Sunday, April 29, 2012

EVE Jita reopens for (burning) business. Mbp drops the camera.

The good news is that the gates to Jita were open again last night with well over 2,000 pilots in local. It looks like I was just unfortunate the night before to pick a time when numbers were being restricted. Jita IV, IV was the usual mess of trash frigates but the Jita side of the perimeter gate was encased in a solid blob of Tornado and Thrasher gank ships. By the time I got there they were clearly picking and choosing targets because I saw a few industrial ships slip through while a freighter that was silly enough to poke it's nose in was ganked.

The bad news is that I clearly do not know how to take screenshots in EVE. I was sure I got a few nice shots of the blob from a Tornado's eye view but this morning I can find no trace.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

EVE Online: The best place to see Jita burning is NOT Jita.

It is the 28th of April and today is the big day when Jita is set to burn under the assault of Goons and assorted followers. Syncaine, Cyndre and Wilhelm Arcturus have been posting about the preliminary thinks that have been going on since the 26th apparently. Well not to be outdone I got myself into a noobie frigate and set my course for Jita last night to see some splosions.

Sadly it turned out I had already missed the good stuff. At Eurozone prime time all the gates to Jita were locked and I couldn't fly in. I did manage to clone jump in (by dying) and parked my self in an Ibis just off Jita IV, IV dock.

Lots of pilots in space and plenty of shooting going on but it was almost entirely trash frigates like my noobie Ibis.  It seems that the more valuable stuff was either staying away or was unable to get into Jita because of the locked gates.

 Wilhelm from Ancient Gaming Noob writes about a pile up of ships in the gateway system of Perimeter being bombed  so I reckon that might be a better place to see some genuinely high value carnage. I might try there again tonight.

I was a bit surprised that Jita's gates were locked with less than 1,900 pilots in system. There wasn't any time dilation so the servers can surely handle more.

Small side point apparently a bug was causing some players to be incorrectly concorded for shooting flashy red (legitimate) targets. CCP put through a hotfix while I was logged on. I wonder if they were deliberately restraining numbers in Jita to try out this hotfix. Will see again tonight.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Conflicted about my new Kindle

After more than a year of purchasing and reading ebooks on the small screen of my phone I have finally acquired a proper Kindle reader with a 6" e-ink display. In a previous post I concluded that the books you can read are far more important the the device you read them on but my middle aged eyes are grateful for the larger screen while e-ink's excellent battery life and ability to be read in direct sunlight make reading a bit more convenient.
I was and still am quite conflicted about choosing a Kindle rather than one of the competing (mainly epub based) readers. Don't get me wrong I like Amazon, I have bought many things from them and I will readily admit they are the World's best book store. I just don't want them to become the World's only book store. By buying a Kindle I am re-enforcing Amazon's dominance of the ebook market and probably hastening the demise of other competing booksellers. I know that you can still download free books to the Kindle and I am even prepared to admit I am aware of software which can be used to transfer DRMed books between Kindle and non Amazon sources but for the majority of readers having a Kindle means that you are  going to buy most of your books from one shop and that worries me.

In the end I chose a Kindle for a few reasons. I genuinely love the design of the product. I got the entry level Kindle 4 and it is a masterpiece of design simplicity and functionality. It aspires to nothing other than allowing you to read books and it does this to perfection. In my opinion the minimalist simplicity of the base model Kindle 4 easily outclasses the klunky Kindle DX, the grubby Kindle touch and the redundant Kindle fire. It also  leaves competing e-readers far behind.

My daughter has had one of these for a few months and I have admired it from afar. I had hoped we might be able to share books using Amazon's lending scheme but I have yet to come across a book that actually allows lending. DRM scores over customer sastisfaction once again.

Another reason for choosing Kindle is an unusual quirk in Amazon's current licensing arrangements. As yet there is no Irish Kindle store. We are quite used to this as many organisations treat Ireland as a small adjunct to the much larger UK market. Amazon do have a Kindle UK store but for some reason they do not lump Ireland in with the UK instead they send Irish customers directly to the US Kindle store. I already have access to any book I want from British publishers but now I can avail of the US book market as well. Some titles are only available on one side of the Atlantic, others are published in different formats while yet more are subject to pricing variations so it is quite useful to be able to buy from both sides.

The final thing which convinced me to buy a Kindle is the knowledge that Amazon's DRM can be cracked. While I am happy with Kindle for the moment I may well want to change to a reader from a different manufacturer in he future. Indeed I woudln't be surprised if in years to come readers become virtually disposable items that cost less than  books do today. I don't want to acquire a large collection of ebooks that cannot be read by whichever new reader I choose. It is important to me to know that Kindle DRM can easily be overcome and that my investment in ebooks is not irretreivably  locked to Amazon. It is also comforting to know also that I could buy books from other stores and move them to the Kindle if I wished. The current legality of the above steps is murky and I am not going to admit to having done anything illegal but I will say it is important to me to know it is possible.

EDIT: I just spotted that JK Rowling, who only sells electronic versions of her books through her own "Pottermore" site has struck some kind of deal with Amazon which allows kindle owners to buy fom Pottermore and get it converted to Kindle format. Furthermore Rowling's books are listed on the Kindle store but you get a link to purchase at Pottermore instead of from Amazon. This is an interesting development that hints that Kindle may not be as exclusive to Amazon as it might once have been. On the other hand just because JK Rowling can strike a deal with Amazon doesn't mean that a minor league Author has a chance.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Frozen Synapse shows me up.

Finding myself at a bit of a loose end I trawled through my collection of unplayed games and decided to give Frozen Synapse another go.

Frozen synapse is a highly regarded turn based tactical game using the "We-Go" system. You plan the moves of your small team while your opponent (human or AI) plans theirs. Then you press a button called Prime and both sets of moves are simultaneously executed. Frozen Synapse scores over previous "We-Go" games in allowing you to predict your opponents moves and play out the resulting scenarios in full before pressing the Prime. It removes all elements of chance and allows you to accurately predict what will happen if: "Will he get caught in the splash from my rocket if he walks towards that room?"   / "Will I be able to shoot him first if he tries to come around that corner?" and questions like that. 

The game is very well made has a good single player campaign and excellent multi-player support. I like puzzle games and I like games with a bit of strategy but I completely suck at Frozen Synapse. Completely.

I know why too.

I quite enjoy planning my own moves but I seem to lack the patience to factor in the other guy. I get all excited about my own plans and strategies but forget to take their possible moves into account. When I try to force myself to do so I generally make a few half hearted attempts before shouting  "ah screw it" and hitting the Prime button. Invariably my predictions turn our wrong and I am annihilated.

I am pretty sure that this reluctance to think through what the other guy might do is a fairly deep seated personality trait rather than just a lazy approach to one game. On several occasions over the years I have tried to learn chess and I have always come up against the same blockage. I head off on wild flights of tactical fancy completely ignoring the actions of my opponent. I have long recognised the problem too. At one stage I tried to force myself to abandon my own plans and instead meticulously analyse every possible move my opponent could make and react accordingly. This resulted in uninspired reactive gameplay but it says much that I actually did better taking this cautious approach.

Needless to say this inability to factor in the other guys moves doesn't bode well for pvp games where my opponents are unpredictable humans.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Eve - ready for another long break

Two months ago when I was contemplating a return to EVE I said that "I generally don't have the patience to hang around long enough to achieve substantial in game goals."

History is repeating itself and I find that my urge to play the game has once more subsided. My sub is still active and I still log in to update my skill queue but that is about it. There just isn't anything else I want to do in the game as solo player. For various reasons I am not in the mood to join with others and engage more fully in the social side of EVE at this point in time although I wouldn't rule that out in the future. I am still keeping up with EVE blogs and forums and I have decided to keep up the sub up for a few months to pad out my "core skill sets" which should give me a better platform the next time I come back to the game.

If I do come back what will I do next? I am a carebear at heart and I am not particularly competitive so I am probably not a great fit for EVE's fairly cut throat non-consensual pvp game. Nevertheless I find it hard to get excited about about industry and commerce (I love that the game has them but I don't want to do them myself). Wilhelm of Ancient Gaming Noob fame has recently undergone a conversion from PVE carebear to fighter in the great Goonfleet armada and is enjoying it so if I do return I will probably try some pvp just to see if it appeals to me. I might try and get into one of the "pvp training" courses as a start.

I actually picked a fairly interesting month to spend with EVE given that it spanned the CSM conference and Mittani-gate. Much internet bandwidth was spent on not entirely level headed consideration of whether or not EVE's "Harden The Fizzlesticks Up" culture is inherently evil. I have kept out of these debates (?) but I have thought about the issue and I will probably try to put my personal views down in ascii later.

