A busy time

I’ve been rather busy these last few weeks which will hopefully go some way to excusing (or at least explaining) my often multi-day absences from the OGRE forums lately. I’ve had an influx of work propositions, on top of the projects I already have running and it’s been a struggle to juggle it all. In a way it’s nice to have to turn down work because I’m not likely to be able to fit it in for a few months, but at the same time, since in the past there have been times where work has been short, it feels so wrong.

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The debate about whether Resident Evil 5 is racist or not continues to simmer. It’s easy to coldly and calmly rationalise the scenes that RE5 depicts on the basis that since it’s set in Africa, the chances are that the majority of the zombies are going to be black - it would be pretty stupid for it to be otherwise. Makes perfect sense. But, the fact is that the depiction of a white guy striding through an African village, gunning down the local populace, even if they are zombies, cannot be taken in isolation when there is far too much painful and rather recent history involved here - RE5 may be just adhering to common sense, but it invokes imagery which has strong parallels with real-life racism and oppression.

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Now it’s out of beta, Firefox 3 has become my primary browser - it’s a nice speed upgrade and I like the little extras like the unobtrusive ‘remember password’ prompt, smart location bar and reduced memory usage. It’s a shame their servers went belly-up on the planned release day, but then they did paint a bullseye on their face. There were a few hiccups- I have a few add-ons I generally feel I couldn’t live without and a couple of them didn’t want to work immediately.

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Grr. I hate it when departing politicians, particularly unpopular ones, decide to do a ‘farewell tour’. They’re an unmitigated waste of time, resources and news coverage - Blair did it and I found it grossly distasteful then, and now it’s Bush’s turn. The very act of touring countries shaking hands, getting all chummy with the native leaders is so undignified - the personal relationships they’re seeking to form / rejuvenate serve nobody but the individuals themselves, since once the administration changes it’s a total reset.

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I’m not a heavy user of eBay, in fact until about a year or two ago I’d never used it. Unlike some people who routinely buy tons of DVDs & games etc that they want to offload later, I tend to mostly buy stuff that I want to keep, and anything that I finally want to get rid of after a few years, I give to a charity shop. I did however find it useful to sell off my laptop last year, and I’ve since used it to sell a couple of bits of PC hardware I didn’t need anymore - they weren’t the kind of thing a charity shop would really find a use for, I can’t imagine a Granny picking one up there and thinking ‘oh yeah, I could really use a Mini-ITX board to run that media server I fancied building’.

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The Guernsey Festival of Comedy was great last year, and so we snapped up tickets to this year’s local stand-up event, since the only other way we’d get to see acts like this is to travel to a major city. Paul Tonkinson was headlining this year which made it a no-brainer, we’ve seen him on the Comedy Store before and he’s always excellent. As expected it was a great night, Paul didn’t disappoint in the slightest and thus crowned the evening off perfectly, but the other acts were really good too.

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My Rock Band drum mods arrived today, they took a week to arrive which isn’t bad considering they had to meander their way from the Land of the Free (ish) via regular US letter post. [](http://www.stevestreeting.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/rocpadz.jpg)**Drum Pads** [](http://www.stevestreeting.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/rocpadz.jpg)I decided to go for drum pads from RocPadz, which are basically just circular cut mouse mats with a rigid back. I went with these for a number of reasons, such as that the neoprene rubber is hard wearing and long lasting (unlike foam pads which quickly lose their effect).

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I’ve always admired the iPhone purely because of it’s sleek looks and elegant design, but it was encumbered by an excessive price tag, a lack of 3G (which for the price was scandalous), and a ridiculous telco tie-in that meant you could only (officially) use it on O2 here in the UK, which made it even more useless to me since O2 do not operate where I live. However, the new 3G instalment which made its widely anticipated appearance at WWDC 08 is looking much more interesting.

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A couple of random thoughts for a slow Sunday… You know, despite being universally reviled, spam actually has a purpose - and that is to prove that my email is working. My spam defenses are pretty good and sift out the vast majority of junk, but I still get the odd unfiltered mail every day and in a way, it’s comforting. It’s like a little heartbeat telling me that my email is indeed still online, and I will therefore be getting any important mail on time.

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I can easily see how Rock Band DLC went double-platinum on only 2 months and why Motley Crue said they had more sales as DLC than as regular records - it’s compulsive. It’s been scientifically proven to be impossible to have too many songs to play, especially when the quality of the note chart conversion, which is directly proportional to fun, is as consistent as we’ve found it to be. I’ve spent the equivalent of half of a full-price game just on DLC already, and I’ve only really stopped because I have all the ones that simply must have; I could easily find another half dozen I’d be happy to buy but the need is not as urgent.

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