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I can't call myself a victim if I know what I took.
"Mom," I said, "Do you really think I can follow my dreams?" I was sitting on a chair on our apartment balcony while I looked up as the clouds passed over another layer of dotted clouds which felt like sand on the shore in the sky. My mother, who looked more tired than she tried to hide, got herself to smile enough when she said, "Honey, if you ever get to do something you really like, something that makes you happy, then that can be both of our dream." She then held my shoulders as I turned around to kiss her cheek. "I love you mom." I said as I gave her a great big hug. Her voice cracking, all she could manage was, "my sweet girl. Promise me that you will come right back here and tell me when you reach that dream. Can you promise me that?" "I promise... H-hey mom." "What is it Haley?" "Think I can help you back into your chair?" "Oh don't you worry about that honey, I'll be fine." She chided as she shook her hands onto her wheelchair as she gently blocked me with her trembling hands, telling me to back away and let her do this. She trembled as she got into her seat and looked at me with confusion. The caretaker came and asked if everything was alright. I told her things were fine and she recommended it was around the time to leave. So I got my coat, took my purse, and kissed my mom goodbye for the day. It was difficult to convince her step by step that she needed assisted living conditions. Needed a caretaker. She even got real upset with me when it was my idea to install a "Life Alert" system in her home. She was losing her hearing but the hearing aid was doing half its job. Her vision on the other hand, had a bad scar in one eye as she loses her vision I try and try to convince her to get some eye surgery. She tells me "when she is ready for it" every time I ask but seriously, who is ever ready for surgery? As I walked out the door I guess no matter how many times I hear it before, and no matter how many times I prepare for it, it always hurts. For lack of a better word, her eyes "change." Suddenly she looks around her surroundings as if the walls had expanded. "Who was that?" She asked her caretaker. "Your daughter." The caretaker said. "No. Haley's my little girl. She's still in the 2nd grade." I couldn't stand it. I opened the door again. "Mom, I grew up." I said. The caretaker looked startled, as if to warn me to stop but she was too late. I didn't care. I love my mother and I want to be by her side. Because she first loved me and I know that beautiful lesson from this teacher. I know it's real, and because of her I still feel it, no matter what happens to me that makes me despise it. It's there. Even when she forgets. "No you didn't. Who ARE you, young lady? Where's Haley? Somebody HELP!" "Mom, it's me." I said as I pressed my face against hers. She resists as usual and is about to push me away when I tell her. "Mommy, you forget this all the time. I grew up." She stops resisting for a moment to wonder if what I'm saying is true. I know that she has to process this all over again. She reaches for my face and her thumb makes tiny circles around my cheek. ".....Is it? Is it really you, Haley? My little Haley?" "Yes mom. It's me, Haley. I'm not going anywhere." I said with tears in my eyes. We held each other for a while and then I decided a few more hours just gently sitting wouldn't be so bad. When it's really time for me to leave, she sits in the chair watching me leave, smiling. That's how I want to leave the room from now on. A lot has changed since I assigned a caretaker. People tell me that maybe I should send her to a home. However, she really wants to keep one last piece of her independence, and my heart burns with power when I think of her strength. I lie to friends and family that I read up on it but I actually have very little knowledge of how retrograde amnesia works. By lying that I know more, in a sense, I guess it's my stupid way of letting people know that I can emotionally deal with it and that I am allowed to be there for my mother without hurting when it does. As though false knowledge gives me the right. My mother doesn't even know her symptoms but she fights on like a delirious knight, swinging blades in the darkness and jumping into the danger. She is, and always has been, my hero. I'm no hero. I didn't make much money. I was a waitress when I was told I was going to be laid off. I visited Mom to comfort her. At least that's what I told myself. I knew that I was really trying to comfort myself, really. Even though I know she wouldn't, I wanted Mom to sit with me and help me sort life's problems with short hugs and warm smiles along the way. I wanted that reassurance you can only get from a mom who loves you. I hosted a makeup show on YouTube. I would just connect a camera to my laptop while I applied eyeliner and nail polish and somehow I garnered a following. To try and stretch my limits, I ended up played some puzzle games and dating sims. People thought I was cute. A good kind of cute. They liked me when I would joke around or mess up on a game. I guess I liked myself more back then as was a fan of along with them. It was around 2010 when people told me in comments that I could make money through something called "ad sense". At the time all I knew was it was some kind of partnership program so when I figured it out I knew I had to join up. At first, I thought the comments were trolling me, but I saw other YouTube users doing it and before I knew it, I was signed up and actually going to be making money. I was connected with it through the help of some of my friends. I was at a party when Tiff, my glamorous friend who always flaunts herself around and is way too forward with everyone around her, especially me. Tiff is the girl who usually never notices signs that I am uncomfortable, or that I did not want this to happen. Then there is Chris. Chris is that awkward little neighbor I used to have and after he moved away we remained close. We still went to the same schools and kept in touch over the years. He was at the party, because he knew how I can go through Google ad sense since he claimed to know one of the Google ad execs so I can make more than a usual creator. They set up my account and got me in through my PayPal account using my credit card and my social security number. I admit in retrospect I could have planned it out better but they told me to keep things simple. Then I told them to create a GoFundMe page for my mother's upcoming surgery expenses. I owe her that much. At the party, Tiff introduced me to some of her roommates' friends who were really loud and wild girls while in the back of the dance floor (kitchen) was Chris, adjusting the volume on the iPod speakers to low. He stood neatly in a suit and tie, and I thought I overdressed. Chris took me upstairs to a computer, and he shut the door and there was someone already on the keyboard, typing quickly as he dictated and asked me exactly what kind of show I put on YouTube. I told him I do makeup and games. He put me in the system, I "signed" documents online and before I knew it I officially had a job. Online. How cool was that!!? Chris thanked me for being patient as he had a dial-up modem and the process took a LOT longer than it needed to be. I was alright and he invited me to go downstairs and have some fun while he and his buddy do a bunch of boring legal stuff for me online. Tiff immediately grabbed me and shoved me in front of this hunky guy who made me get into a cold sweat. I quickly checked my hair and hoped what I was wearing was nice enough. He was a European friend of her roommate who came over to the states to see some cute American girls. He was Kris, who was much cuter than Chris. Kris Dieb. Even his name was incredible. He was full of grace, charm, and wit. The caliber that he held was so high. He just finished talking and shouting back at Chris when I approached him. He gave me one glance-over, and then gave his verdict. "Chris here, tells me that you are cute...." I trembled where I stood. "However I do not think that you are cute." He put his hand on my chin and told me. "I think that you are beautiful." My heart flutter-fainted as I swooned over him cartoonishly. I just melted into a puddle and he danced with me into the night. It was like a fairytale. They even played "You Belong With Me'" by Taylor Swift on the speakers. He was the prince and I was the princess. I will say yes... I was blushing a storm while Tiff excitedly begged me for details as she pulled me from him for a chance with him herself. I figured this was a good a time as any to actually go back home. Before I do that, however, I realize that I just had a major breakthrough. Not the guy. The YouTube Partnership Program. I had a job! Online! And all I have to do is what I like doing all the time, and I get PAID for it? Oh my god, my mind was ready to blow. I have a job now. A real job. Immediately, I knew there was someone else who had to know. She was sitting in her bed watching television when she looked my way. "You're not the caretaker," she grumbled. As she got into her wheelchair, she pushed herself towards me with a look of suspicion and bewilderment. "What is your name, young lady?" "It's Haley." She looked startled upon hearing the name. I was worried she was going to have another freak out and then I would be pushed away from her. I was scared, but the face I gave her was a straight one. Then she looked at me with a much softer expression. She was lowering her defenses and that was always a good sign. She started a small smile. "You know, I have a daughter named Haley. She's still in the 2nd grade. Sweetest little thing, too. Do you want me to show you her picture? I think I have it around here somewhere. Hold on, let me get it." I stood patiently waiting with my hands behind my back against the wall and bouncing on my heels like a cartoon. I was tempted to whistle. "So Haley, what do you do?" "I make money on YouTube now, mom." Oops. I slipped my tongue. She is my mother and I am used to talking with her like that. It's almost as if she is playing a part for a theater sketch and she only has to pretend she doesn't know me to dive deeper into her character. That's what I tell myself. Really, she is at the ocean's floor, as deep as she can go. It is so hard to follow her down. "Calling me mom are we? You are a strange woman to come and visit a lady all cooped up here and call me 'mom'. Is your mother missing?" "She always is..." I said quietly. "That's too bad. Shame on her, leaving a nice young lady out to fend for yourself. I guess your'e just one of those people with abandonment issues or what do you call it?.... " She trailed off in her thoughts and didn't come back. She was still searching her drawer though a pile of messy photographs. "Here we are. Haley.... meet Haley." Mom said proudly as she held up one of the pictures. The small freckled girl in the photograph was holding a baseball bat in front of a chain-link fence along a large shady weeping willow in the middle of the park. The girl was smiling and had missing teeth. Her shirt was stained in flecks you can barely see but I was only looking for the mustard from the nachos her Dad got her before her big game. I still miss Dad, but he left us a long time ago... As I looked into the little girl's eyes tears began to form in my own as I wish I could tell her that something very bad was about to happen. If I could somehow tell her. I wanted to warn her. I wanted to encourage her. I wanted to say so many things that I was going to have a mental breakdown if I continued thinking about them all. About that little girl. So instead, I hit reset and played pretend with her. "She's a beautiful little girl." "Isn't she? Makes me proud to see her do so many things. You know, I bet your mother loves you too." "I know she does." "That's very good to hear. When was the last time you spoke with her?" "That's a very personal question. I think I'd better leave." I was about to make my way towards the door. I meant it. "How about you tell me what you would want to say to your mother, you know, if she were here." If she were here? Does she even knew what she was saying? "If she were here..... I'd tell her that I did it. I want to tell her, 'Mom, I did it. I'm doing what I wanted to. That I'm going for my dreams.'" She looked at me and said, "That's strange.... I'm not sure.... but I think it was a dream where I wanted someone special to me, someone close, to have the same thing....." I smiled at her. "Funny isn't it?" "Well, I suppose as long as you are doing what you want to do, I'm sure your mother is very proud of you." Then she sat up and she turned her head to look at me and gave a knowing grin. "You can call me 'mom' if you want to. It's fine." "Okay. I gotta go. Take care, mom." "Bye honey. Oh honey, you forgot your purse. Don't forget that." I realized that I did leave it. She handed it to me as I clumsily made my way back outside. "Bye, mom." "Bye Haley." That was as close to normal without the tearfully long reveal that "it's me" that I ever had to do. Sometimes as a stranger, I get to see another side of her. It helps me appreciate her more. I still can't believe that this wonderful, suffering woman is my mother. I got back to my apartment and began unpacking things and got out my laptop. I recorded another video and realized I can do movie reviews and that's when I saw the new messages. I guess I enabled live chat as I was streaming and there was this woman who said she was an ad executive but wanted to thank me so wanted to know more about me. She told me that I needed to join her in her sister's wedding and on a whim I sent her a private message and gave her my address. Normally, I would say never give your address but she was a girl and girls don't do anything besides I wanted to get drunk and party with some real girls. I sat alone with my fingers resting on the keyboard with my thoughts as I stared mindlessly into the glaring white of the Google's screen. There was no Google Doodle that day, which was odd since they celebrate practically anyone's birthday or landmark in the world. However, I just kept staring. For a very long time. Until I come back to reality and realize that I just overthink certain things and that I should really get on with living my life. I know that's all in my head, but I could have sensed that something on my screen began to flicker. I checked the cord and it seemed okay. I recently downloaded an update for Adobe flash player and my computer has been buggy ever since. *knock* *knock* Someone was at the door, I quickly logged off and closed my laptop. I went over to see who was there. I was greeted by the sound of Chris, who sounded worried. He asked me to log in to my Google account and he wanted to check something. I didn't know what he was doing but he clicked a lot of "Agree" buttons before logging me off. He also looked really shaken up, like somebody had just scolded him. He never looked at me that way before, like I was a vicious animal, ready to strike and at the same time like he deserves it. After that, he left. So I go online and decide to make a new video that week. In the video, I put in a clip from a movie out-of-context as a joke. I remember clicking "I own this so I can post it" and the message said, "that still does not give you the right to share copywritten material." Then I hit that I think that this is "fair use" under sections of criticism and education (and fun). It was a large file, about a 30 GB video, since the effects of the studio app I have render the video like a monster. It takes HOURS to upload the whole thing, and even more to process the video. Within 2 minutes after "your video is available at " https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfe73Dhd" it got 3 strikes in one go. I don't know how, but multiple flags were in place and my account was removed from Google. Subsequently it was obvious the video was pulled too, so don't bother clicking the link. I even had a charity live stream and I got a message saying that all the funds have been kept by the issuer of the strikes on my channel. Again, it doesn't sound like it could work and I could be making up details but that's all I know. I don't know how it worked but it did. Not only that, but my PayPal account, my Chase account, and even my BitCoin were all gone. Nonexistent. I went to the DMV and presented my driver's license, but.... it was no longer a match. I tried to claim that maybe somebody stole my identity, but when they asked if there was anyone who could verify my identity, I went to see her again. She looked at me and the man with the notepad. "Mom, it's me. Haley." She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said, "I know you're not." She was right. There were tears in my eyes, too. Haley Petersen was killed while she studied abroad in 2014. Back then she met this charming man who we never got to know the name of. I happened to be an identity thief myself and took her place when I found her credit card in the states. When I went to visit her mother with retrograde amnesia, that did it. The perfect job. It wasn't so perfect when I saw what a good woman this was. I really wanted it to work. I really wanted her to be my mother. Because I was so stupid to investigate my own identity theft, my record immediately caught up with me and I am charged with counts of fraud and embezzlement and probably some false charges added by Google on top from my accusers. I read up on everything about Haley. Her missing father, her baseball games he used to driver her to. The pit stops and meals they shared as a family. It was all right there, in her diary. Her bedroom was my study. After reading so much about her and trying to think like her, I actually began to think I was her. I eventually felt like these mental images while I read her life stories slowly became mine. As though it were thought transference. It's not possible that we can think the same way, but given how close I come to a description of Haley it was only stranger that I can imagine what I think her way of thinking is... I think. I was caught. It was over. I called up Kris Dieb and told him the jig was up. We both had to confess. Youtube and the scam we tried to pull off with the help of my friends are no longer the concern. The very identity of the "Haley" I almost thought I was proved to me that I got in this too deep. I don't feel like a criminal. I just know I am one. I guess my feelings will never catch up with me. So as the police are investigating this and I am allowed one last post. I want to tell you. Yes, there are people who make invalid strikes on YouTube. Yes, the algorithm seems one-sided. Yes, there is censorship. Yes, smaller creators are being taken advantage of. I took one last look at my "mom." There were tears in her eyes. When she saw the police report of her real daughter's death. How my real name is [removed] and how everyone I knew in my life before I abandoned long ago. This woman, the woman I had lied to, feigning sympathy for her memory loss wasn't all fake. At one point this became real. I miss you. Mommy. You were the only real mother to me, and I was taking advantage of you. I should feel terrible. Strange fact of the matter is, I don't. I loved spending time with her. I just felt a connection that I never had with anyone before. I know what I did was wrong, and I cannot feign ignorance. Nobody is going to give me any pity. I was in the wrong. I can't call myself a victim if I know what I took.
Console gaming is hardly different from PC gaming, and much of what people say about PC gaming to put it above console gaming is often wrong.
I’m not sure about you, but for the past few years, I’ve been hearing people go on and on about PCs "superiority" to the console market. People cite various reasons why they believe gaming on a PC is “objectively” better than console gaming, often for reasons related to power, costs, ease-of-use, and freedom. …Only problem: much of what they say is wrong. There are many misconceptions being thrown about PC gaming vs Console gaming, that I believe need to be addressed. This isn’t about “PC gamers being wrong,” or “consoles being the best,” absolutely not. I just want to cut through some of the stuff people use to put down console gaming, and show that console gaming is incredibly similar to PC gaming. I mean, yes, this is someone who mainly games on console, but I also am getting a new PC that I will game on as well, not to mention the 30 PC games I already own and play. I’m not particularly partial to one over the other. Now I will mainly be focusing on the PlayStation side of the consoles, because I know it best, but much of what I say will apply to Xbox as well. Just because I don’t point out many specific Xbox examples, doesn’t mean that they aren’t out there.
“PCs can use TVs and monitors.”
This one isn’t so much of a misconception as it is the implication of one, and overall just… confusing. This is in some articles and the pcmasterrace “why choose a PC” section, where they’re practically implying that consoles can’t do this. I mean, yes, as long as the ports of your PC match up with your screen(s) inputs, you could plug a PC into either… but you could do the same with a console, again, as long as the ports match up. I’m guessing the idea here is that gaming monitors often use Displayport, as do most dedicated GPUs, and consoles are generally restricted to HDMI… But even so, monitors often have HDMI ports. In fact, PC Magazine has just released their list of the best gaming monitors of 2017, and every single one of them has an HDMI port. A PS4 can be plugged into these just as easily as a GTX 1080. I mean, even if the monitoTV doesn’t have HDMI or AV to connect with your console, just use an adaptor. If you have a PC with ports that doesn’t match your monitoTV… use an adapter. I don’t know what the point of this argument is, but it’s made a worrying amount of times.
“On PC, you have a wide range of controller options, but on console you’re stuck with the standard controller."
Are you on PlayStation and wish you could use a specific type of controller that suits your favorite kind of gameplay? Despite what some may believe, you have just as many options as PC. Want to play fighting games with a classic arcade-style board, featuring the buttons and joystick? Here you go! Want to get serious about racing and get something more accurate and immersive than a controller? Got you covered. Absolutely crazy about flying games and, like the racers, want something better than a controller? Enjoy! Want Wii-style motion controls? Been around since the PS3. If you prefer the form factor of the Xbox One controller but you own a PS4, Hori’s got you covered. And of course, if keyboard and mouse it what keeps you on PC, there’s a PlayStation compatible solution for that. Want to use the keyboard and mouse that you already own? Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Of course, these aren’t isolated examples, there are plenty of options for each of these kind of controllers. You don’t have to be on PC to enjoy alternate controllers.
“On PC you could use Steam Link to play anywhere in your house and share games with others.”
PS4 Remote play app on PC/Mac, PSTV, and PS Vita. PS Family Sharing. Using the same PSN account on multiple PS4s/Xbox Ones and PS3s/360s, or using multiple accounts on the same console. In fact, if multiple users are on the same PS4, only one has to buy the game for both users to play it on that one PS4. On top of that, only one of them has to have PS Plus for both to play online (if the one with PS Plus registers the PS4 as their main system). PS4 Share Play; if two people on separate PS4s want to play a game together that only one of them owns, they can join a Party and the owner of the game can have their friend play with them in the game. Need I say more?
“Gaming is more expensive on console.”
Part one, the Software This is one that I find… genuinely surprising. There’s been a few times I’ve mentioned that part of the reason I chose a PS4 is for budget gaming, only to told that “games are cheaper on Steam.” To be fair, there are a few games on PSN/XBL that are more expensive than they are on Steam, so I can see how someone could believe this… but apparently they forgot about disks. Dirt Rally, a hardcore racing sim game that’s… still $60 on all 3 platforms digitally… even though its successor is out.
See my point? Often times the game is cheaper on console because of the disk alternative that’s available for practically every console-available game. Even when the game is brand new. Dirt 4 - Remember that Dirt Rally successor I mentioned?
Yes, you could either buy this relatively new game digitally for $60, or just pick up the disk for a discounted price. And again, this is for a game that came out 2 months ago, and even it’s predecessor’s digital cost is locked at $60. Of course, I’m not going to ignore the fact that Dirt 4 is currently (as of writing this) discounted on Steam, but on PSN it also happens to be discounted for about the same amount. Part 2: the Subscription Now… let’s not ignore the elephant in the room: PS Plus and Xbox Gold. Now these would be ignorable, if they weren’t required for online play (on the PlayStation side, it’s only required for PS4, but still). So yes, it’s still something that will be included in the cost of your PS4 or Xbox One/360, assuming you play online. Bummer, right? Here’s the thing, although that’s the case, although you have to factor in this $60 cost with your console, you can make it balance out, at worst, and make it work out for you as a budget gamer, at best. As nice as it would be to not have to deal with the price if you don’t want to, it’s not like it’s a problem if you use it correctly. Imagine going to a new restaurant. This restaurant has some meals that you can’t get anywhere else, and fair prices compared to competitors. Only problem: you have to pay a membership fee to have the sides. Now you can have the main course, sit down and enjoy your steak or pasta, but if you want to have a side to have a full meal, you have to pay an annual fee. Sounds shitty, right? But here’s the thing: not only does this membership allow you to have sides with your meal, but it also allows you to eat two meals for free every month, and also gives you exclusive discounts for other meals, drinks, and desserts. Let’s look at PS Plus for a minute: for $60 per year, you get:
2 free PS4 games, every month
2 free PS3 games, every month
1 PS4/PS3 and Vita compatible game, and 1 Vita-only game, every month
Exclusive/Extended discounts, especially during the weekly/seasonal sales (though you don’t need PS Plus to get sales, PS Plus members get to enjoy the best sales)
access to online multiplayer
So yes, you’re paying extra because of that membership, but what you get with that deal pays for it and then some. In fact, let’s ignore the discounts for a minute: you get 24 free PS4 games, 24 free PS3 games, and 12 Vita only + 12 Vita compatible games, up to 72freegames every year. Even if you only one of these consoles, that’s still 24 free games a year. Sure, maybe you get games for the month that you don’t like, then just wait until next month. In fact, let’s look at Just Cause 3 again. It was free for PS Plus members in August, which is a pretty big deal. Why is this significant? Because it’s, again, a $60 digital game. That means with this one download, you’ve balanced out your $60 annual fee. Meaning? Every free game after that is money saved, every discount after that is money saved. And this is a trend: every year, PS Plus will release a game that balances out the entire service cost, then another 23 more that will only add icing to that budget cake. Though, you could just count games as paying off PS Plus until you hit $60 in savings, but still. All in all, PS Plus, and Xbox Gold which offers similar options, saves you money. On top of that, again, you don't need to have these to get discounts, but with these memberships, you get more discounts. Now, I’ve seen a few Steam games go up for free for a week, but what about being free for an entire month? Not to mention that; even if you want to talk about Steam Summer Sales, what about the PSN summer sale, or again, disc sale discounts? Now a lot of research and math would be needed to see if every console gamer would save money compared to every Steam gamer for the same games, but at the very least? The costs will balance out, at worst. Part 3, the Systems
Xbox and PS2: $299
Xbox 360 and PS3: $299 and $499, respectively
Xbox One and PS4: $499 and $399, respectively.
Rounded up a few dollars, that’s $1,000 - $1,300 in day-one consoles, just to keep up with the games! Crazy right? So called budget systems, such a rip-off. Well, keep in mind that the generations here aren’t short. The 6th generation, from the launch of the PS2 to the launch of the next generation consoles, lasted 5 years, 6 years based on the launch of the PS3 (though you could say it was 9 or 14, since the Xbox wasn’t discontinued until 2009, and the PS2 was supported all the way to 2014, a year after the PS4 was released). The 7th gen lasted 7 - 8 years, again depending on whether you count the launch of the Xbox 360 to PS3. The 8th gen so far has lasted 4 years. That’s 17 years that the console money is spread over. If you had a Netflix subscription for it’s original $8 monthly plan for that amount of time, that would be over $1,600 total. And let’s be fair here, just like you could upgrade your PC hardware whenever you wanted, you didn’t have to get a console from launch. Let’s look at PlayStation again for example: In 2002, only two years after its release, the PS2 retail price was cut from $300 to $200. The PS3 Slim, released 3 years after the original, was $300, $100-$200 lower than the retail cost. The PS4? You could’ve either gotten the Uncharted bundle for $350, or one of the PS4 Slim bundles for $250. This all brings it down to $750 - $850, which again, is spread over a decade and a half. This isn’t even counting used consoles, sales, or the further price cuts that I didn’t mention. Even if that still sounds like a lot of money to you, even if you’re laughing at the thought of buying new systems every several years, because your PC “is never obsolete,” tell me: how many parts have you changed out in your PC over the years? How many GPUs have you been through? CPUs? Motherboards? RAM sticks, monitors, keyboards, mice, CPU coolers, hard drives— that adds up. You don’t need to replace your entire system to spend a lot of money on hardware. Even if you weren’t upgrading for the sake of upgrading, I’d be amazed if the hardware you’ve been pushing by gaming would last for about 1/3 of that 17 year period. Computer parts aren’t designed to last forever, and really won’t when you’re pushing them with intensive gaming for hours upon hours. Generally speaking, your components might last you 6-8 years, if you’ve got the high-end stuff. But let’s assume you bought a system 17 years ago that was a beast for it’s time, something so powerful, that even if it’s parts have degraded over time, it’s still going strong. Problem is: you will have to upgrade something eventually. Even if you’ve managed to get this far into the gaming realm with the same 17 year old hardware, I’m betting you didn’t do it with a 17 year Operating System. How much did Windows 7 cost you? Or 8.1? Or 10? Oh, and don’t think you can skirt the cost by getting a pre-built system, the cost of Windows is embedded into the cost of the machine (why else would Microsoft allow their OS to go on so many machines). Sure, Windows 10 was a free upgrade for a year, but that’s only half of it’s lifetime— You can’t get it for free now, and not for the past year. On top of that, the free period was an upgrade; you had to pay for 7 or 8 first anyway. Point is, as much as one would like to say that they didn’t need to buy a new system every so often for the sake of gaming, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been paying for hardware, and even if they’ve only been PC gaming recently, you’ll be spending money on hardware soon enough.
