DC Comics Digital Pricing

As I mentioned last week, DC Comics will be undergoing a universe-wide reboot on August 31, 2011. RPadholic smartguy mentioned that he was interested in same-day releases for digital comics so I thought I’d do some research for him. Digital versions of DC Comics will initially cost the same as their print counterparts: $2.99 for standard issues and $3.99 for over-sized issues. After four weeks, the digital prices will drop by $1.

Additionally, DC is experimenting with a combo pack for Justice League #1. A special edition for $4.99 will include a physical comic book and a code for a digital download.

The pricing scheme for DC’s digital comics seems fair. Obviously the company doesn’t want to piss off retailers, so the equal pricing was somewhat expected. Readers that can wait stand to get better deals; back issue prices normally go up, while their digital equivalents will go down.

What do you think of DC Comics’ digital prices? Are you interested buying comics digitally?

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People Love Final Cut Pro X, People Hate Final Cut Pro X

The reactions to Apple’s Final Cut Pro X have been fascinating. Some people absolutely love it and some people absolutely hate it. I think everyone is right. Before I explain why, enjoy the Conan O’Brien video above and let me give you an idea of my background with the Final Cut series.

I’ve been using Final Cut Pro since version 4.5. I was never a power editor and after years of experience, I can still do more with Adobe’s Premiere than Apple’s Final Cut. However, I had to learn what I could since the program was used in every studio I’ve worked with, save one (it was an Avid shop, if you’re curious). After years of use, I’m a barely competent editor on Final Cut Pro 7.

Last Friday, I went to my friends office to play with Final Cut Pro X. I absolutely loved it. For a user like me, it’s the perfect blend of power and ease-of-use. It was so much easier for me to do so much more on Final Cut Pro X than Final Cut Pro 7.

Not surprisingly, all the video editors in the office hate it. They think it’s more iMovie Pro than Final Cut Pro. They hate that it’s missing vital features like dual-camera support, the inability to export to tape, the inability to import old Final Cut projects, and much, much more.

I’m positive that Apple will restore features to Final Cut Pro X to accommodate professional users. Their complaints are completely valid. Final Cut Pro X is a fantastic program for casual users and prosumers. For editing professionals, it’s flawed and limited…for now. Until those features are brought to the new version, I’m going to sit back, grab some popcorn, and watch my video-editing friends spit venom at the program.

The great news is that this is the perfect video editing program for me. The bad news is that I’m so far away from buying a new Mac and will have to fight with Premiere until that blessed day comes. *sigh*

Nokia Shows its First Windows Phone: Codename Sea Ray

In what appears to be a staged “leak”, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop unveiled the company’s first Windows Phone model. Say hello to Sea Ray! Physically, the device is pretty much the same as the beautiful Nokia N9, but with an extra button. Watch the video above for a full presentation — including some Xbox Live avatar goodness — on the Nokia Sea Ray.

On a side note, I hope to be working with Nokia closely in the near feature. Part of it is because the company has really interesting products. Most of it is because I miss Finnish accents and humor. I had so much fun working with Nokia during the N-Gage days. The Finnish sense of humor is awesome.

Valve Updates Team Fortress 2 to a Freemium Game

In an interesting and potentially brilliant move, Valve has made the highly popular Team Fortress 2 a free-to-play game. Gamers can play for free, but can also spend money — through Steam, naturally — on premium items.

The gambit is part of a huge shift in gaming; a lot of franchises are trying to evolve from boxed goods to games-plus-services. While Valve’s strategy is quite different from what Activision plans to do with Call of Duty and what Electronic Arts has planned for Battlefield, Team Fortress 2 shifting to a freemium model is another sign that the times are changing.

What do you guys and dolls think of Team Fortress 2 becoming a free-to-play game? Are you more or less interested in the game now that it’s freemium?

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Coffee Talk #368: LulzSec — Internet Heroes or Anarchists?

Renowned hacker group LulzSec caused quite a stir when it announced its “Chinga La Migra” initiative on Twitter yesterday. Protesting Arizona Senate Bill 1070 — an anti-illegal immigration measure…

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, your 2011 NBA draft analysis, Jim Riggleman’s job prospects, or receiving mystical jewelry from dying aliens, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Renowned hacker group LulzSec caused quite a stir when it announced its “Chinga La Migra” initiative on Twitter yesterday. Protesting Arizona Senate Bill 1070 — an anti-illegal immigration measure that encourages racial profiling — LulzSec is fighting the power by releasing classified documents on the Internet. Here’s an excerpt from the text accompanying the torrent:

We are releasing hundreds of private intelligence bulletins, training manuals, personal email correspondence, names, phone numbers, addresses and passwords belonging to Arizona law enforcement. We are targeting AZDPS specifically because we are against SB1070 and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona.

Every week we plan on releasing more classified documents and embarassing personal details of military and law enforcement in an effort not just to reveal their racist and corrupt nature but to purposefully sabotage their efforts to terrorize communities fighting an unjust “war on drugs”.

Opinions on the group’s actions are split. Some are hailing LulzSec for using technology to protest a government that devotes too much attention to big-money issues and too little to social reform issues that impact citizens with little power. Others believe that this is a reckless act masquerading as a non-violent protest; the argument is that these leaked documents will lead to innocent law enforcers being harmed or killed.

I’ve been thinking about the issue for the last day and I’m still torn. On one hand, I love that these guys are using technology to make their voice heard. It’s easy to get the government’s attention when you have millions of lobbying dollars to pay off the right politicians (I’m looking at you Comcast, AT&T, etc.). Politicians are slow to act on issues that lack glamour and money like immigration reform.

On the other hand, I’d hate to see a low-ranking officer get killed because of a leaked document. I can’t imagine that everyone that works for the Arizona Department of Public Safety supports SB 1070.

I’d love to get your thoughts on the matter. What do you think of LulzSec’s actions? Are they Internet Robin Hoods or Internet anarchists? Are they fighting for people that can’t fight for themselves? Or are they misguided troublemakers?

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What Are You Playing This Weekend?

I’m super tempted to start The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D this weekend, but I should save it for an upcoming trip to Hawaii. If I can fend off temptation for another week, I’ll be spending most of this weekend playing Dungeon Siege III. As noted in my review, the game is full of flaws — especially the crap multiplayer — but I’m still having fun with the solo campaign.

How about you? What’s on your weekend playlist?

Read My Dungeon Siege III Review (Please)!

My review of Dungeon Siege III is up at Machinima.com. Please check it out and leave a comment if you have a moment. I enjoyed the single-player mode; it’s a fun, by-the-books action-RPG similar to Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance. The graphics are dated, but I still enjoyed hacking, slashing, and looting. Unfortunately, the game’s multiplayer is a wreck. It uses a limited system that doesn’t allow character importing and exporting. What the hell?!?

Anyway, here’s a clip from the review:

As a single-player game, Dungeon Siege III succeeds as a fun action-RPG. It doesn’t offer anything particularly new, but gamers that enjoy hacking and looting by themselves should have fun. As a multiplayer game, Dungeon Siege III is disappointing. Its inability to import and export characters limits the amount of fun, and the likely level of enthusiasm anyone will want to commit to the mode. Obsidian Entertainment did an acceptable job at advancing the Dungeon Siege franchise, but like the company’s other sequels, it did not take the franchise to new heights.

It’s a good game, but it could have been great.

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