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Archive for August, 2008

Nextworld: Future Intelligence

Posted by JungleBoot on August 31, 2008

If you are like me, you have been waiting most of your life for “life” seen in various science fiction films ( Star Trek, Knight Rider, Johnny Mnemonic, Blade Runner, etc…).  Guess what, it’s a lot closer than you think.  Sure, we won’t be zipping across the universe exploring new worlds for some time.  But the rest, it’s coming.  Don’t believe me?  Program your DVR to record the next showing of Nextworld: Future Intelligence.

Just watching the program I know the following is already in existence:

Smart appliances
Enhanced Vision
Smart Cars
Smart Homes
Energy Independent Homes
Digital Thespians (voice over actors required — way beyond Final Fantasy)
Holograms
Total virtual reality Immersion
Hands Free Gaming
Synthetic cars reinforced by strong aluminum frames

Price Tag:  millions

Do you remember the virtual world goggles of 15 years ago?  Remember how bulky the things were?  There is a scientist that is working on intelligent contact lenses.  His goal is to allow an individual to see his digital world (mail, web surfing, pictures, videos) via contacts.  That’s totally awesome!  But why stop there?  This technology will lead to enhanced vision.  Imagine wearing a lapel pin that acts as a camera (ie: spy cam) and using the contacts to improve both near and far vision based on distance to the object being focused on.  The letters on the page suddenly becomes larger.  The breathtaking view ahead of you no longer requires you to squint to see it.  Imagine the implications.  Outside of the contacts, others are working on sunglass sized virtual glasses.

Another scientist is working on a digital home.  Everything is digital.  All of the appliances are smart and communicate.  The refrigerator knows when to order milk based on a content scan.  Entering the house requires a fingerprint scan.  Temperature adjusts to your presence in the house or other family members.  Plus, there is a “Sarah” (for all you Eureka fans) that manages the house.  There are monitors in every room that allows “Sarah” to interact with the family.  The avatar (which is what it is) will remind your children to go to bed or turn out lights (nicely or forcibly).  Really, really, cool stuff we all want to experience.

The program even goes into cars that drive themselves.  Granted these cars are very small and slow, but they exist.  They are real and a proof of concept.

My guess, the next 20 to 30 years are going to be very interesting.  The technologies discussed in the program are both exciting and well beyond the means of everyday people — unless you’re Bill Gates rich.  Which, in my opinion, sucks.  Still, they are coming and look to greatly improve our lives and drastically change the job market.  You’re gonna need to strongly impress the value of science and math to your children.  Almost every future job is going to require technology skills.  A simple turn of the wrench won’t cut it.

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Games: PS3 NCAA 09 Football

Posted by JungleBoot on August 26, 2008

Let’s get one thing straight, I rent and you should too.  Gamestop makes way too much money off trade-ins.

NCAA 09 Football doesn’t do it for me.  It seems every year the developer adds new features while screwing something else up.  Dynasty mode comes to mind.  I own NCAA 05 for the PS2 and Madden 05.  The reason is simple.  I can graduate awesome players and bring them into the NFL.  A football game, at it’s core, is still a football game.  But, for me, Dynasty mode in NCAA 09 sucks.  The recruiting period takes place over the entire season — not at the end (which is simpler).  They also added more ways to entice a player to commit to your school making Dynasty mode richer and deeper for hardcore fans and complicated as hell for the casual player.  It’s like they are out to entice fantasy football players instead of satisfying simple needs.

NCAA 09 has a feature that is new for me: Campus Legend.  This mode could have been awesome.  I’ll save you the grief.  It sucks the big one.  While it is fun to play the highschool playoffs and get college offers, the play calling leaves a lot to be desired.  My QB went to Texas Tech.  I figured the QB would get a lot of play.  He spent a few weeks during his freshman year winning his spot then hit the field.  I thought — cool feature.  Then you get into the games and realize you can’t call any plays.  The A.I. calls the plays and they generally make no sense.  When you should run the ball, the computer wants to pass.  When you should run to the strong side, it goes weak.  And inevitably, it will want you to run a QB sneak against a  blitzing defense to the weak side.  It sucks.  The only saving grace is the ability to call audibles and run your butt off when there is open field.  EA really needs to patch this portion of the game and give the gamer the ability to call plays.

On graphics:  The graphics are appealing.  However, some animations leave a lot to be desired.  Compared to NBA 09, NCAA 09 running animations suck.  Guess I don’t have a lot of good things to say about this game.  The reason may have a lot to do with its price.

My personal opinion — Don’t buy this game.  Go rent it first and see if you like it.  There is no reason to buy every single NCAA Football or Madden Football game that comes out.

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PS3 Game: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty

Posted by JungleBoot on August 13, 2008

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty sucks as a next generation console game.  The game plays like a repackaged Medal of Honor or Call of Duty title designed for the Playstation / Playstation 2.   For the price, skip this game and rent it if you absolutely have to play it.  You will feel a lot better when you realize how awful it is.

Problems I had with the game:
01.  Teammate AI getting in your line of fire.
02.  Poorly designed “aiming” views
03.  Many weapons left behind by AI enemies may not be retrieved.
04.  Tendency to find more German MP50s versus other cool weapons.
05.  Poor shooting from cover.
06.  Poor collision detection (guns sticking through walls and floors).
07.  Brevity of the game.  At $59.95 USD, the game is short and unmemorable.

Play Battlefield: Bad Company or Call of Duty 4 before playing this game.  The difference just boggles the mind.

Note:  I always rent my games at BlockBuster.  Paying $59.95 USD for new titles that I can finish within a rental period makes no sense to me.

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