Rss

Test Podcast

MajorsHouse WordPress Update

Hello, everyone!

Its MajorLinux again with another update.

I will be performing a WordPress update to the site some time this weekend. I’m not sure when and it shouldn’t really affect the day-to-day operations of the site.

If it does, please feel free to let me know at majorlinux@majorshouse.com.

Thanks!

-MajorLinux

MajorsHouse Server Upgrade

Hello everyone!

MajorLinux here! For those who do not know, I am the techie behind MajorSophisticationZero and MajorsHouse. Tonight, I will be performing some maintenance on the server that runs them and the sites will be unavailable briefly starting at 9:00pm EDT tonight.

Provided that everything goes smoothly, it should be barely noticeable. This is due to some regular maintenance and the HeartBleed scare that is going around.

If any issues arise after the fact, please feel free to contact me at majorlinux@majorshouse.com or maj.linux@gmail.com (both if the server isn’t up completely) or @majorlinux for an even quicker response (provided I’m not in the bed.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

01/10/2014

I’m sitting here at work and I look around.  There are so many people with all these different personalities that have some thing that they’re known for. Other than being black (seeing that there are 4 of us here), I want a new thing that’s all my own.  I think I decided on what that is… For Christmas, my wife gave me several T-shirts, one of which was black.  I had been lacking T-shirts for quite some time, so it was a welcome addition and I am very fond of the black one. So much, in fact, that I went out and bought another one just like it. I now alternate them (along with other shirts) with the various jeans that I own. After assessing myself in the mirror a few times today, I realize that I like the black shirts so much (and by extension my black long-sleeve thermal), that I want to buy nothing but black shirts and blue jeans. This is what I call the Steve Jobs/cartoon character look. Steve Jobs because he rocked the black turtleneck/blue jeans look and cartoon character because, I mean, have you seen Doug Funniewhere anything besides the green sweater vest? What do you guys think?

Podcast Test 04-NOV-2013

Testing

 

 

Podcast Test #1

This is a test of our new podcasting feature on the site.  Please disregard…[podcast]http://majorshouse.com/podcasts/TOMSep1.mp3[/podcast]

Fable III Available For Free on Xbox Live Games on Demand

image

Update: It appears to be official and is probably to help promote the HD remakes of the first two Fable games.

Thanks to a good Twitter friend of mine @DefunctGames, it was brought to my attention that Fable III was now available on Xbox Live Games on Demand as a free download!

Now, I’ve already beaten the game, but unfortunately, I lost the disc (well, didn’t lose it, but let’s just say I’m probably not getting it back).

If you are awake at this moment and can get your hands on your 360 controller, now would be the time to do this as it isn’t really certain as to why it is free.  It may be related to the Microsoft E3 event happening at 1:00pm EDT in Los Angeles, CA or it just might be a slip up by the boys in the server room.
image

Rumor: Microsoft to Take Cut of Xbox One Used Game Sells From Retailers

Courtesy of DigitalTrends.com

While it is just a rumor, it seems we may have a bit of clarification as to how the used game sells of Xbox One titles might go down.

According to ConsoleDeals, it seems that Microsoft will charge £35 (~$53) for a new licenses to play a second hand game.  They state their source as a high-up employee within a video game retailer in the United Kingdom.

According to MCV, it appears that there will be a system in place to handle the transactions of used titles from the selling back to the store to the repurchasing by another customer.

A gamer walks into a retailer and hands over the game they wish to sell. This will only be possible at retailers who have agreed to Microsoft’s T&Cs and more importantly integrated Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure pre-owned system into its own.

The game is then registered as having been traded-in on Microsoft’s system. The consumer who handed it over will subsequently see the game wiped from their account – hence the until now ambiguous claim from Phil Harrison that the Xbox One would have to ‘check in’ to Microsoft’s servers every 24 hours.

There is no word on where the price will be paid, but I’m pretty sure that they will take it out at the store which would allow you to essentially purchase used titles as you used to.  The only thing it seems to affect is the price of the used game.  It would be nice if the prices would go down based on how much Microsoft thinks the publisher should be seeing on the return but could cause rifts between them and 3rd party publishers if Microsoft starts trying to phase them out.

