Born the son of a poor immigrant, Vito is a beaten down Italian American who is trying to secure his piece of the American Dream. Looking to escape the life of poverty that consumed his childhood, Vito is soon swayed by the lure of power and wealth that a life of Organized Crime can bring. A petty criminal his whole life, Vito, along with his childhood friend, Joe, will descend into the world of organized crime. Together, they will work to prove themselves to the Mob as they try to make their names on the streets of a cold and unforgiving city.
That’s the official storyline released for the game, Mafia II. This is another sequel to a game I’ve never played, so I can’t speak to whether this is an improvement over the original or not. Also, having never played the original, I expected the game to simply be an open ended GTA type game set back in the 40′s, and that wasn’t quite what I got once I sat down with the game. I’ll give you the details after the jump. Read More
I played a bit of the original Crackdown game when it first came out, but all of my time with that game was spent online with my buddy, Bob Sacamano. I didn’t get any single player time in at all, and in total, I think we spent about 3 hours with that game… most of that was just running around shooting things and driving all over the city. The complete opposite was true for Crackdown 2. I played for about 3-4 hours, all by myself… no time spent in the multiplayer.
This was one of those games that really loses some luster in single player mode, I think. I have a feeling that a lot would be added, simply by having more teammates to create more carnage. From the time that I spent with the game, I don’t get the feeling that this is one of those storyline-centric games… it’s really more about the adventure and carnage. I spent nearly as much time finding and chasing orbs to build my characters skills than I did actually advancing in the story. Read More
They have designated October as Cyber Security Awareness Month and have dedicated that efforts this year will be focused on “Securing the Person”, in other words they are talking about the human element of security. These things go beyond the everyday security practices of “Run a Firewall” but should be helpful for anyone who does any technology trouble shooting. I plan on highlighting some of each days topics that I think will be most helpful for readers adding comments and other thoughts along the way.
Today’s topic is “Securing the Physical Family PC”. Anyone who has a computer at home should consider implementing at least some of these tips. They are designed for families but most can apply to anyone. I will talk more about general computer security such as software updates, network security, etc in my next post.
- Backup your computer.
- In my opinion this is the most overlooked area in home computing today. We live in a digital world today, with most people owning a digital camera, purchasing digital content (music, movies, software, games, etc) but they fail to prepare for problems. Computers have problems from time to time, hard drives and other hardware fail, computers become infected with viruses and malware, acts of God (Flood, Fire, Tornado), and theft all happen. What would you do if your house burned down? Would all of your digital photos, turbotax records, music from the past 5 years burn with it? The answer should be no. Backing up for protection from a hardware failure is easy with a local copy on another hard drive but it is not perfect because it does not protect against theft and acts of God, a more perfect solution involves an offsite backup. Many online cloud solutions are good for this and each service is a bit different and has pro’s and con’s. My favorite of the moment is Backblaze but other good options are Mozy and Carbonite. Take a look at them and consider implementing something on your computer today. All of these services offer encryption and trial periods. With any cloud based backup soltuion the initial backup may take days but in the end it is worth it. On my list of To Blog about topics includes a couple of backup articles. More will follow.
- Use an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) for PCs, laptops have their own built-in UPS – the battery.
- Many people understand that a computer should be plugged into a surge protector, but a UPS is an even greater source of protection. UPS’s allow a PC to run on battery power should the power dip, or spike or go out and most initiate a safe shutdown procedure to protect your hardware from damage that would result. In the midwest they are very handy to help with extreme weather.
- Document computer details in writing (serial number, software, receipts, BIOS password, etc.) and keep the documentation in a fireproof box or safe
- This is very helpful information if you ever have computer problems or need to call your manufacture for support. It is also helpful for an insurance inventory. Consider storing a copy online in the cloud as well. Dropbox, Lastpass, and a Google Document (for non sensitive information) are both good ways to do this. Also keep the information up to date
- Keep all of the hardware and software manuals, plus any software CDs/DVDs in one place that is easy to find
- Common sens here, it makes it easy to find when you need it in a panic situation.
- Use a cable lock to keep intruders from stealing the computer should there be a break-in
- No device makes it impossible for a theif to steal if they really want it. A cable lock does slow someone down. This may seem overkill but works especially well in some environments (Think college dorms).
- Throw a towel over the web cam (better: unplug the web cam)
- The recent news story of school district that was found to be spying on students while at home by accident with the school issued laptops integrated web cams (News stories here: Story 1, Story 2, Story 3) have brought this to the attention of the public. It is possible for a virus of malware program to do the same thing. As a result the easy solution is just to cover it up. On laptops with integrated web cams a piece of blue painters tape or sticky note works well too. Most people don’t use their web cams all the time so this is an easy way to improve general security.
- Unless it needs to always be on, consider turning it off when not in use
- Computers use a lot of energy and create a lot of heat. Consider shutting it off or enabling sleep or suspend mode on your operating system to control this.
- Keep plenty of room around the PC so that air can flow through to cool it
- Computers are hot and need lots of air moving through them for cooling. Under the desk in the corner on the dirty floor is not the best place for a PC, Out of sight is not out of mind for a computer tower. At least once a year (quarterly is preferred) unplug the computer, take it outside and open up the side of the computer case and then blow the dust out with a can of compressed air. This is easy to do and will keep the computer running much cooler.
- Keep all computers in full view (no hidden machines, no illusion of privacy)
- This one is really designed for families with children. A PC in the living room that the kids use really do allow for parents to keep an eye on what the kids are doing online. Also for younger kids who are using the computer for homework it can help to keep down the many distractions they face (IM’s Facebook, etc)
Here is a link to the original SANS article https://isc.sans.edu/diary.html?storyid=9649
Previously I featured a list of five things Android could learn from iOS, to be fair and balanced, here’s my list of five things iOS could learn from Android.
Again, this is a randomly ordered list.
1. Notifications. iOS has a terrible notification system, they could learn a lot from Android on this one.
2. Toggles. Quick toggles for turning Wifi, Bluetooth, and GPS on and off without having to opening the settings. How hard is that?
3. Widgets. For the love of all things pure and holy, please add some widgets! At least to the home screen.
4. Cloud syncing. Sure a MobileMe account let’s you sync your Calendar/Contacts/etc, but $99 a year is a joke. Go free, or go home.
5. App store queuing. I buy an app on iOS and it takes me out of the app store and to one of my homescreens, I want to buy another app I have to go back into the app store. Huh?
For those of us with a (sometimes forced) toleration for multiple platforms, there’s always the times when you realize your favorite program isn’t available for [fill in the blank].
Say bye-bye to searching all over the world for alternatives, AlternativeTo.net should suit your needs in one place.