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3161  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [Book] The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins on: September 23, 2009, 02:44:52 AM
I don't normally recommend books but this one has really drawn me in.  It's listed as a Young Adult novel, but the premise is pretty hardcore.  Every year, 2 "tributes" (a boy and a girl) from 12 districts are randomly chosen in a lottery to participate in a Survivor-esque televised game.  The catch is it's truly last man standing, and they are meant to kill each other.  The other catch is the age you can get chosen starts at 12, so it's a little more disturbing than the Running Man or the Condemned movie.  The protaganist is a 16yo girl.

I'm not done with the book yet but so far it's been incredibly engrossing.  I'm finding myself enjoying the more simple writing styles of some of these young adult books (Harry Potter and Twilight in particular) lately.  While it's not always as satisfying or "rich" from a literary point of view, the books can be hard to put down and the plotting and flow can be much better. 

Anyway, curious if anyone else has read this.  Also curious if you have kids, would you allow them to read something like this and at what age.  I'm considering whether to recommend it to my niece who is 14.
3162  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion Open Beta starts September 6th on: September 23, 2009, 02:18:39 AM

Quote from: jersoc on September 23, 2009, 02:14:21 AM

Kudos to NCsoft on the non-shitty case!

Yeah I really like the box this came in.  And also the code that allows you to give wings to your Guild Wars characters.  The waiting in q screen has nice graphics and music too.  Those things are about worth the $50, aren't they?
3163  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Fallen Earth launches today on: September 23, 2009, 01:54:10 AM
Kind of a poor choice of launch day against Halo ODST and Aion.  Maybe they should have held it another few weeks.
3164  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion Open Beta starts September 6th on: September 23, 2009, 01:51:28 AM

Quote from: vizionblind on September 23, 2009, 12:19:16 AM


Cute song, cute boy!  Thanks for the link.

Should I bother installing if I'm just going to end up waiting in a q?
3165  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heroes Season Four details leaking out on: September 22, 2009, 09:36:44 PM
Not a word on the premiere?  Was it that bad?

I actually fell asleep somewhere in the middle of it so I will reserve judgment until I have fully watched the second part. 
3166  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Reviews on: September 21, 2009, 11:25:34 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on September 21, 2009, 09:35:03 PM

I picked this up used from Gamestop over the weekend and I'm deciding whether to keep it.

What's the difficulty like?  I started a game on normal and found it pretty easy.  But of course the beginning part's gonna be easy.  I started again on hard and the beginning, again, is pretty easy, but I don't want it to get too hard and frustrating later on.

Also, what's the deal with the special conditions you have to complete for each character to get their extra costumes, etc.?  Is it listed somewhere what you have to do, or how's that work?

I'm a pretty mediocre console game player, and I've found the game fairly challenging on Normal difficulty.  Well, really only the boss battles have been challenging.  Thus far I've been able to get through them, but some took a couple of trials, or swapping out of heroes to get it done.  Some of them I had a bit of trouble figuring out what the game wanted me to do, which was kind of frustrating but also kind of fun/challenging.  The announcer guy spouts off some clues at times, but I couldn't understand him so mostly I kept mashing buttons until I'd find some weakness.  Some of the bosses I thought were interesting in that if you didn't hear the announcer, and didn't know the character, you may be confused as to how to beat them.

Spoiler for Hiden:
For instance, Bishop.  He absorbs energy attacks, so you're best bet is to go all melee on him.  But I can imagine someone unfamiliar with the comic being confused at what to do against him.  I also had problems with Yellowjacket/Giant Man.  Took me a while to figure out I was supposed to attack his arms and use my fusion attacks.

I don't know what all the special conditions are, but some they tell you very clearly, like "Kill 50 bad guys with Storm" to unlock Storm's alternate costume...
3167  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion Open Beta starts September 6th on: September 21, 2009, 11:18:12 PM

Quote from: YellowKing on September 21, 2009, 08:33:12 PM

I firmly believe 95% of all "grind" complaints are self-inflicted.

I played EQ1 for years, with no quest XP whatsoever, and I hardly ever felt like I was "grinding." Why? Because I was socializing with my guild, having fun exploring, etc.

