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Quiet Wednesdays

It’s a quiet day.

Unfortunately there isn’t much to write about today. My recent play time has been split between playing a bit of Skyrim (I’ve decided to try a mage character for the first time… I feel über powerful… right up until someone is resistant to the spell I’ve selected to attack with and decides to one-shot me, despite my stoneskin spell), trying to progress some more in Euro Truck Simulator 2 (I own a second garage now, I’m only €300k in debt, and as soon as I have €150k – maybe €200k to be safe – I’ll buy a new truck, hire a third driver – fourth if you count me – and fly through the remainder of my debt), and more SWTOR (found that the +41 stat crystals that I’d purchased on the GTM were in my collection, so I could pay some unlock them for cartel credits and then give them to all of my characters for free! WOO!). On my tablet, I’ve started playing Magic 2014 and I’m trying to get into Ingress (which is difficult since there’s practically nothing in the areas I frequent).

There isn’t much else to say, really. Nothing exciting’s really taken place at work. I’m still slowly reading through the Wheel of Time, working my way to the last three books (on book 6, The Lord of Chaos, at the moment). Getting really excited about HyperJapan and my vacation, which are in just over 20 days. That’s pretty much is.

Yay for quiet Wednesdays.




Alcatel Y800 Mobile WiFi Review & Humble Bundle with Android 6 update

The Alcatel Y800 Mobile Wifi adapter available at EE. Image from EE's site

The Alcatel Y800 Mobile Wifi adapter available at EE.
Image from EE’s site

So, I’ve mentioned that I was getting an Alcatel Y800 Mobile WiFi adapter from EE (and said Liz had picked it up in my next post), so I thought I’d give it a short review.

Here it is: It’s great!

Okay… I should probably expand on that a bit. I’m really quite happy with it. Great connection quality pretty much all along my train journey between home and work (it drops down to 3G and 2G in 2 locations, but it really isn’t something I’d have noticed if I hadn’t been checking the device while I was going). I’ll admit that I haven’t done too much with it – there’s part of me that’s a little weary of reaching my data cap so I’ve been a little bit more cautious with it than I probably need to be, but I figure I’ll start cautiously and ramp up as I get a gauge of how long it’ll take me to reach 3GBs (and based on what I’ve seen so far, I can go nuts without concern).

As that last statement indicates, I’m on the 3GB plan for £15 a month. I can up my limit at any time should I choose to, or, after 1 year, I can drop it down to 1GB a month. If I hit my cap, the device simply stops (as opposed to letting me continue and charging me for over usage), which is quite nice – no need to constantly watch usage.

It’s light, small enough to put in your pocket, and has surprisingly long range – yesterday my wife and I were both connected to it while at the station. I decided to go to the far end of our platform to scan a portal in Ingress, and I was able to do so without Liz’s signal getting any weaker. It also has great transfer speeds (umm… I actually think it’s considerably faster than my home internet, tbh, but I have free, slower internet through work, that gets the job done, so I won’t complain).

Read the complete post here

Microsoft XboxOne update and Humble Bundle with Android 6

Xbox One

Xbox One. Image from BGR

Two main topics today: Microsoft’s apparent reversal on the XboxOne stance, and the Humble Bundle with Android 6.

Let’s start with Microsoft, shall we?

You can find a great article by Jason Schreier on Kotaku, but basically it boils down to the following:

  1. No 24 hour check-in requirements (only a one-time system activation will be needed)
  2. No limitations on disc based game sharing, trading, or re-selling (digital content cannot be shared, traded, or sold – so, just like any systems today)
  3. No online game activation required
  4. No online requirement for offline play, even for digital copies of games
  5. Games will be region free

Now obviously this is great news. If they could just drop the price to match the PS4, I would even be torn about which system to buy (first). This having been said (and I hate to sound like the guy who’s never happy), I kind of have to wonder how much of this was a marketing ploy… Yes, they got some bad publicity at the start, but it did get everyone talking about their system rather than other systems. Heck, a large part of Sony’s marketing ploy was aimed directly at countering everything ‘bad’ that Microsoft did, thus calling more attention to Microsoft’s system. And then, when they’re getting lots of hate and anger about their choices, they suddenly swoop in and make huge changes and come out saying ‘See! We listen to our valued customers’. Which then leads to a whole lot of people talking about the system and how great Microsoft is for making the change, and also leads to a lot of people (like me) writing about how it was all just a ploy to get our money. All of which is more (free) advertising and marketing.

Read the complete post here

Angry geese, angry swans, angry bears, and ang… erm… Pocket Planes

Apparently today’s a slow news day for me, so we’ll cover a bit of randomness.

Just got back from lunch with the team. We decided to head out to the lake that is near our building for lunch. We kept some geese company for a while, until a mean swan came over and chased them off. Mind you, maybe the swan had our best interests in mind… when we first got there the geese hadn’t been happy to see us and were hissing at us quite angrily.

Eh, in any case the geese were only gone for a short while – they came back to swim in front of us shortly before we left. Whee British wildlife.

An angry swan, chasing the geese away.

An angry swan, chasing the geese away.

Swans are mean. Then again, so are geese...

Swans are mean. Then again, so are geese…

Happy geese, after the swan bully left.

Happy geese, after the swan bully left.

Read the complete post here

Missed trains and android games

Missed my stop on the train ride home today. Didn’t even realize where we were. Generally there’s an announcement at the stop before mine that lets me know to start paying attention, but it seems today none of the announcements were running. Grrr. Luckily, there’s only one stop after mine, and the train idles for a while before coming right back, but it still meant that I got home half an hour late.

The plus side to this is that I got to spend some time with my 2 new favourite games on my android tablet (I have a 16GB Nexus 7).

Nimble QuestI regularly troll through the free game listings on Google play, generally skipping most of the games that show up… another online card game… another Kemco JRPG (not that I mind, I just haven’t finished the ones I’ve already installed yet)… Today, I found something refreshingly new and old, all at once: Nimble Quest by Nimblebit LLC.

Read the complete post here

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