Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What is the Economic Recession doing?

As you would expect from a country that has entered economic recession. With massive job losses everywhere, people are taking measures to retain/gain jobs. Pointing fingers at whose fault it is… Before you know it, the racist remarks come out and here is one loser that is making his stand on those that don’t speak his language.

There are going to be people in this country or any country for that matter that are either living or retiring that may have language barriers. Some learn and some don’t. But why is there a need to punish those that don’t speak your local language? Wouldn’t it be the same thing as you taking a holiday to a foreign country that doesn’t speak any English? What do you do then? Do you want to be treated the same way as that loser in the video? Come on… don’t be so arrogant that it clouds your judgement.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Weird Al Yankovic's take on eBay

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Capcom's Official Street Fighter IV Training Manual

It’s been a good couple of weeks since I’ve played Street Fighter IV on the PS3 since its release. You will find that most of the shops either online or retail have actually sold out this game! The only ones available is the Collectors Edition but really for £30+ difference why would you pay for the figurines? They aren’t poseable anyway. So why weren’t they made poseable in the first place? Who knows…

Anyway you start off with the game with 8 character of each side (good & bad) and you unlock the characters by completing in arcade mode with each of the specific characters.

Completing arcade mode with Ryu, you unlock Sakura.
Completing arcade mode with Sakura, you unlock Dan.
Completing arcade mode with Chun-li, you unlock Gen.
Completing arcade mode with Abel, you unlock Fei Long.
Completing arcade mode with C. Viper, you unlock Cammy.
Completing arcade mode with M. Bison, you unlock Rose.

That leaves 3 empty spaces for other characters (Akuma, Gouken, and Seth) to unlock.

To unlock Akuma you have finish arcade mode without losing a round with at least getting the same number of perfects to the number of rounds you’re playing as well as perform at least an Ultra. You can tell if you’re going to be facing off with Akuma. Right after fighting with your rival character you will hear Akuma’s grunt signalling that after your fight with Seth you will face him.

Once that is done you move on to Gouken and Seth. Now this part I’m not so sure of because I haven’t been able to unlock Gouken yet. Dang it!

To get Gouken you have to also finish arcade mode without losing a round with at least getting the same number of perfects to the number of rounds you’re playing as well as perform at least 3 times of Supers/Ultras (so if you’re playing 1 round games you need at least 3 Supers/Ultras). Also get first attack at least 5 times. Beat Seth ofcourse then Gouken will appear.

As for Seth this is a pretty easy one. You just have to finish arcade mode for each of the characters within the game.

Anyway Capcom has been nice enough to release an official training manual for the games so if you’re keen on it, click here to get a copy of it. It's free and 100% legit!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How to setup a media server for your PlayStation 3

The PlayStation 3 is an excellent gaming console as well as a good general media player. It comes with a BluRay drive for all you HiDef nuts and also comes with native DivX support. It playbacks MP3 really quite a few other file formats. But for those who haven't bothered upgrading their PS3 hard drives to a larger capacity drive there is a way for you to still watch and listen to your favourite shows and music via streaming media.

To be able to do that you will have to set up a Media Server generally on your computer and have the two connected either via WiFi or standard network cabling. There are a few media server applications (Windows Media Player, Nero Home, TVersity, etc) out in the market that can turn your Windows/Mac/Linux computer to a media server to share your media.

After some research I loaded up TVersity, which is a general media server that streams your media to a variety of formats. What it does is it detects what device is being connected to it (i.e. PS3 console, iPhone, or another computer) and if required it will transcode the media into a format that is playable on that device. It is a pretty nifty program but also a resource hog if it needs to transcode.

It is a great program but it does have some issues especially if you are trying to stream a show that has subtitles that's in a different format and also some other weird issues with the streaming that I wouldn't go into details. There are just so many different formats of media available that TVersity can be abit finicky for specific formats. Either way it was a pretty easy to use program, easy to understand interface and if you only use the more general formats to watch such as DivX or listen using MP3s then you're fine. You can install it as a service (in Windows only) so every time you switch your computer the program runs and made available for your PS3.

At the moment I'm using PS3 Media Server which is a Java based application which means it should run on virtually any computer (don't quote me on that). Anyway I uninstalled TVersity last night and installed in its place PS3 Media Server. I have to say this is so much better than TVersity. When it comes to support for the media files, it handles everything. Even those that had specific types of subtitles and HiDef content that weren't playable using TVersity, worked flawlessly on PS3 Media Server.

