With the exception of the other day I haven’t really done any big “links” post lately. I figured I’d take the opportunity to mention a few things that I enjoy, can’t live without or just find interesting in general.
First up is Y’s Dock. It’s simply THE BEST Mac OSX Dockbar for Windows XP. Currently in 0.3 beta it’s already past my two previous favorites in terms of dockbars. It’s insainly fast, clean, super easy to use and doesn’t take up much memory. If you’re like me and enjoy a OSX theme for you desktop then this is a perfect addition to your collection. Official Page here.
To go along with Y’s Dock, you’ll need icons in PNG form. In that case you should check out Clotz Icons. Now, these aren’t officially released by their authors for technically Clotz shouldn’t really be doing this but since he’s taken the time to convert a great deal of these from ICO to PNG, I’ll mention the link anyways. Otherwise you’d have to convert them yourself from your favorite icon collections or find them somewhere else. Link.
Moving on, if you’re looking for techie news, look no further than GeekNews or Neowin. Each have their upsides and downside but they both cover the world on electronic news fairly well. Of course if you actually want to read the sources that they’re quoting you should probably read The Register or CNet News… but who has time for that 🙂
Speaking of The Register, this story appeared today and I couldn’t think of a more perfect example to demonstrate my discust over the direction that Microsoft, Intel and their lackies are going to take the computer industry. It’s about how the XBox Live service is banning unique XBox IDs for life if they’ve been modded. See… now do you people believe me that hardware IDs are going to doom us all? Can’t you see where this is headed? I digress…
I have addictions… they are bad. Please help.
–Civ 3… again.
–Neverwinter Nights …please, someone stop me now.
–Natural Selection … funtastic!
–Subspace …it’s like Highschool all over again!
That’s about it for now. I’ve got to get back to my finals. As a personal update, I’ll be heading home for the holidays next week. I’ll be sure to let you know more about my exact schedule once it gets ironed out but I can say for sure that I’ll definatly be home by the end of next week. That means I’ll be looking to hang out with you good folks from NH that weekend. Get the hint? Later.
Wouldn’t it suck to buy an Xbox off eBay just to find out you can’t play online because Microsoft banned it’s ID? Although, then again, Microsoft doesn’t like the idea of people selling anything to each other, because they don’t get a cut.
yah. And won’t it suck to buy a computer from “Joe Blow’s computers”, a little family run buisness, only to find out that because Joe didn’t pay the insain Microsoft Partner fee that your new computer isn’t within the “trusted network” of their new operating system and that you couldn’t get on the internet or check you email and look at your own pictures. Ya… that would suck. Way to go guys!
so you’re saying that people who have hacked thier xboxes to potentially have cheats shouldn’t be banned from playing on the live network? yet you don’t complain when there are software implemetations of this for many online games (e.g punkbuster). it’s a proprietary piece of hardware that users aren’t supposed to screw around with on the inside. modifying a console goes against the whole idea of a console in the first place. A console is meant to be the same for every one, so that developers have an easier time making games that DON’T CRASH. I see Live as an extension of the console in that they want to make it as good a service as possible, and they can’t do that if there are rouge devices on thier network.
Punkbuster was simply a temporary software solution for cheating that was eventually fixed within the game itself. If Xbox games have cheating issues, maybe XBox game programers should look at how they’re coded and try to eliminate cheating before it starts. And while I do disagree with cheating I think a far greater number of people mod their XBox to play imported or games they’ve backed up on CDR. And actually, XBoxs, just like PS or PS2s are different from region to region. I can see people (such as exchange students) who live both in the US and in foreign countries wanting to mod a game system so that they can play DVDs or games with different region encodings. I think that’s a far more likely scenerio than cheating. And whats more important is that these “rouge” devices as you mentioned still cost the same amount of money. They’re not rogue… they were still purchased at a store in a mall somewhere. Shouldn’t the people who DID pay $300 to play some games still be able to play them? What if someone, like the afore mentioned student, modded a system to play import games but likes playing XBox live games in the US? Should they be penalized just for living outside of their country and wanting some entertainment from back home? “People might cheat” just isn’t an excuse unless theres numbers to back it up and I don’t think we’ve seen those yet. Yes, people might cheat, but that not exactly displaying a lot of faith in your consumers if you just assume everyone is going to simply because they can. An no, I didn’t use punkbuster, I thought it was stupid and unnessisary. In fact I avoided servers with it installed and I certainly wasn’t cheating. I could have, the system allowed for it, but I didn’t because I wanted to actually play the game. I think XBox Live users could agree with that as a whole.
Ahem, on the cheating front, traditionally, console cheaters have done no hardware modification at all, usually using something along the lines of a GameShark.
Indeed. Now, admittedly I don’t know how cheating on an XBox works since I don’t own one but I assumed as much. I would think that cheating is simply their excuse to ban IDs, not the actual reason. But that’s just my opinion. Like I said, I don’t know much about the actual product. I just know that if I bought a microsoft internet refridgerator I’d still want to be able to open the door without having to pay for more food. And yes, internet fridges exist… scary huh?
right now there is no cheating on the xbox. as for the import games, well that is a casualty in the war against piracy. I am sure that there is a much greater percentage of people who use mod chips for pirating games than those who would legitimately use it for playing games purchased from overseas. video game piracy for the consoles and computers costs these games companies billions of dollars a year, and that is the reason for the banning these modded boxes from the network. it’s more of a “fine, you want to steal games, go ahead, you just can’t play them online”. MS and every other console and console game maker is betting that online gaming is going to be the next big thing. This situation targets those who are screwing not only the megacorporations such as Nintendo, MS, and Sony out of money that isn’t as big for them, but all of the smaller game studios where to them, selling 1000 more copies of a game could mean someones job. These are the people that this kind of initiative is trying to protect. these types of things have NO EFFECT on anyone who legitimately purchases and plays games from within thier own area (i.e. non imported). This group of people overwhelmingly makes up the majority of customers.
The thing about identification and trusted computing is that it has both good and bad sides. obviously, you are siding with those that see it as a bad thing. at the same time, there are many different technologies in place that currently use unique identification to keep things running smoothly, such as cabe modem access, who map MAC addresses to accounts so that they can control access should things go awry. hell, the IP system is essentially a way to identify and control network and internet connectivity. Too much stuff going on from one IP to the effect that it is hindering the majority of people from being productive? we’ll block that IP. that person (who may have been running servers or filesharing programs) is obviously pissed, but everyone else is now happy that they can check thier email without waiting 25 minutes. I believe this was the same type of thing you wanted to do last year with your roommate and the filesharing…
ultimately, the people who will shape the future of computing will be the customers. It happened with the pentium III serial number issue. customers didn’t like it, they made an uproar. they didn’t buy it. Intel and all the manufacturers freaked out, and disabled it. While it didn’t make sense to customer, this was a perfect fit for the corporate customers, who use asset management to make sure that the IT infrastructure at the workplace is all sound. My company’s biggest seller, Unicenter, is essentially “big brother”. when you log onto a domain, asset manager scans your system, checks for illegal software (and legal software for licensing issues), reports that back to the server. an administrator can drill down into my system and see how much memory and free hard drive space is available. we have antivirus software that works with this to detect and stop virii from spreading.
things like uinique IDs many times don’t make sense to the individual, but when you look at the big picture (which anyone trying to make money through these types of ventures does), you’ll see that a lot of these things make a lot of sense. It’s all about protecting investments.
I think we’re all overlooking the big picture that X-Box is a piece of crap and is basically losing the console wars. It won’t be an issue in a couple of years.
well, I hope it lasts at least a year. I wanna get my money’s worth out of it 🙂