Monthly Archives: June 2008

Top 10 Drinking Achievements Before You Die

Written by Mitch Martin


Even booze hounds need to have goals in life so, I decided to come up with a list of the 10 things that every true drinker should accomplish before they die. Not every item on the list requires drinking massive quantities of alcohol. Once you have covered every item on this list you will be a well rounded drinker who should have a shit-ton of good stories to tell. Personally I can put a check mark next to six of these so it looks like I still have some work to do. Figure out where you stand and then plan your weekends accordingly.

Case In A Day – 24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I prefer to think not. You need to sit down with a couple of friends and a couple of cases and power through the day and the case. People that have never done this think it’s easy and the people that have, know it’s not. Added Difficulty: Keep a hand written journal of what you are doing each time you crack a beer. Bonus Points: If anything is legible after beer 17.

Run The Taps At A Bar… Conditions: must have 12 or more taps. This is pretty self explanatory. Belly up to the bar and order a single pint of every beer they have on tap one after the other. You are going to get to try a lot of new beers and chances are you will be piss drunk before the sun goes down.

Century Club – Pretty simple, 100 shots of beer in 100 minutes without puking. Much like the case in a day challenge people always think this is easy until they actually try it. 60 seconds starts feeling like 5 seconds once you pass the 70 minute mark.

Brew Your Own Beer – Yeah it might not taste that great and you will be “that guy” that makes all your friends try their shitty brew but every true booze hound has to give it a shot at least once.

Pub Crawl Conditions: 12 or more pubs covering at least 1 mile. There is nothing better than getting a big group of friends together on a sunny day and catching a buzz while going on a walk. A beer at each stop with a short walk in between and you will be primed for a night of debauchery.

Go To An AA Meeting at least once you should see how the other half lives. Learn a lesson from Charlie Kelly, throw out your beer before you actually get into the meeting. If you don’t somebody will rat you out.

Learn Something About Wine And I don’t mean memorizing the flavors of Franzia, Carlo Rossi or Charles Shaw. Go on a wine tour and actually pay attention (without pounding Busch Lights between wineries) or go to a multi-course meal where they pair a wine with each course and explain why they go together. The knowledge will pay off each and every time you take a lady out for a nice dinner.

Black Out Before Noon – Just once get out of bed at 9 a.m. and crack a beer instead of having your morning Tropicana. There are a finite number of years in life where you can get drunk before noon and not feel like a total douche about it the next day. If you are a college football fan then this is easy to accomplish. If beer isn’t your bag first thing in the A.M. then I would recommend a Boones Farm Strawberry Hill. It’s slightly fruity, high in booze and fan-fucking-tastic.

Oktoberfest in GermanyAs someone who’s been there twice, trust me in terms of a unique alcohol experience, it’s pretty unparalleled. Any place where you can puke on the floor under your table, and one waitress jokes with you while she cleans it up and another brings you another beer is unique in my book. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a girl throw up while making out with some dude so that it squirts out the side of their mouths. Gross but hilarious. -Mr. Wonka

Scotch – learn to drink scotch either on the rocks or neat. Much like golf, it is a pain in the ass to learn, but it will pay off in the business world. While you are at it, learn the difference between bourbon and whiskey so that you don’t look like a total fucking hayseed. If you really want to get a gold star on your chart learn the difference between a blend and single malt as well.

7 Ways to Use iPhone to Impress Women

Written by James Wax

When iPhone was first released, just having one was enough to draw attention and establish hipness with beautiful women. Remember when girls crowded around for a demonstration of the magical touchscreen or to watch YouTube videos in the palm of your hand?

Their eyes widened with childlike wonder as you described the beauty and elegance of iPhone and its utter superiority to every device known to man.

Sadly, those days are gone. In the past year iPhone has become common place. With the coming price drop to $200 any goober will be able to get one.

Yet the iPhone is still a powerful tool. Here are the best ways to unleash the seductive power of iPhone.

1. Unlock it

unlock iphone

Nothing tempts a girl’s wild side like a bad boy, and that’s exactly what an unlocked iPhone says: I don’t play by the rules, danger doesn’t scare me, and I have crazy skills you can’t even comprehend. Plus it gives you access to the 3rd party apps that are too cool for regular users.

Who cares if it can be done by any chump in 45 seconds. She doesn’t know that. Bonus points for using the term “hacked” and alluding to the danger of an iPhone being “bricked”.

2. All-Star Photo Album

So you just met a cute girl. How do you prove that you do amazing things all the time and have many cool friends? This is the ideal use-case for the All-Star photo album. Create a special album on your iPhone of all your most impressive pics: snow boarding in the Swiss Alps, you with your friends at the Radiohead concert, and pictures of you with other attractive women are all good candidates.

When you get her alone for a moment, say something like, “OMG you’ve gotta see this photo of me [insert cool thing here]” and proceed to go through the entire album, commenting about how great a time you had and how cool your friends are.

