David Crew is a gamer and web lover. Read my blog or else I'll throw a Bomb-Omb at you. Lighted. :)

Posts tagged “davidcrew

Read Wall Street Journal Online for Free


Hey Everyone,

Being a business student, I am always subjected to professors asking to find and regularly read various articles from the Wall Street Journal. Being also a poor business student, this can be very difficult because the business school I attend provides relatively no subscriber passes to its students unlike other competing colleges and universities. So if you need an article for a class, or even want to browse the Wall Street Journal Online without much hassle, just follow the guide below:

Follow these Steps:

  • Download Firefox and install it.
  • Then proceed to the add-ons section and find the Javascript powerhouse, Greasemonkey
  • Next, proceed to http://userscripts.org/ where there is a whole variety of various scripts to download for Greasemonkey. Search through and get the script WSJ Paywall Bypass
  • Install the script, make sure your little monkey icon at the bottom of Firefox is colored and go and visit WSJ Online to view articles.
  • Enjoy!

Note:

There are other ways to get around the paywall of WSJ online, such as using Google News and Firebug, or even finding different browsers like Chrome that can run Javascript add-ons. If you are a heavy reader of the WSJ, I highly suggest getting a subscription if you can afford one. I’m actually more of a fan of Reuters, the Economist, and other sources, but it’s really up to you.

I only use this workaround because we have archives of the paper editions at our school, but instead of sprinting to the library and spending hours searching through it all, this is a much quicker way to find articles for assignments.

Happy Reading!


Zelda Fans Rejoice!


Hey Everyone,

The amazing remixers and composers at OC Remix have come out with two new albums with arrangements based on the Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening music. This means that all the catchy little tunes that came out of your game boy and game boy color have now been remixed beautifully into piano pieces, club beats, and much more. Even if you never played those games when you were younger, many of the pieces are still very beautiful and warrant your attention. It won’t be as musically phenomenal as say, Two Steps from Hell – Invincible, but these albums are still very well done.

Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening – Threshold of a Dream

Home Page

Album Details and Download

Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages – Legend of Zelda – Essence of Lime

Home Page

Album Download


Revisiting Dead Space


Hey Everyone,

In case the massive marketing efforts of EA haven’t gotten you excited for Dead Space 2, GET EXCITED. If the sequel is anything like the original, we can expect more of the dismembering goodiness and pop up scares of the original. To get in the mood, I played through Dead Space and it still was pretty scary even on the second round through.  Below I listed a few things I’m predicting for the sequel and a couple of hopes I have:

  • Include more psychological scares – the scariest moments from when I was playing the first one, aside fromrandom pop-up scares, were the sequences that didn’t make sense. Necromorphs were explainable, and we knew the rules that are associated with them. But for the sequences where things were not discernible and could not make sense to me would scare me the most. Leave things to the imagination and try to mess with the gamer a bit and their senses, like Eternal Darkness did on the Gamecube.

  • Beyond 4 limbed creatures – The first dead space had some decent variety when it came to the creatures. Besides the normal, “If you change the color of the monster, it’s super powerful!” cliche, there were brutes, crawlers, cysts, dividers, slashers, stalkers, swarmers, and other fun things to scare the crap out of you. But, I couldn’t help being disappointed a little by the number of limbs on the monsters. For a game that prided itself on calculated strikes on limbs to liven up the zombie game genre, there were no monsters with excessive amounts of limbs that were not bosses. Having just one creature that is reminiscent of an arachnid with many different limbs would be an excellent addition.
  • Careful with Isaac’s story – Dead Space 2 brings us a little deeper into who exactly Isaac is and the troubles he’s going through. We’ll hopefully be getting a little more information on his wife, his past, and what exactly is going on in his head. I just hope in the sequel we don’t get too much “muck” to his story. No children, no ex girlfriends, and no other familial drama that isn’t directly related to his deceased wife. Keep the game focused on the horror and on the psychological trauma going on in Isaac’s head.

Aside from those three things, the previews and screenshots have made Dead Space 2 look pretty awesome. Can’t wait to see the reviews on the game and go out and play it for myself.

What about you guys? What do you hope to see from the sequel and what gets you scared in horror games?


How Much Does an Electric Car Really Cost?


Hey Everyone,

I’ve just been reading up on the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and other electric based vehicles that are going to be rolling out soon. Since I recently got rid of my car and currently am car-less, I’ve been curious about the cost differences between gas based cars and electric cars in regards to many things, such as how many miles can I go on the warranty, how many leisure miles do they give me, are the gas savings worth the premium on electric cars, and much more.

First, I used these as my values going in:

For this, Nissan says it will cost on average about $2.75 to charge the Leaf’s batteries to full. This is of course a big difference to gasoline where if we assume gas costs $3.00 a gallon, then to fill a 12 gallon car to full will run you $36. For the miles can travel before you get to empty, I assumed you run until you can’t move anymore, but obviously you won’t go 360 miles before you fuel up.

Nissan also gives a range on its miles it can go from 138 miles to 63 miles, I decided to take a really conservative look since 138 miles before needing to recharge is under super ideal conditions, and as you discharge and charge a battery multiple times, it will not hold as full a charge as when you first started driving. Also, when I was doing the calculations, I assumed New England weather, which has 4 seasons where with the Leaf, you would be using the air conditioner and heater during its life frequently.

Nothing too surprising there, of course electricity is cheaper than gasoline.

