 3 just flogs the dead horse of cliche spirits, creepy kids, and long black hair which is about as frightening as a sock.

Set after the events of the second, this one actually has a lot of Japanese and is subtitled for many bits; nice given that most of the Americanised J-horror out there combines the worst of both world.

Nothing too scary, don’t know why it doesn’t have a PG rating. It does however have Marina Sirtis in it, who played Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

4/10, 3 of which are for having a Trekkie on cast.

Posted: March 21st, 2010
Categories: movie reviews, movies
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Movie Review: Saw VI (2009)

The same as Saw II-V, except with more cut scenes. That’s all I have to say. Tardy.

3/10.

Posted: March 21st, 2010
Categories: movie reviews, movies
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Game Review: Bioshock 2 (2010, Xbox)

To begin I should point out that I was cynical about this game from the begining. The absurd fueding couple advert made it look like an utterly stupid over the top (not in a good way, in a ‘the designer is juvinile and thinks we’ll buy into so much lame unoriginal backstory’ way) game. So rather than wasting money on it I decided to rent it for a week. This review is a compilation of thoughts over a week mixed with a narrative identifying key elements of the game that you, as a gamer, will find helpful.

I began by reviewing the achievements for it before even inserting the disk; I figured I’d get a feel by playing multiplayer first and unlock a couple of achievements. Didn’t work as planned, the menu system is daft, the intro game chamber is lame and a waste of time trying to be edgy and replace a tree menu with a complex 3D environ of limited size. The main killer is that it’s another shitty Unreal Engine skinjob, so the game play is run around, spam fire, die, respawn, rinse and repeat; the very thing that marginalized a lot of the gamer community from FPS as a whole.

The graphics at 1080p may as well be 480p as you feel like you have tunnel vision, the view you have feels like you’re looking down a toilet roll six foot in front of where your eyes should be. The game controls are very unintuitive also, it feels very flat; very Duke Nukem actually!

It took me quite a bit of effort to even get a kill in, aiming is nearly impossible and if I wasn’t using the shotgun I’d have nought to show for my time. About to commence single player.

The game really marginalizes an intellignt player by trying to force dumb names for everything onto you, like ADAM and EVE and Splicer, etc. Little Sisters, Big Daddy. What the fuck were they smoking? I can tolerate a lot of bullshit but when I have to swallow a heap of really fragmented illogical ‘lore’ and nomenclature just to even play your shitty Unreal FPS you’re already ticking me off. They also cash in on the creepy little kid aspect which just reminds me of Silent Hill even more.

I’ve just completed it and reading the past paragraphs as much as I now have a soft spot for the game they’re still very true. The last paragraph of the ’100% completion guide’ I used said they didn’t complete two HUGE (100+ GP) achievements, rather than saying that earlier. I raged.

I won’t go into detail about the storyline, although there are plenty of spoilers out there or you could find the narrative somewhere but it’s very much a recap of BioShock, which is just a twist on System Shock 1 & 2 in concept with barely enough plot changes and setting changes.

I loved System Shock, the game within a game genre was still new so it carried it, but I fear it’s time that the company that produced it do two things. Decide what their company name is (you will see two screens full of 10 point font listing their business names used) and pick a new direction away from flat world undynamic highly singular plot driven story.

That being said, BioShock 2 would make an awesome indie horror flick! I’d totally watch it. One of the BEST elements and most memorable is toward the end where you take on the role of a ‘Little Sister’ and see the world as they see it. The grimy gritty death camp underwater is transformed into pillow thrown halls of drape white and red sheets full of stuffed toys.

Blood thirsty locals appear as classy hoity toity types admiring paintings and sculptures. Corpses semi decayed and fly blown are turned into gorgeous women and handsome men sleeping complete with regal outfits and glowing angel wings and halo on the floor surrounded by a cloud of butterflies.

This is brought into harsh contrast when sucking the ‘ADAM’ from their corpses which is when the illusion bursts temporarily until the job is complete.

I think the Little Sister aspect of the game really redeems it as it’s true visceral body horror in idea; it taps into the inner child and how differently we see things I suppose.

I’d give this a 8/10 if we forget the multiplayer system exists, and ignore the 50 secret achievements and one that requires you collect 100 (!!!) audio diaries when if you played straight through you’d find maybe 30 tops without a guide.

Overall I’d give it a 6/10.

Posted: March 21st, 2010
Categories: game reviews, games, xbox
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Weekly Tweets for 2010-03-21

Posted: March 21st, 2010
Categories: twitter
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Hillsong, cultism for kids

I’m hypnotized by the Australian Christian Channel, Hillsong for Kids, it’s SO fucked up. It’s like Hi-Christ, or Christwiggles. It’s Latin mass on mesculine chased with amphetamines with a side order of cult. There’s a fine line between what one considers tasteful, I’m the first to defend religious freedoms even when I disagree with a lot of elements of the faith in question. Part stems from wanting to believe in sky fairies in the same way I’d like to fuck a unicorn one day, part from the fact I’m aware that if people didn’t think there was a reward past this life for them there would be chaos of everyoe refusing the social order that religions enforce passively on societal freedoms and mass logos from a narratological point of view.

I do however feel the compunction to call a spade a spade when I sit and watch a thousand plus brainwashed toddlers acting out all the movements to cultish songs of devotion with primary motiffs of promoting the religion to others and ‘saving’ them (see: tithe pyramid scheme) in doing do. This from a multi-million dollar ‘church’ which has been asolutely debunked as a criminal cultish entity that has been rocked by scandals as well as exposed supressing all kinds of misconduct.

The worst part is, just like the Church of Scientology (which it’s fine to grill apparently, even baselessly), it’s all about making the heirarchy rich to show your ‘devotion’, using peer pressure and love bombing to discipline the ranks, ex-communicating and disconnecting family members who don’t tow the line.

Seeing the zealotry of these children would make any intelligent adult sick to the stomach. A healthy belief system, spirituality, or atheism is fine; a crazed obsessive cult forcing kids through peer pressure to behave in bizarre way– eyes closed waving to heaven swaying in catatonia seeking oblivion of individual thought to be a communal cog in the Christ machine–makes me as a Christian (albeit a somewhat agnostic Catholic) ashamed and disgusted.

If the Government bows to the pressure of all the equally batshit mental and outspoken haters of the Church of Scientology want and hold an inquest into their behaviour, I submit that the next target must be Hillsong or it’s millions of derivative small cult front groups of Assemblies of God Ministeries et cetera.

Posted: March 20th, 2010
Categories: politix, rant
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Japanese Whaling Hostage arrives in Japan

http://www.seashepherd.org/images/stories/news/news_100312_1_1_Pete_Bethune_Captain_(JMc0593).jpg

The Japanese whaling ship Shonan Maru 2 arrived in Tokyo today with the first New Zealand prisoner of war to be transported to Japan as a political prisoner since World War II.

As soon as his foot touched Japanese soil, Captain Bethune reestablished himself as a national hero in New Zealand and an international hero in Australia, France, Britain, the United States, and every other country whose citizens deplore the continued illegal whaling activities of the Japanese whaling fleet.

The situation is a comedy of over reaction by the Japanese. The Japanese ship Shonan Maru 2 deliberately rammed and sank Captain Pete Bethune’s New Zealand registered vessel the Ady Gil without any penalty, not even a reprimand. Captain Bethune boarded the vessel that destroyed his ship, politely knocked on the bridge door, and presented himself to the Captain.

Scores of police and TV camera crews on the pier awaited the arrival of the harpoon ship Shonan Maru 2, while nationalist protesters flew Rising Sun flags and rude and abusive signs demonizing Captain Pete Bethune as an “eco-terrorist.”

Japanese nationalists have seized the whaling question as an opportunity to broadcast their anti-western sentiments. Sea Shepherd looks on this as an opportunity to use the Japanese nationalists to further illustrate the illegality of Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is prepared to back Captain Peter Bethune with a top legal assistance team and the Society will work to use this extraordinary case to further expose and embarrass the Japanese government concerning their whale poaching operations in the Southern Ocean.

Captain Peter Bethune understands the consequences that may face him for the courage he has displayed in defending endangered whales. He told Captain Paul Watson that, “you don’t change the world by sitting on your ass and being afraid to do the right thing.”

