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themyrmidon Blog

Smartphone OS's

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iOS : B : Closed off, just like the people that buy the devices. That said, it does few things wrong and is very accessible.

Android : A- : Open and closed, hot and cold. Maturing fast in both the OS and sales.

WP7 : C- : Trying to hard to separate itself while lacking many key features, such as multitasking and C&P.

WM6/6.5 : C : Easier grade for being a product of a simpler time, still terribly flawed.

Blackberry OS6 : D : When you get down to it a prettier version of 5 with only a handful of upgrades.

WebOS : C- : Capable, but not very user friendly and never pushed to its potential.

Symbian^3 : B- : A valiant attempt, but too little too late.

Symbian 5th : F : Has not aged well. At all.

Maemo 5 : B : Does whatever you want it too, providing you know ho to make it do it.

What's in store for the future? As far the the iPhone is concerned, nothing. 4 is still new and has all but tapped its potential as far as new features are concerned, a lot of that due to the nature of the OS and the AT&T network. One of either of the Android versions 2.3 and 3.0 (Gingerbread and Honeycomb) are supposed to completely retool the Operating system for the first time ever which, along with ever-evolving hardware, will lead to an even better OS. Unless it gets new, exciting hardware Blackberry can kiss its marketshare goodbye. Microsoft has good hardware, but even with its monster PR campaign too many people have been burned by Mobile 6 to try Phone 7. Nokia's Symbian would need a push like what MS is giving WP7 in order to succeed, which it probably won't get, at least in the US. WebOS could also succeed, but to do that it can't get by on user experience, it needs to show how powerful and flexible the OS can be, which would require a giant effort by HP. Maemo is turning into Meego, which is potentially exciting but unless Intel is truly committed to the project it will remain a fringe OS and not the Symbian replacement Nokia is hoping for.

In short iOS and Android are the future, and I predict one of the other big 4 (BB OS6, WP7, Web OS 2.0, Symbian^3) will emerge as a viable third contender while the other three hang on to a tiny slice of the market, with Web OS possibly dying or at least being removed from phones and put into printers and TV's and fridges and whatnot.

For now I can only recommend Android as iOS5 has little room for growth, WP7 has too many bugs, Blackberry continues its slide, Symbian gets ignored by the public, and WebOS gets ignored by HP.

Fall 2010 TV Review

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Monday

House : A- : As much as I love Olivia Wilde the show has been much better without her. House and Cuddy haven't been as cringe-inducing as I thought they would be.

Lie to Me : B : Only one episode so far, but season 2 just ended so they get credit for a quick turnaround time. Still, not as much as I was expecting from the premier.

The Event : D : I may end up changing this if the rest of the show continues in the direction of Episode 3, but NBC has tried the 'secret marketing' on three different shows (King and Persons Unknown being the other two) and it seems the clearly worst one is the only one that will have half a chance at renewal. At worst it's the new Lost, at best it's the new Prison Break (but only like the later seasons).

Castle : B : Despite the awkward ending to last season and unrelated but still awkward beginning to this one the show mostly picks up right where it left off. Demming is gone *BSG tear* but still nothing more than the usual tension between Beckett and Castle, which is why this show is still so good. Episodes haven't been quite as good, though.

Tuesday

No Ordinary Family : C+ : I'm very conflicted on this one. There was a lot I liked about the premier, but the daughter's sex-obsessed storyline left me with a bad taste. In the next episode her story wasn't much like that at all, but there was so much other soap and less of the good stuff that it didn't have the charm that the first episode had. If they can strike a balance this could be a very good show, just not yet.

Stargate Universe : C+ : Once again, I'm very conflicted. Season 1.5 will be better than Season 1, I would *almost* put money on it. But it still has the same basic flaws, mainly that it's trying to be BSG and that they never use the stargate itself, a problem with every Stargate series except for SG-1.

Caprica : A- : Season 1 started to teeter off at the end, fortunately Season 1.5 skips ahead a month and in doing so makes everything interesting again. With only one episode it will be hard to tell if the rest of the season will live up to the premier, but everything has been set up so well that as long as things don't take forever to unfold the show should have a very solid run.

