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Archive for November 16th, 2008

How about that?  Data is fudged, smudged, drudged, and… well, data is… malleable.

The World Has Never Seen Such Freezing Heat

Telegraph (dot-CO-dot-UK) put it beautifully:

A GISS spokesman lamely explained that the reason for the error in the Russian figures was that they were obtained from another body, and that GISS did not have resources to exercise proper quality control over the data it was supplied with. This is an astonishing admission: the figures published by Dr Hansen’s institute are not only one of the four data sets that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) relies on to promote its case for global warming, but they are the most widely quoted, since they consistently show higher temperatures than the others.

If there is one scientist more responsible than any other for the alarm over global warming it is Dr Hansen, who set the whole scare in train back in 1988 with his testimony to a US Senate committee chaired by Al Gore. Again and again, Dr Hansen has been to the fore in making extreme claims over the dangers of climate change. (He was recently in the news here for supporting the Greenpeace activists acquitted of criminally damaging a coal-fired power station in Kent, on the grounds that the harm done to the planet by a new power station would far outweigh any damage they had done themselves.)

I’m sitting here in snow.  Before Thanksgiving.  Inches and inches of snow.  Been looking forward to driving in it, too.  Yah.  Hoo.

So much for my dream of being bitten by a mosquito in December.

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Ok, by now many MoronBloggers have been saying “Pffft!  To hell with this Mr. Lemur King jerk.  He gets a game and drops us like a bad habit.”

Well, uh… yes.  Sorry.  But to be fair other things like work, family, my neck, the dog, and sleep (rare as it is) have conspired to give me just enough time to do one of two things in the free hour or so that I have before bed… Blogging  – or – Being a Bad Guy and ridding Africa of Even More Bad Guys.

Until, that is, Part 2 of Far Cry.  It got lots harder and they started shoving entire companies of bad guys at you all at once in cramped quarters with nowhere to run.  And being stingy with the ammo.  Not very “open ended” and in fact I don’t believe I’ll buy another game from them.  Tell me:  Why do companies who make software that is a major hit go and take the very things that made the game “The Best” and NOT do them in the sequel?

Cases in point:

Far Cry —>  Far Cry 2 :: Ignore the open-ended  strategy and force essentially linear play just as soon as the game gets really good

Deus Ex —>  Deus Ex: Invisible War :: Every damn thing that made the original good… they DID NOT do in the sequel, and they dumbed it down for consoles

Doom I and II —>  Doom III ::  Hello?  I seem to remember open areas and a whole lot more lighting – this flashlight/gun/pit-of-darkness crap was pretty worthless

You would think that they never once asked a hardcore player off the street what they thought, wouldn’t you?  You’d be right.

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So, instead, I’ve seen the error of my ways.  That choice was clearly unacceptable and totally unfair.  I’ve decided to go back to the start and have chosen to play Fallout 3 instead.  Is it quite like FO1 and FO2?  Nope.  Is it indeed “Oblivion with Guns”?   Weeeeeelllll… yes and no.  It feels like Oblivion in terms of movement, dialogue, and interaction with the world.  What it does have is an absolutely creep-your-butt-out atmosphere and sound and it really really feels like after the bombs fell.  My movement from point A to point B to get back to town at night was 1/10th speed because of turning around all the time, looking for sneaky bad guys.

VATS targeting system is a hoot, and if you hit the bad guy critically… parts go flying.  Heads, too.  That must sound gross.  And it is.  But once you get numb to it, bullet-time takedowns of the bad guys are what you live for.

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