As a final thought I cannot think of anything better than one sentence from my February post:
"Almost all the things that I personally love about EVE can be enjoyed right there by a brand new character in a starter Frigate"

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Legend of Grimrock

Perhaps I am very bad at Legend of Grimrock. Even playing on normal difficulty my party of adventurers is tragically incapable of taking on any monster in the game in a straight up toe to toe fight. Hordes of spiders decimate my party with poison. Fiery undead warriors roast them and giant's squash them with one blow from  their mighty hammer. 

Yet despite my party's manifest lack of combat prowess we have managed to struggle on down to the eighth floor of the dungeon leaving a trail of dead monsters in our wake. My heroes may not be able to win a toe to toe fight but I have learned many ways to abuse the game mechanics to ensure that they never have one. Doors can be used to split up groups of mobs. Hiding behind a corner gives you a free hit at a mob who is chasing. Any open space may be used to perform the two step shuffle. The shuffle relies on the fact that players can strafe sideways on the games playing grid while monsters cannot.If you step sideways a monster must take a step and a turn to catch you allowing time for a free hit before you step away again.

Perhaps this is just the way the game is meant to be played. It is after all a homage to old school dungeon crawlers from the 1980's. Is that what happened in those games? I can't remember. I have spent too long playing games where enemies are just chaff to be swept aside by a min maxed hero, where one man with a machine gun can wipe out an entire army. Not so in Grimrock. In this glorious game your party of adventuers are just about the weakest creatures in the dungeon and you will need to avail of every small advantage if you are to survive.
The old school "hard" approach dooesn't just apply to combat. The game is miserly at doling out better gear and equipment and in most cases the good stuff is locked behind challenging puzzles. This is combined with a leveling system that requires you to specialise in certain weapons without even knowing whether or not you are going to find any good examples of that type to use. If you specialise in ranged weapons for example I certainly hope you find the bow hidden in level 3!

It sounds awful but somehow it all works wonderfully and Grimrock is a great great game. One big reason for this is that everything in the game has been polished to a high degree. The combat and the puzzles are challenging but not unfair even though it may seem that way at first. There may be a clue hidden somewhere. There may be a room you can run away into or a pillar you can run around. There is always a way to survive and progress.

Highly recommended.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dropbox - check and fix inelligible referrals in order to maximise your free allowance

Have you invited friends and family to use Dropbox so you can increase your free allowance? If so there is a  chance that you aren't getting the allowance you expect. Here is how to check and fix it. 

Like many others I have become heavily dependent on Dropbox for allowing me to access my stuff from anywhere. It has become so important to me that I am almost tempted to pay for a subscription but unfortunately they don't have a sub at a price point I am comfortable with. A sub of  €20/year  for 10Gb would suit me very well but the minimum spend is €99 for 50 Gb which is more space than I need and more than I am prepared to pay. That leaves me dependent on the free allowance and in particular on the increased allowance you get for inviting friends to join Dropbox.

The good news is that they have just increased the award for attracting a new user to 500Mb (from 250Mb) per new user up to  a maximum of 16Gb. Unfortunately Dropbox has now become so popular that you may have a hard time finding anyone new to actually invite. Happily the increased allowance is being applied retrospectively so if you have invited any new users in the past you should still benefit. That is if you are getting the increased allowance in the first place.

I don't like spamming the world in general but I have invited a number of friends and colleagues to use Dropbox in the past and I assumed without really checking I was getting credit for these. When I heard about the increase however I did check and was surprised to find that I had a smaller allowance than  expected. It turns out that Dropbox filters out referrals that appear to come from the same IP address in order to prevent folk from just creating multiple accounts for themselves. This filters out family members who use the same internet connection and possibly even work colleagues if you are in a small business with shared internet access.

In order to check you are getting credit for your referrals do this:
  • Log into your Dropbox account from a web browser:
  • Go to the Referral Status tab
  • View your referrals and check that you are getting the allowance you expect.
  • If any are listed as "ineligible" it means Dropbox thinks you are trying to game the system by creating multiple accounts from the same computer.
  • If you click on the ineligible flag you can appeal each entry individually. I appealed my family members each of whom had been deemed ineligible. I have no idea how they check an appeal - they don't ask for any further information but all of my appeals were successful and the turn around was only a couple of days.

