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Pidgin 2.0 (formerly GAIM) Review

Posted on Tuesday, 8th of May, 2007 12:08 am by NightSpirit

ars technica have posted up a review of the multi-platform IM client, Pidgin 2.0. Pidgin was formerly known as GAIM but from this release it has been renamed to avoid legal troubles with AOL. Aside from the name change, many things have been improved and polished including a more user-friendly and visually enhanced layout plus extensive plugin and scripting support.

It is still missing video & voice which will affect some people but for the majority of others it could prove a very nice alternative to single-protocol and ad/spy-ware filled clients.

Read the review @ ars technica

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NOLF3 Petition site launched

Posted on Tuesday, 13th of March, 2007 6:58 pm by nazgul

For those who have enjoyed playing Monoliths NOLF series and would like to help try and bring a third game to this fantastic series there is now NOLF4EVER, so what not spare a few mins and go and sign up so that we can make NOLF3 a reality.

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Football Manager 2007 v7.0.2

Posted on Saturday, 24th of February, 2007 10:25 pm by NightSpirit

The guys over at SI Games have released an update to Football Manager 2007. Included in the list of fixes is the much requested toning down of violent incidents and Chairmen repeatedly selling off their teams best players.

Read more and download from SIGames.com

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ZombieNexus Newsletter - January 2007

Posted on Sunday, 28th of January, 2007 12:23 pm by NightSpirit

Once again, it's been a very quiet period here at ZombieNexus - except for the deletion of spam posts Roll Eyes The next version of the site is still being worked on, tho, which should solve all the problems I have with the site currently.

The problem with ZBNv4 has always been the size of the project. Coding additions to an existing project (PHPBB) is far easier than junking everything and building from scratch - even more so than I originally thought. Fortunately, I have finally been given something at work that actually tests my skills recently in the form of building a knowledge base and reporting tool for our online systems to replace the chaotic mixture of several email logs, piles of print outs and verbal communication. Technically this was a smaller and more focussed project than ZBNv4 and thus I switched most of my energy on this to improve my coding skills.

The biggest thing I got out of this was that I finally learned the point of object-oriented coding. As I tried to improve efficiency and maintenability of my code I found I was mostly writing in an OO style anyway. The bad news from this is now I am taking a jump backwards for ZBNv4 in having to re-write the code to use the classes that I have written for the work project. Hopefully tho, this will enable me to move forward faster with ZBNv4 Smile

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VLC 0.8.6 Released

Posted on Tuesday, 12th of December, 2006 3:18 pm by NightSpirit

Slashdot have posted news that the open source media player VLC has just been updated. The 0.8.6 release includes Windows Media Video 9 and Flash Video support amongst several other improvements. Some excellent news as one of the best multi-platform media players gains more format play-back options Smile

Read more @ Slashdot

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Firefly: the MMORPG

Posted on Tuesday, 12th of December, 2006 1:40 pm by NightSpirit

Thanks to Adam for this link.

It seems that Multiverse, a software company, have managed to secure the rights to create an MMORPG based on the Firefly universe. The good news being that it will bring this exciting universe to a wider audience (if done correctly), the bad news being that FOX are involved it again so very well may screw it up like they did to the TV series Roll Eyes

I havn't had time or desire to play a MMORPG since getting bored with Star Wars Galaxies but will be keeping an eye out for this one to see how it develops.

Read more @ Bit-Tech.net

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FM2007 7.0.1 Patch Released

Posted on Friday, 1st of December, 2006 10:52 am by NightSpirit

The eagerly anticipated patch for Football Manager is finally released. News was posted around 3pm yesterday so hopefully the initial rush has died down and anyone trying now should be able to get a decent speed Smile

For fixlist and download mirrors head over to community.sigames.com.

EDIT: It seems there is a new bug with regards to contract renewals. Read more on this here. An updated patch has been promised soon.

EDIT2: The updated patch is now technically available via community.sigames.com, although you'll be lucky to find a mirror with a decent transfer rate currently. It's an 80.6Mb download and I am currently only managing 5.7KB/s Sad

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Jewel Staite returning to StarGate Atlantis

Posted on Friday, 10th of November, 2006 12:09 pm by NightSpirit

Adam passed news onto me that Jewel Staite, who played Kaylee in Firefly and the Serenity movie, has been offered a recurring part in Stargate Atlantis. I never quite got into the StarGate shows but I know plenty of people who do. Regardless it's good news for Jewel as she needs to keep busy until someone finds a way to get a second season of Firefly made Wink

Read more @ Gateworld.com

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FM2007 Patch news

Posted on Thursday, 9th of November, 2006 1:13 am by NightSpirit

For many in the SIGames forums, the latest release has brought with it a host of problems from aggreviated players. Their development team seem to have been doing their utmost to find the cause of issues and fix them for the forthcoming patch. In an effort to pasify some of the more vocal elements, reassure their loyal fans and stop the daily influx of topics about the same things, news and a changelog for the patch has been posted.

