Tesla Musk vs NYT Broder

I’m going to preface this by saying that I didn’t read all relevant items and admit that I have an inherent bias in favor of Elon Musk because I consider him to be one of the most amazing people ever. I have a deep admiration and respect for his work. If I were a more scientifically inclined person, he would be my hero. One day, maybe I’ll write more about that but for now this is about a current conflict between him and the New York Times.

As I understand it, a writer, Broder, wrote a negative review for the New York Times about his experience with a Tesla Model S. The problem Musk has isn’t that the review was negative, though some would lead you to believe that, but rather the review is presented in a very deceptive way with what looks to be more like incompetence on the reviewer’s part than actual problems with the vehicle.

For instance, he didn’t fully charge the car each time and lo and behold, ran out of charge at some point. After Tesla notes this in their blog, he says reps told him an hour would be enough to charge it. But if you get in the car and see the estimated range after you’ve charged is NOT enough, wouldn’t you keep charging anyway or at least call the reps to double-check? I very much doubt they would have given him the go-ahead then. Or another instance of when he could have charged overnight but didn’t. Whether you thought you had enough juice or not, it’s just a sensible precaution because you would otherwise be left stranded if wrong, as seems to have happened with him.

I didn’t read the original review and I really tried to read his rebuttal, but I admit, I got bored and I suppose my mind was already made up after reading Tesla’s blog about their logs showing differing claimed temperatures, speeds, and actions taken by the writer’s claims. I’m pretty sure the truth is somewhere in between but not the middle, more on Tesla’s side than Broder’s, but undoubtedly both have their own biases leaking out as well.

This little debacle appears to have brought people of differing views just on Tesla or electric vehicles in general. I would love love love to have an EV or a hybrid, but certain other financial concerns take priority. I do, however, think it is a good path to take, a step forward, into the future.

I wish Musk and Tesla well. I’m sure Elon Musk isn’t perfect, he is human after all, but very few people have the assets and motivation to advance humanity to the degree he endeavors.

Audacity – Noise Removal

Yesterday, I worked on a video talking about the video games I played in 2012. While doing my voice recordings, I seemed to be picking up more static noise than usual. Maybe I did the last time I did a recording too and was simply used to it. It had been months since my TTT2 review.

In any case, it bothered me enough to see if there was something I could do about it, and there was.

Here’s how, as noted on the Audacity wiki:

-Find a portion of the recording that is ONLY the noise you want to remove. I usually have a few seconds of lead-in and lead-out time when I make my recordings, so that part’s simple enough.


-Go to Effect -> Noise Removal and click on the button that says “Get Noise Profile.”



-Now select the portion of audio from which you want to remove that noise. For me, that’s the part between my lead-in and lead-out parts.


-Go to Effect -> Noise Removal again but this time check that the “Remove” radio button is selected and then click on the “OK” button.


And there it is. The link above has some more tips to improve it in case you are not satisfied. For me, it was enough for the most part. It sounded just fine from my laptop’s speaker and only had a hint of static with my speaking when I was wearing headphones. Nobody commented on it being an issue on the video. I have a few views and a couple of likes so can only assume it’s either not a problem or not a big, noticeable problem.

The Dark Knight Rises Review

I’m relatively neutral on Batman as a character and generally exhausted of superhero movies, but my hubby picked it up for himself, and I figured I could at least take the necessary time to watch from the comfort of my own home. Minimal effort on my part after all.

Here’s my thoughts:

Bane’s voice was theatrically comical.

The 2 hour 44 minute length is in in no way justified by the content presented in the movie. It did not leave me feeling that every scene and every line shown HAD to be there to grasp the movie. It just…dragged.

The movie takes itself way too seriously.

I was more annoyed than sympathetic with Alfred.

It felt like more of a showcase for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character than a Batman movie though I admittedly did at least like his character.

The ending left me feeling a lot better than the rest of the movie.

Mass Effect Progress

I’ve beaten ME1 3-4 times already, so it feels strange to title this post with “progress” but oh well. I am indeed progressing through it AGAIN.

My current play-through is attempting the following:
-Earn the Asari Ally trophy. I actually used Liara quite a bit on my FIRST play-through but evidently not enough because I did some side missions before I went to get her.
-Get up to 4 Charm/Intimidate if possible. With that, then on my NEXT play-through, I’ll earn 1 in each on becoming a Spectre and be at the 5 required for an exploitable glitch in a conversation with Lorik Qui’nn.

This is also with the general purpose of building a perfect Shepard, so that once I’ve maxed out my Charm/Intimidate overall, I can do an ultimate play-through with every option available and make whichever choices I want before finally moving onto ME2. While I’m at it, the trophy for reaching level 60 is bound to come up as well.

I’m going through as an Adept since that was my favorite between Soldier, Adept, and Engineer with the play-throughs I’ve done so far. I initially went with Soldier because it’s easiest, and I wanted all options for weapons and armor. But I think I had the most fun with Adept because of the powers. Since I play on Casual as it is, the game’s pretty easy so may as well pick the most fun role.

I don’t think I’ll be earning the platinum because as much as I like ME1, it’s certainly not for the shooting or difficulty and going through on Hardcore and/or Insanity, just doesn’t seem worth it, especially if what I’ve read of the Mako dying in like 1-2 hits is true. No thanks man. No thanks.

My Gaming in 2012

Well, in 2012, I played a lot, by my standards, for the first few months of the year. Most years, I play around 6 games and had reached 3 by early February. If one counted the Jak HD collection as the 3 games it contains, I had reached 6 not long after that. It’s a good thing I blogged my progress because I could easily forget a lot of the other earlier stuff.

It started with Portal 2 in January, a game that was released in 2011. I had not played Portal 1 but knew of it. Both Portal games are first-person perspective with a portal gun that you use to resolve puzzles. And both have a good dose of humor along the way. You play as Chell, and she never speaks or reveals anything about herself. Where it shines is in the characters of GLaDOS, Wheatley, and let’s not forget Cave Johnson, a recorded voice telling us that when life gives you lemons to demand to speak to life’s manager. The puzzles themselves present interesting and worthwhile challenges. I probably looked up some help but tried to minimize it.

Presumably in February, based off my blog posts, I played Portal 1 as well. I still haven’t technically beaten it though I am on the last part. The first game is mainly you and GLaDOS and obviously none of the added characters or mechanics from Portal 2.

In February, I also played Soul Calibur 5. Having previously been disappointed with Soul Calibur 4, I mainly played it, like many other games in 2012, because I had easy access thanks to my husband. Due to past experience, I limit my hype and expectations when it comes to video games, and this was no exception. I like to explore the single-player options in fighting games despite them being competitive since that is where I tend to find characters that I like.

However, SC5’s story mode was horrible. Many know of my criticisms for the Tekken 6 story mode, and SC5 surprisingly went the route of somehow taking a concept that was already bad and making it worse. You do not get to pick your character, and good luck seeing if your favorite or some half of the cast even makes so much as a cameo. Too much focus on two new characters AGAIN. At least it was still the core gameplay.

On the one hand, there seemed to be notable additions to what you could do for creating characters, yet on the other, even with black-feathered wings, and DLC Jin clothing, you still cannot make Jin or Devil Jin because of no similar hair option. Oh, and how about removing Talim and Zasalamel while giving us TWO versions of the two characters already clogging up the story mode?! Yeah, that sucked. There is some fun to be had with this game, but all these other things were glaringly bad and annoying.

February also saw the release of the Jak HD collection. Now I’m not as vocal about my fondness for Jak 2 and Jak 3 as say Tekken 5, but they are among my favorite games. I was very happy and actually kind of excited-enough that I bought it Day 1 (which I tend to not do anymore). I had never bothered playing the first Jak game, but hey, trophies, that gives me an excuse. It was alright, but I still like 2 and 3 better. It’s my own fault, but some of my enjoyment was dampered a little with trying to platinum all 3 games, especially Jak 2. Jak 2 is hard. Not only is it hard but getting all 286 precursor orbs is REALLY hard. So hard in fact, that I used a glitch, especially once I realized that I had NEVER gotten 286 before. I had only ever reached the 200 necessary for earning Hero Mode. And then for Jak 3, somehow, somewhere (under a bridge in the port), I had missed ONE orb and started up a new game just to help me track where I had missed it! All that aside, they looked great, Jak 3 especially during a sequence where you glide in the sky, and played great too.

In April or May, I picked up Street Fighter x Tekken. This game’s release fascinated me because it was almost kind of scandalous the things that Capcom tried to pull with DLC in placing 12 locked characters on the disc and pre-order gems that would have an advantageous impact on competitive play online, as far as I know. I don’t play online or competitively so am basing that more off what I read. Regardless, I find it dumb and wrong to encourage paying to cheat in a competitive game. Anyway, I didn’t buy it for any of that but because it had Jin, one of my favorite characters ever, and my most hated character ever was happily locked away, so I never had to see his ugly face either. I got my Jin cut scene and I think Asuka/Lili as well but didn’t really find the rest of the game compelling enough to keep going. With no gallery and a general lack of favorite characters, I stopped there.

Around April, I finally got with the times and bought a smartphone. It was around this time that Draw Something was the popular game, so I checked it out. A bit of a fad, now looking back, but I had good fun with strangers and friends alike.

I am not sure which month I started, but my blog posts for FF13-2 start in June. This game was so…annoying. I still played it and made the most of it. I found some enjoyment through enhancing my monsters, making an especially strong Behemoth, but still…I wrote when I started that it was the worst FF I had played, and that opinion has not changed. Improvements were made over FF13, such as not being as linear and being able to change a party leader, but other things were taken away. Serah and Noel are okay but hardly favorites, and the party member options were very limited given that it was those two and a monster. A guest might appear but not for long and with little to no control. Worst of all was the ending. It felt like a slap in the face and gigantic nonsensical waste of time. Thankfully, there were alternate endings. If that crappy main ending was supposed to get me excited for the next game, it had the opposite effect as I have no faith in the team working on this story after that. Tekken 6 is still the game that makes me the most angry so far as a number of factors go, but FF13-2 is probably the angriest I’ve been at an ending.

In September, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was released. After T6, my future fandom with the series was questionable and as others would ask me if I were hyped for TTT2, my answer would always be no. One person in fact seemed particularly bothered by such a response, but something to understand about me and Tekken is that even supposing T6 had not sucked, my being hyped for TTT2 would be a stretch because it isn’t canon, and presumably any type of cut scenes of interest would be either short and/or of little relevance. So far as Jin was concerned, that was completely true. I went ahead and spoiled his endings and decided the game could wait as that was more or less my “make or break” for a purchase. Well, my hubby picked it up of his own accord, so I played it in later September all the same. When asked if I “liked” it, I say I do with hesitance. See, so far as I’m concerned, anything with the worst character ever is better off dying in a fire but given WHY I complain about this character was mostly rectified (aside from his general existence), I did what I could to avoid him and enjoy the rest. It’s certainly better than T6, but I regard T6 as a steaming pile of crap, meaning the bar isn’t very high. All the same, there is no Scenario Campaign, which was my biggest issue with T6. Not a whole lot to rave about regarding Jin’s scenes given the best ending with him in it was in my opinion Hwoarang’s not either of Jin’s own endings. My favorite options for Alisa’s customization were taken away, and nothing all that good replaced them.

In December, I had an itch to play something but what? I didn’t know. I have no shortage of options thanks to my husband. At first, I settled for a small free game he had picked up through PlayStation Plus called Rock of Ages. You work your way through the ages using a giant boulder to roll through and do some damage against an enemy gate. It’s humorous and interesting, but I stopped after about 3 rounds upon realizing the money doesn’t really collect as you progress so each attempt is a self-contained challenge. Maybe I’ll go back, maybe I won’t, but I haven’t yet.

Finally, I decided to try something very different for me: Mass Effect. I don’t like shooters, either first-person or third-person, but I do like certain characters and had observed some of interest when my husband played ME2 and ME3. Given that, now that I can start from the beginning on the PS3, I have done exactly that. It hasn’t really changed my opinion on shooting, but I found it interesting and addictive for other reasons. I mainly liked how much I could replay it.

I always make an arbitrary and hesitant list because well…people like lists. Forever subject to change upon further reflection, here’s what we got as of this typing:

1. Portal 2
2. Mass Effect
3. Jak HD Collection
4. Portal
5. Tekken Tag Tournament 2
6. Soul Calibur 5
7. Draw Something
8. Street Fighter x Tekken
9. Rock of Ages
10. Final Fantasy XIII-2

I’m hoping to work on a video version of this post this weekend.