The site didn't return on Monday and now there's a post that makes it sound like they might be switching to a different name. Anyone have the scoop?
By Mark Asher on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 03:41 pm:
I'm hearing rumors of some internal strife. Apache has quit. I can't imagine why they'd have to reopen under a new name unless there's an unhappy owner. Billy Wilson doesn't own the site, either.
By Jason McCullough on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 04:15 pm:
'Billy Wilson doesn't own the site, either.'
That's interesting. Who does? Not that the world is really suffering for the lack of htmlized readme files.
By Mark Asher on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 04:26 pm:
Not sure. Wilson sold it some time ago, from what I heard. Apache mentioned on Planetcrap that he had never met the owner.
It might be this place:
By Sean Tudor on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 05:14 pm:
Is there anything remotely marketable about Voodoo Extreme these days apart from Billy's "dude talk". Even that has been toned down.
All I see is yet another news site that reposts press releases.
By Mark Asher on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 08:53 pm:
They get a lot of traffic regardless.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 09:19 pm:
I wonder what VE's actual, real, honest-to-god costs are in bandwidth and employees (however many people they pay...I don't know how much of it is volunteer). And server leasing, if they're doing that.
I'd like to know what kind of dollar hurdle they have to clear to be profitable.
By Mark Asher on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 09:26 pm:
I'd bet it's significant. I heard they were getting 80,000 unique visits a day. That's got to eat up some bandwidth.
By Sean Tudor on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 10:27 pm:
THE TRUTH - FINALLY !
From Voodoo Extreme :
Seems like there was a lot of covering of ass going on at VE.
Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - Do you have any news or are you sick of the site being down? Let us know!
Coming soon... 7:04 AM (your time) - Dave "Octane" Morrison - In-House: Announcements - (229)
As I'm sure most of you have already guessed our recent downtime was not the result of technical difficulties. Due to the recent crash of the dotcoms our financial situation over the last few months has been less than stellar (to say the least). Add to that some really crappy internal problems and you can start to picture why we haven't made any updates in the last few weeks. The good news is that VoodooExtreme will return in the very near future.
I think the "crappy internal problems" were the result of people like Apache being unhappy with Wilson, and it's probably over money.
By Sean Tudor on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 10:51 pm:
Yeah both guys were dicks anyway. VE's main feature was always the "Battle Of The Ego's".
By Dave Long on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 11:36 pm:
Isn't it great how they lied about what the real problem was for a week before coming clean? Another gaming web site you can trust!
...and people who start web sites wonder why the publishers don't return their calls.
By Mark Asher on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 11:44 pm:
Yeah, I don't know why Wilson didn't just post a simple, "We're having some unexpected difficulties. Be back soon" message.
By Chet on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 01:37 am:
Billy hasn't owned VE in years - back in the gamefan days he sold it. So Edios really did own some of VE. PIE is the current owners. They are the ones who have the deal with UGO, not Billy. And the way UGO is paying, no way they are covering costs.
The site sucked since chris obrien left.
I believe PIE is owned by the guy who sold gamefan to express.com and helped bring about their collapse by lying about revenue. It is a big swirling pile of crap. all of it.
Little funny. Someone at UGO told me things there are finally getting desperate. Finally?
By Mark Asher on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 01:51 am:
Heh heh -- that is funny. What kind of warning signs do they need to see?
By Chet on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 04:11 am:
When the guy who runs POE with me, kthor, went to pick up a pc (Note to everyone on a network, if they won't give you money negotiate for something else), he said they were playing cards and betting their stock options. Yet they still thought they could outlast the storm.
The problem with UGO is they have a giant audience, was the largest 18-24male audience on the net. But then they market them old lady shit. Lets be honest, the 18-24 male audience on the net is like shooting fish in the barrel, what site doesn't hit that demographic? And are they really going to buy the video, proof of life?
We just started a semi-new idea, at least to us. On fatbabies you can buy a month worth of placement for a flat fee. You can do this on poe and evilemail as well but we haven't started pushing it. So far pushing it on FB has had a great success and I think we have the first month sold out. It may not be top dollar, but it covers cost and lets the kids make some money.
Some ad agencies were confused but when explained they liked the flat pricing model. Who knows, maybe it will only work for a month, but at least it is better than the $34.00 FB earned under UGO for July.
