Saturday, September 3, 2011

Scientists Trying to Blot Out the Sun?! Machine Uprising Next? has reported on an experiment on it's way to be tested that will, if successful be the proof of concept to an idea that will help combat global warming. So nothing to be worried about just yet, however the idea does have a familiar ring to it. In the 1999 Sci-fi hit movie 'The Matrix' and it's counter part 'The Animatirx' the story describes an event that took place that blocked the sun's rays in order to keep the then solar powered machines under control. What a crazy outlandish concept! Something that would only be possible in a Science Fiction movie like 'The Matrix"...right?

Well not anymore according to Dr. Mathew Watson. The actual idea isn't quite as sinister as described in The Matrix however. A giant garden hose 12.4 miles long, tethered to a ship and attached to a 650-foot balloon, which will pump out hundreds of tons of chemical particles into the stratosphere to mimic a volcano. Volcano's ashes reflect sunlight and therefore heat. Remarkably simple once you understand it. But the initial expirement coming up will only be using sea water just to test the concept out. It will not actually effect the environment in anyway until the concept is proven and the real thing is implemented.

My personal opinion though is that this whole "combating global warming" thing is a front. The real reason is of course to combat the inevitable robot uprising. It's going to happen folks... don't pretend it wont. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Xbox 360 Exclusive Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Bundle

Activision announced a limited edition Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 themed Xbox 360 bundle yesterday. The new bundle was designed to look "battle worn" to reflect the feel of the CoD series. Included in the bundle is a Xbox 360 console with a 320 GB hard drive, two wireless Call of Duty themed Xbox 360 controllers, and a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Also included is a one month Xbox Live Gold subscription as well as exclusive avatar items for bragging rights to your friends over Xbox Live. To top it off the console will play custom Call of Duty sounds, like the Night Vision powerup, when you turn the console on or eject a disc.

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Xbox 360 bundle will launch on November 8 for $399.99.

Quantum Processors & Quantum Memory Getting Quantum Married?

What in quantum hell am I talking about!? Allow me to clarify. All computers have a CPU (central processing unit) and RAM (random access memory). These two things are perhaps the most important parts of your home computer. The CPU does the computing, or thinking if you will, and the RAM is sort of like your short term memory. The RAM stores information to be recalled almost immediately without having to think about it a second time. Make sense?

Now what is the difference between a Quantum Processor/Memory and a normal one? I dunno what are you asking me for? In all seriousness it is essentially a new type of processor still in development that thinks different... perhaps on the quantum level... and I am not going to get into quantum mechanics tonight, but I will just say that it is the small scale of science known to man at the moment, and also the least understood. What all this means is a newer better processor that can work a lot like RAM does. But it is of course much more complicated than that and I am not near smart enough to describe it in detail.

Check out Engadget's full article on the new processor if you would like to learn more.

Real Life Medical Tech 'Star Trek' Like Sick-Bay

In Europe engineers have built something pretty remarkable. It's a CAT scan like devices that perform multiple types of scan and functions simultaneously, much like in the famous Sick-Bays of Star Trek. The technology used for this new equipment was a bi product originally designed by NASA to help detect life on Mars. Now isn't that awesome, even though it seems as if the space program is dying we are still getting closer and closer to a Star Trek like life here on Earth. You can read the full details over at TG Daily.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Quakecon 2011: Hot Enough to Make You RAGE!

It's been about a Month since Quakecon 2011 happened here in Dallas, TX, but didn't exist at that time. So here I am to tell you about my fun trip to the biggest gathering of FPS enthusiasts of the year. This year's Quakecon happend smack in the middle of the hottest summer and longest drought in modern Texas history... and boy oh boy was it hot outside. Lucikly 99% of Quakecon takes place in a big, low lit, heavily air conditioned convention hall. There were lots of games to see, including RAGE of course, i.d. software's brand new IP and up coming FPS title, and there seems to be quite a bit of confusion revolving around just what type of game Rage is. Is it like Fallout 3? Is it like Borderlands? is it like Doom 3 or Quake 4? The answer is... sorta, kinda, yes, and no to all of these.

