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Featured On Cruzine.com

Journal Entry: Thu Sep 30, 2010, 8:50 AM


Hey... my Star Trek Tech shapes were featured on Cruzine.com  www.cruzine.com/2010/06/21/int… First time I've had any of my resources featured someplace other than DA! Many thanks to the site for the love :hug:

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  • Playing: Dragon Age
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Awesome Mac Game Store App

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 28, 2010, 1:28 PM


I just discovered a very awesome app from Aspyr and Game Agent: www.gameagent.com/store/aspyr/…

The app is a iTunes style store for Aspyr games. But it has some cool features that makes it a must have for Mac gamers. The app will automatically scan your system (processor, RAM, graphics card, etc...) then check your system info against the system requirements of every game in the store! If a game isn't compatible for any reason, the app tags it with a warning. When you click on a flagged game for more info, it breaks out all of the game's systems requirements and tell you which part of your system is incompatible with the game. How frigging awesome is that?!?!

And hello Apple... ???? There should be a utility like this built into OS X! I can't even tell you how much time I wasted trying to figure out if Civilization IV was compatible with my computer before I found this app. Just saying... don't get fat and lazy!

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Apologies...

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 27, 2010, 5:37 AM


Apologies to all for the slow replies this week. I was in the hospital for most of the week and didn't have cell or internet access. I think I replied to most of the backlogged messages yesterday. If I missed anyone, do an old man a favor and remind me!

Being in the hospital was not a great situation but it was the motivation *cough... excuse* I needed to justify buying a iPad, PSP or DSi! As much as I love Apple, I'm not getting an iPhone because I have no intention of paying AT&T $60 per month for a basic data plan!


Over and out.

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Unfair Advantage?

Journal Entry: Sun Sep 12, 2010, 2:41 PM


Can anybody name a competitive sport or competitive game / activity (excluding video games) where one player or team is intentionally given large, unfair advantages? There's no right or wrong answer. I'm reading a design book and it indirectly raised this topic.

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  • Playing: Gears of War
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Downloading Flash Videos with Safari

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 22, 2010, 11:25 AM


I'm admittedly web illiterate but I just learned a cool trick. How to download flash videos using Safari in three easy steps:

1 - Hit command + option + A to open the activity window (I didn't know it existed :lol: )

2 - Search the results list for the largest files by size, these are usually the video files. Once you've found the file, just double click it to begin the download.

3 - After the download is complete, find the file on your hard drive. Safari will give it a generic name like "videoplayback". Click on the file once to edit the name and add a .flv file extension at the end. It will tell you adding the extension will change the file type, choose OK and it will change the file icon to a flash file.

That's it! You can view the file in Quicktime if you have the (free) VLC player installed: www.videolan.org/vlc/download-…

Yeah... no more bookmarks!!!

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Red Dead Redemption?

Journal Entry: Sat Aug 7, 2010, 9:54 AM


Anyone playing (or played) Red Dead Redemption?

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  • Playing: Red Dead Redemption
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Bad News for Dragon Age 2

Journal Entry: Sun Jul 18, 2010, 1:52 PM


Despite my total and absolute hatred of all things EA, I thought Dragon Age: Origins was one of few great games last year. In a year filled with over-hyped sequels, it was one of the only games that delivered. It also gave me a small glimmer of hope that a studio owned by EA or Activision could still create great games.

So I was happy when Bioware announced the release date for Dragon Age 2 earlier this month. Then they released some concept wallpapers which made me happier: gameinformer.com/b/news/archiv…

But... I should have known better, after all we are talking about EA. They quickly crushed my brief happiness and hope by announcing they will give DA : O 2 the "Mass Effect 2 treatment" kotaku.com/5585473/dragon-age-… If you're a Dragon Age fan or a RPG fan in general, this is bad... really, really bad news.

The guy who wrote the Kotaku post calls Mass Effect 2 "a contemporary take on the RPG". *cough* Bullshit *cough* They can't gut all of the core RPG elements from the game and argue it's still an RPG. If a Ford Mustang is a muscle car in 2010 but Ford redesigns it as a SUV in 2011, they can't say it's still a muscle car. Because it's not. Mass Effect 2 is not an RPG, it's a shooter that's built and focused on difficulty and combat. It's designed to attract FPS / multiplayer fans. Even worse, EA also cut their costs by supplying half the content of the first game. Completely sleazy on all fronts.

