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PlayStation Home Transforming Into Social Platform

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the you-got-your-myspace-in-my-vidya-game dept.

PlayStation (Games) 55

donniebaseball23 writes "Sony's virtual world, PlayStation Home, has seen over 23 million users since launching in December 2008, and now the service is about to undergo its biggest change yet. Jack Buser, director of PlayStation Home, says Sony is planning a 'total redesign of the heart of PlayStation Home' for this Fall. The idea is to put games (particularly free-to-play games) front and center on Home, utilizing a central Hub with a theme park design. The Hub will 'integrate games, quests, community events and user-generated content, while providing players with additional navigation, shopping, socialization and entertainment options.'"

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55 comments

Cleaner (-1, Offtopic)

AllowMeToFeast (2445998) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202850)

Just a few days ago, I was struggling and overexerting myself trying to get rid of a very nasty computer virus. It was one that held my PC hostage and would not go away unless I paid the creators of the virus $90! I couldn't believe that such a thing happened to me! "Calm down," I thought. "I'll just try out the usual solutions."

I soon became horrified when I discovered that none of the usual solutions worked. I tried program after program, and spent hour after hour trying to remove the virus, but to no avail. I still had the virus on my system, and most frightening of all, my gigabits were slower than ever and my PC was underclocking like never before! Feeling defeated, crushed, and depressed, I became a mere shell of what I once was. My family noticed the change almost instantaneously. Because of this virus that was synonymous to a nightmare, I began frequently taking my wrath out on my girlfriend and abusing her.

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Watch their commercial! [youtube.com]

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I'm Cleanerness This Minuteness (-1, Offtopic)

BootyFeastBooty (2446012) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202870)

A few days ago, a customer brought in their PC for repair. They told me that they had a very nasty virus that was holding their computer hostage and wouldn't stop unless they paid the creators $50. "Alright," I thought. "That's pretty standard."

But, soon enough, I found that I was overexerting myself trying to get rid of this virus. I had never seen a virus this bad before. Reformatting and using all of the usual software to try to remove the virus didn't help at all!

As a PC repair technician with 10+ years of experience, I was dumbfounded. I couldn't remove the virus, and to make matters worse, their gigabits were running slower than ever! I soon plummeted into a severe state of depression and anxiety.

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My customer's response? "MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] is outstanding! My computer is running faster than ever! MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] totally cleaned up my system and increased my speed!"

My thoughts: MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] came through with flying colors where no one else could! I love MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] !

The fact that such an experienced PC repair technician is recommending MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] should be more than enough to convince you that it is high-quality software.

If you're having computer problems, then as an experienced PC repair technician, I wholeheartedly recommend using MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] . Your gigabits and speed will be overclocking and running at maximum efficiency!

But, in my experience, even if you're not having any visible problems, you could still be infected. So get MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] and run a scan this minuteness so you'll be overclocking with the rest of us!

Watch their commercial! [youtube.com]

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Re:Cleaner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203742)

Cyberdefender sucks donkey cocks

MYCLEANPC IS A SCAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37204856)

You'll be sorry you installed that shit on your machine. And i hope your local 'guy who knows computers' bitchslaps you upside the head for it too.

You deserve it.

Cleanering Ultimatum (-1, Offtopic)

BootersAsses (2446004) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202860)

A few days ago, it finally happened to me. Being an experienced PC user, I was shocked that I had been infected with a computer virus. This wasn't just any virus, however. It held my computer hostage and wouldn't go away unless I paid the creators $80! I thought I could get rid of it myself since I was an experienced PC user.

I was horribly, horribly wrong. None of the usual solutions worked at all! I wasted hour after hour trying to remove the virus. My life span was quickly dwindling away due to this nightmarish virus. My gigabits were running slower than ever, and my computer was underclocking. This virus succeeded in doing one thing: making me a mere shell of what I once was. I became filled with feelings of anger, emptiness, and depression. There was a time when I became so angry at this wretched virus that I struck my own four-year-old daughter and my wife.

That's when I found MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] . I went to their website, ran a free scan, and MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] made the virus vanish off of my PC right this minuteness. I couldn't believe how effective MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] was!

My daughter's response? "MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] is outstanding! My dad's computer is running faster than ever! MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] totally cleaned up my dad's system and increased his speed!"

MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] came through with flying colors where no one else could! If you're having computer problems like I was, then I honestly and wholeheartedly recommend that you use MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] to solve your problem. MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] will clean up all of your gigabits and you'll be overclocking in no time!

But even if you're not having any visible problems, I still recommend that you use MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] . If you do use MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] , your computer will be overclocking and your gigabits will be running like new! So use MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] right this minuteness!

Watch their commercial! [youtube.com]

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Re:Cleanering Ultimatum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202988)

Oh my precious precious gigabits! They're overclocking all over the place now! I am a bit worried about the (four year old?) daughter's quote about the increased speed however, isn't that all kinds of illegal? Not to mention the domestic violence.

Re:Cleanering Ultimatum (1)

fedos (150319) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203834)

The gigabits are overclocked so much that they improved his daughter's vocabulary and grammar beyond the norm for a 4-year old!

Re:Cleanering Ultimatum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203794)

CyberDefender sucks donkey cocks

Re:Cleanering Ultimatum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37206574)

For some reason, I'm reminded of that dumb "Is your refrigerator running?" joke while reading this. Are your gigabits running?

Odd that this program is unanimously recommended by people with a history of child and/or spousal abuse brought on by computer issues, as well as the abuse victims...

Clearly I need this program. My gigabits need to be cleaned up so they can start running faster and overclocking right this minuteness!

PLEASE tell me people don't really believe this crap...

This is their priority? Really? (4, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202862)

Look, this is great and all (at least, I think it is - I've never used Home and have no interest in starting), but I'd much rather Sony focussed on a few other issues around the PS3's online service. Let's try these for starters:

- Making very, very, very sure that they have decent security around any and all personal data they hold.

- Reducing the number of mandatory firmware updates to something sensible (one every 4 months or so at most), so that my PS3 actually feels like a "switch on and play" console rather than a Windows 98 machine that needs a (lengthy) reset process every few days whenever there's an update.

- Getting a UI for the Playstation Store that can be navigated at a sensible pace. At the moment, the storefront is so far behind the Xbox Live storefront (which is not part of the subscription package over in Xbox-land) that it's just ridiculous.

- Upping the game on Playstation Plus a bit. I actually picked up a 1 year sub for this on a "give it a try" basis and it is wildly inconsistent. There's been some good stuff available, but it increasingly feels like another avenue for pushing demos, with a few mobile-phone style games thrown in around the margins. Sony needs to prove that this wasn't a bait-and-switch.

Still, at least it's better than the 3DS online services...

Re:This is their priority? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202936)

Home is by far one of their best revenue generators. It's literally a free-to-play MMO with tons of paid virtual content that people actually buy.

That being said, they seem to be going the "social network" route (read: Facebook/Google +) in that they're making Home more of a freemium game hub rather than a freemium chatroom.

Re:This is their priority? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203096)

I find that incredibly difficult to believe.

Re:This is their priority? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203246)

It hurts the brain, doesn't it? But people really do buy things from it, all the time.

I always thought it was going to fail.
But then they started doing things with it. Game spaces finally happened.
Then that Xi thing happened and popularity exploded.
Then all these other games started coming in that were played from within Home itself.
Game spaces started adding games.
Game launching from within Home.

It has finally reached the goals they first announced way back in the first conference for it.
It took a while, but they got there in the end.

The two things that are still seriously annoying with it, however, is:
LOADING. They badly need to minimize loading in it.
WAITING. It is a virtual world, there is no need for people to ever have to wait in a line. This is one of the bigger turn-offs for players.
If they can manage to fix those, the system will be great. (and I might even consider using it again)
Oh, and a minor issue in some spaces is lag too, CPU lag that is. It is mainly in some 3rd party spaces though.

Re:This is their priority? Really? (1)

MotorMachineMercenar (124135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37217370)

You post no data whatsoever supporting your claim that Sony is actually making a ton, or any, money out of it. Just because people log on doesn't mean they spend a cent.

This reads like a Don Adams set-up... (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 2 years ago | (#37208048)

Home is by far one of their best revenue generators. It's literally a free-to-play MMO with tons of paid virtual content that people actually buy.

I find that incredibly difficult to believe.

Would you believe "moderately popular time-killer with great potential"?

Re:This is their priority? Really? (1)

halowolf (692775) | more than 2 years ago | (#37205840)

I stop by Home every once in a while, but I find most things in it to be completely boring. Many of the games are tedious, some are bottle necked so only 1 person can play at a station at a time and rarely do I meet someone thats actually worth talking to. And setting up your apartment seems to be a bit of a waste since I'm the only person that is actually in it.

There is the odd nice surprise, like getting my own Batcave, when I played Arkham Asylum, but otherwise I have found it less than compelling.

It has potential, its just trying to find its way at the moment I think. I think they would have a killer product if they allowed people to create their own environments and such, however there would be large penis monuments in mere seconds if that was allowed. At the moment, its moving around the furniture that they give you.

Re:This is their priority? Really? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203064)

Look, this is great and all (at least, I think it is - I've never used Home and have no interest in starting), but I'd much rather Sony focussed on a few other issues around the PS3's online service. Let's try these for starters:

- Making very, very, very sure that they have decent security around any and all personal data they hold.

-

Maybe that's part of the plan!

By converting PlayStation Home into a social networking portal they can claim sharing personal information is a feature. /snarky

Sony is a giant corporation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203140)

EVERYONE STOP WORKING! Security needs to be hardened and the UI needs some polish. Home team get on it.

Re:Sony is a giant corporation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37211188)

EVERYONE STOP WORKING! Security needs to be hardened and the UI needs some polish. Home team get on it.

3D Graphics Artist Guy: But I don't even know anything about security!
*Sony Executive smiles as he approaches the unwitting 3D Graphics Artist Guy. He reaches into his coat.*
Sony Executive: Then what good are you?
*Sony Executive pulls a chrome plated Desert Eagle from his coat. He places the pistol to the 3D Graphics Artist Guy's head as he again smiles, content with the reflection of the now cowering 3D Graphics Artist Guy off his well polished firearm. He slowly squeezes the trigger, firing a single round into 3D Graphics Artist Guy's head, ending his life in a puddle of blood, bone, and skin fragments.*
Sony Executive: Now... I said get on it, bitches.
*Home team cowers in fear.*

Re:This is their priority? Really? (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203240)

Indeed.

We live in a world where sub-second rendering-times for webpages is the norm, and sub 250ms is common on high-profile well-optimised sites. (for those of us with bandwith)

In this world, it's ridicolous that doing something like clicking a category in the playstation-store, that contains perhaps 30 articles, can take 5 or 10 seconds to display. It feels like being on a modem -- even when you're actually on a 100Mbps link.

Re:This is their priority? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203682)

- Reducing the number of mandatory firmware updates to something sensible (one every 4 months or so at most), so that my PS3 actually feels like a "switch on and play" console rather than a Windows 98 machine that needs a (lengthy) reset process every few days whenever there's an update.

This is a bit disingenuous. The firmware updates annoy me too, but it's hardly "every few days" or even close to it, and looking for only one every 4 months is just unrealistic for what is ultimately pretty close to a full fledged computer that has network access. For reference, we're now at the end of August and there have been 5 PS3 firmware updates this year. In all of 2010 there were 7. That seems pretty reasonable to me.

Re:This is their priority? Really? (1)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203812)

they are a big company you know it's not like they can't focus on multiple things at time, the ps3 firmwares are done only from the developers in japan, playstation home is done in europe or us, the playstation store interface is done by some other team too

Re:This is their priority? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37206396)

Chill out dude. As mentioned in the article - it's a "total redesign", not a patch. They might do all of what you just mentioned in the new design. Wait till it's released, test it out, and THEN pass the judgement.

Re:This is their priority? Really? (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37208158)

- Making very, very, very sure that they have decent security around any and all personal data they hold.

It's secured by McAfee [mcafeesecure.com] ! How much more secure do you want them to be?

(Actually, I suppose that little badge on us.playstation.com [playstation.com] could have predated the whole PSN fiasco. And presumably doesn't apply to the actual PS3 online services, just the PlayStation website. Especially because it's notably missing from the PlayStation blog [playstation.com] and forums [playstation.com] sites, where you do use your PSN account to log in. Which is more amusing than it being on the PlayStation portal website in the first place, now that I think about it.)

Re:This is their priority? Really? (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#37211398)

The director of Playstation Home is focused on Playstation Home?

Gahh! The ignorant bastards!

Buck Rodgers (1)

brim4brim (2343300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202928)

This pays the bills for the free users, same as Facebook, you are the product on Playstation Home and so it has to succeed for Home to stay free and has to succeed for pay for the necessary improvements in security.

