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  • Stream-A-Thon This Saturday (03/8/14)

    Join me this coming Saturday (03/08/2014) at 9am US Central time for the kick off my first Stream-A-Thon!

    How long is a Stream-A-Thon you ask?  Easy answer…I have NO idea.  I suspect it will be at LEAST 12 hours but will be shooting for 24…we shall see.  I am going to stream until I can stream no more!

    We will be playing Minecraft (of course) in various incarnations, maybe some PS3 and Xbox 360…we will see what we feel like!  Maybe even play some Flappy Birds or Flying Furry!

    As a bonus, I will have 3 Minecraft account cards to give away randomly throughout the stream…don’t ask when the giveaway is going to be because I am just going to do it when I feel like doing it.  If people continually ask about it, I will delay it even longer…

    So that’s that!  I will see you Saturday at 9am US Central time (GMT -6)

     

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd

    PS – As an aside, due to the Stream-A-Thon, I will not be casting on Friday night as I do normally so that I can get some good old fashioned sleep prior to the event!


  • Playstation Network vs XBox Live – What’s the Difference?

    After picking up my new Xbox earlier this week, I have had the opportunity to wade into the Xbox vs Playstation debate just a little bit more.  This was never my intention, but I guess that it comes with the territory when you own both systems.

    One of the main things that I have experienced is the differences between Xbox Live and the Playstation Network.  Although they have the same basic goals in mind, they each do things a little bit differently.  Some things they do are better than the other and some things are worse.  Some things, on the flip side of the coin, are down right annoying.  This is what we are going to discuss…the differences.

    First off, in the interest of full disclosure, I have been a Playstation guy for quite some time.  The Xbox that I just bought is the first ever Microsoft gaming console that I have ever purchased.  In contrast, I have owned 4 Playstation 3 consoles, 2 Playstation 2 consoles, a Playstation and now I own the Playstation 4.  I have only, up until this point, had experience with the Playstation Network.  That said, I only started playing games online a few years ago.  Prior to that, I only played single player and campaigns.  I enjoyed that but boy, I got tired of games quickly.  Especially when I would complete them within just a couple of days.  Hence, the move to online play.

    There, that is out of the way.

    The first thing that I really like about Xbox Live is the party chat feature.  What a nifty thrifty idea!  Being able to have a chat conversation with a friend or friends when you are not in a game, or when the game doesn’t support chat, is a big deal.  It really surprises me that Sony didn’t do something similar with the Playstation Network.  Now, this could be a feature in the PS4 but since I am not comparing the Xbox 360 to the PS4, that doesn’t matter.  I know that it isn’t a feature in the PS3.

    I also really like the Beacon feature.  Now, since I have played on PSN my entire life, I don’t know a lot of Xbox people yet so I haven’t gotten to take full advantage of it yet…but I have sent out my beacon baby!

    Aside from those two things, both networks are very similar.  Even though they are similar, they do each have their drawbacks.  Let’s start with PSN.

    First off, although I never missed the feature because I didn’t know it existed prior to now, the lack of the “Party” feature like Xbox Live kind of stinks.  I can think of several times when it would have been nice to use a party feature over using the in game chat.  There are so many trolls and people with the entire goal in life of annoying people on both networks that it gets old.  I find myself muting everyone more often than actually chatting.

    Second off, and this could be a function of the hardware in the PS3, download speeds suck.  Plain and simple.  I have a VERY fast internet connection at my house, faster than many schools and businesses actually.  So, when it takes several hours to download a game from PSN, that is just unacceptable.  As an example, I downloaded a 2 GB file on my computer today in less than 5 minutes.  Using the PS3’s built in speed test, the best speed I have ever seen was 5 Mbps.  Not fast.  I will say that the PS4 is a bit faster, but still slow.

    On to Xbox Live.

    Come on with availability Microsoft!  This is my chief complaint.  In the short time that I have had my Xbox, I have run into several instances where Xbox Live was not available.  Crazy!  Maybe it is the popularity of the service.  Maybe it is something else.  Regardless, this should not be an issue.  I understand there are going to be times when servers are down.  Technology sucks sometimes.  Still, they should be available more times than not.  LOTS more times!

    Next, the whole Xbox Live Gold thing.  Now, I understand that this has been the model for Microsoft for quite some time but really?  Shouldn’t everyone on the console reap the benefits of the subscription?  Sony, although I am not happy they have moved in this direction, has done it right in this respect.  If one person on the console has a Playstation Plus account, everyone on the console gets to use the features.  Making each user have a subscription to Xbox Live is straight out money grubbing in my mind.

