For the one who got away…

(Source: Spotify)

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FLIP DOWN BREAKFAST TOASTER

 

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Anybody else out there like breakfast at night? Come on there’s gotta be takers for some eggs, sausage, and pancakes at 2am in the morning right? Well look if it’s too much of a hassle to fire up the stove, get the pan out, and fry up an egg with some hash browns then here’s a solution to make breakfast the prime meal all the time. The Flip-Down Breakfast Toaster is the solution every gamer worth his salt needs in their life. No different than most toasters on the market, the Flip Down offers an electric griddle so you can cook up a patty at the same time you get a pita toasted up. This is the type of convenience that can help with your quest for healthy eating. Add to some of those other fandangled devices that get sold on QVC, and honestly you’ve got quite a set up my breakfast loving brethren.

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2014 Season 4 Of Game Of Thrones To Be The Best In Series

Season 3 of HBO‘s Game of Thrones was without a doubt one of the best spectacles of content on the small screen to come along in a long while. In fact the 2013 season as a whole for television was great. Specifically speaking of the George R.R. Martin‘s phenomenal books series “A Song of Ice and Fire“; HBO and the shows creators have captured the indelible flavor of the books in a way that quite honestly is one of the most incredible adaptations of literature material to the medium of Television. Bold statement? Indeed, but the show’s success since it’s first season has grown to epic proportions. From blogs, to videos the fan base of “Game Of Thrones” has steadily grown in a way that can’t be measured. What’s crazy and amazing is that up until now we have only tipped the iceberg of how vast, and deep the universe of Mr.Martin’s sensation has touched on. Season 4 will be the best in the “Game Of Thrones” series due to revelations, new beginnings, and ultimately conclusions that weave a web of interest catapulting the show into the upper echelons of television viewing unlike any we have seen thus far. Lending credence to my statement 8.7 million viewers watched the season opener; surpassing HBO’s highest rated show in audience the “Sopranos” series finale. Yes, my friends this is a new level.

While the world was caught up in the lore and excitement of the “Matrix” movie, and Y2K epidemic that scared the living daylights out of everyone on technology. I was in a little place called “Westeros” reading about knights, kings, bastards, princess, butchers, dragons, and Dire wolves. I remember distinctly walking out of the Lord of The Rings movie with my book, and shaking it in my friends face telling him that it would one day rival and become our generation’s version of Tolkien’s masterpiece. This was not bravado, or misplaced fandom. It was based on faith. So much faith that I would buy the books for my friends and give them away. There was a magic in what Mr. Martin created that touched me as a long time fan of fantasy & Sci Fi fiction. His background as a writer in many mediums is so evident in “A Song of Ice and Fire” that the tone of book literally was something that easily translated to film or television. More-so television due to it’s ability to offer much more fleshed out content. Every season of “Game Of  Thrones” has been a testament to my observation.

Season 4 is the bridge where we get to see the development of characters we have grown with, transform the series in a way that is no longer based on shock rather the consequences and decisions that are epic on every scale. The culmination of plot lines into new ones started in season 3, and the two new episodes that have already aired for season 4 are indicative of where the show is going. It’s going to best season because of this transition into a new form. Opening the door for new characters, unbelievable alliances, and revelations that will be crucial for the momentum of the “Game Of Thrones” going forward for HBO.

The current dynamics of characters has started to settle in, and with the growth of Daenerys dragons we are seeing the emergence of many fantasy elements that for the most part of the show; as well as the books has been played mainly in the background of politically intrigue. It is in this particular area that the series has needed to grow, because we have seen how magic is starting to take hold of the back door motivations of it’s main characters. Vengeance, and alliances are definitely going to be the engine of season 4, but you have to pay attention to the little scenes that are going to elevate characters who we have a consistent understanding of. Offering them a platform that is bit more broader. 

