The Gerstmann affair might be old news by now, but 1Up’s editor Sam Kennedy posted a fascinating blog entry on the matter today that I highly recommend you read if you’re interested in the backroom goings on of gaming sites like this, and just generally to read a great summary and analysis of the whole affair from start to finish. Very well written.

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MacHeist 2008

Damien kindly sent me a link today to MacHeist, a site that sells bundles of Mac software for a limited time at rather extraordinary prices, while also donating 25% of the revenue to charity. I took a look, and on seeing the bundle that was there, immediately bought it. It’s $49 for 14 applications, and whilst inevitably there’s some dead wood in there and things I wouldn’t normally buy, the inclusion of PixelMator made it a no-brainer for me on its own - the entire bundle is $10 cheaper than buying PixelMator is usually anyway.

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Fun videos for the day

PS3ology If you missed the whole Tom Cruise Scientology vid thing last week, best go look it up first, since this is just sending that up. Portal’s ‘Still Alive’ - covered by an 8080

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The acquisition of MySQL by Sun Microsystems for an eye-watering $1bn is old news by now, but I just thought I’d recommend listening to a special edition of Open Season which talks to the executives involved (as usual, hosted by the leaders of Alfresco and MuleSource) - if you’re at all interested in the state of ‘commercial’ open source, Open Season is always a good listen, even if most of us aren’t within a million light years of the sort of enterprise business these guys are involved in.

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Pop goes the vertebrae

Dammit. I had (perhaps foolishly) begun to think that I’d put most of my back problems behind me now - it has after all been over a year since I had any significant pain from it; just a few aches / cricks / stiffness occasionally but nothing major. However, while taking a shower Sunday morning I reached down and ‘whallop’ - something popped out (or in my case, rotated since my recurring problem is a twisted rather than slipped disc).

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I mentioned a few days ago that I picked up Skate for the 360, a game I had my eye on because I loved THPS2 (PC) & THPS3 (Gamecube) several years ago and haven’t really played a game like that since, especially given the THPS franchise has gone downhill in recent years. For those who don’t know, the difference in Skate is that while in THPS you had buttons and directional controls to do things like grinds, kickflips etc, in Skate you have one stick to control your board, and one for your body, and all tricks are pulled off by simply moving those in fairly representative ways - so grinding is now a case of positioning your board in the right place, for example by rotating your body 90 degrees in flight to land with the board astride a rail (a boardslide) - no tapping a button to miraculously attach yourself to the grind point or anything.

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Nooooooooooooooo! Pandora have finally clamped down their ‘you can only listen from the US’ rule - previously they’d, ahem, ‘enforced’ it by asking you to enter a US Zip code, a field ‘creatively’ used by pretty much everybody outside the US who loved their service. I’m sure the population of the 90210 zip code is about 1000 times what it should be according to Pandora’s records 😀However, now they’ve finally started using the technology at their disposal to filter more aggressively, via geolocation software.

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Retarded

Saw this linked on Penny Arcade - some guy called Kevin McCullough appears to be trying to compete with Jack Thomson for the heady heights of so-inaccurate-as-to-be-almost-laughable, uninformed game sniping - according to him Mass Effect is a ‘tailor made porn’ game. News to me Kev, I’ve been playing it for about 15 hours now and the nipple count is still stuck at exactly zero. Maybe you got hold of a super-hardcore special edition that the rest of us didn’t?

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I experienced XBox Live for the first time last month, and despite the frustrating downtime I have been impressed - when it’s working correctly it’s certainly very slick and well integrated across the entire library of games. I like that you can pop out to the dashboard in any game at all to respond to IMs or whatever without having to exit, and that everything works the same way and integrates with your gamertag.

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I did an interview recently for French 3D-oriented website 3d-test.com recently, and it’s just been posted. Despite being rather busy recently I always try to make time for these when they come up, since I know an important part of my job on OGRE is being the ‘front man’ - the last one I did was for Gamasutra. This one seems to have turned out ok despite my bashing out responses rather hurriedly during build / SCC update windows.

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