Another clever controller, this time from iCade

Now this is neat: iCade, the folks who brought us the beautiful arcade stand for iPad, have now made a PSP-esque bluetooth controller for iPhone and iPod touch. Engadget just posted about it this morning. Here’s the video:

A rubber case so it doesn’t fall. Clever!

Looks to have slightly more support than 60Beat’s device. I know that controller will win hearts, though.

CES 2012 is here and apparently people are bored

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CES 2012 started this weekend, and already people are saying nothing is standing out as “the next big thing”. There are plenty of newer, slimmer, faster versions of all the tech we love to use, but nothing unique. Yet.

It also doesn’t help that Microsoft is delivering its last keynote address this year. Apparently it’s not going to be worth our time- they plan to “wrap up” their presence at CES with discussions on the impacts of Windows Phone and XBox instead of brand new software or initiatives.

It makes me sad to see Microsoft exiting like this, because following CES is fun (though people in the business think otherwise at times). I am genuinely excited to see what Microsoft does with Windows 8, it’s tablets and its phone OS. They’ve managed to make some compelling experiences on those platforms and it would be great to see more about them.

Maybe Microsoft is following Apple’s lead- hosting their own future events and such. It’s certainly worked out for Apple so far.

If this is true, say goodbye to my social life next month

Joystiq posted a photo of a Diablo III poster saying the game will have a midnight release on February 1st. This is either Best Buy jumping an elephant gun, or Blizzard really is setting its sights for a late-winter release. Kotaku readers seem to think it’s a photoshop job, though Joystiq said they contacted the specific Best Buy location in Minnesota and confirmed the sign is actually there.

Anyone else hoping for the third coming of satan?

Another SOPA rant. Also, sod off Newt Gingrich

I’ve been talking more about SOPA at work. Politics doesn’t usually belong there, but every time someone mentions the election primaries the ONLY thing I can think about is that damned piece of legislation trying to subdue a technology it can’t control. It got me thinking about some past lives I’ve lead.

Back when I was becoming a competent, nerdy teenager (around 2001), rampant file sharing was afoot. I was on the bandwagon for a long time, using the usual apps like KaZaa and Napster. I’d download a J-Pop album here, a Star Wars Episode II clip there, and I was happy. I was a rebel, knowing full well the danger. Clearly, I was a silly teen with no forethought to my future if caught. Through high school I slowly grew out of that phase, but college was right around the corner and I was about to have zero cash. “To Torrent or not to Torrent” was a question I leveled at myself quite often. One day I visited a friend at their dorm and noticed her computer had a red glow on the wall. I asked what the hell it was, and sure enough it was Netflix – a company barely anyone heard about but served up some seriously convenient entertainment. Hundreds of movies at my beck and call – with no need to wait for a file to finish downloading to watch my shows. I was hooked.

I found that Netflix (and subsequently Hulu, among others) provided me the right access which bested the pirate life I had before it.

This was a fantastic point that Nelay from The Verge made on TWiT just a few weeks ago. When print media was the primary way for content producers to get their work out to consumers, it was fairly easy to investigate illegitimate copy production: you confiscate the copying machine and you’re done. Business saved! Today, everyone has a copying machine. The keyboard command Control-D (or Command-D for you Macfolk) and all the steps in file sharing that follow. Business lost!

Not really.

The challenge that poses itself to content producers today is not copy-protection, it’s access! This is why Netflix comes to mind as a prime example of this realization. When I ask myself the last time I popped in a DVD was, I can’t remember. When was the last time I bought I CD? Never; I’ve got iTunes. I consume nearly all of my entertainment online through Netflix and other streaming services, and it is good.

That’s my story for the day, children.

Also, to Mr. Newt Gingrich: STOP EMAILING ME. I DID NOT GIVE YOU MY EMAIL ADDRESS.

More space-theme stuff

I just bought Universe Sandbox on Steam. For $2.49! I don’t even know what the game does, but damn that price was too good to pass up for the potential to clash big galaxies together.

Now that the holidays are over I shall return to gaming. I’ve got a few titles on my list – Warhammer 40k: Space Marine, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and a few iOS games. But Skyrim is still sucking away my time. We’ll see how much of this I’ll get to.

For now I’ll try out Universe Sandbox since it just finished installing.

 

UPDATE:

Universe Sandbox is hard. Think I’ll play Skyrim now. Woah.

