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PwnStation!
May 18th 2011, 22:40 CEST by Mad_Dog

As of this writing the PlayStation Network (PSN) has been offline for nearly a month. It was taken offline due to a massive security breach that was found to extend into Sony Online Entertainment's (SOE) databases as well. The end result is that nearly 100 million detailed user accounts were absconded with by hackers.

Bad times for Sony. Much worse for their users who now have to worry about identity theft.

I have questions. So many questions...
So, how badly will this affect the Playstation 3? Is this the death kneel for Everquest (run by SOE)? Is DC Universe now more-or-less stillborn? How badly have developers who wrote for the PSN suffered due to this downtime? Will there be a migration away from the PS3 to Xbox360 and PC gaming? Will the threat of identity theft be sufficient to cool gamer to other digital distribution services, such as Steam? How long until the rash on my ass goes away? Will the popularity of single-player online DRM take a hit due to the extended downtime of PSN? Is the Playstation 4 now doomed? Ignoring the Playstation users, how will this event influence the normal personal computer gaming scene?

How may other crappers got their personal data pwnzorized due to this attack?
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#38 by Chunkstyle
2011-05-24 18:22:47
My association now bans vegetables in gardens.  Flowers only.  Associations suck.

Game Developers: Don't forget the zombie monkeys.
#39 by CheesyPoof
2011-05-24 18:41:32
That's madness!

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#40 by CheesyPoof
2011-05-24 18:43:17
Oh, rapture has been moved to October.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#41 by CheesyPoof
2011-05-24 18:49:20
Oh, gardening. We are trying to grow some veggies in pots on the deck this year. We have cucumbers, yellow peppers, jalepenos and something else, I forget what. My wife wrapped chicken wire around the veggie pots, save the peppers, to keep the critters away. I told her that they don't eat peppers so we wouldn't have to worry about that.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#42 by Matt Perkins
2011-05-24 20:26:04
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Been unseasoningly cold and wet here too. That is why we only put the garden in as of this last weekend. The locals all say that this is the wettest it has ever been...

Cool to hear so many people growing a bit. Lot of fun.



Chunkstyle, that is crazy shit.

"programmers talk from a very deep gnome cavern, full of gold mechanics" - wisdom from the ancients
#43 by CheesyPoof
2011-05-26 19:26:08
I am going to talk about L.A. Noire here. I won't spoil any of the story, but I may spoil gameplay if that's important to you.

I finished the game last night and would rate it 4* on the Netflix scale. That said, I can't recommend the game to anyone and you'll have to make your own judgement based on what you read about it.

The game can be broken down into 3 basic parts, cases, street crime and collecting. Cases are the meat of the game where the games story and main gameplay take place. Street crimes are small bits of action (not so) dispersed through the city that you can respond to while you're working on a case. Collecting is something to give you a reason to explore the city.

When you break down these components it's clear that as a game it's not very good. Lets start with the case work which is why everyone gets the game. You play as a detective in the post war 1940's LAPD. A case typically begins with a title card with a noire-ish sounding name ("The Golden Butterfly", "The White Shoe Slaying") and a short cutscene showing the crime being committed. You are then at the police precinct squad room where the Lt. gives you your orders. You get in a car and head out to the crime scene. While driving in an emergency vehicle you may get a call for street crime, but they're optional so you don't have to answer them. Similarly there's no time constraint on getting to your next objective so you can answer calls or putter around town.

When you finally get to the crime scene you investigate it for clues.  This is one half of the investigative gameplay during a case.  While searching for clues there is music playing to let you know that there are clues to be found and when you find a clue you will hear a chime and feel the controller buzz (there is an option to turn these off if you want to go hardcore). You press A and Cole will inspect the item. Occasionally youíll have to turn the item to find the clue on it (for example the serial number of a gun). The game will also include some junk items in this sequence, like a bottle lets say. Youíll feel the buzz pick it up and Cole will say something like ďthatís not relevant.Ē When you finish collecting clues that will usually yield a new location and/or a person of interest (POI) to talk to. Youíll schlep over there (or have you partner drive) to conduct an interview with that POI. Aside: whatís neat about this game is that after collecting clues or an interview and you are driving to the next location you and your partner will have some chit chat about the case. If you have your partner drive you still get the chit chat before the skipping. When you interview youíll select a pre-determined question out of your notebook to ask them and then you need to determine if theyíre telling the truth or lying. This is the second half of the case gameplay. If you think theyíre telling the truth then you select that and continue. If you think they lying or hiding something you can select Ďdoubtí if you canít prove their lying, or Ďlieí if you have the evidence to back up the claim. Itís a frustrating mechanic because it amounts to a guessing game. When you determine someone is not telling the whole truth it amounts to a stab in the dark some of the times if your evidence is what the developer thinks is evidence. Iíve had questions turn out wrong because my logic didnít mash up with the developers. However, the biggest downside of this gameplay is that none of it matters. Even if you guess wrong for all the interview a critical witness will still yield the necessary clue. It is impossible to not solve a case. You get rated on your efficiency, but in the grand scheme of the narrative your actions donít have any affect. The game is the puppet master and you can clearly see the strings pulling your arms.

Once in a while during a case there will be an action part. This may involve tailing a suspect, a shoot out or chasing a POI down to interview them. These are similar sequence that occur street crime but they are weak. One thing the game does is that if you fail an action sequence 3 times it will ask you to skip it. I used this feature twice because it is so poor. While itís a design failure to even have that option, Iím glad they recognized that it was weak and included a way to get around it.

Speaking of street crime, let me discuss that. If you answer a call youíll have to drive over to a location where a short movie will play setting up the scene. These are designed to be the action component of the game for those that demand action. A typical street crime case will end with a shoot out and people going to the morgue. An occasional item will have you chase a car and have to wipe it out to arrest the driver. Why bother doing these you ask? Well, if you like shooting people you can do that, but mostly because it yields XP, which brings me to the leveling mechanic. When you correctly guess at an interview or complete street crimes you gain XP. Once you level up the game will give you intuition points. These points can be spent at a crime scene to reveal all clues or during an interview to help you get a right answer. Occasionally a level up will yield a new outfit for you to wear (outfits will give you a bonus, but I never felt that). You can only have a max of 5 intuition points so thereís no benefit to leveling up if you have 5 of them in your pocket. One of my beefs with the street crime is that most of them are clustered near central, so when I was out in Hollywood Iíd have to hoof it all the way across the map to get the the crime. Even more egregious is that street crimes are based off of your assigned desk, so when the developers know youíll be working around Hollywood at the vice desk, they designed it so that you would need to go all the way back. For these cases I would stop the car and let my partner drive.

Collecting is just like you think, drive around getting stuff. You can Ďcollectí landmarks, film reels, newspapers and cars. Newspapers are typically found in the course of casework and play a cutscene to show more of the overall story. Getting landmarks and film reels will yield XP. Getting cars doesnít get you anything (other than achievements) so Iím not sure why they were included. Even more puzzling is that there are Ďhiddení cars throughout the map in special garages that you can use, but theyíre so remote to where you typically are that itís not something you would ever use during a case.

The game lets you go back and replay cases from the main menu so that you can try to get a better score, or once you complete a desk you can free roam in the city doing that desks street crimes or collecting. This being an adventure game at its core and not a sandbox game the value of the free roam is severely limited.

Why did I give the game 4* when it is barely a game and the game portions that are there are fairly mediocre at best? There are two reasons, the first is that I have been dying to play an investigative cop game for a while now. While I can see the wizard behind the curtain pulling the levers I can willfully ignore that and enjoy working a case because it feels like Iím investigating it. With no other game out there doing this I forgive it. Second, the story, of all things, is great for a video game. Itís probably even good enough to be adapted to a cable TV show. If you like noir stories and can get over failing the interview guessing game (even though it doesnít matter, itís still frustrating when you fail) then itís a game worth checking out. I donít even think that watching the youtube videos would be the same as experiencing it.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#44 by Milan Brezovsk√Ĺ
2011-05-26 20:06:24
http://uglycode.com
Fuck, all this fuss for some 8/10 game and still no TOTY.

Parhelic Triangle is coming. Eventually.
#45 by CheesyPoof
2011-05-26 20:13:49
You wound me, sir.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#46 by G-Man
2011-05-26 20:48:16
With no other game out there doing this I forgive it.

