Israel and More Video Games

Here's a 2 for 1. These have nothing to do with each other, I am sick, so I don't feel like making new entries for each thing I have to say.

I feel for those Israelis in the Gaza strip who don't want to leave. I really do. The government just came up and said "Get the F%@#! out, BI%#@!ES!!!" Like those people who bought a house where a highway will be built many years later. Except, this is way different. If your house is needed because of a highway, you can probably find another house in the same town to buy. It would be like our government taking New Jersey, and telling those people to get out, and giving it to us Pennsylvanians. Alright, that's probably a somewhat invalid analogy, since, who would want New Jersey?! Just kidding. Point is, that sucks, and I feel for those poor Israelis.

Now to the fun part!! w00t! I bought 2 MORE video games the other day. They are both awesome. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War is the first one I'll talk about. It adds some great gameplay elements to the traditional real time strategy (RTS) game. There are strategic locations that you have to control to gain resources. These are just points on the map, usually in a strategic location. You control them by having guys there to defend it, if it's your furthest point from your base that you control, or you leave it and go get another one. These give you resources to buy things like more units, buildings, vehicles, upgrades, etc. The other cool thing about it is the squads. You build a unit, which is in fact a squad, like a "Space Marine Squad" and it pumps out with 4 space marines. Then, you can reinforce the squad with more guys. You can also add a Sergeant and a hero (if you have heros left) to it. Next, you can upgrade up to 4 members of the squad's weapons. You can give them a flame thrower, heavy bolter gun, plasma rifle, or a rocket launcher. I can beat the computer with 3 fully upgraded squads and a few "Dreadnought" robots. The game is awesome.

Next game. Psychonauts!! Get this game. It's awesome. Check out Tim Schafer's news posts and practically everything on the website over at There are a very high number of great and fun aspects to this game. The level of creativity in the level design and abilities that "Rasputin" gets and the story makes the whole game wreak of outstanding quality. It wreaks so much of quality that when I'm not playing it, I have to put it in a airsealed bag and spray the room with Lysol. When I am playing it, well, let's just say that you don't want to come in the room. I actually emailed Tim Schafer a few times now, and he's always written back. I keep them because he's a "celebrity" in the gaming world. You might have played "Grim Fandango"??? I did. He thought up that one. He's a genius. He has other games out there, but I'm sorry to say I've only played two of them. So, buy this game. It's out on PS2, XBox and PC. I bought it for PS2. I actually asked Tim what his beef with Nintendo was. Here's what he wrote back for those of you who can't buy the game because you only own a GameCube:


We here at Double Fine definitely have no beef with Nintendo! We love
Nintendo. We all would have been overjoyed to see Psychonauts on the
Gamecube. But it's just not up to us. The developer doesn't make such
decisions. The people with the money do, and in this case they decided
not to."

CDs Incompatible with iPods


Stupid ass music companies and MICROSOFT. Yes, Microsoft had something to do with this, believe it or not. These are copy protected CDs that allow you to copy the songs to your hard drive, but guess what... only in Windows Media format. And as you may know, Microsoft is to music as Microsoft is to secure operating systems. They can't be good at one thing, they have to take over the whole world and suck at everything. Ok, but enough about Microsoft.

One guy says : "Apple's the leader in digital music. It doesn't make sense to release too many copy-protected CDs if they're incompatible with iPods. But Apple could also be at risk if these CDs keep selling well."

Apple will never be at risk. There are 30 million iPods out there. They have 67% of the market share, and they support all non-proprietary music formats (mp3, essentially) and their own. They would never support Windows Media because MS would never let them. And not a lot of people are going to give up their iPods for a stupid portable CD player. I had one, they are so not convenient at all compared to an iPod.

But then a record exec at Sony BMG tells how to work around it!

"Sony BMG, a joint venture between Japan's Sony Corp. and Germany's Bertelsmann, said users can get the music onto iPods by transferring files to a PC, burning them to a CD, ripping those and transferring them into iTunes."

