Collecting the Internet So You Don't Have To

We work on the Internet. As such, we are constantly consuming information. Believe me, there is a lot of it out there. Sometimes we even forget things unless we write them down. Our blog covers everything from web standards to the muppets, php to comic books, music and everything else that we find interesting. Leave us a note when you drop by.

Thoughts on Apple's iPad

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Julian Moffatt
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Julian Moffatt Purveyor of Good Times

Apple’s iPad. Will it change computing?

In case you have been living in a cave, here is the quick recap. Apple has announced their latest device, the iPad.

If you follow our blog here at Visual Lizard at all, you know that we are a little on the geeky side of things. We have been waiting to see what Apple would roll out for months. We all had different hopes of what the device might be.

It would be safe to say that since the announcement, we have had a few discussions about the iPad and what it means. Rather than keep all of these conversation to ourselves, we are going to make this post into a public discussion. We are going to post our thoughts in the comments. We encourage you to add your thoughts as well.

▾ Read the comments for our thoughts â–¾

Search On

Technology
Julian Moffatt
Julian Moffatt CEO / Partner
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Julian Moffatt Purveyor of Good Times

Google has just launched a new ad campaign called "search stories" and I have to say this is one of the best ad campaigns I have seen recently.

After watching the above clip, the brilliance in this campaign can’t be understated. Google is telling a complete story through the search box. From start to finish. That it is a love story is just icing on the cake.

Another brilliant point within the ads is that they are 100% true to their interface. All they are showing is how Google works. Find the big search box. Type in some words. Autocomplete fills in some suggestions as you type. Hit search. Autocorrect helps your spelling. Get results.

These ads hit all the right human parts. Whenever I watch any of these ads, my brain lights up with possibilities. The National spot is also amazing.

Simple. Brilliant. Search on indeed.

The one thing that struck me as odd about these is the fact that Google is actually advertising. I guess the slight up-tick in Bing usage has them worried. Oh, and to keep up my geek cred, here’s the real reason I love these ads. Don’t try this at home.

Mass Effect 2

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Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
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Two years after Commander Shepard repelled invading Reapers bent on the destruction of organic life, a mysterious new enemy has emerged. On the fringes of known space, something is silently abducting entire human colonies. Now Shepard must work with Cerberus, a ruthless organization devoted to human survival at any cost, to stop the most terrifying threat mankind has ever faced. To even attempt this perilous mission, Shepard must assemble the galaxy’s most elite team and command the most powerful ship ever built. Even then, they say it would be suicide. Commander Shepard intends to prove them wrong.

Mankind’s Future is At Stake

 

  • From the makers of Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™, Dragon Age: Origins™, and Mass Effect™ comes the dark second installment in the thrilling Mass Effect Trilogy!
  • Command a unique team of amazing characters on a perilous mission in the most dangerous regions of space.
  • Players of the first Mass Effect can import save games to continue the story of their own Commander Shepard. New players will find a thrilling stand-alone adventure awaits them, a polished and action packed journey that surpasses the first game in nearly every possible way.

Intense Third Person Combat

  • Take cover, command an elite squad with ease, utilize 19 weapon classes including heavy weapons, and unleash deadly powers against your foes with an all new and improved combat system.
  • Increased intensity with precision shooter controls to let you control the action and overcome insurmountable odds.
  • Featuring a new location based damage system: target key weak points, and blast off limbs, ignite enemies, or cripple and disable enemy troops.

An Entire Galaxy to Explore

  • Travel the distant and deadly reaches of space to assemble your team for the mission at hand. A cast of amazing characters await discovery on a variety of dangerous, visually stunning worlds
  • Survey unique planets and embark on side missions to uncover more secrets in the Mass Effect universe.

Robust Character Customization

  • Choose a player class, customize your appearance, and tailor your own abilities and strengths. As you progress, so do Shepard’s abilities.
  • Control the conversation. Improved conversation system where you can take matters into your own hands – often with the liberal application of force.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blood Bowl

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Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
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A brutal team sport unfolding in a parallel fantasy world based on Warhammer and American football, Blood Bowl invites gamers to form a team of players from races including: Orcs, Elves, Humans, Dwarfs and many other fantasy creatures, and launch themselves into battle in the bloodiest of arenas. This strategy sports game combines a fine balance of tactics and bone crunching action.

