I love shooting things in the face. Monsters, aliens, mice, men – all are equal in the eyes of my trigger finger, which itches with such fervor that I should probably have a doctor look at it. But – even in the ammo-casing-coated world of videogames – there's a time and place for violence. (And no, smartasses in the audience, it's not “always.” Always isn't even a place.) More and more, I've noticed recent games tripping over their own feet because they choose to reign with unfaltering bloodlust instead of reining it in. In some games, it's but a speck-sized sticking point. Others, though, choose to live by the sword, only to fall flat on their faces and die by it in the most gruesome fashion imaginable.
Evidence A: Deus Ex. For the most part, it's an amazing game, but bring up its boss fights and watch as a room full of fawning admirers turns into a torch-flashing, keyboard-smashing angry mob. And why not? The game's bosses are horribly designed strategic dead ends that eat headshots and excrete pure, unfiltered sadness. To me, though, the biggest problem is that you have to fight them at all.
Steve Jobs’s recent passing provoked not just a personal response, but widespread moaning about Apple’s future. Conspicuously missing, however, was speculation about the ways in which Jobs’s diminished role might improve Apple.
To some, any such speculation is heresy. Like everyone, however, Jobs was flawed. One flaw was well known but was mainly an internal company matter. Another was less recognized but may eventually harm Apple’s competitiveness.
After paying for your admission and taking out a lien on your house so that you can afford the price of a few snacks at the show, there’s nothing worse than discovering that you’ve committed yourself to a predictable, poorly written wreck of a film. The same can be said for rentals. Whether you brought it home from the video store or queued it up on Netflix, no one wants to settle on the couch in with a bowl of popcorn for a two hour suck-fest. Fortunately, thanks to Flixster, bypassing feature length stinkers has never been easier.
Against all odds, you’ve got some extra cash on hand that you’re able to use to invest in a gadget, computer or other snazzy new piece of hardware. Unfortunately, thanks to the unscrupulous technobabble employed by marketers, similar feature sets and the constantly shifting topography of the technological landscape, shopping for the piece of hardware that’s best suited to your needs can be a nightmare. Fortunately, The Wirecutter is here to wake you up, stroke your hair and whisper that everything’s gonna be OK.
Since Google gifted the users of Google Calendar the ability to access the contents of their accounts even when there’s no internet connection to be found, many of us have come to rely on the reliable and easy to use service even more than we already did when it was still strictly an online-only affair. For anyone that relies on Google Calendar to help them navigate their day, The Google Calendar extension for Chrome will be a welcome addition to your virtual arsenal. We’ve found it so useful that we’re showcasing it as our Browser Extension of the Week.
I was minding my own business, happily writing a novel, not thinking beyond the needs of the story, when the following sentence suddenly occurred: “The Baby Cooper Dollar Bill, for example, was only fifty years old….”
I stared at the sentence for 15 seconds. I knew what it meant. The entire anecdote had flashed into my head simultaneous with the creation of that first ominous sentence. I typed, “The short version:” and began. 1741 words later, I had the longest paragraph I’d ever written.
And one of the most terrifying predictions I have ever written:
While everyone’s been busy raving about Spotify finally coming to the United States, Rdio quietly continues to get better and better. Last week, in an effort to incite new customers to subscribe to their awesome collection of streaming tunes, the internet music juggernaut announced that it would provide a usage-based free monthly music streaming service to their customers that allows for a finite number of songs per month to be listened to. With this in mind, we’ve opted to make Rdio our Chrome Web App of the Week.
When it comes to cloud storage, consumers have a lot of options to choose from. For many people, Dropbox is their go-to service. Others prefer SkyDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive or Sugarsync. They’re all great ways to go, with each one offering it’s own particular perks and quirks. While it might be one of the newest kids on the file storage and sharing block, Minus has enough going for it that we felt it worthy of being our Cool Site of the Week.
As anyone who’s used a computer will tell you, a service or application's usability is directly influenced by its accessibility. In other words, if you can’t get to it, you’re not going to use it. Google in particular has learned this lesson well. Their popular Google Calendar and Gmail services, which were once an online-only affair, were recently given a load of offline functionality by the Mountain View based company, making countless users around the interwebz very happy puppies indeed. Unfortunately, since Google hasn’t gotten around to giving us the same offline awesomeness with Google Tasks, a third-party developer has taken it upon himself to make using Google’s already very useful product just a little bit easier.
Apparently, I am an Internet child-raping fiend. How else could I be against something called the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act? It's even supported by sheriffs associations and the Department of Justice, among others, and your representative may be voting on it soon (hint, hint).