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Monthly Archives: October 2007

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Crazy Man Carves Ron Paul’s Face into a Pumpkin

In what may be some sort of crazy satanic ritual by the Cult of Ron Paul or just extreme boredom, a man has carved Ron Paul’s face into a pumpkin. It’s unclear why exactly he did it, it may simply be that the trend of obsessively worshiping Ron Paul as America’s savior by Rongoloids has spilled over into outright madness as they begin carving his grim visage into their pumpkins and spilling their blood over it while crying, “Ron, my blood for you! ” as they worship their strange pumpkin god.

When confronted with this information, Paultards have replied that the sight of people carving Ron Paul’s face into pumpkins is a sure sign that the grass roots or pumpkin roots effort is succeeding.

“Millions of pumpkins can’t be wrong,” proclaimed Adolf VanNutHouse, chairman of Ron Paul’s Alaskan campaign. “We’re all out to carve pumpkins for Ron Paul. The mainstream media which is controlled by Rite Aid, AIPAC and the Jesuits want you to carve generic faces on your pumpkin. They don’t want you to carve Ron Paul’s face into your pumpkins, oh no. Because when Ron Paul’s face stares from every pumpkin in America, the truth will finally come out about what really happened on 9/11 and they’re terrified of that. That’s why we’re going pumpkin carving, carving pumpkins for liberty.”

15 minutes later Adolf VanNutHouse was arrested carving up a stranger’s pumpkin to look like Ron Paul. Even as he was being airlifted to the nearest mental hospital, he was still using his blackberry and three cell phones to simultaneously participate in an NBC phone poll, a CNN phone poll and Digging a post about Ron Paul appearing on Free Aryan Conspiracy Radio.

Anyway here’s the pumpkin. Sadly it doesn’t look much like Ron Paul. The real Ron Paul is creepier.

Wow! Virtual Life! Media Hype! Exclamation Marks!

Sigh. Here we go again. It’s that time of the week when papers decide to continue inflating Second Life hype by reporting wide-eyed that it’s an alternate universe, virtual reality and all. The Washington Post is this week’s culprit in the wide-eyed Second Life reporting sweepstakes via the Washington Post’s Emil Steiner’s blog entry, a guy who looks like a dopier version of a Backstreet Boy. If such a thing is even possible.

Like the next installment of Terminator, we all knew this day was coming: the first-ever Second Life lawsuit.

I think it’s actually more like the second or third.

Sure, it involves people who aren’t real stealing products that aren’t real, in a virtual world that barely resembles our own. Still, this is America! Since when has reality been required for legal action?

Hi, earth to Idiot Boy, the RIAA has been suing people for years over products that aren’t real. Patents are regularly awarded for products that aren’t anything more than a collection of code. What makes Second Life’s character or object designs different than the code for Half Life 2 whose theft resulted in a criminal indictment? Oh yeah, because Emil Steiner is too dim to tell the difference.

According to the complaint, six virtual merchants are suing Thomas Simon of Queens, N.Y., for an undisclosed amount of money, claiming he stole the computer code for products they sell in their virtual stores.

Wow! Lawsuits over stealing computer code! How unprecedented. That’s only been happening for the last three decades! How weirdly surreal!

And while this may sound like a joke to you, for those involved it is absolutely serious. Really!

No the only joke is that the Washington Post probably pays Emil Steiner money to write this. Really!

According to Linden Labs, proprietors of the virtual environment platform where all this craziness takes place, users cumulatively conduct transactions totaling more than $1 million each day. That’s real dollars — the kind you can use to clothe, feed and comfort yourself in the real world.

Wow! Real Dollars! Tell us more! I hear eCommerce generates billions of dollars in transactions daily all in virtual environment platforms! People go into this virtual environment using a “browser” and they spend billions of REAL DOLLARS. Yes, how crazy is that?

Also we’re sending a rocketship to the moon and women want the right to vote. Superwacky!

The defendant, who goes by Rase Kenzo in Second Life, has a pretty good excuse: “It’s only a computer game!”

I’m guessing that excuse wore out a few decades ago

True, this case involves real world money, so it is different from suing an opponent in “Mortal Combat” for wrongful death, say, or taking a fellow World of Warcraft gamer to The International War Crimes Tribunal.

Gosh Emil, it only took you five paragraphs to realize how stupid your own premise is.

Still, these virtual-world real-world lawsuits can get pretty tricky. How and to what extent should real laws apply in Second Life? For instance, Simon claims that the plaintiffs found their “evidence” by taking pictures inside his Second Life home, which they entered without warrant or permission. Should that evidence be considered admissible? And since Simon allegedly exploited holes within the Second Life platform to create his duplicate products, is Linden Labs also liable somehow?

