Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Millfields Estate boo-boo?

Another residents meeting and I'm informed that all is underway to have the roads brought up to scratch and formally adopted by the council. That's the good part.

The bad part is that there are three different builders on the site which may mean three different contractors bringing in equipment to do the work.

The next bad part is that Severn Trent Water examined a part of the area and found that they'd used 6" pipes instead of 9" pipes for drainage. So at the same time as that area is being 'fixed' it needs to be dug up to get those replaced, which means more work and more time spent.

On a final note it seems there's a small legal hiccup in the transfer of a different area. Once repaired both the roads, pavements and verges will be handed over to the council; this is fine except that this one small verge apparently is already owned by the council. The builders in question thought it was included on their site as did the council, but examination prior to hand-over shows it doesn't.

'What's the big deal?' you might ask, if it was being turned over to the council anyway that just means you don't need to do anything. Ah no possibly due to the way the deal is structured or the need for a paper trail of adoption the council needs to have the land in question registered to the builders, and will then have it re-registered back to themselves.

Now I find it important to note that this isn't some fly-by-night build with someone sticking a big shed at the bottom of the garden or a huge extension on the back of their house. This is a full housing estate off a main road with specifications to include it as part of the ephemeral Relief Road and look at the problems with it.

If this is a typical example of what we get when the council are supposedly involved in the building process, what the hell are they doing?

Freeview HD launched

The trials have concluded and Freeview HD as a service has been launched in London, Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and central Scotland.Woo hoo everyone there's happy.

Well no not really because I guess less than 1% of those in that area can actually decode these new broadcasts.

As I said back in 2007 HD broadcasts use not only a different method of encoding but an entirely different method of broadcast to the current batch of Freeview tuners on the market. So how many DVB-T2 marketed tuners does Google Shopping show - 3. How many DVB-T2 marketed televisions does it show- 1. Or at least one manufacturer Panasonic. Oh there's more on the way, but as yet there's a big hole.

So congratulations to all those in these areas who have already made the leap (stumble) to Freeview you now need to buy something else. Sure that's the price to pay for being early adopters of technology, kinks get worked out and features added; except Freeview was launched in 2002 with a big fanfare of 'get this now before we switch off the old broadcasts'. There are people out there who have just turned to Freeview on account of having the analogue system turned off who had no opportunity to even buy DVB-T2 equipment who are now discovering that the money they've spent was pretty much wasted.

It gets better. In order to broadcast the HD channels they'll be using spare space on Mux B (it goes 1,2,A,B,C,D) until everyone gets settled and then they'll dedicate the entirety of Mux B to HD only. This will require a re-tune as all the existing SD channels are parcelled out to the other Muxes. So another re-tune so what? Well it means all those channels need to be squeezed in with the others and that means compressing them further, which in turn means a downgrade in quality spread over all channels on that Mux.

So a choice of putting up with poorer quality or shelling out for yet more equipment. Remind me wasn't Digital Broadcasting supposed to be better than Analogue Broadcasting?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A new PS3 Slim

Yep my parents have gone all Blu-ray with the purchase of a 250Gb model PS3 slim; still the best Blu-ray player out there at that price point and does so much more too. Well at least it would if I could set-up the bloody wireless connection.

What fun behind their television, took out the scart lead connecting their VCR to the Freeview box, the aerial lead, the power lead; then the scart lead and power lead to the DVD and then just added the HDMI cable and the power lead to the PS3; much tidier.

Of course the PS3 didn't auto-switch inputs on start-up until I told it to output via HDMI; um excuse me what the hell do you think you're outputting at the moment ;-)

Went through the language and user name malarky then tried to connect it to the router. Oh it found it all right but would it connect with the WPA key, course not. Doesn't help that the PS3 treats it as a password and thus asterisks it out as you type it in. Certainly not helped as it's hexadecimal and uppercase, and changing the case on the in-built keyboard also shifts the numbers to !"£$ etc. so you have to keep shifting back and forth.

Gave up in the end; I'll try it this weekend by turning the security off; if it can't connect then I'll check it's not some sort of router protection restriction.

Anyway continued on and tied the remote control to it; that was a piece of cake - tell the PS3 to look for it and hold down the Home and Start buttons at the same time until it says it's connected. After that it works just like a normal controller, but with labelled and dedicated buttons to perform disc functions.

