Alien: Covenant Thoughts

This weekend I had the chance to go out and see Alien: Covenant. Was not disappointed.

It is not a full classic Alien movie. Instead, it is a part of a history that need to be understood alongside Prometheus to be fully enjoyed.

This is because it retakes over were Prometheus left. But gives it an obscure twist that is not something you really find in any Alien movie.

The Alien: Covenant Crew

The Alien: Covenant Crew

Warning, Spoilers Ahead.

Alien: Covenant Thoughts

Davis is still the most interesting character around. And in Alien: Covenant he has a much more obscure role.

While the Alien movies are not known to be quite deep in lore. This one can be considered to be quite deep on that matter. Or at least also in the psychological department.

This time the xenomorphs are not the “main antagonist”. But David.

Why is this so?

Because when the crew finds him, it is obvious that some things are really fishy and that he has been up to something.

When Shaw and David got into the Engineers planet, was clear that it was not for the best intentions.

Deploying the weapon against its creators

Deploying the weapon against its creators

Ridley had another plan in mind. Another tale, a much more complex one. One were the creations turns against the creators. In the same sense than in how an android wants to become a creator and decided to go after its creators.

David kinds of thinks of himself like if he is a God or some kind of ruler. What makes it more interesting. He has tested and taken the life of Shaw even if he kind of mourns it.

For him, everything has a reason to be, and even that the human beings need to pay for what they have been doing to the Earth. They are a dying species according to him.

The xenomorphs

The Neomorph

The Neomorph

They just happened to be the experiments of David in this new arc. And he seems to have embraced them as his creations. And they just also follow.

We do not know much of the Alien creatures aside that they are killing machines. Neither a lot of the black goo that David used against the Engineers.

Much less about the Engineers and why they did all of such things. This part of the lore is lost, but on the other side opens then many possibilities.

Also, in this movie, we don’t have a queen featured. This is because for the way the events are depicted. Yet, if you think carefully… apparently David is playing the role of the Queen now onwards.

That is interesting as apparently the xenomorphs have, somehow, recognized him. And it plays quite well for the way he has been shown to be a creator himself.

And as the movie ends, David is just aboard the covenant to enjoy its entrance to the Paradise. The Covenant and its colonists. Most likely to be experimented upon.

Just a bit more

Alien: Covenant is a refreshing renovation, like Prometheus was, of the Alien franchise. while there are many issues with it, like the “stupid” scientists, most of them can just be ignored if you are there for the substance.

We sure see David doing its ascension to the Valhalla. From going to search the creators of its creator, to destroy them and become a creator himself. There are analogies all over the place and it is not just by casually.

If I recall correctly, this is going to be a trilogy. So, probably we will see his fall after being at the very top.

But probably will not make things easy once there.

I look forward on how this new arc will evolve and conclude. As it has been quite a nice experience so far, even if quite away from the classic Alien movies.

Ghaul trapping the traveler

Destiny 2: Game Play Premiere Thoughts

We got to see finally the gameplay for Destiny 2. Personally, I am not disappointed and kind of curious how much more things might be yet to be discovered.

If you were like me, at work while this happened… you can always load up youtube and have a look by yourself the release stream:

Premiere Thoughts

While that we did not saw much stuff “in deep”. I am clearly pleased that we are going to get a deeper plot. And of course, new places to explore and to get much more details about the characters and side quests.

The game will start with a clear wipe from the past iteration. Good.

But neither forgetting it. I really hope that we happen to see more about the motivations of each species and the way they “act” or “interact” with the traveler and The Darkness.

Ghaul, the game main antagonist, believes that the Traveler did choose the wrong species to be the guardians.

Probably will going to see a deeper history involving the Traveler and the species it shaped. I personally think that all of them have had visited before. Even it is hinted at the grimoire if I recall it correctly.

The Fallen were visited for sure, and all seems to hint that the Cabal was too.

New Worlds

Nessus, shaped by the Vex

Nessus, Io and Titan will make its debut on the franchise.

The most amazing one was Nessus. A planet shaped by the Vex.

It is kind of beautiful to see, and the same time makes you wonder more about the Vex itself and the underlying motives t shape the worlds. Maybe they are in a point much farthest that the Fallen were with Siva?

Oryx at some point during the original game hints that The Darkness is no more than “The end of evolution”. And many things seems to be hinting towards that.

Since the new writer team got aboard before “The Taken King” release, it would make sense that this is just the preamble of what they have been brewing with that expansion and “The Rise of Iron”.

A much deeper and rich history is always good. And if we start to get what is the true role of the Traveler in all this mess… it is a good thing too.

New Classes Too

A warlock using Dawnblade

Warlocks will get now Dawnblade, Titans will get Sentinel and Hunters will get Arcstider.

The new abilities are a much-needed rework of old ones. Also noticed that we are getting a new set for each damage type for each class. That is good and will keep things fresh.

Just to Close

I could spend a whole day talking about what was featured. For example, I liked the concept of Guided Games and how they for sure will work.

But it is always better just to watch it for yourself, have your own opinions and then enjoy some of the nice views out there.

Thunderstorm, a forest, a ship and three guardians

EDZ has a really nice view. All images are copyright from Bungie and Activision.

Shame I can’t prepurchase still, but for sure will make some space to see when I can get it.

WannaCry and stay safe from it

The digital world has been hit by the WannaCry ransomware. A kind of virus that basically kidnaps your data unless you pay a kind of ransom.

While paying USD$300 for recovering your files sounds reasonable… do not do it.

It’s very likely that the authors of the virus will just take your money and give you nothing back. That is the way that it usually works.

What does this WannaCry?

