Sunday, December 5, 2010

Video Games Companies Look for a Bigger Piece of the Pie

    Gamespot reported back in September that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made a decisions that could hurt many video game owner and retailers. 
    The article stated:
    The court overturned a May 2008 decision by the US District Court for the Western District of Washington in the case of Vernor v. Autodesk. The original decision stated that Washington resident Timothy Vernor was within his rights to sell a sealed copy of Autodesk's AutoCAD design software he got at a garage sale on eBay.
    Though the copy of the software was sealed, Autodesk's EULA--which was not visible externally on the retail box--said that the software is only licensed to purchasers, not actually sold. It also said that the license cannot be transferred, so after purchase, the software had to be destroyed if not used.
   The article goes on to say:
    Tech blog Ars Technica pointed out that the EULAs used by Electronic Arts and many other publishers have similar language in their games. "This software is licensed to you, not sold," reads EA's EULA. "Access to the software requires software registration with the serial code enclosed with the software. Software registration is limited to one EA Account per serial code and is non-transferable."
   The EA EULA is for a PC game, which typically requires acceptance of such terms to play. However, comparable wording can also be found in console game manuals, such as that of Take-Two Interactive's recent hit Red Dead Redemption.
    "THIS SOFTWARE IS LICENSED, NOT SOLD," reads the license agreement on Red Dead Redemption. (Capital letters in original.) "You agree not to: (a) Commercially exploit the software; (b) Distribute, lease, sell, rent or otherwise transfer the software, or any copies of the software, without the express consent of the licensor." (Emphasis added.)
Fourth Circle of Hell - Greed from Dante's Inferno
    This decision will put a big crimp in the used video game business.  Selling used video games is a several billion dollar a year industry.  The video game companies have always been unhappy about this loss in revenue.  After all why pay $50 for a new game when you can wait and buy the same game for $20 used?  This is just a move for video games companies who are making money hand over fist as it is.  (For example, the latest installment of the Halo series, Halo: Reach, made $200 million on launch day.)  These people don’t need the money.  They are basically squeezing out retailers that sell used games, like GameStop.  Even Best Buy and Target jumped on the used game bandwagon by giving in-store credit for bringing in used games.  I won't be buying video games anytime soon.  I want the freedom to sell my property.  After all, there are many free games and flash games to fulfill my gaming needs.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

How to Search Your PC Instantly

    Have you ever been in a hurry to find a file?  Ten minutes minutes before the meeting and you need to find the video clip you were going to show.  If you use Windows, you would pull up Windows search, type in the title, and wait for it to search through all the files on your computer.  Depending on how many files that you have, this may take quite a while. 
    There is a small, powerful alternative to Windows Search that will find what you are looking for in a matter of minutes.  It is called Everything.  This program is less than 400 kilobytes in size.  It installs quickly and indexes you computer in a matter on minutes.  Whenever you create an new file, the index is complete.  It works on Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008 and 7.  (Since Vista and 7 have an improved search function build into the Start Menu, it is ideal for any pre-Vista Windows OS.
    One of the drawbacks of Everything is that it only searches the file and folder names, not their contents.  But if you remember a little bit of the title, you can probably find it.
    So, go ahead and use this tool.  You can download Everything here:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Disqus and WordPress: A Tragedy

If you have spent any amount of time on the internet, especially if you have a blog, you have probably heard of WordPress.  WordPress is one of the top Wordpressblogging sites.  WordPress has two arms. hosts blogs and offered blog architecture software.
Now, I’d like to introduce you to the second member of our tragedy: Disqus.  Ddisqus-signisqus is an online service that offers a centralized place for controlling blog  and website commenting.  It’s a one stop shopping for modifying and approving comments from many different blogs.  All you have to do is register your blog or website and insert some code.
The tragedy is that I found out that even though you can insert Disqus into almost any blog or website, you cannot insert it into you blog if it is hosted on  (If your blog is self-hosted and running WordPress, you can imbed Disqus.)  I soon realized that WordPress does not support any add-ons.  This is disappointing for me because I like to add to the functionality of my blog with add-ons.
If you are like me and you would like to support Disqus, you can join my Facebook group here:!/group.php?gid=124927537525907&ref=ts.  I would like to add the ability to install add-ons and I hope they hear my plea and fix it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Downloadable Media – the Future?

