The purpose of this Blog

I created this blog back in 2005 because I had to for a class in College, but since then I have used to talk about various topics. It may not have anything interesting for most people, but that's because I am not catering to the masses. I am basically talking about whatever comes to mind when I think I know enough to talk about it. You will see that the topics are a scope of things that usually impact me. If you want more information and stories then you can stop by my website linked on the left. Feel free to comment and browse. I think some spam bots may have beaten you to it though.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Music

I have said on my website that I have slowed down on growing my music collection and that is true, but I didn't realize how much music I really had. Lately I have been listening to Pandora if I am home or XM if I am driving. I saw today that my home library is over 23,000 songs. My Legal Sounds stats show that I have purchased over 3200 from them @ over 18 Gigs totally 104GBs.

That is a lot of music, no wonder I like Windows Media Player so much, I would never be able to find anything without it. Legalsounds makes it so easy and cheap to have good music. They reward you based on how much you spend. Usually around 50 songs for every 430 that you buy. You also get the billboard top 40 for free. If you lose a song or delete it on accident, you can re-download it, no problem. It's in mp3 format and copyright free. It makes iTunes look like such a scam, of course I am not really sure of the details of legalsounds. I guess I am basically just not giving the artist anything, but as long as it remains legal, then I will continue to use it.

My Website

I have been spending a lot of time on the content and schema portion of my website. Not so much on design because my knowledge of Photoshop stops with what you see on my website. All of my pages are now PHP which helps me keep things like style and links consistent. I have read through much of the content and edited it accordingly.

But the part I have spent the most time on would be the Movies section. It is not complete, but probably will never be because I am always wanting to add more. I have basically devised Statistics on my movies from the data I have entered about them. So that I can see if there are certain genres, directors, studios that I prefer over others that maybe I didn't realize. I have entered this information for movies that I have just seen and may not own, but the stats are currently only for movies that I own.

I have updated the search for the Movies so that you don't have to enter the movie name starting with the first word. I have found that sometimes you may not know if 'The' is the first word or not and other times you may not be sure how I entered the title into the DB. Worry no more, enter what you wish as long as it's spelled correctly.


Now a short message to the hacker that decided to go in and mess with stuff: STOP. I have put tools in place that will find you if you do it again. I have removed the 'Delete' feature from my back-end so that you can no longer delete my movies/genres, etc that I have entered. The only thing that you can still do that you were doing is click the 'Seen' button and make it look like I watch 50 movies/day. It's not hard to correct that and I don't see you hacking in anymore. I have improved my login feature to reduce code injection, although I really don't think that's how you got in. Anyway, stop it's annoying and time consuming.

If you have suggestions or ideas for site such as better banner design. Let me know, I am always up for a change. Some things that I see adding down the road would be to expand my Media DB to include CD's and Video Games. I have created the tables in the back-end and the pages on the front-end with this in mind, so shouldn't be to hard to add.

Thanks for reading, later.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ah, the joy of blogging

I intended my graveyard shift to be a productive one. For the most part it was, but I spent more time on blogs than what I actually wanted to. I supposed to be organizing my 809 bookmarks, but oh well. I have added some, but more importantly, validated the ones that I wanted to keep.

I went through my Blog folder first and that was my pitfall. Each blog had to be extensively analyzed for worthiness. In the end, I only got rid of one. I have refreshed my memory on the others and ended up watching an hour long keynote by the Flickr creator Cal. I have had www.iamcal.com bookmarked for some time now and I know I have enjoyed his links in the past. I am becoming a fan of his website and will continue to follow.

Some of them are out-dated, but that is ok. Some are up to the minute and those are great too. I have a range from Burbia, to Autoblog to Ramblomatic. The mix is nice and I would recommend them.

That is all for now. Time to go home and sleep.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Technological singularity

I have become very interested in this topic and I want to start off by letting you read a couple of articles and then watching a video. Just glance over the articles to get a sense of what they are. Definition, Opposition and a video composed in 2008 for Sony Executives Did you Know 3.0. Also Economic.

Although it is impossible to predict the future, I do find this topic interesting as it is expected to happen in my lifetime. Being as these are exponential times, I feel that to completely deny this topic would be ignorant, but I don't feel we will see the rapidness of this change for some time. Infrastructures change too slowly and money is always an issue. It takes too long for companies to come up with a business model for changes and this slows everyone down. Sony has been hurt badly as well as other companies because they did not adapt well enough. Retail stores will be a thing of the past because they are no longer needed like we see them today. The ONLY store I go into anymore is Kroger or Walmart and it's usually just for groceries. But here in Bloomington, I have two choices for websites that will deliver these to me. Amazon even sells groceries. The point I am making is that for 1: people need to adapt and this takes time (still need retail stores for people who do not order online) and 2: businesses need to make money and come up with models to do so and this takes time.

Next thought: I do not think people will be able to live forever in my lifetime because I do not think computers will be able to solve everything that can go wrong in a human in my lifetime. But as far as AI being smarter than humans and creating their own smarter AI, I do believe we will see this in my lifetime. We are on the start of the curve for Nano technology and it increases at unimaginable rates, but again, in the lab is different from in the marketplace. I do not see products available at this time that operate at speeds we have achieved. But there are certainly more rapid gains than history and that's a fact.

Leave your comments or thoughts if you'd like.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

If Ubisoft would have released Left 4 Dead

Let me start by saying that I only reflect the opinions of myself, some of my friends and some internet literature I have read along the way.

