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FEATURED VOXPOP oneshotstop
Call of Duty will never be the same
By oneshotstop
Posted on 07/28/14
       We've all been there. Everyone remembers that mission. You and your partner are climbing up the mountains in the snow, striving to pull some slick clandestine operation about getting some intel on a bad guy, or something similar (because let's face...

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A Gamer without Games
Posted on Wednesday, November 28 2007 @ 17:42:44 Eastern

I'm sure the majority of you are aware about my Xbox 360 woes, they've got more woeful. See when I sent my precious console to the repair centre on the 1st of November I figured they'd get it, replace it, send it back. The bastards* didn't do that, instead of sending it to my university address as I instructed on the repair request form they sent it to the registered address, despite what the person on the phone told me. The outcome of this unfortunate turn of events is that my console has been returned to my home address, while it is safe and sound it's precisely *checks Google maps* 92.2 miles away from me. NOT MUCH GOOD! So I could take a train back home for the weekend but that's at least £40 return off the top of my head, I could get my parents to send it up to me but it's a heavy package and unfair to burden my parents with both the cost and time and effort it would take to send it so I'm stuck with undesirable option 3, ride it out for almost a month until I go home for the holidays.

So what's it like being a gamer with nothing to game on? It's horrific, I borrowed a flatmate's PSP but without games I haven't already played on PS2 it's not much good so right now I'm crying out for some mild relief from the stresses of uni, I always knew gaming was a stress reliever but damn, I didn't realise it was such a [i]good[/i] one. In truth time goes by without thinking of gaming but whenever the work stacks up I find myself longing for a bit of distraction. Long story short? I'm looking forward to the holidays slightly more than usual now.

*Disclaimer - the good people at Microsoft are not bastards, they are hard working people who may or may not know how to follow instructions.

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Futurama movie leaked
Posted on Tuesday, November 20 2007 @ 16:03:50 Eastern

Yep, the whole film has been leaked and is making its way across the interwebs as I type this a whole seven days before it even gets to the cinema, and it's DVD quality! I haven't seen it myself, I'm tempted to just wait until I can see it in enormo-vision at the cinema. That isn't what this blog is about though, it's more a precursor to the true topic of piracy.

Piracy is a pretty big thing, there are countless torrent sites full of pirated material and relatively few that contain only legitimate large files intended for legal distribution. There is an 'internet underground' replete with IRC channels, torrents and sod knows what else where, if you know what you're doing, you can find pretty much whatever you want. I truly have no idea how these things start and don't have a clue how films like Futurama can get leaked so quickly but is it a good or bad thing? Moreover why does it happen?

Arguably there has always been piracy, even back in the Commodore 64 days, but it's been recently that a big furore has been made of the evils of piracy and how those who partake in the practice bring down the artists who make the music/movies/games. Piracy has been blamed on the rise in price for these items, because of the sales lost to piracy the legitimate customers have to pay extra so the creators get their bags of cash. Piracy is responsible for DRM, the scourge of legitimate users everywhere. But is piracy the evil it's made out to be, or is it a reaction to tighter and more unreasonable restrictions made by media giants?

I'm here to argue that it's both. I'm definitely no proponent of heavy piracy, I feel that artists, whether they're making music, film or games, deserve to be paid for their efforts (though perhaps not the millions that some stars make). But at the same time I vehemently disagree with the pricing strategy of some things. Sure, the record label/publisher needs to get reimbursed and paid but just how much of the consumer's money goes to the people responsible for creating the item they're buying? I'm guessing if you drop a few middlemen you could drop the price and still make a decent profit. People download because they don't want to pay ridiculous prices, for instance the Dirty Sanchez movie in a certain high street retailer cost about £18! For you non-English people just keep in mind that normally DVDs cost about £10, even brand new DVDs are around £13. The only reason I bought it was because I found it in an awesome deal. Anyway, rising prices merely encourage people who would buy things at a reasonable price to download them for free.

As for DRM, what an incredibly flawed concept! Let's get this straight, you buy an album from a shop and you want to put it on your computer, your laptop, your iPod and copy it to a backup disc but wait! You can't because DRM only lets you copy a song a certain number of times. Obviously this is intended to limit the amount of copies a person can make so they can't just buy one album and then sell numerous copies to numerous people but anyone bent on making their business in piracy is going to manage it anyway, all DRM does is limit functionality for law abiding people who actually buy the product.

So do these flaws mean we shouldn't attempt to crack down on piracy? No, not at all, but rather than attempting to directly screw over the pirates (which only screws over the consumer) why not attempt to make the prospect of legitimately purchasing a product more appealing? I know I'd buy things from the iTunes music store if I could use them with another audio player and I'd gladly buy films from the various websites there are if it was an easier process and they didn't have so many stupid restrictions. Long story short there will always be piracy but the tactics the conglomerates are using now do nothing but harm the regular, Joe Bloggs Consumer.

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No 360 = no gaming
Posted on Friday, November 9 2007 @ 14:22:15 Eastern

So my 360 packed in late last month while playing skate. The game stalled so I turned the console off and on and figured that would be it but I got the dreaded red rings of death. The worst one, the panic that grips you at that moment is quite unlike any other, it's the "oh **** my quite expensive console has gone down the crapper" panic but after the initial despair passes an unusual calm washes over you, once you realise it's happened and you need to get things sorted, kind of like the eye of the storm it passes and depression takes hold. The realisation that gaming is going downhill for a month or so, luckily that feeling isn't accompanied with the stress of having to pay for postage and repair due to the extended warranty but there is a slight amount of stress in having to buy suitable packaging and get a UPS pick up sorted. It took me about a week to get the electronic stamp, packaging and pick up all sorted (my slowness, not UPS or Microsoft) and then another day for the precious shipment to reach the grasp of the mothership. Now all I have to do is to wait for them to fix the machine and then be there ready and waiting for my baby to be delivered back to me. Until then I've borrowed a friend's PSP, good stuff? Well not really, there's only three games he's got that I haven't already completed on PS2, one I'm not interested in because it's too much like games I have completed, one I've nearly finished anyway and one I can't find motivation for, it's tempted me to drop the 130 notes to get a PSP myself but I guess it would be better to just tough it out without gaming for a bit and see if PSPs are reduced during the lead up to Christmas. So everyone feel a little sorry for me, the closest I'm going to get to real gaming is dipping into GTA2 which I downloaded earlier today and I've already completed that!

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Slow cashiers
Posted on Saturday, November 3 2007 @ 13:29:17 Eastern

So I\'m in Iceland today, I\'ve got three deliveries waiting for me back at my flat (two separate orders that just happened to arrive on the same day) and all I want to do is get my food and get back because I\'m god damn starving. So I spent about f...   read more...

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It could be worse I suppose
Posted on Tuesday, October 30 2007 @ 13:54:56 Eastern

From wimp.com

Hi Sue,

Just another note from your bottom-dwelling brother. Last week I had bad day at the office. I know you\'ve been feeling down lately at work, so I thought I would share my dilemma wi...   read more...

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Guitar Hero III
Posted on Wednesday, October 24 2007 @ 08:39:53 Eastern

I don't know if you all know but the Guitar Hero III demo has been released on Xbox Live. After playing three songs on Expert I can say it still retains the GH charm but has obviously undergone a graphical overhaul with textures appearing smoother an...   read more...

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Construction works
Posted on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 09:53:13 Eastern

A sure sign to tell a construction project is running behind schedule = the workers come in on Sunday mornings. My room has the pleasure of overlooking a rather large construction and every day of the week there is some activity for at least some of ...   read more...

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Weird sleep patterns
Posted on Saturday, October 20 2007 @ 21:56:34 Eastern

It's 3am and I'm just about to go to bed. It's Sunday tomorrow and I don't have to go out until about 2pm so it's not a big deal but I've gradually manoeuvred myself into this odd wake/sleep pattern of waking up halfway through the day and going to s...   read more...

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Reviews
Posted on Thursday, October 18 2007 @ 08:16:16 Eastern

What review shall I write next? I have a reading week coming up which, spectacularly, means all I have to do is research and a literature review so I'll hopefully have some time on my hands that can be filled with something other than work. I've boug...   read more...

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Morning starts
Posted on Wednesday, October 17 2007 @ 06:45:20 Eastern

So I wake up this morning at 7:20 thanks to my alarm clock and then again at 7:30 (I know what I'm like so I set at least two alarms), I'm thinking to myself "it's too early to get up, I can get another fifteen minutes in and still be at my lect...   read more...

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