Morcheeba at First Avenue

Last night I went to see one of my favorite bands of the 90’s, Morcheeba. I spent many hours listening to Big Calm and it’s one of my favorite all time albums. Last night I finally got to fulfill my long time wish to see them live and they didn’t disappoint. Skye’s voice sounded exactly like it does in their recordings; smoky, sensual and in a word sultry. Here are a few images I snapped with my cell phone.

 

Here is my all time favorite Morcheeba song, The Sea:

Xbox speeds up research results

There is an interesting article on the BBC today about some researchers using the Xbox GPU for parallel processing.

This would actually be fairly easy to do with XNA, though I would be really interested in seeing the types of HLSL they write for the algorithms. The only difficulty, as I see it, is that XNA doesn’t have a generalized API for data transfer to a server. The networking API’s allow you to communicate between other clients in multi-player games but they do not let you upload results to a server. They might let you upload top scores and a few other minimal stats but certainly not the large datasets these researchers are looking for. It would be really cool if the XNA team created a complimentary server client that would allow 3rd party indie game developers to create server software to enable this type of application as well as ones that might involve persistent worlds and things like that.

I would be very interested in something like that.

Castle Crashers

http://www.castlecrashers.com/

This weekend I found a great new game on Xbox live called Castle Crashers. It’s basically a hysterical mix of River City Ransom and Super Mario Brothers 3. You are a knight of one of 4 colors (you can unlock more) and you romp around fighting all sorts of different looking monsters. The artwork is very original and full of detail. The game is gratuitously violet, scatalogical and random.

The gameplay is mostly button masher with some RPG elements. Combined with the cheap Xbox Live arcade pricing this game is high in the fun/dollar (fpd?) ratio. I haven’t beaten it yet and I’m not sure how long it is overall but I have a feeling that I still have a ways to go. It’s amazing how much mileage you can get out of a simple idea and fun artwork.

Terminator Salvation = awesome

If you haven’t seen it yet definitely do it as soon as possible. It was a great addition to the terminator series and there wasn’t anything for me to complain about. It was non-stop action and very intense. I had high expectations and this movie didn’t let me down. My only complaint was that the previews probably told me more than I would have like to know, I wish they would have cut down on the revealing plot sections for those previews.

I think what I especially liked was the organic seeming movements of the T600’s, the CG was nearly flawless. And I also noticed a few really long single take scenes like Children of Men. It was definitely a sweet movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0438488/