Monday, January 1, 2018

The SFC Group - 2018 New Years' Update

The SFC Group would like to wish you guys a happy new year! However, with a new year, comes exciting new changes on our part!

2017 is officially over, and 2018 has come upon us, but that won't stop us from our continued efforts in expanding our organization to new heights, and now we're here to officially announce what we've been up to! So let's get to it before we dilly-dally any further...


1. YouTube Channel Revamp & New Content


Our YouTube channel is getting another major revamp for 2018, as we approach the 1,000 subscriber mark!


We've uploaded over 100 videos in 2017 (not counting live shows) and gained a substantial amount of subscribers, but we plan on increasing both of those amounts for 2018, with new content on the horizon, and a special surprise for when we do reach the 1,000 subscriber mark!

Here are some of the major updates regarding our main video series:

- SFC Plays Train Simulator now includes Train Sim World, and Workshop Mania has been merged into the SFC Plays Train Simulator series. Future Workshop scenario playthroughs will be moved to our new Twitch channel.

- SFC Reviews will now include other games besides Train Simulator DLC (most likely will come later in 2018).

- The third episode of Technology Showdown: Misadventures of Apple & Tux is currently in pre-production. The episode will focus on the character Windows, along with Mojave, Windows' girlfriend. This episode will also be the first voice acting debut of SFC Group Member, Lunala.

- And while we're on the topic of Technology Showdown, our biggest project to date, The Prologue, is slowly resuming pre-production as we finalize our cast and move onto the storyboarding process. The release date is currently unknown.

- The next Shoppers Showcase episode, covering RadioShack, is currently in pre-production and we are planning to release it after Train Sim Month 2018.

- The Railfan Central "RailVids" and "RailFacts" video series have been consolidated into one playlist on our YouTube channel under "Entertainment and Other".

- Bootleg Bonanza has been officially discontinued due to low viewership and we simply ran out of ideas to continue the show. Despite this however, the playlist will stay up, but can only be accessed through the "Playlists" section of our YouTube channel.


However, these new changes will come at a cost; on January 6th, 2018, we will be taking down 19 videos from our YouTube channel, due to low viewership and our increase in production quality. Some of these videos will be kept archived on our part (and possibly may get re-released in the future, but not on YouTube), however only a handful of these videos will NOT be archived, and will be removed permanently from our channel.


Here are the following videos that'll be taken down on January 6th (all of them have been taken down):

RoadRailer Simulations (all videos listed below will be archived):
(RRS will be exiting YouTube; future videos and sneak peeks will be uploaded through our RRS Facebook page and our Twitch channel respectively)

Century County Line - "Carolton Update" Showcase

Century County Line - Carolton Update Teaser


SFC Plays Minecraft (now discontinued; all episodes listed below will be archived):

Block Party - SFC Plays Minecraft Ep. 11

Best of SFC Plays Minecraft Ep. 11 - Block Party

One Day of Survival - SFC Plays Minecraft Ep. 12

The Minecraft Parable - SFC Plays Minecraft Ep. 13

Dr. Evil’s Revenge - SFC Plays Minecraft Ep. 14

The Return of t3c - SFC Plays Minecraft Ep. 17

The Desert Temple of Doom - SFC Plays Minecraft Ep. 19

The Chicken Killer - SFC Plays Minecraft Ep. 21

Hardcore Parkour - SFC Plays Minecraft Ep. 22


SFC Plays Train Simulator (all episodes listed below will NOT archived):

GN Log Empties

Working Wenatchee Wheat

F59PHI and Surfliner Introduction

Bound for Bailey Part 1

The Big Boy Entering Cheyenne Slowly (Version 1)

Light Freight to Red Butte

Laramie Railfanning

The Big Boy Entering Cheyenne Slowly (Version 2)


Of course, that's simply not all: We've already begun working on some new tech videos for our Software Room and Electronics Guide series that we think you'll really enjoy. Some of these were requested, while some of them were made for fun.

Now before we move onto the next announcement, a couple of people have asked us about subtitle contribution in our videos. Well, we can confirm to you that it may not happen for a while as there is not enough demand for it, but we'll think about implementing it if there is such demand, but only on a limited number of videos.

If you haven't yet, subscribe to our YouTube channel: 
https://www.youtube.com/c/sagefuncom

Now let's move onto some bigger news...

2. The Latest RoadRailer Simulations Expansion


Yes, you heard it folks: The SFC Group has officially acquired Global Rail Simulations (formerly AMT Simulations).

Our latest acquisition of Global Rail Simulations (GRS) brings to our division, RoadRailer Simulations, new content, including its US and non-US add-ons into our family!

As part of the acquisition, we are planning to re-release several GRS products (mostly US add-ons) under the RRS brand, with some enhancements, bundled scenarios, and a PDF manual, just like our other freeware products! The acquisition also gives us the chance to include compatibility with the Searchlight Simulations enhancement packs in some of our add-ons, and it also gives us the opportunity to hop into the non-US repaint business, so expect some to come in the not-too-distant future!

We won't be unveiling what's coming up next in the future for RRS as of yet, but expect some sneak peeks on the RRS Facebook page and our Twitch channel!

Follow RoadRailer Simulations:
Website: http://sagefun.com/RRS/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roadrailersim/
Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/roadrailersim
Discord: https://discord.gg/b53UxmV

Now let's jump into live show territory...

3. SFC Live's Enhanced Format


SFC Live, our live gaming show, will be resuming on January 6th, 2018, with an enhanced format.

SFC Live resumes for the new year on January 6th, 2018 from 7PM to 9PM Eastern as usual. However, we will be introducing an enhanced format to make the live experience better for our fans:

- The pre-show countdown will be removed from our shows entirely; instead we'll just cut to the chase.

- As we've stated before, Workshop Mania has officially been discontinued and moved to our Twitch channel.

- SFC Live Trivia Game 2 is scheduled to conclude on January 27th, 2018, with the 1st place winner receiving $20 worth of Steam credit as usual. SFC Live Trivia Game 3 will premiere on March 3rd, 2018, about a year after SFC Live Trivia premiered. For Game 3, we plan on adding some new and exciting gameplay, such as a new question type.

There might be other surprises too, but that's all we'll tease you with.

Visit the SFC Live page:
http://www.sagefun.com/live/

Finally, to wrap up this update post...

4. What's Next


The SFC Group is rapidly expanding its system to new heights, while we continue to entertain and educate our dedicated fans. So what's up next for us in 2018? You'll find out below...

These are just the first three announcements for what's coming in 2018, but we have other ones that we'll quickly cover here.

Here are some of the other announcements:

- Our "Everything Trains" department is no more; as a result, Railfan Central has been moved under our "Entertainment and Other" department, and RoadRailer Simulations is now one of our software divisions, but not fully emphasized. Railfan Central's website and Facebook page will continue to operate, but won't be worked on as much as our RRS and SFC Facebook pages. The main focus in terms of Railfan Central will be on its RailVids and RailFacts video series.

- Train Sim Month 2018 is coming along well, and we've already finalized what we're going to be doing for the final Train Sim Month in the trilogy, which you can check out on our blog today.

- If you haven't read the PhobiX Update post yet, our first Linux distro, Phobos, developed by SFC Group Member and PhobiX Software co-owner EDJRMorpheus95, is being delayed due to trouble with the installers. We're also planning on remaking it from scratch, based on Ubuntu rather than Debian itself. As a result, the public beta has been pushed back to early 2018.

Lastly, but not least: we have a special surprise for when we reach 1,000 subscribers. We're not gonna unveil it quite yet though, but it'll be a new way for our fans to support our content, and get exclusive bonuses (which will include our archived content) when they contribute to the supporting of not only our content, but also our organization.

Conclusion

That's about all the time we have when it comes to what's in store for 2018. However, as always, we've got more to come, but that'll be saved for another day.

In the meantime, why not follow us on Twitch for live playthroughs of simulation games (if you're into them that is) via the link below? If you do follow us, you'll get notified of when we start streaming.

Follow us on Twitch today for live playthroughs of simulation games:

As always, thanks for taking the time to read this, and have a happy new year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Future Of PhobiX

Hi, this is EDJRMorpheus95, the co-owner of The SFC Group's software and games division, PhobiX, and one of the moderators of The SFC Group Discord, and I wanted to start talking about the future of PhobiX.

What is going on with Phobos right now?