Also made sure the CEC control between the TV and the PS3 was on; which means they can use the TV remote's disc function buttons to control the PS3 if need be.

Stuck in Star Trek to test it, and hey it loads faster than both my dedicated player and my old PS3; bastards. Also auto-switches to the right input; only took Sony until, what, the fourth model to add a feature that was available and should have been included with the first one.

Next up I'll load their photos onto the drive and loan my mother a copy of Burnout Paradise so she can crash things, heh.

So anyway they're happy and they get to watch both DVDs and Blu-ray on their shiny HD set.

Monday, March 29, 2010

As local so is national politics

Not a flyer, but a simple A5 sheet through the door entitled "Would you like to attend the first ever televised debate between the leaders of the three main political parties?"

Apparently there's room allocated to an whole 4 members of the Wyre Forest constituency. Takes place somewhere in Birmingham on the... wait for it... 29th April. Otherwise known as a Thursday.

Yup just like our local councils holding events between the hours of 10 and 4 on weekdays so to is this debate scheduled for a standard work day. Yeah okay advance notice so you can take the day off, but damnit do none of these people actually work for a living?

Alcohol taxes and cider

A big fuss being kicked up on the rise in duty on cider; I'm not a big drinker but I do like cider so let's take a look at how it breaks down for the consumer. Here are the raw figures as supplied by HMRC

Alcohol Duties2009-10 2010-11
Rate £ per litre of pure alcohol
Spirits 22.64 23.80
Spirits-based RTDs (ready to drink) 22.64 23.80
Wine and made-wine: exceeding 22% abv. 22.64 23.80
Rate £ per hectolitre per cent of alcohol in the beer
Beer 16.47 17.32
Rate £ per hectolitre of product
Still cider and perry: exceeding 1.2% - not exceeding 7.5% abv. 31.83 36.01
Still cider and perry: exceeding 7.5% - less than 8.5% abv. 47.77 54.04
Sparkling cider and perry: exceeding 1.2% - not exceeding 5.5% abv. 31.83 36.01
Sparkling cider and perry: exceeding 5.5% - less than 8.5% abv. 207.20 217.83
Wine and made-wine: exceeding 1.2% - not exceeding 4% abv. 65.94 69.32
Wine and made-wine: exceeding 4% - not exceeding 5.5% abv. 90.68 95.33
Still wine and made-wine: exceeding 5.5% - not exceeding 15% abv. 214.02 225.00
Wine and made-wine: exceeding 15% - not exceeding 22% abv. 285.33 299.97
Sparkling wine and made-wine: exceeding 5.5% - less than 8.5% abv. 207.20 217.83
Sparkling wine and made-wine: 8.5% and above - not exceeding 15% abv. 274.13 288.20

Simple yes ;-) Well no of course not this is the government we're talking about here. So let's play with some examples. Imagine a 1 litre bottle of pure alcohol, we'll class it as a spirit so it attracts duty under the first bold heading which makes it £23.80. If it was a 1 litre bottle of whiskey at 50% ABV then the duty would be half that £11.90; if it was a half-litre of pure alcohol it would again be £11.90.

So now let's take our same 1 litre bottle of pure alcohol and call it beer; that appears under the second bold heading, hmm hectolitres that's 100 litres. So keeping it simple let's up the bottle to the 100 litre mark; that makes the duty as with the spirit at the stated figure of £17.32, correct? Wrong because it's also by "per cent" and it's pure alcohol that would make the duty £1,732.00. Drop it back to our simple 1 litre bottle and that in turn drops it back to £17.32. Again we don't get 100% bottles of beer so 1 litre of beer at a strength of 6% and we get £17.32/100*6 or £1.04

[Note that with spirits it's assumed a starting point of 100% alcohol, but with beer you start with 1%; that's why if you have a 40% spirit you multiply by 0.4 (40/100) but with beer you'd multiply by the full 40 (40/1))

Now onto cider, and wow that's seems complicated but it's less so than all the others. Note that it's based on a hectolitre of "product" so if we take a 100 litre bottle of cider at the minimum of 1.2% the duty is simply £36.01; take the same bottle of 7.5% and it's still £36.01.

So unlike spirits or beer both wine (below 22%) and cider are split into alcohol bands rather than than taxed on the actual alcohol content.

So what if you took a pint of beer, a pint of cider, and a pint of wine, what are the results?

