Category → Interesting..?
Well, just one more day of work to go before a fortnight of Not Doing Very Much can begin. Some may argue that I’ve spent much of my life performing that particular activity. I would respond at length to those sort of people but, frankly, it sounds like too much effort.
I will be away from Dante, my self-built PC/Media Server (or ‘rig’ if you prefer that term). Dexter, our cat, will somehow have to cope with not pestering anyone for attention at 4am but will have the run of the place to himself. I expect he’ll have seen all the Jeremy Kyle and Loose Women he can stand by the time we return.
I’m travelling light, with most of my holiday gear being transported in shopping bags. I’m confident this will be good practice should I pursue a career as a hobo. I hear it’s a very equal opportunities workplace with as much holiday time as you want but the options for advancement don’t seem to be very, well, advanced.
I’ll miss our glorious opening of the Oylmpics, where the weather will be perfect, Boris won’t act like some spoon-fed buffoon and G4S will have made good – having checked the sofa and found a few thousand security staff they’d forgotten all about.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, it seems that many others are watching this, so you may as well see it too. I can certainly vouch for its authenticity but I haven’t a clue how a full console build gets out into the wild.
Now that’s what I call an unfinished game.
My favourite bug during development were the overscaled Ewoks on Endor. You may think Ewoks are cute. Just you wait until you run into one that’s 10 feet tall.
It’s been over a year since I made a post on my own site.
That’s one way to clean the fingermarks off the screen!
The headlines both on and offline seem to be increasingly littered with the doings of hackers. These digital rapscallions dashing to and fro, performing acts of daring like some cyberpunk Zorro. It’s all so gosh darn romantic.
Certain readers may have spotted that koffdrop.com itself was hacked recently. Apparently the site was targetted and labelled as an enemy of Pakistan. Now, there’s a good reason why I’ve not declared my views on Pakistan very prominently on my site. That would be because I don’t have any. Since the incident, however, I’m of the opinion that Pakistan has some pretty shoddy and misguided hackers.
Elsewhere, various databases are hacked by more proficient (though equally misguided) hackers and wodges of private data and spilled onto torrent sites. Here and there various hacking groups claim responsibility for such acts. I think that’s a behaviour worth making a mental note of. Can you think of other types of activists who claim responsibility for their incendiary activities? I can.
In gaming circles there is much emotive talk about Geohot and PlayStation 3. The media, fawning buffoons that they are, simply can’t resist the salicious David-versus-Goliath spin on all of this and adding more melodrama to a topic that too many folk are using personal feelings rather than concrete data to draw conclusions from.
Now, amongst the feedback of all of this there are a few principles being hammered out:
- I bought the PS3. It’s mine. I can do what I like with it
- The PS3 was targetted due to the removal of the “Other OS” functionality
- Hackers, GeoHot specifically, do not endorse piracy
- Hacking does not equal piracy
Let’s review these in a little more detail
I bought the PS3. It’s mine. I can do what I like with it
No, that’s incorrect. Like nearly every single argument where someone starts by saying “I bought X so…” the understanding of ownership is flawed. Arguments based on that flawed understanding are going to be increasingly flawed.
What you bought is a device that provides access to a manufacturer’s technology and services. You own the device, you do not own the technology or service. Furthermore, that access is given to you under specific terms and conditions that you agree to before the device allows you to use it and, further to that, usage of the device typically declares your consent to the terms.
It’s crucial to appreciate the distinction between the device and the technology inside it and the service(s) it provides.
Similar principles are true of software. When you buy a game you have not purchased the software. You have purchased a copy of someone else’s software and a licence to use that copy under specific terms. The software is still owned by the software publisher. The shiny disc is yours, the data on it is not.
Back to hardware. As far as the device is concerned, you can do what you like. Smash it with a hammer and put a video of it on YouTube. Paint it bright pink. The hardware people don’t care. Start fucking about with the technology though, well, that’s a different story. Modifying the technology to work in a way that is not sanctioned by the terms under which you agreed to use it – you’d be the one in the wrong buster, not the guys who own the technology and who sold you the device.
On top of this, consumers get bent out of shape really quickly the moment a company doesn’t maintain their side of an agreement. When consumers decide to break that agreement? Well shee-it, that’s their God-given right dammit! And just because they don’t keep their word doesn’t mean they should lose any perks or benefits. Convenient double-standards at play in that mentality, don’t you think?
The PS3 was targeted due to the removal of the “Other OS” functionality
There’s a number of fallacies at play in this statement. Let’s start with the most glaring by asking what prompted the removal of that functionality in the first place?
Oh, hang about, that would be because it was abused by hackers. It’s funny how they keep that side of things rather quiet when justifying their crusade isn’t it? You hacked it and so it got removed. Now you’re acting like the removal was unfair so you’re hacking things even more. The concepts of cause and effect appear to be lost on these people. Which is a bit odd because hackers are, broadly speaking, pretty smart guys.
OtherOS, as its name suggests, allowed the installation of other operating systems onto the PS3. Notably linux. Now, if you’re looking for a platform to run linux on and you feel that your only choice is a $600 videogames console as opposed to, say, a $500 computer then you’re not going to get very far handling an operating system like linux. For a start, you won’t have a keyboard, let alone the appreciation of using the right tool for the right job. So let’s dispense with the notion that OtherOS provided a crucial service that simply could not be replicated to an equal standard in any other form.
Let’s also dispense with the idea that anybody gave a shit about OtherOS until it was revealed as means to exploit the PS3′s security and tempt greedy gamers with the prospect of pirating games instead of paying for them.
So, in response to the actions of hackers, Sony removed OtherOS with a firmware update. Internet crybabies screamed that their most beloved of PS3 features (that one that they never used but had recently become very interested in) was going to be taken away from them. Of course they did – because people bitch about having something taken away from them, even if they never intended to use it. “But it’s the principle!” they cry. Well, gee, if there’s one thing we know about gamers it’s that they’re people of principle. So long as that principle serves them, that is. Otherwise the rest of the world can fuck off for all they care. But, you know, principles. Principles!
Hackers, GeoHot specifically, do not endorse piracy
That’s so true. Hackers are digital freedom-fighters. Enabling free speech from the evil corrupt closed-nature of the cyber-confines that these monolithic and brooding corporations impose upon helpless citizens.
This is a hacker:
Now, if I were a pacifist I might be against guns. So to prove my point, I’d hack guns so that ammunition of any sort can be made freely available to any gun-owner and I’d broadcast my methods to the world. No, I’m not endorsing unlicensed use of firearms, sir! I’m a pacifist! See, I wrote it on my blog so it must be true. What do you mean by saying my actions contradict my words. I wrote it down on the internet. The internet doesn’t lie!
Sarcasm aside, saying you don’t endorse piracy whilst indirectly yet knowingly enabling a tidal wave of piracy is what is commonly referred to as bullshit.
Once again, let’s remember that hackers are smart geezers. They understand things that would leave most of us baffled. So shrugging their shoulders and acting like they don’t know what they’re not aware of the impact of their actions is spectacularly unconvincing.
Hacking does not equal piracy
Preach on brother!
Yes, lets overlook a huge wave of historical evidence that sets the template for cause and effect and say that hacking doesn’t equal piracy. Of course it doesn’t. Why doesn’t it? Because hackers don’t endorse piracy, didn’t you hear?!
So, OtherOS was around for a few years. The PS3 was unhacked. Folk had the oppurtunity to use a powerful, open console to develop homebrew applications for the benefit of others. Did they? Not really, no.
PS3 gets hacked. Hacking doesn’t equal piracy though, does it? How long did it take for people to start using the hacks to enable pirate copies of software to run on the system? Days.
But that most be coincidence because, you know, hacking brings oppurtunity for betterment, not piracy. There’s no evidence to suggest that piracy follows a hacked system like the papparazzi follow Paris Hilton. Well, nothing aside from every hacked console there’s ever been in the last 25 years. But, you know, that’s not really relevant I guess. Real world facts have no place when you’re preaching a sermon, do they?
And the PS3 has been hacked. So what wondrous benefits to people has it brought other than piracy? Well, there’s been.. erm.. lots of cheating. Yes! See, cheaters can enjoy their games using less skill and ruin the experience for all the people that still play by the rules. Remember folks, gamers are all about principles! What else has hacking enabled other than mass cheating and piracy? Well… some emulators I guess. Whoop dee doo. What about PS2 backwards compatibility – lots of people are asking for that!.. er nah. I guess the hackers aren’t really into that.
Hey, what about reinstating OtherOS functionality? Tellingly.. no.
But, hey, principles!
So when you strip away all the worthless pantomime drama and the greed and the general ignorance at play in all of this you have a fairly transparent behaviour being dressed up as something more than it is. It’s just a script kiddie having a tantrum and wanting attention.
The hackers we have been reading so much about recently are not doing anyone any favours. They are not crusading for the greater good they are merely digital terrorists. When their particular beliefs are not being met they do not communicate like civil people, they hide behind $TuP1D NAME$ and exploit those that aren’t doing things in the manner they want, happily letting innocents get caught up in the crossfire of their narrow-minded antics.
What will happen as a result of this? Systems will become more closed and more secure as a response to this behaviour. Hackers will insist that things should be more open and free, persistently refusing to take their own actions into account and just giving everyone they lash out against good reason to make things more secure and more closed.
Hackers need to drop the pretence and learn how to resolve their issues like civil, mature human beings.
..the internet was filled with racists and bigots that would spew their idiocy behind a cowardly wall of anonymity.
Today, a lot of them boldly do it on Facebook.
Click the pic for the full-sized insult.
Dear Self Important Idiot,
If I’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s the importance of good communication. Discussing your concerns with people that have no means to address them is nothing more than moaning. Dressing up a rant as an open letter is merely an effort to legitimise your verbiage as something more than it is.
Posing as a concerned consumer wishing for something better is made worthless by the fact you’re refusing to speak to the people you claim to be addressing. In fact, presenting an open letter on your own website suggests that you feel that whoever it is you’re addressing should be coming to you rather than you going to them. That’s big of you, I must say.
Really, an open letter presented in such a way is little more than a manipulative rant presented not to those you should be addressing but to an audience of regular readers that you know will back you up. After all, that’s why you’re putting it on your own site in front of your regular audience instead of, say, the people who can do anything about whatever it is you’re moaning about.
This all fits very neatly into the popular internet pursuit of having your opinions validated by others. If you feel you need more of that, you go for it. Just be more honest with yourself and admit what you’re doing rather than charade as someone doing something for the benefit of others.
If you genuinely wanted to raise the issue and get feedback on what can be done to improve things, you’d take your concerns to the people you’re addressing. You’re not doing that. You’ve failed to communicate effectively. What a shame. Nothing will change. Then you can write another open letter later on the topic of why the people you addressed in your earlier open letter are evil because they ignore the people that write open letters about them.
Neither game related, both scooped up to me via my RSS feeds:
Tokyo introduces manga restrictions
Tokyo has banned the sale and lease of anime films and manga comics depicting rape, incest and other sex crimes to under-18s.
Call me crazy, but I would have thought that the distribution of sort of material would have such controls already. Perhaps I’m just an old prude.
Torn admits drunken bank break-in
Seventy-nine-year-old US actor Rip Torn admits to breaking into a bank while drunk and carrying a loaded gun.
This definitely rates as one of the best stupid-things-to-do-when-you’re-drunk stories I’ve heard recently. Mel Gibson’s really going to have to pull something out the bag to top that one.
My new favourite acronym, standing for:
Games Journalists Are Incompetent Fuckwits
Clearly I’m so far behind the times that GJAIF is so hip and cool with the kids it even has its own site:
A catalogue of the stupid, incompetent, and generally retarded things gaming journalists say and do.
We dedicate time every day to scouring gaming news sites for dumb shit. More often than not we find it on Kotaku or Destructoid, where “random crap that pops into my head” qualifies as genuine journalism for some reason.
Hello GJAIF, welcome to my RSS reader!
So, what’s been going on since my last infrequent update?
Well, I’ve ratched up another year of my life. I’ve nothing significant to say about that.
My PlayStation 3 has decided that it will no-longer acknowledge the presence of its blu-ray drive. Quite an inconvenience given the nature of many of the birthday presents I received. I’m still undecided as how best to remedy the situation.
I’ve watched a number of unremarkable moves. Inception and Toy Story 3 being remarkable exceptions.
I’m witnessing some of the most staggeringly immature office politics I’ve ever seen in my life, mismanaged by a line-manager who appears shy of confrontations and clearly prefers to deal with things rather than people.
Those politics are only slightly more staggering the the complete Animal Farm of a wreck of a forum started with good intentions that has been swallowed up wholesale by egotism, nerdpride and intolerance. Some nerds, it seems, consider themselves more equal than others.
I’ve no doubt that somewhere you can buy a nerd tshirt with that formula written on the front and probably paraphrased in Yoda-english on the back.
And, erm, that’s it.