It’s That Time Again (iPhone Launch)

I remember back in 2007 when Apple unveiled the very first iPhone.  Following months of speculation and rumor, it was official.  It was a game changer then just as it is now.  I wound up selling my Dell Axim PDA and my iPod Classic to fund the endeavor – $500 worth of tech right out of the gate.  I was 19 at the time – when $500 was significantly more of an investment than it would be now.  I got to Carousel (fuck Destiny) around 5:30 AM and still got beat by four people.  I was fifth in line at 6 AM, I waited 12 hours for the release.  The news was there, reporters were there, the line stretched to Macy’s and back.  I got the phone and couldn’t even activate it right away because of how bombed Apple’s and AT&T’s servers were.  That marked the beginning of the smartphone boom.

I’m no stranger to iOS and the iPhone.  I had the original 2G, the 3G, and then I stood in line again for the 4.  I picked up the 5 a month or so after launch, and I’ll soon have the 6 Plus.  I’ve beta tested pretty much every iOS iteration over the years.  I’m a lifer, as the saying goes.  I’m invested in Apple’s ecosystem, the apps, iCloud, the interconnectivity, the astonishing tech that ‘just works’ with other Apple devices.  When a developer comes up with a killer idea, they develop it for iOS before all else.

And now, here we are, launch day for the iPhone 6.  I’ve seen my share of retardation already today, and it’s not even 10 AM (it probably will be by the time I post this, however).  You can’t deny that Apple knows how to sell a product.  You don’t see this kind of hype and excitement for an Android device.  You don’t see a sold out keynote address unveiling a new Samsung phone.  You don’t see preorder sales records getting smashed for the next great Galaxy device.  You just don’t.  Apple makes a slick, sexy-looking device that excels at melding hardware and software.  It’s what Apple has been known for in their computers and they’re yet to fail when it comes to their mobile devices.

But today on the internet, I see people continuing to bash the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.  “It’s copying everything from Samsung” they’ll say.  Let’s talk about this:

Copying Samsung’s Innovation

First of all, let’s just say it takes a certain degree of condescension for an Android fanboy to actually put together a graphic like this.  What’s the point behind it?  Honestly, it’s someone that feels so strongly that their choice is the only right one.  For whatever reason.

I’d spend time debunking most of this graphic, but I’ll just leave you with two thoughts:

My first thought: Sure, Android may have had these features since 2012.  They could have had them since 2007 honestly.  What matters is functionality and integration.  Android is cutting edge.  And I mean bleeding, ugly, glitchy, and buggy cutting edge.  They add features and functionality that either doesn’t work well, isn’t widely implemented, isn’t refined enough, or is too complex to use regularly.  NFC for instance, how many times have you used it on your NFC-enabled Android phone?  Ever?  Probably not.  How secure are your payments or financial information?  At all?  Does it generate single-use card numbers to prevent identity theft?  Probably not.  My point is that while Apple may be late to the game for some of these feature – they’ve improved on every single one.  The features Apple ‘copied’ have been integrated cleanly and intuitively compared to Android’s versions.  Nearly every feature above that Android had before iOS, Apple has improved upon.  It’s important to note that Apple won’t implement half-baked technology.  They will bide their time, and when it’s ready they’ll roll it out.  They did it with LTE back in the day, they’re doing it now with screen size and NFC and everything else.  This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.

My second thought: Fuck all of you self-righteous assholes.  For fuck’s sake.  It’s a goddamn phone.  A device that you carry with you and use on a daily basis.  If you like Android, good for fucking you.  If you like iOS and iPhone, good for fucking you.  You want to tinker?  Get an HTC or a Nexus.  You want a phone that just works and integrates with your Mac seamlessly?  Get an iPhone.  If you’re on the fence about what to get:

DON’T LISTEN TO ANYONE’S OPINION.

