Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Thoughts on the New iPad That Launches Tomorrow

Happy iPad Eve everyone. Tomorrow the iPad 3 comes out. Wait that isn't right. Let me try again. Tomorrow the iPad HD comes out. That still doesn't feel right. Hang on, I'll get it. Tomorrow the new iPad comes out...yeah that sounds about right. Congratulations Apple, you actually managed to simplify things even more. Before I give my thoughts on the new iPad let me just share my thoughts on the name new iPad. This has to be roughly what Apple was thinking: When people go to the store they want to get in, get their iPad, and run for the hills. How many people want to spend the time remembering iPad 2 and iPad 3 and not just being able to say 'I want the new iPad'. Well now, thanks to us you can!

That being said, the iPad page over at the Apple website lists the new features and in all honest their really aren't many of them. The first one added in is the retina display which makes everything a bit sharper. This may be the best possible part of the upgrade in my opinion because now the iPad can play video in 1080p. The innards of the iPad have also been improved so that the device now has quad-core graphics. There is a 5MP iSight camera that can record 1080p video, 4G LTE, and the addition of dictation software.

Out of all of those updates to the iPad I can't say it makes it quite an enticing buy for me. I got the iPad 2 in the last couple of months and I have been very happy with it's performance, the picture is clear, it's great for watching video and for the tasks I do. That being said if you don't have an iPad already I think the third iteration of the iPad is a great jumping off point. If you have an iPad 2 that still works just fine, I'd hold off on the upgrade until it's really worth doing.

As far as the 4G LTE goes that only effects a small group of iPad users anyway. Think about it: the iPad is sold in a wifi only model as well as a model that contains cellular data. If you don't plan on getting an iPad with cellular data anyway (seeing as it does cost a hundred bucks more) then that doesn't even begin to be something that's going to drive someone to want to upgrade. As I've said before, if you have a perfectly good iPad 2 it's probably best to just stay put. If, however, you are still running the original iPad on a day to day basis, now would definetly be a good time to trade up.

What are your thoughts on the new iPad? Sound off below.


As an extra for you all here is a video of what's on my iPad 2:

Monday, March 12, 2012

AT&T Throttling "Unlimited" Users

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that after two years of great service and lots of great memories-- countless photos, endless videos, and hours of Pandora streaming while gaming-- I am trading in my iPhone 3GS on the AT&T network for an Android device on the Sprint network. Never fear though: my iPad isn't going anywhere and I will still keep my 3GS around for App running, testing and reviewing, although now I am expanding my horizons. Maybe I should explain why though: 

Unless you have been living under a rock the last few months you probably heard AT&T was throttling users that had an unlimited data plan. Turns out doing something like that usually doesn't sit well with the customers who got grandfathered in to the unlimited data plans, like myself. One guy even went as far as to sue AT&T and he won! AT&T plans appeal the decision although I get this sinking feeling they won't be able to actually win said appeal. On March 1st, tech sites ran the news that AT&T set the official policy out for who will be throttled if you are a subscriber of the unlimited data plan. 

Below is the exact text from the AT&T page on the matter and here is the link if you wish to read it yourself: click here

If you have a smartphone that works on our 3G or 4G network and still have an unlimited data plan,
  • You'll receive a text message when your usage approaches 3GB in one billing cycle.
  • Each time you use 3GB or more in a billing cycle, your data speeds will be reduced for the rest of that billing cycle and then go back to normal.
  • The next time you exceed that usage level, your speeds will be reduced without another text message reminder.
If you have a 4G LTE smartphone and still have an unlimited data plan,the same process applies at 5GB of data usage, instead of 3GB.
You'll still be able to use as much data as you want. That won't change.Only your data throughput speed will change if you use 3GB or more in one billing cycle on a 3G or 4G smartphone or 5GB or more on a 4G LTE smartphone.

Forgive me, but I do take an issue to this. I  understand that a lot of you have the tiered data plans already so this doesn't effect you while others of you may just not use more than 3GB of data in a given billing cycle on your unlimited plan. Here's the thing: 3GB is the exact same amount of data that AT&T offers in their tiered data system and yet they also say that 3GB if you have an unlimited data plan is excessive. Let's take a look at the wording of the contract from 2007 that talks about data throttling.

