Out of Office
I will be up north in Canada’s great northern northlands for the next week, and completely off the internets – all of them. So have fun everyone, and the site will return in August!
I will be up north in Canada’s great northern northlands for the next week, and completely off the internets – all of them. So have fun everyone, and the site will return in August!
Here’s an interesting article speculating on the economics of Dr. Horrible, and Joss Whedon himself weighed in to say it is “sensible.” Long and short of it is that the show would need to sell about 100,000 copies on iTunes to see a modest profit, and more like a million to compete with Hollywood paychecks for the creators involved (assuming a budget of $250,000). This is before any DVD revenue is taken into account.
I think we can assume Dr. Horrible will make money for its makers, but is there anything more we can take away from it? Joss Whedon is, after all, a special case within a special case – he has a pro budget and talent pool, and beyond that a rabid extant fan base. But nothing about the success of this show means much for amateur creators, those who couldn’t get Neil Patrick Harris to work for scale, and couldn’t afford to pay him scale anyway. There still doesn’t seem to be a system that can help such talent succeed, other than “get a million viewers on YouTube.” That’s not a system, that’s the problem already solved. A million viewers, whether on the web or on TV, spells success. It’s how to get there that counts. (I know this isn’t Joss’ fault, it’s just you get to thinkin’.)
That’s enough of that particular subject. Soon: Dark Knight!
I seem to have gone off the console (in my case, the 360) for the portables (DS and PSP). The only game I’m playing on the console is Rock Band, and I’m not sure for how much longer. I’m trying to complete solo drums on hard and I’m held at the “nightmare” level by “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and the damned prog intro to the Boston song. It’s probably something about my brain that makes these two so hard; I had few issues with the other tracks at this difficulty level. But right now the gameplay is what could be described as brutally punishing, so I’m not sure how much longer I’ll hold onto this vain hope of completing the tour.
God of War: Chains of Olympus is mostly what I’m button mashing on the PSP. It’s pretty slick, i.e. well-produced, good difficulty curve, very similar to the PS2 experience of the original game. This isn’t my sort of game, but when something’s well done, I can deal with it. The PSP seems to provide a console experience, except portable, whereas DS games are more typically idiosyncratic thanks to the touchscreen and/or retro thanks to their 2D graphics.
I’m looking forward to Too Human when it comes out in a few weeks, and also to trying some iPhone games whenever I can actually find an iPhone.
There’s a bit of press for Whedon’s latest venture. Here’s an article in Variety, tying Dr. Horrible in with other creator-originated web pushes. It mentions that the budget was “low six figures” and financed by Joss’ own cash. There’s also an interview in Wired, but it’s mostly fluff. The show is no longer free, but you can get it in iTunes, where I noticed it sitting atop the list of “top TV shows,” which I think means it may well make its money back. It will see eventual DVD release, but that deal is still being worked out. Me, I just hope they keep making more. There are a lot of villains on the Evil Council of Evil that I’d like to see more of, and will we see Captain Hammer’s Hamjet?
I linked to it earlier in the week but man, thanks to doombot for reminding me to actually watch Dr. Horrible. It’s Joss Whedon, and it’s beyond awesome. Enjoy it soon as it vanishes on sunday.
Perhaps the association superhero=jock, supervillain=nerd was always obvious to everyone, but it only breaks through my thick skull with the help of Captain Hammer’s… er, hammer. Whedon really loads up every superhero cliche with meaning. The freeze ray is what will let the awkward Horrible pause time to think up something witty to say to his crush, for example. And hey, you get lots of jokes, songs and Nathan Filion.
Whedon is such a great writer that even this master plan is a joy to read.
If you are reading this… you are very patient. There are brutal server issues again, resulting in long page load times. I have no time to migrate servers, which is what it would take to resolve these problems. I apologize, and hopefully all this will be a faint memory in a couple weeks. In the meantime, I can suggest you do not purchase hosting from Joyent.
I have to take issue with the dashboard do-over, though. Added features are all well and good: the group chat is one thing that the current dash was jonesing for. But was the shameless Mii ripoff really necessary? Nintendo didn’t invent the idea of 3D avatars; there are a lot of other looks they could have gone with and kept the core concept. As it stands now, it just seems like classic Microsoft copycatting, the sort that is familiar to any long-time Mac user.
