Monday, December 27, 2010

Steam Sale!

Steam, the highly acclaimed digital distribution, DRM, multiplayer and communications platform developed by the Valve Corporation is having a rather impressive sale until January that I'd be remiss in not informing you of.

It's also worth noting that today's "daily deals" [about 18 hours remaining at time of post] include the Obsidian's D&D RPG Neverwinter Nights 2 [including both expansions] for €9.99/$9.99 [regularly €19.99/$19.99] and the original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic [$2.50/€2.50] which introduced gamers to The Old Republic era of the Expanded Universe Star Wars continuity which is due to be revisited in 2011 with Bioware's First MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.

NWN2 is new to Steam but I ran it glitch free on a Core 2 Quad under Vista 32 and a GeForce 8800GTS a couple of years back, so I'd not anticipate many compatibility issues with today's hardware. KOTOR on the other hand is about 7 years old at this point and like many games native to older Windows versions; may require a fair amount of tweaking for it to run smoothly on today's systems. This is a good resource to aid you if you run into issues.

Thanks to The Whitehouse for the heads up.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fav will not direct Iron Man 3!

The news broke last week that Jon Favreau, the acclaimed director of both Iron Man movies will not be back for a third outing. "It's true, I'm directing Magic Kingdom, not Iron Man 3. I've had a great run with Marvel and wish them the best," he tweeted.

Fav informed Marvel/Disney of his decision last week, and since then there has been much speculation as to why. Some suggest it was Fav's pricetag which would conceivably rise to $15m from IM2's $10 together with 15% of the gross which was too much for penny-pinching Marvel. The more likely scenario however is that Fav felt that Marvel were shoehorning too much of the "Marvel Universe" into his movie already feeling by some reports that there was a bit too much "Avengers advertising" in IM2 as it stood and there was little reason to believe it would change in the wake of The Avengers movie.

Fav himself has since said that he opted to work on making Magic Kingdom for Disney rather than helm Iron Man 3 because he wished to "blow people away, which is easier to do with a project that isn't loaded with built-in expectations." I certainly can't fault him for that, I couldn't think how he could top his stellar work thus far and that burden is now lifted from him. Marvel are currently searching for a director to helm Iron Man 3 for it's May 3rd 2013 release date but one hurdle they will have to jump is Robert Downey Jr. himself. His contract stipulates that he must approve of any replacement director.

It's no secret how I feel about the Iron Man movies thus far so this news has me concerned. However since I had no exposure to any of Fav's work before the original Iron Man, and he turned out to be best man for the job; I shall reserve judgement on the director until I see the movie. Unless it's declared to be Brett Ratner at which point I'll blow my head off.

Sources: IGN / AICN / LA Times

The Colonel's Bullets - December 20th 2010

Christian Bale has said that "this will be, I believe, unless Chris says different, this will be the last time I'll playing Batman." Christopher Nolan is currently scouting locations in Asia for The Dark Knight Rises.

Underworld 4 will now be titled Underworld: New Dawn and will be released in 3D, January 2012.

Not content with just being Captain Kirk, Chris Pine is the new Jack Ryan in Moscow, which will be filmed next year. Producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura has assured people they're no re-imagining Ryan, just reinterpreting for modern times and making it more accessible for younger audiences.

Unfazed with the failure of NBC's Undercovers, J.J.Abrams is ditching the spy genre and returning to weird territory to create a new pilot for Fox. Alcatraz is the story of a bunch of prisoners and their guards who went missing in 1980 and reappear in the present day. The show also follows the investigation of the FBI trying to track them down and solve the mystery of their disappearance.

Bond 23 is coming together again after MGM entered a deal with Spyglass Entertainment means that they can pay off money they owe and create movies again. Daniel Craig will return as will composer David Arnold and according to Sam Mendez' ex-wife Kate Winslet - he'll be back too.

