Tag Archives: games

Forget critic reviews – enjoy the beautifully written narrations of AllMusic, AllMovies, & AllGames

One of the joys a Pandora listener experiences is hearing a song for the first time. That moment when the music genome offers up his ideal genetic match from an artist he’s never heard before. And when he clicks the bio to learn more, the AllMusic database loads up a charming piece of prose:

Undeniably ambitious, melodically exquisite, and flush with enough perfectly rendered fantasy metal clichés to feed an army of bards, druids, monks, paladins, and rangers as they set forth on a great cola-and-pizza/20-sided-die-fueled adventure, Iron Maiden’s seventh studio album is the sh$t.

Even Iron Maiden deserves charming prose. And this beautiful literature is found all across Pandora with even more on the AllMusic website. Where the curious fan can browse through any genre, mood, or theme that delights him. It’s such a rewarding experience that I recommend clearing up a few hours and diving in.

This experience is not limited to music, for there is also AllMovie and AllGame. And both provide endearing compositions:

The story in Chimpanzee centers on Oscar, a young simian born into a large family of 35 others, and eager to learn the ways of life in the jungle. As Oscar’s mother Isha teaches her newborn how to find food and avoid dangerous predators, the leader of their family, Freddy, vigilantly defends their territory from his rival Scar.

 

Atari’s dominance in the game industry was challenged by a company originally founded to sell leather supplies. Promising to “Bring the Arcade Experience Home,” Coleco released its much-anticipated ColecoVision in 1982, making history by firing the first shot in the inaugural console wars.

 

All three sites are a delight for any fan, and worth remembering for any purchase or move rental. I leave you with one more review for Ravi Coltrane’s newest album, to inspire you to go turn on some music:

Despite the metaphysical suggestion in Spirit Fiction’s title, this is Ravi Coltrane’s most cerebral, process-oriented recording to date. There is an abundance of emotion and sensual detail, most of it expressed gently, with the confidence — and authority — of a veteran bandleader.

 

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Nintendo’s next console – Wii U – to launch November 18, 2012

After the success of the Wii, Nintendo is pushing ahead with its next generation console on November 18, 2012. This one is more iPad-like with a 6.2 inch touchscreen built into the GamePad controllers, and that is driving up the price compared to the Wii at $200.

From The Verge:

The console will launch in two varieties: The $299.99 “Basic” version, which includes a white, 8GB Wii U console, a gamepad, AC adapters, a sensor bar, and an HDMI Cable. The $349.99 Deluxe edition includes all of that in a black, 32GB console, with charging cradles and a free copy of Nintendoland.

 

This GamePad should make or break the console. It has a ton of features “motion control, a front-facing camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, rumble features, a sensor bar, a stylus, and support for Near Field Communication (NFC).” But it seems bulky:

Are those kids hands?

 

And you can see the console itself (under the TV) is actually smaller the GamePad. Still, it only weighs 1.1 pounds and allows for some interesting game features (note the map on the GamePad screen above). Maybe Nintendo will surprise us all again, like they did with the Wii.

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How to watch sports online in 2012, packages from NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, and ESPN

This is an update of the 2011 post. Not much has changed in the leagues, but ESPN has really pushed the Watch ESPN app. With a cable subscription you can watch ESPN on any mobile device from anywhere.

Prices range from $60 – $250 per season for 2012, not a bad deal if you’ve cancelled your cable and need some sports. For 2012, DirectTV is offering their NFL package at $250, instead of $350 (but only available to non-DirectTV customers, details below). The other prices have largely stayed the same, but mid-season deals are being offered more. If you’re late to the game they can be a good option.

MLB

Major League Baseball offers MLB.TV which is $120 for the entire season and includes any out-of-market game and, depending on your broadband, up to six games at once. Audio to any game, anytime and a full on-demand archive of all the games.

They also offer an offseason package for $25 which allows you to watch any game of the season and playoffs in full HD and includes next year’s spring training.

NBA

The National Basketball Association offers up NBA League Pass for $110-190, with more options at higher prices. The general package includes up to 40 out-of-market games per week, an ability to watch three games at once, DVR-like controls to instant replay your own highlights, and a full archive of the season.

NHL

The National Hockey League offers NHL GameCenter for $170 which includes all out-of-market games, DVR functionality for replays and highlights, radio broadcasts, and a new slow motion feature.

NFL

The National Football League is the laggard, but Direct TV does offer the NFL Sunday Ticket for $250. It’s only available if you’re, “not able to subscribe to DIRECT TV service at your current address.” The package includes all out-of-market games on Fox and CBS, a Red Zone channel which shows the final yards of every scoring drive, and instant stats.

There are also options from the NFL itself, including a $40-70 package called NFL Game Rewind that includes all past games on-demand from the 2009-2011 seasons, and for $30 NFL Audio Pass which includes every radio broadcast live and on-demand.

On a side note the NFL Network recently tested out a free broadcast of one of their Thursday night games using their NFL ’12 iPad app.

MLS

Major League Soccer also has a package called Match Day Live for $60. This includes 221 games, live games on an iPad, HD quality, DVR ability, the ability to watch up to three games at once, archived games, and condensed (20 min) games.

ESPN

The worldwide leader in sports is playing a tough game when it comes to online content. They have one of the most popular websites in the world but keep their TV content off the web. If you visit ESPN.com the content is created for the web with no SportsCenter, limited highlights, and no games.

