Monday, October 10, 2011

Qwikster Abandoned!

I woke up this morning to an interesting chunk of news on Twitter. "Qwikster" was trending again, so I took a click to see... and what do I find?

Netflix abandons Qwikster; keeping services together under one name.

A lot of the reasoning behind this is because their stocks started crashing and again they had an uproar about changing their services.  However, they didn't really lose anyone over it yet.  So, they decided to just leave things be, and also stated that there will be no more crazy price changes ahead, because they want to start respecting their customers.

So, to all, Netflix is still Netflix, and Qwikster has disappeared.

For More Information:

Here's what the official e-mail says:

Dear Natalie,
It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs.
This means no change: one website, one account, one password…in other words, no Qwikster.
While the July price change was necessary, we are now done with price changes.
We're constantly improving our streaming selection. We've recently added hundreds of movies from Paramount, Sony, Universal, Fox, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, MGM and Miramax. Plus, in the last couple of weeks alone, we've added over 3,500 TV episodes from ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, USA, E!, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, ABC Family, Discovery Channel, TLC, SyFy, A&E, History, and PBS.
We value you as a member, and we are committed to making Netflix the best place to get your movies & TV shows.
The Netflix Team

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs, you will be missed

R.I.P. Steve Jobs: 1955-2011

I'm not an Apple fan by any means, but yesterday the technology community lost a great innovator to Pancreatic cancer.  Steve Jobs passed away peacefully after a long and hard battle against the cancer, shortly after he stepped down from his CEO position back in August.
Steve Jobs revolutionized Apple, along with the way we techies look at technology and innovation.  The iPod, iPhone... the entire "i" line made a completely new world of sorts and a new era for computers.  At age 56, there was still much innovation that could have come from this man.  Hopefully, one day, we won't lose amazing people to cancer.

One of my favorite quotes from him is, "Life is short. Don't waste it living someone else's." I love that.  It's so true.

Some news about his death, his obituary, etc.:::::

Such a great man.  You will be missed, Steve.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Changes to Netflix!

Oh, Netflix.  How I've come to love your streaming service.  I know I was a late adopter, and actually joined in after the split, but I know the history.  Netflix made it big based off of their DVD rental service, where there were no late fees, DVDs were shipped to your house, and you could create a queue online for it to send you each time you returned a DVD.  Then, Netflix brought in a streaming service, with a wide selection of movies to stream instantly to your computer, internet capable TV, gaming system, or even your smartphone.

But then, Netflix split the services in half, and charged the same amount... but twice.  You have to pay the $7 for streaming, and then another $7 for DVDs if you would opt to use both.

This had led to quite a bit of uproar.  People only found out about this based off of one e-mail just saying it was happening, and oh, too bad, you will now be getting charged twice.

Netflix had to respond.  They were losing customers.  So they came up with this new idea---create a second business out of it, and entitle the DVD service as Qwikster.  Which is all fine and dandy, but it means that the services are no longer combined, which is still making people angry.

However, there is definitely some benefits to this move.  Qwikster will be offering video game rentals now, which is quite a big deal.  Netflix will also be starting to offer exclusive "video channel" TV shows, the first being called "Game of Cards."

What do you think?  Are you excited for Qwikster?  Just sticking to Netflix Streaming?  Angry all together?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fake Google certificates, along with potential other major sites, sold and hacked

Read it Here

Fake Certificates for Google, as well as potentially Mozilla, Microsoft, and other large companies, were sold and compromised, allowing for tens of thousands of Gmail accounts to get hacked and personal information stolen.  Due to a loophole in international law, these fake certificates were able to be issued to a group of hackers, and so far the total issued counts at 534.

This attack seems to be primarily affecting Iranians, with 60,000 and counting being compromised, but there is still a decent chance that many others have been hacked, perhaps globally.  Only time will tell the true velocity of this attack.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Computer Chip Skin?

Yeah, I'm one who fears the "Big Brother" syndrome, but this is kind of cool nonetheless.

