The Geek Tragedy Channel!

August 29th, 2010 by Kyle

Hey all;

The Geek Tragedy YouTube Channel is open! Come on by and see what we’ve got at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/geektrag

We’ve already got two videos posted! One is a must for Sailor Moon fans, and another is a hilarious, and extremely rare, convention panel featuring the cast of Forever Knight. And more’s sure to be posted soon, so go see what’s on!

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Categories: Announcements, Tech

Wave Goodbye

August 4th, 2010 by Kyle

So today Google pulled the plug on Google Wave, the one product it had named after something from Firefly.

For the record, it was overhyped, but never adequately explained to the public, and a botched release left a confused general public to figure it out for themselves. This was not good, because it was both powerful and complex. As a result, it was pushed to entirely the wrong audience, which was never able to adequately “get” it. Of course, it did eventually catch on with a loyal niche. But the suits, impatient with the fact that it hadn’t immediately lived up to the massive hype they’d generated for it, killed it without any regard for letting it grow and connect with people, ultimately leaving millions of loyal fans in the lurch.

So yeah, I guess naming it after Firefly tech really was appropriate!

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Categories: Tech

Blizzard drawing gammer aggro

June 10th, 2010 by Dave

So, like millions of computer gamers, I too plunked down $5 to reserve a copy of StarCraft II. SCII has been one  of the most eagerly anticipated  games as well as being delayed long enough to give Duke Nukem Forever a run for it’s title. However, based off the info I found on this article, the anticipation and the money are probably going to be wasted.

For the tl;dr crowd, Blizzard is continuing the trend of all companies once they have a dominate share in their respective markets; they’re convinced of their own superiority and think they can do whatever they want with no repercussions. To point out 3 items from the article:

1) No LAN capability. Blizzard has taken LAN functionality out of SCII, instead all multi-player gameplay will be through their (proprietary) BattleNet 2.0. This includes all tournament play, which BLizzard wants to ‘regulate’ (i.e. get a piece of the money). So all the local and college tournaments now have to pay Blizzard a portion of their already shoestring budget in order to run an SCII tournament.

2) All custom maps are stored on BattleNet and can be used and distributed freely by BattleNet members. That’s right, the awesome custom campaign map you made and spent days working on and planning out can be taken by some schmuck and passed off as his own work. It’s your word versus his as to who the creator is and if he’s got a bigger rep score, guess who most people are going to believe.

3) BattleNet2.0 accounts are linked to Facebook and RealID accounts. That’s right, you want to play multi-player SCII, you need to have a Facebook and a RealID account. The company line is that this is being done in order to crack down on multiple accounts and griefers that simply make a new account name when no-one wants to play with them any more. However, considering that we at Geek Tragedy just ran a news story about a French gamer that tracked down his Counter-Strike rival in real life and stabbed him in the chest, this is a rather chilling feature. What is Blizzard’s legal liability here if some person that’s been Zerg rushed one time too many decided to take out his frustrations in real life? In the French case, it took the person 6 months to track down his rival, normally plenty of time for common sense to hopefully set in. But in the heat of the moment, Mr. Internet Tough Guy can look at my BattleNet handle, check my Facebook page and find out approximately where I live? Assuming, of course, that I don’t create a fake Facebook page with bogus information, which would probably violate the terms of the SCII EULA, possibly causing Blizzard to invalidate any rankings I may have as a disciplinary action. It’s a no-win situation for gamers and puts Blizzard in a rather precarious legal position; if an SCII player gets harassed or physically harmed by a vengeful player that tracked them down through BattleNet/Facebook, couldn’t Blizzard be held as an accomplice after the fact for making such information so freely accessible? Probably not for any criminal proceeding, but in a civil case where millions of dollars in damages is at stake? You can bet that once they find out, there’s going to be a hefty number of ambulance chasers circling around just waiting for that kind of a scenario to play out. And let’s not even delve into the possibility that this feature may soon be required in World of Warcraft, the average player of which has all the emotional stability of nitrogen triiodite.

Like I said before, this is a case of Blizzard getting too big for it’s britches and thinking that the gaming community will just put up with whatever crap Blizzard heaps upon them and ask for more. And as the original article points out, the sad thing is that this kind of thinking is coming not just from Blizzard, but from their parent corporation Activision, a company that started out as a bunch of game programmers tired of the static corporate culture of Atari. EA is already firmly on the path to ruin with gamers, it’d be a shame for Blizzard to join them on that path as well.

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Categories: Gaming, Tech

The Other Big Story

April 3rd, 2010 by Kyle

So the other thing going on today besides WonderCon was happening only two blocks away at the Apple Store on Market Street in San Francisco. Taking a few minutes away from the action at the con, I decided to scope out some of the action surrounding the iPad launch.

Here’s the line to get in, which by 2PM only stretched half a block up Powell Street.

Here’s the line looking down Powell. Fortunately, there was no line to get in to the store if you weren’t going to buy an iPad.

I hold one in my hot little hands. Note WonderCon badge.

Easily small and light enough to hold in one hand. Very comfortable. Note size compared to my can of Coke.

