Thursday, June 22, 2006

"Debating" Video Game Violence

"Seriously, the House of Representatives is filled with insane jackasses." - Jon Stewart

I think I'm starting to enjoy work now that it's keeping me busy, and hopefully I can get a second project assigned to me tomorrow so that I can double team this stuff. You're probably more interested in that quote, which I believe came from last night's Daily Show, but my cable here blows so I didn't see the episode myself, only the clip in which that quote was featured. I feel most inclined to talk about what I saw in that clip. What I saw really was a bunch of insane jackasses wasting our money. We pay these guys to debate the issues that affect our lives on a large scale, and we hope that they do the proper research so that they can make the right decisions. These guys clearly did not do that. Let me make it clear that I do not disagree with trying to keep young kids away from bad games or making the ratings stricter, but I think that there is a logical way to do things, and that doesn't include blaming games for people losing their lives. It also doesn't mean that a congressman can claim to qualified to legislate on the issue just because he used to play Pong back in the day. That's like passing laws over digital music just because you used to own a portable cassette player. I'm not saying that they need to be avid gamers, but they're choosing to not educate themselves about how things really work in the industry or conduct studies to see what's happening to children but rather believe what they want to believe. The more random gore scenes they show from video games the more support they'll get, right? It's just really frustrating for me and I'm glad that at least Jon Stewart stepped up to the plate on live television to comment on it. I can only hope that they'll somehow end up making the right decisions.

I actually have a real piece of video game news today: Nintendo has created a new subbrand called Touch Generations to release games under for older audiences, such as Brain Age and Sudoku Gridmaster. It may sound stupid, but it's probably a good idea since they need to step out of the kiddie brand everyone thinks of them as if they want to really grow. The search engine wars may seem to clearly yield to Google, but it turns out that things aren't that simple as Yahoo and MSN have improved quite a good bit in terms of number of searches. Supposedly the new trend will be social searching, but I think that's just analysts trying to hide under the latest buzzword because I don't know how much people really care about other people's opinions while searching; unless they're looking for reviews, of course. Meanwhile, Google is piloting a new service called the Content Referral Service where webmasters get paid based on a click through's action rather than just the click itself. I'm not sure if this means that advertisers will pay more for this service as opposed to normal AdSense or how it works for them, but it gives webmasters a better payoff and I'm sure will make advertisers happier regardless. One of the biggest jabs at iTunes from techies is that the AAC is a lossy, compressed format that's still not as good as CD quality, but we may see a lossless format in the near future. This means that the files will be bigger (more bits rather than prediction), but much higher quality. However, it needs DRM before iTunes will start selling it, so stay tuned for more on that front. Mac users who enjoy watching TV on the go should look into the TVMicro, which is a USB dongle that provides all kinds of analog television streaming and recording capability and I wish was compatible with PCs so I could pounce on one. Can you imagine recording that episode of 24 you missed and then loading it onto your iPod to watch on the bus or train? If you're having trouble with media formats though, then you'll like MediaCoder. CS nerds like me will want to hold onto this page forever with full texts of some of the most important and influential CS-related texts to be produced, though I was disappointed to not see Dijkstra on there. Lastly, since all we see are guys on the field in soccer games, I thought that some of my male readers would be interested in this gallery. After you see her, you'll waste a lot of time flipping through the pictures:

Click to enlarge

I was surprised to find so much movie news today, particularly from the superhero flicks. Not only do we have new production designs from Superman Returns, but IGN managed to scoop up a few new scenic shots from the movie itself. Spider-man, not to be outdone, has a new teaser poster, but it's quite blurry. That came from across the Atlantic though, so I'm sure that it'll come here soon enough and should be much sharper. Oh, and the teaser trailer that we'll see in theaters this weekend will run 1 minute and 38 seconds long, which is a decent size for a teaser. I can't wait to see the first footage to ever be released from the movie. We have strong speculation that Iron Man will be planning to hit theaters in May 2008, which would be coming rather close to the target release of Indiana Jones 4, though I doubt they'd drop on the same weekend. The blockbuster for this summer should be Snakes on a Plane though, and you can see more multimedia from that flick over at IGN. Futurama has been talked about a good amount in recent months as making some sort of a comeback, and supposedly it's now selling 13 episodes to Comedy Central. All the voice actors have inked their agreements, so it looks like this isn't a fake-out! I think it'll be good just because they want to prove that they can bring fans back in a big way. Lastly, if you're a fan of Zach Braff or writer Paul Haggis, then you'll no doubt want to see the trailer of The Last Kiss. My craptacular connection won't let me view it, but I'm sure it's decent since Haggis did write Crash and Million Dollar Baby.

Now for the 3x Thursday meme:

1. Do you look forward to getting new toys (appliances, gadgets, etc)? Why/why not?
Definitely. I don't look forward to the inevitable credit card bill, but I like having new stuff because it makes me feel like I'm finally grown up enough to be able to handle nice things like digital cameras and computers and such all on my own. Seriously, my brother was always afraid I'd break stuff when I was younger since I broke his old toys when I was really little.

2. Have you gotten any new toys lately (say, the last 6 months)? Do you like them?
Just the camera really, and I love it. I was hooked on it for like a month, and I'd probably use it more here if I had more stuff to take pictures of.

3. Do you get any satisfaction out of getting new electronic equipment? Why/why not?
Oh yeah, mainly because I'm a geek and electronics fascinate me.

Bonus Question: If you could get any new piece of equipment, what would it be? Why?
A MacBook Pro because I'm tired of lugging around a tower and CRT, and the agony of trying to install SP2 has made me very weary of using Windows.

1 comment:

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