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Strategy: Game, Set, Match

Posted by on Jan 11, 2017 in Technology |

Tennis is a harsh mistress. It’s an easy game to play – what could be easier than whacking a ball back and forth? – but a very difficult game to play well. Oh sure, it may look simple when Pete Sampras bashes a 130-mph serve and then glides to the net to put away the volley, but just try doing it the next time you’re on the court. The reason he’s got the hot girlfriend and the million-dollar endorsements is because he can make it look easy when it’s actually really, really hard. The same goes for Top Spin it’s an easy game to pick up, and you’ll be playing pretty well inside of five minutes, but there are tricks and techniques you’ll need to learn before you can take it to the next level. Well, never fear. I’m here just like Santa Claus, with my bag full of tennis-y goodness.

Fancy Footwork

If you ever took tennis lessons, your instructor probably kept yelling, “Move your feet!” He was trying to make sure that your court positioning was good, and the same principle holds true for Top Spin: a player who’s out of position is likely to lose the match. After you’ve hit a shot, don’t just sit there and admire it – get back to the center of the court, and get ready for the next shot! The moment you spot your opponent out of position, though, that’s the time to make your move: Step forward to take the ball as early as possible, and then hit it at a sharp angle to a point on the court that the other player will have trouble reaching. Even if he or she gets there, the return will probably be weak, and you’ll be in complete control. As long as your footwork and positioning are better than your opponent’s, you’ll have the upper hand in the match.

Use the Force, Luke!

There’s nothing like a big, booming serve to dominate your opponents. There’s also nothing like a really low first-serve percentage to allow your opponent to dominate you. Sure, go ahead and rip off a power serve when you’re in the zone and feeling the juices flowing, but don’t forget that there are other ways to hold serve. When serving to the deuce court, try spinning a slice serve out wide to carry your opponent completely out of the court. Then, when the return comes back, step up and hit your next shot at a sharp angle cross-court, and enjoy the view as your opponent dashes desperately across the court in a hopeless attempt to reach the ball. Always remember: When you’re serving, placement is more important than power. If you want to take your games to the next level, stop thinking like a muscle-bound moron and start using the full array of serve types that are at your disposal.

Variety Is the Spice of Life

It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing against another human being or a CPU-controlled player: The same shot isn’t going to work forever. If you keep going for the kill in the same way over and over again, sooner or later your opponent will figure out how to beat you. So mix it up; throw in a few slices along with those topspin groundstrokes, and just when it seems like you might stay forever behind the baseline, throw in a little serve-and-volley action. Keep your opponent guessing – if he doesn’t know what you’re going to do, he’s already halfway to defeat, and that’s just where you want him to be.

Care for Some Grass?

Not every court out there plays like the cracked, garbage-strewn “phenomenon” at your apartment complex. From the lowliest neighborhood hard top to the manicured grass of Wimbledon, each court has its own nuances that you’ll be forced to deal with. Be aware of the different surfaces you’ll be dancing on, and adjust your power and aim appropriately. On a hard surface, you can expect shots to bounce relatively high. Grass, on the other hand, is the fastest surface around – serves and shots stay low, which makes a power game extremely valuable. Be prepared to move, do your best to be where the ball is going, and try to end the point quickly with a volley or precise power shot.

Clay and carpet courts react somewhat like your garden variety hard surface, except they are a bit spongier. Shots won’t rebound as high, and ball speed will decrease upon impact. Traction is diminished on a clay court, which explains why your player is sliding around so much. Concentrate on accurate and precise shots, move quickly toward a central location for the return, and focus on making fewer errors than the other guy.

Follow these tips, add some strategy to your technique, and soon you’ll be mopping the court with your Top Spin opponents. And when you’ve got the endorsements and the sexy significant other, don’t forget that I was the one who set you on the path.

