Fun with game stories: République

It’s been a long time since video game developers started embedding stories (with plot twists) in their video games. Let’s take a look at some of the fun aspects of them.

Promotional rendering for République: This image is an intellectual property of Camoflaj. Copyright © 2020.

A word of warning though. This game is rated M (“Mature 17+”) by ESRB. And this article is full of spoilers.

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LastPass generates false warnings

LastPass is an online password management service. As part of its services, it notifies its subscribers of their old passwords, so that they may change them once in a while.

Unfortunately, its old password notification system is broken. I was unable to find a way contact technical support for this issue. It is broken as well.

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Fun with game stories: Need for Speed: Payback

It’s been a long time since video game developers started embedding stories (with plot twists) in their video games. Let’s take a look at some of the fun aspects of them.

The startup screen of Need for Speed: Payback, a 2017 video game by Ghost Games

A word of warning, though: This article is for grownups.

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666 facts about clickbaiting; #333 will astonish you! 🙄

Sarcasm alert! I don’t have 666 facts about clickbaiting; I only have one: Don’t browser articles whose title reads like this. They are clickbait. If I (or anyone worth their salt) ever create a list of facts, the one that is guaranteed to astonish you is not #333, but #1.

I thought six years after 2014, the clickbait would go away, but it hasn’t.

The driver that almost bricked my computer: Intel USB EHC

Two days ago, I decided that one of my computers needed its Windows 10 replaced. In all previous versions of Windows, I’d erase the OS partition and reinstall Windows from scratch. On Windows 10, however, I used the “Reset my PC” feature. It reinstalls Windows along with its device drivers and Microsoft Store apps.

Screenshot of Windows 10’s device manager, showing that Intel enhanced host controller drivers have encountered a problem and are not starting up

When the so-called “Reset” ended I discovered that my mouse and keyboard were not working. Windows 10 only responded to the power button. I managed to force the computer into booting Windows Recovery Environment, but to my horror, the mouse and the keyboard didn’t work there either.

The “Reset this PC” feature promises a faster revitalization of system. Instead, I had a system that was working before (even if not optimally) and not working after.

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Microsoft fixes Delivery Optimization, after receiving vociferous complaint!

Since the release of Windows 8, we’ve grown accustomed to faulty operating systems. Features of Windows that work for some people and not for others have become a common sight. Perhaps the most notorious example of the faulty OS is Windows 10 version 1809.

Windows 10’s activity monitor shows that Delivery Optimization has started to work properly: This computer has transmitted 517 MB worth of cached contents to other computers on the local network. These computers have, in turn, given it 108 MB contents.

In my case, Delivery Optimization was one such feature. It hadn’t worked properly until a few days ago when someone vociferously chastised Microsoft for it.

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Password strength: Incorrectly assessed!

As the Internet’s influence in our lives has grown, so has the importance of security. Result: Web apps try to force you into choosing stronger passwords.

I have nothing against strong passwords, but most web apps don’t know what a strong password is! For example, Apple ID considers the following very strong:

InCorrectlyAssessed5678$

Their assessment is that it contains uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and a symbol. Yet the following, despite having the same conditions, is branded as weak:

InCorrectly Assessed 5678

In the first example, the symbol was the dollar sign (code point: 0x24), while in the latter, the symbol is the space character (code point: 0x20).

Still worse are websites that outright refuse to accept passwords containing Unicode characters, such as:

未来のミライ$ 5678

It’s a sorry state of security out there; and they only thing most people do about it is saying something obnoxious about the usual scapegoat, Microsoft.

Visual Studio Code: supported languages

Visual Studio Code, version 1.44

As of today, Visual Studio Code (not to be confused with the plain old Visual Studio) is the world’s favorite development environment. It supports a variety of programming languages. The question is exactly which?

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Microsoft stops branding competitor as malware

Happy new year, dear readers! 😊

Almost a month ago, I wrote about how Microsoft mistakenly branded Process Hacker a malware, and how their security response team refused to acknowledge their mistake. (As I said before, please apply Hanlon’s razor!)

Approximately 17 days after I wrote it, when I had stopped following up on the issue, Microsoft reversed its decision.

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Software, app, program, and process: What’s the difference?

This article talks about several highly popular computing terms: Software, app, program, application, code, executable, binaries, and process. Do you know what each one means?

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