    Continuing on, the ads Microsoft, the ads.  Really?  Now, this might be an Xbox thing, but it is, in my mind, a part of the network.  I paid a LOT of money for my console.  I pay a LOT of money for each game that I play.  I paid a LOT of money for my Xbox Live subscription.  Why on God’s green earth am I seeing ads on my home screen?  The desire for companies to generate advertising revenue has gotten out of control and this is a perfect example.  I should NOT have to EVER see advertisements within a device that I paid for.  Especially when I pay so much money for it.  Completely sick and wrong!

    Finally, when it comes to Xbox Live, I have become very frustrated with online game play.  The continual need to migrate hosts, stopping the game mid stream, is ridiculous.  This is not a problem on PSN.  At one time, yes, PSN also had issues with migration but they are long since gone.  I am not sure what Sony did to fix these problems but Microsoft needs to step up in this respect.

    Overall, regardless of the drawbacks, both networks work and provide a decent service.  I still prefer PSN over Xbox Live but will still play on Xbox Live.

    What are your likes and dislikes with the service that you use?

     

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd


  • I have dropped the ball…here’s why

    Excuses, excuses, excuses.  Can I come up with more excuses?

    Why yes, yes I can!

    As you have noticed, I have really dropped the ball lately when it comes to updating my blog and posting new videos on my YouTube channel.  I have still been streaming on Twitch but, seeing that Sony has not permitted the archiving of streams from the PS4 yet, that is only good for you if you happen to be on, and watch, while I am actually streaming.

    This inability to record game play on the PS4 is starting to really get me crunchy.  Yes, I know there are some work around solutions but they have some inherent flaws that I just can’t get past.  First, the cost.  I don’t cherish the idea of going out and spending a few hundred dollars on equipment that may become completely useless to me in a matter of days or weeks.  If I knew a time frame of when Sony is going to release the patch that fixes the HDMI game capture issue with the PS4, I would feel better about the decision.  Second, the gray area about legality.  Stripping HDCP is technically illegal.  That said however, I don’t think that there would be any issues thrown my way.  Really, what case would a company (Sony or game devs) have if they did pursue someone for this?  Sony built streaming and recording into the system with the intention of people sharing and streaming their game play.  They simply lacked the forward thinking to address the HDCP issue.

    So, that is excuse number one.  I really want to play on my PS4, and as a result I haven’t created any new video content since November 13th.  But wait, g33z3r, you also play Minecraft and such.  Yeah, yeah, yeah!  Excuse number two is that I have been busy with work.  I spent the entire last week darting around North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia with on of my regional sales managers having meetings with potential customers.  Because I was spending each day in the car and in meetings, that left me little time to do my actual work.  As a result, most of my actual work ended up happening in my hotel room in the evenings.  This didn’t leave me a lot of time to do much anything else.  On top of that, I also spent quite a bit of time working with my other engineers on a project they were working on.  That said, I did find several periods where I was able to take advantage of the fact that my PS4 managed to follow me all the way from Minnesota!  I played a little bit of Ghosts but the internet connection in the hotel was less than adequate because their NAT was closed and I could hardly ever get into a decent game.  I also played some Minecraft but it was on the flight back home and really wasn’t that interesting.

    Yeah, excuses…no more excuses!

    So, this I promise going forward; I will post a blog entry every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at the least.  I will post a new video every Saturday at the VERY least.  I will continue to live stream on Twitch whenever I have time (as you know, most often on Saturday/Sunday).  I will be a good g33z3r, I promise 🙂

     

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd


  • Featured ImageThe g33z3r_hd Playstation 4 Review

    As you know, I wrote a post last week documenting the reasons I wasn’t going to go and pick up the Playstation 4 right away.  I also posted a blog letting everyone know that I am weak and broke down and bought one on release day.  Now that I have had some time to play with it, I have to say that I am quite impressed.  Although there are some things that I would change, the Playstation 4 definitely performs quite well with its primary purpose; playing games.

    What do I like about the new Playstation 4?  One word; performance.  Compared to the Playstation 3, the Playstation 4 is just amazing.  That shouldn’t be a revelation however seeing that it has been over 7 years since the Playstation 3 was released.  As an example, playing Call of Duty: Ghosts on both platforms, the Playstation 4 was faster loading and, or course, much better graphics.  Where the Playstation 3 would take up to 30 seconds to load a match, the Playstation 4 takes less than 15 seconds…it is great!  Thinking about it, when playing multiplayer, you can’t really go much faster than that so that players have the time to actually load, and enter, the match.

