Category Archives: Off Beat

Off Beat: Target a Victim of a Security Breach

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Minnesota based Target Stores has been a victim of a security breach, according to Krebs on Security the breach appears to have happened between just after Thanksgiving possibly up to December 15th. The breach compromises info that is on the magnetic strip on the back of the card itself. It appears nearly all locations have been affected at this point.

For the article to go http://krebsonsecurity.com/2013/12/sources-target-investigating-data-breach/

There is no preventive info offered on the site but if you have shopped there recently and within the date range I would recommend calling your credit card company to keep yourself safe from any fraudulent charges. If you use a bank issued card, I would notify your bank of the issue so that you can try to protect yourself.

While this is an in person event and technically has nothing to do with technology, there is a reason I post this. I posted this because I want my readers to know about this potential issue because they get blindsided unexpectedly.

 

Off Beat: From Tragedy to Triumph, the city of Boston is on a roller-coaster ride

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On April 15th, one of the worse days in Boston’s history happened, at the end of the Boston Marathon there were two explosions towards the finish line. There were several injuries and a total of three fatalities (a fourth was committed when the police tried to catch these scumbags). It was unlike anything ever witnessed in Boston, a city that is so beautiful, on such a nice day, turned to absolute horror for about a week. It wasn’t until Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured did the city of Boston really start the healing process.

It was a Friday night, I remember it fondly because I was at the Providence Bruins game the night it happened and at the end of the second period they announced over the PA system that Dzhokhar was caught by Boston Police with the help of the other agencies. I remember it well because the chant of “USA USA USA” started and it was a moment in my life that I will never forget. 

What people may not realize is that going to the Providence Bruins game that night was a risk because Dzhokhar was still on the run and a manhunt was going on all day in MA., so it is possible that the guy could have made his way South towards Providence, Rhode Island and no one had spotted him. Sure logically it is a far cry but when you consider what the monster had done four days before, at that time it seemed like something like that would also be a far cry.

Anyway after that night the comeback for the city had begun, the Red Sox and Bruins had home games that following afternoon at 1PM, and they both had their different tributes to the victims, and heroes who came into action, from the police to fire departments and every agency in between who got involved in the process including the FBI.

The days went by and slowly but surely the city of Boston was recovering from the attacks, life as Boston knew it, was also starting to come back to full force. The Bruins were playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Red Sox were off to a surprising start given the fact that the Red Sox had a 69-93 record in 2012.

It was just in June that the Bruins and Blackhawks made the Stanley Cup finals and had a great series, despite disappointment there was a lot of positives to come from the Stanley Cup run, it was just an amazing situation as a Boston sports fans got a chance to take a break from reality.

And after the Bruins season ended, the Boston sports fans had turned to the Red Sox, a team that always seemed to find a way to win, even coming from behind a lot. And even when the playoffs started I don’t think many fans expected to see them win a World Series. I think personally I felt like that they’d get past Tampa Bay, but Detroit I had my doubts and then I felt a little better against St. Louis because the Tigers offense is so much better and the Tigers had a great pitching staff to boot.

This championship is more important this time than it was in the past, not to take away from the past titles, they all are meaningful. But my favorite is this just because of the circumstances that led to it with the tragedy that started the year.

This isn’t to say that Boston has fully recovered, but a title is a big step forward for a city that tries to recover from a gut wrenching day caused by two men who were deeply disturbed. There is no telling what will happen to Dzhorhar Tsarnaev, but his day will come and his punishment will be severe one way or another and that will finally be closure for this city of Boston. This championship was just a bridge over to what will hopefully be justice in the end.

I am enjoying this championship, not as a huge baseball fan but as someone who has been to Boston and loved the city. The city of Boston is great and they truly deserve this, and I hope we get to see more titles soon.

Off Beat: Support the cause

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, I have added a new banner to the site for the month of October. Please do your part to help rise awareness for this and hopefully help find a a easier or better cure for this disease.

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Off Beat: A little custom NHL 14 soundtrack I made

Despite being an electronics site that doesn’t focus on music typically, I decided to post a Spotify playlist that I made for when I play NHL 14. I figured hopefully someone will find it as enjoyable as I do. It is heavy on rock music but also has a couple rap songs in it from Eminem and Kid Rock added a little bit to the playlist, with their songs “Til I collapse” and “American Bad Ass” respectively. Both songs are aggressive and really fit what I was aiming for.

