Valve Glass?

Today I will be doing two or three blog posts. This is because there’s a lot I’ve been meaning to cover, but I’ve been  extremely busy with the new semester at Douglas College. This first blog is going to be about Valve and their step in a new direction.

 

For those of you that don’t know valve, you’re probably a member of the baby boomers, and I apologize for making you feel ill informed, but I shall enlighten you nonetheless. Valve is a video gaming company that specializes in computers, and has THE GREATEST online store for PC and Mac games anywhere called Steam. Valve has always been about taking big steps, not just in their games, but into the next world of gaming starting now.

Valve recently released a beta to what it calls “Steam TV”. This basically has your computer hooked up to your television and allows for the use of controllers a la xbox, ps3, etc. This idea is a step in a new, uncharted direction for valve, but I am sure it will work out just fine for them. Earlier this year, and even last year, people assumed that Valve was working on a top secret console on their owns, however, I believe this beta is the closest thing to that without the people being correct. Touche Valve, touche. However, people were right to ponder the typical console theories as Valve has indeed been working on some new hardware. The news about this hardware has recently been released on Kotaku, IGN, and various other great video gaming news websites, as well as The New York Times, and more. What was released is not only revolutionary, but it is what gamers have been dreaming of for many, MANY years.

 

Valve is moving into the realm of a gaming headset. What this means for gamers, as well as… well… basically everyone, is basically a step towards virtual reality. How many people can say they wish they could just put on a headset and be whisked away to another place while on break at work, or naptime for the kids? Probably everybody. This idea really takes what Google started with their Project Glass (which I brainstormed previously) and takes it in a new direction. I am excited as a millennial that in my life time, not only will this technology be released, but it will ultimately be perfected within my life as well I imagine. I am very excited for the future, and can’t wait to follow Valve on this project in particular, as well as future groundbreaking projects that I am sure will come from them as well.

For more news on Valve, follow me on Twitter @Duffladcyre to be kept up to date.

 

The Global Village

Nowadays, you can’t escape the feeling of a global village. Now, if you don’t know what that means, don’t worry about it, I am sure many others feel the same. A global village is more of the concept of being closer to people in China, Japan, Haiti, etc. We know it most from media, in fact… it is BECAUSE of media that we are the global village that we are. This global village allows me to know what is happening around the world at the click of a button. It makes me think the world is so small, but if you go outside, especially if you go to sea, you realize the fact that the world is massive, and we are just these tiny little creatures with something the others apparently don’t have. My mom always talks about the frontal lobes and how that is a link to our superiority, but that is another subject altogether. Often times the global village all comes together to aid a chapter within. To support each other, pick each other up when they are at their lowest.

Natural disasters happen all the time, especially since the big climate change that’s happened in the last decade or so. We’ve witnessed Katrina, the horrible hurricane that destroyed not only New Orleans but surrounding areas as well. It left people homeless, and certainly hopeless. As minutes turned into hours, hours into days, days into weeks and still the aid was minimal. Many people were stuck on their roofs, in the hot southern sunny weather. Some people were stuck in hospitals, surely it was a very hectic situation, and my heart goes out to all the victims of that terrible hurricane. The next “big” natural disaster was Haiti. To me, I didn’t even know about this place beforehand, I knew it sounded awfully like the Greek god “Hades” which to me felt a little ironic. However, ignorance aside, it’s a small city on a small island in the Caribbean. Surely many of us didn’t know or care about this place before the dramatic 7.0 magnitude earthquake, but as soon as it happened we rushed to their aid. Helping people we didn’t even know or care about beforehand in their time of need. Apparently we learned from Katrina that these places need help immediately. My third example of these amazing natural disasters is Japan. We all know Japan, we all know and own things that come from Japan. Perhaps your car is from Japan, or perhaps your TV is, or maybe your gaming system. We are all linked to that one tiny island in Asia in some way or another. Suddenly, it was shaken to it’s foundations, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake ruptured, and devastated the north east area of Japan. Areas were flooded, many more were destroyed, a nuclear power plant was leaking and in danger of exploading. Again, we flew to their aid. Even more than with Haiti, I remember not only was their ways to donate on the news, magazines, etc. But also on my PS3, you could buy themes for your PS3 where all the proceeds would go to Japan aid. Similar things like this arose in games like World of Warcraft, the biggest game in the world today. For World of Warcraft you could buy a vanity pet on the blizzard store where the proceeds too would go to Japan. Many more examples poured from my city personally, no matter where you went you could donate to Japan on the spot.

Media coverage isn’t only used in tragic situations however, it is also used to.. well… bring news. For example, expos around the world happen every year and Millions of people that wanted to go, simply cannot find a way there or it costs too much, or whatever. Personally, I can’t afford to go to California twice a year surprisingly… oh how I wish I was lying. BUT with the click of a button I can be watching the live Expo feed, free of charge. With sites like IGN running all the coverage all day, every day. In the case of my favorite developer in the world, Blizzard, you have to pay to watch a live stream, but somehow $50 sounds A LOT more affordable than the thousands it would cost to go there and see it in person. This constant flow of information is not limited to just expos of course. On the internet you can find anything you want if you look hard enough. It’s almost impossible to keep anything a secret anymore with the internet constantly getting bigger and bigger. Even on CNN “the most trusted name in news” they will post links to certain congressman’s twitters for example (Weiner man, we all know you did it). The internet is surely the global village of today, where the Television was the global village of yesterday.

Now for the bombshell you have been waiting for. I didn’t want to say it, y’all don’t want to read it but it MUST be said. The Vancouver riots. I know your heart skipped a beat thinking about it. Stanley cup finals. Game 7. Luongo… what the HELL were you DOING!? Sure it was a piss off that we lost, hockey brought us all together in ways that Transformers and Harry Potter simply cannot do. But we lost… and then we had a massive temper tantrum. Cars were lit on fire, windows smashed, store fronts completely destroyed. Thankfully nobody died for such a ridiculous cause, but did we have to take it as far as we did? We lost a GAME in a SPORT, sorry guys, I thought we always take that risk in sports. When teams lose the Superbowl, does their hometown blow up? No, they say “Oh well, we can get them next year”. This is a great example of why I like football (de Americano)more than Hockey. The fans aren’t a bunch of babies. On the news for the riot coverage the reporter said things like “I don’t think anyone could have predicted this” and “These aren’t hockey fans”. Hate to say it buddy but you are entirely wrong. This is the maturity level of hockey fans in Vancouver, also EVERYONE was a fan during the finals. As for predicting it? I did, I knew tear gas was going to fly the minute the game started. It’s that gut feeling of thinking about last time we were in Game 7. I chose not to go downtown cause no matter if we won or lost I just didn’t want to be there. It wasn’t worth it. What does this rabbling have to do with the global village? Well we, the people from Vancouver, became the Village idiot that night. The guy that everyone laughs at and makes fun of, that’s all of us. Introduce yourself to average Joe south of the border and he will likely say something  witty that his mom probably told him about the riots here. Personally, I am not one to separate myself from everyone else. Alienation breeds hate then depression. However, I am not the one that screwed up, and you know what?  I don’t even have to justify myself, I was home that night watching the game in my favorite chair. Does it suck to be associated with that when I tell people I am from Vancouver? Indeed it does, but nobody is going to make me feel like the village idiot. Nobody is going to beat me down because of where I come from. I love my hometown, and indeed my country. The only thing I love more than my country is my village. We are all a community, and ultimately… we are all family.