Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mi Bloga es su Bloga

Thank you for visiting my new personal blog. My name is Tyson Gifford, I am the Editor in Chief of TVEnthusiast, and a Co-Founder and original leader of Operation Rainfall (A fan movement to push for the localization of 3 key Nintendo published video games in the west.  I am not affiliated with their current role as a gaming and culture website.).
My Day and Night Job
This blog will be home to many of my non-TVEnthusiast writings.  Besides TV, and Video Games, I am a big fan of Anime, Manga, Fantasy Literature, and Metal (Progressive and Death mostly, as well as some Djent) and Hard Rock.  I am a big follower of the tech industry, with a leaning towards Google and their many eccentric projects.  In this blog you might find me droning on and on about my Android device (currently an HTC One M9), talking about the music I am listening to (right now that would be the new album from Textures), or posting various podcasts, stories, or projects I am involved in.

Here are some recent developments for me.

Episode 42 of The Weekly Set covers The Magicians, Colony, The Expanse, and some of the week's news.
We just published our 42nd episode of The Weekly Set over at TVEnthusiast.  The Weekly Set is our weekly podcast about all things television.  This includes streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.  We primarily cover genre TV and anything else that we just love as TV viewers.  You can check out our 42nd podcast here. Or subscribe to us on any podcast aggregate by searching for TVEnthusiast.

The Android Marshmallow statue at Google's Android offices.
Finally, after just over 3 months of waiting, my HTC One M9 is running Android 6.0, Marshmallow.  Those not obsessed with the Google's mobile operating system probably don't know that every public version of Android has been named after a desert in alphabetical order.  The trend started after the original alpha and beta builds with 1.5, which was named Cupcake.  Since Cupcake, Android versions have explored 10 more desert varieties. Doughnut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice-Cream-Sandwhich, Jelly Bean, Kit-Kat, Lolipop, and now Marshmallow.  New features in Marshmallow include a battery saving mode called Doze and granular permission controls.  The real highlight, however, is the next step of Google's digital assistant, Google Now.  Initially serving primarily as a Siri competitor, Google Now established it's dominance in the digital assistant field by making use of Google's extensive command over the Internet's (our) data in order to provide its users context sensitive information before they ask for it.  The new iteration of Google Now has a new feature called On Tap.  By holding down the home button on any screen, Google will parse the data displayed to give context to whatever is written there.
For example, if a friend sends you a text asking if you have heard of The Expanse, The Magicians, or Agent Carter, by holding the home button down for a second you will be given contextual information about all 3 shows.  Links of where to watch them, a cast and crew list, trailers, pretty much anything Google can find.  I only just got my upgrade to Marshmallow, so I need some time with it before I can judge it, but I do have a few early impressions.  Google Now On Tap works beautifully, but I am annoyed that they got rid of the incredibly useful Google Now gesture (a swipe up from the home button).  I access On Tap by holding down the home button, I access home by tapping the home button, the removal of the swipe up gesture to open the regular Google Now features seems senseless.  Besides that, my device seems to be running a bit smoother, and the notification bar icons take up less space and look nicer.  Deeper impressions could come later, if they are interesting enough to write about.

Dutch metal band Textures dropped Phenotype on February 5th, 2016
Lastly, I recently picked up (bought digitally on Play music) the new album from Textures.  The album, titled Phenotype, seems to be a bit heavier than their more recent fare, yet, oddly, the synth parts feel like they are taking a little inspiration from Dream Theater's Jordan Rudess.  I am good with that.  I like it when bands put a lot of contrast in their songs.  The heavier the verse, the more melodic and hooky the chorus should be in my opinion.


I don't know if I will like Phenotype as much as I like Silhouettes and Dualism, only time will tell.  For now, though, It is just nice to have a new album to obsess over.  Thanks to my buddy Brandon for exposing me to Textures, and most of the music I currently listen to.

That is it for now, if you have a moment, be sure to check out TVEnthusiast.com, read a story or 2, post a comment (I won't bite), check out our podcast, our YouTube video series TVE Versus Marvel and DC (in which we talk about Marvel and DC connected universe properties on TV), and/or our take a glance at our other regular features.  I recently did a review for the first season of The Expanse, for example.

Until next time, I leave you with this.

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