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News for November 2009

Tom Clancy’s ENDWAR




Tom Clancy’s ENDWAR

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

I picked up this odd little package at 8am this morning from k-mart for $30, can’t go wrong right? I was sold by the fact it promises you can ‘command your troops on the battlefield with your voice,’ and to be honest it’s voice recognition system is amazing. So far with complex orders such as delegating several units to advance and hold a position on the battlefield or call in air support it’s had two maybe three errors. Better than any ISP or telco’s lame ‘voice recognition’ systems, all in a $30 game.

I’m assuming it’s old, and I was part sold by the fact it’ll give the Xbox 360 headset a purpose in life mixed with up to 1250 gamer points for my profile (hey, I’m competing with people who have had their xbox for years more than me, every point counts towards my gamer e-peen) and a little bit on the basis that it’s a Tom Clancy franchise and he tends to be a pretty fun author.

The game play, at face value, is pretty uninspired. It’s more a battleground simulator, where you have a video feed from each unit on the field and have to coordinate combat vocally with each unit. So far I’m kicking arse, so either it’s really easy or I’m just too awesome. I’m guessing it’s really easy. 🙁

The graphics are good, playability is high, repeat play is also spiffy, but all because you end up caught up issuing verbal orders and it really adds to the charm of the game.

In other news, I need to stop taking photos of my screen; it seems all my lomo folder is these days is photos of a screen. Damn, means I’ll need to leave the house sometime soon.

I started to add people to my Xbox Live friends list, most seemed confused by the fact I have a domain named after my gamer tag, and the most common response to a friend request is, “You have a website?!” I need to teach more people the wonders of a one click install wordpress and a $7 .com domain! Okay, well there’s much more to the back end of my site, specifically it seeding each update to every social network that exists pretty much, but you catch my drift.

Posted: November 30th, 2009
Categories: general
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Giuseppe Zannoti pumps




Giuseppe Zannoti pumps

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

Leather and snake skin peep toe pumps, if I were a girl I’d totally want them. £360ish though, which is … a lot converted to AUD$ no doubt. Don’t ask me why I’m looking at shoes, I blame the net-a-porter app for my iPhone and an inability to get back to sleep after a game induced nightmare. 🙁

Posted: November 29th, 2009
Categories: general
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Nightmares of falling from tal…

Nightmares of falling from tall medieval buildings I was climbing the battlements of. Thanks Assassins Creed 2. I hate heights so much. :/

Posted: November 29th, 2009
Categories: twitter
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Assassins Creed 2 Review




Assassins Creed 2 Economics

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

Assassins Creed 2 presents as a typical over the shoulder button mash combat game mixed with lashings of lame free running / parkour and horrible polygon graphics. The kicker is, you’re an escapee from some mental home where they run experiments using a freaky virtual reality system that appears to insert people into the time line reliving history. On escaping, for no apparent reason (see: tl;dr cut scene I vagued out during) you’re roped into doing the very same for a break away group of Buffy the Vampire Slayer back up team drop outs.

There is however a reasonable RPG side to it, far from as expansive as the historical cities through which you play, brawling and swashbuckling your way to infamy. You can purchase new weapons and armour, albeit at a trickle feed of restriction raises as you progress.

You encounter various quest givers, and have run ins with guards depending on your notoriety (which you can lower by assassinating critics, bribing pages, or ripping down your wanted posters) and the overall feel is very GTA sandbox with better graphics and a less complex RPG aspect.

You do, however, look shit hot in your fathers assassin robes and can customize your looks with armour upgrades and dyeing your robes, although such customisation is horribly limited (four colour schemes in total, boo!) but still, your character does look pretty cool no matter what he wears.

There’s a lot of collect this and that, hidden treasure and mini quests in it. There is also the macro economics of running your uncles garrison, a small walled city a short horse ride from Florence. Upgrading and refurbishing buildings from banks to brothels, sponsoring and developing arts and medicine, all of which ups the net worth of the town and subsequently the income generated, assumedly, from taxation which you get a percentage off every 20 minutes.

The economcs, overall, is uninspired. A chest plate can set you back 10,000 florens, whereas upgrading the bank costs 3,000. I dunno, I think building a bank would cost a bit more than a bit or reinforced leather. I might be wrong.

All in all it’s an addictive and immersive little game. Far cry from what critics make it out to be. However it lacks zombies. 🙁

Posted: November 29th, 2009
Categories: games, xbox
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Watching Star Trek DS9 in bed,…

Watching Star Trek DS9 in bed, can’t believe I stayed up to 7 playing Assassins Creed 2. It’s damned addictive. Oh, @ParisHilton nice pics!

Posted: November 28th, 2009
Categories: twitter
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Assassins Creed 2


Assassins Creed 2

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

So I’ve had this game a while and never got around to playing it, it’s reasonably fun! I have one issue though, I can’t be stealthy. I keep confronting guards rather than avoiding them and I perpetually loot and pilfer cash off innocent civillians.

