Lifeless Planet Screenshot

So I’ve been playing the PC game Lifeless Planet from Steam.  It is what is commonly called a “walking simulator”.  This is because the primary game mechanic is exploration with no combat.  In reality I think of it as more of a platforming game because there is a lot of jumping and using a jetpack.

The description from the Steam store page says “While seeking life on a distant planet, an astronaut discovers an abandoned Russian town.”


Android Wear as a cheap MP3 player

Phones have become huge!  I have taken my phone with me while working out to listen so can listen music since the first iPhone came out.  With a 3.5 inch screen that was doable.  It is still possible even as the iPhone screen increased to 4.7 inches, but now I’m rocking at Nexus 6p which has a 5.7 inch screen.  Having this in the pocket of my workout pants isn’t practical.

I’ve been interested in Android Wear devices since the first ones started coming out in 2014.  When  I read it is possible to download music to an Android Wear watch and sync bluetooth headphones I thought I would check them out again.  For this to work I needed something that is somewhat rugged and cheap.  An Amazon search lead me to the Sony Smartwatch 3.  $99.99 for a refurbished one and the rubber band met my two requirements.  Another awesome feature is the ability to have the watch connect to Wi-Fi so that it will still receive notifications from my Nexus 6p when the phone is out of bluetooth range.  I usually leave my phone in one of the gym lockers so on the days I need to be able to be reached while working out this will work perfectly.

Now I have a way to listen to music and still receive important notifications without having to carry my phablet around with me in the gym.


Sony Smartwatch 3

The Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime Video

man_in_the_high_castleThe Man in the High Castle is a novel that I’ve had on my Amazon wishlist for quite a while but haven’t had the time to read.

It is the story of a alternate world where the Axis powers won WWII.

Earlier this year Amazon had a series of pilot episodes made. Prime Video users were encouraged to watch them and vote on their favorite. The winner would then be made into an entire season. The Man in the High Castle won. I thought the pilot was interesting and alternate history is something that we really don’t have a lot of right now. There was one part of the pilot that happens at the end when we find something out about one of the characters that made me want to watch the next one.

Now all 10 episodes are coming out on November 20th and I plan on writing recaps for each episode here on my blog. I’ve always been a fan of the recaps at io9 so I thought I would try some myself. If I enjoy it enough I may do the same for the SyFy show The Expanse.

Moto 360 2nd Gen Thoughts


I had the original Moto 360, Sony Smartwatch 3, and LG G Watch R, but found them all lacking in usefulness.  After a break from smartwatches I  decided to try them again.  After looking a many reviews I narrowed this generation down to two watches, the Moto 360 second gen and the Huewii Watch.  Both had pros and cons but while reading the reviews one theme emerged.  The Moto 360 was the pick for most people.  The Huewii watch was an beautiful watch but could look out of place unless you were dressed appropriately while the Moto 360 could be worn in formal and casual settings.

I’ve had the Moto 360 for around one week and so far I like it.  That’s right I don’t love it.  It’s a nice accessory that does some of the things that I want in a smart watch.  The first is track my steps and physical activity.  The second is as a way to get notifications when I don’t have my phone with me.  And the final thing is respond to text messages with my voice.  This is only used in rare circumstances, usually at home when I am in another room from my phone.  These are the three things that smart watches are good at and everything else is just extra functionality that you also receive from your phone.  Most apps have more capabilities on your phone so trying to use smart watch apps that do the same thing really isn’t that helpful.

The first two things the Moto 360 is really good at doing.  It provides steps, total calories burned, and even how many from just physical activity.  The vibration from receiving notifications is not too loud and is just enough to let me know that something is happening on my phone that wants my attention.  The one area that the Moto 360 suffers is with trying to respond to texts.  It only worked for me maybe 50% of the time.  It would either not respond, get hung up and not open, or transcribe the wrong thing.  It has become enough of a problem that I rarely use it.

So ultimately the Moto 360 is something that I use for tracking my physical activity and as a notification center.  Both of these things could be done with other devices like the Fitbit.  My biggest problem with that device is that it looks terrible.  The Moto 360 on the other hand it a really nice looks device that I’m not ashamed to wear in any occasion.  This is why it will continue to have a place on my wrist.

The problem with Fear The Walking Dead

fear-the-walking-deadFear The Walking Dead has one problem that The Walking Dead has not had to deal with and that’s the fact that the slow moving “walkers” of The Walking Dead Universe are not that dangerous if you are even mildly competent.
In The Walking Dead the world has already fallen apart.  The government institutions that we rely on (police and the military) no longer exist so the fact that people are all alone makes the situation they are in feel more dangerous.
In Fear The Walking Dead we get to see the fall of society.  We get to see the reaction that the government and especially the military takes to the zombie outbreak.  The military in particular is where the problem of really slow moving zombies is first apparent.  In FTWD they discover that shooting the zombies in the head is the only way to kill them.  Once this becomes common knowledge then it should be standard practice to only fire when you are guaranteed a headshot.  Then factor in that a M-16 magazine has 30 rounds.  So assuming that the average soldier has just four magazines they should be able to kill 120 zombies by themselves.  Just ten soldiers could wipe out 1200.  Now assume that they have an even slightly competent system to resupply their troops and it is possible for 100 soldiers to wipe out a few thousand zombies a day.
In The Walking Dead the only real threat is when there are herds of zombies.  It is possible for Rick and the gang to knife 5-10 zombies per person in a few minutes.  Their group should be able to kill 20-30 zombies in one encounter with no problem.
There is only realization that can be made after walking all 5 seasons TWD and the one season of FTWD and that’s slow zombies are not that dangerous.  Now throw some fast World War Z or 28 Days Later zombies in the mix and then you have a problem.