June 28th, 2008

#1141: I have only one question: WHEN????????

DIABLO III BABY!!!!!

Only problem is, that site utterly horked my browser. The images and everything are gorgeous, but it's awful bandwidth-intensive.

Right now they're showing two character classes--Barbarian and a new one, Witch Doctor. (Hopefully there'll be more than that later on.)

I've only been waiting since about 2002 or 2003 for another Diablo game. Awesome.

* * *

WTF. A moonlight concentrator cures diseases? Riiiight. Yeah, sure, whatever floats your boat, dude.

* * *

"You can't create a car to deal with $5 gas in one year," is the money quote from this article about how GM stock is tanking.

Little has changed at GM over the past few decades. Faced with changing conditions repeatedly GM has learned nothing from the past and instead concentrates on satisfying what customers want now without thinking about what they might want "if-and-when".

Other automakers who have fuel-efficient cars aren't "lucky"--at least, in the sense that some kind of mysterious force helped them; it was the "luck" which enables a baseball player to hit a home run, the "luck" of foresight and preparation.

GM responded to a market trend but didn't bother to hedge its bets: it concentrated on making big fat gas-guzzling SUVs because that's where it could make big fat profits, and put nothing into preparation for the time when gas might get so expensive that people stopped buying the big fat gas-guzzlers. (To the point that GM is already considering selling the "Hummer" brand, which was never anything but a bunch of badges for rebodied Chevy trucks anyway.)

It would be hilarious if it weren't such a tragedy; the big three made the exact same mistakes they made in the 1970s, and it's having exactly the same results. Chrysler is even facing another freaking bankruptcy!

If the bean counters at GM had had even a shred of intellect that could have been spared for anything other than maximizing the dividend, the company might have been able to do something smart, something like this:

You develop, and keep under wraps, economical cars. You don't put them into production, but you ensure that you can do so with about 9-15 months' worth of lead time. You periodically update the designs so they don't stagnate. Then, when something like this hits--gas suddenly spikes to $4+ per gallon--you announce that you've got a new car coming out that'll get XX MPG and you push the big red button. Out come your superbly-engineered, inexpensive, up-to-date economy cars, and within a year's time you've adapted superbly to changing market conditions.

GM used to be the largest corporation the world. Don't tell me this is "impossible"; it's not, and I know it's not. I'm not talking about developing a car from scratch in 12 months; I'm talking about going from production prototype to full production in 12 months--that is eminently possible.

It means more money on R&D, of course; and to bean counters, R&D is wasted money, money that could be put into the dividend! Got to keep that stock price up! Got to! Our bonuses depend on it!

...where has that thinking got you now, anus?

#1142: D3 info update

Release date: TBA
Other character classes: 5, other three TBA
System requirements: TBA

*sigh*

...and it looks like everything went up just today, Saturday 6/28/08. So maybe the reason the site kept horking my connection was sheer nerditude: people like me eagerly surfing the site to see what's coming.

D1 and D2 didn't need a hell of a lot of computing horsepower--by today's standards--to operate. Even D2 only needed a P2 running at 266 MHz in order to be happy. I'm hoping that D3 won't require any hardware upgrades to this computer. Nothing more than a video card, anyway. (Okay, Blizzard? Okay?)

Looking at the video of sample play, though--whoo. The artwork is gorgeous and the gameplay is spectacular. I suppose I'd better start saving my pennies for a better video card.

The characters won't be hardwired to a specific sex; you can have both male and female barbarians and witch doctors, according to the gameplay video, and by extension I assume the other three character classes will also be sex-customizable. (Not going to the extreme of Ultima III and allowing you to select "other", though, which is just as well IMHO.)

* * *

The heat and humidity of the week has dissipated, and it's now in the 60s and dry again. It's nice not having to run the AC.

Maybe cut the grass Sunday, then. Have to go buy some gas, though. Fortunately gas is cheaper this weekend than it has been. Of course, I just filled up the Escort--dropped $33 into the tank--and so gas prices dropped.

But they didn't drop all that far really--I would have saved maybe $0.40 or $0.50 on the tankful--so F it.

* * *

The village of Steger, immediately to the north of Crete, has a sign up announcing the "Steger Summer Fare". Yes, "Fare". I really, really hope that they actually meant "Fare" and not "Fair".

Mom commented that she saw, in the paper, mention of workers erecting a "STEAL pole". WTF.

Spellcheck reports no spelling errors! It's fit to print!

*sigh*

* * *

When the temps jumped this past week, so did the apparent population of fireflies: suddenly the back yard was a riot of the things. They're less active tonight than they were Wednesday. I really like fireflies, anyway.