May 29, 2017

Whats wrong with Facebook (as of May 2017)

 
Delete your Facebook :)
Am I just being too critical?



Well ok, Facebook itself was a great idea, to connect people using the internet by allowing people to share images, videos, articles, and instant message each other using a single platform. So whats the problem?

Perhaps you should log into your Facebook account right now and see for yourself. How many of these posts do you actually care about? How many people in your "friends list" do you actually know? How many memes do you see on your feed? How many advertisements can you spot on the main feed? How many "VIRAL" posts do you see? How many "tag @a if blah blah blah" posts do you see? How many articles do you see that lead you to a slideshow filled with advertisements?

You see, so how much time would you have to waste to filter through all that shit to find something actually worth noting? Is there a way to stop this? The answer is to quit Facebook, and try something else, like Twitter, until Facebook steps up its game.

There are primarily 3 reasons why Facebook has become this spammy zone filled with trashy content.

1. "Media Companies" like BuzzFeed, Likes.com, 9GAG, etc

You probably know BuzzFeed, or at least have seen or heard that name before. BuzzFeed is really the key player here because they are the pioneers of creating "viral content" for the sake of making money on the internet. I won't go into the details, but I'll give you a summary.

According to an article about BuzzFeed's origins by Inc.com, it all started when a guy named Jonah Peretti is inspired by how an email conversation with a nike employee was sent to 12 friends, and eventually became viral. This, along with a couple other experiments with virality, leads him to join up with another guy named John Johnson to start what we now know as BuzzFeed.

And yeah, they've been spamming everyone ever since.

Since their primary source of income is advertisements and clicks on their content, its no surprise that they are abusing every aspect of Facebook to try to get their content onto your feed. This includes a plethora of tactics, such as posting extremely one-sided content in order to get people to argue in the comments, therefore making the post "popular" in terms of numbers. Other tactics include uploading extremely stupid videos that people would react to, and as a result, would show up on their friends' feeds, and let the cycle repeat itself. Fun fact: BuzzFeed has actually made over 250 different Facebook pages to try to spam you from all directions. I have actually compiled a list of known spammy Facebook pages on this spreadsheet.

Nonetheless, BuzzFeed's tactics to creating viral content for money turned out to be fairly successful, and what you have next is another wave of other individuals, organizations, startups, etc joining the spam market, taking the spam to a whole new level. Likes.com and 9GAG fit into this category. I'll give 9GAG some credit though, 9GAG is fine as a standalone website, unlike BuzzFeed and Clicks.com or Likes.com whatever, 9GAG doesn't overload their users with advertisements (but with memes, maybe). The way their posts continuously appear where they shouldn't on Facebook is the problem.

2. The users themselves

This one heavily relates to the previous point. When a user likes a post on Facebook, their friends will be able to see the post too (usually). Content is bound to spread indefinitely as long as there is a minimum 5% chance that somebody will like a post, and that person has more than 20 Facebook friends.

This is why stupid spammy content can spread so quickly. The majority of the users don't really care how their actions can alter the feeds of other people. Sure, you may be subscribed to one of those pages, or your friend is, but please, you can laugh at it but don't force us to see it.

3. The Facebook Team

The third part of the problem can be traced to the folks behind Facebook. They have created an unique social media platform, but they have failed to maintain it.

So what do I mean when I say that they have failed to maintain it? Obviously, Facebook has been around since 2004, and they have maintained their servers and databases for a long time. What I mean here is that they have failed to maintain the community and user experience.

It is after all, Facebook's job to make sure that their users are "connected with their friends and the world around them on Facebook", and it seems pretty clear that they're only getting half the job done.

On the bright side, it does seem like Facebook has realized this and is making efforts to try to solve the issue with spammy sites, as seen on a recent article. However, I doubt it will lead to much improvement within the next 2 years.


For now, just delete your Facebook account. We've seen enough, its time to move on.

How to set up your own Minecraft Server (pc/pe/xbox) [repost]

 
This is a repost of a post that I wrote for PAS Tech Crew on 3/14/2016.


