Author - Jerry Paxton

Deus Ex 3 Announced!

Gamasutra is reporting that Eidos has announced Deus Ex 3 is in production at it’s Montreal studio. Hopefully it will return to the greatness of the original title and avoid Deus Ex 2’s craptastic gameplay. For those of you who don’t know, Deus Ex was a cyberpunk-themed first-person shooter/computer role-playing game developed by Ion Storm Inc. and published by Eidos Interactive. The game received almost universal critical and industry acclaim, including being named Best PC Game of All Time in a poll carried out by UK gaming magazine PC Zone. It was a frequent candidate for and winner of Game of the Year awards.

Set in a dystopian world during the 2050s, the central plot follows rookie United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition agent JC Denton, as he sets out to combat terrorist forces, which have become increasingly prevalent in a world slipping ever further into chaos. As the plot unfolds, Denton becomes entangled in a deep and ancient conspiracy, encountering fictional recreations of organizations such as Majestic 12, the Illuminati, and the Hong Kong Triads throughout his journey.

Pirate Bay Under Fire from Three Lawsuits

Ars Technica is reporting that popular torrent site, The Pirate Bay, is under attack from three separate lawsuits. One lawsuit is from a Swedish prosecuter, Hakan Roswall, who will be filing his charges before January 31st, 2008. Peter Sunde, one of The Pirate Bay administrators says, ‘I’m quite confident we’re gonna win and I was expecting this to happen…Roswall is also a very biased man, so I’m glad to take it to court instead of letting him dig around my personal life for no apparent reason. Actually, it’s kinda funny.’ The second suit is from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, and third is from Prince…yes, as in Purple Rain.

Nerd Sells $35K Worth of Star Wars Toys on eBay

Gizmodo is reporting that a nerd has finally given up his Star Wars collecting pursuits, selling his whole stash on eBay for $34,500 dollars. According to his eBay posting, ‘THIS IS A BIG STEP I’M TAKING IN ORDER TO MOVE ON AND ACOMPLISH A NEW PLAN I HAVE FOR MY FUTURE’. His collection consists of more than 1,100 figures and other toys.

I got dibs on his Bib Fortuna!

50 Greatest Fictional Weapons of All Time

Wizard Universe has a very amusing story posted on the 50 greatest fictional weapons of all time. I wont spoil anything for you here, but instead I will leave you with a collection of Black Friday information. Nothing says ‘Capitalism’ more than Black Friday, and here is a great example in this video that looks like something more from ’28 Days Later’ than real life. Also, Happy Thanksgiving all!

360 Degree Humvee Simulator

Gizmodo has posted an article on a very cool, 360 degree HUMVEE simulator by Mersive VR. The system uses 10 projectors and simulates weapons fire with amazing accuracy. In the article, they interview Mersive’s Sales and Marketing Manager Robert Bolen. Check out the videos in the Gizmodo story, makes you want to go out and buy one right now!

This vid is for their 220 degree unit:

Nearing the End of All Oil?

Wired has posted an excellent article on some Wall Street Journal articles citing reason we are in the ‘End of Oil’ stage.

From the article:
No one, least of all the oil industry executives quoted by the Journal or the analysts who wrote the World Energy Outlook, is saying the wells will run dry in our lifetime, or even our children’s lifetimes. There’s still a lot of oil left to be pumped. But there is a growing belief that several factors are converging to create a practical limit to how much we can pull from the earth each day.

Fairly intense effects for our society if the article turns out to be our future situation.

Razer Tarantula Gaming Keyboard Review

One might think (as I did) that a ‘keyboard is a keyboard’ but after using the TarantulaTM for a while I can say this keyboard is a cut above. The Razer TarantulaTM is their first foray into the keyboard market, featuring a 1000Hz UltrapollingTM response, 10-key anti-ghosting, 32Kb of memory for storing up to 5 profiles, a BattleDockTM, and a built-in USB hub. The keyboard is constructed out of a ‘slick’ black plastic with a dull black wrist rest area featuring the trademark pulsing Razer logo. The keys are arranged in a standard QWERTY format, with 10 extra programmable keys running vertically on the left and right sides of the unit. To the left and right of those are the media keys which include a rocker switch for volume, ‘home page’ button, and more.

At the top of the unit is the Razer BattleDockTM, a port which can accomodate many current and future Razer accesories including the BattleLightTM, which is a snap-in light bar that illuminates the whole keyboard. Speaking of illumination, the Tarantula’s vertical programmable keys are the only lit keys on the unit aside from the ‘Profile’ button. This could be a problem in low-light conditions unless the aforementioned BattleLightTM has been purchased. On the rear of the unit are two USB ports, a microphone jack, and a headphone jack. This makes the keyboard great to bring to your next competition or LAN party as it provides an all-in-one interface for your peripherals. The USB plugs that connect the unit to your PC are gold-plated and of good construction. That can be said about the whole keyboard, however, as it feels very sturdy and well made.

