PlayStation and Xbox Live Experiencing Outages

Sony PlayStation LogoThere’s a reason why you had difficulties accessing Sony’s online PlayStation store and Microsoft’s Xbox Live network during Christmas. Each has been experiencing disruptions from a DDoS attack that began on Christmas Eve, continued through Christmas Day, and is still ongoing.

The group that has claimed responsibility for the disruptions is the same one that has a history of destroying other people’s fun by making it impossible for them to access online games. This is especially problematic during Christmas as people who received new games try to get online to play them. Some have noted that Sony’s decision to let people download the controversial movie The Interview through Xbox Video could be adding to the problem.

The PlayStation Knowledge Center has mentioned the issue. At the time I am writing this, the PSN Status is “Offline”. Further information says: “We are aware that some users are experiencing difficulty logging into the PSN. We will update this article with any changes that occur in regards to this issue. Thank you for your patience.”

Similarly, Microsoft has posted some information about the outage on their Xbox Live Support page. At the time I am writing this, the Xbox Live Core Services is “Limited”. Further information says: “Xbox members, are you experiencing issues when attempting to sign in? We’re aware of this issue, and we’re working to find a fix ASAP! We appreciate your patience in the meantime, and we encourage you to retry signing in when you get a chance. We’ll update you as soon as we know more”.

Patreon Creates New Community Guidelines

Patreon logoPatreon has new Community Guidelines that both Creators and Patrons should be aware of. The new guidelines were created “in the interest of growing and protecting a safe, healthy community”. The key concept to take from the new guidelines is, as Patreon puts it, “be respectful of the people and communities on Patreon.”

Many of the guidelines outline what is not allowed on Patreon. You cannot put up a fake page or collect money for “not doing” something. I would think that part would be obvious, but if Patreon felt the need to spell it out, it appears that there were people who missed that important concept.

Patreon will not allow bullying or harassment. They will allow appropriate debate, but will not allow hate speech or serious threats of violence. Patreon defines hate speech as including “serious attacks on people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age disability, or serious medical condition”.

Patreon will not allow people to post things that go beyond “R Rated”. Some nudity and suggestive imagery might be acceptable if it is marked as NSFW (not safe for work). Read Patreon’s new guidelines for further details.

You cannot use Patreon to collect funds for “organizations that promote, forums that distribute, or anything else that primarily facilitates harmful or dangerous activities”. What does that mean? Patreon will not allow “an organization that promotes sexual abuse, intellectual property violations, weapons, commercial spamming, self harm, drug manufacturing techniques, or property crimes” to receive funds through Patreon.

The guidelines also clarify who will not be allowed to use Patreon:

“People with a dangerous criminal history or known affiliation with violent or dangerous groups including terrorist or cyberterrorist organizations, organized criminal groups, and violent hate groups cannot receive funds through Patreon, no matter what the purpose or apparent intention of their Patreon page. Similarly, anyone who has ever been convicted of child sex abuse, fraud, or money laundering is not permitted to collect funds through Patreon.”

There will be a grace period in which Patreon phases in the enforcement if its new Community Guidelines. It started on December 21, 2014, and will last a total of seven days. Creators who are in violation of the new guidelines will be contacted by Patreon and given a chance to comply with the guidelines. Creators who are “found to be in violation of the most serious parameters after seven days” will have their payments halted and their pages removed from Patreon.

Personally, as someone who has a Patreon for one of my podcasts, I am happy to see these new Community Guidelines. We have seen that there are people who use the internet to send violent threats to strangers whom they disagree with. It makes me feel safe to know that Patreon is not going to allow that sort of thing to happen on their website.

GNC #1002 North Korea Denial of Service Attack

I look at the Internet outage in North Korea to the 1024 Internet users in the country. I also dig into all of the hottest tech news of the day plus a huge amount of wild aviation videos.. Everyone have a Merry Christmas. I will be back for one more show this year next Monday have a great week. I also introduce HearNotes and look forward to sharing more about this companies product at CES.

You will save $50.00 on your Total Transformation by using the promo code Podcast @ when you purchase your transformation kit.. Get healthy before the new year with me.

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Kodak Returns to CES 2015 with Consumer Showcase

Kodak LogoAfter an absence of three years, Kodak is returning to CES in January 2015 with a range of innovative consumer products including action cams and baby monitors.

Building on a history of digital and video cameras, Kodak will be introducing a line of PixPro cameras, including the PixPro SP360 action cam which provides a 360-degree view. In addition, Kodak will be showing off a smartphone as well as line of headphones and earbuds.

Returning to its photographic roots, Kodak will be demonstrating the Kodak Picture Kiosk and My Kodak Moments app for making prints and other photo products from mobile devices.

Finally, Kodak will be bringing out the Kodak Baby Monitoring System CFH-BVA10, which has already earned a prestigious CES Innovation Award in advance of the show.

Kodak has one of the world’s most powerful brands and we intend to renew it and apply to it to expand our consumer business and grow the company,” said Steven Overman, President, Consumer & Film Division, and Chief Marketing Officer. “The world’s love affair with Kodak Moments has spanned more than a century. Building on that legacy, Kodak today presents a broad range of consumer products – reliable, accessible and easy-to-use.

Other Kodak products on show at CES include:

  • Flash drives and storage media.
  • Photo mailing labels, stickers and other paper imaging specialty items.
  • A full line of batteries and new line of chargers for smart phones and tablets.
  • Photo-related accessories and equipment, including binoculars, camera cases and memory card readers.