Season 4 has to serve as a turning point for Sansa Stark. Of all the characters she is in one of the most dangerous circumstances, but unfortunately she has yet to make strong decisions or a transformation in her that takes her beyond morning for her family. She has served as a great device to show the strong presence of the Starks family, and her marriage to Tyrion Lannister has only given us more of his struggle with the union. From his struggle with his love interest in the prostitute Shae played by actress Sibel Kekilli. Theon Greyjoy,  Bran Stark, The Kingslayer/Jamie Lannister, and several others are in need of critical new directions to keep their story lines fresh in the show, before viewers get a bit fatigued by their light involvements. Yes, they all are playing strong roles in a larger context if you read the books. From a television show perspective it’s too much to keep in mind without getting overwhelmed if the characters act as mere soap stars in a drama series. Knowing better, taking into account how the show’s creators have done a fantastic job with “Game Of Thrones” I doubt there will be dull moments. In fact there have been some license taking with the blessings of George R.R. Martin that have allowed for more expansion of plot lines. As we get closer each season to catching up to the books I suspect that season 4 is going to really push things further. With the death of King Joffery last week, I doubt we are going to be falling down to the ground off the show’s high anytime soon. Season 4 will not only be the best one, but will be talked about for a long time in the annals of television history.

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SZA On Life + Times Decoded “BABYLON”

Sza

I first heard about SZA on a Kris Kassanova track some years back now. Didn’t think much about her outside of thinking how this generation of artist like her are carrying the mantle laid by the likes of Alanis Morissette , Fiona Apple, Kelis, and others. Except I think the one person SZA reminds me the most of is Esthero with her vibrancy for storytelling herself in moments which then migrates into the musicality that opens her up in ways that let you know she hides in the open. Not from fright or flight, but more or less her way of feeling the world out as she embraces clarity. You get that as a listener. You get that you and SZA are discovering something about each other. The caveat being that she doesn’t get to hear us, we get to listen to her. Well, that is unless we get to a concert of hers, and folks are signing her lyrics back when there is a technical difficulty during her set. Bam! Now everyone’s on the same page. You, me, and her all on this musically journey that is the universe of SZA. How grand… In this edition of Life + Times Decoded: SZA breaks down ‘Babylon’ featuring Kendrick Lamar; a track that exemplifies some of things I touched on above.

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Coachella: Chromeo Performance

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You don’t always hear Chromeo mentioned as pioneers, let alone trendsetters, but those two words really do belong as the right adjective for the dynamic duo. These guys brought that cool, funky 70′s early 80′s vibe to music again. Combining elements that are incredible blends of sonic candy titillating your ears, and that girl next to you jugging drinks on your tab. You might get mad, but if you watch, and listen. My dear gamer friend it all works to your benefit. Besides the machismo laced sentences prior to this one. You have to dig what Chromeo is all about in their uncompromising take on music. This was expertly on display during the first day of Coachella; have a gander at the guys full set.

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Coachella: Ellie Goulding Full Set Performance

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Coachella was in full effect yesterday, and started out with a bang. Add in the fact that Pax East has had a great two days, many gamers who couldn’t check out either of the hottest things going on in music and game culture. We decided to give you the best of both worlds on our site. Ellie Goulding is without a doubt one of the best, sexy, and most stunning musical acts in the EDM space. Her energy, and immediacy of her music makes for the type of performance that remains signature to the moment. Her Coachella set is absolutely testament to this.

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WWE Superstar Ultimate Warrior Look Back

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This past Tuesday the Ultimate Warrior who appeared for the first time in the WWF in 1987 rocketed to stardom for fans on the entertainment show. Becoming one of the most memorable and enduring characters of the wrestling sport show. James Brian Hellwig was his real name. He lived a life on full tilt made of more than just a facepaint, and strings. He was a passionate icon for an era that believed so much in heroes that sometimes real life was totally misplaced when it came to perspective. Unfortunately James untimely death is part of long history of former wrestling stars passing away are relatively young ages.With so much left to give to the world. Last year 2K Sports forever made him live by adding him into WWE wrestling game; where he participated in many marketing & promotional activities to promote the game. We do our little part to eulogize the James and his Ultimate Warrior character in pictures and some video. Enjoy & I hope you get inspired to live your life fully. Its short.Ultimate-Warrior-Dies o-ULTIMATE-WARRIOR-facebook

