Feb 13

Price (USD) of the most precious Legendary item in Guildwars 2

How much is the most valuable item in this game worth in a currency non-players will understand?

Above is the stated Gold value of the item.  But looking to actually buy we find that there is just one available for sale, and for more than 2x the stated “value”:


Let’s break it down, here are the components:


That’s: 1S 39C(opper) for 1 Gem.  So let’s find out how many gems Eternity is worth:

5000G / 1s 39c = 359712.23 Gems

And finally, USD:

359712.23 gems / 800 gems = 449.64$

To put a little perspective on this: over the past year (or there abouts) I’ve logged about 130hours of GW2 game time.  With the normal in-game, character development and equipment expenditures and a little frugality, I’ve just 7G in my “bank”.

Guild Wars 2 was designed this way – gold is a scare resource – it takes a lot of work to earn.  So actually ,$450 seems pretty reasonable given that it would take some very serious dedication to earn the gold for or craft it; probably well over a thousand hours much of which would be considered a grind.

Not that I would *ever* buy this, nor that do I even endorse such a concept. This was just FTTA.

Dec 10

Thrifty technology buyer’s bane

8GB RAM in my trusty thinkpad X200 laptop has been a desire / occasional-need for quite some time. As a point of perspective, since the 8GB DDR3 “kit” (2 chips by 4GB each) cost well over $300. When I finally bit the bullet, patience on a potential deal expired, the kit had been hovering around $110 shipped for a few weeks.

Today, no more than seven days after purchase and a day after installing, a comparable kit can be procured for ~$66. Color me irritated.

On the upside, the brand I bought is the same price and arguably of superior quality to the slickdeal PNY brand.

Jul 10

“…unintended consequence with desirable results.”

Came across this fun lil’ tid-bit of info. via Via magazine. It seems dangerous to have the gas tank in certain areas of the car like the right front fender in the Porsche 911 or under the driver’s seat (or any seat for that matter) like in the Honda Fit. The Honda Fit’s design is new so I’m not sure what they’re thinking. The Porsche, I understand has become traditional placement, but come on, I hope the safety stats support the Fit’s design.

A couple of notorious car models are the 1960 something Ford Mustang with it’s “exploding” gas tank in the rear of the car and the Ford Pinto with the similar if not the same tank design. Side note: I was unaware of the Pinto being one of Ford’s vehicles. However, I love the idea of BMW’s counter balance of the driver’s weight as long as it remains safe.

Front, mid, & back they seem to  all have a sense of err in safety. I’m not a car gal or a mechanical engineer so please take my opinions with a grain of salt. But, I do know that the concept of  “unintended consequence with desirable results” is rather intriguing. I’m going to chew on that notion for a while.

Anyway, differences are good, they keep us entertained, even small ones such as this.  Some of us are more easily amused than others, however, regardless of genuine interest I’m guessing this is answering a few peoples’ question of gas tank placement.

Apr 10

Do not underestimate the need for Multi-Browser testing

No matter what the trending statistics tell, people do use alternative browsers. If something totally doesn’t work, these users are going to complain about it and rightfully so.

test all of these

Technical (javascript) lesson learned: do not use setTimeout() for making an external script call such as document.write(); If the result happens to contain an iframe tag, all your caller pages will be overwritten. Only seems to affect Opera and to some degree IE. Safari, Chrome and Firefox are immune (and as it happens, the three browsers I originally tested against).

Apr 10

Final Fantasy creator insists The Last Story is not a FF rehash

Hironobu Sakaguchi has “publicly” (on twitterapparently refuted (twisists?) seriously or not, that his latest creation The Last Story (worth a visit just to listen to the short intro music loops – gorgeous) is not another Final Fantasy. Obviously, I’m not the first to make the observation of their similarities.  I greatly anticipate further proof.

Feb 10

Aboard the SuperSpeedDrive train

Alright, this isn’t really about a train, at least not the one that transports people and things from here to there. This “train” is more like a train-station; as in, one that stores and transports people to and from itself. The faster the station can process each person, or transaction, the quicker trains can come and go.

Until the past couple years, in a computer system, this station/storage-engine has been the slowest element. The SSD (Solid State Drive) is a new generation of hard drive that is really fast. Speed that is leaps and bounds above the current mainstream technology. It just can’t be stated enough, SSDs positively bring an entirely new level of performance to the slowest component in a modern computer. In order of magnitude, lets go back to that train metaphor:

The Traditional Hard Disk Drive

Speed of a new SSD

One primary source of speedup is the demise of the last truly mechanical internal computer component – not counting fans.  These mechanical hard drives are literally a spinning disk with a small arm that reads from them. The very nature of this interaction has physical limitations that electrons moving across silcon chips do not.  This fact alone gives these SSD drives speed potential far beyond their mechanical ancestors.

