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Secret Project Revealed #2

As you guys know, the Underground Blog is always bustling with activity.  We may not look like much when there are thousands of blogs on the Internet, but whatever.  I know we have an audience, and real people are being helped by real people.

The first secret project was revealed several months ago, and the result of that was the birth of our sister blog, “Welcome to the Other Underground.”  If you haven’t seen it, you can go to http://tug.cjb.net

On that site, we have articles on topics that may not be worthy to post here on wordpress.com in fear of another suspension or worse.  I cannot risk that anymore, hence the sister blog.

Now what is secret project #2? Right now it has no release date.  It was just an idea that has been stirring around in my head for the past couple weeks and now that I am starting to have some more free time (wait, what free time? – see newsletter 2), and it will be a committed effort to get it done, when I feel it is done.

What am I talking about?  I am seriously thinking of writing an e-book and when its done to have it released here on the blog for free.

What’s an E-book?

An e-book is basically a book converted to PDF form.  It has a title page, table of contents, chapters, sections, etc.  Pretty much everything you expect from a book.

What will it be about?

I don’t have exact details yet.  In short, I will be taking all the top hitter articles and putting them into the book.  The funny part is there has been times when I wanted to learn or remember something, and instead of searching google, I just search the blog for the answer!  When you get to that point, I think you have something gold here.

This blog in short is almost like my technical diary of knowledge.  But I felt like I needed to go the next step, so here we are at with the e-book idea.

I will most likely have stuff related to console modding, various PC tips, and maybe, just maybe, exclusive underground content that is not on the blog.  Perhaps one of the tips from the newsletter will be in the book, you never know.  Also, I maybe have specific articles on gaming to play online, as well as life tips?  The role model for this is Lifehacker’s “Upgrade Your Life”, and I wanted to do something like that too, but for underground purposes.

Will I accept contributions?

Of course! If you want to do monetary donations, I’m down with that but seriously that is not necessary.  If you want to submit an article into the book, by all means you can.  Just email me and I will have your name with your article fit into the book.

Right now I have Voltaire on board to be co-author, so we will be collaborating and making sure the content is just right.

The book will most likely be volume 1, and over the course of time as we get more tips, I’ll make a new series.  We shall see once I get to that point.

Graphics Designer Needed

The old saying goes “You can’t judge a book by its cover”.  True.  In creating the new underground E-Book, I want a flashy “book cover”.  With that said, if you are a pro in photoshop, or have a friend that is one, let me know.

I don’t have any ideas on what the cover art should look like, but maybe we can throw ideas around and see what sticks.

Release Date?

It’s too early to tell when it will be release.  The goal is sometime in 2009, but when exactly I don’t know.  It depends on how hard I work at it and how the community contributes.  What I do plan to do is have an update maybe once or twice a month, either here on the blog or perhaps the newsletter to internally motivate myself to keep the project alive.

I’m sure with your anxious support, this will not be difficult at all. :-0

If anything, at the end of this project, I will have an offline book in my possession that I can refer to for years to come.  It is similar to like school or at work.  You write your notes on a bunch of sticky notes, and over time you forget or lose them.   By putting everything into one place or document, you have all your important notes at your fingertips.

Sounds interesting?  Want in on the fun?  Let me know!!!

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Revived From the Dead – Again!!!

Foreword: For the last 9 days, it has been very hard on both Voltaire and I knowing that the blog was down for such a long time.   We have worked back and forth frantically with WordPress to make ourselves compliant, and here we are now.

I want to personally thank all of those who emailed me, sent me messages on Hamachi/IM, and even on youtube asking about the status of the blog.  It goes to show that yes, there is an established viewer base here.  Thank you.  ~ Versatile


On May 15th, our blog was suspended for violation of TOS established on WordPress. For what reason? Let’s say it was for specific guides on how to play a certain game online for free without having to use the Steam system. More details below.>_>

Notice that those articles no longer are available here (at least on this blog). In addition to reviewing the articles, I’ve decided to remove other “questionable” content, and for those who came here for a specific Playstation 2 article, I’m sorry but those are not available at this time.

Here on this blog we walk a very fine line between black and white. Most of the stuff we can focus on is within the grey area. None of us here want to violate WordPress, and it is a surprise that the L4D articles lasted as long as they did (about 5 months).

The first time we were disabled last year, it was due to the fact that we had a rapidshare link to UltraSurf. This was deemed illegal, so we had the link removed. Earlier this year we were suspended again for the second time, but we quickly came back online as it was a categorization error from the WordPress Bot. Now here we are with the third time to be suspended, and this was partly due to my antics in regards to L4D and Steam. *shurgs*

During the last few months, our hits have skyrocketed, and now it is almost as if we are starting over as the daily views have taken a steep nosedive. No worries though, we will rebuild ourselves into a new direction.


Personal Reflection

Do you take things for granted? Do you only start to behave differently once something that you cherish is taken away from you or lost? Hopefully, in those instances, you found a way to live and in “fairy tale stories”, were given a second chance.

Personally, this third suspension hit me hard down inside. If we went back online, I vowed to do what is right and tweak the system so The Underground can stay here as long as possible within the realm of WordPress constraints. We are going to be more pro-active with backups now, since we always assumed we would be good here on the blog. Not is the case anymore. Any new questionable content that may arise here on the blog will personally start out with a saved copy on my computer as reference.

For those articles that were removed last night, those will see the light of day soon, but definitely not here. It was very painful to remove them, as so much work was devoted to making some very great guides. These will be resurrected into a new form, but its content will be moved to an undisclosed place at this time. :0


What’s next on the horizon?

In the future, it will be important for our audience to know what is happening if this blog were to ever be brought down again. Rather than create a huge email user list, how about follow us on twitter?

This blog now has two twitter accounts:
Overall Underground Twitter Account: http://twitter.com/tugblog
and my own personal one: http://twitter.com/versatileninja

The overall twitter account is shared between Versatile and Voltaire. Expect this to be important announcements in regards to the blog. If you want a more personal update as to what I am working on, then you can follow my updates. I will only speak when something is significant, rather than post trivial stuff all the time. ;0

This is our story in a nutshell. Voltaire, if you want to elaborate more on this subject, please add your story below the line below. Thanks to all! We appreciate your support!


Underground Blog – Fun Facts #1

fun-fact-tinkerbell1

I was going to write a more serious post, but this one was much easier to write in the same amount of time.

Our viewer community base is growing, and much of that I can thank to youtube, google, and our random tutorials on all sorts of topics here.  I really have to thank Valve and Infinity Ward for their amazing PC games, they really have brought traffic here to the blog, as well as given us the writers ideas to engage the mass community.

Read on to see the fun facts!

[Ask V1] Issue #1

Every week I post your questions with my answers.  If no one submits a question, then I will make up my own question so that people can learn.

To submit your question to V1, please go here:  Underground Form

———————————————————————————————————————–

Question 1: This question is from Peter:

What is a good way to increase underground knowledge?

What do you mean by underground knowledge?  Hacking, cracking, console modding, torrents, warez, piracy, getting things done, etc?  I don’t know what to tell you.  If you are into the P2P scene, you can’t go wrong learning from torrentfreak.com, zeropaid.com, and slyck.com as a start.  If you want to learn more about technology, visit afterdawn.com or get your daily dose of cool news at digg.com.

Question 2: This question is from Mark:

I like to download movies all the time from the Internet, and I don’t feel bad at all about it.  Is this normal?

It depends.  Are you an ethical person or not?  Obviously, you wouldn’t go into a store and shoplift a DVD movie, but yet you torrent movies from the comfort of your own home and it doesn’t bother you.  Is it because it is convenient?  Don’t think you can get caught?  Thousands of people of downloading the same movie, so what are the odds of you getting nailed?  Thinking like this helps people justify their downloads, even if it is wrong.

So in short, yes for some people downloading movies and whatever else bears no fear upon their conscience.  I am going to say yes this is normal, but if you really like the movie, I suggest you buy it.

Question 3: This is from Bigmitch1998:

IM NEW??? WONT TO KNOW HOW TO RESPOND BACK IS THIER A CHAT ROOM I CAN MYBE?????LEARN HOW TO DO A FEWW THING

There is no chat room for the underground.  Even if there was one, the odds of me being online at the same time that you are is very slim.  If you need to contact me, there is my email on the right hand side of this blog.

This is enough questions for this week.  Next week I will answer another round of questions. I hope that guys have something more interesting, as this is weak sauce. ;0

The Underground Blog – 2008 Reflection

reflection

First of all, I want to thank all the viewers that have visited this blog for the year 2008. When I first started off the year, I only had one goal in mind: “Bring the undground knowledge to the common man”.  Did we succeed?  I want to say so, yes!

Check out this month of December page views.  You can see that Decemember was the first time we broke 100k views a month, which is amazing!

stats-12-31-08

At the beginning of 2008, you know what our daily hit was roughly?  See the picture below:

table-stats

So yes, we have made significant strides this year, and honeslty, I have no goal in terms of daily hits or anything like that.  As long as I have people viewing this blog, I am happy.

Notice that on this blog we do not spam you with donations or ads (except Voltaire’s PrizeRebel ad), but even that works because it helps everyone gets free stuff.

What were the top posts of 2008?  See the list below:

top-2008

In general, people loved to play COD4 on cracked servers, so of course this is the hottest topic of the year.  After all, COD4 was a badass game!  Next in line were of course anything related to adult erotica passwords, and then the rest is a mirage of PS2/XBOX modding articles, as well as miscellaneous tutorials and things dealing with the internet.

I hope articles like these is what you guys are looking for as we try to decide what we shall write for 2009 and beyond.  Once again, thanks for coming to the blog, and if you want to become a writer, by all means let V1 know!  Thanks!

Animals of the Underground

With the new Underground coming soon, I wanted to promote the creatures that we don’t care much about today.

Ah yes, the earth worm.  These worms are great because they dig holes in your grass and actually help it breathe, let alone help convert organic material into nutrients which plants can absorb.  Since they help loosen the soil, roots of plants have an easier time to grow and alow for water and air to circulate within the soil.

Cute Badgers!

Cute Badgers!

I don’t know what the benefits of badgers are.  I just wanted to point out that we don’t see them enough, and that they should be treated with respect for what they do.  I think they like to dig in the dirt, and help clean our your garbage though. :0

This is a possum. They live underground (some do), but most of the time you can find them hiding in bushes or in the trees.

Anteater

Anteater

Anteater likes to eat ants.  Damn, I didn’t know they were that big!

This is just the beginning.  Do you have a favorite underground animal?  Let us know in the comments!

The Journey To The Next TUG Event

After reading the lack of comments yesterday on the TiT post, I decided to ponder about my journey in search of the next TUG event.  Wait, what is a TUG event?  I know some of you guys have some sick minds out there, as I’m sure TUG could refer to a lot of things like a boat, tug of war, pulling on something, and etc.  🙂

My usage of TUG here is an acronym for The Under Ground, hence the next The Underground Event for writing here on the blog.

Yesterday I thought more about the “Life of a Pirate” series, and decided that it was too forward.  There is a lot of good knowledge out there from honest people who are not pirates, and I did not want to proceed with the image that pirates are evil/good and that I should totally expose the pirate scene apart.

Plus, this blog is not meant as a forum for piracy either and I don’t want to be seen as that too.  In efforts to maintain the clean blog image, I have decided to move onto something that I can live with.

Welcome to what could very well be the “STD Stories”, where STD is Versatile1 acronymn for “Savvy Tech Dude” (or Dudette depending on article content).  I love puns, what can I say.

Breakdown of STD Stories:

  • STD stories will try to be posted once a week, but not guaranteed.  Expect it to appear out of nowhere, just like real life STDs.  🙂
  • STD stories are real stories about technology and how it is twisted to fit into someone’s life for logical or illogical purposes.
  • STD stories may dwell on underground material, but is not meant to be strictly related to it.
  • STD stories are meant to be written by The Underground Staff, but the community is highly encouraged to contribute via posts or offline interviews with Versatile1.
  • STD stories can either be fictional or truth, and the validity of the story is left up to the writer and for the audience to decide for themselves.
  • STD stories are laid-back, and could be a story, but doesn’t have to be.  A tutorial could be thought of as a “story” too in some regards.

I’m sure the list could go on and on.  Does it sound exciting?  It does to me.  We’ll see.  As time goes on, you will see what the flavor of articles is going to be.  Good times!

[Game Ending] Crysis

With the release of Crysis for PC only a few days old, we found the complete game ending for you to watch. Be warned! This is and will always be a spoiler!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Enjoy! (Take a break from reading)

The Halloween Special!

Well, Happy Halloween everybody! Sorry for the lack of candy, but if you really want some… Click here!

Haha, well, if you just got pwndizzled, its Halloween! Lighten up!

We have got a very special post for you today, it has lots of neat info. The more you read, the more happy you will be.

Since, its Halloween, I have decided to post a little bit of history.

“Halloween, or Hallowe’en, is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31. Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, Halloween festivals, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses”, carving jack-o-lanterns, and viewing horror films. Halloween originated from the Pagan festival Samhain, celebrated among the Celts of Ireland and Great Britain[citation needed]. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century. Halloween is now celebrated in several parts of the western world, most commonly in Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom and occasionally in parts of Australia and New Zealand.

The term Halloween (and its alternative rendering Hallowe’en) is shortened from All-hallow-even, as it is the eve of “All Hallows’ Day”,[1] also which is now known as All Saints’ Day.

Many European cultural traditions, in particular Celtic cultures, hold that Halloween is one of the liminal times of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world, and when magic is most potent (according to, for example, Catalan mythology about witches and Scottish and Irish tales of the Sídhe).”

Some historians trace the origin of Halloween back to the Celtic people of pre-medieval Europe. The Celts of Ireland, Britain, and France divided their year into halves: the “light half,” roughly consisting of the spring and summer months when days are longer and nights are shorter, and the “dark half,” roughly consisting of the autumn and winter months when days are shorter and nights are longer. Celts celebrated the end of the light half of the year with the festival of “Samhain” (pronounced sah-wen), which they observed during the October/November lunar cycle. Following the Roman conquest of Britain, British Celts adopted the Julian calendar and fixed the date of Samhain’s observance to November 1.

Costumes and treats were a traditional part of the Celtic celebration. And while Samhain began as a strictly Celtic festival, it is probable that aspects of Roman religion were incorporated into its observance over the four centuries of Roman rule in Britain (43-410 AD). For example, Pomona was the Roman goddess of fruit trees and gardens. Her symbol was an apple. Some scholars believe this may explain how candied apples and bobbing for apples became associated with Halloween (as Samhain was later renamed “

(For more info, go to the sources: Wikipedia:Halloween and Popular Issues)

Alright, if you made it this far, good job. If you cheated… well, you will live with the shame forever. So, onward!

Now that you have been scared (maybe?) and well informed, here are some Halloween Pranks that will hopefully set you laughing.

I must say, that was pretty funny. I wanted to tell you all a bit about the costumes I have seen today. I could rattle on, but not to waste your time, I will tell you above the Transformer. Yes, some guy dressed up as a Transformer. Optimus Prime. No joke. He made the costume himself, spending over $300 on cardboard. And yes, he could transform into the truck or into Optimus. I kid you not. To view the quick video proof I have, download this file here

Now, with the news I was planning to tell you.

The IRC Passwords Guide has been released! We have released it on our forums (which have been opened as well) on theunderground.antiblog.com

You can use lordmega.therevisited.com if you can’t use the above link, as we are still having issues with our FTP and the current link host.

Please, do post your comments, and other questions and posts on the forums, as we realize that it is tough to have a good discussion on the blog.

If you enjoyed this article, and other things on this blog, please visit our sister site. Also clicking on the banner below, signing up, and earning points is the ticket to getting free stuff! I have personally tried it! It works!

[TIT] That’s It Tuesday! Issue 2

Tit bird

Hi underground visitors! Welcome to the second issue of TIT, or That’s It Tuesday! Every Tuesday, I, Versatile1, will give you a rant of whats going on in the blog, whats intended for the future, hope, dreams, etc.

So last week was a stellar week. For the last week, we had like 5 straight days in a row of over 1000 views a day. This is awesome, I’d never have dreamt that we would get mad hits. The most popular viewed posts?

People love the alternatives to the Demonator. Hey, I don’t blame you. Demonator was one of a kind. Few days ago we had a new comer on the block, www.demonoidproxy.com It works, so if you want to try something new, do that.

Of course, PS2 mods are always hot, especially how to make your own slide card, and how to make your own PS2 tools for the slimline PS2. Just to let you guys know, my brother has a slim PS2, and he tried the guide on the youtube video and it works perfectly! If you need Swap Magic, you can’t go wrong ordering it from www.estarland.com

The post that brings the most views is and always has been the unwritten IRC tutorial about finding free passwords to adult content. People are either feeling comfortable with posting the need for this tutorial sooner, or some of you guys have no shame when it comes to satisfication. Hey, I don’t blame you. The goal is for the tutorial to come out this month, it is still a question as to when.

Last thing I have been toiling around in my mind past few days is what to do about funding. We are indeed getting clicks on our offsite link for the adsense, and thats awesome. It’s not much (a few bucks), but its a decent start.

I am currently looking into perhaps finding a webhost so the Underground Staff can upload our own wordpress version, and incorporate adsense directly on the blog. You cannot do this for free blogs hosted on WordPress, as this will violate the terms of service.

In the midst of the perfect webhost, I am also trying to find a good url name for this blog. Of course, TheUnderground.com, or .net or whatever is already taken. I was thinking of maybe getting a www.wttu.info (get it?, Welcome to the Underground), but Voltaire think its stupid. Well, I’m going to let the community decide what our new URL should be. So help me out, go to www.godaddy.com and post a comment of what you think the next URL should be. Remember, if it can convey underground, the better!

[Update Oct 16th] A friend has a hosting server, so in the next few days, Voltaire and I will be playing around with the “new” blog. The upside to that is we will be able to incorporate google adsense directly into the blog, and have to rely on a third party website for revenue. The plan is with the money generated from the blog, it will go towards the blog and fund it for hosting and domain name. More detail to come in following days.