3. iPod Tunes Master

Dozens of targeted playlists in the palm of your hand. This needs no explanation. Create playlists to set different moods: chill, party-time, low key, and of course, romantic. To get the ultimate effect, invest in a set of portable speakers. When you bust out the tunes at the beach, park, etc. you will be the man. We highly recommend flipping through cover flow mode for maximum visual effect.

4. Contacts, the more the merrier

Make sure you have lots of contacts, because seriously, you are so freaking popular. To inflate your contacts count, import all of your email contacts into your address book and upload them to iPhone. She won’t know that 2/3 of those people have never seen you in person.

Expert tip: Complain about searching your contacts list saying, “I can’t stand looking for contacts on my iPhone — it only lets you search by 1 letter. How am I supposed to sort through 300 Johns?” Note: This is the only acceptable circumstance to complain about iPhone.

5. Stocks

Women like men with money and ambition. Show her you’re on the way to wealth by constantly checking your stocks. When you catch her trying to see what you’re looking at, casually comment on your gains and losses, throwing around buzz words like “credit crisis”, “oil bubble”, and “consumer confidence”. Assure her you will achieve superior returns by investing in commodities and precious metals that will be essential to the growth of developing nations.

6. Save the Day with Maps

Maps is the ultimate clutch iPhone feature. The best time to break it out is when you’re with a group of people and need to find something in an unknown area — pizza, hardware store, gas station, etc. As soon as the opportunity arises, execute a search in maps and lead the group to success. Even better if you can use iPhone to instantly call the place. By solving the problem and taking charge you’ll establish yourself as a resourceful leader — a quality highly regarded by women.

7. Look Smart with Safari

When an argument arises over a particular fact, look smarter than everyone else by finding the correct answer with Google. This is the only time you will wish to conceal iPhone use from females. It’s great for settling disputes about the proper definition of a word or the location of obscure African nations.

In case it’s not clear, using iPhone will make you look like a rich, smart, cultured, resourceful, exciting, and popular bad ass. We can’t wait for 3G.

Why You Should Download Firefox 3 Right Now

Written by Michael Calore & Gina Trapani

FirefoxFirefox 3 – available for download at 10am PDT Tuesday – is the culmination of a two-year quest to build the best browser ever. And while it’s not perfect, it comes pretty close.

The open-source web browser is the fastest and most secure version of Firefox yet. Significant improvements have been made to the way it uses your computer’s resources, so the memory leaks and other performance problems found in Firefox 2 have been stamped out. Text and image rendering have also been improved, and the underlying code for Gecko, the engine that draws the actual web pages on the screen, has been updated. There are also heaps of useful features that have been added for both power users and newcomers alike.

It’s faster than Microsoft Internet Explorer, but it’s not the fastest browser in the world – depending on who you ask, either Safari on the Mac or Opera 9.5 claims that crown. Firefox 3 is also incomplete by design – users can customize the browser, adding additional bells and whistles through downloadable extensions (see our list of recommended extensions for some ideas). But the basic version is powerful and fast enough for us to give it our highest recommendation.

Here’s why we think Firefox 3 is one of the most kick-ass software releases of 2008.

History, bookmarks and discovery

The most significant enhancement to Firefox 3 is also the most subtle. It’s the location bar, the text field at the top of the window where you enter the web address of your desired destination. Once a purely pedestrian feature, the location bar in Firefox 3 has been juiced up to the point where it is now central to the browsing experience.

Start typing a URL and the window leaps to your aid, searching the page titles and URLs in your browsing history and offering suggestions for the page you’re most likely looking for. Searches are instantaneous and happen as you type. Continue typing and your searches get narrower. Pick a URL from the list and Firefox will remember your choice. The next time you type that same term, your previous choice will appear near the top of the list, if not at the very top.

Early testers of Firefox 3 loved this new feature so much, they nicknamed it the “Awesome Bar.”

Much in the way Gmail’s powerful search box has replaced the old categorization paradigm of menus and folders for sorting and finding old e-mail messages, the Awesome Bar has largely replaced the need for a traditional bookmark filing system. Still, many users will continue to prefer the granular control and long term security afforded by a folder-based bookmark system. These users have not been ignored. With Firefox 3’s new bookmark manager, you can mark your favorite sites by “starring” them – click on the blue star in the URL bar and the page is automatically branded a favorite. Once favorited, bookmarks can be tagged and sorted into folders. You can also set up smart bookmark folders to display your most-visited sites, recently-favorited links or specific tags – just like similar smart playlists in iTunes.

Speed and performance

One of the biggest gripes about the previous version of Firefox was its often dreadful performance record. The browser grew so sluggish and unresponsive after a few hours of surfing that it became almost entirely unusable. The explosion of resource-sucking web applications over the last two years only made the problem worse. addressed this stumbling block in an article in May of last year. At the time, Mozilla (the organization that makes Firefox) offered excuses ranging from outdated code to users running too many add-ons.

Whatever the wrinkles, they have been ironed out in the new release. Studies conducted by various sources over recent months show massive performance gains over previous versions of Firefox as well as competitors like Opera, Internet Explorer 7 and the Windows version of Safari.