Now obviously the new look is meant to appeal to casual players. Surely there was a way to do this that wouldn’t actively piss off the console’s existing base of super-hardcore shooter maniacs. Can you see all these guys logging in to play Call of Duty IV wearing their adorable Miis? I need a medic stat, I have a Mii down with a sucking chest wound.
Besides that, the existing dashboard, while a little laggy since the last update, was a good bit of software, and it seems kind of insulting to it just to dump it for the cutesy makeover, complete with CoverFlow-esque reflections and all. And let’s say nothing of the pointlessness of an interface makeover, when we all know it’s the games and the peripherals that differentiate the hardcore from the casual (can we just call them softcore for a while?). Or maybe I’m crazy and crappy game show games and an adorable interface will really make grandpa cutesypants trade in his Wii for a seething, whirring 360. He’ll be playing Gears 2 in no time!
Nintendo is obviously chasing its dream, and I can’t really blame them. The DS is a dream platform, with crazy sales across all sorts of different demographics, and so many games that even the hardest of the core can’t complain that they’re being forgotten about. For every Petz release shoveled out by Ubi there’s a semi-insane, tough-as-nails Atlus release like that insect strategy game, or Etrian Odyssey. There is trouble in paradise, however, on the Wii side. The hardware and the first party casual games sell well, but not the third-party games. And the hardcore Nintendo fans feel more than a little betrayed. So you’re working on a Zelda game, eh? Awesome. Good for you, Nintendo. Get back to us on that.
Can we say Sony is still struggling when the PS3 is now outselling the 360? They are guaranteed second place in this generation, I’d say. It’s a little disappointing that they don’t have more good games coming this fall, and that Home still ain’t ready – but hey, shiny Blu-Ray. And the video rental stuff takes a feather out of Microsoft’s cap, I guess.
The PSP is the most angst-ridden current platform, and they did a reasonable job staving off ennui amongst owners with a few big game announcements – Patapon 2, LocoRoco 2, Super Stardust Portable, Resistance Retribution. Not that any are coming out soon, I don’t think.
What in the sam hell is going on with Bungie? They’ve been teasing a new presumably non-Halo game for ages, and now they say the publisher axed their announcement. Wow. Wonder if we’ll ever hear that story. (Possibly on Halo 9’s commentary track.) There’s also word from Microsoft that Bungie IS working on a new Halo game. There’s also the Peter Jackson Halo thing that’s being developed internally by Microsoft Game Studios. But no announcements for any of these things, huh? Weird.
PS Penny Arcade sums it up much more concisely than I ever could.
UPDATE: Another thought. The big thing that struck me this time around is just how hopelessly dependent all these guys are on sequels, franchises, existing IP, whatever you want to call it. You have your Gears 2, your God of War 3_, your new Animal Crossing and Pokemon game. I know the reasons, it’s just a bit sad. I found myself getting a bit excited by the mere concept of a GTA on the DS, and then I thought, “oh wait, I’m absolutely, totally sick of GTA, and Rockstar needs to do something absolutely, totally different for a while.” Then you have your category of games that are so-called original IP that are inspired by other successful franchises, to put it charitably: your Lips, your Wii Music. When you take away all those games, the ones left over are few and far between. And they are mostly for Sony: inFamous, FlOwer, the DC Universe thing, MAG, Little Big Planet, PixelJunk Eden.
So I was watching E3 on the telly yesterday and found myself in the middle of Nintendo’s press conference. Reggie was blabbing away about how Nintendo is such a super seller and how their third party Wii games are just as awesome and everything is going so well and number one console for a reason blah blah blah. It occurred to me then that I am absolutely repulsed bu Nintendo’s smugness.
Yes, the Wii is excellent for group games and “casual” gamers and stuff like that, but to prattle on about how you are the best in the industry when what you really are is a peddler of cheap plasitc wheels and step pads is distasteful. My disgust continued as trailers for their upcoming games assaulted mine eyes. I’d really like a Wii commercial to surface without the godawful view of players’ Joker-like-too-happy-faces. Then the games with happy children standing on the step boards and surfing through space…and though the Silver Surfer implications are tempting I just can’t get over all these motion-based add-ons. I mean why should it surprise me that they would go down that road? Nintendo has always been the “let’s make add-on shit” people, I get that. I guess just looking at their “we’re selling so much” charts and just that whole business side trying to appeal to gamers with “I’m a suit but I’m a reliable source for you to trust” attitude just pissed me off.
I really like Nintendo, I really do. There are some good games and the Wii is a solid platform for fun. Just the arrogance to think that they are going to be the number one console irks me. I know you have to have a strong sense of product love in a company…I just feel that when Sony once again surfaces as the leader of the industry in a few years Nintendo’s going to get lost in its dust and look ridiculous.
So that’s my problem with Nintendo’s smugness, I’m worried that it’s going to come and hit them in the back of the head.
And I just don’t want to see that happen.
Sony! Sony! Sony! Announcing shit, dude!
Let’s see here: video rental and purchase coming to Playstation Network as of tonight (US only I presume), and the PSP will be supported (but will it require a PS3?); the low-end, $400 PS3 will have 80gigs as of September; God of War III announced, surprising noone; Little Big Planet will be released in October. SOCOM devs Zipper are making a game called MAG (Massive Action Game) that features 256-player battles.
Jeez, not much of a thrill ride.
Nintendo’s press conference just went down and the big news is: Wii Music, which is like a non-judgmental version of Rock Band; a new mic-speaker peripheral for the Wii, “WiiSpeak”; Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii sometime this year, which will take advantage of said peripheral; a Grand Theft Auto game for the DS (GTA: Chinatown Wars); and a new WiiSports game, Wii Sports Resort, featuring fencing and frisbee (and which presumably requires the new Wii Motion Plus add-on for the Wiimote).
Nothing too exciting, but then Nintendo doesn’t need any enormous surprises. The Sony conference is underway now. Oh and also the Bungie stuff will be tomorrow, not yesterday.
Prolly the big ones are: a dashboard update to feature Mii-like avatars; a Netflix partnership – netflix members will be able to access the Netflix catalogue from their 360s; and Final Fantasy XIII will be on 360 as well as PS3.
The 360 will see an upgrade to 60GB of hard drive (it used to be 20). Also, there were release dates for Fable 2 (october), Gears of War 2 (november 7), and Resident Evil 5 (march 13 2009). A new Portal game, Portal: Still Alive, will come to Live Arcade sometime in ’08. The Rock Band track list is revealed (“Livin’ on a Prayer”, sweet!) In non-sequel news, a karaoke game called Lips is on its way, and a camera-enabled game called You’re in the Movies.
There’s still supposed to be a big Bungie announcement today.
The iPhone App store launched friday with 41 games available for it. As MTV Multiplayer notes, the DS launched with 11 games, and the PSP with 24. The hardware is no slouch when it comes to gaming, either. As roughly drafted puts it:
The iPhone is in a significantly different class of performance, has far more internal resources for games, and is equipped with a variety of other hardware–from its camera to its ubiquitous (if slow) mobile network to its multitouch high resolution display and accelerometers–all of which have to power to unlock entirely new classes of games and other more serious applications.
The iPhone launch games include offerings from Sega (Super Monkey Ball) and EA (Tetris, Scrabble). And there are already even more games than at launch – it’s hard to find an exact number, but over a hundred easily.
But how do they really stack up? There are 16 different sudoku games, some old school arcade ports, some racers, many card and puzzle. Even a text adventure. But not one RPG, not one strategy title. For sure, the hardware is idiosyncratic; shooters may not work too well. But if the DS’ touch screen is any indication, it’s still possible, and genres like RPG, strategy and even RTS can work very well.
You can’t blame developers for going casual when it comes to games on a phone, but all the same, Orcs and Elves on this thing would kill. And when we start seeing the games that take advantage of the networking and even GPS, we’ll start seeing some crazy things.
The early adopters get the iPhone as it’s meant to be enjoyed, but everyone else gets stiffed with the sucky plans. Rogers avoids the iPhone becoming horribly uncool – “you bought the iPhone? What are you, stupid?” – and avoids bad nerd of mouth. It also avoids bad press re: weak launch sales of iPhone, Bell and Telus kicking their ass with the Instinct, etc. Yet after a scant two months, it gets to keep the plans that everyone hated, the plans that virtually guarantee expensive data overages.
Let’s not kid around: Rogers isn’t losing money on the nerd plan. So if they are able to turn a profit on 6 gigs of data a month, why can’t this be the plan for everyone?
I’ll leave the answer to your imagination.
