Virgin Mobile

A year of unlimited cell service for 1$! What’s the catch?

Virgin Mobile wants you to join their “Inner Circle” and jump back on their digital voice/data service bandwagon for a mere $1 for an entire year of unlimited service. But wait, you’re a tech savvy person, you know that this deal seems to good to be true, you’re not falling for this that easy! Well where there is smoke there are usually mirrors. Here is the fine print in easy to understand terms:

1: You have to port an active working cell number to get this deal, no new activations.
2: You will be using the Sprint network so if you are not happy with their cell or customer service as a Sprint customer now, don’t expect this deal to improve anything for you. In fact your customer support issues will be mostly handled by Virgin’s notorious fully automated voice system.
3) If you do have a number to port over, you’d better hope you splurged and bought yourself a device assembled by Apple because those are the only devices Virgin now allows on its networks. Thats right, Android and Blackberry have been shown the door.
4) If you are a data savvy user who actually uses your device for more than making calls, taking pictures and playing the occasional game of Angry Birds, I would suggest you keep walking as this plan is regulated more than the Mexican boarder and here’s how:
a) Video streaming is limited to 480p video resolution (fine if all you watch are powerpoint presentations but don’t expect to ever see the HD symbol light up, EVER)
b) Audio streaming is limited to a mere 500kbps for apps like Spotify, iTunes and Slacker (which is fine if you are already hard of hearing)
c) Game data streaming is limited to 2MB. The website was not clear if this was 2mb limit or a 2MB/s data cap, either way you’re not playing League of Legends or any game of significance on this plan for more than 5 mins without smashing through that cap.

Basically your device will assure you that you are actually connected to a 4G LTE tower but you will never actually be using any of that technology to its true potential, you will be using the same amount of data and experiencing the same speeds of a 3G user unless connected to a WiFi network.At the end of the day, this is still a good deal for those who despise their phones and would rather be without it if they could as it will make calls, it will get you that last moment reservation and it will open that picture of your grandson at his graduation, most importantly it will be very cost effective during that first year of $1 service. Once that year runs up though you will effectively be shelling out $50 per month for service whilst using a device that initially cost you close to $500 to basically do what a $50 device could do on the same network. It all comes down to how much of a “power user” you are?

Popular Twitch streamer pulled from flight by local police 

A flight from LA to Texas became extremely real for popular IRL Twitch streamer Paul Denino aka “Ice_Poseidon” when he and fellow streamer Hailey were escorted off of a plane bound for Austin, Texas by local police in Phoenix. For the second time this month, Ice_Poseidon, a hugely popular live streamer on the site Twitch.tv, has been met by gun-wielding, uniformed men and asked to place his hands behind his head. Ice_Poseidon was swatted earlier this very month in his own home in Hollywood, CA. The caller was later revealed as a member of Lizzard Squad, the same hacker group involved in taking down both Sony and Xbox’s gaming service servers in 2014. The term “swatting” became well know on the popular live streaming site Twitch and describes a situation usually involving a live streamer who has the authorities (most likely cops or swat) show up at their residence because the prankster usually calls in a bomb threat, self-harm or harm to others. Authorities naturally take all calls very seriously and most end up with the streamer in cuffs and having to explain the situation with some finding themselves cuffed more than once during their livestream careers. The popularity of any streamer usually determines if they are pranked in this way as pranksters generally want the biggest audience to their devious work and with tens of thousands of live viewers watching at any moment it is easy to see why popular streamers are such attractive targets. The actual moment authorities bust in the door usually is “caught on tape” as most victims are live streaming at the time. These videos then make their way to other popular social media sites where they go viral thus boosting the ego of the prankster and the notoriety of the targeted streamer. Without anything to really help popular streamers from being targeted other than blacklisting their own address (informing ones local police that 911 calls involving your address are to be temp ignored) swatting is here to stay and will continue to be exploited untill changes are brought about. #FREEICE

iOS 10.3 is available to download…


iOS 10.3 is live and ready for download, it doesn’t bring major changes but a few gems nonetheless:

