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Archive for January, 2011

Badass LEGO Guns

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Badass LEGO Guns: Building Instructions for Five Working Guns by Martin Hudepohl is a pretty cool book. Using parts you’ll most likely have to custom order along with rubberbands and super glue, you can build any of five guns, from the semi-auto “Parabella” pistol to the fully automatic bullpup “Warbeast”, as seen on the cover. There’s also a neat butterfly knife called the “Magic Moth” available as well. If you have a bit of spare time, patience, and a love of LEGOs, then this might just be the next set of projects you could be looking for.

Bad Company 2 Vietnam Expansion

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Just a quick reminder that BC2: Vietnam is coming out on Tuesday, December 21st for consoles and was already available for PC via the EA Store on the 18th. It costs $14.99 or 1200 microsoft points.

Most Lethal

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Are you an active duty or recently retired member of a special ops combat unit? Then you might have what it takes to join the ranks of the new Spike TV show “Most Lethal”. Looking to recruit 12 elite members of Special Forces both from the US and abroad, the show will test a multitude of real-world and unorthodox combat scenarios in a bid to see who is the best of the best. Set to air in Summer 2011, “Most Lethal” could be one skilled Soldier’s path to $100,000 and a Title. If you fit the criteria and are interested in joining, shoot an e-mail to sofsearch@grbtv.com and include some military background information and a recent photo. Also, be aware that you’ll require 45 or so days of leave (and your chain of command’s permission) if still on active duty.

The 4-Hour Body

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

At a first glance, “The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman” by Timothy Ferriss looks to be another ‘miracle’ lifestyle book that promises plenty while offering nothing of real value. However, most of the information inside is actually beneficial. It is possible, though not always practical, through using this book to indeed become “superhuman” as the title so boastfully states.

But how is this achievable? Mostly through the driving principle behind the book: the MED, or Minimum Effective Dose. A simple practice that values doing only what is absolutely necessary to achieve your goals, whether that be losing fat rapidly or quickly gaining muscle. For example, the Slow-Carb Diet described in the book promises to cause you to lose 20 pounds of weight in about 30 days without any exercise. Other techniques further assist with whatever cause you are currently pursuing.

Of course I mentioned the sometimes lack of practicality of this book. Mostly, it would really benefit from a companion publication. A “4-Hour Body Manual” or something similar, which would better define and simplify the information contained within. I say this because it’s a common occurrence to have to read through the author’s personal take on everything before you finally learn what you were looking for. Also, the author went through a wide volume of testing and describes some procedures that aren’t necessarily available or affordable to every reader.

Despite this, it’s a very good buy. It provides some very valuable information and the stories are generally entertaining. Also, the original title of the book was to be some variation of the term “Body Hacking”, so you know you’re in for a treat.

NSFW – Trashtalking Doesn’t Work in Real Life It Seems

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Rooster Teeth, creators of the popular Machinima franchise Red Vs. Blue has recently started a new series they call Immersion, where they introduce video game-related situations to real life scenarios. In one video, they introduce ‘Shane’, a 13 year special operations veteran, who proceeds to fire ten rounds at a target 100 yards out. Afterward, he repeats this exercise, but with the addition of simulated multiplayer trashtalking and all the swearing, name calling, and general annoyance that comes with it, courtesy of the Mega 64 crew.

It’s hilarious stuff, but if the title didn’t give it away, it’s not something you’ll want to view in the work place or near those with sensitive ears. Click at your own risk: Immersion: Online Gaming Distractions

A Bike Built For 007? No, But It’s Still Pretty Cool

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

The BOND bike, which stand for ‘Built of Notorious Deterrents’, is a name well earned. It features a flamethrower to stop cars from coming too close, an ejector seat to combat bike thieves, a rear caterpillar track to deal with potholes, and a droppable front ski for snow. Sadly, the bike is only a concept piece by U.K. bike insurance company ETA, so don’t expect to see it on the market any time soon. Look for it at Cycle Show 2010.

CoD Tritton Headset

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

When Black Ops first came out, there was a glaring problem with the sound mixing in the game: your own footsteps were highly audible while you couldn’t hear any other player’s movement. However, recent patching has virtually fixed this problem (Ninja Pro helps) and the practice of ‘soundwhoring’, or using a headset to locate your enemies based on the noise they make, is once again possible. There are many models of headsets up to the task, but in particular, I’m reviewing the Tritton – Call of Duty: Black Ops Dolby Digital True 5.1 Gaming Headset for Xbox and PS3.

