In New Zealand, our deposits are not insured. Depositors are viewed basically if not completely as unsecured creditors (call them up and ask +64 4 472 2029), whose funds will assist in bailing in banks. That’s right. They will bail themselves in with your money. It’s not enough to lend out deposits at interest with the magic of fractional reserve banking. You must also give depositors a haircut if you fail.
John Key, current New Zealand prime minister, put an end to deposit insurance. This means your money is not safe. Was it ever safe? I don’t know. Although I don’t believe taxpayers money should be used to pay depositors back, I do believe that the bank has an obligation to their depositors. These days it’s quite hard living without a bank account. Without a bank account and an IRD number of some description, you can’t do shit really. And what about when cash no longer exists? Then what are you gonna do? Your money will be paid into a bank regardless. So how do you want banks to treat us? By giving us deposit haircuts to save themselves after they over extend themselves. They create money in their ledgers via Fraction Reserve Banking. A truly amazing concept really. Truth really is stranger than fiction.
Q. So what?
A. I’d like to hear you to tell me that after your money takes a haircut.
A. I don’t have to make you believe anything. What do I have to gain from writing this blog? A few token readers? All I need to do is peel your eyes open wide enough so that you can start seeing again. “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”
You simply can’t afford to not pay attention to world events. They affect you regardless. Some more than others obviously. It’s time to pay attention people.
“The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church”. — Ferdinand Magellan
Saturday afternoon. Decided to write another blog. Flying Spaghetti Monster will do.
I’m an atheist and I follow other prominent Atheists on the internet. I decided to present the FSM very lightly. Whatever you believe, I’m sure this will inspire some interesting thoughts.
Heard of Pastafarianism? Perhaps not. Regardless, it is a religion. Thank god for freedom of religion huh. Now, for those who find this difficult to believe, please read a BBC article about Niko, an Austrian atheist, who was granted the right to wear a colander on his head for his drivers license photo http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14135523. In Facebook, Pastafarian is a choice available when choosing your religious affiliation.
I could spend hours watching these debates. I lie in my bed at night and view these without distraction. In my opinion, it seems the irrational have an advantage due to their unwillingness to accept facts. It personally amazes me how in the year 2013, there are people in modern societies that believe the earth is only a few thousand years old. Let me leave you with this quote;
Do not pass by my epitaph, traveler. But having stopped, listen and learn, then go your way. There is no boat in Hades, no ferryman Charon, No caretaker Aiakos, no dog Cerberus. All we who are dead below Have become bones and ashes, but nothing else. I have spoken to you honestly, go on, traveler, Lest even while dead I seem talkative to you.
Hi. Welcome to my latest blog. I was doing my usual troll of news sites but nothing came up of interest. After a few failed attempts, I decided I’d blog about one of my favourite hobbies. MMO’s.
What is an MMO?
In case you’re not familiar with what MMO or MMOG is, then you’re about to learn. Now, just in case any gaming guru is reading my blog, I’ll begin my stating the following. MMO’s have been around for many years, and I’m aware the concept wasn’t pioneered by Blizzard with their ultra popular MMO “World of Warcraft”.
The key component that separates an online multi-player game from an MMO is the volume of real players that you can interact with in the game. Just because you can play a game online in multi-player mode doesn’t qualify it to be an MMO. It’s pointless to put an exact number on it, but massive does conjure up a certain expectation.
The game may be played in a single universe, world or map for players to explore while others have multiple copies of the exact same universe, world or map. There may be hundreds of servers. Large games usually have server farms in the US, Europe and Asia. On occasion there are servers in Oceania, although that is not as common. Players usually select a server that gives them the lowest latency, which is commonly known as ‘lag’. Each has its own pros and cons. Personally, I like the idea of every player existing in the same universe.
The main sub-genres of MMO are RPG, RTS, and FPS. Lets have a brief look at all three.
MMORPG – the original MMO
Role playing games existed before computers, and were played on tables or floors. There have been many, and I have no desire to list them. Basically, in an RPG, you assume a role of a character and build their inventories, character skill sets, attributes and powers over time as you complete quests and gain points by slaying your enemies etc. In the early days, you slayed or interacted with NPCs (non player characters), as it wasn’t online and no real players were involved. A classic example of an RPG would be the Elder Scroll series, including it’s latest realease, Skyrim. In Skyrim, you choose your race, character name, and alter the appearance of your character from facial hair colour, to bodyshape among other things. Personalization of character is key within these games. From there you focus on particular weapons or magic and develop the respective skills in order to master your art. There is usually a main quest-line to complete, although numerous side quests are often available. Goods are bought and sold, as you strive to acquire the toughest armor and most devastating weapons. They have come along way in years past. Skyrim is an amazing game. In lacked one thing though. Real players to interact with. The creators of Skyrim are creating Elder Scrolls Online, however. Watch that space.
I’m not personally sure about what constitutes an MMORTS, as I’m not aware of any online real-time strategy game that has massive amounts of players in its world. Most are probably claiming MMORTS status. The good news is, Kickstarter, has come to the rescue of this sub-genre with an awesome new game that takes on traditional RTS features and combines them into a massively multi-player world. Planetary Annihilation. The closest thing I can find to a real MMORTS. I personally supported this game on Kickstarter, and am expecting big things. Any true RTS fan will be drooling over this. Inter-plantary base building, no unit caps, up to 40 players. This should truly be epic. If you like RTS, go to the link and buy it right now https://store.uberent.com/Store/PreOrder?titleId=4&sessionId=h55757c84r
True massively multi-player first-person shooters may also be fiction, as current leaders like Battlefield 3 have a server size of 64 and below, although apparently there is potential to increase that.
I played WarZ, which promotes itself as an MMO, a post-apocalyptic zombie survival MMO. Truthfully, it suffered from making false promises and is currently beleaguered by hacking, as a lot of games are today. It was a truly fun game and it has great potential. For example, you dropped all your gear when your character died, and conversely, when you put someone down, you could pick up their gear. This made dying so painful, and killing so rewarding. WarZ was designed for PvE (player vs environment). Basically the constant battle for survival against zombies, hunger, thirst and other potential hazards were supposed to be your main enemy. However, PvP (player vs player) was immediately the most popular style of game-play, as players quickly started killing each other on site, as they learned that trust was a liability they could not afford. Groups were quickly formed for mutual protection, as associations of friends in the real world logged in and coordinated activities together. Then the disease of hacking quickly set in, granting extra powers to gamers willing to pay for hacks. Hacking could result in you being permanently banned, but in the beginning this was not a big concern as it was difficult to catch the hacker. It quickly impaired the game for non-hackers, as they didn’t stand a chance, and were disposed of swiftly and easily. Overall, it was a very challenging and addictive game. I hope it survives and eradicates their hacking problem.
What I’m really excited about is a MMOFPS shooter by the name of Planetside 2. It was released late last year. This is FPS on an epic scale. PIcture massive maps, thousands of units, and battles that can potentially last for weeks. WTF! How come I didn’t know about this game earlier.
The Social Aspect
Contrary to popular belief, MMO’s are quite social. They are designed for interacting with other people, which, evidently, we humans desire. It’s certainly more social than reading a book, or watching TV. Just like non-virtual life, people make friends and fall in love with people they have meet in these games. Take this article for example http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/gateway_relationships.html. There are probably many more examples, but I’m running out of time. I have to go meet someone in real life.
I really enjoyed writing this blog, and I hoped you enjoyed reading it too. As always, leave comments, and share if you like it.
To me it meant Facebook or Twitter. Now I find it difficult to define. Information Systems and Technology are still in their relative infancy, and our relationship with these entities is only restricted by our imagination. The future is forever unwritten.
Before I started this paper, I hadn’t used specialist blogging software. I had used social media and was aware of its business applications, however, its scale and its unique community building effect was unknown by me. I’ve been reading constantly about blogs and social media over the past weeks, so why not blog about it.
Fact: Every minute of the day, roughly 100,000 tweets are sent, 2 million queries are searched on Google, and 48 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube.
IMHO, Social media has put a human face on the internet. It seems we have evolved along with the internet, sharing and communicating in a way we could have never achieved without each other. In the future, I imagine the term ‘Social Media’ will have expanded in definition, so I will focus on some of the more common uses of this technology as we experience it today:
– Blogging / Microblogging
What is a Blog?
“Blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud“.