The same laws that apply in any virtual environment apply in Second Life. Second Life’s rooms are code. If you illegally access someone else’s email account to gather evidence, what’s the legal status of that? There’s no precedents being made here. Cease the exclamation marks and the hype already.

Memo to the Weinstein Company: Just Give It Up

It’s hard to know whether it’s funny or sad to see how post-Miramax the Weinsteins have gone from the virtual arbiters of taste, to making movies you couldn’t pay people to see. With Miramax, the Weinsteins wielded enormous clout, making movies that everyone was talking about and delivering little gold men, commanding the buzz and bringing the talent to the game, buying up the best foreign films and bringing them to America.

These days the studio is mainly known for a serious of mediocre bombs. Remember when the Weinstein Company debuted with Derailed? No? Neither does anyone else, except Jennifer Aniston who has another check mark on her box office disasters record. Then there was Hoodwinked, the animated Shrek clone from hell. And considering Shrek 3, that’s really saying something.

Yes, the Weinstein Company managed to get the nauseating Transamerica into the Oscar race. But Miss Potter was a laughable clone of a far superior movie and did weak business, helped little by Renee Zelweeger’s strange glowing eyes on the poster. And then there was Pulse… bombed, Shut Up and Sing, painful, and Sicko, which actually made money. And Hannibal Rising, which bombed horribly. Nanny Diaries bombed and now we’ve got a Knight Rider movie to look forward to. Just give it up, guys.

NBC’s Silverman Unveils New “All Office” Strategy

Since the one hour episodes weren’t enough, NBC President and Spokesidiot Ben Silverman is set to unveil the latest chapter in the insane strategy to forego developing shows people actually want to watch in favor of just ripping off Australian, British and Latin American shows and when those bomb, just expanding the Office some more… because let’s face it it’s about the only show on NBC that anyone watches anymore.

So apparently the Office will bring in some new characters and launch them into a spinoff. Assuming the actress playing Karen’t show flops, we can assume she’ll probably end up there and this week’s Office episode may be setting it up. Will this strategy work? Considering how exciting and original the characters from the other Dunder Mifflin office in Stamford were, I’m not banking on it much. Spinoffs of popular shows haven’t had a good track record in the last two decades, past the point where Happy Days could be farmed for endless spinoffs.

And more to the point Ben Silverman seems intent on capitalizing on his one real success with The Office by killing the goose that laid the golden egg. The Office production has got to be straining itself to produce one hour episodes. Pushing a spinoff will only

1. Dilute the Office brand and irritate people who are actually fans of the show

2. Divert the production staff further by stretching them too thin, pulling writers off the main show to go to the spinoff and spending episode time for the main show to pump disposable spinoff characters

Bad idea any way you look at it

End of October Box Office Roundup

Well the end of torture porn isn’t quite here yet as Saw IV debuts with a 30 million box office. Of course it is Halloween and if an R Rated horror movie can’t make money on Halloween, when can it make money? It’s clear the Saw franchise, unlike Eli Roth’s far more repulsive Hostel franchise, isn’t dead yet. On the other hand most studios kept their horror films away, despite this being Halloween, probably out of fear of Saw IV, so if you wanted to see a Horror movie for Halloween, Saw IV was really the only game in town. Aside from the release of Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas which scored a decent 3 point something million. Not bad for a pretty old stop motion animated film.

Dan in Real Life, starring Steve Carrell, scored a tepid 12 million, appropriate enough for a pretty tepid and unoriginal family comedy. Again this suggests that Steve Carrell is not the next Steve Martin. He can be sort of funny in the right part, but he isn’t going to be funny just by showing up. It’s John Ritter all over again. After his ark movie washed out and Dan In Real Life’s weak opening, it’s obvious Steve Carrell is not ready for prime time.

30 Days of Night scored in a weak 6 million for Halloween but not so bad for a second week in release some might say, but with under 30 million and dropping fast, 30 Days of Night will not be the success some might have hoped. This also suggests audiences are getting a little tired of vampire and zombie movies. The Game Plan and Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Make This Movie, I mean Why Did I Get Married pulled in another 5 and 6 mil, respectively, shooting up to 77 and 47 million. Sad.

Michael Clayton hangs around with 5 million for a near 30 million total. Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone adds a weak 3 million for an 11 million total. The movie is already in 7th place but only down one spot. By next weekend it will be out of the top 10, along with Affleck’s career.

The Comebacks and We Own the Night clump lower down with 3 million dollar takes for 10 and 25 million dollar totals. Again the smell of failure and box office defeat rebounds here.

Rendition manages to underperform even here, taking in a mere 2.3 million for its second week for a 7.8 million dollar total, making you almost feel sorry for it. Almost. Nice move Reese and Meryl, couldn’t you get work in the Solomon Brothers or maybe Michael Clayton? Either way Rendition is out of the top 10 and just about out of our lives.

Finally the Heartbreak Kid pulls in 1 million, proving there are people who really will watch anything.

End of the Road for Gothic 4?

The shift from Pirhana Bytes, the developer for all three Gothic games, by Jowood, already felt like bad news. After all Gothic’s success had been the product of Pirhana Bytes work. On the other hand Pirhana Bytes seemed unable to beat the bug problems, but they did deliver solid games, if you don’t object to constant crashes, bugs and goofy voices. Certainly Gothic 3 was a weak effort and widely criticized, which may have led to the split. Pirhana Bytes then hooked up with Spellbound Entertainment, whose only track record was for junk like Airline Tycoon Deluxe, to do Gothic 4. Spellbound Entertainment had no record of RPG’s at all, making this a screamingly bad idea. With Pirhana Bytes at least you knew where you sat.

Spellbound has taken over the support of Gothic 3, which at least leads one to suspect that the bugs blowback was a major reason for Pirhana Bytes termination. Pirhana Bytes has in turned blamed Jowood for rushing the game out the door, the usual kind of spat between developers and publishers. But the bug problems have persisted in every Gothic game. The fallout tore apart Pirhana Bytes and Jowood and now Jowood is aiming Gothic 4 at consoles hoping to capitalize on Oblivion’s success on the XBox 360.

The likely endgame though means the end of the Gothic series, at least as any kind of worthwhile game. Bringing in the people behind Airplane Tycoon is not the way to get a great RPG. Maybe I’m wrong and Spellbound will bring home the fantasy bacon, but I’m not optimistic.

Yahoo Messenger 9.0 Beta – How Wrong Can One Company Get It?

Yahoo is busy showing off its Yahoo Messenger 9.0 Beta. As any regular Yahoo Messenger user knows, Yahoo Messenger went off the road at 7.0 and 7.0 is the version of Yahoo Messenger you should be downloading from

Yahoo Messenger 8.1 emerged as bloatware. A massive bloated application riddled with ads and desperately trying to get you to make paid phone calls over it as Yahoo tried to make its popular Messenger program into a Skype competitors. All told I doubt very much that this is paying off but Yahoo Messenger 9 Beta offers much of the same. Right out of the gate, Yahoo Messenger 9.0 Beta saddles us by dumping the address book into the friends list, a feature that perhaps should have existed two versions ago.

Yahoo Messenger 9 shakes up the interface a little, not that it really needed it and boasts endlessly about integrating Flickr photos into messenger. A minor accomplishment at best and mostly just a way to try and push Flickr together with Yahoo’s own services. The file limit is up to 2 gigabytes now.

The one potentially interesting addition was to integrate video viewing into IM. Obviously a good idea and a smart one. Or so you’d think. Since Yahoo Messenger is based off Internet Explorer and its means of rendering web pages, it’s simple enough and simple enough is exactly how it was done. From an implementation point of view it makes sense but from a end user point of view it’s insane, but from the intro video, it appears that instead of treating video sharing the way they treated photo sharing by opening a new window, Yahoo Messenger instead displays the video in the IM text section. Which means users can either chat or view the video. They can’t do both at the same time. Insane, yes. Senseless, also yes.

Thanks Yahoo, now try again with 10.0.

The Rongoloid Response to Michael Medved

So TownHall columnist Michael Medved penned a column or rather an Open Letter to Ron Paul asking him to disavow or explain his white nationalist or neo-nazi ties. I made it too late to catch the Digg fireworks but since the Town Hall blog has a comments section, unsurprisingly the Rongoloid or Paultard demographic showed up to disavow any claim that Ron Paul was at all racist. And the best way they found to do that was to keep shouting, Jew, Jew, Jew over and over again.

It’s really amusing to see how clueless bigots are. If you’re going to try and disavow Ron Paul’s bigotry, probably the best way not to leave the impression that Ron Paul’s hordes are really racist nutjobs, would be not to reply to a column that mentions nothing about Jews or Israel with an obsessive array of Jewbaiting. Gosh, who would have thought that’s exactly what the Ron Paul Brigade would do.

So let’s bring in the Ron Paul commenters ;

hedgefund_hog writes: Why should anyone care about your delusional conspiracy theory about Ron Paul supporters? You come off as the most nutty of the bunch you listed. I suggest you take off the tin-foil yamika, your brain is fried.

Dolly Llama writes: Your own Zionism is slipping, Medved! Why should anyone disassociate from 9/11 Truthers?

Yes, why indeed. Or why bring up 9/11 Truthers and Zionism, unless you believe the Jews were behind it.

