Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Roboshark

I found Roboshark on Netflix a week or so ago. I live-commented on Facebook, and I'm transcribing it here. In case you are wondering what Roboshark is, here's a trailer.


My commentary is below the fold.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Fallout 4 Security Door

Long time, no posts. I'm a terrible blogger. But I made something amusing while playing Fallout 4, and I created a little video to describe it, so I might as well share it via the old blog.
I have already started expanding on the project, so I may do a more extensive video in the future.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Suspicious Email

suspicious emailI neglect the blog so much. Everyone once in a while, though, something happens that reminds me to do a post. This one falls in the "suspicious email" category.

This came to my work email address. The email source is not in one of our business domains, so that tells me it's not our help desk, if it's anyone's.

The grammar is dubious, which doesn't help.

The language is pretty typical for a phishing email.

So, screw you "Marian O'Rourke"; there's no way in hell I'm opening that attachment.


Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Crushing Kellogg (Fallout 4 Spoiler)

It's really no secret that you're going to have to face this guy in Fallout 4, but I suppose the spoiler warning is warranted if you've never had this conversation and want to go in "cold" the first time. You also get an idea of how he fights. This is one solution to dealing with him: lots of drugs.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The 40 Plot Holes That Weren't (continued)

This is old news now, but I hate to leave things unfinished.

Original annoying article: 40 Unforgivable Plot Holes in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
Part one of my response: The 40 Plot Holes That Weren't

Click through for the rest.


Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Defending the Castle

This isn't exactly the same Castle as in my previous post, as this is a new character, but my defensive setup is largely the same. I let the Institute know that I was not going to be joining them. They didn't take the news well. They can bring it; I've been preparing for this day.

Share My Pain: Zombeavers

I was bored at home on a Saturday night, therefore bad movie. How bad? "Zombeavers" bad. Behold the trailer...

I live-commented on Facebook, and I have copied the transcript below the fold.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Building Up the Castle

If you follow me on Facebook, you may know that my current gaming obsession is Fallout 4. One of the features in the latest version of Fallout is settlement-building. You need to set up radio beacons to attract settlers, then make sure to satisfy needs like food, water, and beds for the people who show up. You also need to prepare for attacks on your settlement by various factions that want to steal your resources or just destroy for fun.

Settlement building seems to be one of the most popular aspects of the new game. Lots of YouTubers have uploaded videos of their settlements, and some have published detailed how-to videos. My own entry is not very elaborate, but FO4 has given me the opportunity to mess around with the video capture features of my PlayStation 4. I therefore present my own Fallout 4 settlement video.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

The 40 Plot Holes That Weren't

Nena showed me an article called 40 Unforgivable Plot Holes in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' by Seth Abramson of the University of New Hampshire. She agrees with me that most of them don't qualify as either. It looks to me like Seth wasn't paying attention half the time.

I can be an argumentative jerk, so I'm going to dissect his article item-by-item.

This is your spoiler warning.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

The Force Awakens

I have now seen the movie twice. I was a bit disgruntled the first time, as I had avoided spoilers until mere hours before I actually got to see it, which put me in a somewhat negative mood.

I was past the negative feelings this time, so I think I can safely say that I do, in fact, like Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I agree that it is highly derivative of previous Star Wars movies (I will not say which above the fold), but that doesn't really hurt it. This movie has the character development and dialogue that we truly love from the episodes IV-VI. It has action, but not pointless action.

Don't get me wrong: it could be better. The plot doesn't have blatant plot holes, but there are certainly plenty of open questions (which is okay if sequels fill them seamlessly).

Spoiler free, I am not disappointed that I payed to see it in theaters twice. I may even do it again. If you still haven't seen it, go away.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Just a Rifle

Yet again, there's a dubious photo meme going around on Facebook.

Just a Rifle
I'm not going to try to make a case that you should not be allowed to purchase an AR-15 rifle like the one at the bottom of the image. I just want to point out that this whole "just a rifle" argument is disingenous. Rifles have different designs for different purposes, and terminology has adapted to describe those purposes. Not all rifles are made equal.

According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, an "assault rifle" is a "military firearm that is chambered for ammunition of reduced size or propellant charge and that has the capacity to switch between semiautomatic and fully automatic fire." By design, they are easy to carry, have a high rate of fire, carry a large amount of ammunition in the magazine, and reload quickly by changing the mazagine. The only distinction that the civilian model at the bottom has from a military weapon is that the civilian weapon is not capable of fully automatic fire.

The first (top) rifle in the image is a lever-action rifle. Today, they are designed mostly for hunting at moderate range. Looking at online advertisements, they are available in a wide range of calibers. The magazine typically seems to hold about 10 rounds of ammunition, which would have to be loaded into the weapon individually. The weapon must be cocked by lowering and raising the lever before every shot, which will limit its rate of fire, but if you went on a crazy shooting spree with this weapon, you could probably shoot ten people before you had to stop and reload, allowing potential victims to either escape or attack you.

The second is a bolt-action rifle, also typically used for hunting these days, although military sniper rifles are also frequently bolt-action rifles. Generally used with a scope, they are accurate at long ranges. The World War 2 era rifle that I own myself holds 5 rounds in the magazine; these can be loaded individually or loaded all at once using a "stripper clip" that holds all five rounds together in the right orientation for loading. These rifles typically use a powerful cartridge like the .30-06 round (7.62 mm). The bolt-action must be manually worked before every shot. If this was your weapon on a shooting spree, you could potentially hit from a large distance, but you would still probably only be able to hit a few people before your victims scrambled for cover.

And finally, the third weapon, which is also "just a rifle". The design is military, although the fully automatic fire capability is removed for the civilian market. For the military, it is intended to fire a lot of bullets in a short time at moderate range. As far as I know, civilians typically buy such weapons for home defense, plus just liking the idea of owning such a weapon. The AR-15 fires .223 caliber ammunition (5.56 mm): a small but fast bullet. The civilian model is semi-automatic, loading a fresh round into the chamber after every shot, allowing you to fire as quickly as you can aim and pull the trigger. I found online ads for AR-15 magazines holding anywhere from 10 to 40 rounds of ammunition. By design, the magazine can be detached when empty and quickly replaced with a full one. If this was your weapon on a shooting spree, and you had practiced with it, you could reasonably expect to shoot dozens of people.

I am not against gun ownership. As I said, I have a rifle myself. In it's time, my Mosin-Nagant was a military combat rifle.

I am against bad arguments for anything. Pretending that there is no difference between the three rifles in that picture is dishonest. You don't need 40 rounds of .223 semi-automatic fire for deer hunting; a weapon like the AR-15 is meant to kill people.

Sure, "assault" is an action, but it is also a design specification.