I <3 Linux… but sometimes I don’t really understand it…..
Aug 15 20:04:16 idpmgt kernel: Uhhuh. NMI received for unknown reason 21 on CPU
Aug 15 20:04:16 idpmgt kernel: Dazed and confused, but trying to continue
Aug 15 20:04:16 idpmgt kernel: Do you have a strange power saving mode enabled?
Aug 15 20:04:19 idpmgt kernel: Uhhuh. NMI received for unknown reason 21 on CPU
Aug 15 20:04:19 idpmgt kernel: Dazed and confused, but trying to continue
Aug 15 20:04:19 idpmgt kernel: Do you have a strange power saving mode enabled?
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: Uninitialised timer!
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: This is just a warning. Your computer is OK
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: function=0xc012a46e, data=0xf0e85330
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: [<c0129a20>] check_timer_failed+0x3c/0×58
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: [<c012a46e>] process_timeout+0×0/0×5
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: [<c0129c7d>] del_timer+0×12/0×65
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: [<c0129d74>] del_singleshot_timer_sync+0×8/0×21
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: [<c02d0e66>] schedule_timeout+0xda/0xee
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: [<c012a46e>] process_timeout+0×0/0×5
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: [<c0120129>] add_wait_queue+0×12/0×30
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: [<c0134e11>] futex_wait+0×133/0×194
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: [<c011e71b>] default_wake_function+0×0/0xc
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: [<c011e71b>] default_wake_function+0×0/0xc
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: [<c02d304c>] common_interrupt+0×18/0×20
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: [<c01350c2>] do_futex+0×29/0x5a
Aug 15 20:04:26 idpmgt kernel: [<c01351f4>] sys_futex+0×101/0x10c
Immediately after saying “Just a warning, everything is okay”… the computer locked and had to be power cycled. OOPS!
I love my country, but there are some things about America and its residents that I don’t understand and probably never will. Hopefully someone can elucidate.
1) Our obsession with giant trucks and SUVs. Seriously… what is it about America? I was once told by an Australian buddy that on his first trip to America, he saw so many giant trucks that he assumed we had no paved roads. Why do people want to drive them? They’re big, they get horrible gas mileage, they’re hard to drive, hard to park, have horrible handling and braking… and yet many people refuse to drive anything but.
2) Our obsession with cell phones. I remember a time not that long ago, before cell phones were as ubiquitous as they are now, when if you owned a cell phone… it was mostly just for emergencies. It was possible to commute to work and actually concentrate on driving. If you were having a conversation with anyone, they were either A) in the car with you B) your favorite deity, or C) yourself. If you were driving or in a store, too bad… you were just incommunicado… talking to people could wait. Now, I’ll admit that I’m a bit of an information junkie, and LOVE having the internet at my fingertips wherever I go…. but there’s a time and place for everything, and driving is not it. Seriously, folks.. put down the damn phones and pay attention to the road.
3) The draw of Sarah Palin and the entire premise of electing politicians based on whom you want to have a beer with. Honestly, I can’t think of anyone I’ve ever had a beer with that I’d want to be President. No offense to any of you… but seriously, you’re not Presidential material. So what gives, what IS the draw of this woman? She seems like the ditziest bimbo ever to hold elected office. Even people from the McCain campaign wondered what they were thinking when they chose her. Certain words spring to mind when I hear Palin’s name… among them are: vapid, nonsensical, ridiculous, shallow, and of course… willfully ignorant. So why are there millions of people who actually think she is the best choice for President?
4) Dubbed shows. It’s one of those little things that annoys me. One strange little thing I love is hearing foreign languages spoken by native speakers. I’m just fascinated by it. So why is it that almost every show in America is dubbed over instead of subtitled? Are we too lazy to read a little bit? And while we’re on the subject of subtitles, who thinks we’re dumb enough that we need to have Brits, Scots, and Aussies subtitled when they’re speaking English? ENOUGH!
5) Our aversion to diesel. Right now, there are only 4 manufacturers that sell diesel cars (note: not trucks) in America… and they’re all German. BMW, Mercedes, VW, and Audi are the only ones willing to sell us the vehicles that Europe sees as “the standard”. Americans seem to be obsessed with hybrids and the green-ness of the Toyota Prius and the… uhh… absolute goddamn retardedness of the 21mpg “hybrid” GMC trucks. Why is diesel seen as dirty?
