Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Facebook Chat, and Why It Sucks

Everyone knows what Facebook is. If you do not, this must be your first time on the internet. If this is the case, please be advised that you will be seeing an uncomfortable amount of genitals during your exploration of this information superhighway. If this prospect makes you uncomfortable in any way, you might want to just throw your computer away right now.

However, if you are already familiar with the internet (and it's awkward accessibility to genitalia) you are probably familiar with Facebook chat. While this may seem like a convenient means of communication with your friends ("friends" in this context meaning the two people you actually talk to out of the 600 or so people you are "friends" with on Facebook) it is also a frustrating and debilitated piece of non-genitalia-related internet media.

Below is a list of helpful Facebook Chat Features:
  1. "Friend's Online... Maybe" Feature: Facebook chat revolves around who is online. If you wish to speak to someone who is offline you must send them a regular message. There is a list on the left-hand side of your news feed of who is currently online. HOWEVER, Facebook always has your entertainment in mind, as it does not update this list when your friends sign online. What a fun game! In order to refresh this list, you must click on the Chat (#) tab in the bottom right corner. When you do, you will see an amazing amount of your friends sign online at the same time. Congruent with this fun little game, Facebook will not properly inform you when friends are NO LONGER online. The same tab can be clicked to refresh the friends list. If only every chat program was this much fun!
  2. "Conversation Auto-End" Feature: Facebook understands that sometimes it is difficult to say "goodbye." This is why every so often Facebook decides to lend you a helping hand! In this feature, the chat decides for you that it is time for your conversation to come to an abrupt end. It does this by pretending your friend has just signed off without informing you. On the other end of your conversation, Facebook is playing the same hilarious trick, fooling your friend into believing YOU are the culprit that signed off without properly informing him/her of your leave.
  3. "Multi-Send" Feature: You may have experienced this yourself, or have seen it during a chat. This is a fantastic feature where Facebook takes something that was sent correctly the first time, but decides that this blurb of your conversation was so important that it should be sent again! Usually at some random moment, completely out of context. This can be extremely convenient during those troubling conversations where you don't quite know what to say. Don't worry though, Facebook has your back!
    You: "Mom just said we are having pizza for dinner."
    You: "That makes me happy."
    Friend: "Cool."
    Friend: "I need to talk to you about something"
    Friend: "My girlfriend and I got into a fight last night, and she said she would rather be with you..."
    You: "That makes me happy."
Please feel free to share your experiences with these or any other of Facebook's numerous helpful chat features in the comments!

Friday, October 1, 2010

What To Do While Walking

So, when you are walking in a crowded area, what do you do? I've always felt that the Rules of Walking should be the exact same as the Rules of the Road.

For example:

In certain areas, when you are driving, it is customary to remain on one side of the road. I know which side depends entirely on where in the world you reside, but we can all confidently conclude that positioning yourself solely on one side of the road causes MUCH less hassle than if you were to switch sides constantly.

So why, then, do people decide to swerve all over the sidewalk?

What is the thought process, when you see someone walking toward you? Both parties realize that they must adjust their current trajectory just slightly to avoid a possibly fatal collision. It never fails though, that one party will confidently stray to the right (as is their customary driving side) and the other party will follow in the EXACT SAME DIRECTION.

Following this horrific event is the ever-so-awkward "excuse me" dance. We've all experienced it. Both parties shift uncomfortably from side-to-side in a synchronized manner, each one just hoping the other will physically melt away from the heat of the underlying hatred that has now been developed.

Do me a favor. If you see me on the sidewalk, just jump into the street so I can avoid you completely.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Technology, Why Are You An Asshole? Part 2

Just wanted to write a follow-up to this post.

I received the replacement battery, opened my Zune (well aware that it was already out of warranty) and replaced the battery with ease.

I then concluded the battery was not the issue, as suspected.

  1. Send the Zune to Microsoft for repair at the cost of $160
  2. Order a new motherboard (which will fix the issue) at a cost of $80 and hope nothing else goes wrong with my (purchased as refurbished) Zune
  3. Get something new.
I'm opting very heavily for number 4, and at the moment of writing this post am eyeing some iPod touches.