Off Beat: UBISOFT® CONNECTS WITH SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT AND NEW REGENCY FOR WATCH DOGS™ FILM

COLOGNE, GERMANY – August 20, 2013 – Today at the Sony Computer Entertainment press conference at Gamescom, Ubisoft® announced that its film and television division, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, is collaborating with Sony Pictures Entertainment and New Regency on development of a feature film based on Watch Dogs™, Ubisoft’s highly anticipated open-world action-adventure video game. Ubisoft and Sony also showed a first look at the exclusive Watch Dogs gameplay that will be available for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system this holiday.

“Since both Sony and Ubisoft have movie and video game branches, this deal creates exceptional opportunities for us to merge the realms of the story-based cinematic experience with the interaction of the video game,” said Jean-Julien Baronnet, chief executive officer, Ubisoft Motion Pictures. “In addition, Sony Pictures and New Regency have deep production expertise and are letting us maintain a strong creative voice in the film’s development. Together, we’re confident we can deliver a movie that builds upon the excitement that the game is already generating.”

Commenting on the announcement, Hannah Minghella, president of production for Columbia Pictures, said, “The themes and open gameplay of ‘Watch Dogs’ lends itself perfectly to the big screen. The game has intense action and adventure, but the story focuses on information and the control of information, which we think will lead to an exciting thriller.  It has tremendous potential as a motion picture and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Ubisoft’s internal creative team on the development of the project.”

Watch Dogs centers on Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker bent on revenge and inflicting his own brand of justice after a violent family tragedy.  Using all of his skills, Pearce hacks into Chicago’s Central Operating System (ctOS), which controls the city’s infrastructure, including security cameras, traffic lights, and public transportation, as well as databases containing key information on the city’s residents.  In the game, Pearce turns the entire city of Chicago into his ultimate weapon. The game received many awards at E3 2012, including Best of Show from GamingExcellence and three awards (Biggest Surprise, Best New Franchise and Best PC Game) from IGN.  The game also won GameSpot’s People’s Choice Most Exciting Game of E3 2013.

The project will be overseen at Ubisoft by Ubisoft Motion Pictures. At Columbia, Minghella and Sam Dickerman will oversee development while Alexandra Milchan and Andrew Calof will work on the forthcoming film for New Regency.

About Ubisoft Motion Pictures:
Ubisoft Motion Pictures was created in January 2011 to expand the audience of Ubisoft’s successful video game brands by bringing them to film, television and Web series. In addition to the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon film, the studio is also partnering with New Regency on the upcoming films based on the Assassin’s Creed and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell franchises, and is in production on the Rabbids TV series, a collection of 78 seven-minute CGI episodes based on the insane stars of the video game franchise of the same name, in partnership with France Televisions and Nickelodeon.

About Ubisoft:
Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide and has grown considerably through a strong and diversified line-up of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has offices in 29 countries and has sales in more than 55 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers. For the 2012-13 fiscal year Ubisoft generated sales of €1,256 million. To learn more, please visit: http://www.ubisoftgroup.com.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.

About New Regency
Founded in 1991 by renowned producer Arnon Milchan, New Regency Productions is actively engaged in entertaining the world via the production and distribution of motion pictures, television and sports through strategic alliances with media companies. Distributing its films through Twentieth Century Fox, Regency has produced many high-profile films over the years, including: Fight Club, Heat, JFK, Alvin and the Chipmunks, LA Confidential, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Under Siege, Free Willy, A Time To Kill, Devil’s Advocate, Tin Cup, City of Angels, The Negotiator, Entrapment, Don’t Say a Word, Unfaithful, Man on Fire, Jumper, Love & Other Drugs and The Internship. Upcoming films include, 12 Years A Slave and Runner, Runner with Fox and Noah with Paramount.  The distribution partnership with Fox extends to all media worldwide except international pay and free television. Regency self-distributes international television rights to multiple licensees. For more information, log onto http://www.newregency.com/

Reaction:

I am all for a Watch_Dogs film, however I hope the film is taken from aspects of the game and not the other way around. The whole history of games following in the footsteps of movies has bombed numerous times in the past, but I would welcome a flip of the script.

