This is my Blog, on it I simply write stuff that I feel like writing about. You'll find it heavily slanted towards tech, games, entertainment and the like. I write about other stuff too, and somethings I write about things. I also do photography, the link is on your right.

Saturday, 31 March 2012


So by now most people following gaming news will have seen or heard of this crazy (new?) rumor about next gen consoles having some sort of mechanism to block the used game business.  Here's a nifty little article on Gamespot quoting a "well known industry analyst" Michael Pa-who gives a shit. He delightfully and oh so tactfully states that whoever leaked this rumor is a "monkey."  I like his style.  He continues that it's just a rehash of old rumors from back in ought five, when this current gen of consoles were being birthed.  Well hell, there you go, we've busted this thing wide open.  If it didn't happen seven years ago, there's no possible way it could happen now right? Right?
Ok, there is one huge difference between then and now.  Seven years ago it was not viable or feasible to have a large scale digital distribution system.  Now it most defiantly is, and by gum it works great!  I pretty much exclusively do my gaming on my PC, through a little system called Steam.  I can't even recall the last time I went out a bought a physical disc, but even if I did, all I would have to do is type in the CD key on steam. I STILL don't even require the disc.  (Yes I know it doesn't work that way with EVERY game, *cough*EA*cough.)   But tie this type of distribution service with some dedicated hardware, like maybe the Xbox 70X100PL Extreme, or whatever they call it, and you have a winning combination.
Next argument:  The big three would never do this for fear of the wrath of a dying game company.  Gamestop/EB games would refuse to stock new titles, in retaliation for killing their shitty used game business,  and that would hurt overall sales.  Yeah, I can see it now, "hey man, Call of Duty seventylevenhundred just came out, let's go buy it!  Oh, gamestop doesn't have it?  Darn I guess we'll just never get to play it, sigh."
Give me a break, the sooner that shitty company bows out of the industry the better.  In fact, after I left EB Games back in 2006, after 5 long years as a manager, I stated that this company would not even exist in 10 years.  I'm still betting that I'm right, I've seen how they do business from the inside, and it's a horrible mess.  You've got 4 years Gamestop, the clock is ticking.
So mister industry analyst, even though approve of your blatant disrespect and name calling, I still think you are dead wrong.  This sort of system is not only likely, it's inevitable.  In fact if I'm wrong about this I will eat my....umm, delicious chocolate cake.  Anyone who doesn't think this is the way thing are going is a monkey.


Thursday, 29 March 2012


Here's an odd Dichotomy for you.  I love photography, photographs, cameras and the like.  That much should be fairly self evident.  However, I almost universally loath photographers.  There are a few exceptions to this of course, there are a few photographers who are truly awesome, (you know who you are, never stop being awesome.)
Let's get right down to it shall we, this is why I hate photographers:

"Crimes of Adventure in the Polaroid Apocalypse" is an exploration of local industrial decay both economic and literal. Multiple photographic media were used to capture our subject matter, fittingly including the eponymous Polaroid given the contemporaneous expiry of the site and this medium. 'Crimes of Adventure' also chronicles the artists' intimate experiences with the subject matter, telling a story that dissects the nature of dereliction, loss, and the powerful and fluctuating essence of places."

Really?  For reals real?  Not for play play?  Rarely do I get to experience that level of absurd tripe.

That was the description of an upcoming photo exhibit in my fair city, pictures of derelict buildings and urban decay.  Now, if the name of the show was, "I took a bunch of photos that I think are pretty neat, I hope you like them too." It would have my full endorsement.  Instead they choose to shovel truck loads of nonsensical pretentious bullshit.  Oh I know, I'll give it a try on one of my pictures!

This photo is an analogous representation the slow but inexorable dissolution of the traditional schema of farming, left behind in a fast paced modernized, industrial operandi.
Or maybe it's just a picture of a fucking barn

Wow, it's actually pretty difficult to come up with shit, finding superfluous synonyms and just the right air of pretentiousness.  I take it all back, well done all, I wish you all the best in your....thing.


