Monday, November 29, 2010


I have recently discovered an under-appreciated gem that I have fallen in love with quicker than well... anything (even that super-hot Asian chick at the club). That my friends, is Chuck. If you have not seen this show, seriously go watch it. When I say go watch it, I mean like... go actually watch the first couple episodes- in order. This is important, as this is one of the rare shows out there that actually follows a story. It may sound like a lame concept at first, and you might think "wow this show tries too hard" - at first... but if you actually take the time to watch this show and learn to appreciate the humor, writing, and acting... well you'll fall in love.

This has become my new favorite TV show. Ever. To give you a reference point, I also love Dexter, BattleStar Galactica, Sopranos, South Park, Spartacus, Entourage, Arrested Development... just to name a few. Yes, individually those shows are awesome and it's hard to compare many of those high-budget shows with a show like Chuck- or so you may think. That being said, a perfect blend of high quality writing, directing and acting make this show one that you literally want to keep watching again and again. (I've found myself watching like a third of a season in one go... and they're roughly 20 episodes long).

The story is arching and has plenty of plot elements, rises and falls to keep you on the edge of your seat. However, this is not Everybody Loves Raymond, you need to actually watch all the episodes consecutively so you don't miss anything.

Now I know you're going to ask me 'tell us about it' and I would love to, but I can't. Lets just say it's an awesome action/comedy with deep story and character development. The rest you just have to find out for yourself. Go buy season 1, you won't regret it. I just finished season 2, and I'll be starting on season 3 soon. Season 4 is currently airing on NBC on Monday at 8/7 Central. But as I said, go and watch the first few episodes before you watch any newer ones, or you will be totally lost.

TLDR: Go watch this show, it has a sexy Australian spy and Adam Baldwin (Firefly). Watch it!

Starcraft 2

Is anyone else a Starcraft 2 fan?

I played it a lot in beta, but then stopped playing it once it released (my life got really busy).

I've thought about getting into it, as I've grown tired of playing League of Legends all the time.

I used to love Protoss, but now I play Zerg more. I was up in platinum league in beta... I forget what they're calling the highest rank league now.. (diamond?).

Anyways, I think I might load er' up tonight and give it a shot.

Let me know what you guys think.

Also, a fun video that I think any fan can appreciate;

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Eve Online Incursion

Hey Guys, I don't play Eve Online all that much anymore... but I may start back up again after reviewed some of the new Incursion features. From the website, check them out:

What do you guys think? Opinions?

Character Creation System – Re-invent Yourself
Take command of EVE Online's powerful new Carbon-based technology that allows you to sculpt and shape your entire character with unprecedented precision and detail. Create a new you with the new character creation system.

Sansha's Nation has set its sights on the capsuleers, posing the greatest NPC threat ever seen this side of wormhole space. Objective-based missions, Sleeper-like AI, new enemies, and constellation-wide consequences make the Sansha's Nation Incursionsone of the most challenging and ominous threats capsuleers have faced to date

New Sansha Pirate NPCs
To take on the capsuleers, Sansha's Nation trained a deadly new army. Don't let the new coat of paint on those Phantasms and Nightmares fool you - there's Sleeper AI and several other nasty surprises programmed into those beasts. Expect to encounter enemies with advanced ships and deadlier weapons, more defined roles, and unexpectedly clever tactics.

New Sansha Combat Ships
The Nation didn't just stop at paint and tactics. Prepare to be greeted by Supercarriers and Fighter-bombers among the Nation ranks. The Sanshas' new floating fortresses, purportedly known as "Revenant," are highly prized by the Nation, but rumors abound that their blueprints are not as closely guarded as one would expect.

Environment System Effects 
Sansha's Nation brings devastating constellation-affecting technology, crippling active modules and weapons in use. The stronger their forces, the stronger their ability to tilt the war in their favor. Defeat them and restore the balance.

Council of Stellar Management (CSM)
Many suggestions and recommendations from the CSM have made their way into Incursion, including:
• The meta level of items now display in item detail list views
• Probes can now be toggled in the overview
• Players with POS Gunner roles will now receive notifications about control towers when they are under attack
• MWD and afterburner now have different icons
• Corp deliveries can now be sorted according to distance in jumps and filtered by location (region)

Ordnance Overhaul
Improved design puts rockets back in demand as new bonuses to velocity and damage increase their effectiveness against frigate-class ships. Tech 2 ammunition users will find penalties now reduced on several types of short range charges. The firepower of the Caldari Hawk was revisited as well, and it now packs a bigger per level punch when using kinetic damage missiles.