It does, however, seem the easiest way to make money, period. I’ve got spiffy scarlet dyed robes and leather spaulders equipped, and a nifty sword I just picked up after your original sword (which you only get when your father is arrested along with your initial white robes) is disarmed and taken from you in a cut scene by some very serious business looking guards in platemail.

I’ve racked up about 100 achievement points doing very little for my xbox account though, they make you feel like gaming has a purpose other than wasting time. Speaking of the time, it’s nearing 6 AM. :/

Posted: November 28th, 2009
Categories: flickr, games, general
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L4D2 Depeche Mode Shirt II


L4D2 Depeche Mode Shirt

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

This is the shirt I’ve been lusting over of late and one of the things keeping me at the grind of Dark Carnival in Left 4 Dead 2. God damned Gnome Chomsky. 🙁

Posted: November 27th, 2009
Categories: flickr, games, L4D2, xbox
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Comments: 1 Comment.

Mininova closes it’s doors …

Dutch Bit Torrent tracker Mininova has passed into oblivion with it’s decision to cease all tracking aside from it’s official Content Distribution Service, the white elephant it launched in 2007 utilised in an attempt to abide by a Utrecht court ruling last August ordering they filter copyrighted material and provide no access to it.

Mininova closes it’s doors – http://tinyurl.com/yfdmd3p

Posted: November 27th, 2009
Categories: twitter
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Xbox hacking, custom photos

So, I’ve noticed the Xbox only allows you to have a VERY restricted choice of gamer pictures, and the only way to get PERSONAL pictures up is to take a photo of yourself through the special massively overpriced xbox webcam which only your friends can see. It’s still rather lame you can’t upload graphics, so after an hour or so wasting time on google to make sure that there is no possible way out there to make custom gamer personal pics I decided to think a little laterally.

If you can hack this up, you can mount any graphic. Keep in mind, at the moment people take photos of drawings and shit or try and take photos of their laptop screen and it all looks terribly fail.

The thing you want to be able to customise is here, and is only visible when you have your webcam plugged in.

The only way I can think of doing it is to splice the webcam’s cable onto an RSA video cable and plug it into a PC with a TV/AV card and mount it as a display. So you’ll fool the xbox into thinking it’s viewing through a webcam but it’s really viewing your computers screen. Then you load up any image you want to use as your personal picture, and mount it full-screen, then save it on the xbox as though you were taking a ‘photo’ through your webcam.

Downside is you butcher a perfectly good albeit massively overpriced proprietary camera, upside is the epic buff of your geek points off the richter. I’ll give it a shot sometime in the near future and will post results if someone doesn’t inb4 me and hack up their camera.

Weapon of Choice.




Weapon of Choice.

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

I really love my Modern Warfare 2 controller. It’s white pixelated camo, unlike 99% of their production which look pretty similar to the normal xbox control, and has a cable. Yes, a cable! No batteries for me! In a world of wireless technology, as far as controls go I long for cabled devices. Screw recharging, I want to know when I button-mash killing spree a horde of zombies it’ll work.

9.8′ of braided cable!

It also has twin ‘combat buttons’ for on the fly customised combo commands to be saved and triggered but two small buttons under the controller about where your middle fingers rest. Did I mention it’s white pixelated camo? 😀

Posted: November 26th, 2009
Categories: general
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A gnome named Chomsky.


A gnome named Chomsky.

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

This little view obstructing garden ornament is the key to unlocking the Depeche Mode t-shirt in L4D2! Although you have to drag him through an entire campaign. Half Life 2 flashbacks ftl.

And yes, it’s a pun of Noam Chomsky.

Posted: November 26th, 2009
Categories: general
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UK Photographers Lose Rights …

Why wouldn’t someone in a public office invite scrutiny? What’s that line (or logical fallacy rather) the police and government use when they take away our rights, “you’ve got nothing to fear if you’ve got nothing to hide” or something? 🙂

It’s now a criminal offence to take photos of law enforcement in the UK, talk about a police state – Click here for more.

L4D2 Depeche Mode Shirt

I’ve wasted far too long on this, my team were absolute newbs. To get the Depeche Mode t-shirt in Left 4 Dead 2 you have to find a gnome named Chomsky, a familiar fellow to people who have played Half Life 2, where you meet him to complete the achievement of “Little Rocket Man”.

To get him you have to play the Dark Carnival campaign and find the target shooting amusement ride type thing and score over 720, best to have multiple players shooting at once with at least one rear guard.

This is where things get hard, a player has to carry the bastard to the end of the campaign, which means obstructed vision and inability to shoot your weapon. Fine if you make a newb carry it, awkward if you’re the strongest character and good with a forearm.

