Saturday, 28 March 2009

The rock that ended the world (in the future).

I am fascinated by nature. All nature amazes me. The sheer power of Nature and the devastation it can cause, leave me in awe. Sure, man created the Atomic bomb and it can wipe cities off the map in one go, but nature has the power to devastate whole countries if it takes her fancy.

In what will probable be a series of ways nature is trying to kill you and your loved ones, I would like to introduce you to The Cumbre Vieja Volcano.

It wants to kill you!

How it intends to kill you:

This active volcano covers the southern third of Isla de La Palma in the Canary Islands. It last erupted in 1971 and when it did it loosened a chunk of rock roughly 500 km3 in size and roughly 1.5 x 1015 kg in weight (or "Fucking Big And Heavy").
Should a future eruption cause this chunk of the island to slide into the Atlantic the result would be a "Mega Tsunami" which would make the tsunami that devastated parts of Asia recently seem like an eddy in a paddling pool. That Tsunami topped out at around 30 meters tall when it hit the coast.
The Mega-tsunami Cumbre Vieja could cause would be more like 2 km (1 mile) high and would travel at an approximate speed of around 1000 km per hour (621 miles per hour) or roughly the speed of a jet fighter.

Like this. And it's coming for YOU!

It would hit Africa in around 1 hour then South West England in about 3 and a half hours, causing massive destruction.
At around 6 hours it would utterly decimate the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. By that time it would have become a succession of smaller waves, each one the size of the tsunami in Asia and possible surges up to 100 meters tall. Everything up to 25 miles in land would be totally fucked, including Miami, New York and Washington.

If you live in any of these places, I would advise in investing in one of these:


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

PS3 vs Xbox 360 - Why Microsoft can suck my balls.

Author's Note: This is my first artical attempt so I apologise in advance if it's a little rough. I'm still practicing! Any constructive critisism you have should be placed in the comments below. If you have nothing nice or constructive to say then please write your comment on some scrap paper using your usual crayon and then shove it up your arse, because nobody cares.

PS3 Vs XBox 360...
I have read many comparisons between the two and I'm sure you have as well.
My comparison, however, comes from a fairly unique stand point. I have played both the XBox 360 and PS3 extensively, yet own neither. My friend shares my love for consoles but has a lot more disposable cash than I do. He purchased a PS3 a while ago and recently purchased an Xbox 360. After playing both consoles but not being biased by spending hundred of pounds, I feel I can give a fair comparison.

I will, at this point, admit that I am well gay for Playstation. Always have been, probably always will be. Playstation is the Golden Boy of Sony's extensive empire, where as the XBox 360 is Microsoft's bastard child, born from greed and Microsoft's need to have all their dirty little fingers in as many pies as possible.
You may think this will bias me towards Playstation and you're damn fucking right it will, but as you will see, even XBox fan boys can't argue with the facts.


The Playstation 3 was flamed the moment it hit the shelves for being too expensive. Currently, according to it's £299.99 (about $440) for the 80GB model on it's own. Now, this may seem steep but remember the PS3 comes wireless enabled, will play Blue-Ray disks and has a fuckton of computing power. The PS3 is so powerful that some scientists linked a few together to make an ad-hoc supercomputer because you just cannot get more computing power for the money! Sony are still selling them at a loss!

So, let's compare that to the XBox 360. Now, XBox fanboys will tell you that the XBox is way cheaper than the PS3 but I call bullshit. To be a fair comparison you have to compare comparative hardware. Obviously, this is flawed as the XBox hardware is poorly spec'd, poorly made and badly designed, but for the sake of this comparison we shall assume that XBox consoles actually work and aren't made from left over bits of scrap from the factory floor.

