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”

Why TelePacific is Re-Branding

In this podcast, I speak with TelePacific's SVP Ken Bisnoff on why TelePacific is re-branding. The CLEC of old is gone....

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Communications Tech Development = Code + Human Resources > Enter OpenSIPs Summit 2017 Amsterdam

A big difference between a successful communications technology corporation, startup or project and a flop is the development of the solution behind...

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Telecom Tidbits (part # 2450)

Amazon Using Trojan Horse Approach To Go After Smartphone Voice Market. Amazon is agressively pursuing the voice personal assistant market, focusing...

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Telecom Tidbits (#2449)

Telecom is still broken. Ordering a 1GB Internet port in a Lit building has turned from a 2 week turn up...

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Shock! IBM Reverses Telecommuting Policy. Here's Why

It's mind-boggling. It's incredible. The biggest news in tech culture is without question  the reversal by IBM regarding a telecommuting policy which...

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What does having no PSTN lines really mean?

There are firm actions starting to take place about PSTN sunset.  What this means is that our landline networks that we...

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10 Seismic Communications Trends Creating Billions in New Value

People need not apply in our brave new communications future Communications was once a person-to-person mechanism allowing individuals to collaborate or share...

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808 EarCanz Wireless Earbuds Review: Finicky But Worth The Struggle

August 8, 2016

Earbud headphones don't always work the greatest for me. I have large and unusually-shaped ears--a lot like my deceased grandfather's, actually--and so slipping a module directly into my oddly-shaped ear canal doesn't always end well. The 808 EarCanz wireless earbuds--a set of which 808 sent out for review--worked a little better than the ordinary, and despite some finicky little issues, produced a sound audio experience that's highly portable and barely noticeable to the user.

The 808 EarCanz wireless earbuds offer a built-in battery that allows for six hours of continuous operation on one charge, a set of different-sized earbuds to allow the best, closest fit complete with optional rubber protrusions known as "ear fins" for different sizes. There's also a travel pouch, a USB charging cable to recharge the batteries, and the ability to take calls on a hands-free basis with an included microphone.

"Finicky" is actually a great way to describe these.



A Wait and See Attitude with VR Won't Cut It

August 3, 2016

It's tempting, when a new technology emerges, to be aloof and let cooler heads prevail. Why go plunging off after the latest possible fad only to discover that it is indeed just another fad, the kind of which has been in play for years? The problem with that notion, of course, is that it cedes first-mover advantage to other firms, and also delivers other unpleasant side effects.

The initial reports suggest that virtual reality--one of the biggest new potential fads around--won't really be a profitable market until 2017 and beyond, thanks to a combination of high prices and few software items available. Those numbers are changing as more early adopters get into the field, but it's still fairly slim.

Stop Laughing: Konami Wants to Win Gamers' Trust Back

August 3, 2016

It was easily one of the most hilariously sad moments of the 2016 presidential race, when Jeb Bush got up on stage at an event and, in mid-speech, stared out into the audience and mournfully requested that the audience "please clap." Recently, Konami got a look at just such a phenomenon as it took to Reddit and sought to "win gamers' trust back."

For those who remember the recent goings-on with Hideo Kojima, the pachinko scandal, the canceled games and plenty of other developments, Konami's plan to win back gamers' trust is about like thalidomide winning pregnant mothers' trust back. This led to Konami's social media manager heading over to Reddit in what has been, so far, a month-long campaign to help drive gamers back to Konami after a series of middle fingers directly to the gamer. So far, said manager--a gent named Ben--has been waging this war with the kind of dogged determination that almost makes you respect him out of sheer bravado, fielding complaints and answering pointed questions with all the poise of a master politician.

Ben's also tipped the hand on a few new developments, including some upcoming Metal Gear Solid titles, though admittedly that's about a big a surprise as saying that I have exclusive information that says the sun will come up tomorrow morning.



Shutdowns, Shutdowns, Shutdowns: Gaming Pulls in on Several Fronts

August 1, 2016

As is the case in any industry, sometimes new products show up, and sometimes old products die off. Recently, the dieoff side of the coin seems a bit stronger than normal, as two major new efforts were announced shut down by their owners.

