31 May, 2011

WSJ: Call of Duty and the Modern Revenue Stream

Though the lying punks at Activision Blizzard have been denying for months stacked upon months stacked on top of years that they would never charge players to play the most pedestrian of games with the simplest gameplay and the greatest amount of sales (dumb sells), it has been announced that this is EXACTLY what they will do.

While no price has been announced, Activison Blizzard feels that a Netflix based subscription plan isn't totally ridiculous. You know, because tracking your stats and hooking you up with fellow lazy-minded fraks online is worth paying for especially if you think COD is the greatest game God ever handed down from the lamest heaven ever.

Sure, the free-to-play online model will still exist (free meaning they don't charge more than the $60 they already charged you for a game you will play for 5 hours offline) but this new "elite" scheme will probably come with options and content that they would have otherwise included in the game if not for the fact that they realized simpleton converts would pay more for less.  After all, it has worked well for the EA Sports franchises, why not COD?

What say you, COD players?  Will you continue to suck on the exhaust pipe of this franchise or is it time to move onto something else?  When did COD jump the shark? Is Treyarch the devil?! Can the new Infinity Ward compare to the old? Is Respawn ready to dance on the grave of these tools?


Playstation Store Officially Announced to return "this week"

1 June, 2011 UPDATE: Sony has announced that PSN will be brought down today and will return tomorrow. Expect Playstation Store to return at that point.

The Official Playstation Blog has put out this press release from Sony that promises the entire network will be up "this week." That includes:
  • Full functionality on PlayStation®Store
  • In-game commerce
  • Ability to redeem vouchers and codes
  • Full functionality on Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for PS3, PSP, VAIO and other PCs
  • Full functionality on Media Go
Earlier reports were that the network could be up as early as today. No comment from Sony as to exactly when the network will be up but based on the press release, it could be anytime. So just keep refreshing!


Smallville series finale: A heartfelt review

I started watching Smallville about 10 years ago, along with another few million people. I sat through all 200 some episodes. The long LONG journey (too long) of Clark Kent going from boy to superhero was filled with many ups and downs (mostly downs). The legacy this show has left behind for me is the permanent imprint of my palm in the middle of my forehead.

The series finale opens with a scene from the future, apparently the writers wanted to use a frame story to encapsulate the episode. This is not good, because it means they can't finish the story of Superman becoming Superman without showing him years in the future...so apparently whatever he does to destroy Darkseid and save the day in present time isn't a very compelling ending. Awesome! At least this shows that the writers are aware of one simple fact, that the original Superman story is way more interesting than the story of Clark (very slowly) becoming that hero. Most Superman tales skip the teenage years for good reason. I was going to compare this to the story of Jesus, who you read about as a baby then the writers all fast forward to when he's actually doing things, and skip the growing up part, but Smallville already has way to many religious terms and dumb indirect Jesus comparisons in it (thanks a lot for starting that crap Bryan Singer).

This finale was meant to tie up certain storylines. First, it was meant to finish the bad guy arc of the season. Darkseid is rising and Clark has to stop him, but how? The answer is of course simple, and it takes Clark way to long to figure it out, again of course. This is Smallville canon. Clark can't think for himself, can't be quick and solving issues, and can't make any decisions before being swayed by both sides of the argument first. He's more annoying than heroic. So how does Clark defeat Darkseid? He gets his head out of his ass and learns how to fly, Jor-El RANDOMLY shows up to give him a confidence boost and there you have it! He flies right through the body of Lionseid, saves a plane with Lois in it, and shoves the planet from The 5th Element back into space. I mean shoves Apokolips back into space. By the way, saving a Lois-laden nosediving aircraft is always Superman's first save, and I did appreciate that moment. This all brings up a very big question for me: if all of Clark's difficulties were part of his trials and training, did Jor-El plan all this crap? I hope so, I hope Clark's dead ice palace daddy brought motherfugging Darkseid to Earth, just to teach his son to fugging fly already. Because that's what it felt like, and that's ridiculous.

