The BugEyed Review Blog

News, views and reviews by your average Joe on the street. No, my name is not Joe.

FYI: New blog

Posted by Bug-E on April 7th, 2008

Just an FYI for anybody that may care, I’ve started a new blog over at www.dociletree.co.za

For the two of you (Hi Mom!) that subscribe to my RSS feed, please update to point to http://www.dociletree.co.za/feed/

Posted in General | No Comments »

I’ve decided…

Posted by Bug-E on May 3rd, 2007

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish…to shut this blog down.

Well, to stop updating it.
I just find I’ve not got the inclination or the will or the interest to update it anymore. I don’t have enough to say to warrant a blog to say it.
And besides, it was more an exercise in “Hey let’s see what it’s like to have a blog” several years ago (3 years actually, first post was 4 April 2004.).
Slowly comments will be switching off, and nobody will be able to say anything about anything I’ve written.

Ra Ra Ra.

It’s been a fun ride, and I’ve said some pretty arb stuff. Why are you even reading this still?
In 2 years, I’ve made a whopping $67 off of Google Adsense. Pitiful isn’t it? Maybe I just didn’t write about anything interesting or topical enough, who knows. Right now, I don’t care.

Anyway, I’ll once again start a blog when I have something more topical to say. Or interesting. More than just ramblings.

Buh-bye.

Posted in General, Views | 8 Comments »

“The hell?”

Posted by Bug-E on April 4th, 2007

The title of this post refers to this Cyanide & Happiness comic.

Thanks to Matthew for sending me this link… I don’t know what to make of it. Lots of [tag]engrish[/tag] in that video. (Listen carefully) :-)

Posted in General | 3 Comments »

Why do we blog?

Posted by Bug-E on April 3rd, 2007

UQI don’t know, why?

I think there’s a [tag]phobia[/tag] for it. The fear of somewhere there is something important that you’re not involved in.

That phobia is why people will sign up for things like [tag]Amatomu[/tag] and [tag]Afrigator[/tag] (even though, with afrigator, we’re being forced to display that ugly-ass ‘gator pic on our blogs…)

*shrug*

[tag]Glowey bits[/tag].

Posted in General | 3 Comments »

Gmail adds “Add to calendar” and “Map this” to e-mail display

Posted by Bug-E on March 31st, 2007

While reading some mail I received from [tag]Gamespot[/tag] this morning (Subject: Download and play Flatout 2 today), I noticed two new items to the right of the actual mail. [tag]Gmail[/tag] seemed to pick up the “today” in the subject line, and added an “[tag]Add to calendar[/tag]” link, and also picked up a physical address from the mail, and added a “[tag]Map this[/tag]” link.

That’s pretty cool I think!

Screenshot:
Gmail ‘Add to calendar’ and ‘Map this’ functionality

Posted in Views, Websites | Comments Off

Viva Piñata is addicting!

Posted by Bug-E on March 24th, 2007

Viva Piñata Background from fansitekitI couldn’t believe it!
Not only was Viva Piñata so damned [tag]addicting[/tag], but also, addicting is a word! (haha, no really!)

But let’s not discuss what Oxford would and wouldn’t put into their English Dictionary…

Viva Piñata (how do you type that squiggle on the n anyway? I had to copy and paste…) is a seriously, *seriously* big time sink. Remember when the first SimCity was released and you received on a freshly copied 360k floppy disk back in the 90’s? And then proceeded to play it, for hours on end, only to end up with a city that’s running itself into the ground, and then you start again, but *this* time it will be better? Remember that? Viva Piñata is 10 times worse, which makes it 50 times better.

On the surface, the game would never attract me, or most adult gamers, unless they’ve read something about the game, and know what they’re getting themselves into. The game is colorful, and, dare I say it, cutesy-cutesy. The game features over 60 animal species, all (almost all) with a possibility to be changed in color throughout the game through experimentation. Some species can be fed certain things to actually evolve into other species. Helpers help out, bad guys spoil the fun, and you get to breed (and, in one specific case, cross-breed) species of piñata. Fun fun fun.

