Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rise From Your Graves, It's Black Ops Rezurrection Day

Rise From Your Graves, It's Black Ops Rezurrection Day:

'via Blog this'

Rise From Your Graves, It’s Black Ops Rezurrection Day
It's time to strap on your space suit, dual wield your space guns, and take out some space zombies on the moon, as Activision and Treyarch launch the all-zombie Rezurrection map pack for Black Ops on the Xbox 360.

What you see above is perhaps the most bizarre Call of Duty screenshot I've ever posted, complete with colorful anti-undead ordinance, mighty zero gravity jumping, and a lovely view of Mother Earth on the horizon. I like the moon. I like the moon because it's close to us.

But not so close that zombies would really be a threat. Zombies on Earth are bad because the planet is covered with thousands of years' worth of corpses, waiting to rise. The moon does not. They could probably just wait a few days and come back when the zombies have starved to death, if not for their hubris. Damn that hubris.

The Rezurrection map pack features the Moon map and four remastered zombie maps from Call of Duty: World at War, and is available for purchase right now for 1,200 Microsoft points.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Clever Xbox Live User Sues Microsoft for $500 Billion (or 625,000,000,000 MS Points)

Clever Xbox Live User Sues Microsoft for $500 Billion (or 625,000,000,000 MS Points)

Some cletus down in Arkansas opines that Microsoft has to pay him $500 billion because it didn't answer, in writing, a mailing designed to not get a written response to his demands for $500 billion.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is your source for all the fun, courtesy of a federal civil complaint filed Monday by one David Stebbins. His grounds for suing is a technicality about the nature of the Xbox Live terms of service. He argues that he is allowed him to unilaterally amend the TOS unless Microsoft rejects his terms in writing.

The new terms? Something about he gets paid $500 billion if they don't like the old terms.

Stebbins actually admits to the P-I that his notice to Microsoft was designed to not attract their attention and to go unanswered. "When I mail these documents to Microsoft, they won't go to any legal division; I arranged for the mailings to be picked up by the employee that just collects regular mail! It's quite possible that these employees won't understand the legal significance of these documents, and know that they're required to respond."

Clever! Best part? He refused to create an actual paper filing, as one would expect of a legitimate complaint. Instead he created a YouTube video (since removed) of screenshots of the contract amendments because to create them in paper "would put an undue strain on my printer."

You'd think that if $500 billion were actually on the table, someone would pony up for a $40 inkjet or a trip to Kinko's.

I'm not going to waste words poking holes in his legal reasoning or waste time finding the statutes that limit either the scope of his claims or proscribe this kind of conduct. It's enough to know he's tried this bullshit in other venues, too. And, also, that he claims to have Asperger's syndrome, which is the go-to punchline for many a 4chan troll. I'm sure his agoraphobia will keep him from showing up in court, too.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

PayPal Billionaire Continues Work Towards Making Bioshock's Rapture a Reality

PayPal Billionaire Continues Work Towards Making Bioshock's Rapture a Reality

PayPal Billionaire Continues Work Towards Making Bioshock’s Rapture a Reality
We haven't heard anything on this since 2008, but The Daily Mail reports that Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal, is continuing his work towards making a Rapture-esque "Start-Up Country" off the coast of San Francisco.

The floating sovereign nations that Thiel imagines would be built on oil-rig-like platforms anchored in areas free of regulation, laws, and moral conventions.

The Seasteading Institute says it will 'give people the freedom to choose the government they want instead of being stuck with the government they get.'

The venture capitalist who famously helped Facebook expand beyond the Harvard campus, Mr Thiel called seasteading an 'open a frontier for experimenting with new ideas for government.'

After making his first investment in the project in 2008, Mr Thiel said: 'Decades from now, those looking back at the start of the century will understand that Seasteading was an obvious step towards encouraging the development of more efficient, practical public sector models around the world.

