Monday, March 31, 2014

Sony Action Cam HDR-AS30V

by. UnderBreex

Did you ever want a camera to take with into your courageous adventures? Then the Sony HDR-AS30V Action Cam can fulfill your expectations with a cheap price tag (comparisons are now loading).
This compact POV (Point of View) camera includes:
-Sony HDR-AS30V camera
-Waterproof case
-USB to micro USB cable
-Rechargeable battery pack
-Adhesive mounts (3)
            -Flat mount
                -Curved mount (helmets)
                -Top mount (to attach the camera onto other accessories)
-Guide and warranty

It features a waterproof housing that can be taken to 5.0m/16ft underwater compared to the older housing that could go 60m/197ft. Why downgrade it? People wouldn't normally go as far down under, as the housing provided. However, by downgrading to a more limited depth, they improved to a stereo sound quality instead. This means the pleasant sound of the water, noise, or conversations can be recorded more clearly inside the housing. This new case is thinner, lighter, and features external buttons to ease the controlling of the camera without taking the case apart. You can also see its display clearly, which is more user-friendly and easier to read.

This Action Cam is also capable of taking 11.9 megapixel and interval images, steady shots and high quality videos at two different angles: 120 &170. The steady shot videos, unfortunately, cut the size of the actual sight of the frame. The video quality settings are:
-480 x 30 VGA
-720 x 120 Super Slow Motion
-720 x 60 Slow Motion
-720 x 30 Standard
-1080 x 30 High Quality
-1080 x 60 PS

You need a Micro SD Card or M2 Card (Sony's memory card) as an extra purchase, to fully operate your device and record all of your favorite memories. A 32 GB Micro SD Card is highly recommended, so you don't run out of space quickly. I haven't been able to fill-up mine yet.

Moving onto some new features like the upgraded Wi-Fi capability. The Wi-Fi is now accompanied by NFC for fast pairing with NFC-enabled smart phones. This allows your phone to function as a remote and LCD screen for the camera with the PlayMemories Mobile/Home app (available only on iOS, Android, Mac, and PC). It also serves to play your previous recorded footage or pictures, edit, and upload them. A totally new feature is the built-in GPS. While using this feature, it captures GPS data displaying location, speed, distance, time, and date onto your videos.

This camera is highly compared to the Go-Pro Hero3/Hero3+ Black Edition or Hero3+ because it shares similar specs. However, the Sony Action Cam is actually a $100 cheaper placing Sony’s AC at $299, compared to Go-Pro’s at $399. Even when I bought it, adding a couple of accessories like: the suction cup, a floatie, and the tax, it didn't add up to the lonely Go-Pro’s high price. They both share almost the same video and image quality. Nevertheless, when exposed into different lighting and situations it's where they both give a different result. In addition, the Go-Pro is a little harder to operate with its small buttons and almost unreadable display.

Having in mind that I originally wanted a Go-Pro, I’ve fulfilled my expectations by finally owning this camera, which I now utilize to film and photograph my adventures and take the pleasure of saving money.
Lastly, in my very honest opinion, I give a 4.5/5 to the Sony Action Cam.

Manga Review: Dark Moon Diary

By: Aliraluna

Story by: Che Gilson
Art by: Brett Uher
Priscilla is a fifteen-year-old girl, whose parents passed away and having nowhere to go except her European relatives’ home; she will have to endure shocking news. Nachtwald, a European town, is her new home full of ghosts, werewolves, witches, fairies, vampires, and other monsters… Not only that, but her aunt and horrible cousin are vampires and her uncle a werewolf!

 Priscilla recently moved in to her new home and her cousin, Kitten, a gothic-Lolita vampire, calls her an entrée and doesn’t treat her well. To Pricilla’s surprise Kitten can fly! That’s when she learns from her aunt Lilith that her mother was a vampire as well. Dinner arrives, which is always made by Wolfgar her uncle, but only to see it was a monster with an open eye. The next day, her cousin Kitten gives her a small tour and for the first time she sees the town’s people (or should we say creatures?). When Priscilla goes back home she meets her Boogey Monster for the first time, called Broonie. This one hides under things and she likes socks. 

Later on, Priscilla finally makes two friends: Isabel (a witch) and Radu (a baseball athlete werewolf). Yet, Kitten is jealous because Prince Balthazar Sabinov, which I assume is a vampire, said in front of everyone that he was interested in courting her, and that made Kitten  really mad, which is why Priscilla is in a living-hell high-school.
At the end, Priscilla and her aunt Lilith have a dispute and Priscilla decides to leave. When she’s on her way to the airport her uncle Wolfgar gives her a picture of her late mother (which looks like her, but with black hair) and persuades her to come back and she does.

     My thoughts: First of all, I really wanted to talk about this awesome manga despite Tokyopop cancelling it because of its low selling rates. I know there are people out there that had the chance, like me, to read this amazing manga. It’s a fast read, with really cute drawings. You will see Lolita, gothic clothes, funny scenes like Priscilla arriving at a “Were-Mart” (and you know which store she is referring to), when she suddenly eats blackberries from her school bushes, and influential scenes from real life such as bullying and everything the main character has to go through after losing her parents: moving with relatives, new town and country, new people and high-school. My favorite character is Wolfgar because he’s really sweet, loving, and understanding. Finally, I hope that you’ll fall in love with this amazing manga, but the bad news is that there’s no volume two!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Netflix Addiction: Obsession

By Dr. Sparta

   My brothers and sisters, I have a confession to make. After coming out of the era of VHS movies unscathed, I fear I’ve become addicted to the “found footage” genre on Netflix. Last week, I was on yet another expedition, when I stumbled upon quite a few movies that carry out the old trope of “found footage of evil ghost/demon/alien tormenting the world’s most persistent camera operator to capture everything on film and not throw the damn thing away to run”. Most of the time, the camera holder doesn’t have a reason to continuously grasp the camera. But even the characters that might have some sort of justification, like having one of their friends vanish or get killed, it seems a little weird that they don’t just forget that the camera exists.

   You might recognize some of the movies I’ve been watching: Paranormal Activity 4, Absence, The Bell Witch Haunting, Europa Report, Episode 50, 8213: Gacy House, Apartment 143, The Blair Witch Project, both Grave Encounters movies, The Devil Inside, and The Bay. After watching three or four of these, you’ll start noticing a pattern. And it’ll be a pattern that exists in all of these movies. I won’t go into detail, so you guys can find out what this pattern is. None of these movies will spread fear into the hearts of unsuspecting viewers, only a rather odd attraction and desire for more. It’s puzzling, to say the least. Whether it was a ghost out for vengeance, or alien abduction and experimentation, or a demon out to possess, my eyes stayed glued to the screen, until I finally ran out of films. I pondered on whether or not this was a serious problem, or just a curse casted upon me from the old era of VHS movies. It truly does trouble me.


I recommend these movies for those that enjoy the “found footage” genre. They deliver everything you’d expect from the trope, following that one pattern I alluded to GLORIOUSLY. Although they’re not really great films, the fact that they can entertain is enough to keep you happy with each passing film. And with that, I take my leave. Did I miss any “found footage” movies? Please let me know, because I need to ease my desire for adequate acting, shaky cameras, high-pitched screaming, gratuitous blood, and the absolutely no hope for whoever is holding the camera. This is Dr. Sparta, fighting my cursed attraction to bad and fake homemade movies, and gloriously failing miserably.

Good manners when it comes to photographing favorite cosplayers at conventions

 By. Samurai Millo

  There has been growing awareness about harassment problems at conventions, with the Internet spearheading campaigns such as Cosplay Is Not Consent. I figured that I would do my part by writing a series of guidelines. That way, the average convention attendee can stay out of trouble when it comes to interacting and taking photos of cosplayers.

  The following is a series of tips I’ve adapted from several websites that contain articles with codes of conduct that people attending conventions should follow. This is my way of offering advice for the best way to behave at conventions, especially when it comes to interacting with a cosplayer. The thousands of people who annually attend conventions and similar events in Puerto Rico can avoid bad or awkward moments with these suggestions.

     •  Always ask for permission from the cosplayer before taking a photo in a courteous and respectful manner.

    • Avoid blocking hallways and corridors (both inside the building and outside) with makeshift photo sessions. Move to the sides so you don’t hinder or bother anyone.

   • If a cosplayer is eating, talking on the phone, or occupied in any way, don’t disturb him/her. Leave the person alone and try again when they’re not this busy.

   • If another photographer is already taking a shot of a cosplayer, don’t get in the middle to steal their shot. Wait for your turn.

   • The cosplayers are also people. Do not be offended if they don’t want you to take a photo. He/she might not be feeling well, or he/she can be in a hurry because of a personal situation.

  • Respect personal space. There are cosplayers who don't like to be touched or to have their cosplay touched.

  • Do not "glomp", hug, or push to the floor a cosplayer without his/her previous permission. Doing so could damage the cosplay, or seriously injure the cosplayer and yourself. Unwarranted physical contact is never acceptable.