We’ve been using the beta releases here at Webmonkey and, and the consensus around the office is that speed, memory use and overall performance are all vastly improved in this version. Read the recent report by Mozilla’s Stuart Parmenter for the nitty-gritty details about the browser’s performance enhancements.


Larry the Passport OfficerFirefox’s user base has traditionally been made up by the power users of the web’s elite – developers, software geeks and early adopters. But as the popularity of the browser has grown, it’s attracted casual users who tend to be less net-savvy and therefore more prone to attacks by phishing sites, malware and scripting attacks. This shift has prompted Mozilla to raise the bar on Firefox’s default security measures.

Firefox 3 introduces a new visual language to the browser security game. The subtle tinting and the tiny padlock icon in the location bar denoting a site’s safety are being phased out in favor of stark iconography and clearly defined, color-coded cues. Security warnings come in the form of the passport officer symbol used in international airport terminals worldwide. He shows up as a different color based on the level of security of the site you’re dealing with, and that color is matched by the large button on the left end of the location bar.

Verified, secure sites make the button glow green. Sites with very basic identity information show up as blue, and unverified sites show up as the default gray. Click on the color-coded button and you can see how often you’ve visited the website (if at all), information about the company that owns it and the link to its identity certificate.

Sites with invalid identity certificates show a yellow passport officer and an on-screen warning. Visit a known phishing or malware website and the page is blocked from loading, with a red passport officer and an explanation being shown instead. The list of known attack sites is maintained by the community and updated regularly.

Native look and feel

It’s a small enhancement, but it’s a noticeable one that many users will welcome. Older versions of Firefox were dressed in the same gray clothes no matter which operating system you ran. In Firefox 3, each OS gets its own skin for the browser. Mac users will see buttons, scrollbars and tabs that finally look not just “Macish” but entirely Mac-native. The same goes for a Windows XP version with green buttons and a Vista version with that OS’s glowing blue appointments. Ubuntu users even get a version that’s, appropriately, boxy and orange.

Also, on the major OSes at least, the back button is larger. Mozilla ran its own user tests and found that most people miss the back button with their mice. So, the team made it about 50% bigger.

A better fit for your workflow

For advanced web users, especially those who favor webapps like Gmail or Yahoo mail over their desktop counterparts like Outlook, Firefox 3 provides a more seamless integration into their modern workflow.

Application-specific links on web pages can be set to trigger webapps. For example, you can set up the browser so that clicking on a mailto link opens up in Yahoo Mail rather than in Outlook, or that a calendar event gets added to Google Calendar instead of iCal. This is an extension of what we saw when Firefox 2 asked you how you like to read your RSS feeds – in a desktop app, with Live Bookmarks or in an online tool like Bloglines or Google Reader.

There’s also support for running your webapps off-line. If you go through a quick set up procedure, you can answer messages in Gmail and work on a document in an online word processor, then sync up later when your net access is restored.

Finally, search is everywhere in Firefox 3. Not only are your bookmarks accessible directly from the location bar, but recent downloads and Firefox’s add-on library now have a search box. Most web-based tools use search as an essential component, and it’s because of this emphasis on dynamic search capability that Firefox 3 feels much more in tune with the way we expect our applications to behave on today’s web.

The Awesomebar

Power User’s Guide to Firefox 3

You already know about Firefox 3’s marquee new features, but now it’s time to dig deep and unearth the shortcuts, tweaks, and even Easter eggs that Mozilla marketing doesn’t mention. In honor of today’s official release of Firefox 3—at 10AM Pacific Time—let’s dive in past Firefox 3‘s most talked-about feature-set into its lesser-known power uses, tricks, and customizations.

Shrink the Super-sized Back Button

The very first thing you notice in Firefox 3 is its extra large Back button. While it’s actually quite handy—less chance of missing your target!—if the Back button’s just too big for your tastes, it’s as easy as pie to reduce. Just right-click on Firefox’s toolbar, and choose Customize. In the dialog box, select “Use small icons.”

Adjust the Smart Location Bar’s Number of Suggestions

adjustsuggestion.pngThe Firefox 3 feature that you’ll get to know and love the most is the new smart location bar’s as-you-type suggestions that learn where you probably want to go as you browse. But if you’re feeling like the number of suggestions is too high or too low? Adjust it to your liking in Firefox’s configuration area. Here’s how.

  1. Enter about:config into the address bar and hit Enter.
  2. Press the “I”ll be carefull. I promise!” button. (Because you will be.)
  3. Enter browser.urlbar.maxRichResults in the Filter field to reach this preference.
  4. Set it to your desired number of suggestions. Three shown here.

Here’s another way to adjust the location bar behavior with an about:config tweak.

Shift+Delete Mistyped URL Suggestions

shiftdelete.pngWhile the Smart Location bar is quite intelligent, if you enter an incorrect URL—say, to a page that doesn’t exist—Firefox 3 will still remember it and suggest it again later. (Garbage in, garbage out, as they say.) To remove a mistyped URL from your suggestion list forever, key down to the suggestion and type Shift+Delete. Update: This trick works for any form auto-complete entry, like if you mistype a username into a login form.

