I’m actually rather sad about this since it was sold off piecemeal. But I have some comments and questions still.
Volition was sold to Koch (no not that one) Media. This may be the end of Volition as a company since the next Metro and Saints Row games are reported to be produced by their other developer Deep Silver which means I have no idea what they are working on or if they will survive. But, Deep Silver made the X series of games which are set in space and involve trading. Could we see a FreeSpace 3 then? I hope so.
Relic was sold at the highest price of everything THQ ($26.6 Million) to Sega. Considering Relic does strategy best and Sega has Total War I don’t have much of a problem with this. My concern is who/what owns the Warhammer 40,000 license right now. My guess is that since Sega owns the license for Warhammer Fantasy that they now have the 40,000 license as well. If that’s true I expect things to be good there.
Finally Vigil who did not have a buyer. This puts Dark Millennium into an even bigger limbo than it was and Darksiders may just end with the second game. Sad. I liked those games.
Update: Platinum Games’ head has expressed interest in buying Vigil.
So the first post went over decently, so how about my thoughts on taxes and spending?
Churches and religous organizations are no longer tax exempt if their congregation building or site is valued at over one million dollars – This is (really) to prevent stuff like megachurches from existing. But my point for this is to prevent money from being drained out to give a lavish life to a pastor (who often lives in said church). This also protects smaller organizations from taxation into oblivion. On that note:
Churches and religious organizations must file income and spending with the IRS – Just like every charity and Tax-Exempt organization
Income is income, no matter the source – Capital Gains no longer will have a different rate than ordinary income
Estate Tax at 20% starting at one million dollars of estate value
Tax Rates: $250,000 – $999,999.99 at 40%, $1,000,000 – $9,999,999.99 at 60% and 10,000,000+ at 91% – This is what was done durring World War II to pay for it. We’ve put (by my count) six wars (Korea, Veitnam, Afghanistan, Iraq Afghanistan again, Iraq again plus other unnamed and undeclared wars) on the debt since then and we need to recoup the costs.
Cap Charitable Deductions on buisnesses and individuals at $500,000
Companies making more than $10,000,000 in profit are not eligible for tax subsidies – Cuts the oil industry’s teet off
Punish individuals and corporations using offshore tax havens, which can be done by looking at sales data for a company or if an individual is being paid into an offshore account directly and seeing if the books are being cooked - Explains itself mostly
Punish corporations using inshore tax havens, such as using incorporation in a state not of their headquarters (For example, a state is headquartered in California but incorporated in Nevada and files it’s taxes that way to avoid base taxes) – Punishment is taxes in the incorporated state are to be kept by the state then additional taxes and penalties are paid in the headquarters state.
Cut military spending by 5% over ten years to 50% at the end – Some $.30 of every tax dollar paid goes to the military or veterans beneifits (Not saying cut the VA). My hope is that it will choke the Millitary-Industrial Complex. On that note:
Trash the F-35 – Way overbudget, a decade late and now useless with the current state of warfare. Also, sue the contractors for the overages.
No Private Millitary Contractors – They can make weapons, equipment and train millitary on use, but they cannot be deployed with soldiers or provide them any other services.
Aid to the middle east is gone until they get their peace house in order – Especially Isreal
Cut off grants to private colleges, including G.I. Bill
Representative Income chained to Median Income, Senator Income to Median Income + 50%, President to Double Median Income and Supreme Court Justice to Median Income + 75% – At time of writing, Median Income is about $51,000, and the president’s salary is $300,000.
Increasing Spending - Economic Stimulation, if you will
Science Budget (includes NASA) upgraded to 2.5% of federal budget (from 1%) – Because I can?
Block Grant NASA $100,000,000,000 for a reasonable return to space program – Like instead of a space station, can we have a research station on the moon? The figure I pull out is about the cost for the Apollo Program (adjusted for inflation)
Grant for renewable energy on federally owned buildings – Solar Panels on the White House, capital, etc.
I’m sure I could add more thoughts, but they are running dry on me.
Ever see this before?