According to me, it is usually a short piece of writing that may contain pictures and videos (rich media), with an informal and personal writing style. Until recently, your main source of current information was either a newspaper (if you liked reading) or the television. While traditional media sources suffer from the age of the internet, bloggers and non-bloggers are subscribing to their favourite blogs via RSS (Real Simple Syndication). Personally, I don’t believe there is a strict way to write a blog, as that would defeat the nature of a blog. However, I do think a bloggers main goal is to be interesting and informative. BTW, here is a fun and interesting video about blogs http://www.commoncraft.com/video/blogs
Heard of Flickr? I’m sure you have. According to wikipedia, Flickr was created by Ludicorp in 2004 and acquired by Yahoo in 2005. Around the time of Flickr’s inception, to my knowledge there wasn’t a website devoted to hosting photos generated by people who wanted to share their content with a wider audience. Like YouTube, but for photos…
Flickr evolved swiftly and has meshed itself into other social media sites such as Facebook. For example you can import friends from other sites like hotmail, subscribe to other users via RSS and have their photos posted automatically into your Facebook news-feed real-time as they upload new content. If you fancy, you can geotag your pics, and have them represented on a map so people know where you took the photo along with time and date. Tagging is also used on photos, just like blogs so users can find them easily. It has evolved into a very social way of sharing your interests in image form and even making new friends. For a visual representation of photo sharing, try this link http://www.commoncraft.com/video/online-photo-sharing
In a nutshell, podcasting is simply broadcasting, but in a more intuitive and personal manner. Leveraging the power of web syndication, users subscribe to video or audio (most common but can be other file types) broadcasts that can be downloaded or viewed live. These podcasts are most commonly consumed using portable media devices, like iPods, hence the term podcast. It’s all about harnessing the power of web 2.0. This has shifted power away from traditional media providers, to smaller groups or individuals who cast media out of their living room or garage. Click on the link http://www.commoncraft.com/video/podcasting
Everyone knows about wikipedia right? This is obviously the most famous case of a wiki, but just in case you didn’t know, they are being used everywhere. From teachers designing course content, gamers assisting other gamers in how to find and do things in computer games, to organizations allowing a place where their employees can create useful content for the benefit of organisation. The main reason for this is that wikis allow users to collaborate on projects in a managed and simple process. Specific users can be assigned permissions that allow them to delete, modify or add content. This process is quite useful when dealing with a project or archive that requires more accuracy and accountability than “email tennis“. Wikis are useful, and they are everywhere.
From generations Y and backward, we’re all doing it now. Never has it been so easy to find friends and share your life with them. Most of the popular social sites can be lumped into a Social Networking category, but LinkedIn and Facebook do it so well. They’re almost in their own category. Now, I’m not sure if Facebook is the best, and how long it will remain popular as it has become so mainstream, but it has a massive user base. It has always been free, and plans to always be free, so where does the money come from? Easy. Advertising.
Data aggregation is big business and it’s very interested in learning and predicting your tastes and preferences. When you “like” something, it finds out a little more about you. It’s all about directing the right products to the right people. Whether it’s good and bad, depends on what is done with the information. Regardless, it’s here to stay. If you don’t like that then you better monitor website cookies, use creative names when you create accounts, and attempt to pay for everything in cash, but, try doing that over the internet. Here are a couple cool links http://www.commoncraft.com/video/website-cookies http://www.commoncraft.com/video/social-networking
From dating to speculating on virtual real estate, it’s all happening in virtual worlds. There are probably quite a few, but 2ndlife seems to be the brand leader here. I created an account the other day. There are virtual stores, virtual estates, virtual people, and virtual currency (can be converted to US dollars). People purchase 2nd life currency with real world currency, and use it to purchase land and virtual goods. From what I gathered, dating and meeting friends is very popular here, just like the non-virtual world we live in. EntropiaUniverse is another popular virtual world, except, is it a universe instead? Among the normal dating and societal functions, Entropia also involves combat, and huting virtual monsters on foreign planets. Again has virtual currency that can be converted back into real-world currency. Some people make a living from these games.
Let me leave you with this last thought;
What effect is Social Media having on the neurological development of our brain? Is Social Media reshaping our brain?
Any or all information presented is this blog could potentially be false, misleading, untrue, or at least disingenuous. This blog does not necessarily depict the views, opinions, thoughts, of any or all of the organizations, including their respective clients, suppliers, and stakeholders. I am not a corporate entity, attempting to sue me under commercial law would be a mistake.