Tuesday, December 26, 2017

(ARCHIVED) The Future Of PhobiX

*PhobiX Software has since closed its doors permanently as of February of 2018. This post will be archived while it lasts.*

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):

(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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

(ARCHIVED) New MacOS Malware Can Intercept Encrypted Webtraffic

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*

The Malware Research team at CheckPoint have discovered a piece of fully-undetectable Mac malware, which according to them, affects all versions on Mac OS X and is signed with a valid developer certificate signed by Apple.

At the moment, the malware is being distributed by a large amount of phishing e-mails targeted to unsuspecting MacOS users. The malware has been designed to install a new root certificate on the infected system after gaining unauthorised administrator privileges, which allows attackers to intercept and receive all communication in and outbound of the system, including information encrypted with SSL.

Network settings reveal a proxy configuration set by the malware.

Image courtesy of: blog.checkpoint.com

Since the malware author is using a valid developer certificate signed by Apple, the malware easily bypasses Gatekeeper, a built-in security feature of macOS. Apple can resolve this issue just by revoking the developer certificate being abused by the malware author, but so far Apple has yet to respond on this issue.

Although this is a new type of malware, the distribution-method remains the same as most phishing attempts. The golden rule is to always avoid clicking links messages and e-mails from unknown sources.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

(ARCHIVED) YouTube Monetization Threshold

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*

Not too long ago, Google posted on the YouTube Creators blog that they are adding a view threshold to serve ads on your videos, now they are saying in order to make any sort of revenue on your videos via ads you have to have at least 10,000 lifetime video views on your channel.

That's quite a bummer for the average small YouTube Creator, as it usually takes at least over a year to rack up so many views on your channel. Though is that mostly a good thing or a bad thing, The good thing is that it gives YouTube enough information to determine if a channel is worthy of placing ads on their content. The bad thing is... you don't get ad revenue for quite some time, like that even matters how little you get during those early days.

Why did YouTube decide to do this you may ask, well, many large advertisers heard from a source called the Wall Street Journal that their ads were being shown on hate content such as ISIS videos and things of that nature, and they took action and decided to pull ads from YouTube all together.

The culprit of these actions is Content ID, which is a flawed system. Said videos were being claimed via the Content ID system resulting in premium advertisements being shown on those videos, thus getting noticed by the Wall Street Journal, thus resulting in ads being pulled, thus the new view threshold being placed.

I personally don't this this is a good solution to this problem as what I do believe is that Content ID should be fixed instead of adding a view threshold.

Will things be sorted out for the better soon? Who knows.

More updates on the situation will be posted as I find out about them.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

(ARCHIVED) Amazon introduces Amazon Connect - Who will bite the dust first?

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*

Last week, Amazon announced the release of Connect, their cloud-based contact center solution that lives in the growing AWS (Amazon Web Services) suite of business products. Amazon Connect is taking what they have built and use themselves “to power millions of customer conversations” and making it available to anyone operating a contact center. Believe it or not, this seemingly small product release has the potential to kill multiple industries.

AWS is a global technology giant. They’ve been innovating and providing solutions for a long time. They’ve built their own systems in-house and know a lot about providing service at scale. Amazon is known throughout the industry as the gold standard of customer support processes and tools, so I’d imagine most consumers are excited to get the opportunity to access the same tools they use. However, if I were a technology provider, I'd be concerned. Deeply concerned.

Amazon has the potential to disrupt entire industries. Think about how many hosting businesses died as AWS entered the market with a cheaper and more scalable solution that was backed with the Amazon name. Amazon also has the patience to wait years before making money, patiently waiting as they grab market share and watch competitors die.

VoIP providers

Companies like Twilio, Skype and Vonage are all hosted solutions that make money selling minutes. Now that Amazon Connect is in the space, this could mean bad news for these providers. Connect is reported to be 40% cheaper than Twilio’s offering and some developers claim that the interfaces are easier to use. Minutes are a commodity and a race to the bottom. Just as Amazon leveraged their scale and patience for profits to win the hosting space, they may do the same here.

Cloud-based providers

Then we have cloud based providers like Talkdesk and NewVoiceMedia that were born on the cloud and offer fully digital experiences. These companies advertise benefits like ease and speed of implementation and much better user experiences than their on-premise counterparts. Connect is advertising itself as “a simple to use, self-service, cloud-based customer contact center that scales to support any size business.” None of this sounds any different to what current cloud based companies provide.