First, BioWare announced that it was shutting down the forums around some of its biggest properties, including those for the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series. Though noting that it wasn't an "easy decision" to shut down the forums, BioWare effectively took official notice that Facebook and Twitter exist. Plus, apparently, fans also enjoy connecting on Tumblr and Reddit, so BioWare seems to have figured that developers and fans can talk better on platforms that BioWare isn't directly paying the bandwidth costs to operate.

Why Sonic Mania is So Important to Sega

July 27, 2016

Admittedly, when I first heard about Sonic Mania, I rolled my eyes sufficiently hard that they landed in the next room. It's not pleasant fishing your eyes out of the kitchen sink. A bit of hyperbole, yes, but the eye-rolling was still very much a thing. Out at Comic-Con, Sega showed off a pair of new Sonic games, and some believe that Sonic Mania--the 2D side-scroller--would actually be the more important of the duo.

Sonic Mania looks a lot like what Sonic games used to look like, down to zones and acts and everything else.

Imitating Pokemon Go Likely Won't Work For You

July 26, 2016

Right now, Pokemon Go is changing the landscape. A major new gaming presence, one of the first big attempts at augmented reality gaming, a major marketing tool, and a host of other points are driving use of and interest in this product. It's probably got some thinking about how they can "me too!" their way to success. A recent report from Venture Beat suggests that that may not be the battle plan of choice going forward.

Given that Pokemon Go currently has more active daily users than Twitter, it's easy to see why some would look for lightning to strike twice.

Mobile Gaming Ahabs Beware: Why Hunting Whales is a Bad Idea

July 25, 2016

It wasn't so long ago when it was revealed that the gamers getting in on Game of War spent an absolutely staggering amount of cash on their game of choice, spending about $549.69 per user per year. So it's clear that there are some real whales out there willing to drop piles of loot on their favorite game, and pursuing these whales might be the perfect business plan. Some dispute this battle plan as being less than ideal, and one source of dispute may surprise you: Electronic Arts.

The notion of EA—voted two years running the worst company in America via The Consumerist—passing up a source of revenue sounds about as counter-intuitive as mice passing up bread covered in peanut butter. Yet that's what EA's Director of Global Mobile Engagement and Acquisition Erica May suggested is the case, as May suggested game designers instead focus on player experience.

The Aging Gamer, or, When Granny Wants to Go Pwning Noobs

July 20, 2016

We all have a good idea of what a gamer looks like, at least in the stereotype in our head. Young, male, probably overweight and greasy-skinned living in his parents' basement, sucking down cheese-flavored snacks to such a degree his fingers are permanently stained orange. Reports from Pew Research note this isn't too far out of line, particularly in the United States. A new report from the Electronics Software Association (ESA) and the AARP—formerly the American Association of Retired Persons—suggests that there's a larger proportion of older gamers than might be expected.

Smithsonian Steps In to Preserve Gaming's History...Again.

July 19, 2016

The true historical value of just about anything is commonly lost on most people. That's often why most historical treasures are valuable: sheer scarcity. If you'd asked the average citizen in the 1850s, for example, if they'd rather have a $20 gold coin or the five weeks' worth of food and the like it would buy—it represented around five weeks' pay—most probably wouldn't have kept the coin. That same coin could be worth $60,000 today depending on condition and year.

Are Bethesda's Fallout 4 DLC Plans Poised to Do More Harm than Good?

July 18, 2016

While E3 suffered no shortage of news in its latest incarnation, one of the biggest points to emerge was the revelation that the course of downloadable content (DLC) for Fallout 4 had been decided, and that there were three more pieces to emerge: Contraptions, Vault-Tec, and Nuka World. Further, these were to be the final pieces of DLC for the game, a potential new problem has emerged. Specifically, that the DLC will not provide the value seen in previous releases and by extension hurt the brand.

The numbers do not bode well for Fallout 4's DLC. Fallout 3 had fully five pieces of DLC to its credit: Broken Steel, which extended the length of the original campaign and addressed some complaint about its ending, as well as Operation: Anchorage, Point Lookout, The Pitt, and Mothership Zeta. Each offered a fairly complete storyline as well as in-game bonuses of better weapons and fresh supply loads.

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