Things and stuff and things.
Tatiora's Articles
June 17, 2021 by Tatiora
A couple of months ago, I talked a little about the fun virtual trivia night that I held with my coworkers via Discord. Now that vaccinations are rolling out and things are starting to open up again, we’re hoping to hold the next one in a Family Feud style, and in person - but that’s another discussion. Over the last year, I - like many millions of others - have had to find ways to stay connected with friends and family without being able to hang out in the same room. To be honest...
June 16, 2021 by Tatiora
Amazon Prime Day is coming up and Amazon has decided to offer free 7 day trials to its game streaming service, Luna, to Prime members in the mainland US. Until now, the only way to test Luna was to request early access or sign up from supported Fire TV devices. The Luna service is available on Windows PC, Mac, Fire TV, and via the web on your iPhone, iPad, and certain Android phones.  The regular price for Luna is $5.99 a month and grants you access to games like GRID, Metro Exodus,...
June 10, 2021 by Tatiora
I have been gaming online for a long time - since I was a teenager and Battle.net (I played a lot of Diablo II and Starcraft) was first a thing, in fact. Back then, the biggest thing I remember my parents being concerned about were mostly safety things: don’t give out your name or address, don’t share pictures, and for the love of all that is holy, don’t EVER agree to meet someone you’ve only met online. They’re not bad rules - they’re good rules, in fact! ...
June 9, 2021 by Tatiora
You know what I miss? Conventions. Things obviously ground to a halt last year as COVID made its rounds across the world, shutting down big events and huge gatherings of people. Many of the larger conventions like San Diego Comic Con, New York Comic Con, E3, and others, turned to an online format in order to try and salvage at least some of their events. It doesn't beat being there in person, but hey - at least it's something! Me at the Star Control: Origins booth, E3 2018Now, things are...
June 3, 2021 by Tatiora
WindowBlinds is one of our software products that has been around for quite a long time - longer than I've been at Stardock, at any rate! If you're unfamiliar with it, WindowBlinds allows you to customize the look and feel of your taskbar, window frames, and more. You can make your desktop look unique by choosing from several different styles and skins and adjusting them to suit your personal tastes. I think one of my absolute favorite features of WindowBlinds 10 is the randomization. If I li...
June 2, 2021 by Tatiora
Over the weekend, a friend shared an article discussing the new Amazon Sidewalk service that will be debuting as an experiment on June 8th. If you live in the U.S. and use Alexa, Echo, or any other Amazon device (this includes Ring doorbells, security cams, outdoor lights, motion sensors, etc.) you will be automatically enrolled in this service unless you manually opt out. This new wireless mesh service will share a small bit of your Internet bandwidth with nearby neighbors who don't have con...
May 27, 2021 by Tatiora
We’re all familiar with the idea of “comfort food,” right? For some people, that means a heaping plate full of homemade southern fried chicken, while for others it might be something as simple as tomato soup out of a can with some grilled cheese. Alternatively, some might not find food to be a comfort at all and may find some peace in other things. I think “comfort activities” covers the concept fairly well as a blanket term. In general, a comfort activity is ...
May 26, 2021 by Tatiora
Twitch found themselves in some hot water (hah! See what I did there?) with their streaming community recently when they demonetized the channel of popular hot tub streamer Amouranth. Now, you may have the same question that I had when all of this first came to my attention: What the heck is a hot tub stream? Hot tub streams started as a way to adhere to (or circumvent, depending on your perspective) Twitch's terms of service regarding swimwear, which was only acceptable if the streamer wa...
May 20, 2021 by Tatiora
DeskScapes 11 is currently in beta and although there are a lot of fantastic new features, one in particular is my personal favorite: playlists. In the newest version of our popular customization app, you can set different backgrounds - both animated and static - to a playlist that will cycle in and out at intervals of your choice. I have a lot of interests and things that I love, so sometimes choosing just one of something is tough for me. I usually will manually change out my desktop backgr...
May 19, 2021 by Tatiora
Twitch has announced a big change to their subscription prices for several countries outside of the U.S. In an effort to boost subscription rates for streamers, Twitch is adjusting to a localized price model starting with Turkey and Mexico on May 20th. Lower prices will mean less money for streamers at first, but Twitch seems to believe that they'll translate to more subscribers and higher earnings in the long run. In case you're unfamiliar with how Twitch works, streamers can accumulate both...
May 13, 2021 by Tatiora
I’m really not much of an artist. To be frank, saying “not much of an artist” is being a little too kind to myself. I once drew a dog at the request of a 6 year old, who, upon me finishing my drawing, looked up at me and said, “I don’t know what that is, but that’s not a dog.” Kids and their brutal honesty! While I’m not good at making something out of nothing, if given the right tools I can occasionally create some fun visual things. Fortuna...
May 12, 2021 by Tatiora
2020 was a challenging year for the console and PC industry, and it seems like 2021 isn't shaping up to be much different either. Worldwide shortages of parts, exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic, have made it difficult for many companies to keep up with demands for their products. Just as chip shortages have affected AMD and intel, similar shortages have impacted Sony and its PlayStation 5, which released last Christmas. A recent briefing with Hiroki Totoki, the Chief Financial Officer o...
May 5, 2021 by Tatiora
Is Earth ready for a potentially catastrophic asteroid impact? Unfortunately, the answer appears to be no. An international exercise to simulate an asteroid striking Earth is finished, and with its fictitious impact concluded, things aren't looking so hot for the 185-mile stretch between Prague and Munich. It sounds like a game, but it's actually serious business. The exercise is being led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Center for Near Earth Object Studies and is meant to prepare sc...
April 29, 2021 by Tatiora
If you had told me twenty years ago that the world would get to a point where thousands of people could tune in and watch people play a video game live just about anytime you want, I’d have called you crazy. And I definitely would have been wrong. When I pause to consider online streaming and all that it’s become, it really does just sort of leave me awestruck. I can’t believe how “on demand” things are now, from video and movie streaming services, all the way...
April 28, 2021 by Tatiora
I haven't been looking into building a new computer or upgrading the one I have recently, but that doesn't mean I haven't been hearing the buzz about all of the hard-to-find CPUs that have hit the market over the last year or so. I know, for instance, that AMD's Ryzen 5000 series has been fairly impossible to find. A few of my friends have been looking and the only luck they've had locating it is with a pretty inflated price tag attached. These processors have been around for a little while n...