Scientists have developed the "EES" or electronic epidermal system, which is a computer chip that attaches under the skin and tracks the movements of the body.  It flexes naturally with the skin and appears almost like a barcode tattoo.  It can bend, twist, expand, and contract, and none of this will affect the integrity of the chip.

Okay, so what's the use?

According to: This Website:

"Our paper demonstrates our ability to monitor ECG (as a monitor of heart disease and metabolism), EMG (as a measure of, among other things, gait during walking) and EEG (as a measure of cognitive state and awareness).
We have also shown that these same devices can stimulate muscle tissue to induce contractions. When combined with sensing/monitoring, such modes of use could be valuable in physical rehabilitation. We also have interest in sleep monitoring (for sleep apnea), and neo-natal care (monitoring premature babies, in particular)."

I encourage you to read that entire article. When used properly, this will be an extensive medical breakthrough.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Google Power, Why I hate 3D, and the new virus dillema

If you haven't already heard, Google made a $12.5 billion investment to acquire Motorola Mobility, giving the Android OS a true home of its own, instead of apartments for rent.  Google intends for this purchase to increase the availability of the Android OS, increase sales, and be able to meet the demands of customers.  For further information, go here.

Studies have shown that 3D technology is both no better for the enjoyment than 2D and puts a strain on eyes and an increased chance of headaches.  People who watched a 2D movie had the same reactions and emotions from the movie as those who watched its more expensive 3D counterpart, but more importantly is the health risks of 3D technology.  Because the eyes are not adapted to watching something that is virtual 3D, the eye has to continuously readjust to continue causing the affect, putting additional strain on the muscles in the eyes.  Also, this strain can cause headaches in many individuals, especially when watching something 3D for an extended period of time.  For further information, go here.

There's a lovely little trickster of a virus going around right now, and it is commonly known as the "Windows Update Virus."  What this does is presents itself as a legitimate Windows Update, then proceeds to install itself and restart your computer.  The moment your computer restarts, the virus finishes its installation and infect the machine.  It has yet to be shown the extent of damage it can cause, but so far ranges throughout damaging the operating system.  It may also steal information off the PC or create a bot on your network.  The removal is nearly impossible and can cause serious issues within your PC registry.  These are the directions I have found to delete the virus so far.  Tips against this virus are to only install Windows Updates if you choose them yourself, through Windows Update, and do not update anything unless you know where it is coming from.

That's all for now, just a quick roundup!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Myhosting--a home for gamers

Looking for a place to host your LAN parties, or an indie game that you have designed yourself? Do you have a use for a virtual private server? Myhosting has been in business since 1997 and offers several hosting services ranging from Domain names to VPS hosting.

What is a virtual private server?

From myhosting...

VPS functions like a stand-alone server.

When logged in, you can command, execute and customize your server environment as if you had your own dedicated server.

Each VPS includes the following dedicated-like features:
  • File System 
  • Users/Permissions 
  • Processes 
  • Full root access 
  • IP address(es) 
  • Firewall features (including Ports, Tables, Filtering and routing rules) 
  • Use of customized system libraries and configuration files 
Myhosting offers several options for VPS, including Windows and Linux solutions, billing system software, web application platforms, virtualization platforms, and many different levels of VPS to choose from. The VPS offerings start at $15.95/month, which is an exceptionally reasonable rate compared to what you may pay elsewhere.

Need more reasons to choose VPS? From

The perks of virtualization
VPS servers benefit from a number of features that make it equal if not better than running your own dedicated servers. These include:
  • Fast setup 
  • Highly scalable 
  • Root access 
  • Reboot, shutdown and upgrade on demand 
  • Install any application 
  • Change any file 
Guaranteed resources
As you can see on our Custom VPS page, you can allocate and re-allocate VPS resources in real-time and on demand and without the help of a technician. Just point, click, upgrade!
  • CPU 
  • RAM 
  • Disk Space 
  • Bandwidth 
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) onCloud™ provides a powerful interface that allows you to manage an endless number of VPS, shared hosting, Exchange email and other web services in a tightly integrated control suite.

