John McCain Working On Legislation For 'a La Carte' TV Channel Packages
Hmm... I don't know. It's a value proposition for me. I've been cable free for over ten years. If there's some show I want to watch badly enough, there's the internet, for everything else, OTA HDTV works great. I couldn't stomach paying $40+ (and up to $90 if you actually wanted a choice of channels), that's $480 to $1080 a year, for the privilege of perhaps seeing something entertaining (but we don't guarantee that).
PS Vita Specs Announced
...but still lacking. I'm sad to see they're going with a proprietary memory card for games. I was hoping, at worst, they'd have two memory card slots, one proprietary one for games, and a standard SD or MS slot for expanding memory. Also sad to see video out is gone (PSP had video out at least, and I was hoping for a mini-HDMI connection or possibly wireless HDMI (since the standard is almost complete IIRC)).
Oh well... maybe next console generation.
Sony Can Update PS3 Firmware Without Permission
Let's have a close look at these claims of yours...
What has been lost on the PS3:
- Emotion Engine (hardware)
First gen PS3 was very expensive, people bitched about the price and Sony responded by removing the PS2 compatibility. Sony still sells the PS2 console so there was no need to punish people who wanted a PS3 by forcing them to subsidize the PS2 owners. Less hardware = cheaper console.
Problem there chief, but it's very likely many PS2 games could be done in software. Neverminding the fact that the PS2 hardware needed is likely DIRT CHEAP for Sony (PS2 is $100 retail, and I suspect they're raking in profits off of those systems at this stage of the game).
- SACD playback (software)
Did anyone actually want this? While it's likely that a PS3 owner would have an HDTV, it's unlikely they would own a high end audio setup to take advantage of SACD. Anyone serious about this functionality would own a proper standalone SACD player. Less hardware = cheaper console.
It's software, not hardware. They flipped a bit and turned it off for the Slim units, there's nothing hardware related with SACD playback...
- USB 2.0 ports (hardware)
Not sure if reducing the number of ports counts as a "lost feature". Two ports is likely plenty for most people, and it's easy to add your own hub to increase the number of ports. Less hardware = cheaper console.
Oversimplified. USB ports (the hardware) cost PENNIES. Trust me, knocking off two USB ports didn't save Sony (or the consumer, for that matter) anything. About the only complaint I have about the 4 USB ports I have is that all four are on the front. I'd have preferred one or two on the back for external storage (so it looks nicer in my rack setup).
- Full PS2 backwards compatibility (software)
PS3 never had full PS2 compatibility in software, purely a myth perpetuated by the un-informed. First generation PS3 had full hardware PS2 support; second generation had a mix of hardware and software emulation. Made the PS3 expensive and added redundant capabilities as the PS2 was (and is) still being sold. Less hardware = cheaper console.
Okay, you're obviously "informed". Educate me how the PS3 isn't powerful enough to run PS2 software?
- Other OS Linux (software): retroactively disabled on older hardware as well now with the new update
Debatable whether this was a usable feature or not. Linux on the PS3 was horrible and Sony's removal of the option on the slim models was met with little but a yawn and "so what?" It wasn't until Geohot paraded around his so called PS3 hack and thousands of pirates perked up with the hope of finally getting their hands on some free PS3 games did anyone care about the OtherOS option. Sony acted to protect their platform and the pirates raised a ruckus. Anyone who used the old model PS3 for Cell programming couldn't care less, they didn't use the PS3 for games or playing blu-ray.
If you're one of those people still pissed off over having to choose between OtherOS or games/PSN, direct your anger to Geohot for pissing in your pool.
Why would I direct my rage at geohot when it's Sony who disabled it? Am I pro-piracy? No. But I am definitely all about consumer rights, and consumers bought a COMPUTER when they bought a PS3. Sony decided, on their own, unilaterally, to force people to choose between losing their computer or losing other portions of the device THEY PAID FOR. As I've said in dozens of other places, I'll be shocked if a class action lawsuit isn't started over this. If there was ever a "line in the sand" moment for people to stand up, this was it.
- SD and CF slots (hardware
Redundant hardware, PS3 already had USB ports and there was no need to provide multiple ports for the same function. Less hardware = cheaper console.
Again, dirt cheap hardware. Slightly more expensive than the two USB ports, but still nothing to write home about (likely less than USD $1.00 for the whole kit).
All I know is that I paid $600 for this system and it promised me the ability to install other operating systems on it. That promise has been broken, and not by accident, but purposefully, with intent and malice. That strikes me as actionable in the courts here (and obviously it's already heading that way in more progressive regions of the world; the person who got a partial refund in Europe being a leading example).
Calendar Bug Disables Older PlayStation 3 Models
One of the primary issues this bug causes is that it resets the clock to 12/31/1999. Most content (in fact, all content that I'm aware of) has a "licensed starting" date/time, and none of the titles I have will work at all. This tells me that they must have a secondary clock (a "real clock") that they use to tell when licensed content is valid/invalid (so people can't just change the date/time back two days to play a demo that has expired, or a rental that has expired, etc).
And since the clock is obviously integral to their protection mechanism, it is a flaw in said mechanism.