The headset is decked out in Black Ops emblems and has interchangeable leather or terrycloth ear pads. A Dolby Digital decoder box converts the standard in-game sound into surround sound. All cabling is braided and all connectors are gold plated and are of a high quality. An in-line control allows you to adjust either in-game or chat volume and you can independently mute either. You can also attach a flexible microphone to the headset to allow for in-game communication and chat. The whole thing requires its own power supply via an AC adapter and along with the relatively short cable, you’ll most likely have to be close to your television. This, along with the multitude of required cables, made installation a bit of a pain in the ass, but it’s not a huge problem. The whole set can be stored in a hard carrying case, also decked out with Black Ops graphics. Still, components mean squat if the headset doesn’t perform well.

I am happy to say that the headset does run as good as it looks, but to be honest I found it to be a little disorienting at first. The size and weight of the headset coupled with having surround sound right next to my ear caused me to take them off more than once. However, this quickly passed and now I find it somewhat difficult to play online without them. There’s plenty of satisfaction in hearing that one guy (or guys, as is common) running Ghost with a suppressed weapon, stomping after you just for you to hear them coming and headshot them. They also work great with other games, and not having to rely on your television’s sound system for in-game audio is a nice bonus if being quiet while you game is preferred.

Only one question remains: To buy or not to buy? It’s a really good, solidly built headset, but at $250 this honestly boils down to a fanboy product. For a similar headset at a cheaper price, go for the Tritton AX Pro. It’s almost the same headset without the Black Ops graphics, and as a result, you save about $100. If you like the CoD license but still want to save some cash, there’s also the Black Ops Dolby Digital Surround Sound Gaming Headset. It’s virtual 5.1 instead of true 5.1, not too much of a difference honestly. It’s also $50 cheaper.

PaintballX3 Magazine

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

PaintballX3 Magazine is a free online magazine read by tens of thousands of players around the world. It provides the latest news on anything paintball, from video games to tournaments and everything in between. You can read it at www.paintballx3.com.

Golden Gun Replica Up For Auction

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Do you remember seeing ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’ and thinking how sweet that iconic weapon was? Well, it’s not entirely impossible to have one of your own, figuring you have around $2000 to spare. Later this month, a replica of the Golden Gun made by SD Studios will be auctioned by Hansons Auctioneers where it’s expected to fetch somewhere between £1,000 and £1,500. The piece is made of a cufflink, fountain pen, cigarette lighter and a case, and includes a bullet with ‘007’ etched onto it. Total James Bond fanboy item if I ever saw one.

Thanks to SWNS

There Is An Underbarrel Flamethrower!

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

On my Black Ops Weapons article, I claimed that an underbarrel flamethrower never existed. However, one of our readers alerted me to a model that existed as early as WWII. Created by the Finns, it was an underbarrel mount for the M44 flamethrower which was used on the Suomi KP/-31 submachine gun. While not entirely like the underbarrel Flamethrower found in Black Ops, this proves the concept still has some basis in reality. Thanks!

Now We’re One Step Closer To A Real-Life Rocketeer

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Among the many futuristic pursuits we were promised as kids but never got, like food pills, flying cars, and death rays, comes an actual jetpack, courtesy of the Martin Aircraft Company of New Zealand. Featuring a gasoline powered V4, 2 liter engine, the Martin Jetpack can fly at a maximum regulated speed of 63mph with a maximum ceiling of 8000 feet. The current focus of the company is for governmental purchase, with 500 jetpacks to be used by emergency services and four unnamed defense companies. However, Martin is looking to secure additional funding to build a factory for the purpose of making jetpacks for commercial purchase. Although manned flight trials won’t be until 2012 at the earliest, at least we have something to look forward to as an alternate to that painful commute to work.

It’s a Stampede (ECS)!

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Nerf’s newest N-Strike blaster, the Stampede ECS, is perfect for taking potshots at those annoying neighbor kids who won’t stay off your lawn. The fully automatic blaster has a Grip-pod-style pop-out bipod that detracts from the forward grip, and a blast shield to help defend from any counter attacks. Included with the blaster are three 18 round magazines, one six round magazine, and 60 darts. Having one myself, I must say it’s a pretty awesome toy. My only gripe is it takes “D” batteries, and 6 of them at that. So when you’re picking up a Stampede at the store for a sneak attack on your family, friends, or your neighbor’s yappy dog, don’t forget to load up on the batteries to go with it.

Get Medieval On Their Asses With Nerf N-Force Weapons!

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Besides their fine selection of dart-based projectile guns, Nerf also has a variety of hard foam melee weapons with which to pummel the various whiners and non-believers. Although there is a variety of wimpy swords available, the really cool implements of destruction are as follows:

The Stonewall Shield and Dagger, which lets you hide behind its bulk, defending yourself from any number of attacks, while swiftly stabbing away with your free hand.

The Warlock Axe. I’m not sure what qualifies it for the Warlock title, because I’m pretty sure it’s not magical, but it sure is fun to swing around.

And my personal favorite, the Battlemaster Mace Axe, which is a mace… with blades. ‘Nuff said.

