Tag Archives: pc

Attention PC users! A Windows 10 Downloader can be Hiding in your Security Updates

WindowsUpdate

Microsoft has hidden a Windows 10 ad-generator/downloader in a latest security update KB 3139929. This security update is meant for IE11 users who are running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. So, if you haven’t already, take a moment to look at what’s inside.

 

Microsoft’s Windows 10 updates are often labeled as security updates, feature updates, and bug fixes. While it’s hard to distinguish between a new feature update and a bug fix, the security updates are released as a separate release.

Although I’m a little late to the party (this has been going around since March 11th 2016), it’s important that I share this with you guys. The desire to install Windows 10 on more devices has forced Redmond to change the rules and hide Windows 10 download ads in the latest Internet Explorer 11 security patch. If we look at Microsoft’s documentation regarding Patch Tuesday’s KB 3139929 Internet Explorer security update, it also installs a new Windows 10 ad routine called KB 3146449.

“This update adds functionality to Internet Explorer 11 on some computers that lets users learn about Windows 10 or start an upgrade to Windows 10,” Microsoft describes the update.

However, it isn’t clear how does this update affect your browser. Some websites report that after installing the update, IE11 shows you a big Windows 10 upgrade banner if you visit MSN.com.

IE11-Default-windows-10-ad.png

Other users have already complained that they have been seeing giant Windows 10 pop-ups that prompt them to upgrade Windows 10 when theyMSN.com — all this without installing the new IE11 security update. I’ve tried to reproduce this behaviour on my spare Windows 7 PC but failed to do so.

This Windows update was first spotted by InfoWorld.

If this behaviour is exactly the way it’s being reported, it’s a part of Microsoft’s strategy to increase the pace of Windows 10 installations. In the past, it was reported that company is using some shady promotional tactics and the latest saga is the new low. So for those of you who are avoiding Windows 10 right now, be careful, it’s waiting for you.

Xbox One: Microsoft Wants Cross-Platform Play Enabled for Consoles

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Have you heard? Looks like something finally clicked for Microsoft because they’re looking to cross platforms with Sony (PS4 to XBone) via online gaming as well as with PC (specifically Windows 10) gamers.

Here’s a little more info according to sources:

Microsoft has announced it will natively support cross-platform play between Xbox One, Windows 10, and other “online multiplayer networks.” The move effectively opens the Xbox Live platform so that it can accommodate players on Sony’s PlayStation Network, among others.

They also mentioned that Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox, said “it’s up to game developers to support this feature” and noted that players will “always have the option of choosing to play only with other Xbox Live players.”

This is an absolutely splendid, prolonged idea that was waiting to happen but egotists (ahem, Xbox staff) kept blocking the idea. As far as I’m concerned, PS4 has been open to the idea way before this. Maybe the Xbox team was waiting for the “right time”, whatever that might be. Your thoughts?

FINAL FANTASY XIV: A REALM REBORN HAS OVER 4 MILLION REGISTERED ACCOUNTS

FFXIV_second_wallpaper_by_RikkuBunny89

Before I get into it, I just want to say, I’m a HUGE fan of Final Fantasy XIV and have been since late 2013. If you don’t know much of anything about FFXIV, it is a MMORPG game thats been released for Playstation 3, PC and Playstation 4. Very similar to that of Final Fantasy XI with a much improved battle system and all-around experience. As of a few days ago, Square Enix has announced it’s MMO Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has over 4 million registered accounts.

This number, which marks a pretty massive jump from the 2.5 million accounts revealed at the end of last year, doesn’t include accounts made for free trials of the game. We don’t know how many of these are active, but it’s clear interest in the game is growing at a substantial rate.

To celebrate the announcement, Square Enix has revealed a free login period will kick off Friday, February 27 at 8am GMT and finish on Monday, March 9 at 8am GMT. To be eligible, you have to have apparently “previously purchased and registered Final Fantasy XIV and [have an account] set as inactive during the campaign period.”

Earlier this week, the latest patch rolled out, bringing with it Chocobo racing, Chocobo breeding and the Triple Triad card game that originally appeared in Final Fantasy VIII.

The news is good considering the MMO’s first expansion, Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward is due out in early 2015, and will add flying mounts, personal airships and three new jobs and a race.

In other related news, Square Enix released its annual end of year report which cites a strong presence from its various MMOs and the company’s focus on game development in different categories for the next year.

I’m personally proud of Square Enix’s success and to be apart of the Final Fantasy Community. I look forward to a lot more from them. If you haven’t played, you can give it a try with their 2-week free trial here.

Here’s everything happening with The Sims 4

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The Sims 4 was released for PC back in September 2014 with a world-wide spread of anticipation. I myself have had this game pretty much since it’s release. However, I’ve never spoken on Sims 4. So today, after a few months of researching the ins and outs of this game, I would like to share a perspective on The Sims 4 and look into the view of other Sims 4 fans. Here’s what I came up with.

Was the release of The Sims 4 worth the hype?

