Video Games

I can hardly friggin wait

I bought this game used for PS2 and adored it, but couldn’t stand the low fidelity of the console and my TV. I just bought this for $30 on Steam (and I’m getting reimbursed – belated birthday present!). The game even comes with a digital copy of the soundtrack.

In the mean time you can check out the Bully soundtrack on eMusic. It’s free if you download the songs individually. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s one of my favourite game soundtracks of all time.

Go buy this game. Rockstar is an incredible developer with better level designers, gameplay programmers, and storywriters than just about any other studio in the industry. I lose myself in Rockstar games, and so will you.

This will keep me more than busy until GTA4 is out in about 3 weeks.

Any game worth playing comes out on PC, and it always looks and plays better than any console.


Digg your own hole

My name is Brian and I’m a reformed Diggaholic. Yes, I used to be addicted to Diggahol; the informational ambrosia of content on

I began as a lurker in early 2006, sopping up the then tech-only news stories whenever Slashdot, my home page of many years, hadn’t saturated my sponge. I loved Digg’s concept of democratizing news, empowering its readership to grant its yea or nay for each story and each user comment, imposing the law of the jungle to separate the cheetahs from the zebu.

My impressions at that time were largely favourable but not wholly impressed. My own attempts to submit stories I found interesting all fell flat with fewer than 5 Diggs, and the sophistication of conversation fell far below that of Slashdot which uses a similar peer comment ranking system. Digg’s biggest asset was the sheer volume of stories, titilating me technologically at all times between less-frequent but generally harder-hitting Slashdot stories.

About a year later Digg’s eyes widened like saucers at the prospect of broadening its audience, so they opened the system up to the most mundane of news – non-tech news. At this point the floodgates opened and the masses flocked to Digg like Fox News to conjecture. With this influx of traffic came increasingly pervasive ads, many of which were animated and covered the primary content, uninvited, until being manually dismissed.

I enjoyed, but mostly endured the new news topics, largely because I had to. I had a user account which enabled me to toggle categories on Digg’s front page, but I chiefly navigated Digg through an RSS feed which was the same for everybody, including all topics. This subjected me to endless celebrity gossip, brainless top-10 lists, and worst of all, American politics. Specifically, Ron Paul and his overly aggressive supporters provided the last straw.

By this time the persona of Digg’s founder, Kevin Rose, appeared to have changed as well. I knew him first as a mousy troublemaker as “The Dark Tipper” on TechTV’s The Screen Savers show, offering black hat networking tricks and shadowey . He’s since seemingly evolved into a juvenile frat boy, hosting a variety of podcasts and web TV shows, openly drinking malt liquor and guffawing over the day’s sensationalist stories about sports bloopers and Hooters restaurant embarassments. Even his attempts to return to his more credible roots, by means of technology web shows, fell flat as he’d introduce fascinating topics involving meticulous handiwork, only to “start wipe” past the squeamish details in a fell swoop of brainless TV magic. I felt like the world had successfully swallowed Kevin Rose.

I’ve not returned to Digg since April, and have experimented instead with hosting my own RSS aggregator servers and similar solutions. I feel that in this day and age the ideal solution is for MY news to come to ME, not for me to seek out other people’s news as I did on Digg. Perhaps others agree with me.

A speculative story on the Search & Social blog prompted me to check out Digg’s Alexa traffic ratings myself. I was pretty astounded at the sharp dropoff of viewers around June of this year:

The increase in traffic from August 2007 through June 2008 is almost linear, with a sudden dramatic dropoff immediatley after. I wonder what could be the cause of this? Rumours of a Digg buyout have circulated for years, yet never seemed to find a suitable beau. If my web service showed such a linear increase in traffic I’d be reluctant to pin a price on it as well. Could it be that Digg has missed the gravy boat?


One day at Arecibo, Puerto Rico

October 8, 2308, 2:34am

“Sir, we’re getting some strange readings from the Arecibo facility.”

“Bring it up.”

“This can’t be! Watson, check the calibration record.”

“Already did, sir. We’re receiving at optimal levels and the the weather is clear. We should have confirmation from the VLA in a moment.”

“I can’t believe it. We’ve been scouring the heavens for years and after all this time… could this be the end?

“Sir! The VLA has responded!”

“Quickly, Watson! Run a differential and bring it up onscreen!”

“Astounding! They’re identical!”

“Sir, this… looks like the apex. Did we find it after all this time, all the way out in the damn Pleiades?”

“Yes, I’d wager so. Looks to stretch out to about halfway between Alcyone and Merope.”

“My god… I mean, I always knew it was enormous, but… I mean…”

“I know, Watson. I know.”

“It’s just that… I used to think it was endless, boundless… but now that I see the extent… to grasp its entirety in my mind’s eye… I can’t take it! it somehow seems even bigger than infinite!”

“Now you remember this, Watson. The human race is a remarkable force, but not one without its limitations. We took up tools as we took up arms. We wrote poetry and fashioned songs that we might practise our speechcraft to more effectively chastise our brethren. We rose up from the muck only to pollute our world.

And now this last bastion, this last possibility, has reminded mankind once more of its… humanity; its summit. Like the tower of Babel this appeared to us for so long to just keep going on and on… but by the Baskervilles, like every other human trait and endeavour, we can confirm there is a zenith, albeit at an astronomical altitude.

This is it. The end.

We’ve finally found the limit to MYCROFT’S TRIVIA KNOWLEDGE!!!”

Congrats on winning my trivia challenge, Mycroft!!