“The SavedState Dictionary Contains Inconsistent Data and might have been corrupted”
My solution was to make sure that the installer has no custom actions for actions and then remove them from the setup project’s custom actions. So in this case I had installer hooks on install (Start Service) and uninstall (Stop Service), but I had custom actions on all four items. If there is no committ or rollback functions, don’t bother with having custom actions for the assembly.
I’ve been mulling over this for a while so I feel I need to write it down. Here are the regulations I think are reasonable and should be put into place.
All gun sales require a background check – No buts
Private gun sales from a non-dealer to a non-dealer must be presided over by a dealer who will perform the background check – Closes gun show loophole.
All owned arms with serial numbers must be in a national database – For tracking of crimes and trafficing
All gun owners must go through regular mental competency evaluation
All gun owners must have liability insurance – Like car insurance
All gun owners must obtain a “license” – Safety and use course sort of thing, again just like cars
Ammunition or ammunition loading supplies must be purchased in person from a dealer with registration of purchases – Excessive purchases will require explaination
No gun sales to those on terrorist watch list or no fly lists, but person much have chance to remove himself from list
One gun, per day, per person
Felons are barred from buying or owning guns from double their sentence, starting from the release of jail – So if someone is in jail five years, the ten years after release they are barred from owning a gun
Assault Weapon control
Guns that fire more than two shots in one trigger pull are banned – Prevents fully automatic weapons, but allows for double barrel shotguns to still exist
Bullet weapons have a 10 round limit, pellet weapons have a four shot limit – The only reason Jared Lee Loughner was taken down was because he was stuck reloading from his 33 round magazine (he also dropped it, giving an even bigger opening). As much as people think it’s possible, nobody can really reload at Call of Duty speed.
Modifications to make guns fire at an faster speed than their original design are banned – There’s a stock modification that uses recoil to turn an M4 Semi into something very close to an automatic. This sort of thing would be banned.
Specialty ammunition is banned – And by this I mean Shatter-point rounds, armor piercing rounds, incendiary rounds and soforth. Shotgun ammo excluded, provided it’s all solid
Guns cannot be carried on the property of schools and children’s parks, law enforcement excluded – Probably won’t prevent anything, but it would make me feel better
Guns must be in locked cases for transport with ammo in separate cases
Guns must be in semi-hard holsters or slings when on person, not in pockets or bags
If there is a child living in the home, all guns must be locked in a combonation safe when not in use – This prevents some child killing or subduing their parent, grabbing the keys and going for the safe
Contemplative ideas – The stuff I can’t quite figure out how I feel
Concealed Carry – I can’t figure out how I feel about this. I suppose if I had to give something, make this harder to get than the gun license.
Sound and Flash suppression – Where to draw the line is a big question I don’t have the answer to, but a better question is that it’s unnecessary, so why buy them?
The question of course remains, why these specifically? Most gun owners hide behind the second amendment as their right to own weapons like these. To me this is silly. Let’s look at the text:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”
But here’s what it doesn’t say: What kind of arms. Those involved in the ratification of the bill of rights probably never could have imagined cartridge based weapons (as in brass, not paper) let alone fully automatic weapons.
A typical response to my ideas is simply “What if we have to protect ourselves from a tyranical government?” My answer?
If you think a pea shooter is going to effectively go up against a hellfire missile shot (or more accurately dropped) from 5 kilometers away, you are delusional. If the government has become so corrupt that civil war is on our hands, the rebelion will be crushed under the weight of assault aircraft, armored infantry fighting vehicles and battleships. There is just no excuse for this anymore.
I don’t usually write like this but I couldn’t help myself.
I remember you from class. A wonderful girl who opened herself to me and never anyone else before and perhaps never after. Someone who didn’t seem helpless nor a whore. A reserved girl who actually wore clothes instead of slutwear. Someone I could be with, but someone I didn’t understand. You always had a guy around, I thought I knew to stay off. I was never sure. I hung out with you, met your parents, tried to know you but I always felt so distant.
The desire was there but the spark to light this inferno was not. I could never understand my emotions. We graduated school, I went to being a total shut in and you disappeared from my life. I went off to school and you went to California. I learned but always felt lost. I longed and you seemed long gone.
How long and wrong I was.
Forced into things you didn’t want to do. Met with some guys who weren’t like me. Raped by one I thought to be my best friend. Impregnated without the desire to have a child. Moved around by circumstance. All while I sat from the sidelines wondering about girls I would never have.
In the end I was just too much of a coward. Too afraid of my own feelings. Too afraid of confronting anyone. Too hateful to forgive myself, but now I just live with the memory of saying three words could have changed your life and saved you from all this.
“I love you…”
Zero Serra Serenity – Shut-in geek
A few months back The Escapist had a contest for an anime reviewer. I thought I would jump on it and try it, but I don’t think I was selected. Here are my reviews for Ouran High School Host Club and Gurren Lagan for your pleasure.
Ouran Host Club:
I am not a completely masculine dude and I find myself watching plenty of Soujo anime in my spare time between mainlining Gundams (the older ones) and ultra-violent stuff. Ouran High School Host Club was recommended to me by an Australian friend who’s into this stuff more than I am (he wears Salior Fukus to cons).
The first thing that hits me when watching this series are the character designs reminding me of something CLAMP would do. While the entire cast of characters doesn’t fall under the bishonen category just about every group including that is represented. Haruhi Fujioka is a girl mistaken for a guy who racks up a massive debt breaking something and must work to repay that debt. While it’s obviously been done in other series (He is my Master comes to mind), the use of a cross dresser as the lead is it’s point of originality. For characters there’s the prince, the badass, the silent, the incest twins and the shotacon but the characters are surprisingly well rounded for being a stereotype. As a turn off to me the shonen-ai theme seems to run thick with characters constantly fawning over each other and themselves to the point it gets rather bland by episode three. With the exception of Haruhi the entire female cast feels incredibly flat; as most end up as one episode girls without real stories and feel like they’re all the same girl with a different head. In fact only one girl has a different shape and she appears for a total of ten seconds. On the other hand while this does fall under the category of reverse harem it doesn’t take the traditional role of focusing on the relationship between the main character (Haruhi) with the other characters and instead it focuses on the characters themselves and not just the character and the lead.
That being said the humor that the series sells itself on is rather stable and sudden. Even when situations get serious at times a quick comedy jab at the wrong time keeps you from thinking about the drama too much. While characters seem to fit a common mold for this sort of thing they writers seem to find new and interesting ways to make them funny. Unfortunately towards the second half of the series the jokes begin to stop being funny. This isn’t because it’s reusing the old jokes since it doesn’t, the new humor just falls off as not being as creative. That being said most of the drama in the series is totally forgettable with most story arcs only consisting of one episode.
The overuse of roses as a backdrop whenever someone is bragging does get quite old but characters look alive. However, animation does seem to have some corners cut when characters get farther away from the “camera”. Otherwise, it’s solid, bright and colorful and characters close up seem exceptionally detailed.
I should probably make a quick mention that since I don’t know Japanese and hate reading subtitles I watch it dubbed unless absolutely necessary. In the case of this series generally the voice actors work. I’ve heard a number of complaints about how Vic Mignogna is the dealbreaker for the series but that’s not the case. Even at 48 years old and well over 6′ tall he does his best work with the eccentric types. I will say that Mitsukuni (Luci Christian) is probably a little too feminine and Haruhi (Caitlin Glass) isn’t deep enough for the roles they have but you get used to it and it fits well. The rest of the cast is quite pleasing. Music is nicely varied between pop, light rock and instrumental backgrounds featuring a Victorian theme. Weirdly the opening and closing songs are redone for the English release but unlike previous attempts at this (say Sailor Moon) this one is actually worth it’s own salt to the effect I didn’t even know it wasn’t the original tune until it was pointed out at me.
Comes with Actor Commentaries, Outtakes (thirty-three minutes of ‘em), clean opening and closing with samples from the Manga by VIZ media. Unfortunately the Manga samples are a little hard to read when in standard definition format that comes on a DVD.
