Archive for December, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Moz Holiday Traditions

Posted by ssnsestak

Here at Moz, we often feel like a big family. Just like any other family, over the years we’ve developed an eclectic set of traditions to celebrate the holiday season. We’d like to share a few of our favorites and welcome you to join us in these most joyous of festivities. ;)

Seasons Greetings!

Moz Holiday Traditions 2013 _regular out

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PostHeaderIcon F-Secure Internet Security is $80/7 Years (Limited Time), Exclusive BOGO Deal for Maximum PC Readers

F-Secure 2014Score two licenses for the price of one!

Security vendor F-Secure is ringing in the holiday season with a limited time Internet Security PC Lifetime Edition offer. Up through January 31, 2014, you can snag an F-Secure Internet Security PC Lifetime Edition license for $80, which remains valid for the life of your PC or 7 years, whichever comes first. Even better, F-Secure has an exclusive offer for Maximum PC readers — two licenses for the price of one!

That amounts to $80 to cover two PCs for up to 7 years. It’s been a few years since we formally reviewed F-Secure (2011), but when we did, we gave it an 8/10 verdict for its fast scanning, minimal interface, and stellar protection against zero-day viruses.

The latest release offers protection against viruses, spyware, and other types of malware, along with real-time, cloud-based protection against online threats. It also has a “Safe Profile” feature for Facebook in which F-Secure scans your profile and lists recommended changes.

If you’re interested in the BOGO offer, just follow this link.

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PostHeaderIcon Valve Steam Controller Preview

Gordon Mah Ung goes hands on with Valve’s new Steam Controller

PC Gamers, gods bless ‘em, are truly the most cynical sons of bitches on the planet. I say this because when I saw Valve’s attempt to build a controller for its upcoming Steam Machines, I, like all other PC gamers, just snickered and ran as quickly as I could to a web-based memegenerator so I could create and post something derisive and snarky under one of the five pseudonyms I use to troll the Internet with. Alas, I was already beaten as those cynical PC gamers had already beaten me to it.

history repeating

The Steam Controller, as it’s called, is a key element of Valve’s plan to bring PC gaming to the living room with its Steam Machines and I am highly skeptical of it. You see, there’s some things that can’t be done. For example, you can’t make an Aliens vs. Predator movie and have it not be so horrible that it’s not even worth watching for free on Netflix. You also can’t make Almond Joy actually enjoyable either.

It’s with this attitude that I got to wrap my dry-chapped hands around a prototype of the Steam Controller. If you’re looking at the still image of it, it’s about the size of a standard console game controller but rather than a joystick, joy pad or other thumb controllers, the Steam Controller features two circulator trackpads which can also act as buttons. There’s also a set of buttons on the bottom as well as the front of the unit.

steam weird

To most people the puzzling part are the two gigantic Pikachu-eyed trackpads. People just can’t wrap their heads around the concept of these two trackpads and how they could possibly work. Neither could I. For my preview of the Steam Controller I first tried Borderlands 2—a popular first person shooter. To move, I used left my left thumb to simulate the usual WASD movement of forward, backwards and left and right. The right trackpad acted as free look on a mouse. There’s a subtle feedback through the “dual linear resonant actuators” in the controllers–basically super-precise haptic feedback. 

steam controller

The final build of the controller will feature a touchable LCD display between the two trackpads.

Valve plans for the shipping controllers to also feature a touch-sensitive high-resolution screen in the center of the controller as well, but the prototype unit featured just four physical plastic buttons. 

In game, the dual trackpads work surprisingly well. Again, I went into it expecting to be underwhelmed by Valve’s attempt to tilt windmills, but was surprised. After a minute adjustment, I was running around the set of Borderlands 2 jumping off objects by using the buttons on the underside. It was as natural and as close as I’ve ever gotten to a keyboard and mouse experience—without a keyboard and mouse.  One of the most important moves that I’ve never been able to easily do on a game pad is circle strafe, so on the Steam Controller I found an object and easily executed a text-book circle strafe. In fact, it was fun picking a rock and circling and shooting it without having to try to rewire my mind the way I have to with a typical game console controller.

steam controller

The back of the controller features two buttons. 

Not everything worked for me though. Besides FPS games, PC gamers also love their RTS games. And trying to replicate that experience is also something Valve said it burned a lot of brain juice on. Rather than the left trackpad being WASD and the right trackpad being a mouse free look, Valve decided to make both trackpads act as the mouse. The Idea, Valve said, was to make it easy and effortless to replicate the insane miles of mousing that RTS gamers execute. On Civ 5 though, it just didn’t click the way it did for me with Borderlands 2. I’m admittedly more of an FPS gamer than an RTS gamer which may contribute to it, but the transition wasn’t as effortless and easy as it was in Borderlands 2. I think with more time, I might have picked it up, but my interest in RTS games didn’t justify it.

The Steam Controller itself is still pretty early. We know it likely won’t come out until next year when Valve is expected to make the big push with its living-room gaming Steam OS. For Steam Machines to actually get any traction, the Steam Controller will have to work. From what I’ve seen, it at least has a fighting chance.

steam controller

The unit we played with will be the same as what the 300 beta testers get. 

Again, I’m admittedly an anti-console gamer. I can’t nor have I ever wanted to play games with a console controller because it’s mouse and keyboard or nothing at all for me. The Steam Controller, however, is the closest I’ve ever come to being mildly satisfied with a console controller. It’s not a full-fidelity replacement for a keyboard and mouse combo, and I doubt it ever will be. Afterall, how could any controller ever match a 6,400 dpi mouse, ribbed for your pleasure mouse pad, and a $150 mechanical keyboard?

I’ll reserve full judgment until I grab onto a production Steam Controller but I will say that if anything is ever going to convince me to try to play shooter in my living room instead of my office, the Steam Controller has the best shot.

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Article Source: The Only Yard For The Internet Junkie
If you like all this stuff here then you can buy me a pack of cigarettes.

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