Archive for May, 2005

E3 2005

Thursday, May 19th, 2005

E3 2005: the end of the first day (and the only day I’ll be attending). Got there by carpool just after 9am and parking was no trouble. We got into one of the South Hall parking structures. $10 for the day is very cheap downtown parking between 4! Badge pickup was also quick – just a 5 minute queue. Which meant that I was there at doors open, 10am.

Overall impressions: plenty of shooters, as usual. Also there seemed to be a lot of cel-shaded anime style games: RPGs, beat-em-ups, what have you. It’s the in thing at the moment. Nintendo seems to be innovating. EA has a nice lineup with a mix of driving, action and sports. Square-Enix are still inexplicably stopping people from photographing their screens (so we just go to the Nintendo/Sony/MS stands and photo the Square-Enix games there).

My standouts of the show:
Ghost Recon 3 – for great use of HDR, decent HUD touches and just a well-polished feel.
Gameboy Micro – how small can it get? This is quite shiny.
Burnout Revenge – great fun; it’s a definite for me.
George A. Romero’s City of the Dead – probably the best blend of Havok physics & animation.

Stuff which I couldn’t be bothered to queue for:
PS3 – saw the vids. Awesome, and not just graphically better.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – Link turns into a werewolf; has somewhat of the Ocarina of Time vibe.

General good stuff:
We Love Katamari – more of the same, new 2-player co-op mode, hope it’s still $20.
DDR Mario Mix – DDR for kids!
Nintendogs & Animal Crossing DS – DS is looking like it’s on my list now.

Disappointment of the show:
XBox 360 – half a dozen titles which look about as good as PC games can now. Hum. And what were they thinking with the white controllers?

“It should have come out already” awards to:
Battalion Wars

(all of which were at last year’s E3 and at least halfway complete then)

Japanese stuff that piqued my interest:
Shadow of the Colossus – the followup to Ico.
Ogami – very interesting brushwork-on-parchment look.
Any one of a half-dozen RPGs (mostly cel-shaded).

Best Babes: The ones in the white tops and tartan skirts were nice. As were the THQ ones.

Worst Babes: Well, I won’t say worst. But Nyko babes were scary this year. And special mention goes out to Ryl, the also-ran MMORPG tucked away in the Kentia Hall (home of wacky peripherals, retro game exhibition, media manufacturers and games that can’t make it to the other halls). I think they overcompensated a bit for the inadequacy of the game – they must have had 8 or 10 babes in skimpy medieval-type garb, who at one stage were all flaked out on the ground outside the Kentia Hall.

Photo gallery. Apologies for some of the shots. One can’t take photos of screens very well with a flash, and without a flash requires a longer exposure. After taking two dozen blurry screen photos, I decided to photo the babes instead. They are happy to pose and smile and they are much easier to get in focus (although I failed with the THQ babes).

Stunt City

Thursday, May 12th, 2005

Rexona advert currently in the UK. Thanks Mkm!

Bulletproof bird toys

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

I was just in my local pet shop because Mrs. Elbeno wanted to get a bird feeder or two. And while in the bird section, I noticed bird toys. I also noticed that they were emblazoned with “Bulletproof!” as if this were a serious selling point for bird toys.

I can think of three possible reasons for this.

a) Some people buy bird toys with the intention of attracting birds to shoot.
b) People shoot at squirrels or predators to keep them away from the bird toys.
c) Birds are so absurdly powerful and rapacious that they quickly shred any non-industrial strength material.

Scenario a) is more than a little disturbing; and besides, as Google tells me, all songbirds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In addition, toys are unlikely to attract most songbirds.

Scenario b), while more understandable, could surely be solved by easier and simpler means. Again, if we assume the toy is meant for a kept bird rather than a wild one, not many people have a bird enclosure big enough that they would have a problem with vermin getting into it.

Which leaves scenario c) as the most likely answer. So kids, don't put your fingers in the parrot cage.

E3 Approaches…

Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

…and I have my badge.

I see that the registration completion & what I assume is lanyard pickup starts at 8, so I think I’ll be turning up early this year (even though the show doesn’t start until 10 on the first day). Last year I turned up at 10 and spent 2 hours queueing for my badge pickup.

I approximately 193 hours I will be wandering in a paradise of electronic gratification, swimming in a sea of free t-shirts, and blinking amongst a bevy of booth babes.

What is up?

Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

I know Los Angeles sucks, but people! Stop shooting each other!

Slashdot headers: Futurama quotes?

Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

So I'm playing around with writing some HTTP/1.1 code, and I notice that slashdot is serving up some odd headers. X-Fry and X-Bender? Someone's a Futurama fan (not me; I had to look it up).

But don't take my word for it: see for yourself.

Habari Xenu

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005

I just downloaded Habari Xenu and installed it (discovered via ). First impression, it's spiffy. But already I'm seeing missing features. Am I wrong, too demanding, or what? I would like to have:

  • Built in advert blocking (or even better, use adblock's filter list). OK, I'm draconian, but I don't want to see any adverts. It's the principle of the thing. And I see the feed contains an ad for the feed provider.
  • It's not really solving a problem… Firefox can subscribe to RSS feeds just fine and display them as live bookmarks. What I really want it for it to mash all the “blog” feeds into one huge data stream, sorted in reverse by time, just like an LJ friends page. That would actually be useful above what Firefox does. As is, it's just Yet Another Online Content Display Tool.

Oh, and I just discovered a bug. If I “edit feeds” and choose to open a feed in a new tab, the dialog stops updating when I click to other feeds. So I can't open more than one feed in a new tab per instance of the “edit feeds” dialog.