Gamers Playpen Launched!

Upon recently deciding to create a community to take place of Techtronic, Gamers Playpen has birthed!

Gamers Playpen is a personal project that I have never fully had time for in the past several years. It now gets the attention it deserves and the content to geat it via reviews, news, blogs, member profiles, video sharing, forums, and more. Click the banner to visit!

Techtronic: Expandibility

Techtronic has served well as my personal tech blog, traffic is ever increasing, the article archive is becoming filled, and search engines crawl and index on a daily basis. I am both happy and astonished with the results.

This, of course, brings several expansion concepts. While most web administrators consider banner advertising, and other means of internet based revenue generation, I do not feel the desire to drown out resourceful content in a wave of advertising mess.

I have concluded that Techtronic may be a great start for a technology and gamer based community.

When community comes to mind, I imagine articles, reviews, forums, chat, member profiles, news directories, link directories, and all that a community could be unleashed to interact and make the most of resourcefulness.

While most web administrators consider banner advertising, and other means of internet based revenue generation, I do not feel the desire to drown out resourceful content in a wave of advertising mess in order to cover server, domain, and administrative costs. I have come up with a simple and efficient method: an estore. More and more I think the estore would be at home within the Techtronic portal, providing sales for digitally distributed software and games, hardware upgrades, and similar products.

While Techtronic was mainly set to be technology and software news, news of games, comics, and movies have found their way in to the mix, resulting in a multi subject blog. This I plan to keep intact, with the exception of organizing all subjects better, as well as making room for more subjects.

In the next few days I will be highly busy creating and organizing the new community framework utilizing the Joomla content management system. I have also concluded that a proper domain name is needed for such a project. All news and updates will be posted here as development occurs.

In the meanwhile, please feel free to post any thoughts, suggestions, or other you may have to help aid me in the creative process.

Batman 3: Villains

September has been filled with much news and many rumors, both official and unofficial. The latest rumors can always be found at the IMDB.

Official: The Dark Knight will be released December 9, 2008. There will be three versions of the film released on DVD: A Blu-Ray single-disc, a single-disc DVD, and a two-disc special edition DVD.

ONE THING IS DEFINITE: Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman are all under contract for three films.

Michael Caine has revealed his thoughts on the villains of Batman 3…. Johnny Depp as the Riddler, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penquin. Caine did admit that he had read the news in the tabloids, but had confirmed the news with the studio. Later responses indicate that Hoffman has personally denied the rumor.

Director Nolan includes small but symbolic details throughout Batman Begins and the Dark Knight, most knowticed only by the avid comic fans. Some of these details may have already revealed the next installments villains:

  • Two Face: Some have claimed that 2 or 3 breaths from Dent can be seen after the fall, incentuating that the fall may not have killed Dent. Gordon and Batman never explicitly state that Two-Face is dead. Even Gordon says “Whatever chance you gave us of saving the city dies with Harvey’s reputation,” which is only saying that Dent’s reputation has been destroyed, and not Dent himself.
  • It has been rumored by an unconfirmed source that there is some extra footage of Heath Ledger’s Joker that can be used in the next sequel. This does sound likely, and could open up the possibility of Harley Quinn, the psychiatrist who treats the Joker at Arkham Asylum but she winds up falling in love with him to becoming his girlfriend. However, she is no match to Batman without the Joker.
  • Mad Hatter: Dent kidnapps and interrogates Jervis Tetch (alias the Mad Hatter), whom was posing as a guard during the Mayor’s assassination attempt. Batman stops Dent from abuse of power, and notes that Jervis was as insane inmate at Arkham.
  • The list of symbolized villain possibilities could go on and on….

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1984: In Effect

While I am not much in to the concept of  promoting conspiracy theory, politics, espionage, or personal opinion, I do find the last two weeks have defiantly built on to past existence.

Wall Street hit the worst low in 7 years last Monday, crippling financial giants in the likes of AIG (American International Group) only to be saved with the consideration of the United States government.

One week later and my personal beliefs in theory have become stronger: there is always a catch.

In the news today it is reported that the FBI is investigating four major U.S. financial institutions whose collapse helped trigger a $700 billion bailout plan by the Bush administration. Prior to the major decline of last Monday’s stock exchange, the FBI investigation was targeted toward 24 financial corporations within the United States over the past year to rule out accounting fraud, insider trading, and failure to disclose the value of mortgage-related securities and other investments.

It is obvious that the government personally has interests in preventing the fall of such financial giants. It is also becoming apparent that their interests also stretches to the point of finding fault within these organizations. But why? How will they choose to enforce misconduct to the companies that they have stretched billions of dollars of American money to protect from failure? Would the United States government take control of companies that were funded with American dollars if they were deemed “misconducted” operations? If so, then what?

1984 could be closer than we think, at least the concept.

I do not want to be considered a “paranoid” American, however I do not mind the term “cautious” as a description. While I am supposed to have faith in my government to make the right choices for the people, the economy, and all else, I am being filled with doubt that the people still have control over their country because of reasons unknown….

Windows Live Wave Released

Joining the Microsoft family of user friendly applications comes Windows Live Wave beta 3. Aside from the applications that come bundled in Vista (Sidebar, Calendar, Photo Gallery, etc), I am very impressed with Microsoft’s initiative to release free user applications that do so well for free. The Windows Live suite is especially great for those still using Windows XP, that do not have the liberty to download or utilize the new applications included with Vista.

Windows Live Wave is an upgrade to the Windows Live Suite. WLW features Writer for Blogging, Mail with Calendar, Messenger, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Toolbar, and Family Safety. Of course, the installer grants you the ability to install only the applications you want.

Live Photo Gallery advantages over previous versions include:

  • the Vista-feel has been abandoned by reducing the bottom rotating/zooming/viewing functions to the bottom-right hand corner
  • the ability to tag your Messenger contacts or any person using “People tags” similar to MySpace (aka tagging)
  • Messenger Photo sharing imports shared images from Messenger in to Photo Gallery
  • Photo Gallery will join Windows Live Dev, allowing developers to develop plug-ins for the application
  • includes a new Publishing API that enables the community to build plug-ins for virtually any sharing service
  • In addition to stitching a panoramic photo, Photo Gallery now also integrates with the latest Photosynth technology

Live Movie Maker advantages and disadvantages over previous versions include:

  • lacks in basic features to make it actually useful
  • additional service integration and plug-in architecture for the future
  • ribbon UI similar to Office 2007 and to be coming in Windows 7 and the Paint beta
  • cross fade, black & white, and Sepia tone effects
  • Removed items (?): timeline editor, cropping, text overlays, audio mixing
  • Obviously Movie Maker is far from complete but already offers better output quality and an open API for future extendability

Windows Live Messenger advantages over previous versions include:

  • ability to store shared images to Windows Photo Gallery
  • new look, as well as many customizable UI features (change contact layout, etc)
  • Shared Folders has been replaced by Online Files
  • “What’s New?” RSS feed integrated
  • “Favorites” group to sort contacts to

This article was constructed with the new Windows Live Writer, along with several free plug-ins available at http://gallery.microsoft.com

Gaming: Spore Force

Spore, from Sim creator Will Wright, has arrived. In case you have been living under a rock for the last two years, Spore allows you to create a new organism and control it’s life all the way to intergalactic civilization. Not only does this game allow you to control aspects of life, it also lets you create new organisms, homes, vehicles, and more in the Spore Creature Creator. Wright’s greatest success to date came as the original designer for The Sims games series which, as of 2008, is the best-selling PC game in history.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed attacks the Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and the Nintendo DS this week, making the title available for every system except the PC. The highly awaited title has already received numerous mixed reviews concerning being the most expensive game title ever sold, and the issues that plague the game including screen tearing, frame rate issues, and more. Star Wars fans are also in argument over the story line pertaining to the Star Wars universe, some claiming that the story is better written than the prelude trilogy, while others argue that the story is a mock up of the Star Wars timeline between episodes 3 and 4. Some claim that the abilities of possessing all force from the beginning of the game is every Star Wars gamer’s dream, while others claim it is boring and becomes too repitive, as all abilities are sought without achievement requirements.

Also recieving mixed reviews by both gamers and critics alike is STALKER: Clear Skies. Cleart Skies is the prequel to the first person role playing title STALKER: Shadows of Chernobyl, taking place before the events of the meltdown. Plaguing the title are performance related issues, also as experienced from the first title, Shadows of Chernoibyl.

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Extend Your Firefox

As you may or may not know, Firefox has the potential to be far more interactive than the initial installation. What do I mean by this exactly? With Firefox you can write to your blog, sync your bookmarks to a server, download videos from YouTube, and more. Sure, you may be able to pull off some of these tricks with IE7 or Opera, but not near as easy as you could with Firefox, as Firefox was developed with such intentions. Here are my reccomendations to make Firefox the most secure and interactive browser on your system:

1. Scribefire

ScribeFire is a full-featured blog editor that integrates with your browser and lets you easily post to your blog. Techtronic uses ScribeFire for all blog entries  😉  ScribeFire can also integrate revenue based ad’s to help you generate revenues (in which Techtronic does not utilize).

2. DownThemAll!

DownThemAll is all you can desire from a download manager: it features

an advanced accelerator that increases speed up to 400% and it allows you to pause and resume downloads at any time. DownThemAll is great for pornaholics, as you can download all images from a page in a single click.

3. Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer

If you use Firefox on more than one computer, you’ll want Foxmarks. Install Foxmarks on each computer, and it will work silently in the background to keep your bookmarks synchronized. You can also log in to my.foxmarks.com to manage your bookmarks from any computer.

4. Video DownloadHelper

The easy way to download and convert Web videos from hundreds of YouTube-like sites. VDH is also capable of converting FLV files in your browser to AVI files on your computer.

5. Adblock Plus

Ever been annoyed by all those ads and banners on the internet that often take longer to download than everything else on the page? Install Adblock Plus now and get rid of them. This definitely helps speed up MySpace at times.

6.WebMail Notifier

WebMail Notifier checks your webmail accounts and notifies the number of unread emails… Supports : gmail, yahoo, hotmail, daum, naver, empas, nate and more.

7. GooglePreview

Inserts preview images (thumbnails) of web sites into the Google and Yahoo search results pages.

8. Web of Trust aka WOT

WOT, Web of Trust, warns you about risky websites that try to scam visitors, deliver malware or send spam. Protect your computer against online threats by using WOT as your front-line layer of protection when browsing or searching in unfamiliar territory.

9. Feedly

Feedly is a new kind of RSS start page which weaves Google Reader, Digg, and Delicious into a more fun, magazine-like user experience. The integration with Twitter, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Friendfeed and Delicious
makes sharing a breeze. You can get up to speed quickly by importing your existing Netvibes, Bloglines or MyYahoo accounts, your bookmarks or an OPML file.

10. Mozilla Firefox

LOL…. It would not possible to use the listed extensions if you do not actually have the browser installed. If you have yet to try Firefox, there is no better time to start than now.