Archive for August, 2012

Herobrine Lives!

Yes, my kids will be playing Minecraft with Herobrine. No scary sounds however. Looks like AudioMod is not working right now. Oh well!

Bill Nye Rocks the House

August 30, 2012 1 comment

Well, if you haven’t seen this video by now, you should:

Bill kicks butt and takes names by coming right out and saying that Creationism is bad for kids to learn. Also, that this type of thinking is bad for the USA and hurts us against other countries around the world.

Well, to anyone who doesn’t believe in Bronze Age Mythology anymore, this is a no brainer. This story is a copy of other older stories. Really this myth is in two parts written 100s of years apart and has conflicts between them.

If you want to believe in God, good for you. I think any study of history, etc. shows that you are wrong (depending on what you believe), but believe in a deity if that’s what you want.

The myth of Creationism has long been disproven. It’s like believing the Earth is flat. Folks in the USA need to learn where their Faith in God should end and that’s right where Scientific Theory begins.

And if you are thinking that Evolution is just a theory, please educate yourself on what a theory is in the world of science.

Dominion Soon? Nope!

Well the website: Goko tried to launch the Dominion web site, but web site couldn’t handle the load, so the site was shut down for more testing. You can read more about it here and here at BoardGameGeek.

I have some problems with this whole mess…

1) As far as the web site failing to handle the traffic, well I have some understanding that stuff happens but it looks like to me they didn’t stress test the system well enough to make sure they could handle the traffic. It makes you look bad, but let’s move on.

2) There have been a number of reports of security problems with the web site on these links. Easy errors, like passing passwords in clear text. At this point until I hear something about it from Goko I’m not considering the site secure. It would be nice if it met something like PCI Standards before I give it some money.

3) Speaking of money, people are saying that they want $12 to buy new Dominion card sets. Really? Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer is on sale for $.99 right now and each extra card set is also $.99. It’s not as good as Dominion, but fills the gap very nicely at a fraction of the price. People are not used to pay that kind of money and I don’t see this pricing getting them too far.

4) On top of that, due to the tech they are using (HTML5), they are not going to offer off-line gaming. Well, not my cup of tea, but I understand. HTML5 will make their programing easier because it can cross platforms, but the users aren’t going to care about that.

So, in summary of my thoughts, Tablets and Smartphones have changed the world of gaming. People expect cheap games and they expect to play them anytime they want, on or off line. If you want to beat this model, you have to at least, IMO, offer them some advantage that other games don’t have.

So set aside that the web site is not working or secure right now, that can be fixed (hopefully these guys know how, but that’s a different issue). Assuming this site does work someday, will it make money?

I’m sure I’ll play for free, but I’m not buying cards at $12 a pack and playing only when I have internet is going to limit my time. To be honest, I think that Dominion isn’t THAT good a card game to overcome these limits. I think they are going to need to make some adjustments to get people to buy into this.

Dominion Soon?

Well, Dominion for all platforms should be out… today, but that doesn’t seem to happening. There are a lot of rumors flying about the app including no AI.

This launch failed before lift-off today. When they get the app up, I’ll review it. Let’s hope someone at know what they are doing, but they failed first impressions…

The old Dom game has been pulled from the App Store.

Puerto Rico and San Juan on iOS

I’m going to talk a bit about Puerto Rico and San Juan on iOS.

If you never played either, well, here’s a review of Puerto Rico (PR):

PR is a very deep game and hard to play well. It’s a Resource Management Game that is a lot of fun, if you like thinking. The some bad items about the game:

1) It’s easy for one player to mistakenly give the game to another player and wasting a bunch of time just finishing up the game when it is already over.
2) Some of the buildings are overpriced and I would never build them.

Some good reading on how to play well:

Opening Theory Part 1: General Principles
Opening Theory Part 2: Openings
Strategy Principles (Condensed)
The Large Warehouse of Puerto Rico Knowledge
The Large Warehouse of Puerto Rico Knowledge Part 2

PR for the iOS updated its app a few weeks ago to allow for asynchronous play, which means, both people don’t have to be online to play a game. You make a move and when the player returns to his iPad he makes his move, etc. It works really well.

