Rory McIlroy PGA Golf Review – Dear EA You Suck

I bought the new Rory PGA game this weekend and I want to share how unbelievably disappointing it was to play it. I’m shocked that the title player even allowed you to put this out with his name on it. Let me run you through a few specific issues with the game, maybe somebody will notice and address in an update.

Menus:

The way you structured the menus took me quite a bit of time to figure out, why? you don’t have any on screen indication that there are more menus to the right on the main screen. So when I tried to change the gameplay type to full rounds instead of quick rounds I had to go online to figure out that if I kept hitting right on the joystick more menus would show up. If you’re going to have non-visible elements please ensure the user can easily tell how to access them.

Rory Facts:

Did anyone review these facts and the way they were written? At least one of them (I think I’ve only seen four or so) the language makes no sense. I didn’t write it down but it reads something like “At 20 years old Rory was the youngest person since Tiger Woods to win X tournament under the age of 21″ but you don’t need “Under the age of 21″ in that sentence, it makes no sense, and you already explained he was 20 when it happened. He’s either the youngest since Tiger or not, but the extra piece is just bad language usage.

Announcers:

If you couldn’t get these guys to spend more time in the studio why not just find sound-a-like voices or other people instead. There’s no way you’ve got more than a few hours of audio recorded for each, which sounds great to the people doing the recording but when you play this game for 12 hours it very quickly gets unbelievably repetitive. I get it, I have the “touch of a plumber” with the putts. Except, and here’s my biggest issue with the announcers, at least 20% of the time what they say does not apply to the context at all, I mean zero. They’ll tell me I’m putting for birdie when I’m 5 over, they’ll tell me I’m putting for par when I’m putting for birdie, they’ll say I hit a nice drive when it went out of bounds or that it’s out of bounds when I put it in the middle of the fairway. How hard was it to write the rules around what audio files get pulled in what situation? I know a few developers who could do a great job of this for you if you’re interested.

Player Customization:

Have you guys played the old Tiger Woods games? You know like to 2010 one or 2011? before the “problems” he had? I only ask because in the Rory game you took about 15 steps back in player customization. In those games I could change the character attributes and make a pretty good facsimile of myself (for good or bad) which led me to feel more connected to the player and enjoy the gameplay more. In this game I get maybe 10 options, and for body type I get two; tall and muscular or short and fat. I’m neither, what are you trying to say? (I opted for short and fat since that’s a little closer to reality). Why on earth would you release a product that sub-standard when compared to your previous iterations? $$$$ right? You can tell the truth I won’t mind, you wanted this game out and in development world there’s only three variable; time, money and features. You shortened the time and features so you could get more money out of it. Meanwhile idiots like myself are left holding the bag because we believed.

Look, I’m not asking for the world here. I’m asking for a reasonably good product to be put out. What you sold me is at best a beta and I would have been happy to play it for free and give you this feedback.

Safety Not Guaranteed

Honestly I had forgotten why I even started writing this blog. I’ve tried so many times to build myself an online presence; but I never really do get my own point. It’s not about forcing content to come out of me. So what if a year goes by without a post? The point is to write about stuff I’m passionate about, and lately I’ve felt too busy to be truly passionate about some stuff.

That’s o.k.! That’s the point of life; peaks and valleys. That said, today I found something to be passionate enough about that I figured it was worth sharing. If you haven’t seen a movie called Safety Not Guaranteed then lets leave it at I loved it and stop reading, I do highly recommend you check it out though.

About this movie. I can’t tell you how many times I watch a movie and 10 minutes into it the whole thing is clear as day. My friends hate me (slightly) for ruining how movies are going to end. I’m wrong 3 out of 100 times, and those three movies are my favorite kind to experience. Yet, somehow, this movie was different, it was the 101st time, a movie where I didn’t really know the end, I knew that there were two possible endings and I was rooting for one (how many commas can I put in one sentence?).

I’m cynical about movies and the whole time I thought, it’ll be some cop out where the guy is crazy and I’m disappointed in the end. Yet the more the characters built up and got to know each other, the more you found the inherent good in people regardless of how strange and out of place they seemed; the more I hoped that for once the good guy could win. That the nice guy could be right.

Odd, it’s normally really disappointing for the nice guy to win. It truly is. We always know when they’re going to win. Of COURSE the X-Men win, OF COURSE Superman wins, OF COURSE they fall in love at the end of [insert Nicholas Sparks movie]. The trick is to make it highly unlikely for the good guy to win, to make it a gift from a writer with guts for the good guy to win. I promise that somehow, magically, the writers in this movie did it.

