Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

Restoration Hardware's E-commerce Fighting Formula

A Tasteful Blend of Starbucks and Apple Retail Experiences designed to make customers fall in loveApple has the most valuable retail real...

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Thoughts on ThinkGeek Customer Service

I’m on the phone with ThinkGeek because I purchased something which they shipped incorrectly. I tried email and didn’t get a...

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The Interworking Function (IWF) part of the Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC) now takes center stage

Diameter Signaling Controllers (DSCs) are the general term used to describe products that enable load balancing and scaling of Diameter signaling...

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New T-Mobile Pay as You Go LTE Pricing Changes Everything

Until recently, if you wanted a real data plan on a major carrier while using your cell phone, you were forced...

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How Sony May be Fighting to Unleak its Information

The recent attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment is about as scary as it gets as emails which insulted the company’s hired talent...

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4 Tips for the Busy Executive

I have a couple of prospective clients that keep delaying projects. One really wants to do the project but the people...

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Opening up the skies with LTE Air-to-Ground

By: Thierry Sens, Marketing Director Transportation Segment, Alcatel-Lucent

(Note:  Originally posted on Alcatel-Lucent corporate blog)

“Ladies and gentlemen, the fasten seat belt sign has now been turned on. Please ensure your mobile devices are switched off for the full duration of the flight” It is the announcement that many passengers dread as they hurry to finish up one more e-mail, or send one final text or tweet, before the start of a flight and a few hours of absence from the connected world.

But from the end of 2016 this is set to change in Europe. Inmarsat announced on November 20 that it has signed a contract with Alcatel-Lucent to develop Long-Term Evolution (LTE) air-to-ground technology, which will be delivered in partnership with service providers and airlines in 30 European countries. Alcatel-Lucent will supply the ground LTE radio infrastructure, which consists of antennas situated 100 km apart. The system is capable of providing download speeds of up to 75 mbps to planes using 2x15 MHz FDD licenses which Inmarsat owns in the Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) S-band. This makes it not only the world’s fastest airborne broadband service, but a pioneer of future in-flight services for passengers and airline operations.

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Playing the Villain: Hatred's Draw on Steam Greenlight

December 18, 2014

It may well be the most pronounced case of “playing the villain” ever to be noted in a game. A game called “Hatred” has been making the rounds, and is currently camped out on Steam Greenlight, seeking to get access to the popular online gaming marketplace. And while Hatred's oeuvre is about as dark as midnight in a mineshaft, it's not exactly unique. But what does this game—and this game's controversy—say about gaming as a whole?

Hatred's premise is as simple as it is disturbing.

Microsoft Arcadia: Microsoft's Streaming Service in the Making?

December 17, 2014

The competition between Sony and Microsoft has been downright frantic for most of the last year now, and while Sony has been the clear winner for some time now, there are signs that Microsoft is making some gains and posing a serious threat to the clear front-runner. One new sign, however, is showing some serious moves in the background, as Microsoft may be poised to bypass its Rio game-streaming technology with a whole new system known as Arcadia.

Arcadia is actually based on Microsoft Azure, an already-impressive and sublimely potent cloud computing mechanism, and is part of a streaming system developed in the Operating Systems Group, according to current reports. This is actually similar to the way Sony's Gaikai system works, and represents a major new addition to Microsoft's overall profile. Arcadia was also reportedly looked at in terms of running apps as well, but the reports suggest that Microsoft has shut that idea down for now, possibly to put more juice behind the gaming developments.

For Freebies, It's Tough to Beat PlayStation

December 16, 2014

An unusual development hit recently, as discovered out at U.K publication Push Square, and it was a development that's going to render some shocks to console gamers with special account passes. Push Square did an analysis on how much value the games that PlayStation Plus gave away over the course of 2014, and brought back results accordingly. Polygon's Owen S. Good then did similar math for the Xbox 360, and discovered something very interesting all told: PlayStation players got quite a bit more than Xbox players did, but for an unexpected reason.

The math spells out the issue quite clearly: those who were PlayStation Plus members netted a hefty $1,349.29 in free games, while Xbox Live Gold members landed only $584.67. Sounds like a slam-dunk to Sony...until it's considered that the games involved for PlayStation Plus weren't just PlayStation 3 titles, but rather also PlayStation 4 and PS Vita titles as well.

Microsoft Takes November; Changes Afoot?

December 15, 2014

In life, there are few better ways to get people interested in a product than to offer it up cheap. That basic premise proved to be no exception for the Xbox One, as an NPD report showed that Microsoft didn't just take Black Friday as we heard previously, but it also laid claim to the top-selling console for the month of November as well.

