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Martin Zarate
07 September 2009 @ 09:03 pm
My brain hurts. xkcd. I shouldn't read horror, even horror-as-a-satire-of-critical-analysis.

Also, last week I finally saw Watchmen. It was like watching Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy again - a movie made by some people who obviously really, really loved the source material but had little idea how to make anything but a blockbuster action movie. Watchman strains when hammered into that kind of mould, even when the director tried to stay true to the source material. Nite Owl was wonderful, Manhattan was good, Rorschach was inconsistent, Silk Specter was bad, and Ozymandias was a freaking catastrophe.
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Martin Zarate
29 August 2009 @ 01:40 pm

2009-08-12 320

2009-08-12 423

Originally uploaded by Pxtl

I'm back from 4 weeks in Argentina. 4 weeks is just long enough for the place you were staying to start feeling like home, and the place you left looks damned weird when you get back.

Pictures on my Flickr page.
Martin Zarate
12 July 2009 @ 09:09 pm
This title should make no sense at all.

Now, you're probably thinking: "StarCon" sounds like it refers to Star Control, which it does. Star Control was, obviously, released... many times in fact, including sequels and ports. So WTF is Martin going on about?

First, a history lesson: Star Control was a really, really good pair of games (SC and SC2) released back in the '90s. The first was a boardgame/duel game hybrid, the second was a space-adventure/duel game hybrid. Both of them excelled at their 1 on 1 action and their outer-game components. Star Control 2 in particular is remembered as one of the best games of all time. They were made by Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford, AKA Toys for Bob. Star Control II is available for free online, thanks to TFB releasing all content to the 3DO version of the game under an open license. If you haven't played it, get it. Now. Like, stop reading this post and go download it and come back later.

The third game was not. Accolade (the publisher) retained many of the rights to Star Control, particularly the name, but not specific characters, so they hired a third party company to make a sequel to SCII. It flopped.

The fourth game also was not made by Toys for Bob. It was a PS1 game that was heavily divorced from the series - a behind-view shooter based on the Colony Wars games, instead of a top-down adventure game. Even the name was changed - instead of Star Control 4, it was simply called StarCon. Or at least, it would have been, if it had been released. But really, nobody wanted a confused sequel to a series that had obviously become utterly aimless and was also long-past it's sell-by date (SC2 was originally a DOS game).

At least, until now. I stumbled upon this news while looking for a way to get SC2 music as a ringtone (I suck, I know).

StarCon Released

It was a sequel nobody wanted that the company decided to can, so it probably isn't any good... but I'm downloading it now with bewildered curiosity.
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: Chmmr
Martin Zarate
12 June 2009 @ 01:48 pm
You fail at failing:

Unable to cast object of type 'System.Web.Configuration.ScriptingAuthenticationServiceSection' to type 'System.Web.Configuration.ScriptingAuthenticationServiceSection'.
Martin Zarate
01 December 2008 @ 10:00 pm
Am I the only one thinking that Harper has been planning this move since before the last election?

Look at it: call an election when the Liberals are weak and useless, with an impending recession. Then, with the political capital of a fresh party, go in for the kill - disembowel all the opposing parties' funding.

This puts the Liberals into the position that they have to use their ultimate desperation tactic - the coalition with the NDP and Bloc, on the brink of a recession. Even if Canadians accept the pseudo-legitimate (edit: clarification, I don't see them that way, but the public will) government, they are going to be presiding over an economic catastrophe that will utterly destroy what little respect they have left. Particularly with a vicious back-biter like Layton clinging on for the ride, the Liberals are utterly hopeless.

This is going to be a disaster of epic proportions.

Somebody in the Con party is an evil, evil genius.

Personally, I'm taking this as a sign that there's something fundamentally wrong with simply assigning the control of Parliament to the party with the most seats by default. It's created a position where Harper got to simply demand whatever he wanted, while the Liberals had to choose between rolling over and pushing the country into another miserable election. Minority governments are supposed to be about compromise, not playing chicken with the electorate.

The Prime Mininister and his cabinet should be elected by an internal vote run within the House of Commons. That would make sure that minority governments still represent the majority of Canadians - or at least the majority of Canadians whose representatives can produce some sort of a consensus.

edit: some more clarifications. I don't think the Cons would do any better with running Canada through the recession. I just think that they could weather the political storms of recession better than a Liberal government that the Canadian populace sees as questionably legitimate, particularly with since Layton has an incredible knack for making them look stupid. I *want* a Liberal government back. I just think that this one is going to be our last Liberal government for a long, long time.

Think about it - when Dion steps down, it's going to be between Ignatieff and Rae. While I despise Ignatieff's support for neoconservative military policy, I think he's a strong enough leader to pull it off... but if the NDP has any say in the replacement, which they might, then it'll be Bob Rae.

Think about that: Bob Rae, running a government, in a recession.

Doesn't matter how good a job he does. He, and by extension the Liberal party, will be scapegoated for every single problem of the recession.

The conservatives know this. They've put the Liberals in a suicidal position.

Like I said, somebody in the Con party is an evil, evil genius.
Current Mood: worriedworried
Martin Zarate
10 October 2008 @ 12:29 pm

props to PBF.
Martin Zarate
11 September 2008 @ 11:59 pm
Today, my boss took us all out for dinner and drinks at the Snooty Fox.  I biked over, since I bike to work, and locked up my bike in front.

At Between 5:30 and 7 pm, in broad daylight, in the middle of Westdale Village, somebody stole my freaking bicycle seat.

What is f*cking wrong with people?
Martin Zarate
28 August 2008 @ 09:43 pm
On the right... is that.... an ad? NOOOOOOOO!
Martin Zarate
10 August 2008 @ 11:56 pm
So, Apple has thoroughly entrenched itself in the list of "companies that will, from now on, keep their grubby paws away from my PCs".  After being frustrated with how dismally bad iTunes is when I was managing my music myself, I figured I'd let apple give it a shot and am now running under the alternate approach where iTunes manages my music and moves everything into their heirarchy.  I use this because it's obviously how iTunes was meant to be used, since if you don't do this you run into all sorts of trouble when you try to edit ID3 tags or do similar operations.

It fails even worse.   I now have 3 copies of every file in The Slip.
Martin Zarate
26 June 2008 @ 11:37 pm

First, this:

It's probably fake, but the Seattle Pi does say that they asked Gates about it.  If so, I have both newfound respect and disappointment for the man.  He knew about the problems with Windows... but he couldn't change them.

Also, I really wish the band described below was real:


If you don't read Questionable Content already, you can thank me/curse me later.  Incredibly funny and well-drawn, but the plot moves at a snail's pace so once you catch up to the author you really miss being able to keep reading.

And yes, I'm a sucker for romance.
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Current Mood: amusedamused