Everyone has a fucking agenda and if they tell you to go one way or the other – it’s their opinion.  Nothing more, nothing less.  So what you need to do, is go to the store and use them.  Play with the phones.  See which you like better.  Read up on their features.  Do your fucking research.  Asking Facebook for help is the worst thing you can do, so don’t even bother asking.

It’s all personal opinion, so go fuck yourselves.

Sunday Boreday

I had a bug up my ass this weekend to upgrade my gaming rig to Windows 8.1, which inadvertently caused me to wipe my hard drive.  One second I’m clicking through windows, next second I’m like “Shit, I think that just wiped my drive.”  That’s right kids, an IT pro like myself fucked up.  No big though, considering my server holds all my critical stuff (including backups of all my installers – win!).  Let that be a lesson to all you script kiddies out there – always have a backup, and then have a backup of your backup.  Scrubs.

Now it’s sitting here rolling through enough updates to kill the weekend.  Should be done soon enough, but it left me with some time to waste on the interwebs.  Surfing Facetwat, going through Timehop, etc.  Got me thinking about the random shit my mind goes to when I’m bored at home.

We’re gonna take a walk through my currently relationship situation, considering I keep that shit to myself on most days.  I’ve been single since like what, May?  June?  Something like that.  The ex was a little on the unstable side.  Not accepting the breakup, faking pregnancies, you know.  Bullet = Dodged.  Prior to that there were a few unofficial dates and prospects, but none really felt right.  Maybe I was being too picky, but compromising in the past has led me to some shitty days in my life.

Prior to the most recent, the last legitimate relationship collapsed in the very beginning of 2012.  So two and a half years ago.  When I think about it, it feels like yesterday.  But nope, it was over two years ago.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss that sappy relationship shit.  Dates, movies, doing shit together, going on trips, all of that.  But on the opposite side of the coin, I really like being single.

Maybe my past relationships have conditioned me to like the single life – you know, certain things that I don’t have to deal with now.  No paranoia as to whether I’m going to piss someone off.  Now, I just don’t give a fuck.  Not having to compromise on certain things – hanging with friends, buying an item that I probably shouldn’t, or investing time into hobbies and shit.  Granted, that all comes with the territory of being with someone; I just want that person to be worth those compromises.  Getting shit on and mentally abused isn’t conducive to that.

Either way, I guess that’s how she goes.  Most of my past relationships kinda cropped up out of nowhere, so I guess that’s where I’m at now.  At some point in the future someone will appear and it’ll all just make sense again.  Till then – wheeee!

Mass Effect & Me – Potential Spoilers Ahead

Gather round, internet kiddies.  I’ve got a story to tell.

Picture a time in your life where you had never experienced Star Wars.  Never saw the destruction of the Death Star or how our protagonist rises from Force newb to Force master race.  Imagine life before Star Trek, before Battlestar, before Firefly.  Let’s face it, these are the tenants of sci-fi geek/nerd culture.  You can’t claim to be ‘in’ with that culture if you haven’t seen these films (I’m looking at you, Britt – watch fucking Star Wars already).

Now, picture how shamed I feel that I literally just finished the Mass Effect trilogy.  The first in the series being released in 2007, number two in 2010, and number three in 2012.  I NEVER PLAYED ANY OF THEM.

What the fuck was wrong with me?

Not only did I never play them at release, but I dragged my feet time after time.  “Nah man, I tried playing the first on 360 and I just didn’t like it.”  The combat system sucked, the graphics were straight out of 2007 (no shit, Sherlock).  I dunno.  I’m a retard.

I doubted all of my friends that praised this series so highly.  That’s my thing though, you tell me something is good and I’ll tell you it sucks on principle alone.  So after I purchased my gaming rig and spent a disproportionate amount of time playing The Sims (fuck that game) and Spintires – I decided, “Why not just download Mass Effect and try it again.”

And holy shit did I.

