Monday, September 22, 2008

What I don't like about digg/reddit.

As november comes up we tend to see a lot of political advertisements throwing a lot of mud to the other side of the political party. This is good and all (mainly because I don't watch T.V. in the first place) but what really get's my goat is when it starts showing up in the websites I visit. and have been my two favorite websites for getting all the information I want about Tech. I even dropped my Google Reader because I rely on digg / reddit for my info. But ever since the presidential candidates went up, digg has been getting worse and worse. Several leftist (almost radically leftist) websites frequently hit the top page discussing the latest scandal between McCain and Palin. What's even more amusing is that they are often reported as "innacurate" yet they seem to accumulate thousands of diggs. This isn't bad. It's what's happening to the rightist (even the people who are a smidgen to the right). When they comment something that isn't 100% pro-Obama, they are dugg down into infinity. That's where the problem lies. I wouldn't mind it so much if a radically right article got in there, because it would show to me that Digg is trying to mix it up a little. No, in fact, all I see about McCain is from huffingtonpost or dailykos. What also makes me wonder is what's happening to all the republican diggs? Are they blasted to infinity as well? Wouldn't there be more people of the right wing than there seems to be? It's kind of annoying if you ask me, for being websites that are greatly valued in their "sociability" they are often obliterated by extreme biasm.

I posted a poll on, asking "Why are sites like "Digg" and "Reddit" left-winged?" and to my suprise, I got a lot of responses.

Though there are some things I have to point out. I am a moderate that leans a smidgen to the republican standpoint. (I took a test on who I should vote for, I got 53% McCain and 47% Obama)

I'm going to have to disagree with you. If Reddit was full of rational freethinkers then there would be some dissonance in its communal politics. As I see it there is almost none of that. People who do post comments in opposition to this homogeneous group of opinions often have their opinions disregarded as being so stupid that there is no point in offering a counterargument; I know many of you might find that hard to believe, but, as a moderate, this is the general response when I even speculate that 9/11 wasn't planned by GW or that possibly neocons might have any opinion about anything that may have some merit. The way most of this community outright disregards any objection to its general political opinion makes me think that it is not full of rational freethinkers.

I have not once seen one article praising McCain for anything. It is pedantic and asinine to assume that everything that has to do with McCain is bad. McCain was one of the few Republican candidates that stood up for evolution, doesn't he deserve some credit for that?

"Rejecting talking points that create lots of cognitive dissonance" is basically the definition of being closed minded.

Where everyone thinks the same, nobody is thinking much. - TheCaterPillar

I have to say, this is probably the most thought out response of them all. He clearly understands what I meant by "left-winged" and instead of saying that the "left-winged" are superior, he also notices that many democratic articles are being dugg / upped into the high heavens. Though, I do have a feeling that this person is republican, so let's find a more moderate statement as well.

I wonder what is left wing anymore. The left used to be all about communism and socialism, but you don't have to be a communist or a socialist to despise George Bush and John McCain. And yet, that's the way many neoconservatives would define left wingism.

To me it seems like most people on digg and reddit are more libertarian than leftist. Their criticisms of government are generally about trying to minimize it and keep it out of people's lives as much as possible.

However, I would say diggers and redditors are largely anti-oligarchic, so maybe that makes them left wingers to some extent. - mutatron

Digg and Reddit, in my opinion, have lost their sense of what's important.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Why I quit runescape. (And why you should too...)

RuneScape is a Java-based MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) operated by Jagex Ltd. It has approximately ten million active free accounts and is a browser-based game with some degree of 3D rendering. RuneScape was created by Andrew Gower, the creator of DeviousMUD, the forerunner to RuneScape, in 1998. Rewritten and renamed, the first version of RuneScape was released to the public on 4 January 2001 in beta form. It has a free-to-play option, and a simple interface that is accessible on most web browsers.
- Wikipedia
I'm not going to lie to you. Runescape, as any other MMORPG, is addicting. So addicting that I lost my entire 7th grade to it. It was free, massive, and there was just so much to do! Mondays were the best, a new quest was usually added, or maybe a new feature. I would try to make gold by raising my mining level, and selling the ores, or even trying to make my own armor.