“PC is leading the VR—“
Let me stop you right there. If you add together the total number of Oculus Rifts and HTC Vives sold to this day, and threw in another 100,000 just for the sake of it, that number would still be under the number of PSVR headsets sold. Why could this possibly be? Well, for a simple reason: affordability. The systems needed to run the PC headsets costs $800+, and the headsets are $500 - $600, when discounted. PSVR on the other hand costs $450 for the full bundle (headset, camera, and move controllers, with a demo disc thrown in), and can be played on either a $250 - $300 console, or a $400 console, the latter recommended. Even if you want to say that the Vive and Rift are more refined, a full PSVR set, system and all, could cost just over $100 more than a Vive headset alone. If anything, PC isn’t leading the VR gaming market, the PS4 is. It’s the system bringing VR to the most consumers, showing them what the future of gaming could look like. Not to mention that as the PlayStation line grows more powerful (4.2 TFLOP PS4 Pro, 10 TFLOP “PS5…”), it won’t be long until the PlayStation line can use the same VR games as PC. Either way, this shows that there is a console equivalent to the PC VR options. Sure, there are some games you'd only be able to play on PC, but there are also some games you'd only be able to play on PSVR. …Though to be fair, if we’re talking about VR in general, these headsets don’t even hold a candle to, surprisingly, Gear VR.
“If it wasn’t for consoles holding devs back, then they would be able to make higher quality games.”
This one is based on the idea that because of how “low spec” consoles are, that when a developer has to take them in mind, then they can’t design the game to be nearly as good as it would be otherwise. I mean, have you ever seen the minimum specs for games on Steam? GTA V
Actually, bump up all the memory requirements to 8 GBs, and those are some decent specs, relatively speaking. And keep in mind these are the minimum specs to even open the games. It’s almost as if the devs didn’t worry about console specs when making a PC version of the game, because this version of the game isn’t on console. Or maybe even that the consoles aren’t holding the games back that much because they’re not that weak. Just a hypothesis. But I mean, the devs are still ooobviously having to take weak consoles into mind right? They could make their games sooo much more powerful if they were PC only, right? Right? No. Not even close. iRacing
CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, i7 or better or AMD Bulldozer or better
Memory: 8 GB RAM
GPU: NVidia GeForce 2xx series or better, 1GB+ dedicated video memory / AMD 5xxx series or better, 1GB+ dedicated video memory
These are PC only games. That’s right, no consoles to hold them back, they don’t have to worry about whether an Xbox One could handle it. Yet, they don’t require anything more than the Multiplatform games. Subnautica
So what’s the deal? Theoretically, if developers don’t have to worry about console specs, then why aren’t they going all-out and making games that no console could even dream of supporting? Low-end PCs. What, did you think people only game on Steam if they spent at least $500 on gaming hardware? Not all PC gamers have gaming-PC specs, and if devs close their games out to players who don’t have the strongest of PCs, then they’d be losing out on a pretty sizable chunk of their potential buyers. Saying “devs having to deal with consoles is holding gaming back” is like saying “racing teams having to deal with Ford is holding GT racing back.” A: racing teams don’t have to deal with Ford if they don’t want to, which is probably why many of them don’t, and B: even though Ford doesn’t make the fastest cars overall, they still manage to make cars that are awesome on their own, they don’t even need to be compared to anything else to know that they make good cars. I want to go back to that previous point though, developers having to deal with low-end PCs, because it’s integral to the next point:
“PCs are more powerful, gaming on PC provides a better experience.”
This one isn’t so much of a misconception as it is… misleading. Did you know that according to the Steam Hardware & Software Survey (July 2017) , the percentage of Steam gamers who use a GPU that's less powerful than that of a PS4Slim’s GPU is well over 50%? Things get dismal when compared to the PS4 Pro (Or Xbox One X). On top of that, the percentage of PC gamers who own a Nvidia 10 series card is about 20% (about 15% for the 1060, 1080 and 1070 owners). Now to be fair, the large majority of gamers have CPUs with considerably high clock speeds, which is the main factor in CPU gaming performance. But, the number of Steam gamers with as much RAM or more than a PS4 or Xbox One is less than 50%, which can really bottleneck what those CPUs can handle. These numbers are hardly better than they were in 2013, all things considered. Sure, a PS3/360 weeps in the face of even a $400 PC, but in this day in age, consoles have definitely caught up. Sure, we could mention the fact that even 1% of Steam accounts represents over 1 million accounts, but that doesn’t really matter compared to the 10s of millions of 8th gen consoles sold; looking at it that way, sure the number of Nvidia 10 series owners is over 20 million, but that ignores the fact that there are over 5 times more 8th gen consoles sold than that. Basically, even though PCs run on a spectrum, saying they're more powerful “on average” is actually wrong. Sure, they have the potential for being more powerful, but most of the time, people aren’t willing to pay the premium to reach those extra bits of performance. Now why is this important? What matters are the people who spent the premium cost for premium parts, right? Because of the previous point: PCs don’t have some ubiquitous quality over the consoles, developers will always have to keep low-end PCs in mind, because not even half of all PC players can afford the good stuff, and you have to look at the top quarter of Steam players before you get to PS4-Pro-level specs. If every Steam player were to get a PS4 Pro, it would be an upgrade for over 60% of them, and 70% of them would be getting an upgrade with the Xbox One X. Sure, you could still make the argument that when you pay more for PC parts, you get a better experience than you could with a console. We can argue all day about budget PCs, but a console can’t match up to a $1,000 PC build. It’s the same as paying more for car parts, in the end you get a better car. However, there is a certain problem with that…
“You pay a little more for a PC, you get much more quality.”
The idea here is that the more you pay for PC parts, the performance increases at a faster rate than the price does. Problem: that’s not how technology works. Paying twice as much doesn’t get you twice the quality the majority of the time. For example, let’s look at graphics cards, specifically the GeForce 10 series cards, starting with the GTX 1050.
1.35 GHz base clock
2 GB VRAM
This is our reference, our basis of comparison. Any percentages will be based on the 1050’s specs. Now let’s look at the GTX 1050 Ti, the 1050’s older brother.
1.29 GHz base clock
4 GB VRAM
This is pretty good. You only increase the price by about 27%, and you get an 11% increase in floating point speed and a 100% increase (double) in VRAM. Sure you get a slightly lower base clock, but the rest definitely makes up for it. In fact, according to GPU boss, the Ti managed 66 fps, or a 22% increase in frame rate for Battlefield 4, and a 54% increase in mHash/second in bitcoin mining. The cost increase is worth it, for the most part. But let’s get to the real meat of it; what happens when we double our budget? Surely we should see a massive increase performance, I bet some of you are willing to bet that twice the cost means more than twice the performance. The closest price comparison for double the cost is the GTX 1060 (3 GB), so let’s get a look at that.
1.5 GHz base clock
3 GB VRAM
Well… not substantial, I’d say. About a 50% increase in floating point speed, an 11% increase in base clock speed, and a 1GB decrease in VRAM. For [almost] doubling the price, you don’t get much. Well surely raw specs don’t tell the full story, right? Well, let’s look at some real wold comparisons. Once again, according to GPU Boss, there’s a 138% increase in hashes/second for bitcoin mining, and at 99 fps, an 83% frame rate increase in Battlefield 4. Well, then, raw specs does not tell the whole story! Here’s another one, the 1060’s big brother… or, well, slightly-more-developed twin.
1.5 GHz base clock
6 GB VRAM
Seems reasonable, another $50 for a decent jump in power and double the memory! But, as we’ve learned, we shouldn’t look at the specs for the full story. I did do a GPU Boss comparison, but for the BF4 frame rate, I had to look at Tom’s Hardware (sorry miners, GPU boss didn’t cover the mHash/sec spec either). What’s the verdict? Well, pretty good, I’d say. With 97 FPS, a 79% increase over the 1050— wait. 97? That seems too low… I mean, the 3GB version got 99. Well, let’s see what Tech Power Up has to say... 94.3 fps. 74% increase. Huh. Alright alright, maybe that was just a dud. We can gloss over that I guess. Ok, one more, but let’s go for the big fish: the GTX 1080.
1.6 GHz base clock
8 GB VRAM
That jump in floating point speed definitely has to be something, and 4 times the VRAM? Sure it’s 5 times the price, but as we saw, raw power doesn’t always tell the full story. GPU Boss returns to give us the run down, how do these cards compare in the real world? Well… a 222% (over three-fold) increase in mHash speed, and a 218% increase in FPS for Battlefield 4. That’s right, for 5 times the cost, you get 3 times the performance. Truly, the raw specs don’t tell the full story. You increase the cost by 27%, you increase frame rate in our example game by 22%. You increase the cost by 83%, you increase the frame rate by 83%. Sounds good, but if you increase the cost by 129%, and you get a 79% (-50% cost/power increase) increase in frame rate. You increase it by 358%, and you increase the frame rate by 218% (-140% cost/power increase). That’s not paying “more for much more power,” that’s a steep drop-off after the third cheapest option. In fact, did you know that you have to get to the 1060 (6GB) before you could compare the GTX line to a PS4 Pro? Not to mention that at $250, the price of a 1060 (6GB) you could get an entire PS4 Slim bundle, or that you have to get to the 1070 before you beat the Xbox One X. On another note, let’s look at a PS4 Slim…
800 MHz base clock
8 GB VRAM
…Versus a PS4 Pro.
911 MHz base clock
8 GB VRAM
128% increase in floating point speed, 13% increase in clock speed, for a 25% difference in cost. Unfortunately there is no Battlefield 4 comparison to make, but in BF1, the frame rate is doubled (30 fps to 60) and the textures are taken to 11. For what that looks like, I’ll leave it up to this bloke. Not to even mention that you can even get the texture buffs in 4K. Just like how you get a decent increase in performance based on price for the lower-cost GPUs, the same applies here. It’s even worse when you look at the CPU for a gaming PC. The more money you spend, again, the less of a benefit you get per dollar. Hardware Unboxed covers this in a video comparing different levels of Intel CPUs. One thing to note is that the highest i7 option (6700K) in this video was almost always within 10 FPS (though for a few games, 15 FPS) of a certain CPU in that list for just about all of the games. …That CPU was the lowest i3 (6100) option. The lowest i3 was $117 and the highest i7 was $339, a 189% price difference for what was, on average, a 30% or less difference in frame rate. Even the lowest Pentium option (G4400, $63) was often able to keep up with the i7. The CPU and GPU are usually the most expensive and power-consuming parts of a build, which is why I focused on them (other than the fact that they’re the two most important parts of a gaming PC, outside of RAM). With both, this “pay more to get much more performance” idea is pretty much the inverse of the truth.
“The console giants are bad for game developers, Steam doesn't treat developers as bad as Microsoft or especially Sony.”
