I'm already excited to hack a Playstation 4

I know, I know, I’m a Microsoft fanboy. Let’s get it out of the way, because you’re not going to like what i have to say about Sony’s PS4 announcement. Everything described in the press event are things either the PS3 or the Xbox 360 could potentially already do. Now, it’s true that some of those features might work better with the additional memory and processing power of the PlaySTation 4, but streaming a few games from a Gaikai service? Streaming games from the console to the handheld device? Okay… just release a new XMB, not a new console. The ability to share your video from your console? Thanks, I played Halo 3. I’m always excited for a new Killzone game, but the graphics didn’t knock my socks off (for the record, I’m not expecting much for first gen games on the Xbox 365, either). The scale of the world in the Killzone Shadow Fall world was quite impressive, but, again, not jaw dropping.

Capcom’s Deep Down was probably the best looking title, at least as far as gameplay was concerned, but I would expect nothing less from such a veteran of the industry. Of course, we saw Activision and Bungie give another glimpse of Destiny. They showed a few other good looking games, and brought up someone else to talk about emotion. He thinks that more polygons will lead to more believable characters. Evidently, somebody skipped Heavenly Sword, which already featured amazing character graphics made believable with motion capture and fantastic voice acting. But I still didn’t care for the characters as much as the developers hoped, I’m sure. It took a long time for me to care about a character.

No, I’m not all that excited for the PS4. But what I am excited for? Is hacking one. During last night’s announcement, Sony unveiled that the console is going to feature an x86 CPU. In my book, that means it won’t take long before two things happen: 1st: people figure out how to extract the system image and boot it on dis-similar hardware… for instance, even faster and stronger desktop computers. And second – once you have the first part accomplished, you could potentially virtualize the operating system. Imagine booting up your Mac or PC, then just loading up VMWare Player, and booting your Virtual PS4 on your computer. Now, I agree, if the Playstation 4 is going to have 8GB of GDDR5 memory, then your virtual machine would suffer because your desktop computer won’t have that level of memory – even if you have more than 8GB, your system RAM isn’t likely going to be quite as fast. But desktops are only going to get more powerful. And even though Sony had to cut the “10 year lifespan” of the PlayStation 3 short, the PS4 will be around for a while, and all that while, your average home computer will only increase in their specifications, meaning eventually there will be a PC that should be able to “hold the PS4 inside of it” – so to speak.

Speaking of the specs of the system: we still don’t know what the system looks like. It’s obvious they’re saving the final designs to be unveiled at E3. The last slide of the presentation, captured above, indicates that the console will be available “holiday 2013.” I’m excited for the potential of the hardware of the Playstation 4, and we all know it’s early so the games are going to look better and better as developers work with the console. Mostly, I’m excited for hackers to get their hands on these and do what they do best!

Webstats are a living, breathing thing

Like this, but in reverse

I’m certainly not to start a blog about “SEO” or Search Engine Optimization, but I did want to point out that I learned a lesson recently. My website has been growing and growing for over a year. Then, here in February, I let nearly two weeks pass without adding an update to the website. My page visits are plummeting.

Search engines Google and Bing will lower your rank if your website isn’t active. If you aren’t adding new content, if you aren’t actively building and adding to the website, it’s going to fall down the rankings. My site doesn’t draw enough comments to keep itself looking lively, so I know I have to constantly put out new content to my site higher in the search results – people linking to you, organic visits to your website, it all builds your reputation, but I had no idea just how fast you would DROP in the rankings just for taking some time off.

My most popular articles are in the Tech Tip Tuesday articles. But I don’t think I’ve answered everyone’s question in the world! So the only reason I can figure I have dropped off so steeply is because I didn’t write new daily posts for a while. But the drop off was steep. I won’t divulge my numbers, right now, but my daily page visits are now hovering around what I used to get in a day for my most popular articles! So I have some rebuilding to do, but don’t worry, I’m back, and I’m still blogging! 😉

MyScript Calc – great math app for students!

MyScript Calc is a wonderful tool available on both iOS and Android. The instant I saw it, I knew this was the kind of app that could immediately be used to help kids in school learn math. It I a calculator, that recognizes your normal hand written numbers on a tablet or smartphone. So you write the math problem out, and it spits out an answer. It’ much like using a calculator, but helps kids get in the habit of writing the problem out properly.

I’m terrible at math. Some things I can do extremely quickly, but only the basics (I was tallying my tax totals faster than my accountant this week, for example). I was terrible from algebra onward. A tool like this may have helped! Now, I haven’t had a chance to toy around with it much, yet, because I was so anxious to tell people about it, so I’m not sure how well it understands the Order of Operations and how you might write it out – but from what I have seen it is quite a smart application. It’s not going to give you the square root of negative one, but it can certainly crunch a lot of calculations quickly. So go ahead and check out MyScript Calc on iOS or Android!

How to accept a friend request in Skype for Windows 8

The other day someone asked me how to accept a new contact request in Skype for Windows 8. I remember struggling with this, and remembered the final answer was really stupid, but I was stumped. Ready for the answer? It was painfully obvious once I realized what my eyes were glossing over. Look above. In the 2nd column, on the first screen you see, you will see your recent activity. What’s there? Oh, look, a friend request. Wow, it really is that simple.

People still ask what if it does not show in your Recent Activity on the main page? Simple – right click! Or, if you’re using a touch screen, swipe down from the top. A menu will drop down from the top of the screen. There you can scroll side to side through your recent items until you find the friend request you’re looking to accept.

Good luck out there, everyone!