Originally, we had scheduled a public beta to be released this week, however due to issues with trying to get the installers and such to work, we had to delay the public beta release of Phobos.

One of our newest SFC Group Members, Feandesign told me that "If you want Phobos to look like Unity, you could use Ubuntu." I found this pretty interesting for Phobos, and this will be the birth of Phobos on Ubuntu.

However, It has been confirmed that Canonical, the company that created Ubuntu, has killed The Unity Desktop and will return to the GNOME Desktop, so it is up to us to either use KDE or keep using GNOME 3 for the Desktop Environment and use the inclusion of Fluxbox for our Window Manager.

Besides, using Ubuntu for Phobos will have the usability to make the Ubiquity installer work, which can only be used on Ubuntu, which makes sense when you think about it, if you have Linux knowledge. Another thing is adding more applications and games. I have plans for adding Super Tux Kart, The Easy WNR Maker app (which I will talk about later), and many more to come. I even have plans for adding half of the Booster Packs from Celestial and half for Phobos as well.

What will likely not be featured in Phobos?

As I heard some arguments of Crunchyroll on Phobos, it has been officially confirmed that Crunchyroll will not be part of Phobos, due to legal reasons.

Another thing is adding other Linux desktop environments for Phobos, which will not happen at the moment. Phobos will either use KDE and GNOME 3, unless you can install it through terminal, and here is why: Phobos was originally going to be based off of C++, but was moved on to KDE Linux Mint Qiana, then moved to Debian. Debian was the most confusing thing to choose when it comes to desktop environments. I tried out LXDE, it had no sounds. I tried XFCE (which we did plan to do an XFCE Version of Phobos, but was cancelled due to not being necessary for my taste), but it looked like Mac OS X. I tried MATE, but I do not know what do with it anymore. I tried Cinnamon (which was going to be the final DE for Phobos), yet I don't want to get sued by the guys behind Linux Mint.

Finally, I tried GNOME 3. It looked like Unity, but since Fean decided that I should use GNOME 3, it has been used as the final desktop environment for Phobos. Lastly, Phobos will likely have no intention of being part of anywhere else outside of PhobiX. This situation has been done before, and it should NEVER EVER happen again.

What's going on with Celestial?

So far, akuma67, one of the members that worked on Celestial alongside with Fean and 11pixels, has released Celestial 2.1, which here is the link:

Celestial 2.1 (for VMware):
https://mega.nz/#!FnZ2WZ6Q!Xtvp6EYdWeO5s358muMWq_tnQl75aFWXCvUypWHTgp4

(credit goes to akuma67 and Feandesign.)

Another thing is supposed to be a proprietary desktop environment, but will soon start giving support for Phobos called The Borealis Shell. So far, it is in EARLY development and nothing has happened yet as far as we know. Right now, the Celestial team is taking a short break as no developmental updates have been heard yet.

Is there an Easy WNR Maker (known as The Easy Windows Never Released Maker Project)?

Yes, there is! The idea was made from one of our PhobiX team members, UIdesign, but I also want to participate in this idea as well, since I am a WNR maker.

So far, the mockups and application is in early development, but here's what will the GUI will be:

The backgrounds and images will be on the right side, the logos, brushes, and fonts will be put on the left, the GIF maker and timeline will be put on the bottom, and the kit selection will be on the top.

In addition to that, you can select different styles, such as Fean's WNR Style, YTA's WNR Style, my WNR Style, among others. As we mentioned before, I have plans to add this on Phobos and here's why: I am running out of ideas to add more apps into Phobos, but I am glad that this will be canon, since it is part of PhobiX anyway.

A Mascot for PhobiX? CONFIRMED???

Yep. That's right, BOIZ! It has been officially confirmed that we will have a mascot for PhobiX as the owner of The SFC Group and Co-Owner of PhobiX, Sage (TheRealSFC), has pushed Bin (The former mascot for SFC Animation) to The SFC Group and Bash (Bin's Twin brother) as the mascot for SFC Animation, and the name for our mascot for PhobiX is Spikey. So far we are making a game all about him. However, Development will begin after SFC's Train Sim 2018 with AgentEliteFirey, and alongside with that, we have another game in development, but we can't reveal it because it is still under in development.

