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About gyrus

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  1. gyrus


    I've been collecting Lego for a little while now... some I got given as a kid. My oldest set is this one: 4.5 volt train set #119 with most pieces still intact.http://www.peeron.com/inv/sets/119-1 The battery box is cracked, sadly. Still runs though. And some unusual ones too Set 390 Set 358 Went to a Lego show on the weekend and was surprised to see i had a better collection than some of the exhibitors.
  2. gyrus

    And What Are You Listening To?

    One thing I really hate is being able to hear a singer gasp for air prior to every line... So, there is a CD in the car with Miley Cyrus singing gasping her way through "Wrecking Ball" Great Song... needs something though... someone suggested this:
  3. gyrus

    Elite Dangerous out soon

    So why not sign these guys on as Beta testers? You know, the way it has always worked for now. It seems to me that the somebody realized that "hey! We can CHARGE these people for helping us out! Let's take their time AND their money!" Sure, nobody is twisting people's arms, but taking advantage of people's generosity and their enthusiasm for the game to make a few extra bucks by selling unfinished product? I consider that pretty scummy behaviour. Agreed. In addition, paying customers (that have already paid, I mean) make for poor testers. Often these people feel they now already 'own' the product (which they do - but not in the way they think) and they push their own agenda rather than try to make a good final product.
  4. gyrus

    Elite Dangerous out soon

    ... Just as I predicted, nowadays 1/2 the fucking games on Steam are full-price alphas from developers of every size whether they can afford testing or not. It's fucking disgusting. .... Yeah. As I have been saying for years - if people are paying they are entitled to a finished, working, product. I was really upset to see a "Beta" advertised in a store catalogue the other day too. Alpha and Beta have become a way of saying "it's not ready - but here it is..." The only possible solution we have is under Australian Consumer Law there are certain protections - but they only apply to products purchased here - and if they tell you it's not done and you buy it anyway then you possibly cannot do anything.
  5. gyrus

    Battlenet account banned!

    Yeah, that's not smart for the reason I gave above. (this guy says the same thing http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5730073438#1) It removes a level of 'security'. Let's face it people are lazy/forgetful. We don't use random passwords. We use stuff we can remember. And we attach stuff to 'hooks' in our minds. Password for games is "Game$$" Password for Diablo 3 is "G4me" Password for WoW is "GA^^Ez" Password for login email address is...er... well it's for games so I guess "gammezz" will do huh? Not to mention that while stuff like this remains true https://xato.net/passwords/more-top-worst-p...s/#.Uz-eUlf4tJQ giving people a target to brute force hack is just dumb. Edit: and interestingly, even my 'joke' passwords above are more secure than the passwords used by most users apparently? That's a scary thought.
  6. gyrus

    What are you playing at the moment?

    My recent games: Remember Me - by Capcom A Cyberpunk genre game (for those who don't know) I really enjoyed this game - despite all its limitations. Very linear. Excellent story though and the "Memory remix" parts are excellent. It was slightly frustrating at times and I would have liked to have seen more. It had the feel of a game that had been cut short during development. The main plot is there - but I have a suspicion is was supposed to be more expansive like Deus Ex:HR. Get it on sale. Alan Wake - by Remedy A Psychological Horror. Liked the approach and the presentation although this is also very linear. What I don't like about this title is the 'checkpoint save' style progress and the "replay this combat until you get it perfect so you can unlock the gate" mechanics. You end up just looking for the next save point which really kills the mood. Still at 90% off it was good and outside my normal comfort zone... Must finish Dead Space too... Oh and the Double Fine Adventure...
  7. gyrus

    Battlenet account banned!