Now one thing you might’ve heard is that the PS3 was incredibly difficult for developers to make games for, which for some, fueled the idea that console hardware is difficult too develop on compared to PC… but this ignores a very basic idea that we’ve already touched on: if the devs don’t want to make the game compatible with a system, they don’t have to. In fact, this is why Left 4 Dead and other Valve games aren’t on PS3, because they didn’t want to work with it’s hardware, calling it “too complex.” This didn’t stop the game from selling well over 10 million units worldwide. If anything, this was a problem for the PS3, not the dev team. This also ignores that games like LittleBigPlanet, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Metal Gear Solid 4 all came out in the same year as Left 4 Dead (2008) on PS3. Apparently, plenty of other dev teams didn’t have much of a problem with the PS3’s hardware, or at the very least, they got used to it soon enough. On top of that, when developing the 8th gen consoles, both Sony and Microsoft sought to use CPUs that were easier for developers, which included making decisions that considered apps for the consoles’ usage for more than gaming. On top of that, using their single-chip proprietary CPUs is cheaper and more energy efficient than buying pre-made CPUs and boards, which is far better of a reason for using them than some conspiracy about Sony and MS trying to make devs' lives harder. Now, console exclusives are apparently a point of contention: it’s often said that exclusive can cause developers to go bankrupt. However, exclusivity doesn’t have to be a bad thing for the developer. For example, when Media Molecule had to pitch their game to a publisher (Sony, coincidentally), they didn’t end up being tied into something detrimental to them. Their initial funding lasted for 6 months. From then, Sony offered additional funding, in exchange for Console Exclusivity. This may sound concerning to some, but the game ended up going on to sell almost 6 million units worldwide and launched Media Molecule into the gaming limelight. Sony later bought the development studio, but 1: this was in 2010, two years after LittleBigPlanet’s release, and 2: Media Molecule seem pretty happy about it to this day. If anything, signing up with Sony was one of the best things they could’ve done, in their opinion. Does this sound like a company that has it out for developers? There are plenty of examples that people will use to put Valve in a good light, but even Sony is comparatively good to developers.
“There are more PC gamers.”
The total number of active PC gamers on Steam has surpassed 120 million, which is impressive, especially considering that this number is double that of 2013’s figure (65 million). But the number of monthly active users on Xbox Live and PSN? About 120 million (1, 2) total. EDIT: You could argue that this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, sure, so if you want to, say, compare the monthly number of Steam users to console? Steam has about half of what consoles do, at 67 million. Now, back to the 65 million total user figure for Steam, the best I could find for reference for PlayStation's number was an article giving the number of registered PSN accounts in 2013, 150 million. In a similar 4-year period (2009 - 2013), the number of registered PSN accounts didn’t double, it sextupled, or increased by 6 fold. Considering how the PS4 is already at 2/3 of the number of sales the PS3 had, even though it’s currently 3 years younger than its predecessor, I’m sure this trend is at least generally consistent. For example, let’s look at DOOM 2016, an awesome faced-paced shooting title with graphics galore… Of course, on a single platform, it sold best on PC/Steam. 2.36 million Steam sales, 2.05 million PS4 sales, 1.01 million Xbox One sales. But keep in mind… when you add the consoles sales together, you get over 3 million sales on the 8th gen systems. Meaning: this game was best sold on console. In fact, the Steam sales have only recently surpassed the PS4 sales. By the way VG charts only shows sales for physical copies of the games, so the number of PS4 and Xbox sales, when digital sales are included, are even higher than 3 million. This isn’t uncommon, by the way. Even with the games were the PC sales are higher than either of the consoles, there generally are more console sales total. But, to be fair, this isn’t anything new. The number of PC gamers hasn’t dominated the market, the percentages have always been about this much. PC can end up being the largest single platform for games, but consoles usually sell more copies total. EDIT: There were other examples but... Reddit has a 40,000-character limit.
This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with PC gaming, and this isn’t to exalt consoles. I’m not here to be the hipster defending the little guy, nor to be the one to try to put down someone/thing out of spite. This is about showing that PCs and consoles are overall pretty similar because there isn’t much dividing them, and that there isn’t anything wrong with being a console gamer. There isn’t some chasm separating consoles and PCs, at the end of the day they’re both computers that are (generally) designed for gaming. This about unity as gamers, to try to show that there shouldn’t be a massive divide just because of the computer system you game on. I want gamers to be in an environment where specs don't separate us; whether you got a $250 PS4 Slim or just built a $2,500 gaming PC, we’re here to game and should be able to have healthy interactions regardless of your platform. I’m well aware that this isn’t going to fix… much, but this needs to be said: there isn’t a huge divide between the PC and consoles, they’re far more similar than people think. There are upsides and downsides that one has that the other doesn’t on both sides. There’s so much more I could touch on, like how you could use SSDs or 3.5 inch hard drives with both, or that even though PC part prices go down over time, so do consoles, but I just wanted to touch on the main points people try to use to needlessly separate the two kinds of systems (looking at you PCMR) and correct them, to get the point across. I thank anyone who takes the time to read all of this, and especially anyone who doesn’t take what I say out of context. I also want to note that, again, thisisn’t “anti-PC gamer.” If it were up to me, everyone would be a hybrid gamer. Cheers.
Time to Update — New Real Pie Features in Plutus Wallet
https://preview.redd.it/bfp2h8olhr231.jpg?width=4800&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=83c6ec81302b502a85f23b47a2f0d628edc3ffff It’s a good time to be part of the crypto community! The cryptocurrency market continues to grow with new projects being presented every day and new versions of apps and platforms coming out; thus more investment opportunities appear. And now, with the latest update of Plutus Wallet, you can play a real part in these favorable times. A week ago, we released the iOS version of Plutus Wallet, which you now can download on the App Store, while this week, we took another important step in the development of our product. Our team is actively working on adding new and improving the current functionality of the application. In the latest version of Plutus Wallet for Android, we have added new features to the Real Pie, introduced a real wallet and have implemented a highly demanded option, namely the possibility to buy Bitcoin. Let’s take a closer look at the new features and improvements in Plutus Wallet.
New Crypto Wallet Screen
https://preview.redd.it/0u0i9m4phr231.png?width=718&format=png&auto=webp&s=756db8e121d25a63b0e1b19fc2c88bd8017fde9d This is the new Wallet section. It allows you to manage your Real Pie balance on the exchange directly from the app. Thanks to this feature, Plutus Wallet has finally become a real crypto wallet. It supports the HitBTC crypto exchange only with new exchanges to be added soon. How does it work? To start using the new Wallet feature, you must have a Real Pie created first. If you still haven’t got one, read our quick guide on how to create one. Now let’s dive a bit deeper into the fine details, by using the HitBTC exchangeas an example. https://preview.redd.it/n4f8wwgwhr231.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=3c41c7afbeb5e64dc05c2e43d4d5bad71c2f5b51 There are two types of accounts for every coin in your wallet: Main account — for storing your crypto funds. You can make deposits to your account. Trading account — for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. This is the account for all trading activities you do in Plutus Wallet. Please note: Each coin has a separate main and trading account! After you have added funds to your Main account, you can transfer an amount of your choice to the Trading account for trading purposes with one single tap. All trading accounts together make your Real Pie balance. You can find it on the top right of the Wallet screen. Moreover, with the latest update, you can add and withdraw your funds in a few simple steps as well. All funds that you transfer to your Real Pie balance in Plutus Wallet can be used for trading purposes only. HitBTC’s security protocols provide all the necessary security and protection and your funds being kept on the exchange.
Buy Bitcoin to your BTC wallet address with Changelly. Copy the wallet address and paste it in the Changelly service.
Transfer your funds to your Real Pie balance. This action literally replaces the transfer function from the Main to the Trading account on the Wallet screen.
Important: Please note, that the transaction usually takes approximately 10 to 30 minutes to complete. In case of any issues with the transaction, please contact Changelly support.
No more Real Pie restrictions
Up to this point, you could build your real portfolio (Real Pie) with a limit of 5 cryptocurrency coins. In this latest update, we have removed this restriction to allow our users to add any number of coins available on the exchange, and trade them using Plutus Wallet. For now, the complete list of the crypto coins you have in your Real Pie, can be found only in the Wallet screen. But that’s about to change as well since we’re planning to implement an updated Dashboard screen so that the users will be able to see all the coins directly on the main screen.
General improvements to the Real Pie
We have significantly improved the transaction speed and accuracy of Real Pie deals and enhanced the application’s general performance, making the user experience far more convenient and smooth. This release is a very important step for us regarding the future development of Plutus Wallet. We hope you appreciate our efforts! Let us know in the comments below. You can get the last Plutus Wallet update from Google Play for Android. For all iPhones users, download the iOS-version for App Store. Follow us on social media for the latest news: Facebook,Telegram, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram. Stay tuned for more updates!
5 Popular Wallets to Experience Bitcoin Lighting Network
On March 15th, 2018, Elizabeth Stark, CEO of Lightning Labs, announced the birth of the first official beta version of the lightning network. The solution was supported by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, SpaceX investor Bill Lee and computer giant Microsoft, other prominent members of the encryption community also expressed their support. A year later, the Lightning Network (LN) has made great strides. According to data from the LN monitoring website 1ML.com, the network has a capacity of 1057 BTC（about $4.3 million）, which has increased by 50%+ in the past 30 days alone. https://preview.redd.it/kuq714zq0pn21.png?width=554&format=png&auto=webp&s=d82a334a7ea11762ecc7bb06281e943fc458583e With the continuous development of the lightning network, many wallets have publicly expressed support for the lightning network. However, most of the wallets have not yet completed the support on the product, only few of them are actual functional. This guide will give a comprehensive overview of the most mature wallets that support bitcoin lighting network and will also introduce some fun APP with lighting network payment (LAPP) so that you can experience the Lighting network and have some fun.
Lighting Network Wallet is an Android based wallet can be downloaded at google play. It features a standalone SPV Bitcoin node with a fully functional built-in Lightning node and allows for sending and receiving of regular Bitcoin transactions as well as off-chain Lightning payments. Although the name looks like an official wallet, it is actually a product from an individual developer - Anton Kumaigorodski. However, Lighting Network Wallet is indeed one of the first wallets on the market to support lightning networks. Despite being a personal product, Lighting Network Wallet has very good reputation in the market, and Anton Kumaigorodski is also an experienced blockchain wallet developer with other 3 wallet product. The first-time open Lighting Network Wallet, choose a new wallet, the app will create a wallet and prompt the user to save the mnemonic phrase. Then you can see on-chain funds and off-chain funds which refer to Bitcoin Wallet and Lightning Network Wallet. To use the lightning network, you must first transfer a certain amount of BTC into the Bitcoin wallet, and then use these BTCs to create a new channel by yourself. https://preview.redd.it/367qvo2r0pn21.png?width=482&format=png&auto=webp&s=867accc221f0aa8503ee37c080a5716962baf007 https://preview.redd.it/z5mp12tr0pn21.png?width=478&format=png&auto=webp&s=d119881474bd579d45dea64d2d911c88e5898523
Blue Wallet is an on-chain bitcoin wallet which supports both traditional bitcoin model and custodial lightning network model. On Blue wallet, you can create custodial Lightning wallets (or choose to run your own node), that allows you to use the Lightning Network for payments, without the need to open channels, be online, provide liquidity or operate and maintain a node. This Lightning model is powered by the LNDhub. This is how custodial model works: "when user sends his bitcoins to a dedicated top-up address, and this balance is added to his account on LndHub. Then, the user can use this balance to pay Lightning invoices. But under the hood, it’s actually LndHub who pays the invoice, deducting the user’s account balance. It works the same way when the user wants to receive a Lightning payment - it’s LndHub who creates Lightning invoice and actually receives bitcoins on one of its channels. Compared to non-custodial lighting network wallets, Blue is much easier to onboard since it’s a more centralized model. When you are using the Lightning Network functions you rarely have obstacles on picking up. It’s just like using a common centralized wallet. The Blue Wallet team just set up an underlying channel on behalf of you at the rear end. So strictly speaking, it’s not a fully decentralized Lightning Network solution. It’s more of a transitional product than a professional solution. The drawbacks of this solution are user transfers his funds in custody to a 3rd party (and we all know that trusted 3rd parties are security holes, thanks to Nick Szabo). However, it can bring more users to the Lightning Network with better user experiences. Therefore, if you are a newbie, you can start from Blue Wallet. But blue wallet app is not stable enough, I always encountered the blank page of the interface, where allow me to do nothing but reinstall it. https://preview.redd.it/chxpmfos0pn21.png?width=854&format=png&auto=webp&s=d9f22972e1c7e06f74e70ed242d750cda5eb1745
Eclair Mobile is a wallet running by ACINQ, a well-known Lighting channel. And the name of "Eclair" actually is the word "Lightning" in French. Like Lighting network wallet, after created a new wallet in Eclair, I put a small amount of bitcoin into the wallet first. Then I can start to open new LN channel with two options - open with a random LN node or open with ACINQ node. I choose the ACINQ code and pay the funding tx fee as it asks. After around 20 mins, a new LN channel was setup. Then I tried twice with the new channel. The first time, I use another LN wallet to transfer 10 Santoshi but failed. The reason why it failed maybe relate to the unstable of the bridge node. Then the second time, it works. Interestingly, when closing the channel, it reminds me that I have to wait for 720+ blocks to get my BTC back. It is a really long time to wait.