Wednesday, 28 March 2012


I remember when I first saw the trailer for "The Grey."  Much like everyone else that saw the trailer I was all like, "Fuck Yeah, Liam Neeson punching wolves in the face with broken bottles strapped to his fist!  How bad-ass can you possibly get?"  Really other than that scene, the rest of the trailer makes it out to be a very forgettable man vs. nature survival action flick.  This couldn't be farther from the truth.  Whoever cut together that trailer did this movie a grievous injustice.  Not only is it now one of my favorite movies of all time, but it's also incredibly deep, and hard at work on multiple levels.  After I came home from the theater that night, it was gnawing at the inside of my skull, and I couldn't get it out.  I had to know if other people saw in it what I saw, so off to the Internet I went.  I figured professional movie watchers would be the best place to look, surely they would pick up on all the subtle elements at work in this film.  That's where I discovered the second grave injustice done to this movie.

At least half of the reviews I read went something like this, I'm paraphrasing of course:

"LOL, they all get eaten by wolves."
"This was so boring, to much talking not enough wolf punching."
"I though this was supposed to be an action movie." 
"Can someone please help me tie my shoes?" 

To be fair, not everyone completely Whoooshed on the point, after all, it did clock up a 78% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.  I just can't help but think; it could have been a much higher score if it wasn't for a handful of mouth breathing troglodytes derping up their reviews.

Here's a quote from a movie critic that pretty much sums up what I thought of the film:

 "As a simple survival story it is gripping cinema, but by being rich in metaphor, filled with ambiguity and widely open to interpretation, it is so much more. Even the title The Grey suggests the unknown factor, evoking the look of the Alaskan wilderness, the depressed state of Ottway’s mind and the vast space between white and black, right and wrong, heaven and hell."

-Thomas Caldwell

See?!  This guy gets it.

All I'm really trying to say is that if you like yourself some thinkin' movies every now and again, you could do a lot worse than giving The Grey a go.  It will give you something to ponder, and if you see it with a friend, give you something to discuss.  Also, Liam Neeson punches wolves in the fucking face!


Tuesday, 27 March 2012


Fanboyism.  Now there is a touchy subject.  Weather you are willing to admit it or not, everybody at some point has had fanboyistic tendencies.  Nobody likes to be called one, its mostly used as a derogatory term for an enthusiastic ummm... enthusiast.  I guess there a a few people out there that freely admit to it, even wear it proudly on their sleeve, but they are few and far between.  There are just so many unflattering adjectives tied to that term.  Fanatic, extremist, blind loyalty, irrational, and so on and so forth.  Well, I've been doing some ruminating on the subject because it fascinates me to no end.  One thing I noticed is that fanboyism is almost always associated with a polarization of two groups, never three of four equally valid camps, but two major dominating factions, with usually some bit players, fringe factions thrown in the mix for flavor.  The second thing I noticed is that the concept is almost always applied to brand loyalty, and to be more specific, technology brand loyalty.  You almost never see Crest fans and Colgate fans duking it out on message boards, each claiming the their brand kicks the other brands ass at plaque removal.  Third, this seems to be a relatively recent trend, I don't recall every hearing stories about people going to war over their favorite brand of transistor radio back in the 50's.
So, what the hell is going on here?  Well, I think it is a combination of peoples innate need to group together with like minded people, and modern marketing techniques.  The first issue is I think is fairly easy to see, humans have a long and sorted history of polarizing into opposing factions, each side filled with the absolute and complete certainty that they are on the correct side, and can't in fathom how the other side can't see what they see.  Just go pick up a book of religious histories of the world and flip through it for a few minutes, I'll wait...........
Ok, you're back, the similarities are a little frightening aren't they?  Oh sure, Apple fans aren't burning heretical Android fans alive, but I sure some of them have though about it.  I only use Apple and Android in my example because they are currently the elephant in the collective tech world's room.  There have been many beefs before, and will be many more to come.  Nintendo and Sega had a particularly bitter rivalry a few years back, and yes, a young me vehemently argued with my junior high class mates. How could they not clearly see that the Super Nintendo trounced the Genesis in every way, and that "Blast Processing" was just  total bullshit?  Sony vs. Xbox, Microsoft vs. Mac, Blue Ray vs. HDDVD, Nvida vs. ATI, AMD vs. Intel, Google vs. Bing, Firefox vs. Chrome, Alien vs. Predator, you can't surf two message boards into the tech world without wandering smack dab in to the middle of a war.
Moving on to issue number two.  Marketing. That shit has been boiled down to a science.  Advertising is very deliberate and and focused not on the product at hand, really that is irrelevant, but more about assigning emotional and social value to the product.  They are selling an ideal, a lifestyle, an unobtainable nirvana of consumer bliss.  If your think you've never fallen for, or been susceptible to that sort of psychological manipulation, you are most definitely fooling yourself.  There is entire volumes written about techniques to subtly manipulate buying decisions, but that's a rabbit hole I don't care to jump down right now.    

