Ray the Geek's Blog

Archive for August, 2009

The Changing Face Of Micro$oft!

by on Aug.27, 2009, under Technology

MS-Changing-FaceRecently a Micro$oft marketing photo used on the Internet has caused an uproar because someone had done a REALLY POOR Photoshop job or removing  an African American man’s face for a Caucasian one when the ad was marketed in Poland.   

I know that Micro$oft is in NO WAY a racist company! Diversity has been their mantra in business and advertising for as long as they have been in the industry. I also know that market demographic plays a huge roll in advertising,  many geographic regions  respond better to if you use images of people from that region. Let’s face it, if you have an ad running in an Asian market with of a bunch of Caucasian people, you probably won’t work as well as if you used a bunch of Asian people. BUT you don’t just take your stock photo and cut off the heads and paste on Asian ones, that is just plain DUMB!!  Worse of all, the Micro$oft  photo editor forgot to change the hand!  Well I’m sure there is a marketing director for Micro$oft in Europe who really wishes they saw that ad before it went out!

This just goes to show that if you really want to get ahead in a marketing champagne, make sure your photos have the right heads for the job, because if you just swap a head may get your head handed to you!

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PlayStation 3 Slims Down and Looses $100 in its Price!

by on Aug.20, 2009, under Technology

PS3's side by side

PS3's side by side

Sony announced yesterday that they will release a thinner lighter PS3 in September. This new system will start with a 120GB drive for $299. Wow, thinner, lighter and cheaper, dang, I wish I could say that! J The new system will have all the same features and performance that the previous models do, just in a 36% smaller and less flashy case. To reduce the size and price, Sony is now using less costly and 33% lower power consumption 45nm Cell processor vs. the 60nm in the previous models had. The processor is still running at the same speed as before. Sony also moved the hard drive to the front of the case for easy upgrading without violating the system warranty. The new PlayStation 3 will come with the new firmware 3.0 which will release for older models in September also.

Firmware 3.0 offers some visual improvements to XMB like:

“What’s New” – The “Information Board” will be replaced with a “What’s New” section for the latest updates in a more visually oriented format.

Status Indicator – In the top right corner will be an indicator bar, which displays your user icon, friend icon, the number of friends you have online and a small message icon to let you know if you have any new messages.

Friends List – Now your PlayStation Network friends will appear in a slightly redesigned format on your Friends List. Also, messages will now be viewable from each of your friends’ respective profiles.

PlayStation Store Shortcuts – A handy shortcut icon to the PlayStation Store under both the Game and Video categories so you can access the latest content quickly and easily.

Personalization – Personalize your PS3 with new dynamic custom themes and avatars. A dynamic theme incorporates animated objects into the background.

Trophies – Showcasing your hard earned trophies just got better. Update 3.00 gives game developers the ability to modify how they display trophies for add-on content.

Sony’s PlayStation 3 is still really trailing in the console market behind Xbox360 and Wii but with a sub $300 price tag, the new PS3 may change the numbers. With the crucial holiday season which is quickly approaching, it will be interesting to see what happens with the numbers come January 2010.

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Welcome to “Ray the Geek’s Blog”

by on Aug.17, 2009, under Life in Geekdom


Ray THe Geek Logo
Since this my first public blog, I guess you need to get to know me first, so here we go! “I was born a poor black child.”, no wait, that was “The Jerk” by Steve Martin, not the Geek by Ray Laureyns! Truth be told, I’m not going to go too much into myself right now, you get all the sorted and elicit details as my ramblings progress. Let’s just say I’m an old geek who has been in the IT profession for over 25 years.

 I guess you could say I first became a geek when I was very young. Unlike most children, I had a nasty tendency to destroy every toy I ever had. Not that I was violent or angry, I just wanted to figure out how it worked. So I would take it apart and examine every little piece till I figured out how it worked. The unfortunate problem was, I was never really great at putting it back together again. This of course was the bane of my parents who always tried to keep me happy by buying me nice toys, much to my sisters disliking. I have three older sisters who often hated the fact that I was the youngest and only boy and as you could imagine. I was my parent’s favorite for many years, well at least until I was over 10.

I think my love for all things technical really began when I watched my best friend’s father, Bob Duran, take apart my TV in my living room when I was around 5 years old. I can remember how cool it was that he could fix a TV! TV was an EXTREAMLY important part of the development of my early geekdom.  TV was my windows into the world of technology, fantasy and imagination.  My favorite shows when I was 5 were also my first heroes, Batman and Speed Racer. What really attracted me to Batman was all the cool gadgets he had, the Batmobile, Batboat, Bat-O-Rang and the most awesome Utility belt. I wanted to have all those cool things! I can remember getting a Batman costume for my birthday and really being disappointed that the utility belt was just painted on, also the helmet was this hard plastic that looked nothing like the cool satin one that Adam West wore on TV. I wanted my own utility belt, so I took an old belt from my dad and tried to make one.

I went down on my dad’s workbench, which I was NEVER allowed to touch of course, and got to work. Well, I didn’t get to far into the project before my mother caught me! BUSTED! I think I may have been making a little too much noise when I was trying to bend 4 inch a nail with a hammer on my dad’s vice to make a hook to hang my Bat-O-Rang on the utility belt. My mother took one look at her 5 year old son standing on a rickety old stool, whacking a 3 pound hammer at a 4 inch nail. Well needless to say, that was the end to my utility belt! But the beginning of my adventures in the land of geekdom!

If you like what you read here, please let me know!

Ray the Geek.

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