Tag Archives: Technology

Tech Hypocrite

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Funny thing this, I never imagined I would ever post anything substantial from a phone, except perhaps a “message” or “status update” on Facebook! But today, yet another thing I’ve just done was to finally join rank with thousands, if not millions – and have myself a Blackberry!?! I believe that this will be the only time I will ever write a blog this way… It’s far too painstaking and have since established that my fingers, the same ones I had previously believed to be quite dainty and agile are not and are seeingly larger and far more clumsy… I’m pretty sure nothing beats an actual keyboard. But, it’s something I can now say I’ve done ūüôā

[Please NOTE: Due to my obsessive nature, this post has since been edited from the computer – only because of spelling & grammatical errors, as well as not having been able to appropriately ‘tag’ or ‘categorise’ as I should have.¬† Listed below however is the post as it had originally appeared]

Funny thing this, never imagined I would ever post anything substantial from a phone, except perhaps a “message” on Facebook! But today yet another thing I’ve just done was finally join rank with thousands, if not millions – and have myself a Blackberry!?! I believe that this will be the only time-I will ever write a blog this way… It’s far too painstaking and have since established that my fingers, the same ones I had previously believed to be quite dainty and agile are not and are seeingly larger and far more clumsy… I,m pretty sure nothing beats an actual keyboard. But, it’s something I can nom say I’ve done ūüôā

Extinction of the species…?

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Extinction of the species…?

Apparently, well it seems that we’re headed in that general direction – and as much as I would like to attach this claim to certain individuals, my unfortunate epiphany is directed at books…

I found myself in a debate with a friend a little while ago on their attachment and adoration of such electronic devices along the vein of ‘Kindles’ and ‘I-Pads’ – to which I argued that they could never take the place of real books!?! NEVER.

There is something almost magical about opening a book, new or secondhand, that is so comforting and reassuring… because it’s real. Tangible.¬†Between feeling the texture of the pages and the smell of freshly printed books, to the knowledge of secondhand books being loved and cherished by one or many previous owners, leaves you¬†in a mist of nostalgia. Reading an actual book evokes thoughts of soft woollen blankets, cool winter evenings, mugs of hot chocolate and lovely inviting fireplaces.

Most nights I sneak off to bed early to get my ‘special time’ in with Dean Koontz, where I find myself peacefully drifting off to ‘lala’ land, with the book mostly having closed itself and fallen to the floor or having closed itself and being gently nestled amidst the duvet with me. It’s always an interesting endeavour to find the ‘lost place’ and restart the read the next eve, but sometimes in reading to find where I’m at – provides me with the fortune of ‘reminding’ me which of the stories I was on, since I usually have at least 3 on the go, at one time. Aaah. Awesome!

...and the winner is...Come on, NO CONTEST!

With the price of secondhand books and even the ‘nice new shiny ones’ being within reason, I don’t mind having them drop off the side of the bed. However, when reminded of the price of a Kindle or alternatively the I-Pad, which I will say are both ‘snazzy’ little devices… I shudder to think of the recoil factor of either one bouncing and rebounding upon impact with the bedroom floor tiles. Or, what if it should per chance find itself in the hands of my technologically intrigued 5-year old, I dread to contemplate that very expensive ‘adventure’.

If I need information, I can bring my sometimes ‘lazy arse’ to type in the web address for google…from the computer.

¬†I wouldn’t want to be able to reach everything and anything from anywhere?!?

¬†I get annoyed when my cellphone rings on the weekend. I couldn’t imagine becoming one of those individuals who, in the midst of company, turns a cold shoulder of isolation and delves into googling or searching for some inane random thing like the ‘current moon cycle’… That’s just rude and bizarre. Also, an air of ‘snobbyness’ surrounds most individuals I’ve seen, lounging at coffee shops or streetside cafes and browsing/reading/googling from such a device… much the same sensation I derive from driving my car to and from work.

Anyway, good for you if you like the feel of cold hard plastic and using your finger to touch, rub and move on the little device as if you were playing your bit in The Minority Report. Sadly, I find myself in the minority… The only plus side to such a device, is that it saves the lives of trees, for¬†which most of humanity has lost all respect. They help us breathe people, as do my books, as I curl up and cuddle with them every night.

I hope for the sake of my child, that when he reaches ‘his mothers current age’, that there¬†will still be books to feel and appreciate, for without them, we also would never have known Shakespeare, TS Eliot or Dean Koontz and the people who invented things such as the I-Pad, wouldn’t be where they are today¬†ūüôā

LA Noire: Mystery Solved

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LA Noire: Mystery Solved

Having been a fan of the ‘X-Box’ for some time now, I’ve been introduced to an array of games and applications – especially since the release of the ‘Kinect’.¬† Due to my love of the 40’s and 50’s, as well as my bizarre fascination with criminal behaviour – primarily serial killers, I was intrigued when I caught wind of ‘LA Noire’. Since ‘Rockstar’ usually produces well made games with beautifully rendered graphics, splendidly scripted stories (with believable plot lines) and a close link to the line between reality and fantasy, my expectations and level of excitement was very¬†high to say the least.

As with many¬†of the newer¬†games¬†released by Rockstar, the initial build up was somewhat elusive, with a very ‘hush hush’ marketing campaign and¬†an absolutely ‘non-existent’ leak of information onto the world¬†wide web (but¬†it may also have been because I spend most of my time working and¬†running around after a 5 year old to have noticed)¬†– I only discovered its existence about 2 or 3 months before its release.¬† I did however pre-order it. Obviously.

Initially I was apprehensive.¬† Rockstar¬†is renowned for having you¬†‘play’ as¬†the bad guy, renegade or vigilante, where you feel compelled to play ‘bowling for people’, as you wrecklessly cruise down sidewalks and over curbs, experiencing a thrill with the ever-rising number of knocked over pedestrians. Where the concept of being chased by a ‘cop’ is what you aspire towards as you try to be as ‘badass’ as possible.¬†

Rockstar decided to take a different approach on this one, one where –¬†“this time, you’re the good guy…”.

There is of course the fascinating new technology used by Rockstar, courtesy of Team Bondi, the Australian¬†developers¬†who utilised their ‘MotionScan technology to capture the actual performances of the actors/actresses who were cast to portray the various roles. This remarkable technology,¬†literally bridging the gap between ‘cinema’ and gaming, adding that perhaps ‘all too real’ feeling, where games of the bygone era, such as ‘Phantasmagoria’ so epically failed back in the 90’s. They truly did a sterling job on the overall appearance, especially from a ‘character’ perspective.¬† As the story goes, they also successfully managed to replicate the area of Los Angeles used in the game, to a said 90% accuracy of the ‘then’ landmarks, buildings¬†and positioning of the city in accordance to what it must have been like in the mid to late 40’s.

What I feel to be the most intrinsic difference in comparison to previous games released by Rockstar, is that this one is a ‘brainer’ (opposed to a ‘No-brainer, in case you were wondering).¬†It’s a story you have to pay attention to, with detective work being something you have to be interested in or it will lose you and your wits and leave you flapping in frustration.¬†The MotionScan technology captures almost every facial twitch and muscle movement, being the basis¬†through which most of the detective work gets done – only due to the fact that observing suspects during an interrogation can lead to the conviction or freedom of the right or wrong person, with the weight of that decision being entirely in your hands. With an approximate 20 hours of in game cut scenes having been recorded by the live actors, this in itself far outweighs the Lord of The Rings Trilogy by many hours as far as ‘viewing time’ goes. It also makes a change to have the onscreen presence belong to the voiceover, but moreso have the actor/actress accurately represented.¬†

Aaron Staton IS LA Noire

From Left to Right: (1) Aaron Staton during a MotionScan capture session (2) The initial result of the scan (3) In-game screenshot and final product of Aaron Staton as 'Cole Phelps (4) Statons real-life appearance in his portrayal of 'Ken Cosgrove' on Madmen

The lead character is Cole Phelps, portrayed by Aaron Staton. Who is that you ask? I didn’t know either. But as it turns out he’s one of the actors from that show ‘Madmen’ (which I tried desperately to get into, but just couldn’t). And was so taken aback by¬†his incredible acting ability, it’s given me reason to try watching it again. Throughout the game you’re introduced to many characters, some of which you too would recognise – like Brian Krause (Who played Leo in ‘Charmed’), John Noble (Who plays Dr Walter Bishop in ‘Fringe’) and Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman on ‘Heroes’).¬† These cameo performances and those of so many other ‘recognised’ actors/actresses added to the overall¬†depth and quality of the game, giving it that extra little hit to its credibility.

The¬†first few murders seem unrelated and then veer towards the mysterious¬†unsolved “Black Dahlia” murder which took place in 1947, but fortunately for those not so keen on being a ‘gumshoe’, the game is nicely paced with ‘mini quests’ where you can opt to respond to the police radio and get to to rather ‘every-day-cop-stuff’ such as car chases, bank robberies and preventing suicidal maniacs from jumping off buildings. Hoewever the primary focus of the game¬†is on the main storyline – so if you’re craving a little ‘free-roam’ action, then this won’t be for you unless your obsessive compulsive disorder kicks in and you feel the need to find every hidden vehicle as well as landmark in the city.

Initially I was excited, then as I began to play – felt it might get somewhat tedious if there was an ‘overkill’ of dialogue and cut scenes…however the combination of Staton’s incredible portrayal of such a believable character readjuting to everyday life succeeding the aftermath of the 2nd World War and reinforced by¬†his keen sense of morality and sticking to his beliefs (even through times with some partners who would do well with a mouthful of soap for their ignorant approaches and narrow minded view) Coupled with the intrigue and suspense, where an eye for detail and a compulsive need to not leave any stone unturned will fair you well in your search for justice, the cut scenes and dialogue make it the unique off-centre *SUPER HIT* of this year, simply for being the first of its kind. Although Heavy Rain¬†peaked the turnaround and appreciation for the¬†‘Cine/Game’ genre, I feel that Rockstar and Aaron, sure gave it a run for it’s money.

So as much as I could rave on about the game,¬†I think we should keep¬†a look out for Aaron Staton…seems like he could be¬†the real star here! Mystery solved.