Thursday, January 31, 2013

Seals With Clubs - Good Time

So Im sure some of you have seen the Seals With Clubs banner on the side and bottom of my blog, and wondered whats up. Well, before you watch the above promo video, which is hilarious, you should check out the site and read up a bit on Bitcoins (if you dont already know what they are). In short, Bitcoins are a digital currency or commodity which are unique in 3 ways: Its open source software, its decentralized via peer to peer networking, and its secured via the public-private key method of cryptography. Basically, what that means, technically speaking, is that that Bitcoins are some dope ass shit.

One of the myriad ways that Bitcoins are awesome is that they are unregulated in the USA, and because transferring them doesnt involve any banks or governments of any kind, you can do all sorts of awesome things with Bitcoins - like gamble with them. And if you are going to gamble, please ladies and gentlemen, play poker - a great game full of strategy and nuance - not some mindless shit like craps, roulette or slot machines - at which are you destined to eventually lose. If you have never played poker or are a beginner, try reading some of the links in this post on 2+2 (that forum is one of the best on the internet about any subject).

I have been playing on this Bitcoin poker website, Seals With Clubs, for about a month now, and its great. Is it as good as Pokerstars? No, its not even remotely close. But as resident of the USA, home of the (sorta) FREE and land of the (kinda) BRAVE, I cant play for real money on Pokerstars because the UIGEA limits banks from processing gambling transactions. The SWC software is browser/flash based, the number of players at off-peak times is low, and the stakes are relatively small, but the action is amazing and its a fun way for you to earn some extra dough off of your bitcoin investment before the price of a Bitcoin reaches $100 (it will take years, and some swings, but my faith in the USD/Fed/Treasury is not very high).

SWC has true freerolls every hour, so even if you have no bitcoins, and no poker skills, you can get a stake from literally nothing and take some free shots. Very cool, however, even better, if you join through the link in my blog and use my screen name "chronicdog" when you sign up, I will send you a few hundred Seals Chips to get you started (roughly the equivalent of $5). Grind your way to the top - I will be waiting there to greet you with a cold beer and some fistpumps!

Also SWC has an Android app! Gamble while you ramble. Sweet.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Skrillex - Bangarang

Say what you will about dubstep. Its an acquired taste. But the dance moves? Sick.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Razer Arcade Stick

Just over one year ago, I spotted a thread on the SRK forums posted by Team Razer, the PC peripheral manufacturer. They were working to produce their first arcade stick for 360 and showed off a teaser video (above) of an early prototype that opened up with the press of a button. For modders or anyone who ever has had to replace parts, this was a dream. No more lengthy disassembling of your stick just for a 2-minute joystick swap, no more concerns about wearing out the plastic where the hardware threaded into the case that was never meant for dis-assembly, no more screwdrivers.

Another bonus is storage. Cables and spare parts could fit inside the case with easy access. It actually comes with an extra joystick bat-top inside as well as a cable compartment. These compartments can be easily removed if you don't wish to use them. All wiring is clearly labeled and neatly managed. They also gave the inside bottom surface of the case a honeycomb pattern to screw into for anyone adding second or third PCBs for multi-console support. It has all the usual features you would expect like button lock-out and turbo. It comes with a very nice and very thick plexiglass top panel, making it very easy to customize it by adding your own artwork underneath and also has a durable layer of high-friction padding on the bottom.
One year later they announced that they would be sending 200 near-final beta units (images above and below) to select individuals within the fighting game community around the world, mainly top players and well-known modders, for feedback before final production. I had been following the thread throughout the year and had been holding off on buying any of the new sticks, impatiently waiting for this one. After making a few posts in the forum expressing my general interest in the product, one of the lucky 200 beta members emailed me saying that he didn't even own a 360 and would be glad to sell me their unused, unopened Razer Arcade Stick. $150 and 4 days later and it was sitting in my living room.
Here's a peek at mine (below) after I replaced the Sanwa JLF joystick with a snappy Seimitsu LS32, removed the Microsoft-mandatory colored buttons, and removed their artwork, exposing the black powder-coated metal panel underneath.
This is a very solid stick with a sleek and simple design and fantastic features. There's nothing else I could possibly want in an arcade stick (cup holder?). It will be released sometime in 2013, but Razer hasn't gotten any more specific on the release date or, more importantly, the price. My best guess at MSRP is a MINIMUM of $180, up to $250. Not cheap, I know, but for arcade stick junkies like myself that play and own just about every fighter and STG out there, it's practically irresistible.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Gametrailers Game of The Year 2012

I didnt play any of them, because apparently Halo 4 didnt make the cut. Surprising.