Nov 252008
 

ArmA2_RescueOp

Editor’s Comment: Dan Van Nattan is a new contributing writer for Geeknews, this is his first article for us and we’re looking forward to seeing this collaborative effort grow.

The name itself certainly does not ring out with any cleverness or ingenuity. But anyone familiar with the first Armed Assault game will know that there’s nothing lightweight or lackluster about the sequel. It might help the knowledgeable reader to know that Armed Assault (ArmA) was the sequel to Operation Flashpoint, one of the great military simulations of the last 10 years.

Now we’re staring straight down the barrel of ArmA2. Riding on the success of ArmA, this sequel needs to make sure that it doesn’t fall short in the same areas it’s predecessor did. To bring everyone up to speed on what those previous failings were, I’ve compiled a short list of things that most reviewers agreed on when writing their articles about ArmA.

  • BAD Squad control UI
  • Terrible vehicle control
  • Poorly varied missions
  • Very high difficulty and brutally hard missions
  • Poor AI
  • Game controls were complex and clumsy
  • Several annoying graphical bugs and glitches
  • Simulation paced gameplay not to everyone’s tastes

Now obviously some of these aren’t massive gameplay issues, but all the issues combined were definitely a drag on the experience!

There were some major things that ArmA did very right. One of those was incorporating MASSIVE maps and play area. Unlike Joint Operations the play area of the maps was an enormous, highly detailed, usable area!

Another excellent factor in ArmA’s success was the very detailed weapon physics. Bullet-drop over distance was rendered very well. Weapon firing kick was also a factor you had to consider when trying to spray lead at the enemy. Some players found these aspects quite frustrating, but those of us who had grown tired of being sniped with pistols from extreme range were delighted with the change!

Having improved hugely over Operation Flashpoint, I think that Bohemia Interactive will be quite capable of improving ArmA2 over and above ArmA. If they can just address the problems listed above, they’ll not only end up with a best seller again, but they could easily end up witha game that raises a very high, new standard for other developers. With all the “arcadism” that seems to get dumped into every combat game on the planet, I can say that realism would be a welcome change in this genre!

All these things being taken into consideration, I leave you with ArmA2. Make your own assumptions based on what you see.

Bohemia Interactive: Official Website

Watch this site for more information about ArmA2 in the future.

ArmA2_RazorTeam ArmA2_Ingame-35

 Posted by at 1:44 pm
Nov 242008
 

Internet

Several days ago Abraham Biggs, 19 years old, took a cocktail of medications after he had chatted online about killing himself for most of the day during a video conversation with strangers. He died. While some of the folks in the forum pleaded with him to get help, some of them urge him on, laughing at him, calling him “faggot” and “coward.”.

Now the police are looking at the role played by the site, Justin.tv that hosted the video and BodyBuilding.net that hosted the chat bulletin board and whether the moderators and discussion board members acted inappropriately. Apparently one of the moderators at BodyBuilding.net called him an attention whore which certainly could be interpreted as contributing to the delays in trying to get this kid help.

One of the threads Abraham started discussing his suicide was on BodyBuilding.net, on this thread (“I’m gonna have 40 2mg bars of Xanax Tonight!“) he uses the alias CandyJunkie, and starts soliciting people to watch him online.

In my opinion, the streaming provider may not be culpable, but I’d need to see more details on when they learned of the event and the actions taken or not taken. Bodybuilding.net on the other hand appears to be more at risk here to legal action from the family. Also, I suspect any individuals that may have spurred this event along can or should be held accountable under the “duty to rescue” laws (note: i’m no experts in Torts law, there appears to be wiggle room in the interpretation of this).

 Posted by at 9:19 am
Nov 202008
 

uniman

A while ago, Andy asked me to review a book, The Unicorn Man, a collection of stark poetry and short stories with a skewed view toward the (supposed) coming apocalyptic end in 2012.

To be honest, not my bag of tea.  But, in order to give it a fair shake, I read through the book with a feeling of trepidation, and a cocked eyebrow to the intense nature of the authors’ focus on the prevalent darkness forever omnipresent in man.  Unless your state of mind closely follows the author, don’t expect this to be an easy read.  I found it difficult to keep a constant train of thought throughout the read, and had to break it up into several pieces, allowing myself to absorb what I’d read before continuing on.  Despite the content, I actually did enjoy Vox Anon’s writing style; it will be a bumpy ride in the beginning, but after figuring out what’s going on, its easier to follow.

So, first you follow the protagonist through three short stories – first as he has to deal with the spontaneous growth of a unicorn-like horn from his forehead, and the trials he has to deal with in trying to have it removed, and then finally realizing what significance it may bring into his life and society around him.  The second reads like a mythical tale following the conventional idealisms of a fairy tale unicorn and his tenuous relationship with a beautiful princess.  And finally, the third tale is a journal of the unicorn man in the future that describes his actions and events leading up the final moments before the end.  In all, very well written, provided you can follow the rhythm and intent of the tales.  In my opinion, the author uses these as a springboard to launch the reader into the fantastic worlds of grotesque and suicidal situations of the poems that follow.

Definitely the poems are the product of a mind entirely sunk into a dark process that has been bent by an imagination that I had seen very seldom to date.  Get ready for a journey through the mind of a person that holds nothing back!  Also of note are the last few dozen pages full of mystical collages of images ranging from the simple, to ultra-confusion with the unicorn as the main theme.  Truly a glimpse into the mind of a person with a lot of time to contemplate the future as he sees it.

Grab your copy at Amazon.com!

Nov 202008
 

Real Furby  Toy Furby

A primate species that supposedly looks like a living, breathing version of the Furby electronic toy has been found alive in the forested highlands of an Indonesian island for the first time in more than 70 years, scientists announced Tuesday.

I’m not so sure about the resemblance. I think the real Furby is butt ugly.

 Posted by at 7:14 am
Nov 182008
 

Pocket Protector

Just Geeky:

New Visa Card, Generates Random Security Codes [Switched] – In response to popular concerns with online credit card fraud, Visa Europe has announced a newly designed credit card, complete with a keypad and digital number display, according to the Daily Mail.

Ubuntu to run on ARM-based netbooks [ZDNet] – Canonical has announced it will be developing a version of its Ubuntu Linux desktop operating system specifically for ARM’s Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 processor architectures.

Science

Science:

Doctors hoping for new era of artificial ankles [Physorg] – What was left of Dan Sivia’s ankle simply didn’t work. He limped through his 30s by sheer force of will, one foot almost completely immobile from repeated broken bones and surgeries. Then a doctor offered his last hope: An ankle replacement. A what? Sivia knew about hip, knee, even shoulder replacements. But ankles?

‘Jelly balls’ may slow global warming [Sydney Morning Herald] – VAST numbers of marine “jelly balls” now appearing off the Australian east coast could be part of the planet’s mechanism for combating global warming.

Detecting Disease In Less Than 60 Seconds [Science Daily] – Chemists and immunologists devised a new rapid system for detecting and identifying viruses. It uses surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy to measure the frequency of near-infrared laser light as it scatters off viral DNA and RNA. After a swab of a person’s nasal passage, the technique can detect individual virus particles quickly and identify many types.

Games

Just For Fun:

Marvel is Developing Animated Thor Series [SuperHeroHype] – Marvel Animation is developing and self-producing a 26 half-hour episode series based on its long-running comic book “Thor,” with the series targeted to launch in fall 2010, following Marvel’s live-action feature Thor , which hits theaters on July 16, 2010.

Lego Batman Demo Impressions [The Download Munkey] – An enjoyable romp through a bright and shiny Lego (Legoized / Legofied ?) Gotham City with excellently animated Lego minifigs of familiar characters from DC Comics’s Batman universe.

Pocket PC

Gadgets:

Asus to Launch World’s ‘Fastest’ Smartphone [PCWorld] – Asus is calling its new P565 smartphone the “fastest business PDA phone in the world.”

Lunar Baby Thermometer [Forever Geek] –  A simple temperature checking device for the mother or father, aunt or uncle; whoever’s doing the placing of the hand on the head. Check the child’s temperature without uncomfortable placing of glass sticks in places of discontent.

 Posted by at 12:13 am