Gaming News, In The News: Gaming & Tech, Reviews by Zackary

Tech Friday – Friday The 13th Edition: Demons, Xbox, Kindle Robots, and a Mission to Mars!

tech friday the 13th



Tech Friday, the 13th


Friday the 13th may strike fear into some, and stir excitement in others, but this one is a bit different. Why, you ask? Tech Fridays are back!

While these awesome Friday posts aren’t exactly new around here, but I am. My name is Zackary, and I’m going to bring them, as regular installments of all things geeky, and tech related from around the nerdy-verse. While they won’t always be book, or game related; they will be full of good stuff.

Demons, Xbox, kindle robots, and a mission to Mars, I have a good mix for you this week to kick things off, so let’s get down to it!




 diablo 3


Diablo III


What better way to start off a Friday the 13th. Hell, demons, and monsters, oh my!
Now all you console gamers out there can revel in the glorious Hell that is Diablo III.  Us PC centric folks have been enjoying it for sixteen months already, but Blizzard has managed to step up their game…literally.
The game, feels like it was made for the console. Yes you heard that right, it’s actually better! So, Its old news that the pc version broke records in sales with more than 3.5 million sold in 24 hours, and just went up from there.  According to the investors report from Activision, Blizzards parent company,  the game did very well.
I enjoy the game, and so do a lot of others, but it had a few problems, errr “quirks”. Either way you look at it, the console version has improved where the pc game lacked.



Auction House

First of all, there is no auction house, real money, or otherwise. What does this mean? It means you can’t buy your way through the game. RNG FTW!
Yea, yea, I know… RNG  loot can be frustrating for us all. But hell, so can sifting through auction listings trying to buy gear that is better, and that’s just to stay competitive! I for one, would rather play the game, and use what drops, good, bad, or otherwise. If i’m going to be frustrated, at least I won’t have to pay gouged prices on a mediocre chest piece.
Some of you may like buying your loot. That’s all right, I did too… when I had to, in order to stay competitive. Some people love games with cheat codes, and short cuts to the end game. I don’t. Call me a purist, elitist, snob, or even a noob; we all like different things.



Off-line Game Play

That’s right, you can now play it online or offline! What a blessing for those of us with horrendously crappy, so-called, internet connections. I know,  I didn’t think they existed anymore either…until I moved to the rural countryside, of the “great” South East USA.
Can you imagine my shock when I hooked up my PC and logged in to a raid night for World of Warcraft with a whopping  .3Mbps connection!?  Yep, when I could stay connected, I had over 2000ms latency. I had better luck using a hotspot on abad 3g signal. Diablo 3 wasn’t much better, But I must admit at least I could play it in off peak times.



Mouse clicking…No more!

Ok so this one is minor, but all that clicking could get tedious after hours of play. The games limited spells and movement, just seems to jive very nicely with the console controls. Not to mention, there is a bonus!  The right stick gives a console-only dodge roll, sweet. Not game changing, or anything, but in some situations you may not need a dash ability.
Well I don’t want to use up the entire column ranting about one game. Ok, so maybe I do, but there is a lot of other good stuff to talk about  too. Check out the game here and see for yourself, it may be worth checking out, if you haven’t already.





xbox one



XBox One Official launch Date- European Pre-order game Announced.


According to the official Xbox website, November 22, 2013 is the launch date! Well that is assuming you live in one of the thirteen initial launch markets – Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, UK, and USA.
If you live in Korea, Zimbabwe, or the rest of the world, I’m so sorry, but you will have to wait until sometime in 2014. A moment of silence, for our international brethren who must wait…


Europeans get FIFA 14…

Well Some do anyway. Apparently the day one preorder bundles with FIFA 14 are in limited quantities.  But they promised you say, yes, well, It’s Microsoft. What more can I say? How do you run out of a digital download? It is beyond me, and a topic for another discussion.

Anyway, Once they “run out” of FIFA 14, you get Forza 5 in the Preorder bundle. To me it isn’t a bad thing, id prefer a racing game over FIFA any day. Then again, I’m not in Europe, so i could see why some people are upset over the switcheroo.


Americans get….

We don’t know yet, neither does the rest of the world. Except Australia, they are lumped in with Europe. That makes perfect sense, because they are so close and all, right?… I know, I know, there are much smarter minds than me in the Xbox marketing department that figures all this stuff out. Perhaps they share distribution networks, or something, I don’t know.
I suppose we will know soon enough. I haven’t seen the numbers yet on how many pre orders Xbox one has gotten.
Out of curiosity, how many of you are preordering? How many are even considering buying one at all? Me? I’m slow in the console world, I will wait a bit.





 kindle bot



Robots and Kindle Books?


What does a robot have to do with a kindle book? No, this isn’t a futuristic story about robots taking over the world, by way of Kindle devices.
This is a robot built from legos, yes mindstorm legos… the kind you step on in the dark, because your kids seem to play with them, everywhere. I digress. Peter Purgathofer , an associate professor built this contraption to strip DRM from kindle books.
To be clear, this is not a how to steal books, or circumvent DRM article. As Purgathofer stated in an interview with allthingsd. This isn’t a statement against e-books, which he loves, but a “dramatic loss of rights for the book owner. “The owner isn’t even an owner anymore but rather a licensee of the book,” he says.
This “statement” works by taking a picture after the robot hits the next page button. One page at a time it works  through the book. After it is done it scans the pictures, and formats them into to text.  Sounds simple enough, in a high tech robotics, hack sort of way.
The good professor hasn’t released what software, or any instructions on how to do this at home. So it seems safe to say this was truly just “a statement”, or perhaps just a project, to help tech his class on technology and society.
Do you agree with DRM rules? What could be changed to make your life easier as a reader?…as an author?






 mars one



The first round of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Program, Closed.

This is sad news to those of you hoping to get a spot in the Mars One program. It is fantastic news if you were one of the few accepted for the first round applications.

According to space industry news, over 200,000 people applied in the 5 month application period. They go on to state, people from 140 countries applied to be some of the first to settle on the red planet.
The Mars One, non profit, foundation plans to complete this process by the year 2023. Yes this means having a human settlement on the surface of Mars in 10 years. The foundation insists this is possible with existing technology. Oh did I mention there is no plans, or technology for return flights. These are one way tickets, for life.
Ok so I’m torn on this one. the sci-fi techy geek in me is thrilled! However, the responsible human adult part of me knows this is horrible.
We, as a race of people, cannot take care of this beautiful planet we have. What makes anyone think we won’t destroy another world along with this one? Ahh well we are running out of all our natural resources…let’s pack up and move a few million miles to mars, what could possibly go wrong!?
But I’m a realist, and I know sooner or later something like this will happen. Whether or not it is in 10 years, remains to be seen. Yes, I know this will be great for technology, and the economy. The lunar race in the 60’s helped make our computer, and electronics industry what it is today. Necessity is the mother of invention(and innovation for that matter) after all. But at what cost are we willing to take that leap?
So how do you feel? Do you fear our, seemingly, unavoidable ability to deplete, and destroy? Or am I simply being a tree hugging, hippy, pessimist? On a side note, should this remain a privately funded project from a non-profit, or should governments be/get involved? Would politics help, or hinder?


Trial By Fire

Well that’s my inaugural round up for Tech Friday!

I can’t talk about everything breaking, there just isn’t enough time. I will try to keep the love spread around, and not focus on one area.

Some Fridays will be awesome news, others will be game reviews, and how -to’s.  One thing is for sure, I promise to keep you informed.

If you have questions on a specific topic, or even if you would like a tech news story you heard, researched a bit deeper, just drop me a comment!

Thanks for reading along…Until next time!