Cry "Google!" and let slip the dogmatix of search engines

Today I noted google has a new logo. While it’s not as classy as the Salma Heyak one, it certainly reminded me of good times in primary school reading about the tiny Gaul, Asterix, and his big fat friend, Obelix.

The Adventures of Asterix were a series of French comic strips written by RenĂ© Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. As a kid in primary school, these books were the most sought after in the library - Tintin was the rival.

Uderzo took over the job of writing the series after the death of Goscinny in 1977. The Adventures of Asterix series first appeared in French in the magazine Pilote on 29 October 1959 so given it's the same date but 2009 it looks by changing their search engine logo, Google is celebrating 50 years since Asterix and Obelix first battled the Roman Empire!

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I wonder if Metallia's Little Dog is about Dogmatix?

The best Google logo to have ever not been a Google logo.

The best Google logo to have ever not been a Google logo.

I think the picture of Salma Hayek as the new Google logo speaks for itself?

U2 Shakes up the Internet

So like this evening I watched the U2's Los Angeles Rose Bowl show that was broad cast live around the world through youtube (U2tube..) The show itself was pretty cool with lots of new songs and a fair mix of the hits (old and new) with a mighty Until the End of the World being a highlight for me. Unknown Caller was pretty darn good too.

The technical side of things must have been a production in itself. The stream I had was perfect with good sound quality and minimal buffering required. There were 100,000 LA fans present - how many million were tuned in via youtube I dunno but google/youtube's servers must have served terrabytes and terrabytes of data!

The U2 show was a first in many ways - there have been plenty of live broadcasts before but this one is on a massive scale using some of the leading technology.

This means it was probably a branding exercise for Youtube. How many fans who have never used Youtube suddenly found out all about the website after coming to watch the concert? (I realise youtube is huge but I'm sure some people have never heard of it?)

It also works for U2 as well - one could by the new album via a link on the channel which took the follower to U2's Itunes sales medium.

So has this concert changed the content model? Will people be more content to sit at home and watch Bono preach at them on their 40 inch tv? Probably not, but more people might be inclined to tune in and follow their fave artists tour. Time will tell - look for what happens when the Rolling Stones tour next!

Major world events etc can also be used in this medium. Streamed Olympic Games anyone? Meetings of world leaders? When the aliens finally land? and the obvious - movie and television shows.

TV execs and the like must be quietly crapping their pants as they watched - here was premium content being delivered for free with bugger all adverting. Facebook had a little look in....there were no adds during the broadcast at all. HBO suddenly becomes a little redundant when the next Sopranos is shown via the internet only eh?

The Ultimate ODST Firefight Survival Guide

halo odst trailer still of a brute

The Ultimate ODST Firefight Survival Guide

Halo 3 ODST’s new Firefight mode can be a bit of a handful. Hunters and Angry Hammer Carrying Brutes make for the ultimate smack down in which you can pit your Halo skills against the Covenants reign of pain.

In the quest for points and achievements, there’s a few things you can do to get the edge over the Grunts with the Cannons and those damn swarming drone buggers The Master Chief is not around to bail you out, it's up to you soldier! Check out the ultimate strategy guide for surviving ODST’s Firefight:

Who’s on my side?

Try and play as a group. 3 is not a crowd. Three is a mini army. If there are 4 of you, consider pairing up for map coverage and to try and disperse the enemy. The opportunities that 4 players have over one are quite numerous. They’re called assists for a reason. Tag team the Brutes. One player does the head shot after another has done the plasma shot burst etc. Watch for friendly fire. Don’t go throwing grenades willy nilly.

Comm Chatter

There’s no point running round like a grunt who’s lost his Elite. Talk on your mikes with your team mates, let them know what you’re up to and what the plan is. At the very least you can warn someone there’s a Jackal sneaking up on them.

You do not have a Camping Permit, so move along

Like Halo multilayer, if you camp for too long in one spot you will get found out. Unless you have eyes in the back of your recon helmet, moving around will help you keep up with your situational awareness e.g. while on the move, there’s more chance of you finding a team mate in need of some back up.

odst halo

Keep away from the Phantom drop ships

At the beginning of each wave, a Phantom drop ship delivers some fresh meat in the from of Covenant troops. Don’t be a hero, Timmy – The Phantom's turrets will blast you back to Reach. Of course, you could just jump in with the rockets as the Covenant forces jump out… it’s a risky business though.

Lethal Weapon Management

Don’t rush and grab the rockets or Spartan laser and waste 8 grunts with it. Save the heavy fire for when the Angry Brute with the Hammers turn up. Be ready for the drones buggers as well. They need a handy weapon like a plasma rifle or the Suppressed SMG to take ‘em out. Brutes are an easy take down with a fully charged plasma burst, followed by a headshot with the M6 pistol. Do that action 10 times in Firefight at you can get the ‘My Clothes!’ Achievement.
Know your Map’s choke points

Always know where the critical parts of the map are. 

Learn where you can stand your ground with relative safety. 

Know the choke point where Covenant tend to gather. 

Know where you can duck for cover to allow your ODST soldier a chance to recover. Also be aware where the health packs, ammo, weapons, vehicles, and covenant drop off points are. This knowledge will help you to make fast decisions on the fly. 

You will learn this stuff as you play Firefight so don’t be overly concerned about it all but when you have the wrong weapon and you can hear the Drone Bugger’s whispers getting louder… you better know where the SMG is located!

Fuel Rod Carrying Covenant and the Beastly Brute Chieftains suck
Grunts or Brutes armed with Fuel Rod Guns can pawn you in one shot. 

If you can, eliminate them as soon as possible in the battle. In the heat of the Firefight you can sometimes can overlook that it’s a Grunt carrying the cannon. 

Listen for the sounds, you might here them before you see them, other wise you’re bantha, cannon fodder.

Jump! Jump!

When being chased by a hammer menacing Brute and you know he’s about to go all MC Hammer on your ass, jump in the air. 
This will help create some distance between you and the damage splash radius of the Hammer, lessening the potential health damage and giving you a chance to turn and get off a sticky grenade or rocket. 

This trick can help when Fuel Rods are being fired at you too!

Lethal Weapon Management Two: Brutes and Plasma Shots

As you advance through the sets in Firefight, more skulls are turned on, and the pistol and SMG begin to have minimal effect on a charging Brute. 

At this stage in the game, try to carry an anti-brute weapon. 

The most handy weapon is a plasma pistol. 

It’s the MacGyver knife of the Halo Universe as you can combine it with just about any single shot weapon for a follow up head shot. Needlers are also very effective against Brute, though again on the harder sets, your enemies can be quite good at dodging the needles - still you are keeping yourself at a safe distance and thus surviving!

odst halo 3 soliders

You are not Mohammed Ali

Your melee punch does not sting the Covenant like a bee. Only use melee when it tight spots and you have no choice. Pulling off a boncruncher to the back of a Brute’s skull is nearly impossible so try not to deliberately set yourself up for it. If you must, a safer strategy is to soften them up with artillery fire first. In the next trick though, it’s a vital strategy!

Use weak enemies to get health when “Black Eye” skull is active

When the “Black Eye” skull is turned on, you and your fellow fire-fighters do not regain health when hit by enemies. 

You must melee punch an enemy bring your health back up. When the opportunity presents itself, let a Covenant enemy such as a Jackal run up to you so that you and your team can take advantage of the situation. 

The Black Eye skull period is also a good time to use The Hammer as that can be used in place of your fist of rage...

Take this Grenade and eat it!

Good use of grenades will help you rack up the combos. 

Throw one into a crowd of Grunts and give them a hail of gun fire. In close quarters with a Brute who’s committed to throwing a spike grenade at you, return the favour with a sticky of your own. 

Often a simple jump closer to the Brute will allow you to dodge their missile and increase the chance of you.

chopper vs brute lost platoon odst map

In for some Chop

Choppers are an obvious tool in the sandbox that can be used in Lost Platoon. You can run riot and be nearly invincible with the thing. One crazy dude played a game for 21 hours using it - hence people getting grumpy about chopper abuse. I say, "whatever". 

Sometimes you can die though and if you are playing single Lost Platoon, your ODST soldier is in for some chop himself running round without protection. A trick I figured out is to park a spare Chopper in your respawn room. 

You often see 'spare' choppers lying around so feel free to grab one, hide and then get pack to your original or take down another Brute riding a chopper with the plasma pistol and the Prophet of Truth is your uncle - when you die, you spawn right next to a chopper. Pretty handy if you're in the middle of a Hunter raid!

Finally, here’s a good survival tip from Lars Barken, one of the legends of Bungie and ODST’s Senior Designer.

Your Firefight is down to ‘no lives remaining’ and you’re the last ODST left. How do you stay alive long enough to bring the Squad back?

“The best way to stay alive in that dire situation is to fall back to a safe position on the map, usually the area you spawn in. From there, try to systematically take out the Covenant as they come to your position. You'll get overrun, but you're much better off trying to tackle them in smaller numbers. Make them come to you.”

I think that’s a great point and I’ve found this survival strategy works quite well in the close quarters of the Alpha Site map.
So, there’s a few things to think about in this ‘Ultimate ODST Firefight Survival Guide’. Employing some of the tricks and strategies will lengthen your game time, leading to more points, more achievements and more fun.

What tricks to you have to make Firefight more fun? Leave some ideas in the comments section!
About this strategy guide: I’m not a leet player by any means, and play to have fun and love the adventures the Halo universe offers. The guide was inspired by other people on who know a thing or two. I’ve written ideas I’ve found into more of a friendly style and added my own spin and thoughts too. Any problems, see The Superintendent!

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Extra for Experts: What's Bungie Aerospace all about?

A prime Texts From Last Night txt

(718): what happened last night?
(917): u kept telling him to fuck u optimus prime style
(718): that explains why his roommate kept saying autobots roll out
this morning as i left

Will Transformers 3 suck ass?

Transformers 1 and 2 script writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have bailed from writing the plot for the third Transformers movie.

Orci confirmed that he and Kurtzman are out by posting on the message board of Transformers producer Don Murphy.

Does that means that Ehren Kruger, who also worked on the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen script, will be going it alone the third? Probably.

The real question, however, is will Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon suck ass with out these guys?

Probably not so much - I think this is good news for Transformers fans as Orci and Kurtzman pretty much phoned in the script of Transformers 2 – with the writer’s strike and all they didn’t really focus on the plot and came up with a considered piece of…. well it’s not hard to write fight here, fight there, battle there, hot chick on bike there, robot battle over here etc..

As long as Ehren Kruger is able to keep Micheal at bay from the silliness that crept in in T2, fans should rest easy....ish.

We do know Orci and Kurtzman have talent, their Star Trek script was pretty much on the money, and T1 rocked the house – so now they’ll be able to give the second Trek movie the proper focus, T2 should have received.

Meanwhile, director Michael Bay has confirmed that he will shoot the Transformers film for a release date of July 1, 2011.

Every man and his robot has an opinion these days, here’s my take on what the Transformers Plot Should Be.

And here's some Dark of the Moon quotes from Transformers