    In the video above, long-time Microsoft enemy Larry Ellison rants about how he hates Windows.  He made this statement back in 1996.  In effect, he was talking about our current transfer to downloadable media.  While this change is inevitable, I have my own thoughts on it.
    I am very reluctant to buy a game or movie that is download only.  The reason?  If I don’t like the game or movie, I want to be able to get rid of it.  I do this in one of two ways.  I sell it or trade it.  When the item is downloadable, it is impossible for me to get rid of it or at least get some of my money back.  I have only bought two download only games so far.  One of them was only $5, so what the heck.
    I’m more than a little bit gun shy about buying download only software for a very good reason: I’ve been burned.  Several years ago, I downloaded and tried a very good download acceleration program.  I liked it so much I paid $30 or so when the trial period ran out.  The paid-for program worked for several weeks and then it told me that if I wanted to continue using it, I would have to buy it.  After waiting some time trying to contact, I gave it up for lost.
    The video game companies do not want you to buy used games.  They are losing income because of used game sales, especially in the last few months of this year.  In this economy, gamers are thinking, “Why should I spend $50 on a new games when I can get it for half price if I wait a little bit.”
    Another thing about downloadable media, it has to be stored on your hard drive.  There is no way I could have I have all my DVDs and games on my hard drive.  Then again, the prices of external hard drives are falling at a pretty fast rate.  You can get a 1 terabyte drive for about $100.  This could store quite a few games and movies
    Think economical.  Buy used games and DVDs.
    Comment below if you have had similar trouble with download-only media.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Does Open Source Security Make Sense?

    I have been thinking about open source software lately, especially security software, and I thought I would share my thoughts with you.

    First of all, let’s define what open source means.  Open source is the idea in technology, especially software, that says everyone should be able to see the source material used to create it.  This means that if a program is written and distributed as open source, anyone can get a hold of the source code that makes it run.  The idea behind this is that people can take this freely available source material and either build upon it to create their own program or merely improve the existing program.

    Okay, now let’s take a look at what open source means for your computer’s security, primarily anti-virus.  If the source code for an anti-virus program is available, it would be child’s play for a dedicated virus creator, who wants to create havoc, to acquire that code and use it to discover and exploit weaknesses in it.  To me, the whole idea seems seem akin to building a wall around your castle to protect you from an outside enemy and then posting the blueprints for that selfsame wall, complete with all the secret passages and weak points marked, where any invader can easily access them.

    I think the majority of people would and do agree with me on this.  Why?  Because almost all of the anti-virus programs on the market are close source, meaning only the company that created it has access to the code that makes it run.  Think about it.  The top anti-virus companies, Norton, McAfee, Panda, Trends Micro and Avira, all keep the source code for their programs under wraps, probably because they understand the risks.

Clam      In fact, there are very few open source.  One of the best known is  ClamAV.  However, I’m not sure how long this will continue.  It appears that a company called Sourcefire has acquired the trademarks and copyrights to ClamAV, so that may change too.

    In closing, don’t trust the security of your computer to a company who posts the blueprint of your castle for all to see.  You might just get bit.

    Please feel free to comment.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tutorial: Creating and Burning an Image File

    Creating an image file is the best way to copy and backup discs.  (I am talking about discs that you have legal right to copy.")  Here is a quick run through of how to create and burn an image file.

    The first thing you need to do is download a good disc burning software.  The best I know of it call ImgBurn.  You can find and download it here:

    Once you have downloaded and installed ImgBurn, open up the program either from the Start Menu or Desktop.  Once it comes up, it will look a little intimidating for a first timer, but after using it a little while you will get a handle on it.


