Friday, December 16, 2011

Very funny t-shirt on woot today. http://shirt.woot.com/

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My son and I read "A Wrinkle In Time" by Madeline L'Engle for his school book report. I read the story when I was a little older than him and recall really enjoying it, although I could not remember much. I enjoyed it all over again. It was a bit advanced for my nine year son but he did well and wound up with an A+ on his book report. Today I stumbled on a TV\direct to video release of "A Wrinkle In Time" by Disney on netflix. It's not great, but considering it was a direct to video style production, it was quite enjoyable and a nice way to finish the experience with the book, particularly for my son.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tom Clancy - Dead or Alive

My father in law loaned me 'Dead or Alive' one of Tom Clancy's latest books. I've always been a fan of the Jack Ryan series of Clancy novels, but I stopped reading them after 'Bear and the Dragon', when Clancy switched from Jack Ryan to Jack Ryan Jr. I have to say how pleasantly surprised by 'Dead or Alive' It's well written (which is no surprise for a Clancy novel), exciting and relevant for the current time period, as opposed to his early books like, "The Hunt for Red October". All of the old characters I remember are there, just as vivid as ever. It feels very much as if I am revisiting an old friend. I have about 200 pages to go, and I've borrowed 'Teeth of the Tiger', the first Jack Ryan Jr book which I skipped. In December the Next Jack Ryan book is coming out. I am eagerly looking forward to it.

Mass Effect 1 and 2

During the summer a good friend of mine picked up Mass Effect 1 and 2 for me. They were both fantastic games. They had a very cinematic feel and were better than most other computer RPGs I have played. In most computer RPGs the combat system seems to evolve into a pause, heal, pause, use power, pause heal kind of pattern. It become pretty dull. In both Mass Effect 1 and 2 that wasn't necessary, although you can and do need to pause. It really felt like it found a nice line between a 3rd person shooter and an RPG combat system. I would highly recommend both games to anyone. They can be purchased online through Steam. I can't wait for Mass Effect 3 next Spring.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Roku

I purchase two roku units in early June and cut way back on cable service. We had two DVRs and a pretty extensive lineup of channels through Comcast. Now we have one DVR and the economy plan. We subscribed to Netflix steaming service and hulu plus, for a total cost of $17 per month. After recouping the cost of the roku, which are $75 each, we’ll be saving a lot of money.

The Roku with Netflix and hulu plus has really changed the way we watch television. We only kept cable to watch particular shows that are not (yet) available through Netflix and Hulu. Other than the shows we record on the DVR, we never watch cable. It’s all on demand viewing via Netflix and Hulu. I don’t think our kids have watched any television through cable since the switch.

The savings and selection are nice, but there is a downside. First and foremost, there are almost no live sports through the Roku. You can watch live baseball for a fee, but I only watch Big 10 football. I will sorely miss that.

The biggest problem impacts some television models and Roku has been trying to resolve it for 4 years+ Sometimes when switching to the Roku you will only see a green screen. This only occurs if you are using an HDMI cable with specific television sets. I want to use the HDMI cable to get a 1080 picture when it’s available. There are a variety of ways to work around this problem. You can restart the Roku but this takes 3 minutes. You can reseat the HDMI cable but this is hard on the cable and I’ve read you can damage the cable or the HDMI port on your Roku or TV. Reseating the cable every time you want to watch TV is a real drag. I have found if I switch from a HD signal off another HDMI device to the Roku it’s fine 100% of the time. If I switch from a standard def signal or a device using component cables, it produces the green screen 100% of the time.

I’ve read you can set your Roku to 720p max or use component cables, but I really want that 1080p picture when it’s available, so I haven’t tested these methods.

Roku forums and support have been pretty good. I had trouble setting up one of the two units I purchased and their support staff did an excellent job resolving the issue. Information on the green screen issue has been inconsistent and unclear.

Now that I have a way to make my roku work 100% of the time, I’m quite happy with the purchase. It’s a nice addition and has really changed how my family watches TV.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bioware Accounts Hacked

I received this email today. I verified it's true via various news stories on the net. If you use your your bioware password in more than one place, for an email account another message board, etc... change it. Now.

We recently learned that hackers gained unauthorized access to the
decade-old BioWare server system supporting the Neverwinter Nights
forums. We immediately took appropriate steps to protect our
consumers' data and launched a thorough ongoing evaluation of the
breach. We have determined that no credit card data was compromised
from the servers, nor did we ever have or store sensitive data like
social security numbers. Our investigation shows that information
such as user names, encrypted passwords, email addresses, mailing
addresses, names, phone numbers, CD keys and birth dates from
accounts on the system may have been compromised, as well as other
information (if any) that you may have associated with this forum
account. In an abundance of caution, we have disabled your legacy
Account. To create a new account please visit social.bioware.com.

We take the security of your information very seriously and regret
any inconvenience this may have caused you. If your username, email
address and/or password on your Neverwinter Nights account are
similar to those you use on other sites, we recommend changing the
password at those sites as well. We advise all of our fans to always
be aware of any suspicious emails or account activity and report any
suspicious emails and account activity to Customer Support at
1-877-357-6007.

If you have questions, please visit our FAQ at
http://support.ea.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5367/ or contact
Customer Support at the phone number above.


Aaryn Flynn
Studio GM, BioWare Edmonton
VP, Electronic Arts