Viva Piñata ScreenshotSo what’s the aim of the game? Create a thriving, living garden, and manage the fauna and flora in it. Sounds simple? It’s not. Far from it. Different species fight with eachother, ruffians and sour piñata come and spoil your day. There’s a storyline in there somewhere, that gets unlocked as time goes by, but I haven’t read it. I don’t think many people do. Oh, and there are many, many achievements to be unlocked, and lots of blocks that need ticks next to them. Do you have a Squirrel visiting outside your garden? Tick. Have you enticed the squirrel to come visit in your garden? Tick. Did you entice said squirrel sufficiently to actually stay in your garden? Tick. Have you romanced two squirrels? Tick. Are you a master romancer for the squirrels? Tick. Tick. Have you managed to find what to feed a squirrel to changed it into the three possible color variants? Tick. Tick. Tick. Now do that for every species that happens to come along to the garden, all the while making sure they don’t get eaten by other piñatas, or become unhappy and run away, or get beaten into little bits of sweets (Hey, they *are* Piñatas after all…) by one of the bad guys…

Viva Piñata ScreenshotScratching under the colorful surface of the game, you’ll find an enthralling, interesting and massive management sim. Each Piñata needs micromanagement to be able to get them to do anything. This is not a bad thing. It helps the game along quite nicely. You need to plant seeds, water them, and fertilize them if you want them to become really huge and bare more seeds, or flowers, or fruit in the case of fruit trees. Soon you’ll find yourself playing the game for hours on end just to breed that last Quackberry (duck for you uninitiated), or trying to entice that Doenut (a member of Bambi’s family) into your garden with sufficient amounts of long grass, wondering why it’s taking so long for the day to end, then realising that it’s been night and now it’s morning again, and you’ve played right through the night. As I said. Addicting.

Viva Piñata ScreenshotAnd big. The game is big. There will always be something to do, something to try, and something to grow. “I wonder what happens when the duck eats a water-lilly flower. OH MY GOD! IT TURNS PINK!!!” is something that will happen every now and again. What’s the use of a pink duck? Nothing really other than to entertain whoever is playing the game. And in our house’s case, it’d be the woman of the house that’s claimed the Xbox 360 and the TV forever more. Or, at least, until she becomes a master romancer for every single one of the species in the game. Argh, I’ve lost the TV!

Seriously though, Viva Piñata is an extremely enjoyable game, and the subject matter of breeding, or romancing, is totally safe for kids. Xbox.com has an article by XboxDad on the suitability of Viva Piñata for kids. Good read. The game itself also has a short video on it. There is even a Viva Piñata TV series, which has several episodes for download, free of charge, via the XBox Live Marketplace portal.

Fun for the whole family, to play and watch, [tag]Viva Piñata[/tag] is a must addition to any [tag]Xbox 360[/tag] game collection. And by looking at the online screenshots of the game, definitely appreciated better on an HDTV, which sadly, I don’t have. :-(

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Posted in Games, Reviews | 1 Comment »

Ode to Valerie Hunter Gordon

Posted by Bug-E on March 24th, 2007

Thanks to timmenzies on flickr for the picValerie Hunter Gordon, yay for you!
Brilliant woman!
Mother of a baby that needed nappies.
What? Nappies? Yes!
Valerie Who?
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in General | 1 Comment »

Phantom Console – Plays all current gen console games – NOT!

Posted by Bug-E on March 23rd, 2007

No Bullshit!WOW!
This is awesome!
I’m so looking forward to seeing this!
I signed up immediately! Go on, add your name to the list to get mail when it finally launches!

The guys over at Re-Inventech wanted to run a press release on the

Gaming console that is capable of reading and playing games from three of the world’s most popular gaming consoles has finally been developed

called the [tag]Phantom[/tag] HP.

The site says the console will be able to play Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo (?) games. That would be so cool, except, it’s not true.
I call bullshit!