Aren't there a ton of CSI or Law and Order shovelware adventure games? Have you tried any of them?
#47 by BobJustBob
2011-05-26 21:23:41
Apropos of nothing, watch this video.

BUYBUYBUY
#48 by CheesyPoof
2011-05-26 21:45:27
No, I ignore shovelware.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#49 by G-Man
2011-05-26 22:17:15
Bob: Those videos are awesome. Excellent find. My only gripe is that you linked to one of the more boring ones out there. I mean, why not link to this video instead? I guess you wanted the insanity to be a surprise?

Cheesy: I dunno man. From this review the CSI games sound a lot like Heavy Rain.
#50 by CheesyPoof
2011-05-26 22:27:29
Heavy Rain was an interesting experiment and while I hold a positive impression of it overall, it's not one that I would look to repeat. Of note is that Heavy Rain is also terribly overrated by the press, so I can only imagine how awful that CSI game would be.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#51 by G-Man
2011-05-26 22:33:40
Wow. Japanese wikipedia does not disappoint.
#52 by TreeFrog
2011-05-27 00:15:41
#49 by G-Man


WHAT

"One part disembowels me while another slowly eats its way through the gas line. As I bleed out on the floor, it reminds me that I need to buy milk." - Jibble
#53 by gaggle
2011-05-27 00:47:48
My mind weeps.

"Roses are red, violets are blue, rubbish is dumped and so are you." : : - FML
#54 by G-Man
2011-05-27 01:56:10
To anyone wondering what it is all about: apparently World Cup is an ongoing flash game/ad/widget* series designed by developer Cinema Keiba as a viral promotion for the Japan Racing Association.

The flash thingy (the latest of which can be seen here) allow users to select a roster of horses and jockeys to compete in a race and then wager on the outcome of the race. The users do not design the horses or jockeys or otherwise influence the result of the races.

All of which sounds lame. This is exactly what the next Spore addon should be all about - designing crazy racing creatures and actively racing them in multiplayer against others.

* We really need a new word for this sort of thing.
#55 by Caryn
2011-05-27 06:55:19
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Chunkstyle: no veggies in your garden allowed? What kind of Nazi bullshit homeowners association do you live in? I'd challenge that. What rationale could they possibly have for such a stupid rule?

Cheesy: just finished LA Noire myself. My assessments are just about on par with yours. It's a flawed game but I enjoyed the pacing and the investigation gameplay. I also really liked the story a lot.

#56 by Matt Perkins
2011-05-27 20:58:40
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
She lives!

How goes things with the little monster and you, Caryn? Still on bed rest? Doing well?

"programmers talk from a very deep gnome cavern, full of gold mechanics" - wisdom from the ancients
#57 by Caryn
2011-05-29 08:08:29
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
My week of bed rest is finally over and the doctor said I can start resuming normal activity if I ramp up. Tried to do that today and found out that it's amazing how a week of bed rest can debilitate a healthy body.

Jjohnsen: I hate you for introducing me to Instagram. I'm addicted to it now. What other fun photo editing apps are out there?

#58 by jjohnsen
2011-05-29 18:50:14
http://www.johnsenclan.com
First let me apologize, I know how that addiction can lead to the loss of friendship and family (in other social media like Twitter and Facebook).  

Some of the apps are a little cheesier than others, use at your own discretion.  I think I told you about Colorsplash, it does selective color like this.  Wordfoto changes pictures into word clouds.  Hipstamatic mimics different lenses and flashes for retro effects.  Diptic lets you create diptychs and triptychs.  Tiny Planets curves your photo into a cylindrical shape.  Web.stagram.com is a site that lets you see your instagram account from a browser.  Statigram lets you see statistics about your account (who comments the most, what filters you use the most, etc).  

Camera+ is the main camera I use instead of the iPhone camera because it lets you choose which part of the photo is in focus, and also lets you decide which part of the photo will be exposed correctly.

#59 by jjohnsen
2011-05-29 18:52:07
http://www.johnsenclan.com
And I'm expecting plenty of alpaca photos.

#60 by jjohnsen
2011-05-29 19:05:09
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Oh, and @joshjohnson has a community going with a few thousand people.  If you submit pictures with the #jj tag it goes to the community group, then every day or two he puts out a theme for everyone to submit (animal, blue, speed, etc) and for those you tag #jj_foum.  It's a good way to find new people to follow and be followed by.