Ditch Obselete Extensions

Firefox’s philosophy seems to be “stay lean and mean and leave the extras to add-ons.” Nevertheless, Firefox 3 does bake in some functionality that makes some extensions you might love unnecessary. Here are five extensions you won’t need with Firefox 3.

Revert the “AwesomeBar” with Oldbar

oldbar.png Firefox’s smart location bar (a.k.a. “AwesomeBar”)—which drops down a suggestion list of destinations as you type into it—is extra verbose and extra-tall, since it includes both web site titles and URLs. If you’re missing Firefox 2’s classic one-line drop-down look, the Oldbar extension can revert the “AwesomeBar” to something less awesome—or at least something that looks less awesome.

Trick Out Your Smart Bookmarks

smartbookmarks1.png Like iTunes Smart Playlists and saved search folders in OS X and Vista, Firefox 3’s Smart Bookmarks are dynamic lists of URLs generated by certain search criteria. Here’s how to create your own collections of Smart Bookmarks using search parameters. Hint: Add the most frequent pages you visit on by bookmarking place:queryType=0&sort=8&maxResults=5&

Set Gmail as Your Default Email client—Without an Add-on

gmailfx3.png Firefox 3’s filetype handling mechanism can now associate web applications as well as desktop applications with certain files. This opens the door to possibilities like automatically launching links to ical files in your web-based calendar app, or opening your webmail when you click on email links. While most webapps have to catch up to Firefox 3 to enable this functionality, one we already know and love is already there. Here’s how to launch Gmail when you click mailto: links on web pages.

Say Hello to the Firefox Robots

You already know about the age-old Firefox about:mozilla Easter egg. Well, Firefox 3 has a new Easter egg that pays homage to its robot mascot. Type about:robots into the Firefox 3 address bar to get a fun page with a list of robot pop culture references, from I, Robot to Blade Runner to Battlestar Galactica to Futurama.

Enable Spellchecking in One-line Input Fields

typo.png This tweak goes back to Firefox 2, but is still just as useful and functional in Firefox 3, especially if you’re a web writer. In about:config, set layout.spellcheckDefault value equal to 2 to enable spell-checking in single line input fields as well as textareas. (Less typos in your email subject lines and blog post titles!) Here are a few more Firefox about:config tweaks.

Mac Users: Add Favicons to Your Bookmark Toolbar

Mac users who are rockin’ Firefox 3’s new slick Mac-like theme—but who miss their bookmarks’ favicons—can easily add web site icons to their toolbar with a little tweak.

For a bird’s-eye view of Firefox’s evolution over the last four years, see the history of Firefox 1.0 to 3.0 in screenshots. Then, see how Firefox 3 stacks up in performance tests in comparison to Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer.

How are you tweaking Firefox 3 today when you install it? Give it up in the comments.

5 LEGO Video Games That Will Never Happen

Written by The-Minus World

With the recent success of LEGO video games, we at the-minusworld decided to come up with five movies we want to see get the LEGO treatment. Enjoy, because these are definitely never going to happen.

LEGO No Country For Old Men

lego, lego video game, minus world, no country for old men, video game comedy

How often does a game let you play as unlucky trailer trash, a crusty, pseudo-philosophical cop, and a deranged, air gun-wielding psychopathic killer with a bowl cut that would make The Beatles cringe? Not often enough.

LEGO Half Baked

A cult classic that made smoking weed cool. OK, smoking weed has always been cool, so that might be stretching it. Rumor has it that a LEGO dime bag comes free with purchase, which kind of sucks since you can’t smoke it (though I’m sure you potheads will try anyway).


Fight as the Italian Stallion before he was pummeled into dementia by Ivan Drago. Early word is that half the game will be a homo-erotic training montage, so when Apollo Creed asks you to “pound some meat,” he just wants you to use a dead cow as a punching bag, not rusty trombone each other after sprinting down a beach.


Unplanned teenage pregnancy has never been more fun! Lead Juno and her baby’s daddy (that falsetto-voiced kid from Superbad) on an epic quest to find a couple to adopt their unborn lovechild. Or just abort it and eat a case of orange Tic Tacs.

LEGO The Passion Of The Christ

You are the Christ. Battle your way through the New Testament to save Mary Magdelene from the evil clutches of Pontius Pilate. SPOILER WARNING: You die at the end, but not before paving the way for anti-Semitism, centuries of Catholic guilt, and Mel Gibson to make a shit-load of cash off the religiously insecure.

15 Browser Add Ons. No One Knows Them All!

When it comes to InterNet(Hackz), the first thing which comes to our mind is the browser which we use to access the internet. In my case it’s Firefox but I’m sure there are people who prefer to use various other available browsers.

Those days are gone when a simple browser was more than enough for our daily tasks and as web has evolved, our demand from a web browser has also increased and in order to fetch maximum from a browser, developers create plug-ins and we are going to cover the best add-ons for the major browsers i.e. FireFox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera.

