Friday, June 27, 2008

Zombies!

I have come to the conclusion that any movie would be made better by the inclusion of zombies! Any movie!

Take the Titanic, for instance. What if the reason the crew was distracted and ran the ship into the iceberg was because they were busy fighting off the zombie hordes? That would rock.

A movie like Gigli, arguably one of the biggest flops in recent years, would probably have been a great hit had the plot changed from:

The mob tells hitman Gigli to kidnap the mentally handicapped brother of a California DA from a mental hospital. While holding the mental patient in his apartment, Gigli starts to fall for Ricki, a "lesbian assassin", who is sent to assist him.


To:

The mob tells hitman Gigli to kidnap the mentally handicapped brother of a California DA from a mental hospital. While holding the mental patient in his apartment, a zombie outbreak ensues, first engulfing the city then the country. Ricki, a lesbian assassin sent by the mob to assist Gigli, makes it to the apartment in time. The three of them attempt to fight off hungry zombies and try to find a way to survive.


Come on, you telling me you wouldn't PAY to see that?

I guarantee that I can make any movie...ANY movie (Disney cartoons included) into a better film idea by adding zombies! Test me!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ribbon Bar - Office 2007 and up - Total Crap!

Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of helping someone with a Word document. Unfortunate, because the person had Office 2007 on their machine. All she wanted to do was PRINT. That's right...here's what the screen sort of looked like:



So...how do you print? If you were a first time user and you opened a document and this is what the interface looked like, what would you do?

Thrash around for a few minutes getting more and more frustrated until you want to grab Bill Gates by the ears and smash his head through your monitor? No? Maybe that's just me.

How about searching vainly, avoiding Help because, frankly, it should be FUCKING OBVIOUS!

Do you think it's in the View bar? Page Layout? Nope, and nope.

See that colourful little ball in the top left of the screen. Yup. You click THAT and this opens:



Then you select Print, then click one of the Print options. Wow...how intuitive.

For fun, go to google and search for "how do you print in word 2007" (try it without the quotes, otherwise you are looking for an exact string). Now, when people have to ask how to PRINT in a Word Processing application, time to go back to the drawing board.

Oh, the wanks and apologists will tell us that we just need to "leeearrrnnnn" it and all will be well. Take a course to learn how to PRINT. Brilliant.

You voluntarily bought this piece of shit...you're an idiot.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Starforce and the stupidity of copy protection

Many games use a copy protection scheme called Starforce. Essentially, this program installs drivers onto your machine that will not allow you to run an application, in this case a game, without the proper disk. It is incredibly intrusive, though apologists will claim that it helps stop piracy. I doubt it. Very few of these games stay protected for any significant length of time.

Now, for fun, especially if you are a gamer of sorts, take a look at that list of games. Notice anything? Most are nameless crap that no one really ever bought. Was that because of the copy protection. I think it could be...here's my argument:

Many times I have bought a game and when I started playing it, found it sucked. Like Prey, for instance. Graphically beautiful, Prey gets dull really, really quickly. Of course, I haven't played it since I first picked it up, which means I am out $60. What I usually do is get a "cracked" copy of a game I am interested in, try it out, and if I like it, I buy it. F.E.A.R was one, I liked it enough to buy a copy (though it was on sale :) ), and, more significantly, Morrowind. Played it for an hour or two, then raced to the store to get a copy. Brilliant game. Could I have gotten the same thing with a demo version, probably. But, I had a copy, tried it, and liked it.

I have since bought all the expansions and the newest in the Elder Scrolls series, Oblivion. Would you consider that a net gain, or loss for Bethesda (publishers of the games)? Net gain, I would say, and a considerable one at that. The only thing I do download, still, is a No CD crack (for every game I buy). This is so I don't have to constantly put the disc in the drive each time I want to play. I hate that.

I recently purchased a game I found in the bargain bin of a Giant Tiger: Rush for Berlin. I only paid $3, so no big deal. I was going to give it to my Dad, who has been looking for a good WWII strategy game. I got it home, and read through the EULA. One section caught my eye:

...might install software alleged to interfere with your installed software or hardware...uninstalling the game will not remove Starforce...


I couldn't believe it, but really shouldn't have been surprised. I thought, however, that given the sale price, and the fact that the game was 3 years old, that they would have released a patch that does away with Starforce...many games do that (once everyone who really wanted a copy has one). Nope.

I will not EVER install something with this kind of copy protection. This only penalizes the legitimate buyer, not the pirate. Starforce has been known to screw up optical disk drives to the point that they can no longer function. Fun, eh?

The frightening part is that bill C61 was recently tabled in Canada, which makes the US DMCA look like a wimp. One part talks about making it illegal to circumvent copy protection, even if for personal use (such as the No CD crack)! Excuse me? This is insane.

This will drive me to pirate shit, just to piss them off.

Yes, stuff will get pirated, and that sucks. However, not every pirated game, or any kind of software for that matter, is a lost sale to the publisher. You cannot make a one-to-one correlation. Too many times games are pirated that the person has no intention of buying, not because they are cheap, but because they either can't afford it (Microsoft Office, anyone) and/or because they wouldn't have bought it in the first place (Prey comes to mind...if I had pirated it first, I wouldn't have bought it) :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I just want a phone!

Wow...Apple has announced details on their new iPhone 3G which, among other things is cheaper than the original iPhone (which makes the early adopters look like morons...but I digress). According to Steve Jobs...

The new iPhone, sporting a thinner and sleeker look, will support faster 3G (third-generation) broadband wireless networks and come with built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) capabilities, Jobs said. Support for 3G networks will enable the new iPhone to download data up to 2.8 times faster than the earlier model, Jobs said. Built-in GPS will make it easier for users to navigate roads.
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The iPhone 3G will come with a 3.5-inch screen and have better battery life, with talk time of five hours, stand-by time of 300 hours, six hours of high-speed browsing time, 20 hours of audio and seven hours of video, Jobs said. Some who had previously bought iPhones complained about its battery life and that was a problem that Apple needed to solve with the new iPhone, Jobs said.


It will probably cure cancer, except the brain cancer you will get from using the damn thing all the time, do your laundry, and balance your checkbook.

Here's my problem: I just want a phone. A simple, freaking phone. The only "option" I want is Text Messaging. That's it. Just a phone. Only someone who is extremely busy needs something like this. I never want to be that busy, or that fucking dorky.

Please, does anyone just make a cellphone anymore?