That's the same way to get iTunes bought music stripped of the DRM. Or to download a certain program that I know of thanks to Zatko. It'll only take a few months or shorter before someone hacks this format and there's a program out there to rip these cds directly into Apple Lossless format :)

I forgive them

Here are a few reasons why you can't blame Mozilla for its site getting hacked.

1) They didn't write the server software that it uses to publish the website with. The software that they use doesn't actually have a security hole. It was PHP that had the security hole, a server side scripting language.

2) They don't write server software. They write browser software. Yet still, ZDNet writes

"The hack is an embarrassment to Mozilla, which uses security as the main selling point for the Firefox Web browser."

That's a joke, right? An insecure server software that you didn't write is on the opposite end of the spectrum as a secure web browser that you are proud of writing. Please.

3) It's some server admin's fault, not Mozilla. Whoever was supposed to keep the server software up to date obviously didn't do their job. This shouldn't reflect on the quality and security of Mozilla's web browser.

4) Microsoft claims to be on a "Secure Computing Initiative" for their operating systems, and yet you can still hack the f*#^% out of them.

5) Here's an analogy (since I love to use analogies): A car company, who stresses their cars are the safest, has an accident on the assembly line, causing a worker to die. Sure, they're not the safest place to work, but if the industry says their cars are the safest, does this make them not the safest? It absolutely is their problem, and a big one, but it doesn't take away from the safety of their cars in the least bit. People who believe this... well, I feel sorry for them. It's public image, but the public is stupid.

I will continue to make love to their web browser, as sexy as it is.

Conspiracy Theorists Unite

I've recently become enlightened to the fact that there are actually interesting websites out there on the internet. Out of all this time I've spent browsing the internet since its inception, I was sure that I've visited everything. However, I recently came across 2 fascinating sites (well, not exactly sites).

In high school, I had heard of Nirvana. It wasn't until after Kurt Cobain's death that I really got into them. My music phases post talks about this a bit. I listened to "In Utero" for a long time, on the walk to and from school, in a tape walkman I had probably stolen off of one of my brothers. I wouldn't say I became obsessed with the band, just the music, but I would buy a few magazines that had Kurt in it. I probably don't have them any more. I remember that day back in 1994, in April, at Jim's house, our friend called and said Kurt Cobain had died, rather, had killed himself. I was like "Who's Kurt Cobain?". No lie. Apparently, if you read more and more into this story, it soon ends up not looking like a suicide, but more of a homicide. I found a site, In Defence Of Kurt Cobain (that's how they spell "Defense", they must be a Brit). There are tons of facts there, leaning towards the author's implication that Courtney Love murdered Kurt. Form your own conclusion.

On to the next one. We all know of the events on September 11, 2001. What everyone doesn't know is exactly every piece of information that was available. Until you watch this movie called Loose Change. Search the internet for a downloadable version of it. The movie is pretty good, but can seem a little bit far fetched. It opens with the perfect disclaimer, "For Your Consideration". It simply points out that most of the world was given enough evidence to make the conclusion that al Qaeda attacked us on September 11th. But there is more. Take it as entertainment, or let it convince you. I find that the picture it paints is too shocking for me to believe it, but the evidence, or lack thereof, is there.

I might try to find other interesting stuff and post it here every week, but we'll see how long that holds up.

Like a Man Who Fears Nothing

As you may know, I take the trolley and the El into work everyday. Trolley to 69th Street, then 69th to work. You may have heard that there were subway bombings yesterday in London, and that had caused alert levels to rise here in the lovely USA, but only for rail lines (which I think is dumb, but that's another story for another time, like in 10 minutes). However, I fear nothing, so I continue to go to work on the train. Call this whatever you want (courage, heroism, Godlike symptoms), I'm a stud.

Mainly, this courage comes from my lack of fear from dying or losing a leg or something, but also it comes from necessity for a paycheck. You might ask, what good is a paycheck if you're dead? Well, I'm sure that no one who has received a paycheck posthumously can answer that question, so why would you be asking me it? Like I know? Are you racist against dead people?! Ok, don't make me play the dead card on your ass. I'll have civil rights all over it.