Surrogates

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Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
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udio: Touchstone Pictures (Disney) 
Director: Jonathan Mostow 
Screenwriter: Michael FerrisJohn Brancato 
Starring: Bruce WillisRadha MitchellRosamund PikeJames Francis Ginty,Boris KodjoeVing Rhames 
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller 
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence, disturbing images, language, sexuality and a drug-related scene) 
Official Website: ChooseYourSurrogate.com 
Review: Not Available 
DVD Review: Not Available 
DVD: Not Available 
Movie Poster: View here 
Production Stills: View here 

Plot Summary: FBI agents (Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell) investigate the mysterious murder of a college student linked to the man who helped create a high-tech surrogate phenomenon that allows people to purchase unflawed robotic versions of themselves—fit, good looking remotely controlled machines that ultimately assume their life roles—enabling people to experience life vicariously from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The murder spawns a quest for answers: in a world of masks, who’s real and who can you trust? 

OSX at work, Win7 at home?

Technology
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
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Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

Last week, Apple finally released updated Windows 7 drivers, allowing me to get my Windows 7 Boot Camp partition working smoothly on my 17” Macbook Pro. I haven’t really been missing Windows 7, I barely used it at work since installing it a month or two ago, but being able to boot up my laptop into either Mac OS X or Windows 7 was a big selling feature for me. For all the internet flame-wars about which operating system is better, I have always found reasons to like them both, enough to enjoy having both installed on my machines.

One of the main reasons I like having Windows 7 installed is that it is not the operating system I am using at work. As a web developer who spends eight to ten hours a day working on a computer, I find it often hard to come home and sit in front of the same machine for more hours, even though I kind of want to; video gaming, blogging, surfing the internet, my own web-based side-projects… all things I enjoy doing, but have a hard time doing so after basically spending all day already doing that.

Having OS X for work is great, as there are a multitude of great apps to work in and with. Many of my respected colleagues in the same field as I work on Macs, which means there are programs, systems, applications, widgets, tweaks, and more geared directly for them (and me). It certainly makes my job easier and more enjoyable.

Having Windows 7 for home is a refreshing change of pace. Microsoft’s latest operating system is polished and works smoothly; I haven’t noticed any of the headaches or frustrations many people were experiencing with Windows Vista. More importantly, it works different, responds different, feels different, and I’ve set it up different. I have a Twitter gadget always open at one side. I have a Steam account with all my video games at the ready. I have Google Chrome installed, as well as Windows Live Writer (which I am using to write this, my first attempt at using this program). I don’t have an HTML editor installed, I don’t have an FTP program installed, I don’t have an SVN client installed.

If I need to do work, either at the office or at home, I can boot up in Mac OS X, and have an environment dedicated to that. If I don’t want to work, I can boot up in Windows 7, and have an environment purposely separated from where and how I work.

It’s something that feels comfortable so far. I’ll see how it works out.

Legion

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Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
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Studio: Screen Gems (Sony) 
Director: Scott Stewart 
Screenwriter: Scott StewartPeter Schink 
Starring: Paul BettanyDennis QuaidTyrese GibsonJon TenneyCharles S. DuttonLucas BlackKate WalshDoug JonesAdrianne PalickiKevin DurandWilla Holland 
Genre: Action, Supernatural Thriller 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Official Website: Legionmovie.com 
Review: Not Available 
DVD Review: Not Available 
DVD: Not Available 
Movie Poster: View here 
Production Stills: View here 

Plot Summary: In the supernatural action thriller "Legion," an out-of-the-way diner becomes the unlikely battleground for the survival of the human race.

When God loses faith in Mankind, he sends his legion of angels to bring on the Apocalypse. Humanity’s only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner and the Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany).

"Legion" also stars Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Kate Walsh, Adrianne Palicki, Charles S. Dutton and Willa Holland and is directed by Scott Stewart. 

Gamer

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Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
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Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

Plot Summary: "Gamer" is a high-concept action thriller set in a near future when gaming and entertainment have evolved into a terrifying new hybrid. Humans control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online games: people play people... for keeps. Mind-control technology is widespread, and at the heart of the controversial games is its creator, reclusive billionaire Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall). His latest brainchild, the first-person shooter game "Slayers," allows millions to act out their most savage fantasies online in front of a global audience, using real prisoners as avatars with whom they fight to the death.

Kable ("300’s" Gerard Butler) is the superstar and cult hero of the ultraviolent "Slayers." Kable is controlled by Simon, a young gamer with rock star status who continues to defy all odds by guiding Kable to victory each week. Taken from his family, imprisoned and forced to fight against his will, the modern day gladiator must survive long enough to escape the game to free his family, regain his identity and to save mankind from Castle’s ruthless technology. 