Unlike other lightning network wallets, Bitpie is **an on-chain wallet supports a lot of major blockchain such Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, USDT, LTC, DASH and even Tron.**Bitpie wallet came from the same team who develop Bither wallet(https://bither.net) which is listed in bitcoin.org for many years and it looks like they have huge user base in Asia. Similar to Blue wallet, Bitpie lighting network wallet is also a custodial model which reduce users learning curve. To use LN, user have to switch to bitcoin wallet first then switch from on-chain bitcoin model to LN model. The rest things are same to all the lighting wallets. You can enter a specific amount to collect or scan or bar code to send some Santoshis. But as a custodial model wallet, you don’t have to choose node or setup channel. As a custodial model LN wallet, the overall experience is user-friendly and smooth. Bitpie also has a LAPP marketplacewhere users are able to use LAPP in wallet. https://preview.redd.it/f0xur9kt0pn21.png?width=566&format=png&auto=webp&s=e617b5d9bedb208d42ee31eb78dbdc4646c6a835
Zap Wallet is a Lightning network Wallet provides two clients - iOS and windows desktop version. Although ZAP wallet is one of most powerful lighting network wallet candidates, it is not a user-friendly wallet at this moment. Compare to other wallets, it is a little bit hard to get start with ZAP wallet. Since it is still in early development stage, by default, ZAP will connect you to bitcoin testnet rather than mainnet and it will take hours for blockchain data synchronization before you can use it. When the synchronization is complete, user will able connect to one of those existing nodes and send some tBTCs(testnet Bitcoins) to setup a lighting network channel in testnet. Zap is also functional on mainnet, but you have to setup your own LND node, do a lot of configuration in command line before you can actually use it. This is way complicated for users but forhardcore player**, ZAP is definitely the most powerful lighting network wallet.**
6. Have some fun with LAPPs
There are already some fun LAPPs that you can pay with Lighting Network. Only very few of them are serious commercial project, but we can definitely have some fun with those LAPPs. 1. Satoshi’s Place (https://satoshis.place) Satoshi's Place is a Lightning Network powered online collaborative artboard. There are 1 million pixels on the canvas. Each pixel costs 1 Santoshi to paint and pixels can be painted over indefinitely. This is a great way to experience the power of micro-transactions through the Bitcoin Lightning Network and have some fun. https://preview.redd.it/0uv4klz01pn21.png?width=1256&format=png&auto=webp&s=5672125c5442ceafae94f508ed215d742759fa51 The editing tools built into the website make it easy to draw, and finally calculate the total pixels, and check out through the lightning network. Can you find my paint?
icoOPP Open WiFi — an energetic business with a plan for global expansion
All of us who are involved with OPP Open WiFi, from community members, Hotspot Hosts, Investors, including our internal team, are on the verge of creating something unique. Something that will positively affect the lives of all of us and millions of people around us. In a few weeks from now we will be launching our mobile App and our Hotspot Hosts will start sharing data and receiving their daily OPP Token payments. Hotspot users will have safe, open and free to access internet with no barriers, and OPP Open WiFi will become a successful business, providing an important service for its global community. Today we would like to share with you the journey our team have taken together over the last 4 years, and how it lead us here.
What we set out to do, way back in 2014
Firstly, the longest serving team members in our organisation have been working together for more than 15 years. Our key staff are accredited by Google with high level of skills in areas such as SEO, digital marketing, mobile communications, telecommunications, data management and more. In 2014 we developed a router based firmware which broadcasts a public WiFi Hotspot. We began the sale of our WiFi Hotspot system to small business venues. The benefit to the venue is that our system allows them to collect marketing details from everyone who crosses their threshold. Our system then helps them to use that data with marketing messages, social media posts and loyalty programs to generate more foot traffic in to their venues.The benefit to the Hotspot user is open and free access to the internet, without having to ask for passwords, or having any other barriers. In 2016 we developed that tech a little further and were able to make it work with SIM cards and businesses that operate via smart devices, such as taxi firms, ferry companies etc. Now we have public WiFi routers working in 15 countries. Our revenue came from charging a small monthly fee to our customers for using our firmware. As a business our thoughts were concerned with how can we grow? The answer is simple — give the product away. Make it a gift. The question then is how do we make revenue to run the business?
The birth of OPP Open WiFi
We became curious about Bitcoin and Crypto currenices in general early in 2017. Once we figured out how Blockchain, Smart Contract and Crypto currency can be used to support a business and its community, we had our “eureka” moment. We realised that we could create OPP Tokens using ERC20 and use that currency to incentivise people to download our mobile App and create a WiFi Hotspot, utilising millions of peer to peer smart devices. As a result of building this huge WiFi Hotpost, we have also created a platform from which OPP Open WiFi can generate the revenue it needs to operate, and for its investors to thrive. We plan to generate our revenue by sending advertising messages to our community. In order to make it a positive experience for the community, we have configured it so that each community member can decide how many messages they view each month, and what type of message. As a further incentive we are going to pay for each message that is read. The benefit to us is that we generate the advertising revenue we need. The benefit to our advertising partners is that they know what kind of message you are happy to see and how often! We are also establishing affiliate partnerships with online retailers such as Amazon, Skyscanner and hundreds of others. We will present these affiliate partners to you in the form of an online shopping mall, accessible when you log on to our portal. The online mall will allow you to go shopping and it will give you the freedom to spend your OPP Tokens on anything you want!
ICO — Token Sale
We want everyone who works with OPP Open WiFi to have a positive experience. This includes our investors. Our Token sale is the method we have chosen to raise the investment needed to continue the development of our technology, and also to fund the marketing required to reach out to, and acquire millions of downloads. To make sure our investors are rewarded for working with us we have developed our Profit Share token. We have set aside 30% of our annual profits for the next 5 years, to be shared among the investors who buy the first 70 million tokens during our ICO. We are among the first to attach future profits to the tokens, we hope this USP will help attract more small investors to us — Full information about our Profit Share tokens. Starting today, our marketing partners are launching a campaign across Korea, Japan and China to raise awareness about the OPP project. In the coming days and weeks we expect to attract a high number of both Hotpost Hosts and Investors, large and small. With only 32 days remaining of our ICO, the run up to the year end will see a huge amount of activity as our vision comes to life.
We directly connect mobile network operators and end users globally on our blockchain-based marketplace. With Bubble Tone Blockchain, travelers can swiftly become legitimate local customers of any foreign operator in the country they are traveling to. They dont need to replace their SIM card, and they retain their home number. Travelers - Make calls and use data during travel worldwide at great local rates with direct connection to local operators - No need to change your SIM-card or phone number - Next generation messenger packed with amazing communication features User’s Interface part A brief demonstration how subscribers can be connected with local rates and LTE quality around the world. Operators and service providers - Any operator can become global without complex network integrations - Direct access to international telecom market with millions of new customers - Increase in revenue through distribution of value-added services Blockchain Telecom part Live demonstration of mobile carriers' interconnection via Blockchain. New Offers and Requests are created and broadcasted in real-time mode, and a new mobile profile was downloaded onto SIM-card of a subscriber. Bubbletone project consists of two main parts: Blockchain and Mobile App Bubbletone Blockchain Bubbletone replaces old-fashioned and costly roaming technology by implementing smart contracts into mobile operators' interactions. 1 Visited operator 1 Visited operator Any mobile operator can publish its own tariff plans as smart contracts ("Offers"). These Offers are visible to all operators and their subscribers Blockchain Subscriber 2 Request for mobile services abroad Home operator 3 Smart-contract ("Request") with Digital Identity hash and Financial Transaction Blockchain 4 It's enough to execute the smart-contract to receive money and identify a visitor 5 Servicing the subscriber directly by downloading its own mobile profile onto a SIM-card "over-the-air” Any mobile carrier can publish prepaid plans as smart contracts on Bubbletone Blockchain. These offers are visible to all other operators and their subscribers. When subscriber selects offer, a new smart contract is created with the subscribers digital identity and payment transaction directly to foreign operator. Sim card registered in the local mobile network Subscriber is authorized Payment is processed Service is provided Billing is transparent Tariffs are local Zero costs for operator Quality LTE / LTE+ Quick launch for operator Bubbletone GitHub Bubbletone Yellow pager Blockchain in Telecom Wiki Why big operators will join Bubbletone? Read on Medium Bubbletone App Direct connection to a local operator provides low rates and high LTE quality, with easy management using Bubbletone mobile app BETA version is already availabe in: Google PlayApp Store Marketplace connecting subscribers and local network operators globally Keeping domestic phone number during foreign trips Conference video and audio calls SMS in future - send a date and text for your SMS Burning messages Buy, keep and use domestic phone numbers in different countries 100+ other communication features Who we are: 20 years of experience in Telecom Industry Allo Incognito - our own medium-sized mobile operator in Russia since 2002 Allo Incognito Website 240k+ Premium Subscribers 42m USD Annual revenue 10k POS Bubbletone is trending UMT Tokens 22% Network Development Fund 220 000 000 UMT 50% Crowdsale 500 000 000 UMT 20% Founders 200 000 000 UMT 7.8% Team & Community Development Fund 78 000 000 UMT 0.2% Bounty fund 2 000 000 UMT Name: UMT Type: ERC-20 Function: Used in smart contracts to perform transactions. Can be used to top up user balance to pay for telecom services Total Supply: 1 000 000 000 tokens For sale: 50% All unsold tokens will be burnt and additional release of tokens will not be possible! Checked by clearify Bubbletone ICO 01.02 10.02 Stage 1 10.02 01.03 Stage 2 02.03 10.03 Stage 3 20.04 15.06 ICO Stage ICO ETH/UMT 1 ETH = 4000 UMT Vesting No vesting Minimum 0.1 ETH ICO starts: 20.04.18, 10AM (London time) Token price: 1 ETH = 4000 UMT Hard cap: 15 000 000 USD Accepted currencies: ETH, BTC Join White List to reserve your UMT Tokens JOIN WHITE LIST Our Team Key Team Yury Morozov CEO and Founder Co-founder of 4 active telecom companies Oleg Pravdin CTO Telecom visionary, founder of 3 start-ups in the USA, China and Russia. Irina Chertok Co-founder and Major Chief Board Director Sergei Ivanov CEO of "Allo Incognito" (mobile virtual network operator) Sergey Malcev Lead Blockchain Software Engineer Sergey Baloyan CMO and Head of IR Fedor Rozhnov CBDO Strategic Developer for Telco, Realized 2 MVNO-projects for Russian mobile market Kirill Maskaev CCO and Head of PR Maria Voronova Project Manager Stepan Gershuni Blockchain expert, co-founder @Block Notary Sergey Sevantsyan Blockchain expert, public speaker Developers and IT engineers team Michael Nazarenko Lead security and fault tolerance developer Sergey Prilutskiy Security expert, Blockchain architecture development Sergey Lepenkov Development of payment services and high-load applications in the telecommunication field Oleg Vintovkin Development of IT project Yandex Telephony; development BSS & OSS for mobile carriers Yury Vasilchikov Blockchain consultant, smart contracts developer Alexander Artemiev Bubbletone messenger architecture development, integration with mobile carriers Jackov Mayurov Bubbletone messenger project manager Ajmat Iqbal Bubbletone messenger software development leader Mir Monsoor Hossain Senior software developer Momi Monjil Ara Senior software developer Khandaker Raihan Hossain Senior software developer Md. Shafiqul Islam Front-end software developer Md Maniruzzaman Back-end software developer Alexey Makeev Smart contracts software engineer Varun Reddy Community Relations Mariana Bugaeva Head of design group Advisors Keith Teare Successful serial technology entrepreneur; Executive Chair at Accelerated Digital Ventures; TechCrunch founding shareholder and EasyNet, Europe’s first consumer Internet Service Provider Dr. Norman Lewis Telecom expert Norman was running PWC’s innovation programme, He also worked in Orange UK as a Director of Technology Research, Founding Director of Future-Diagnosis, Executive board member of the MIT Communications Futures Programme. Anders Larsson Anders worked in Ericsson Group for two decades to create the emerging technologies of 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G and IOT in 10 different countries Held various CTO roles and the role of Vice President for Mobile Broadband in Southeast Asia & Oceania AllcoinWiki Co-founder Top-5 Blockchain Advisor in the world Samson Lee Founder & CEO of CoinStreet; Executive Chairman of China (Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macau) Greater Bay Area TechFin Association; Co-founder of Hong Kong Blockchain Centre; Co-Founder of Ethereum south China and south Asia communities; Chief Crypto-economic Advisor of Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange; Advisor of Universa.io; Asia President of Next.TV Inc. and Chairman of STM Digital Group. Joakim Holmer Joakim is a telecom expert, who had experience in AT&T and Ericsson Group. 15 years in various technical leadership positions around the world. Joakim has also worked with Software System Sales. With hunger to develop that included everything from Mobile App start-ups to RedHat, SAP and Cisco. AllcoinWiki co-founder John Mun Co-Founder of Linker Coin; John obtained his MFE at UC Berkeley, then became a Market Maker, HFT trader and General Manager at one of South Korea's leading investment institutions Woori Investments and Securities. John’s finance and engineering background supported him strongly in the blockchain industry and now is also an expert in Smart Contract development. Gabriel Zanko Fintech entrepreneur-Advisor. Founder of MobileyourLife and involved in the AI-Fintech space providing solutions in the B2B space. ICO advisory in Fundraising Capital and International Business Development. Professor Jin Song Dong Director of the Institute for Integrated Intelligent System, Griffith University, Australia Gilbert A. Darrell Gilbert is founder of Horizon Communications, the innovative provider of decentralized wireless infrastructure. He has 18 years of experience in IT and Telecoms and led multiple projects for Fortune 500 companies, such as Microsoft, Energizer and Siemens. Vladimir Sirotinskiy CEO of Lingualeo, the market leader in online English language learning. Serial entrepreneur and business consultant Oleg Khokhlov Adviser & Legal Counsel of ICO Oleg Khokhlov is Partner with international law firm Goltsblat BLP, the Russian practice of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), headquartered in London. Oleg was selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Russia 2013-2018 Editions in the field of Banking & Finance Law. He has been also highly recommended for Banking & Finance by IFLR1000 and Legal 500. Oleg has advised leading ICOs and venture fiat/cryptofunds. Maria Agranovskaya Blockchain and ICO Legal Expert. Managing Partner of GRAD Attorney Bar (30+ lawyers). Attorney at Law with 20+ years of experience. Working with cryptocurrency since 2010: ICO, trading, funds setup, etc. Over eight years running a multifamily office. Cross-border transactions, investments, asset management, deal and corporate structuring in various jurisdictions. M&A, international taxation Tech and Telecom leaders about Bubbletone Blockchain Roadmap Q1’2018 Initial version of smart contracts is ready. The first “Offer” and “Request” are on the Blockchain platform. Demonstration of the platform at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (February’18). Integration with major eSIM platforms to download mobile profiles onto SIM cards Q2’2018 Web-API for integration of mobile operators and service providers. Integration of Digital Identity into Bubbletone app. Commercial launch, with “Offers” from 10+ mobile operators are on Blockchain, low rates in 80+ countries. Q3’2018 Global Mobile Profile approval by International Telecommunication Union. Update Mini Nodes to participate in processing smart contracts. BubbleTone Blockchain – White Paper Page 25 of 31 New features in the Bubbletone app: Voting platform based on Blockchain, 4K videoconferences, transfer of fiat money and crypto currencies Q4’2018 Expanding list of mobile operators and service providers connected to Bubbletone Blockchain Ecosystem. The first 1 million transactions are processed Q1-Q4’2019 Signing agreements with mobile operators worldwide to activate the Global Mobile Profile. First prototype of a global SIM-chip to be embedded into mobile devices. Expanding list of mobile operators and service providers connected to the Bubbletone Blockchain Ecosystem. 