The second story arc the show had to conclude is another season long B-story. Oliver fighting off the darkness inside himself...or something cheesy like that. Once he did, he killed Darkseid's minions...who are the easiest villains to destroy ever. Boy that was anti-climactic.

The third story arc is the story of Lois and Clark's relationship. Now, I know a lot of Superman fanboys, who may or may not watch this show, get way more excited hearing about the Legion or Hawkman showing up, and couldn't care less if Lois was around. Hell these fans don't even need her in the movie! You can tell a Superman story without Lois! Well, to me you can't. Lois is the only other character to appear in Action Comics #1 besides Clark/Supes, and she is a very important person in Clark's story outside of being his love interest. Lois represents everything about humanity that makes it worth saving, both the good and the bad. She's damn important, and up until this last season Smallville did a good job in writing her for the most part. She was funny when the rest of the show was too serious. She was independent when everyone else was fawning over Clark. This season though, she slowly got her balls chopped off. What was the point the relationship plot in this episode? Lois dumps Clark. Lois wants Clark back. Clark things Lois might be right. They almost get married. Flash forward 7 years and they still aren't married. Um ok, that really wrapped that sh*t up, writers. The whole thing was idiotic. Not to mention them reading each others vows aloud, then 10 minutes later they tell us their vows again at the wedding. Whose idea was that? And to have them STILL not married at the end? And on top of that you have the happy couple in the future acting like they are getting married on the down low. None of it made sense.

The final story arc that needed closure in this episode was the story of Clark pre-Superman. A culmination of 10 years of learning! Mostly culmination of 10 years of tantrums, depression, and stupidity, but I'm being generous. How many times does Clark have to figure out that he can't be ALL human or ALL Kryptonian before it sticks? Many, I guess. The worst part about the way this wrapped up was when that final shot came, of him ripping his shirt to reveal the \S/ (7 years later) with the Williams score in the background, I felt close to nothing. Honestly, nothing.

I will say the Luthors were the best part of this ending. Lionel, Tess, and Lex in a bald cap. I was never a huge Lex fan back in the day when he was a regular, because he liked to talk a lot and use tons of random analogies, and he never really felt like a full-on villain. He just didn't seem badass. In this episode, though, he was a total badass. And I think Lex murdering Tess was the perfect way for her story to end, and I was happy those two actors got to work together. And writing all this stuff about Lex now makes me sad Breaking In got canceled. I just started to really like that show.


In all, this episode was boring, and I haven't even mentioned #ZombieJohnathan. By the way, this show's cemetery scenes have sucked since the pilot. A lot of monologues were given and a lot of standing around was done, and then some villains were very easily dealt with. This show started off with promise, tumbled into awfulness, tried to scramble its way back to decent, and ended up just being on TV way too long.

Favorite lines:
“Why are you here?” - Tess asking the same question I asked Lana for years
“Is this about dad? I know it's been tough since he died, being the one left behind.” - Clark, sounding like a gentleman
“I'm such an idiot.” - Lois was an idiot, as is whoever came up with her storyline here
“What if Lois is right?” - Clark proving for the billionth time that he can't just make up his damn mind
“What killed me is that you didn't even want it” - Lex telling the truth
“Semantics” - Lex being awesome
“Paved with difficult trials”- Jor-El making me facepalm
“Always hold on to Smallville” - #ZombieJohnathan trying to stop me from selling my dvds. Too late!

The only good parts in the 2 hour finale:
Clark flying
Lex killing Tess
Jimmy and Perry White cameos...why does #FutureLois look so matronly?


30 May, 2011

Happy Belated Birthday Ted Levine! Hey, are you about a size fourteen?

Earlier today, it dawned on me that "Silence of the Lambs" turned 20 this year. [Geek Note: It was released February 14, 1991].

I loved me some "Lambs" back in '91. Not in the biblical sense! Get your simian brains out of the gutter. I real enjoyed the film but, I had a bad habit of regularly mixing it's title up with "Sleeping with the Enemy" the Julia Roberts suckspense crapfest that came out a week before. I remember thinking to myself "Why would anyone want to see a movie about sleeping with lambs?" in retrospect the filmmakers could have been pushing for a romcom aimed at the lonely Greek shepherd market, but I digress.

Lambs turning 20 means that serial killer Jamie "Buffalo Bill" Gumb's infamous pee pee dance* also celebrated it's platinum anniversary. This got me thinking about Ted Levine the fine character actor who portrayed Gumb in the movie who coincidentally celebrated his 54th birthday over the the Memorial Day weekend.

Ted is the unsung hero of the movie. I mean this dude bravely tucked it for Oscar gold (well not exactly, he didn't win, nor was he actually nominated in any category but the film DID win all 4 major awards).

Yet what recognition did Ted get for inducing hellish nightmares for the last twenty years?

Sure, there were celluloid tributes like Jay and Silent Bob homage in Clerks II.

I mean there's a freaking Lego musical tribute to Buffalo Bill!

But what about industry recognition? And there in lies the irony of it, all…Ted has portrayed many roles in his 30 year career, generals, policemen (Monk for eight years, Heat with Pacino and De Niro etc), hell he was a NASA astronaut but all that pales in comparison to "put the f**king lotion in the basket". Damn shame.

Regardless have a precious birthday Ted.

*If you have to ask, then just step away from this post now. You'll be doing us all a favor. Between that imagery and the backing soundtrack of Q Lazzarus' Goodbye Horses (listen here if you dare), I'm scarred for life.


Playstation Store OPEN FOR BUSINESS... [UPDATE]

UPDATE: Playstation Blog has put out the press release from Sony that indicates the Playstation Store will be up "this week." Apparently they are still having trouble figuring out how to bring the entire network back online without having a middleschool cheerleading squad hack into it while googling for hot boys.

Super duper fake insider sources tell me that Sony is almost certain to bring PSN down late tonight (or early tomorrow morning) and then bring the network up again in the late afternoon, Tuesday the 31st of May, with the storefront available.  This will be the first time in over a month that the Playstation Store will be available, since Sony's laughable security system was breached by toddlers from Wisconsin who were looking for a new recipe for melting cheese.

As detailed in an earlier article, Sony will offer various items and services for free as a make-good for the network and store being unavailable.  For North American account holders that includes:

TWO FREE PS3 GAMES from the list below downloadable for 30-days from the point of the restoration of the store.
  • Dead Nation
  • inFAMOUS
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Super Stardust HD
  • Wipeout HD + Fury

The same condition for PSP owners.
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • ModNation Racers
  • Pursuit Force
  • Killzone Liberation

Sony will also provide free movie titles (on their terms apparently, since they don't trust you) as well as 30 days free Playstation Plus for non subscribers. Existing Plus subscribers will receive 60 more days free.

Click on the above link if you want to know what else Sony is going to provide for free.

The most exciting freebie is 100 free virtual items for Home.  I can't wait to spend 1,200 hours trying to figure out where to put that new freebie table in my fake apartment that no one ever goes into, least of all me.

So, what is the first thing you are going to do when Playstation Store returns?  What free games are you grabbing?  And how excited are you to finally log into Home?  What do you think the chances are that someone hacks into the network again before Sony can relaunch the storefront?


29 May, 2011

Skype Hijacks You with EasyBits GO

I was just minding my own business just a few minutes ago when I received a notice from Skype.  I checked on it and it was asking me to give permission to some application.  I deny everything so I did this one too.  But it didn't seem to matter much to Skype since it:


The first two are totally true, the other two are conjecture but I bet it happened just like that.

What was this piece of malware?  It is called EasyBits GO and Skype is apparently partnering with them to treat your machine as its personal hack box.

EasyBits Go is the trojan horse and Skype is the hacker who wrote it.

So how do you get rid of this ridiculous piece of crap?  It is almost easy to remove its access from Skype and I will detail that below, but if you are more daring and wish to really get rid of it for ever (or until Skype decides to find ways around your security measures like some 12 year old hacking the Playstation Network), you should visit this site:

Go into Skype and click on Tools > Options > Advanced > Advanced Settings now look to the right and down and click on "Manage other programs’ access to Skype" and then click on Easybits Go and then "Remove" it.  Click "OK" and then "Save".

You will then want to shut down Skype and reboot your system.

Now, DO NOT open up Skype (no self respecting geek has Skype autostart!).  Go to Control Panel > Programs and Features (or Add or Remove Programs if you are lame and using old school Windows) and UNINSTALL THIS PIECE OF JUNK!

Then, because Skype and EasyGo are major douchebags and have made sure it stays on your system, go to:

C:\ProgramData\Easybits GO and DELETE THE FOLDER!

I mean the "Easybits GO" folder, not the "ProgramData" ... sigh.

If you continue to have issues, go complain to Skype.  They know about it and think you are all idiots who deserve to be shafted.


Playstation Network Down... Again [now up at 11am EST]

Sony has brought the system down again, surely for some nefarious purpose like robbing you of Black Ops or Killzone 3 leveling time.  Or perhaps it is this rumored return of the Playstation Store.  Who knows?  We hope Sony does but so far they are not saying anything except that your info isn't safe and that the system could be hacked again at any time, or at least that is what they said to Congress.

Return here often to see if there are any updates.


UPDATE 10:52am EST: Several PSN users are reporting that they can log in again.

UPDATE 10:48am EST: A member of the Playstation Community team just Tweeted:

"Our engineers are aware of the issues with PSN and are working on it, sit tight."


28 May, 2011

PS3 News: PSN Store to Return Soon?

Rumors are stirring throughout the industry that Sony may rediscover what it is like to actually serve its customers and to make money doing it.  The Playstation Network is expected to go down on Tuesday for maintenance and return either 31 May or 1 June (depending on your region) with the storefront enabled.  PSN was down for a month when a 12-year old from Bangkok accidentally hacked into it while performing a Google search for anime porn.  The store has been down longer as Sony tries to figure out how to keep infants from exploiting their new super duper strong security measures.

Granted, Sony could just as well get hacked this weekend and bring the entire thing down again.  You never know with these clownshoes.  One would think Sony, a company many were surprised to discover actually researches AND develops technology and not bathroom products, would have understood how network/system security works and that their system was begging to be hacked.  But apparently they were too busy counting and cashing checks to bother with such an insignificant problem, one that they themselves report will cost them nearly 200 million in losses.  That is in dollars not candy coins or wishful thinking, mind you.


What will you do first when the PSN Store is restored?  Will you buy anything?  Or will you try to hack it to see how much free crap you can get before the FBI kicks down your door?

That reminds me, once the network is back up and running, Sony has released information about their make-good rewards for account holders and also the identity theft protection plan that they will provide to anyone affected by the data theft.  So, for the trouble you get some games, movies, Playstation Plus for 30-days, and identity theft protection all for FREE.  If that is our reward for losing the network for a month, I hope someone brings it down for three months so I can get a free Madden 11 (or 12, what are they up to anyway) since I will NEVER buy another $60 packaged patch from EA again.

WARNING: the above links take you to the official Playstation blog, run by Sony.  It is very likely that your personal info will be stolen, your car will be repossessed, your pet will pee on you while you sleep, and your significant other will leave you for an X-BOX 360 owner.  Click carefully!

On a totally unrelated note, if you voted "Who?" in the poll on the front page, then you need to put down the Justin Bieber CD and discover the genius that is Bon Iver.


27 May, 2011

Star Wars on Blu Ray: What the Suck?!

September 16, 2011 will be a day long remembered. Blu Ray technology will finally have a reason for existing...the Star Wars Saga will be released, and I am furious.

Before any of you molested victims of Lucas start chiming in, it has absolutely nothing to do with the prequels or the omission of the original versions. Nope, no problems with any of those things and I have no intention of entertaining conversation about them.

What really irks me is that Lucasfilm is about to unleash the Holy Grail and they decided to make the packaging* look like this????

WTF?! It's a freakin' cover of a Judy Blume book "Are You There Obi-Wan? It's Me Luke".

A five year old could have done better.

Look at this:

What's up with the fish?

Or this...

