The TR Podcast 120: Borderlands 2, iOS 6, and the problem with staged releases

The Tech Report Podcast Date: September 30, 2012

Time: 1:11:45

Hosted by Jordan Drake

Co-Hosts: Scott Wasson, Geoff Gasior, and Cyril Kowaliski

MP3 (51.8MB) | M4A (70.7MB)

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Show notes

We took a break from Borderlands 2 madness long enough to record another episode of the TR Podcast. Fancy that! Our show kicks off with listener mail, and then we get right into our collective thoughts about the second iteration of Gearbox’s thoughtful and well-made FPS-RPG hybrid. Then, after a quick explanation of new server voodoo that has sped up our site, Scott details our stance on AMD’s new information release policy. iOS 6 is up next, with Cyril and Jordan both expressing disappointment with the lackluster Maps app. Finally, Cyril tells us why Windows 8 scaling fails on high-PPI displays.

Send in listener mail, and we’ll answer on the podcast. –

Follow us on Twitter – ScottJordanGeoffCyrilThe Tech Report

Listener mail:

19in Monitor Question – from Jay – (0:01:05):

“New listener to your podcast and I like it. I just upgraded my computer to AMD FX 4170 and AMD 6570 card and it is fast. I am loving it over my AMD 64 dual chip. The AMD 6570 is not that high end but over my old 6800 I love it. my question is I have an older 19″ envision LCD monitor that is still great and only has VGA not DVI. What could I do to it to make it look the best it can do or is it time to upgrade it?”

Tech discussion:

That’s all, folks! We’ll see you on the next episode.

Comments closed
    • aim18
    • 7 years ago
    • dashbarron
    • 7 years ago

    Hey Scott. I think most of your backlash comes from people who don’t understand why missing a few features in the review is the big deal. I get it, it’s the principle of the matter, and the reason you can look yourself in the webcam in the morning and still have respect for your profession–one you’ve done for a considerable number of years. Kudos to you chap.

    And Jordan, thanks for taking my suggestion: nice song! [url<][/url<]

    • d0g_p00p
    • 7 years ago

    Interesting that you got weapons with the BL1 saved game. I have the pre-order and it came with the guns for a starting character. All my saved gave me was a useless skin.

    • glynor
    • 7 years ago

    Just finished listening to this podcast. Great stuff, as usual. Just a few brief comments:

    1. Totally agree with you on the AMD stuff. Thanks for taking a stand, guys.

    2. Jordan, you can easily capture video from an iPhone 4S or newer with the HDMI out adapter and an HDMI capture device. I do it regularly with a Blackmagic Design Intensity card.

    3. I have mixed feelings on the iOS 6 Maps issue. One one hand, I can see how people who used the Transit directions feel. However, in my particular area (coastal Maine), iOS 6’s Maps are a definite improvement. The satellite imagery is much better than it was (the Google image of my house, which is not way out in the countryside, was from the mid-1990’s, and the image of my work was a 1950’s era flyover, Apple’s are brand new and I can see my car in the driveway). The closest train station to my house is a three hour drive away, and so I don’t have much opportunity to use the transit directions. (And incidentally, the Google-provided transit directions in my area are [i<]completely wrong[/i<] for bus routes and schedules, which leads to considerable tourist consternation.) For people who don't use Turn-by-Turn, and live in a big city, maybe it was a downgrade. For me, the Vector-based maps and Turn-by-Turn are a HUGE improvement, well worth the loss of two "minor" features (Transit and Street View) which I hardly-ever used. And, the maps have nicer POI detail in my area, handily linked directly to Yelp info, and it isn't all cluttered due to the image-based tiles of the old maps. Overall, I call it an improvement. I wonder how many of the people complaining have actually used the maps for any period of time. Seems a bit knee-jerk "Change is Bad" to me. 4. The Borderlands 2 discussion was immensely entertaining. Thanks.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    question about borderlands: you guys said you needed a gun for different situations. this would be a direct contrast to the original game. I played the first one quite a bit, having two level 40+ characters, and ALWAYS found, no matter who i used, that a shotgun was FAR more powerful than anything else. you said that borderlands had strategy, but i always found the game to be “get shotgun, run up and headshot”. you can one shot any enemy (excepting bosses, but they only take 2 or 3) and badass guys with a shotgun. if you get killed, it doesn’t matter, because you can just headshot somebody near by and then get a second wind. i like borderlands, but i never found it complicated at all. i never used ANY class abilities since the shotguns were so OP. has this been dramatically changed since the first one?

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      It is likely the “run up to” part that is annoying about shot-gun, plus delay built into the weapons. It is certainly a strategy, but not the most elegant or fun method.