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Each VPS can shrink or expand dynamically.

While guaranteed resources will always be met, a VPS will automatically expand to the near full potential of the server if those resources are available.

A VPS is designed to perform with SLAs in mind.

VPS servers are able to provide dedicated resources just like a dedicated server so that your website, application or other processes get absolute priority.

Consider VPS hosting through MYHOSTING.COM!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Google+: A review

Today, I am going to do a quick review of Google+, and mention where I think its strengths and weaknesses are, and where it might be going.  If you aren't familiar, Google+ is the new social media website through Google.  You may have seen the +1 buttons popping up on some of your favorite websites next to the Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons.

Google+ allows you to "follow" people by adding them to circles.  This is kind of cool in itself.  People do not know what circle you add them to, only that you added them.  You can filter the news feed from the people you are following based upon the circles that you have created.

There are basic circles that come created for you, but you could even make a circle "Raving Lunatics" if you would really like, and as such the people you add to it WOULD NOT KNOW that you classified them as raving lunatics.  I find this humorous and quite honestly very useful.

Google+ is very plain and simple, with a little bit of color, but the basic black and white of Google, keeping everything streamlined and basic.  I love this as well.

When you "+1" something, it is added to a list on your personal page.  It doesn't overwhelm your profile, and any posts you make can either be made public, hidden to just your circles, OR the best part, hidden to only specific circles.  Want to post something horribly raunchy and don't want your grandmother to see it?  Hide it from your "family" circle and post it to just your "friends" instead!  Also, people can be added to multiple circles for this purpose, so that it may be a family member, but one that would find your post funny, you can add them to a list that things will be shared with.

Google+ is also interestingly politically correct, having not two but three gender options, adding in the "other" category.  You also are not required to show your gender in your profile if you do not wish to.  This allows for Trans, Androgynous, etc. identified individuals to express themselves as they feel comfortable.

Another cool feature is the "Hangout."  You can have a webcam conference with your friends via Google+, which is just kind of a neat streamlined feature that also has you use Google+ for several different options.  Google Chat is also incorporated into Google+.

My only real issues with Google+ right now is that I don't have a use for it quite yet.  People are still mainly using Facebook and haven't made the switch yet.  It is also a by invitation only standing yet, although you are allowed to send (at least) 150 invites out to friends to get them onto Google+.

I think one other issue is that it's pretty much just Facebook of old, or even Tumblr combined with Twitter and MySpace, but with more privacy.  It's not exactly something new and innovative, other than that they haven't ruined it like Facebook did.  (For further information, Google Mark Zuckerburg's Sister--- we will talk about this at a later date)

If you get an invite to Google+, you might as well try it out for kicks and giggles.  You will probably at least enjoy it and use it periodically.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Android Malware Issues Arising Fast

Well fellow Android users, another malware has been discovered that is being distributed through apps in the Android Marketplace.  This one is interesting... it activates when you make a phone call, and records your phone conversations.  This is in an attempt to steal bank accounts and private information.

Gotta admit, it's kind of revolutionary... but also extremely invasive.  So, some tips as to how to avoid this malware:

  • Only download apps from trusted sources
  • Do not automatically update your apps: manually update
  • Have an Anti-virus (Lookout is my choice!
It's pretty simple, quite like a computer.  By being cautious and knowing what you are doing on your phone, you can avoid this attack.

For more information, go to this link.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vita and PS3 Will Rival Wii U

The Wii U has already found its competition from Sony.  It's looking more and more grim for Nintendo.

The Playstation Vita, Sony's "PSP 2" per say, will be compatible with new PS3 games as an additional controller, Sony has announced.  While it seems like Sony has stolen this idea from Nintendo, they have also made their merchandise sound more enticing than that of Nintendo's once again.  The Playstation Vita is going to be a high-powered handheld gaming system, and with many people already having a PS3, it won't be that difficult to promote.