"AT&T reserves the right to (i) limit throughput or amount of data transferred, deny Service and/or terminate Service, without notice, to anyone it believes is using the Service in any manner prohibited above or whose usage adversely impacts its wireless network or service levels or hinders access to its wireless network..."

The vibe I am getting from that is this: for AT&T to throttle your usage YOU need to be using EXCESSIVE data that slows the network for everyone. Just because AT&T has a network with more users than it can handle doesn't mean  that throttling it's users is the way to handle the situation. Based on this GottaBeMobile article Verizon is a little less crazy in the way they choose to throttle their users, which makes more sense. If AT&T were to adopt this policy I would still be sticking around, and switching to Sprint in my own time when I have the money for a 32 GB iPhone 4s. With the new throttling policies though I am willing to take a hit and switch to an Android device, as Sprint knows how to treat their customers. I'll never understand how a company can call 3GB excessive and yet offer a plan on tiered data with 5GB.

Have  you been effected by AT&T throttling? Do you plan to file a lawsuit? Do you know any good Sprint Android phones that aren't more than about 100 bucks with a 2 year agreement? Sound off in the comments below.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Is Freemium Gaming the Way of the Future

Hello All,

I just want to start this off by saying I am sorry that there was no Wednesday post. It was my first day at a new job so that pretty much consumed my entire day and then Thursday was my lazy day. It's actually a good thing that I had work on Wednesday though, because I was having a chat with someone and they mentioned to me that they play a game on Facebook called "Marvel Avengers Alliance". I just want to get this out of the way now: I generally dislike Facebook as a gaming platform because most of the games involve asking harassing your friends to play the games so you gain items and experience and what not. I believe FarmVille is the tool of the devil used to help give people technology addictions (although to see what kind of a hypocrite I am, I play "Zombie Farm" and "Smurfs Village" on my iPad and iPhone on a regular basis although that's a story for another day).

Anyway, Wednesday night I decided to look into this particular game and give it a try. Turns out the game isn't half bad. When I did my research on the game it was described as a "freemium" game. This is a term that has been thrown around for quite a while. The most prominent example of freemium is games like FarmVille, as the game itself is free but there is premium content you can purchase to make the game move faster and gain upgrades. This got me thinking, could freemium gaming be the way of the future?

The short answer is maybe. You see, to me it seems freemium games seem to be mostly restricted to games like "FarmVille", "Zombie Farm", "Smurf Village", and the new EA title "The Simpson's: Tapped Out" which is currently out of the App Store due to insufferable server capabilities. Granted, not all freemium games are like that. One company in particular, Nexon, hit the nail on the head in my opinion. They offer games across a plethora of genres, from First Person Shooters (Combat ArmsSudden Attack) to Action, RPG, or Strategy. While Nexon technically bills their games as free to play, they are included in my definition of freemium. You get the game for free and then have the option to purchase additional content.

In order for this to really be a part of the future of gaming though, we need to see a few major changes come quick. First and foremost, we need to see a major developer get behind this. EA counts, but I think we might even be able to get bigger than that if we try hard enough. Second, and most important, we need an actual effort from the company making the game. Do me a favor: go click  on the link for Combat Arms, install the game, and play it. That's a hell of a multiplayer first person shooter that is costing you NOTHING to play. Just imagine if games for next gen consoles were made with the quality that pay games are at now, and then offered as a freemium model, instead of the current robbery model.

In short, I think freemium could be a way of the futures if more developers shy away from the current farm trend of freemium games. What are your thoughts on freemium? Do you think it is a good business model for the gaming industry or do you think it's a waste of time? What games would you like to see as freemium? Sound off in the comments below.

Until Next Time,


Monday, March 5, 2012

"The Walking Dead" Thoughts

Consider this sentence a spoiler alert. In this post I will be spoiling stuff so if you don't want the series ruined for you, read it after you watch the newest episode. 

First off I just want to say that the newest episode of "The Walking Dead" entitled "Judge, Jury, and Executioner" is, to me, the biggest tear jerker I have seen thus far. Instead of just talking about the episode like every other site on the web though, I thought that I would use this opportunity to tell my story of how I came to see TWD in the first place and what my thoughts are on some of the current characters and survivors. I guess the best place to start is the beginning. 