So it's still cheaper (tax-wise) to drink cider except if you pick the sparkling variety at which point the higher strengths jump to the equivalent of drinking wine. The justification given is "These are considered to be competing products of similar strength and are often sold in the same sort of packaging." Yeah right so let's watch the sales of sparkling cider plummet and the sales of still cider rocket.

Mephedrone wars

So the latest in the 'ban this eeevil substance' takes an interesting turn. Once again it seems that politics just can't stay out of science with yet another resignation in the ACMD as the government tries to add mephedrone to the prohibited drugs list and seek to control those from whom it is supposed to seek advice.

There is as yet no evidence that mephedrone is dangerous, none that it has caused death or even contributed towards it; yet our government seeks to prohibit its use. The results, as evidenced by every other drug on the banned list, will not to be cut use; it will not make the drug any less dangerous it but the exact opposite.

Dratted weather

Wasn't helpful last week. Managed to get the front gutters done on Friday (19th), but the back ones had to wait until the Tuesday; could have done it Sunday, but other plans got in the way. Barked the front lawn on Monday between light showers. Wednesday was a wash, Thursday managed to clean the back windows etc.and Friday trimmed the hedges between light showers.

In between times I kicked back and managed to finish Dragon Age: Origins as a mage; then restarted as a warrior... much more difficult without any decent long-range or area attacks.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Still here!

Holiday caught up with me. So it's been a week of barking the front, fixing new gutters, and basic outdoor cleaning with little time for anything else.

Friday, March 19, 2010

God of War III

Out today is the third in the God of War series. A Playstation exclusive God of War is known for pushing the console to its limits, so appearing for the first time on the PS3 what's it done?

First off I'm looking at the demo, the retail game has made alterations in lighting and textures supposedly improving on that. This is a good thing as some of the larger textures definitely needed work.

Having played both GoW1 and 2 playing the demo was like slipping into a pair of comfortable shoes, I knew the moves and combinations and at one point racked up a healthy 197 hit streak without really thinking about it.

Lessons have been learned particularly on quick-time events. Yep developers are truly learning that having to concentrate on one small section of the screen to determine button presses means not watching the results of said actions. To that end the buttons you're supposed to press appear in the correct relative position on the screen. Circle appears on the left, Square on the right, X below and Triangle above, and L1 and R1 appear top left and right. One thing that did catch me out is they've still got button mashing, it's only the circle but that appears bottom right. With the first QTE putting everything in the correct places this left me with a "What's bottom right?" until it clicked; still annoying when they've done so well otherwise.

Graphics are silky smooth, and happily runs from close-up action to pull-out far views with no judder or screen tear, it is only a default of 720p, but that's fine and gives enough detail. Running it for the Bratii the first thing Major said was "This is HD" it just screams next-gen at you this is how all PS3 games should look and feel.

So any flaws? Well pretty much the same as for the older versions. It still likes to snatch control away from you to show you where you're supposed to be going and the fixed camera angles mean it can be difficult to get precision or sometimes to determine where you're supposed to go; narrow corridors with corners in particular mean being unable to see what's coming up and running straight into a group of enemies.

So am I heading out tomorrow to buy this? No. Not because it's not a great game and not because I don't want it. It's the fact that the HD PS3 versions of GoW1 & 2 have been released for some time in America and haven't appeared over here except as part of the £110 Ultimate God of War set. I'm not going to buy the stand-alone game until I know they're going to get their own release; and I'm not buying the Ultimate box set at that price because there's nothing in it I really want bar the games themselves.

Sorry guys but once again the Sony brand gives the short-end of the stick to Europe and that's lost you a sale.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


The latest drug scare appears to be Mephedrone, labelled as a plant feeder it is currently a legal high as it's not listed in the Misuse of Drugs Act. It came to the attention of the media after three deaths linked to its use (misuse?). How interesting to read the "How dangerous is it?" section of the Telegraph's Q&A.

can be fatal when taken with other drugs - including alcohol - or used in high concentrations and large doses
Because that doesn't include pretty much every over the counter medicine in existence does it?

'But damnit they're not taking these things as medicine they're using it to enjoy themselves and that's just wrong.'

BioShock after BioShock2

I decided last night to have a quick turn at some of the downloadable extra content I'd bought for BioShock and pick up a few more trophies.

