Author Archives: Kyle Stewart

About Kyle Stewart

He enjoys reading, acting and also enjoys working on various websites that include the internationally-recognized Magnae Famaeand his personal blog, KyleStewart.ME. Kyle Stewart is the President and Founder of Tripletech Ideas. You can follow Kyle on twitter @kas98.

Black smoke rises from Sistine Chapel on first vote for new Pope

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130312185109-black-smoke-first-ballot-t1-mainBlack Smoke has unsurprisingly risen from the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, signaling that no Pope has been chosen.

In order for a Pope to be chosen, they must receive a supermajority or 2/3 of the votes, unless there is a very strong front-runner, the first vote is typically Black. The world is waiting for White Smoke, which will signal that a Pope has been chosen.

Today only one vote was held, tomorrow two votes will be held. The conclaves can last days to weeks, and because there is no front-runner we may have a long wait to find out who will be the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

Here are the guesses of who is in the lead for this conclave, by analysts.

  1. Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola
  2. Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer
  3. Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet

Thousands gathered

Thousands of people gathered in St, Peter’s Square to see the results first hand. The Black Smoke came out of the chimney on the Sistine Chapel at 8PM local time (3PM Eastern). The 115 cardinals inside of the Sistine Chapel are disconnected from the world when they are inside of the chapel, so as to not sway any of the results.

Magnae Famae will continue to cover the conclave as it progresses, with two votes tomorrow.

WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BE POPE?

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J.K. Rowling on a Marauders prequel

jk-rowling_78103-1280x800J.K. Rowling was at the Bath Literature Festival, where she spoke about the possibility of a prequel on the Marauders. She said that it won’t happen.

The Marauders (Sirius, James, Remus, Peter) have been a long-rumored possibility for a prequel, within the Harry Potter fandom. SHe said she wouldn’t write a prequel, because she doesn’t find them (prequels) any good. She also said that she currently doesn’t have any plans to return to the Harry Potter series.

Elsewhere during the evening she said…
- Grindelwald never loved Dumbledore and used him.
- Her own first kiss came when she was 12 years old.
- Her next book will be aimed at 8-year-olds, but she’s still busy writing it.
- Her proudest moment was when she outed Dumbledore (as gay), and following the revelation in New York City a fan came up to her straight afterwords and revealed that he or she too is homosexual.

-Hypable

Are you disappointed that JKR won’t be writing about Harry’s parents? Leave a comment below.

This is the new Facebook news feed

fbclutterIt’s spring cleaning time for Facebook.

Facebook has announced a new redesigned news feed, in response to the criticism of the news feed being “cluttered”.

The design is very much “mobile-inspired”, because the new layout is easily used across all platforms, from your PC, to Tablets, to Phones. The new design is simple, and designed to work with it all.

fbnewsfeed

A “personalized newspaper”

“We want updates from our friends, but we also want updates from publications”

Facebook has dubbed the new design as a personal newspaper. But as you can in the quote above, Facebook doesn’t want this to only be about our friends (they need to make money somehow).

Comparisons are already being drawn with Google+, because of that social network’s newly found focus on photos and video, because of the very strong photography community found on Google+, that Facebook wants. That’s why they bought Instagram!

If you’re interested, you can get in line on the waiting list for the new news feed here.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW FACEBOOK REDESIGN?

All of the Catching Fire portraits released to date

Magnae Famae has compiled all of The Hunger Games Portraits released to date. This article will be updated with all of the portraits as time goes on, instead of posting a hundred articles.

The newest photos will be added to the top of this article, so you don’t need to scroll down to check for new portraits.

PRESIDENT SNOW
catching-fire-portrait-president-snow-b

FINNICK

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GALE

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A review of the new SimCity… #TheGreatSimCityFailOf2013

S54_MountainHigh_6aOPINIONS AND REVIEW: SimCity was released to the North American public on March 5, 2013. It was one of the most anticipated video games for 2013.

Firstly, I’m not exactly a big video game fan. The only video games I’ve every enjoyed for longer than a month are Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 and, well… that’s it. But, I thought that I might enjoy SimCity… I really like the idea of creating a city online, so that’s what attracted me to SimCity.

DOWNLOADING SIMCITY

Downloading SimCity was an absolutely horrible experience.

After buying SimCity, you need to download it and install it, which is to be expected . But because SimCity is distributed by Electronic Arts, you encounter a lot of problems… EA assumes that you are guilty until proven innocent, and because of this they make you run through a lot of hoops just to play their games. One of these hoops is a program called Origin.

Origin is a service run by EA (Electronic Arts), where you can buy games. But, in order to play them you must be connected to the internet (so anyone with Dial-up or slow internet cannot play this game). Those of you tech-savvy people may have already noticed a problem with this. Because they make it so that you must always be connected to the internet, they need to have enough servers for the hundreds of thousands of people who are all downloading the game (maybe even millions of people… the figures are still unknown). There are not enough servers for all of these people, so the experience in general is horribly slow, even if you have Google’s Gigabit Fiber internet, the download speeds for this game is horrible!

Trying my best to download SimCity. (Kyle Stewart/Magnae Famae)

Trying my best to download SimCity. (Kyle Stewart/Magnae Famae)

I also had a problem with the servers, for some reason the game would be stuck at a certain percentage, and I would need to restart the download in order for it to continue, and then stop. It stopped at 10%, I restarted. 13%, I needed to restart. 20%, than I needed to restart. 24%, than I needed to restart. Et cetera, et cetera. Magnae Famae contacted SimCity and we were told: “We are currently looking into this, we are working as fast as we can.” At this point, I’m not even sure if I will be able to do a review.

#firstworldproblems

Looking at the SimCity twitter feed, you can see an endless list of problems with downloading the game, and servers that are down. Electronic Arts needs to change this horrible way of releasing games, that treats the consumer like criminals.

I did eventually get SimCity loaded… let’s start playing! Or at least try…

TUTORIAL CITY

I was able to play the beta, so I know what to expect in this SimCity. I am still forced to do the tutorial.

They give you a pre-made city (more like a town, actually) called Summer Shoals. What happens in this city?

Nothing.

There are supposed to be some pop ups, suggesting ideas, and showing you things to do (I know this, because I played the beta). All that you can do is look around. Yay… $60 well-spent. I contacted SimCity regarding this issue, with no response… I gave EA my money, now they can go take someone else’s.

I loaded the city a few times, going on different servers until, for some reason or another, it just skipped over the tutorial.

PLAYING SIMCITY

Also not working.

It is safe to say that so far my experience with SimCity was not fun, but was frustrating, and felt like #AWasteOf60Bucks… I thought that maybe after finally getting through all of the hoops, and actually playing the game, maybe it would be better. Maybe I would be able to get over this initial reaction and forgive Electronic Arts.

Nope, nope, not at all.

S54_TrafficJam_4aI started by trying to create my own region (a set of cities in a close area), for just myself to play with. Of course, I get the error “Unable to claim this city.” So I tried other cities in the regions, than other regions, than other servers. None of these attempts worked. EA just didn’t want me to play my game.

 I than tried to join a public region. This also didn’t work for a while, but eventually it did. I joined, and was enjoying it for a while.

After leaving the game for a break, I came back and decided to try to create my own region again. It worked! Yes! I was ready to forgive EA for this horrible experience. But, it only got worse.

I was really enjoying creating my cities. I started by focusing in on one city in sandbox mode, than I moved to focus in on another city in the same region. This was when it started going downhill… again.

Crashing.

S54_Downtown_7aAfter about 5 minutes of playing in that 2nd city, the game crashed (not my computer, the game. This means that it is a server error). I tried it again, and it crashed. Again, and it crashed. Once more, and it crashed. Every time I completely lost my city.

One of the very few benefits of running the game on a server (like SimCity does), is that you get off-site back-ups. Theoretically, the game is backed up on the server, so it doesn’t take up any space on my computer (except for the program’s space), and also the server is likely more reliable than my computer. Key word: Likely.

The servers are horrible.

So every time the game crashed, I lost my game. It completely forgot that I ever played it.

Sadly, this is a common issue. There are endless forum pages talking about this issue on the official SimCity forums (and this forum just launched yesterday). I have been watching this forum page, which currently has over 14 pages of discussion over this issue (EA has yet to respond to this forum with a fix).

I contacted SimCity and Electronic Arts for comment, and they have not.

CONCLUSION… THUS FAR

duskcityHeading into this, I was expecting a few issues. But this is absolutely insane. I am so disappointed in EA and Maxis for releasing this game. I can only imagine how horribly overloaded the servers will continue to be as the release of SimCity continues in other countries around the world (In particular Europe, which is having its release on March 8).

I decided to publish this review early, in order to try to save anyone from buying this horrible product, that is essentially robbing $60 from each person (and if you buy the Deluxe version it is even worse, at $80).

They did two beta tests, and said openly that they had fixed the issues reported in the beta (which is obviously not true, as I notice many of the primary issues with the beta still in the final release).

I am going to give SimCity a 2/5 stars. Why 2 instead of 1, because when I did play the game (for that short 30 minutes of actual gameplay), I really did enjoy it. This game has great potential, and I hope to be able to release an update later giving a better review, however I am skeptical at this point.

