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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Elder Scrolls V:Skyrim DLC Dawnguard

Long have I been an Elder Scrolls fan. I have tried playing Arena and Hammerfell, but have owned and played Morrowind, Oblivion, and recently Skyrim. Skyrim has the best graphics and arguably one of the advanced engines. However, Morrowind seems to be a favorite amongst die-hard fans for various reasons, most of which I agree with. But for now, I'd like to only talk about Skyrim's latest DLC Dawnguard.

Vampires have been apart of TES series for many years with quests involving vampires both helping them and destroying them. Players of the games have mixed feelings about vampires with some wanting to become vampires and others loathing anything involving vampires. I've been mostly apart of the latter as games like Oblivion made me stay as far away from vampires as possible because I didn't want to become one. But the new DLC has made me enjoy vampire quests and a new storyline involving them.

In this DLC, Bethesda continues in the motion that they've gone in just about every one of their RPG games where you are able to choose a side to be on. In this DLC, players are allowed to choose whether they want to be on the vampires' side or be on the side opposing them. I chose the side against the vampires while my brother chose the side with the vampires.

The DLC is amazing. At first, I was a little skeptical because I usually don't enjoy too many DLCs that don't add new things like new areas or completely new maps, new weapons/items, have weak storylines. All of which are included in this pack in a very nice way. New places have been added to the Skyrim map that everyone enjoys. So far, my follower has also been able to follow me into every area. New caves and buildings have been added to the map for the new story.

The items have been a great add. Crossbows make a comeback in a great way. (How could you not have crossbows in a game with vampires anyway?) The game utilizes the crossbows in some very fun and realistic ways. You'd have to try them out to see for yourself. As well as crossbows, new additions have been made to weapons. Now, you are able to create arrows and crossbows in a forge like you would any other type of armor or weapon! Of course new armor has also been added to the game for that vampire feel. New followers have also been added and not just human ones... In my version of the story, I am able to have a troll follow me that has armor! New armored dogs have also been added to the story.

The missions are very engaging. Normally, I feel very tired after a few missions and want to put the game away, but this new story has me on the edge of my seat, regretting when I have to put down the controller and walk away from the game. The characters seem so real and the story isn't solely about you but includes you in some awesome ways.

The developers have put lots of effort into the game and this DLC is definitely one of the best that I've tried, you will not regret getting it. I am only just starting the DLC so I am not able to provide every single detail about the game, plus, I wouldn't want to ruin the story for anyone that hasn't played the game yet.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Evo LTE or Samsung Galaxy SIII or iPhone 5 or...?

I'm debating on what phone to upgrade to when my upgrade comes.

Ever since I heard that an Evo LTE was to be launched, I was ecstatic about the phone. And when the specs were released as well as the innovative features, I was even more amazed and excited.

Then, a few days ago, a co-worker of mine asked me about the Samsung Galaxy SIII. We talked for a bit and he told me how much he loved his Galaxy SII and how he can't wait to pick up the SIII when it comes out later this month. I began reading on the phone and liked what I read there too. Samsung seems to be making better quality phones because, admittedly, their record hasn't been too good for me. First, I had the Samsung Instinct s30, but in that phone's defense, I was told that it was the greatest phone to come to Sprint and was supposed to be the "iPhone killer" of which it certainly didn't compare in any way. Then I had the Samsung Moment and that phone gave me lots of problems. My co-worker hated his so much, that he destroyed about 6 of them because he was so frustrated with the phone. Then he upgraded to the Epic 4G a little while after I upgraded to the Evo 4G. He kept saying that he was disappointed and wished that he went for the phone that I had instead because his was garbage. Then that phone started giving him problems too... so, needless to say, Samsung doesn't hold a very high opinion with me when it comes to phones. I have always wanted a Samsung Galaxy tablet though and their other products like TV's and laptops aren't too bad of quality. But I have seen much love from people for the Galaxy series phones so I'd be open to getting that phone too.

And then there's the mysterious iPhone 5 with no released specs as of now. But it has to have some excellent specs for me to seriously consider getting it such as:
-4G
-bigger screen, at least as big as my current Evo which would be about 4 inches
-removable storage
-better insurance in case it's lost or stolen

I can say that Apple will probably never add removable storage to the iPhone especially since they're trying to get people to sign up for their Cloud services and seeing how many people are willing to pay more for a phone that has more memory. I do suspect that we will be seeing it have 4G LTE across all networks that it will be released for. Every competitor has put 4G on their devices so Apple will be forced into following through as 4G has been around for about two years now and every new phone just about has 4G including ones being released on minor networks like Metro PCS and even Boost Mobile. We may or may not see an iPhone this fall with a bigger screen. Making a bigger screen would cause Apple to change their assembly lines which means more money. Many people want bigger screens, but most iPhone fanatics are fine with their small screens. We will probably never ever see better insurance for iPhones where you can get a replacement for a lost or stolen device.

