Every Online Gamer Should Have A Penny

World of Warcraft.

What I know about it is that it is a multiplayer online role-playing game and… yeah, that’s basically it.

I’ve never been much of a gamer, unless you count the short stint I had years back playing Mario being a gamer but that’s really it. Since I have no knowledge whatsoever on online role-playing games like World of Warcraft, I had no idea that they suffered from the same problems of Internet security such as hacking.

That is, until I watched this particular episode of The Big Bang Theory.

In this episode, Sheldon’s World of Warcraft account was hacked and he reported it to the police, as all crimes should. Unfortunately, however, the police could not do anything about the situation since the crime isn’t really “real” – it happened online.

What got me thinking was whether there have been real cases of hackers of online role-playing games that have been arrested by the police.

Turns out, there are.

In 2009, a 23-year-old man was arrested for hacking hundreds of accounts on the medieval fantasy game, Runescape, to steal the players’ weapons and virtual money. A year later, a 17-year-old was arrested for hacking into Call of Duty to boost his own score.

These are just a couple of examples of how hackers of online games can still suffer real-world consequences due to their virtual criminal acts. Although there are many hackers out there who are clever enough to get past any kind of Internet security and hack a player’s account, there are still certain methods to reduce the chances of it happening.

Game developers and third-party software developers have created a few anti-cheating software in an attempt to prevent hacking. For instance, Warden is an anti-cheating tool integrated in many Blizzard Entertainment games such as Diablo II and World of Warcraft. Another example of an anti-cheating tool is HackShield – a set of anti-hack toolkits that are used in games like Combat Arms and MapleStory.

If all else fails, and your World of Warcraft account still got hacked, this is always an option.

Credits:
RuneScape Computer Hacker
Call of Duty Hacker

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Learning Through A Rookie

Whenever I think of the word e-learning, the first thing that comes to my mind is the lessons that I had in the computer lab in primary and secondary school. In those days, my use of the Internet at home was only limited to an hour everyday, so I jumped on every chance I got to use the school computers.

E-learning is not only associated with academic-related stuff though. It consists of any forms of electronically-supported learning and teaching.

Let’s say you watched an episode of Community recently, and was inspired by the hilariously odd pair – Troy’s and Abed’s – idea of making a blanket fort.

No idea on how to make a fort as awesome as the one in the show? Well, let’s just start with the basics first. Here you go.

Bored of your old white sneakers that are just sitting there, collecting dust? Why not turn them into a pair of saddle shoes? Here is something to get you started.

For those of you who love them out of this world nail art? Take a look at this.

All these tutorials are part of e-learning because we are learning about them through the Internet. E-learning does not only have to include the things you learn in school. It includes everything and anything you can think of.

One of the websites I love to visit to learn about anything DIY is Rookie. (Which explains all the links that I have posted here.)

Rookie is an online magazine mainly for teenage girls but really, it transcends any age boundary because any girl/woman out there can relate to the stuff that its writers talk about. It is the brainchild of Tavi Gevinson, a 15-year-old fashion blogger, and the magazine is filled with all sorts of creative, quirky, and very real and genuine articles about absolutely anything.

One of the things that Rookie posts regularly are DIY tutorials such as the ones I have shown above. It is really great for people who love getting hands-on and creative. There are so many things on there that I would not have thought possible to make by yourself so if you find your creative juices dry one day, make a visit to Rookie and have fun learning!

Because I’m Happy.

So here’s my first ever self-made video. Watch it if you’re feeling happy!

No Rest For The Online Shopper

I confess. I am a HUGE consumer of e-commerce, more specifically in the area of online shopping.

I remember there was a time when I use to scoff at others who would rave of online shopping. I could not wrap my head around the idea of browsing through products online without being able to see them for yourself. If you are buying clothes, you cannot try them on and see how they look on you. If you are buying shoes, you cannot tell if they will be comfortable enough for your feet. What is so great about all that?

It took me a while to finally jump on the bandwagon and join other advocates of online shopping. There are definitely advantages to it.

The greatest one, for me at least, would have to be being able to avoid the crowds in the stores. Online shopping allows you to shop in the comfort of your own home (or anywhere for that matter) without having to squeeze between people or uncomfortably rub shoulders against complete strangers. It’s just you and your computer (or laptop, phone, iPad etc.).

Plus, with online shopping, everything is at your fingertips. Practically everything is available online nowadays. You can even buy things from stores that are not here in Singapore, which means a whole array of outlets is open for your shopping pleasure.

However, there is a downside to online shopping. The most obvious one would probably be consumers spending too much money compared to when they actually physically go out to shop. It is easy to get carried away in the midst of browsing through the thousands of products online and adding them to your shopping cart.

Although online shopping has its perks, I would not totally eliminate the option of going out to stores to shop as that has its advantages as well. Being able to try on clothes and shoes and what-have-you is still important and I do not think anything can replace that experience (I’m talking to you, virtual shopping) but online shopping combines accessibility and comfort to the shopper’s experience, and that in itself is a win.

Image credits:
Everyday People Cartoons
Cartoon Stock

Back to Business: Blogging

When I think of the word blog, the first few things that come to my mind are fashion blogs, food blogs, and music blogs. These kinds of blogs are commonplace on the Internet. But one thing that has never crossed my mind is corporate blogs.

A corporate blog is published and used by an organization to reach its organizational goals. There are mainly two types of corporate blogs: internal and external.

Internal blogs are blogs that any employee of the particular organization can view, and are generally accessed through the corporation’s Intranet. Meanwhile, external blogs are publicly available, and allows anyone to view and comment on the posts.

Corporate blogs may either be written for consumers (Business-to-Consumer) or for producers (Business-to-Business). Some of the more well-known corporate blogs are the Official Google Blog and The Windows Blog.

While corporate blogs are popular among many major organizations, small and independent entrepreneurs are also creating their own blogs to promote themselves and their products. Some examples are WilloToons and Inheritance Jewelry. Creating a corporate blog is an effective way for entrepreneurs to showcase their products simply because almost everyone has access to the Internet. With proper promotion of their blogs (using social media such as Facebook and Twitter, for example), anyone can find out about them and share with people they know.

So for those who have an idea that they have been mulling over for a while now, go ahead and share it with the world – start blogging about it.

Credits:
Corporate Blogs (Wikipedia)
Gapingvoid