Hacked: An infographic

Two years ago, my Paypal account was hacked. I settled the case with Paypal, my credit card company, and the Philippine National Police Cyber-Crime division. Though they didn’t catch the perp, at least I didn’t have to pay any of the false claims.

Because of the blog post I wrote on the incident, a woman named Allison approached me with this infographic that she helped make. It’s originally posted on OnlineCollegeCourses.com, and is a great visual representation of online hacking. At the bottom of the graphic is an example for bad / common passwords. This is definitely worth a read. Thanks for the heads-up, Allison!

Hacked Infographic


How to install Mass Effect 3 from PC discs (without downloading)

Tailor: "Is this a uniform?" #masseffect #proud

I just picked up my retail copy of Mass Effect 3 today, and was appalled at the flawed installation process. I placed Disc 1 in my DVD drive, clicked Install, and it proceeded to launch Origin and REQUIRE me to download 10GB of game files from the Internet. This is incredibly stupid and wasteful, as we in third-world countries don’t have the Internet speed or bandwidth for it. Not to mention, my 10GB of files are right here on the two DVDs I just purchased; why wouldn’t Origin use those discs instead of downloading 10GB of files I already had?

After some Google hunting, I found this forum post which fixed the problem. I’m reposting it here just in case someone else out there is looking for the fix.

How to Install Mass Effect 3 from DVD (without download)
1.) Install Origin
2.) Let Origin Update to the current Version
3.) Restart Origin
4.) Enter your Mass Effect 3 Code in Origin
5.) Don’t start the Download, but close Origin with a right click on the Origin Icon in the Systray -> Exit
6.) Restart setup.exe from Disc 1, it will start Origin and the Installation from the DVDs

ME3 is now installing
Big thanks to author of that post: botcherO

The only difference for me was that I’d already started downloading Mass Effect 3 through Origin, and so the fix wouldn’t work with a partial download started. Be sure to cancel your download completely before doing the steps above.

Defaulting to online downloads when physical copies are available is really idiotic and unfair to the rest of us with poor Internet, and I don’t know how this could possibly be acceptable. Thanks, EA.

P.S. You should hear how upset my bf is about the game refusing to import saved character faces from Mass Effect 1 and 2, but that’s another story.

UPDATE (3/27/12): I’ve been averaging ~160 hits a day on this post, which shows you how many people are having the same installation trouble. Unfortunately, I’m not tech support (I’m just a gamer like you) so I don’t really know more than the fix I’ve reposted above. If you’re still having problems with Mass Effect 3, please try talking to Origin directly at help.origin.com. Thanks!

Selling my Panasonic Lumix FZ7 camera

I’m selling my three-year old Panasonic Lumix FZ7 camera.

Lumix 3

It’s a 6 megapixel prosumer – in between a point and shoot and a DSLR, both in size and function. It’s got manual controls (shutter, aperture) but I never really used them; the automatic settings (aperture-priority, shutter-priority, scene settings) were more than enough for me.

I’m selling it because I want a smaller cam (this makes people laugh, that I am _downgrading_) – but really, I’ll be traveling a lot, and I want a cam I can fit into my pocket. The FZ7 isn’t big though – just not pocket-sized.

A serious technical review can be found here. But here’s how I experienced this camera. The things I love most about it are:

  • A great OS – everything is ridiculously easy to use. Histograms, custom white balance, self-timer, etc – everything is a click away. It can be as simple or as powerful as you’d like it
  • The optical (not digital) zoom is 12X – super useful for concerts
  • Great video and sound, surprising for a still cam – also useful for concerts
  • The Hi-Sensitivity mode ramps up your ISO for low-light – useful for gigs or fast-moving toddlers
  • It feels good in my hands – there’s a stability in cupping a lens that I will miss when I move to a point-and-shoot

The things I didn’t like about it are:

  • Almost impossible to shoot in really low light – but I suppose you get that with any camera
  • It doesn’t fit into my pocket. Hah.

I’m selling it for P10,000. The package includes:

  • The camera
  • Battery charger
  • Lens hood (to shield the lens from the sun)
  • Lens adapter (you screw it onto the camera so you can attach lenses)
  • UV lens filter (to remove UV light)

Everything is in pristine condition, though you should probably clean the outside of the camera – it’s been everywhere. (I’d do it myself, but knowing me, I’ll go ruin something.) Its value in the market, used, is P10 to P13K; you could probably get a brand-new one for P15K, but if you are reading this you are probably my friend and want to support me 🙂

Here are some of the pics I’ve taken w/ this camera (usually just on automatic mode). Click on the links for individual pictures. Or check out my Flickr photostream here.

PLACESFZ7 pics - places1. Entalula, 2. The Small Lagoon, 3. Banga-an rice terraces, 4. Sunset 1, 5. Reflected Sunset 2


FZ7 - People
1. Razorback 9, 2. Street Performer 3, 3. Joon, 4. I like my soup!, 5. Chochukmo (Hong Kong), 6. Joon and Statue


FZ7 - Others1. Cat, 2. Seahorse, 3. Sleepy Botchok 5, 4. Sleepy Botchok 13, 5. Toys, 6. Spiral

If you are interested, please e-mail me at deathcabcutie, on gmail. If no one is interested, I’ll just keep the camera 😀 Thanks for reading!

Lifehacking: Software

I’m a newly converted fan of websites like Lifehacker and Unclutterer. They’ve helped me organize both my life and my computer. It’s an ongoing process (sometimes I feel like I’ll never, ever finish), but I like the cleansing feeling I get afterwards.

Part of my lifehacking is making my Vista laptop run better than before. I tried different kinds of software and found some that are efficient, light, and usually unheard of. Here’s a list of my personal faves – these may not work for everybody, but I suggest you give them a whirl: Continue reading