* Posts by Sinical

22 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Apr 2008

Smile? Not bloody likely: Day 6 of wobbly services and still no hint to UK online bank's customers about what's actually wrong


Re: Vindicated

Dont worry, it's not my only account. I've been in the technology game long enough to know never leave a single point of failure. After 20 years I assumed Smile might have realised this too.


Re: Vindicated

I am currently a Smile account holder . I am also currently reading about the options for opening an account with Starling. These facts are not unrelated.

Ex-eBay security execs among six charged with harassing, threatening bloggers who dared criticize web tat souk


The Moral of This Story

So the lesson here seems to be even eBay execs would rather buy their tat from Amazon than get fleeced on their own website?

Building society caught in middle of high street sharing a little too much on TeamViewer



Hmmmmm. Is it just me or does that building society's logo look a bit Microsoft-ish?

Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs


Traffic Signs

At least the impossible football is not particularly dangerous, except to mathematicians in the vicinity of football grounds. The truly dangerous one is the round one which appears to show Evil Kineval jumping a car. What that has to do with "No Motor Vehicles" is beyond me. I've lost count of the number of times I've carried on driving looking up and anticipating getting a good view of a stunt show, oblivious to the pedestrians diving for cover.

Signed, natch.

Trump as US president (in Sharknado 3)? Oh Hell No!


Re: Not enough Trump on TV?

Errmmm not to be pedantic, or god-forbid accuse anyone of hypocrisy, but I'm guessing you've never listened to "(no-doubt) Trump baiting" Radio 5 have you? It's possibly not what you think it is.

Q. What's today's top language? A. Python... no, wait, Java... no, C


Re: In over 40 years of programming ...

What he said.

Whenever I learn a language it's because I've found a new (or even old) language that can do something I need my software to do better than the languages I already know. They are all tools, you just pick the best one for the job. Yes you can use a screwdriver to hammer a nail, but using a hammer is just easier.

It’s payback time as humans send a probe up alien body


Soft landing a probe (if it is a probe) on a comet (if it is a comet) 500 million kilometres from earth (if it is earth) is OK but what is more impressive is that someone has managed to ignore 15 years or so of trends, guidelines, good manners, good judgement and common-sense and managed to produce a blog quite that offensive to the eyes. Sadly I didn't get to read the no doubt well thought out and robustly argued contents as my not so stupid mind (stupid, stupid) forced me to close the browser to prevent permanent damage from that horror.

I salute your courage Sir for venturing into the wilds to find that monstrosity, but condemn your willingness to promote such filth.

Waiting gamer slams no-show show: E3 – was that it?


I'm going to cut GrandTheftScriptKiddee733T some slack, I'm enjoying it far more than I expected. Yes if you search for "derivative" on Wiki it now redirects to Watch Dog's page, but there's a lot unchallenging fun and breathtaking changes of pace (of the worst king - having to be stealthy, slow and methodical to causing enough explosions to make Michael Bay blush and back again in the blink of an eye) which make it a giggle. And anyway it's initial outing didn't lie half as much as Dead Island's. If all adverts told the truth we wouldn't need marketing people, and what kind of world would that be? Who said Utopia? As anyone who works in marketing will tell you, you don't need to think about it, marketing makes the world better. Now look at the shiney shiney. You want it, don't you.

Google's Nexus 5: Best smartphone bang for your buck. There, we said it


Picked mine up on Saturday as a contract replacement for my old Sony Arc S (lovely phone that, but getting a bit slow for the latest apps and somewhat lacking in system memory thanks mainly to Sony and network bloatware). I was originally going to get a Z1 but ended up with the Nexus5 as, camera aside, it's an equivalent or better spec, cheaper contract, better package and has vanilla Android (despite being on a contract).

Very happy with the choice so far. Call quality is superb and the radio is clearly good as I have 4G coverage most places I go, even at home, despite the O2 coverage map saying I shouldn't. The interface is very fast and slick although I suspect that has more to do with the hardware ooomph than the OS. KitKat is generally a noticeable improvement although I don't think much of Hangouts as the default SMS app (I always think of SMS as being a simple system for sending simple messages to, usually in my case, simple people - no need for all the extra bells, whistles and general faff).

If you are an existing Android user you'd be happy if Santa dropped one down your chimney. I don't think it's amazing enough to convince hardcore droid doubters as there aren't any game changing features. Much like the latest BB, iOS and WinPho toys it'll do most things you want and a few you don't while looking pretty and being reliable (hopefully).

MSX: The Japanese are coming! The Japanese are coming!


