Today’s crap is brought to you by a remix of Eirin’s Theme by Lyude (jp). Playlist can be found here.

With the advent of Thursday upon us,  dawn of the 4th day of NCFC begins. The guys over at the Mother 4 team have  generously provided us with a very nice wallpaper. Without further ado, let’s head to the news shall we?

 

GTA has been a long-running series for Rockstar since the days of GTA II. GTA V now boasts a lot of things, but if you’re like me and completely disinterested in sandbox games, that’s ok too. Here’s the article in all it’s glory.


Grand Theft Auto V: Facts and Conjecture

Let’s hypothesize.

October 25, 2011

 

It’s not exactly a surprise that Grand Theft Auto V is officially in the works. Gamers have been awaiting any word on its development since 2008’s release of Grand Theft Auto IV (and the subsequent push of two full-fledged DLC packs), but Rockstar has been mum for over three years on the future of the franchise.

We heard analyst rumblings way back in the summer of 2009 that GTA V was under way. About a year later, the rumor was that Grand Theft Auto V would be set on the west coast of the United States. The latter rumor persisted into this year, when a casting list for Grand Theft Auto V supported the California setting.

Finally. It’s real.

All of that speculation combined with Grand Theft Auto V’s official announcement begs certain questions. What exactly is Grand Theft Auto V? Where will it take place? And most importantly, how will it borrow from the four sandbox GTA games that preceded it in order to make the ultimate Grand Theft Auto experience?

Looking back, the great strength of Grand Theft Auto III was how much of a mind-blowing, revolutionary title it was. Vice City and San Andreas were built on identical architecture, and Grand Theft Auto IV simply reimagined the notion of a sandbox city on a beautiful new engine. But none of them provided the be all, end all paradigm shift that Grand Theft Auto III was when it came out in 2001. Could Grand Theft Auto V reinvent what the GTA franchise is known for? Will it be something unexpected or will it be totally safe?

Certainly, Grand Theft Auto V will take place in a sandbox of its own, complete with over-the-top action, violence, sexual innuendo and everything else the series has been known and loved for over the last decade. But it could certainly be cleaned-up, too. If there’s something I hope Rockstar focuses on more than anything, it’s the fidelity of on-foot gameplay. Vehicular mechanics can’t get much better than they were in Grand Theft Auto IV (well, except for those pesky-as-hell helicopter missions), but the on-foot portions of Grand Theft Auto V need to be as strong and polished as everything else in the game if, like Grand Theft Auto III, GTA V is set to raise the bar yet again.

GTAIV’s on-foot mechanics were fun, but they could have been stronger.

Vice City and San Andreas expanded on Grand Theft Auto III’s greatness with an insane level of attention paid to certain periods of time. Vice City, the first post-GTA III foray, embodied the 1980s. With its look and (especially) its soundtrack, Vice City was a spot-on, admittedly facetious look at the excesses of the ’80s, and isn’t only my favorite Grand Theft Auto game, but ranks extremely high in my all-time list of games. Likewise, San Andreas busted-open the sandbox and made it humongous (almost to the point of unwieldy), but again, its acute attention to the look and feel of the west coast during the mid-1990s was appreciated by fans around the world.

With Rockstar having proven that it could nail the look and feel of certain time periods, could Grand Theft Auto V explore another time entirely? The Godfather and Mafia games, competent in their own right though certainly not even remotely of GTA’s quality, already covered the post-war era adequately. That leaves a vacuum for the 1960’s and 1970’s, two eras that I’d love to see Rockstar dabble in. Of course, Grand Theft Auto V could take place in the present à la Grand Theft Auto IV, but I really hope it doesn’t. Rockstar manages to do special things when it focuses on certain time periods, and this remains true outside of the GTA franchise. Just think of Red Dead Redemption for a great example.