By Sean Tudor on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 07:43 am:
UGO really is deep in the doggy shit. $34 ?! What a joke !
By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 08:44 am:
I will repeat my stance on VE, I liked Billy. He was entertaining, at least to me and I have never had an axe to grind with him. Apache, on the other hand, is a complete dick from what I have seen. I noticed Evil Avatar Jr. is already deleting posts right and left over there so I won't be returning.
Any ideas of where to get seriously comprehensive game news? VE did cover just about everything out there. Blue's doesn't get everything. I love QT3 but it's angle is obviously different than the big news sites.
Any suggestions are appriciated.
By Monkeybutt on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 09:41 am:
Check out VE now...Apache is back and Billy is out. Better than a soap-opera. :)
By Steve on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 10:41 am:
>>The site sucked since chris obrien left.
Jeesus Chet, it's not Chris Obrien, it's Chris "Outlaw" O'Brien (or however you spell his name).
Don't you remember, he had a contest to pick his great nickname?
By Dave Long on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 11:58 am:
Oh great...so now we have Evil Avatar and Evil Avatar's Best Friend running two of the gaming link mills.
By Jason McCullough on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 12:03 pm:
I treate them like Drudge: They're slimy, so you should only use them when you're absolutely desperate for news.
I have yet to be that desperate for gaming news, mind you.
By Tom Ohle on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 12:43 pm:
Ugh, this is getting ugly. While I wasn't a huge Billy Wilson fan, I'm even less of an Apache fan. I've never read anything he's written that could have been seen as intelligent. I can imagine VE's hits dropping massively, since a large portion of their audience was Billy fanboys.
By Bub (Bub) on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 12:49 pm:
Billy Wilson at least has the advantage of being completely and scatalogically insane. Here's a
quote that I enjoyed enough to use in a former column:
"Why the hell am I talking about that in my blah? Probably because I just like to ramble (and dammit, that's what the blah is for, ya chode!). And speaking of chodes (ok, nothing to do with a chode), the "fam damily" (as Yewtah mo-mos like to say) and I are heading up to Park City this weekend, before it starts to cool down up there. I think we're only crashing up there for a single night, and with her family heading up, being the religious types, there will be no "sampling" for me...ugh. (ugh...which also explains why I've been in a pissy mood lately...no, I'm not menstruating)."
By Jason McCullough on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 12:55 pm:
Didn't he originally run VE out of Utah, too?
By Bub (Bub) on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 12:59 pm:
Did he move? Anyway, that quote was from last August (2000) and his... sigh... "Blahs" at that time usually indicated he was still in that most Mormon of states.
By Tom Ohle on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 01:05 pm:
He's still in Utah, as far as I know.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 05:04 pm:
Maybe I shouldn't be the one to say this, but:
Where is OGR when you need 'em?
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 06:47 pm:
Yep, Billy uses parentheses almost as much as Chet uses dashes. He's an artist, dammit. The BEST Blah of all was the one that got deleted-- there's an archive of it on OMM somewhere. It's truly over the top even by Billy's standards. Something about him getting in a fight with someone's mom at a store somewhere. It must be that vegetarian kung-fu lifestyle. Or something.
Billy is stupid, but in a harmless, aren't-the-handicapped-funny sort of way. Apache is stupid in a vicious, Evil Avatar sort of way.
WRT site closures, I still don't think we've bottomed out yet. In fact, I'm still waiting for this broadband renaissance that Jason Cross keeps promising us.
By Steve on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 10:10 pm:
>>In fact, I'm still waiting for this broadband renaissance that Jason Cross keeps promising us.
By Dave Long on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 10:25 pm:
75% of a sampling of hardcore gamers doesn't make a broadband renaissance. I must still be in the dark ages because me and everyone else within my township and approximately 70% of my county cannot get broadband of any kind without paying for a T1 or ISDN.
Anyone who thinks broadband is still on a fast pace to acceptance isn't watching the news. We have an economy that's faltering. People don't create ISPs and put in new wires when the money train is derailing.
P.S. -- I know you were just trying to get Wumpus' goat, but man, this broadband thing ain't happening like people think.
