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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thoughts on "Quick-Scoping"?

For many gamers who play modern FPS titles like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, you are probably aware of something known as "quick-scoping". The way that quick-scoping works is that a player aims into the sniper rifle scope and take the shot at almost a millisecond before the player fully zooms in. Often times, numerous kills can be made and most games like MW3 have perks for people that can have "one-shot kills".

There has been a growing debate in the gaming community about whether this sort of behavior is legal and should be tolerated. On the one hand, some gamers say that it is a skill and that it should be kept. They argue that video games are a simulation of the real world, but the real world shouldn't be used piece for piece because it's a video game and that's why people play it. In other words, to escape reality. Others are against it and say that it detracts from the fun. They argue that it takes zero skill and gives some players an unfair advantage.

I'm on the side that believes that it gives players an unfair advantage. And yes, I have never been good at quick-scoping and have, often, been the target of these players. But it all seemed cheap. These guys sit in an alley in the map and just quick-scope and rack up tons of points while others actually try to use skills like teamwork and evading skills to outgun the opponent. But just because I haven't ever quick-scoped does not mean that I am not nor ever use a sniper. I, in fact, do use a sniper rifle quite often. However, I use it as it is used in the real world because there's more satisfaction for me in knowing that I actually took time in making that shot. Whereas if all I did was see someone and shot-shot and got 2-3 people, I wouldn't have the same satisfaction in knowing that my hard work actually paid off.

One of the reasons why I did not pick up MW3 is because of this. Battlefield 3 gamers seem to take the game more seriously, actually play the roles of those skilled in assault, sniping, and other classes of war. There have been times where gamers didn't seem to take it seriously and wanted to camp all match but the game made it difficult for them to quick-scope the rest of us all match long. And there are always ways of getting to the campers such as using teamwork which always leaves the feeling of satisfaction knowing that you actually put work into something and achieved your goal. However, on the other hand, there is still satisfaction in knowing that you were able to kill someone who has been using "cheats" to win if you were able to get someone who quick-scoped an entire match.

But often times, those times we actually get the culprits were really rare. Usually I'd enter a match, get killed 20 times and get about 3 kills because of people quick-scoping and leave the match because I never felt like I had a chance. That shouldn't be in any game, in my opinion.

Each side seems to have good arguments for their view as do the other. So what's your take on it? Do you think its fair to continue letting people quick-scope for future FPS titles? Are you someone who quick-scopes, are you a victim, or does it not seem to have any effect on you at all?

And, of course, for as many people, like myself, who did not buy MW3 for QSers, I'm sure there would be many who would not buy MW3 because they made it difficult or impossible to QS. Sales' numbers should be on the minds behind these games but you can't really turn that into an argument as I see just as many people arguing from both sides.

Contacting Me

One of the great things about Blogger (the blogging service that I use to blog with) is that it gives me some tools to use that can help me understand deeper about my blog under the hood that most of you will never see unless I share that information with you. Such information given can relate to where viewers of my blog come from, which pages are the most popular, graphs that show growth of viewers over time, and even web searches that have brought viewers to my blog.

One that I often see has to do with this website known as "whois".

For many website owners, whois is a bit scary. Whois is, as I understand, an organization that handles online registration. Whois provides a database to the public about records pertaining to any given website. Often times, domain hosts like GoDaddy (who I bought my domains through) keep private information private and instead register information about their website in our details. For many people that try to find out who I am and where I am by using whois, they don't get very far because the IP address and location belong to Blogger which is located in Mountain View, California where Google has their servers.

But I've noticed that people have been searching my website domains on whois as they keep popping up. I'm not sure exactly why they are wondering where I am and who I am whether its innocent curiosity or something worse. But for anyone wondering about me, I am just a guy who blogs. I don't feel like my real name or whereabouts are really important, rather the information that I post about is what is important.

If people would like to contact me about my websites, ask me questions, or even, perhaps, buy my domains, you are free to ask your questions here on this or any of my blogs and I will, usually, be more than happy to answer your questions and talk with you. Of course I won't give you my real name, a photo, or tell you what street in what city I'm in, but I'd love to get to know you and hear your side of things.