The kid captured the emotion of the scene. Luke doesn't look happy. Maybe it's the club foot?

It's so ridiculous that it makes you wonder, what went into the decision process. I can only imagine what the other choices were. How much worse could they have been??

At least the picture conveys Vader's badassness! Not to mention it ACTUALLY contains Vader. He looks like he's about to go so medieval on Capt. Antilles that the stormtrooper can't bear to watch.

If I had known that Lucasfilm was holding a fan made cover contest, I would have submitted a picture of a sock puppet.

Or I would have sent them a picture of my dog dressed as Vader. [Editor's Note: that really is his dog]

I guess Lucasfilm lost Drew Struzan's number.

Oh yeah, I pre-ordered my set the day it was announced.

*Yes, yes the packaging for the separate trilogies looks much better. But who are we kidding, purchasing the whole set is the way to go. Buying each of the trilogies separately means you'll lose some of the extras (I think). So if you are an obsessive compulsive collector like me then you're stuck with this crap.


26 May, 2011

Summer TV Geek Schedule

TVByTheNumbers just posted a list of the summer releases for TV but I decided to break it down to only the shows important to GEEKS... or that I allow geeks in my house to watch!

Ice Road Truckers 6/5 History Channel
Covert Affairs 6/7 USA
White Collar 6/7 USA
Falling Skies 6/19 TNT
Futurama 6/23 Comedy Central
Louie 6/23 FX
Wilfred 6/23 FX
Burn Notice 6/23 USA
Torchwood: Miracle Day 7/8 Starz
Curb Your Enthusiasm 7/10 HBO
Alphas 7/11 Syfy
Eureka 7/11 Syfy
Warehouse 13 7/11 Syfy
Rescue Me 7/13 FX (final season)

Note to non-American readers: month first, date second.


Skype is DOWN!!!11111one

As of this moment, at 0830 EST on 26 May, 2011, Skype has committed suicide.  Tune in for updates as to when the frakin' thing will be back!

UPDATE: GeekFurious super techs have found a solution.  Go to:

C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Skype and delete the file shared.xml

This should let you log in (the "Username" portions should be YOUR username).

If you are still having problems, Skype has more detailed instructions HERE.


New Bon Iver rules!


25 May, 2011

Happy Star Wars Day! - 25 May, 1977

Today is the REAL Star Wars Day for fans of the movies who are not chumpy little POSEURS!

34 years ago, Uncle George (well, they called him that until 1999 when many accused Lucas of raping their childhood and touching them in a bad place... to that I say, if you can't keep it in your pants, keep it in the family, Uncle George!), brought us the original Star Wars movie and inspired thousands of artists from whogivesapoo to nooneispayingmetoresearchthiscrap.

But wannabe geeks and nerds who fell in love with the franchise when they first discovered it last year have hijacked the fandom and made the 4th of May the "official" Star Wars Day. Why? Because these nutjobs have decided that the biggest franchise in the history of everything somehow needs a cute little play on words for us to remember it. For those who haven't figured it out yet, the date was chosen so nerdjobs could say "May the Fourth be with you!" like some lispy idiots trying to say "May the Force be with you."

Get it? Isn't it cute? Isn't it awesome?

"NO! IT ISN'T!" is the appropriate response.

So, next year, when Star Wars faker fans wish you a happy Star Wars Day on the 4th, punch them in the frakin' face! Repeat this with everyone, as many times as necessary, for as many years as necessary, until you condition them to know the correct date.

You have your mission, Star Wars fans. Carry on.

May the twenty-fifth be with you.


24 May, 2011

Bon Iver - Bon Iver, a most Geek Furious and Illegal Review

Bon Iver's latest dropped in my lap today, through magical means, and I can't help but write about it!  This won't be a thorough review since I am super lazy.  So here are my quick impressions of each song AS I LISTEN TO THEM.  A nice way to kick off this site:

1. Perth - I want to find an American Idol producer and punch him in his face! God muthafrakofadamn! Is it derivative of Bon Iver's originally release?  Only at first (which is a good thing, since I want more of "For Emma" gods dammit!) but then the thrash metal percussions kick in and I suddenly ordered Dominos.  I don't know why but I did.  It made me hungry.