But I'm also considering saving my upgrade and either keeping it open in case Sprint drops unlimited data, which they might, or waiting for a better device to be announced on their network.

What do you guys think? What would be your option?

Monday, June 18, 2012

GPS Paranoia

I've gotten a bit paranoid with the GPS on my phone and have been disabling it. I keep seeing Google Maps app pop up in my running services and am worried about whether someone is using the app to track my location or not.

How do you guys feel about this? I'm on an Android device and it's doing this. What about you guys with iDevices?

How does everyone feel about GPS and how it is used? Are you paranoid too? I used to keep my GPS on all day long, every day, but now I only enable it when I need it.

Weird Referrals to Your Website or Blog?

Are you in control of a blog or website with some weird referrals directing to your website/blog?

Blogger, through which this website/blog is hosted, has some great features, one of which allows users to view where our visitors come from. As some of my readers know, you may have seen my various posts around the web whether it be my posts on Wololo.net or your friends sharing my posts via social media like Facebook. What happens is like the picture above. Blogger shows me, the administrator, a bunch of website URLs and how many visitors were linked and visited my blog via that website URL.

But sometimes you get some very awkward referrals that make you scratch your head. On my other blog, www.ndh777.com, when I was beginning, I received some very strange ones from places like "gaymenworkingout.com" or some very off the wall type of stuff that never seemed relevant to my page. And the visitor counts were very low compared to places that I had really visited like wololo.net. On wololo, I'll receive a few dozen in the first day of posting, but then I get some weird ones especially "bit" URLs.

The ones above are http://bit.ly/HG1ylX and http://drugs-store24.com/ which are very strange websites to be promoting visitors to my webpage. On slow days, like a weekday or days where I haven't posted in a while, I'll receive some of these and I think I've figured out what they are.

Most of the pages seem to be promoting some sort of product. I think what is happening is that some bots are randomly going to pages and making them appear to have come from their target website. For admins like myself, that are just beginning or just plain curious, click the links to see what these websites are saying about us and if we can somehow help promote their site more in gratitude of what they are doing for us.

I would recommend to ignore these links. All of them don't seem to have any valid links that point back to my page. And ones like "bit.ly..." can be dangerous. I have never been a fan of shortened links for the sake of spam, malware, spyware, and just its many other forms of abuse. I would highly advise people to be cautious of opening these links whether they received it in a referral or other place online just for those reasons. It's easy for scammers to hide behind shortened URLs and begin uploading malicious content to your computer or to your website because you visited their page.

With others like the drug store one, it just appears to be a way of introducing you to a product through spam.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Facebook Dislike Button May Be Scam

Lots of people have been asking Facebook to add a Facebook "dislike" button since Facebook added the "like" button to their popular website. Ever since then, many Facebook apps have popped up as well as third-party websites claiming to offer a "dislike" button. Some have even taken the length of telling you that you can be apart of a special "Facebook list" if you copy and paste a status update and share it with your friends.

Most of the time, these are scams. Sometimes, it's just a harmless stunt done by someone wanting to see how far their message will go, other times, these are deliberate scams that pose as the official Facebook to harm you and your Facebook profile.

What happens is that when you "log in" to a Facebook app, you are allowing it to have some special privileges over your profile and with that, they are allowed to do certain things such as post status updates for you without your permission each time they do it. Each app is forced to tell you exactly what they will be doing when you initially allow the app access to your profile. Pay attention to what they are being authorized for when this screen comes up.

What can tell you about whether an app is legitimately from Facebook or not can be told from a few things.
The above picture is from an app today about a "Facebook DisLike Button". The big blacked out part was a bunch of my Facebook friends' names highlighted asking if I would like to send them all invitations to be apart of the "official Facebook DisLike Button". If this was truly from Facebook, it would likely not be in an app that you would have to authorize. It would be a feature allowed to all members of the site. Secondly, Facebook would not ask you to send invites to all of your friends.

As I normally do, I said "Cancel" to sending invites to my friends. Upon doing that, a message appeared in my Firefox browser, asking if I would like to install the plugin from a site. That screenshot is available in the above picture. Notice where the website is from...it is not a Facebook website.


*NOTE: Before performing the next few steps, make sure that your web browser is pointed at the right Facebook website. Look towards the top of your web browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome, etc.) in the address bar and make sure that it CORRECTLY says "http://www.facebook.com", it may say "https" and that is fine too...just make sure that the "www.facebook.com" is there and it is spelled correctly.

