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Archive for the ‘Nerd Love’ Category

There’s been a lot of tech news going around lately. Since I was able to get in on some of it, I thought I’d talk about it.

Google rolled out a new social networking site, Google+. It’s still in testing from what I can tell, and as far as I know, you still need an invite to get in. I won’t go into detail about what it does or doesn’t do, plenty of you either know or can figure it out by, well, Googling it. ūüėõ

I have friends that love it, I have friends that are in the middle, and I have a cousin that hates it. I follow people that are still trying to figure it out. Personally, it took me 2 days of playing to figure out what did what, and I’m completely used to it. I hold no opinion of whether it’s a “Facebook killer”, because as of right now, each does something the other doesn’t. Until G+ begins rolling out new features, I will only say that I like it, and it has lots of potential.

Google also released the Google+ app for iPhone today. Those with Android got the added perk of already having a native app, while those enslaved to Apple (i.e. me) had to wait. Well, now it’s here. If you can find it in your phone’s app store, that is. As of yet, I still can’t find it.

Don’t get me, wrong, it’s already on my phone. I had to take the long way around to get it, though. First, I had to go here. (This link was shared to me on Google+ via a friend.) Then I opened it in iTunes, downloaded the app, and synched my phone.

Since being alerted to the app and getting it, I’ve been occasionally searching the app store on my phone for it. Still no luck. It has yet to show up in the new apps, or when typing ‘Google’ into the app store search bar. Yet it shows up in the iTunes app market on my computer. Weird.

Edit: According to a tip on Twitter, searching for Google Huddle on your phone takes you to the app.

Anyway, the app is pretty snappy and streamlined. I have yet to see any problems with it, although I haven’t tested Huddling. I’m getting notifications in the app faster than the email is getting pushed to my phone, so maybe I can finally turn off the email notifications. Even though I was enjoying the 60 emails a day. /sarcasm

Moving on:

Spotify, up until a week ago, has been a European music service, much like iTunes. Unlike iTunes, Spotify allows full song streaming and sharing of songs to friends. Free profiles are ad supported, and ads play between some song plays, but it’s a small trade-off for full album streaming.

Invites for Spotify have been like unicorn spotting, but I managed to get in. :3 So far, I love it. I’m enjoying it more than iTunes, more or less.

I only have one complaint about Spotify. After roughly 5 hours, Spotify stops playing.¬†I can hear some of you already: “Really, 5 hours and she’s complaining? Madness!” Let me explain. I’m the sort of person that listens to music while they sleep. I’ll generally choose a playlist and it’ll play all night.

Spotify stops after 5 hours, normally around 3 – 4AM if I go to bed around 10:30 – 11PM. Most people wouldn’t be bothered by this, but I’ve been waking up when I realize there’s no longer music. I suppose I’ll switch back to iTunes for my nightly playlist.

I’ve also had a friend tell me he can’t listen to the songs I’ve shared to him, which is odd because I haven’t had any problems listening to anything shared to me.

I have nothing to share (or complain) about, so I’ll end this post. Enter in a new wave of people looking for Spotify or Google+ info as I tag my post with both. :3

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I neglect this thing far too much.

I haven’t fully decided if it’s because I wait until things happen in my life that are worth writing about, or if I only write when I try to alleviate my guilt for not putting forth any effort to be the writer I know I can be. ¬†Probably both; although I seemed to have more to say when I was a whiny, angsty teenager complaining in my DeadJournal… O__o

Where to begin? ¬†I suppose the beginning is always the best place, especially if one is catching up. ¬†I suppose I should start in December, after my last post. ¬†That’s where I left off, anyway.

I was living in Newnan with friends, on unemployment still, and fervently trying to look for a job. ¬†Nothing panned out, the new year came and went, we started fighting about money, we had a falling out, I moved back home with my parents. ¬†(There’s the annotated version because the long-winded version plays out like a bad soap opera in my head every time I think about it. ¬†Everything is over and done with, and while I regret losing a best friend for something very stupid, it still happened. ¬†We live and we learn, and truth be told I will never do that again.)