Here’s why. (Thanks to the guys on the take2.co.za forums that helped with the investigations…)

The domain reinventech.co.za was registered only 10 days ago, by a company calling themselves MLS IGroup (Pty) Ltd, on behalf of a Gerald Yepp (in turn from a place called In Detail Advertising. The domain is still to be paid.
In-Detail Advertising’s site says their philosophy is to “to create RESPONSE DRIVEN ADVERTISING that wins you business”. Added to that, the reinventech site has a single form to add your name and e-mail address to be notified when the console will launch. Double bullshit.

Other reasons that may spark the neurons to think “Hold it!”, could be:

  • Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will never let the reverse engineering of their consoles slide, legally.
  • The Phantom console on the [tag]reinventech[/tag] site looks suspiciously *exactly* the same as the Phantom Console from Infinium Labs, that never saw the light of day.
  • Two of the members of Re-Inventech’s surnames are Hott and Price, which is suspiciously similar to a site of In Detail Advertising called hotprice.co.za
  • It’s too damned close to April Fool’s Day.

Starting a bit early hey guys?
Honestly, I wonder if Gerald Yepp *really* thought it was going to work?
Or, maybe it did work. Something like this has the capability to become rather viral.
And, to those of you reading this far, don’t, really, don’t fill in that stupid little form on their website, ‘cos chances are they’re using it to harvest email addresses…

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Posted in Games, Views, Websites | 2 Comments »

Deepest Sender and Amatomu.com

Posted by Bug-E on March 23rd, 2007

I just read on Tectonic about the Mail & Guardian’s latest little venture called Amatomu.  It’s basically a South-African technorati.  I think it’s well-timed for the market, and it will show all South-African bloggers in one place, which I think is good.

Especially with the the publicity the Geekdinners and 27-dinners are getting as of late…  Who knows, maybe I’ll get more than 5 visitors a day. :-)

One thing I was wondering was why it was not a .co.za domain…  Seeing that it is a South-African focussed site.  I see they also have the amatomu.co.za domain pointing to it, but the logo specifically says .com  *shrug*  Who am I to talk eh?  My blog lives on a .org

On a side note, I’m trying out a new blog update doodat called Deepest Sender.  It’s a Firefox plugin and allows you to select text and/or a link and send it to your Blog.  Similar to WordPress’s PressIt bookmarklet, but it supports a bunch of other blog software like blogger.com and others.
So far so good, it has a fairly simple wysiwyg editor with a live preview option, and supports something called FoxyTunes, whatever that is.

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Posted in Websites | 1 Comment »

More Twitter

Posted by Bug-E on March 20th, 2007

So, after being bullied (haha!) into writing about what I’ve done with [tag]Twitter[/tag], here it is.

Twitter, if you recall, is this rather simple public update system where you can post to the site (via the site, via IM or via sms) a status update of “What are you doing?”. Like a voyeuristic view into your life.

So while playing with the site a bit (Yes, I even tried it a few times, I still do every now and again, no idea why), I found that they had a bunch of news related updates flowing through their public timeline page. “Ah”, I thought. Some lines of PHP (Yes Neil, I *know*), an hour later, and I had an updater that took [tag]IOL[/tag]’s frontpage news stories and stuck them into Twitter’s timeline of updates. Tada! Some more tinkering to not publish duplicates, and a cron entry, and it now sticks a new, unique headline for IOL‘s frontpage into the twitter timeline. Nothing hugely special, just a little bit of Twitter API voodoo. The IOL Twitter user currently has 96 followers, and it’s done over 2500 updates of news tidbits since I started it. For March alone so far, I’ve had a mere 150-odd people click and follow one of the update links, but hey, that’s not the point.

The Twitter API is rather straight-forward, accessible via HTTP using GET or POST methods, all sending some XML through the connection. Authentication happens using a basic auth challenge. As I said, nothing special, but straight forward, and it gets the job done.

Posted in General | 5 Comments »

Advent of wireless internet has also given birth to a new generation of viruses and spyware software programs affecting several websites. This has alerted the hosting companies as well as users from using doubtful software to make a website. Websites hosted by so-called cheap web hosting services are facing most of the problems. Personal websites can be risked for that but corporate solutions should always be hosted on ecommerce hosting service with advanced security support.