Monday, November 22, 2010

3D modeling using wings 3D

I apologize for the delays since my last update I've been working very hard on many new projects and it's during the holiday season, so I've had many family obligations as well. With that out of the way let us begin this quick overview of this great program called Wings3D.



Wings 3D is an open source 3D modeler, and one of the first to use such simple and intuitive interfaces as to allow a person with no prior experience to jump in and begin development on a model. It's no surprise that many people use 3DS Max instead, but this is one expensive piece of software. If you are a beginner all the added functions can actually make 3DS more confusing then it needs to be.

With that said one of the most intuitive functions that can be found in Wings3D is the ability to sculpt your work as if it were a piece of clay. You can enter sculpting mode by clicking on tools followed by sculpt. If at any point you would like to try it out for yourself just follow this link to the Wings 3D webpage. The sculpt function can be invaluable in adding specialized details to your work and streamlines the process of moving faces and meshes.

I'm no pro by any means when it comes to 3D modeling, however, I would say my work speaks for itself if a Noob like me can create something like this, so can you. You cannot hope to understand the time and detail that goes into each model until you have tried to make one yourself. Whether it is for a movie, a game, or even a comic book rendering you are sure to enjoy the time spent even more so as the completed project begins to pop up on your screen. (BTW Wings 3D can use shaders to produce images for all 3)

Overall my first model in wings including, face, body, and quite a bit of detail took me approximately 8 hours. I did start with a model prior to the one I ended up with, but I didn't like it, so I scrapped it. After learning the Wings 3D functions, I knew I could do so much better.
In short if you need a good modeling program that is completely free to use, works on multiple operating systems, and utilizes 64bit technology, then Wings is for you. Unfortunately once you complete your model you will have to export it to 3DS if you wish to make it move.

There is a free alternative to 3DS Max called Anim8or which I have been using for a while now to make stand alone and moving models. Wings3D is capable of exporting to many different formats which gives you the possibility to export into a compatible format then import into Anim8or and add skeletal structure for making movies.

Downloads,

Wings3D
Anim80r

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Halloween Games For All.

Well I figured it was about time I got into the spirit of Halloween and what better way to do that than to slap together a quick flash game that lets you throw Butterfingers at Jackolanterns?

I certainly hope your up to the task. Can you feed the infinite wave 900 Butterfingers to complete the game? Just in case you do. Let me know and I'll update the game with a new level, and some more creatures of the night. I must warn you that you have no lives in this Halloween game. If you are shot it resets immediately, so don't go getting yourself killed!

Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it. Flash CS5 makes Flash programming a breeze less then 24 hours and I'm already getting the hang of it.

If you want a quick start to programming Flash you should check out this Game Innovator blog post, using the source found there, I quickly had this small project done. This post is a bit old and targetted at CS4. However, the scripts still function in CS5 very well.  Happy Halloween!

Don't forget to drop by my article Halloween is Here on AC for some tips on keeping safe and finding great local attractions.

Update : I've decide to write an article detailing the process of creating this game using CS5 since GameInnovators post appears to be dead. You can find the details below.


How to Make a Flash Game

If you've been wondering how to get started with flash game development, then wonder no more. To get started all you need to do is download the latest flash development tool, Flash CS5 from Adobe. Don't worry, I know $250 seems steep, but you can quickly get up and running with the 30 day trial. If that's not long enough to get you started you might want to try something a bit easier fist. (Casual gamesCultureDevIndustry)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Latest reviews and tech posts on AC

Is Clear Internet Service Any Good?


Clear Went by the Name of Clear-Wire Prior to a Lawsuit Involving Unfair Lease Contracts

Many people these days seek an on the go internet provider, and Clear can certainly fill that need. The unfortunate problem lies in their inherent inability, to provide wireless access to every region, due to the fact that Clear is based on 2.6Ghz wireless signals. (CultureGadgetsIndustryServicesWeb)
2.5 / 5 Read full review >>
What Energy Is, Where it Comes From

The actual definition of energy leaves it very open to interpretation, energy is any force that compels a change in its environment, words with similar meanings include go, pep, zip, elan, zeal, zest, drive, force, power, and vitality. Since energy has such a broad description, it's a very hard thing to measure, when a person says he has lots of energy, it is left to the person being spoken to for interpretation. (CultureIndustry)

Best Web Design Software Programs


These 5 Web Development Software Programs Will Satisfy Your Need for Web Content with Ease

When you need to build a webpage right away, and don't know anything about HTML, you often turn to web design software programs as a solution. Even people who before would have written their code out in pure HTML, may be interested in using some web development software programs to "spruce up" their webpages, or learn to use more advanced features of web design, like XHTML or PHP scripting. Where to turn for the best web development software programs currently on the market though? (CultureIndustrySoftwareWeb)

Top 5 All in One PCs


The PCs You Can Put in Your Living or Bedroom Without Getting Crowded.