Enter February. ¬†I started a new job as a quality control technician in a plant that’s not far from the house. ¬†Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? ¬†It’s not. ¬†Putting it simply, I inspect parts that are made in the plant. ¬†The plant itself (TI Automotive), makes gas tanks for certain models of BMW, Volkswagon, and Hyundai/Kia cars. ¬†There’s about 8 different lines running in the plant, not to mention all the shipping and receiving that goes on. ¬†It’s loud, crazy, and monotonous work. ¬†Truth be told, I hate it, only I can’t complain because the pay is not bad and I can pay my bills.

I only complain about the job until the “this job is bigger than you” thought crosses my mind. ¬†Then I get set back into my place for a while. ¬†The plant makes gas tanks that will be in cars that people actually drive, and I’m inspecting the parts. ¬†I stop complaining after that. ¬†The job is still boring, though. ¬†I catch myself watching the press near me make a part and the robots do their designed task. ¬†Boring as it in there, it’s fascinating.

Moving on.

Ever since I went to London in 2007, I’ll pine for it every 3-6 months. ¬†I’ve been missing it lately, just thought I’d share.

Lately I’ve gotten this bug about getting things done, and not leaving anything unfinished. ¬†This includes writing, cleaning, whatever I can think of that I’d usually put off. ¬†I started digging through my notebooks trying to find a script for a movie I was working on, only to remember that it was on my external hard drive, which crashed ages ago. ¬†Back to square 1 on that one.

I was without a gaming console for a few weeks after I applied the January Dashboard update to my Xbox. ¬†My original 360 Elite went through a ton of freezes before it finally red ringed, so I took it apart (my warranty was gone ages ago) and attempted to fix it myself in addition to modding the case. ¬†The fix didn’t work, so now my case mod is useless, especially since I gave up and purchased a newer 360. ¬†X_x ¬†I tried to save it, though. ¬†I really did. ¬†I can game again, but I’m sad I can’t use my Emilie Autumn 360 case mod. ¬†It really is beautiful.

I’ve got a lot of things running through my mind but no clear way as to how I want to convey them. ¬†Maybe that’s why I get so many headaches, too many pressing thoughts. :3

Well, this seems to be a good place as any to leave off. ¬†I feel I’ve bloggored enough today, and I should get to writing something; although it’s more likely I’ll end up playing BioShock 2 until bed, though.

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This review is for a product I received from my UK friend Natalie, who works for MobileFun.¬† As a favor for her, I’m writing this review.¬† Although Natalie is a fabulous person and a penpal across the Atlantic, this review is completely unbiased.

After some debate about US/UK plug conversion, we settled on a Desk Genie Non-Slip Charging Desk Stand (seen here).

The specs run as follows:

  • Non-slip material that holds your phone, iPod, etc.
  • 4 memory card slots.
  • 2 USB slots
  • 9 jack ends to charge a variety of mobile phones.
  • USB connection cable to hook to any laptop/PC.
  • 1 charger output cable

(Specs taken from the product page)

When I chose this product, I was a little confused as to A) where I’d put it and B) how the non-slip part worked.¬† After getting a desk job and receiving the stand, both questions were quickly answered.¬† I can’t say much about this stand except that I love it.

I keep the stand on my desk, and I use it to hold my iPod while I’m working on my computer.¬† I haven’t yet tested the memory card slots, but I did test the USB slots to charge my phone and iPod.¬† The stand itself is wonderful, though my work computer needs to be defragmented and can be slow.¬† I’ve refrained from testing the charger since the one test.¬† I’m certain on my laptop the stand will be faster, I just need to remember to take my stand home on the weekend.

Like I said, I love this stand.¬† When I first took it out of the box I just tested the holding power of the non-slip surface.¬† I tested my phone, my iPod (in its protective hard casing), and my cousin’s phone.¬† I was pretty amazed at how well it grips.¬† I had put a new housing on my Blackberry, and the stand gripped so well it pulled my battery door off. :3

In the stand’s defense, the battery door wasn’t latching properly anyway, but that’s still amazing holding power…

Overall, I’m more than pleased with this desk stand, and I would love to order some other technical gadget from them in the future.

