Category Archives: Technology

Rooster Teeth Podcast

The fans have spoken and Rooster Teeth, the creators of Red vs. Blue, has comes out on top again by taking top honors in a recent iTunes poll. August 3rd through the 27th Apple asked fans to stop by the iTunes Facebook page and vote for their favorite gaming podcast.  With over 20,000 votes the Rooster Teeth podcast won the honors of being the featured podcast beginning on Tuesday, September 4th.

Rooster Teeth Productions premiered their podcast in 2008 and since than has been one of the most popular podcasts currently sitting number 2 at the time of this writing.

This has to be one of the funniest podcasts I’ve personally listened to to and I would recommend it to anyone over the age 18.  iTunes has it marked as an explicit podcast and I would absolutely agree with that recommendation.

If you want a humorous take on gaming, technology and the world feel free to check out the Rooster Teeth Podcast at RoosterTeeth.com/podcast or subscribe via iTunes.

Find Your Inner Chakra on Facebook with Yoga Retreat

You see it all the time; people making it “Facebook official”, tens of “Likes” on that new Courage Wolf meme, and being invited to the 2012 Zombie Apocalypse event. Did you accept your invite yet? No? Alright I guess I won’t be seeing you there then— it’s casual.

The wave of Facebook application bars is being raised to the next level though when Finland based social games development studio, Gajatri Studios, formally announced today its debut title, Yoga Retreat. Available to the masses starting August 6th, players will find an avatar in their likeness with which he or she practices and teaches yoga to resort customers in return for virtual currency. Players will learn and unlock genuine yoga techniques in the hatha tradition, all of which can be transferred over to players’ day-to-day lives, as well as items and facilities to create the idyllic tropical wellbeing resort.

The brains behind the operation? Well that would be none other than Gajatri Studios founder Tiina Zilliacus, a certified yoga teacher with over 200 hours of training along with 14 years professional background in games, online and mobile. In an attempt to bring fitness education and gaming in perfect harmony with a social media platform as its base I’m very excited to try this first hand when available.

I suppose my farm in Farmville will soon become a famine, and my mafia in Mafia Wars will disown me, but hey— can they do a Half Lord of the Fishes pose? I think not.

For more information on Yoga Retreat, check out their fan page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/yogaretreatgame

SteelSeries Goes “Pink” For a Great Cause

SteelSeries, a leading manufacturer in gaming and entertainment peripherals announced today that one of its popular gaming headsets, the Siberia v2, is now available in the color pink in a limited edition run. Coupled with the The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF), in which 10% of all purchases of the new SteelSeries Siberia v2 Headset Pink Edition that are made on SteelSeries’ Web Shop, will be donated to the non-profit organization.

“We’re proud to be working with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and are thrilled to be giving our customers a chance to purchase a premium-quality gaming and entertainment headset that will also benefit a cause that is recognized and important to so many,” said Bruce Hawver, SteelSeries CEO. “It is our goal to reach, and hopefully exceed, a donation amount of $10,000 between now and October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, for BCRF from this campaign.”

Available now on the SteelSeries website, you can purchase your own for the retail value of $89.99 USD or €89.99 MSRP. Note as well that all customers purchasing the product are also offered the option to include an additional cash value donation of their choice to the BCRF. If you’d like to show your support, don’t hesitate to pick up your own headset now.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®, founded by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1993, is an independent not-for-profit organization committed to funding scientific research to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime. In October 2011, BCRF awarded $36.5 million to 187 scientists across the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and China.  With over 90 cents of every dollar donated currently being directed to breast cancer research and awareness programs, BCRF continues to remain one of the most fiscally responsible charities in the country.  BCRF holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, its tenth such designation since 2002.  Additionally, BCRF is the only cancer organization designated as “A+” by CharityWatch. For more information about BCRF, visit www.bcrfcure.org.

Wii U: The Nintendo Fangirl’s Opinion

So. E3 is over and all the stalls, vendors, dude-bros and booth babes are heading home for another year. As we said on the current podcast (Yes! I was on the GKick podcast, no word of a lie!) it was a very underwhelming and bland E3. There were almost no console news to be had other than another glimpse of the Nintendo Wii U. (No Steve, please don’t make the joke about the British police car again…lol).

Anyway. (puts on sensible, editorial head). The Wii U.