#61 by gaggle
2011-05-29 20:26:30
Battle: LA was a fun ride.

"Roses are red, violets are blue, rubbish is dumped and so are you." : : - FML
#62 by jjohnsen
2011-05-29 21:34:22
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Fun special effects, lame story.

#63 by gaggle
2011-05-29 22:49:24
Exactly.

Is Instagram an app that takes photos or just the social media part? It's startup interface confuses me.

"Roses are red, violets are blue, rubbish is dumped and so are you." : : - FML
#64 by jjohnsen
2011-05-30 01:31:05
http://www.johnsenclan.com
You can take photos with it or use photos you've taken.  It's mainly a social media app.  Left button is the feed of anyone you are following.  Second button is a feed of the most popular photos of the moment.  Middle button lets you choose a photo, then add a filter if you'd like.  You can tag photos with the #, clicking any of those tags in your feed take you too that tag.  From the middle button you can also share on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.  Fourth button is a list of people's comments and likes on your photos, and also a list of what photos the people you are following are liking. Last button is your photos, a place to make a profile, and a place to search for certain tags or people.  

I'm jjohnsen.

#65 by gaggle
2011-05-30 01:38:59
Are the various photos you've been posting filtered via it or the Camera+ app you mentioned?

"Roses are red, violets are blue, rubbish is dumped and so are you." : : - FML
#66 by jjohnsen
2011-05-30 02:14:46
http://www.johnsenclan.com
About 1/3 of mine have some kind of filter, almost always added through the Instagram app.

#67 by gaggle
2011-05-30 02:35:52
Mmhm okay, thanks. You've been posting those nice photos and I wondered about the process.

"Roses are red, violets are blue, rubbish is dumped and so are you." : : - FML
#68 by Caryn
2011-05-30 03:56:37
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Yeah, I wondered the same thing; I'm so jealous of jjohnsen's photos.

That theme thing sounds super fun, I might join that. And thanks for the app tips. I used to be into "real" photography in my teenage years and I still find that interesting but I'm not into it enough to go all out for the equipment and such. So having these fun apps with a convenient phone camera that takes great pics is enough to satisfy that.

#69 by gaggle
2011-05-30 05:09:47
And Game of Thrones continues to be absolutely amazing. I wonder how expensive it is to make, one of the things I notice is how little combat and large-scale special effects they have to do.

"Roses are red, violets are blue, rubbish is dumped and so are you." : : - FML
#70 by jjohnsen
2011-05-30 05:59:22
http://www.johnsenclan.com
I should say that a portion of my photos are taken with my SLR and transferred to my iPhone with Dropbox.  But the main reason I do it is because I always have my phone, so I can take pictures anywhere, and I love how easy it is to share, get feedback and find great photos from other people.

#71 by CheesyPoof
2011-05-31 17:33:19
You know what I want? I want my camera to have wifi capability and the ability to upload to Facebook and Picasaweb (and presumable all the other popular photo sharing sites). I take FB photos with my phone simply because it's so convenient. I wouldn't except a P&S camera to have 3G capability, but they should stop focusing on megapixels and start on internet integration. It maybe the only thing that will save P&S cameras (I read it's a dying market because of cellphones).

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#72 by Jibble
2011-05-31 17:50:58
If someone is shooting photos with a cell phone camera and is happy with that, they're not going to go back to P&S. Ever. Cameras in phones are only going to get better from here on out, and the "I just want to put some party photos on Facebook!" crowd is never going to go back to carrying around an extra thing when they already have their phone with them 24/7.

I want to go to there.

Blog. 186 lbs.  6 to go.
#73 by CheesyPoof
2011-05-31 17:54:00
My point is that I'm not happy with my phone's camera and would use my P&S more if it had wifi connectivity. Yes, there are people that use their phone cameras and it's good enough for them, but they probably weren't in the market for a decent P&S camera anyway. It sucks to have to tether my camera to a computer and import the photos and then upload them. Hell, I'd love to be able to get rid of the USB tether all together and like to download them to my compter as well.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#74 by lwf
2011-05-31 17:57:48
I think I read on wired there is a camera like just out now. Don't know if it connects directly to internet but it connects to PC wirelessly.