Not that long ago San Juan (SJ) was released on the iOS as well. SJ follows the same theme as PR, but it a card game and the rules are boiled down and are much easier. Here’s a review of SJ if you haven’t played it:

So here’s the point of all this…

Cost of PR app: $8 I can see this. PR is a deep game that can give you interesting moves to figure out even after playing it many times. Not cheap, but I could see (and have) spent the money. 🙂

Cost of SJ app: $8 This I can’t see and I won’t pay it. San Juan is a great game and they did a great job on the app (a friend did buy it and gave it a test run). However, SJ is not worth $8. It’s a good game, but no where near as deep. I’ve played the hell out of it (as have many others I know) and can play this on auto-pilot and still win. Some things that would help:

1) Add asynchronous play like PR. I bet they will, but it isn’t there yet.
2) Add the optional dealing rule: First player gets 5 cards, 2nd 6 cards, etc and discard to 4 cards to start the game. Having played in SJ tournaments, this is the fairest way to play. Otherwise the last player is at a disadvantage.

Sorry, don’t know what Ravensburger Digital was thinking on this. $8 is a lot to pay for an app like this. Caylus, for example is $5 and is a similar deep game like PR. I’ll wait for a sale and someone needs to talk to whoever is pricing these apps at Ravensburger…

Support Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

From their Home Page: Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an independent humanitarian medical aid organisation. We are committed to providing medical aid where it is most needed, regardless of race, religion, politics or gender and also to raising awareness of the plight of the people we help.

Who’s that Knocking on my Door?

So today, I had some Christians knock at my door to chat with me. I’d like to say they were Jehovah Witnesses’ but they never told me. They did have a magazine, but it wasn’t a ‘Watchtower’ magazine, so I’m not sure.

Anyway, I wasn’t looking to get ‘into it’ with them; it was hot and they were easily into their late 60s. To be honest, I felt bad for them. Going out door to door in the summer is not for the elderly. However, they were insistent and I either had to close then door on them or talk to them. I had about 30 mins to kill, so I figured ‘why not’.

She started out with talking about all the evil in the world today. I let her go on for a bit. At this point I wasn’t sure if I wanted to chat with these folks or not. I tried to say that I wasn’t very religious and leave it at that. However, that comment really opened up the flood gates with her. I gave my religious background and stated that I’m an Atheist today.

So that got into a talk about Morals and Science. In order of how the topics came up: I told them that I could raise moral kids without God, that the Earth was older than 6000 years, that evolution is a fact and that Noah’s flood didn’t happen. Sadly, at least as far as this blog post, they didn’t have a snappy answer for anything… Nothing about all Morals come from God and not much challenge about science. They did try the old ‘if we evolved from apes then why are apes still here?’. Happily I had my IPad on me, so I could flip to Dawkins ‘The Magic of Reality’ and show them some quick pics. 🙂 I also had to look up the definition of the word ‘faith’ for them, since they didn’t want to believe that it means ‘believe without proof’.

What really got me is when I started attacking the Bible, the answers they gave was just… disgusting.

I started with the Bible’s treatment of women; about how if a woman is raped, they should marry their rapist and pay a fine for damages to the father. (Deuteronomy 22) They told me that the Bible treated women just fine and well, that was just their culture. I went after that idea quickly. Why didn’t God offer death if you raped a women (he did for most other things)? He’s God, right? He can change their culture easily via his laws. Why not make that one of his commandments? Again, no answer to that one.

But really it went downhill from here, because the talk got into why would God order infanticide as well as killing women when Israel fought against other cities? (I Samuel 15 for example) What followed was two women trying to justify the killing of babies to me. Honest!

1) First they tried to tell me that the kids were at fault. That didn’t hold water long.
2) Then I was told that these babies would cause trouble at some future date. How they would know they came from some other city they couldn’t say.
3) Then I got that the parents were dead, so who would take care of them? How about the Israelites? More kids means bigger future armies.
4) Well, they said, God sent bears to kill kids who made fun of Elisha’s bald head. So it must be OK for God to do it. (II Kings 2)

At this point I was done. I told them that they started this talk about evil in the world and what can we do to stop it? Well, I submit that your God is much more evil then what humans try to do in most cases. We look down on killing babies. Your all powerful God does not. I have nothing more to talk to you about. I wished her a good day and told her to keep hydrated because it was hot out.

While it was fun, it was also disappointing. Clearly this woman knew her dogma and every Bible story big and small, but didn’t really have much defense of her faith. When questioned, she would try to jump to another topic and not really try to support her views. Better luck next time I guess…