The release date will still be "when it's done", but it's promised for later this month which is some good news indeed. Smile

Read more @ SI Games forums

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ZBN Goes Gourmet for BRAINS!!

Posted on Friday, 3rd of November, 2006 7:37 pm by Outrunmaster

Any zombie needs variation in his (its?) diet, so as a change from the tradition of Live Brains, or Raw Brains, i have found :-

fooddownunder.com

For all your brain-cooking needs!! whoohoo!!

BRAINS!!! LET ME EAT YOUR BRAINS!!

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Firefox 2.0 Review

Posted on Thursday, 26th of October, 2006 3:33 pm by NightSpirit

Linux.com have posted a review of the latest Firefox release. The main improvements to Firefox 2.0 seem to be session restore, RSS implementation and tabs.

Read the review @ Linux.com

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Hyperbol Open Beta

Posted on Thursday, 12th of October, 2006 11:50 pm by FraZor

Its been a long time since I posted any news, but I wanted to share a cool new game I have been playing:

Hyperbol

Its hard to describe. Its sort of a more tactical version of gravity wars, with quite cool Tron style graphics and a prety nice online play system whereby you join a faction and fight over territory. Like I said, hard to describe. Join the open beta and try for yourselves. Oh and I'm "FraZor" on the blue faction.

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Football Manager 2007 Demo

Posted on Sunday, 8th of October, 2006 6:22 pm by NightSpirit

In case any of you also missed it, the gold demo for Football Manager 2007 was released last weekend. It comes in two flavours (one cut-down version without photos/commentary/sounds etc and one with lots more content), for both Windows and Mac. The demo only allows you to play for 6 months but is save-game compatible with the full release.

The following page lists more information as well as listing a whole bunch of mirrors to download the version of your choice.

SIGames.com

(note: The page seems to screw up royally under Firefox/Linux making it impossible to click on some links although it was fine on Opera)

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Evanescence UK tour dates announced

Posted on Thursday, 14th of September, 2006 4:50 pm by NightSpirit

Evanescence will be returning to the UK this winter with two confirmed concert dates.

  • November 20th @ Hammersmith Apollo
  • November 21st @ Manchester Apollo

Ticket prices will be around £22 and go on sale tomorrow (friday 15th september)

Read more @ NME.com

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Get Hasslehoff to Number 1

Posted on Monday, 11th of September, 2006 1:54 pm by NightSpirit

This was passed on to me by Adam as a cause worthy of some attention Wink

It's a campaign to gather 75,000 people willing to purchase David Hasslehoff's new single inorder to award him the number 1 spot in the UK chart. I've never personally heard any of his records but judging by the rubbish that seems to count as popular music these days I'm sure it's no worse. Afterall, if My Blobby can have a number 1 single, why can't the Hoff? Tounge

Read more on the campaign @ GetHasselhoffToNumber1.com

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No, you havn't really won the lottery

Posted on Sunday, 10th of September, 2006 10:19 am by NightSpirit

Fortunately, my sister does listen to some of the things I say. So when she recieved an email telling her she'd won £62,000 on the national lottery she was quite skeptical despite the fact that she does play the online lottery. Unfortunatly for her, it was a phising attempt and not genuine at all. It had many of the hallmarks of a fraud email by not using her real name, asking to send details that they'd already have to an irrelevant email address etc.

Once again, it is important to remind people not to trust these kind of emails. Real companies would never ask you to respond to an email with personal/payment details etc.

More tips on spotting fraudulent lottery emails can be found @ national-lottery.co.uk

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Spam + Blogs = Trouble

Posted on Thursday, 7th of September, 2006 1:38 pm by NightSpirit

I read this wired article a few days ago, but since I've had two spammers seemingly going out of their way to get round my spamfilter today I thought it appropriate to post it.

