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Star Citizen

by on Jan.08, 2013, under Star Citizen

Connie_RSI_300 When I first heard about Star Citizen, I thought “this might be cool…” I signed up for my golden ticket and attended the launch announcement. Chris Roberts has a unique plan of initial funding, crowd fund the game and skip the typical production/publication companies. Chris set out with a goal of $2M to produce the game in its simplest form, he added stretch goals for up to $6M. What he got was over $6.2M during that initial funding push (now pledges are over $7.2M). Needless to say that everyone was surprised by the results.

The group over at Cloud Imperium Games Corporation (Chris Roberts new venture) has been growing and creating ever since. Much of the content that has currently been released is of high quality, and it shows that the effort being put forth is only going to get better. Background fiction (lore) has been posted, with weekly updates (although a holiday hiatus seems to have gone longer than expected). Wingmans Hanger which is a live stream is growing in popularity, and they are taking requests for content on the forums which includes questions that you would like answered.

While I like browsing and posting on the forums, already there are members that seem to be over zealous in their requests. You know the type, the ones who insist that they are the only ones who know how the game should be built and that only their ideas are the best. While they are not the majority, they certainly are the most vocal of the 100K plus members. I can only ignore so much stupidity in that respect. Chris Roberts has produced many games (some on his own) and has been able to capture our attention (still) with his ideas, so please let him produce that game that he has in his mind. I am not saying that he isn’t open to ideas from others (he welcomes the input), but don’t insist that your idea is best. You can always just go away and not support the project, but don’t have a fit and post about it. End rant.

When they announced the subscription for more information, aka Jump Point, I signed up looking forward to hearing more about the development of the game. I have been reading up on CryEngine3 that is being used to develop the game, and since CIG are modifying the engine, there are rumors that CryEngine4 will include some of these modifications. There is already talk about which other Sci-Fi franchises we would like to see using the Star Citizen engine as a base. I was really hoping for Firefly or Farscape, but we shall see if it is even possible.

I would like to think that this game will be better than I anticipate, and it is hard not to get excited. Chris Roberts will spend the next two years putting together a great game, and he has shown investors that people are willing to ‘risk’ their personal funds on this project. I am just glad that I am along for the ride. There are quite a few who have created ‘fan sites’ for Star Citizen already, but given the limited knowledge we have of the universe of the game I think they should have waited a bit. Time will tell.

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iPad and LTE, not so great

by on Mar.23, 2012, under Technology, Wireless

The new iPad has many people breaking open their wallets to get one. While LTE is a new feature, the majority of traffic from the new iPad is coming from WiFi vs. LTE. Not really a big deal or a surprise, but what about those poor people that are using LTE, what is happening to them with that ‘blazingly fast’ wireless connection. Many of those users are starting to get their bills from the carriers for the LTE service, and many of them do not have unlimited data service. What does this mean? It means that once they hit that 3 or 5 GB limit for the month, they will be paying somewhere around $10 per GB. Still not a big deal right? Well think about this; one of the other new features of the new iPad is that really ‘beautiful’ display and with that new display comes larger program sizes. How much larger? About 3 times larger on average, some of the applications are over 1.5 GB in size. Now imagine that you just downloaded that app across the fast LTE connection, and a few other apps too, then watch a movie on that really nice screen with a fast connection. Now that you are past the 3 or 5 GB that you had for the month, what do you do? Quit checking your email, posting to Google + or Facebook (really you are still on Facebook?), or surfing the web in general, until the next month or face the higher bill.

Not many people asked about this or even thought about it when they signed up. Now they can stop using LTE since they are not under contract, but they just payed extra for LTE that they would not be able to use. Talk about a catch 22…

I think I will stick with my current tablet thank you very much.

 

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Good bye Jake

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Random Thoughts

I sad very sad to say that Jake, my best friend besides my wife, passed away today. Given that he was a dog, and lived only 13 years, I have to say that he was the best dog I have ever met. Sure I am biased, but truly he was special. I have had dogs before, and have been attached to them as companions, but none like Jake. Jake spent his life with teh desire to be with people.

I found Jake at a pet store, he was older than most of the dogs there but had a quality about him that none of the other dogs had. So when I stopped to look at him, he didn’t bark or jump around instead he looked at me with eyes that said so much that I had to get him out to interact with him. While he was curious about his surroundings in the place that you get to interact with the potential pets, he was more interested in me and what I was doing. Which of course was playing with him. We spent some time together, as much as you can spend at a pet store, but in that short time had already formed a bond. So I took him home. Not that it was the best thing for me, but I could not excuse the expectant look of hope in his eyes.

Puppies have an unique way of looking at the world everything so new and exciting. WHile most dogs loose some of that over time, Jake was always like a puppy. Not in the normal ways, but more in the way that he looked at you with that expression that conveys gratitude and love at the same time. Jake could always melt your heart with a look.

As he got older, he suffered many of the things that large dogs do. His rear legs got stiff and a constant pain was with him. He would push through the pain to go outside with whomever was going to feed the horses or work in the yard. You could take him to down to the mailbox, work in the front yard, or just sit on the porch and he was always close by. He just wanted to be with people.

I will miss him.

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Do they protest too much?

by on Jan.31, 2012, under Rants, Technology

All of the media outlets have been on the piracy bandwagon for a while now, but is it true. Here is an infographic that shows a different story than the one you are hearing. Makes you wonder if they really think that we won’t notice.

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Are the iProducts worth human life?

by on Jan.25, 2012, under Rants

While this is not certainly new news it really is troublesome to me that a factory would have to put up netting to catch people throwing themselves to their death from the factory. The picture is from the Foxconn factory in China after 12 people committed suicide. It would seem that the labor force does not think that they are being treated fairly by Foxconn.

“Apple’s biggest supplier, Taiwan’s Foxconn, has been a subject of scrutiny after at least 12 workers have committed suicide at its plants in China. Three died last year and more than 70 were hurt in blasts at two iPad facilities, one of which was also owned by Foxconn. In response to pressure from Apple and the media, Foxconn more than doubled wages in 2010 for some workers in China and employed counselors.

Apple will now subject itself and its suppliers to the FLA’s membership criteria, including submitting to audits and enforcing a code of conduct based on standards approved by the United NationsInternational Labor Organization.

Taipei-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (2317), Foxconn’s flagship listed unit, gets 22 percent of its revenue from Apple, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Pegatron Corp. (4938) earns 16 percent of sales from the U.S. company.” (Source: Bloomberg)

So now after all this time Apple is going to let the FLA monitor the factories that produce its products? It took peoples deaths for them to relent? I am all for less expensive products, but not at the expense of human life.

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