Well, to be honest I initially wanted the Zune HD. However, when completing my own research and comparative end (as any savvy consumer should do) I have realized that the iPod just has better features. For example, applications and web display. There is a certain radio station I enjoy listening to (due to the talk show in the morning) and while the Zune does receive radio, I can easily download an app that will stream the station via wifi. This might be in the Zune marketplace as well, but I have a final reason:

Due to the fact that my Zune suddenly and without warning failed on me, combined with the well-known failure rate of the xbox-360, it is safe to say my faith in Microsoft's hardware integrity is wavering slightly.

Already knowing the majority of you are probably iPod users, what are your feelings?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Love It, Hate It: Headphones


One of the greatest inventions that we use on a daily basis. It's hard to go through a day without at least seeing someone using headphones to listen to their favorite song.

Why I Love It
Headphones are the easiest way to provide a soundtrack for your life. Whether you listen to music, podcasts, or anything else. You have your own private music station right in the palm of your hand, and you can listen to whatever you want, wherever you want without disturbing anyone around you.

Why I Hate It
Some people don't seem to understand the concept of headphones. If you are listening to music with headphones, I shouldn't be able to clearly hear every single note of what you are listening to.Here's a news flash for you: I don't want to hear your shitty music. 

Please don't misunderstand that statement. I don't care what you listen to; We all have our individual tastes. Everyone has every single right to listen to whatever it is they want. However, I also have the right to enjoy the quiet of the elevator. When you walk on with your iPod set somehow beyond its maximum volume, with your earbuds nearly falling out of your head from the vibration, I begin to think that maybe you are missing the point.


I don't quite understand. Do you think that you are selflessly bestowing some sort of gift upon the people around you? Allow me to add on to my previous statement: I don't want to hear your tone-deaf ass try to sing your shitty music.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

First Impressions: Portal 2

So it appears I haven't had the time to update this in the past two days. I'm sorry, some of you may have thought I was dead. Please see the end of this post to clarify why.

Also, Free Topic Friday was a bust this week. I believe I will put that on hold for a while, and revive it when I have some more followers. Speaking of that, we are almost at 100! Woo!

But onto the meat of this post:

Isn't it about time for a positive First Impressions post?

For those of you that missed it, Portal was the pleasant surprise that came from seemingly nowhere. It was a (short) game packaged in a release titled The Orange Box, which was a combination of Portal, Half-Life 2: Episodes One and Two, and Team Fortress 2. 

Orange Box cover

Portal was a breath of fresh air in the gaming industry, following truly unique and creative concepts in gameplay, puzzle design, and story telling.

However, we are not here to discuss Portal, but its highly anticipated sequel.

The major complaint about the first iteration of the game was the length. Now, seeing as how Portal was more of an experiment on developer Valve's part than anything else, this is completely understandable. Portal 2 has been promised to be at least twice the length of the previous game, not including the multiplayer component.

Did you see that? Was that a typo? NO. MULTI-FUCKING-PLAYER.

This is the aspect of this game that I'm most excited about. All of the new gameplay elements look fancy and fun, sure. But, have you seen the robot hugging?


Little things like that within a game always make me very happy. It adds a whole new element into the game, such as "How quickly can you engage hugging to screw up your teammates ability to lay down portals?"

I think I'm going to like this game. A lot.

What are your opinions on Portal 2 so far?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Love It, Hate It: Drinking Fountains

You know what I love?
Drinking fountains.

You know what I hate?
Drinking fountains.

The way I see it, there are two types of drinking fountains. There are those that are warm and unsatisfying, and then there are those that are ice cold but taste like iron.

It is so insanely difficult to find that perfect fountain that is both cold and tastes at least somewhat like regular water. I'm sure all of you know what I'm talking about.

It must be something about the materials that go into making a fountain. Obviously they are connected to pipelines just like regular sinks would be, right? So it's not the pipes themselves, because sink water is normally reliable (even if most people do prefer to run it through some sort of filter.) With that fact in mind, it must be something about the fountain itself that destroys the potentially awesome H20.

Potentially awesome H20
(which also ended up being terrible)

A quick Google search to try to find the materials used in making a drinking fountain produces no helpful results. This can only mean one thing: The companies that manufacture these fountains are HIDING SOMETHING. Are they purposely making these fountains produce terrible water in hopes that we will purchase water from other places? Do companies that make drinking fountains own stock in bottled water companies?

That must be it. They must not want us to have free and delicious water. It's one or the other, people.

If you don't hear from me any more after this post, it means I've obviously begun unraveling a gigantic cover-up here, and they have probably already killed me.


