By blog on Jun. 20, 2010.
That neighbour I told you about in the car accident? Well he’s safe from the girl’s claim for compensation.
So there was some lead up to the case, but I’d not spoken to my neighbour in a while so I’d not heard about it until this week. He received notification in the post from a law firm that specialises in compensation claims for accidents that the chavette driver was in fact pursuing the case and was seeking compensation for claims of a whiplash injury she received during the accident.
My neighbour said he approached a law society he was familiar with who suggested the legal services of a group that should be able to help him out. He made an appointment with him and they were only too happy to take the case on.
Early last week the case was heard in a courtroom where the judge dismissed the case shortly after hearing what had happened from the mouth of the chavette herself! Once the chavette said that she hit my neighbours car because he’d stopped at an orange traffic light, the judge stopped her there, told her she was lucky she wasn’t being fined for wasting the courts time.
My neighbour was so happy with the outcome, and his lawyers said they didn’t feel like they deserved his money, but he said he was happy to pay the fee for the entertainment of seeing the young lady’s face when the judge got mad her.
My SO and I are very happy that our nice old neighbour doesn’t have to pay some compensation claim for something so ridiculous. It’s irritating to see how often these sorts of cases come about. There seems to be far too many ‘ambulance chasers’ out there, and little in the way of repercussions for bringing these sorts of suits against people. Hopefully the chavette learned her lesson, then perhaps she’ll share them with her chav friends and they’ll know not to try to sue people when they hit them with their cars!
By blog on Jun. 20, 2010.
Anyone got any marshmallows?
Seriously, this oil spill disaster is going to be almost as bad for the company as it has been for the environment. I’m at a loss as to what to say, okay well no I’m not, I’ve got a lot to say, and here I go.
Can you believe that that unmitigated, worst natural disaster ever for the US, event was caused by one of the world’s wealthiest companies trying to make more money!? Quite frankly, I would like to see the financial news for BP get a hell of a lot worse than being dropped from the BBC index of world’s largest firms. I want this company to really have to fix this, and be monitored a lot more closely from now on.
I think they paid far more attention to their independent financial advisers instead of who they should have listened to, their independent ecological advisers! I’m rather angry at the financial and ecological disasters hitting the world thanks to too many big companies being overly concerned with banking more money for themselves. If you check your current account, and see more money than you would need to live comfortably for the rest of your life, then you sure as hell should settle down and not take huge risks, make poor choices and take unwarranted short-cuts.
If you watched the responses from Tony Hayward to the US Senate, you’d be forgiven for reasonably assuming that the man did absolutely nothing at all. His response to so many questions was ‘I had no involvement with that part of the company’ or ‘I was not involved with those choices’. I mean, what part of the company was he involved with? Golf? Lunch? Naps? Bah! What a wanker!
I hope oil companies take a lesson from this and don’t attempt to earn themselves more money in the future at the potential cost to the environment and people who’ve got to live near those places that could be affected.
By blog on Jun. 20, 2010.
Now I’m covering the PlayStation Move…
Let’s just take a look at this thing. It’s incredibly similar to the Wii-mote in set up, save that it’s black. But… so is the new Wii-mote… Oh and it’s also got a very silly little balloon thing on the end, that looks like the controller is obnoxiously blowing gum at you. Apparently it’s not hard, and is sort of rubbery and pliable like a clown’s nose that can be pressed out of shape and then will just bounce back into place when you let go of it.
The Move is, essentially, the Wii-mote restyled. It works on the same principal as the Wii-mote, but instead of an infrared sensor bar that the Wii implements, you’re working with the PlayStation Eye instead. This means that the Move will pick up more of a 3D aspect than the Wii has, as the Eye allows for greater perception of depth.
As with the Wii-mote, you’ve got a secondary controller, that in this case is called the ‘navigation’ controller, but apparently you don’t have to use it, you can just play with the normal PlayStation controller in your left hand… wtf!? Yeah, how do you imagine that’s going to work, Sony? Oh, you don’t? Of course you don’t.
The Move will sell in the UK for £39.99, the navigation controller for £29.99, and if you need the Eye as well, you can get that with the Move for £49.99. So, price wise we Brits are paying a little bit extra, but at the same time it’s not the worst price difference we’ve been hit with.
