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F1 Goes To Malaysia.

This weekend we saw the second race of the 2014 Formula One season at the Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

At the moment it looks like Mercedes is this year’s Red Bull: Lewis Hamilton quickly left the rest of the field from pole position, causally leading the entire race from start to finish. This was Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel’s role last year, but 2014 hasn’t been as good to the German driver as 2013 was. Having retired from the first race in Australia, he “only” managed to finish 3rd in Malaysia. I say “only” since finishing 3rd isn’t bad, but it’s unusual for him, having finished 1st in 13 of the 19 races last year. Of course it’s a good thing that Vettel isn’t that dominant in 2014, but it’s a shame that it looks like there will be another dominating driver this year, and even worse that it’s Lewis Hamilton.

Out on the track isn’t the only place where Red Bull is slipping this year. They are also having problems in the pits, where they were on top of every other team last year. During the Malaysian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo left the pit box before the front left tire was properly secured, and he had to stop and be pushed back to the Red Bull box. That incident earned Ricciardo a ten second stop-and-go penalty and a ten grid penalty in the next race for an unsafe release. Just to top it off, the front wing on his Red Bull failed on the out lap, forcing Ricciardo to return to the pit yet again. During all this he was lapped by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso twice and eventually retired four laps before the checkered flag. It certainly looks like the Aussie driver has come down with a serious case of the Webber Curse.

In Formula One in general, there have been two main talking points among the commentators, spectators and fans at the start of this season: The new noses and the engine sound. In both these cases people need to sit down and shut the fuck up.

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Kickstarting.

A few months ago, I wrote an entry about a couple of project I’d supported on Kickstarter. All the projects were funded a long time ago when I finally wrote about them, making it impossible for you too to pledge and get all those high tier goodies you can usually get. This time I’ve decided to highlight four projects that are not yet fully funded or still have some time left of their campaign. I’m considering pledging money to these projects and you also have the time to get into the deal if you have some money to spare.

DUELYST

DUELYST is a squad-based, tactical combat with ranked competitive play, designed and developed by veterans from Diablo III and Rogue Legacy. “Diablo III” might not be a certificate of high quality for many seasoned players since the first release of Diablo III turned out to be a real mess. But the 2.0 patch of the game corrected most of the mistakes and the recently released expansion, Reaper of Souls, has received good review scores, both from “professional” reviewers and gamers.

The focus of DUELYST is on squad-based combat on a tactical map for intense, fast-paced 1v1 battles with the simple winning objective of defeating your opponent’s General. The game plays like the classic tactics games of our childhood while avoiding the standard tropes from the past. You’ll never need to spend hours on resource management or grind random encounters to get to the next fight.

For me, this sounds great – time is a luxury and with the little one coming in to play in not-so-long, it’ll get even more challenging to be able to pour hours and hours into a game. Also, DUELYST is not pay-to-win, something I can like – I’m am play-to-win guy.

DUELYST is already funded, and at the time of writing they’ve also reached their first stretch goal; additional battle units, spells and Linux support. They are not too far from the second stretch goal, either; a brand new faction and there are quite a few other stretch goals that might turn what currently looks like a good game, into an even better game.

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More Movies.

Here’s a follow up to the previous Movies entry. Four movies I’ll see if I have the chance, and one I’ll do my best not to watch.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe.

To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer.

But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand with the galaxys fate in the balance.

Hot: It’s a rodent with guns and Vin Diesel plays a tree. Not: I’m a bit concerned there might be some trailer fraud going on here.

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Wearable Tech.

We’re now seeing the start of the next, big thing in technology: Wearable tech. Google is experimenting with their Glass wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display, all the major fitness brands sell some kind of semi-intelligent fitness hand band, and the selection of smartwatches is increasing fast.

One of the first smartwatches to hit home with a major audience was Pebble. In 2012, Pebble Technology launched a Kickstarter campaign that turned out to be a huge success. With over ten million US dollars pledged at the end of the campaign – more than ten times the amount the pledged for – the company went ahead and launched the first version of their Pebble smartwatch. As of November 2013 they have sold almost 200,000 units. Early 2014, Pebble released the second version, the Pebble Steel, a smartwatch that looks like a nice 80′s high quality watch and not something out of a lame science fiction movie.

Since I’m a sucker for (new) technology and have a soft heart for nostalgia, I really want a Pebble Steel. But is it a good idea to buy one now?

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Movies.

While I love movies, I’m not the best when it comes to actually watching them. But here are a few I’d like to see this year, and if we share the same taste in genres, maybe they’ll be interesting for you as well. I’ve added the synopsis to the movie where it was available.

Transcendence

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can – but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Wills thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him (IMDB).

Hot: Science fiction set in the not-so-distant-future, Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman. Not: An idea that could become rather daft if not executed correct. We’ll see what debut director Wally Pfister can do with Jack Paglen’s script.

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