HOT COFFEE MOD, PATRIOT ACT AND WINDOWS VISTA

Greetings,

HOT COFFEE MOD: In case you have no idea what this is, a little game called Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is making waves throughout the video gaming world. It was released last November and it’s an ultra-violent, role-playing game. I own it (hey, it’s too much fun) but new revelations about the game’s, um, more explicit content has come out in the past couple of weeks.

Basically, a downloadable mod has been found that unlocks a pornographic sequence in the game. It’s available on PC and PS2 (and soon XBox) and it’s called “Hot Coffee.”

I’ve seen some video of the scene in question (don’t have the PC game and you need a special piece of hardware to unlock the sequence on a PS2) and it’s not that exciting, although it’s one of those things that’s really ticked off a few people in the U.S., most notably Senator (and future Presidential nominee) Rodham-Clinton. So, game gets a new Adults Only rating.

Personally, I really don’t see why this is such a big deal. Further, wouldn’t it make more sense for a game that’s now more than six months old and is just being released on XBox to have some controversy behind it? Rockstar Games says the porn part in the game was part of an earlier edit, but hey – makes for good hype and publicity.

PATRIOT ACT: Did you know that the U.S. House of Representatives voted to indefinitely extend the Patriot Act? Only two provisions in the Act have Sunset Clauses now and they have an expiration of 10 years hence: the right for federal officials to intercept phone and Internet communications, and the right to search business and medical records and the like. I’ve never liked this act. It’s alarmingly Draconian and gives the U.S. government far, far too much power over individual privacy rights. I can’t believe people aren’t that upset over this. Why is something like this – an attack on individual freedoms and rights in the U.S. – being given less play than a series of small-time bombings in London done largely by amateurs? Fear seems to get more powerful in manufacturing consent every passing year.

WINDOWS VISTA: The next Windows OS after XP is being called Vista. Will I get the upgrade when it comes out next year? We’ll see. Apparently, you’re going to likely need a brand new computer for it. The OS will reportedly need a whole boat load of power behind it.

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EVER-CHANGING BLOG

Greetings,

As you can see, this blog is changing quite a bit. Traffic to this site is increasing, which means I really do have to give the site a bit more to offer.

I’m currently getting seriously down to work on my web site, which has been pretty quiet but that’s mostly because I’ve been busy with other things.

Advertising has also been put on this site.

I’m also joining the Podsafe Music Network, which will allow the podcast to improve in terms of quality and the music available on it.

BEING EDUCATED…AND SCOTTY

Greetings,

SCOTTY: James Doohan has passed away. I still think he was the most underrated member of the Star Trek original cast. R.I.P., Scotty. “Captain, she’s comin’ apart!”

One of the hardest things a person has to do is make the sometimes-difficult choice of going back to school. I’m done, for the moment at least, getting a post-secondary education. I’ve earned a few degrees now and it’s been worth it. I guess sometimes, I wonder, if a person can become excessively educated to the point where you’re incapable of thinking in a non-critical fashion.

What I mean by this is the simple fact I can’t seem to enjoy a lot of things from a socio-cultural point of view without thinking about the critical elements of such texts. It kind of bothers me sometimes. My mind is so trained towards deconstruction and reconstruction that it’s hard to think about things on their own without considering all perspectives, ideas and actions surrounding such texts. Maybe it’s me, who knows. Probably is just me.

BLOGGER DRAINO, COMEDY CENTRAL AND MEDIA IN 2005

Greetings,

Writing is like any other profession in some ways; you have ebbs and flows in terms of creative energy, vitality and general insightfulness (even I have that once in awhile, believe it or not).

So here’s my attempt to clean out my blog’s general lack of posting goodness with some virtual draino – stuff that’s been accumulating that I haven’t talked about yet.

VIDEO IPOD: Rumours are accumulating that September will feature a video iPod release from Apple. This will further embolden iTunes, given that music videos can now be sold if the technology really is coming to the iPod brand. Now if they can give it Wi-Fi capability or Bluetooth (and maybe enlarge the screen a bit), you can forget the Sony PSP right now. Although the PSP is pretty sweet.

DAVE CHAPPELLE: I really miss Chappelle’s Show. My brother and I own the first two seasons of Dave Chappelle’s insanely funny show. We love it. Thing is, it’s on indefinite hiatus and there’s little chance he’ll be returning anytime soon to Comedy Central. CBC’s got a good article on the shows replacing it while it’s AWOL.

On another Comedy Central-related note, last night’s Daily Show (complete with swanky new set) featured Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. It was a really interesting conversation (Jon Stewart’s the best of both worlds, I swear) and talked about the nature of revealing major scandals like Watergate in 2005.

You’d think it would be much easier now, what with email, blogs and podcasts. Bernstein and Woodward argued, correctly, you can and should break major stories today, although I think they’re being optimistic in a press culture that’s been forced to know-tow to Bush more often than they should. This is largely because the Bush administration, the question-phobic, “plain-speaking,” anti-intellectualist cadre that infantilizes public discourse with every response they give, is prepared to do just about anything to bully the media into not reporting relevant issues. Not even Nixon would consider the press something to be bullied in order to strengthen Republican hegemony.

Ok, rant done. More to come. Another podcast this week, I hope. If not, well, should be soon.

IN GUELPH

Greetings,

I’m here in the University of Guelph’s library, sending some emails and posting to a blog. I’m not sure if I’m cool or not by doing this. Nope, I’m not. And man, is it ever hot here.

CYBER SECURITY: Finally! The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has at long last gotten going on making net security a priority issue. I advocated this last September.

10-YEAR-OLD MICROSOFT PROFESSIONAL: This is just crazy, but in a good way. A 10-year-old engineer of Microsoft software.

Going to a fellow King’s grad video presentation tonight. Should be fun.

GOOGLE, AREA 51 AND PURE WEIRDNESS

Greetings,

Self-Googling is pretty vain stuff. Once in awhile you do it to see where you are in the pecking order of the web.

I’ve come to the conclusion there are too many Greg Hughes-type people in this world. I’m mixed up with several Greg Hughes guys out there. But you know what’s weird? And I mean really weird? There’s another Greg Hughes (he’s at GregHughes.net) who’s also into science and technology. And he’s a writer-type guy. Just like me. It’s really amazing how close our interests are. Must be something about the name.

AREA 51: Speaking of Google, check this out. Google Maps is in Beta mode and this guy did a satellite check of Area 51, the famed “secret location” for unexplained events in UFO-Aliens lore. It’s pretty interesting stuff.

Oh, and the NHL-NHLPA agreed on a new CBA. Everybody rejoice. No really, you can, it’s okay now. Nobody? No one? Meh, that’s what I thought. You ain’t getting any money from me, NHL. Ever. And those of you who sink back into your habit of watching Hockey Night In Canada after a winter of no hockey – you’re letting them win.

DIGITAL CLUTTER

Greetings,

Today, aside from working on a piece for King’s, I did a massive clean-out of my laptop, email and other computer-related stuff. It’s amazing how much stuff accumulates over time on your computer.

Also, I made the front page of CBC.ca today with my latest column, which is always really exciting.

QUEER UNIVERSE: This is really interesting but also really abstract and strange. Go check it out, I’m not going to comment on it here.