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

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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WGA-Videogame Writing Nominees, Found Lacking

The Writers Guild of America has announced their nominees of Outstanding Achievement in video game writing, 2010. This is great news, as it helps the reputation of gaming as a whole, giving it some credibility, as does the BAFTA awards.

The Nominees

  • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood,
  • Fallout: New Vegas,
  • God of War III,
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands,
  • Singularity,
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

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Apple Only Likes You For The Money

I should explain. Apple, the fruit, not the company, is a crunchy, juicy and flavoury treat that is grows widely and helps keep the doctor away.
Apple, the Company, is a giant bully that makes great products, sells them for exorbitant prices, and would feed you your foot at a 50% mark-up if they could just put a brand on it. It does not help keep the doctor away. Oh, and they label every thing with a prefix of i-.

The iMac, iPod, iPhone, iTouch (naughty naughty). All lovely products, I have owned two of those products. I know people who only use Apple products. It really is a great company, and they have always been there. They used to the tool of nerds and trendy people, and … it still is, but in a cooler way.
If you don’t have an Apple product, it can be said that you aren’t really living in the tech world. For some this is true, others not, but we all can see a great big flag of INFLUENCE flying over the headquarters of Apple. Underneath is a smaller flag saying BOW DOWN, but that gets less press.
Well, I feel I should take on a giant. Imma regular David.

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DRM – Damn Right it’s Mine!

DRM – Digital Rights Management. The latest in war against Piracy. Well, not the latest, but the current trend. DRM, put loosely, is a way for a company, or publisher, to make sure that a piece of their digital product gets used by a purchaser, and only that purchaser. To stop copying and and thus, stop the loss of revenue. I think. It could be used to piss us off.

There have been many different ways of implementing DRM, from the very subtle, to the very intrusive, in your face methods, some of which can hurt your PC’s performance. (Please note, for Gaming, a console never gets these issues. Eat it PC fanboys)
DRM is different to other anti-piracy methods, as Wikipedia explains. “The term (DRM) is used to describe any technology which inhibits uses (legitimate or otherwise) of digital content that was not desired or foreseen by the content provider”. So in layman, DRM restricts the way something is used by the user, whether legal or not. It’s a double-edged sword. The company protects itself, but it hurts legitimate users. So they look elsewhere, or simply pirate. And the pirate version does not feature these restrictions, so the DRM only ever affects the legal user. WTF?? That’s arresting someone for being capable of murder. You know, they do have hands! It’s targeting the wrong people.

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Why I Love Opera (Mini)

Opera Mini. Just this single app has changed the main purpose of my phone. Most people use their phone for trivial stuff, like phoning someone, to sending messages. Well, not I!

I discovered Opera Mini a few years back, can’t remember how I came across it, but somehow I downloaded it and gave it a try. That’s when the mobile internet revolution happened for me. Opera Mini is for normal cellphones. There is Opera Mobile for smartphones, but I’ve never used it, but I hear it’s good, and there is on available for iPhone.
The simple reason why I love Opera Mini, is that I can now browse the full web, with almost full functionality, just everywhere I go. Previously, if I wanted some info, I would have to navigate through my phones built-in browser. Or just wait until I was at a PC. Usually, I just waited for a PC, as phone browsers are not friendly, look terrible, and suck data so fast you’d think it was getting paid.
No, with Opera, I can very easily Google something, and have it displayed to me in a phone friendly format, while still having the entire web-page at my fingertips. No restriction to the mobile website, you have full access.

I only have my phone on me all the time for that reason. I can access the internet. I facebook through it, twitter via dabr.co.uk (best client I’ve found), look up movies, hell, I can even run my blog through it!
The only real limitation to Opera is actually the biggest. JavaScript. These days, most websites run a little JavaScript, and as a result, you don’t get the real deal. You do have basic access to the script, what little your phone can handle, but I guess that a Java based mini-web browser just does not have the processing power behind it. Pity, but I don’t think there is an alternative without upgrading you phone to a smartphone.

The latest version of Opera Mini is 5.0 beta 2. It supports tabs, so you can access multiple websites at once, has a password save function, download manager, advanced web-page compression and if you use a PC version of Opera, you can synchronize your bookmarks between your phone and mobile. It also supports almost all modern mobile phones, ie. colour.
Opera sits with only 3 other mobile applications on my phone. GMail, Google Maps, and 2go, an IM client I’ll explain another day. I love my Opera, and once you try it out, you’ll never be stuck in the DVD store, wondering what you should rent. It’s only a quick Google away, on your mobile phone.

Here’s a direct link for your mobile phone HERE

Have a Heart for the Death Of Valentines Day

    The various media always surprise me at Valentines day (Not really). Everyone is thinking love, everyone is speaking love, faking love and most of all, spending money on cheap and tacky things that, in some magic way, prove undieing love.
   
    It happens with the press as well. Mass-sensationalism about love. This one killed for love, this one died because of love, that one was murdered for the cheap tacky things and the contents of his wallet. Isn’t it lovely that this couple has been married for 67 years? Should they die the next day, no news article will mention it. Once reported, no need for a follow-up.
    It happens with music, to a degree. While love songs are always being produced, and we are all partial to the occasional ballad, there is a sudden influx of love songs across the radio waves. I like music, but I also like variety. 25 love songs, back-to-back, do not appeal. But then, if they keep dong it, it must mean someone still listens.
   
    It happens with movies. Mostly them. Of any media, movies are the most exploitative. I understand why, they are expensive, take a long time to make and most of all, only ever have attractive people in them. I think that is the only reason why people (read = woman) go to see these movies. Oh! It has McDreamy in it? Or that other guy, Steroid-Beast, And that other one, you know, Sleazy-but-still-cute-in-a-skater/surfer-way.
    These people dominate the February film line up. I am fine with chick-flicks(but not a fan), but movies made to exploit the Valentines hype, now those I really don’t like. I’d love to see a Rom-Com with ugly people. Think of it. Ugly people that truly love each other, and have to deal some heavy issues, whatever they may be, but they LOVE EACH OTHER!
    Or maybe two ugly people meet, that’s where the movie starts, and as the movie progresses, the relationship develops and the people become more ‘pretty’. Not a huge makeover, but enough to convoy a message of Love is Beautiful. Not R50 a ticket, R25 a kilogramme, R30 an hour.
   
    I don’t know. Should I be angry at the world’s media, that is just another type of business, trying to make a profit off whatever sells, or should I be angry at the people you buy into it. If those people didn’t buy, there would be not comparing of Valentine’s Gifts, because that’s what they are. Commodities to be compared and valued, and they are called Valentine’s gifts. Because that’s all they’ll ever be.
    Show your love during the year, not on a special day that has had all the special meaning behind it stripped, replaced with special prices