Connect offers easy implementation with its out of box solution and its low pay-per-use cost structure makes it much more attractive to smaller businesses as well as easily scalable with growth. Additionally, Connect’s out the the box solution is fully integrated, so it’s literally plug and play. These cloud companies also differentiate based on their integrations, but my hunch is that 3rd party developers are going to prioritize the Amazon ecosystem for good reason.

What's next?

Amazon Connect just launched this week and there are still a lot of questions out there. But if connect has any success, imagine what’s next?

Amazon has built their own CRM platform in-house and it’s a powerful tool to say the least. While they aren’t currently focusing on a CRM solution as they are touting integrations with Salesforce and Zendesk out of the box, that’s not to say they won’t in the future. Amazon is coming at the contact center market as a cloud first technology company.

Combining that with their AWS backbone, superior engineering, and AI capabilities is scary. Bolster that with their brand name and unlimited budget and Amazon could have a shot to become the contact center technology company, just as AWS has become synonymous with cloud hosting.

Friday, April 7, 2017

(ARCHIVED) The End of The "Old" SFC Blog

Some of you may be asking, "What's with the absence of posts on The SFC Blog?" You may think it has something to do with major projects in the way, but that's NOT the main reason. It's actually a bit of a serious reason which we'll get into later. Despite that it's the first post on this blog in a while, unfortunately, this may be the last one for this blog, which we'll get into later. For now, here are a couple of major announcements:

The SFC Site has been updated to version 2.1! Ever since The SFC Site 2 got released to the public a couple months ago, you guys gave us great feedback, and it made us continue to develop this version of the site you currently love. Today, we are updating it to 2.1, with some great changes we think you'll like:

The SFC Site Version 2.1 (Released on April 7th, 2017)
- Added SFC Live Discord BETA Chatroom into the SFC Live page
- Added the Polls into the SFC Live page from The SFC Blog
- Added a new Site Info page on the More section
- Added SoundCloud to the Social Bar
- Changed Myriad Pro Font to Raleway on some pages
- Other improvements and bug fixes

As you would expect, the polls are NO longer on The SFC Blog (they are now on the SFC Live page), alongside any new SFC Site Changelogs; they will be available only on The SFC Site from now on, under the new "Site Info" page in the More section of our website. And yes, we are NOW on SoundCloud, which replaces our former Vimeo space.

Follow us on SoundCloud today:

2. Technology Showdown, RoadRailer Simulations, and Railfan Central Updates!
Thought it would be cool to incorporate 3 announcements in one major one! First up, Technology Showdown: The Prologue is back in production, and we are planning to release an early teaser on Youtube later in April. We know you guys have been waiting patiently for a new Technology Showdown episode, and we promise you, the wait will be worth it!

For RoadRailer Simulations, we are planning on redesigning the main site, as "The RRS Site 2.0", which will introduce a whole new way to publish your TS fan content and make mod installation quick and easy for others, called the Fan Library. Multiple Train Simulator scenarios for the Bergen Line (Croxton Ordinary) are also in the works, including a scenario loosely based on Metro-North/NJ Transit operations from Port Jervis to Hoboken.

Lastly, the long-awaited Railfan Central website update (version 6) is in the works, with a redesigned Penn Central and Pennsylvania Railroad Stock Gallery to match with the New York Central and New Haven ones! We're hoping to get it out by late April/early May if all goes well.

3. SFC Live Expansion!
For this third and final major announcement, is related to SFC Live. For those who don't know, SFC Live is our live gaming show that airs on Saturday nights at 7PM Eastern, where we play games like Train Simulator, Rocket League, Marble Blast Platinum, and even QUIPLASH! We also have our own trivia game, SFC Live Trivia, where you answer questions for points that will go on our leaderboard, where the points will be counted up at the end of the game, and the winner receives a special prize!

For this week's SFC Live (April 8th), we are expanding it with a new Discord BETA chatroom, which will be opening 15 minutes before the main show starts. Along with that, we also have the polls now available, as well as gaming stuff, like Quiplash, and Train Simulator: Workshop Mania. You do not want to miss this, so please make sure to tune in for some entertainment!

Alrighty, so now that I've explained the announcements for this week, to conclude this final post, here is the sad news:

Due to low viewership, WordPress security flaws, and migration to Backstage & Newsletter and our social media pages for announcements like this, The SFC Blog will be ceasing operations on May 20th, 2017 following the next major SFC Site update, which will be coming out on the same day. I know it's a shame that it has to go, but it's about time we move on.

