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Friday, January 27, 2006

10:19 PM - X-winged

Chrome Chester Delta

When the kaiju-battling Night Raiders go to work, they don't take the bus.

A photo of Bandai's Chrome Chester Delta from the Ultraman Nexus toy line.

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1:31 AM - Elsewhere on the web

Guild Wars: an educational MMOG.
"… building vocabularies through deadly combat."

Planetside for free. [via]
New players will be able to try out the game (with restrictions) for 12 months for free.

Steve Jobs: bad for your mental health.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

11:52 PM - Urge to kill

I'm not a fan of PvP gaming but there have been occasions when I've wished player-killing was allowed in towns in Guild Wars. This would be one of those occasions:

Guild Wars: Annoyances

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

11:57 PM - Lead a life of danger

Guild Wars: Ranger/Mesmer

The PvP preview for Guild Wars' upcoming expansion, Guild Wars: Factions, has ended. I'm not much of a PvP player and I didn't have a free character slot so I couldn't play any of the new professions but what little I experienced of the preview did impress me.

I love the Chinese-inspired setting. It provides some striking imagery that makes a nice change from the Western medieval look that's common in RPGs. The music is similarly Chinese-flavoured. The melancholic theme that plays during the log-in screen is recognisably a Jeremy Soule composition but it features Chinese instruments for that familiar-yet-different feel.

The main reason I'm looking forward to the expansion, though, is the promise of new skills and spells to play around with as this is the main appeal of the game for me. I just love the strategy and tactical planning that goes into creating a skillbar for a particular foe, area, quest or mission. If you're a fan of tactical combat, this game is an absolute blast.

I've been playing my Ranger/Mesmer heavily over the past few weeks and managed to hit level 20 and ascend. I'm finding the Ranger profession to be tremendous fun. It may be second-best at almost everything but it makes up for it with its versatility and tactical options.

How shall I slay my foes today? Shall I use cunningly-placed traps? Shall I amuse myself by stymying my foes through interrupts? Or perhaps it would be more entertaining to see him hobble painfully towards me on crippled feet, bleeding poisoned blood all the while? A high-damage, rapid-fire fusillade perhaps? Or shall I instead rely on my faithful companion to tear my foes to shreds?

Decisions, decisions.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

3:00 AM - You're not singing anymore

It didn't look good for United at all.

The team had lost the local derby the previous week and had, in fact, not won in the Premiership in 2006. Injuries to players meant another untried central midfield combination against their bitter rivals, Liverpool. ESPN's pundits unanimously agreed Liverpool would be victorious at Old Trafford. For long spells of the match it seemed they would be right.

United could hardly put together a decent offensive effort. Passes went astray and moves petered out. Not even the magnificent Rooney could inspire the team and the Liverpool keeper scarcely had to break a sweat.

Unsurprisingly, Liverpool fans were the happier and the louder of the two sets of fans in the stadium. They were reminding their United counterparts of the number of times their team had won the league and the European Cup. They were even singing songs about Cinema Ponggal. Who knew the Scousers were fans of Tamil movies?

Then United earn free-kick one minute before the end of regulation time. Giggs delivers a sweet ball into the box and Rio rises up and meets it firmly with his head. The Liverpool keeper gets a hand to the ball but can't prevent it from hitting the back of the net where it belonged.

I'm going to have a smile on my face for the rest of the week.

(Reports: ManUtd.com, BBC, pix, Soccernet.)

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

12:51 AM - Elsewhere on the web

On football management.
"... I enjoy the wheeling and dealing and the pressure of the job. After all, there are enough people playing Championship Manager and I'm doing the real thing." I wonder just how popular the series is with the pros.

Journal of a seasoned COBRA veteran.
"Who knew that a pro wrestler would be so devastating in combat?"

State of mind: boggled.
What the hell happened before the photo was taken?

