Talk about rubbing in a victory! Shortly after deposed dictator Muammar Qaddafi was captured and killed by Libyans rebels, his body was transferred not to a morgue, or the insides of an urn, but rather a freezer in a Tripoli shopping center. Libyans have been lining up to take pictures of themselves next to the once fearsome, but now frostbitten leader, making me wonder if they'll ever give the man a proper burial. The celebration over his death has reached Shazzang-like levels... the Libyans are three steps away from using the corpse as fertilizer, growing a field of wheat with it, feeding the wheat it to a cow, then pounding the cow into a bloody pulp. I know he terrorized your country for forty years, but man, just let it go. Even Hitler got a more dignified funeral, even though his "funeral" consisted of dumping ashes into a river.
Also, I was redirected to the Japanese version of LiveJournal for some reason. Was my computer taken hostage by Discord?
There's almost an amusing irony to this. Twisted Pixel approached Capcom to distribute their game, Splosion Man, on the iPhone, only to be rejected. Later, Capcom releases its own game, called MaXplosion, for the format. You'll see why this is significant when you watch a clip of the game in action.
MaXplosion is so similar to Splosion Man that it can't be just a coincidence. Practically everything is the same, with the few differences between the two games being trivial at best. MaXplosion is an anthropomorphic bomb with a lit fuse for a tail, and his enemies don't blow up into meaty chunks, but in all the ways that matter, the two games are nearly identical. This from the same company that sued Data East for making Fighter's History! There really are no more heroes these days.
A long time ago, I made a New Year's resolution not to make New Year's resolutions, because they're quickly forgotten and easily broken. Instead of making promises for the coming year, it makes more sense to examine the past year and learn from those experiences. Here now are some lessons taken from 2010...
EMBRACE YOUR FRIENDS. These were the final words of advice given to me by a family friend, who passed away late last year. I'm not an open or social person, and it took a very long time for her to win my trust... time I could have spent getting to know this exceptional woman better. Frankly, I'm ashamed that I didn't take that opportunity when it was presented to me, and it's a mistake I don't wish to repeat. So this year, I will make an effort to close the gap with friends who have grown distant and make amends with those I've wronged.
FIND BALANCE. I'm a negative person, to the great frustration of friends and family. I honestly believe that some skepticism is healthy, but lately it's grown increasingly clear to me that too much cynicism and distrust ferments into hopelessness and despair. I find myself sleeping through most of the day because I just don't see the point of doing anything, whether it's productive or not. This needs to change. I can't be so trusting and optimistic as to let myself be blindsided by disappointment and exploited by opportunists. However, at the same time, I can't be so overwhelmingly negative that life loses all joy and purpose. There has to be a middle ground.
MAKE AN EFFORT. I still haven't found steady work, and college loans will be due in eight months. If I'm going to make something of my life, right now would be the right time for it. I am talented in a number of areas- writing, art, web site editing, film production, and game development- but I have a habit of giving up when my work fails to bear fruit, sometimes if it doesn't happen immediately. After fifteen years, it's pretty clear that I'll never get rich from The Gameroom Blitz, but if I had regularly made video reviews over the last three years, instead of losing interest after YouTube made it slightly more difficult for me, who knows what could have happened? I need to be more persistent, and view each obstacle to my success as a challenge rather than a roadblock.
1. Erode power of the working class with deregulation and subsequent job outsourcing
2. Redirect working class anger toward government, resulting in reduction and eventual atrophy of public services and civil rights
3. Eliminate government completely while privatizing its substantial military
4. Use newly acquired military to quell uprisings from the working class
5. Use military to force other countries into compliance
Not very well. My system is broken, and attempts to revive it have only make it more broken-er. Did I mention that most of my modern game collection is Xbox 360-dependent, and that I just received two games from GameFly that I'll never be able to play? All righty then.