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Finally, there’s word on Alice 2 (proper title Alice: Madness Returns). ¬†No, I’m not talking about a movie. ¬†I’m talking about the second installment video game by American McGee. ¬†It’s been 10 years since Alice was first released, and those who remember the game have raved about McGee’s interpretation of Carroll’s novels. ¬†For those that need refresher:

11 years ago Alice was the sole survivor of a tragic house fire that claimed her family. ¬†Driven insane by survivor’s guilt, Alice was institutionalized in Rutledge Asylum, where she was scorned and mistreated by the staff. ¬†The White Rabbit finds Alice and takes her back to Wonderland, which has suffered ghastly changes in her absence.

Alice fights her way through Wonderland, finally battling the Queen of Hearts. ¬†The game takes on a second storyline as well, Alice’s battle through Wonderland seconds as a battle for her sanity.

Enter Alice 2. ¬†This story line picks up 10 years later. ¬†Alice has secured a release from Rutledge Asylum and is now seeing a therapist in London. ¬†She still suffers survivor’s guilt, and though she was released, it doesn’t seem like she’s fully regained her sanity. ¬†Her coping mechanism is disappearing to Wonderland, obviously to protect herself from the struggles of the “real” world.

The :30 teaser trailer for the game has been released, and can be seen here and here (also several different places if you google enough).  It shows a pendulum swinging back and forth, and a male voice (her therapist) hypnotising Alice and then asking her about Wonderland.  Her mouth opens, and a flow of blood spills out in addition to a couple of her teeth.

The official website boasts Alice is still struggling with nightmarish visions and tries to come to terms with everything happening to her, which could quite possibly mean why she alone survived the fire 11 years previous.  Concept art and few screenshots are up as well, and I wasted no time in viewing them to see what had changed in Wonderland.

Aside from the obvious “Alice has grown up a bit”, the first thing I noticed were the card soldiers. ¬† In Alice the soldiers were normal. ¬†In Alice 2, they’re ghoulish and desiccated, with their respected suits carved thtough the center of their bodies.

Alice 2 screenshot. Copyright EA Games and American McGee.

The landscape has also changed significantly. ¬†The first game was dark and polluted; but now it’s lighter, brighter but still twisted. ¬†I interpret this to mean while Alice recovered significantly since the first game, the troubles plaguing her still affect the landscape of Wonderland.

Alice 2 screenshot. Copyright EA Games and American McGee.

Alice 2 screenshot. Copyright EA Games and American McGee.

I hope most of the concept art actually made it into the game. ¬†Especially this piece. ¬†I assume it’s the Queen of Hearts’ castle, and I’m enjoying this idea of the suits being carved through things. ¬†The card soldiers, though, not so much. ¬†But I’m eager to see what else is in the game.

Alice 2 concept art. Copyright EA Games and American McGee.

I can only imagine what all this means for the other characters that will be encountered in this game. ¬†I’m sure most of us are remembering battling the Duchess, the Mad Hatter, and the Jabberwocky from the first game. ¬†From the look of the official website, the Cheshire hasn’t changed much. ¬†I’m basing some of these assumptions on the art and backgrounds on the site. ¬†The background art shows falling cards, with character faces on some. ¬†Visible faces include the Cheshire, the Duchess, Tweedledee and Dum, the White Rabbit, and the Dormouse.

There hasn’t been any word on the soundtrack yet. ¬†If there has been, someone please correct me. ¬†I thought Chris Vrenna’s soundtrack for Alice was brilliant and inspired. ¬†He did a wonderful job with the score, and I think that in some respects the score for Alice 2 will have a lot to live up to.

At any rate, I can’t wait for this game, and I know I’m not alone. ¬†There’s little that could capitalize on my excitement, but reading that Alice 2 would be released on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 platforms made me squeal. ¬†Alice was exclusively released on PC, and now copies are hard to find, to the point that they’re being sold for upwards of $200 on ebay. ¬†Hopefully with 3 prospective platforms, this means more copies. ¬†This will also mean more people will experience the greatness of American McGee’s Alice.

