Yesterday my wife and I discovered a spider who thought itself clever. This story is going to require a little explaining about how ceramic is made.

Clay shrinks when it is fired(cooked) in a kiln and turned into ceramic. Holes are required to give any trapped air a place to escape. If you don’t do this, the heated and trapped air will cause the “project” to explode.

Back to the story

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Routine

I have been craving Space/Sci-Fi Horror for a good while now.  I’ve played through Dead Space and Dead Space 2.

I’ve been watching movies like Pandorum and the Alien franchise.

This caught my eye as a Greentlight title on Steam and favorited it immediately. Then I stumbled across this trailer a few months after. I am genuinely excited for this.

Watch and enjoy this treat of audio and visuals. It is alpha footage, but I can only hope the game itself looks like this.

Routine

CLICK ME

CLICK ME

I sold a laptop on eBay and I get this email today:

Hi Today I received this Item. When i open the box the whole Laptop smells like it was kept deep inside tobacco bag. It is smelling like hell. I am surprised you did not mentioned this in your listing about this issue. I bought this laptop for my daughter and in no way i can let her work on this laptop. I would like to return this item as it is impossible for me to work on this laptop. Let me know”

 

My Reply:

“Smells like a tobacco bag!? Why would it smell that way? I do NOT smoke nor does anyone in my home. The laptop did NOT smell this way when it was packaged. This complaint makes absolutely no sense. I took great care of that laptop and packaged it very well for shipment to you. It was double boxed and surrounded by foam. Are you confusing the alcohol cleaning wipes scent for tobacco? This laptop had never been around tobacco at all.” (more…)

XComGame-2013-01-17-23-17-49-669As far back as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed watching an interesting TV show or a great movie. A universe to explore that is filled with characters that will grow and take your through a story. This is something people understand.

People also understand books. A longer story with characters that mature and take you on often an even more detailed story. They have more time to do this. The experience will often last longer than most TV shows and certainly most movies.

Now we come to video games. I spend hours and hours playing games. I love it. A story, a universe, characters, and an adventure that will span hours… sometimes 300+ depending on the game. Sometime I make my own story in open world games such as DayZ, yet other times the story is spoon fed to me and I merely serve as a vehicle to transition between parts.

The average American watched 2.8 hours of TV a day in 2013(source). You may be higher or lower depending on your habits. What impression does that give you of a person that watches an average of 2.8 hours of TV a day? Is that impression different than if that person spent 2.8 hours on video games a day? If so why?

I hold to the fact, that over the years since my childhood(when my love for gaming began), I have learned more and experienced more than I would have if I spent the same amount of time watching TV. You have to obviously bar “educational” TV from this. Those are specifically geared towards teaching a topic just as an educational game would be.

As a kid, I learned the following skills from video games(to name a few):

  • Map Reading
  • Inventory Management
  • Multitasking
  • Problem Solving, occasionally quite complex problems.
  • Task Prioritization
  • Mercantilism

As gaming evolved in capability, more and more knowledge became available. A few small examples are:

  • Physics involving realistic gravity modeling
  • How a car handles when losing traction
  • Making difficult choices(sending characters to their doom)
  • The difference between cover and concealment in a firefight

The teaching ability of even entertaining games should not be overlooked. As a father, I certainly prefer that my child spend more time gaming than watching non educational shows. Minecraft is the new LEGO.

If you think 2.8 hours a day of TV is normal but 2.8 hours a day of gaming is odd, it is time you start to change your opinion. Gaming is so much more than what you might think it is. Perhaps you should branch out into a new universe and go on an adventure. You just might find a new hobby as well.

I know this has been around and will be around for years… but we need to just suck it up and work through the pain of transitioning past this.
This is akin to a long and drawn out VHS vs BetaMax or HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. The keyboard layout has won.
End the pain. 
Please.

Everyone Isn’t Equal

Everyoneisntequal
Before you get all worked up, I am not referring to human rights or anything like that.
I am able to multitask. I am productive. I finish my work ahead of schedule when at all possible. What do I like to do when I finish it or while I’m on lunch? Read some RSS feeds.
An ever growing list of blocked and off limit items at my place of employment now contains RSS feeds. Ironically Facebook and Twitter are not blocked.
The mentality that your employees need to be heavily restricted is draconian. Right up there with the “butt in a chair” mentality.
Performers are punished due to the non performers. I am paid to do a job… If I get the job done early, why must I linger? Now that I am forced to sit in a cubical and look for more work, you also take away any mental escape.
Fuck you and your old school ways.
Don’t even get me started on the costs you could save by having your employees work from home… I’ll save that rant for another day.

A New View on Felix

Back in late 2012, Felix Baumgartner plummeted from 24.2 miles above Earth. Landing after almost 4:30 minutes of free fall at speeds of over 830 mph . Now you can see what he saw as he fell.
My favorite part is his quote:
“Sometimes you have to be up really high to understand how small you are” – Felix Baumgartner

Enjoy the ride.

Steam has gone live with their In-Home Streaming. 
In-Home Streaming, a new feature of Steam, is now released to all users. Players who have multiple computers at home can immediately take advantage of the new feature. When you log into Steam on two computers on the same network, they automatically connect, allowing you to remotely install, launch, and play games as though you were sitting at the remote PC. 

Steam In-Home Streaming allows you to play your PC games on lower-end computers such as a laptop or home theater PC, or a computer running another operating system such as OS X, SteamOS, or Linux. 

When you play a game using In-Home Streaming, video and audio are sent through your home network from your high-end gaming PC to another device in your home. From here, your keyboard, mouse, and controller input is sent back to the remote computer.  

I have tested with titles like Skyrim and STALKER: Lost Alpha. Wait what?! STALKER Lost Alpha isn’t on Steam. Precisely. I was able to stream a game that was merely a shortcut added Steam on my gaming machine and it worked well. Battlefield 4 did not work due to the need to launch a web browser for Battle Log.
Interesting details to note: 
The game play is visible on both machines, the Host(the PC the game is actually running on) and the Remote PC. Both keyboards and mice will interact with the game as expected.
My setup:
Gaming Machine(Host):
16GB RAM
Laptop(Remote):
Network:
Gigabit – Hardwired
I didn’t notice any lag. I did notice very slight signs of compression off in the distant fog in Skyrim. Hardly something you’d notice if you weren’t scrutinizing a new streaming technology.
This is quite promising indeed.