Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Heart

For those who wanted pictures.

Good night!

Darker.

Lighter.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Politico Seems Surprised By a Pedestrian Happening


There's a Politico piece feigning shock that Jim Webb would attack Romney, and it showing how incredibly bad Romney is when Webb, of all people, would attack him.

Also, Webb is a partisan Democrat who has few qualms about making public unserious attacks on Republicans, various levels of propriety and seriousness, and had made it clear he has no real care about respecting Republicans. So, yeah. Politico? This behavior from Webb? Not unexpected. How is this out of character for Webb, or worthy of special attention? It's a campaign surrogate doing things the campaign wants.

If this is the quality of the bloggers Politico hires, and their knowledge of politicians, Politico: Hire me.

----

P.S.,

Let's first remind people that Romney gave a speech to veterans earlier, which Obama passed on the opportunity, and did mention the campaigns.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Things Matt Links: Sept. 28

Unexpected things I've learned: Despite being a ranged fighter, Laguna does better with the charge that brings him CLOSER to bad guys. Yeah, I don't get it either. Anyway, a few links for your linking pleasure.

First, shameless self promotion via Reddit. I don't know who put me up there, but hey, thank you! I should probably do another Secret World post. Maybe title it "How Secret World Lost Me" in homage to a certain blog I read.

I don't know how such a test works for video game bots, but here it is. I don't know what that says about the people who seemed more like a bot than a player. Were they really good? Really bad? What was their deal?

I think I linked this earlier, but just a reminder: If it is too good to be true, it probably is.

As much as I hate linking to ABC News because their videos auto-play (what are they using, Geocities), here's a heartwarming story.

I had some complaints about the Vita earlier, but here's a thing Sony is sort of doing right? I don't know.

I still have not purchased a Moogle, but I have something in the mail which, if it is what I think it is, might mean some pictures over the weekend. Have fun, read the news, play games!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Let's Talk About the Vita

Let's talk about the Vita. Here's a thing, I love handheld gaming. I have a Nintendo DS, fondly remember playing on my Game Gear, and now own a 3DS and a PS Vita. I don't have a smart phone, but I hear you can play games on those too. You can, sometimes, throw birds at pigs. Or something.

But, right now, let's talk about the PS Vita. I currently am playing Duodecim (the Final Fantasy fighting game) on it. Now, I also bought the prologue for the opening story sequences. But, here's an annoying fact. The DLC that comes with the prologue? You can't directly download that on to the Vita. To get it, I had to hook up to my roommate's PS3 and do a data transfer.

Likewise, I had to do the same thing for my copy of Final Fantasy Origins for my November Final Fantasy binge/marathon (mattering on which tone makes you happier.) These are issues I should not face with digital, mobile gaming. I tried to use Media Go, but the file type that Media Go downloads is not the same that the Vita uses.

This is before we get to the fact I get an error when trying to add money to my Playstation Wallet via their online tools. If I want to buy things from the store, I have to go somewhere and purchase a Playstation money card then input the card's code. This is the opposite of convenience. Here's the thing, I love the Vita. It has the potential to open up whole new avenues of gaming.

It cannot do that, however, if poor service continues to plague it, and if it expects users to be able to access a PS3 to access the things they paid for. That's one thing that very rarely happens in a brick and mortar store. If I walk in, pick up a game box and take it to the register, they rarely take my money, then tell me they cannot give me the game I paid for. They even more rarely refuse to take my money when I try and give it to them.

----

P.S.,

Apparently, my soloing guide on The Secret World made it on to Reddit. Does this make me a real blogger? I feel kind of bad having neglected The Secret World for Guild Wars 2 (and non-video game things.) Speaking of neglecting things, I should put some solid time into Guild Wars 2 this weekend...

Also, in my ever more useful advice: "Don't be a sucker," if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not. What do you mean I'm months behind on complaining about the Vita and days behind on complaining about people not getting that article was a satire? Man, and for a short while there, I was doing so well being topical.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Final Fantasy Marathon: Official

I am here-by making it official. Starting November 1, I will be starting a Final Fantasy Marathon. I don't know what the purpose of that Marathon will be, but it will happen. So, you know, expect a lot more commentary on Final Fantasy and nostalgia. If you want to join me, let me know. We can compare notes and giggle like school girls when we gain a level. Feel free to join up and drop in and out of the Marathon at your leisure (I imagine a lot of drop outs for 1, 2 and 3 -- they're painful to play at times.)

... Yeah, that makes two days of rather light posting. This week is going to be light, but I'll make up for it in October.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Final Fantasy

Fun fact: Once FF3 is released on the Play Station Network store, every Final Fantasy from I to X will be available via PS Vita. So... who wants to join me in a Final Fantasy marathon? Start from one till we hit the end. Compare notes, cross-blog, all sorts of good, clean fun? Because of this, I have retroactively added a Final Fantasy tag to posts. Go check it out!

