Filed Under: Opinion
Hal Turner's at it again bringing free, if questionably valuable, speech to the poor and comparably innocent citizens of Kingston. In slightly other news: the poor, disenfranchised, unemployed and *gasp* brownish people of France still really, really hate cars. I mean, they really hate those things.
Finally, news flash allusions in Haiku form:
Because of Darwin
You are going to hell
Unlike K. Malone
Sony sucks a lot
but Costco oddly does not
Wal-Mart still Satan
Wadda' Ya Get When You Mix White Supremacy With Sanity? It Isn't A Schicht-Kuchen, That's For Sure
I'm always happy to have a news post go by where this guy hasn't done something dangerous, scary or crazy but unfortunately it wasn't in the cards in the past couple of weeks. In fact he's gone and done something dangerous, crazy and scary. We might want to slap irresponsible on there too.
I'm regularly stricken with the sheer velocity with which Turner changes his stance on race given his penchant for oscillating between conservative isolationist and outright hating crazy-person, but little compares with the tower of waffles served up by the man in the last few weeks. Among the perpetual masturbatory and high school-ish inner politicking of the various White Supremacist groups Hal Turner has alone stepped forward to raise the torch of intolerance and lead the way to Kingston, New York. He's leaving the pitch-fork wielding to the vivacious "angrywhitewoman", Turner supporter and clearly the holder of several doctorates.
There's too much to get into here for the moment, but the Kingston Times has this background. Oh, and I'm putting in my early prediction that the Rally slated for Nov 19th at 12 noon will break down into a fully fledged riot some time around 12:15. I mean, if there are Nazi's there (only possibly in uniform) what could possibly go wrong?
Hello Religion, My Old Friend, I've Come to Blame Ignorance On You Again
Because Intelligent Design is softly creeping, Left it's seeds while Dover was sleeping, That's right, the man who brought you "...but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it." and that accepting gays might bring God's wrath in various forms of biblical unpleasantness, is now after the Godless heathens in Dover.
Pat Robertson has not too subtly alluded to the fact that should Dover's citizens be struck with, oh I don't know, "possibly a meteor", not to go praying to God for help. Wait, that's not an allusion! "I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God..." seems to be pretty darn literal. All of this forces me to wonder what Robertson's stake in this really is. After all, one of the biggest distinguishing features of Intelligent Design from Creationism is that ID doesn't require any specific deity. Hence not quite as obviously supernatural and therefore quite slightly more likely to slip under the pesky logic radar that science professors so childishly cling to. Wait, you don't mean to tell me that Intelligent Design is exactly the same thing as Creationism only in Cool Blue, do you?
Regardless, there seems to be a lot of invoking of wraith, pestilence and general nastiness going around in the press these days. It's good to see, too, I must say. Nothing like a Fair and Balanced judgement from O'Reilly to the tune of:
We're going to say, "look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.
Seriously, people, I wish I was making this stuff up. Just to restore the religious balance though, I should mention that hardcore and immoral Muslims are fucktards too, because I don't want to be unduly harsh to only the Christian idiots.
Trivia: Who is 6'9, Weighs 256 Pounds, is My Brand New Hero and Has a Name With Too Many Syllables For a Good Haiku?
If you guessed the man who sidestepped a government stonewall against doing high cost charity work and genuinely helped in the rebuilding of New Orleans then you guessed right! That's right, NBA player Karl Malone used some of his money and properties to do the right thing much to the chagrin of the gouging contractors, and boy-howdy does it ever make me smile every time I think about it.
Want to know something else crazy? It would seem that Costco is a pretty decent company run by a pretty decent guy. When the hell did that happen? We're talking about a retailer paying $17 an hour, good health plans and a CEO who says insanely sane things like "Having an individual who is making 100 or 200 or 300 times more than the average person working on the floor is wrong." about his own salary! In response boorish, elitist assho... sorry, analysts like Emme Kozloff were heard spouting such gems as "He has been too benevolent" about his policies towards his employees; and Douche Bag representative .. oh sorry, Deutsche Bank representative Bill Dreher could be heard vomiting "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder".
What I have to ask here is how our culture has become so nakedly elitist that commentary like the above can come out without so much as a raised eyebrow? Is this actually normal? I know we have mass layoffs by successful companies, record oil profits along side record oil prices and oh yeah, Halliburton is still making a metric googol of money, but do we never hit a point where the pure abrasion of it is just too much to bear? I guess if Wal-Mart (the movie), Wal-Mart (the dehumanizing discrimination) and Wal-Mart (epically corrupt) isn't enough we must have a ways to go.
How About Something Not a Company Behaving Badly? No? Ok!