But if they don't kill me, I would really appreciate suggestions for Free Topic Friday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Technology, Why Are You An Asshole?

Remember a while back when I told you I have a Zune?

Yup. Me too.

Anyway, the reason I bring this back up is because I was at the gym the other day, listening to a podcast on my Zune and everything was fantastic. I was in a world of untouched beauty and comedy, and nothing could possibly bring me down. Then, as I peered down at my technological wonderland, I noticed the battery was getting low. "No problem," I thought to myself. "I'll just charge it when I get back home."

Cut to home.

So I plug my Zune into the AC charger. It lights up for a moment, then... nothing.

Confused, I figured maybe I would try the original USB charger the Zune was shipped with. Perhaps there was just some sort of malfunction with my third-party a/c adapter. After plugging the Zune directly into the computer, I quickly realized the same thing was happening.

Damn. What could this mean?

There were two immediate options that came to mind. First, there is the option that there is something wrong with the pin connector. This would mean that the Zune is not properly connecting to whatever it is plugged into. The other option is that it is just a battery issue. This is also possible, and I am EXTREMELY hopeful that this is the only thing wrong.

At this time I have ordered a replacement battery, thanks to the magic that is ebay. This of course is my only option, as the Zune is WELL out of warranty, and sending it in for maintenance would cost around $160. At that cost, I might as well wait and buy something new and better.

My experience technology is normally fantastic. However, it should be known that these items are completely capable of failing, and most of the time this happens without warning.

This. Is. Frustrating.

There is another similar yet more expensive experience that pops into my mind that I may discuss later on. However, for now I am curious: What are your experiences with failing technology?


Remember, Free Topic Friday is always JUST around the corner!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Weird Things I've Seen: Pantiality

Unlike Experiences From My Life, this new segment entitled Weird Things I've Seen is going to be about awkward, confusing, or just flat out weird things I see at any point in my day.

I was walking back from the gym on a quite warm and sunny afternoon. Across the street I see a man stop walking and kneel down to the ground. Immediately I assume this man is going to tie his shoes, as is the perfectly acceptable assumption. This man DID make an adjustment to his shoes. However, I was a little off.

I could not help but watch as this man took hold of the tongue of his shoe in one hand, and in the other his pant leg. He pulled the tongue forward and proceeded to tuck the pant leg behind the tongue of his shoe. The man then continued, repeating his actions on the other leg.

If you are confused, which is completely understandable, allow me to provide another pictorial:

From this:

To this:

Can anyone possibly tell me what the point of this was? The man seemed rather proficient at completing the movement as well, making it clearly obvious that it was not the first time he had done this. Is this some sort of fashion thing? Is it cool to have your pants tucked behind your shoe?

Or maybe it wasn't for aesthetics. Perhaps it serves some sort of functionality. Let us explore the difference in pants functionality, or pantiality, between the two styles...

In the image above, the airflow (represented by the sky blue lines) can
be seen to travel easily around the shoe.
However, when it hits the pant leg, it stops, causing resistance.

Here, the airflow can be seen to travel around the shoe as before,
but as the air hits the tongue of the shoe, it travels upward, eliminating resistance.

So the only logical explanation is that this man was having difficulty walking due to the amount of wind resistance. He adjusted his pants and shoes to lower this resistance, thereby making his travels much less strenuous.

There you have it. Through the 100% scientific analysis that is MS Paint, I have easily uncovered the mystery behind this phenomenon.

That, or it is complete bullshit.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Free Topic Friday: Summer Action Movies

What's that? Time for another Free Topic Friday! This weeks topic:

To start, let's present some facts:

The Expendables made $34,825,135 in its opening weekend. So far it has a total gross of slightly less than $100,000,000. The opening weekend number may not seem extremely high at first, and to be completely honest it isn't. Especially when compared to the top opening weekend of all time, which belongs to The Dark Knight, bringing in a whopping $158,411,483. Of course, to compare this movie to such colossal a giant is extremely unfair. So, let's look at a few similar titles:

The Bourne Ultimatum      $69,283,690
The Bourne Supremacy    $52,521,865
I, Robot                           $52,179,887
Bad Boys II                     $46,522,560
Mission: Impossible          $45,436,830
Terminator Salvation         $42,558,390

All of these figures presented are just from the opening weekends. These are all pretty high as well, so it can be said that The Expendables had a pretty average opening weekend.

But let's be honest, 35 million dollars is still a lot of fucking money.

So why exactly does Hollywood expect people to go see action movies, regardless of the plot (or lack thereof) and sometimes overbearing amount of explosions?

The complicated answer:
RottenTomatoes gives The Expendables a 40% rating, or two stars. Yet, this hasn't stopped the movie from making $100,000,000. There have been a slew of negative reviews stating that the movie is just "too much action" and "not enough plot," etc.

However, audiences are completely willing to watch some movies and just let their mind stop working for two hours. It is very easy to walk into a movie theater, forget the outside world, and just let everything in that movie take you to another realm. It is completely safe to say that the "action movie" is a tried-and-true formula, especially in the American markets. I mean, let's face it: people like to see shit getting blown up.

The Simple Answer:
Hollywood expects you to go see these movies because they know you will, and so do you.


I will be taking the next two days off for mental health reasons, so my daily posting will be postponed until The Monday post (which normally goes up sometime Sunday night.)

I will still be reading the comments, and remember I am always looking for suggestions for Free Topic Friday!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Impressions: Weezer's "Hurley"

I'll preface this post by saying this: I like Weezer. That is, I enjoy the albums that I have, and I listen to those songs somewhat regularly. However, my close-following with the band ended with the album Maladroit. After that, I lost interest in the newer material. When the insanely popular single "Beverly Hills" was somehow stalking me, playing everywhere I went each hour of my day, I realized very quickly how much I disliked the song.

This caused me to never give the album a complete listen.

This is a First Impressions post because I have yet to listen to ANY music from the new album. Everything I hear about the album, however, is completely negative. To be honest, I cannot recall hearing a single good thing about the album since its release. Maybe I have, but it was just quickly drowned in a sea of negativity.

Allow me to provide a brief pictorial of what I have been hearing:

I was initially eager to listen to the album upon it's release. Prior to it's scheduled release the album managed to be available for (illegal) download. This caused the band to put the album up for free (streaming) on their myspace. I still have yet to take advantage of the free streaming access, and due to all of the negative comments I am less and less concerned with making time to do so.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. This could potentially be a great album, but due to first impressions, I am in no rush to give it a chance.

I will eventually.

Remember to post your suggestions for FREE TOPIC FRIDAY!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How To Have A Successful Blog

The subtitle of this post should really read Self Assessment: Why This Blog Will Never Be Popular.

Allow me to take a moment to step back and analyze what it is I'm doing here. First, I understand that most blogging sites suggest that in order to be successful you should pick one specific area to discuss. For most people, video games, movies, music, and food all seem to be very popular choices. Let me be perfectly frank with this statement: this is not for me.
Perfectly Frank

While I understand most people will not hold any specific interest in reading something completely different each day of the week (and some weekends) I must make myself okay with that. Part of me realizes that these postings are wasted on most people, who will see a lengthy amount of text, haphazardly read the title and say "Oh, I see. I can probably just guess at what most of this says."

I am guilty of doing this myself for numerous things.

Since my pledge to post something new (almost) every day, I have completed 8 posts. This will increase that to 9. Normal people will wait until they hit a number that is in base 10 before they make some big fuss about what is going on.

I'm not "normal people."

There are a few questions that arise at this point that I should face immediately before they become a major concern:
1. Am I happy with the progress of this blog?
A: Yes. I realize there are various reasons why the blogging community exists. Most of them do not pertain to reading other people's material, and that is fine. I am confident that if I keep doing what I enjoy doing, there will be people out there who enjoy it as well, and they will be kind enough to share this blog with their friends. *Ahem. Share buttons on the right*

2. Am I happy with the material of this blog?
A: Yes. Each post so far has been something different and therefore maintains its own identity. I don't like the idea of someone thinking back to a post I have written and them not being able to remember part of it, or something interesting from it.

3. Am I happy with the layout of this blog?
A: No. Immediately after writing this post (and before actually posting it) I have changed the background and header of the blog. I am still not 100% satisfied, but it is an improvement over what it was before.

4. Am I tired of posting yet?
A: No. Not tired. However, I do have mixed emotions about posting as often as I am making myself. For explanation, please see Question 5. 

5. Have I run out of ideas yet?
A: Yes. God yes. I run out of ideas every single day. After each post I have no idea what I'm going to write about for the next one. This is my downfall. This is the negative aspect of not having one specific topic to focus my attention on. However, I feel that it grants me more creative freedom, so whenever something does pop into my head, I can create it. No one will ever get the feeling of "What? I thought this was a techie blog. Why is he writing about Stop Drop and Roll??"

