Internet Safety

Sometimes I really wonder how normal mortal humans manage their online safety?! I got a pretty good grip on IT security and have strong passwords on almost all the places I can and 2 step authentication (that is a double check that I’m who I say I am) on the ones that offer it. But there was one chink in the armor – my Twitter. Because Twitter don’t offer 2 step authentication with Telenor in Sweden I can’t activate it and pure lazyness from when I first set up that account led to me having a pretty week password there. “Week” as in 7 random characters & numberals. Yet that’s how someone got me yesterday. Managed to log into my Twitter and send bullshit links to the few followers I had, which are mostly friends of mine so pretty quickly I got a message saying “Hacked? Or do you really think I need diet-pills?”. Another chink in the armor is my Android phone. I’m pretty relaxed about installing stuff on my phone as long as it comes from the Play Store but it wouldn’t be hard for anyone to sneak something in there to hijack the phone. I knew there was one dubious app on the phone already so as a precaution I wiped the phone today and started from scratch. Really no point to restore it from backup, is there ?

But it lead me to wonder how mortal humans do it? Mortal humans who might not know what 2 step authentication is, let alone have it activated? Or people who can’t memorise random passwords?

It’s Ok Not To Like GTA

So there’s this huge game-release today. Namely Grand Theft Auto V. Now let me say this first – I haven’t played it. So I can’t say if it’s good or not. But I have played III and IV, both legally purchased. So even though this i V with alot more I’m pretty comfortable in saying that it’s really not my kind of game. I can see how some people can like it, going around being politically incorrect, robbing banks, driving over pedestrians, visit strip clubs and being all “gangsta”. And it may be good story, great music, whatever. And the only real thing I have to clamp down on is that it’s console only. But that’s not what this is about.

What this is about is that the default setting in the gaming world seems to be “it’s GTA so it’s getting 10/10 unless we find something really game-breaking or awful about the game”. And if you dare give it criticism you maybe just have a poll to get you fired – like Carolyn Petit at Gamespot. Or be ready to duck if you only give it a 9/10 like Jim Sterling at Desctructoid that gave it 9/10. What’s wrong that picture?! I mean, just because it’s GTA and let’s you be a gangsta even if you’re as white as they come living at home and all you got is your Xbox, that doesn’t make it the greatest game in the world. I could appreciate the status if it was a revolutionary game that did something that no other game in the world could do, but so far I haven’t seen anything in GTA that no other game has done. If I wanna rob banks I play Pay Day 2. If I wanna go to a strip club … I’ll just go to a strip club! I don’t get the craze at all! I really don’t get any craze at all that, as an observer, seems more like blindness following! I loved Dead Space 1 & 2 and I was psyched about 3 but I didn’t buy it and loved it because it was Dead Space! I loved Deus Ex : Human Revolution, but when “The Fall” came out I was just like “no”. I loved Diablo 1&2, but after playing the beta I was really sceptical and after playing the real game I wanted my money back.

See where I’m going with this? Blinded following is bad. It’s ok to be the one voice in a crowd saying “I’m different”. Usually I’m not that one person. But here I am – saying It’s Ok Not To Like GTA. That’s not a statement that the game is bad, just that it’s ok to have a different opinion. And that’s the good thing about being a Trekker – it’s ok not to like “the original series” from the 60’s, or “the new era” of movies coming out, and that’s totally fine. You don’t have to like it just because you’re a trekker!

That being said – can’t wait for Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. But it’d better be good because so far I’m not that impressed with “Revelations”! (yes, I’ve played through I, II and Brotherhood in less than two months, so far II was by far the best one)

“Star Citizen” & Crowd Funding


Back in the early 90’s when I was but a teenage nerd playing games in my little room on my Amiga I got when I turned 15 and then PC at 18, one of my favorite gaming series was called “Wing Commander“. As a space sim I’d say it was not as good as the X-Wing series but the story was pretty damn good! It was so good that by the time the third one was produced they had actual films – with none other than Mark Hamill as the hero of the story! And the fourth one took it one step further when it launched as DVD and the story became even better!! Then there was Privateer which took up where Elite left off. Anyway, back then space sims where good and had a huge focus on story and a “being there”-feel. Graphics was secondary. And the man behind it all was Chris Roberts.

