Homemade Rabbit Poop-Powered Flamethrower!

poopthrower

We’re all for reusing and repurposing over here at GUO, and if we can light up the sky doing so… Well, so much the better!

In the beginning, there was the Poop Tank. Today, there’s the flaming poopthrower. National Geographic went out to film Nick as he constructed his latest experiment in home defense. The video below covers everything from concept to explosive result.

*Warning: Video contains mild use of profanity. And crazy people.

The History of the X Button

Twitter’s @drakfyre, host of YouTube’s Cooking with Unity, posted a link to an article I know a few of my fellow geeks here would be just as intrigued with as I was. Columnist Lauren Archer at medium.com went in search of the origins of the now ubiquitous X button used to close windows in GUI (Graphical User Interface) centric operating systems all over the computing world.

While I won’t ruin the story here, I will say that things really get interesting when Daniel Oran, creator of the Start button and Taskbar for Windows 95, jumps into the investigation with some very interesting insights and very old screenshots.

More than a lesson in UI anthropology, this article features a treasure trove of screens from the OSs of yesteryear. Except one. Allow me to rectify this grievous oversight with a brief screenshot. Ladies and gentlemen, Geos: the GUI OS for one of the greatest computer platforms of all time, the Commodore 64.

Alright, now get on over to medium and check out X to Close: The origins of the use of [x] in UI design.

Behind the Blog: September 12, 2014–Still Alive

I__m_not_dead_yet_by_stinkywigfiddleMan, you know I’ve been away for a while when The Intern decides to kick in an article Winking smile

Things have been pretty dramatic of late here on the GUO homefront. The Mrs. has left the lucrative, yet shrinking (i.e. being outsourced), world of server administration for the much less lucrative, yet more rewarding, world of high school math teachers. Fun fact: She couldn’t be happier about the decision.

As for myself, I’ve been spending the time since we last talked engrossed in writing a new video game. I have been making little experiments off and on since putting The Brick Dead Project on hiatus, but this has been the first time that I’ve really run away with a new game idea. Unfortunately, this means that all my free time to create has gone into this little digital toy rather than posting on this here website. I’ve actually had several great ideas and stories for posts, but there just isn’t enough drive left in this ol’ body to pursue both creative outlets at the moment.

Also, the laundry dryer just broke, so I’ve been taking that apart this week. Couldn’t be going worse, thanks for asking Winking smile.

Anyway, GUO certainly isn’t going anywhere. In fact, I just cut our domain registrar yet another check to ensure that fact. Using our Amazon links when you go shopping helps. Thank you! It’s always over there in the sidebar if you need it again.

Speaking of sidebar, we have a variety of subscription options over there in case you don’t feel like checking the site directly just to find out I still haven’t posted anything. Still, I will make more of an effort to get something up here at least once a week.

Just to jump back a bit and make this post more disjointed than a zombie in a taffy factory, let me re-mention my current artistic obsession, Project DfD. It’s an indirect control RTS where you play the arms dealer supplying both sides in a war. I figure I’m still a couple weeks away (At least!) from a full alpha build (minus content and some art). Here’s a screenshot from the work-in-progress taken about a week and a half ago:

Unity 2014-09-02 13-38-14-86

Its definitely fun and playable. I hope. Economy and espionage still need a good bit of number tweaking, with it pretty much works as intended. Balancing strategy games is a b*tch!

If there is any interest in playing incremental builds while I work on it, please let me know in the comments or shoot an email over to anyone@GrowingUpOtaku.com. It wouldn’t take much to put a stand-alone build together and get it posted for download and, goodness knows, any kind of input would probably help.

Well, that pretty much gets us caught up. Always remember that love is cheap and easy to mass produce, so give away as much as possible. We love you!

Thanks for reading.

PS. Seriously, living on a public school teacher’s salary now. So…->Amazon links Winking smile

Attack of The Giant Toliets-The Sims 4

       The Sims 4, the newest game released by Electronic Arts to continue the Sims saga is something people having been looking forward to for awhile, but this glitch in the game is one of the greatest I have seen and it makes me want to buy this iconic game. Somehow, PC Gamer writer Tom Mark, found out how to take common items like bookcases and TV or toilets and make them into giant pieces of art! He shows what its like to have a town of mutant toilets and how it over runs the sims into the apocalypse or creating the lovable smurfs as tall as the Empire State Building so they can crush Gargamel once and for all! Now this is what people mean by letting your imagination go wild! See the wonderfulness!

You can get The Sims 4 today!

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Hits the World of Video Games

The strange viral phenomenon of posting videos of yourself dumping a bucket of ice water over your head to spread awareness of ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, formerly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) has stretched beyond the realms of reality and into the worlds of our favorite digital playthings.
GUO’s own Unpaid Intern spotted Warframe’s “greedy milk” Corpus baddies getting doused first.

Gearbox was quick to respond by offering up David Eddings, the IRL voice of the most annoying robot ever created, to the bucket.

Finally, Bungie took up the challenge, and cashed in on their own little viral in-joke, with That Bucket Came From the Moon.

I’m sure we can look forward to many more of our fantasy friends getting wet for this great cause in the weeks to come.

To date, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised some $13 million in support of ALS. You can find out more or donate at ALSA.org.