10 million transactions are processed Partners Bubbletone Community around the world Bubbletone Worldwide Tour Past Events May 14-16 TMForum, Nice, France May 14-16 Coindesk Consensus 2018, New York, USA May 2-3 Future Blockchain Summit, Dubai May 1-3 IOTX 2018, Dubai April 26-27 World Blockchain Summit, Moscow, Russia April 23-26 MVNO World Congress, Madrid, Spain April 18-19 Blockchain Expo, London, UK April 17-18 Blockchain Conference, Moscow, Russia April 16-17 World Blockchain Forum, Dubai April 8 Blockchain Tomorrow 21, Seoul, Korea April 4 Blockchain Conference, Berlin, Germany March 28 Blockchain Conference, Tel Aviv, Israel March 22 Tallinn Blockchain Conference, Tallinn, Estonia March 21-22 Cryprocurrency World Expo, Berlin, Germany 26 February - 01 March Mobile World Congress in Barcelona March 10 Crypto Investor Show, London, UK March 7-8 Blockchain Summit Zurich 2018, Zurich, Switzerland March 3-6 D10E Fintech Conference, Seoul, Korea March 2 Bubbletone Meet-Up, Singapore March 1 Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference, Istanbul, Turkey February 23 7th Korea Blockchain Symposium, Seoul February 27-28 Singapore Blockchain Summit 2018, Singapore 25-26 January Cryptoeconomy ICO London 22-24 January London Blockchain Week 2018 14 December Big ICO Roadshow, Moscow, Russia 8 December Crypto Space, Moscow, Russia 29-30 November Blockchain Expo in Santa Clara, California (booth 419) 29-30 November Block Show Asia in Singapore 14-15 November Telecom Conference in London 24-25 October World Blockchain Summit in Dubai 8-12 October GITEX Technology Week in Dubai, Stand E3-6 3-5 October Blockchain Solution Forum in Barcelona, Stand №100 26-27 September Telecom Conference in Singapore 25-26 September World Blockchain Forum in London FAQ How can I buy your tokens? Which cryptocurrencies are accepted? Which wallet should I use to receive tokens? What is the goal of your project? Is your product already working? Do you have a prototype or a beta version? Why do you have a blockchain in your project? How is your system going to expand? What are advantages for Node owners? What are the advantages of BubbleTone messenger? How do I operate all these other Sims on my phone? JOIN US Kucoin Binance Bit-Z Bibox Linkcoin Qryptos
Before I tell my story I would like to make one thing clear, by telling this story I do not encourage anyone to access the deep web. It is one of the darkest and cruelest places and should never be touched under any circumstances. I explored and my life will never be the same again. I am a hacker; I have never done anything to hurt other people, I’m just interested in the concept of being able to get into the things that are normally locked off. You hear about these hackers like me that get caught, that’s not me, I’m not stupid I know how to protect myself. I do this by proxies and firewalls, I’m not going to get into them in this story, it’s not important, all you need to know is they protect me from being detected by police or FBI. Most of the time I used my hacking skills on the web to get free movies and check through hidden documents, nothing ever like what I was going to get into. Of course, I had heard about the deep web but I have never felt brave enough to explore it myself. I know probably about 95 % of the content there is illegal, but it is too much of a temptation, with everyone talking about it I had to see it for myself. My friends at school told me that it was fine,none knew how to protect themselves online and they seemed to have no problems so I decided to give it a try myself. That night when getting home I went into my room and shut the door. I was not going to do take it lightly; I have seen some of the stories of people being tracked or filmed and I made sure that this could not happen to me. I covered my webcam on my laptop and encrypted my computers files and internet data with many layers. By this point, I was an internet ghost; no name, IP, nothing, no data that could link to me or my family. I was ready to start. If only, I knew at the time that this would be the worst decision of my life. I downloaded and opened the Tor Browser, Tor is a lot like internet explorer, chrome or Firefox, however, it lets you gain access to the hidden part of the internet. I opened it and nothing happened, there was just a blank, black screen. I was confused, I had been researching and this should have worked. I thought it must have had something to do with the firewalls I have put up. After spending a fair amount of time trying to fix the problem, I gave up. I thought other people browsed with without all this protection, so why couldn’t I? I thought I was just being paranoid and overdoing the security. I then proceed to remove the firewalls and open Tor again. This time, a black page with a bunch of links popped up. I had heard of this, it is called the hidden wiki, you can think about it as the front page of the deep web with links to all kinds of things. After all of this messing around with security it was 12:57 and I needed to get some sleep since I had school the next day. I turned off my computer and went to bed. It was Friday and I went off to school as usual. I was excited all day to get home and start browsing. Once finished school, I rushed home, went to my room and opened my laptop and began to search. Hours went by, of just me clicking on random links and overall I was unimpressed. There was nothing that interesting; documents, forums, drugs and gun shops, that is it. Nothing that surprised or shocked me, I had no idea what everyone was raving about. After more browsing, I came across a site with a black screen and red text witch read ‘0.63 bitcoins’. Bitcoins are the currency on the deep web. This 0.63 bitcoins world have been worth around 470 – 500 dollars. I was curious to see what was on this website but not willing to pay for it. After a few hour of scrabbling through scripts I found a way around this paywall. This was the biggest mistake of my life. Upon opening the website there was a black screen with a small chat box on the left-hand side. The back window had a loading icon in the middle. my gut feeling was to get out of there and never go back. I spent that much time getting into it I wasn’t going to leave without seeing what was going on. A few minutes later then screen came to life, there was a man standing in front of the camera. Seeing him gave me a chill down my spine. He stood there with his lifeless eyes staring. I could now hear a scream coming from the video as another person in a mask brought in a man with a black bag on his head and a set of tools. I won’t tell you what happened after that but you can use your imagination. I felt my heart drop to my feet as the video continued. I realized it was not a video, this was live. The chat was full of comments that I cannot repeat in the story. I threw up on my floor. Without thinking, I typed in the chat that they were messed up and I was going to report them to the police. A few seconds later the man stops and came closer the camera and says my name. The website and browser shut and I was left shocked staring at my now empty desktop. I was so scared; I could hardly move. There was one object file on my desktop named “Location.txt”, I opened it to see my address, name, names of my family, where I went to school, every personal detail about me. Underneath all of that there was a message that read; “You made a mistake. Report us to the police and you and your family may end up on our website.” Once I closed the document my computer turned off and would no longer turn on again. Something needed to be done. I couldn’t report them to the police, or tell anyone else about it. They said they would only do something if I told anyone about them. They will still know where I live but if I don’t do anything I should be fine, right? That night I could not sleep, I stayed awake all night with sweat running all down my body. Every little creek or wind noise made me jump. As the sun came up I was still sitting there awake. This can’t go on I need to tell the police. I thought they would put me and my family into protective custody. I got dressed, got on my bike and peddled as fast as I could to the police station. Once I got there I walked in, as I was walking in I saw a white van with blacked out windows drive off, this gave an uneasy feeling. Was it them? It couldn’t be, I thought to myself there is no way it could be. I thought it was just all the tension and stress making me think the worst. I couldn’t do it, not after what he said in that document and now with the car. I decided that best idea would be to go back to the first plan of forgetting it ever happened and not reporting them. I thought I would never go on the deep web again. I knew the people who did it would still be out there but my family and I are fine that is all that mattered at the time. I peddled home and opened the door and walked into the living room, there was nobody there. This was strange, both cars were still in the driveway and it was Saturday. I walk down the hall to see if they were out the back. Then I could see them, dead, stacked in the bathtub with a camera pointed at them. I looked in the mirror to see that same man from the video standing behind me. I screamed and ran down the hall with the man chasing after me. I kept running, the man fell down the front stairs. I didn’t dare look back I kept running and running for what felt like hours, in reality, it was actually only a few minutes. I hid for days, not knowing what to do, I couldn’t go back, not after what happened. That was 5 years ago, I have now got a new name and am living in a new country, which I am not going to say in this story in case they are still looking for me. I have nightmares about that day, about the eyes behind me. I will never feel safe again. I have made the story to warn you. You will never be safe on the deep web, however, much protection you have. If you are curious about what goes on below the surface don’t be, your life may depend on it. Mistakes – Part 2 I’m writing again because it happened once more. They found me. Before I tell you my story I need to give a little bit of background about what has been going on since those terrible two days. The funeral for my family was hard. It was about a week after the killings. I didn’t go, I couldn’t I was not ready, it was my fault what happened. I would just like to point out at the time, not the police, my family or anyone else knew where I was or even if I was alive. I would like to keep it that way for their safety and my own. In that week, I had not touched technology, I was too scared to. What if they tracked me, they were able to get my details with so much ease they might still be trying to find me. After changing my name and moving to a new country, I felt that my life was going to get better, and it did. 5 years passed and I still had not touch technology. I was working in a wood mill and my life seemed to be going well. I was living with my wife that I met 2 years ago. The thing is I have never told her what happened in my old life, in fact, I never even told her that I went under a different name. She asked me why I don’t like using technology, I tell her I don’t understand it but really I was too worried about what might happen to me If I went back on it. It has been 5 years and this event was still effecting and controlling my life and it had to stop. I decided that I was just paranoid. I have always been one to over-think things where there is nothing to worry about, that is just the way I am. It was the time, I went out and bought a new phone and sim. I destroyed my old one years ago after I thought they may be tracking me with it. I went home unpacked the new phone and charged it. I decided that the best thing was to try and get in touch with my family. I downloaded the Facebook app and search for my cousins. As I look through the photos I saw one of the funeral for my parents and sister. The picture brought back memories that I never wanted to relive. In the photo there he was, standing in the background with those same dead eyes and smile. He was just standing there looking at the camera. I had a shiver down my spine as the memories of that day came to my head. Why was he there and nobody was doing anything about it? Suddenly I got a message from my cousin, saying Hey Mark. I responded by back saying hi wondering how he knew it was me, ‘How have things been’ he responded. He seemed so normal, he thought I was dead, everyone did. Next, the phone rang. Should I answer or not? I thought to myself. I picked up, “Hello”, I said in a quiet voice. “Hi Mark it has been a while, how are things going”, “How do you know my number I just got it, and my name how do you know it’s me” Then it hit me this wasn’t my cousin, He continued by saying. “Did you enjoy killing your family?” followed by a laugh. I instantly turned off the phone and smashed it, how did they know, how did they find me? Ideas and fears were rushing through my head, my wife and I were not safe. As these ideas rushed through my head my TV turned on with a message on it. It read; “We know that you didn’t tell the police about what happen, but you tried which means you can’t be trusted, your life is in your own hands”. After that, there was instructions about how to get back onto the website and the text saying “Come back to the website, we want you back. Also, don’t worry about your wife, I’m sure she is fine”. I realized it was 8:46 and she was not home, she was meant to get back at 6:30. I had to do what they said. I jumped on my wife’s laptop and downloaded the Tor Browser. I never thought that I would be going back to this but the life of my wife and I may depend on it. I followed all the instructions and ended up on the website. The look of the website gave me an intense feeling of fear and hatred. last time I was on this I ended up killing my family and I am back here again. The screen came to life to an all too familiar sight of the man looking into the camera. My heart sank to see my wife sitting in that same chair I saw the person in 5 years ago. I knew what was going to happen and I couldn’t do anything about it. I shut my eyes and hoped it would go away. “Open your eyes Mark”, the webcam was on. I quickly covered it and a man said: “Uncover your webcam now or you might not like what happens next”. I uncovered the webcam and looked at the screen. “Please don’t hurt her she has nothing to do with it, she doesn’t even know that you killed my family, Please let her go.” I was pleading as the man stares. “Well, that is where you a wrong” he went over and untied her. She got up and stood next to the man. I thought to myself, what was she doing? It all hit me at once she knew him, she was working for him. My life was a lie, what was real and what was fake. I slammed the laptop and ran. I couldn’t stop. What was my, life what has it become. That is that. I needed to move to a new country and get a new name once again. I’m not stupid now. I will never trust anybody again. There are still questions going through my head, how did they get my cousins account, why would my wife spend 3 years with me and suddenly turn, or was she like that the whole time? These are questions that I would like to leave behind and try to make something of my life. This just pushes the fact, nothing good ever comes out of the deep web. It is the most dangerous, screwed up place and should never be seen by anyone. I have ruined my life and everything I have ever cared about. Please listen to me do not go on the deep web.
Tales of IT converted to plain text for the sake of legibility
I got hired by my Dad to do IT. I know very little about IT besides games. These are my IT stories. be first day
> woman asks me if I can install the latest version of adobe reader > fuck ya I got this DL like a boss > "Wow you're like a computer expert" > "Well you know..." > Asked to input admin credentials > forget admin credentials > try admin:password > nope.jpg > "uhhhh... uhhhh... oh crap somethings going on with the server.. be right back" > 3 months later she still doesn't have adobe reader
More? be day 2
> angry guy is on the phone asking me about some weird in house program > have no idea what the fuck he's saying > there's a pause > he's waiting for an answer > think back to the IT crowd > "Have you tried turning it on and off again" > "Like restarting" > "Give me a sec..." > it fucking worked
> hot sales rep comes in with laptop issues > she's 9/10 cougar > all flirty with me > tells me she needs something updated > can only hear her boobs > her laptop smells like strawberrys > download adobe reader for her and hand it back
> figure out how to turn off the servers > when people start asking for help > go into server room > turn off servers > come out oblivious and start downloading adobe reader > eventually people start screaming > THE SITES DOWN! THE SITES DOWN! > "I'm on it!" > run back to the server room > play hotline miami in the back for few hours > turn server back on near end of day > come out of server room > wipe brow from face > "I did it..." > people are singing my praises saying i saved the day > really just saved the girlfriend in HM
> run into cougar at coffee machine > ask her how things are going, just a general statement > instantly thinks im talking shop > starts telling me all the shit wrong with her computer > she doesn't see me as a human > she sees me as an it > tell her to drop off her laptop > she does > I upgrade her ie > download adobe reader > restart the machine > everythings fucking working > run it back to her > fix my hair > check my breath > act like I saved the day > she's in her office on the phone > she motions to put on her desk >1 do...kind of linger > "Is that everything hun?" > leave > hear her say "oh it was just IT" > just IT > that is all I am now
> really bored > decide to download a gameboy emulator and play some pokemon > the webfilters blocking it so I turn it off the whole thing I dont just whitelist it, I turn it all off > get to emulator site but now I need to turn off the antivirus > use the admin which I now know to do it... > end up turning off the whole antivirus settings on the server > download my emulator and rom > play my game > guy comes into my office > "I think I caught I virus" > me "gotta catch em all" > by the time I'm facing Misty 4 people have viruses
> same guy that was yelling at me day 2 is yelling at me > he cant remotely log in just as I am about to leave to go home > "Try turning it off then on again then call me back" > go home
> guy call from day 7 calls back > he's pissed > tells me he lost a client because of my stupidity > "shit happens man. I lost to team rocket like 10 minute ago" > "what the fuck are you talking about?" > click
> one of the printers is out of toner > some fat guy tells me to change it > "it's a toner man... can't you change it? I'm working on this huge issue with the server" > was really downloading steam > "it'll take a second... god I have much more important stuff to do... that's why you're here" > sigh and go do it > cant figure out how to fucking open the fucking cartridge door > start hitting it like they do in zoolander > tell the poor mentally challenged guy in the mail room I have a special job for him > he has to hide the magic egg in the chest of Hewlet Packard > go back to my server business > half an hour later the fat guy comes into my office > "What the fuck did you do to the printer?" > "Changed the toner" > He just starts shaking his head and muttering shit > we walk over to it > the mailroom guy jammed the cartridge in the wrong way and actually lodged it in there so half of it is sticking out > the door cant even close > there's black hand prints all over the printer too > Can feel the guy judging me so I just spew bullshit > "Looks to be a probably with the network." > the printer was down for over a month before I figured out we have a printer guy on call
> have to set up projector in the boardroom > cant find a thunderbolt to hdmi cable to hook it up to lazy to go to the store > dont even have a corporate card either > tell the people needing the projector that there's a compatibility issue with macbooks > they use some guys dellbook > the files from the mac end up not running on the dellbook > call me in mid meeting > all these business people staring at me as I am randomly clicking folders as fast as possible to look like I am pro > download adobe reader > double click files > works > "Thanks Anon, you saved me"
> there's a new hire > no one fucking told me anything > get screamed at that theres no computer for this new person > go in back to see if we have any spares > there's a few > but there's also some really old pcs from like the early 90's > boot it up > works > set up new person > everything lags > you open adobe reader? massive fucking lag > send out the computer > "it's the best we've got on short notice" > get like 40 sharepoint tickets the first day from that person > he's a real stickler for help > he ends up quitting the very next week saying he can't work under these conditions
> someones computer crashed > fuuuuuuuuck > set up computer > remember something about profiles being saved on the network > go back to the server room > look at the server rack like a total idiot as I try and figure out in my head how this works > tell the guy all his data is lost and there's nothing I can do > "b-b-bbut my project... i have to present that to the board on friday..." > "gone, man. It's gone" > play sim theme park the rest of the day
> roll up to work an hour late > whole office is in chaos > fallofrome.jpg > "HE'S HERE!" > Go in to my office open up mail > dozens of emails like: > "Hey is there something wrong with the server I can't log in to..." > "Any idea why the site is down I..." > the server is actually down > adobe reader can't save me now > "Just go back there and do what you did last time!" > everyone thinks its an easy solve > literally shaking in the server room because I don't know what to do > nap in server room for entire day > people are pissed can hear them banging on server door > we've missed deadlines > leave at 6:30 pm > the CFO sees me in the parking lot > hes been in a meeting all day doesn't know about my struggles > "You're still here?! That's the kind of can-do attitude I like to see"
> server is still down > my dads asking questions > everyone is pissed > take an early lunch > over hear some guys at the restaurant talking about buying a new modem for the office > hailmary.jpg > "Hey sorry to bother you during your lunch...but would either of you happen to be IT?" > before either of them could read me the riot act and tell me something like how the fuck dare I > I'm IT too > I show them my hand that I scratched up crawling wire on the floor > they nod > "What would you try doing if your server is completely fucked?" > "Have you tried restarting it?" > I go back and restart the physical machine > it fucking works
> hot cougar walks by office looking distressed > "Everything okay?" > "Oh good... I can't log into my email... can you please help me... PLEASE" > "I got you." > get her laptop > re-install microsoft office > outlook works again > poke through her emails to make sure things are working > send a test file > read the titles of her latest emails > "Divorce" > hand back her laptop > "Looks like its working now" > "Thanks..." > "Everything okay?" > "Well..." > this is fucking it, tell me your sob stories cougar woman and then its or > "My mouse is acting a bit funny, can I get a new one"
> one of the mailroom guy's monitors isn't working > it's coming up all green > backstory: there's been a huge misappropriation of funds because I gave him dual monitors just because he's a mentally challenged and I figured if anyone needs 2 screens its him > all he does is look at msn slideshows > and use the fedex webapp or something > he's a nice guy so I actually try and fix it for him > nothings working > think its a driver issue > think its a setting issue > think its an actual hardware issue > whole time people are coming to me with real problems but I keep saying "I'll be there in a minute" > after 2 hours the mailroom guy goes > "maybe da pug ish boken" > I swapped out the hdmi cable with a brand new one > it worked > I officially am less adept at my job then a poor mentally challenged guy
> nice old woman who talks to me about sports tells me her keyboard is shit > she's oldest person in the office by far > old as dirt > tell her I have just the thing > go in the back and unbox a brand new keyboard meant for the programmers > bring it to the old woman > "You're such a helpful young man" > reach down awkwardly to plug in the new keyboard > get back up and dust pants off > old lady looks like she's having a heart attack > look at the screen > it's fucking blank > on my way back up to my feet I hit the power button > she lost 3 hours of work > 3 hours that old woman will never ever see again
> company meeting > we're over budget > there has been ridiculous spending > "we've lost money for almost a month > day 18 > almost a month > they are going to out me > IT budget comes up in discussion > we're one of 2 departments that are coming under budget > "Great job Anon. I heard about the server issues here... you're the man" > at the end of the meeting a 45 year old events planner asks me if I fix computers on the side > "Not really..." > "Oh... I have this one blasted thing that needs fixing. You couldn't just come over and fix it?" > bullshit > for a laugh I say, "yeah it's cool, just give me your address and I'll be over after work" > not sure if I'm getting sex > buy condoms > she's not that hot like a 6/10 tops > not even going to lie > last call kind of hot > arrive at her house > ring the door bell while standing all suave leaned up against the door > her husband answers the door > shows me to the computer > install the latest version of adobe reader > get $20 > go home
> some guy crashes a program so I have to reinput the settings > go onto his cubicle mates computer > check settings > 2 hours later > "You wrecked my computer... I want my fucking computer back exactly how it was I don't know what you did but somethings off my usb drive is buzzing..." > wtf > I didnt do shit to your computer. I checked a program you open 20 times a day > super pissed so I go back into the server room and play Thomas Was None > hear knock on server room door > its the cubtclemate > "Hey, Thanks for fixing it. > "Fixing what?" > "The my usb drive" > I didn't do shit lol > "Oh yeah don't mention it"
> spend entire day cleaning the server room up > getting it all nice > just unplugging network cables wily nifty so I can colour coordinate them > people are losing their shit > they are randomly getting kicked off > tell people there are some issues with our isp > I make sure to say I-S-P as I have now learned by spelling in abbreviations no matter how common makes you sound techy > by the end of the day the server rack is all classy looking > unfortunately I never mapped anything and a handful of people can't connect because their ports aren't connected to anything > tell them the I-S-P will have it done ASAP and go home
> now that the server room is all clean I set up all the test boxes in the back > 8 machines in total all connected to the network > try joining monitors all together like you see on cool threads, you know like the racing ones? > realize these are shit old monitors and you can't do that > come up with the great idea of bitcoin mining with these boxes > set it up for the first half of the day > after lunch I'm mining > terribly but I am mining > people start complaining about server lag > blame the lag on the olympics > suggest that the whole office must be streaming it > ban the olympics on the web filter > office is divided; can see the divide in my email > people who are pissed about not being able to watch the olympics > and the keeners who think its all work and no play at work > I've officially gained power though, people respect me for making this mandate > "He's a real company guy"
> its birthday day > office celebrates all the months birthdays > take cake > set up n64 in the boardroom > challenge people in the office to goldeneye > keep saying "Hey I'm just taking a 5 minute break for some cake want a quick game?" > own the shit out of all of them > realize I did absolutely nothing all day but eat cake and game > no one ever noticed
> cougar calls in from the road > she's having trouble accessing a key app for a client on her ipad > she tells me its name > have no idea what it is > but make sure to sound astute > ask her if she's using WIFI or 3G > "How do I check" > "Nevermind let me check from my maincore system" > google the app but nothing comes up > ask one of the other sales people > "oh it's just an infographic on our main site" > tell the hot cougar to come into the office because it's going to require me to hardcode the changes in > she drives 2 hours to come to the office so I can open up Safari and bookmark it to her ipad homepage
I'll continue this tomorrow, believe it or not there's an ending to this but I can't get to it today. day 24
> people heard from the 45 year old events planner I do house calls > bunch of idiots are bringing in their home computers, mobile devices, anything technical for me to fix > tell people I can only do it after hours and I charge $20 for small stuff and $50 for large. > most of it is simple fixes > windows updates or adobe reader installs fix it > but then I get it > the laptop from hell > this fat indian guy hands me his laptop in a plastic bag, not a laptop bag, a plastic one > "What's wrong with it?" > "You tell me genius" > Load it up and it's asking for some system restore or something. > just hit next and okay > fixes it but it says I need to load chkdisk? > figure that has something to do with the cd drive > open it up > there's a thick fucking layer of bread crumbs in the tray > tilted the machine to its side > motherfucking bread crumbs just pouring out of the laptop > restart the machine > it loads perfectly > turns out the guy was using it as a tray for his morning bagel > fucking toaster laptops
Hi AV its the IT guy from yesterday day 25
> even though I'm shit at IT > one guy thinks because I am IT I am super techy > he asks me what my favourite browser is > "Google.... Ultron" > "it like chrome?" > shit thats what I meant > "yeah...but better...it's what nasa uses" > "cool could you dl that for me?" > gulp > "yeah no worries" > literally start shaking the mouse back and forth so fast you can see the cursor > then ctrl alt deleted into task manager > "there....you go. All done. It looks like google chrome. but its really ultron. no one else can tell." > to this day he still thinks he runs google ultron
> some woman calls me over > "it'll just take a sec, it's super simple" > shit > asks me to hook her up to a new printer > she hops out of her chair and lets me sit down > forget how to add network printers > her and her friend are talking right over my shoulder staring at the screen > "Is this going to take long?" > I fake deep thought as I stare at the screen with one hand on my temple > "Anon? I have a deadline is this going to..." > "What the fuck..." > both of the women are startled > "THERE'S A VIRUS ON THIS MACHINE" > and I just storm off like I'm pissed
> learn about a remote access tool that the whole office uses > decide to haunt the old nice old lady from before > i randomly move the mouse for a few hours > she struggles to do basic tasks > she comes and asks me for a new mouse > oblige her > hook it up and leave > look back at remote tool > mouse is moving again, she opens up word > I begin to type > "Hi" > no response > "Hi > "Hello? Who is this?" > "It's death :("
> a guy asks me to burn him a copy of a dvd for a presentation > holy fuck I know how to do that > burn it for him > march back down to his office, proudly holding the dvd high in the air > Woman tries to stop me "Hey can you..." > "Not now... I've got IT business to attend to" > hand the guy his burned dvd > this might be one of the first things IVe done right here > tear in my eye > so proud of how far I have come > I am true IT > 5 minutes later I get a call "Hey...yeah there's nothing on the dvd..."
> give new hire her new laptop > nothing is fucking setup right > forgot to hook up her outlook to exchange > no worries she did it herself > cool > she asks me if I can type in the admin credentials so she can dl some social media tool > "Sure" > fuck up the login credentials like 3 times and get locked out > have to unlock it from my machine > can't figure it out but go back because I left my gameboy in her office > she starts making small talk > "So where'd you go to school to become an IT person?" > she's fucking on to me > try logging in once more to admin account > locked out still > "Yeah... you know what? I think this Hootsuite extension is a virus. I don't want that shit on my network"
> here's where shit starts to really hit the fan > as you know i had setup a bitcoin mining rig in the server room > it was just eating up all the bandwidth > the whole network was barely operational > and now because of my ineptitude and blaming things on viruses people started a rumour > that the whole network was being attacked by a rogue hacker group > after lunch I get pulled into a meeting by with all the execs > the jig is up > "As you know we've been experiencing a multitude of issues with our network..." > I'm fucked > "from the lag to the viruses" > so fucked > "We want you to head up the investigation and find out who's doing this and why" > ROFL > I am the fucking dirty cop on the force who's tasked with finding the dirty cop > I am the fucking law
> tell people I'm running server calibrations > "it's like dusting for finger prints" > no one's the wiser > show this one middle aged guy with a beard how to use a webapp > go to favourite it for him and put it on the toolbar > notice all of his favourites > Big titty housewife > Pajama Butt Slut > Mexican girl on bus > mouse over them as I mouth read them > he starts freaking out > begs me not to tell > "Why shouldn't I?" > "Ill buy you lunch" > got 10 chicken nuggets
> for some reason the entire office is having to fill in a captcha every time they google anything > have no idea why this happening > Google ultron guy asks me if this has to do with the virus and if he should be backing up his data > "First. Always back up your data." > he nods to my tech savvy > "Second. It's a security measure INce put in place. There are robots afoot." > he nods again like my word is law
> Ultron guy blabs and tells everyone about google ultron > now everyone in the fucking office has a sharepoint ticket asking for it to be installed > a few of the more competent people are asking me what the fuck google ultron is > I just give them finger guns until they walk away > have to spend entire day going from desktop to desktop pretending to dl google ultron > literally spend 3-4 hours pretending to dl software that nasa uses > one girl asks me if this even legal > "Are you a cop?" > she reports me to HR for "criminal like behaviour > have already explained to HR what google ultron is... > HR thinks its real > HR thinks nasa uses it > HR tells the narc to stop interfering with important technological matters because the narc doesnt know anything about IT like me > doesnt know anything about IT like me
> been playing portal 2 all day in my office > haven't heard so much as a complaint > haven't had to update adobe reader or adobe flash all fucking day > something's not right > no one's said shit about it > poke my head out of the office > everyone's heads down just typing away > starting to get worried > ask a guy how his computer is working > "Great. Ever since you downloaded Google Ultron, my whole computer has just been flying" > wtf > do a quick google search on google chrome > supposedly it automatically downloads the most up to date versions of adobe > omfg > if I don't have fucking adobe reader I'm fucking out of a job > send out mass email > ATTN: do not open google ultron it has been hacked > spend rest of day uninstalling and making IE the default browser
> people are becoming restless with the hackevirus stuff > they wonder why I haven't solved the case yet > some even believe its not a hacktivst group like I've been hinting > "We're not just dealing with amateurs here. We're dealing with the best. And that's why I need to update your antivirus scanner" > just to strike the fear into people I covertly turn on the computer of a person who's sick and stationed right in the middle of one of the larger areas > turn off her monitor > put speakers full > then go back to office and remote in > play Wham's Jitterbug at 3 second intervals throughout the day > eventually people Start coming to my office to report this > I nod > it's worse than I thought > "What? What is it?" > it's the Jitterbug gang. One of the world's best hacking groups" > "I've never heard of them." > "That's why they're the best"
> check messages > local police called > FUUUUCK > need to speak with me since I am IT about recent hacks on our organization > delete message > cougar comes into my office > asks if I can adjust her desktop so the wallpaper changes every couple of minutes > "Sure." > head over there with her > she tells me she's getting a divorce > "Oh." > Says she's actually starting to date again and it's pretty awkward > fuck it > "Wanna maybe grab a beer sometime after work?" > she laughs > "What? I mean why not?" > "You're joking right? You're IT..." > my eyes well up as I stare at adobe prompts me that reader has a new update > "Just gonna download this."
> feeling like shit today > cougar told her sales friends that I tried asking her out > people are laughing behind my back > can hear the whispers > "eww haha IT?!!! ewwwwww" > want to just open up a computer and jump through the moving cpu fan > mean sales guy who usually calls (yeah that one) stops by office > "My laptops not working" > I trudge over to his desk with him > hit the power button for a reset > don't say anything and just walk away > "If that's all you ever do.. Why do we need you?' > turn around > "what?" > "if you only ever just restart my computer... why are we paying you? I can restart my own damn computer" > grin > "Have you ever repaired a server here? Do you know how hard it is to get it operational? Remember how we were down for a day and a half?" > he shakes his head > "That's what I thought." > of course I just restarted it lol
> still feel like shit after the cougar shut me down > decide to block 1 major site on the webfilter every hour > feel like the Joker doing it > first youtube > then ebay > then reddit > hear the moans from people as they read my webfilter note > "This is a place of work not a fun house" > One woman storms into office > "This is not funny...this is serious" > "Why so serious?" I ask her > "I need you to unblock ebay" > lot seriously > "I HAVE AN AUCTION ENDING IN 5 MINUTES!" > put it back on the safe list > but it was too late > she missed out on her cellphone case > mwhahahahaha
> an "investigator" comes to the office > the execs were worried that we had too much to lose and wanted to bring in a professional > I'm fucked > show him around the office > he keeps asking to see the server room > "And this is Carol. She's a riot. Aren't you Carol" > doing everything I can to stall > we go back into the server room > he compliments me on how neat the cables are > think about picking up a monitor and bashing his skull in and then running away to mexico > cant do it > I'm not a monster > I'm IT > the guy goes onto the server > asks me for the login info > figure the jig is up > give it to him > he logs in > opens up IE > looks over his shoulder at me > "You don't need to be here" > "It's fine" > I need to be there when it happens > he literally starts shaking his mouse really quickly around IE clicking on random parts of the screen > I know because a popup for Home depot came up > he starts muttering to himself... "hmmm... hmmm" > watch him type in adobe reader in google > he dl's it > swings his cursor around some more > and then finally goes > "fucking hackers right?" > we are brothers he and I > IT brothers
> wake up and realize how lucky I truly am not to be fired or worse > see cougar girl walking into the office from parking lot > asks me how things are going > I think we finally put an end to the jitterbug gang > "no, I meant... not work stuff' > look at her strangely then smile. > "Oh you know how it is" > she flicks her hair and then laughs > what the fuck? > "Cool. I'm having problems opening a file...can you open it for me hun?" > sigh > "Yeah sure..." > we walk into her office she's being all flirty > click on the sharepoint link of a pdf file > won't open > download adobe reader > while it's loading I ask her what she's planning on doing on the weekend > "I'm going to the mountains with this guy for our first getaway" > stop adobe reader at 80% > walk right out > I am IT
> this hot yoga girl from events comes into my office > her keyboard keeps typing in french > too busy playing Happy bird to care > "so are you going to help me?" > "if things slow down. I've been swamped today" > "I'm going to fucking kill you" > she waggles her glorious yoga butt away > cute girl, and don't even care anymore just want day to fucking end > I hate this fucking job > all I do is get yelled at and download adobe reader > I cant even find the joy in games any more > Dad walks by > sees I'm looking blue > Dad takes me out for lunch > pats me on the shoulder > "I'm so proud of you son." > to date the company is in fucking shambles > and I still am primarily an adobe reader downloader > but I wouldn't change any of it for his very next words > "I love you son." Thanks guys and thanks Dad for the job. :) Don't forget to download your adobe readers guys.
I didn't make this, I converted it to text from the imgur images and am working on correcting it occasionally.
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