The inimitable Ernie has once again signed himself up for countless headaches with Puppetmaster 2. Although it's not going to be nearly as interesting as BigBlogger, considering that it I'm not in it, it should be at mildly distracting. Personally, I'm hoping either Justin or Jenny is the puppet. mostly because I don't want to believe that they're real people. So the chances are pretty good that they're not the puppets. No one would actually create someone like that, would they? Or maybe they would, thinking that most people woudl assum that they're such unlikely creations that they must be real! Because Iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely people with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them...


A handy guide for all business owners who are just itching to put the "Since (Year of establishment)" tag on their signs, here is a chart of minimum ages required for different business before such a claim can be laid:

Bank - 100 years
Insurance Provider - 80 years
Grocery Store - 30 years
Restaurant - 20 years
Auto Body Shop - 15 years
Video Game Developer - 10 years
ISP - 5 years
Web Design Firm - 2 years

Hope that helps.


Spot the Typo 8: (Reuters) HBO Files $100 Mln Suit Against 'Sopranos' Star


I'm slipping into total testing mentality. I can't view a system or interface anymore without trying to break it. I got a rental car the other day and was trying different combinations of the remote key buttons for 15 minutes in the parking lot. Trying to lock it with the doors open, with the doors closed, with the trunk open, pressing lock and unlock at the same time...

I wonder if maybe if I jump on top of the newspaper vending machine, if I can then climb up to the awning, from there onto the top of Jack in the Box, and then break portals and cause the buildings to disappear. I've given myself a lot of bruises trying to find seams in the collision planes.

Testing is certainly a state of mind. You have to look at a system and think about how it's suppsoed to work and then consider every possibility that may cause it to collapse, be exploited, or otherwise break. It certainly helps one be a better gamer, since you can dissect AI routines pretty easily and defeat computer opponents by taking advantage of weaknesses in their target ranges or pathing routines. It's tough to suspend my disbelief in games anymore. I see it all as a series of collsion planes, light sources, hide nodes, attack routines, and so forth. Still, that doesn't mean it's not fun to try and exploit them.

Of course, a large part of testing is still luck. I don't really try and break the games I have at home, and yet I've managed to crash 3 or 4 of my PS2 games. In case you're wondering, GTA Vice City is the buggiest game I have ever seen on a next-gen console. Of course, it's also super sweet, complex and ridiculously dynamic, so it's forgivable.

Some of the best stuff in a game are the things that are fixed before the game releases. Inappropriate placeholder textures, profanity-laced error mesages, and naked characters abound. Stuff you don't get to see in the "making of" videos.

Okay, time to enter hour 94 of this week. Gotta ball on and break more stuff.