Sony and DRM. They're like abusive, capricious peas in a pod. Dirty, slimy, insecure peas it would seem since their possibly illegal rootkit has recently made the press when their unwelcome DRM scheme started facilitating the spread of a trojan. Way to make a security enhancing product you misfitted retards. The good news, though, is that their retardation is at least cross platform and will hopefully be causing security holes on the soon Mac too. (Thanks for the lead on this one, pierre)
And Finally, What's Worse Than an Anti-Torture Amendment That Doesn't Pass?
That's simple! One that passes, and then is struck down by what I believe would be Bush's first use of his Veto. For the love of... WHO STRIKES DOWN AN ANTI-TORTURE LAW? I mean, it's torture! Isn't that the presidential equivalent of the drivers test question: "You see a little old lady in the street, do you? a) Stop. b) Speed up, but honk."? Obviously the US President did well on the other questions I don't remember because I clearly remember that you have to at least swerve around the old lady, or flash your lights or something.
Finally, I hate Onyx.
Filed Under: Opinion
For those not following the rhubarb sprout up around Jack Thompson's challenge to the game development community and the ensuing hilarity when someone took him up on his offer, here's how it goes.
In the Beginning, There Was "Hot Coffee", And it Was Good
Some time in early June, the 9th from what I can see here at gtaSanAndreas.net PatrickW, following up on a discovery made by Barton Waterduck (yeah, I'm assuming these are aliases) unlocked disabled content in the game GTA San Andreas by Rockstar Games. This content allows the player to bang away at their virtual girlfriends, rather than just having it implied at the end of a date. Presumably it was disabled by Rockstar in the back and forth with the ESRB while finagling an M (Mature) Rating, which is required to get onto the shelves of chains like Wal-Mart, rather than the stricter AO (Adults Only) rating that the sexual content would garner the game.
Now here's the rub: The sexual content that the "Hot Coffee" patch unlocks is completely unavailable without a third party modification to the game. This had Rockstar saying the content was the responsibility of the mod-er, in this case, presumably, Barton Waterduck (god, you have a great name, Waterduck). On the other hand, solid state distributions such as the PS2 could be patched (via 3rd party mechanism) to enable the content proving that it was originally in the Rockstar release. Course, the content was still not available except through external patching, but the finger of responsibility is not-so-clearly avoided at this point.
Course, this was all too juicy a target for the media, crazies and politicians to avoid. Explosions abound as people tried to manipulate the facts to suit their respective causes. Christian and Family Groups opened fire on the ESRB for not properly rating the game, who deflected the attack at Rockstar for 'hiding' the content. Rockstar said that the content was disabled but the modding community point right back at Rockstar with the PS2 patch, and gaming companies almost certainly started tearing through the inert and disabled content on their releases wondering if they were liable for unavailable bits and bytes that they'd shipped inadvertently. Unable to resist the juicy target Jack Thompson (expect a fun tug-of-war to ensue on that wikipedia page) of the StopKill fame, amongst other, redoubled his efforts to down the Take-Two Interactive beast knowing full well that while the American people can handle a prostitute getting decapitated, they sure can't handle her getting banged. Enter Presidential Election 2008 hopeful Hillary Clinton who isn't exactly sure what's going on, isn't exactly sure what this new-fangled Playstation is, and sure doesn't know what Hot Coffee has to do with it, but knows for sure that Soccer Moms ain't to happy with any of it. Briefed by Thompson (if Thompson is to be believed) Hillary got off to some pro-active not too much of anything.
The Salvos of open-letters from x to y via z to hopefully be read by m lit up the sky and it was, well and truly, Go Time.
Through all this gamers were wondering what the big f-ing deal is, underage children were rushing to download this awesome patch that they've been hearing so much about, the ESRB was just praying no one decides to legislate their existence away and most of all, Rockstar Games couldn't care less about Thompson and Clinton and was smok'en a big'ol fat cigar all the way to the bank.
Of course, none of this stopped anyone from playing GTA:San Andreas and Rockstar happily re-released the game without the content without much fanfare. But it doesn't end there.
So I Told You All That So I Could Tell You This
Jack Thompson, having accomplished nothing but enhancing the sales of San Andreas, almost certainly Bully probably even The Warriors couldn't stop there. He had comics who run charities for the Children's Hospital to attack.
As is so historically dictated, Jack Thompson issued an irate (and while tasteless to the charities he obviously wouldn't donate to, clearly satirical) challenge to the gaming community to develop a game which would "simulate" the murder of Take Two, er sorry, Take This associates. In return for the game development Thompson would donate $10 000 to charity. Obviously (to everyone except Thompson, I guess) the game was made in short order and Thompson immediately regretted his decision to offer $10 000 of his own money.