Agents Secure New Ways to Keep You Busy
Mission runners will find 40 new missions have been added to the system, including over 20 important Level 4 storyline adventures to embark on.

Planetary Interaction Evolves
Planet-side engineers collaborated to construct a more efficient and flexible colony maintenance system. Planetary Interaction now sports a new interface, upgradable command centers and a greatly improved Extraction system.

A New Lair for the TQ Beast
Server migration of the Tranquility (TQ) servers brings better network connectivity, fewer intermediary devices and increased capacity to EVE Online.

Fleet Jumping Accelerated
Low layer changes improve jumping into heavy battles. Jumps now complete faster, resulting in less wait and more combat for all involved.

Fighter Bombers Take One for the Team
Participants in large fleet battles will see improvements in performance and stability as visual changes to fighter bomber missiles drastically reduce CPU load.

Upgraded Server Hardware
Recent tests of new HS22 Blade Server hardware allowed a record-breaking 2023 players to pack into Jita.

The Thin Client is Born
Recently designed for internal testing and bug hunting, the Thin Client has proven its worth on the battlefield by helping to pinpoint issues in congested and combat-heavy systems. Several of the bugs identified have already been tracked down and stomped out, creating noticeable improvement in high-traffic systems.

Module Performance Improvements
Combat pilots, especially in large fleet battles, will experience a more responsive system as a result of resource gains from module optimization.

Client Customization
New functionality has been introduced to the EVE client, making for a more enjoyable internet spaceship experience. Smooth things out with new total anti-aliasing options now available in the settings menu. Set your perfect view of the universe; the height and width of your windowed client can now be controlled with a simple drag of a border. Keyboard shortcut editing is now easier with a more intuitive and organized configuration screen.

EVE Gate Enhanced
Connect and communicate with the new features and functionality that Incursion brings to EVE Gate, including integrated contact labels, EVE Gate localization to Russian and German, a rich text editor, and public profiles.

New Forums to EVE Gate
Read about the hottest topics and latest events in the new full-featured forum system, now integrated directly into EVE Gate.

EVE Gate gets EVE Voice
EVE Voice extends beyond the client and into your browser. EVE Gate now allows true voice communication with your in-game teammates even when you aren't in-game.

NPC AI Gets an IQ Boost
Incursion injects more intelligence and more tactics into NPCs. Look forward to encountering smarter and craftier denizens.

Noctis, the Dedicated Salvager 
Dock that old destroyer and strap into a Noctis, the brand new salvage monster from ORE. Featuring 5% bonus to Salvage and Tractor Beam cycle times, a roomy 8/2/3 module capacity and a time saving 60% increase in Tractor Beam range this is one workhorse every salvager is going to be looking to get their hands on. Blueprints and ships will both be available on the market at select stations.

Faction Ships Now Available on the Market
Rare frigates, cruisers and battleships have made their way to the open market. Players now have more choices in where they buy, sell and search for their favorite faction ships.

CONCORD Sets Up Shop
The shelves are stocked and the doors have opened to CONCORD's new Loyalty Point Store, established to reward those pilots who rise up and repel the Sansha scourge.

Justin Bieber, Curse on Society?

I'm sorry, but I think he's just way too popular for his own good. I suppose when I was growing up, I had the blight of the Backstreet Boys and Nsync on society, but this guy just seems like a complete fraud to me. And the level of obsession that is created has elevated him to almost cult-like status is a little ridiculous.

Wake up everyone. This is not the next usher, this is some suburban white boy who tries to sing R&B music. I know this is common knowledge to us intelligent people, but then why is this guy as big as he is?

Meh, I guess he'll have his time in the spotlight until some other nobody comes along.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Car Insurance

Hey guys, I'm in the process of getting new car insurance.

Switching over my coverage from an American company to a Canadian. (I moved). Wow there is a BIG price difference. I was paying under 100 a month before... now I'm paying 200+ a month. Pretty big increase. However, the liability coverage is much better here (usually at $1 Mil) whereas in the states it's not nearly as high.

I had health insurance through my job in the states... but in Canada... oh yeah, I don't need to worry about that here! Haha, that is one pretty big plus.

I'm not really a huge fan of Insurance as I feel like it's generally overpriced for what you're getting. Insurance is just one of those things you have to pay and 99% of the time you won't need it, but that 1% of the time you need it, you REALLY need it.

Basically lottery odds, unless you're a really bad driver.

Interesting thought; instead of having insurance, imagine if you had spent all that money over the years on lottery tickets, then realize you could buy something like 400-800 lottery tickets a year. I don't want to think about that.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Hey guys, I figure I'd review Black Ops. I had a chance to get my hands on it for the first time (I've been really busy, I know I'm weeks behind).

