If you’ve listened to the show for any length of time you’ll know that the software development company BROS is directly responsible for Pop Tech Jam making its way through the Intertubes and into our preferred listening devices. Founder and lead bro Christian Serron joins Pedro to discuss the burgeoning tech sector in Uruguay and to finally reveal why he helped unleash J.D. and El Kaiser on the podcast world… again. If the Polar Vortex is keeping you indoors (or if you just enjoy playing classic video games) J.D. tells us where we can find some venerable titles for our mobile devices. In the news South Korea still has the need for speed when it comes to connection speed; Android continues to dominate in Europe; Blackberry rolls out a new version of their Blackberry 10 OS; Google buys artificial intelligence research company Deep Mind; and Facebook turns 10.
January 2014 brought several winter blasts to the Midwest, South and Northeast — and a lot more indoor time for many people. But winter’s not over yet and if you’re running out of new games to play while you’re stuck inside during the next blizzard, consider taking a stroll through your app store for some old favorites in new formats.
For example, remember Myst, the ground-breaking interactive adventure puzzle game with the lovely graphics that first appeared on the Mac in 1993 and went on to conquer just about every other platform in the years to come? There is now an official version of Myst for the iPhone and it costs a mere $5. You can also get the game’s sequel, Riven, for $4 in the App Store. And while there’s no official version of Myst for Android, developers for that platform have created similar puzzle games for the touchscreen. And fans of Myst, be sure to check out The Room, a tactile 3D puzzler from Fireproof Games for iOS, Kindle Fire and Android that costs just a few bucks. (A sequel, The Room 2, is also out for iOS now and headed to Android soon.)
Want a little something from the FPS Department? Going old school, you can find Castle Wolfenstein and Doom for iOS as well as the various Android versions and ports of the game, like AnDoom and DoomGLES. More recently, there’s also Call of Duty: Strike Team for iOS and Android.
Seeking adventure? There’s Baldur’s Gate for iPad as well as Balder’s Gate II or Final Fantasy V for Android and iOS. Ravensword: Shadowlands (which has been described as an equivalent to The Elder Scrolls) awaits on Android and iOS.
Now, if you have fond memories of a particular game but don’t see a version of it in your app store, check out the Games Finder site, which offers reviews and information on games that are sort of like other games. The Games Like Directory page can point you to an alphabetical list of games like RuneScape, Age of Empires, Harvest Moon, Diablo, World of Warcraft and more. Some games may be for mobile devices and some may be for the computer, console or a web browser, but it’s a great place to start your quest. (And for fans of Gears of War, Shadowgun for Android and iOS, has often been mentioned as a viable substitute.)
And remember, if you want to go way back, you can find many iconic arcade games available as mobile apps now, like Midway Arcade for iOS, NAMCO Arcade for iOS and Atari’s Greatest Hits for Android. If you’re browser bound, don’t forget the Console Living Room section of the Internet Archive (which also virtually houses the Classic PC Games collection), where you can really rock your Atari 2600 memories with dozens of old cartridge classics running in emulation. There’s nothing like warm memories of 8-bit glory to make you forget about Mother Nature pitching a hissy outside.
This week we present our tech term of the year for 2013. I know most news sites and blogs like to do these, oh I don’t know, right around Halloween, but in all fairness we here at the greatest geek-culture and technology podcast the galaxy has ever SEEN…. um, I’m sorry, HEARD (Trademark Pending) made the decision to wait until the year was actually over before bestowing this most prestigious honor. What if there was a late surge in some previously obscure tech term that suddenly became as ubiquitous as Miley Cyrus or the Harlem Shake? We’d be left with a carton of egg on our face now wouldn’t we.
This wasn’t an easy decision to make as there were some great contenders out there but in the end we realized there was only one tech term that dwarfed all of the others. Hey, if it’s good enough for The Oxford Dictionaries Online to choose as their word of the year, then it’s good enough for us! Although, I must point out that there is a difference between the O.D.O. and the the Oxford English Dictionary. The O.D.O. focuses on current English and includes modern meanings and uses of words. The O.E.D. is a historical dictionary and it forms a record of all the core words and meanings in English over more than 1,000 years, from Old English to the present day. I’m not just throwing words at you, that comes straight from the word nerds at Oxford.
“Selfie” is the 2013 Pop Tech Jam Tech Term of the Year!
They define the newly minted informal noun as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”
According to The New Zealand Herald the first confirmed recorded use of the word selfie is from 2002, in a photo and report of a drunken party posted to an Online forum but self-portraits have been around since well — forever.
Not surprisingly, Hollywood celebrities and pop-singers are some the most devoted selfie artists out there but one look at Instagram clearly shows that many of us in the hoi polloi can shamelessly self promote with the best of them.
In an opinion piece for The New York Times actor, poet, artist, director, screenwriter, producer, teacher, author and, apparently, selfie-expert, James Franco gets to the heart of what the selfie phenomenon is all about. Beyond the vanity, the narcissism and the self-involvement Mr. Franco states, “attention is power. And if you are someone people are interested in, then the selfie provides something very powerful, from the most privileged perspective possible.”
Now if you’ll excuse me, El Kaiser is not getting enough attention, and is not nearly powerful enough, so he must get in a few minutes of duck-face practice before the Polar Vortex freezes his lips off.