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Weekly Shenanigans #8

Shenanigans remind me of cliched Irish terminology and the movie Office Space. Surely, neither of those are bad things. If they are, I don’t want to be right. Anyhow, I present to you the eighth iteration of Weekly Shenanigans, that once-every-seven-days feature that you all know and love. Bastion of all things geek and nerd, purveyor of tech-news… how would you ever live without this stuff? And with that, away we go:

  • First up is an interesting (if somewhat cerebral) look at gaming terms posted onto Gamasutra entitled, “Mapping Gamer Dialect.” Intriguing, no? Click through and read up.
  • This is the POWERHAT.

    This is the POWERHAT.

    If you haven’t been reading these, you should absolutely, definitely, without any shred of doubt head over to Rock Paper Shotgun and read their newest ongoing feature – “A Fool In Morrowind,” in which Alec Meer re-discovers The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and all the wonderful things therein. He recounts his experiences with… things… like the hat pictured at right. Hilarity ensues. GO.

  • Anandtech recently reviewed the ASRock X-58 Extreme motherboard, priced at the sweet, sweet amount of $169. It performed around 1% lower than other boards, but such a difference is hardly noticeable to most users. Given that this is a fully-featured ATX motherboard, that price is excellent, and only matched by the micro-ATX MSI X-58M previously mentioned on Weekly Shenanigans.
  • Most weeks – not every week, but most weeks – I post something about Apple. This week is no exception. It’s almost like a mini-feature within the feature. What’s going on this week, you ask? I’ll tell you – three times over! Oh, and I’m naming this sub-feature Super-Happy-Apple-Fun-Time. It just seems appropriate. Read below, fool! Also: Don’t ask why this is two separate bullets. I don’t know. Continue reading

July 5, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, PC gaming, State of the Blog, Tech, Weekly Shenanigans | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Shenanigans #7

Ah, the ritual posting of Weekly Shenanigans. Shamelessly copying the format of RPS’ Sunday Papers since, well, seven Weekly Shenanigans ago. Enough with the reminiscing, it’s making me all weepy. Read this stuff:

  • These people should be shot for blasphemy and willful mockery of the star wars we all know and love. I don’t know what else to say on the subject. ***Update*** When I just tried to access the site for a pic, it was down for maintenance. Courage, fair reader.

June 29, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, PC gaming, State of the Blog, Tech, Weekly Shenanigans | , | 1 Comment

Weekly Shenanigans #6

Hmmm. This is going up a bit later than usual today. Then again, I got up a bit later than usual, if that’s any excuse. Anyway, I’ve got a few more links for you than usual, from all over the internet (which, as I understand it, is actually a series of tubes). Topics cover a range of things, from the funny, to the nerdgasmic, the the outrageous. It’s a carefully formulated balance of content designed to… who am I kidding. It’s a bunch of random crap I find interesting. Down the rabbit-hole with you:

  • For starters, I’m gonna go all dealicious/slickdeals/cheapass gamer on you. For reasons unknown and not entirely understood, Bioshock and Oblivion are being bundled together into a package that’s $39.99 on Xbox 360 and $29.99 on PC. Words cannot describe how wonderful a deal this is. If I didn’t already own both games, I’d be out buying right now. You, though… maybe you don’t have them yet. That’s a problem. Fix it!
  • This story is old, but (sickly) fascinating, and its title, “The Adventure of the Camera Shy Computer” really doesn’t do it justice. I would’ve preferred, “The Epileptic Computer,” or “The Big Computer That Couldn’t.” Sometimes it’s nice to know how far we’ve come.
  • Traditional Media is Dead and Dying: The RIAA has once again succeeded in making the little guy (or woman, in this case) suffer for the presumed, collective sins of the entire file-sharing community. The court handling the Jammie Thomas file-sharing case has ordered her to pay $1.92 million dollars for downloading and sharing music using the Kazaa file-sharing service. That’s $80,000 per song. Want another metric? The idiot judge on this case just ordered her to pay 240 Kias, or 1,600 new 13-inch Macbook Pros, or 38,400 new PC games, all for something that’s barely worth money in the first place – poor-quality music. You know all those gamers that were planning on attacking Valve for making them buy Left4Dead 2 as a standalone game? They should take all that energy and put it into something positive, like burying all the dinosaurs over at the RIAA. Continue reading

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, News, PC gaming, State of the Blog, Tech, Weekly Shenanigans | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Shenanigans #5

I know you all love me. You don’t have to say it, I just know.

  • Epix HD: we've got Ironman and stuff.

    Epix HD: we've got Ironman and stuff.

    This week saw mention of a new video service called Epix HD. It’s an interesting mix of internet and cable TV, brought to you by Lionsgate, Paramount, and MGM. You can view content as a regular TV channel, or access 720p video streaming online for free, providing you’ve got a cable subscription (and your provider has inked a deal with them). It will feature new movies and possibly premium TV series content, similar to HBO, but there won’t be any additional charge for access. Finally, a compelling reason to keep my cable subscription. Woot.

  • Anandtech has a great article on the iPhone 3G S hardware, breaking down what’s going into the new hardware and explaining in relatively simple terms why it’s such a vast improvement. I liked his take so much I’m using him as a source for an iPGN article I’m working on.

