hacker emblem

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Left4Dead Play-through Part 1

Myself along with a few of my friends recently decided to start putting together a web series of us playing video games and doing things we thought would be entertaining. Part 1 was just put up on YouTube as a test to make sure we get video and sound recorded correctly and everything else. The plan is to make a new video every week playing through different games and then posting them to Youtube. If you want to check out a sample done from the first campaign you can find the playlist HERE but keep in mind we are going to be doing a few things differently. First off the stats at the bottom right will be gone, we were only using to test out the connection, there will be a lot more talking and the voices will be easier to hear after we can get some settings worked out and it will be far more entertaining. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Norman Software Essentials

Today I was walking through the mall when I came across a lone store by the name of RadioShack. I proceeded to enter said establishment to waste time and because I was bored however upon further inspection of the shelves and products I found myself staring at a flash-drive filled with free software being sold for overpriced profit margins. This made me start to think about creating my own Software Essentials guide but releasing it for free on the internet so anyone with a USB or HDD could download and use the software. This brings us to the current moment with you reading a post on a blog. Without further wait let us begin...

Security: security can be a big issue when it comes to modern day computing and so what could be a better place to start.
First off there is the question of virus protection or malware scanners to which I would answer the call with Super Anti Spy-Ware which is a free download that can be used as a mobile application or installed to a computer. This program will scan your computer files, registry, and memory for trojans and other nasty items. Not only will this help keep your information secure but it will also help speed up your system.
What if you need to browse the internet in a secure manner? I offer up two options. Google Chrome gives users an Incognito mode which stores no information from sites and keeps no history. Next up we have TOR which will connect you to a private network of servers to mask your online identity and as an added bonus can help bypass many firewalls and site blockers.

Now that we have security taken care of lets get on to some work, yes I know work is terrible but this is very helpful. You could always fork out a ton of money to buy up Microsoft products such as Windows or Office products but what's the point when excellent free alternatives already exist? As for Office products there is Open  Office which offers up alternatives to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and in my opinion is just as featured as the Microsoft alternatives.
If you can't get a copy of Windows 7 or don't feel like upgrading an old system due to the cost you can always try out a version of Linux. My choice of distro would be Ubuntu which offers up a security and speed boost over Windows in many fronts. You may be worried about your applications not working on linux but that would be a mistake as lots of software is available for the platform and being added all the time. Updates are always free as is getting the system for the first time.

As I hope you are beginning to see there are plenty of free alternatives to many major bits of software. All it takes is a quick Google search and you could be saving hundreds of dollars if not more.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Go Go Gadgets!

In our world technology advances at an unimaginable pace with new inventions happening every day. Some are large scale such as IBM's Watson or the Large Hadron Collidor but other little goodies can be just that, tiny. I like to consider these guys gadgets as they tend to be purpose built objects that are on the low end side for cost and solve a problem. Gadgets can be useful or just fun. Take for example one of the biggest gadget selling websites ThinkGeek which offers up even the most bizarre items like a personal soundtrack shirt or titanium eating utensils. Even a bluetooth headset could be considered a gadget as it just adds to the functionality of a device. Without gadgets the world would be a different place for certain. My favorite gadget is probably any solar powered external battery as I go through power like crazy. What is your favorite gadget? Have no ideas then check out Gadgets For Men or ThinkGeek. Post your favorites down below and don't forget to subscribe to the posts.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tumbling Tips

It has come to my attention that many people enjoy using the site Tumblr as a way of communication. Like I use my Blogger they use their Tumblr. Two different entities doing the same thing via different means however today I will focus on the second choice on my list Tumblr. When starting any kind of blog it can seem overwhelming and you will probably spend a large chunk of your day looking around for some tips and hints to get you started. That's where Tumblring comes in. This site gives you all sorts of advice to make the most out of your new pages. The site is a plain blue background and comes off pretty clean cut like a Google almost. Each post has to do with different topics such as Hit Counters or Widgets. From what I read the articles are pretty straight forward and easy to understand and implement.

The best part of this site in my opinion is the TumblrCodes section which gives you great tools like a back to top button. These tools might normally be impossible for the average user to implement but with this site the code is already provided and steps to add are right there with you all the way. Tumblring gives people the tools they need to make their pages and blogs great without having to worry about the daunting task of programming and scripting. I would give the site a 9/10 rating thanks to the simple design and easy to follow posts. The only thing I would like to see added in is a search function due to the massive amount of content available.

Source: TumblrCodes
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

V2V System.s of the Future

V2V or vehicle to vehicle technology isn't a necessarily new concept however it is gaining some steam recently. What this new software/hardware combo allows is for two or more devices to communicate through wireless means and take actions based on different factors. The biggest use for such a system currently is in driving and self driving cars. V2V would allow any car to communicate with other cars around it and through sensors determine appropriate action to take based on weather and traffic conditions as well as more. A great example is say there is black ice on the road and a car a couple miles ahead of you happens to hit it, the system would register the issue and send information to every vehicle in the vicinity alerting them how to steer clear of such problems or how to safely navigate through.