It should streamline their identity theft feature. (0)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202938)

....I'm just sayin'...

Re:It should streamline their identity theft featu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37208072)

That was my first (similar) thought as well. I know this much : this is about control, nothing else. SONY somehow thinks it will be useful for nailing its customer base down a little harder.

In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202940)

In other words, no one uses Home past their first pitiful try-out, so they're rewriting it to try to make it suck less. Which means, turning it into something completely different.

Fuckwits, try putting more content servers online and improving the fucking store UI, if you want to make money.

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202966)

That would require hiring network engineers. Their current staff is comprised of 3D modelers (which is basically what Home is: a dump for all of their shitty 3D models).

Awesome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203224)

If we can get consoles into the same group as social networking... When that fails because it got old and boring we can wipe out the consoles too!

Sony should Prioritize (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203504)

I've never gotten the appeal of the Playstation Home - it always felt like a heavily commercialized and far more limited version of Second Life. Personally, I wish Sony would prioritize their approach with their PS3. Rather than offering something gimmicky like Home, why not upgrade the ancient browser? How about having an app store for cool PS3 apps? How about putting a few bucks towards real security?

The PS3 always feels like a machine with a lot of potential. But Sony's obsession with locking down and controlling the experience meant that the PS3's potential will go untapped. And when Sony does decide to do something, it's usually something nobody wants.

Re:Sony should Prioritize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203756)

Finally someone nails it straight without going out on some angry antisony bs. ...

I love you and want you have babies with you.

Re:Sony should Prioritize (1)

Keen Anthony (762006) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204100)

I initially fell for @Home when I had finished creating my avatar and was brought to a hi-rez modern designed apartment flat with a beautiful photorealistic coastal view. My fantasy is to have virtual meeting places like those I saw in cyberpunk literature. I think it's about time I am able to log into a virtual environment that can be anything I and my friends want. I'm former big city dweller and I miss the snow. It would be wonderful to spend a few hours with friends in a virtual brownstone with huge Chicago style windows that give me a view of snow outside. @Home seemed at once like it would offer just that. But I was disappointed as soon as I tried to get down to those docks I saw from my virtual balcony -- I couldn't do it. Smallworlds allows me to create my urban winter wonderland. Second Life too. However, these are both extremely cartoony.

Ultimately, Home doesn't appeal to me simply because in order to enjoy it, I must lock myself down to the console and a TV. In my particular use case, when I am hanging out virtually, I am at my computer, and I am watching my TV simultaneously. And obviously, my social network consists of far more than PS3 owners. In fact, I believe I only have three other friends in total who own PS3s. Home can never be more than a casual break from gaming or a curiosity to sample IMO, at least not for my crowd.

Re:Sony should Prioritize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37204604)

Heh... Home felt a lot more like what Tycho and Gabe thought of it [penny-arcade.com] - at least to me it did...

Re:Sony should Prioritize (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37207450)

How about having an app store for cool PS3 apps?

They already have that. It's called the PlayStation Store(tm).

Of course, to develop for the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Store requires a fair bit more work and more money and more restrictions than the Apple App Store. (You think the Apple App Store is bad and controlling? Try developing for consoles...).

However, right now only Microsoft has something a bit more open than the Apple App Store in the Xbox Live Indie arcade.

"Has seen over 23 million users"? (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203808)

What does "has seen" signify? I suppose it "has seen" me as well, when I spent 5 minutes there, doing nothing.

Re:"Has seen over 23 million users"? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204318)

It totally means just that. 23 million people have accidentally clicked on it, thinking there was something interesting. There is a clogged, cobweb-filled database with 23 million half-baked avatars made out of the default options. I've been there too, and for about as long. The active population is probably something closer to a few thousand, and Sony wishes it wasn't.

Re:"Has seen over 23 million users"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37213794)

Yes, exactly. Me and a friend tried it out a couple of times, but it just doesn't feel like a social environment. We were out of phase with one another (or something) and couldn't see each other most of the time. The one beautiful thing about the place - the ocean view from an apartment unit - doesn't allow you to go out and walk around in it. If they built on that one concept I could see myself spending some time there walking around while voice-chatting online with a friend.

...again. (1)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203826)

Every year Sony comes up with some lame bullshit plan to make "Home" your social hub. How does that meeting go? Some new guy says "Wait,

Re:...again. (1)

Yamioni (2424602) | more than 2 years ago | (#37210224)

Well? Cat got your tongue? We're stilling waiting.

Re:...again. (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37211070)

Someone just opens their mouth and says nothing for the whole meeting.

Re:...again. (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37213498)

Or I suppose it could also mean the new guy said "Wait" and got brutally murdered for thinking to go against the status quo. That kind of a subtlety is more in line with the snarky slashdot comments I would expect.

here please sony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203850)

I've got the fix for Home but it might prove still impossible in this day and age.....

It *needs* to be able to be fully up and running within 10 seconds of it being initiated.

that's right.
that's it.

Once that happens it can be the alternate hub that it always wanted, begged and pleaded to be.
Imagine if Home booted that quickly and you instantly saw your avatar maybe in a games room, populated with armchairs and games systems. Sitting at these stations could be all your PSN friends with "now playing xxxxxx" floating atop them, on a table to your right a display showing recent events including friends that have recently topped your highscore in a load of games. That should be the beginning of Home, but its gotta minimal wait.

Another one? (1)

Lunaritian (2018246) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203896)

Don't we have enough of these social services already?

And more importantly, when will we get our own SlashSpot?

Yes, another one. And likely more after that. (1)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204756)

That's right. We have enough social services already. But they—the marketers and salesmen who want more channels to push their product through in order to make a sale—won't rest until you can't spit in your online social space (so to speak) without hitting an advertisement. And if this means creating more social spaces then so be it: Let a thousand cheesy Facebook-knockoffs bloom!

Because we are groaning under social internet overload, there's a good chance that those newer services won't be looked at, much less taken seriously.

That said, there is one thing Sony has going for them in this case: it's a community social network. It's a PSN thing, so it's safe to say that everyone going there, if they choose to, has common ground: more desire to play multiplayer games than they have real-life friends with PS3s. In the modern "social overload" network, that kind of commonality is a necessary ingredient to building a community online.

Marketting keeping up with media/tech. Film at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37205360)

When people started going to the movies, marketing ran ads before the movie starts

When people started using fax machines, marketing send ads via fax

When people started using email, marketing send ads via email (aka spam)

When people started playing video games, marketing jumped on making video games (and is stated to be one of the reasons for the great video game crash of 1983, when every other company makes [pathetic excuses for] video games that advertises their product)

When people started watching TV, marketing ran ads on TV, and funded TV shows which are little more than "30 minute toy commercials" (but I bet many older nerds love them, and love all the "revival" of those old franchises from years past... which reminds me, I gotta go watch the latest episodes of Thundercats!)

Re:Marketting keeping up with media/tech. Film at (1)

Yamioni (2424602) | more than 2 years ago | (#37210306)

Missed one. When people started driving they built billboards.

I'm both looking forward to and dreading the day they figure out how to advertise in our dreams. It could be terrible for people with no willpower as they'd just buy everything that was subliminally advertised to them. Me? I don't waste my money, but I'd be willing to stomach some ads in my dreams if they also let me use the system to dream lucidly. That'd be a pretty fair trade.

Second life killer? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204770)

Still waiting on this "Second life killer" that was gloated about before it was launched.

Translation: More Ads (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204790)

I've always had high hopes for Home. Social worlds are one of those areas (along with MMO's) where consoles have always lagged WAY behind PC's. Personally, I think that consoles need to move beyond the same-old FPS-with-a-slightly-new-skin strategy and expand the horizons a bit. Unfortunately, Home in implementation was pretty weak tea. In typical Sony fashion, they locked it down early on to where there wasn't a whole lot to do (cutting off voice chat, for example, and limiting customization) and, of course, commercializing the hell out of it (why not let me create my OWN furniture, instead of just buying your crap, Sony?).

I am interested to hear him mention "user-generated content" in the announcement. But, this being Sony, I expect all this means is that there will be even MORE ads and blatant commercialism, taking it even farther away from social worlds like Second Life than it already was.

Oh, and for you naysayers, you should note that social worlds are one of the few online gaming areas that attract women in DROVES. Second Life is a great place to meet women who are ACTUALLY women.

Everything Old .... (1)

nudibranchOne (260727) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218908)

Sounds a lot like a reintroduction of TSN/INN (The Sierra Network. ImagiNation Network - pre-Internet) and CyberPark. With updates for newer technology of course.

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  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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