New Platform Lets Users Sell Used PC Games

And Yes, it Has its Own Currency

Digital ownership tends to be a bit complicated, especially regarding video games. Gamers have many options when purchasing form digital retailers, from Steam and Denuvo keys to DRM-free standalone executables. As digital became the norm and prices for digital games dropped thanks to sites like Fanatical (formerly Bundle Stars) and Humble Bundle, many gamers find themselves with extra copies of games they will likely never use.

Naturally, markets will open whenever there is a demand for a service, and potentially unscrupulous sites like G2A popped up, allowing users to sell or trade their extra game keys. A new upcoming gaming platform, Robot Cache, will allow users resell their games using “Iron”, a built-in, mineable cryptocurrency. Robot Cache is the brainchild of inXile CEO Brian Fargo and former Atari exec Lee Jacobson. 

“Each used game sale gives 25 percent of the proceeds to the seller and 70 percent to the developers and publishers.”

Using blockchain technology, unchangeable records are kept for who owns a specific copy of a game. Each used game sale gives 25 percent of the proceeds to the seller and 70 percent to the developers and publishers. Additionally, new game sales give a whopping 95 percent of the sale to developers and publishers compared to Steam’s 70 percent. 

When games are resold, users will be paid in Iron, which can be exchanged for cash or used to buy games. As with any currency, (especially the crypto variety) Iron’s value is likely to fluctuate over time. Rampant cryptocurrency mining is already causing problems like high energy usage and skyrocketing GPU prices, so there is potential for a crash in Robot Cache’s digital market somewhere down the line. 

Robot Cache is still finalizing the process for deciding which games appear in their catalog, but they do intend to curate their games. A representative told Kotaku “almost all the devs they have on board already agree that some kind of bar would be helpful to make discoverability easier and to ensure no malware."

“With its rampant piracy, PC as a platform has always had a problem with used game sales compared to home consoles.”

With its rampant piracy, PC as a platform has always had a problem with used game sales compared to home consoles. The complete lack of a physical disc in most cases makes lending a game to a friend for the weekend harder than it needs to be. I don’t expect Robot Cache to revolutionize used PC game sales, especially if it’s marketing with the cryptocurrency fad in mind. For now, I’ll just have to hold on to my extra Steam keys.


Davis & the Jake-Man 14: Lit Proxies and Fleek Firewalls

Davis and the Jake-Man is a New England-based "monthly" podcast hosted by two certified computer technicians.

In episode eleven of their ‪technology podcast, Davis and Jake discuss the #technews for the month of December, including:

  • Microsoft Edge has finally come to mobile
  • In display fingerprint sensors coming next year
  • Xbox One X value proposition
  • Sponsored content on YouTube
  • Failed T-Mobile/Sprint merger
  • Facebook exploited “vulnerability in human psychology”
  • British iPhone owners file class action lawsuit against Google

Free Upgrades to Windows 10 End Today

Extended support to continue until January 2023

The Windows 10 “assistive technologies” loophole, the workaround that allows the disabled (or anyone who claims to be) to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10, ends today. The Windows 10 free upgrade period officially ended back in July 2016, but the grace period was extended to ease the transition for users who employ the use of accessibility services, i.e. the on-screen narrator or a braille keyboard.

January 9 marked the day mainstream support ended for Microsoft’s tablet-centric operating system. Windows 8 is now in the “extended support” period, in which only security fixes and patches are pushed to legacy users. Windows 7 is also at this stage in its lifecycle, with end-of-life sunsets scheduled for 2020 and 2023 for Windows 7 and Windows 8, respectively. 

July 29, 2016 was the last day most users could upgrade for free.

Windows 10 was called “the last version of Windows” when it was introduced in 2015. Naturally, this claim and the indefinite support it implied were simply too good to be true. Windows 10 version 1507, for example, has already reached end-of-life. Windows 10 as a whole will sunset on October 14, 2025. What this means for the future of Redmond’s desktop OS remains to be seen.

Users aided by assistive technologies must upgrade today if they don't want to pay.

After today, all users, even those who are handicapped, will have to pony up the $119.99 for Windows 10 Home or the $199.99 for Windows 10 Pro. New features are no longer being pushed to Windows 8 and security support will end in five years' time.


Wi-Fi Alliance Announces WPA3

The Next Generation of Wireless Security

At long last, the Wi-Fi Alliance has announced the next generation of the most popular wireless security protocol, Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3). This is great news as the previous generation of the protocol, WPA2, has been in operation for over 15 years. 

Several problems with the WPA2 protocol have been known for a long time. Open, unencrypted Wi-Fi networks allow anyone connected to the same network to intercept any sent data. Additionally, the recently discovered KRACK (Key Installation Attack) vulnerability makes it possible for attackers to intercept and decrypt wireless traffic passing between a computer and an access point.

"WPA3 will be available later this year."

WPA3 will be available for personal and enterprise wireless products later this year. The new protocol offers new features such as individualized data encryption, protection against brute-force dictionary attacks, simplified security for devices with no user interface for configuring security, and a 192-bit security suite.

In order to use the protocol, new devices must be certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Such a process could potentially take months, but is definitely possible for a mid or late 2018 launch.


Apple Official Cases Aren't Built to Last

Anecdotal experience incoming

One of the many perks of owning an iPhone is the stylish first-party accessoriesApple really does know how to make a smartphone case. Or does it?

I’ve been on the hunt for The One Case to Rule Them All for several years now. Many of my friends and colleagues (including Davis) could tell you I’m always switching phones and/or cases, and I haven’t found the right one in all this time.

Apple Silicone Case

After cycling through literally dozens of Android phones, I thought I’d found the right smartphone/case combination in the iPhone and the Apple Silicone Case. I found myself in an “it was in front of me the whole time” iEureka Moment™ (now available for Apple Watch).

Alas, it was not meant to be. The bottom portion of the soft silicone began to fray from being taken in and out of my pants pocket. It was too good to be true; I had to look elsewhere. Enter: Apple Leather Case.

Apple Leather Case

“Surely this study material will not wither like that soft rubber,” thought the Jake-Man (me). I thought wrong. That veritable Cupertino cowhide picked up the the dyes of my slacks easily, tarnishing my signature garish yellow with the navy blue of my store bought semi formal wear. I'm  trying a third-party bumper case next.

Maybe it was the pants?