Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Photography Practice

I’ve definitely got a long way to go, but I think my photography has been improving a bit. Here are a few examples of my more recent efforts:

Continue reading


April 27, 2009 Posted by | Photography | , , , , | 1 Comment

Mobile Gaming: Swingin’ Through Sway

Meet Lizzy. Shes pretty cool.

Meet Lizzy. She's pretty cool.

Sway even comes witha  comical backstory.

Sway evens comes with a comical backstory.

Have you played Sway yet? If not, you really should. Right now, most of the games available for the iPhone/iPod Touch aren’t particularly innovative. They’re ports or adaptations of standard games and genres, with controls modified to make more sense when the only tactile input you’ve got is a touch screen. A few games, though, are absolutely perfect for the platform – they just make sense with touch controls, and would feel awkward any other way. Sway is one of those games. Continue reading

April 27, 2009 Posted by | Gaming | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mobile Gaming: A Healthy Dose of RPG

If there’s one game genre that I really, truly love, it’s RPGs. You could take away every other game I’ve got, and I’d be happy for quite a while with the likes of Nethack and Fallout 3.

That being said, I’ve been bummed for a while that there haven’t been any truly good RPGs for the iPod Touch / iPhone platform. Most of the offerings there have been your standard puzzle games that most people like to play, ports of card games, etc. There’s certainly a market for that, but those of us who game for reasons other than burning a few minutes here and there want something more.

That’s where The Chronicles of Inotia: Legends of Feanor comes in. Continue reading

April 26, 2009 Posted by | Gaming | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pay Attention: This is what a GFWL Gamer Looks Like



Everyone, meet CoolingGibbon, diehard GFWL gamer.

I’ve been in contact with him over the past several weeks, asking some questions and generally trying to get a better idea of what motivates him to use GFWL. Read on for the transcript of our email interview.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, I’m a 22-yr old guy currently pursuing a computer science degree. I’ve been a PC gamer for over 8 years, before which I used to game on a NES and Gameboy as a kid. But after being introduced to classics like Wolf 3D, Quake and Half-Life… I decided to move over to PCs completely. And I’m glad to say that I find the PC undoubtedly the best platform for any serious gamer.

How did you get into GFWL?

My first introduction to GFWL was with Halo 2 a little more than a year ago Continue reading

April 18, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Interview | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

In All Fairness: Games For Windows Live

First of all, let me start off by saying that I haven’t been too kind to Games For Windows Live in the past. Among other things, I’ve said that nobody is even aware of its existence, that it’s useless so far, and that it needs to be scrapped completely and replaced with something new.

Recently, I’ve made an honest attempt to put my own biases aside and look at the situation objectively. On the one hand, GFWL doesn’t approach the utility of Steam, not by a long shot. That being said, most Steam users have a rather short-term memory about these things – for the first several years of Steam’s existence, it was roundly mocked and derided as little more than Valve’s version of DRM. I’ve had some bad moments with Steam personally, most notably when my computer is temporarily without internet access – Steam throws a righteous fit. GFWL also has some challenges that Steam hasn’t faced, like trying to adequately interface PC gamers with console gamers. Continue reading

April 17, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bethesda Interview: Ashley Cheng

I first mentioned my series of interviews a couple weeks ago, and suffice to say I’ve been a bit busy since then. Scrounging, hunting people down, coming up with hundreds of (hopefully) interesting questions, hitting a lot of dead ends… it takes some time to get a project like this going. Regardless, I’m happy to announce that the first interview has been published, courtesy of VE3D. It’s got a bunch of pretty pictures and cool stuff like that attached, so frankly I would click through to their site to read the piece. If you really want to do it here, though, I’ve got the text-only transcript after the jump. Continue reading

April 15, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Interview | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giving In to the Dark Side: Bandwidth-Capping, Part I

Time Warner Cable (TWC from hereon) has never exactly been a stellar internet service provider, but they haven’t been particularly bad, either – at least, not until recently. TWC has been experimenting with bandwidth caps in Beaumont, Texas, and has decided to roll out these caps in other markets. Not even Beaumont, sad little town that it is, really deserves such restrictions, and certainly not the markets that TWC plans to pull the switch on. San Antonio, my home town when not in college, is among those being drastically limited. If you aren’t aware, here are the plans that TWC currently offers:

Roadrunner Lite: 768 Kbps down, 128 Kbps up, unlimited usage, $24.99/month

Roadrunner Basic: 3.0 Mbps down, 256 Kbps up, unlimited usage, $34.99/month

Roadrunner Standard: 7 Mbps down, 512 Kbps up, unlimited usage, $39.99/month

Roadrunner Turbo: 15 Mbps down, 2 Mpbs up, unlimited usage, $49.98/month

…and here are the changes that will be implemented:

Roadrunner Lite: 768 Kbps down, 128 Kbps up, capped to 10 Gigs, $24.99/month

Roadrunner Basic: 3.0 Mbps down, 256 Kpbs up, capped to 20 Gigs, $34.99/month

Roadrunner Standard: 7 Mbps down, 512 Kbps up, capped to 40 Gigs, $39.99/month

Roadrunner Turbo: 15 Mbps down, 2 Mbps up, capped to 60 Gigs, $49.98/month

In case you didn’t notice the change Continue reading

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Politics, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Private Browsing Might Actually Be Good For Something

I’ve been meaning to post some of the pictures I’ve taken with my new Nikon D60, but unfortunately my internet access has been absolutely terrible of late, particularly when trying to use WordPress. It doesn’t help that China blocks access to my beloved blog to begin with, but I’ve been forced to use proxy servers to bypass the Great Firewall of China, thereby further slowing an already-slow connection. Lo and behold, I think I may have stumbled across the solution today.

While fiddling with the settings on Firefox in a futile attempt to tweak what limited bandwidth I’ve got access to, I happened upon Private Browsing. Normally, I’ve really got no reason to use it, but I started it out of morbid curiosity and a little quiet desperation. I was thinking to myself, private browsing is mostly used to prevent any sort of browsing history from being stored on your computer. What if it does more than that? What if it also encrypts outgoing packets, or something similar? So I entered the link for my admin page on here, hit enter, and watched with faint amusement, expecting to see the “server is taking too long to respond” message that signals a blocked site in China. Instead, the dashboard pops up! I almost did a little dance of joy. Almost. Continue reading

April 6, 2009 Posted by | Photography, Tech | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment