I spent most of the remaining time before I had to return home laid up in bed, though I did get to have a few fun forays out... all in all, it was not a good trip.Read Full Article
I don't know what the hell I did to deserve this kind of karmic payback, but I tell you I must have had some kind of blacked-out psychotic episode and murdered countless orphans for me to deserve what I've been through today... (click read full article)
As I write this, the time is 11:39 central. PM. I've been either in airports or on planes for the last 12 hours, all for a trip that was supposed to take around 5.
I'm headed for vegas, for two nights of fun with my old man and his youngest brother, and their wives. The schedule went thusly - Wake up at 8:30am central, to be ready to go by 9:30, to get to the airport by 10:15 for check in and security, for a plane that departs at 11:15, which connects through houston to get me to Las Vegas at 4:30pm mountain time. Have dinner and see a show with the others, maybe gamble a little, and get a good night's rest.
Well, first thing that happens is I oversleep. Of all the days to oversleep. I even set my alarm. I guess my body just doesn't like being out of bed before 10 on a weekend. But, even though I woke up at 9:30 I still got to the airport by 10:45 and skipped the line by using the automated check-in booth.
11:15 rolls around and my plane still hasn't even arrived yet.
I head up there to find out what the deal is, are we delayed? If so, shouldn't be too much of a problem, I've got a 2 hour layover in Houston, so...
The board flips to "Cancelled."
Ok. We're calm, we can handle this. I talk to the nice people at Continental and they see what they can do for me. The next flight to houston? Oooooh sorry, that just filled up. The one after that? Sure, here you go. Now, that'll make you miss your connection, so we'll book you on the flight AFTER that to vegas, and you should be arriving around 5:30. Ok, not too bad. I glance at the ticket and see "2:40pm".
It doesn't even click in my head, the math I mean. I decide to go get something to eat, cause Breakfast was one of the things I had to skip to get to the airport in time for my cancelled flight. I have a pleasant lunch, and arrive back at the airport at 2 for a leisurely boarding process. I head to security, the TSA agent looks at my boarding pass and says "sir, this flight left 5 minutes ago." What? That can't be, it leaves at 2:40. "No, sir, it ARRIVES at 2:40. It departed at 1:55."
I look at the ticket again.
Well, Son of a bitch.
I'd be mad, but I can't. Because I look like an idiot. Let me tell you something, loyal readers (yes, both of you), the Gas Bandit does not often look like a moron. This is the first time I missed a flight, ever.
Ok, we're calm. We go back to the ticket counter. We explain what a dips%@# we are. We ask if there's anything that can be done.
Of course there is... the next one leaves... at 4:50pm. My groaning at that being 20 minutes later than I was supposed to be IN vegas is stifled by me remembering I've just been the world's least competent traveller for 2 hours. Ok, wonderful. I'll take it. This should get me into Vegas at 7:30. That's not too bad, only 3 hours late. A small bit of penance for being such a dumbass.
Not wanting to chance my own dumbassery again, I stay in the airport this time. 2 and a half hours fly by with free wireless. I get on the plane, we fly, I'm in houston. Ok! Back on track!
I take the shuttle from Concourse A to Concourse C, and find my gate. Something's wrong, it still says "Austin" on it. I turn around to find the big board. The plane that is supposed to depart at 6... now says departing at 7. Oooh, ouch. Well, this is why I have a laptop.
This is where I discover that Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport is the only airport I've ever been in that charges for wireless. 10 freakin bucks a day. No way. I've bent over for a lot today, but I'm not taking a 10 dollar wireless suppository. I can kill an extra hour without the internet. No, my fingers aren't shaking.
Fortunately, I brought my wireless guitar controller, and the laptop of course has a fully loaded copy of the RF-Modded Frets On Fire, with all 4 guitar hero games plus more. I whip the axe out, and am the subject of airport patron scrutiny for an hour. I look up at the board. "6:00pm to Vegas ---DELAYED--- 8:00pm." Son of a....
"weather," the guy next to me explains. Figures.
More guitar hero. Now the big board says "9:00pm departure." You have got to be kidding me. A lady in the row behind me calls somebody she knows in vegas. Vegas person says the weather is beautiful. Wuh... tuh... fuh?
Well, fortunately I guess that imaginary thunderstorm over the Las Vegas desert clears up and they board us at 9pm. I'm not even bothering to calculate arrival times any more. I've had a sinus infection recently, the sudafed is wearing off, and for a sunday night flight to vegas this plane is looking packed. I try to call my father, but his cell phone has the worst reception since Martians ate Beagle-1. I think he understands that I'm just now boarding in houston.
