Tag: Wil Wheaton

Google is making a bad decision

by on May.03, 2012, under Articles, Computers, Internet, News, Technology, Videos, Visual Media

While I have yet to experience this change, there has been plenty of people talking about it across blogs and YouTube itself. What is Google doing?

They’re replacing the like button on YouTube videos with a Google Plus button.

And some people, like Wil Wheaton, are angry about it.

One of the reasons why is because professional YouTube users rely upon not just views, but likes, in order to gain revenue. Plus YouTube’s new initiative to launch actual produced channels like Geek and Sundry, are going to use likes similar to television “Nielsen” ratings.

This means that Google is effective sabotaging YouTube’s rating systems by trying to market their social network. And while I like Google Plus, it is not unlike trying to fill out customer service review survey for that especially helpful phone rep who helped you fix that problem you were having, only to learn you need to sign up for the company’s newsletter before they’ll let you take the survey.

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SOPA and PIPA – Combating Piracy Stupidly

by on Jan.18, 2012, under Articles, Blog, Comics, Computers, Culture, Gaming, Internet, News, Opinions, Politics, Video Games

For those of you who have been paying attention, there is a list of useful links below. For those of you who haven’t, stay awhile and listen.

Actions being taken by the United State government will begin to fundamentally change the internet. Please read or watch the following to understand what is happening and if you want to take action about it.

[spoiler show=”For those of you who would like my words on the subject. Click here.”]The United States created the Internet. Despite fancy names like “World Wide Web” and “Global Communication System” and “Series of Tubes”, the internet is not managed by the world. It is managed by corporations on the united states and is subject, for the most part, to US Law. Even more so these days since a majority of the people connect to the internet via their local telecommunication company (phone, cable, satellite, etc).

 

That being said the internet has been pretty untamed for the last few years. Anybody could put or post up anything. Your information was only as secure as how well your protected it. It was effectively the digital wild west. Now, however, the internet is in so many homes, has become the focus of so much economic use (online shopping, movie and song streaming, video games, marketing) that this can’t last. Just like the trains that brought big business to the west, killing off the last place where your only real protection was the gun at your side, progress is going to try to tame the internet for the good of all, to the detriment of the few.

 

This is more or less inevitable. The new internet that will come into place will be highly regulated and likely more forcefully controlled by the big economic interests that want to use it to provide services to the world for money. When they do, innovation will become exceptionally difficult. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and the like, will still exist, but their successors likely won’t appear.  Blogs, chat rooms, social networks, bulletin boards/forums system, may or may not survive in this new internet. Words like “National Defense”,  “Anti-Piracy”, “Copyright”, and others will be used to tightly regulate any site that tries to provide the public with ability to communicate and share.

 

Effectively the basis for the internet as we know it, sharing and communicating, will come to an end at the hands of capitalism and censorship.

 

The first steps for this have already begun. The United States government has two acts currently being discussed. The PROTECT IP act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Both have been getting a lot of news. As of right now, both look to be dying heavily under media massive campaigns set forth by various websites and organizations, despite the money being thrown at it by media and telecom corporations. The best example is today, February 18th, 2012, where websites all over the internet are “Blacking out” or putting up protest notices. You can read up more about what these acts do in the links below, but to summarize the acts allow and empower the US government to try to block or remove internet services (primarily websites) that infringe on copyright, without significant due process.

 

Now I am not a proponent of piracy. I make a living off of software development and I hope to some day make a living as an author. These are both areas that have notably high piracy rates, which concerns me. I would like to be compensated for my effort and work but I also feel that censoring the internet is not the answer. So for now, I protest.[/spoiler]

[spoiler show=”For those of you who like videos. Click Here.”]

[/spoiler]
Information:

Protesting Websites:

And many, many more, including you, hopefully.

 

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Video: Gift Giving

by on Dec.23, 2011, under Culture, Entertainment, Television, Videos, Visual Media

If you want a good example of how much fun gift giving can be.

Source

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Information War: Writer Beware attacked by The Writing Agenda

by on Oct.04, 2011, under Articles, Writing

There is an information war going on! Writer Beware, anti-scam board of the SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America), is in the middle of an information war with a group called The Writing Agenda, who supposedly is reporting on groups that are misrepresenting legitimate business trying to hire writers.

This was brought to my attention via Wil Wheaton on Google+ when he shared John Scalzi’s blog post outlining the entire issue. Scalzi’s article points out numerous references which suggest that The Writing Agenda is not the well intention-ed but fed up group of people it claims to be but instead is likely a group of scam perpetrators attempting to discredit Writer Beware and other anti-scam groups.

And I admit the proof is somewhat compelling. The Writing Agenda seems to be trying to accomplish its mission not by informing people about how Writer Beware is wrong, but instead pushing accusations and making character attacks against people associated with the group. You might think The Writing Agenda was attempting to campaign for a political position in the US.

Of course it is an information war, so every side’s content needs to be scrutinized before anything can be declared truth or real. Similar to the writer’s strike a few years ago, there is always the possibility that The Writing Agenda is correct and is just being run by a bunch of people who feel slander will have a better effect taking down other “slanderers” than rational facts. That being said, Writer Beware is backed by the SFWA which is a organization definitely designed to help writers.

I highly suggest, if you’re interested in writing, to go check this out for yourself.

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On Video Game Reviews

by on Apr.27, 2011, under Articles, Entertainment, Gaming, News, Video Games

On Video Game Reviews and the Power and Influence of Marketing [wilwheaton.typepad.com]

Wil Wheaton drew attention to a blog post I found interesting. It’s a post by No High Scores, a video game reviewing blog, and the post talks about the heavy influence marketing and point pressure has on modern game journalism.

Fighting with PR over review copies. Being told that we can’t post a review of game X before the embargo “unless the grade is at least an 85 on Metacritic.” The sites to DO score that high get all the pre-release traffic so we’re forced to ether inflate a grade or lose the hits.

I remember the when the Escapist started adding numeric values to their reviews due to media and game industry pressure. I still look to them for previews and reviews primarily because I find their written articles and video summaries to be well done but it is still a disturbing trend.

So keep that in mind while you’re reading a person’s review. Is it inflated because the site needed hits?

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Celiac disease

by on Mar.20, 2011, under Articles, Science

And now we take a break from our regular humor to talk about something serious. A disease called Celiac that I only recently became aware of thanks to Wil Wheaton.

and now, a word from my mother about celiac disease by Wil Wheaton and Wil Wheaton’s Mom.

To Quote:

Celiac is the #1 genetic autoimmune disease in the world and remains the most misdiagnosed. It is estimated that 3 million Americans are affected and 97% don’t even know it…yet. There is no cure, no pills, no drug therapies. The “cure” is a Gluten-Free diet. The only disease in the world completely controlled by diet is also: “The #1 Disease You’ve Never Heard Of”.

The disease is characteristics and symptoms appears like allergies which makes it very easy to misdiagnose. Will’s mom goes into more details but if you’re not interested in reading that, take the time to visit Not Even A Crumb, an organization that promotes Celiac awareness and hosts fundraisers in order to do so.

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