Firewatch – The Story

Since Firewatch is a Story Explorer, then the story is probably the most important part of it.  I deliberately glossed over the story in the last entry because I wanted to talk about the general atmosphere and mechanics.  Also, I still wasn’t sure how I felt about it all.

So now I’m going to talk about only the story, and to do that, there will be spoilers.  So, yeah, don’t read ahead if you don’t want spoilers.

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Fallout 4: The End

As I mentioned in my discussion of the Factions, I’ve completed the main story of Fallout 4.

My endgame is likely to be different to those experienced by others who made other decisions.  I’m going to discuss the lead-up to my end game, and the end itself, and my thoughts on that.  There will be huge spoilers so, read accordingly

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Congratulations Amazon!

I just received this letter from Amazon

Subject: Your Amazon password has been changed

At Amazon we take your security and privacy very seriously. 
As part of our routine monitoring, we discovered a list of 
email address and password sets posted online. While the 
list was not Amazon-related, we know that many customers 
reuse their passwords on several websites. We believe your 
email address and password set was on that list. For your 
security, we have assigned a temporary password to your account.
You will need to reset your password when you return to the site. To reset your password, click "Your Account" 
at the top of any page on On the Sign In page, 
click the "Forgot your password?" link to reach the 
Password Assistance page. After you enter your email or mobile 
phone number, you will receive an email containing a personalized 
link. Click the link from the email and follow the directions 
Your new password will be effective immediately. We recommend that 
you choose a password that you have never used with any website.

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Fallout 4: The Factions

I know I was going to post about the Firewatch story, but I haven’t finished thinking about it yet.  I just finished the main story of Fallout 4, and want to talk about my experience of it.

Of course, as will all ‘open world’ RPGs, my experience is likely to be somewhat different to others, especially if others choose different behaviors in the endgame.

Before I talk about the endgame, I think I really need to discuss my take on the factions you can align yourself with first.  I will admit that I don’t know if you can join other factions like The Gunners, as I had no inclination to even try.

There are likely spoilers here.

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A friend who was in the middle of playing Firewatch, and who had previously enjoyed Dear Esther, and Everybody’s Gone To the Rapture, recommended it to me.  I was having a ‘grindy’ moment in Fallout 4, so I found it and downloaded it for $30 Australian (which I’m guessing is about $0.02 US Dollars?). Continue reading

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Website Blunders

It’s time for another bitch session.  This time, various ‘popular’ websites on the Interwebs are my target.

Much as I could spend a lot of vitriol on them, I’m not going to spend time complaining about clickbait headlines (you won’t believe how much I hate them!); I’m not going to complain about those websites that make you read ten pages when one would do – simply to get eyeballs on ads; I’m not even going to complain about how ad saturated some pages are.

No, this time I want to discuss (i.e. complain about) websites that come off as desperate, needy and clingy.

I’ve lost count of how many websites will pop up a ‘window’ (within the canvas, rather than as a new window) that ask me to either subscribe to their email newsletter, or to Like them on Facebook.  They do this before I’ve even had a chance to look at their site.

Pro Tip: If you annoy me before I can see your site, I’m not going to ‘like’ it.

In a similar vein, asking me to do a survey to ‘help improve your website’ is also stupid at this point.

Pro Tip: Try not to be stupid.

Then there are those websites that (usually poorly) try to detect that I’m leaving the page, closing the tab or similar, and beg me to look at other stuff they have.  If they actually did do this only when I was going to close out the window or tab I might cut them some slack.  Mostly they seem to do it if I switch tabs, move the cursor even vaguely near the ‘close’ icon or Alt-Tab away, then back again.

This just reeks of desperation (and/or poor programming).  I won’t be back.

Pro Tip: I don’t do relationships like this, and I sure as hell won’t deal with websites like this.

Lastly (for this post) there are those that have not only gone down the ’10 pages instead of one’ route, but break up the reading by dropping you into a survey.  The only good thing to say here is that most of these can be skipped.  However, I’ve got so used to some websites holding the rest of the article hostage behind the survey that I just close the tab the moment one does this.

And that usually gives me a popup saying “before you leave …”.

Pro Tip: If you try to hold me hostage, I will do my best to escape.  This means less ads in front of my eyeballs.

I’ve yet to come across a website that does all of the above, but I have so little faith in humanity that I’m pretty sure that if there isn’t one out there now, there will be soon.

Also. as an aside to web designers/programmers:  which is worse?

  • Killing the person that made you do this, and suffering a life behind bars, or
  • Inflicting this shit on the world?


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EFTPOS Interfaces

As a shopper in the western world, I use EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale) pretty much every day.  I began using them back when they were trying to replace the old ‘run a roller over your credit card to leave an indent on this invoice’ machines.

As you’d expect, they started out clunky, unreliable and scarce.  Now, even some small market stalls have them.  They’ve evolved and improved.

Well, evolved.

For whatever reason, it seems evolution is happening again, and so far it’s taking two distinct paths.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Note: I wrote this on the 8th of January just after seeing The Force Awakens.  Unfortunately a death kind of screwed up my posting of it.

Everyone and their dog, and possibly their dog’s fleas too, has written about Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (hereinafter referred to as TFA).  Since my own dog doesn’t have fleas, and is somewhat lacking in the ‘able to write’ department, I guess it falls to me to write about the movie.

First, let’s set some baseline standards:  I am a Star Wars fan of old, having first seen it in a Drive-In when it was first released.  I enjoy the universe, and many of the spin-off stories and products.  I’m not a complete fanatic having read very little of the Expanded Universe (dead though that is now), and I thought Episodes I – III were ‘ok’.  I didn’t hate them, I didn’t hate Jar Jar, but I also can’t be bothered to try to defend them.  And, to put it bluntly, I wasn’t really excited to see TFA. I wanted to, but maybe when it came to DVD.  Or something.

So, with all that in mind … (One spoiler ahead. Hopefully not that big)

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Battery Anxiety

There’s a phrase that’s come into use since electric vehicles became more mainstream: range anxiety.  Of course, those of us who have used phones ‘forever’ or, in fact, anything portable and battery powered, have known this anxiety for a long time.  And now we have a new class of gadgets to add to our stress levels: so called ‘Wearables’.

Despite the bland, vague descriptive name, some of them are really great at what they do.  What most of them seem to suck at is telling me the state of their battery.

Some of them have a large enough screen that allows you to read the battery status, much like you do with a phone.  The rest just have a small screen or no screen at all.  So really we’re left with small to nonexistent real estate to get across that a battery is getting close to dead. Continue reading

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Fitbit Charge HR

Since I’m a diabetic, and need to be more sensible about exercise and the like, my wife thought I should be more depressed and bought me a Fitbit.

With her long experience with these devices she decided the Fitbit Charge was the way to go. I decided to go with the HR version (heart rate) as that was only $30 more expensive and why not go all the way when depressing yourself, right?

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