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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Received an E-mail about a Plane Ticket You Never Purchased? Or a Package from FedEx You Never Ordered?

Lots of friends and family of mine have recently come to me about e-mails they receive regarding plane tickets or FedEx orders they've supposedly placed. I too receive them, mostly from "Delta" in large quantities. I have honestly never read them because I always know when they are fake. How would I know this?

Simple, I don't buy plane tickets often. I also receive so many of them that I've grown accustomed to just knowing when one is fake. When I purchase a plane ticket, I am expecting it to come to me and I will know if it's a fake or not because I check immediately after making the purchase.

What do you do if you receive one of these fake e-mails? Nothing except delete them. Don't even open them if you know they are a fake. Nothing will probably happen if you do open it, but there's no sense in wasting your time if you know beyond a doubt that it is a fake.

How can you escape these scams? Well, you can't really escape them. You can click the spam button all day on them but they come from so many sources that they always find a way back into your box.

There is a way for people who do make plane purchases often so they can know which are fakes and which aren't. It's not pretty, but it works much better than whatever method you currently have.

If you make lots of plane ticket purchases, create more than one e-mail and be strict about it. If your name is Joey and your primary e-mail address is joey77@e-mail.com, get a secondary e-mail address to be used for plane purchases and only plane purchases. Do not ever use it for anything else. You can name it something like joey77deltaairline@e-mail.com or something similar to that. I recommend also using different e-mails for different airlines so you can be extra cautious if you do travel using multiple airlines.

Why is this? Well here's what usually happens.

Your number one most used e-mail address is sent all over the place to different people and companies. You e-mail your friend Bob, you use it to log into Facebook, you've created a PornHub account with it, etc. and somewhere along the line, one of these people or companies have intentionally or unintentionally "sold" your e-mail to one of these spammers who sends these scams to your e-mail. Some of these companies actually intentionally sell your e-mail to make a profit on the side while others, like your friend Bob, may have just had his e-mail hacked and the hacker is now using your e-mail to contact you after seeing that you're a contact of Bob.

If you designate one e-mail source for each company, it's less likely that you'll receive spam. In this process, you may also begin to see who is selling your e-mail. If you have one e-mail set only for Facebook and never ever contact anyone, including sending e-mails from one of your e-mails to another, you may begin to see spam e-mails sent to you which would indicate that Facebook may very well be unintentionally or intentionally selling your e-mail name.

This method isn't foolproof though. Your e-mail can still be picked up because something on your computer is reading which e-mail addresses you log into with and some spammers simply guess and send e-mails to random e-mail addresses like common ones such as a@e-mail.com. So don't be fooled into thinking that this will prevent any and all scams, but it will limit them and it will help you in figuring out which ones are fake and which ones are not.

This method also works for those fake scams you receive about some "FedEx order" or other various scams that appear to come from legitimate companies and organizations.

Again, this method is tedious, but it's a better way to combat these fake e-mails so you don't become a victim of their scams.

If the e-mail says something about you being charged for a plane ticket, check your bank account statement. If a purchase has been made that corresponds with the e-mail, it may very well not be fake and you should contact the company directly (not using any contact information given in the e-mail) as well as your bank and report this unusual activity. Do not ever respond to the e-mails and do not ever use any of the contact information provided in the e-mail to contact the company. Instead, Google the company's name and when you get the real company's website, use that real website's "Contact Us" link (usually at the bottom of the page) to contact the company about this activity.

I hope this information was helpful for you. These e-mails are a hassle and cause many people stress. Let me know if I can improve on these in any way or if you have any other ideas whether it be how to combat these attacks or maybe you have a similar approach. Let me also know if this has worked well for you or hasn't worked out so well. I appreciate the genuine constructive criticism from my readers like you. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor PC Review - 9.5/10

This is one of those games where I play it at the launch date for so long I forget to sleep and curse the fact that I have to go to work in a few hours. Its one of the few games that engage me for much longer than after the initial first five hours I've played it and still continues to chuck something in my direction just as soon as my interest begins to wane or even before it.