I was forever dropping it to save the newbs. After god knows how many runs the rescue chopper landed, just when I was about to board it one of the newbies ran up hopped in and hit X, making the chopper leave without me. Fml.

I want my god damned Depeche Mode shirt. Speaking of Depeche Mode, their new album sucks.

Posted: November 26th, 2009
Categories: L4D2, music
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Comments: 1 Comment.

Worlds largest industrial accident

Surfing the net I accidentally stumbled across Union Carbide’s (now owned by Dow) biggest secret and the worlds largest industrial accident. This is an out of character post, I intend to steer away from acitivismesque style posts of all kinds but I’m just stunned I’d never heard of it before.

More than 20,000 have thus far died from their injuries sustained in the leak of a toxic gas which is the primary ingredient of pesticides in December 1984. Over 150,000 people suffer from ongoing pollution from the factory and remnant toxicity from the original incident which means it’s almost 1,000 times larger than Chernobyl. How the hell have I never heard of this?

Read more about the Bhopal disaster here, here, and here. Warning though, the bhopal site condones quackery and woo trying to praise herbal remedies as a solution to the toxic effects the villagers are suffering, which is patent nonsense.

Posted: November 26th, 2009
Categories: politix
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It’s going to be 31C today, fm…

It’s going to be 31C today, fml. Better than the past week of 40+ weather I guess, but shit, seriously. :/

Posted: November 25th, 2009
Categories: twitter
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Warcrack economics

So within a few minutes of posting about Warcrack a friend SMS’d me asking me to post more on WoW economics. I’ve always had this habit in MMO’s and RPG’s of starting with nothing and ending up filthy rich. What it boils down to is free trade elements within the games, in the case of WoW it’s the auction house. There are two ways to make serious cash, one is supplying goods in demand, the other is market domination of niche products.

Supplying goods is pretty simple, find what people want, make sure it’s a non-reusable resource, and farm it up. That’s how you get your gravy train started. It’ll be effective if it’s something that not many people farm and it has a reasonable demand level, but before long you’ll find other players have noticed this market gap and have stepped in and are out supplying you. There’s two ways around this, one is to organise a player agreement, hire lowbies to farm up what you want and pay them a percentage of the cost. To most newbs 100 gold per week is a wage they’ll happily jump at, even though you can grind that in an hour they can’t. But what if the prices are dropping due to over supply and it’s no longer financially viable?

Market domination is an easy solution, once you have enough gold as a float, simply buy out the people undercutting you and relist their items at a higher value. Keep the market price fixed. This requires a fair bit of micromanagement, however even the most remedial player can login a half dozen times a day to check their auctions and eliminate the competition. Price fixing is the simplest way to gain a monopoly on the element of the game you are supplying, and it’s one of the primary keys to grinding a few grand per day. As I mentioned in my last post I had 800g left over after two days, I didn’t leave the auction house or battlegrounds, and blew a few grand on gems. So to those wondering how I ended up with such a surplus still, that’s how. Market dominance.

Posted: November 25th, 2009
Categories: warcraft economics
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Warcrack update, gearing.

So the weekend past was Alterac Valley weekend in World of Warcraft, which means higher honor points are awarded if you play the battleground Alterac Valley.  I decided to jump on Tamp’s account, considering mine was banned a few years ago, and see if I can sort out one of his characters gear.  Please note, I didn’t name her, and once geared I will probably cough up for a race change (HoT racials FTW) and name change, no offence to Mr. T. So, in one weekend I managed to grind up about 80,000 honor and got her Deadly Gladiator’s Dreadplate Shoulders and Deadly Gladiator’s Dreadplate Gauntlets while grinding up enough gold in the meantime to gem the above plus Icebane Girdle. Not bad for two days work, surplus of about 800 gold, up from 0.

Posted: November 25th, 2009
Categories: warcraft economics, world of warcraft
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Keyboard


Keyboard

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

Without it we’d be typing on super awesome touch screens like an iPhone … wait a minute. :/

Posted: November 25th, 2009
Categories: flickr
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So it seems that I’ve synchron…

So it seems that I’ve synchronised my blog with both twitter, tumblr, and flickr. They all seem to be talking to each other finally!

Posted: November 25th, 2009
Categories: twitter
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Rockin’ lameness

So I’ve gone and taken the plunge and grabbed a domain to link my twitter and tumblr through wordpress, with the purpose of general new media ranting mixed with e-peening about games and other nonsense. I have tumblr copying across to twitter, and also importing this rss feed; whether it will import it as a tumblr post properly (and thus propogate the post to twitter) or not is yet to be seen. That way I can import tweets to this blog in a seperate frame and have my tweets as a microblog during the day, and hopefully write up a post nightly even if it’s just mundane stuff. We’ll see how synchronising all this annoying web 2.0 shit goes.

Posted: November 24th, 2009
Categories: general
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