Off Beat: One Lovely Blog Award

We recently had the honor of receiving this “One Lovely Blog” award from Gary Smith from The Vortex Effect  where he and his team blog about video games, movies, and books. I recommend the read, he and I are good friends off of these blogs, as we stay in good contact outside of this blog and his own blog. We both respect one anothers work and offer one another support when needed.

There’s a couple of steps to accepting this award. The first step is to include this One Lovely Blog award image in the post, so here it is.

 

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Next is to thank the person who nominated you, which I did above (thanks again Gary).

Now I just have to have write seven things about me and nominate/inform seven other bloggers which is difficult since there are so many great ones out there deserving of the award.

Anyway, on to the seven things about me.

1. I live in Rhode Island, that’s right I live in a state smaller than a foot locker

2. My favorite sports are hockey and football, most other sports bore me because of their pace. Though I do enjoy some baseball once in awhile.

3. My favorite music is a mixed bag, I listen to artists of all types from Linkin Park to Eminem to Three Doors Down. So as you can tell there is no real imbalance there. If I like a song I’ll add it to a playlist on Spotify, so all of my playlists are a cluster of mismatched music. Haha.

4. My favorite type of TV shows are car customization shows like Overhaulin’, West Coast Customs, and American Chopper (when it was on). I also enjoy gun customization shows such as Sons of Guns. Other shows from various categories are Bar Rescue, How It’s Made, Property Brothers, and American Greed. I am not terribly picky on what I watch anymore as long as it isn’t a singing contest, those annoy me.

5. Other topics I like that isn’t covered on the blog are Business, Music, and Photography.

6. My favorite sports teams are the Boston Bruins, New England Patriots, and Boston Red Sox.

7. I know how to play Guitar and Drums.

And now to pass on the award to seven other deserving bloggers.

Beer and Joysticks: I love reading this blog, it is such an interesting concept with beer and video games. I think they do an excellent job covering their respective topics.

Play Legit: Another great video game blog, they do an excellent job with their coverage.

What’s Your Tag: A video game blog that also covers comics, not a bad combination at all. Definitely a great read.

Wolf’s Gaming Blog: A video game website that is filled with great resources on how to get going with blogging about video games. Without this website and some of it’s info I would not be here today doing as well as I am.

The Gaming Grad: Another gaming blog about video games, and the author is interesting in breaking into the gaming industry. So it could be cool to see him make the big steps to getting towards that goal.

The Puck Stops Here: A hockey blog from a buddy of mine, it hasn’t been updated in awhile, but when it does get updated the articles are usually great. It isn’t a news blog more so than a opinions blog. In essense it is a bit like what I try to do here but only about hockey whereas I go all over and offer opinions and news.

Ice Nation UK: A great hockey blog from across the pond. The main focus for this blog is the NHL.

Now all that is left is to go out and inform the seven talented bloggers above of their nomination. Thank you once again to Gary Smith for the award, friendship, and help getting me going into positive territory.

Offbeat: Jay-Z Parody

So I tried making a Jay-Z parody, and I realize in order to do this I would need to curse, and since that isn’t an option, I tried to write a song he’d do if he was forced to keep it clean. So with that in mind check it out and tell me how I did.

“If you havin’ agent problems I feel bad for you son
I got 99 clients but you aint one
Hit me…..
If you havin’ agent problems I feel bad for you son
But I got 99 Clients but you aint one
If you havin agent problems I feel bad for you son
But I’ve got 99 clients and you aint one

You say you got an respected agent
But he aint no respected agent
He just lets old players die on the market
He too busy with his young players on the docket
He only got 2 people and you find him legit
But he don’t even really know the half of it
He rep TO and Moss and dey got no team
Being a free agent is harder than it seem
A player like me would land you a team
No promises that the location will be a dream
But wit a pen to paper the results will be seen
But getting dat signing bonus is sure you make you beem

If you havin’ agent problems I feel bad for you son
I got 99 clients but you aint one
Hit me…..
If you havin’ agent problems I feel bad for you son
But I got 99 Clients but you aint one
If you havin agent problems I feel bad for you son
But I’ve got 99 clients and you aint one”

Off Beat: Rogers SportsNet out of Canada offers a behind the scenes look at game 7 of the Toronto-Boston series.