So what's going to happen to the content from The SFC Blog after the Blog itself shuts down? Well, here's what's gonna happen:

- All SFC Site update posts will be available to The SFC Site 2 under Site Info, available on the More section of our website.

- Any other new updates, such as Technology Showdown and Youtube Channel updates, will be available on Backstage & Newsletter and our social media pages (Facebook, TwitterGoogle+, and Steam), so make sure you follow us there for more updates like this that were formerly on The SFC Blog.

- Our Polls have been relocated to the SFC Live page on our website, under the "Schedule & Polls" tab.

As of right now, The SFC Blog will no longer be maintained by us anymore, but you can still view the blog and its archived posts, up until the shutdown date.

Overall, lots of new things coming to The SFC Group, and it's just the beginning of a massive expansion that will change overtime and will make your SFC fan experience better! Even though The SFC Blog is going away, all major updates will be posted on our social media pages, so like I said, make sure you follow us there to keep updated!

So for the last time on this blog, I will see you in the not-too-distant future.

- Sage from The SFC Group

Thursday, April 6, 2017

(ARCHIVED) Making Your Technology Perform

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*

There is a new world order, where data is king and where simple and effective customer experiences rule. The kind of experiences that are targeted, powered by micro-segmented analytics and focussed behind the scenes whilst being elegantly simple and effective at the front-end.

'Mega data'  and the end-user

I read the other day that users, in the future, will be inclined to bank with Google, Amazon, Facebook or Apple. Why? They are seen as simple, cool, personal, adaptive and trustworthy by users - what users don’t see is the ‘mega data’ analysis that is happening behind the scenes to make this possible. The stark reality for banks is that unless they ‘get on the bus’, understand this ‘new world order’, improve their understanding of what users actually want, improve their service offer in line with their understanding (through all channels), understand the need for flexibility in their network formats and channels, improve everything.

Simplicity = key

The reality is different. New benchmarks are being set every day by organisations like Uber and others that are having a profound affect on the way we interact with technology. In the ‘new world order’, complicated interfaces and intimidating screens of information will be replaced by intuitive carefully choreographed interactions where at every point, the customer is able to do exactly what he or she wants to do, wherever they want to do it, whenever they want to do it and, almost unknown to the customer the service provider will be quietly gathering data on the users' behaviour and refining their business with rapid, incremental innovation.

Data analysis

Progressive banks understand how customers are browsing, where they go to perform specific tasks, how long they are taking to perform these and how successful the service is in delivering to the customers needs. By gathering more and more data about how and what customers are doing Banks will remove the guesswork from their business, target on opportunities that win and drive simplification. The more data they gather, the more personal the experience will become and the more they will ‘take the guesswork out of winning’.
I like to call this 'the yacht effect', because on the surface it all looks beautiful and the interactions are simple and elegant, but in the engine room, the engines are paddling like crazy.

Tips to make your technology perform
  • Make sure the technology has a real purpose and not an imagined one. If it isn't necessary yet, then don't implement it.
  • Integrate technology into a carefully choreographed customer journey that enhances your customers experience of your brand.
  • Only use technology where you know users will use it.
  • Keep interfaces simple and uncluttered. This is a mistake that I'm still seeing too often.
  • Never over promise - make sure the technology works. It's what users need in the first place.
  • Gather data on customer behaviour whenever possible - Data is the new oil.
  • Remember that users use technology for transactional and informational purposes, very little else.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

(ARCHIVED) Gentoo Linux Review

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*

As promised before, I've decided to go ahead and write about Gentoo. Like Arch, Gentoo is also one of the most customizable distributions of Linux, though it takes a bit more time to install than Arch due to having to compile literally everything.

Gentoo has it's own build utility though, that the name of slips my mind, it's easily accessed using the command emerge. Installing Gentoo is done completely through said command.

Like Arch, It can be proven difficult for new users to install if they don't know how to partition the hard drive or how to use basic shell commands, it's best to read the installation guide if that's the case.

Also like Arch, the most basic installation is a Kernel, Shell, and a copy of the GNU Compiler Collection. Installing other software is as simple as typing emerge then the name of the program unless the program is somehow not included in the source code repositories, using emerge automatically takes the system through the build steps to compile said program making the task much simpler.