Monday, April 09, 2012

New Eden Vacation #6: Scanning the old fashioned way

In a trip back to the ancient history of EVE I spent four hours yesterday pinpointing these three containers without the aid of scan probes.

The cans were quite well hidden. They weren't on a direct warp line between any two celestial objects and they were more than 14.3AU from anything else which put them outside the range of the directional scanners on board ships in the normal traffic lanes.  I only spotted them by accident when I was making my own safe spot , similarly distant from normal lines of communication. I thought I was quite well hidden so I was surprised when three containers popped up on my scanner almost 13 AU away from me in empty space. Miners regularly anchor secure containers at asteroid belts but there were no asteroids around and these containers were unsecured meaning anyone could access them and take whatever was inside. I was intrigued and decided to investigate.

I know that the right way to do this is via scan probes and that the process takes a few minutes at most but I had a vague memory that back in the early days of EVE (prior to the 2006's Revelation expansion I believe) there were no scan probes and skilled pilots could scan stuff down using the on board directional scanner alone so I decided to give it a go. I didn't realise when I started out that this process would take me several hours to complete. To be honest I could probably have bought new scan probes and trained to use them in less time than it took me to do this the old fashioned way  but once I got started it turned out to be a fascinating problem requiring 3 dimensional geometry and a great deal of persistence so I stuck with it. 

The directional scanner will find any object up to its maximum range of about 14.3 AU. By successively reducing the scan radius until the object disappears you can get an idea of how far away it is. Reducing the angle you are scanning narrows down the possible line of the object from a full 360° degrees wrap around in steps down to a narrow 5° cone. This is easier said than done but with a few tries  you can determine the direction from you to an object and how far away it is.

Sadly the directional scanner (d-scan for short) will not allow you to warp directly to the object you have found so you have to somehow get within a few hundred km of the object (the same grid) by other means. In the simplest case the object will be on a warp path between two celestial objects and you simply warp along that route dropping bookmarks as close to the object as possible along the way. In this case the cans were not on any warp path so I had to create a new warp path through it by dropping multiple bookmarks on existing warp paths until I found a line between two books marks which passed close enough to my target.

Close enough is a relative term in the vastness of space and even a well placed first pass is likely to be still many millions of km from the actual point. Thus several successive warp paths needed to be created  each one bringing me a little closer to the goal. I labelled my steps by distance from goal:

12.3AU, 6.47AU, 1.8AU, ....

Whether due to latency, server lag or clumsiness on my part I found it almost impossible to drop bookmarks accurately which was a major reason this took me so long. In the end I had to resort in spamming bookmarks along a route until I eventually got one near the right spot.

0.24AU, 8 million km, 1 million km, ....

EVE's confusing habit of switching from km to AU at about 10 million km doesn't help but when I got down to  a mere million km I felt almost there. A million km is a vanishingly small distance on an astronomical scale (1AU = 150 million km) but it is still an impossibly large distance for a space ship with a maximum sub light speed of less than 5km per second.

35,000 km

At 35,000 km I considered flying the rest of the way but it would have taken a couple of hours so I decided to construct one more set of warp lines.

2,500 km

This was only 10 minutes flying time so I pointed my ship in the direction predicted by d-scan and turned on my micro warp drive. At 400m the containers appeared on my overview and I could warp straight to them. Bingo, I had done it.

The containers were empty which was a bit of an anticlimax but then again if there was anything in them it would have been stealing to take it and I am not sure I want to be a thief even in EVE. In any case I actually enjoyed using such an arcane method to scan something down although I will admit that the episode has convinced me to add scan probes to my training list in case I ever need to scan something for real in the future. 

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Bill Harris I hate you

Bill Harris is a busy parent, who plays video games and writes a popular blog about gaming and other interesting stuff. His regular "Friday Links" post is an essential guide to the best stuff on the internet.
Somehow Bill managed in his spare time (???) to teach himself programming and write a video game from scratch: Gridiron Solitaire.

The time for namby pamby congratulations and feigned admiration is way past. Bill Harris you are making the rest of us look bad and we all hate you!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

EVE: Jump Clone Jujutsu

Jump clones are wonderful things, spare bodies that allow you to zip around the universe and keep different sets of implants for different applications. Their use is subject to a number of number of restrictions however and I am coming to realise that I need to rethink my ideas about being able to jump around at will.

