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by John Lindstedt

23 Feb 2010

NBC’s original ad concept for announcing Jay Leno’s return to The Tonight Show involved a parody of Dallas: Jay Leno would be shown in the shower (a la J.R.), and his move to ten o’clock would be “all a dream.” The idea was nixed in favor of a far less interesting campaign, although audiences were thankfully spared the image of the “funnyman” in the shower. Instead, NBC’s promo shows Jay driving back to 11:30 in one of his choice vehicles, much similar to the ads they showed to announce his initial 10 o’clock move. NBC’s ad features the Beatles’s “Get Back”, which feature the lyrics, “get back to where you once belong.” Leno’s return to Tonight has proven controversial, however, especially among the tech savvy crowd. In the following clip, some prankster replaces “Get Back” with a song that more accurately expresses the sentiments of the internet community:

by L.B. Jeffries

23 Feb 2010

Modern Warfare 2 and the other Call of Duty games have always been very map-reliant multiplayer games. The series abandons traditional design elements like “Race to the Gun” and emphasizes a more tactical, map-reliant approach. This isn’t really intended to be a strategy guide but rather just a discussion about how the gameplay works and feels overall. While I personally prefer lone wolfing it on Team Deathmatch, other players have different approaches and tactics. I talked with several much more advanced players than myself and relied on a couple of different gamefaqs to balance out my perspective. I also don’t really go into team play because I know nothing about it.

Generally speaking, the “Race to the Weapon” design in something like that of Halo 3, adding a layer of strategy for both good and bad players. Knowing the map and where your favorite gun drops are is essential, but for the bad player, there is always the chance to snatch the weapon before your opponent gets a hold of it. This lets that player take the advantage by forcing the player to use a weapon that they’re not quite as skilled at using. Modern Warfare 2 completely ditches this approach. You get to pick your starting guns and can change classes after death. Since players can carry two guns, they usually set up classes that balance out their range payload. Snipers equip something short range for moving from point to point as the secondary, somebody using the SCAR-H compensates for the short clip with a perk or a machine pistol. All the perks and upgrades make it possible to create this finely tuned, personalized death machine. Most guns can be tweaked up or down the range scale with attachments. Something like the F2000 or AK-47 can be used at long range if you slap an ACOG on them, so that even a relatively inaccurate gun can be used for long distances when needed.

by Mehan Jayasuriya

23 Feb 2010

Despite the fact that Roger Miller once sang, “Fame and fortune is the game I play”, recognition and success clearly eluded Mission of Burma during their brief initial run. So it’s hard to resent the band for their decision to reform, especially since, unlike some other, recently reunited, Bostonian indie-rock legends, they’ve justified their existence by releasing three new records that make a strong argument for continued relevance.

by Michael Landweber

22 Feb 2010

It’s a foreign policy nightmare. A country with a radical Islamic government that hates the U.S. is developing a nuclear weapons capability. Nukes and terrorists are pretty scary on their own; combine the two and it’s time to hide in the bunker. If only our enemies would talk to us. We could work it out.

But wait. What’s that you say?  An American President is sitting down right now with the leader of this Islamic Republic? They’re not only talking, but they’re within striking distance of an agreement to end the rogue weapons program. All they need is to agree on the composition of an international inspection regime. Furious international diplomacy ensues – and an accord is reached. There will be peace in the Middle East.

Clearly, this is the crowning achievement of the Obama Administration. The culmination of its stated policy of engagement with our enemies. Oh, wait. It’s not the Obama Administration talking to Iran. It’s the Taylor Administration talking to the Islamic Republic of Kamistan – no, you won’t find it on a map – in the first episode of this season of 24. In the real world, Iran is still charging ahead with its nuclear program and thumbing its nose at any proposed compromise.

by Bill Gibron

22 Feb 2010

Somewhere, the marketing executives behind Cop Out are laughing. Or rubbing their hands together in greedy anticipation. Or praying that none of the recent fat flap between the noted indie director and Southwest Airlines rubs off negatively on their upcoming buddy comedy. In a move that seems more based on friendship than box office bankability, star Bruce Willis got his buddy Kevin Smith to helm a film he had nothing to do with. He didn’t create the jaunty police laugher. He didn’t craft the script (something he has done on every previous film he’s made). He basically came on as a filmmaker for hire. Now, thanks to weight and the way in which the flying industry function circa 2010, Smith has become part of a plateau he rarely frequents - the tabloid-rich realm of TMZ

On the 19 February episode of Bill Maher’s Real Time, the jocular host took the noted filmmaker to task, arguing that fat people basically need to nut up or shut up. In essence, Maher’s point was that, if you normally have to abide by a surreal set of size rules (obese flyers frequently have to buy two seats to travel on major carriers these days) you shouldn’t complain when you try and circumvent them. Specifically, Smith had two seats booked on another flight, saw he could take an earlier standby departure, and then Tweeted about being asked to leave the plane when the pilot declared him - and his one seat - a security risk. The entire episode became one of those drawn out slow news day featured stories of the 24 hour cycle, pulling in everyone from the pro-porcine movement (which Maher also chastised) to those who think all chubby people ‘suck’.

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