03/11/14 The Feed
The system seller the Xbox One has needed is here, with the release Tuesday of Respawn's Titanfall. Whether or not the FPS turns out to be a turning point in software design is still a question mark.
The PC- and Xbox (360 and One)-exclusive release is a resounding success, but in an industry obsessed on tentpole releases driving the system, so to speak, it'll take some time to find out if this new franchise has legs....
03/04/14 State Roundup
In Gov. Rick Scott's State of the State address Tuesday, he said he had fulfilled his key 2010 campaign promises to curb spending and help employment rebound. He also touted the state's education system....
03/02/14 State Roundup
Social Security has been a popular political football during the campaign for Pinellas County's open U.S. House seat, with both sides acknowledging the earned benefit program needs reform, but differing on how it should be handled.
During an untelevised debate in Clearwater on Feb. 25, candidates Alex Sink and David Jolly traded barbs over their platforms, with Sink attacking the Republican onstage by saying Jolly had declared that Social Security was not guaranteed. Jolly said that wasn't his opinion, it's actually what the highest court in the land had ruled. Jolly said it was up to elected officials to make sure seniors get their benefits....
Republican House Speaker Will Weatherford expects the 2014 legislative session to focus on health care, education and poverty, including ways to deal with laws on the books that make it difficult for constituents to make ends meet.
While saying he’s “very proud of the unemployment rate,” the chasm between the rich and the poor in Florida and its effects on the state need to be addressed. Chief issues include the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion and the discrepancies in education quality, he said.
Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, made his comments during a visit to the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Thursday....
02/27/14 The Feed
It seems there's an end to the story for the makers of BioShock Infinite. Studio head Ken Levine says his Irrational Games will be shutting down for good to focus on "a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two."
How much smaller? Only about 15 people out of a studio of about 200 were going to keep their jobs, the Feb. 18 announcement on the studio's website read. The more positive spin, however, is what Levine will be doing....
PolitiFact Florida: Will doctors write prescriptions for medical marijuana if you have an itchy back?02/23/14 State Roundup
As medical marijuana heads to the ballot in Florida in November, opponents like Senate President Don Gaetz have argued that it will be too easy for people who want to smoke pot recreationally to get their hands on it.
"It doesn't require a physician writing a prescription, and it can be for purposes as specious as having a back that needs to be scratched," Gaetz said in an interview on Feb. 13. "That's the legalization of marijuana that I oppose and will vote against in November." We wondered if Gaetz's specific claims about physicians and purposes was fully accurate....
02/18/14 State Roundup
Issues affecting seniors continue to drive a lot of the attack ads in the race to fill the seat held by the late U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young.
One of the more persistent has been Democratic accusations that Republican candidate David Jolly wants to fundamentally change Social Security. In a robocall that began targeting Pinellas County's independent seniors this month, the Florida Democratic Party reinforces the attack....
02/08/14 State Roundup
Thanks to Alex Sink's years as a banking executive in Florida, plus her statewide campaigns for higher office, Republicans have had years to hone attacks against her in the race for Pinellas County's open U.S. House seat.
In a mailer, the Republican Party of Florida lists a raft of attacks about Sink's past they have used over and over.
The mailer is designed to resemble a job application, as Sink is asking Pinellas County voters to hire her as their congressional representative. The flier uses her "prior work history" to make attacks on her....
The latest generation of consoles is here, but this year Sega is banking on a hit straight from 1979.
It's pretty common knowledge by now that the former hardware maker has agreed to publish a tentpole title from developers The Creative Assembly called Alien: Isolation. You get three guesses as to what the inspiration was.
The fourth-quarter release has reached the playable build stage, so the game is all the rage in chat rooms and gaming news outlets. Considering I'm a diehard fiend about the franchise, it's no great leap to imagine my interest rates somewhere between unquenchable thirst and DEFCON 1....
PolitiFact Florida is keeping busy fact-checking the race for Pinellas County’s U.S. House race ahead of Monday night’s debate between Alex Sink and David Jolly....
01/30/14 State Roundup
"For the first time in over a decade, business leaders around the world have declared that China is no longer the world's No. 1 place to invest; America is."
Barack Obama, Jan. 28 in the State of the Union address
A White House spokesman said Obama's comment referred to the 2013 A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index, a survey of corporate executives from 302 companies in 28 countries that measured where companies are looking to make global investments....
01/28/14 State Roundup
Attacks in the Pinellas County U.S. House race are coming fast and furious, thanks to a shortened campaign schedule for the March 11 special election. As Democrats look to retake the House from Republicans, the seat is a prime target for both parties. That means national campaign organizations are spending big bucks to reach voters.
On Jan. 21, Democrats targeted former lobbyist David Jolly's resume with a commercial that charged that his former firm lobbied "for hundreds of millions (of dollars) for a dictator in Pakistan." Besides implying Jolly was somehow involved — which he was not — the ad also made it seem his employer had been doing something wrong by lobbying for a U.S. ally in the war on terror. PolitiFact Florida rated the claim Half True....
01/23/14 The Feed
For years, console makers have been telling us their machines are destined to be the nerve centers of our homes. It's taken awhile for that to happen, but it turns out all it took was a little pizza.
Pizza Hut announced in early April it was partnering with Microsoft to create its Xbox Live app to order pies directly from your couch. Unlike the online interface used by a computer, the app got rid of that pesky mouse and keyboard and let you use your Kinect with voice commands, or even swipes of your hand....
The two favored GOP candidates in the shortened campaign for the late C.W. Bill Young's U.S. House seat have taken a few shortcuts in their campaign rhetoric, too.
Young's heir apparent, former lobbyist David Jolly, and state Rep. Kathleen Peters have unloaded on each other ahead of the Republican primary Tuesday, questioning each other's platforms, backgrounds and honesty. (Candidate Mark Bircher, a retired Marine, has yet to unleash a direct attack on either.)...
01/09/14 The Feed
Forget the consumer-analyst narrative that wearable media was the big story at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Gamers know the announcement of Valve's lineup of Steam Machines is the true wave of the future.
The game developer announced this week that its plan to mete out content from its Steam digital distribution service via third party machines is (dare I say it?) full steam ahead. There were 14 different designs of the so-called Steam Machines ready to cater to Valve's 65 million-strong user base....