The term PC was coined by IBM in the early eighties to mean Personal Computer, the first in their line was the 8088 and was about the size of a large suitcase weighing at least 35 lbs. Because most people don't have a lot of space for a computer and recent technology has allowed us to manufacture smaller and smaller electronics, the all in one PC has been created. iMacs can't really be called PCs and so they won't be included in this list of the top 5 all in one PC. However, you should know that they were the original all in one computer. Now let's take a look at those top 5 all in one PCs. (AudioCultureGadgetsGamingHi-techPCPC hardwareVideo)
I hope you enjoy my reviews and find them useful, there are many many more to come keep coming back for more. If you haven't done so already, you can follow my blog on face book at the bottom right, subscribe to my feed, or follow me on Twitter for updates as soon as they become available. Hope to see you there.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Most anticipated games of fall/winter 2010/2011

Most Anticipated RPG Games of Fall/Winter 2010/2011


Each year a new line of RPG comes out, and each year we get to live a new adventure. The greatest RPG games will take you through an epic storyline, unmatched by any other, and the worst will do little more than entertain the weak minded of us. (CultureNintendo DSPCPSPXbox 360)

Most Anticipated FPS Games of Fall/Winter 2010/2011


One of the most interesting trends in the history of gaming is the FPS trend. Over the years this trend has grown from the original Wolfenstein 3D into a compendium of titles ranging from ID software's Doom to the more recent Modern Warfare line. One of the most compelling and interesting facades of this genre of video games, is the evolution from simple demon based single player games like Doom and Wolfenstein into games like Call of Duty and Modern Warfare. With each year bringing even more new technology, designs, and ideas to this genre, what are these gamers looking forward to the most this year? (Call of DutyCulturePCPS3Xbox 360)

Most Anticipated MMORPG Games of Fall/Winter 2010/2011


The MMORPG crowd is typically more loyal then the average consumer. When a person picks an MMO to play and invests a lot of time into it, it can become very difficult to pry them away from it for the next best thing. I for one have reached high levels in several MMORPGS and found myself having a lot a trouble quitting due to the sheer amount of time that I had invested into them, but these 5 MMO games of 2010 have me chomping at the bit to make the change even with the knowledge that I will have to start all over again. (Casual gamesCulture,Next-GenPC)
The greatest games of this year have yet to be realized, but they are coming very soon. Some are to be released this month, and some are to be released next month. Of all of these games the ones that I am anticipating the most are the RPG title Final Fantasy Four Heroes, Rage for the PS3, and Halo Reach which was released just a few days ago now!.

The most anticipated games can sometimes be a bust, but in the case of Halo Reach it has scored a 93 out of 100 for gamers interest of those who attended it's unveiling in Seattle Washington just the other day.If you want to get your hands on these titles odds are you are going to have to stand in a long line, I hope you have these most anticipated games of fall/winter 2010/2011 on pre-order.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Amazing New Military Technology: Greatest Military Inventions This Millennium




The military has brought us such great inventions as the Internet, then followed shortly after by the GPS system, we widely use as civilians. Now we are left to wonder, what other amazing technologies are they working on now?


Click on the image for the full story.

Cool Comic Book Technology that Should Be Made Real


This technology found in the comic books is just too cool to stay there. Here you will find five of the coolest comic book technologies that should be made real. This list is by no means all inclusive, but it contains some of the coolest in my opinion.


Click the picture for the full story.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to make a game.



Is this what your office looks like?

One of the most challenging parts about making a game is the software you will use. Determining which language to use, and learning to code the game in that language. Some people may find it reasonably easy to simply grab some C++ Libraries and start coding right out of Notepad, but for some of us we need to get our feet wet first.


Click on the image to get the full story.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Linux VS. Windows: Which is Best?

Still considering Windows? Well it does have it's pros no one can deny that.
Linux and Windows are not exactly fair competition. While Linux is on the prowl, the designation for 'king of the roost' still lies with Microsoft. The features you have come to expect from Microsoft remain even to this day.


Click the picture to get the full story.

Five Great Science Fair Projects


Think this would get you the gold?
Looking for some science fair projects which will give you the best bang for your buck? The Science fair is after all, a place to test your knowledge, build confidence, and create some interesting conversation pieces, so let me go over some of my old favorites that seem timeless and full of surprises.

Click the picture to get the full story.

5 Reasons AOL Should Have Quit a Long Time Ago

AOL Running? Stop them they have my money!
AOL, more commonly referred to as AO Hell, is one of the single worst service providers ever. AOL has been accused, and with good merit, more times then once, of collecting more then just passwords and billing information. This realization of just how bad AOL is came to me when I was doing some maintenance on my aunts computer. 


Click the running AOL man to get the full picture.

SEO for Google and the Caffeine Update

Got your attention yet?

SEO is 'Search Engine Optimization', and I'm going to delve into the very bowels of this beast, in the hopes to better explain some new and important optimization techniques, used to conquer Google. Google for the time being is the largest search engine receiving the largest amount of search queries.

To read the full story just click on that sultry Google babe.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How to change your screen resolution.




There Are a Lot of People Who Don't Know How to Change Their Screen Resolution

Not everyone knows what "Screen resolution" even means, so I'm writing this quick guide entitled "How to Change Your screen resolution" in order to assist some of the less knowledgeable people out there.

To get the full story simply click on the monitor.
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How to Change your OS

You should read about how to change your OS, if your tired of that clunky old OS, and it's time for a change. Windows upgrades, Linux, and other options.
Sound interesting? just click the windows logo to get the full story.