    The controller feels like it was completely meant to be in MY hand.  I am still getting used to the placement of the share and options buttons, and would like to see them a little more accessible, but when you are used to the select and play buttons, this is expected.  The touch pad is pretty neat although I tend to accidently press it from time to time when I am trying to press either share or options.  Something that, again, I will have to get used to.

    Yes, there are a lot of differences between the PS3 and the PS4 that you “just have to get used to.”  This isn’t a problem for someone that is doing a complete upgrade to the PS4 from the PS3 but I am sure that there are many people out there just like me that are not doing a complete upgrade.  There are a lot of people that are going to keep on playing their PS3 systems simply because we can’t play some of our games on the PS4…not to mention, the features that the PS3 possesses that the PS4 does not (the ability to play MP3s or, for now, the ability to record and upload game play videos to YouTube).  Simply “getting used” to the PS4 is a much more difficult proposition to me.

    One of the biggest things that I was upset about when it came to the PS4 was the HDCP protected HDMI output.  To most people, this doesn’t really matter much.  To me, it is huge.  What does this mean?  Well, when HDCP is used, this means that you cannot use a traditional game capture card (such as the Elgato Game Capture HD, or the Hauppauge PVR HD) to record your game play.  Now, there are ways around this but, technically speaking, they aren’t legal.  Sony has addressed this issue saying that, in early 2014, they will be releasing a PS4 patch that will allow HDMI recording of game play using game capture cards.  I wonder, exactly, how they are going to work this patch to only provide capture of games and not movies.  With the PS3, we could simply skip the entire HDMI route and use the video composite cables (the red, green, and blue RCA style cables).  This allowed the recording of ALL output from the PS3 as if the game capture card was actually your television or monitor.  This meant that you could not only record your game play but that you could also record movies or TV shows from sources like Netflix.  I am sure the entertainment industry is just thrilled with that…

    The menu on the Playstation 4 is a little something that I am going to, again, get used to.  I am still having quite a time getting around and finding the exact things I am looking for.  Eventually, however, I do manage to find it.  I would like to be able to customize exactly what I do, and don’t see on the menu.  To be honest, I don’t really care about Music Unlimited or Video Unlimited.  I have never really watched movies or listened to music on my Playstation, and I am not really going to start now (although I am watching Netflix on my PS4 right now just to see the quality and performance LOL).  Typically, I only want to see the things that I use…games, settings, and other such features showing on the menus.

    PS4 ScreenshotFinally, although I already briefly touched upon sharing, I want to spend a considerable amount of time on this subject as it is what I do.  Everyone knows that I absolutely LOVE sharing what I do when it comes to gaming.  Whether it be live streaming Minecraft or posting game play from Call of Duty, I absolutely adore sharing.  Sony realized that this was the direction of gaming in general.  So, in their attempts to be forward thinking, they included the new share button on the controller.  This share button would allow you to, with ease, share screenshots and even game play video with the world.  The problem is they severely limited it.  As of now, it is only possible to upload videos to Facebook and post screenshots to Facebook or Twitter.  There is no option, that I can find, to directly download the images or videos from the Playstation 4 to your computer or upload them to another location.  Barring this option, in my view, the share button is about as useful as a glass of water to a drowning man.  I do however like the concept.

    What would make the share button better?  First, let us have have control over the media.  Let us move the content off of the console, let us post the content where ever we choose.  Don’t Google+ us into using what you want us to use.  Mostly, I am waiting for the patch to allow HDMI recording…you know, that option that people who use the Xbox One will be able to use on day 1…

    Long story short…well, not really, I really like the Playstation 4.  Sony has done a great job of creating a platform that performs very well when playing games.  All of the extra stuff, like playing movies and music, really doesn’t entertain me.  I have a smart TV and and an AppleTV to watch movies and I have a stereo system to play music.  For you, these things may, or may not, matter.

    If your console goals only include playing games, and do not include sharing content, I would suggest picking up a Playstation 4 post haste.  If you do wish to share your content, I would wait until Sony releases the patch that allows HDMI recording…if they ever really do.

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd


  • Featured ImagePlaystation 4: Why I won’t be buying one right away

    I was super excited last week at work when I logged onto my corporate credit card account and found that I could get 7 $100 Best Buy gift cards because of the points I had earned.  See, where I work, we get to keep the points we earn and use them for whatever we like.  Yup, you guessed it, the PS4 immediately popped into my head (along with a couple of other things from Best Buy).  My gift cards showed up yesterday!