The Good:
The environments are actually pretty good. Granted, you won't see too much variety in landscape till around about the second act, but what you get off the bat is very nice. Makeshift campsites, ruined and crumbling buildings, all for you to scale on at your leisure. The story reflects in the scenery and does a decent enough of a job to speak for itself.
The enemies and combat are definitely where this game shines brightest. The game devs kept talking about the game's central mechanic which was the Nemesis system. Basically, every single enemy you meet will differ from everyone else's experience. What really brings this home is the fact that if you get killed by an orc, they will rise in the ranks, become more powerful and will have their own unique way of speaking to you as well as how they deal with you in combat and how you need to deal with them based upon their unique strengths and weaknesses. This is the core mechanic of the game and it is amazing. In my playthrough, an orc with a horribly messed up face (like he'd been stung by bees) killed me as some random minon. This guy was my bane. Either he killed me or I killed him and about two times he came back because I didn't chop off his head and presumed he was dead. He was annoying and my fights with him were always great. This is something I hope more games get to use because it makes a pretty good game like this turn fantastic. One enemy in particular I remember too well is this random captain I was going to recruit. When I faced him, instead of him saying anything, he just was almost completely silent... save for slightly laughing and breathing like he was going to enjoy what he did next. So I killed him... cause I aint gonna have a guy like THAT in my ranks. Very rarely you'll meet an almost unkillable enemy due to this system. I had trouble with a war chief because he was using a shield I couldn't break and it was insanely difficult to get behind him to get a killing blow and he couldn't be hit by arrows. Normally I would have quit the game and looked at a walkthrough, but instead I just used my brain to think of a cheap, but effective strategy. This is an excellent idea because I never felt like I had to take myself out of the game to fully enjoy it. I used my own wit and intelligence to defeat an almost unkillable enemy... and it was awesome.
The other mechanic introduced is a sort of mind control. Second act rolls around and you get the ability to bend orcs to your will. This ties further into the game's story as you're trying to create and entire army to battle Sauron's forces. Your job is to either kill or mind control all five war chiefs. I decided to build my own army in their ranks. I picked orcs that either looked  really cool or had some cool abilities and sicked them on the lesser enemies and finally helping me kill the war chiefs. The quests to make your allies stronger are pretty cool. Sometimes they'll be recruiting soldiers into their ranks, other times they'll be going on beast hunts and sometimes, if I tell them, they'll go out and kill other captains. Captain kills are probably the coolest thing ever. If your captain is stronger than your target, you'll find yourself in a scenario where your captain has already captured them and is going to execute them. Sometimes its a duel if they're close in strength. If they're not close in strength, your captain will send an ambush to whittle down the enemy before showing themselves. Do you know how awesome that is?

The Bad:
This is not a traditional RPG. You won't be collecting loot from enemies (kind of), you won't be able to sell said loot to buy better loot, you don't have any other armors to choose from save a cosmetic one for preordering the game. It doesn't break the game, just makes me question what an RPG is. My brother actually asked this very question and when I explained it to him, he immediately lost interest. Not saying this game needs it, just saying I would have liked it.

The Meh:
I really don't like the way Talion looks. Its just... weird. Long hair, thick triangular jaw paired with a certain lack of a neck and one sleeve is missing from the beginning of the game. Its not a big thing, just don't like the look. The Dark Ranger costume isn't much better looking either. Still gotta have that triangle jaw with tiny eyes. Again, this is a very minor nitpick.
I can understand why most people would say the story is boring or bad. I get it. Its not bad so much as just treading ground in between the bits where we get to behead orcs. It serves its purpose, gives proper motivation to characters and is kind of interesting...? I mean, I've never been a huge Lord of the Rings fan so most of the references and tie backs are back to the original trilogy. Speaking of 'original trilogy', I'm more of a Star Wars guy, so if this game was set in the Star Wars universe (oh god that sounds like the greatest game ever; EA get working on that!) I would have 'got' more of the stuff. So, Lotr fans will probably have a field day with this game.

I reaaaally like this game and I reaaaally want to see this system implemented again. Perhaps not as another Lotr game (because I really don't see how that could work again) but maybe in another franchise. Without the Nemesis system? I'd give this game about an 8.5, making it not amazing but decent enough to where I feel like my time wasn't wasted playing it and my money went somewhere decent. I would really like to see Monolith (the game's developers) get their hands into more games and maybe even more existing series. They talked a lot about being truthful and fair to the stuff that came before they made the game, which is admirable and a good way to tackle nerd culture... stuff. Buy it cause its awesome. Keep it cause its awesome. Play it again... cause its awesome.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Sims 4 PC Review - 8.5/10

I'd like to get this out of the way first off: I've been a Sims fan for as long as I can remember. My first Sims game was Bustin' Out for Xbox and I loved every moment. Since then, I've been picking up virtually every single game and had almost no problem with the games as a whole, Urbz in the City not included. The weirdly addictive thing about the Sims is how easily it can wrap you up in the game without having to do much work, which is probably why I love it so much.

