Forza Horizon out tomorrow

So I’ve been a huge fan of the Forza series since I first played Forza 2, but I have to admit I hadn’t been following Forza Horizon much. First of all it’s made by an entirely different development team and it’s targeted toward an entirely different audience than Forza 4. That said, after watching reviews and trailers over the last few days (and Giant Bomb’s 40 minute ‘quick look’) I’m finding myself interested in the game.

Sure it might not be all about realism and the ‘story’ looks incredibly corny, but the game is incredibly pleasing aesthetically. The fictional interpretation of wide open Colorado road looks amazing! The cars look as good as ever also. I love the authentic interiors in Forza, and am glad they return in Horizon. Nothing is more thrilling than driving from inside the car.

I’ve never liked the arcade racing games like Burnout or Midnight Club, yet Forza Horizon looks to be the perfect mix of Forza realism and a more casual racing environment.

 

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Quick glance at the Kindle Fire HD

My Kindle Fire HD (7″, 16gb) arrived today and unfortunately I have to head into work in a few minutes so I haven’t had enough time to play with it to write something more thorough. Instead I’ll share a few pictures below. I’ll post a more detailed look at the device in the near future. For now I can say it’s incredibly sexy, the screen is amazing and the device feels great in the hands. I also love the updated OS, and the new powerful speakers are much louder and sound great.

Atlas Shrugged Part 2 tomorrow!

One day I saw Atlas Shrugged Part 1 (trailer below) on Netflix and had never heard of it, but decided to watch it. I watched the movie on my Kindle Fire while sitting in the library at Sheppard AFB, Texas (while in tech school) and I could not tear myself away from the screen. I could’ve gone back to my room to finish it, but I couldn’t find the power to hit the pause button, I was that entranced by the movie.

 

Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand published in 1957 which is being made into three movies. Part one was released last year, and was considered a box office flop (it also has a 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). Fortunately this didn’t prevent the continuation of the story as Atlas Shrugged Part Two is in theaters tomorrow. I’m more excited for this movie than any other movie coming out this year, and from the trailer (below) I can tell it won’t disappoint.

Kindle Fire HD on the way

So I had sold my old laptop and Kindle Fire and was planning to use the money to purchase an iPad, however after playing with the Kindle Fire HD I found myself hooked. I loved the first generation Kindle Fire, even though at times it felt limited (especially in the app department). The Fire HD looks incredibly sexy, and I like the ease of accessing my various content in the Kindle environment. Unfortunately only the 7″ 16gb model is currently available. The 7″ 32gb model ships in a little more than a week, and 32gb would be a welcome upgrade, but I’ll settle for 16 which is still twice the size of the first generation Kindle Fire (and the second generation Kindle Fire which also has only 8gb of storage).

I’ll post ‘unboxing’ photos (maybe video) and my first impressions throughout the weekend.

Starbucks Pick of the Week (free song): The Lumineers

If you haven’t found a good reason to install the Starbucks app on your phone, I’m about to give you a good reason to do so. Not only can you use it as a quick and easy way to pay for your daily dose of caffeine (and earn rewards doing so), you can also download a free song every week via iTunes. It’s simple, you get a message titled ‘Pick of the Week’ every week and you simply click a button which will take you to iTunes and start your free download. Recent weeks have featured songs by Dave Matthews Band, Black Prairie and Van Morrison.

This week’s pick is by far my favorite, and I have fallen in love with this band which I discovered via Starbucks. The band is The Lumineers out of Colorado, whose album (The Lumineers) debuted this past April (check it out on iTunes). The song is “Stubborn Love” which you can see in the video below. It’s an amazing song, and a great video!

 

Sirius XM, worth another shot?

Nowadays nobody listens to the radio. Instead most people have turned to streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify, and that’s not such a bad thing, but I think you lose something when you turn to these automated services. I’m a Pandora One subscriber and I enjoy the service, however I find myself skipping unfamiliar songs all too often, trying to listen to only my favorite songs. Also Pandora is just too robotic. By that I mean there’s no human interaction. Just song after song. For some this is a good thing, however I’m starting to think it’s not for me.

Furthermore, Pandora doesn’t often play brand new music. That’s why I’ve decided to give SiriusXM another try. I had been a subscriber to XM before the merger and enjoyed it, however in the long run I had to cut the service from my budget. Now I think I may end up getting a Sirius radio for my car.

I’m currently on a 30 day trial of SiriusXM Internet Radio, which lets you stream the service via your computer or phone and it’s been quite enjoyable. I’ve already discovered quite a few new songs I hadn’t heard through Pandora, and I like the human component. I love the news breaks and commentary by the DJ’s. Furthermore it’s nice to be able to listen to the news via CNN or MSNBC if I feel like it, or check out ESPN Radio and SportsCenter throughout the day. There’s also streaming play by play, and of course Howard Stern!

I’m enjoying it so far, and look forward to having the service in my car again. I’d use the app on my phone in the car, except I don’t have 3G coverage until I drive an hour off base.