Sidekick II v2.3

Earlier today, my Sidekick notified me of a new over-the-air update; now seing as it will keep pestering you until you update and I'm the "ooh new and flash!" sort of person, I let it go and install the update. I've only been poking at the thing a little bit, but I can already say that v2.3 is definitely a good update, in more than just superficial ways. A lot of little things have changed and some biggish things have changed. I expect there's some stuff I haven't seen yet and so far everything's good. Here's a quick run-down of some of the changes I've seen:

  • AOL Instant Messenger - Added buddy icon support. Away messages now appear on buddy list. Still no profile support.
  • Phone - Icon has changed; first and least impressive thing I've noticed.
  • Address Book - Added Instant Messaging field, which pleases me immensely and means I'll have to spend some time with my address book in the near future.
  • Web Browser - Here's where v2.3 really shines and gave me a couple of "Holy shit!" moments. The interface and notifications are a little cleaner and more informative, ok. There is now a Find feature, keen. Much better CSS support, woah good! JavaScript support, SWEET MOTHER OF MERCY! I haven't had much of a chance to look into the JavaScript support yet, but I'm going to fire up digg and Google Maps later to test the quality of things. This may mean that I'll have to modify the CSS on my website and blog to accommodate a functional browser with a 240x160 screen.
  • Camera - New loading screen instead of just freezing up for a few moments with the word loading overlaid, reassuring and good improvement. Better picture quality, maybe, I'm not sure but it seems to be taking slightly better photos, if it's a placebo, oh well, if it's real, HOT!

That's all that I've noticed so far and I'm very pleased. I'll update after I check the JavaScript and if I find anything more.

A Reason Not To Hate DOA

It turns out there exists a reason not to hate the DOA series of fighting games, other than the high quality female chest rendering effects that make the 16 year olds oggle. You might be asking, what possible reason might a die hard Soul Calibur afficionado, like myself, have to like DOA? Well, it turns out that Tecmo's pulled a franchising fast one on me and included master ninja Ryu Hayabusa of Ninja Gaiden fame in their DOA games. The problem here, of course, is that I didn't want a reason to like DOA, I was plenty content considering it a crappy fighting game. Now I'm going to have to go and find myself a copy of DOA2 for the Dreamcast, reevaluate my opinion on the matter as regards Ryu Hayabusa and then I'm going to have to think about this later when DOA4 comes out. Incidentally, the proposed cover art for DOA4 prominently displays Ryu (back row, second from the left) in full ninja get-up. Damn you for finding my weakness Tecmo, damn you!

UPDATE:DAMN IT! DAMN IT! DAMN IT! DOA4 is also going to include a Halo Spartan, namely the female Spartan-458 (Master Chief is Spartan-117). They really have found my weakness, commercialization of fighting games. MVC, Smash Brothers, and now DOA, these fighting game makers are clever.

A few bad little Tremors

In my continued policy of watching a whole bunch of movies ranging from very good to highly dubious in quality, I justed watched Tremors 2, 3 and 4, having seen the first many years ago. I can easily say that the first one was fun as far as bad horror movies go. Notably though, the first one had Kevin Bacon in it. The second and third ones followed the trend of horror movie sequels being worse than the original, but still fun in a campy kind of way, sort of. The fourth in the series, goes and completely redeems the second and third by being set in the Wild West and having Billy Drago, of The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. fame. Things don't get much better than a Western with giant killer sand worms that doesn't take itself seriously.

The Uncyclopedia game

In my free time, I've been playing with the wonderful Uncyclopedia a whole bunch. For those poor souls out there that don't know about Uncyclopedia, it's basically Wikipedia but wrong; that and it's the twelfth wonder of the world. I've contributed a lot to a few articles and a bit to a lot of articles.

Some articles which I've contributed heavily to include (but are not limited to):

And a couple of articles that I really like but haven't contributed much, if any, to:

In conclusion, Uncyclopedia is awesome and everyone should use it more and contribute to it a bunch.