Really, the Move just hasn’t blown me away… but then again, PlayStation in general really hasn’t made a big impact on me. I like to game in order to relax, and I don’t actually like having to stand up and wave something around to play.
By blog on Jun. 17, 2010.
And not before time, either.
So, I had big reservations about this handheld. I mean, what’s with the huge push for all things 3D at the moment? It seems so 80’s to me. I’ve not gone and seen any movie in 3D, and I’ve never felt like I was missing anything. It just seems a bit absurd, sitting there in those multi-coloured glasses.
So when Nintendo announced that, not only less than a month after bringing out the huge and unwieldy DSiXL, they were upgrading the handheld, that it was also going to be 3D, I was disappointed and angry with Nintendo. I mean seriously… I’m getting real tired of Nintendo rehashing the same few games that bring them huge revenues, and then filling shelves with shovel ware to confuse those not in the know into spending money on crap games.
Nintendo finally showed off what the handheld was going to look like at E3 this week, and I have to say, I’m quite impressed with the look of the machine.
When I first heard about the analogue stick, I thought it sounded very out of place with the handheld, but it actually looks alright in there. The larger screens are nicer, too, and apparently the hardware in there to rival the Wii. That makes me think two things; it’s great that the graphics will be that good, and oh my the Wii sucks.
The reports from people who’ve actually had a chance to play a demo are very positive. So far people are all saying really good things about how it plays and how comfortable it is to play. The 3D is able to be turned on or off, which I’m very pleased about, and apparently there’s also quite a bit of room to move in terms of still getting the 3D image rather than the two images separating.
I’m feeling a lot more positive about the handheld, and I’m looking forward to more info on it. Nintendo still isn’t saying much, and they’re still rehashing game after game, but when one of those games is Ocarina of Time, I’m not too irritated.
By blog on Jun. 17, 2010.
Because right now it’s pretty bad looking.
We’ve got a name now. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword… So much for Miyamoto’s stupid hint comment a while back suggesting Link wouldn’t have a sword. I’ve been waiting a long, long time for any information, any, coming from Nintendo about this game after the one concept poster was released back at last year’s E3, and now we have a very small bit of info to go on.
Basically, Miyamoto showed a very ‘quick and dirty concept demo‘ that didn’t work particularly well, given that the majority of the audience were toting infra-red devices. The result of this comical, if unfortunate, occurrence was that the MotionPlus Wii controller Mr Miyamoto was trying to use, didn’t work.
So a lot of people went away from the demonstration fearing the game didn’t work. All of the people at the demonstration went away knowing practically nothing about the game, too. No info on storyline at all.
Now, here’s where I can talk about what we do know. We know that the graphics style is a cross between realistic and cell shaded, resulting in a realistically crap. Seriously, it’s ugly. Really looks terrible.
This is the first Zelda title for the Wii that was actually developed for the Wii. Twilight Princess was in development so long that the bloody console it was being developed for became obsolete – as if the Wii isn’t! – and developers ported the game before it was released so it would be Wii compatible. So taking that into consideration, the fact that this game looks like it was meant to be played on the Nintendo 64 is really disappointing. It doesn’t look quite as bad in motion, though, so that’s something. I mean, it’s still underwhelming, but the gameplay trailer doesn’t look quite as bad as the stills of the game do.
So much could be done with the Zelda franchise on the Wii, but Nintendo’s yet to tap into that potential. The game is set to be released sometime next year, but at this stage I seriously doubt it’s going to be awesome.
By blog on Jun. 17, 2010.
Microsoft unveils their new peripheral, the Kinect.
Okay so with E3 about to wrap up, it’s about time I started covering those games that stood out to me, or in this case, the hardware. Because, really, that’s what this year’s E3 has felt like, a very hardware-centric expo. Both Microsoft and Sony have shown off hardware that can only be described as a blatant attempt to raise sales by making their consoles more like the Wii; but I’ll come back to that later.
