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TRP 8/20/14: A Hill of Beans

dogsNintendo conspiracies abound in this rumor-mongering episode. Will you be boycotting if “Duck Hunt” doesn’t make the cut? After dispensing with the Super Smash Bros. and some light Taco Talk from Tom, Justin accepts his mission in CounterSpy, Kaz revisits Forza 5 and Titanfall through DLC and Neil takes to the Star Realms.

TRP 8/14/14: Deep Scooby Cuts

hohosWow, when did Gamescom become a thing? This week, Tom, Justin and Kaz weigh in on their most anticipated games, including WiLD, Quantum Break, Rime, Tearaway Unfolded and more. After that, lots of indie game chatter – Road Not Taken, HohokumMetrico, Rogue Legacy and The Swapper.

TRP 8/7/14: Rogue Contagion

Episode307SmallNeil, Tony and Kaz are in this week to discuss infectious diseases, like Ebola, herpes and Rogue Legacy. Neil has learned valuable lessons about bringing his Vita to work. Tony talks about what gaming he squeezes in between a busy schedule full of doctoring. And Kaz talks Sports Friends and Hearthstone. Finally most of the pack weighs in on their favorite superhero/comic book movies in the light of Guardians of the Galaxy hitting the box office.

Getting my Bits Fit: 3 Months with a FitBit One

FitBit One

I purchased a FitBit One back in the middle of May. Okay, full disclosure: I didn’t actually purchase it myself, it was a gift. Actually I received a FitBit Flex but decided that I wanted the pocket clipping One with a screen over the number-less Flex.

I’ve been using the FitBit almost every day since and I have mixed things to say about it. The positives are all on the design and implementation of the device. The negatives all rest on my reaction to the FitBit being a little less than I was hoping. More on that later. First, the device itself.

Looks

I’m a big fan of the design of the One and most FitBit products, they are distinctive enough to be easily identifiable without being obnoxious. The One clips pretty reliably and sturdily to anything that I wear. Mostly pants pockets but sometimes belts. I’ve only had it fall off of me once, terrifyingly during a lawn mowing session (terrifying because I thought I had mowed it up, but also because I lost all thoseFitBit One 2 precious steps).

The screen is simple but has all the information that you need, steps, stairs, miles, calories and a flower thing? I’m not sure what the flower is still but it seems pretty irrelevant. The One can also double as a stop watch for people who do physical activity in a quick time and want to measure that. I’m not one of those people but I’m sure they exist somewhere. Mostly the stopwatch mode’s function is to confuse me when it’s accidentally activated.

Tracking

Speaking of tracking things, I’ve done numerous, totally unscientific, experiments to test how accurate the various metrics are. The steps seem pretty accurate except when I tap my feet too aggressively or shuffle in one place. When I’m moving the steps seem accurate to +/- 2 steps over 75. Accurate enough for me. The stairs seem less accurate, partly because the definition of one flight is pretty loose in my mind and partly because I’m not sure what witchcraft is used to measure this information. Seriously, I think it’s witchcraft.

Once all these things are tracked it’s synced through a phone, tablet or PC to FitBit’s service. The data is collated and organized in fairly digestible charts and graphs. This is where you can punch in your current weight (or sync your FitBit Aria scale) and enter food for calorie tracking. The data is displayed in a pleasing way and the food database is fairly large, maybe not as nice as MyFitnessPal but large enough that I don’t find myself needing anything else.

FitBit Screenshot

Other

The only problems I’ve had in my 3+ months of FitBit use is on my end. I’ve made strides to be more healthy, but I don’t find myself as driven by the data and achievements as I had hoped I would be. I’m not forgetting to use my One but at first I would look for reasons to climb stairs to try and hit the 10 flight a day goal. Now that no longer happens, I’m not avoiding these kinds of things but I’m no longer going out of my way.

Maybe this is how I’m supposed to feel about the FitBit, ignore it mostly and get inspired by the weekly updates. But I kind of wished that the drive would be stronger for me. Nevertheless I think I’d recommend a FitBit for people who are already interested. I want to try and see if the friend leaderboard would convince me to take the dog for more walks in order to beat my friends’ stats.

Without being able to test the friend competitions I can’t give a comprehensive review but I don’t think you need to use the FitBit for any more than just counting steps and stairs. It’s well worth it’s price for that alone.

TRP 7/31/14: Besta Fiesta

SiestaThis podcast is free to play, but you’ll need to pay a buck for each Pack member. Assuming you pony up, this week you’ll hear Justin, Kaz and Neil discuss the iTunes charts, EA’s new subscription service and skewed pricing models (again), inspired in part by the upcoming iOS port of The Banner Saga. But clearly the guys have no problem dropping cash on games: Neil mentally pre-orders Destiny as the beta comes to a close, while Justin breaks out his 3DS for Siesta Fiesta.

Relevant Links:

“Why Banner Saga is avoiding the budget-price pitfall of the App Store” on Polygon