Fuel Savings?

Getting back to the actual money you save by using electricity to power your car rather than gasoline, I broke it down this way by using the values found in the first table I posted:

Using the same restrictions of refueling a gas car each every 360 miles for $36 and refueling the leaf for $2.75 every 75 miles for a total of 160,000 miles, you end up saving $10,133.33 on fuel costs. It is definitely evident that there are cost savings associated with driving an electric car vs driving a gas car.

Now let’s look at the cost of buying the car:

Nissan states that you can get a maximum $7,500 worth of rebates by buying an electric car. Using that as comparison to an average price of two 30+ mpg gas cars, the Ford Fiesta and the Honda CR-Z, you find that the base price for the most basic model of the Leaf is $9,635 more than the cost of the average price of the two 30+ mpg cars. Going back to the assumption that you’re driving the car for 160,000 miles, and you save $10,133.33 over using electricity rather than gasoline, we find that the net of the premium of buying electric and the fuel cost savings only net you $498.33 in savings.

This calculation surprised me the most. I thought the premium cost of buying a hybrid, electric, or other kind of non-gasoline consuming vehicle was offset by the fuel consumption savings. I was expecting this value to be much higher than the low $500.

The next calculation I did assumed that there was no tax rebate whatsoever:

This one again returned a surprising value to me. It turns out that the fuel savings of buying an electric car did not offset the premium of buying electric rather than buying a gasoline powered car. Buy choosing electric, you actually lose $7,001.67 on your decision (Again, assume driving 160,000 miles).

To put it graphically, these are the two options showing with or without the tax savings:

Driving Less than 160,000 Miles:

That case was with driving a hefty 160,000 miles over the life of a car. Let’s say you just drive the car 100,000 miles, how do the charts play out?:

What does it all mean and other notes:

Do not buy an electric car to save money on fuel costs. The premiums on buying an electric car over a regular gasoline powered car are simply not worth it unless you are planning on driving the car many miles (160,000+). Government rebates may not always be there for electrical cars, so that’s why I did the two extremes. Rebates help out immensely with the premium of an electric car, but still the premiums are very high. The calculations did not take into account switching from an SUV or other low MPG vehicle to an electric vehicle. A lower MPG vehicle would result in more savings from the fuel efficiency.

Also, there are other costs associated with running an electric car and running a gasoline car besides simply fuel costs. Gas powered vehicles have intake, exhaust, and engine systems which all have their associated maintenance and upkeep costs. An electric-powered car is not without its costs either. You have to recharge more frequently, may have charges associated with installing a charging station in your home (Nissan estimates it at least at a cost of $2000), possible premiums if you plan on using a charge station rather than using a home charge station ($2.75 to fuel up full at home compared to a higher price at a charge station), and battery replacement costs (How much will Nissan sell replacement batteries?).

The costs associated with having an electric car vs a gas-powered car also did not take into account resale value. Obviously you can recoup some of the premium you paid on an electric car by how much you resell, but there is no data on how much you can actually get on an electric car after x number of years. Just remember that it is a depreciating asset like all other cars and you should never buy a car thinking it is an “investment” of any kind.

Thanks for reading! I also posted the excel spreadsheet I used for your own purposes. If you see any mistakes, just let me know. I made the spreadsheet in about 15-20 minutes so I may have skipped on using the best cell references, etc.


David’s Got an Apartment!


Hey Everyone,

This semester has been quite ridiculously hectic so far:

Got Kicked Out of University Housing:

 

Yup. I guess I’m a troublemaker? Hoodlum even?! That’s right, hide yo kids, and hide yo wife, because I’m just an awful

person. Also, I guess having a person that is in your room who is 21 and drinking their own single beer is a evict-able offense… at least in the eyes of the University. Oh well.

Now I’m living in a 3 bedroom apartment with my other roommates that got kicked out, and we’re paying $750 dollars less a month for three times the space of our original dorm with our own kitchen, bath, and living room. Heat and water are also included which is mad nice too. So I guess, I got forced into saving enough money that I can now afford that car I was thinking of? Thanks College! Gotta admit, I love it here. It sucked moving out, but now we always have people over and finally have a little more privacy. Distance from campus? 5 Minutes. Love it. ❤

New Girls, New Stories 😉

I am not a ladies man. Alright, alright, I’m outgoing, funny, kind, intelligent, and I respect and treat women right. Sound familiar? That’s right, it’s the exact formula that women in college don’t go after. I am not a spray tanning, eyebrow waxing, hair mousing, muscle man that is more in love with biceps than with his girl, so naturally, I don’t really have that many girls who I have intimate relations with.

But this year, it’s all different. Ever since the start of the semester, I’ve had a few different girls each month that are involved in my life for a bit, we do things and have fun, then next thing I know, there’s more girls adding themselves in. Where did this come from? Could it be that college girls are actually maturing and realizing that the Jersey Shore wannabe dudes (devout fan btw) aren’t all they’re cracked up to be? Maybe there’s just a spike in the college slut population, yet still these girls aren’t skanky, so that can’t be true. I don’t know what changed this year, but I’m lovin’ it. I actually have a few stories I may tell later on that you may appreciate. Nothing big, just regular gossipy stories that I know some of you subscribers out there eat up like crack coated charleston chews.

School is Hard.

