Microsoft Fastlane on future Lumias?



Microsoft Finland (in other words: formerly Nokia) filed a trademark on the name “Fastlane.” Fastlane is described as “computer software for mobile phones, smart phones and mobile tablet computers for enabling a user to customize the user interface and to quickly locate, access, retrieve, use and/or share device features, applications, information and files.” It was just recently moved in to the “published for opposition” phase to see if anyone else has a problem with Microsoft using a name that could be used by many other businesses. To me, it sounds almost like a version of Continuum that would allow you to send your current configuration to someone else’s device. I’m likely all wrong, it may just be a new version of the “share” button inside Windows Phones and Windows 10, but whatever Fastlane is, it will be interesting to see if it makes it to other products, or stays within the Lumia product line.


When I first saw the name, I speculated it would be a Windows-based “Waze” competitor based on Nokia’s HERE Maps. Unfortunately, the description means I’ll have to keep dreaming.

Sorry, Star Wars: Battlefront won’t look as good as the trailer

Last week, an absurdly, painfully gorgeous trailer for the upcoming game Star Wars: Battlefront was released to the internet. If you haven’t seen it, view it here before continuing to read:


So then, everybody said “oh man, this game looks awesome!” The beginning of the trailer even states that this is in-engine footage. Here’s what we learned: the Frostbite engine is powerful and beautiful. What we should learn from watching this trailer? The game isn’t going to be that nice.




The trailer shows what the engine is capable of, it does not show what the game is going to look like when we play it. This is only different from the old days of showing high-res cutscenes in commercials for games, only to have the game look far worse, in that these videos are being rendered in the same engine that the game will use. But these probably are not the same models, textures, animations, etc… that will be used in game. It is a joy to watch this trailer and see how movie-esque it is, but unfortunately, it’s just not going to look that good once you’re the one in control of the characters.

My Wii U has a virus, how do I clean it!?

Good news! Your Wii U is CLEAN.


Let me explain… my website recently received a search query asking how to remove a virus from a Nintendo Wii U. I did some digging and see that people have pretty much been asking questions about Wii U viruses since the system launched. I was able to put the pieces together and figure out what’s going on!


People state that they are receiving messages from Nintendo that their machine is infected. What you have received is a FAKE message. It may have either appeared in your web browser, some thing similar to this image:


just one example of many I could provide

Or it may have been delivered by a system message, like this one:




It’s important to know that both of these messages are fakes. One is a pop up ad on the internet, designed to trick computer users into buying fake antivirus programs, or downloading things which normally would infect a regular computer. These are just advertisements on the websites you are visiting, they are not genuine messages from the system itself. The second, “message type” warning is no different than a chain-letter, or forwarded email. It’s spam! It’s just a person with nothing better to do with their time than send these messages to random “friend codes” and usernames it has encountered in games or seen online. This is a mean spirited prank and nothing more, I promise you.


Think about it, when did you see the “virus” alert? Only when you were in the browser, nowhere else on the machine? That’s just because it loaded a page with a fake “alert” trying to make you think that your computer was infected. Or even if you received a message – do you think that if Nintendo wanted to alert you that your system was infected they would do it via the normal messaging system? Highly unlikely. That would be like your computer’s antivirus not alerting you, just sending you an email. I can even provide some more technical reasoning, below, but before I get to that, why not give you your own way to find peace of mind:


If you’re still convinced that you do have a problem, don’t take my word for it: check out Nintendo’s online support documents. A search for the word “virus” didn’t return a single result – but to ultimately put your mind at ease, you can contact support as well, and ask them about it.


It is generally accepted that there are no viruses on the Wii or Wii U because not enough is known about the Wii and Wii U architecture to exploit it with some kind of virus (in short, “Wii’s can’t run Windows “.exe” files). Even if you visit a web page that would infect your regular computer, it can’t infect the Wii U because they are designed to behave completely differently. While it is true that the same things that allow for homebrew applications to be installed on it, or pirated games downloaded to the old Wii are of course things that could potentially be used for evil, those communities are filled with people trying to help each other, not hurt each other. We should never say it’s completely impossible to get a virus, but it is just completely undocumented. There is no evidence of an actual virus being installed on one of these game consoles – only evidence of a message showing up on people’s screens (and almost only EVER in the Browser). That is not cause enough for concern. So relax and get back to your games!