I, am one of the biggest Nintendo fangirls you will ever meet. I have owned almost every single Nintendo Game Boy/SP/DS/DSi/3DS console every made, but never any of the tv connecting consoles. The reason for this is that I was forced to play on a Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in the US/Japan) for my 11th Christmas. I wanted a NES. I think that my parents must have gotten their wires crossed, and I can remember my brother and I ripping off the wrapping paper with glee- only to be greeted by a giant blue hedgehog on the front of the box. I can remember the look of expectant joy on my parents faces. But we looked at each other with puzzled looks, and I threw an almighty tantrum while my 7  year-old brother cried.

We wanted Mario and Duck Hunt. Well, I wanted Mario. And my brother just wanted to shoot the ducks with a gun. (Certainly not a surprise that his favourite game is Call of Duty these days.) Instead, we had to make do with Sonic The Damned Hedgehog. (Dear Readers: I still play Sonic, purely for nostalgic reasons.) So, Sonic 2 came with the machine and I never remember having anything else to play. Or if we did, I never played. I bought Sonic and Knuckles too, I was obsessed with Sonic. Not with Sega. Or the Mega Drive system.

The Christmas or two beforehand, I had recieved a Nintendo Game Boy for my gift. I had begged and pleaded with my parents for months on end to buy it for me. There was no Duck Hunt, but there was Mario! And Kirby! And Tetris! Actually, I got the pack that came with Tetris. I would take my Game Boy to school with me, sit behind the wall on the playground and be absorbed in the world of Super Mario World for ‘playtime’. Other kids would play netball, or catch, or skipping, or kiss chase. Me? Oh no no no. Far too much energy. It was Nintendo or nothing for me. The problem is, the word got back to the head of the school and he conviscated my console until the end of the day. Then when I went to retrieve it, I was told never to bring it back because it was ‘for my own good that I got some exercise.’ Well, pffft. Exercise, schmexcersise.

I enjoyed being the weird kid at school, always with my head buried in my Game Boy or in some kind of a book. I didn’t like sport and I didn’t like socialising really. Unless it was to trade stickers for my Mario sticker book or to go up to the village to buy sweets. I would try to involve my friends in my little world of Nintendo, but people didn’t really give a crap. Sure, they had consoles. One of my friends actually had a Game Boy too and we would exchange games from time to time, but I could never get into an excitable conversation with her. My other friend had a Sega Master System, and she would challenge me to Alex Kidd competitions. Split screen afternoon fun.

It wasn’t until my male cousins got a Playstation 1 when I was about 13 that I really started to find people to discuss gaming with. But then, all they wanted to do was discuss the size of Lara Croft’s boobs or answer the question of why Crash Bandicoot was orange. I didn’t really want to talk Playstation, I wanted to discuss Nintendo but it was nice to have someone I could actually play games with instead of being questioned why I was playing games in the first place and not off gossiping about boy bands or make up. I wasn’t a typical girly girl and I didn’t want to talk about girl stuff. I wanted to talk games and gaming. My aunt would try to do girl stuff with me, but I wasn’t interested in any of it all. My parents became unsettled in case I wanted to become a raging lesbian or join the circus or something. (Not that there is honestly anything wrong with that- I’m bisexual.)

I was called all the names under the sun by my peers at my new secondary school, I didn’t fit in because all I wanted to do was play games. I began to draw Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario on my school books. I became very good at drawing them. They became almost my logo. If someone saw a book with my drawings on the front of it, they automatically knew they were mine. I was proud of who I was. The boys were threatened and pissed off at the fact that I could easily beat them at Street Fighter II while playing Chun Li. The girls hated it because they were crap at games and I tried to teach them, but they never wanted to learn.

I dealt with this for the next ten years. Fast forward about ten years. I was having a really hard time, suffering from post-natal depression after having my daughter. I’d got nothing to play other than my husband’s Xbox. Which I wasn’t allowed to touch. I wanted a Nintendo DS so badly, I had seen a special edition one I had my eye on. It was black underneath with a red lid. Black and red are my favourite colours. So again, I begged and begged and begged for it. My 24th birthday came around and my husband put the rest of the money towards it. As I walked out of Target clutching my shiny new purchase, I thought I was the bees knees to have a DS. Mind you, I did have a GB Advance SP at home as well as a GB Micro. (I still miss my tiny little Micro.) But the problem with those was that they only played Advance and below games. I had the have a NDS to play the new games. And I played that machine until it came time to move on. I got divorced. I lost everything. That means my entire Nintendo collection. All my GameBoy stuff, my NDS stuff…everything. I was saddened and trailed off back home to the UK with my suitcase and lost dreams in my back pocket.