Effective July 11, and as a limited time promotional offer for customers who activate by August 31 on a three year contract, a data-only offering of 6GB of data for $30 per month is being made available that can be added to any in-market voice plan.
It ain’t unlimited, but it’s waaaay better compared to what they were originally offering, and to other Canadian rates. Here’s a Globe article.
I hesitate to make fun of this but make of it what you will: a Brazilian priest, hoping to ‘promote religion’, break a world record and raise money for truck drivers, strapped himself onto a chair tied to 1,000 party balloons for what was to be a 20-hour flight to a nearby town.
This was in April. His body was recently recovered 100km out to sea.
Stories like this always capture my imagination. Like the homemade rocket car driver who wound up fused into a sheer rock wall, they are tragicomic Icarus tales, stories of those brave enough to try something foolishly beautiful. Let’s remember the Kubrick quote about Icarus:
I have never been certain whether the moral of the Icarus story should only be, as is generally accepted, ‘don’t try to fly too high,’ or whether it might also be thought of as ‘forget the wax and feathers, and do a better job on the wings.’
There’s also this video.
I’ve been giving Evernote a run through. So far, it’s an excellent app/service for those multi-platform types looking to organize themselves.
Evernote’s tagline is “remember everything.” It says of itself:
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.
If you’re looking to implement an organizational system and you’re largely glued to a single computer, there are many choices for you. If, however, you find yourself on different computers or often away from them altogether, your choices are much more limited. That’s where our homeboy Evernizzle steps in. Evernote offers Mac and Windows desktop clients, a mobile web interface, an iPhone-specific interface, and a regular web app, all of which sync with each other. You can also email things to Evernote and it will make notes for them.
Evernote’s mac client (click to enlarge)
As you might guess, evernote’s atomic element is the note, which can be a text file, a web clipping, an image, or a PDF. Notes can be organized into notebooks (folders) and tagged as you see fit. Once a note is synced to the web (which happens at intervals you select or when you hit the big synchronize button), the text is indexed and thus becomes searchable. One of the big ‘wow’ features is OCR, meaning that much text in images is also indexed.
The web interface finds text in images (click to enlarge)
Evernote’s strength is as a system for organizing reference material. With a cameraphone, the mobile interface and the OCR, you can be reasonably assured that any zany idea that comes into your head can be captured and later referenced. The web clipping feature, which can be used through a bookmarklet, automatically stores the URL and whatever text you have selected and is also quite handy. The folders and tagging pretty much let you organize shit in whatever way works for you.
I am using Evernote for reference. I can’t say I’m using the mobile aspects or the OCR much, as my current phone and its camera are garbage. But when the Jesus Phone is made manifest here in a week or so, I’ll make use of Evernote’s dedicated iPhone interface. I do rock the web clipping quite a bit. For example, in a perfect world I maintain a list of movies I want to see that I can reference in the video store. If I web clip a review into evernote, I can have the entire review easily accessible, which is very helpful. The latest version of webclip is nice and pops up above the target page without forwarding you to a new page.
the new improved webclip (click for full shot)
I’m also trying to implement a GTD system, and I’m using Evernote for it. You can make check-offable lists in Evernote (in the mac client anyway), but I tend to make actions as whole notes, which can then be tagged with a project name and dragged into context notebooks. The disadvantage is the lack of an integrated calendar, or a system for syncing with other calendar software, but that hasn’t been a dealbreaker so far. I won’t really be able to tell how well the thing works until I have a proper mobile solution going, but in theory I should be pretty close to ubiquitous capture once that happens. THEN I WILL CONQUER THE WORLD!
As Evernote is in beta, some of these will change. That said, these are the limitations of using it right now.
The most significant sour note that Evernote hits is the monthly upload allowance. Once you have uploaded more than 40MB to the web service, your sync will be cut off for the rest of the month. And clearly, without sync, the system falls apart. There is now a for-pay premium service with a 500MB allowance for $5/month. As I mostly use text, I haven’t run up against the limits of the free version yet, and $5 a month is certainly a reasonable price, so this ain’t so bad.
Right now, the Windows app is the only interface that can actually export your data, which can either be saved as HTML or emailed to an address.
There are substantial UI and feature differences between the Mac, Windows, web and mobile interfaces. This is completely understandable when it comes to web and mobile, but is a little odd when it comes to the desktop apps. The explanation is that the windows app is much older, but it’s still strange to see features and whole view modes present in one app and not the other. I didn’t find this too much of a hangup, but it should probably be addressed at some point.