Friday, July 30, 2010

10 of the Best RPG Games of All Time


These are some of the greatest RPG games to date and I hope that you will all check them out. The story lines in these RPGs are involving, the graphics are excellent, and the game play is a little bit different in each one of them. For more information on any game in this list, simply click the game name in the subtitle.

click the picture to get the full story.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

5 Video Games You Love, and I Can't Stand

Tekken 6 Limited Edition Bundle for Xbox 360Image by Michael Kwan (Freelancer) via Flickr

While it stands to reason that some games are better than others, I just can't fathom how it is the majority vote is against me on such awful games as these. These games in my opinion are the pits of the video gaming industry. These are the games you love, and I hate. (Culture, PS3, Xbox 360)

Click the image to read the full story
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Top 5 Wireless speakers, get them while they're hot

AK Fest 2008Image by Wigwam Jones via Flickr



If you are the type of person who hates wires looming in the distance, hanging from walls, and spanning across your ceiling, but just loves the hi fidelity sound of a great speaker setup. Then what you need is the loudest set of wireless speakers you can get your hands on, and not just loud wireless speakers, but quality sounding professional audiophile approved devices.

Lucky for you I'm like you, and I've already done some research on the subject. While I may not be able to afford to buy them all, they sure make me drool, so lets get right down to it shall we? (AudioCultureGadgetsHi-techToys)

Click on the image for the full story.  
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

N4G Gaming News Site Review,


What is N4G?

N4G is a website which allows anyone to submit a story into news, the submission is then subjected to editorial approval of the community at large. If you just set up an account at N4G, you aren't ready to start approving posts just yet. Before you can approve posts, you need to do some submitting. Before you are accepted as a N4G editor, you have to submit and get approved 5 stories, movies, or pictures.

Click the logo to see full story.

What are you going to play?

Three yellow triangles, forming the first subd...Image via Wikipedia




Soon to be released are the Sony Playstation Move and the Xbox 360 Kinect as well as a the Nintendo 3Ds and a new Zelda so the question is what are you playing? At the time of writing I was looking at the new Zelda game "Zelda Skyward Sword" which looks to be truley interactive and a very compelling game to be certain.

 I've been playing RPG and action RPG type games since I was a kid and FPS shooters are just a turn off for me so I guess that would put them in the classification of "Games I hate, but everyone else seems to love".

Official North American cover art of Star Ocea...Image via Wikipedia
Some of the new titles to be released in this genre include Modern Warfare 2, Rage, and Killl Zone 3.

Though these titles look particularly spectacular in design graphics, and perhaps even innovation. They simply don't draw my attention away from the more interesting games.

Some of the current and upcoming titles that I just have to have include, Legend of Zelda : Skyward Sword, Star Ocean : The Last Hope, and Vandal Hearts : Flames of Judgment.

All these great RPG and adventure titles just make me want to rush out and buy them right away. In my opinion these are the top releases for 2010. Though far from perfect, they feature great intense story lines and progressive features, which by their very design pull you into the game. If you can play one of these games and not feel as though you are participating in the progression of events then there may be some thing wrong with you.

Here just have a look at Vandal Hearts : Flames of Judgement.


Star Ocean : Till The End Of Time was a fantastic game for the PS2 with an involving storyline and two possible stories though they didn't differ by very much. The game play design in this game was brilliant, nearly true real time battles with all of your characters, full control over a massive spell base, and more. The story line starts you off in a ship with your father, which crash lands on a strange planet.


The main character moves towards a strange device, and in a flash is teleported to a strange new universe! Here you face new creatures, and enemies the likes of which you have never seen before on an uncharted world. Since the PS2 Star Ocean was so great what do you think we can expect from the PS3 version? Everything the PS2 game gave us and better graphics of course!


So if you haven't decided what your next purchase should be yet, then heed my advice and find a great game like the ones I've mentioned. If the games you want to play aren't listed, then feel free to drop a comment.
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Five Most Hated Glitches in Video Games

This article will detail the inner workings of some of the games which are most notorious for having some really nasty glitches, bugs, and pitfalls. The games included in this list are all high quality games, they just have too many glitches to count and in some of the worst ways, so lets get right into it.


Click the picture for the full story.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Twitter Social Media, or Advertising Center?


The fundamental design of twitter from the very beginning has been to become one of the greatest marketing platforms ever according to the twitter founders themselves, so then, why today do so many insist that twitter is a social platform? (CultureServicesSoftwareTwitter)


Click the image to continue to the story.

How to Increase Wireless Network Signal

If your wireless network connection is lacking in performance, and feels like it's moving slower then snail mail, you might need to change a few things to get better performance.

→ What to consider in wireless networking ←


First consider how many wireless or high voltage devices you have in and around the house, as well as where they are located.

Second consider where your highest signal usage is and relocate the antennas so that they are pointed in that direction. After all the signal is the strongest at the tip of the antennas. If you have high voltage devices between your router and your wireless card or USB stick, then you may have problems with interference.

To read the full story click on the picture.

The Longest Games I've Ever Played.

I have certainly played a lot of long video games in my time. I love RPG games because they provide hours upon hours of entertainment, and many of them feature a re-playability level that far exceeds any other game genre. With that said here is my list of the top five longest video games I've ever played.


For the full story click the picture.