If you read this far and haven’t seen it I’m sorry but I already stole the win from you, you’ll know what I mean. I’d still watch it though if I were you. I’m going to watch it again, it’s good to have that passionate sci-fi nerd in me woken up again, and not even by a sci-fi movie. Odd indeed.

Enjoy.

In 2012 there has been more change than a CoinStar machine sees

Wow, 2012 has been a year full of surprises and changes. I honestly can’t imagine any more happening. Most of the way through November and so far this year I’ve turned 30, gotten divorced, lost some friends in the divorce, met somebody new, learned who my real friends are, refinanced my house, refinanced my car, put my house up for rent, gone to Seattle, gone to Cabo, gone a little crazy, rediscovered cooking, discovered painting, been promoted to Vice President of Digital Product Management at Vistage, taken ownership of our online product Vistage Connect, gone to Dallas, gone to Erie PA, gone to Columbus Texas, joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego, gotten a new “little” and on and on…. What a ride.

What’s the point of sharing all this? I guess for starters it’s my excuse for why I haven’t blogged in so long. Though I think the the truth is that when I started this blog I missed the point. I LOVE technology, I eat sleep and breathe technology, but this blog became busy work, something to fill time when I was bored, and for the most part it’s been boring. I need to pour my soul into this blog. Share my love for technology, share my life, share what I would want to share with my friends. After all, you’re the only ones reading it ūüėČ

From the work standpoint I am VERY excited by the changes. I honestly think I can help my company realize a whole new approach with digital strategy. There are so many executives out there who NEED Vistage and the coaching we offer because it will help them do better. I look at this from a mission standpoint, if we help more executives that means higher performing companies, more jobs, and a better economy.

From a personal standpoint being divorced is actually a good thing. Why be sad about doing the right thing? So I’ve moved on, I’m enjoying the person I’ve discovered myself to be, and I’m enjoying being around the people I want to be around.

My promise: I will blog at LEAST once a month from now on. This is very cathartic.

 

These lasers are WICKED, and I must have one

Wicked Lasers Krypton

Make sure to check out this beauty in all its Kryptonian glory

It’s not often I find a toy that I have dreams about owning. If you haven’t had this kind of dream before let me lay one on¬†you real quick.

I’m in the jungle, running as fast as I can. I’m not sure what’s chasing me but it is HUGE. Looks like something between a Dragon and Cheddar cheese. Certain death is upon me, I’m sweating, running out of breath and the thing is gaining on me. Only one thing to do – JEDI MIND TRICK!!!! I stick my hand out and The Force delivers to me the most powerful laser ever put into the hands of consumers. I turn around point that sucker right at CheeseDragon’s face and blind him. Then I attach the light saber attachment (only $99.99) and slide him up into cracker sized chunks. Sticking mostly to the white meat for all you health conscious readers.¬†O.k. I am weird, but set that aside for a second and imagine how much fun you could have with this crazy thing. Plus, if you’re into hiking, sailing or other sports where one could get lost for days at a time you’ll never have to worry about signal fires.
Under review by Guinness World Records, the Spyder 3 Krypton is the world’s brightest handheld laser. This thing actually goes into outer space it is so bright, the range is over 85 MILES! Put it this way, should you look into the dot of the Krypton you’ll be treated to light that’s just north of 8,000 times brighter than the sun! DUDE.

Let’s throw in a little disclaimer here shall we, don’t be an idiot and do something dumb with this if you buy it. Please, and if you do, don’t blame me.

How much? For the version I’m looking at, with the light sabre attachment it’s $1,149.

Why? Because if nothing else, you can always attach it to shark (for sharks with frickin laser beams)

How to get the most out of your Google searches

Getting the most out of your Google searches

Click me to learn how to get the most out of your Google searches

This infographic is absolutely amazing. Learn everything you need to know about Google, especially if you’re a student. There really isn’t more I can say about it. Please check it out, print it, do whatever you need. Pin it to the wall!!

I have to tell you, it’s honestly hard to find content this good and this straight forward. There is nothing in this infographic that you can’t use to learn tricks you never would have guessed about Google.

For instance; did you know you can type author:feist magician to find the book Magician written by Reymond Feist?

There are a ton of great tips here, from converting weights and measures to looking for specific file types. Check it out.

 

Fiverr, how five bucks got me a very scary new stalker

My new secret stalkerMeet my new stalker, he’s very scary and the video below proves it. How did he learn about my blog? How did he learn so much about me?

In this incredibly disturbing video I come to find out that this person, who supposedly fell in love with me through Facebook then Googled me and knows this blog exists, knows my home address and has plans to visit me…. TONIGHT!

The answer to how this malevolent creep got my information (he actually does name my blog and street) is that it was sent to him by my buddy Adam.