Consoles Aren’t All About Games Anymore

Its been three days since the reveal of the Microsoft’s new console, the Xbox One, and we’ve heard and read a lot of things about it.  The one thing that seems to be bothering so many people about it is the fact that during the reveal, a lot of things were shown/not shown/told/unconfirmed about the system.  Many people were upset that Microsoft decided to focus on the TV functionality of the system as opposed to the games. It also seemed to go the same with Sony even though people don’t seem to remember that.  none of that actually bothers me.  I’m rather ecstatic about the prospect of new systems (even though I was originally reluctant).  I must say that from what they showed during those events have made me look forward to these products more than any other product to date (other than the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga).  Let me explain…

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a couple of friends of mine.  It initially started off with them discussing the reveal event.  It was pointed out that the reveal and moreover the device wasn’t actually trying to target gamers, but the mainstream public.  To them, it came off as a “..smart tv/console hybrid.” Another stated that this might “…spread  themselves thin trying to cover those different avenues…” having “…a lot of bland features instead of one or two really good ones…” But this is where I disagree.

A lot of people saw that this was a terrible showing of the Xbox One.  They figured it was really much a waste of time as the right things weren’t shown. However, the only people saying this were the gamers.  I feel like it only appears that way because you were looking at it from the wrong side.  Its almost like trying to a movie from the outside of a movie theater.  Microsoft essentially knew what they were doing yesterday in the same vain that Sony knew what they were doing back February.  The events were the same even though they did talk about two very different things.

When Sony went on stage, for the first part of their presentation, they announced the PlayStation 4 was coming and showed us a controller and camera.  Then they started getting real technical with their presentation about the hardware specs and special system software features for the system without showing many games or the console itself.  Now, Microsoft goes on stage, at least shows a console and all essential gear, then dives into what they think will set their system apart from the rest.  However, when both companies did so, it seemed to draw the ire of the Internet masses (or at least from what I could see from gaming blogs, tweets, and Google+ posts).  What’s even funnier is when Microsoft failed, the Internet held up Sony as the winner even though 3 months ago they were ready to throw them in the fire. Others stayed true and just vowed off consoles and figured they just stick with or move to Steam.

I feel like what’s happening now between these companies and their apparent consumer base is a split.  For years, gamers have always had a dedicated device to play a video game on.  But I feel that they forget that video games, when they first came out, were considered toys.  Just about everyone who plays video games now and actually cares about these things were probably given Ataris and Nintendos for Christmas back in the 80s as it was to be a toy enjoyed on a TV.  The marketing for these devices wasn’t even geared towards the adults who were purchasing them, but the kids who were screaming for them.  It seems that 20-30 years later, these kids never really grew up.

Gaming has changed so much in that time and the people who were playing these consoles are now making them.  They realize that they aren’t 10 years old anymore and that they have other things to deal with.  They have work, family, and friends.  But they also know where they came from and what their “first love” is, so they try to bridge the gap between what they enjoy now as an adult and what they grew up with.  They realize that they can’t play Gears of War when the children come in. So, why not have something that could quickly switch it off from you decapitating some dude to Big Bird or Elmo. I’m pretty sure your wife doesn’t want to see you have Kratos nailing some nymph in a hot tub so why not turn on “Love, Actually” on Netflix when she walks into the room. I feel that people do not understand these things because they don’t live the same lives as most of the people who engineer these devices.

Another thing is that it appears that people forget how a business works.  It isn’t just a place you go to make money or spend money, but is there to make as much money as it can from the most people it can.  Microsoft realized this buy actually adding TV and Internet capabilities into its system.  They knew that they already had the gamers.  Now they want another piece of the pie. They want what Apple and Google have which is the mass consumer market.  “If they can provide networked home solutions to their users why can’t I?”Microsoft began molding the Xbox 360 into that dream and has apparently now realized it by giving the software proper hardware to handle it. Microsoft didn’t add all the streaming content to the 360 as a convenience for gamers.  They put that there so they could sell the device to non-gamers.  People who didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for HD cable when you could just get a broadband connection and plug it into the Xbox.

We have entered into a world of entitlement for many people.  Many expect that they should always get what they want when they want it and that they actually deserve it.  Well, I’m here to tell you today, that that’s not true.  Just think of the engineers…All the nymph sex they’re missing…

The Major’s Take on the Xbox One Reveal

Courtesy of Xbox.com

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you would have known that, yesterday, Microsoft revealed their next generation console, the Xbox One.  Here are some thoughts I have on the console as we currently know it.

The Name

So, what’s in a name?  From what I’ve been seeing so far online, a lot of people are scratching their heads as to why Microsoft decided to go this way with the naming. It, however, makes sense to me as it denotes that the device will be the one-stop-shop for all your entertainment needs.  And I’m not going to argue with them on that.  The device essentially takes everything that you have in your entertainment center and jams it into one device.  Then, there is the fact that some people (i.e. the entire Internet) wanted to call the bloody thing the 720 which is about as insane me celebrating my 50th birthday next year (I’m 25 now).

I do think that the Xbox Infinity name would have been a good choice for a name, but the justification for it didn’t make sense as they were saying that “if you take the “8″ from Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 and turn it sideways, it works!” Maybe turning things up on its side make it work better.

The Specs

As far as the specs go on this thing, for a console, its bananas!  Along with Sony, Microsoft has managed to cram a lot of hardware into these gaming and multimedia packages and some people might go out of their way to say that these things are about as powerful as the most powerful PCs on the market. Any self-respecting technophile would know that that’s no true at all.

The tech that we are seeing in these consoles now were in PCs a couple of years ago and have since moved on from that.  The hardware in these consoles are awesome enough to handle what’s going on with the consoles from the non-resource intensive OS to background processing, but its not like these consoles have much to do in multitasking like PCs do and don’t need all that hardware to do so.  Essentially, a computer built in 2010 can handle what these consoles do today (or holiday 2013).

There are other additions though that make it nice to have like USB 3.0 which will allow for you to add high-speed drives to your system as you won’t be able to expand the 500GB drive that comes installed with every system.  They have added a Blu-ray drive to the system which will now allow them to ship all games on one disc. There is also HDMI In/Out for television pass through.

That’s right, the system is cable of bringing in an HDMI signal to allow the system to put a kind of overlay on top of whatever it is you are watching on TV.  While the overlay isn’t that important for me, I like the fact that I can pass my cable TV through the system and be able to switch between TV and the Xbox effortlessly.

The case, however, leaves something to be desired.  Upon first view of it, I really thought Microsoft was trying to sell me either a new cable box or a reboot of WebTV.  In all honesty, I’m pretty sure anyone could get away with calling it either what with all the things that its capable of.

Kinect 2.0

Nowadays, the Xbox isn’t the Xbox unless you talk about Kinect.  The sensor that was introduced in 2009 as Project Natal (its been a while since I’ve typed, heard or seen that name).  Since then, it has been a game-changer for the Xbox 360.  Putting you into the game with your body or allowing you do control the system with just your voice, the device truly was revolutionary.

With the Xbox One, Kinect is just integral to the system, its required. And due to that, a Kinect sensor will be included with every console.  This is similar to Sony’s move with including an PS Eye with every PS4.

While the new Kinect benefits from improved sensors, most of the wow factor came in the form of added gestures and voice commands.  The one that got me the most excited was being able to say “Xbox on” and the system turns on.  It finally helps me realize a dream that I can use my system without ever having to look for a controller.

This, however, raises privacy concerns as it points out what many would call a flaw in the system.  In order for it to do that, the system and Kinect would always have to be on and listening in order to turn on.  This naturally has some people up in arms as to what Microsoft is actually up to having something record us when we think its off.

Xbox Live

Not much was revealed at the even when it comes to Xbox Live, but The Verge was able to get some useful information from Phil Harrison, a corporate vice president of Microsoft.  It appears that this time around, when you buy a Gold subscription, you’re not buying it for the user, but for the system.  It seems they were only discussing the fact that the household may only have one Xbox as they didn’t discuss is this would work for multiple systems and multiple users, which I imagine could be a problem for Microsoft.

Now Here Comes the Dust

This was a big question coming into the event.  There had been many rumors circulating saying that the next Xbox would require an always-on connection.  It was also rumored that Microsoft would be doing away with used games as well. We hoped that today Microsoft would finally shed some light on the rumors and they would finally put our worst fears to bed.  They did not.

Wired states that from an email correspondance they received from Microsoft that while used games aren’t a thing of the past, it would also not be the most ideal way to purchase game.

Microsoft did say that if a disc was used with a second account, that owner would be given the option to pay a fee and install the game from the disc, which would then mean that the new account would also own the game and could play it without the disc.

There are other reports that are confirming it and many saying that they could charge as much as full retail.

On Kotaku, one of the writers caught up with Phil Harrison and asked what the official stance on always on connectivity seeing as it wasn’t really covered during the event.  It was initially stated that it wasn’t going to be always-on, however, it was going to require an internet connection.  Harrison went on further to say that the Xbox One will check for an internet connection at least once every 24 hours.

However, at Polygon, Microsoft sent them an email stating that most of these things were “potential scenarios” and that when the system releases, these may be non-issues.

Conclusion

All in all, what was shown yesterday was rather impressive.  As a technophile, I love all that I saw and could actually see the tech being implemented into my household.  However, given some of the logistics not being worked out, its hard to say when the device will actually be purchased.  As I normally use my Xbox as an all-in-one streaming solution similar to a Roku box that can play awesome video games, Microsoft will have to be able to show me that they deserve my money on the new system along with Xbox Live if they decide to put their streaming services behind the wall like they did for this current generation.

If it isn’t there come holiday season, I guess I could buy another Roku box…