Blue's News artwork by Walter |2| Costinak <>

Please visit our sponsors and buy lots of their products. Also, you should floss. ignlogo.gif (1565 bytes)

January 6, 1999 -- Previous Mailbag

And Bill Gates has spies in the spellchecker...

From: Anonymous
No Subject

I don't like cookies in any form and am using a anti cookie program if I can find a proxy that doesnt slow me down to much I will not be leaving my IP address much longer either. There is a neat randomiser program that will change the output to the server so you can tell it you are using any operating system you want and any browser also can be set to not load the banner adds taht are used all ove the place adn slow us 28.8 users down to a cral on some sights. I may not be back to this sight if I can't find a way around that IP thing

Tell my dentist!...

From: Bryan Ross
Subject: Cookies are your friend.. ignore the whiners

I've been a full-time professional webmaster for over 4 years now.. and I've gotten tons of anti-cookie flames throughout that time. However, I've never received an intelligent argument against cookies. Just a bunch of vague untrust and quotes from TV shows where the reporters are generally clueless. The real problem with cookies begins and ends with the inane people on internet TV shows.. scaring the masses for ratings and avoiding having to report on something that would require thought.

ok that's my 2 cents

Um, no thanks...

From: Terje Mathisen
Subject: Cold weather? Try Norway. :-)

Just a quick note that -40 isn't actually that bad, because it normally happens inland, with very little humidity and no/low winds.

From personal experience, I'd say that -25C (-13F) near the ocean or an unfrozen river, i.e. in humid conditions, is equal to at least -40 in the mountains.

This is similar to the difference between a 60C (140F) wet (steam) sauna and a 120C (248F) dry sauna: With no moisture to carry the heat, even 145C (293F) can be OK for up to 5 minutes.

PS. During the Lillehammer Olympics, morning temps below the slalom hill were about -35C, rising to -20 to -15 in the daytime. :-)

Science marches on...

From: Rob "Hobbes" Walsh
Subject: Freezing skin

I'd like to make a correction. Skin does NOT freeze in 15 seconds at minus forty. Gimme a break. I recently went skiing in Montana and the wind chill made it minus sixty at the top of the mountain - I skied the whole day with my unhappy nose sticking out of my bundle o' clothes. Not to mention parts of my cheeks... So anyway, skin doesn't freeze in 15 seconds - however, snot does.

Whoa, cool!...

From: Divine Comedian
Subject: Lost Internet Connection

Bytes frozen in the wires? You know, maybe you should hope for it to get reeealy cold. With a wind-chill somewhere around absolute 0. Then your electric lines would become superconductors and you would get REALLY fast web access.

Earth humor doesn't compute...

From: Sol Rujeedawa
Subject: Mailbag response

In response to Chris 'Mondane/Caleb' Simpson's comment on the rage128, I am not sure if he was attempting a bad joke or what, but given the size of the rage128 chip the temperature is not such a big deal, his comment equates attempting to boil a pot of coffee with a sewing needle heated to 500 degrees, it's simply not gonna happen.

The Surgeon General's report...

From: David Chase
Subject: Mailbag

I agree with Chris Simpson. I wouldn't put a video card in my computer that could boil water. I mean yikes!

Come to think of it, babies could probably choke on a Pentium processor and a monitor dropped from a tall building could kill a full-grown man, so they're both out. Dolphins could get tangled in power cords so we better go wireless, and a mouse would be harmful if swallowed. Hot damn, we're gonna have to go back to pencil and paper and forget this digital stuff!


Paper cut...

My Uncle says smoking crack is kinda cool...

From: Redwood
Subject: mailbag

Don't listen to the guy saying you shouldn't mention loonygames updates, he's on crack. :)

It's not pimping, it's Synergy!...

From: Shelley M. Smith
Subject: To pimp or not to pimp? Why's it a question?

I just don't get these letters in your mailbag bitching about you pimping either yourself or Loonygames. Do these people write in to CBS and say, "Dammit! All of your commercials are just pimping CBS shows!!! Knock it off!!" I mean, maybe I'm incredibly naive or a complete raving idiot (a distinct possibility) but I just...don't...get it! Numero Uno, not to be too Clintonesque here, but I'd like a definition of "pimping" in this sense. Seems kinda strong for what I've observed you doing. Numero Two-o, the "pimping" you have done is kinda what I think a person does with their product/hobby that's in direct competition with others for a slice of that internet audience pie i.e. if you like what you see, vote for me. "Pimping" for this, in my opinion, is having misleading links that take you to an automatic voting place (which I have seen done). Numero Three-o, your aforementioned "pimps" usually come with big yellow bold headers or are embedded in the "Out of the Blue" section and as far as I know you don't hold a gun to anyone's head and MAKE them read them. It's like the newspaper, read the headers and skip to what you find interesting. Sheesh! Numero Four-o, um, Loonygames deals with quite a bit of info that's relevant to the gaming scene as I'm sure you know, so what's the prob? And numero Hawaii five-o, it's your webpage, to pimp or not to pimp is entirely up to you but this is my two cents: You can't please everyone all the time but you can please yourself most of the time (especially if you're that sCary guy ;) ) so be true to yourself and a nose by any other name still can be broken (or words to that affect).

Rant of the WeekTM...

