May 13, 2015

New Content For Battlefield 4 Will Be Free

Interesting move. After Battlefield 4 is slightly being abandoned, new downloadable content will be free.
This can include new maps or extensions. The question is how many content will be published in the future.

After Battlefield: Hardline is out, you can clearly see that BF4 is on the decline. Battlefield Commander on mobile will be abandoned soon and removed from the store. Some other features in the Battlelog on the web will also disappear. That's now big deal.
Star Wars: Battlefront is also up on the line, and Dice is working hard on Battlefront.
Now there is a Map Community Project in the works, but other than that, it's questionable how much new content will emerge. Even the announcement that this free content will be available for both premium and non-premium accounts can not hide the fact that BF4 is dying a bit early imho.
That's not only the fault of Dice as it seems. The number of servers are quickly dropping, and sometimes you have to look around to find a populated server. So possibly the "problem" wil be solved by itself as many people stop playing BF4 abruptly.

I'll personally keep playing BF4 as long as I can find public servers with enough players on it. But when Star Wars: Battlefront is out, I'm out of here. I still have hope that the new game have less bugs than the 4th sequel of the mighty Battlefield or Hardline.

via [Load The Game]

May 11, 2015

Short Afterthoughts: Timeful acquisition by Google

Many jumped on to say the acquisition of Timeful is great.
It would be nice if GMail and Calendar would be improved that way, especially in the Android apps. But there is something that came to my mind in a comment on +Mike Elgan 's post on Google+:
Well the thing which such an acquisition is, these devs never had an Timeful Android app, right?
So now, while it is nice to see they now have to work on the good side :) (couldn't resist), will they put so much love in the product as they put into the iOS stuff? I mean, they did not make an Android app for a reason, right?
And money may motivate some, but not ideologists. Now let's see what devs they are. And then the questions is, if money can lure them away from the iOS love, it may not make them Android lovers. You can't buy love with money? Okay that sounds wrong, but you know what I mean ;)
and as a response to an reply from another user
I didn't say they are [ideologist]. But:
Completely ignoring the most selling OS on this planet can be understood as a message :)
Now, what will be left from the spirit, from the product, if they have to develop for the "enemy" now? Because before that buyout, there was no love for Android or Google.
And if they "love" Android and Google now, it freaks me out that money can do that. But the problem is that there is always a different if you work with your heart or for the money. You can "feel" it in many products. Will the devs stay at Google, ousted by the Apple-Fans and banned from Apple? Yes this company that does not invite you to press conferences if you don't report as they pleased (enough witnesses worldwide - Google it :p ).

I don't know if it was a good idea to acquire someone that does not have any relation to your ecosystem before. Oh and btw. if Google works on different iOS and Android apps, hell will break lose!

Screenshot from Timeful/Google. All rights reserved.

Apr 21, 2015

Vegan Meal: Southern Summer

I had some time at hand today, and so I decided to get all experimenting with my vegan meal today. And here it is: Southern Summer with ingredients common in southern Germany and Italy

These are the ingredients:

  • Enough olive oil to roast the vegetables
  • 250 gr. long noodles like Swabian Spaetzle (without eggs)
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Carrot
  • 50g Leek
  • 2 Onions
  • 200 gr. Smoked Tofu
  • Soy Sauce
  • Soy Cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper
It's quite easy. First boil the noodles. While they cook, chop the onions to very fine(!) pieces. Roast it in olive oil softly with a good portion of salt, do not overheat. Chop the carrot and the leek to small pieces, together with some pepper, and add it to the onions and roast them, too. Take them away after 3-4 minutes, or if you use a wok, put them on the side, so they don't cook but kept warm. Cut the tofu in, not too small, cubes. Put more olive oil in the pan and roast the smoked tofu softly until it's light brown. Again put away the tofu cubes from the heat and chop the zucchini in slices and roast them until they are light brown.
Now take the roasted carrots with the onions and the leek and put them together with the tofu in the pan, quickly add soy cream, the 2 tablespoon soy sauce and only 4 tablespoon water and a bit salt. Let it cook for a minute with good heat.
The noodles should be ready now. Put the noodles on the plate and make a ring around the nest with the vegetables, then put the zucchini slices on top of the noodles.
Bon app├ętit!

How-To: Fix Low Volume in Chrome on Manjaro GNU+Linux

After installing Chrome 42 on Manjaro 0.8.12 (KDE) the volume somehow turned way to low in everything Chrome.Other programs like VLC were not affected. Research on the net didn't brought something up, so I played around and found a solution for this.

You need to install pavucontrol via Octopi or with the command sudo pacman -S pavucontrol . After that open it and you will see a window like this:
Click on the tab "Playback". Note that only active applications are showing up. So unless Chrome is making some noise, it won't be visible. So make sure you play soemthing with sound, like a video in the browser. Then you can set the Volume back to 100%. It was about 50% on my machine. Close the window and you're ready to enjoy full volume in Chrome again.

I don't know why and how this happened. I'm suspecting it had something to do either with the update of Chrome to version 42 (never happened before that version) or with Google Play Music.

This might work on many more GNU+Linux distributions that comes with PulseAudio. Just use your package-manager. Pavucontrol is almost in any repository.
Like always, do this at your own risk and have a lot of fun!

Apr 15, 2015

Chrome Version 42 - The Google fun :)

I knew it. The newly released Chrome browser version 42 makes it easy to refer to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy :).
Now, as if Chrome wasn't the answer to life, universe and everything before ;)

Check the official blog to see more of the changes made in this new version. It doesn't appear to be big changes visible. A lot of changes under the hood nonetheless.
I have to say that the Chrome browser gets so much better each time, it's hard to miss it. I even use it on Manjaro GNU+Linux, despite there is only a Chromium version in the official repositories. But no, I want the real deal.

Mar 24, 2015

The Google+ Cut - Big Deal or Not?

This week it could happen. Eventually... or not. But it will come very soon. The Google+ cut from the services Photo, Hangouts, resulting in a left-over of Google Stream. Rumors are that not even the name Google+ will be used anymore.

Well, Google Stream would be a fine name, right? But maybe it's just Google+ in the end. Fact is, Photos will be an independent occurrence. Hangouts on the other hand, is already separated and never really was seen as part of Google+. Only a feature was integrated into Google's social site, making it possible to chat while using the site.
Photos however is the main focus. While Google+ is popular among professional photographers, the service connection to Google+ made some people uncertain to trust this place to archive private photos. It's kind of scary for many. Now with a standalone Google Photos app and rebranding, the way is set for people that don't want to do anything on Google+, to use it as one of the greatest places to store, enhance and share photos on the web.

Obviously Auto Backup photos and albums will be stored in Google Drive which would be a logical and good choice. Drive on the web could use the album frontend that now Google+ is using with a slight different design to integrate with. But that has to be seen.
Another question rises if space taken by the photos will be free like with Google+ Photos. All photos which equal or less than 2048 pixel per side, did not count towards your available space. So you had unlimited storage for such photos. Now rumors are that Google eventually lifted the 2048 pixel limit and give unlimited storage for all photos. Amazon offers unlimited cloud space for photos with it's Amazon Prime service, and Flickr giving 1 Terabyte for free, which is enough for most private users.

Google Stream (or Google+) could then be without too many changes just be what it is now. You can share easily with one click from Photos like it was before. Photos from drive can already be included if checked in the settings, and it could be that there is not a change in the user experience. However it could be a remake of Google+ which is unlikely. Rebranding in "Google Stream" is not really necessary.

So I can't exactly understand why some sites are again (like so many times) foretells us the end of Google+. I'll guess they just want a sensation and want to see Google fail again. Really sensationalist. If you lean back and look on your phone, there is Photos, Google+ and Hangouts already as separate occurrences. Now they make Photos, like the Hangouts app, really independent, and possible to use it without even knowing about Google+. That's all.
It's exciting, I see that, because it can attract many more users that want to store their photos without using Google+ at all. And the ones who do, still have all features available.

What exactly is happening, we will see this week, or next, or in May. But nope, no #pluscalypse on sight.

Animated G+ logo by Jakob Rode Gellett