By Mark Asher on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 10:53 pm:
"Released yesterday, the Nielsen/NetRatings figures show that as of December 2000, 11.7 million U.S. homes--or about 12 percent of all U.S. households with Internet connections--now connect to the Internet via a high-speed connection, such as cable modem or DSL. That represents a better than 140 percent gain, from about 4.7 million people one year ago
"However, the study finds that almost 58 million homes, or 59 percent of U.S. households with Internet connections, connect via 56Kbps modems (up from almost 31 million in the previous year.)
That's a bit dated, but I doubt that broadband usage has increased a great deal. In fact, a couple of surveys published in June of this year place the percentages lower.
Besides simply providing access to more people who might want broadband, there's another big barrier -- cost. I pay twice as much for DSL as I did for dial-up.
A lot of people will be resistent to paying more for access, especially if they have to buy the equipment too. We may be 5-10 years away from widespread broadband acceptance. They need to get the cost down to $20 for unlimited access, just like most dial-up plans are.
By Chet on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 11:20 pm:
Sorry wumpuss, from now on I will present 18-24 year old males as 18 to 24 males. Thanks for your concern.
By Brad Grenz on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 02:54 am:
Yeah, cause DSL is much, much faster then dialup. The Cable access we pay for is about the same as the dial up we used to have when you factor in the cost of a 2nd phone line (which we had). Funny thing, I plugged a phone into the modem line so I could make outgoing calls when I was not using the computer. But I didn't know the number and no one had it. But it must have been close to someone else's number cause I used to get phone calls from people speaking Spanish. One day I started answering the phone, "Mulder."
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 03:34 am:
>In fact, I'm still waiting for this broadband renaissance that Jason Cross keeps promising us.
It's happening all around you, dude. It's growing by several million subscribers per quarter. We're up to 18 million now, and even with the crappy economy in the first half of the year and all the private DSL providers closing up shop, there was *triple-digit growth* in broadband adoption. There will be 30-35 million or more by the end of 2002.
(from stats through July 2002) "The number of broadband users, nearly 18 million people, is at its highest point ever."
Broadband is catching on much faster than dialup internet access did.
That's all the current trend, from the factual data that's out there. Personally, I'm optimistic, and I think there will be 40+ million in the US by the end of 2002.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 03:46 am:
Hey, I got broadband, and nobody *ever* thought that would happen!!
By Brad Grenz on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 04:39 am:
I have what people refer to as broadband, but I'd really like to have a big fat fiber optic line coming strait to my home, just for me! Mmmmm... 100Mb/sec. should be enough for a while.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 04:58 am:
Ah, wouldn't we all, Brad...Wouldn't we all...
By Dave Long on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 12:36 pm:
Factual data that isn't fully qualified. How do they come by this data? How do they define the "home user"? Their disclaimer says they get their data from "225,000 individuals with access to the internet in 26 countries around the world". So they look at that sample and extrapolate 18 million from there? Ok, whatever...
Their own data contains "LAN" as a content access method. So how are they differentiating home users from small business users?
Sorry...I still don't buy into this "revolution".
By Mark Asher on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 01:00 pm:
I posted different numbers from June of this year, though, which indicate lower acceptance. Which numbers are right?
The current kind of broadband we have doesn't really allow for good streaming video, at least for me. What kind of revolution is broadband supposed to bring, anyway? It hasn't done much for me other than being able to send and receive large files better. It hasn't changed my online habits any.
What happens when we all have broadband? What's different?
By Steve on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 01:04 pm:
>>75% of a sampling of hardcore gamers doesn't make a broadband renaissance.
It sure does when you work for a game magazine with a cover CD, which is one perspective Jason Cross would have. It's actually a shocking amount; I never would guess it was that high, and the sample is pretty large.
I would say an enormous percentage of gamers has broadband. I don't really care about the rest of the world; their needs are considerably different than those of a gamer. My Mom has broadband but mainly sits in ICQ chatting with friends, and that's what some large percentage of people use the Internet for. Chatting and e-mail.
By Mark Asher on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 02:07 pm:
Yeah, I wanted broadband for demo downloads, file transfers, and better multiplayer gaming.
Killing Napster really killed a mainstream application that would have pushed broadband.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 08:08 pm:
"I would say an enormous percentage of gamers has broadband."