From: Dunkirk
Subject: Auto-Updating

There seems to be a trend developing for games to have an auto-update feature so that you can easily patch to the latest version of the game. While this seems like a good idea, what about times when the patch gets released, but serious bugs slip through? Both the Quake 3.20 patch and the Unreal 2.20 patch have caused my machine to lockup hard and quick.

That's something considering that it's NT, and only comes down for maintenance otherwise, but it leads to a secondary point. More and more games are fully supporting NT, but the installed base is a small percentage of their total players, so I understand that NT issues would take a back seat. That's fine, but because of the situation, I don't want some fancy GUI that leads me into upgrading, and then leaves me clueless about how to downgrade if I have a problem.

With both Quake and Unreal I did just that. When I recently installed Half-Life, I went ahead and auto-updated it to (or whatever it was), but then I got nervous. I looked around on my hard drive for a compressed file that would have been the update - so I could isolate it and tell what had changed - but I couldn't find it. Luckily, after a 4 1/2 hour HL marathon, everything is rock-solid. What if this wasn't the case? How would I downgrade?

I want the option. I want the gaming companies to give me flexibility by giving me .zip file patches. I don't want automatic upgrades. This is a disturbing trend that I think should be nipped in the bud. I think most computer users are smart enough now to unzip an archive. The auto-updater could simply download the appropriate file, and launch itself as a self-extracting archive. There would be a suggestion of where to unzip to that could be modified by someone who put the game someplace else, and things should go smoothly.

That would let us keep old .zip (or .exe) files around so that we could downgrade and keep playing while a bad patch is identified and fixed.

A quest called TRIBES...

From: Halo 4

I just wanted everyone to know, that just because a game isn't featured daily on Blues, doesnt mean its not cool. The game I'm referring to is TRIBES. Don't get me wrong, Blue does a great job with the news, and I'm quite aware that he has to track a lot of games. I'm just wondering how such a kick ass game was able to slide by the gaming community for so long.

I heard about TRIBES from a couple guys I know who were on the closed beta team. (there was no open beta at all) The two guys swore to me that for clan warfare, this game (TRIBES) walked all over Quake2. Of course being a diehard Quake gamer (been around since qtest) I laughed to myself and though...."nah, if it was that big, id be reading about it on Blues often".

I finally played it yesterday, and although the visual detail was around Quake1 quality, I found the game to be a breath of fresh air. The huge outdoor/indoor maps are incredible, and being a CTF player (and quite used to the grapple) I found myself really enjoying the jetpack! This game has a very bright future, and I think if a few clans give it a try, you will find that it really shines for teamplay, and would provide a nice break from the same old Quake2 maps (especially for CTFers that are tired of the same 5 maps) Modem players will find this game even better to play on the net than Quake2 I believe. Q2 is still a faster paced game (due mostly to the smaller maps in Q2) so it won't get everyone stoked. Its a teamplay game.

Well, I could go on and on, but you have to try have to get into a multiplayer game of TRIBES to really get hooked, and I think you will get hooked! Spend some $$...its worth it.

Start! Thief!...

From: Myth Rashkin
Subject: Thief - The dark project

I am a great fan of your site, and spend a lot of time at it, but I am deeply disappointed the fact that you have not mentioned the game, Thief - The Dark Project. When I looked up reviews for this game on other sites, I found out that many players have decided that this is the best game this year. I do not completely agree with that but the AI is splendid. To my knowledge it is the first game that integrates sound into the game. By this I mean that guards may not see you in the shadows but if you a walking they can hear your footsteps. The ability to sneak in the shadows and not be seen is excellent. There is even a water arrow to shoot from your bow that puts out lights and therefore makes you invisible to the guards eye. Some guards are drunk and you can pickpocket them. You can knock them out with a "Blackjack" and they go unconscious. You can pick them up and dump them down a well and hear them drown. You have arrows that release a climbing rope when shot. As you may gather I appreciate this game a lot, and I think that you should give it the attention it so deserves.

He's not ranting, it's just theAntiELVIS...

From: theAntiELVIS
Subject: No, they should move

(Quoting Blue)
>>I have one word for you folks (to quote the late Sam Kinneson) MOVE! You know I'm kidding, I'm sure you love your homes, but man...<<

Just not to HERE.

Well, I finally dumped my 3M Precise Mousing Surface. Just got tired of it rolling-up under the mouse. Guess I press too hard (I do buy a new mouse every two months or so). If they'd just make that sucker a little thicker and a little bigger....funny, theAntiPRISCILLA says the same thing....but she uses a trackball....hmmmm.

Sure isn't the same, though. It's a great idea, but much like Trespasser, the execution sucks.

Thief pimpage: Love the sneaking around, love the arrows, hate the zombies. A VERY tense game, and I've never played anything where getting killed is such a bummer. Main Coolness: eavesdropping on the guards really is useful. Main Complaint: The missions shouldn't end when you reach your objective - you should have to get back out with the goods. Minor Coolness: for the first time in an FPS, I don't feel like I'm six inches tall compared to the geometry. Minor Complaint: Any good thief would have a dagger.


From: JazzBone
Subject: blankety-blank-blank-blank













Ok, see that stuff up there? It's blank space. It's awfully similar to the blank space on the news page. In fact, it was cut and pasted. wtf is up with that? Not like I care, but I remember it being mentioned before and thought I'd bring it up again. You could probably sell that blank space for more ad bucks. Or post a list of all the convicted felons in pro sports. Or maybe an extended OOTB section, written in black text so you don't have to read it even if someone puts a gun to your head and tries to force you to.