To install (Windows only):
1. Download and install PS3 Media Server. (Install the latest Java runtime when prompted)
2. Download and install AVISynth 2.5+.
3. Download and install K-Lite Mega Codec. When installing make sure you install everything except DirectVobSub.
3. Download VSFilter (for subtitle support) and install the DLL in to the AVSynth Plugin folder.
4. Set up the FFDShow (which is installed with K-Lite Mega Codec) Audio Decoder Config > Mixer to your preference, or this one 5.1 (3/1/2).
5. Set "Autoload VSFilter" to Yes in Haali Splitter settings.
6. Configure Haali Splitter (audio/subtitles language priorities). This is so that if you've got a multi language video, it will decode the one you've set as a priority.

Fine tune PS3 Media Server:
1. Run the PMS program.
2. Set up MEncoder according to the image below.

3. Set up the Common transcode settings according to the image below.

4. Set up your share of media folders.
5. Depending on your network connection type between the computer and the PS3, setup accordingly. I use the Good Quality over WiFi personally because it's streaming to the PS3.
6. Set "AVISynth/MEncoder" to 1st priority by clicking the Up/Down arrow at the left bottom of the interface.
7. Set it up as a Windows Service if you want it to run automatically when Windows starts up.

That's It!

Note: I have to add that if you aren't watching any videos with subtitles and require to be able to watch/listen to your media on multiple device types then TVersity is probably the one to go for. PS3 Media Server only supports 1 device and that's the PS3 only.

Update: If you have a mixture of media that requires subtitles, especially the anime stuffs then instead of using AVISynth/MEncoder as your 1st priority, just select MEncoder as your 1st priority and in most cases it will show up when you're watching through your PS3. Only *.idx/*.sub subtitles won't show. *.a$$ (Sub Station Alpha) and *.srt will work fine.

Update 2: *.srt subtitles will have to be in ANSI/ASCII format. With the latest version if the subtitle is in any other formats such as UTF-8 (Unicode), the video skips randomly for some reason.

Update 3: To set the language priority you just have to append the "Audio Language Priority" field in Mencoder section. eng for english, fre for french, jpy for japanese etc. Like wise the same format for subtitle priority.

Update 4: Just tried this on Windows 7 and have to say that it works! Same process. Using K-Lite Mega Codec 6.0.0 (32-bit version even though I'm using 64-bit Windows 7) which comes with Win7DSFilterTweaker which is a Windows 7 Codec Switcher. Switch everything that is currently assigned to Microsoft to other (FFDShow, anything) and you'll be set.

Update 5: PS3 Media Server does support other devices now. Even the Xbox360!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Terminator Salvation trailer

New Terminator Salvation trailer and it looks hot! Can't wait for this.

BTW: The new Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li movie *YAWN* Bad acting and not much of a story.

Xbox 360 LIVE Rumble Massage "Game"

Rumble Massage is a new game developed by Justin Le Clair for the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. This game is not an action game nor is it a adventure game though some may beg differ. Basically what this game does is that it turns your Xbox 360 controller into a massager.

The description at the Marketplace website states...

This game was classified by the community with the following category scores - Violence=0/3, Sex=0/3, Mature Content=0/3. Shoulders and back getting stiff from 18 hours of straight Gaming? Try Rumble Massage! Put a controller behind your neck and feel the soothing vibrations of the Xbox 360 controller. With the ability to control the rumble intensity and pulse, relaxing after a hard day of gaming has never been easier. New version includes 2 3 and 4 controller support.

Er ok... Well check out the video review below. Oh and it is safe for work!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Jom Makan - Restoran Malaysia review

Jom Makan is located @ 5-7 Pall Mall East, London, SW1Y 5BA, which is right next to Trafalgar Square. We went there with a couple of friends to enjoy the Valentine's Day special they had on offer. The queue was huge due to the offer that had.

After queuing for ~40mins we were seated at our table and were ready to enjoy our evening. I had brought a nice bottle of red for dinner and asked the waiter (who was the floor manager of the night) if there would be a cost for corking our own bottle. The manager then rudely replied “The cost of the food on offer is already sooooo low, I’m sure you can afford to order from the menu rather than bringing our own wine”. We were absolutely gobsmacked with this reply. Who TF does he think he is? I’m sure this is not how you respond to your customers. In a semi posh location you would expect a pretty damn good service. I would have used the bottle to knock him over but then again I don’t want to waste a perfectly good £125 bottle of Pinot Noir.

As well stated in the promotion leaflet that it was open to all dishes but when we got there we only told that we had a limited selection of 4 dishes to choose from. HUH?! WTF!?! We bit our lips and ordered away anyway.