I'm so sick of the no-attention-span 12-year olds that think any amount of effort required to level in an MMO constitutes a "grind." MMOs, by their very nature, require time to level. That's what an RPG is - the journey of a character going from weakling to hero. You either get that or you don't. If you don't, stop playing MMOs and go play shooters or strategy titles where there is no level advancement.

It's not a *(&$(#*@(#$*& race. Chill out, explore the world, do some crafting, talk to your buddies, have fun living in a virtual world, and stop focusing on getting from A to Z in the shortest amount of time possible.

I think you're over-simplifying it YK.  Time is not necessarily the only issue, it's the quality of the time you spend.  If as you say, you can "chill out", explore, craft, do quests, and generally not concern yourself with levelling - but all the while still making progress in the world, that's great.  If the gameplay mandates you kill 100 of the same mob in the same 2 spots with little to no variation in how you do it (and no other choices in making "progress"), then it's pretty much a grind no matter how you slice it.  Maybe you're grinding with your friends so it's still fun (DAOC was my fun-grind game), but it's still grinding.  

BTW I'm not saying Aion was like this for me, as it had a decent quest structure and an interesting "epic" storyline to make it more than just quests for the sake of questing.  I just felt less anticipation than I'd like (not enough class or item variation) and I wasn't sure (still not sure) what I was supposed to be looking forward to down the road.  

I'm still on the fence - I have the game on pre-order sitting at Gamestop but I can't decide if I should pick it up or not.  Maybe I should wait a couple more days for the queue times to die down.
3168  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dollhouse: Epitaph One on: September 21, 2009, 08:34:38 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on September 21, 2009, 02:36:07 AM

okay Disarm...where the heck were they going by climbing up at the end?

I thought they were just climbing to the top office where the main lady hangs out just to get out of the main complex and get the journey started...

Anyway, just watched it last night, along with the original premiere "Echo" and was blown away.  Some very nice sci-fi elements and though the premiere wasn't great, I loved seeing the seeds sown for Epitaph One in that very first episode.  Makes you wonder just how good the series could have been had they allowed Joss to play it out as he had intended, and realize it as a more hardcore sci-fi show.  Hopefully they will give him more creative free reign in season 2, all the buzz I've read on it so far has been much more positive.  Now if they can just get some viewers  icon_biggrin
3169  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion Open Beta starts September 6th on: September 21, 2009, 08:30:24 PM
Has anyone in beta had significant experience playing the PvPvE content post 25?  I'm really curious as to just how good it is (or isn't), or at least at how it stands apart from WoW/WAR, etc.
3170  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion Open Beta starts September 6th on: September 21, 2009, 06:38:30 PM

Quote from: Ridah on September 21, 2009, 04:35:06 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on September 21, 2009, 02:24:22 PM

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/aion-the-tower-of-eternity-review

Oh that's just pathetic.  Who in their right mind thinks that review is accurate?!  I played for more than a week in beta as well, but you don't see me tossing a review before the game even launches.   Just stupid...

I read the review, I think he was on point about most of it but I don't understand his labeling of the leveling portion (basically up to the 30 level cap in the beta) as a grind. It's no more of a grid than WoW, or any other MMO for that matter. And he constantly blurts out his combination of button presses for combat, "2,2,5,3,4,5,2" calling it repetitive... I imagine he absolutely hated Batman: "A,A,B,A,A,A,B,A,A,A,B" or Halo 3: "RT........RB, RT.........RB, X, RT.......RB".

I consider it a grind in an MMO at the point in time I start to look at the xp bar regularly.  At that point to me the game portion has lost it's edge enough that I am (too) focused on just moving on and hitting the next level, and thus it starts to feel like a "grind."  If I am happily questing along (or PvPing or whatever) and not paying attention to the xp bar, that's great.  If I am calculating how much xp I get per kill and then how many more kills it will take to level, that's bad.  Unfortunately, from the limited time I played in beta, I'd have to agree that this game feels like a grind much sooner than some of the other more recent MMOs, including WoW.  In fact I started feeling it around level 8ish, which I felt did not bode well for the future.  In massive contrast, I've been playing Marvel UA2 for quite a few hours now, most my team is around level 18ish, and I still don't even know where the xp bar is - to me personally that's a great design.  

As for the review, generally I'd agree that MMOs should not be "reviewed" until at least a full month in release.  However in this case the guy does specifically say they will re-review after some time so even though he calls it a review, it's clearly more of a first impression, or impressions until level 30ish, and I thought it gave a decent (and realistic) idea of what to expect in the first 20 or so levels.
3171  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Glee on: September 17, 2009, 08:43:47 PM
Ep 3 focused a bit too heavily on the teacher and not enough on the Glee kids IMHO, but still was a good one.  In only 3 episodes, our teacher has waffled on his group twice already?  I think this plot would have been better suited later in the series, but oh well.  Cute cameo by Josh Groban, and some winning lines by Jane Lynch and Stephen Toblowsky (sp?).  The Beyonce (?) window smash song was pretty slick, as was the Mercy number.  Still nothing that has grabbed me from the core cast as much as Don't Stop Believing did, but that might be unfair since it was such a surprise and now expectations are different.  As before I'll likely have to watch the episode a second time for a fairer assessment.
3172  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] More(bid) to Love on: September 17, 2009, 08:08:29 PM
Just a closure on this old topic.  The show ended this week with a 2 hour finale worthy of any dating show.  Meet the parents, heartbreak for one contestant, a marriage proposal and acceptance.  I loved it!  Well, mainly because he picked the only girl I liked from day one.  I don't know if it was the editing or just clever deception on the main guy's part, but it was tough to tell how he was going to go at the end.  They edited one of the gals (big blond and buxom) as a clear early favorite, but I found her kind of shallow and annoying.  The majority of his family (dad, brother and grandma) clearly favor this girl, mainly because the alternate is a Jewish gal who came to the US from Israel 4 years ago.  His mom, who we are told he is very close to, clearly prefers the more intellectually substantial choice (who also happens to be much prettier IMHO).  Again, it could be editing but 2 bad signs for the blond chick:  she incessantly talks about "elimination" and the show/game aspects, and worse, she kind of shoves his dog away in one scene.  In the end, he goes with mom (and me), proposes and they live happily ever after (I guess).  Very chessy but very romantic, I loved it.

Through all this description, you might (or might not) have noticed something; almost nowhere did I mention the size of the people involved.  To this I say the show was a great success, because by the last few episodes there was far less emphasis on size, and far more emphasis on personalities and personal interactions.  The hero seems genuinely conflicted as he breaks heart after heart.  They still mention size a few times, and the winning heroine says she wants to be a role model for bigger girls (they can indeed find true love!), but for the most part it becomes a non issue.  By series end, the main gimmick was really just a side portion and it felt like we were just watching another dating show with some interesting characters.  I was happy with the way it all turned out.  Unfortunately for Fox, this didn't really help them realize ratings, as they pretty much settled in at 4 million/week. 
3173  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Reviews on: September 17, 2009, 07:48:38 PM
Was that code thing a joke or real?   How do you get Jean Grey, and is she just Jean grey or is she Phoenix?
3174  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: True Blood season 2 on: September 16, 2009, 08:45:25 PM
I was kind of disappointed with the finale, it felt kind of flat to me.  The resolution of Ensign Ro's plot felt telegraphed and a bit rushed to me.  She was so in control all along and then gets tricked by such an obvious facade?  Hard to swallow.  I did like her interaction with Rogue, I mean Sookie.  I'm not familiar with the novels but it will be interesting to see just how "non human" she is.  Why don't they just come out and admit she's Rogue?!?  icon_razz

The rest of the ep felt like wrapup and setup but all kind of discombobulated.  Kind of incongrous with an otherwise awesome season. 


P.S.  I really wish they hadn't killed off Godric.  I loved that guy, especially with Eric.  I would love a Godric and Eric spinoff.  Yum.
3175  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Reviews on: September 16, 2009, 08:38:59 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on September 16, 2009, 06:41:47 PM

Took me about 10 hours to beat the game, but that includes several hours of redoing some missions in the simulator to find all the collectibles to unlock Thor, Hulk and Jean Grey.

It took you only 10 hours to complete it, yet "several" hours were spent in the simulator?  Are you saying the core game lasts about 7 hours (I guess this depends on the definition of several), or was the several hours on top of the 10?

I spent about 2 hours last night just getting through the introduction missions, FWIW from a more normal player's perspective.  I only died once fighting Electro and didn't stop most of the way so I don't think I was playing slowly.  Are you saying that the intro portion is like 20% of the whole storyline?!?