The Good:
Graphics, as always, look very nice.
I was really surprised with the Create a Sim feature. Usually when a developer tries to sell you on a specific game mechanic which is 'the reason to buy the game', naturally, you would be a bit hesitant and skeptical. Though it isn't as ground breaking as we were lead to believe, it is definitely the best Create a Sim in the entire series and dare I say it, the most in depth character creation I've seen and I say that having played Skyrim. Every Sims game, I was forced to simply pick someone who looked kinda like me or "Eh, screw it. I just want to play." While it isn't my face, it certainly is super close, which made the experience of simply creating a character a decent distraction.
Back to customization, building a house is even easier. While I will talk about it below a bit more, the new system definitely outshines all the other Sims games before it in terms of ease-of-use.
A small little thing I liked was that the game 'rewarded' me for having played other Sims games. Notably, The Sims 3. I got a few free items for in game use. While they aren't super amazing, its a nice little nod and a thank you for playing previous titles. I don't know if any other titles can receive this, but I imagine its only Sims 3 as I don't thing Origin has any other Sims games on there save Medieval.

The Bad:
If there's one thing I have to give a major finger wag to, its a lot of things. First off, who decided to make it so I couldn't turn off the tutorial? Don't get me wrong, the tutorial works, but it doesn't touch on the stuff that I wanted to know like how to move furniture while holding it. Keep in mind, I've played The Sims for the better half of a decade of my life and I can't figure out how to position furniture, which is pretty much fifty percent of what the game is about. The controls are just... I have no idea, I can't even find them. The second thing I have a problem with is the orientation of tabs. Previous games had the tabs in easy to reach and access places that made sense for the platform it was on. On my console versions of The Sims 2, I could easily tell what my Sim's moods were. What needed to be addressed first was easy to recognize via some easily, always visible, bars that emptied as time progressed and sometimes became red or yellow to indicate problems. This time, however, the tab is all the way in the right hand side away from the Sim's face. This is difficult from the stand point I have to check to see who the person is who needs something as well as what they need. From a design standpoint, it just plain sucks. I hope someone comes up with a mod to fix this because its kind of a hassle.
Sims are now bipolar... well, more so than before. What was also used as a selling point for the game was that Sims have emotions as well as even more in depth moodlets. Basically, if I do a certain action, instead of a very binary response from the game, my actions have consequences or bi-products based on whether I succeeded, failed and even more things to put in the equation. The problem is this also affects certain wishes my sim has. See, each sim has their own wish based upon certain factors like what they currently have available in their house, what they want in the house as well as factoring in what their personalities are like. That has been the same for just about every Sims game I can remember. The problem here is, if you have a certain wish you're trying to fulfill and your sim suddenly changes moods, one of your wishes will just go away. This is especially frustrating when you're currently trying to fulfill said goal and they decide to shift moods before the prerequisites have been met. While the idea that you now have smarter sims, it doesn't make the game any more fun. I'd rather work with the game's mechanics rather than have to subvert them simply to have fun.
One of the things The Sims does well is accessibility. Basically, if my parent's lives depended upon it, they could somewhat master certain basic concepts and be able to play a small game given enough time. As a person who's been playing this game series for the better half of my entire life span, even I'm having trouble. Sims 3 introduced tabs for looking at certain things. These tabs were to the left and attached to your sim's portrait so you could easily identify and switch between things easily. Lets say I wanted to switch from viewing what my sim was feeling to the various relationships they'd come across and then to their own personal inventory. It was easy. Its not here. Maybe its just because I'm somewhat fresh off of Sims 3, but this is really a step backwards in terms of ease-of-use. A veteran shouldn't be penalized or have to learn new rules simply for the sake of a newbie. That's all I'm saying.