We can rule out that this app is most likely a fake. What you should do now is this:
1. Report the app.
Just like the picture above, there is a place down in the left hand corner of the page that will say something about "Report...this app". Click that button and report the app to Facebook for inspection. Doing this will make sure that Facebook is alerted to a possible scam on their users and more people won't be scammed like you almost were.

2. De-authorize the app. Make sure that the app is permanently and fully not attached to your profile in any way. Unlike the page, unlike the app, de-authorize it, do what needs to be done to be rid of this app.

Be careful while using apps on Facebook as well as any site or your phone and beware of invites sent to you even if they come from friends.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Battlefield Vs. Call of Duty

NOTE: As far as gameplay goes...I haven't played the most recent Call of Duty to be able to accurately compare the two games. So be cautious when taking my word. This post mostly takes a look at Battlefield 3 versus Call of Duty 4-Black Ops as well as a shortened history of modern FPS titles.

I really love first person shooters and I have been active on both Call of Duty and Battlefield as well as Halo and some other highly popular FPSes. Halo isn't on top anymore because it's all about modern combat. Most people want to play as a current, modern soldier or at least one that still uses some of the familiar weapons used by militaries around the globe.

I will only be discussing how each game compares in terms of online multiplayer and I am speaking from playing on an Xbox 360...not that there is a huge difference between these and the PS3 and PC editions but I thought I'd throw that out there. Also, I have been more active on Call of Duty than Battlefield except this generation. I have owned and played Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty World at War, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, and Call of Duty Black Ops. I have not owned nor played Modern Warfare 3 and I will explain why. I have not played Battlefield Bad Company although I did play the demo a few times through, I did not play nor own Battlefield Bad Company 2, but I have owned and play Battlefield 3 often.

I really enjoyed playing CoD 4 MW, not so much CoD WaW online but offline was okay, CoD MW2 was fun, CoD BO was also great, but CoD MW3 was...eh.

4 was a great title because it was new and exciting. It was fun playing as a modern soldier in areas that are seen frequently on the news. WaW was a bit different because it went back to World War II's universe but with an improved engine but it still felt outdated because of the guns and scenery. However, Zombies was a great addition to the franchise as it allowed people to play side-by-side online or offline and was a much different experience. MW2 was even better because it took us back to the elements of the first highly popular title of the series with an even more improved engine and improved graphics. BO was cool but it still had an outdated feeling...not as bad as WaW did but it still wasn't modern enough for our taste. MW3...I saw the trailers, graphics, and engine and was not impressed at all. To me, it felt like Infinity Ward or whoever is taking care of the series just threw together a game with the Black Ops engine because they were tired of doing the Modern Warfare Call of Duty's.

The consumers keep crying out for more Modern Warfare games and less of these outdated war games. It seems that the majority of gamers don't want to play in World War II or Vietnam/Cold War eras but instead in the 21st century with guns used today. Infinity Ward doesn't seem to want to keep making those games. So, to me, Modern Warfare 3 felt like a cheap remake to appease the people and generate some easy money without spending too much and use that to buy some time for the next game in the franchise. I didn't want to spend $65 on a game that felt the same as the last one that I bought, so instead...I switched sides and tried out a few competitors.

EA always jumps on the popular bandwagon, trying to make the best in each genre of video games. EA did the same to the Tony Hawk series when they released Skate and were very good at meeting consumers' wishes in just about every way imaginable. It seemed that EA would now be most likely setting their sights on the Call of Duty franchise. They have had a few very popular FPSes under their belt over the years making them a true veteran in the genre.

Back in 1999, EA published a game entitled Medal of Honor that was highly popular for many years in the World War II "genre" of video gaming. It wasn't until 2003 when Activision decided to make a comeback and come out with the first Call of Duty game that started the war. In 2010, EA tried to put more than one of their games up against the highly popular Call of Duty games with not only Battlefield, which had been silently competing since 2008 with Bad Company, but also reboot one of their older titles with a restart which was simply titled Medal of Honor. This game didn't do as well and I did play it. What I did not like were many different things which most of which I can't remember. Upon buying the game, about a day later, I took the game right back. I got pass the first couple of levels but the game seemed to be trying way too hard to compete with competitors *cough*CallOfDuty*cough* and the interface and gameplay was a bit tricky and didn't handle things well. One example of this were variants of guns. If you were carrying an AK-47 completely stock with no attachments and you ran over an AK-47 with some attachments, the game would not pick up this gun as ammo but instead offer you to pick it up as if it were a completely different weapon and vice-versa.

When Modern Warfare 3 was announced, news about the new Battlefield was also surfacing. Gameplay, trailers, and the demo all got me excited for the game. New improvements were made to the game and the game was expected to be like no other in its class with innovations such as a large majority of the maps being fully destructible. This was awesome as this would mean that there would be less of a chance for people to camp behind some wall and be protected the entire time. Vehicles would be added as well as much more. To me, my choice was simple.

