Top Geek Apps

Posted by: Rea Maor In: Misc

Every true geek will no doubt be excited about the prospect of filling up their smartphone with a good range of geeky apps – so here’s just a few of the best…

FAIL Maker

Understand the hilarity of a real ‘FAIL’ moment when no one around you does? Then this is the app for you. Use your phone’s camera to capture all the FAILs you happen to spot, then upload them and become part of a great geek community of people doing the same!

Scrabble

Yes, the classic board game has got its very own app, and it’s one that no geek will want to be seen without. While the cool kids are all off playing blackjack or partypoker, geeks can stand by their word games. This app lets you play against your Facebook friends – chances are you’ll have at least a few who are as geeky as you.

Comixology

A must-have app for all comic book geeks which acts as a platform for Marvel, DC and The Walking Dead comics. You can then purchase new comics to read directly via the app – amazing!

Dice Bag

If you’re already a big fan of games such as Magic: The Gathering, or Dungeons and Dragons, then the chances are this isn’t the first time that you will have encountered a twenty-sided dice. It might, however, be the first time you’ve encountered one in the form of an apps. Gaming geeks will be lost without it.

Boxee Remote

The ultimate app choice for gadget geeks. If you love the idea of a futuristic world where your phone is also your TV remote, then the wait is over. This super geeky app allows Boxee users to use their phone as a remote to watch TV via the web. What more could you want?


Top Four Minecraft Fans We Could Do Without

Posted by: Rea Maor In: Games

We’ve tooted here about Minecraft before, but now Slashdot has discovered it… or maybe become more aware of it. Slashdot examines the question of whether Minecraft could change the gaming industry. While many Slashdotters – disdainful of any game that got popular on some other site first – wave their paws and say ‘bah!’ to the idea, we think it’s just possible that Minecraft will exert some influence over the future of games.

But that’s not what today’s post is about. Today’s post is about the active, vibrant, sparkling, buzzing community of Minecraft players, modders, bloggers, and fans. It’s unprecedented since, well, ever. You’ve never seen an indie game get this much natural grassroots buzz. So it’s inevitable that some of the louder voices in the community are people you just want to strangle to death until they are SILENT.

1. The spoiled, demanding brats.

Apparently, Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory escaped from the screen, cloned herself 10,000 times, and now spends her time posting screeching demands on Notch to code her everything on her wish list and add it to Minecraft. “Natch, make me a unicorn! And a spaceship! I want craftable golden eggs! I wanna ‘nother pony! A pink one!”

Are you tired of it yet? “Nooooootch! Make me a castle and an island and the map from Time Bandits and bubblegum and monkeys and trained seals and a circus and an army and a magic whale! I WANNA PIZZA! IWANTIWANTIWANTIWAAAAAAAAAANT!!!!!!!” This is what happens when you’re a really good programmer. People think you’re the Wizard of Oz and all they have to do is scream loud enough and you’ll make them a miracle.

2. The insufferable, relentless whiners.

Hey, Minecraft, like any game, has some bugs. We can’t think of any computer video game in history that didn’t have a glitch somewhere in the code. Minecraft, furthermore, is Beta (and it was Alpha for a long time), and Indie (for a longer time, it was just one guy making it all by himself). So beyond that, it has a lot of little glitches and quirks. Some of them even add to the game, such as the famous “booster cart” bug.

A reasonable person would expect that once a bug is known, the coding team will deal with it in due time. But insufferable, relentless whiners are not reasonable. You know what’s more fun than standing next to somebody and listening to them whine nonstop at the top of their lungs all day every day knowing there’s nothing you can do about it? Running that same person through a woodchipper, that’s what!

3. Here’s a screenshot of a creeper!

Creepers, creepers, everywhere! Out the door, on the stair! In the mine and in the air! Lots of creepers, so beware! You know, a screenshot of a creeper outside your door was funny the first 570,341,257,601 times you posted it. Nah, wait, we’ll be generous, even up to the 570,562,137,911th screenshot post. Now it’s older than Churchill’s underwear, so can we please stop now?