The Kodak booth is #21818 in South Hall 1.

Robot Underpants: 12.19.14 (177) “The Sony Thing”

Baron Mat “Langley” Luschek, “Starman” Michael Gaines and Kathy Hopkins discuss the Sony debacle and a few other things. Sorry about the technical difficulties.

GNC #1001 The Road Ahead

Whew we got that one behind us.. This is another great show full of tech talk and of course the announcement of all the winners for the contest. Congrats to all and thank you for the kind words from the last episode.. My offer still stands on Vegas as well, let me know if you are interested. I also talk about the road ahead.

You will save $50.00 on your Total Transformation by using the promo code Podcast @ when you purchase your transformation kit.. Get healthy before the new year with me.

Become a GNC Insider Today!:

Download the Audio Show File

Support our Show Sponsor:
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GoDaddy Promo Codes always save you money, check out my Promo Codes Today

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ACTON Presents “Moving Stories” Contest

ACTON logoACTON is the creator of RocketSkates – electric, motorized skates that fit right over your shoes. They have presented a contest called “Moving Stories”. The winner of the contest will receive $10,000 toward the cost of their education. I find the play on words somewhat amusing. A company that makes a device that can quickly move you down the street is seeking stories that are emotionally moving.

The “Moving Stories” contest is intended to be a way of celebrating the everyday hero, “the ones we so often forget to appreciate”. They are asking for people to produce a three minute video of the best story of a hero in their life. ACTON will contribute $10,000 to the person whose video showed the most inspiring story. Three runner ups will each receive one pair of R6 RocketSkates. You can submit your video anytime between now and May 25, 2015.

I believe that it is always a good idea to read over the contest terms. To be eligible for this contest you must be a legal resident of the United States and at least 16 years of age. For some reason, those who live in Florida, New York, and Delaware are excluded from this contest. Your video cannot be longer than three minutes and it must be in English.

Participants must have a Facebook account and a YouTube account before they can submit their video to the contest. It is my understanding that the reason participants must have a YouTube account is because they will be required to post their video entry on YouTube with the title “’Moving Stories’ Presented by RocketSkates #ThatHeroLife”. I’ve no idea why the Facebook account is required.

Some videos will be selected as the “Hero Of the Week” or “Hero of the Month”. The top ten finalists will have 30 days “to promote their Submission to gain votes from the Public”. ACTON has a video that gives a glimpse into what they are looking for in the videos that are submitted.

iSadde ELM 327 Bluetooth OBD2 Module

iSaddle_ELM_327Being a geek can sometimes become pretty expensive. Different devices offer differing amounts of geek fun for the buck.
Every car and pickup manufactured from 1996 forward has what is known as an OBD2 port. OBD is short for on board diagnostics. The OBD2 port was originally mandated as part of emission control efforts.

There are plenty of consumer-oriented OBD2 port scanners. However, with the proliferation of smart phones and tablets, something new has come along that many people have yet to become aware of. Inexpensive Bluetooth and WiFi enabled OBD2 modules are just the ticket to pair up with your favorite smartphone or tablet.

Torque ProI purchased an iSaddle ELM 327 module from Amazon which is currently priced at $14.99 and is an Amazon Prime item. This particular unit will work with Android and Windows only, so I can only use it with my Android devices and not my iPad Air. If I want to use an OBD2 scanner with my iPad I would need to buy one that says it specifically works with iOS devices. So, if you intend to get one of these devices for use on an iOS device, be SURE that you search for iOS OBD2 and read the user comments to make sure what people that have purchased the specific item you are looking at have to say about it.

The iSaddle ELM 327 module simply plugs in to the vehicle’s OBD2 port. OBD2 ports are always located on the driver’s somewhere immediately under the dash. On my 1998 Ford F-150 pickup, the OBD2 port is located almost directly below the steering column just under the dash back a bit from the bottom edge. I can easily leave the unit plugged in full time if I wish.

To make use of the device after plugging it in, simply start up the engine and then pair it up with Bluetooth to your Android phone or Android tablet. On my unit, the Bluetooth password is 1234.

Next, it is necessary to have an app that can take advantage of the ELM 327 Bluetooth unit. In my opinion by far the best app available is an Android app called Torque. There is a free version of Torque and a paid version called Torque Pro that sells in the Google Play store for $4.99. I went ahead and purchased the Pro version figuring that the extra functionality was well worth the price.

With this setup, I have Torque Pro in my Galaxy Note 3 set up to automatically connect to the iSaddle ELM 327 module every time I take a trip in my vehicle. I have Torque Pro set up to automatically monitor various engine operating parameters and create a CSV or comma separated value file of each new trip. I have included GPS position history using the phone’s GPS, which enables me to bring each separate trip up on a map right inside of the Torque Pro app.

Torque Pro also comes with standard virtual gauges such as speedometer, tachometer, etc. However, it is possible for the end user to easily create his or her own virtual analog or digital gages. The graphics in Torque Pro are really quite good making for very realistic-looking virtual gauges.

Torque Pro is extremely customizable, so I would suggest spending a significant amount of time with the app looking through all of the different options. For example, I now have an instant MPG readout on a 16-year-old vehicle which I think is pretty darned cool!

I have to say this is one of the most enjoyable $20 dollars I’ve spent in a long time for this combo. Once upon a time people who were serious about knowing what was going on with their vehicle’s engine would spend a fortune on physical gauges. Torque Pro in conjunction with an ELM 327 OBD2 port module makes it possible to create as many virtual gauges as you would like and your particular car supports.