Thursday, 7 January 2010

Video Game News: EA turning off more servers

You may or may not be aware if you’re an online gamer that EA runs it’s own servers for games, as a result of this they can chose to discontinue service for any of their games whenever they feel like it (as no alternative is available these games are left without online multiplayer). For those of you addicted to Microsoft’s Achievement system, or Sony’s Trophies, this will mean that a few of these will become unobtainable – so I suggest you finish these off quickly.

This is all a deliberate strategy on EA’s part to force an upgrade cycle, all bar one of these belong to annually released sports series. On XBox Live Microsoft provides the servers for games (and do not discontinue service) for an annual fee, EA negotiated to be the sole exception* to this purely so they were in a position to stop supporting older games, instead Xbox Live acts as a portal to the EA servers. This time around they seem to have accelerated the obsolescence as you will not a couple of ‘09 titles on the list below.

The following games will have their servers shutdown on February 2nd:
• FaceBreaker
• FIFA 07
• Live Draft Tracker
• Live Score Tracker
• NBA STREET Homecourt
• NCAA March Madness 07
• NASCAR 09 (Europe version)
• NFL Tour
• NHL 07
• UEFA Champions League 2006-2007

Madden NFL 07 and 08 will go down a week later on February 9th. Then finally on April 6th Madden NFL 09 will go offline.

A full list of games that are no longer supported by EA can be found here

*as far as I am aware.

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Do you often ask yourself, “why can’t ice be more like concrete?”

If so, you are in esteemed company. During World War II a British inventor, Geoffrey Pyke discovered that by adding saw dust to the formation of ice, it becomes incredibly strong. Allegedly, as little as 4% wood pulp would render the ice as strong as concrete of same weight (14% seems to be ideal). Shooting a normal block of ice, as experience has likely taught you, results in it shattering – the same does not apply to Pykrete (as the below video demonstrates). So the British had developed a substance that was relatively cheap and easy to produce, extremely durable and could float. The application was obvious; a two-million ton aircraft carrier (or floating fortress if you’re so inclined), which could be repaired using the very sea water it was surrounded by. Unfortunately, the vessel lost support and never made it past the drawing board. Pykrete has remained fairly obscure ever since; but just imagine what we could do with this discovery, for example, who wouldn’t want to live in a bullet-proof igloo?

As Al Gore has drummed into the laity, the  second greatest threat facing the world today (the first of course being Manbearpig) is the destruction of the vast expanses of ice on which polar bears like to live. The solution is now obvious, we periodically bombard the polar regions with wood pulp - over time transforming the puny polar ice into impregnable Pykrete! This has the added benefit of locking the carbon in the wood away in vast super strong blocks of ice. Of course, if any does break away it will make the iceberg that sank the Titanic look inconsequential.

History channel documentary segment on the history of Pykrete.

2 Million Ton Pykrete Aircraft Carrier In WW2 - Watch today’s top amazing videos here

Video demonstrating the strength of Pykrete.

Saturday, 12 December 2009


This is my first stab at blogging. This blog is probably going to be fairly random in terms of content, categorisation be damned! So if any given post is not immediately interesting to you, skip it, come back later and I’ll be rambling about something else – sooner or later we’ll find some common ground. Generally you can expect to read reviews, commentary, and anything that happens to take my interest enough to warrant writing about (you know a blog).

Anyway, I’ll finish up this first post with a factoid. The modern meaning of the word sinister originates from superstitious discrimination surrounding left-handedness, sinister coming from the Latin for left (left side).

  Still sinister




The early usage persists.