  • Apple’s new file system which will make your device run faster and more reliably. Newer devices will see noticeably improved load times and transitioning
  • AirPod headphone finder has been added to the Find My iPhone app (I lose mine all the time so this is an awesome addition)
  • The ability to review an app without having to actually go into the App Store and manually create a review (this was really frustrating before and is a welcomed change) 
  • Locate your parked car using the Maps app
  • Weather info using 3D Touch using the Maps app.
  • The ability to rent and watch your movies across all your connected devices (scenario: rent on iPhone in the cab ride, watch on Apple TV when you get home)
  • Wireless payments with Siri have been updated to support more vendors and booking / scheduling an Über or Lyft via Siri has been tweaked to be even faster and streamlined
  • Bill payments and payment status checks via Siri have been improved

A full list of all changes and updates can be found here iOS 10.3 change log

To grab the update now go to devices settings and select “general” and finally select the “software update” option to force your phone to grab it from Apple’s servers 🤓

How to add custom backgrounds to your PS4

If you are like me and we’re one of the lucky few to be selected for the PS4 v4.5 Beta, congratulations as you now have access to custom backgrounds on your PS4. This has been a long awaited feature so let me get right to it:

  1. From the main menu screen select “settings”
  2. Select “Themes”
  3. Select the “Select Theme” option
  4. Scroll down the list of available themes until you see “custom” and select it
  5. Select the “select image” option and scroll to your favorite game and select the image you would like as your background and that it

Enjoy your new wallpaper!
(PS: are you having issues when using external storage on your PS4 running the 4.5 beta? If so let me know in the comments)

Screenshot directly off my tv featuring my custom PS4 background using a screen cap from Horizon Zero Dawn

How to Fix Linksys WRT 1900 ACS poor upload download speeds

If you’re like me, you purchased this router expecting improved wireless coverage as well as improved upload and download speeds close to what your provider advertises at least. To my surprise after installing this refresh of the classic WRT routers of years past I did notice much improved wireless range however my upload and download speeds were pretty poor, actually worse than my previous 5 year old Apple router. After hours of digging in the menus and of rolling firmwares back, I finally found the magic fix.

The stock setting for the 2.4 and 5 Ghz channel is auto and this is the issue. It most likely selects the most common channels that all router manufacturers like to use and this in turn causes major wifi congestion and thus slow speeds.

If you change the Channel setting of both the 5Ghz and the 2.4Ghz channels to the highest possible setting which is channel 11 for 2.4 Ghz and 161 for 5Ghz, you will see a significant speed boost as I did. I left my 2.4ghz channel on auto as I do not use it much but 5Ghz now sits on 161 and its blazing fast, hope this helps and if so please leave a comment.

Cape out!

The new Top Gear and its current state after two episodes..

Even though it featured some brief footage of my hometown, Cape Town South Africa, the bottom line is that nothing else on episode 2of BBC’s newly revamped Top Gear ever truly had me engaged or peaked my interest. Honestly the single highlight of the show was Jenson Button showing up to drive the McLaren 675LT and violently spinning it off the track in a cloud of white smoke billowing from its abused tires. I was desperately hopeful that things would pick up and begin to improve for the BBC goliath but unfortunately last nights second episode simply fell flat on its face and featured even more poorly than its debut a week earlier according to multiple internet show rating services. 

  • The internet’s take on the original casts members reaction to the announcement of their replacement hosts. 

