Ranting about Internet connections

Today’s post is a re-write of an apology to my raid team mates, about having connection issues. I hate connection issues, and hate more when a tech support staffer can’t offer anything overly constructive unless lead by the nose.

It just makes me say Arrrrrrrggg! Continue reading

WoW Armory for the iPhone released

We can now grab an official Armory iPhone app (wow.com article). Let me be one of the many that runs around in circles squeeling like a school girl about this, starting now – brb. *yay, squeel*

wow-iphone-istoreBy all accounts it looks nice. That reminds me…*yay, squeel*

I’ll write impressions after a few days of playing around; but for a starting question:

Q. Why can I login to this using my Username and Password, but not using an Authenticator?

A. No Fucking Idea – but that is not good at all! This could facilitate account hacking / hijacking.

I Hate Blog Scrapers (non-wow & nsfw)

Seems I’m getting a large amount of my content re-published in scraped form on some aggregation sites. I hate that. A lot.

If it was a commentary, useful feedback, or even abuse I’d be ok – but just re-posting for the purpose of link ads is off the scale wrong. Fu*kers don’t even credit my name in the feed, its just listed as “Random Feed”.

You’re on notice you leechy creepy bastards: every now and then I’m going to say something acidic, virulent, and mean. And there is no way in hell I’m going to link to you in comments and such; the height of rudeness. Trackbacks? Ha!

If you’re reading this, and its not on https://typhoonandrew.wordpress.com then its stolen. So how about some total mis-information for those wonderful scape-site:

  • Hunter patch 3.1 will further reduce their dps; akin to the to-the-ground Paladin nurf
  • Druid Tree form will have movement reduced by 15%, because you’re trees.
  • Warlock Tier 8 gear set will feature a pink horns (much like donkey ears) with green sparkles on the top.
  • Paladin seals will now need to be re-applied after Judgement.
  • Mages will have be given new summon power akin to warlocks, so that warlocks can be removed from the game. And the new Pink T8 set that was for Warlocks becomes Mage t8. With a blue sparkles. Bet that stopped the mages laughing.

Arrg, enough. Scrape that you bastards.

Judas Khemical Preview

In non-wow news, my brother has poped up art for a new comic he is writing, drawing, and bending his mind on. Given I kick the WoW addiction, something this creative would still be beyond my skills even though I’d have something to do with all he new free time.

Bravo brother, can’t wait for the full thing!

The blog of the work, and a high res image of the cover are available.

Safari search plug-in for Armory

If you are an Armory fiend take a look at the World of Warcraft Armory site, as it contains plug-ins for the popular browsers (IE7, FF, Opera). This dandy little page explains how to make profiling a player or guild a lot faster by adding an Armory search into your web browser. Funky.

However as a Mac and Safari user, I found it odd that Safari didn’t have an option on Blizzard’s Armory site.

So like any ranty geek that I am, I mucked about till I had one. Below you’ll find instructions for getting the awesome auto-search mechanism in Safari. Continue reading

Diablo 3? Grumble

Blizzard announced Diablo 3 at the Invitational, but really what I wanted was a Wrath launch date. I know Diablo was a good game, and Diablo 2 was even better. Yes, I will play it, and yes I think they will do an excellent job.

I’m just a junkie for all things World of Warcraft, and can’t wait for the next WoW Expansion. So 10 points for the new Diablo, but minus several hundred for not annoucing the WotLK date.

Bring on the demons, the mindless voicence, and the anti-gamer hate from the misunderstanding right. Where did I put my Abyssal Membership Card?

If you’re also keen for WoW Wrath details you’ll be pleased to know that a lot of new infomation is hitting the air during the convention, and I’m keenly reading as much of the websites, blogs, and bathrom walls to get all the rumours. However I’d say its still not official until they give us documented intentions, and even then not final.

So keep your seats, wonder the Diablo 3 game, and wait with bated breath for official news to come.

