Sunday, April 30, 2006

Can the Gamecube do this?

So, I've discovered yet another reason why PC games are better than console games. Behold, the PhysX processor. For a taste of what good physics in a game looks like, check out the "short" CellFactor trailer or the longer one. There is also a video demonstrating the physics of a ball smashing through some blocks here. The music in all the videos is pretty good too.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Netflix you off.

I like Netflix (or the concept at least) but the throttling is starting to drive me crazy. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check this out.

When you first sign up, they send you movies faster than you can imagine. After your free trial, or your first month or so, they start to slow down the turnaround time. Instead of having a 1 day turnaround, we now get almost a 1 week turnaround. Oi. There is also some bizarre 'glitch' (the best word I can think to descibe it) that they haven't fixed for months now. It deals with Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume 4. I put the 2 disk series in my queue months ago. I received the first disk, watched it, and returned it. Then I waited for the second disk. Initially it said that there was a "very long wait" for the disk, which is unusual for anything but the first disk in a series. Then after about a month of seeing the availability set at "very long wait" it switched to "unknown" and has been there ever since. It seems like they lost the one copy they had of the second disk and refused to purchase another set. In the words of GOB, Comeon!

There are alternatives to Netflix. Two that caught my attention are Peerflix and Intelliflix. I also have to mention that I independently came up with the idea of a Peerflix-style website. Then I looked online and saw that it already existed. Damn. I was going to generate revenue for my "Peerflix" through advertising rather than charging a $0.99 fee though. I also independently came up with the idea of a barcode scanning microwave that will scan your box of food and set the correct time and power for you. Unfortunately, that already exists too. Damn.

Anyway, the biggest reason I don't switch to another Netflix-type service is because I have just over 900 movie ratings built up on Netflix. That took a long time to do and I'd hate to lose that. I also like that you can have Netflix Friends, where friends can see each other's ratings and queue.

Netflix is still cheaper per movie than going to a video store. The selection is better too, though not as good as Intelliflix and nowhere near as good as Peerflix. Also, there is a way to get around Netflix's delays. If you are tired of waiting for a movie, you can claim that it's missing in the mail and they will immediately send you another one or the next movie in your queue. The Netflix website says that if you do that often enough though, your account will be put under review... whatever that means.

On a lighter note, I happened to come across this quote:

"I saw a lady on TV, she was born without arms. She was born with her hands attached to her shoulders. And that’s sad. But then they said, ‘Lola does not know the meaning of the word can’t.’ And that to me is actually kinda worse in a way. Not only does she not have arms, but she doesn’t understand simple contractions." - Mitch Hedberg


On May 5, I checked my Netflix queue again and the release date of disk 2 of Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume 4 has finally been changed from 'unknown' to May 16. It's about bloody time.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Maaaaaan... Republicans are some sneaky people. I guess that's true about most politicians, but Republicans are just terrible. You might want to peruse this article before continuing on.

So, now the Republicans in congress are trying to get the Alaska drilling legislation pushed through by attaching a $100 "rebate check" to the US taxpayer to "offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline." They are playing off of the greed of Joe Six-pack, the average American. Who wouldn't want a "free" $100?! Truth be told, I want a $100 too, but how long will that $100 really last? If you use that for gas, it might fill 2 or 3 tanks. Then what? Are we out of the woods? Are 2 free tanks of gasoline going to last everyone through the summer? Nope.

It seems to me that the Republicans are just trying to buy support for the bill from the average American. They couldn't get the Alaska drilling passed before, so now that the price of gas went up, they are trying a new strategy. When the Democrats oppose it, as they should, they are going to look like the bad guys because it'll seem like they don't want to give the taxpayers any money. Touche.

W even scares Ted.

Spidey Nooooooo!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Ragdoll Physics

I just have to mention that Half Life 2 is probably my all-time favorite game. The graphics, storyline, and physics in this game is just amazing. What could be better than a physicist leading a rebellion against extra-dimensional conquerors?

Here's a picture of some of the Gestapo-esque oppressors in the game:

This is just a really cool picture. The graphics in the game are exactly as seen in the picture:

On July 1st, Valve is coming out with the first expansion pack to HL2. It's called Half Life 2: Episode 1 (although, I think Half Life 2: Aftermath was a better name). I'm really excited. The graphics look even better. I ended up pre-ordering it for $12 on a while ago because I new that it would soon go up to $20. From what I've heard though, the expansion pack won't take long to complete and Valve is already working on a second expansion pack. I hope they are also developing HL3 as well.

Anyway, here's a link to the HL2:E1 website. There's a game trailer and some cool screen shots. Here's a sample:

Oh yeah, if you want to see what ragdoll physics looks like, George Bush can show you here.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Look what we did this weekend.

Yesterday Becky, Cathy, Mike, and I went to the 2006 AMA Superbike Challenge at the Barber Motorsports Complex. The one thing I know I'll always remember about this day is hearing the difference between a Buell, Ducati, and every other motorcycle that was racing. That was pretty cool.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Blog 1.

Welcome to my blog. It's exciting so far, isn't it?