Fix screen sharing in OSX Mountain Lion (10.8)
Ever since Mountain Lion, I lost my ability to reliably connect to my Mac via Screens or iTeleport (or any other VNC client, for that matter). I finally found a solution on the Screens support page.
Since there was no clear solution on anything that I searched for on Google, I thought I’d throw the solution up here and hope it helps someone in the future.
Mass Effect 3 - First 3 hours…
I was late to the Mass Effect bandwagon. I bought both 1 and 2 for $20, brand new, on the same day and took my time spending 25 hours in the first one. I regret not being more meticulous about doing everything, because when I rushed through Mass Effect 2 in 41 hours (over the course of about 10 days) in preparation for the Mass Effect 3 release, I realized how cool the whole “save game transfer” system was… Anyways, Mass Effect 3 has been out for about 3 hours now and that’s how much play time I’ve put into it.
First impression right from the get-go, importing a ME2 save file is 100% better now. You are now able to choose from multiple saves from the same career instead of being stuck with the save from the exact moment you beat the game. In addition, you have a pretty sweet list of all the major decisions that will carry over for you to see. I think this did exist when importing a ME1 save, but I don’t remember it looking as nice. It’s also nice that your character starts at whatever level your saved character was.
The story starts and you feel right at home with the same epic Bioware story telling you’ve come to know and love. I have a Kinect, so the first time my FemShep gets to respond, I immediately noticed the microphone in the middle of the conversation wheel and thought, “Whoa, what if I SPEAK my response!?”, and proceeded to do so. The voice recognition works great for conversation. I feel like you have to speak louder that I’d like to, but that might be because I like to play my game a little loud. Using Kinect in combat proves to be much less useful. It’s almost always easier to just hold RB and select an option (let alone, hit a hotkey) than it is to try and yell your command and hope whatever you want to happen actually does.
The cover system is kind of “meh”. It’s my only gripe so far. They’ve definitely worked on it to try and improve it and you can tell it’s an even bigger part of the game. Moving from cover gives you nice little arrows to show which way you’ll leave cover, which is nice, but I’ve found myself rolling out of cover to just standing behind a short wall that Shepard wouldn’t couch behind no matter how many times (and how many different ways) I pressed or held A. I may just need to get used to some subtle changes that I’m not aware of yet. It’s not a deal breaker, but I’ve noticed it already.
Power upgrading has changed quite a bit. It seems like they kind of took ME1 and ME2 and picked the place right in the middle. There are more powers than ME2 for everyone, but it doesn’t feel like as many as ME1. Each power now has 6 levels. Each level costs that level number’s skill points to upgrade (i.e. a level 4 upgrade, costs 4 skill points) The first 3 are straight forward upgrades. The last 3 levels give you 2 options to pick from. It makes the upgrades a bit more complex, but also a lot more fun.
Choosing weapons is done the same as ME2 for the most part, except you have the option of choosing to leave a weapon type empty. Each weapon now has a weight assigned to it. The less weight you carry, the greater your power recharge bonus is. Maximum of 200%. There seems to be upgrades that allow you to make your weapons weigh less. I haven’t messed with the weapon upgrade system at all yet, though, so I can’t go into detail about that.
On that note, Mass Effect 3 has just finished installing on my Xbox, so back to the Citadel!
Tiny Tower vs. Dream Heights
So, I’ve spent a week or two playing Zynga’s newest game which is a pretty blatant ripoff of Tiny Tower. I figured, I really liked Tiny Tower, so I might as well give it a shot. I really don’t know how they did it, but Zynga just managed to sap all the fun and charm out of Tiny Tower. Every time I load up Dream Heights, I ask myself why I’m doing it. Tiny Tower let you collect their premium currency in game for free. Not the case with Dream Heights. After you spend your only 3 bucks on an elevator upgrade, you need to shell out money for any more. Zynga’s game just feels like a money grab where at Tiny Tower always felt more fun and quirky.
That’s about all I got on the subject. Just my quick thoughts. I’ll be deleting Dream Heights from my iPhone and iPad.
Why Apple doesn’t release things until they’re ready…
When iTunes Match finally went live, my iTunes Library was sent to the cloud for the last time and I was finally able to not worry about what music I had synced to my iPhone since I could grab anything I wanted to listen to on the fly. Yesterday, things didn’t go quite as well as usual and it frustrated me. It wasn’t Apple’s fault. I was in a less than ideal spot for 3G coverage at the time and that prevented the song I wanted to download quick enough to listen to without stopping. The problem cleared up as soon as I drove further down the road, but there were moments that I was actually angry at the phone and service.
I’m a patient person and very understanding, so my brief spout of anger surprised me a little bit. Thinking about it a little, it just reminded me about why Apple devices forgo features that aren’t at least 99% perfect. Apple’s hardware and software works so well together that the slightest hiccup causes hysteria amongst it’s users because we’re just not used to it. I’d say that’s a pretty awesome problem to have.