For starters we ordered Telur Dadar which is an omelette with onion & chilli, as well as a Udang Goreng Tepung which is deep fried prawns in batter with sweet chili sauce. Well so so for the starters.

For mains we ordered Hainanese Chicken Rice (one of our mate’s usual favourite), Gulai Ayam which is chicken curry with tomato and potato and a Kari Kambing which is lamb curry with tomato and potato. Again similar to Melati Restaurant, the dishes were just not authentic at all. Both chicken curry and lamb curry was simply covered in oil. Hardly any curry at all. Though were told the chicken rice was ok.

We didn’t bother staying for desserts because of the bad customer service experience. All in all I give them 4 out of 10 for this evening.

Tesco Customer Service

... are a bunch of useless people! Calling up 'a' store you get presented with an automated system which after going through selecting you want to speak to someone, you get transferred to a calldesk person at Who then proceed to ask you for every single information about you and what you want to order.

Er… Hello!!! I’m ringing this specific store because I want to find out if they have product 'A' in-store. If I wanted to order something I would have rung the direct line or via their online website or better still... pop into the store. I had asked that person to put me through directly. That's fine. The call starts calling and I get this silly a£$e loud music in the background. After 10 mins of being on hold and this music blasting in to my ear, I asked the guy for the direct number.

Calling this number directly I got put through the same whole damn process. The person this time said they will look then the phone went silent for about 5 seconds. Then a ringtone came and it went on and on for another 5 mins.

After 15 mins of time wasted I had enough of it. You think Tesco (the giant chain supermarket in UK) would have employed smart enough people to do the job. But no… Its recession now so can't do that… Damn thing was on an 0845 number as well which means that for the charge of the call and the duration, I could have covered the cost of the damn thing I was inquiring about!

Note: If you search via their store locater online, you will see that for every store there is a different/unique phone number. So why TF does it not go to the damn store!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Restaurants to visit and not to visit in London

When I do dine out I do expect the food to be good. Most of the places that I've been to are just not upto scratch to the food back home or not authentic enough. Nothing is ever as good as home. :) There are just so many chinese, asian restaurants in London and so many don't know what authentic food tastes like so it is ok for them. But I thought I'd share my comments here of the places that I have dined in anyway... Ultimately the choice is you want to dine at those places.

Anyway the first one is Melati Restaurant @ 30-31 Peter Street, London W1F. It is a Malaysian restaurant located right in the Soho district where all the R18 action is.

Anyway there was 4 of us and we ordered starters, mains and drinks. For the starter we ordered two portions of the mixed satays which btw is not bad at all. Then for the mains we ordered nasi lemak, beef rendang, and hainanese chicken rice. For drinks well just normal chinese herbal type drinks and an A&W root beer which btw was flat!

They did really well with the starter, we were all starting to appreciate the restaurant in its location. Then when we had our mains, thats when it went south. The rendang that was ordered were just a couple of chunks of beef that was covered in the rendang sauce. The meat was hard and not tender and it just lacked flavour. Definately not the right choice of cuts for the rendang dish. A 2/10 for this dish.

The nasi lemak, which is my all time favourite dish was slightly better. The rice had only a slight hint of the coconut flavour and it came with sambal which was not authentic at all. It also came with two pieces of barbequed fish. Well at least I think it was bbq fish. It was very dry but at least had some flavour. A 4-5/10 for this dish.

The last dish was the hainanese chicken rice. I didn't try this dish but was told that it was also quite bad.

All in all the bill came to a total of ~£63 and it was probably not the best place to check out.

Gmail outage explained...

Early last week Google's Gmail service suffered a major outage worldwide during a routine maintenance which prevented Gmail users from accessing their emails for a period of time. Most users like myself were presented with the HTTP Error 502 - Bad gateway error. Anyway for full details check out the Official Gmail Blog.

LEGO Mindstorm Ogre

LEGO Mindstorm Ogre autonomously detects, targets, and destroys... Check out the very cool video below.

Ogre is a "Tank" built around a Zamor launching system nicknamed "Hailstorm". It uses three XL PF motors, controlled ejavascript:void(0)ither by a standard PF remote, or by the on-board (black) NXT using the Hitechnic IRLink. It also has a small wireless "spycam" attached, so that the driver can "see" what the robot sees. The result is a lot of fun to drive around, and even more fun to watch it autonomously detect, target, and destroy loose LEGO targets.

The robot part was abit scary. On the verge of being a true Terminator!