Hi, how are you holding up? OK, fanboyism....Is it a good thing or a bad thing, I mean it seems to be a relatively harmless catalyst for people to get together and bitch about the "other guys."  Well, there is one small problem.  Generally speaking, fanboys are not very good at being critical of their brand of choice.  When that happens, it breeds complacency in manufactures. They don't have to try very hard to please their core audience, true innovation becomes secondary to incremental, and very lucrative updates.  The industry starts to stagnate, and in some cases falls headlong into a backwards bizarro world where it's the manufacture itself that is dictating the direction of the market, and not consumers.  In my humble opinion that is a dangerous road for us to go down, and no good can come of it. 
Yes, I'm looking at you Apple.

Anti-Apple sentiments?  Jesus, I'm such a fanboy.


Google image search for "fanboy" This is the first thing that comes up.

Sunday, 25 March 2012


31.  That's how many apps I have on my phone that I did not put there, do not want, and cannot remove.  Does anyone else see the problem here, or am I the crazy one?  Android was supposed to be the great liberator of the smart phone world.  Cast off the shackles of the walled garden, enter a world where whatever app you choose can frolic freely across the raw power of the latest and greatest hardware the world has to offer.  Instead I find myself with a dual core 1.2 Ghz beast with 1GB of RAM that at any given time has around 280ish megs. of memory free, all the rest is being gobbled up by the ungodly amount of bloat-ware on my phone.  So my phone chugs along, and I can only dream of a slick smooth experience that some fruit based devices enjoy.
Ice cream Sandwich.  It was supposed to be the grand unifier, pulling together tablets and smart phones, one OS to rule them all!  I remember when Google announced like it was yesterday....err wait that was six months ago!  Look at all these awesome devices running the latest most advanced software Google has to offer.....*We hear crickets chirping, some guy in the back clears his throat and coughs uncomfortably.  Finally a meek voice raises from the crowd, "the Galaxy Nexus has ICS."*
Yes, yes it does random guy.  In fact, after doing some research a quick Google, it turns out approx. 2% of all android devices are running ICS.  TWO!? 2!? TEEEEoooow??!  Really?  Some of the largest electronics manufacturers on the planet bring their considerable resources to bear on this issue and after six months we have 2%?  Some kid in his parents basement posting on the XDA forums have done better numbers than that.
So, what the hell is going on here?  Two things really, and they are as follows:

-Carriers are ruining what android was supposed to be. 
-OEM's are also ruining what android was supposed to be.

"It takes time to set up properly to set up ICS on our devices, we here at Samsung/HTC/LG/Sony/Motorola want to make sure that our users have the very best experience they can possibly have on our devices."

This may need some translation:

"It takes time to figure out how to jam a metric shit-ton of useless bloated crap-ware on our devices, let alone the grossly over inflated skins that really set us apart annoy the hell out of everyone.  After all that is done, we need to get carriers to sign off on this garbage for their network.  Then we start the process all over again, as the carrier commences to jam all their bloated crap onto the phone as well.  By the time this update finally gets to the end user Google will be launching the next version of android and we start the whole dance again!"

Not to mention, if everyone drags their heels long enough, there is a not insignificant number of people that will get tired of waiting and just say, fuck it, I'll just get a new phone.  Hurray for disposable technology!  You really gotta walk that fine line, dangling the carrot just close enough that your customers don't wander off over the wall in in to the orchard, if you catch my drift. 

All that being said, I still love the idea of android, I have one on my desk right now.  That romance is quickly fading though, and I feel that android is slowing failing me like the iphone did before it. (Yes I used an iphone for 2 years.)  If it does, where do we go from there?  Blackberry? In your dreams.  I guess there is always that plucky young start up, Mirco....Mircosomething?  Can't think of the name off the top of my head, I'm sure it will come to me. At any rate, I stare into my crystal ball and I see a huge number...that number is "8."  We'll save that discussion for another time.