The Great Almighty "What SONY screwed up with the PlayStation" thread
#1
This should be its own forum. Argh! Where to begin? Here!

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#2
So you download a game from the PlayStation store. Wanna play? Woah cowboy, you're only on Step 1 of 7.

For some reason, just downloading the bytes onto the disk doesn't make them available to play. No - you've got to Install first.

Why?

Well you know - decompression, aligning sectors, checksumming, license validation, re-encryption to local drive and mutter, grumble... While I'm certain that there are solid technical reasons which could be dredged up, it's also true that I don't care. It's horrible usability. I start a download, come back maybe a few hours later, and I have to wait another ten minutes while several gigabytes of data are lazily regurgitated with all the cutting edge sophistication of a cow chewing cud?

Okay, so there we are.. but ten extra minutes isn't long to wait, surely?

Checking for updates...


Oh.........
.........Dear.........
.........Lord

Yup. Another round of download+install. Don't ask why the Store gave you an obsolete and useless copy to download. Don't curse the fact you have no choice but to UPGRADE NOW. If decide waste no more time and you hang around to nurse the process along as quickly as possible, it'll be in vain, as Upgrades do install automatically after they download.

Resist the thoughts which arise at this stage, that someone is just taking the piss. Do this often enough, and you'll have plenty of time to wonder why simple bug-fixes span megabytes. It's almost as if the upgrade system just blindly copies entire files instead of applying diffs, patches, and deltas

But now you can play. And even if you play it every day, your PS3 still won't be smart enough to automatically download the next huge Update and install it for you while you're otherwise occupied.

Your PS3 can't hear your screams. Your PS3 can't see your tears. But more significantly - it wouldn't care, if it could.
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#3
Lets just remove some parts of the title, shall we? It should be: "The Great Almighty "SONY screwed up" thread" Wink

The engineers at sony aren't stupid. They're not brilliant either, but they know what they do and their own limits. They probably decided it was best to pack the whole game in a single iso (or equivalent) and have the users redownloading the whole file (with only minor alterations) for every update. Because, you know, using patches they will eventually screw it up some day, and send out a bunch of patches generated for an older version of the binaries, completely nuking the whole game for every single customer...

What I find more interesting is the part about "decompression, aligning sectors, checksumming, license validation, re-encryption to local drive and mutter, grumble". Apart from checksums and decompression, that whole system seems to be based around the classic DRM scheme: "We need to screw the paying customers because they might be pirates, and if some of them then become pirates, we need to screw the rest even more!".

Now THAT is the part when sony starting to screw up: forget about slow updates, forget about obsolete versions of games being mandatory downloaded, forget about crappy solutions... When people got rootkits installed from music sony cds, when sony suddenly decided to push a tiny little ps3 update which removed the whole posibility of running unsigned code and decided to sue anyone trying to bypass it (because geohot and the rest a bloody pirates, and their goal is to hurt sony by helping their poor customers...) - that is when sony showed its real self.

There's only one thing I regret when Anonymous attacked psn: that they stopped. Heart
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#4
I only bought a PS3 recently for two reasons. One of which was kinda the main selling factor of the xbox for me.

1) I wanted to play MotorStorm, which is probably the only decent PS3-only arcade racing game.
But most importantly:
2) I discovered that the stupid console didn't cost £500,000,000 any more (Okay, slight exaggeration - they don't cost £450, which is what they originally did ... I picked one up for £200.)

But as much as Motorstorm is good ... oh god, where do I begin? I've been playing on xbox 360 for about 18 months now, with my only gripe being the often shoddy resolution-scaling that most games use and market as '1080p' (I'm looking at you, Activision!) ... and of course the community, but I'm not here to Xbox Live Rage.
But let's see ... even though the PS3 may have better visuals, that's not enough to condone the whole 'OMG PS3 IS BETTAR TEH ONLIEN PLEY IZ FREE LOLZ I DUNT HAS TO PEY 2 PLEY MAH GAEMZ' ...
The console is garbage. It boots up slower than my computer which, being a two-year-old dust bunny running a clogged-up dual-boot of Windows 7 and Ubuntu Lucid on an AM2 quadcore chipset, is far from spectacularly mind-blowing fast. The wireless is complete garbage, and even when connecting via ethernet the console is often trounced by the concept of having to obtain a new network IP address and I often have to reboot it TWICE just to be able to sign into PSN. The acronym PSN is garbage, and the decision to change it to SEN is even worse.
I can't understand how a console that has SEVEN. FUCKING. PROCESSORS, and twice as much video and system RAM than the xbox, cannot as much as understand the concept of playing user-stored music at the same time as a video game, and I can't understand why you can't voice chat with your friends in an open party without the need to all be playing the same game, in the same lobby, at the same time. Y U NO MULTITASK -rageface.-
The instability of Sony's servers and the atrocious download speed of all these gigabytes of 'necessary updates' to just play a game that you'll turn out to not want to play makes the whole argument of 'free membership vs paid membership' completely unwarranted. I don't think the free membership consoles the fact that despite having a 50 megabit connection, a 5GB update to LittlBigPlanet 2 took so long to download and install that I literally decided to leave my PS3 on whilst I went to work, in the hopes that it might be done downloading once I got home seven hours later. 5GB of data which, say, downloads on every other piece of hardware in my house, including my phone, within 10 or 20 minutes.
IT'S NOT WORTH THE FREE ONLINE MEMBERSHIP.
The PS3 controller is garbage as well. I play racing games. I don't recall ever playing a racing game on xbox where my fingers kept slipping off the damn shoulder triggers every time I went to brake. I couldn't even play Blur with it, I had to go and find a bespoke xbox-360-styled PS3 controller just so I could accelerate and corner at the same time without fear of the controller being flung into the wall by accident like I'd been stretching a rubber band between my thumbs.

Honestly, it's not worth the so-called price-tag, it's not worth the claim of superior graphics, and it's not worth the lack of paid online gaming membership. I only bought one because I wanted to play MotorStorm. Makes me glad that SSX is coming out on xbox 360.


Okay, rant over Smile

edit

And to think ... once upon a time, Sony was okay with people installing Linux on the PS3.. >.>
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#5
Good rant!

"SEN"!? Egad, I didn't even notice. I do have some sympathy for the desire to keep the platform locked down - presumably the ability of the device to enforce DRM effects distribution deals. But the heavy-handed methods they used are inexcusable. And it backfires - the PlayStation feels dated - you just know that new features and fixes are delayed or cancelled because every change made is seen as a potential security risk.

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#6
Well, since I'm a bit anti-piracy as far as games go (mostly due to far too much hassle when compared to other stuff..) then the whole idea of keeping people from pirating/hacking games is to me a good one. But there's only so far you can go before it gets ridiculous. -_-

Can't even rip your own music on the PS3. Lol, wtf.

There isn't really anything I like about the PS3. To be honest, the XBox isn't much better (and I don't game on PC any more due to the whole issue with piracy and thus hackers/cheaters) but at least the xbox does what I want it to. It loads up quickly, things work, I can talk to my friends without having to sit on the dashboard and do nothing else (since I can talk and game at the same time - something Sony seems to not have comprehended) and the occasional time I DO have to update a game I only have to download at a norm a 2 or 4MB file, rather than the nonsensical 500-2GB that seems to be the average on PS3.

granted though, I'm surprised my xbox hasn't RROD'd yet. I'm fairly certain that this PS3 will still work in five years time, whereas my xbox will have probably been binned due to it breaking down. That's probably the ONLY good thing, but it's not really much to praise. =|
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#7
I've had a PS3 for almost four years - I'm happy with the purchase - I've had plenty of fun with it. I haven't used an XBox, so the feature disparity doesn't really bug me. But yeah - I can't think of a single feature which I love about it. Mostly it's just used for Netflix now :-)
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#8
I moar awesum then u - PlayStation Plus
  1. Charging for simple features and discounts which you should be offering to your users by default, is treating them with contempt.
  2. It's a cynical attempt to turn membership into a status symbol.
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#9
That seems to becoming more and more common (or I'm just starting to notice it). A kind of weird money-driven elitism... O_o

I've seen similar stuff in... well, tf2 is a good example: they now give the game for free, but if you want hats, you'll have to pay to get a premium account. Weird idea, and thankfully few people seem to care about each others headgears...


Now, I'll have to go take another direction... You guys are gonna hate me for this.. Well, here goes):

You both make a similar and interesting note:
Frillis Wrote:I do have some sympathy for the desire to keep the platform locked down - presumably the ability of the device to enforce DRM effects distribution deals.
K.Mac Wrote:Well, since I'm a bit anti-piracy as far as games go (mostly due to far too much hassle when compared to other stuff..) then the whole idea of keeping people from pirating/hacking games is to me a good one.

I was going to write this reply last weekend, but didn't get enough time, so I've collected a lot of notes about things to mention. And since I got no rhetoric skills, this post will be an (huge) unorganized mess of random thoughts...

First of all: you both seem to accept the idea of using DRM, and to some extent even believe it to be good or at least a necessary evil.

I realize you both consider this to be of little importance, since it's just about gaming consoles. But think about it: the only thing separating them from normal computers is some manufacturer insisting that this specific computer can and should only be used for their provided software. Both the xb36 and ps3 are perfectly capable of working as a computer (simply speaking: one being a pc and the other a mac).

And sure, one can always find some way of justifying drm in anything... I mean, seriously: BBC decided they would encrypt their public HD broadcasting. Why? That's a secret! But recently it was discovered their only motivation was that if some random US publisher would want their show encrypted, then BBC would have an easier time negotiating the rights and price for broadcasting it. Keep in mind encrypted public tv broadcasts in prohibited in the US.Tongue

So sure, locking it all down from the consumer might get them better deals, but only for a short while (the companies will get spoiled and grow used to the idea, and back to status quo, but with even less consumer control). And yes, it might prevent cheating a piracy for a while, since people will always find ways of messing with each other (if nothing else: just shout in the microphone! that is a great way of messing with the other players), and there will always be an interest in piracy (even if they stop it, people who might have bought the console to pirate some games (and maybe buy other) might just decide to pirate the interesting titles on PC instead, leading to 0 profit for the company). Finally, they also lose the benefit of homebrewing!


I could just post a bunch of links to techdirt and similar sites, but what I would like to express is my own experience and opinion on this. Maybe we'll agree on some things, and other maybe not. So there are two angles I'd like to present:
* homebrewing (legal hacking: changes, extensions and improvements from the community)
* DRM on offensive

I also feel like pointing out the first freedom of Free Software (often applies to "open source" software too, but that is not necessarily/always true):
Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
Which, among other things, means no drm or virtual limitations to how (free) software can be used. I know we're talking about hardware here, but it somehow felt important to point this out.


First: homebrewing:

The major thing that got me interested in the ps3 was the fact that one could run unsigned code on it (read: gnu/linux). Not that I would be using that feature a lot, but because it had that possibility. The funny thing is both nintendo and ms consoles got a lot of work on bypassing the checking of unsigned code/drm altogether (which helped pirates), while the ps3 didn't: the people capable of breaking their blocks didn't bother since the homebrewing community had access to the console. But now things will change. And since sony has show that they will sue people if they can (while updating their customer agreement making it impossible for customers to sue sony!), the people trying to bypass their blocks will not be scared of: instead they get even more incentive (not only do they need to help the home-brewing people, now it's also a wish for revenge and to be taken seriously).

Also, I don't agree on the ps3 cpu bashing: yes it's hard to code for if you're making a game running directly on the hardware. But not if you use it through a proper os kernel (like linux, preferably with a good userland instead of some minimal firewall-ish rootfs. bottom line: gnu/linux). For crying out load: the shipped gpu is some nvidious crap, but thanks to the extreme parallelism of the cpu, some people instead wrote a software rasterizer running on (one or more?) of those cores.Wink

But now I'm glad I didn't get on. *phew* Plus all those ps3 games (as well as xb3) are starting to get outdated: Valve release updates to add new content, features and storyline to most of their games (hl2, portal, portal2, tf2). Since this is often not possible on the consoles (some times due to technical problem, but mostly because of the huge paywall for each single update), they fall behind. And lets talk about 3rd party additions: the only fan-made portal map one can use on the xbox is one single map you have to pay for ("still alive", which is just a valve repack of the free portal flash game map).

I was also interested in the psp (because it was a brilliant design). But contrary to the ps3, that time I was more interested from a home-brewing point of view. I had even set up a complete development toolkit (on the windows os I was running back then) without even buying it yet. But the thing which kept putting me of was the fact that sony didn't allow unsigned code on that device (weird since they allowed it on the ps3. Well I guess they finally pulled their act together and decided on a unified policy for all their devices, to the joy of all their faitfull customersDodgy). So I kept following the new around the psp closely: once in a blue moon some people would find a flaw in a game or utility (like overflowing the image viewer), which would lead to sudden growth of people being able to run anything (previously unlucky enough to have updated or gotten a newly produced, already updated console). Then sony would release a "security" update (sometimes even buying news stories to tell people the horrible outcome of not updating: the moment you accidentally-download-a-specific-mallformatted-image-from-the-internet-without-looking-at-it-first-to-your-psp-and-look-at-it-through-the-image-view-utility, which everyone would do -apparently- your psp will be bricked!). I just looked and it seems it still keeps going round-and-round like that even these days...

I've even heard the 3ds will brick itself if it notice something weird with its hardware/software during the automated update process! Hmm... I wonder... How long would it take to propagate a faulty firmware to nintendo's update servers? I mean, think of the fun aspect: every single 3ds with internet access would immediately notice the new update, and (even if the user doesn't want it) it'd download it and start updating... "sorry, but you are a bloody pirate! [initiating self bricking]" Smile

A lot of people consider the "other os" option (and its removal) on the ps3 to not have had any noticeable impact on its sale. But I believe that most customers (if offered the options and a proper explanation) would buy a console without a lock (the alternative being the exact same hardware, limited to only running signed software and only using the official, licensed, peripherals), you know, just to be on the safe side. In fact: that is what I think sony should do: offer the ps3 in two versions: "locked" and "unlocked". They'd probably make the second one cheaper (do they still "lose money on each unit sold"?), but as long as they keep the price difference at a sane level. The pirates would buy the cheap version, mod it, and run pirated games, while the honest people would buy the more expensive option and be happy.


Final note: I'm very positive to homebrewing. In fact, that's what caused me to start programming in the first place (I'm proud of being a self-taught hobby coder): The last console I bought was a gba, and I got it because it was easy to load unsigned code on it - since it didn't even check for signatures (just a memory chip on a pcb, and you'd have several kilobytes of storage for anything!). Had I been wanting to pirate gba games, I would not have bought the console to begin with: I'd just have downloaded games and used an emulator. And on the same way, if I wanted to play those games I could easily just have bought a second-hand game, dump it to a pc, and run it on an emulator (so no money to nintendo anyway). But instead: the homebrewing was the reason I bought it. And I do not regret it.

But when I look at the consoles today, I don't see how anyone after this generation will ever have the opportunity: their first impression of coding will be through some (proprietary) weird high-level languages on hardware so complicated they could never dream of understanding and working with at a low level: with the gba you got an arm7 cpu with a memory chip and peripherals tied directly to its address lines (and the same is still somewhat true for other portable devices, which will never be easy to code for). but with a pc there's such a wast amount of interfaces, with different hardware like chipsets, north/south bridges, memory controllers and whatever, so you might just as well give up (Linus once said he probably wouldn't have been able to create linux on a moder computer. And I believe him on that to 100% percent!). The future coders will become more and more obscured and distantiated from the real hardware, and more and more tied into solutions provided by other companies (whether they like it or not). *almost starts crying...*

DRM on the offensive:

(a bit tired, will try to keep this part short)

Until now, I've only talked about gaming hardware. And it might seem like a silly problem: if you don't like the product, don't buy it! (that's my approach: I don't have any gaming consoles of this or the earlier generation).

But the problem is, DRM is all around us! I was one of those half-early-adopters of the dvd format, and when (some years ago) my dvd player started breaking down, I decided to build a mythtv htpc. And sure, I knew about the copy protection on the discs and I found the dvd css library which made it possible to bypass the disc encryption and play the movies (I legally own) on my new htpc. But the reason I can play commercial dvds (and that I have kept buying them), is simply because the copyprotection on them can be cracked. Had this not been the case (and it most certainly wont be on blu-ray), I would've become really pissed, and stopped buying them a long time ago, since they would just be useless pieces of plastic (and in the case of blu-ray, this will be just so: I'll never get a blu-ray disc or reader, until I know the encryption has been broken. and even then: do I want to keep giving money to people who think I'm okay with this?!).

The dreamcast still got a lot of homebrewing activity, even these days! And this is because (aside from being a commercial fiasco), it was a homebrewing success! (no signature checking or other drm, and support for burned cds!). Sega deserves some thanks for that creation. Just think how people are going to remember the rest of the consoles we have today: useless hardware which had even more potential, but because of shortsighted (even self-harming) decision-makers, they will never reach their full potential, and will just fade away.

Lets take the starforce drm used in games like trackmania. I own a copy of tmConfusedunrise, and recently tried to run it. But of course, the drm made this close to impossible (incompatible with later windows versions, which btw almost requires signed drivers which itself I worthy of a rant, but I don't bother). I'm not sure how I solved it, but I think it had something to do with bypassing it...Angel Also, I was among those who pre-booked the portal2 game, only to find out it didn't run on my system! It turns out, there was something wrong with the copyprotection on some specific sysytems (my solution was to wait a few months for updates and finally reinstall windows), which is the usual way with DRM: it hurts the customers (and sometime actually encourages them to just pirate the stuff), while leaving the pirates untouched. But that is not the worst part: after a few years, a DRMd game might not be possible to play anymore (unless the drm has been bypassed). And from what I understand, things has just gone downwards from starforce: these days Ubisoft games are sold with a limited number (3 I think) of installs. And just changing hardware adds to the install-counter, so lets say you replace a cpu, and memory. Then you can not risk making any more changes to that hardware, or you lose the game (they said themselves to some people reviewing a game - who had run out of activations after swapping the gpu - that they have no easy way of reactivating games).


So in the future, what will be left? (I'm highlighting this part, because I think it might be among the more important ones in this post) While I personally don't care much for proprietary software, I still believe some (mostly games) are a part of our cultural inheritance/legacy. Already are there people who try to collect and preserve old amiga games and similar, and while I'm personally of a later generation I guess I might have an interest in preserving old n64, playstation and dos/w32 games. After all: why wouldn't we want to store those old creations? No one earns any more money by having these old discs and cartridges deteriorate and become impossible to transfer to digital storage (because of both deterioration and computer-based readers not being around). The question is: now that all games are on digital formats, it all should be so simple! How have we managed to put them on the risk of being lost in history by adding extreme measurements of DRM to them? In the best-case scenario, the only way of running the games we have today in a few years will be through a VM running an outdated windows version. That's the best-case scenario, because we still have requirements for activations (ubisoft), weird hardware-based copy protection (starforce), etc... These are things which are all going to need being cracked in order for the works to survive!Confused


And then there's "secure boot". A technology in future versions of uefi (which is already replacing bios), which is meant to prevent malicious code from sneaking into the early part of the computer boot process. In itself it's a good thing, since it'll prevent some security problems (like boot-sector viruses and modications to bootloaders), but it'll not protect you from someone with physical access to the hardware, nor anything which sneaks into the system at a later point in the boot process. The problem is microsoft: they decided they'd get OEMs to install only their signing key on the uefi memory, and make it as hard as possible (if even possible) to install anything else. In fact: on arm, they don't even allow users to bypass this signature verification (nor change the key). So the question is: how much longer before microsoft finds a way of backporting this to normal pc and still get away with it? Are we looking at the beginning of the same kind of DRM we see on any game console now starting to make its way to other computers???

Not to mention android devices (or should they just be called "linux"? They run linux, so why not?, both gnu/linux and android run linux, even though the whole userland is different). These devices should be rather modification-friendly, but most of them are not. The reason: the bootloader is usually locked. Not exactly drm, but the same kind of tivoization used on tivo (well, obviously), the-media-player-running-xbmc-from-d-link-I-forgot-the-name-of, and countless other little "magic boxes". The reason for the creation of the gpl was to enforce freedom for the user/consumer, but the manufacturer found a way of loopholing the licensing and still be able to leech out of others work, while not providing the consumer with any freedom over the hardware.



Also, I can't help to think about the kids growing up to this: they're used with copy protection and control on everything ("off course I can't play the movie on a computer-", "of course I can't run programs on my gaming console-", "of course I can't use an i-thingamabob as I want-", "of course <random company> should be able to read all my emails, and look through my files-", "-because <some random company vindication lie>").


Finally: I know I said no techdirt links... But I just have to post these ones:
* Why Piracy Is Indispensable For The Survival Of Our Culture
* And Of Course: Study Shows That Getting Rid Of DRM Reduces 'Piracy'

Thanks you, that is all!


update: added p2 incident.
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#10
Good thought-provoking post! There really is nothing I disagree with there.


(2012-03-04, 08:27 PM)Slinger Wrote: First of all: you both seem to accept the idea of using DRM, and to some extent even believe it to be good or at least a necessary evil.

I certainly wouldn't defend DRM - but I can understand why corporate-decision-making is inevitably drawn towards it.

Cats pounce upon shoelaces, and Corporations find DRM more irresistible than catnip. Expecting different behaviour from either is a waste of energy.

Locking a console down, imposing DRM and draconian user policies is an easy, unimaginative step which inhibits creativity, culture and backfires in ways you simply can't express on a balance sheet. It's not a necessary evil, but it is intrinsic when dealing with entities whose decision-making capabilities are more reactionary than sentient.


Ultimately, it's part of the reason why there needs to be an Open Console Platform - I've been kicking this idea around with a few people for over a year now - basing it on a standardized PC architecture to keep costs down, and certifying compatible clones made cheaply anywhere in the world (but most probably in the East). If this sounds familiar, then yeah - the news of the "Valve SteamBox" made me curse a little this weekend.

As for homebrew - Linux has good game engines, but Windows has all the great ones - but find a way to monetize Open Gaming (the biggest conceptual challenge), and that landscape changes. As happened with Linux Vs. Windows over the last decade of heavy industry contributions + profits with Open Source - today Linux surpasses Windows in sophistication in most important areas.

When I was a kid I had a Spectrum 128k+2. One summer-holiday morning I walked down to the library, picked up a book on Z80 assembly language, and by the afternoon was writing my first code. There weren't game-engines as such, since it was all direct access with the hardware - but that also created a level playing field. A week later I had written scrolling routines faster than some I'd seen in some of my favourite games.

This was no extraordinary achievement - you simply cannot underestimate how powerful is the combination of an unlocked machine, a level playing field, and a little ingenuity.

When the Open Game Engines start to surpass those which are closed, we will unlock that potential, and we'll see a golden age of homebrew.


(2012-03-04, 08:27 PM)Slinger Wrote: I was also interested in the psp (because it was a brilliant design). But contrary to the ps3, that time I was more interested from a home-brewing point of view. I had even set up a complete development toolkit (on the windows os I was running back then) without even buying it yet. But the thing which kept putting me of was the fact that sony didn't allow unsigned code on that device (weird since they allowed it on the ps3. Well I guess they finally pulled their act together and decided on a unified policy for all their devices, to the joy of all their faitfull customersDodgy). So I kept following the new around the psp closely: once in a blue moon some people would find a flaw in a game or utility (like overflowing the image viewer), which would lead to sudden growth of people being able to run anything (previously unlucky enough to have updated or gotten a newly produced, already updated console). Then sony would release a "security" update (sometimes even buying news stories to tell people the horrible outcome of not updating: the moment you accidentally-download-a-specific-mallformatted-image-from-the-internet-without-looking-at-it-first-to-your-psp-and-look-at-it-through-the-image-view-utility, which everyone would do -apparently- your psp will be bricked!). I just looked and it seems it still keeps going round-and-round like that even these days...

I got great value from my PSP. Turns out the version of GTA: Liberty City Stories I bought with it, was the very one which can unlock the early model PSPs. Unlocking it was a breeze. Even wrote a little SDL-based demo.. but development is painful on a system which tries to make it more difficult than it needs to be. I did get stung though -- the games I bought in the PlayStation Store wouldn't load onto the PSP unless I "upgraded" to a locked down official Firmware.

Screw that.

PirateBay solved that problem in five minutes flat.

Now The Kid just uses it to watch videos in the car. Shame really. Great hardware, could have been the king of the homebrew scene.


(2012-03-04, 08:27 PM)Slinger Wrote: But when I look at the consoles today, I don't see how anyone after this generation will ever have the opportunity: their first impression of coding will be through some (proprietary) weird high-level languages

I think modding has a role to play here -- jumping in and flipping switches, tweaking variables is a great way to learn. By learning how to break things.. and ultimately how not to break them as much ;-) But that's perhaps the best thing about PC gaming.

The SDK for the Open Console Platform exports all structs and method calls, and supplies an API to access and modify the data in realtime and catch all method calls. The idea being that it's built-in to all games by default - just enter the mod menu, and write your own script in a language of your choice or browse for others. Not enough levels? Write your own. The complex part was ensuring game creator and modder both get appropriate compensation.


(2012-03-04, 08:27 PM)Slinger Wrote: on hardware so complicated they could never dream of understanding and working with at a low level: with the gba you got an arm7 cpu with a memory chip and peripherals tied directly to its address lines (and the same is still somewhat true for other portable devices, which will never be easy to code for). but with a pc there's such a wast amount of interfaces, with different hardware like chipsets, north/south bridges, memory controllers and whatever, so you might just as well give up (Linus once said he probably wouldn't have been able to create linux on a moder computer. And I believe him on that to 100% percent!). The future coders will become more and more obscured and distantiated from the real hardware, and more and more tied into solutions provided by other companies (whether they like it or not). *almost starts crying...*

..and today Charles Babbage couldn't design the worlds most powerful computer using wood and clockwork.

..and today the Wright Brothers couldn't push the boundaries of aeronautics using canvas and the proceeds from a bicycle shop.

..but neither would Linus have been able to create Linux on an older computer. There was a small window of a couple of years either way - a sweet spot of cpu, network, memory, storage and unexploited GNU userland.

Today we have Raspberry Pi and Arduino, and the Maker scene is exploding. I think what's happening is a result of progress - when I started it was common for someone who understood the bare metal to be also coding the UI, and everything else inbetween. And the guys who designed the microchips and started with punchcards just shook their heads at what we took for granted. As everything expands and grows more detailed and complex, you need more specialization.

More Giants == More Shoulders To Stand Upon


(2012-03-04, 08:27 PM)Slinger Wrote: And then there's "secure boot". A technology in future versions of uefi (which is already replacing bios), which is meant to prevent malicious code from sneaking into the early part of the computer boot process. In itself it's a good thing, since it'll prevent some security problems (like boot-sector viruses and modications to bootloaders), but it'll not protect you from someone with physical access to the hardware, nor anything which sneaks into the system at a later point in the boot process. The problem is microsoft: they decided they'd get OEMs to install only their signing key on the uefi memory, and make it as hard as possible (if even possible) to install anything else. In fact: on arm, they don't even allow users to bypass this signature verification (nor change the key). So the question is: how much longer before microsoft finds a way of backporting this to normal pc and still get away with it? Are we looking at the beginning of the same kind of DRM we see on any game console now starting to make its way to other computers???

This scare has been going on at least a decade. But yeah, it would suck if it ever came to pass as a standard or became enforceable by law. For that to happen, the USA would need its own high-tech manufacturing base though. Can you imagine Asia suddenly deciding to only produce such hardware?


(2012-03-04, 08:27 PM)Slinger Wrote: Not to mention android devices (or should they just be called "linux"? They run linux, so why not?, both gnu/linux and android run linux, even though the whole userland is different). These devices should be rather modification-friendly, but most of them are not. The reason: the bootloader is usually locked.

That's why I have a Google Nexus.. it's developer friendly, and proof that you can make a best-selling unlocked device.



(2012-03-04, 08:27 PM)Slinger Wrote: Also, I can't help to think about the kids growing up to this: they're used with copy protection and control on everything ("off course I can't play the movie on a computer-", "of course I can't run programs on my gaming console-", "of course I can't use an i-thingamabob as I want-", "of course <random company> should be able to read all my emails, and look through my files-", "-because <some random company vindication lie>").

I think they're also more adept at knowing that the restrictions can be bypassed, and how to do it. They also have the spare-time. I sat at the firmware update screen of my PS3 looking at the option to close the USB-exploit which would allow me to code and run whatever I wanted. Meh. I knew that I didn't have the time to hack around and re-download all my legitimately purchased software - probably from pirate sites since I'd be locked out of the PlayStation store. I didn't have time to keep abreast of all the latest cat+mouse developments

Most significantly, had they not patched the hole, I wouldn't have had time to jailbreak my PS3 anyway - regardless - I did not appreciate them taking away an option I'd probably never use.

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#11
Unfortunately, this got a bit tl;dr so... I don't really know what to say now. I wasn't expecting such huge walls (um... replies) to this... xD

I guess DRM is that annoying, huh :/

It's probably going to make me look like I'm an idiot or that I don't care. The thing is, I do care ... DRM is annoying (I'm sick of having to put the DVD in my computer for a game just to play it) but... as annoying as it is, we're never going to get away from it. It's just the case of how much publishers and other 'large companies' (like Micro$oft) want to push the boundaries. It can only go so far... -_-

See... the funny thing is, I try not to pirate games (from my own experience, pirating games is a pain in the ass ... my Wii is a testament to that) but even besides that, I will almost always buy something if I actually like it.
Like I initially pirated Blur when it was released (but I didn't bother trying to find a keygen to get an online account) and then went and bought it because I liked it. So... there's that. >.>
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#12
(2012-03-06, 08:07 PM)K.Mac Wrote: Unfortunately, this got a bit tl;dr so... I don't really know what to say now. I wasn't expecting such huge walls (um... replies) to this... xD

:omg:


(2012-03-06, 08:07 PM)K.Mac Wrote: I guess DRM is that annoying, huh :/

It's probably going to make me look like I'm an idiot or that I don't care. The thing is, I do care ... DRM is annoying (I'm sick of having to put the DVD in my computer for a game just to play it) but... as annoying as it is, we're never going to get away from it.

I think it's really difficult to imagine a world without DRM. Alternate methods of distribution and compensation haven't risen to the same market scale that the 'large companies' control. We can argue logic, but we can't point to proof. Without proof it's hard to motivate high-investments towards what they identify as risk.


(2012-03-06, 08:07 PM)K.Mac Wrote: It's just the case of how much publishers and other 'large companies' (like Micro$oft) want to push the boundaries. It can only go so far... -_-

The DRM-free Open Console Platform I talked about above, would help change that. Before the end of the decade I expect we'll see AAA Open Source Games able to turn a profit for the developers. It's an ambitious goal, but also just about the only thing I can see which would change the situation as you describe it.


(2012-03-06, 08:07 PM)K.Mac Wrote: See... the funny thing is, I try not to pirate games (from my own experience, pirating games is a pain in the ass ... my Wii is a testament to that) but even besides that, I will almost always buy something if I actually like it.
Like I initially pirated Blur when it was released (but I didn't bother trying to find a keygen to get an online account) and then went and bought it because I liked it. So... there's that. >.>

There's a lot of hyperbole in the discussion about Piracy and Copyright. I really like what Cory Doctorow writes on the subject:

Quote:"Copyright isn't an ethical proposition, it's a utilitarian one. There's nothing moral about paying a composer tuppence for the piano-roll rights, there's nothing immoral about not paying Hollywood for the right to videotape a movie off your TV. They're just the best way of balancing out so that people's physical property rights in their VCRs and phonographs are respected and so that creators get enough of a dangling carrot to go on making shows and music and books and paintings."
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#13
(2012-03-06, 10:22 PM)Frillis Wrote:
Quote:"Copyright isn't an ethical proposition, it's a utilitarian one. There's nothing moral about paying a composer tuppence for the piano-roll rights, there's nothing immoral about not paying Hollywood for the right to videotape a movie off your TV. They're just the best way of balancing out so that people's physical property rights in their VCRs and phonographs are respected and so that creators get enough of a dangling carrot to go on making shows and music and books and paintings."
Yeah, that's pretty much it.

That, and if you don't, eventually a half-dozen men in black suits and sunglasses might bust your door down, seize your expensive, hard-earned property on the grounds that it must be "examined" (you'll never see it again) and cart you off to a jail cell under the grounds that you have committed crimes by not purchasing the legal rights to listen, play or watch what content exists on your electronic equipment.

... well actually, I don't know how much of that is true, though I know that's what happens if you hack somebody (some kid in Doncaster got arrested for being part of LulzSec... Doncaster's about a 40-minute drive from my town o_o. Personally if he IS a part of lulzsec and had anything to do with the PS3 hacking scandal, I seriously want to go up to the guy and thank him for sticking it to the man.


But yeah. Piracy. I don't even know what the point I'm trying to make is, except for that we're never going to get away from it and the government is always going to be on the side of whatever makes the most money for them. I just like rambling. I suppose random rambling is a good way to vent random frustration. o_o

... Kinda derailed the topic here, haven't I?

But yeah... I suppose there are people out there whose opinion differs but I tend to respect piracy to a certain level. I mean, I know I pirate a lot of music, but that's because 9/10 there's only one good song on the album and I don't want to waste $20 buying an album for one song. I'd rather buy the individual song, to be honest .... but I'd be damned if I use iTunes. Closes I got was buying an indie album off of Lap Fox but I guess that's irrelevant >_>
... the only pirated games I actually have are the PC versions of Rollcage and Motorhead. Oh, and Split/Second, but I should probably go buy that anyway because it's actually a fairly decent racing game. Then again ... I DO legitimately own copies of the PS1 versions of rollcage/stage II and Motorhead. Just the PC versions look nicer (lol Slinger was mad annoyed when he found out he'd accidentally sent me a torrent link for the pentium 3 edition of the game ... the 'elusive one with better graphics' xD) and I obviously can't play the ps versions due to not having a PS1 any more.
Are those games abandonware yet? I'm sure Rollcage and Stage II are. If they are, Motorhead probably should be as well. You should try Motorhead if you haven't, really. For its time it's a solid arcade racer. Pretty fucking hard as well, until you learn the cars' grip limits.


... I think I'll stop now. You can post more Derp.gif images if you want =D
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#14
(2012-03-15, 11:27 AM)K.Mac Wrote: That, and if you don't, eventually a half-dozen men in black suits and sunglasses might bust your door down, seize your expensive, hard-earned property on the grounds that it must be "examined" (you'll never see it again) and cart you off to a jail cell under the grounds that you have committed crimes by not purchasing the legal rights to listen, play or watch what content exists on your electronic equipment.

We live in medieval times.

But then again, these issues are all new. It wasn't a problem 15 years ago. In terms of human history, and actually addressing a problem, we tend to measure in Generations, not Years.

But things are moving faster when it comes to the Internet. It used to be a cultural joke that adults couldn't set the VCR, but their kids could - and without even reading the manual! And while there was a bit of that initially with the Internet, over the last 10 years it really seems that the gap has narrowed.

I think even five years ago, something like SOPA or ACTA could have passed without complaint, since the social networks weren't such a force in everyday life, and the issues were too abstract or alien to be picked up by a movement.

It takes time.


(2012-03-15, 11:27 AM)K.Mac Wrote: But yeah. Piracy. I don't even know what the point I'm trying to make is, except for that we're never going to get away from it and the government is always going to be on the side of whatever makes the most money for them.

http://metagovernment.org

"We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

Things Change. Shit Happens. Metagovernment is a group of projects dedicated to ensuring transparency and representation are at the core of our 21st century systems of Governance.

Keep an eye on it - it's currently in the same position as Copyright Law was 5 years ago - too abstract to gain enough mindshare for a movement. But if #Occupy doesn't implode this year, it's entirely possible that the concept will hit the mainstream.


(2012-03-15, 11:27 AM)K.Mac Wrote: ... Kinda derailed the topic here, haven't I?

Only if you consider a topic to have a pre-determined destination.

(there are no rails)


(2012-03-15, 11:27 AM)K.Mac Wrote: ... I think I'll stop now. You can post more Derp.gif images if you want =D

Ooops - it wasn't meant as a "Derp" at all.
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#15
*to the music of "ring of fire"*
And it grows, grows, grows... my wall of text...
And it floods, floods, floods... my wall of text...
My wall of text, my wall of text...


So yeah... Bottom line: DRM is bad. It's bad for the legitimate consumers, and it (among other things) gives digital locks/handcuffs. I mean if anyone would offer me a legitimate digital download service without proprietary software and without DRM - preferably with in an royalty free encoding like webm - I would be buying tons of stuff (well... at least fringe and futurama), but now I've got three choices:
1) buy a dvd and bypass the drm to be able to ply it in my video player of choice (probably not legal to do Rolleyes ). I used to do this a lot before.
2) illegal download. Used to do this a lot before.
3) (what I do these days): I've got a mythtv system (diy pvr) running which records the shows I want. Cons: often got to wait a lot for the episodes I want (and futurama doesn't even air in sweden).

Basically: I'm so tired of the usual movies and series so I just don't feel it's worth getting caught downloading. And I'm definitely not going to buy some expensive imported dvd or use some proprietary streaming service with drm. Bottom line: I don't buy them, and I don't illegally download either.

I'm glad android phones are starting to get unlocked bootloaders - that used to be a good example of DRM/digital locks just getting in the way without serving a purpose, as usual (except for making the telcos happy: they could charge users for just unlocking features the users should already had, like use the phone like a computer modem). But really when are we going to see phones you can easily install debian on? I got some hope on those intel phones, but I'm not going to bet on it...


As for getting rid of DRM: It's actually quite funny! DRM is mainly used for protecting entertainment products! If people just start realize they don't need the latest hollywood film to live, things would change quickly. And that's the thing: I think we're actually starting to see a change here. As well as a real "solution" to "problem" of piracy. More and more people start creating content without going through the big companies - and more people are starting to get interested in it! And the new creators know people are fed up with drm and want better services (just look at all those films and games popping up on kickstarter! And some are offering DRM free versions).


Quote:I think even five years ago, something like SOPA or ACTA could have passed without complaint, since the social networks weren't such a force in everyday life, and the issues were too abstract or alien to be picked up by a movement.
I was so happy when I saw people starting to wake up and come together against those things! Now lets just see if enough politicians starts realizing that this isn't a result of a "misinformation campaign by google"... Cool

metagovernment sounds like an interesting initiative: bring democracy to the IT age... Lets see how long it takes until it gets mongered as communism by the US and A. Thumbs Up


btw: I need to get someone to stop using msn and start using XMPP... Wink
Try systemd. They said.
It'll be just as reliable as init. They said.
It'll be completely bug-free. They said.
Our monolithic windows-approach is far superior to the Unix-approach. They said.
Okay, so the codebase has grown gigantic and no one but our paid group of full-time developers who created it can maintain it and fix bugs... but it'll be fine. They said.
Okay, we'll shove it down your throat whether you like it or not. They said.

I guess it's finally time to look into GuixSD and/or devuan.

Code:
systemd-journald(195): Received SIGTERM.
systemd[1]: systemd-udevd.service has no holdoff time, scheduling restart.
systemd[1]: systemd-udevd.service failed to schedule restart job: final.target is queued, ignoring restart request for unit systemd-udevd.service
systemd[1]: Unit systemd-udevd.service entered failed state.
systemd[1]: systemd-journald.service has no holdoff time, scheduling restart.
systemd[1]: systemd-journald.service failed to schedule restart job: final.target is queued, ignoring restart request for unit systemd-journald.service
systemd[1]: Unit systemd-journald.service entered failed state.
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#16
I've been thinking of writing this for some time, but kept forgetting and never got to it:

I too like the writings/speeches of Cory, "now-you-have-two-problems", Doctorow.

Essentially, piracy isn't about malicious intent, but rather the most convenient choice. I've heard of people actually downloading movies after they bought them on bluray, simply because the drm made it impossible to play on their computer/player+television set. And then there's an almost unlimited flow of new drm-gone-bad anecdotes: https://www.techdirt.com/blog/?tag=drm

Bottom line: I think most consumers would pay if there would be an actual advantage to be a paying consumer instead of a pirate. But right now it's the other way around (with the possible exception of valve's steam). The idea that you can buy a piece of hardware (gaming console) that's just a redressed general-purpose-computer, and then not be allowed to run programs on it as you like (and getting thrown in jail for helping others do the same). Dear lord, sony is actually making microsoft look like good guys here, and they are both just selling the same crippled hardware. X_X

I'd also write some rant about android showing the difference between open source and free software (compare it to debian or fedora or any other sane gnu/linux distro), but it seems like a rather useless digress.

I will instead mention the meant-to-be season finale of Futurama. Overclockwise. Part of it is pretty much a direct parody of what has been discussed here (hint: Bender gets overclocked). Worth mentioning futurama is the only show I've found worth to (and do) buy in many, many years now. And even then, I always have to bypass the dvd encryption just to watch it, meaning I'm just a bloody "pirate" anyway! Sad

"I really shouldn't agree to things I don't understand, but I'm slightly thirsty."
Try systemd. They said.
It'll be just as reliable as init. They said.
It'll be completely bug-free. They said.
Our monolithic windows-approach is far superior to the Unix-approach. They said.
Okay, so the codebase has grown gigantic and no one but our paid group of full-time developers who created it can maintain it and fix bugs... but it'll be fine. They said.
Okay, we'll shove it down your throat whether you like it or not. They said.

I guess it's finally time to look into GuixSD and/or devuan.

Code:
systemd-journald(195): Received SIGTERM.
systemd[1]: systemd-udevd.service has no holdoff time, scheduling restart.
systemd[1]: systemd-udevd.service failed to schedule restart job: final.target is queued, ignoring restart request for unit systemd-udevd.service
systemd[1]: Unit systemd-udevd.service entered failed state.
systemd[1]: systemd-journald.service has no holdoff time, scheduling restart.
systemd[1]: systemd-journald.service failed to schedule restart job: final.target is queued, ignoring restart request for unit systemd-journald.service
systemd[1]: Unit systemd-journald.service entered failed state.
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