I've known about TWD for several years. I had seen collections of the comics in a local bookstore so I knew there was something involving zombies called "The Walking Dead". My knowledge on the subject didn't go past that. Then I was in the store one day and I saw a DVD of the first season for sale, which piqued my curiosity enough to get me to sniff around a bit about what the whole idea was. After doing some reading and talking around with friends I made the decision to watch the pilot episode of the series. If I liked it, I would press forward, and if I didn't then at least I could honestly say I saw the pilot and wasn't impressed. To give you an idea of my thoughts on the pilot let me put it like this: I watched it, and the proceeded to marathon the first season, as well as what has been done so far for season two so I could be caught up and follow the series like a normal fan. 

The show itself, as a whole, has blow me away. When I saw that the show aired on AMC I wasn't expecting a lot from it, mainly because AMC is a channel I associate with films like "The Godfather" and classic horror films in October, so to me the concept of them airing a modern original series was astounding. The fact that it was good was what really knocked me off my feet though. The visual effects on the show were one of the first thing I noticed. From what I can tell the walkers are played by actual actors although there are times when they actually move as if they are digital. I'm the kinda person who wants to get into the film industry so I am bound to notice things like that. Looking past the zombies even the gore of the show is done in a way that makes everything seem a lot more realistic than it should ever be. The writing on the show is the next thing that captivated me, especially in regards to depth of the storylines and character development.  The best part is that since it wasn't something I expected to be good, the fact that it was great was an added bonus. 

The one thing I was wary of was the actors of the show. I hate to be that guy but the bulk of the tv shows that I watch are older ones I grew up in or star actors I really enjoy. This show is neither. Looking at the cast list I just kept saying "Who? Who?". I'd never heard a single name before but I am beyond glad that that didn't stop me from checking it out because these actors definitely earn their paycheck every episode. The funny thing is that the show differs from the comic sometimes as far as who lives and who dies because of the difference in medium. In a comic if you kill a character off it's no big deal. You go on without him. You create someone to replace him. It's easy. With a show like this it becomes tenfold more difficult because you aren't just writing out a character but actually taking away an actors job. That leaves a large need for deaths to be more thought out and well planned for. That being said, I am caught up with the series and intend to keep watching it as it airs (although I have heard a lot of people bash the second season I think the show is still going strong). I figure the best thing to do now is just run down my thoughts on certain characters and situations. The original plan was to do this for all characters but that would just run way to long. Make Sure to head over to my profile and follow my twitter and tumblr pages, as I post a lot of musings about this stuff on there as well. 

*Rick Grimes- Rick is the star of the show. He's the whole reason the show moves forward. He's the protagonist and I like him as a character. He's not my favorite by a longshoremen but to me he's the underdog and he deserves all the support he can get. He wakes up in the hospital in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Let's be honest for a second: how many of you would actually try and find your family in the desolate nightmare the world has become and how many of you would opt-out? That's what I thought. 

*Lori Grimes- When Lori Was first introduced into the s dries I hated and despised her. Let me explain why: the first time you really get to know the character you see her kissing Shane. Shane was her husbands partner and best friend and the fact that the two of them could do what they did sickened me, especially knowing Rick was looking for his family and wanted nothing more than to find them again. That being said, after Rick found her and Carl' she showed remorse for her actions, she's admitted she made a mistake, and she has earned my forgiveness for her past sins, partly because she seems to be sincere, and partly because it would tear up Rick to lose his wife again. 

*Carl Grimes- With Carl things are reversed,  I liked him when he first came into the series, I really did. I admit that a kid in a zombie apocalypse is kinda pointless, but the character wasn't a total waste. Then he got shot by Otis. Then he learned to shoot. In the most recent episode I see shades of Shane developing in his character. I have no idea if it's because he's spent so much time with Shane or if it's just because that's what happens when you I've in the new world. Either way I don't like it. 

*Shane Walsh- This guy is fun. The first time I saw him I hated him for what he did with Lori but afterwards I decided to give him a second chance. Sadly that chance only lasted five minutes until he screwed up again. Every single time he screws up I want to forgive him but he always manages to get me to hate him again. I thought he was bad at first but I knew it for fact after he sacrificed Otis. Since then he's managed to lie to Lori and piss people off at various times. His shining moment of stupidity, though, was when he broke open Herschel's barn and unleashed a mob of zombies to be killed one by one. Since then I've wanted nothing more than to see him become an all-you-can-eat zombie buffet. 

