Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ping and the future of social networking

You might’ve heard of Ping. Apple’s new-ish social networking service, for music people, integrated into the iTunes Store. Are you a music person? Am I a music person? Most people listen to music, don’t they? So why make a social network ONLY about music?! I’m all for new and exciting ideas. If there’s a social site that does something new and interesting, and my friends are in too, I’m in. But Ping is just Facebook, stripped of its most basic features. In fact, there really isn’t much of an incentive to check your friends’ stuff on Ping. Your news feed generally only contains updates from artists you’ve purchased music from, and even these updates are just forwarded twitter posts. So basically, Ping is twitter, but without posts from anyone who isn’t involved in the music industry, and the ability to have your iTunes reviews linked with a social account. Wait…wasn’t that what my Apple ID was for? I don’t want to sound too cynical here, I’m sure the social behemoths of today were pretty crumby when they first started. But if Ping doesn’t do anything new, will it ever become a behemoth? Unlikely.
So, what does Ping need that all the other big sites don’t already have to make it the ‘next big thing’? By nature, a social network based solely on music is already hugely segmenting their audience, so I guess Ping will never really take off the way Facebook has until everyone starts being interested in what Taio Cruz had for lunch.

Now, off the whole Ping thing…What does a social network need to be to become THE number one? Well, quite simply, it needs to be for everyone, by everyone, and about everyone. A place where everyone can interact, safely. Just because I’m not friends with somebody doesn’t mean we can’t interact somehow. Maybe not on a very personal level like an online chat..But somehow. I think I have my next big idea.

(DISCLAIMER: I know you can talk to people on Facebook etc etc without being friends, but you get the picture.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Scott Pilgrim Endings

Lets get something straight. I looooove Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Its amazing movie, based on amazing graphic novels. Now, if you haven’t seen the movie all the way through, STOP HERE. This is a very spoiler heavy post.

As you know, at the end of SPvTW, Scott ends up with Ramona. However, this way not the original ending to the movie. Initially, Scott ends up with Knives. According to Edgar Wright (Director) on the first commentary track, after numerous test screenings, they came to the decision that a change to the ending was required. However, all throughout the movie there still little hints that Scott should be with Knives. The entire film was built around the idea that he would eventually end up with Knives, so Ramona had to come across as not as good as her.

In the comics, Ramona is a very different character. She’s a lot less mysterious, and it’s much more obvious that she’s into Scott. The ending in the comics makes sense. But, after watching the movie a million times, and seeing both endings, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t really like either. A Knives ending could have worked, but not if it was done the way it is in the alternate ending. A Ramona ending could have worked, but not with the way her character is constructed all throughout the movie up until the end.

When I first saw SPvTW, I loved the Ramona ending. I guess since I didn’t know there was ever a chance he would be with knives, I just predicted the ending we got in theatres would’ve happened.

This is still an amazing movie, and my favourite of all time. I guess something like this happening was inevitable, when the movie was being made at the same time as the books.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Robot Unicorn Attack

Usually, I’m not the kind of guy you’d see playing a crumby facebook game. I can’t stand stuff like Mafia Wars or Farmville that just involve clicking and waiting, and waiting, and waiting. But, recently I discovered that a game I bought off the App Store late last year had made its way to facebook. That game was Robot Unicorn Attack. It’s fairly simple game. Your unicorn runs at an increasingly fast speed, and you have to make it jump to platforms over and below you, as well as dashing through star shaped things. I know, this sounds really girly and dumb on paper, but once you get into it and start learning all the little tricks it takes to get up on the leaderboards, it’s pretty addictive.
I stopped playing this game after a few days on my iPod, but once I saw all my friends were playing it on fb, all trying to be the no. 1 player, I got interested again. Adding leaderboards to this game made it a lot more fun. Granted, I think there are online leaderboards in the iOS version, but since my iPod Touch isn’t connected to the internet 100% of the time, I never saw them. In saying that, I think that even if I was playing online, the fact that the people I was playing against were complete strangers would have made it a lot less enjoyable. When you’re playing with your friends, the goal of becoming no. 1 is actually feasible, unlike when you’re playing the world and there’s bound to be some guy from Korea with a crazy score with so many numbers it goes of the edge of the screen. You can find Robot Unicorn Attack right here: http://games.adultswim.com/robot-unicorn-attack-twitchy-online-game.html

Have fun!

Mobile Radiation

This morning, I woke up to see my mobile phone was sitting on the top of my bead, right next to my head.
There’s been a lot of stuff in the media recently about the radiation mobile phones may be emitting. With people holding up x-rays of their head claiming their excess mobile usage can be directly attributed to the tumour they are showing us. All this talk got me thinking. Think about all the millions of people who own mobile phones, and leave them on in their pocket and then next to them on the charger at night. I am one of these people, of course. But what happens in a decade from now when it is proven that these devices really can cause all kinds of terrible cancer and tumour related injuries? Will a quarter of the human race be writing their wills?
Personally, I think we’ll be fine. Obviously, I’m no expert. Though, you’d have to imagine that after awhile, if you were a mobile addict, all that radiation would be doing something bad to your body.