Random Game Reviewts – 9/7/2014

A reviewt is a short impression of a game. Usually one line.

Fight the Dragon – Diablo clone with an online level creation/sharing feature. It’s still in early access but it actually seems like it could be super cool. You simply click on a map to spawn a new level and you can select all the best rated user levels from a menu. Looking forward to it’s full release.

Smite – A Moba. This one is different cause it’s 3rd person over the shoulder. Looks intriguing, doubt I’ll spend much time on it.

Fist Puncher: Side scrolling beat-em-up with a comic treatment of older games like it. You can play as the robot unicorn, nuff said.

Ittle Dew – Imagine a zelda game that was all block puzzles. Good presentation and puzzles, want to play more.

Kingdom Rush – Tower defense. Pretty well done, but the levels take too long even on easy mode. Good when you just want to click something while watching TV.

QuestRun – Side scrolling three lane move-forward-rpg-thing-that-I-can’t-explain-well. It’s way too hard to be fun.

Wildlife Park 3 – I was told I was the new intern for South Africa and that I needed to move a Zebra to a new habitat. I couldn’t find any way to do that with the interface on the screen, so I quit the game.

Trying out a new podcast idea

So Savva Amusin and I recorded a new podcast idea tonight. It’s a general geek culture show where anything geeky is fair game. We each come up with five topics and surprise each other with them as the show goes on. I’m pretty excited about it.
Of course, it’s still in beta and we need some people to try out listening to it and seeing what they think. Give it a download and leave some comments!

Thunderbird Transparency Trepidation

Ever since Thunderbird updated to version 6, its default theme has used transparent Aero effects that look pretty. Unfortunately, if you’re on a PC (say, at work) that doesn’t have a very good video card, these transparency effects really slow you down. How do you fix this?
Well, there is no way to disable it in Thunderbird. Apparently they’ve decided everyone with slow PCs that want to use their email client needs to upgrade to better hardware. So we’re forced to go with 3rd party theme creators.
I had been using the “Silvermel” theme, available here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/silvermel/?src=cb-dl-users. It looks nice and gets rid of the transparency effects. Unfortunately, it still hasn’t been updated to work properly in Thunderbird 8, resulting in very weird formatting issues as you scroll up and down your email list.
That’s why i was very happy to find “Ignore Aero”, available here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/ignore-aero/?src=api. This theme makes Thunderbird look how it did in Thunderbird 5, with no transparency effects and works with Thunderbird 8.
Now if only the author had a normal looking name, “rsjtdrjgfuzkfg” isn’t the most “oh it’s safe to download something from this guy” inspiring moniker.

3DS Price Cuts

So I was an early adopter of the 3DS. Bought it on day 1 and thought it was fun to play with. I enjoyed the light tactical RPG Ghost Recon Shadow Wars and I felt Street Fighter IV 3D was really technically impressive, though I never play it (anyone ever want to play that with me? Let me know let’s exchange friend codes and get on that).
Now that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is out I’m really loving the system. It’s making me appreciate this Zelda classic that I really resented back when it was released (even though I had preordered it at the time and got the golden N64 cartridge). The look on 3DS is upgraded enough that the ugliness of the N64’s graphics isn’t getting in the way and I can actually appreciate the game now.
Unfortunately, it turns out that I’m one of the few who picked up the system early. So Nintendo is offering ten free games to people who bought the system early as compensation due to the fact that they’re going to drop the 3DS’s price by $80. Here’s the details: http://neogaf.net/forum/showthread.php?t=438816 I don’t know that these games are really worth $80, however I’m really excited to get Metroid Fusion and Super Mario Advance 3 for free cause those are games I’ve always wanted to play. The frugal part of me wants to be upset over missing out on saving $80, but I’m more excited to play with the 10 free games I’ll be getting. Especially as it seems the Game Boy Advance ones aren’t officially confirmed to ever be something people will be able to buy (though really, it’s inevitable).
So yeah, Nintendo, this is a good way to compensate me for the early price drop, I’m digging it.
Note: I’m going to try posting this on my blog, Facebook, and Google+ just to see how comments go. I may try some other long posts in the future to see how they go too.

Windows Live Essentials 2011 Breaks Google Chrome With IIS9 Sites

So if you are a google chrome user, and you are happily accessing your company’s IIS9 sites that use NTLM authentication, and you just so happen to update to Windows Live Essentials 2011 to get the latest version of Windows Live Messenger, you may be in for some frustration.
Here’s the error message:

Error 9 (net::ERR_UNEXPECTED): Unknown error.