Long history short: It will encrypt all files you use on your computer. Then, it will ask the user for a ransom in order to “decrypt” them.

Basically, it will make your files garbage and ask you for money to turn them back to normal.

The problem is that once encrypted, you rely on a criminal to have your files restored. And it’s very likely that they will just walk away with your money.

What can I do then?

 There are some things you can do in order to try and recover yourself from this virus. Yet, it will never beat to wipe clean your hard disk and reinstall all your stuff.

In my case, I personally like a much more proactive approach. Things that I feel like common sense when you are working with computers and other… vulnerable software and hardware.

1. Keep yourself up to date

WannaCry only affects Windows installations. That is why you need to keep it up to date whenever possible with the “windows update” feature.

An updated system is safer and more healthy.

Of course, in this very special case, even a fix was offered to Windows XP and other “retired” systems.

The best option for you, in the long run, is to simply upgrade yourself to the most modern version of windows. If that is not possible, then Linux makes a fine choice to keep nasty stuff from infecting you and it is very easy to use nowadays.

2. Make backups often

Doing backups may be a headache if you have large numbers of files, like me. But doing them should be a habit to keep yourself safe.

Be that a failing hard disk, a crashing system or just the WannaCry ransomware, a backup keeps your data safe. And lessens the damage.

One can make backups in many ways. For example, Dropbox, Google Drive or a Personal Cloud are fine options if you want to keep a few files safe.

But when you have a large amount, like 10GB or more, having a portable hard disk is a better idea.

In my case, I use a program named “FreeFileSync” that allows me to make “mirrors” of the folders I want. With it, I only copy into the hard disk any different and new file, saving a lot of time.

3. Do not open strange emails

 Always check the extension of the files that other people are sending you. And more importantly, never open attached files, or click links, from people you do not know.

A file ending with a “.exe” or “.vbs” can potentially be a virus. Even if sent from a person you do not know. Heck, you even should not open any file with such extensions unless you know what you are doing.

Never trust what you receive in your inbox. Save for the cases where you openly asked to receive things.

Sounds harsh, but you can keep away a lot of problems that way. Do not open the links or files contained in an email, from that bank where you do not have an account, or that looks quite suspicious.

4. Keep your passwords strong

It is hard to keep track of all the accounts and its passwords as time goes by. And sometimes, we usually think that just setting our password as “password1234” is safe enough.

Wrong.

This is where a password manager become handy. And I personally like “KeePass” for such task, as the generated file is encrypted and can only be opened if you enter the correct password.

Having your passwords in the cloud or in a notetaking software can work too. But I am not fond to such solutions and like an extra layer of security.

5. Keep an antivirus up and running

Maybe should have had this one listed before. But, well… to have an antivirus, even a free one, is always a good idea. As an extra layer of defense.

I personally like the “Avast” one. As it is not intrusive, seems to spend little resources and can be configured to update itself without yelling at me to do so.

6. Other measures

Those are the most basic ways one can protect itself from a virus like the WannaCry. While no system is totally safe, even Linux has vulnerabilities… even Unix, we can do a lot of things to decrease the risk to a minimum.

Other ways include being behind a firewall or deactivate SMB, heck, even making your computer not to listen to certain ports. But that is far from the scope from this post.

Do not give up

As the years have come by, I have had my computers fall to all sorts of virus and stuff. You always recover yourself. But you need to be ready before hand.

I have always loved to have a dual booting at my computers, hence the featured image.

Having a separate EXT4 partition for Linux, while a sacrifice of space, can keep me safe when something goes horribly wrong at Windows. And it usually happens.

Probably I should then spend more time at my Linux install if the risks of virus become more and more prominent. Just a shame that I do not have all the tools I need there… yet.

Gutenberg for WordPress

Gutenberg is going to be the new editor for WordPress. Something I was not aware of until I was lurking some at articles archives while killing some time.

While I am still kind of new in the sense of editing for this platform, I had known the WYSIWYG editors for the web for quite some time. Back in the day, using them even at Drupal was necessary to add content quite quickly.

WordPress right now comes bundled with TinyMCE, what does an excellent work already even if it shows some age.

The team aims to get a much more modern editor that is more flexible and eventually more feature rich.

Gutenberg on the run

You can give a peek at the editor in action here, and even try and make some stuff with it. Right now, it does not offer a lot of features as it is still under heavy development. But it is getting a lot of bugs fixes constantly.

While I was messing with it some, I was thinking how much it looks like to some of the modern visual editors. Especially in the sense of making stuff easy for the one creating content.

Competence or Just an Update?

There out we have stuff like Divi, SiteOrigin and Visual Composer. All of them aimed to easily create outstanding content for “pages” into WordPress.

Some of them can be used to build regular posts. But I do not think it is effective to use them for regular blogging.

Of course, while using Gutenberg for a few minutes… it was clear that it is way more easy to create content with it, than with TinyMCE. It can potentially create a competence against visual composers.

This is because it can offer much more freedom. But for now, it still lacks the feature to add columns.

Just go there and tame the beast

Just tame that beast

Hope it is not a hard task

Of course, the team behind the development of Gutenberg know that making such radical changes to the editor may be a catastrophic choice. They may leave a segment with the ability to create rich content.

Yet, developing software is about to take risks and aim to make things better for everyone. To always improve and find new and better solutions.

This risk can totally pay off eventually.

But so far, I do not see this specific piece of software making its debut on WordPress 4.8, to be released June 8. Or at least I see a kind of transition time between TinyMCE and Gutenberg.

Time will tell when we can see it in a production environment. But I would really like to see it soon enough, with a bunch more of features.

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