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Tycho / on Fri, Feb 25 2005 at 4:30 am

Ripped From Today’s Headlines, Pt . 3

We continue to Rip from today’s headlines

href="http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/02/25">

here,
where we learn the cut of Robert Greasy’s jib.  Spoiler:  the cut is
somewhat nefarious.  It is an ambitious, mercenary jib.

Russia is still a little scary.  Now that I am an adult, I can understand that we were probably doing things they didn’t like either, so they had to have their own stash of apocalyptic world-ending weaponry.  The nuance of that doesn’t really come across in elementary school.  What you come away with is that those who survive the atomic blast will discover new agonies each day they persist.  No context for irrational Russian aggression was offered because there was no framework that justified their loathing for America.  The standout mental image from this period was my stuffed animals obliterated in a flash of coalesced science.   

Allofmp3.com has really helped to heal these old wounds. 

Every one of you already knows about this Soviet music service, but the experience has been so profound that I had to mention it.  Quick information for you, if you don’t know what I’m talking about:  imagine that you could purchase digital media “by the pound,” that is to say, purchase it according to the amount of space it takes up on the hard disk.  Music as raw bits, a true commodity.  That’s essentially what the service is.  A’feared to give our actual credit card number to the Russian Bear, we had a couple cash cards made and began to swim - as Scrooge McDuck might swim - in a luxuriant pool of shoulder-deep data.     

Utilizing every engine of my creative power I imagined a way that this could be legitimate.  What we were doing, see, was simply tasting the bulging, global fruit that was always the promise of international commerce.  There’s going to be some country out there where such licenses can be obtained for a negligible fee.  So long as that nation is connected to my house via the Internet, I can begin greedily plucking the results of that loophole directly from a kind of electronic vine. 

And what a sweet harvest it was.  It handles things a little different than other music services, largely because it is a shadowy online fence for stolen goods.  There’s no protection on the files, obviously - which means you can do what you want with them, just as you’d expect to do with other things you purchase with money.  Of keen interest to me is that you can purchase the files not merely in whatever bitrate seemed appropriate to the service - the compression rate is completely up to you.  Because you’re paying for the file/song/album by size, you can get the son of a bitch at 320k lossless if you want.  You can even download it in a way that takes solid shape and ride it down the hall.   

I was talking about this before, that I don’t want to be a person whose mutable morality allows for out and out theft, so I clapped my hands for a while and tried to believe it was okay to do this stuff.  It was a lot easier when the jury was still kind of out on it, and I heard conflicting reports, because there’s got to be a thousand posts out there from guys who say that it is “totally” legal.  Now I’m hearing it might not even be legitimate behind the Iron Curtain.  Thanks a lot, CNet.  You’ve essentially stolen Christmas.  My delicious, immoral holiday is gone because of your monstrous facts. 

To nourish you news-wise, Tekken 5 drops today, which is to say Friday.  The series completely lost me with the fourth one, which added interactive environments and removed my enjoyment absolutely.  I’ve heard people say that the series has always aped Virtua Fighter, but I never found that to be the case until 4.  The review I read of the new one makes it sound like the developer shares my low opinion of that title.  We need a new fighter to carry us to the next Soul Calibur, I’ll grab it and tell you what I find out.

The fourth content drop (“Issue”) for City of Heroes is about to hit, and I’ve been looking with fondness upon some of the features.  I don’t know that I’d actually recidivate any time before the City of Villains expansion, but they really do keep dishing up neat shit.  The main reason I mentioned it was the notes on their new Arena feature, listing how the regular powers players use against enemies have slightly different effects in Player vs. Player combat.  Even as someone who doesn’t play anymore, I found those distinctions interesting.

And something else, something fascinating:  Hironobu Sakaguchi (Gabe: “Who?”), the inventor of Final Fantasy, is working with MS to drop an RPG on the next generation Xbox, whatever the fuck they end up calling it.  That’s sort of big news.  The Xbox has always really hurt for RPGs that actually fit into the traditional genre.  You’ve got action hybrids, okay great, but I think I can count the true RPGs and tactical strategy games on one hand.  I’ve never understood why this is, because Microsoft owns the rights to some of the most potent intellectual property that could be applied to roleplaying and tactical games through FASA:  Shadowrun, Mechwarrior, and Crimson Skies.  In the last two cases, I’ve certainly enjoyed their rebirths as action franchises - but frankly, they’re capable of more.

(CW)TB out.

this is my love for you


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