November, according to word from Xbox Marketing corporate vice president Mike Nichols, represented a new record for Xbox One sales, and made it the best seller not only in the United States, but also in the United Kingdom, driven by a combination of Black Friday sales and bundle pricing. Despite these gains, however, it wasn't enough to drive the hardware market as a whole, which along with the software and accessories market saw an 11 percent drop. This drop was attributed mainly to huge slowdowns in the seventh-generation hardware, the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii. After all, NPD analyst Liam Callahan noted, eighth generation consoles saw a three percent gain over November 2013's sales.

Part Game, Part App, Part Movie: The Hunting

December 11, 2014

I'm a sucker for a good horror movie. But even horror movies can get a bit dull, as you do nothing but sit there and watch. A game allows you to control the action, and that makes things a bit more fun. But Allan Plenderleith has taken this particular concept up a notch, and has brought out “The Hunting”, an iOS game that's part game, part movie, part app, and more zombie mayhem than you can shake a severed limb at.

I was absolutely shocked to note that there was preview content for this thing going as far back as 2013, but it was a recent interview in Venture Beat that drew my notice to Plenderleith and his game.

Carrots and Sticks: Destiny Players Who Forego Dark Below Reportedly Lose Bonuses

December 10, 2014

The growth of downloadable content online has been a major move indeed for a lot of companies, as game makers realize that sales don't need to stop just because everyone who wants a copy of a game has one. But banking on downloadable content can be a tough proposition; maybe people are satisfied with the game as it is and aren't in a hurry to spend $10 or more on a new branch. But Destiny, the new online shooter, may well have settled on a disturbing conclusion better suited to National Lampoon than to video gaming: buy this expansion or we shoot these features.

While Dark Below comes with plenty of value—a new Strike and Raid, for starters—as well as new content, there's one key point that will likely have a few people unnerved. The Weekly Strike and the Weekly Nightfall Mission, for example, all use content from Dark Below, so those users who don't get Dark Below, in turn,reportedly no longer get access to those modes of play.

Trouble for Microsoft? Street Fighter V Goes Exclusive for PS4.

December 9, 2014

A bit of dark news closed out last week, at least, it's news of a darker variety for Microsoft fans. Capcom closed out the week with the announcement that Street Fighter 4 was making its way to consoles and PC, but only to the PlayStation 4. Capcom put up a teaser trailer at the end of the week, and though the trailer subsequently went private, there was enough exposure to make the point clear.

It's one of the great principles of the Internet, that once something hits—especially something like a trailer for one of the biggest fighting games around—it tends to stay hit regardless of what kind of copyright claims go out. It's both blessing and curse, in its own strange way, but it is what it is.

Is Fallout 4 The Next Half-Life 3?

December 8, 2014

Once again, Bethesda fans and Fallout buffs were skunked, as the Game Awards 2014 event came and went, leaving behind no mention of Fallout 4 or anything else from Bethesda. The recent appearance of the 2014 Bethesda Christmas Card also offered precious little, by some reports, and the end result was a lot of unhappy gamers who are asking themselves one downright terrifying question: is Fallout 4 the next Half-Life 3?

To clarify, Half-Life 3 is a game that's been eagerly anticipated for some time, a follow-up to a very big game of its time, Half-Life 2. Gamers have been hungry for the further adventures of Gordon Freeman for some time, but there's been little word as to when this game will actually see the light of day, if ever. This parallels into Fallout 4, a game which has been hotly anticipated since 2011 came and the end of downloadable content for Fallout: New Vegas arrived.

The Bethesda 2014 Christmas Card failed to help matters, featuring Deathshead from Wolfenstein in a profoundly godawful Christmas sweater complete with kittens on the front, and the Keeper from The Evil Within.

Razer Gets a New Edge with Gideon Yu

December 4, 2014

Razer is pretty well known in gaming circles—particularly in PC gaming circles—for offering up some really top-notch peripherals as well as even some impressive gaming platforms outright. But the company known for its keyboard, mice, and similar such matters now has a new reason to pay attention to it in the form of Gideon Yu, who has recently joined Razer's board.

Yu was brought in, according to reports, to provide experience and insight in both high tech and financial management. This is particularly handy as Yu is co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers and was a general partner with Khosla Ventures, as well as chief financial officer for YouTube and Facebook, as well as senior vice president of finance at Yahoo. That's an impressive body of work by any standard, but for a company that was looking for high tech and financial advice, it probably doesn't get much better than Yu, who has both of those things and in substantial number.

Razer is a terrific company, but it's always been a little on the smallish side.

E-Sports Broadcasting Finds Gains, Losses

December 3, 2014

The idea that e-sports could be considered a mature market may actually be a little more likely thanks to some recent news from the field. Two separate pieces have come together to suggest that this market may be farther along than some might think, and it's news that illustrates both gain in the field and loss as well.

First, the gain. E-sports broadcasting is getting a whole new force in the market, and it's from a force that we probably should have seen coming: Valve. Valve recently introduced Steam Broadcasting, a system that allows Steam players to upload footage of their various gaming adventures to both the Steam client and to the Web as a whole, which allows viewers in on the action.

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