Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Mobile Gaming: Rise of Lost Empires

Rise of Lost Empires

Rise of Lost Empires

Journalism professors tell you something along these lines: your job is to inform, to educate, to entertain, and… something else that I can’t really remember. Presumably, reviewing products falls loosely within those parameters. I’m informing you of a new game, and hopefully entertaining you a little along the way. I maintain an impartial stance toward the creators of the products I review, so as not to taint my report with inaccuracies or favoritism. Part of that is telling it like it is when you come across something that’s really, really bad. This is one of those times. Continue reading

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July 10, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, iPhone/iPod Touch | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unto Me A Child Is Born, Part Two

RBI’ve done insane amounts of thinking/brainstorming since first posting about my intentions with Robot Bomb. Here’s where I’m at:

Game Plan:

I think I know what I’m doing. Rather, I know what I’m doing, and I hope it’s correct. Anticipating the various problems and snags in this process won’t be easy, but I’m trying to foresee potential difficulties and ways around them. Thankfully, I’ve got an incredibly valuable resource in Stephen Carradini, editor-in-chief over at Independent Clauses. He’s got loads more experience running websites than I do, so I’ll probably be picking his brain on a regular basis. Continue reading

July 8, 2009 Posted by | State of the Blog, Tech | , , , | 1 Comment

Life Lessons With Brian: In Which I Teach China About The Internet

Alright China, we need to talk. No, not that talk. Judging by your population, you already know plenty about the birds and the bees. We need to have the internet talk.

You’ve been restricting my access to the internet since I got here on February 23rd. WordPress was blocked, for starters. Then a few weeks later, YouTube is inexplicably unavailable. It’s been that way for four months, China. How am I supposed to watch videos of ninja kitties or waterskiing squirrels if I can’t use YouTube? Then there was Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail, and briefly, Google. Then the most recent batch was unblocked, only for you to block Twitter again yesterday, and Facebook today. What gives? ***Update: The recent Twitter and Facebook blocks are due to riots in the Xinjiang region; current counts indicate at least 156 killed, 800 injured, and over 1,400 arrested.***

Facebook is currently blocked.

Facebook is currently blocked...

...and so is Twitter

...and so is Twitter

Continue reading

July 7, 2009 Posted by | Humor, Politics, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My iPod Is On Life Support

White Screen Coma

White Screen Coma

My iPod is currently in the gadget version of an intensive care unit. It’s near death, and I’ve got absolutely no idea what caused it. Everything is playing out like an episode of House, where every treatment come up with by the doctor (ahem, yours truly) only makes things worse. This is no fun.

I use my iPod on a daily basis. I need to walk somewhere? Bam, in go the earphones. I’m driving somewhere? Bam, my iPod gets plugged in, the tunes blast, and away we go. I’m studying and using my laptop would be too distracting? Out comes the iPod, in go the earphones, and Ratatat or Architecture in Helsinki or Norma Jean serenade me. Beyond the basic function of listening to music, I use my beloved iPod Touch (which is named Lisa, by the way) to play games, check email, and scratch out notes for writing ideas. It’s absolutely essential to my always-on lifestyle. Only now I can’t do any of that.

Ever so briefly, I considered turning this into some sort of admission to being too dependent on electronics, that everyone voluntarily cuts themselves off from the world with them, that we need to lose the gadgets every now and again and just appreciate life.

Screw that. Continue reading

July 6, 2009 Posted by | Personal, Tech | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Weekly Shenanigans #8

Shenanigans remind me of cliched Irish terminology and the movie Office Space. Surely, neither of those are bad things. If they are, I don’t want to be right. Anyhow, I present to you the eighth iteration of Weekly Shenanigans, that once-every-seven-days feature that you all know and love. Bastion of all things geek and nerd, purveyor of tech-news… how would you ever live without this stuff? And with that, away we go:

  • First up is an interesting (if somewhat cerebral) look at gaming terms posted onto Gamasutra entitled, “Mapping Gamer Dialect.” Intriguing, no? Click through and read up.
  • This is the POWERHAT.

    This is the POWERHAT.

    If you haven’t been reading these, you should absolutely, definitely, without any shred of doubt head over to Rock Paper Shotgun and read their newest ongoing feature – “A Fool In Morrowind,” in which Alec Meer re-discovers The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and all the wonderful things therein. He recounts his experiences with… things… like the hat pictured at right. Hilarity ensues. GO.

  • Anandtech recently reviewed the ASRock X-58 Extreme motherboard, priced at the sweet, sweet amount of $169. It performed around 1% lower than other boards, but such a difference is hardly noticeable to most users. Given that this is a fully-featured ATX motherboard, that price is excellent, and only matched by the micro-ATX MSI X-58M previously mentioned on Weekly Shenanigans.
  • Most weeks – not every week, but most weeks – I post something about Apple. This week is no exception. It’s almost like a mini-feature within the feature. What’s going on this week, you ask? I’ll tell you – three times over! Oh, and I’m naming this sub-feature Super-Happy-Apple-Fun-Time. It just seems appropriate. Read below, fool! Also: Don’t ask why this is two separate bullets. I don’t know. Continue reading

July 5, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, PC gaming, State of the Blog, Tech, Weekly Shenanigans | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What I’m Listening To

Aaaaaaaaand we’re back. After an almost-week-long break from the cutthroat world of blogging, I’m back with a vengeance, yo. That being said, I am now of the opinion that taking breaks makes you lazy. It’s been a long 48 hours, so forgive the brevity of this post. Here’s a quick look at some of the more interesting music I’ve been listening to recently:

Boy and the Bird EP

Boy and the Bird EP

Merykid:

I had the pleasure of reviewing this guy’s album for Independent Clauses. It’s singer-songwriter, but with a fresh sound that evokes the likes of Temposhark and Keaton Simons. His Bird and the Bees EP came out recently; it’s only six songs, but it’s all quality stuff. Continue reading

July 4, 2009 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment