I don’t play competitive multiplayer games very much, because I just don’t have the dedication to hone my skills to even the median average of the online pack, at least beyond about week 2 of a game’s release, but one thing that’s constantly annoying when I do is people who disconnect because they’re losing. Given that I don’t win online very much, I don’t encounter this that often, but on the few occasions where I’m getting the upper hand, there’s nothing more annoying than having people quit out on you mid-game.

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For those who don’t follow these things, the new, free Left 4 Dead DLC drops next week, which does 2 things - it enables ‘Versus’ mode on the 2 maps where it wasn’t available before, and it adds a new gameplay mode called ‘Survival’, which is basically about holing the survivors up in one area of the map and throwing zombies at them relentlessly, with leaderboard scoring for the teams that survive the longest.

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I enjoyed reading this post at l2admin, celebrating some of the big names in open source development. Of course, we can all argue about names which didn’t make this particular list (personally I think Larry Wall and Guido van Rossum are just two of the important omissions), but what strikes me most - well, except that Mark Shuttleworth is younger than me, which is slightly dispiriting - is how globally representative the list is.

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Remakes and comebacks are always in vogue, but unfortunately they almost always disappoint. Whether it’s that a brand new take on an idea just doesn’t quite work as well, or whether it’s an original team getting back together after a decade or more apart and the spark has gone, too often there just seems to be something wrong or missing. I suggest that this tendency should be called ‘George Lucas Syndrome’, in homage of he who epitomised how far you can fall from the heady heights of bygone triumphs.

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My office has finally been christened as a legitimate workplace - I now have a photocopier 😀 Well, of sorts - it’s actually one of those All-in-one devices, which I finally decided to buy because I was fed up of laboriously scanning multi-page contracts / licenses on a flatbed. I went with a HP Officejet J6410 - it was cheap, got some very good reviews, and I’ve generally been happy with other HPs over the years.

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Laptops are great, of course, whether you’re travelling or just enjoying the flexibility of having a PC wherever you want in the house at any one time, instead of closeted in a fixed location. But if there’s one dimension in which they suck (barring upgradability - but then modern laptops are pretty nippy these days), it’s ergonomics. Laptops are excluded from the design standards that regular PCs have to adhere to, simply because it’s hard for them to comply within the form factor we expect.

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I hate DST (or as we call it, British Summer Time). What a daft idea - let’s make our population endure 2 1-hour ‘jetlag’ incidents every year, complicating scheduling between time zones and screwing with people’s sleeping patterns - I saw a bunch of friends last night and at least 50% of us were tired (and undoubtedly were sub-optimal workers that day) because we’d been forced to get up an hour earlier than we were used to - something that seems pretty common and does have a cost.

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Cool, another relatively unknown (in the US anyway) British band is getting their start in Rock Band next week; Glasvegas with their track Geraldine. It’s a really good song, so great that it’s in there. Should I be ashamed that I’m glad Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” is in there too? Probably. And… Spongebob. Yeah, that Spongebob, it’s not some quirky ironic punk band or something. Bizarre - one for the kids though I guess 😀

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Deck13 are one of the longest-running commercial users of Ogre in the game industry, having completed 3 full retail games using it now. They have 2 more in the works, and one is Venetica, an action-RPG; and it’s looking really nice. I uploaded a bunch of screenshots to our gallery recently which were passed on to me direct, but they have more on their website too, like the one shown here.

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Like many of my friends in the UK, I’m a Pandora-mourner. The great thing about Pandora was the great range of music, the unobtrusiveness of the client, and the robustness of the stream - all issues that Last.fm significantly under-delivers on in comparison. Not only is Last.fm’s interface not as pleasant, any time I’d stress my machine (such as hitting all the cores at once with a major batch build), I’d get streaming hiccups.

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