    To start creating an image file, put the disc to be copied in you computer and click “Create image file from disc”.


    Once the new screen comes up, check the contents of the “Destination” section to make sure the image file will go where you want it.  (Ideally, you should put it on your C drive in a file names “image files.")  Be sure to check and make sure that you have enough space on your C drive to do this.  The size of the image file is on the right under “size”.


    Once you have made sure that you have enough space, click large button on the lower left of the top window.  The copy process will now start.


    When it is finished, it will play a tune to let you know.


    Now to burn the image file to a disc.  Click “OK”.  Now click “Mode” and select “Ez-Mode Picker”.  This will return you to the main screen.


    Now click “Write image to disc”.


    In the new window, select the image file by click the file under the “Source” section.


    Select and open the image.  Insert the appropriate disc (CD or DVD) and click the button in the lower left of the top screen.  (Make sure that “Verify” has been selected under “Destination”.  This will ensure that you copy is correct."  If it ejects that disc and pulls it back in, don’t worry.  It is verifying the disc.)

    Congratulations!  You have finished burning the disc.  To create another, click “OK”  and click the burn button again after putting in a new disc or you can set how many disc you want to make.

    If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Safari Now Has Extensions!!!

    Yesterday at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Steve Jobs made several announcements, among them was Safari 5.  While this seems small to most in comparison to the release of the iPhone 4G and other stuff, it is a big deal because it heralds a feature that Safari has been lacking and lagging behind the rest of the browsers.  The big new feature is extensions.  You can download the new version of Safari for Windows here.

    Here is how to activate the extensions feature.  After you have downloaded and installed Safari, click on the gear button on the top far right and click Preferences.  Once the dialog box comes up, click the Advanced tab.  Select the “Show Develop menu in menu bar” checkbox.

Safari Advanced Tab

    Close the Preference dialog box.  Click the page picture next to the gear.  For the menu click “Develop” and then “Enable Extensions”.

SafariEnableExtensions     You now have extensions available.  To see the extensions installed, go back to the preferences dialog box and there will be a tab for “Extensions”.  (The reason that the example shows an extension installed and yours probably does not is because I install it.)


        This extension feature is new and experimental, like I said, so Apple does not have a list of available extensions.  However, you can find a few here.  There are not many available because it is so new.  Let me know in the comments if how know of any other place that has extensions for Safari.  Have fun exploring.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Moving the Blog

I have decided to change the name of this blog.  I have made this decision for several reasons.  First, someone else has a W Report website.  Second, I want this blog to reflect more of a tech bent, instead of mixed topics.  I will announce the new name withing the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Great Deal from Seagate

Seagate has a great dealing going.  They are offering an 500GB external drive for $99.99, free shipping included.  That might not seem like a such a big deal, until I tell you that the drive with come with 20 films preloaded, including: GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Shooter, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and The Italian Job.
Now it really sounds like a deal.  $100/20 films = $5 per film.  If you are interested, you can find the link here:  You’d better hurry, because the sale ends 5/10/10.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Raimi and Maguire Leave Spiderman Series

Here are just a few thoughts that I had when I heard that Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire were leaving the Spiderman series.

SpidermanPro:  I’m glad to hear that Tobey Maguire is leaving.  I’ve always disliked the way that Maguire played Peter Parker.  He always came off as a bit too whiney.

Con:  The big problem that I see is loss of continuity.  One of my favorite film series is the Lethal Weapon series.  The reason I like these films is the continuity what exists because the films have all the same actors.  Even Murtaugh’s children are played by the same actors and actresses for all four films.  An example of a film series that is the exact opposite is the Darkman series.  In the Darkman series, Liam Neeson played Peyton Westlake/Darkman.  In the following two films, the character was played by a different actor.

Another downside of Raimi leaving the series is that it mean the end of Bruce Campbell cameos.  They were short, but they added something fun to the film.


All this being said, I’m looking forward to see how the new Spiderman series turns out.