Christopher Walken Bioshock Infinite Walkthrough

It’s great to see the randomness of the internet is still going strong and continues to amuse. Whilst playing the stunning Bioshock Infinite, how many of you wondered what a Christopher Walkthrough would be like?

Thankfully, somebody out there, not only thought about it, but made a video and that is one of the many reasons that I love the internet.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/S0reqx2tV34[/youtube]

Gaming , ,

The Sony and GTA V Speculation

January 31st was the day that Sony published a short teaser trailer, one that has many believing that there will be a next generation console announced on February 20th. A whole heap of fuss and rumour mill went into overdrive without anything actually being said, however, this same day also featured an announcement from Rockstar, stating that the much-anticipated GTA V is being pushed back four months to September.

Maybe I have watched too many episodes of Columbo, but it’s surely not too much of a leap of faith to suggest that these two separate announcements on the same day are in some way related? Could GTA V well appear on a new set of shiny consoles? Read more »

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L.A. Noire Blooper Reel

An L.A. Noire blooper video was officially released by “Depth Analysis”, the Australian tech firm that supplied the motion-tracking technology used by Team Bondi in LA Noire.

The video is simply stunning and illustrates just how far this technology has advanced, especially the detail in the actor’s faces as they mess up their lines.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1va8FxBl7Cg[/youtube]

Gaming , , ,

Chewbacca Riding a Giant Squirrel and Fighting Nazis.

Many complain that the internet has become too regulated and the wild west days of randomness are being replaced by big corporations selling their wares. Others will tell you that the Internet doesn’t do a very good job of motivating people and its actually just one big distraction.

However sometimes you come accross a picture that not only tells a thousand words but also leaves you thinking what the actual…..?

Allow me to intruduce you to Chewbacca Riding a Giant Squirrel and Fighting Nazis

Chewbacca Riding a Giant Squirrel and Fighting Nazis

Culturally unique…

Geeky

Spotify Premium Here We Come…

Music is my passion, and for as long as I can remember, I have always felt compelled to search for new and exciting songs that people haven’t heard yet. Nothing could beat that feeling of wading through hundreds of crap tunes only to discover the next big thing. I thought that maybe this was a little strange until I read Nick Hornsby’s High Fidelity and I discovered that there were many more of us out there who were obsessed with music and mix-tapes.

We are living in a world where the album is all but dead and people cherry pick the tracks they want for a small fee from sites such as the iTunes store. I would be first to admit that in the past I may have dabbled with illegal downloads but something has laid this activity to rest.

A 6 month free trial with Spotify Premium has cured me of my past life of crime, I have been introduced to a world where I can listen to whatever I want, wherever I am and whenever I want to. Thankfully I can wave goodbye waiting for downloads to complete only to then add them to the correct folders (I’m OCD about this) and start up iTunes to see that it needs updating AGAIN! When this whole process has completed only then can I sync it with my Apple device but hang on it wants to perform a full backup of the device first.

The fact I can create an ultimate playlist for any genre or mood in Spotify, which will then automatically sync to my other devices just blows me away. If that is not enough, it will also automatically sync to my Last FM page. Many people say I just don’t get Last FM but it’s a must for music lovers.

Since 2005, Last FM shows I have listened to over 52,000 songs and my very own full music charts displays everything for all to see, guilty pleasures and all. Beneath the surface though these 52,000 tracks from 2,000 unique artists are essential data of what I like and what I don’t like.

For example if I enter my Last FM account details to the website Spotibot, it will then create a Spotify playlist of songs I havnt heard but should like based on my listening habits.

How cool is this?

When I going out for a run, I simply open up my ready made running playlist and off I go, however I have just been faced with a massive reality check as the free trial has come to an end. The cost for Spotify premium is £9.99 a month or £4.99 if you have a friend with an NUS card number, but I have decided to pay and reap the benefits of unlimited music on the move.

Is this the way music is heading? Do you really need a laptop or hard drive to store your 400gb of music, then there is the backing up of such a huge amount of data to contend with, and anybody that has lost their music collection will make sure it never happens again. Gone are the days of admiring album cover art on the bus home and there is nothing romantic in owning digital music file clogging up space on your pc.

Do I really need to own any music, when a service can provide me of almost any song that I can think of within a few seconds? Do I really want the hassle of downloading and syncing a device or worrying about how many licenses I have left? You may think differently but for me Spotify Premium is a no brainer and proof that if a decent package is put in front of music fans, they will solve the illegal download problem overnight.

However I suspect, record companies will continue with their avarice and ruin it all, whilst blaming everyone but themselves but in 2012, it is a great year to be a music lover.

 

 

Music , , , , ,

Will The Next iPhone Have A “Mini” Connector?

I don’t usually like to comment on rumours, but I will make an exception for this weeks report over at Tech Crunch that the next iPhone from Apple will require a new smaller 19-pin charger instead of the long serving 30-pin connection that has been with us now since the third generation iPod.