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Conan O’Brien Brings “Clueless Gamer” To Dallas AT&T Stadium…Mind Blown

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So Conan O’Brien decided to shatter every single gamer‘s mind by pulling out one of the most amazing abuses of status, fame, and money. He got to play video games on the Dallas AT& T Stadium television. If you tune in regularly to Conan then you should already be aware of his gaming segment “Clueless Gamer” where he and his buddy basically go through the pains of getting Conan into gaming. His helplessness is the premise of the show. So enjoying his bad skills, jokes, and variety of titles he plays is pretty much the shtick of the segment. How hard body was it for him to play in Dallas AT&T Stadium? It’s never level. There isn’t a gamer worth his controller that wouldn’t want to sit, eat, and breathe a week of gaming in that stadium with your buddies online. Body parts would be sold for such a feat.  Conan went next gen by playing Madden, Need For Speed, and Street Fighter 2 on the Playstation 4. Let me step out the way with the words so you can see how mind blowing this is.

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PS 4 MLB 14 The Show Reinvents Baseball Gaming

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For years now the second best sports game has been “MLB The Show” for Playstation consoles. I say second best only because not every gamer across consoles and PC get a chance to experience the sport of baseball in the excellent fashion by which Sony’s San Diego development studio delivers it. Baseball inherently is a very difficult sport to simulate in terms of action, nuiance of involvement that is asked of gamers, and the mechanics that dictate the pace of the sport itself. When you talk about sports like Soccer, Football, and basketball you are dealing with sports that are faced paced in terms of active pace. Soccer may be low scoring compared to Baseball, but it makes up with the tenacity in activity. The old past-time of baseball needed a kick in the rear. MLB 14 The Show reinvents not only the great experience the franchise has delivered in the past, but also the way it can be displayed going forward. 


MLB 14 on PS4 is a gorgeous piece of software. For a first generation sports title the game shows off the capability of the PS 4 sweetly. From the ballparks of the 30 Major League teams to physics, and character models. Realistic lighting courtesy of specular mapping across objects/surfaces its astounding. Taking a look at the above video the audience is more robust and engaging(They have kids in the stands…Wow). Adding elements that permeate the sports mystic such as bat boys lends an authenticity showing the evolution of Sony San Diego‘s expertise in re-creating the sport of baseball in gaming form.

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Baseball for me is something I still love, but am not as much into as I’d like. In terms of gaming, I’ve always been picky year to year in terms of how they are portrayed. In recent years the sport of baseball just has fallen off to be blunt. The mechanics that are on display in MLB 14 The Show improve on how immersion you get with the title. There is a feature that allows you to take the reigns of one particular player & their position. So if you like being a pitcher then whenever it is your turn to pitch, or be up for bat that is where your baseball experience will be lived from. It’s a “Player Lock” feature so you don’t have to go through the whole process of playing every player’s position, up for bat, and then do the management that makes a whole game in the sport a long one to play. You can choose who or position between pitches, and inning. So if you get bored playing the up for bats of “Big Papi”, then you can switch over to another player on the Red Sox.

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MLB The Show has never been without it’s faults. One of the most unforgivable is the online aspect. Where it’s features are underwhelming, and not as fleshed out as it honestly should be. When you think about how much better PSN + is MLB 14 The Show should be more signature in this aspect to grow the community online of PS4 gamers. Baseball is the perfect sport to do so, especially when playing against one another. If you are into baseball this is the type of experience you have to have be excellent. You can get a to deep level with the baseball that is leagues ahead of other sports titles. Why? Because baseball involves your complete attention in terms of strategy and execution.

