Gaming: Alien Swarm

I put this game down a while ago, but the concept was interesting enough that I thought it merited comment.

Alien Swarm is a top down, 3D, co-operative multi-player shooter in very similar vein as Left 4 Dead.  It also looks a whole lot like the new Laura Croft and the Guardian of Light, a game that costs $15.  Alien Swarm provides a simplistic interface, but also includes editor and scripting tools allowing 4 players at play at a time.  The game really requires a full contingent to enjoy fully, although bots can be enabled through the scripting tools.

Unlockable weapons and upgrades, four different character classes, and cross-game achievements made for great way for Steam to get a few extra installations of their software to the masses.  For the price, it is worth your time.

If you haven't, check it out on Steam.

Logon Screen

Windows 7 has a lot of things to offer, especially if you've got recently purchased hardware.  But even with all the bells, whistles, and features from Vista that finally work right, it still could use a few more built in power user style options.  One change that I was very happy to make not long ago was to my home machine's logon screen.

I borrowed some World of Warcraft icons for my user logins and the picture below to give myself a nice system metaphor.  The logon changer is a pretty straightforward program, so I'll let the screenshot speak for itself.

Below is a link to the logon screen changer.

Teaser Post: Social, Political, and Financial Capital

An idea that's been floating around in my head for a few days has been the different types of "capital", particularly as they relate to gift economies.  This is particularly interesting to me because open source communities and increasingly even modern development departments operate as gift economies.

Why is this important?  Because it means you have resources your balance sheet doesn't reflect, resources that can be transformed into financial rewards or help you achieve goals that are orthogonal to normal business operations.

And that's all I'll say about that... for now.