KS Golem Arcana

Edit: And it’s good!  In just 7 hours left, the Golem Arcana KS campaign finished, and while its numbers are still slowly climbing, we’re all hoping for another $50k to get the remote play stretch goal!


The good folks at Harebrained Schemes is producing a new game, which the funding will end here in another 36 hours.  Golem Arcana is a miniatures game without the hassle of rulers, twenty handbooks, and fists full of dice (though that’s optional).  They’re just shy of $20,000 to be funded, so please consider it!  The base game (at Tribesman level) is $65, but there are extras if you pledge more!

Twitter Testing

While this might look like a throwaway post, as my earlier tweet might show, it’s an honest test of a plugin that seems to have a professional side to it.  $30 is a bit much for what I do, so I think I’m going to stick with the free version.

Exams, EVE, and BlizzCon

It begins once more!  BlizzCon 2013 is happening, and we’re on the bandwagon!  Again, I’ll be attending the Benefit Dinner for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), and hopefully presenting Metzen with something I promised him two years ago.

I’m still in EVE Online, albeit making poor choices that got me banned for a week (missing out on the Launcher debacle that gave everyone a days worth of skill points).  If you play EVE, do yourself a favor: never by PLEX from a third party.  It’s not worth the risk.

Last, but not least, I passed exam number 2 a couple weeks ago, the MTA Web Technologies Fundamentals (98-363), by the skin of my teeth.  But the course I’m at now is something I haven’t really studied for, because I use it in my every day job, MTA Windows OS Fundamentals (98-349).  Windows 7, a smidgen of  configurations, a dab of App-V and MED-V, and you’ve got the gist of the exam.  I’m trying to get our campus Certiport proctor to get allowance to give the exam, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow (first day of Summer classes).  The last exam is the MTA Windows Server Admin Fundamentals (98-365), which should be slightly more challenging than the current one.

Reaper Mini Produces, Harebrained Gears Up, and College

So those who got into the Reaper Miniatures Bones Kickstarter (see the icon to the right), they sent out all the Vampire level kits a bit ago.  241 figures were listed on the sheet for the Vampire level, and I got more of the NOVA squad figures than what I was supposed to.  Now I wish I had opted for some paints…

Second on the list, is Harebrained Schemes, who is doing the Shadowrun Returns game (again, look to the right), is gearing up their Kickstarter returns.  Doc Wagon pictures and names are being submitted, t-shirt sizes are being chosen, and credit names are being pondered.  If you’re a Kickstarter, reading this, and haven’t filled in your info before April 22nd, 2013, you might be outa luck.

Right, college.  For those who don’t know, I’m going back-ish.  My bachelors is coming through Western Governors University (WGU.edu), in Information Technology.  I passed my first class a couple of weeks ago, and got a professional certification out of it (CIW Web Foundations Associate), with a score of 83 out of 85.  I’m working through the Web Development Fundamentals course now, which focuses on ASP.NET.  By Crom, I dislike Microsoft, but when the code needs to be done, they do have the tools.

Obligitory Patent Troll

If you haven’t heard yet, the folks at Mojang AB (the makers of Minecraft), are now being brought under suit by Uniloc USA, Inc.

The funny part is, it’s not for the PC desktop version, it’s the Android Minecraft PE.  For something that the particular edition doesn’t do!

In particular, section 12 is where the “infringement” is laid out.

12. Mojang is directly infringing one or more claims of the ’067 patent in this judicial district and elsewhere in Texas, including at least claim 107, without the consent or authorization of Uniloc, by or through making, using, offering for sale, selling and/or importing Android based applications for use on cellular phones and/or tablet devices that require communication with a server to perform a license check to prevent the unauthorized use of said application, including,but not limited to, Mindcraft.

The Android edition has no communication with an authorative server.  The possible “license check” is done via the Google Play Market, so Mojang is definitely not at fault here.

Plus, “Mindcraft” != “Minecraft”.  Just saying.

Plesk Panel and Third-Third Party Support

There are a number of things that a member of IT should adhere to, and I will openly state that I am slightly guilty of this particular rant today: Providing clear documentation on changes to a system.

This site, the server it is on, was reverted today due to a problem from a third-third party support team.  1&1 is my current host, but the Plesk Panel (made by the Parallels company, the same folks who do the virtualization alternative geared to the Mac OS) had a problem.

Specifically, Plesk has the ability to install software directly on the system, automatically with the variables you feed it (username, password, directory, subdomain, etc…), and bring it up with the database table ready to use.  On-demand/JIT installs.  Useful, similar to Fantastico/Softalicous, but baked directly into the control panel.  That was broken, reporting that there was no command line interpreter, which is apparently a common issue that the solution will not be divulged to the public.