Note: No, I have no inside information, but this seems to be a reasonable deduction given the evidence at hand.
Calendar Bug Disables Older PlayStation 3 Models
What does it have to do with DRM? Calendar bugs have been a very common part of the computing landscape for many years.
Because even offline games are unplayable, so it's clear some flaw exists relating to their protection mechanism.
Sony Announces PS3 Slim, Price Cut, Improvements To Home
Yeah, I think it's called "Divx HD", and there's already hardware coming with that certification. I do agree that Sony seems to be missing the boat when it comes to functionality beyond games, and I was personally hoping from something more from a major firmware revision.
Hell, it'd be nice to see them add exFAT support so I can watch movies larger than 4 GB on attached storage (currently only FAT32 is supported on USB mass storage class devices; this means full length HD content usually needs to either a) be copied from a DLNA network share or b) split in to separate files for storage on the FAT32 formatted device).
Sony Announces PS3 Slim, Price Cut, Improvements To Home
Whenever they update their Divx support the MKV support should be included (since the new Divx uses MKV files).
As for the rest, agreed. The web browser should just use some custom build of Firefox, and the PS2 backwards compatibility would help bring in the people who want to keep playing their existing PS2 games.
Bad Signs For Blu-ray
I dunno who Ian is trying to fool, but recent weeks have been up, not down. Last week was because, quite honestly, there was nothing worth buying on Blu-ray Disc. However, the previous week set a record for Blu-ray vs. DVD (the week Transformers was finally put out on BD). Taking a down week and saying "oh look, it's failing" is just the ultimate in silliness.
DarkEdgeX hasn't submitted any stories.
My first karma troll!
A look at my recent postings shows that I have somebody trolling my posts. I feel pretty special that somebody would blow all their mod points modding every post of mine they could as Redundant. :P
Note to troll: Karma is still excellent, but keep trying. :P
Whoo, I really hate this fucking country. Let's see, recession that lasts longer than most and with an administration that's not nearly as caring as most (extend unemployment benefits, pshaw right, why do that, let's let people go into debt!). Now that the recession is supposedly over and the economy is making a rebound, let's continue to allow corporations to off-shore high technology jobs overseas to India and elsewhere. What a great plan, this way now that the economy has started to try and reverse course we can have zero jobs to go with it!
I'd leave this country and go elsewhere, but my general impression is that all countries suffer from the same problem-- government. It's always good when a few people who are "elected" are given powers over millions (and paid quite nicely to boot!). Of course these elections are participated in by less than half of the population (especially true in the United States), but hey, why put laws in to halt elections if a majority of the population appears to be displeased enough to not even vote. Let's elect whoever gets the majority anyways, afterall, 50% of 40% is better than nothing right?
I think I wish I'd been born in another 400-500 years. I can't imagine it getting any worse that far ahead.
Economy still sucking ass
Well, after over a year of looking for a job, I'm convinced this economy is in the toilet. I've since moved back to my hometown which is significantly cheaper to live in than Seattle was (rent is half of what it was in Seattle, with some utilities even being paid for that Seattle wasn't covering (which basically means everything), and cost of living is generally lower (read: everything at the grocery store is 15-30% cheaper than identical stores in Seattle)). I'll give tech jobs a chance when it looks like things have turned around.. in the mean time, let the resume rotting continue!
(Additional note-- I looked for jobs *everywhere* in this country explicitly stating that I was willing to relocate, so my location was irrelevant. Plus, if going by the job boards was any indicator, Seattle still had a good share of tech job openings, just a lot less like everywhere else.)
...just does not want to pick back up here in Seattle. The number of new jobs listed each weeks seems to grow smaller, while the talking heads on TV tell me it's all going to be improving "soon".
Somehow I don't believe them.
The upside so far is that I was recently informed that I'm eligible for an additional 3 months of unemployment compensation-- so at least I won't be trying to size up an alley to call home, but I'd still rather be back at work doing *something*. I keep fresh working on hobby projects and what not, but I feel as though my skills aren't getting any better just idling away waiting for some job to manifest itself.
I've been fiddling with a copy of Microsoft Visual C# .NET Standard I bought at the local Best Buy for $99, and so far I really enjoy the language structure as well as the new .NET Framework. From my info, you can tell I'm usually a Delphi/Pascal whore, but I can say without a doubt that I wouldn't mind delving into this as a line of work. =)
It also helps that one of the pioneers of Borland Pascal 7 was on the team Microsoft had to design the C# language, so a lot of the constructs appear to be similar in some ways, but more like C and C++ in others (which, I like C/C++, so this is another plus-- it gives you the language format of C/C++ but the ease of use of VB/Delphi). Exciting times, these.
Seattle Employment (continued)
Amazing... this is the longest I've been without work since getting into computer programming/IT/whatever. And now the news says Seattle will likely be one of the last places to come out of this 'recession' we're in. JOY.
I'm suddenly thinking moving somewhere else might be wise...
