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Xbox 360 Gears of War Edition

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jan 28, 2012 in Tech, XBOX 360

While playing Call of Duty: MW3 on my old Xbox 360 Elite, I noticed some strange black lines appearing in the background. I switched around cables, ports etc as I assumed it was a cable issue, but the problem stayed.

So ‘google is your friend’, and I found a handful of forum posts suggesting that the Xbox was on it’s way out, and these black lines were early signed of the Red Ring of Death, and I could soon expect to see the E74 error message.

Now Microsoft have given an additional 2 years warranty to cover the RROD, but unfortunately the Elite is nearly 3 and a half years old…..so time to buy a new shiny one !

I spent the evening looking at online deals, and finally decided that I wanted one of the special edition Xbox’s. I currently own the Halo Reach special edition Xbox and know there are currently 2 others on the market, the MW3 edition and the Gears of War 3 edition…..so decided to go with the Gears of War 3 edition.

Same as the Halo Reach special edition Xbox, it comes with a custom paint job, custom sounds and 2 custom controllers, and obviously a copy of Gears of War 3. The guy who served me at Game also threw in a copy of Crisis 2 (via download code), so all in all quite a bargain at considering it has the 320Gb hard drive.

One final thought, the controllers are the new type with the transforming D pad, it’s still early days with it, but WOW what a difference !

As always, the unboxing pics are below.

Gears of War Xbox Gears of War XboxGears of War Xbox Gears of War Xbox Gears of War Xbox

Gears of War Xbox Gears of War Xbox

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Apple iOS 4

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jun 21, 2010 in Apple, iPhone

When I moved from my Nokia E90 to iPhone, there were a few features missing that I used a lot. Being a “tidy freak”, I kept my application organised in folder. I’m also a big fan of Google Latitude and had this running in the background all the time, but these were scarifies I was willing to make to move across to the iPhone. As you can imagine I was overjoyed to find that not only were Folders coming to the next OS for the iPhone, but also “multitasking”. Now granted this isn’t the same multitasking that you get on the likes of Symbian S60, however for what I want it for (Background location), this made my day.

I guess I’m one of the lucky ones, I have an iPhone 3GS and on Thursday will be accepting the delivery of my new, shiny iPhone 4. This means I get to use the full functionality of the new OS, other people (iPhone 3G and before, iPod Touch 2G and before), will only have limited functionality (No multitasking).

So today’s the day, and iOS 4 is available for download, and obviously I’ve now downloaded it and have it installed.

The first think that stands out is the customised Home Screen Wallpaper. Now I know it’s a simple thing, but does really help to personalise your phone. This is something that I took for granted on the Symbian OS, and until it was gone, I started to miss it.

The next thing I did was created folders and started to drop apps into them, this was a god send, Apple have made it as easy as possible for you to do this, simple drag one app on top of another and voila a folder is created. The folder names are automatically named, eg Games, Reference, Social Network, and can only assume it does this based on the iTunes category, this can however be changed . Before I used to organise my application using the screens, Social Media, Weather (yeah, I have multiple weather apps), Shopping, Fitness, Media, Game Tracking, and Games. On OS3 you can have 16 apps per page, however the folders are only 12 apps. This does really clean up the iPhones real estate.

The Spell checker works a treat, I prefer it to it just randomly correcting as I type.

When I saw the email was “Even Better Mail”, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I only have one mail box with all mail in (I use email forwarding for all my accounts, and have my google apps account as the central repository, and splitting my mail accounts using labels), so didn’t think I’d see a benefit, however, being a gmail user is was good to see “organize messages by threads”. It felt a lot more familiar. You get a number at the side of the email to tell you how many are in the chain, clicking on email brings up the “conversation”

Functions like iBooks, the ability to create playlists on the move weren’t something I was really interested in, as I’m more of an Audio book reader, and I prefer to organise my playlists on my Mac.

As for the other functions like Facetime, I guess I’m going to have to wait until Thursday.

I think I can now finally say, there are no features that I’m missing, and glad to be an iPhone owner, I’m sure that over the next few days, I’m going to find features I’ve not initially noticed, but will tweet about them as and when I find them.

edit: After playing with iOS 4 now for a good few hours, I’ve found a few more features. The 3GS does support the digital zoom function on the camera app, you just need to tap the screen once, and you’ll get a slider bar allowing your to zoom in.

The camera app has also been upgraded to include similar features to the Mac software iPhoto, in the way that it now sorts your photos by places and faces, and seems to be loads more accurate with the GPS location.

You also have the option of having 2 different wallpapers, one for the lock screen and one for the home screen. This option can be found on the 3GS under Setting >> Wallpaper.

You can also now change your Safari search engine by going into Setting >> Safari >> and changing the search engine from Google, to Yahoo! and Bing

Currently I only have 1 app on my iPhone that supports “background processing” and that’s Dropbox. If I set something uploaded, then close, this will continue to upload in the background.

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How to stop spam bots on phpbb3

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Apr 18, 2009 in Tech

Over the past couple of months I’ve been having a bit of an issue with spam bots signing up, and posting spam all over my forums. I spent the best part of 2 days trying to combat this but to no avail. I was just about to tear my hair out, when I stubled accross a brilliant idea over at awesomestyles.com

The idea was to create a custom field which was compulsery on signup.

Custom profile fields are a feature of phpBB3. They allow you, as admin, to easily add fields that a user can fill out to their profile – such as location, age and so on. It is possible to use a custom profile field to help and prevent spam bots from registering on your forum.

Adding a new custom profile field

Firstly you need to login to your admin forum and click the Users and groups tab

Users and groups tab

From the left hand menu select the Custom profile fields from the Users menu

Users menu

This will show all the custom profile fields currently added. Add a new one from the box in the bottom right of the page.

Add new profile field

Use a name in the textbox such as ‘stop_spam’ or ‘no_spam’ (17 characters max, a-z and underscores only allowed). Select Dropdown box from the dropdown box and click Create field

The settings

You’ll now be shown a more detailed form. The field type and identification fields should already be filled in. Make sure that the Display profile field option is set to Yes and the Display on registration screen and Required field options are checked.

New profile field

Enter some text for the bottom 3 boxes. In this tutorial the Field title is Are you a spambot?, the description is Sorry we have to ask and the options are just Yes and No.

Once you’ve entered this text click Profile type specific options and you’ll be taken to the next stage in adding the custom profile field.

Add profile field options

The default settings here should be fine. Both drop down boxes need to be set to Yes. This means that “Yes” is the default option when on the registration page and that a value of “Yes” will cause an error. This means that whoever is registering will have to change this value to “No” – the idea being a spam bot would not know to do this so won’t be able to sign up to your forum. Click the Language specific options button. This will allow you to translate the text you entered (Are you a spam bot, etc) in step 1 to any other languages installed on your forum. Once that has been completed click Save.

That’s it! This won’t stop all spam bots however it will help to prevent some spam and it is a very easy system to implement.

Using just 1 field didn’t work for me, however adding 2, worked just a treat, my registration screen look like the below, and since implementing a couple of days ago, no more spam bots !!

Reg screen

Reg screen

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