I love free stuff. I also love it when free stuff actually isn’t supposed to be free. If you haven’t caught on by now, let me spell it out for you: pirating. Not that it’s a good thing to pirate music or software or movies, but when you’re broke as hell, sometimes it’s just a good idea to do a few Google searches. And there are faster ways to get the files you want without using torrents and praying that the file you want has been seeded. This is a guide to get what you want faster than any other method I have discovered.

Also, for the record, pirating helps artists.

Trista - New Age Pirate

And the risk of you getting a virus using this method is about the same as it would be if you’re using a torrent. I’ve done this over 500 times and have never, not once, got a virus, so take this into consideration. Don’t download files that seem strangely small. No album or movie is only going to be 2MB. Be smart when you’re downloading, not just with this method, but with everything. Also, you’ll be getting over 800KB/s depending on your internet connection. This is safe, simple, and fast. Enjoy.

If you want an album literally any album there are a few ways to go about doing this, and they all involve Google. All you have to do is this:

Step 1: Go to Google

Step 2: Search for the artist and album name in quotes followed by Mediafire so it looks something like this…

Step 3: Go to the Mediafire link. Most of the time it will be the first result of the search.

Step 4: Download the file, and it’s yours. Unzip it and bang. Instant album. This works for just about ANY album you can think of too. Give it a try. And if you can’t find it on Mediafire, feel free to replace Mediafire with something like Megaupload, Rapidshare, Filesonic, or something along those lines. Or, you can do this:

Step 2B: Type in the name of the band and album but replace Mediafire with “blogspot.com”. The reason for this is that a lot of people have blogs devoted to album downloads and normally have a link waiting for you when you enter the blog. Piece of cake.

School textbook prices got you down and your wallet empty? Not to worry.

Step 1: Almost the exact same thing as how you download music! Here’s an example…

Step 2: Download, and never have to worry about having to pay money for school books again! Your wallet will thank me.

Want movies? By now you probably have the idea on how to download things faster than torrents, but now, because I’m so nice, I figured I’d provide you with my all-time favourite streaming, downloading and video sites. Here we go:

Heavy Metal fan?

http://freehardmusic.com/ – All you need to do is register and you’ll have unlimited access to tonnes of albums all ready for you with Mediafire links.

http://getmetal.org/ – Loads of obscure albums from countries such as Russia, South Africa and Uruguay. A really good website to say the least. A tip for this site is that if you find an album you like but dislike the method of downloading they’ve provided is to take the album and artist name and (you guessed it) proceed to step one of my downloading music guide.

http://metalarea.org/forum/index.php – One of the best metal sites out there. Only issue is the site isn’t in English… for the most part. But it’s still easy enough to navigate. This forum honestly has about thirty new albums uploaded every single day. And some are really rare. Amazing site to say the least.

Film / TV sites?

http://www.sidereel.com/ – Incredible site for finding full seasons of TV series and films. This site provides numerous links for all your viewing pleasures.

http://www.1channel.ch/ – Badass for foreign films and new releases. This site also provides links to download films too. If you ever have the urge to watch The Room, this site is for you. Haha. Or, you know, good films especially foreign ones from Japan, South Korea, Russia, etc. Good stuff.

Like sports?

http://livetv.ru/en/ – Not very often does a website provide links for KHL hockey games, but this one does. If you’re a fan of hockey, soccer, football, baseball, basketball, or any sport even ping pong and want to watch live, then this site is for you. And if you love foreign leagues, even better. Beach soccer anyone?

I’m not advising you to download things illegally. It’s never a good thing to do. I certainly don’t do it. This guide is strictly for referral purposes in case someone asks you if you know how to get things for free online without needing to use torrents. I hope this guide has helped you, and as always, may the force be with you.

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A few weeks ago I visited a cemetery to dance and spit on MySpace’s grave. I don’t know whose space it was, but I know it wasn’t my space. I never had a MySpace. It was probably Tom’s space. Who Tom is, I’ll never know. All I know is Zuckerberg looks down on him just like Shaq looks down on short Japanese men. If Shaq ever went to Tokyo, you know Godzilla would be nearby to fight him. Sounds cool, right? Godzilla vs. Shaq Fu? Badass.

Anyway, I never liked the name ‘MySpace’. I always found it so stupid. And Facebook sounds stupid, so you can only imagine how stupid MySpace sounds. But anyway, remember how boring MySpace used to be? How it never really mattered? How Facebook always was the superior social networking site? I mean, it’s not like it had any competition. But now, Google Plus? Facebook, maybe you’re about to get subtracted.

A buddy of mine sent me an invite for this new, revolutionary movement known as Google Plus about a week ago, and I have to say, I like it. It keeps Facebook’s charm, but makes things look neater in a sense. GIFs actually animate. Photos are all there, in their actual size. Videos look better. It seems like Google is the only one who can do everything right…

Gmail. Love it.
Google Video. Again, love it.
Google Chrome. Don’t use it, but hey, I have no problems with it.
Google Earth. Come on, who hasn’t decided to view their house on here?
Google Maps. Point A to point B. To point C. To point D. To point blank range… to… oh, I’m there already. Thanks, Google.

