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Albums that will never exist, But I will listen to January 28, 2008

Posted by adrenjarvi in Uncategorized.
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I have recently become a big music-person. I attribute this to my Zune80 and the social an all that…. but I digress, this isn’t about that. But due to reddit-ing, I came across this, a sort of Web2.0 Album aggregator. In case that goes down, the rules are thus:

1 – Go to Wikipedia’s random article page
The first article you get is the name of your band

2 – Go to the Random Quotations page
The last four words of the last quote is the album title

3 – Go to Flickr’s Interesting photo page
Third picture, no matter what it is, is your album cover

And there you go. My First:

God is not Dead

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The Lone Deity = Bad Sales? January 19, 2008

Posted by adrenjarvi in Games, Ludology, Rant.
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I was perusing thar interwubs before work when I came upon this nugget from a site I had not previously visited: Gamegiants.com(a site that I don’t think I’ll visit again) . In there, they drop this nugget:

The biggest problem with Spore is it is not truly multiplayer or multiplayer interactive…..This will be Spore greatest failure and it will spell its demise.

Seriously? Having a game be single-player will spell it’s doom? This is their backup:

World of Warcraft is the most popular online game for a reason. Not for gameplay itself or graphics. It is the social aspects of the game.

For one: Bullshit. There are tons of games out there with just as many social aspects but not nearly the playerbase. It is actually due to both graphics and game play (the lack of realistic graphics allows low-end machines to run it, and the gameplay is incredibly tuned). More importantly, it is an MMO. These are, by definition, Massively multiplayer, all the while being online. Spore is an Uber-sim. It is, in fact, made by the creator of “The Sims”- one of the most popular games online. He makes a remarkably odd caveat:

Spore does, as stated, allow for the things that players create to be actually uploaded into other players worlds.

This is AMAZING. This is the reason spore will be awesome: You, the lone deity, are crafting a world that you completely control. You will foster this creature- nay, this species- from a cell to a civilization. Then, you get to show of the LIFE you created to others, championing your skills as a life-bringer against all others. I feel that I am beginning to understand child beauty pageants.

Multiplayer games are very popular; but one need not shove multiplayer where it doesn’t belong. After all, single players games can be, and often times are, quite amazing.

iAmArrogant January 18, 2008

Posted by adrenjarvi in Apple, Microsoft, Zune.
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Allow me to explain myself a little bit: Yes, it is known that I foster a “hatred” for Apple products. I use quotes around hatred because it isn’t really hate; I mean, I hate certain things because at their core, I see them as just flat out wrong, possibly violently wrong(a great example would be my thoughts on Creationism). Macs have fostered my anger due to several factors; a premium price point, the static nature of their operating system and hardware, and most of all, the people who use Macs. It’s like Ghandi said of Jesus: “Love your Christ, Hate your Christians.” Of course, this is not a blanket term, because there are many people who use Apple products that aren’t mindless drones, following the glowing fruit. Let it be said that every time I see some Beret wearing dude at starbucks chatting away on his Iphone while clicking away at his white macbook, I want to walk over and rip it in half, destroying whatever screenplay/term paper regarding gardening that he was working on.

Steve Jobs is a great man, and what he has done is something to be admired. But then, I see him spout something like this, pulled from CNBC:

I told Jobs that I had sat down with Microsoft’s Robbie Bach last week at the Consumer Electronics Show. I mentioned that Bach was particularly optimistic about the new Zune, that it was now a worthy alternative to Apple’s iPod.

Asked Jobs: “Was he inebriated? Do you even know anyone who owns a Zune?” Touched a nerve, I suppose. .

Man, what an arrogant thing to say. The Zune has not toppled the might iThrone yet, that is for sure. But for a marketplace so bloated with small white clickwheels, the zune (in all it’s various flavors) has managed to penetrate to a point of percentage. While official statements like sales figures, market shares etc. are not made available, I can say that as a college student, I have begun to see Zune’s on campus. Several a day. These people are not on the ‘front lines’- sure, maybe they didn’t pick it out, maybe they don’t fight for the cause like I do- but they own them, and are obviously using them with some degree of success. I cannot find the original source, but I am fairly confident that it has been established that the Zune occupies the same amount of space as non-ipod players, which it has accomplished in a fairly short amount of time (comparative to how the iphone has absorbed the marketshare of the non-blackberry/wm smartphones, mentioned in the CNBC video).

