I’ve got it!

So I finally got my invite to Google Wave. . . it’s quite awesome. I haven’t had much opportunity to use it yet, as it’s quite dependent on having more friends and colleagues on it, but as I tap into it just a bit, I’m in awe of the potential this new form of communication has to revolutionize the way we use the Internet.

Stay tuned.


Oktoberfest 2009!

Some friends and I went to The Old Bay in New Brunswick for their annual Oktoberfest celebration. There was an all-you-can-eat German buffet, free beer (from their selection of 22 different draft beers), a free t-shirt, and a live polka band.


My Q9 2009 Gamelist

Looks like there are quite a few fantastic releases hitting the shelves this quarter. As you probably guessed, I’m itching to get my hands on Modern Warfare 2. But there are a few other titles I’m also really excited about. High on my list is Assassin’s Creed 2. I still have a two more assassinations in Memory Block 5 before I’m finished with the first Assassin’s Creed, so I’m probably not going to pick up the sequel right on its release date, but there’s not a whole lot of story left for me to play through in the first game, so who knows? Maybe I’ll finish it out before Assassin’s Creed 2 comes out.

I’ve certainly had a blast playing through the Medieval Middle East, but I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for an assassin in the Renaissance!

I’m also looking forward to checking out BrĂ¼tal Legend, a rather unusual idea put forth by none other than the illustrious Jack Black. The premise: you play as a band roadie who gets transported into a fantasy realm that looks like it was pulled right from the covers of the greatest heavy metal albums. His weapon of choice: a Flying V guitar infused with magical powers.

The game I’m really looking forward to, however, is Dragon Age Origins. The developer BioWare is a veteran with fantastic RPGs such as the Mass Effect Trilogy, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and the upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.

BioWare is known for its phenomenal RPGs, but it’s been an extremely long time since they’ve developed an RPG in a strictly fantasy realm, as they’ve been focusing on the futuristic science fiction realm of Mass Effect and the “galaxy far, far away” with their Star Wars releases.

Dragon Age Origins takes all the elements that BioWare is famous for in their space-age games and brings them into the world of knights, warlocks, dragons, elves, and wizards. It’s going to be quite an adventure, I suspect. Game Informer Magazine has already given the game a score of 9/10.

It looks like it’s gonna be a great season for video games.

ODST: my take

Halo 3: ODST came out several weeks ago, and, while I finished the game back then, I haven’t had a chance to gather my thoughts on the experience until now.

Basically it’s Halo 3. The controls, the playing style, the environments. . . they’re all reminiscent of 2007’s biggest hit for XBox 360. It changes several things, however.

For starters, you no longer play as the Master Chief. This is quite obvious as your health can be depleted much faster and more easily. You can’t pull off some of the moves Master Chief can pull off, and you can’t run into enemy fire the way Master Chief does. Instead, it’s probably in your best interest to stick to the shadows and avoid head-on combat as much as possible.

The interface is slightly different, as your helmet is fitted with a special VISR mode that gives you highlighted views of the enemy and doubles as night-vision goggles.

All in all, it’s definitely a lot of fun to play. The new Firefight mode is addicting and is a ton of fun to play with friends online. Unfortunately there’s no matchmaking for Firefight, so you have to set a game up with friends.

My one quarrel with the game is that it’s little more than an expansion to Halo 3. It’s just quite upsetting that it’s priced as a full game. The story mode is about 6 hours long, and the extra disc (called Multiplayer Mythic) is the original Halo 3 multiplayer game with all the downloadable maps included on the disc.

If you’re a big fan of the Halo franchise, it’s definitely worth checking out. But if you’ve never experienced the Halo franchise and are looking for something to introduce you to the series, stick with Halo 3.

Google Wave, explained.

So, Google Wave is cool and all, but what is it actually for? Everyone’s talking about it as “the next generation of communication,” but what does that even mean? Well, Epipheo Studios put together this amazingly helpful little video to unpack what Google Wave is all about.

Well, 3.5% of what Google Wave is all about, at least.
So, Google Wave is cool and all, but what is it actually for? Everyone’s talking about it as “the next generation of communication,” but what does that even mean? Well, Epipheo Studios put together this amazingly helpful little video to unpack what Google Wave is all about.

Well, 3.5% of what Google Wave is all about, at least.

Google, Google, and more Google!

So in my last post I made mention of Google Wave. Google Wave is basically the next generation in collaborative communication. After seeing what Wave is designed to do and what it is capable of, I think it’s safe to say that it’s an Internet game-changer. Google Wave will forever change the way we communicate online.

And somehow I get the feeling that Gmail will probably be replaced by Wave as Google’s primary communication platform.

But don’t take my word for it. Check out this little video from the Google Wave developers.

A possible farewell to my iPhone.

Okay, so it’s no secret that I love Google. I’ve replaced Spotlight with Quick Search Box as the default search system on my computer. I use Google Gadgets on my Dashboard rather than the default widgets that Apple developed. I have Notifier set up in my menubar. I even have a non-working version of Chrome for Mac.

Here’s something that I’ve been considering. I’m currently an iPhone user, but I’ve grown increasingly more intrigued by Android OS, particularly on the myTouch 3G. The marketing is a tad bit cheesy and over-the-top, and it makes the phone look kinda lame, but it’s actually a solid phone. While its hardware isn’t exactly a strong rival to the iPhone’s, Google’s Android OS has enough potential to take on Apple’s iPhone OS. And that’s what I’m interested in.

One of my big beefs with the iPhone is Apple’s (AT&T’s) rejection of the Google Voice app.

I love Google Voice. Its ease of use and consolidation of ideas make it a fantastic system to have. And, well, it’s free. And I like free. But using Google Voice on iPhone OS is clunky and cumbersome because it’s based on the browser. It’s not even a webapp. It’s just a mobile site.

And after reading this Tech Crunch article, I became more and more intrigued. For starters, I’ve been wanting more control over my phone’s OS. Now, I love the Apple UI, but I often feel like (particularly on the iPhone) Apple refuses to let the user customize at all.

So what does that mean for me? I don’t know. I’m still on the fence about all this. I love my iPhone. But I’m also dying to get the most out of my Google Voice account. And I’m a sucker for integration. With Google, my entire communication and organizational life is integrated. Email, voice, SMS, calendars, documents. . . you name it, my Google account has it (so you can imagine how excited I am about Wave). But given the fact that I’m currently working only part-time, it may not be in my best interest to go phone shopping right now and get smacked with AT&T’s lovely termination fee.

In the long run, I know I’ll be saving a ton of money (given T-Mobile’s much more digestible prices, coupled with my reliance on Google Voice which will save me money on minutes and texting because it’s free), but the initial investment is a bit much for someone who’s broke like me.