May 242011

Sony alerted users on their blog that PSN will be partially down for maintenance for the bulk of the day.  They claim the impact will be minimal and chances are you won’t notice it.  They also took the time to mention that the PS Store won’t be coming back online today, but reiterate they are still on target for “the end of this month.”  While I’m sure there are a lot of people who will boycott the store in light of Sony’s lack of focus on security, the store also is the gatekeeper for code pack-ins in new games and also for downloading content users have already bought.

Of course, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing since PSN was partially restored.   A loophole was found (and subsequently fixed) that allowed unauthorized password resetting, a Thai Sony site was infected and taken over by a phishing scam, a SQL injection attack compromised a Greek Sony music site, exposing more customer data all while the CEO called the whole thing a “hiccup in the road to a network future.”  We’re still trying to figure out what that means, but do appreciate his dismissive attitude towards his company’s continued failures which have left their customers exposed.

UPDATE:  Another Sony music site, this one in Japan has fell victim to yet another SQL injection attack.  Yes, Sony is on quite the roll these days.  Also, I was remiss not to mention that PSN is still down in Japan, as they need to answer more questions and meet more guidelines before the Japanese government will allow them to go back online in their home country.  Is it clear that Sony simply can’t be trusted with your data or do they just have a huge target on them right now?  While it’s obvious they’re a popular target as of late, that doesn’t excuse them from constantly failing.  SQL injection attacks aren’t anything new.

UPDATE #2: Yes, this keeps getting more ridiculous.  Another site, this time the Sony Ericsson Canadian site has been compromised, just like the others, with more customer data stolen.    You just can’t make this stuff up.  Should Sony just uninstall the internet?

May 242011

Last night Splash Damage posted a patch for the PC version which includes a fair number of bug fixes cleaning up many common issues with the game.  You can read the changelog here, although the three key ones that have plagued many users are:

  • Fixed sound dropping out when playing networked games
  • Improved graphical performance, especially when using Ambient Occlusion
  • Fixed memory leak/crash when alt-tabbed out

To extend the double meaning of this post title and to follow up my post last week, I can say that Brink does get better with time.  While I don’t think I ever found that “Eureka!” moment, after more time spent with the game and playing with friends, the game does start to click.  There is a bit of a learning curve to some of the game’s nuances, and unlocking abilities while leveling up your character improves the experience greatly.   Since the game does rely heavily on team play (arguably, even more so than say, BFBC2) online matches can vary wildly in quality depending on how adept your pub teammates are.  Brink does provide a nice change of pace from the latest round of cookie-cutter modern warfare shooters, and while it doesn’t get everything right, does a good enough job for those willing to stick around long enough to learn the ropes and find a groove.