    I stopped at Best Buy yesterday to pick up a couple of things.  First, I got a Call of Duty: Ghosts season pass.  Bought through the Playstation Store, this would have been $60 but, buying it at Best Buy, it was $50.  So there was that.  Second, I picked up the Call of Duty: Ghosts game guide.  This book has some awesome information in it but mostly…the maps rock!  Finally, I was able to score a sweet Call of Duty: Ghosts poster from the cashier!  It is proudly displayed on my bathroom door as we speak!  Thanks for that Best Buy guy!

    While I was there, I was also able to test drive the Playstation 4.  This was the first time that I had seen one out on demo and I jumped at the opportunity to play around.  The first thing that I noticed was that the controller wasn’t bad like I thought it was going to be.  Even through it was tethered to the display, it was relatively comfortable in my hands.  From the photos that I have seen, I was really concerned that it would feel way different than the PS3 controller and, as such, I either wouldn’t like it or would have to get used to it.  Honestly, it fit into my hands like it was supposed to be there.

    The demo game selection that they had was horrible.  Seeing that I like playing first person shooters, and so many other people do as well, I would have expected some version of an fps to be on demo.  Maybe not Ghosts or BO2, but something that would show the game play.  Nope.  There was some silly mining game and a couple of kids games.  Nothing really excited me so I just played the mining game…for about 30 seconds.  It was the epitome of stupid.

    So, I left the store convinced that I would be returning later next week to buy one of the new PS4 systems.  But this is where the story turns.

    When I was at the store, I was looking at games and game cards.  I looked at the Playstation Plus card and almost bought it but then realized that I really don’t care about the features that it would offer at the price I would have to pay.  I thought I had seen something about the PS4 requiring Playstaion Plus to play online but I thought, oh Sony wouldn’t do that to us.  After some research, sure as heck, they did that to us.  This is when I started looking closer at the PS4 out of horror.

    I headed over to the Playstation 4 website to research a bit more.  I am uber disappointed in Sony.  Just looking at the specs alone, I would call the PS4 a failure.

    ps4 specs
    Screen shot from Sony’s Playstation 4 web site for consumer educational use

     

    Above, we find the specs of the new Playstation 4.  Normally, I would expect to see a much longer list, one that I can’t screen capture in one image.  This is vague to say the least.  However, it does give me enough information so I have decided to wait to pick up the PS4.

    Let us start at the top and go from there…

    Main Processor

    This section doesn’t tell us crud.  It basically tells us, “yes, it has a processor” but doesn’t give us any specs.  I would really like to know how fast it is, how much cache it has.  Just telling me that you used an 64 bit AMD processor with 8 cores tells me that you have used a “current world” processor.

    After some digging, I was able to find that IGN had more complete information and specifications for the PS4 here.  This shows they they believe the processor to run at 1.6Ghz on a processor capable of 2.75 Ghz.  Why did they do that I wonder?  To save power?  I know they are focusing more on the GPU than the CPU (GPUs are often faster and more powerful than CPUs for those that are less geeky).  Curious.

    Memory

    With 8 GB of RAM, I am not really impressed although I am not completely disappointed.  I would have expected to see a bit more crammed in there since they are going to be expected to run some killer games with killer graphics.  A lot of the responsibility for making these games run smoothly falls onto the GPU but there is quite a bit of requirement for the RAM to put things on the plate for the GPU to process.  I would have like to seen at least 16 GB.  My laptop has 32 for Pete’s sake.

    Hard Disk Drive

    LOL.  That is all I have to say.  Really Sony?  The hard disk is built in?  Is that new technology?  How innovative of you!  I understand there might be several different storage space options but, for crying out loud, tell us what they are, or at least what you expect them to be.  Built-in.  Really?  IGN’s article also specified that the PS4 will have a 500 GB hard drive.  With the price of storage space being as low as it is, I am super surprised that Sony elected to use such a small drive.  I would have expected at least 1 TB of storage, especially seeing the size of games has been increasing.  The Call of Duty: Ghosts download ended up using 12 GB of storage on my, already full, PS3 hard drive.

    Optical Drive

    Yup, it plays BluRay and DVDs.  Next…

    I/O

    Yup, it has USB 3.0.  Next…

    Communication

    Right.  Fail.  Big time!  I wonder if Sony has heard about this new thing called wireless?  I wonder if they have heard that it has just exploded and demand continues to grow every single day.  It baffles me why manufacturers continue to do exactly this.  They put a 2.4GHz only wireless card in the PS4.  No, seriously…that happened!  Ok, so I accept that most people don’t understand what I am talking about, so I will explain.

    Currently, there are two frequency bands that are available in the US for wireless networks, the 2.4GHz band and th 5GHz band.  What you are used to hearing is the letter so I will associated them for you.  The standards of 802.11b and 802.11g operate on the 2.4GHz band while 802.11a and 802.11ac operate on the 5GHz band.  The 802.11n standard operates on both bands.

    Why is this an issue, you ask?  Well, first and foremost, the 2.4GHz band is overloaded.  There are so many devices out there that operate within this band, both Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi, that the spectrum is packed.  On top of that, we have a very limited amount of space for wireless networks on the 2.4GHz band.  There are only 3 non-overlapping channels within this frequency space and, as such, there is a ton of interference.  This is why more and more devices are moving to the 5GHz band.  Just look at the 802.11ac standard.  It is a 5GHz only standard but that is a whole separate topic and subject of rant for me.

    In addition to the limited amount of space that we have on the 2.4GHz band, we are also going to have slower over all speeds.  Not good when you are trying to play a first person shooter with friends online.  Yuck.

    I know that isn’t a complete explaination but this is a gaming blog, not a wireless blog.  If you want more information about that, please let me know and I can give you the full run down.  Oh, in case you didn’t know, I am a wireless networking engineer IRL.

    Long story, well, not much shorter, they should have busted out the extra nickle that it cost to put a dual band wireless NIC into the system so that we could take advantage of the 5GHz spectrum.

    Good thing I don’t use wireless for my PS3.  I am happy they put a gig Ethernet card in however.

    AV Output

    Alright, this is the section that really grinds my gears!  On the PS3, the HDMI output is protected.  This means that you can plug your PS3 into your TV using the HDMI cable but, if you like to record your game play as I do, it won’t worked plugged into a capture card like the Elgato Game Capture HD (this is what I use and highly recommend).  In order to record or stream from my console, I have to use the composite cables.  Most people would recognize these as the red, green, and blue cables that look just like the ones that you would plug into the back of your stereo years ago…as a matter of fact, they are the same connectors…RCA.  This does not appear to be an option with the PS4.

    If the HDMI output from the PS4 is still protected, and there is no reason that I can imagine that Sony would have changed that, then game capture is dead on the PS4 unless someone comes up with a work around solution.  This is the number one reason that I will NOT purchase the Playstation 4.  If I cannot capture my game play, then I have no desire to play games on this console.  I share what I play…plain and simple.

    So, the combination of having to pay $60 a year to play online with others and the inability to capture my game play have completely killed any thoughts I once had about picking up a Playstation 4 for the time being.  If new information comes to light, or they change things, that could change my mind…but not for now.

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd


  • Video Games and Copyright Claims: YouTube, Really? Rant #2

    WARNING!  RANT AHEAD!

     

    Let’s play a hypothetical situation here:

    You are a game developer.  You come out with a game that you hope is going to be the next big thing in gaming.  You go through the normal advertising and hype that leads up to the release date, spending millions of dollars promoting your game.  Release day comes and, hey, not bad…but could be better.

    Gamers around the world start playing your game and, although your initial release was pretty good, your game hasn’t yet become the hit that you had hoped.  A few months goes by and, all of a sudden, you start seeing a rise in your sales.  You start seeing more and more people playing your game, and getting excited about it.  You haven’t run any new ad campaigns, you haven’t offered anything special that wasn’t available before, but inexplicably the sales are going through the roof.  The reason isn’t immediately apparent but the results are strikingly obvious.

    Some time goes by and you find out that the gamer community has embraced your game and has begun uploading recorded sessions and streaming live game play videos of your game on sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch, JustinTV.  The gamer community has fallen in love with, and become obsessed with, the content from your game.  Videos and streams are going viral on a daily basis with millions upon millions of views.  THIS finally explains the sudden, unexplained, boon in sales and popularity of your game.

     

    This is FREE publicity for your game my friends.

     

    Unfortunately, there are video game producers and organizations out there that don’t see it this way.  They see it as a way to make more money for themselves.  Wait, what?  Yes, that’s right.  They want to make money off of consumers when their content is being advertised.  I guess the old model of paying for advertising is out the window and now companies are expecting to get paid to advertise their product.  Wait, what?