How to pick the netbook that's right for you

This article was inspired by a Twitter users request to me. Upon reading some of my other articles she promptly realized that I was well versed in technology and sent me a DM. In this DM she asked me "what netbook would suit me to use for work.paperwork n stuff."

Never mind the poor use of grammar, this is twitter after all. If you don't shorten everything you can't say much with that horrible limitation to 140 characters. Moving on, that inspired me to write the article you see before you now, "How To Pick A NetBook That's Right For You". There are many aspects which one must cover, but I'll try to keep this as simple as possible.

Click on the picture to be taken to the full story.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ten Gadgets Seniors Shouldn't Be Without

Whether at home relaxing or out at the mall doing some shopping. Your grandparents are always in jeopardy when it comes to falling down, having a stroke, or just plain forgetting where they are. If you are concerned about them, then there are some gadgets you can get them to assist them even when you aren't there. These are the ten gadgets your grandparents shouldn't be without.

For the full story just click on the title.

The Video Games You Love to Hate from 2010

Games you love to hate is an article containing a little bit of my quirky humor, 5 games you love to hate, and a little bit of information about each of these games. Things you will find inside are game play design structure, and the inevitable flaws of each game.

Click on the picture to continue to the full story.

Top 5 Universities for Software Engineering

There are many universities out there today, but just a few of them stand above the rest in terms of education, work connections, and reputation. In this article I plan to cover the top 5 universities for the career choice of software engineering. Lets get right into it shall we, I'm sure you are eager to see how they rate.

Click on the picture to continue to the full story.

Five of the most ridiculous gadgets.

Gadgets come in all sizes and flavors these days, from the biggest and greatest new energy saving technology, to the smallest almost insignificant barely used technology found in many stores around the globe, but there is a fine line. In the middle these categories is the category I like to call "The most ridiculous gadgets". These gadgets are either hilarious, useless, or just plain awkward to use, so lets take a look at five of these gadgets and see what makes them so intriguing.




Just click on the picture to continue to the full story.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Making some changes

I've made a few changes to the design you might notice. Please comment on whether or not you like the new 5 minute videos in the corner, and whether you think they should auto play or wait for the user to press play. Also comments are up, so you can leave your comments right here and I will read through them as I go.

News tips are welcome in the comments section or feel free to discuss anything else technology related. Please do not spam the comments with useless posts about your web store. If you would like to have a link added just contact me, I'm happy to create reciprocal links for anyone who requests them.

BP Oil Spill Capped Off

After 3 months of oil spilling into our oceans BP has finally managed to cap off the oil well and salvage what remains of our oceans. This was not an easy task to accomplish after the Deepwater Horizons oil rigs explosion. This was all due to the use of current technology. 20 years ago we couldn't even have built a cap of this magnitude, let alone managed to get a cap of that size and weight to the well. Today BP CEOs let out a sigh of relief.

The BP oil spill cleanup is not going to be so easy.

Although the efforts of cleanup aren't finished yet, they are coming closer to an end. There is more still to be done with the BP oil spill, this spill has devastated communities in large near, and around the Gulf Of Mexico.

Read more on the BP oil spill cleanup here "BP Oil Spill Capped Off"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Building your own arcade emulator box.


This is just my basic design that I've been working on for some time to build a retro gaming arcade box for my household. I think it will make for a fun and enjoyable project for any gamer enthusiast with some extra money to spend, and the time to under take this project. I will not be covering exact measurements because these will change from person to person based on their personal preferences, so lets get right to it.

The first thing you will need is some plywood, because you need to build a box to put your arcade emulator inside. Approximate measurements depending upon your height but for an average lets say this box should be around 5'5" to 5'10", depth is not so important. Take into consideration whether you intend to use a LCD or tubed TV, and that you will be storing a complete computer inside. You will not necessarily need the whole computer case since it will be stored in an enclosed box anyway. You could simply make additional mounts for all the computer hardware mainbord PCI cards and other PCBS.

Once you have the box built to your likings you will want to place your computer and TV/monitor into the box to ensure they fit. Next create some mounting shelfs inside the box for your monitor and other devices. Connect the computer, and the monitor, and find a place to mount your keyboard and mouse inside your box.

Take the top plate off the keyboard to expose the circuitry inside and decide which keys you would like to configure as your arcade buttons. Once you have decided which keys you will be using for the coin slot 8 button pad and joysticks, you may order the joysticks and buttons and begin taking measurements and cutting out the areas you want to have controls. A good resource for arcade gaming equipment such as buttons joysticks and more is happcontrols.

Put your new joysticks and buttons in place and using small "L" brackets on the inside you can mount them to the upper shelf. Access to the wiring should be reasonably convenient and buttons are simple devices, they only feature open and close circuits. 

Run two wires from each of your buttons to the appropriate keyboard key. With the top of the keyboard off you should see a large spaced out area with copper plates that don't contact each other. Each of these plates signifies another key on your keyboard. Once you find the copper plate that corresponds to the key you want to configure for use on the arcade emulators, run two wires from each button to the plate on the keyboard. One wire on each side of the split plate, this will create the effect of pressing that key on the keyboard every time the button is pushed and circuit opened.