Very. Seriously, doing a double major is not my cup of tea right now. Maybe it was the small period of homelessness I had in between moving (that’s right, I was homeless for a week: certified hobo fresh). Or maybe it’s just the fact all the intro stuff is going away and now we have to learn REAL things, not theories and such. Whatever it is, it’s just difficult and my grades are not so hot. HOWEVER, these last few exams I rocked harder than your grandmother’s rocking chair on speed, so hopefully that GPA will be flyin higher than MIA soon enough.

Business is Good

I started consulting this semester. You know, just trying to earn a little extra cash with some of the knowledge and experiences I’ve had in my life related to technology, business development, and other things. So far, I’ve had a few residual clients that I love working with. It gives me a chance to help out small business owners and other independent professionals with various portions of their professional establishment or professional lives, all while making a decent profit at it. (I charge about $35 an hour, which I guess is rather low for a consultant, but I don’t mind.) I really feel like I’m making a difference in these people’s lives and hopefully they are getting the information that they need to further their professional development.

But, I’m like Nutella, I’m delicious and spread nice over things, but you soon find out, that you’re completely out, and your breakfast, lunch, dinner entre is forever empty of sweet, sweet Nutella. WHY OH WHY IS IT GONE!? But seriously, I always feel like I’m spreading myself thin here. The company is going fine, you know, the one I founded over the summer? I have a partnership deal being hammered out with a popular nationwide pizza franchise which, if it goes through, would land me about $100,000 more with the business. So, hopefully things go well and they like what I have to offer enough to work out a nice little business relationship. If not, well, shit happens, gotta roll with it. Bootstrapping is nice and all, but a little extra nudge is always nice 🙂

Also, I’m working on a children’s book series.

“But David! You’re ****ing crazy! You know nothing of literature, children’s books, publishing, or anything of that sort!”

And to that I say, so what? One day, as a kid, I came up with a list of things I wanted to do before I became an adult and became boring. One of them included, well, not being boring, and also to come up with something to give back to the world as a whole. It didn’t matter what it was, but it had to be something material enough and something worthwhile that someone would say, “Hey, this guy, this guy right here. He did something that changed my life and helped me. Have some of my Nutella”. And then I would proceed to never run out of Nutella ever again and not have to resort to mundane peanut butter on my slice of bread.

Why can’t I make a book series? Who’s to give you the authority to tell me it isn’t going to happen and I should just give up the work I’ve put into it? Sure, I may do bad things occasionally, bend the rules sometimes, and talk and say things worse than a drunken Irish man that had someone take his keys away, but that doesn’t mean I can’t put together some semblances of human emotion and put them on a page and hope it helps a child out there learn about life.

It’s the experiences we have that gives us the ability to teach and produce true artistic material. I can’t remember which Simpsons writer it was that said it in a Simpsons’ commentary, but the best scripts they always had, were the ones where the writer could reach down into a personal experience or event in their lives and put it into a plot for an episode. That’s why, it’s not always an Ivy-League graduate who will produce the best movie, research, or children’s book, but rather an individual who has experienced many great and wonderful things in his life as well as many not so great things. I’m not saying the book will be like a multi-platinum album of the literary world, but even if it changes the life of one child in the world, I’d say that’d be pretty sweet.

Someone Hire Me

Like most college kids, an ideal life would be to go to school, find the perfect girl in or a little after graduation, get a decent job that’s got benefits, have a couple planned kids and maybe an accidental one, then work 50 or so years and die knowing that you were loved and relatively successful.

I gotta find me a job.

I did an internship this summer, and loved it, but now I have to find a new internship at a larger firm to possibly secure a position when I graduate. Graduation isn’t for another year and a half, so I have a decent time to plan, but still, I would like this feeling of floating in an sea of unknown to go away and actually know there’s a rescue career helicopter out there waiting to pick me up and bring me to a job with $50k a year.

I guess, it’s just hard sometimes to really motivate myself to do well in school. It’s like, where am I going? Where will I end up? Will I be happy? I guess I’m being super emo right now, but this is some serious shit. If I don’t figure out what’s going on with my life, I may wake up one morning and see an obese, disheveled, excuse for a man staring back at me in the mirror. I don’t want that. I want to be better than great. I’ll be so awesome in life, they’ll have a new adjective named after me. Oh, Warren Buffet? Yeah, he was a DAVID CREW.

But I digress. I love this place where I am right now, but it won’t last forever. I love doing these little projects, they keep my life interesting, and I guess if I end up finding myself unemployed for a while after I graduate, will hopefully keep me sane. I need to always be doing things, that’s why I’ll always update this blog no matter what. (So subscribe today! 🙂 )

Anywho, that’s more a less an update on what’s going on. Have a good one you guys, and lovin the views and subscribers we’re getting right now. It really means something when you see that stuff. Vote/comment/share today!

-dc


The Best Season of Futurama Yet


Hey Everyone,

I know it’s been a bit since I’ve updated this blog, and you can blame that on college starting back up and now homework actually being assigned. No Gen Eds to actually take up my time this semester too, which is annoying.

Anywho, Futurama is a surprisingly underrated show, even today after having five glorious seasons and now going on their sixth. However, this year, Futurama has been pulling out every single stop as far as quality of writing, animation, and wit. Dealing with philosophical themes and issues of mortality and the continuum of time, Futurama provides some exceptional artistic presentation combined with the humor of the show.