Pay $65 for a game with the same stuff as before or pay the same for a game with something new and different? I went with the new and different and have not yet regretted my decision. Another thing that bothered me about the differences were how many games there were and how popular each game is/was. Battlefield Bad Company 2 lasted for a good two years before its sequel came. I felt like I was buying way too many Call of Duty's in too short amount of time because in those two years, 3 Call of Duty's had come around and the sequel to Modern Warfare 3 was announced very shortly after its release. If you go into a store, look at the difference between the Call of Duty titles versus the Battlefield titles. One thing that I do regret about not getting MW3 is that none of my friends have Battlefield 3 but all of them have MW3. I am contemplating on whether to get Black Ops 2 or not. I suppose it all rests of how different it is from its previous title.

Again, as far as gameplay goes...I haven't played the most recent Call of Duty to be able to accurately compare the two games.

I am very happy with Battlefield...well...when I win that is. What disappoints me most about Battlefield 3 are these:
-When I ask to join a server (Team Deathmatch), most of the time, it will put me with a team that is losing by a large amount such as 187-295 and the score is at 300.
-A few glitches here and there but every game has that
-The game has terrible load times but loading is uncommon unless you jump from server to server or back to the main menu
-I don't really like having 2 discs to carry
-Camping can get pretty bad such as one map, people have been able to get atop a crane and have a clear view of anyone and everyone in an unfair advantage. But having a destructible world allows for less camping than competitors.
-Less popular than other games, so not recommended for people that want to play with friends they personally know

What I love that is different:
-Able to choose precisely what details about the match I want to play on within choose server
-Almost fully destructible map
-Vehicles
-More attachments to weapons than other titles
-More individual to your character in terms of customization
-Gadgets are a great use and not just something like an RC car but also things like RC choppers, sensors that will pick up all enemy locations nearby (great for the camper), as well as some other great gadgets

What are some of the things that you like about each game or hate about each game?

Monday, June 4, 2012

R.I.P. Eduard Khil

For most people, they may not know who Eduard Khil is unless they follow internet memes and/or watch lots of YouTube videos.

Eduard is a Russian singer from back in the day with a popular song that has gone viral with the nick-name "Trololo". Arguably one of the most popular memes amongst the thousands, perhaps millions of memes online.

<object width="360" height="270"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/2Z4m4lnjxkY?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/2Z4m4lnjxkY?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="360" height="270" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

Eduard had some health problems over the weekend but has now since deceased.

Rest in peace.

New Splinter Cell Game Announced!

If you follow the Splinter Cell Facebook page, then you probably have seen the pictures uploaded and the news about the new announced game.

Any fans of the series should check out the link for pictures and be sure to "like" the page for more updates.

I'm so excited!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

YouTube Spam E-mails

I am no longer getting fake Amazon e-mails. I think that Amazon has solved the problem and everything is back on track. Thanks, Amazon, for taking the time to care for us that are being spammed.

However, I still receive massive amounts of e-mails from scammers posing as service@youtube.com when really it's not YouTube at all.

I found a solution that may work, at least within my e-mail client. I clicked to expand Full Header. Once this was done, here's what it showed:
If you click on the picture, it will enlarge it for you to see. The black boxes are covering my personal information or what could be apart of my personal information.

See the read circle? Inside of that red circle is an e-mail address that does not belong to me nor to YouTube. Towards the bottom of this e-mail is something about a redirection to a YouTube service address. In my e-mail client, I am able to select and highlight characters within this box. I highlighted that e-mail address, right-clicked, then selected "Copy", and went into my Settings were I blocked the address from contacting me.

NOTE: In more than one of these scam e-mails, I have seen more than one e-mail address used. It seems that these scammers are hacking into random people's e-mail addresses and using those e-mails to contact people with. I receive e-mails like this on the regular from people's hacked e-mail addresses. You will probably never meet or try to contact any of these people so blocking them or reporting them as spam will not harm you or your e-mail. In some cases, I think this alerts the e-mail client such as Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, etc. that this e-mail address is hacking people and the e-mail provider locks the e-mail up and forces the person to sign in with their security question and/or has them create a new password which stops their address from spamming. You might even try contacting these people and letting them know that they are being hacked and spamming people, but if you are someone like me, you get so many of these e-mails that it'd be impossible to do so.

YouTube still doesn't seem to recognize this growing problem as nothing on their website indicates any way of forwarding these e-mails to them so it looks like we're still on our own for this one.

To prevent scams and spams, beware of who you give your e-mail address to. Beware of what websites and people ask for your e-mail information. NEVER give out your password to anyone that you do not trust for any reason. If we can abide by these guidelines, it will decrease hacks on e-mail accounts and spam.
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