P.S.  Juggernaut is FUN smile

P.P.S.  How do you unlock Deadpool?
3176  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: September 15, 2009, 06:17:38 PM

Quote from: Destructor on September 15, 2009, 06:12:42 PM

Now that looks like a netbook. And it has the all important x768 resolution for playing those oldies just perfectly. biggrin

Yeah, this is going to be really tempting, even though I promised myself I would stop with my netbook buying madness!
3177  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: September 15, 2009, 06:10:03 PM
Did someone (BJ?) cover this one already?  Sounds like it could be a winner, depending on how good Ion really is:

http://gizmodo.com/5359449/hp-mini-311-comes-original-with-nvidia-ion-transistor-graphics-powah-for-400

First hands on reviews:

http://www.pocket-lint.com/review/4295/hp-compaq-mini-311-review

http://www.techradar.com/news/mobile-computing/hands-on-hp-mini-311-review-635394
3178  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Glee on: September 15, 2009, 05:59:44 PM

Quote from: Teggy on September 15, 2009, 01:23:41 PM

Quote from: Arkon on September 14, 2009, 09:16:15 PM

My wife and I have watched the first two episodes and while we think the show is funny, there is way too much sex/emphasis on sex for our tastes and will not be watching any further episodes. 

I'll tell you the show you should definitely stay away from then - The Secret Life of the American Teenager. This is Brenda Hampton's followup to Seventh Heaven. My wife religiously watches a lot of bad TV on the CW and ABC Family, and I wind up witnessing a lot of it. Seventh Heaven got positively absurd the last couple of seasons and spent enough time of its own focused on sex, but it appears the characters on Secret Life spend about 80% of the time talking about who they have had sex with, who they want to have sex with or whether they should or should not have sex.

I can understand Secret Life being an issue for some conservative folk as they tackle teen pregnancy, teen sex, teen affairs, homosexuality, abstinence, sexual abuse, and other sexual issues on a regular basis.  It can be a bit too much but the fact is a lot of it is honest and real, which I suppose not everyone wants to be confronted with.  It's an interesting show though, and the writing/pacing is very strange (sometimes rushed) compared to conventional network shows.

Glee, on the other hand, has had 2 episodes.  Episode 1 I don't recall anything overtly sexual or anything that could be considered "way too sexual".  Episode 2 there was the abstinence club scene with some limited discussion of sex, and very little else that I recall.  The final "shocking" routine with "Push It"?  If you were offended by this as being too sexual, I don't know what to tell you.  A few grindy type moves by teens covered head to toe in clothes is not what I'd call provocative.  Turn on the radio and listen to some Lady Gaga or watch some Beyonce videos.  Or check out MTV and watch True Life discussing "polyamorous relationships."  Glee is pretty damn tame compared to 90% of what's on TV these days.  Anyway, to each his own. 
3179  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: D&D Online Free to Play! on: September 11, 2009, 05:48:36 PM
Cortilian has started up a Wanderers guild on Khyber so please feel free to send him a tell and let him know you're from GT if you are interested.  You have to be in Stormreach to join, apparently, so most of us haven't quite reached it yet, but should be getting there this weekend.
3180  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Glee on: September 11, 2009, 05:45:26 PM
I'm pretty sure the majority of the singing is from the actors themselves, it's just pre-recorded and mixed.  Not to be mean as I love the main jock, but his singing is just OK - really doubt it's a stand-in.  Ditto for the teacher, vocals were just OK on Golddigger.  The lead girl has arguably the strongest vocal talents and I don't think she is getting as much correction.  Also keep in mind they are selling the songs on iTunes and will be releasing soundtracks, so I'm sure it's more efficient to release the more "professional" sounding versions.  Anyway, I don't notice the corrections too much, and when I do they don't really bother me much.

Ep 2 was a little off from 1, but still had some great standout lines from the Cheerios coach lady (I loved her in 40 YO Virgin) and some decent musical numbers.  I need to re-watch the episode to get a better feel as I think I was anticipating it a bit too much and may have been unfair.
3181  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: D&D Online Free to Play! on: September 10, 2009, 08:52:40 PM
I'm on Kyber too, Rittchard - Favored Soul.
3182  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online Open Beta impressions (starting Aug. 17) on: September 10, 2009, 08:51:53 PM

Quote from: DonD on September 09, 2009, 10:43:53 PM

I bought this today and am installing now.  Do we have a list of account names or a guild (or equivalent) online?