The Meh:
Apparently some jobs have been taken away that were staples in the previous series. I don't really have a problem with this as things get added and taken away. Plus, The Sims is rife with DLC packs so I wouldn't be surprised if a few of those jobs made comebacks. I never really used jobs anyways because I just use a money cheat. A side note is that a few items are gone from the game. Most notably: cars (if they're in there, I can't find them), jacuzzis (The Sims 3 had the same problem but it got fixed later) and swimming pools. With only the last being things that weren't always in every single Sims game. The pool feature is more of a weird one but I'm sure there had to have been some reason why they weren't included. In any case, meh.
Another problem I've been hearing people talk about is the fact that every time you go to a new location, the game loads. I had a problem with this initially but after saving and exiting, I actually don't think its a bad thing. Sure its not great, but compared to Sims 3 and when you try to save and exit, I'd rather spend 20 seconds in a load screen every time I want to go somewhere in the game rather than spend three minutes waiting for the game to save and close itself. Ya, it was that bad. Though, I'll need to hold my breath because once I start buying the DLCs, the load time may change so I can't say much else.

I know it seems like I had a lot of negative things to say but the fact remains that those who truly love something a lot are the first ones to point out it's flaws. Sure, the game is flawed, but its fun. I'll still be playing it for that very reason.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Hiatus

I apologize for the lack of posts here recently. BlackHood has been keeping up with his posts, which is good for those of you who are interested in them, but I have not.

Life has been getting pretty busy and I haven't been able to give this blog the proper attention that it deserves. I am not leaving nor will I be closing/ending this blog forever, but I will be seen less in the next few months. I hope by next year that I will have more time but that depends on some things in my personal life.

You will see posts from me here and there like you have, but nothing like writing every single day or week.

I hope to cover some of the news when the iPhone 6 is announced and released as well as maybe even releasing a video if and when I upgrade to it, but we shall see when that time comes.

A friend of mine and myself will be working together on a separate project which will require more of my time than I have been able to give. If all goes according to plan, we anticipate that we will have much more free time in a few weeks to months. That means more time for this blog and possibly even upgrading to an actual website and hiring new writers and reporters. But, as I said, we shall see in due time.

In the meantime, I would like to thank each and every one of you who has supported us by reading our entries and sharing with friends. The exposure and popularity has been exciting for us and we look forward to continuing in the path that we have made with you guys. Your support for us is tremendously appreciated.

This hiatus seems necessary in some ways so that I can pursue what I ultimately want which, I believe, will be best for WIFLI in the future.

Stay tuned, and thanks!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Super Time Force Ultra PC Review - 8/10

So I will admit that I am not the target audience for this game. I am not a person who enjoys puzzles nor timed games in the slightest. I was always that person who never played a game for a specific, weird and somewhat trivial reason. I don't play any of the retro Sonic games because I would never want to go to one of the water levels. When it comes to puzzle games, I'm the first person to go onto a gaming site just to get the solution rather than use my brain to figure things out. While I do enjoy the Professor Layton games, there's always one of those puzzles where I waste all of my coins on a simple thing that I slap myself for not realizing it sooner. In other words, I'm not a patient man. When I heard about this game, the premise wasn't bad. I liked it but then just groaned heavily at the thought of a timed game, and sixty seconds at that to clear an entire level. Though I must say this game isn't terrible. Worth the fourteen bucks?

The Good:
I say this a lot but I love minimalistic graphics. Pixelated, cell shaded. It helps my computer run smoothly and the game's visuals will age well later on. If you've played Risk of Rain, think of that but with a lot more color and closer up.
I'm kind of sorry I skipped through all the dialogue at the beginning because this game is actually pretty funny. Some games are so bland they rival the flavor of stale bread while others just can't contain how little the story matters through a barrage of jokes. Lets just say I'd rather have the second to the first and this game is somewhere in between. Its a ridiculous premise right off the bat and it doesn't care.
Some games have never really mastered firing in all directions, which makes them more of a pain than they should be. Not this game. You can fire in eight different directions which comes in handy with one of the characters who can shoot through objects. This makes the game flow more freely and gives you the ability to get past a pesky enemy who the other heroes can't as easily.
Like in Bro Force, you have a few characters to chose from and unlock them throughout the game, each with their own specialty and strengths. You start off with three: a chain gun hero who's charge attack can fire in three directions like the Spreader Gun from Contra, a woman who's gun can shoot through walls when charged up, and a guy who can bash people with his shield and who's charge attack creates a force field for a time. Each character plays differently in their own way but are all easy to handle.
The time aspect is annoying but what I do like is the approach to it. There is a sixty second timer for you to get through the level with a few time lengthen pick ups on the way. Dying is not much of a problem since once you do, you can rewind time back like in Prince of Persia. Only this time, you leave behind an after effect for the last hero. Should you save that hero from death, you get an extra hit before you die. Not only that, but you also get all the shots the hero fired which comes in handy a lot. I had some trouble with a boss and died a bunch of times because time ran out. The after effect really came in handy for me to at least get a bit more time to keep going since all the past characters were firing and doing damage to the boss. So instead of a boss I couldn't beat, therefore forcing me to go back to the beginning, I stacked up a bunch of heroes and found my own way.

