iPad – It’s Just A Big iPhone

The Larger Screen Matters

Ever since watching the first Harry Potter movie, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of having newspapers with video and continually updated content. I have always hoped that someday we would have the same experience, and the iPad is the first gadget to finally succeed in bringing us this reality. After using the iPad for a few months now, I think that it is still a luxury consumption device that could definitely fit between the laptop and phone markets. It really is just a larger iPhone, and with similar resolution to the new iPhone 4 Retina Display ™, but it’s amazing how having a larger form factor makes apps and games so much more enjoyable to use. While it is currently meant for consuming content, the addition of a bluetooth keyboard and more powerful apps will allow for creating content such as drawing, composing music, documents, presentations, and writing screenplays as just a few examples.

While it can replace the Amazon Kindle for most people, I still enjoy reading on the Kindle due to it being very light to hold, and it’s excellent for reading in bright sunlight. But, if you only want to buy or carry around a single reading device, then the iPad is definitely the device to have. It is a great replacement for reading books, magazines, newspapers, and cookbooks. It works very well as a PDF reader, especially with the new support in the Apple’s official e-reader app iBooks. It can also be used for playing games, watching movies, viewing photos, browsing the internet, looking at maps, and much more.

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Delivering Happiness with Tony Hsieh

Having been given a complementary advanced reading copy of the book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, it is only fitting that I return the favor by giving an honest review of a personal, humorous, and informative narrative told by the CEO of Zappos himself, Tony Hsieh.

The book gives you an insight into the life of Tony Hsieh, whom many have only heard about through the recent acquisition of Zappos by Amazon. He discusses his adventures in entrepreneurship – from worm farms, through building a customer service enterprise – in his pursuit of delivering happiness to the world. Along the way Hsieh dabbles in the art of making and selling buttons through a mail-order catalog, running a pizza business during college, building Link Exchange and selling to Microsoft for $275 million, and finally, through the survival of Zappos during a period where they were walking within inches of financial bankruptcy.

Just the story of Tony’s life is an interesting read in and of itself. You learn of why he acquires a love for the peace-love-unity-respect (PLUR) culture after attending a rave for the first time, why he sold his million dollar loft after throwing a massive birthday bash, why he left a stable well-paying job at Oracle, and of course, the journey from an initial investment in ShoeSite.com to what we know today as Zappos.com.

Our Brand, Culture, and Pipeline are the only competitive advantages that we will have in the long run. Everything else can and will eventually be copied. – Tony Hsieh

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MIT Busting Vegas Wide Open

I finished a book a few weeks ago called Busting Vega$ which is basically a story of a small group of MIT students who took down casinos around the world by playing skilled blackjack. They visited Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and even the Monte Cristo. Well a movie is coming out in late March (the 28th to be specific) entitled “21” which is based on the true story, which the book is based on. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and recommend it to anyone who has been to Vegas, gambled, played cards, or is a Math geek! Everything about the book was entertaining, thrilling, dramatic, and most of all fun! It has it all: Science, Math, Gambling, Money, Sex, and Violence.

Gears of War

Gears of War is a very good looking game, with some of the best graphics of the current 360/PS3 generation of games (at its release). It is a 3rd-person shooter, and revolves around trying to destroy an infestation of alien life. The game-play is decent though very repetitive, allowing you to use a variety of weapons along with grenades. The main style of play is to utilize the “hug-and-cover” motion where the player gets out of the line-of-fire. Then you can either show yourself for a moment that allows precise aiming, or use the blind fire option to remain under cover while firing your weapon.

I haven’t played either of the multiplayer variations, but it supports 2 player Co-op, as well as 4v4 death matches, and I hear both are quite good and enhance the game experience not to mention increases the replayability. The game has its moments, and is an overall fun and exciting game, and despite being a little repetitive I highly recommend it.

Resources: Game Website | IGN Review


I thoroughly enjoyed this game from start to finish, and while there was a bit of repetitiveness overall the game play and story were very original. The game starts out with a bang and doesn’t let up from the beginning, and it is beautiful to say the least. You find yourself stranded in a city and soon figure out that it is under the ocean or some body of water. The game has a small twist that allows you to choose a path of good or evil, however I only chose one during my interactive adventure all the way through the end (and thus getting an achievment to boot), and I’m not so sure choosing the other side would change the game any.

The game is a little on the creepy side of things, and uses lighting as part of the story telling, so it is not for the faint of heart. However, it is very intriguing and fun to play through both the environment as well as the different types and styles of weapons that you are able to choose from. One thing that was a little boring after the first few times was “hacking” where you had to play the old-school game “pipes” where you have to piece together a functional pipe to allow water to flow from the start to the finish. This game is supposed to have a decent amount of replay value, though I’m not so certain that will be true as I attempt a second run through to try out different weapons/decisions. As a last note I would say this game is definitely a buy, not a try (rent), but could be sold after finishing.

For more info:

Game Website | IGN’s Review | and of course Zero Punctuation’s take on the game!