KB4552931 Windows 10 update causing severe gaming performance issues

I spent more time than I wanted to trouble-shooting some recent gaming performance issues on my HP Spectre x360 that it turns out were related to installing KB4552931 from Microsoft via Windows Update.

As it turns out, if you uninstall the update, Microsoft doesn’t take the hint and will keep reinstall it over and over on you.

So, what you can do (other than disable windows update completely) is actually ‘hide’ the update from showing in the list of updates that Microsoft wants to manage.

Instructions on doing so can be found here.

Good luck! Hope this helps someone else out there…

PSA: Problems with Windows 10 gaming (fps drops + controller flashing disconnects)

Suddenly the other day while gaming on my HP Spectre x360 (Playing Jedi Fallen Order) I began to observe sudden, extreme and frequent FPS drops followed by flashing on my Xbox One controller which I have connected wireless via Bluetooth.

It turns out this is an actual issue and has already been addressed with the Xbox One controller firmware!

So you have two options:

1.) Update the firmware on the controller, which you can do on Windows 10 through the Xbox Accessories app which is available via the Windows Store

2.) Plug the controller in via usb cable and verify the problem goes away

I hope this helps someone else because it was driving me nuts!

Recent And Not So Recent Issues with Valve’s In Home Streaming (LAN latency, packet loss, auto connection)

I’ve been a huge fan of streaming in general but find low latency streaming of current gen PC and Console games absolutely fascinating. Apparently Google does too because they are jumping into the business with two feet!

My first experience was with OnLive (RIP) and then with the options Valve began working on with its “In Home Streaming” functionality via the Windows Steam app.

Gaming on Linux? Mac OS? And even my phone and tablet? The same games already in my PC catalog and even games outside of it? Amazing!

I’ve been using the function for years and even own two steam links which have been pretty solid little devices for me and have almost replaced the “console” aspect completely in my home.

All of this has worked surprisingly well through the years up until very recently. However, I’ve found two work arounds to two really annoying issues that I wanted to share with the Internets in hopes that it will help someone else out there who is also frustrated until Valve properly fixes both bugs.

Bug #1: Steam client on computer B (client) won’t connect to Steam server on computer A (server) unless you remote into the server and restart the Steam application.

Work around #1: Check computer B (client) and see if you have any extra wireless adapters installed / configured (even if not in use) and try disabling them one and by until the Steam app magically connects tot he server (you should get a notification). For me it was a Bluetooth adapter — There are reports of this issue from like 4+ years ago and it STILL HAS NOT BEEN FIXED!

Bug #2: Steam client has horrible performance on your network when streaming a game even though it used to work fine and no other devices on your network are having connectivity issues, lag, latency, packet loss etc.

ie: Suddenly my steam streaming client is saying “slow network” and reports 100-266 ms ping relay response to my computer on my WLAN (host is wired, client is wireless). When I ping from the command line I consistently get 1ms ping response so this makes absolutely no sense.

What I finally noticed with the diagnostics on was that when it work work properly (rarely), the ping response was reported as “direct” and when it was reported as direct, it matched my cmd line ping responses. So what’s up with the relay responses? And why are they so slow?

I suspect in a recent Steam update, Valve has introduced some new code to streamline how the app works when you are using it remotely (outside of your WLAN / LAN) hence a relay is now involved.

For some reason, there’s code that wants to prefer that relay when you don’t want or need to use it. This either needs to be an option you can disable or they need to make the code smarter to detect whether a connection is local on the network or not which brings me to …

Workaround #2:

NOTE: This is all done on the client side

Step 1: Set Steam app to use the “console” feature. All you need to do is add -console to the Steam application launch parameters (after the quotes). Verify but restarting the app and you should see a “console” option in the main menu bar and also see the same option when you right click on the application in your task bar.

Step 2: Open the “Console” and type in:

connect_remote <LAN IP of the Server (remote) computer>:27036

You should see a notification that the client has reconnected.

NOTE: From what I’ve read, steam also uses TCP port 27037 but I didn’t do any testing with it at the time of writing this up.

Step 3: Verify! Make sure ‘diagnostics’ are enabled on your client connecting to the server and verify that ping is now direct instead of relay.

Step 4: Enjoy!

Hope this helps! And I hope Valve has some fixes coming for both these issues.

John Oliver is back for another epic Net Neutrality segment

Watch it, laugh, get angry and then head over to http://gofccyourself.com and comment!   We need Title II to stop ISPs from manipulating our traffic for financial gain at the expense of traffic integrity!

NOTE:   Hit ‘Express’ so you can type in the comment directly, else you’ll need to submit a document (ie:  pdf or doc)

EDIT:   Also check our dearfcc.org for more help or ideas on submitting comments.   It will also automatically submit comments on your behalf!

You have until August 17, but don’t wait!   Let’s build some momentum here!   

Here’s a link to the comment I sent….

 

Proper fix for Call of Duty 4 stats being reset (legit)

cod4

It’s 2017 and you’re still playing COD4 the original warfare (like me). I mean if it ain’t broke she don’t need a fix and they aren’t selling the Remaster separately and who the hell wants to play COD in space? (not me, I’ve steered clear from the series for many years now).

So, you’re trying to restore your mpdata file for your user account so you don’t have to level up all over again or you just reinstalled your OS and want to get your progress back. If you’re not sure how to do this, there’s a guide (PDF) here.