Adam really did get this video done for $5. On a new website called Fiverr (www.fiverr.com) that puts people willing to perform various “gigs” for $4 together with people willing to pay $5 for said gigs. Fiverr then takes the extra dollar and everybody wins. Cool right?

Here are some of my favorites, do you have any?

I will write and sing a song for you for $5

I will call anyone you want and give them a hilarious reading from Vinnie the Statin Island Psychic

I will create a Tim Burton inspired portrait of you or anyone you know for $5

 

 

 

 

The well-intentioned computer “friend” may be steering you wrong…

well-intentioned-nerd-friend

This guy doesn't know everything...

We’ve all got one, that nerdy friend who can help you with any technology issue you can dream of. From a computer virus to your car stereo this guys seems to know it all. For oh so many people I am him. So, as that guy, let me tell you something honest, I DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING!! Sometimes I can mess around, do a couple quick and nerdy Google searches and help you find the answer to your problems. Sometimes, I really do know, after all, technology is what I do, in general terms.

If you went to a pediatrician and asked him to take a look at your mole and he told you “I’m sorry, you’ve got cancer” you’d get a second opinion right?

So, when your nerdy friend tells you there’s nothing you can do and you’ve lost your files on your computer forever. Or that he wants to format your hard drive and re-install Windows because there isn’t anything you can do to remove that virus. Please stop, take a deep breath, don’t let your initial reaction get the better of you and go ask somebody else. I know we’re all loathe to spend money, but sometimes, even I have to call somebody else for help.

I’ll tell you a very quick story, to make my point. This very morning I get a frantic call from a consulting client. One of his employees called him in the middle of the night livid. See that employees personal laptop had been joined to the business domain at the employees request. This created a NEW user account by the same name on the laptop so all the stuff in Documents and on the desktop was “gone” (not really gone, just in another profile, but she didn’t know this). “My sensitive stuff is in there, I don’t have a backup, my most important personal info that I can’t live without is all gone!!.”

(side note: If you don’t have a backup service, as cheap as they are today, I have really little sympathy for you, it’s kind of like not having car insurance)

Here’s the best part, ¬†her; and I quote; “Lawyer, computer engineer friend” (HUGE RED FLAG: THERE ARE LIKE TWO PEOPLE ON EARTH WHO HAVE EARNED THE RIGHT TO BE CALLED BOTH LAWYER AND COMPUTER ENGINEER AND NEITHER OF THEM LIVES IN ESCONDIDO, CA) had told her that all her old information was wiped out. Why? Because he right clicked the profile folder for the old profile went to properties and the size said 0.

Can anyone take a guess as to why it said zero? Yes, you in the back with the Hack The Planet shirt on? THAT’S RIGHT!! The new account isn’t an administrator of the laptop so it can’t see the size of folders belonging to admins. That’s just Windows doing what it’s supposed to do, keep your stuff SECURE.

Three minute fix guys, no need for tears or the freak-out. I don’t mean to make light of what was obviously a very scary situation. I just want you to know that you don’t have to accept everything the next smartest guy tells you. No matter how smart he looks with that pocket protector. Even if it’s me, I promise, I’m not always right. And to be honest, I will rarely say that I’m absolutely right. I’ll admit that maybe there is another solution if I can’t find one, and take it a step further and try to help you find the person that can offer support.

But please, go get a backup service. $59 a month for Carbonite. FREE to backup 2GB worth of stuff with DropBox. Google Drive will give you 5GB for free. You’ve got options. Nothing critical should live on any one hard drive. Thanks, I’ll get off my soap box now.

iPhone App Fail: My beef with Pinger

Pinger attacked my phone

I normally don’t get too upset by things like SPAM or phone calls from survey companies. It’s their job, without that info it would be hard to get people what they want, and to keep business moving. As long things are executed in accordance to the rules, and there’s a bit of that unspoken respect life is honkey dorey. But, this time, Pinger went too far..

Who is Pinger you say? They’re a company who specializes in making apps, things like TextFree and Doodle Buddy. You might compare them to more well known companies like Zynga and Rovio. I honestly had never heard of them before last weekend, then they decided to introduce themselves to me big time.

The story is simple and frustrating, at about 4PM on Sunday I got a strange text message from 1-410-000-009 and it says “FROM:[email protected] MSG:Doodle with me on Doodle Buddy–an iPhone/iPod touch drawing app. Click (no free advertising Pinger) to start.