WHY DID SIMCITY HAVE SUCH GREAT REVIEWS IN ADVANCED?

extra_01I believe that the primary errors are with the servers and Origin. The game itself, looks great. But because EA believes that you are guilty until proven innocent, they force us to use these servers to prevent any possible chance of piracy (however, it has been endlessly proven that these tactics don’t work, but actually make it worse).

When the people who had advanced copies of the game to review were playing the game, no one else (or very few others) were playing. They had no server issues. I just don’t see how EA will ever be able to avoid server issues with such a big game. I don’t think that we will have the technology for many years to be able to support hundreds of thousands of people playing a game (which is a lot of work for computers to run). And because of this, I believe that EA has eliminated any chances of possible success. And eventually, the servers will cost too much for EA to run, and they will be closed, and we will have all lost our money to EA.

For the time being, do not buy this game. I will update this post with further information as time goes on.

You can see all of the Twitter responses from the SimCity twitter feed here. You can also see their typical response to go to the forums, and never get a response from an EA rep.

DID YOU BUY SIMCITY? WHAT DID YOU THINK?

Images and Video via: SimCity

Obama signs order for massive government-wide spending cuts

Barack Obama speaking at the White House on March 1, 2013. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Barack Obama speaking at the White House on March 1, 2013. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

United States President Barack Obama has signed an order, for $85 billion in government-wide spending cuts. This would be an attempt to start cutting back on the US’s massive $16.6 trillion debt.

“We will get through this, [...] this is not going to be an apocalypse as some people have said. It’s just dumb and it’s going to hurt.”

-President Barack Obama

Already, much criticism is coming in, primarily from Republicans.

Obama has called the cuts “arbitrary” and “stupid”, showing his position on the cuts. Obama has said that he expects 750,000 jobs to be lost at a time when unemployment rates are still quite high.

In order to reduce the deficit, Obama’s plan calls for $580 billion in new revenue, over 10 years. He also brings forth the notion of cutting Medicare by $400 billion, and Social Security by $900 billion, both over 10 years. With all proposed cuts combined, the USA’s deficit may be cut be over $4 trillion, if all goes Obama’s way.

What do you think of the spending cuts and the deficit-reduction plans?

Complete list of 2013 Oscar Winners

Host Seth MacFarlane onstage at the Oscars.

Host Seth MacFarlane onstage at the Oscars.

Here is a list of the winners from Hollywoods’s biggest night, the Academy Awards (Oscars).

As predicted by many, Argo won the award for Best Picture, and Anne Hathaway won the award for Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables.

  • Best Picture: ‘Argo’
  • Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (‘Lincoln’)
  • Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (‘Silver Linings Playbook’)
  • Best Director: Ang Lee (‘Life of Pi’)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (‘Django Unchained’)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (‘Les Misérables’)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: ‘Argo,’ Chris Terrio
  • Best Cinematography: ‘Life of Pi’ (Claudio Miranda)
  • Best Visual Effects: ‘Life of Pi’
  • Best Production Design: ‘Lincoln’
  • Best Costume Design: ‘Anna Karenina’ (Jacqueline Durran)
  • Best Animated Feature Film: ‘Brave’
  • Best Sound Mixing: ‘Les Misérables’
  • Best Original Screenplay: ‘Django Unchained,’ Quentin Tarantino
  • Best Sound Editing: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ & ‘Skyfall’ (tie)
  • Best Original Score: “Pi’s Lullaby” Mychael Danna (‘Life of Pi’)
  • Best Original Song: “Skyfall” Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth (‘Skyfall’)
  • Best Short Film (Animated): ‘Paperman’
  • Best Short Film (Live Action): ‘Curfew’
  • Best Film Editing: ‘Argo’
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling: ‘Les Misérables’
  • Best Documentary (Short Subject): ‘Inocente’
  • Best Documentary Feature: ‘Searching for Sugar Man’
  • Best Foreign Language Film: ‘Amour’ (Austria)

What did you think of the Oscars?

Stunning Catching Fire posters released

Lionsgate has released two fantastic posters for Catching Fire, with the campaign ‘Victory Tour’. The futuristic photos are of Katniss and Peeta, celebrating their vicotry in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.

“PANEM ALERT: President Coriolanus Snow is pleased to announce this year’s Victory Tour, featuring Katniss Everdeen & Peeta Mellark – Victors of the 74th Hunger Games! The Capitol PN demands that all districts prepare accordingly. Inquire with your local district officials for further instructions.”

-The Capitol Facebook Page

catching-fire-victory-tour-poster-2

catching-fire-victory-tour-poster

Catching Fire is coming out in theatres on November 22, 2013.