League of Legends Hacked!

League of Legends developers Riot Games have issued a statement detailing a recent security breach of the EU servers. Sadly, this means that some player information went missing- so if you’re on a European server, please be aware!

The servers in question are EU Nordic & East and EU West, which I would imagine covers the whole continent of Europe. I’m okay, as I’ve never touched League of Legends (…hahaha yet.) Riot says that while no credit card or payment information was accessed- names of player characters, dates of birth and security questions were all stolen in the attack. The company says that the ‘specific security issue’ has now been fixed, and is notifying all players involved.

In a response, the company have stated:

  • We’ve fixed the specific security issue that hackers exploited. 
  • Over the next 24 hours, we’ll be notifying all EUW and EUNE players via email; although only a portion of players might have been affected, we consider broader notification a good security precaution.
  • We’ll be updating this post with the latest on this situation and will monitor comments here for questions that require further clarification.
  • Our investigation into this issue is ongoing – we’ve hired experts and are working with the relevant authorities to more thoroughly understand causes, culprits, and preventative measures to make future breaches less likely.
  • We’ve redirected teams to quickly implement new security measures that will help improve the safety of your data.
  • We’ll continue to invest in security measures, including password hashing and data encryption, state-of-the-art firewalls, SSL, security ninjas, and other security measures to make your info safer. We’ve been humbled by this experience and know that nothing guarantees the security of Internet-connected systems such as League of Legends. We can simply promise to try our very best to protect your data.

We’re sorry

Brandon and I want to sincerely and personally apologize to you for this situation. We take your privacy and security seriously, and we’re working diligently to improve it for the better.

Talk about bad timing for the company. With the whole Major League Gaming championships going on at the moment, I couldn’t feel more sorry for them. So if you play on one of these servers, please check your emails and pray that you’re not one of the people targeted by the security breach.

Hulu, Entertainment Companies Join Forces to Become Irrelevant

In one of the most blindingly stupid decisions since New Coke, Hulu has announced that the company will be changing the business model of Hulu Plus and requiring viewers to prove they are current cable or satellite TV subscribers before being able to view most content.

Of course, for those of you who may not understand where most of Hulu Plus’ customers come from, they are people who have opted to NOT pay the insane costs of cable or satellite TV to instead pay a low monthly fee so they can watch certain shows when they want from a variety of devices.

While we normally avoid outright opinion pieces when reporting news, decisions like this are only further proof that the entertainment companies are becoming more and more irrelevant and archaic in this modern-day approach to watching content.

The decision, surprisingly enough, did not go unnoticed. Providence Equity Partners, a major investory in Hulu over the past five years, completely cashed out of the company when the change in product was discussed earlier last week.

The goal of this move would turn Hulu Plus into a glorified DVR service and remove the only benefit of the service left. While the shift to authentication may take a long time to complete, it wouldn’t surprise me if the company either back-pedaled on this service - if they even have the choice - or if they simply fade into obscurity. Either way, this move proves once again that the only ‘customers’ who actually get the respect they deserve are the pirates.

Guess we’ll see what happens.

Twitter Remembers Steve Jobs

On what is perhaps the most rapid form of communication out there, news of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs spread like wildfire via Twitter. As it spread, people from all over the world began to share their thoughts. Below is just a small fraction of the millions remembering Steve Jobs tonight.

@BillGates: For those of us lucky enough to get to work with Steve, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to Steve Jobs’ family & friends. The world rarely sees someone who made such a profound impact.

@NotHotWater: Rest in peace, Steve. You were a visionary and have forever changed humanity. I will miss you, your enthusiasm, and your brilliance.

@theECA: We lost a true genius, and legend. The impact of his technology goes beyond looks, and functionality: it created a culture, and lifestyle.

@SaxsyMage: From a 23 year Mac User, 10 year iPod user, 4 year iPhone user, and 1 1/2 year iPad user: RIP Steve Jobs. I will miss you.

@JVB: We lost a true genius, and legend. The impact of his technology goes beyond looks, and functionality: it created a culture, and lifestyle.