If you mostly work on projects that require collaboration, evernote won’t help you much. You can ‘publish’ a notebook so that it becomes viewable as a web page, but no one else can edit it or add to it. That said, this isn’t much of a criticism, as Evernote doesn’t bill itself as a tool for working collaboratively.
This comparison is somewhat arbitrary. There are many other web services in the same space as Evernote – Remember the Milk and Stikkit come to mind – but I’m not familiar with them. And Backpack’s current incarnation is as more of a modern-day Intranet than a PIM. However, there are still many legacy Backpack customers like myself who were using it as a web-accessible PIM, and who may be interested in Evernote.
Like Backpack, Evernote can be used to collect reference material by project and can also be used to organize tasks. Both allow content to be emailed into the system, and can store various different filetypes (although evernote doesn’t allow any file, as backpack does, and you store mp3s and such like at your peril, what with the upload limit). Both have web and mobile aspects.
Evernote’s biggest advantage over Backpack is robust desktop software. The Mac client is excellent, and while I’ve just started to use the Windows client, it seems full-featured (as it should, as it predates the Mac client by quite a while). The only backpack desktop apps are third party and cost money. And good luck getting sensible support out of 37 Signals.
Backpack has a built-in calendar and an integrated SMS reminder system, which Evernote lacks. However, if you’re like me you’ve dropped them for the superior Google Calendar, so you don’t really miss them.
Backpack’s biggest advantage is that it’s great for small teams. I keep expecting google apps to muscle in on some of the things backpack does, but it hasn’t happened yet. And it’s worth mentioning that 37 Signal’s patented Less is More™ approach makes for some excellent and intuitive interface design.
I’m very fond of Evernote. The combination of strong desktop apps and web and mobile interfaces is hard to beat. It’s an excellent way of organizing reference material, and it’s helping with the GTD as well. If you’re looking for something of this nature, I strongly suggest you take ‘er for a spin.
A little explanation about Hardcore Nerdity. We posted about it when it first launched, but it may be worth clarifying what it is and what our involvement is. HCN is a site run by Jonathan Llyr and friends, who happen to be friends of ours. We just wanted to help them get a site up, so we are basically hosting it within our textpattern installation. Eventually, they’ll move to their own site and so forth, but until then little things are a bit weird, with their comments showing up in ‘recent comments’ and their posts showing up in our feeds.
Not that we mind, as it’s excellent content, and generally complementary to our own – they post mostly stuff related to sci-fi & fantasy film TV & books, while we can barely read and mostly write about games and sometimes gadgets. You should definitely listen to the podcast though, as not only are the folks mighty entertaining in their own right, they score amazing interviews.
And finally, I’ve been meaning to write about stuff other than games a little more. Man cannot live by games alone, and I’d like to reflect that more here. You’ve seen the odd Apple-related post, and that will continue, and maybe more film and TV stuff too. (Now let’s see if I actually deliver on that threat.) Not that games stuff will dry up as it remains a passion and general time sink.
So, anyway, while the site is still being shuffled around you may see some weird bits; look away, or email me and let me know
The story of Rogers’ brutal iPhone plans continued to get press in the US nerd press and the Canadian mainstream media. Mostly attention was focused on petition site ruinediphone.com, which went down for a couple days, leading to speculation that Rogers was blocking it (not true, it was a server issue). Ruinediphone now has 33,000 signatures and the website now indicates the domain has been purchased by web design firm oilchange.com.
Here’s a segment from Global News:
Rogers launched a half-assed PR clawback of its own, hiring an outside agency to email some prominent critics. The emails indicated that other plans could work with the iPhone:
Rogers customers have more choices available to them and can use their existing voice and smartphone data plans if they wish. For example, they can select from the new data pricing (ranging from $30 for 300MB to $100 for 6GB or $50 Flex Rate plan) and add a voice plan, or they can choose a combined voice and data plan to best suit their individual needs.
Note: I’m on Rogers-owned Fido, so I called them to see what the details were on their data plans as the site doesn’t mention any plans matching the Rogers data plans proper. They told me they didn’t have any information and I should watch the Fido site for updates. Thanks, Fido! Arf!
