Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fallout 3

Having not played any adventure games in at least 10 years, this one appealed to me because of its post-apocalyptic setting, the first person perspective, non-restrictive storyline and combat system. I bought it in the first week of November and been playing it pretty much exclusively ever since. The game has a huge amount of locations and wonderfully immersive feel. I´ve clocked up over 100 hours in my first character and I´m currently using a second character to visit the places I never got to see the first time round. Great game, and certainly the best of 2008 for me.

GeoEye Captures Obama Inauguration

Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States this week and the nation´s first black president. Congratulations! The GeoEye satellite stationed over 600km above the Earth has taken snaps of the crowd in The Mall. The detail is impressive to say the least!

Downadup Worm

Infections from a particularly clever worm that exploits a hole in Microsoft Windows operating systems patched last October, have increased dramatically this last week. Over 9 milllion PCs are said to be infected which creates a substantial botnet for anyone wanting to exploit it and control these PCs from a distance. Once again it is clear that the commercial interests of criminals are at work here, not just an experiment that escaped from the lab or a teenager´s bedroom.

Ancient Persian Chemical Warfare

The Persian army apparently used poisonous gases during a seige of the Roman city of Dura in the 3rd century A.D., according to the BBC. Archeological evidence shows that large groups of soldiers were overcome in a very short period of time. The Persians dug mines beneath the city, igniting sulphur and bitumen to produce toxic gases that rose up and poisoned the soldiers. The Romans fought back by building counter-mines to channel the gases way from the city. Eventually however, the Persians succeeded in taking Dura, though exactly how they breached the city defenses is not entirely clear. I find it quite disturbing that these tactics were obviously known to the Persians at that time, though it once again shows that a lot of historical records and technological information has been lost in time, only to be rediscovered again the past few hundred years.