It seems that you cannot walk into a phone shop now without a barrage of up selling attempts to convince you into buying overpriced mobile phone accessories that are always cheaper online, but a company like Apple base their whole business on keeping you buying more. Its of no coincidence that all devices seem to stop working after the 2 years to ensure you buy a new model in this throwaway society where you cannot even replace a battery anymore.

According to a Robert Scoble on the Tech Crunch comments section who advised “An engineer who is working in the phone world told me Apple is making this change for a few reasons”

1. To control device manufacturers much more completely. It will be nearly impossible to make unlicensed devices, if Apple wants it, and totally impossible to make replacement power supplies that Apple hasn’t approved (there is a chip in both ends of the new power supply that ensure that it is an official device).

2. To make thinner devices possible.

3. To make water damage less of a possibility on new devices.

4. To bring us a magnetic connector that’s more durable and easier to dock than the existing one. Especially important as more car manufacturers add docks for iPhones into cars (yet another way to encourage people to buy Apple devices rather than devices from other manufacturers).

Honey...Maybe we should sell the Bose Dock on Ebay

The days of picking up a cheap USB charger from ebay might become a thing of the past and the expensive iPhone docks that sit in several bedrooms of the average house might also be picking up dust later this year.

All this of course is worst case scenario and maybe Apple will take us all by surprise and show they actually have a big warm heart by releasing a handy adaptor allowing everyone to carry on using their existing devices.

There is a strong argument that for Apple to innovate and bring out groundbreaking devices with better functionality,then it is essential to replace a connection that has been around for years but you have to wonder if this is just another example of a company getting very greedy and treat their customers with contempt.

However this is all hearsay at the moment, so its probably best we reserve judgment until we know the facts but with Apple beginning to lose its cool factor and people starting to look for something a little different from the same phone they have had for the last 6 years, I hope they don’t take their customers for granted.

 

Geeky, Tech , , ,

When in Rome…

After getting married on June 2nd to my beautiful princess who answers to the name Kerry, we embarked on a fantastic honeymoon that involved flying into Venice and using their fantastic train network, we then visited Florence, Pisa and Rome in a romantic adventure.

However, as a self confessed geek, its not all about romance, as a fair amount of fun must be included too, luckily my wife Kerry not only understands this, but she actively encourages my shady behaviour.

Whilst wandering the streets of Venice, Florence and Rome, I began to get a severe case of Déjà vu. Have I really been here before? In another lifetime maybe? I quickly recalled that I have actually jumped off many of these buildings in Assassins Creed, so I hoped my new wife would understand my “Can we do some Assassins Creed pictures tonight” plea.

I quickly realised why I had fallen in love with this damsel when she replied coyly “oh go on then”

At the weekends I become...

Yes, I am old enough to know better but the day you take yourself too seriously is the day you need to have a word with yourself, so I make no apologies for my moments of weakness whilst on my travels.

Something's changed...

In fact my only regret is that I didn’t make more of my trip to Florence, that was rich in Assassins Creed locations such as Vecchio Bridge and Castel Sant’Angelo but hey I got there in the end.

This is getting out of hand...

This is getting out of hand...

Whatever your thoughts, I can honestly say that we had the best kind of honeymoon possible. Romance, love, laughter with a few sprinkles of geeky fun thrown into the mix which makes the perfect recipe for the best holiday that you will remember for both the wrong and the right reasons.

Sure I felt a little self concious, sat in an Assassins Creed Hoodie, shorts and flip flops combi in temperatures of around 3o degrees, but I quickly realised that nobody actually cares what you are doing. Once you accept that, you really can do whatever your heart desires.

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Is the world ready for Google Glasses and Augmented Reality?

This week Google announce their latest wacky idea called Google Glasses, which is full of mobile augmented reality goodness. Sure this technology is realistically in its very early stages and you have to salute the people at Google for constantly trying to buck the trend by being the leaders of innovation.

However anyone that has sampled voice recognition on Microsoft’s Kinect or Apple’s Siri will tell you that it can be quite a frustrating experience, especially considering pushing a few buttons is often easier anyway.

Let’s not be too negative at this early stage but concentrate on Google’s vision for our future.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/9c6W4CCU9M4[/youtube]

So we have an augmented reality utopia on the horizon where the physical and virtual worlds combine together seamlessly. I suspect the reality might be quite different though, remember those cutting edge businessmen shouting like a poor Dom Joly on the high street into their Bluetooth earpiece. Cool is not a word that springs to mind, but instead find it hard to resist saying what a plonker… or words to that effect.

Maybe its just us cynical Brits that don’t always take things at face value but look for problems. Step forward Tom Scott who made a short parody of the Google video which is more than a little amusing and I suspect much closer to the truth.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/t3TAOYXT840[/youtube]

As the weather changed this week here in the UK, people decided to take this as an excuse to shuffle along like zombies with umbrellas guarantee to take out your eyes with one false move. At this point I couldn’t help but think if the average person could handle any more distractions whilst on the their travels, and I think Tom Scott’s video illustrates that perfectly.

