Bummed about all the “No Man’s Sky” issues…

So back when Hello Studios was promoting their soon to release “No Man’s Sky”, it looked great, and was promised to include many multiplayer perks.   After many delays, the game has materialized, but not the game I was hoping for.  At best it is a wholly different form than the version that was advertised.

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Hardening your Android Device, Part-3

Securing your Android Phone can be accomplished in many different ways, and by catering to many different tastes, so no single way is correct, or best for everyone. I do recommend at least the following as a minimum spread on your device.  There are three main areas for security on your device, those settings which left in default mode can be a serious security risk, those apps and programs which help secure your device like AntiVirus and AntiMalware, and AntiTheft apps which can lock-down and secure your information should your device be lost or stolen.

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Hardening your Android Device, Part-2

Part-2: Take Control of your Google Account
We’ve all heard the old axiom that building a good house requires a good foundation.  I prefer the Engineer’s version of that saying: “To build a stable house requires a square, true, and level foundation.  Well, ensuring your sole control over your account is the equivalent first step in our endeavor. Actually, you can have any kind of account as your primary account for your Android phone, but we’re presuming for the purposes of this article that you have a Google Account.  If you have a Microsoft or Yahoo account, you’ll need to do some of your own research to find these kind of equivalent settings. 

And while it might sound counter-intuitive to securing your device, we actually need to take control of your Google account before we can harden your device.  This is to ensure that you are the only person with access to your Google Account.  Even if you are certain that you never shared your account password with a good friend, or significant other, your account could still have been compromised.  This is the perfect opportunity to confirm that your account is still entirely yours.

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Why you need a Password Manager

My biggest and best argument for using ANY Password Manager is this: passwords are by definition a security measure meant to ensure that your accounts are kept as secure as possible by being as complex as reasonably possible.  However, making a password as easy to remember actually runs counter to the entire idea of security.  So why bother challenging yourself to remember any password at all when a Password Manager could do this part of the job for you.  And if a Password Manager performs the “manage” portion of the job correctly, then they can actually make your life a whole lot easier by automatically inputting the username and password at the appropriate times.

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Hardening your Android Device, Part-1

There are many steps that should be taken in following the general strategy of hardening one’s mobile device.  For the purposes of this article, I’ll be hardening a Samsung Galaxy S7.  This process will be divided into three parts: Preparation Work will be Part-1,  Take Control of your Google Account Part-2, and finally Part-3 will be the actual Hardening of the Android Phone.

Part-1: Prep Work
Let’s get some housekeeping chores done first, prior to attempting to harden your Android Device. We’ll begin by actually doing some updates on your PC if you have one.  If you don’t have a PC that you use any of your current phone services from, then you’re find to move on to Part-2.

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Yet another Delay on “No Man’s Sky”

I was in the local GameStop with my son earlier today and was told the bad news that “No Man’s Sky” was delayed yet again by the developer, Hello Games.  This is by far the worst gaming news I’d heard in years.

Pre-Orders are a great mechanism, in that they help the Developer determine ahead of time what the popularity of the game is (“do I need to hire another 10 programmers to ensure we complete this game on-time?”), and provide a good estimate of exactly how many game boxes they’ll need to publish to serve current demand on the actual release date.  GameStop offers Pre-Orders for $5.00, which thankfully goes towards the total price of the game.  While this type of purchase is not backed by a written and legally binding contract, I don’t think anyone would dispute that a pre-order is a type of contract agreement.   If someone pays the total Pre-Order amount, then they get first shot at picking-up a copy of the game the night before the set general release date. When I bought this Pre-Order (and paid the entirety of the amount owed), the General Release Date was scheduled for June 21st. 

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When the Win10 Start Menu stops working

I’ve had this problem on most of my Win10 computers at home, and on almost every one of my client’s machines at one point or another.  So I thought I would post my solution matrix that I’ve been using to remedy this problem for the last year.   I have seen the odd mention of one of these solutions online, but I’ve never seen all four of them (not including the sub-solutions) in one matrix, so I decided to create my own.  We’ll start with an elevated Command prompt and go from there:

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Beware the loss of Player skill-tree on Ubisoft Games

My son was playing Watch_Dogs on our PS4 Tuesday, and had just completed a takedown of a Gang Hideout, and went to spend his freshly minted skill point only to discover that ALL of his skills, money, outfits, etc had just disappeared from his gamer profile.  He still had actual access to some of his skills (blowing a steam main, but not focus), so his actual gameplay is now critically impacted.  And he can’t use his new skill points to backfill some of those critical skills because primary skills like Profiling are blank (although this is another skill he can actually use), and not selectable.

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