Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
So I saw one of these DVD rental vending machines at a Safeway here in Winnipeg the other day. I have to assume its fairly new to Winnipeg though they've been in Calgary since 2007, according to an article I googled.
Anyways, they appear to be operated by a company called DVDPlay.com, who were recently acquired by a company called NCR, who are going to rebrand them as Blockbuster kiosks.. and presumably raise the price if my experience with blockbuster in the past is any indication, though that's just my own personal speculation. Still, seems like a decent price, under $2.. though I have no idea what actual movie rental stores charge as I haven't rented a movie in years. If I really want to see a movie I either see it in the theatre, buy it used, or buy it new, depending on how interested I am in it.
I like weird vending machines, it is the source of my constant bitterness and resentment towards the country of Japan for its vending machine have status.. but its good to see some new ones show up in Winnipeg. I was almost tempted to rent something until I realised I'm sadly not on holidays for another couple weeks. Almost got me there, Safeway. so close.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
"Find me a person who would value any video game above "Huckleberry Finn," and I'll show you a fool.via his iphone (an act which in itself already sort of invalidates everything he said) I respect Roger Ebert because he's a great movie reviewer. Even if I disagree with him, I respect his opinion enough because he's knowledgeable. He can still influence whether I see a movie just by why he doesn't like the movie. Or why he likes it. That said, Ebert knows nothing about video games, and even though I'm not a hardcore gamer, if I had to eliminate Huckleberry Finn from my life or the experience of playing Super Mario Bros 3 for the first to 9000th time, I'd eliminate the former. To Ebert's mind that makes me a fool. Sorry if I'm Canadian and I don't really feel much nostalgia for some trouble making orphan having adventures along the Mississippi. Maybe you have to be as old as Ebert to appreciate it more. I don't know. To me, Super Mario Bros 3 is a masterpiece that I'd visit again and again. Not to mention the fact the whole game is a stage show.
I wonder what Ebert will think of Scott Pilgrim vs the world, a movie based on a comicbook heavily inspired and influenced by video games. Will his brain explode? Will he pull an Armand White and despise it for no valid reason whatsoever? Or does the fact that its on celluloid mean it has transcended the realm of video games and comicbooks and ascended to true art. If true art is defined by pretentiousness, then maybe he has a point.
I think ultimately Roger Ebert is just so pissed off at the fact that 99% of video games made into movies have been so poorly made that he's just lashing out at the genre like its their fault somehow.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
As someone whose read the comics and seen the trailers for the movie, I'm pretty excited. Looks like something I'll enjoy. Now, the GAME is something altogether even more impressive. In the style of River City Ransom, the game features Scott Pilgrim and his band Sex-Bob-Omb double dragonning their way through Toronto collecting Canadian currency from the enemies they defeat in full 16 bit retro style glory. The only sad thing is it won't be available on the Nintendo Wii, where I would think it would best fit. That said, looks fucking killer.
Anyways, heres the theatrical movie trailer.
The world is changing, and the Canadian establishment is falling further and further into irrelevancy in an inter-connected world. God, I hope a DMCA type set of laws helps us keep the status quo! (That last bit was sarcasm, subtle I know)
Should be the sleeper hit of the Summer. Hopefully holds me over for good comicbook movies until Green Lantern in 2011.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Some time back I hastily left my laptop while still wearing my headphones to go to the bathroom, and subsequently broke the headphone jack on my laptop. Now, fortunately I was able to eventually buy a replacement used daughter card for my Lenovo Thinkpad SL400 for $50 and install it myself, thanks to Lenovo's excellent online video tutorials and technicians handbook, but before finding the daughter card for that price (others were selling it for around $100) I discovered USB Audio Adapters. I knew they existed in the periphery of my memory, but I always assumed they did not work in Linux for whatever reason. Still, they were relatively cheap so I bought a couple.
The cheapest one was this "5.1CH USB 2.0 3D Audio Sound Card Adapter Headphone/MIC" on ebay that was .99 cents + .50 cents shipping. I bought two because a Windows running friend was having trouble running Skype and figured this could do the trick (it did, Skype recognized it right away and requested to use it) .. it arrived pretty quickly too. Sound quality is reasonable. Serviceable. Unless you're an audiophile you're not going to complain. Got the job done, anyways. I'll paste the dmesg for those who like that sort of thing:
usb 7-2: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 3one thing I forgot to mention is this has a little light inside it that lights up when powered. If you like to know your USB sound card is working by showing you a light, then great. But it might annoy some people. Plus its orange, and thats not the favourite colour of most people. Still, for $1.50 its pretty good. Better at least than no sound.