For those who have been to my other blog, I did lock down the comments for a while because the comments were getting out of hand. I say that to say that I have my boundaries and do exercise them if I feel like I should.

Bing Rewards

Google and Yahoo have been around a lot longer than that of Bing. One of the good things about new programs, companies, etc. is that they often do things that their competitors don't to get more attention. The same applies to companies, programs, etc. that begin to decline in popularity, sales, etc.

Bing is different in many ways. At first, I left Google for political reasons and began to actually prefer Bing to Google as time progressed because it does have its strong points. One of the nice things about Bing are the rewards.

When you search for stuff online, you typically only do it out of necessity because you want to know more about something and all of the answers are right there in a search engine. Bing has made a way for you to use their search engine more because you can now get rewards for doing what you've been doing all along for free! The only thing is that you do need to create a free account with them. That can either be signing into your Hotmail account, Facebook, and I believe there may be a third option, but I am certain about the first two. You don't need both, just one. Not everyone has a Hotmail and not everyone has a Facebook, but chances are you have one or the other if you use a search engine a lot. And if not, both are free to sign up for.

Below are the current prizes that you can get through points you've earned on Bing.

Unfortunately the page is a little bigger than I can grab with a screenshot, but you should be able to get the full picture by putting these two pictures together.

Of course, the prizes are not that great. Each prize is equivalent to about $5, but hey, that's $5 you won't have to spend. And the others like Hulu Plus and Xbox Live only last for a month, but, again, that's money that you did next to nothing for.

For someone like me, I'd either get the most out of my points by getting the Starbucks, Skype credit, or the Xbox Live points as they seem like ones that I'd actually use. Realistically, I'm thinking about going for the Xbox Live points because those will last longer and I'll use them. But maybe there's something here that catches your eye? And if not here, there are also two other pages.

You get X amount of points every time you search using Bing. I say X because I am not certain what the exact amount is. I believe that it's a point for every search you do and the maximum points you can get in a day is 10-15. For someone like me, I racked up points very quickly. I've only been using Bing, I believe a year and a half since I believe I made the switch on Easter 2011. Right now, I have over 1,000 points. I rarely think about the points but I noticed them today and thought that I might as well cash them in.

Since then, I've done quite a bit of blogging. Most of the information that I post here and my other blogs, I usually get from doing searches on search engines or by double checking my information against search engines to be sure that I have the most accurate information possible. As you can imagine, I do a lot of searches.

But, back to the main topic, if these prizes don't excite you, or you'd rather do something else with your points, you can also use those points towards sweepstakes and also donate your points and Bing (Microsoft) will donate on your behalf using those points. Again, don't get on Bing thinking that you'll win a car or cure cancer. Those "prizes" are still slim. Either you are put up against 1-1,000,000 different people for the same prize or you are giving Bing 500 points to donate $5.

As you can see, the prizes aren't much again. But, you're not using any real money and it doesn't cost you anything extra to get these prizes except time away from your beloved search engine.

I'm not sure if it's only available to members or also to the general public, but you can try visiting this website to learn more about Bing Rewards

Do these prizes entice you to try Bing? Are you already using Bing? Have you received any of these prizes? This seems like a really cool thing that everyone should try before Bing decides to discontinue.

Xbox Live Accounts that are Still in Existence

If you enjoy playing Call of Duty games online and watch YouTube videos, you may have caught one or two of MinnesotaBurns' videos where he trolls people who are making the Xbox Live community a pretty nasty place to be. His targets include children who rage loudly on the mic to people who claim to have hacks for the Xbox that would help other gamers cheat in online game matches.

Xbox Live has rarely taken action against these people who are harming the community and ignoring Xbox's own terms and conditions, however, Xbox has suspended Burnsy's own account indefinitely for "posing as a member of the Microsoft customer service" which he has not but has said that he works for a company called "Trollarch" that is independent from Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Microsoft that monitors that games and reports gamers who break the online guidelines. Minnesota posts videos from online chats and game matches that he plays in and asks his "Trollarch staff" (which are the loyal viewers and subscribers of his channel) to report these gamers' gamer tags so that they can be removed from the Xbox Live community.