That's what it used to be anyway.

For anyone who has been playing since ~2001-2002 knows and remembers and even longs for what Runescape used to stand for. Back then, the graphics were cheesy, but the gameplay...oh the gameplay was amazing. Player-killing, monster killing, quests, economics, all set during the medieval period. It was beautiful, and no one even cared too much about the graphics.

2003 brought even much more joy, instead of the 2-d, poorly-animated graphics that we got used to, we got an even bigger update. Bringing in the realm of 3d graphics that would rival those of popular mmo's at the time. We were all ecstatic, seeing runescape in a new light, now finally able to clearly see those blobs we once knew as rats. Several more features were added and taken out during the process, but I missed none of them.

A few years go by.

It is now circa 2006. New developments arise. The legendary "Player Owned Houses" (or POH's as it used to be referred as) are being created. It had been released shortly after the farming skill (which I detested, I can't sit still for that long).

Now comes the line of Jagex's mistakes.

POH's were a costly thing to maintain. You had to buy the supplies for the wood. Buy the nails (or make them yourself, which took quiet a bit of time). You could order servants for your house, but you had to pay them a pretty sum of money. You had to buy things that cost millions to even make your house respectable. To me, it was a disaster, it left the middle and low class of the community in shambles, while the merchants and the upperclass got to enjoy the fruits of the update.

But I stuck with runescape, shelling out $5 a month to stay a member, thinking this would be the last of the crappy updates. I was wrong, again.

But, for a while, I stopped playing runescape. I got an xbox 360, and comparing Halo 3 and Runescape, Halo 3 won. I made friends on xbox, got better at first person shooters in general.

But still billing my card every month.... runescape.

For the holiday seasons, runescape usually gets into the mood by releasing a special "Holiday item" only obtainable for 2 weeks during that season. It's a non-tradeable item that is often valued because of it's rarity, and because it is a sign of your devotion. One day I logged into runescape, and checked out some of the new features.

Once feature stuck out at me. One feature that made me lose all hope.

Of the many things, communism (or socialism, I can't be bothered with the details right now) practice is freezing of prices. Meaning, that a free market, which allows the people to create their own price for their goods, is the opposite of what communism (or socialism) believes in.

The new feature, rightfully dubbed, "The Grand Exchange" allowed players to post an item (kind of like ebay) wait for someone to buy it, then they would recieve their money for it. Sounds like a good idea, does it not? Not until I heard of the fixed prices. That's right, fixed, frozen, unable to change, not only that, but even trading with another player could not be above or below the new price range. You had to trade an equal amount both ways. What happens when a sudden new price is offered to a previously "expensive" item? Pretty much disaster. No more merchanting, no more gifts, no more swindling, no more haggling. Virtually all form of free market disintegrated. You were basically stuck in the same class you were in before the update.

Maybe this isn't the worst. Maybe....

No, there's no hope left. Shortly after the announcement of the "Grand Exchange" another wave of worse news followed. Players would not be able to PK (killing other players for enjoyment, or for their items [you are only allowed to keep 3 items when you die in the wilderness]) instead of PK'ing, there will be a new system in place allowing you to kill others, but for no money.

All of this, the greatness, the glory, all of it turned into crap after less than a month of updates.

Jagex gave a reason for this, they said something along the lines of "Because scamming and real world trading, we have decided to freeze everything you own, and allow no more fun. That's right, I hope all of you cry your selves to sleep, because fun is a thing of the past."

Through all of this, I have remained a member, until today. When I read that the price for a new member joining will be $7, and will stay that way until they are a member for 6 months. As well as how commercialized the company is getting.

I quit runescape because it lost it's standards. I'm 17 years old, and even though it may have been deemed "childish" to play a game like that, I still played it. However, I do know when I am being jerked around, and I do know when something has lost it's mojo.