The coin tray is going to be a little bit trickier, you see you will need a track for the coin to follow and two semi stiff wires, copper is preferable. The wires should connect to the keyboard the same as a button and run into the track. As the coin falls through this coin slot or track it will push down on the first wire making it contact the second wire opening the circuit and initiating the key on the keyboard, which you have assigned as P1 or P2 insert coin.

Last you have joysticks and these vary in wiring slightly, the ones you will want to get are 8 wire configurations, so that you have a separate circuit for each direction on the joystick. Once you have a good joystick you will wire it up to your keyboard following the same methods as the buttons. For each direction you will need to wire it direct to your keyboard. Or you can cheat and just mount one of these into the deck ;)

With everything now wired up it's time to fire it up and connect a USB keyboard to the computer so you can configure it. If you want this system to display only authentic arcade images and game selections, you may be interested in getting a bare bones Linux distribution, which will let you run nothing more then the X environment OpenGL acceleration and a program of your choosing, which would likely be MAME. MAME is the only real single emulator which emulates nearly every arcade game known to man though the quality of emulation hasn't been the best for me.

Keep in mind if you are using a USB controller you may have driver issues with Linux make sure the kernel your distribution is using is USB and HID(Human Interface Device) compliant.

Alternately you could use a simple windows install and set your emulator of choice in your startup group, but the configurations must be done prior to sealing your arcade box, or you will need to open it to gain access to the keyboard and mouse. ;) If you chose to use the easier USB controller method you may want to get a roller mouse and mount it into the deck as well, so that you can control the windows environment without more clumsy controls, that will make it feel less authentic. Some of the older Sega arcade games even incorporated the use of a roller mouse ball, so this could be a great idea!

And some items you may be interested in purchasing for this project.

This System should be more then ample to fill all your arcade emulation needs.


Combine with this monitor for optimal effect.

And here is an arcade deck already built for you.











And finally if you chose the windows option you may be interested in looking at my Article "Best emulators" which lists all the best legal emulators I could find. Another day I will write on article detailing, how to setup Linux for a single emulator load configuration.

Technology building tools

Some of the best technology building tools are the ones you already have right in your head. These technology building tools have the power to turn you into a technological beast, with all the prowess of an SEO champ fighting fire with fire and taking down the old to make way for the new.

These tools are useless though, unless you keep them sharp, and by them I mean your neurons in your brain. Yeah, because that is the best technology building tool you have. You can build anything using nothing more then your brain. You may have to build the tools before you can build the technology, but you can do it. It just takes the effort the initiative, and the patience to study your competition.

While building technology experience, isn't the easiest thing in the world to do, if you know how to use the god given tools you have, then you will succeed. Two hands and an active imagination are all the technology building tools you will ever need.

Whether the technology you want to build is in construction, maintainance, networking, computers and IT, or automotives. I'm dedicated to bringing you the latest updates for your field as soon as they pop up on my radar. If all you need is the idea then you have come to the right place.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Solar Panels Make Solar Energy More Promising

Recent Breakthroughs in Solar Energy Light the Way,

In our current economic crisis with the BP oil spill disaster still spreading across our oceans, we are forced to look to cleaner cheaper energy sources. This need is facilitated by recent breakthroughs in solar energy.

Photon voltaic is becoming a method of the past, solar panels come in many designs today, but the most recent breakthrough in solar energy is IAUS "Advanced Solar Collector".

This technology attempts to harness the power of the sun through a different design of solar panels. Instead of harnessing the power contained in silicon and phosphorus based panels, this new technology seeks to harness the power of the sun itself. This is by far the most recent breakthrough in solar energy to date.

With the heat generated by the sun, and an automated system controlling these panels to keep them at a 90 degree angle from the sun, this form of solar panel has the capacity to generate a powerful energy source. According to IAUS this technology has the capability to power the whole of the continental US, and do it using just a fraction of the land found in one small state.

How does this solar panel based energy work?

Read more on "New Solar Panels Make Solar Energy More Promising" at Associated Content.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

How to prevent phising, viruses malware and more.

Everyone has something they would just rather the rest of the world not know, from things like your social security numbers to bank information to simple pictures which may not have been taken in the best of light if seen by certain parties. For many Hackers and scammers alike, this information is invaluable; this is exactly the kind of stuff they are after.

In the last 20 years since the world wide web was initially created, identity theft has increased substantially. This is partially due to having so much information available over the web. People steal your identity through programs and scams such as keyloggers, phising sites, Trojan viruses, and packet interception (also called packet sniffing). So the question is.

What can you do to keep your personal information personal?

To answer that question, let's look at each of these methods, go over how they are used, and what you can do to stop them.

Keyloggers, and trojan viruses are programs which log your keystrokes or take screen shots to obtain information such as passwords, credit card information, your name, addresses, friends E-mail addresses, and even your social if you use it often.

So how do Keyloggers, and trojans get on your computer?

There are many ways in which you can get a keylogger. The most prominent is the downloading of illegal software or music. Using sites such as limewire and other P2P (Person to Person) sharing zones can quickly let a virus right in the front door.

The second, is through security holes in your Operating System, and far less often, but not impossible. Guests who you allow to use your computer can install the key logger to spy on you. So how do you block all these holes in your computers security?