The Meh:
I cannot stress how much I dislike timed activities. Its part of the reason I never used the safari in the Pokemon games because I could never catch what I wanted before time ran out. Nevertheless, this isn't a bad mechanic. Its in a way that I don't like it but I can't exactly fault it either. What it comes down to is a mechanic that can be mastered, like fighting in Dark Souls or even getting better at a FPS. I can't exactly fault it because I know that people can use it to their advantage and find alternative routes. What would have made it bad is if the mechanic for it or the mechanic itself was somewhat broken or unappealing. Basically, it works so I can't fault it for that.

So, all in all, not a bad game. Was it worth the 14 bucks? Maybe. Personally, its not a game I feel I need to play again if only for the somewhat frustrating parts, but in the end I'm not going to Steam's website trying to get a refund (yes I have tried that for another game before and it didn't work). Its one of those titles that I may download again considering the low amount of space it takes up on my computer. If this sounds like your kind of game, then have fun. There's a special deal on Steam right now where its 10% off till September 1st.

Monday, August 18, 2014

[Tutorial] Picking the Right Password

Unfortunately, picking a password isn't as easy or secure as it was a decade ago. Back in the late 90's, it was okay to have a password that was 1234. Nowadays, kids can get their hands on software that can crack passwords within 24 hours with no issues. Companies in charge of accounts that deal with passwords aren't taking any chances either and are requiring passwords with certain rules and a change in password every so often.

Many of us are left stuck when we are forced to change our password. It becomes a drag on our time because now we have to remember something that we never wanted to change in the first place. Services like Yahoo! require password changes regularly because their servers are constantly being attacked. With that, they make it near impossible to keep a password for a while because they won't allow you to use old passwords.

So now you need to think of a new password, but you're not sure where to start. In this blog, I wanted to give you guys some tips on how to make some great passwords that are not only difficult to crack but also easy to remember.

First, I think it's important that you guys understand how password cracking is usually done. The most common method can take hours or days to do. Basically, it is a program that will go through every possible password that can be done. The idea of creating a good password is one that cannot be easily decoded by this device. To understand how to make a good password, you should know how a lot of these programs begin. Picking a password that contains all sorts of characters will force the machine to take even longer and perhaps even damage it as a bonus ;)

The machines usually start by choosing the letter A or the number 1. If the attempt to use that password failed, then they choose B then C then D until they get to Z. At this point, they may try numbers, or a combination of letters starting with AA, AB, etc. then AAB, AAC, etc.

Knowing this, it should make you cautious of using a password that begins with the combination ABC or 123 even if it ends in something else because this is what the program likely starts with.

To have a great password that is near unbreakable, you should have lots of seemingly random numbers, capital and lower case letters, as well as special characters like the ones above your numbers at the top of the keyboard (!@#$%^&*()).

Choosing something like this doesn't mean that the program will not find your password, it just means that it can take a very long time. The more weird and unusual characters you have, the longer it takes for the program to solve the password combination. If it takes more than 2 weeks, which some passwords can take that long to crack, a hacker may just say forget it and move on to another person to crack.

When I say seemingly random, I mean numbers that are not directly beside one another or aren't usually combined. Also, try not to pick numbers that repeat such as 666 or 777 even if they are at the back such as "ndh777". What can seem random to a computer may be something like your birthday. If your birthday is July 27, 1975, you could use the combination 07271975. To a computer, they wouldn't know where that code came from and it seems so random that they would have a difficult time finding it.

However, if a hacker finds out your birthday, they could feed it to the program and the program would begin by searching for numbers with your birthday included. To prevent it from figuring it out too soon, add some extra numbers and letters before and after your birthday.