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HBO’s marketing campaign for the new season of True Blood has been off the wall.¬† Any fans that have been paying any sort of attention will know this.¬† For the ones that don’t, I’ll try to not leave out anything:

  • Unique posters for Season 3 on the HBO website, a total of¬† in 12 all, with a new one released every week.
  • “A Mini Drop of True Blood” – Mini episodes based around certain characters, giving an extended look about events between seasons 2 and 3.¬† The episodes are Fangtasia, Jessica, Sookie, Sam, Bill, and finally Jason.
  • Huge viral marketing campaign on Twitter.¬† The characters have their own accounts, as does @TrueBloodHBO.¬† While HBO isn’t affiliated with the character’s tweets, they do provide entertainment as they LARP out their lives via 140 characters.
  • Inside looks and interviews with the cast about Season 3.
  • Seasons 1 and 2 on HBO On Demand (for Comcast customers), for those who need to catch up.
  • The marketing of merchandise, including and not limited to a Merlotte’s Bar and Grill shirt and a carbonated TruBlood Drink named for blood types.
  • Fan pages on Facebook for the show and characters.

There’s more I know, but this is just what I’ve experienced so far.¬† This is a huge undertaking by HBO to build as much hype as possible for the new season.¬† Last month the Facebook fan page did a contest for the Ultimate Trubie Fan Experience.¬† The contest ran from May 14th through the 28th, started at 6:13PM and every 6 minutes and 13 seconds cycled through a different US city until 6:13AM.

I won passes for Atlanta, and I’m glad I did, because halfway through the contest cities ran out of passes.¬† They extended “general admission passes” on a first come, first serve basis (flew like hotcakes), and put a very limited number of passes in a few Season 2 DVD sets in certain cities.

My contest winner page

The Fan Experience was:

  • Screening of the Season 2 finale at midnight (you know, in case anyone forgot)
  • Live Q&A with Alan Ball, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Deborah Ann Woll, Alaxander Skarsgard, Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, and Ryan Kwanten via satellite feed from the set in LA.

I got there at 10:30PM, and there was already a decent line.¬† We were told by some of the reps no one was actually going into the theater until 11.¬† I think this was poor planning on our theater’s part, the cut off for anyone signing in was 11:30.¬† By the time I got to the registration table, it was 11:20.¬† But I digress.

HBO set up a red carpet in each of the 50 cities, and we all got to have our pictures taken.¬† Some cities had more to-dos than others; DC had a huge cardboard stand-up of a bottle of TruBlood with Bill’s Missing poster, other large posters, fans in other cities either acquired or made Hello tags identifying their species (Vampire, Fangbanger, Werewolf or Shapeshifter).

Our theater gave us a wristband that would get us a free drink at the concession stand, and not a small drink either.¬† I swear, that cup was quart size.¬† You can’t tell me different.¬† There was a pre-show feed¬† that involved the minisodes and some interviews.

Then the feed started and we watched the finale of Season 2.  For being a live feed, it was good until the part where Sam kills Maryann.  Right when he gorged her with his horn in cow form, the feed froze.  We laughed, we commented, I loudly commented that someone should Tweet the frozen picture (people laughed).

The feed was fixed shortly after, and after the finale was over, Alan apologized for the trouble and joked that Maryann wasn’t dead and was messing with the feed, then suggested that everyone in the theaters check their eyes and hearts and make sure they were okay.¬† We laughed.

Then we were screened an extended trailer for Season 3.¬† There was a lot of build up in the trailer, werewolves, elegant vampire royalty, Sookie trying to find Bill, Sookie getting naked for Eric and their epic make-outs, Tara becoming a fangbanger, Sookie pulling a gun on someone…

The live Q&A started.  It was funny, it was a little enlightening, overall entertaining.  I think if they could have set up an interactive thing, it would have been better.

I’m going to rabbit trail for a minute and talk about Anna and Stephen’s body language.¬† The two are a couple, engaged, and were seated beside each other, but during the Q&A their body language was so off.¬† Anna sat ramrod straight with her hands in her lap and barely looked at Stephen or cracked a smile.¬† Stephen leaned away from Anna the entire time, leaning so far over he was practically touching Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica).¬† I don’t know if I’m reading more into that than necessary, but that’s how they were sitting.¬† Yeah they were on the set, professionalism, whatever.¬† They weren’t acting together.¬† This next bit could be argued that “they were on set”, but that engagement ring Anna’s been sporting?¬† It wasn’t on her finger.¬† Like I said, I’m probably reading way too into it, but that’s what I saw.

I digress, back on track.

After everything was over and we were leaving, the HBO crew handed us swag bags.

All the goodies.

A True Blood bag, a bottle of TruBlood, a poster of the cast, soundtrack to the show, a Sookie Stackhouse book, a couple other goodies.  It was a fun time.