I had about an hour of combined hands on time with RAGE and the one thing I can tell you with certainty is that it is one slick FPS. It is open world, but also linear, it is highly interactive, but also very shooter based. There's lots of loot to grab, and gizmos to build, and baddies to shoot, and guns to shoot them with. I think the least well described portion of the game is the open worldness (that's totally a word). It isn't like Fallout 3 in the way that it is open, but you can go anywhere you want within the game at any time. So there is a set path for you, but you are not forced to follow it to a 'T'. There area also many deep characters to interact with and a very involving story arch like an RPG would have.

Rage's strongest features are however are the shooting mechanics, the a.i. and the graphics & frame rates. This is one beautiful hyper detailed game and always running at close to 60 fps. There was something about how the a.i. reacted in most situations that instantly made me forget that they were NPC's. The closest thing I can compare it to might would be Killzone 2 or 3, but better. When you are in some gang hideout and spotted by a group of 4 or 5 bad guys, they will work together and retreat together or apart like every man for them self like real people would depending on the situation. This is made even more impressive when you realize that there are many different types of gangs in the game ranging from militaristic, to thuggish, to crazy chew your face off mutants, all with unique personalities and behaviors. So just when you think you might have the a.i. figured out you may be in for a surprise.

Co-op has a bit of a Left 4 Dead feel to it, even though there are just two of you. If you or your buddy goes down, the other has to revive you, or be force to complete the objective on their own until a respawn is available. I was not completely clear on the story in co-op mode, but it appears to be more objective based than story oriented, which is the opposite of single player. I do know however that the story in co-op takes place before the events of the single player. And again, 60 fps the entire time, even on the consoles. That is pretty darn impressive considering the detail that Rage hold, especially in co-op mode.

Bottom line is there is a large duality when describing Rage and it's definitely something you have to play yourself to fully understand why it's so good. It's a throw back to the old school FPS games of the '90s, but also evolved into something new and that has never been done before. It has a familiar feel to it, but also has a level of creativity and genius buried deep inside that doesn't show up right away on the surface, and those are the things that make it truly stand out. Rage is set to be released this Fall, Oct. 7th.

Another Day, Another Lost iPhone Prototype.

Here we go again! Apple employees having a little night out on the town, a few drinks, losing iPhone 5 prototypes. One has to wonder how these things keep happening. Scene of the crime? a Mexican Restaurant & Bar in San Francisco. Is Apple going to have to ban their employees for bars when in possession of prototype devices? If you remember last year the same thing happened with the iPhone 4 prototype in another bar. That time the man who found the device sold it to Gizmodo for a hefty sum of cash, then when Gizmodo ran an article on their new toy complete with specs and pictures Apple was furious.

I thought at the time that it was all posturing and viral marketing, albeit done very well, and this latest indecent  only further pushes me towards that opinion. On the one hand, how can a company like Apple allow two incompetent employees to be in possession of their flagship prototype devices two years in a row, but on the other hand you almost can't make this stuff up. Special thanks to Phluff for the heads up! You can find cnet's article on the incident in the link below.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Tour of Valve Studios [Kotaku]

I don't want to make a habit of just re posting other people's articles, my goal is to create some nice original content for everyone to read. But me being the huge Valve fanboy that I am just had to give this article by Stephen Totilo , editor over at Kotaku, some love. It's is a very rare sneak peek into one of the most secretive and beloved game developers in history. This is where the magic happens, where games like Half-life, Portal, and Team Fortress 2 were born. This is the house of legends! And of Gabe Newell. Hit the link below for the full article and video gallery on Kotaku.

EA: "What would PlayStation 4 even do?"

Apparently not enough to warrant yet another generation of gaming consoles, according to EA's Frank Gibeau anyway. He does have some good points though. At the moment the current gen consoles do everything the publishers need them to.

"It's hard for me to conceive what you would do on a PlayStation 4," Gibeau said. "The displays are already 1080p, you're already connected to the internet... You could make it faster, you could have more polys and you could up the graphics a little bit... but at what cost? It'll be interesting to see how [Sony and Microsoft] think about it in terms of the next generation but it seems to me that customers are happy, and we're happy to build games on [360 and PS3] right now." He added: "The way the business used to run where you had these big console transitions just isn't happening anymore. They're much longer, the online capabilities are making the way customers interact within the audience very different from when we went from PSOne to PS2. I think that [the age of] big, abrupt change in consoles where we all pile in on top of each other and everything changes overnight is just gone."

It also seems that it's just flat easier, more profitable, and less risky to stick with this generation for now, rather than bet millions on something new.

"One of the things that we like is that the technology is consistent, and we believe that there are still things that you can do on these systems... we haven't quite squeezed the last once of hardware horsepower out of these things, as you can see with Battlefield 3. Frostbite 2 technology coming in can do some really interesting things that nobody is able to do, and you see some great stuff coming from our competitors too." He added: "I'd like to see the cycle last a little longer. I don't see consumers right now banging on the walls for a new platform. They seem to be very happy with their PS3s and 360s. They love the online connectivity, they have great communities and great libraries. I like the fact that Nintendo's coming in with new hardware. That'll help really rev up their business for the HD side, which is where we're in a really good position."

So at the moment it appears as though both Gamers and Publishers are happy with what they have. But what about developers? ...

News: EA: What would PlayStation 4 even do? -

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blogger on Android... Awesome.

I am still very new to Blogger here, and I'm finding all sorts of fun toys to play with. For example I am writing this entire post on my HTC Inspire using the Blogger app, free in the Android market. How awesome is that?! I can see myself using this often when attending events, conventions, and other time I'm away from my PC. Very handy tool indeed, and very easy to set up and even easier to use! Thanks Google and Blogger!

iPhone 5: End Of The Line?

A few days ago it would have been silly to assume that Apple would be in any kind of trouble, and perhaps still is silly today. But if I may I'd like to bring up a few ideas concerning the future of Apple and the iPhone. It's safe to say that without the iPhone Apple would still have been successful. They could have stayed solely in the home computer and .mp3 player market and thrived, but the iPhone transformed them from a successfully company, into one of the most powerful and influential companies in history. Steve Jobs is the man behind that transformation obviously.

I'm sure lots of people have had this very thought since the news hit about Steve Job's retirement "With Steve gone, what's going to happen to Apple?" and with good reason. But I want to ask what I think is a far more important question. What would Apple be doing next even if Jobs wasn't retiring. Apple is known for being innovative. They were first to the plate on many of the electronic devices and software that we use every day, so much in fact that they have literally changed how we live our day to day lives. The iPhone is only the latest example of that, because let's face it... the iPad just a big iPod touch with more horsepower, nothing innovative there.

The smart phone market has grown so much over the past two years that now you are looked at kinda funny when someone finds out that you don't have one. With a market that big, Apples competitors had a big gap to fill, left open by those who simply hadn't bought an iPhone yet. So now we have numerous devices out there that for all intensive purposes, are just as good as the iPhone. Apple has said that the iPhone 5 will have a radical new approach or design. What that is has yet to be revealed, but I don't see it being radical enough to also be innovative enough to change the world like the original iPhone did. So my point is, I think we're just past the peak of Apple's reign. Until the next ingenious device is revealed that is so great we never new we couldn't live without it, I foresee the iPhone 5 being the end of this era of technology. The market has caught up, the gaps have been filled, and the world is waiting on something new, not just another iPhone.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Counter Strike: Global Offensive @ PAX Screen Shots + Valve Is Really Really Cool Peeps!

This weekend at PAX a slew of new screenshots for Valve's upcoming updated/retooled version of Counter Strike titled appropriately Counter Strike: Global Offensive were released.CS:GO is being marketed not so much as a sequel to the super popular franchise but more of a retooled overhaul. The game still runs on Valve's Source Engine which has had numerous updates since the release of Counter Strike: Source in 2004, so think more along the lines of Portal 2's graphics and physics. There are many many subtle differences in the game when compared to the previous incarnation including new weapons, new maps, and even a new buy system when it comes to equipment like Kevlar vests and grenades, ect. One new interesting item is a false grenade that sounds like enemy gunfire meant to throw off your opponents. Most if not all of the old maps and weapons will return in all their updated graphical glory, including the popular de_dust map.

