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Category: News

Eve Kills boot.ini, Or: Why I Won’t Be Playing Eve

by redshift

I’m a programmer by trade. I read a lot of tech-related and programming sites, both for the good tips and the horror stories. We’ve all heard about the IT guy who forgot to backup the production server (oops!) or the janitor who unplugged the AC in the server room (ouch!). All kinds of fun in the world of corporate IT.

We’ve even heard about some commercial software with heinous errors. Games with no sound. Security software that steals your resources. Sony installing rootkits. Microsoft software.

Eve Online, however, has just gone one step beyond. If you installed their new expansion, Trinity, on opening day, it deleted your boot.ini file. You can no longer boot Windows.

Even a rootkit leaves your computer working for a little while.

In case you haven’t heard of it, Eve Online is a space combat MMORPG. There are somewhere around 300,000 subscribers, and 30,000 people online on an average night. Tens of thousands of potential victims.

Of course, there was no warning that this would happen. They did not send out any kind of alert until a day later – today at 5:45pm EST. If you happened to reboot or shut down your system in that time, and you’re not running Linux (my saving grace), you’d be greeted with a unusable computer.

This is simply inexcusable. CCP, the developer of Eve, and whose slogan is “We Care More, We Work Harder,” is a professional software development firm. They should have tested what they’re putting on your computer. My God, you’d think making a computer inoperable would make one of their QA people say “Hmmm… that can’t be right.” There is no conceivable reason for the game installer to even touch the boot.ini file, forget about deleting it.

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Wal-Mart Effect? Thumbs Down to Businessweek

by redshift

Today’s review will cover an “interesting” article from Businessweek on the so-called Wal-Mart Effect. The author’s journalistic skill will be shamelessly torn down and mocked. Enjoy.

Essentially, he says that Wal-Mart’s pricing on a single flat-panel TV in the Christmas season has fundamentally and permanently changed the landscape of the electronics market as a whole. A no-name TV, specifically a 42″ Viore, was priced at $988. A similar Panasonic was priced at $1294. Other retailers couldn’t match these prices – or didn’t want to – as their prices had been nearly double that for some time.

Cleary, this was an evil act. I mean, come on, retailers are going out of business.

The fallout is evident: After closing 70 stores in February, Circuit City Stores on Mar. 28 laid off 3,400 employees and put its 800 Canadian stores on the block. Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, the high-end home entertainment store, is shuttering 49 of its 153 stores and dismissed 650 workers. Dallas-based CompUSA is closing 126 of its 229 stores, and regional retailer Rex Stores is boarding up dozens of outlets, as well as selling 94 of its 211 stores. […] Circuit City shares have fallen 24%, to $18.76, since the end of November, when the price war started. In the same period, Tweeter’s shares declined 32%, to $1.72, near a 52-week low, and Best Buy’s stock is down 9%, to $48.73. Shares of Rex Stores have been flat, down 0.7%, to $16.98. […] The carnage has one phrase written all over it: the “Wal-Mart effect.”

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Top 10 Stories From National Geographic

by blue midget

National Geographic has compiled their top ten news stories from 2006.

Pastrami and Cheesecake Diet

by blue midget

Idiot goes on Atkins Diet, doesn’t know what a diet is for — restricts his eating to mainly pastrami and cheesecake. Tries to sue after his cholesterol shoots up to 246 and must undergo angioplasty surgery. You are what you eat.

Space Colonization

by blue midget

Stephen Hawking claims we must colonize other planets if we wish to survive.

Meteorite Organic Matter

by blue midget

Meteorite’s Organic Matter Older than the Sun

Dark Energy

by blue midget

National Geographic: Mysterious Dark Energy Has Existed for Most of Time, Scientists Say

Giant Space Blob

by blue midget

Very cool – Japanese astronomers have discovered a giant space blob about 200-million light years wide. It is now the largest known object in the universe.

This Is Not the Best News In the World; This Is Just A Tribute

by blue midget

You know things are bad in the world when David Hasselhoff, aka “The Hoff,” can’t get no respect from the press. The Hoff has received a lot of bad PR lately regarding some public drunken appearances. This episode in particular is my favorite – the press claims The Hoff is kicked out of Wimbledon for being totally drunk. As he is evicted from the premises he shouts out:

You should let me in. Do you know who I am? I am the Hoff.

I AM THE HOFF!

Now here he is on July 24 denying the incident, stressing that he absolutely does not drink and that the press will report any lie they can come up with. However, three days later we’ve got another awesome Hoff incident, where he gets so drunk in the airport, British Airways wouldn’t let him board the plane. I commend the travel stewards on prohibiting him from the flight – what happens if the Hoff starts taking off his shirt and singing songs by Chef in the middle of the airplane? There’s nowhere ladies and gay men can go to escape the power of The Hoff.

davidhasselhoff.jpg

The shirtless Hoff – causing as much ruckus as snakes on a plane? You decide. dun dun duuun…

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HA! HA! Teh news in cliche!

by blue midget

I’ve been struggling with the rehash of the news over the past couple of weeks because what has been happening around the globe has been so horrible that there really is no way to perk it up for anyone’s enjoyment. In fact, if you look at the current headlines listed on Google’s World News section, 18 out of 20 are about conflicts and killing around the world. There’s little to be happy about these days. But I think I’ve found a way to break up the seriousness of our journey – with internet cliches. Let’s get started.

Now, I can’t claim to be an expert in Middle Eastern history and/or policy, so I won’t bother trying to enlighten you with my own commentary with what I think is happening. (In short, I think most everyone out there is crazier than Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch, but that doesn’t really make for good reading.) If you’re looking to read something more intelligent than that, there are some interesting news links that I’ve found. The first is an article ABC News has written up called “What is Hezbollah“. The next is almost a conspiracy theory about what has been happening with the recent attacks against Israel. The journalist connects the dots, looking back with historic events and an interview he actually gave Sheik Sayed Hassan Nasrallah (Secretary-General of Hezbollah) a couple of years ago. It’s an interesting read: Nasrallah’s Game. Read the rest of this entry »