Episode two was full of an overwhelming sense of awkwardly forced “chemistry”. Chris Evans cheered every action of his peers and guests as if they were 2 year olds and the challenges were a complete bore and unimaginative at best. I still have much love for the Top Gear brand and told myself I would give the new guys a season (or two) to get their shit together. Even the original didn’t really find its stride until a couple of seasons in but the original producers know the winning formula, they know what to do, they just don’t have the on camera personality anymore to back it up and translate it to onscreen gold. Amazon for now does, they have the three men that made Top Gear the world wide phenomenon it became however the producers of the new Amazon show (title is still unknown at this time) don’t have the winning formula (yet) and it will undoubtedly and understandably take some time for them to find their stride as well so I will be watching the first few seasons with as much optimism and hope as I did for BBC’s Top Gear. Even though my heart will always be with Jezza and the boys on their new platform on Prime, if the new BBC Top Gear team could just address 

  • its lack of presenter chemistry 
  • It’s lack of interesting guests
  • fix the level of writing (it’s so boring) 
  • go crazy with the challenges (MORE EXPLOSIONS!) 

they could possibly turn things around. At the moment with the way things stand, Chris Harris (who had a pretty decent show on his own on YouTube ended up having the most memorable camera time for me even though for some reason he’s been tossed on some after thought, 2nd rate extra footage show and will barely feature on the main show at all. I think Harris and Sebine would make great things happen on camera and behind the wheels were they pitted against one another as a feature on the main show, can you say hint BBC?

 The next few episodes are going to be crucial for Top Gear and they need to bring the crazy if they want to bail out this sinking ship of a car show – see what I did there!

All hands on deck!!!

It’s been a while….

But fear not, things have just been extremely crazy and I’ve since come to my senses and realized I can not be neglecting my little corner of the internetz especially seeing as how much I love to write articles regarding anything and everything technology related. I apologize tech nation however Twitch and streaming my video game endeavors has been swallowing me up totally in that “good way”. We may be onto something good here, we may have uncovered a new path for me to walk down so join me in exploring this whole new world of being a streamer and having zero privacy anymore whilst playing video games online. I may just get all serious about it and actually call myself a streamer one of these days but until then, let’s just have fun with it. The link on top of this page called “Gaming Live” will always take you directly to my stream should I be live at that particular moment, how convenient right? 
Cheers!

Cape Town

Jailbreaking your iPhone, you still doing it ?

I remember the first time I “jailbroke” my iPhone and at the same time I unlocked it as well. I felt like such a bad ass because nobody else I knew had any clue what jailbreaking was or how I got my phone to look and act so differently than theirs.That feeling of circumventing restrictions and limitations was so great and the updates and new mods arrived like clockwork almost daily in the Cydia store. The only downside for me was the constant reboots, crashes and just plain bizarre things your phone would do seeing as someone other than an Apple approved codie wrote the app so its stability relied heavily on your trust in their ability to code correctly. With each new release of iOS and each subsequent jailbreak, things seemed to get better and more stable however things on the light side (the stock non jailbroken side) were looking up as well as apps started to loosen their grip and slowly eliminate those nasty restrictions. Apple duly took notice of the jailbreaking community and the apps/features it was buzzing about and gradually began including these in their own future releases of iOS thus slowly making the need to jailbreak less and less appealing and necessary.

I recently jailbroke my iPhone 6+ and the sad thing is I put it right back to stock a mere 7 days later. Why, well lets just say that with where iOS 8 stands now with all its stock features and most importantly to me, stability, the mods are not looking so tempting anymore. I don’t want to pay $5 to fill my lock screen full of widgets that just tell me the same information that’s just one swipe away. I don’t want to pay $2 to change the color of my keyboard to pink or green and I sure don’t want to pay $3 to have my screen swirl or pinch every time I swipe to the next page. The only reason I would consider going back to the dark side (jailbroken) would be for an app called MiWi which allows you to turn your phone into a mobile hotspot even if you don’t pay the man extra for this feature and seeing as I have a grandfathered unlimited data plan, this app is absolute GOLD to me. The rest of the modding scene just seems a bit old, slightly stale and most apps seem refurbished and the iOS jailbreak/mod scene seems like its lacking another truly killer must have app like MyWi or AdBlocker to really give the scene a boost and make it exciting again. Unfortunately I just can’t get past how unstable your device becomes say if you happen to pay for two apps and they don’t like working alongside one another, they will crash and cause your device to reboot as long as they are both installed. You’re then left with the choice of either deleting the app you just paid for or dealing with the constant reboots all throughout the day, no thanks! Yes, some of you may say “Im jailbroken and I hardly ever get reboots” but that’s just because you haven’t downloaded that next app that conflicts with something you already had installed on your device and once that happens, welcome to “reboot town” my friend, population zero as everyone wants the heck out of that place….