The Zune is a decent piece of hardware, a piece that I believe out-trumps the Ipod in terms of pure features. It’s sophomore effort has evolved past the shortcomings of it’s first incarnation ( a Microsoft trend) to something really great. Bill Gates has said several times that he looks at what Steve has accomplished with great regard, and now he just turns around and says, what is essentially a fourth grade burn. After this and his horrifying views regarding reading, I can’t wait for his reaction if the Zune ever becomes as popular as the iPod; “Mr. Jobs, What do you have to say about the sales figures regarding your ipod’s competitor, the zune?”

“Your mom’s a Zune.”

Precursor to a Semester: Oh, It’s a Nerdy one. January 16, 2008

Posted by adrenjarvi in CCSU, Comics, Compuer, Education, Friends, Ludic, Ludology, Nerd, School.
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The CCSU spring semester is almost upon us, and dear lord, I had three days off right before it ( yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I made some sort of unholy pact along the line with a deity I will learn of later, only when I am called upon to complete my dark deed- but I digress) and am very happy because of it. I am essentially rebooting; getting my sleep in order, work schedule ironed out, and as per usual, scrambling to finish off my schedule with a clean 5 classes. This year I actually made out nicely. Dare I say it, this is the nerdiest semester yet.

The semester starts strong with a “Studies of Shakespeare in acting” course, in the morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I am a closet fan of the Bard, to the extent that one who quotes him frequently and went to an acting academy for two years can be a ‘closet’ fan. I am hooked by a line that I encountered as a young an impressionable 16 year old in an English class. It is said by The Fool in King Lear, when he is essentially being insulted: “I am a fool, and thou art nothing”. Now if that doesn’t just sum me up all nice and whatnot.

The next class is actually going to ruin my life: Another T-R class, a topics course in math, this one on “Game Theory”. Now, I know that this sounds made up, but no, it’s actually the title of the class. Rather than it being a series of obscure game related questions (If master cheif was driving the warthog at 65 mph, off of a 45 degree ramp, and a brute threw a grenade going 20 mph towards him…), it’s actually about a wonderful little system of probability and calculation- namely, using people to calculate numbers. I already calculate too much- one day I will describe the wonderful pain of talking to the opposite sex while constantly calculating the odds of attraction in the back of your head (this is obviously a recent discovery- perhaps one of the reasons I avoided being single for so long?)- so this class will obviously destroy me (and any chance of me ever relating with the opposite sex, natch).

My TR- Routine is then followed by my only wildcard:Philosophy, Ethical Theory. I like the name and description. *Shrug*.

Then I enter the dreaded MWF territory ( my only MWF class, mind you. Consider this a compliment, Doc.) This class, at the god-forsaken hour of 9, is one worth losing sleep for; examining the 19th century English literature through the Alan Moore Comic “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” There is a lot to say about this class, about how one could categorize this a nerd wet dream: Again, thank the good doctor for providing things.

My final class, which takes place on Thursday night, is less of a course and more of a gift, again from the aforementioned Doc. It is called digital literary studies, a class which one assignment will include machninima (wiki it.) This is a wonderful wonderful gift, one that I will not squander.

Christ, I am using Halo 3 in school! This is the exact noise that a fevered dream makes as it bursts from imagining to reality.

Blackest Night January 6, 2008

Posted by adrenjarvi in Comics, Nerd, Travel.
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Ok. Comics.

So, it is no secret to those in my proximity that I am a fan of the Green lantern, the joker, several other DC characters. Well, that pull was so strong that It drove me and 4 other close friends into the city of new york this past wednesday to find some choice pulls. Of course, we didn’t find anything we where looking for, but I did have the express awesomeness of having  5 people slowly chant the Green Lantern motto as we approached St. Marks’ Comics.