Darren D. writes: You will do anything to smear this good man to try and safeguard US policy in Israel. The funny thing is that you don’t understand that a Paul presidency would help Israel.

JayDee writes: Zionists actually are a real group, not that I’m saying Medved is one of them.. but I’m sure they support him .. so.. if you want to play the ‘guilt by association’ game..Has Medved denounced the Zionist movement recently? Does Michael Medved support israel over the prospartiy of our own nation? Would Medved support our involvement in an aggresive war that Israel started?

al writes: It’s patently obvious why you don’t support Dr. Paul: He’s not hand-picked by AIPAC and the Likud Party. He actually has *America’s* best interest at heart, and refuses to shill for a tiny group of extremist chicken hawks… few of whom have never served in uniform (like Medved).

But of course the usual zoo wouldn’t be complete without a Ron Paul supporter pretending to be Jewish. I’ve gotten these types regularly when I ran pieces on Ron Paul’s racism and vagueness on gay marriage, and they’d pretend to be black or gay.

And now I give you A.K. “Smith”, “Jewish Man”, who donated his son to Israel. Seriously folks, you can’t make this stuff up. Only they can.

aksmith writes: I am a Jewish, strongly pro-Israel supporter of Dr. Paul. I’ve known him on and off for about 20 years, and he is a man of great integrity. I’ve never heard him utter a racist comment, even in private. I have donated money and my oldest child to Israel. I simply love the place.

Gosh, that’s quite an endorsement. i mean the man donated his oldest child to Israel. Chopped him up and shipped him express mail. I’m not sure what that has to do with Ron Paul’s ties to Stormfront, but it makes for a great horror movie. In A.K. Smith’s mind, apparently “real” Jews donate their kids to Israel. Probably drop them into big piggy banks or something.

And am I appalled by some of Dr. Paul’s supporters? Yes. In fact, I think many of them are actually trying to discredit him by their support.

So in other words when Stormfront endorses Ron Paul and donates money to him, they’re trying to discredit him. Why can’t they just donate money and discredit a candidate who can actually win?

Mac Users Get Their Own Blue Screen

It’s getting hard to tell Macs from PC’s these days. After all both share an Intel processor. They both now have an overrated buggy Operating System, Vista for PC’s and Leopard for Mac’s, though you can run Vista on Mac’s and Leopard on PC’s if you really want to. All that separates the Mac from the PC is an extra 1000 dollar cost and an inflated ego that comes with knowing virtually nothing about computers or budgeting or smart shopping. And now Mac owners can even claim their own very own BSD, Blue Screen of Death.

Except since as we all know Mac does everything so much better than a PC, Mac’s Blue Screen of Death is actually much worse and entirely locks up the computer. Apple of course has predictably blamed a third party for the problem, Unsanity’s APE (Application Enhancer). The problem of course is that plenty of APE-less Mac users are seeing the blue screen of death too. But responsibility the Steve Jobs way always means blaming innocent people for your own incompetence and hoping your cult will follow along with the ritual deletion and purging.

Will Apple apologize to Unsanity and its users? Ha. For a company that bricked its own cell phones, we can safely assume that Apple will react the way it always reacts to technical problems with its products.

1. Sneer and pretend the problem doesn’t exist

2. Blame users and third parties for the problem

3. State that the issue affects very few users and make some concessions under the table after the outcry grows too bad while pretending it’s not a problem

Battlestar Galactica Coming to a Theater Near You

Sort of anyway. Apparently Microsoft and Mass Effect want to tune into the fading popularity of Battlestar Galactica by sponsoring theatrical premieres of Battlestar Galactica Razor, otherwise known as the story of Admiral Cain, otherwise known as the one Admiral on the series who wasn’t a screw up and was actually committed to finishing the fight, otherwise known as the last gasp of Battlestar Galactica before the SciFi Channel begins splitting it up into pieces for its final season/seasons.

Anyway you can find a theater to register at here but be warned that this only covers a few major urban markets such as Boston and New York and that the theaters in the more upscale neighbors were taken right away by the local geek crowd. So if you want to go see it in New york City for example, go look for a theater in the Bronx, not in Manhattan. Or just get on line that day, claim you’re Ron Moore’s nephew and try to bully your way on in past frustrated and tired ticket takers who have seen it all before.

Meanwhile the entire thing complete with delays of Season 3 Battlestar Galactica DVD’s even as SciFi is trying to push a Season 4 DVD here is pissing off Battlestar Galactica fans even more. And it’s hard to blame them too. I mean if SciFi can arrange this big push for Razor, why can’t it get the Season 3 DVD’s out the door or air Season 4 or arrange for a workable spinoff of Battlestar Galactica? Maybe Microsoft needs to sponsor that.

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