Blizzard security token

As a response to security concerns and account hacking it seems that Blizzard will facilitate an optional security token system. Initially I though this was a late April fools joke, but after taking off my cynical hat, maybe some users will like this. I really don’t know.

If it works for all Blizzard games going forward and remains an optional device – its a good thing. It raises a question about using different PCs, how many could be authorised, and what customer support will be needed.

My humble opinion is that this will not be broadly adopted. I certainly won’t be using one as I move between so many machines and have a tendency to loose my keys.

A software based solution might make more sense, and if Blizzard really want to stop accounts being hacked, they should:

  1. change out account name as well as password
  2. set minimum complexity rules
  3. have the wow forums using a different login to the account login.
  4. don’t show “account already in use” when creating a new account name. When creating my account I was told that my first few choices were already in use. Thats half the user/pass combination hacked right there.
  5. what about areas outside USA for customer support?

Edit: Apparently these only sell to the USA and Europe (which sucks if true), and the one authenticator can be used on any number of accounts; which is great.

Other Games Worth Playing?

Are there any other games worth playing at the moment? (rant warning)

I’m downloading EQ2 trial at the moment, as a mate has said it worth checking out. The experience so far has been about the same level of patch frustration as WoW, but with an added crappy download screen. Why make the initial download only 80mb, and then have me sit through a 9 hour patch process? Dumb, but the standard way of doing things it seems.

Up front I’m very skeptical of how this game will compare, as I think World of Warcraft has a few things that suck, but on balance is pretty good (insert fanboy sarcasm). If EQ2 brings something new to the table, I’ll be pleased and impressed – especially if I can get to see any of it before the trial period expires. Continue reading

What type of gamer are you?

A quiz for determining what type of gamer you are, similar to the Myers-Briggs test. I’m a EASK, which means I like walking around the worlds finding stuff; much more than I like killing other players. Apparently a game like NWN2 is best for me, which is funny because I’m going to start playing that when it arrives in a few weeks.

Two workmates are the same, but they like killing the people they meet (and they call me the sociopath – sheesh).

Reminds me of that line, “Join the Army, meet new and interesting people, and kill them!” Perhaps America’s Army is the game for them…

How to waste time on the Internet

Here are a few link worthy things that I choose to look at when I should be doing something productive, like leveling my Paladin or working.

 http://www.wulffmorgenthaler.com/ – a great webcomic which is as sick as it is satirical.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/zeropunctuation – a game reviewer who makes it fun to hear about the current releases which hit (or miss) the mark.

http://www.therawfeed.com/ – a blog about cool gadgets and strange IT stuff. 

http://www.myextralife.com/ – a blog about game and internet culture.

 And yes, this post is about me wasting more time online. Shut up and stop laughing.

Woot – Word of the Year, woot!

Its a strange day on teh Interweb when the phrase woot becomes word of the year, according to Merriam-Webster. Check the link below if you think I’m making this up.



  • Is this a push to get linkage and advertising?

  • Its a wonderful thing for the silly folks who use it seriously, and an ironic thing thing for those jaded folks who use it asa joke.

  • I would have voted for: Rofl, !one!, or lol

Gold spam via Gmail

Something new for me today: receiving gold seller spam on my Gmail account. Now my gmail account is not well known, and I’m certainly not plastering it around.

This says to me that online games are now so popular that the spam-jerks are willing to plaster the messages about. Interesting yes, also pretty fucked.

They can hang the gold sellers from one side of the stocks, and balance it with the spammers on the other as far as I’m concerned.

Firefox console to control everything

I was annoyed with Firefox 2 always stealing back the PCs focus after I clicked a link outside the browser, or tabbed to a new program.