There is so much more to this story… but holy god, am I tired.

Front hates this Blog December 5, 2007

Posted by adrenjarvi in Nerdcore.
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Hey everyone, I have to pimp someone right now; my good friend, MC Frontalot, who I have never met or talked to, has a new album for sale “Secrets from the future”. This is actually old news, but regardless; buy it in physical form from the front himself, or in mp3 form ( as I did) from CD baby (for a one dollar premium). Honest to god, never before have the intellectual and bad ass sections of my brain been activated so regularly in three-minute bites.

Just North of Ugly December 5, 2007

Posted by adrenjarvi in Education.
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So this little do-dad is making the rounds of the internets, and I am… not proud exactly, but I am…. well, I feel oddly privalged. Southern Connecticut state university has made Third Ugliest University in America! While I am glad I do not go there, their description is somewhat concerning.

More gross brick composes basically all of campus, and don’t even get me started on the dorms.

With the exception of “gross”, I am acutely aware that most of our campus (specifically the dorms) are made of brick. Add the fact that a giant road used to drive right through our campus…if not for the pretty pond and oddly beautiful student center, I would think that our school might be on this list (or maybe top 50). Luckily, I happen to think our school is beautiful.

The Future. December 2, 2007

Posted by adrenjarvi in Philosophy.
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This is technically my 100th post. I decided I was going to look into the future, and touch on some interesting things that I think will change the way we live. This is a very Steven B. Johnson post, but that is probably because I (finally) sat down and read “Emergence” all the way through.

Lets start.

MUSIC
Lets face it, folks. Music is essentially done- as a corporation. The proliferation of… “Piracy” allows for essentially any music to be downloaded for free.

But there is another fact: People will pay for music. Lets look at the recent Radiohead experiment- where radiohead released their new album , “In Rainbows”, on a pay-what-you-want digital download scheme. At first, this seems like a moronic and truly irresponsible move. How can they make money for giving something away for free? Well, apparently a lot. The cost of the album is only in pre-production; actual recording of content and such. There is no cost for the production of the album as it is digital (maybe peanuts for hosting, webdesign, etc). Now, lets say you are a radiohead fan. Maybe you pay 12 dollars for it. Now here I am, someone who is only loosely affiliated with radiohead. I don’t want to put down any money for it, so I download it. and there are a whole slew of people who paid in-between (the rumored average was 5 dollars). Now, if Radiohead released their new album in a physical form, I would have paid what I paid the first time; Nothing. Here, I got to hear their music, and I’ll tell you, I liked what I saw. So I marched my (virtual) ass back to the website (here) and promptly gave them 5 dollars. That 5 will most likely get a lot less chopped up then the ‘physical 12’, and hopefully the majority will go to the artists. Shocking, I know.
Radiohead’s management ( in a move which undercuts the spirit of this post) said it was only to bolster sales for the real physical album. This doesn’t make sense. But what Radiohead did does; lets imagine a future where physical records are obsolete (save for vinyl, which in a totally odd discordian context is making a comeback). Now, where as the label of yesteryear was a device required to spread music, now we have internet radio shows. The vastness of social networking sites allows users to post music, that music gets shared and viewed. People interested can download at the artists site. This means that big-name artists are famous because, steady your breath: People listen to them.

Brave new world.

Games
In a similar move, they are going to go independent. Big-name studios are not going anywhere, but I envision an open platform coming; Something like an XNA portable. Microsoft announces a portable platform with a big screen, Custom OS, and the use of “XCards” as a proprietary Cartridge system.

Quick note on this; I have noticed that we, as a people, constantly move from circles to squares to circles when it comes to our media. Giant spools of video , move to VHS, move to DVD, move to HDD recording. Music is even more dramatic: Records, Cassettes, Discs, Mp3’s. Meh, whetever. I am weird.

Anyway, this platform uses a proprietary system (integrated with windows) to let users build games in a similar way that their XNA system does now. Users can both build and test games on this platform (slide out qwerty?) and then send them in for certification to Microsoft. Add some brief media functions, an internet browser, an Xbox Originals integration…. you have an interesting evolution.