Continue reading →

Feb 10

iPad to raise the cost of eBooks

With all the hype, leverage potential and uber proprietary platform, why wouldn’t publishers jump ship to Apple?  It’s a rather sad state of capitalistic greed, out to scrooge the consumer.  Isn’t more competition suppose to reduce prices? Seemingly not, what with a third [large] publisher set to switch from camp Kindle (Amazon) to iPad (Apple).


Apple’s infamous stance on DRM makes the move seem sadly inevitable, as it stacks up as another reason why they begin to hold a majority of publishers favor.  Amazon on the other hand, is renowned to fight for DRM-free low cost content – check out their awesome mp3 store for example – thusly taking the side of the consumer.  While Apple’s stores oft take to exploiting its platform popularity to permit for higher cost content and superfluous copyright protection.

Furthermore since dinosaurs still roam the free market, their influence is impossible to outright ignore.

“We don’t like the Amazon model of $9.99 . . . We think it really devalues books and hurts all the retailers of hardcover books . . .And now Amazon is willing to sit down with us again and renegotiate.”

Ahh Rupert, Mr. Murdoch you stay classy, what with your intense inability to expand beyond your traditional business models.   Paid web content?  Not going to happen, at least not the way you invision.   But, I digress.

A lower priced product makes perfect economical sense, lower the cost to the consumer and you’ll sell more.  Raise prices, sell less, profit less.  Amazon already takes a loss at the current price point of $10 for new book releases.  I imagine this is in effort to promote their own platform’s (i.e. Kindle) vitality.

And that’s ok, because they understand the economic balance. So, this means either publishers are simply getting greedier, as the cost to produce an eBook is about as close to $0 as it gets.  Or Amazon is expected to make up for the cost of producing a hardcover book that is predominantely sold at retail stores that are far & wide going out of business.

Jan 10

The Last Story’s not so subtle similarities

the last story logo

The Last Story is a new RPG for the Wii by Mistwalker studio, which is headed by the very fellow who created the Final Fantasy series, Hironobu Sakaguchi.  So let’s take a cursory look at the new game:

Last = Final.  Story ≈ Fantasy. Any monkey with a thesaurus could come up with that. And as you can see, the logos are also rather similar, almost formulaic.


Additionally, rumor has it that the famous Nobuo Uematsu, who composed so many Final Fantasy games – including FFVI & the amazing Dancing Mad piece – is composing the soundtrack.  This comes as no surprise however, as he’s worked with the studio on previous titles.

One such is Lost Odyssey for the XBOX360 and just so happens to be the game I am currently entrenched in.

Will Square-Enix (or squeenix) extend its muscley legal arm towards this potentially IP infringing new game (series)?

Jan 10

Hot water heaters

Our house’s hot water is generated by a 30+ year old gas water heater tank, strapped to a wall in the garage and wrapped with a layer of insulation.  It’s not very efficient, but it’s nearly as good as it is going to get.   A supreme pain in arse is the pilot lite to get relit.  And it takes a long time, about 2-4 gallons of water in 30-45 seconds time, to get the shower hot in the morning.  And while we do our best to reuse that water, it’s largely an unnecessary use of resources.

To shore up these inefficiencies, we’ve been considering retrofitting the old tank with a brand spankin’ new high tech tank-less water heater.  The concept of on-demand hot water is such a cool one.  But as our cost-benefits research/analysis has shown, it’s simply not worth it.

Primarily because the current installation cost somewhere in the $1000-$1500 range.  And that’s being generous – I’m assuming slick deals can be had on the device itself and on the install going smoothly.  And while I’d like to think I could install it myself, in reality, that’s a challenge I don’t have time to take on or one to experiment with.  Not having hot water is practically impossible to live with.

So, we’re stuck with the tank.  Likely even when this one dies, we’ll just buy a new tank-style water heater.  In doing so we’ll nearly eke out the same efficiency bang we’d get with a tank-less for a lot less buck.  And certainly spend a lot less in the short term.

The interweb consensus is that tank-less water heaters are best suited to new construction, not existing homes.  Tanks may be out of style, but they’re certainly not out of time.

Jan 10

Commonalities google knows about relationships

boyfriend togirlfriend to

shocker - boys and girls care about different things

Fun idea implemented by predictably irrational, to probe google for common questions from boyfriends and girlfriends. The auto-complete dialog box below the search box shows the most commonly asked questions that fit the criteria typed in so far.

So, I took it a little more generally:

also gives some idea of age of askers

also gives some idea of age of askers

Somewhat surprisingly, swapping guys for boys and women for girls yielded essentially the same suggested query set.

Sexuality type questions top the list; are the days of asking Mom or Dad this stuff gone? Going even further, what if this means we are we raising generic kids? Ones who’s primary environment for learning about themselves is the global interweb? Not real sure this is a fun train of thought anymore.