You don’t Always Need to Play Online

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in Computer Applications, Games |

Whether it is the weekends or the holidays there is always a way for you to entertain yourself during these times. When it comes to games, there sole purpose is to entertain you and give you fun, but the question is what are the games that you can play? If you think that you are too old for hiding and seek then, you should try and use your imagination and resourcefulness to create fun games to play with your friends and family during a long weekend or the holidays.

If you don’t want your family and friends to use their technology when you are gathering together, then you should think of games that are fun to do. You need to realise that not all age groups can interact with modern technology, some the vary old or young may struggle with the coordination & reactions that may be required.  If you have a family gathering and you want to play a game where everyone can join in without feeling bored, then you can always play charades or twister.

There also many board games available for all ages on the market today which can give hours of pleasure. If it is a large gathering why not split into teams of varying ages & genders to add some extra competitiveness. In this way, you could then introduce your games system as each team could select some players to represent them as the rest of the team cheer them on.

Games are fun to play with when you are sharing the pleasure and entertainment with your friends and family.

If you have a new game that you have thought of, then you should share it so that the joy of creating games will not be lost through the years.

Though there are games now on the internet for your convenience, playing with each other is the best.

Protect your PC against malicious software

Posted by on Oct 21, 2016 in Computer Applications, Games |

You must have had to deal with malicious software in the past since you found this article. Indeed, we have all had to deal with malware, even though our well-paid anti-virus software was active. Anti-virus software is useful, but it can’t stop all kinds of malware, and therefore it won’t protect your PC from all external threats.

This isn’t something new as everyone knows that anti-virus has its limitations. There are other ways through which you can increase the protection of your PC and make it almost malware-proof. Some of these tricks require advanced knowledge of the PC and its options. If you don’t have the knowledge to set those defenses up, then seek assistance from people who are versatile with computers.

Basic anti-malware protection tips

Very few people install a firewall, and even fewer of those people utilize all of its options. The latest PCs come with a pre-installed firewall. People don’t touch it, and it stays dormant while performing its essential functions. This software is very versatile when it comes to protection from web-based malware. You can set it to block all types of data transfer from the Web. In that case, you will be the one that will have to authorize every data transfer, including cookies as well.

Installation of the anti-virus software is mandatory if you want to protect your PC. It does have its flaws, and it slows down the processing speed of the PC, but it provides excellent protection against certain malware.

Using complex passwords may be boring, but it does help with the security. You can find a lot of programs that crack passwords and the complexity of the password determines whether the program will be successful or not. A program like that will require around 20 hours to crack a simple password that contains a word or several numbers. But if you mix words and figures as well as capital letters then the program will take several days, or even a month to crack that password. No one is patient enough for that.

Some additional ways to protect your PC

Never use generic passwords that you get from the site. A skilled hacker can crack a password like that in less than an hour. Whenever you create an account on a site and share your personal data, be sure to change the password you are given. Use a complex password that has numbers and letters, capital letters and other signs.

Spam, both in emails and social networks, carries malicious malware. This malware may be a virus that will destroy your system, software that will slow down your computer or spyware that will transfer your personal data to someone else. Never open spam messages, no matter what they say.

The latest type of spam are the messages on social networks like Facebook. Those messages contain files that require unzipping. Once you do that, the malware is free to do anything with your system. Don’t touch those files. Whenever someone messages you something that looks suspicious, ask them about it. There is a good chance that they didn’t send it and that it is virus.

Protect your USB flash drive against viruses

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Computer Applications, Games |

Do you remember diskettes? The floppy drives that are just about obsolete and a thing of the past? These were the biggest virus spreaders in their day.

If you had a clean computer, there was no other way for a virus to enter your computer, but through the floppy.

The Internet changed that a bit, but nowadays it is unlikely that you get infected from the Internet if you have a decent virus scanner and a firewall. If your internet provider is good and you are behind a router, then there is almost no way a hacker will bother to enter your machine.

But flash drives travel around like the diskettes of the past used to and the most common threat nowadays is to get infected by putting such a virus infested USB stick into your machine.