So far, this is what will likely happen to the future of PhobiX. Although, I do want to mention that some of this may or may not happen and some consent to more of our members and people outside of PhobiX, these are my predictions for the future of PhobiX.

Anyways, this is EDJRMorpheus95, signing out! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Welcome to the new SFC Blog!

What's that? Our own blog has returned? Well, you should be celebrating by now!
That's right folks, The SFC Blog has returned, now powered by Google's Blogger, and better than ever!

Backstory

For those of you who don't know, The SFC Blog was originally created in February of 2016, as part of the release of The SFC Site version 1.6. The "original" SFC Blog was later shut down on May 20th, 2017, when we decided to partner with our friends over at Aclevo, to have them allow us to post on their blog, which was much simpler to use, and allowed us to earn ad revenue from. The small partnership later became a major SFC-Aclevo partnership shortly after, which then turned into a proposed merger later in September.

Unfortunately, after the SFC-Aclevo merger fell apart due to miscommunication, drama, and other major problems we've faced, we've decided to cut the major partnership altogether on December 16th, 2017.

Although The SFC Group and Aclevo still get along pretty well (with the owner, Reasonably Selenium, being one of our main moderators on our Discord server), the failed merger left Aclevo with an uncertain future. However, it didn't harm us that much (we doubled our member count and acquired Aclevo's Software and Games division). Despite the end of SFC-Aclevo, the relationships will continue on.

So going back on-topic, as part of the deal to end the SFC-Aclevo merger and cut the major partnership, we got our blogging rights back (along with rights to valuable Aclevo Blog posts), and thus a brand new SFC Blog, now powered by Google's Blogger, was born.

What's New for The *New* SFC Blog

There are a ton of new features in this *New* SFC Blog, but I'll only go over a few:
  1. It is now powered by Google's Blogger service. Unlike with Wordpress, Blogger only requires a Google account, so if you want to leave feedback on our blog posts, you only need to have a Google account, and that's it!
  2. Advanced Search Functionality. The *New* SFC Blog contains the same search functionality as the old one: The normal search field, recent posts, archived posts, category search, popular posts. In this *new* SFC Blog however, we've replaced "Recent Posts" with "Featured Post", our "Popular Posts" are now sorted by the Top 7 most viewed, and there is now an option to report abuse so our blog stays healthy and family-friendly!
  3. Polls are returning to The SFC Blog. All new polls are no longer located on the SFC Live page of our main site anymore; they are now on the *new* SFC Blog. This also gives us the opportunity to do a LOT more polls than ever before!
  4. The SFC Blog and Aclevo Blog Archives. All of the old SFC Blog posts from 2016 to 2017 are there for you to look at, as well as the majority of former Aclevo blog posts!
  5. We are aiming to make this a community-oriented blog. With the *new* SFC Blog, we are aiming to make it more community-oriented, so fans of ours can post on the blog talking abou what's going in the world of tech and gaming. Starting today, we are now allowing our SFC Group Members (as well as partners), to post on the blog, and will eventually add an option to allow our dedicated fans to post on the blog later on next year!*
* every community post (and comments on posts) on this SFC Blog will need to be approved by our moderators before it can go up publicly.

What's Next?

With the new SFC Blog now up, we will be getting new blog posts up over the next few days. It'll take us a while however before we get up to full swing with the new SFC Blog. As always, stay tuned for further updates on this blog!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

(ARCHIVED) SFC Plays Minecraft is No More: Now What?


Some of you may or may not have seen this announcement coming from far away, but we are officially confirming this today: The SFC Plays Minecraft let's play series has been cancelled (at least as a standalone series). We no longer have interest in continuing the series, which has been on longest-running let's play series up to this point. It was a tough decision to make, but it's for the better of The SFC Group.


Does this mean no more Minecraft let's plays? 

We do have some good news: Of course not! The "SFC Plays Minecraft" name will continue to be used in our "SFC Plays Games" series, where we playthrough games that don't fit into our other main let's play series. New MC let's plays will be coming, just I (TheRealSFC) won't be the main host anymore; in fact I'm retiring from making Minecraft videos altogether. Instead, our two SFC Group members, StevenJam and Lunala, will be the new main hosts of the series, with me occasionally making an appearance here and there.

Also, SFC Plays Minecraft, like our other let's plays from SFC Plays Games, will no longer be on a strict schedule. This means we can do one at anytime we want and when we have the time. As always, we'll let you know of a new episode coming to our Youtube channel on social media.


What about the older episodes?

We have some good news on that as well; some of our SFC Plays Minecraft episodes will be redirected to the SFC Plays Games playlist on Youtube, and will continue to stay up. The following episodes of SFC Plays MC will be rebranded without episode numbers:
The other 19 episodes (including the Best of Episode 11 one) will be taken down from Youtube.


Why is the series cancelled?

There are four reasons why:
  1. Our interest in Dovetail Games' Train Simulator content-creation has grown drastically. Our Train Sim DLC reviews and our RoadRailer Simulations products have proven us successful, and as interest in things like this grow, decrease in interest in things, like the Raspberry Pi and Minecraft, shrink. However, with our Raspberry Pi video tutorial series, we expanded upon just the Raspberry Pi and rebranded it to The Electronics Guide, whilst with our SFC Plays Minecraft series, we simply had NO interest in continuing the series.
  2. Decreased viewership. Our latest episodes of SFC Plays Minecraft have had pretty low viewership. This may relate to our other video series doing so well, or the fact that Minecraft wasn't as popular as it was back in 2014/2015.
  3. Microsoft. For those who don't know, Microsoft acquired Mojang back in September of 2014, and here we are in 2017, with Microsoft shoving out DLC for Minecraft (at least in the Console and Windows 10 editions). Yes, there's the Java Edition, which has no DLC to deal with, but what's the point if Microsoft is just gonna turn Minecraft from being unique and special into pretty much every other game out there?
And that's really about it. To summarize, SFC Plays Minecraft, at least as a standalone let's play series, will be cancelled, with its 19 episodes removed from YouTube, while the other 5 episodes will stay up on Youtube. However, our Minecraft let's plays won't go away; it is now a part of the SFC Plays Games series, but as a standalone let's play series, it has now officially come to an end.

Anyways, thanks for reading this post, and as always I will see you in the not-too-distant future.

- Sage from The SFC Group

Thursday, July 13, 2017

(ARCHIVED) Redragon Kumara K552

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*


Hi, I'm Lemon from LemonMedia. Today, I will be reviewing the Redragon Kumara K552 keyboard. The first thing i like about it, is the price. At around 35-40 dollars, this keyboard is a steal for being a mechanical keyboard. Yes. I said mechanical. This has knockoff Cherry MX "Green" equivalents. They feel more like cherry blues, but hey. Still tactile and clicky, and they have a 55mm actuation point. When you get to the bottom, you feel a bump. The experience is good. I like typing on this keyboard. It's very loud. Louder than cherry blues. There are only 2 effects. The backlight stays on, or it breathes. The keyboard is good for typing. It also feels very sturdy and will last a long time. The sound like I mentioned is incredibly loud. There is no point on trying to hide this from mom while your gaming. This is a tenkeyless (no numpad) design. The reason why they went tenkeyless is so they can reduce the cost to make and sell. Mechanical switches are expensive. That's why mechanical keyboards are regularly so expensive. It also has 12 different media keys. You can activate them by pressing FN then the key. There is a picture on each key so you know what you're doing. It's also good to get this when you have amazon prime because of fast free shipping. The only thing that bugs me about this keyboard is that there are only 2 patterns. I want my keyboard to do cool stuff while I type, not just slowly strobe. But overall, if you want a cheap, good mechanical keyboard, then get this one. Definitely recommended!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

(ARCHIVED) MacBook Pro (Kaby Lake) Review

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*



MacBook Pro 2017 13" Kaby Lake Review

During WWDC 2017, Apple had announced upgrades to their MacBook Pro models, including a spec-bump to Kaby Lake CPUs. About a week after that, I decided to purchase a MacBook Pro 2017 to use as my main laptop. My previous laptop was a cheap Lenovo laptop. It had a glitchy touchpad and a horrible keyboard. The bottom was being held together with ductape. I wanted something slim with a good battery life this time. I also wanted a laptop that "just works." I am hoping this machine lasts a few years, especially with this premium price. The MacBook Pro 2017 checks several of these for me.

Hardware

Let's start out with the hardware of this machine. This is the thinnest laptop that I have ever used. However, that thinness comes at a cost. There are only USB-C ports, and my machine has 2 as it is the model without the Touch Bar. However, the USB-C ports are capable of providing up to 40GB/s per port because of Thunderbolt 3. Thunderbolt 3 can be used for many purposes. It keeps the 3.5mm headphone jack, luckily. Another device by Apple does not have a headphone jack anymore. The Trackpad of this machine is HUGE! I hardly ever run out of room when dragging a file anymore. Palm rejection is very good, so this trackpad never interferes with typing. The keyboard has the second-generation Butterfly mechanism. I have one issue with this keyboard, is that my model has some defective keys. They make a clicking sound and they seem to stick when the laptop is running hot. Many others have had this issue, and I solved this on my machine by using a SIM tool to pop off the keys. The worst offender was the "K" key. When I popped it off, the paint that dimmed the LED was cracked as well. I peeled off the paint and used a sharpie to replace it. I replaced the key, and the key never clicked again. Onto the battery life, this thing has a great battery life from what I have noticed, even though I don't use the battery much. The SSD is very fast, as it is PCI-Express based; I have the 256GB model. One of my favorite features of this laptop definitely has to be the speakers, however. These speakers are very loud and clear at the same time. They have lots of bass as well. It's hard to describe it in a blog post. The screen is also very nice, as it is a Retina pannel with a resolution of 2560x1600. It uses the P3 color gamut. Finally, moving onto the CPU, GPU, and RAM, this machine has a Core i5-7360U with 8GB of RAM and Intel Iris Plus 640 Graphics. The 15-inch models come with dedicated Radeon GPUs however, Intel core i7 CPUs, and 16GB of ram. There are upgraded 13-inch models that support 16GB of ram as well as a core i7 CPU.

Software & Performance

This machine came with macOS Sierra, the latest version of macOS. macOS High Sierra is coming this fall. It came with the free Apple apps such as iMovie, Garage Band, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. In terms of performance, this machine is very fast for day-to-day uses such as web-browsing, chatting, light-gaming, listening to music, editing photos with PixelMator, and watching videos. I rarely get any slowdowns. In terms of gaming, the integrated can actually play games such as Grand Theft Auto V. I used Bootcamp to Install windows 10 on my MacBook Pro to see how GTA V runs. It actually runs smoothly, giving me 40FPS at 720p resolution. Not bad for integrated. I have not tested any video editing on this.

Conclusion

Is this machine worth the $1500 (without taxes) price tag? The answer depends on your preference. If you want to get away from Windows, or you are an experienced Max user, and you don't want to mess with Linux, then the MacBook Pro may be worth it to you. If you love, the Dell XPS 13 is a much better choice. You could run solely Windows 10 on this if you chose too, however. For me, I think this machine was worth it.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

(ARCHIVED) How to Remove Your Facebook and Why You Should

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*


If you’re reading this article you may have considered deleting your Facebook account before, but you're worried. Worried about missing out, struggling to stay connected, or getting left behind by the almost 2 billion users on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's platform.

Don't be.

It has never before been easier to completely remove Facebook from your life — not missing a single social beat in the process. And when you finally do, you'll wonder what took you so long in the first place. In case you’re wondering why you should delete your Facebook, here’s a list of all the bad things Facebook has done since 2007.

First things first: Hitting "delete"

If you're going to live without Facebook your first step should be actually deleting your account. Thankfully, it's not that tricky. Kick off the liberating process by logging into your Facebook account. Savor the knowledge that this will be the last time you ever need to do this.

Next, instead of navigating your way through a bunch of random menus, simply drop www.facebook.com/help/delete_account into your address bar (or just click the hyperlink). Select "Delete My Account," follow the steps, and you're good to go.

Wasn't that easy?

Your social life after Facebook

So you're free. What next?

This is where it gets interesting. Zuckerberg likes to talk about making the world "a more open and connected place," and if Facebook does indeed do that, then deleting your Facebook account might theoretically make your personal world less open and less connected. But it doesn't have to be that way. Instead, a Facebook-free life has the potential to be just the opposite. Sure, you may not be "friends" with two thousand people any more, but were you ever really in the first place?

Dropping Facebook gives you the time and space to actually go plumb those relationship depths. No more checking up on an old friend by doing a quick profile flyby. Instead, if you want to know how the birth of their first-born child went, you'll ask them directly. And they'll respond.

Still not convinced you won't be missing out? Here's how the first few days of your Facebook-free life will go down: A friend or family member will try to scope on your vacation pics or invite you to an event on Facebook. They will, of course, not be able to find your account. What happens next is magical. That same friend or family member will hit you up directly.

In other words, Facebook is a chore, and one that you don't have to do. Because I'm telling you from experience, living a post-Facebook life is easy if you make it happen.

Friday, May 12, 2017

(ARCHIVED) Vegan Dairy-Free Oreo Milkshake (Ice Cream Optional)

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*


Do you crave milkshakes, but can't digest milk? As a person who cannot digest milk, I had the same problem as you, so I needed to find a good alternative that would satisfy my stomach. Looking around, I found the best way to make a milkshake without the milk, while still finding a way to adding fruit into the mix. Here is a list of ingredients that you will need to get started.
  • Chocolate Soy Milk
  • Frozen Bananas
  • Oreo Cookies
  • Chocolate Syrup (OPTIONAL, enhances taste)
  • Chocolate Soy Ice Cream (OPTIONAL, enhances thickness)
NOTICE: Please feel free to experiment the measurements to your liking. When I made this recipe up, I experimented with quantities to see what tastes best for me.
A blender is highly recommended for the best blend of your milkshake. Blending this by hand may be very tough, depending on how strong you are. Please let me know down in the comments section how it turns out if you perform these steps without a blender. Also feel free to send links of your shakes in the comments section below.

Now that you have all the ingredients, here is how you make your tasty milkshake:
 
1. Place all of the ingredients above into a blender. If the ingredient is in a container, use common sense. Blending the containers in with your drink may result in injury, or at least a bad time.
 
2. Blend until a thick texture can be seen. No large crumbs should be in the shake.
 
3. If you need an example for step 2, look at the cover image above.
 
4. If you want to add in the chocolate syrup after you blend, it's okay. Just pour it in.
 
5. Your milkshake is now ready for consumption. Enjoy. ;)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

(ARCHIVED) Manjaro Linux Review

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*


There are many people in this world who are fed up with Windows, especially after Windows 10. With Windows 10, users don't have as much control over his or her machine compared to previous versions of Windows. A great alternative to Windows is Linux. However, choosing a Linux distribution can be very tedious, as there are many out there.

Manjaro

I have spent a week using Manjaro Linux, a Linux distribution based off of Arch Linux. It's much easier to setup than Arch Linux, but it includes all of the basic programs that a user wants. It comes in a couple of flavors. The version I chose comes with the GNOME Desktop Environment. Other options include KDE and XFCE. Manjaro's website is https://manjaro.org. The download size is about 1.5GB.

My setup

I am using Manjaro Linux as my main operating system on my custom-built gaming PC. It has an Intel Core i5-6500,an AMD RX 470 video card, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a 3TB hard drive, and a 1TB hard drive.
 


Gaming

Linux gaming has grown immensely in the past couple of years. Many games are available for Linux, including Counter Strike Global Offensive, Rocket League, Saints Row IV, Borderlands 2, Portal and Portal 2, Cities:Skylines, and many more games are available on steam, or they are playable through Wine. A great option to play games through wine is a program called Play On Linux. It makes everything easier to understand for the end user. On my system, I downloaded a few games through Steam and I downloaded a couple of games that are compatible with Wine. This system handled the games very well, even though I am using the AMDGPU open source drivers. A few months ago, my experience with AMDGPU was horrible, but with Kernel 4.9 and 4.10, my experience has been amazing. Games such as Grand Theft Auto V, however, aren't compatible yet with Wine (that that I know of.) I still have Windows 8.1 on a different partition for games that won't work at all on Linux.

Web Browsing

For general web browsing, Linux handles it like a champ, except the fonts are not perfect. I installed a few extra fontpacks, and somehow the system fonts got all whacky, as in numbers weren't showing. I spent about an hour going through terminal commands, but I mostly fixed it, except in Google Chrome. I had to completely reset Google Chrome to fix the font issue there. Firefox and Chrome both are completely compatible with Linux. I prefer Chrome because I can sync all of my stuff across devices with my Google account.