I really can’t explain the intricacies of the current 6th season very eloquently, since I’m not a writer for Futurama and have that kind of superhero-type writing ability, but I definitely recommend episode 6, Lethal Inspection, and episode 7, The Late Philip J. Fry as episodes to watch that will both make you smile and laugh, as well as tear up a bit.

As always, stay awesome my friends,

-David Crew


Baby Mine


Hey Everyone,

Human nature is not necessarily evil, there are simply parts of a person that can make a person do despicable deeds. I was at work today talking with one of my friends, and he told me a story about a person he met who had fought in Vietnam many years ago. Apparently this soldier had fought on the front lines in many parts of ‘Nam killing and trying to win a war that was as long as it was deadly.

There was one day, though, that was especially terrible. While this soldier was fighting through a village, he came across a baby that was crying on the ground. Seeing the helpless little Vietnamese baby, he came over and picked the poor thing up to try to reunite it with its family or at least bring him/her somewhere safe. Yet, when he picked the baby up, there was a little *click* and the land mine that the baby had been set on by the opposing forces blew up underneath the soldier, sending shrapnel through the air annihilating the baby and severely wounding the soldier.

Atrocious.

What kind of human beings use a baby as a lure to the enemy to try to make them come closer to a land mine? That’s just nonsense, seriously. I mean it’s one thing to smash through and wage slick Call of Duty war to wreck noObs, but it’s another to actually go out there, and use guerrilla tactics like that to take soldiers out. I guess that was a pretty common thing that happened in ‘Nam, to use women, children, and infants as lures and traps for soldiers. Terrible stuff, people, just awful stuff.


Back From Colorado


Hey Everyone,

Yesterday I got back from Colorado, and I must say, it was pretty fucking awesome. Never before had I seen such beautiful landscapes, nice people, and rolling mountains. I tossed some pictures below for you guys to check out. Enjoy!

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.co Domain Extension


Hey Everyone,

I don’t consider myself a genius when it comes to the process of purchasing domains and the entire handling of websites and such (if you talk servers, python, and other things I’ll just ask for a CMS), but haven’t we all seen this kind of process before?

I bought your website domain, nude.

Every couple of years we get another top level domain extension added to the registrar where you can register your long awaited, unique domain name to a less-than-the-infinitely-better-in-every-way .com extension since a bunch of schmucks all over the Internet with an average weight of 300 lbs. all purchased them long ago in 1996. There’s a whole slue “top level domains” out there for the GoDaddy power user:

  1. .coop – for the websites that don’t do single player.
  2. .tel – the extension for the nonexistent, long-since deleted word for “telephone”.
  3. .gg – the domain for internet websites with good sportsmanship tendencies.
  4. .arpa – the evil, malicious domain twin of the .sherpa domains.
  5. .museum – for the stupid intellectual who decided to throw as many syllables as possible into a domain. Oh yeah, and help museums.

But that doesn’t really matter because the process remains the same. Come out with a new domain, auction off the really awesome ones, then leave the rest of them to be picked up by the same 300 lbs people as some kind of Internet investment (people, Zecco is right around the corner if you want to do investments, ffs.). Then within a few months, everyone realizes how idiotic it is to have anything but a .com, tries to resell their “investments” that they paid a premium for through hyping, then the Internet quietly awaits domain transfers of .com’s again.

Seriously, the only domains that should be considered are .com, .org, and only if super duper necessary, .net. Otherwise, if I visit a site that has any other extension, I’m gettin’ out of there.


The Importance of Music in Video Games


So awesome. ❤

Hey Everyone,

I have always been very geek when it comes to music in video games. Even when it was the 16 bit sounds of my first Super Nintendo chiming away as I combated zoras in Link to the Past, stomped on goombas in Super Mario World, or blasted Mavericks in Mega Man X, I would always enjoy the little tunes that played during each game. It got to the point where I could easily tell what game my friend was playing in the other room simply by hearing the melodies.

The type of Music that’s in video games plays a pivotal role in how well a game communicates to a gamer and can either make or break many video games in development and on the market.

Why do you exist?

But why is the music so vital to a game? Why is it that the thumping drums and airy choral lines in the Halo games more fitting than techno music and banjos? (besides banjos being the most useless instrument in the world). It’s because music is an essential ingredient to building atmosphere within games and evoking certain kinds of emotions in gamers.

Music has a special ability to evoke emotions. The tone colors of certain instruments as well as the overall beat, rhythm, pitch, staff style and much more can influence what natural kind of emotion we get. The dissonant chords and fast strings in Dead Space put nerves on edge, the slow french horns and deep drums of Oblivion soothe you as you ride over luscious hills, and the airy sounds of Venice with the mix of human chatter make you really feel like you’re with Ezio in Assassin’s Creed 2. (Oblivion even won the MTV Video Music Award for “Best Original Score” through an international popular vote.)

Video game music even has grown to be a distinct genre. Take, for example, many of the classical bands that have toured and featured video game music such as the Gamer Symphony Orchestra at the University of Maryland. And those are just classical orchestras playing video game music. There are sites out there that feature remixes and compositions based upon video game music like OC Remix, which provides free tracks you can download that remix game compositions into, many times, utter masterpieces.


