Friday, January 26, 2007

Chad Vader
I've got nothing to report today yet really... nothing new anyway.

Here's a little Friday humor.

Other news, Blizzard decided to wield their mighty Sword of Server Downtime last night, and robbed me of 45 minutes in "their" game. This normally would be no big deal, but I'm going to try and make note of every little thing from this point out. As Tom, WD, and myself have discussed, issues such as the ones presented recently are included in the customer service agreement (which essentially says "you will pay us $15 a month, even if you never, ever get to play our game) someone should really take them to task on their abuse of power. Every little thing Blizz, everything.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

John Kerry has decided that losing one presidential race is enough for him. He and George Voinovich (quickly becoming my least favorite senator, just ahead of Mike DeWine) should form a Senate support group so grown men that are supposed to be leading the most powerful nation on Earth can continually cry on each others shoulders while Rome is proverbially burning.

Wow! I've really been in a foul mood lately... which is good for blogging, coincidentally. I'm not really this bitter of a person... really... ;)


Dems Display New Power
I truly hope that the new majority Dems in the house really flex and force the Republicans to grow a collective backbone by doing more of this. If the only thing the Republicans can do about this is snivel and cry, then we truly do need a new conservative party in this nation.

The money quote:
"Whine me a river,'' one senior Democratic House aide said, referring to Republican gripes.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

John McCain will NEVER get my vote!
...unless he's running against Hillary Clinton. The man has lost whatever spine he had while doing time in the Hanoi Hilton. Should McCain win the Republican nomination, which I highly doubt, he will not get my vote or support. He is a political opportunist, much like every single politician in Congress at the moment, except to the extreme (e.g. Bill Clinton). His positions and loyalty sway with the wind, and I do not believe he would be a strong administrator of the War on Terror. Rudy Giuliani is a liberal, and I'd have a hard time voting for him, but he's right in the WoT and actually has clear positions on most issues. It seems like every day I log in, read the news, and John McCain is right there bashing the POTUS, the veep, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, or anyone else who doesn't fit into the "John McCain for President" worldview. I'm sick of offering up praise for his military service, it's been overdone, he should not be president lest we fail in our goal of making the world a safer place.


Child Rape Scenes
I was listening to Hannity the other day and he kept going on and on (as he will about any given non-politcal topic on any given day) about Dakota Fanning's rape scene in whatever movie it is being screened at Sundance. First off, I don't know why this should be a political issue. Dakota is a professional actress, and the scene was undoubtedly done in a professional environment with no harm caused. That being said, I know nothing else about the movie, but will likely not see it as about the last thing in the world I wish to observe is a child being raped. The head of Sundace has declared this as "challenging material," and just about anybody knows this is code for "a gimmick to ratchet up popularity and sell more tickets." Let it die on the vine, please. I probably would have never heard of this movie if it weren't for Sean Hannity, so I can only imagine how many people would have missed it entirely if he wasn't scraping the bottom of the barrel for material.


U.S., Israel to be destroyed... yadda yadda yadda...
To anyone still paying attention. check this link out. I hate to agree with our buddy in Iran, but this nation clearly does not have the will to defend itself. As everyone is aware, yet no one seems to care, Iran absolutely intends to develop nuclear weapons and has declared such. Iran also has officially declared (see link, as well as any number of articles in recent history) that the United States and Israel will be destroyed. Meanwhile, the MSM tosses softball questions at their crackpot leader, and undermines the war effort in Iraq.

Just thought I'd toss that out there. Again. To anybody who cares about what is to come. I wish G.W. Bush would act like he had any confidence in his war plan, but the MSM has decided the fate of this nation and it's hard to campaign against them.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Consumer Alert: Blizzard Entertainment
A little over a month ago, several addon sites for the World of Warcraft game produced by Blizzard Entertainment were found to have keyloggers as a part of their addons. This, of course, produced a high level of insecurity in several thousand user accounts related to the game. One of those accounts belonged to a friend of mine. He had spent months leveling his character all the way up to ~57 when a keylogger stole his information. The malicious individual wound up selling everything he had, and transferring his 300 gold to another account. Having faith in Blizzard's integrity system, he submitted a ticket.

8,000,000 people give Blizzard $15 a month to play this game.

It took over a month for my buddy to receive ANY contact from Blizzard, despite several attempts to reach them. 1 full month of receiving $15 from 8 million individuals. When they did finally grace him with a response, this is the form letter he received:

Greetings ******,

Thank you for contacting the World of Warcraft Game Master Department.

Account Name: ********
Realm: *******
Character Names: ******, ******, *******

Unfortunately, we were unable to verify the loss of the reported character assets. In order to assist you in continuing with normal play, a basic set of Bind on Equip items have been provided for the above listed characters. These items are not bound. They are for you to use, sell or equip as you deem necessary. The upcoming Burning Crusades will afford you and your character new content that will improve your overall gaming experience.

We sincerely apologize for any frustration you may have experienced as a result of this situation, and hope that this will assist you to return to enjoying the game as quickly as possible.

Please remember that restoration is not always guaranteed. While we make every effort to verify your loss there are times where restoration is not possible.

For further information please check our Restoration Policy located at *********************.

Thank you again for contacting us. We hope you continue to enjoy your experience in World of Warcraft!

*** Please do not respond to this email as all conversations on this matter would be best handled online. ***

Blizzard Entertainment

Customer satisfaction is a top priority here at Blizzard Entertainment,
and we would like your feedback on the level of service you have received.
Please feel free to provide such feedback at the following web address: ***********

Blizzard, you may never see this, but if you do I hope you understand that as a gaming software company you have now jumped the shark. It's a "minor" incident like this that begins the tarnishing of a once stellar reputation. I know of at least 10 individuals who would consider cancelling their accounts as a result of this flippant response to a sincere concern. To those not paying attention, the letter clearly states that Blizzard Entertainment, despite having full control over every transaction in the game and logging most of them to control cheating, could not find the time or energy to research this issue and wound up costing an individual several months of play time due to their own apathy toward their customers.

$120,000,000 a month goes to Blizzard Entertainment from individuals such as my friend and myself.

Update (01/22/07):

Thanks to Tom for the heads-up, put too many zeroes on the post above. Fixed.

Update (01/25/07):

Bizzyblog's great post on this.

Also, WD's great post on personal decisions and choices.

An article from Curse Gaming, originally thought to be the source of many keylogger addons.

Another great article with screenshots of what happens when you decide to "press the issue."


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Boise State Wins National Championship
Just a few quick notes so everybody knows I'm still alive:

Ohio State thoroughly embarrassed the great state of Ohio on Monday night. Buckeyes, you are a much more talented, much better team than the one you showed us in the most important game of the season. Shame on you for playing WELL below your potential. I was shocked and awed by the lack of effort, and Teddy Ginn injuring his foot in a touchdown celebration really was just the icing on the cake. I am deeply disappointed... make no mistake, the Florida Gators are a great team, but not that much better than Ohio State this year.

That being said, I think I'm just about done with watching college football national championship games. Much like the NFL, the season gets longer every year for purely reasons of profit. I'm not against profit, but I am against the exploitation of great national traditions for profit. There does not need to be a 50+ day layoff between the end of the season and the national championship game with a bowl game every single day. Also, the BCS title game does not need to be a seperate game from the other bowls. That's just ridiculous. I think it's almost universally agreed that the BCS is a trainwreck (not much different than the NCAA itself as an organization), and the national championship game should be held on January 1st, period. Also, if you're going to have a single "national championship game," have a playoff, or do not pretend that the winner of a single game is the predetermined champion. Ohio State was blown out by a very good team, but probably not the best team in the nation. Boise State went undefeated and knocked off traditional top 10 power Oklahoma to cap their season and they finish... 5th? Where is the justice in that? I gave up consistently following the NFL a couple of years ago, when the 2nd time out taken in the 3rd quarter was sponsored by A Corporation and presented by B Corporation, with the stats shown at the beginning of the commercials were provided by C Corporation. While I'm on this topic, do we really need spectacular computer generated displays of the offense and defense, and interviews with every player on every team before the game so they can be played during the came? I can't tell you how many times we've had to be brought back into a game midway through a play just because we "need to hear" what a certain player had to say in response to an interview question forced on him.

Well, I feel much better now. In short, I used to be a huge sports fan... every day, I am less so, due to the dilution of event presentation.



Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year Everyone!
I'm a little late with this, but I'd like to wish everyone a happy new year.

A couple of quick notes... if you didn't see the end of the Boise State/Oklahoma game, go watch it. Now. It was truly a great finish to a spectacular game.

Turns out Obama has some skeletons, just like any politician or person generally. The difference here is that since he's a Democrat, the media will give him a pass. That the media plays such an important role in determining the outcome of American elections is one of the main reasons for my recent political apathy.

That's it for now! Make this year one to remember!

Go to the source!