Installing the 2011 build of Live Essentials essentially breaks Google Chrome when it tries to access those corporate intranet sites. The easiest solution is to just uninstall Windows LIve Essentials 2011 and find a copy of 2010. The other option is to update Google Chrome to the beta of 7.0. That also fixes it. Personally, I went with updating Google Chrome, that worked best for me.
Hope that helps people.
UPDATE: Looks like moving to the Chrome beta doesn’t fix it completely. After more testing it’s working on some internal sites and not on others. I guess the best strategy really is to just uninstall Live Essentials for the time being.
UPDATE 2 (10/8/10): Looks like Google Chrome Beta just updated today and resolved the remaining issues! I love Google Chrome, they fix stuff in days that it takes Firefox two years to get around to.

Blogging Is Hard When You Can Tweet

So I’ve been doing a terrible job of blogging now that I tweet so much. But that said, I suppose the best thing I can do is just do a tweet style blog post and work up from there. So this post is to plug the fact that I installed Windows Live Writer (which easily found and configured itself for my blog, once I remembered to use the special XMLRPC password instead of my normal one) and am hoping it makes making blog posts easier to do. I see it plugged an awful lot by people, so I’m expecting it to make my toast and butter it as well, but we’ll see.

Okay, I just hit the preview tab and saw a perfect representation of how this would look my site. This is pretty cool indeed. Time to publish.

Day 3 CES Want List

enTourage eDGe
So check this out. This thing folds open like a book and on the left is an e-reader that you can draw on, and on the right is a netbook running Linux with Google Android. You can drag notes from the left and drag them into the netbook on the right. It’s got wifi and will have 3g. All this for 490$, the price of a Kindle DX. It’s aimed at students, would be a great notetaking or classroom device.
Available for $299 in fiberglass and $599 in carbon fiber with kevlar. Good luck breaking into this wallet. This thing has a fingerprint reader to allow you to open it. It can also sync with your cell phone via bluetooth. Why? So that if you walk away and leave your wallet behind, it’ll set off an alarm on you wallet and your phone. Awesome.

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Day 1 CES Want List

Figured I’d post a list of the stuff I see at CES that I really want, and then see in a few months how much I still have interest in.
Syabas PopBox HD
This thing has the Anime provider that can legally stream Japanese Naruto episodes in the US. In HD. I already subscribe to it on their website, I’d love an easy way to watch it on my TV. Also streams Revision3 and Netflix and other goodies.
Boxee Box
Apparently also has the anime provider and Revision3, so this may be an option. There’s also a good chance that TWiT could end up there too (Boxee’s current twit interface is flash fan rips).
Ford Fusion
TWiT’s interview with Ford’s CEO
Yeah, I know, it’s not a car show, yet all the coverage of Ford Sync and how cool it is and how it has an SDK now makes me want all that cool fun in my car.
Yurtopia Yurbuds
Okay so this isn’t really a want at this point since I just got done putting in my order. Custom fit ear bud covers that make them stay in your ear even while exercising as well as feeling more comfortable. All for only 20$. I love the functionality of my Apple ear buds with my iPhone, but they get uncomfortable when worn for hours and fall out if I’m doing any sort of heavy activity, so this looks to be just what I need. Right now you take a picture of your ear and upload it and they send you the covers, but they’re releasing an iPhone app this month that’ll do the whole sizing process for you. Very clever.

How are the geeks following CES this year?

Have you been wondering, “Hey, I’m a geek, how am I supposed to be getting CES coverage this year?” There are so many formats nowadays to consume content: tech blogs, tech news sites, liveblogs, livestreams, network television broadcasts, and about 300000 streaming video sites. It can get a bit overwhelming. Let me point out what I think are the two best outfits to get your CES coverage from this year.

TWIT (This Week In Tech, a 24/7 streaming tech news and editorial network):

live.twit.tv – They’re streaming live here from the 6th the 11th, this is their main coverage and has floor interviews as they happen, with no editing and tons more info that you’ll get from any Today Show Al Roker segment. Oh and TWiT is run and hosted by Leo Laporte, who was THE GUY back in the day on Tech TV and has become even MORE of THE GUY in the world of podcast and internet streaming.
twit.tv/ces – This is where the stuff they stream during the day gets produced and put up for download after the fact, so you can watch it on your own time.
qik.com/twit and
twitlive.posterous.com/ – Coverage of the coverage. Leo takes live videos on the Qik page as they go through CES. Other staffers post photos in the posterous page. Let’s you get to know the crew a little better and get the fun behind the scenes moments.
revision3.com/ces2010?hp – Revision3 is having three of their shows staff do coverage of CES and putting up all the videos on this page for your easy access. Tekzilla’s staff in particular has a number of former Tech TV people including the awesome Patrick Norton. This is where you’re going to want to look if you want condensed coverage of as much as possible and not the more leisurely livestream strolling that TWiT will have.
Convention coverage just seems to get better and better on the internet each year. It’s already been the place we geeks went to in order to get info from people who know what they’re talking about. CES 2010 is now bring together all the great Internet TV work of the past few years and delivers it live and more polished than it’s ever been. Highly recommended.