A collection of rants…

I am not a fan of targeted ads, I might say that I even hate them.

I remember when I ordered all the stuff for my gaming computer, all I saw for a month were ads for android tablet and for HP laptops. Why would I want any of those? I buy a soundtrack from one My favorite games and amazon’s entire recommended section is now entirely filled with random video game soundtrack and nothing more ( marginally better than before, I bought some energy gels for running sometime ago and the recommended section was mostly sport bras…). I used to watch TV shows on Hulu and tried to give feed back on the ads they were displaying but it worked in reverse. All the ads I said were irrelevant were appearing more and more frequently while the ads I said were relevant disappeared…

There seems that there is only one place where I managed to get some sense of optimization and that was on Youtube. You can select a “I am not interested” option for the videos in the recommended section and it seemed to work! After maybe three weeks, The recommend section felt like it made sense. It only had topics that would watch and by youtubers that I either was subscribed too or watched once I a while. As we all know however, all good things come to an end. One day Youtube is the way I like it, the next day it is filled with those annoying react videos, Jimmy Kimmel segments and Rick&Morty videos…

Why? I could spend an entire week watching nothing other than Numberphile video and Youtube logical conclusion is that I really like watching is Comedy central videos? yeah right… Listening to Metallica recently? Clearly Youtube knows that what you really want is the latest Katy Perry… What bunch of nonsense…

My guess is that there is a general cycle for promotions. Every month or so, the new paid promotion cycle kicks in and all the recommendation algorithms are overruled by what corporate interests think you should be watching…  So annoying…

*****

Talking about annoyances and technologies, Ransom-ware are back in fashion.

In case you’ve missed (which seem rather unlikely), There this malware that has been going around known as “WannaCry”. It exploited a vulnerability in older Windows machine that allowed it to infect other computer that were on the same network as the infected machine. Once infected the malware encrypts your data and hold them ransom, prompting the user to pay up to $600 have them decrypted.

That sounds like a horrible way to start off your day. The truth is that it is rather simple to avoid such situation: don’t be stupid.

Here are a few pointers on how not to be stupid:

  • Avoid public WiFi, that how this one was spreading. Your computer is wide open for hacking at your local Starbucks!
  • Don’t open any email attachment unless you are 100% sure of what it is or who sent it. Most email service have built in spam filters, so it not that much a threat unless you really try.
  • Don’t torrent stuff, That is usually how this type of malware starts spreading from. better off spending a few buck to get a movie or music off amazon than $300 to recover your hacked computer.
  • Make frequent offline back ups of your stuff that matters. That way if you ever end being infected simply reformat and reinstall your OS and recovery from our back up.

Follow these four simple trick and live a worry free online life! unless you are still worried that big corporation like google and Facebook are pretty much doing the type of of profiling and surveillance programs that the NSA/CIA could only dream of, then you will never sleep a quiet night for the rest of your life….

*****

You know what really excites me these days? Virtual Reality! You know what also annoys me quite a bit? Virtual Reality! Why oh why is everyone so boneheaded when it comes to VR…

I think Headset should be considered as peripherals and that you should simply pick the one you prefer, plug it in your computer and be off to the races. But NOhhoooo says Oculus, Oculus is special and only Oculus approved games will work on it. Valve says that they want an open platform but as far as I am aware, SteamVr does not support Oculus. They blame Oculus but lets face it, it is not so much that they can’t support so much they don’t want to.

It is the same thing on mobile phones! Samsung has its own library of cool VR app that could probably run on a number of similarly spec’ed phone but NOOhhooo… Google dream deck sound cool too, it has cool remote and visor thing but NOOOhhooo… Only google approved phones will get access to those app… So much for open platform that is android…

And here comes Microsoft and Acer with a new Headset! and this one is going to be cheap, at around $400 for the headset and the controllers! And its tracking is done by its on board cameras rather than trackers, which means ease of set up! What is there not to like?

Well, as far as I can tell, It won’t work with Vive or Oculus games and will only work with Microsoft’s approved mixed reality apps… Yeay! Another walled garden of software to deal with… The Mixed reality portal app thingy is already on my computer but does not do anything yet.

The fact you might need two or three separate headset that ostensibly all do the same thing so that you can deal with three set of ostensibly similar program just blows my mind. Imagine if you had to use an Hp key board to use Chrome and a LG keyboard to use Microsoft excel and a third brand of Keyboard to use outlook, You would go nuts!

Maybe one day someone will make a standard VR interface that all headset can comply with but at this point, that seems a bit like a pipe dream…

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