I had already gotten maybe 25% of the way through the first on console.  On PC it felt more relaxed, easier to play, and I was using this expensive piece of electronics to do it.  I felt pretty good about it, naturally.  After coming to grips with the poor combat system in ME1, I began to feel the atmosphere surrounding the game.  The same parts of my brain that lit up for Star Wars began firing again as I played this game.  From Noveria and Feros, to Citadel and Ilos.  The conversational dialog drew me in the first time I played it, but it wasn’t enough.  But this time around I was getting more and more into it.  I found myself playing late into the night, forgoing sleep to see what the next mission was, to soak up more information on my squadmates, the galaxy, and what the future might hold.  By the time I attacked Saren on Virmire, I was done for.  I went to Ilos, and then I went to the Citadel.  Bombshells all around – indoctrination, the Conduit.  I wrapped up the first game with a sense of awe at this fantastic piece of writing and gameplay that I originally scoffed at.  Fuck me, right?

The night I installed ME2, I told myself I’d import my character and play for a minute just to see what it looked like.  Two and a half hours later, I finally went to sleep.  The beginning of 2 was such a shock, I had to keep going, obviously.  I finished 2 in seven days exactly.  The combat system was redone and felt great.  The story piled on more character development than I’ve seen in a game before.  With each squadmate’s loyalty missions, I began to know them and relate to them.  It’s essential you know and understand their strengths and weaknesses, since it plays a critical role not only in the game in general, but the Suicide Mission at the end.  Speaking of which, dat ending doe.  Holy fuck.  All my hard work, and planning, and mission running paid off.  The only character I lost was Zaeed.  I was cool with it because he was a paid merc that didn’t give a fuck about the galaxy.  I’m glad he died.  Peace out.

The part that began to enthrall me about the whole thing was how your choices – whether it be in 1, 2 and later on 3 – effected the world and the characters in it.  I sacrificed Kaidan on Virmire, which later on I wish I could have changed.  With choices come consequences, and I fell in love with that feeling while playing through the series.

I began playing ME3 and noticed immediately a shift in tone.  The world (and the galaxy) was going to shit, and it was going to shit in a hurry.  The Reapers were here, and they were out to fuck shit up.  My friend Brian told me once that Mass Effect 3 was all-out warfare, and he was right.  But it makes sense, the Reapers are here, there’s no more time to pussyfoot around.  It’s put up or shut up time.  The story of 3 filled in a lot of gaps, a lot of back story.  There were moments of legitimate sadness – Mordin, Thane, and most of all, Legion.  There were moments of triumph – turian and krogan peace, quarian and geth peace.  It was a clusterfuck the entire game.

And then…  The ending of Mass Effect 3.

(I’ve gotta devote an entire post for the ending, so bear with me)

EDIT 9/10/14 – Yeah, I’m lazy so I wouldn’t expect that second post anytime this week.

Apartment Life

You know what’s crazy?  As of two days ago, I’ve been in my apartment for two years.  That’s nuts.  It’s gone through its changes and upgrades over that time.  From a couple sweet recliners to a pretty baller sectional.  New toys, new computers, like three different routers, Xbox 360 to Xbox One, the list goes on and on.

Same goes for the different neighbors I’ve had.  Creepy dude across the hall that was absolutely RAGING at SU in 2013.  Top of his lungs yelling at the TV, which happened to be on the other side of my bedroom.  That was pretty awesome.  Now I’m subjected (not really) to hearing the neighbors rage at Worms.  Fucking ninja rope, I tell you h’what.

And how my back porch light got miraculously replaced by a sweet blue halogen.  Or even the sweet Philips hue bulbs I’m rocking.  Got that mood lighting when the moment hits.  Let’s be honest, I just rock that shit when blue or red sounds like a good idea.

Getting turnt up new years 2012/2013 with the bros on the porch.  And apparently the relatively boring 2013/2014 new years since I don’t remember that at all.

Bought my first gaming console since the PSone (whenever that was) and played Borderlands 2 and Black Ops 2 till my eyes bled.  Trolling them noobs with the kids from Ohio and rocking the Lead Hose (Skorpion EVO) and Betties.  Progressed from that shitshow to Battlefield 3 and sucked completely.  Started getting better, got an Xbox One with BF4 and welp, there goes the neighborhood.