Metro Seattle Area Employment
It is my firm belief that there are NO jobs in the greater Seattle area-- I check the job boards weekly and find around a dozen that I *might* qualify for (usually only 2 that I think I'd fit like a glove, as far as skills go, ignoring any desires of the type of field I might have). It's sickening. This recession can't end fast enough...
Oh, and three cheers for bankrupt dot-bombs that fuck their employees out of their promised bonuses and final months pay, who here thinks that's a load of fun? BAH.
September 11th, 2001
Personally, I have no problem with other religions, or really, other groups of people who look and act differently than myself, but the devestation of 9/11 will probably haunt me (and my peers) for the rest of my life. The complete senselessness of it all, combined with the lack of any accomplishment, it really just irks me.
What did they manage? What benefits did they reap? Nothing has changed. The U.S. is still as involved as ever in Israel/Palestinian peace talks, we're still as enthralled as ever with poor treatment of peoples in certain Middle Eastern countries...
I guess I just find it difficult to believe that a handful of people could be duped into thinking that killing themselves and thousands of others could make some major event happen-- make some major change in the U.S...
Seattle / Bellevue Assholes
After the suicide jumper on I-5 yesterday, I get another dose of Seattle / Bellevue assholeism today. Some lady, pulled over on the side of the road to do something (eat something from the Safeway Deli? Look at a map? Whatever), and some jerk pulls up behind her and honks-- she thinks he wants around, so she pulls ahead a few feet to give the guy room. The asshole just keeps PULLING UP behind her, honking again. Eventually she figures out she's not wanted there and leaves-- the problem is, the place she was parking in was a parking spot; people park there all the time (it's near the entrance to a Safeway Grocery store, 2 lane street, only orange seperator lines in the middle, no white lines denoting 4 lane traffic even though the street is wide enough to handle that. Only at the stop-light, 300-400 feet away, do white lines show up indicating left/right turn positions) and eat lunch, or do whatever people do in parked cars on the side of a street.
What gets me though is the rage this guy had.. he missed two green lights to torment this lady who was innocently parking along the side of the street TRYING to do something. Had I known what was going on (I originally though they were together and the honk was trying to get her attention), I probably would have yelled at the guy to pull around and fuck off, but unfortunately I didn't realize the reasoning of it all until it was over.
I'm sure this happens elsewhere, but you always hear about how nice people are over here (Seattle area), and when people have a chance to be nice or ignore something that they think is wrong, they don't.
Thus ends todays rant...
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Definately see this movie.. I've seen it now three times, and it gets funnier every time, ESPECIALLY if you're a fan of Kevin Smith's and have seen his previous movies (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy or Dogma). The movie does have some humor that works if you haven't seen the previous movies, but if you've seen even one of the prior flics, this one is sure to please with all of the returning characters involved.
As a side note, if you do plan on seeing it, be sure to stick around past the end of the credits (the black-screen credits) for a short little snippet of a character from Dogma.
Bankruptcy and Employee Incentives
My first journal entry, and strangely, my first rant about my current job.
I started with this company over a year ago, and about 6 months ago, everything went downhill in a fast sort of way (stock went from $52+ to nickles and dimes in 6 months). We were told that things were fine and that the company was seeking new money to give us a shot in the arm, and then that fell through and 90% of our staff was let go, and the remainder (including myself) were told we'd receive "employee incentives" (very specific incentives) for staying on, and a payout of our vacation balance. This was an incentive to keep us around since they were going to file for bankruptcy protection in an effort to re-organize and sell off constituent parts of the company as 'working entities'.
All good so far.. now it's been 6 months or so since all this happened, the milestones for when we'd receive our bonuses have come and gone, no checks and no vacation payouts. We're still getting bi-weekly paychecks, which is "a good thing", but whenever news of our status is given it's in short controlled bursts with nary a whim of when things will really settle down or when we'll see the money we've been promised. Job security aside, the money would be nice simply because it'd buy me time to find a job that I'd really enjoy-- not grab the first thing a recruiter throws at me and hope I'll adapt. (FYI: I imagine I could make do for 3-4 months on the promised bonus-- that's being thrifty and whatnot.) Taking the job security into account, I have sleepless nights wondering when and if this whole thing will fall out from under me, and worse, the stress of it all is finally affecting my work to a point that my co-workers and management are noticing; so now I get the joy of wondering when/if we'll either a) be sold and re-hired at the new company or b) let go altogether because the portion of the company I'm involved with can't be sold. To boot, my faith in ever seeing that employee incentive cash is dwindling by the day, and the combined fears of being let go (be it for poor productivity, bankruptcy or being sold but not being re-hired) and NOT seeing said bonus (because it didn't work out, whatever) is giving me a damned migraine.
Bleh, anyways, I've decided for now to just go one day at a time-- the stress is still affecting my output (if you can call it that, I get work orders and nothing gets output, so it's hardly output then huh?), but I've put my resume back out there to get a feel for the job market and how it's changed since the last time I went hunting. I guess in the coming weeks I'll decide if I want to abandon ship or if I want to stick it out and try to make it work.. nothing particularly interesting is holding me here, just my general fear or not being able to find anything else and that if I DO quit (or get fired) I'll lose out on those promised incentives.. We'll see.