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Bruce Willis
I must say, this is a pleasant surprise. I've always like Bruce Willis, but my respect for him grew considerably when I read this:

"Everyone has a right to bear arms." he says in an interview. "If you take guns away from legal gun owners, then the only people who have guns are the bad guys."

This just occurred to me: is it just coincidence that the two big names with recurring roles on Friends (Tom Selleck was Monica's long-time boyfriend and Bruce Willis will make his first of many appearances this Thursday) are both pro-gun? I doubt there's any real connection, it just struck me as a little odd.

Washington D.C.
Another shooting involving children, this time in Washington D.C., a city with some of the country's strictest gun control laws. The response? We need more gun control, of course! In a city where it's virtually impossible to own a handgun, somehow more gun control is supposed to curb the level of violence.

Washington D.C. has always been the strongest evidence that simply passing draconian gun control laws has no effect on crime. But that doesn't stop gun control advocates from pressing for more laws. This should be a telling sign to anyone with enough brains to see it. By pushing for pointless regulations that do nothing to lower crime, there will always be a reason to push for further restrictions. Because gun control itself simply doesn't do anything to prevent crime, its supporters will never rest until all guns are banned. And then... what? Will they rest comfortably, wrapped in their false sense of security while things remain unchanged, or will they finally wake up and realize that such a high level of violence has a root cause that must be addressed?

I for one don't want to find out. I don't think it's necessary for our citizens to lose a fundamental right protected by the Constitution in order for people to realize that something is wrong with our society. A vicious cycle of poverty, violence, and racism has to be broken in order for any real change to be made. Unfortunately, it's a whole lot easier to blame a scapegoat than do hard work.

Permalink   Filed under: Politics, Guns, Law

Epic sluggish to respond
You can find this message on the "Unreal Technology" page:
Buckling under popular demand from the UT skinning/mod community we are releasing a public version of 'Bright', our trusty old command-line-based texture palettizer tool. Get it right here. Documentation included in the zip file. We used this throughout development of Unreal and Unreal Tournament to convert source art textures into 8-bit formats with minimal loss of quality.
This is, in my view, very indicative of Epic's attitude towards mod makers so far. Why would it take months of requests from the community for Epic to release this simple command-line tool to gamers? If Epic is truly supporting the mod making community, why wasn't this available the moment Unreal Tournament was released? Better yet, why does the "Unreal Technology" page have version 1.0 of 3ds2unr.exe when version 1.15 (released 5 months later) is available from a dead webpage that hasn't been updated for 12 months?

And yet Brandon "Green Marine" Reinhart took great offense to the suggestion that Epic hasn't provided the resources to mod makers that some other games have. Wake up, Brandon. The reason is because it's true. The offerings available from Epic feel like table scraps. The information is so sparse that it gives a tantalizing taste, but in the end seems to provide little sustenance.

Probably the most telling evidence of this is that Brandon Reinhart himself has joined the team that's porting Rocket Arena to Unreal Tournament. He must have seen the kind of sway that the RA team has when their complaint about Quake3 mod support produced immediate results from both the community and the Id team itself. It probably terrified Epic that a similar comment would be made about their support, so they immediately sent Brandon to launch a preemptive strike.

I mean, God forbid that they actually work to make mod editing easier for everyone, not just one high profile team. Like, I don't know, documenting their code, releasing some actually useful utilities, or providing instructions on the most common and obvious mod changes.

So far our UT mod has been an exercise in frustration. Even community resources have provided almost nothing beyond the info available from Epic. Finding decent information on model conversion or expanding the functionality of existing classes (and passing those changes down to existing subclasses) has been next to impossible. What little info I find is incomplete, and the utlities don't work.

Permalink   Filed under: Technology, Games

Those dangerous power tools
You might want to check out M.I.L.T. for an important social commentary.
Permalink   Filed under: Society
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