One of the best combinations you can do is add numbers and letters that are personal to you and things that are not likely on a government or official file such as your favorite number or maybe a serial number to a favorite device of yours or maybe even the birth date, wedding, etc. of a friend. This would throw off the computer because this number has no direct relation to you. The only real downside to this is that it'd be a bit harder to remember if you ever forget. But if you memorize it, which you will if you constantly have to input it, you shouldn't have to worry about this.

For an example, let's make up somebody and give them a password. Their name is John Doe, they live on 74537 Main St. USA, their birthday is July 27, 2072, their social security number is 048276253, their wedding anniversary is December 31, 2094, and their favorite number is 38. We have so many numbers to choose from here to create our password. Let's try some combinations that you can see how they come from it and can be easy to remember if this is information about you.
j3072720728D: This password looks so odd and off the wall that anyone who sees it probably won't remember. This is also another good reason for using a password with so many numbers. People can remember names and words even if they make no sense because they sound it out. But how do you remember 3,072,720,728 especially when it doesn't have any commas? And, it also contains two letters which really throws people off! But if you are this John Doe, and you see this, you can remember it because it's easy to see which numbers are which.

I put a lower case j in the front because his first name is John. Thinking about it now, you could make it even more secure by adding the j at the end to really throw someone off. But this way is fine too. The first 3 comes from the 38 in his favorite number. The second number is altogether 07272072. This is his birthday exactly as it is written. 07-July; 27-day; 2072-year. The last number 8 comes from his favorite number 38. And the capital D at the end is for his last name Doe.

Do you see how easy it can be to remember a password like that for yourself? Put in your details and create a password like that and you'll be set! Don't be afraid to use other numbers too like your address, social, etc. However, be cautious when adding things like your social. Social Security Numbers have a certain look to them that can be picked up on.

Let's say a hacker was able to crack your impenetrable password and now can see exactly what you wrote. By knowing how other socials look, he/she can be able to identify that this too is a SSN and learn even more information about you! Instead, try to scramble the numbers, add fake numbers to the sequence, or only use a piece of the numbers like just the first and last numbers or whatever is mostly commonly used in it.

Once you've created a password, it's a good idea to write it down somewhere. The first few times of inputting it may be difficult and you might need to look back at it for reference. Keep it somewhere safe that only you know where it is. Also, if you do happen to write it down, just leave the number and don't write anything else on it such as "Password=73892732". If someone finds your note and all it says is "732984732", they might not be able to determine what the number is used for.

When it comes to online accounts, they become more tricky to pick. A hacker usually cannot use this same method above to determine your password as accounts will only allow X number of attempts before locking your account. The hacker will only have 3-5 chances before striking out.

So you may now be wondering how they can crack an account. Usually it's because you use the same password for multiples places (your Facebook password is the same as your Yahoo! Mail password), the hacker has hacked into a server (for Facebook or Yahoo!) and it lists everyone's e-mail and password to unlock the account, or they picked up on it through information you sent over the internet.

One of the worst places is at a public hotspot like Starbucks. My cousin showed me a program he obtained somewhere that allows him to pick up anything sent out by computers at these places and find out what websites they are visiting and any passwords and e-mails they are using to log in. Knowing this, you should limit the amount of time you spend online at these places, consider using your phone's WiFi hotspot feature instead, or not visit and log into websites like your bank account with Chase.

If the hacker has hacked into the actual server at Facebook, Yahoo!, etc., the company will usually inform you of this breach or you'll hear about it on the news. They will likely force you to change your password. There is no real way to protect yourself from these attacks except just finding a newer, better password to change to.

Try not using the same passwords for every account you have. I know it becomes difficult when you have 5 e-mail accounts, 1 Facebook, 1 MySpace, 1 Hulu, 1 Netflix, etc. but you'll be glad you did when your account is compromised. If someone figures out your Facebook password, they can now get into your e-mail if the passwords are the same. Once this is done, there will be no way for you to regain control of your Facebook account. Try having as many different passwords as you can.

Also, be extremely cautious of who you lend your password to. Keep a record of who you've given it to. In case of a fall out with this person, it would be a good idea to change your password that they know so they can't use it maliciously. It's even better to not share your password at all with anyone to limit the people who have access to your account.

