Tag Archives: technology

Featured in VoyageLA Magazine!

Life and work seems to be a balance of reaching out and having people reach out to you. While it feels like we’re almost always reaching out to others, there are times where the opposite happens and when it does, it leaves you asking, how did they find out about us? 

VoyageLA is a magazine (and online media source) that searches for the brightest and best new businesses (or old, undiscovered ones) in the LA area. Once they find them and find out more about them, they try to spread the word so others can enjoy what they have to offer.

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A Brief Review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Separate Spoiler-Free and Spoiler Sections)

[THIS IS MOSTLY SPOILER-FREE UNTIL I SAY SPOILERS AHEAD]

The movie many of us have been anticipating has arrived–Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s already made a considerable amount at the box office (past 20 million before even the opening day) and people are lining up, waiting. Sure, it won’t make as much as Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, but it’s surely going to still make a dent. In fact, I think some people will like Rogue One more than Force Awakens. Rogue One is many things Force Awakens is not. Rogue One is a gritty war movienot a character arc like Force Awakens. It doesn’t follow the same story mechanics and motions of the typical episodic Star Wars movies. Some people will love that and some people will just be okay with it. I liked this movie a good deal, but I didn’t emotionally connect as strongly as I did in Force Awakens.

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Top 5 Movies of 2016 – A Year Full of Gold

As we get excited for our favorite part of the year (November and December) and look forward to upcoming movies and video games, we want to reflect on what we’ve been fortunate enough to be exposed to so far this year. While there are certainly major challenges to living in LA, such as the traffic and rent prices, there are amazing benefits such as the exposure to cultural events and amazing cuisine. As a result, we have the ability to go to the movies and watch extremely limited releases. 

While you’ve seen a handful of movie reviews from us in the past, we missed some opportunities to review some of these films that you probably haven’t heard of, which is a shame! For that reason, we’re going to countdown our Top 5 movies that you probably haven’t seen this year. They’re all either on DVD or will be released so add them to your holiday wishlist or treat yourself to something special. You won’t regret it. 

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Don’t Text While You Walk Your Dog

We live in a very dog-friendly neighborhood. I can’t go for a walk without seeing another dog. I love this! I like dogs and I like people who like dogs. However, it really peeves me off when I am walking Noke and then I see someone stumbling along head absolutely glued downwards to their phone. I start wondering to myself why they have a dog in the first place if they don’t want to actually spend real time with it. Sure, maybe it’s an emergency and they really have to contact that person then and there. But usually–let’s face it–it isn’t. I bet your walks aren’t more than an hour long, maybe not more than 30 minutes either. You can spare that time to really be with them.

As soon as I see someone on their phone walking their dog, I immediately take Noke to the other side of the street and avoid that person. They have no sense of what their dog is doing, feeling, or intending because they are in some Facebook post. I can’t trust the human to handle their dog correctly, and thus I don’t want Noke anywhere near them. It’s not just the right thing to do, but you can also benefit from just being with your dog:

Noke after a rainy walk

Noke after a rainy walk

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H&F Shorts on YouTube

We recently mentioned that we’d be stepping up our YouTube game (again!) and this time (with the help of Iron Fortitude’s Juan), we’re  actually off to a good start. We set a goal to release four videos this month and if you follow this link, then you’ll see we already have 3. Obviously, if you watched those, they’re only 15 seconds each since they’re just “shorts,” but we plan on using these to promote longer videos and to get everyone just a little more excited about it. 

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Are You Ready for Star Wars?

Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, you KNOW that the new Star Wars movie is coming out this week. It’s all over the news, the face of any possible medium of advertisement, and if you have any friends, they’ve probably mentioned it. The world is buzzing. It’s a monumental week.

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The Greatest Games of All Time: The Master List

Dungeon Master. Game Master. Master Chief. Master Hand. Master Sword.

What is Link without the Master Sword? What is this group of games without the Master List?

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The #1 Greatest Video Game of All Time

This is it. The final entry in H&F’s Greatest Video Game of All Time series. This is big-time stuff. This is our ultimate FAVORITE game ever in the world. These games are important to us, tied to who we are, and in our hearts. We’ve finally arrived. If you missed the others on our countdown, please check them out: #25,#24,#23,#22,#21,#20#19#18#17#16#15, #14#13#12#11#10, #9#8, #7#6, #5#4#3, and #2

#1 Greatest Video Game of All Time

Kai – Morrowind I struggled to decide which of my top 3 is my most favorite game, but in the end it had to be Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.  No other piece of art has ever transported me to another world like Morrowind.  The art, the lore, the music, and the quests all contribute to an amazing world that you can truly get lost in.

Like most Elder Scrolls games, you start out as a prisoner, this time exiled to the island of Vvardenfell, home of the dark elves or Dunmer.  You wake up as your ship reaches the harbor, with vague memories of a strange dream.  With only a vague instruction to meet with an Imperial agent named Caius, you’re dropped off into this strange world, with the freedom to take part in any of the hundreds of stories taking place throughout the land.
 
I’m not sure what it is that makes Morrowind so much better than the other Elder Scrolls games.  Perhaps it’s the lack of guidance and hand-holding, causing the player to feel like they’re exploring a wide-open world, rather than the set of fairly linear narratives in Skyrim and Oblivion.  There are great secrets hidden within the world and the game allows the player to find them rather than leading the player to them.  Also a tremendous amount of work and care was put into the art and lore to really make the world feel real and it really shows.  The graphics don’t quite hold up anymore (at the time they were amazing), but the game is still really engrossing.  
 
If you want to see the best of what gaming has to offer, you have to try Morrowind.

The #2 Greatest Video Game of All Time

We are down to the SECOND greatest video game of all time! I can’t believe we only have two games to review left! There are some really spectacular games in this list and each of you should consider playing all of them if you haven’t already! It’s funny that all the top games are RPGs, but hey, we’re kind of awesome so it’s to be expected. If you missed the others on our countdown, please check them out: #25,#24,#23,#22,#21,#20#19#18#17#16#15, #14#13#12#11#10, #9#8, #7#6, #5#4, and #3. Enough talking…check these awesome games out!

#2 Greatest Video Game of All Time 

Kai- Half-Life series  Half-Life changed everything.  It took the Quake engine and created an entire universe out of it.  No longer were you moving level to level, killing everything in sight.  Instead the entire experience is a seamless journey through the life of a scientist in a top-secret lab the day everything goes wrong.  In fact, the first 30 minutes of Half-Life involve no violence whatsoever.  It was the first FPS to succeed at immersing you fully in an alternate reality.

Not only that, but Half-Life also was extremely friendly to the modding community, producing the world-famous mod Counterstrike, as well as Day of Defeat and many others.  Its lifetime was extended many times over by such mods, as well as several expansion packs exploring the story from other’s perspectives.
 
When Half-Life 2 was released it again revolutionized FPSs.  It continued the trend of a seamless artificial world (this time a futuristic and alien Earth).  It also had an amazing physics engine and multiple mini-sequels (“episodes”) which extended the story.  I have no hope for a Half-Life 3, but the originals still stand up due to the quality writing, gameplay, and professional voice acting.

The #3 Greatest Video Game of All Time

We have now come to the top THREE greatest video games of all time! Can you feel the heat? I don’t want to blab too much in the introduction so we can get right down to the fun stuff!  If you missed the others on our countdown, please check them out: #25,#24,#23,#22,#21,#20#19#18#17#16#15, #14#13#12#11#10, #9#8, #7#6, #5, and #4.  

Kai – Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri Alpha Centauri is my favorite strategy game of all time.  It does a fantastic job combining strategic depth and science fiction theme.  It takes place in the near-future, after a colony ship from Earth is sent to Alpha Centauri.  During the journey, the colonists lose contact with Earth, the captain is murdered, and the colonists break into 7 ideological factions.  The game does an amazing job conveying the transition from small compound in an alien wilderness to a planet-wide technological utopia.

In terms of gameplay, it was an enhanced version of the earlier Civilization games.  Its biggest addition was customizable units (a base body with added components/weapons/armor).  It still suffers from the Stack of Doom mechanic of the earlier Civ games, but the other elements definitely make up for it.
 
Firaxis created a pseudo-sequel with Beyond Earth, but it’s more of a mod than a real standalone game.  If you feel the need to spend a weekend colonizing an alien planet, Alpha Centauri is your game.