Also: I found a puzzle that makes a 3D red crystal looking heart. I call it my Zelda heart.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

It is very rare for journalists to do actual journalism. Recently, though, CNN did it. Here's a link to their site about it. Now, I can see why State does not want their dirty laundry aired, and if CNN were to post personal information about the ambassador, I'd understand being offended. But, this is information that is actually pertinent to the story at hand.

Now, did CNN break the pledge? I guess it matters; if they confirmed the reports with other sources, I would think that they didn't. That is actually what you're supposed to do with anonymous sources or sources you don't trust. You independently verify them, then print what you find out, torpedoes ahead and all that.

What's more important, is if I were part of State, I'd be embarrassed, that's right, that CNN managed to secure and search a scene before government allies were. That just puts the cherry on top for how unprepared we were for what happened in Libya. It's not a pretty picture.

And, so, I want to give CNN kudos for reporting on that not pretty picture. I mean this earnestly; I am not being sarcastic. I beat up on journalists when they screw up, but this time? They did right by the public for independently verifying facts and reporting them.

Kudos to CNN.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday is For Politics (Post 201!)

I somehow missed that yesterday was the 200th post on the blog. So, hooray! Anyway, the major blog arcs are the conventions, free speech, failures in journalism and more failures in journalism.

Anyway, the big news today is that Romney released some of his tax returns, which shows the Obama administration and Harry Reid have been lying about him not paying taxes for 10 years. The media, of course, is insisting that we still haven't seen all his records.

But, the obvious, logical, point is that Reid was lying. If I say all Xs are Ys, and you show me one X that is not a Y, I am wrong. I could be making an honest mistake, but Reid was not making an honest mistake. He was going to bat to play politics to smear his opponent. He needs to out his source, apologize or at least stop being shameless. The next journalist that talks to him should have a delicious set of questions about how he suckered.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Things Matt Links: Sept. 21

Another week, another set of links. I like Fridays because they let me be extra lazy. Anyway, the only major Matt gaming news:
  • Desktop gaming: Guild Wars 2 continuing.
  • Handheld gaming: Duodecim is surprisingly fun, yet, as usual, I am years behind the curve.
Anyway, on to the list of links below the fold! Sorry that I don't have a cryptic sign today. No one felt like being cryptic this week.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Study in P.R.

Ignore the guy in the chair looks like the sort of guy you would want to punch in the face. Focus instead on the story, not your desire to punch strangers in the face.

Now, let's say that I run a city. Let's say that someone comes to me and says: "This problem of yours, I can fix it. No cost." Assuming this man is not a mobster, and the problem is not a human being, this is an amazing deal. For everyone involved. This is a literal "everybody wins" scenario. Here is my advice to everyone everywhere. When you are offered a play by which everyone wins and you do not need to expend any resources, you take it.

Or, if you don't, you do not decide to tell someone to literally dump tons of garbage into a public park. Let me strongly suggest that any city official who thinks telling someone to dump trash into the place where their neighbor's kids play better hope they are not an elected or appointed official. Because those are sorts of things that people take personally.

----

P.S.,

With all the #ForAll and pledges of allegiance to things going on, I think it is imperative to remind ourselves that politicians are just people.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

RPG Types

Here's something that I've been wondering for awhile. Which type of RPG do I like more? There are games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, where your hero is a poorly sketched persona that you give meaning and voice to, within certain constraints. Then, there is the Final Fantasy/JRPG type hero, who has a growth arc throughout the story. What I think people like about the Mass Effect/Dragon Age type characters is ownership, so you can play the character how you want, both in the drama of the game and the mechanics of the game. I've been tinkering around, for awhile, with a game to test that. At the outset, you would be given all of your party members as a blank canvass.

You could apply background traits to them, define relationships, set up their class/type and focus, etc. So, the up front part of building your party dynamic is all done at the beginning. Each party member has a defined story arc, but their progression through that story arc changes based on how you answer questions about their background, etc. The only issue, of course, is that you need the decisions to matter and have weight.

Either way, it is always good to get a better feel for "what sort of things do I like?" If, for no other reason, than so you have a better idea what to spend money on.

----

P.S.,

If you haven't played the Phoenix Wright games, you can fix that this Fall. Also: Yes. This got the law tag.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dissidia Duodecim...

... is the most fan service-y thing I have ever bought. I saw a screenshot of Laguna shooting Kefka... IN THE FACE.

I was sold. Right now, I'm just playing through the prologue, but, you know, I think this will be a great handheld time waster at bus stops. So far, I am gravitating towards the mages (like Terra and Kuja,) but I can be persuaded otherwise.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Free Speech Sidebar

After seeing all the uproar over an idiot who made a bad film, a lot of people seem to be flirting with the idea the government should do something about it. Now, don't get me wrong. I've said it before: The film is probably horrendous. Heinous, even. Offensive? Sure. Whatever. I haven't seen it, and I have no intention of seeing it. (If people have yet to get me to see Pulp Fiction, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be able to resist the allure of Stupid Idea We Had While On Drugs or whatever it is called.)

