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Goodbye 2013

31st Dec 2013 Posted under: General

2013 has been one wild ride of a year. Lots of awesome things have happened but also some very confusing things which have left me wondering exactly which era of time we are in. As it draws to a close, I've decided to pick out the most confusing, for me.

1. 2013: The Year of Surveillance

This couldn't go without a mention. Finally it was revealed to the public that Big Brother did indeed happen and has been among us for some time now. No, I'm not just talking about CCTV and rise of the digital video. Of course, those of use who are wise to the web have expected this for a long time coming. With the rise in popularity of the internet, some people feel the need to police it. Societies elitism and fascism has now found its way onto the web, a hierarchy of the worlds most technologically clueless government officials are going to try and take control of this once beautiful creation. I just hope that Anonymous has the numbers and power they need to overthrow this stupidity. If hacktivism is our only solution, lets hope it exposes the truths our governments are trying to hide from their own people.

Here in the UK we have seen a stupid restrictive anti-extremist filter placed on the entirety of our countries internet "for our own safety". Similar to what they have in China. Ironically, this filter can be removed with a simple phonecall and ultimately, I feel it creates more problems than it will solve. Thankfully, it also had a very amusing outcome for the campaigner who came up with this "really good idea". Then there's the leaks that earned whistleblower Edward Snowden many accolades and nominations; the NSA (National Security Agency) are officially ruled to have access to 6.7 billion non-US citizens information and digital footprint. If they were the International Secuirty Agency I would be a little more understanding but they are not and I feel this is a massive violation of human rights on a global scale. You don't sign a contract agreeing to any of this when connecting to the internet. To conclude... It seems we have time warped 30 years into the past, about to enter 1984?

2. A Proper British Summer Time.

The last summer this good was definitely during my teens. In fact, officially it was the hottest since 2006. For the first time in years the cold winter was breached early by an actual Spring, bursting out into basically full summer by April! Compared with recent years of nothing but snow and showers, this was a very warm, welcome relief. The best part of summer was not having to debate whether Shorts and T-shirt were a good idea. I was going to say Thank you Global Warming! but surprisingly it seems that the hole in the ozone is actually getting smaller and will be gone by 2070.

3. Long Awaited Games Finally Arrive!

A sequel to my favourite ever Zelda game!? For real! I could not believe this. I have dreamed of it for so many years and always hoped it would happen but never thought it really would. I'm very thankful that the great people at Nintendo love this part of the series as much as myself. Since the dawn of the N64 and 3D games, I have dreamed and dreamed of this game. Simply can't wait to play it, hope it is worth the wait. Unfortunately, I do not currently own a 3DS so this and the new Pokémon I will be picking up at some point later in 2014.

Yes, another classic game, going just as far back into the 90's all the way to Total Annihilation. TA was an all-time favourite and still is. Not just that, this seems to be the only recent RTS game trying anything new and really pushing modern hardware on more than just visual effects. Planetarry Annihilation is a game produced by most of the original Cavedog team, now operating under the alias of Über Entertainment. I have followed the progress on this game since day 1 of the Kickstarter and have been very excited the whole time. The Beta was pretty limited so, I am eager to play through the finished thing as I've craved a decent successor to TA for decades.

Behold another gem found on Kickstarter. Old-school "points-for-pedestrians" classic racing game... Carmageddon: Reincarnation! A truly great game which I played during the later half of my childhood. The original is available on iOS and arguably one of the best driving games I've played on mobile. Just don't buy the in-app "splat pack" – if you want the true Carma experience. I just know that any follow-up to this game will be an instant treasure. I can't wait to explore the avenues revealed by todays hardware and even software capabilities. I'm so glad they smashed their funding goal.

4. Eminem Releases MMLP2.

The album was pretty good. I like some of the songs, as a whole the album voices his struggles well and has plenty of stuff that everyone can relate to. It is strange that Eminem can be wholesome even with his cocky, aggressive attitude. All in all, it is worthy of being called a proper Marshall Mathers album. It's got stuff I love but stuff I just outright skip when not feeling it. Much like the original MMLP. He's a great dude; far more modest and interesting than Kanye West or other popular rappers. Perhaps being white, from a single parent background, I can relate to his struggles more than more privileged people or those truly part of hip hop culture. This album also lead to some great parodies.

5. I Have my Own Web Presence Again

On the grand scale of things it's pretty insignificant but for me it is a good 8 years overdue. I was last managing websites before web 2.0 or the mobile market even came around! Crazy but finally I have found a system which agrees with me and even learnt an all new library of code in the process. Needless to say, this is just the beginning. I'm still working on this site but by the end of next year, hopefully I'll have a couple of others on the go as well.

Good job the world didn't end in 2012 huh? Hope 2014 is a good one for all of you!