But, as of May 1st, 2012, a number of these gamer tags are still in existence without suspension for their deeds that have all been caught on video shot and uploaded by MinnesotaBurns. Here is a list of some of the gamer tags that had not been taken down in one of his videos.

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Consider looking up these gamer tags and alerting Xbox staff to their deeds so that the community can be a better place to be for all of us.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How to Permanently Delete Your Facebook

For a while now, I've been wanting to remove myself from the various social networks. Reasons such as privacy have become an issue and wanting me to leave the website.

I deleted my MySpace about a year ago and deleted my Facebook around the same time. Unfortunately, at the time, I did not find a way to permanently delete my profile from the web except to temporarily deactivate it until recently. What had kept me coming back to Facebook was that I could just log in and all my information was there just as I left it as if I had never deleted it in the first place. After doing a little bit of research, I finally found my answer to permanently deleting my account and have bookmarked it just waiting for the right moment to do so.

Recently, I've just realized how dependent I've become on Facebook that I felt the urge to continually reach in my pocket to grab my Galaxy and check the latest in my news feed. When I deactivated it, I felt alone and odd. But now I've been staying away from the site and it's gotten to the point at which I viewed it once every 2-3 days. It's finally time to give up the addiction and I began that now.

Now, I'm sure you didn't come here to hear me tell about my personal story. So without further to do, here is the link to permanently delete your Facebook account for good
For whatever reason you may have, this is your ultimate solution. As directed by the link, you will have to wait 14 days until all of your information is permanently deleted from Facebook. If you log in before 14 days, you have the option to deny the request and keep your Facebook account.

For me, I decided that Facebook became too big of an addiction and needed to be gone from my life. On top of that, why share all of this information with people I barely talk to in person? Why do I continue to have people on my friends' list that I really don't care for? So, I deleted it.

For what reasons have you decided that it'd be best to delete your Facebook account?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Humble Bundle

For most gamers, especially those active on the computer, you are probably already aware of this awesome website but for those that don't know, I'd like to introduce you to it.

Humble Bundle is a website that allows people to donate whatever they want to whatever organization they want and get some awesome DRM free games out of it. How awesome is that?

My brother has been doing this for a while and keeps letting me know about the games as they become available but I have yet to participate. Perhaps next paycheck, I'll join the rest of everyone doing it.

For the most part, I just haven't contributed because I am always broke around this time. Really, you can pay $1 or whatever the lowest cost is, but I'd like to be someone different.

I used to download torrents and LimeWire every movie and music I "owned" until I began thinking about the economy and those involved in the making of these types of medias. And worst, I was never someone who went to concerts and always had others pay for me when I went to the movies. So I wasn't even contributing there. But I eventually began changing and decided that it was best to support them especially the ones that are just starting out or don't have a huge support.

In this same way and with this same attitude, I think about this effort. This is awesome and something that I and many others hope will not go away. To make sure that they continue doing this, let's make sure that we do our best to keep these people feeling happy. You don't have to be a top contributor by donating $1,200 but I mean maybe somewhere between the $5-$15 range, you know? If you can afford it, of course.

I aim to pay $15 next Friday. Is anyone else with me? Anyone tried one of these offers out? What do you think of the Humble Bundle?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Modern Combat 3 on Android

Are you a gamer that loves Call of Duty, Battlefield, and other online first person shooters for your PC or console? Do you own an Android device?

About a year ago, I remember hearing about a game called "Modern Combat" that was available on the Android Market of the time. I downloaded the game and it was okay for my HTC Evo 4G. It reminds gamers more of a game like a 90's Counter-Strike than anything. I never tried the third, but since getting my new Samsung Galaxy SIII...I've been really getting into mobile gaming. And by mobile gaming, not only my PS Vita (Resistance: Burning Skies is awesome btw!) but also my Android phone. The new and more modern processor and RAM allows for better graphics and better play. Game developers have been around for a while and know what mobile phone gamers like and don't like and are getting very good.