The many iterations of my home NAS, from the shit Western Digital NAS I had from my previous apartment to the fucking beastly quad-Xeon, 32 GB memory, 6 TB monstrosity that now powers all my digital needs.  Coupled with the 50 Mbps/5 Mbps connection, my apartment is thoroughly wired.  Love it.

Had a lot of good times in the last two years, for sure.  Buying a house is the next logical move, but to be honest – what’s the rush?  Ohhhhh I gotta jump on that owning-a-house bandwagon.  Fuck that.  I’ve got an apartment that isn’t bad, it’s just down the road from work, I’ve got some bros next door, and it’s right in the middle of town.  And honestly, my apartment is probably better furnished than 80% of these houses these touchholes are buying anyway.  Suckas.

Celebrity Photo Leaks

I was asked to rant about The Fappening/Celebgate via Facebook, so here it is.  You should be excited that I actually took a moment (or two) to write this instead of playing Mass Effect 3.  Such a good game, but I digress.

If you’re reading this, by now you’re probably aware of what’s going down – so I’ll spare you any backstory there.  If you’re clueless as to what I’m talking about, see here:

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/the-fappening-celebgate

Now for what I want to rant about, which is twofold:

I see a lot of people posting things along the line of “If you don’t want your nudes spread around, don’t post them iCloud or any other cloud-based storage medium.”  While I agree somewhat to this sentiment, you’re missing the point.  This was an invasion of privacy, no matter how you cut it.  They didn’t take these pictures of themselves with the intent for the whole world to see.  Regardless of where they saved the pictures, it wasn’t anyone’s right or privilege to share them with anyone.  It’s easy for some of us (especially ones that’ve never sexted or the like) to put the blame on the victim, not the perpetrator.  This, I strongly disagree with.  If you say Jennifer Lawrence is at fault for her pictures getting ‘hacked’, there’s a chance you deserve to get hit.  In fact, there is legislation in the works to make ‘Revenge Porn’ illegal – the posting of pictures without someone’s consent, even if the picture was taken consensually.  See here:

http://www.ncsl.org/research/telecommunications-and-information-technology/state-revenge-porn-legislation.aspx

But that also leads me to my next point.  These pictures weren’t hacked.  At least not in my opinion.  iCloud doesn’t work in a sense that it can be hacked, so even calling it a hack isn’t even strictly accurate.  Apple, or any other cloud-based services, hasn’t made it clear how they store your content, whether it’s encrypted, or anything.  Even if someone did manage to hack Apple’s servers (which I doubt), they would have to figure out their filesystem’s architecture (good luck), and then trace down each celebrity’s photos (out of how many millions of iCloud users?) and then store them locally.  It would be way too difficult.  Now some of you conspiracy theorists may say “Oh well Apple employees have access to it, no doubt.  NSA did it.  Obama.”  Well fuck you and your opinion, you’re wrong.  When the perp is found (which they will) you’ll see it’s probably something much more simple.

I believe that there is probably some sort of underground celebrity porn ring going on in Hollywood.  This is not my own deduction, mind you, but something I saw posted on 4chan that made sense.  There is probably a group of people with questionable and compromising pictures of these actresses/actors.  If you want to get in the group and access what they’ve got – you have to bring something new to the table.  New content gets you in.  Then from there, you’ve got it all.  This sounds like the most reasonable explanation to me.

Why?  Because there were more than one user posting these pictures.  They weren’t dumped all at once.  It doesn’t make any sense how they were released.  If you had access to such a thing, let’s be honest – you wouldn’t mess that up.  And if you diddecide to blow the lid, you wouldn’t give it away for free.

tl;dr – It was probably a celeb photo ring that got released, not iCloud getting hacked.  And if you blame the victim, you’re an asshole.