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      Bohemia Interactive announces Arma 3 Laws of War DLC
      New humanitarian faction, van, drone, mini-campaign, and more
      Amsterdam, The Netherlands, August 10th 2017
       
      Previously referred to under its codename "Orange DLC", Bohemia Interactive today revealed the next addition to its military sim-game Arma 3. Available worldwide in the beginning of September, the Arma 3 Laws of War DLC explores a different perspective on the battlefield via the addition of a humanitarian faction, van, drone, mini-campaign, and much more. Some of the basic principles of the laws of war, which are also commonly referred to as International Humanitarian Law (IHL), are further introduced in the DLC's new reveal trailer.
      The Laws of War DLC delivers new playable content, together with many new in-game assets, providing even more opportunities for various types of combat operations and roleplay in Arma 3. Its key features include:
      International Development & Aid Project (IDAP) - This new faction, IDAP, is a non-governmental organization which is specialized in rapidly responding to humanitarian disasters. The faction is composed of new IDAP-branded clothing and gear, including outfits for specialized roles such as Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialists, as well as many other tools, supplies, and other items. "Remnants of War" Mini-Campaign - Take on the role of IDAP explosive specialist Nathan MacDade, who is tasked with identifying and deactivating mines after the war in the Republic of Altis & Stratis has ended. While you are being interviewed by an investigative journalist, you will uncover what happened in the town of Oreokastro, experiencing the events from the perspective of various sides, in recollections that span multiple periods of time. Van - IDAP makes use of a new van, which comes in multiple variants, with over twenty custom liveries in total. Each variant caters to a specific purpose, such as cargo logistics or the transport of people. There is also an ambulance variant available. Utility & Demining Drone - IDAP has a new drone at its disposal to be able to quickly move cargo or supplies to a specific location. A special variant of the drone is used as part of IDAP's demining operations. APERS Mine Dispenser - The APERS Mine Dispenser is an effective but controversial area denial weapon system. It is typically only used in desperate situations, and can have devastating effects even long after a conflict has ended. Vests, Bags, Headgear & Facewear - Various pieces of new gear are available to help you carry out your duties. This includes safety vests, messenger bags, hard hats and press helmets, ear protectors, safety goggles, and much more. Additional Content - The Laws of War DLC adds a variety of miscellaneous additional content, such as time trial challenges for the new van and drone, a paramedic outfit, and a training mine. In addition, the Laws of War DLC will be supported by a major free Arma 3 platform update, adding a lot of new content and feature extensions related to the DLC's assets and theme. This platform update is free for all owners of Arma 3. Its highlights include: refined cluster strikes, the simulation of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), the ability to drop (custom) leaflets from the sky, two new Showcase scenarios (Showcase Laws of War and Faction Showcase IDAP), a wide variety of emergency and medical supplies such as food bags, water bottle packages, blankets, stretchers, and IV bags, plus decorative objects such as shelter tents and new furniture, extra Steam Achievements, and much more. A complete overview of the Laws of War DLC, and its supporting platform update, is available at www.arma3.com/dlc/lawsofwar.

       
      Arma 3 – Laws of War DLC Reveal Trailer

       
       
       
      The Arma 3 Laws of War DLC is scheduled for release early September, and is available for pre-order on Steam and the Bohemia Store with a 10% pre-order discount (normal price: € 9.99 / $ 11.99 / £ 8.99). A portion of the proceeds from the direct sales of the Laws of War DLC in 2017 will be donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The total amount raised will be announced on www.bistudio.com in 2018.




      For more information on Arma 3 and the Laws of War DLC, please visit the official website at www.arma3.com. To keep track of all the latest Arma 3 news and developments, be sure to follow and/or subscribe to Arma 3 on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Steam.

    •  
      VG Guide for New Windows 10 Users
       
       
      Why I made this guide:
      I created this guide to help my friends avoid all the web searching to fix, improve, or change all of these Windows 10 options. Microsoft Windows 10 is an Operating System that thinks your awesome Gaming PC is a smart phone, and it is your Big Brother that has everything you need because it knows what you want, because it knows what you do. In the past, this was a private and secret relationship between you and your PC, but your Big Brother will read your emails now and gabs about all that private stuff with Big Daddy Microsoft to help "improve" your "experience". Quote-y fingers strongly implied.

