Microsoft bringing it with their new "Today" site.

I'm not usually one for news, especially lately since pretty much every major news outlet has been putting up these ridiculous pay walls. Since when do people start paying to read these things? Certainly not me. But that doesn't mean I don't want the current events.

I've never been a huge fan of Microsoft. Being a Linux dude, I spend most of my time in the bash shell. So, it's rather interesting that I would be excited about anything Microsoft related - but here I am. Their new site called "Today" is the latest current events, news, and tech - all wrapped up into one nice place - without the paywalls of course.

Ok, so maybe it's not exactly.... exciting, but hey, it's decent - especially for keeping up with all this Coronavirus nonsense (yes, I said it... I think this Coronavirus is a total scam). We'll see!

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Using a VPS Server for Gaming

I have been hosting games on VPS servers that I rented for years now. It always feels good to be "the one" with "the server". I didn't really know much about how these things worked on a low-level basis, I just know that as my servers became more popular and more people jumped in, the troubles started.

The Suspension Spree

You see, game servers require a lot of resources. A lot more than hosting the typical website. Bandwidth is also an issue depending on how many players are connected. Within only a few days on DigitalOcean I received a lovely email stating that I was over-utilizing my resources. What? I was paying $80/month, not a tiny amount of money here, and you're telling me that I can't use my CPUs and RAM? Ok then, Eff you. I moved to Vultr. That seemed to fare well.. for about a month when they suspended my account without even notice. I got the email notice hours later saying that my servers were under a DDOS attack. No, they weren't. That's just the 2000 players online. Mind you, I was using their $80 package as well, 6 cores, tons of space and memory. What could go wrong? Apparently normal game usage was just too much.

It wasn't CHEAP

I mean, the opposite of cheap. Silly expensive. I ended up moving most of my gaming to Amazon AWS because it was the only platform that scaled well. I know what you're thinking - why use Amazon at all for something like this - but after being burned by the likes of Vultr and DigitalOcean, you don't really have many other places to turn that won't just shut you down when the going gets tough. The issue with Amazon was not that they'll shut you down. It's that they're FRIGGIN EXPENSIVE. The same resources I was was using (or attempting to use) on Vultr and D.O. were costing me about 25% of what I had to pay for Amazon's resources. Sure, they didn't shut me down, but I couldn't sustain over $300/month for this.

FluxNode to the Rescue

I've been a fan of Android boxes for some time and found out about FluxNode from Matricom's website. I own a few of their products. It states on Matricom's site that their entire G-Box network is running on a FluxNode, meaning millions of boxes. I had to know more. I contacted FluxNode via Email and asked them if they would accept gaming software on their servers. "Absolutely no problem" -- Great, will you shut my servers down if they start handling a load? "No, we would never do that, but we would notify you if the load seems like an attack and as you to handle it yourself." OK, Great!

Best...Decision....EVER

I went from paying over $300/month (typically $330-360) to paying $40! Not only is this HALF what I was paying Vultr and DigitalOcean, I am getting FAR more resources for the money (12 CPUs!!) and haven't had a glitch since. My server load at peak times is still far under what the load averages were on either of the other platforms. Latency was reduced by almost 50ms (it's actually a LOT when it comes to gaming) and I've been up for 3 months now without a hiccup. I honestly don't know how they do it.

So, yeah. FluxNode is the BEST VPS I have ever used.

But, you may not be able to use them yourself. At least not yet. As of this writing there's no way to sign up for their service on their website. I had to contact them via email and ask them about their services and they made an account for me which I was then able to login and apply funds and build servers. By the way, here's what their panel looks like:

No Caption Provided

This is one of my accounts. The PowerSites is my gaming servers. I now have 7 different games running on a SINGLE server and I have the settings completely maxed out just for the photo. You can actually adjust all of your resources on the fly. Instantly change your RAM and CPU without even shutting down the server.

The sales rep I talked to there, Alex, told me that they'll be opening up the platform for website signups soon. He mentioned that all of their customers now are big data businesses so they haven't needed public users. No surprise there, with a service THIS good, of course they'd already have an exclusive clientele.

Their launch date is July 2020 for public availability. Until then, they're friendly, you can just find their email on their site and give them a pre-public trial run too.

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Retro Gaming in 2020 is as nostalgic as ever

Who doesn't love a day to kick back and play a childhood favorite game? For sure I do. In fact, as I get older, the games of past-times get more interesting. Maybe it's my lack of memory or just the feeling of nostalgia that overwhelms me every time I take a step back in time.

Confronted with mediocre AtGames, the makers of the Sega Genesis, Sega decided to take matters into their own hands and make their first console: the Dreamcast. The Neo Geo Mini is aimed at the old, but it is still full of nostalgia for classic video games. There is no doubt that the technological advances that have come since the SNES have produced the best video game of all time. You can still find some good SNKs on the Nintendo eShop, as well as on Amazon and other online stores.

This is by far the best way to play old games, which can be based in excess of what many gamers need. While the copycat push - back option is still a bit of a taste, manufacturers of children's consoles are offering a solution. The analog is so good that it is suggested to work by modulating different consoles.

If you're holding out for the Playstation Classic a little, there is a limited choice of titles. Again, it's a well - crafted retro story and a console that evokes nostalgia. The final choice is one that may not have as wide of an audience as the consoles above, but can still be a great addition to any home. There are some big misses, including the lack of classic titles such as Super Mario Bros. and Mario Kart 8, though, so this is the one to be across the board, even if it might not be the best choice for everyone.

Nintendo is the only major gaming brand that has been recognized for making money from the resale of old consoles. In recent years, we've also seen the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition, a mini-console that comes with a pre-installed selection of supported original cartridges. AtGames has produced flashback versions of Sega and Atari since 2004.

Of course, you need a system to further play the games on. There is still a debate about which retro gaming consoles are the best. When considering a good retro console, we have to go back two generations of consoles, i.e. when the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and original Xbox were the first suitable systems. This is the cut - off date when a console is first considered retro rather than just obsolete.

While we swear by the NES, Sega Genesis, and PlayStation, there are newer and modern consoles on which to experience the games of our youth. Here are the best classic gaming systems you can get now. The NES Classic is basing itself on the company's first product made after the original NES. After the 8-bit mini - console became a hit, Nintendo released its 16-Bit successor in 1985.

If you don't mind buying it a la carte, you can download it for free. The Nintendo Swift is an amazing console, but when its Online subscription service first came out, it sold out in a matter of days. But is the $20 annual subscription worth it?

Starting with the NES Classic, which Nintendo released back in 2016, the SNES Classic is better. Those who want to relive their past can also purchase and play through the Super Nintendo Entertainment System library, accessed using the original console. It includes all of the classic controllers you remember, plus a bunch of classic games, such as Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong Country.

The SEGA Mega Drive Mini has already downloaded more than 40 games, including, but not limited to, Ecco the Dolphin and Castlevania. The PlayStation Classic PS1 was a time when games were becoming increasingly popular around the world, and you can still play them on this new classic console. It comes with a bunch of classic games that you want to enjoy with your friends, such as Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong Country.

Some publishers have created add - ons for their classic games, retaining the basic gameplay but adding new features, levels, and game styles. Some mobile app developers are fighting for the rights and preparing to re-release vintage Arcade games for release on their mobile devices. This includes playing classic video games. The composition is present in many modern retro games and is popular in demo scenes.

Why did you choose the Super Nintendo Entertainment System? The original Nintendo NES system was launched in the mid-1980s. Characters like Mario, Samus, and Link have almost single-handedly revived the dormant video game industry. The Super NES also features the best controller based on the history of games to play classic platform and combat games. This is a successor machine that proves just how dominant Nintendo will be.

So what will you be doing 20 years from now? Probably thinking back to your childhood playing Zelda, just the same as today.

Retrogaming is extra fun on the G-Box by Matricom. Check out their website for more details: https://matricom.net

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When game time is over...

A long day of gaming. Sounds like a chore, really? Lol. Right, who would ever think that. But, believe it or not, there's plenty of people out there making money gaming. I must admit, I had a serious case of FOMO when some of my friends told me they were making money from gaming, especially when they're making more money than I am working a regular job.. oh, and posting blogs.

One of those same friends is also a music producer. Like, a legitimate one. They've been making music for most of their lives and keep up with the trends. They've been DJing since before I can remember. One of the things they always told me was that music was one of the most difficult ways of making an income, at least if you're a music producer. Apparently DJs make all the money and the guys that make the music get paid poopy. It's no wonder he's also gaming for money.

So he showed me something that he's excited about called TheFuture. Which made me instantly think of Back To The Future, but yeah. Not the same thing. This TheFuture is apparently the new way people like him are going to actually make money from producing music. I didn't realize how little producers got paid (like less than 1 penny per stream) until he told me all about it.

I thought the story was interesting so I'm sharing it. Maybe there's some music producers out there that want to make some real money for their art. Hopefully this comes in handy.

Check out the site he's talking about: TheFuture.FM

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Gaming on Kodi - Now that's something.

I've been playing around with this media center app called Kodi lately. Much to my surprise, this thing does pretty much everything. It's well-known for its ability to play just about any media file and stream just about anything known to man. But what caught my attention wasn't streaming at all.

Kodi has an addon which turns it into a gaming console. Which it does much better than I had expected. So far I've played several different NES and SNES games on this thing and they run just like the real console. And keep in mind I'm running this all through a G-Box. These little boxes are cheap and not the most powerful things in the world, but they sure do the job for this.

If you already love Kodi and didn't know about this, you should check it out. Gaming on Kodi is likely to become a big topic sooner or later now that it's a real possibility.

Now I'm just waiting for cloud gaming to be a thing on Kodi.

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Oh, Google Stadia. What's there to actually like?

Ok, Google. Here we go again, you're trying to get into the market with another device. Kudos for that, but a word of advice: If you're going to come into the gaming industry, you better have your stuff together.

I've had the chance to spend many hours with the new Stadia - Google's new device for cloud gaming. While it is a great concept, the execution is just awful. I would chuck this up to growing pains, but this is Google we're talking about here. There should never be a product released from this behemoth of a corporation that would require and kind of growing pains.

My biggest gripes with the Stadia are lack of graphics quality, poor streaming performance and heavily delayed response time. Ok, so that's pretty much every point that can be made, right? Seriously though. I will give it this: If I've never streamed with any other platform before, I might think "Oh wow, this isn't bad.. this is alright." But I can't.. I just can't.

Nvidia's GeForce Now basically drags the Stadia through the mud. On every aspect I can think of. Quality, gaming experience, overall... everything. The fact that Stadia's market is a closed is, for me, the nail in the coffin. Why would I fork our my cash to pay for a title that I'll never be able to use outside of Stadia? That's absolute insanity. Anybody that thinks that's a good concept either doesn't care about money or is seriously not into gaming at all. But then what in the world are they even doing with one of these cloud gaming units to begin with?

This reminds me of the Android box Google came out with years ago. The Nexus Player. Another terribly executed product that came out years after companies like Matricom dominated the market with the G-Box. If you're going to release a product, be sure that it's at LEAST as good as your competitors, or have at least some special feature that would woo us tech-savvy people your way. Because, so far, Google, you've been playing the sandbox. If you want to be in the big leagues, it's time to grow up a bit.

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Why Android is perfect for Cloud Gaming these days

Cloud gaming is one of those incredible things that has recently become an option in the gaming industry. 10 years ago we'd never have thought of such a thing. Back then it was buy the best, most expensive hardware and outdo yourself for a higher FPS on that latest game. Boy, has a lot changed since then. One of the most important factors being readily available high-speed (and I mean, very high speed) internet

While traditional PC gaming was an expensive endeavor that likely resulted in outdated hardware in less than a couple of year's time, gaming on the cloud is quite the opposite. Now we're able to enter high-end gaming with less upfront investment. In fact, practically no investment at all, outside of stuff that you probably already have.

We took a look at some of the least expensive devices that can be used for cloud gaming and have boiled it down to pretty much a single, inexpensive product that you may have already. It's called the G-Box, an Android device made for your TV made by a company called Matricom. This little box is going to set you back a whopping $80 or so and is capable of all sorts of great stuff. Cloud gaming is one of those things. Matricom has even gone as far as making a list of several Android cloud gaming platforms that are compatible with their box.

These days high-speed internet is a basic commodity. Some places are even offering gigabit connections for under $100/month. This was unheard of just years ago. But the fact is, you don't need gigabit connectivity to stream games through the cloud. Even a 10 megabit connection is sufficient. Of course, with greater speed comes better response time due to lower latency and higher resolution.

So, if you haven't already. Get the G-Box if you don’t own it already. Make sure your internet is up to snuff. Pair a Bluetooth controller, download one of the many apps that are compatible with the box and have yourself an amazing day of gaming fun.

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