Security holes in Windows can be closed by enabling the windows firewall. Do not allow applications you don't recognize to access the Internet. Another important thing to do is to make sure windows is up to date with all the security hot fixes. Disable any Services you don't need. I know this sounds like a lot but most of this is done automatically when you install windows.

Don't turn off automatic updates for windows or you may get behind and end up with a worm. Don't download from sites or programs like limewire/bittorent. If you do download files from them, install a good current virus scanner and set it to update automatically.

Scan each and every file before you open it. This doesn't guarantee you won't get a nasty bug but it does help prevent it. Don't ignore seemingly false positives. Just because you think they are false doesn't mean they are. Create a guest account on your computer with limited privileges. Allow this account access to temp folders for Internet browsing, but no installer privileges.

Also do not allow this account write access to anything more then it needs. When you create a new account windows will ask you what type to create' just select "Guest". If your unsure of the rest leave it on the defaults. Don't forget to set a password on your ownership/admin accounts.

How does phishing work? What is phishing?

Phishing is the act of impersonating a professional website in the hopes that someone will input their information. Some of the information that may be obtained by this method are passwords, credit card numbers, or other personally identifying information. These phishing scams are typically run through emails.
Another way phishing scams work is by hacking your computer. If you have weak security or are running applications you are unsure of. You may just infect yourself with a trojan re-director which will redirect your URL to the phising site URL instead of the URL you entered.

How do I prevent myself from falling prey to these scams?

Never insert personally identifying information into a web page you got to through an email. Use caution when entering a url with a low google ranking if it's suppose to take you to a popular page like E-bay.
When downloading applications make sure you know exactly what they do and what they were meant to do. Before you install programs or use files, scan the files with a virus scanner.

How does packet sniffing work?

Packet sniffing is the act of connecting to someones home or work network and monitoring the tcp/ip packets coming in and out of that network. These packets contain information such as where you're going on the Internet, what you typed into the page, what links you clicked on, what user names you passed to the site, and what passwords you sent to a site.

It's important to note if they have access to your home network they have access to every computer on that network and can even change packets of programs you are currently downloading switching these packets with a trojan infected download or a malware program.

So how do I protect myself from packet sniffing?

The best way to protect yourself from packet sniffing is to either not use wireless networks or Secure your network. What a person can do with that network connection is not just limited to syphoning your Internet. It goes much deeper then that. When securing your network, use the strongest encryption your devices allow. Not all devices on the network will be compatible with the same types of encryption.

Always set a key on your wifi router because an open network is an open door and no matter how many firewalls you have or virus scanners, they won't think anything of someone walking in the doors you leave open.

Another way to prevent this in addition to the above is to simply watch for people who don't seem to belong sitting outside your house and report them. Don't approach them, this could have unwanted results. Your wireless network range isn't that great so in order for them to connect, they have to be right in front of your house on the street.

If all this scares you away from using your credit card information on line, good. There is a better alternative rather then using your bank card or your credit card on line. Go get a throw away prepaid card with just enough cash on it to order what you want. When you are done with it throw it away.

If you do a lot of your banking on line, you need to pay close attention to all of this. An on-line bank will track which computer is connecting to it and know if it's a different computer then normal, but if they get you at the right time, they can even pull your "additional information" page. Accessing this page while they are sniffing will let them know exactly what to type to allow them access to your bank account.

Conclusion,

Even with all the dangers associated with the Internet, it still remains the best source for news, social networking, music, movie reviews, study, and more. As long as you protect yourself, you can enjoy the Internet as it was meant to be enjoyed.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Update on blog status,

I will no longer be writing daily articles, I have become busy with other writing tasks. Instead I will update the blog once a week with a nice high quality article, rather then copy pasting something that went well that day. You can still find nearly all my related articles on the right hand side, and I will continue to update the link bar as I write new topics. See you with a nice new article in a few days ;)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

So who had the best conference at E3 this year?

While press conferences can be somewhat spectacular or at other times glib and meaningless, this year 2010 was a relatively nice mix at E3. While sony pushed ahead to get the word out in the normal conference manner, Nintendo showed off it's latest title the newest Zelda game, and Microsoft showed off it's new toy the Kinetic. This made for a very interesting 2010 E3.

Which was the best E3 conference for 2010?

Amongst these conferences the best would be hard to choose, because they all varied considerably. While nintendos E3 conference was some what dull, it carried with it news of the 3DS. News of the 3DS makes it highly relevent, at least to me. Then there was Sonys bland E3 conference, and yet the technoloies they both displayed where also among the best. When thinking in terms of conferences, E3 was over all very fruitful this year.

The Sony and Nintendo conferences stood out as practical E3 conferences, but if you where going to the movies, then Microsoft wins the spotlight. Microsofts E3 conference was the most artistic, and attractive amongst the conferences at E3 this year 2010. Perhaps there wasn't enough information on the Kinetic at Microsofts conference, but this didn't stop them from show boating not even a little bit. Microsofts E3 conference was more like a carnial ride then a conference.

A closer look at Microsofts E3 conference 2010.

Microsofts conference started out with a bang, as people entered the conference area they where handed white robes, this to make them feel as if they where in their own homes. Wearing their robes looking up you could see several large screens, and native dressed people with a couch hanging from the ceiling.