      As your Big Brother, Win10 know best - it will turn off your PC and restart it when it thinks the next 3.2kb Windows Update is more important than anything you as a mere User of the PC may consider important. You will need to put in some work to wrest control of your PC back, and doing so may cause more work for you down the road as you manually update Windows or manually add newly installed programs to permissions lists for Privacy and control purposes.

      Again, thinking that it's an operating system installed on a phone, Microsoft Windows 10 Brand programs are called "apps". Many come installed with Windows 10, and many more are available on the Microsoft Store. I couldn't tell you what is there because I've never had a reason to open it, though I'm certain it's trying to be another Android App Store packed with free and paid "apps" with plenty of questionable permissions and underwhelming content.

      It is worth noting that you do not need a Microsoft Account to use Windows 10 and nearly all of it's features. If you use email through your web browser like most people, or if you don't use your computer to manage your contacts or xbox account(s), you'll be able to use Windows 10 without ever creating or signing in to Microsoft. And if you think you need to use Minecraft Windows 10 Edition and therefore create/sign in to Microsoft, you should re-examine why you would use that version of Minecraft: you cannot join "normal" Minecraft servers or third-party servers, it doesn't support mods, or Realms, and is not required to play Minecraft in VR.
       
       
       
       
      Changing Windows 10 Behavior, Privacy Settings, and Default Apps
       
      Open Settings -> Privacy - Review the 13 screens:   The most important starting point is the Windows 10 Privacy Settings screen. Here, there are 13 tabs along the left side for the many screens you should review. I've found that for my PC use, nearly every option is set to Off. Near the bottom are a few that are important and should remain On.  Open the Start Menu and type Settings, then press Enter.  Click on the Privacy icon.

      The section "Other devices" has a sub-section called "Use trusted devices" which may contain certain devices you'll want apps to use. Leave this On, unless you have reason to kill it.

      Background apps are programs that run, or can run, at any time or all the time. This is helpful for programs such as the Weather App which keeps the Weather Tab on the Start Menu updated, but for performance, privacy and even security, it's best to monitor and limit the programs you allow to run in the background on your PC. Personally, I only have Windows Defender, Weather, and Photos allowed to run in the background. Under "Background apps", you may want certain apps to be allowed while others should be turned off so they are only running when you activate them manually, and you should set these before continuing.

      App diagnostics is the final tab at the bottom, and the final Privacy settings screen. In most setups, most apps should be allowed to access diagnostic information, but if there are any apps that need permission to access this, they will appear on a list on this screen and you can set them as you wish.  
       
      WiFi Sharing and HotSpot Hosting:   Most PC's have an Ethernet cable connection for internet, but some may have a WiFi adapter as well - and of course, most every Laptop has both. You can turn off WiFi under the WiFi settings screen if you use a wired connection.

      Windows 10 also has a WiFi Sharing feature called Mobile Hotspot that allows your PC to become a WiFi Hotspot for other devices, and it is turned on by default for all Windows 10 users. You may want to disable this on a PC, or you should review & set this accordingly if you have a Laptop. If you don't use Hotspots or networks shared by your Contacts, turn off these settings here as well.

      Finally, select "Change advanced sharing options" under the Control Panel to review and set these options as appropriate for your PC use, I have all of them off. You can find a link to this under the WiFi tab - scroll down to the "Related settings" section and select "Change advanced sharing options".  
       
      Disable Microsoft Windows EDGE Internet Browser:   One of the best features of Windows 7 over Windows XP was the ability to press the Windows key to bring up the Start Menu so you could begin typing the name of a program, file, or even some of the contents of a file, and have them appear on the list of the Start Menu. With Windows 10, attempting to perform this action has the chance to search the internet through the Microsoft EDGE Internet Browser and Bing when no sufficient result is displayed on the *first* Start Menu search screen.

