Commercial break of awesome

•August 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Commercials usually are boring and just produced cheaply to get a simple point across. For most companies, it is enough; it gets their product out there. Some companies go above and beyond the average commercial, and make masterpieces that I would actually search for to watch. Not only that, but in the silliness and general awesome of the commercial, it still demonstrates the product (most of the time).

I’m sure everyone knows the kind of commercials I’m talking about. Some of them are really obvious. Some of them less so. Here are a few that I love.

The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Let’s get the obvious choice out of the way. It is hard to argue the awesomeness of the commercial. It is a perfect melange of a random, yet entertaining series of events and a man who is not equal to anyone on this earth. Sure, this debuted at the Super Bowl, at which every single commercial is insane, yet unlike all those commercials, this one makes perfect sense. So much so that I have memorized this commercial. I think it’s made me a better man. Pretty much all the Old Spice commercials after this one apply as well, but this one is the most awesome.

Yellow Pages Mobile App Ads

I have no clue if these are running anywhere else but Canada, so I’m unsure if this is obvious to the rest of the world. Anyways, there are three of these advertisements, and each one is as funny as the last (this one being my favourite). They’re each random, one implies lesbianism and one edges on disturbing. Yet they grab your attention, make you laugh, and make sure you know that you can get shit quick with the app. Continue reading ‘Commercial break of awesome’

The news of my death has been greatly exaggerated.

•August 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Well, I doubt the 1 reader (yes, you Will) thought I was dead, but still. I’ve been on hiatus because I’ve been working all summer, but expect an article tomorrow afternoon.

Kinect is the start of a cool technology

•June 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

You all probably know by now that I hate motion controls. I’ve probably said it somewhere here, along with my hate for 3D. So why do I think Kinect will lead to something awesome?


Yes, THIS.

That’s easy, actually. It will lead to further ease of access in home and business computing. Imagine walking into your office, speaking out “Open folder: Case 308”, having all the contents of the file on your screen, and being able to easily organize multiple documents to display on screen for comparisons, study, or even presentations and meetings. At home? Similar functions with music and video could come to fruition (which is already on display with Kinect).

Notice what I didn’t mention in that last paragraph? Yep, gaming. I’m in no way excited for the gaming aspect of Kinect. I think it’ll be too awkward, and although it’ll have function (such as RTSes being controlled à la Minority Report, which would be awesome), for the large percentage of games, I don’t think it’ll work.

Then again, there’s a reason Kinect isn’t a stand-alone platform (at least, as of my guess); it’s a tech demo. With Kinect, Microsoft can properly test the capabilities of their motion sensor system, and easily calibrate it to perfection (or as close as possible). What better way to do this than with gaming? It requires the camera to capture sensitive movements quickly. If it performs well in a gaming environment, it’s surely ready for the home computer world. And soon enough, Tom Cruise will be in a police station bringing up pictures of every suspect on a 70″ widescreen HDTV and organizing them by hand, as a probability program calculates who most probably committed the crime.

Yes, I want this in my home.

20 with chicken pox

•June 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So, how did chicken pox feel for you? Chances are you don’t remember the great feeling that is the disease of the chicken pox, you’re just relieved you had it before.

I wasn’t so lucky.

If you’re wondering where I was while I wasn’t updating, I had the chicken pox for the last week. For those who don’t remember it, let me clearly give my description. I begin by summing it up; it was the worst thing ever.

It started off by pulling me out of work with a large headache and stomach ache. Those symptoms continued, but then pox started appearing everywhere and the disease was confirmed. My head couldn’t rest in certain positions because the pox in my hair were painful to sleep on. Imagine getting punched in the head; that’s what sleeping on a pox felt like. As well, because of this, I developed a horrible muscle pain in my trapezius muscles. This, along with the itchiness, made it impossible to sleep. Not to forget that the rest of my muscles made me feel as tense as someone who just swam the English Channel. Last, but not least, were the pox on the bottom of my foot, making it a pain to walk flat footed and forcing me to walk on my toes or the sides of my foot.

The bright side? The pox had a horrible sense of direction, and thankfully, left my face unscathed for the most part. A mark on my cheek, a couple on my nose, but otherwise, my face is still sexy. My forearms are relatively clean as well. Yep, the pox, for the most part, stayed to the back and the chest, places where I can easily hide them (or, if it gets to the point where I am naked, won’t care to have them). As well, they really only lasted a week, and the harshest symptoms only stayed less than that. I only had two nights of sleep where I really had trouble.

So, how bad was it really? People say it’s worse when it’s older, but I actually can compare it to both my brothers, who had it within the same time frame. One caught it at 19, and had barely any effects, and the one who is 14 had it the worse. So for us, nope, it’s not worse for the older… until you consider we both lost about $800 combined in wages.

So I agree; it’s worse to have the pox when you’re older.

Another soiling of the GoldenEye name in video games

•June 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

MGM Interactive should retire the GoldenEye name from video games, because as it stands, the name is becoming less and less of an icon. The 1997 release, GoldenEye 007, became an instant icon, and pushed console FPSes to a place they had never been before. Since then, there have been attempts to gain off the name.

First of all was GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. Similar to the first game only in name, it met lackluster reviews, and probably caused the angry cries of thousands of gamers saying, “What the hell is this? This isn’t GoldenEye!” On the other hand, at least it wasn’t trying to be, and gamers everywhere would only accept basically an update of the same game. And that was about to happen some time in 2008, but no deal could be done to get the game on both the Wii’s Virtual Console and the 360’s Xbox Live Arcade.

Fast forward to today, and Activision officially reveals their “remake” of GoldenEye on the Wii. Most people cheered; instead, I held my breath. With good reason apparently. According to Kotaku, there are many changes, even so much so as to axe the Brosnan Bond and put in the Craig Bond, as well as making it play similar to Call of Duty (see regenerative health and perks for splitscreen multiplayer). The video that was leaked yesterday (and probably replayed today officially) also helped to get to that conclusion, as it showed close-quarters insta-kills not related to slappers.

Alright, for legal reasons, we can’t expect the same game to come out. At this point, it seems like Microsoft and Nintendo won’t make friends. Rather than a cool refresh, this game will be a butcher knife to the original cartridge. A great thing about GoldenEye was how simple it was. It didn’t take much for someone to get into the game and have fun, the multiplayer didn’t give experienced players too large of an experience gap (and even added handicaps, both in options and characters [Oddjob, Jaws]), and if you were bored, you could turn on cheats and make scientists dance. This will probably be none of that. It’s not that the Call of Duty system is bad, but it’s bloated, and made for straight-line combat. Online will always play a certain way, and give advantages to certain combinations. In all, this isn’t the GoldenEye that we all knew, and this isn’t the GoldenEye that I want either.

Road Salt One review

•June 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I actually have an excuse for not updating in so long this time: my job. I’ve been working my ass off (and getting my tan on, love working outside, except the awkward v-neck farmer tan it entails [soon to come]) and been making money. That being said, don’t think I forgot about things here; I’ve got a decent feature that I’ll be writing (and hopefully finishing) in the next few days that you’ll probably love. In the meantime, enjoy this review of an album that’s somewhat obscure, but one that I was looking forward to this year.

Also, apparently you can like articles on WordPress now. Cool.

Pain of Salvation has been somewhat of an enigma in their past few albums. Despite having a distinct style that gained a good fanbase, the two previous efforts, BE and Scarsick had somewhat separated the fans, one of which being myself. Some complained about a lack of the progressive elements in their previous efforts, as well as the pretentious and immature lyrics (respectively) of the two albums. I mentioned in a past post that their Linoleum EP was a good sign, and a possible change from, at least, the lyrical change that they underwent in the span of those two albums. Only one of the EP songs is on the first part of the two part Road Salt though, and it makes for a confusing album.

First of all, the positives. The most obvious improvement that stands out to me is the obvious jump in the quality of instrumentation. Many classic Pain of Salvation may feel that the tracks do sound listener-friendly, but the jump to a more gritty classic rock style does them well. “No Way” and “She Likes to Hide” are two good strong kicks in the chops that demonstrate this style well, and it comes back to play in more of the later songs. The emotion that I felt was missing in Scarsick (and somewhat in BE) is back in full force, and “Sisters” may just be one of the best tracks they’ve every done. Similar in style to “Undertow”, the lyrics tell the story of a man who desperately tries to hold back the urges to give up a love he once knew for a near-identical sister (that explanation doesn’t do it justice, seriously, if you haven’t heard the song, do it now). “Linoleum” follows suit, although more similar to “Reconcilation”, with similar emotions, as Daniel cries to the heavens in a way he does best.

As for the negative, the immaturity isn’t lost on the album. “Sleeping Under the Stars” hammers that point in lyrically, with painful lines such as “Wait darling, wait / You’re the shit as they say in… / they say that…wherever they say that…”. “Curiosity” follows suit, although not as strong. But the biggest song? Quite a few of the songs are just not memorable. Songs like “Of Dust” and “Road Salt” just don’t affect me, the concept that is hammered home in some of the more emotional songs seems to just fall down and lose some steam, and as hard as some of the past Pain of Salvation concept albums have been to follow, this one does so by irrelevance on occasion. Continue reading ‘Road Salt One review’

What voice would you want your car to have?

•May 21, 2010 • 1 Comment

When I first heard about the Mini Cooper Camden’s Mission Control feature, I thought it was the stupidest thing ever. Basically, what it is is a car that talks to you. Three voices give you pointless feedback depending on what you do in the car. When I heard that Mini supplies a SD card with all the 1300 phrases and you can change what voice you want, I then changed my mind. This thing is awesome.

Just as a demonstration, Automobile Magazine switched the default Camden voices with lines of K.I.T.T. from Nightrider. While that’s a good start, that’s all it is. There are a plethora of ridiculous and amazing choices for the voice of your car. Here are a few that come to my mind.

Disclamer: As much as the original Mission Control voices will be hard to explain on a date, these will probably send a girl running.

1. R2-D2

Really, this is the easiest to do. It will probably be the least annoying to endure as well. Sure, I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, but I see the fun in pretending you’re in a X-Wing while hooning down a twisty back road. Because they’re just inaudible beeps (and some screams), you wouldn’t need to replace all 1300. Simple, and I don’t need to explain it.

2. The crew from Star Fox 64

Use the boost to get through!

Sticking with space, we instead go to a more audible, and probably more amusing voice choice. Star Fox 64 was a great game when it came to cheesy one liners, and it’s very easy to imagine what combinations you could use. Start up the car, get a team report, stomp on the accelerator, “Use the boost to get through!”, or even better, “This baby can take temperatures of up to 9000 degrees!”. Hell, throw in a villain or two. Turn on sport mode? “Can’t let you do that, Star Fox.” Continue reading ‘What voice would you want your car to have?’