Well, that’s odd, I don’t remember signing up for text alerts from this comp(BZZ…BZZZZZ…BZZZ…BZZZZZZ) another text… two? I can’t beli(BZZ…BZZZZZ…BZZZ…BZZZZZZ)ve.. I click on the link and it takes me to the app store, here download this app you don’t want.. Odd,¬†(BZZ…BZZZZZ…BZZZ…BZZZZZZ)…¬†(BZZ…BZZZZZ…BZZZ…BZZZZZZ)….¬†(BZZ…BZZZZZ…BZZZ…BZZZZZZ)…¬†(BZZ…BZZZZZ…BZZZ…BZZZZZZ).. and on and on and on…

I went to their website, I went to ZenDesk where they host their customer service. I did everything that I could think of to get them to stop. We’re talking 50+ text messages at this point. The Pinger reps at zendesk tell me and I quote “you must be really popular, these requests are generated by users so that many people want to play Doodle Buddy with you, are you sure you don’t want to download it?” NO!! I do not want to download it, and you’re lying, plain and simple. I play Words With Friends (an actually good app) and have since it came out. At most I’ve gotten 3 or 4 requests in a day to start playing with somebody new. That app is at least a million times more popular than Doodle Buddy, so don’t tell me you genuinely generated 50 requests for me in one day.

You know what the rub here is, I’m an advanced user, as advanced as you can get. I work in technology, I’ve got certifications, experience, I can write the codes for these games for kripes sake. And yet, I couldn’t figure out how to get Pinger to stop texting me. How is a 12 year old supposed to do that?

Finally, a higher up rep at ZenDesk was able to put me on the blocked number list for Pinger and stop the texts. But I felt sure that this must be against Apples T’s & C’s. How could it be allowed to cause text messages to cell phones that have the potential of costing upwards of $0.25 each? That literally could have cost me $10 for nothing. Here is the final response I got from Apple, I give them credit for at least looking into this:

 

Hi Andy,

(name removed) here from the iTunes Store. Thank you for sending me all of the information I had requested.

I have contacted our engineering department regarding this issue and I was unfortunately informed that there is nothing we can do through the iTunes Store itself.

They have recommended that you voice your concerns to the federal trade commission and your cellphone provider for assistance.

You can reach the federal trade commission by visiting the link below:
https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

I sincerely apologize for this inconvenience, Andy. I hope the companies listed above will be able to resolve this issue for you as soon as possible. Thank you for being part of the iTunes family and have a great day.

Sincerely,

(name removed)
iTunes Store Customer Support and Mac App Store – Senior Advisor

I can’t believe this is allowed? How can that be possible? It isn’t just Pinger doing it either, by making text messaging free using IP you’re opening up a whole new channel for users to take advantage of others. There are tons of complaints on Pinger’s own help website about abusive texts that are basically anonymous.

Microsoft hits an iPhone app grand slam with Photosynth

Great apps can come from anywhere. Thought  I do find it ironic that one of my favorite photography apps for the iPhone comes from competitor Microsoft.

Photosynth is an application for your phone or PC that puts multiple images together into one larger image. The cool part, the thing that really WOWED me was how it does it.

I turned on the app, told it to start taking a panorama and just moved my phone in the directions I wanted captured. No clicking the picture button, no interaction while it captures. You just move the camera around, up, down, left, right, any direction you want to capture and it gives you a green light when it wants you to hold steady for a second. Once it captures it will make the image appear a little more complete letting you know it’s time to move on.

Once you finish capturing an image you click done and Photosynth takes care of the rest for you. I’ve had so much fun creating 360 degree views of places I visit.

Oh, and did I mention the app is FREE!!! At that price I promise it’s worth trying, you will impress your friends.

Check out this Synth I made of some friends watching a move:

Amazing right?

2D Movies.. In 3D? What do you think?

Star Wars 3D Movie PosterHave you been fortunate enough to have one of your favorite movies converted to 3D yet? For some, it’s a great way to not just relive past favorites but see them improved. Movies studios are starting to realize that using a fairly simple technique (thanks Tested.com for helping me understand converting 2D movies to 3D) they can make much more money from movies they’ve already done all the hard and expensive work on.

I just wonder if this is really a good idea. One glaring example is the new Star Wars Episode 1 in 3D. I wanted my money back after the first time I saw this movie. Becuase it wasn’t just bad in and of itself, it put a stain on a great trilogy (episodes IV, V, VI). What would making it 3D really do for this movie?

3D movies cost more to attend and I think in cases like this movie studios are using gimmicks to trick people into spending more money. With so many things these days if all decisions were left to people that have the consumer in mind things would be fine, but as you can see in this example there is much more self interest going on than necessary.

What are your thoughts on these conversions? Has one come out that you like? Here are a few movies I’d like to see converted.

  1. Lord of the Rings trilogy
  2. Hostel (not for the feint of heart)
  3. Fast and the Furious
  4. Chronicles of Riddick and Pitch Black
  5. Fifth Element (may have

I think I’ll stop here, because it seems I can’t even remove self interest. I’m certain you wouldn’t agree with my top five.