      This is because Windows 10 has separated the Start Menu search into 3 categories called "apps", "documents", and "settings". The default search will only look for apps and files on the local C:\ drive, and if you use multiple Hard Drives and SSD's, you will need to click the Documents Tab at the top after typing what you are searching for; otherwise when you press Enter to search, Microsoft EDGE will open up to search for your file/item on the internet through Bing.

      For this reason, and plenty of others, it's helpful to disable the Microsoft EDGE Internet Browser if you use Google Chrome, FireFox, or another Web Browser to view the internet. Of course, MS won't let you simply turn off or uninstall their premier browser, so we have to get creative. Navigate to the folder and rename it to anything different and Windows will be unable to start it due to an internal file path error.

      Navigate to and then Rename this Windows folder:
      C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe
      to anything else, such as this:
      C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe_DISABLED  
       
      Stop Microsoft from Spying on your Email & Activity in ALL Your Web Browsers:   Microsoft has a secret hidden setting for displaying Microsoft Ad content and tracking in your Web Browser whether you use Chrome, Firefox, etc. This invasive feature will literally read your email text, such as Gmail in a Google Chrome Web Browser, in order to "create a more customized online experience".

      To disable this feature, or "opt out" of this "Microsoft Advertising Experience", you must open your internet browser and go to the link below - on the right, Turn Off each of the options. Do this in every one of your web browsers, and be sure you temporarily disable any ad-blocker or pop-up blockers to ensure the page is displayed correctly and that the setting change goes through.

      Okay, it's not a secret and it's barely hidden, but I'm spitefully calling it that due to the fact that this should have been an option under Settings in Privacy. The installed web browsers could have been listed just as Windows 10 lists Apps that want to run in the background, or access Diagnostic information, with an individual Off/On slider just like every other option under Privacy Settings already, just like the secret hidden opt-out webpage.

      https://choice.microsoft.com/en-gb/opt-out  
       
      Stop Windows 10 from Updating & Restarting your PC or Limit when it can:   Windows 10 Updates are invasive and annoying. The PC will be restarting itself whenever a new update arrives, and it can cause problems. You can limit this behavior in the settings by having Windows 10 notify you and ask when it should restart.

      If you want to completely stop the Updater from restarting your PC, the only resort is to disable the Windows Update service and set your internet connection to "Metered". This means when you DO wish to run through the available updates, you must re-enable the Windows Update service in the same way and disabled Metered Connection for your ethernet/WiFi. It would be a good idea to do this at least once a month, particularly if you rely on Windows Defender as a security service.

      By manually taking control, you have the option to perform a File & System Settings backup before any Windows Updates are installed, in case the worst happens. Let's face it, Windows ain't what it used to be, and data loss is terrible - I've up'd my Backup schedule significantly since I've switched to Windows 10 and I recommend the same to everyone, or better yet, a backup subscription service like Carbonite.

      If you want to Limit Windows Update:
      Open Settings -> Update & security -> Windows Update -> Restart Options -> Turn On the Show More Notifications option 

      If you want to Disable Windows Update:
      Open Services (Press Windows Key to open Start Menu - type Services press enter)
      Click "Name" Category to sort by name if not already in alphabetical order
      Find Windows Update near the bottom - Right Click on it and select Properties
      Change Startup Type to Disabled and click Apply. You will need to restart your PC for changes to take effect.

      *It's recommended to return to Services occasionally to ensure that Windows Update remains disabled - Win10 CAN turn it back on silently with triggers! For maximum control, disable or delete all Task Scheduler Update Events and Triggers - follow instructions here: How to Disable WinUpdate Task Scheduler Events and Triggers

      **To fully disable ALL update activity, you must set your internet connection to "metered" - follow instructions here: How to Set Metered Connection in Win10

      You will need to come back to this screen to Re-Enable Windows Updates when you wish to use the service:

       
       
      Ditch the Windows 10 Calculator and Re-Install Windows 7 Calculator:   The Windows 10 Calculator "app" is another thing Microsoft changed for no good reason. They've separated functions into tabs, and made the font huge (again, thinking your PC is a tablet or smart phone). The Unit Conversion Tab makes it so you cannot make a conversion while looking at your calculator space and calculation history, and though this is a seemingly small gripe, adding that extra step to go back and forth between the Unit Conversion and the actual Calculator is unnecessary and cumbersome.