    I get tons of emails about resetting passwords on my Diablo and WOW accounts from Battlenet... which is interesting because I don't have either game. But yes, I am with you that when I buy a game for the solo experience it shouldn't be forced on me to sign up online. For example the "Wargame" series. I don't want to play that game online (yet) so it's good that I'm not forced to register. Games like DOWII annoy me too. I don't want to have to register for a Microsoft Live profile thanks. And I personally think there should be a different description for "online registration required" vs "online account required" But in many cases you are warned (as NukeJockey said) - so simply do not buy the game. That's what stopped me buying Ubisoft games. "Always online" is simply not an option for me when I buy single player games. But in case you don't know - there was a video on YouTube a couple of years ago interviewing a Goldfarmer who explained how people get hacked: (This is pretty obvious stuff - but I'll repeat it since many people apparently don't know!?) You buy a game. You create a game account with Username <XYZ> and password <ABC> - usually game company accounts are pretty good for security. ... You play for a while and like it, so you join an online community or fan forum - These are not so secure. You use the Fan Forum Username <XYZ> (since that's how the community knows you!) and because you are lazy you use the password <ABC> on the fan forum too (easy to remember! amirite?) And if you are really clever this is the same password as your email account too! That makes things much easier! In some cases they use software with known vulnerabilities, in some cases they sell the data (legally or not) and in some cases these sites are owned by goldfarmers and hackers to begin with (yes. really.). .... You start getting spam mail to your email address. .... hmmm how did they know that? (the one you registered on the fan forum with???) And about a week/month later your game account gets hacked...weird. Must be the game company's fault. ... You get another game.... Username <XYZ> and password <ABC> (because you are lazy - and this is a different game after all...) Bam! Hakzored! etc etc. And you can't figure out why? So, simple solution 1/ have a 'fan forum' email which is NOT your private email. Hotmail or Gmail will do fine (That way you can dump it if you need to) Password <DEF> This is the address you use when registering on a fan forum. 2/ never use password <DEF> for anything else ever. 3/ If you are organised have a game registration email which is NOT your private email or your 'fan forum' email. Password <GHI> 4/ never use password <GHI> for anything else ever. 5/ Use a different password for each game. You can keep the same username "<XYZ>" but never use the same password twice - even a slight change will probably be enough to greatly reduce the chance of getting hacked. "Hackers" and Goldfarmers keep databases matching known usernames, passwords and email addresses (everything they need to access accounts and change passwords). Every time a new game comes out they run through this database. So If your WoW account <XYZ> password <ABC> got hacked in 2008, then your RIFT account <XYZ> password <ABC> will be sure to be hacked in 2012 too. Sound simple. So many people get it wrong. If you are really keen - you can even create a new email for each forum registration and see which ones get hacked. Speaking for myself - I started getting phishing emails after I created an account on a guild forum. Over the next year I saw many of my guild mates having problems getting hacked in other games but never the one related to that guild. Weird huh?
  8. Looks like the SA Government is backing down http ://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-18/vide...r-gamb/5163426 @Oracle X, Yes, totally correct. As I said the current classification scheme and laws are way behind the times.
  9. This is sort of a Blog Post. Yeah, I know, I should actually 'get a blog'. But I don't have one – and since I have discussed this issue on this forum before – it seemed like a good spot for it. For those who haven't seen it – the South Australian Government has launched a campaign against simulated gambling in video games. http://www.kotaku.com.au/2013/12/the-igea-...-advertisments/ The SA Government website is here: http://nogame.com.au/ I will refer to this as NOGAMES. And it has prompted a number of replies – including this letter linked here: http://www.igea.net/2013/12/igeas-letter-to-sas-strategic/ I guess I should start by making my position clear (full disclosure and all) I am a South Australian resident. I am not anti gambling or anti computer games. However, I do believe gambling should be regulated and that the law requires some updating and improvement. There are still too many loopholes in the law and it has failed to keep up with technology. I do believe gambling and simulated gambling should be 'classifiable elements' under the Classifications Act(s) in Australia. After all, almost every other rating system in the world already does this. It's not so much about stopping people (and children) playing gambling games – but about providing fair warning about content, to parents in particular. But I also believe Australia's Classifications Guidelines need a complete overhaul and a serious rethink about the philosophy and the intended goals of the classification scheme. There are some glaring problems with it as it stands right now – but I will return to this point later. As for the NOGAMES campaign: I have an issue with the SA Government's ongoing mismanagement of computer game classification. Two successive SA Attorney-Generals made the introduction of an R18+ rating for computer games very problematic – even stalling the process completely for a while. Yet today you can walk into almost any SA retail store that sells R18+ computer games and find that they are breaking South Australian law. That's because the law was so poorly thought out when the amendments were made for R18+ computer games that basic points were overlooked and no proper consideration was given to what the product actually was or how it is marketed and retailed. Every Target Store, Big W Store, JB Hi Fi, EB Games, Dick Smiths or any other store which has a pamphlet or catalogue available in store with an advert for an R18+ game in it – is breaking the law in South Australia. This offense can carry a $5000 fine. That is for each store and for each time they release a new catalogue with an R18+ game advertised in it. [see the SA Classifications Act (1995), Part 69A(1)(b). ] The SA Attorney-General's office is aware of this. And yet it continues. Or how about the size of a CD case? Under section 60A(1)(a)(iii) the surface area of the material on display is to be not more than 300 square centimetres. Unfortunately for SA retailers a CD case is approximately 250 square centimetres per side. So that means that according to SA Law a retailer cannot even have one complete PC games case on display. It doesn't matter what the images are on that case. So a game like Metro: Last Light where one side of the cover is just a big yellow “M”, is still bound by this rule. In short – in South Australia – R18+ computer games are supposed to be treated like R18+ magazines for retail display and sale. They are supposed to come in a sealed cover if they have a surface area of more than 300 square centimetres or there is more than one copy on display. Think “brown paper bag” and you get the idea. They are supposed to be kept separate from other products (non R18+ games) in their own area and there are not allowed to be any posters advertising them in any way – that includes any poster advertising R18+ games as part of a bundle with other games and/or a console. But that is not happening. The SA Attorney-General's office knows this is not happening. You would think, considering the difficulty the SA Attorney-General's office caused (and continues to cause) in relation to the issue of computer games classification, they would at least see to it that the law is followed in their own state? But they aren't. Possibly because if they did actually enforce South Australian law they would have to deal with retailers who would be quite rightly annoyed that it is almost impossible to market and sell a legal product in this state? They might also have to face some tough questions on some of the inconsistencies in the law? For example: While it is against SA Law for (non Adult Only) stores to distribute a catalogue or pamphlet advertising an R18+ game in store – they can put that same catalogue in your letterbox. Oh, and that just covers the computer games themselves in South Australia. If you wanted to look at the associated merchandise and support material (computer games magazines including some with demo discs, play guides etc.) then the SA Government really dropped the ball. But rather than enforce (or better still - fix!) the law we have – it seems the SA government would rather try to introduce a new issue to complicate the issue further? Not to mention the MA15+ rating itself. 'Useless as tits on a bull' to coin a phrase. What does MA15+ actually mean? Well, according to the law “children under the age of 15 may not legally watch, buy or hire MA 15+ classified material unless they are in the company of a parent or adult guardian. … And in South Australia you may not sell or supply a minor and MA15+ game unless you are the parent or guardian OR unless you believe the parent or guardian had consented [section 62(2) & (3)] Note the word “unless”. So how does this work in practice? “Mum!? Dad!? Can I play 'The Witcher'??” > “Um... is that on the computer? Yeah...okay.” “Hey Mister, I'd like to buy 'Assassin's Creed – Black Flag' please.” > “Sorry kid, that's an MA15+ game.” > “My Dad says it's okay... he gave me the money.” > “Oh, that's fine then.” Now, seriously, if the SA Government really wants to make a difference that is something they should address. Forget the 'Mature Accompanied' rating which is nothing more than a speed bump. Introduce a proper rating that means exactly what it says. R15+. Restricted. No messing around. It's not like parents cannot still overrule it in the privacy of their own homes, if that's what they choose to do. That's how R18+ works now anyway [section 62(1a)]. Ref http://www.classification.gov.au/Guidelines/Pages/MA15+.aspx Then there was the SA Attorney-General seeking a re-classification of a number of games based on how these games had been rated overseas: “The basis for the classification review was unsubstantiated and it is a shame that the exercise was undertaken in the first place. The 12 video games were wrongly singled out because of the different ratings received overseas; an argument that does not take into consideration the structural and cultural differences between Australia’s classification scheme and international schemes.” http://www.igea.net/2013/12/igea-responds-...ication-review/ The recent attempt to get a classification review of 12 games which are rated differently overseas also shows a distinct bias against games in South Australia. It is worth noting that the games in question were singled out because of higher ratings in overseas rating systems. However, there are some games rated R18+ under the Australian classification system which have attracted lower ratings in some overseas systems. In the interest of fairness why weren't these games also nominated for re-review? In addition, if overseas systems are so persuasive to lawmakers here why were they ignored during our classification review last year? The most well known rating system which references “simulated gambling” is the ESRB system (http://www.esrb.org/index-js.jsp) used in the US and Canada. But while the SA Government seem to have embraced this small part of that system they seem to have completely ignored the fact that ESRB has a range of descriptors which differentiate between different types of graphic violence, sexual content, drug use and online interactive content. Also a descriptor for real gambling... which the SA NOGAME campaign does not propose either. The SA NOGAME site is focused on simulated gambling and barely addresses real gambling at all. So it really does look like the SA Government is cherry picking for political ends. The current classification system is 'broken' with guidelines which are outdated and yield results which are often inconsistent and illogical. Not to mention the fact the system is hopelessly overloaded and is no longer able to provide results in a timely manner. It is possible, with very little effort, to show a number of games which expose considerable inconsistencies an deficiencies in the current classification guidelines. If the SA Government was serious, and wanted to do some real good they could look at a complete review of the current classification system. Not the limited agenda driven reviews of the past – but an unbiased review investigating what our community concerns really are, what the content really is, what the problems really are, what we want to achieve and how to go about it. The section relating to 'drug use' is my personal bugbear. “...drug use related to incentives or rewards...” Depending on how you define “drug” the number of games that could potentially fall foul of this is huge. Computer games have been using potions of health, speed, wisdom, dexterity etc. since the 'power up' was invented. Is a potion a drug? I guess it depends on the mood of the Classification Board and which dictionary you use. “Gambling starts with games”? Games teach gambling – it's hard to argue with that. But not just computer games... from the instant a child plays a dice game or a card game they are learning about 'gambling'. And that's a good thing. I firmly believe 'gambling' should be taught in school – as a part of mathematics (probability and statistics) where it belongs. Learning about chance, odds, risk and return are all important skills in life. Taught properly, these things can help children grow to successful adults able to assess and manage risk. “Will I take insurance?” This is a gamble. Personally, I have never had insurance against meteor strike or Hippo attack, I betting I wont be hit by a meteor. But I do insure against fire and theft, because in the event my house burns down, which is far more likely than a Hippo attack, I could not recover the losses. For their part, the insurance company plays the odds too and gambles that my house will not burn down. Even if it does, they try to set their premiums to make sure they get their take overall. As for the image in the poster: According to the reports linked from the NOGAME site (and others on the subject) the little girl is more likely to be catching up on facebook during a break in the poker game... while the adults get another beer. If that (real gambling with adult assistance) is an issue the SA government wishes to address then that is something the studies do show could be justified. Do we want children to be totally restricted from any gambling activity? If so, fine. But don't mess around. Put laws in place that make the intent perfectly clear. But that wouldn't just require an adjustment to the Classification Act or simply concern computer games. That would also require amendments to the SA Lottery and Gaming Act and increased resources for the SA Police to enforce it. But I don't think that's the goal here.
  10. gyrus