The implementation of this system could come either as a heads up display HUD set up or as self driving cars. In the HUD implementation any relevant information would be posted to the driver through use of a windshield or other augmented reality type. This would be great in itself and help greatly reduce accidents and other issues on the road but taking it one step further it would be possible to make self driving cars even better by letting them communicate like humans. These vehicles would be able to navigate much more efficiently and safely. A V2V system could be implemented in nearly any aspect of modern life from phones to traffic signs and lights. The more devices that are connected the more accurate the system becomes and the more useful as well. It will be a couple years before we start to see this kind of tech and there are many hurtles to overcome such as hackers but one day soon we could all be driving around asleep at the wheel thanks to something like this.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

RockMelt Browser

The Hard Facts

Our smartphones and tablets all seem to be centered around social media lately and on each of these devices it is getting easier and easier to look at, update, and just all around view key information from different sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube in one neat organized space. Our computers have never really had such a luxury however, until now anyways with the introduction of RockMelt. RockMelt is a new internet browser based off of Google's Chrome browser. Where this bit of software makes itself stand out from the crowd is its integration with key social and news sites as well as countless others.

Integration is most prominent with Facebook which can be seen at almost every nook and cranny in this browser. No matter where you are you will always have access to your Friends, Messages, and Alerts via the top next to tabs which is great for quickly looking at who's commenting on your status or photo. If you click on an alert, a new tab opens with the page you were looking for and doesn't interrupt whatever you were doing. The URL bar and surrounding buttons offer up access to a quick post feature for writing status' on the go, the bar itself allows you to search your friends and other Facebook content and then on the right side sits a Share button for media and a Silence button to go pretty much offline. The right side of your browser also offers up a friends list which can be utilized for seeing who is online and chatting. All chats are located on the bottom of the screen and let you keep up with old pals while never leaving that video of a flying cat.

For the purposes of this article I will be referring to the small pieces of software located on the left side of the browser as apps. These apps allow access to critical parts of many websites including Twitter, Gmail and Youtube. With Twitter you can see posts as well as submit your own, Gmail brings up a nice list of emails to choose from and browse through while Youtube lets you see whats hot right now on the world of viral videos. Many more apps are available and my favorite one so far has been Engadget which lets me keep up with important tech news. Just to name a few you can also get ones for ThinkGeek, GoogleNews, CollegeHumor, TheOnion and FailBlog.

The True Review

Now that we've gotten the important facts out of the way its on to the review. Being based off GoogleChrome this browser appears to keep a lot of the things that made the Mountain View equivalent great. A minimalist design is still showing through despite the wealth of information available and customization is a big option with themes. Nothing seems to really clutter up any space and everything goes together really well. So far I have not experienced any issues and have had no problems with speed compared to other software. This browser is great for people who like to multitask and are fans of Chrome but be warned as productivity will drop if you don't focus on one task at a time. It is far to easy with this thing to lose track of time and accomplish nothing throughout a day. That being said this browser is now my default over both Firefox and Chrome.

Let me know what you think about this browser in the area down below. Do you think this will be the next big thing or just another browser entering the ever expanding list of competitors. A link to the site can be found HERE and as always, have a great day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

SwapNote 3DS

The biggest omission in Nintendo's 3DS software was a chat client, unlike pictochat for the previous DS systems the new model had nothing, until today that is. Nintendo has finally released SwapNote, a chat client similar to pictochat but with a few improvements and for the 3DS. SwapNote can be downloaded for free and should appear as new software on the homescreen of your device. Once downloaded you can open the application and be greeted with a few tutorials walking the user through basic operation. The interface uses a carousel style for interaction and is pretty barebones but by no means is it lacking. Along the bottom is two buttons, one for creating a new note and the other brings up options for Slide Shows, Delivery reports for SpotPass, Deletion of notes and Settings.

Nintendo's newest software addition gives two options for sending notes and messages. One is via StreetPass (the bluetooth like near field communication) and SpotPass, an email/IM like feature. You will only be able to send messages to friends and they will have to have a 3DS which slightly limits the functionality of this software but still it is better than nothing. When editing a note you have options for a pen and eraser with slight options on either side such as quitting and page flipping. With a double tab of that pen or eraser button though comes the best feature of SwapNote (In my opinion) which is 3D writing. This basically acts as another lair for you to write on and with the top 3D screen will let you see drawings in all its 3rd dimensional glory. Another nice little addition is the ability to add photos, video, and audio to notes that you send out which could be a great option for some situations.

There really isn't much more to talk about just yet but overall the new software is a welcome addition to the system and adds a little more value to a quickly fading portable console. Do you think Nintendo can keep the 3DS afloat with random software updates like this or is the system doomed to crash and burn? Leave your interesting comments down below and as always, have a great day.