If Ubisoft had released Left 4 Dead, it would have been a very tragic day. Like the post-apocalyptic time that the game represents. The only four survivors to actually buy the game would have probably given up after only a couple of days with no mercy left for the blood sucking, air heads running a dead end company like Ubisoft; leaving it to its death. Only the harvest of games it created would be left to show for its efforts and when the bell tolls to summon the dead, Ubisoft will be the first to lay down in the trenches and be forgotten forever.

But, because Valve released Left 4 Dead, we forgive the bugs and lack of content. We know in our hearts that Valve loves each of us. Valve is like that grandpa that gives us free candy for not telling anyone he ate some too. We expect Valve to go above and beyond to release free-content add-on packs for its games. EA does not understand this concept when looking at the Sims as an example. Valve lets us host the servers and in return they give us more content. Servers available to the public for free means they can sell more games. More free content for us means we get our money's worth and an increased replay value. Left 4 Dead is missing content, no doubt about that; a $50 game means more than 4 hours of game play. Of course the online game play is good too, but with the bugs in the lobby and server searching, we can look into that later.

I don't mean to completely bust Ubisoft's bubble, but come on. They really failed the industry by franchising the name Farcry into a sequel without giving us a real game. I don't want to point out specifics about why Farcry 2 fails, because Blogger does not have the storage space for my rant. What I will do is say that Ubisoft should stick to consoles where details don't matter as much and people will blame the controller. Example: LOST Via Domus; not a horrible game, just an obvious Ubisoft game.

Monday, December 22, 2008

EA and Valve

Recently, Steam announced the addition of EA titles to its store. I feel this is a huge deal for both Valve and EA. EA being the largest and one of the oldest publishers of game titles, agreeing to let Valve sell its games through its online store. Steam was originally created as a DRM and store for Valve's games only.

I remember the early days with Steam and those were very dark days. Steam was buggier than a lamp post on a cool summer night. But time passed and because Valve is so well regarded, we overlooked it and put up with it. Steam became a very good means to purchase games from other developers. No CDs meant no CD keys, no scratched discs, no long, tedious installs. Steam was quickly becoming a convenience application because no longer did a new desktop or laptop mean going through a whole collection of game discs to install them all.

Steam has changed its look and feel to accommodate the increased library of titles and continues to increase it every week. Weekend deals are something to look forward to and the package deals are fantastic! It is so easy to just open Steam everyday, see what's new in the store or what updates are being downloaded (did I mention going to a developers website to download updates is a thing of the past :) ). I will then usually open the friends window to see who is playing what. Steam is GREAT!

In conclusion, EA on Steam makes my one wish for Steam one step closer to coming true. Back in the days of 2005-2006 (Freshman year of college) I played the Sims2 religiously. Having every available object at my sims' disposal was my top priority. A new "stuff" pack or expansion meant happy days for my Sims and I. For anyone who has ever installed close to 30 discs for a game, knows how this is a huge PAIN IN THE ASS. Needless to say, I have not installed them since my newest configuration of hardware on my PC. But if the Sims is released on Steam and I can just click "Install" on each of the packs or "Install All" I will be the happiest gamer alive :). Who in the world wants to install 30 discs worth of content? Not I!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Connecting Band

Here is a name that needs help. I am opening up discussion to anyone that is out there listening. A new website that I am a part of is being created to connect bands across the country. The connection is geared toward planning tours and filling venues with bands that want the gigs. We will also allow people to browse the website to check out the band's profile and listen to any music they might have uploaded. Fans of the bands will also be able to view upcoming shows that the band may have.

The biggest problem we have run into so far is a catchy name. Also, the name should be available as a Domain name and should not already be taken as a copyright, but that should be a given, right?

Popularity of a Videogame in Relation to its Abbreviation

I have been wondering lately about this topic and have put enough thought into it to make it worthy of a blog post. Games that come to mind are WOW, CSS, DODS, AOE, DOTA, L4D, GTA, NFS and many many more. We know what these are because of their popularity and common usage. What we don't hear about are games with names like TimeShift and Railroad Tycoon. And these are good games, but without a simple easy to say name, how can they be expected to catch on. I know there are many exceptions to this, such as Guitar Hero and Starcraft, but there has to be some correlation between an easy to say acronym and hard to say game name without an acronym. Marketing is all key when naming your next hit title, so spend the extra time to do so. Any other ideas on the topic, make a comment.

It is also worth mentioning that the rule applies to most things across the board, not just games, but that is where my interest is, so there.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

GTA IV

So I have been anticipating Grand Theft Auto the fourth. I stood in line for about 50 minutes at Walmart starting at midnight (Tues) for the release and managed to buy their last Special Edition copy. I did not play it however until later that day because I had an 8am final exam. With some Will Power and motivation I limited my game play to almost none until my final project was turned in on Wed. afternoon. Thus begins a Summer filled with GTA. Well, until yesterday (Sat). My game would not load after the initial loading screen. After much troubleshooting, I was able to occasionally get my game to load. Even, so, the loading of my save data was not working. I had tested my save data on a friend's PS3 to make sure it wasn't corrupt and I was correct. I have read online that there is a bug with the online service and that I should unhook the Ethernet until further updates are sent out to patch. I will attempt and update my Post with my findings.

-->"Only in America do they let blind people drive" -Niko