Not content to leave Thompson simply looking like an ass, Penny Arcade felt the need to broadcast the fact through a $10 000 donation sized bull-horn and make the donation for him, in his name. Much peeing-in-the-face by Gabe predictably follows.
As a result of being made to look like an ass, in true kindergarten style Thompson has collected his toys and run to the teacher, er police and attempted to have the penny arcade crew thrown in jail. It would seem that Thompson has a form letter printed up for this given the epic volume of times he threatens web comics.
Meanwhile, even the Soccer moms are feeling a little queasy about Thompson and have decided that they'd best let him go it alone in this whole threaten everyone in the world campaign and so Thompson looks more and more like an angry mouse trapped in the corner of a cage of cats hissing and spitting well past the time that it is wise to do so.
There is an untold entertainment value to reading about this guy, and one has to wonder where his head is at, exactly. I suppose only time will tell how far this drama will play out, and I will post updates should anything else amusing take place. For now, though, I believe that is the extremely brief and partially inaccurate skinny of ThompsonGate. Watch for the sequel as he has his go at Sims 2 -- A Pedophile's Paradise which I believe was the original development code-name for it, by the way.
Filed Under: Opinion
So there's lots of ground to cover, for what that ground is worth. Lets see, we need some depressing, second-hand political opinion, a note about Onyx and how it continues to prove that you can approach a at target without ever actually reaching it for an infinite amount of time and I'll wrap it up with some sanctimonious leftist opinion. *gasp* Liberal opinion.
Depressing, Second-hand Political Opinion
More fun from North Korea, this time in the form of rejecting UN food aid. You know, everyone in this situation is retarded. The States for no-doubt appending ridiculous demands to the provision of humanitarian aid, North Korea for being ... well, North Korea, you chodes.
This is hardly the first time that the US has attached unrelated (or related) provisions to humanitarian aid. This is literally called carrots and sticks by elements of the US government and they do so unabashedly. It seems wrong to me to place such conditions on humanitarian aid, but I suppose it is yet another sign of our rather flexible morals when interacting with the rest of the world from the cushy West.
I suppose if you want to enact policy change in the world without invading the related nations under false pretense, one has to bend some kind of ethical rule, and it's better than dropping bombs in a way. Note: I am aware that the US is invading related nations under false pretense and dropping bombs.
Really bothers me more than anything else is the fact that American's lead such an acutely protected life, culturally speaking, and they dictate social policy to others at the same time. No where is this more visible (as far as I'm concerned) than in the entertainment industry. Most people don't realize the kind of purging and scouring entertainment products go through before they reach the mass market. I only have one reference sitting around at the moment, a Godzilla 1984 (or Gojira in Japan) movie review. Rather odd place to look for commentary on the massive American propaganda engine at work, but for some reason it seemed poignant enough to me when I read it that I recorded the link, and I understand why when I read it again now. The review, while my cup of tea, is probably not yours, but what I would suggest is that you scroll down to the section Major Differences Between American and Japanese Versions and read from there. Here's an example of what I mean:
... So as you would expect, the Russians do not have the same pacifist feelings as the Americans but are instead the war-hungry "Evil Empire," or in more casual 1980's terms, "Those damn Commies!" The clips from the scene where the Russian soldier tries to stop the missile launch are slightly switched around and the subtitles are changed from, "Someone help me! I have to stop that missile!" to "I'm the only one who can do it. I've got to launch that missile!"
There's two waves of gross coming from this simple example. First, the American entertainment complex, fairly well known for having a left lean in general, still felt so threatened by the idea that the Russians love their children too that they had to remix major plot points in a Godzilla movie, of all things. Second is that immediately preceding the description of a massive plot edit the reviewer uses the phrase: "So as you would expect...". It's so common that stuff like this happens, that it's what a movie reviewer would expect. I think we're all aware on some level or another that we're being fed remixed and repackaged ideas by the media, movies, news, whatever; honestly though, I don't think we really consciously process just HOW remixed those inputs are.
Another more topical example: we've just come off a pair of scandals which could almost be considered parodies of each-other, but unfortunately they aren't. First would be the revealing of a staged press conference described in glorified bias by the village voice which passes much of the media as just another day at the office. Even better, that was reported on on Today, moments before they were outed for souping up their coverage of a flood when two people walk past the reporter pretending to need a canoe. There's some great coverage of it that I downloaded earlier, but I can't find the source of. Enjoy the lies in progress.