Sat, May. 22nd, 2010, 05:55 pm
I just can't deal with this situation anymore. I'm living with a woman on a perpetual power trip, who takes everything she can from me, is never satisfied with what she gets, and is determined to destroy any pleasure I could hope to enjoy with her mad hysterics. The minute I got back from the Conan O'Brien performance, she is right on my ass, shrieking that I didn't call because it ended an hour later than I'd anticipated. Fine, I didn't give you status updates every fifteen minutes with my cell phone, which hasn't had service for nearly six months. I did practically everything else you demanded, you morbidly obese Napolean, and spent the last week helping you relocate items from my deceased step uncle's old apartment. You would think that after moving boxes packed with stuff and heavy furniture and loading it into a truck and unloading it at the house, I would have earned just one day of freedom from your obsessive micromanagement, your emasculation with a rusty steak knife, and your goddamned emotional blackmailing. Obviously, I thought wrong. This was the first time in a long time that I had a chance at happiness and fulfillment, however fleeting, and you just couldn't keep yourself from savagely beating that joy to death with a lead pipe.
I'm done. I'm out. I've tried to leave for over a year now, depending on the false promises of a relative who won't honor the agreement she made with me. Now I'm determined to do whatever it takes to be free of you, with or without that assistance. I will escape, even if I have to run a thousand miles to get away from you.
Popular BitTorrent site ISOhunt was recently hobbled by the US government. Technically, it still exists, but all semblance of usefulness has been stripped away, replaced with a generic search engine that makes finding content nearly impossible.
Media industry lobbyists like the MPAA and the ever-popular RIAA argue that the measure was necessary to keep its intellectual property from being stolen. Fair enough... torrents aren't exclusively used to download copyrighted material, but I would wager that more people use it to grab a dodgy copy of How to Train Your Dragon caught on a pocket camcorder, or the latest album by second-trimester singing sensation Justin Bieber, than the latest version of Linux.
The corporations have a right to protect their property. As do we. So let's start by rolling back the length of copyright protection from ninety years after publication to seventy-five. Copyrights were designed to allow the creators of intellectual property to benefit from their work for the remainder of their lives. After they pass away, their creations should become the exclusive property of the public domain, for the benefit of future artists. The Walt Disney Company was built on a bedrock of public domain work... without free access to works like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella, the media megalith would never have been as successful as it is today.
Extending copyright protection to ninety years and beyond steals from the public and our culture, just as surely as illegally downloading the latest episode of Dancing with the Stars steals from a corporate giant like Disney. The only difference is the level of larceny involved. The legitimate digital download market (Amazon, iTunes, etc.) suggests that one episode of a television series is worth roughly two dollars. However, the price of withholding Mickey Mouse from the public domain, as Disney did when strong arming the Senate into extending copyright protection, is in the billions.
As long as we're asking for mutual respect for copyrighted material, let's insist that corporations honor the fair use provisions outlined in Section 107 of copyright law... the same provisions they have willfully ignored time and time again with YouTube and other video sharing sites. Forcing these sites to remove videos without taking into account the context in which the copyrighted material was used is irresponsible at best, and at worst anti-competitive and illegal. The damages done to content producers could be in the millions.
If this is all about preventing intellectual property theft, it's important to ask yourself who has stolen the most. It hasn't been ISOhunt.
1. Pay four dollars for downloadable content.
2. Insert Assassin's Creed II disc.
3. Unzip pants.
4. Pick up bar of soap that the mission "Port Authority" dropped behind you.
5. Get raped by a large, angry prisoner named Merle. (lubricant not available)
6. Go from "avid fan" to "bitter and disillusioned former fan."
7. Sell Assassin's Creed II disc.
I'm a little amazed by how resistant internet users have become to the offer of free stuff. It's like the fact that EVERYTHING is free on the internet has resulted in them treating their time as a precious commodity. Josh Lesnick (aka superhappy) has complained about this in the past with his comics, and after releasing my latest homebrew game to an indifferent public I can certainly understand his point of view.
Come on, television stations. The signals might be pretty good if you're living next door to the broadcast tower, but if you're out in the boonies or have transmission interference issues (ie humidity, sunlight, a friggin' butterfly getting squashed in Tokyo), they're completely terrible. Put some of that advertising money to good use and BUILD MORE TOWERS. They're desperately needed, particularly in Michigan where trees are everywhere. I'm sick of watching Conan O'Brien as imagined by Pablo Picasso... that is, if he even comes in at all.