The keys of the unit are crisp, yet not jarring, and were at just the right spacing for my fingers. I do alot of coding as well as gaming and the form factor of the unit worked very well for both activities. In fact I was able to assign one of the five profiles to providing many Visual StudioTM hotkeys at the touch of a button. Speaking of profiles, the software control panel makes assigning keys to profiles very easy and switching between them on the fly is a very nice feature while in the middle of a gaming session. 10 extra key shells have been provided which can replace the vertical, illuminated programmable keys and instead of normal designations like ‘L1’ and ‘R1’, have small images of gaming icons on them. So if you assign L1 to be your ‘Fire Mortar’ key, you can switch that button out with a key that has a picture of a rocket on it. ‘Picture’ is actually misleading, they are cutouts which allow the backlight to shine through them.

The TarantulaTM features an ‘Anti-Ghosting’ capability which allows the gamer to depress up to 10 keys simultaneously and not get a signal failure! In addition, the keyboard features the 1000Hz UltrapollingTM that Razer has been providing on all their latest peripherals. This means that while a standard keyboard’s polling rate is 125Hz and gives an 8ms response between key press and result, the 1000Hz of the Tarantula gives a 1ms response between key press and result. This difference of 7ms may seem like nothing worth mentioning but after using it you can definitely feel the greater response time.

Our tests of this mighty keyboard took us to the shores of Far East Asia in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, the depths of the ocean in Bioshock, and to the perilous alps of Photoshop and MS Word. In all these uses the keyboard performed keenly and without fail. We even went back to our older ‘standard’ keyboards for a while after just to see if we felt a difference in these tasks. We did…and promptly plugged the TarantulaTM back in.

We can’t recommend the Razer TarantulaTM enough for the user who is looking for one of the best keyboards on the market to date. It’s price point may be a bit steep for the average user but if you consider it an investment for your hands, and try it for even an hour, you will know it was a good purchase to make.

1up Rock Band Review

1up has posted their review of the highly-anticipated Guitar Hero-killer, Rock Band, giving it a 9.0 out of 10! It seems as though, according to 1up, Rock Band truly lives up to its potential.

From the article:
There’s a lot to say about Rock Band. Whether it’s debating the inherent awesomeness of the track list (which spans The Rolling Stones to Nirvana to Yeah Yeah Yeahs and tons in between), praising the surprisingly malleable character creator and beautiful presentation (with excellent lip-syncing and visual congruity between the music and your virtual rockers), or trying to figure out how real bass players deal with having by far the most boring stuff to play. Its critical appraisal isn’t easy; music is culturally ingrained in us, and as a tool, a relatively inexpensive gateway for people to come together and experience it together, Rock Band easily delivers on what it promises. Actually feeling like a rock star — for most people under 40, the next best thing to a superhero or a T-Rex — is transcendently entertaining. Guitar Hero is still the way to go for lone wolves, but if you have the space, the manpower, and the means, Rock Band unquestionably, unequivocally rocks.

Halo: Contact Harvest #4 On NY Times Bestseller List

Gamespot is reporting that the latest Halo novel, Contact Harvest, has dropped to number 4 on the New York Times Best Seller list. The novel debuted at number 3 last week.

From Wikipedia:
Halo: Contact Harvest is a novel by Joseph Staten, set in the Halo universe. Staten is a longtime employee Bungie Studios, the developer of the Halo video game series. He was the director of the cut scenes seen in the Halo series thus far and was a major contributor to the Halo storyline which continues in this book. The book was released on October 30, 2007, and is the fifth novel set in the Halo universe.

Set in 2524, 28 years before the events of Halo: Combat Evolved, the novel tells the story of the United Nations Space Command’s first encounter with the alien Covenant on the colony world of Harvest. It is an ‘ensemble piece’ covering many different viewpoints, focusing on the young UNSC Staff Sergeant Avery Johnson also containing a major Covenant presence as well.

Verizon’s LG Voyager Hands-on

Engadget has posted its ‘Hands-on’ of Verizon’s LG Voyager phone. The phone is Verizon’s latest attempt at stabbing into the iPhone market and offers some very good features.

From the article:
LG uses a generously sized touchscreen here that provides haptic feedback while pressing the screen and a standard, non-touch display on the inside. Both screens run at 400 x 240 resolution while serving up 262,000 colors.

LG designed the Voyager with an optimized HTML browser that naturally works best over Verizon’s EV-DO airwaves. The pages load fairly quickly, and by and large, render correctly. LG added three different ways for the browser to render — Standard, Screen Optimized, and Text Only — which should offer a good range of functionality-to-speed ratio depending on the site and the speed of the network.

Overall, the LG Voyager is one of the best, feature-rich phones (without making the jump — nay, leap of faith — into smartphone territory) for Verizon to date. From the beautiful exterior touchscreen to the fantastic photos the camera takes, we found that the VX10000 is a top-notch offering for the carrier. Granted, it’s not without its occasional faults, but for those of you that have been waiting for Big Red to release something comparable to other carriers’ offerings in the high-end dumbphone range, the wait just might be over.