Im sure we've all heard of Minecraft before, and if you've played the game, you know servers can be a lot of fun. Wether it be pocket edition or  pc-xbox edition, (excluding raspberry pi) at some point, you have probably wanted your own Minecraft server. Running a Minecraft server can sometimes get really frustrating but once you get past that line, the experience is simply amazing. Some of us have tried to follow tutorials online, but I'm sure a lot of us were not successful in following all of the steps correctly. So let me elaborate a little on some of the Taiwan-specific details and some of the confusing parts regarding port-forwarding.




Choosing your server type

First off, before setting up your server(s), you need make some choices: are you going to run your server on your computer? are you going to keep your server running 24/7? what is the maximum number of players you will support simultaneously? What will be the general purpose of your server? Are you going to monetize it? Do you want to build an online player community along with the server?


​​Check this list to find the server combo you want, it will help you decide your server specifications. (I do recommend you to start small)



Some of the options here are impossible to run on a normal computer at home (not even high-end gaming computers- they don't come with enough L3 memory) but anything with 30 or fewer players will usually run well on most computers above the 4gb ram+i5 line. A somewhat stable (not necessarily fast) network connection (preferably Ethernet) is also required. If you can not meet these requirements, you can simply run a smaller server or purchase a dedicated vps (virtual private server) from ​Digital Ocean, which you will also have to do if you want to run a bigger server 24/7. There are many options beside Digital Ocean, but I highly recommend it because it is extremely customizable and they have a "pay for only what you use" policy, which really opens up room for experimentation as you can buy and delete servers anytime, with the most expensive plan being only 10 cents per hour.

*keep in mind that if you are using services like Digital Ocean to host your server you would have to use a ftp client and log in with your root/pass to access your files. (in this tutorial, I'll be assuming you know how to do this, if not, read up on this article: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-use-filezilla-to-transfer-and-manage-files-securely-on-your-vps)

Heres the recommended ram allocation for each server combo

Pocket Edition Servers:
Options 1AW, 1AT, 1A: 0.5 gb
Options 1AS, 2AW, 2AT, 2A: 1gb
​Options 2AS, 3AW, 3AT, 3A: 1.5gb
​Options 3AS, 4A: 2gb
​Option   5A: 2.5 gb
Option   6A: 4gb
Option   7A+: 6.5gb or more

"Big Brother" Servers (experimental; both PE and PC-Xbox players can connect):
The current server software is very unstable and eats up a lot of ram
Additionally, the installation is somewhat complicated and there would be no point including it here if not a lot of people can follow the steps correctly, so if you are interested in making one using BigBrother, please message us for a 1 on 1 session
Option   BB1: 1.5gb
Option   BB2: 2.5gb
Option   BB3: 5gb or more

PC + Xbox Servers:
​Options 1BW, 1BT, 1B: 0.5gb
Options 2BW, 2BT, 2B: 1gb
Options 3BW, 3BT, 3B, 1BS: 1.5gb
Options 4B, 2BS: 2gb
Options 3BS, 5B: 3gb
Option   6B: 4gb
Option   7B+: 7gb or more


Server Installation

Assuming you have your server machine up and running, the next thing you have to do is install the server software from minecraft.net for the PC-xbox edition, or from pocketmine.net 

Windows
prerequisites: Minecraft-compatible java installation
download the server .jar from  https://minecraft.net/download
run the program (or double-click it)

same goes with the installation of the mcpe server

Linux
sudo apt-get update
java -version (check if java is installed)
sudo apt-get install default-jdk
mkdir minecraft
cd minecraft
wget -O minecraft_server.jar https://s3.amazonaws.com/Mine craft.Download/versions/1.9/minecraft_server.1.9.jar
java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar minecraft_server.1.9.jar nogui

for the installation of the mcpe server, simply follow the step by step instructions that comes with the download on their website

Mac
Download the server.jar from the download page
create a folder and put the .jar in it
run
cd "$(dirname "$0")"
exec java -Xmx1G -Xms1G -jar minecraft_server.1.9.jar

for the installation of the mcpe server, simply follow the step by step instructions that comes with the download on their website



Server Configurations

You will receive an error message regarding the server EULA. to fix this, simply open eula.txt from your server files folder and change "eula=false" to "eula=true". And then run the program again
your first server run will be a little slow because the console will be busy generating the map and creating server files
Once its finished generating the map and it shows a message: "done! (22 secs)" or something similar to that, you can run the command: "stop" to shut down the server.
Then you must move on to the server configuration files, which should be easily located in your server folder

I will not go over all the details of editing the server configuration file, but it is crucial that you set the "server-ip" as your local ip in your home network (example: which would be 192.168.0.17 for me). If you are using an online service to host the server, change the server ip to "0.0.0.0".

Check out these links for more detail on the config files:
http://pocketmine-mp.readthedocs.org/en/latest/configuration.html
http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Server.properties

An introduction to internet network structures

By now, if you try to run the server, you will be able to join from your local network. You can begin experimenting with plugins and start playing on your server.

If you are running your server at home, your server is not public yet, and you are the only one able to connect to it. If you are running your server on an online service, congrats m8, your server is public and all set to go. However, of course, if you are running your server from home, you will have to take extra measures to make sure your server is accessible from anywhere in the world, and these series of extra steps, I would like to call "Port Forwarding and DNS setup"

Port Forwarding

Again, if you are using an online service, there is no need to do this, you can close this webpage and enjoy your server now. And for the rest of us, I will try to keep the explanations as simple as possible so that it is easy to follow.

Step 1: find your router/modem's local ip and type it into your address bar in a web browser

examples: 
​photo 1: school's router
​photo 2: my home router

School Router
Home Dlink Router































The modem/router's local IP may vary by brand, so I would recommend physically checking your router/modem as it is usually written on it. 

Step 2: Log in with your admin rights and head over to the "port forwarding" or "virtual server" section, it should look similar to this

Dlink Virtual Server setup page

Step 3: add a new "server port configuration"

Virtual servers list configuration

Name it whatever you want, it doesn't really matter
Protocol: Use TCP, but if a "both" is available, use both
​Port: 19132 for minecraft pocket edition, 25565 for pc-xbox edition
​(write the same thing for both public and private ports)
​IP Address: your machine's local address within your home network
​Schedule: Always
Inbound Filter: Allow All

Step 4: save & apply settings, reboot

(optional step 5)
if you have a dynamic DNS, use this http://www.noip.com/remote-access to set up a hostname so you wont have to update the ip every day
Now add your server ip to your client and you can play on it like any other server!



Populating your server

If you want your server to be public, and you want more than 20  players playing on it the entire time, you need to start marketing your server

Starting from this point in this tutorial, I will be using my (old) server as an example

Step 1: post your server details in minecraft forums
the more detailed and organized it is, the better
when people read your post, you MUST give them the impression that you have something AMAZING planned in mind

http://www.minecraftforum.net/forums/minecraft-pocket-edition/mcpe-multiplayer/mcpe-servers/1995267-free-vip-giveaways-50-slots-porkchop-realms-new

The forums are an amazing way to recruit admin staff, gain critics' attentions, etc.

Step 2: start recruiting people for your server
id say you have to be really careful here because you cant 100% trust someone you meet on the internet, so be rigorous in your screening process, and even then, don't trust them all the way; unless.. they somehow prove themselves worthy, of course (which happened to be the case with my co-owners)
Id say you would need to find 
2 managers/admins
5 builders

Step 3: start adding your server details onto server lists
example: ​http://mcpeserverslist.com/  

Step 4: start adding plugins and increase diversity (or make your own/customize)

No good server does not have a login system, portals system, anti-mods system,  commands control system, etc...
you will have to add plugins or else the server can easily get run over by abusers

example: here are my server files from 2014 (keep in mind you can barely recycle any part of it because its extremely outdated)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By7Zn6_RVFpCYWhUSnZEUlBRcFE/view?usp=sharing

Step 5: start encouraging rising youtube stars to do videos on your server
examples: (some of these were from before my server's name changed)

Step 6: Occasionally renovate your server

For example, my server used to be called "DroidCraft", but I later changed it to "Porkchop-Realms" as that seemed to be a more interesting title.
I also changed the lobby design every 2 months or so, until it got to the point where the lobby design was one of the server's specialties

Eventually, a month or two before I shut down my server due to economic reasons, it got rated as one of the top 3 favorites by a player written article
http://www.poweredbyredstone.net/?p=2752

Hopefully, this rather long tutorial helped :)

If you do plan on using DigitalOcean, check out this (short) tutorial video that I made


Here are some old youtube videos made by others about my server



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