The first restriction is that you can only jump between clones once every 24 hours. That time delay is proving more frustrating that I thought it would be. If I need to jump back to my high sec clone then I am stuck there for at least a day.

The next restriction which I completely overlooked is that clones can only be stored in stations meaning you need a friendly station to dock in before you can clone jump out (some of the bigger ships can carry clone bays apparently but that is way out of my league at the moment). I had naively assumed I could hide my cloaky frigate in a remote region of space and then jump out but that is not so. This wasn't really a problem in low sec because there were still plenty of stations. In 0.0 however stations that will allow me to dock are few and far between. There are some however and I guess that is where I am headed next.

Another major restriction is that unlike medical clones jump clones cannot magically be transported to any station with a medical bay. If you want a particular clone in a particular location then you need to to fly him there yourself.

Due to lack of planning on my part Traveller Marb who is is currently making his way through 0.0 space has a head full of valuable implants while Stay At Home In High Sec Marb has none. Given that Traveller Marb is almost certain to meet a lasery doom very shortly I decided to swap him for a no implant clone. Unfortunately the only place  I can currently buy clones is in Minmatar space and it was going to be a 60 jump round trip to get a new clone delivered to Traveller Marb. Ouch.

Fortunately there was an alternative - the venerable and ancient art of Jump Clone Jujutsu, otherwise known as travelling by dying. The process makes use of the fact that the medical clones you wake in when you get pod killed can be magically transported even if jump clones cannot.

Step 1: Transfer medical clone to the closest medical station to chosen destination.
Step 2: Buy a spare implantless jump clone at starting A to allow return to there later.
Step 3: Assuming you are already in an implantless clone undock in a pod.
Step 4: Self destruct the pod losing the implantless clone you are in.
Step 5: You wake up in your medical clone much closer to chosen destination.
Step 6: Don't forget to pay the fee to upgrade clone for your current skill points.

This is a handy way of transporting implantless clones about but you do need to pay for a new medical clone each time. At my level of skill points that is only 350k isk but it could get very pricey for an older pilot.

Monday, April 02, 2012

New Eden Vacation #5: Welcome to 0.0

I crossed into 0.0 space at a system bearing the name 93PI-4 and this is the first thing I stumbled across:

The system has only one entrance and one exit and that mobile warp bubble was placed squarely on the line between them. Happily there were  no hostiles around to shoot at the flies trapped in this bubble. Instead I met another tourist who like me came for a look see.

 I believe that placing the bubble away from the gate like this is preferred because it minimises the chance of a visitor running back through the gate. It also has the advantage of catching folk going both ways.  It is quite easy to bypass though by approaching the gate from an indirect angle. Notice the cans at the edge of the bubble. I think they are strategically placed to de-cloak any stealthy ships who come along.

I was lucky this time, there was no one at home but this is un-likely to last much longer. Expect my New Eden Vacation to draw to a close shortly with an unplanned visit to the clone bank.

EVE: It's hard to get information without giving information

Sometimes sending in a scout gives more information to your enemies than it gives to you.

For reasons that I cannot really explain I accepted another of those suicidal low security courier missions. Once again the mission required me to lug a T1 hauler across several pirate infested low security systems  to make the drop. I guess I was looking to live a little dangerously but I still didn't want to get killed so I took what I thought was the sensible precaution of sending an alt  ahead in a noob frigate to scout the route.  Seemed like a good plan - the alt in the noobship would suss out any nasty gate camps that might be waiting for me.

My scout's journey was uneventful - The low sec systems along the pipe I had to travel were deserted. When I reached the final destination I did spot one flashy red pirate sitting 150km off the station in  a Thrasher destroyer but I couldn't see what danger he posed. 150km is well beyond the range of any weapon a Thrasher can fit and even if he tried to warp to the station I would be docked long before he got there. I figured it was safe to bring in the hauler.

Surprise, surprise - impromptu camps had sprung up at every gate along the erstwhile deserted low sec pipe.  At the first entry point I found myself targeted by a battleship (Abaddon) and another ship . I was trying to warp away but a T1 hauler is about as nimble as an elephant in treacle and my shield was dissolving alarmingly as the lumbering hauler aligned for warp.

MuRd3rkillaXXX is attempting to warp scramble you

A message like that normally signals the end for the victim of a low sec gate camp because a scrambled ship cannot warp away. Thankfully I wasn't relying on scouting intelligence alone to get me through. Warp core stabilisers fitted to the hauler defeated the scramble attempt and I had enough of a buffer tank to survive the damage they could inflict in the few seconds before I flew away. At the next gate there was a Hurricane battlecruiser was waiting for me and it even followed me through but couldn't get  me before I docked safely at my destination.