    What are you playing at the moment?

    Retro completion day today.... Uplink - by Introversion. Got near to the end so many times. A game I started April 2012... Emperor of the Fading Suns - by Holistic / Segasoft. (Vanilla). Game started November 2012. Atomic put me on to this one as a game that could do with a remake / to become an MMO. Great game. Great Lore. In fact... this one is sort of unique because it could easily be the historical prequel to WH40K universe too - a lot of it sort of fits or could easily be made to fit without too much effort. I will play this one (modded) again. There is Nova, Hyperion and Reality that all look worthwhile. Played the demo of Battle worlds: Kronos the other day and thought that EoFS looking like that would be awesome.
  11. gyrus

    What are you playing at the moment?

    In amongst everything else picked up Miasmata in the Steam sale. Saw it ages ago and was interested - but wanted it cheap. Great 'little' game if you like exploring. I think it could really add to replayability if it was more roguelike though - and it looks to me like the Devs may have even set it up with this in mind? Couple of interesting things about it: It's the first game in a long time where I haven't had to kill stuff to progress. In fact, you don't kill anything. With that in mind - I can't wait to see it put in front of the Classification Board here... you see it has "realistic drug use"... I would really love to see the ACB slap an R18+ on a game about cartography and plant collecting!
  12. gyrus

