Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Alternatives to Valve's Steam

Steam has become a giant in the market of digital video games. New games, indie to corporate, are found available on Steam and it's huge market of digital software. Complaints arise over the "online/offline" mechanics on Steam and activating keys to download games and update them on a third party program. Also, the idea that a game developer owns such a large share of the gaming sales comes into question, as well.

I don't hate Steam, I own over 150 games on it. I play games on Steam every day, I love Valve and what they have done for PC gaming. However, that doesn't mean you should turn a blind eye to great companies who are doing it as well, and maybe even better in some ways.

There are other websites you can buy with digital stores and I wanted to name a few.

GameStop and Amazon both sell games that can be redeemed on Steam or downloaded from their websites. I don't have much experience with GameStop, but with Amazon, you just have to download the installer and wash your hands of needing Amazon. No third party program (as are all the sites I will be naming) and it's just as installed from disc.

Amazon is the best site for sales, better than Steam. Just this past sale, I got Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and Spec Ops: The Line for just $10. During that same period, Spec Ops: The Line was over $10 alone on Steam. (Although, it is on sale for $7.50 right now.) I've also got Football Manager 2013 for $19.99, FIFA 12 for $17.99 and FIFA 13 for $24.99 on Amazon. Fantastic sales and pretty basic and simple web browser manager for your games.

Another two that I will mention are Swedish site GamersGate, which is where I bought Victoria II and never had problems with it. When you buy games, review them, rate them you get "blue coins" which are money, and also when you pre-order. I bought sprite packs for free with them for Victoria II and that was a nice addition to the site.

A site I found today, however, really made me happy. They have great classics like Icewind Dale, Bladur's Gate, Planescape, etc. for $10 or cheaper and they are available worldwide. Gamers Gate provides them, but only to the UK or Europe, and which I live in neither.

Bookmark all of these sites if you buy digital PC games and be watchful and diligent. Deals are everywhere and there is no need to corner your share with one company.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

2012 Election and the Republican Party

The Republicans lost in a landslide election to Barack Obama once again, however, despite Mitt Romney garnering a higher percentage of the popular vote than McCain did, he actually received less votes. They both harbored near 60 million, but it should go to show that the Republican Party itself is shrinking.

I don't think that this means the idea of liberty is dying, because I don't think the Republican party cares for it. The liberty candidate was Ron Paul, now I'm sure the Nobel Prize committee isn't going to award a Peace Prize to someone who actually preaches peace, but he was treated like scum by the Republican establishment.

It also shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that Ron Paul garnered enough votes in every "swing state" during the Republican primary to swing the election in favor of Mitt Romney.

I don't think many, which I'm sure there were some, would vote for Romney. He is as different to Paul as Obama is, if not moreso.

Here is the issue at hand. Will the Republican Party do as Jim DeMint says and adopt Paul's ideas into the platform, or will it cease to exist as a party? If the Republican Party continues it's spiral, along with the downward spiral of American prosperity under Democratic/Republican leadership, will third parties grow to national relevance?

I don't have the answer to these questions, but I do think that either the Republican Party will make a serious effort to adopt libertarian ideas, or the Libertarian Party will be more than .5-1% of the national vote. Republicans have lost the popular vote 3 of the last 4 elections by popular vote, it appears the party that we had in 2000 is all but dead. Perhaps there is hope for either a revolution in the party or an emergence of new parties.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mitt Romney breaks RNC Rules

Ron Paul in one of his early attempts at being elected (which he was successful in) as a congressman the Republican Party spent the entire fund thats saved for the general election on attempting to prevent him from winning his primary. He obviously received no money from the Republican Party in the general election, since it was spent during the primary election (on a former Democrat to boot).

It appears something similar may be happening in the 2012 Republican Primary for President. Here is rule No. 11 from the RNC's own rulebook:

Candidate Support
(a) The Republican National Committee shall
not, without the prior written and filed approval of all
members of the Republican National Committee from
the state involved, contribute money or in-kind aid to
any candidate for any public or party office except the
nominee of the Republican Party or a candidate who is
unopposed in the Republican primary after the filing
deadline for that office. In those states where state law
establishes a nonpartisan primary in which Republican
candidates could participate, but in which the general
election may not include a Republican candidate, the
candidate endorsed by a convention held under the
authority of the state Republican Party shall be
recognized by the Republican National Committee as
the Republican nominee.
(b) No state Republican Party rule or state
law shall be observed that allows persons who have
participated or are participating in the selection of any
nominee of a party other than the Republican Party,
including, but not limited to, through the use of a multiparty primary or similar type ballot, to participate in the
selection of a nominee of the Republican Party for that
general election. No person nominated in violation of
this rule shall be recognized by the Republican National
Committee as the nominee of the Republican Partyfrom that state.

And here's a direct quote from Mitt Romney's donation sub-page on his own site:

Already hit your limit? If you’ve given the maximum of $2,500 for the primary and $2,500 for the general election to Romney for President, you can still give to the Romney Victory fund, our joint fundraising committee with the Republican National Committee by clicking here.

Is it the contest over? Media outlets seem to think so, however Romney does not have the full delegate count to be the official nominee. Media outlets have the right to be wrong, but not the RNC via their own rules. Now, there here's a video showing why that Romney being the candidate is not a foregone conclusion.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thomas Jefferson in 1937?

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered...I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. 
Is this a quote to be attributed to Thomas Jefferson or is it to be attributed to writing since 1937. Which, shouldn't be forgotten, was in the middle of the Great Depression and more than 100 years after the passing of the scribe of the Declaration of Independence.

Many people like to argue it was in a letter that Jefferson wrote on May 28th, 1816 to John Taylor (as seen here) which is available in the Library of Congress. Now, if the quote was there they'd may have a case for it being attributed to him, however, you cannot even find the word private in the entire letter, but here's the quote on banks:

And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
Quite a bit different, and definitely can see how the first quote and the one that is always attributed is more influenced by the 20s and 30s. While, I agree that there is some merit to what is said in the quote, it is also equally important to credit these merits to the correct people. Otherwise, you lose credibility in an intellectual manner, it is important. It'd be far different if Jefferson picked apart this process in 1816 than if some book wrote about it in 1937 in the middle of a major recession about the Central Banking elite.

I would quote the book, but I don't know what book it is so I will take this sites fact as what it says, but I may be wrong. I do know however, it is not in the letter on May 28th, 1816 with John Taylor.