While the people danced around, a boy comes center stage to a series of rocks, and while looking at a series of projector slides, the boy plays some Xbox games. As each slide rolls up and the boy climbs to the next rock, the games advance progressively from oldest to newest, and finally they unveiled the Kinetic at the last slide. While the boy puts away his controller and looking at his own image asks "Who are you".

The kinetic released at the 2010 E3 conference.

The letters that make up Kinetic appear scrambled on the back drop, and the excitment ensues as the letters descramble, and appear on the backdrop. The crowd sighs in awe, and the last slide rises away. The boy now standing on a ball covered with a green X, rises up to a suspended stage in the air. Here in the air he is met by his family, where they all enjoy some games.

What they played during the 2010 E3 conference.

First they play some racing then the stage begins to rotate upside down, then back again. While the people remain suspended in air as if connected to the couch, and as the stage reaches the turning point, completely upside down a young girl walks across the stage. The family plays some more games ranging from techno dancing, to star wars, and finally the boys sister starts chatting on the social networks. Using nothing but her arm to manipulate the menu driven console she has a video conference with people from all over the world. After this and some yoga the scene ends and smoke flares up.

The end of the 2010 E3 conference. 

That was the end of it, but it will surely be remembered. Perhaps not for the Kinetic unfortunately, but for the shock and awe effect of the whole display. By far this was the best conference in terms of entertainment, but did they get enough information out about the Kinetic? or did they just hope the audience would buy it because they liked the display?

While much of a press conference is marketing, and it's suppose to be about marketing, and displaying your new technology, would you rate the Kinetic high, simply because it had the highest budget marketing campaign at E3 this year 2010? I wouldn't, but then maybe that's just me.

So which E3 2010 conference was the best?

In the end the best conference is up for debate, there are many weighing factors and it would be improper to put these rivals up against each other. The score board would vary too greatly, from one E3 conference to another. While Microsofts showboating would earn them the title of most entertaining, Nintendos 3DS technology would render them the greatest press release, and Sony stands somewhere in between. It's very hard to gauge the true response to sony's campaign, because it was primarily based on 3D, and those who weren't at the conference couldn't possible imagine, what it felt like wearing those glasses. all in all I give it a three way tie.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Kinect VS Move!


Pound for pound Sony and Microsoft take up arms in a battle to the death, who will win this agonizing war. will it be Sony, or will it be Microsoft? It's obvious neither of these companies are pulling punches, with the Playstation Move, and the Kinect going head to head. Only time will tell, will Microsoft fail? Will the PS3 be the last console standing? Where does the new 3DS stand in all of this? While not a direct competitor it also features motion sensing control technology, well lets look at the advantages of each of these technologies and see how they fair.

To read the full story click on the title.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Not technology news it's the 4th of july!

For those of you visiting from other countries you may not be familiar with the fourth of July, it's a traditionally celebrated holiday in the US. The fourth of July is our independence day from Great Britain, much like Cinco demio carries much weight as the Mexican independence day from the Spaniards, we in the US celebrate this day by shooting off fire works in a manner to resemble the line "Bombs bursting in air" in our traditional national anthem, and as such I'm taking the day off ;)

But for those of you who do understand the importance, and the meaning of this day. Take a look at this little article I wrote over the weekend, which is both fourth family and summer related. "Are your family activities making summer worthwhile?", and good night time to shoot off some fire works.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Biggest new technology at E3?

Some of the biggest surprises at E3 this year where the unveiling of the Nintendo 3DS, the PlayStation Move, and the Kinetic by Microsoft. These three technologies combined where so surprising and awe inspiring that the very earth shook from the screams of the crowd. Though E3 holds another conference every year, this one has definitely held the most ground breaking technology in a long time.

If you have ever thought about what it would be like to watch a 3D movie without glasses, think no more. Nintendo's 3DS makes your thoughts and possibly even your dreams a reality, and even improves upon the DSi's controller interface. giving you a sliding directional control and tilt and yaw motion sensing. The release of this new platform and the very idea of 3D without glasses is by far one of the most surprising events that unfolded out of the E3 conferences.

Nintendo thought they had cornered the market on motion controller devices until Sony unveiled the PlayStation Move which has set a new precedent for hand held control at the flick of the wrist. Having been down this road before Sony had given up on the Eye Toy as a human control device the Eye Toys market was considerably less then anticipated this partly due to the need for a large open area and properly lit room to operate the device without error.

Well guess what, Sony has now released an excellent counter to the Wii mote this device, the PlayStation Move, is capable of tilt yaw and bi directional motion tracking where you move your hand is all you need to control your ship storm trooper, or wizard and with this new technology some of us may be left questioning Nintendo on the purpose of it's Wii in today's market.

While the Nintendo Wii sports a nice inventive controller interface it lacks in the entertainment department not offering much in movies or online entertainment and severely lacking in graphical capability The Wii's hardware is not much more then it's predecessor the Game Cube which led a very short life.

And what about the Eye Toy by Sony? we all thought they had given up on the idea but Microsoft has surprised us by stepping up to the plate it's not clear exactly how this motion sensing technology works yet wether through a camera infrared device or some other form of motion sensing

This technology could best be described as a human controller much like the design of the Eye Toy but rather then put your literal image into the game they took it a step further and let you be anyone you want to be controlling your character in the game through motions of your hands legs and arms.

