December 31, 2012

December 2012 Recap

Nothing majorly eventful really happened in the month of December apart from some celebrations and releases.

To start off, Android users got a sneak peek at the new SwiftKey Flow app that featured swiping the letters on the keyboard to make out words. This was on 2 December.

December 6 was the day Google announced some changes in its' Google Now app with the ability to post to Google+.

Those wanting to try Steam on Linux were pleasantly surprised at the opening of the Steam beta to more users. This was announced on the 8 December.

10 December featured a nice post about the anime storylines that frustrate us the most. It was quite interesting to see what the results were.

Google Maps was finally reunited with the iOS platform on the 13 December after a long absense due to Apple removing the app in place of it's own mapping system (which ultimately failed).

December 20 saw YouTube posting 2012's greatest YouTube videos ever on the video sharing website. The list saw PSY's "Gangnam Style" as the top video along with many other viral videos.

YouTube decided to do a compilation music video of all the top videos on YouTube of 2012 into one mash-up in "Rewind YouTube Style". It was quite a enjoyable video to watch. It was released on the 24 December.

That wraps up the summary of December 2012! It was a funny month with the 'end of the world' hype and such. What will the next year bring us?

Anime Review: Sword Art Online

If you haven't heard about Sword Art Online, you must be living under a rock then. Sword Art Online has been all the rage across in the anime world and everyone must have at least heard of it's name. It is a great story and concept but I think it was a little overhyped.

Sword Art OnlineSynopsis:

In the near future, a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online has been released where players control their avatars with their bodies using a piece of technology called Nerve Gear. One day, players discover they cannot log out, as the game creator is holding them captive unless they reach the 100th floor of the game's tower and defeat the final boss. However, if they die in the game, they die in real life. Their struggle for survival starts now.


I know everyone has gone crazy about SAO and its no secret that it is one of the biggest hype of 2012. I must admit though, when I watched it I was pretty hyped myself. Why is it so interesting? The story is about a future where games can be played in a virtual environment where you are totally immersed in the game world. You can do anything you like within the game's boundaries. Here, the anime is about a game called 'Sword Art Online' in which the players play in a MMORPG-like environment. On the day of release, 10,000 players find themseves held captive in the game by the game master, and the only way out is to beat all 100 levels to the top. This is the story of their survival to beat the odds to finish the game. The story gets quite engaging, exciting with lots of cool battles and a bit of romance. You will instantly love the setting and the main character.

The art was really well done and was top quality. The anime's various environments and locations all felt game-like (which was intended) and just simply stunning. Looking at the art, you can instantly tell the anime is about a game. The special effects were quite spectacular to behold. The characters looked stunning and the overall animation was quite fluid.

The voice acting was also quite good; overall the characters sounded perfect and represented themselves accurately. I had no issues there. The theme songs were also quite catchy and appropriate to the overall theme. Background music and various game-like sound effects were evident and they all complemented the anime perfectly.

The anime revolves around the main character Kazuto Kirigaya, a game freak that enjoys spending most of his time on his 'NerveGear'. There he meets Asuna Yuuki and a bunch of other people. At first, he goes solo and trains himself to become the strongest in the game. He ends up with some minor setbacks and accomplishments  ultimately uniting with Asuna along the way. They both share a nice relationship towards the end of the series. Kazuto is portrayed as a caring and cool guy; not outwardly showing his emotions or expressions. Asuna is more open and quite lively. They make the perfect match in the end.

Overall, I can see how everyone loved this anime. The story was quite good and the characters were appealing. There will be a sequel, but nothing has been announced yet. We all art waiting eagerly to see what will happen next!


ART: 9





December 30, 2012

Ubuntu One Adds Photo Sharing Features

In a sky of closely matched competitors, the Ubuntu One cloud storage service has needed to differentiate itself from the competition.

So far it’s done this through offerings like its MP3 music store and sibling music streaming service.

Now, in a move that will compliment the ‘auto-photo upload’ features found in its mobile apps, the web dashboard has added a new ‘Photos’ section.

In short the feature is simple: it lets you easily browse and views photos you have stored in your Ubuntu One account from the web interface.

But it adds a few extra features to the mix.

The first is a simple slideshow feature. When you open a photo up for larger viewing you can hit ‘Space’ for it to auto-play through your collection.

You’ll also find a number of new options available when viewing photos. These include:
  • Links for sharing an image to Twitter and Facebook
  • Quick link button for sharing via e-mail or IM
  • Photo sorting options
Hit the sournce link for more information and how to download.

December 29, 2012

Instagram Says 25% User Exodus Is Rubbish

You might have encountered a story that a quarter of Instagrams millions upon millions of users abruptly stopped using the massively-popular service over Christmas. But there’s good reason to believe this is all false — and Instagram flat out denies it.

The rumor, which has already knocked down Facebook’s stock today, started with a little company named AppData, which makes its money tracking Facebook statistics and turning them into graphs. AppData claims it observed a 25 per cent drop in “daily active users” over a few days this past week and has correlated that into a gigantic plummeting for the entire service, attributable to its recent terms of service controversy. But “This data is inaccurate” an Instagram spokesperson told us. “We continue to see strong and steady growth in both registered and active users of Instagram.”

If anything, this looks like an errant blip. Millions of people don’t suddenly decide to abandon Instagram many days after the privacy scandal ends. Especially not when there are so many adorable, delicious holiday things floating around, begging to be photographed and filtered.

[via Gizmodo]

December 28, 2012

Pumpkin's Palette + Autumn Anime Season Wrap up

Oogami from Code:Breaker reminded me of Rin from Ao no Exorcist with the blue flames and sword
Mikoto [K]
(I'm never going to officially finish this sketch)
Most of this season's animes are more or less wrapping up in these two weeks. 

Firstly, Sword Art Online. I still think that the anime does not do the original novel any justice. Many important interactions and emotions of certain characters were not portrayed well, if at all, in the anime, and the arrangement of the story in the anime was very poor. I highly recommend people go and read the original light novel.

Btooom!: The last few episodes felt rushed. Again some in-depth interactions between characters were missing, which were present in the manga. However, they left enough cliff hangers for viewers to want to watch the second season.

Ko-inu from Code:Breaker

Code:Breaker: This anime started off well. I'm just annoyed that they deviated from the original manga storyline and made one of the characters I enjoyed into "acting evil". It lacked character development, not that there was much to begin with in the manga though. One would find the story confusing because there is no explanation of why the characters acted the way they did. I felt that the art slowly degraded.

Mikoto - I was trying a new method of shading

[K]: There are many mixed feelings about this anime. There will be dislike due to the under-developed plot and characters.  You won't understand what is going on until around the 3rd/2nd last episode, and by the last episode things escalates so quickly it leaves the viewer go "What!? It ended already?". There were quite a few flash back scenes which helped a little with character development. Nevertheless, the art and animation are amazing and very detailed. I loved the sound, they must've spent a lot of money hiring the bunch of famous seiyuus. The BGM was excellent and so were the character songs. There are many many many fan-service scenes, big boobs, short skirts, lolis, BL, and I leave it to the viewer to decide whether this is a love or hate factor. I kind of expected the ending, but then in the corner of my fangirl heart I would hope that it wouldn't become true. Unfortunately, [K] ends with melancholy. Good news is that a second season is slated for future release, so something to look forward to while reading the manga side stories.

MikotoXMunakata and ShiroXNeko (Inspired by ep 13 of [K])
Anna [K] parody of Wooser
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!: I think this is one of the best romance comedies that I have seen. This anime takes viewers down memory-lane to their childhood, instigating nostalgia and perhaps not so pleasant memories. I think many viewers can agree to the emotions of the characters because I think that almost everyone has been through "chuu-ni byou", the phase of life where your imagination runs wild and merge your fantasy world with the real world. The OP and ED songs were also well written and performed.

Mikoto [K] parody of Wooser

Wooser no Sono (Hi)Gurashi: This is a set of random 2 minute stories, well more like parodies of other anime. It's funny only if you get the references, otherwise this will be a bunch of jumble with no storyline.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun: This is a light hearted shoujo comedy. I'm not one for lovey-dovey stories but this anime was bearable because of certain bishies in it, oh and I mustn't forget the chicken. The main characters' personalities really irritate me. It's set in the typical high school setting.
Nagoya from Tonari no Kaibutsu kun

Kamisama Hajimemashita: Also another shoujo anime. This has more lovey-dovey elements than Tonari, but then KamisamaH has more bishies (and better seiyuus) than Tonari.
Chibi Tomoe from Kamisama Hajimemashita
Finally, a small parody of mine based off ep 12 of [K].
Seri [K] parody of Wooser
Neko [K] parody of Wooser

Misaki [K] parody of Wooser
Munakata [K] parody of Wooser