It’s also worth mentioning one ‘Klaw Hatchet’, which seems to be spoken of in rumors. Despite its apparent rarity, I am in possession of one, and although its pretty small compared to the rest of the N-Force series, it can still cause quite a bit of damage.

As great as these weapons are, however, it would really turn the cool factor up to 11 if they made Nerf Lirpa, so it would be possible to reenact this classic scene:

That’s right. Every good article should end with a little Trek, and I aim to please.

Has Devil May Cry Gone Emo?

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

The newest “Devil May Cry” game isn’t being developed in-house by Capcom like previous titles, but instead has been outsourced to “Heavenly Sword” and “Enslaved: Odyssey to the West” developer Ninja Theory. With this new developer comes a brand-new look and attitude for the demon hunting protagonist. Instead of his trademark white hair, wise-cracking antics, love of pizza, and demonic overpoweredness, the new Dante has black hair, doesn’t speak much at all, smokes, and most importantly, seems kind of weak compared to earlier iterations of the character. For the most part, fan reaction has gone the way of “They replaced Dante with an emo!”*. Even so, it’s still too early to see if Ninja Theory really did screw up or their take on the character fits within the beloved franchise.

*Some fan reactions:

Superpowered Power Suit

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

From Defense Contractor Raytheon comes the XOS 2 robotics suit. A powered exoskeleton, it greatly increases the strength of the wearer while being lighter and requiring 50 percent less power than its predecessor, the Scarcos XOS. This new tethered version is tied to its shore power source and would be used to lift heavy objects for logistics purposes, such as munitions and supplies, and will be applied to the theater of operations in about 5 years. A non-tethered combat variant, including only the lower half to help alleviate the strain of heavy equipment, will be applied 3-5 years after the tethered variant. There is no word, however, on when a variant suitable to combat Alien queens will be introduced.

Maverick HS12 “Tactical” Over/Under

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Mossberg knows how to make a great shotgun. Their products are widely used by military, law enforcement, and civilian sources for both personal defense and sport. But when they decide to alter one of their hunting shotguns and call it a tactical firearm? That may just be jumping the shark a little. On that note, I present to you The Maverick HS12 over/under.

Now, when we get right down to it, a ‘tactical’ firearm’s purpose is to perform well when engaging an enemy, and I’m not too sure an over/under shotgun has that capability. Sure it’s black, features a shortened barrel, and sports Picatinny rails (just a reminder: I am not describing an M4 carbine) but those particular characteristics don’t instantly equal tactical. In addition to this, one glaring flaw really holds the Maverick back: it features extractors and not ejectors, so when you pop the barrel to reload, you have to manually remove the spent shells, a time-consuming action that could cost you your life.

Maybe I’m being a little too judgmental since I’ve never actually tested the Maverick, but the idea isn’t a practical one. I’d rather get a 590A1 with a six round magazine tube (from the same company, no less) than a double-barrel shotgun any day of the week. Also, when you release a firearm that sounds more like a Nerf blaster than a self-defense tool, you deserve at least a little scrutiny.

Tactical Fanboy

Black Ops Wrangler

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

In a marketing first, Chrysler has announced the release of a vehicle with a video game promotional tie-in: the Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty: Black Ops edition. Available in two variants, the two door version is based on the Wrangler Rubicon model while the four door is based on the Wrangler Unlimited model. Both models feature a black exterior with Black Ops graphics on the roof and front quarter panels, 32 inch off-road tires in a high-gloss mineral gray, and tail lamp guards and a fuel-filler door from Mopar. The MSRP on the two door is $30,625 and the four door is $33,500. Since there’s finally a Jeep with tie-ins to a video game, perhaps someone will consider releasing a UNSC Warthog in the near future. The fans can only hope…

Always Check your Six

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

I’m far from suggesting that Black Ops accurately depicts combat, but some rules of engagement are universal in both real life and the digital arena. For example, disaster always strikes when you don’t cover your rear flank:

Moral of this clip: Lay down a claymore or you’re just feeding someone’s killstreak rewards. Preferably mine.

Black Ops Midnight Launch

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Once again, I attended a launch party at my local Gamestop, this time for Black Ops. I arrived early at around 9:30, and still ended up as number 45 in line, since the staff was taking pre-orders as early as 7 PM. Despite this, the evening was enjoyable enough. A makeshift tournament of Modern Warfare 2 was among the available entertainment with a five dollar gift card as the top and only prize. I did sign up, but was quickly distracted when the staff put up a demonstration copy of Black Ops on the PS3, so I forfeited the tournament to try the new CoD instead. I played a few rounds of mulitplayer with some of the other attendees and was very impressed with the game, especially when compared to Modern Warfare 2. There were also refreshments in the form of pizza and a local band named Arete played at the event. The eventual wait in line passed quickly, and I rushed home with my new prestige edition, eager to bust out my new RC-XD car.