So now that I've covered my utter lack of fear from anything (except bugs flying down or up my shirt), let's ponder why it's dumber than Kodie to raise threat alerts here in the United States. These also happen to be more reasons that I'm not afraid of an attack.

1) Coordinated attacks usually happen at the same time, hence the word "coordinated". By the time we heard of London's attacks it would have been too late already. Plus, there's like a huge time difference, so rush hour in the morning there is like sleepy time here. Rush hour in the evening there, if it's 5 o'clock, is lunch. My point is, terrorists would have suspected that the USA would have taken steps to prevent an attack here after hearing of the one in London. So they would have either coordinated an attack or just decided to attack one place.

2) Terrorists are not stupid. We probably insulted them bigtime by raising threat levels on only the public trans systems. Seriously, do you think, if attacks are only slightly coordinated, like 5-6 hours apart, that they would perform the same types of attacks? Meaning, bombs on subways?! Come on. I give them a little more credit than that.

That's not to discount the police or metro police who stand by the turnstyles everyday, looking for anything suspicious. But that brings up a question. They're always there. I thought the threat level was raised. Shouldn't they be "stepping up" security? They have the same amount. Oh well, I still feel safe. Plus, SEPTA has these signs, and has had them for as long as I've taken it, in their cars that say "Nothing can stop a train faster than a forgotten bag" or something like that. And it also warns to keep an eye out for this activity. I think it's brilliant. But, we're only Philly, what interest would al Qaeda have in us? I have no idea.

Chrysler Joins Employee Discount!


If only I needed a car. I said it before, I would love to have one of the new Dodge Chargers. I haven't checked what cars are available at the employee discount, but I do seriously doubt that a car on the market for less than a month will suddenly go at employee rates.

[Moments later] Found it :
"Excluded from the program are the 2005 Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum, Dodge Sprinter, Dodge Viper, Jeep Liberty Diesel, all 2006 models, and all SRT models."

From I don't know why they wouldn't explicitly mention the Charger, it's their best car. But it's included in the exclusion list, I guess. I kind of predicted that Chrysler/Dodge would be joining in :)

You can only imagine what an employee pays now. If anyone can get a car at that price, employees have one less perk, so I'd imagine they lowered the actual employee discount, so we are just getting the old employee discount, therefore not getting THE employee discount at all. Of course, they could have just given the big F YOU to their employees, saying that it's only a month sale and suck it up, b@#%^@tches. Those rat bastards. Business is F@%^%@#$!@ed up.

I hate terrorism

London was attacked today. Coming right after they had received the bid on the 2012 Olympics, a thought popped in my head. It wasn't a joke, per se, but it was lighthearted in times of non-lightheartedness. Oh well, I am an optimist, I don't stay mad at anyone, really. Honestly. Come up to me and kick me in the face, tomorrow I'll smile and say hi. Don't really do that though. So, it's nothing against anybody, it is just the way my mind works. Of course, I hate terrorism even more and feel bad for London that we weren't able to help extinguish the threat, and of course I realize that I am as susceptible to terroristic attacks as anyone, so I can't really explain any better why this thought popped in my head. Here's the thought:

"Perhaps al Qaeda wanted to host the Olympics in 2012?"

Pretty lighthearted and harmless, huh? I thought so, but excused the F out of it anyway when I posted it here.

[Update] Great. The US is raising the terror level for rail and metro. I take the trolley and the El into Center City. Like I said, I know I am as susceptible to these attacks as anyone.

Ford Joins the Employee Discount

Also, GM extended theirs another month. Their sales rose 41% last month, who could blame them? I'm personally waiting for Dodge to join in, I want a Charger. Actually, that will never happen, I'm paying off my car still and it works well. It's almost 3 years paid for so I might as well just pay it off and never ever pay another car payment again. Until I need another one. Which is hopefully never. I love my car :) This weekend, I drove my Dad's car and my brother's Xterra. Then we got home and I drove my car, and it's just that familiar feeling, you know, like your favorite pair of boxers that you wear everyday. I'm only paying $[explitive deleted] a month for it, so I could probably bump it up a bit and pay it off a little early. I'll try my darn'dest.