Don (and other GTers too!), you are as always welcome to join the Wanderers "supergroup" if you'd like.  About half of the GTers in the thread are already in the guild.
3183  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: iPhone/iTouch app and game thread on: September 10, 2009, 12:22:01 AM
New fighter game, Blades of Fury (Soul Calibur-ish clone) the video footage looks amazing.  Only bad news is the price is $6.99, more than a lot of Apps, but of course far less than a general console game.  If you believe the reviews, the control/feel of the touch D-Pad is one of the best ever.  I'll probably have to get this one.

http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=24778
3184  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Car Dealer Shenanigans - may need (legal) advice! on: September 10, 2009, 12:11:37 AM

Quote from: hepcat on September 09, 2009, 08:39:25 PM

I've come to the conclusion that the only way to deal with a car salesman is to immediately walk up to one and kick him as hard as you can in the nuts.  When he comes back up, just explain that you wanted to establish the kind of trust he would understand.

I absolutely love that!!!!  icon_lol

Although in this case I would have had to kick the original salesman, his boss, the floor manager dude AND the VP of sales.  Lotta kickin! eek
3185  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: An application... really? on: September 10, 2009, 12:10:09 AM

Quote from: happydog on September 09, 2009, 10:21:11 PM

Your hypothetical is exactly what is wrong with the whole concept. What should happen, is a company should get a good feel for what value a person can add, and offer that person that amount or better (this should be based on the work and the worker). Using a market +- % method is just a way for a company to try to save some money. Granted, not all industries can work this way, and not all companies can afford this, but if everyone did this the workforce would be way better. The biggest obstacle to this is the fact that a lot of companies don't fire people when they aren't doing a good job. So they are wasting the money they could be spending on top workers on workers who aren't worth any money.

I agree with you conceptually but honestly this seems idealistic to me in the "real world".  Again, I do agree with what you've said here, but I just don't know if this would work out well at most companies.

- - -

Another anecdote from my personal experience.  When I was applying for my very first job (out of grad school), the market was pretty good and I ended up with 2 offers.  Since this was my first job, there was no salary history obviously.  The first company offered me what sounded OK to me at the time.  But then the second company offers me 20% higher!  I jumped at the second offer and never looked back.  Months later after I had started, the first company was calling me back and telling me I could/should have negotiated with them.  No real point other than to say a general assessment of what someone is "worth" can be very relative and sometimes be flat out wrong (market-wise); having a baseline (in this case salary history) can potentially be helpful for everyone involved.
3186  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: An application... really? on: September 09, 2009, 08:39:14 PM

Quote from: DarkEL on September 09, 2009, 06:47:08 PM

Quote from: rittchard on September 09, 2009, 03:46:19 AM

I didn't see it mentioned here, but I know some companies use the application information as a way to check out your salary requirements based on what you are currently making.  I think during interviews you're not generally supposed to ask someone how much they are making or how much they want, so the application can serve as a way to gauge whether they can (or want to) afford your salary.

Not to be crass - but only an idiot would provide previous salary information or to set a salary expectation before a job offer is on the table.

The questions that need to be answered up front are whether or not you would be a good fit for the company and whether the company would be a good fit for you. Only after those questions are answered should money enter into the equation. I've had companies that thought they were going to hire somebody at X salary but once they learned what I could do for them, they went back and got approval for higher salary.

Remember a job interview is a sales process. Both parties need to see the value of the deal before they discover the cost.

Sounds a bit idealistic to me, but I suppose I am an "idiot" according to you.  Maybe it's different in different industries but every job I've gone for I've had to fill out an application of some kind, and generally salary history is a part of it.  Having been on both sides, I know it can be difficult to make a good offer without knowing any history information.  There can be huge discrepancies between market conditions, individual expectations, consideration of education, etc etc.  