The point being, some people have been saying that the film maker is an unsympathetic person. This is being used as a reason why the government should be heavy handed with him. Here's the funny thing about rights: We wrote them down specifically to protect unsympathetic people. I had a thought I shared with my brother once; I said that it must suck to be a lawyer and get some really obviously evil guy off on a technicality because of a warrant or some other small nitpicked detail.

I could see it going something like: "Honestly, yes. Jim may have eaten his own son's brains out of his wife's skull. But, the prosecution failed to deliver certain documents during discovery and tampered with the jury pool," blah, blah, blah, Lifetime movie of the year. It is the tough cases where our commitment to free speech is tested the most, or really, any ideal.

The guy may be a complete jerk; I don't know. But, people are allowed to be jackasses in America. I don't like that people are, in fact, jackasses in America. I would rather, like cats, that there be no jackasses in America. That is not in the cards. Polite society can shun jackasses (and should.) The government, though, has no place in flexing muscles to shame and chill speech.

----

P.S.,

Did you know there is a Final Fantasy fighting game? I... I have to add something to my games to play list.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Gaming Update

As I slowly move through Guild Wars 2 (I'm a Sylvari Elementalist), I realize I have a... gigantic backlog of "games I want to play." Since I can't make decisions about important, let alone unimportant, things, let me make a blog peace offering. What game should Matt play next?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Random People, Random Places: Laundry

Light posting today, because I am a bit light headed from giving blood, which is a thing you should do. It is really just a few minutes of your time. The effort to impact ratio is incredibly in your favor.

Anyway, today I was also doing laundry. While stepping outside to do so, three kids, maybe pre-teens, maybe early teens, were talking.

Boy 1: Are you on Facebook?

Boy 2: No way man.

Boy 1: Why not?

Boy 2: Because Facebook and Twitter aren't for communicating, they're for stalking.

Girl: And creeping.

The "and creeping" part is what earned this a spot on my blog.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Storify: Tweets on Censorship/Power

So, let's see how Storify works. (Embed attempt below the fold, or follow the link.)

Things Matt Links: Sept. 14

I'm tired of following up on how badly journalists are screwing up the last few days. Luckily, it is time for links and cryptic signs.
Why do you have that many books?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

More on Journalism Failure

Are you a journalist? Then read on. If not, this is going to be... harsh. So, you know, you might want to skip it. I might even drop a "Gosh darn!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Post That Is Not Out Of Date (See P.S.)

This is how journalism dies. Slowly, with a whimper, where major papers and networks have trouble figuring out what counts as news. Guess what is missing from the NYT's front page. Here's a hint. (Note: Some slight politics, so skip if you are uninterested in politics.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sept. 11 and a Piece on Writing Game Reviews


I was going to write about the eleventh anniversary of September 11, but you are probably able to get that information elsewhere. Eleven years ago, in the morning, I was writing a paper for my physics class when I first heard the news. It was amazing how slowly news traveled in those days. Not only that, I'm not very good at writing about important topics and events. It is important to remember Sept. 11, but it is also important not to let any tragedy define and control your life. As a nation, we've come a long way from Sept. 11, 2001. We're still the same country; we still give record breaking amounts to charity and good will throughout the world. We are, at our core, good and honest people trying to do good in the world, for the most part. I think that's the most important thing to take away from that tragedy. And, now that I've written that, I feel kind of sad that I relegated it to a post script, so I moved it above the fold. The actual, less than important post, about writing appears below.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I'm Not Suggesting EVERYONE...

"And I’m not suggesting that all stressed-out fathers should just get baked. ... But for me, at least, the benefits clearly outweigh the risks." I just don't like the reasoning that goes into this sort statement. I'm not suggesting EVERYONE act in this way, but it totally works for me."

Friday, September 7, 2012

Things Matt Links: Sept. 7

Today is my first edition of Out of Context Cryptic Messages. This was found on the walk home.
Only you...
Anyway, on to links.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Politicians Are Just People

Politicians are people. As people, they have flaws. Because of that, I've been thinking about our relationship to politicians after watching most of the DNC and all of the RNC. Besides the general "vote the bums out" theory and Eastwood's "let them go" line, the general idea is that we need to try and bring politicians back down to earth.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cornered Writing

When you write yourself into a corner, getting out of it is troublesome. It is a huge problem and leads to writer's block for me (and I assume, others.) When I find myself cornered while writing, I have a few ways to get out of it, and since I'm trying to steel myself for the rest of the evening's convention, I'm going to tackle a few of them before I settle in to listen.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The DNC Begins

Politics ho! Skip if you'd rather not read political blogging. If you want some thoughts on the RNC and politics in general click those links.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Things Matt Links: Sept. 3

So, I forgot to post these on Friday. I feel kind of bad for that. I think I was still recovering from the RNC. This Friday, therefore, I may also forget, as I will need to recover from the DNC. You know how it goes.