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Today is Towel Day.

As we observe this day by keeping our trusty towels handy, we are reminded of a brilliantly mad man who taught us: 42, Don’t Panic, Mostly Harmless, and overall the insanity of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Here’s to you, Douglas Adams.¬† Bop Ad, we miss your brilliance.

I must go collect my towel now.

Our brave and fearless leader. March 11, 1952 - May 11, 2001

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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I’ve always been secure in the knowledge that I’m nerdier/geekier than most of the girls I went to high school with.¬† I LOVE technology, video games, car tech…honestly the CNET site is my haven for all things tech.¬† I’ll explain my fanatic love for them in a bit.¬† Anyway, I’ve always considered myself a nerd until it was recently brought to my attention that ‘nerd’ status isn’t truly official until you do something awesome and tech geek/nerd related.

I’ve lost most of you, I can tell.¬† You know the nerds you went to school with that were already building cpu’s before you’d learned your way around Word?¬† They’ve already proven themselves as nerds.¬† With me now?¬† Let us continue.

Some funny anecdotes and the bricking of the Blackberry.

I remember when I got my hands on my first laptop (only made so by my mother buying herself a new one and giving me the cast-off), and within 6 months I had crashed it 7 times.  (The first 5 were to see if I could manage it and then revive it, the last 2 were completely accidental.)

I kept that obsolete piece of junk running another three or so years; even after replacing the screen (accident, it was knocked off my bed by an unruly cat), the hard drive (another accident), an experimental OS wipe in favor of a Linux test-run, and like 9 re-installs of XP.  I remember one re-install was because I tried my hand in hacking that proved disastrous (nerd-fail strike 1 and rookie mistake).  I think only 2 XP re-installs were actually full and complete (as in asking me for the verification keys), meaning I had like 7 incomplete layers of OS.  While my OS wipe in favor of Linux was effective, I could never get the hang of the open source coding (nerd-fail strike 2 and rookie mistake).

I successfully broke my computer after 4 or 5 years of abuse, and it breathed its last during the wipe of Linux and re-(times 9)install of XP.  The CD drive gave out, locking the computer in perpetual Safe Mode limbo before all the drivers made it back onto the hard drive.  (I of course got a new laptop, my Toshiba Satellite that I love so much.)

All those times I was so close to obtaining nerd status, but I always fell short.¬† It could be argued that I’ve accomplished more with my computer than most people (no matter how horribly wrong it’s gone), but I was never satisfied with almost destroying one thing.

Enter my third and final attempt at official nerd-status.

A few months ago I learned the 5.0 OS for RIM had leaked online, and I wanted to be all cool and upgrade my phone.¬† I thought “Eh, how hard can it be?” (See where this is going?) I found out the hard way that is is incredibly easy to brick a Blackberry, and a bit more difficult to bring one back to life.¬† A close friend (and fellow geek) tried to rush to my rescue, and also informed me that if I could bring back my beloved BBerry on my own, I would have official status as a nerd.

I felt like her.

It’s ALIVE! and my nerd status.

It took several hours, an Excedrin (or 3, I can’t remember), and a lot of swearing, but I did it.¬† My phone was as good as new, in the literal sense because I had to re-install my apps…but I was just happy that my phone was alive once more. Lesson learned, just because I read through the process to upgrade the OS didn’t actually mean I had followed every step.¬† I understand this is a common rookie mistake (rookie mistake 3 for those keeping track), and one I’ll be sure to never repeat.¬† Well, given my history with OSs, that could be a short-lived resolution.

On to CNET.

As I said in the beginning of this post, I love CNET.  Back when I was crashing my old laptop every other week, I was always on their download page looking for new software to junk up my hard drive, but I digress.

I realized not too long ago that my nerdism status had grown while I was catching up on my podcasts.  Every single one of them is a CNET podcast:

  • The Apple Byte
  • Buzz Out Loud
  • The Buzz Report
  • Car tech
  • CNET’s Top 5
  • Dialed In
  • Gadgettes
  • Mailbag (although this technically doesn’t count, Molly Wood scrapped the Mailbag project February 9, 2010 in lieu of her numerous other projects)

I could ramble on and on about this, but skip to the end: I completely enjoy being a nerd.

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