10 Years of Skype

Those of you who even have an existence online, would know of Skype. That wonderful beautiful service that lets you communicate with anyone, anywhere at anytime, s’long as an internet connection is present. Now that it has come under the ownership of Microsoft and has been lovingly integrated with the former MSN Messenger, it is the instant messaging platform of choice of pretty much anyone. Skype is as much a cultural phenomenon as it is an everyday part of our lives, so much so that its presence goes beyond just our digital devices but also to our TV shows, movies and so on. Skype has put together a list of interesting Skype Cameos that can be found here. Here’s to another 10 years of Skyping, and hoping that Microsoft will only make this wonderful service bigger and better.

Dragging the Airline Industry into the 21st Century

Delta announced a tie up with Microsoft and Nokia for the Windows Phone 8 platform, and it’s quite interesting how this particular announcement will impact all parties involved. For the consumer, this is likely to make things easier and probably can and will create opportunites for experiences not unlike that which BA has recently tried to implement, where the passenger’s name is known to the flight attendant without even looking at your boarding card, or any introduction, to give the customer the feeling of an organisation that is pervasively aware of their customer. Whilst this might come off as creepy for some, I think it make also make for better more involved service… IF implemented correctly.

It’s definitely an interesting change and I would like to see how this would improve or change the passenger experience.

The Money Issue

I posted a comment on a recent post given by a fellow blogger, and got a few comments, mostly in the vein of: If we pay the ministers so much money, they should do a better job.

I completely reject such a mentality.

In the first place, it places money on some messed up pedestal. These people are paid money, whatever amount of it, presumably to do a good job. That’s the basic contract that any government has with its people, we as a nation take it on good faith that they aren’t implementing any policy for the death and destruction of the nation. To then say that just because they’re paid more money, they should provide more performance is an impossible cross to bear. Are we also saying that if the government were to slash salaries across the board that we can begin to expect less from government? I sincerely doubt that.

Whilst I agree that at a basic level, I feel a deep unease with what is objectively a very large paycheck. However, I also know that by emphacising on the monetary value of the paycheck, are we simply giving up on the other issues? Are we simply ending the conversation at, you should be doing better because you get paid more, and pushing all the blame on the government, when we should be saying, let’s do better! Let’s try and make it all work. And more importantly, if it doesn’t work, how do we make it better? These should be the questions we should be asking of the government, not simply making some trite comment about ministerial salary whenever the issue of our government comes up.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Diablo III has teased their next expansion, Reaper of Souls. It’s an important addition to the D3 universe, as frankly Diablo III was their weakest new game in a long time. The grinding is simply too much for most people and there’s only so much value you can squeeze out of that mechanism before it gets way too old for anyone who has a life outside the game. I think there’s much to look forward to here with the loot drop improvement, a whole new act, and the new character, The Crusader. All in all, I hope this will be a positive change for Diablo III and will most definitely be trying to get a copy of this game come launch day.

Quarter

So it’s my 25th birthday today. Not any time for me to be pensive because frankly who has time for pensive? The truth is that there are so many reasons why today is a good day for me. I have people around me who love me, friends who tolerate me, a roof over my head, food on my table, and am doing something that is quite enjoyable all things considered. I really am glad to be here today, at my quarter life without much of a crisis. Is there anything that I need to figure out? Yeah, but that can wait while I enjoy some cake.

 

The Newsroom Season 2

I love The Newsroom, a TV show on American politics, as viewed from the perspective of a Cable newsroom. The show was created by one of the greatest TV show writers of our generation *in my humble opinion*,  Aaron Sorkin. What really sets The Newsroom, apart from other TV shows however is the powerful ensemble cast, delivering lines so clever, often you need to watch the episode again just to catch its sheer brilliance. All this is typical and hardly surprising of HBO. But what really sets The Newsroomapart is the attention to detail placed on reflecting realities on the ground. The show whilst set in the fictional past, is affected by and reflects the real past. Being a  lover of The West Wing, in times past, there really was little doubt that I would love a a show so similar to it, and season 2 has just started. Although it is worth looking back on the first season if you want to know the back story, but Episode 1 of Season 2 works out very well as an introduction to the series and it starts out well paced and delivers a powerful punch unlike any other.

I’m now up to episode 5 of the season and there have been some twists and turns, the overarching theme on this show revolves around an alleged black-op where the US government allegedly used Sarin Gas on an innocent civilian population somewhere in the Middle East. There are also various awesome stories that are swirling around, that affect intimately the lives of each and every member of the cast. It’s fantastic to watch and just really easy to fall in love with.

The show has been deeply criticised however, for being almost too Sorkin-esque. That wonderful rapid fire quality, and heart stopping pace that Sorkin loves to keep up and whilst this show seems to have done away with Mr. Sorkin’s trademark “Walk-n-talks”, the sheer speed of conversation sometimes boggles the mind. I think it’s the kind of show you will either adore, or hate with a reckless abandon, and if you’re someone like me who truly loves the pacing and the characters and the awesome story-lines, you will love The Newsroom.

Also –  check this video of Olivia Munn answering the question I asked her via Twitter. Highlight of my week.