Archive for May, 2010

Doc <3 ZuneHD

While all the news flying around the blogosphere has for the most part being dedicated almost exclusively to the iPad which was released on Friday in Australia, I have been blissfully playing away with another, smaller multi-touch device that arrived that Monday. Unlike the other multi-touch device that was released last week, this one does not have an apple on the back; this one of course has a tiny Z.

Despite that the Zune HD was officially released in the United States last year, and currently has no plans of release in Australia; as my previous device was a 4gig Zune 2, I jumped at the chance to pick up a 16gig Zune HD. Almost as if by design, its arrival before the iPad launch gave me enough to amuse myself long enough for that other device to be released without comment.

I had both the Zune 2 and the Zune HD on my desk for roughly four hours before I gave the Zune 2 to Chantelle to replace her iPod Nano, an interesting historical repeat considering that that same Zune replaced the iPod Nano, Cuscal gave me while I was working there. Hers was being reset, mine was being updated, which the software did simultaneously with no problems.
Suffice to say that it was an uplifting experience seeing two Zune cables sticking out of a computer that used to have one black Zune cable, and one white iPod cable.

While I had not initially intended to give Chantelle my Zune 2, as for the longest time, all I had heard from her was her wish to purchase the iPod Touch and subsequent iPhone; and initially I decided to keep the Zune 2 as a backup player, something I could use while costuming, so it came as a surprise to me when she approached me and asked for my old Zune to replace her precious iPod Nano. Since showing her the Zune HD, I can say that the iPod infiltration of my house has been dealt with as she wants one as well.

That is something that I’m seeing replicated whenever I show this device to people, the first question is what is it, the second question after I show them some of the features is where can I get one. Unfortunately for reasons known only to Microsoft, they have restricted this devices sale to North America only, despite continued requests from other markets, they seem reluctant to release any devices of the Zune Family elsewhere, though that hasn’t stopped the most dedicated of fans from simply importing them from the US and bypassing the region security by registering US Region addresses.

I had hoped to have a picture of my HD, but for some reason my camera is playing up, so I will most likely have one before the next episode of the DocReport, as for the iPad, the only thing I have to say in regards to that overpriced etch-a-sketch, is that I have no intention of getting one or any of its successive devices.

DocReport Episode 1 is now online

I’ve been keeping this one rather close to my chest, but the DocNetwork now has a podcast.

It will essentially be a weekly recap of any articles written that week as well as any info that didn’t quite make it that far.

Hopefully it will be regularly recorded on a Thursday, but time permitting.

This weeks episode is about Facebook, Australian Customs, and a brief recap on Warhammer Ancient Battles V.2.0

to subscribe to this podcast add http://feeds.feedburner.com/docreport to your podcast capture client

Do you have any porn to declare???

I first heard of this story on CNET’s Buzz Out Loud podcast, episode 1232 this morning, but for some reason, it did not actually make the Australian news vendors until this evening. An interesting thing considering that it originated here, but it would seem that in a rather sneaky move Australian Customs and Border Protection staff have been granted permission to ask passengers coming into Australia whether they possess pornography in their luggage or on their person.

Changes to customs declarations have changed the first question from “Do you possess Objectionable Content” (god I hate that term) to “Do you possess Pornography.”
Now I’m not the first person today who has read this and wondered, what the hell? From as far as I can tell no other country is this conservative, in that they are simply asking travellers if they possess pornography, and if they tick yes, then Customs have every right to go through your bag, and check your laptop and mobile for pornography.

One of the biggest problems of this whole thing, aside from being completely ambiguous and yet, completely expected from this government, is that it does not actually specify what qualifies as pornography, the presenters of Buzz Out Loud, joke about it on their show that what one person qualifies as pornography, is completely harmless to another and vice versa. While it is obvious that it is another attempt to stop that elusive kiddie porn, and bestiality, but doesn’t actually state on the card that is what they are looking for.

One large argument against this move is that they do no stipulate what actually qualifies as pornographic; so that means every scantily clad mirror shot, or photo taken of your partner in some exotic location, or even a sext promising a late night romp, to simple photos of your infant in the bathtub could potentially wind you up in jail.

While the opposition to this change is almost unanimous, with the general consensus is that this is an invasion of privacy, one must really look at this government with their history of trying to sanitize the internet of pornography, this act isn’t really expected from them. Unfortunately the biggest problem to come out of this thing, is that we had to find out about it, after it came out… not before.

While the Federal Home Affairs Minister, Mr Brendan O’Connor continues to profess that this was in the nations best interest, and the reference to pornography was deliberate, as people ‘understood the meaning of the word’ over the word that it replaced, unfortunately, one problem I can find with this, well aside from just another pieces of evidence to support the claim that this government has lost the plot. is that Objectionable Content, doesn’t just restrict itself to pornography.