6) The total lack of manual transmissions. Again, in Europe, a manual transmission is considered to be the standard. Very few people want to drive an automatic. Here in America, even when cars have a manual tranmission listed as “standard equipment”… good luck finding one. In January I test drove a Jetta TDI and told the salesman the only requirements I had were A) diesel and B) manual. Jetta or Golf would be fine with me… so long as it’s a TDI with a straight drive. They searched and told me the soonest they could possibly get me one was March. We’re now mid-April and I still haven’t heard back from them about it. So why… why is “standard equipment” so far from standard?
I’m sure there are plenty of other things about the American brain that I can’t comprehend, but that should be a good start for now. Anyone want to field some questions?
Just when I was losing total faith in the gaming industry, a dark horse has come from the night mist and reassured me that all is well thanks to Runic Games’ new game Torchlight.
There are a lot of people comparing Torchlight to Diablo, and probably for good reason since some of the developers came from Blizzard, and the composer worked on both Diablo 1 and 2. Personally, I was never much of a Diablo fan. I couldn’t get into the games that much, played for a bit, but gave up. But this game actually takes me back to the fun I used to have in college playing Nethack and Angband. This game is to those what I had hoped Diablo would have been.
The basic premise of the game is a rudimentary dungeon crawler. Choose your class (melee, caster, or ranged… called Destroyer, Alchemist, and Vanquisher, respectively), then head into the mine to kill some baddies and take some loot. But they’ve pretty well nailed the execution, as it’s easy to pick up and an absolute blast to play. The visuals are nice, too… almost cartoony in style instead of the typical “dark & gloomy” graphics that would be associated with a game involving delving into dungeons to kill hordes of the undead, goblins, the random troll or two, and various other cavedwellers who have a curious supply of gold on them. There are no ridiculously high polygon models or GPU destroying shader effects, but the game still looks brilliant. It manages to runs on my nvidia GeForce 8600 in full detail at 1680×1050 without so much as a hiccup, and includes a button for “netbook mode” for hacking baddies on your ultraportable.
So for now, I’m only 2-3 hours into Torchlight, but I would like to thank the guys at Runic for assuring me that there ARE developers out there who know their roots, are still gamers at heart, and aren’t run simply by businessmen looking for bucks. I look forward to many more hours of delving into the mine, shooting trolls and skeletons in the face, and occasionally sending my trusty pet back to the surface to bring back some gold for me. Now if only there were a way to make him bring me back a few more Identify Scrolls… maybe it’s time to start modding or hope for that in the MMO version that’s coming soon.
To quote Mr. Horse (Ren & Stimpy)… “No sir, I don’t like it!”
In the past few years, PC and console gaming have become truly big business. Game companies are no longer run by people who are gamers at heart, but instead by businessmen motivated by stockholders and greed. (This means you, Bobby Kotick). Things have gotten out of hand with “Limited Edition” or “Collectors Edition” or “Limited Collectors Editions” as I pointed out in a previous blog about the Modern Warfare 2 and the working night vision goggles included with “Prestige Edition” games. These were neat in the past… perhaps a glimpse into the development with a “Making of” DVD, or an art book detailing the early sketches of the characters and environments. After that it progressed to “display case knick-knacks” like coins in Oblivion, or die-cast figures. Then it got ridiculous with helmets and night vision goggles. But through all of it, it was all essentially random junk that you really didn’t need.
And then came Forza. While there may be other games that do it, Forza is the one that I’m most aware of. Forza 2 had a Limited Collectors Edition that included exclusive cars that you could only unlock if you bought the LCE. The problem with that was, it wasn’t sold in America. Americans got TOTALLY screwed out of cars that were on their install media, but couldn’t be played since we had not shelled out more money. The tradition continued with Forza 3 which had exclusive cars that were, once again, included on the physical media we paid $60 for… but could only be unlocked through the LCE, which was actually sold in America this time… but only at GameStop. At the point when it becomes about exclusive game content, especially game content that exists on our DVDs, but is unusable… I take offense to the idea of collectors editions.