Simply being arrested took the Shonan Maru 2 out of the whaling operations for a month so they could return Captain Bethune to Japan. That was an enormous cost in fuel to transport one prisoner to Japan from Antarctica and it saved the lives of dozens of whales at the same time.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is confident that the operations of Operation Waltzing Matilda saved the lives of over 500 whales this year. Despite the loss of the Ady Gil and the taking prisoner of Captain Bethune, the campaign has been an awesome success.

“Ships are expendable, the whales are not,” said Captain Paul Watson. “My crew is prepared to risk their lives to save the whales. Compared to that, being held as a prisoner is easy stuff.”

The Sea Shepherd ships will return to the Southern Ocean in December for a seventh campaign to defend the whales of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary should the Japanese whalers insist on continuing their criminal operations.

Posted: March 20th, 2010
Categories: politix
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Week in a Snap

Ms Rice, who served as national security adviser during the Iraq invasion and later as secretary of state, was unrepentant about the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

“I would many times over liberate Iraq again from Saddam Hussein. I think he’s a danger to the Middle East,” she said today in a speech at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, when asked what she thought she had got wrong.

“But we didn’t understand how broken Iraq was as a society and we tried to rebuild Iraq from Baghdad out. And we really should have rebuilt Iraq outside Baghdad in.”

“We should have worked with the tribes. We should have worked with the provinces. We should have smaller projects than the large ones that we had.”

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd weighed in then on the debate, backing an inquiry into creating a federal office to combat cyber crime.

The latest controversial page: Martin Bryant is Innocent Michael Charles Dyson shooter at Seascape, not only accuses Mr Dyson of being involved in the massacre but has several links to conspiracy theory websites alleging the massacre was a government plot to force the introduction of gun control legislation.

It also targets former prime minster John Howard, former Tasmanian premier Ray Groom and former Tasmanian and Commonwealth director of public prosecutions Damian Bugg, who prosecuted Bryant.

US internet giant Google will close its business in China next month and may announce its plans in the coming days, Chinese media reported today, after rows over censorship and hacking.

The China Business News quoted an official with an unidentified Chinese advertising agency as saying Google would go through with its threatened withdrawal on April 10, but that Google had yet to confirm the pull-out.

Robot teachers have been a hit with pupils during a pilot project in some South Korean schools, a government report says. Elementary school children responded favourably to the robotic teachers, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said, citing a survey by educational researchers. English-teaching robots were sent to three provincial schools for eight weeks starting in late December.

Programmable electronic devices resembling robots, which teach maths, science and art, were used in 10 Seoul schools for five weeks from November. The researchers found that the English-teaching robots helped raise interest in the language and boosted the confidence of students.

“Tele-presence” robots are controlled remotely by an English teacher and are equipped with a microphone and video camera. Autonomous units use voice-recognition software to interact with children.

The Australian government has expressed interest in robots to give rural school children more learning opportunities.

Scientists from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and Imperial College London used the cloak, made using photonic crystals with a structure resembling piles of wood, to conceal a small bump on a gold surface, they wrote in Science.

The invisibility cloak was minute, measuring 100 microns by 30 microns – one micron being one-thousandth of a millimeter – and the bump it hid was 10 times smaller, said Mr Stenger.

The world is a much safer place, we can all hide our nano-blemishes.

Posted: March 20th, 2010
Categories: general
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Gaga for Avatar & Fast Track Piracy

Stargate Universe returns, “fast tracked from the US,” or so @SciFiTV claims; given that V (reimagined) and Survivors (remake) are into season 2 and have just premiered in Australia I’m not holding my breath. I think I’ll just put EzTV to task for my entertainment, join the fun and torrent TV before that fucknut Stephen Conroy censors all torrent sites because the ‘russian maffia’ hack things to upload kiddy porn–I shit you not he cited that as to why most of the sites on his mandatory censorship list were on there, from barbers to dentists–and torrents go bye byes for Australians.

It seems to be a slow year for entertainment, with Lady Gaga being the only chart rocking beyotch of note and a crappy CGI flick that could be a lateral Marlon Brando narratological prequel to Apocalypse Now, in space, was the ‘big hit’–but had lackluster results in award shows–to the chagrin of those who aren’t sensationalism worshipping twats who go and see what the buzz tells them to.