A number of people I have spoken about this to, have wondered just how exactly this kind of thing could be enforced, or even investigated considering that nearly every male will have on their phone, a picture or video of something that could be considered pornographic, or will have a ‘lads mag’ in their carry on, purchased from the airport newsagent. And to those lasses who photograph themselves in the mirror, is it pornographic if the photo’s are of yourself?
Buzz Out Loud, once more suggested that in protest that everyone coming to Australia should declare they have pornography; unfortunately those lines are already full of people that already do.

Defence of Aquillias VII

The Imperial World of Aquilias VII’s a lightly guarded world at the heart of the Imperium, one of those pretty idyllic Eden’s that the humans seem to forget needs protecting, which for the bloodthirsty warriors of the Kabal of Perpetual Darkness, means one and one thing alone…a Slavers Paradise.

Once the cities Guard Garrison had been suppressed, Archon ordered the raiding party to search the city, it would seem that the Dark Lord had the intention of taking every single piece of worth from this verdant cesspool. As a result, it was little surprise to me was the appearance of the Jagged Scimitar, Archon Sethalis’ personal Slave Barge. However what was a surprise was the appearance of both the Soulflayer, and the Tormentor, both fresh from their rebuilding at the hands of the Kabal’s Haemunculi. 

Our exit back to the Dark City was a webway gate on the very lip of the city, an ironic place considering its place inside the former Guard Base. Within the area around this strategic asset was Urien Rakarth, Master Haemunculus, who seemed at home, digging through the mass of information the fleeing Guardsmen left when we ran riot of their defences. Along with Rakarth in that sector, the warriors of the Bladed Talon, some of the Kabal’s most trained slavers, unknown to the rest of the command staff, Sybarite Tikaral Shidarn had ordered her warriors to scour the sector, though I would find out later on that she just wanted to get away from Sybarite Uries Saldan, who seemed intent on acquiring her as a mate. Along with the Bladed Talon, two Ravagers, a Reaper Lance Platform and a Redeemer Support craft where in the sector, as well was Sythra and her Crimson Shadows Wyches.

The first I had heard of anything being amiss was a burst transmission from Urien Rakarth; now this alone caused me pause, as Rakarth was the Master Haemunculus for the entirety of Commoragh, there was very little that could cause concern in the crazed man.
“Tyranids, Hive ship in orbit, assistance required,” was all I comprehended before the Archon ordered that the Jagged Scimitar was returning to the Dark City, even though it had the capacity for even more slaves inside its expansive hull.
I had learnt of the Tyranids from Drazhar, Master of Blades, who during my training and understood, especially when Archon ordered the Titan’s Soulflayer and Tormentor to return to the Webway Portal.

Reasons known only to the Imperial Commander that deployed them, and the Hive creatures that decided to land there, but a human minefield, a device that was wasted on the entirely anti-gravity capable Raiding force, seemed to be perfectly suited in dealing with the ravenous hordes of the Brood; forcing the Tyranids to spread out, making dealing with them a easier task for our Lancers.

As we travelled back to the portal, our Raiders returned in flights, landing upon the massive surface that was the Jagged Scimitar, with the expectation that we would be fighting our way back to the Webway Portal, it would seem that the Tyranids were expecting weak human opponents, not the battle ready Raiders of the Dark Eldar; as their forces seemed geared towards flesh and flak vests, not tempered Drakarium.

Be it by chance or design, but Archon had ordered the Sybarites of the raiding force (With the exception of Tikaral Shidarn who has the right to act of her own accord) to stay with the Jagged Scimitar until we arrived, meaning that the organic components that the Brood required were denied them.

As the Brood uncharacteristically made its cautious way across a now drained river that the Guardsmen had mined, bogging down in the mud, slowing their advance; our Lancers, taking cover within ruined buildings, or aboard Ravagers and Reapers patrolling wreckage strewn streets, picked off Synapse creatures with impunity, forcing the ravenous swarm to bunch together, making it easier for our Raven’s flying high overhead strafed their lines, almost without any recourse.

The Tormentor and Soulflayer arrived on the battlefield well before the Jagged Scimitar, who was forced off by a swarm of airborne spores. The arrival of the two Titans caused an increased morale boost in those warriors along with the two Talos that they brought with them, as it would seem that at that time, a number of the Brood’s heavy hitters, Carnifexes and Tervigons, even a Biovore Titan forced their way through lines of Hormagaunts, Gaunts and Gargoyles into the wall of Dark Eldar Warriors.

It was at that point where the clear advantages of the terrain that turned the battle in our favour, as Human buildings, in particular the many Water processing plants that were scattered throughout the city. Our warriors managed to hold two of these plants, with the knowledge of they who control the water controls a planet and the battle hardened Wyches of the Crimson Shadows held off over thirty Gaunts for most of the day. Even the discovery of Liches in the same building as Tikaral’s Everseeing Eye who were providing over watch for warriors engaging the Tyranids on the ground proved advantageous to the Sybarites warriors, felling all three Liches with minimal loses to her squad.

The appearance of a Trygon behind our lines caused concern for only a moment, until the Soulflayer Titan which was operating within the area descended upon it, tearing its blades into its carapace with little regard to the large Tyranid that caused the rout of one of our Raiding teams, likewise occurred on the other side of the battlefield with the Tormentor and one of the Archons prized Talos tore through a swarm of Gene Stealers, that managed to bypass our defence lines.