*Dale Horvath- Unfortunately, last nights episode saw the end of Dale, but he was quite possibly my favorite survivor of the group.  In all fairness, Dale wasn't the most violent member of the group but he was the most human. He was the voice of reason and logic and he one who really wanted to try and salvage the new world with civilization. His death last night marks the end of that in my opinion.  Without him who will guide the moral compasses of everyone in the group? I also wonder how this will impact the pending execution of Randall, but more on that in a minute. 

*Glenn- Glenn is the last member of the group I have a strong feeling towards. When he first shows up in the series he risks his ass to save Rick despite not knowing him. To me that's a ballsy move and earned Glenn my respect. Further more, Glenn is the second most compassionate in the group, second only to the late Dale. On Herschel's farm he starts a relationship of sorts with Herschel's one daughter, Maggie. Herschel eventually excepts Glenn and gives him a pocket watch that has been in his family for generations. The new world is rough and brutal, but Glenn still managed to find someone to fall in love with. As much as I hate to say it, if the survivors move on, I hope either Glenn stays behind or Maggie joins them, as it will kill me to see Glenn get his heart broken. 

As for my thoughts on last nights episode and the remainder of season2? I'm undecided when it comes to Randall. On one hand I do understand that he is a bit of a threat, especially with a connection to a gang of thirty. I also believe that when faced with death a person will say anything possible to get out of the situation. On the other, Dale made valid points. He is a member of the living and he doesn't deserve death by association. I look at it a little bit like this: he tried to kill Rick. Rick saved his life. He is now endebted to Rick. Hopefully someone on the show will point that out. 

As for the last few episodes of the season I'd really like to see Merle turn up again and I'd also like to see Morgan make another appearance. How do you feel about TWD up to this point And what would you like to see happen? Sound off below in the comments. 

Until next time,


Friday, March 2, 2012

Be Who You Are

Last Friday I put up a blog post entitled "It Gets Better" that discussed bullying, cyber bullying, and my own experiences with those mediums. I planned to start a new feature either this week or next week where I write and post a fan fiction each Friday, though I am now debating doing that exclusively on Tumblr. Today would have been the first post but like the best laid plans, things change. I was on Facebook today looking at status updates from friends and "friends". One of my "Friends" put up a status that basically said they was walking through a local college cafeteria at a school I attended for the better part of a semester and that as they was walking they saw people playing Yu-Gi-Oh!, Marvel vs. (I wanna assume Capcom), and reading comics on their laptops. After that, they stated they closed their eyes because they didn't want to see anymore. My first instinct was to comment on the status itself, but I decided to back off because I didn't want anything I said to be taken as racist (people in my area can be twisted). Instead I decided to use today and this blog as a forum to speak on this topic a bit. 

First and foremost, I've shared my thoughts with people on this topic a few times but I feel this will be the most in-depth. Second, I ask you read with an open mind as my comments on this can get a bit out there, but I mean nothing offensive by it, racially or otherwise. 

To start this off I want to touch on bullying again for a second. One of the biggest factors that motivated my bullies in school was that I was an easy target. I grew up with very diverse interests and I'd like to share some of them now. I like science fiction, fantasy, anime, movies, books, theater, video games, technology, and a billion other things. I'd say none of that makes me a bad person or shows the content of my character, just how I like to amuse myself. 

Getting that out of the way, statuses like The one  my "friend" put up always irritates me. I was picked on for what I like after many told me to just be myself. Many others have experienced that as well. Picking on someone for what they enjoy is sick and wrong, and it really creates bad stereotypes for groups. This is where I start getting a tad edgy. I realize that I am white and after the last 400 years or so what I am about to do is taboo, but I need to start with the ghetto community. Understand I didn't say black. I'm not here to give a hard time to the African American community. I'm here to deal with the group that walks around wearing padlock chains as necklaces or their pants so low you can see their ankles above their belt loops. If this is generally how you act and your vocabulary contains words like "dawg" or "whazzup" you are most likely a ghetto individual that enjoys listening to rap music. Despite all the torment we geeks receive from that group you don't see us jumping down their throats about how they are wrong or less of a person for choosing to enjoy that style of life. 