My honest opinion on the score I shall give Gentoo, 7.9/10, due to the slow install process. I'd prefer Arch over Gentoo for that reason alone. Gentoo is mainly for people that like to have the binaries completely tailored to the hardware their PC has.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

(ARCHIVED) How to be anonymous online (Using a VPN)

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*

If I care about one thing about being online, then it must be privacy. A common mistake I always see is that people think if they are not doing anything wrong then they do not need to be safe. That's not a good mindset to use when browsing the web. A great solution for this is a VPN.

What's a VPN and why should I care?

A VPN enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computers were directly connected to the private network. Not only does this hide your IP-address, but also your location and websites you visit from your ISP. It's also useful for browsing websites that happen to be blocked by your ISP or website administrator.

Every day you give access to your personal data to thousands of websites and services located all over the world. On the way to its final destination your data passes dozens of hops, routers and networks.

Your data can be logged, monitored, analyzed and stored by your ISP, your network administrator, a site you visit, your network peers, or even worse, a hacker.

For example, your network peers may be snooping and peeking on your private Internet activities, looking for a way to compromise you and damage your reputation. And a hacker who gave you a free access to his unsecured WiFi is waiting to take over your email account and gain access to your bank account.

Okay, this sounds scary. How can I get a VPN?

There are a lot of VPN providers out there, so I understand it's difficult to choose. (Trust me, I know. I had to do this myself.) Here are a few points that you need to consider when choosing a VPN:
  • Logging of any kind (If your VPN provider keeps logs, it is a wise decision not to utilize their service.)
  • Location of HQ (If your VPN provider is operating in a five, nine or fourteen-eyes country, you may want to reconsider. Read here why this matters.)
  • Their policies (Not everyone may want to do this, but for your privacy's sake I recommend you to check the VPN provider's ToS. Some of them may not care too much about your privacy or not at all, which is quite ironic.)
I myself use SecureVPN.to since they have proof that they don't log, but also have a lot of countries to choose a server from, a fast network and accept secure payment methods such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and PaySafecard.

If you're unsure what VPN provider you should choose, then you can consult That One Privacy Site for comparisons and reviews.

What about a free VPN?

Definitely not recommended. Free VPN's are absolutely not trustworthy and may even be more dangerous than not using a VPN at all. The most notorious example of this was Hola. Well, we all had to say "Adios" to that service. And they're not the only one.

Okay, so a paid VPN is all I need?

It's a great start, but you would need to add a few add-ons on your browser. I use Firefox for my browsing since it's open-source, but if you're used to Google Chrome, I can definitely recommend Iridium. It's pretty much Google Chrome without it sharing data to Google.
Here are the add-ons I use:

WebRTC Control WebRTC exposes your internal network IP(s), without user interaction. WebRTC will basically render your VPN useless if enabled, so let's disable this! I will never run Firefox without this add-on.

uBlock Origin is able to block tracking, malware domains, banners, pop-ups and video ads - even on Facebook and YouTube. Not only great for blocking ads, but safe as well!

HTTPS Everywhere will force all websites to load on the HTTPS protocol. This add-on requires no back end to work. Simply download, install and done.

Noscript prevents Adobe Flash, Java, Javascript and other plug-ins from untrusted sources from being executed. You can choose what runs.

So I think this concludes my tutorial on how to be anonymous online. It is however worth a mention that you will never be completely anonymous online, this is a good way to start and help to slow down malicious entities.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

(ARCHIVED) The First Stage of Productivity: Deadlines

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*

Deadlines are very important in life. They tell you exactly when something is due. Whether it be homework, financial dues, or projects; you must meet your deadlines in order to avoid consequences. When your teacher finds out you haven't been meeting your deadlines on time, you may receive a zero on your project or even get detention. Your boss may fire you and hire another person who can actually submit work on time. You may even lose your credit if you do not pay it back on time. It is very important to meet your deadlines.

The reason why I am talking about deadlines today is because our organization is using them to increase productivity. We are currently designing a project management system using Django, a framework for perfectionists with deadlines. It is written in Python, a programming language that is easy to learn. You can learn more about Django by clicking here, and Python by clicking here. This new project management system will be built on deadlines, and making sure our staff are working effectively. We will publish another blog post with updates and more information about how this project is going.

