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jalexbrown

Bad News: Valve Says Steam's Been Compromised

By: jalexbrown Nov 11, 2011 | 5 Comments | Updated: Nov 11, 2011

According to a post on Steam's forums, the service has been compromised.

 

If you're a Steam user, you might want to keep an eye on your credit card statements.  According to Gabe Newell, the service's security was breached.  This came in the wake of Steam's forums being "defaced" in the words of Gabe himself, who's explaination can be found in the link below.  Amongst other things he says, "We don’t have evidence of credit card misuse at this time."  Nevertheless, the hacker was able to obtain "...user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information."  It's not clear at this time rather or not all accounts were obtained, but Valve will be encouraging all users to change their passwords.

 

As of right now Steam's forums are down and will be up "as soon as [they] can [get them up]."

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AMD Radeon R9 290 and 290X Performance Analysis

By: guano Nov 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

PC component performance, heat and you!

  The AMD Radeon R9 Series follows the latest trend in PC components having their advertised performance rated as an "up to X Mhz". You can no longer buy a GPU or CPU for that matter and have the rating on the package be the actual real world performance all the time. It's complicated...

  For the sake of this writing, most graphics cards have 3 states of perfomance, which is also related to their power consumption and heat output. When you're not gaming, your GPU is in what I call, "desktop mode". It is a low power, low heat, low performance mode where you get maybe a 2-300 Mhz of your advertized 1 Ghz performance. It is intended to save power, so we lower the clock to draw windows on the monitor for tasks like browsing the web. This lowers heat, fan noise and power usage. We don't need to run full bore, so we don't!

  Next up is, "gaming mode"! It is as it implies, the GPU runs at full power and speed to give you all the gaming performance you paid for... sort of. Every manufacturer has a different implementation, but the gist is that these modern chips will run as fast as they can, as long as they stay under a temperature or power envelope set by the manufacturer. So for example, NVIDIA's GPU runs at a set minimum clock speed and can throttle up to higher clocks so long as it stays under a set power or thermal limit. This is the third state that I call, "turbo mode". If you have better system cooling, you get higher clocks and lower fan speeds on the GPU at all speed steppings. This desktop, gaming and turbo mode model are the standard these days. My concern is the approach AMD took on its flagship R9 series GPUs.

  The R9 290 and 290X have implemented more of a 2 stage approach. In gaming mode, instead of implementing a minimum clock speed, that will be maintained at all costs, at the expense of ramping the fan up and up, like intel and NVIDIA, they reduce their clock speed to maintain thermals, lower and lower. So there is no base clock speed. Unless you use an overclocking utility to override the settings, the 290X for example will not let the fan speed exceed 40% of its top speed, to preserve noise levels and thermals over performance. So if you don't have optimal system cooling, you get lower levels of performance, to maintain the thermals. This is counterintuitive to my brain!

  If you do not wish to tweak your PC parts out of spec, for whatever reason, you should think twice about buying the R9 series cards. Without some tuning, you will not get the speeds in benchmarks you're seeing on the net. Most of the big review sites do not review GPUs in a closed case as you will. They have open system benches built for the convenience of swithcing out parts with ease. These issues the R9 displays are not going to be exposed unless thermal loads are real world. The R9 also has much higher operating temperatures. Their gaming mode temperature target is 90-95C. NVIDIA has much more efficient operating temps around 80-85C. The temperatures vary depending on the specific model. Fan noise levels are another consideration. Higher temps means more fan speed. The decibel scale is logarithmic so a few dbA higher can be much louder! You can read more about all of this here.

 

I won the game back in June from here and have played enough for my review.

I've got to start by saying thanks again to Gouki.com for making me Jimmy of the Month back in June and hooking me up with another great game.  This time around was even better.  Not only did I get the copy of Final Fantasy Tactics  A2 Grimoire of the Rift for this review, but I also have a copy of Dead or Alive 5 coming.

This review has taken me forever for a few reasons.  The first is that I'm not that big of a fan of the Nintendo DS, so it's my son's system I played it on.  If it was on a real system this would have been done a long time ago.

If you have ever played any of the Final Fantasy Tactics games you know that they are incredible.  You can spend countless hours building a clan and doing all kinds of side quests.  You have a few characters that have to join your team and and endless supply of others that you can recruit if you want.

The story is that you are a kid who ends up sucked into Ivalice through a magic book.  Sounds pretty familiar.  He crash lands in the middle of a battle so you are forced to join the clan to survive.  You have to battle your way around to fill the magic book (grimoire) to find your way back home.  You encounter some odd characters as you play and there is a ton of time put on they main story.  And even after you finish it you can keep going.  You actually have to if you want to collect all the unique characters, such as Vann and Penelo.  And in the above picture you see the Seeq from Final Fantasy 12 I think and they are playable for the first time.  The Gria are entirely new.  

