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Bit by bit, the new features of the revised Xbox.com website are coming online. The My Xbox and new forums appear to be working now. One of the more interesting features in My Xbox is the much-touted Gamercard feature, that shows a personal avatar, your Zone, your Rep, and your Gamertag.

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This week on Podtacular there is a special guest host: the one and only Major Nelson. In the show there is an interview with the Major about Xbox 360 and the Xbox Live service, along with tons of great Halo 2 strategy information.

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The earlier Narc's Retort about an IHT article has been removed; a helpful reader pointed out I had in fact misread a key sentence in the original article and therefore my main criticism was unfounded. Still, this IHT article refers to LAN Fests as "orgies" which provokes sort of the wrong kind of imagery...

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Subnova has a new feature called Seeker which you can use to search more than a dozen different Halo sites, including Bungie.net, Halo.Bungie.Org, Rampancy.net, and many others. You can search using Seeker or read about what Seeker does. Thanks Louis Wu at HBO for the heads-up and for using the headline I was going to use.

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mrsmiley over at Halo Babies notes that H2Press has released a Halo Toolbar for Internet Explorer that features Halo-related RSS feeds. A version for Firefox is forthcoming in August.

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Verdafolio reports over at demented puppy dot com that the UK Halo map site, conveniently enough called Halomaps.co.uk, is reopening with a new site system and a new forum.

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Happy Birthday to Rampancy! This site, which was originally called The Core, opened its doors as a news and forum site for Bungie's new game, at that time not yet announced and widely referred to only as "blam". Our first news post, by Ferrex (now at Bungie) was on May 26, 1999.

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Over at my site (http://www.port49.bl.am/) are 3 files. One is the "Conversation's from the Universe" booklet mostly translated. One about the Covenant's units. And another small one explaining about the Seven Ages.
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Ricodued over at Halo Messenger notes that we've added an hmsa.xml file to Rampancy.net that can be automatically detected by his Halo Messenger newsreader. This means when you click "Discover Subscription" in the application and enter the domain name "rampancy.net", Halo Messenger will automatically discover the address of Rampancy's RSS feed and subscribe to it. Certainly other sites will follow suit.

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Today marks the start of a new series by a new staffer here at Rampancy. Sistimatic, a fan of Bungie games since the days of Marathon on the Macintosh, has looked back into the Marathon manual's retrospective on the battle at the Plain of Marathon to find war lessons applicable to Halo players today. Marathon Lessons is the first article in a series we're calling A Sistimatic Approach.

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*_mc* mrsmiley at Halo Babies writes that he and Gruntsbane put together five new Halo Babies emoticons they said "no Halo forum should be without." We interpreted that as a direct order and installed them. For the sake of convenience, the codes needed to use these at R.net are the same as those at Halo Babies.

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Because of certain individuals that felt it necessary to repost the same message over and over again, anonymous comment posting has been disabled until further notice. Only registered users will be allowed to post comments. This move is regrettable, but it seems necessary.

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A Rampancy.net reader was kind enough to create this Flash demonstration of a flaw in our CSS code which caused the size of link tags to change when moused over in some browsers. It's interesting now because the animation also includes the javascript countdown some six and a half days before the release of Halo 2.

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Achronos noted yesterday morning that Bungie.net's forums are back up; maintenance took longer than expected because of the size of some of the forums. "New Mombassa alone has 51,541 total topics and 623,614 total posts," said Achronos.

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Rampancy.net viewer and clan member Game_Theory became the 4000th registered user of Rampancy.net on Saturday, December 4, 2004. Rampancy is happy to still be serving the fringes of the Bungie community after five years, and is especially gratified at the new users who have been brought to the site by the launch of Halo 2. To Game_Theory and all of Rampancy's new users-- welcome!

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