Hi humans. Here’s the recording from this week’s Tetris Arena Live. This week’s show was a pretty normal show, as we saw the return of my co-caster Ukrainian4Life. At the beginning of the stream, I wanted to show an interesting Google Easter egg, but epic failed because I didn’t test it out before going on stream. If you want to replicate it yourself, go to Google, make sure there are only ten results displaying and search for “Zerg rush.” Shortly after, a swarm of Google “o”s will invade the screen and start eating away at your results. If you click on them a few times, they will disappear. Your mission is to save your search results from destruction. This is a reference to a popular game by the Korean game-making company Blizzard called Starcraft. In Starcraft, the Zerg are a race of biological creatures that specialize in outmassing the opponent and swarming in great numbers to pick up victories. Once we switched back to Tetris mode, we started off in a six-person free-for-all room, then went on to a one-on-one room after a little under two hours. If you’re interested in joining the show live, be sure to tune in to the HardDrop.com Twitch.TV account at http://twitch.tv/harddrop, or check out the embedded player on the home page of http://harddrop.com.
Hi humans. After going on a severe rant about YouTube’s new update three days ago, this post is a huge turnaround, looking at the better side of Google. I’m sure most of us have used our Gmail accounts as storage or backup space. Gmail users get over 7 GB of free storage, and most people don’t get 7 GB of text emails ever in their life, so they take advantage of that and use that space for other files. IF you’re an avid backer-upper, you probably noticed that the attachment size limit in Gmail is 25 MB. Unfortunately, there are some files that we have to save that are larger than 25 MB. In the past, depending on their skill level and adeptness with computers, people might have either just not backed up those files, or split them up using a program like 7-Zip. With the release of a new feature called Google Drive, nobody has to do that anymore. http://drive.google.com Upon signing up for Google Drive, your Gmail inbox gets increased to 10 GB and you get an additional 5 GB of storage space on what used to be Google Docs. Except now, you can upload any files to Google Drive (with no 25 MB file size limit), not just documents. The sorting and organization features have also been drastically improved, and now it looks like what you would see in a real operating system. It takes all the good parts of Google Docs and reorganizes them so they’re more convenient to use. As of right now, you have to request an invitation, but I’ve been hearing that most people get the invitation within a few hours. This is definitely something worth checking out, so if you have a Google account, I highly encourage you to sign up soon.
Hi humans. First of all, I’d like to start off-topic and say that I hate rain. A few days ago, I woke up in the morning and took a shower. Then I went outside to go to class and took another shower. Except, the only problem was, for the second shower, I had nothing to use to dry off because I was in a lecture hall and not my bathroom, so I was dripping wet throughout my entire class. By the time I got moderately dry, class was over and it was time to go back outside and be rained on again. Back to my complaints on YouTube. I’m sure all of you have realized this to be a recurring theme, but I absolutely hate it when YouTube comes out with an update. First it was the home page redesign that made it impossible to actually view all your subscribers’ videos and remove them from the home page after you were done watching them, then it was randomly removing people as subscribers and making popular YouTubers lose almost half their views. Now, it seems like they’re going to mess up the partnership system as well. For those of you slightly familiar with my YouTube channel, I have a handful of game-related videos from which I am making money. This is permitted under copyright law because throughout the entire video, I am providing insightful and relevant commentary and critique, rather than just playing the game and not adding any accompanying words. Usually, when I submit a video for monetization, I’m able to clarify this so the video gets approved and I start making advertising revenue off my views. From the latest update, they changed the request form such that you’re not allowed to explain what is in your video. Now, when you submit your video, you click a button that says you accept the terms and conditions, then your video gets automatically submitted. Then, the idiot who goes and looks through submitted videos doesn’t even watch the video, sees that the thumbnail includes video game footage, and rejects the video for copyright infringement without even taking a look at what the actual content of the video is. So, the point is, I’ve lost a good amount of money as a result of this ridiculous new system, and it’s very annoying. This update came along with the new partnership update from about a week ago. I’ve been told by a handful of my friends that they got an email from YouTube letting them know they were approved for partnership. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you weren’t actually approved for the partnership you were hoping for. YouTube also happened to change the partnership system so they are no longer accepting applications for real partners (with custom branding), and opened up the new partnership system to everyone. The only additional feature you get as a “partner” now is monetization. I’m not quite sure what the motivation was behind making this change, but now, anyone can become a “partner” with the click of a button and start making money off their videos. But, don’t be fooled by this, because it’s not quite what it seems. Your money is deposited into Google Adsense. For those of you unfamiliar with Google Adsense, you only get payouts once a month, IF AND ONLY IF you make more than $100 that month. If not, it carries over to the next month and you don’t get paid for that pay period. Now of course, the “real” YouTube partners have absolutely no problem making over $100 per month because they’re good- and popular-enough video producers to attract enough viewers and display enough ads. However, everyone starts at the same spot, and I was back at square one at one point of my career as well, when I wasn’t making over $100 a month in the blink of an eye. Looking back at when I first started, it took nearly forever to get the first payout from Google Adsense. Thus, this seems more like a YouTube money maker rather than an update that’s supposed to give people a better opportunity to improve their video making. I can guarantee that a majority of these “new” partners aren’t ever going to reach the $100 mark. They simply don’t have the audience to display enough ads and make enough money. However, they might end up reaching about $50 before they give up. When they give up, that money doesn’t go anywhere, and stays with Google. Multiply that by the thousands upon thousands of people who are going to try out the new open partnership program, and those are some nice profits for Google without doing anything new. Of course, if you know me, you know that I love Google and use pretty much all of their service. I even posted on Google+ not long ago that the new Google+ layout was the first time a social network has ever come up with a new theme and I liked it immediately without going through a “getting used to it” period. I use Gmail for all my email needs, and I forward four or five accounts’ emails all to my Google account. Keeping this in the back of my mind, it feels like YouTube is never up to par with all of Google’s other services. YouTube is always falling behind, and whoever is coming up with these YouTube updates seems to be the severe underdog at Google. Am I expecting YouTube to ever change? Not at all. Their customer service is worse than terrible, and it seems like they simply don’t have the desire to take users’ thoughts into consideration before releasing updates. But hopefully something will work out, and even if YouTube itself becomes a failure, I’m hoping that the people who run YouTube – the video producers, not the staff members – will bring it back as close as possible to what it used to be.
Hi humans. Earlier today, I streamed the fifth week’s broadcast of competitive Tetris on Tetris Friends. Unfortunately, for today’s show, my regular co-caster Ukrainian4Life was not available to join me due to other responsibilities, so I was on my own for the stream. … At least that’s what I thought, before I got part-way into the stream and realized that not being able to take a break from shoutcasting every other match is actually extremely difficult. So, I decided to try out something new by inviting some Hard Drop members to come co-cast with me. A member who goes by the name perfectclear on Hard Drop was first. He joined me for a little while, but suddenly had something happen and abruptly had to leave not long after joining. After a little bit, another Hard Drop member named Paul joined me as my second co-caster, and stayed with me until the end of the broadcast. This week, we focus entirely on one-versus-one matches throughout the entire three hours. We had a massive variety of competitors rotating in and out throughout the stream. If you’re looking to improve your one-on-one skills, this week’s show is definitely one that you want to watch.
Hi humans. After taking a two-week vacation from streaming while I was on spring break, I went back into action today for my fourth week streaming competitive Tetris on Tetris Arena. Today’s show started off with an experimental intro song that I was hoping to have integrated into a theme song / show opening. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time or motivation to have it made by today, so it ended up just being my opening screen with the song playing in the background. For those of you curious, the song is "Geeks Will Inherit the Earth" by I Fight Dragons. I’m not fully sure if I’m going to follow through with having a consistent introduction to the show or not; if you have any suggestions or opinions, feel free to leave them in the comments section of the YouTube video page. The biggest announcement for today was the fact that the Hard Drop website got hacked. Apparently, due to a security vulnerability, someone gained unauthorized access to our web host, and we lost pretty much all the data that we had. We thought we had a recent back-up so we could easily restore everything, but apparently, those back-ups were also being stored on the same server that got hacked. The only local copy that we had that we could use as a restore point was over a month old. As a result, if you happened to sign up for an account on Hard Drop since I started streaming, you’re going to have to sign up again, as the information regarding your sign-up has been unintentionally deleted. For the first two and a half hours, we spent time in a six-person free-for-all room, where we had a nice variety and rotation of competitors of varying skill levels. We were even visited by MicroBlizz, who recently became the world’s fastest Tetris player. The size of the queue fluctuated throughout the stream, and when there were some spaces open, I even got the opportunity to join in and play a few games myself. A few hours into the stream, we had a mysterious player named YoungR join the room. Apparently, he was complaining about how terrible his keyboard was by raging in the chat, but I was not able to see it for some reason. My co-caster, Ukrainian4Life, insisted that he was talking, and thought I was trolling him by claiming that I couldn’t see his messages, but as you can clearly see from the stream, I was not able to read whatever he was saying. For the last half an hour, we jumped into a one-versus-one room to finish off with some one-on-one action. Once again, we had a decent variety of people rotating, and saw a nice variety of people competing.
Hi humans. Today is the last day of my spring break, so I decided it would be a good day to recap all the mediocre things I did during break. Last Friday, on March 30, my parents came to pick me up from Madison and drive me back home to Illinois. They came shortly after my last class ended, so I didn’t have much time to do anything in Madison before leaving. Upon arriving back at home, I went to my martial arts academy for a little while for the first time since winter break. For the remainder of the night, I helped my mom out at the family business (which is a laundromat, for those of you not already aware), came back home, wrote the blog post that was published that day about frequently asked questions regarding my competitive Tetris live stream, then went to sleep. The following day, I went to the mysterious place that I mentioned this past summer (and possibly this past winter, I don’t remember). Here is another mysterious picture from this mysterious location so you can be even more confused. No, this is not where I live, and yes, this is the same place where I was doing some construction work over this past summer. An unfortunate piece of news for a lot of you will be that I spent the second April Fool’s day in a row not doing an elaborate April Fool’s joke. My April Fool’s joke from 2010 was a pretty big hit on my website, and a lot of people enjoyed it. They were hoping that I would do something like this again, but unfortunately, I just haven’t had the extra time and effort to spend on planning out another joke like this, and putting together all the resources. However, if you want to check out the joke that I did back in 2010, you can read my blog post from April 1, 2010. The following day, I went to see my doctor to get a general blood test to make sure I’m healthy, and visited the optometrist to see if I needed a significantly newer prescription. A few days after my test, I got my results back to see that I got healthier in the past year, and to see that my metabolism is still insanely overactive. The optometrist did some more of those confusing "which one is better, this one or this one?" tests which I can never answer correctly because he does it so fast and because most of my options are the same. Shortly afterward, he put some drops in my eyes that dilated my pupils so much that I could barely walk outside without being completely blinded by the sun. He ended up concluding that my eyes have gotten negligibly worse in the past six years, and that getting new glasses was optional. The remainder of my week has been less eventful, spending most of my time sitting around at the family business programming and coding, watching YouTube videos, playing some League of Legends, and chatting online. I also got back on a four-day intensive taekwondo session like I usually do when I’m back at home during my academic breaks. That’s pretty much all I have for today; now I have to get back into my academic and Badger Herald work phase.
Hi humans. Yes, I am still on spring break, and yes, I do remember that I said that I probably won’t be blogging much or at all during my break, but I decided I wouldn’t leave you guys completely contentless, so I decided to publicly release an unlisted YouTube video on my blog. I’ve released a League of Legends video on my blog in the past, and I decided to do it again. This time, it’s going to be a normal PvP on Summoner’s Rift with me playing as Cho’Gath going mid lane. Yes, I understand that I didn’t do as great as I could have. The main reason was that the champion against whom I was laning, Jarvan IV, was completely unfamiliar, and I didn’t know what abilities he had and obviously had no idea how to counter or avoid them. Towards the late game, we were winning by so much that I started getting greedy, and my one and only death throughout the game was caused by me wanting more kills and being completely out of position. I actually watched through this entire video with one of my friends and went into detail about how I could have done better, so pointing out my errors and mistakes are no longer necessary. However, if you still feel the need to do so, feel free to leave them as comments in the YouTube video page. If you are interested in watching more gaming videos like these, check out my YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/adamparkzer and click on the gaming playlist to watch more game-related videos. I’ll usually announce when I release a new video on my blog, but my channel subscribers will usually be able to see the videos before I get a chance to publish the corresponding blog post.