Now, I'm an overly optimistic sort, but isn't this kind of thing grounds for firing people? Lots of people? Instead your average person seem to turn the cynicism engines to full blast, roll their eyes and go back life as usual. Even better, they generally go on believing the media subconsciously. Sometimes it's tiring, and more times it's depressing because people just don't seem to care anymore, and there are so god-damned many of us that it's nigh on impossible to achieve anything that requires more work than turning on a TV.
Told you that was going be bitter and depressing.
Onyx. I Fucking Hate Onyx.
I may hate it, but I'm still working on the motherfucker. I've made quite a lot of progress with the AI, which has unfortunately required rewriting a sizable portion of the physics engine. That, unfortunately, has required a tonne of re-balancing of stats. Luckily, it IS getting done. I'm still short on artwork and textures, but you know what, I don't feel like whining about that right now.
Some gameplay elements have been smoothed out to make things a little more fun, and the HUD is still evolving into a useful product, but predictably there's still a lot of work to do.
I fucking hate Onyx.
Finally, I've added lots of stuff to the Onyx database and add more stuff almost daily. Some people might find that interesting, though it simply disgusts me.
I fucking hate Onyx.
From the Jesus Titty-Fucking Christ Department
Let's play the game of captions! By the way, this first one coming up wins my Fucking... Terrifying... award for this post.
After a Wal-Mart employee turned in a high school student's anti-Bush poster to the police, the Secret Service came calling.
The Secret Service has its eye on a Kentucky student. Twenty-one-year-old Phillip Bailey is being investigated for suggesting President Bush be shot.
How things like this can be considered anything except first-class, wholesale abuse of power and infringement on personal liberties I can't imagine. What really gets me is that this sort of thing is now happening all the time. That's just what we see reported, too. When it boils down you have to wonder how much of this sort of thing is going on that we don't hear about. I mean, is it really paranoid to think that the government might be threatening the news services? Is it really? I certainly would have labelled that as paranoid when I was younger and less cynical, but there is just so much censorship and bullying by the Secret Service and the FBI in the states that I don't see how it could be considered paranoid anymore.
Finally, I fucking hate Onyx.
Filed Under: Front Page
So... what's new and interesting?
Well, I'm still working on the Onyx database and source material but the codebase itself hasn't moved much. I've been too distracted to put in focused effort on it lately. Instead I've been poking away at Jimmy's World and watching movies. Both of which I choose to extol about.
Some cool stuff has online most notably of which is the addition of spell checking for comments, announcements and articles. I've also made it possible to log in and/or reset your user passwords using nicknames rather than just email. This should make it easier for people who haven't logged in in ages to get access to their accounts. Unfortunately if you still have only an old email address plugged in you still need to contact me to change the password manually. I've also fixed a fair number of bugs, but nothing terribly exciting.
I've come across another interesting alternative media site which looks like it has a pretty impressive wealth of video. Those interested in content from ZeD will probably dig this too. It's called undergroundfilm and I've only started scratching the surface but clearly there's some interesting stuff waiting to be found.
A good place to start is Minimum Overdrive, an awfully amusing and well put together little short obviously nodding to Maximum Overdrive though the hostile intent is provided from a completely different source then the movie or the Stephen King short story 'Trucks'. Course, it's a short comedy and I'm being nothing but pedantic by even mentioning the differences.
In the world of commercial entertainment I watched myself some more Godzilla recently, this time was Godzilla against Mechagodzilla (2002) (originally: Gojira tai Mekagojira). Once again I'm forced to be more entertained by the older, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974). It's been a long time since I've seen the later, but I'm drawing on what I remember from it cast with the light of the likes of Godzilla Versus the Sea Monster and Godzilla vs. Gigan. It seems to me that the newer generation of Toho movies are falling closer and closer to the movie quality equivalent of the The Uncanny Valley. Godzilla Versus the Sea Monster and Godzilla vs. Gigan were so good because they were so bad. The newest generation of Toho films are borderline good. In fact they occasionally poke their heads out of the pit and do something interesting. Of course they will be forever marred in the English market by the often appalling translations (yes, this includes subtitles), but they're getting continuously closer to the 'good' mark, and therefore falling straight into the too good to be bad and nowhere good enough to be great.
This weekend I had a reminder of that exact effect provided far too efficiently by Returner. This little flick I caught the trailer to on the Godzilla against Mechagodzilla DVD and (while I knew better) I thought looked pretty interesting. The movie itself was clearly inspired by The Terminator borrowing several shots and progressions to further its own somewhat interesting and often non-sensical plot. Anyway, I've never done this before, but I've written a review and put it up on Jimmy's World. It's not terribly insightful, but hey, it's my first attempt. Here you go: Jimmy's Review of Returner.