And if you have never played any of the Tactics games I should tell you it's a turn based RPG and you move across grids, think checkers.  The stages you play in aren't exactly ground breaking but the are rendered pretty nicely.  The music is also pretty standard and repetitive.  There is no voice acting so be ready for a lot of reading, or skipping text if that's your thing.  I've put in over 40 hours at this point and am still running around doing side quests so I'm not let down at all by the game.

And my son loved the bonus.

 

Rockstar has announced a couple editions for the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto V. Check it out!

Rockstar has finally unveiled the Special and Collectors Edition for Grand Theft Auto V. Sporting plenty of goodies and in game extras. Check them out below:

The Grand Theft Auto V Special Edition ($79.99) includes:

  • Full retail copy of Grand Theft Auto V
  • Collectible SteelBook with Exclusive Artwork: This special SteelBook features double-sided, never-before-seen artwork of Michael, Trevor and Franklin. Custom color and metallic treatments bring out the detail of the artwork created exclusively for this SteelBook.
  • Blueprint Map: This exclusive, additional 21.5” x 26.75” map displays a blueprint view of Los Santos and Blaine County. Cryptic markings indicate locations for fast cash and other points of interest for the up-and-coming entrepreneur.  
  • Special Ability Boost: Michael, Franklin and Trevor each have a unique special ability. With this boost, the special ability bar will generate 25% faster.
  • Stunt Plane Trials: Single-player Stunt Plane Trials let you take on additional aerial challenges spread throughout Los Santos and Blaine County.
  • Bonus Outfits, Tattoos and More: Michael, Franklin and Trevor get bonus outfits in their wardrobes, character specific tattoos at tattoo parlors, and special deals from shopkeepers across Los Santos and Blaine County.
  • Additional Weapons: When visiting Ammunation stores in single player, merchants will have special weapons in their inventory available for free: the Pistol .50, Bullpup Shotgun and melee Hammer. 

The Grand Theft Auto V Collector’s Edition ($149.99) includes all the contents of Grand Theft Auto V Special Edition as described above plus:

  • Grand Theft Auto V Security Deposit Bag with Logo Key: Inspired by the heists in Grand Theft Auto V, this custom 10.75” x 8.5” money bag features a pop-up style lock and laser cut logo key to secure important items. The reverse side features a pressed Rockstar Games logo on the security mount with a framed ID window.
  • Grand Theft Auto V New Era 9FIFTY™ Snapback Cap: This exclusive New Era 9FIFTY™ cap features an embroidered Los Santos logo on the front, a stitched, black Rockstar Games logo on the wearer’s left side, a Grand Theft Auto ‘V’ logo applique on the opposite side, and snapback closure for an adjustable fit.
  • Custom Characters for Grand Theft Auto Online: Get classic Grand Theft Auto characters to use within the Grand Theft Auto Online Character Creation System.
  • Unique Vehicles and Garage Property: Players will instantly receive a garage to store custom vehicles. In single player, the garage will be stocked with the 1930’s style Hotknife hotrod and the CarbonRS sports bike. In Grand Theft Auto Online, players will get the high-end Khamelion electric car. 

Also whether you pre order the standard edition or one of the two above you'll receive access to the Atomic Blimp.

 

Tell us what you think in the comments. Don't be a Jimmy!

Borderlands 2 lends itself to being played through multiple times, but with the full-on list of skills, which path will you take for your first play through?

Check out the different skill trees:

Maya (siren): http://www.borderlands2.com/us/skilltree/siren.html

Salvador (gunzerker): http://www.borderlands2.com/us/skilltree/gunzerker.html

Axton (commando): http://www.borderlands2.com/us/skilltree/commando.html

Zero: (assasin): http://www.borderlands2.com/us/skilltree/assassin.html

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Borderlands 2 Krieg the Psycho story trailer

By: BatRastered May 31, 2013 | 2 Comments

A funny BL2 short showing how Krieg the psycho came to meet up with the vault hunters.

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Cinderkin

Street Fighter V: Ultra Edition Announced!

By: Cinderkin Apr 1, 2011 | 9 Comments

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Street Fighter I, Street Fighter V: Ultra Edition was announced today. Leaked concept teaser artwork of the project. You can see they're taking a more realistic approach this time around.

"We're pleased to announce another Street Fighter entry, we felt it's been long enough since we actually did anything with the Street Fighter franchise, and it's time to hit fans again," said an official anonymous Capcam representative.

Scheduled for an early 2011 release, this announcement of Street Fighter V: Ultra Edition will surely excite fans.


I can't wait for this game! Tell us what you think in the comments. Don't be a Jimmy!   Source: Eventhubs.com

Can 2018 produce better video games than 2017?!

