I Visit The Boardwalk Empire

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Boardwalk Empire is a about Prohibition era Atlantic City created by Terence Winter, and its executive producer is Martin Scorsese.  It is the crime drama that HBO used to fill the shoes of The Sopranos, but from what I have seen of that show, this one is better.

The show starts just as Prohibition is starting, and crooked politician Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi) is going to use all his contacts and favors to keep Atlantic City’s booze business going.  This of course gets him involved with gangsters.  The longer the show goes, the deeper in to the crime scene Nucky has to go.

It is a fun show, and Steve Buscemi is great in this.  It is good to see him get to be the star in something, but like most HBO shows they try and be too edgy too much, even when it doesn’t add anything to the scene, but it is not as bad Game of Thrones.

I like shows and movies about 1920’s gangsters, so this show was kind of made for me, and it is a much more interesting time period than the current day based Sopranos.  So if you are looking for a good crime drama than this could be for you.

Shmee Watches Event Live Blogs So You Don’t Have Too!

June 10th was a big day for tech and games, so I decided I would let you know what I thought was important or interesting.

Microsoft

First up was the Microsoft keynote for E3.  This as you can imagine was about the Xbox brand and the stuff the are developing for it.  They were smart with the keynote and pretty much kept everything about the games since last time they talked about it, it just sounded like they were making the worlds greatest DVR.

They started off with a cool video about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.  Since Metal Gear passed up the 360 it is cool to know that will be in on the action for the next gen.

They also announced a new slimmer Xbox 360, and that all Gold Live subscribers will be getting free games similar to PlayStation Plus.  Which is good because Gold is a rip off, so they should give us something, but they also announced the One would cost $499 it includes the Kinect 2.0, but still ouch.

They also announced quite few exclusive games, but the two I am most interested in are: Below which is a roguelike and the first time I had heard that description at E3, and a new Killer Instinct game which has been promised since MS bought Rare.

Then they showed Master Chief in a cloak, and since he wears armor I am not sure what it is for, but I am guessing he is a mage now, so I wonder what his favorite spell is.  I am hoping it is Magic Missile.

Apple

Apple at the same time as the E3 press conferences was doing their developer keynote at their WWDC, which pretty much boiled down to that they were stealing Windows Phones design language, they are launching their own Pandora, and they made a computer looks like a black trash can.  Not really, but pretty much that.

EA

EA decided for their Press conference that it would be good to keep faking people out that they were showing Battlefield, but instead showed us Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, and Star Wars: Battlefront.  Both of which look like fun.  Then they talked about sports games for like … forever.  Like that now basketball games have a real ball with ball like physics: huzza!

Butt then they said the magic words: Peggle 2 and all was forgiven.  This will be my wife’s favorite game of this new generation, and one last piece of awesome news was they announced Mirror’s Edge 2.  Which is great.  There are so few non hyper-sexualized female protagonists it is good to see one return.

Ubisoft

I thought Ubisoft was going to drop the ball for awhile just showing us games we knew were coming, but their new Crew racing game that takes place in the whole USA looks pretty cool, and if they are true to their word then I can’t wait to terrorize Lynden with a dune buggy in the game.

They saved the best for last and showed a new Tom Clancy game, but instead of it being a shooter it is a modern day open world RPG called The Division and it looks amazing!  That is how you save a press conference.

Sony

Sony was the last presentation of the day, and they started off with some Vita and PS3 stuff, and it was all fine, but just uninteresting, Beyond: Two Souls looks like fun though, and it is good to see that they are still catering indie support.

They finally got things going with a steam-punkie game called The Order: 1866, but then they quickly just started showing us already announced games, and games from other people, but they turned it around.

The first bit of news was bad: you will need a Playstation Plus account to play online, boo, but you can buy, sell, and trade disk based games all you want, and your console doesn’t call home to check licensing, yeah, and it only costs $399, the crowd goes wild (though since it doesn’t included the Eye it insured no one would ever use it)!  After that they dropped the mic and went home.

I hope you liked this little press conference write up. It was fun to put together.

Where did Westeros end up?

Game-Of-Thrones

So last night the last episode of season three aired, and so how do you follow up the most talked about television event in the last ten years?  With a filler episode of course.  Last night was all about letting the events of the season settle and seeing where everyone landed, but the problem is that after episode nine this episode was a complete let down, so this episode probably should have been a fifteen minute vignette at the end of last weeks episode, and just called it a season, but as it is, it was still a fun year, and I look forward to next May.

Try Not to Cry, It is the Last Episode of Game of Thrones!

Game-Of-Thrones

Today the last episode of season three airs, and it has been a good season with a lot of twists and turns, and if they could cut down on some of their questionable content, it would be possibly the best show on TV.  I have reviewed Game of Thrones before, and all of what I said still sands, and it will be agonizing waiting until next year for the show to start up again, so try not to cry and be happy because Summer is Coming.

Shmee got a new Lumia 928!

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I recently was upgraded to a new Lumia 928 on Verizon.  It runs Windows Phone 8 versus my previous phone that I hacked to run Windows Phone 7.8, and several Nokia specific apps.  Does it live up to my high expectations?  Yes it does.

The first thing you notice about the phone is it is pretty heavy compared to the new iPhones and Android devices, but not so heavy that you are going to drop it all the time.  The front screen is curved to raise the screen up from the phone, but still make it smooth on the edges.  It is subtle difference, but it does feel good.  On the back of the phone is a large speaker the camera and xenon flash.

Windows Phone 8 is a pretty major step forward.  The multitasking works better, you can add notifications to the lock screen, and download custom camera mods.  They got rid of any Zune references, and now everything is Xbox related: Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games.  They have also done a lot of work tweaking the software.  Everything just feels faster.

Nokia has been hard at work making custom apps for the Windows Phone 8 platform.  There is City Lens that lets you scan a city with the camera and it will tell you about any shops or restaurants that you may like.  Nokia Music which is Nokia’s version of Pandora, but there are no listening limits.  Nokia Maps/Nokia Drive+ is probably the most important because it gives you free turn by turn navigation, but it also lets you download the maps, so you can still use them even if you loose cell coverage.

Like with most high end Nokia devices this phone is all about the camera.  It has a modest 8.7 mega pixels, but the kicker is it has hardware based image stabilization so you can take better low light pictures, and not have them turn out all blurry.  The xenon flash helps you with action shots, but since it is so bright it can give people a weird look if they are close up, so it is best to leave it off.  It also has a front facing camera for Skype and self portraits, and it does an OK job, but the rear camera should do all the heavy lifting.

As far as the phone goes there is nothing to complain about.  The sound quality is good, and I haven’t heard any complaints from the people I have talked to.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I love this phone.  It looks great and works well.  It may not be as powerful as the latest Android devices, but I don’t play a lot of games on my phone so I wouldn’t notice anyway.  If you are looking for something different than an Android or an iPhone, this makes an excellent choice.