usb 7-2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
input: USB AUDIO as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.1/usb7/7-2/7-2:1.3/input/input14
generic-usb 0003:1130:F211.0002: input,hidraw0: USB HID v1.10 Device [USB AUDIO ] on usb-0000:00:1d.1-2/input3
input: USB AUDIO as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.1/usb7/7-2/7-2:1.4/input/input15
generic-usb 0003:1130:F211.0003: input,hidraw1: USB HID v1.10 Device [USB AUDIO ] on usb-0000:00:1d.1-2/input4
The other one I purchased is a Logitech A-5572A (according to its label), which I got for about $10.00 including shipping. I like it cause it has a cable so it sticks out a bit from the laptop and seems less likely to break for no reason. Using dmesg in Ubuntu Lucid shows the following:
usb 7-2: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 2Ubuntu shows it in sound preferences, select audio output as logitech, and voila. Works beautifully.
usb 7-2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
usbcore: registered new interface driver hiddev
usbcore: registered new interface driver snd-usb-audio
input: SCEA Inc. Logitech USB Headset as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.1/usb7/7-2/7-2:1.3/input/input13
generic-usb 0003:046D:0A0B.0001: input,hidraw0: USB HID v1.10 Device [SCEA Inc. Logitech USB Headset ] on usb-0000:00:1d.1-2/input3
usbcore: registered new interface driver usbhid
usbhid: v2.6:USB HID core driver
I also realized internal HDMI Audio worked with no issues as selected on this laptop and used that occasionally as well.
That said, I just bought a T510 with switchable graphics so its all moot. Bought a Displayport to HDMI adapter from DealExtreme we'll see how that works. Hopefully the T510 can withstand the punishment I give laptops better than the SL400. I miss the keyboard style of a true thinkpad as well, though the keyboard on this one was useable. That's neither here nor there though. The main thing is USB sound works pretty good in Linux, or at least in Ubuntu Lucid, so hurray!
Saturday, June 05, 2010
oh wait, wrong link. here's the right link.
Industry Minister Tony Clement says cracking down on people who break “digital locks” on DVDs and video games brings Canada in line with many countries, despite criticism from Internet experts.
Yes, we must all fall in line with other countries. I mean, if the United States jumps off of a bridge, we better jump off that same bridge.
Clement says Ottawa’s new copyright legislation is neutral on the issue of digital locks and it’s up to the creators of CDs and DVDs to issue them.
Neutral, huh? Making it illegal to break digital locks for any reason is neutral? WOW.
Imagine if you're an auto manufacturer and you sell a car with a digital ignition system. Now imagine you lose your digital key.. and to replace it you have to buy a whole new car.. This is the type of environment "Creative" industries like the video game industry want Canada to have. You can never resell what you buy. You have to buy it over and over, and it will cost the same as the old non-replaceable media we have today. It will never find its way into the public domain, and as a result will never actually live up to the true purpose of copyright, to promote and temporarily give a monopoly on works in order to encourage the creation of new works. Patents at least expire within a reasonable time frame.
Clement, taking questions on the bill today in Toronto, says the legislation will also allow Canadians quicker access to new technologies once they hit the market.
REALLY? REALLY? We're going to get the latest iPhones that much faster because DRM is forced on the general populace? This is the level of intelligence and discourse the conservative government has? Somehow I doubt not having DRM kept us from getting the iPad at the same time as the USA. And even if it had, I'd rather not have it.
The bill, tabled Wednesday, would allow companies to seek damages between $100 and $5,000 from people who break digital locks to copy material like video games, films and music.
because copying that legally purchased DVD and using DRM to view it on your iphone is depriving someone of money that they should get from you by forcing you to pay over and over again for what they sell. This is what those encouraging a copyright welfare state truly believe.
The wide-ranging bill affects consumers’ relationship with DVDs, CDs, MP3 players and even their Internet service providers.
yes, it turns it into an abusive relationship.
It would be the first overhaul of the act protecting copyrighted property since 1997.wow, 13 years since the last overhaul of copyright. Good god, People were still wearing Doc Martins in 1997 and listening to the Spice Girls.
Thank God the Conservative government is out there criminalizing people for irrelevant things. Not like we haven't got ACTUAL criminals out there to deal with, no we have to create new laws to create new criminals. Because you can't squeeze extortion money out of a kid who steals a car, but you can sue and fine someone exorbitant amounts for getting past broken DRM to play a legally purchased video game. Not like our judicial system isn't backed up already. Oh wait, it is.
You know what, I'd rather EA didn't come here to open up business in Toronto for government photo ops. None of their games are worth playing anyways.