      Luckily, there's a Windows 7 calculator program for Windows 10 already, and you won't be able to tell the difference. I actually think he may have just copied the source code of the original and made it modular - or made graphical duplicates for the GUI so close it's near perfect.

      Windows 7 Calculator by Sergey Tkachenko: http://winaero.com/download.php?view.1795  
       
      Restore Saved Sticky Notes from Windows 7:   If you used Windows Sticky Notes in Windows 7 and would like to restore or transfer them to Windows 10, you can find them in the Windows 7 AppData folder. You'll want to backup this folder (among others) before upgrading to Windows 10. Here's how to restore them into Windows 10 Sticky Notes program:
        Close Sticky Notes program Open File Explorer and Paste this into Address Bar to open the Sticky Notes folder:
      %LocalAppData%\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftStickyNotes_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState Create a new folder there called: Legacy Find your old Sticky Notes backup file from Windows 7:
      C:\Users\(YOUR NAME)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Sticky Notes\StickyNotes.snt Paste your old StickyNotes.snt file into the new Legacy folder Rename StickyNotes.snt to ThresholdNotes.snt Start the Sticky Notes program - it will restore all old notes, which could take awhile depending on the number of notes.  
       
      Remove Default Apps with Windows PowerShell:   Many Windows 10 Apps come pre-installed, and whether you use them or not, they will get updates, run in the background, or even access the internet from time to time. Some of these can simply be un-installed in the normal fashion, but others must be manually removed through Windows PowerShell.

      This is a simple Command Prompt style interface that allows you to manipulate a number of Windows functions, and here we can use it to get rid of the useless baggage that Windows 10 comes bloated with. I'll note that though I use the old Windows 7 Calculator program, I haven't bothered to remove the Windows 10 Calculator. Also, I use the Weather App that is shown as a button on my Start Menu.

      This isn't an "un-install everything" list, though you can remove everything at your own discretion; Go through and remove the ones you personally do not want. If you want to get something back through Windows PowerShell, you will need to run the "Restore All" command listed below, and once again remove certain items you do not want. Only Apps that can be removed through Windows PowerShell are listed here:

      Open Windows Start Menu and type PowerShell, right click on it and select Run As Administrator

      (copy and paste these commands ONE BY ONE into PowerShell and press Enter) Get-AppxPackage *3dbuilder* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *windowsalarms* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *windowscalculator* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *windowscommunicationsapps* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *windowscamera* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *officehub* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *skypeapp* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *getstarted* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *zunemusic* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *windowsmaps* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *solitairecollection* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *bingfinance* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *zunevideo* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *bingnews* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *onenote* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *people* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *windowsphone* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *photos* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *windowsstore* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *bingsports* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *soundrecorder* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *bingweather* | Remove-AppxPackage     Get-AppxPackage *xboxapp* | Remove-AppxPackage
      To ReInstall All of these Apps, use this command: Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers| Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}  
       
       
      Changing Windows 10 Look and Appearance
       
       
       
      Change Start Menu and Taskbar Look:   You can change the items that appear on the Start Menu under settings as well. Remove useless features you don't use and de-clutter the Start Menu here.

      Settings -> Personalization -> Start

      Below the Start options screen is the Taskbar screen. Review and adjust settings here before proceeding. If you use Multiple Monitors, you may want to limit the Taskbar to one particular monitor and you can do that here.

      Settings -> Personalization -> Taskbar  
       
      Change Notification Settings for Pop-ups:   Windows 10 won't stop with the pop-ups. Every little thing seems to get a notification pop-up these days, and you can limit this behavior in the settings. Review the notification settings and set as appropriate for your uses - I have them off completely. You can also change which "Quick Action" buttons appear on the taskbar notifications tab in this screen.

