Tower D fan? Get Defense Grid: Containment for endless fun!

Alright, I have a confession to make. I am terrible at Tower Defense games. It’s true. Just… horrible. I don’t know if I can’t concentrate, I don’t know if I get overwhelmed, all I know is I die. I play the easy ones, but they still come back with extremely low scores and poor ranks. I might’ve passed the level, but I did it the same way a four year old might’ve. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. But something is here to help me. It’s Defense Grid. And here’s how I got started…

I already know what you’re thinking: “Defense Grid? 2008 called, they want their game back.” But there’s been a new development! I was recently given the opportunity to give a little coverage to the newest DLC expansion for the game, Containment. Of course I can, I thought! So I dove right in. And was annihilated instantly. Never mind. So I back tracked, I played the first few levels of Defense Grid: Awakening and it was great! It coached me along, and helped me start making my way along in the more complex expansion pack. Now, if you don’t already have the main game, then you obviously don’t need Containment – but if you’re going to be buying it, get the Containment Bundle for less than $20. If you’ve already got everything in Defense Grid up until this point (and it’s a game with a great core following, so there’s no doubt some of you do), then you just need the latest Containment DLC pack for $4.99.

But Containment is more than just a story line expansion for a game you’ve played in the past. It’s more than just 8 new maps, 32 new challenge modes, and 2 new characters (including Alan Tudyk, whom you may remember from Firefly or A Knight’s Tale!). Containment is a crowning achievement in crowd funding. It came via Kickstarter, with support even coming from large companies like Razer and AMD.

The story resumes where Defense Grid: The Awakening left off – in a very literal way. You are expected to be familiar with the various “towers” and know how they work, and you should be able to dive right in. If not, go back and start with The Awakening and let it teach you the way it taught me.

And, if you’re going to say but you haven’t said anything about the GAMEPLAY then stay with me. As I said, I’m terrible at Tower-D. I’ve given this game some time, and I plan to continue playing it later, but I’ve by no means had a chance to experience everything it has to offer. But I can tell you that the levels are beautifully designed, and well thought out. No matter how you position your towers, there’s almost always something you forgot. There are alternate routes, multiple levels of depth to pay attention to (first floor, second floor), and sometimes the enemies need to come full circle, other times they’re just fighting their way towards an exit. The level designs are creative, and some even feel mildly inspired by great nods Sci-Fi films and games of the past. Don’t forget to check out community-designed levels, as well, for a literally limitless supply of fun.

Defense Grid: Containment knows its audience – they funded it. And they won’t be disappointed with it. The folks over at Hidden Path Entertainment are pretty comfortable stating that this is the latest chapter in Defense Grid’s story, not the last. So go on and get Defense Grid: Containment Bundle now, so you’re ready for whatever comes next!

Build your own Boss

On this Valentine’s day where people are looking for companionship and comfort, I’m trying to think of the coldest thing possible! In an era where technology has eroded middle-class jobs, isn’t it about time it did the same to the upper crust of our society?

Machines could be more analytical than any business owner could ever hope to be. A machine is far less corruptable. It isn’t driven by greed, or any sort of “alpha” mentality – it makes the most logical decisions that lead to the best decision for the company. A machine doesn’t need to make a ballsy move to impress anyone, it doesn’t have anything to prove. A machine could process data thousands of times faster and simplify processes in a way no human being could. It would cut down bureaucracy, there wouldn’t be needs for meetings, or or discssions. Decisions would be made, workers would act.

What if an organization of workers united under their robotic overlord and founded a “leaderless” company? Imagine a company where all employees are equal, there is no hirearchy, the machine decides the tasks at hand, the workers build out the orders at a factory, ship out the finished product, and share in the profits. Imagine how well off banks and auto manufacturers would be if it wasn’t unbalanced by guys at the top getting multi-million dollar bonuses, and the guys at the bottom earning a “decent living” at $18 an hour. I feel like the future is upon us, and it might be time to use machines for more than replacing our physical labor force.

Force your Windows Phone 7.8 update – worked on my HTC Arrive

So, it’s not an app, but I did want to share with everyone this week how I got my Windows Phone upgraded to 7.8. As Windows Phone fans have no doubt heard, Windows Phone 7.8 has been out for a while. There was a lot of worry that certain phones, including my handset (the HTC Arrive on Sprint), would not be receiving the update. Luckily, there is a process that can be followed to upgrade your phone to Windows Phone 7.8, and it doesn’t involve any sort of “hacking” or modding, or HSPL unlocking, or anything like that. Plug your phone in to your computer, run a program, and wait. It’s that simple.

I first found This article on WindowsPhoneHacker that describes the process. Once you download the executable and plugin your phone, it will tell you if you require any missing files (I was missing them!). Once again, it’s a small download – extract the zip file as it tells you and then run again. You will see the phone download, flash an update, and reboot – continuously. Each time, your phone will indicate that the update is complete, but don’t worry, it isn’t the final update. Don’t unplug or touch the phone. It took my phone almost two hours of the same cycle. For a while I began to worry that my phone may be stuck in a loop, but if you’re fast enough, you can actually see that the build number is changing with each reboot. Eventually, it will pop up a message on your computer telling you that the updates are 100% complete. You will know when you’re getting close because your 7.5/Mango boot screen will change from a red logo to a blue logo.

I could’ve waited, or tried more Zune trickery, but I was having all kinds of problems with my update process, and having the option to just start this process and walk away for a bit was a great help. For anyone wondering if the SevenEighter method works, it does and I encourage you to give it a shot. If the download links in the article I link to no longer work, please post a comment below and I’ll upload them here, as I have kept a copy. I typically don’t like to link to other articles without providing instructions here, just in case the article ever disappears, but I don’t want to take credit for this one, it was all WindowsPhoneHacker!

More new content, soon

I’ve had another busy few weeks. The downside of being a one man show: if you’re busy, the site suffers. More to come, soon, I assure you. I’ve had birthdays for friends and relatives, preparing to file my taxes, not to mention recent illness and other bodily injury. But I’m bouncing back and will get back in the swing of things. To top that off, I’m may have aother project in the works, but we’ll see if I can get some assistance with it, first.