It seemed just slightly smaller than I imagined it. It’s light, but a bit heavier than a Kindle.


Here’s a pic with a couple of dollar bills for size comparison.


And sitting on top of a standard 8 1/2 x 11″ (letter size) piece of paper.


Sitting on the same paper, from the back.

The screen looked beautiful, and if there’s any criticism I have of it at all it’s only perhaps that it’s a little glossy for my preference – though a screen protector (which you should definitely invest in) will certainly take care of that. In short, I can say that both from what I’ve experienced in real life, and what I’ve seen on the internet, the doubters and haters are all people who’ve never held one in their hands. Now that I have, I cannot be a doubter. I can’t emphasize enough just how good it feels to hold, how natural typing is on it – even (especially) when it’s laid flat on a table, and how good it looks, both screen-wise, and in industrial design.

Hate all you like – then go hold one. I think this thing’s a winner.

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Categories: Tech

Holy shmoley! It’s really real!!!

February 24th, 2010 by Dave

Just found this on TechEBlog….

I'm afraid the Death Star is quite operational...

So, the 501st are really advance troops sent here to lul us into a false sense of security that anyone in a stormtrooper outfit is a harmless fanboy. Where the heck do i go to join the Rebellion and get X-Wing flight training?

Actually, this is an awesome pic of Mimas, one of the moons of Saturn, as snapped by the Cassini probe. That big crater is 88 miles wide. Still doesn’t take away from the awesome factor, though.

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Categories: Tech

A Special Welcome For Dave

February 22nd, 2010 by Kyle

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwkr7wM_cm0]

A fellow Scotsman, also new to Twitter, wants to tell Dave how awesome Twitter really is!

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Categories: Tech

Let’s skip the shunning…

February 22nd, 2010 by Dave

…and go straight to the self-loathing and guilt. Yes, I am on Twitter now, and I’ve been Tweeting up a storm.

Am I now a Twitter convert? No, I still see it more as a PR tool than anything else. But that doesn’t mean I’m not having fun following people whose works I admire and enjoy. I’m also enjoying following some of our listeners.

So, follow me on Twitter @runescryer. If anything you can call me a hypocrite for bashing Twitter yet using it myself. It’s not the first time I’ve eaten crow and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Categories: Tech

Another Step Towards Human Obsolecence

February 17th, 2010 by Dave

So, I found this article and video on Endgadget.

That’s right. Someone built a robot using  LEGO Mindstorm sets and programmed it to solve Rubik’s Cubes.

And it does it in 12 seconds or less. Consistently.

Be honest, how long did it take you to solve a Rubik’s Cube? And without using a screwdriver to pop out a corner block to reassemble it or re-attaching all the labels?

The creative puzzle solving capability displayed here is really impressive. I wonder how hard the programming was. More than likely, a custom program had to be written because I doubt that the packaged Mindstorm program could handle it.

Awesome job to all involved with that.

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Categories: Tech

How To Make Twitter Even More Irrelevant

February 15th, 2010 by Dave

Yeah. I’m not a fan of Web 2.0. I don’t do Facebook or MySpace. And I don’t do Twitter, except in the case of following people that actually are important to follow. Like Simon Pegg, Nathan Fillion, ect.

You know, people that are actually noteworthy and lead lives that are worthy of being followed. Unlike, say 99.99999999% of the Twitter-verse.

This is why I hate Web 2.0: it’s (generally) nothing more than a bunch of people no-one cares about, other than their close friends, deluding themselves into thinking that becasue they have a MySpace page or Tweet their every waking moment, they are now noteworthy in the grand scheme of the cosmos. It’s (currently) the ultimate act of narcessism. Now, I’m being realistic here. Just because I have a blog and a podcast,  I don’t think that I have a noteworthy life at all; truth be told, these are venting mechanisms to let out my impotent rage so that it doesn’t impact my life (if you haven’t figured this out by now) any more than it already does.

So, I really don’t take Twittering seriously at all. Especially not after reading about this:

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/11/business/la-fi-puppy-tweets11-2010feb11

That’s right. Unless you have something important to say, Tweeting is now on par with an automated function from a vocal tracker on a dog collar. Add in a GPS tracking function so that you can tell when it goes outside through the doggie door and we have now arrived at the self-fulfilling prophecy of Twitter beign used to inform the public of the subject’s bowel movements.

Just to keep things in perspective.

Categories: Tech

Death Comes To Comicstown

January 27th, 2010 by Kyle

Kyle here;

So today Steve Jobs got on stage and read the obituary of print comics. A light, portable, color device with a big, bright OLED screen, a fantastic, easy-to-use interface, and universal connectivity to a huge, slick online store at an affordable price point – this addresses every single problem that was holding back e-comics. Marvel may be cautious, but so are all old media companies when faced with the future. Some purists will turn up their noses, but some music purists still haven’t given up vinyl records either. There’s no accounting for prickly purist cranks, but they don’t dominate the market.

Trees everywhere can rejoice – the dead tree model is, well, dead.

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Categories: Tech