Monthly Archives: November 2009

Got Help?

I do!

When my cat Hokey feels the need for yet another nap, it doesn’t matter what’s going on, he’s going to lie down wherever he feels like. I also have the brother of Hokey as well who’s name is Pokey, get it? Hokey-Pokey !

The other day I was taking picture of a Noctua CPU Cooler for review, I use the couch for smaller items, the light comes in from out side and makes for decent pictures, but Hokey likes to sleep on the couch, he didn’t care what I was doing, he said it was time for a nap.



Two Rants for a Saturday. Game Reviews and YouTube.

So I’ve got two rants today for you..

The first involves game reviews, specifically children’s games.

I get a lot of games for kids for review, especially those for the Wii and some for Xbox360, when you review a kids game you cannot review it from an adult perspective, it just won’t work, and it’s not correct.

I’ve got kids so I’ll play and game and then let them play it as well. I want to play to the game for the review of course, but I want my kids to play it so I can know what they think of it.

Being a reviewer I look around at other reviews, I’m curious to see what they have to say, and I’ve noticed a trend in kids games that show pretty much all of them getting a low rating. I also noticed that these reviewers are not viewing them from a child’s point of view, nor are they even letting kids play them. They are reviewing these games like they would an adult game, how can you judge, let’s say Call of Duty and something like Marvel Super Hero Squad on the same level? You can’t do it. They’re two totally different things. I also have to ask how can you even review a child’s game if a child doesn’t get to play it? I can bet most of the reviewers don’t have children to even see if the kids like it.

There’s a problem with the rating system or review process of review sites. I just reviewed Marvel Super Hero Squad for Nintendo Wii over on TestFreaks, and I gave it an 8 out of 10. I think it’s well worth that rating because my kids enjoyed the game, they found it fun and enjoyable. Now I looked at other reviews and see the same games gets like a 5 rating, and even lower, but reading the review you’ll find they didn’t let kids play the game, nor did they get a child’s view of the game. This is bad PR for these companies like THQ that put out the game,consumers rely on reviews of products, but how can you review a product like a child’s games without factoring in everything?  Sure it’s not a game for adults, I accept that fact and I even mention it in the review, but from a child’s standpoint it’s a good game, it’s made for kids and they’ll have fun playing it.

These companies send their games out and haven’t they noticed that the trend is low ratings for kids games? I don’t understand it, something is broken and needs fixed..


Rant # 2 involves YouTube and their DMCA dispute system.

I wanted to review Guitar Hero Van Halen, I took the time to play it, finish it and get lots of videos of the game play. I uploaded them to YouTube and Warner Music flagged them as a copyright violation because it contains their music so the video is there but no sound. This was about two months ago, I disputed the claim since I and most others would consider it Fair Use. Guess what? They never responded to the claim, surprise, surprise right? So they left me with the only choice of deleting the videos since they’ve got now sound!!! Look around on YouTube though, you’ll find many other GH: Van Halen videos, but for whatever reason they’re not flagged, they have audio, but mine got picked to be censored.

If you’re gong to have a system like this where copyright violations can be reported then it has to work efficiently, from what I see it’s broken and needs fixed. You can’t just flag things at will and then not respond back to the dispute. It’s a two part process where both parties have to comply wit the rules, but they don’t apparently. it’s totally one-sided from what I can see, they flag the video and then never respond to the dispute, they get what they want and the little guy gets screwed over. Just because I’m the little guy and they’re this mega corporation they think they can just stomp on our rights. This is a problem, and I don’t foresee it ever getting fixed or changing.

So, today, about two months later I deleted the videos rather than have them there with no sound, they’re useless to me now, I can’t do the review with those videos to show the game play of the game.

I guess I’ll just use screenshots for the review. I do have one video left that didn’t violate their copyright apparently, but it’s just of the menus and such, so I guess I can use that.

Sunday Update, Free Stuff and Links!

Just some assorted stuff for a lazy Sunday:

Two Giveaways at TestFreaks: Shattered Horizon and Speck Products for Mac and iPhone

My Latest Reviews from TestFreaks:

GlideTV Navigator

Lego Rock Band Xbox360

Speck TwoZip HDD Case

Shattered Horizon

SpongeBob Truth or Square Xbox360

Speck Products TuckPack Sleeve


Drawn To Life : The Next Chapter Nintendo Wii

RunCore 64GB Pro IV 70mm PCI-e SATA Solid State Drive SSD

Vantec NexStar Universal Storage Adapter


Our latest stuff from DragonSteelMods:

NZXT Guardian 921 PC Case

Thermaltake BlacX Duet HDD Docking Station

QNAP TS-419P Turbo NAS

Arctic Cooling F Pro PWM & TC Case Fans

EFO Wireless Handheld Keyboard and Touch Pad


Stuff from iGadgetLife:

Bluetrek Bizz Bluetooth Headset

Verbatim Easy Riser Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse with Nano Receiver


From Bona Fide Reviews:

Clip and Talk Bluetooth Car Kit – Solar Edition

NZXT LEXA S Crafted Series PC Chassis

TrickleStar TV TrickleSaver

Cupcakes and Bullying

That’s an interesting title isn’t it? They don’t quite go together but ah well..