June 14, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, News, State of the Blog, Tech, Weekly Shenanigans | Leave a comment

Weeky Shenanigans #4 (E3/Computex Edition)

Here lies Weekly Shenanigans #4…

  • Left4Dead fans were up in arms this week after Valve announced a sequel Left4Dead 2. Most felt that the sequel was taking the place of content updates or DLC. Valve’s own Doug Lombardi took some time at E3 to talk with Rock Paper Shotgun and seems to have mollified most of the gamers that were previously sharpening their blades and planning an offensive against Valve’s headquarters.
  • By far, Nintendo’s conference at E3 was the most uninspiring. Evidently they’re content with seducing even more of the casual demographic with things like the Vitality Sensor. I’m sorry, but really?! The Vitality Sensor? That sounds like a scam whose sole demographic is men with ED. They did announce a handful of interesting games, including a new Metroid from Team Ninja. I’m not sure who thought of that combination, but they deserve the biggest cookie in the history of baking cookies. With chocolate chips, and a chewy middle that’s just ever-s0-slightly doughy. The Penny Arcade guys summed it up pretty well with this:

June 7, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, PC gaming, State of the Blog, Weekly Shenanigans | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Shenanigans #3

I don’t know what to say, other that I’m on a roll. Three weeks in a row of regularly posting a column? That’s something pretty close to a miracle for me. I’m the guy that regularly makes posts with the words, “Part One” tacked onto the end, and regularly fails to make follow-up posts. It might not be a big deal for other people, but three posts in a row is absolutely EPIC as far as I’m concerned.

Enough with the patting myself on the back, though. Let’s get down to business.

  • Not too big (extended ATX), not too small (mini-ITX). Just right.

    Not too big (extended ATX), not too small (mini-ITX). Just right.

    Anandtech recently reviewed a mATX (that’s micro ATX, for all you non-hardware geeks out there) motherboard from MSI, the X-58M. That pint-size sucker went toe-to-toe with the ASUS Rampage II Gene and came out on top in several circumstances. What’s more, it retails for $169.99, which is one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest price I’ve seen for an X-58 board. This looks like a great option if you’re not concerned with adding a bunch of discrete cards – the mobo comes with 2 PCI-e 2.0 X16 slots, a single x4 slot, and a legacy PCI slot. Overall, it’s a great option, and I might be considering it for my upcoming build. Score one for the budget team.

  • There’s an interesting article talking about graphical realism on Gamasutra. It’s plenty accessible, managing to avoid the highly-technical jargon that such pieces so often get bogged down with. Check it out. Continue reading

May 31, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, State of the Blog, Weekly Shenanigans | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Shenanigans #2

Against all odds (and by all, I mean the previously-mentioned 28% chance that this wouldn’t happen), Weekly Shenanigans is back for its second installment. I’ve got plenty of juicy, nerdy tid-bits for all you good little boys and girls, so let’s dive in.

  • Three Mile Island

    Score: Three Mile Island

    I had an irresistible urge this week to watch a movie absolutely devoid of meaning or any emotional significance. Pure visual and auditory stimulus without the need for any of that messy thinking nonsense that other movies demand – that’s what I was looking for. After much hemming and hawing, I ended up going home with a copy of Hellboy II. Believe it or not, I was pleasantly surprised to find the movie  was moderately enjoyable – maybe even good. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing but respect for Guillermo del Toro, but the original Hellboy was such a lackluster film that I didn’t have very high expectations for this one. Instead, I found a superhero movie that didn’t take itself too seriously (thank God), poked fun at all manner of stereotypes, and actually had a bit of character development. Unfortunately, the film faltered a bit near the end, but it was overall a very enjoyable work. I give it a rating of Three Mile Island. That might not sound like a good score, but it is. I think. Continue reading

May 24, 2009 Posted by | Tech, Weekly Shenanigans | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Weekly Shenanigans #1

It might be fun to add some sort of structure to the old blog, right? At the moment, I just sort of slap posts up as they come to me, with absolutely no consistency or discernible pattern. I’d like to try to change that. Maybe I won’t be totally successful at first, but eventually I’ll chisel out something of a schedule, with weekly columns and whatnot. Theoretically I’ll put out something like mobile gaming posts on Mondays, tech tutorials on Tuesdays, etc. Stuff like that, but without the horrific 1950s-style alliteration.

Sounds cool, right? I think so.

Now, it’d be all logical to just start organizing the posts that I already make into categories, but that would be boring and not very T+L-esque. Instead, I’m starting at the end, and writing up a wrap-up of tech and media items of note that caught my eye during the week but weren’t quite post-worthy, as well as some personal tidbits. Furthermore, I’m starting the posting of this column, entitled Weekly Shenanigans, on a Tuesday (because that’s when it makes sense to post something that is part wrap-up, part update, and part caffeine-fueled musing). Never fear, you intrepid logic junkies – that’s only going to be temporary. The following Weekly Shenanigans will go up on Saturdays, or possibly Sundays. I haven’t really worked all the kinks out yet.

Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, and because some guy somewhere once said “know thyself” or something along those lines, I’m estimating that there’s a 28% chance that this will be the first, last, and only ever Weekly Shenanigans. That’s how I roll (28% of the time).

Okay. There. The column has been sufficiently introduced. Without further ado, and in no particular order, I present the contents of Weekly Shenanigans #1. Continue reading

May 19, 2009 Posted by | Personal, State of the Blog, Weekly Shenanigans | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment