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December 2009

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This isn’t a tutorial on how to bulk-update/upgrade plugins in WordPress 2.9, just a tip in case many users are confused as to where this much sought-after feature is. It’s under Tools -> Upgrade. Seriously, this has to be one of WP’s dumbest decisions yet. Why in the world would you put the bulk update for plugins under Tools -> Upgrade? It should be a button or an action from the bulk action dropdown. Usability Fail!

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I recently purchased a PS3 and one of the games I purchased with it was the much-hyped Assasin’s Creed II. I’ve never played the original but I heard great things about the sequel and the video of the game play looked amazing. After playing it for a couple of weeks off and on I beat it. For most gamers, that is not a big deal, but I’m not most gamers. In fact, I wouldn’t even call myself a gamer. I have a Nintendo Wii and I love it because it makes gaming casual. I wanted the PS3 because of a handfull of games that are coming out and for the BluRay player for when I purchase an HD TV. Anyway, beating this game was a big deal for me because games rarely hold my attention long enough for me to actually beat them. The only other game I have ever beat on any system in my life was Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64.

ACII was a great game because the story kept you interested. Normally I can only play games for 15 minutes before I get bored with them and want to turn them off. ACII wasn’t like that, but even if I did want to quit after a short amount of time there were plenty of checkpoints to make sure I didn’t lose my progress. The scenery was amazing and the game play was smooth. The building looked almost real and the scenes where the city would erect before you were awesome. I can only imagine how great it looks on an HD TV. The cut scenes that helped move the story along were great, if not long at points. The only time in the game where I questioned the makers’ choice was when I was forced to go all around Italy to gather Codex pages in order to progress the story. It was almost as if the developers said, “We need to make this game longer, how do we do it? Let’s send the player on a long scavenger hunt.” Besides that point in the story, everything else was great.  There were missions that you had to do and several others that you could skip.  And it doesn’t matter if you skip them because once you beat the game you still have free reign to go about the other missions, which I’m currently doing now. The final level snuck up on me fast and I was surprised at how easy it was to beat the final level, but I wasn’t disappointed. I’d have to say this should probably be up there as one of the top games of the year, but since I don’t game that much I can’t really make that call. All I can do is tell you that the game was fun and beautiful with a great story and great graphics. If you have a PS3 (or XBOX 360) you should buy this game.

I’m very passionate when it comes to hip hop. At times I’m its biggest advocate, and others the biggest apologist. Most of the hip hop that is played on the radio embarrasses me. That isn’t true hip hop in my opinion, it is no different than Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus. It’s pop music. Lost in the shuffle of throw-away singles and one-hit wonders are some of the most creative artists, songs, and albums of any genre. I want to discuss some of the most creative hip hop albums of all time. On top of having great production and lyrics, all of them tell a story from beginning to end.

Deltron 3030 – Deltron 3030

Deltron

Deltron 3030 was a hip hop supergroup composed of Del the Funkee Homosapien, Dan the Automator, and DJ Kid Koala. The album takes place in a dystopian future, the year 3030 to be exact. The story follows Deltron Zero, the hero, fighting against an oppressive government and gigantic corporations that control everything. The production by Dan the Automator is operatic, while still maintaining the rhythm that makes hip hop great. Del’s rhyming over the eerie, futuristic beats flows like water. Rumors have long circulated of a sequel to this album with updates coming every so often, but it has yet to surface. [Buy Now]

There used to be a time when network television was good. Sadly, it seems that time is fading quickly. Sure, you have a few gems here and there. Take a look at Modern Family this season. It is doing quite well in the ratings and is genuinely a good show. I would argue that Modern Family is an exception to the rule as the show was created by one of TV’s most respected sitcom writers and producers, Christopher Lloyd. While it has been successful, it still falls in line with the traditional family sitcom. It isn’t groundbreaking at all. It seems nothing new and creative makes its way to network television anymore.

When you look at a couple shows that were truly original in their concept (meaning not a cop/lawyer/doctor show), they have failed. NBC’s Kings was an excellent show with excellent acting by Ian McShane. NBC barely gave it a shot. ABC could have won big with a space mystery/drama in Defying Gravity but they didn’t have faith in it and started it in the late summer and with little to no promotion. Shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad went to AMC because the networks didn’t want to risk their profit margins on new, and possibly risky, ideas. Instead, they have become a haven for reality programming, procedural dramas and spin-offs, and dance shows.

It is now getting to the point where I will not watch new shows on any of the major networks anymore for fear that I will like them and they will be canceled. The networks are too worried about their bottom line to take risks like they used to. In fact, NBC CEO Jeff Zucker has even mentioned that such an iconic show like Seinfeld would not make it in today’s TV climate based on the shows initial soft ratings. It is sad that so much creativity and originality is stifled because of the bottom line. Who knows what other Seinfelds might have been cultivated if given the opportunity to grow.