Nerdology (n) - a study of people and objects that make the kingdom of nerd fun and exciting. From robots and lasers to incredible Star Trek gift sets.

You can e-mail me tips or ideas: nerdology project (at) gmail (dot) com

Taking 5
Round of Applause
Awful Nerd Shirts
Videogame Music Fridays
Video Features
Other Featured Articles

Where You Can Find Me

Currently Playing
Dead Rising 3
Forza 4
Ace Attorney: Dual Destiny's

Currently Reading
Doctor Sleep

Taking 5: You Have A Headset

Like most Xbox One owners I’ve been playing a good amount of Titanfall. But something I’ve noticed more and more is silence. No one is using their headsets to talk to each other. The only audio I get during the game is the crackling of the NPC commander yelling at me. This is true in every game type I’ve played, including Hardpoint, an objective based game type.

It’s just insane to me that no one uses their headset. Especially when playing games where tactics are a huge part, you have to use your mic. With a microphone included with every Xbox One and Xbox 360 there is no excuse.

I’ve noticed this trend in the last few years on Xbox. When I was started playing games on Xbox Live (Crimson Skies and then Halo 2) people wouldn’t shut up. You always knew exactly where everyone was, who was going to take the flag and who was staying behind to defend.

It actually got to the point where there was too much conversation. Sure you’d get people would singing, and there was a ton of trash talk (I produced two videos at CollegeHumor exploring just that) but those were fringe cases and overall it was better that people were talking.

There was so much talking during Xbox games that Bungie made a point to show how easy it was to mute people in Halo 3. That’s what I want to get back to. Making shooters social again. I would much rather mute a few people talking too much (or breathing heavily into their mic) than have complete silence during the game.

I first noticed the decline of conversation playing Halo Reach Multiplayer and it was very apparent in Halo 4 (ok, look I don’t play that many online multiplayer games, but Halo is a big enough series that I think it makes for an adequate sample size). Since roughly 2010 I’ve noticed a decline in talking during multiplayer games.

Now, I’m not saying we should all immediately become best friends with everyone who we play Xbox Live with. But letting your teammates know that you’re going to attack or defend goes a long way. Me and the small group of friends who play Halo together are not, by any means, great at Halo (well Justin is, but he’s an anomaly). But because we’re talking we win far more matches than we lose.

And I think everyone can agree that it’s way more fun to win a multiplayer game than to lose.

If you’d like to play Titanfall with me my Gamer Tag is Ice Jedi. But please, wear a headset.


R U In 2 It? - George & Jonathan

Frontrunner for my favorite song on the new album. Did you go to the website yet? GO!

George & Jonathan just dropped their new album! Not only is the music top notch their website is amazing. It shows you every note in every song! Go visit, listen to great music, and most importantly please turn up your volume.

Once i’ve listened to the album a few times I’ll be posting my favorite tracks… so probably tomorrow.

[via George & Jonathan]

Taking 5: Xbox One and Backwards Compatibility

Earlier this month Xbox partner development lead Frank Savage let it slip that there are some plans for the Xbox One to get some backwards compatability. From Joystiq:

"There are [plans], but we’re not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately," said Savage, as reported by Kotaku Australia. “It turns out to be hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff. So there’s nothing to announce, but I would love to see it myself.”

So here’s the thing. I don’t really want (or expect) 60 dollar retail Xbox 360 games playable on my Xbox One. As… fanboy(?)  as it sounds, I do have a perfectly good Xbox 360 sitting right next to my Xbox One, and if I really have the need to play Halo 4 or The Club I can very easily turn it on. Actually, I was playing the BioShock Infinite DLC over the weekend.

What I DO want, and what I think would be really important to people, is if XBLA games were backwards compatible. XBLA games are a great way to augment the library on new hardware. I (like many people I know) purchased a lot of XBLA games. Most of which are highly repayable, and really helped define the last console generation.

I’ve actually been putting some really solid time into Geometry Wars 2 (it’s basically a perfect game. The game modes, the music, and the visual aesthetic compliment each other so well, no other game I’ve played is this well put together). It’s a great way to wind down after a 14 hour day on set (as my day job I’m a commercial producer) or after a couple of really intense games of Titanfall.

I guess what I’m saying is even if it’s “hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff” and doing so uses a lot of computing power, it shouldn’t affect most XBLA titles. So I hope we see some backwards compatibility on Xbox One and I hope I can migrate some of those titles over.



This speaker lights up in flames with every beat.

This is really cool.

"Yes hi, I’m here to pick up some power converters. My friend Luke told me you had some for sale."

Huh? I thought Peter Parker was a photographer. The direction these new Spider-Man movies is taking is very strange. /s

I’m playing BioShock - Burial At Sea

Big Daddy’s are still terrifying. Even after all these years.

iOS 8 Feature Requests

I usually write this post closer to WWDC, but iOS 7 is in need of a lot of work so I’m posting early. I’m not even going to request defaults for email, browser, and maps. There’s no point dwelling on things that are never, ever going to happen. Let’s jump in.

- Shake to Undo
Really? You’re still here? My iOS 5 request list asked if there was a better, cleaner way to handle undo and yet, it’s still hanging around. There HAS to be a better way than shaking the phone to deal with undo. But maybe not? It’s been in iOS for so long I’m almost convinced there’s no better way. Almost.

- Smarter About Pausing Music
Sometimes the volume should be just lowered not totally stop. If I’m listening to music and then I quickly want to record a video of something. My music doesn’t need to turn completely off and remain off until I launch into the Music App again and hit play. Apple can be smarter about that.

- New Multitasking
I wrote about this a few weeks ago. I think having access to your dock in the multitasking screen would be awesome.


- Folders
Folders have become abysmal in iOS 7. Only 9 items on screen at a time? And you can actually trap apps on their own page without knowing it. I never particularly liked the old folders, but some kind of hybrid of old folders with pages is a great place to start.

- Lock Screen
We should be interacting more with the lock screen. The lock screen as it is now seems too much like it’s been hacked together from what the original lock screen was and made to work as notifications became more important. It needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.

  • I should be able to reply to a text message from the lock screen. 
  • I should be able to launch into the dock apps from the lock screen (much the way TouchWiz and Sense work). That way from lock screen and from multitasking you can always get to your most important apps.
  • We don’t need a clock to take up 1/3 of the lock screen.
  • Notifications that are outdated should go away. My transit app displays that there were delays on the 6 train this morning, even after it’s been corrected.

- Touch ID
Open up Touch ID so it can manage passwords on websites or within apps. I have to type in a ridiculous password every time I need to go into my banks app. Would love to bypass that with my fingerprint.

I would bet 1000 dollars that this is coming in IOS 8. It’s the natural iteration of Touch ID and a way for people to get excited about it. Especially since it’s very likely that more devices are going to get Touch ID this year. Expect it in all new iPhones and iPads in the fall.

Read more

Cover Story: Station to Station: The Past, Present, and Future of Streaming Music 

This Pitchfork cover story is wonderful, beautiful, and exactly in line with how I’ve been thinking recently. Go read it if only to see the great design.

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