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All in all you have to look forward to the one baseball series that has managed to out do both 2K sports and EA Sports efforts in the space. To be fair 2K sports really bumped their heads into a nail wall not getting their baseball sport series exclusivity to the same place as NBA 2K series. Neither here nor there though; MLB 14 The Show is in a strong place, and as any fan should be aware the Playstation 4 right now is in need of quality titles to really let you in on why it’s worth your time. With a new season of baseball begun, this is one title that you can’t pass up as a fan of the sport either.

mlb14theshow

 

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Learn All About Phil Spenser The Head Of Microsoft

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In today’s industries across the world leadership is at a premium. Absolutely critical to the success or failure of a business platform. As we edge closer to convergence within technology, and lifestyle. It is important that areas of interest are holistic, but identifiable in their purpose, and vision. Microsoft’s Xbox One was mired in the muck during the reveal of the platform last year in May. Setting up a firestorm of confusion about what Microsoft’s Xbox One is all about. The issue had less to do with what Microsoft had planned many would say, and more about the execution in conversation. In effect due to pressure Microsoft responded by rescinding many good as well as controversial policies. Now Microsoft in a strong focus is restablishing their foothold not so much on the game console market, but more so in communication. Part of this plan has been the promotion of Phil Spenser a 26 year veteran of Microsoft to the head of Xbox. Get to know him in this video, and his plans for all things Xbox. 

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BloomBerg TV: Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Vision

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So much has been happening as of late with Microsoft since apointing their new CEO. Many divisions have been consolidating, as well as expanding, and in some cases graduating in status commitment/focus. Phil Spenser has gone from being Microsoft Studios head to now the honcho in charge of the entire Xbox eco-system. This new position is in effect a hardware & services executive one. Along side of it is the young division of Xbox Entertainment. Microsoft is looking to leverage it’s IP, and brand power in the console gaming space to bring gaming & entertainment focus to a new place. Ambitious? Yes. About time? Absolutely. In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg Television Online. Nancy Tellem, Microsoft’s President of Entertainment and Digital Media sits down with Jon Erlichman to give a robust outline of what Microsoft’s aim is with Xbox Entertainment.

Show Intro

Interview

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SquareEnix Resurgence & New Gaming Perspective Set To Start At E3 2014 

Square-Enix

In anything creative you have to know what you do well in order to compensate for what you do well at. SquareEnix rise as a great publisher of JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Games) was based on their ability to merge gameplay with story that made taking on the role within a universe they created a magnanimous experience.  For many gamers SquareEnix began losing their way when they decided to format their philosophy to a more global perspective. This inherently was not an issue if the credo of SquareEnix was to commit to adapting what they do well to a new level of expectations from both gamers, and the progress being made by other developers in the RPG playing category. Speaking with  Nikkei Trendy, Matsuda president of SquareEnix acknowledged how the company needed to recommit itself to delivering a holistic experience across it’s portfolio of titles that the company can deliver to gamers as opposed to a regional definition of gaming & accessibility.

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CEO Yosuke Matsuda is looking to rely on the progress that SquareEnix has made on titles such as Final Fantasy 15  and Kingdom Hearts III. Granted these are both long in the tooth franchises. Both are extremely acclaimed JRPG games that in many respects have set standards in the genre that can’t not be downplayed. Many fans of the the genre and these titles themselves want the magic back. With the recent American release of “Bravely Default” on the 3DS a return of sorts to the rpg quality of what SquareEnix used to be. Fans are clamoring for the publisher to take this mentality and translate it across the board.  With E3 2014 fast approaching in two months. Mr. Matsuda is highlighting the promise of the future for where SquareEnix is going with a renewed focus on who and what they are.

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One thing to add is that although SquareEnix has a renewed perspective in it’s capabilities. They should not throw the baby out with the bath water. Which means that they have made strides with many of their western releases minus a few exceptions. With the addition of new western studios such as Eidos and the success of Tomb Raider. SquareEnix should be pushing to create dynamic titles across it’s portfolio, and take advantage of this strength as opposed to shifting around company allegiance to one genre or region. The lesson to be learned in their investments such as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.  Should be audience focused, and extrapolating a Final Fantasy experience that speaks to gamers in a way that pushes forward as opposed to treading old ground out familiarity. Many believe  From the sound of Mr. Matsuda this very well may be the focus many gamers are hoping he’s trying to convey in his statements, along with what we may see at E3 this year.

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Final Fantasy 15 

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

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Hitman Series

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Tomb Raider

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