Firstly, let me give a little background history on my experience;

I've played shooters since well... Duckhunt. Doom, Goldeneye, CS, HL1&2... Just to name a few oldies. Most recently I've played MW1+2 heavily, invested quite a bit of time into the L4D series... and the more recent episodes of HL2.

Where does Black Ops compare to these?

Well, it doesn't change a whole lot, it doesn't push the envelope, and it hasn't created or changed the formula.

What has it done? It's taken tons of elements from Modern Warfare 2 and really polished them. If you're looking for a brand new game here that doesn't feel like MW2, you're looking in the wrong place. This all feels very familiar, but it's the kind of familiar like eating my favorite birthday cake once a year feels like. Yeah, I've tasted this all before, but it's a good taste. Although I really do have to say, I didn't think it's possible to trump MW2 single players cheesy-ness, but Black Ops has definitely taken the cake at over-doing things. A Michael Bay movie on steroids is the best way to describe it.

But you didn't buy the game to play the single player- you bought it for the multiplayer. Which I  have to say is just as fun as ever. You remember all those really annoying overpowered abilities? They're either gone, counterable, or just nerfed. It seems like they've listened and swung their balancing hammers.

Other than that, not much else is new, you really just need to go play the game for yourself!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I thought I'd write about Dubstep today. Dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music. It is most distinguishable by it's overly present baselines and reverberant drum patterns. It really hasn't become 'mainstream' until about 2009, and in the past year it's picked up some steam. I myself enjoy trance the most out of all the electronic genres. Trance and techno.

However, Dubstep seems to be taking over a portion of the electronic genre and is definitely something to keep your eye on. There's not a ton of super popular DJ's right now, but DJ Nero is one I've grown to appreciate.

Here's a youtube link to the Dubstep directory if you want several videos to select from.

Also, check out this song, one of the ones I've taken a liking to:

I hope we hear more of this!

World War 3?

World War III? Is it a possibility?

Me and some friends were discussing the different scenarios that could go down in these tense times. If you've been living under a rock, North Korea began a barrage on South Korea on Monday night, instigating a conflict that was supposed to be resolved many years ago. Now US and South Korean troops have mobilized in South Korea to respond to any further attacks. The US is urging China to encourage North Korea to back down.

If North Korea and South Korea go to a full-out war, a serious of events could go down pulling many more countries in, leading to a possible WW3. How? Well, China/Russia are both allies to North Korea. Both have nukes and large armies. There is a lot of debate that China wouldn't risk a war with the US, and of course the US have many nukes, and a huge amount invested in their army. Also, the US has several very strong allies. That being said, at this stage its hard to say what will happen. What is safe to say though is if North Korea doesn't back down, bombs are going to drop, lots of them. This isn't like a conflict in Afghanastan or Iraq that can be generally ignored by the public, this is global on a BIG level.

Lets hope for the best!

Tron Legacy

Decemeber 17th is less than a month away!

I realize it's still a while to go, but who else is very excited for this?

I am. I personally loved the first Tron movie, and as a remake- well I'm sure it could go either way. That being said, with a story like Tron... something as classic like that, I think it'd be hard to ruin. Also, in 3D? That would be pretty amazing. They have the relatively new actor Garret Hedlund playing Sam Flynn, the amazing Jeff Bridges (Iron Man, Crazy Heart, The Big Lebowski) playing Kevin Flynn... accompanied by Beau Garret, BRuce Boxleitner, Michael Sheen, and Olivia Wilde.

Can't wait. Lets hope this classic gets some polish and truly shines.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Microsoft Reports Record First Quarter Sales Numbers

Microsoft released their sales figures for first quarter of 2011 at the close of trading last Thursday. They report record revenue at $16.20 billion, a 25 percent increase from the same quarter in 2009. This set a record first for the company.

Microsoft reports that its record growth is accredited to three of their products in particular;

Firstly, Windows 7 shipped 240 million licences in its first year, shipping 60 million within the first three months of release. Microsoft also reports that sales haven't let up, and continue to climb. The Windows divison of Microsoft had its revenue rise from $2.9 billion to $4.8 billion. Profit secured was $3.3 billion.

Secondly, Microsoft Office 2010 showed remarkable revenue growth - over 15 percent in its first full quarter. Revenue of the company's business package, including Microsoft Office, rose from $4.5 billion to $5.1 billion, a profit of $3.4 billion.

Third, Xbox 360 console sales grew a reported 38 percent and outsold every competing console in the US for the past four months. Microsoft reported revenue from their Entertainment and Devices Division, which includes Xbox 360, rose from $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion with a $382 million profit.

