Shiira is one of the newer browsers for OS X and has just hit 2.0. Its rendering engine is Webkit, which is the same engine that powers Apple’s Safari. Shiira has some pretty nifty features and the first few minutes of using it were pretty sleek and fast. I was going to try it out, except within the first few minutes, it bugged the hell out, and it became unusable, even after reinstalling it. Good game.
One of my biggest criticisms of WoW is that it makes a lot of what happened in Warcraft III irrelevant. The lore in WoW does have some cool things, like the appearance of some of the heroes from Beyond the Dark Portal and such, but other than that, a lot of the way WoW is set up doesn’t make sense.
One of the things that I really didn’t like about WoW was the fact that they split the world up into Horde vs. Alliance again. The reason for this is that it simplifies the complex relationships between different factions too much. We’ll start with the nelfs.
The Night Elves are not part of the original Alliance. The original Alliance began at the beginning of Warcraft II, when the seven Human nations, the Dwarves, the Gnomes, and the High Elves decided to fight against the Horde. By the time Warcraft III started, one of the Human kingdoms had been destroyed, two others had left, and the Elves also left. And after Warcraft III, the Elves and three nations were destroyed. Not including the Night Elves, the Alliance was left with Azeroth, Kul Tiras, and Ironforge.
When we first meet the Night Elves, they are hostile towards both the Alliance and the Horde. Yes, the Alliance and the Horde band together to fight against the Night Elves for a bit. So, in fact, the Night Elves and the Alliance are not best friends forever. Even when the Night Elves warm up to the Alliance, it’s not the actual Alliance, but Jaina’s little force that she brought to Kalimdor, acting on its own, separate from the Alliance.
So if the Night Elves’ only contact with the Alliance was Jaina, how did they end up as a part of the Alliance?
Jaina and Theramore Isle
Other than the Night Elves, the only other way to get to Kalimdor is by going to Theramore Isle, where Jaina Proudmoore’s force has made its home. The question here is, why is Theramore a part of the Alliance?
In the bonus campaign in The Frozen Throne, we see that relations between Theramore and Orgrimmar are friendly. By the end of it, we discover that Kul Tiras has sent its fleet over to chase down the Orcs. The battle ends with Thrall and Jaina’s forces beating down on Kul Tiras’ military and killing Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, Jaina’s father and ruler of Kul Tiras.
Jaina’s forces had killed the one of the founders of the Alliance and was an ally of the Horde. Why is she still a part of the Alliance?
The New Horde
The best part of Warcraft III is easily the journey that the Orcs make in cleansing their demonic taint. Thrall does this and returns the Horde to its shamanistic traditions. If there’s anything that we can take away from Warcraft III, it’s that the Orcs are not the villains in this story.
One major problem of Horde vs. Alliance is that it polarizes the world into what people may confuse as good and evil. Anyone who’s played through any of the previous games would know that the Horde are now anything but evil and that the Alliance is not the epitome of good. And yet, we have people now who think that Alliance = good and Horde = evil.
A different problem with the new Horde are the inclusion of the Forsaken and the Blood Elves.
Like the Night Elves, the Forsaken have had no contact whatsoever with the new Horde. All the events that led to the creation of the Forsaken happened in Lordaeron, away from the founding of Durotar in Kalimdor. And even then, the Forsaken are made up of the Undead people of Lordaeron and Quel’Thalas. These people have only known the Horde as the engine of destruction that swept through their lands.
The new Horde is supposed to be free of demonic influence. The Orcs were once a people who were addicted to Mannoroth’s blood, and Grom Hellscream was able to end that curse. So what are the Blood Elves, a people addicted to demonic magic, doing in the Horde? They certainly aren’t trying to stop their addiction; they’re looking for a way to find Kael’thas and Illidan, who promised to feed them all the demonic magic they could get.
In the Warcraft II manual, we learn that the reason that the Orcs came to Azeroth was that they ran out of things to kill. They’d conquered the world of Draenor and killed every single one of the Draenei. The Draenei were weak and got owned quite easily.
Now, in The Burning Crusade, we learn that the Draenei are actually Eredar who escaped from Sargeras. We also learn that the Draenei are totally awesome and are architects of flying fortresses and glowing cities. Oh yeah, and not all the Draenei died.
