WizMouse – possibly the best little Windows app ever

Wizmouse may be just about the best little freeware app out there for those of us with Windows machines.

It’s pretty simple and straight forward.  WizMouse allows you to scroll through out of focus windows using your mouse’s scroll wheel.

See, if you don’t ask your software to do much, and it does it, you’re a happy user.

Some immediate applications that come to mind are (besides general scrolling of out of focus windows) GMing from a laptop.  Toggle between windows, scrolling up and down in the window behind your stats page, or current map.

However you use it, it’s a fantastic little thingy that does exactly what it says it will do.

[tags]technology, software[/tags]

The Keene Act & You – Watchmen goes viral

Check out this government sponsored video (created by the House Committe on Un-American Activities in 1977) highlighting the Keene Act.

In Modern New York, we of the mid–80’s may want to rethink our stance on these so called ‘vigilantis’.  In my opinion they perform a valuable service, going where the cops and feds can’t, investing their own time and money into keeping us safe.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5WsciSNVS0&e%5D

[tags]watchmen, video, film and television[/tags]

Grand Ages: Rome multiplayer details revealed

Viva Media revealed a bunch of details about how multiplayer will work with Grand Ages: Rome.

Sounds like there may be some modding involved with this game as well, which would be very nice.  I love making and playing homebrew maps in 4x RTS games.

Last Man Standing – The objective of this game mode is to defeat all other
teams. A player is considered defeated when all outposts controlled by them are
destroyed.

40,000 Denarii – The first team to accumulate a total of 40 000 Denarii wins.

All Monuments – The first team to construct the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Pantheon, Philosopher Academy, Courthouse and Victory Column wins.

Defeat Last Barbarians – The team that destroys the last barbarian village on the map wins.

King of the Hill – The teams battle for control of a special point on the map.  The team that manages to hold control of the point for 10 minutes wins the game.

All in One – This game mode combines all other multiplayer modes. Any team that destroys all enemy outposts, is the first to accumulate 100 000 Denarii, or constructs all monuments, will win. ‘Destroy all barbarians’ and ‘King of the Hill’ victory modes are also applied on the maps where these game modes are available.

Grand Ages: Rome demo coming soon

As soon as I can track down where to get it, I’ll post that info.

Viva Media will distribute the demo for Grand Ages: Rome later this week. The demo is comprehensive, allowing gamers a glimpse into the game’s many exciting features. Viva Media CEO, Carlo Voelker, commented, “Players will experience great graphics alongside complex city building, character development, and much more in this limited, but enticing taste of the game.”

The demo will introduce many exciting aspects from the full game. Two missions will be available for players to try their hand at building an empire. In the first mission, Bread and Circuses, the player will have to construct a small city, while in the second, Legio VIII, their strategic and military skills will be tested as well.

A rising empire awaits you! Can you lead the greatest civilization in the world?

Demo Quick Facts:
Basic Tutorial & Combat Tutorial included
2 complete missions: Bread and Circuses and Legio VIII
2 noble families to join: Aemilii and Valerii
1 exciting cut-scene to enjoy
Demonstration of Research, Estates, and Talents mechanics

[tags]video games, rome[/tags]

Singularity University or How NASA is Facilitating an AI God

No this isn’t the title of my next favorite SF book. It’s actually a real teaching institution sponsored in part by NASA who’s goal is to (in their own words):

Singularity University aims to assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanity’s grand challenges.

For those unfamiliar with The Singularity or the potential of The Singularity, the fact that NASA scientists are taking it seriously means some sort of validation for the idea.

Singularity U will be based on NASA’s Ames campus, offering 9 week long graduate courses.

Essentially NASA is taking a hand in accelerating the rate of technological advances and how us measly humans will incorporate those advances leading up to the point where machine intelligence becomes more intelligent so rapidly that POOF!  We’ve got an AI God who will, the hope is, nudge us along that path as well.

It could also be a reference to a rapid rise in intelligence in general but that doesn’t sound quite as fun.

Ray Kurzweil uses the term Singularity to refer any extremly rapid advancement in technology.

Whatever The Singularity is set to do, Singularity U will be there to see that people in general are a little less bewildered when it happens.

[tags]Technology, Science Fiction[/tags]

3 free video games from Amazon, plus a free rock band guitar and $60 Amazon GC

Here’s a few deals you should consider.  Especially the first three, as they involve free stuff.  Even if the stuff is crap, it could be your crap. For free.

The three free games are Build-A-Lot, Jewel Quest 2 and The Scruffs.  I have no idea if they’re any good or not but again, they are free downloads.