I expect the standalone camera market will shrink back down to photography nerds like it should be.

Handsome like a coat hanger. Wii.
#75 by Jibble
2011-05-31 19:02:13
Hell, I'd love to be able to get rid of the USB tether all together and like to download them to my compter as well.


Solved. Pricey, though.

I want to go to there.

Blog. 186 lbs.  6 to go.
#76 by jjohnsen
2011-05-31 19:09:56
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Cheesy, you can get an Eye-Fi SD card that uses wi-fi to send photos to your computer/iPhone/Android phone and places like Flickr, Facebook, Costco, Picasa, etc.  I have a friend that just carries an iPad with him and sends everything directly there so the models can see the shots he's taking without having to squint at the lcd on his camera.  

Samsung has the SH-100 that has wi-fi built into it, I don't know anything about it but that.  I just remember seeing it at the photo store a while back.

My iPhone camera is better than my old point and shoot in every way except the digital zoom.  My P&S is pretty old, and I don't think I'll ever buy another one.  I either have my phone or my SLR.

#77 by CheesyPoof
2011-05-31 19:12:20
Huh, interesting. $100 for a 8GB card doesn't sound super pricy off the top of my head. Still, I'd like it integrated into the camera, but that sounds like a good start.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#78 by CheesyPoof
2011-05-31 19:25:58
Double interesting, JJ. How does he do that? Can the iPad act as a wifi hotspot so it can download when he is in the field or whatever? I wonder how that works when on the go. We have an iPad 1.0 but, man, I feel like I don't know how to use it all. I just learned two weeks ago about the double home button click.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#79 by Jibble
2011-05-31 19:53:22
There's an Eye-fi app for the iPhone and iPad that allows you to connect to the card.

I want to go to there.

Blog. 186 lbs.  6 to go.
#80 by Jibble
2011-05-31 19:55:54
Also, a typical 8GB class 6 SDHC card is $25 or less. For the amount you'd spend on the Eye-Fi you could probably get two 32GB cards. But if you're constantly offloading to the PC or the iPad (or Flickr or wherever) then space doesn't really matter much.

I want to go to there.

Blog. 186 lbs.  6 to go.
#81 by CheesyPoof
2011-05-31 19:56:33
Right, but my checking shows me that an iPad can't create an ad-hoc network (unless it's jail broken) so you'd need a wifi router in range to use that. Still. better than nothing and more inline of what I was asking for anyway.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#82 by Shadarr
2011-05-31 21:43:51
shadarr@gmail.com http://digital-luddite.com
I would probably upload more photos to Flickr or FB if it didn't require effort (more than the zero I upload now).  I've started saving both RAW and jpeg on the camera to remove one step, but it still doesn't seem to happen.  I haven't even taken my New York photos off the camera yet.

"I hope you one day decide to smarten the fuck up so I can stand to look at your posts." - gaggle
#83 by jjohnsen
2011-05-31 22:36:58
http://www.johnsenclan.com
It's not cheap, but it doesn't matter what size you get if you are immediately uploading to a laptop or iPad.  it could be your onw card (I rotate between three right now).

#84 by gaggle
2011-05-31 22:37:08
I would greatly enjoy my camera constantly pushing photos to my i device. Mm.

"Roses are red, violets are blue, rubbish is dumped and so are you." : : - FML
#85 by jjohnsen
2011-05-31 23:22:32
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Cheesy, he does it directly to his iPad, next time I see him I'll ask him how.  I know some people have hooked a wireless router up to their car and used it that way, but I don't know if he does that.

#86 by TreeFrog
2011-06-01 01:38:22
Those Eye-fi cards sound pretty sweet, until you go to their website and discover that only the most expensive one will transfer RAW files. Way to artificially differentiate your product line, motherfuckers.

"One part disembowels me while another slowly eats its way through the gas line. As I bleed out on the floor, it reminds me that I need to buy milk." - Jibble
#87 by TreeFrog
2011-06-01 01:38:55
Also: woo! 698000!

"One part disembowels me while another slowly eats its way through the gas line. As I bleed out on the floor, it reminds me that I need to buy milk." - Jibble
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