Friday, July 1, 2011

Senate Bill S.978 will shut down video games and streams

The Bill in its full text: here

Techdirt's interpretation of the bill: here

s.978, a bill that is currently being considered by the U.S. Senate, would make it a crime to stream or upload copyrighted works onto sites such as YouTube. The intention of the bill is to prevent works such as TV shows and movies from being uploaded illegally, but with the current broad wording, would cause a tremendous amount of unintended harm.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Minecraft 1.6.4

Minecraft 1.6.4 is the current version of Minecraft as of now. With Minecraft 1.6 came over 100 bug fixes, the addition of hatches, tall grass, dead shrubs in deserts, the elimination of glitched minecart boosting, and the addition of the playable Nether in multiplayer and many other things. Along with the intentional changes, however, came many unintentional bugs. Notch and Mojang attempted to rectify the situation with multiple patches in one day (1.6.1, 1.6.2, 1.6.3 and 1.6.4). Unfortunately the patches did not solve everything and several bugs such as: spawning in midair, having partially damaged items break after one use if they had previously been dropped, severe lag in multiplayer, and lighting problems persisted.

Due to the enormity of the bugs Notch will be working on them on Saturday, which he definitely does not have to do, and he should be commended for this. As the game is still in Beta, and being improved for the eventual release in November, bugs can still be expected and should be prepared for. I would advise everyone to make routine backups of the .minecraft folder, before updating. By having a backed up copy of .minecraft, you can revert to the previous version if the newest release is overly bugged. By backing up my files, I was able to, for instance, recover my record from my jukebox, which due to a bug in 1.6 was deleted. I simply deleted 1.6.4, returned to 1.5 with the backed up save, and updated to 1.6.4 again with the intact record.

Minecraft is a great game, but it can be jittery, especially around update times. Though Minecraft can lure you into false sense of security with it being stable most of the time, remember it is still in Beta. Be sure to backup frequently, so that your hours of work and fun are not ruined.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I have just begun to check out the game known as Terraria. Though the game has many similarities to Minecraft, the game has its own charm and character. The game is more of an RPG, with a large assortment of monsters, NPCs and loads of craftable items. Though the game is in 2D, as opposed to Minecraft’s 3D, the game is fairly entertaining. I would suggest that anyone who plays the game should go into the game with an open mind, and give the game some time to work it’s magic on you

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Minecraft Demo Out

If you haven't tried the awesomeness that is Minecraft yet, you no longer have a valid excuse. now has a demo of the game available for download. Minecraft is in my opinion one of the greatest games made up to this point in history, as it offers a totally unique, creative experience.

Here is the download link: Minecraft Demo

If you end up buying the game after playing the demo, send me an email and we can play Survival multiplayer sometime. If you happen to join a server and see zartonis ingame, that is of course me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Minecraft: My World 1 home base tour

This is my home base from my first world in minecraft. Though I constantly add on to it, I decided to post this tour which shows my obsidian fortress atop a mountain. In the video I visit my newly installed hydroponic farm, storage room, living room, and incinerator. To end the video I climb up to the top of my base, which features a lava lighthouse and is built to the absolute maximum build height, and ride my minecart track down to a mob trap and look up at my base.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I have recently discovered a game called Minecraft.  This game, with its striking simplicity, yet addicting characteristics has enthralled me for a week.  I am just now able to conjure the willpower to pull myself away from the game and write a short review.

Minecraft is, at this point ( the most recent version is Beta 1.3_01) a sandbox game, one begins with nothing and harvests resources such as wood to survive against monsters that spawn when night falls.  Wood is a very basic and immediately needed resource in the game, as the player must gather it to form a crafting table, with which the player can construct useful tools such as axes, picks, swords, etc.

Though the player can construct many things with the wood, and cobblestone to be found on the surface, to construct much more interesting items, the player much venture into caves, and create mines to harvest iron, redstone, gold and the like.  Though this may seem uninteresting to many, Minecraft must be experienced in order to be understood.

Along with single player survival, you can play online with others, but as of this posting, I have yet to do so.

Minecraft is a great game, and I highly recommend it, and would advise anyone remotely interested to check out the Minecraft Website:

Monday, February 21, 2011


A beautiful aspect of music is that it has the ability to greatly impact the listener at a deeply emotional level.  Animation, if crafted by the right hands, allows a story to be told, unbound by the rules normally governing the real world.  In Fantasia (1940), music and animation were intertwined to create a masterpiece of sight and sound.

A fantasia is a musical composition with roots in improvisation, and not always adhering to textbook rules.  Fantasia very much lives up to its namesake.  It was a costly film at the time of it's release $2.28 million, and was very long, over two hours in length at a time when cartoon shorts were more the norm.


The visual styles presented in the film range from abstract to represent the absolute music of Bach in the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, to Dukas' programmatic The Sorcerer's Apprentice providing a character driven story with a familiar Disney charm.  The animation in this movie is some of the best hand-drawn animation ever to be produced.  Even tiny details such as rivulets of water slowly edging down a spider web, are precisely portrayed.  The artists are just as skilled at crafting the beating wings of a fairy as making Chernabog absolutely terrifying.

I first experienced Fantasia as a young child, and it gave me a deep appreciation of concert music.  I did not know the names of the composers: Bach, Tchaikovsky, Dukas, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Ponchielli, Mussorgsky or Schubert, but I did hear the beauty that was presented in Fantasia.  This movie increased my interest in music and will always be among my favorites.

The marriage of music and visual art as presented in Fantasia should be experienced by all, old or young.  I highly recommend this movie to all.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fallout 3

As of late I have been immersed in the World of Fallout 3.  Though I got the game back in September when I purchased my Xbox 360, I did not have much time to immerse myself in the Capital Wasteland due to school, Halo Reach and COD: Black Ops.  I have finished the campaigns of Reach and Black Ops, and though I am still playing the multiplayer mode if Black Ops heavily, I am investing more time into Fallout 3.

Fallout 3 is set in post-apocalyptic Washington D.C.  The player is from the safe sterilized world of a Vault, a device which sheltered the occupants from the harsh realities of the outside world.  When the player emerges from the vault to look for his father he enters a world of mutants, and various factious groups vying for control in the chaos that the world has turned into.

The game has an interested combat system called VATS (Vault-Tec assisted targeting).  This system allows the player to essentially pause the game when entering a combat situation and target certain areas of an enemy's body, the head, arms etc.  The player can also play the game much like a first person shooter, simply aiming and shooting the weapons.

Though the combat is integral to the game, the player's interactions with NPCs is crucial.  Much like classics such as Knights of the Old Republic, the player talks to characters and garners information, experience and Quest info.

I highly recommend this game, and I will be playing Fallout: New Vegas as soon as I finish this game, which will likely be a very long time from now.