Friday, September 28, 2012

Jet Set Radio HD review

In the glorious good ol’ days of the SEGA Dreamcast console, Jet Set Radio became something of an underground favorite – even spawning a sequel in 2002  on Xbox as Jet Set Radio Future.  As one of the first cell-shaded graphic art games, Jet Set Grind – as it was originally known – had left an impression on an entire gaming generation for its revolutionizing visuals, groovy soundtrack and quirky story.

There have been other recent re-releases of SEGA “hits” that have garnered varying levels of graphical and integral upgrades that have removed the nostalgic glow. As the next part of SEGA’s recent High Definition line-up, Jet Set Radio HD learns from the mistakes of their earlier HD attempts, but is it enough to match memories’ rose-tinted haze?

Read the full review:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Yahoo! CEO offers employees free phones, Nokia sweetens the deal

You may or may not have heard that Yahoo’s CEO is giving every employee a free smartphone! Their choices of phones are as follows:

  • iPhone 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S3
  •  HTC One X
  • Nokia Lumia 920

While this would be an easy choice for me - being a Windows Phone fan - Nokia wants to help Yahoo staffers make up their minds. Nokia has decided to offer a free wireless charging pad to anyone that chooses the Lumia 920.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How do the Windows Phone 8 offerings stack up? Compare HTC, Samsung and Nokia.

With the next line of Windows Phone 8 handset announced I'd like to take a look at the three main contenders and their flagship Windows Phone offerings to see how they stack up side-by-side.
Note: This picture is from a WMPowerUser article linked below.

While the HTC 8X weighs less and has the highest resolution screen it also has the smallest screen at 4.3 inches, Beats Audio sounds system and only 16GB memory storage. The Samsung Ativ S features the largest screen, a single color option, and the largest battery. The Nokia Lumia 920 weighs the most at 185g, offers a slightly better 8.7 megapixel camera (with the much touted Pureview technology) and offers wireless Q Standard charging. They all feature LTE and HSDPA connectivity, Near Field Communication (NFC) and a dual-core qualcomm 1.5Ghz processor.

Each offers something(s) different for everyone, which one appeals to you? Why?

*Picture from a WMPowerUser article.

HTC introduces the next line of Windows Phones

HTC introduced the latest addition to the Windows Phone 8 lineup in New York City today, September 19th 2012 in their press announcement.
Impressive colors, but do the insides match the surface?

Peter Chou started off the conference to the sounds of booming music and a nod to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. After a brief introduction by Microsoft's own CEO Steve Ballmer the floor was yielded back to Chou. He was sure to mention the over 15years of partnership between HTC and Microsoft, stating "HTC and Microsoft have an opportunity to go bigger and better than ever."

Bigger and better were the themes of the night. After a stunning display of auditory prowess to make an New York DJ proud the darlings of the show were finally introduced: The new line of phones. Under the title "HTC8" these new Windows Phone 8 handsets came in standard and high-end offerings by HTC dubbed the HTC 8S and HTC 8X respectively.
The new 8X color palette.
The high-end HTC 8X offer a 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 display with Gorilla Glass 2 protection and 720p resolution, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 16 GB of storage. While the backfacing camera is an industry standard 8MP it does shoot in full 1080p video. The front-face camera however pushes this with a 2.1MP, 1080p-capable camera with an impressive 88 degree viewing angle. The 8X comes in California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red, and Limelight Yellow as seen in the picture above.

At a slightly smaller 4-inch Super LCD display the HTC 8S features Gorilla Glass, dual-core 1GHz processor, 5MP rear camera, and 4GB of internal storage. In another method to differentiate itself, the 8S comes in a two-tone polycarbonate body and offers four color combinations.

While no mention of price was made at the conference a release date in the November time-frame was teased.

What do you think about these new HTC Windows Phone offerings? Do they compare to the Samsung and Nokia Windows Phone 8 handsets (hint: look for my next article)?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Control EVERYTHING in your house! - 3Days Left!


Kickstarter has introduced a number of forward thinking and potentially revolutionizing ideas. Many of these may never reach the consumer public. I have personally backed a number of these kickstarters. Not because I hope to make a profit or take any credit, but because I hope to encourage this potential.

One such project that has come to my attention is "SmartThings" by Alex Hawkinson. With this technology Hawkinson offers the ability to control and monitor almost every electronic in your house. With the use of this equipment SmartThings turns anything plugged into it to a wirelessly shared hub. Linked to the internet the product can be controlled wirelessly and behave according to information shared on the web.

In an interview with CNN, Hawkinson explains: "Imagine if you wanted to create a sprinkler that knows when it's going to rain," he says. "Amazing things become possible when you connect regular things to the Internet."

By starting small - outlet plugs - SmartThings hopes to build a foundation that third-party programmers and manufactures can build upon. To help get this foundation laid the Kickstarter has been priced to move: A basic kit - one hub and three Thing sensors - currently starts at $174 on Kickstarter. Add-on SmartThings cost $25 to $35 each. Hawkinson plans to eventually charge monthly fees of $5 to $10 for SmartThings' service, but Kickstarter backers will have those fees waived.

Read more about SmartThings and sign up here: SmartThings KickStarter. But be aware this is a limited number of "early adopter" discounts.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Unmechanical Review (PC)

Does a sweeping story and large budget make a great game? Many smaller developers like Teotl Studios and Talawa Games believe a great game – a great experience – can be found in the simpler things. Made on the Unreal Engine, their downloadable PC game Unmechanical is just that – simple.

Contrary to some beliefs, simple does not mean a game has to be unpolished. Quite the opposite in fact. Unmechanical is a beautiful puzzle game set in a 2.5D world. While the foreground is in two dimensions, there are vast areas and stunning levels of detail in the background. Through the five or so hours of gameplay, Unmechanical takes our unnamed flying robot from being lost from being deposited in an underground cavern to strangely biological segments and beyond. The story is simple: keep moving and exploring.

Read the full review here:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nokia’s Smart Shoot is the enemy of photo bombers!

Along with the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 some new features were announced at Nokia and Microsoft's joint Windows Phone 8 conference in New York City. One such feature is the Smart Shoot lens. Lens are applications that utilize the camera. Smart Shoot enables multiple pictures to be taken in short succession and identifies the moving areas. These areas can be removed, resulting in less background "noise" and cleaner pictures. This also means photo bombers might be a thing of the past.

Read the full article here:

Scott Chambers: Nokia and Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 Conference

Scott Chambers writes a great summary of the joint conference held in New York City on September 5th 2012 by Nokia and Microsoft. The conference covered the upcoming line of Windows Phones 8 devices. Along with some new hardware, specifically the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920, some new features and applications were announced as well.

Read the full article here:

I outlined and edited the article and helped write some sections.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Nelson Ocampo: Nokia expands definition of PureView. Introduces Optical Image Stabilization

Nelson Ocampo wrote a great little article after the Nokia-Microsoft Windows Phone 8 announcement today, September 5th 2012. In it he goes over how Nokia has expanded the PureView definition to include some great new features.

Read the full article and learn about the features here:

I helped arrange and edit the article for post.

Monday, September 3, 2012

New York Comic Con: Press Pass Notice

Going to the New York Comic Con 2012 as part of the Press Group. I'll have to apply for individual panels and interviews. Once the website is updated with the panel list I'll have to give them the look-over and prioritize. Am more excited than I can convey.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Nokia Lumia 900 Review

Nokia Lumia 900
In February 2011, a partnership between Microsoft and Nokia promised the Finnish mobile manufacturer would make the Windows Phone their primary operating system for its smartphone devices. With the combination of know-how between the software giant and leading mobile handset manufacture, great things were expected.

The following year saw the introduction of the Nokia Lumia handset line in various model iterations. In April 2012 the latest Lumia handset was released, and it promised to the be the flagship Windows Phone. This model featured AT&T’s LTE speeds, quality build in a simple interface, and a much-touted Carl Zeiss camera lens. We will review this product in a variety of areas to determine if the Nokia Lumia 900 lives up to this promise.

Read the full review: