Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on April 25, 2012 By Draginol In Blogging

I just finished a really enjoyable book called The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. Highly recommended.

I’ve been planning my midlife crisis for awhile. These things need planning of course.  Last year I hit 40.  That’s the age where denial over middle age is over. It’s arrived.

I’m a man of many interests. I just don’t know what to focus on nor do I know if I want to focus on anything in particular. The problem is incentive. I’d rather have more hours in the day to spend time with my two sons and daughter (not to mention my wonderful wife). 

As some of you may know, Windows 8 has been pretty upsetting. It’s not just that it’s crap (which, make no mistake, the current build is), it’s that it shakes my previously solid faith in Microsoft to its core. I look at Windows 8 and I see a product made by dumb people. That’s too harsh. But certainly not the Microsoft of the 90s. It’s just another big company that makes crap without knowing what it’s doing.  You can argue that Microsoft of the 90s made crummy software but that was more an issue of development talent.  Bill Gates knew what he wanted, he just didn’t always have the people under him to execute.  Now, they don’t even have that. It’s depressing.

Most of my time these days is spent on Intel WiDi. If anything is going to make the Window PC relevant in the next few years, this is it.  If not WiDi, then Apple AirPlay is going to wipe out much of the niches PC’s currently inhabit which would be bad news for Intel (let alone Microsoft).  WiDi is the ability to take what’s on your PC (and Stardock’s EdgeRunner technology allows you to take a piece of the desktop, like say a window or a media player) and stream it to a WiDi device.  The goal is that in a few years, all your displays (monitors and televisions) will be equipped with WiDi technology. 

One reason I’m not bullish on consoles in the long-term is because of AirPlay and WiDi.  Why should have be stuck with some box connected to my TV when I can use my iPhone or my PC to just stream what’s on it (and by stream I don’t mean mirror) its content to a display?

My goal is to make sure Intel wins this battle. But it’s going to be an uphill battle. My house is fully equipped with a combination of Control4 and Apple AirPlay and it has a huge lead right now.

on Apr 25, 2012

Who says that the PC you're streaming your WiDi content from couldn't also be a console? Consoles provide certain other benefits besides being close to your TV. A stable, consistent platform that can be optimized towards, for instance. The "always works without fiddling" capability that Windows still hasn't quite matched is another factor. A stable price that allows you to play all content available for that OS without worrying that your system might need another $300 upgrade is another. 

Even if it's somewhere else in the house other than right by your TV doesn't mean it wouldn't be a console anymore. Heck, I don't use my consoles hooked to a TV, they're right in my computer desk hooked up to one of my 4 monitors.

I'd love to be able to take my little 7 inch Blackberry Playbook somewhere else in the house and stream my PS3's video to it while using a PS3 controller. I already use my 5 inch Vita screen in a similar manner for some tasks.

I will say that aside from some indie games (Bastion, Binding of Issac, SpaceChem) and games from Stardock, I've almost entirely stopped playing PC games. My power-sucking $2000 PC is mostly turned off unless I'm doing a major project that needs all that computing power. For gaming, the only time I turn on the power sucking beast now is to play Fallen Enchantress, as all of stardock's other games work fine on my E350 secondary computer. I don't usually feel like drawing 300-450 watts to play a game when they play perfectly well on my 70 watt PS3 or my 40 watt E350. Streaming to a display would just exacerbate this problem as I'd be dealing with graphics that my PS3 could certainly be generating and sucking tons of power to do it.


on Apr 25, 2012

I don't think the traditional Sony/Microsoft consoles have much of a future myself.


Rising dev costs+ trying to pass those costs onto the consumer= high potential to folks to just give up on them.  Hearing Ubi-style DRM may be coming to at least one of the consoles, and if that happens, Steam becomes much more attractive to folks, especially as mid-range PC costs lower.


on Apr 26, 2012

WiDi is cool and everything... but I think we are just at the beginning of Apple's traction to overwhelm day-to-day consumer data needs.

There was a slide show I saw last month that has pretty much convinced me to abandon Windows development.

I am tending to believe what I see in this slide show because of a combination of 1) Apple sales continue to impress 2) iTunes has huge penetration 3) iCloud is the only cloud service I am actually inclined to use, because it happens that all my mobile stuff is Apple. (put those 3 together, and I am sure I am not the only one going this route)

4- Other stuff

-I've tried to develop directly on Windows Mobile (I am a C# developer) and realized they just do not have their crap together if you intend to make money. (couldn't do it after I tried)
- Android is a serious pain to develop on (compared to Windows and Mac anyways), it IS fractured and I realized this before the slide show. Also google is the devil.
- Using toolkits like PhoneGap, you can focus on the most profitable and unified market 1st (Apple) and then port to the others far easier then writing native.

So while I am doing this, I figure why not port my C knowledge into Objective-C, I'll probably be good to go for 10 years developing native on Apple's platform.

Ultimately I would tend to believe that Apple isn't stupid and they have the advantage right now... so conversion to their control over your media is going to happen naturally for everyone anyways.

The only question I have is if Apple is going to be able to overrun the home gaming market. I guess we'll see soon enough.

on Apr 26, 2012


You think Sony and MS consoles have problems with rising Dev costs... If developers were pushing PC hardware as hard as they push Sony/MS hardware, PC game dev costs would be through the roof. The static nature of the consoles has worked to keep PC development costs in check because most developers aren't building special PC versions that fully utilize the hardware, just console ports that are upscaled. 

Some companies including Ubi tried to bring always connected DRM to the PS3, but they've mostly abandoned it as a terrible idea. The next generation may have DRM that requires you to connect when installing the game, but I doubt they'll require always connected protections like they previously have on PC.

Of course, the debate comes down to... if they block used game sales, will they bring game prices down again?