Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

An Update, A Date-up, A Cop-out

Life: it’s a bit ridiculous. I’m busy as anything, and this blog has suffered as a result. Rest assured that my time has not been spent in vain; I’ve been a busy little bugger.

Here’s what’s up: I’ve been writing a novel, for starters, and I’m an estimated 15% done. That might seem a little exacting, but I’m estimating the total at 70,000 words based on what I’ve plotted out and how much I’ve written as of yet. As much as I love it, finding a regular time to work on it has been… difficult.

I’m putting a lot of time into making sure Robot Bomb ends up something slightly better than still-born. My original goal was for it to go live on October 9, but that’s looking nearly impossible without cutting a lot of corners. In an effort to make it more solid, the deadline has been changed to a decidedly more nebulous October 2009. Hopefully it won’t be more than a week or two late, but I’m not holding my breath.

In slightly better RB news, there’s a good chance we’ll have some actual semi-pro video types helping out with our periodic video shoots. I’m not entirely sure how soon I can get them in on the process, but it might be as early as this week. If that’s the case, it’ll be a huge load off the rest of us. Finally, we’re revamping the structure a little bit so that it’s divided into more manageable chunks. Basically, that means I’ll be doing a little less editing and a little more shameless whoring and promoting of the website, getting referral accounts set up, sucking up to PR reps, and all that jazz. Instead of me editing and approving everything that gets posted, I’ll have four section editors that will be in charge of the individual areas of coverage. I haven’t yet informed those folks of my intentions for them (shhh, don’t tell).

Additionally, I’ve still got that pesky business known as college. When random school diversions get mixed in, it makes keeping this up nearly impossible. As a matter of fact, even this post is getting squeezed in at the Houston airport, simply because I’m tired of writing reviews of music and books, and I wanted a change of pace (ironically enough, that means going from writing for Robot Bomb and Indie Clauses to writing for T+L).

I hate to make every post on here an update on how other things are going, but that’s what it’ll have to boil down to for at least a few weeks.

Upcoming content will consist entirely of Austin City Limits Music Festival coverage, by the way. It’s this next weekend, Oct 2-4, and I couldn’t be more excited to be writing about it for Blogcritics. Everything written for it will be re-posted here as a poor excuse for content. Forgive me that laziness, but all my extra writing time is occupied with the novel and building up content for Robot Bomb.

Until next time, I leave you with a thought: if a college-age girl wears a North Face jacket despite the fact that it’s 92 degrees outside, does that absolutely, definitely make her a sorority girl, or could she merely be silly? Discuss amongst yourselves.


September 29, 2009 Posted by | Personal | Leave a comment

Austin City Limits: The Movie

Nah, not really. There’s absolutely no movie. Actually, this is a semi-post, semi-announcement, semi-plead-for-input sort of a beast. Here’s what it all boils down to:

I’ve managed to score a press pass for the Austin City Limits Music Festival, courtesy of Blogcritics. This means several things. First of all, it means I’m going to ACL for the second time in as many years, and without having payed for either experience. That’s pretty awesome in and of itself. It also means I can sell my two day passes I’d previously acquired. No, I’m doing any scalping – my friend Nick is picking them up at cost, theoretically in exchange for allowing me to crash at his apartment in Austin.

With regard to all of you internet-people: no, this isn’t a meaningless gloat (though that would be horrifically annoying, huh?). This is where the announcement bit comes in: I’ll be working with the wonderful editors over at Blogcritics to produce a three-part series covering ACL, hopefully published at the end of each day of ACL (Friday-Sunday, October 2-4). Additionally, I’ll be tweeting the whole business, which you’ll be able to follow here. Finally, I’m trying to arrange an interview with Suckers, an indie-rock outfit from Brooklyn, New York. That’ll go up on Independent Clauses, which I’ve mentioned so many times previously that if you haven’t checked it out already, there’s probably something wrong with you.

See all that? I’m earning my keep with this press pass. Don’t think I’m not!

Finally, there’s this: I don’t know all of the bands that are playing. Sure, there’s a list I can look over, and a handy schedule with which to figure out where I should be at any given time, but there are over 100 bands that will be performing over three days. Frankly, I haven’t heard of half of them, and I don’t want to miss any wonderful indie-gems just because I don’t know how awesome they are. Check out my planned schedule below, and if you think I should make any changes, don’t hesitate to let me know!

Friday, October 2nd

Friday, October 2nd

Saturday, October 3rd

Saturday, October 3rd

Sunday, October 4th

Sunday, October 4th

September 14, 2009 Posted by | Music, Personal | , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Rock and Roll and Cameras

I purposely arrange my schedule around Apple’s media events. No really, I do. Today I actually rescheduled a meeting so that I could read about Apple’s “It’s Only Rock And Roll” event in realtime. In my defense (or defence, for you kids across the pond), I actually got it out of the way early in a responsible, adult manner.

I hate to be anything that even vaguely resembles a fanboy, but I find their announcements absolutely fascinating. Apple has managed to take something that most companies relegate to either a press release or one of a handful of trade shows and turn it into some sort of massive party/lovefest/shindig where the crowd treats company executives like rockstars and treats rockstars like, well, regular folks. Quivering journalist-types and tech bloggers hang upon their every word, frantically posting updates to their website, and mere mortals such as myself eat up those updates like so many delicious cookies. Second-hand love like that requires talent, folks; talent that Apple has in spades. I enjoyed today’s “It’s Only Rock And Roll” event as much as any other of their announcements (well, almost: I was practically jumping up and down in excitement when the iPhone and iPod Touch were announced two years ago). There was just one problem.

The 3rd-gen iPod Touch has no camera. Continue reading

September 11, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, iPhone/iPod Touch | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Borderlands: Claptrap

This is equal parts funny and painful to watch. Enjoy the poetic justice at the end.

October 22, I can’t wait for you to arrive.

September 9, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, PC gaming | , , , | Leave a comment

Booyah Society: As Dumb As It Sounds

Booyah Society

Booyah Society

Booyah Society: the game where you get points for doing things in real life.

I got an email from a PR rep a few weeks ago about its launch. They describe it as, “The first social game based on real-life achievements.” Hmmm.

I find myself in interesting position as I write this – I haven’t yet tried it. Oh, sure, I’m interested in checking it out, but an ugly beast has raised its head – compatibility. Apparently, Booyah Society will not run on my 1st-gen iPod Touch. Checking again, I realize it does in fact state this on the App Store page, but I’m still somewhat bummed. Apparently I’m a second-class citizen of the App Store, though that’s another article altogether. Back to Booyah Society, or rather, the idea of it.

Frankly, I’m not entirely sure what to make of this yet. On the one hand, why not? It encourages gamers to spend a little more time doing things other than playing video games, which I confess often receive a disproportionate amount of my time. The concept actually reminds me of a joke several gamers/writers/webcomic artists have made – the best way to get a gamer in shape is to equate exercising with in-game training. Do some card and raise your stamina two points, bulk up to gain strength, complete obstacle courses for increased agility, and so on and so forth. It’s a funny concept, sure, but how much more palatable does it really make the activity, and for how many people will it actually make enough of a motivational difference?

Even if it is encouraging us to engage the world more directly, there’s also potential for distortion of the original intent. If we only do things to claim in-game achievements, is there really even that much worth to it? Most of us wouldn’t make much more than a minor change in our habits, but the ultra-competitive would likely end up doing things just to say they’ve done them and claim another achievement.

Incidentally, the potential for distortion of the original intent is similar to a certain type of behavior I saw while in China. Continue reading

September 2, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, iPhone/iPod Touch | , , , | Leave a comment


Sometimes online games are too complicated. That’s why I only ever play games that have one input – the space bar. If you’re like me, you don’t want to waste time learning things like how to play. You just want to push the freaking buttons, and when there’s only one button, that gets a lot easier. Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present Canabalt: because there’s only one button. Oh, and it’s actually a good bit of fun, as well.


September 1, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, PC gaming | , , , | Leave a comment