Wednesday

The Middle : B : Same old good-ol'-fashioned family comedy. Nothing special, but nothing weak. And truly family oriented, which earns points in my book.

Modern Family : B : Funnier, but not as wholesome as The Middle.

Thursday

Community : A- : Same as last season, which is a good thing, but some landscape changes add even more potential, especially with Chang and Duncan.

30 Rock : C : Despite its incredible lack of funniness the show is mildly entertaining.

The Office : B+ : Picking up from last season in a very good manner, and Sweeney Todd always earns points in my book. I still can't wait for Steve Carell to leave, his immaturity got old 4 seasons ago, and without him the show can get new life.

Outsourced : B- : An equal-opportunity offender that has brief moments of genius and is different from anything else. Also, Rebecca Hazelwood. Yeah.

Fringe : A+ : Best show on television. And I would say that even if True Blood was still running. Season 3 is that good. Episode 3, when they sort of go back to normal, except in the alternate reality, is probably my favorite non-plot centric episode to date. The show never stops getting better. I would never have imagined saying all this in Season 1, but the show is just this good.

The Apprentice : C : Points for going back to regular Joe's, but even then they can't help but find the most prima dona people they possibly can. At least many of them are off now, so it should get better. Still, I was hoping for more from real professionals and not celebrities.

Friday

The Good Guys : A- : Every once in a while a series will utterly surprise you. The Good Guys might not have started in the Fall, but they deserve mention simply because, next to Persons Unknown, it was the best Summer show and is still running. I have yet to find a weakness in the show. I can understand some people not liking it due to personal taste, but great characters and writing to fit make it one of the best shows on now.

Saturday

If you want to watch criminal stories, that's you business. I'd rather do anything else.

Sunday

The Simpsons : C+ : I'm usually a fan of the newer Simpsons, but this season has been down by even my standards. Still funny enough to watch.

Family Guy : A : I really don't like Family Guy all that much, but you grade the episodes you have, not the episodes you expected, and so far this year has been great. The premier was a decent spin on And Then There Were None, even if they had to kill James Wood to do it, and Excellence in Broadcasting, well, when Rush Limbaugh is featured in an episode of Family Guy you know it will be amazing and El Rushbo didn't disappoint.

Boardwalk Empire : A : I was expecting to go through a True Blood related depression, but HBO knows how to take care of me. Boardwalk Empire is great by Martin Scorsese standards and deserves every bit of hype it got. Everyone that has access to HBO should watch.

R.I.P.

Lone Star : A- : The downside of Lie to Me 's early return was that it was due to the cancellation of Lone Star after two episodes. This high-brow drama was kept down due to just that, bringing in poor ratings in both of its first two weeks. Production has ceased immediately with only 5 episodes complete, no word on when the other three will air. Many believe that this should have been an FX series to begin with, and while it was undoubtedly better suited for FX I refuse to believe it couldn't have worked on FOX.

Yay??

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I won an EVGA PCI-e USB 3.0 adapter in their 11th Anniversary Scavenger Hunt Contest. Not a big prize but better than nothing. Problem is I have no use for it. Retail value is only $30 and none have sold on eBay at any price (lowest being $23 asking), so I need to find a use for it. Maybe gift it to someone, I have a friend that might want it.

You think this is OVER?

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http://www.statesman.com/business/technology/garriott-wins-28-million-jury-award-in-ncsoft-831054.html

To sum up the article Richard Garriott is rewarded $28 million by a jury (he was suing for $47 million) for wrongful termination by NCSoft. While NCSoft said it was a mutual departure Garriott says that he was forced out of the company, causing a massive loss in stock compensation.

So what does this mean? Garriott has also been lobbying for control of his product he made at NCSoft, Tabula Rasa, which is in my opinion the best MMO to date, even though it was cancelled in February of last year after only a year of service. If Garriott gets control he would like to take it to a different publisher and relaunch the game. A large part of the reason the game was shut down was because of the high server load that it constantly demanded. With newer servers or a large ammount of cheaper, older servers this stress could be greatly alleviated.