Personally I feel the only way to increase creativity is to practice creativity. I have seen numerous exercises online to "make the creative juices flow" including sitting down and forcing yourself to write a list of 100 ideas. There was some explanation like once you start getting into a "zone" the subconscious mind kicks in with more thoughts that were normally suppressed.


If you can write a list of 100 ideas and be happy with the process, fine. First, I don't have that kind of time on my hands. Second, I have a hard enough time writing a list of 5 things, let alone being able to make it into that "subconscious zone."

What do you do to enhance your own creativity? Or are you also perpetually out of ideas?


HEY! Keep in mind that I'm always taking ideas for FREE TOPIC FRIDAY! Just post them below!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Experiences From My Life: Volume 1

Hey, let's keep this going and make another new segment. This is just for you, because I like you best.

There are times in my life when interesting things happen. Sometimes. So, I figure I will retell some stories from my life in various posts titled "Experiences..." etc.

Firefighters. We all know them, we all love them. They are going to be the subject of this post, and my experience.

When I was a young lad, perhaps around 8 or 10 years old, my educational facility had enlisted a firefighter to visit for a very intellectual gathering. I believe they used to call such an occasion an "assembly." Basically, the point of this was to learn fire safety. No problem, it should be easy.

Well, to be honest I don't remember too much about the actual presentation or too much of the information given. In retrospect I probably should remember every single word verbatim, seeing as how it could potentially save my life one day... Regardless, once this selfless wild-flame-fighting man was finished with his verse of "fire safety" that he probably practiced for weeks only to be lost on the deaf ears of children, he graciously opened the floor to some Q&A.

I took this as my opportunity to ask my burning question. (PUN)

I raised my hand excitedly, sitting cross-legged on the cold hardwood floor surrounded by my intellectual peers and other classmates.  When the firefighter called on me I brilliantly asked a question that had been plaguing my eager mind since I learned about the method known as "Stop. Drop. Roll."

Allow me to interrupt my own recall for a moment if you will. For those unfamiliar with fire safety, if you ever notice that -- for whatever reason -- you have somehow burst into flames and are surrounded by a blazing inferno, the accepted steps to extinguishing the fire are to 1. Stop moving. 2. Drop to the ground. 3. Start rolling on said ground. It is EXTREMELY important that these steps be followed sequentially. Even one mistake can make all efforts fruitless.

Upon being called, I lowered my hand and asked, "When you stop, drop and roll... How fast do you roll?" The fireman chuckled slightly and asked why I would have such a question. I explained, "We know that fire will feed off of oxygen and increase in intensity. If one were to roll too quickly, it would potentially increase the supply of oxygen TO the fire, creating the reverse of the effect desired from the stop, drop, roll method."

Upon hearing my reasoning for the previous question, the fireman took a moment to ponder to himself. After he had exhausted the depths of fire safety knowledge he possessed, he looked me directly in the eyes and said three words: "I don't know."

I don't know.

Now I'll be honest, while I have personally never found myself in a situation where I have been either IN or ON fire (and I hope to keep my record relatively similar for the rest of my life) I do not assume I will be in the proper state of mind to experiment with the velocity of my rolling if the need arises.


HEY YOU! You can submit ideas whenever you want for the next FREE TOPIC FRIDAY! Comment and let me know what you want me to talk about! THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO BE SOMEONE! I'll be watching for them ALL WEEK LONG.

Free Topic Friday brought to you by buffgamer.blogspot.com No purchase necessary. Participants eligible from any landmass surrounded by water. Rules not subject to change unless you are donating your loose change.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

First Impressions: Alpha and Omega (Film)

It's time for a new segment: First Impressions is going to be all about, well, my first impressions of things. Normally when one sees a movie trailer, book cover or whatever it is entirely normal to form some sort of opinion of the product before actually trying it. Well, for those of you that care about what monstrosities my mind expels from its squishy self, here you go.

Alpha and Omega (Film)

Have you seen this yet? Me neither, and I'm 100% positive that I never will. What I have seen, however, is the trailer for the movie. Actually, let me be more specific. The trailer was on, and I saw something about the characters that made me feel a few different emotions, most of them rage.

Do you see that? I do, and I can't fucking stand it.

I'm sorry, can you still not see what I'm talking about? Alright, let me approach this in a different manner. One that will hopefully disperse any confusion you may currently have.

Do you see what I'm talking about now? Hair? SERIOUSLY? How lazy of a character designer do you need to be that you have to give every character in your movie hair? To be honest, I can't even think of a good reason WHY either of these wolves should have hair. Can you? So why DO these characters (I will call them Alpha and Omega, as the film title implies, but I honestly have no idea what their names are and I refuse to check) have hair?

Sure you may be thinking to yourself, "Obviously, my handsome, intelligent, and all-around awesome blogging friend, it is so you can distinguish the males from the females."

(Insert brain aneurysm here)

Reasons why THIS cannot even potentially be a legitimate reason to give these animals hair:
1. The lengths are pretty much exactly the same, so there is nothing to distinguish the styles.
1b. Hair styles in today's society are as varying as ever. It is extremely old-fashioned to think "girls have long hair and boys have short hair."
2. Voices? I'm assuming these animals can talk. I say "assuming" because I could not bring myself to actually pay attention to anything in this trailer.
3. By admitting that it is a good idea for ANY reason, you are giving yourself much less credit than you actually deserve in the area of "being able to distinguish one thing form another."
4. I don't even need a fourth reason. It's just stupid.

Quick, what is the first animated movie about animals you can think of. The Lion King, probably. If not, it's The Lion King now. I can hear what you're saying, "But Mr. Awesome, Simba had hair!"


In fact, I'm pretty sure there wasn't a damn character in The Lion King who actually had some sort of hair that didn't belong.

Nope. Not a damn one of them.

What if Simba did have some sort of weird fucking hair like Alpha and/or Omega? Would that really have changed your first impression of the movie?

Would you still have seen the movie if you saw this on the trailer?


Friday, September 10, 2010

Google Instant: What It Means For You.

Some of you may have noticed that Google has implemented a new feature in their search engine. The company is dubbing this feature "Google Instant." At its core, Google Instant is an automatic-enter-button. Confused? It's okay, this is the internet. It happens.

Here's how this feature breaks down: While typing your query into the Google search bar, the search engine will automatically display results for each letter typed. If you are very efficient typist, you will probably never notice what is going on in the background. However, for those of you that spend your precious seconds scanning through each individual letter on your keyboard in search of finding the next sequential key, it will appear as though your favorite search engine is having a seizure.

For example, if you type "Where did I leave my car keys?"
Google will submit your search for each individual letter. If you type slowly, first you will see results for "W" followed by "Wh" and so on.

How does Google promise this will improve your searching?
According to google.com/instant:

"Faster Searches: By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.
Smarter Predictions: Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so you can stop typing as soon as you see what you need.
Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before your eyes. Until now, you had to type a full search term, hit return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as you type, helping you see where you’re headed, every step of the way."
What does all this really mean?
As seen above, "Smarter Predictions" is not actually a new feature. This has existed for quite a while, and should not be considered a change by any stretch of the imagination. "Instant Results" is pretty self explanatory, so we won't bother with that.
However, "Faster Searches" in this context is practically meaningless. Where Google pulled "2-5 seconds" from, I'm not really sure. However, the average adult types somewhere in the range of 40 words per minute. The average teen to twenty-something is probably around 70 words per minute. So lets average that out and say about 55 words per minute.
55 words per minute / 60 seconds in a minute = 0.91 words per second. So we can round this up to 1 just to make it a little easier to comprehend.
So we have established that the average person using Google would type about one (1) word per second into the search bar. If Google is saving me 2-5 seconds, this means they should be saving me from typing two to five words. So, if we use the previous example of "Where did I leave my car keys?" I should only have to type "Where did"
Now, I think we all can agree I'm not going to get accurate search results with 2/7 of my originally planned search.
All Google Instant is really doing is saving you from hitting the "enter" key or clicking on the "search" button. This action would probably take no longer than 0.5 seconds maximum, or less for those who type quickly. For the computer illiterate, however, once Google starts automatically entering search results, they are going to FREAK THE HELL OUT. The results could potentially be the following: The user will stop typing, and try to figure out what just happened. Potentially close the window, open a new window, type again, and realize the same thing is happening. After a while, they will (hopefully) eventually realize what is going on, but after all this it has increased their search time by 20 seconds! (Of course this is just an estimated number.)
Google Instant is a creative touch, but to the savvy user is no more a feature than a younger sibling leaning over your shoulder, constantly hitting the enter key as you try to type.
What do you think of Google Instant?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Free Topic Friday: Mac Vs Pc

Welcome to the first ever Free Topic Friday! Since there was only one suggestion for a topic, it was the automatic winner!

Well, there are plenty of areas to take a debate between Macs and PCs. However, since there are plenty of sites that discuss in length (perhaps too much length) the comparisons of hardware and software, I feel I should use this opportunity to discuss a little bit about the advertising campaigns that we have seen.

Everyone is familiar with the brilliant advertising campaign: "I'm a Mac." "I'm a PC." Of course, in each of these commercials, the character playing the PC is meant to look like someone's uncool uncle who spends all his time collecting his receipts for tax season. The Mac, on the other hand, is the trendy young adult whose cool demeanor remains unchanged no matter what fancy shenanigan the PC may have up his sleeve.

Face it. It's brilliant advertising and there is nothing you can do to change that.

But what does PC have?

Granted, Windows has done its best to reply with it's own commercials of "I'm a PC, and Windows 7 was my idea." With these commercials, the consumer shows off some new or "exciting" feature that a machine running Windows 7 can do, and they explain how it was because of some inept realization they had while they were in the shower, or some other mundane situation. Features?! Who wants features?! Think about these commercials and how they compare to the Mac commercials. What do you recall from the Mac commercials you have seen? Do you remember the things that they may have listed that Macs are supposed to do better than PCs? Or do you remember that they make the PC character look foolish in every situation?

Go ahead, I'll wait.

I think the answer is pretty obvious. While some of the more tech-minded people will be able to list some features, the overwhelming majority just remember the gimmick of the commercial. This is why Macs have grown so rapidly in popularity. It isn't the hardware, it isn't the software, it's the marketing.

Personally I'm a PC user and a Zune user. I use a PC because my knowledge of computing is heavily based around the PC, so I can handle any problems that may arise. The Zune I bought because I was able to get a good deal on it. What Zune advertising campaign to I remember? None. What iPod campaign?

I think we can recall pretty easily.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Smart Cars, and You. But mostly Me.

I don't drive a smart car. I don't think I ever will.

Please do not confuse this with "hybrid" or "energy efficient" or anything like that. The cars I'm specifically talking about are those tiny little one-person cars. Yes, I know they have two seats in them, so maybe one person and a small kitten.

Still don't know what I'm talking about?

THIS. This is what I'm talking about.

"So," I hear you asking me, "Why won't you ever drive one?"

Allow me to explain: Drive one for a while? Yes. Purchase one to own? No. It's not the fact that it's a tiny car, and it isn't the fact that it would be inconvenient to try to fit things into or transport items. Okay, so that last one IS really inconvenient... Quite honestly though, I would be afraid to be in this thing for any extended period of time! Sure it's fantastic for the environment, but it looks like it will tip over if you so much as LOOK at it too intently.

Needless to say I am curious as to how it drives. I expect any individual that sees this car on the road would feel the same way. Whether they were speaking from experience or just assumptions, I have heard many people equate the experience of driving one of these cars to the experience of driving a go-kart. Everyone knows how much fun that is, and it's nothing more than just driving!

However, the thrill and excitement experienced when driving a go-kart isn't derived so much from the vehicle itself, but from the track you race on. When was the last time you drove a go-kart on a track that was nothing but 4 lanes heading in one direction for an hour? Did you ever drive a go-kart to a 4-way-stop intersection that for some reason NO ONE THERE BUT YOU KNOWS WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! It's not that hard people! The first person to the stop sign is the first person to go! If two people get there at the same time, it's the person to the RIGHT that goes! I really shouldn't have to sit there waving my hand like a jackass, hoping you understand what the sight of me having an aneurysm in my car is supposed to mean.

...but yeah, I wouldn't buy one.


Have a topic you want me to talk about? Feel free to let me know in the comments! Free Topic Friday begins this week!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What Video Game Do You Remember Most?

A quick note before we get started: I'm going to do my absolute best to post something new every day. And if not, then at least 5 days out of the week. Let's commit to this, and keep my brain working around something more creative, and less educational-based.

If you grew up playing any video games at all, then this post is for you. I challenge you to think back to your childhood and answer a question for me. What game is most vivid in your memory?

Now, this may not necessarily mean the game you played most often, or even a game you beat. It could be anything. The graphics, the colors, the music, the gameplay. Anything.