Filed Under: Front Page
That's right folks, it has only taken me eight weeks to write a post about an update which took something like two years to "complete". I write complete in quotes because the update itself was somewhat forced by my ISP discontinuing service on the server my old site was hosted on. This would be the kind of thing I would rant about normally, but they gave me something like half a year of notice with which I did nothing but plan to switch to my newly designated server. Needless to say, planning was not enough. In any case, that was then and this is now so welcome to Jimmy's World Version 6....
The version I slapped onto the new server in a panic was pretty badly broken, but I think most of the holes are patched now. Patched enough that I can and have started adding content rather than putting out fires. Adding content is something I've always been pretty bad at, but I have hastily whipped together or harvested from elsewhere a few articles to populate the site with. More should be coming in the semi-near future when I start importing old guest articles that were hosted before the change. At the same time I'll be syndicating some creative writing from other people as well, and that should fill out the page categories fairly well.
So what does the site upgrade mean, really? Well, in this case it means quite a lot. The page has basically become a big CMS, well, really a pair of CMS..es?. The whole site now is pretty much in the database, including the menus, article categories and category pages as well as the articles themselves. Like before, the devel projects are stored in the bug tracker. What does that mean? Well, it means that content on the site can be authored from anywhere by anyone. No FTP required. That includes things like menu structuring, image uploads and other stuff. Articles written are put in a submission queue and passed back and forth between the author and the editor until approved, then put up on the site. It may be comical to note that I am both the only author and only editor. Yes, as you may have suspected, this makes the whole things stupid. It WOULD be cool if there were many editors and authors. Trust me.
So what else is new? Lots of things actually. The front page now has an aggregated RSS news feed display which can keep track of which articles you 've read before and is customizable from the news feed editor. You can also choose to make your own feeds public so other people can opt to include them on their front pages as well. In addition to seeing the most recent headlines it is also possible to search headlines, excerpts and bodies of articles all the way back to when the site started aggregating them. This functionality is actually pretty cool since it lets you search news items from quite a few sources at once, check out the results for doom 3 for example.
Another big addition is 'watches' which show up all over the site as links called 'Watch this item'. When clicked on members will automatically be sent updates whenever the item, article, bug, project, comment or whatever is updated. Non-members will have to type their email and verify their addresses, but they will also be emailed updates. Of course, it would be easier and faster if you just became a user. But hey, your choice. Hint hint.
A lot of the old pointless features of the site are still intact like instant messaging and the ability to create development projects complete with a bug tracker etc. for site members. Like I mentioned before members can also write articles if they like, and more. I'm also slowly adapting the system to support livejournal like functionality for these news stories so I can completely move my journal to the site. Unfortunately there'll never be a substitute for friends pages, so I would imagine I'll always syndicate posts in both places. I can't even begin to imagine why anyone would want to switch away from livejournal to use a service here, so I doubt I'll put much energy into making it publicly viable.
As I've already said the site has been around for quite some time already, but I needed to get a post up at some point or another, so here it is. You're welcome to wander around and poke at things, of course. Quite a lot of stuff is undocumented still, and as usual the vast majority of the site is buried away behind a good three levels of links but *shrug* it's the best I can do for now. Also keep in mind that there are a couple satellite sites now as well: JWGames.org which is basically just a subset of the news on this site and so not too interesting. More interesting is the new-ish Onyx site which is only new if you haven't gone to it in ... well, many months. There's some new stuff in the Onyx database, but nothing terribly exciting or complete. More about that belongs in an Onyx post, not here.
So, that's it. A very belated announcement. Yay.
This item really doesn't need much explanation. I'll just give you the links and the titles, and I'm sure you can roll your eyes, all on your own.
And now less than a month later:
I guess this isn't really a bad thing so much as a stupid thing. The Department of Homeland Security has very little to do with security, and a whole lot to do with informational awareness and population control. I suppose the dumber they act, the better off we all are. Especially Americans.
Filed Under: Front Pagehere.
There are even examples of its basic trickery available too, right here on the examples page.
Filed Under: Miscellaneous
The exploit itself, just to be precise, is attached to this post.
I will of course take it down if anyone requests :)
Filed Under: Front Page
Yay for me! The new news engine is on-line and ready to go. Soon all news items will be neatly filterable and searchable by date AND keywords.
Isn't that downright nifty?
Anyway. I'm tired. Go away.
(Update 2002.06.11.10.16 by Jimmy)
Anyone who wants to be able to post news items, just let me know. For now I have to toggle a little byte someplace in the deep recesses of a database to turn it on. After that announcements can be added from the Your Jw section.