Generally entertaining for the first half of the series then begins to lose some of it’s charm. It’s worth checking out to enjoy yourself, though you might find yourself bored by the time the ending hits.
Gurren Lagann Short Review:
When I heard Gainax put out another anime that was hailed as the next big thing I was immediately skeptical knowing my .500 average with me liking whatever they put out. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is their latest offering prompting me to take a second look at my average. Let me do the run-down for you. It’s your standard Super Robot anime but we’ve upgraded to digital animation and bigger…um…eyes. But all the classic themes and characters are accounted for, disillusioned main character, eccentric support fellow, the bleeding heart, the princess love interest, the suspiciously feminine male engineer and a complete disregard for every law of physics and chemistry. Is the series good though? Well I think it’s great. There are a few minor complaints but in general the pacing for the series is incredibly good building up from small time nobodies to the saviors of the universe. On that note, character development is very good with characters being very intuitive and being very intelligent about their environment and the situations they are in. Generally very entertaining with points of comedy brilliance and an absolutely spectacular climax it is definitely worth a watch.
Today we come together to pay our final respects to my once favorite gaming franchise. The prophecy of Kane I will no longer follow. The tanks of GDI I will no longer command. The Allied technology is worthless. The Soviet war machine is gone.
I cannot play this game. Redifining the formula has produced a game more like Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II or perhaps Company of Heroes than a classic C&C game. What made C&C great? Structures and the MCV. You got to build your base without having to worry about massive micro-management. You qued up something, went to control your units and when it was up you dropped it on the field. In 4, you don’t get that. You don’t even get the MCV. You get this worthless thing called a crawler that constructs all your units in house. Should probably also mention that engineer’s purpose has been redone from capturing structures to repairing units. Few dedicated structures (Basically you can only build defense structures) and you only get one build que which brings me to my next thing.
Resource gathering. Removed entirely. No longer do you have to gather tiberium, getting new fields or spikes. Instead, you can gather these tiberium crystals that drop from the sky, bring them to your base and you get upgrade points to make your units stronger or unlock extra tiers of units. But with the removal of resource gathering comes the removal of units actually costing money. Essentially what you have is a *craft style game where units cost a supply cap. That’s it. No credits. The game is around cranking out units and filling a que. When your units die, just raise another batch at no cost. What does this lead to? Stalemates and wars of attrition. Not exciting.
Also, you can’t win by beating your opponents into submission. No, you have to go around and collect these Tiberium Control Nodes to earn Victory Points. Why does this sound familar? On right. This is stolen from Warhammer 40,000 again.
I read somewhere that this game is more about co-operative play where one person each takes a crawler of offense, defense and support. Can someone beat into Raj’s head that nobody who plays these games wants to play Co-Op? It was a hindrance in RA3 and now you want to bring it back?
This is not the game I wanted to see. As much as people complain about it being roughly the same game with better graphics I would pretty much like to see that with C&C games. I want to start from nowhere, build up a base and a total army of units and steamroll over my opponent. Games that involve being the uber micro are for Counter-strike players. I on the other hand will be sitting back enjoying a rousing game of Magic: The Gathering, something that still has some semblance of strategy left in it. I’ll leave you with the following quote:
Stormfather wrote: C&C isn’t dead yet. It’s only lying under the guillotine with its hands tied. You can see the timer until the execution here: http://www.commandandconquer.com/
Now normally anime that uses the bible as the story rip off turn me off. It’s not that their boring but usually they try to shove the particular brand of religion down someone’s throat and usually do it poorly. Evangelion is the best example and since I hate it very much I usually color anything bible related as total junk. So here comes Dante’s Inferno, a video game based on a book (The Divine Comedy) that’s based on the bible. Continue reading ‘Dante’s Inferno Demo’
Here’s something I don’t understand. Have you ever heard the phrase “I’m a (blank) survivor”? I never got that. You don’t hear me going around saying “I’m a child abuse survivor” when I refer to what religion has done to me until I was 9 or “I’m a bully survivor” when I refer to my school experiences. Why make exceptions for people to say “I’m a cancer survivor” or something? Continue reading ‘Survivor?’