So here it is, approaching midnight (or 11pm Vegas time), and it feels like we're descending. Thank goodness my ears are popping. I guess lady karma finally took pity on me and didn't want me to rupture an eardrum today.
Soon we'll be on the ground, and it'll obviously take a good half hour to get off the plane because it's so jam packed. I don't know if I have the energy. I'm tired and a little dizzy and sniffling and trying not to cough.
Oh, and the in-flight movie was that "Rock" vehicle where the football player discovers he has an 8 year old daughter. And I didn't bring any of my media DVDs, because who needs movies on a laptop in vegas, right?
The walk through the las vegas airport is half stampede, half acid trip because I'm tired and starting to feel really light headed and dizzy. I don't even bother to stop and see if there's wireless, as it's almost midnight. Somehow I find the right shuttle bus, and get a ride to Bally's.
Bally's is staffed by a bunch of penguins. They didn't know my father's name, or my name. I find a payphone and find out to call a non-local cell phone costs four and a half bucks. F@#$ that noise. Fortunately a nearby machine vends phone cards. I buy a ten dollar one... try to call my father. No dice. I try to call my Uncle. No dice. Not only no dice but money is sure as hell disappearing from the card faster than the advertised 12.5 cents a minute. I read the teeny tiny fine print on the back of the card, and find out there's a 99 cent fee for using a payphone, and a 69 cent "connection fee" right on top of that. How freaking dishonest is that? And for that matter, who the hell buys a phone card for use anywhere OTHER than a payphone? Kind of negates the whole point.
So I decide, well, I'm on my own. So I go back to the front desk and just try to get a room, ignoring my father's reservation. They tell me the hotel is full. A full hotel on a sunday night. Wow. Somebody out there is punishing me big time.
I'm getting less and less steady on my feet. it's now 1:30 am, I try another call to my uncle, and father (half the 10 dollar card is now used up), and then I head back to sit in the lobby. I just need to rest a minute before I head outside and try to find somewhere, anywhere, with a bed and a roof to sleep. 5 minutes later karma cuts me a break and my uncle walks in. It takes me a minute to realize it isn't a fever dream.
Anyway, Unca Bandit fills me in on the story. I'm not the only one who had airplane troubles. Seems bad weather also grounded my Dad's plane in new mexico somewhere (how that happened, with New Mexico being not very on the way from colorado to nevada, I do not know yet), and they are having to drive. They are still on the road as I type this.
So Unca Bandit knows the score with the rooms. They're under my stepmother's name (which is different from my father's because they're both doctors and they need to differentiate on mail and phone calls). He has the super sekrit skwirrel code to get me one of the rooms, but as Dad hasn't arrived yet I'll foot the bill myself.
At this point all I want to do is check my e-mail, turn on the TV and pass out for 12 hours and pray I don't wake up with a fever. But I get to my room, and guess what... neither the TV, nor the Ethernet Jack work. I think Bally's must be the only hotel on the strip without wireless.
Convinced that ONE THING is going to get resolved tonight, I call down to the desk and they say they'll send up an engineer. He just now figured out the problem, a bad power strip mounted under the table that feeds all the electronics in my room. He bypasses it, and goes off to find a new power strip.
I get the juice going on the ol' 10-base-T RJ45... and am staring at a ELEVEN NINETY FIVE PER DAY useage charge.
Oy. Hopefully tomorrow will be enough awesome to make up for this. If I can get out of bed.
Worst. Vacation. Ever.
Gas Bandit's goin' to Lost Wages today. I'll be back Wednesday night, with updates to resume thursday. Watch out now!Read Full Article
This is actually pretty damn cool.
No, I still don't play. But hey, it's gaming news to 10 million active subscribers, so here it is. (click Read Full Article) World of Warcraft Client Patch 2.3.3 The latest patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/ The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html General Bug Fixes World of Warcraft Client Patch 2.3.2 (1/8/2008) The latest patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/ The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html General Druids Hunters Mages Paladins Rogues Shaman Warlock Warrior Professions Items Dungeons and Raids Quests User Interface Bug Fixes
World of Warcraft Client Patch 2.3.3
The latest patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/
The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html
World of Warcraft Client Patch 2.3.2 (1/8/2008)
The latest patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/
Dungeons and Raids
Get a load of these system specs - 3GB of ram?!