Today I was hungry for a sweet snack so I made German chocolate cupcakes with Strawberry icing.. no I didn’t make them from scratch, used Betty Crocker mix and some Betty Crocker Whipped Strawberry icing for them. They came out pretty good, but they aren’t very sweet.. The kids like them of course though, a cupcake is a cupcake to them really.

We can call that the nice intro to a rather aggravated rant on my part. My kids were at Edgewood Primary school last year, well the school district, Woodland Hills, decided, (in all of their infinite wisdom), to move kids around yet again and combine schools and close others. So my 7 and 8 year olds went to Dickson Elementary, my 4yr old thankfully is still at the same place his daycare is, they have pre-school there as well. Anyway, we never had a problem at the old school with bullies, and actually everyone seemed very nice there, I like it, but now we’re forced to go to somewhere that I really don’t know the teachers, and I don’t like the principal or my kids teacher now either.

If you go into the school there are signs all over the place about anti-bullying and no bullying etc. They supposedly have a ‘Zero Tolerance‘ bullying policy, which to me means Zero Tolerance, or it’s just not accepted. Well apparently my definition of Zero Tolerance and theirs differ quite a bit.

Here’s a definition that matches what I thin it means:

“The policy or practice of not tolerating undesirable behavior, such as violence or illegal drug use, especially in the automatic imposition of severe penalties for first offenses.”  (it’s from

But if you go to the same school my kids go to it doesn’t mean that, to them zero tolerance means just let them keep doing it and ignore it and hopefully it will go away. At least that’s what it seems to me and my children.

oh and here’s a quote about the program from the school website: “Dickson Elementary School along with the entire district is implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program this year. Bullying is not acceptable behavior!”

If it’s not acceptable then why won’t they do something about it?

My oldest son is 8yrs old and he’s been being bullied since school started by one child, at least 7 times now that he’s told me of, it’s probably more actually. I should note that the kid doing the bullying is of a different race than my child, we’re white he’s not basically, I think you can figure out the rest… I’m not sure if that has anything to do with the bullying, but who knows…

So anyway, this has been going on for a while. My son tells his teacher and his teacher tells him that there’s nothing he can do and he should tell his parents about it. WTF?!?!? Seriously WTF ever happened to Zero Tolerance? So this past Friday is when things got bad, but right before that this kid tried to push both my sons down the steps at school, again the school does nothing, he could have seriously injured or even killed my kids. Back to Friday, I get a phone call that I need to pick up my son at school because he’s hurt, my son was in gym and this bully ran as fast and he could and kicked my son in the back while he was tying his shoe. Talk about a p*ssy *ss move, hit someone when their back is turned with enough force to leave him in pain for hours and marked…

So needless to say I flipped out once I found out it was the same goddamed kid that has been doing this all along that these pricks at the school refuse to do anything about it. So I went to the school of course and I got into with the principal, and she’s a winner let me tell you…. but I won’t got there right now. She tells me that this kid is a known problem child who has been bullying kids everywhere, but yet they can’t do anything about it. I’ll be honest I wasn’t the happiest person there, and yes I raised my voice, but wouldn’t you when you see your son crying in pain because of something that has been known about and could have been prevented?

So she tells me there’s nothing she can do about it, and I’m like WTF?! What happened to the Zero Tolerance policy and what is it for… she never answered me on that on by the way. I told her fine, if she won’t do anything I’m going to the police and pressing charges. The principal tells me that I can’t do that because the kid is only 8 years old and they won’t do anything about it?!?! It’s assault, battery, whatever you call it at any age last I checked.. 

Then of course after a few minutes I’m waiting for someone to bring my sons stuff down from the classroom, the principal comes out and tells me the other childs parent is on the way and I could talk to them if I want… not going to happen, and it’s not supposed to happen in a case like this.

So needless to say I went to the police to ask for advice basically and see about filing a report. Guess what? They told me that I did the right thing by coming to them, and they don’t understand why the principal would ever tell me NOT to go to the police… hmmm… wonder why she didn’t want me to go the police.

So that’s how my week end has been, it started out pretty bad overall, but it’s ending up not so bad, but we’ll see what this week brings….

OH well…

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

So I got it, of course I did… and I ended up staying up until almost 12:30 last night playing it even though I had to be up at 5am. So I’m a bit tired today to say the least.

I finished today, the single player part, if I had known that there was only two missions left last night I may have stayed up and finished playing it…oh well, I needed my sleep anyway.



So it wasn’t bad, and it wasn’t as disturbing as the press made it out to be… it’s not for kids obviously, there’s plenty of blood and killing. The guns are cool, and the UAV as well.

The graphics though surprised me, I expected better really, they just didn’t seem very next generation to me. Maybe I’ll grab the PC version as well and see how it compares..

Oh well, more later, I’ve got work to do…