2. Minnesota, WI - This thing is better than McDonalds french fries.  There is a very natural opening vocal that moves easily to falsetto and back out and then right back into it and so on.  At this point my ears are in musical nirvana.  I don't want to punch anyone.  I cancel the Dominos order.

3. Holocene - Right from the start of the opening guitar my pucker factor has increased.  It is like a sixth sense for genius.  I know I am about to get kicked in the ears with brilliance and this thing doesn't disappoint.  Oh lordy lordy lordy so few things live up to expectations but this album is already raping my negativity and I am in love with my victimizer.

4. Towers - Hey! It is Toad the Wet Sprocket! Or some country song? Oh nos! It is Bon Iver! The opening is surprisingly safe for this band and the whole of the song feels to me like Arcade Fire and Bon Iver collaborated for at least half of it.  It is a pretty song and I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes a radio hit.  It isn't moving me like the first three but that is like complaining that I got McDonalds fries instead of Dominos.  Come on.  Both are 5 star cuisines.

5. Michicant - Worst song on the album if you hate beauty.  If you love the pretty, then this is like the 5th song you have listened to on the album and you are crying because life sucks and everything disappoints us but Bon Iver didn't.  This baby is soothing and warm and it lubed up its fingers before penetrating deep into my soul, with a later half jingle bellzy thingy followed by subtle percussions.  I wouldn't be shocked if this one becomes a favorite live song.

6. Hinnom, TX - I am getting sick and tired of this album not having one bad song on it!  Who the hell do these clowns think they are?  I also don't like the tickling feeling I get in my manties (man panties,come on)  listening to the vocals.  What does that say 'bout me?!  I am glad CHUCK is going to have new Bon Iver to use during its 5th and final season, Fridays at 8/7c on NBC.  Sorry, I need time to get over the constant promotion of that show.  Back to this song, it is very soothing and purty and geniusy.  Dig it.

7. Wash. - Appropriately named.  I need to wash the sexy off me after this one, the best so far on the album.  The opening piano note for some reason reminded me of Starbuck playing the piano in that awesome season 4 sequence as the cylons realize she is playing their song.  Oh, spoiler warning.  Anyway, I so love this song I have to listen to it again.  I have this euphoric feeling of falling in love deep inside my freshly sated with McDonalds nuggets belly.  I think this is going to be my favorite song of the year.

8. Calgary - This is the single so I have already heard it 50 times.  Just like Canadians, when compared to the parts south of it, it just doesn't compare as well.  At least at this point in the writing of this review, or whatever you want to call it, it is the worst song on the album!  But that could be because I have heard it so many times already.  Shrug.

9. Lisbon, OH - There comes a moment on every new album where you get to the last few songs and figure that this is where the duds must be.  I remember feeling that way as I listened to Master of Puppets and then Orion slowly built up and I was floored.  Yeah, well that didn't happen this time.  This is just a build-up to the next track and a total waste of time to review.  Thanks!  Though, to be fair, I am sure there is a conceptual reason for it and blahblahblah but I am not here to review the psychology of genius.  I just love great songs.

10. Beth Rest - The apparent final song (at least for this review) is a fine close-out that made me think of the end of PURPLE RAIN (the movie... well, so... the song of the same title).  It has a very 80s movie music feel to it.  It would have fit right into a quiet moment in LETHAL WEAPON 2.


The first 7 (or 8) songs are wonderful and beautiful and brilliant and this and that and whatever.  Is it as great as the band's original release?  I don't know.  I think it is hard to top perfection.  I will need to listen to it a few hundred times to know for sure.  But if I were to compare it, I would say For Emma, Forever Ago was their Master of Puppets and that this one is their Ride the Lightning (thrash metal fans will understand).  Both are great.  One is more memorable to the masses.

So, on the initial listen, on a rating scale that goes from ZERO to ONE HUNDRED, where their first was a 100 for me, this one is:

96 out of 100
And now I go to listen to Wash. 500 times in a row.