Software & Updates

Installing updates is very easy with Manjaro Linux. There is a program called Software Updater that automatically checks for updates and it is easy to install updates from the program. There is also a program called Add/Remove Software that lets the user add additional software or remove any installed software. The underlying package manager is Pacman, which is the same package manager that Arch uses. To manually update, the user can type sudo pacman -Syu in the terminal.
 


Verdict

My verdict for Manjaro Linux is that overall, it's a very good distribution. It's a Linux Distribution for the advanced user and for the simple user. It's very easy to install, update, and it's very easy to browse the web for those who just want to use websites like Facebook. It is very stable with modern hardware, and it comes with the latest available kernel that supports a wide range of devices. I've only used it for a week, but my overall experience has been great. This year is definitely the year of the Linux Desktop for me.

(ARCHIVED) Discord's New Policies - How They Affect You

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*


Just recently, Discord released new policies regarding text channels and personal messages. These changes include a new Report button, a new Community Guidelines policy, and restricting access to minors from using the service. The Privacy Policy and Terms Of Service were modified to reflect those changes. Here are five changes to expect with Discord.

1. Reporting Users Is Now Easier

Discord now provides a Report button to make it easier to report message that have offended you. The user you are reporting cannot be on your friends list, and you must unfriend them first by right clicking on their username and selecting "Remove Friend". To report a message, click on the hamburger icon next to the offensive message, and selecting "Report". From there, you will see this message:
 

Discord's New Report Screen, as posted here.
From here, you can select from several different reasons to be sent to the Discord abuse team for review. The following reasons are provided: Illegal Content, Harassment, Spam or Phishing Links, Self Harm, or NSFW (Not Safe For Work) content. More information on the following reasons can be found on this article about how to report a user, and this article about the recent changes.

2. NSFW Content Is Now Hidden

All content that is considered to be Not Safe For Work can now be put into a channel that requires verification. As part of the updates to their policies, Discord now requires that all NSFW content be placed into a marked channel so that users can opt-out ahead of time. This puts the user at ease so they won't get their co-workers and bosses upset. Here is an image that users see when they access a channel that is marked:
 

The new NSFW Channel Notice, found here.
From here, users may continue to see this content. Users may also click "Nope" as described above if they do not wish to see the content. They will be sent to the general chat room, whether or not modifications to that channel were made or not. This means that users may be sent back to the announcements or rules instead of the main chat if general was used for that purpose. Also note that according to the image above, users that are under the age of eighteen (18) will not be allowed to look at this content.

3. Discord New Age Requirement

Additions to the Privacy Policy require users to be thirteen (13) or older in order to be able to sign up for a Discord Account. In order to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, otherwise known as "COPPA", Discord is not allowed to knowingly collect personal information on children under the age of thirteen (13). Parents who believe that their children may have exposed personal information may contact Discord staff by clicking here. It is unknown how this affects children who use Discord to this day. Discord recommends parents be aware of their child's use of the internet in order to keep them safe online.

4. Advertisement Data Collection

Users are entitled to stop having data collected from Discord's advertisements on other services. Updates to the Privacy Policy now entitle users to exercise opt-out programs administered by third-parties. Such parties include the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), and the more common Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA).
The new Privacy Policy is scheduled to be enacted on May 1st, 2017. Users must read and accept it in order to use their services, as well as the Terms Of Service. The Privacy Policy can be found here. The Terms Of Service can be found here. The Support portal can be reached by clicking here.

5. New Community Guidelines

Discord now has a Community Guidelines page, just like YouTube does. The guidelines can be found here. These guidelines talk about the rules of Discord. They explain the consequences for violating such rules, which can include suspension of the service for a certain amount of time, and/or account deletion. They make it clear that misconduct is not tolerated, and that they will incite consequences for those who disobey.

Conclusion

How do you feel about these new policies? Perhaps the policies are too strict for you? Feel free to leave your thoughts down in the comments section below. If you would like to see more blog posts like this one, please subscribe so we can get the latest posts to you as soon as possible. Thank you for reading this article, and stay safe!