The same thing goes to metal heads, I actually have a few friends who are metal heads and they are very nice individuals with hearts and souls, but then there is the group of metal heads that say f**k you all. If you don't walk around wearing black, chains, ripped jeans, vests, have long hair and a load of tattoos then you can't listen to our music, again this is something I see as wrong, I'm a geek and a nerd by nature, I listen to rap, I listen to show tunes, but I also listen to rock, hard rock, rock and roll, heavy metal, and thrash metal. I don't walk around looking like what you expect a metal head to look like and I don't mosh, but that in no way reduces my value as a fan to the artist. I'd really like to think the community of fans could think the same way. To those that agree from any fan from any group for anything, I applaud you. For those that don't it's sad that you need to have such a narrow minded view of things. 

My point is you shouldn't be ashamed of what you like or afraid to be who you are. No one has the right to tell you that you are wrong for what you like, so embrace who you are and don't be afraid to be yourself and express yourself. 

Sound off with your thoughts below. 


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

iOS Wishlist

Think about the technology you own in your life. Now take a minute to think about what piece of technology is closest to you at this very moment. Aside from the computer you are reading this on (if you even have it opened on a computer), the most likely answer is probably your smart phone or your cell phone. I break those into two separate answers because I believe that there really is a difference between an iPhone or an HTC modeled Android device and the flip phone with a camera that your aunt has had for the last five years. Keep in mind, when portable telephones came out originally, that's exactly what they were: portable phones with gigantic batteries that made having your phone with you more of a work out than a convenience. Being born in late '92 I was able to avoid these types of phones and my first phone was actually a Motorola flip with a camera. Eventually I may need to do a post on the development of texting just so I can share the story of the 700 dollar phone bill and why unlimited texting plans are always a lot smarter to get for a teen. Anyway, back to the point: a cell phone and a smart phone are two totally different animals entirely. One makes phone calls, sends texts, and possibly takes pictures while having incredibly scaled back capabilities with the web and media,  while the other pretty much does everything except scratch your back, although I believe in the future there we be an app for that too. 

Over the years there have been many smart phones to hit the market in various forms. RIM has always been known for the BlackBerry line of devices, BBM, and things like that. T-Mobile had a line of SideKicks that I believe are an early form of the smart phone. Google does the Android platform that can now be found on a viriety of phones, and Apple, the computer giant of the world, does the iPhone, which in  my personal opinion revolutionized the smart phone platform. Before you say anything, yes  I know most of what the iPhone can do was originally on the Android platform, but try to understand I've invested quite a few years in iOS so I do consider that my home, and I am damn sure gonna defend my home. The other reason I need to defend iOS is because of the point of this post, my personal iOS 5 wishlist. I realize this is a topic I have touched on before in various forums, but I think this is the type of topic that needs to be touched at least once a year because iOS 5 is always developing. As new features are  introduced, a new item comes to the list. So here is what I am hoping to see in later integrations of iOS 5 and of course iOS 6 when it finally comes out. 

*Increased Customization- To me, this is a big one. IOS has always enabled you to set a lock screen picture as well as a background home screen. With the introduction of iOS 5 you could finally install custom text message and alert tones, something that has ALWAYS been needed in the OS since day one. That being said, I think it's time Apple steals a move from the Android platform....again. The first area I want to be able to customize is in the messages app. As nice as the Gray/Green/Blue scheme is for text message bubbles, let's mix it up a bit. Maybe I want my iMessage bubbles to be red, my received texts to be a deep purple, and my own texts to be golden. Also, maybe I would like to be able to change the background of the text messaging app to make my texts pop a little more. Granted, I don't want to be able to put a picture in there because  that becomes  distracting, but you get the idea. 

After that I would like to be able to put my app icons where I want to put them. I have always hated the main app layout, mainly because it just allows you to move apps around, but not give them the exact placement you want. Maybe I want the middle of my wallpaper open so that I can see it, as opposed to having an app over my girlfriends face. 

