On PewDiePie’s $7m…

The problem here isn’t the money this young man is making with his videos… the problem is that there are 37 million souls watching him playing games instead of spending that time playing games themselves, which to me makes no sense at all.

It might be a sign that I’m getting old, but I rather play games than watching some guy doing it while screaming hysterically.

Bah! This kids today… <waves fist>

The Blogs are Dead… again.

I often forget that I own a blog.

This place…. where I began blogging in 2005, is becoming 10 years old in September.

10 years of mostly obsolete content and information. I tought about deleting it out of shame of not updating it even once a month… guess that says a lot about myself and the life I’m living now.

Facebook, twitter, instagram take most of my attention and get 100% of the content I generate, still none of them feel the same as writing here. It doesn’t make sense, I know. And I don’t know why I can’t make myself write here as often as I should.

I think it’s probably because social sites are faster and lazy Of course you can write decent posts in Facebook, but reposts, retweets, photo posts, are way more easier and faster… A blog always demanded more. More attention, more caution, more love.

I’ll try… once again… to discipline myself into writing here.

That, or I’ll drop this space, once and for all.

The Meaning of Life

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Perhaps the oldest question in the history of civilization… it’s the also the one question with the most number of answers. Their validity is another issue…
I often say that life, and all its aspects are terribly subjective. Even death. It all depends on how you experience life itself and the end of it, either yours or others. It all depends on how you experience reality.
Being a parent has opened a door I long left closed. The door to fear. The door to pain. The door I’ve kept closed for a long long time. I’ve chosen to become numb to reality’s dark aspects, unfortunately when you become a father, a parent, your life isn’t yours any more.
There is this being which becomes the center of your life, the most important aspect of your reality, and suddenly the numbness dissipates. The aspects of the world you live, specially the dark ones, become gradually darker, because you know that sooner or later you’ll have to protect your children from them. War, famine, sickness, greed, violence, all the darkness, that part of life you choose to ignore becomes brutally loud. It’s there and it’s going to be part of your child’s reality as well. How to cope? Can you surpass it? Can you escape it? Can you still leave it outside?
How can I explain my son and my daughter that there are people living in the streets? How can I explain them that every day, millions die with nothing to eat? That another million dies from cancer, AIDS, leukaemia? How can I explain that we live in a society that values more sports players and pop stars than doctors who save people’s lives and scientist that make this world still escape (barely) from ignorance? That people are killed in stupid discussions about sports? That wars are waged in the name of religions and gods, that are no more than lies? And that the money that could change all this, is spent in those wars or feeding those religions?
So… What’s the meaning of life?

The Blog that sleeps…

It’s more like the blogger who sleeps… I really have to reconnect with my blog. Twitter, Facebook and G+ are taking a heavy toll on blogs. Mine is no exception. In the social networks you have almost an instant audience, it’s like you are in the middle of the street shouting you rants at strangers, while the traditional blogs are more like a radio station, you have to tune in to listen what’s on… still the blog seems more cosy, intimist, like a one to one experience. I miss blogging… I miss having the time to spend on my blog. Damn.

 

Farewell LucasArts

This beatifull sunset is only present in the original EGA version of Monkey Island.
Trivia: This beautiful sunset is only present in the original EGA version of Monkey Island.

It’s a sad day for us gamers in their 30’s and 40’s.

Today Disney announced that it’s closing LucasArts. The famous game studio that was part of LucasFilm, and included in the package that George Lucas sold to Disney, is being closed down after 31 years. I’m 34. I grew up with LucasFilm Games (that was the original name back then), the good old Maniac Mansion, Loom, Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and so many others. All of them made me a very happy kid. If I exceled at english in my teen years, I owe it all to these titles. Brillian graphic adventures, games unmatched even today…

In the past 10 years, LucasArts has been only a medium to release Star Wars games, straying very far from its roots. In this economy and with the lack of good titles, it was only a matter of “when”.

Farewell LucasFilm Games. I’m off to play some Secret of Monkey Island, hopping one day I might play Monkey Island 3, delivered directly from the hands of the creator.

Outrun

I’m completely addicted to this album! A pure trip to the 80’s in all aspects! Great work from Kavinsky.

A true homage to Sega’s arcade and console hit Outrun! Love the Testarossa!

Say “Kiss me”.

Blade Runner scene with Harrison Ford and Sean Young

 

Dreaming with Blade Runner 2… Crossing my fingers, hoping that Ridley Scott doesn’t ruin it…

Star Wars Blu-Ray Rants

 

So George… here we are again. One more release. This time, the entire saga. Of course you took my money, but this time, I offered some resistance.

First of all, let me put this straight: I’m not a Star Wars purist. While I prefer the original trilogy, I can watch any of the first 3 episodes without pulling my hair out. Having said that, here’s my 2 cents on this new Star Wars compilation on Blu-ray.

Image quality is astonishing, like it was expected, but Ep. I shows a bit of aging in the CGI… the textures seem somehow low res compared to the rest. Ep II and III are great, still they could have used a bit more quality control on the color correction.

The original trilogy is where this pack shines, image quality wise. It’s more crisp than ever, but it’s normal since we’re getting a transfer from the remaster made in 1080p for the previous DVD release. If you had the chance to watch the HDTV versions, you won’t notice too much differences… except for the obvious changes GL did… again…

As I said before, I’m not a purist, but I grew up watching the original trilogy, untouched. I watched Return of the Jedi when it came out… it was probably one of the first movies I watched in a movie theater. Later, I watched the tv versions, the Beta versions, the VHS versions, and only in the 90’s I would get the chance to watch Star Wars again in a movie theater, with the Special Edition release. Seeing some of those changes was odd back then as it is now, but I accepted the minor tweaks, some of them actually improved the story telling. I even digged Jabba’s appearance in Ep. IV! But Han shooting first! WTF?! Censuring blaster wounds in Imperials! That stupid musical act in RotJ and in the end, again, cutting off Yub Nub Ewok celebration for an entire new scene!? Jeez!

A new release, this time in DVD, and we got more changes… Hayden Christensen’s force ghost in the end of RotJ was the nail in the coffin for me… or so I thought before seeing how George Lucas screw one of the best scenes of the entire saga.



Vader’s silence while throwing the Emperor to the pit was poetic. We could feel the light and dark sides of the force battling inside his mind, the man vs the machine combat and the reaction at the very end, all in silence. Now we get a “NOOOOO!”, a stupid change that ruined it completely…

Unless a new version with the remastered original original trilogy is released, this will be the last time I pay for a Star Wars compilation.

I’m done. I rather have my Star Wars fix from one of the many fan edits you can find on the web, than watching ruined official versions. If you want to watch the original trilogy as it was released, try Harmy’s Despecialized Editions or OmegaMattMan’s Hyperspace Edition, both amazing versions of the original trilogy, you won’t be sorry.

In the end, there’re good reasons to buy the Blu-Ray versions:

  • The Extras, 40 hours of deleted scenes and documentaries that will make the Star Wars fanboy in you glee like a little girl. I was glad that they included an interview with all the original trilogy movies director’s, it was very good to watch Irvin Kershner.
  • Having Yoda’s horrible puppet in TPM replaced  by the CGI version.
  • The remasted 6.1 audio is awesome.
  • It’s HD 🙂

 
I’m not saying that you should or shouldn’t buy the Blu-Ray pack. It’s up to you and your love for Star Wars, if you can, borrow from a friend or rent it from a video club… May the force be with you.

Bye bye iOS, Hello Android

Yes, I’ve gone Android.

For those who know me that might come as a shock. I’m a big Apple fan, I have a Mac since 2007 and never thought of going back to Linux or Windows (until recently with Lion’s release, but those are another 2 cents).

I got an iPhone 3G when they were released in Portugal. The first year using it was awesome, the second was normal, after that Apple turned my phone into a zombie. The last iOS 4 update, 4.2, left my phone crippled, unusable, with most of the new features left out. Still I used it for what I could… email, Twitter, music and a few apps.

Everything else was a bloated and dreadful experience, even the mere act of typing something in the keyboard was a torture, it literally froze the keys for a few seconds. My 3G became a pale shadow of the awesome phone it once was.

I needed a new device, it didn’t have to be a phone, I could perfectly live my daily digital life with a tablet, email, Facebook, Twitter, a good browser, WordPress support and I was set… but there was a problem: I was sick of iOS.

For me, as an iOS user, I got almost no new features for my 3G with iOS 4. So sticking with the same OS for 3 years in a row, can get you pretty tired of it.

I’m up to date on iOS info and rumors. I know what’s new for iOS 5 and I’ve played with a few iPhones 4… and even with all the new bells n’ whistles, I wasn’t buying it. Plus, with a new iPhone 4S or 5 or whatever Apple is going to release in October, it was more of the same.

So, as an Apple fan, I considered buying an iPad, same eco-system but with a few differences here and there, enough to give me something usable and new to explore. I’ve played with a few iPads from friends and co-workers. Hell of a machine. It was on my buy list, until Android crept in…

 

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