Archive for August, 2009

Its amazing how fast a year passes.

Thanks to a rampant case of writers block, I apologise for not posting. However today is a very important milestone for the DocNetwork so I took my new Nokia E-71 outside and started writing. This day 12 months ago, the first ever post of what would become the DocNetwork was published on the Vox Blogging Network. It wasn’t until November that year that very same post was reposted on WordPress and we haven’t looked back.

In the space of 12 months we have covered such diverse things, ranging from the Australian Governments Mandatory Internet Filter to covering the horrific bushfires that devastated Victoria live from the fireline, (even if those reports are still classified). We warned you about swine flu, and saw the inauguration of America’s first African-American president.

We’ve been featured on the TWiT network twice, interviewed by Leo Laporte, and was integral in the success of the TWiT Army podcast. Most recently we gained a Facebook fan page as well as a Blog Twitter account to help you contact us, and to this end, both have been very successful.

It’s been a very productive year for us, we’ve gained writers, and had others move on, but even if they don’t write for us they still hang around, Big T still pops by when he’s not at university, and will be rejoining us in summer for our first attempt at a podcast, our Warhammer battle reporter will be returning shortly after a long break away from the warzone.

Throughout this time the DocNetwork has been helped by a group of volunteers that have worked thanklessly to keep the news flowing, and it would be amiss of me to neglect them.

I would like to thank both Felix and Kiwi for watching the blog whenever I’ve been unable, MirandaJannell, NiteInJail, Zeiva, and the other TWiT’s who have been so supporting during this difficult year. I would also like to thank, you our loyal readers, those who I have met I thank your kind words and intelligent conversation; with special mention to Trapper, Therese, Anna as well as our ‘number 1 fan’ Anne-Marie who surprised me on my own birthday by presenting me with the DocNetwork’s fanpage. Most of all I would like to thank my dearest Chantelle aka Tikara, who has not only stepped in on occasion to be my Dictaphone, but has had to put up with long nights and me raging over reports my feeders give me: you are my inspiration, our many fans and readers are the only reason we keep going. And for that we thank you.

To date we have had 8147 visitors, we average 5 posts a month not including February and march where there more days posted then not, to a total of 91 posts. Currently the average monthly page view is 600 which is impressive for a fledgling blog.

As we speak we a finalizing the first ever Blogging challenge, designed to commemorate our first year, and while we have only 5 entrants the work coming out is pretty good. Hopefully next year will be even better:

Once again we would like to thank you all for helping us survive our first year and hope you join us for the next one.

Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta DLC Review

With a current spate of downtime, and a desire to further distance myself from covering the Sandilands/2DayFM for at least a few more days, I turned on the old 360, and performed what has become a monthly ritual; checking all my games for the plethora of updates that the developers push through. It makes for an easier period when Microsoft pushes through their system updates.

This time, when I dusted off my copy of Fallout 3, it popped up to tell me that there was new DLC available, this time it was the much anticipated and assumed last expansion to the incredibly popular post apocalyptic RTS.
Mothership Zeta, brings an entire new region to the Capital Wasteland, a region that is totally out of this world…literally. In an area allegedly the same size as the original Wasteland, the Vault Dweller must ally themself with a cadre of temporally mismatched abductees, to find out what happened and get home.

When you first install the expansion, your confronted with a weird sounding radio transmission, leading you to the site of the Crashed Alien Spacecraft. When you arrive, a mystical blue light surrounds and your beamed aboard the Mothership and experience the wonderful world of alien Probulation. After falling unconscious following the experimentation, you come to in a cell with another abductee and the pair of you start your attempt to get off the ship.
Throughout your travels through the ship you find recordings and other pieces of alien gear, all the while, shooting at hostile Aliens intent on getting you back on the cutting table. During your time making your way to the bridge of the ship, you will encounter a number of other abductees, and most will join you, however a few are nothing but blithering idiots who are only good for the armour they are wearing.

You eventually make it to the bridge and following a ‘climatic’ space battle with another Alien space ship, the ship is yours to do with as you see fit…though to that end if by this point you haven’t explored the entirety of the ship and collected all of the recordings or collected all the bits of gear, you wont be able to, as most of the doors to the lower levels become sealed.

From a game play perspective, the expansion isn’t as great as previous add-ons for the game, despite boasting an area allegedly equal to the original Wastelands, most of that area is actually outside the alien ship, so in reality this is the smallest new playing area, not including Broken Steel, as a majority of it subsists in the Wastes. If you have already finished the game, and the expansions, the weapons and armour for Mothership Zeta available to you are not levelled to your character, and by that point most of your existing weapons and equipment is already leagues ahead of the Alien gear, however if you’ve just started, then the gear and ambient ammo makes it a perfect first sojourn.

Another issue rising from this expansion, is that it removes the crashed alien spacecraft, and with it, removing the only other opportunity aside from Broken Steel, to get the Alien Blaster, and oddity in which that even on the Mothership, they are not actually using this weapon, and the ammunition on board available does not even work with the blaster.

Overall, there is not enough argument for or against getting this piece of content, so its pretty much a factor of is 800 points worth it.

The DocNetwork’s First Ever Blogger Challenge

Ever wanted to be a blogger?

To Commemorate International Blogging Month, We are currently working on the first ever Blogger Challenge. To be put short, have you always wanted to write a blog but don’t think you have what it takes, send us a piece of your work, and at the end of the month, the best article will be posted, we will even support you in the creation of your own blog.

Suggestions for Topics:

  • The Future
  • The World
  • What’s outside your door
  • Technology and today’s youth
  • Gaming
  • Governments and Technology
  • Mandatory Internet Filter
  • The DocNetwork

Or make it up on whatever you want.

Feel free to submit as many Essays as you like, as this will be judged not only on Quantity, but Quality of submissions.

Contest Restrictions:
Essay may be about whatever topic you want, or may select from the list above
Word Count: 500 words minimum
Entry Restriction: Open to all,
Submission restriction: One entry per topic,
All entries must be submitted to captainmanuel@gmail.com by the close of buisness August 29/2009 with the heading BLOG CHALLENGE to eligible for judging

For more information, please visit the DocNetwork’s personal fan page on Facebook Here

We all remember Starchild

This is a long overdue revisit of a story that was all the rage about a month ago, the story of Kimberly Vlaminck, the teen who visited a Romanian tattooist and ended up with half a face covered in stars after ‘falling asleep’ and threatened to sue the Tattooist…though only after Daddy saw it.

Well it seems that our speculation proved correct, and that she didn’t fall asleep, nor did she only ask for a row of stars over her eye; but in fact asked half her face covered, fully awake the entire time. It wasn’t until her father saw what she had agreed to, and had done, that she had on half of her face did she change her story and state that she fell asleep and the tattooist went nuts with the ink…

There was a lot of this story that just did not mesh with me, and I had given this story a lot of leeway.
Firstly, in Europe tattooists sign agreements with the client, stating exactly what needs to be done, failure to do so can lead to fines, or the loss of licence. To this end, it is highly unlikely that the tattooist would have gone nuts and scribble stars over her face, not to mention the cost involved.

Secondly, thanks to the tattooists who responded to the previous entry, the time that it took for a half face tattoo is obviously a lot longer than the minutes it would take for the five stars over her eyebrow that she alleged was all she asked for, so if her father was paying for the tattoo’s, where exactly was he during this time? I don’t expect that he was just sitting in the car twiddling his thumbs wondering just where his daughter was for the hour or so it took for her face to get worked on.

In the end we all know what happened, the truth comes out that she agreed to have a face covered in stars and only came up with her narcoleptic story was after her father had seen it.
There is a caveat in this story, that is, if you decide to lie to your parent’s, pray that it doesn’t make international news, and if you do, try to keep your lies constant.

A story update I didn’t actually see coming

I never thought I would receive as much hate mail as I did when I posted my article commenting on the conduct of a pair of Australia’s radio presenters, specifically Kyle Sandilands and Jackie-O. Granted most of it seemed to be a response to the event, and not my commentary on it, of the actual hate email, a third was trying to defend the show, a third was attacking the girls mother, and the girl…well I never thought I would actually receive threats on my life over a blog post, but there is always a first time for everything I suppose.

For those of you who are not aware of the events surrounding Kyle and Jackie-O, I refer you to my previous blog entry, as for an update; I can say that the controversial breakfast show has been suspended indefinitely until such a time as they have gone through a lengthy review of their procedures and protocols.
This comes following reports made by Sandilands management, stating that he currently is unable to perform his on-air duties. However at the time of writing, no reason as to this has been given.

The Blogosphere, along with Twitter and the Australian internet going public have been roughly evenly divided in both support, and condemnation of the two, and their conduct following a segment, titled ‘LieDetector’ in which a 14-year old girl was interrogated in regards to sex and drug use, in which she revealed that she had been raped two years before. While this part along technically had 2DayFM maintained the 10 second delay as required by ACMA guidelines, would never gone to air.
Kyle Sandilands’ comment enquiring if the assault was her only sexual encounter while he protests was an unintended slip of the tongue, had pretty much brought the entire Australian blogging community down upon him, either in support of him and the show, or in a majority of cases, calling for his head.

This decision by the management of 2DayFM is a startling one, as many people, most of the staff of the DocNetwork, myself included, did not expect that anything other than a punitive slap on the wrist to be handed down on the two. While technically the decision to put the show on hiatus was directly related to the fact that Sandilands for some reason is incapable of doing his job, the fact that the entirety of the show has been shelved meant that this was more than a knee-jerk reaction.

Related to this story, it can be revealed that free-to-air Network Channel 10 is reconsidering renewing Sandilands contract for their apparently successful Australian Idol show, but to that end, I really can’t say as like the radio show, I don’t watch Idol either.

As there was no timeframe in which it was stated that the show would be on hiatus, it is unknown as to how long it will be until we hear or see Kyle and Jackie-O again, but what I do know is that I will not miss their ads on TV