Inside Google’s Data Centers

Our buddy Ian sent me this from geeky-gadgets.com a while back and it sadly got lost in my inbox until I was cleaning house today.

It is a pretty cool article and movie showing the insides of one of Google’s data centers. Now obviously Google doesn’t exactly want people to go wondering around their data centers at whim, however you can get a guided tour of Googleplex in Cali at select times.

 

Check our the video, I for one would LOVE to work in that place!

gizmodo.com 5 Things Woz Would Change About Apple

No I’m not going nuts about gizmodo.com today, although that it is a great site. My buddy Ian sent me this a while back and I just didn’t get around to posting it until today.

They have a great Q&A with the one and only Woz, Steve Wozniak himself. In it they talk about 5 of the things he would change about crApple if he were in charge. I’ll list the things he’d change, but to get this explanations of what and more detail on how, you’ll have to read the article linked below.

Woz would want iTunes on Android

Woz would want less lawsuits

Woz sees value in bigger phones

Woz on how Apple can survive without Steve Jobs

Woz on open source versus being closed

 

If crApple changed some of these things, I might not hate them as much… maybe… possibly…

Five Things Woz Would Change About Apple: iTunes on Android, Less Lawsuits and More

gizmodo.com 25 “super computers” that fill a room

 

Oh how things have changed. Go back just a few decades and the most powerful computer in the world most likely would not even come close to the smart phone in your pocket in processing power, unless it’s a crApple then yeah lets just not go there.

Gizmodo.com has a pretty good article about 25 super computers that filled entire rooms. I highly suggest checking it out to see how far we’ve come in not a very long time.

1up.com: Five things that won’t be in a Final Fantasy VII remake

As stated in an earlier post about the Final Fantasy VII 15th anniversary, 1up.com had a bunch of posts about one of my favorite games in history. I was following the links the other day from our site here to 1up and found an article I missed before.

1up.com article at the bottom of this post.

Five Things We Won’t See in the Final Fantasy VII Remake

So for those not in the know, a remake of Final Fantasy VII is one of the biggest teases in gaming history, it’s right up there with Half-Life 3. And unfortunately Square Enix knows it, when the PS3 launched they had a beautiful demo of the opening video to show off the “FFVII ‘White Engine’” and trust me, every, literally EVERY, time they played the video, the entire crowd went CRAZY. So yes, there is a very large demand for the game. However the talk about making a remake of one of the most loved games of it’s generation will have to wait for a different post.

So the items 1up says that won’t be in a remake (if it ever happens), and my opinions on them:

“Straight-Up Acts of Terrorism by the Protagonists”

Now for those that don’t know or haven’t played FFVII, to be perfectly honest, the main characters are terrorists at the beginning of the game. *SPOILER* The very first mission you have is to blow up a power station/Mako reactor in the main city of Midgar.  Now most people don’t remember this part, they remember the countless monsters the party kills, stoping the evil plans from Sephiroth and the Shinra Corp.

Can anyone honestly see everyone being ok with blatant acts of terrorism 15 minutes into a game of today? Personally I wouldn’t have any issue with it, but I’ve played the game (many times), so I know the context that it’s meant.

“Those Stupid Minigames”

FFVII had a number of minigames, some were good, some not so much. Now some added to the crazy coolness of the game, others were just odd. To be honest if they make a remake I could see Square going either way in this, they might add them in to be nostalgic. However they could take alot of them out and not mess with the plot at all.

“Weird Stuff”

Now back in the good ol’ days of 1997, Square Enix (then Square Soft) had a very … strange… since of humor. FFVII was no different, it has some crazy things in it. Like Barrett, a huge, muscle bound, angry guy with a big gun for a hand dressed up in a sailor suit. A talking red dog (you’d have to play the game) ‘walks’ around on 2 legs and no one says a word. The list goes on and 1up mentions a few more. But in my opinion the weird stuff is part of the game, it’s what makes it fun. If you just take the storyline itself it’s very dark and depressing, it’s still an amazing story line (IMO) however I think it needs the lighter craziness to lighten the mood at times.

“A Nuanced, Interesting Cloud Strife”

Now I won’t go into too much detail for those that haven’t played the game, however the main character Cloud Strife goes through a massive and well planned character arc. The bad thing is, in every game, movie or other media based in the FFVII universe the character has been reduced to a sulking brooding bland character. If they ever do remake Final Fantasy VII they absolutely have to get the character arc right.

“The Honeybee Manor”

1up has a list of all the things that they think won’t fly with a remake of FFVII, so I won’t go into a ton of detail on the lists. However the Honeybee Manor is basically a brothel, that Cloud has to um, “sneak” into by dressing up as a prospect (cross dressing). There are a number of things that I could see Square Enix changing. However I think they need to keep it pretty close to how it was, it goes back to that wacky humor bit we just talked about.

 

The bottom line of all this? If we do get a remake of Final Fantasy VII, it would have to be, in it’s own way, it’s own game. It could not be a direct graphical update of the game we know and love. And in my opinion that is not a bad thing, I would welcome some slight changes in the game, but there are some things that should not be changed as it gives the game it’s nuanced and classic awesomeness.

 

1up.com article

Popular Pipe Dream Pop Singers in Japan

Wait what???

Yes that’s my right my friends, our crazy awesome Japanese brethren don’t require the singer to actually be REAL to love them!

Kotaku (obviously one of my favorite sites) has a good article and gallery about a number of Pop Singers in Japan that are very popular yet completely fake. The majority of these singers, started out as an anime, manga or video game character yet have as Kotaku states “transcended their fictional format” to become popular in the real world.

Check out the gallery to read a bit about the characters and view a clip of each.

**As always click the pic to get the article**

Final Fantasy VII Turns Fifteen

As has been well documented already in the blog and podcast, I am a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series. It was one of my very first video games and as such I have many wonderful memories of sitting in front of my huge 13-inch TV (hey shut up it was big when I was 6) playing the first Final Fantasy for hours and hours.

Now, I’m not writing to day to tell about my history with the series, that will have to wait for another day. No dear readers, today we celebrate the 15th anniversary of one my (and many others) favorite game in the entire Final Fantasy library, and boy are there a bunch of them. Fifteen years ago this month, Final Fantasy VII (7) was born into the world, and even if you don’t like the game, changed the face of gaming forever.

Now I admit I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning, what is Final Fantasy VII? Well, wikipedia.org describes Final Fantasy VII as “a role-playing video game developed by Square (now Square Enix) and published by Sony Computer Entertainment as the seventh installment in the Final Fantasy series.” Now some people may be saying “Big deal it’s another stupid RPG made in Japan, I’ve seen about a billion of those.” When Final Fantasy VII was released, we had never had anything like it before. Before the game launched you couldn’t go anywhere in gaming and not see and hear about the game. 30 second TV spots would tell you how many programmers worked on the game and how much money they spent working on it, your favorite video game store had demos and cardboard standees of the characters, video game magazines had numerous cover stories months after release.

When Final Fantasy VII was first in development, it was originally intended to be released on the Super NES, however it was eventually moved over to the N64 system. But since the N64 lacked the required storage capacity in their cartridges Squaresoft (yes this was before it merged with Enix) released the game on the Sony PlayStation, as it used CD’s instead of cartridges. It was the first game in the series to use fully rendered 3D characters and graphics. Thanks to the previously mentioned advertising blitz the game was quickly a critical and commercial success, selling over 10 million copies by May 2010.

Now all this is well and good, however none of this explains why I or anyone else loved the game. From the onset of the game the story line sucked me in thanks to the iconic cinematic opening. This was something frequently used in the game, to tell the deepest parts of the story line. Now cut-scenes was nothing new thanks to CD media. However some games were better at this than others. In Japan an RPG that relies heavily on a deep theatrical and cinematic storylines was nothing new, however over in North America, our selection of deep storylined RPGs were severely limited. Also Final Fantasy VII was not just a childish cartoon of a video game, the plot was not all sunshine and bunnies, which brings me to my next point.

**SPOILER ALERT** This section WILL have spoilers. You had 15 years to beat the game, if you haven’t yet, you’re not going to. Get over it. Now, the storyline revolves around the main character Cloud, and his band of friends, saving the world from the evil Shinra Corporation. While this may not seem very original in the grand scheme of RPG’s (especially J-RPG’s) it was the plot twists that really drew me in. Now the largest and most shocking of these was when the second most important character in the game was killed. Yes the flower girl Aerith (or Aeris depending on the translation) was stabbed from behind by the one and only Sephiroth. This caused a major uproar in the gaming world. Some players were literally brought to tears at the scene as nothing quite like it had been seen here in the states. The death brought countless rumors, anywhere from a secret mission where you could resurrect your fallen ally, to many stories of locked items and quests on the CD meant that the game developers planned to bring her back originally. However no matter what you tried, who you talked to what item you used, she wasn’t coming back.

Now I could keep going for pages and pages on why I love the Final Fantasy series, and maybe someday I will, but not today.

Even if you’ve never played Final Fantasy VII, or any Final Fantasy game, I do ask that you give it but a moment of respect for without it, our RPG world would be much much darker indeed.

For those that want to know more 1up.com has an entire week of great articles in honor of Final Fantasy VII’s 15th anniversary.

1up.com Final Fantasy VII’s Quinceanera

Cosplay Super-Post!!!!

Hey everyone,

Thanks for sticking with us through our short vacation. To welcome everyone back to the nerdness I have a Cosplay Super-Post thanks to Kotaku.com!

**click the picture to go to the articles to see the rest of the pictures**

First up we have some awesome cosplayers from Otakon which self-described as a “celebration of anime, manga and all facets of Asian pop culture”. Sounds like my kind of place!

 

Next up we have an set of pictures dedicated to the original female bad-ass, Samus Aran! When this character first took off her helmet in the NES game Metroid as a secret ending people didn’t know she was a she because she kicked so much butt.

 

Any fan of Dead or Alive will recognize our next Cosplay gallery. That’s right the next set is dedicated to Kasumi. Kasumi is one of the most popular characters in the Dead or Alive video games, not to mention one of the best looking!

 

Last but certainly not least we have some Warhammer 40k, Raiden from Metal Gear Rising Connor from Assassin’s Creed III and some Cosplayers from my own heart, two, count ‘em TWO Mass Effect ladies! Oh yeah and something special for Marshal.

 

Enjoy everyone, we’re gonna have a new episode up this weekend!

A few cool posts to tide everyone over while we’re away

Hey Everyone,

Just want to provide a few links that didn’t quite make it into the last Uber-News we had last weekend.

By Gordon Cameron | Plugged In – Thu, Jul 19, 2012 7:04 PM EDT

10 video game movie disasters

 By Yahoo! Games | Plugged In – Tue, Jul 24, 2012 6:30 PM EDT

NASA TV – Mars Rover Landing Tonight!

In about 10 hours (11:30pm MDT) from now the newest robotic rover will land on Mars! You can watch live on NASA TV and see the entire event! There is a ton of information on the NASA website which details all aspects of this new rover and what they plan to do with it over the next 2 years.



Streaming video by Ustream

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html

Know your Nerds: Cosplayers

Time for the first in what I hope is going to be an ongoing series here on the blog.

Know Your Nerds

Cosplayers – A Different Kind of Nerd

Basically, for those that don’t know, “cosplay” is short for “Costume Play”. Or in other words, it’s short for someone who dresses up as and acts like a fictional character, frequently from sci-fi, comic books, anime or video games. And just as with everything in life, some are better at it than others.

Now is there anything wrong with this? No, not at all. But you have to admit that it would take a very specific type of person to go all out with some of these costumes. Some costumes are very well thought out and elaborate while others are kind of thrown together and simple. I for one have a lot of respect for anyone willing to do this to any degree.

Kotaku has a nice short gallery to get the idea across. It even includes something special just for Marshal.

If you’re interested just google “cosplayers” with any sort of adjective before it, such as “awesome”, “bad”, “hot”, or even the name of your favorite character, show or video game. Tell us what you think of cosplay, cosplayers and what your favorite costume idea is or even what you’ve dressed up as in the past.