Mid Week Gaming Deals (June 24)

By on Jun 24, 2015 | 0 comments

If you have visited my Deals page, you can see that recently I became an official partner of Green Man Gaming. As you can see, I have a custom voucher code available to those of you who visit my site or follow me on Twitter. STEVOF-C20OFF-GAMING Every few weeks (or more often if people seem to like it) I will post some Mid Week Gaming Deals that I think are worth your while. This week I have chosen 3 action game releases to highlight: Fallout 4 – 20% off with code Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition – 20% off with code Batman Arkham Knight – 40% off with code listed below Fallout 4 is currently listed at $59.99 but you can use my voucher code STEVOF-C20OFF-GAMING to receive 20% off. Devil May Cry 4: SE is currently listed at $24.99. Use my voucher code STEVOF-C20OFF-GAMING to receive 20% off. Batman Arkham Knight is currently listed at $59.99. Use voucher code BETHEB-ATMANG-MG40PC to receive 40% off. Please note: the Batman code is valid until 17:00 UTC June 26 and is good for both standard and premium...

FiOS Quantum Internet is FAST

By on May 21, 2015 | 0 comments

Through the years, I’ve had nothing but great service from Verizon FiOS, which is the exact opposite of my time spent with Comcast. I couldn’t wait to switch from Comcast when FiOS became available in my area over 5 years ago now. Recently, I decided to switch to the 75/75 FiOS Quantum internet plan. In no way was my internet slow before when I had the 50/50 tier, but now it’s surprisingly fast. With most companies, you are lucky to get the rated speeds you pay for. With FiOS, at least in my area, that is not the case at all. They state you get speeds “up to 75/75” but in reality, the speeds they give well surpass that. I have run various speed tests, as shown below, to give a general idea of the speed I get with my upgraded service: As you can see, I get above the rated speeds from servers in various locations. Once you start to have internet speeds in this range, it appears that the servers themselves are the limiting factor more so than the internet plan itself. FiOS Quantum internet goes all the way up to 500/500 plans, but for me that would be a huge waste. Don’t get me wrong, it would be amazing to have. For my use of the internet though, this 75/75 plan is great. Verizon also added a My Rewards+ Program. You get points for various things such as paperless billing, ordering movies and many other actions. After renewing my contract for another 2 years, I just recently got 2000 points. As you can see, the points add up  quickly. I have gotten over 6000 points since the reward program has started. The photo above shows the general value of the points along with some of the available options. As I said before, I’ve had nothing but great service from FiOS. I would never switch back to Comcast, even if there was a vast price difference. If you are interested in Verizon FiOS please consider joining with my referral link and sign up for the My Rewards+ program. It is a great service and well worth switching to FiOS if you haven’t...

Karma Go, soon? I hope

By on May 18, 2015 | 0 comments

Needless to day at this point, people use the internet a lot. Thanks to the mass adoption of smart phones over recent years, people have gotten used to always being on the internet. We all use it for different things, Facebook, Twitter and email for example. You name it, and we probably use the internet in some way for it. Years ago, Karma released their first portable hot spot device. The idea was great; a small device that anything with wifi could connect to easily. It was smaller than most other hot spots, and featured pay as you go pricing unlike many of the other larger carriers. The main drawback of the original Karma was the platform it used. It was limited to 3G and many 4G devices were becoming popular. The available signal area was also fairly limited, but it worked great (for the most part). At the end of last year the Karma Go was announced. People with the original Karma got a very good deal on the new device. It’s been so long ago now, but if I remember correctly, I was able to preorder the device for $75 which is about 50% off the price you can order it for now. So obviously I did. The Karma device is $149, and data costs $14 for 1GB, $59 for 5GB, and $99 for 10GB. But, if you pay attention to their site, they tend to do sales every few months. I have over 40gb of data, most of which I’ve bought during 50% off sales.  The data never expires, so I should be good for a very long time with that amount of data available. Another great feature of the Karma is sharing. For a detailed explanation of how it works click here. But for a quick and easy overview,  your Karma has open wifi. When people connect to it, they can sign in and get 100mb of free data, and you receive 100mb as well. Your login is not tied to a specific device. Meaning, if I go somewhere (and I have data available on my account as I said before) and see a Karma hot spot I can just log in and use my data, even if I didn’t bring my Karma device along. So really, if you have a lot of friends you can use the Karma quite a while without ever actually buying data, because the 100mb from each person keeps adding up. The new Karma Go should “fix” all of the shortcoming of the original. It has nationwide 4g coverage now, which was the only issue (for lack of a better word) I had with the original. The release date has been kicked back over and over again, but as of the last update I have received, this month should finally be it. I’m looking forward to using the newly updated Karma Go soon. Once I get it I will do a review of the device, so stay tuned for that. If the Karma Go interests you, please follow this link and you can get $10...