Also, unlike the Wii U, the "controller" will be a separate gaming system and have additional purpose, unlike the Wii U and it's touch screen and compatibility, but inability to be used anywhere besides with the console.

For me, I will be more likely to buy the Vita (not a PS3 though) purely because the quality is amazing, the gameplay is awesome, and it is once again innovative, but not to an extreme (hear that Nintendo? Stop trying so hard!)  I feel bad for not backing Nintendo... again... but I'm starting to worry about them.  Is this Nintendo's last stand?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tech News Roundup

More Nintendo News, Cyber Crime News, and Also... News on the Fiscal Failure of America.

In the Nintendo Spectrum...

The well known Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, has taken a whopping 50% pay cut over the failure of the 3DS, because Nintendo is hitting it hard.

What exactly does this mean for Nintendo?  Well for one, he's not the only one taking a pay cut.  Representative directors are taking 30% pay cuts, and other execs are taking 20% cuts.

I'm convinced Nintendo can turn themselves around, but it's definitely going to be some time.  This famous game business is falling fast, unfortunately, and have lost the ability to keep up with new technologies.

For more about this information, check out this link to hear more about what Iwata has said, as well as how much money Nintendo has been losing from the 3DS fail.

On to Cyber Crime News...

It's actually fairly old news, having surfaced over a month ago, but the investigations are still underway, and it shows the type of world that exists underneath the surface on the internet.  Since I am studying cyber crime, it's cases like this that encourage me to pursue this field in order to take down the criminals like these.

The Lincolnshire pedophile ring.  Four "average" guys building and hosting a web server that held over 5 million images of porn. It spanned 45 countries and some of the images were so awful that the investigators had to seek regular counseling and therapy for the things that they were seeing.

Quoted from this article,

""When we searched Ian Frost's home in 2006, we found a huge server sat in the lounge and soon realised it wasn't a routine investigation and contacted Ceops (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre)," he said.

"We started to look at what was on the server and realised we were dealing with the commercial distribution of indecent images of children around the globe.
"Officers looked at five million images and read through one-and-a-half million emails.
"We found out they had been running a news service for seven years and had been using it to distribute indecent images to 45 countries, earning themselves about £2m," said Det Supt Gibson."
This is not the average case by any means, but it happens, and criminals like this need to be stopped.  Hopefully everyone involved will have to face the justice they deserve.
Finally, the fiscal failure of America...
My god. My country is a failure. APPLE has more cash than the USA itself.  Check it out HERE.  I'm embarassed.  It's not a huge gap (okay, when counting in billions of dollars of course) but perhaps, just maybe, Obama needs to start paying attention to the capital giants he "hates" so much, stop taxing the crap out of them, and instead start running a country where money doesn't grow on trees.
I don't like Steve Jobs very much, but at the rate America is going, he might as well buy the country.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Poor Nintendo...

Oh Nintendo, I've stood by you for so long, and I may just choose to very soon.

You're 3DS is doing exactly what everyone predicted: failing.  Not good enough technology, horrible game titles and game play, and competing in a market where this just isn't what people are looking for.

I'm personally still a fan of this system, using it on a regular basis...

First, let's start with This Article. Nintendo is predicting profits that are 82% lower than last year.  Considering their new release of technology, this is pretty depressing.  Not to mention they just announced the Wii U at E3, which seems to have hurt them worse than helped them.  While this is sad news for Nintendo... it may be good news for potential customers that have been holding out.

It has been announced that starting in August (so in only a few days) the 3DS will be reduced in price to $170, a whopping $80 slashed off the price.  That price even makes me consider it.  Consider, but not actually get.

I'm a huge fan of the DS, and surprisingly, this system is still kicking.  The sales are still existent and games are still being produced for the system.  Maybe, Nintendo, you should just work with what you already have for a little while.  The Vita is going to kick your tokas out the door anyway.

