The Power of Words

The Power of Words

A while back I wrote an article pondering about the questionable quality of the information available online. However, after seeing these next two videos recently, I decided to expand that topic a bit more. This time I will focus on the words used, i.e. the way things are expressed in a certain way to shape your reaction and opinions. This very cunning method is used in both public and private sectors, and certainly as a phenomenon it’s on the rise.

To lay the foundations to this topic, check out this this must-see video from Billy Johnson from Amidst the Noise:

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Windows 10 Technical Preview – My First Thoughts

Windows 10 Technical Preview – My First Thoughts

Roughly a week ago, Microsoft announced the next Windows and revealed its name will be Windows 10. Not Threshold, not Windows 9, not Windows 8.2 or just Windows. Some ridiculous rumors circled the Internet about why they decided to “skip the 9”, but I don’t really care about the name. I care about the experience. And now after a week of testing the Technical Preview I’d like to share some short thoughts about the most notable of the new features.

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Age of Empires: Castle Siege – An Old Classic as a New Cross-Platformer!

Age of Empires: Castle Siege – An Old Classic as a New Cross-Platformer!

Almost two years ago I blogged about the promise of true cross-platforming which is made possible by the shared core in Windows ecosystem. This is a subject I’ve been passionate about for a while, so I can say I got pretty excited as Microsoft Studios announced that they will release the latest installment of the legendary Age of Empires franchise to mobile and desktop platforms, and it is completely playable between the two. Age of Empires: Castle Siege is free-to-play, and works just as well with 24” screen and mouse, as well as on a phone’s 4,5” touch screen. And of course with any Windows tablet too. Not many games can say the same!

The game does its magic trough Xbox Live (duh, obviously) so you can easily find friends who play it too and forge alliances with them – again regardless of the device they use. All in all the experience is pretty much what I visioned two years ago for the future of gaming to be. Although cross-platform games haven’t become as common as I hoped for, the movement is there.

And I like it.

Quick Look at Bookviser – A Great eBook Reader for Windows Devices

Quick Look at Bookviser – A Great eBook Reader for Windows Devices

I have to admit, I used to like my books the traditional, heavy-weight kinda way. But recently I’ve put a concious effort to give eBooks a shot (since I have the perfect device to read the, the 8″ screen Lenovo Miix 2), and I knew from the get-go that finding the perfect app to suit my needs could provide to be challenging. Of course there’s big names like Kindle app to be found on Windows Store, but I was looking for something that can open .epub files from OneDrive and possibly function in cross-platform harmony with my Windows Phone. After experimenting with several apps, there seemed to be a clear winner.

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The Dark Side of Information Overload

The Dark Side of Information Overload

The Internet has made the creating, consuming, sharing and searching for information easier than ever before, but it has not done so without consequences. The openness of the Internet has lots of debatable downsides, ranging from cyber terrorism to illegalized peer networks, but although many of those regularly gain flashy headlines, I’m writing about an issue that is often ignored: the quality and the worthiness of the data itself.

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How Laggards Delayed the Future – Case Xbox One

How Laggards Delayed the Future – Case Xbox One

Inspired by an article titled “Consumers won… or did they?” by Miikka Lehtonen (original text in Finnish here), I decided to write something about the fuzz around Xbox One myself. As you might remember, Microsoft announced in the introduction of Xbox One that they would transition to a new type of owning and distributing philosophy with its games. In a sense, discs would only become a delivery method for the games and consumers would actually buy the right to play them with a digital license. Also, it was told that Xbox One would need daily Internet connection in order to “call home”: this way a gamer’s right to play a particular game could be verified (a.k.a. DRM). This meant that you could not sell your game to e.g. your friend, but only to a verified reseller. On the obvious positive side, all the games could have been played without using the physical disc by installing them on the console’s hard drive. Some consumers welcomed this renewal with open arms, but unfortunately those who disagree with change, the laggards, have a track record of being the loudest of the audience.

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A Quest to Find a Good FLAC to MP3 Converter

A Quest to Find a Good FLAC to MP3 Converter

I happened to have some FLAC files which I needed to convert to more reasonable format, in this case to .mp3. I thought that I could just search for a free converter and get the job done in instant, but as it turned out this task was not as straightforward as I had hoped for. Here are the programs I tested (first search results for “flac to mp3”) and what I discovered:

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