    To a point, I understand the mindset.  Corporations are, by definition, for profit.  Their entire goal in existence is to make money.  If that motivation wasn’t there, most corporations would not exist.  I get that.  However there comes a point of ridiculousness, and I think that that point has been reached and surpassed many times over in a lot of cases.  To the point that we have sites like YouTube being extra strict on copyright claims that cater 100% to the corporation and don’t even give the proper avenues for copyright claim dispute to the people that make YouTube happen…the users.

    Every morning when I get up, I stumble out of bed and sit down in front of my computer.  I log into my Facebook account to see what new and interesting (oh and useless) things my friends have posted, I jump on Twitter to see the latest posts from the people I follow, and I get on YouTube to check out my subscriber numbers and video views.  This morning, I went through the exact same regiment.  Imagine my surprise when I logged into my YouTube account and looked at my video manager.  Wait…matched third party content?  What third party content?

    third party content

     

    Yes, that’s right.  I got a copyright notice for my streaming event.  So, I thought it was going to be something that I didn’t notice (like my GTA V streaming video) like someone playing a song in the background.  Nope.

    Copyright Notice

     

    YouTube’s system identified “Visual content administered by: Major League Gaming” as the copyright violation.  Wait, what?  I don’t have anything to do with MLG!  Never have.  I don’t think I have ever even visited their website.  I know who they are and I know what they do but really?  So, I watch the video from the point indicated.  I discovered 2 things.  First, I messed up my live stream because I forgot to mute my YouTube window while I was playing, messing up the audio.  Oops.  Second, there is nothing in the video that has anything to do with MLG.  The image on the screen for the next 2 minutes and 32 seconds is the multiplayer lobby while I was waiting to see if a friend was going to connect his headset.  He never did.  This is what was on the screen the entire time:

    YouTube SUCKS

     

    Alright, so I need to dispute this because this has obviously been a mistake by YouTube’s automated system…yes, I said automated.  There are no humans involved.  So, of course, I click on the dispute button.  Obviously, there has to be some option for “your system sucks and made a mistake,” right?  Wrong.  When you dispute a copyright notice, these are the options that you get:

    • I own the CD/DVD or bought the song online
    • I’m not selling the video or making any money from it
    • I gave credit in the video
    • The video is my original content and I own all of the rights to it
    • I have a license or written permission from the proper rights holder to use this material
    • My use of the content meets the legal requirements for fair use of or fair dealing under applicable copyright laws
    • The content is in the public domain or is not eligible for copyright protection

    That is it.  There is no “other” or “another reason” or anything else that would allow me to say hey, you guys messed up.  Here is a screen shot of what I saw…specific to THIS video:

    wrong

     

    So, what avenue do I take?  First, lets go over the options we do have.

    I own the CD/DVD or bought the song online.  IT’S A TRAP!  This isn’t even a legitimate claim, never has been and, I am sure, never will be.  It is common knowledge now a days, since Napster and all of the P2P music sharing sites, that you cannot use copyrighted music online without express permission from the copyright holder.  I do acknowledge that there are some people out there that would think this is alright but come on YouTube.  This option leads you to a page that explains that you can’t do that.

    I’m not selling the video or making any money from it.  Alright, this could apply but this is also a trap.  As with the previous option, this too is not a valid claim.

    I gave credit in the video.  Although there are times that will cover you, that is set forth in the terms of a written license or permission to use.  So, giving credit alone does not meet copyright use requirements.

    The video is my original content and I own all of the rights to it.  Well, this one is pretty straight forward…or is it?  YouTube doesn’t seem to respect your content.  Unless you have some kind of documentation that you DO own all the content, and the copyright to it, well, they are going to just say that it is a violation and you are screwed.  Take for example my photography.  I have had numerous arguments with YouTube regarding MY photography and THEIR claim that I don’t own the rights to it.  They told me I had to provide PROOF that I owned and produced the images.  Well folks, that is a lot harder that you would think.  I asked them if I needed to send them my camera or if I needed to send them a video of me taking photos.  They just removed my video.

    I have a license or written permission from the proper rights holder to use this material.  This is the option that should be used most of the time.  However when it comes to content like video games, good luck getting EA or Infinity Ward to give you permission.  Unless you are VERY influential in the gaming community, you will NOT get the time of day.  Most YouTubers that make money off of their gaming videos do so through a partnership with one of the major outlets.  Organizations like Yeousch, TGN, Machinima, and others negotiate with the developers for rights use for their partners.  Again, unless you have pretty much blown up in the community, good luck.  You have to be special.