  • The Sims 4 had a lot of things good (maybe even great) about it starting out. Like the fact that you can actually model your sims into something more personal was something I can assume everyone wanted; with little to no restrictions. The graphics and camera-views are smooth and very refined. It has noticeably evolved and makes you feel more connected with the sims. A sim’s personality is more convincing and seem to display each trait more realistically. The multitasking played an essential role and helps prove that interacting/socializing has definitely improved. Managing households has become even more manageable — having the ability to control many lots on the map. For example, you can create another family (if you decided to) for another home on the map aside from the first home you’ve made. You can also control a random family that was already created in your world. The Sims 4 also features an online Gallery which allows simmers to share their characters and lots and even interact [to some extent] with other simmers. So there are definitely some good things about the game.
  • The Sims 4, unfortunately, takes a step forward in some ways while taking two steps back in others — which in this case could make the bad out do the good. Why does The Sims 4 no longer support an open-world? And not only that, but moving from one lot to another requires that the game loads, it gets to a point where you might find yourself saying “boy, this is redundant”. Why are features like the young toddlers and dishwashers no longer available? Even pools weren’t available for the first few months of its release. The Sims 4 has had quite a hobby of crashing. The game felt too simple and cut-and-dry, especially when you’re a Sims fan who has played Sims 3 + all of it’s expansions. The core features seemed like they were “missing” from the game. Features as small as genealogy wasn’t available at launch of The Sims 4. It’s as if they wanted us to know that we (the players) will have to rely on their DLC/expansions to possibly unveil their real potential. Does that seem fair? Although socializing has indeed improved, why does it feel like socializing/interaction was on the top of their priority list? Keep in mind, it’s not as good as it could be.

But hey, after much disappointment and a lot of broken promises, EA has no plans to stop. So for those of us still holding on to dear life, hold on a little longer. Here’s some reasons why:

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The Sims 4 got a “Get to Work” expansion coming April 2015

As of April 2015, EA will be spicing things up with one of their first significant expansions: “The Sims 4 – Get to Work“.

Yes, we’re all familiar with your Sim disappearing into thin air whenever the Sim goes to work. We would wish to be able to follow the Sim to their job and experience it with them. Well! That’s set to change with this new expansion.

According to a press release from EA, you will have the opportunity to GO TO WORK with your Sim; allowing you to take an active role in four different job types:

  • Emergency room doctor will let you “spend your days saving lives. Just make sure to stay focused as you’re treating patients, delivering babies, and performing emergency surgery.”
  • Police Detective involves “solving elaborate mysteries” by having your sim “investigate crime scenes, interrogate Sims, arrest criminals, and work your way from Cadet to the Chief of Police.”
  • Scientists will be able to “create crazy inventions. Collect unique specimens to craft diabolical creations like the Sim Ray and decide whether you’ll use your inventions for good or to torment your fellow Sims.”
  • Entrepreneur is a broader occupation that can taken on as a supplement to the other three professions. You’ll be able to “create any type of retail business you desire including bakeries, clothing boutiques, art galleries, bookstores, and many more.” Using the game’s Build Mode, you can “customize every facet of your business.”

In addition, the pack introduces new photography and baking skills for characters to learn, and aliens will invade the game to an extent. They’ll look like regular Sims and it will be up to the player to detect which “Sim” is actually not a Sim.

A question that many have/may ask is “can you have multiple jobs”? The answer is Yes and No. You will only be allowed one job at a time if you’re choosing between the doctor, scientist, or detective. But you’ll be able to run a business on the side as well. So if you’re interested in scientists work but also want to sell pastries on your free time, you can.

Oh, Fyi, did you know April 2015 marks The Sims 15th Anniversary? No coincidence there.

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Here’s something nice for Sims fans with a Mac. The Sims 4 has just been released for Mac users. giving them the opportunity to experience The Sims 4 as well. This works for Mac users since they won’t have to start with little to no features in their game, since The Sims 4 has progressed a bit since it’s started. Giving us updates/content such as the Deluxe Edition, pools, Halloween content, Holiday Celebration Pack and even the Outdoor Retreat.

Maxis notes that existing Sims 4 saves and all of the add-on content you already own for the Windows PC version can be transferred to the Mac edition. Transferring save files requires the use of a Flash drive (because The Sims 4 doesn’t support Origin’s cloud storage), but it doesn’t sound all that difficult. See step-by-step instructions here.

Lastly, here are The Sims 4 System Requirements for Mac:

The Sims 4 Mac System Requirements:

  • OS: Mac OS X 10.7.5 (Lion)
  • PROCESSOR: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz Processor or better
  • VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce 320M, 9600M, 9400M, ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro or better. Video RAM of 256MB or better.
  • MEMORY: 4GB RAM
  • HARD DRIVE: 10 GB of Hard Drive space
  • INPUT: Keyboard and Mouse

Well, there you have it. I’m personally rooting for EA and Maxis to get their act together, Hopefully we will see a change in them for 2015. Do you feel the same?

Nostalgia: MS-DOS games are available to play free on your browser

Screenshot of one of MS-DOS popular games "The Oregon Trail"
Screenshot of one of MS-DOS popular games “The Oregon Trail”

Enjoyed playing MS-DOS games way back when? Well enjoy it right now — for free! The Internet Archive has laid out the many childhood-memories for us to play and re-live the good and bad moments of playing some of these games. Through the use of the EM-DOSBOX in-browser emulator, these programs are bootable and playable. However, it appears that this browser-based emulator is still in the beta phase so expect random bugs/issues [for now].

There’s Duke Nukem, Street Fighter, Burger Blaster, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Lion King, Chuck Yeager’s Advanced Flight Trainer and more, totaling to about 2,306 (according to their search results) MS-DOS based game titles ready to play in an engaging lesson in interactive internet care.

I personally am not too familiar with all MS-DOS games, I didn’t own my very own computer until the early 2000’s, but I’ve certainly grew up during that era of gaming. If you’re not familiar with MS-DOS at all, nows a great time to get your hands dirty and your brain working.