I encourage that anybody who reads this, should immediatly stop playing runescape. Go outside, go get a wii, xbox, ps3 -- whatever just stop playing runescape. My hope is that, if enough players quit, they will see that graphics and security is not what makes a game. It's the gameplay.

And if you have a child, or know somebody who thinks about playing, give them a slap on the face, and introduce them to [name of better mmo here]. Please, do it. SAVE THEM.

[edit-- added another image to better clarify the new graphics system.]

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Linux Games

Been playing many linux games lately while on vacation. I find that some of them are good, some of them, not so much. I enjoy First person shooters, and my only disappointment would have to be the quality of the graphics. I find that they all share the same graphics quality. Though in some cases, like Nexiuz, the graphics are improved, but have the same gameplay. The reason for this being that most of the stable/good fps games are based on quake 3. America's Army was another game that I played, but unfortunantly the game was very limiting, and didn't offer a deathmatch gameplay (you couldn't respawn after being killed). I would like to play call of duty 4, but I find that with WINE, gameplay is almost impossible. True Combat: Elite looks promising, but I couldn't get it installed. If there is any other games that offer a realistic gameplay like COD4.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring break

Been gone for a while, mainly due to the fact that it's spring break! And also because I haven't been able to get access to the internet for a while. Two great things happened though while I have been on break:

1.) I got Super Smash Brothers Brawl.
2.) I got Super Smash Brothers Brawl.

I've been playing for a long time, though I have to say, it is great, yes, but there seems to be a lack of some things.

Take for instance, the Wii internet brawl matches. I don't like the fact that it nearly takes 5 to 10 minutes to even play the thing, or that when I am playing, there is so much lag that playing isn't even fun. I thought about the lag though, and I draw two conclusions. One is that my wii's wifi is haywire (I've had serious problems with it in the past) or two, by playing in the basement, while the router is on the first floor, that might be cause for some lag. Then again, while playing with some friends, they too have the same lag.

Another thing that is lacking in Super Smash Brothers Brawl also has to do with the internet playability. Playing the Nintendo DS, one game that impressed me with the friend code idea was Metroid Prime: Hunters. One of the things that I miss from that is the ability to add friend codes on the go. The game broke it down in two different ways. You could add people by getting their friend codes and putting it in, which you could then communicate with them walkie-talkie like before matches. Or when you have finished a match with a bunch of random strangers, you could add people by clicking "add as rival". You wouldn't be able to communicate with them, but at least you could verse them again if they were a worthy enough adversary.

Those are my only two complaints, of course, they might be fixed (I don't know about the second one though, how do you fix something like that?) but I still think that it is a great game nonetheless.

If you want to verse me (Sheik is my best) go ahead and add me:
and post your friend code as a comment.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Recently installed wine-doors on my computer. People have are losing the excuses not to switch to linux!!!

Monday, March 03, 2008


Ubuntu Brainstorm Update

Four amazing days have passed since the launch of, and all we can say is Whoah! A couple of numbers:

  • 10,000 registered users
  • 2700 ideas (in comparison, Dell Ideastorm has 9000 ideas)

And the numbers keep growing! We had not expected such a success.

I've been contributing to brainstorm since it came out about 3 to 4 days ago. I think that it is a GREAT idea, and that Ubuntu should keep it running for every new release. Great ideas have already been implemented and will be included with the final Hardy Heron release like:

idea #80: Clean up Preferences and Administration.

First of all: What is the difference between Preferences and Administration? For example: why do I see 'Encryption and Keyrings' in Preferences and 'Keyring Manager' in Administration? What is the difference between 'Default Printer' and 'Printing'? Why do I have to disable the Tracker under Sessions and not under Search and Indexing? And why are these menu's so large? I have 24 items in Preferences (they don't even fit on my screen!) and 18 items in Administration. To put all this stuff in a popup menu is bad interface design imho. Besides, the number of option should be much smaller. A few suggestions:

- Merge 'Screensaver', 'Screen Resolution' and 'Screens and Graphics'.
- Merge 'Network', 'Network Proxy' and 'Network Tools'.
- Merge 'Update Manager, Synaptic Package Manager, Software Sources'.
- Merge 'Encryption and Keyrings', 'Authorizations', 'Keyring Manager'.

Below are all settings I can visit via the System menu. This is just way too much.

-- Preferences --
Universal Access
About Me
Default Printer
Encryption and Keyrings
Keyboard Shortcuts
Main Menu
Network Proxy
PalmOS Devices (I don't have one)
Power Management
Preferred Applications
Remote Desktop
Removable Drives and Media
SCIM Input Method Setup (What is this?)
Screen Resolution
Search and Index (Why can't I disable the tracker here?)
System Settings

-- Administration --
Authorizations (for what?)
Hardware Drivers
Keyring Manager (for what?)
Language Support
Login Window
Network Tools
Screens and Graphics
Shared Folders
Software Sources
Synaptic Package Manager (imagine a new user: wtf is Synaptic?)
System Log
System Monitor
Time and Date
Update Manager
Users and Groups

And of course, I have submitted ideas as well. Here is one that I think definitely needs some looking at.

idea #2386: Replace Xsane with Gnome Scan

Honestly, opening up Xsane is a little daunting! The first time I opened it up I had no idea what was going on! I didn't know what to choose, or what window not to click, it really was something almost terrifying. I downloaded Gnome Scan from the Add/Remove right afterwards and was greeted with a nice, simple interface, where all I had to do was click scan! It was nice, and I think that Ubuntu should replace Xsane with Gnome scan because it will show a professional / easy interface to deal with. Xsane is advanced and scary to new users, making it unattractive.

What's also cool is that you can have your own button to support your idea.

Come on Ubuntu users! Join the party! Come and submit your idea as to what will make Ubuntu better for you and everyone else!

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Ever since yesterday, Twitter has been acting a little...strange. SLOW strange. Right now even, I'm waiting for twitter to load, and it has been almost eight minutes. Twitbin, the Firefox extension ( doesn't load either. Maybe it's bandwidth? Who knows. Oh. Now it loads. But for those of you who don't know what twitter is
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send "updates" (or "tweets"; text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter website, via short message service, instant messaging, or a third-party application such as Twitterrific.
- WikiPedia

, it's a status/mini blog/what ever the hell you are doing updater. I love it, because I don't have to write more than a paragraph in order to get what I'm thinking out! It's pretty cool, and really useful!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04

I've been extremely excited about the new Ubuntu coming out in April. Hardy Heron, and I think I should five it a test run. I downloaded Hardy Heron Alpha 5 disc from Ubuntu's website and burned it to CD. First thing I notice after burning: Wubi installer ( Looks like Ubuntu is catering to Window's users. Fortunately, I already run Ubuntu, so I have no need for Wubi. I reseted the computer and was greeted with a language selector. I chose English, then took a glance down the list of choices I had. Looks like they combined the alternative install choice with the live CD! Perfect for people like me who want to just go ahead and install without having to wait for the live CD to boot! Well, since I am just testing it out, I boot the live CD option. I wait a bit, and there is the new desktop. I have to say, the new background looks really slick!

I poke around a bit and find that Rhythmbox (my favorite music player) has gotten the Jamendo plugin to work! Really great because now I can download and listen to free music with Magnatune and Jamendo. I take a look at Firefox 3 Beta, and was simply amazed. It was beautiful! There was a lot of other changes too, such as the deskbar applet now has the option to stick to the panel, instead of coming in a full window (an old pet peeve of mine) and Tomboy has changed a bit too, they added a unfiled note section, which I don't understand because I don't know how that would be applicable. Alas, my bliss ended when I tried to open up F-Spot to see if anything changed, but on an old computer like this, it simply crashed. Though my first impressions of Hardy Heron is simply amazing! They are really stepping up to being the best choice for new linux users out there. Now with the new Wubi installer, I have no fear of giving an Ubuntu disc out to people, because they can try it out just like any piece of software and uninstall if they don't like it. No more having to show them how to partition, and no more scary thoughts of what they could do if they messed up! Good work Ubuntu! You guys are the best!