Sakura-Con Photos

Naruto

The pictures from Sakura-Con 2009 are now online. There’s just over a hundred online, with most likely a few more to be uploaded soon. I’ll have an update of how the weekend went by Wednesday.

Editorial: Vancouver is not a bad city

Coal Harbour and Stanley Park

Coal Harbour and Stanley Park

Since the beginning of 2009, there has been a scar ripped across the face of this fair city, and it’s frightened a few people. International news agencies are proclaiming that Vancouver’s recent rash of violence is a turn off for tourism. I’ll say this right now — it’s not. But it’s only worrisome if you’re a gangster.
The shootings that have a lot of people worried are between rival gangs, not random targets. Sure, there haven’t been any innocent victims, but it’s a chance you take with being outside. It’s like walking across the street. You don’t know if someone’s going to run the red light and send you flying through the intersection. Always be aware of your surroundings, just like you would in any city.
I visit Chicago quite a bit, and they have a bad rap for being the home of organized crime with random homicides and attacks. But you know what? Chicago is still an amazing city with great people. So is Vancouver.
And with the US Dollar higher than the Canadian Dollar, it’s still a decent price for US tourists. So come up and visit Vancouver. I guarantee you’ll like it. Good weather, good food, good people. We’d like to see you.

Apple Failpod

The Troublemaker

The Troublemaker

I bought an iPod Classic 120gb last October to replace iPod Photo that fell to its demise and have been relatively satisfied with the iPod Classic’s performance. This past week after upgrading the firmware for the iPod to version 2.0.1, I started noticing some incredibly strange goings on: songs would stop playing half, or a quarter way through, album artwork went missing, and videos would not play. After following Apple’s instructions on resetting, restoring, reinstalling and so on, the problem had gotten worse. Incredibly worse.
After restoring the iPod, it would say that there is no music, photos or videos on the device, despite me spending 35 minutes watching iTunes copying the music over. Upon performing this six more times, iTunes froze whenever the iPod was connected, sometimes even killing Windows Explorer.
So I checked Apple’s support forums, and it looks like I’m not the only one with this problem.
Thank you Apple for giving me a $250 paperweight. Can we get some decent products here?

April 6, 2009
Since my iPod is under the one year warranty, I called up Apple Canada and was actually pleased to find that their support is pretty decent. You know how when you call up support, for lets say your ISP, and you tell the tech on the phone that you’ve done the basic troubleshooting, but they have you reset your equipment again even if you’ve tried three times before? Yea, this didn’t happen. I explained what the problem was and they were very friendly about getting the iPod replaced if it’s not serviceable. So that was pretty good of them. In 7 to 10 business days, I should have a new iPod Classic.

April 7, 2009
The box to send the iPod back to Apple arrived today. It came with instructions, padding, tape and a baggie for the iPod. I called up FedEx and they’ll be by shortly to pick it up. That’s pretty damn awesome.

April 15, 2009
I got an email stating the iPod reached Apple’s service centre. I guess shipping the player back via FedEx wasn’t the fastest, but it got there. But twelve hours later, I got another email explaining that the iPod was not repairable, so I would be sent a brand new one at no charge. Sweet!

April 16, 2009
Just as I got home from work, the FedEx truck returned and the iPod was back in my hands. And it works amazingly. And just like Apple said, it was between 7-10 business days.

. . . .

Golgo 13

Golgo 13

There are some pretty bad games out there, and Japan’s professional assassin, Golgo 13, is not immune to this. In 1988, Vic Tokai published a game based on the series called Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode for the NES, and it turned out to be a pretty big mindfuck.
Let’s Play, a site that does commentary on video games — both new and retro, did a run through of Golgo 13 and it’s pretty damn hilarious. The commentators rip into the game scene by scene with complete screenshots and character dialogue excerpts. Golgo 13 is so bad, but the scuba gear, and the comments make it up and justify your time spent reading.
If you’re looking for a good laugh, an uproariously bad game and an epic pause screen, Let’s Play Golgo 13 will deliver.

Common Misconceptions About Canada

I have quite a few friends in the United States and a few days ago, one of them asked me if Canadians used different electrical outlets than Americans. Not sure why he asked this since I’ve brought my laptop over to his place a few times before, but it’s about time for me to clear up a few misconceptions on the “great white north.”

Read the rest of this article…

Fullmetal Alchemist Manga

Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 18

Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 18

Volume 18 of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga is due out on May 19th, 2009 after a long drought from volume 17, which was released on October 21st, 2008. Looking forward to see what happens when Riza Hawkeye discovers a deep secret about President Bradley, and how the Elric brothers handle Winry’s capture.

Also, Fullmetal Alchemist returns to television on April 5th, 2009 in Japan. The original Japanese cast, including Romi Park and Rie Kugimiya are returning to voice Edward and Alphonse Elric, respectively.

GIRUGAMESH!!

See you there!!

Canucks 3 – Blues 0

Roberto Luongo and Kevin Bieksa during pre-game skate.

Roberto Luongo and Kevin Bieksa during pre-game skate.

The Vancouver Canucks triumphed over the St. Louis Blues last night at GM Place. Roberto Luongo earned his sixth shutout this season to give Vancouver their 11th home ice win.
The first period was all St. Louis as they had 18 shots on net, while Vancouver managed a measly four. The second period lit up with a goal from Alex Burrows just five minutes before the period ended giving Vancouver the lead.
In the third period, Vancouver took control and got two more goals from Mason Raymond and Henrik Sedin, cementing Vancouver’s win. Vancouver is now in fourth place in the Western Conference with 85 points.

Editorial: Wii is no longer family friendly

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the National Institute on Media and the Family is claiming that Nintendo has abandoned its family friendly focus on Wii.

The fuss is over Sega’s latest creation, MadWorld, which is gory game where players fight like gladiators using vicious and improvised weapons. Obviously, the game is rated M, but there’s still the problem that video games are still played by young children and that Nintendo’s kiddy image is being tarnished.

Unfortunately, these watch dog groups think that the family is always the happy mother, hardworking father, and young impressionable son and innocent daughter. As time progresses, the son and daughter grow up and move on to different things (like the son will go out and skateboard and the daughter will hang at the mall and discuss the latest purse fads or whatever). The groups want to keep the family together and as young and innocent as possible from all the evils and trends in today’s society. And outside of the family are violent movies, vulgar music, bloody games, and so on which have become main stream in Western culture.

Many parents are uninformed over video games and what they should let their kids play (comes back to my experience where I saw a mom buy a copy of Conkers Bad Fur Day for the Nintendo 64 because it had a cuddly squirrel on the box). But what gets me is that families and watchdog groups start going ballistic when an M rated game is released for a Nintendo system because of the company’s perception of being more family oriented. Well, a DVD player is family oriented as well isn’t it? I don’t see why people are freaking out over this because the son could pop in his father’s copy of 300 into the DVD player and spend all afternoon screaming “Tonight we dine in hell!” instead of watching his educational Barney episodes.

Here’s something: if it doesn’t suit your family values: don’t buy it, don’t play it, and don’t whine about it. There are thousands of other games available if you’re not comfortable with one. Responsible gaming is in the hand of the parent. Read the box first before opening your wallet.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

The British want less air time flying home from Jamaica

The Telegraph, a British newspaper, published a list of the twenty most ridiculous complaints made by UK travelers.
I don’t know if some of these are made up, but it’s not surprising that common sense eludes us when we travel abroad. Fortunately, I’m not one to complain if the elephant at the zoo is larger than me in bed.

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