Nicolas Cage and director Simon West [The Con Air team] will reunite for Medallion, an action thriller which sees Cage as "a father, a former master thief, who has only a few hours to find his daughter when she is kidnapped and locked in the trunk of a New York medallion taxi cab."

Director Uwe Boll is making a sequel to the abysmal In the Name of the King, A Dungeon Siege Tale. "It's like contemporary, right now big city, and we have Dolph Lundgren basically being a cop or like a fighting coordinator working as this, and one night he gets attacked by ninjas in his house and fell with the ninjas into a vortex back in time," ranted Boll in a recent interview.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It's no longer a question of "if", but "when"!

Welcome to my nightmare.

The purpose of this movie obviously, is to speculate what would happen if I didn't exist...

...scary huh?

World Invasion: Battle LA coming March 2011

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Remember Pearl Harbor

But just as importantly, remember those who will meet at possibly their final annual conference on Honolulu this week. Of some 60,000 personnel who were on the island on December 7th 1941, only about 3000 remain as part of the official Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and due to their extreme age and the infirmities that come with such longevity, only 100 or so will be able to make the trip to the island this year.

Those that do make it know only full well that it may be the last they see of their comrades and they will meet to discuss the possible end to the organisation for the first time since it was established on this day in 1954.

Gery Porter, 88 formerly of the battleship West Virginia has said that it's obvious that soon enough, they will have run out of members and may pass the assets [a few hundred thousand dollars and memorabilia] to the organisation of the survivor's sons and daughters whom the veterans hope will keep their spirit alive.

While tragic, the Pearl Harbor attack itself inspired countless acts of bravery, some of which were witnessed and recognised by awarding the American servicemen who distinguished themselves: 16 Medals of Honor, 51 Navy Crosses, 53 Silver Stars, four Navy and Marine Corps Medals, one Distinguished Flying Cross, four Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, and three Bronze Stars.

Lieutenant John William Finn, the last living Medal Of Honor recipient from the attack on Pearl Harbor, passed away May 27 earlier this year aged 100. He, his fellow deceased servicemen and the surviving veterans are remembered this day.

Source: USA Today

Monday, December 06, 2010

Military Speceplane Returns to Earth

Orbital Test Vehicle 1 (OTV-1) returned to Earth on Friday at Vandenberg Air Force Base completing the mission it began in April. The U.S.A.F.'s secret X-37B unmanned spaceplane was launched by an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on April 22.

The U.S.A.F. has declined to admit it carried anything in its cargo bay, but was insistent that the inaugural mission was simply to test craft itself. "We are very pleased that the program completed all the on-orbit objectives for the first mission," Lt. Col. Troy Giese, program manager said in a statement. Only a general description of the mission: guidance testing, navigation, control, thermals and auto operation in orbit, re-entry and landing have made public.

The true purpose of the X-37B and more specific details about the spacecraft have long remained a mystery, though experts speculate it was intended to speed up development of combat-support systems and weapons systems. It was interesting to note that U.N.E.T.I.D.A. officer Colonel "Whopper" Creedon arrived at Vandenberg as OTV-1 landed. He was observed removing a "portable-herd-drive-sized" object from the craft and left with a small convoy of black Humvees.

The X-37B will return to space in 2011 next year.

Source: Fox News / USAF

Friday, December 03, 2010

Wikileaks Fallout: The United Nations

One of the more interesting diplomatic cables leaked over the past few days was a directive from the Department of State, signed by Secretary Clinton which sanctioned U.S. diplomats to obtain through clandestine means, information about senior United Nations officials at UNHQ in New York!

The cable provided the full text of a National Human Intelligence Collection Directive (NHCD) on the United Nations as well as a request for continued DOS reporting of biographic information relating to the United Nations. They also asked for current technical specifications, physical layout, and planned upgrades to telecommunications infrastructure and information systems, networks, and technologies used by top officials and their support staffs.

Naturally the liberal media muppet machine blew this out of proportion as if it was apparently "news" that diplomats obtain information on each other and other countries; something that has been going on since before the word diplomacy was created. The terrorist and founder of Wikileaks, one Julian Assange was interviewed by Time magazine, via Skype from an undisclosed location where he called for the resignation of the Secretary Clinton.

