Yet Another Web App

Newsvine has gone into public beta and I’ve been playing with it a little bit today (Here’s a look at it). Like many such apps, it’s an amalgam of other tools. del.icio.us meets digg meets google news meets weblog software. It’s got tagging, a user reward and moderation scheme, community interaction, rss feeds, and its own set of buzz words (you don’t post, you seed). It’s a solid, well designed app that’s going to grow fast. There are some issues…

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Like Learning to Walk

The other day, I dusted off Amplitude for the first time in a long time. I pulled it out to settle an argument of sorts and to continue with the Harmonix loving while giving my pinkie finger a rest. It was hurting. In the tradition of “Nintendo Thumb” and “iPod finger”, I dub this condition “Guitar Hero pinkie”. After a couple of warm-up tracks in Amplitude, I was back to (or near) the level of skill I had when I…

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Best Things of 2005

A “best of” list spanning across multiple media would be the ideal thing to do, but I just don’t feel at the forefront of anything but games and internet junk. As far as music is concerned, my favourite albums from the last year actually came out in the early 80s and 90s. There’s been some new albums that I’ve enjoyed this year, but I haven’t heard enough to be definitive about them (though, if anything, Rossz Csillag Allat Született might…

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Sixer

My hip four digit blogger id (it’s been a long time since I used their service) confirms that this is my sixth anniversary of doing this. I’m a grizzled veteran. After all these years, the weblog became a natural extension of the self. There isn’t any thought to it, there’s no pressure or desire to impress or attract traffic and no stress about posting habits. It just is. I’ve seen a lot of change in these six years. I’ve seen…

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Guitar Hero

Guitar Hero is addictive as crack. This is an apt comparison because in Canada, Guitar Hero is about as difficult to acquire as any contraband. The distribution, especially north of the border, really really sucks. A shame; more people should play this game. Don’t take my word for it. Anybody with an inner rocker in them falls in love with this game the instant they play it. I did, and even though I suck at it and am struggling with…

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Wild World

I’ve been playing Animal Crossing: Wild World over the last week, venturing out to distant towns through Nintendo WiFI and inviting foreign interlopers into mine. The original Animal Crossing, on the GameCube, was a great little zen game. By its nature it was a decent portable game despite being tied down to a home console, so the translation to the DS seems natural. Very natural when you realize just how complete Wild World is. There are a few minor sacrifices…

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The Virtual Earth — minus most of the Earth

Another month, another online map service. While Microsoft’s Local Live does have some very nice “bird’s eye view” shots, they don’t have any for this metropolis. But worry not. If you’re in Canada, you can still see some of it, so long as you don’t mind staring at Niagara Falls’ cheesy, slimey “strip”. Now there’s a way to get an impression of Canada. The Falls is nice, though, even if it is poorly sliced in the other views (hit the…

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X X X R1 Square Triangle

This “ad” for the new Prince of Persia (looks like forced wannabe viral… although I am linking to it) isn’t at all funny. However, I find it odd that a game would be marketed as such since the spot does nothing but leave you with the impression that the controls for this game are overly complex and retarded. Prepare to die many times because you couldn’t figure out which of the twelve buttons to press at a particular moment. Sounds…

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Cop Games

A woman’s torso was found less than a block from my building. Yes, just the torso. It happened two weeks ago but today was the first time I heard of it. I discovered this little news bit when two police officers solicited in my building. Two officers came to my door and told me what happened, they said that they’re looking for information and asked if they may take a quick look inside my apartment. I agreed. They asked for…

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A Personal History of Console Launches Part I

It began with the Nintendo Entertainment System. Its actual launch was a non-event to me. I just wasn’t aware of it. I wasn’t aware of a lot of things at the time. It was grade one and I had been in Canada for a matter of months. I couldn’t speak English yet and our priorities were above consumer electronics: we had a west end apartment with no tables, no chairs, no sofa, no bed and, clearly, no TV. The NES…

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Mario Kart DS

Mario Kart DS. Nintendo’s first real online excursion. It helps their cause that, apart from the online connectivity, they start off with a really good game. The best Mario Kart since the original, as far as I’m concerned (I missed the N64, the GBA version was… off and the most recent GC version I found to be lacking.) The only strong negative with Mario Kart DS, to me, is that the controls seem to cramp my hand a little and…

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The Right Brothers

Speaking of appalling songs: there’s a “grassroots” campaign to Help Teach American Youth That “Bush Was Right!”. They wish to do that by getting a shitty song from the “Right Brothers” on MTV’s TRL. If you aren’t a fan of the Right Brothers (you should be!) the I suggest hitting their site and checking out their videos, like this quality number of Tolerate This. It’s “kicking”! Take that you punk listening non-voting fourteen year old bastards! It’s hilariously misguided, just…

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Perfect Dark Unsexiness

So what happens when testosterone-driven FPS game makers working for Microsoft want to improve the demographic “appeal” of their title? They make an unrealistic “sexy” female lead character and have her pose in FHM. That should appease the early teens who buy our awesome rehashes! Now, if their nerd version of sexy wasn’t quite enough, they try to spruce up her image by making a sexy song. via “teh pile”: Since it is a video game, they have to try…

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