Verizon: Ma Bell Would Be Proud!

Yesterday, I received my telephone Bill from Verizon. It is usually a non-event, but this time I was in for the shock of my life. Having recently moved half way across the country, my wife and I make a lot of Long Distance calls back to our family. Because of this, I purchased an Unlimited Long Distance plan so we could call home without worry about the cost. Imagine my surprise when I open my bill and see $350 worth of Long Distance calls. What follows is a recount of my calls to Verizon to fix the problem. Continue reading Verizon: Ma Bell Would Be Proud!

BF2 1.3 Patch Update

EA Posted this in their recent community update.

Although the 1.3 patch is still being worked on we wanted to provide a peek at what you can expect with the coming release:


* Co-op: Co-op Mode allows you to play Single Player levels on the Internet and LAN with both AI controlled bots and human players. Several new options have been created that will allow the server creator to modify how the bots behave in game.
* Air dropped vehicles: Squad members can now send a request up the chain of command for a vehicle to be dropped at their location.


* Prevented ban list from being cleared in the event of a server crash.
* Fixed issue with players not properly ranking up on servers where they continuously play.
* Fixed bug where friendly vehicles show up as valid targets.
* Friendly Vehicle lock: Lock-on weapons do not lock on to friendly vehicles. The box with an X through it will still appear, but a lock tone will not sound and then if fired, the missile will not track the friendly target.

Keep in mind this is only a part of what 1.3 will include. Our live team is working diligently to provide the best update possible in preparation for the release of the Armored Fury booster pack!

New TeamSpeak Info

Just a quick note. We have a new public TeamSpeak server. You can connect to it using the IP or by name The port is 8528. The password is grb.

To connect, add this server to your server list. Fill in your Nick, Select Anonymous and put grb in the Server Password. Click Connect.

Please be aware. I just updated in DNS, so it may take 24-48 hours before you can connect by name.

Top 13 Tracks As Of April 23, 2006

# Artist Song Title Album
1 Rammstein Engel Mutter
2 Korn Freak On A Leash Follow The Leader
3 Korn Did My Time Take A Look In The Mirror
4 Slipknot Duality Vol 3 (Subliminal Verses)
5 Rob Zombie Foxy Foxy Educated Horses
6 Disturbed Stupify The Sickness
7 Disturbed Liberate Believe
8 Rammstein Sonne Mutter
9 Marilyn Manson Tainted Love Not Another Teen Movie ST
10 Disturbed The Game The Sickness
11 System of a Down Spiders System of a Down
12 Slipknot Duality 9.0: Live [Disc 2]
13 Rammstein Ich Will Mutter

This list is generated weekly from a ranking based on your votes in the Live365 playlist window.

Microsoft Beware, Linux on Attack

Yesterday, a group of the major Linux distributors decided to come together to form the Free Standards Group. This group’s goal is to unite the different Linux distributors to create a stronger more appealing Linux desktop. To do this the group will help define a common Linux standard.
The first desktop distribution to be certified will be from Xandros Inc. and will ship on May 1. It will be followed by certified distributions from Novell Inc., Red Hat, the Debian Project, Ubuntu and others.

Read more HERE

Are CRPGs Making A Comeback?

Based on the Top Selling PC Games for March 2006, it really looks like it.

1. The Sims 2 Open For Business Expansion Pack
2. Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion
3. Star Wars: Empire At War
4. Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach
5. Lord of the Rings: Battle For Middle Earth II
6. World Of Warcraft
7. The Sims 2
8. Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion Collectors Ed
9. Lord of the Rings: Battle For Middle Earth II Collectors Ed
10. MS Age Of Empires III
13. Battlefield 2

*List is based on units sold by more than 70 channel partners, representing 90% of the U.S. retail consumer market.

Top 13 Tracks As Of April 17, 2006

# Artist Song Title Album
1 Bullet For My Valentine Suffocating Under Words of Sorry The Poison
2 Korn Freak On A Leash Follow The Leader
3 Rammstein Sonne Mutter
4 Korn Did My Time Take A Look In The Mirror
5 Slipknot Duality Vol 3 (Subliminal Verses)
6 Rammstein Engel Mutter
7 Mushroomhead Crazy XIII
8 Mudvayne Not Falling The End of All Things to Come
9 Marilyn Manson Tainted Love Not Another Teen Movie ST
10 Disturbed Sons Of Plunder Ten Thousand Fists
11 System of a Down Spiders System of a Down
12 Nine Inch Nails Hurt The Downward Spiral
13 Korn Thoughtless Untouchables

This list is generated weekly from a ranking based on your votes in the Live365 playlist window.

Dear Gamer, Wal-Mart Hates You

Until today, I have had mixed feelings about digital delivery of computer games. On one hand, I support the underdog and believe digital delivery is the best way for games that would otherwise not make it into the publics hands to have a chance at success. On the other hand, I am concerned about the control that it gives larger companies like Electronic Arts and Microsoft to control the market.

Today, I have taken a side. For all the things wrong with digital delivery of software, there is a bigger issue that I simply can not stomach. That issue is named Wal-Mart. You see, I boycotted Wal-Mart music many years ago when I found out they were forcing artists to censor their work or risk Wal-Mart not selling their product. In a sense, this was censorship of Freedom of Speech that no government, corporation or individual should have the power to do. To this day, I have not bought a single CD from Wal-Mart, even if the album is completely untouched by the hand of censorship. I will drive miles out of my way to buy that CD somewhere else.

Today, I add Software and Games to my list of Wal-Mart boycotted items. You see, Wal-Marts far reaching hand of control and censorship has gripped the core of the gaming industry and I for one will not spend my hard earned money on Software of any kind at Wal-Mart ever again. I do not care if its the hottest game in the whole world and they accidentally put it out a week early. I will not buy any games from Wal-Mart ever again.

You are probably wondering where all of this “angst” comes from. Well, read this article on The Escapist about the amount of control Wal-Mart has on gaming.

“Publisher sales reps inform Wal-Mart buyers of games in development; the games subjects, titles, artwork and packaging are vetted and sometimes vetoed by Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart tells a top-end publisher it wont carry a certain game, the publisher kills that game. In short, every triple-A game sold at retail in North America is managed start to finish, top to bottom, with the publishers gaze fixed squarely on Wal-Mart, and no other.”

Can you say OMGWTFLOLBBQ? Yea, me too…..

“Wal-Mart has shaped the field in other ways. Remember five years ago, when computer game boxes all got smaller? That was Wal-Mart.”

So instead of having a nice visual box to catch peoples attention, you wind up with a bunch of tiny boxes shoved sideways into a shelve space so small, you can not figure out what is actually being sold. Good Job Wal-Mart.

Dont stop here my friends. Read the Full Escapist Article on Wal-Marts Schtiking Of The Games Industry for yourself.

Oh yea…. If you have not figured it out, this particular News Topic is titled Up Yours!. Congratulations Wal-Mart. You are the proud recipient of a second big fat Up Yours!. Keep this up and you will catch Electronic Arts about as fast as I will make my next rank in Battlefield 2.

More news on the Battlegroup and Frontlines Mod Merger

The following was posted on the Frontlines mod website today.

Dear Community,

Well well, I bet you all thought our merge announcement was just an April Fools joke. Well the jokes on you, it`s for real! You may need to sit down for this next part folks, so don`t say we didn`t warn you. Not only are BG and FL merging, Warfront will be joining us as well! Yes you read this correctly, Battlegroup2, Frontlines, and Warfront will all be working under the same name. The idea to merge was first proposed in January and soon after the teams started the first discussions. We have had many discussions over the past few months, and we`ve come to an arrangement everyone thinks will benefit us and the mod community.

Now you may ask what scenario we are going to develop at first. Battlegroup2 and Warfront started to develop an Eastern-front-scenario, while Frontlines started to do a Normandy-scenario. We decided to primarily continue working on the Eastern-front-scenario, but we won´t stop working on the Normandy-scenario, which means that soon after the release of the Eastern-front-scenario we will be able to provide you a second scenario, which will be Normandy.

This sounds great to me! With three mod teams merged to work on this, significant progress cant be far away. Lets hope for some WWII action soon.

Top 13 Tracks As Of April 10, 2006

# Artist Song Title Album
1 Drowning Pool Bodies Sinner
2 Rammstein Engel Mutter
3 Papa Roach Getting Away With Murder Getting Away With Murder
4 Korn Freak On A Leash Follow The Leader
5 Slipknot Vermilion Vol 3 (Subliminal Verses)
6 Mudvayne Not Falling The End of All Things to Come
7 Rammstein Links Mutter
8 Rammstein Ich Will Mutter
9 Mushroomhead Crazy XIII
10 Marilyn Manson Tainted Love Not Another Teen Movie ST
11 Disturbed Down With The Sickness The Sickness
12 Slipknot The Nameless Vol 3 (Subliminal Verses)
13 Korn Here To Stay Untouchables

This list is generated weekly from a ranking based on your votes in the Live365 playlist window.

Ozzys Tour Dates Confirmed For Ozzfest 2006

As we reported earlier, Ozzy plans on co-headlining the 2006 Ozzfest Tour with System of a Down. This boils down to Ozzy will only appear at selected shows. Those shows have been announced as the following:

06/29 – Auburn, WA – White River Amphitheater
07/01 – San Francisco, CA – Shoreline Amphitheater
07/08 – San Bernardino, CA – Hyundai Pavilion
07/16 – Chicago, IL – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
07/22 – East Troy, WI – Alpine Valley Music Theatre
07/29 – New York, NY – Randalls Island
08/01 – Boston, MA – Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts
08/04 – Camden, NJ – Tweeter Center at the Waterfront
08/06 – Bristow, VA – Nissan Pavillion

For the record, that last show is two miles from my home. I cant wait to see it!