UN officials have expressed dismay, but accept this sort of thing as a fact of life. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon thanked Clinton "for clarifying the matter and for expressing her concern about the difficulties created" when she spoke to him at an international summit in Kazakhstan on Wednesday. Clinton did not formally apologise but neither did Ki-moon make any condemnation and the matter is now considered closed thus defeating Assange's evil agenda.

On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart played a clip of Secretary of State Clinton being asked by a reporter if she was embarrassed by the leaking of these cables, to which Stewart answered: "Where were you in the 90's? The woman is married to this guy [displays a picture of former President Bill Clinton] ...and you think THIS embarrasses her?"

Source: Fox News /AP/Comedy Central
Photograph: Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Poisonous Aliens Poised For Invasion?

NASA announced today that some of their scientists in a controlled research facility at Mono Lake, Calafornia have identified microbes that instead of using Phosphorus to carry energy in cells as is done with most forms of life, have found some that instead use Arsenic. Arsenic in it's natural form is lethal to all life on the planet because it chemically behaves similarly to phosphate but disrupts metabolic pathways.

"The idea of alternative biochemistries for life is common in science fiction," said Carl Pilcher, Director, NASA Astrobiology Institute, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. "Until now a life form using arsenic as a building block was only theoretical, but now we know such life exists in Mono Lake."

"The definition of life has just expanded," said Ed Weiler, Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington. He alluded to the fact that as efforts are pursued to seek life elsewhere in the solar system, science will have to think in more broad terms, more diversely and be prepared to consider "life as we do not know it."

Colonel "Whopper" Creedon of U.N.E.T.I.D.A. was less then enthusiastic about the news. "Hell-Shit! Are we going to have to fend off extra-terrestrial invaders made of poison now? This changes everything! Suppose you have to go hand-to-hand with one and beat it to death. Hours later you die of organ failure and cellular necrosis? Not me! I'll be going out with a bang and I'll take them all with me," he assured.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wikileaks Fallout: Iran and it's neighbours

Iran's nutjob president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is understood to be so blindingly paranoid about the U.S. that he doesn't even believe the latest diplomatic memos set loose on the world by the terrorist organisation Wikileaks concerning his country.

It is understood according to the leaked diplomatic cables that his excellency King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia repeatedly pleaded with the United States to launch a devastating attack on Iran designed to destroy Tehran's fledgling nuclear programme and crippling their efforts to create nuclear weapons. "Cut off the head of the snake," he urged. Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and Zeid Rifai of Jordan also communicated warnings concerning Iran. Rifai told the U.S. to "bomb Iran, or live with an Iranian bomb," according to the Guardian. Crown prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi insisted Ahmadinejad "is going to take us to war."

But horse-blinker-wearing Ahmadinejad shrugged off the documents as plants designed to destabilise the Middle-East by attempting to create tension and animosity between Iran and neighbouring countries. "We don't give any value to these documents," he said in a news conference. "It's without legal value. Iran and regional states are friends. Such acts of mischief have no impact on relations between nations."

Some U.S. officials suspecting their contents were concerned that the leaked cables could spark Iran into doing something disastrous, especially as many Persian Gulf nations are known to be concerned with Iran's growing influence, military strength and nuclear aspirations. The leaked diplomatic memos could have been the spark leading to all out war in the region.

However Ahmadinejad has asserted that the U.S. leaked the documents as part of a psychological warfare game that "will have no effect. It's so worthless that it isn't worth someone referring to them or wasting time to refer to them," he said.

What Ahmadinejad doesn't know is that Former VP Dick Cheney had been sure that "final solution" plans had been drawn up concerning Iran. These leaked DOD photographs show the former VP in 2007 flanked by senior military advisers being briefed...

... by Lieutenant Colonel "Whopper" Creedon!

Source: Fox News / CNN /AP