Franscrollow

I just wanted to write about Franscrollow. Baratunde Thurston coined the term which is an amalgamation of Friend+Fan+Subscribe+Follow.  There are so many ways to track favorite people!! Which do you do, or what word do you use to refer? Well Franscrollow is the solution.

I want to thank @Leolaporte, Brian (@schwood), @Baratunde and @Veronica for a great TWiT this week.  Time very well spent.

I must say I am with Brian on the Net Neutrality issue, Yes we need the net to be free of monopolistic or unfair controls, but its worse if the government is regulating it. All they need is one issue to shoehorn their way in and we will be forever lost to worse and worse regulation. The net as it stands is functioning beautifully and beyond expectation. The hive mind I love thee. We should apply anti-competitive laws as they stand , on a case by case basis, and not have some broad restrictive overarching laws with unintended consequences, like all other laws bring.  Anyhoo, Franscrollow me on twitter @Mr_GRE3N

PS Google returns no searches for Franscrollow.NOTE:Nevermind I typed it in wrong.

Update:2 Dudes, not a flood of hits(3 as of writing) but Google ‘Franscrollow’. Also when I tweeted about it @baratunde congratulated me on my non-accomplishment. There would be no post without you Mr Thurston, thank you. I wish you (and Brian for that matter) could be on TWiT every week.

Maybe now it will and I’ll get traffic for this blog. I’ll start writing here again , I promise, Just need to talk about some favorite things. Cooking some Ideas. And to anyone new, a lot of my posts drip in sarcasm that I assume comes across to make my points. (I try to make it obvious when I’m using it, none in this post.. its ok you are safe)

Lest We Forget.

Today marks the 91st anniversary of the end of the first World War. It is a day here in Canada where we remember the sacrifices made by our armed forces.  We remember why we had to fight the wars we did.  In terms of Canadian identity the role our nation played in both the first and second world war shaped our independence and built a foundation for the country  to compete and have influence on the global stage. We fought for the freedom of people overseas, and continue to do so, in hopes that the fight would never reach our shores.

Lest we forget our heroes and their sacrifice.

The Fall of The Wall. 20 Years of Liberty

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the day officials of the East German government opened borders for citizens to leave the impoverished communist country. The Berlin Wall, the largest symbol of communist tyranny was overcome that day, and would make the beginning of the end of communism in eastern europe, and the collapse of the soviet union. While to this day more work needs to be done to repair the decades of stagnation and poverty, time will work its magic, its only been 20 years but progress has been made for Europe at least.

I have found a few very nice reads on the subject.

Celebrate in Berlin with world leaders.

Read a little about Reagan’s role in this Time article.

Here is Doug Bandow via CATO, about why and what we celebrate. Also via CATO an Indian perspective about why the wall fell, in regards to freedom by Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar. I’ll add that CATO has a bunch of articles related to socialism and communism this week, do check them all out.

I’ll do my best to find some more articles, but for now please enjoy. Mark the day by taking advantage of those freedoms you enjoy.

Another post is in my head for Wednesday, can you guess what it will be about?

Wherever you are goodnight and good luck.

Quote of the day: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall. – Ronald Reagan

Looking Back: The Eagle Has Landed.

An occassion such as this deserves a post. Today, July 20th 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing on the surface of the moon. Apollo built off of the Mercury and Gemini missions, of which explored the tech and skills needed to survive in orbit and in space.  After the tragic deaths of the Apollo 1 crew, the remaining missions prepared for the procedures needed to travel and land on the lunar surface. Apollo 8 and 10 both went to the moon without landing.

Our culture and future was forever changed the moment Armstrong stated

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind”

That moment and the years that follow are a game changer. later it would be shown that the space race was no race at all, and exposed that the Soviet union was falling apart economically. The world was forever changed due to the advances made during the program.

So there you have it I could say a lot more but I won’t. You should spend the time reading about it. NASA has audio photos and video up on their website, there’s always wikipedia. I’ll leave you all today with the words left there at the landing site 40 years ago today:

“Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

Anticipated Games of 09.

I thought I’d do some light hearted fun for therapy from my previous endeavour.

Just want to point out some of the games I’m looking forward to this year. Now as with every form of entertainment there are always surprises. Films you have no clue about until they come out and they blow you away (the matrix, sixth sense) It’s pretty hard for games to do that, but not impossible, perhaps it’s a game that’s just under your own personal radar, or one you don’t have high expectations for, until either you try it out or your friends/ media types bug you until you do. Anyway.. Aside from those mystery titles here are a few I’m pawing after at the moment:

Ghostbusters:

I’m so pumped for this one. Written and voiced by the minds behind the films. Brilliant! This game looks better and more pretty each time I see it. Some game play was showed off around GDC this year and it looks great.  Most people don’t know this but there was a pretty good Ghostbusters game out already way back on the genesis. A side scrolling contra esq shooter, where you fought minions, wrangled ghosts, fought bosses, earned money and bought weapons. Everything from that game is back in this one. Mind you the last one was missing a character (Winston just like the other games left him out) and that game got pretty hard near the end. Anyway I’m digressing. This game has everyone in it, it looks great, it’s exactly what I’ve always wanted in a Ghostbusters, or movie licence game. Looks like it will be pretty hard to mess it up from this point, and I’ll be playing it even if it scores 3’s across the board.

