Archive for February, 2008


Condemned 2: Bloodshot Preview

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The boys and girls down at Monolith Studios have finally given us a look at the sequel to one of my favourite Xbox 360 titles, Condemned, and to say the least I am now quivering with anticipation for it’s release.

For those of you who never got the chance to play the first game, you filled the role of Ethan, a detective who was investigating a series of brutal murders, and through a lot of twists and turns, the police are now hunting after you and you become the prime suspect in the case. The games eerie environments, gripping storyline, unique gameplay and hand to hand combat is what really made it stand out from a pack of boring first person shooters that were being released at the time.

Well in the sequel players will be re-visiting the role of Ethan, who has turned to alcohol for comfort to dealing with the issues that have plaqued him for the past five years (after the original game). Unemployed and without much to live for, Ethan is called in on a case, which is where the game takes off. Problem is that Ethan suffers from hallucinations, and has to decided what is real, and what is not which takes the game and story to a whole new dynamic.

The developers have built on the dynamics that made the original game so unique, including upgrades to the combat system, and the investigation scenes.

We will start with the combat mechanics. Instead of the simple block and hit combination in the first game, the player can now chain together different attacks to create more effective combos. Players can now also throw weapons at enemies, which react to hit points on their bodies. Throw a brick into someone’s kneecaps, and they will have some trouble walking! The finishing system has also been updated, and instead of just having a handful of finishers, these will change dynamically dependant on what is in the environment around you, which offers some variety to the gamer. Gunplay will be much the same as the first title, except this time around guns can be reloaded and don’t require to be discarded when empty.

The investigation segments of the game have also been overhauled, and definitely for the better. While in the first game these scenes were extremely cool, they were quite linear. The game automatically told you which tools were required, and exactly what to do. This time around the tools will be more complex and it will be up to users to figure out what is evidence. This should make the game even deeper and more enjoyable

The developers have also thrown in a Multiplayer component which promises to be good, but I guess we will be the judge of that. It has four different modes with up to eight players online, including the standard Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. Players will spawn into the world weaponless and will rely on hand to hand combat and hope to find some of the weapons scattered across the map, which will make for some furious and close combat online, which will stand out from your typical run and gun online multiplayer modes out at the moment.

Bum Rush, a unique mode to Bloodshot, sets two players in the role of being a squad member of the Serial Crimes Unit, armed with automatic weapons. The other six players must rely on wits and their melee weapons to take down the two SCU members, and roles are switched at the end of every round based on performance of players.

The final game mode is called Crime Scene, and has four “Influenced” players protecting two cases from SCU members. Each player only has one life in this game mod

So I’m not going to lie, I am terribly excited to get my hands on the full game early March. What started out as a overlooked, but great game at the 360 launch, now looks like it is going to grab the attention of most people with all the improvements that have been thrown in
 

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Iriver Enters Mobile Market

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Yet another Iphone wannabe touch screen device was unveiled at the GSMA Conference, this time from Iriver, popular PVP and MP3 player company.

Looking quite similar to their Personal Video Player the Iriver W7, the phone features a Linux Operating System, a 3 inch touch screen, featuring multmedia functions and GPS which is always handy.

First impressions have been lackluster, and dissapointing. The device is planned for release in Europe later this year

Garmin Nuvifone Anyone?

Well it seems that the Iphone has set a trend with a number of touch screen devices beeing displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this last week.

Garmin have displayed their Nuvifone at the event, which was first showcased in New York a couple of weeks ago, and due to the touch screen nature has fans buzzing and making comparisons with the Apple Iphone.

While not as asthetically appealing as the Iphone, and it’s touch interface lacking that flash that has become so loved already with the Iphone, it will be interesting to see how this little beast performs when it comes out later this year.

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With the recent news that Microsoft have bought out mobile developer Danger, while I thought it could make the future of Sidekicks/Hiptops uncertain, I didn’t think we would see the effects of this so soon.

One of the coolest features with Sidekicks/Hiptops was the ability to upload photos via email directly from the device to your own personal HIPALBUM via the site www.hipalbum.com (feel free to check mine out www.hipalbum.com/?hellerphant). The managers of said site have come out an closed the website down with the following statement replacing the homepage

Feb 11th, 2008- Due to following: 1) Changes in the wireless landscape 2) Danger’s lack of innovation to take it’s phone to the next level 3) Server resources vs Funding. It no longer makes sense to have a website dedicated exclusively to Sidekicks. FYI, Danger/Sidekick has been bought by Microsoft which now leads to uncertain future for the Sidekick, Zune Phone? Regardless, Sidekick’s days are coming to an end. As for myself, I have been WITHOUT a Sidekick for close to 3 years. I have moved on to newer and much more advanced products. Currently I have a Helio Ocean which emcompases the lattest technology including real GPS aling with Google Maps as well as ability to shoot video and uploading it to YouTube in real-time without the need of a computer, these are just of the few innovations that Sidekick has failed to maintain. We are considering upgrading website to include multiple wireless products or a Premimum Members Only website, until then, accepting new pics via email has been suspended .All photos that is already on the website WILL remain online for viewing indefinately as it does not require much server resources to do so. Thanks for your understanding in this matter. Peace, Ke Thoi

So there you have it, with grammar and spelling errors, not to mention that really big advert for Helio in there! So if you have been getting UNDERLIVERABLE message while trying to upload photos, this is the reason. This could be the end of the Sidekick/Hiptop as we know it, what are your thoughts?

Kids Killing Kids

A gang of youths, aged between 14 and 17 chased a teenage schoolboy and stabbed him to death in front of the public passing by in a suburban Londan street in England.

Kodjo Yenga was only 16, and he was ambushed by over a dozen youths, including two girls, who were armed with bats, knives and a bull-terrier dog. The gang were laughing, and smiling as they beat the 16 year old, and eventually stabbed him to death.

Reports indicated that Yenga died from a single stab wound to the heart. A woman who was pushing her child in a pram witnessed the attack, and reported they were smiling and laughing.

Apparently the youths were representing their gang MDP, who usually start a one on one fight with someone out of town and then ambush them, unfortunately this time it ended in murder.

 It’s pretty sad that kids are killing kids these days, I doubt this kind of behaviour would have been around twenty years ago

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The latest update for Apple’s newest Operating System Leopard has hit the web today, upgrading it to 10.5.2

A combo update that includes some security patches is 343MBs and can be downloaded immediately. The first update to Leopard, version 10.5.1, was released in November 2007

Apple has fixed some issues with Time Machine, a handy backup tool that is available in the new OS, and apparently has increased stabillity in Finder. Time Machine now supports a much broader spectrum of external hard drives, although still is not available to backup over the network UNLESS you are using an Apple Time Capsual. 

Some of you out there are using Windows Vista, and even after turning off User Access Control (UAC) you still get the occasional annoying messages from this super secure Windows Platform (even though it’s not that secure lol).

Well Windows Vista has a super secret Admin account that bypasses UAC and gives total control over your operating system. IF you are going to enable this, PLEASE make sure you have a strong password and a firewall turned on. Cheers to Hazy Morning for the guide.

First, open your control panel. Inside your control panel, click on System and Maintenance. Scroll down to the bottom and click on Administrative Tools.

Next, the Administrator Tools window will open up. From there, click on Computer Management. Then the Computer Management Window will open.

On the right-hand side panel, you should see Local Users and Groups, double click on it. Now in the middle panel, double click on Users. You should see the Administrator icon at the top, in the middle panel. Right click on the Administrator icon and then click Properties.

In the Properties box, uncheck the ‘Account is Disabled’ box.
Once that is done, you should be able to restart. Once restarted, you should see the Administrator Account on the Welcome Screen.

Now you have a choice of using that account and deleting your User Account or you can keep your User Account and just use the Administrator Account when you need it. However, the Administrator Account is going to be “like new”. You will have to personalize it if you decide to use it as your main account. Also, in my opinion, if you are not going to use it often then I would disable it again.

Reports from the GSMA World Congress have been touting that Sony Ericsson are releasing a new line, the G series which will be Symbian Based, Touch Screen phones.

Two models have been announced, the G700 which is entry level and the G900 which is geared towards a photo happy crowd. The G900 is reported to have a 5 mega-pixel camera, with red eye reduction and a flash. One cool feature is that when using the touch screen in camera mode, you can actually manipulate the camera’s focal point, which does sound promising if you are into mobile photography

Both are candy bar phones, but one would have to think is this all because of the Iphone?

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Being labelled a Cyber-Terrorist Group” Anonymous has been responsible for staging demonstrations in almost 100 cities across four continents in the last 24 hours outside the Church of Scientology. 

Demonstrations have been held in a number of cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, London, Manchester, Dublin, Stockholm, New York, Detroit and Washington. Number of participants were put at between 6000 and 8000 on an internet forum used by members of the group.

Over 100 protestors turned up to the Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide protests

The aim of the group is to remove the church’s tax-exempt status as a religion, as protestor’s claim that the church financially exploits it’s members and supress their freedom of speech. Anonymous stated their aims in an open letter posted on their online forums.

I’m sure that if Tom Cruise showed up to make a public statement they would all feel better about it 😛

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Should this man say sorry? This is a debate that is waging right now, and quite frankly I quickly jumped on the NO bandwagon even before the question was asked.

For those of you who don’t know what the so called “Stolen Generation” is, let me fill you in. During the years of 1869 and 1969 the Governement after acts under Parliament, removed children of aboriginal decent from their parents and put into oprphaniges and internment camps. To what extent this happened is a large debate in Australia quite often.

Well now Mr Rudd is the king dick of the country, he has now announced that he will be offering a formal apology from his government, who might I remind readers represent each and every Australian citizen.

Some people will say I’m racist, and some people will say I’m ignorant, but I one hundred percent, without a doubt in my mind, believe that he should not say sorry.

I don’t care about it, it happened long before I was born, and it was finishing when my parents were a lot younger than I am, so they don’t really care. They had nothing to do with it, neither did I so there is no way in hell I will apologise. It would be like Hitler’s grandson saying “So err sorry about killing all those Jews” and expecting the Jewish people to forgive his Grandfather

The Government tried to do the right thing, and save a lot of children from abuse, and I think that while they may have gone about it the wrong way, and a lot of children were taken for the wrong reasons, it’s time for us all to move on.

 And uttering the word “Sorry” isn’t going to fix anything, instead they will just expect something more like some compensation of some kind.

So while Mr. Rudd believes this will win him some brownie points, I’m quite sure it’s going to make him lose a lot of fans