LA noire

I felt I needed to do a post about LA Noire. LA Noire and its broken dialogue.

I was intrigued by the game, considering Rockstar’s influence, but I wanted to wait for it to get a little cheaper, or get it second hand.
I’m a singleplayer gamer, so I don’t need to be first among my friends, and most of them aren’t big gamers.

LA Noire features a a very advanced animation engine, MotionScan. Think of it as a very fancy facial capture tech.
The voice actors have done more than deliver their lines, they have had to act their parts out, as the face animation from this is captured and reproduced on screen. Once you see it, it can be quite impressive. You sometimes see quiet anger, interest, and even characters flirting with the player. Continue reading

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South Africa Gets Paid Android Apps

Well, after browsing the Android Market late last night, I saw something a little…off… with the app lists.

There were numbers where there should have been “Free”.

I clicked to app (Read It Later Pro) to maybe dispel this glitch, before taking my sweet time to realise that this was a pay only app I just accessed. Listed in Rands. As any South African ‘Droider knows, we just don’t have access to pay apps.

I did some cursory searches on the Market, finding a small handful of pay apps. Not many, so definitely not a full launch of Paid access, but still, enough proof that it was coming.

After Googling a few times, I came across an AndroidZA.com article reporting similar things, and after a few hours sleep, I found an article by ZADroid.com reporting on the Google Mobile blog announcing some big new features coming to Market, and that a Google I/O (It’s Google’s big, headliner expo, an E3 for Google) session announced that pay apps will come to 99 more countries, including SA. OH YEAH!!

I can confirm the method they report (bottom of article) is genuine, I tried it – skeptically – but everything restored fine, and I’m seeing many more Pay apps, including QuickOffice Pro at Number 3 on featured apps. Reportedly, cancelling an app purchase has some issues, namely it take time to refund you. Still, this is acceptable, WE HAVE PAID APPS!

Strange, I was seeing pay apps with Market v2.3.6, but some features only appeared after this method, namely Top Paid apps. It still reports v2.3.6. Oh well, on with the downloads!

MineCraft Blocks.

Minecraft - Tower

Image by Bricknave via Flickr

I’ve been playing MineCraft lately. If it needs introduction, you don’t follow geek culture, aren’t watching many YouTube video’s or aren’t really interested in gaming.
If it needs no introduction, you probably already played it, and really, this blog post will be old hat.

Mojang, the developers of MineCraft recently released a demo. Well, PCGamer released it, but it’s official, so yeah, Mojang released it. It’s the full featured game, save for a timer limiting interaction after ~100 minutes. It won’t be enough. Not even close.

The demo served as my first proper intro to the world of MineCraft. I had seen a couple of videos, I had played the free version (and didn’t see the point, it’s out of date), and I had read plenty of raving reviews, claiming this is gaming heaven, a geek’s Lego set. I just didn’t see the point.

And I’m going to have to cut this post very short, as I am currently building a mine cart system circling my glass-encased lava tower/beacon. After playing the demo, I believed the hype.

MineCraft is amazing.

If you haven’t yet, play this demo, buy this game. It’ll be the best money you’ll spend on entertainment this year.

Pic Post #1

On occasion I encounter things on my PC, and in real life (IRL), that simply require a picture. It needs to be shared.

Here’s Post #1. Don’t expect this too often, I’m no 4chan kiddie.

Android Market Oops

Android Market Oops

If you squint a little, or just click-through to the full pic, you’ll notice that this is Google’s Chrome Browser. A Google product. I’m clicking through to Google’s Android Market. A Google Product.

That is the correct URL. Oh dear. I think Google needs to do some maintenance on the Android Market. I think some folk are a little alarmed by all the red on screen. DANGER, WILL ROBERTSON! DANGER!

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Android OS: What I Learnt in Under a Week

Android robot logo.

Image via Wikipedia

Well, if you look back across my posts, you could see that I was fairly anxious for my new phone, the HTC Desire HD.
Well, I finally got it, and haven’t been able to tear it away from my hands since. This is not a review, so I have said my say of this beast.

In my short time of owning an Android device, I have come to realise a few key things about the platform, the community, and the app ecosystem.
I would not say I am an expert – I am far from one – but these are a few things that I would have considered before choosing Android. Not saying I would not have chosen ‘droid, but I would have been better prepared. I still like Android, and would have chosen it anyway.

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How To: Tag Your Music with Lyrics

MediaMonkey Icon

Image via Wikipedia

Lyrics are funny things. There are so many websites out there that specifically deal in a song’s lyrics. I mean, there are an intimidating amount of them, all with slightly different lyrics, sign-up options, advertising in the middle of lyrics, etc.

They also run into trouble with the law fairly often, and for a silly reasons. The user-contributed lyrics can break copyright/plagiarism laws apparently. I feel that user-contribution lyrics are Fair-Use, until you start making money off those lyrics. Hosting them is a different deal.

But anyway, it’s quite nice to look at your favourite song lyrics every now and then, as seeing something in text is easier to understand than purely sound. However, it’s inconvenient to fire up a web browser, search lyrics, then finally get the songs lyrics, but only on a screen, because you usually can’t/won’t print it out, and why would you anyway?, and then you only have it for as long as you keep the page open. Inconvenient, and slow. In comes tagging your mp3’s with lyrics.

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The 83rd Oscars Nominations: An Opinion on the Opinions

Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Image via Wikipedia

The 83rd Academy Award Nominations have been announced.  The internet is ablaze with debate about the deserving, undeserving, the snubbed and the surprises.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see most of these films, as a few of  the releases were delayed to my country of residence, South Africa, or I just missed the film house release and am waiting for the DVD. Either way, I am in a bad place to judge any of these films. I haven’t seen many and can’t go by hearsay in judging Oscar-worth films.

Much of the debate so far is how the Oscars is just confirming films that were well received by critics. This, of course, is at ends with the 80th Academy Awards (2008), which was coined “The Year of The Underdog”. The Academy was trashed by many critics as snubbing  mainstream filmhouses and films, instead focusing on Indie films, or having chosen the underdogs, the low-cost, low-earning films.

Now, the same critics flame a debate about how mainstream the Oscars have become. Blink, and the waters change, eh?

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