Image is ingame screenshot from the Crew wild run
Image is ingame screenshot from the Crew wild run
In today’s world an internet connection is required to play many modern games or even use popular social and production applications such as a Microsoft Word, Facebook or Youtube. We refer to these products as being cloud based and it usually works wonders. However, this access to your game or application on the “cloud” (which is really just a connection to computer servers locked in some warehouse or undisclosed location) does have its drawbacks. But many people today might be surprised to know that any cloud-based drawbacks that might occur today didn’t always exist.
For sake of a better phrase, I will call those days the good old days–a time when one could play a game or use a word processor without going online. In those days the user actually own the product they bought and wasn’t at the mercy of any internet connection or online servers. Of course those days are gone for now but there are reasons why being connected to online play or production simply to type a letter might be a good option but for this particular post I will focus on why cloud based software and gaming is actually a horrible idea for the consumer–and I believe time will bare this out.
When your online connected game or subscription is working things are good. We get to play our game or write our letter. Take for example, the Crew. It’s a massive open world multiplayer car-driving game. The playground is open for exploration and this “playground” is a condensed version of the United States mountains and deserts included. When the game works, it’s a blast especially the Monster Trucks but I digress. However, like many games and services, this game requires players to login into an online server. In this case the company who controls the server is Ubisoft. Nothing against Ubisoft as a company but when their servers are down for maintenance or other reason, the player doesn’t get access to a game they have paid for. (Speaking of down time, I write this post as I wait for Ubisoft’s services to return. The good news, my blog service Word Press is up now! )
Now had such a game as The Crew been downloadable or installable on ones personal computer not relying on another’s server for access later as games once were, there would be no down time. We would also be able to own the product instead our being involved in a sort’ve lease agreement with the game/software developer and the product. Maybe you remember the days when Microsoft Word was a standalone product that could be paid for one time and installed on your home or business computer? Now Word is called Microsoft 365 and it is an endless subscription service rather than a standalone product. Google Docs and anything Google is cloud based. Many other company’s have gone the same way because in this cloud-based system we as customers don’t require a physical drive for storage and our account is always accessible across many devices. This is a convenience when it works. Internet connection not working? Too bad for you. Your online based report isn’t getting done today. Game or application company server down for maintenance? The only thing to do is wait until it’s up again to get access to our service. Yes, this is the future. And unfortunately it’s the only future many adults and kids will ever know.
I believe we have lost our way when it comes to our dependence and reliance on cloud based computing and subscription services. This system works in a developers favor to be cloud-based because of the control they have. They control when the customer gets access or when they don’t. They get our money regardless of our access to the product or satisfaction of it and maybe most importantly they get paid for however long we want to use it! Brilliant plan for them, not as great for the user. If you have Windows 10 running on your computer you may have noticed that Microsoft has been pushing for users to use the operating system online rather than having a local only account. Why the push for online use of the Windows 10? Because we get access to our data on multiple devices? Okay, sounds great but that should be my own business if I wanted such a convenience or not. I believe the push truly comes because someday soon everything we use related to computer will be a subscription. YouTube use to be free and it still is, kind of. Currently adverstisments abound but ever heard of YouTube Red? It’s Google’s way of shoving users away from unlimited free access (with adverstisments) to a product only subscription service. Software developers are brilliant and we customers will pay–literally.
Now, perhaps it’s true that the company or developer who starts selling software again that can be owned once and installed once, without the need for a subscription will become famous again. Of course, it would take a major breakdown of cloud-based services for this to happen but by then the world might be completely gone.
But there is Hope. And it’s not based on the internet’s or some software developer’s reliability or security. His name is Jesus. Of course, one would need to know the need for Jesus in order to be really concerned. Have you consider it?
images are personal in-game screenshots from The Crew except Ubisoft Maintenence Notice
Ubisoft image source
And my response is, absolutely. By now, there are mods available which turn GTA games including GTA 5 into a similar family friendly gaming experience. Yet I believe there is money to be made for any game company/developer who developed a GTA 5 style open world game without the extensive profanity, sex and violence (specifically against others) which GTA games are known for. Essentially it could be GTA 5 lite. This game would feature the same map, same natural environment including AI traffic but different gameplay options. Police patrol? Yes. Catch bad guys? Yes. Cause explosions? Sure. Fly? Drive? Run? Yes, yes and yes.
Another option would be for Rockstar games to include a filter(s) within their games. Simple on or off options for language. Street dialogue profanity on/off. Assassin’s creed Black Flag includes a similar option to remove blood.
We already see games which feature beautiful scenery but do not focus on swearing, sex and violence at every turn. The CREW Wild Run is a perfect example. However, The CREW only features a driving mode. No running, walking, doing police patrols, exiting your car, etc. In fact you can’t get out of your car at all.
Just Cause 2 is another example of a great open world game without sex and extensive swearing. In fact, the swearing can be virtually eliminated by lowering the volume for dialogue. However, Just Cause 2 does not feature a modern American style city nor a map or vehicles like GTA 5. Additionally, there is a lot of violence in Just Cause 2 (explosions and commando style shooting)—against the bad guys.
Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption outside of missions doesn’t even feature all the sex, violence and swearing one can find in GTA 5. Red Dead Redemption isn’t available for a PC nor does the map feature a modern American-like city. In fact, RDR is a western game.
An open world game that virtually eliminates swearing, sex and allows the player assume the role of a good guy or as a cop will get my business.
At this point I will note the mod for GTA 5 called LSPDFR. LSPDFR is a police mod essentally allowing the player become a cop in the GTA 5 world. The trouble with mod’s is how they cause GTA games to crash. In the meantime, I will be waiting for a permanent solution to LSPDFR or even the family friendly mod for GTA 5. Is Police 10-13 going to be that game?
Would you like to see a GTA 5 family friendly version or similar?
The Republicans in Washington led by President Trump were finally able come through on a promise to give back to the American people. And what exactly was this promise to give back? Our money of course. This will come as a welcome relief for many who pay taxes and give their hard-earned dollars day after day to the to government. And yet there was some sad news buried in with this otherwise wonderful Christmas gift. The fact that all of the Democrats sitting in Washington voted against tax cuts for the people is nothing less than a disgrace. But it shouldn’t be surprising should it?
After all this is the same Democrat party who removed God from their party platform in 2012 and the same Democrat party who consistently defends Planned Parenthood and the outright murder of babies. This Democrat party is the one who claims to be advocates for women and yet never calls attention to the abuse, slaughter and dishonor of Muhammad’s Islam perpetrated against women and humanity. And let us not forget about the disgusting jokes, obscenities and obscene graphic material exploiting women that is produced on a daily basis by none other than Democrat city aka Hollywood.
So while hard-working Americans will enjoy a little tax bonus coming soon thanks to right thinking people in Washington, we must also not forget how much the Democrat party is hurting America and the world.
The following story is as disturbing as it is disgusting and definitely not for anyone who would rather ignore the truth.
My original post continues below
Yes, Target was my favorite store until management decided to advocate for men entering the women’s bathroom. Many believe a boycott is ineffective and I believe it might be in terms of deeply “hurting” the merchant’s bottom line. However as a matter of conviction, for me not shopping at Target has been a public statement proclaiming a disagreement in an anti God store policy. Target’s bathroom policy of course puts kids in danger of perverted men masquerading as women but most importantly it is a sin against God. Yes, a surgery or surgeries to the human body and manipulating hormones does not change what God has already ordained from birth. We all know this to be true but as the CEO’s of Target are proving, many will try to pretend it isn’t so and that God is not in charge.
I first posted about the Target boycott here. Now consider another post of mine.
I suggest a better way of reaching Target and anyone is to start by watching a movie called Audacity. If you haven’t watched it already check it out here.
Someone in top management of Target made the decision to allow men to use the woman’s bathroom and vice versa. Many people agree with this and because it’s sin (see the Good Person Test) against God what needs to happen is a change of heart. Do boycotts change hearts? No. Who changes hearts? God.
People at Target or not are all headed on a path to hell because of crimes against a holy God. Yes, (there’s a long list) and we’re all doomed unless there’s a way of escape. See the good person test. There is hope however and it’s not man-made. God through Jesus Christ is the only escape and Savior from hell and judgment to come. Are you ready?
In a not surprising move by Twitter, the social media giant tries to suppress the truth about abortion. While most everyone already knows abortion is nothing less than cold-blooded murder of billions of babies, not everyone would like you to know. The latest case by Twitter to hide this gruesome reality was seen when Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn posted a campaign video about Planned Parenthood’s practice of abortion. In her campaign ad, she boldly states, “I’m 100% pro-life. I fought Planned Parenthood, and we stopped the sale of baby body parts — thank God.”
The details were clear about the disgusting reality that abortion is and Twitter blocked her video. In a statement made by Twitter they said, “the sale of baby parts” was “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.”
And of course it should evoke a strong negative reaction. Abortion is the gruesome practice of murdering babies. What could be more ugly and offensive than the murder of the innocent?
The question is why would Twitter block the truth? Is it that Twitter along with other large media outlets, actually believe murder is okay? After all, they have gone to great lengths to defend Planned Parenthood in the past.
Now if the Twitter CEO’s had a strong moral compass, I would expect a strong statement speaking out against the ugly practices of Planned Parenthood with abortion, along with any murder of innocents. God hates murder. Remember, the command “You shall not kill.” Maybe that is also why so many people today hope God’s commands and His messengers would disappear.
” If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NASB)
While America is busy attempting to unravel and mentally sort the tragic and horrific shooting massacre that occurred in Las Vegas over the weekend, one fact remains: The Las Vegas shooter didn’t know God. This fact alone is one many people might rather ignore but its reality is undeniable and deeply important. This may seem like a trivial matter to some but had this man Stephen Paddock believed in God by trusting in Jesus Christ for his salvation he wouldn’t have committed this heinous crime. This goes for anyone, at anytime. What do I mean you ask?
Clearly the world is crumbling and falling apart. People are more and more seeking to break the law and do harm to others. The Las Vegas shooting demonstrates more of the same.
