Is Remote Desktop Encrypted?

Travel can be scary, and with my first long-distance trip in many years coming up this weekend, I want to be sure I’m playing it safe. All the time I hear about fake wireless hotspots and all kinds of other hacks happening in airports and coffee shops. I’m pretty well versed in these tricks, and consider myself aware of most of the tricks and can protect myself. But I want to go the extra mile. I have a computer set up, in my house, which I can use Microsoft Remote Desktop to connect to. I have also created a VPN connection via that same home computer, if I want to use it. But setting this up created a series of questions for me. Foremost: is RDP encrypted? Continue reading “Is Remote Desktop Encrypted?”

What would you pay for a Microsoft Subscription?

Yesterday, Microsoft officially announced Office for iPad. The app will allow anyone who downloads it to view read-only versions of their documents stored in OneDrive. However, to modify your documents, you must be a paying Office 365 subscriber. Also, I have recently been considering signing up for an Xbox Music Pass. Not only that, but I have an ongoing Xbox Live Gold Member subscription.

This got me thinking. Imagine some sort of “Microsoft Subscription” that enabled access to the works? Xbox Live, Office 365, let’s say 50 or 100GB of bonus OneDrive storage, Xbox Music Pass… everything! What would you pay? If the MSRP of Office 365’s base package is $60 for one year. A year of Xbox Live Gold is $59.99, and Xbox Music, if paid up front, is $99.99. You’re looking at $220 worth of products, if you pay in advance. Paying month by month brings both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Music to $120/year, each. So, what would you pay for a “Microsoft Subscription” to unlock it all? $150? $200? What other products would you want out of your subscription fee? If it were $250 and included a downloadable desktop version of Office to install your PC? A Windows license that always allowed you to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of Windows?

More importantly, do you believe something like this will happen in the future? Feel free to comment below.

Is Facebook buying Oculus Rift the death knell?

A friend of mine asked me what I thought of the Facebook $2 billion dollar buyout of Oculus Rift. This is what I wrote.

I thought Facebook was a 4-6 billion dollar company. Right before they went public, they gave a billion to Instagram. Then another 16+ billion to WhatsApp. Now two billion to Oculus. If you had $50, and you gave $40 away, you would be in a pretty weak position. Literally, based on raw numbers, it seems like Oculus could turn around and buy Facebook right now. It doesn’t make ANY sense at all.

  1. This MUST be shaking the confidence in Facebook stockholders. Zuck is still spending money however he sees fit, he has no vague idea how to monetize Facebook effectively and shareholders are only going to see their company having less and less value.
  2. Kickstarter backers should be furious. Even though Kickstarter doesn’t make you part owner of a company, I think that may be about to change. Sites like Kiva.org for Micro lending are going to take the place of sites like Kickstarter – where you either give someone a loan that will be paid back, or you become a shareholder in the company or product. It is insulting to give you money to get you this far, and then you don’t just go out and find a new investor, you let someone else BUY OUT your company. Why did I bother giving you money in the first place?
  3. Facebook COULD “leave it alone” in the beginning. Much like Microsoft has let Skype be their own thing for several years, and only recently started implementing it as their primary messenger platform. Skype still has most of its autonomy, now it just integrates with Microsoft’s platform better than before. Facebook could potentially allow Oculus to continue what they are doing, and then tackle his own ideas later.
  4. I, for one, haven’t been all that excited about Oculus Rift. Don’t care for it. It’s still this large clunky thing you have to strap to your head. It’s cool, but not cool ENOUGH, yet. So I’m not broken hearted over this deal. But given the growing dislike of Facebook among people in the tech community (reluctantly still members because “you have to be”), I can see many more developers than Mojang walking away. Perhaps flocking to Razer’s unofficially-unannounced VR platform.

My entire games list

Friday is for gaming posts, right? What more can one say about gaming than telling you every game they own!? I fully intend to keep this up to date. Some of the information will need polished up (what games do I have “complete” – which ones do I have manuals for? Just boxes? Factory sealed? Maybe a list of accessories?). But I thought it’s always nice to share, and having a list like this helps me keep track as my collections grow! So, embedded after the break is my complete list of games for all consoles (I’m not including digital releases in this list).

Use the tabs and arrows at the bottom left (image shown above) to navigate between consoles!
Continue reading “My entire games list”