Just how did the Draenei get destroyed by the Orcs if they were actually Eredar? You do know who else is an Eredar, yes? Archimonde the Defiler and Kil’jaeden the Deceiver are two of the more well known Eredar. Archimonde was the one who almost destroyed the World Tree, Nordrassil, and Kil’jaeden is the one that scares the crap out of Illidan. You’re telling me that the Orcs were able to destroy most of the Eredar on Draenor?
Godel proved in 1931 that if [Peano arithmetic] is consistent, then it is incomplete. He constructed a statement that was semantically true but that had no proof, by coding up formulas and proofs as numbers and then creating a formula with code n that asserted that the formula with code n had no proof.
This quote is from my CS 245 course notes. Basically, it’s saying that given this set of axioms, the Peano axioms, it is possible to construct statements that are semantically true, but have no proof of it. That is, something can be true and it will be impossible to prove it. It goes on to say later, that you can axioms to prove that these Peano axioms are consistent and complete, but you can’t prove that those axioms you’ve just added are consistent and complete.
So yesterday, I went on my first Black Morass run ever, and we only wiped once. But, [Khadgar's Kilt of Abjuration] dropped yesterday, and like a nub, I decided that it’s stats weren’t that much better than my current pants. Of course, I failed to notice the sockets.
Now I have to either hope that these drop again or hope my Tier 3.5 drops. ;_;
Oh yes, by the way, I am a 70 now. TIME TO CAMP NESINGWARY LOLOL.
Something that really bugs me that happens a lot among my friends is this practice of installing the next cool OS. That’s not to say that installing cool OSes is bad, because you’d want to have a cool OS for your cool computer. But there are some effects that this habit brings along.
Back near the beginning of last term, the in thing was to install Ubuntu. Everyone wanted to learn Linux because they wanted to be leet and so off they went to grab their copies of Edgy Eft or whatever it was back then and started to partition their drives, eagerly anticipating the magic of Linux sinking into their hard drives.
Now the thing about Ubuntu is that I find it hard to feel leet about anything after finishing an installation, because it consists of it doing everything for you. That is, unless something went wrong, in which case the typical response was that Linux was being gay and fleeing off to Windows again. In the event that Linux was running well, most people got tired of dual booting and just stuck with Windows again within the month.
And on to the problems. During the period that those people use Linux, they go on about how great it is and how productive they are and how it absolutely destroys Windows in every conceivable way you can measure it. They are now Linux experts, because installing Linux successfully it enough qualification to label yourself as knowledgeable in how every operating system works.
After this period, they’ll return to Windows and start spouting out how garbage Linux is, and again, because they had it installed for three days, they are qualified to pass obviously impartial judgement upon operating systems.
This is damaging to prospective Linux users for two reasons. First of all, Linux users come off as arrogant jerks, especially the ignorant ones who say ridiculous things regarding memory usage and performance in quantitative terms as if they were quoting some hard data. Second of all, these experts who’ve returned from Linux let loose the same torrent of arrogant bashing against Linux, again involving ridiculous claims and figures.
This is true of any operating system. This is why I’ve stayed out of OS debates in the software lab. This is why I wish some of my friends would shut up, because some of the stuff they say is pure misinformation and ridiculous crap.
So under what circumstances should you be allowed to speak critically about operating systems?
First of all, I’d suggest not dual booting. I think dual booting is the number one cause of people who are eager to learn not learning. For one thing, it’s a hassle, and for another, you always have somewhere to run off to. You can always go back to the familiar, the easy. You never actually have to learn. And so, your alternate OS becomes stripped of purpose, and there really is no reason to boot into it.
Second of all, in addition to not dual booting, I’d suggest actually using the OS for some length of time. See, not dual booting actually leads into this because you’re less likely to reinstall your OS than just nuke a partition. Also, you’re forced to actually learn how the OS works and understand the philosophy behind how it’s been crafted.
All of those people who say that switching was easy are lying. Until you’ve learned how to switch and adapt to a new OS, it will never be easy. Learning and using a new OS is a significant commitment and investment. People need to learn to treat it as such.