In recent years, I’ve been pretty disappointed with Nintendo (barring the excellent Super Mario Galaxy) and their machines for seeming to totally miss the opportunities that their devices offered for new types of games, lamenting that they just seem content to regurgitate every game from their previous consoles and couple it with a lazy waggle / touch control scheme, and go for the super-casual brigade with things that can only be loosely described as games (Wii Fit, Wii Music), and leave it at that.
We went to see the new Star Trek movie last night, and as per request I’ll post my thoughts about it here (spoiler alert!). It started a little dubiously, with an action sequence that while impressive, was so saturated with excessive horizontal lens flare, shaky cam and fast pans that my first thought was “Oh no, it’s going to be another Transformers headache-a-thon”. Luckily the director apparantly laid off the amphetemines shortly afterwards and it became more manageable.
It’s always fun to watch Apple and Microsoft slug it out in the advertising space - here in the UK we mostly have to do this via YouTube, since apart from a short stint of amusing Mitchell and Webb Apple ads and those pretty bland “I’m A PC” ripostes, we don’t really see the front-line assaults which take place on US TV screens. So I hear that MS have a new set of ads out, where “regular” people go and look for a laptop, whereby they look at the Mac and say “whoah, far too expensive!
So, the intertubes are awash today with people venting their spleens about Twitter’s decision to stop sending replies by people you do follow, but to people you don’t follow, to your main Twitter feed. Previously you had the option either way, and now some people are getting their panties in a bunch about it. There are two things to say about this issue: Personally, I don’t want to see all the random replies to other people I don’t follow.
There’s a lesson to be had in here about entrusting important, always-on, unmonitored systems to Windows: Yes, my flight details (this was Gatwick airport) should have been on that second monitor - it’s so nice to be reminded of the frailty of technology when you’re about to entrust your life to a tin box full of electronics and software. Still, it was amusing to listen to a confused couple trying to read & decipher the BSOD text, clearly thinking it was an official announcement of some sort.
Yes, I got back from FMX/09 last night, after the usual pain-in-the-ass shuttling between London airports to make my connections and the inherent waiting around that entails. I’m constantly disgusted by the amount airports charge for internet access so I left writing this post until today. I really enjoyed FMX - it was the first graphics conference in which I’d been officially on the speaker bill, so I’m not sure how well other conferences treat their speakers, but at FMX I thought they did a fantastic job; everything was really well organised and went very smoothly.
So, following my 360’s demise I was looking up the practicalities of using an alternate borrowed machine temporarily until the repair is turned around. I’ve bought a lot of DLC (mostly Rock Band, but also quite a few XBLA games, Gears maps etc), and I know the license for them is associated with the machine, so I looked up the license transfer tool. All seemed pretty sensible and reasonable - I’d have to download everything again, but that’s no big deal.
Yay, I can finally join the not-so-exclusive club of having my first 360 die, with the ever so fashionable E74 error code. I don’t have a launch machine, whose failure rates are legendary, I have the 2nd revision (‘Falcon’), and it’s about 18 months old now. The ‘Falcon’ chipsets are not supposed to be quite as error prone as the launch machines, but still the failure rates are above what is usually expected of consumer electronics, so I seem to have fallen into that statistic (no official numbers, but thought to be around 16%, or 3-5 times the expected average).
Too many rant posts lately, let’s talk about something positive. I’m still really enjoying Fallout 3, it’s far, far exceeded my expectations and I really can’t believe it was made by the same company that created the cookie-cutter, sprawling yawnfest that was Oblivion. Now, being a veteran of the series (Fallout 1 and 2 were some of my favourite RPGs of all time, along with Planescape: Torment and KOTOR), to some degree it’s nothing new - they have clearly lifted a great deal of the style and content directly from the originals, but the fact that they’ve managed to do this without trampling over my treasured memories of the original is a revelation.
A few days ago, Yahoo! announced that they would be shuttering the venerable GeoCities this year. “So what?” you might well ask - GeoCities is after all an ageing service from a bygone era, and apart from some nostalgia and perhaps some data that some people might have had parked there for a while, most people won’t really notice it’s passing. But nevertheless, it’s important, and people who get carried away with putting a dollar value on the current favourite websites of the day (e.