Sunday, March 29, 2009

laptop thief in NW PDX coffee shops...

if you've got a habit of leaving your stuff at your table while your using the restroom, think again!

from craigslist:

i want my 13.3 inch macbook back, you jerk! - $1 (stolen in nw downtown portland)

Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-03-28, 3:17PM PDT

hello out there, I am appealing to the craigslist crowd to help identify a man worthy of a karma kick straight to the ass. This week I was a college student on spring break, sitting at a cafe working on my new macbook aluminum that i slaved away to purchase to use during college. As a trusting girl that I am, I went and used the bathroom for under a minute while I left all of my belongings in the busy environment of the World Cup cafe in the seemingly friendly neighborhood of 16th and glisan. To my surprise (surprise is the nicest word for it) when I returned my computer was gone. I later found out that two other computers were taken by the same guy in the nw area within four blocks of where I was. Although to be 'out for blood' is an over statement, the other victims of this computer theif, myself included are left without their new macbook pc's and a little peice of each of our hearts. My small business is absolutely obliterated, since it all lived on this 3 month old golden egg investment of a computer. The police officer I spoke with told me that a guy matching all of our descriptions also broke into a hostel across the street from world cup and stole three young traveler's wallets, another stomach churning loss for those people I am sure.

What I want is for anyone buying a macbook aluminum pro or the regular 13.3 inch-er to email me or run the serial code in the portland police dept. database. You will not be held accountable for checking. What does this snatch and run computer theif look like? Around 28 years old, thin, 5 foot 10 inches, (kenian or ethiopean) african male who will wear dark clothing, maybe an ipod or thick framed rx glasses. Believed to be homeless. He walks into cafes in the nw (nw only as far as we all know), doesn't order anything and hangs out people watching. when someone steps out to use their cell phones or take a leak, he casually walks up and takes the open computer in front of everyone. after leaving the building with your investment he will run like hell. We believe he is selling to someone else who may be his dealer or another party that redistributes. If anyone has any information or has also been wronged by the same guy, please send me an email. thanks guys.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Improving the Multiplayer matchmaking experience

We’ve been having a blast playing gears of War 2 multiplayer. A few of us got cocky and decided we’d try our hands at playing the kids online. I can’t help but imagine a more helpful environment for multiplayer:

A multi-dimensional visualization tool, color coded with some bar graphs of the number of players online playing different styles of gameplay. Maybe putting such a tool on xbox live is kinda a big complicated deal. Fine, just put it on a per game website or some such, let me view it with my PC and/or cell phone while I’m playing and/or before I logon to the servers. How many people are playing? Why am I having such a hard time finding matches? Is it because nobody is playing? If I wait will a game end then I will be able to join? Am I in a ‘waiting to play’ game queue that is just waiting for available server time or something? Ugh…. push the data to this environment so I know when I log on what will give me the most likelihood of getting a match in the quickest amount of time. Better yet, just make the queries possible and allow others to build websites around the interface, may the best man win…but then you don’t get control….

Gears of War 2 Update coming March 24th!

Hey folks, I was going to rant about the online multiplayer issues larry, jake, charles and myself were experiencing. Poking around the web i found out that epic has an update two days!

complete patch notes here:

hope this fixes some of the issues we've been dealing with for awhile.

Gears of War 2 Title Update 3—March 24, 2009

A culmination of the tireless efforts of the Gears team and mounds of player feedback, this latest Gears 2 update is our biggest yet. Title Update 3 contains a bounty of additions ranging from new features and achievements to exploit fixes and matchmaking tweaks, with highlights below:

New experience-based ranking system: The new system gives you 100 levels of player experience, gained through scoring in Public matches. The game still uses TrueSkill to set up the most competitive matches possible, but skill ranks are now hidden. Players who quit matches early see their experience docked as a penalty.
Public Match autobalancing: Bots now automatically join a Public Match to fill any slots left vacant by players who quit early or disconnect.
Improvements: You get region preference for matchmaking, improved standby detection, playlist optimization, plus nine new achievements—six of which require the Snowblind Map Pack—worth a total of 250 points.
Exploit fixes: Title Update 3 eliminates the ability to mantle greater distances by swapping weapons during cover slide and to melee attack through walls while holding an enemy weapon, plus adding many more fixes.
General fixes: These include more reliable chainsaw interruption detection, improved headshot detection for certain character model heads, improved flag AI in Submission games, plus other fixes.
Balancing: Title Update 3 makes changes to Subway weapon spawns for greater balance, reductions to smoke-grenade stun duration, an increase to the forward angle that triggers chainsaw duels, and several other balance revisions.