Let’s start the journey of these wonderful add-ons with my favorite browser and i.e. FireFox (if you like some other browser, please keep that secret with you only as I’ll not switch to that browser – So leave the comments away from another infamous browser war 🙂

  1. GreaseMonkey: Without a doubt it has to be the most powerful plugin for FireFox as this plugin allows you to change the functionality, looks of the pages according to one’s needs. is a huge repository of various scripts which makes browsing pretty simple.

  2. WebMail Notifier: Why use Outlook Express, Outlook or Mail App (for OS X), when web based e-mail services have improved so much? Well, in order to ensure that you don’t miss out on any important e-mail, this add-on comes pretty handy. It instantly notifies you of incoming email and supports lots of web based email services.

  3. Showcase : If you often feel lost in the amount of tabs you open up while surfing the web, then this add-on will help you find the tabs in a quick and easy way. This add-on showcases all the open tabs as thumbnails in a new tab or in a separate window.

  4. Google Gears: Google gears is an excellent add-on and it’s more aimed towards developers so that they can provide you the ability to be offline with their web based applications. Zoho Writer & Google reader are few web apps which you’ll love to work on with the help of Google Gears.

  5. StumbleUpon: Stumbleupon is an excellent add-on and takes you away in those times when surfing the web wasn’t as huge as it is today and you came across some really cool stuff. This add-on helps you in discovering some really cool stuff on the internet. Caution: Stumbling can be addictive and you shouldn’t use it while you are working as your boss won’t like your productivity reports.

  6. Google Toolbar: If you love and live by Google search (like me) then you surely can’t miss this add-on. This toolbar gives access to all sorts of search provided by Google and lets you access the gadgets, Google bookmarks and notifies you about latest incoming Gmail.

  7. Tab Mix Plus: If you are looking for more control over the FireFox tabs then this add-on will be your savior. The add-on lets you add mouse gestures, lets you position tab bar according to your preference and a whole lot of features which you’d like to do with the tabs.

  8. IE – Tab: If you are a windows user and don’t want the hassle of opening up Internet Explorer again and again for those websites which strictly needs Internet Explorer. With push of a button you’ll be able to use Internet Explorer’s rendering engine in Firefox’s window only.

  9. Download Status bar: If you prefer to download lot of files over the internet then I’m sure that you’ll hate that download window, which opens up every time when you are downloading a file. Download status bar add-on makes a small bar at the bottom of the window (just above the normal status bar) and shows you all the files you’ve downloaded and gives you easy access to the downloaded files.

  10. Answers: This amazing add-on gives you all the knowledge of the world and that too at a click away. You just need to hold the Alt key and click on any word and you’ll get the quick access to it’s meaning, WikiPedia information. Comes pretty handy for non-English speaking users.

  11. FireFTP: Forget the days when you had to download FTP software to ensure that you could upload the files to a FTP server. This add-on makes FireFox a fully featured FTP application and works flawlessly.

  12. AdBlock Plus: If you are bugged with the ads present on various websites (although I prefer them for lot of reasons), then you can use this add-on to block them. It takes the ads away from the webpage and doesn’t break the webpage’s look either.

  13. Sxipper: Sxipper completes FireFox! This add-on fills the forms in a snap, so as a heavy web user you’d fall in love with it. You can skip downloading any auto-fill applications.

  14. FasterFox: You can easily tweak various network related settings of FireFox and it’s feature of Dynamic speed helps in caching of all the webpages and thus increases the surfing speed.

  15. FEBE: Installing and uninstalling of extensions can sometimes break the FireFox and this add-on helps you in recovering the whole profile as this helps you in creating the back of the FireFox’s profile and thus can save your lot of time.

There are lots many add-ons for FireFox and you can fall in love with most of them, however these are such extensions, which take the simple & cool browser to a whole new level and shouldn’t be missed by anyone.

image credit: ?Lµe?¦?S¬ ?×?

10 Xbox LIVE Achievement Commandments

Written by Dick Ward

It’s time to face facts. No matter how much players may protest their hatred of achievements, there’s a small part of everyone that warms up inside when they do something really clever and are rewarded for it. The Xbox 360’s achievements is a very cool way to deliver these rewards to players that lets them share their conquests and progress with other gamers. However, the inconsistency between games is a bit astounding. Fight Night Round 3 was the easiest 1000 points I ever got, while Marvel Ultimate Alliance still holds points hostage from me, and I know there’s no way I’ll ever complete the list for Gears of War. In order to help get this all straightened out, I’ve created The Ten Commandments of Xbox 360 Achievements.

1. Thou Shalt Not Deny Player 2 Achievement Points

Spider-Man: Friend or Foe is a pretty standard beat-em-up game with some light RPG elements. It’s like Marvel Ultimate Alliance lite. The game is completely enjoyable, though the joy of beating levels is soured a bit by the fact that only the person in the first player position gets rewarded for it. So of course, in the interest of fairness, the game must be beaten twice through. This is flat out inexcusable.