The Kick Dummy

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

It’s a dummy you use to practice kicking a man in the crotch. At least, that’s all the commercial seems to imply. And while that is a fine defensive move (sarcasm), it’s not the end-all-be-all technique that will save your life in every engagement. Hell, after hearing about this, I might just have to start wearing a crotch protector of some kind so I don’t accidentally get kneed in the sack by a former Royal Marine Commando’s daughter due to simple miscommunication. In fact, until I went to the actual website, I almost though it was a joke.

Long story short: This product is completely retarded. I don’t really care how un-PC that is, it’s the truth. If you really care that much about self-defense in the first place, put yourself, or your loved ones, through a self-defense or martial arts class and leave this steaming pile of rip-off in the infomercial where it crawled from. “As used by the world’s meanest fighters”, my ass.

Black Ops Weapons

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Being a ‘Tactical’ Fanboy, there’s something that’s been bothering me a bit: What’s up with the weapons in CoD: Black Ops? It’s like the devs over at Treyarch were salivating over some 1970s issues of Soldier of Fortune, said to hell with the game’s 1960s setting, and decided that Vietnam was fought with AKS-74Us and Galils. To Treyarch’s credit, there’s plenty of period appropriate weaponry, but for every M16 and M72 LAW there’s a FAMAS and Beretta 686 White Onyx double barreled shotgun just waiting to be picked up. Seriously, a hunting shotgun?!? Treyarch, what the hell?

And don’t get me started on the lame-ass “I can haz prototype?” excuse. Just because real life black operatives may have fielded advanced equipment and weaponry doesn’t excuse the use of MP5ks with modern-esque red dot sights, roughly a decade before the MP5 was even produced and reflex sights were patented. I also had to laugh at the following:

-NVA soldiers wielding SPAS-12 shotguns
-Every magnified gun scope is called an ACOG, even with the SUSAT and Swarovski scope
-Masterkey shotguns and flamethrower underbarrel attachments. Too early for the former, and the later never existed
-Any number of weapons even being in the game, including, but not limited to, the AUG and G11 rifles, CZ75 pistol, Strela-3 launcher, Spectre M4, ete.
-Other anachronisms and errors on their part

It’s fine that the devs wanted to put a little variety into the weapon selection, but a flimsy excuse is still a flimsy excuse.

In conclusion, there’s a big difference between being somewhat realistic with weapon variety, and making weapons available decades before they would be otherwise. Despite my ranting, I don’t mind using an HK-21 or Uzi in the game, but I’d rather Treyarch just own up and admit they did it because they could, not because of some lame ‘prototype’ excuse.

Skull Hitch Cover

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Ever wanted something for the hitch on your truck or 4×4 that looked cool, yet menacing? Then TAD Gear’s Skull Hitch Cover should do just the trick. Handmade from laser-cut steel with a powder coated finish, it’s emblazoned with the design of TAD’s Mean T-Skull logo.

Freddiew’s Youtube Vids

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Director and Youtube partner freddiew has released a number of imaginative videos covering a variety of subjects. The ones of most interest to me, however, are those dealing with gun play, like the above ‘Chrono Trigger: Short Action Scene’. Using airsoft weaponry, special effects, and good old fashion talent, these videos are very entertaining, if not always realistic, and rival even the biggest budgeted action flicks. There are even tutorials on his alt channel for those who want to try their own hand at making combat scenes and more. And yeah, he did aim a little high from cover; but it is just a video.

You Can Never Have Enough Multicam

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Feel you need more Multicam in your wardrobe? Then you need to place your bid on this sweet custom made Jedi Knight tunic set. Featured at this year’s Dragon*Con, it was worn for only 3 hours by the creator. It comes in two parts, the first a large size Tru Spec Multicam Combat shirt with the hook and loop patch backing removed from the sleeve pockets. The tunic itself is sized as a men’s Large in two ply fabric with tabards that are sewn into the shoulder seam and hang down the front with an obi that velcros around the waist. Included is a Clone Wars Galactic Republic patch that’s not sewn on the tunic. Finally, a piece with both tactical and cosplay functionality.

‘Downfall’ Of The ACR

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Now over a year old, the ‘Hitler Downfall’ meme is pretty dead, and so was this vid as far as we knew. YouTube at one point had pulled all of the videos, including this one. It was used to lampoon all sorts of stuff but it’s a rare situation when the subject being parodied had to do with the tactical industry. We originally posted it around SHOT Show last year when the ACR was finally released to a market weary of a rough economy and high priced guns. On that note, behold as Hitler rages about the ACR’s high price point! Everyone was up in arms about it back then but now a year later, accepts the price as part of doing business. Hope this gets your SHOT Show juices flowing, but beware, the subtitles are NSFW.

The video is also available on Youtube in a higher quality, but isn’t availabe for embedding. You can watch it here.