By the time that the Jagged Scimitar arrived at the Webway Portal, spotters announced that the Biovore Titan had taken residence on top of the portal beacon, effectively cutting us off from a direct path back to Commoragh. This was also truncated by reports from our Raiding fleet in orbit of the presence of an Imperium of Man Battle group heading towards the planet, ready to either relieve the conquered humans, or exterminate the planet. At the urging of Urien Rakarth upon his arrival aboard the Jagged Scimitar, Archon Sethalis ordered all outbound warriors to return to the Scimitar as it soared over the battlefield laying down supporting fire from its batteries of Splinter Cannons and Dark Lances.

Once all forces had been accounted for, timed poisons were released into the water supply of the planet, killing those humans who survived our hunt, and starving the Tyranids the bio-organic material it required.

As the Jagged Scimitar berthed aboard the Archon’s Command Ship, the Wrathful Vengeance, our fleet withdrew from the system, heading back to the Dark City bruised, but otherwise better from the encounter.

3000 point Apocalypse Game Dark Eldar vs. Tyranids. Result Tyranid player forfeit at turn 4, victory point’s victory to Dark Eldar 

WAB: Legio XX

_DSC5333

For the last month, my Dark Eldar hasn’t been receiving much love, as I have begun building a new army; however, this time its for Warhammer Ancient Battles; I only looked into this game roughly two weeks before that point, though that may have more to do with the fact that the Tin Soldier, gaming store that I frequent had only started plugging the game at that point, it also didn’t hurt that the 28mm Historical Gaming group formed around the same time

As the pictures suggest, my army is an Imperial Roman Army; more accurately, Legio XX, or Twenty Legion, in particular, Twenty Legion as it was during the Roman invasion of England under Emperor Claudius. Compared to my Dark Eldar Army, regular readers of the blog would be aware of the state of my Dark Eldar army, this army in its entirety, is fully painted, as well as based, as you can tell.

The models featured in these photos were taken by Damien, the organiser of the 28mm Historical Gaming Society, and only reflected the portion of my army that was completed at the 16 April Meeting of the group. These models only took me roughly a week to complete from putting them together to painting them. Since that meeting, I have completed over 30 additional models, with a total in game points cost of 2199 points, currently I am only thirty models shy of an historically accurate Roman Century.

On top of these models, I have about another 60 on order, and plan on turning this into a epic scaled army including Emperor Claudius, Praetorian Guard Legion Unit, Praetorian Guard Cavalry Unit, and another unit of Archers, and a battery of Scorpios.

Legio XX- current roster

1 General on warhorse
1 Tribune 
3 x 18 trooper Veteran Legionaries Units with Centurion, Standard Bearer and Musician
3 x 9 man Auxiliary Skirmisher Units with Leader and Musician
1 x 9 man Auxiliary Archer Unit
3 x 4 horse Auxiliary Cavalry Units with Leader, Standard Bearer and Musician
1 Carrabalista (mounted Artillery) Unit with 4 crew
total: 2199 points
 

_DSC5334

Ouroboros invades Free Comic Book Day

Some of you may have noticed, particularly on Twitter and Facebook, I’ve been throwing around the Logo of Project Ouroborostitle “Project Ouroboros” a lot lately, and unless you’ve been following the url’s you might not be aware of it. Project Ouroboros isn’t some high-tech bio-chemical corporation, but the Australian Resident Evil Costuming Association.

Up until now, Ouroboros has only been to conventions, our tour of duty so far has been both Brisbane and Melbourne Supanova’s and the last two Sydney Zombie Walks. This was the first time that we ventured out of known territory and attended this years Free Comic Book Day in both Sydney and Brisbane, sparking our first ever multistate simultaneous event.

Many people might have asked, “But Resident Evil is a video game, not a comic book,” and while technically the franchise did start as the very successful Biohazard series in Japan, it has branched out into movies, card games and even a dual line of comic books and graphic novels. Because of this, coupled with the fact that technically Resident Evil Costuming isn’t the most event friendly of costuming groups, when compared to say the 501st Legion, our appearance list isn’t currently as in demand as others.

Going over the Manual in the field is always a good ideaConsidering that we formed in response to the second Sydney Zombie Walk, and how up until that point, we did not have a central contact system, considering we were often utilised as crowd control for the event, it would take a long string of phone and Facebook tag, to get all our now members aware of the event, and to see just how many of them could actually attend. Following the walk, and alluded to on the train to the walk that an organisation that would become Ouroboros would be required. We formed that following week, and within a month had spread to encompass the entire east coast of the country.

Considering it was still uncharted waters, it was only a light presence to the Sydney Kinokuniya event, which was understandable; even I had my doubts about the success of the event; but regardless, we trooped from 1030 till 2, and since the other groups that where in attendance where wrapping up, that we would as well.

In all it was a great event, if only to get our name out there. Now, bring on Supanova Sydney

Project Ouroboros NSW Team with Harley Quinn