2. Thou Shalt Allow the Second, Third, and Fourth Players Unlock Unique Achievements.

Gears of War had this one down. Allowing whoever played as Dominic Santiago to pick up a few bonus Achievements was a nice way to piqué some more interest. Players that had already beaten the game in single player mode were more than eager to help out friends in their playthroughs to get the achievement.

3. Thou Shalt Give Easy Mode Credit For Hard Mode Completion

Why is it that anyone should be forced to play a game on easy? Sure, some people may be new and wish to play at a simpler setting, but what of the players who complete a game the first time through on harder difficulties? If a player can beat Rock Band on hard, I’m sure they can beat it on easy and medium too. Stop making us play the watered down versions in order to get our scores up.

4. Thou Shalt Not Create Achievements Which Encourage Unnatural Play

Assassin’s Creed, I’m looking at you here. The flags are really, really annoying. So are your pigeons, GTA IV. People don’t find these naturally, they go online, find a guide, and then follow it. This isn’t helping gameplay, just creating busywork.

5. Thou Shalt Create Clever Secret Achievements

While playing through the final chapters of The Last Crusade, I, as Dr. Henry Jones, accidentally killed my friend, who was playing Indy. Much to my surprise and delight, up popped up an achievement for the act called “That’s for Blasphemy”. Recalling a classic movie line and surprising us both, this was a really cool achievement to earn. Of course, as soon as I switched to Indy, he quickly returned the favor.

6. Thou Shalt Not Create Achievements Which Ruin Online Play

As much as I praised Gears of War earlier, I must tear it down now for creating a truly awful online experience due to constant achievement farming. Were these more reasonable, or earned as medals like in Halo 3, the online competition would have been much more enjoyable.

7. Thou Shalt Offer interesting ways to earn points online that benefit the experience.

The Orange Box gets some love on this one for its Team Fortress 2 achievements. Encouraging players to try their hand at each class is nice, but offering a special medic achievement truly helps the game. In a world so often bereft of players willing to take up the medic and help their team, Valve gives them a reason to try.

8. Thou Shalt Create Achievements of Opportunity.

Those players that aren’t compulsive about their achievement points will agree: it’s cool to get something that no one else has. Being online with 1,000 in NBA Live 07 is one that will most likely never be earned again, and is a sort of mark of pride. Killing a developer in GTA IV is a great example too. Anyone with that achievement has some pretty great bragging rights.

9. Thou Shalt Not give 0 point achievements for legitimate things. (I’m looking at you Kameo! 0 points for Co-op achievements.)

Who or whatever made the makers of Kameo decide that cooperative play should garner 0 point achievements needs to be hunted down and destroyed. Achievements are really just slaps on the back with an assigned point value; the amount of points isn’t truly what’s important, but it’s nice to see. 5 or 10 point achievements are fine, but 0? That’s just a bit insulting, isn’t it? For those 0 point achievements, there’s always the Halo 3 badge route.

10. Thou Shalt Give booby prize achievements.

Two games come to mind immediately. The Simpsons Game makes great parodies of the achievement system in general with its “Press Start” achievement. Until then, I’d never laughed at an achievement before, though admittedly I did snigger at “My love for you is like a truck”. NHL 2K7 also gives out a fantastic booby prize. Players exiting a total of 10 online matches while still in progress will unlock a 0 point achievement called “Quitter”.

5 Most Depressed Comics Characters

Written by Cory Cavin


As a wee child I remember spending every Sunday poring over the lively colored newspaper, reading up on my kid comedy that was ‘the funny papers’. As an obsessive compulsive lad I forced myself to read all the hilarity laden newsprint, (and still in my childhood mind wondered why I was reading every episode of the Family Circus…possibly the most uneventful comic on the planet). Still those stories stick in my mind today and color the fabric of our society more than we know – how many Dilbert calendars have you seen posted in an office to boost morale? Wow, his life really is like ours. Oh man, how booooring! Water cooler anyone?

But just as we’ve lauged with these cartoon characters in their lives, so we must cry with the reality that they live in in their little watercolored worlds. (Or waterCOOLERED worlds – Dilbert again anyone?) So we here at present to you our SHORT LIST OF DEPRESSED COMIC CHARACTERS:

Cartoon 2.jpg5. Andy Capp

Andy Capp is not so much depressed as he is a drunk. That is actually the entire concept of this comic strip. Andy, who is Irish of course, is a lovable old drunk who misses appointments, falls down, steals drinks from friends, and ends up being a loveable screw up. Just like that show Intervention but a little more kid friendly. The only way Andy can possibly keep up this life of drinking, burping, and wandering about with stars circling his head is by the residuals that his Andy Capp’s Hot Fries fortune must be generating in snack machines all over 1987.

Cartoon 3.jpg4. The Lockhorns

Continuing the Sunday laugh ride is colored newsprints’ most disfunctional couple. I remember wondering when to laugh as I read through their trainwreck relationship as Leroy would smugly comment on how Loretta “burned the roast again” and then eye a blonde at the bar who had no eyes because her bangs were drawn over them. Comically frumpy Loretta would scour Leroy with burning looks as they openly talked about divorce and how marriage is a better option because it’s cheaper. Wow can I go out and play baseball? And never get married when I grow up to avoid this sadness?