This is a pretty cool video. Being a blogger that runs his own site for two months now, we have not have the opportunity to do anything like this and I am just seeing the work involved now. 

Also keep in mind that game 6 was the night before so the most sleep this guy could have gotten is probably about 4-6 hours depending on various factors.

Off Beat: Where has the decency gone in the media?

Today the Ottawa Sun released their paper for the city of Ottawa, and on it was the following:

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Granted it isn’t as graphic as some other newspapers in the past, say on September 12, 2001 in most US cities following the attacks in New York City, however the pictures in those papers were meaningful and needed to be shown to help tell the story. Besides as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

However what the Ottawa Sun did this morning was downright wrong. There is no decency in this at all, not just the picture but the headline was downright wrong. How in the world did the editors of this paper let this slide? I know one thing, I surely would not have.

But then again I only run a blog and I am not responsible for timely news, and what news should make the front cover. But even still I think there is a certain ethic that should be followed and it is followed here. Because I can pretty much post anything I want to without worry, I can venture on any topic but my topics are typically clean and so is the language. I choose this type of blog for this site, there is no need for swearing, being rude, or being negative, if we wanted that we could go to pretty much any other site and get that.

Don’t get me wrong, there will be criticism on our site, but not to a point where it sounds negative, it is or will be intended to be constructive on how to better something. Let me give this quick example, I used to be a moderator on the EA Sports Forums in the NHL section and there was plenty of people who would complain about something in the game, but typically never offered any feedback on how it can or should be fixed, and to me, what is the point of having negative feedback, and not offer a way on how you would like it to be fixed? It really just defeats the purpose because it comes off as negative as opposed to offering feedback. And don’t get me wrong the EA version of the NHL series is not perfect, but it is much better than it once was.

Back to the topic at hand here, I feel as if the media gets away with a lot. I have observed their coverage in a lot of different ways. From news media, to sports media, and everything in between. Media coverage is just absolute garbage these days, if it isn’t spreading false information, it’s shoving a political agenda down our throats. Let’s be honest for a minute here, when was the last time you tuned into a major news network and found all news without any type of discussion attached to it? Just hard facts, none of that we’ll give you our version of the story and talk about it in some fashion, and it is usually a discussion that ties in politics to the story without it being necessary.

And it isn’t just mainstream news, sports channels, namely ESPN push their agenda onto the viewer too, ESPN has sadly turned itself into the sports form of  TMZ which has really made the network hard to watch. I typically find myself watching the top of the hour for their headlines of the sports world and then I will find something entertaining to watch since typically it’s either the NBA, Lebron James, Brett Favre, or Brett Favre trying out for an NBA team, or some insanely agenda driven top headline. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate having something to cover, but I think balance is also key especially for a revolving sports world.

I will finish by saying this, while we might not have to deal with delivering news all day, every day like the news sites and I respect that it is hard when people want all the information right away, I mean I learned that over the last 3 weeks covering the horrific Boston Marathon mess. So in doing that I can appreciate a mistake or two along the way, but I do try to offer accurate news as needed, so I don’t care if I am first with a report, or last, it needs to be accurate. And we do it without involving any other things that can add to a story such as a political angle for why it happened, and so fourth.

Outside of the news, we do mostly opinion blogs, so most of our content is enjoyable, respectable, responsible, and/or informative pieces on this site.

Even if the post is just a video with a brief description there is a lot that goes into the post. Firstly we have to make sure it is a suitable piece, and if not, is it still able to be posted? I went through this process with the Grand Theft Auto V Character trailer, I had to make a decision whether to post it or not, and if I did how would it need to be presented. Don’t get me wrong the trailer is not obscene but it had some things in it that people might object to such as profanity and in Franklin’s trailer a few clips from a strip club. So I had to present a warning label that warned people of these things. This is partly a video game site so I had to post it but also I had to make sure others weren’t exposed to something they might object to, which is where the respectful and responsible nature of the site comes into play.

The main goal for my posts and this site is to be a quick stop and an enjoyable one. I will never sell out on that goal, even if we get our own domain name, we will remain this way, it is the best way to go about it in my opinion. Let the reader decide what side of the story they fall on, not shove our own views into focus, we will offer them but they won’t be force fed to the reader like in other web sites. And that is simply just good practice.

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