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Jason Krol RSS Feed (Jamison, PA USA)
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Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files
Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $11.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent entry in the series, July 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book, as usual, was excellent and another great story in the Dresden Files series! This is one of the few authors I preorder and yet again wasn't disappointed!


Backbone.js Patterns and Best Practices
Backbone.js Patterns and Best Practices
Price: $14.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Good step beyond the basics, March 18, 2014
I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of Backbone.js Patterns and Best Practices directly from the author. It’s a decent book, and a great ‘next step’ for anyone thats a budding Backbone developer that has got the basics down and wants to take their skills to the next level.

The book starts out just barely covering the basics, so this is definitely not a beginner guide. From there it quickly goes into some common pitfalls and best practices that Backbone developers inevitably face. It covers each aspect of typical Backbone development, but gives tips and tricks along the way to boost your performance and reduce frustration and most importantly boilerplate.

From time to time the author will make mention of a 3rd party plugin that is right for the job, but I felt probably could have used some more time actually discussing the plugin. One of my favorite plugins for Backbone is Marionette, and I felt it got only a passing mention in the book. To be fair, this isn’t a Marionette book.

There are some great chapters on using AMD with require.js as well as test driven development!

In the end, my only complaint if I had one at all was that the book felt a little short and possibly rushed in a few areas. Overall though it was a quick read (which might be a good thing) and I definitely learned a few things having finished the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone that has a good understanding of the basics of Backbone.js and wants to bump their skill set up a level.


Medialink Wireless-N Broadband Router with Internal Antennas (300 Mbps) - 2.4GHz - 802.11b/g/n - Compatible with Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP / Mac OS X / Linux
Medialink Wireless-N Broadband Router with Internal Antennas (300 Mbps) - 2.4GHz - 802.11b/g/n - Compatible with Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP / Mac OS X / Linux
Offered by Mediabridge Products, LLC
Price: $49.99
28 used & new from $11.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Good router!, August 26, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this router after having the 150 version for a while. The 150 version worked great, but I broke it accidentally trying to update the firmware on it :(

Not much I can say about this router other than the interface is what youd expect. The range is good, and the speeds are noticeably better than the 150 I had previously.

On a side note, I had trouble getting my Chromecast working with the router. The support replied very quickly (and on the weekend). For anyone else having issues, here's what was recommended (and worked):

******

AP isolation would not allow the Chromecast from communicating to your computer or iPad or phone that is being used to set it up. So, yes you need that disabled in the router.

Apart from that, the only other thing I suggest is trying different security settings to see if the Chromecast needs one particular type or another.

Open an Internet Browser (ie: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari etc.)
Type the IP Address of the router into the address bar. By default it is http://192.168.8.1
Enter the Username and Password.
Click Advanced Settings
Click Wireless Settings > Wireless Security
Change the Security Mode to "Mixed WPA/WPA2-PSK"
Change the Algorithm to "TKIP&AES"
Click Apply


Wormhole (The Rho Agenda, Book Three)
Wormhole (The Rho Agenda, Book Three)
Price: $4.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great conclusion to a very good trilogy!, November 20, 2012
I read the RHO Agenda trilogy books a while back, when they were still being published independently via the Kindle store. I discovered the first book completely by accident, and was instantly consumed. I blasted through the 2nd book and eagerly awaited this conclusion. I can happily say that this book successfully completed the trilogy and left me very happy and satisfied. I have kept close track of the books and the author and am also very excited for the new series of books that are coming along with some of the same characters from this trilogy.

If you read the first 2 books in this trilogy, you obviously owe it to yourself to wrap up the story. Besides that, just read this book because its a great book! (Obviously without reading the first 2 book you will be pretty confused reading this book as a stand alone.)


Pines (The Wayward Pines Trilogy 1)
Pines (The Wayward Pines Trilogy 1)
Price: $1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definite page turner - never quite know whats going on, November 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I actually read this book using the borrow feature of the Kindle and Prime - but loved it so much felt compelled to just purchase it afterwords! It was a great read, and definitely kept me up late nights pushing ahead way past my bed time ;)

The book description gives enough detail about the story, and honestly I wouldn't want to say anything else as half the fun is in discovering the secret of the story. The author mentions in the afterword that he was inspired by shows like Twin Peaks and LOST and it definitely shows. This book definitely had some turns that you simply didn't expect and it always kept throwing "what the heck!?" moments that kept you reading to find out more.

All in all a great read, and a pleasant surprise from a random "purchase" just browsing Amazon! I will definitely be checking out more from this author.


Sky Force
Sky Force

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not great on the Fire unfortunately, November 22, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sky Force (App)
I'm a huge fan of "schmup" games and was hoping this.would fit the bill on my Fire... nope! It might be awesome on a phone but on the somewhat larger Fire screen the graphics are just really bad/blurry - the touch controls aren't great at all and 20% of the screen is just black dead space at the bottom :(


WD TV Live Media Player Wi-fi 1080p
WD TV Live Media Player Wi-fi 1080p
Price: $74.97
81 used & new from $45.00

740 of 774 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Network File Streaming Device!, November 12, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I recently decided to start a little weekend project of completely digitizing my 200+ home DVD collection. I wont get into any arguments over the legal ramifications of this type of project, but rest assured every digital movie in my collection is a straight rip of a physical DVD I own. That being said, I really needed a good option to actually "deliver" these movies to my HD TV in my living room. I have an Xbox 360 but that just didnt seem to be making the cut. So I started researching these fancy smart set-top boxes.

At first I was convinced the Roku XS 2 was the way to go - but I started reading more and more about its lack of specific filetype support (i.e. MKV, M4V, AVI to name a few). That and it really didnt do network streaming/sharing well (if at all). I saw the WD TV Live HUB with 1TB harddrive for 199 and thought that was just a little too steep for my price range (the Roku is 99 afterall). Then I somehow accidentally found this device on Amazon. The price was right, and the specs seemed right. Too good to be true?

No! This device is incredible! First of all, I cant get over how tiny it is! Its literally thinner than a regular DVD case and maybe as tall as 2 dvds stacked. It sits nicely right next to my 360 with some breathing room! It only comes with a cheap pair of composite (or maybe component I didnt check) cables but I quickly ignored them due to an extra HDMI cable I had lying around. That coupled with the extra optical cable I had as well completed this package - although Im sure many will argue that its fairly lacking that the unit didnt come with either in the box (I agree but both cables can basically be purchased for an extra 10 bucks so not that big of a deal and I did have extras lying around).

Basically, setup took seconds and I had it online in no time. It found my wifi box right away although it appeared to have little to no "connection" strength (it showed no bars). This isnt unusual as my wifi router is fairly weak and my laptop consistently has issues dropping the connection etc - which is unfortunate because the box is only upstairs and like 20 feet away?! But I digress. After the wifi connected I downloaded all the latest firmwares (quickly and painlessly) and was up and running! All the online services you could want are on the dashboard. A few notables I saw missing were Amazon Unbox and HBO Go - but Im not sure what the situation is with those on other devices (Roku supports Amazon Unbox I think? 360 will have HBO Go in like 3 weeks?). But, this review really wont/doesnt cover all of those online services available to the unit. I tried Netflix and Pandora and they both worked fine. There are also a few games preinstalled which is neat I guess.

So, later in the night I put it through its paces. I basically threw every type of movie file I could at it, all with different file sizes and resolution (all streamed off a network share). I tried some 480p DVD rips of M4Vs, some 720p AVIs, even some 1080p MKVs. All streamed flawlessly (even over my poor wifi connection!). I was never disappointed. Even browsing the folder structure via the network share was quick and painless with no delay (with only 120ish folders so far). Later in the night by the time I was on my 3rd movie I noticed that the lip syncing was off. I started to panic! Was my too good to be true situation finally starting to show its true colors?! I tried a few other movies and all seemed fine, but that one with the syncing issue was consistent. Then I noticed in the quick options a Lip Syncing delay option. Toggling this (delay or advance) by 100ms chunks fixed the problem perfectly! I was VERY relieved to see that this option existed and it was so quick and easy to get too as I could see this being an issue for certain files etc. Lastly the only other issue I really noticed was that home videos taken with my Flip cam (1080p mp4s) were very choppy and delayed/unwatchable. I have experienced this before on every device Ive tried to watch them on (i.e. 360/PS3/etc). I have to assume that this is simply the result of trying to stream a file thats too large over my weak wifi network. Hopefully a Wireless N router will find its way under the Christmas tree this year!

At the end of the night I was very thrilled with the little device! Its doing exactly what I could want and more! My ONLY purpose for buying the unit was to stream my digital DVD collection via my network. The fact that I can throw an external HDD on the unit if I want to stop dealing with the network is gravy! Add on top the online services like HuluPlus, Netflix, Blockbuster, Pandora, etc, etc, and I have one tiny little unit that packs quite a punch! Most users here will review the online services and only glance over the networking/file type support. Hopefully Ive done the opposite here and covered all the "other" angles that most people arent concerned with!

PS Its worth noting that I cant really see a reason to get the more expensive WD TV Live HUB with built in 1TB harddrive. Its lacking WIFI and something else I cant recall - but you can get an external 1TB drive for basically 1 hundred bucks anyway nowadays and just attach to the WD TV Live unit and have the same situation only better (because you have a replaceable drive AND wifi built in!).
Comment Comments (128) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2014 1:03 PM PDT


Ghost Country
Ghost Country
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $5.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping page turner that i couldnt put down!, February 9, 2011
This review is from: Ghost Country (Kindle Edition)
I read The Breach totally on a whim, and boy was I surprised! I had no idea what I was in for, so it was with great anticipation that I eagerly awaited the follow-up Ghost Country. I read this book every free second I had and finished it in a few days - simply because the plot was so intriguing and compelling that I couldn't wait to find out the finale! I absolutely love the characters, and love the direction the books are headed.

Keep in mind that if you haven't read The Breach, this is a somewhat stand alone title but you will be lost with a lot of the back story (and some things that "wrap up" in the end wont make any sense). That being said this is clearly just a part of a larger series. I absolutely can't wait for another follow-up and hope there are more after that.

Pick up this book and The Breach together and don't plan on getting anything done for the next week or so!

(My only complaint is that this book is a little short, and its insane that the Kindle version is more expensive than the paperback - but not the authors or Amazon's fault unfortunately.)


Splatterhouse - Xbox 360
Splatterhouse - Xbox 360
Offered by Galactics
Price: $21.33
77 used & new from $6.50

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun! Won't be popular with critics, November 28, 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I have been keeping my eye on this game basically every since it was announced. However it did not really get much press coverage and little hype (short of a few random trailers here and there). The day it was released it had alot of marketing on the major gaming sites. But no reviews? A few days later still no reviews? That will generally concern most hardcore gamers. Since I and a friend were really anticipating the game we just bought it and went for it. Started playing 6pm and beat the game at 2am (on Hard mode). The game was great fun and the combat is much better than I initially thought! There is a lot of replayability here and you unlock the 3 original versions of the game throughout the main playthru.

There is certainly nothing Hollywood has to be worried about with regard to the story, and to be honest my friend and I checked out about an hour in because it was just total nonsense and hard to follow (not for complexities but just silliness). However, thats not a problem. The ONLY reason people should play this game is for the gameplay itself and the gore!! Yes the game is EXTREMELY bloody - to the point that it splatters on your screen alot and sometimes almost completely covers the screen. There are "finishing" moves for all enemies that will generate a short quicktime even and usually winds up in the enemies arms/head/toros being ripped off and gallons of blood flowing! It never gets old and even towards the end of the game you might still miss one as you werent quick enough for the QTEs.

Graphically the game is fine, nothing spectacular. There are a few areas throughout the game that switch to a sidescrolling 2d feel very similar to the original games (and paying homage I'm sure). These sections make for a nice change of pace/dynamic to the game and keep it interesting (although some of the platforming elements of these sections can be somewhat lame and the enemies are generally much weaker in this mode taking only 1 hit to kill).

Also, it could have been a factor that we had been playing 8 hours straight and loosing steam, but the game seemed to fall apart somewhat towards the end. The areas started to get weirder and weirder, and the game itself started falling into the habit of using the same old gaming cliches.

After beating the game on Hard you unlock Brutal mode and all of your character stats remain when you play again on the newer/harder mode. These stats include special moves, combos, health, rage meter, weapon stats, etc. As far as difficulty goes, we started the game on Hard and it was fun without being too challenging. There were a few parts that really got us stuck and were hard but to the point of cheap. A perfect example is a section where you are on a thin bridge/platform that slowing has chunks fall away while making you get closer and closer to a stack of 6 "bosses" (from previous chapters) that are made invincible by another creature that protects them. The problem is that you run out of room to do any form of combat - the creature making them invincible is hard to hit because she morphs away constantly, and you eventually run out of room. Our only chance at getting past was to finagle the enemies into falling off the edge and finally lucked our way through. It was frustrating and a little cheap, but maybe that was the point - but i digress.

I hardly EVER post reviews for any products, so take it as a rarity that i posted one for this game. Also consider that my friend bought the game, we played it together and beat it in 1 night, but now 2 days later I'm ordering my own copy because I want to keep playing it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2010 11:53 AM PST


Babylon A.D. (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Babylon A.D. (Two-Disc Special Edition)
DVD ~ Vin Diesel
Offered by gamecoma
Price: $24.99
35 used & new from $0.73

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I guess you loved it or hated it...?, January 17, 2009
I rented this movie apprehensively, as I read some of the reviews on here. There wasnt much else to rent, and this movie did pique my interest and I had an odd desire to really want to watch it. I made sure to watch the UNCUT version when viewing, and I have to say that I was very pleasently surprised!

I know I will be bashed for this line too, but I have to admit that Vin's acting was actually fairly impressive - for the standard character that he always tends to play. He is no different in this movie, however there are subtle nuances to this role that made it stand out (in my mind at least).

The world on display in this movie was also fairly impressive - and I found that repeatedly throughout the movie that for a movie that is supposed to be this bad, it had a very impressive visual feel. The settings all felt unique and had great detail. My only complaint I guess would be the overly "ripped" off feel of the "megalopolis New York" to that of Blade Runner (over advertising, many extremely tall skyscrapers, etc). That and not enough of the movie actually took place in what could have been an extremely cool setting (NY that is).

There wasnt really all that much action, but there seemed to be enough to make the movie interesting while sticking to the main story (which I was actually glad for - beginning to get sick of action packed movies that have had their stories applied as an afterthought).

However, I will say that it always felt as if this movie should have been much much more. The epic scale and feel of the story, as well as the world, begged to be explored in much greater depth. The characters could have been a little deeper - and the actual plot of the story could have made a little more sense (did feel a bit contrived). Overall the movie did leave me wanting more - but I guess thats better than wanting to walk out of the theater!

If I bought this movie sight unseen, I would have been pleased. It was certainly worth the rental. All I can say is watch the movie, have an open mind (and zero expectations) and you will walk away entertained to say the least.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2009 10:16 AM PST


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