As always, we will expect that people are busy with school, work, or other activities that may require their attention. However, we will constantly be working toward our goal of productivity by the end of the year, no matter how hard we must work. One of our top priorities is that this blog is maintained in an orderly manner, making sure that it is updated and that posts come out everyday. Pretty soon we will have the same goal for videos. In order to keep everyone on track, we have been using schedules and other cool organization tools that we may feature in other blog posts. We hope to talk to you more soon about the ideas we have in mind, and how we are planning to execute those ideas.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

(ARCHIVED) Is NeverWare "CloudReady" for your laptop?

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*

Yesterday night, I decided to try out a product that I haven't put to the test in years. NeverWare CloudReady, a port of Chromium OS that can be installed on older computers and laptops, sparked my interest yet again when I saw that they introduced a Multi-boot feature so that you could install it alongside Windows. Because Windows 10 is not really my favorite product when it comes to operating systems in regards to their forced update scheme, I had an excuse to install something new. Sure, I could have wiped the hard drive and installed this as my primary operating system, but I still used the Multi-boot feature because I still have data on my hard drive that I didn't want to lose. Here is my experience with the installation and the use of this product.

The installation of this product was very easy. All I had to do was follow the instructions on this website. Although it wasn't recommended to use a SanDisk USB Flash Drive, the one that was purchased for me some time ago worked very well. As I booted into the CloudReady installation, the display became very bright. I wasn't too happy with this, but I was able to turn down the brightness after figuring out the new function key layout. All I had to do next was click at the bottom-right hand corner of the screen, click "Install CloudReady...", and follow the on-screen prompts. After taking a little break while CloudReady installed, I unplugged my USB Flash Drive and booted my PC.

When I first booted, I was asked to select my language, keyboard layout, and enter my network settings. After I filled in the required information, I was sent to a login screen where I logged into my Google Account for the very first time on this installation. Then I was able to set my profile picture and take a tour, even though I could have just dived in and played around if I wanted to. I was greeted with a clear desktop, and a taskbar with the Chromium Browser just waiting for me to open. This simplicity deserves a personal applaud from me, as well as the other great benefits that come with this product that I usually use often.

Great software comes with the operating system, and my preferences from Google Chrome automatically sync. All of the apps and extensions from the Chrome Webstore automatically download and install themselves without me having to press a button. The taskbar even adds icons to my favorite office applications from Google so that I can access them easily with a click. I am so happy that I do not have to use my geek skills in order to get to work, and that I don't have to waste my time installing applications like I do on Windows or Mac. Even though a normal out-of-the-box Linux distribution provides this functionality, it's not as personalized and quick as NeverWare CloudReady.

As with all software, and basically everything in general, where there are great benefits there are drawbacks. One drawback is that not all Windows Or Mac programs/apps are going to install on this operating system (unless you want to tear apart CloudReady, but I'd say please just use Windows/Mac). However, the Chrome Webstore does feature some good applications that you may find are better than the ones that you use. You never know how a product or service is going to be unless you try it out yourself. Another drawback is that some systems may not be supported with CloudReady. If you would like to learn more about which products are certified to be compatible with this software, please click here.

Neverware's CloudReady software is geared more toward users who just want to use the internet and have an office suite ready for them at first install. Users who wish to run applications such as games like Grand Theft Auto 5 or Garry's Mod will want to stick to their current Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems. Because I use both a desktop and a laptop, I can leave my heavy applications to my desktop while I use my laptop for browsing the web and writing articles on the blog such as this one. I'd say my laptop is CloudReady for the future, but is yours?

Please leave us a comment down below about your experience or if you have any suggestions for the new blog posts. Please subscribe if you wish to receive the latest blog posts as they are published on the website, and we'll see you next time!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

(ARCHIVED) Pom's Drop Party: A Minecrafter's Dream

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*

After finishing the Cool Roller Coaster Video which can be found in a previous post on this blog, Pom said he would be hosting another event. Enjoying my previous work featured on this blog, he offered me another chance to put my video editing skills to work. So I decided to get out my handy dandy virtual camera, and started recording Pom's Drop Party. A drop party is a Minecraft minigame where players try to collect the most items, preferably valuable ones, and they get to keep all of them. Below is a video capturing the insane moments of this fantastic minigame.

(Video by Reasonably Selenium)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

(ARCHIVED) Arch Linux Review

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*

Arch is a Linux Distro for the more advanced users of Linux, it features a manual installation method using the official package manager called pacman, not to be confused with the little yellow ball we know and love.

While it may be easy for advanced users to use, it can be found difficult for new users to figure out how to install it. This is because many new users don't understand partitioning, chroots, or even the command line.

However, Arch Linux makes up for its complexity in its customizability. Arch Linux is a fully customizable Linux Distro with the most minimal installation being a basic kernel and shell. You can easily install new packages, such as the X Server and any flavor of Desktop Environment you desire with a simple console command.

From what I see about Arch, I'd give it a 9.5/10 for being one of the best distros I've tried, despite it being one of the more difficult distros to install for a beginner. I was Lucky to have tried Gentoo first, as that one was even more difficult to get setup when I tried it. A review on that one coming soon.

(ARCHIVED) Minecraft Roller Coaster Ride

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*

Around two years ago, a server owner named ThePom360 asked me to make a video of me riding his Minecraft Roller Coaster. Due to the lack of content on my channel, I decided to take up the offer and load up my video recorder, Open Broadcasting Software (known as OBS). I then went on the shortest, but my first amazing virtual roller coaster ride, later to be uploaded to YouTube and shared with the world. I taught it would be an awesome idea to share it on the blog to see what you all think.

(Video by Reasonably Selenium)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

(ARCHIVED) The SFC Site 2, SFC Live, Train Sim Month, and More!

UPDATE: The SFC Site 2 was updated to 2.0.1 to fix a major home button bug, and the "Receive SFC news" option during Backstage & Newsletter registration is no longer required to use the SFC Live and B&N Exclusive Content options.

We have been extremely busy during the past few weeks, but things have been going pretty well when it comes to our content. Today, we have 4 major announcements to cover, and they are pretty exciting ones, too:

1. The SFC Site 2 has been officially released to the public!

Today marks the day of release for The SFC Site version 2, the biggest update to our website yet! It has been in development since Summer 2016, and now it is finally finished and ready for the viewing!

Here is what has changed from The SFC Site 1.6.7:

The SFC Site version 2.0.1 (released on March 4th, 2017)
- The Receive SFC News option is no longer required to use the SFC Live and B&N Exclusive Content options when registering to Backstage & Newsletter
- Fixed a major home button (The SFC Group logo) bug where clicking on it would do nothing

The SFC Site version 2.0 (released on February 25th, 2017)
- Completely Redesigned Frontpage
- 7 Homepage Buttons total (plus the Frontpage image)
- Homepage buttons when you rollover them shows the meaning
- Version number, copyright disclaimer, and Mobile Site link now shown on every page of the website
- Added Twitter and removed Vimeo from the social link bar

- Completely Redesigned Series page that's now compact
- Three Categories of content: Tech, Gaming, and Entertaining Content
- Series buttons when you rollover them shows a briefing for that series

- Completely Redesigned Mobile Central
- Now has a pretty-looking Modern UI
- Includes the new Series page redesign
- The SFC Blog is no longer embedded
- Contact Email system changed
- Version number and copyright disclaimer permanently embedded at the bottom
- Optimized for both mobile devices, tablets, as well as desktops

- Added The SFC Archives to the Downloads page
- See The SFC Group's Archived Content dating back to 2015, 2014, and 2013
- 8 archived videos currently up (exclusive to The SFC Site for now)
- Includes SFC logo evolution with SFC Website Evolution Online Museum opening in Spring 2017

- Added SFC Live page to the More section
- Access to latest SFC Live episode and IRC Chatroom
- Includes Live Agenda, Live Schedule & Polls, Chatroom Rules and Regulations, IRC Help/Tips, and SFC Live Trivia Leaderboard and Rules

- Added the Technology Showdown soundtrack to the Music downloads page
- Added two new wallpapers: Forest in the Distance and Icon Wars (formerly a B&N exclusive)
- Backstage & Newsletter, Video Requests, and Contact Email system changed
- Backstage & Newsletter, Video Requests, and Contact Us forms now have reCAPTCHA 2.0
- Revamped Backstage & Newsletter registration

- You can now have the options to receive SFC Live notifications and Backstage & Newsletter exclusive content separately (requires Receive SFC News option to be selected; may be fixed 2.0.1)

- Enhanced Donate page (donation system currently broken at this time)
- Enhanced About Us page with a new "We've Been Places" section and revamped SFC Members' list
- Enhanced Video Requests page (formerly Video Suggestions)
- Enhanced Tech Selections of the Week page with images now
- Enhanced Apple Product and Software Generators (includes CCL Random Apple Product Generator)

We appreciate the feedback of our new website during its development, and now is your time to try it out and see what you think! And as always, if you see any bugs in the new website, please report it to us here.

Anyways, onto the second announcement:

2. SFC Live is making a triumphant return! 

SFC Live has been on a hiatus for a while (a month to be exact), but now it's about time to return to livestreaming some gaming and shenanigans!

Now most of the announcements related to SFC Live will be talked about during the annoucements segment, but if you would to know what is going on, we have a live agenda prepared on our website here:

But for those who want to know now, we'll give you a couple of new updates:

SFC Live is now gonna be streaming in 720p HD! With our new equipment we have acquired, we are able to stream in the best resolution possible.

Rocket League and Train Simulator: Workshop Mania are making their debut on SFC Live this week! We were unable to stream both games last month due to performance issues, but now that they have been resolved, we will be able to stream not only Rocket League, but also Train Simulator, again in 720p!

The rest we'll keep a secret for now. Please make sure you tune in to SFC Live on Saturday Nights at 7PM Eastern/6PM Central/12AM GMT for some gaming and shenanigans!

Now let's get on with the third announcement:

3. Train Simulator Month: The Revenge begins on March 6th!

We have teased Train Sim Month for 2017 since the end of 2016, but now it's official. Train Simulator Month: The Revenge will be starting on March 6th, with a North Jersey Coast Line let's play video, followed by a Train Sim railfanning video later during that day!

More details of what we're doing during Train Sim Month: The Revenge can be seen in our previous post here (scroll down til you get to it). More information will be announced during SFC Live.

4. Our Youtube Channel is currently undergoing changes!

Our Youtube channel has been getting slowly more followers every day, and we are glad to see newcomers to our content! However, we haven't been uploading a lot of decent content lately, but now that we have new equipment to use, everything should go back to normal in terms of our video and livestream schedule.

Prior to March, we are doing major changes to our Youtube channel currently. Most of these changes will be coming from our older videos, such as video description updates. However, we are introducing some new changes to our channel that are available now:

- You can now watch our old SFC Live streams on our Youtube channel for the public to see! It is available below the Entertaining Content section, so if you want to relive the old streams, go ahead and watch them to your leisure!

- We're bringing back the discussion tab on our Youtube channel! If you have any questions related to The SFC Group, or if you have any tech or gaming related questions, you can send them in through the discussion tab right now!

During the Youtube channel changes, videos that haven't received the update treatment yet will have the comments disabled for that video. As of when I'm writing this post, all of our pre-2016 SFC content have received the update treatment.

And also now that we've acquired new equipment, we can get back to doing proper tech and gaming content again! Here's a quick summary of most of the video series that are getting updates:

Tech Content:
- The Software Room series will resume once Train Sim Month in March is over.
- The Computer Cellar series will resume once Train Sim Month in March is over.
- The Raspberry Pi Guide series will resume once Train Sim Month in March is over.

Gaming Content:
- SFC Plays Minecraft episodes will resume once Train Sim Month in March is over.
- The SFC Plays Train Simulator let's play series will be making a triumphant return to Youtube during Train Sim Month: The Revenge.
- SFC Plays Marble Blast episodes will resume once Train Sim Month in March is over.
- SFC Plays Games let's play videos will resume once Train Sim Month in March is over.
- We will continue to do SFC Editorials on Train Simulator DLC (such as more of Gary's scenario packs) and third-party freeware add-ons (such as the US Freight Car pack) and mods (such as the locomotive physics packs)

Entertaining Content:
- Technology Showdown: The Prologue is currently in production, however we're still aiming for the Summer 2017 release date. Due to Train Sim Month: The Revenge getting in the way, production will grind to a halt until work on TS Month is over.

So that's all we have to offer for now! More announcements will be made during SFC Live, so make sure you tune in tonight (February 25th) for some incredible updates to our content!

For now, I'll see you in the not-too-distant future!

- Sage from The SFC Group

Saturday, February 18, 2017

(ARCHIVED) The SFC Site 2 Release Candidate 2!

This is it! Development on The SFC Site 2 is almost over! After the release of Release Candidate 1, it would make sense to release the final development build of The SFC Site 2, Release Candidate 2, exclusively to Backstage & Newsletter users!