For that you will need the Watch ESPN app (iPhone, Android). It’s free to download but requires a cable subscription to use. There is no option for paying separately if you don’t have cable, and that feature may be a long time in coming. ESPN is betting heavily on this Watch ESPN program. They are pushing it across everything they do, all the channels, and it does offer a lot of games, but it does lock you into the cable world.

 

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Web stats for the London 2012 Olympic Games

Just a small slice of the 70-page, London 2012 Olympic Games – Digital Report

Web stats:

  • 431 million visits
  • 109 million unique visits (on average, each person visited four times)
  • 15 million app downloads
  • 4.73 billion pageviews (on average 11 page views/visit)
  • 4.7 million followers on social networks

Data:

  • 1.3 petabytes of data served
  • 117 billion object requests
  • 46.1 billion ‘page’ (html, xml) views
  • App peak – 17,290 pages/second
  • Web peak – 104,792 pages/second

 
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Don’t forget about the Paralympics – they’re on from Aug 31 – Sep 9

(photo: London 2012 Paralympics)

 

I really enjoyed the Olympics, particularly seeing Oscar Pistorius compete in his carbon fibre Cheetah foot. Now, I’m looking forward to seeing some of the more exciting Paralympic events:

Following his historic appearance at the Olympic Games – where he was the first male athlete with a disability to compete at the able-bodied Games – South African Pistorius will be keen to assert his dominance on the Paralympic stage once more.

He will be participating in his third Paralympic Games and will hope to repeat his success at Beijing 2008, where he won gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 400m events in the T44 category. – London 2012 Paralympics

 

I also want to see the wheelchair racing in the track & field athletics division. There is also a record number of women competing and so I will look forward to seeing some of those events.

The good news is that for the first time NBC will be broadcasting the Paralympics and the International Paralympic Committee will host 580 hours of online coverage.

 

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Is there prize money given with olympic medals?

There’s no pay from the IOC (International Olympic Committee) when they win a medal. But many countries Olympic committees pay their athletes for winning medals. Among them, The U.S., Russia, Canada, China & Italy and many more countries.

$20K-$50K per gold medal is typical in bigger countries. The smaller countries actually tend to pay more, $50K-$100K, since a single gold is more important to their country. Some athletes receive cars, houses and promise of jobs when they retire.

 

Source: Yahoo! Answers

 

In the U.S., our athletes receive, from the U.S. Olympic Committee, $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze.

Swimmers, receive even more thanks to an organization called USA Swimming, who chips in an additional $75,000 for gold, as has been highly publicized for Missy Franklin.

 

 

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PAC-12 network launches on August 15, 2012 – UCLA already has 39 games scheduled for the fall

I’m super excited that the PAC-12 is getting its own network. I love watching all sorts of college sports on TV and hopefully this channel will give me all I can eat.

 

 

More fans will see more UCLA sports on more channels than ever before when the Pac-12 Networks launches on August 15. So far, there are 39 UCLA fall games scheduled to be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks – one so far in football, 12 in men’s soccer, nine in women’s soccer, 14 in women’s volleyball and three in men’s water polo.

Watch the video to get a taste of what will be on the network. To learn if you will get Pac-12 Networks from your TV provider visit the Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder.

 

Source: UCLABruins.com

Maps of where Olympic athletes are born and where they move to

The map above shows the birthplace of the 500 athletes the United States sent to the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The break down:

  • 9 percent (43 athletes) – are from Los Angeles
  • 3.6 percent (17) – are from the Bay Area
  • 3 percent (14) – are from greater New York
  • 2.3 percent (11) from Dallas.
  • 8 percent were born abroad

This map shows where these athletes are currently living:

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The growing popularity of summer camps for building iPhone, Android apps

Here is an excerpt from a Marketplace interview on computer-focused summer camps, they’re surging in popularity:

 

Queena Kim: Aw…the  sounds of summer. Families getting together for barbeques. The sound of BBQ sizzling. Dogs running around.

And 9-year-old Alex  is plopped down on a lounge chair totally engrossed in his favorite iPad game, which prompts this from his dad:

 

Gary: Alex, lose the iPad!

 

Chances are, these words are being heard across the country. But a growing number of parents are taking the opposite tack.

 

Instructor: And this is the course that uses x-code so…

 

Welcome to ID Tech Camps.  It started 13 years ago with 200 hundred campers in Silicon Valley. Today, ID Tech says it has about 23,000 campers in 25 states. One week at the camp can cost up to $1,400 — and that comes with the usual camp activities like swimming, games and nighttime pranks.

 

Read the full story: Marketplace - Summer camp for young techies

 

 

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Tug of War, once a part of Ancient Olympics, was also once a part of the modern Olympics

Tug of war was contested as a team event in the Summer Olympics at every Olympiad from 1900 to 1920. Originally the competition was entered by clubs, which meant that one country could win several medals. This happened in 1904, when the United States won all three medals, and in 1908 when the podium was occupied by three British teams. Sweden was also among the top countries with two medals, one as a member of the mixed team.

During its time as an Olympic sport, it was considered to be part of the Olympic athletics programme, although the sports of tug of war and athletics are now considered distinct. – Wikipedia

 

Tug of war was also a part of the ancient Olympic games…

 

Just how serious do people take Tug of War? Here are a few things we learned from checking out the website for the Tug Of War International Federation:

• There’s a manual to build your own tug of war boots.

• The rule book for the 2009-2010 seasonis 84 pages long.

• They follow WADA’s drug guidelines, making this sport far stricter than any of the major sports played in the United States.

• Finally, you can get caught up on all of this by watching a nice video:

 

 

Source: ESPN – Bring back the tug of war

 

 

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