A Case For Space

So the end is coming. Oh, don’t worry, well, maybe a little. It’s not the end of the world yet, that’s not for another two years, and then seven years after that, and 21 years after that. I’m saying it’s not happening. People have always predicted the end of the world over and over and they have always been wrong.

Anyway, that’s not what I really wanted to talk about. I’m talking about a real end here, the end of space exploration as we know it, the end of NASA’s Space Shuttle program. Continue reading

In Defense of PCs

Don’t worry, this is not another post bashing Apple. Those are just too easy. No, this has to do with games.

There has been this recent view that PC gaming has gone the way of the Dodo bird, and I am not sure why.

I’ve heard this directly from two sources, actually three. Two are colleagues from a newspaper I used to work for, all of which shall remain nameless.

When I called them out on it they gave a good argument: Piracy. On the PC it is rampant, and difficult to control. However consoles are virtually pirate-proof, because any sign of piracy, Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo can brick your console remotely.

It’s a good argument…for the developers. But it’s not such a good argument for the consumers, in fact it’s the opposite of an argument. Especially if you become the victim of a false positive. Where they think you pirated, but you really didn’t, you tell them that, and they don’t believe you. So if you’re spending $300 on something, it’s probably not a good idea to get a product the manufacturers can disable at a moments notice. What else would we allow this on? Oh, Apple products, right. Continue reading

Men and the Mindless Series of Ones and Zeros That They Love

You know, today I wanted to write a follow up to the iPhone post I made recently, commenting on the remarks Steve Jobs made at a recent press conference. BUT THE FATES WOULD NOT ALLOW IT!

I found something much more interesting. Apparently, some Japanese women, half to be precise, think they can’t compete with virtual girlfriends. Virtual girlfriends would be the dating simulation games that appear to be quite popular in Japan. They simulate a girl who flirts with you, goes out on dates with you in the in-game world, and even let you put it in, which as gameplay features go is pretty awesome. However when I say “put it in” I mean have your own in-game avatar put it in…and by “put it in” I mean “sex”. Just so there’s no confusion. Continue reading

The Same Old Story, My Thoughts On iPhone 4

Okay, I just want to start by being clear, I haven’t actually used the iPhone 4 yet. Older models of iPhone I’ve gotten a chance to get hands on with for a short time thanks to friends and in-store demos. But due to the fact the iPhone 4 was just released a matter of weeks ago I haven’t had a chance to test it out yet.

However I doubt a lot has changed, we’re talking Apple here, any changes they make consist primarily of making things slightly prettier or two microns thinner and adding features other products have had for several years, while simultaneously ignoring problems they refuse to acknowledge, which is most of them.

So because of that, this post is probably going to be shorter than normal. Which I’m happy about because I’m sick of spending several days writing thousand-or-two-thousand-word blog posts.

Anyway, the iPhone 4. From what I know it’s the same as the iPhone 3Gs with a few changes in design. New features include a front facing camera, perfect for video conferencing or even vlogging…you know…if you’re into that sort of thing; and a higher resolution display, you know, if you like watching video while the display is resting on your face. I assume the processor’s faster because that’s always the way of things, and you know, the design, I like it, it looks good, I might buy it if they ship it in iTouch form and I got $200 to burn, which I don’t because I’m poor.

Finally, one important feature of the iPhone 4, if you touch the outer edge on the lower left corner, you will lose your connection. Continue reading

Apple Won’t Let Itself Get Flashed

So the latest news out of Apple, they won’t let Flash go on their iPad. Now this is old news. Apple wouldn’t allow Flash on the iPhone and the iPad is just a giant iPhone anyways, so not having Flash available should come as no surprise. However it seems people were shocked because the iPad had more power and could probably handle Flash, plus it works better as a video watching device and most video on the web is Flash-based. So some might think it seems odd that Apple would deny a program on their device that would seem to be perfect for it.

Now everyone knows I’m not Apple’s biggest fan. I will never buy one of their products, primarily because I think it’s badly designed, but also because I hate their business practices. But today, I will defend Apple because I honestly see why they are doing this. Continue reading

Freedom ’90…to Upgrade

So Apple has these new ads, featuring news of the Windows 7 release and people saying they are switching to Mac because: “If we have to move all our stuff why not move to the computer that’s number one in customer satisfaction.” Which is a perfect demonstration of Apple’s new marketing strategy: Make shit up.

Now why do I say that? The ad itself makes a good point, if you have to upgrade, the effort is the same whether you go to Windows 7 or Mac OS X. Well kind of, except they fail to mention you also need to repurchase all your software for the Mac platform. But my problem is where they say: “have to”…you don’t have to do anything.

People sometimes forget: upgrading is an option. You don’t have to upgrade your system, and you need to realize if you do decide to upgrade, it’s not something you do during your lunch break, it’s something you devote a weekend to, and if your not good with computers, it’s not a bad idea to let a friend help, and generally, it’s not a good idea to upgrade at all.

This isn’t indicative of Windows, if you decide to upgrade your system you need to ask why. Why upgrade unless you need to? Especially considering these things cost money. Continue reading

Apple Sucks, Part 1: Pretty Doesn’t Mean Better

In the Shield offices at college we use Macs exclusively. I recently asked Chris if we could get at least one Windows machine in the office, he said no because our industry uses Macs. So I am more or less forced to use it. Now as one would expect, I have standard user privileges, I am locked out of adjusting many features and the console. But even taking that into consideration I notice something. Despite Apple’s advertisements, despite the aesthetic appearances, and despite the word of my peers praising the platform, the Mac just plain sucks. Continue reading