Six (6) Android Games You Should Play Now not Tomorrow

Got a new device? You need to get some new games. Here are some quick recommendations for great Android games. Some are familiar from other platforms. Some are free. Some are paid, and some have specific hardware requirements. All are listed here.
1.  Minecraft Pocket Edition
Why it is great: Minecraft is an entertaining block-building and survival game. You can play either in creative mode where you build and invent things in your own randomly generated world or you can play in survival mode where you use your wits and resources to survive against the creepers who come out at night.
Note – this does not connect with your main Minecraft account if you play the computer version of the game.
Play for yourself or keep it around to entertain kids. (Turn off in-app purchases if you do this.)
Minecraft is a paid app ($6.99) but you can find occasional sales, in-app purchases run from $0.50 to $1.99.   More »
2.  Lara Croft Go
Based on the popular Tomb Raider series and developed by Square Enix, Lara Craft Go is a relatively simple but very addictive puzzle game you can take with you. The puzzles are designed for short bursts of play, so pull it out in the doctor’s office waiting room or while riding the bus home.
Lara Croft Go sells for $4.99 but is occasionally on sale for $0.99. It allows in-app purchases. If you like this game, you can also check out Hitman Go, which is also from Square Enix.  More »
3.  Buttons and Scissors
This is a free puzzle game where you try to cut matching color buttons off of a square of denim. Mechanically this feels similar to Bejeweled, but not completely the same. The logic puzzles offer great challenges for players of all ages.
The other big advantage to this game is that it does not require any connectivity. You can play this game on devices that aren’t connected to Wi-Fi or in that signal dead spot.
Buttons and Scissors is a free download but allows in-app purchases.  More »
 Did you want to try out the new trend in adult coloring books, but you don’t want to carry around coloring pencil and a coloringb book? Try out this app instead. It’s appropriate for kids or adults, and while it’s not the same as coloring in an actual coloring book, it is still very satisfying.
Mandala Coloring Pages is free (with ads) but also allows in-app purchases.  More »
Yes. You can play an Android version of Portal. This is a real console game. As such, it requires a real console. This version will only work on the Nvidia Shield version of Android TV.  The Nvidia Shield starts at around $199 but allows you to stream movies and play Android games on your TV.
Portal starts at $1.99 but this is “introductory pricing.”  More »
If you have a phone with a fast processor and terrific screen display, you can take it for a ride with this virtual reality game. This is a first-person shooter where you aim at balloons. You’ll need Google Cardboard. This is an inexpensive accessory that you can either make or buy for around $15 and will turn your phone into a virtual reality device. Obviously not a game you can play while waiting in a doctor’s office (unless your doctor is awesome) but a fun novelty game to play by yourself or after having one of your friends try on the headset.
VR Cardboard Shooter 3D is a free download.  More »

Disclosure: This page may contain external affiliate links that may result in us receiving
 a commission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own.
 We do not receive payment for positive reviews.

Patch right and keep hackers out

In the arms race between network admins and hackers, battles are fought over the security holes in enterprise software. Your best defense is the patches that vendors release to plug those holes.

Vendors are working to make patching easier and more trustworthy—like Microsoft and its monthly Patch Tuesday release—but you shouldn’t necessarily deploy every patch to every system in your enterprise the day it’s released. To best protect your network, you should develop a plan for patching that is based on best practices and tailored to your unique enterprise.

The hidden risks of patching
“Patches are becoming a routine thing. The odds that a patch will crash your critical system are decreasing,” says Rafal Los, senior security strategist with HP Software. “It isn’t such a hindrance because of automation, but the enterprise still needs controls. Too many enterprise apps could break.”

Patching software holes is essential to network security, but it brings a set of operational challenges. You need to know how a patch will impact your existing systems, particularly legacy systems. Patching can expose major problems on your network, including brittle systems, home-grown, mission-critical software, and outdated hardware. As difficult as managing these systems can be, they become a security risk when they’re not updated.

You also need to assess the urgency of the update. Does the patch fix a hole that is right now being exploited by hackers? If it’s an emergency patch, deploy it immediately—but those are fairly rare. Assuming the patches are part of a vendor’s regular patch release cycle, you should deploy them with the same careful, measured steps you take with any other software.

Best practices for patching
With each patch, you should weigh the impact it might have on your systems against the immediate threat level and the consequences to your enterprise if the hole is breached. If many patches are released on the same Patch Tuesday, figure out which ones are most important to your organisation and which pose the greatest security threat. Next:

1. Don’t deploy the patch immediately (unless it’s an emergency fix). As Los says, “You don’t want to be the guy that gets hosed” when you install a patch that hasn’t been fully tested. He recommends waiting a few days to install the patch, giving yourself time to learn from any mistakes other admins make and discuss online. Of course, if you wait too long, you risk falling prey to the security exploit the patch fixes.

2. Test the patch on a single system. First install the patch on a system that’s in quarantine. Find out how the patch impacts any other applications it interacts with on your network. If you need to patch a business-critical system, create a duplicate system for testing if at all possible.

3. Monitor your systems when you roll out the patch. When you’ve deemed the patch safe for your systems, deploy it in phases, starting with the low-risk groups and moving on to the higher-risk groups across your enterprise. Monitor all of your systems through the deployment—you need to be able to pinpoint any failure as it happens. Also, you should have backups that you can revert to if a patch takes down any part of your network.

Part of IT’s natural life cycle
Beyond the immediate need to patch—say, on next Patch Tuesday—your organisation should have a routine plan for patch deployment. You should establish a regular patch cycle that is in sync with your network’s utilisation and employees’ schedules. Patching should not be a fire drill!

Also, educate your users. Let them know when to expect patches so they can save their work, shut down their computers, and ready their systems as much as you need for the patch to roll out smoothly. Automate as much as you possibly can. If you have several patches to roll out to one thousand physical servers, you need to be able to push that patch out once automatically. Finally, work with trusted vendors that test their patches before they’re released.

Your ability to fend off hackers’ latest gambits often comes down to knowing what’s changed, and what needs to be changed, on your network. When you make patching a central part of your organisation’s change management plan, your network becomes more secure and reliable.

Disclosure: This page may contain external affiliate links that may result in us receiving
 a commission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own.
 We do not receive payment for positive reviews.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time