What can you do? One of the most likely carriers of infections on a USB Flash drive is the autorun.Inf file paired with the auto-run option of the system that automatically opens such files without a prompt.

It can be very easily remedied with a handy free utility called USB Vaccine by Panda Security. Downloadable for free from their web site, the Panda USB Vaccine disables the autorun feature on the computer you run it on and on any USB drive you select it to vaccinate.

You can, of course, re-enable the function in your computer at a later time just as easily. You should note, however that the USB drive that is vaccinated cannot be reversed and accept autorun again, the change is permanent. With this little vaccination, you can fix your flash drive that you intend to carry around with you.

What shall you do if you do not want to remove that capability, but would still like to carry your USB around?

The solution is another little program that is called Protect My Disk. This program copies a little folder onto your disk that will prevent any program to install an autorun.Inf file in future and remove any such existing files as well.

What is different here, is the fact that this program has the capability of restoring your drive at a later point. After running the Protect My Disk program, you can take your USB flash drive anywhere else and not run the risk of getting infected.

While the files that you copy on that drive may still have dangerous properties, none of the files will auto-execute.

Is my USB flash drive now safe?

If the data on your USB drive should not be erased and you do not want any other data to enter your USB drive, unless you directly specify so, you may also use one of the existing write protection utilities that make your USB drive read-only.

Whilst such programs remove your capability to put something onto your USB drive when away, they also protect you from accidental infection other than the mentioned autorun. Inf routine. All above programs are available for download online. No driver installation is necessary.

Watchdogs Are Back with a new Sequel

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in Computer Applications, Games |

Those who witnessed the amazing presentations at the E3 Convention Centre in Los Angeles know that there are some great game titles to be expected in 2016 and 2017.

Most of them we have seen or at least heard of, but one, in particular, was not expected.

We are talking of course about Watch Dogs 2. This time, Aiden is not the main protagonist but his work from the previous storyline is heard of and recognized as a contribution to their cause that is focusing on bringing down ctOS 2.0 and the government anti-hacking organization known as Blume.

What we know about the plot so far.

In this sequel, the story is set in California, Los Angeles, as you take control of Marcus Holloway a computer genius, who is accused by Blume of hacking operations that he wasn’t involved in.

Shortly after the accusation, Marcus is contacted by DedSec operatives and recruited. DedSec also informs him about Blume’s previous mischief in Chicago regarding the usage of ctOS system.

So as we can see, Aiden’s and T-Bone’s actions from the previous chapters of the game inspired DedSec members to continue to fight corruption in the system.

What can we expect from the gameplay itself?

The gameplay is not totally changed, but rather redeveloped using the old system of profiling in a new and advanced way. Using the Profiler system has changed in a way that it is no longer represented in a square from which you operate.

Now you can choose your actions like hack car, hack a phone or any other piece of technology available for manipulation through hacking, by selecting the shape of it as everything turns black.

In this case, hackable objects are highlighted so it is more obvious what can be interacted with and what not. New vehicles and equipment are also available in the California Bay Area so players will be granted with more freedom in completing their tasks.

For example, Marcus has a drone that he can control, which can monitor the surroundings as well as interact by hacking cameras, security systems, and every available electronic device. This brings more to the covert and tactical angle of the game, as players can explore the vicinity by staying hidden under cover.

Game release, system requirements, and other related information.

This game, as announced by Ubisoft’s team, will be available from November 15th for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Minimum system requirements are at least a dual core processor running on 3.0GHz, 6 GB of RAM, a graphic card equivalent or better than Nvidia GeForce GTX460 and 25 GB of free space for the game itself.

As no official system requirements are announced, this is what should be required to run the game and play it without low framerates.

The game will also support a multiplayer option, so you will be able to team up with other members of DedSec, controlled by your friends and complete the main objective and various side quests. The gameplay from E3 conference provided extremely interesting gameplay so we expect a lot from this sequel.