Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

The Man of Steel sequel has an official name, and an official logo. And I can't stop staring at it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Microsoft Unbundles Kinect - We All Win

Today, Microsoft announced that they are releasing an Xbox One retail box that does not include Kinect (they also no longer require a paid membership to access non-gaming apps, such as Netflix or Hulu Plus. Which is the right move, finally). This goes against what they said at E3 a year ago, that the system was built around Kinect, and that it was integral to the system. They say that this vision hasn't changed, but rather that the Kinect-less retail box will allow more gamers to get the One, as it is $100 cheaper.

Now, every person on the internet has an opinion about this situation, and if I try to sum up all the different thoughts on the matter, this post will be tens of thousands of words. But I can say this: every single opinion is right. Isn't that a neat concept? If someone feels strongly about a given system/game/architecture/requirement/benefit/etc, then that is exactly what is right for that person. Which is what's so great about being a human. You get to feel the way you want to feel about things.

What we can't deny is that, with this move, Microsoft has given every gamer the option to choose the system they want to own and play, regardless of price. Want the more powerful RAM? Buy a PS4. Want Sunset Overdrive? Buy an Xbox One. Want Mario? Buy the WiiU. Only have, like, $150? Buy a 2DS.

The thing is, with every gamer who wants to jump to the "next generation" being able to choose the system they prefer, and not forcing them to choose with the limitations of their wallet, developers can make games for both consoles knowing that everyone who wants a console can get whichever they prefer, so there will be many more consoles being sold. Before this move, devs would probably have been leaning toward primarily developing for PS4 because more "on the fence" gamers would buy that simply for the price difference. And if a dev is neglecting one system's development for another, then it just snowballs for the primary system.

As a gamer, this move means more quality games on more systems. That means more fun. And really, if you're playing video games, shouldn't you be enjoying them? Let's all let games be fun again, and stop talking about how terrible people are, and how stupid/fat/ugly their mom/girlfriend/dog is for enjoying a different gaming system.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A new coat of paint

For a few years now, I've been thinking about putting my hosting company in the grinder. While the host touted 99.9% uptime, the bandwidth always seemed a little limiting. Being able to load some small forums shouldn't take 30+ seconds. It only happened sometimes, but it's still sort of unacceptable.

Last month, some high intensity spambots decided to take over the user registration form on the Vanilla forums I had installed, started creating accounts, and (somehow) sending out spam from the registration form. The host, naturally, shut down the functionality (and the forums, in the process) to stop the spam. Their information to me? Set up a CAPTCHA on the registration form. Okay, great, except a) I already had the Vanilla-provided CAPTCHA set up, and b) I can't get to the admin panel to set anything new up, since you shut down all access to it.

I was able to manually pull the two years of posts out of the database (so, guys, if you want any info from your posts, let me know. I have it all), so at least all wasn't lost forever. But it did push forward how I was going to proceed with the movement from the host.

I haven't really liked doing the backend maintenance on any given installation (phpBB, WordPress, Vanilla, etc) for awhile now. It used to be fun, but now it's just annoying busy work. "Hey, your installation is out of date and people are spamming the site. Drop everything and spend an hour updating this." I just don't want to do that anymore.

So, long story...well...long, I have moved my domain registration to a different registrar (partly because I was registered with the hosting company, and I didn't really like them that much overall, but also because they don't do domain registration independent of hosting. So without hosting, I can't have my domain with them), and completely dropped hosting altogether.

My blog will be the front page (for now) as it always has, but it's hosted by Blogger (as it has been for awhile). The forums are now hosted by Google Groups to alleviate my need to update or moderate spam. For now the themes are completely disparate, as the forums are sort of what I want, but my blog is what it's been for a year or more. I'll probably look into theming them properly later, so don't go too crazy about that.