Re: I wasn't the only British owner then

Ooops that should be Metal Gear, not Metal Gear Solid (which was the later incarnation).

Thumb Up

I wasn't the only British owner then

Ahhhh happy days. I had the Mitsubishi MLF-80. Much of my early teenage years were wasted thanks to my Parodius cartridge. There were very few companies publishing carts, luckily Konami was one of them. I also had a light pen attachment, which needed both cart slots, but was a thing of joy and wonder.

And in response to an earlier post, yes, Metal Gear Solid did start on MSX, although it was MSX-2.

Out with a bang: The Last of Us lets PS3 exit with head held high


Re: .... Questions remain....

#1. "How is that different from Hitman or Metal Gear Solid or Left for Dead etc....?" Not massively is the answer, but I've played all those games and in TLoU the rather brilliantly written story line, combined with the character animation, environment design and atmosphere all make this feel much more natural and tense than any game I've played before. Incidentally there is no sticky cover in TLoU, so anything in the environment can act as cover.

#2. " Not sure how this game accomplishes this going by your description which sounds like lots of other games. Can game owners offer enlightenment.....?" It's hard to pin down but just like a good book or a good movie you do get emotionally involved in the characters. I know that sounds a bit pathetic, but you buy in to their situation. Rather than the tension being artificially stimulated by the action it's much more natural because the bits where nothing happens are so brilliantly written and acted. You learn so much about the characters (personality, history etc...) than you realise because you never feel like any of it is exposition - it's all so natural. That's good writing if you ask me.

#3. "This sounds like Instinct mode in Hitman or something similar, how is this better?" Again it's nothing new in itself, but every facet (the story, graphics, animation, combat, the AI, everything), although nothing new individually, is done to a stunning standard. If you isolate each of these things then you will find comparisons, but I can't think of a game where everything is this good, and because of that they become greater than the sum of their parts.

Ten PlayStation 3 games you may have missed


Re: DLC; making cheap games expensive

Most of the DLC I've seen is short cut packs, stuff that's available in game although it takes a fair amount of effort to unlock it. Not that that is a problem - Tokyo Jungle really is a cracking game. I suspect it may leave some people cold but if the scenario interests you in the first place, I suspect you'll enjoy it.

Every review I've read has pointed out there's plenty of originality in the story and setting, but I've found there's lots of familiar things about it too. It's like someone remade Final Fight after a traumatic head injury. It's a nice balance as it means there's no steep learning curve but you still get that odd and original experience. It certainly isn't just another green/brown modern FPS, that's for sure.

Valve reiterates games hardware gambit


Re: It's whatever you're used to.

"It can take several seconds to turn around". Really? Ever looked in the options menu of a console game? In the vast majority of cases you should find some controller options. Alongside button assignments, Invert Y (ooops I'll just put the lid back on that box...) etc... you usually find separate sliders for the acceleration and sensitivity of the analogue sticks. Most games default these to somewhere in the middle, or even somewhere near the bottom of the range, all you need to do is whack em up and hey presto - nice and responsive "shooting people in the face" session ahoy. It does take a bit of practice, but then so does any other input method.

Father-of-three attacked teen after Call of Duty jibes


Actually there’s a surprising number of community sites and clans out there for older gamers which cover all tastes and platforms, it’s just finding them can be a bit of a pain (as someone has pointed out, search results for mature anything can make your eyes water).

I found the one I am a member of by going to my console’s official forums and reading the clan recruitment thread. In amongst the depressing posts looking for BE$T GAMAZ EVA!!! you can find some really good ones. I won’t link to ours as I don’t want to flout the spamming rules here, however if you were to search for people who own a PS3 and could be described as Coffin Dodgers you might find us ;)


"No teenagers" filter for online games

This is why I am a member of a gaming community for older gamers. Playing with the great unwashed almost always guarantees meeting some kind of mouthy little sod who you want to slap, especially on a AAA title like CoD.

I actually enjoy my online gaming now that I know I can always join up with other older, cynical bar-stewards like myself. Our shooting-people-in-the-face abilities don't define us, it's purely a form of relaxation, hence a lack of agro.