Let's take a hypothetical situation where I've interviewed someone and I want to hire him.  He's not perfect but seems like a decent fit.  With no other information, I use an above average baseline, maybe add 5% to it, to make the offer.  He sees it and is completely insulted as he was last making 30% more (maybe he was some rising superstar), so the whole thing falls through.  Which was unfortunate, because I could have offered him a better salary but didn't have the baseline justification info to do so.  If I had the previous salary info, I can easily gauge exactly the minimum I'm going to need to offer, and add or substract from that based on all the other factors.  I'm not saying this is always the best way for the process to work, but certainly it can at least potentially be beneficial for both sides.  I see it as kind of like when you are buying/selling a house and you look for comps.

From personal experience, I can say that it's worked exactly this way for each of my job changes.  When the market was good, I gained a substantial % increase from my previous salary.  When the market was at its worst and I had just been laid off, I was able to maintain the same salary.
3187  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Car Dealer Shenanigans - may need (legal) advice! on: September 09, 2009, 08:29:05 PM

Quote from: Geezer on September 09, 2009, 07:32:15 PM

Look at it this way - you are concerned that you're on the hook for a second loan, but think of the reverse - THEY are on the hook for a car you supposedly paid for but they have refused to deliver!

Seriously - it's in everyone's best interests to have this resolved and I don't think they are actually TRYING to screw with you - seems like just a giant miscommunication and some cluelessness on their part.


That's definitely a good point regarding the car, and in general I agree it makes no sense for them to screw with me in this way.  Of course this does not preclude some other error happening depending on how much information was entered into the computer system, etc.  For instance I could easily imagine some mishandling of paperwork/files and suddenly I'm on the record for a second set of loan payments.

I guess ultimately I have some serious trust issues with these people, and I believe deservedly so.  I cut my original story down so as to not bore everyone, but pretty much every single interaction I've had with every single person there (aside from the secretary), involved somebody trying to deceive or manipulate me if not flat out lying.  I honestly don't believe anything that happened was a "mix up" or "mistake" - there is something fishy going on behind the scenes but I don't know what.  Most likely it's something simple like they had another customer there on the day in question and made a sale of that vehicle knowing they had another one coming in later that night.  So they pulled a switcheroo, then waited for the other vehicle to make it down before calling me.  That would explain pretty much everything - now if they just told me that instead of playing these shenanigans, I think I would be fine.  But it's like every instinct they have is to lie lie and lie some more so there's no getting a straight answer out of them.  At best I just want to protect myself from any more of their "mistakes."

Anyway, I really don't want to overcomplicate matters or have this get messy, but I get the sense that these types of people may only respond to that style of communication. 
3188  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apple cuts iPod/iTouch prices in advance of todays press event on: September 09, 2009, 08:15:32 PM
Isn't the majority of iTunes stuff now DRM free as well?
3189  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Car Dealer Shenanigans - may need (legal) advice! on: September 09, 2009, 06:23:25 PM

Quote from: Daehawk on September 08, 2009, 10:44:44 PM

I would be concerned if the dealer kept dodging sending you copies.

I got another email from them; now the customer service rep says the VP claims he already gave me a copy of the form saying I was not liable for the VIN in question, which of course he did NOT.  I don't think this place is capable of anything but flat out lying. 

I'm going to give them a couple more days to get it together before I file a complaint with the BBB.
3190  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I love it when a plan comes together! on: September 09, 2009, 06:21:16 PM
Not sure if this was mentioned somewhere, but Bradley Cooper will be playing Face.  Pretty perfect casting on that one, I'd say smile
3191  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: An application... really? on: September 09, 2009, 03:46:19 AM
I didn't see it mentioned here, but I know some companies use the application information as a way to check out your salary requirements based on what you are currently making.  I think during interviews you're not generally supposed to ask someone how much they are making or how much they want, so the application can serve as a way to gauge whether they can (or want to) afford your salary.
3192  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Car Dealer Shenanigans - may need (legal) advice! on: September 08, 2009, 09:28:59 PM
Seriously?  If the consensus is that I'm over-reacting, that's good I guess.  But honestly, it wouldn't concern any of you a bit that you had signed a complete set of documents for purchasing a vehicle you don't have and did not purchase?  What am I supposed to say/do if someone brings those papers out and holds me accountable for the dollar amounts I signed for?