Me
Really, why else are you here?

I think my little evolution might be over with for now. For those close to me, ever since something happened, I have been on this odd maturity tip. I feel different, and my lifestyles have changed somewhat to address these. Well, this is premature, but I am going to make these creeds now before new years, and do my damndest to stick by them.

I want a game, be it chalkboard warrior or otherwise, under my name before I become a junior.
I need CCSU to recognize my whims, for better or worse.
I will make an impassioned speech in front of a group of individuals, and they will cheer. This will be important.
I will travel.
I will record some ‘rhymes’.
I will go to the imagine cup.

Lofty, yes. But by posting it here, I get to keep all you bastards on my case .

-F9

On Retail November 5, 2007

Posted by adrenjarvi in Best Buy, Geek Squad.
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**Update**
Below I lambaste a retail situation, little did I know that Jezebel has a whole series of these stories seen here, called “I work retail.” Read on.

Many people know I work retail, which….. well, it kinda explains things. I work a sorta combination of Customer Service and Tech support, which is essentially aimed squarely at my sanity, driving ever forward to shatter what little I have left. Still, I love my job- if I did not, I wouldn’t stay there a second longer.

Many other people also know I have a certain distaste for Apple products. My arguments have evolved somewhat, gaining some more merit, and in my head I no longer assume that I am simply speaking out of my ass. I have a number of just arguments, but today, I’d like to look at their image in relation to their clients.

Namely; their whole shit is based on being elitist assholes.

Take a look at exhibit A. Read the story, and yes, this particular employee had problems in his life. But check this little quote:

Apple’s supposed to be about customer service, yet they seemed to like he was acting like an a-hole, he said. That pissed him off even more. The hypocrisy. They wanted him to act cool, kind of above it all, it was part of the image. But not crossing the line (whevever it was that week), to the point of terrorizing the customers.

This touches at the core of my thoughts on apple. Apple is a Draconian Dictatorship, who only survives in the minimum. It’s strength is that it is not strong and not popular. People perceive Apple as a godsend from a problem-filled windows world. However, what we find is a perfectly closed system. You go to one store ( although they are apparently getting bold), which sells one OS, controlled by one guy. Lets take a thought experiment and look at it from the opposite; Windows has the diminutive market share, and Mac owns the retail locations. Can Apple sustain that kind of strength? Most likely not, they would certainly license OSX to various manufacturers, which give all sorts differing motherboards, processors, graphics cards…. which creates a fundamentally confused and unavoidably buggy operating system.

The reason macs seem good is because the opposition seems bad. They are the essential underdog, and though their products are worthwhile, their entire business model seems based on being a minority, being an elitist, being an individual… that has one OS, identical machines, and one store to go to, with one attitude.

Think different…. Just like everyone else?

On an odd note, does this make me some sort of reverse trend-follower? Windows is the ruling operating system, ‘hipsters’* likes this quirky abomination, so therefore I am, to quote south park, “being such a non-conformist, I am not going to conform with the rest of you” and purchase windows?

Regardless; retail is a destructive system, if for no other reason than that it takes sleep-deprived college students and makes them blog about this shit late at night.

Sigh-and-a-half.

F9

* I have brought up with a few colleagues what we call the Hipster paradox, or perhaps the hipster bubble: People aged 18-26 essentially consume what is cool, but it is only cool because they consume it. This bubble is popped on occasion by disruptive trends, with a foundation of elitism. Namely, the Hipsters are ‘ too good’ to be hipsters. These are the lifeblood of Apple, with the occasional Tangents.

A Casual loop October 11, 2007

Posted by adrenjarvi in Event.
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I Purchased the Orange Box today, and Jeebus is it a value. But that is for later. What I bring you Now is nothing short of magic.

People by now are used to the idea of Liveblogging- as the event occurs, the resourceful blogger writes a minute-by-minute testimony of the actions. However, through the power of Science®, I can now break free from this reality- reliant and soon-archaic form of blogging, and move on to what I know usher in: “FutureBlogging.”

