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License Keys are enough, screw your CD

Dear Game Publishers,

Do you ever listen to your developers? Ever?

I know that the developers of Unreal Tournament 2003 didn't want to require the damned CD. I know that the developers of Half-Life 2 didn't want to require the damned CD, because the version you can buy directly from them DOESN'T.

You know that license key you include with every version of your software?

That's enough.

You know what making me have to use the CD does? It makes it so I don't play your game. And because I don't play your game, I don't care about your sequel.

You know what else you do? You make the pirated version of the game more valuable. That's right, why should I play $50 for a crippled game that requires a specific CD to be in my drive in order to start playing it, when I could instead spend a few hours downloading the game and be able to play it without being bothered.

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Well, it's happened.

It has happened. At around midnight last night, I saw a Christmas commerical.

What's a month or two among advertisers?

FEMA: The Disaster Cycle

I'd imagine this is gonna get pulled soon-ish as the Daily Show just covered this, but...

About FEMA: What We Do

As of now, this displays the current cycle:

DISASTER -> Response -> Recovery -> Mitigation -> Risk Reduction -> Prevention -> Preparedness -> DISASTER (repeat)

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Fun With Slashdot's New CSS

You may have read about how Slashdot has upgraded their site to use CSS, which allows some degree of custom styling. Well, I've mucked around with their CSS, and came up with the following userContent.css addition:

We Love Katamari!

"We ♥ Katamari" was released last week. (That's "We Love Katamari", with a heart for love, in case your browser didn't render the heart.) I've had a chance to play through it (complete to the end, in two days...) and can give my brief review.

In We ♥ Katamari, the King of All Cosmos and his son the Prince are helping out their many fans from the first game. You play as the Prince or one of his many cousins (who you unlock during the game), and travel the world, attempting to gather up as many objects into the Katamari (Japanese for "clump"). The Katamari is essentially a magical sticky ball that can absorb any other object into itself, including thumb tacks, chocolates, apples, chairs, desks, people, houses, skyscrapers, islands, and mountains - as well as hopes and dreams.

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Holy. Shit.

So my commute into work takes me down Route 3 (although there is an alternate route I can take). Well - there was quite an accident on Route 3 this morning - fortunately for me, in the other direction. But they had to completely close off Route 3 northbound.

From the Boston Globe's traffic report:

Rte. 3 North (Rte. 128/I-95 to I-495)
Accident Fire department activity before Exit 29: Rte. 129. Affecting left lane and center lane and right lane. Road closed. Traffic being detoured off at Concord Road, exit 27. Avoid area.

At least three cars were involved from what I saw. Some people who I think were in it were standing by the side of the road while three ambulances, a firetruck, and countless local and state police were taking care of the accident.

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D'oh.

First off, the DVD-ROM drive in my main work desktop is dead. Second off, the DVD-ROM drive in my laptop is dead. (I'm noticing a pattern here... I'm blaming the power in the building. >_>)

Anyway, so I pop the DVD into another machine and copy 1.7 GB of installers onto my main machine over the network. I then start to install it and realize it's the wrong version!

So then I get to copy 3.25 GB of data over for the CORRECT version. Ow.

The fun thing is I think the bottleneck was still the DVD-ROM drive, not network speeds. Gigabit Ethernet is fun! (Although both machines are only using 100MBit cards, but it means that I wasn't bogging the network down.)

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RSS Feed Added

I've created an RSS feed for my blog, so if you have an RSS reader, you can now keep up-to-date with my blog through RSS. Exciting, I know.

The RSS feed URL is: http://www.xenoveritas.org/blog.rss

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How Far We've Come

So I'm looking over the desktop icons on my work computer, and notice up in one corner a little icon I haven't used in AGES.

Netscape Communicator icon

Hello, what's that? Hmm...

So, I just had to go and see how well it handled my webpage.

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Thoughts on Firefox

Bruce Perens gave a talk where I work today on the topic of Open Source in the business place. One of the topics that came up was Firefox, where he mentioned that the next version of Internet Explorer and that they took that from Firefox. (Some might disagree about where they stole it from...)

Anyway, I got to thinking. As hinted above, tabbed browsing really wasn't an open source innovation. But what really is has to be Firefox's extension mechanism.

I have a love-hate relationship with XUL. There are some things I'd do differently, but ultimately, the ability to add cross-platform features to the browser UI via XUL overlays is an extremely powerful ability.

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