@devalyne: Tomorrow I’ll be wearing my black turtleneck. I challenge you all to do the same. RIP Steve Jobs.

@TheAlanJohnson: Incredulous about the news of Steve Jobs’ death. He leaves behind an impressive legacy that will be an inspiration for years to come.

@wilw: iRIP, Steve Jobs. Thank you for making incredible things, so we can live in the future.

@cosmiclaurel: RIP Steve Jobs. You changed the world with your innovation. We’ll miss you terribly.

@IGLevine: Steve Jobs. A great, great man. There’s a hole in every geek’s heart tonight.

@doctordake: I absolutely admired everything Steve Jobs did for Apple and Pixar over the years. Thank you for everything.

@DonaldGlover: R.I.P. Steve Jobs. I can honestly say you changed my life and the world many times over.

@Jagoex: RIP Steve Jobs. I explained who you are to my 3-yr-old, who is learning to read with the help of the devices you created. She says “thanks.”

@carlcunningham: From Steven Spielberg: “Steve Jobs was the greatest inventor since Thomas Edison. He put the world at our fingertips.” <- This

@viticci: “There may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”

@ThatKevinSmith: Our parents had JFK, we had Steve Jobs. Edison gave us electricity, Jobs gave us the Jetsons in real life. We lost an icon today. Mourn him.

@ThisIsJeffsb: “Your Time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life”. – Steve Jobs

@waxpancake: Eliot asked if that meant no more iPhones, iPads, or movies. I said Steve was like Willy Wonka, passing the chocolate factory on to Charlie.

@MrChrisClassic: Dear Apple: Maybe the 4s should be officially “4steve”.

@JRsBBQ: Everyone of us are headed to the same destination. Our eta’s are out of our hands but we’ll never encounter another Steve Jobs again. RIP

@darrenrovell: RIP Steve Jobs. You left your mark on our desks, on our ears & in our hands.

@Schwarzenegger: Steve lived the California Dream every day of his life and he changed the world and inspired all of us.

@cbrangel: Your iPad has opened a whole new world for me at age 81. We’re sad to see u go but are grateful to have had u. RIP

@jisalaberry: “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do”

Old School Meets New School with the Atari Arcade Joystick

In order to appreciate gaming as it is today you have to pay homage to gaming at its inception, and Discovery Bay Games along with Atari has done just that.

Reported yesterday from touchArcade and DVICE , Atari has implemented the release of not only Atari’s Greatest Hits for the iPad, but including a duo powered joystick to play these games with. In a similar design and structure of classic console peripherals, fans can connect their iPad to the joystick as if the gamepad was a dock via the 30 pin connector and play the classics in a portrait stance for hours of game play as it is powered by the life of battery within the iPad. As simple as downloading the app onto your iPad gamers can play Missile Command  for free, and for a larger variety of Atari originals you can purchase a bundle of 100 Atari 2600 games for just $15.00 by way of the app store. If you’re strictly an 8-bit fanatic, this is well worth it for just $15.00.

The Atari Arcade is scheduled to drop on October 2 at Target and then in November at Toys “R” Us and Walmart for $60. In comparison to competing gaming peripherals retailed at $100, I’d say this is reasonably priced for all ages young and old. No word has been released yet as to whether partnerships with additional iOS developers has come into play, but should the opportunity present itself you can expect me making an early birthday purchase. Would you go so far as to spend $75 total on a joystick and game bundle for your iPad? Leave a comment below this post with your input here on GKick!

Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO

Turns out that some April Fool’s jokes really do come true. Apple’s Board of Directors announced today that Steve Jobs has stepped down as CEO and will be replaced by Tim Cook, the company’s former COO. Jobs will remain with the company as the Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.

“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of the computer giant’s Board of Directors. “Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.

“The Board has complete confidence that Tim [Cook] is the right person to be our next CEO,” he continued. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”

For those unfamiliar with Tim Cook, as COO he was responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including the end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales, service and support in all markets and countries. He was also head of Apple’s Macintosh division and is one of the key individuals responsible for Apple’s growth with resellers and suppliers.

While this move doesn’t come as a surprise to very many in some regard, it does fuel a great deal of speculation. Jobs has been battling cancer for the past seven years, and his resignation does not bode well for his health. Apple did not have any further comment regarding Jobs’ health state at this time.