What do I think of the redesign?

I wanted to wait a little while before answering.  I have had the time to look around and play with the various features.  Also at this point many of the bugs are worked out to the point where things are running much faster than when 2.0 was first launched (understandably).


At least one person has used the word "streamlined" to describe the new look and feel, and I wholeheartedly agree.  Everything feels new, shiny, and smooth.  I find that the new interface will make working on the encyclopedia much faster and much more pleasing.  I can't say enough how spectacular you guys have done on the relaunch.  I hope that we continue to see more awesome features in the future.
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Image editing on Comicvine with GIMP

In the year that I have been a member of the vine I have seen a repeated question come up dealing with image editing. Many users (particularly newer users on comicvine) ask for a good way to edit images for submission without having to shell out cash for Photoshop. Anyone out there who is looking for a powerful, free image-editing tool should look at the GIMP (http://www.gimp.org/).

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USA analog to digital TV broadcast switch.

I made this post to the something aweful forums, and thought I'd also post it here in case anyone vinecrawler could also rep the benefits.

The new year marks the beginning of the government mandated Analog to Digital transition in the good old U S of A. For those not familiar this just means that any over the air broadcasts you watch on TV will (most likely) not be usable to you after February of next year unless you have a TV with a built in digital tuner or a separate digital box. In other words if you only ever watch cable/satellite/dvds and never over an antenna, and plan to stay this way then this change does not affect you.

They are offering up to two $40 off coupons per household for the purchase of two separate converter boxes. You can order via their website or by automated phone system:

"For more information on the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program, visit the NTIA’s website at www.ntia.doc.gov/dtvcoupon, or call 1-888-388-2009 (voice) or 1-877-530-2634 (TTY)."

URL to apply for coupon:

https://www.dtv2009.gov/ApplyCoupon.aspx

I would suggest the phone because the website does not appear to be working very well right now. If you use the phone remember to speak clearly and loudly. I had to do this twice because I have a cold and there are no operators working today. The system told me that my coupons would be mailed out sometime in February, and that they are only good for 90 days. If one of your coupons expires you can order another off the website, but you can only order a maximum of two per household.

More info can be found at:

http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html

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School's out for winter

Finally. I've been seeing everyone else around here say they were finally out for the semester. One of my professors loves to procrastinate and didn't submit final grades until today. Now if I can only do something about this ulcer...

I haven't had as much time to submit for the past few months because of my course load, so I'm really going to enjoy the extra time that next semester provides. I am also completely stoked because next semester I will finally finish the course requirements of my degree. I most likely won't remain out of a student's seat for very long, but my anything I take after that point will be purely for fun.

Everyone enjoy the winter break. I'm looking forward to at least a couple weeks of playing guitar, sleeping, reading, and possibly submitting-all things I have had to live without since the beginning of October.

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Tony Stark must die.

Tony Stark is a drunken bastard. It was bad enough that as Iron Man he has a suit of armor or a device that could take on virtually anyone. He can operate any number of his suits remotely giving him the power of all Iron Men he has ever been at once, all without any physical danger to himself. He modified extremis so that he is not only more Iron Man than ever (which is bad enough), but this "virus" has given him the ability to tap into any electrical device in the world remotely to do his bidding. He pretty much single handadly sparked the Civil War, resulting in the deaths of Goliath and Captain America. Add to that the fact that he took over S.H.I.E.L.D. making him the head of one of the most powerful covert orginizations in the world (not to mention the tech, money, and connections at their disposal) and this position has put him directly in charge of the 50 state initiative as well as the registration of superheroes meaning that he alone commands a strike force of superhumans that is probably one of the most powerful in the entire Marvel Universe. He was one of the few who decided that it was their job to fling he-whose-name-shall-not-be-spoken into space, ending with the green one getting royally pissed off and bringing a war to the Earth that is rumored to be at least House of M or Civil War in scope. He then demonstrates further disregard for the super-beings in his command by infecting She-Hulk with nannites that remove her powers (whose next?). He has developed technology powerful enough to upload his consciousness into the computer in his armor meaning that even in the event of death he can go on living indefinately (a sequence of events that has actually occured in at least one possible timeline). He has spent his entire career being an alocholic womanizer pioleting one of the most powerful pieces of tech in the world (often under the influence) with a complete disregard for the general public and now that he is sober(ish) he has decided to take it upon himself to become a general holier-than-thou prick and has become overpowered enough to rank as one of the worst Dues ex machina characters ever to be introduced into comics. Have I missed anything? I think I've covered most of my bases here.

Marvel is making it so that there is nothing Tony Stark cannot do or be. Sure he is currently host to Ultron in one of Marvel's magazines, but we all know that it won't last. Tony Stark needs to die. We all know that it will never happen, so here is my idea for what should. Tony Stark needs to be knocked down a few pegs.

So, my idea:

Ultron is currently using extremis + Iron Man armor to take over Tony Stark's body (I'm hoping it is actually him and not some automated suit of his). Naturally the Avengers are going to find some way to make Ultron leave Stark's tech. From there things can slide into place simply and wonderfuly. Ultron (upon leaving the armor or by the simple act of being there in the first place) taints extremis. It is a techno-organic virus after all, is it not? Now it will take a while for us to realize that anything is going wrong at first because extremis continues to allow Stark to act as the god of the machine while it slowly consumes his body. By the time that Stark realizes that the extremis is cancerous it is too late as his body is already being consumed by living machenery. Now force him to live perpetually in his suit of armor (a contingency that even Stark has planned for) as a software/techno organic hardware hybrid. He is no longer a man, but is now a shell of his man. Death is not good enought for Stark now, they must take the humanity away from the Cap-killer. Getting him expelled from S.H.I.E.L.D. and a triumphant return of Nick Fury could be a cool coincidence as well, but otherwise the plan feels solid. And since it is a comic book they can even give some clean reason to undo it in the future (clone him a new body and upload his consciousness into it, set it up where he has a cloned body stashed away with an older consciousness sitting on ice, etc).

Goodbye Iron Man. Hello Iron Machine.

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