The lone Thrasher still sat 150km off station flashing a lovely shade of pirate red.

Once my racing pulse returned to normal I thought about what had happened. How did the gate camps spring up so quickly on a route which was clear minutes earlier? Eve if my hauler was spotted coming through from high security space that hardly gave enough time to setup the camps and in any case if someone had scanned my ship they would have noticed that my cargo had no commercial value. I could see a bored pirate having a go for the lulz but multiple co-ordinated gate camps seems like too much effort for worthless cargo.

Far more likely I think is that my not very stealthy scout was spotted making its reconnaissance flight, perhaps by the Thrasher pilot, who knows. I could imagine someone spotting an out of place noob ship and putting two and two together:

"That looks like a scout"
"If they are sending in a scout then whatever comes next might be valuable. Lets get it"

I think its time to look again at my scouting strategy. 

PS: My New Eden Vacation isn't over yet I am just playing around with jump clones and since you have to wait 24 hours after activating a clone before jumping back I thought I might as well kill time with a foolish mission or two while waiting. A vacation from my vacation if you like.

New Eden Vacation #4: Jita the Heart of New Eden

Welcome to Jita IV, Moon IV, Caldari Navy Assembly plant: the busiest station in EVE and by far the biggest trade hub. If it exists in the game then you can buy it or sell it in Jita. More than any other system Jita deserves the title of "Heart of EVE". It is a shining star of capitalism and purest manifestation of the thriving economy for which EVE is so rightly famous.

So ... it's a nice place then?

Eh... no.

If you ask any veteran of the game they will talk about Jita in a tone contempt tinged with horror. They will  complain about the crowds, they will complain about the lag, they will complain about the gankers and scammers and two bit con artists who infest the place. They will either avoid Jita completely or go only when it is absolutely necessary.

It is true that despite its high security status Jita is one of the more dangerous systems in EVE. Legions of suicide gankers queue up to pick off richly laden haulers on their way to market. Corps who engage in high sec warfare camp the system looking for targets and if you sit in front of Jita IV/ IV for more than a few minutes you are almost certain to see a battle or two. At least lag is much less apparent than I remember from my last visit four years ago. Five minute loading screens on undocking were the norm in those days.

Whatever threat a visit to Jita poses to your ship the threat to your unsuspecting wallet is even greater. Jita is infamous for its scam artists and Jita local chat is literally filled with bogus invitations to trade.

- Buy 2 thingamabobs cheap (but when you look at the small print there is only one attached to the contract)
- Cheap Caldari Navy Raven (it is actually a much less valuable ordinary Raven)
- I need XYZ  in hurry I will pay 1 billion (actually the contract is for 1 million)
- Fully fitted out ship for a good price ( The fittings are all there but there is no ship)
- Limited number available at a tempting price (but the only one left that you can buy is actually at a much much higher price)

These scams are so old they are almost quaint. They are so much a part of the institution of Jita that I suspect the Caldari tourist board pays folk to  stand outside IV and IV and holler these old chestnuts into local chat.

Of course there is plenty of real trade going on too and there are plenty of reasons why a legitimate trader might come to Jita. EVE has other trade hubs but no other station can offer the same volume of trade and if you have a large quantity of goods to buy or sell or if you deal in unique or special items then Jita is probably the only place in the game where you can be sure of making the trade.In among the scammers I saw plenty of genuine contracts including Tech 2 Blueprint Original contracts for upwards of 50 billion isk. Fake Ravens and genuine BPOs are all in a days trade for Jita.

A lot of EVE history has been written in Jita and the protest monument nearby to IV/IV commemorates one of the more recent events. Originally a monument to  a long forgotten player competition it took on a new significance when it became the focus of massed player attention following unwelcome changes introduced to the game in 2011. The players vented their anger in game, on the forums, through the player council and perhaps most significantly by mass cancellation of subscriptions. CCP listened and took much of the players concerns on board in the more recent "Crucible" update but they left the ruined monument in game as a memorial to the strife.

Apparently I have a coffee problem

 A couple of weeks ago my wife alerted me to the fact that I had developed an occasional odour problem. This surprised and distressed me som...