Thanks, Electronic Arts

By on May 12, 2015 | 0 comments

I seriously never thought I would say that, but EA has awoken the casual gamer in me again. Recently I decided to move my Xbox One out of my living room and into another location in my house, the Den (as it is labeled in my Sonos system). The den is where my computer is located as well as a 42″ TV. Obviously, the 55″ in the living room plus surround sound gives a greater overall experience, but I realized I didn’t necessarily want all of that. All i really need is my leather recliner (also in the den) and a nice HD TV. 10-15 years ago I was much more into gaming. I had all of the consoles, and was an avid PC gamer. (I’ll blame Unreal Tournament for that.) and since then my console playing has dwindled. I have an Xbox 360 in the closet which hasn’t been turned on for 4+ years, and my PS3 which I used to play fairly often hasn’t even been taken out of the box I moved it in when I bought my new house in 2013. I’ve had the Xbox One since launch, but I’ve rarely played it. I have a handful of games, and they are great, but I know spending $60 each is not worth it for me. I just don’t play it enough anymore. This is where EA comes in. EA Access… what can i say? For those of you who aren’t aware of what it is, EA Access is a monthly service which allows you to play games from their “vault”.  The vault has recently been updated with all of the ’15 sports games, and has a few others as well. This service for under $30 a year allows me to download a bunch of games I wouldn’t have purchased for $60 each, because as i said before I just don’t play them enough. Not only that, but if I decide I want to buy any other EA games, I as an Access member, will get a 10% discount. I have to admit, I didn’t realize how much I missed playing some of these games. NHL 15 for example has been a blast. I haven’t played a hockey game in easily 5+ years. On a side note, I laughed when I saw an NHL 94 control scheme available in the options. I thought to myself, “wow i loved that game”.  I didn’t use that scheme though by the way. EA is definitely not the most liked company out there, any gamer knows that. But recently they seem to have changed their image slightly. Their stocks are going up, and people seem generally pleased with this new EA Access offering (which I should point out is exclusive to the Xbox One right now). I know I am very happy with what EA is doing, so as the title states, thanks EA.  I intend on using my console for the occasional gaming session much more frequently...

Almost 5 Years!

By on May 11, 2015 | 0 comments

Wow, where does time go? Obviously I have been neglecting my site, but that’s about to change. Through the years, I have always spent plenty of time online. If you look through the extremely outdated archive, you can see years ago I was fairly active… nearly 200 blog posts here. Life seems to have taken over the past few years and my time to “play” online just hasn’t been the same. I have posted everything from reviews, to photography related posts, and of course some rants are mixed in there too. I intend on doing more of the same. My site won’t necessarily be focused on any one thing, but about anything I think could be useful to others. So, to those of you who still see these posts, expect to see a lot more from me in the near future. And if this is your first visit to my site, welcome! I hope you stop back again soon once I have everything going...

Review: Nook Color

By on Nov 29, 2010 | 0 comments

I have been using the Nook Color for about a week now, and I have to say that it is a very well made device. As soon as you open the box and pull out the Nook Color you can feel how well built it is. The screen looks amazing, even at 1/4 brightness that it is set at by default. The size is perfect for reading books and magazines look great on the color screen, but i personally think it’s a little small for viewing them. Article view helps out a lot though, which I will talk about more later. On the initial startup you are greeted by a welcome video. The quality of the video is perfect. Seriously, I don’t really think it could look any better. Unfortunately, this seems to be the only video that I can get to even play on the device, but more about that later. It takes little time to setup. You just set up your WIFI, timezone and log into your account and that is about it. The performance of the Nook Color is great. There is an occasional hiccup with an animation, but it is very minimal. Unless you are sitting there searching for a problem you will most likely not even notice. The device itself only has 4 physical buttons: power, volume up, volume down, and the “n” home button. Pressing the power button locks the screen. If you hold it for 5 seconds it will pop up an option to turn of the device completely. I have been doing this at night because I don’t really have a reason to keep it on. I figured it would be a good addition to the review to time the fresh boot up. It takes 31 seconds to load up all the initial wording and animations. At that point you are on the home screen. So turning the device off completely isn’t really a big time killer. The Nook Color really shines as an ebook reader. I have absolutely no eye strain while using it even though it has an LCD screen. My eyes are totally used to LCD screens though, as I have been using them for the last 10 years regularly. You have many options while reading books or newspapers on the device. You can change the colors, margins, font, line spacing and text size that it displays. It has enough options available that you should be able to find a combination that suits you perfectly. The entire screen is touch enabled. But there are 3 key locations you want to touch while reading. About 1/2 inch on each side of the screen is for page turns. You can just tap on the left side to go back or tap on the right to go ahead. If you don’t like the single tap function, you can also swipe your finger to “move” to the next page. By tapping in the middle of the page, it will bring up an option menu where you can see the content of whatever you are reading along with your bookmarks, search through the text, share (recommend via email, Twitter or Facebook along with posting the % complete as a status update), change the text attributes, and adjust the screen brightness. There is also a slider to go to a specific page. I have tried all of these functions and haven’t come across any problems yet. Where the device begins to have some problems is with media functions. Various sites including YouTube are bookmarked by default in the web browser. I tried a few videos via the home page of YouTube and none of them worked. Each popped up the same “unable to play media” message. To test this further I put a few videos on to my microSD card. I tried 3 videos, all encoded via mp4 as stated on the Nook specs as necessary and none of them worked. There seems to be a major issue with the video codecs on the device. But as I stated earlier, the demo video looks incredible. So I hope an update is released soon that adds more functionality to the video playback portion of the device because as of right now it serves little purpose. I put about 100 mp3 files onto my microSD card also. They played without any problem. I have seen other reviews where mp3 files did not play. But I had no issues, though I didn’t try to play any VBR mp3 files. If any could be a problem I would think those would have the greatest chance of failure. Now back to Article view in magazines. This function makes magazines actually readable. Article view, which works in regular or landscape, pulls the text from within the articles and displays it in the center of the screen. It makes it much easier to scroll through and read the text this way. Magazines would not be very functional if this option was not available. You would be forced to zoom in and out on the magazine, moving it around the screen to view the different columns of text. The web browser works well. It lacks Flash like most other mobile devices. One thing to point out though is the fact that the mobile versions of sites don’t load by default. Every site I visit treats the browser in the Nook as a...

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