By following the steps above, I hope you've been able to find the right password combination that works for you. Don't be discouraged when you are required to make a new password. Just follow the steps above again to pick a new password.

So far, my success has been great. I have had a few accounts compromised, but not as many as others. My password techniques seem to be helpful in eliminating the ease for someone to cause harm to me by figuring out an easy password. Just remember that this system, or any other, for that matter, are not infallible. You will still be prone to attacks. Picking the right password just makes it more difficult for someone to crack.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Microsoft and their Exclusives

"Ryse and Dead Rising 3 will be exclusive to the Xbox One". This is what I was told some time ago when the Xbox One made its debut. Now, that has been repealed. Both these games will be ported to Steam for users to be able to play it on their computers.
"Fable Anniversary edition will be exclusive to Xbox 360 and will not be able to be played on any other platform". Guess what got repealed?

I'm going to go out here and say this. I was ultra pissed that Fable Anniversary was only going to be on 360. I still have an Xbox 360, I was just mad considering the nostalgic value I had for the game wasn't going to be with me for whenever I wanted. I knew Ryse wasn't going to be a good game and I've never been a Dead Rising fan myself. I only played the first game and felt it was okay, then bought the second game on Steam, had to deal with that Games for Windows crap and when I found out I couldn't use my controller I never touched it again. I've had sort of a love hate relationship with Microsoft. The first major console I owned that was still churning out games was the original Xbox. I always thought that Live was a really dumb idea even at a young age, but I was glad it was in the back round and didn't force me to have it. Then the 360 came around and pissed me off. Forcing you to have this subscription to something I never used or wanted to use and I forced myself to like it in any way. I still don't like it.
Its not a stretch to say that Microsoft has taken the biggest 180 of a company I've ever seen and for a change its been a good 180. The direction of the Xbox One took less of an extra tv box for your living room and turned back into a more gaming oriented system, without having to cut down on any of the things they previously promised. You know that annoying Live system where you can't use Netflix and other stuff like that? Gone. You can now use it even without paying a monthly subscription. Its an awesome concept where I can use what I've purchased without some stupid pay wall.
So what about this talk of exclusives? I still kind of have some hate for Microsoft. See, I actually do like Fable. For all of its faults and missteps, its actually a great series. Funny, the combat is pretty decent and I like playing it. Imagine my disappointment when some of the games were pulled from Steam... and no one said anything. Sure, fan outcry and people mad they didn't get any refund of any kind. One day I felt like purchasing Fable 2 but I felt like maybe later. I come back later and its just gone. Fable 3 is on there and I actually liked it but again, didn't purchase it. Now its gone. Despite my better judgments, I purchased the first Fable a few months before I noticed the Anniversary edition is going to be on Steam and this thought reoccurred to me. How they just took the games away from people without a single word. Being of sound mind and intelligence I can say this sucks but there are a plethora of reasons why this could have happened, so I'm not too keen on dogging on things I don't have all the facts on. In fact, I wasn't too surprised really. They'd done the same thing with me before on my 360. I had Jade Empire and Stubbs the Zombie installed on my hard drive. I only had a 20 gig brick so I had to delete them for another game. Once I decided I wanted them back, GONE. Both games just gone. Not in my library, not in the store. Gone. I checked online and saw no trace of them. No refund, no notification that they would be taken off. Just gone.
Whenever I hear about exclusives, my mind thinks about Nintendo and Sony. Microsoft is still kind of weird about their exclusives. While they've taken a better turn, I'm still wary of them. There's a lot of things I'd like to fix about them, but they are the least on my list of video game problems. Up there is getting video games to be treated as art not just by others but also by the developers themselves so they stop pushing generic schlock out there. Getting EA to stop messing with us. Hell, buy Capcom and make the games they haven't (new Mega-Man maybe, get Dragon's Dogma 2 rolling along and bring Resident Evil back into horror).
Honestly, I'm glad that we get these previously 'unavailables' out there. The developers get more money, thereby making it so good games get the recognition they deserve (not Ryse), and a wider audience gets to experience these games. I would like to say this is going to be Microsoft's norm... but its not. Exclusives rake in the console sales and that's fine. I'm just saying throw the PC guys a bone for a change. You do make computers so it wouldn't be the weirdest concept to port some games to PC. Just... get rid of Windows Live for good, please?

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