Comic relief

New Russell Peters clips:

http://www.imeem.com/people/ScvyFn/video/u_56vkTX/eddieted_russell_peters_red_white_and_brown_part_1_comedy_vi/

http://www.imeem.com/people/ScvyFn/video/-6bFpr5h/eddieted_russell_peters_red_white_and_brown_part_2_comedy_vi/

http://www.imeem.com/people/ScvyFn/video/mPuYJZA9/eddieted_russell_peters_red_white_and_brown_part_3_comedy_vi/

http://www.imeem.com/people/ScvyFn/video/NnOXZ3Qd/eddieted_russell_peters_red_white_and_brown_part_4_comedy_vi/

http://www.imeem.com/people/ScvyFn/video/GLo3Q3iS/eddieted_russell_peters_red_white_and_brown_part_5_comedy_vi/

http://www.imeem.com/people/ScvyFn/video/xqTHs08d/eddieted_russell_peters_red_white_and_brown_part_6_comedy_vi/

http://www.imeem.com/people/ScvyFn/video/xqTHs08d/eddieted_russell_peters_red_white_and_brown_part_7_comedy_vi/

http://www.imeem.com/people/ScvyFn/video/Hwm1unr0/eddieted_russell_peters_red_white_and_brown_part_8_comedy_vi/

دعاء الاستخارة – Istkhara

اللّهم أني أستخيرُك بعلمك وأستقدرك بقدرتك وأسألك من فضلك العظيم فإنك تَقْدِرُ ولا أَقَدِْر وتعلَمْ ولا أَعْلَمْ وأنت علاَّمُ الغيوب .

اللّهم إن كنت تعلمُ (( ذكر المسألة )) خيرٌ لي في ديني ومعاشي وعاقبة أمري فاقْدُرْه لي ويسِّرْه لي .

وإن كان هذا الأمرُ شراً لي في ديني ومعاشي وعاقبة أمري فاصرفّهُ عني وأصرفني عنه واقْدِرْ لي الخير حيث كان ، ثم رَضّتَيِ به .

Sorry for non-Arabic readers. The concept of istkhara is amazing to me. Here is the translation from about.com:

Oh Allah! I seek Your guidance by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power; I have none. And You know; I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things.

Oh Allah! If in Your knowledge, (this matter*) is good for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge, (this matter*) is bad for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it. And ordain for me the good wherever it may be, and make me content with it.

Sony takes a major Stock hit

Check here

Bloomberg reports that Sony’s shares fell to their lowest point all week following Credit Suisse’s investment rating cut, dropping 5.9 percent to close at 1,825 yen ($20.32).

Sony …. sighs … the PS3 has not done as well as they expected. Little Big Planet did not sell much more units and Microsoft stole the exclusivity of Final Fantasy. Can it get any worse? Sure … Metal Gear Solid 4 on the Xbox360, that would be a huge hit. Look at the following images:
Sales Rates Nov 2007 - Nov 2008
Sales of Current Gen consoles
Wii and PS3 sales relative to Xbox360 install base (2nd year)
Top shooters on all platforms
Top 20 Software by Unit Sales

All the figures show that the PS3 is significantly is under performing. Sony has invested huge amounts of money in the Cell technology which has been painful for developers to say the least. Only if they had made it a shared memory architecture. Now Sony is laying off people left and right and major restructure is expected.

Plagued by what analysts say are problems with its operating structure and high costs, Sony recently said it would cut 8,000 employees — about 4 percent of its workforce — with the aim of saving $1.1 billion dollars. The company suggested at the time that it might “carefully review and make structural changes” surrounding the PlayStation business.

I think Sony has learned a tough lesson in this console generation and I’m still a firm believe in their ability to turn it around (maybe not so much for the PS3), but definitely for the PS4. They will have to move to a platform architecture that is really easy to develop for and innovate on a couple of things to add something new. The reason I wrote all this is to say, that Sony stock will probably go down further and then it will be a good time to buy.

Eminence Orchestra

I found out about Eminence Orchestra after I watched their performance for the Metal Gear Solid 2/3/4 Theme music which I attached below. Also check out their performance of the Super Mario Brothers on youtube at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcKurvm_0oE. I can’t embed the video here for legal reasons it seems.

Their performance of the One Winged Angel Theme from Final Fantasy VII is outstanding. I attached it below as well. They have also done work for Blizzard’s Diablo III and WoW. Music in video games is a crucial element of the whole experience and it’s a big differentiating factor of great games. Music can enhance the gaming experience or take away from it but never the less, great music is always welcome.

Metal Gear Solid Theme:

Final Fantasy VII One Winged Angel Music:

Blizzard Entertainment’s Echoes of War:

Havok Behavior on Youtube

My company started offering a free download of the Havok Behavior Tool on http://www.havok.com/tryhavok. We also uploaded several How To videos on Youtube of how to use the tool to accomplish some basic things. You can check out the videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/HavokBehavior

I also linked some of the videos here: