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  • J. vandiver - High number of one-star ratings?Folks who run the recently noted in a podcast that Crawford was getting a large number of one-star rating reviews for her book,the reason for this visit and review. I've read the word after hearing her speak in two interviews and expected her to take commercial internet providers to task. Instead much of the book is devoted to detailing how the industry has evolved, so you can judge for yourself just how critical she has been. I think it's an important book in an area that hasn't seen much coverage. You can Google "susan crawford podcast" and find interviews she has done on Diane Rehm, C-Span, Community Broadband Network, and Media Berkman(Harvard) if you want to hear her ideas before buying the book. Actually, I'd be curious enough about the contents after seeing so many one-stars to want to buy a copy and judge for myself!
  • Juan - Installed it in three different PCsPCs speed is still pretty good.

    It is protected all around.

    next time I will get the version for tablets too.
  • Guitarherosix - Great GameI've seen a lot of negative 1 star reviews on here so I decided it's time to put in my two cents about this game. Sure, the game had a bad launch day and servers were down for a good portion of the day. It happens. A lot of these reviews gave the game a bad review because was having issues and not the actual game itself.

    Note: I have played Diablo 2 but only like an hour or so of it so don't say that I am giving it the rating I am because I am a Diablo fanboy. However, I do know of the big changes that occurred between games and will cover them briefly.

    STORY: (NO SPOLIERS) The story is pretty friggin' awesome. There were times when I couldn't stop playing cause I needed to know what happens next! The game spans 4 acts which are pretty lengthy. I explored everywhere on my first play through and logged 18 hours of gameplay time but you could probably beat it in half as much time if you just went from point A to point B without doing any exploring on the way. 5/5

    DIFFICULTY: Every character starts out on the normal difficulty which isn't too hard. I probably died about 10 times on my first play through, half of those from being stupid and running into a mob while chasing one of those Treasure Goblins, and had extremely close calls about another dozen times. I'm on Nightmare difficulty now and have already died about 5 times (because the enemies are that much stronger and hit a lot harder)and I'm only at the first boss. Needless to say, this game will probably kick up the difficulty as I get into the later acts and when I play on Hell and Inferno Mode.

    The game also steps up the difficulty if you decide to create a hardcore character. What this means is that if your character dies for any reason in the game, you can no longer play that character. Now that will be a challenge!! 5/5

    SOUND: The sounds, character voice acting, and soundtrack is just phenomenal. It all fits together perfectly and the soundtrack really highlights what is going on in the game and sets the mood. I have the soundtrack separately from buying the Collectors Edition and I listen to it a lot. 5/5

    GAMEPLAY: You can choose between the following classes: Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard. All can be very powerful and are pretty well balanced even though some of them start out slower than some of the other classes.

    Fighting is basically the same style as D2. At every level you're unlocking spells, runes (modify your spells to do different things) and passive abilities, so there's always something new to try out. The 1 through 5 buttons at the top of the keyboard link to defensive and support abilities which you'll need to use if you are going to survive the later acts. You also use the left and right mouse buttons to attack enemies. While this may sound boring to some of you, I never once got bored with the style because I was also constantly mashing my defensive/support buttons to stay alive. Your right button attacks use up your resource bubble (generally these are your AoE spells) which regenerates rather quickly and takes about 7 seconds to be completely filled again (this can be modified by some stats on your gear which grant X resource when you critically hit.) Blizzard also removed the need for potion spamming from D2 by adding a cooldown to using a potion. To combat this, enemies now drop health globes which helps keep you in the fight for longer but don't always rely on those to heal you (this got me killed a couple of times but also saved my life a couple of times.)

    When grouping up with friends, the enemies become stronger depending on how many people you have in your party. A nice touch, that way you can't just steamroll whatever comes your way.

