Archive for March, 2007

GTA 4 Trailer released

After what felt like an endless wait the Grand Theft Auto IV trailer is finally released!

I’m a huge fan of the GTA series and this looks amazing, I strongly suggest you check this trailer out.

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Halo 3 Legendary Edition now available to pre-order!

If you’re an avid gamer like me you’ll be happy to hear that the long awaited and limited edition Halo 3 Legendary Edition with Sparten helmet is now available to pre-order in the UK already!

I fully expect that the US edition will be ready to pre-order soon

I’ve got mine pre-ordered, and I don’t even own an Xbox360 yet, have you? 🙂

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Should legacy formats still be secret?

Technology marches on at an outstanding rate, in a few weeks time the Playstation 3 hits Europe and gamers still clinging to their ‘retro’ consoles will slowly start on the migration to a newer and sleeker technology heaven. Many, like myself, will still keep their old and superseded hardware along with many of their favourite titles.

The console manufacturers want you to upgrade. The games publishers want you to upgrade. The third party software/hardware developers want you to upgrade. Your old games console is obsolete and you should be playing the latest and greatest on something that costs the about the same as 100 visits to the cinema or a feast fit for a king.

As time passes the old file formats get abandoned, superseded with newer formats for new software and machines.

I would like to see software developers and hardware producers open up these archaic file formats to the public. They’re not going to loose any money from it and it may even rekindle some interest in their particular device or software.
Many file formats are already cracked, but having the offical specifcations and internal structures would allow utility makers to polish their code, finish features and more.

Playstation 2 saves

Playstation 2 saves come in many different formats, most have been cracked by talented individuals such as Vector who created PS2 Save Builder. However some formats, notably .max and the newer Xploder save format, remain barely documented and to this day, people still cannot support these formats in their tools.

Releasing these specifications to the general public would allow those utility makers to support that format natively, instead they ultimately recommend alternative formats, which are now fully documented, such as the once barely known .psu save format. uLaunchELF has recently added .psu support to it’s feature list which has resulted in an upsurge of .psu format saves being used and new utilities to be released

Is it too early to release the file specifications for formats such as .max to the public? Probably. Would it affect sales? At this late stage it’s hard to tell.

One thing I do know is that my choice of products to purchase, and to recommend to others, is heavily influenced by the file format used, specifically if it is open or unencrypted. If it is encrypted or purposely protected in such a way as to stop people sharing, or creating utilities, I will look around for other products and recommend others do the same

Should legacy formats still be secret? I don’t think so and would like to see more developers giving the information to the communities built around their product rather than gathering digital dust on some developers long forgotten hard drive.

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iPod honeypot

On several occasions I’ve had to replace my iPod for a new one, mainly due to a fault with the iPod itself. Of course this has meant losing not only all the music I had on the iPod but all the files I had stored on it to. This got me thinking; what if I was to loose my iPod or have it stolen? How would I get it back or even trace who now had it in their possesion?

One of the first things I imagine an unscrupulous person doing is seeing what I had stored on the iPod such as contacts, notes and any other files.
This is where it hit me, I should place an irresistible honeypot on the iPod notes, something like “admin passwords.txt” which would contain a web address and a username and password to be entered.

At the web address would be an “admin login” screen to a “secret” part of the site containing some important, but ultimately fake, looking docs and information.
Of course what would really be happening is that the script would log all information possible, such as IP Address, ISP, location, time of access and any other information that could be gleamed. I’d then have it email me all this acquired information so I can report it accordingly.

Of course this isn’t a fool proof way to find someone who’s stolen/found your iPod but it’s only a small step to take and could well be the difference between getting your iPod back or not 🙂