New Sony hack exposes more consumer passwords


2 Sides to every argument

Let's just recall briefly what Sony did to be victimised by a bunch of criminals who have illegally accessed their customer data. They sold the Playstation 3 with nice computer hardware and gave owners the option to install alternate OS's (Linux) on the device. A tiny minority used this functionality (as evidence - of the 70+ PS3 owners I have contact with, I know of 1 (me) who used this option), including for scientific research (not me if I'm honest) which Sony was happy to brag about in their publicity, as none of their rivals had been so nice. As a result of people using OtherOS to bypass the security within the PS3, and then publishing how to do it, they took the feature away in a system upgrade ('optional', the alternative being no more use as a gaming system which was extremely unlikely to impact anyone using the PS3 for scientific research) in an effort to ensure games continued to be developed. Some of their customers tried legal recourse by suing them, but were rebuffed when the judge said Sony never promised to keep the OtherOS functionality, as stated in their published T&Cs which these same customers had agreed to. So, now on a legal roll, Sony brought suit against the customers who had broken their agreements and tried their best to encourage software piracy (OK - gave people the option :)), but that failed because of jurisdictional issues (which means that the T&Cs are still legally binding).

So every day now bright, motivated coders drag themselves out of their pits and look at this hardware, and remember this story. They also remember their beloved using it as yet another example of money wasted on technology that didn't work out due to PSN being taken down as a result of hacktivists activities. Probably they don't get that same feeling of enjoyment any more using it for games (because of previously stated hacktivist activity) or Linux (assuming they ever used it). For some this will have been 4-figure ($ or £) investments in hardware and software and yet they still can't shoot their friends in the face online due to previously stated hacktivist activities (although this facility is now, finally, restored).

None of this condones vigilante (cyber) attacks or the theft of private data from individuals with no input to the situation anyway, but my guess is there's still a lot of people out there who feel the hacktivists's punishment hasn't yet even started to balance the personal inconvenience they have had inflicted on them (not to mention costs to Sony, 3rd party devs etc…). Clearly most of the news industry can't seem to include any of this in their reports, they just dumb the whole thing down to the Sony are bad message, but I think after announcing this has so far cost Sony at least $170 million it is understood all too clearly in Sony's boardroom - don't trust Linux users .. err … I mean do no evil.

I only take issue with one of your points. Your timeline is out of kilter. IIRC (and that’s a fairly big if) OtherOS was removed as a result of the decoding and then publication of the security keys.

I am being devils advocate above btw, no need to flame me. IMHO Sony are complete arseholes. But so is every other big tech corporation, particularly in the console market. Microsoft (no explanation needed – the name is enough). Nintendo have achieved levels of control freakery over the years that Sony and MS can only dream of. (Surely Apple have a console coming out - they seem perfect for this sector :)) The whole thing stinks, but there is a legal way of letting any company know if you feel strongly about their practices. Don't give them your money. It's really, really that simple.

Hacktivism is great at making a point. This has generated publicity that marketing execs would kill for. People know the story (Sony are bad). Stop now. If people agree with the hacktivists they will stop buying Sony. But carrying on the vendetta suggests the people behind it don't want the public to make a free and informed choice, it suggests they want to force them to believe what they believe or make it impossible for the public to choose an option they don't like. That isn't hacktivism, that's fundamentalism.

PlayStation Network credit cards protected by encryption


I'll have a go then ...

Geo publishes the missing info for cracking the PS3 security, within a few weeks PSN security is broken - could be directly related. However I think the following is more likely ...

Cracked PS3 used to spoof a dev machine gets Hacker access to normally hidden bits of PSN. Hacker starts sniffing about. Anon start the DDoS which gives perfect cover for Hacker to really go for it as traffic monitoring on Sony's sites, which would normally spot hacking attempt, is now swamped. Hacker gets in, pinches unencrypted data (much of which should have been encrypted). PSN gets pulled and I can't shoot my friends in the face for a couple of weeks.

Right now I am miffed with everyone, Sony included for not having the sense to encrypt passwords. They have a big database of personal data and credit card numbers, it's always been a target. But it ain't the end of the world and would have been a lot worse if unencrypted CC numbers had been pinched.

BTW I would love to go buy a console from a company with better practices than Sony but the only real option is Microsoft. They are not exactly famous for their support of open systems and for building secure products either. I wasn't happy with Sony forcing me to choose between OtherOS and PSN/new Games, however I do understand why they did it as I prefer to play my games against as few cheaters as possible and protect the revenues of developers.

So I'll stick to the one with the games I prefer, which just happens to be the PS3.

Middle England chokes on Nice Baps


It could be worse

My local Chinese Take Away is called the Rea Ming.

And no, I am not joking.

Ryanair trades blows with 'idiot blogger'


Begs the question

So if they are too busy fixing more serious issues to spend a few minutes sorting out a minor irritation like session jumping, just how buggy is their website?

Sky One to resurrect Blake's 7?


@ whoever's listening

Forget Dr Who and Blakes 7, where's the 'continuation' of Come Back Mrs Noah????