In order to play this game properly, your PC MUST meet or exceed these minimum requirements:
Supported OS: Windows XP / Vista (only)
Processor: Dual core processor 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ or better recommended)
RAM: 2 GB (3 GB recommended)
Video Card: 256 MB DirectX 10.0–compliant video card or DirectX 9.0–compliant card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher (512 MB video card recommended) (see supported list)*
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0 or 10.0 compliant sound card (5.1 sound card recommended)
DirectX Version: DirectX 10.0 libraries (included on disc)
DVD-ROM: DVD-ROM dual-layer drive
Hard Drive Space: 12 GB
Peripherals Supported: Keyboard, mouse, optional controller (Xbox 360 Controller for Windows recommended)
*Supported Video Cards at Time of Release:
ATI RADEON X1300-1950 / HD 2000 / 3000 series
NVIDIA GeForce 6600-6800 / 7 / 8 / 9 series
Laptop versions of these cards may work but are NOT supported. These chipsets are the only ones that will run this game.
NOTICE: This game contains technology intended to prevent copying that may conflict with some disc and virtual drives.
Read Full Article
So, you know, if you haven't bought a PS3 yet... because the color was wrong... (and not because of the stupidly high price, limited/crappy game library, etc)... well, your salvation is coming.Read Full Article
Get a load of this... apparently it's just easier to photoshop the map of the Arathi Highlands than it is just to get an actual map of Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Is there anything regarding WoW that the chinese haven't bastardized and ruined?Read Full Article
Another one I found on Blues'-
A German-language article on GameStar.de has some details on Battlefield Heroes, the just-announced free installment in the Battlefield series of military shooters. These details, uncovered in a German gaming magazine, include word that the game is third-person only with no first-person option, and that there are plans for an open beta test this summer.3rd person only? What, is it going to be an RPG instead of an FPS or something? Read Full Article
Read Full ArticleKerberos Productions announces development of NorthStar, a science fiction RPG set in a different continuity than their Sword of the Stars 4X games. NorthStar is described by Kerberos CEO Martin Cirulis as being "...about putting the rogue back in your wingcommander." A NorthStar Forum is already live to foster discussion of the project, and offers a few details, including word that combat will be more tactical than flight sim (it sounds like ship navigation may be third-person), there will be an emphasis on exploration and trade, cooperative multiplayer support will be offered, and more. Most of what's been revealed about the game is summarized on this page, while this page offers some concept art and the following list of features:
• Countless RPG missions, nested with story-specific missions, that take place on ships, spacestations, planets, and moons! Shoot it out in ship-to-ship combat or shoot it out on the ground as you and your crew try and make a living!
• Faction-based reputation in dealing with various groups expanding throughout the stars, each modeled as the future, fictional version of Earth nations!
• Massive amounts of cargo that the you can trade, sell, or use for yourself, including combining items to produce new items to trade, sell or use! Map new planets in the air and then explore the surface with your crew for your own purposes or to make a little extra cash from land-hungry colonists!
• Dozens of ship classes, each with expandable levels of technology - which are reflected in the ship models, weapons and combat effects. Dozens of weapons and technology players can outfit their ship with in order to fly further, fast, carry more cargo, and protect themselves better!
• And more!
Makes for an interesting read. The named links at the bottom are broken, but the page number links still work.Read Full Article
They've already got the Ion Engines working, but it really tweaks me how the article calls them "Star Trek type engines," when Ion Engines are actually Star Wars. Star Trek's engines of note are the "Warp Drives" which operate by bending space around the vessel... and I dare say we're a few more years away from that kind of technology.Read Full Article
Read Full Article
Seems EA is trying something different with their upcoming summer release of Battlefield Heroes. Not only is the game an artistic departure from previous battlefield titles (looks kinda cartoony, like TF2, maybe even cel shaded), but apparently it will be free to play, with the client downloaded from online. The business model for this game says it will make money via in-game advertising and micropayments for bonus gear and things.
Myself, I've watched the Battlefield series go from awesome to repulsive over the course of time. I have zero confidence in EA making this work.. but hey, if it's free to download, I might well check it out all the same.
All the "Dudes" from the Big Lebowski.
Apparently while those brainiacs over at Capcom have been putting together their full 3D remake of Bionic Commando, they've also put together a level-for-level "2.5D" revamp of the original NES Classic. They're calling it Bionic Commando ReArmed. It'll be on XBLA, PSN, and PC this spring. Color me excited.
Trailer available for you here. (10mb)
Reasons why here.
Downloading and installing the patches takes a couple of hours, depending on how many updates your machine needs. However, more than 30 hours after first installing a clean version of the SP1 RC Refresh, it's still finding missing updates linked to the SP1. While the changelog for the initial Release Candidate was long and detailed, the new RC Refresh is beset by a dearth of information.Read Full Article
Given that, the amount of time it will take to load all the patches and bug fixes, and that some of those may not yet be ready for prime time, I'm going to recommend that most users give SP1 RC Refresh a pass until a better update comes out.
