Latest Happenings and Musings:
Its another week…week 7 of my Fall term at this college. Been such a long road too. Hmm, what to talk about… Not much happened over the weekend. It was half relaxing after a really difficult week and 1/3rd hanging out with people and 1/3rd doing homework. Yes, that math works and your just going to have to accept it. 😉 Been trying to figure out the optimal time to exercise for me. I basically have a choice between really early morning or late evening. Goody. So many fun choices there… Tonight I finished my Physics homework better than usual and I got some pretty good studying done over the weekend, so I’m feeling pretty good about that. Its still a long, uphill road at this point, but, I’m feeling better about it now than I have for the past couple of weeks. Also, this week is looking easier than previous weeks which is great, I could use that. Not going to lighten up on my workload, but it gives me more time and energy to study and figure these classes out. Which is really all I want right now, more time.
Moving my iPhone and iPad off iTunes Match tonight before my subscription expires in a couple days. I’ll probably turn off iTunes Match on my desktop while I’m at it. Then I’ll sync my iDevices the old fashioned way and put some music that I’ll want to listen to for the near future. Looking back over my experiences with iTunes Match over the past year…the service has performed “barely adequately”. I’ve had a lot of frustrations and annoyances with the service that led to me not renewing it in the first place. The lag on my iDevices, the lack of data or album art disappearing/reverting back to a previous version were some of the reasons. The inability to stream my music is also another feature that hurts the service. All this adds up to a disappointing and frustrating service to deal with. I especially didn’t like my data being mucked around with, I get sensitive about that sort of thing. All that said, the service still has some strong points. The fact that it does (when working properly) keep your library synced across all devices and uploads songs really quickly are pluses I’ll give them. But it isn’t enough to renew again. I’m considering several options right now, including Google Play Music, my iPod Classic (yeah, still have one), and a few other services. Got any suggestions? Leave a comment, I would definitely appreciate it.
A good friend of mine, Rick M, gifted me Angry Birds: Star Wars edition. That made my day. Despite the harsh words I had for Rovio over the game, Rovio isn’t on my blacklist and I wasn’t not going to accept a gift from a friend who wanted to brighten my day after a really rough time of things. I have played it a bit so far and I have to admit, its a pretty good game for iOS. Its probably one of the best AB games too from what I’ve played of it so far. I can also say its one of the better Star Wars-branded games to come out in a while. Rovio actually took the franchise name and didn’t use it as a crutch for a bad game. They actually enhanced the game with it. Well, kudos to them. Far too many movie-videogames come out half baked and use the brand as a crutch to excuse poor game design and sloppy mechanics. From what I can see of the game, they put in some unique features plus the story isn’t too bad either. I still don’t like the freemium system in the game, but it seems to be entirely optional (thus far). I still don’t like paying for separate versions of the same app for iPhones & iPads, but also acknowledge that the combined price is $3.99, which is a fairer price for consumers that just have an iPhone/iPod touch since they only have to pay 99 cents for it. So all in all, my attack on the game was unfair. (I didn’t attack AB: SW on the blog, but rather on Twitter and a forum I frequent) I think I’ve been a bit too trigger happy on iOS apps since some previous incidents with iOS developers happened and that would be my bad. I really should get these games before I go out and berate them, but I’m not exactly rich enough to buy every app there is so I make judgment calls quite a number of times. This would be one of those bad calls. You should consider getting it if you have any interest with either franchise.
Tech and Gaming News To Read:
Windows 8 has been getting quite a bit of flak and one of the strange moves was to forbid Mature and PEGI 18 rated games from the app stores. These are some of the top-selling games right now so for Microsoft to go and to forbid those seemed like a really bad idea. It would have been understandable if MS had only barred Adult-only games from the store, as those are typically porn games, but these Mature-rated games aren’t that extreme. PEGI is the rating system that the Europe nations use to rate their games. However, it seems that Microsoft got mixed up and thought PEGI-18 was the same as the Adult-only rating over here. It isn’t, as PEGI 18 also covers many of the same games that Mature does. So Microsoft reversed its decision, but it will take until December for the change to happen so games such as Far Cry 3 and Hitman: Absolution won’t be on the stores. You know, you’d think Microsoft would have looked into this before making such a mistake and preventing even more controversy from stirring around an OS that has a lot of it surrounding already. Apparently not. Then again, this is par for the course for Microsoft here lately as they’ve been doing nothing but stumble, trip and fall all over themselves as they’ve published Windows 8 to the wild. Granted, the OS seems to be running just fine from what I’ve heard, so at least they got that part right.
Steam Greenlight added new features last week in its on-going work to make the service more usable to both the developers on Greenlight and the users that peruse the games that need votes. These features include:
- Estimated release dates so you know approximately when the game is expected to come out.
- Social Media and funding campaign links which is a great feature for games that still need more funding via Kickstarter or for you to follow the game on your favorite social network.
- Visible Vote Counts for all the games that you’ve voted for thus far. I have…a lot of votes to say the least. *coughs*.
- Announcements, a great feature letting developers post announcements to their Greenlight page as well as your Steam Friends feed if you favorite the game on Greenlight. This is definitely my favorite feature announced.
I still think Greenlight is in need of more work but these features Valve has added should help. My main concern is whether or not a wide range of people are voting for these games. Also, there is still the problem that its a chore to get through all the games currently up for voting, which now numbers at over 900 games. However, I’ve noticed that my total games voted for count seems to take dips at times, which suggests games are getting removed from Greenlight, but for what reason? I don’t know. I need to investigate further. Still, I think the service has promise. Its also interesting to note that many indie games have been showing up on Steam without having to go through Greenlight, though for whatever reason that is, I have not yet determined.
Instagram launched web-based profiles for its users recently, which lets you share your photos to anyone on the interwebs. This Facebook-like look is aimed at getting new users onto the service and the profile pages are nicely done. I like that the top area of my profile changes and goes through all the photos I’ve taken over the years, a sort of insta-collage. Anyway, I thought this was a good feature of them to add and you can click on the Instagram pic to the right to see my profile.
Finally, Tumblr updated its iOS app giving them basically the same treatment that Facebook did earlier this year, which was to make them completely native to iOS. Seems that HTML5 doesn’t work quite as well for apps as many app developers were hoping and this move to go completely native seems to suggest so. Tumblr is still lacking an iPad app curiously enough though, but these new features should be very welcome for iPhone users that go through Tumblr blogs.
Audio of Note:
Machine 17, from Torcht:
ERB is back with Bruce Lee vs Clint Eastwood. I think Clint won.
Photos To See:
Pico the kitty. Apparently injured one of his legs but seems to be better now. Cute looking cat.
Can you guess what building this is?
I don’t think I want to get anywhere near this cat…
Interesting Videos To Watch:
Distance still needs more money for its Kickstarter and is very close to its goal! See this newly updated gameplay footage to whet your appetite, then go to their Kickstarter page and support this game. 🙂 C’mon, you know you want to!
How many photos have been taken? Well, Vsauce has a general guess, but the short version is: A LOT. Especially in recent years…
danisnotonfire conducts a Support session for people on the Internet, though I feel half the time he’s just getting trolled. Poor Dan, he tries so hard…
Whatever I do, I’m never going on vacation with Freddiew…
So, I hope you liked this post and until next time…