April 30, 2012

April 2012 Recap

Since I have nothing else to talk about I have decided to do a end of month recap on what happened during the month. Well here it goes.

1 April was the day that Google unleashed its yearly pranks on the internet again. This year is was 8-bit maps Google Chrome multitask. It was fun and enjoyable to play around with even though it lasts only a few days. Pranking your friends and making them believe that these new Google services were actually real is just pure fun!

4 April brought Instagram to the Android platform. What was fun on the iPhone now can be used by Android social networkers. It was quickly bought by Facebook for around $10 million on 10 April.

11 April announced the end of Ubuntu 10.10, the distribution we have used and fell in love with. We also started to like the new Google+ interface on 12 April.

After so long being stagnant, OMGPOP finally updated Draw Something on 19 April. It was a memorable day as many users rejoice after suffering from so many bugs whilst playing the game.

We also cannot forget the memorable weekend of Supanova of 21 April where many new and cool pop culture stuff was shown.

24 April showed us the release of Google Drive which was determined to take on DropBox and the other major cloud file syncing services. What we saw on 26 April was a major event for all Linux users worldwide with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS finally released to the public.

Lastly, after so long being left in the dark, 28 April marked the date when Australia finally got Google Play Movies for users to download and rent movies online.

This wraps up another frantic and memorable month of April 2012. What will May bring to us? New gadgets? New games? We got to wait and see!

Anime Review: Katanagatari

Set in fictional history, Katanagatari delves into the world of swords and martial arts; that is sword arts, the art of using the body as a sword. The story is great and the characters are appealing, it is one fun and enjoyable anime to watch to the end.

Yasuri Shichika, seventh successor of the Kyoto Ryu (bladeless) sword art, lives on an isolated island with his older sister, Nanami. One day Shichika is visited by a woman named Togame, who requests his aid in her quest to find and collect the final twelve swords forged by the legendary master swordsmith, Shikizaki Kiki. Shichika and Togame begin their odyssey by leaving the island he called home for over 20 years. They will face twelve individuals who possess and protect Shikizaki's legendary swords. Join Shichika and Togame on an exciting, epic adventure that defies reality as they discover the true potential of the Kyotu Ryu sword style!

I am not a typical action, adventure, and martial arts genre fan. However, after giving Katanagatari a go, I was both pleasantly surprised and impressed at the overall compilation of the story. At first, it may seem just another seinen anime, but after watching a few episodes I concluded that this was much more than that. The story is simply about a guy named Yasuri Shichika that finds himself working along with Togame in search of the twelve legendary blades. Of course this doesn't come without hindrance as each twelve blades are held by twelve other individuals which want to keep and use the blades for themselves. And so, the mission begins to recover all blades before the end. There is a major plot twist which I will not reveal here but keep watching to the end and you will find out what it is. Overall, the story was quite engaging which kept me wanting to watch more. Each episode seems to end too soon although they are already longer than usual (~50 minutes each).

The detail on characters seems a bit too simplistic and cartoon-ish. The faces were a little round and the eye were pretty big. I guess this was intended to be similar to the manga counterpart and to make the anime stand out from the crowd. It took a little while to get used to but I actually didn't mind the simplicity at all. It seems that the real focus was on the story and the characters themselves. However, the backgrounds and visuals were well detailed so that was a good support. I loved the character's clothing though- definitely martial-art style!

The voice acting was perfect with the exception of some characters whose voices were pretty annoying. Theme songs were catchy and suited the anime well. I guess when you have an action, adventure packed anime with a superb story, voice acting becomes quite important and Katanagatari delivers that fluently.

The main focus now is characters. Each character you meet along the way either has a dark past or a hidden agenda. Each character are not what they seem and you will learn the background of every single one of them. I liked the way the anime seamlessly describes the background details without wasting a lot of time or breaking away from the main story. Shichika is just humorous with his naive and clueless attiude and Togame just gives you mixed emotions. The rest of the twelve are either cool, cute or weird. The characters will definitely keep you occupied.

In conclusion, I actually quite enjoyed this anime very much. At first I thought it was just going to be all out war but no, the story actually is quite nicely paced and easy to follow along. The story is just excellent scripted and you may start to realize that each episode is equivalent to one sword being retrieved. That said, it doesn't get boring as you will be entertained by a lot of humour, action and a bit of romance. It was one enjoyable journey from beginning to the end. The end was quite interesting as it does gives you mixed feelings whether you loved it or hated it.

A mission to retrieve twelve swords. Not that simple as you got to face many challenges along the way.

ART: 7
A characters looked a little unrealistic but that's the anime's unique style of art.

Good voice acting to portray character's emotions accurately to the audience.

Interesting range of characters and their personalities will keep you occupied.

One exciting ride from start to finish.

It was not boring at all! Nicely paced and nicely scripted. Perfect for action, adventure fans.

April 29, 2012

Twitter for Android Gets Another Minor Update


It seems like Twitter is on a update roll here. Today marks a small update in the Google Play store this evening, bringing Twitter to version 3.2.1. The change log is short -- crashes for users that use the app in Dutch, Finnish, and Hungarian have been fixed, and the Indonesian language has been added. Grab the update from the Google Play store or hit the link after the break.

Anime Review: Kiki's Delivery Service

Another wonderful and imaginative film by Studio Ghibli, Kiki's Delivery Service brings us yet another intriguing and magical experience to the silver screen.

Kiki's Delivery ServiceSynopsis:
Kiki is an enterprising young girl who must follow tradition to become a full-fledged witch. Venturing out with only her chatty black cat, Jiji, Kiki flies off for the adventure of a lifetime. Landing in a far-off city, she sets up a high-flying delivery service and begins a wonderful experience of independence and responsibility as she finds her place in the world.

If it's one thing Studio Ghibli does well, it's charming a viewer with something whimsical and fantastic. And that's what Kiki's Delivery Service is, most definitely. The story is pretty sweet and simple. A young apprentice witch named Kiki goes to a busy town to hone her witch skills. She is employed by a local baker and his wife to deliver baked goods via flying on her broomstick. Saying she gets into various scrapes and hijinks ensue would be belittling the plot. Lots of small things happen with a rather big event that comes along at the end of the movie, but the most important thing is that all these events are important to Kiki herself, no matter its significance to the wider world. Meeting an artist, helping an old lady bake something, saving the city; it all means something to Kiki. More than fantasy, the story has stronger slice of life themes. This movie is slow-paced, but it's bursting with so much energy and life from its scenes.

As expected like any other Studio Ghibli anime, you can pick out the distinct art style instantly. Of course, it does look old, but this is an old anime. Yet, it has some impressive visuals for such an old anime. Children and adults alike will love the art instantly.

Sound acting was impressive as well. It suited the anime very much. Many reviewers noted that the original Japanese voice acting is more suited for the anime than the English dubbing equivalent. Studio Ghibli has a much subtler take on feminism, so they didn't lunge ballad-like songs down the listeners' throats. The Japanese soundtrack was very fun.

Kiki's Delivery Service has a great ensemble cast. There's Kiki, a hard-working, upbeat young witch who tries her best at what she does. It's funny that she is more excited about simple things in life when everyone else is fascinated that she is a witch. There is a young boy she befriends, who is sort of a geek, but he knows how to have great simple fun. Plus, there is the baker, and there's his wife, who offer Kiki a lot of emotional support. They sort of serve as surrogate parents for the young witch. And of course, there's the talking cat Jiji. He is pretty humorous, with his one-liners and random comments. 

Overall it was tremendously fun film to enjoy. Another impressive and engaging storyline just makes you want to re-watch it many times without fail. You will find it refreshing and enjoyable to watch with  the younger generation. The magical experience brought by Studio Ghibli is all here once again.

April 28, 2012

Australia Gets Google Play Movies

Google Play Movies

Finally about time that Australia has now been given access to Google Play Movies, as you can see by this screen shot. There's still a pretty big empty spot there, though, and that'd be for Google Music. Will we see expansion outside the U.S. any time now? Let's hope. When Google Music is finally available in Australia I will probably switch over to their services.

The Google Play Movies app can be downloaded from the Play Store. However, there have been many 1-star ratings an complaints of the app blocking access from rooted phones. My phone has been rooted and I need it to be to do my work. Why did Google do this? We don't know, but I was raging quite a bit. I hope Google listens to the users' opinions and change their minds. For now, looking at the prices listed, I probably won't be renting out movies any time soon.

April 27, 2012

Anime Review: Higashi no Eden: Gekijouban II Paradise Lost

Higashi no Eden: Gekijouban II Paradise Lost is the final endgame that ends the Higashi no Eden trilogy. All truths and lies are discovered and identities are revealed. What's in store for Akira and Saki this time?

Higashi no Eden: Gekijouban II Paradise LostSynopsis:
The story of political and subversive intrigue in the series finally reaches endgame. Even as the law enforcement net tightens around Saki and her fellow Eden of the East associates over alleged terrorist activities, the complex web surrounding the mysterious Mr. Outside is finally untangled as the remaining Selecao attempt to outmaneuver one another. Takizawa's memories and identity are also finally revealed including his association with a former Prime Minister and his request to be the King of Eden.

You must watch the prequels to properly understand what is going on in the film. The film cannot be directly seen as a one continuous story by itself but rather multiple episodes joined together. That said, we see Akira Takizawa finally ending the 'game' and finding who the culprit is. The story moves away from Saki and the Eden of the East server and really focuses in on who Takizawa Akira really is. The movie directly picks up where the last left off, where Ropponogi gives Takizawa a private jet and goes to meet the wife of the Prime Minister, doing so because he believes he's the Prime Ministers son. Spoiling too much would ruin the movie for you, but I can promise the suspense that builds is great and resolve is incredibly interesting.

The art is pretty much the same as its predecessor. The characters all look the same and the detail in buildings and environments are just great. Nothing much to add here except that the anime is now situated both in the United States and in Japan. The change of scenery and people is evident from the artwork.

Character voice acting is essentially the same. The theme songs were captivating and appropriate for the anime's theme.

I finally got to understand the ending of the 'game'. Higashi no Eden has been one enjoyable mysterious story from start to finish. Akira Takizawa never ceases to surprise us and how the game ends revolves what he will do next. If you are into mystery, conspiracy and action then Higashi no Eden will keep you occupied.

It is the endgame finally. Higashi no Eden has been one enjoyable story from start to finish.

ART: 8
Essentially the same as the previous film.

Theme songs were nice and melodious and background ambient sounds really affected the viewing experience.

Finally we see who the mysterious characters are and how they played the 'game'.

Its nice to finally know everything in the end.

Direct sequel to Higashi no Eden: Gekijouban I The king of Eden. A excellent ending to an engaging trilogy.

Twitter for Android Updated

Twitter for Android
Twitter has now unleashed their latest update to Twitter for Android though, the verdict is still out on whether or not it's for the better. Rather then just a bug fix release, this one introduces some improvements overall to the app.

Search has been improved across the board so that it is now easier to find people you follow as you type, providing a better user experience for auto-completion.

The discover tab has also been improved in the fact that Twitter has made particular trends and news articles easier to be found.

To round it all off, Push notifications will now let you know when you've got a new follower or have been retweeted or favorited -- all of which can be enabled and disabled as do you so choose.

So what do you think? Is the Twitter update better or worse than before? I personally use Twitter a lot so I am glad the app has constant updates to keep users occupied.

April 26, 2012

PSotD - Monochrome Ride

Title: Monochrome Ride
Composer/Artist: かめりあ (Kameria)/Hatsune Miku
Year: 2011
Notes: A very sci-fi feel.
Links: DDL from MikuDB.

Linux Tycoon Beta 4 Released

Linux Tycoon has been updated once again bringing it to Beta 4. This new version includes a "Sacrifice Volunteer" feature which can be found under "Assign Workers". You can now “sacrifice” your a volunteer in exchange for mysterious, unknown effects.  Some effects are good.  Others are bad.  (Mostly they are good.)  But once you sacrifice that volunteer… he’s gone forever.

Other notable changes in Beta 4:

  • Additional tweaking of the simulation engine based on your feedback.
  • On the Assign Workers screen, can now see how many Volunteers and Paid Workers you have assigned to each Package right there in the list.

You can voice your feedback of Beta 4 in the official forum.

In addition, Bryan Lunduke's other game called '2299 : THE GAME' is now discounted (down to $3) for people who want to help support him in his endeavours.  '2299' is a very different game than Linux Tycoon (a graphical, point-and-click adventure), but it has some groovy retro artwork, runs on Linux/Windows/Mac and is also DRM free.

Here is the link to use for the discounted price: Link.

Ubuntu 12.04 or Linux Mint 12

Ubuntu 12.04 is here! Or is it? The expected release date for Ubuntu 12.04 is 26 April 2012, which for me is today. With more than half the day gone already and still no sign of release I wonder if I was a bit too early to wait. Then I realized that my time zone is GMT +10 which meant most of the world will be still on the 25 April 2012. So no problems there.

After using Linux Mint 12 for a while now I have come to love the Cinnamon interface more than Ubuntu's Unity. My big decision here is to decide whether to switch to Ubuntu 12.04 or stick with Linux Mint 12. In the end, after considering many factors I decided to stick with Linux Mint. Here are some major influences in my decision.

Ubuntu and Linux Mint's interfaces are completely different. Ubuntu has more of a traditional orange and purple colour scheme that seem to lack in appeal. Of course everyone's tastes are different but Linux Mint's cool green and gray colour scheme just simply hooked me in. Also, Cinnamon simply fulfil my needs more than Unity does. The amount of customizability on the Cinnamon interface is just simply amazing. Unity is good, but Cinnamon is better.

One thing that annoyed me the most was Ubuntu's decision to not include Sun Java in their default repositories. This left OpenJDK and IcedTea Java which don't run Minecraft! I know there are workarounds to install Sun Java on Ubuntu but those methods are such a hassle. I've tried installing Sun Java 7 and I eventually got Minecraft working properly but then my eclipse IDE broke. In the end, I switched back to Linux Mint 12.

Speed and Updates
For me, I felt that Linux Mint 12 was faster than Ubuntu is opening software and running system scripts. Also, Linux Mint has a handy system update menu app that automatically detects if there are updates available for me to download. Finally, I prefer Linux Mint's software centre over the Ubuntu Software Centre.

My final decision? Always Linux Mint. What about you? Will you download and try Ubuntu 12.04 or will you stick with Linux Mint 12? I read a blog post on the Linux Mint website stating that Linux Mint 13 will be released at the end of May 2012. I can't wait for that!

Anime Review: Higashi no Eden: Gekijouban I The King of Eden

Higashi no Eden: Gekijouban I The King of Eden is the sequel to Higashi no Eden as it continues the story where it last stopped. The mystery deepens as Akira discovers more truths about the game he has found himself in.

Higashi no Eden: Gekijouban I The King of EdenSynopsis:
The intrigue goes international in The King of Eden, a feature-length conspiracy thriller that continues the action of Eden of the East. The deadly game that began in Japan now intensifies on the streets of New York City. The rules are the same: do whatever it takes to win. Die if you lose.

Takizawa prevented Japan's destruction - and then he vanished. Six months later, clues lead Saki to the Big Apple in search of her missing friend. Meanwhile, the remaining Selecao are plotting their final move. Some of them would prefer Takizawa dead and out of the way. Some might even be willing to help him achieve his goals. Unfortunately, some are prepared to destroy everything if it means claiming checkmate in Mr. Outside's puzzling game.

Akira Takizawa is back with more mysteries and action to keep the audience satisfied. Continuing from the last series, we take a further look into the 'game' and its hidden secrets. Asdyou have watched the first series, you will understand what I mean. The 'game' refers to 12 chosen individuals tasked to save Japan from it's financial or economic struggles. Hence, these individuals are given 10 billion to spend on whatever they like, however, there are rules which must be followed. If any rule is broken, the individual would be killed off instantly. With such a competition, Akira Takizawa must protect himself and Saki from harm. The story once again is engaging, action-packed and full of mysteries. You must have watched Higashi no Eden to properly understand and enjoy this film.

The art is pretty much the same as its predecessor. The characters all look the same and the detail in buildings and environments are just great. Nothing much to add here except that the anime is now situated in the United States and not in Japan. The change of scenery and people is evident from the artwork.

Character voice acting is essentially the same. The theme songs were captivating and appropriate for the anime's theme.

More characters are introduced as the story progresses. More of the Selecao individuals are revealed and more truths are discovered.

I enjoyed this sequel as it continued the story from Higashi no Eden since it had a cliffhanger ending. I finally saw how the 'game' progressed to its final stages which will be revealed in the next review of the second film of Higashi no Eden.

Continuing from Higashi no Eden, you are expected to remember and know what happened to fully comprehend this film.

ART: 8
Essentially the same as before with some additional CGI touches.

Same voice acting and appropriate theme songs.

More characters are revealed.

It was nice to see Akira back to save the day.

Direct sequel to Higashi no Eden. Nothing to add and nothing to complain about. It's essentially the same.

April 25, 2012

Anime Review: Higashi no Eden

Higashi no Eden is full of mysteries and surprises along with suspense and action that will keep you on your toes until the very end. The anime takes the story to a whole new level with an added competition that hosts 12 contestants, each battling it out to either destroy or save Japan.

Higashi no EdenSynopsis:
On November 22, 2010 ten missiles strike Japan. However, this unprecedented terrorist act, later to be known as "Careless Monday," does not result in any apparent victims, and is soon forgotten by almost everyone. Then, 3 months later... Saki Morimi is a young woman currently in the United States of America on her graduation trip. But just when she is in front of the White House, Washington DC, she gets into trouble, and only the unexpected intervention of one of her fellow countrymen saves her. However, this man, who introduces himself as Akira Takizawa, is a complete mystery. He appears to have lost his memory, is stark naked, except for the gun he holds in one hand, and the mobile phone he's holding in the other. A phone that is charged with 8,200,000,000 yen in digital cash.

Can you reach out and take the hand of someone who has done terrible things in their past? Will you take their hand because you trust, deep inside, that they can do wonderful things for the future? Higashi no Eden touches on the moral aspects of Akira Takizawa and his dealings with society. At the beginning, Akira has lost his memory and has no idea what is going on. He manages to save Saki Morimi in the United States of America whilst on her graduation trip. Although Akira has lost his memories, he still holds a vital piece in the 'game', that is, his mobile phone. As the story progresses, Akira slowly recollects his past memories of what happened to him and eventually finds out a dark truth of the competition. With 11 other contestants in the 'game', only one can win. The story is exciting and thrilling from the beginning to end. You will slowly discover truths and lies throughout the anime. I enjoyed the story very much.

The artwork took a little whole to get used to since the characters seem to have rather large round-ish faces. Eventually after the first few episodes have passed, I totally forgot about the oddities and enjoyed the anime's nice detailed backgrounds and vivid lighting affects. Even glass had proper reflections that clearly shows the depth of detail that the anime produces.

The soundtrack was brilliantly composed. Atmospheric, lovely, adventurous, neutral, thrilling, light, folksy- this anime manages a spectrum for the background music. The easy brass sounds and the underwhelming suspenseful score suits the anime quite well. This is probably one of the few anime out there to use musical foreshadowing as well as music as a means to develop themes. The theme songs were appropriate to the overall theme.

The characters that stand out the most is definitely Akira, Saki and Juiz. The 11 other contestants are not revealed until much later in the anime. You will definitely find Juiz amusing as she is the electronic computer voice that Akira and the other contestants speak to via their mobile phones. Of course, you won't know that until much later in the anime. Akira on the other hand has a nice cool attitude. He knows what's going on and how to deal with any situation. Saki can be portrayed as a little indecisive and naive as she follows Akira around not knowing what is going on. Of course she later finds out the truth by accident, which makes the anime even that more interesting to watch.

In the end, I really enjoyed the anime with all its suspense, mysteries and surprises. The story was well told with a cliffhanger ending that preludes the two OVAs that follow. Higashi no Eden is one high-tech, action-packed, mystery-ridden anime that will keep you occupied for a long time. If you are into that type of anime, this is perfect for you.

Interest plot with many mysteries and twists.

ART: 8
Well illustrated art and detail in backgrounds.

Good voice acting and appropriate theme songs.

Wide variety of characters with different personalities that will keep you occupied.

A life or death competition? Yes please!

I enjoyed the anime very much.

PSotD - 愛言葉

Title: 愛言葉(ai kotoba) (sasakure.UK Sweets Remix)
Composer/Artist: DECO*27/Hatsune Miku feat. mirto
Album: 愛迷エレジー (Aimai Elegy)
Year: 2010
Notes: No life is complete without listening to DECO*27 songs. He produces catchy pop and electro-pop tunes, and his songs usually makes the listener feel happy and cheerful. DECO*27 is pretty good looking and cute. :3

DECO*27 at an interview/radio show.
DECO*27 is quite a handsome man.
Links: DDL from MikuDB.

Can you take the leek?

April 24, 2012

Random Wiki Article - List of Unusual Deaths

I have, on the random occasion, sat and pondered about how I would die (assuming that Jehovah's day doesn't come before then), and I wondered that after I died how many people would be bothered to come to my funeral, not that I really want one to be held in my name. I personally don't find it appealing nor worth the trouble for others to summarize my uneventful life.

I'd imagine whether I would die from some incurable sickness, purely from old age, some traffic accident, overdose in caffeine, a heart attack, or maybe choking on my food. This afternoon, one of my friends posted in his news feed the following link to the Wikipedia article on a list of unusual deaths. This article kept me entertained for almost one hour.

It turns out that people have died from:
  • choking on a piece of hair while drinking milk;
  • a combination of indigestion and uncontrollable laughing;
  • attacked by a Cassowary;
  • a broken neck when the owner's long scarf got caught in the wheels of a car;
  • two strokes after reading a negative premature obituary of himself;
  • drank himself to death with carrot juice;
  • alcohol intoxication after immersion for twelve hours in a bathtub filled with 40% ethanol.  It was believed that she had immersed herself as a response to the SARS epidemic;
  • collapsed of fatigue and died after playing the videogame StarCraft online for almost 50 consecutive hours;
  • drowned after his kayak was capsized by a swan, which then proceeded to block him from escaping to shore.

So, how will you die?

PSotD - Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor

Title: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18 Mvt. 1 - Moderato
Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff
Performed by: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Fritz Reiner
Piano: Arthur Rubinstein
Year: Composed 1900-1901
Notes: The Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, is a concerto for piano and orchestra, composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff between the autumn of 1900 and April 1901. The second and third movements were first performed with the composer as soloist on 2 December 1900. The complete work was premiered, again with the composer as soloist, on 27 October 1901, with his cousin Alexander Siloti conducting.

This piece is one of Rachmaninoff's most enduring popular pieces, and established his fame as a concerto composer. he opening movement begins with a series of bell-like tolling on the piano that build tension, eventually climaxing in the introduction of the main theme.

In this first section, the orchestra carries the Russian-character melody while the piano makes an accompaniment made of arpeggios riddled with half steps. After the statement of the long first theme, a quicker transition follows until the more lyrical second theme, in E flat major, is presented. The agitated and unstable development borrows motives from both themes changing keys very often and giving the melody to different instruments while a new musical idea is slowly formed. The music builds in a huge climax as if the work was going to repeat the first bars of the work, but the recapitulation is going to be quite different.

While the orchestra restates the first theme, the piano, that in the other occasion had an accompaniment role, now plays the march-like theme that had been halfway presented in the development, thus making a considerable readjustment in the exposition, as the main theme, played by the orchestra has become an accompaniment. This is followed by a piano solo, which leads into a descending chromatic passage and concluding with an eerie french horn solo. From here the last minutes of the movement are placid until drawn into the agitated coda, and the piece ends in C minor fortissimo.

Quotes from Max Harrison's "Rachmaninoff: Life, Works, Recordings" and Geoffrey Norris' "The Master Musicians: Rachmaninoff"

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873 - 1943)

Google Drive Release Imminent

By now many people may have already heard about Google's solution against popular cloud storage services such as DropBox and Box. Google Drive is definitely in development and should be released soon. According to some sources, consumers using this new service will get 5GB of storage for free. In addition, users can also purchase additional storage capacity to a maximum of 100GB for a monthly fee.

Google will be looking to target both consumers and businesses with Google Drive. The new service will take advantages of most of the cloud services we have used in the past such as Gmail, Google Images, Google Docs and Google+. No one is certain of the release date but every seems to say its bound to be released this week. 

As a huge Google fanboy, I have already closed down my DropBox and Box accounts and currently using Ubuntu One as my cloud storage service. If Google Drive supports Linux on release date, I will definitely switch over from Ubuntu One. As of now, we play the waiting game. One question remains: Will you be switching to Google Drive?

Anime Review: Grave of the Fireflies

Another great classic anime by Studio Ghibli once again. Grave of the Fireflies is another touching story that will definitely affect your emotions one way or another.

Grave of the FirefliesSynopsis:
In the aftermath of a World War II bombing, two orphaned children struggle to survive in the Japanese countryside. To Seita and his four year old sister, the helplessness and indifference of their countrymen is even more painful than the enemy raids. Through desperation, hunger and grief, these children's lives are as heartbreakingly fragile as their spirit and love is inspiring.

What would you do if you lived through World War II and the family you have left is your sister. What would you do? The story of Seita protecting and caring for his sister and himself whilst encountering helplessness, desperation, hunger and grief, is one that will break your heart. Grave of the Fireflies is not a fairy tale despite Seita's attempts to make Setsuko think that they are living in one. The film sadly follows their lives in this bunker where they don't battle soldiers and warmongers, but try to battle scabs, starvation and sorrow. In an interesting light, despite the very graphic and violent scenes that the movie opens with, the rest of the movie does not deal with fighting and war, but more of the war's impact on these two children. As you watch you will feel a sense of attachment to the pair as they struggle to the end.

Art and animation for this movie are truly beautiful even though the film was made in the '80s; yet it still looks amazing. The film is gruesomely detailed, showing the exact look of a body burned beyond recognition, the little nits and lice that thrive from destitute and unhygienic living conditions, the bones pressing against skin that has been denied nourishment. There's something darkly, hauntingly beautiful about the artwork for this anime. The character design is realistic, and watching Seita and Setsuko, well, it could be any two Japanese children. Which I think means a lot more in the grander picture: how many boys and girls just like them have been victims of the second World War? Possibly more than we truly want to know.

Grave of the Fireflies has an excellent soundtrack. The technical aspects of this film are near perfection. The score utilises melancholy sounds, but it understands the quality of silence just as well. There are few silent scenes in anime that have managed to bombard a listeners' very emotions. But where there is no vitality, where there is no life, then there is no sound. And when it's all over, the bustle and noise of life continuing swells and crashes. Grave of the Fireflies captures that perfectly.

Seita is truly a hero in all our hearts. His many attempts to save his sister, Setsuko, really encourages us to motivate ourselves in overcoming seemingly impossible problems in life. Setsuko is just naturally cute and innocent. The way that these to interact with each other truly brings out the love between siblings- how one must protect the other. The characters were few, but the impact was great.

Overall, it was a touching and emotionally saddening film to watch. The horrors of war cannot be fully describe in text, and must be shown through beautiful artwork and melancholy music. It is one film that you will not forget even after you have watched it a long time ago. It really impacted me and I definitely will not forget the film. Another great masterpiece by Studio Ghibli.

A touching story of brother and sister surviving in the aftermath of war.

ART: 8
Beautifully illustrated and animated.

An excellent soundtrack that indirectly affects the viewer's emotions.

Charming and cute characters that will sure to leave an imprint in your memory.

It is truly a tragic film, its sad but enjoyable.

Another great film by Studio Ghibli that successfully brings out the horror of war.

Ubuntu 12.10 Named ‘Quantal Quetzal’

Ubuntu 12.10 finally has a codename -  Quantal Quetzal.

Writing (in lavish quantities of alliteration) on his blog, Mark Shuttleworth gave reasoning behind the codename for the Ubuntu 12.10 release, which, he says, will largely focus around ‘Quality’.

"Quality comes from focus and clarity of purpose, it comes from careful design and rigorous practices."

And, in order to live up to the ‘resplendent’ bird it’s named after, Shuttleworth says:

"Q will be all about style on the client, with a refresh of our theme and typography, a start on new iconography and perhaps even a new form factor taking flight."


April 23, 2012

PSotD - St. Matthew Passion BWV 244

Title: St. Matthew Passion BWV 244 (GermanMatthäus-Passion)
Composer/Original Artist: Johann Sebastian Bach
Year: Composed 1727
Notes: This is a sacred oratorio for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra. The conductor is the Belgian Philippe Herreweghe.

Ubuntu 12.10 Roadmap

Ubuntu 12.10

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS hasn't even come out yet and the Ubuntu team is already busy scheduling the roadmap  to Ubuntu 12.10. What will it be called? Q...Quail? What will be in store for us in the next release?

The Ubuntu 12.10 release date comes from the tentative release schedule for the post-Precise release, which has been published online. In keeping with the last few development cycles a total of 3 alphas and 2 beta releases are planned. Alpha 1 is pegged for release on June 7th, with the first beta following a few months later on September 6th.

The full list of dates is as follows, but do be aware that they are subject to change.

Alpha 1 – June 7th
Alpha 2 - June 28th
Alpha 3 - August 2nd
Beta 1 - September 6th
Beta 2 - September 27th
Ubuntu 12.10 - October 18th

Anime Review: Mirai Nikki (TV)

Classed as a serious psychological thriller anime, Mirai Nikki delivers us with the most thrilling anime I have watch since Ga-Rei: Zero. What you see is not what it seems. Mirai Nikki will influence your emotions a lot.

Mirai Nikki (TV)Synopsis:
This psychological thriller, based on the manga written and illustrated by Sakae Esuno, is about Yuki, a loner who's not very good with people. He prefers to write a diary on his cell phone and talk to his imaginary friend, Deus Ex Machina – The God of Time and Space. However, Yuki soon learns that Deus is more than a figment of his imagination when he makes Yuki participate in a battle royale with eleven others. The contestants are given special diaries that can predict the future, each diary possessing unique features that give it both advantages and disadvantages. Within the next 90 days, the contestants must try to survive until there is only one left standing. The winner will become the new God of Time and Space.

At first the story doesn't seem too bad- until you meet the twelve. Twelve mentally unstable contestants that wants to win the competition no matter what it takes. Here we see Yuki, a lonely boy that is closed off to the outside world just writing in his diary. As such, he is chosen to be one of the contestants to battle out for the top job. Sounds simple? Afraid not. Along the way he meets friends, foes and discovers horrific truths, hidden agendas and broken promises. Trust and betrayal are pretty much what holds this anime together as Yuki finds out that friends can be either allies or enemies. The mystery deepens as he is constantly stalked by his psycho killer 'girlfriend' who seems to stop anyone that wants to become closer to him. On top of that, he has to deal with the other combatants whilst protecting his diary from harm. The story is fast paced and full of action. Mirai Nikki is a true psychological thriller and may seem innocent at first but the dark side of it reveals itself as the series continue. With an unexpected ending, what will happen in the future?

The art work is well illustrated and animated with some nice lighting effects and character decals. The nice use of overtones and 'noir' style dark alleys just adds to the thrilling affects of this whole anime. The various special effects are just so well animated from the various colourful explosions of buildings to the muzzle flash of gunfire. Even the small details in the background environment were drawn precisely. Well done for such a quick moving and imaginative anime.

The theme songs were appropriate for Mirai Nikki and I had no problems with voice acting. Although, Gasai Yuno would get on your nerves a bit with her constant 'Yuki~' name calling. On the other hand, Yuki's voice acting perfectly suited him. The characters were meant to be only 14 years old but I don't think 14 year olds sound like that. The other contestant's voice acting were also appropriate for their type of character. No complaints here.

It is all about the character here. Yuki is meant to be 14, but I can't really imagine 14 year olds would be doing all this horrific stuff they did in the anime. I would be more comfortable if they were above 16. So there is a sense of unrealism in the anime. Heck, the whole anime is just unrealistic, which it is meant to be. I won't spoil too much information here but the other 11 contestants are totally different from each other, having their own values and moral standards. In the end, it is up to Yuki to either save them or break them. You will definitely show mixed reactions and emotions to Yuno as she mysteriously hold a dark secret that will change the game.

In the end, it was one thrilling ride from start to finish. I definitely had strong mixed reactions to the many scenes throughout the anime. Right from the start, you are given a glimpse of what happened in the past, but you don't come to realize that until near the end. Mirai Nikki will make you feel shocked, impressed, disgusted, depressed, happy, scared or everything in between. Be prepared as what you see is not what it seems. Lies are everywhere. Even this cake.

What a thrilling story right from the start. The action is packed so you will never be bored.

ART: 8
Well animated and illustrated action scenes and flashback scenarios.

Appropriate theme songs and good voice acting.

Many characters that will definitely affect more or less depending on how you view the situation.

Thrilling. Just thrilling. Both emotionally and psychologically affected in one way or another.

If you are into mystery and psychological thriller anime then this is perfect for you.

April 22, 2012

PSotD - 六花の琴

Title: 六花の琴 (Snow Harp)
Original Composer/Original Artist: ふゆP (FuyuP)/Megurine Luka
Album: 音ノ葉集メ
Year: 2010
Notes: Includes Japanese flute. Very calming and soothing song. To be honest I thought it was Miku singing until I checked the album info.

Anime Review: Beck

Just what is Beck? After watching it I can conclude that it is one stereotyped anime about Americans living in Japan. More to the point, about a indecisive boy that decides to join a band. The story is decently linear and the songs are good, but I just couldn't contain my laughter at the various misconceptions thrown in.

Tanaka Yukio, better known by his nickname Koyuki is a 14 year old who feels disconnected from life in general. Through the act of saving a mismatched dog, he meets guitarist Minami Ryuusuke, and becomes involved in Ryuusuke's new band BECK. Koyuki's life starts to change as the band struggles towards fame.

Beck is an anime about a band that struggles towards fame. Along the way they meet many different problems which they must overcome. As such we get to see the hardships and heartbreaking moments for each member of the band. The story is quite linear as the character starts off as a total newcomer in playing the guitar. After overcoming some fears and problems, he starts to get serious about playing and eventually becomes quite skilled. Of course, his attitude changes after meeting and joining the band as decides that music is his life. The ending was excellently done that left a satisfying conclusion to an entertaining series.

Honestly, the art wasn't that spectacular. I think the animators only solely focused on the band playing scenes rather than the overall picture. The detail on the guitars were great and the strumming movements by the band members were quite realistic. Apart from that, everything else lacked fine detail that left me quite disappointed. The art took too long to get used to and it had too much of a 'western' cartoon feel to it. Whether this anime was animated by a western studio would come as no surprise to me, if it wasn't then I must say it was just too stereotyped.

I had mixed reactions to the soundtrack and voice acting throughout the anime. The voice acting was decent overall but I seriously could not stand the English that the Japanese characters spoke. Even the American characters which probably had English voice actors sounded really stereotyped. The dialogue was just 'urgh'. Terrible. So bad that I found it hilarious to watch. Even though I don't like in the US, I could still tell that it was pretty stereotyped right from the start. The singing wasn't all bad but the English conversations between characters just put me off.

At first I could not tell where the story was situated in, but then I came to realize it was in Japan and not in America at all. The main reason why I was confused was that the anime showed a lot of 'foreigners' in Japan that spoke English- including the main characters. Thus I was confused at the time and place the story was set. Yukio wasn't all too bad as he mainly stuck with Japanese and his English is very limited to only a few broken sentences. You get to sense pity for him as he deals with everyday life in and out of the band. There were lots of other characters which had different personalities more skewered to the American way of life. You may find them hilarious or just downright stupid.

Overall, I liked the story and the music but I just couldn't stand the voice acting. Yes I know its a Japanese anime with American references, but why did they have to use American stereotyped characters in it? Beck is onle of those anime that you will have to take as a grain of salt. It's enjoyable enough to watch to the end. It is funny in many different ways. If you don't mind the cheesy dialogue then its a good anime to waste some time on.

Pretty generic and linear. There are some surprising events that will keep you entertained.

ART: 5
Disappointing art presentation overall. Lack of textures and fine detailed ruined the experience for me.

I just could not stand the stereotyped and cheesy dialogue. Really? Do all Americans sound like that? Music was decent though.

Wide range of characters both from eastern and western origins. It was funny to watch them converse with each other.

It was enjoyable to watch to an extent. If you are into rock bands and such.

I felt that it could have been way better if they fixed up the art and character representations.

April 21, 2012

Supanova April 2012!

Today, I attended Supanova at the Gold Coast exhibition centre! It was fantastic. Basically, it was nerds, nerds everywhere. Haha just kidding, but it was a great day. I took a whole bunch of pictures of cosplayers, and I ended up buying a Gundam model I am quite happy with. At the end of the day there was also a cosplay competition. To be honest it did drag on for a bit too long, but there were some good acts and cosplays. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, and I will probably attend the next one that comes along too, later this year.

Anyways, check out the pictures HERE
I'll have a video for you guys soon.

Rhycen OUT

PSotD - Tell Your World (Cover by ゆう十)

Title: Tell Your World (Cover by ゆう十)
Original Composer/Original Artist: livetune (kz)/Hatsune Miku
Album: Tell Your World
Year: 2012
Notes: This is a very beautiful cover version by Yuuju. He has a nice smooth voice and his voice works well with the piano accompaniment. However, his voice doesn't really strike me as something exceptional. 

Anime Review: The Cat Returns

An anime about cats. Instant win, or is it? The Cat Returns is another wonderful compilation by Studio Ghibli as they never ceases to amaze me with their unique stories and interesting characters.

The Cat ReturnsSynopsis:
The Cat Returns is something of a loose spin-off of "Whisper of the Heart" as it features two characters from that film: Muta (the cat from "Whisper") and the Baron (the cat statue from "Whisper"). There is no other connection between the two movies and this is not a sequel. The story is based on Neko no Danshaku (Baron of Cat) by Hiiragi Aoi. 

The main character of the story, Haru, is a clueless, ordinary 17-year-old girl. She has no special abilities and neither is she an extraordinary beauty. When faced with reality, she is unable to make decisions for herself, thus often sways to others' opinions to avoid challenge. One day, Haru saves the life of a cat without considering her own safety. The cat turns out to be the Cat Prince from the Kingdom of Cats, however as a result, Haru is trapped in the world of cats. Can Baron and Muta rescue Haru who has wandered into the world of cats?

The Cat Returns is another unique and original story by Studio Ghibli. It is about a 17 year old girl that is indecisive in life. As a result, she encounters a cat which is actually a prince in the 'Kingdom of Cats'. Thus, she is thrown into the world and she has to find a way back out whilst avoiding and overcoming many personal and external problems. The story is just uniquely funny and magical. It is just like a fairy tale. The story is well told with many hilarious and exciting moments.

The art is just like any other Studio Ghibli film. Their unique trademarked art style really shows here, with   pencil drawing like animation to fluid textured backgrounds. The characters were detailed and they had the most unrealistic facial expressions compared to other anime. The art was cute and naive. Just how Studio Ghibli films are made.

Voice acting was perfect for all characters. Even the cats sounded right. Everything just felt natural and brought out. The theme songs were genuinely pleasant and like any other Studio Ghibli film- classical in its own way.

The characters were all different from one another. Even the cats had their own personalities and traits. Different shapes, sizes and colour cats are evidently everywhere throughout the whole anime. You will come to like your favourite cat after you have finished this film.

Overall, it was refreshing and enjoyable to watch. It is nice to see another wonderful and imaginative production by Studio Ghiblit once again. If you are into cats then you will love this film.

Wild and imaginative.

ART: 7
Unique art style for sceneries and characters.

Classical music to complement a nice anime. Voice acting was perfect.

All different types of cats- take your pick.

I enjoyed it very much.

A enjoyable anime to watch with family or kids.

April 20, 2012

PSotD - ハローストロボ

Title: ハローストロボ (Hello Strobe)
Composer/Artist: ぽわぽわP (PowapowaP)/Hatsune Miku
Year: 2011
Notes: A pretty quirky song. ~Strum that guitar.
Links: DDL from MikuDBOriginal song on NicoNicoDouga

Linux Tycoon Beta 3 Released

Bryan Lunduke has finally released Linux Tycoon Beta 3 and it is now available for download on the Linux, Mac and Windows platforms!

If you have already purchased, simply re-download using the instructions in your purchase email.

There are quite a few new features added into this release. Here’s the highlights:
  • New online game-play.
  • You can now Save and Resume your local games.
  • Major overhaul of the simulation engine based on player feedback.
  • Software Packages are now more heavily effected by workers (including new package versions and modified stats).
  • You can now see events for all Distro’s (not just your own).

Feedback on the game can be found at the forum. If you haven't bought the game already, its only $4 for now and can be bought at his page. If you are a Linux fanboy or just love simulation games then this game should keep you occupied for a while. Its pretty limited in functionality at this point but I am sure it will be improved in the future.

Linux Quick Tip #4: Nautilus Shotcuts

Nautilus Shortcuts are Handy

If you are a regular Linux user like me, you probably would have had to deal with Nautilus many times in a day. Here are a few quick keyboard shortcuts that will save seconds of your life.

  • Open a location - Ctrl+L
  • Open Parent folder - Ctrl+Up
  • Arrow keys navigate around current folder.
You can also customise the file icons with 'emblems'. These are little graphical overlays that can be applied to individual files or groups. Open the Properties menu item of your selected file/folder and click on the icon to select any image you want.

Anime Review: Pale Cocoon

What can a one episode anime do to make such an impact on the audience? However, Pale Cocoon takes a different direction than your average anime. It has a deep meaning behind it.

Pale CocoonSynopsis:
A future where the continuity of history has broken off, a world of enormous ruins that continues endlessly. Oceans and continents have vanished, existing only within the archives brought up from the remains. Ura works in the Archive Excavation Department, which restores and analyzes the data left behind. One day, he finds a disturbing visual record... 

There isn't much to say about Pale Cocoon as it it only a 23 minute OVA. Thus, it jumps straight into the story where it is hundreds of years into the future when humans live underground. The surface of the whole world has been 'metallized' and humans have no choice but to live underground. Here we see Ura working in the Archive Excavation Department, analysing and repairing old records of long ago. One day he finds a visual record that changes his view of the future as well as the past. Pale Cocoon holds such a deep meaning to it that even after watching it, you will be left guessing as what really happened. From my perspective this short OVA really made me think about the world we live in today. As technology increasing evolves, what will become of nature and the environment we live in. Will it become desolate and ruined like what is shown in the OVA? What would be the purpose in life if such thing would occur? Thus, the OVA concludes with Ura going to the surface to see the truth himself. The story is sad in a way that if you think about it, will this future really happen?

The art was simply amazing with a mixture of 3D and 2D elements. Of course for a 23 minute OVA, much detail was put into it. As such, you get a sense of wonder at the environment that the characters are situated in. Even the characters had fine detail on them. The animations were fluid and felt natural.

The sound track was gracefully composed at suited the theme perfectly. Also, the character's voice acting was perfectly synced. Though, most of the OVA has little or no speech, we mostly hear of Ura's monologue of uncovering the past. The OVA is mainly focused on visual representation of the story rather than an audio presentation. Thus, the soundtrack used in the OVA made little impact to the overall story.

The OVA has only three major characters in the story. This is quite an accomplishment for a single OVA because it is pretty hard to tell a story with a limited amount of characters. As such, we view Ura as a lonely secluded guy just working away his life uncovering artefacts from the past. He does have two other friends that work in the same department as him, but he rarely interacts with them much. We see little about the characters' past so I didn't feel any emotional or connection to them except the situation that they are in.

Overall, I found this an interesting and meaningful anime. It is not something you come across every day. It has a sense of dread and sadness in it that portrays a future that might or might not happen. As you watch, you come to understand why the characters felt this way and what feelings they show. In the end, it is a anime you would want to watch when you have some free time. There are no major climaxes or action. Just pure understanding and discovery of the past and of the future.

What will happen in the future, or rather, what happened in the past?

ART: 9
Mixture of 3D and 2D environments is just stunningly well presented.

Good voice acting but music had little impact on overall theme.

We see little character development because of such a short anime, but we do get sense of what is happening.

For some reason, it wasn't boring even though is was all dull and gray.

An anime that will make you think deeply. If you are analytical anime type, this is for you.

Humble Bundle Bontanicula Debut

It seems the Humble Bundle is back with a few indie games for Windows, Max and Linux. The new bundle is debuting a new gamr called Botanicula that is cross-platform compatible. In Amanita Design's latest adventure/puzzle game, you must guide a motley band of tree creatures in a journey to save their home from brooding, parasitic invaders.

Botanicula on Humble Bundle will help save the rainforest
Buying the bundle also gets you two more award-winning games from Amanita Design: Machinariumand Samorost 2. If you pay more than the average, you'll receive Windosill, a charming point-and-click puzzle game by the interactive animation studio Vectorpark, and Kooky, a Czech feature-length film with art direction by members of Amanita Design.

The games are DRM-free and soundtracks are included! Customers who choose to pay above $5 have the option of receiving a code to redeem the games on Steam.

You can also support nature conservation efforts by designating a part of your pay-what-you-want purchase to benefit the World Land Trust, an organization that works to protect rainforests and other wildlife habitats worldwide.

However, none of the games really interest me that much and they do not include Android, so I would have to pass on this round. However, if you are extremely bored or just want to support the indie developers feel free to buy the bundle here. The offer lasts for 2 weeks, starting today.

April 19, 2012

PSotD - 可能世界のロンド

Title: 可能世界のロンド (Rondo of the Possible World)
Composer/Artist: millstones/Hatsune Miku
Album: 黄昏ホリック(Twilight Holic)
Year: 2010
Notes: Chilling down~ And feels "space-y".
Links: DDL from MikuDBOriginal song on NicoNicoDouga

Draw Something Finally Gets Updated

It seems an update for Draw Something has finally arrived!

The new update brings bug fixes to your Android device.

Some new features are:
* Sending a comment with your drawing
* Undo your last drawn line
* Refresh by pulling down the screen
* Post to Facebook and Twitter

The developer has also stated that more updates will be coming soon! Stay tuned!

New photo integrations for Gmail and Google+

It seems Google's services are getting better and better. With today's announcement comes a minor update that will either make your life a little bit better or have no effect at all.

"Gmail and Google+ are both great places to share images and videos with your friends, and we're always looking for ways to make this easier. We’ve been showing recent Google+ posts in the people widget for some time, and a few weeks ago we added the ability for you to share YouTube videos from your email to your Google+ stream.

Today, we're expanding recent Google+ posts in the people widget to include thumbnails of the photos and videos shared in the post. We’re also making it easier to share inline images in emails -- just hover your mouse over the image in your email and you will see an option to share it on Google+. We're still rolling out the update, so if you don't see it yet, sit tight." - Gmail Team

From the post above on their Google+ page, the Gmail team has announced more better integration between Google+ and Gmail. You can now share inline images in emails to Google+ with a single click of a button.

Anime Review: 5 Centimeters Per Second

5 Centimeters Per Second mixes real life scenarios into fiction with this heartbreaking and bittersweet film that will truly touch your heart in many ways. Emotions will show and it will leave you with a memory you will never forget.

5 Centimeters per SecondSynopsis:
Tohno Takaki and Shinohara Akari, two very close friends and classmates, are torn apart when Akari's family is transferred to another region of Japan due to her family's job. Despite separation, they continue to keep in touch through mail. When Takaki finds out that his family is also moving, he decides to meet with Akari one last time.

As years pass by, they continue down their own paths, their distance slowly growing wider and their contact with one another fades. Yet, they keep remembering one another and the times they have shared together, wondering if they will have the chance to meet once again.

THE REVIEW CONTAIN SPOILERS (Do not read if you will watch the anime as this may impact on your viewing experience!)

April 18, 2012

Nanoir Lyrics Track 5 - glow

While I'm on a roll tonight, I'll post another set of Nanoir's lyrics. Note that for the moment I'll skip transcribing track 4 because most of the song is in Japanese, and I'm not fluent in the Japanese language. So for now enjoy the lyrics of track 5 - glow.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these songs or lyrics. All credits goes to Nano and various music producers. Also, there may be incorrect transcriptions of the lyrics since I transcribed these songs all by ear, so use at own risk.

Track 5: glow

The ice cold rain drops falling from the sky,
They tried to melt away all the broken scars.
The shining afterglow totally caught my eyes,
Someone’s smiling face hidden deep inside.

As the time is passing by we find the strength inside.
The beautiful lies are not so hard to tell as before.
And in the past I’ve had to taste so many different pains,
Sometimes I still hear them knocking on my door.

You, you, you, you fading away,
The way for you to see the tears in my eyes.
In this sentimental glowing twilight,
Nobody is there to hear me cry.

Just take a look inside of me,
All the scars you’ve given me.
I can’t go on not taking one more step,
They’re taking all of me.
Please disappear, don’t want you here.
I look at you and pray like this.
But tell me why I can’t go on,
I’m holding on to you so deep inside.

Now it’s time for you to walk the distance.
Nothing is left for me but only silence.
In this sentimental glowing twilight.
I’m falling away,
Alone I face the night.

You will stay forever deep inside of me,
Just my stupid little childish fantasy.
In this sentimental glowing twilight,
I’m falling apart without you.

Can you wipe away all of my tears?
Can you fight away all my fears?
Reaching out my hands trying to hold on,
To the you that I don’t want to lose.