Thats right, using ‘certain technologies‘, I can now peer through the curvature of space and see exactly what will occur at tonights event- the Halo 3 Party at CCSU, hosted by Microsoft (I.E., me). I will be too busy tonight, so Futureblogging is my only respite. So now, allow me to take blogging in this brave new direction: I present to you, The Future Blogging of tonight’s event!

4:00 P.M.- Looks like the tables are all set up. I put in a call to Jerry, he’ll be along soon.
4:15 P.M.- tech guys were cool. The Xbox Looks damn sexy on the projector. Damn sexy.
4:30 P.M.- Jerry Showed, and we put in a few rounds on Team Fortress 2. I know, Odd.
5:00 P.M. Some people came in looking for a different event- official lookin’ people. Jerry told them they where wrong, but I was smiling as I saw the crowd Gathering outside.
5:15 P.M.- We turn up the Volume on team fortress to stir the crowds outside.
5:20 P.M.-Jesus! Got our televisions, with no warning. Not a bad suprise, but me and jerry set up the remaining Xboxen.
5:37 P.M.- Call from Dad. Pizza’s are all ready, He’ll be here soon.
5:40 P.M.- The Nucleic crew is all here! this is awesome, they had to fight through a gathering crowd.
5:55 P.M.- laptops are all set, I even noticed the Microsoft Evangelist outside, gave them a wave.
6:00 P.M.- Doors Open. Oh. My. God, lotsa people.
6:12 P.M. Jesus. Popular.
6:40 P.M. This is just ridiculous. We just hit 75 registered people. this will require more time.
7:00 P.M We’re out of cups.
7:12 P.M.- Official tournament begins, first round ends in a shotgun-melee victory. Loser throws
controller at me. It Hurt pretty bad.
7:35 P.M.- I have noticed several central-peoples looking in on us, getting an odd combination of shame and pride in my action. I am fairly certain the governor is supposed to come here tommorow. Hmm.
8:00 P.M.-Tournament continues. We are low on pizza.
8:14 P.M.-I am calling the police to declare Jerry Official dead… I have not seen him for hours.
8:23 P.M.-It smells like…. well, it smells.
8:34 P.M.- Many more hostile gamers are confused an outraged as a woman, reportedly named “KATE-LINN,”, has made it to the semi-finals.
8:45 P.M. Riots have broken out as both the pizza and cardboard pizza boxes have been consumed. I believe I saw a gnawed finger on the ground, it may have been Tina’s. My Condolences to the Janerio family.
9:00 P.M.-We have officially moved on to sectarian violence, as our angry mob has now left the confines of alumni Hall and overtaken the student center. I think I saw someone setting up a defensive turret.
9:29 P.M.- I can safely say we have overtaken the campus. I have counted at least one Orgy.
9:35 P.M.- Two, two orgies.
9:47 P.M. -The Police have responded, but apparently they have fashioned several destroyed car parts into effective melee weaponry. I am horrified, but frankly, proud.
9:58 P.M.- I get a call from Doc that our warband has grown to cover most of Hartford county.
10:04 P.M.- I Finally saw Jerry, Nude, massacring what appeared to be a group of Marching band kids. We locked eyes, nodded, and continued on our ways.
10:22 P.M.- I have commandeered a tank, and I believe I am making a march on washington. My face has been on a flag, and I am proud.
10:33 P.M.- Somehow my warband has stretched to the coast, igniting many into revolution. Bush Agrees to terms with me at the Connecticut border. I meet at the beach, because I like the beach.
10:45 P.M.- After ten minutes of deliberation, culminating in a very short slayer game, Bush Surrenders the country over to my revolution. I re-dub it “Jarvisland”, Make marijuana Legal, and outlaw the sale of all sony products. I am the new President, And on My cabinet, I install Penn and Teller, (the still nude) Jerry, Joshua delaney and Doc’s Son, little man. I install a constitutional Democratic Socalist government, and I slap Bush on my way out.
10:47 P.M.- World Peace.
11:05 P.M.- Matthew Davidson is crowned as winner of the Halo 3 Tournament.
11:40 P.M.- The night ends quietly as we spend some time cleaning up.

This is Nigh!
F9