Not console gamers. PC gamers? Hardcore PC gamers? It's been proven time and time again this market is too small to matter. Even the counter-strike upgrade survey has, what, less than 200,000 responses?
If this is going to happen it's because of people like your mom, not because of people like you and I.
So tell Mrs. Bauman I said, "thanks."
By Bill McClendon (Crash) on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 10:18 pm:
"(from stats through July 2002) "The number of broadband users, nearly 18 million people, is at its highest point ever.""
Just for giggles, I loaded up this pdf and checked it out, because that 18m number sounds way, way high. Oh. They used a sample size of 225k and got 18m... wonder what the margin of error is on that.
One thing I found very interesting is they say "Woo check it out the number of pages turned went way up!" Well, no shit, Sherlock. If I went to 384/128 from my 45k, I'd be grabbin 5x as many pages, too. Be like at work; just right click pop, right click pop, right click pop... and with the amount of RAM the average machine has now, having 5-20 pages open at once is cake.
It's like saying, "Well, we found that drivers that have cars with more horsepower accelerate faster." Gee, thanks for the insight. :)
Another aspect they didn't touch on is related to the mechanics of how most people use broadband. Who here has a broadband connection--cable or DSL--who doesn't hub it to more than one computer? I would be very, very surprised if anyone here said, "Yeah, I get a different IP for all my boxes and have 5 lines coming into the house." :)
And the fact that they said 18 million people instead of "households" is telling, since Nielsen usually expresses ratings in households. So 18m people means, using a demographic average of 3.7 people per household, something like 5m actual broadband installations. But 18m is a much more impressive figure for a press release.
Not saying that broadband isn't taking off, or that it isn't the wave of the future or whatever. But I think that pdf report is a bit on the optimistic side, and whenever I see unsupported stats, I get very, very leery of the conclusion they're trying to make me draw.
"Broadband is catching on much faster than dialup internet access did."
Of course it is. Dialup had to break both the "hardware upgrade" barrier as well as the "Why the hell do I want to bother with this?" barrier. Anyone that works at a place that's connected to the Internet, then goes home and surfs on a modem, knows exactly why they want broadband. (Plus, broadband installations do it all for you. With a modem, you're on your own. Makes a difference.)
By Bill McClendon (Crash) on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 10:23 pm:
"What happens when we all have broadband? What's different?"
Simple. We all start bitching about how slow it is next to fiber optic, and then complain to our local telco until they start runnin glass over that last mile.
By Mark Asher on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 10:30 pm:
Heh. Yeah, I don't see any killer apps for broadband right now. I'm not watching movies or anything now that I have DSL. I'm just downloading more demos than I used to. That's the biggest change in my usage with broadband.
So what are the predictions about broadband? What is it I'll be doing when everyone has it that I'm not doing now? I haven't read up on it in awhile, but doing things like streaming high quality movies is going to take something faster than the DSL I have. Maybe I don't really have the broadband yet that the predictors have been predicting?
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 11:44 pm:
I dunno. I've seen some streaming movies that were pretty nice on broadband. The actual quality of video varies -- sometimes it's pretty good, sometimes it's not, but I don't know how related that is to the connection, as opposed to the source -- but the "streaming" aspect -- it's pretty smooth. Not this herky-jerky stuff that dial-up offered, but, on a good day, at least, like watching TV that was maybe just a tad "fuzzy." Certainly not DVD quality, but maybe equal to an old VHS.
By Mark Asher on Saturday, September 29, 2001 - 12:45 am:
I guess my DSL isn't fast enough. I can stream video, but I get intermittent pauses, and that's with low quality video too.
Something that would be cool would be to watch TV on demand on my computer. If broadband could get me that, I'd be happy. Of course, I'm a cheapskate, so if it's free on TV I'd expect it to be free on my PC too. I'm not going to pay to watch Buffy. Unless on my PC I can magically make her appear nude in the episodes.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Saturday, September 29, 2001 - 01:02 am:
There's been a lot of talk -- and, of course, talk is cheap -- about having movies on demand -- sorta like Napster, perhaps, but as a pay service (Pay Per View, 'cept on your PC) with the blessing of the MPAA. Anything you can rent at Blockbuster, you could stream or download (maybe) at home.