    Skylanders Swap Force

    Yeah, sorta. My kids started with Giants. And yes, there were always new characters coming out in waves. But as far as I know - even from the first wave (in previous games) you could buy all the 'elements' (Fire, Tech, Water, Air, Earth, Magic...) to allow you to access all the parts of the game? If they had released 8 characters in the first wave - one of each type of mobility - then the game would be fully playable. But my understanding is that even in the second wave (released in Canada AFAIK) you still do not get the required characters?
  13. gyrus

    Skylanders Swap Force

    This is a biatch post specifically aimed at Activision - I hope their marketing people read this. Okay... I'm old. I have kids. And if you are a parent like me - you have heard of Skylanders. You have probably seen the figures in stores too. Each of the characters has an 'element'. Life, fire, water, magic etc. And in the games there are usually certain zones and challenges that need you to have a specific element to do them. Fair enough I suppose - it's a bit of a marketing gimmick really - since you buy the game and then need to buy a few figures too. So for the first two games you buy the game at about $80 and then have to buy about $100 worth of characters to really play it. But okay - the kids like playing with the characters (figurines) on their own too. And to be fair it's not a bad game for kids. And characters from one game can (mostly) work on the next game. Anyway - the latest addition to the series is Swap-Force. Swap-Force has 16 all new characters http://www.skylanders.com/characters#swapforce/all And the interesting thing is you can split the characters in half and swap them around so 16 tops X 16 bottoms = 256 possible characters! This is what the game promises. And when you buy the 'starter pack' it comes with two of these characters and a poster showing you all the rest too. Only here's the catch. In their wisdom - someone in marketing chose to release the figures in "waves"... And as far as I know there are only 6 figures available in Australia right now (including the two in the starter pack). Yeah... 6. That's 6 out of 16. Which does not allow 256 combinations - but 6 x 6 = 36. And that's 6 out of the 16 you are telling the kids they can get. But that's not the worst of it... in Swap Force they have introduced a new mechanic: mobility. There are 8 different types of mobility... Yeah 8. And you guessed it - there are certain challenges you need the correct mobility to access. But there are only 6 figures available at the moment. So, Activision... do the math. That means there are challenges in the game it's not possible to play. And my kids hit in the first one of these in under 1 hour of play time. Now, yes, I understand that you will release the required figures 'soon'. BUT MY KIDS DON'T. Seriously Activision - how can you not know your market here? KIDS! YOUNG KIDS! It says "6+" on the box. These are not adults that understand marketing and release dates and schedules and patience. These are kids that count days to Christmas in "sleeps". I challenge you ACTIVISION to send a rep to my house to explain to my youngest why the required characters are not available yet - after all your promotions and marketing and build up? Explain why the game is not fully playable? Explain when, exactly, the character that is their favourite (since you let them see them all) will be available? Explain to them in a way that leaves them happy and that they can understand? And when you are done at my house - you could tour the school and explain to the kids there too ( there are lots ) Because besides the fact that what you have done here is pretty damn mean - I don't think it's working in your favour? My kids have turned your game OFF. I'm starting to hear about Disney Infinity again... because you know... you can actually buy the characters for that game. And other games too - since even though the kids are young - they are not stupid. They may not fully understand - but they are unhappy because they know that it's not complete. They don't like feeling cheated. Do you, ACTIVISION, really think this strategy will work to your advantage for the next time you release a game in the series? And even if you don't care about the kids - here's some more thoughts for you: In Australia - if you advertise a game it has to be able to do what you say. So when you box says you can make 250+ new characters (which requires 16 swap Force characters) then you have to have those characters available for sale. You might find this is part of the law here. Not to mention that 6 year olds don't buy these games themselves. Their parents do. And you don't want to piss them off either. Upset kids = annoyed parents. Parents have memories and have amazing powers to convince kids that maybe LEGO would be a better thing to ask for from Santa Claus too. So there you go Activision. That's my biatch. Oh except for one thing... Where is my TRAP SHADOW!!!!!?????
  14. gyrus

    Humble Bumble Weekly Deals

    They have added Populous and C&C: Red Alert Uprising to this bundle now too.
  15. gyrus


    Yeah, it's just to give you a reference for movement. So, Cybes... you never played Elite then? :-P Oh dear... I guess I am showing my age. Had a bit of a play... have an idea or two I want to try tomorrow maybe.