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Nathan Jolly
Lives in Greenville, NC
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Nathan Jolly

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So I went and looked at some of the newest phones, because I love phones and want to stay current.

Nexus 6. This thing is too big. Hands down, it's a two handed phone. And I have big phone hands. Too big. Too wide. Not a phone, it's a tablet. I kinda want one, but lack of memory card is suckage.

Galaxy S6. This thing looks and feels premium. I still think the iPhone form factor is junk, and it doesn't have a memory card slot. But it looks good.

Galaxy's S6 Edge. All of the above, but holy shit on the curved screen. They both have good looking screens, but that curved screen is hawt. Galaxy Note Edge is junk though, since it's two screens. Do not want.

LG G3. Those back buttons are weird. I like the phone, but those buttons would take some time to get used to.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+. They look nice, but they don't have a black option. Need a black option. From the back, the 5S looked better. I don't generally like iOS, but you know, objectively, I'm not seeing anything new. I'm not a professional reviewer, so I don't have this info. Generally unimpressed.

HTC One M9. Can't tell the difference between it and my One M8. Power button is in a better place on the 9.

Coming into the second year of owning my One M8, I don't think anything is a whole generation ahead of my phone. I'm not missing anything major. I think if I had to choose a new phone this year... I don't even know. Whatever I picked would be a step down in at least one regard. Not even trolling. Even the HTC One M9 doesn't have the GPE option (to basically run AOSP).
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My daughter's S6 supposed to arrive tomorrow. I like that phone! +Nathan Jolly​ r u biased against the Chinese phones. There's a new one (I forget the name, but it's on my page). I'm like so in awe of it, however I have the One Plus. You know 2 of our mutual G+ friends also have the One too (no pun intended, if you wanted to consider waiting for that) 
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Well, the only real problem with the Van Halen one is that the game is fundamentally broken. Since Activision owns the Guitar Hero brand, when Harmonix took their talent to EA and started making Rockband games, the first two games Activision put out were just clones of Guitar Hero 2, with a fresh coat of paint. 3, and Aerosmith. When they put out World Tour (4), they had to do the drums and vocals themselves. The drums were weird, and vocals flat out didn't work. But hey, they checked the boxes. Even with Guitar Hero Van Halen, and the latest GH title, Warriors of Rock, they hadn't fixed it. Finishing all the songs on expert guitar and getting 5 stars for each would sound worse (Eddie Van Halen is, after all, one of the biggest names in rock), but at least it would be a reasonable thing that someone could do. Oh, I'm sure GH vocals can be gamed, but being able to do expert vocals in Rockband, piece of cake, to struggling in Hard in GH... Something's wrong there.

Speaking of the slightly superior rhythm game, Rockband 2 had an achievement called "The Bladder of Steel Award." To obtain, the player had to complete the Endless Setlist challenge. That's all 84 songs on the disc. However, if you fail, or even pause, the achievement is forfeit (however, there are three achievements for completing the setlist with fails and pauses allowed, one for each difficulty above Easy, and they stack if you get the higher two, so if you do it on Expert, you get all three. Well, I did it on Expert Vocals, and I got all four. It took six hours and 20 minutes. Of course, if you can pee during loading screens or long intros when the singer isn't doing anything, you don't actually have to have a "bladder of steel." But that's easier said for guys than gals. Also, you want snacks, but not a lot of liquids. However, you can't let your throat get dry. Cough drops (Halls black FTW) and hard candy work well for this.
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Nathan Jolly

Common Across Apps  - 
 
Thanks Microsoft! I really like Word and Excel, but could never justify the purchase price. They're a joy to work with at work. At home, Google Docs meets my needs. And I know I can access lite versions with OneDrive, I just never remember when I go to make a spreadsheet. Hopefully these apps will load/save from the cloud (OneDrive). I do some data entry at work, and Google Sheets is fine for what I do, but there's always room for improvement. And I think Excel can save me time if it's done right. Plus... it's Excel. I've had more fun working in Excel than I have in some games.
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Thanks +Nathan Jolly for your feedback. +Sanjay bhat 
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PSA: If you use Google Opinion Rewards, they are actively checking for liars gaming the system to get money! I just got hit with it. I answered correctly, but according to Reddit, here's how it goes:

1. You will be told you have a survey, but that it's to prepare you for other surveys and that it doesn't pay anything. That's what it said to me.

2. Second, it will ask you if you've ever been to a water park. Kelp's Wild Waterways or something like that. Tell it NO. That's what I did.