The article mainly focusses on splogs which are basically sites that appear to be blogs except that they are just full of keyword spam, often found by grabbing excerpts from genuine blogs. Then they use their network of bots to abuse commenting and other features in blog software to link to these sites - all to earn themselves advertising money. Evil or Very Mad

Unfortunatly, spamming remains relatively unpunishable and there are still naive surfers that fall for their tactics. Thus there really is very little insentive for these people to stop abusing technology for their own personal gain at the cost of polluting the internet with their rubbish and defacing sites of others. It is an ongoing battle for us webmasters as even CAPTCHAS (the wobbly text against the background used for validating new accounts or guests posts on this site) are now ineffective against them. Sad

Read the full article @ wired.com

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ZombieNexus Newsletter - September 2006

Posted on Tuesday, 5th of September, 2006 12:42 am by NightSpirit

Once again, it has been a while since I've posted an update. However, since work on ZBN v4 has taken over the vast majority of my free time lately (to the detriment of several other things) it seems a good idea to do one now. Smile

While there is still quite a bit to do, the hard part is over - I've pretty much decided on the structure behind the new version and so now as the site starts to develop I'm not constantly going back and re-doing things in a different way. This was the stumbling block that held me back for an awful long time.

So, what HAVE I actually done so far?

Changes behind the scenes
Basically ZBNv4 has been built up from scratch to keep the code as simple as possible. While PHPBB is an exceptional project, it is written in a way which requires several layers of abstraction which is something we do not require here. Several parts still remain, particularly the database communication functions, most of the general functions, some anti-hacking safeguards and the core of the database. Everything else has been left out, including the templating system, language abstraction, most of the code that drives the pages and also the general look and feel that PHPBB sites have.

The HTML output of the pages has also been drastically improved. This has multiple benefits the main one being much cleaner, efficient, informative and relevant data sent to the browser or search engine bot.

All new look and feel
ZBN v4 will look very different from the live site you see now. The design has evolved from a concept sent to me by Frazor last year. The main requirement was to ensure that all parts of the site look like they belong together within a more polished and stylish layout. While my design talents are far from great, I am certainly happy with the current result. My youngest sister has also agreed with me but I suppose the real test is when I allow many more eyes to view it Wink

The main design will obviously contain much of our trademark green. For those that are perhaps a bit sick of green or would prefer a more work-friendly design, ZBNv4 will have alternate 'skins' available - if not at release date then hopefully shortly after. Skins in ZBNv4 are basically CSS files and images to go with the design. This means that there are no pesky HTML templates to worry about and so creating new skins should be much easier and usually not require any changes when the code is updated.

For those not familiar with the power of CSS files, take a look at the css Zen Garden to see what can be accomplished with them.

Improvements to Articles
One of the biggest criticisms I recieved from people with v3 (apart from the speed at which I worked) was that the article system was rubbish. Unfortunatly, this was quite true as while it did work, it was far from user-friendly and the structure behind it was pretty embarrasing. Fortunatly, with v4 this is very different. While I have yet to write the posting side, the structure, display and theory are all in place.

In v4, there will be a lot less of a difference between news, topics and articles. This is mainly because of the fact that we'll be posting much less linking news so articles will remain on the portal for longer naturally. Also, if someone wants to post a quick article it's much better if it's as easy as posting a regular topic instead of having to make up a short description, uploading an icon, writing the main page text seperately and then going through an approval process as with the current system.

More to come
There is obviously much more to come, although I'll not go into detail on them until they are done. I am hopefull that with the base I have created so far, work will continue in a rapid fashion as it has done over the last few weeks. Smile

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X3 News

Posted on Wednesday, 30th of August, 2006 12:02 am by NightSpirit

It's been a while since I played X3, but it seems that quite a bit has happened since then. I recieved an email newsletter earlier which brought some exciting news.

Firstly there is the bonus pack which contains several upgrade scripts written by the X3 community and packaged for easy installation.

Then there is an announcement of a new official update from Egosoft entitled X3 2.0: Bala Gi Research Missions which will include a new player head quarters, new ships, new missions and a variety of other enhancements and due for release later this year.

Also there is an interview with the two creators of one of the biggest mods to come from the community: the Deadly Ship & Station mod. Which introduces numerous ships, an asteroid base with an extensive command list and many new and meaningfull missions.

There certainly seems to be quite a few good reasons to fire up the game again so will have to dig out my copy once I need a break from coding Smile

Read more @ egosoft.com

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Save the Astoria

Posted on Tuesday, 22nd of August, 2006 6:37 pm by NightSpirit

Another link to a petition. This one is to save one of London's great music and club venues. Current plans are to bulldoze the London Astoria in 2008 to make way for yet more shops (apparently for the Olympics).

If this affects you in any way or you'd like to read the whole petition, you can read more by following the link below.

Thanks to Nicola for passing on this link.

"Save the Astoria" (petitiononline.com)

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