Enable Two-Factor Authentication On Skype

Okay, this post is going to be a quick one, biut since I somehow continue to get spam posts on Skype where the entirety of the post is simply a link to a random website (and sometimes it’s pretty obvious someone’s account’s gotten hacked because the actual URL link isn’t the text it says it’s going to go to….), I figured it’s time to post this little tip.

Skype accounts can have 2-Factor Authentication (“2FA”) enabled on them, but it is not in the Skype Settings at all. To add 2-Factor Authentication to a Skype account, you have to do it through Microsoft’s main account management site at https://account.microsoft.com/ (and that URL is not a link in this post unless your browser is automatically doing that – for maximum security, go type it in your browser’s address bar yourself!).

Also, as an added bonus, while you’re in your account settings, you can change your sign-in preferences so that you can only login to Skype using an email address, further increasing security.

And, yes, I know this exact information is probably elsewhere on the Internet, but since I’m still getting spam posts from contacts, I felt it needed to be said yet again.

Roll Back To The Classic Google+ UI

As those who use Google+ at all may have recently seen, Google recently updated Google+’s user interface (UI) to a design that complies with their Material Design guidelines.

Unfortunately, that meant some features didn’t stay inside of Google+. Recently, I myself have found it very difficult, if not impossible, to create a post that is only visible to a particular person on Google+.

While this method won’t permanently rollback Google+ to the classic interface (as navigating back to Google+ in any other browser window or tab will bring up the new Material Design UI), it will rollback that particular Google+ session to the classic interface.

To do this:

  1. On the menu on the left-hand side, click Settings.
  2. In the General section, you will see an entry for seetings that you cannot find, with a link to view the classic Google+ interface.
  3. Click the link to go to the classic interface. It will then reload the Settings window, but in the classic interface.
  4. At this point, to go back to your Google+ feed but to maintain the interface, do NOT click the Google+ logo in the top left corner! That will go back to the Material Design UI! To get back to your feed and maintain the classic interface, click “Home” in the left-hand menu.
  5. And voila! Google+, in the classic interface! For now, at least.

Google+ Settings

Figure 1: The Google+ Settings page

As with all Google products and services, there is no way to predict how long this workaround will exist for. But for now, this is at least one way to get back to all the functionality that you need in Google+.

More PC Games Need Controller Support

I enjoy playing video games. However, I don’t own any modern consoles — the most modern console I own is a GameCube, which was released way back in 2001. That just leaves PC gaming. And sometimes, I enjoy just using a game controller and not having to worry about the user interface and a keyboard and mouse.

The problem is, for some weird reason, not a lot of PC games natively support game controllers. For reference, I have a total of 1,434 games in my Steam library accumulated over the years, and according to Steam, only 289 of them are recognized as having controller support. That’s a lackluster 20.15%, and this is simply the games that Steam reports as having controller support.

And to top it off, there are some games that have a console variant, which means the publisher, at one time, developed all the code and did all the testing to add controller support, but didn’t incliude it in the PC release. What gives? PCs use the same APIs that some consoles (XBOX in particular) use, known as XInput, so why do publishers develop the support for consoles, and then strip it out for PC? It just boggles my mind. And for those of you thinking that maybe the controller support didn’t exist, Microsoft released an adapter for Xbox 360 controllers for PCs several years ago. And a good example of a game where the publisher had controller support on consoles (and specifically, Xbox 360) and still doesn’t on PC even with the inclusion of many patches and downloadable content, look no further than Dragon Age: Origins, published by Electronic Arts in 2009.

So why is controller support on PC important and why should more publishers add it? Well, first off, iot gives PC gamers more options in playing video games. While yes, most PC gamers will use a keyboard and mouse to play games, adding controller support allows gamers to play video games on PC in multiple different additional scenarios, including playing those games on a large screen television, where the gamerr is typically feet away from the screen, instead of the normal inches that a gamer normally sits from a computer monitor. Moving a mouse poiunter on a 50 inch screen from two to three feet away is just something most people do not want to have to do, but being able to play the hottest new games on a large high-definition screen is definitely something that pretty miuch all gamers enjoy being able to do.

So, while yes, adding controller support does require more development, coding, and testing by game developers, it allows for PC gamers to play their games in a larger variety of scenarios, and it’s these additional options. And it’s these options that excite gamers, even on PCs. So while yes, PC gaming may take a backseat to console gaming, it should still be treated as seriously by developers and given the same treatment when it comes to feature support for games.

Why You Should Be Using A Password Manager Now

So, while the title of this post may seem like click-bait, it should only take looking at one or two recent news articles to see why it’s true. It seems like every day we turn aroiund and yet another high-name tech company has been victim to a breach, some dating back years.

The most recent of these, Yahoo!, as according to Wired, literally affects half a billion accounts. And with the other breaches that have happened in the past, it’s only even more obvious that we should be using proper password practices.

The problem is that most people probably don’t. Good passwords, as you’ve probably heard in the past, should be easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess. Sounds easy, right? Well, no, it isn’t, because you’re supposed to use a completely unique password for each and every account on each and every site you use. With how Internet sites are these days, that’s effectively impossible for a human being to accomplish. So, what are we to do so that we can mitigate the extent that these data breaches?

Use a password manager. Why? Well, because a password manager can securely keep all your credentials safe, while only requiring the user to remember a single password. And it allows for generation of long passwords that are unique to each site and auto-fill them so you don’t have to ever remember them.

So, you’re probably now asking yoruself what password managers are out there. While this post is not intended to be a list of what password managers are out there and which ones are the best to use, LastPass and KeePass are two password managers that I’ve personally used. Others exist, and they each have their pros and cons to consider.

For example, KeePass is completely free and open-source. This means that you’d never spend any money ever to use it, and if you’re a programmer, you can literally inspect the code it is using to make sure there’s nothing sneaky going on. However, the downside is that, at least of the last time I used it, there’s not a mobile version of it, and if yoiur password vault (the store of all your account passwords) gets damanged or lost on your local machine, you’re out of luck unless you’ve made a backup of it.

LastPass, on the other hand, while not open-source, has both desktop and mobile clients, and can be used across all modern web browsers. And the password vault is stored remotely, so you’re not dependent on your local PC backups to ensure you don’t accidentally lose it. One small downside of LastPass is, however, that while using it just on desktops or just on mobile is free, they require a $1/month subscription to be able to use it on both desktops and mobile.

So, in the growing landscape of the growing need for accounts to use services online and data breaches making the news headlines, it’s highly encourage that you follow proper password practices and have unique and strong passwords for each site. And the easiest way to do that is with a password manager.

My First Blog Post

Hello there! My name is Jeffrey, and welcome to my blog and it’s first post. It’s kind of late here, so I’ll keep this one brief.

While I’ve yet to set any official theme for topics here, I’ll likely end up rambling about my interests: tech, gaming, and anything else that’s of interest (for good or for bad reasons) at any particular time. And while this post is likely going to be on the short side, expect posts to be fairly lengthy. I say this as I’ve always had the “problem” of writing “too much”. Of course, that’s a perfect “problem” to have on hand for a blog.

Of course, since this is my first blog, I won’t be surprised if there’s a few technical bumps along the way. If there are any problems, don’t hesitate to let me know about them — I’ll fix them as soon as I can.

Thanks for reading this, and here’s to many more posts in the future!