But overall, I will be forever geek when it comes to video game music. If you’re interested in some decent soundtracks of video games, check out Oblivion, Halo, Chrono Trigger/ Chrono Cross, God of War 3, and Legend of Zelda Windwaker, Final Fantasy VII and X,  and Metal Gear Solid on Amazon or through youtube. And also, here’s one of my favorite tracks from Ocremix:


Disturbing Shopping List


Hey Everyone,

Today I stumbled across someone’s terribly revealing shopping list at work that was crumpled up on the floor. I thought I’d share them with you:

1. Milk
2. Zoloft Rx
3. Wart freeze off applicator
4. Pregnancy test
5. Chicken Ramen
6. 30 pack Bud Light
7. Lavender Febreeze spray
8. Journal
9. Stuff that turns lights on slowly
10. Fan
11. Quick trim slim system

Now it’s pretty simple to piece together this list. So the person that dropped it was buying the bare essentials of food, milk and ramen. I’m assuming it’s a woman, who has a terrible wart problem, but recently had sex and is worried about becoming pregnant with a child and therefore took the pregnancy test. She’s buying a 30 pack, most likely for herself, even though she is picking up a prescription for  anti depressants.

I’m not really sure why she’s buying a journal, maybe to chronicle her depression and possible pregnancy with some guy she met. She doesn’t seem too smart or ready for hard work, however. She is most likely overweight and wants to lose weight doing it an easy way, and doesn’t understand that the thing that “turns lights on slowly” is a dimmer switch. Annnd, lastly, it’s summer, so she’s buying a fan to stay cool.

Wow. Amazing what a shopping list can tell you about a person.


What’s Up with David?


Hey Everyone,

Kinda busy over the weekend and today working on a few projects. For one, the internship started up and I’ve begun working for that company, which I must say is pretty sweet. Here’s a list of the things I’ve been working on over the weekend and today, and why there’s no new interesting posts today:

  1. Had to work the weekend
  2. Internship work after the regular full time job
  3. Writing a zombie movie script that has a twist on the zombie movie genre. (8% complete)
  4. Preparing a proposal for several new ideas to implement into the full time job that can be picked up nationwide. Already received the support of the general managers, now working on getting the support of regional managers.
  5. Working on an internship program businesses to use with our organization on campus, including the application, guidelines, and submission dates.
  6. The god damn Batman. =D

See you tomorrow everyone! ❤


Kick – Punch, It’s All in the Game


Hey Everyone,

So I recently borrowed Batman Arkham Asylum from a friend of mine and have been playing it for a few days. I recently unlocked the challenge modes where you can just lay waste to waves of guys trying to rack up the most points, and I must say the combat in the game is just deliriously addicting, but why is it so dope?

Great Sound Effects

Unlike the old Batman show of the 70’s, there are no bonks, blams, pows, or anything of that sort. Each punch and kick feels like a punch and kick and the sounds literally give the animations more life as the enemies crumble before the Dark Knight’s vigorous attacks. Developers take notes, if we want to melée some dudes, make us feel like we’re pounding the guys. =)

Smooth Strings

Attacking one guy and nailing the code animations and everything against that one guy is all well and good, but the really great thing about fighting baddies in Arkham is being able to string combos between guys and attacks so smooth and effortlessly. It’s what makes Arkham’s combat so easy to learn and yet so difficult to master. Assassin’s Creed 2 also makes it easy to string attacks between guys, yet actually landing those attacks to make a satisfactory, bone-crushing hit is always interrupted by the stupid deflection that some enemies in that game have.

Great Animations

So you’re landing great sounding hits and stringing them between several enemies at once, but what really puts the icing on the cake in Arkham is seeing Batman do a slick combo animation where he snaps some guys leg or face so realistically. The smooth animations are especially noticeable when the camera zooms into the attack. Those realistic animations are what immerse gamers even more into the combat.

Now enough about that, I gotta get back to destroying people in Arkham. >=]


Mono – Hymn to the Immortal Wind


Hey Everyone,

Slacker Radio is by far one of my favorite music services out there. Sure, Pandora is more popular, and Grooveshark has an enormous library and pretty competitive radio option, too, but I have always loved using Slacker to find new artists and songs that fit my mood.

On the station “ambient chill (non vocal)” there is one band that I stumbled across that I just have to share. The name of the band is Mono and they’re a group from out in Japan that do magnificent, relaxing instrumental songs. I recently picked up one of their albums, Hymn to the Immortal Wind, and I must say the music is simply fantastic. They’re tracks are long, ranging from a few minutes to a dozen at times, but if you stick around for the entire track, they usually culminate in a delicious buildup to a crescendo that is just gorgeous.

Check out more info on their band here, and for an example song of theirs, check out this track below called “Burial at Sea”.


Facebook Sued for Massive Majority Ownership Stake


Wow, what an interesting read. Check out this legal action brought against Facebook by web designer, Paul Ceglia. I wonder what will happen to Facebook if Ceglia wins this contract dispute. Article from Information Week:

Facebook Sued For 84% Ownership Stake

Web designer Paul Ceglia says a 2003 contract entitles him to majority ownership of the social networking site.

By

Alison Diana

InformationWeek
July 13, 2010 11:43 AM

Facebook has moved to overturn a recent temporary restraining order won by New York web designer Paul Ceglia, who filed suit against Facebook and company CEO Mark Zuckerberg, claiming an April 2003 contract now entitles him to an 84% ownership stake in Facebook.

“We believe this suit is completely frivolous and we will fight it vigorously,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement. Facebook and Zuckerberg have 30 days to respond, according to court documents.

