Monday, May 26, 2008

Driving Miss Daisy

I hate stupid drivers.


There is stupid as in not following the rules of the road and then there’s stupid where they just don’t understand how to drive defensively. 


Recently, actually within the last half hour, I had an online argument with someone on a forum about Chinese drivers.  Readers know I’m Chinese, if not from pictures then you can tell from my “About Me” page.  But this doesn’t mean that I have to love my race and their nuances.  Sure, there are some great things I’m proud of, such as being of a civilization that invented the printing press, compass technology, and paper before even the dark ages in Europe.  But in today’s world, you can’t argue that if you lived in the metro area’s in Canada, you won’t run into the typical “Chinese Driver”.


Now, true to my word, I didn’t get into the argument with those posters on the forum, instead, I just edited my post and will rant here where it’s a more appropriate place.  I’m a Chinese driver.  My friends are Chinese drivers.  My family are Chinese drivers.  But for every one good Chinese driver out there, there are two that can’t follow directions or even know the size of their cars.  There are lots of bad drivers in general, just look at those TV shows on Discovery Channel.  But I can only write about what I know and being that my mother is a bad Chinese driver, I can safely say that I have experienced first hand what this is all about. 


The reason why they drive in a horrendous manner is that they have:


a)       No Shame

b)       No idea that they are actually not a good driver


What does it mean to have no shame?  It means that you speak loudly whenever you wish, with no regard for anyone else, and that you heat up your sun dried fermented fish with fish sauce rice in the company microwave for 15 minutes so everyone else’s food tastes like fish.  You don’t see me doing that and why?  Because I have been taught to understand the consequences of my actions.  For some reason, these people have no idea about consequences and assume everyone accepts their behaviour without question.  And you can argue that this is how most people behave in Hong Kong or Mainland China, but that’s not true.  There are lots of people there that do behave reasonably and appropriately.  But there are enough of the shameless for the Chinese government to invest money into public education on proper etiquette before the Beijing Olympics.


As for drivers, well not taking the time to learn their vehicles or even bothering to test drive them goes to prove how little they value proper operation procedures.  They just don’t value the lessons involved in learning how to operate a car safely.  I have tried to show and teach my mother many times on how to properly merge or how to gauge the width of her car or how to negotiate a turn on the ramp so you don’t ride into the adjacent lane but she just simply doesn’t care to remember. 


Yes, it’s frustrating to see, and yes it’s a big generalization but nonetheless it’s generally true J

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mass DRM Effect

IGN just reported that Bioware will be forcing mandatory re-registration every 5 days (with an extra 5 day grace period) for their upcoming release of Mass Effect on the PC later this month.


I’m not a fan of DRM or protection for the sake of protection (read: Bioshock, Battlefield 2142, Sony Rootkits) and if you have been reading in my previous posts, I do mod my consoles.  Does that mean I don’t buy games?  Absolutely not.  I probably spend upwards of $200 a month on games and accessories alone.  That’s probably more than the average gamer would spend in a month, let alone a pirate that downloads their games.  The whole industry and calculations of projected loss is so fragmented and subjective that it borderlines science fiction.  How do you calculate what you “would” have sold had there not been pirated copies?  GTA (sorry to bring that up again) is on its way to selling $400 Million worth of copies in its first week worldwide.  That game has been floating on the net for 2 weeks prior to release for the PAL version and a week for the NTSC version.  Did that hurt sales?  Did the fact that most torrent sites are showing huge amounts of lechers reduce the amount of sales the game had?  I would say that those who choose to download probably wouldn’t have purchased this game to begin with and those that will would buy it after its release. 


I was personally going to be purchasing Mass Effect for the PC because of the greater control, better graphics, and better organization than the 360 version but now with the announcement of copy protection, I think I will pass.  I won’t even be buying this at all.  So what if the story is amazing for a video game, I’ll read a book.  Game play can be had on other titles without copy protection (Sins of a Solar Empire for example) and closed platforms like consoles. 


For a developer to be asking $60+ per video game is seriously gouging the consumer, and then to penalize those purchasing the item with ridiculous DRM, that’s just a slap in the face.  Thanks EA (because I’m sure Bioware doesn’t make policy now), you just lost $60 BECAUSE of your DRM.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Iron Man was made of Gold!

I saw Iron Man this weekend, along with half the city as evident from the lack of a seat in the theater. I had to drive 45 minutes across the city to find a more secluded theater so my buddies and I could sit in peace.

The theater was filled with kids but the parents were well mannered and taught them to be quiet during a movie. This is encouraging to see since teenagers these days are too into themselves even as compared to when I was one.

As for the movie, it was everything I hoped it was, the only down fall was that there wasn’t enough of the movie! It clocked in at close to 2 hours (I don’t know the exact time, wore out my stop watch timing GTA!) and the cast was excellent. Only problem I had was with Terrence Howard. I have never seen him in a movie before and have not heard him speak either. The first time on screen that he did speak, I almost busted out laughing because I was expecting more Sam Jackson and less Rocky and Bullwinkle. No disrespected meant but it was just surprising. However his acting was top notch and set up some interesting plot lines for the inevitable sequel. If you didn’t stay until the end of the credits, go back and pay your $15 to see it again and stay, well worth it for the comic book geeks.

The CG was very well done, the pacing was spot on. There was enough action there to satisfy the young and old. The director didn’t try to hide many of the “adult” natured themes but did some clever shots to hide the more promiscuous parts. Gwenyth Paltrow was great in her return but I though her character was a little too much a “blond” than first portrayed (which was more of a tougher Pepper Potts). But it worked nonetheless.

A job well done from Marvel Studios and paves the way for a studio controlled set of movies. Both guys and gals should have fun at this. Downey Jr. gives credibility to the role and Paltrow is pleasant on the eyes without sacrificing the acting quotient. I was happy that it didn’t turn out to be a Fantastic Four disaster.

Friday, May 2, 2008

WTF! This is Superman?

I have been watching Smallville since it aired 8 years ago.

Last night was the latest episode and it started out like any other Thursday night. Things were shaping up to be a lame episode. Then it starts into this whole alternate reality bit where you see what Smallville may have looked like if the writers were any bit sensible with comic books or the whole Superman lore.

I used to defend the series from naysayers but at this moment, I can honestly say that I am only watching this series because it’s rumored to end next year and after 8 years, you can’t just walk away because of the investment.

I hate this crap that they call creative writing these days. Don’t even start me on Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling either.