If there is a polarizing game in the series, it’s no doubt San Andreas, the third and final GTA game on the PlayStation 2. San Andreas was a huge hit, and it was a great game, but some gamers suggest that it tried to do so much. San Andreas as a landmass was leaps and bounds ahead of Liberty City and Vice City in terms of size, and some thought that it forced the game to lose focus. Likewise, emphasizing RPG-like elements in terms of ancillary character development also contributed towards a more unfocused experience.

Vice City was fabulously ’80s.

Still, San Andreas was instructive in that it gave Rockstar a formula that, if honed and fine-tuned, could again contribute to the ultimate Grand Theft Auto experience the developer will no doubt strive for with GTA V. Size wasn’t necessarily the problem with San Andreas but rather what was done with a map of that size. If Grand Theft Auto V does indeed take place on the west coast, it’s worth considering that Rockstar will revisit San Andreas itself, just like Liberty City was revisited in GTA IV. If this is so, Rockstar needs to focus on making it as diverse as possible and as populated as it can be with as much interesting scenery, people and stories as the studio can muster.

Likewise, the RPG elements introduced in building-up CJ could be more robust, friendly and useful, giving players more control over their character’s development and destiny. There’s nothing wrong with having your character exercise or eat, but why not take the obvious leap and go to the full-bore RPG route? Rockstar could give your characters real statistics that can be built-up. It would be awesome to have a character that earns experience points and levels-up. Imagine a GTA game where points could be attributed to certain stats, and your character could, say, drive better, run faster, or use firearms with more accuracy?

On November 2, we’ll know more about Grand Theft Auto V when Rockstar finally releases the first trailer of the game. In the meantime, let the conjecture roll on. And be sure to contribute some of your own conjecture in the comments below, letting us know what your ultimate GTA V experience would be and what Rockstar should borrow (or not) from previous games in the series.

Yes, you heard it here folks, Grand Theft Auto 5’s trailer is coming to a site near you in November. The lot of us who do remember GTA from the computer days will remember how fun top-down gaming is. Moving on…

 

Next up is an interesting piece. Apparently Congress has passed a bill that could shut down youtube. Oh, how nice, time to move to daily motion.

 

Feds to Blacklist Piracy Sites Under House Proposal

By David KravetsOctober 26, 2011
7:43 pm

A bipartisan group of House members introduced legislation Wednesday that would boost the government’s authority to disrupt and shutter websites that hawk or host trademark- and copyright-infringing products, including allowing the government to order sites removed from search engines.

Much of the package is similar to a stalled Senate measure known as the Protect IP Act. Both proposals amount to the holy grail of intellectual-property enforcement that the recording industry, movie studios and their union and guild workforces have been clamoring for since the George W. Bush administration.

Both bills allow the Justice Department for the first time to obtain court orders demanding American ISPs to stop rendering the DNS for a particular website — meaning the sites could still be accessible outside the United States. The House bill also allows the Justice Department to order search sites like Google to remove the allegedly infringing site from its search results.

Furthermore, the newest proposal, (.pdf) introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), grants the U.S. attorney general sweeping powers to block the distribution of workarounds that let users navigate to sites that have been blacklisted or had their domain name seized, such as the MafiaaFire plugin on the Firefox browser.

Sherwin Siy, a staff attorney with digital rights group Public Knowledge, said the measure could be interpreted to prevent reporters from writing about DNS workarounds, such as publishing the IP addresses of banned websites. DNS servers translate domain names, such as Wikipedia.org, into IP addresses – but DNS can be bypassed if a user knows the IP address of a site.

“If anybody tells people how they can get around that block, the attorney general can bring an action on them,” Siy said in a telephone interview.

He suggested the government could order news sites to take down stories noting workarounds. ”It’s written pretty broadly,” he added of the bill, officially known as the “Stop Online Piracy Act.”

The anti-workaround provisions of the 79-page proposal, in part, appears to be in response to a white paper from top internet security experts concerned over the fallout if the Justice Department begins ordering American internet service providers to stop giving out the correct DNS entry for an infringing website under the .com, .org and .net domains.