3. If you said yes, it will ask what your favorite ride is. Your answer doesn't matter. You're already screwed.

4. The next question informs you that no such park exists and ask how it feels to lie for money.

5. You are then informed that you will be offered no further surveys.

You may as well uninstall the app at this point. L

Reportedly, a while back they did one about a novel that doesn't exist.

Don't lie on the surveys. If you think maybe you could have, don't say yes, say no.

I could have kept this under my hat hoping some of y'all get caught, but they hardly send me any, so F it. Pass it along if you want to spread the good word, or don't if you wanna see cheaters get busted.
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Oh wow. Didn't know they started doing this. I got that very survey just the other day, thankfully I answered no. 
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I just found this app... It's made by Sony, but it works on my HTC phone. Normally when an Android phone manufacturer releases apps, they only release it for their phones. Sony doesn't seem to have done that here.

This app will identify music that it can hear, like SoundHound, or Shazam. But those apps are free with ads, or $6 to remove the ads. I don't particularly care for either option. And this app looks nicer.

But can it identify songs? That's the question. So I started throwing songs at it. Popular songs. Rock songs. It got them. The Sons of Anarchy theme. It got that, too. Some more obscure stuff. Not a problem. Anime music. Video game music. Nailed it, nailed it. I did get it to choke on some indie tracks. I've probably said before that everyone at Harmonix (Rockband developer) is in a band? Well, I threw some of their stuff at it, and it choked on two of those, but it also got one. It even got live stuff. And it got it FAST.

So hey, give this a shot if you think you might need it.
The TrackID™ music recognition app is the best way to identify the music ar...
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Not a fan of ENT, but this looks promising. Keep up the good work. Winter when? Winter as in 2014? Winter hadn't started when this video was published. Not officially anyway. Winter 2015? Seems more likely. Anyway, keep it up.
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I just pulled the ultimate prank on my mother. I'd been planning it for months, and IT WAS GLORIOUS.

I lead her into a conversation about my brother. Fairly innocent. And then I ask if she remembers when we'd sit in the back seat and pretend we were shooting other cars, like we were Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, operating the guns on the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars. She says, yeah, I remember that. (What 80s kid DIDN'T?)

So I tell her there's a site called Reddit and people were discussing Star Wars and childhood memories. This part is false, but she doesn't know it, and frankly, it doesn't matter. It's plausible, though. So I tell her that another Redditor informs me that if Han Solo isn't flying the Falcon... Who is?

My mother's supposed to ask if that makes her Princess Leia. But she didn't, because she's not a Star Wars fan. She's SEEN it, but probably only once. Maybe twice. I mean, I watched the shit out of it way back when. I was born in the late 70s. But she wasn't interested. She knows Darth Vader, Yoda, the main characters. She could tell you which robot is C-3P0 and which is R2-D2, but she probably couldn't pick Boba Fett out of a lineup. Ya dig? So I push the issue. I tell her that Princess Leia never flew the Falcon. So with Han and Luke on guns, who does that leave?

Chewbacca.

"HEY!!" she shouts at me.

"Don't you mean," I began, then belted out my best Chewbacca impersonation. EEEYYYYYYYY! Kind of a pained moan.

"Hey, fuck you man," my mom says. My mom's cool like that. Takes no shit, talks plenty of shit.

So I say, "Sorry, I don't speak Wookiee. All I heard was, EY EEYYY EEYYY, EEEEYYYYYYY!"

I got her on speaker phone. My wife's driving. We're ALL cracking up. No harm, no foul. Everybody's day has just been made more awesome. She says she's gotta get off the phone. More Chewbacca noises. Says she loves us. Of course I say I love you too and so does my wife — I'm not a total dick — then another Chewbacca noise.

Next time I call I'll do it once more — yep, on Mother's Day, it would be weird if I called tomorrow as well, without something else to say — but that'll be the end of it.

It's probably only a prank you can play on your mother, if you're a guy and you have a brother. I guess if you have a sister, and/or you are the sister, I guess you could still play Han and Luke, but I've never heard of any little girl playing like she's shooting out the Millennium Falcon's turrets riding in the back seat, even tomboys. Though I'm sure some do/have. Your mother should definitely know Star Wars though, or at least the first one.

And one possible out is Lando Calrissian. Lando was the former owner of the Falcon, and flies it in Jedi. He's the one that blew up the second Death Star, while Han was with Luke and Leia down on Endor with the Ewoks. But nobody's mother is going to claim to be Lando Calrissian. I bet they go for Leia every time. Plus, I'm not sure Lando ever flew the Falcon with Han and Luke on the turrets, anyway.

Lastly, if anyone's wondering why I called rather than visited... I live on the other side of the country (United States). I'm going to visit next year, but it isn't cheap.
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Nathan Jolly

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If I could make a suggestion — add Google Drive as a cloud option. Dropbox isn't viable for us. They offer the least amount of space, 3GB (or was it 2GB?). I've gotten it up to 11GB by completing offers and such, but Google Drive, like OneDrive, starts you with 15GB for free and no action necessary. I know a lot of people like Dropbox, so I'm not saying drop it, but if you're not a paid user, it isn't very good. (Though, I could help myself by moving my photos out of there.)

Also, both OneDrive and Dropbox are blocked at work. Google Drive isn't. So my best bet to collaborate between work and phone is to have the file in Google Drive and use it with the app. Second best is to have a local file on the phone, and send it across a cable or email it to myself. But that's no fun.
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Thanks!
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To say this is incredible is selling it way short. There are no words for what this means for the future, for the next few years. And it's not even HoloLens. What we saw is HoloLens 1.0 by Microsoft. Google Glass kind of came and went, but the team is working on something else now. Probably something more like this. Apple's going to have something. Samsung. HTC's working on a VR set for Valve. And then HoloLens 2.0 will come out. The question I have is, are these things going to work together at all? Right now, if you have a Samsung, you can call an HTC, or an Apple iPhone. They can text each other. They take the same kind of pictures and video, more or less, and with the exception of the iPhone, they can use the same apps, though I'm sure there are apps that look and work almost exactly the same from Android to iOS.

Speaking of phones, I'm a big Android fan. When Android came out, Google said something that stuck with me. They said Android is what it is, or something like that, but it's the developers who are going to make it a hit. They said something like, "We can't wait to see what YOU do with Android." And that's what I'm getting from this video. HoloLens is, on its own, damn impressive. About as impressive today as having a computer in your pocket was in 2008 when Android first came out. (I know I'm selling the iPhone short, but honestly, I have never owned one.) But looking at this, I'm thinking, universal apps, there's probably no way that's going to include Android and iOS. Good on Microsoft if they plan to include all of us. But if Microsoft can get a top-shelf Lumia phone on Verizon in 2016, I will ditch Android to get on board with this.

There's a lot of talk about HoloLens, but what I'm not seeing is what HoloLens, or rather Windows 10 and universal apps, does for you when you're not wearing the thing. I mean, it has got to charge sometime, right? Now, if you have an iMac, an iPhone, and maybe your family has an iPad or two, maybe you have iPods, you have Apple TV, all these things just click together. Windows Phone is closely related to Windows 8's Modern interface, and Android has... well, I guess Android has Chromecast. But it's not a strong ecosystem. Android works well with any desktop computer, but there's no real synergy. You copy music to it over a cord or something like AirDroid. What if I have HoloLens and Windows 10 and a Lumia phone, and I want to put music on it, what if I can rip open my computer in these "layers," pull out the music, and throw them at the phone? Of course, what's really happening is, the HoloLens is creating an ad-hoc wireless connection and transferring files, not unlike I do not, but damned if it doesn't look sexy as all hell. But then when I take the thing off, all the things it was showing me, I imagine will "follow" me, like the video followed the guy in the video, to my phone, or my desktop computer.

And then there's games. And I don't really want to write too much longer (remember when YouTube comments were capped at 500 characters? Oops). But in the game Skyrim, a fairly popular title (game of the decade if you ask me, though), there's this puzzle mechanic where you collect stone dragon claws, and these are used to open doors. On the palm of the stone claw are three symbols. They're set in advance, and in the inventory, you can click a button to zoom in on it, and then use the controller's two analog sticks to rotate it around. For the first one, you get a clue that the solution is in the palm of your hand, but the guy who stole it was too dense to figure it out. So you open the inventory and you get the thing, and you turn it over, and you zoom in on the three symbols. Now, what if, you're playing the game, and you can bring that claw out into the world, and say your memory isn't good enough to remember the symbols. So the claw is still drawn out by the HoloLens while you've put your inventory away, and you set the symbols on the door (rotating rings), and then you put the claw in the holes and turn it. And you're in. Now, sticking with the Skyrim theme, one popular kind of mod is the player home. A home features a bed, and various other things. Crafting tables. Item storage. But one of the coolest features is the museum, or gallery. When you collect, say, the gold claw, even after you return it to its rightful owner, it appears in your gallery. It's like a museum room in your home. You can't take it, it's a static object. As you complete the game and do optional things, more items fill the museum room. Dragon claws. Dragon priest masks. Unique weapons. Unique armors. Maybe caricatures of special creatures you've defeated. Now, what if, when doing these things, you could have these things decorate your home in real life? Or rather, holographic representations of them? Forget achievements, like on the Xbox. Forget about that same blip, that same Xbox logo. Forget about gamer "score." Now you have trophies. And I don't mean PlayStation trophies. I mean, you do a thing in a game, you have a holographic trophy you can put in your home, in your office, wherever you would wear your HoloLens. Hell, if you can put a holographic robot on top of a real one, I can have a flying dragon about the size of a cat, perching on a shelf, giving me little nuggets of wisdom. Maybe run Cortana through it.
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I've been writing a short story based on a dream I had a couple weeks ago. Three of the planned five parts have been published, and parts 4 and 5 will be out next weekend, most likely followed by an author's note about the dream and the process of making it into a story.

It's about a guy who explores a burned-out ruined school and winds up trapped in a strange, illogical environment with a woman and her weird child. There doesn't seem to be a way out, either.
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Not a big role player, so I doubt I could stick to something like this. For example, I love archery. Not a big mace guy. So I'd be like, "This isn't working. Snipe, snipe, snipe." But I like the back story. Great video.
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+Nathan Jolly Thanks Nathan
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It would be cool, though highly unlikely given the confines of the game engine, if you could actually play along, Rockband or Guitar Hero style. Fable had this and it was neat. Very simple, but the tips you earned was related to your skill in tapping buttons in a random order at increasing speeds.
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+Nathan Jolly Imagine a mod that adds spells that cost zero magicka. One would activate and deactivate destroyable buildings and one fixes buildings...
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Greenville, NC
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Chocowinity, NC - Santa Rosa, CA - Cloverdale, CA
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The original Dark Reality, since 1992
Introduction
Born and raised in Northern California, I met my wife online, and drove to North Carolina to move in with her. We've been married since 2006. I build the computers I use for general web browsing, writing, and PC gaming (Steam), and I'm always thinking up new ways to customize my Android smartphone in new ways or find a new custom firmware to flash on it (I mostly run CyanogenMod or something based on it).

When I'm not tinkering with electronics, I'm either spending time with my wife, driving, working, or cooking. If I could sum up my cooking in one word, it would be 'spicy.' My wife is a baker and cake decorator, so we both turn out some amazing projects in our kitchen. I'm about as passionate about what comes out of our kitchen as what's in our main computer or on my phone.

I've been on the Internet in some capacity or another since 1992 as 'Dark Reality,' and I've had a couple movies, a band, and some songs named after me. (Google me, or rather, my screen name.) Pretty cool, or it would be if I ever got paid from it. I've gone from being an opinionated ass who isn't afraid to speak his mind (think House from House, M.D.) to being a more relaxed dude who generally tries to help with things I'm good with (computers, phones, some games). But I must not be that bad a guy, since I met my wife online, on a forum for some lousy band you probably don't care about anyway, and a lot of the people up there hated me. Not sure how I got a wife outta the deal, but hey, life's funny like that and I wouldn't trade my weird luck for anything. It's taken me to some pretty interesting places, and I can't wait to see where it takes me next.
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I can cook a mean jambalaya!
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Came here with my wife at around 14:30 on a Saturday. They had some customers but mostly empty. Got seated right away. Place is nice: long and narrow with a bar separated from the seating area by a wall with windows; there's also a forward seating section looking out onto the street, and an upstairs area above the bar. We ordered an appetizer, the 'Skins and Bites,' which is breaded jalapeno and onion slices, with a dipping sauce they call 'Come on Back Sauce.' The sauce is aptly named, it's delicious. The onions were just okay (like a blooming onion anywhere else) but the jalapeno slices were amazing, like inside out poppers. My wife got the 'Kickin Chicken' sandwich, and I got the 'Zydeco King' burger. My side was the 'Grub fries' (seasoned fries) and she got the hash brown casserole. We were both satisfied with what we got. I was offered gravy for the fries (the table had ketchup and mustard) but we had enough of the 'Come on Back Sauce' left that I passed and used that instead. The fries were a little salty for me (though not for the area—NC likes salt) and the burger could have been a little bigger, but it was delicious, and my wife was happy with her sandwich. We weren't pestered every 5 minutes like at some places, which is a good thing, but if something was wrong (it wasn't), we would have had to flag someone down. And it took a little while after we were both done to get the check. Would have loved to hang out, maybe get a beer (they have a HUGE selection of bottles, and a few on tap) but I had to get my wife to work... as is too often the case when we eat out. Prices were generally fair. My burger was $8.99, my wife's sandwich was $7.99, and the appetizer was supposed to be $6.99, but they tacked on 35¢ ($7.34) for a reason I couldn't determine. Tax possibly, but it was added before the tax and the tax was added on top of that. Overall we both loved it. My wife's been once before, but for my first time, I really enjoyed it.
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