For most console and PC gamers that play CoD, Modern Combat may, at first, sound like another goofy rip-off, but the game is so much more. I actually put down my 360 controller to pick up my phone and play this over an online Battlefield 3 match.

Mobile gaming has evolved since it first came into play in the early 2000's. We first started out with simple games like Snake and Tetris which were really meant for if you were on long trips, waiting at the DMV, at school, your Gameboy's batteries were dead, or something like that. The games were never intended to be played solely at home and replace your PlayStation or Nintendo 64 but to just give you something on the go when you get bored and want something to do for the next 15 minutes. Now, gaming has gotten to a point where you choose between your home console or computer and your phone.

Modern Combat 3 has certainly earned its respect from someone like me that thoroughly has enjoyed FPSes since first being introduced to the genre with Halo: Combat Evolved almost 10 years ago.

Now, before I go into too much detail, I've got to say that I have yet to check out the online multiplayer, which, there is such a thing in this game. I've been messing in the campaign so far and it is really good. The story is actually decent and the graphics are exquisite, not only by mobile gaming standards, but even comparable to other systems like the PSP or the original Xbox.

Fans of most recent CoD titles will really feel at home with this game. Of course, the controls are a bit tricky to master but you can get used to it over time. My phone has a 4.7 inch screen, so things are a bit different when comparing to other phones that may have a 4.3 or less inch screen. I have not tried this game with a physical keyboard although I would like to try it. It is said that a micro-USB male to female port can be attached to the Galaxy SIII and allow plug-and-play devices like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 wired controllers to work with the phone. I would really like to try this with MC3. But the on-screen controls are annoying at first, but after a while of playing, you get used to it and find your own style.

The game is around $5 so no worrying about paying too much and not liking the game. Admittedly, I was skeptical so I borrowed an .apk from a friend and installed it, loved it, and decided to purchase my own copy. Apparently the game is made differently for different devices, so don't try doing this if your friend has an HTC Evo and you have a Samsung Galaxy. It might work, but it won't give you the best experience that the actual game can give you. Plus, consider supporting the creative and hard-working minds behind this awesome title. Gameloft deserves lots of credit for this game and I am happy to say that I recommend this game to any FPS lovers.

What's your take on the game? Have you played online? With a controller? Let me know your experience with the game.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

iPhone 5

The news came in this morning about the iPhone and the internet still hasn't shut up about the newly announced device.

I, admittedly, haven't read too much into it nor have I seen the full presentation. But from I have heard about the device, it doesn't sound like Apple added any of the features that many people were hoping they'd add like external memory, etc. Obvious features were added like 4G LTE across all three carriers, a larger screen, and enhanced hardware like a faster processor.

Personally, I am glad that I didn't wait and went ahead for my Samsung Galaxy SIII based solely on what little I have read on the device.

Many people are still wondering whether they should wait for the iPhone 5 to be released or to get a Galaxy SIII. In my opinion, I'd do it all the same again and get the Galaxy SIII.

I would like to check out the new Apple device and hold it to see for myself what it's about, but my guess right now is that I'm going to be disappointed.

But that wasn't the only highlight of the conference. A new version of iTunes is coming, new iPod Touches, new iPod Nano, iOS 6's announcement, and more. Everyone wants to see the iPhone and most internet searches are trying to see more information on the iPhone 5.

Friends and I discussed the new devices and announcements. One of my cousins talked a bit about the new colors for the iPod Touch and its increased screen size which has gotten my attention. I do use iTunes so the new release sounds interesting to me too.

What are your guys' thoughts on this announcement? The online community seems ripped in two. Many people's contracts are up soon and are contemplating leaving Android for iPhone while others are refusing to make a switch to iOS. Most of the people that I know that have iPhones are saying that they look forward to upgrading to the new device. None seem unhappy with their current iPhone.