Month: June 2007 (page 1 of 2)

Car Bombs

Terrorist attacks always seemed pretty remote, even when they were in the UK. I guess there was always a sense of ‘it’s London’ and ‘it won’t happen up here’. Today’s terrorist attack on Glasgow airport disproves that totally. Like the London cars that were found on Friday, the car that drove into Glasgow airport had propane gas and also petrol on board. Thankfully no one seems to be badly injured apart from one of the two people in the car. They were described as Asian with an eye witness stating that one guy was shouting Allah as he was pulled from the car.

Most disturbing was that one of the terrorists who has suffered 90% burns was wearing a suicide belt. The belt was only found on the suspect when he was in hospital. It’s shocking to think what damage he could have done.

Even more shocking is that this looks like a botched attack. What would have happened if the propane had gone up or the suicide belt detonated? How many innocents would have died? Or was the plan to ever kill lots of people? Was it just to disrupt, cause panic and fear, unsettle the public? I guess no one really knows at the moment. All we can do is keep vigilant for anything suspicious. Who knows where these guys were staying, worked or who they were friends with.

Tom Fordyce

I’ve been loving the live text commentary on BBC sports recently and yesterday/today’s Henman match was a highpoint. Here are some of the better funnies:

  • Still feels strange to look up and see Centre Court without a roof – it’s like meeting an old pal for a drink, only to find he’s gone completely bald since you last saw him.
  • Relief for Moya as Henman’s groundstrokes are drawn to the net like papparazi to an intoxicated Jade Goody.
  • You’ve got to love the English summer – as reliable as a 1973 Skoda.
  • Moya, as outwardly emotional as a frozen haddock
  • This being tennis, the players then go for a sit-down.
  • Lucy Henman is in the same seat as yesterday, wearring a beige cardigan with sand-coloured wool scarf. She’s waving a large Union flag with the words “Go Tiger!” emblazoned on it. As if.
  • Three seats along, Mr Henman Snr is showing all the emotion of a marble bust.
  • Who’s going to blink first? Certainly not Mr Henman Snr, whose face hasn’t twitched in 14 years.
  • Henman Snr looks like the sort of chap whose definition of emotional contact with his son would be a handshake twice a year – once on his birthday, and once on Christmas Day.

Top work and thanks to Tom Fordyce as it makes for a far more entertaining game if you can’t watch it live, like when your at work…although I read this all tonight. Honest.

Achilles Heel

The 360 is a fine console with excellent games, great online community and a fine multi-media machine. However it’s failure rate is atrocious yet Microsoft have always denied there is a big issue with returns. Now comes news that the UK repairs team is receiving 1500 – 2500 per day according to this article published on 360 Gamer.

1500-2500 per day in the UK alone

That sounds really high but tie’s up with my own findings. I game regularly with a group of guys and almost all of them have had at least one 360 fail. Two of the group are onto their 5th 360. That’s five machines in less than 20 months. If it happened to one guy only you would put it down to bad luck but not two. I’ve also had mine fail, Shakeel’s has just gone, Graham’s on his third and as already said most of the guys have had theirs fail two. If it’s not the red ring of light it’s scratched disks, which is definitely caused by the 360 as the guys that I know it’s happened too haven’t even removed the disk from the machine for two weeks. It started to fail and on inspecting the disk concentric scratches were clearly visible.

These problems have now transferred to the 360 Elite which was Microsoft’s chance to address the issues which look to have been sadly missed. A couple of folk I know are now thinking it’s time to ditch the 360 and move to PS3 despite that platforms lack of current games – at least it seems more reliable. Time to come clean Microsoft. Early adopters deserve better than this. Consumers deserve better than this. You no longer have a monopoly when it comes to HD games and a busy online console community and gamers are becoming tired of the failure’s.


Bernabeu StandOn my last trip to Madrid (two weeks ago now) I managed to squeeze in a stadium tour at the Bernabeu. It’s a magnificent stadium, very compact and the tour is only 10 Euro’s and is a bit of a bargain.

While there are no guides to tell you about the place you are allowed to walk round at your own pace and get to see views from many parts of the stadium, a small museum full of trophies and detail on Real Madrid’s history and then a walk down on to the pitchside and the dug out. You finish off in the away dressing room and press room before finally reaching the shop. The shop is actually the most disappointing part of the whole tour.

The weather in Madrid was fantastic although a bit too hot for me. Again the food was great and I tried Octopus for the first time – very nice. However trawling through the photo’s has been annoying. The camera has 4 or 5 dead pixels now on the sensor, a couple looking like a small cluster meaning each photo needs touched up. On individual photo’s it’s not bad but when you’ve a large batch to process it’s nothing but a pain in the arse. Looks like it’s time for a new camera. Yep, it’s a great excuse. Anyway, the full Flickr set is available here.

In the dug out

How much does episodic content cost?

Well if it’s GTA IV, it’s $50 million.

The first 25 is for the first episodic content package that’s supposed to go out and that is in March of ’08. That’s why it moved into current because it’s in the next 12 months. The second 25 will be for the second episodic, the episode, and that will be later in fiscal ’08.

Thats what Take Two have just announced via a shareholders briefing. $50 million gives the 360 exclusivity on the episodic content, the second of which could be almost a year after the game released. I wonder how much making the full game a 360 exclusive would have cost…and how many console sales it would have made.

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