    My use of the content meets the legal requirements for fair use or fair dealing under applicable copyright laws.  This one is tricky.  Fair use or fair dealing is subject to a lot of controversy.  What one person considers fair use, another considers a violation.  The generally accepted use under this section would include things like reviewing the game, tutorials, or tips/tricks.  Even these, however, are subject to violation claims more often than not.

    The content is in the public domain or is not eligible for copyright protection.  Long story short here, video games haven’t been out long enough to get into the public domain for the most part.  The way copyright works today, video games will never reach public domain unless there is a major change in the copyright laws.

    So, what do I choose?  Well, I honestly don’t know.  I have spent several hours thinking about the options and am still up in the air as to what I am going to do.  Do I risk a copyright strike and dispute the claim?  If I do enter into dispute, what avenue do I take?  After thinking about it, I would take the fair use route but I don’t think that would be successful.  If the organization making the claim, in this case Major League Gaming, wishes to pursue the issue, the burden is on me to prove that there was no violation.  Not on them.  So, is it a loosing battle?  Probably.

    There are a couple of other choices beyond those on the list.  First, simply remove the video.  Taking down the video completely removes the issue and it all goes away.  Second, acknowledge the third party content.  This choice will place ads all over the video which, in theory, the revenue goes to the copyright holder.

    None of these choices are optimum.  Again, if the organization or person making the claim were required to show proof of the claim, a lot of YouTubers would save copyright strikes and life would be a lot less stressful for many.  Having an option to receive more information about the claim would allow someone like me to be able to dispute the claim armed with the information required to mount a valid argument.

    Unfortunately, my choice at this point is to simply remove the video.  For someone that is trying very hard to grow a new channel, removing any video from the library is a step backwards.  YouTube has is a difficult medium to be noticed in due to the overwhelmingly large number of videos.  It is like trying to find one single atom of a needle placed in one of 20,000,000 haystacks.  It is possible but very difficult.

    So, this will not discourage me.  I will continue to upload content.  I will continue to share what I love with others that share that love.  If the world of YouTube (not YouTube itself) finds what I do entertaining, I will succeed.  If the world doesn’t find what I do entertaining, then I won’t fail because I don’t upload videos to impress anyone or with the goal of becoming famous.  I upload videos because I like sharing what I do.  If one single person watches one of my videos and enjoys it, then I am happy.  Even if that one single person is me.

    So, I think I am going to move my live streams to another service.  I have used UStream and JustinTV but both have their issues.  Many are using Twitch, so I may check that out to see whats up.  I will keep everyone informed on that front.

     

    What do you think about YouTube’s copyright policies?  Have you been caught with your pants down?  How have your battles gone?  Make sure you visit my YouTube channel and check out my videos.  Subscribe, comment on and throw a thumbs up to the videos you like…or just enjoy.

    /rant

     

    Cheers for Now

    g33z3r_hd

     


  • Featured ImageAssassins Creed IV: Black Flag

    Alright, I haven’t played AC since the first one. I really thought the original was super sow paced with brief moments of excitement. Didn’t like it.

    So, I have not played it since…not 2…not 3. However, here we are at AC 4 and I am giving it a go! See, I have a friend that, for some reason, is AC nuts. He and I were talking the other day and, well, I picked it up. Not sure how much play this is going to get between GTA V, BO2, and the impending release of COD Ghosts on Tuesday…we will see how much I like it or if I will be making a shipment to a friend for an early Christmas present…now he is cheering that I hate it lol.

    So, I should have some game play footage up later tonight!

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd

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  • Gamer Rant 1 – The First of Many

    Alright, so I am going to go off on a rant here.  I am sure this will NOT be the only one ever…as a matter of fact, I tend to rant about things that get me pissed off quite often so…here goes!

    Last night, I did a live stream playing GTA V Multiplayer online.  Now, since I don’t know anyone else that plays GTA V on PSN, I wasn’t there with a group and was just interested in playing around in multiplayer mode.  So, I was pretty much leaving everyone alone.  All said and done, I streamed for about 90 minutes.  After streaming, I do what I always do; I went to edit the video and upload it to YouTube for everyone that wasn’t able to watch live.  First thing, I noticed that I had saved the video file in the wrong format.  Instead of saving it in .mp4 format, it was saved in .flv format.  Alright, no big deal.  I have a converter that I can fix that…it just takes time, especially when the video is over 90 minutes long.  So, did that…