In my mind, I see Google Plus as being very similar to Facebook. If anything, it’s taken everything Facebook has and upped the ante. Only thing is Facebook has most of the chips in play, so it’s an easy call. But with Google Plus, things just run smoother. And circles, rather than friends, work very well; if anything, it takes what works in Twitter and merges it here, creating an interesting sensation. Following people. I like it. I like it a lot.

Which of course now brings us to my coining of the term, “circle me.” In fact, “circle us,” I shall proclaim ever-so flawlessly as people read this and nod their heads in agreement. Because circling people just sounds better than saying “hey, add me on Facebook.” Or, “hey, I’ll accept your friend request.” No. Circling people just seems to be fine. “Hey girl, how about I circle you when I get home.” “No, Mike, I want you to circle me right here and now.” “Clockwise or counter-clockwise?” “Surprise me.”

The only problem I have with talking about Google Plus, is the fact that it’s so similar to Facebook. The ability to re-share posts, pictures and videos is very good, and being able to actually re-share someone’s status is, well, a Plus. A Google Plus. The “Sparks” feature actually reminds me a bit of StumbleUpon in some ways, so it’ll be interesting to see how this works out, but for now, let’s just say it’s similar to the ‘likeable’ pages on Facebook.

In fact, it’s so similar to Facebook, even the suggested friends section is almost exactly where the suggested friends section is on Facebook. It’s obvious that Google hasn’t gone out of its way to be completely original; rather, it takes everything that works  on Facebook and brings it all forward. The result… well, it’s good.

Now, if only there was a way to import friends from Facebook, then we’d be talking. As it stands, things are good, but without having a direct comparison, it makes things difficult to compare on a personal level.

Do I see Google Plus taking out Facebook? No. No, I don’t. Do I see a movie being based  on Google Plus? No. No, I don’t. But do I see Google Plus being a legit competitor to Facebook? Yes. Yes, I do. Only time will tell. Let’s just see what happens.

Is Google Plus a moment that will last a lifetime? Or is it My Moment by Rebecca Black? That’s the million dollar question. And guess what, we’re all out of lifelines. The audience is dead. You don’t have any friends to call. And this question has already been 50/50’d. Speaking of Rebecca Black, I fail to see how her new song is superior to Friday. I mean, come on Friday was the best song ever. An instant classic. It was sheer greatness, personified, epitomized, and laid to rest on a bed of flowers, gold and crisp hundred dollar bills. It was a song perfect for everything that ever had to do with being so bad it’s good in fact, nothing was as bad as Friday, which made it oh so, so good. But is Google Plus ‘Friday’ or is it ‘My Moment’? I say, you circle it.

If you want an invite, just reply to this post and I’ll shoot you one. Then you can circle me. And check me off, or something. However you classify people.

May the force be with you.

by guest columnist Jason C. McLean

They were all locked together, intertwined in ways none of them thought imaginable. Feeling coerced into this position, some wondered to themselves whether or not this was all part of some strategy, some master plan of whose making they were not sure.

They knew, in their confined position, that if enough of their brothers and sisters fell on top of them, it would surely be curtains for all. The same situation has been repeating now for decades. Not to this group specifically, but to tens of millions of their fellow blocks of various shapes.

The oncoming apocalypse, thin and rectangular in appearance

Suddenly, it appeared in the sky. Thin and rectangular in appearance, it was long enough to cover four rows of its fellow blocks in one shot. They all knew what this meant and sure enough, as if guided for a purpose, it fell right beside them. Then, it was blissful oblivion for all with only this sound to signify their demise:

Invented in Russia in 1984, Tetris is one of the most (if not the most) widely known video games in the world today. A version of it is available for every gaming console and has been since gaming consoles started.

Personally, I was introduced to Tetris via the gameboy as, apparently, many others have as well. Now, I play it on my cellphone. It’s really a great way to wait for the bus.

Over the years, developers have tried, in vain, to improve upon the game. Usually, this involves painting some sort of backdrop or attaching characters at the side of the play space that feel pain when the blocks disappear (thanks for the info, Mike). All of this is superfluous, though harmless.

Other times, they try and change the game play itself. If this involves giving other options, like most points or quickest time, it’s fine as long as the original version remains an option. There has even been quite a debate over the introduction of infinite spin into the game which is something I’ve never played with but am not completely opposed to.

If, however, it’s an alternate version completely, say one knockoff I played where there were blocks there to begin with and there was nothing you could do to get rid of them, then it’s time to give up on the knockoff and go get one of the many free (or paid) versions of the real game available.

Tetris is rare in the video game world because no matter what you do, adding to the game doesn’t make it better. No matter how many times you play it, there is always room for improvement in your Tetris skills. Skills, which according to one researcher, actually improve brain power.

If you like this game and want to know more, including the developer’s legal struggles, the possibility of endless play and the reasons why it became so widely available in the first place, there are plenty of links on the game’s Wikipedia page.

If, on the other hand, you just want to play what is still one of the best video games out there, please do so. Chances are it won’t be the first time you do.