    You can craft gear if you are having bad luck with drops and you can also craft gems for the later parts of the game when you get gear that has sockets on it. It's rather straight forward to craft things: you first need to have materials to craft an item (which you get from salvaging magic items) and you need a little bit of gold. If you are going to craft gems, all you need is just some gems and money to get the gem cut. When I had completed the game, my crafting and jewelcrafting were maxed out as far as possible (at some point you will also need blacksmithing/jewelcrafting pages to be able to level your crafting ability.) It is random that you will get the stats you want on an item, but it never stopped me from crafting until I made something I could actually use. I suppose with the auction house, you don't necessarily have to level your crafting at all but I'd rather make gear and weapons myself rather than pay for someone else to make it. 5/5

    - There are a ton of achievements in the game and if you are an achievement hunter, you will be kept busy.
    - No two playthroughs are the same. The dungeon layouts are randomized.
    - While some people hate the auction house and say that is unfair because you can just buy your gear, I say "You're not forced to use it." I used the auction house once in my first play through because I couldn't get a wand to save my life and I was not able to craft one yet. You can either use gold or real money to buy things off of the Auction House (you can read more about that on the D3 website.)
    - There is no tree talent system like in D2. Each class gets the same spells and abilities, however you can choose three passive abilities to help boost your character. None of them are clearly "right or wrong" and it just depends on your play style.
    - A ton of people complained about always having to be online to play, it really doesn't bother me all that much. In my opinion, it was just a way to combat piracy (and you don't have to pay anything extra to play online with other people). My desktop is connected to the internet wirelessly so I'm always connected to the internet but I suppose if you don't have internet it could become a problem. Again, I didn't have a problem with having to always be online to play. And as a bonus to always being online, I was able to chat with my buddies while we played and was able to just drop in and out of groups with them (as long as they were in the same difficulty as me.)

    FINAL SCORE: 5/5
    While it was annoying to have all of the server problems on Launch Day, it never negatively impacted my experience in D3-- it only delayed it. Those things happen but it is fixed now and there are no server problems whatsoever.

    The best game I've played all year and has a lot of replay value. I love everything about this game and I think Blizzard Entertainment did a fantastic job making this game. You can definitely tell that a lot of time and hard work went into the creation of this game and it definitely shows especially in the cutscenes (they're so kickass!). For me, this game is perfect. Some of the other major complaints people had with the game don't really apply to me cause my experience of the game wasn't effected by it. This game is definitely worth the $60. If you are on the fence about the game, see if you can find a friend who has a trial key that came with the game and try it out. I bet you won't be disappointed one bit.
  • David Field - Great book on something most people can't do wellI came across a guy recently who's put out a really good book, for everyone that has a video camera. I've owned a whole lot of cameras since the 1970s, culminating in my DLSR. I thought I knew a lot about composition and engaging an audience, but Steve Stockman's book showed me, like most people I had little idea about how to shoot movies.

    The book is called "How to Shoot Video that Doesn't Suck." As Steve says, if you shoot the normal sort of video people will get bored and zone out or leave. He has a number of solutions. The first thing is to have some sort of a plan. Don't expect that you'll get interesting video by walking around with the camera. He suggests that when you start shooting you don't move or zoom the camera, but just position yourself and set the camera so that you can see the your subject.

    His second point is to close up on people's faces. Parts of your video should be emotional, and that emotion is seen on people's faces. Again, stay in one place where you are able to capture a face in close up. Their expressions are the best way to tell your story.

    He says that newbie videographers often let each shot run too long. Around 10 seconds is usually long enough. If the person is saying something that that takes a long time to explain, cut to other shots for a second or two during this time. Almost everyone will grow bored quickly with a person on screen that shown in the same position, even if they're telling an interesting story.

    The other thing is a problem with light. I see so many cruise videos where the camera person starts in the corridor, opens the cabin door, and the light from the windows is so bright that until the camera adjusts you can't see anything. He advises shooting against the light, for instance if a person is sitting in front of a window. All you'll get is a silhouette where you can't see the face.

    I felt really bad because, in spite of my photography experience, I would have made these mistakes pretty much immediately. The book has around 250 pages and there are plenty of other tips which will make your videos more interesting. If you don't want to invest in the book, you can go to Steve Stockman's web site (Google it) and find a lot of the lessons there.

    But since this book is so cheap (just over $11 on Amazon) and because I like to have something in front of me where I can refer to rules rather than try and remember what happened in a training video, it's worth getting.