Blog Archives

Can You Identify the Avatar?

(Image source: http://peter.stillhq.com)

Welcome readers. I’m going to try a new short lived form of interactivity on this blog. Did you notice that as an author, I always have a knack for subtle, or interesting WordPress avatars? Well, I do. Thus, I came up with a fun game called “Can You Identify the Avatar?”

The purpose of the game is each week to have the viewers (that’s you) to identify WTF is Versatile1’s avatar. Sometimes it is easy, and sometimes its hard to tell because the avatar is so small. Players participate by posting in the comments a description of what they think Versatile1’s avatar picture is.

Contest is open for 7 days from date of posting, and then all submissions are closed (however, the contest could end much earlier than that depending on entries). From there, the person with the best description wins, and you get recognition through the front page of the blog on the right hand side.

The twist: Most of the time the avatar may have a theme associated with it, sometimes not. When you make your comment, you have two choices:

  • 1) Either write a description of the avatar and hope for the best or
  • 2) Write what the theme of the avatar is and how it correlates. Themes are usually something that is happening on the website, and the nature of the avatar hooks into this theme for that particular time frame.

The problem is if you choose the wrong path, that you won’t win. Example: I wrote a post on the ethics of clowns visiting schools as a possible career path. Later that week I hold the contest, and Tony writes the theme comment: “There is clearly a theme for V1’s avatar. Seeing that it is a picture of Bozo the clown, and with the recent attention of clowns in the news, then the theme must be clowns.”

I come back saying it is correct, and Tony wins. However, Mike writes a description like this: “Obviously, V1 picture is a clown – Bozo the clown.”.

Both entries are correct, but the poster with the correct theme takes precedence over the description comment. Makes sense? Let’s play!

We are starting with my avatar that you see today. Go for it!

WTF Wednesday: Use your Wii as a Media Center!

Well, to be honest, I never EVER thought that the Wii would be used as a media center. Of course, the Xbox 360 IS a media center, and the PS3 is powerful enough to do it as well (8 X 3.0 ghz processors? wtf?) and actually has the media center style. All the Wii seems to do besides playing games is browse the net through Opera. WTF?
WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

Alright, I don’t want to rewrite what was written at LifeHacker because I don’t want to get anything wrong, miss something, or otherwise mess up said process.  So, read on!

Set Up Your PC

orb-config.pngTo get started, you need to download and install the popular media streaming application, Orb, to your Windows PC. Orb has a fairly straightforward installation process, so just follow along with the instructions. You’ll have to set up an Orb account if this is the first time you’ve used Orb.Once you’ve installed Orb, you should make sure you’re sharing all the content you want. Right-click Orb in the system tray and select Configuration. In the Media tab, you can add every folder on your computer holding anything from video and photos to music and documents (though documents folders are probably a little beyond the scope of your Wii).

orb-homepage.pngWhen you’re done, test out that it’s worked by pointing your computer’s browser to mycast.orb.com, then log in with the username and password you registered with during installation. If you’re not familiar with Orb from previous posts, what you’re looking at when you log in is the regular web interface. That’s right, in addition to supercharging your Wii, Orb can also stream all of that digital media to any browser. Try listening to some music or watching videos through you browser to make sure everything’s working. (If you’re having troubles, check out Orb’s top 10 troubleshooting questions.)

Orb lets you access any of your music or movies from any browser through this interface, much like the Media Center WebGuide. Unlike WebGuide, though, Orb’s web interface goes into 10-foot control mode when you browse to its interface on your Wii. That’s what we’re going to set up next.

Set Up Your Wii

First, make sure you’ve either installed or updated the Opera-based Wii browser so you’ve got the latest available web browser on your Wii (this is important, since older versions of the Wii browser won’t handle larger video streams as well). So unless you’ve got the latest Opera browser on your Wii, head to the Wii Shop channel, find, and download the browser (if this is the first time you’ve download it, it’ll cost you around $5, or 500 points in the Shopping channel).Now that you’ve done that, head back to your Wii home screen and launch the Internet channel (that’s the browser you just downloaded). Just like you did from your desktop, point your Wii browser to mycast.orb.com. This time, instead of the login screen you saw from your computer, you’ll see the Wii interface, which is larger and optimized for your TV. Log in, and this time you’ll be confronted with the full-on Orb home screen for your Wii.

stream-in-flash.pngBefore you test out Orb’s streaming media on your Wii, head to Settings -> Stream and make sure Orb is set to stream video in Flash, then save the settings and go back to the home screen. If you properly set up Orb on you’re computer (which is basically a no-brainer), you should now be able to access any of that media from the comfort of your couch through your Wii and Wii remote. (Check the gallery for a better idea of how that all works.)

That means videos you’ve downloaded with BitTorrent, your entire music library, and even TV you’ve recorded with Windows Media Center are now available for streaming to your Wii. If you’ve got a tuner card in your PC, you can even use Orb to schedule recordings and stream live TV. Snazzy, no?

It doesn’t even matter what format your videos are encoded in. Orb transcodes the video on-the-fly to stream it—in the case of our Wii—as a simple Flash video.

What Now?