Having just finished its sequel everything was pretty familiar, but I find it interesting where the little tweaks are. The episode I played didn't allow weapons so I didn't miss the duel-wielding of such with plasmids, but holding L1 then flicking the left-stick to select a plasmid didn't work... ah yes both wheels are controlled by the right stick. Amazing how wrong that feels now.

Graphics load faster in the sequel as does the main menu, but that's pretty much it. I wonder how I'll fair playing the full game again?

Contivity VPN takes down network

Damn it I'm getting fed-up of the Piece O'S software from our bank, even when it manages to make a connection (assuming no other piece of software on that computer is trying to use the internet) it still manages to take-down the router occasionally.

I'd install it on another machine, but oh look it no installation instructions for Vista.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Playing the game

The work finished around the OGL island yesterday and the lines have been painted. So now it's time to play the game and place your bets. Work finished on Tuesday morning so counting from then how long will it take for someone to dig the road up? I'm going to be optimistic and say 32 days.

Place your bets in the comments winner gets, um, a special mention on my blog if I remember; wheee!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Col, Colgroup and XHTML alignment

According to our great and wonderful masters we shouldn't use tables to line-up our web-page content; fine I accept that it makes repositioning and re-styling much easier. However when it comes to presenting actual data such tables are still 'allowed'

So I'm setting out some data and I need some of the columns to be a different background colour and I need to set the widths rather than let it sort itself out. A perfect job for the colgroup and col element. I can start the table with this section and specify attributes for each column without having to shove classes into every third td. All is great until I try to centre the third column's text. It doesn't work. In fact it doesn't work in Firefox, it doesn't work in Opera, it doesn't work in Chrome; amusingly the only one it does work in is IE7.

Yup of the four big engines (the rendering part of the browsers) only the much maligned IE7 understands text-alignment of columns when trying to use XHTML. Has the world has gone mad?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Those continuing roadworks

So start on the 10th and continue for 5 nights and where do you get to... the 14th. Hmm and yet it seems they're only about half-way through if that. At least it is only at night.

On another note I see that the actual work in Vale Road was completed Friday and all tidied up; yet as of this morning no-one has removed the cones blocking off the leftmost lane. Well done there, excellent communication skill as ever.

Google Earth Street View

You can now drive around our Stourport in Google Earth and see our fair town. Decorations were up in town, but not the ones at the memorial. Ah hah the Gigal/Mitton Street junction was closed so I'm guessing these were taken around October/November of 2009. They timed that well, a little earlier and they wouldn't have been able to get around that area at all.

A closer look and "Public Enemies"  was out for rental, Blockbuster were staying open on Midnight the 9th and Ye Olde Crown Inn had a hoarding up for the Real Ale Festival.

There does seem to be two streams of photos around Gilgal though, one with roadworks and petrol at 108.99p and one without and petrol at 105.99p

Sadly it all looks rather dull and dismal through the town.

An exhausting Saturday

So the Tribe turned up just after 3pm and we managed to keep the Bratii still and with everyone for at least half-an-hour. As mentioned before I wanted to take them out to the woods, Minor wanted to play Munchkin Quest then changed his mind and wanted to play Arkham Horror.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The joy of Brats

Got the tribe coming over on Saturday at an awkward time, so I thought I'd take the Bratii out into the wilds (and get them lost), and oh look at the weather forecast - showers. Excellent just bloody typical; no rain for, what, two weeks and as soon as I want to go out there it is.

Looks like I'll need to create some space to play Munchkin Quest.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

BioShock 2 tonic loadout

Starting back from an AutoSave thanks to the Natural Camouflage glitch gave me a chance to properly configure my Gene Tonic loadout. Unlike its predecessor there are no set tracks that you have to fit tonics to, which means no more juggling over which type of tonic to load up.

This is based on having all 18 slots bought.

New Electricity meter

By the gods they're finally removing the involuntary half-hour meter that no-one wants to touch with a barge-pole. Oh wait no they're not we need to sign up with us for six months. Excuse me we're a landlord we might have someone ready to move in next week, how are we expected to sign-up for six months?

If we do and a new tenant moves in and takes over the contract is nullified as is the change of meter. We then have to wait another three months to apply again.

As for the original £400/month bills apparently that's because we weren't on a contract, why not, because we weren't offered one; they just slipped it over and neglected to mention that little fact.

Bank secure software 2

As mentioned fun and games with the bank's own security software timing things out. Well I found out why and a solution at the same time.

Seems it's a known problem using XP's routing tables with the VPN software supposedly solved with the latest version, which of course the bank won't support.

What seemed to be happened was every time anything connected directly to the internet it would alter the routing table and the VPN software would throw a wobbly. The main culprit being Outlook I simply hit send/receive and use the gap afterwards to connect with the VPN. So far zero errors.


Pegasus Capital Gold

Just had the Payroll programme upgraded, what a pain. As the current computer it's hosted on was going to be removed we've had it installed on a different computer running Vista rather than XP.

First off it wants to install to the root by default, then it wants to reboot - welcome to the 20th Century you're not installing any system changes just use the frakking inbuilt tools to stop and start services and reload registry entries don't be so frakking lazy.

Then we needed to reload the company data, so the installer creates a temp company as a placeholder and goes to restore it; failure. So he creates a second company then complains he can't find the data. Um no by default the first company backups up to and the second company to so it's looking for the wrong file.

He gets snippy when I point this out, and I take over. We now have the system running. Oh look they've changed the background to a Pegasus logo, but as this is running on a wide-screen monitor the left-hand edge is the same grey as before. Oh yeah and the password input is still a non-modal dialogue box that you can't switch to if something else decides to pop-up over the top of it.

Yeesh I mean what is it with these financial programmes? It's the same deal with accounting software; it's as if they're still trying to run on Windows 3.11.

Works have started

So when they say night they do mean night. The top surface has been removed ready for resurfacing. The work in Vale Road also continues. Looks like they're digging around a lamp-post outside Lidl and this means blocking the pavement, which means creating a walkway on the road, which for some reason means blocking off the entire lane. Sure give it a buffer, but the whole lane; do they think this is a Speed Limit Applies road it's a 30mph. Closing the lane would be as if they'd shut down the left-bend from Lombard Street because of the work that went on outside the old Shuttle office.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Contradictory news

From my Google newsbar I see "'Phantom of the Opera' sequel cheered in London" from the Los Angeles Times followed by "Lukewarm reception for Phantom sequel" from Ninemsn. Um?

Reading the stories it seems that the star-studded audience cheered it while the critics went 'Meh'. Always pays to read the stories and not rely on the headlines.

Odd traffic patterns

Traffic through Stourport of a morning has been quite odd for this and the past week. Instead of the usual hold-up in town caused by the third lane of Vale Road leading to Gilgal it's being delayed by the first lane up to the lights and Minster Road.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Three equal length columns in CSS

So you're happily using inline-block to line-up columns next to each other and added that damn IE7 inline block fix to make that detestable bit of software work, but what's this? When I colour them in the div blocks height only matches that of the containing text. I could make them all a fixed height, but what if I add text to a column and it increases the height. Isn't the point of CSS so I don't have to keep tweaking every single page?

BioShock 2 natural camouflage glitch

I've been light on the blogging at the moment, I will get onto to tertiles and deciles at some point. I've just been busy playing through BioShock 2 on hard; using my knowledge to eke out the few resources and balance tonics and plasmids for the fight.

I've just reached Fontaine Futuristics and have been tasked with destroying the security relays. One down I head to another area and demonstrate my Plasmids; save after the battle; and head off only to discover my Natural Camouflage tonic has ceased to work.

This may be the most useful tonic in the game; and to be honest at times I consider it a game-breaker (as I did in BioShock1 in which it also appeared). Essentially when you stand still and do nothing you're rendered invisible. If an enemy bumps into you it's cancelled; if an enemy spots you then it won't activate until their hostility level drops normally through their death.

What makes this so useful is that although you can't use weapons or plasmids, you can still use first-aid kits, EVE hypos and hack machinery within range. This latter ability is the most useful as hacking gone wrong summons security bots that can't see you even if they bump into you. Best of all as they bump along you can hack them without being seen and get yourself a couple of bodyguards for free.

But now it's not working. The tech guys at 2K know about this problem which seems to affect all platforms and across various levels. My bet is that you've been tagged as being in-sight of a hostile and it hasn't untagged you when they die. As you can't kill them again this state persists for the rest of the entire level unless you can reload to a previous save... which would be my initial AutoSave; damn.

In the previous game this would have been resolved simply by moving from one area to another via Load Screen; but the sequel runs on the old mantra of one area per level; you can't go back and you can't go forward without completing the level.