After being successful with all this he took a break from the game-world and went to Hollywood (and made the underrated and under-budgetted movie “Wing Commander“). But last year he came back and started a crowd funding campaign for a new ambitious space sim called “Star Citizen“. Crowd funding is basically telling people “I wanna do this and this and I need your money to do it, if you give me this much this is what you’ll get” and the people reponds with giving what they feel it’s worth for them, or they don’t and it fails. Well, “Star Citizen” blew all records of crowd funding and reached their goal pretty quickly. After than they launched their website where people could purchase ships and stuff and all the money goes into the development of the game. They are right now almost up to $18.000.000 that people have donated to the project! That’s how much people want this to succeed! There are people that have donated upwards of $1.000 each to this! I’m only at $125 but that will get bigger I think.

But the main reason why this is so “big” in the gaming world is the crowd funding part of it. Normal games go from being an idea to seeking investors to back it up and the always have investors and publishers dictating terms and conditions and every time they want to invest money into something they have to get an OK for it and launch dates are pretty final. Just look at what happened with Condor, the makers of “Diablo”. They got bought by Blizzard but after a while they didn’t like working there so they broke off to start Flagship Studios. And there they had to push out a game that was far, far from finished (“Hellgate London“). And the company went to hell.

But that’s what I love about this. They have their money (and getting more and more all the time) so they are just pushing on with the development. And they show us sneak peaks at specific stages of development, last week they launched the hangar which shows us our hangar and our ship. Next stage in 5-6 months is a working dog fighting simulation. And so on and so forth until they launch the final game. Another thing that’s great about this is the community is so very involved and energetic about the game. Just check the YouTubes from when Chris demoed the hangar last week in Germany, the crowd went wild!! It’s awesome! And we don’t have to pay for a big campus, middle management, no publishers, no marketing, it goes to the development of the best, most ambitious space sim game ever. I hope. Because crowd funding is a lot about hoping that they deliver what they promise. Like Ouya, as far as I can tell right now it really isn’t delivering what they promised.

But I have faith in Chris Roberts. I don’t think they are going to be able to push everything they want into the game when it launched but pretty sure it’ll be an ongoing development. Stay tuned!!

It’s A Lockdown

So Obama is coming to town this Wednesday. Although our government, and especially Bildt, are very eager to brag about it. But I wonder if they ever stopped and wonder if we, the people, even want that. Because you see, we had Condoleza Rice here about 5 years ago and that was a nightmare for the traffic in the entire Stockholm-region. I was sitting in queues for over an hour in a tunnel because of it. But now it’s the president which means it’s going to be atleast 10 times worse!

Today “they” declared that driving a car on Wednesday and Thursday was the most stupid thing you can imagine because basically the entire region will be shutdown for this. My question is – who’s paying for it? People will either stay home, be in queues for hours or take the trains resulting in overload of the train system with queues there too. Either way, people and companies are going to lose a lot of money and man hours on this. Not to mention taxi- and truck-drivers and everyone else who drives around in Stockholm for a living! It’s going to be total and utter chaos costing companies and people a lot of money. And who okay’s things like this in the first place, or is it just an order from above “make it happen” and we, the foot soldiers, just have to live with the consequences?! I really don’t get it. And it doesn’t help that the traffic system in Stockholm today will literally get shutdown if you cut off the E4, which they are going to do. There aren’t any other roads that can handle the traffic and there is noway to get around Stockholm. So this is going to be chaos. And usually I should be able to work from home – but this week I’m attending a course about EpiServer so I’m definitely going to have to go into the heart of Stockholm both of these days. Wish me luck. 🙂