Thursday, January 31, 2013

Black Ops II - Double Weapon XP 2-1 thru 2-3

Treyarch's twitter account tweeted out at around 1 pm Central Time on 1-31-2013 that this upcoming weekend there will be Double Experience Points for Weapons.

This is great news due to the recent Revolution Map Pack release which for the very first time in Call of Duty history included a gun, the Peacekeeper. It's a Small Machine Gun and Assault Rifle Hybrid. This weekends Double Weapon XP will mean that you earn double the amount of experience points when using your weapons. This will allow you to get attachments much faster and be able to "level up" your weapons quicker. This will allow you to apply your clan tag on your gun and if you level it up again, it allows you to apply your player card emblem.

Are you excited for this weekend's Double Weapon XP?

-Ubu out

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Black Ops II now has embedded streaming built in

The ability to stream Call of Duty Black Ops II straight to your account is now possible. You will be able to stream yourself playing either League Play or Public Matchmaking. Activision worked closely with Twitch to use its SDK (Software Development Kit) to make the streaming service automatically available. It requires no additional hardware.

Gamers will only need to enter their account information within Black Ops II menu to begin streaming to the website and viewing apps. Twitch has a FAQ section which does state they recommend 3mbps (megabits per second, which is 3,000 kbps) upload speed from your ISP. You can determine what your upload speed is by going to Gamers can also share their streams through various social media networks like Twitter and Facebook after you link them within the Black Ops II settings menu, allowing friends to easily tune into their gaming sessions. In addition to streaming gameplay, viewers will be able to check out additional information about broadcasters, including class loadouts, recent match statistics, as well as career statistics across all supported Call of Duty games on Call of Duty Elite.

The broadcasting capability will be available to Xbox gamers only at launch but Twitch expects the feature to soon come to PS3 and the desktop versions of the game. I was informed by twitter handle, @konaskorner, who does high quality streams of various games to Twitch, that the resolution is only 360p. In addition to the game video, users will be able to hook up headsets and xbox 360 compatible video cameras (the kinect for example) to capture their audio commentary or video reactions as they stream their multiplayer session to Twitch. Here is a short video created by an employee at Twitch who goes by the twitter handle @MrErnestLe

This is a very neat feature that will be built into Black Ops II but if you desire to provide your viewers with a better resolution than a mere 360p you'll be better off just getting a dedicated capture device and streaming through your computer. Are you excited for this new feature?

-Ubu out

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Call of Duty Black Ops II - DOUBLE XP 1/25

The twitter account @treyarch just tweeted out that Call of Duty Black Ops II will have DOUBLE XP for this upcoming weekend. Starting at 10am/PST on January 25th 2013 and going until January 28 at approximately 10am/PST. It will be available for all platforms including Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and the Wii.

I am very excited about this upcoming weekend because I was planning on pushing the prestige button once another DOUBLE XP weekend came around and here it is! HOORAAHHHH!!!

-Ubu out

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

MEGA may have MEGA security issues??????

For those of you who are living under a rock, Kim Dotcom launched his new file-sharing website this past weekend called MEGA. It supposedly provides 50GB of FREE online storage with encryption capabilites.

The encryption "is less then ideal", according to Allan Woodward, from the Department of Computing at the University of Surrey. It's because it is all done through Javascript within a web-browser, which means that anyone who can break the SSL encryption on Mega could get a hold of the keys. The SSL encryption being used is only 1024-bit encryption, which can be broken easier then say 2048-encryption which is viewed as best-practice amoungst security experts.

Deduplication is another area of a possible security vulnerability. Deduplicaion of encrytped data requires that information to be decrypted, repackaged and then encrytped again. Basically this means that the files have the opportunity to be seen by someone if there was a man in the middle at which point the data was in the process of being decrypted and then repackaged and encrypted again.

Mega also uses Javascript's pseudorandom-number generator to produce keys which is also an issue as it is a method known to be predictable.

Last but not least is that currently a user has no way to recover their account if they forget their password. Mega has promised to let users reset passwords soon. So if you lose or forget your password, say goodbye to your files regardless of the level of encryption.

Keeping in mind all the security issues I have listed above, will you still use Mega to house your files? I am still undecided on whether I want to use the service and if I do, what files I may store there.

-Ubu out

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Kim Dotcom's launches new file-sharing site, MEGA

A year ago today the popular file sharing website was shutdown by the United States  Department of Justice following the indictment and arrests of the owners for allegedly operating as an organization dedicated to copyright infringement.

Today Kim Dotcom, legal name being Kim Schmitz, has launched a new file-sharing site, called Mega. It's located HERE but currently I couldn't access it as it's being pounded by users. He tweeted out that he has already had 100,000 new user accounts created within the first hour.

It will provide a cloud file system, including cross-account folder sharing for easy online collaboration. The Mega service encrypts and decrypts you data transparently in your browser, on the fly. High speed parallel batch uploading and downloading with resume capability are key features of the site. Thanks to encryption, Mega can connect a large number of hosting partners around the world without worrying about privacy breaches. Everyone can go to Mega to sign up and use the service, with a basic, free offering of 50GB of storage, plus three pricing tiers with additional storage and bandwidth capacity.

I myself don't condone using pirated software, movies, or music but that's not the only use of a site like this. Will you create an account and use this new service?

-Ubu out

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Google+ Hangouts improves single broadcaster functionality

Google+ Hangouts has the ability to do a group chat with full video and audio, on the web or in mobile apps, for free which is unmatched by any other service. Group chat is great but sometimes you may want to broadcast just yourself, previously you would be displayed in the main window but also in a smaller window along the bottom which is the participant strip. If you think about it, it was quite useless to have the participant strip along the bottom if you were the only person in the hangout.

Now, for these single participant streams, Google is making it possible to push the video to the entire window, maximizing the used space. It is now the default functionality, Google has updated their Google+ Hangouts functionality so that when there is only 1 broadcaster in the hangout, they are now presented in a full window.

I think this is a great feature which will allow the screen space to utilized by a broadcaster to it's fullest potential. Hopefully someday soon I will host a Google+ Hangout to chat technology related things with my subscribers and twitter followers.

-Ubu out

Friday, January 11, 2013

Google Chrome 24 promises to speed things up

Google has released an updated version of their internet browser, Google Chrome. It's now version 24 for Windows, Linux, and Mac. There are no real new features, just speed improvements and security fixes.

The biggest improvement on the user side of things is the speed increase. Google's own Octane JavaScript test shows that this is the fastest Chrome release yet. There have been some improvements for developers, Google has made sure the HTML 5 datalist element now supports suggesting a date and time and has also added support for MaathML. On the security side Google has fixed 24, yes that's right, 24, sort of ironic don't you think, bug fixes that can be read HERE in the SVN revision log.

I am excited for this new version as it appears they have fixed a lot of security issues. You can download it HERE. We all know that browser security is almost the most important security on your computer as that's where most exploits lay on the internet.

-Ubu out

Monday, January 7, 2013

Valve to release Linux powered SteamBox, dubbed 'Piston'

Valve has kept pretty quiet regarding a console in development. There has been rumors for a while now that Valve will integrate it's digital platform Steam into a console-like piece of hardware.

In December 29th of 2012, German site claims they attended a conference where Ben Krasnow, a Valve electronics engineer, gave a talk on the company's plans for the console. I used Google Translate to understand some of the article;
The Valve developed PC-game-console Steam Box will seemingly be based on Linux, not Windows. And it's not the only exciting hardware project, that Valve will present in 2013.
It doesn't come off as a huge surprise, considering that Valve-boss Gabe Newell views Windows 8 as a catastrophe: Steam Box will not be based on Windows, but on Linux instead. This was confirmed by Ben Krasnow, one of Valve's hardware developers,
But according to him, there's more than just the introduction of the Steam Box: "the hardware lab has some secret projects that will be released in 2013. We have a good group of electronic- and mechanical-engineers and we are glad to build some really cool things", says Krasnow. In summer of 2012 Valve's higher up critised a frustrating lack of innovation in the area of computer hardware - in a job offer. In that they also wrote: ".....we want to change this."
Image Source: Polygon
Image Source: Polygon
Basically the key points are that; Valve's Steambox is scheduled to come out this year and it will run Linux at its core. So what version of Linux will it run? Given how closely Canonical and Valve have worked together over the last 12 months, and that Canonical has a vested commitment to Ubuntu as a platform, the logical choice would be Ubuntu. Ubuntu can be run free of a GUI but would also free Valve from the duties of distribution maintenance.

A prototype is actually being revealed at CES 2013 (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is being dubbed, "Piston". Valve has teamed up with hardware vendor Xi3 to build the miniature modular PC.

Are you excited for this console or will you be keeping an eye out for the newer Xbox or Playstation models?

--Ubu out

Friday, January 4, 2013

Midwest Gaming Classic - 2013

Midwest Gaming Classic will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2013, from 10:00am to 8:00pm and Family Day Sunday, March 24, 2013, from 10:00am to 5:00pm. It will be held at the Sheraton Milwaukee, Brookfield Hotel in Brookfield, WI. You can learn more about the event at their WEBSITE.

One of the most popular attractions at the Midwest Gaming Classic each year is the Gaming and Computing Museum. The museum features everything from Pong to the PS3, with ultra-rare systems like the Super A'Can sitting near really common systems like the PS1. Unlike a lot of "museum" displays, the Midwest Gaming Classic's museum is almost entirely interactive! If you want to remember playing a game on an Odyssey 2 or want to check out something new, you can actually try it!

And speaking of something new, the Museum has just the thing for modern gamers this year! A brand new room, the Modern Game Room, will open this year! The room will feature multiple HDTVs and game consoles such as the Wii U, PS3 and Xbox 360. Check out some of the most popular games on these new consoles, or test your skill against other players. There will be two multi-console LANs set up for gamers to face off against one another.

While the word classic is in the title, the Midwest Gaming Classic believes that any game can be a classic... it all depends on how you remember it, and we hope that this new Modern Game Room will give you lots of memories that you will look back on as classics in the future!

A reminder - If you haven't purchased tickets yet, there is no better time to do so than now! The Modern Game Room was made possible in large part by the strong pre-sales that we have already had. We are hoping to add significantly more content, and the best way that you can help us to do so is to pre-order your tickets now! Also, Sunday tickets are currently just $10, but will go up to $15 on January 23rd, so pre-order now!

They have got many, many more announcements that will be coming in the weeks ahead, so make sure to start checking their site regularly!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Black Ops II - First DLC called Revolution

Information for the first Downable Content for Call of Duty Black Ops II has been leaked, it is being called "Revolution". The store advertisement has January 29th at the top of the sign and states "First on Xbox Live". So there is no telling when PS3 owners will be able to download the DLC.

You can notice in the picture that there are 4 new Multiplayer maps which are called Hydro, Downhill, Grind, and Mirage. The fifth map is for Zombies Co-Op which is called Die Rise. There is also a weapon in this DLC called the Peacekeeper but it's not known whether the gun will be for Zombies Co-Op or added to multiplayer. There has never been a gun added in DLC for multiplayer in the past so it is believed that it's only for Zombies Co-Op gameplay.

You can buy a Season Pass for $49.99 which would save you $10.00 versus buying all four map packs seperately which normally cost $15.00/each. Will you be purchasing the first of four DLC map packs or will you purchase the Season Pass? I will be purchasing the Season Pass myself.

-Ubu out

Razer announces new Sabertooth controller

If you're really into gaming on the Xbox 360 and want to have a slight advantage over your foes then consider buying a better controller. Razer has just announced a new controller in their lineup named the Sabertooth.

The Sabertooth, which according to the company, is the successor of the Razer Onza. It will come with six additional buttons on top of the default buttons that are on normal Microsoft controllers. It includes two additional buttons on the shoulders, two removable rocking switches at the bottom of the controller, giving you more options to choose from and picking a setup which you find the most comfortable. The Sabertooth will also sport a small OLED display at the bottom that you can program to display a variety of messages. Other features of the Sabertooth include a quick-release USB connector, a lightweight detachable fiber cable, a carrying case, and a 2.5mm audio jack.

The Razer Sabertooth is available for purchase at Razer's Website for $79.99. Go head on over to get one for yourself if you feel it'll give you advantage over your opponents.

-Ubu out

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ubuntu counting down to something HOT!

If you go to quickly you'll see a counter which is counting down to approximately noon Central time or 1 pm Eastern time.

There hasn't been any information leaked as to what it will be but the page with the timer has the following statement around the clock, "So close, you can almost touch it." Which leads me to believe they are releasing a "touch" enabled device to the public.

With the Unity interface already appearing as a touch friendly interface, I would not be surprised to see Ubuntu on mobile and tablets within the very near future. In fact, back in late 2011, Mark Shuttleworth, who is the owner of Canonical, stated in a blog, "By spring of 2014, version 14.04 LTS "will power tablets, phones, and smart screens from the car to the office kitchen, and it will connect those devices cleanly and seemlessly to the desktop, ther server, and the cloud."

What do you think will be revealed in less then an hours time by Ubuntu?

UPDATE: Ubuntu for phones is what the announcement was. You can learn more about it HERE. I suggest you watch this awesome video to learn more about Ubuntu being on ALL devices eventually. It's a virtual keynote speech by Mark Shuttleworth.

-Ubu out