On July 9, Allegany Court judge Thomas P. Brown; Ceglia’s attorney, Paul Argentieri of Hornell, N.Y.; and Facebook attorney Lisa T. Simpson of New York, spoke via conference call, according to the local newspaper the Wellsville Daily. During that conversation, Judge Brown continued a temporary restraining order that prevents Facebook from transferring assets while the case continues.

Simpson filed a “notice of intent” to move the case away from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York in Buffalo, according to the Wellsville Daily.

Under the seven-year-old contract signed by Zuckerberg and Ceglia, the designer received $1,000 and a 50% stake in the site which eventually became Thefacebook.com, according to the suit. The lawsuit also says Ceglia is entitled to “an additional 1% interest in the business for every day after Jan. 1, 2004, until it was completed.”

Terms of the work for hire contract state, “It is agreed that Purchaser [Ceglia] will own a half interest (50%) in the software, programming language, and business interests derived from the expansion of the service to a larger audience.”

In papers filed with the Allegany, N.Y., County Court on June 30, Ceglia seeks a declaratory judgment and relief in the form of monetary damages and 84% ownership — worth between $5.6 billion and $9.24 billion — of the social networking giant, based on Facebook’s estimated value of between $6.5 billion and $11 billion. Zuckerberg’s personal fortune is worth between $4 billion and… (Full Story)


The Personalities of the Workplace


Hey Everyone,

Beware of people: there are always different types of people that work at jobs, but never have I seen such a variety of workers, for better or worse. Here are some types of worker personalities that exist, not just in retail, but in many other work environments, as well. If you know of one that you want to add, comment below 😀 :

These people spout books of boring tales

The Story Teller – everything is a story to this person, no matter how ridiculously boring and idiotic the story may be. Many times, it’s just like those dolts on Twitter who should not be given a Twitter account, because no one in their right mind wants to listen to you babble about your boring life. Limit time with these people because prolonged exposure can induce sudden narcolepsy and steal precious minutes away from your life. Also, many times they’re loud and dammit they’re always the ones on their phones in the break room when everyone is trying to relax.

Have hopes and dreams? Enter ma belly!

The Depressed Sandtrap – many people who end up in retail end up working there for lack of anything else going on in their lives. These people have missed opportunities, squandered ambitions, and forgone any kind of will to continue onward in their lives. Because of this, they have shut themselves into a depressing sandtrap and will do anything they can to bring down other unsuspecting employees down with them, like a sarlacc from Star Wars. Much like an ant lion or quick sand. Careful with these employees as they can be very hazardous to your health, especially with their depressing bitter words that can suck the ambition and hopes right out of you like a horny dementor.

That Gorgeous Person – why is there a beautiful person with a great body, face, and many times a personality while they’re surrounded by employees who are missing teeth, dropped out of school, and had children while they were children themselves? I have no fucking clue, and it will always be a mystery. But man, are they great to look at. Be wary of these people though, many times beautiful people are given positions of power and influence because, well, they’re slamming, but they may be used to getting things their way and if you don’t give them what they want, it’s the gallows for tueth.

The Slowed – ever work with someone that is just completely slow and can’t even do the simplest tasks in a timely fashion? Meet the slow, a special kind of employee who actually is not clinically handicapped in any kind of fashion but moves like a cold bottle of molasses in half speed. Woe to the poor employees assigned projects with this person as it will either get done never, or get done due to the rest of the group busting their balls to do the work for the slow.

Us vs. Them Man – the permanent victim. The perpetual blamer. This employee always finds someone or some group to blame for the misfortunes at work rather than take responsibility for their actions. Backroom inventory screwed up? Must be the night crew. Get yelled at for being late to work? Blame it on your family not waking you up. Paperwork not submitted on time? The printer with the personal vendetta is to blame. These employees can try your patience and try to convert you to victimism, but be strong! These employees are rarely at one job for too long.

The Hardass – ever not give two shits about a job, but find ways to get it done still? Maybe you cut corners a little to make it easier and bend the rules to your advantage. Better watch out for the hardass. This employee or next in command apparently was born with a small feral badger in their rectal region because nothing is never right enough, and if it’s wrong, you better get the hell out of there. The hardass takes no excuses and many times winds up losing years off their lives due to stressful perfectionism throughout their daily routines. Many times this person can get ahead, but because of their vicious badger in the anus attitudes about work, upper management will not accept their super duper perfectisms.

The Clever – quick talking, fast witted, and quick to make a little quip, these employees are intellectually agile and tongue twerpingly acrobatic with linguistics. More suited to a hazy comedy club bar, these employees offer humor when it’s needed most. Sometimes this personality combines with the sand trap employee to make a giant arrogant asshole, but otherwise they are enjoyable.

The Offended – one of my most hated worker personalities is the offended. Ever tell a relatively racy or slightly unpolitically correct joke and had someone complain or bitch their brains out about it? Meet the offended. I have witnessed many a person not be able to take a joke or sarcasm and take everything as a personal assault on their livelihood. Because of an offended, I saw one of my best friends get fired from his only job that puts food on his family table because he ambiguously implied another person was of larger size. He is still unemployed, and no, it was not a woman that got him fired, but an athletically built man.

Run.

The Angered – another employee type I hate to stumble across, the angered. Usually found in he higher up positions because power has corrupted them, the angered employees are a ticking atom bomb and you’re a giant target. It can take something as small as forgetting to do something to losin a pen to set this insane firework of rageihol off. But fear not, the angered have shorter lifespans compared to normal people and will usually keel over due to being so angry at life all the time.