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

11:05 PM - Megacannonchester

Chrome Chester: Megacannonchester

A photo of a slightly misconfigured Megacannonchester, a combination of Chrome Chesters Alpha, Beta and Gamma from Bandai's Ultraman Nexus toy line.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

12:13 AM - Elsewhere on the web

Obsessive-Compulsive: the action figure. [via]
"This 5-1/4" (13.3 cm) tall, hard vinyl Obsessive Compulsive Action Figure is worried about whether or not you washed your hands after you used the bathroom."

Guild Wars: Factions preview.
Test-drive the upcoming expansion for free this weekend even if you don't have the original game.

Windows XP Home support extended.
That's a load off.

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

7:33 PM - Elsewhere on the web

Superb Microman custom.
Kanetaka used accessories from a number of different Microman figures and topped it with a fantastic colour scheme.

Titty the elephant.
Be sure to read the description.

µTorrent ver. 1.4 released.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

10:36 PM - Saikyou gattai

Hyper Strike Chester

A photo of Hyper Strike Chester, the combined form of the Chrome Chester vehicles from Bandai's Ultraman Nexus toy line.

MRR joints abound in these vehicles but the interchangeability options are a bit limited. Despite standardised pegs and ports, it's evident from the placement of some pegs that they were designed expressly to fit the ports of specific parts. I had hoped to create some nice fan-modes out of these vehicles and Mugenbine parts but it's easier said than done.

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Monday, January 09, 2006

10:26 PM - Elsewhere on the web

Goto Youki's toy reviews.
Great pictorial reviews with some helpful pointers. I really like his reviews (1, 2) of the interchangeable Ultraman Nexus Chrome Chester vehicles.

The Megatron.
If the name is any indication, it should only begin running when the Autobots gain the upper hand.

My Little Pony: Where are they now?
My Little Twelve-Step Programme.

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

9:59 PM - Heart of sword

Himura Kenshin

A digi-doodle of Himura Kenshin.

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Friday, January 06, 2006

7:36 AM - Elsewhere on the web

LEGO Mindstorms NXT. [via]
"We wanted to create robots with more personality ... We wanted them to go from being more mechanical to more human." It's heartening to see the company collaborating with fans during product development.

WMF vulnerability patch released.
Here's why Microsoft sensibly (if belatedly) decided to release it early.

Windows XP Home users screwed soon.
"For Windows XP Home Edition, there will be no security updates after 12/31/06." But confusingly, Service Pack 3 is tentatively due in the second half of 2007.

Dangerous ideas.
Big thinkers with provocative thoughts.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

10:23 PM - Elsewhere on the web

Doctorow FUDs the PSP.
"... if you buy authorized games to play alongside of it, expect some of them to sneakily re-break your device and lock it out ... buying your games new from Sony is a one-way ticket to tech-support hell." As far as I know, you have to initiate the firmware upgrade yourself and you only have to do that if a game requires it.

WMF vulnerability scope widening.
A more comprehensive third-party hotfix is available. Use it at your own risk. The Microsoft patch is expected January 10. In the meantime, take precautions and back-up your critical data.

Rooney, Rooney.
"... schoolchildren in Britain rate Rooney more famous than Jesus, the Queen and - surely not - David Beckham. Apparently only God beats the 20-year-old from Croxteth for fame." Apart from Rooney's abundant talent, the two things about him that stand out to me are his obvious love for the game and his will.

Pivotlog: web publishing system.
"The first release appeared in June 2001, and subsequent releases are named after Transformers characters ... the current beta version is 1.30 'Rippersnapper' ..."

The epidemic that never was.
The Wired article mentions there was one death from the swine flu and 32 deaths were attributed to the vaccine for it. However, CDC reports 29 deaths were not influenza-related and it wasn't proved the vaccine caused the deaths of three elderly people. Be sure to read how media sensationalism was a part of the problem.

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

5:29 AM - Elsewhere on the web

Lego King Kong.

Adult toy fans in Japan.
"... the number of adults -- mostly men -- spending time and money collecting and often playing with toys is rising." No numbers for the size of the market, unfortunately.

Linux and Windows on the PSP.
You need the 1.0 or 1.5 firmware.

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