Microsoft says that the key to their success was growing their revenue while carefully controlling their costs, allowing them to deliver another quarter of year-after-year margin expansion.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Genetically Enhanced Salmon

Yes, you read right.

Due to a dwindling population of wild Salmon, and the current inefficient way 'farmed' salmon are bread, scientists have developed a new way that should solve an issue. Currently, salmon that are 'farmed' are fed fish oil and fish meal- both of which only come from wild fish. This only makes the wild population worse.

However, scientists have looked into a new way of tackling this serious problem- and found one. They have added two foreign DNA strands into these genetically modified Atlantic salmon. The first is a growth hormone from Chinook salmon. This makes them grow much faster (a little over a year, as opposed to three years to reach full size) but does not grow them bigger than regular Atlantic salmon. The second is an anti-freeze gene from ocean pout, an eel-like fish from the North Atlantic ocean. Placed side by side, the anti-freeze gene allows the salmon to be effected by the growth hormone when they normally wouldn't.

The FDA is currently reviewing this GM Salmon for evaluation for US consumption. If they approve the GM salmon, they will become the first transgenic animal allowed for human consumption in the United States.

What's my take on this? I'm not particularly a fan of foreign hormones in my food... but considering they're from other closely-related fish, I don't see a huge problem with it. The bigger problem here is if we didn't do something- salmon would quickly become extinct in the wild, and also unable to be farmed in captivity, as their food source is also dwindling. If this is a solution that keeps salmon on my plate, you have my vote.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Scientists Working on Rebuilding Retinas

Scientists have been working on a process of rebuilding eyes through artificial retinas for years now. It's a matter of replicating the pattern of the tissue. They've been repairing the retinas of mice- successfully. The damage repaired is quite astounding.

The next step is coordinating an effort with researchers to begin testing on humans. While this is always tricky as problems can arise, the outcome is definitely worth it, in my opinion. Perhaps the blind (or nearly blind) will finally be able to see.

TSA- Police, or Tyrants?

This is a curious topic for many people. People say their freedoms are being fringed upon... that their privacy is at stake. I do definitely understand this perspective. Anytime regulations passed that can infringe upon peoples rights, in any way, there's a pretty big uproar- and for good reason.

That being said, I say I do have to disagree in this particular case.

The truth is, being 'scanned' and having your 'naked body' revealed may seem very invasive.. and I'm sure under some perspectives it is. That being said, prior to this technology, there was convenient sure-fire way to ensure weapons were not being smuggled on to planes. While metal detectors are nice, they aren't flawless. Anything small enough or made from a substance not containing metal would easily pass through airport security and not be flagged.

There comes a point where I just think that 5 minutes of 'exposure' and 'infringement' may be worth the safety this sort of technology brings to the table. Do you really think the same people advocating against this would share the same enthusiasm should they be part of a plane hijacking? (out of the ordinary, but still possible).

Myself, being comfortable in my skin, I don't have a problem if Johnny Security Guard gets a look at the outlines and shapes of my body, if it means my flight will be safe and without any kind of risk of a safety breach. I really think there are bigger fish to fry out there when it comes to advocating for human rights- the patriot act as just an example of this.

Please remember this is my opinion, and certainly not fact- and I definitely understand why some people may not share the same view as me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Freed By Pirates After 388 Days.

Unfortunately it wasn't these kind of pirates that kidnapped a retired British couple and held them captive for a total of 388 days. The Somali pirates held the couple ransom originally for 7 million, but it was reported they were released for $755,000. They were rather skinny upon release, but otherwise unharmed. To add injury to insult, Paul Chandler was informed that his father died when they were in captivity. The Chandlers are dealing with the loss as they can, but are happy to be free.

I wish the best to them... too bad something couldn't have been done sooner to get these people released though- I find that a little ridiculous, but hey, that's politics.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kinect... Did I Connect?

So I got my hands on Kinect finally and I thought I'd share my experience with it.

So did I connect with Kinect?

Short Answer: 
Not really.

Long Answer:
This could change. I feel like the technology is still too new, too 'rushed'. That being said, there is room for Microsoft to grow this technology and potentially make it bloom at some point, but that point isn't now, or even soon. Just getting Kinect working was tedious. Based on the distance of where you're standing, you'll either get no response at all, constant errors, or if it's in the 'right spot' you'll get lucky and it'll work. However, based on the set up of your living room the 'right spot' could be the wrong one for you.

Navigating through the dashboard is more tedious than convenient, having a delay before your hand gets recognized when you're selecting something. The voice recognition works relatively well, but there are a few very annoying things such as not being able to back out of the Kinect hub, or open the disc tray when there's already a disc in.

How do the games play?

Kinect adventures plays how'd you'd expect. It was the only game I could get my hands on at this time, but it was fun none-the-less. Think of Kinect in this manner as Wi 2.0. The motion controls work a lot better than my experiences with the Wii, and of course, in HD, the games look a lot crisper. That being said, there's nothing more than gimmicks here sadly. Nothing worth investing time into... unless of course your goal is to be exhausted afterwards, because that is something Kinect Adventures does that.

Kinect feels rushed. It's not a finished product in it's current state, and therefore I won't be getting it. However, I will be paying attention to the Kinect scene, as there is potential for it to redeem itself.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remember Us

That is all they wanted.

Our Veterans today are due a solemn respect they usually don't get... a respect they have earned through their pain and courage. A respect they simply do not get enough of. Today I take my hat off to all the veterans around us, and all the current members of the armed forces. Whether you agree with the politics of war or not, it is an inevitable part of life... and these brave people fought so we don't have to.

My condolences that any who have lost, or will lose... this is the hardest part of it all.

My opinion though... people should practice this same level of respect every day, not just on this particular day for our veterans. I encourage this because it unfortunately far too frequently does not happen, and it most definitely should... again, regardless of your views/stances on war/politics.

Remember them.

Windows Phone: My Personal Take

Hey guys.

So on Wednesday I went out and I purchased a Windows 7 Phone. I ended up going with the HTC 7 Surround with Telus Mobility (Canada).
There currently are two Windows 7 Phones available in Canada.

HTC 7 Surround:
  • Integrated Dolby Surround Sound with SRS enabled speakers
  • Features a mobile entertainment centre with slide-out speakers and kickstand
  • Pin songs, playlists and websites to the customizable Windows Phone 7 start screen

LG Optimus 7:
  • Capture and play back with 720p HD video recording
  • Slide out Keyboard
  • Play To allows you to Connect to a DNLA enabled TV to share your pictures and videos

Those are the features exclusive to each phone.

I chose the HTC 7 because I am really impressed with the quality of HTC phones lately, I really like the external speakers/kickstand, and I'm not too fond of the slide out keyboard the Optimus sports.

Okay, so how is the actual phone?

I must simply say I'm blown away. I have previously used an iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc... and they just don't compare (except Android). (Granted, they all have appealing characteristics that got them to where they are today).

I'll evaluate the phone on a few different aspects:

Look and Feel (10/10):
The User Interface for this phone is clean and crisp. The 'tiles' are easily configurable and make your home screen look professional as opposed to tacky and cluttered. The colors are bright and vibrant. The lighting options of the phone always ensures you have a solid picture with little glare. The sound is incredible. This is one feature that the HTC7S shines. The extendable speakers will rock you loud and clear. Perfect for listening to music, and the kickstand makes watching movies more enjoyable than you'd think.

Navigation (8/10):
Sliding through the menu's becomes 'fun' with W7P. It feels fast and fluid, and you can always get where you need to be in a matter of seconds. Menu's are laid out logically and thus are incredibly easy to navigate. I would give Navigation 10/10, but because of a lacking of a few 'global' settings, you are often finding yourself going into each individual app to change settings such as data fetching. Searching for what you want on Internet Explorer becomes a breeze with Bing auto-complete. 3G flies on this phone, and the 'loading time' is non-existent when opening apps.

Practicality (10/10):
This has to be one of the phones' strong points. Everything you'd expect to be tedious and obtuse is surprisingly simple and practical. Importing contacts doesn't even feel like an importing process at all. Just link your email and/or Facebook account to the phone and it does the rest. It automatically compiles the information together and you're left with fleshed out contacts with all the information you need at your fingertips. Transferring your movies and music is a breeze with Zune Marketplace, software that I have to say I prefer to iTunes quite a bit.

Apps (6/10):
The app section is currently lacking, however with popularity I am sure it will grow like wildfire. At this moment though, it is nothing to get excited about. That being said, what comes included out of the box will chances are be enough for the average user.

Overall (8/10):
I must say I am truly impressed. I do not want to give the impression that I think this is the perfect phone, or the best phone for everyone even. It just fits my needs for what I'm doing perfectly, and the phone feels like it belongs in my hands. The overall score would actually be higher if the app section wasn't as lacking as it is, but that will improve over time, thus opening up more opportunities and making the phone even better. I've worked in the cellular industry for several years, and I've seen a lot of phones. This one just happened to claim the title of my favorite... for now.

Good job Microsoft.