Derik in Minnesota
Apr. 24th, 2013
10:42 pm - Who won the Space Race?
If we spotted a killer asteroid heading for Earth today... the race to intercept it would be led by Russia, not the U.S.
Oct. 31st, 2012
12:07 am - Corbis for President
This is a real picture of Mitt Romney. Look at it. look at it. Look at his head, the perfect lighting on his face, look at the size of it! That head is huge!
Ladies and gentlemen, it's time someone spoke up for the obvious truth we have been ignoring. Mitt Romney does not exist, he's just a stock photo model whose head is being photoshopped onto different photo ops. Badly.
Oct. 29th, 2012
09:15 pm - Transformers Tatakai
Transformers Tatakai is a truly terrible PS2 game published in 2003. I'ts set firmly in the continuity of the original Generation 1 Transformers cartoon between the second season but prior to the movie and features the original cast of Transformers meeting the movie-era cast via a timewarp. Not only that, but all of the game's dialog was recorded in English, ripe for sale in the US!
Unfortunately, as previously stated, it is a profoundly terrible game with horrible gameplay, bad graphics and the English voicework was terrible. So was the dialog. No one in their right mind would want to play this game. Even the Transformers Wiki just documented it by watching a partial playthrough on YouTube.
But, it also features appearances by some fairly obscure Transformers, bios and descriptions for them (some of them the first english-language bios ever!) and a plot which happens to tie into specific episodes of the original television show. So for a hardcore Transformers nerd there is something of value there that is being missed. Someone needs to play through it to document these things!
...but that person is not me. Instead I ripped the D_MESS.BIN file, the master English-language cache for the game. It has all the menu titles, all the commands, all the bios and all of the dialog all rammed together in a single file with no attribution as to who said what. (I suspect this was originally done with file pointers.) Also some sections appear to be repeated. It's a mess, but it's a readable, searchable mess! I've cleaned it up as best I can, and I present it below the fold.
I put it in a pastebin because apparently Livejournal doesn't like it when I try to put 174 pages of video game dialog in a single post.
Sep. 28th, 2012
11:29 pm - [TF] Seven Sexy Soundwaves
Ah Soundwave! You remember Soundwave, right? The stalwart, stoic guy with the cool voice and all the mini-cassettes inside? Sure you do, he's Michiyamenotehi Funana's favorite obscure Transformer! The crowd goes nuts when he takes the stage and our cries and screams are music to his ears. Often imitated, never equaled, no one could forget his signature style.
This article is about various uses of Soundwave's character model, including Soundwave's various 'looks' and some generics/recolor characters who are not Soundwave but share his bodyframe.
( Read more...Collapse )
Sep. 1st, 2012
Aug. 25th, 2012
In today's fast-paced digital marketplace there are plenty of opportunities for shady fly-by-nights to make a buck -- especially on iTunes. But usually there's some ambiguity to it! Is the Transformers Jiggsaw app using all the Ben Procter art legit? ...probably, even though it has the 'feel' of a cheap knockoff (no TF fonts, for one) but I'm pretty sure the Transformers Wallpaper app isn't... It looks slicker than the Jigsaw, but it also has Gundam pictures.
(They're really nice Gundam pictures! I have one as my wallpaper!)
But those are all free apps supported by advertising. There’s a sort of innocent hucksterism to them... Paid apps on the other hand...
Universal Meganizer caught my eye. It’s a fun 'play' app that wraps the user’s picture in a generic sort of 'morpher' like the one from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. It’s highly generic and is probably 'legal' in that it's not really worth the trouble to C&D. A fun play app.
And then I realized that though the default image they use to advertise the app is a Copyright-dodging generic, it also contains alternate skins which are an exact match for the original Power Rangers morpher. Also the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. And... A Bajoran orb casing? Seriously?
I ponder... where lies my obligation to report this? Also -- most of these apps apps suck, making money while hurting the brand, but this one got 4 1/2 stars, it's actually good! Does that decrease my obligation to report it, or increase it? I don't want to be That Guy.
Oh well. Maybe I'll just angst about it on my blog or something. (It's a good thing I don't know any reasonably well-networked TF or PR fans who read this or they might think I was shoving the problem off to them! And I don't want to be That Guy.)
Aug. 19th, 2012
04:42 pm - All About the Star Wars
Bear with me for a minute:
We all know about Star Wars, no not that one SDI, the Strategic Defense Initiative... the satellite warfare program during the Cold War nicknamed "Star Wars" by Reagan staffers? The ruinously expensive plan to put giant death star lasers into orbit that... okay, maybe the name "Star Wars" was sort of appropriate.
Anyway, Star Wars led to SALT which ended with START and almost preceded on to IRNFT, which I'm guessing is a word in Icelandic.
That would be the talks were Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to an bilateral 80% reduction in nuclear armaments in the US and USSR. Pretty cool that! At once point we were going to scrap 100% of the world's nuclear weapons -- the Russians (!) were even the ones to propose this -- but Reagan refused to scrap his beloved Star Wars.
This was part of a long-term Reagan policy to wage economic warfare against the USSR. A massive and costly arms race whose developments the other side would feel compelled to match -- regardless whether or not the things actually worked. Basically we both dug two big holes in the ground and started dumping money into them; The USSR's economy collapsed first and we declared ourselves the winner.
(To be fair, trillions of dollars in national debt is is better than a worldwide thermonuclear exchange.)
This is an old article about The Panetta Doctrine that got me thinking:
A forthcoming book from Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a terrorism analyst with the conservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, contends al-Qaida’s primary strategy against the U.S. is economic. Provocative attacks like 9/11 don’t just kill Americans. They goad U.S. leaders into doing counterproductive things like overspending on endless, bloody wars, like Mohammed Ali patiently baiting George Foreman into exhaustion.
I'm considering whether or not Conservative Knobswallower might be right! Terrorists pull off a scheme that costs, say, ten thousand dollars to implement and we commit one hundred billion dollars in defense spending and new draconian regulations to defend against. They sneak on a $80 shoe-bomb (which failed to explode) and we spend eight billion dollars on full-body scanners. They shake their tuckus on the internet and we break the internet so no one can use it.
What I'm saying here -- and I know this will sound crazy -- is that if we step back and look at these events there is only one possible conclusion:
Aug. 10th, 2012
They found a giant floating island in the Pacific.
This fulfills me on a deep, primal level. All those stories in myth and fantasy about floating islands...
(This is bigger than Rhode Island so technically I guess it's a floating landmass.)
Aug. 6th, 2012
When did Chrome go from being the most stable browser I use to the least stable one?
(What's that? Pepperflash? Oh, I see.)
Jul. 29th, 2012
So I was reading this article about offshore tax-havens on Time.com. It'S a perfectly nice article, a little short but nice.
And then I see the read other stories about this with the Forbes.com article If You Want To Crack Down on $32 Trillion in Offshore Tax Havens, Lower Taxes For the Ultra-Rich, and I am filled with emotions.
RE: Post Subject. I guess the answer is: "This stupid."
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