      Settings -> System -> Notifications & actions

      Windows 7 had a nice Window Snapping function, but Windows 10 can't let an unbroken system remain unfixed. You may find that trying to snap a Window to the left, right, or top of the screen resizing all nearby windows as well. Very frustrating when you're just trying to move a single window like a webpage or pdf document. You can disable this "resizing of adjacent snapped windows" under System Settings. Multi-Monitor users will want to review these settings carefully.

      Settings -> System -> Multitasking  
       
      A note about editing the Windows Registry Keys   The rest of the modifications I've listed here required modifying or creating Registry Keys, and you must be careful when working with the Registry.
      You can very easily follow these instructions and copy/paste the Registry Paths that I include and the Key names directly from this guide. There is no harm in what I have listed. But every instruction telling people to work with the Registry must include a note of caution. Follow instructions to the letter, if something doesn't look right, ask a question before proceeding. Do not worry, though, as I followed these instructions as I've written them myself and my Windows 10 PC is working AND looking great!

      To open RegEdit, open the Start Menu and type RegEdit, press enter to open this program - copy the HKEY path from the parts of this guide below with your mouse and paste it into the address bar of RegEdit, then press enter to go there. This is how you navigate to an HKEY entry in the Windows Registry.

      The Folder View is always on the Left and the Entries on the Right. To create Entries on the Right, you Left-Click a Folder on the Left, and select New> and then choose the entry I have listed below, setting the name as I've written it. Simple. If this value already exists, just modify it's Value as instructed and press OK.

      Many of these settings require you to log off or restart your PC before they take effect, but you can perform all of these actions below and restart one time afterwards.  
       
      Disable Windows Snap Assist (Left and Right mouse snapping) for users of MultiMonitors:
      Using the Mouse to drag a window to the top, left, or right margin will cause the window to "snap" there.  You can achieve the same effect by holding down the Windows key and pressing the arrows on the keyboard (up, left, right, or down for "minimize") making the mouse snapping redundant or even cumbersome.  Personally, I use the keyboard only so my mouse can move windows more freely.

      If you want to disable the Mouse Windows Snapping feature completely, an option I prefer to disable while using Multiple Monitors, you will need to modify the following Windows Registry key:
      Navigate to:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

      On the right, select DockMoving and press Enter Change the value to 0 and press OK

      *If the DockMoving Entry does not exist, you can create one by Right Clicking on Desktop in the left folder view, select New> String Value with the name DockMoving. Press Enter to show the Key, and set the Value to 0 (zero), and press OK  
       
       
       
      Disallow Cortana Search function when you open Start Menu:
      If you want to disable the Windows Cortana feature about as much as it can be disabled without breaking the Windows Search function, you will need to modify the following Windows Registry key:
      Navigate to:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search

      RightClick on Windows Search in the left folder view, select New> DWORD (32-bit) Value with the name AllowCortana. Press Enter to show the key, and set the Value to 100, under Base, select Decimal - then press OK

      *If Windows Search does not exist when you try to navigate to that key, you will need to create it:
      Navigate to:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

      then Right Click on Windows in the left folder view, and select New> Key
      name this new folder (or "key") Windows Search and press Enter.

      Now, just like above, you can Right Click on Windows Search in the left folder view, select New> DWORD (32-bit) Value with the name AllowCortana. Press Enter to show the key, and set the Value to 100, under Base, select Decimal - then press OK  
       
       
       
      Change Inactive Window Title Bar Color:
      Windows 10 surprised me right away when I first started using it: the Title Bar of windows I did not have selected, like the Chrome Browser playing Neflix as I write this, was the exact same color as the Title Bar of the Window I was working with. This makes it difficult to tell which Window is currently active, and again an example of Windows 10 fixing or changing something that just didn't need to be changed.

      If you would like to make your inactive Windows a different color just like Windows 7, you'll need to get the HEX Value of the colors you wish to use (HEX Color Picker http://htmlcolorcodes.com/color-picker/ ) and create the following registry keys:
      Navigate to:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM

      Active Window Color - ex. choose a brighter version of your desired title bar color
      Right Click on DWM in the left folder view, select New> DWORD (32-bit) Value with the name AccentColor. Press Enter to show the key, and set the Value of your desired window color - then press OK
      *If this value already exists, just modify it's Value as shown above and press OK

      Inactive Window Color - ex. choose a darker/faded version of your title bar color
      Right Click on DWM in the left folder view, select New> DWORD (32-bit) Value with the name AccentColorInactive. Press Enter to show the key, and set the Value of your desired window color - then press OK
      *If this value already exists, just modify it's Value as shown above and press OK
      **You must include the # symbol in this value - for example, you'd type/paste in #DBA901 to get the Gold color we use on this website. Upon re-entering the Key, you may notice the # symbol replaced by 2 letters/numbers such as ffDBA901; this is normal, it's the alpha (transparency) data of the HEX color code, usually defaulted to ff (0% transparent). You can add the ff yourself instead of the # symbol, if you want.
       
       
       
       
      Add Transparency to Taskbar and Start Menu:
      Windows 10 did away with transparency on the Taskbar and Start Menu, but you can still add it back for a great improvement of it's look. If you would like to add transparency back to your Start Menu and Taskbar, you will need to create the following registry key:
      Navigate to:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize

      Right Click on Personalize in the left folder view, select New> DWORD (32-bit) Value with the name EnableBlurBehind. Press Enter to show the key, and set the Value to 1 - then press OK
      *If this value already exists, just modify it's Value as shown above and press OK  
       
       
       
      Increase Taskbar Transparency:
      If you want to increase the transparency of your Taskbar, you will need to create the following registry key:
      Navigate to:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

      Right Click on Advanced in the left folder view, select New> DWORD (32-bit) Value with the name UseOLEDTaskbarTransparency. Press Enter to show the key, and set the Value to 1 - then press OK
      *If this value already exists, just modify it's Value as shown above and press OK
      You will then need to open Settings -> Personalization -> Colors and toggle Transparency Effects to Off and On again.  If you don't like it and want to revert to a less transparent Taskbar, change the DWORD back to a value of 0 and toggle this On/Off switch again.  
       
       
       
      Better Desktop Pictures and Account Pictures:
      Windows 10 will transform and decrease the quality of the pictures you select for your User Profile and Desktop Background to an 85% quality JPEG. There may be some valid reasons, but they likely don't apply to most people. Our final option in this guide is to force Windows 10 to respect the resolution of the images we wish to set for our own Operating System.

      If you want to stop Windows 10 from downgrading the quality of your Desktop Background and Profile pictures, you will need to create or edit the following registry key:
      Navigate to:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

      Right Click on Desktop in the left folder view, select New> DWORD (32-bit) Value with the name JPEGImportQuality. Press Enter to show the key, and set the Value to 100, under Base, select Decimal - then press OK
      *If this value already exists, just modify it's Value as shown above and press OK      

    • I've upgraded our website to the latest stable version on our current branch. This mostly went according to plan.
       
      Unfortunately the theme we use doesn't seem to be fully compatible. Most of the site works on the old theme but the index page does not. I've switched the default theme to this basic one for now, until we can get the updated theme files and hopefully fix the issue.
       
      Bear with me.
       
      Regards
       
      Mark

    •  
      Our Internet Freedom is Under Attack (again)!!
       
      NET NEUTRALITY:  ACT NOW OR THEY WILL WIN!
      "The internet is a utility, like water or electricity." -TB  The water company has no right to charge you more or less depending on what you use water for.  It has no right to prioritize water accessibility to companies over residences, and therefore it is a fair utility system.
      Congress wants to abolish this level of fairness on the internet.  They have created a deliberately misleading name for their newest Act aimed at destroying the fairness and freedom of the internet.
      The "Restoring Internet Freedom Act" will do just the opposite of what it's name implies - it will remove the internet freedom we now enjoy.  It will allow internet service providers such as Comcast to throttle your residential internet speed in favor of companies and advertisers who pay more to have priority access to the same internet lines.
      By selling the "fast lanes of traffic" to companies, you will be subjugated to much slower lanes of internet traffic, and will notice a clear decrease in your internet speed.  When we talk about online gaming, this means you will have a massive increase in Latency which is the primary cause of "lag" - noticed in game when you dive behind a solid wall to avoid getting shot, only to get riddled with bullets anyway because you were not behind the wall when you though you were (you arrived later, based on your internet latency).  Any increase in this latency and we will be going backwards in time with regards to the improvements we've seen in online gaming over the past 10+ years here in America.

      ACT NOW!!
      If you live in the United States, you must act now to help protect Net Neutrality and our internet freedoms.  Thousands of Comcast bots have reportedly pushed the United States Congress to believe that consumers WANT a throttled internet that favors Companies, Corporations, and Advertisers over residential consumers (all of us).  Using these duplicitous means, Comcast and others have twisted the facts and impressed opinions upon our Government that do not represent the true opinions and values of the American public.

      SAVE THE WHALES! (so we can torture and murder them for reality tv?)
      Using a name for their act such as, "Restore Internet Freedom", is the lowest form of deception!  It is like to forcing Apple loving people to take Oranges out of a bag labeled "Bag of Apples". No one should be stupid enough to fall for such childish tactics, but the supporters of this Act do not give the American public much credit at all.  The Restore Internet Freedom Act will remove the freedom you now enjoy on the internet - you currently enjoy the same rights and speeds and priorities of everyone else on the internet, including businesses, schools, and government facilities.  If this Act passes, you will LOSE your internet freedom and the power will shift to companies and organizations who can afford to pay for priority traffic and speed.

      FREE TO PAY!
      If the incorrectly named "Restore Internet Freedom Act" passes, you will only gain the freedom to pay more for the same speed you currently enjoy as these Internet Service Providers restructure their subscriber agreements into two clearly defined speed groups where the residential customer (us) has no option to pay (even if they were able to) at the same level as a commercial customer and can never afford the same priority traffic lanes on the internet.  Right now, you notice nothing because the packets of info you send through the internet to access a website, or play a game online, travel alongside everyone else's packets at the speed of the lines inbetween.  If this Act passes, your packets will get passed as well - they may be pushed to the side to allow for more "important" packets to move along internet lines.  This is irrespective of any necessity; your packets could arrive too late causing problems (for gaming, this is Lag) and to minimize this you will be encouraged to pay your ISP for a higher level of access.  In the end, though, you will not be able to pay for the level of access commercial customers enjoy, you will always have a tier over you that has priority access.  
      What is this priority access speed like?  EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE NOW!  And what you have NOW will be GONE if the Restore Internet Freedom Act passes -- you will have the speed you remember from years ago; you will have inconsistent speeds and irregular latency -- a horrible step backwards in internet connectivity for all of us.

      What should I do?
       
      AMERICANS: DO THIS FOR YOURSELF NOW - RIGHT NOW - THIS MINUTE!
      (I did it - it takes just a few minutes to do)
      Go here to join the petition and protest the removal of Net Neutrality rules: https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12/
      Go to this website to send a message to the FCC:  https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/07/net-neutrality-allies-send-16-million-comments-fcc   ( https://dearfcc.org/ )
      Go to this website and scroll ALL THE WAY to the bottom, just above the footer is this: ( https://netneutrality.internetassociation.org/action/ )
      (I've linked this pic to the "Let's Go" button, just click the pic & follow the instructions on the pic to send a comment directly to the FCC)

      ( Mashable article )
      “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” - Edmund Burke
       
      The video game industry revenues in 2016 for the United States were estimated at $23.5 billion.  This industry is driven by the residential consumers who use the internet to access content and interact with others through online gaming and other services available only over the internet.
      Currently, the largest limiting factor for successful online gaming is the latency of a persons internet connection to that online game at any given second.  Often measured in milliseconds, this delay of information packets arriving at their destination has steadily gone down thanks to new technological developments and internet infrastructure upgrades over the years.
      By abolishing the Net Neutrality that Americans now enjoy, ISP's will have the ability to de-prioritize residential consumer internet traffic, favoring commercial consumers and therefore limiting the ability of the residential consumer to interact in the same way on the internet. This will directly impact the latency of residential customers as their internet traffic is subject to slower lanes thereby decreasing the quality of their internet experience, and could directly influence their decision to purchase or support any online gaming industry products.  Online services currently enjoy success derived from the ease and speed with which consumers can access their services, and if an ISP can limit that speed favoring other customers, popularity and revenues from such services may decline significantly.
      An industry that counts on taking advantage of the latest technological developments or the newly available internet standards in America will suffer from the inability to cater to the needs of their consumer base, namely the online video game player.  Popularity in general could drop due to the unreliability that a lack of Title II Net Neutrality rules could pose to an online game player's internet connection in an online game or internet service.
      Check out this video by The Cynical Brit himself, TotalBiscuit:

       
      For these reasons and more, it is of great importance for America to keep the internet an equal place for everyone.  We must fight to keep Title II Net Neutrality rules in place!  (join the discussion here: http://veterans-gaming.com/index.php?/forums/topic/8083-americans-act-now-your-net-neutrality-is-under-fire-again/ )
       


    • Bohemia Interactive’s Take On Mars is OUT NOW
      Skip years of astronaut training, political debate, and budget cuts 
      Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday 9th February 2017
       
      Graduating from Steam Early Access, Bohemia Interactive is proud to announce the official release of their new game for Windows PC, Take On Mars. The special milestone is celebrated with a launch trailer, highlighting the many ‘benefits’ of playing Take On Mars over alternative options of space exploration.
      Take On Mars places you right in the middle of mankind’s most exciting undertaking. Start out in the seat of a rover operator, finish as the first human to have ever set foot on Mars. With a scientific arsenal at your disposal, you will pioneer the exploration, and colonization, of the Red Planet.
      The key features of Take On Mars are:
      Space Program Singleplayer Campaign (2 Chapters) – Command rovers, landers, or probes, over a distance of hundreds of millions of kilometers - and collect important scientific data about Mars. Or take on the role of astronaut Mark Willis in the first manned mission to Mars. Sandbox Survival Multiplayer – Play with friends and establish the foundations of a human colony on Mars. Work together to extract raw materials from Martian soil and build your own habitat panel by panel. Develop a power grid, pressurize living areas, utilize botany to grow crops, and operate various vehicles to keep you and your crew alive. Real Life Locations – Travel across a vast, unforgiving Martian terrain with locations based on actual satellite data from famous locations such as Victoria, Gale, and Cydonia Crater. Or explore one of the special additional locations such as Mars’ moon Deimos, Earth’s Moon (Apollo 17 Moon landing site), the International Space Station (with full interior), and more. Advanced Simulation – Experience motion in locations with different gravity strength, including Zero-G. Break off cameras, robotic arms, or even individual struts and wheels - all affecting the way your vehicle handles. Each object, system, and instrument in Take On Mars is accurately simulated to offer a truly authentic experience. Content Creation Tools & Modding Support – Create your own scenarios in the 3D Editor and share them on the Steam Workshop. Dive into Take On Mars’ powerful Workbench editing suite to develop new terrains, add-ons, and total modifications. And More – Familiarize yourself with Take On Mars’ gameplay via 5 training missions. Play a variety of individual scenarios set across different locations. Discover interesting facts about the Red Planet with the in-game Mars Encyclopedia.
      Starting out as mod for Carrier Command: Gaea Mission, Take On Mars began life as a passion project by Project Lead Martin Melichárek, who was already working at Bohemia Interactive at the time. After deciding to make it into a full game, Take On Mars launched on Steam Early Access soon after in 2013. The initial focus of the game was on Mars rovers and landers. However, over the course of development, the scope of the project increased significantly to also include a manned mission part, and thus capturing the exploration of Mars in its entirety.
      “For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated with space exploration, and particularly Mars. Being able to make this game has been like a dream come true. It took a bit longer than anticipated, and it’s been wild ride that’s tested the patience of both us and our Early Access subscribers, but, it was a ride worth taking. We, as a team, thank all of our loyal fans, those who have never doubted us, in helping us make this dream a reality!”, said Take On Mars Project Lead Martin Melichárek.
      Take On Mars is now available for purchase at 24,99 EUR/20,99 GBP/26,99 USD on Steam and the Bohemia Store. For more information, be sure to visit the game's official website at www.takeonmars.com.

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