My wife and I were discussing last night what we thought Activision might call the increasingly inaccurately named ‘Guitar Hero IV’, given that it’s really not just about guitars anymore; ‘Rock Hero’ maybe? Rock Clone? Clone Band? Or perhaps they’ll just keep the GH4 name just in the interests of branding, and give it a lame subtitle to explain the inconsistency, probably slipping the word ‘Rock’ in there discretely somewhere. You probably saw the announcement recently of the drum kit, which has all the hallmarks of being required to ‘take it to the next level’ by replacing one drumpad with two dedicated cymbal pads.
Bill Gates, who seems to be following the tradition of Tony Blair in doing the sort of ‘long goodbye’ which makes us wonder why he’s still here, like he’s holding out for a standing ovation and encore or something - has irritated me again by doing another presentation of technology we’ve all seen before but that Microsoft is reinventing, just rather less impressively, and touting it as their innovation. It all links back to Microsoft Surface which has always been a total rip off of the work of people like Jeff Han, just with more lag and a clunkier interface.
It seems I can’t go near any gaming websites these days without feeling like I’m wading into a full-on firefight. Fanboyism is unfortunately something of a recurring problem in the gaming consumer population, seemingly driven by those who for whatever reason are either willing or able to buy only one console, and once they’ve done that, feel they have to shore up their own purchase by pissing over everyone elses. They’re egged on by corporate marketing departments of course, who are somewhat economical with the truth most of the time, but at least they have an excuse - talking trash earns their company money.
As a developer, there’s an polarity of choice when it comes to frameworks regarding whether you would rather lean towards more compact code where most things are implied, or more verbose code where most things are laid out explicitly - most obviously in the web development sphere. Ruby on Rails is continuing to be a hot property simply because it’s quite elegant and very compact for the functionality it delivers. If you’re making a relatively simple web-based, database-driven application there’s probably no faster way to do it right now - although significant concerns about practical scalability remain, perhaps Ruby 1.
Web 2.0. It’s a horrible, marketing-speak term that deserves the unending derision it is generally given by techs the world over, but nevertheless it’s stuck. Depending on who you ask, Web 2.0 either means the technology that make current darlings like Facebook and GMail work (such as AJAX), or the underlying principles of the regular users of websites having a more direct community involvement in the shaping of content they view.
I happened to be passing through one of our local Fair Trade shops today to pick up some more coffee beans, as is my habit - not only do they have more variety than most regular supermarkets, but their blends are almost universally better quality, thus slaking the taste buds of the discerning Java drinker as well as giving a warm fuzzy feeling that you’re doing something positive for farmers in developing countries, or at least helping them get screwed slightly less than they would otherwise be.
To my everlasting disgust I finally caved in and signed up to Facebook today. My singular reason was that a friend of mine has just moved to North America (to complete his years-long transition to the dark side) and he’d stated his intentions to publish most of his personal stuff there rather than blogging about it, so with much grumbling I now have a placeholder account to let me peer into that little den.
This is a week old now but I only just spotted it - Activision have taken the unusual step of releasing an official Guitar Hero Flash game , which is embedded below. It doesn’t play particularly well (but then neither did Guitar Hero 3 - zing!) but I guess when you consider the limitations of the medium what’s there is an achievement, and even so it’s fun that they did it.
So, as we all know the whole MicroHoo! idea has been called off now, unless you believe the conspiracy theorists who believe this is all still part of Count Ballmer’s plan to devalue Yahoo! (as some of its shareholders go through a set of inevitable legal tantrums) and make it easier to pick up later. I’m not so sure about that myself - after all didn’t the rotund billionnaire say he wasn’t going to raise the original offer for Yahoo!
The blog has suffered a little since I’ve had a very hectic week, with multiple clients to keep happy, a couple of social events and since most of last weekend was taken up with organising Ogre SVN conversion and various chores I seem to have had very little downtime - my only gaming all week was a couple of hours on Crackdown. My energy seemed to finally run out last night when I found myself dragging my half-comatose body to bed by 11pm - completely unheard of in our house.