Skiing Bogus Basin

Went skiing again this past Sunday at Bogus Basin (Boise, Idaho). It was a pretty awesome time even though there was less snow this week compared to last (33″ this week..there were a few brown / grassy spots but overall it wasn’t too bad). I thought I’d share this video I threw together with iMovie from our trip. It’s shot with an iPhone 4 so it’s not the best video in the world. I’m not sure if YouTube will allow the music to remain in the video. I hope so, it’s not as interesting to watch without the music (not that it’s incredibly thrilling in the first place).

I hope to post more soon, it’s been a busy week at work so I spent the weekend relaxing (and skiing of course). I’ve played a little bit of Devil May Cry 4, DmC: Devil May Cry, Dead Space and WWE 13 this week so there’s definitely a good bit to talk about when I have the time.

Advertisements

OnLive Desktop: Microsoft Office on the iPad

OnLive01

You may have heard of OnLive, a company best known for it’s streaming / cloud gaming platform that allows you to play PC games on demand without downloading anything. Well now they also offer the OnLive Desktop app which allows you to access a PC in the cloud on your tablet. There are quite a few apps that will let you connect to your own desktop, however in this case you’re connecting to one of their desktops that have free, pre-installed apps (pretty much just Microsoft Office 2010 right now for free members).

Currently there are two service plans, Standard (free) and Plus ($4.99/mo) with Pro ($9.99/mo) listed as coming soon. The Standard service gets you access to a desktop (with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe Reader) as available (I didn’t have any wait at all when I tried it this morning) and 2GB of cloud storage. I assume you can access your files on another computer by logging into your account, however when I tried to log into my account on my MacBook I kept getting redirected to the login page.

The Plus plan grants your priority access to a desktop, allows you to use Internet Explorer to browse the web with Flash enabled and includes “Gigabyte speed” cloud storage and Webmail. It doesn’t specify if it includes more cloud storage than the Standard 2gb, but it notes you can use DropBox and other cloud storage options with it.

The Pro plan offers the benefits of the Plus plan with 50gb of cloud storage. There’s also an Enterprise plan and Collaborative plan ‘coming soon’ with various other benefits included.

So far my experience with OnLive on my iPad has been a decent one. I noticed a tiny bit of lag when typing and clicking (or rather tapping) on things, but this very well could be due to some slower than preferable WiFi. Otherwise everything worked as expected and looks quite good on the iPad. I could certainly imagine this being a useful tool until Microsoft releases Office for the iPad. The app and its Standard service are free, so I recommend you create an account and give it a try. You never know when you might need it.

Below are a few screenshots of it running on my iPad:

20130209-103603.jpg

20130209-103613.jpg

20130209-103622.jpg

iPad: Final Fantasy Dimensions / The Walking Dead

IMG_0004

I’ve used the first gen Kindle Fire and the 7″ Kindle Fire HD and enjoyed both, but I finally decided to become an iPad owner. I’d describe myself as quite the Apple fan. I love their story, I love their attitude and I love their products. I use a 13″ MacBook Pro (2012) and the iPhone 4 and love both. They’re both very solid, sleek and sexy products with great operating systems (I also run Windows 8 on my MacBook and enjoy it). I love the iTunes store and have a lot of iTunes content, and I could still access all of my Amazon content via the Kindle and Instant Video apps, so the iPad was a great investment in my eyes.

IMG_1910

So now I’m the owner of a white 32gb iPad 4 as you can see in the blurry as crap picture above (sorry about that). So far it’s been a great experience. The retina display is absolutely amazing, text on websites looks incredibly crisp and HD movies look absolutely stunning. The amount of apps available is a HUGE improvement over the Kindle Fire HD (sorry Amazon) and I’m glad I made the purchase.

I’ve been enjoying Final Fantasy: Dimensions a lot so far. Dimensions is a modern Final Fantasy game created in the old 16 bit style and it’s a wonderful throwback. It looks and sounds great and so far it is a blast to play. It is an episodic title and the prologue is free, chapter 1 is $2.99 and the 3 remaining chapters are $6.99, or you can buy all of the chapters for $19.99. I think I’m going to buy the chapters as I get to them because the game is about 40 hours along and I’m sure it’ll take me at least several weeks to finish and I’ll probably get distracted.

IMG_0005

IMG_0006

I’ve also been playing The Walking Dead, which I’ve played on the 360 but since the first episode is free I figured I’d try it out. I’m going to play the opposite type of character on my iPad playthrough, so I’m pretty much going to be a ruthless son of a bitch throughout the game 🙂 Should be fun.

IMG_0010

I’ve also checked out Infinity Blade II which looks amazing. If you have any other recommendations for must play games feel free to suggest them in the comments. Anyway, I’ve included a few more screenshots below. Enjoy!

Loving House of Cards

House-of-Cards-Poster

 

I finished the first two episodes of the new Netflix original series House of Cards, and I have to say I’m quite impressed. The show portrays the inner workings of the Washington political and press scene along with all the dirt and sleaze. This is what makes the show interesting, you’re constantly wondering what scheme is going to play out next and if it’ll work or backfire in the faces of the people behind it. Kevin Spacey’s monologues (I don’t believe I’m using the right word here, but hey it’s 2 in the morning) in which he breaks the fourth wall work great and add a special flavor to the show.

Netflix has made the first episode of House of Cards available for free in hopes that it’ll hook viewers who will then shell out $7.99 to have access to the remaining 12 episodes (which are all available to watch right up front, no waiting!). I’ve been a Netflix subscriber for years, so for me House of Cards is just a nice bonus. I hope it ends up being a success for Netflix and maybe we’ll get a second season and more original content in the future.

Seeing Warm Bodies

image

I’m seeing Warm Bodies this evening and I’m quite excited to
see this unique take on the zombie genre. It’ll be nice to see a lighthearted, warm zombie movie a week before the return of The Walking Dead.

I’ll be sure to post my thoughts on the film later on. I’m keeping this post short as I’m posting from my Kindle Fire HD.

Another Netflix original series: House of Cards

House-of-Cards-Poster

 

Netflix is getting more and more into original programming with the return of Arrested Development and the Lilyhammer series. Today its newest original series, House of Cards, debuted with all 13 episodes of season one available on day one.

House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey and its list of producers include David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network), Kevin Spacey and Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) among others.

I haven’t watched it yet, but the show looks quite interesting. I’m definitely looking forward to watching it. Many people are discussing just how they’ll go about watching the series. Would you try to watch the entire season at once, or one episode a week? The nice thing about Netflix’s distribution method is it’s entirely up to you to decide. It’s “on demand” in a sense. This seems like it’d take away from the social aspect of watching a series. For example every Monday you might hear people at work talking about the previous night’s episode of The Walking Dead. With House of Cards some of your friends may watch the entire series by the time you’re only on the second or third episode.

With its original programming, Netflix hopes to change the way television works. Reed Hastings has said:

Imagine if books were always released one chapter per week, and were only briefly available to read at 8pm on Thursday. And then someone flipped a switch, suddenly allowing people to enjoy an entire book, all at their own pace. That is the change we are bringing about. That is the future of television. That is Internet TV. [CNET]

I certainly look forward to the future of Netflix programming, and agree entirely with Hastings’ statement that the viewer should be in charge of how they consume their content. I look forward to checking out House of Cards this weekend, and will be sure to return with my thoughts on the series.