Congratulations it's a... Blog?

Congratulations it's a... Blog? Well now that it's here I really don't know what to do with it. Guess we will see...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Computer Tip of the Week

As you may have gathered from past posts I don't like ads. Not for what they are but how they are presented. The fact of the matter is that companies have to advertise there is no way around it and I don't blame them for doing it. More particular I am referring to web based ads.

Just about every website you go to these days is going to have some form of advertising, again this is fine for the most part. These ads will help pay for the site that your visiting. The way these ads usually work is that the person running the site will get a very small amount of money (like under 10cents) for each person who clicks on the ad. There are some sites that will plaster ads everywhere to the point it becomes difficult to click anywhere with out inadvertently clicking on an ad. The site will load with a splash screen with an ad you have to close before getting to the site and the top, bottom both edges, as well as a few in the middle will have banner ads. some of them will expand if you move your mouse over them. Then every time you click anywhere it will throw up ads and pop ups any chance they get.

This kind of behavior is unacceptable in my mind and I tend to avoid sites like this as much as possible. But there are times when you need information or what ever is on the site your accessing. Don't worry there is still hope there is a few programs out there that can help to block those pesky ads.

My recommendation is using an add-on for Google Chrome called AdBlock. Not only do I find that Chrome is a faster browser than IE or Firefox but also AdBlock is built in the browser so you don't have to have any extra configuration or separate programs running. You just need to follow the link above and click the install button and that's it. It is a free and legal program it also comes from the Chrome Web Store that checks it for viruses.

Once installed it will remove most ads that load on websites. So far I haven't seen any negative effects of using this. most ads don't show up at all but other times you'll see boxes where ads should be but are left blank.

Some people will argue that blocking ads will have a negative effect on the "Free Web" meaning sites that generate income by ads alone will be unable to maintain their site if too many people block the ads. I say that income generating ads have already been tainted and destroyed by those greedy people out there that over populate sites with ads as well as tricking and or in some cases forcing people to open ads that they don't want to click on.

On top of that ads are getting to the point where it is becoming a security risk. Some ads don't have the honest motive of selling a product or service. Some ads (not most) have malicious intent of infecting your computer with spyware, malware or viruses. The most common ads like this that come to mind are the ones that try to convince you that you have won something or that your computer has some kind of errors.

Last thing I want to mention on this post is that, First: you haven't won anything nor will you win anything just visiting a website. Second: There is no way a website can determine if your computer is infected or has errors or software problems or anything like that. (only exception to that is there is some sites that can setup scans and such but it requires that you download stuff before hand and I would recommend that you avoid it unless you know 100% it's a trust able site)

Monday, April 25, 2011

And They Wan't More Money!

So I play a lot of games and try not do pour too much money into it but lately it seems that the game companies are doing everything possible to suck the most money out of each game. Above is a screen shot from Portal 2 where you can deck out your character with fun little decals. Many games come with customization especially when it comes to online play, it's a way to distinguish your individuality in a sea of other players who look exactly like yours does. Well in Portal 2 they opened up online play that allows you to run though mind bending puzzles with a partner. With this new multi-player mode like many other companies Valve added the option to customize your self but for a price. Prices listed are British Pounds and seriously hope that the price isn't a direct conversion to Dollars because it would be putting it at around $7 just to make it so you have a little color. To top it all off your already paying $60 (console) or $50 (PC) just to play the game in the first place.

I point out Portal 2 because it just recently came out and was the most outrageous. Many other games have done similar things like Dragon Age 2 looking to sell DLC (downloadable content) before the game was even released. As well, many MMO (massively multi-player online-game) games selling in game items for money. The major problem with all of these is that it's something that really should have been included in the price of the game.

Improving a game that has been released and expecting some monetary compensation for theses improvements isn't that big of a deal and has been happening for many years. Usually this is done though an expansion pack for a game. Expansions usually cost a little less than the original game but much more than the cost of DLC but for the most part the amount of content included in an expansion is near the amount of content included in the original game and well worth the cost. MMOs will often charge a monthly fee and if I like the game enough I am willing to spend the money due to the fact that MMOs are frequently updated and new content added with no extra cost beyond the subscription fees.

Free-to-Play games have been starting to become more popular recently. They offer the game for free but support the game though micro-transactions that range from game items that effect game play or cosmetic changes that doesn't effect the game. Those are reasonable to a point just because the game is free in the first place. I feel like blabbing more about the free to play games but feel that should be saved for another post.

One last thing to point out that really drives me nut. XBOX Live, yes Microsoft can't keep it's hand out of the video game cookie jar. Imagine you just your hands on an XBOX 360 pop in one of your favorite multi-player games like Call of Duty: Black Ops (my favorite) just to findout that before you start tearing it up with thousands to players around the world you need to pay for your game... again $10 per month or $60 per year. I play on the PlayStation 3 for a few reasons mainly because of XBOX Live I have different complaints with Sony but at least the PlayStation Network doesn't require a monthly fee. I really despise having to pay for a game that I already payed for. Then you throw in the the online markets similar to Ipod store and the Android Market and your throwing in even more fuel on the multi-billion dollar market. Better stop there or I'll just keep raging.

*Just wanted to point out that I actually like Dragon age 2 and Portal 2 just get ticket at the extent of the greed

Monday, April 11, 2011

Update: I'm still alive

Sorry fell behind there was a new release of IE and Firefox so I've kind of held off to see if Chrome is coming out with anything new. So no promises it will come when it's ready.

On a side note I threw up a link on the right to download TeamViewer. This is to download just the quick one time access to you can easily share your computer screen with another person mostly so if I need to help out some one they can click there. If your interested more you should check out, it's free for personal use.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Sorry wasn't in the mood to post anything this week, I'll try to pick up next week. Battle Browser should be on the way soon.

Right now I just want to talk about something that just ticks me off. Though I do complain about it I really don't mind advertising, unless it's in some way intrusive. Let me give you some examples of good advertising and bad advertising.

Good: Banner ads on a website.
Bad: Excessive banners or ads that just have a picture that says download, play now, or in anyway try to tick people to click on them with out them knowing what they are doing. (this is partly controlled by the person who manages the site so shame on them)

Good: Junk mail (ya no one likes it but I wouldn't call it bad... well unless it is)
Bad: Getting 4+ letters from the same company everyday for several weeks in a row (this happened to me, I won't name names but it was a bank and they seemed to be Chaseing something)

Good: Funny or informative ads.
Bad: Ads that just sit and say why their competitors are so bad with out saying why they are good.

Anyway to get to my point there was an update to Windows on my work computer the other day and they had the nerve to change my homepage in internet explorer to Bing. They changed it because it's Microsoft and Bing is Microsoft's new search engine and they want to make sure everyone knows about it. Pretty much if they try to change or force advertising in any way is a bad way to advertise. Junk mail can be tossed, banners can be ignored in the end that's your choice, remove the choice and it's a big no no.

So ya I'll never use Bing because of the way they try to present it. By all means set it to that by default but don't change it once it's already been set to something else you big jerk!

K all done.