Thursday, May 28, 2009

Twenty-Five Character Profile

While gaming over the Internet, you encounter a lot of people, but interact for only a brief time. Unless you use voice chat, you don't get to know anything about them as a person. And chatting with strangers over the Intarwebs, voice or otherwise, is NOT reccomended, because as I noted before, people suck. I think that Mad Scientists get their inspiration to destroy the world from hearing the words "Noob", "Sux", and "OMG ROFL!!!1" too often.

So while playing Team Fortress 2, I recalled that the PS3 saves the names of people that you've played with online, so I decided to go through and document some of these and share them with the world. I think you can have up to 25 characters for your PlayStation Network handle, and through this, you give major clues about your personality. So now, here's a few of the more interesting handles attached to people I've met while playing TF2:

  • Armageddon513 - This guy probably was surprosed that someone already took the name "Armageddon," but he'll be damned if he lets that person be the only guy with his totally original nickname! Or maybe he's propheizing that the Earth's Final Battle will fall on May 13th of a year yet to be determined.
  • TheDarkGaurdian - Maybe he's like me and favor's the Demoman class, who is in fact Black and excels at defending control points in the game.
  • abraham007 - In 1863, Gen. Robert E. Lee is preparing to unfurl his Confederate Machinations on the world, starting at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Union's last hope rests in one lone agent with the cunning, training, and Veto Power to stop him. This summer, prepare to be... emancipated! Abraham 007 - From Gettysburg With Love. When he addresses an Army, YOU'D BETTER LISTEN!!
  • timburtonfan - Appropriatly, his icon was a cartoonish Grim Reaper.
  • burntbrowniez - Mmmm... Brownies, burnt or not, are always good!
  • hyphyxxl - I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean, but his icon was a Rubber Duck next to a Shark.
  • thewaterispoison - Oh, another warning handle! But what water is poison? The Tap Water? The stuff in the Old Well? The irrigation water used around here has all kinds of runoff from the cow pastures, so that stuff is pretty close to poison. Or maybe he's another sucker who fell for that whole dihydrogen monoxide hoax some years back.
  • NBK_GAYBUTTFUKRS - Somewhere, there's a twelve year-old boy laughing at his brilliance, thinking he's the most clever and edgey person ever to push an envelope. "I MADE A SWEAR IN MY NAME! I'M AWESOME!!"
  • UPD8_TF2_4ConsoL - A request from a player, dismayed that Valve Software is pushing all the new goodies on PC, while the Console versions languish in their inital release. I think 4 maps have been added, but still only a pale shadow of the goods the PC players get.
  • MissyMisdemeanor - Chances of this really being Missy Elliot? Only slightly better than NBK_GAYBUTTFUKRS not being a complete ass.
  • KodaChromed - SONG CUE! Give us the niiiiight's bright colors, give us the greeeeens of summer, Make us think all the world's a sunny day!...
And that about wraps it all up. By the way my handle on the PlayStation Network is Pittencream, an obscure reference used due to every single nickname, screen name and alias I've ever used in my life being somehow unavilable. Guess the reference (without a google search. Honor System enforced) and you win Mad Props (cash value of Mad Props is 1/100 of a cent, void where prohibbited).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Three Lesser Nuggets of Happiness

1) Receiving a package from Today, it was three mini-Hibachi grills, semi-disposable, quasi-reusable, made to be portable. The three combined cost less than the five bucks shipping.

2) Opening my gas bill to find out that Questar is giving a rebate to customers due to lowered gas prices, thus bringing this month's bill to -$0.45. Hooray!

3) Mowing down my openents with HeavyWeaponsGuy in Team Fortress 2. Especially those obnoxious little Scout punks. Always trying to take my Sandvich...

Monday, May 18, 2009

In Which Fuzzy Endorses his Hobbies

As a displaced tabletop game enthusiast, I have a lot of difficulties finding other players out here in cowboy country. All of my peers have at least two children under the age of 5, or are too busy working nights and weekends on the family ranch (seriously). As a result, I have to resort to the Internet to find opponents. And this is where I plug GameTableOnline

Originally I discovered this site after Wizards of the Coast contracted the guys that ran GameTable to develop Java versions of some of their I.P. for use with Gleemax, which was to be a social networking site for gamers. 

Gamer... Social... Networking... Site. Ugh, I'm not sure if I can make that sound any more lame.

The games they built for WotC were Acquire (my favorite), Robo Rally, Vegas Showdown, Guillotine, and the most popular one to date: Axis and Allies. WotC decided that between everything else they were trying to focus (such as the 4th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons, which was getting ready to launch at the time), they decided to cut loose some projects, including the Gleemax site. Rather than let some pretty good electronic versions of their games dissapear, they allowed GameTable to post them on their own site.

They also have a few traditional board games such as Chess, Backgammon, etc, and other games from independent developers.

Right now, they are looking to change over to a subscription based business model so they can make their product sustainable. I think it's worth at least a couple bucks a month just for Acquire alone. Check it out.

