The PS 2 Marches On….

Years after the release of next generation consoles such as the PS 3, Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Wii, the Playstation 2 still continues to be a leading system. Development for new titles will still come 1 or 1 and a half years from now.

The graphics are no comparison to next gen systems, but I was recently impressed with the graphics quality of 007: Quantum of Solace. Sure it does not showcase pixel shader 3 or DirectX 10 technologies, but textures were highly detailed and crisp compared to most PS2 titles. 007

Recently released for the PS 2 were Star Wars: Force Unleashed, 007 Quantum of Solace, Spiderman: Web of Shadows, and NHL 2k9.
This surely ensures that the
PS 2 sales are not dead, and there is more to be utilized with the
system, as opposed to the Xbox or Gamecube, both of which have reached
their end of life terms.

Coming Soon to the PS 2:

  • Call of Duty: World at War (10.31.2008)
  • WWE RAW vs Smackdown (11.3.2008)
  • NHL 09 (11.4.2008)
  • Need for Speed: Undercover (11.17.2008)
  • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (12.2.2008)
  • Tomb Raider: Underworld (1.1.2009)


Codeweaver Crises

Do you remember when K-Mart tried to boost revenue by offering free internet service? Well, in return it drove the corporation to bankruptcy. While free service seemed like a great idea, many people ran to the occasion causing much more costs than intended for K-Mart. The same has seemed to happen with software maker Codeweavers….

From Download Squad: It sure seemed like a good idea. CodeWeavers, the makers of CrossOver software that lets you run Windows applications like MS Outlook or games like Half Life on Mac andLinux machines, held a tongue-in-cheek promotion where the company promised to give away free copies of its software if one of a number of economic goals were met in the US. While it’s likely that the US government had little to do with the recent dip in gas prices, this week CodeWeavers decided that $2.79 gas meant it was time to give away a copy of CrossOver to anyone who wanted it within a 24 hour period.

And then all heck broke loose. The story made the front page of Digg and was reported on countless tech blogs. The CodeWeavers website crashed, although the company quickly got the download links back online. When the smoke cleared, the company gave away about 750,000 copies of its software. Let’s
let that sink in for a second here. A company that many people may not have even known existed, had its software downloaded three quarters of a million times in one day. CodeWeavers sent an email this week stating that the move expands the company’s customer base by 400%. The value of the free software given away tops $45 million.

In other words, the whole thing might have backfired and ruined the company’s bottom line. On the other hand, it could be awesome news in the long run for CodeWeavers. A whole lot of people who weren’t aware
of the software are now potential customers. Many of the people who downloaded free copies may not really wind up using it, but those who do may decide to upgrade when a new version is available or pay for
another year of support when the 1 year of free support expires in a year.

Still, CodeWeavers has decided to cancel the promotion going forward. There had been plans to do another giveaway if housing prices fell, US job numbers went up, or Osama Bin Laden was captured. But that just
doesn’t seem like a good idea anymore.

Free: Comodo Internet Security Suite

Comodo’s president Melih Abdulhayoglu believes that “Safe computing on the Internet should be a right, not a privilege.” He continues, “We are offering an advanced, intelligent Internet Security package at no
charge in order to promote a safer, trusted Internet for everyone

The program’s main window is uncluttered and informative, providing a vitals like the status of protection systems and updates, and the present level of network activity. It also features links to quickly lock down your system or set the program to install mode (which tells it ramp down the activity alerts temporarily).

Its main program window presents the three major defense components: Antivirus, Firewall, and Defense+. Configuration options are plentiful on all three. The virus scanner supports automatic updates, flexible scheduling, multiple scanning profiles, excluded directories and files, and detailed logging.

As you’d expect, the firewall offers a myriad of rule and configuration options. Granting and revoking trust from applications, ports, and networks is a clear, simple process. Novice users will either want to leave the default settings alone or spend some time reading the detailed (and user-friendly) help files, as a couple of wrong clicks can quickly create networking headaches. An active connections screen is also available and it presents information similar to Sysinternals’ TCPview, providing insight as to which applications are transmitting or receiving data.

During the first launch, Comodo does a good job of determining which applications are safe to approve. Alerts are color coded, so novice users should pay special attention to any that appear in a red window.

What interested me most about CIS was the Defense+ system. It provides another layer of protection against malware, allowing users to specify trusted software vendors and files, folders, and registry keys that are to be protected. Any modifications to these files or keys (by a hijacker, for example) can’t occur unless authorized.

Adding a file, process, or driver to the blocked list makes it impossible to access by any user or process – unlike protected files, to which you can selectively grant permission. The program does its best to recognize new files automatically, but unknown ones are added to a pending list, which allows you query Comodo’s master database for more information or submit files for review.

Comodo Internet Security is exceeding my expectations, and I would recommend it for anyone that is after a unified solution for malware, virus, and intrusion defense. It’s a much more complete solution than other free apps like AVG, Avast, and Avira.

Install note: by default, Comodo will install the Ask toolbar and change your home page. Pay attention to the screens, and deselect them if you’re not interested.

Ubuntu v8.10 Released

As I never was too found of Linux due to the long and technical methods to operate anything compared to the ease of Windows, I have come to deeply admire Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is a community developed, Linux-based operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. It contains all the applications you need – a web browser, presentation, document and spreadsheet software, instant messaging and much more.

Ubuntu 8.10 is available for download today. Version 8.10 brings
  • Improved support for connecting to 3G wireless networks
  • A utility for loading a fully working Ubuntu installation on a USB disk
  • A new System Cleaner utility that will help identify abandoned software packages
  • The Nautilus file manager now supports tabs

In addition to Ubuntu 8.10, you can also download the latest version of Kubuntu today. Kubuntu is basically Ubuntu with the KDE desktop environment instead of GNOME. Xubuntu 8.10, which uses the Xfce desktop environment is also available today.

GTA IV for PC Delayed


*Sigh*  Finally, I let that out and feel much better now. You may be wondering what would throw me in such a fit…. Tis not anger, but shielded heartache. From 1UP:

If you’ve been holding out on Grand Theft Auto 4 in the interest of picking up the PC version, it looks like you may have to add two more weeks to your wait. As Joystiq has pointed out, online retailers are now listing the PC version of Rockstar’s crime epic for release on December 2, pushed back from its originally announced date of November 18.

As you can see on Amazon’s and Gamestop’s GTA4 listings, the date is now clearly marked for December 2. This has not, mind you, been confirmed by Rockstar yet, so it’s possible this could just be some sort of mix up… but not entirely likely. Once Rockstar issues a response, we’ll let you know.

Grand Theft Auto 4 for the PC, if you’re wondering, promises even sharper graphics than its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 predecessors, along with new multiplayer features and the ability to record, edit, and share gameplay videos

General Tech Headlines

Gamers have been having a ball lately. Far Cry 2 was released last week, as well as Fallout 3 this week, with many more to come through November and December including GTA IV, 007: Quantum of Solace, and more.

Microsoft Blogs have revealed that Windows Vista Service Pack 2 will go in to beta testing within the week.

Microsoft will introduce a beta of the upcoming Windows Seven at the Professional Developers Conference today. Highlights of the Seven release notes include

  • It appear there will be several editions of Windows 7, with names
    like Windows 7 Enterprise Edition and Windows 7 Ultimate Edition
    popping up throughout the privacy statement.
  • Device
    Information Retrieval is the service that download info from Microsoft
    about your computer’s hardware. It looks like you can check an option
    to turn this off in Windows 7, which I believe is new.
  • There’s a new driver protection feature that stops the computer from starting drivers that are known to cause stability issues.
  • Windows
    can perform a one-time check with Windows Update to download system
    updates during the Windows installation process, saving you from having
    to install Windows and then run a system update once you’re finished. Update: Not exactly new, but still useful
  • There’s also information about other features like sending print jobs
    over the internet, parental controls, and other items you might expect
    to see a privacy notice for.

Foxmarks is a plugin for Firefox
that makes it easy to keep your bookmarks synchronized across multiple
browsers. When you add or delete a bookmark on one machine, the changes
will be reflected on another. Pretty useful for keeping your home and
work computers up to date, right? But what about all those passwords
you have saved on one computer but not the other. Now Foxmarks has a
solution for that too.

Sony claims that the PS3 Web Browser surfs the internet faster than Windows Explorer 7….

PC Game Sales charts for the week ending October 18

  • 1. Spore
  • 2. World of Warcraft Battle Chest
  • 3. Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy
  • 4. Warhammer Online
  • 5. The Sims 2 Apartment Life
  • 6. The Sims 2 Double Deluxe
  • 7. Civilization IV: Colonization
  • 8. World of Warcraft
  • 9. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
  • 10. Crysis Warhead

Steam’s “Top Sellers” (as of today)

  • 1. Far Cry 2
  • 2. Fallout 3 (pre-sale)
  • 3. Left 4 Dead (pre-sale)
  • 4. The Ship: Complete Pack
  • 5. Counter-Strike: Source
  • 6. Counter-Strike
  • 7. Team Fortress 2
  • 8. Call of Duty 4
  • 9. X3
  • 10. The Orange Box

GTA IV Trailer for PC

This has to be the greatest trailer I have seen yet.

I could imagine this trailer as the next Jason Statham movie. Great music. Beautiful gfx.