I’ve been playing a lot of Battlefield 3 lately and one of the new services they offer, which was clever on EA’s part, was the ability to rent servers. I like the idea of owning/renting a server but I really didn’t want to set it up, so when my friend set one up I thought it would be great if I could just give him points.

You can send Microsoft points to your friends by sending them a message with the Microsoft code, the string of letters and numbers, in the message. Apparently this works pretty well though I haven’t tried it, but this isn’t much different than emailing it to them and having them enter the code manually themselves. I suppose it saves them one step.

While you probably don’t want to enter it into a message with your controller (unless you have a keyboard) so I suggest you do it online via xbox.com after you buy a 1600 points code (online delivery FTW!). Just copy and paste into a message.

There’s a way to get free Microsoft XBox Points – Bing’s search reward system. Sign up and earn 500 credits to get 400 Microsoft Xbox Live points (or 525 points for a $5 Amazon gift card) by searching using Bing. Or cheat and use this auto-searching tool to get the points.

Unfortunately, there is no way for you to transfer them points that you’ve already added to your account. I have a bunch of points I thought would be better served renting servers (until the new DLC comes out in a couple weeks) but it appears the only way to give points is to buy a code and just send the code.

How to Remove an App on Facebook

by jim on April 12th, 2012

How many times have you given an App access to your Facebook account only to realize that you don’t want to subject your friends to an endless stream of what you’re listening to, reading, viewing, or doing online? Fortunately, Facebook makes it easy for you to remove Apps with the click of the button, finding the page is the hard part.

Go to https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=applications to view your App Settings and remove, or edit, anything you no longer want.

YSlow 2.0.5 Conflicts With Google Toolbar

by jim on January 26th, 2010

I haven’t updated YSlow but a couple people I’ve been talking to did and they’re reporting that the newest version of YSlow will crash Firefox browsers also running the Google toolbar. Here’s a Yahoo! Groups discussion about it and it appears that the culprit is the Google toolbar, version 6.1.20091216W.

Kind of funny that YSlow, a Yahoo product, isn’t playing nicely with the Google toolbar.

In unrelated news, Google toolbar still sends data even if you turn off “enhanced features” transmissions.

Out of all the people in the world, I email my wife the most (awww… isn’t that sweet?). However, when she quit her job last year and went back to school for her Ph.D, I had an annoying problem every time I drafted an email to her. When I would start typing her name in the To: box, it would always suggest her work email address. And every time, I would have to navigate to one of the other email addresses Gmail had on file for her.

It was only a minor annoyance so I let it go for a few months but it turns out the solution is quite simple. GMail maintains a list of your contacts even if you never add them to your address book and it uses that list to help you auto-complete email addresses. Gmail is currently transitioning between the “new” GMail and the “old” GMail.

New Gmail

Deleting Contacts from GMailIn the new Gmail, getting to Contacts has changed – you can find it by clicking the little red triangle to the right of Gmail at the upper left hand of the screen.

From there, the instructions are the same – you can just click the checkboxes and start deleting contacts. You can search for individual contacts in the search bar to find the person you need to remove.

Old Gmail

To remove an address from the list, do the following:

  • Click on Contacts in the left sidebar, it’s under your labels and above Tasks and the Chat box.
  • Then click on All Contacts to show your list of contacts.
  • Check the boxes that you want to remove, then click Delete contact(s) all the way to the right.

I circled the Contacts link in red and the Delete contacts button in green, here’s what it looks like:
Deleting Contacts from GMail

That’s it, no more auto-completing old email addresses that don’t even work anymore.

Find Fastest DNS Servers with Namebench

by jim on January 2nd, 2010

Namebench is a side project (20% project) of Belgium-based Google engineer Thomas Stromberg. It’s a little app that can help you find the fastest DNS server available to you and it’s absolutely free to use. It’s a 5MB app that you can download from here and it takes only a few minutes (five according to Stromberg).

I ran it and the results said that using the Verizon NSRest US DNS server was 60% faster than my current primary DNS server. In terms of time savings, it’s really just a few milliseconds but every little bit counts right?

My current DNS server had an average response time of 38.29 ms while Verizon NSRest US responded in 23.87 ms. Now I need to find something to do with all this free time I’ve uncovered. 🙂

How to Change DNS Server Settings

To change your DNS server settings, you will need to go to the control panel. In Windows, go to Control Panel and then Network Connections. Click your connection, go to properties, and then view the properties of your TCP/IP internet protocol.

Under the general tab, the second set of boxes will be for your DNS server address. In most cases, it’s set to “Obtain DNS server address automatically.” Now enter in the values that Namebench indicated as faster.

It really does take only a few minutes and you might as well do it, time saved is time earned!

Chicago Cops Get Segways

by jim on June 1st, 2006

As if the stereotype of the fat cop with a mouthful of donuts chasing a perp isn’t already deeply ingrained in American culture… now cops in Chicago are getting segways. For half a million you can get a hundred segways, with parts, and it seems like the trend is growing since the article claims that cops are a key market for the scooter.

Honestly, I think it’s a pretty good idea because it does let the police stand taller and cover more ground but I think it’d be funny to see a police officer on something I usually associate with nerds, i.e. myself.

Improve Your Net Privacy

by jim on May 31st, 2006

Good article on how to create a USB key that will help you obfuscate/scramble/bojangle your online activity.