Cartoon 7.jpg3. Ziggy

Ziggy is on the other side of depression and probably on some sort of anti-depressant. He hangs out with a dog and goes from confusion to tame smile. In some comics he was even visited by aliens. Clearly this was all in his lithium soaked mind. Also, he looks like Uncle Fester. Or a young Matt Pinfield. Clearly, crazy.

Cartoon 6.jpg2. Cathy

Poor woman. Cathy is an early 30’s single cat-lady, addicted to chocolate, and a knack for screaming her frustrated catchphrase, “Ack!” Probably best portrayed by Tina Fey as Liz Lemon on 30 Rock, Cathy would be seen today sprucing up her Facebook page with self descriptions like “crazy!”, and “random”, but not “prone to falling asleep face down in a bag of Hershey’s Pot o’ Gold”.

JonArbuckle1. John Arbuckle

Maybe the worst of the list, Arbuckle spends most of his time in his home suffering through failed relationships, a dead end job, and moaning to his two closest friends, a dim dog and the world’s snarkiest cat, Garfield (Garfield could possibly win his own spot on the list for his massive addiction to comfort food). Arbuckle is the scariest on the list because he represents what lurks in apartments all over America – the young defeated single male. It’s like Edward Norton in Fight Club – except instead of talking to and slugging it out with a soap making Brad Pitt, Jon is arguing with and losing to a fat lasagna throwing cat. I’m sorry, Jon. See the depths of a crazed and alone Jon Arbuckle at Garfield Minus Garfield – a genius blog that removes Garfield and leaves Jon on his own to show how crazy he can look. And leave us any other emotionally wrecked comic strip characters in the comments!

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Cell Phones

Written by Mobilecommandos

Just when we feel comfortable enough to say “wow, cell phones have really changed the way we operate,” things get even weirder. Here are 10 facts about cells from around the world that show the scale and style of our contemporary global use; sometimes for bad, but sometimes for real, cool, innovative good.

many cell phones1. There Are LOTS of Them

There are half as many active cell phones on the planet as there are people. When you think of the general wealth distribution across the planet, it’s pretty remarkable to have over 3.3 billion active mobiles. Then again, Luxembourg’s mobile phone penetration rate is 158%. Yep – that’s 158 active cell phones for every 100 people.


2. And They Make a Mess

125+ million phones are discarded every year. Given the rate at which people go through cell phones (Koreans replace on average every 11 months), it’s easy to see how the environmental side can get out of control. At least there’s gold in the garbage! Yarr.


estonia technology3. M-Voting in Estonia

While the 2008 US election is abuzz with web penetration, E-stonia’s been leading the global technopolitical charge. As Lithuania books a seat on the e-voting (online voting) train, Estonia’s letting mobile phones both act as a convenient vote delivery platform, but also a personal identity confirmation, ushering in a new era of what is being called “m-voting”.


4. Koreans Love to Text Message. Seriously.

Korean teenagers between 15 and 19 years of age send well over 20,000 text messages a year, on average (60.1 texts per day). I don’t care how fast StarCraft has made your fingers – that’s a lot of time that could have been spent… I dunno… talking to people. According to the Korea Times in February 2006, “over 30% of South Korean students send 100 text messages a day”.


martin cooper5. The First Cell Phone Came Out in 1983

Well, at least, the first to get FCC acceptance. It was called the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. Before you lolz at the cheesebag name, wait until you hear what it stands for: Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage. Kinda endearing, I guess. They sound… proud.

6. Cell Phone… Or Flashlight?

Lost power? Sneaking back into bed? According to a Sprint survey, just under two-thirds of cell phone users use the backlight as a flashlight. A testament to human ingenuity! I guess it’s obvious, in a way. And here I thought I was being clever.


cell phone bully cry7. You Can Get Stuffed Into a Locker Through Your Phone

Ok, not really, but apparently text message bullying is on the rise in England. As an online anti-cyber-bullying guide explains, text message bullying allows for abuse around the clock. You want to pick on some kid, he’s available 24/7. It’s like those massive Blackberry ads at airports that boast that you now never have to leave the office. Bullying has never been more efficient!


8. Cell Phones Can Help Stop Nuclear Terrorism

Using solid-state radiation sensors, researchers at Purdue University are working to allow network of properly set up cell phones to track the presence of radioactive material. Since likely targets for terrorist attacks are major urban centers, and since most people have cell phones, this system could help collectively find out where the problem lies.


cell phone emergency response9. Used for National Disaster Response

Mobiles are more useful during an emergency than just for calling loved ones. Other countries have adopted systems whereby phone companies automatically warn citizens of emergencies/disasters – free of charge. Finland, in 2005, adopted such a system, as did Japan.