If you missed out the previous Release Candidate, don't worry! Now is your time to check out what's been changed! Like Release Candidate (RC) 1, Release Candidate 2 is available today through our free email service, Backstage & Newsletter. If you're already subscribed to our newsletter, you should gain access to it so be sure to check your inbox! Here's what has changed in RC2 compared to RC1:

The SFC Site 2 Release Candidate 2 (released on February 18th, 2017)
- Updated SFC Live Page with a Project Smartie tab
- Bunch of improvements and bug fixes

Like we've said before, this is the final development build of The SFC Site 2, and the final release goes live on February 25th at 10AM Eastern, replacing Public Beta 2 as the main website.

If you notice any bugs in the latest website dev build, please report it to us by contacting us here:

If you haven't signed up to Backstage & Newsletter yet, it's pretty simple really. Just sign up with an email address, and that's all you need to do! To get access to The SFC Site 2 development builds and other exclusive content, you will need to enable the "Receive SFC News" and "Receive Backstage & Newsletter exclusive content" subscription options.

Sign up to Backstage & Newsletter today:

Oh, and before I go, there is one more thing...

When you looked at the changelog for The SFC Site 2 Release Candidate 2, you probably may have noticed "Project Smartie". What is it you may ask? Well, I'll explain right here:

Project Smartie is a work-in-progress name for our new live trivia game coming to SFC Live this March. It is heavily inspired by CC Trivia, a live trivia show hosted by the Computer Clan back in the good ol' days of their livestreams (when they didn't shove comedy down people's throats). Project Smartie is gonna be similar to CC Trivia in several ways, including how the points are counted, however there are going to be a bunch of differences.

Project Smartie is gonna be powered by a web browser, which means it can be played on ANY platform, including Linux. We're introducing three categories of questions, where it'll be randomized for each question. Finally, on the final round of each game, we'll be giving away $20 Steam or iTunes credit to the 1st place winner!

As of right now, Project Smartie is currently in development, and won't be finished until early March. We're also planning to make Project Smartie available for everyone to play for free, only on The SFC Site 2!

Project Smartie will be officially announced on February 25th at 7PM Eastern during SFC Live. We're planning to debut the official game on March 4th near the end of the gaming show segment. When we do start the game, we'll be explaining the rules, how the game works, and playing the first official game and round of this new trivia game. Please be sure to follow us on our social media pages for more information regarding Project Smartie.

That's all we currently have to offer. More exciting announcements will come later this February on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+), but for now, we'll see you in the not-too-distant future!

- Sage from The SFC Group

Saturday, February 11, 2017

(ARCHIVED) The SFC Site 2 Release Candidate!

After two successful public betas, The SFC Site 2 is on its last leg of the development phase! We're now moving onto the Release Candidate phase before its final release!

The SFC Site 2 has been in development since late 2016, and since the Public Beta release in December 2016, we've been getting a decent amount of positive feedback on the new site. Well, we are now wrapping up development of The SFC Site 2, however we still have features to implement and bugs to squash before its final release. That's why we have release candidates, which are going to be available exclusively through Backstage & Newsletter, our free email service!

The First Release Candidate for The SFC Site 2 is available today through Backstage & Newsletter, so if you're already subscribed to our newsletter, you should gain access to it so be sure to check your inbox! Here's what has changed from Public Beta 2:

The SFC Site 2 Release Candidate 1 (released on February 11th, 2017)
- Added Icon Wars wallpaper in the Downloads section
- Improved Apple and Software Product Generators
- Contact Us section on Mobile Central now switched to the new Email Contact system
- Bunch of improvements and bug fixes

A second release candidate will also be available on Backstage & Newsletter only next week (February 18th), and hopefully we'll offer more content while squashing as many bugs as possible!

Finally, as you might have seen in the image above, The SFC Site 2 will be officially released to the public on February 25th, 2017! All changes from the 2 release candidates will be made to the current Public Beta 2 for its final release. The SFC Site 2 is the biggest website update we've ever put out, and we hope that you'll be excited for its final release as much as we do!

If you haven't signed up for Backstage & Newsletter yet, it's pretty simple really. Just sign up with an email address, and that's all you need to do! To get access to The SFC Site 2 development builds, you will need to enable the "Receive SFC News" and "Receive Backstage & Newsletter exclusive content" subscription options.

Sign up today:

That's all we have for now. Tune in later this February for some more great updates we have for you. For now, we'll see you in the not-too-distant future!

- Sage from The SFC Group