The Normal Person – [no information available, doesn’t exist.]


Letter to Microsoft


Hey you,

How’s it goin? You feeling alright? You sure? Well I’m not, you’re suffocating me. I just want to like you again, I really do, but you keep doing things and saying stuff that just makes me embarrassed to know you.

I fell in love with your Xbox at first glance. It’s curvaceous lines, stellar games, and online content made me enjoy many a quiet evening in a dimly lit room at home with it. My girlfriend was so jealous, she just couldn’t understand what we shared.

Your windows 7,  the version that should have been released instead of ‘the os that shall not be named’,  was amazin too. Snapping windows and having that nifty little taskbar revamped was a blast. Plus, it was actually a stable and well tested, well released product. Kudos.

But your other products and services really make me not trust you. Internet explorer is universally known to suck major ballage, your forays into the iPod dominated portable media market have been paltry at best, your windows phone os and the kin spontaneously combusted into failures, and you’re going to try to make the world buy another suite of office applications for the billionth time just so we can have a slightly newer, more confusing way to do business. And on top of all that, you canceled the last device I really thought was going to kick some major ass.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Microsoft, please stop being a follower. You were a born leader and our relationship has fallen on hard times ever since you gave up on yourself. You need to pick yourself up and experiment more and go for innovation rather than a ‘me too!’ kind of attitude. Drop the products and services that are under-performing and transfer the resources to better areas and new markets. And no, by better areas I don’t mean the kinect and that creepy kinectimals bs, i mean something we haven’t thought of before but desperately need.

If you don’t, I swear I’m going to buy a mac and do dirty things with it. And oh yeah, it’s true what they say about it’s performance. Plus with valve sending games over to mac, things are bound to get a little steamy.

D. Crew


Colorado Trip


Hey Everyone,

Despite being the adventurous, and devilishly amazing person that I am, I have actually traveled very little in

D. Crew's car

comparison to my other friends. It’s not that I don’t want to travel and see the world, but I always seem to run into various barriers whenever I tried to go somewhere. When I was younger my parents forbade me from driving to New York to see family, later my dad

stopped me from doing a cross country road trip because my p.o.s. car wouldn’t be able to handle the miles, and every time I’ve wanted to study abroad or college friend’s college out of state, it seems my money dries up.

Gorgeous Colorado

That’s why I’m stupendously excited to visit some of my extended family out in Colorado this August. I was able to get the time off from work and actually have enough money to get out there.

I was really surprised at how expensive the plane tickets were, though. I always knew they were going to be high, even before I messed around with the departure times and days, the ticket still ended up being $730 round trip! Luckily I was able to bring it down to a more manageable $450, but still that’s pretty horrendously high.

Oh well, I know it’s worth it. The family that I’m seeing out there I haven’t really seen for 10 years. I remember one of my cousins when she was just a baby, and now she’s a teenager and has a little sister who I have yet to really meet.  I never actually felt old before, but it’s rather strange to think that a baby I remember seein is now at an age that seemslike I was at not too long ago.

Is catnip time now?

Well enough of that introspective stuff 😛 now I just have to decide what to get my little cousins as gifts.

Maybe I’ll give them my super nintendo or the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers. Oh, and from what I hear, cougars are really common out there and I hope I get to see one. Maybe I should drape myself in catnip and see if it works on the big cats =D


Lake Pictures


Hey Everyone,

I thought I’d upload some pictures we took of the lake while we were up there. If you can guess which lake I’ll be very surprised, and at the same time rather sketched out 😛

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Summer Gamer Woes


Hey Everyone,

I absolutely love summer. There’s always so much to do, so many people to see, and there’s no annoying classes and homework (unless you’re an overachieving college student). But at the same time, I’m a summer gamer. I don’t play too many video games in the summer, bun when does being a summer gamer really become a problem?

This past weekend we spent the entire time at a lake house. Every day our whole group would go out swimming, biking, kayaking, boating, hiking, and pretty much everything you could do that’s fun on a lake. It was an absolute blast and we had so much fun.

Yet, there was one kid with us who could not separate himself from the tv at the cottage. I don’t even know why he even brought the system and his xbox up but while most of us  were outside enjoying the great weather, he was inside glued to the tv screen playing a heaping mix of Assassin’s Creed 2, Modern Warfare 2, and Dead Space.

Now I’m not sure what’s worse, the fact that he even brought up his system when he knew he was heading to a lake for the weekend, or that he ignored his 15+ friends to play games he could always play at home when he got back. What  runs through a person’s head to make them do something like that? It was one of the few times that all of us could get work off and hang out together at such a sweet lake house, and yet this guy would only have memories of killin’ necromorphs or some other stupid in-game event.

It’s situations like that which help me understand what some of the critics of the gaming world bitch about. Most of what they spew is utter nonsensical idiocies, like Ebert from a couple months back, but I remember reading several stories on game addiction and my friend doing gaming all weekend and squandering his time at the lake really made me think back to those articles.

Now, I would understand his actions a little more if he had spent it playing newer games like Singularity, Transformers, and my personal favorite, Mass Effect 2, but to spend it playing old games he’s had for a while simply for the sake of gaming really makes me wonder about him.

Now let’s hear from you guys! Who else here is a summer gamer and comment back if you’ve had a similar experience.


Summer So Far


Hey Everyone,

Hopefully everyone’s summer is going well, I know mine has been alright. Recently I’ve just been working 40 hrs a week, visiting friends on the side, and working on my side projects. July 4th was a blast! I got out of work early and was able to sprint up to the lake for the remainder of the weekend and spend it swimming, boating, and of course, my personal favorite, tubing. =D

Working for retail has been a pretty interesting experience so far. It gives an overall newer appreciation to how the products that we purchase in stores and online really come about to get to our homes and the immense amount of work involved in the process. I was pretty surprised at how systematic and routine everything was. From the systems that display and monitor inventory management to the amount of labor that goes into making every shelf look decent for customers, there truly is a lot of work that’s involved.

The thing that irks me the most and unsettles me is the amount of time some of these people have spent working for the same company. I couldn’t imagine working for the same corporation for 15 years, let alone up to 35 years that I’ve seen from some fellow coworkers. It seems baffling to me that anyone would stay in the same corporate structure for that long and be happy with their situation. I mean, honestly, you have to want to explore other companies and the world a little bit more, right? A little ambition goes a long way, and I swear if you see me working at the same place for 15 years, then you know something went wrong. What happened to their passion? What happened to that drive as a human being to want to explore? Sometimes walking into work can be very depressing, and looking at some of those faces really makes me more motivated to get a degree.

Also, I just want to give a shout out to June’s site views. Last month this site got over 14,000 hits, which is just great and I really appreciate everyone that comes to the site and hope they’re finding something interesting each time. I know I haven’t updated it recently, but don’t worry, I will be doing more once the internship kicks in. 

And on a final word, the state of the gaming industry has certainly taken a baffling turn this year! With the onset of 3D not only in our movies but now proliferating our TVs and now our video game consoles, I really don’t like this new fad. It didn’t work a couple decades ago, and once people stop spending an extra 50% on movie tickets to see silly movies in “oooooo 3D!”, I hope we can get back to developing what’s really important, making the holodeck from Star Trek a reality 🙂


Man Kills Kitten For Interrupting Game


Hey Everyone,

I stop game, now is airplane time?

You know me, I love an interesting article. This one follows a guy who apparently took his girlfriend’s kitten and flung it across the room. Watch out, apparently he likes vacuum cleaners to do his dirty work too. Full story below:

“An unplugged cord killed the cat.

A Virginia man was arrested on Monday for allegedly launching his girlfriend’s kitten across the room and killing it after it unwittingly pulled the plug on his video game.

Bruce Jamar Walston was charged with disorderly conduct and misdemeanor animal cruelty for tossing the kitten right in front of the woman’s kids, according to local paper The News Leader.

The 21-year-old had been free on bond after a January incident where he allegedly beat a man with a vacuum cleaner.

Walston is being held without bond and is scheduled to appear in court later this month for the previous vacuum incident.


Glassdoor.com and Why You Should Use It


Hey Everyone,

As a student, there are always so many questions that pop into my head while at school. Is this material relative to my interests? Is my career path the right one? Will I be able to get a job when I graduate? How can I find a decent internship? Which company would I like to work for? Does ramen contain laxatives?

That’s why it’s always nice to find an online resource that can help satisfy at least a few of these questions. I stumbled across the website Glassdoor.com as I was searching for internships for the summer. Now, the site is only in beta, but it offers company Salaries, Reviews, and Interviews. I decided to try out a couple companies that I really don’t know any information about and I was rather surprised at the information that was available. Being the Bioware obsessed individual I am (Damn you Kotor!), I tried that company.

Within a couple seconds, the site brought up information about salary ranges of some of the positions (Animator makes $82k-$89k? Whoaa), a couple reviews about some of the details of working for Bioware from actual employees, a few words on the interview and one of the questions they used, reviews from employees that have been associated with the company, and the site included job postings from Bioware.

Now that’s pretty neat. To be able to pull up all that information in a timely and organized fashion was fantastic. I also feel that the site is pretty user friendly when it comes to design. The two column site approach shows the content on the left with tailored feeds on the right to your interests, such as what people are saying about Activision (enough with the Guitar Hero, srsly.). And the little things on the site round out the experience such as little green bars for salary ranges and the easy switches between salaries, reviews, and interviews.

Greenbars ftw.

The one feature that really stands out is the user account system. Every time you log in, companies you may have been browsing at some point will show updates, so Bioware may now have a new position open at their company that you can readily check, so it almost works as a news source in that regards. The only qualm I have with the site is that after so many page visits, you need to write something on the site in order to keep browsing, but they do offer accounts with all-access capabilities to students with a .edu address.

Glassdoor is still in beta, but I really enjoy what they’ve done so far with the site. I highly suggest you head on over to the site and check it out for any companies you may be interested in. You can also learn a few things from some of the more detailed reviews from employees about not only the company, but the industry as a whole. And also, if you’re looking for internships specifically, you should check out one of the sites that Glassdoor utilizes, Indeed.


New Games Added


Hey Everyone,

I added some new games to the game page from suggestions. Storm the house 3, helicopter, and cubefield have been added, so go check em out on the Games page. or right below
(Revised May 14th 2010):

Storm the House 3

Its time #3 for you to get your stormin going. Suggested by alfiecorbin.

Cubefield

Who would’ve thought that simply moving a cursor through 3D fields could be so addicting? Thanks alfiecorbin!

Helicopter

No introduction needed. You know it, you love it, go play it.(Thanks alfiecorbin)