If you’re seeing the error that your stats have been reset and your mpdata file becomes corrupt after restoring your mpdata file and running the game, fear not! A fix is here. Well at least a partial one see this article

However, you’ll find there’s one step missing….. If you’ve covered the above articles and it still won’t work (it still complains about mpdata being corrupt), well read on because I have a simple fix / workaround for you!

All you need to do is run the Cod4 executable (ie: iw3mp.exe) as Administrator and once the game loads up, simply go into your Multiplayer options and re-enter your CD key. Voila! This annoyed me for several days and there’s lots of junk about hacks and cheats to get to level 55 – I just wanted to restore my progress!

I hope this helps someone else out there!

Happy Gaming!

Where have all the leaders gone?

Lee Iacocca

This is not mine but it’s great and I feel compared to share it!

‘Remember Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from its death throes? He’s now 82 years old and has a new book, ‘Where Have All The Leaders Gone?’.

Lee Iacocca Says:

Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder! We’ve got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car.

But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, ‘Stay the course.’

Stay the course? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned ‘Titanic’.

I’ll give you a sound bite: ‘Throw all the bums out!’

You might think I’m getting senile, that I’ve gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore.

The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs.

While we’re fiddling in Iraq , the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving ‘pom-poms’ instead of asking hard questions. That’s not the promise of the ‘America’ my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I’ve had enough. How about you?

I’ll go a step further. You can’t call yourself a patriot if you’re not outraged. This is a fight I’m ready and willing to have. The Biggest ‘C’ is Crisis!

(Iacocca elaborates on nine C’s of leadership, with crisis being the first.)

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It’s easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else’s kids off to war when you’ve never seen a battlefield yourself. It’s another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A hell of a mess, so here’s where we stand.

We’re immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving.

We’re running the biggest deficit in the history of the country.

We’re losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs.

Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy.

Our schools are in trouble.

Our borders are like sieves.

The middle class is being squeezed every which way.

These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you’ve got to ask: ‘Where have all the leaders gone?’ Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throwing away our shampoo?

We’ve spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm.

Everyone’s hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn’t happen again. Now, that’s just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you’re going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when ‘The Big Three’ referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn’t elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? – that some bonehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don’t you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough? Hey, I’m not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I’m trying to light a fire. I’m speaking out because I have hope – I believe in America. In my lifetime, I’ve had the privilege of living through some of America’s greatest moments. I’ve also experienced some of our worst crises: The ‘Great Depression,’ ‘World Wars I and II,’ the ‘Korean War,’ the ‘Kennedy Assassination,’the ‘Vietnam War,’ the 1970’s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11.

If I’ve learned one thing, it’s this: ‘You don’t get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it’s building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That’s the challenge I’m raising in this book. It’s a “Call to Action” for people who, like me, believe in America’. It’s not too late, but it’s getting pretty close. So let’s shake off the crap and go to work. Let’s tell ’em all we’ve had ‘enough.’

Make your own contribution by sending this to everyone you know and care about. It’s our country, folks, and it’s our future. Our future is at stake!!

It’s Official.. North American ISPs cannot, will not and do not compete

In regards to the current Comcast deal to buy Time Warner Cable (making it the dominant player in 19/20 US markets)

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts had an interesting response to this criticism: The deal won’t hurt competition, he essentially said, because there’s already no competition.

He told Reuters:  ‟[The deal] will not reduce competition in any relevant market because our companies do not overlap or compete with each other. In fact, we do not operate in any of the same zip codes.”

Wait, what?    I think this ‘mistep’ immediately proves that these companies have been manipulating this market for so long, they aren’t even aware that their behaviors are completely unethical, unfair and are stifling innovation.

For god’s sakes, look at the Countries that have better Internet performance than the U.S of A.   It’s even more embarrassing when you consider that the US invented it.

global_speed

ISPs have refused to improve infrastructure for so now long (while scheming up ways to slice up markets and figure out new ways to rip off customers), that their offer is now dated.   REALLY dated.   Like dated to the point where it’s a bottleneck and the very definition of a botteneck.

See Google’s comparison to general computer technology innovation / improvement trends over the last 10-20 years

GF_technology_trends

The really odd thing here, is that these companies and the cities they serve have the ability to offer these speeds and rates and make them more affordable yet choose not to and instead are signing agreements with municipalities all over the Country agreeing to anti competitive practices.

This suddenly hit home for me when I was attempting to simply download a large file (a PC Game) while attempting to watch a 720p feed on another device.   Their technology / offer cannot even handle two devices both doing very legitimate, common tasks.   These days people have ipads, Androids, laptops, netbooks, TVs, Bluray players, etc. etc. etc.   No Internet Service Provider (ISP) even has a place in your home in 2014 with a connection max this low while ALSO limiting concurrent connections when bandwidth stream is saturated.

I’m ready for some Google Fiber… download rates that are 48 times faster, uncapped, un-throttled and the upstream?   At 1 Gbps upstream (compared to the 1.5 I get now an increase of over 650 times), I’ll be able to stream video games, home movies and pretty much use my desktop computer as a data hub for my own personal “cloud”.  Very exciting!

More on exactly what Google Fiber is and why it’s different below [58 minutes]