Assuming that I could get better quality stuff than I've seen thus far (all of which has, of course, been free, so that probably equates into loss of quality), I'd pay for this.
I'm with you on TV-on-demand, too. I might even pay a tad for it -- but not much -- to be able to watch my favorite shows when I wanted to see them, and which episode I wanted to see, as opposed to having to watch them when the network aired them (premieres excepted). I'd say if they could get this ironed out, it could help broadband "take off."
Interesting about those pauses, Mark. I assume you've tweaked your Realplayer, right? When I first got broadband, I was frustrated because movies looked just like they did before -- then I started playing with options, and I still had it set to 56K connection. D'oh!
Not imply that you're an idiot or anything -- but it's easy to do.
By Jason McCullough on Saturday, September 29, 2001 - 03:09 am:
I'm assuming everyone here on broadband has installed the relevant TCP registry settings adjustment from here:
Right? Speeds up bulk transfers quite a bit.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Saturday, September 29, 2001 - 03:15 am:
Hmmm...Actually, I hadn't. If I were at home right now, I would.
Tomorrow, I will. Thanks, Jason.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Saturday, September 29, 2001 - 04:22 pm:
>I posted different numbers from June of this year, though, which indicate lower acceptance. Which numbers are right?
Well that webpage was updated on 6/08, but I went and looked up the usage stats they quote (the links that worked, anyway) and the actual reports are from all over the place, mostly around the turn of the year. It would be hard to update a page on 6/8 with good "through june" data, since most reports that count the first 6 months of the year aren't compiled and published until July.
>They used a sample size of 225k and got 18m... wonder what the margin of error is on that.
That's the way pretty much all surveys work. Nobody actually has the resources to go out there and ask the entire nation what they use to connect to the 'net. Hell, even the federal govt. only does the census every few years and that costs a fortune. =)
FWIW, 225k is a really large survey size for an analyst report. Similar reports are often in the 5-10k range. If you survey the right set of people, you can extrapolate for the rest of the nation with pretty good accuracy. If you do nothing but sample 225k people that live in wealthy urban areas, that data is going to be screwed up.
>And the fact that they said 18 million people instead of "households" is telling.
It is. But from a sales/usage perspective, people is people. You can say 18 million "people" out of 110 million "people" online, or you can say 9 million "homes" out of 54 million "homes" online, or whatever. They also count ISDN as broadband (though I really don't think that amounts to much).
Unfortunately, no two reports use the same methods of measurement, display exactly the same statistics, or count the same thing. It's hard to get a real consensus and NOBODY has a totally accurate measurement.
But every survey, regardless of those differences, show triple-digit growth every half year. Regardless of where the bar is right now, the TREND is obvious.
I actually like the Valve survey. It's up to 240,000 users now. And judging by the CPU speed numbers (40% with less than 700 MHz) coupled with the video numbers (low-end cards mopping up) it doesn't appear to be just the hardcore. Granted, it's gamers hardcore enough to patch Half-Life, but it's one of the most relevant sets of data I've seen in a long time. Relevant to We The Gamers, that is.
As for "regular people," even my mother, a die-hard Mac user who doesn't play any games, can't wait for DSL to be offered in her area this November. She's on the waiting list. She has high-speed access at work, and by comparison can't stand how long it takes to get her email and load a web page at home. I suspect that's true of a lot of regular non-gamers. Broadband demand far outstrips supply right now, and that makes for a giant growth market.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Saturday, September 29, 2001 - 06:29 pm:
"FWIW, 225k is a really large survey size for an analyst report. Similar reports are often in the 5-10k range. If you survey the right set of people, you can extrapolate for the rest of the nation with pretty good accuracy. If you do nothing but sample 225k people that live in wealthy urban areas, that data is going to be screwed up."
Why did they need to survey anyone? Why not just go to the telcos and cable companies and ask them what their subscription numbers are? It's not like people are hooking up broadband using some contraption they've fabricated from duct tape and baling wire. It's either provided by a telco, or a cable company. And these are both regulated. We should have access to these kinds of numbers without "surveying" 225,000 people.
And for the inevitable "but what about.." edge cases, I'm talking about the 98% market here.