    Next, I edited the video and set it to rendering.  With a video of this length, it takes quite some time to finish.  So, after I started it, I headed off to bed.  The process ended up taking about 2 1/2 hours as I had expected…but I was asleep so who cares 😀

    When I get up this morning, I start the upload process and head into work.  Of course, I forget all about it at work because, well, I was working.  So I get home tonight, play Minecraft for a couple of hours and remember the video.  So, I head over to YouTube to get the URL so I can post the video to my blog.  What do I see?  That famous “matched third party content” crap.  Rhianna, UMG, it says at 75:15.  Now, I know that there has been a lot of hub bub about GTA V and the radio stations when you are in a vehicle so, as a preemptive strike, I turned the music volume all the way down.  Problem solved, or so I thought.  So, where did the copyright come from you ask?  Oh, let me tell you.  It came from one of my biggest pet peeves when playing online…another player who decided that everyone else needs to hear their music playing in the background!  When I was playing, I didn’t even think about it because I tune it out in my head so often…

    So, this is what I have to say:  If you are going to play an online game with other people, and you have decided that you would like to use a mic and headset to communicate with those players…TURN OFF YOUR MUSIC!  If I wanted to listen to music while playing, I would do that.  However, when playing a game like Black Ops II, one of the things that I do is listen for the sounds of other players in the environment…you know, foot steps, breathing, whatever…it’s part of the game.  Now, granted, this isn’t as much of a factor in a game like GTA V but still, be respectful you jerk wads!  If it were COD, the solution would have been simple in my mind, mute the azz.  However, because I am new to playing GTA V online, I didn’t have any clue how to mute a player and, frankly, I pretty much just zoned it out anyhow.

    Now, here I am, rendering the video again…this time with a large section of audio muted and an alternate song placed in.  After the 2 1/2 hours is done, I will get to upload it to YouTube once again…all night long!

    That’s my rant folks.  What drives you nuts when playing multiplayer online?

     

    Cheers for now!

    g33z3r_hd


  • Traveling as a Gamer

    So, I travel for work.  Often, I am on the road more than I am home.  Now, fortunately, I am able to be home most weekends with a very rare Saturday or Sunday travel day.

    This often brings up an issue for me…what to do when I am on the road.  Many times, I threaten that I am going to take an extra suitcase for my Playstation but never follow through.  So, today, I got to thinking; how can I game when I am on the road?  Several ideas came to mind.  First, I thought about going to Best Buy and picking up an XBox.  I quickly discounted that because, as many of you already know, I am not really an XBox kind of guy…I also realized that I would have to buy a game (of course, I would buy Black Ops 2) and that just pushes the price outside of what I am willing to spend.  I also thought about picking up another PS3 but quickly discounted that as well for pretty much the same reasons, cost.

    Next, I thought about picking up a PS Vita.  Its portable and designed for travel.  That said, I am not a huge fan of the little tiny screen and they cost just about as much as a full sized console.  I have heard some really good things about them, and have almost picked one up in the past, but I never pull the trigger.  Of course, as with the full sized consoles, I would have to get a game or two along with it.  I have had several portable gaming devices over the years and I have never been impressed.  So, there goes that idea.

    Then it came to me; why not game on my laptop?  Heck, I have one heck of a powerful laptop for work so there probably aren’t many games that I wouldn’t be able to play and play with pretty good quality.  There comes two problems, although they are not deal breakers.  First, I am spoiled when it comes to PC gaming.  My desktop system at home is a MONSTER!  I didn’t design it for gaming but it is definately a beast that could handle the most resource intensive games.  On top of that, I am really used to having multiple screens when I am gaming on my PC.  Not really possible when it comes to gaming on my laptop.  That said, I can hook up to most TVs in hotel rooms provided they have either a VGA or HDMI port on them.  Only the low cost, hole in the wall, hotels have the old fashioned TVs now a days but I do run across them from time to time.

    The biggest problem is, however, what do I play?  Something simple that I am not going to get hooked on and want to play on my laptop when I am home but something that I am going to enjoy playing when I am on the road.  I thought about picking up the PC version of BO2 or GTA V but the fun with those are online.  Add to that I don’t have a controller and poop.  So, I got to thinking about getting back into RPGs like I used to play so many years ago or playing something like Minecraft…which has never made any sense to me what-so-ever.

    So, that is what I am going to do…it is decided.  I am going to start playing Minecraft and strive to understand the draw and popularity of it…maybe I will post a video sometime tonight or tomorrow provided I can figure it out!

    What do you do as a gamer when you travel or when you are away from home?

     

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd