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  • Benjamin M - A game with a plotI played Diablo, Diablo 2, then LoD. I know the franchise pretty well, so considering the game compared to the others, the mechanics feel like they were dumbed down for an eventual console release. Aside from that it is a solid game.

    The previous games had something to be desired in terms of a story. In Diablo the only way to know what was going on was to endure long winded dialogs in town, other than that it was hack and slash. The sequel I played for years (until d3 came out). It had a lot of play ability because of the range of classes and the skill system (for which I have a love hate relationship), but no immersible story. You were not the protagonist.

    D3 changed that to an extreme. You are the protagonist with your own motivations and even in replays you have to play through the plot. You can not go from killing one boss to a different act to fight another in the same game. You have to follow the progression. The overall story is pretty good, but there are few points that are so bad I want to send blizzard hate mail.

    There were hiccups at release, and patches to prevent cookie cutter builds (which was rampant and a must in D2/LoD). The creators carefully made a game they could be proud of. Games are meant to have a story (unless they are an FPS), so if it upsets you that you have to actively skip the plot this isn't the game for you. Also there is talk about a lack of an endgame. D1 didn't have one, D2/LoD it was grind to 99 and get the right rune words, D3 has the difficulty of inferno and an achievement system, plus the possibility to farm and make money (almost paid the game off)
  • John J. Baeza - A must read!In his new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop, author Radley Balko provides a detailed history of our decline into a police state.

    He works his way through this history in a sound way describing police raid upon police raid gone terribly wrong, resulting in a useless loss of life. He discusses police agencies that serve populations of only 1,000 people but receive federal funding for military-type weapons and tank-style vehicles. We have also seen a total disregard for "The Castle Doctrine" which has been held dear by our citizens since the colonial days. The "Castle Doctrine" is the idea that a man's home is his castle and a warrant signed by a judge is necessary to enter and search the "castle." Balko cogently explains the reason for all of this: The war on drugs and the war on terror are really wars on our own people.

    A profession that I was once proud to serve in has become a militarized police state. Officers are quicker to draw their guns and use their tanks than to communicate with people to diffuse a situation. They love to use their toys and when they do, people die.

    The days of the peace officer are long gone, replaced by the militarized police warrior wearing uniforms making them indistinguishable from military personnel. Once something is defined as a "war" everyone becomes a "warrior." Balko offers solutions ranging from ending the war on drugs, to halting mission creep so agencies such as the Department of Education and the FDA don't have their own SWAT teams, to enacting transparency requirements so that all raids are reported and statistics kept, to community policing, and finally to one of the toughest solutions: changing police culture.

    Police culture has gone from knocking on someone's door to ask him to come to the station house, to knocking on a door to drag him to the station house, to a full SWAT raid on a home.

    Two quotes from the HBO television series "The Wire" apply quite appropriately to this situation:

    "This drug thing, this ain't police work. Soldiering and police, they ain't the same thing."

    "You call something a war and pretty soon everyone's gonna' be running around acting like warriors. They're gonna' be running around on a damn crusade, storming corners, slapping on cuffs and racking up body counts. And when you're at war you need an enemy. And pretty soon damn near everybody on every corner's your enemy. And soon the neighborhood you're supposed to be policing, that's just occupied territory."

    Detective John J. Baeza, NYPD (ret.)
    Manhattan Special Victims Squad
    Manhattan North Narcotics
    32nd Precinct, Harlem
  • M. Mccurry - One of Floyd's Many MasterpiecesI was just browsing through some of these reviews and noticing that they're usually either 5 stars or 1 star. The reason for this is because The Wall happens to be the most complex album ever recorded. You either have the intelligence to comprehend it or you don't, it's that simple. Roger Waters is a genius when it comes to writing. Even if you find him to be egotistical, he shines as a lyricist. I really feel sorry for the people reviewing this and only realizing the melodies, yet failing to understand the complete story being told. This is a piece that requires your full attention and asks you to think a little bit about the subject matter. Also, the subtle little things that pop up throughout the album make it that much more brilliant for those who are able to pick up on them. The sound effects that accompany the songs allow it to draw people into the work and delve deeper into the mind of the character's experiences. It really makes you feel as if you just have to stand by and watch as everything is happening: You want to reach in and lend a hand but you're unable to affect the outcome, like a bystander in an ongoing war, witnessing the horror from a safe haven.

    This is definitely the thinking man's music. Eloquence personified.
  • MikeyT - Simplicity at its finest.Upon entering the Bose store the other day. I found myself intrigued by a small unobtrusive speaker, resting neatly under a telvision set. A sales associate approached me and I asked if I could hear what this is all about. He responded by telling me that this was the Bose Solo system and it was relatively new. The first eleven days they were out he said they sold 11,000 units as a company. That is an amazing feat. When he pressed play I was blown away by the amount of sound it put out for such a small unit. I said "whats the catch?". He looked at me puzzled and stated that there was no catch that the demo material was simply showing the capabilites of the product, and that giving it an accurate reading was hard to do in a large music store full of sound. But the thing is... EVEN IN A LARGE ENVIRONMENT / NOISY I WAS STILL BLOWN AWAY! I took two home instantly (One for me and my parents). Set up was extremely easy (Power to the wall, and audio from television), sound was phenomenal, and the urge to spread the word about the solo was increasing :). If you want simplicity, great sound, and aren't looking for speakers all over the house. This is the product for you. My parents are absolutely in love as well. They are 65 and hooked it up with no problem at all.


    Hope this was helpful. At the Bose Stores they offer a 90 trial period as well. To make sure it works well in your home. As a long time bose fan, their customer service has never been bad. You've done it again Bose. Big sound, little package.