Batman Arkham Asylum:

This looks great. It looks as if Rocksteady has put a lot of love into this game. They aren’t pigeon-holed into making a game based on an upcoming movie, and that allows them to be creative with the visual style, story, and game play elements.  They seem to be using their own take on the character, similar to a more modern style. This batman looks as if he kills, which is darker and grittier then we often see. The look of the game is gritty, twisted and dark.  They put their own spin on the characters, and the game play is trying things in concert that haven’t been done before. Playing the mind games with the AI in stealth mode looks great, and from what else I’ve read, the combat works very nicely. It seems this too, if all goes well, will pan out wonderfully, and I am super juiced for it.

The Beatles: Rock Band.   Do I need to say anything? Not much is known about the game, other then it will differ from standard Rock Band formula. I could speculate on and on about what I think is in it, or should be in it. For instance it would be nice to have 3 guitar tracks per song, keyboard/piano tracks, singing in harmony and every single song period.  When it comes down to it in the end, I’d be happy just to get a good quality sound and a natural feeling, fun note-track out from Apple and Harmonix respectively. There is no doubt it will turn out great with Harmonix track record, popularizing the genre with Guitar Hero, Breaking the mould with Rock band, and a near perfect history of fun and respectful note tracks. Rockband tracks just play better than Neversoft’s GH tracks.  Just about a month or 2 ago Harmonix and EA unveiled that the game would indeed be labelled with the Rock Band name. My guess was that Apple wanted to differentiate its product from everything else, but gave into pressure. It’s clear that the Rock Band name carries with it a lot of weight and will attract some business.  So yeah can’t wait to get my hands on that.

Update: Bioshock 2: Good interview here with Gamespot.

We don’t know too much about the new game , other then it takes place a few years later, and you play a big daddy.  Many people were worried when they heard a startup developer in Take Two was handling the game.  Then we found out however that 2k Marin is made up of ex 2kboston/Irrational developers, fresh of of Bioshock. Next I heard that the lead on the game was the creative design lead on the Fort Frolic stage from Bioshock, and that set my mind at ease. I can’t wait to play this, i’m sure so long as the story is engaging and they don’t go overboard with new features that Bioshock 2 will be another amazing creepy adventure.

On top of that, there is , Assassins’ Creed 2 and the halo 3 expansion Halo3con aka Halo: ODST.

There seems to be a theme developing. Every game I’m looking forward to (besides being on xbox360) is that it’s either a licence or a sequel.  I guess there is nothing wrong with being safe.  However I wouldn’t discredit any of them. The licensed stuff seems to being doing new and interesting things and the old stuff well that’s just a little more of what I already love.  It all comes back to those mystery games, for me. What games get added to my planed purchases?  My guess is a lot of unannounced stuff, with E3 a few months away, we will see some games that were under the radar and others that will be seen for the first time.  Thus is the life of the modern gamer, always a waiting game.   But if I can afford it, I still have a lot already to sink my teeth into. From games of yesteryear, to DLC and just stuff I haven’t completely milked or finished, I’ll be pretty busy this summer.

Who’s Watching the Wacthmen?…I am.

I’ve been anticipating the Watchmen film for about a year now. I must admit I haven’t always been aware of the graphic novel, but with some of the swirlings around Dark Knight last year, I started to dabble in them. I started with The Killing Joke as I had heard that Nolan and his writing team took alot of Moore‘s themes from that book. After hearing alot of praise for watchmen, and seeing the trailer for the film at Dark Knight -Imax Experience, I decided then that it should be my next foray into the format.  I absolutely loved Watchmen, as it appeals to the intellectual, it isn’t your typical hero story. As someone that doesn’t remember the cold war, it finally brought home how it must have felt, like no other movie or book I’ve ever read could before.  I’m super excited to see this film, I really think its possible they could have pulled it off.

Here is the trailer.

I’ll have my review tonight or tomorrow. Until then, I’ll see you soon.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Movie Review: Push

Sunday was funday and i went to a movie. Pretty much nothing appealed to me or my buddy Chris, but we both agreed Push looked interesting and we gave it a shot.

I rather enjoyed it. Push isn’t a great movie, but it is a good movie. Its shot low budget and has minimal special effects. I am glad that the movie doesn’t rely on effects of flashy shots to help itself along. It has pretty good writing and interesting characters and ideas. It is a twist on the superhero genre. It is more of rebellion film, with a small group racing for their lives from a US government agency(the evil kind) an a Hong Kong cartel.

Everyone has some sort of psychic powers and labeled based on ability. Movers can manipulate objects like telekinesis, Pushers control people by pushing thoughts and memories into their minds, Watchers see and predict the future, Bleeders(who i think should be called screamers) yell at a pitch that shatters and shakes the surroundings as well as makes peoples head bleed. Sniffers smell objects and can see events that happened near the object, and can track people with clues from those smells as well as the traces people leave. Shadows can hide people and objects from detection from sniffers and to a degree from Watchers. Shifters can manipulate the form of objects for a short amount of time. Stichers can heal or destroy people’s health, and Whipers can erase peoples memories.

It is all very interesting, and the story centers around trying to find a case with an experimental drug used on the psycics.

Dakota Fanning is actually quite good as a young, motivated Watcher.  She sends Chris Evens’s character on the adventure to begin with.

Its full of interesting style action, almost B movie in style, nut the whole film is picked up by good acting by unknowns, and good writing.  The movie isn’t perfect but it is a must watch.

So that’s a little short blurb. maybe I’ll choose to write more.

Stay tuned for my Watchmen review. it will probably be much more in depth.