The least Garriott could do if he gets hold of the title is to release the source code to the dev community, allowing private servers to be created.

Of course I'm getting ahead of myself. One wrongful termination paycheck doesn't mean that any of this will happen. But NCSoft isn't doing anything with it and Garriott wants his idea back, so why shouldn't it happen? And while I'm dreaming I'd like a 2011 Cadillac CTS-v Coupe.

Mass Effect 3: 10 Things What I Want

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Mass Effect 1 and 2 are some of my all-time favorite games. Period. They were both epic on a scale usually reserved for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, I'm not sure if any other video games can fall into that category. Nevertheless, the games weren't without flaws, and if the third is to be the conclusion it will have to be equally as epic as The Return of the Jedi/King, which will be a difficult feat. Here's a list of my small and large ideas for the third installment.

1) All not dead characters playable, except Garrus: The first part of this statement is self-explanatory. While it made perfect sense to hold some previous sidekicks out of 2 the third should include all of them, so no one's favorite is left out. What do I have against Garrus? Keep reading... Odds: 90%

2) Make Garrus a SPECTRE: Garrus is really the only member of Shepard's squad so far to qualify for this, and frankly he deserves it. He's been my second favorite character in both games (behind Tali) and has the leadership and skill to make it work. Also, with him as a SPECTRE they could come out with a large DLC of his side of the ME3 story, like Crysis Warhead. Odds: 5% in the game, 60% at the end

3) Choose sides: If you were to make a pie graph of the Mass Effect game components the moral choice system would be right up there. There is also a parallel in the storylines of 1 and 2, in 1 you act as an agent of the Citadel, which is the system and order and government and democracy and all that jazz, in 2 you are an agent of Cerberus, which is the underground powerhouse of the universe with their own agenda advancing humanity. I say that if your Mass Effect 2 save isn't overly lopsided to either Paragon or Renegade then you should be able to choose if you serve the Citadel or Cerberus in the third game. Obviously this would mean two drastically different storylines. Odds: 20%

4) Show us Tali's face!!!!!: Okay, I got a little carried away with the exclaimation marks, and really I'm glad they kept it out of 2, but come on, it's time. 1: let us only develop our interest, 2: let us satisfy our interest, but keep holding back a bit, 3: if this is the last shot, give us all of it! Odds: 75%

5) Mid-Range Management, please!: The two games have hit the two extremes of the spectrum here, the first requiring a mandatory inventory check every 15 minutes maximum, the second not really letting you do anything. How about this, mods work like in the second game (automatic upgrades) while weapons work like in the first (several equally good but differently balanced weapons). Odds: 10%

6) Please, not more Mako OR planet scanning: Long, tedious, mostly boring. That's gathering resources in this series. In the first game there was a mechanic where if you went to a planet you can scan it and you automatically get what it had to offer, in terms of resources. Bring that back. But also... Odds: 40%

7) More side quests: One big difference between Mass Effects 1 and 2 was the amount of side quests. While Bioware claims 2 is longer than 1 that is only in the main story. If you do all the quests for both games 2 will be noticeably shorter than the first. While I don't want crap filler side quests dragging a game down, I certainly don't want a barebones game with only the main quest to enjoy.

8 ) Cool new enemies: Geth: cliched scifi hive-mind robots, but awesome. Collectors: cliched scifi hive-mind human-sized insects, but awesome. ME3 enemies: ? Obviously Reapers are the real threat, but the Geth are old news and the Collectors are all dead. Maybe those mollusks the Reapers are based on? Who knows? Odds: 99%

9) More character actions: The best quick time events ever were the Paragon and Renegade actions from ME2, the only problem was there weren't that many of them. Odds: 60%

10) Better graphics/physics: Replaying the first I have a greater appreciation for the advances made between the two games, but Unreal Engine 3 has even more potential and I would like to see that tapped. Odds: slight: 99%, great: 15%