The Great Job Hunt 2005

I had an interview earlier today for a web development position and I'm pretty sure that it went poorly, but as with all failures, there was more learned than with success. To that end, having spent the first five minutes of the car drive back beating myself up for screwing up and the remaining twenty-five thinking about what I could have done better, I have a pretty good idea of some of the mistakes I made.

My first reaction was to write all the things I would have liked to have said here in the hopes that the interviewers might read my blog and think better of me. Realizing that was both silly and a continuation of the mistakes I was already making, that paragraph has been replaced with this paragraph.

I figure my main problem was that I was too busy trying to figure out what they wanted and how to impress my mad skillzors (sic) instead of just trying to present me as me and hope that's what they want. I should figure out a way to get better at meeting new people and being myself.

H3: Even worse than the H2

I happened to be next to and then behind a brand spanking new H3 on Memorial Drive earlier today and I formed a few, mostly negative, impressions on the thing. Ok, so first off, this thing doesn't even look like a HMMWV anymore; the Hummer was a civilianized HMMWV and the H2 was a gentrified Hummer, but the H3 is a soccer mom SUV that's styled to vaguely remind you of an H2. I'll give you the most blatently stupid example of what I saw on the H3: on the back right of the thing, I saw a thick metal ring of the sort that you could hook chains to so as to pull a heavy load but when I looked for a matching ring on the left, I saw the license plate, which means the one on the right must be ornamental. How retarded is the idea of an ornamental heavy towwing ring? It's not a nice or classy ornament; it basically just says, "when you look at my truck I want you to think that I'd like to be able to tow really heavy stuff but will never actually have any desire to do so". This whole SUV as an image thing is just getting ridiculous; if you want to look hardcore, be hardcore, cut out this fucking poser crap.

My mad Soul Calibur skillzors

Proof of my mad Soul Calibur skillzors Proof of my mad Soul Calibur skillzors These images are screenshots taken from my copy of Soul Calibur that show my record of 1'04"02 in Arcade mode. All this thinking about video games made me remember and I figured it was as good a time as any to put proof on the intzorweb. We didn't think to tape it when I beat the record, so this is the best I've got. Sorry about the tagging, but I care about this and don't trust the internet half as far as I can throw it. Also, since this was back when I was at my absolute best, I would be mighty surprised if anyone has done any better than this, ever. Some people on the internet seem to have claimed better times, but the best confirmed time I've found is around 1'30; if you can find better, please point me to it. It's a real pity that I didn't mange to beat a minute. For the search engines, if they care, this is my best time high score in Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast in Arcade Mode.

News from inside Verizon Labs

In continuing with being unemployed, I went and participated in a focus group at Verizon Labs in Waltham and made $75 today. I got into the focus group through a posting on craigslist and by filling out a survey about my video game usage. In my world of right now, the whole endeavor worked out to talking about video games for an hour and a half in exchange for a full tank of gas and an extra $40; this unemployed thing is kind of annoying but it does have it's more romantic elements.

Anyway, you might be wondering what Verizon cares about video games for, which is something that I wondered as well. Verizon is working on launching their FiOS fiber optic broadband service and is trying to figure out different service packages to include with the thing and they're thinking of including a video game service. Thankfully, they seem aware of the fact that they have no chance of competing with the likes of Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo and seem to be looking into making a service based on older games and simpler games. Personally, I think that it's a retarded idea that's going to fail miserably because the only people that want to play older games already do so with old consoles or with emulators. So that's what they're planning and if they wanted to, they could pay me $100k and I'd write up a great big document explaining why it's a bad idea that's destined to fail but they only gave me $75 so I gave my input as was appropriate to the situation and they'll probably go through with it anyway. I expect that they've already invested upwards of a million dollars in this and won't want to cut the cord, which will end up losing them many millions more in the end. I'm telling you Verizon, pay me more and I'll spell out for any executive you have, even those that don't know a thing about video games, why this is a horrible idea that's destined to lose you money. I'm no businessman but I'm savvy to the mind of the video game player and I'm plenty savvy to the way my generation buys crap.