So what does this mean for Dragon Age 2? In short, it means kiss all the things you liked or loved about Dragon Age goodbye. EA cut 31 explorable worlds and environments, 285 types of armor, 47 different weapons and 13 types of ammo from Mass Effect 1 to 2. Did they also cut the price accordingly? Nooooo...... of course not. So expect more of the same when Dragon Age 2 releases. As much as I loved the first game, I want nothing to do with the sequel.

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Cool Flickr Stock Site

Journal Entry: Thu Jul 8, 2010, 5:27 AM


Just found this really cool site that allows you to search Flickr by the color of the image! And... it only returns images with a Creative Commons license! Very cool! labs.ideeinc.com/multicolr/

There's a color palette on the right, click the color you want to search and the site goes to work. Just make sure you check the CC license for usage rules for each image. It's so simple even a republican could do it! :lol:

Enjoy :)

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OS X Spyware

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 7, 2010, 6:39 AM


Here's some disturbing news... something or somebody has attempted to access my Mac remotely twice in the last two days. Luckily, unlike most Mac users I have security software installed. Yeah for me! The software monitors and blocks all incoming and outgoing network connections unless I approve them. Unfortunately this means something has found backdoor access through one of the connections I've approved, I just don't know which. They've managed to open the security software and tried to create a new approved connection rule. The software is password protected and I think it's stopping them. Both times I've found the software open showing the "unapproved rules" window. Both times it was blank so I can't see where it's trying to connect to.

I'm pretty sure I know who is behind this. I'm almost certain somebody I had the misfortune of knowing had a keystroke monitor installed on my computer a few years ago. It's invisible to the computer admin, so I can't find it on the hard drive. I can't do a clean install to remove because I don't have all of the original disks for half the stuff on the computer. It's pointless to backup the hard drive to reinstall the system since a backup will include the spyware app. I think I've managed contain it using the system monitor and the security software. My guess is they are trying to open a connection so the spyware can upload the stolen info again.

I really need to find a way to find and delete this thing once and for all. If anyone has suggestions, I'm all ears! And Mac users beware, your computers are not as secure as you may think!

***Special message to any gypsy con artists who may be reading this: If I unlock it and trace it back to you or your running group friend who installed it... I won't sleep until your fat hairy ass is in jail where it belongs.

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Xbox 100 Dollar Trade In Offer

Journal Entry: Tue Jun 22, 2010, 6:56 AM


Here's another reason why I love GameStop: they're offering a $100 (USD) trade in bonus if you trade in an old 360 towards the purchase of the new 360 Slim. And they're offering additional trade in bonuses for accessories like hard drives, controllers and wireless adapters.  www.gamestop.com/gs/landing/xb… If you trade in a console, 20 gb hard drive and controller, you'll receive a $155 credit. The new consoles have built in wi-fi, so if you have a wireless adapter you can trade it in and get an additional $40 - $50 credit! Which means you can buy the new console at almost half price! The only requirement is the trade in equipment must be in working condition and the credits must be applied towards the a new console. But still... a pretty sweet deal. This is something MS should do as an apology to every 360 owner they've ripped off since 2005. But as usual, GameStop is doing more to support the gaming community than the gaming industry itself.

Now personally... I've had enough of Microsoft and their POS 360. When my unit dies, the third I've owned since 2007, I'm finished. I will not replace it. But if you enjoy repeatedly being screwed by a mega-corporation, take advantage of the offer before it expires. Here's why: When you buy a 360, the death clock starts ticking. The console is going to fail, question is will it happen before or after the warranty expires? If you're ahem... "lucky", it will fail with a RROD or E-74 error while under warranty. MS will repair RROD and E-74 errors free of charge then extend the warranty for an additional 2 years. But read the fine print... they only extend the warranty for RROD and E-74 failures. Nothing else is covered meaning you'll pay to repair any other problems. Also, after the first failure and repair get use to sending the console back to MS for repairs every 6 to 9 months. But most consoles die after the warranty expires and when they do, MS says "f*** off". They accept no responsibility for any failures, including a RROD and E-74 error.... period. This leaves you two options. Either ship the console to MS (at your expense) and pay them $100 to repair a product they freely admit is defective. Or replace the dead unit with a new one. So it will cost you at least $100 every 6 to 9 months or a minimum of $250 for a replacement arcade console. Can you feel the love?

My advice? If you want to keep playing 360 games, take advantage of the GameStop offer if you can. Even if your console is only a few weeks or months old. Look at it this way... one way or the other, you're going to spend at least $100 on your console in the next 12 to 18 moths. You might as well do it now under much more favorable terms. You'll get a new and slightly improved console along with a new 12 month warranty. You're still getting screwed but the trade in bonus makes it slightly more tolerable. Sort of like a dominatrix kissing you on the ass right before she slams it with a paddle ;)

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Sculpted Prims Anyone?

Journal Entry: Thu Jun 17, 2010, 6:39 AM


Shout out to my 3d modeling friends.... does anybody have experience creating and texturing sculpted prims for OpenSim worlds like Second Life? The learning curve is way too steep for me to attempt it myself. I'm trying to start a SL business and could use some help or advice.

Thanks!

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Meesa Gonna Be Very Very Rich!

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 11, 2010, 5:52 AM


Received another Nigerian scam message this morning. Hilarious!:

FFrom: Ambassador Mankama Desmond                               10th June 2010

Dear Sir/Ma.

I am Ambassador Mankama Desmond, The Personal Legal Adviser to
late president Umaru Musa Yar-adua on foreign affairs who died and
was buried according to Islamic law on 5th of May 2010 after a long
protracted illness. I have contacted you to assist me secure the sum
of Ten Point Five Million United State Dollars ($10,500,000) which he
deposited with a commercial bank in Oversea  for 2011 presidential
campaign election before he died on the above date mentioned.

However, I want this transaction to be a secret between you and I
so that the Federal Government of Nigeria or any of the family
member will not know about it. As a matter of fact I must tell you
that all the vital information's of the bank where the fund was
deposited will be giving to you by me. I will urgently need your
advice on investment options where we can invest this money in
your country. Our sharing term and condition shall be discuses
as soon as I hear from you. Finally, I would want you to forward
to me the below information if you are interested please.

1) Your Full Name
2) Your Contact Address and Cell Phone Number.

I will be looking forward to hearing from you.

Remain Bless.

Ambassador  Mankama Desmond

It would be wrong for me to accept so much money when others need it so much more than I. So....  I replied and said my name is Tony Hayward and I gave him the address and phone # of BP's London headquarters. I'm sure Tony will call to thank me soon. You know me.... always thinking of others! :devilish:

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Cool Painting Sites

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 4, 2010, 9:55 AM


Random stuff. Discovered two very cool sites where you can paint with flames or fluid in a java app. then save out the painting. Definitely worth checking out. The creator also has a bunch of other java apps listed under "experiments" at the top of the page. Some cool stuff there also but I don't think the other apps let you save a file.  

Flame painting - www.escapemotions.com/experime…
Fluid painting - www.escapemotions.com/experime…
Experiments - www.escapemotions.com/experime…

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DA Is Deleting My Files!

Journal Entry: Tue May 11, 2010, 9:30 AM


I've been having a random problem with DA and my PS shape files and it's getting really annoying. All of the shapes are photoshop files with a csh extension. The site recognizes them when I upload them but after a couple months, the site either randomly deletes the file or changes the file extension to .txt. Then I don't find out about it until somebody leaves me a note saying they couldn't download the file. Really, really annoying!

Anyone else experience this problem?

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Ironman 2 Promo Site

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 24, 2010, 10:53 AM


I was happy to learn the LG / Iroman 2 promo site used my Ironman HUD shapes Ironman HUD Vector Shapes by Retoucher07030 in the site's design! Its cool to see them animated, I really need to learn Flash :lol:

He said the site is a work in progress but it's gone live. Check it out: www.lgironman2.com/ph/index_ph…

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  • Playing: Civilization Revolution
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Usage Problem Resolved!

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 17, 2010, 11:02 AM


I'm happy to report the usage problem I wrote about in my last journal has been resolved. As I said, the permission problem was unintentional. After I contacted them, they were very fair and resolved the matter quickly which I greatly appreciate.

So now that it's really official, you can see my image on the cover of the Polish edition of Blue Bloods, written by NY Times best selling author Melissa de la Cruz - www.fanpop.com/spots/the-blue-… I wish all involved with the book the best of luck!

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Permission For Commercial Use

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 13, 2010, 1:02 PM


I can't go into details but I just learned one of my stock images was used in a fairly large commercial project without my knowledge. While the member who used it contacted me to request permission, they never identified the company they represented or said the image would be used by them for a large commercial project. I thought I'd received a permission request for a personal project. I had absolutely no idea how they'd used the image until another member saw the printed piece and asked me about it. After speaking to people involved, I don't think they intended to deceive me. But they also didn't have legal rights to use the image for this project. By not disclosing the facts, the permission I granted was void.

So its time for us to review the rules....

I have one rule on all of my resources... no commercial use without permission. Commercial use means for-profit projects beyond selling DA prints. I specifically use this rule to prevent businesses and corporations from using them commercially. Which is why I place a Creative Commons license on everything. I often grant permission to use my resources, free of charge, in small commercial projects or projects for charities and schools. But you still need to ask and clearly provide all the facts about the intended use.

If I do give permission, it's solely based on the information you supplied. If you exclude vital information and details, intentionally or not, any permission granted becomes null and void. If you use a resource for any purpose which wasn't specifically agreed to in advance, you're violating the copyright and the Creative Commons license... period. Translation: If you're intentionally vague because you think I won't see or find out about the actual use, think again. This violation took place thousands of miles away in another country. It was less than a month before someone told me about it.

If you're a business owner, do not use your personal account to contact members about using their art for commercial projects.  Create a separate DA account for your business and clearly label it as such. It's your responsibility to identify yourself and to supply full details about the project. Including real names, real addresses and phone numbers. Deviant Art's informal environment is not an excuse for you to discard business etiquette. If you're a freelance artist who's contacting me on behalf of a client, for the love of god protect yourself! Clearly identify yourself and the client, by name. If you don't and your client is a douche bag (be honest... most are), they can legally place the blame on you.

That's it until the next time someone finds a new and original way to bend the rules!

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Bad Company 2 Hacked To Death

Journal Entry: Sun Mar 21, 2010, 12:07 PM


I've pretty much sworn off multiplayer games because of the widespread hacking. They are all compromised, doesn't matter if you're on a PC or console and the problem is 1,000 times worse than anyone wants to admit. So I stick to single player campaigns now, which I intended to do with Bad Company 2. But I was bored and made the mistake of playing BC 2 multiplayer. OMFG.

This has to be the most hacked game in Xbox Live history. It makes MW 2 looks like a Sunday school picnic. It's so blatant and totally out of control. I'm saying most of the people playing are hacking, not just some. Truly unbelievable. In  48 hours of play I've watched people disappear right in front of me, tanks disappear and reappear in a different locations while under fire, players who constantly spawn in behind other players in non-spawn locations and the standard endless parade of aimbots, wall hacks, charms, ESP hacks, speed hacks, health hacks, etc...

But last night I witnessed the most unbelievable hack ever. I still can't believe it. I'm hiding in a bush near the edge of a small cliff. I was there for a bit so nobody knew I was there. Then this guy literally just appears directly in front of me. Like magic... poof, he's a wizard. About a foot away with his back to me. I waited a second to see if anyone else was there and then I tried to knife him. Before the knife could hit him (about a half second) he disappeared. Again.... poof. Then as the knife is passing through air where he was, I see him reappear on a road directly below me, now facing me with gun raised and shooting... as he appeared. It was instantaneous. It happened so fast I was dead before the knife animation finished. I sat there with my jaw hanging open then turned off the game and went to bed. Tomorrow the game goes back to Game Stop. If I had the energy I'd fight EA for a full refund, but I don't. BTW... This clown's XBL gamer tag is About19Snipers. If you have have misfortune of ending up in any on-line matches with him, file a complaint against him.  

This is the reason why so many people want nothing to do with multiplayer. The hackers are ready to cheat the day a game releases. The gaming industry along with Microsoft and Sony seem powerless to stop them so they instead downplay the problem and deny that it's serious.

For anyone who's interested, here's the evidence that BC 2 is hacked to hell. All of this is easily found with a Google search, something EA, Activision and Microsoft seem incapable of doing. Here's two sites selling the hacks: www.fpscheats.com/topic76771.h… www.artificialaiming.net/forum… and here are videos of their hacks and others like them in action: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQxjOx… www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rqTwD… www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9mQlm…
www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL3z1d…

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  • Playing: Bad Company 2
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Storm Damage and Game Stop

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 16, 2010, 6:32 AM


The NJ / NY area got slammed by a nor'easter over the weekend and it was pretty bad. I'll post a couple of stock photos of the damage today. Tuesday will be day 3 living with only partial power to the house, no refrigerator, heat or hot water. The only room, luckily, that still has power is where my computer, TV and xbox are set up. I can live without the refrigerator but I couldn't live without my computer and xbox! Still no sign of the repair crews yet so I may not have full power back until the end of the week. Oy.  

I did make it to Game Stop before the storm and as usual I walked out a happy camper. I went to buy Bad Company 2 which is $60 full price. They had a Edge card member promotion last week and offered double the price for trade in's. So I traded in Mass Effect 2, Assassin's Creed 2 and Fallout 3. All of which I'd played to death and had no reason keep. With the trade in credit, I got Bad Company 2 for free plus a $12 credit to my Edge card. I started playing the game around 5 p.m. and had finished the entire single player campaign by 1 a.m. So that $60 price tag... was a total rip off. If I had actually paid for the game, I'd be pretty pissed. But all it cost was a couple games that had been collecting dust. Now this week... I'll trade in BC 2 and with this trade in plus the $12 credit from last week, I can get the Dragon Age Awakenings expansion pack for free too!  

The people who slam Game Stop just don't get it. Via trade in's, I rarely pay more than $25 or $30 for new titles. If I was forced to pay $60 for every game, I'd only buy 2 or 3 a year. The trade in credits allow me to buy games I otherwise wouldn't have the budget to play. Which in turn leads to DLC sales for the game developers and Microsoft. That fact is conveniently excluded in all the anti-used game propaganda published by the gaming industry. My only problem with Game Stop is I wish they'd pay the employees more, I know they're completely underpaid and over worked. They are always friendly and extremely knowledgeable, they deserve better!

  • Mood: Neutral
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  • Playing: Bad Company 2
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Dragon Age & DA Improvements

Journal Entry: Mon Feb 22, 2010, 11:28 AM


I got so frustrated and pissed off with Mass Effect 2 last week that I just stopped playing it. Couldn't even make it through one replay. I really had to fight off the urge to trade it in. But I instead just put it away and finally picked up a copy of  Dragon Age Origins. Don't know why I risked buying another Bioware / EA game after they butt raped me on ME: 2. But DA: O got pretty good user reviews so I gave it a try.

It's surprisingly good so far. Well... except for a major bug that cost me 7 hours of game play! The bug transported and locked me in a room I shouldn't have been able to access then it auto-saved after it did it. I was stuck with no possible way out. I checked some forums and it was indeed a bug. I had to revert back to a save from the night before. Argh! I was lucky I even had that save, if I didn't I would have been forced to restart the game from the beginning. I just don't understand how stuff like that doesn't get caught in testing or why they haven't patched it since. But in general the game is keeping me entertained and not pissing me off like ME:2. So it's worth playing.

And... I don't know when DA last updated the site, but I totally love the new account feature that groups all new deviations from a member into one preview box! Makes life so much easier. I watch so many damn people that sometimes I have hundreds of new deviation previews in my inbox. Now I can quickly sort through them. Yeah... DA finally got something right :thumbsup:

  • Mood: Neutral
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  • Reading: Your journal!
  • Watching: Nada
  • Playing: Dragon Age: Origins
  • Eating: Nada
  • Drinking: Diet Coke