Netflix Playback Error M7357-1003 (WidevineCdm component error) in Google Chrome quick fix

I recently had trouble playing Netflix in Chrome; it was giving me an error (M7357-1003) that said I needed to update my WidevineCdm component. I tried this, and it didn’t work. I tried a bunch of other fixes I found online and none of them worked.

The real fix is simple. So simple you will smack yourself if you’ve been trying to fix this.

Run Chrome as an administrator. It’ll work now. :-)

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RIP Joe Perdoni

Incredibly sad news out of Wellesley. Joe Perdoni, a former WHSer, and owner of the Old School Pizzeria, has passed away, leaving behind a wife and children. I don’t know much at this time other than he was sick the night before, that his wife left to take the children to school, and came back to find him dead.

I was not incredibly great friends with Joe but I played ball with him and we got along quite well. He was a damned fine man; generous, kind, and funny. He will be missed.

You can read more about it on “The Swellesley Report” here:

http://theswellesleyreport.com/2015/05/old-school-pizza-owner-joe-perdoni-jr-passes-away/

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Help me get “Skullduggery” (1983) RIFFED!

I need your help, guys. When I was in fifth grade, my dad invested in this AWFUL movie, Skullduggery, with $10k that my grandfather (on my mother’s side) had given me to start a college fund. We lost every cent on it; we no longer have any rights to the thing. This is not about money. This is about a bucket list item for me: Getting this awful thing riffed by the guys at RiffTrax! The old MST3k guys! Now my dad is suffering from congestive heart failure, and this would be the ULTIMATE present I could get him to cheer him up.

What I need you to do is go to: http://ideas.rifftrax.com, type in “Skullduggery (1983)”, without the quotes, find the entries, and vote them up with all your votes!

There is a review of the movie up over here at SomethingAwful.com. My favorite line from the review: “There aren’t enough obscenities in the English vocabulary for what I want to say, so I’m going to have to modify one: superfuck you, Ota Richter. Superfuck you and your superfucking movie.” (Ota Richter directed it; friend of my father’s).

Over here at the iMDB boards, there are posts dating back to 2001 begging for the movie to be riffed. One review actually says, “When the MST3k guys get together and reunite at some point and lament the movies they missed, I hope this at the top of their list.” Review titles? “This movie made me hate life itself”, “I rented it!! Someone please help me!!!”, “Why, Skullduggery, why?”, “The hurting, the hurting…”, and on and on and on.

And, last but not least, here’s a clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9LOjhHxysg

So hurry up, go to ideas.rifftrax.com, type in “Skullduggery (1983)” (without the quotes) and use all your votes to vote it up! You don’t even need an account! Please! Help me get this riffed, come on!

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Dying Light debuts on PC with a myriad of faults; my fixes

Well, Dying Light is here, and from what I’ve been seeing around the Internet, this game suffers from the usual “meant for console, ported to PC” problems. The first thing I noticed was that in SLI mode I would get a severe performance drop and the screen would flicker like mad. This has since been fixed, it looks like, but SLI is still messing up.

I have the latest drivers, latest GeForce Experience, an i7-4930k at 3.7 ghz, 16 megs of RAM, two nVidia GTX 780Tis SLI-linked. Should be more than enough to run this game, but when I run in SLI mode, no matter what I do to the settings, I get framerate drops from around 70-80 FPS to 20-30 FPS. And I’m not moving very far when it happens; I’m testing it around the initial camp. If I just wander around the camp, the FPS drops. There’s no rhyme or reason to it; it has nothing to do with the action onscreen.

Disabling SLI fixes this, it seems. No FPS drops to speak of. It seems they got rid of the flicker issue but still are having some problems with SLI.

Couple other things to check out — in the Control Panel, under Power Management, choose “Best Performance”, just to be safe. Turn off Motion Blur in the game (I hate it anyway, I frickin’ hate motion blur, you get natural motion blur with your eyes). Make sure you have the latest game profiles in GeForce Experience.

I’ve also heard stories about memory leak problems, where you play for an hour or so and the game degrades terribly after that and you have to restart. Hasn’t happened to me so far, but I’ve been messing with the settings so much I haven’t really put that much actual playtime into the game.