      • jdrake
      • 7 years ago

      I still use this tactic – but it’s not a one-size fits all. The Assassin character can use the deception feature – and I occasionally use that to run up and kill at point blank range with a shotgun. But, once I do, I’m surrounded by enemies and quickly killed – so it’s not always worth it. The AI is way smarter this time, they will back away and take pot shots at you – or run up past your cover to attack – so the shotgun isn’t a perfect solution. My strategy usually involves sniper first – then moving in with a medium ranged shotgun or pistol – then cleaning up with a shotgun.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      For the record…I think I dueled you and beat you at close range with a sniper rifle…just sayin’. 😉

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        you did. but that wasn’t vs actual enemies. the enemies are a lot easier to head shot!

    • shank15217
    • 7 years ago

    Well, I am hoping to read that TR review of Trinity Desktop, I’ve read 3 others so far and it’s pretty obvious that so called reviewers run a 5 benchmarks and 1 line comments describing the graph that I can already see. I am tired of reading shitty reviews of complex products. So called tech journalists took one of the most advanced microprocessors ever made and boiled it down to a 5 page summary.

    • mjaybird
    • 7 years ago

    Thank you for having my question answered on the podcast. I love how your podcast is hardware and a little gaming. My 19″ is not wide screen. Is there much difference going up to 20″ or 22″ wide screen? I will be checking black Friday on newegg and best buy to see what to buy

    • codedivine
    • 7 years ago

    Good discussion on the AMD issue.

    I am personally not too bugged about the fact the GPU benchmarks were allowed to be released early as long as CPU reviews also come out before product availability.

    I am however not happy with this “experiential testing” business. What is “experiential testing”? Experience depends on user needs and expectations. AMD is defining “experience” based on a narrow set of criteria that may be suitable to a particular demographic. If AMD wants to promote their products for specific user demographics, then that is the job of their marketing department and they should do so through regular marketing channels like advertisements.

    edit: I think I am ok with reviews like the one by Anand where they clearly marked it as “Review Part 1” thus indicating that this is only part of the picture.

    edit: Further, this strategy is only going to be counterproductive to AMD. Isn’t AMD’s value proposition that CPU and GPU work together? By pushing CPU reviews backwards, it is clear AMD is also not confident about “accelerated applications”. AMD should also realize both Intel and Nvidia can play the marketing game far more potently. If they want to play marketing games, they are only going to lose.

    • esterhasz
    • 7 years ago

    AMD Preview issue beautifully argued. Didn’t care before, care now.

    • RtFusion
    • 7 years ago

    Thanks for the explanation about this preview vs. review with this staged process.

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    Scott: excellently explained again. I wish other sites would have stood with you. Character is as character does.

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    Yet another ironically sponsored podcast. I love it!

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      Life man, i swear someone is having a big laugh up there every day.

    • odizzido
    • 7 years ago

    People have been giving up their control to corporations for quite some time now. Infact, you were talking about something you gave up your control over just before talking about the AMD preview stuff. Borderlands2. Steam takes control away from you. Steam won because most people roll over and take whatever companies do. AMD will almost certainly win as well because of the exact same reason.

    While I am with you on this scott, you are guilty of accepting it and letting companies walk all over you as well. You are part of the problem.

      • mjaybird
      • 7 years ago

      I got a few games on steam because some companies like EA and THQ are bad with updates and user information. EA will not give me the option to reset my in game password like in 2142 or battlefield 2. If you know how message me. Steam seems to be the way for games since you can’t find many in stores like you use to

      • danny e.
      • 7 years ago

      it’s nothing even remotely the same.

      Your body walks all over you. You can’t even choose when your heart beats or when it doesn’t. It does whatever the heck it wants and you just take it! Why do you put up with your heart? You are part of the problem.

      That was about how illogical your arguement was…

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        i’ve had tons of issues with steams DRM. because you haven’t doesn’t mean no one has. i still use them, but they’ve locked my account for a month on THEIR mistake. that’s them taking control.

    • Unknown-Error
    • 7 years ago

    Guys, thanks for explaining the whole “Preview Vs. Review” thing. Good that you talked about the old “Conroe Preview” issue too.

    • emphyrio
    • 7 years ago


    Of the recommendations for VGA the most important one is getting a proper vga cable; back in the windows xp days the standard windows theme hid substandard cable quality. I remember returning such a cable and having to point out carefully on the shops demonstration models why I wasn’t happy with it (they used the same cables!).

    Things to watch out for: blurriness and a sort of ghosting effect, not what you normally get with moving pictures on lcd’s but you see a trail of copies in a static image which looks a bit like ghosting. This is a very annoying effect when working in a desktop environment.

    You may also want to experiment with the font settings, depending on your monitor you can improve watching comfort dramatically.


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