In this article I’ll be looking at the Kinect, and I’ll take a look at Sony’s version of the hardware in another entry. Basically, the Kinect is very, very similar to the Wii’s infared motion sensor, save that the Kinect is being billed as having a better sense of depth.
Microsoft, in it’s usually grandiose way, unveiled the Kinect – formerly known as Project Natal – at E3, with Cirque du Soleil performers riding in on a giant animatronic elephant whilst all the attending gaming press had to wear cult-like white robes to get in to see the show, and there was a whole bunch of other stuff going on too.
They’ve previewed 14 titles so far, all of which, save one, seem to be aimed at children. The graphics for the games associated to this device are poor, and the gameplay, if you could call it that, is pretty much a rip off of Wii Sports and Wii Fit titles. Seriously, it’s that bloody blatant that Microsoft just wants some of Nintendo’s profits from the damn Wii.
The Kinect could have something going for it, one day. In terms of a fancy Minority Report remote for a 360 it’s actually pretty nifty, but in terms of a US$150 peripheral to play some crappy games, it’s down right ridiculous. Does Microsoft really think they’re going to steal enough of Wii’s market to make this worth while? A Wii right now, with Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and a MotionPlus controller will set you back roughly £169.99, whilst a Xbox 360 Elite is £189.97, and whilst we don’t have a sure RRP from Microsoft for the UK yet, speculation puts it at around £120. That’s nearly twice the amount of the Wii, for essentially the same sort of set up. Now, the only thing that’ll sway people to pick up the 360 and Kinect over the Wii is the fact that the rest of the game library for the 360 isn’t crap, like it is for the Wii.
Basically, I can see that this has some interesting aspects to it, and heck year I’d love to flick my hand left or right to scroll through movies on my 360, but I’m sure as heck not going to pay £120 for it!
By blog on Jun. 14, 2010.
Father’s day is this weekend, are you ready for it?
My father passed away a few years back, so I don’t have any Father’s Day gifts to buy, but my SO does. Her father is a difficult man to shop for. He’s taciturn nature doesn’t lend itself to getting to know the man easily, and all that anyone really does know about him is that he likes football and complaining.
So, with that in mind, my SO has bought him a lot of football merchandise over the years, but this year wants to go completely different. She’s doing her shopping online, so she’s got to order in the next twenty-four hours to get the item here on time, but that’s fine.
She wanted to make sure she could get ideas for, and buy, something unusual so shopping online worked out there. At the moment the contenders are the Hopside Down Beer Glass – as that’s one other thing we know about her dad, he likes beer – as well as a Bobble Opener, as she thinks they’re odd and fun and go with the glass, but she’s not sure what else.
My SO and her father don’t have a close relationship. The man doesn’t speak all that much and when he does it’s usually either rude or complaining. As such, he’s not fun to get presents for. I encourage her to spend little time around him as she always ends up sad and frustrated by him.
So what are you getting for your father for father’s day? Going to go with the traditional slippers and bathrobe? I miss shopping for my father. He was always really happy with whatever you got him, and was so proud that you’d found this amazingly awesome gift. He was so easy to shop for, too, because almost invariably whatever I thought was cool, he thought was awesome. Ah, I do miss the fellow.
By blog on Jun. 14, 2010.
Don’t you hate when you buy something from a website, and then they forever send you spam-like emails. I hate that.
I bought some office equipment a while back as I had to have a pretty comprehensive set up for working from home. Now I’m getting spam emails telling me to buy digital dect cordless phones, and you know what, I never will! When I do have to buy a new phone again for my home, I’ll absolutely be getting a BT phone. On a side note, how cheap and creepy is this telecoms company’s website? Seriously, you can’t see what their range of telephones is, or how much you’ll have to pay for service, or… anything. You’d have to buck up and kiss your money goodbye if you were going with that place, because seriously, they look dodgy. Telephonix’s website is pretty damn crap, but at least you can see prices and detailed listings of their phone systems for businesses and what not.
There’s always the allure of going with the cheap, little companies, but there’s also the fear that they’ll go under in two months taking your money and services with them. I just don’t like getting spam at all, let alone spam from people who I willingly gave my email address to.