The introduction of alert tones, at least custom ones, is also something I speak highly of, but let's take that above and beyond. Instead of limiting me to changing the tones for certain apps, let me change it for all of them. Maybe I want my Facebook app to make a ìStar Trek: The Original Seriesî communicator sound when I get an alert from that or maybe I want a dragon to roar every time AIM sends me an alert. It's the little things that make a difference. 
*Widgets- I know that I am going to get a lot of heat from iOS and Android users a like, but I think it is time for Apple to bake the concept of widgets into iOS as a standard feature. I had a chance to play with both of my moms android devices (and by play I mean figure them out so I could teach her how to operate them) and I noticed that widgets work quite well in Android, be it the messaging widget that lets you see your texts or a Facebook widget that lets you see your friend's status updates. The point is, one platform was able to integrate it so maybe it's time the other does. 

*Facebook Integration- There have actually been rumors about this one floating around in the iOS 5.1 beta, but I feel it bares inclusion as it hasn't been officially implemented on all devices yet. In iOS 5 Apple included integration with Twitter that allows you to tweet out a photo or a web page from the photos app or Safari respectively. Now that that is in effect, lets get something going for Facebook to make Photo, Video, and Web Page sharing a tad easier for those of us that still use Facebook. If I want to share something with my Facebook friends, I shouldn't have to jump through the hoops of the official Facebook app, that at times is great, and at other times sucks. 

*Albums in Photos- This one has already been implemented but the way it was done makes it USELESS! Here's how the app currently functions. I go to three separate  events on the same day and take photos at each. I make an album for each of the photos of each event. These photos are now in an album AND in my camera roll. What's better is that I can't delete said photos from the camera roll or they are also removed from the album. To top it off, there is no way to copy an album from the iPhone to a computer as a folder for easy placement in my pictures library. I don't know about you, but I really don't care to have to organize my photos twice: once on my phone and then again on my computer, just to sync the folders from my computer to my iPhone in the end anyway. 

*Game Center Sync- This is another one that was implemented, but was mostly implemented horribly. To me, the idea of cloud computing, or iCloud as Apple is calling their attempt at it, should be simple. I only have a few games that this applies to, but if I ever get a new phone or iPad I could see this becoming something I  could really need. If I am playing a game on my iPad and I connect to wifi at some point, I want Apple to upload all of my data to the cloud, so that I can then go on my iPhone and click a sync button, and download my progress so I don't feel like I am balancing two games on two devices. Maybe this is something that already widely exists and I missed something, or maybe the whole ìOpt inî to Game Center thing that was laid on the developers was what messed it up. Either way it needs fixing. 

These are just a few of the things I hope to see implemented in upcoming versions of iOS, how ever I will do another post later this year, after Apple announces a new load of features. Also don't think this is everything I feel needs to be done. I feel there is definitely more they could do, from allowing syncing with the Google Chrome browser to overhauling the appearance of the YouTube app, but we don't have all day for a mile long list. 

What features would you like to see implemented in upcoming versions of iOS? What smart phone platform do you use? If its something other than iOS what are your favorite features of your platform  of choice and what features would you like to see added or improved? Sound off below in the comments. 

Until next time, 


Monday, February 27, 2012

I Believe In Sherlock

It's time, everyone. I am finally getting around to writing my “Sherlock” thoughts, impressions, and review. Two things to keep in mind while reading this though:

1. I am writing this  as a “Sherlock” n00b who has finally had the chance to watch series one and series two of the show. I am not a long standing member of the fandom, but more someone who has just made a great discovery.


Now that my personal madatory spoiler alert is finished, let's get on with this. I guess the best place to start is the beginning, or my intorduction to the world of "Sherlock". Despite the fact that the series  has been on since 2010, I didn't actually hear about the show until a couple of weeks ago. Both my girlfriend and her sister have, at different points, asked me if I had seen "Sherlock" or even heard of it. I had said no and they both told me to watch it. I concider myself a film buff and a TV buff and really enjoy getting into shows either after they end or when they hit a hiatus. I went onto Google and decided to make a quick search of "Sherlock" just to see  what it was. As it turns out, the BBC decided to take a TV stab at a modern day retelling of the adventures of classic sleuth Sherlock Holmes. Prior to this, I didn't have much experience with the great Sherlock Holmes, outside of having to read "The Hound of the Baskervilles" back in the eighth grade, and that was pure hell for me at the time. I had no interest in the book whatsoever, I bombed every test, and I feel I came out a better person at the end for it.

I admit I don't exactly read a lot and it takes quite a bit for a book to really draw me in. Stephen King has been able to do it more than any other author. As I age a bit I find myself opening up a tad bit more to older literature, something my girlfriend thrives on. So that being said, I have never really bothered to read the classic Sherlock Holmes books and due to my middle school experiences I never even bothered to try and watch the Robert Downey Jr. version of Sherlock Holmes, and I can't even tell you what the film is about. At some point I may venture down the road of that film and try to watch it anyway, if only to see how it compares to "Sherlock".

As a modern day retelling, quite a bit has been changed. The biggest change to the entire universe, aside from the time, is the age of Sherlock. In the books, Sherlock Holmes is a 60 some year old detective, while in the series, he can't be more than his eary to mid thirities, as at the time of this writing, Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who portays Sherlock Holmes, is only 35 years old. Some elemeents of the old tales are carried over however. Sherlock Holmes is still incredibly brilliant, John Watson has still served over in Afganistan, Sherlock still lives on Baker St. and he still wears that incredibly goofy hat, although in the series that is unintentional.

As far as the quality of the show itself goes, I was blown away from the first moments of "A Case in Pink". The show itself is supposed to be a BBC drama but I found pleanty of laughing moments from the character of Sherlock, and I credit a lot of that to the actors. The length of the show is also astounding compared to an American show. Here in America our weekly dramas run about 40-45 minutes with about 15 minutes of commercials. Because I watched these episodes of Sherlock online I can't tell exactly what the exact broadcast time is or how many commercials there are, but I do know that the content of the episodes is between 1 hour 27 minutes, and an even hour and a half. That's all in one sitting if you weren't following. The entire story plays out in one week, and that is a format I feel really works. Each "series", or "season" in America, is only 3 episodes long, but the length and the quality of the episodes quickly makes up for it.
I don't really want to get into a greatly indepth review of every episode or series but on a last note for this part I want to say that I love how series one and series two each ended on a cliffhanger. The cliffhanger of series one, involving Sherlock, Watson, Moriarty, and some random hidden gunmen was something that made me really want to see how the second series  began, but the end of series two is  just a cruel sick joke from the creators of the series. (Here's where the spoilers kick in).

In the last 10 or 20 minutes of the series, Sherlock is on the roof with Moriarty, who admits he has defeated Sherlock Holmes, and that unless Sherlock jumps from the roof, all of his friends will be shot and killed. Sherlock tells Moriarty that he knows he can get him to call of the gunmen and Moriarty admits he is right, and that as long as he is alive there is a failsafe, so he takes a gun out of his pocket, sticks the gun barrel in his mouth, and pulls the trigger. Sherlock, then realizing he is deafeated, gets on the ledge of the roof. Calls Watson, who is standing below and delievers his note. He admits everything Moriarty says is true, that he is a fake, that he arranged every crime he solved, that he researched John Watson before their first meeting so that he could impress him, and that the call was his note. He tells John to watch him, and not take his eyes off of him. He throws his phone behind him, flings his arms out, and then  plunges to the ground below. As he lands, Watson runs over, and is hit by a biker, hitting his head. His vision blurred het gets to the body, along with a crowd of people, and he sees his friend has died. In the next scene, he is at Sherlock's grave with their landlady. She gives him a moment alone, and he gives a heartfelt speech that would move anyone to tears. He tells Sherlock's grave that he still believes in him, and that no one can convince him he was a fake. He then asks Sherlock for one last miracle, to still be alive. As  he leaves the grave, the camera pans to reveal Sherlock watching John Watson at "his" grave.

That leaves the question, how did Sherlock fake his death? Look online. There are pleanty of theories  ranging from Sherlock landing in the truck that pulls away while Molly plants a corpse, to Sherlock sending Moriarty's corpse over the edge, to even more astounding stuff. I myself believe the truck theory is the most logical, although the writer/creator of the series has admitted that eagle eyed viewers can spot how Sherlock faked his death. I myself am working on a theory but I find it far from ready. How is that a cruel sick joke from the creators? Series 3 of "Sherlock" won't be airing on the BBC until the end of this year or the beginning of next, which seems more likely.

So how do you think Sherlock faked his suicide? Are you a fan of Sherlock? How did you discover it? Do you believe in Sherlock. Leave your thoughts below in the comments.

I believe in Sherlock.