Only if you feel incredibly comfortable crippling your machine should you bother with this monstrosity.
The latest patch for those good ol' standbys, Starcraft and Starcraft Broodwars, now makes it available to play without having the CD in the drive (as if we hadn't been cracking it all these years). I guess common sense takes over at some point.Read Full Article
Sierra's got another Leisure Suit Larry game coming at us, and it looks like they don't want to repeat the mistakes that got people grumbling about Magna Cum Laude.
Let's not pull any punches here. The last Leisure Suit Larry was a radical departure from previous titles in the series, and a huge disappointment for fans who were hoping for an adventure game but instead found a collection of tedious mini-games. Thankfully Sierra, the publisher of the series, has taken the criticisms on board, and Larry is back with a new developer and a new focus that looks to marry the charms of Larry-past with modern gaming sensibilities.Read Full Article
Seems another fly has hit the zapper.
I'm not particularly broken up over it. The plan they outlined for Star Trek Online let you only be federation (and only a limited number of races in the federation), and little to no PVP. Ah well. Sic transit yadda yadda.
This has to be some kind of bad joke. World in conflict? Were they playing the same game as me? That plot was so chestnutted and hackneyed, those characters so recycled, that I thought it had to be satire!
Just goes to show you Console tards can't tell up from down when it comes to good storytelling. Where was CoD4? Where was Bioshock (which did have a good story, despite all my bias against it for a bad launch)? Where was Sam & Max? Where was Half Life Ep 2?
Neal Boortz's Ten Thoughts for 2008 -
Number 10. Life is sexually transmitted.Read Full Article
Number 9. Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
Number 8. Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich.
Number 7. Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.
Number 6. Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.
Number 5. Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying Of nothing.
Number 4. All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
Number 3. Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200.00 and a substantial tax Cut saves you $0.30?
Number 2. In the '60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world Is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.
AND THE NUMBER 1 THOUGHT FOR 2008: 'Life is like a jar of jalapeños. What you do today, might burn your a$$ tomorrow'.
10 Video Game characters and the real life people they resemble. Dennis Kucinich as Larry Laffer was the kicker for me. Read it.Read Full Article
Have an open wireless network? Neighbors stealing your bandwidth? I suppose you could close it off with security and such, but consider you could also screw with them.Read Full Article
Somehow I am thinking my eyes are deceiving me.
The FCC Chairman is seemingly saying a whole lot of stuff I like, especially where DRM, a-la-carte Cable, broadband, etc, are concerned. I guess time will tell if it is a sign of good things to come, or just talk.
Logitech's stock went up on news that Microsoft could be making a bid to buy them. The founder says he's not interested, but as he only owns 6% of the stock it might not be up to him.Read Full Article
Word on the street is there's some issues with the 1.1 Patch for Crysis. May want to pay attention to some of the work-arounds if you are patching it.
A day has now passed since the Crysis Patch 1.1 was released. We have seen several postings pop up here on Crymod with members reporting installation problems and general issues with the patch. Crytek and fellow community members have been working hard attempting to find workarounds for these problems, and we’d like to share them with you now.Read Full Article
Patch Problems – Workarounds
If you are suffering from an installation problem with Patch 1.1 or having other unresolved new issues with it, several workarounds have been discovered which can be found here: Crysis Patch 1.1 - Known Issues & Workarounds!. Please read through them and let us know which ones do work and which don't.
Additionally you are welcome to inform us about new workarounds you find for specific problems. We are currently investigating these issues in-house and keep you updated on the status.
Performance Increase Discussion
One of the focusing points of Patch 1.1 was increasing the performance of the game overall. After you have installed the patch, you should see some performance increase.
To aid Crytek in better understanding how this patch has increased performance on multiple machines, we would like to ask the community to consider benchmarking your performance while running Crysis and post the results in our Patch 1.1 Benchmark Results topic.
We have previously reported on an excellent benchmarking tool in an earlier news posting, so if you are in need of one, we suggest checking out this benchmarking tool developed by MadBoris.
Well, it sure looks that way.
Every day it gets more painful to deny myself a new Console, because despite stuff like the above, I just wouldn't play it enough to justify the cost. I mean, I think I got a grand total of 50 hours out of my PS2... and that was with Amplitude and Burnout and SC2 and a myriad of other games I really really liked. Ah well.
Ok, Vacation's over, and now I'm 4 wisdom teeth lighter as well. Updates should start trickling back to normalcy here, gradually.Read Full Article
The one doing the "suspicious behavior" is an NPC guard. Go figure.