In spite of attempting to unsubscribe, I am still getting emails from Aion about their upcoming events and what not. They’re obviously one of those groups that thinks if they make it really hard for people to unsubscribe they’ll be able to get further hooks into people. Well, no, no you can’t have that. I don’t mind knowing what’s going on with LOTRO, but apart from that if I’ve stopped playing a game I don’t really want to receive more emails about it.
I suppose if it were emails coming from somewhere you bought from, where the item purchased wasn’t one that would last the next five years, and the store had something more than that one item, then I wouldn’t mind quite so much… No, no scrap that. I’d hate that. Don’t spam me. Let’s just leave it at that.
By blog on Jun. 13, 2010.
I’m not really feeling so completionist now that John is dead in Red Dead Redemption, so the Ambient Challenges are falling by the wayside.
Basically, there’s four types of missions that you can go about and do all by yourself. You’ve got the Treasure Hunter Challenges, where you get a map with a landmark on it and it will direct you to the location of some treasure. Some are hard to figure out, but the more you actually roam around the world the better chance you’ll have to find them all. I’ve got all ten of these, as they were very fun to get and I sort of got on a roll with them for a while.
Then you’ve got the Sharpshooter Challenges, where you have to shoot specific tough targets. This is a fairly straight forward one, and I’m sitting at Rank 8 currently, where I have to shoot the hats off of two people and disarm them as well, which means shooting the gun out of their hands. This is a bit tougher than the animal challenges, but very manageable.
I’m only up to Rank 5 with the Master Hunter Challenges, as killing two cougars with a hunting knife is a tall order, really. Cougars are a scary thing in the RDR world. You’ll hear their familiar call and the next thing you know they’re attacking you, your horse is dead, and if you don’t move like lightning you’ll be next. Deadly creatures. The later ranks seem easier than this one, though killing a grizzly bear with a hunting knife is scarier than a cougar, I must say.
The Survivalist Challenges are just collecting plants from about the place. These are really quite boring and irritating, and as such I’m only up to Rank 6. Riding around and finding the right plant, dismounting, collecting, mounting, and then riding around some more isn’t really my idea of fun. If there was something you could actually do with the plants, apart from the odd quest or just selling them, then that would be something, but other than that they just feel largely out of character.
So, now that I’ve finished the story line, and I have to run around as the incredibly irritatingly voiced Jack, I don’t want to go and complete all the Ambient Challenges. The game-world is a lot less fun now that John’s dead.
By blog on Jun. 13, 2010.
I can’t watch it! That noise!
I’m not really that into football, to be honest. I know that’s sacrilegious of an English man to say, but it’s the truth, I find it a largely boring sport to watch. But when it’s countries playing then I find it at least a little interesting, so I usually check out the FIFA World Cup when it’s on.
However, this time round, there’s one particular aspect to the games that makes them pretty much intolerable to watch. The bloody noisemakers, in this case the Vuvuzelas. Seriously, turn the game on and it’s like a million moronic bumble bees made their way into your inner ear drum and you’ve got a fair idea.
Players, coaches, and fans all called for these things to be banned from the World Cup, but basically as they’re an instrument native to South Africa, they’ve been allowed to remain at the games as they’re part of the South African football culture.
Now, I don’t really think that’s fair, because fans are using the things to put the players off, and normally that’d not be an issue, but when just one of these things is louder than a chainsaw, the players are actually being affected by these. I don’t really feel that this annoying noise should be allowed, because it’s intensely off-putting for those of us watching the game and the World Cup is supposed to be enjoyed by the entire world, not just the country playing host.
When FIFA did consider banning the instrument, the reason wasn’t because of the noise, but because of concerns that they would be used by companies as a means of advertising during the World Cup, or of course, as weapons at the games. Such a damn pity they allowed the bloody things, as they are so damn annoying.
Now, I know that, when used correctly, they can actually be coordinated into music, but that’s not what’s happening at the games. What’s happening is thousands of people blowing away any chance that I’m going to be anything less than tense whilst watching the games. I’ve managed to watch one game so far, and I can sort of tune out the sound of the Vuvuzelas, but at the same time, I realise I’m slightly squinting the whole time against the din, even with my television as low as I can have it and still hear the commentary.