10. Half of Japan’s Top Fiction Was Written on Mobile Phones

Absolutely nuts. Turning the publishing industry on its head, this trend’s subscriber models are thriving and making significant money for aspiring writers, in turn fueling the phenomenon. Authors tend to be young women sharing fictionalized aspects of their lives. Five of the top ten works of fiction in 2007 were written on mobile phones. Japan, you never cease to amaze me.


13 Things Your Car Mechanic Won’t Tell You

Interviews by Fran Lostys

Real mechanics give you the inside scoop on the tricks of the trade.

1. “Watch out for scare tactics. Admonitions like ‘I wouldn’t drive this another mile’ should be viewed with suspicion.”

2. “Check for ASE [National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence] or AAA [American Automobile Association] certification, as well as a state license. Reputable shops are proud to display them.”

3. “Ask, ask, ask. For recommendations, years in business, warranties offered, licenses, and the type of equipment used. Look for a clean garage. A floor cluttered with empty oil cans, worn tires, and dirty rags is a red flag.”

4. “Never sign a blank authorization form. Always get a signed work order with a specific estimate for each job and warranties that apply.”

5. “It’s nuts to take a car with engine problems to a shop without a good engine analyzer and scan tool. Any mechanic who says ‘I don’t need fancy equipment’ should be avoided.”

6. “Synthetic motor oils may cost more, but you’ll get a lot more miles between changes.”

7. “When you go for a second opinion, don’t tell the mechanic what the first diagnosis and price were.”

8. “Coolant flushes and power steering flushes are very common gimmicks at quick lubes. Check your owner’s manual; many cars have fluid that is designed to go 100,000 miles. And cleaning fuel injectors is a waste of time and money. There are additives on the market that do a great job.”

9. “Always ask for OE [original equipment] brake pads or at least equivalent material. A $49.95 brake job will usually get you the worst friction material you can buy-it’s the difference between stopping short and causing a pileup on the way to work.”

10. “Ask about your new tire’s ‘build date.’ If you’re getting an unusually good deal, you might be receiving three-year-old treads, especially risky for snow tires.”

11. “Lifetime mufflers? What would ever make you think a muffler will last a lifetime? Yes, they’ll give you free replacements, but they’ll hit you over the head for expensive pipe repairs.”

12. “Consult your dealer before you have work done on a catalytic converter or emissions parts. Some of these items carry a very long warranty, and free replacement is often required by law.”

13. “It’s not okay for your ‘check engine’ light to stay on all the time. It’s probably not ‘a loose gas cap.'”

SOURCES: Gary Montesi, owner, Montesi Volkswagen, North Haven, connecticut; Domenic DiSiena, manager, Bedford (New York) Shell; Bob Sikorsky, automotive writer, Tucson, Arizona; anonymous mechanics in Minnesota and New York

50 TV Reporters Give You Their Best ‘O Face’

Written by blakeley

Oh Face

Ever wonder what some of your favorite television news reporters look like during sex? Gawker video guys Richard Blakeley and Nick McGlynn, along with their army of interns, have collected still frames of fifty reporters, anchors, and other TV folks giving their best “O faces.” The expressions imply everything from long and luxurious moans to awkward and embarrassing early finishes. Find all 50 after the jump. The dirtier your mind, the more you’ll enjoy them.

Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart

Ines Rosales
Ines Rosales

Greg Hepkin
Greg Hepkin

Andrea Day
Andrea Day

Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper

Charles Gibson
Charles Gibson

Bob Schieffer
Bob Schieffer

Mark Steines
Mark Steines

Katy Tur
Katy Tur

Katie Snow
Katie Snow

Diane Sawyer
Diane Sawyer

Rick Sanchez
Rich Sanchez

Patricia Del Rio
Patricia Del Rio

Maria Bartiromo
Maria Bartiromo

Emily Francis
Emily Francis

John Muller
John Muller

Cynthia Bowers
Cynthia Bowers

Brian Williams
Brian Williams

Steve Salvatore
Steve Salvatore

Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert

Hazel Sanchez
Hazel Sanchez

Dave Carlin
Dave Carlin

Deborah Norville
Deborah Norville

Terry Moran
Terry Moran

Sue Simmons
Sue Simmons

Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose

Juju Chang
Juju Chang

Bill O’Reilly
Bill O'reilly

Joel McHale
Joel Mchale

Kathie Lee Gifford
Kathy Lee

Arnold Diaz
Arnold Diaz

Linda Church
Linda Church

Tracie Strahan
Tracie Strahan

Chris Wragge
Chris Wragge

Kristine Johnson
Kristine Johnson

Nick Gregory
Nick Gregory

Mike Woods
Mike Woods

Shepard Smith
Shepard Smith

Sabrina Fang
Sabrina Fang

Dick Brennan
Dick Brennan

Giovanna Drpic

Bertha Coombs
Bertha Coombs

Mary Hart
Mary Hart

Mary Calvi
Mary Calvi

Lisa Evers
Lisa Evers

Kelly Wallace
Kelly Wallace

Dan Kloeffler
Dan Kloeffler

Margaret Brennan
Margaret Brown

Chris Cuomo
Chris Cuomo

Katie Couric
Katie Couric