I went to the annual Skate Paddy’s Day celebration tonight, which this year was located at Subeez. As always, it was awesome seeing the old team get back together. One dude even came back from Ottawa to attend. I wonder if the Superman 64 dev team gets together twice a year, like we do, to reminisce about the good times.
Anyways, I had to leave a bit earlier than I wanted to because I have an interview tomorrow. Though it would make good material for this blog, I am not going to show up at the interview suffering from the effects of consuming too much alcohol. Wish me luck (I’ll probably need it)!
I get lots of spam comments on this blog that are automatically filtered out by a nifty system. Once in a while, I take a look at the spam that gets caught and chuckle at the penis enlargement ads.
Tonight, I looked at the spam corral and noticed a comment that appears to be a genuine piece of spam but that might actually have a heart of gold underneath all that spammy exterior. The comment is as follows:
I’m looking to give money to support Japan?
I am so unhappy by what took place in Japan with the earthquake and tsunami and I really want to assist all of them by donation.
Does anyone know an internet site or anything where one can donate to assist Japan?
As with all spam comments, a link is provided. The odd thing is, the link appears to be the exact same link one would use to donate money to the relief effort for Japan. There does not appear to be any funny business going on, like the “o” in “cross” replaced with a “0” or anything.
I’m wondering how this piece of spam benefits the person who sent it or the person who wanted it sent. The Red Cross doesn’t send out kickbacks for donations or anything. If I get 500 people to donate to the Red Cross, they don’t send me 5% of the donations.
I want to think that there’s a spammer out there who briefly spammed for good but I’m having a hard time believing it. Nevertheless, if you want to help, start by looking here.
I received a letter from UFG today. I wasn’t expecting one since the only other correspondence that I thought they would send was my T4 and that wouldn’t be due until 2012. So I really had no idea why I was getting something from them this week.
The letter turned out to be an expression of gratitude for all my hard work on True Crime: Hong Kong. It was basically a thank you for all my effort for the game and the company. It was then personally signed by what I suppose are all the founders of the company. I write “suppose” because I’m not sure who all the founders are and I could only identify three signatures among the eleven that were there.
I imagine everyone who got laid off got one of these letters from UFG this week. I personally thought it was a nice and kind gesture even though the letter recognized that it “may not be much consolation for you”. Most companies I know of don’t send you a follow-up letter like this so it was a pleasant surprise. Of course, my situation is different than most of the people that got laid off with me. I was only on the project for less than three months, so I really didn’t have any emotional ties to the game nor the company. Others had worked on the game for nearly three years and had put in tons of time and effort into it, the end result being a game that will never be released and being unemployed. This letter is really more for those people than myself.
In any case, I’ll keep the letter and tuck it away somewhere safe and it will be another memento (or battle scar) from my on-going adventure in the games industry.
I know I maybe in the minority now with this but I actually still rent movies from a brick-and-mortar type store. It’s partly because it’s a five minute walk to the store and partly because I hating waiting for a movie to come out on Netflix (because in Canada, that movie will never ever get to Netflix). I’m ok even getting movies from a store even it means I have to get off my butt to go to the store and then off my butt again to return it.
I have noticed, however, a disturbing new trend from the movie studios. The studios are now releasing “rental” versions of movies which are completely stripped down versions of the home release that you might get in a regular store. For example, I rented Jackass 3 tonight and it was one of these bare-bones editions. The disc contained the movie and no other extras. The retail version of this movie, however, is a two-disc set with outttakes, a making of special, and other goodies. I would have liked to see that stuff. Instead, I got nothing but the movie.
It didn’t used to be like this. Home releases used to the be same no matter where you got them, either from a rental store or say Wal-Mart. There wasn’t this distinction between a rental version and a store-bought version. Now I have a pretty good idea why the studios decided to do this. It’s clear they want me, as the consumer, to buy the retail release of the movie instead. Movie studios make nothing off rentals beyond the money it initially cost the rental store to buy the disc. If one disc allows say 50 people to watch the movie and all the special features, that’s 50 people that didn’t have to pay the whole price for the release. The studios sees lost revenue there.
Unfortunately for the consumer, the movie studios have taken away something that people have been accustomed to and have expected for years. When I get a Blu-ray home, I expect to see the movie and all the extras that are available for that movie because that’s what I’ve been given all these years. I’m now getting less entertainment but the movie rental hasn’t gone down to match that. I’m now paying the same amount of money for less in return. That doesn’t seem fair but sadly the movie studios have the right to do this.
Caught in the middle of all this are the rental stores. I’m pretty sure they weren’t pushing the studios to make this change. After all, what kind of company wants to give their customers less when their costs remain essentially the same? I can’t see these “rental” version being that much cheaper for the rental stores. I’m guessing the studios basically force the stores to buy these new versions and don’t give them the option to buy anything else.
Well, if all I’m gonna get in the future is just the movie at the rental place, I can think of another alternative where I can “just get the movie” and not even have to leave my home nor pay a single penny for it.
If you click here, you’ll be able to mess around with this dog and pony show that I call a blog. I’ve tested this on Firefox and Chrome. Not sure if it works on any version of IE. You shouldn’t really be using IE anyways.
I had a bit of a long day yesterday as I went to an interview and then attended another recruiting event yesterday. I feel asleep last night before writing one of awesome daily posts. Sorry about that! I hope everyone found something else on the Internet to read today instead.
I went to a career fair this afternoon that was held in a ballroom of a downtown hotel. It was organized by UFG to help everyone find jobs. It was nice of them to do that and nice enough for local companies to take the time and effort to show up as well. In less than six months I’ve now been to two of these things. I wish I could say I was the only who held such a distinction but there are local developers who’ve had to attend upwards to three careers fairs within the last eight months or so as they’ve gone through three jobs in that time.
There are recruiters who now know my name and face strictly because I keep showing up to these things. I was mentioning to one of them that this is the only time I ever see them and we need to stop meeting like this. I dropped a few resumes off but I remain cautious about my chances of getting employment soon. I wonder, when the next career fair will be?
I don’t need to tell you the Internet is a wonderful, glorious thing which has brought us many riches. Among these riches are memes which can take a life of its own. I previously wrote about a post about “high expectations Asian father” which I thought was quite funny. I found another meme which I quite enjoy and this one is called “vengeance dad“. The basis for this one is a family photo from what appears to be the 1980s or so. I don’t know why photographers thought the creepy compositing of the two pictures was desirable but I’m imagining this was quite the fancy feature in those pre-Photoshop days. Anyways, the dad’s odd and expressionless face really make the photo. As for the meme itself, the one I have up above is my favourite for the series though this one is pretty funny as well.
As an estimate, I believe there are somewhere between 150 to 200 game developers in Vancouver currently who do not have jobs. That’s a lot of people. It’s a shame there isn’t a support group for all of us. It would be nice if there was a way for all of us to trade stories and recipes. Perhaps it’s because it’s late but I’m also envisioning a place where we could hang out during the day while we enjoy our unemployment, you know like a club house of sorts. I’m also seeing a room full of exercise bikes where we could hop on and keep in shape. The bikes also have generators on them so when you pedal, you make electricity, which gets stored in fuel cells that help run the club house. Maybe that last part isn’t too realistic but it would be cool though.