Great Piece on the Internet and its effects on our concepts of knowledge, wisdom and the synergy of “networked facts”

I came across an article by Thomas Rogers at Salon while browsing my Flipboard feed. It’s a fascinating interview with David Weinberger and his thoughts on how we work with knowledge in the midst of a digital revolution.

I particularly like Weinberger’s analogy comparing how we filter information today with how it’s previously been filtered. Historically we’ve filtered out all the information we value and find meaningful. We made it accessible to very few people – ‘experts’ as Weinberger details – and in forms that are difficult to break in to.

Today we filter information forward. The Internet enables the recording and processing of many, many facts and opinions at once. Instead of a select few individuals processing and curating a catalogue of relevant opinions or facts into books, journals or magazines that might never see public attention, we instead sift through and find the best of what the community has to offer. The remainders never go away and allow us to filter them in our own, unique ways.

There’s so much more in the article. Read it – it’ll get you appreciating the wonderful little future we’ve made for ourselves.

“Are we on information overload?” by Thomas Rogers, at Salon.com

Android 4.0 Impressions from someone who barely knows anything about Android

I stopped by the Verizon store on my way home from work today. As I walked in I was sad to inform the staff that I was a member of their arch-nemesis AT&T.

After the burning-at-the-stake rhetoric was complete, I asked about their Android devices. Continue reading

The next evolution of iPad mobile gaming

A few days ago I posted on Facebook about the 60Beat iOS Gamepad. I lauded its utility and hoped game developers would adopt it for current and future mobile games.

Gizmodo and Techcrunch have now reported about it and have the same sentiments.

Please let this be part of the future for hardcore mobile gaming!

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Outer Space is Cooler than Princess Pageants

While I was forcibly encouraged to watch “Toddlers in Tiaras” with my better half and her friends on New Years Eve, I managed to find some time to browse the App Store. In my search for anything redeemingly masculine I came across a very unique app – Planetary by Bloom.

Planetary displays anything in your Music app on your iPad by representing your music collection as a galaxy. The stars become artists, their albums become orbiting planets, and the tracks themselves become moons. It’s striking how Bloom visualizes these relationships- the planetary and satellite 3D models are sharp, bright and cast shadows from the light beaming from their host star. The stars themselves are fascinatingly detailed and provide beautiful lighting on all nearby objects.

I took a couple screen shots to show you how some of my content was laid out. I think you’ll find the album choice fitting.

After spending a few minutes with this app I yearned for some quality Star Trek time. The girls were not having it.

Navigating is ridiculously easy. You move from star to stay by tapping them in the distance. You can manually zoom in and out with the usual gestures, too. The app can even show you the playlists you’ve loaded to the Music app – so you can effectively use Planetary in place of it.

Check it out, sic-fi nerds. Planetary is free on the App Store.

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A Very Nerdy Christmachanukwanza

Christmas has come and gone here in New England. I couldn’t have asked for a better season – I received many nerdy gifts.

My girlfriend and her mom got me two insanely excellent peripherals: the Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard and the wireless Logitech G700 Mouse. Both devices impress me, especially the G19’s built-in LCD panel and multi-colored backlit keys. The keys themselves are very quiet, but I suspect after a few years of intense use they’ll start to sound like my old Wave which is about to collect dust next to my nightstand. I can’t wait to map some macros to the G-keys hat  situate to the left of the main keyset. I should reinstall Homeworld 2 or W40k Dawn of War…

The G700’s form fitted right-hand grip is luxurious, and the response time for wireless transmission of its position is lightning fast. I take back everything I said about wireless mice. I can’t notice the difference between my old MX400 and the G700. There’s also a toggle switch near the scroll wheel that changes how the wheel behaves. Two modes are available: stepwise scrolling, or friction-less scrolling. It became very apparent after playing UT3 for a few minutes which one is most useful for a shooter. To hint at the right one, let’s just say one flick up in friction-less mode got me back to the weapon I started with after moving through all ten weapons three times.

And so here I sit, using both of these new toys – reveling in their utility. Suffice to say I will willingly be my girlfriend’s gofer for months =]

On a news-related note, please read up on SOPA if you can. Leo Laporte and friends had a lively debate on the topic a couple weeks ago. It’s illuminating, especially since many of the internet’s top pundits are weighing in.

Rabble!