- - -

Update: I got another email back, they want me to come in to pick up a statement...
3193  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Car Dealer Shenanigans - may need (legal) advice! on: September 08, 2009, 06:31:14 PM
I'll try to keep the long convoluted story short.  After a bait and switch to get me to the dealer last Friday (they told me a particular model and color was in when they had clearly already sold it), I still ended up filling out all the paperwork (including a trade-in, financing, etc) for a vehicle that I was told would be available the next day (Saturday).  Come Saturday night, they finally call to tell me the car is ready for pickup.  When I arrive, I'm told there's been a "mistake" with the VINs, and they need to completely redo the paperwork for a different/new VIN.  (I won't bother discussing the minor price differentials incurred.)  

So I re-do the paperwork, and ask about the previous VIN.  I'm assured there's no problem with it, and eventually the guy tells me to hand write on a DMV form that says I am not liable for the previous VIN.  I ask if he's going to send this in but he says no, he's just going to keep it with the rest of the paperwork.  He somehow sidesteps my asking for a copy, staples the form with the old paperwork and files it away.  By this point I'm tired hungry and frustrated, and just want to get the hell out of there (obviously I should have demanded a full copy of the paperwork).  I hadn't even seen the car at that point, and I was ready to freak out.  Finally the ordeal ends when they finish washing the car (not sure what took 2 hours) and I drive my new car away.  

Of course the next day though I'm thrilled with the new car, I'm still very concerned there is this other set of paperwork out there that I have signed and have no copy of, no traceability on, etc.  I have no idea what could be done with that paperwork.  Now I know there's about 100 different things I should have done differently during the course of this transaction, so there's no point in re-hashing that.  What I did end up doing was sending in an extended email yesterday to their customer service representative and asking for documentation from them.  All she did was forward my email to the guy who I signed the paperwork with.

So I'm wondering what my best options are now if they choose to ignore me, and any advice going forward -

1 - Wait it out and hope for the best?  Obviously I never took home the original vehicle but there's no proof of that one way or another.  I'm not sure exactly how the paperwork I signed works in this case.

2 - Contact the customer service rep, or the guy I worked with, again?

3 - Contact the BBB, DMV, or a lawyer?

Maybe I'm just making too big a deal out of this, but I feel really vulnerable with this signed paperwork floating around out there.  Help?!?
3194  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: All you U-Verse customers, are you happy with your service? on: September 08, 2009, 04:05:47 AM
Hey CK,

I've had service for a little over a month now.  Fingers crossed, so far so good.  I got the whole big she-bang package (pretty much maximum everything) and so far I really like it.  I figure once the discount period ends I can get rid of anything I didn't enjoy or didn't use.  The total monthly cost is still less than what I was paying for standard DSL and Directv at my last place.  (Side note for anyone who saw my U-Verse thread.  Last week I got a letter from Directv asking me to come back for EXACTLY the same new customer discount I had originally requested but they had refused.  What a bunch of idiots.)

One odd thing was the installer said that there might be some issues using the HDMI port so he installed to component.  The quality looks fine to me, even at 1080i so it's not really an issue.  However, I should mention I *did* install to HDMI in one of my rooms later on and it works absolutely fine.  So now I'm wondering if that's not just a line they feed you so they can save on HDMI cables.  I love the speed at which channels change, it's more like old regular cable or analog TV.  I don't know if it was Directv that was slow or their box or the HDMI, but that was really annoying.  The DVR is easy to pickup, very functional.  I don't know about that recording 4 shows at once, I think that may be overstating it.  Maybe 4 standard quality channels?  I think that only 2 HD streams are allowed at once presently.  Anyway, just to be clear it's not quite as powerful as you might get sucked into thinking from the ads.  One cool thing they don't mention is that you can program and watch any pre-recorder show on any TV that has a box, not just the one that is the physical DVR.  You can also set up recordings online and through the iPhone.

The internet service has also been good so far as well.  I'm afraid to say anything too nice and jinx it, but download speeds are amazing and bandwidth seems great - of course I did request the Max 18. 
3195  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elemental: War of Magic on: September 08, 2009, 03:46:43 AM
Beta is coming in Spring?  I was under the impression it was coming up soon...   crybaby
3196  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Torchlight, a follow-up to Fate and Mythos on: September 05, 2009, 02:10:24 AM

Quote from: Blackjack on June 12, 2009, 12:54:48 PM

I'm keen on the new game, but I'm still wondering how they'll make enough money to keep going. Titan Quest to me was about the best Diablo-wannabe (esp. with Immortal Throne installed) but the player base never materialized, whether because of rampant piracy (which I think was Iron Lore's take), or because Diablo wannabes don't have "Blizzard" in their name. I wonder sometimes how TQ would have fared if it had been more focused on online distribution like Steam and if they'd been able to afford to set up a battle.net type server (which they wanted to do for the sequel, devs said, but of course never got the chance).