This is the part that really gets me, though, right here. The iOS is beating the poop out of Nintendo in general, and this could be a very sad day for us Nintendo fans.  I can't stand Apple, as many of you already realize, but come on. Should this even be a legitimate comparison? An operating system against a game system?  You tell me.  I think it's just shameful.

Oh. One more thing.  Invest in Nintendo while they are down.  I'm considering it.  I have faith that the company will come back once again!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday, no More...

Breaking news...


After YouTube's little slip last week of attempting to charge people for watching Rebecca Black's "Friday," Ark Music, the producers of the infamous video, pulled the video and are taking actions against YouTube as they feel that they were being exploited.  Come on.

While this sort of seems like a blessing since her song was SO annoying, it also brings about the sadness that there is no longer an office joke for Fridays.  Rebecca Black, our favorite partying 13 year old with the creepy old man singing about switching lanes.

Don't believe me?

Look for yourself.

Heard this report from Hypable...

So, in honor of the memory of Rebecca Black...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Technology Recycling!!!

Through I am entering for a scholarship, which has led to an important discussion: The process of recycling technology items, and the reasons why you should not just throw these items into a dumpster.

Many items, such as old CRT monitors and televisions, contain harmful, toxic materials that cannot go into the normal landfills.  However, most people do not understand the harm that this can do to the environment.  Cities and townships often have "e-cycling drives" that for approximately $1-$5 per item, while other times organizations such as Boys and Girls Club will collect the items for free as a fundraiser, working with recycling companies who will pay them for the items they collect.

So please, take care of your environment! E-Cycle!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

E3 Review #1: The impending doom of the Wii U

The Wii U... has Nintendo done it again? And by done it again, I mean, have they created the next "Virtual Boy" level failure?  As you may have heard, the 3DS sales are minimal, and while there is much satisfaction by those who own one, many people don't feel like investing in it.

The Wii U isn't proving to be much better.

After it's announcement at E3, the Nintendo stocks fell significantly, confusing the creators and business men of Nintendo.  Why are people so wary of this system?  Perhaps it is because once again Nintendo is failing on computing power, with analysts seeing the Wii U as only 50% more powerful than the PS3.  Perhaps it is the fact that the controller is the size of a tablet PC and incorporates way too many things, EXCEPT a true analog stick.  Once again, Nintendo is trying to outdo everyone by including too much, and it's going to burn them this time around.

What is that? A handheld system?  NO, it's just the controller silly, the rest is going to be on your TV.
Is this something I'm planning on investing in?  Hell no, but I may invest in Nintendo while their stocks are down, because maybe I can actually get some value out of this piece of crap.  Read the linked article at the top to learn more about the failures of Nintendo this time around.

Now, to be fair, I must be nice to Nintendo.  I've loved them since the beginning.  I rebuild the original NES's as a side job.  Nintendo has done some pretty revolutionary things, and the 3DS and even the original DS were some of them.  The Wii is still top in motion technology, even against the Kinect or Move.  But sometimes Nintendo tries to outdo themselves and they begin to go to far.  The Wii U seems to be the "too far" moment.  But who knows?  Maybe I will own one sooner than I think...

Next time... the Playstation Vita!

Nintendo Wii U? Is it a fail??

Boy has it been a while since I posted in this blog! Well hopefully I can start keeping it up to date again.  Just a note for something to look forward to in the next few days (and posts) is an overview of the information released at this year's E3 convention... especially concerning Nintendo's Wii U and my personal opinions on it.

As for now, a little update... I've been away because my mother, my surrogate father, my mom's best friend, and my friend's dad all passed away during the last school year and I just had a lot of stress under my belt to keep up with both classes and work, much less my two blogs.  I will be starting back up on these things slowly, as well as starting a new blog, name TBA, but it will be about identity/gender struggles, religious debates, sexual identity, and pretty much topics of confusion for many individuals from a completely unique perspective---mine.