Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Secret Sell Out

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I got a haircut yesterday and so I thought I'd take before/after shots since the change was so dramatic. I know the left one is blurry, but it's rather harder to take pictures of yourself (especially since flash in a mirror is bad)! Anyway, I'm getting used to it very quickly so I should have a review in a couple of day when I take some more test shots, especially at night. Anyone who's ever picked up a gaming magazine or gone to a video game site (even those of you who aren't hardcore must be guilty of this) has no doubt discovered the "preview" section of these magazines. I feel so stupid that I've never realized how positive these articles are. Video game developers love to smother these magazines and sites with early builds and footage because then they have something to sell the game with to retailers, who then stock up on it. Also, fans will get way too excited about it and pre-order, which to me is the best way to sucker gamers. I've only pre-ordered one or two games before, and that was only because they were good deals. Reviews are usually pretty brutal, and if you can get your target audience sucked in before they find out what's wrong with your software, then how sweet of a deal is that? Imagine if you bought a digital camera solely based on the hype, only to find out when it released that it's an overpriced piece of crap. This is all too common in video games, and the fanboys are partially to blame, but so are these sell out magazine editors. Kotaku is going to start establishing a "ho" of the month to shameface and confront the worst perpetrators, and I think it's an awesome idea. This will allow bad projects to get killed early so that others that wouldn't normally get made can eventually see the light of day. I've talked enough about this, but read the blog post I plugged above for more.

I very recently mentioned that it was revealed how the versions of Vista that could potentially work on an Intel Mac can't because they won't be based on the EFI BIOS, but we're now finding out that Microsoft has no problem granting a Windows license to Apple. I'm guessing that this is easier said than done since it would piss off Dell and HP, but I wonder if Apple read that and is playing around with the idea. What if they sold computers that came with Mac OS X and Windows dual-booted already? What they are selling now though are refurbished iPod Minis for those of you who miss the colorful little iPod, but I think the prices are too high. The only reason I could think to not plunk down the extra cash for a brand-new iPod Nano is the scratching factor. If you're a programmer (or interested in it, at least), you should read this editorial about the pros and cons of some of the biggest languages out there. I feel the article is a bit biased, but I feel too young to reasonably argue with him so I'm going to just call it a good read and leave it at that. If you've ever wondered how you'd function if you broke a hand or wrist since you type so much (sadly, I have), then you'll be happy to know that some smart people have been working on a device that allows you to control a computer just by your thoughts. This really would do wonders for people who are disabled (or have carpal tunnel). Lastly, I usually don't plug lists of programs but I just had to link this one of great freeware utilities, many of which I can personally endorse. I'll admit that there are a couple I don't agree with (Gaim is so much better than Trillian for IM), but all of them are worth a look if you have a need in that area.

I probably shouldn't be surprised that Failure to Launch was #1 this weekend (at $24.6 million) since we haven't had a decent chick flick in a good while, but I guess I just forgot how weak this box office is right now. There are barely two movies on the top ten that I would see if I was pressured into it. I think that the tide will turn this week with V for Vendetta, but I wouldn't be surprised if its opening was under $35 million just because people are stupid. Of course I hope it will be at least $50 million, but we'll see what happens. If you don't know what that is to the right, then you're clearly not a Silent Hill fan (it's pyramid head, by the way). That's ok though, you still have time to get into it, and IGN interviewed the movie adaptation's director, Christophe Gans. I think its cool that he's basically trying to pull in all the best elements from the first three games, but I only worry that it won't sound right when mashed together. Lastly, it looks like digital cinema is quite cool and exciting, but the costs of putting it out there and meeting standards has become a bit prohibitive. I don't know if it will attract more people to the movies as expected, but it would certainly be a long overdue technological leap for the industry.

Now for some Unconscious Mutterings:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Displacement::Velocity

  2. Grease monkey::Mechanic

  3. Vacancy::Hotel

  4. Conquer::Divide

  5. Payroll::System

  6. Personal::Blog

  7. Housewife::Mother

  8. Lateral::Raise

  9. Tissue::Paper

  10. Multiplication::Math

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