Move onto the consolization of of the PC world, as I’ll call it. Modern Warfare 2 was a sure-fire hit for Infinity Ward. Call of Duty 4 was a killer game and a must-have, and the sequel was sure to be even better…. until Oct 17th. On Oct 17th, community manager “fourzerotwo” dropped the bombshell on the PC community that our tried-and-true dedicated server model was being tossed out for an Xbox Live style “IW.Net” implemented through peer-to-peer servers. Dedicated servers have been around since the days of Quake and Quakeworld… and have worked damn well through that period of time. Dedicated servers build communities of players who come together either as competitive clans, or simply as a gaming community who make friends and play together frequently on the same server or group of servers. Think of it as your local playground, where you can walk down to the basketball court and typically find the same people hanging around playing or waiting for a 3-on-3 pickup game. Even better, you can join a game in progress, even if it’s already 20 vs 20, as soon as you show up. The IW.Net/Xbox Live models require P2P serving, joining lobbies, setting up a game beforehand, and playing to completion. Once that’s done, you sit in the lobby and organize another game. The P2P aspect hosting off of residential connections will also limit the number of people who can participate to a small group, unlike the 48+ player servers in Call of Duty 4 or 64 player servers in Battlefield 2.
Along with IW.Net destroying the existing modus operandi of PC gaming, IW/Activision saw fit to jack the price up on us to console prices. The pricepoint for most PC games has been $50 or below for a while now. Xbox 360 and PS3 games are typically $60 due to licensing fees paid to Microsoft and Sony to publish on their platforms. Now we’re expected to pay the console prices for a PC game… and quite likely pay for downloadable content since the removal of dedicated servers removed the ability of the community to create and share maps, a LONGSTANDING standard in PC gaming.
And while we’re on milking customers for money with a broken system that nobody asked for, there’s Monte Cristo’s city-builder Cities XL. Cities XL was a game with great potential, a spiritual successor to the aging but fun SimCity 4 which promised to not flop as horribly as SimCity Societies had. Unfortunately, MC got greedy during development and decided to merge the genre with MMOs, which lead to a game that’s confused about what it’s supposed to be and customers that are even more confused. The “Planet Offer” mode (the MMO mode) features online city building with… a chat room. That’s basically it, at the moment. Cities in Cities XL can trade commodities with other cities. Some cities lack oil, others lack water, and you can buy and sell “tokens” on the in-game free market. That works in Planet Offer mode… somewhat. The game is still experiencing its glitches with it. There are promises of additional content available only to PO subscribers in the future, but no timeline on when that will actually be delivered. But what about those that don’t want to pay for the PO, as we were promised we would be able to. We’re left with a botched single player game with trading limited to an in-game trader that has a 1-4 buy to sell ratio, effectively killing the ability to build large or specialized cities due to the inability to acquire goods at a reasonable price, and without even the option to purchase the additonal content for offline play in the future. Pay us constantly, and when you stop paying us, your game reverts back to what it was on day 1.
All in all, gaming is moving away from its roots. It has become too much of a big money business, and many developers are looking at us not as a community, not as peers as they once did, and not even as customers… but only as cash cows waiting to be milked for more of the green stuff.
Given the current climate and the anti-socialism stance taken by many on the right, I feel it is time to explore free-market alternatives to other public services to help put them on par with our “best healthcare in the world.” No more will these not-for-profit services leech our tax money while giving nothing back to shareholders. It is time for change!
The first change needs to be in our public safety division. Property taxes can be lowered or cut entirely once people start paying their Public Safety Insurance (PSI) Premiums which would go toward police and fire service. In the event of a fire, an estimator will do a quick cost evaluation to see if your emergency warrants dispatching a fire truck to fight your fire. (Please note that the cost of water is not necessarily covered under your PSI and may either be on a “cost as needed” basis or available via co-pay). In the event that the fire is determined to be your fault or a “pre-existing condition” (such as faulty wiring), your PSI could be cancelled and you would be billed for the full cost of dispatch.
Likewise, Police service could be handled more effectively under a PSI program as well. Police response for emergency calls would be based on a formula that takes into account the premium paid, the cost of dispatching an officer, any possible bodily harm to the officer that would have to be filed against health insurance, and the cost of any damage to person or property of the individual placing the emergency call. As with the fire portion of our PSI, any pre-existing conditions (such as moving into a neighborhood with a known high rate of crime) could end up in policy cancellation.
Finally, roads are a giant drain on local, state and federal tax pools. As a taxpayer and job creator, you should be very upset that people like the unemployed, out of state travelers, and Cadillac driving welfare moms are using the roads that YOUR taxes are paying for without pitching in their fair share. By privatizing the roads and converting all roads to tolls, gasoline taxes could be abolished and taxes paid to local, state, and federal governments could be reduced. While the clutter of multiple “Speedpass” systems for the various companies that would own the roads could be cumbersome, and the possibility of having to stop at each intersection to pay tolls to another company if turning seems daunting, we would all be able to rest assured that we are living in a truly free and capitalist society.