1&1 had to go to the Parallels support team to have this resolved.  Oh, and they did resolve it.  Apparently, I should have my main site PHP handler set to using FastCGI instead of the Apache module.  How does that make sense?  Really, it doesn’t, as most bash commands are common between different *nix OS’s, and if it’s trying to initiate a command via PHP, it should be able to, no matter the handler (see phpShell, a web based bash command tool).

Now, the problem was resolved.  All good, yes?  Nope.

The Parallels person deleted the MySQL database for this site, the main site.  Somehow in all their tests and fixes, they installed WordPress five or more (5+) times.  And in cleaning some previous instances, deleted the database.

That brings me to my point.  If you are going to work on a client’s system, website, or other gadgetry, and it’s not in front of them where they can see what you’re doing, tell them.  Verbally, or in writing.  In some of my own website projects, I’ve added into the core configuration document (the one that most new admins will take a look at to get a clue of what’s going on) what configuration changes I’ve made, warnings about potential breakage if code is changed, and some tips on extending the code.

It’s just good practice.

The Great Server Migration of 2012

So, what went wrong?  Is it just that time again, when Bryan goes and forces the servers to balk at his every whim?  …well…maybe.

My services at Lunarpages, my previous web host since 2006, has been lack-luster of late, with something having gone completely wrong in the last couple of months.  It seems that when ever I worked on my website, and worked a little too quickly, I would trigger the Apache security module, mod_security.c.  This, of course, was a problem, as I was banning myself.  Shared hosting makes for tricky bedmates, as you’re not completely in control.

To resolve that problem I did what any good server admin would; review my options.  What I wanted was a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or a Dedicated Server, so I could have complete control, and still have functions that I am used to.

  • Lunarpages has a VPS solution, but the sales person sized me up to the Xen Pro bundle, which for a one month contract comes out to $79.00
  • FDC Servers has a good array of services, but the cheaper ones are way under-powered
  • Dreamhost is about the same, cheap, has a lot of options, but the good stuff is way too expensive
  • 1&1 was who I went with in the end.  Good service, nice server options, which makes for the best bang for the buck

Needless to say, I had a few problems porting over.  I’ve had to reimage the server once, upload the site files twice, then finally say “FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!” and reinstall WordPress from scratch.  My wife’s site and forum are good, but everything that was the root of harshmage.com got wiped because of the weirdness.

Back to business.  St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow, and since I’ve been reviewing brews, it’s crunch time.

Zynga vs. Everyone Else

Disheartening news just came though the /. newsfeed; Zynga, the publishers of so many of the Facebook games out there, has sued and settled with Vostu, a game company in Brazil.

The suit claimed that Vostu copied elements of Zynga’s copyrighted material (logo, website design, game design, etc…).  Not the smartest idea, in my opinion, but then, we’re looking at the pot calling the kettle black. Vostu has stated right back that Zynga stole what they are being sued about.

But, for all the copying and screaming of “I don’t want f**king innovation!” (thank you Mark Pincus), Zynga is not the only company doing this. Last month, SpryFox has filed suit against 6Waves LOLAPPS for the infringment, code theft, and complete a$$hattery surrounding the games Tripple Town (SpryFox) and Yeti Town (6Waves LOLAPPS).

Before I leave you with the official court document, I have a new entry to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

Earth – The Internet

Casual Games: None.

Granted, these kinds of things are being created all the time. However, they are all the same game, and the myriad of delicate changes to the interface make new “copyright” filings, and thus “new” games are being created. In greater scope of the Internet, the “casual gamer” is always searching for a newer, better version of the game they are currently playing, no matter the minute changes, or who the new game producer is.

For a similar comparison, see “First Person Shooter, War Depiction Game”, also known as Battlefield and Call of Duty.

The suit document:

WP on Nook Tab Update

The folks working on the Android WordPress app sent me a link earlier today, with their latest edition, with Nook Color/Tablet recognition!


In comparison, the real estate is utilized much better, and not only on the home screen (settings page fixes the width issue as well, which I did forget to mention in my earlier post).  They’re just getting started with Nook development, so I’m going to give them all the time they want.
Of course, due to B&N wanting to own the device that I own, I had to re-root it. But I do hear tales of a coming bootloader/rom pwn’ing…

Interesting Goings Ons…

Filed under Internet news, there are a few links I’d like to share.

First, from the folks at ProseBeforeHos.com, a 19-year-old gives a stirring speech on how gay-marriage really hasn’t affected him in any negative form, given that his parents are women:

On gay marriage, the truth of the matter.

Second, techdirt.com has been informed of a letter from Senator Ron Wyden to Attorney General Eric Holder and ICE Director John Morton, basically asking why ICE/DHS is seizing domain names without any due process.

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