A patch would be really nice.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Sprained ankle

My father took my mother out on Friday and they had a nice day, until the end when my mother stepped off a steep step further than she thought and took a tumble. My dad knew it was steep and had gotten off first to help her down, but after only 40-odd years of marriage still hadn't taken on board that my mother leads with her right foot; so he was on the wrong side.

So this meant a lot of running around for me doing errands and getting in the shopping. Always a laugh -

"I need some potatoes"
"Okay what type, how many?"
"Oh I know what I need when I see it"
"Yeah except you're not coming"

Friday, March 05, 2010

Stour bridge roadworks

Coupled with Clive Joyce's email to me that the works would be a half-day closure, that now ties in with the expected roadworks at the OGL Island. So that's five days of half-day closures. Sadly it seems we've yet to be told exactly what a half-day is. The wording is "night" but what time are they starting, what time are they finishing, and what will the state of the road be in-between these times?

It's good that the signs have gone up though seeing as the notice of works was posted in the final December issue of the Shuttle last year.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Shuttle placement

So first we had the body found article opposite the Visit Stourport section, then this story and photo placement and now we get this

Seriously dudes are you doing this on purpose?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Roadwork signs

Well I was going to mention that mysterious people had been about yesterday spray-painting their cabalistic symbols on the road around the OGL island. So what appears this afternoon but signs informing us that the road will be closed for 5 nights starting on the 10th.

Now presumably as they've been specific that's 5 nights and not 5 days and nights, but what do they mean by "night"?

That worldwide PS3 crash

So the official word is that it's been "resolved", note that Sony are not saying it's been fixed. They do seem to still be pushing the PSN angle despite credible sources stating their stand-alone non-networked consoles were also affected.

This would mean the top suspect is a conflict within the 'fat' PS3's themselves. Suggestions have it that the BIOS keeps the time in UTC and when booted up passes this information to the OS which compensates for any time difference. So at midnight if the BIOS switched from 28/2 to 29/2 and tried to pass this information to the OS it would be trying to add or subtract from an non-existent date and reset to a default.

Of course the BIOS should now think it's 1/3 and the OS should be quite happy. Unlike its users who may have lost trophies they hadn't synced before the 'crash'.

[Update - yep I switched it on this afternoon and it thought it was the 1st March. A quick jump to the time setting and I allowed it to update from the 'net and 2nd March it is.

As this didn't happen last year one suspects this is an even numbered year thing, which means in theory Sony now have just under two years to fix it.

Why should they bother? Well even though none of these boxes would be covered by the official warranty by this time, UK law does cover faults that are inherent to the system outside that time frame]

Monday, March 01, 2010

Shuttle again with the placement

From the front page -

Yeah those three kids nothing to do with the story next to them.

PS3 Worldwide Glitch

It seems the original PS3 models are having a problem today. Initial thoughts were that it was a problem with the PSN online system, but as the new Slim models weren't affected the problem now seems to be a date glitch. To be specific older PS3 systems seem to think it's the 31st of December 1999 or 1st January 2000 thanks to the switch from 28 Feb to 1 Mar.

Anyway a slight difficulty in that all the content will be date-stamped after this period. Some people report that changing the date has fixed things, some say otherwise.

All in all my PS3 will stay switched off until it gets resolved.

[Update - the good news is that my account shows the trophies I synced last night; likewise reports that save games etc. are still on the system; and the hope is that for those who haven't switched on their consoles it might self-correct tomorrow. It's been 9 hours since the last update from Sony ouch!]

[Update - Yep it seems the 'fat' PS3's thought that 2010 was a leap year and yep it seems to have self-corrected today]

BioShock 2 a round-up review

The simple summation would be that I've finished the game at medium difficulty and have gone straight back in on hard.

BioShock 2 - The Aaw factor

It's possible to play both BioShock's as straight-forward shooters zoning-out whenever the storyline protrudes or you have to listen to one of the voice-recordings, but you miss out on so much depth if you do.

The first BioShock had the emotion tugging thoughts of the parents of Sasha that pulled you into the world of Rapture, BioShock 2 has the entire storyline of Eleanor, but there was one voice recording that still brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye just to think about it.

I won't spoil things for those yet to reach it, but near the beginning of Dionysus Park you'll find a recording from Billy Parson entitled "A Gift from Billy" that starts "Dear yellow eyed girl" it's just so sweet and so out of place in the current situation particularly harrowing when you come across his father's.