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Wednesday, August 25 12:00 AM ET

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.


This guy didn't like getting posted as a Believer before...

Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 4:44 AM
To: bbspot bbspot
Subject: Remember me!

Don't think I haven't forgot you punk.

My friend knows how to hack and we are going to find out were you dial up from so we can call you to tell you how much we're going to kick you ass!

You think your so cool cause you can run a stupid ass site, but I'll let you know punk that your just a looser and I can kick your butt any day.

I am a looser. I go around loosening ties and belts of random people at malls. I hope he finds me. That would be fun.

Here are some secondhand Believers...

From: Richard
Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 1:04 AM
Subject: Cost of 0wnership

I'm sure you've already seen this. Most brilliant, subtle satire I've seen in a while.

Definitely a lot of true believers on Slashdot as well. Now yes, obviously idiots that don't get that it's satire does make it funny on a whole other level, but the sheer number of them also makes it terribly depressing at the same time. :) My theory is that we stereotypical, jaded, cynical, Daily Show watching, The Onion reading, oops I mean bbspot reading, Simpsons quoting Gen X'ers have raised satire to such a level of high art that it's nigh impossible for anyone else to comphrehend.

You'd think some of this would've rubbed off on the younger kids, but look at those 14 year old dopes taken in by the Feng Shui motherboard. At least I presume they're 14, I mean, who the hell else plays Quake or cares about overclocking their machine?

The thing I do to yank the chains of the idiot portion of our game's playerbase is to make it impossible for anyone using IE on Windows (any other browser will work correctly) to access the blog on my web site, by taking advantage of a "feature" of IE that converts \ to / (the one true file path separator). That's just beautiful on so many levels. On top of that, I also do an HTTP_REFER check + mod_rewrite to block any direct linking into my site. So whenever they find some juicy dev screenshot or something they immediately post a link on our forums which no one can access, so they think the file must've been removed. Ah good times.

Last week, I crushed the dreams of a kid looking for the Interstate Driver game. One reader didn't think I went far enough...

Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 10:57 AM
Subject: BBspot Mailbag.

I can't believe you're satisfied with the mere crushing of a child's dream. You should have recommended Big Rigs. Those damned "new generation"pseudo-gamers deserve nothing more.

I think recommending that game could land me in the World Court for crimes against humanity.

I mentioned that I got a gmail account, but never said I had any invites for it...

From: Prashant
Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 11:58 PM
Subject: Gmail

Hey Guys,

Pls. invite me.

I need for my 10 year old daughter!!!


A ten-year-old girl definitely needs an gmail account. I guess I shouldn't talk though. My daughter (8) has two email accounts and her own domain name.

I, Robot Redux

In our review of I, Robot we worried that it would end up just another brainless action film. One reader wrote in to defend the movie. He takes it back...

Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 5:27 PM
To: Brian Briggs
Subject: RE: I, Robot (yes, another one of those)

Remember my mail about how I, Robot was not quite betraying Asimov? Well, I'm just back from watching it and (warning: spoilers ahead) boy, do I eat my words.

Despite being supposedly based on the Asimov novel, the movie had little to do with the three laws of robotics. There was only one robot that followed the laws, the rest were built-in with a feature to simply disable the laws, which is, Asimovly speaking, total nonsense. The movie mentions that the three laws are hardwired in the robots. Yet they can be remote-controlled to override them?? What part of "hardwired" don't they understand? No matter how powerful a remote you have, you can't use it to make your TV do the washing up because IT IS HARDWIRED TO BE A TV, goddammit!!! And why build a story on, allegedly, "stretches" of the three laws if the way to circumvent the laws is ... by making robots that don't actually need to follow the laws!?! Yeah, that's so Asimov here.

Even if that one robot eventually followed my prediction that robots might take power for the better of mankind, it was supposed to do it in a way that would actually improve people's life and by using as little violence towards humans as possible. Marshall law is hardly that, especially considering the civil war that ensues.

The other predictions were much closer than mine. The robots were indeed "programmed" to harm (more like remotely controlled) and the prediction that the robots were disabled in the click of a button is a close one.

In the concept of the three laws, there was a lot of potential for mind ticklers, but they blew it big time. It's just another dumbed-down action movie.

Ah well...


Computer Tips

In the BBlog I announced I was going to be building a new computer shortly, and a reader wrote in about my upcoming injuries. Well, another reader has a theory about those...

Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 12:55 PM
Subject: Computer building injuries theory

Having so many years on PC building/upgrade experience, I have my own theory as to computer- related injuries.

The success of any computer upgrade is inversely proportional to the amount of injuries sustained while working on the upgrade.

For example, dropping a case on your foot will pretty much ensure that the new video card will work properly. For a more significant upgrade, such as a new motherboard/memory combo, you have to at least draw blood and hopefully cause noticeable scarring.

Of course, there are two exceptions to the rule. The first is intentional self mutilation- this does not appease the computer hardware gods, and will probably cause your memory to fry. The second is a bit dated, but no injury short of decapitation will cause an upgrade to a Packard Bell to go right.

That's all for this week!

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