CONAN GOES BACK TO VR

Conan visited a YouTube VR lab a few months ago but he didn’t really play a fully fleshed out VR game. This time, Conan returns with another new episode of his Clueless Gamer series, playing Wilson’s Heart, a game for the Oculus Rift. As is common with Conan, he just wants to know how this can lead to VR sex.

CHANGING ISPS

On Monday I’ll be changing Internet service providers as the fiber optic network in my neighbourhood is ready for service. As I detailed in this post, the municipality that I live in decided to build their own fiber optic network for residents and businesses. My building is the first one in the entire network to be switched on for service.

My new ISP will be Novus, which has primarily serviced buildings in the downtown Vancouver area. For the first year, I’ll be paying $30 a month for 35 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload. That’s the same price I’m paying now but six times faster for downloads and ten times faster for uploads. After the first year, the price goes up to $40 which is still a much better deal than going with Telus or Shaw.

I did have the option of going up to 1000 Mbps for downloads, which is insanely fast. Downloading a gigabyte of data would take less than ten seconds. Unfortunately, I’m a cheap bastard so I went with the cheapest option which is still an improvement over my current situation.

While I’m extremely excited to be on a fiber optic network now, I’d like to give a shout out to my current ISP, Internet Lightspeed. Other than a bumpy initial setup process, they’ve been reliable and affordable as a service. If it wasn’t for something as awesome as a fiber optic network, I would have not changed ISPs at all.

I can’t wait to see how fast all that porn will download next week.

SPECIAL THANKS

A game I worked on hits retail and digital shelves this Thursday. Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War III is a game I worked on very briefly many years ago. I detailed my experience working on the game in this post. I don’t have much more to add to that, at least publicly.

The one lingering question I’ve had all these years since that time was, would I make it into the credits? On the surface, that might seem like an egoistical and self-centered question to ask but hey, I did work on the game and even though none of my code probably made it into the final build, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that I would be acknowledged.

Given the short length of time I was on the project and how little of my code remained in the game, I was guessing there would be a 50/50 chance I’d make into the credits in some form. There was a beta release of the game earlier this month and while many people were searching YouTube for gameplay videos, I was hoping someone uploaded a video of credits. Sure enough, some did just that. My name did wind up in the “special thanks” section, along with a ton of other people. See for yourself in the video above.

A big thanks to Relic Entertainment for not forgetting about me and my tiny contribution to the game.

MALWARE

On my way home from work on Friday I received an e-mail from my web host. Apparently they had done a security sweep of all the sites they host and they found one bit of malware on my site. It was in the form of a .php file. I didn’t have a chance to look at the file because they had already removed it from my server. The file name wasn’t familiar to me so I’m certain I didn’t put it there. There was also no indication that there were any links to that particular file from anywhere else on this site either.

If you’re wondering if it’s a security risk to be on this site the answer is no. As far as I know, the WordPress installation wasn’t compromised at all. The real question is how did that one file even get onto my web server? It’s difficult to tell and my web host couldn’t answer that question when I phoned them. It could have been through an old-school FTP hack. They might have been able to get in through my web host control panel and then uploaded the file through that. Or it might have been something else that I don’t even know about.

Just to be sure, I’ve changed all my passwords relating to my web hosting, my web server, and my WordPress installation. Please continue to visit this blog, your security is number one concern.

RETURN TO SENDER?

I went downstairs to get my mail this evening and when I opened up my mailbox I was surprised to see a delivery notice card from Canada Post. I’m usually aware of any outstanding deliveries and nearly all of them I have sent to work so I don’t miss them when I’m gone.

I grabbed the card and looked at the address. It was the correct address, so it’s not like the mail person put the card in the wrong box. Of course that doesn’t rule out that the shipper sent it to wrong address in the first place. The name on the delivery card was not mine though. So it was pretty clear this delivery was not meant for me.

I took the card upstairs and entered the number on it into the Canada Post web site. This number allows you to see the tracking info for the delivery, including who might have sent the package. Curiously, the Canada Post system could not find any info about this package. With previous legit deliveries, this info has always been available. If I had to guess, someone must have realized the mistake after the parcel was taken to the postal outlet and then invalidated this card info from the system but obviously couldn’t remove the card from my mailbox.

I guess there’s nothing for me to do but perhaps I should call the postal outlet tomorrow just to be sure.

DON’T BLAME THEM

On the particular floor that I work on there are two teams. One is the PopCap team that I’m part of. Across from us is another team, which I can say very little about. What I can divulge is that they are working on a Star Wars game. As you can imagine, the subject of that game has attracted a bit of attention within the studio as there are a lot of Star Wars fans. Many of us decided to embark on entertainment-related careers because of that galaxy located far, far away.

The other interesting thing is that team needed to ramp up staffing and is still looking for people to fill roles. In the past several weeks, two people on my team made the necessary arrangements to jump over to the Star Wars team. The lure of that intellectual property was too much to resist. In many cases, working on a Star Wars game remains a childhood dream. Who could blame these people for chasing their dreams?

Now if you’re wondering if I would want to work on a Star Wars game, you definitely know the answer if you just even casually know me. The answer though doesn’t matter, at least for now. I’m currently loaned out to an external team and once I get back to my real team, I’m needed there. Of course, it never hurts to asks but the timing has to be right. We’ll have to see.

NO MORE TRAILERS

A few years ago I decided not to watch any movie trailers for any Star Wars related films. This started with Revenge of the Sith and has continued on through to Rogue One. I don’t want to know anything about the movie beforehand because I’m going to see it anyways. Why ruin it?

This week though, someone made a comment online where they stated they’ve stopped watching trailers for movies they were going to see anyways. In their opinion, their movie-going enjoyment was raised significantly. Because nothing was spoiled, everything about those films was revealed in a refreshingly honest way. The only trailers they did watch were for films they had no initial intention of going to see. The thinking is that they would give the trailer a chance to change their mind.

I’m going to follow suit along with this anonymous movie fan. There’s a whole bunch of superhero movies coming out that I know I’ll be seeing so there’s no point in watching their trailers. I hope this will be as liberating I expect it to be.

ONE DAY

Friday was a public holiday so I had a three-day long weekend. Long weekends are always nice but I have to go back to work on Monday. I know a few people who decided to take a vacation day on Monday and made their weekends a four-day one instead. In all my years of working I don’t think I’ve done that. My memory is hazy now but even if I did, I don’t think I would have done it more than once. I prefer to use my vacation days for when I’m actually traveling somewhere.

Of course, when I wake up tomorrow morning and curse that I have to go to work I will then wonder why I didn’t take that extra day like so many of my co-workers did. Perhaps one day, in the near future, I will extend a long weekend myself. For now, I get to commute to work like a chump tomorrow.