Also take heart that the privatization of our military has already started thanks to brilliant pioneers like Blackwater. Help us throw off the shackles of socialism and truly embrace capitalism in every aspect of our lives!
‘Nuff said…. the damn game comes with a set of night vision goggles. Really… night vision goggles… in a collectors edition of a game. To put it in military terms for a military game… Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
Quite simply stated, if you don’t buy the car… you’re going to end up buying the company, in all probability.
I installed Digsby a few weeks ago after Pidgin had crashed a few times, and I was trying to find something more stable. A friend of mine had used it and seemed to like it, so I decided to give it a shot. After trying first and being presented with a malware installer offer, I canceled and deleted it. I was then told to grab the version hidden away on their page which DOESN’T try to install malware, and I thought all was great.
Lifehacker wrote an article, and then Slashdot boosted it to fame infamy. It explained all of a sudden why my PC has been so slow. Apparently, dotSyntax (makers of Digsby) hid away a provision in the EULA that states that they will use your spare CPU cycles and bandwidth to harvest the web, run various algorithms, and generally abuse good will. Adding insult to injury, it’s an opt-out program… not opt-in… which combined with the hidden-ness of it, means most people would have never found it. I admit… I wouldn’t have. While it claims it turns off whenever you move the mouse or hit a key on the keyboard, it didn’t seem to work for me, since I only access that PC by RDP.
So dotSyntax went into damage control mode and tried to explain their bastardry lack of transparency. But it’s too little, too late. In this day and age, it takes a long time to build good will, and a VERY short period to burn it all away. People still don’t trust Real because of their former bastardry. CuteFTP used to be the most popular FTP client out there, until the story broke about them bundling Aureate, at which point they were flooded with internet rage and faded away to relative obscurity. And thus dotSyntax is doomed to the same fate. I think it’s VERY likely that nobody is ever going to trust their company again.
And for the ultimate irony in the whole situation….
A) Lifehacker was the company that helped really raise Digsby to the level it was…. and now will be the company that almost singlehandedly destroys them.
B) Digsby’s installer claims it’s Malware/Adware/Spyware free. Ballsy fuckers, aren’t they?
When in groups larger than 5, the internal volume control in the female brain malfunctions, causing both volume and pitch to rise uncontrollably.
The Ferrari team has called rival Williams “a group of poo poo heads” over its decision to not allow Michael Schumacher to test this year’s car ahead of his return to action at the European Grand Prix.
Ferrari asked all Formula 1 teams for permission to have a one-day test for Schumacher ahead of the Valencia race, where the German will replace the injured Felipe Massa.
On Tuesday, Ferrari hit out at Williams, saying the team were big doo doo heads who sucked big sucky sucks.
The Italian squad referred to Williams as “a team that hasn’t won anything for years.”
Ferrari also revealed it had given Toro Rosso its approval to test rookie Jamie Alguersuari ahead of his debut in Hungary, adding “naner naner boo boo!”
“Guess who opposed the test with the F60? A bunch of stinky poopheads that haven’t won anything for years and refuse to allow us to bring back a 7 time world champion and give him a further competitive advantage over them,” Ferrari wrote in its official website under a news piece titled ‘Oh yeah Frank, well I fucked your mom!’.
“Just for the record, the Scuderia Ferrari had given its approval to let Alguersuari test, thus making us better than Williams in TWO aspects. But it seems even in this instance people want to follow the rules! HAH! We’re Ferrari, we write the rules.”
Team boss Frank Williams said on Monday that he welcomed Schumacher back in F1, but that his team would not allow him to test.
“While we welcome Michael Schumacher back to Formula 1, why the hell should he get special treatment? Fuck him… fuck him and his 7 trophies.” Williams said.
“In a similar situation, Williams would unhesitatingly use its current test driver. For the sake of consistency and fairness, therefore, we oppose Ferrari’s proposal to test ahead of the European Grand Prix.”
In a response, Ferrari said that test driver Marc Gene was too French to properly drive an F1 car, “as Dietrich Mateschitz should have learned from the recently released Sebastien Bourdais.” Upon being informed that Marc Gene was actually Spanish, Luca di Montezemolo threatened to take his ball and go home.