Gamers outraged over Sony terminating servers for ‘SOCOM’ – 5/31/2012

SOCOM_-_U.S._Navy_SEALs_CoverartAfter 10 years, Sony plans to terminate all ‘SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs’ servers for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable by August 31, 2012.

The news was announced on the SOCOM forum that stated, “On August 31, 2012 Sony Computer Entertainment America will be terminating the on-line service for the following PlayStation®2 and PlayStation®Portable (“PSP”) software titles:

PlayStation®2 system: SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs, SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs, SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs, SOCOM Combined Assault.

PSP system: SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo, SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 2, SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike.”

The gaming community has reacted negatively to the news on online forums and news aggregators. Gamers on N4G.com have expressed their outrage while a SOCOM forum titled SONY, DO NOT SHUT DOWN THE PS2 SOCOM SERVERS! has received up to 49 replies.

Luken Bacher of TheRealSOCOM.com, an online news site dedicated to the SOCOM-series, voiced his disappointment in the termination of the servers. “Countless SOCOM fans, including myself, have been hoping that a new SOCOM would be announced to mark the 10 year anniversary of the franchise”, stated Bacher in his article“Instead, the SOCOM servers will be closed 4 days after that milestone.”

SOCOM is a series of third-person tactical shooters developed exclusively for Sony’s gaming systems. The series started with SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs, which was one of the first console games to feature online multiplayer. Its sequel, SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs, has been hailed as one of the best online games for the PS2.

Written for Digital Journal 
5/31/2012
Original Article: Gamers outraged over Sony terminating servers for ‘SOCOM’  

‘Max Payne 3’ delay causes confusion – 5/30/2012

The box cover for ‘Max Payne 3’

Rockstar Games delay of the PC version of ‘Max Payne 3’ has caused some confusion among gamers and retailers despite making the announcement on May 22.

The PC version was originally scheduled to be released in the US on May 29, 2012, but it was pushed back to June 1, 2012 so it may coincide with the games international release.

Jennifer Kolbe, Rockstar’s VP of Publishing, stated in a press release, “Our community has always preferred a single worldwide launch date, and while we couldn’t make it happen for the console versions, we decided to work toward a global release for Max Payne 3 on PC.”

While the announcement was made last week, the news had caused some confusion among retailers and news sites. Gamespot.com and Dell.com still list it as having a May 29th release while the games Wikipedia page was recently edited to include the June 1 date.

Several retailers in the Bay Area were also confused as they were expecting a May 29th release. These retailers still had the original May 29 release date posted while gamers who had pre-ordered had not been informed about the change.

Despite the delay, Max Payne 3 was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on May 15 and has been well praised by fans and critics.

Max Payne 3 is the third game in the award winning game series that has blended the story elements film-noir with the choreographic-style action of John Woo. The first game was released for the PC and consoles in 2001 and was followed by a sequel in 2003.

Written for Digital Journal
05/30/2012
Original Article: ‘Max Payne 3’ delay causes confusion

Op-Ed: UCSF should not waste money on erectile dysfunction research – 5/18/2012

According to findings by NBC Bay Area, the University of California San Francisco had received $1.5 million in federal stimulus that was allocated to the study of erectile dysfunction of overweight middle aged men.

NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit broke the story on May 15, as part of its ongoing series of investigations regarding the use of federal stimulus in California.

Information regarding Grant number 1R01HD056950-01A2 are available at Recovery.gov.

Wow – Basically the Federal Government and UCSF are wasting taxpayer money by financing the work of the only people in the world who have never heard of Viagra. Remember that this is University of California San Francisco; one of the world’s leading centers of health sciences research and medical education.

Next to the grossly over-funding of UC Chancellor Mark Yudof and the UC Regents care-free lifestyle, this has to be one of the biggest waste of money by the University of California.

The news may have given writers the opportunity to crack a few jokes, but the situation on the UC campuses is tragically grim.

The UC system is already struggling with budget cuts which have resulted in major cuts to student services, limited courses and overcrowded classes. On top of that are the tuition hikes that have become a burden on students.

So obviously the last thing that needs to be funded is research into erectile dysfunction. A medical condition that is already well researched and already has many treatable options; just check out the Wikipedia page for erectile dysfunction.

Worse is that offering such a grant for such pointless research is a theft from the research of a medical subject that actually matters, like the cure for AIDS or cancer.

Had this grant been used for research that matters, then the $1.5 million in federal stimulus would be money well spent. Because it’s not rocket science to know that society gains more from curing an epidemic than learning more about erectile dysfunction.

Republicans have criticized the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as being government waste while Gov. Jerry Brown is struggling to reduce the states deficient. This waste just helps strengthen the argument that the stimulus has failed and Gov. Brown is just another tax & spend liberal.

It’s because of poor policies and logistics that allowed money to be wasted for such a redundant study. Or it’s because Chancellor Yudof is getting tired of his wife complaining about his late night performances.

Written for Digital Journal 
5/18/2012
Original Article: Op-Ed: UCSF should not waste money on erectile dysfunction research

Democratic National Committee ignoring Wisconsin recall – 5/17/2012

The Democratic National Committee has been ignoring requests to fund the local efforts to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

With only three weeks until the June 5th election, the DNC has not responded to the request of a $500,000 investment by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Meanwhile the Republican National Committee has given its full support to Gov. Walker.

Mary Magnuson, a MoveOn.org activist from Wisconsin, has created an online petition to show public support for the recall. The goal is to gather 125,000 signatures before its mailed to the Democratic National Committee and Debbie Wasserman Schultz ; there are currently 110,709 signatures.

Am I missing something? This would appear to be a no brainer for the DNC,” said Catherine Treece from Madison, Wisconsin, who signed the petition on May 16.

People need to be educated and fast! We need the DNC’s support!“, said Kay Heimerl from Appleton, Wisconsin, who also signed the petition on May 16.

ActBlue, a non-profit political committee that supports Democratic candidates, has setup pages to raise for money for the campaign against Walker, which has collected $825,133.

Meanwhile the Republican Party of Wisconsin will host a Super Saturday on May 19, 2012, to raise money for Walker’s campaign.

The recall election pits Walker in a rematch against Tom Barrett, the former Mayor of Milwaukee. Random polls show that Walker has the lead by a thin margin which indicate the election could be decided based on voter turnout.

If the recall election is successful, Walker would be the third governor to have been recalled in U.S. history.

Scott Walker took office as the 45th Governor of Wisconsin on January 3, 2011. Campaigned on a promise to fix the state deficit but gain national attention for his budget plan which stripped most public sector unions of their collective bargaining rights.

Written for Digital Journal 
5/17/2012
Original Article: Democratic National Committee ignoring Wisconsin recall