#1 Red Dead Redemption 2
This game is a former Gouki.com Jimmy Gem Game of the Year.  Just recently, well 2 years ago now I guess… I played Red Dead Redemption again and it still holds up and is still one of my all-time favorites.  Rockstar only releases new games every 5 years, so get hype!  RDR2 is going to be the game of the year. (No specific release date as of this post)

#2 The Last of US Part 2
When the first game came out I did not expect that I would like it as much as I did. In fact, I played through it twice.  It's one of those rare games that I played back to back immediately and I can not wait to play the new sequel.  Another strong potential for game of the year. (No specific release date as of this post)

#3 Anthem
Oh boy. EA.  The game is being made by BioWare and published by EA.  I love all the Mass Effect, Star Wars Kotor, and Dragon Age games, so I am hype for a what seems to be a full-on-multiplayer-space-scramble-mass-effect-shooter-magic-lootfest-madness.  So IF that works and it’s not full of buy a loot chest with real money bullshit, it might be a great game.  I think we can live without the loot crate system in video games.  Good luck to BioWare.  The entire internet is on standby, watching EA desecrate and ruin the history of great game franchises and developers.  Anthem will be very interesting to watch and play in 2018. (No specific release date as of this post)

#4 Crackdown 3
I can’t wait for this game.  The previous Crackdown games have great memories for me.  I would have never played Crackdown in the first place if the Halo 3 Beta wasn’t on the disc.  But I found that the climbing, shooting, leveling up, and the party system made Crackdown super fun to play.  When I wasn’t playing Halo 3.  Crackdown 3 will be an easy purchase for a bunch of friends and the game will be superfun to play together. Invite me. (No specific release date as of this post)

There were a few other games I noted, but overall these 4 games are the only options I believe, that can pull me away from the good games I am already playing.  When I started writing this list, I was for sure 2018 could be better than 2017. I’m now thinking that maybe it’s going to be a really rough year.  What’s up with that new Metroid?  Where is the Battle Royal Halo 6 game?  WTF is happening to the XBOX console?  Seriously tho...

What video games are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Thank you for reading.

Sony Computer Entertainment today announced that it entered into a definitive agreement on June 30, 2012 (Japan Time) to acquire Gaikai Inc., the world's leading interactive cloud-based gaming company, what will this mean for the PS4?

I'm not sold on network powered gaming yet. Having the processing power in the cloud means you don't have to buy hardware, and it means the operating company can upgrade the hardware at any time without bothering you, but the input and display lag has to kill certain genres of games. Would you play an FPS or a fighting game with noticeable lag, for instance? For a single-player cinematic experience, this system would be tough to beat (like Uncharted's campaign) though I think even some action games would need to be tweaked to be a bit more forgiving of timing based actions.

Sure, the internet is getting faster all the time, but that's just download and upload speed... bandwidth. The real issue is latency, which is how long it takes your signal to go from your computer (or device) to the servers and for information (in this case a screen image) to come back again. This is limited by how far away you are from the servers and the speed of light. There's not much Gaikai can do about the later, so they solve this problem by co-locating servers closer to population areas... having East coast and West coast datacenters is common as is having European and Asian area datacenters. That said, I wouldn't expect there to be datacenters all over the U.S.A. If you live in the middle of nowhere, you're probably out of luck as far as latency goes. Your only option is to move to New York or San Francisco (or somewhere closer to them).

Anyway, what does all this have to do with the PS4? Well, for starters, you may already have the hardware in your house now:

"By combining Gaikai's resources including its technological strength and engineering talent with SCE's extensive game platform knowledge and experience, SCE will provide users with unparalleled cloud entertainment experiences," said Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "SCE will deliver a world-class cloud-streaming service that allows users to instantly enjoy a broad array of content ranging from immersive core games with rich graphics to casual content anytime, anywhere on a variety of internet-connected devices." - Source: Sony Press Release

Hey, you know what's an "internet-connected device"? The PS3! What else? Most Sony TV's sold today. Sony could easily put a Gaikai app on the PS3 dashboard... they probably will do this whether or not they release an actual hardware PS4. Not having to release new system hardware would save the company a ton of money. More than enough to cover the $380 million (USD) they spent on Gaikai. It's hard to say why Sonly would have purchased Gaikai if they didn't plan to integrate it into the Playstation brand, though I guess stranger things have happened.

What do you think? Is cloud gaming in your future or will they have to pry physical hardware from your cold, dead hands?

LIVE from GameWorks Las Vegas, NV. October 21, 2014. 8PM. Ultra Street Fighter IV Tournament.

Ultra Street Fighter IV

$10 Buy-in
$5 Entry

Capped at 16 entries.

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Another video I meant to share last week. Still good. It's totally not safe for work, the turrets tends to kick in during the Mario Kart.

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reipuerto

ShadoCon 2010 P1

By: reipuerto Nov 11, 2010 | 8 Comments

The year's final con. How did it go?

This was the year's final con. Where you there?

Don't be a Jimmy and tell us your favorites!

Can't see the pictures? Check out my photobucket page.

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