Trying out the whole YouTube thing

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Starting today, I’ll try out this “new” YouTube thing – since I got my new PC, I’ve also had the chance to do fullscreen capturing of the games I play.

So I’ll record me playing games of old and new (sometimes with a Beta test thrown in) and comment my gameplay on YouTube. It will stay a nice little hobby though, as recording gameplay is easy, but doing a commentary track with at least some helpful information doesn’t seem to be..

You can reach the channel either via the link in the main navigation above or going directly to YouTube.

There’s Something Rotten In The State Of Social Media

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The business advantage of limiting what users can do is that user behavior can be better channeled and predicted. We the users become lab rats forced to eyeball whatever is placed in front of us. Many people won’t even realize exactly how staged and contrived their digital social services have become, as they are encouraged to keep scrolling mindlessly through all the tasty looking, populist clickbait fired at their eyeballs.

Great writeup of the current state of social media by TechCrunch: http://techcrunch.com/2014/09/05/monetization-automation-enforcement/?ncid=rss

Why I canceled my Titanfall Preorder

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Sheeple of the Internet – prepare to unleash your hate onto myself, for I have sinned and dared to dislike the Titanfall beta and canceled my preorder.

Just by judging all those gushing previews and opinion pieces on Polygon (twice), Kotaku, Eurogamer and more, Titanfall is supposed to be the “best thing since sliced bread” (but hey – sliced bread was invented in the 1950s anyway). This game can’t be considered anything but a revolution in the world of first person shooters, the one game to change everything™, maybe even the second coming of Jesus!

So let’s get the most important thing out-of-the-way first: Titanfall is an extremely well-made game, it looks great, the setting is not necessarily unique but well implemented, it introduces some very neat touches to the well-known formula and finally makes the genre much friendlier to more casual gamers.

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Tried out DriveNow today

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Update: I haven’t found the necessary time yesterday, but one day later I’ve found enough drive (pun intended) to upgrade this aside to a fully fledged post – enjoy!

Tried out DriveNow for the first time today – it works as well as expected and there’s just something special about spontaneously renting a top of the line 1-series BMW with all bells and whistles (compared to Car2Go‘s downright tiny and quite worn off Smarts).

Finding a parking spot for those bigger cars – well that’s an entirely different story. A story that you can find after the break:

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Safari – One Browser To Drive Them Crazy

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Warning: The following post is of questionable interest to people not engaged in web development – you’ve been warned!

Just recently I did some work to improve the overall performance of this blog by reducing server load and decreasing page load times.

For both purposes I’ve installed the WordPress plugin “Cachify” which caches rendered pages server-side to deliver those static pages on consecutive loads.

Out of the box, the plugin does as advertised and cached pages are served near instantly, so overall server execution times are reduced. My next goal was to prevent the browser from actually loading and parsing the static pages if nothing has changed (the experts are calling this “local caching” ;)).

A good hour’s work later, I’ve extended the WordPress plugin with one major feature: It tells the browser how “old” the cached version of the requested page is, how long it will still be valid and thus when a new version should be acquired from the server.

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Wing Commander 4 Retro Review

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The price of freedom is eternal vigilance…

Several months ago (around Christmas 2012 to be precise) I set out to write a series of reviews about the Wing Commander series starting with part 3 for the simple reason of it being sold as part of GOG.com’s Christmas sale together with Wing Commander 4.

The set designers visited naval museums to get the look and feel of a “space navy” right.

The series would have ended with my reviews of Prophecy and Spec Ops respectively, but writer’s block and my personal life gave ample reason not to sit down and just write this thing – so now I will finally undertake this “gargantuan” task and give my thoughts on the “most expensive video game ever made” (at least that’s what the press called it at the time).

So about that “most expensive game” remark: Chris Roberts used up the sizable sum of $12 million to produce this game (that is if Wikipedia and internet fan pages can be considered trusted sources), with the bulk of the money sunk into its FMV cut scenes.

Granted – it required the player to juggle around with 6 (!) CDs to see them all and even though we don’t know if it was the director or the script, the actors are chewing scenery left and right.

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