Looking for a free psuedo-guitar?  If you do the following you can get one.   “Offer applies to the PS3 versions of Guitar Hero III, Guitar Hero III Guitar Kit, Guitar Hero World Tour, Guitar Hero World Tour Guitar Kit, Guitar Hero World Tour Band Kit, Guitar Hero Aerosmith, Guitar Hero Aerosmith Wireless Bundle, Rock Band, Rock Band 2, Rock Band Special Edition, Rock Band 2 Special Edition.”

Get a $60 Amazon gift card when you purchase a Xbox 360 Console.

Continuing on the almost making music theme, Guitar Hero World Tour is now 30 bucks off.

I just noticed as this deal too.  If you want to catch yourself rocking out to other people’s songs on plastic guitars in HD, Amazon has the Creative Labs Vado HD 720p Pocket Video Camcorder with 8 GB Video Storage and 2x Digital Zoom (Black) for $229.99.  When you check out, throw MY88J7DV into the coupon area and drop the price by $100.  Sweet!

Enjoy!

[tags]deals, video games[/tags]

Grand Ages: Rome – my next Sins?

Yeah, we’re looking a lot at upcoming video games.  As I’m sliding back into the drivers seat here and fending off the rest of my life I’m still clawing away time to write for this blog.  Easing in we’ll call it.

I like to keep my eyes on RTS games only if they are 4x RTS games.   Grand Ages: Rome looks like it may have some potential.  I love Sins of a Solar Empire for instance.  This game is one that I keep coming back to in between checking out the latest and greatest in high-graphics consumption FPS games.

There’s something about the make up of the game, it’s replayability and in general its fun factor.  Its an RTS that doesn’t require rushing and won’t make me break out in a sweat as my mouse arm trembles from the constant back and forth.  I like that.

Grande Ages : Rome (GAR?) will be  available via Steam, which is always nice.

Here’s a preview of the game itself, followed by stats provided by the kind folks at Kalypso Media.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ0oqv077H0&e%5D

Raise massive armies and embark on epic campaigns to expand the Empire and take control of the known world! Engage in grand-scale city building and create magnificent cities with creativity and control like never before. Intuitive controls make it easy to launch bone-crushing combat missions and manage every aspect of your thriving civilization.

After decades in exile, your family name has been all but forgotten in Rome.
But the departure of the tyrant Sulla has changed everything, and Rome stands on the brink of a new era. Sides must be chosen as Caesar and Pompey battle for control of the Republic.

The stage is set for you to gain power and influence over one of the greatest civilizations in history.

Build an Empire worth fighting for!

Featuring 4X Real-Time Strategy:

Explore – Journey to ancient Gaul, Britannia, Egypt, and more to colonize barbarians and establish new trade routes.

Expand – Stake your claim throughout the known world in the name of Rome! Help build the empire through military conquest and economic prowess.

Exploit – Natural resources are yours for the taking as you establish farming, mining, and logging operations. Raze barbarian villages for riches, labor, and property.

Exterminate – Destroy all who stand in the way of Rome’s glory! Defend your territories by land and sea to secure peace and prosperity for the empire

Set Your Sights on Domination!

Advanced Battle System
Take command of 18 different military units, including naval command, elephant cavalry, and mercenary forces. Recruit citizens of Rome, draft captured enemy forces, and pay foreign squads for their special skills. Defend and expand the Empire by land and sea with exciting RTS gameplay.

Intense Multiplayer
LAN and online multiplayer functionality with 6 different strategy modes – play competitively or cooperatively. Create buddy lists and challenge your friends to a battle, or use the matching system and take on an unknown foe with the same skill level. Advance your career and increase your rank from praetor to consul and beyond.

Epic Campaigns
Rub shoulders with Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Cleopatra and more in a non-linear historical campaign featuring over 40 missions. Choose your own fate as you create and destroy alliances with more than 20 different historical figures. Celebrate your victories by erecting legendary monuments such as the Coliseum, Circus Maximus, the Pantheon, and more.

Complex Economy
Flow resources eliminate tedious micromanagement, giving you the freedom to create thriving cities with multileveled economic systems. Information overlays visualize the city economy and satisfaction of the people on every location on the map.

Military Units

Archers
Hastati
Berber Raiders
Gaul Berserkers
Triarii
Equestri
Nubian Warriors
Bow Maidens
Highlanders
Ballista
Praetorian Guard
Secutores
Gladiators
War Elephants
Teutonic Raiders
Catapults

Friends and Foes

Julius Caesar
Emperor Augustus
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Marcus Licinius Crassus
Pompey Magnus
Mark Antony
Cleopatra
Cato the Younger
Marcus Junius Brutus
Spartacus
And more!

Product Features

Advanced Battle System – Detailed RTS combat with 18 military units
Intense Multiplayer – LAN and online multiplayer modes for competitive and cooperative play
Epic Campaigns – Non-linear storyline features over 40 missions
Complex Economy – Use flow resources to create an intricate economic system.

[tags]video, video games, rome[/tags]

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