Now that your entire digital media library is accessible to your Wii, you can stream any of that content to your living room without introducing a new piece of hardware to your entertainment center. To optimize your Wii Orbing experience, you’ll want to set mycast.orb.com as a favorite on your Wii browser. You should also turn the browser toolbar to hide automatically in the Settings of the Wii browser so it’s not always sitting on top of the content you’re streaming to your Wii.The only downside to this method is that the quality of the videos you’re streaming won’t be nearly as high as the source, due mostly to the need to transcode the video and the fact that the video needs to be compressed enough to stream over the web. If you’re hoping to someday stream video natively (which would be, of course, much cooler, and much more competitive with what the Xbox offers), you may want to keep your eyes on the possible software mods and exploits that are looking to run Linux on your Wii. If that happens, look to really squeeze some exciting functionality from your Wii.”  (props to LifeHacker’s Adam Pash)

The War on Video Games… Explained!

Boondocks comic video games

Take a look at this nifty picture.

Click thumbnail for enlarged picture.

Alternatives To Demonoid

Since Demonoid is down, once again… *sigh*… I, Voltaire, want you to know where to go to get your torrents.

There are some hot options like the top public torrent site, The Pirate Bay , Mininova , Isohunt , TorrentPortal , as well as others.  As for private trackers, I would check out AradiTracker .

However, my favorite is Torrent Search Engine Searcher. Yes, long redundant-sounding name. Heres the deal: Its a search engine that uses the search engines of many other torrent sites. Its real name is TorrentScan. All I will say is you can access The Pirate Bay, Mininove, Isohunt, and many other popular torrent sites from this site.

Happy Hunting!

Give Away Of The Day: Always Free, Guaranteed.

Today, I have decided to reveal something I found out not to long ago. I learned that there is a place on the internet that gives free software and games everyday! They are free downloads and are your to use forever if you choice to download and install it.

Directly from the website comes this knowledge:

The idea behind this initiative is that many sites and publishers offer trial downloads; but only we offer giveaway downloads. What does that mean?

Basically, every day we nominate one software title that will be a Giveaway title of that day. The software will be available for download for 24 hours (or more, if agreed by software publisher) and that software will be absolutely free. That means – not a trial, not a limited version – but a registered and legal version of the software will be free for our visitors”

Of course, the only drawback is that you must install and activate the product within the time limit, so you have to install and run the program on that same day.

Giveaway of the Day

PS3 Price Cut

PS3

 

Sony Corps has recently lowered its 80 GB model PS3 price to $499, from the original $599. The lower end 60GB model will be replaced with a 40GB model, which will go on sale on November 2nd.

This step narrows the price gap with competing game consoles, but the PlayStation 3 is still the most expensive. Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 costs $350 and Nintendo Corp.’s Wii costs $250.

However, despite the price cut, many experts analyse that it came too late. Comparatively, Wii has sold 9.3 million units, 360 has sold 11.6 million units, and the PS3 only sold 5 million units, as of October 19, 2007.

 

How To Get Free Games, Game Consoles, iPods, and Other Things!

Alright, This is Voltaire once again with a “how to get free stuff” report. Those of you that have read my previous get a free iPhone article know what sticklers we are for free things. Well, I have found a really good site. Yes, it has iPods, iTunes cards, Wii games and extra Wii parts, xbox 360’s, HALO 3 (YES FOR FREE), xbox parts, xbox live cards, PS3’s with games and parts, music, DS’s with games, PSP’s with games, and much, much more!

And heres the deal: you dont need a credit card! Most of the offers available do NOT need a credit card. All you have to do is complete a little survey or sign up an account but you wont need a credit card. of course, for those of you that are willing to spend a few bucks, there are credit card and cell phone offers to be completed.

So, how do you get points? complete offers! or tell you friends to help you out.

Want to sign up? well, i didnt mention a link or a set yet.

So there it is! Click above to sign up and start getting free things!

(They have the Touch, so you better hurry!!!)

The site is reliable, and credits add up instantaneously. You will not have any problems!

Sonic for Smash Bros?

 Sonic

 [Note:  Now now Underground writers, no need for these edited notes.]  😛

Can I get a ‘HELL YEAH!’ from the audience?

Yes, Sonic has finally been announced for Smash Bros. With the rumours that this would be the final installment in the series, and the fact that Mario and Sonic have teamed up for that Olympics game, it just wouldn’t make sense without him in Smash Bros. And so, to all those who said ‘No way, he wouldn’t be in it in a million years’:

I TOLD YOU SO

Unless someone else did, in which case they told you so.

Check out the latest news at their website.

GameTap

What would the world be like without GameTap? Well, not too different, but of course, we wouldn’t notice a big difference if an atomic bomb pwned the land above our heads. That’s right, we are The Underground 😛

Do you have the urge to play games, free or not? Do you want a way to play games really cheaply, and let them take less space on your harddrive. Get Gametap!

GameTap allows you to play the latest games and older games all in their original format. They have GT TV as well, allowing you to watch TV on your pc. Gamers of all ages will be delighted with this program as it has 55 + free games and over 900 games that cost as little as 99 cents.

EA comes to Mac

Fairly recently, EA have brought some of their bigger hits to the OS X operating system. A lot of these will need a very new computer to run them, but it’s nonetheless a breath of fresh air for us oft-marginalised Mac gamers.

The 6 games brought over are:

Battlefield 2142
Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix
Need for Speed Carbon
Madden 08
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08

A fairly decent selection, although they are apparently rather buggy and have very demanding specs. For more info check here.