Tera Fashion Coupons Don’t Work?

I got an email from Tera / Gameforge about a new redeem code with some goodies. I don’t play much any more, but what the heck. The items included Fashion Coupons for costumes. Cool. Way back in the day, you could farm BAMs [Big Ass Monsters] all day long and accumulate FCs for sweet outfits and weapon skins. But that shortly changed and the sources of FCs were put behind paywalls. Here’s the email offer: Don’t worry. The code is not a secret. Same for everyone if you wanna use it.

Cool. I have no idea what the other things are for, but I understand Fashion Coupons. Or so I think.

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AnyDesk – Local is Local

My use of “Remote Desktop Access Software” has a long and storied history. It started years ago with LogMeIn, which is still around, and worked fine, but it no longer [at least to my knowledge] has a Free Option.

But Why Shouldn’t I Pay for Remote Desktop Software?

Here’s a long list of Remote Desktop software. After LogMeIn went behind a paywall, I used TeamViewer for a while, but they did the same thing. I do not use these programs as part of a business. I use them for personal use and to help friends – even before lock-down restrictions – maintain their computers, without pay.

So I need a totally free solution.

But What About Microsoft Remote Desktop?

I have never studied Microsoft Remote Desktop in detail. But my understanding is that it is not “Firewall Friendly”, but is rather designed for experts on both ends who either only use it on their LANS or know how to perform the arcane incantations to spirit connections through Firewalls.

What’s the Big Deal with Firewalls?

In order to be “Firewall Friendly” or in other words to “Allow NAT Traversal” or to Allow Traffic through a Network Address Translation Firewall, requires that the two machines find each other using a server out on the internet somewhere. Here’s where the costs might come in. Just like the Zoom or Discord or other services we use, the traffic must go from one machine, through those servers and then on to the other machine. All the time the connections are open with only 10s of millisecond latency. To be sure, a remote desktop connection has vastly smaller traffic requirements than a zoom call with a half dozen folks.

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Site Header Change

Time for a cosmetic change to the site. The Tera header has been up for a long time, and it’s no longer very interesting. Tera has changed so much in recent years that it’s not very interesting these days. So here are a few headers from Final Fantasy XIV and Guild Wars 2. I’ve set them to appear randomly.

Here’s the previous Tera banner in case you missed it.

May you continue to walk in the light of the Crystal.
:ww

Trials of Cord Cutting

As you can see from my previous post, I’m fed up with Dish Network raising prices without providing any better features. For an account with local channels and a DVR, the base price is apparently over $100. Sure, you might get a “Starter Discount” but I’ve had my service for more than a Decade. $1200 per year is too much. Time to be a Cord Cutter.

So, let’s naively try to Cut the Cord and see what happens. But first, as all good engineers know, we develop a list of requirements:

Requirements

In no particular order:

News – Keep up with this crazy world, and find out, within an hour or two whether POTUS has been tossed out, or an earthquake or volcanic eruption has started nearby.

Entertainment – I get most of my entertainment from Netflix and DVD.com [Yeah I know it used to be called Netflix too, but they really want you to forget that they ever shipped you a DVD or BluRay.] for the movies that I can’t stream. But if I’m going to cut the cord I’ll need to get at least one more entertainment streaming service.

Use my new fancy Sony TV. A couple of years ago I got a Vizio P65, and it failed and then after they fixed the power supply, it decided to reboot itself a couple of times a day for no reason. Anyway, I now have a new Sony XBR-65X950H Bravia TV, and I love it. It works just fine and it supports “Android Apps” of course.

So how do we “Cut the Cord” and satisfy these requirements?

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DishNetwork – When do I stop?

When do I cry Uncle and stop this creeping greed?

What has Dish done for me lately? No new channels. More and more channels are leaving the base package.

So I only have the baseline HD service with DVR. Just keeps going up and up with fewer channels and no additional features. They even want to charge for a “Gallery” of still pictures as a TV Screensaver.