For now, keep SLI off; wait for driver updates from nVidia or further patches for Dying Light (but mostly the nVidia drivers). Also, in GeForce Experience, make sure you have not optimized the game using DSR. DSR is a way to render in a higher resolution and display an optimized version at your native resolution. It essentially forces anti-aliasing. It also has a big impact on framerate in games. If you’re running DSR at 4k and downscaling to 1080p, your computer will still run the game as efficiently as if it was running it in 4k — which is to say, not very well at all.

I hate to say this, being an avid PC gamer, but you might be better off buying this title for a console, specifically PS4. I hear it runs great on it. And, as always, when you port from console to PC you’re going to end up with a few problems. Here’s to hoping they get them fixed, because what little I’ve played of Dying Light I really like.

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Civilization: Beyond Earth patch finally releases, fixes 1920×1080 issue

After quite a long wait, Civilization: Beyond Earth has got its first patch out. It fixes several issues, but most notably, it takes care of the 1920×1080 “only windowed” 1080p prolbem. You can now play fullscreen in 1920×1080 (1080p).

Here’s a list of all the changes/fixes in the patch.

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Fix for Assassin’s Creed Unity framerate stuttering and low framerate problems

It’s pretty simple. Play the game in offline mode and it all goes away and you’re playing with no framerate hiccups, even in large crowd.

I first found the thread about it on reddit here, then immediately tested it tonight myself and it worked like a charm. Just put your PS4 offline (I’m assuming this also works on Xbox One, not so sure about PC).

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Civilization: Beyond Earth Fullscreen 1920×1080 (1080p) not working

Well, I was waiting with bated breath for the new Civilization: Beyond Earth; I downloaded it at midnight, and I can’t play it (except in Windowed mode, which is distracting as all hell and which I will not do on principle) in the standard 1920 by 1080 pixel resolution (“1080p”, but us computer geeks know it better as the simple 1920×1080 standard resolution). Apparently, during all their testing over at 2k and Firaxis and whatever, no one ever bothered to try to run the game at that resolution on a 144 hz monitor. You got it, that’s the issue (144 hz), according to this link:

http://support.2k.com/hc/en-us/articles/203809446-Problem-Running-Civilization-Beyond-Earth-in-Full-Screen

I love the Civ games but this is really beyond the pale in terms of a pathetic glitch that got through. 144 hz machines are standard for a lot of gamers, including myself (I was just zipping around the net and noted two people looking forward to playing Civ: BE at 144 hz, before the launch tonight), and now we can’t run the game in the standard computing resolution almost everyone uses — without running it in Windowed mode. Until we get a patch. In my humble opinion, the patch should have been out about an hour or two after release. *grumble*

You can follow the issue on Twitter over here.

There’s also a thread on reddit about it over here.

 

Posted in computers, videogames | 4 Comments

“Pawn Stars” — Olivia Black’s nude SuicideGirls photoshoot

If any of you people out there follow the enormously popular reality show “Pawn Stars”, you may know that at one point, somewhat recently, they hired an attractive female night clerk to help them out named Olivia Black. She was fairly popular on the show, but they then had to fire her after finding out she did a nude photo shoot for “SuicideGirls”, a softcore, Playboy-style nude photo site that features nude photos of “alternative” hipster girl with tattoos, piercings, glasses, and whatnot. It’s actually quite a big deal.

If you want to see the photo shoot (WARNING: NSFW NSFW NSFW NSFW! — Not Suitable For Work!!!) the full shoot has been put up here. You’re welcome. 😉

Also, I find it ironic that the title of a show is a play on “Porn Stars” and they had to fire a member due to a nude photo shoot. 😉

Again, the link (NSFW!) is here: http://imgur.com/a/i8m3k.

And, may I add, Olivia is quite the babe.

Posted in bizarre, current events, NSFW, television | 7 Comments

Review of some Velvet Cloud Vapor e-liquids

Alright, some quick juice reviews for you. I recently found out about Velvet Cloud Vapor, @SFVapor on Twitter, located in, of course, San Francisco. They make high quality VG (vegetable glycerin)-only juices. So far I’ve ordered six and tried five.