The announcement that Nexus One users won’t be getting upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich led some to justifiably question Google’s support of their devices. I look at it a little differently: Nexus One owners are lucky. I’ve been researching the history of OS updates on Android phones…
So long Halo 3 Players…
Due to a general lack of interest (I’m assuming most players of Halo 3 have moved on to Halo: Reach by now) and a lack of resources, time and money, I’ve decided to discontinue Halo 3 Players in it’s present form. I would really love to rewrite the whole thing for Halo: Reach at some point in the future but I am not sure when I will be able to get this done so I’m not going to tease anyone by saying “soon”. I appreciate all the support from Halo 3 Players. We started out as the underdog and slowly but surely ended up being the most used Halo 3 stats app on Facebook. Halo 3 Players was my first “large” project and I had a lot of fun writing it. I hope to have just as much fun writing every else in my near and far future. I apologize for the lack of notice to the few active users Halo 3 Players still has.
Stay tuned here for more info on what I’m working on and if Halo: Reach Players ever does materialize, I’ll post about it here first.
It’s been a fun ride!
Secret Browser v1.7.0 Submitted!
UPDATE: Approved and ready to download!
After quite a long wait, I’ve finally deemed version 1.7.0 of Secret Browser to be ready for prime time! I’ve been spending a lot of time tweaking and testing to make sure everything works great and now it’s time for you all to have a go at it. What does 1.7.0 have in store for you?
- Custom User-Agents! A very popular request is finally here! I’ve included a bunch of pre-made User-Agent strings or you can put together your own! You can, now, start tricking websites into thinking you’re using a different web browser or a different device all together! (Ad-Free Mode exclusive)
- I’ve rewritten a TON of code so things work more smooth under the hood.
- Cleaned up Secret Browser’s Settings page. All Ad-Free Mode exclusive settings can be found on their own page too.
- An optional Forward button has been added to the smaller screened devices. This was another big request. Flip the switch on in your device’s Settings.app.
- I’ve (probably poorly, I apologize) translated what few words there are in Secret Browser to 6 new languages. Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and German.
- I’ve squished a LOT of little naggy bugs.
- Rewrote the entire front page! I know it was ugly. I’m sorry it took so long. But the new front page is already live so you don’t have to deal with it anymore.
Hopefully it doesn’t take an eternity for Apple to approve. Keep a look out! It should be available very soon!
L.A. Noire Mini Review. Initial Impressions.
I picked up L.A. Noire at midnight and just finished about 4 hours of play. My initial impressions are definitely very positive. The game does a GREAT job of making you really feel like you are heading up the investigations and making a name for yourself. I’m INCREDIBLY impressed with the facial capture technology they used. It’s amazing the level of realism you get when it’s not just the mouth and eyes that move on a face. Every tiny detail of an actors face is captured and translated into the game beautifully. I could just watch the characters speak all day long. It’s a good thing too, because a large part of what you have to do is really watch people talk to you. I loved the idea from the first time I heard about the game but I was really afraid that the “tells” would be extremely easy to decipher. They really aren’t. And on top of that, if you suspect a character of telling lies, you have to have the evidence to back it up so it makes for some very challenging puzzles.. And it’s still quite early for me! Combat is pretty fun. Hand to hand seems a little easy so far but it Is still fun to watch. Ranged combat is a whole lot of cover based shooting but I found it pretty easy to line up enemies while in cover. Overall, so far, I’m loving the game and a can’t wait to get back to it tomorrow.
My VPS Search continues..
I’ve been with SliceHost for quite some time now. For “Over 4 Years”, according to my SliceManager. Just one slice that I run a Facebook application on and use it for some testing and playing around. I have had very few problems and when needed, their various support methods (forums, wikis, chatrooms, etc.) have all proven VERY effective and friendly. There is one problem. They aren’t cheap. Back when I signed up, they seemed very affordable for what you got, but over the last 4 years, nothing has changed. I still pay $70 a month for a 1GB slice. So I’ve been looking for cheaper options…
Adding internationalization to XIB files in Xcode 4
I want to post a quick Derrr post about localizing XIB files in Xcode 4 since I just spent a good 2 or 3 hours trying to figure out what I was doing wrong to find I wasn’t really doing anything wrong.
Localization of your Interface Builder files in Xcode 4 is a piece of cake, actually.
iOS consolidated.db “flaw”?
I’m kind of getting sick of the big hoopla about the recently discovered (even though it wasn’t recently discovered at all) consolidated.db file which sits quietly in a publicly available iOS directory and is backed up every time you sync your phone. The file in question keeps a running log of dates, times and locations according to your GPS and wifi radios. I am all for getting up in arms if Apple has been actually collecting and doing something with this data without anyone knowing about it but the fact of the matter is, they aren’t. What really sucks, is that I have a feeling that this “bug” will get plugged with a future version of iOS and I personally think it’s a neat feature! I just pulled up a map of the last 6 months of my life and thought it was pretty damned cool. I agree that there should definitely be some sort of opt-out system that would purge this cache every so often, but I don’t want to have to do that. I’ll worry about my own security and make sure my iPhone and it’s backups stay out of the hands of wrong doers (heaven for big they see the extremely vague representation of locations data that I just saw on the map I made).
Bottom line. This is probably some oversight bug where a line of code wasn’t written to purge old location data. That’s perfectly plausible. But the data is so vague that it doesn’t really matter much. And without access to your computer or phone, no one can get at this information anyways. So plug the hole, Apple, but how about an opt-out strategy? I like it.