Even the tilt of your head could be a gesture used to facilitate this device. Many games debuted at Microsoft's unveiling of the Kinetic and they all looked really good While not much is being said about this yet Microsoft sure did a bang up job of advertising it.

Not that it surprises me that they over embellished a bit I mean Microsoft has always been one to over market a product just look at those old PIII commercials or the Intel inside slogan with the little blue men.

If you weren't surprised at any of these events then you just surprised me and made the final biggest surprise at E3 this year Hope to see you reading my articles at the next E3 conferences next year.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Who would have thought?

In the south pole a new technology lingers on the tip of my tongue, not to speak of it just yet as this technology has facilitated some of the greatest advancements possible to mankind. This technology by very design is helping us understand, the very universe, the neutrons particles, and atoms that construct the very fiber of our world.

This new technology is, believe it or not, a telescope and not just a telescope, but one taller then the empire state building, and where would it be pointed? Surprise, it's pointed down, not up the answers that we seek aren't always in the sky.

Sometimes the answers are right here on Earth, the telescope is being built to monitor neutrons in our Earths crust to gain a higher understanding of how they work, what they mean, and eventually, I'm sure they will even be able to tell you exactly how the Earth came to be.

Forget carbon dating with this telescope, every radioactive charge that hit our Earth from within our solar system could be dated. it's possible we could even gain the knowledge necessary, to re create our Earth itself. As compelling as I'm sure I make this all sound why don't you go visit the original story.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The best new technologies of E3 2010

The best new technologies, is an often sought after topic, one that makes us revel in the adamants of it's foundation. While the E3 conferences bring us tidings of a new era, there are often some items which are more sought after then others. These items will rake in the news, and the glory as their releases wet our appetite for something new. Below I have listed some of these very releases. These releases have made my mouth sop with drool for want. In the order that they aspire to our creativity from the best to the worst.

Nintendo 3DS,

The Nintendo 3DS is Nintendo's 3rd installment of the GBA platform. The Nintendo 3DS is backwards compatible with DSi games, and features a 3D display, that doesn't require you to wear 3D glasses. Yes, I did say you don't have to wear the 3D glasses anymore.

Though Nintendo did not go into specifics of how the technology works, they did inform us the viewers, that this new technology will not require us to wear glasses. However, it gets better, this new technology being released by Nintendo is going to support 3D movies from some of the top movie producers, right from day one of it's release.

Microsoft's Kinetic,

Microsoft's Kinetic is set to blow your mind, with such great aspirations as to give you complete control of your entertainment, communication, and social grandeur, all right in front of your TV. While the Kinetic has some improvements yet to be made, and the unveiling of it was a bit showy, it still conveys the thoughts that where meant to be conveyed by Microsoft's presentation.

The Xbox 360 is soon to be your household center. Letting you do much more with your console then just playing games. The console will become a family center while those around you are encouraged, to simply join in.

While the games that may feature this functionality consist of sports games, dancing, and racing games. All of these games encourage you to become more active, and some may even encourage those around you to do more then, just sit around watching.

PlayStation Move,

The PlayStation move is a wand like device somewhat resembling the Wii controller in functionality. While this device may appear to be the same as a Wii controller, it is considered by Sony to be far more sensitive. For those of you who bought a Wii just for the interactive game play, and not the technology, or the graphics, it may be time to give up on Nintendo and make the move to Sony.

PlayStation 3D,

The PlayStation 3 is being rebuilt from the ground up with new 3D television compatable technology, giving you true to life depth perception in many new and upcoming titles. Blu-ray being capable of the highest resolutions possible out of a media player, set the PS3 out in the lead, in both gaming technology, and movie technology. What better system to go 3D with then the PS3? When this 3D technology is combined with the PlayStation Move the effect upon your very perception of reality will be twisted so much, you may even begin to believe you are in the "Kill Zone".

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Null DC best Dream Cast emulator

The current level of technology we have, has led to the production of such great current emulators as NullDC. Null DC has been around for a while, and it's not really current news, but it's something we should all be familiar with, because what this emulator does is just so incredible.

The NullDC emulator has nearly perfect emulation and excellent speed with nearly every DC game to date, and the current version even supports some Naomi arcade emulation. Such great titles as, Marvel VS. Capcom 2, and SFIII, as well as over a dozen NeoGeo based fighting games, where all produced for the dreamcast.

The dreamcast was known as the fighter system throughout japan, and was a widely accepted console. While it didn't fair as well in the US, it was still an excellent console system, and deserves some recognition. Most of the games can only be found as internet downloads now, and the Bios is no longer copywrited, so this emulator is (as far as anyone can tell) 100% legal, Sega has dropped the console market and moved on.

In more recent news it seems drkIIRaziel has left this great emulator to the community as an open source project, and moved on to new things. While it's not clear what he will be working on next, he wishes us the DC emulation community only the best. Read about drkIIRaziels final posts at NGemus forums.

Well now that I've bragged on this emulator so much, I suppose, I should tell you where to get it.

Download NullDC,

P.S. Top titles for the emulator include Sonic adventure 1 and 2, and Capcom VS Marvel 1 and 2. Most Iso dumps currently available can be found at www.emuparadise.org.