Valve is working with their partners over at Hidden Path on CS:GO and are aiming to expand the Counter-Strike audience into the console market, so we will be seeing CS:GO on both the PS3 and the Xbox360. No word yet on the Wii*U unfortunately. Perhaps the the most exciting news however is the cross platform play between the PS3, PC, and even Mac. But if that weren't enough you will also be able to use mouse and keyboard play with your PS3 as well! At the moment there are no plans for cross platform play for the 360 due to Microsoft's strict rules concerning Xbox Live, but Valve has expressed the desire for that to change. The already beloved Valve definitely appears to be doing everything they can to be, or rather stay, the champions of the gaming in the eyes of gamers with favorable decision after decision and endless innovations. Valve has already done this once with Portal 2, and not only that but everyone who bought Portal 2 on the PS3 got a voucher for a free copy of the game through Steam on their PC and/or Mac. Swell guys aren't they?

There is something to be said for a company that routinely has great sales on their digital distribution platform, and gives away free copies of their games isn't there? Keep up the good work Valve... but I think I speak for the rest of us when I say that this does not get you off the hook for taking so long with Half-Life 3... or Episode 3... or whatever it is you have up your sleeve, but it isn't hurting either! A good place to check out the screens other than the one posted at the top of this article would be over at Kotaku.You can also check out a trailer there as well.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A New Cosmos for a New Generation

If you are interested in the universe and the life within it, chances are you are at least aware of Carl Sagan's Cosmos from the early '80s. It was revolutionary for it's time and still holds up even now thirty years later in spite of countless new discoveries about our universe. The late Carl Sagan is one of the most beloved figures in modern science due to his passion about the universe and his talent for educating the world in such a way that everyone could easily understand. It's no secret that physics and math are hard, most people's eyes start to cross when explaining how a black hole works or what the 4th dimension looks like. Carl Sagan changed all that.

Well in the past 30 years we have learned lots of new things about the universe. It's time for a refresher course, some updated textbooks, a  NEW Cosmos. But Carl Sagan is no longer with us, so who is up for such a daunting task? Neil deGrasse Tyson that's who! This man is one of my favorite people on the planet. He reminds me of  Carl Sagan in almost every way but with twice the amount of passion. As the head of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, Neil Tyson not only makes it easy to learn about science, he even makes it damn entertaining as well. He's funny, charming, and one of the most intelligent people living on our Earth today.

It was announced a few weeks ago that the Fox network has plans to air a sequel to Cosmos, hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and produced by Sagan's widow Ann Druyan and Seth MacFarlane. Yes that Seth MacFarlane. If there was ever a time to get excited about science we are living in it now. The new Cosmos series is set to air sometime in 2013.

Razor 'Blade' Gaming Laptop. Savior of PC Gaming? ... Or False Prophet?

A few weeks ago the PC Gaming peripheral company Razer made a bold claim. PC gaming wasn't dead and they were going to prove it soon. A few days ago they showed their hand, and there have been mixed emotions about their cards ever since. Enter the Razer 'Blade' gaming laptop. A beautiful sleek think lightweight gaming monster of a machine. Until now gaming laptops have always been expected to be bulkier and heavier than the average laptop, and here comes the Blade giving even the underpowered Macbook Air a run for it's money in the size department. On top of this the Blade has Razer's unique Switchblade UI built right in for unlimited custom macro capabilities. All this coupled with a superb LED screen makes for one hell of a sexy laptop... until...

What's that? I have have to take out a second mortgage on my soul? ...ok   Yes $2800 (that's two thousand and eight hundred) dollars for the sexiest gaming laptop ever made. Fair price? At fist I said no... then I took a step back for a second  non biased look and... still said no. Knock six hundreds dollars off and I think this beast would be accepted a little more by the mass market. As it stands, you can't help but think about what all you could buy with $2800 INSTEAD of the Blade. Like for example five desktop PCs that will out perform the blade, or maybe even two laptops that are equal in strength to it. At the moment it is a very hard buy for most folks and for good reason obviously.

While it appears many critics love the Blade, the average serious PC gamer wouldn't be playing on a laptop anyway. The market for this sort of product is small but growing thanks to popularization of Macbooks in recent years, so in the future the Blade could become very mainstream in the PC gaming market, but that price has got to come down a little before it does. So to the point of this article, is Razer's 'Blade' the savior of PC gaming? I like most PC gamers was unaware it needed saving, which is where I think most of this backlash is coming from. We wanted something revolutionary that would boost PC gaming's overall ease of admittance, and we got something very pretty but very very expensive.... not exactly what PC gamers care about these days.