Autonomous Vehicles – Maintenance

googlecarConsidering the fact that cars will soon we are autonomous on a mainstream level and we already have robots capable of specialized tasks. It is not far-fetched to think that you could send your autonomous car to do its routine maintenance on its own.

If the car is truly autonomous and smart… It should be synchronized with your calendar and understand when it will not be needed. It is feasible that it will understand when it is time for an oil change.

This autonomous vehicle would then drive itself to the “maintenance station” where a specialized robot is waiting to remove the oil pan drain plug, remove the filter, drain the oil, and replace oil pan drain plug, then filter, then replace the oil. After this is complete the maintenance robot and your car will  communicate and (more…)

Survive the Nights

Surive the Nights

I’ve done it again. I’ve gone and backed another post-apocalyptic survival game.  Survive the Nights.

Back in May of 2013, I backed 7 Days to Die. I have seen them making great strides. Additionally, I have been playing a ton of DayZ Standalone.

Survive the Nights has had a tremendous success on Kickstarter, reaching 903% funded!

Here is some footage from the Kickstarter page:

It is rumored that Survive the Nights has plans to keep the kill on sight and bandit issues that are currently plaguing the DayZ Standalone community to a minimum with a rumored “sanity” mechanic. I haven’t seen any official postings on this, but it would be helpful.

I should have Alpha access in early 2015 if the timeline is adhered to.


I had recently shared in what has turned out to be a rumor. I posted that Google was to acquire

IGN has just posted that Amazon has confirmed that they are indeed the purchaser of Twitch. The acquisition will commence later in 2014.

Twitch has confirmed that Amazon will acquire the company later in 2014. Amazon will acquire all of Twitch’s outstanding shares “for approximately $970 million in cash” by the end of the year.

“Amazon and Twitch optimize for our customers first and are both believers in the future of gaming,” said Twitch CEO Emmett Shear. “Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community. We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world.”

Shear added on the Twitch Blog, “We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster. We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch.”

Despite earlier reports that Google had reached a deal to buy Twitch for $1 billion, new reports suggest that Amazon is in late-stage talks with the livestreaming service.

There has been no confirmation from either company as of now, but IGN has reached out to Twitch for comment. A person who was briefed closely on the matter said Amazon will purchase Twitch for more than $1 billion, according to tech blog The Information and the Wall Street Journal.   The same source also said the deal could go through as soon as today.

Initial rumors originally surfaced in Variety in May, and were subsequently supported by reports from WSJ, in which the deals were reportedly far from complete.

IGN will update this story with any comment from the companies involved.

Brutal Doom

Doom.  When it launched in December 1993, it was not the first FPS but it most certainly launched the genre into the limelight.  Doom was possibly the first multiplayer FPS to boot.  I remember playing the shareware version for many hours, as being just a child I couldn’t afford to buy the full version.  Back then publishers didn’t give out 15 minute demos of their game. they gave 1/3 of the full game and encouraged you to share it with your friends.  Doom was pretty controversial in it’s time.  This was due to what was perceived at the time as violence in addition to the satanic symbols and images of gore…

A classic

…but that was 20 years ago and Doom is very dated by today’s standards.  But still,Doom’s gameplay skeleton has a certain “no nonsense” type of action that you can’t get with most of today’s titles in the FPS genre. That’s where Brutal Doom comes in.  This mod takes the original Doom and adds 1000% more awesome to it.  True to it’s name, it takes the level of violence in the game and kicks it up by 50 notches.  Depending on the weapon, you might decapitate, blow of limbs, burn to a cinder, or just out right gib the enemies.  Blood flies everywhere and will stick to the walls, ceiling, and even splatter on your character.  Enemies may have their guts hanging out while they crawl on the floor screaming until they either bleed to death or you put them out of their misery.  You can even shoot up and cut up the corpses themselves.  BrutalDoom is much more than just a gore mod however, as it introduces a whole host of things that weren’t available 20 years ago.  For example, enemies now take more damage to the head.  There are many more death animations. Which animations are used depends on where you hit the enemy and with what type of weapon.

Most weapons also has a secondary function. The pistol was replaced by an assault rifle which has an automatic fire capability while firing from the hip, while the secondary function will bring up the rifle’s sights and allow you to fire semi-automatically.  The minigun shoots much faster than before with the primary fire while the secondary will spin up the gun.  If you fire while it’s “pre-spun” it’ll unleash an even greater hail with a greater spread of bullets.  Even your fists will have their uses.  If you attack a possessed marine or imp with your fists you’ll quietly snap their neck. Get a berserk or demon strength item and things get truly brutal (pun intended).  When killing any enemy with your fists while in “berserk mode”, you go into an execution move which will range from literally ripping creatures in half to tearing out vital organs.  During this animation you’re invulnerable and as soon as it’s done you’ll even gain, some health.  The amount you gain will depend on what you kill. Killing an Imp will net you about 5 HP while killing a Baron of Hell will likely get you back at 100% health.  In addition to that, your increased strength will also allow you to pick up explosive barrels and throw them at enemies. You can catch lost souls (floating flaming skulls) and throw them back at enemies.  Hell you even get Duke Nukem’s famous “all mighty boot” kick (I laughed my ass off when (more…)

Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope… Tracert


Yes this exists.