However, God has spoken a stern warning to all who seek to ignore Him. We have all broken His Law (the Ten Commandments). As lawbreakers or transgressors of the law we are all slaves of sin (doing evil). Therefore we are all under a curse. Sin clouds our minds and blocks our view (or a correct view) of God. As a result we are self-seeking sin-filled creatures who are at enmity with the God of the universe. We shoot, murder, lie and cheat. In the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, our relationship with God was broken.
Sin is transgressing or breaking God’s law.
Have you sinned?
Broken God’s commands?
Are you willing to seek God?
These are just a few of the Ten Commandments. It’s evident we are all guilty of breaking God’s God’s law, the perfect standard for what is right and wrong. Therefore since God is holy, perfect and He cannot have sin in His presence (Psa. 5:4, Hab. 1:13) we deserve His righteous judgment in Hell.
Therefore, we need a Savior–a way of escape from His judgment for sin. (James 2:10)
Just because Mr. Paddock did not have salvation in Jesus Christ and a relationship with Him doesn’t mean it’s too late for us. We are all given a limited time on this planet. You may not have tomorrow or another minute to seek out God.
If you would like a more detailed version of what I have posted about salvation please take the good person test. Right now Bibles are plentiful in the United States. (They even have them at Dollar stores!) Please pick up a Bible and start reading in the book of John (or wherever God is leading you to start reading). Just start in His Word. When you have questions seek out answers but don’t stop looking in God’s Word.
I am not a pastor (or even part of any church leadership) but a guy with struggles, faults and battles with sin who’s only desire is to point people the right way which is to know Jesus Christ. If I can be of any help don’t hesitate to ask.
Thank you for reading this important post.
image source: top is my own
I like my iPhone and iPad but between strange behavior and missing features in Apple’s new update to iOS 11 I have become increasingly frustrated with it.
When viewing any app or picture with a white background, my iPhone shows an odd inexplicable bright whitish border around the edge of the screen. This was not seen prior to iOS 11.1 and does appear in any screenshots taken with the phone but appears to be an issue with the phone itself. Any thoughts? (below are some screenshots taken with my iPad of my iPhone 5s)
I may or may not be one of the few people experiencing this issue but I have noticed when I check my email Portrait Orientation sticking to a wide position even when I hold the phone upright in iOS 11. I am forced to shake or rotate the phone a couple of times to get it “unstuck”. To completely remedy this “sticking” of auto rotation I have to now use the portrait orientation lock feature when viewing emails or browsing the web to keep it from sticking in the wrong position. Pre-Locking the position is fine but it adds more steps when viewing a video should I want to rotate the view of the picture on the fly.
Another thing I have encountered in iOS 11 which I did not encounter in previous OS versions, is Wi-Fi automatically turning itself on after turning it off from the control center. This behavior never occurred in iOS 10. Of course, I go into settings to permanently turn off Wi-Fi but then it will won’t find any hot-spots at all. Isn’t the purpose of Control Center to allow convenient access to various phone settings such as Wi-Fi? I think so but for whatever reason, Apple decided to change the functionality of Wi-Fi in the Control Center.
Lastly, if you have ever wanted to buy an App from the App store and save it to your wish list, you can’t anymore. Again, for whatever reason, the wish list feature has been removed in iOS 11. Thank you Apple. Why not keep it when it such a useful feature in iOS 10?
This isn’t necessarily simply an issue with iOS 11 but still having no built-in calculator on the iPad is also odd since the iPhone has one built in. Maybe the code to add a calculator to the iPad (without using a third-party app) is more complicated than we realize.
Only a few years ago it used to be considered bad website design to allow videos to auto-play when a user landed on the site. In college I was instructed to not enable autoplay by default because it was considered impolite to the user especially if their sound had been turned up. That was more than 10 years ago.
Today it would seem that most news websites and many mainstream websites in general are enabling autoplay for their embedded videos by default. Annoying? Irritating? For me and many users it is. And if your sound is turned up, forget about peace and quiet while browsing the web.
Do we have a say in the matter? Maybe but only if enough people complained about it. Unfortunately, for now anyways, our current generation is being forced to get used to the intrusive bombardment of pop-up ads, chat windows, and videos that autoplay without you asking them to.
What do you think? Feel free to leave me a comment below.
Is Wifi turning on by itself (overriding user input) in iOS 11? In my experience it is. From the Control Center, when I toggle Wi-fi off it disconnects only temporarily before coming on hours later. Why this behavior? In iOS 10 this did not occur. OFF meant wi-fi was off and ON meant it was ON. So what is Apple doing? Why have they apparently decided to override user settings? If this is truly the case, in my view it is a dangerous trend.
If Wi-fi settings are changed, what else is Apple changing on your device without you knowing? For example, if you turn location detection OFF, will your phone turn it back on later? I hope not. Or what about other privacy settings? For now, the Wi-fi toggle found in Control Center in iOS 11 is the only setting I have found that is being changed automatically (overridden).
What has been your experience with iOS 11? Feel free to comment below.