  • Keep in mind that any kind of harassment in any convention isn’t tolerated, either to a cosplayer or to the attendees. If they catch you doing that, they’ll kick you out.

  • Rude or lascivious comments are never acceptable.

  • If you want to take a picture of a cosplayer outside of the convention area, ask politely. If the cosplayer says no, respect his/her wishes.

  • Nonconstructive remarks about the quality of someone's cosplay should be avoided. Express yourself in a positive and respectful manner.

  • And finally, no means NO. Always respect the wishes of others.

Temper is Twitching 2: ItmeJP

By. Temper

   This month’s stream is ItmeJP, a more traditional Twitch channel, where host JP McDaniel plays games and gives running commentary. JP plays everything he can get his hands on, while combining the Twitch channel with his own perspective on YouTube. Recently, through a Google Voice account, he gave his audience a chance to pitch a game for him to try out. However, JP’s traditional gaming stuff is not the main reason I watch and subscribe. (Just for full disclosure, I will make it a point to eventually let you guys know the channels I subscribe to.)

  Around October last year, I was sitting at my desk as I had finished watching a League of Legends stream. I then decided to browse the games currently being played on Twitch. Surprisingly, I saw that Dungeons and Dragons was an option. I was curious, so I clicked it, and noticed that one channel in particular had a lot of viewers. I decided to take a look, and that’s when I saw five people play D&D over Skype, using a popular web app called Roll20 to make their rolls.

   If that doesn’t sound like a very exciting thing to watch, you’re not too far off from the truth. The RollPlay, as the streams are called, consists of four to five Skype windows showing the players with a lightly animated background and overlay. The Roll20 window is shown only when needed. Despite the simplicity of the stream, the cast members do an amazing job of playing their characters, while also painting a picture of what is happening and advancing the story presented by the DM. I was hooked after that first night and became utterly invested in the story and characters, to the point where I even had a favorite character.

  The RollPlay brand, found on, currently includes four shows. This  includes the original show, RollPlay: Solum, as well as RollPlay: Ehbon, both of which use Dungeons and Dragons. RollPlay: Dark Heresy uses the WarHammer 40K RPG system. Their newest show, RollPlay: R&D, switches the system, story, and characters every six to eight weeks to expose viewers to different pen and paper RPG systems.

  I actually found the channel and the RollPlay shows when I had desperately wanted to play a pen and paper RPG, so that probably inspired my initial zealous love for it. I continue to almost religiously watch the streams, even subscribing to have access to previous broadcasts, just in case I miss a show. (If you don’t subscribe, JP posts twenty or thirty minute segments of the past week’s games every day on his YouTube channel.) Whether you’re a pen and paper RPG fan or not, I recommend giving the show a shot. I think you might enjoy yourself.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dave Alvarez Interview

Geek Whale proudly presents our first Interview with amazing local artist Dave Alvarez.

Tintero: A Festival of Arts and Comics - PART TWO

by Little Leia

LL: Hi! How did you start making comic books?

FM: I started out relatively late, when I finished college actually! People kept saying that I was a kid at heart, and I liked making comics with my friends.

LL: How many years have you been making comic books?

FM: I've been making comics since a looong time ago. I just turned 46 now, so I've been making them for about 20-25 years.

LL: What do you think about Tintero?

FM: I think it was an excellent idea to host all of these artists, both well recognized and independent, under the same roof. I've been looking forward to something like this for a long time.

LL: What do you think about the art that the indie artists are presenting here?

FM: I think their artwork was incredible! It was great to see some idea of what might be coming up for comics and art in Puerto Rico. I think the future of art in Puerto Rico is in good hands.

LL: What have been your influences as an artist?

FM: I have so many of them, a few of them include Frank Miller, John Byrne, and Jack Kirby. Those are some of the ones that influence me the most. I also was influenced by the comic strips in the newspaper, I read them so much as a kid.

LL: Thanks for the interview!

FM: No problem! Thanks to you!

LL: Hi! How did you start out with art in general?

AM: My mother is an artist, she had art supplies all over the house, so she'd let me borrow them almost all the time and I started drawing with them because I had basically nothing else to do.

LL: How many years have you been drawing?

AM: I just turned 17, and I've been drawing since I was 6 maybe? I can't do the math right now.

LL: What do you think about your fellow indie artists in Tintero?

AM: I think they're great! I love all the artwork here.

LL: What do you think about Tintero?

AM: I think it's awesome! I actually didn't know there were more indie artists like me in Puerto Rico.
LL: What are your influences?