The Book of Eli

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Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
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Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures 
Director: Allen HughesAlbert Hughes 
Screenwriter: Gary WhittaAnthony Peckham 
Starring: Denzel WashingtonGary OldmanMila KunisRay Stevenson,Jennifer BealsEvan Jones 
Genre: Action, Adventure 
MPAA Rating: R (for some brutal violence and language) 
Official Website: TheBookofElimovie.com 
Review: Not Available 
DVD Review: Not Available 
DVD: Not Available 
Movie Poster: View here 
Production Stills: View here 

Plot Summary: "The Book of Eli" revolves around a lone warrior (Washington) who must fight to bring society the knowledge that could be the key to its redemption. Oldman has been set to portray the despot of a small makeshift town who’s determined to take possession of the book Eli’s guarding. 

Army of Two: The 40th Day

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Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
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When a man-made disaster of epic proportions strikes Shanghai, China, Rios and Salem find themselves right in the middle of it all. Fortunately for you, you’ve got a bigger playbook of features and a new arsenal of co-op moves that either player can perform at any time, opening up fresh strategies and choices for both players. You’ve also got the tools you need to help the Army of Two fight and prevail with an incredibly deep, advanced weapon customization and upgrade system. Take your partner online in four explosive multiplayer modes, each focused on unique co-operative play. The Army of Two is back and better than ever!

  • The Best Co-op Experience with All-New Moves and Tactics ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY has been built from the ground up with a focus on an incredible cooperative experience. The result is a bigger, better, more organic and immersive co-op experience that lets you put your best two-man tactics to use whenever and wherever you want.
  • An Epic Disaster Brings Shanghai to the Brink of Chaos A carefully orchestrated series of mysterious catastrophes is dragging Shanghai, China to the brink of ruin, and now the Army of Two must fight their way through ravaged city districts as they try to beat the odds and uncover the secret of the 40th Day.
  • Explosive Online Multiplayer Modes Focused on Unique Co-operative Play Take your partner online in explosive multiplayer modes, each focused on unique co-operative play. Or strategize in the four-player co-op Extraction bonus mode and take on a series of intense enemy waves as you move from point to point through the ruined city.
  • The Most Advanced Weapon Customization Ever Seen in a Video Game Change your weapon in the heat of battle and adapt your firepower to the situation. With a huge variety of parts and the ability to customize at any time in the game, the possibilities are limitless.

 

Bayonetta

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Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
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Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

Bayonetta is a cinematic and stylish action game from the creative mind of Hideki Kamiya. As a gun-wielding witch with powers beyond the comprehension of mere mortals, Bayonetta faces-off against countless enemies in a game of 100% pure all-out action. Outlandish finishing moves are performed with acrobatic grace as Bayonetta flows from one fight to another. Bayonetta pushes the limits of the action genre with magnificent over-the-top action and fast-paced, dynamic climax combat.

  • Top Developer Pedigree- Built from the ground up by PlatinumGames, a newly formed studio from gaming’s most celebrated development teams (DMC & Resident Evil series).
  • Unique, Sexy Female Lead Character- Bayonetta is a graceful, stylish & all action heroine with a distinctive character design playing an integral part of her special attacks.
  • Angelic enemies- Fight against uniquely crafted angelic enemies casting a new light on good and evil.
  • Groundbreaking Acrobatic Gameplay- Bayonetta wields an impressive arsenal of weapons on her hands and feet through an intuitive and fluid combat system unrivalled in gaming. She unleashes deadly combos and special attacks with devastating results.
    • Interchangeable weapons- In addition to her four enchanted guns called Scarborough Fair, she can unlock an array of weapons from shotguns, bazookas and fiery claws.
    • Enemy weapons- Bayonetta can also battle with a variety of other weapons retrieved from fallen enemies.
  • Bayonetta also possesses an assortment of special magical attacks:
    • Torture Attacks- Unleash gruesome devices such as the Iron Maiden, Guillotine and more to finish off enemies and send them to hell by charging your Magic gauge.
    • Demon Summons- Successfully link combo attacks together and Bayonetta will summon supernatural forces to execute dynamic attacks.
    • Beasts of Hell- To eliminate the upper ranks of her foes, Bayonetta’s hair serves as a magical conduit to summon demonic beasts.
    • Beast Within - Bayonetta calls upon primal forces, transforming into various beasts (Panthers, Bats, etc.) according to the situation.