I am lucky enough to be in both the (soft-)launch of Google Stadia and the beta of project xCloud from Microsoft. Some thoughts on the differences between the two:

  • Stadia works a bit like Xbox Live. You pay a monthly fee, and get a couple games added to your library each month. You lose access if you lapse the subscription, but regain them if you renew again. Xbox costs half as much if you pay annually – not sure Stadia offers that yet.
  • xCloud has 2 options at the moment – stream games from their servers (similar to Stadia), or stream your own games from your own console (this requires opt-in for beta testing the OS on your console).
  • While both work best on 5 GHz band wifi, Stadia gives a more general “you’re good!” connection status, while xCloud will specifically tell you to get on 5 GHz for the best performance. The difference here is you can keep going on Stadia, and xCloud will generally lag and shutdown the stream to change the connection.
  • Playing a console game on a phone isn’t terrible, but is not yet ideal. As it becomes more widespread, I would guess games would adapt their display settings for this, but right now, it’s a lot of tiny text menus.

Of course the biggest difference is the platform buy-in (and I suspect this will be the case with Nvidia GeForce Now as well, if they can stop hemorrhaging games). I have nearly 15 years of game saves and purchases and achievements on one of these platforms. One of the best reasons to set that aside would be ubiquity – if I can pick up a game and play on any screen1, it would be hard to beat the convenience.2

Google has that opportunity, if it wants. The next play is for your triple-A game library to follow you wherever you go. They’ve just got to move quickly, before someone else beats them to it.

  1. Unless it is an Apple screen
  2. Not that I can get to to many other screens right now, given we can’t leave the house.

The little man is starting to have strong opinions about what we play and read and listen to and watch. And while I have been able to steer his tastes in the past, he has started making his own picks too.

Sometimes I can steer those as well; he likes the newest Thor and Spider-Man movies, and we got him a 12-inch tall Hulk action figure that he treats like a baby doll.

Sometimes he misses big. He found and made us watch a Netflix show that appears to be just a GoPro mounted on the front of a passenger train through Norway. It is 7 hours long.

But his most recent pick is a winner. It’s called Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, and it is basically a French CG mix of Sailor Moon and Spider-Man. It has the odd rhythm of a dubbed show, and he loves the repetitious transformation sequences. I appreciate a show like this being given some production value, and we can’t wait to start season 2 which dropped this week.

Dear Governor Pence,

has not been doing great in the media lately. First Pawnee had to merge with Eagleton1, then the Mole Women emerged from Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne’s bunker.

In all seriousness, I would be glad to have those issues. They are preferable to the reality of transitioning from an HIV outbreak to legalizing discrimination by religious organizations.

There is no getting around it – this is about discrimination. No matter how many times you tell us it is not, you also won’t just say you are against the discrimination of LGBT people. Pretty sure Stephanopolous is not known for hard-hitting journalism, Mike. He was putting a softball on a tee for you, and you struck out.

Can you think of another reason a business would need “free exercise of religion”? Or that it would need to use that new-found religion as a defense in civil litigation? You have had several months to think of some examples. I’ve tried for a few days, and I am coming up empty. Maybe if it actually was the same as the federal RFRA, which has been falsely claimed by several conservative news outlets, this would be easier.

I have been an Indiana resident since I was in elementary school. It makes me glad that this kind of skulduggery2 is coming to light, because there is always the small hope that the attention will help the problem. Now the CEO of the richest company in America, Parks and Rec’s own Nick Offerman (and Jeff Tweedy), and your predecessor are all throwing you under the bus. I know if there is one thing you guys like more than religion, it is capitalism.

But if the past is any indicator, things probably won’t change. I’m not sure if it is the cause or the effect, but smart, (even mildly) progressive people have been leaving the state for decades. Little, trying-to-be-subtle moves like this are the reason. This policy is only driving more people out of the economic ghost town that is (northern) Indiana.

Please don’t make us form a religion3 and sue you, which we are now allowed to do under your law, which does not define what a religion is.

Good luck with reelection,
Your constituency

  1. It was honestly hard to find something negative that happened to Indiana in that show. Which makes this even more disappointing – it is like you are correcting the show, saying “No, it’s ok, we’re actually assholes.”
  2. Awesome word. Should be used more often.
  3. Our first commandment is “don’t be an asshole.” To inject some of the founder’s personal bias into it, our second commandment is “Notre Dame sucks.”