AM: I'm influenced heavily by basically everything in Cartoon Network (The Regular Show, Adventure Time, etc.), and I'm also influenced by Jay Howard, the guy that created Sanjay and Craig on Nickelodeon.

LL: How do you feel being the youngest artist in Tintero?

AM: Well, I really don't know what to say, I don't know how to explain it!

LL: Thanks for the interview!

AM: You’re welcome! 

All in all, it was an awesome event! I loved it! There was something for everybody. There was stuff for kids (Jibarito Samurai, Cupcake Graffiti), tweens (El Isleño, Días), teens (Paracosm, Semblance), and adults. I think it was a great idea for unknown indie artists to showcase what they can do. Can't wait for next year's edition!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Netflix Addiction: Haven

By Temper

In Maine there’s a quaint little town with a picturesque view of the ocean. Beyond the harbor lie a town square and a forest. Everyone knows just about every single face in town. This is what Audrey Parker, a special agent from the FBI, finds when arriving in Haven, Maine, on a routine case. However, she soon learns that the town has larger, supernatural problems to deal with.

  Loosely based on “The Colorado Kid”, a novel by Stephen King, Haven airs on the SyFy network. The show revolves around the day-to-day struggles of Audrey and her partner, Nathan, to solve supernatural mysteries and crimes, referred to as “The Troubles” by the townsfolk. Along the way, Audrey, Nathan, and others discover truths about themselves, the town and “The Troubles”. They also run into people with supernatural abilities who are directly, though not usually consciously, causing “The Troubles.” These “Troubles” can range from psychic powers, to bringing machines to life after repairing them, to not feeling any pain or cold, and can even grant a general immunity to other “Troubles”.

  Haven currently spans four seasons, with a fifth season comprising of twenty-six episodes, half of which will begin airing later this year, with the second half set to run in 2015. I’ve been watching a marathon of this show for the past few weeks, going through three to four episodes a night. I definitely recommend it to those looking for a good mystery. Can you solve the mysteries of Haven? Or will you be forced to wait while the answers are slowly revealed, bringing even more questions? There is one thing certain; however, anything can happen in Haven.

Batman: Death of the Family (# 13 - #17)

 By. Samurai Millo

Publishing House: DC Comics
Rating: Teen
Language: English
Written by: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Cover Price: $ 3.99
Number of pages: 40

  Synopsis: The Joker is back and wants two things: to retrieve his face and take away Batman’s family. The first one is easy, but the second one will require a meticulous and perverse plan that will put Batman and all that he holds dear to the test. 

  These days it takes a lot for a comic book or a comic book event to get my attention and Batman: Death of the Family was the kind of event that succeeded in doing so, with frightening ease. On October 10, 2012 (my birthday no less) Batman # 13 hit the shelves and that gave me another reason to continue reading DC Comics. Issue #13 marks the beginning of a twisted villainous saga told in 24 parts through key titles within the Bat-universe. It illustrates the most recent and explosive clash to date between Batman and the Joker.

The Joker is the most formidable villain the Caped Crusader ever had. He shares with Batman an epic rivalry that expands from its first appearance in 1940 in Batman # 1 (Vol. 1, 1940) to the present. As the decades passed, the sophistication and intensity of these stories has varied according to the demands of the times. From its beginnings as an eccentric master criminal to its present incarnation as a sadistic / psychopathic lover of chaos, the Joker is Batman’s most formidable enemy. The Death of the Family storyline is probably among the most vicious and decisive battles in the history of both characters.

The script by Scott Snyder is simple, direct, and crisp as an Export Soda cracker, freshly taken out of its tin can. The suspense starts to build up and grab you from page one. Little by little the pieces fall into place showing Mr. Snyder’s master craftsmanship. The characterization among the main players of this adventure is rich in depth and with the nuances that we have come to expect. Lovers of the good, old-fashioned Bat-stuff will find that the classic exchanges between Batman and Commissioner Gordon and between Batman and Alfred are still there. Snyder’s characterization of the Joker is a delightfully sordid and carefully controlled portrait of a madman. This villain has a master plan and that final page on issue #13 was hair rising. Issues #13 to #16 include a second story each that recounts the meetings the Joker has with his fellow colleagues Harley Queen, The Penguin, The Riddler, and Two Face at specific points during the main story. 

Greg Capullo's penciling is excellent. His figures have a mixture of caricature and detail that made me remember his days in the Spawn comic book. Nobody draws a rainy night in Gotham as Greg Capullo. Nobody puts that delicious attention to the smallest details that Greg puts in each panel. FCO Placencia is to be commended for doing a superb coloring through the story.
In short, Batman: Death of the Family has my highest recommendation.