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12.28.2011

Oh dear, the Internet's in Trouble Again...


If you love the internet (and let's face it, we all do to some degree) then you need to watch this video. It's a bit dry. It's a bit scare-mongery, but it's also vitally important.

For those unaware. There are a couple of horrible, horrible bills floating around the U.S. Congress - Protect IP and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) - which concern the future of the internet. Basically, these bills are the entertainment industry's attempt to fight piracy and copyright infringement.

Look, piracy is wrong. People shouldn't do it, but this isn't the right response either. Thing is, how the internet actually works is complicated and technical so writing law surrounding it needs to be done carefully so as not to end up with hundreds of thousands of unintended consequences.

These laws jeopardize the freedom of the net and could lead to censorship. At minimum, they are anti-competitive. At worst, they get us a lot closer to China's "Great Firewall." They must not pass.

The internet is an awesome opportunity for regular people to broadcast their ideas as well as an outlet for large corporations to reach their customers. And that's why it's great. It's pretty much the closest thing to a level playing field there is.

If you care about the internet, please do something about this. I urge you to get in contact with your local representatives and voice your opinion on the subject.

I don't get political about too many things anymore, but when it comes to messing up the internet, it's nerd rage time!


12.19.2011

Why Bastion is Awesome


This is, perhaps, one of the most pure and enjoyable gaming experiences I've had since I first played A Link to the Past.

For those of you who don't know my relationship with ALttP, this is saying a tremendous amount.

Now, I want you to know that I realize a few things:

1. The things I review here are a fairly eclectic mix. I try to keep them a bit dated on purpose. I don't want to build expectations that I'll review a new movie, book, or game when it first comes out or even within several months after its release.

This isn't that kind of review series. This is simply a "here's what I've been geeking out about lately" series.

The games I've been playing (often years after they first came out), the books I've been reading (likewise), and the movies or TV shows I've been revisiting. All of these are candidates for coverage on this series, and I like to give attention to the things that are important or meaningful to me.

(For these and many other reasons, I realize now that I should probably talk about A Link to the Past today instead, but I haven't played that one lately, so it's going to have to wait.)

So, yes, once in a while, you'll get something like my Alloy of Law review, simply because I'm a huge fan of the series and I consume the books I'm excited about. Other times, you'll get reviews like this one, because a game or etc. is Just. That. Good.

Most of the time, however, you'll get stuff like my Arkham Asylum review, because that's what I want to do.

2. I realize a lot has been said about the narrator in this game. It's all true. He really is that good. The game is worth getting for so many more reasons than just him, but his presence is yummy, yummy icing on top of an already delicious cake.

(Mmm...cake...)

On with the review.

12.05.2011

Explanation for Delays

Hey, everyone.

I know the posting has been a bit less than consistent in the past few weeks. I'm sorry about that, and thought you deserved a bit of an explanation.

As Matt mentioned at the beginning of November, we both participated in NaNoWriMo this year.

Obviously, that took a lot of time. It also wasn't our only obligation during the month, so other goals had to slide.

The experience was worth it, though, and I'm actually quite pleased by how much we were able to post during the month, maintaining a reasonably consistent one-post-per-week for the majority of the month.

As things began to pile on, however, cuts needed to be made. Matt had some projects come up, which slowed his progress with the NaNo novel (which I'm really looking forward to read, buddy), and I had to put in a pretty major push to finish off my own novel (you can find the results of my efforts, including the entire novel, over at my writings blog here).

Unfortunately, finishing November's goals didn't free up much time for us, as we are now in full swing for final projects here at the end of the semester. I know I'm certainly facing an impenetrable wall of intimidation that's making it very difficult for me to get my regular writing done, much less additional writing for these blogs.

Again, I'm sorry about that, as I really enjoy posting here and exploring other sides of my geekery. But... well, such is life, right? Let it be.

My hope is that, once Finals are done with, the posting will resume on a consistent schedule (you know, like we started to hint at during November), but I try not to make promises anymore. (We've seen how consistent I am at keeping them. Sigh.)

Anyways, I hope that this explanation doesn't disappoint you all too terribly, and that if you've been wondering at the silence, this will suffice until the posting picks up again.

Until then... well, it's time to go back and face that wall...

I'm Joshua Kehe, and I don't have anything else to say.

Except, of course, that I have another blog where I'm challenging myself to write one short story per day during the month of December. It's slow-going so far, but you can read about my efforts, as well as the rest of my writing life, over there at The Craftsman's Journey.