4. The world’s stupidest YouTube videos.

And you thought American elections could really bring the retards in raving droves on YouTube! Hooo-boy, you haven’t seen anything like the depths of sub-sentient, prehistoric, knuckle-dragging, slobbering Derp-dom until you’ve seen 99% of the Minecraft videos out there.

The Method, as far as we can suss it:

(1) Start filming about one minute before sunset.

(2) Announce your name, your business, your website, your Twitter feed, who you voted for, which church you tithe at, your Facebook page, your MySpace page, your AOL Home page (the list goes on and on like an Academy Award acceptance speech)… repeat your name, website, business, etc. Repeat it.

(3) Now go “Duhhh, duh-hurrr, today we’re going to, ummmmm, uhhhhhh, we’re, uuuuuuhhhh,,,,,weeeeeee’rrrreeeee.” If you’re even done reading that, you’re thinking too fast. Slow down. Pop a Valium, snort some ether, and inhale five bowls of your toughest dank bud and try again. Let me hear that “uuuhhh, uhhhh, uuuuuuuuuuuummmm”. It’s very soothing, like a Buddhist chant. Oh, yeah, fumble around explaining what you’re going to show for the next hour. Be sure not to let people see anything onscreen except you dorking around digging out dirt blocks and putting them back, digging them out and putting them back, digging them out…

(4) Now for the alleged purpose of the video, you go towards the invention or creation or whatever you’re supposed to show us. But it’s pitch-dark now, and you’re too cheap to spare us a single torch, so now we have the big black rectangle of doom to stare at. You’re still going “uuuuuummmm” because your ragged pre-puberty voice is so beautiful!

(5) “Demonstrate” your invention, except when you hit the switch, turn on the lights, move the piston, or whatever, it falls apart / blows up / jams / burns out / kills you / otherwise fails. Whoops, apologize fumblingly, while you dink around and try to replace things, then just give up (total elapsed time by now: a million lifetimes), and tell us how it was supposed to work.

(6) Repeat your name, rank, serial number, goat sex preference, mother’s favorite street corner to pick up johns, and so on. You’re a star!

No, we’re not exaggerating. Every single YouTube video about Minecraft is exactly like this. It’s not even as good as what was just described, actually.


Software Installer Follies We Could Do Without

Posted by: Rea Maor In: Microsoft and Windows

On Microsoft Windows, there’s been this set of installation program tropes that have gone on since the Windows 95 days. Yes, grandkids, there was a Windows 95, also known as “Ha ha, we’ll make this obsolete in just three years with Win 98!” Anyway, we’ve all seen so many “install wizards”, we can all count as installer veterans.

So, aren’t we all sick and tired of seeing these quirks?

“It is strongly recommended that you close all programs before continuing the installation.” Really? In 2011? First off, it is simply impossible to close AAALLLLL programs, because the operating system itself is composed of programs too. There’s an IM icon on my taskbar, does that count? Do I have to close the clock too? What about my weather applet? What about my antivirus protection – surely you don’t mean that too? But I’m sitting here with a Dual Quad Core i7 whatever-it-is and roughly enough RAM to find the last digit of pi, and your installer can’t handle sharing that with my web browser?

“Would you like to install the Bing search bar?” Well darn, I thought I was running a DirectX installer, but I guess you sure fooled me, didn’t you?

“The system must be rebooted to continue.” I’ve had installers that demanded that I reboot THREE TIMES during install! Really, I’m sick of this. I don’t care whose fault it is. Either Microsoft can build a system that can run for more than five minutes uninterrupted or install programs can work around the ten-thousand stupid quirks that require a reboot.

“Options: Easy install… Advanced install…” You know, most of the time the “advanced” option just lets you change the name of a directory or pick whether you want an icon in your system tray. Whoa, back up jack! I don’t exactly have a degree in quantum physics here. And have you noticed that “advanced” options don’t exist when you’re installing an app on your smart phone?

“Would you like to subscribe to our weekly newsletter?” No. I’m also not interested in being added to your email mailing list, or following you on Twitter, or friending you on Facebook, or upvoting you on Digg, or watching you on DeviantArt, or creating a profile on your website, or in getting phone calls from you, or in getting text messages from you. In fact, after I install this program, your company could be wiped off the face of the Earth by a meteor strike and I’d only care for about thirty seconds.