Let’s just be thankful for sites like EzTV though, we can watch what we want when we want and in HD where most channels are still 480, and most ‘HD’ is 720x

On the other hand I’ve caught up on Lost. it’s totally Twin Peaks all over again, getting zanier as it goes and relying on the audience to ‘just accept’ hoping that the final big reveal will make all this nonsense have some semblence of sanity; knowing Abrams that won’t be the case. It does appear my original suspicions of duality incarnate (ever since John Locke played checkers with that little kid) in a multi-dimensional reality of sorts. Locke being the black smoke, Linus being the victim, everyone jumbling up it really is strange now.

The more I see Evangeline Lilly the less attractive I find her, she still looks fit but it’s the finer details of basic girly grooming she fails at, from manky hands through to gross feet and constantly being grimy. Fair enough they’re on an island in the middle of nowhere but there’s enough water supply to bathe man …

I just realized how bitter my posts are. I’ll do you all a deal; I’ll stop being so cynical when the world sucks less dick as a whole. 😉

Posted: March 20th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, movie reviews, technology
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Bigpond, TPG, Optus; ISP rant ahoy!

I spent several hours today trying to explain to TPG that three months of trying to get me above dial-up speeds equates to breach of contract; they seem to believe as long as they are willing to ‘keep trying’ to fix it that they can bill me even after I revoked authorization months ago (which they ignored). Therefore if I want to cancel my account I have to pay a $400 breaking fee; for a contract that has had no provision of serviced as agreed to.

I think the Phillipino call centres inability to escalate or cross communicate between their own departments is taking a toll; they wanted me to go between accounts and tech support. Step up from making me do THEIR job by asking me to call Telstra on several occasions.

Lawyer time IMHO.

In other news I’m pleased with BigPond, however their tech support department is also outsourced, it takes thirty minutes of some twat reading a script and making you trouble shoot before they take a message and get a real engineer to contact you. When did Australian ISPs sell out so hardcore? As I keep saying with Bigpond though; we are paying far more than any other ISP so we expect Australian services; no wonder iPrimus use ‘all Australian’ including call centres as their pitch. Fuck globalization during a global financial crises, our economy suffers and given how much the end consumer pays I’m POSITIVE any benefit is passed on to board and shareholders only, because we are still paying a huge amount.

Bigpond are painfully aware, however, that they need to be conpetative to stay in the market; all the cheap as shit ISPs here are just virtual ISPs reselling Bigpond ADSL through outsourced call centres anyway. That being said, SingTel/Optus are in the stone age offering ’4GB’ plans, then you’re speed limited to 2kbps which they claim is ‘acceptable’ and ‘close ebough’ to the 64k your contract states.

Posted: March 20th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, technology
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Australian TV Bowing to Pressure

Australian TV broadcasters are bowing to audience demand, reinstating time shifted programs due to public pressure from fan bases. Public broadcaster the ABC is the latest station to follow, restoring Friday-night series Collectors to its usual slot after it was displaced by new comedy Sleuth 101. Angry Collectors fans flooded the ABC with concern about their much loved program, leading ABC TV head of programming Marena Manzoufas to admit defeat and amend the schedule. “The dedicated Collectors audience has clearly demonstrated their preference for the show’s original 8pm Friday slot so I have decided to reinstate it there and move Sleuth 101 to Sundays at 6.30pm,” Ms Manzoufas said.

While fans of certain programs long have felt shunned by networks chopping and changing schedules – often leaving a series incomplete – or moving programs without broad appeal to late-night timeslots, the advent of digital TV has delivered a win. While Channel 10′s digital offering One is purely sport, rivals Nine and Seven’s second channels have become an avenue on which the networks can screen programs that have not rated strongly but have concentrated and passionate fan bases.

Channel 7′s US acquisitions Lost and Ugly Betty are examples of such programs, with fans now treated to weeknight primetime slots on 7Two.

University of South Australia senior communications lecturer Dr Jackie Cook says the shift in attitude by channels is a way of testing out programs and gauging viewing trends across different age groups.

“I think they are developing demographics,” she said.

“They are looking at the capacity of cult shows to develop a much stronger audience. “We’re beginning to see an understanding among networks it’s not a case of trying to appeal to the largest audience and beat their rivals.”

This could also be indication that the average viewer having access to broadband or greater is leading to less viewers of television as viewers obtain what they want to see when they want to see it as opposed to waiting up to several years for a network in Australia to pick it up.

Posted: March 19th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, news, pop culture
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