Burnout Paradise has polarised opinion in gamers, to an extent that perhaps only gamers can be polarised (well, religeous zealots too, but they don’t quite have as many online forums yet), driving a steel-tipped wedge between the people who are quite happy to go with the flow of the alternative direction Criterion took with this instalment, and those who consider it to be a defilement of a gaming icon, equivalent to ram-raiding a convent and doing donuts in the nearest cloister.
In the last week or so, the amount of comment spam being fired at this blog has been getting out of hand - it’s now averaging at about 100 every hour (or one every 36 seconds). Askimet does a pretty good job and automatically junks all but about 2% of these, but the remainder end up in my manual moderation queue and are starting to get really annoying (25 in the last 10 hours).
Oh, it’s just too ironic. For so many years over-enthusiastic console fanboys have been lambasting the PC as a gaming device with arguments such as: You have to patch them all the time The install process takes too long, I want to just play Now of course, both are starting to happen on consoles, with the latest spat being over Devil May Cry 4’s 20-minute install process on PS3 as it installs it on the hard drive to speed up loading times.
I just saw an interview with Servan Keondjian of Qube Software about their latest game middleware offering: “If there’s one thing they [developers] hate it’s being constrained and closed in, to have to use somebody else’s solutions - so we wanted to fix all of those issues, and we’re only talking about it now that we believe we have fixed them.” In contrast to existing game engines, Q has been likened to a set of Lego bricks, with which it’s possible to build almost anything and tailor it to specific needs.
The inimitable Mr Ballmer has just issued another one of his startling revelations - that the answer to customer apathy about Vista is a bigger marketing budget. Apparently $500m is just not enough yet to persuade people that Vista is the best thing since sliced, toasted and even magical crustless bread. “We’re going to have to invest more than we ever have in consumer excitement,” said the chair wielding Olympian.
Am I the only one who thinks that Microsoft’s $44.6bn bid for Yahoo is primarily a long overdue admission of failure on Microsoft’s part? Google has been caning their ass online for years, both in terms of concrete market share and grass-roots popularity. Everybody loves Google - after all, what’s not to love? They give you great online tools for free, they sponsor open source projects by providing good hosting and running the Summer of Code, they’ve contributed to a ton of open, cross-platform APIs.
I can’t remember when I last had this many games to play on a single platform, all at once. Microsoft have been chest-thumping about their record-breaking attach rate recently, and that pattern would seem to be borne out in my house too, where we’ve had the console for about a month and a half, but we already have 5 full-price games and 6 XBLA games (although one of them was free).
I don’t know if this is particularly British thing, but the ‘QuizCom’ has been a staple here for many years. If the term is alien to you, a QuizCom is notionally a ‘quiz show’, except that no-one actually gives a flying monkeys about the score and it’s really just a vehicle for comedy - sometimes topical, often satirical. One of our TV channels ‘Dave’ made January ‘QuizCom month’ and showed loads of them, and it’s always fun to catch.
Sneakers is one of my all-time favourite films, but it’s perhaps a wake-up call to hear what’s really required to defraud a bank these days. You don’t need to be a hacking genius, you just have to have a few Excel and VBA skills. I’ve heard a number of scary stories in the past from friends about how IT systems are _real_ly operated in some quarters of the financial sector (as opposed to the surface impression, accreditations etc), but I’m still staggered at what appears to be routine behaviour, according to this article.