The Klingon Conquest of Facebook

Okay, I admit it. I've been ignoring both my LJ and my blog since going on vacation in November. And the last couple of weeks has been worse as I haven't got my previously good excuses as I have been playing around with Facebook. And Facebook games.

So I will update the LJ with this little tidbit. The Klingon Empire is taking over Facebook. KAG has several group-type presense on Facebook and a lot of KAG members are on there as well. There are Klingon group pages of all kinds not associated with KAG as well. And there is cool stuff besides.

There is a game called Star Fight which has an armada called KAG Klingons. Laura is running the Klingon Empire in World Domnation: Total War. And there are more.

It's actually fairly easy to get wrapped up in some of the games. I've become absorbed with one called Space Wars where the mark of success is having a bounty put on you (I've had one...and I torpedoed the player who scored it as well as blasting the player who posted it). Space Wars is a game from Zynga, and there are numerous games using a similar technology that I have taken to referring to as zynga games, regardless of who the developers are. I have also learned that when you attack players you can not only gain money and experience points from them, but also gain "loot" items, like that nice new shiny robot Zynga was promoting using bonus points. I have three of those now. Maybe that's way I had a bounty placed on me.

World Domination is kind of like Risk, but every player has their own mapboard of the world to conquer, and fight side skirmishes against other palyers to gain additional money and exp. This can result in a player going out and buying from the app developer some ICBMs and nuking your armies. The only way to get them is to gain "bonus points" from the developer so they can make a dime or two.

That's true of all of the games I have tried out. There are ways to get bonus points, inlcuding direct purchase, so has to advance yourself a little faster.

Star Fight is kind of a cool game in that you start out with a space ship and fight other players, gaining a few bucks to use to upgrade your ship.

Star Domination is also interesting in that you start out with a ship and advance in level and buy newer, bigger ships and upgrades.

Those two are not what I refer to as zynga-type games.

Space Wars, and other zynga-type games you start out with a ship (or whatever) and perform missions/quests/whatever. Looking at this from the Space Wars perspective, you do the missions to gain a few bucks and exp, and advance your character, buying new ships and upgrades. Then you buy planets, which generate a residual income. You also have munitions which can get you in trouble. These are used to blast other characters, and, assuming you win (but don't count on it) exp, cash (if they didn't bank it) and an occasional loot item, like the aforementioned "shiny new robot". Then you get a bounty placed on you. And ZAP! Someone will collect it.

In Space Wars, I find myself blasting any captain using names like "Kirk", "Jim Kirk", "Spock", and so on. Oh, and there is an option to change you name, so if it gets too hot under my current name, I can change it to something else.

Another point with the zynga-type games is that your ability to advance requires that you build fleets/squads/clans/posses/whatever, either by recruiting players from yor friends, or using bonus points to purchase them.

Needless to say I hit a brick wall with a few of these games, like Battle of the Bands (which is not by Zynga, but I classify it as a zynga-type game).

Some of the games incorporate a theme (criminal violence) that I find objectionable. Warfare, on the otherhand, is fair game. And there are non-violent games like Street Racer (need a pit crew) and the afformentioned Battle of the Bands (you need to add bands to your tour).

There are also trivia games, pass-a-drink games, gifts, and much more, as well as networking (which is what Facebook is supposed to be about, according to rumor).

new computer and facebook

Hooked up the new speakers to the new computer. what a difference in sound quality!

Installing the camera software for the cameras so I can download them. Couldn't find the disks for the camcorder, so I downloaded updated drivers and will be installing those.

The CDQ group on facebook has 17 members now, and three admins.

Also on facebook, I've been playing several games. The one I am most rooted into is Space Wars. The way to get into the "good stuff" is to organically grow your fleet. The same is true for the other Zynga games on Facebook.

Doc Savage and the Pulp Era

I am going through a phase right now, reading a lot of Doc Savage, in part because I started the new Doc Savage wiki a wikia, and partly because they are just fun books to read.

Doc Savage was one of the most successful pulp magazine series of the '30s and '40s, ending in cancellation like so many of its peers as the '40s, and the pulp era, came to an end. Doc had an original run of 181 issues from the time it began publishing until the final book was published in 1949. Few single character pulps outlasted Doc Savage. The Shadow being one of them.

I've never read The Shadow, but in my youth, when I was reading Doc Savage, I read a few novels in the Avenger series, another pulp hero attributed to Kenneth Robeson. Kenneth Robeson was a house name of Street and Smith, which meant they may have been trying to leverage Doc Savage's success in launching the new series. The Avenger, attempting to be a combination of the best of Doc Savage and the Shadow, failed to deliver and only lasted some 24 issues before being cancelled.

Doc Savage was the hero's hero. The Supreme Adventurer, skilled in every field at the time, from chemistry and electronics, to medicine and archaeology. A true Renaissance man. The Shadow was a man cloaked in mystery, maintaining a secret identity, which became a mainstay of comic book super heroes starting with Superman and Batman.

As I mentioned, I've never read The Shadow. This may change. While Doc Savage hit 181 issues during its publication life cycle, The Shadow was well over 300 issues before meeting the same fate as Doc and his crew.

Both Doc and The Shadow are enjoying a resurgence as Nostalgia Ventures is preprinting the classic pulps, unedited, and with the original art. I've read one of the new Doc books, along with the accompanying articles, and enjoyed it immensely.

I am now reading a second one, featuring the last Lester Dent penned Doc novel, The Red Spider. It is an immensely different Doc Savage story, with doc and his crew spying on the Soviet Union. It was not published until 1979 due to editorial concerns during the opening days of the Cold War. The writing is more mature than the doc novels of the '30s. According to the accompanying articles, Lester Dent felt rejuvenated in writing Doc with this novel. It is sad that it was turned down in preference of returning to an older style of Doc Savage adventures. It would not be many years before Ian Fleming's James Bond would hit the scene.

During the '60s, Doc Savage was given new life and readership when Bantam Books began to reprint the novels. It looked like things were going well for the Man of Bronze when a movie, starring Ron Ely, was in production. Sadly, he was done campy, and failed to deliver or entice new fans to the books. Had they waited a few years, and skipped the campiness, things may have been different. Indiana Jones hit the screens in a big way.

The Shadow, having been made into a new movie in the '90s, starring Alec Baldwin, was a much better treatment of a pulp hero. Sadly, for Doc Savage, people would have to get past the stigma created 1975 movie to accept a new attempt at a Doc film. In fairness, as a kid, I liked the movie. Regrettably, though, it is very campy.

Another pulp series enjoying republication is G-8 and His Battle Aces. Another series I have never read, though I am familiar with it. This will change as it sounds like a real blast of escapist entertainment. Nothing like zombies and werewolves flying Fokkers against the allies in The Great War.

G-8, although not as long lived as Doc Savage, did hang a round for a fair time, with 110 issues penned by Robert J. Hogan. It eventually flew into the sunset as WW2 made the series look passé. G-8 was also republished during the time Bantam was publishing doc Savage. Not sure how I missed it. Maybe it was the WW1 theme. Now, too me, it sounds like a scream.

After a certain point, I turned away from Doc Savage, having discovered Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov, and Herbert, sinking into hard SF, leaving the pulp classics behind. I still read a lot of Heinlein and consider him to be one of my favorite writers.

But if Heinlein was the Dean of Science Fiction, what does that make Lester Dent? The Master of the Pulps sounds like an appropriate moniker. The man could write with a vengeance, regularly turning out 100,000 words of material a month. And, as Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke were considered the "Big Three of Science Fiction", I guess that means Dent, Gibson (the Shadow) and Hogan would be prime candidates for being the "Big Three of the Pulps."



Doc Savage Wiki

Okay, I admit it. I am a Doc Savage fan. No this doesn't have a darn thing to do with Klingons. Except tangentially. I am E-Corps commander, so I should play around with new tools when I can.

Actually, media wiki is not all that new to me, but wikia, which is a site that offers free wikis using media wiki, is.

Thus, we now have a Doc Savage wiki on wikia.

Doc Savage is up and running, and if you have interest in participating, go on out and contribute. It could especially use synopses for the many novels. That's the starting point.

Also needed are short articles on various inventions and devices used in the Doc Savage novels.

So, if your interested in joining in and contributing, come on down and contribute a few lines (or more!).

E-Corps revamp done for now

After revamping the E-Corps website and moving it to its new home at under the kowabunga domain, starting a yahoo group for the E-Corps, updating and releasing the beta for KAGernet release 2, the Cascading Style Sheets Strike Back, and giving Qob a bit of help with the updated Rakehell site, I am ready for a break. Preferably not my neck.

E-Corps Website revamp

I've made a few changes to the E-Corps website, including moving it to a subdomain on my main website, of of the main KAG domain. This allows me better control over what I do to the site.

The new address is: http://kagecorps.kowabunga.org/index.shtml

Among the changes is a switch of the whole site to use server side includes, thus the "shtml" file type, a drop down menu system (using vertical implementation), a new E-Corps logo (hey, I am the E-Corps commander!), and some new content.

New content includes how to implement transparent PNG files to retain their transparency when viewed using Internet Explorer and a brief on dropdown menus.

Going forward I will use my Live Journal as a place to post KAG E-Corps related updates, in addition to a few other things.