DNS filtering not only causes security problems, it also invites the creation of workarounds, according to the paper written by Steve Crocker of Shinkuro, David Dagon of Georgia Tech, Dan Kaminsky of DKH, Danny McPherson of Verisign and Paul Vixie of Internet Systems Consortium.

Mandated DNS filtering would be minimally effective and would present technical challenges that could frustrate important security initiatives. Additionally, it would promote development of techniques and software that circumvent use of the DNS. These actions would threaten the Domain Name System’s ability to provide universal naming, a primary source of the internet’s value as a single, unified, global communications network.

Moments after the House legislation was introduced, Smith said the bill was needed because “Rogue websites that steal and sell American innovations have operated with impunity,” Smith said in a statement.

The United States, however, has been invoking an asset-forfeiture law to seize generic top-level domains of infringing websites under a new program called “Operation in Our Sites.” It began last year, and the Department of Homeland Security has targeted more than 128 sites, ranging from sites that link to video streams to those that hawk knock-off paraphernalia.

The House bill, like the Senate bill, allows rights holders to seek court orders instructing online ad services and credit card companies from partnering with the infringing sites.

The Smith proposal is set for a hearing Nov. 16  before the House Judiciary Committee, where it is expected to pass and then move to the House floor.

The Senate’s counterpart legislation, however, has been placed on a permanent, procedural hold by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon). Wyden said the Protect IP Act represents a “threat to our economic future.”

It’s all good man; We’ll be back in the dark ages. Japan and the US aren’t so different after all; We both have old-fucks  running our out-of-date country with their medieval ideologies. This is literally east meets west, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. [putsonshades.jpg]

Now for some horse-shit laden ideal-isms from Japan.

 

79% of Women: “Posters of Girls = NG”

Author: Artefact

 

A Fuji TV claim that 79% of women cannot abide the prospect of girlie posters in a man’s room has otaku up in arms – not least when they realise female objections extend even as far as desktop wallpaper…

The online reaction is predictable:

“So are 2D girls OK?”

“Eroge posters are OK.”

“Seiyuu posters too.”

“Otoko no ko posters will be fine, I’m sure.”

“You’re supposed to take that stuff down if a woman visits, it’s only polite.”

“21% are OK with it but still no woman come to my room…”

“Figures and dakimakura are OK then?”

“Anime figures:”

no-girlie-posters-1.jpg

“Ehhhh – impossible!”

“Anim dolls were panned as well.”

“Well, at least allow them a nice desktop wallpaper.”

no-girlie-posters-2.jpg

“This is some game character, isn’ it?”

no-girlie-posters-3.jpg

“This is no good at all!”

no-girlie-posters-4.jpg

“I imagined a more manly sort of room…”

“At least let them do as they like with their desktop!”

“This programme is creepy.”

“Of course, it’s NG for single women to have posters of guys put up in their rooms – isn’t it?”

 

I just love the picture of the woman in the last picture; It very much says she’s retarded. I never could understand this sexualized feminism Japan seems to have with everything. It’s actually very much depressing that Japanese women can’t even get along with the animation industry that has brought up so much of Japan’s culture. Well, can’t do anything about it, tis the world and how convoluted it is that makes for some real things.

Let’s move on.

The JSDF (Japanese Self Defense Force), aka whats left of Japan’s military after WWII, held a cosplay on base. Journalists and Otaku alike came out to see as well as Lenfried. The gallery can be seen here.

Moving on.

 

Gallery can be seen by clicking the title.

Ro-Kyu-Bu – “Elementary Schoolers Better Than Ever!”

Ro-Kyu-Bu‘s latest Blu-ray release has arrived, proving just how good elementary schoolers can be when freed of the all obscuring steam which is such a central pillar of anime marketing…

 

Let’s go west and find more booze, I mean news.