Of course, this sounds eerily familiar to any who have played Bioshock or its sequels—in those games, billionaire industrialist Andrew Ryan followed similar dreams to the bottom of the ocean, creating the Ayn Rand-inspired objectivist utopia Rapture. In the game's fiction, everything was peachy until...well, until it wasn't. And everyone pretty much died.

Thiel plans to have "tens of millions" of residents by 2050, linking together a huge number of floating structures, each of which can hold 270 individuals, into a vast nautical super-structure.

"There are quite a lot of people who think it's not possible," Thiel tells the Daily Mail. "That's a good thing. We don't need to really worry about those people very much, because since they don't think it's possible they won't take us very seriously. And they will not actually try to stop us until it's too late."

In a more in-depth profile in Details Magazine, Thiel elaborates on his plans to build these "Seasteads," a program on which he has reportedly already spent $1.25 million.

"When you start a company, true freedom is at the beginning of things," he says and slides the thought over to the topic of nations. "The United States Constitution had things you could do at the beginning that you couldn't do later. So the question is, can you go back to the beginning of things? How do you start over?"

Questions abound. Will Thiel's floating city have a dramatic, evocative name? Given that it will be "free of regulation, laws, and moral conventions," will he perhaps institute some sort of ADAM-based genetic engineering? Is he a big golfer? Does this plan eventually involve relocation to the bottom of the ocean or to the skies above?

I for one am glad Thiel is still at it. Hopefully soon it'll be time to grab my wrench, my diving suit, and some potato chips and go sign a new lease.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Capcom tries to kill used video game sales with the one-save game | DVICE

Capcom tries to kill used video game sales with the one-save game | DVICE

Buying used video games is great for gamers who don't want to pay full price for the latest hits. You know who doesn't like used video games? Game publishers. In a very sad twist, Capcom's fighting back against the second-hand game market with a game that can only support one save file — for life. Resident Evil: Mercenaries for the is a game that once finished, cannot be reset for complete replay. According to both the U.S. and U.K. game's instruction manual "saved data on this software cannot be reset."

Basically what Capcom has done is make Mercenaries a one-time play affair. Once you've unlocked all the goodies and played the entire game, you will not be able to erase the game's save data and start fresh as if it were a new copy. Consider this: lending Mercenaries to a friend, a little brother or sister will be worthless because they'll only be able to continue playing the game with saved settings and create their own.

We get that game publishers don't make any money off sales from used video games, but killing off the ability to hit the reset button is just taking things too far. It's like saying Upperdeck is entitled to a cut in my autographed Michael Jordan basketball card I sold at a garage sale for $10,000 some 25 years after I bought it.

While it can be argued that used video game sales are actually more damaging than piracy, it's still a lowball move for Capcom to make, especially with a franchise as large and significant as the Resident Evil series. Will other publishers follow in Capcom's footsteps to take a stand against the lucrative market of used video games? We really hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Lavish Skyrim Collector's Edition Costs Much More Than $29

The Lavish Skyrim Collector's Edition Costs Much More Than $29:

THE ELDER SCROLLS BY MIKE FAHEY AUG 5, 2011 3:20 PM 30,826 283 Share

The Lavish Skyrim Collector’s Edition Costs Much More Than $29
Soaring high above the $29 price point suggested by Bethesda's Todd Howard on the wings of a 12 inch PVC statue of Alduin, the World Eater, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim collector's edition seems like overkill for an indie card battle game.

My mistake! I seem to have mixed up The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim with Scrolls, the card battle game from the makers of Minecraft. This is the collector's edition for the next entry in the beloved role-playing game series, guaranteed to devour the hearts and minds of countless gamers on November 11, before moving on to steal years from the modding crowd.

Along with the attractive statue, the collector's edition also house a making-of DVD and the mother of all art books, a 9 by 12 beast with more than 200 pages of stunning artwork.

The Skyrim collector's edition can be yours for only $149.99 this November, or you can save your money and buy almost five games when the prices finally get regulated."