I’m close to just turning this off and signing up for Hulu or some other streaming service in addition to Netflix. At least when Netflix charges more money, I get more Netflix Originals. No such thing as Dish Originals. I think satellites are just too expensive a way to deliver content. Too little choice and too costly.

:ww

Final Fantasy XIV Announcement Showcase

FFXIV had a streamed showcase on 5 February, 2021. It was over 2 hours long and can be found here on Youtube. For those of you who may not have 2 hours to spend right now, but want the highlights I’ve put up some slides from the show here. I’m not going to comment very much. There are plenty of folks on Youtube that will do that. But you can get the gist of what’s been announced in short form here from the slides: Enjoy.

A second DPS job will be announced later.

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Face Cloaking IRL – Next Steps

Recently I found this on Youtube:

And I got to thinking about the implications of this kind of technology. It seems to me that the next step is to make this available:

  • On our phones so that every Selfie or picture of our friends are cloaked before we upload them.
  • IRL -we need to learn to use makeup – both men and women – to change our faces to cloak them against face recognition, but in such a way that our friends may only notice we are wearing subtle makeup.
  • Clothing manufacturers can make an effort to provide quick-change clothing options for coats, shirts, pants, etc. to allow subtle cloaking for those of us who want options for privacy, on our way to work or other travels.

Recently we saw what happened when Facebook changed their privacy polices, causing a meltdown at Signal due to folks migrating. I suggest that this technology at Fawkes should cause a similar groundswell of new technology and migration to face cloaking.

Once these technologies are widely available and ubiquitous, then perhaps the face recognition feeds will contain so much noise that we can effectively take our privacy back.

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Roller Beetle Achieved

Wheew. Not as bad as either Griffon or certainly Skyscale, the Roller Beetle is still a full two day process. Assuming you have all the maps required.

There are a few events that you have to wait on. Notably:

  • Kourna meta event to storm the Gandara Fortress. But this is on a schedule. You’ll need this for the Plague Scarab Egg for the feed.
  • Anomaly Spark requires the Ley-Line Anomaly, which I caught in Iron Marches on the schedule.
  • The Inquest Golem Mark II is on a schedule too in Mount Maelstrom.
  • The longest wait was in Far Silverwastes to get the Hearty Beetle Slime dropped by the Alpha Beetle event.
  • I lucked out in Bjora Marches by doing a couple of meta events there that gave me enough Eternal Ice to purchase the rest of the Inscribed Shards needed for the Desert Luciferin.

This is all much easier than even the Griffon or the Skyscale, so take heart and power through. And it’s all much easier if you have a flying mount. I saved lots of time by having the Skyscale before I did the Roller Beetle.

:ww

Skyscale Achieved

At long last I have a Skyscale Mount in GW2. It has been a long and punishing journey. The longest effort by far has been to get the various parts of the “Saddle”.

After the first few steps, there is the long grind for 250 of each of 6 different materials. This is a punishing grind for a couple of reasons:

(1) There is a throttle on each one of these materials so that only so many of them can be gathered each day. They are account bound when acquired so it’s not possible to purchase them on the market board. If they are gathered, then after so many are gathered, then then the nodes where they are gathered just dry up.

(2) Also, the areas where most of the materials are gathered are very dangerous for solo players. Thunderhead Peaks, and Kourna are so dangerous that solo farming is essentially impossible. I was able to farm Eternal Ice in Bjora Marches and with that material, you can purchase each of the other materials. But Eternal Ice gathering, or collecting from Events or Chests is throttled as well. I was only able to purchase 10 or 20 of the other materials per day since each 10 materials required 75 Eternal Ice. I was able to do chains of Meta Events in both zones of the BJora Marches map once or twice a day to get quite a few Eternal Ice to purchase other materials. It is reasonable to farm Diflourite in the Sandswept Isles as a Solo player and this is quite an interesting zone. I was able to get about 100 Mistborn Motes in a day with gathering and doing events in Dragonfall. I had another 150 or so of those from previous events and gathering from working Dragonfall during the Skyscale Achievements.

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