Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stolen iPhone Thoughts

I just have to make a quick comment on this whole Gizmodo/iPhone thing, because it has been bugging me. First of all, I don't own an iPhone, and I really don't give a shit about the new iPhone, other than I like to know what is going on with technology. In fact, even though I love my iPod, I find "Apple-mania" to be rather sickening and the gushing over the iPad to be borderline stupid. (Even though I think the iPad is pretty neat.) So I just want to frame these comments properly. Forget the "found or stolen" debate and the "attempts" to return the device, and ignore Gizmodo's seemingly obnoxious and rather flip attitude about the whole thing. Consider their "supreme dick move" for a moment, which was to publish the name of the guy who allegedly lost the prototype phone in the bar.

For the record, I purposefully did not seek out this guy's name or follow any of the blog posts about his identity. However, I have to disagree with the people who find this person to be tangential -- or irrelevant -- to the main story. Sure, his "name, photographs, and personal information" are irrelevant, as the Daring Fireball blogger (above) points out. However, his role is most certainly NOT irrelevant, considering it was his act of "losing" the phone that created the story in the first place. I mean, we can ASSUME that leaving the phone in the bar was a mistake, but in this day and age, isn't it plausible that the whole thing was a marketing set up? I mean, here I am, a guy who doesn't really care about the next iPhone, blogging about the next iPhone.

Okay, the "marketing ploy" suggestion is far-fetched. But back to the guy who lost the phone. I don't want to know his name, or his address, or what he looks like. But I certainly would like to know what his role is at Apple. This is RELEVANT. Is he a junior staffer? Is he a director or senior engineer? A consultant or vendor? Is he a CTO? For that matter, was he a CTO's kid who pilfered the phone from daddy's briefcase to show his frat buddies? I guess he wasn't, but it is certainly possible, and knowing more about the guy will shed light on the story. Was he well-respected in his department? Was he a problem employee? Did he sneak the phone out of the office? All interesting things to consider.

And point of fact: Gizmodo clearly doesn't give a shit about any of those questions. That's the kind of thing they teach you in journalism school, right? Work that requires actual effort! Gizmodo wants to get page views, plain and simple, and they will open their checkbook to do so. And like the majority of douchebags and "journalists" on the Internet, they want to start little fires and get as many people as they can to show up, scruples be damned. I think it's offensive and lame, and I hope Apple's army of lawyers descend upon Gawker Media while "Ride of the Valkyries" plays from on high.

Friday, April 16, 2010

FusionFall Goes F2P

Oh, and in case you missed it, FusionFall goes free-to-play next week! Get yourself a character and work your way to level 4 this weekend!

Madballs in Babo: Invasion Goes on Sale

One of the weirder licensed titles to show up in recent memory is the XBLA/downloadable game, Madballs in Babo: Invasion. I played the demo of this pretty fun arcade shooter on XBLA, but never did get the full version. Well, this weekend it should be on Steam for $2.50, so there's no excuse not to pick it up. It looks like there are a whole bunch of add-ons for it, as well, and I think they are on sale, too.

The Madballs license is an especially random feature of this game. I have a sneaking suspicion that the developers were sitting around going, "Gee, what kind of license can we slap on our sphere-shooting game? One that we can afford, of course? Orange Growers of America? Hamster Ball Manufacturers, Inc.? MacManus Globe Company?" (Sound of gears turning in the conf. room.) "Oh, how about that crappy Madballs license from the 80s? I hear they are putting those out again!"

It's a bingo.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Claptrap Action Figures OTW

I am seriously having a love affair with Borderlands right now. I don't consider myself the biggest FPS fan, but on the other hand, I really love fast, run-and-gun type shooters. (No tactics for me, thanks.) I also prefer shooting aliens/monsters/goons with lightning/plasma/ray guns (as opposed to actual human beings with M-16s), and Borderlands has everything I love. In spades. Not to mention the fantastic visuals. Seriously, I don't think the reviews even did it justice. I also love me some good old-fashioned loot porn, and B-Lands has that, too. If Borderlands 2 introduces some kind of enchanting system, it will be AMAZING.

The story of the game, paper-thin as it is, is actually pretty well-written. The dialogue is also sharp. (Pay attention to the chatter from the enemies during a firefight.) Some truly clever stuff is often heard from Claptrap, the cute little robotic mascot dudes. And later this year, you will be able to buy your very own Claptrap action figure! How exciting is that? Figures.com has the scoop.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go shoot a midget psycho in the face with a flaming shotgun.