Go ahead and run a Tracert to

Starting at hop 19 to provide some level of blinding to where I started the Tracert from.

  19    82 ms    88 ms    88 ms  episode.iv []

 20    83 ms    83 ms    86 ms []

 21    84 ms    83 ms    83 ms []

 22    83 ms    83 ms    96 ms  rebel.spaceships []

 23    85 ms    84 ms    83 ms  striking.from.a.hidden.base []

 24    85 ms    83 ms    84 ms  have.won.their.first.victory []

 25    87 ms    82 ms    87 ms  against.the.evil.galactic.empire []

 26   153 ms   127 ms    83 ms  during.the.battle []

 27    83 ms    84 ms    83 ms  rebel.spies.managed []

 28    85 ms    84 ms   108 ms  to.steal.secret.plans []

 29    84 ms    92 ms    84 ms  to.the.empires.ultimate.weapon []

  30    83 ms    83 ms    86 ms []

Additionally, for more Star Wars fun, this exists as well:

ASCII Star Wars – Episode IV – A New Hope

The Spider Who Thought Itself Clever

Yesterday my wife and I discovered a spider who thought itself clever. This story is going to require a little explaining about how ceramic is made.

Clay shrinks when it is fired(cooked) in a kiln and turned into ceramic. Holes are required to give any trapped air a place to escape. If you don’t do this, the heated and trapped air will cause the “project” to explode.

Back to the story



I have been craving Space/Sci-Fi Horror for a good while now.  I’ve played through Dead Space and Dead Space 2.

I’ve been watching movies like Pandorum and the Alien franchise.

This caught my eye as a Greentlight title on Steam and favorited it immediately. Then I stumbled across this trailer a few months after. I am genuinely excited for this.

Watch and enjoy this treat of audio and visuals. It is alpha footage, but I can only hope the game itself looks like this.


Turn Down for WAT



I sold a laptop on eBay and I get this email today:

Hi Today I received this Item. When i open the box the whole Laptop smells like it was kept deep inside tobacco bag. It is smelling like hell. I am surprised you did not mentioned this in your listing about this issue. I bought this laptop for my daughter and in no way i can let her work on this laptop. I would like to return this item as it is impossible for me to work on this laptop. Let me know”


My Reply:

“Smells like a tobacco bag!? Why would it smell that way? I do NOT smoke nor does anyone in my home. The laptop did NOT smell this way when it was packaged. This complaint makes absolutely no sense. I took great care of that laptop and packaged it very well for shipment to you. It was double boxed and surrounded by foam. Are you confusing the alcohol cleaning wipes scent for tobacco? This laptop had never been around tobacco at all.” (more…)

Watching TV vs Playing Video Games

XComGame-2013-01-17-23-17-49-669As far back as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed watching an interesting TV show or a great movie. A universe to explore that is filled with characters that will grow and take your through a story. This is something people understand.

People also understand books. A longer story with characters that mature and take you on often an even more detailed story. They have more time to do this. The experience will often last longer than most TV shows and certainly most movies.

Now we come to video games. I spend hours and hours playing games. I love it. A story, a universe, characters, and an adventure that will span hours… sometimes 300+ depending on the game. Sometime I make my own story in open world games such as DayZ, yet other times the story is spoon fed to me and I merely serve as a vehicle to transition between parts.

The average American watched 2.8 hours of TV a day in 2013(source). You may be higher or lower depending on your habits. What impression does that give you of a person that watches an average of 2.8 hours of TV a day? Is that impression different than if that person spent 2.8 hours on video games a day? If so why?

I hold to the fact, that over the years since my childhood(when my love for gaming began), I have learned more and experienced more than I would have if I spent the same amount of time watching TV. You have to obviously bar “educational” TV from this. Those are specifically geared towards teaching a topic just as an educational game would be.

As a kid, I learned the following skills from video games(to name a few):

  • Map Reading
  • Inventory Management
  • Multitasking
  • Problem Solving, occasionally quite complex problems.
  • Task Prioritization
  • Mercantilism

As gaming evolved in capability, more and more knowledge became available. A few small examples are:

  • Physics involving realistic gravity modeling
  • How a car handles when losing traction
  • Making difficult choices(sending characters to their doom)
  • The difference between cover and concealment in a firefight

The teaching ability of even entertaining games should not be overlooked. As a father, I certainly prefer that my child spend more time gaming than watching non educational shows. Minecraft is the new LEGO.

If you think 2.8 hours a day of TV is normal but 2.8 hours a day of gaming is odd, it is time you start to change your opinion. Gaming is so much more than what you might think it is. Perhaps you should branch out into a new universe and go on an adventure. You just might find a new hobby as well.