And in the hopes of motivating some of my friends back home, I'll say these three words: Kill Dr. Lucky!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nerd Education

I realize that a lot of the people in my department are sharper than me, more experienced then me, and (professionally speaking) just plain better than me. But that does not excuse the lack of knowlege of various Internet memes.

Today, I had to educate one of the supervisors on what exactly all your base was, and why it belong to us. Seriously, he drew blanks on this. "So... does the name Leeroy Jenkins ring a bell at all??" **He shakes his head**

Ugh. My fellow nerds need more nerd pop-culture in their lives.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Perils of Instant Gratification

After years of failed attempts by various companies to market electronic books, Amazon looks like to be the company that has finally gotten it right with their Kindle device. The first Kindle had the unique quality of not sucking to read from, which was the sticking point for all previous devices. the Kindle2 was thinner, could read .pdf files, and could download books, some newspapers, and Wikipedia articles wirelessly anywhere you could connect to the same Edge network that wireless phones do.

This latest one now has a bigger screen that makes reading the newspapers and wikipedia content easier. But now, some people are so upset that this was released so quickly after the latest iteration of the Kindle that they have written whiny articles that makes me want to search my closet to see if I can still find the World's Tiniest Violin and play them some suck-it-up music.
Here's a wonderful little quote:
An Amazon spokesperson, in response to my tirade, told me "Well now you have a choice." The key word being "now." But when I bought the product three months ago, I did not have a choice.
I counter that statement with one from Rush:

You didn't have to buy the thing in the first place, but could have waited. People that buy the latest model car in July don't complain when a newer better version comes out soon after. Just because this was the latest/greatest at the time, doesn't not put an obligation on the seller or manufacturer to never sell or create a comparable item that's better than yours, or ensure that you're item is the best for a guaranteed amount of time.

The whole thing reminds me of a similar complaint of another reputable company.

When the iPhone hit the street a few years back, all of the iFaithful were outraged by the announcement that the iPhone was going to drop in price by 33% less than 3 months after it was released. The iFaithful were shocked - shocked!! - that Steve Jobs wasn't their geeky buddy giving away his nifty toys, but was in fact an executive of a publicly traded corporation that has a desire to make a profit.

The complaint was that the price cut was too soon; they would have delayed their purchase if they knew it would drop by that much in that short of a time, Apple doesn't value it's most loyal worshipers customers, etc.

The way I see it is even if Apple had announced before it inital launch that the price would have been cut by $200 in 10 weeks, people still would have lined up outside of their stores to throw money at them. For being without iStuff is to be incomplete as a person. People were willing to pay $600 bucks for one of these things, and no functionality was added to the $400 phone, or subtracted from the phone they purchased. People who waited just got a better deal.

I personally believe that the early adopters, while vital, or at least very important to the adaptation of new technologies, think that they are getting something more than the latest and greatest gadget on the bleeding edge of science. They are buying a membership into the upper crust of their social circle. The people that have the iPhones can discuss iPhone apps, hacks, settings, troubleshooting, etc. and have all the nifty little applications that can make life in the urban jungle easier to navigate, or at least more fun.

But more importantly, they can look down upon those that don't have these things. I'm not saying that iFolk actively think that they count more as a person than someone that uses a Nokia or Sony phone, but I would bet that buried in the parts of their brain that deals with social justice, a thought pops up from time to time: "You're still using a RAZR? You poor wretch. Do you have a tin cup that I can drop some change into? Maybe you can get one of those discontinued 4GB iPhones from eBay or something."

It kinda feels good to be on the inside track, and I guess that the iFolk thought there was some sort of handshake agreement that if they paid the premium for the device, their iClique would be protected by that pricing scheme for at least six months. Then the price came down quicker than imagined, and their heads were filled with visions of the great unwashed with their Wal-Mart grooming and technolgical ineptitude buying up their defacto Badge of Honor now that they were more affordable.

The lesson is, if you don't need it right now, wait. and if you do buy it now, remember that the maker of your gadget is probably making improvements to it, and will want to get those improvements out as soon as possible in a bid to increase market share. This means your device will be obsolete rather quickly. Especially true for any technical device.

And for all of you that doubt the blind devotion of the iFolk to their company, let me share with you an Instant Messenger quote from my Brother-In-Law shortly after purchasing his iPhone on the launch date:

"Jesus has come back, except he's a phone now!"


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Good to be in the Cowboy State

The whole recession thing sucks less here than it does most everywhere else, except for North Dakota.

In addition, people are fleeing Michigan as if it was rapidly sinking into the Great Lakes.

Hat Tip: The Consumerist

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Running the Show

When my mother was visiting for a night up here, I took her to the only fun place in town on Friday night: Bridger Valley Lanes for a night of Karaoke. Yeah, it would have been better to see some of the more nature oriented things, but she had to catch a plane in Salt Lake the next day.

The man who runs the show is getting ready to move out to one or two places, but wanted to sell off his old Karaoke system. The original deal with the proprietors of the Lanes was beginning to fall apart so I did the only logical thing.

I bought it.

So, um... I guess now I'm a Karaoke Master, or something.