 

U.S. Economy: Growth Accelerates as Consumers Spend More

October 27, 2011, 12:46 PM EDT

By Alex Kowalski

 

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. economy grew in the third quarter at the fastest pace in a year as Americans reduced savings to boost purchases and companies stepped up investment in equipment and software.

Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced, rose at a 2.5 percent annual rate, up from 1.3 percent in the prior three months, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Household purchases, the biggest part of the economy, increased at a 2.4 percent pace, more than forecast by economists.

The biggest drop in incomes in two years, along with declines in home prices and consumer confidence, cast doubt on whether the increase in spending can be sustained. Federal Reserve policy makers, who meet next week, and the Obama administration are considering additional measures to reduce an unemployment rate that has been stuck around 9 percent or higher for 30 months.

“There is some gain in momentum after a very weak first half,” said Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Inc. in Dallas, who correctly forecast the rise in GDP. “We need to get the jobs machine going and get the housing market moving in the right direction. The economy remains in a low-to-moderate growth mode, and that keeps us vulnerable.”

Stocks surged as European leaders agreed to expand a bailout fund to stem the region’s debt crisis. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 2.8 percent to 1,277.3 at 12:01 p.m. in New York, extending its October advance to 13 percent and erasing its 2011 loss. Treasuries fell, pushing the yield on the 10-year note up to 2.31 percent from 2.21 percent late yesterday.

European Agreement

An agreement by European leaders on steps that included recapitalizing the continent’s banks brought them closer to a resolution of the sovereign-debt crisis that Fed policy makers have identified as a risk to the U.S. economy.

Other data today showed that consumer confidence declined last week as Americans’ views of the economy sank to the lowest since the recession, and the number of contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly fell in September.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to minus 51.1 in the week ended Oct. 23, the lowest in a month, from minus 48.4 the prior period. Ninety-five percent of those surveyed had a negative opinion about the economy, the worst since April 2009 and one percentage point shy of a record high.

The National Association of Realtors said its index of pending home sales fell 4.6 percent, the biggest decline since April. Economists forecast a 0.4 percent gain, according to the median of 38 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

Household Spending

The increase in consumer spending last quarter followed a 0.7 percent gain in the previous period and exceeded the 1.9 percent median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Purchases added 1.7 percentage points to growth.

Consumers lowered the pace of saving as incomes declined, the report showed. The savings rate last quarter dropped to 4.1 percent, the lowest since the last three months of 2007. After- tax incomes adjusted for inflation decreased at a 1.7 percent annual rate, the biggest drop since the third quarter of 2009.

McDonald’s Corp., the world’s biggest restaurant chain, is among companies trying to keep prices down to attract budget- conscious customers. The Oak Brook, Illinois-based company this month said third-quarter profit gained 8.6 percent.

‘Still Fragile’

“The environment out there is still fragile,” James Skinner, McDonald’s vice-chairman and chief executive officer, said in an Oct. 21 call with analysts. “Consumers everywhere continue to be cautious and hesitant to spend.”

Gross domestic product surpassed its pre-recession peak for the first time. The 15 quarters it took to reach that milestone compares with an average of five quarters it has taken to recover from previous post-war recessions.

While the expansion is “encouraging,” faster growth is needed “to replace jobs lost in the recent downturn,” Katharine Abraham, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said in a blog posting.

The economy expanded at an average 0.9 percent rate in the first half of 2011, the worst performance since the recovery began in June 2009. Growth needs to exceed 2.5 percent to reduce the jobless rate, according to estimates by Kurt Karl, chief U.S. economist at Swiss RE in New York.

Business Investment

One bright spot is business investment. Corporate spending on equipment and software climbed at a 17.4 percent pace, the most in a year. It contributed 1.2 percentage point to growth.

“We are starting to see our customers resume their investment activity,” Richard S. Hill, chairman and chief executive officer at San Jose, California-based Novellus Systems Inc., a maker of machinery used in semiconductor production, said on a conference call with analysts yesterday.