As of writing this, I’m comfortably back on a stock version of iOS 8 and loving the fact that my phone is not rebooting every hour or just when I really need to use it. From now on I’ll stick to playing with Apple’s iOS betas from their developer program until the lure of jailbreaking pulls me back to giving it another shot which I do every few releases that are hailed as being secure and stable. I don’t want you to walk away from reading this article thinking that I’m bashing or turning on the jailbreaking scene at all as that is most definitely not the case. What Jay Freeman aka Saurik and others have done with Cydia and some of the quintessential apps are amazing and honestly have helped Apple shape so many features we now see in iOS8, it’s just that the brains behind all this jailbreak goodness may need to slow down and refocus on stability and reliability first before slapping a $1 or $2 price tag on another app and throwing it up on a repo. I really want he jailbreak scene to succeed even more so than it already has as I love nothing more than having total and full control of my device and doing what I want with it! Having full control and ownership of something I paid for, now isn’t THAT a wonderful concept?

CE-34878-0

Is Assassins Creed Unity crashing on you ?

Not sure if this issue is strictly on the PS4 but upon reaching Sequence 12 Memory 2 , my game would crash right as the level was about to load with the error code CE-34878-0. The only way to get my game to load and actually be playable was to completely disable my Internet connection in the PS4’s settings.

The path to the setting is:

On the PS4’s home screen select Settings – Network – Uncheck the “Connect to Internet” Box.

Until Ubisoft releases a patch this may be the only workaround which isn’t really that bad as the game will continue to save locally and you get to continue and eventually finish the single player story mode. The down side to using this fix, you won’t be able to play multiplayer and the companion app will no longer function. A few other things like using Boosts and accessing Initiates, the store and certain features on the map will no longer function either.

This is a temporary solution to this bug as the game is rendered useless until I disabled my internet connection so whatever ACUnity is tying to access on the Ubisoft servers is either not there or sending back a bad reply and causing the game to ultimately crash. This bug is absolutely an Assassins Creed Unity bug as I could play any other title just fine with the internet connection re-enabled.

I Hope this helps to at least get things going again for you if your game was crashing and basically useless as mine was. Leave any comments or questions and I will answer and help you as best as I can regarding this issue.

Samsung gear-vr-device

The Samsung Gear VR is here! Sorta…

Samsung is allowing a few dedicated fans the opportunity to sign up for an exclusive beta it of it’s up and coming VR headset, the Samsung Gear VR in collaboration with Oculus however there’s a catch. The headset works exclusively with Samsung’s flagship phablet device, the Galaxy Note 4. The Note 4’s powerful processor and its ability to output 4k at 30 fps allow the magic to happen. If you happen to already own the Galaxy Note 4 and are interested in this whole VR noise, this is a no brainer for you so sign up and cross your fingers that you are one of the lucky few to be selected for the beta. Being a gadget whore myself I cannot ignore the lure of this package and would love to get my hands (or head) on one and thus signed up immediately. Good luck and drop me a line if you do get it and rub it in by sending me pictures of you and your shiny new headset holding hands and doing date things. For example a picture of you with your headset riding on a roller coaster whilst running the roller coaster VR simulator would be quite epic and possibly short circuit your brain so be warned!

Sign up for the BETA here

Cheers!

C4peT0wn