2013 Gamer Demographics: Chicks Over Dudes and The Sims Over All

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) have just released their annual report detailing the trends of the trade for video gaming. You can grab the full PDF, complete with handsome charts, fluffy ‘expert’ quotes, and silly, useless stats direct from the ESA here.

Here are a few of the fun facts I found interesting in the data the ESA collected from retailers, game publishers, and advertising companies:

Old women now outnumber young guys

Thanks to mobile adoption (addiction?), females aged 18 or more now make up 36% of the game playing population. Males under the age of 18 account for a mere 17%. The average age of someone buying a game at retail is 35. You can look forward to many more Kim Kardashian games in the future. Lucky you!

PC gamers are smarter. Console gamers are faster.

The top selling genres for console games are, unsurprisingly, Action and Shooter (32% and 20% respectively). PC gamers fancy Strategy and Casual/Puzzle games (38.4%  and 28%). There are more RPG fans on PC than console (12.3% vs 7%) so maybe Bioware can stop coking up Dragon Age now.

Call of Duty: Ghosts was NOT a flop

Despite to click-bait editorials coming out of the gaming media, CoD is doing just fine. The 2013 release of Ghosts was the second best selling console game of 2013, eclipsed only by the record setting success of Grand Theft Auto V. Also flying in the face of popular belief, Disney Infinity actually outsold Skylanders Swap Force.

The Sims dominates PC retail

While Valve still keeps its sales numbers for Steam, suspected to be the biggest PC game store in the world, under wraps, The Sims 3 and its various expansions claimed 7 out of the top 20 best selling ranks. Only Sim City (#2) and the Starcraft II expansion Heart of the Swarm (#1) outsold The Sims 3: University Life. Curiously, Age of Empires II, the RTS from 1999, weighed in at #18.

Retail game sales peaked? You bet!

The Mrs. and I have been making the same joke about the video game industry for the past couple years: “NoMoarVideoGameMonies.com”. The number of games being sold at retail hit a record low in 2013. Interestingly enough, the amount of money spent on games was up slightly from 2012 indicating that those still purchasing titles are paying more for them. A lot more. Collector’s editions FTW!

Game sales have been on the decline since 2009. That said, consumers still spent $21.53 billion on video games.

Sharks vs Internet | Caught on Video

From Popular Science:

“Shark bites are a real threat to undersea fiber-optic cables. No, really. Google actually goes so far as to wrap its wires in a Kevlar-like material to prevent damage from sharks, a company spokesperson recently disclosed. As you can see in the video below, the animals have been known to bite cables. “

Some believe that these deep-sea eating machines are attracted to both the electric and magnetic fields emitted by underwater cables and mistakenly detect them as prey. Others simply shrug off this explanation as ‘sharks will be sharks’ and the ferocious fish would attack any ol’ chuck of plastic they find.

After previous bills from shark attack related repairs, modern cables are wrapped in a Kevlar-like material to protect them. Now if we can just get similar armoring to protect our household electronics cables from household pets.

Video Compilation showcases all 135 Space Shuttle Launches

Gone but not forgotten, NASA’s space shuttle program easily ranks as one of the crowning achievements of mankind.  Relieve all the majesty of this monumental program from STS-1 to STS-135 with YouTuber lunarmodule5’s fantastic video montage from 1981 to 2011.

2014 Anti-Virus Software Test Results

Being the family tech support guy, people often ask my option on which anti-virus software to use. I usually shrug, rattle off 3 or 4 options, and remind them that only suckers pay for anti-malware software. Its always a hard question to answer as your never really know if you’re A/V program of choice is working or not until the worst happens. Also, new malware is going to skip right through all A/V detection algorithms regardless of which program your using.

Fortunately, the fine folks over at AV-Test.org have been so kind as to compile their results from the past 10 months of torture testing.

AV-Test put 17 anti-malware packages, both free and paid, up against a variety of harmful computer creepy-crawlies and scored them based on detection and removal.

In the end, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free topped the list with 100% in system repair. The paid apps Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 came close in second with a score of 99.4%, and F-Secure Internet Security 2014 tied with Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 at 97.8%. The next best scores for free applications came from AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 and Avast! Free Antivirus 9.0.

Just to add my own anecdotal evidence to the results, we recently had a laptop here that came down with a case of digital cooties. Home page hijacks, pop-ups, the usual. In our little battle for computer health, Avast didn’t even detect the malware, AVG found but could not clean it, and Malwarebytes fixed everything.

In case you were wondering, here’s the link to Malwarebytes.

The only drawback to Malwarebytes’ free app is that it does not include real-time scanning. My personal recommendation would be to use another free virus scanner (such as AVG or Avast (I still like Avast due to how lightweight it is on system performance with very few false positives. Obnoxious, overzealous A/V software has caused me more problems than malware lately)), and do a manual scan with Malwarebytes once a month.

The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection and Peggle are Free via Origin.com

We’re all big fans of Maxis’ little computer people here at the GUO homestead. Despite this fact, most of us kinda bounced right off of the third iteration of The Sims. Good news then that EA is offering a digital version of our favorite version of this groundbreaking franchise, complete with eight giant expansion packs, for free until July 31st.

Interested in grabbing your own copy The Sims 2 Ultimate edition? Head on over to Origin.com, create or login with a free account, select My Account/Redeem Product Code. Enter the code “I-LOVE-THE-SIMS”.

Afterwards you’ll need to download and install the Origin app. Once Origin is installed you should be prompted to add a complementary copy of Peggle to your library.