For me, nothing screams "childhood" like Mike Tyson's Punch Out for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

I can recall countless hours pummeling each contender that stood in my path. Sadly though, the image pictured below was never part of my experience.

There are numerous people who play this game, knowing every subtle nuance in timing their moves just perfectly to defeat each challenger in a matter of seconds. This was not my experience with the game, and it never will be. Dedicating the amount of time required to memorize every subtlety such as that would ruin the experience of the game for me.

Or maybe it's just that I know I can't do it.

What I remember most in this game is the music. I suppose that is why when presented with the spontaneous opportunity to record a parody of one of the game's most memorable scenes, I couldn't refuse.

No, I don't normally run like that, but thanks for your concern.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Why Am I Playing Pokemon Again?

Let me start this post by saying this: I loved Pokemon when I was a kid. I played Pokemon blue when it was released like if I kept playing I was going to win something. Of course, there was absolutely nothing to win aside from the gratification of beating the Elite Four. I knew I would never catch all 150 (or 151) creatures. I knew this when I realized pretty much everyone I knew played the same version that I did (blue.)

If I were to go back and play Pokemon Blue again, I would have absolutely no problem making my way through the world. I would know every major mission, every side quest, where to get every HM, and just be awesome in every way.

So when I recently uncovered my GameBoy Color from the massive treasure trove that is my closet, I decided to dive back into the world.


Playing through the same world again just didn't seem appealing to me. Sure it would have been fun, but I held in my hand three different games to choose from: Pokemon Blue, Yellow, and Silver.

Now, the only one of these three games I remember ever completing is Blue. Yellow I could play through, but it is still very familiar territory. Silver, however, is a completely different experience.

I remember the months leading to the game's release, hearing all the information about the changes from day to night, the different monsters to catch in each period of time, and I remember being absolutely amazed.

I bought it.
I didn't play it.

Now let me clarify this statement. I DID play it, a little. But I lost interest so quickly that I moved onto something else. This is what made me decide to start a new game of Pokemon Silver.

Jumping back into the world of Pokemon after being away for so long is a thrilling experience. I was ready to dust off my brain and jump start my old knowledge... But it didn't take me long to realize that I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT'S GOING ON.

My Pokemon knowledge stopped at 151. I don't know all these new Pokemon! I don't know who is weak against what, or which Pokemon is which type! It's all so very confusing.

This is what it must have felt like to be a parent at the time.

However, I am struggling through and learning whatever my mind will let me retain while I finish my last year of college. Which is to say: not much at all.

So what are my main issues?

The concept of trying to catch all of the Pokemon in this game is causing me some anguish. Having the schedule I have only allows me to play the game in the evening. And no matter what time I seem to turn it on, it's always night time in the game. This means there are some Pokemon that I will just NEVER encounter. I guess I'll just have to assume the role of my younger self and just live with the fact that a portion of this game will never be completed.

I suppose though that my main grievance with the game is that it just seems like all of the new Pokemon are throwaways. That is to say, it seems that there was just no effort on the part of the designers in creating these new monsters. It must have been just to create a new game, and to create new hype, and to make more money. Obviously it worked, I mean, I do own it after all.

Like what is this?


I suppose I can't make judgement like this though. I mean... this is just a rat.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Creative Process

The creative process? Is there really a process?

I always find it difficult to be creative when I'm trying to be creative. Every time I have sit down to create a new video (or any other project for that matter) I always have the hardest time thinking of anything. I have tried a few different "creative exercises" including the one where you just make a list of 100 things. I liked making the list, and it had some unique ideas, but I didn't get to 100 because quite honestly I got bored of it.

That's another problem of mine. I get bored quite easily.

So what is one to do when creativity is unattainable?

Obviously, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I have pushed several ideas into fruition. Most recently, ideas that make little to no sense. Flying into the mouth of the sun? A heavy metal song about steak? Along with a acid-trip style music video? Yeah, I'm not entirely sure anyone would call this "creative" or "artistic," or perhaps those would be the best ways to describe it.

I have come to terms with my "creatively challenged" nature and have decided to do the best thing I can for myself: make whatever comes to mind. It's pretty simple. If I have an idea, no matter how absolutely ridiculous it may seem, I'll make it. While before I may have written it off because I knew it would come off as being abstract or obscure (or just plain weird) I will now be making anything that comes to mind.

I hope you all enjoy the absolute train wrecks that my mind creates.