As for augmented reality, this brainchild has been around for much longer than you make think, if you take a look at the history of augmented reality website. This will be a very interesting few years as technology advances but despite Google’s thirst for innovation, I cannot help but think they have lost their way a little.

The secret to the success of Google over its rivals such as Yahoo was its simplicity, a white screen with a search box that gets you what you want and when you want it. No adverts,images, links, news stories or singing cowboys like their rivals. Although I fully support their innovation and admire them for it, equally I just hope they don’t forget what made them special.

Tech , , , , ,

The Mobile Payments Battle Begins…

Whatever your thoughts on the subject, the juggernaut that is known as the mobile revolution is here and nothing is going to slow it down or stop it. Wherever you look you will find someone staring down at their smart phone.

We are about to embark on a chaotic scramble where companies will be coming up with their own platforms for mobile payments and desperately try to convince businesses that theirs is the platform of the future, some will fail and some will succeed reaping the benefits of this exciting new technology.

Google have been limping with a damaged reputation but once again they will tell you that all you need in your life is Google Wallet but it won’t be that simple as there is sure to be some other very big players involved, so I thought it would be an early opportunity to look at the front runners.

Pay Pal Here

The people at Pay Pal think that Google are going about things the wrong way and that NFC-based payment solutions will take at least another three years before NFC enabled phones become common place as stated in a Tech Crunch article.

PayPal Here is the world’s first global mobile payments solution that allows small businesses to accept almost any form of payment. The service includes a free app and fully encrypted thumb-sized card reader, which turns any iPhone, and soon Android smartphone, into a mobile payment solution.

Pay Pal here involves plugging a triangle-shaped card reader that fits in the headphone jack of any iPhone or Android handset.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/x5woIGSOLGk[/youtube]

Traditionally Pay Pal have operated online only with over 100 million customers but this is the perfect opportunity for them to branch out with businesses on the high street too. PayPal Here Charges a 2.7% fee, though each merchant that signs up gets a PayPal debit card, which earns the merchant back 1% instantly, taking the cut down to 1.7%. and is also reassuringly fully encrypted and PCI compliant.

Square Register 

Sqaure was founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and offers a all in one solution for small businesses. As the name implies, you simply plug a square-shaped attachment to your smartphone to take a mobile payment and charges a fee of 2.75% on every transaction.

The video below illustrates perfectly how fantastic the product looks when used along side an iPad too.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/PiYBf6t-mE8[/youtube]

For piece of mind the service also offers data encryption and is fully PCI compliant, much like the Pay Pal service.

Square was launched in 2009 and although only currently in available in America, it is only a matter of time before they go worldwide offering small businesses a new source of income.

Google Wallet

Google may have an uphill battle with Wallet product because it relies on the widespread adoption of Android smart phones equipped with NFC chips (Near-Field Communications) which basically allow consumers to simply wave their phones in front of a terminal at the point of sale in order to complete the transaction. The Google Wallet is then linked to a user’s credit card account. A great idea but restricting and has been dogged by rumours of security vulnerabilities that affect all users.

With Anonymous being everyone and everywhere, the security aspect will determine who succeeds to tempt customers to the future of mobile payments.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/DsaJMhcLm_A[/youtube]

To put things into prospective just how much money is involved, a recent report by the research and advisory firm Aite Group. suggested that the volume of all types of mobile payments will top $200 billion by 2015, up from $16 billion in 2010.

There will be massive changes ahead with many exciting possibilities and I would expect that there will be many more companies that will throw their hat into the ring. Fasten your seatbelts and it looks like the future just got very interesting.

Tech , , , , , , ,

Scrobble Songs You Hear on YouTube to Last.fm

In the age of music on demand, many don’t understand why they need Last Fm in their life but it’s not all about listening to recommended music via some radio station. Probably my favourite aspect of the site is that no matter where I listen to music, my profile is updated with every song that I have listened to complete with my very own music chart of my entire music listening, no matter where or how that may be.

So if I listen to music on Spotify, iTunes or Windows Media Player, all of my listening habits are recorded allowing Last FM to build out a comprehensive profile of my tastes and recommend other music to me which is probably the best way of discovering new music.

Even when inside Spotify, a quick look at the Last FM application, is fantastic for reading about what you are listening to or for finding something different when you find yourself in music discovery mode.

As I approach my 50,000 scrobble (song sent to Last FM profile), this gives you some indication of just how powerful this information can be, imagine my joy when a nice new google chrome plugin also allows any song you listen to on You Tube to be scrobbled to my Last FM profile also.

discover new music

Discover new music with Spotibot

Discover new music with SpotibotAnother great discovery is Spotibot, you simply enter your Last fm username and it will create a playlist of all the songs that you love, just of music that you will like or either a nice mix of both. A simple drag and drop feature transfers everything to a shiny new Spotify playlist. Read more »

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