“Scooter” Libby goes down!

“Scooter” Libby, VP Cheney’s advisor, looks like a really shady guy. So it was no surprise to me when I heard on NPR news that he has been indicted and he has resigned. He wasn’t indicted with outing the CIA agent, but with perjury and obstruction of justice. Paltry crimes you say? These were the crimes that ended getting Bill Clinton impeached! Carl Rove didn’t get indicted, but isn’t scot free either! They’re still investigating him even though the Grand Jury has been retired. I’m currently listening to the Special Prosecutor on WYPR’s (our local NPR affiliate) streaming audio and I’ll update you if I learn anything else.

News Tidbits

First a quick aside:
That Civ4 post got pushed back a little as I couldn’t resist playing and then I had to get to bed since I have an early day today. Expect it later today if nothing irregular happens. To Tara’s comment yesterday – your comments made me check my tech tree poster – Mine is in English. It seems like you got a European version even though their debut is in November.

The US Justice department has approved the mergers of Verizon-MCI and SBC-AT&T. My feelings? Get ready for potentially higher prices for everything. This is not only the reduction of local phone service competition, but also long distance and Dial-Up/DSL service. Technically, MCI and AT&T have been focusing on long distance/business customers, but I’m not 100% sure, things have been getting more and more complicated in the telecom industry.

Harriet Miers couldn’t take the heat, so she got out of the kitchen. She has dropped out of the “race” for Supreme Court even though all the pundits said she’d probably stick it through. I guess if it were only democrats calling for her withdrawal it’d be different, but not even republicans wanted her. I think, with only one spot left, the republicans want to make sure they get someone who will guarantee a reversal of roe v wade or something. Although I believe that a woman should try and have an unwanted child and put it up for adoption, I also think that forcing women to go back to underground abortions is not the way to go. Just try and communicate with people rationally and explain your reasons. Let them deal with the choice.

Civ4 Disc Error? plus one little thing…

Wondering if anyone else has experienced the following with civ4 special edition. According to the manual and discs, it says that disc 2 should be the disc to play from. However, on my computer it only loads off of disc 1.

Second, I read the terms of usage (the license) when I was a little bored today on time off from work. Did you know that to use a drive emulator like Alcohol 120% or others is against the license? I didn’t know that!

Computer’s back! Yay!

Thanks to those with the kind words for me over my graphics card problem. I got a BFG brand nVidia 256 MB card at Best Buy for $159. It was equivalent to the one I just lost so civ4 should play at least as well as before. AND it has a lifetime warranty! As soon as I get a chance, I’ll post that walkthrough.

Where’s the civ4 overview?

Civ4 was amazing to play yesterday and I took a bunch of screenshots. However, right before I was about to save and quit the game for the day, my video card died and shut down my entire computer. This was the same thing that happened when my cpu/motherboard died freshman year of college so I was very worried at first. However, I unplugged and replugged the computer and it came on, but there was no picture. I swapped in the video card from my wife’s dell and it worked. So it seems the problem was the video card. I’m really ticked because I just bought that PNY nVidia card around one year ago. I checked my power supply and it’s 330 W and the video card asks for 220 W if I have a lot plugged in. So I am pretty sure it was a faulty card. Things usually don’t fail so quickly for me, so I don’t have the warranty. (I know, that’s MY fault) I’ll be buying a new BFG nVidia card – it’s all I can afford for now and is equivalent to the one that just died in terms of power – and as soon as I get my computer back up, I’ll post the screenshots and descriptions.

All I have to say is thanks to the folks at Firaxis for keeping the Civ feature of autosaving in Civ4. The upper limit on how many turns I’ll have lost is 4 since it autosaves every 4 turns.

First impressions

Here’s what I picked:
-continents
–temperate climate
-medium sea level
-huge world

I picked the japanese because I’ve played them since Civ2.
Tokugawa is the emperor. He is aggressive and orgnized. We start with fishing and the wheel! Excellent since you can’t build roads without wheel.

I picked settler difficulty since they’ve changed a lot since Civ3; I was amazed reading the manual how much had changed.

I picked normal game speed.

The opening music/screen is amazing. (So is the soundtrack which I had blasting in my car)

There was a great “In the beginning….” while the world was created. I loved it! A mixture of the Bible and Darwinism.

Started off with a warrior and settler. Here I go……

before I play…

Here are some things I noticed while reading the civ4 manual at work:

1. there are now worker boats to improve the ocean squares!
2. settlers move 2 squares now
3. you can now move on the same square as an enemy and not attack them!!!
4. mounted unites can’t fortify
5. you can fortify til healed
6. other civs can’t go in your territory until they have open borders treaty with you
7. you can have mult religions present in a civ
8. cottages give you commerce on a square now – not roads
9. frams are like irrigation
10. also camps, pastures, plantations, watermills, quarries, etc
11. You can have a jewish temple, christian temple, etc

Sorry if that was a bit incoherant, but I’m in a hurry to play!

Woohoo!

I came home for lunch and am now the proud owner of Civ4 Special Edition! The special edition is awesome! The cover is amazing and the …. wow! I’m installing it now. Look for in depth coverage when I play after I get back from work!

Has a human life become worth more?

Today it was announced that there have officially been 2000 deaths in Iraq. This has been called a benchmark by a lot of anti-war protesters and they want to have 2000 people meet up in Washington DC and act dead to show people just how many people are dead if 2000 people have died. I, as my readers know, am against the war in Iraq because I believe it was a war of convinience, not a necessary war. However, I am very surprised at the big deal over 2000 deaths. In the Vietnam War there were hundreds of thousands of deaths. In World War I there were millions of deaths in just the first few years. Countless wars have caused many more than 2000 people to die and in a much shorter period of time.

So I’m wondering, in the mind of the average American, has human life become more valuable? Whereas we would tolerate millions of deaths we now only tolerate thousands? Or is it because we feel that this war was unjustified? Maybe, with all of our amazing technology, we just figured that we wouldn’t really have that many deaths anymore. In truth, almost no one was killed during the actual war phase of the current situation in Iraq. It’s only been recently while we’ve been keeping the peace in Iraq that so many have died; due, no doubt, to the fact that we don’t know who the enemy is now that it isn’t Saddam’s army.

If I had to guess, based on my own personal views, I’d say that most people are angry not because they feel that a human life is worth so much but because they feel that their family memebers are dying without reason. If Bush hadn’t wanted to go to war with Iraq so badly, we wouldn’t be killing our 18 and 19 year olds. However, now that we messed things up, it would be quite irresponsible for us to leave. Remember what your mother used to tell you? If you can mess it up, you can clean it up.

Hopefully, we can speed up our process to help rebuild the infrastructure so that the Iraqis can have the country to themselves. What if they go through a Civil War? So what?!? I don’t know why that’s such a big deal. Does no one remember what happened in the United States in the 1860s?????? We already forced them to write a constitution in 1/20th the time we took to write our own constitution. Are we not going to allow them to have a Civil War? If that’s what they need, that’s what they need. Again, why are we trying to impose unnatural demands on them?

Fine Wine Takes time….

Wine, the program which allows Windows programs to run on Linux by implementing the DLL structure, has gone beta. How long did it take? Twelve years! That’s right! Twelve! Now, a lot of programs in the open source world are considered to be beta and they run perfectly fine (eg fluxbox and enlightenment). However, Wine has been in Alpha for twelve years! The reason? Windows is complicated as heck to emulate and it isn’t exactly out there and documented like open source projects are. They had to reverse engineer EVERYTHING! But, you may be saying, Beta still isn’t release quality! When I go to Winehq.org the version for download is 0.9. That’s true, but getting out of Alpha was a VERY important stage. You see, while in Alpha they would always fix one bug at the expense of functionality of another. In other words, if you looked on the program compatibility database you might see something like – This worked with 20030406, but does not work with 20040406. From now on, because it’s in Beta, those kinds of continuity breaks are not allowed. It should allow for a much faster development cycle as bug fixes will build on each other, not eradicate each other. I’m building from source as we speak and I hope to be able to post some test pictures later. Lets give the folks over at Wine a round of applause!

And now for something completely different…

While browsing Andrew’s pagethis post of funny news stories. The one I thought was the best was the one about Chairman Mao doing weddings. I went ahead and checked out the yahoo news story he linked to and I thought it was quite an interesting story. Apparently, there is a guy who looks exactly like the late Chairman and he performs at weddings for 500 yuan. I guess that’s the key difference between the way a communist/despotic country is run when compared to a democracy. Apparently people there idolize this guy enough that they would love to have him speak at their wedding. Could you imagine someone dressing up as George Washinton and performing at your wedding?

“I cannot tell a lie, this couple was meant to be together.”

Yeah, I can’t see it either! But I thought I’d share the news story with all the sad/devastating news that’s been going on recently with the hurricanes and Carl Rove. Speaking of Carl Rove – I heard on the news that when he was a young boy, he was beat up by a girl who was a democrat because he had a Republican party sticker on his bike. So that’s why he hates the dems so much!

In the front seat on the bus to heaven

Rosa Parks died yesterday of natural causes. As everyone knows, she was one of the most influential and accidental icons of the United States Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. As she herself has told others, she never meant to actually stand up for civil rights. She had just finished a very long and tiring day of work and simply took a seat near the front of the bus in order to just sit down. As nearly all American school children know, in those days if a white person asked a black person to get out of a seat near the front, they were required to do so. Just like you or I don’t think straight when we’re tired, she actually refused to move on account of being tired. There were, after all, other seats the white person could have taken. The end result? She was arrested and Martin Luther King Jr began the bus strike. Since so many blacks used the busses, their strike was devastating to the bus’ source of income. They caved and eventually blacks and whites could sit anywhere on the bus. Her actions contributed in a large way to the fame of MLK Jr and gave a large boost to the Civil Rights movement.

She made the news again thirty years later when Outkast made a song called “Rosa Parks”. It made vague references to her struggle with the busses, but was mostly just a club song which she found a tad bit vulgar. She asked them to change the name of the song, but it remained.

Rosa, thanks for all you did to change society. Change isn’t always the result of meticulous planning and thanks to you, the US is more tolerant of all races.

Fanatical Civ Playing (by others, not me)

If you want to play Civ4 in the most unique way I’ve ever seen, then head on over to Demogame.civfanatics.net. What do they do? They play a civ game where a group of people act as a president and cabinet controlling what goes on in the game. In other words, I play for a few turns and do stuff based on what we decided to do as a group. I’m guessing that they paint the broad picture and I get to do whatever in the details that gets us in that direction. It is certainly much more involved than the way my brothers and I used to play. It’s very neat and I suggest you check out their page to at least get a feel for how involved their rules are.