Game Stop? Game Start.

Did you hear about the whole Game Stop drama/bullshit that happened? Yeah, pretty crazy. If you didn’t, the retail gaming second hand trading store, was super under-valued as a stock. So some of the big Wall Street guys were going to try and cheat them, is the short version. I’m not really a stock guy, other than my Best Buy stock that I won. But you all know you should buy stock low and sell it at a high price.

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Game Stop made all their money in the used game market. So I buy a game brand new for $60. I beat it in a month and I no longer want it. So I sell it to Game Stop for $30 credit toward a new game. They get the game and sell it again, for … $50. This process goes on indefinitely, making Game Stop new revenue over and over again. So can you see how a company like this actually is pretty profitable? So why did Wall Street think that Game Stop was going to be a shitty company to invest in and drive the price down, in a sense devaluing the company? Because they are assholes. So, the real reason why the gaming industry is NOT dying, is that you have some big players (literally) that are crushing the market. First off, Sony PS5 is basically a pipe dream for millions. And the Nintendo Switch is just a legend that one day you might find.

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Billions of people are still in need of entertainment, and what better method/vehicle than one that you can literally be/do anything a computer programmer can imagine. Now the thing that has changed how people play games is the fact you no longer have to go to the store to buy a physical game and you can download a digital version. How cool is that? No more lost games, scratched unplayable games, and it is better for the environment. This is the theory that Wall Street bankers were using when they thought Game Stop was going to eventually fail and die out. WRONG. Millions of gamers collect those physical games and actually have some pretty elaborate “man caves” or gaming rooms where they display them proudly. Other gamers do not want to be 100% reliant upon the internet to play their games. Oh. Darn. Wall Street assholes aren’t actual players.

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Skyward Sword Joy-con Controllers

Nintendo has been hard at work releasing their own games, and every day there are deals in the eStore. The other day there was an announcement that Nintendo will be re-creating the legendary Zelda – Skyward Sword for the Switch. This was originally released on the Wii and used the two game pieces, one as a shield and the other as a sword. It was pretty awesome if you ask me. They are also releasing a special edition new handheld joy-con pieces, which are already sold out. Skyward releases on my birthday, July 16th. Like millions of Zelda & Link fans, I will be adventuring in the land of Hyrule. Gamers are still in the dark when it comes to the next release of Breath of the Wild 2.

 

 

If you were not aware, this is a special 35 anniversary year for Mario and a new Super Mario game was released this month. I have not downloaded it yet, but it is a 4 player type game in 3D. Pretty crazy. If you are an original Super Mario fan, where it was 2D moving from left to right on the screen, then you will really like this one. When I was in Vegas they had Mario Kart in the video game areas, and each racer had their own machine. It was pretty cool.

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So if you are a Marvel fan like me, then you might still be sad that Tony Stark, aka Iron Man died. Fans all over the internet have speculated how he could make a come back. They bring dead people back in movies and television all the time. Flashbacks, memories, stories, … prequels. OR they can bring them back, or their voice in a new animated cartoon series on Disney+ called “What If?” In addition there is going to be an Ironman type of movie that shows what happens when bad people get Stark Technology. Loki will come to Disney+, which will be a weekly series like WandaVision. They are doing a lot of sequels, and some of the lesser cool characters, like Natasha and Clint will get their spin off movie. A new movie, The Eternals adds Angelina Jolie to the MCU and I saw Michelle Pfieffer in the line up as well. Black Panther 2 is in the works, but I guess it will be a twist with their king now dead. Do we see a possible sister taking the lead? Maybe.

 

And if things in Texas weren’t already miserable, residents have no clean water and are told to boil their water so they don’t drink any parasites. So needless to say there are millions of bottled water being flown into Texas. I actually find it hard to believe THAT many people are drinking tap water. We all know they drink sugary drinks, lots of beer, … I know of some people who never drink water. I know, how weird is that? Texans also have a variable or fixed energy rate. And if they picked variable, they can expect an electric bill in the thousands. In Colorado we have something similar, so in the summertime if you use more electricity you get bumped up to the next tier level and you pay even higher rates. Same is true for water. So a lot of people don’t water their lawns. If you choose the fixed rate option, your rates are initially higher than the variable rates but you don’t have to worry about spikes in your monthly bill.

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And they lied. WandaVision was NOT a full hour. I was left with even more questions, and had to watch the YouTube Easter egg video to see all the hidden clues. How many times do you see a “hex” symbol in the show? If you haven’t watched it, now you will start seeing them everywhere! I was right about Agnes. I love the funny “Bad Mom’s” actress. She IS from another part of the Marvel Universe!

 

 

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WordPress Security – SSL – Tax Deductions

Two Factor Authentication

You may have noticed some websites now make you verify it is actually you by sending you a text message to your cellphone. For your website, you should implement this type of security. I have it on this site, and when I attempt to login, it will require me to use the Microsoft Authenticator app before granting access.  This will prevent any hackers from getting unauthorized access to your files. If you use Wordfence, like I do, then it is already in your arsenal of weapons against hackers. Activate it and use your favorite app to verify you. It is pretty easy. Once activated there is a QR code you scan and it then puts everything  into motion.

Jetpack

This is an awesome plugin that I install on every website I build. It has a plethora of utilities that make your life as a webmaster easier. It has had a boatload of updates over the years, and actually is the tool that I used to notify users of a new posting. Personally I think that it is the coolest feature of all. Almost everyone has their email attached to their smartphone. So it is cool that I know thousands of people are casually sipping their coffee and reading their Aaron update. Today, which actually happens to contain some useful information that may save your site one day.

Another cool feature is the “prevent brute attacks” which blocks out thousands of hacker using software – that are trying to log into your site as “admin”. As a rule of thumb, I tell clients to just delete that login and then set Wordfence to automatically ban that IP from the site, if someone tries to login as “admin”, which of course, doesn’t even exist. Also, NEVER use admin as the login and password. Speaking of passwords, a cool trick I learned as a freshman in college — from a buddy who I met online, is to always start and end your password with a space character.  You know the long button that you use in between words. Why? Because it is a non-printing invisible to the eye character that a hacker would not be able to distinguish, if he was using like, a keystroke device to capture all your passwords. AH! Another trick, is to use the number 1, and the letter l, “L”, lowercase, as they look the same when printed, and you can also use that weird | symbol. lll|||lll||| is kind of goofy but it is something no one is every going to guess.

SSL certificate

The next layer of protection I advise all website owners is to install the security certificate. For one, you will need it when you are selling products or services directly from your site. Even if you use Paypal as your checkout gateway, you still want to assure your customers/clients that it is safe to enter in a credit card number from you site.  Paypal is super easy to use, install, and bill your clients. In fact, I send all my invoices to clients through a template invoice, and they can pay with their credit card or bank account immediately. Contact your website  host about installing this security certificate. You are less likely to be hacked if you have this simple, cost effective gatekeeper. My hosting package actually included it for free. Otherwise I think it is as low as $20 a year.

Tax Deductions for Website Owners

If you file your taxes as self-employed or owner of a business, then you already know that your website expenses and all hosting associated with it are deducted from the gross income, hence lowering your tax liability. So there really is NO reason at all that you don’t have some of these extras. Dropbox, you need it. It’s deductible. Graphics, (from Photodune) are cheap, and grant you copyright. You need it. Deductible. The web designer who is able to direct your potential customers to a sale and creates a new revenue stream for your business … you need it. People can’t buy what they can’t see. I can’t tell you how many times I see a site and I am left wondering, “What is it you are selling, because I can’t figure it out from your site.” No call to action is very common, and ultimately it is abandoned by possible new readers/subscribers. This site sells things. It sells books, and has a menu directing people to the rest. Mostly it sells ideas. People don’t come to this website to “buy” something. Usually they come to learn something. Probably 80% of new visitors come from Google, Bing and MSN. Most of my long time readers just subscribe to get the blogs and know they really don’t have to go to the main site unless they want to read older blogs.

If everything I just wrote means nothing to you, then you must not be a website owner. So, on a side note, Disney+ just released the movie Mulan, for $29.99, and unlike Trolls that only allowed 48 hour playback, you can play it as long as you are a Disney+ subscriber. So Disney actually listened to feedback from Trolls and grants you forever access without buying it again when it comes out next year on digital and disc for the rest of the world. HOWEVER, if you cancel Disney+, then you lost it.

Also, for American Express platinum cardmembers, they receive up to $20 a month on streaming services. So my Netflix, and Disney+ are free for me, and then I also get $20 a month credit on cell phone services. So for cardmembers it would work out to like, $21 to get the new Mulan. I’m actually watching it right now in the background and it is surprisingly pretty good. I haven’t written an actual movie review in years, but who knows? It could happen.

If you like my posts, please like my Facebook page. You can click like at the footer of any page on the site, or subscribe, also in the footer, and get my posts by email. I strive to post on a regular basis. Especially now that everyone is in lockdown.

 

In the United States, it is Friday, the beginning of the Labor Day weekend! I am guessing there will be millions of backyard bbq’s. Have a fun and safe weekend friends!

 

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