Monday, January 30, 2012

Flashing Blades

After the summer trails away in 1623, a gentleman and a foreign noble go to war...

I recently played a session of Flashing Blades, an RPG set in 17th century France, written in 1984 by Mark Pettigrew. Here are some thoughts and reactions I had to the game. We will continue (with additional players) on February the 11th and I hope to write here about the experience.

Read on for more...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Why Didn't I Think of That?

I have a lot of moments where I say to myself "Self, why didn't you think of that?"

Using Google+ Hangouts as a way to run pen and paper RPGs is brilliant! I am very eager to give this a try.

Some bloggers have put together a site called ConstantCon to help facilitate players and GMs meeting up and setting up games. It really is like the convention game signup sheet--only constant / eternal / perpetual / awesome / never ending. You get the idea.

Check it out at the link below. Also, if you're interested in seeing what games I might end up running in this format, add me to a circle on G+ using the other link here. Please post to me (Limited, + me only) to let me know so I can add you to my gaming circle.


+Ian Wheat:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cut Out What's Useless

We're halfway through January, which means that many people have failed or given up on their New Year's Resolutions. I don't bother with them, so I'm safe. *cough*

One of my commitments for 2012 (which I made back in November, so they're not resolutions, right?) is to find better ways to interact with people and ideas online. It was very clear to me that I needed to spend more time writing (thus this site), spend more time reading technology and science related news, and to spend far less time on websites that were not aiding my personal and professional goals.

Today, I've cut a pointless part of my social life out. My challenge to myself? Pick up the fancy smartphone and dial some numbers. I will not rely on Facebook updates from my friends to know how they are, what they are doing, and how cute their kids are. I will spend real time talking to the people who matter. Not the 400+ "friends" I had, but the handful of them who actually matter.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Media Moguls Just Don't Get the Internet

So, I was going to write a nice tirade against old media and their moguls. I was going to tell you all about how these gentlemen and ladies don't understand the internet well enough to market their stuff on it successfully.

But I think we all get that. These are the people in the U.S. who support laws like SOPA and PIPA. People who want to warp and bend the internet (twist it, really) into something they can monetize and capitalize on.

Here is a prime example. Rupert Murdoch, of NewsCorp, has ranted against President Obama, Google, and pretty much the way in which the internet works. This man does not understand that HIS industry is the problem.

They just don't get the internet.

Read for yourself: Rupert Murdoch Calls Google a "Piracy Leader"

Saturday, January 14, 2012


August the 31st, 2007--the not so distant past. Something aired on British television that had  given me pause to think today...

I was recently re-watching The I.T. Crowd, Graham Linehan's genius comedy about nerds and their interactions with the work world, and noticed something startling. In the episode "Return of the Golden Child," series two and episode two, the character Roy is extremely excited about a new mobile phone he's just purchased. It's top of the line, and he brags about the specs and screen size to his friend and coworker, Moss.

This in itself is a fairly normal thing. It happens all the time, especially in basement-housed I.T. departments, and is not exceptional. What is odd, though, is the fact that this was not even five full years ago, their Luddite-manager, Jen, hears the conversation, she immediately douses the fire with the request "Ask me what kind of phone I've got" and a response of "It--doesn't--matter."

Now, fast forward to 2011 or 2012, and have this conversation again. Insert the latest fruit flavoured phone, or a shiny robot-featured phone in place of the classic Motorola candy bar phone Roy held in esteem. Phones--smart ones, anyway--have become so ubiquitous that even the Luddites and technology haters don't mind hearing about the newest gadget-filled phone.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mobile Industry Wish List

There are several things I'd love to see the mobile device/carrier industry accomplish within the next few years. Here's breakdown--I'll be expounding on each wish in separate posts later on.

  • Phone data plans as dumb pipes

  • A viable alternative to contract-subsidized pricing for handsets

  • Return to unlimited data plans (or at least capping in a way that competes with at-home ISPs)

  • Unification of network technologies and a reduction in frequency diversity between carriers

Monday, January 9, 2012

Burnout: MMO Edition

In ten days my subscription to a certain brand new science fiction / space opera MMORPG will renew for the first time.

I haven't played in six days.

There are, let's be honest, two types of gamer: completionists and the rest of us. You probably already know which type you are, so I'll forego the analysis and diagnostic fee. What does this mean for an MMO, though? How does your game playing style shift in light of a massive and socially-driven game?

Personally, I've found a few areas where it's different enough to note...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

printf ("hello world");

Let's start at the beginning: this is a place for me to share thoughts--a shouting into the wind sort of deal. If you enjoy what you read then, please, comment and share. If you don't, well, keep it to yourself.

A while back I made a commitment that I would, in time, turn myself into a proper writer. I wrote a few articles and tidbits for an Android news site (see AndroidAndMe) and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, life got in the way for a few months so I fell out of touch with the site and they took off and are soaring now. So, that leads me here--nearly two years later--looking for a place to share my thoughts on life, the universe, and everything.

Actually, more likely I'll just share my thoughts on technology, related news, gaming, and anything that tickles my academic and intellectual fancy.