First off, I have to say, the thing I’m loving about Velvet Cloud is their truth in advertising. When they tell you what a vapor tastes like on their site, when the bottle comes, it actually tastes like what they said it would. I have not had the same luck with many other sites.

Onto my five reviews:

Vanilla Custard — Tastes *exactly* like vanilla custard. I happen to like vanilla, so this is one of my new favorite juices. It may be too sweet and custardy for some people, though — it is awfully sweet. But I really do like the stuff. Went through two 19 ml tanks of it in no time at all. If you’ve never tried vanilla custard, think: “Butterscotchy lite”.

Night Shift — This is described on the site as “glazed chocolate and vanilla donut, with coffee mixed in”. And it tastes like it. A very subtle and smooth taste. I enjoyed it very much and went through a 19 ml tank of it in less than a day. It took a little getting used to, but I like this stuff as a smooth all-day vape.

Mewlew’s Magic — This one I did not like so much, but only because I’m not a fan of chocolate. If you love chocolate, you will love this flavor. It’s straight chocolate and quite strong. Too strong for me; I emptied it out after half a tank vaped. It’s their signature blend and most people love it.

Monkey Business — Again, this was a bit too chocolatey for me. It’s banana chocolate, basically. It vapes very well and tastes good, but, as I said, the chocolate taste overwhelmed me. Vaped 2/3rds of a tank until I moved on.

Campfire — Tastes slightly of chocolate, slightly cinnamony, slightly like toasted marshmallows. Good stuff; it reminded me of Night Shift in its smooth vape. I’m currently 1/2 a tank through this stuff and it’s vaping very –again — smoothly.

I have one flavor I haven’t tried out yet, and that’s Maple Breakfast. I’ll post on that in the future.

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Why Samsung Tech Support is worthless (and LG and Apple aren’t)

What an Orwellian few days I have had dealing with Samsung. Let me bring you up to speed — I have a TV that’s less than two months old, and it has a dead pixel smack dab in the middle of the screen. Since it’s 60″, it’s pretty goddamn noticeable. Like a zit on the middle of the prom queen’s forehead.

In the past, I’ve had dead pixels. Single ones, like this. But I had an LG TV, and in the other cases, an Apple iPad. Now, Apple was the absolute best — they just took two iPads back with single dead pixels and gave me new ones. LG was the second best — they replaced the panel on the TV *twice* with one single dead pixel.

Samsung? Samsung Tech Support is a collection of assholes. I called them regarding my dead pixel on the phone, and after 2 hours, received the message that “your TV is operating within technical specifications”. In other words, “it’s broken, we admit that, but it’s not broken enough for us to fix it.”

I took to Twitter to vent my rage. Someone from @SamsungSupport got in touch with me. I gave them my ticket number, and proceeded to go through a 2-day process where they asked met to send them pictures, etc., describe the problem, and so on. It was a complete waste of time because they ended up with the same answer. “Your TV is operating within technical specifications.”

Really? I wonder if they’d put a TV with a dead pixel on a showroom floor. And if 1919 x 1079p is acceptable, they should put on the box, “1080p — or 1079p, or maybe 1060p, we’re not really sure!”

It’s as simple as this: LG and Apple are better companies than Samsung. They adhere to “the customer is always right” rule. Samsung is cheap. They don’t want to ship me a new panel because it costs them too much money — never mind that the current panel is broken.

So, you know what? I think 5-6 more pixels on my TV may “suddenly” go dead and we’ll see if Samsung will fix it then. If, of course, 4 of those pixels suddenly become magically unstuck, well, that’s not my problem.

Anyway, bottom line, I strongly urge you to avoid buying Samsung TVs. Their picture quality is inferior to LG’s as well. Get an LG, or a Sony, anything but a Samsung. Or if you burn out a pixel you’ll get caught in doublespeak from Samsung that would make George Orwell proud. I, personally, will never buy another Samsung product as long as I live, and am planning on returning this TV to Best Buy, even if it costs me my full contract, to get a TV from a company that actually gives a shit about their customers.

I repeat: NEVER BUY SAMSUNG.

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