A rush to qualify for a larger government credit may be contributing to the increase. The Obama administration’s tax compromise allows companies to depreciate 100 percent of investment in capital outlays in 2011 and 50 percent in 2012.

“A lot of the strength is being driven by tax incentives,” said Aneta Markowska, a senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York.

The pickup in investment didn’t translate into more jobs. Payrolls rose by an average 96,000 workers per month last quarter, down from the 166,000 average in the first quarter.

Unemployment Benefits

A Labor Department report today showed that fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment assistance last week, signaling limited improvement in the labor market.

First-time jobless claims decreased by 2,000 to 402,000 in the week ended Oct. 22. The number of people collecting unemployment benefits fell in the prior week by 96,000 to 3.65 million, the fewest since September 2008.

President Barack Obama proposed last month a $447 billion plan to stimulate jobs, which included expanding a payroll tax break due to expire at the end of this year, increasing spending on public works and extending jobless benefits.

Obama yesterday said he is seeking ways to take action without congressional approval after the Senate blocked the measure earlier this month. The steps include altering a program to help homeowners refinance mortgages and easing the burden of student loans.

Fed policy makers are developing options for further monetary easing even as the economy picks up.

Policy Makers

Vice Chairman Janet Yellen said last week that a third round of large-scale asset purchases “might become appropriate if evolving economic conditions called for significantly greater monetary accommodation.” Governor Daniel Tarullo said buying mortgage-backed securities “should move back up toward the top of the list of options.”

Policy makers pledged in August to hold the benchmark interest rate near zero at least through the middle of 2013 so long as joblessness stays high and the inflation outlook is “subdued.” On Sept. 21, they announced a plan to replace debt in the central bank’s portfolio with longer-term Treasuries to help cut borrowing costs.

Companies also kept a tight rein on stockpiles last quarter, making it less likely that production will have to be cut back. Inventories were rebuilt at a $5.4 billion annual pace, down from the second quarter’s $39.1 billion rate. The reduction subtracted 1.1 percentage points from GDP growth.

Excluding inventories, the economy grew at a 3.6 percent annual rate last quarter, up from a 1.6 percent in the April through June period.

The biggest increase here isn’t 1.3 to 2.5 percent in earnings, which by all standards is meager when looked at on a yearly basis. A 2.5% increase is so dismal and it’s only a fraction of the total US earnings that it makes very little difference on what happens in the grand scheme of things.

Next up is news about a comedian being slammed about tweets regarding killing Sarah Palin.

Comedian slammed for posting tweets to get Sarah Palin killed

 October 27, 2011 – 4:10 pm

 

Washington, Oct 27 (ANI): Critics have slammed funny man Orlando Jones for crossing the line when he tweeted that liberals should “Kill Sarah Palin.”

The comedian posted his views on his Twitter account after the death of Muammar Gaddafi.

“Libyan Rebels kill Gaddafi, if American liberals want respect they better stop listening to Aretha and kill Sarah Palin,” he wrote.

Many did not take the actor’s post lightly and posted theirs in retort, saying that it was not funny to ask for the former governor of Alaska to be killed.

Jones, 43, then took to his Facebook account to explain himself, Fox News reported.

“My job as an artist is to hold up a mirror to society. I do not decide how people feel or react to that. My tweet hit a nerve. That’s good. The fact that is has taken precedent over the serious issues that face us is not good. That’s media outlets vying for attention and ad dollars.”

“Was it my best line? No. It would be great if those individuals who are genuinely outraged redirected that energy toward the greater good. Any anger directed at me and my right to free speech is an absolute waste of time. I am not a statesman. My comments reflect no political affiliation. It’s just me being me, in a world that will never comfortably mix political correctness with artistic expression. For that, I offer no apologies, excuses or wisdom,” he wrote.

That’s our show for today, I will see you next time. Goodbye, everybody.