Also, Bell took advantage of the mess by announcing its plans for the iPhone-alike Samsung Instinct, offering ‘unlimited data’ for $10. However, the data plan is weaker than it sounds (video, GPS cost extra, email not push and only works with ‘standard domains’ like hotmail and gmail), making me again wish that someone would sue someone when they use ‘unlimited’ to mean ‘limited’. Also, the Instinct’s browser is said to be its weakest part and it’s certainly no iPhone, and probably not even a smartphone.
A lot of astute commentators have pointed out that if you don’t like the deals, don’t buy the iPhone. Thanks, geniuses. But if you do in fact want one, here are some more realistic options.
If you avoid the 3-year contract lockdown, then some viable competition could surface in a year or so thanks to the wireless spectrum auction.
I would like to point out that angry commenting on websites isn’t the strongest form of political protest in the world (nor is this the world’s most crushingly important issue, of course, but hey, we’re geeks). That said, do sign ruinediphone.com as clearly the number of signatures gets press. Also consider doing the following:
Ted Rogers email@example.com
J Innes (VP) firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane Haitsma email@example.com
-Simon Atkins (Canada) firstname.lastname@example.org
-The head corporate media guy in the USA
Steve Dowling – email@example.com
and the BIG honcho at Apple for communications is :
-Katie Cotton – firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Communications
Canadian Minister of Industry, Jim Prentice: Prentice.J@parl.gc.ca
I don’t think emailing Ted Rogers is a great tactic, but I do think Apple is monitoring the situation with increasing concern.
Anyway that’s everything so far; I’ll update this page if anything exciting happens.
UPDATE JULY 7:
There are other good ones, too. Go check ‘em out and vote!
I really shouldn’t like this game, after what I said about The World Ends With You or even Lost Odyssey’s Bogimoray. Because this shit is hard, and inconvenient. But like it I did. I didn’t want to play, but I caught my brain thinking up new tactics at odd times during the day, and then back into the dungeons I’d go.
Etrian Odyssey is the most hardcore of franchises on the most casual of consoles (the DS), yet it sells surprisingly well, hence the sequel. It’s a roguelike RPG – that old school variety light on story, character, graphic polish and accessibility, and heavy as hell with the D&D, dungeon crawling, character stats, random monster battles and grinding.
Why is it so hard? There are certain conventions in this sort of game that EO sticks to. You can only save and rest in town, not in the dungeon. Besides some warp points, which are few and far between, you must walk back to town when you want to go there, encountering random monsters with some frequency. These monsters are pretty tough until you get your levels up. And the game is not afraid to drop some ultra-savage monsters right in the first few levels of the dungeon. If you’re at low levels, these bosses can kill you with one blow. The items are few and far between. Oh yeah – your party dies? Game is the fuck over, no restart at checkpoint, no replay last battle. Better hope you remembered to save at the inn, or you’re up shit’s dungeon without a shit-alchemist.
And another thing – did I mention you have to draw your own map?
But, honestly? This game is pretty straight up about what it is. It gives you little warnings like “yeah, maybe you don’t want to attack this monster right now, lightweight,” and you quickly learn the lesson that maybe avoiding battle, or running away when things get nasty, are better than… having to restart from a save that was an hour ago.
The fun of the game is in figuring out good party configurations, items to equip, and skills to use. Drawing your own maps is actually pretty neat, and makes you buy into the concept that you are actually exploring an uncharted dungeon. And I’d be willing to admit that the very difficulty of the game makes the times you score a good item, or vanquish a near-impossible foe, all the more rewarding.
I got about seven or eight hours into this, and it got me to the third level of the dungeon. This could very well be a 60-hour game. It’s ultimately a little too grindy and random-monstery for me, but if you’re yearning for a roguelike well-adapted to the DS and you love a good challenge, Etrian Odyssey II is well worth your money.
Go ahead, take the day off, eh?
When I try to access the newsmaking anti-Rogers petition site, I get a 403 forbidden error. However, I’m still seeing referrals coming in from it, so some people are getting through. Hordes of angry commenters are assuming that Rogers themselves are blocking the site, which is hilarious but probably untrue as I’m on Bell and can’t get through. I’d assume the traffic took the server down, and then it was misconfigured upon return, but that doesn’t explain how people are still visiting it. Hmm..
UPDATE: It’s back, and it was a server issue.