Archive for May, 2007

Betalicious!

May 18th, 2007

Halo 3On Wednesday I was able to download the Halo 3 Mulitplayer Beta and jump into the action – unlike people who were waiting to use Crackdown to download the Beta. Apparently there were problems that led to a 15-hour delay while Bungie and Microsoft came up with a patch to Crackdown that sorted things out. There were also problems with some people that got in via the “Rule of 3″ promotion that didn’t receive their codes via email, and Bungie have resent these emails and are dealing with any remaining issues themselves. The Internet nearly melted with the ire flowing from disgruntled players, with Major Nelson seeming to get the brunt of it, bringing down MajorNelson.com. You’d think this was something important :)

Thankfully for me the biggest problem was to decide what to delete to make room for the download. I’m considering getting the 120GB drive when it comes out later this year. The game appeared in the “Demos and More” section, and started up no problem – with a simple loading screen that said “Loading”, “Halo 3 Beta”, and “Love, Bungie” :)

» Read more: Betalicious!

New Scientist – Climate Change Myths

May 17th, 2007

New Scientist Climate Change MythsI recently saw the documentary on Channel 4 that promotes the view that human’s contribution to global warming is negligble compared to the effects of the Sun and cosmic rays. The documentary was well produced and quite convincing, and prompted much discussion in the media. It was certainly a topic in several conversations I had around the time. It did sound convincing that the Sun was the major factor controlling the world’s temperature, and that humans could do little to control global warming. But part of me remained unconvinced, and baulked at the idea that George W. Bush could be right in his opposition to the Kyoto Protocol :)

Now, New Scientist magazine has published a special issue about Climate Change, and it addresses many of the myths surrounding global warming. The key points are available in a series of articles on the New Scientist web site. They present a balanced view of the arguments, and I think they successfully challenge the points raised in the documentary. What I took away from it is that while the Sun does indeed act as the main source of heat for the planet, human-generated CO2 is the best candidate for the recent trend of increasing temperatures. It is also clear that there is a large degree of uncertainty around the role of clouds in the global climate. However despite the uncertainty the majority of scientists working in this field are convinced that human-caused global warming is real, and we need to act sooner rather than later.

Halo 3 Release Date Announced

May 16th, 2007

Halo 3Bungie last night announced the official release dates for Halo 3. It will be available in the US on the 25th of September 2007, and in Europe on the 26th of September 2007. This comes as a bit of a surprise, since many people expected to see a November release date given that Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 were both released in November. Mind you, it’s a nice surprise :)

Now that the dates are official, I’ve updated my countdown timers on My Halo News and Halo Screen Saver.com. I’ve also put the countdown timer into the sidebar here.

For some reason a lot of French gaming sites picked up on the original date I used (07/07/07) and thought it was official because there was a news post up on Bungie.net about my updated screen saver. Well, now they would be right :)

Roll on September!

Halo 3 Beta Starts Today

May 16th, 2007

Today marks the start of the Halo 3 multiplayer beta for those of us who weren’t given a head start via Bungie’s “Friends & Family” scheme. I found my activiation code in my inbox this morning 😀

I can’t wait to get home and start enjoying the Halo 3 goodness! I’m going to make the most of the next three weeks. See you all online!

WordPress upgrade

May 10th, 2007

I’m about to attempt to upgrade WordPress to the latest version (v2.1.3), so the site may be unavailable for a little while. Hopefully this will go smoothly :)

UPDATE: Looks like things are working well so far. I’ve had to tweak the template stuff to make things work, and the Google Sitemap Generator plugin doesn’t seem to want to work, other than that looks good!

Another Update: Sorted out the Google Sitemap Generator problem. I had to tweak sitemap.php to cater for a duplicate declaration for the js_escape() function. Here’s what it looks like now (it’s at the very beginning of sitemap.php):


if(!function_exists('js_escape')) {
// Escape single quotes, specialchar double quotes, and fix line endings.
function js_escape($text) {
$text = wp_specialchars($text, 'double');
$text = str_replace(''', "'", $text);
return preg_replace("/\r?\n/", "\\n", addslashes($text));
}
}

So, all back to normal now :)

WordPress PDA Plugin

May 4th, 2007

I just installed the WordPress PDA Plugin, and it’s absolutely great. I tested it out via the browser in my Sony Erricsson K800i, and the display is much cleaner, and much quicker too. I’ve also added it to My Halo News.com. I may play with the templates a little, but the defaults are good enough to use without any tweaking. Highly recommended :)

I’ve also been playing around with the layout both here and at My Halo News.com. I was trying to find a nice-looking way to handle the embedded Amazon aStore page at My Halo News.com using an absolutely positioned sidebar on the right of the page, but I couldn’t get it looking well. I really don’t want to use TABLE tags, so I decided the easiest way to get a more flexible layout is to put the fixed-width sidebar on the left of the page, and let the main content adjust itself on the right of the page. This has worked quite well, and actually looks pretty nice too. You’ll see this style on both sites now.