A 5 second Google search later found this page with excellent advise on how to fix this problem. It also shows how you can alter almost any of the setting in Firefox!

http://labnol.blogspot.com/2006/07/secr … owser.html

(edit): And another here which speeds Firefox up.
http://public.ccsds.org/sites/cwe/help/ … aspx?ID=10
Continue reading

MS breaks HTML email

MS has changed the functionality of HTML email in Outlook so that it no longer conforms to as much of the CSS standards as it previously did.

The link here has the article, and a huge number of comments. Here too.

Seriously I like the fact that the geeks are up in arms, but fail to recognise that the Business and normal users are the target of this change (typical community reaction = panic QQ).

As a rule (which I have no evidence for) geeks send plain text, or very simple RTF or HTML. But business workers like flashy graphics and borders.

Email management software (and there are a heap of vendors) will always need to support this, because thats what users expect from a message. A typical user does not differentiate their email from a web browser.

This presents a issue for internet software, but also an opportunity to grab the Outlook audience, and own them. What the Outlook community need is a plug-in that renders CSS styles correctly, and which can be set as the default email creation tool.

Then publish it to the whinge-net, then get the license revenue, then get purchased by MS.

Who uses, buys and promotes your software?

The Innovation Zen blog has a short and interesting article on how changing the model of an “ideal user” to include those outside the typical user experience can significantly affect the draw and success of a business.

Essentially the point is that their may be many different people involved in the sale of a product or service (Users, Purchasers and Influencers), and each should be identified and marketed to. Further each should also be given the opportunity to move beyond their initial role, and this is where each can be come really powerful.

The User, Purchaser, and Influencer may all be the same person, or could conceivably be many different people. Especially on large purchases (and big projects) the buying decision will not often be left to a single individual, and even if it is that person will be affected by many people around them.

How then do these people change or combine roles, and then become peer leverage for new customers? The answer is not simple, but an example as in the World of Warcraft game (as used in the Innovation Zen Blog) is a good one.

In WoW the player begins having little or no idea of how to user the system. So very obvious objectives, tool tips, and prompts lead the user through the initial experience. As far as game play the early missions are almost impossible to fail, and the rewards are very quick to arrive, and quite gratifying.

The after it is assumed that the user has the basics, the challenge gets a little harder, and the user is encouraged to move through the game more independently.

The player can opt to turn off the tool-tips, and start adding their own short-cuts to commonly user items; which is a direct way of acknowledging their own progression, and taking ownership of the experience.

Later at level 5, the player can add a new complexity called Professions (Alchemy, Smithing, Enchanting, etc) which is totally optional and rewarding, while adding to the time and complexity of thinking required in the game. And on this goes through out the game, with improved or new abilities being available every few levels.

This gradual change is what draws a player further inside the game, and gives them the immersion that drives them on. I see this as a Nurture -> Rapture -> Mentor type of progression, and is created in the community as new players are helped (and hounded) by more experienced ones.

Warcraft (and many other good product models) have an ability to be repeated many times, and also keep raising the reward the more time/money a customer commits.

Perhaps the immersive nature is special to an online game, but the interactivity and personal involvement is something that many brands are trying to develop (YouTube, MySpace), and the growth of online communities has never been more fragmented or stronger than now.

What will Google do with YouTube to pick up on the community feel? I don’t know; but I do know that if they don’t do anything they will be missing a huge opportunity; and I doubt that will happen.

Google Answers to shutdown

The Google Q&A offering called Google Answers will close its virtual doors in about a week due to a lack of uptake.

Compared with Yahoo’s service a run of 800 answers over 4 years is certainly not going to make you a $google. And this may be a case of Yahoo grabbing the users and the market not really needing another service.

The blog entry here thanks the users, and especially the small crew of developers who made it real. Cudos to them for giving it a go, and as an add-on to searching I think this concept is good.

– How many people really use these services? (lets say not a huge proportion)
– How authorative are the answers considered in the professional communities? (lets say its casual answers, therefore no real value)

Link: the blog who told me

I’m sure Google will recover (joke), and darn sure that the developers and staff learned some great lessons and are very employable.