I believe TQ's biggest shortcoming was the lack of dedicated online servers (Battle.net) and so the player base never got into it as a multiplayer experience.  These types of games (loot and level) just don't work well without the full multiplayer experience for trading, etc particularly when it's so item oriented.  Some of us played TQ online together for a while, but without the fixed server type of gaming, trading and items just weren't that exciting.
3197  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: So what IS the debate between PC and Mac users? on: September 04, 2009, 11:26:45 PM
I think I'm a pretty objective person on this subject, I own both Macs and PCs, and even though I consider myself something of an Apple fanboy, my main computer is still a PC and I have (counting netbooks and laptops) something like 6 or so Windows PCs floating around the house - I'm definitely deep in both worlds.

My very first home computer was a fake Apple ][ from Taiwan.  When it was time to get "serious" though, I got an IBM PC (during college) and was pretty much PC-faithful for over 10 years.  During that period I was exposed to Macs and a couple of the guys in my grad school group were very Mac-friendly.  So we ended up with a mix of computers in the lab, but the Mac was predominantly used for presentations, papers, anything that needed graphics, graphs, etc.  And because of that, I ended up doing my entire PhD dissertation on an older Mac IIc, even though at home I was progressing year by year with more powerful PCs due to my gaming interests.  For those early years, I think it was widely accepted that Macs were the better choice for intensive graphics or graphing or better quality presentations.

I know a part of the "debate" stemmed from many Mac users feeling like Microsoft essentially "stole" Windows, and the whole Windows/mouse concepts from Apple and cashed in on them.  At least I believe that's where the animosity began.  Later on it became more of a "usability" vs. "customizability" argument, and of course there's always been the price arguments.  

I've stuck with PCs for the longest time due to gaming support and upgradeability.  I've upgraded video cards and RAM on so many machines it's not even funny.  I've tried every Windows OS since the original and have some pretty good things to say about Windows 7.  That said, if someone had the choice and the budget, I would recommend to them a Mac over a PC in this day and age.  While the price is more expensive feature by feature, I honestly feel like with the Mac you are getting an overall superiorly engineered piece of equipment that will ultimately have a longer useful lifetime, with an interface and OS that is more functional, easier and more intuitive to use.  Particularly nowadays where graphics hardware improvements have slowed down and game developers are coding to the minimum requirements, any iMac or Macbook can pretty much give you all the benefits of a Mac and with a dual boot (Bootcamp) all the gaming capabilities to run all the newest PC games.  It's truly the best of both worlds and I think Microsoft and most PC manufacturers have acknowledged that to some degree.

This is why the "debate" today has focused on the cost/price side of things.  PC has pretty much acknowledged or given in on most of the other arguments, so price/featureset is the best place for them to focus.  Apple has always controlled its own hardware (and software) fairly rigidly so I suspect they will never be able to bring their prices down to the same levels, and so the debate can rage on indefinitely  Tongue
3198  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: C%$^ Blocked!!!! on: September 04, 2009, 11:01:23 PM
Still good today, fingers crossed!!!
3199  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How long does your workplace keep emails? on: September 04, 2009, 11:01:02 PM
I think our server only keeps stuff live for a month.  We are encouraged to run some sort of backup or "replica" as they call it in Lotus.  There's no universal backup system in place so we just have to back our email up ourselves.
3200  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: C%$^ Blocked!!!! on: September 03, 2009, 08:55:10 PM
Very weird today.  It was suggested to me that I use some proxy server software or something to try to get back here.  So I tried to run something called Ultra Sense (?) which seemed to be trying to reroute through China.  Clearly it was not appreciated and soon I was unable to get any internet access at all.  I tried deleting all files and cookies and assorted other things to get back but nothing worked.  So I finally completely uninstalled IE and then re-installed it.  Oddly it didn't install an icon for IE anywhere but whatever. 

On a fluke I hit the button to come here and it let me in!  Not sure how long it will last but it's nice to be back even if only temporarily  nod
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