I love when papers botch headlines "Underage driver pleads guilty in fatal homicide".

That's very redundant of you. Registration Required. [Update: DOH! they fixed it! I swear it was that though!]

Another one I saw a while ago said "Once hot biotechs lure less money". If you read it quickly and have an unclean mind like me, you would laugh your butt off too.

Here we go again

Oh Boy. When the military comes on TV and says they can whoop a certain country, that's pretty much a telling sign that there are probably plans to attack them. Like, when a wrestler comes on TV and talks trash about another wrestler, it would be pretty pointless if they never end up fighting. You don't see our military coming on and saying "We could so kick Ireland's ass." Good thing too, it's still one of my top destinations for some kind of trip, among Germany as well. Anyway, of course we can beat them, but can we beat them before they launch all of their nukes at South Korea or Japan or even, heaven forbid, the USA. God help us.

[A few minutes later] OMG, I was looking for something in Google, and this (not safe for work) happened to be a result. I must say, it's brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Reuters Roll

My most read news provider is Reuters. Today, I noticed a bunch of articles worthy of a mention.

Rest in Peace, John Walton. Sure he was a multibillionaire (his family founded Wal-Mart, but he never worked there) but he died while flying an airplane because he was a thrill-seeker.

AMD is crying foul. The little guy speaks out. Now they just need energy and heat efficient processors. They are just as good otherwise. I'll continue to buy AMD, thanks.

Look out oil. France is going to try to make a fusion reactor. Read about fusion here. As you can tell, it's quite difficult and rather dangerous. So, the sheer fact that they are building an experimental one tells me that they are over the scientific hurdles and are just going to try it out. Read more on this website and this one. I look forward to that one.

Also check out their best pictures from the last 24 hours. I like browsing through them.

News Notes and the Mad Dash

There was almost a ruling that cable lines used for high speed internet are open lines, and any company can provide internet access on them. I'm happy with my service provider, they keep raising the bar. I get 10Mbps, which is enough for browsing the web, streaming a video, playing a game, and streaming radio stations on 4 computers and still have room left over for more ;) Read the article.

Last night's performance by my little brother, Beaner, was a smashing success. I created 13 videos of them performing. (There is a problem with the download page. It'll be fixed tomorrow, but in the meantime, download a file, click back on "downloads" when you're done, click another category and go back to the one you want to download from, then it should be fine.) The songs that Beaner performs are all copyrighted 2005 Brendan Connell. You can't make out what he's singing anyway, but just don't be a @#%@^@$@ and steal his very creative, very good music. He put his heart and soul into the creation of every one of them, and puts his heart and soul into each one's performance. I also have 20 pictures for your viewing pleasure, including a few of me.

I knew this would catch up with me. Every $@#%@^ time when the train is about to leave, you hear the computer voice say "Doors are closing", at which point, anyone trying to get on the train goes into a mad rush for the door. Some people make it. Others don't. This one guy kicked the door of the car that I was in. Other people seem a bit less defeated. They look up at the ceiling, sigh, and sit there and wait for the next train. These are the most entertaining 5 seconds of my day. So, today, guess who's at the top of the stairs at 69th Street terminal when the conductor says "Watch the doors, watch the doors." Yes. Me. At that point, I stepped down the first step or two without looking, only to find the janitor @#%@#^^#! sweeping the stairs, taking up the whole width of that stairwell. So I go back up the two stairs, and go down the left side. At about the 3rd step down, the computer voice comes on "Doors are closing." @$%&@$!!!! I continue running down the stairs, in the dire hopes that someone's head gets caught in the automatic doors, rendering them incapable of closing. It's not a huge stairwell, maybe 15 stairs, but that seems like eternity when you have about 2 seconds to get to the doors. At the bottom of the stairs, I was so panicked. It took all of my strength and self control to not scream like a girl. I turn and look at the closest door to me. This couple was trying to get in, so they stopped the doors from closing, but I knew there would only be a small window for escape. The doors opened all the way and started closing right away. I would have dove, but by this point I was through without even letting the door hit me on the butt. I was so slick. Thank God I didn't scream like a girl. If I had and still made it, I would be getting some weird looks.

More site updates coming soon.

A slew of junk

I don't feel like typing a lot, so this is a quick list of short, to the point, pieces of crap:

Tone Loc is playing tonight at Reeds in Blue Bell. I'm going and so are a bunch of my freak-show-seeking friends. I'm going to ask the bartender for a funky cold medina, then receive a fake laugh, as if that's the first time that particular bartender heard that particular joke on that particular night.

I thought about something that I used to think about when I was a kid. Could people join hands and connect around the world? Then, my new age, internet techy brain mangled it into this other thought. It would be cool if there were chained links from one webpage in one region to another webpage in the next region over, and the link on the next webpage linked to a region next to it, and so on and so forth.

Then, another idea popped in from this. You could probably send a search engine into an infinite loop if you could trick it into going around and around. This would involve changing the links and content on each linked page, but it wouldn't get anywhere except around the world an infinite amount of times. I guess that's getting somewhere, but it's not helping its cause in searching the web. Basically, one thread would be useless out of many threads of execution that make up a web spider's software. But, it would be neat.

I've been going to Barnaby's of America pretty much every Thursday for the past 2 weeks. It's not a false statement, but rather unnecessary to use "pretty much every Thursday" and "for the past 2 weeks". Oh well. More words == more chance someone will read something.

I've been listening to Candlebox on shuffle during my commute to and from work. They are good. Great. They rock and write good melodies, and they have good guitar. A while ago I got so into them that I even researched and found out that the lead singer has another band. I bought an autographed copy of their album. The new band is Kevin Martin and the HiWatts.

Wednesday I spent my commute to work listening to "Sexy and 17" by the Stray Cats. I listened to it 6 times straight, and then 3 or more on the way back. There are no words to describe that song, you basically just have to listen to it 100 times.

That ex-KKK member got 60 years for the murder of 3 people. He's like a million years old. Justice was not done in this case, even by the furthest stretch of the imagination. 40 years had passed. Way to go, Justice.

Some people think that guns should be banned, that the 2nd Amendment is old and for "militias", which are pretty much near extinction. That'll work like the Prohibition of Alcohol in the earlier part of last century, by all accounts of the quick run-through in my head. I think less things should be banned, but I can post a book on this topic.

Ahh, the critics. Read the comments:

"Contradictions in your post.. do you want to type or not? "I don't feel like typing a lot" ... and ... "but rather unnecessary to use "pretty much every Thursday" and "for the past 2 weeks". Oh well. More words""

Obviously not a soldier in the Battle of Logic. If not wanting to go to work meant not going to work, well, consider half of America on vacation. Or, want to be a millionaire? It takes a little more than wanting. This further justifies and explains my comments. Tune in next week.

[check back for more]

I wish I had my camera

There's like a thousand cops on the 13th street side of the Convention center. Apparently there's a protest or two today. I might have to go for a walk. I can see all the cops from my window, but that's all I can see. Unless there's a donut convention... I kid! There are also a few helicopters flying overhead. Start the revolution! Actually, it's just a skateboarder gathering and the people against bio weapons. Personally I love bio weapons. Just grab a slab of meat and chuck it at someone, you'll see what I mean. And skateboarding? Please, as if Tony Hawk's Pro Skateboarding video games aren't more fun than the real thing.

Read about the protests here.

[Update] Around 2:30 PM, the 13th street side of the convention center has cleared, but there are still random sirens and a helicopter or two floating around out there.

[Update] All is quiet on the Philly frontier. However, there was one casualty. An officer died of a heart attack on his way to assist in a scuffle between protesters and police. Rest in peace :( That sucks bigtime.

Phew! She WAS brain damaged afterall

If I am ever a vegetable, please confirm that I have irreveresible brain damage before the autopsy. Maybe even before you decide to pull the feeding tube. Sometime while I'm still alive, preferrably.