The 360 console comes in 3 basic forms; The Arcade, the Premium and the Elite.
The Arcade (£129.99/$190) isn't even worth mentioning really. You get a piss poor 256MB drive and 5 shitty XBoxLive arcade style titles, pre-loaded.
The Premium (£169.99/$250) is a little better. With that you get a 60GB hard drive and HDMI compatibility.
The Elite (£229.99/$336) has a 120GB hard drive and you get a head set with it. Oh and it's matt black...
So, it does seem cheaper on the surface but this is Microsoft so you know there are going to be plenty more expenses where those came from!
First of all you're going to need to pay £40 a year ($60) for XBoxLive, so that you can get your arse handed to you by 8 year olds from Japan.
Then, to get it up to a similar spec to a standard PS3 you need to add wireless, for a start. That's going to cost you about £60 ($88) and for that you get this:
Impressive, huh? No.
Now you're gonna need to spend another £15/$22 per control so that you can charge them rather than having to use AA batteries. PS3 conrollers, of course, are rechargeable as standard and don't weigh the same amount as a full grown Hippo.

S0, if you bought the Elite, 1 extra controller, the wireless dongle, charge packs for both controllers and your XboxLive subscription that is gonna run you in the region of £390 or $570 and if you got the Premium instead then it's still £330/$483!
Add to that the fact that XBox's are notoriously unreliable. There are already a plethora of FAQs and Forums that recommend wrapping your XBox in towels to over heat it so that the solder used will melt onto the board correctly!


At this point, a lot of people would go into an in-depth spec of each machine but that sounds like a lot of effort and this is already pretty long, so instead I'm going to compare the "Desktop" on each, offered features and the general playability and issues I have come across. I shall catagorise these under:


The PS3 "desktop" or Dashboard, is very well designed. It's got a good, linear feel that is easy to navigate, fully customisable and is pretty packed with extra bits. First of all, the PS3 has it's own internet browser. It isn't the best but compared to the one the XBox has, which is a non existent one, it's pretty damn good. You can happily browse YouTube and watch videos, read blogs and access pretty much any site with only minor issues. You can also install a second OS on it, should you want to, but your only real option is Linux. It works on a UNIX file system but as far as I am aware MacOS compatibillity is not yet available.

The XBox 360 dashboard is, to put it succinctly, fucking awful. It's ugly, complicated and mostly pointless. You have a number of different rows, most of which are populated with useless crap, adverts and propaganda. Everything you actually need is crammed onto one of these rows but to access anything you always have to work your way through two or three embedded menus and to get back to the main screen you have to back track through them all the other way, which gets very tiresome.

The PS3 has it's glitchy moments and does sometimes crash but problems tend to be taken care of pretty quickly, with regular software updates.
The XBox, however, can be pretty slow at times and freezes and crashes pretty often. Often enough to make playing any game that has long sections between saves a chore.
The only major update I have seen on the XBox was when they changed the Dashboard from the old, semi-useable interface to the new shitty one.

The PS3 store works very much like buying anything online with PayPal. You set up an account, add a Credit/Debit card to it and then add funds as and when you wish to buy something. The store is well set out, easy to use and well organised.
The XBox store is more like buying things using coupons. Coupons you have to pay for. To purchase anything on the XBox store you need to buy credits from Microsoft. You can buy them in varying amounts but there is no discount offered for buying in bulk. Once you have paid for these credits you then use them to buy content. Why they couldn't just have a system like the PS3 store and pretty much every other shop ever is unclear.

Another small thing is that the PS3 controllers can be assigned to player 1-4 at anytime. For example: If you're playing a two player game with a friend where menu functions can only be controlled by player one, player two can switch their controller to P1 in seconds then switch it straight back, thus removing the need to swap controllers around.
This may seem like a small thing but in practice it really isn't. Many games, such as Pro Evolution Soccer or the New Resident Evil have times when being able to switch players quickly and easily cuts out a whole load of pissing about. (Read: You dont have to get off your backside as often.)
It still may not seem like a big deal but you cannot do it on the XBox. Once your controller is on and assigned to a player number the only way to swap it is to turn both off, which doesn't work because the XBox then stops whatever you're doing and tells you to re-connect the controller even if you turn off controller 2 during a one player game! And just swapping controllers isn't easy when the controller is the size of a bus and weighs a ton! If you try to throw it to someone there's a good chance you'll then be off to the Emergency Room so they can get stitches in their face.


In summary, the PS3 outstrips the XBox 360 at every turn. I cannot think of one thing the XBox beats it on. So, if you want to buy a new console and you want the best, there is only option.

The PS3.

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