TideLog Archive for January, 2011

Here’s another smoking hot Supergirl set from UltraSexyHeroines. This time it’s lovely Jenna Jones looking really hot and fiesty in her uniform:

As always on TideLog, I’ve left the naked and topless ones out, but you can download my siterip torrent from the Pirate Bay, just do a search for UltraSexyHeroines Siterip July 2010. There’s also an update pack of pics from July to December 2010.

Comments 2 Comments »

Microsoft has confirmed a pair of small updates to its Xbox 360 gaming platform, one to launch today and the next tomorrow, designed to restore missing functionality and offer a cleaner look to player’s Gamercards.

Today’s update restores the ability to have a console load a game the instant it’s turned on – the so-called ‘boot to disc’ mode. In an earlier update, Microsoft had made the decision to remove this functionality in order to encourage use of its redesigned dashboard interface – which, incidentally, contains numerous adverts for downloadable content and streamable films. The option is there in System settings, and selectable, but still boots the dash if a disc is in the tray on power-up. This update fixes that.

The update, which is mandatory for all Xbox Live users, has gone live today and will download and install the next time an Xbox 360 is connected to Xbox Live.

The second update, due to go live on the company’s servers tomorrow, changes the appearance of the console’s Gamercards – personalised identification cards that contain player information such as reputation received from other players as a result of multiplayer gaming, the most recent games to be played, and a player’s Gamerscore.

While the layout of the Gamercards in general will be overhauled, the biggest change is the removal of the Gamerzone – a self-selected category that is supposed to represent the player’s gaming style, choices included ‘Underground,’ ‘Recreation,’ and ‘Family.’

A preview of the new Gamercards, along with additional details on both updates, is available on Microsoft’s Larry Hryb’s Major Nelson blog

Comments No Comments »

I just wanted to upgrade to the newest one, as it’s cooler, sexier, sleeker and more power efficient than even my ultra latest ’09 Elite, and has a bigger hard drive. My other excuse is that as I’m a repairer, obviously I need to study it and learn how it’s built, and now is the perfect time to do so. And, I need an excuse to get Kinect so Kassie and Mika will don their Lycra shorts and tops, and work out together on Kinect Fitness, because it’s really sweet watching two lady lovebirds keeping fit and having girly fun at the same time! I want an excuse to join in! We have a gym in our basement, but doing it in a virtual world, like the jogging on Wii, is much more pleasing!

The new S, or Slim as people are wrongly calling it (it isn’t slimmer, only shorter, so Xbox 360 Short is a better name) is not a whole new console. It is just a “reboot” or a refresh. The CPU, GPU, and eDRAM are on a single die, there’s a single large (less than whisper-quiet) fan keeping it cool, the power system has been overhauled, and there’s Wireless A/B/G/N wireless built in. The hard drive now lives in a compartment INSIDE the machine itself, with a panel that pops open at the touch of a button to remove or replace it. Note that you still can’t shove any size hard drive in like the PS3, but with 250GB to play with, even all my 35 games will fit and still have space. You can’t install games to the PS3’s HDD, unless you purchase them again and download them on PSN, which is pointless, takes ages, and is a waste if you already have the disc versions. Kinect also has a dedicated power port on the new S, older console owners will need a separate power adapter which comes with Kinect. Add to that Microsoft have dropped Memory Units, instead allowing you to use a standard USB Flash drive of any size instead, which is a nice, standard move. They’ve also added 2 more USB ports in place of the Memory Unit slots, taking the total number of USB ports to 5, compared to the PS3’s now pathetic 2, when it used to have 4, back when it was sort-of decent! Power and Eject are now touch sensitive, which is nice, as there’s no microswitches to wear out. The console also gives a nice gentle beep when ejecting, thanks to the inclusion of a piezo buzzer on the motherboard.

Other than that, your games will all still work, the dash is the same, and the console’s performance is no quicker or slower. If they had upgraded the speeds or hardware, developers would have had to rewrite everything, and this is not a new console, remember? Microsoft are looking to keep the 360 going for another 5 years, and Sony the PS3 for 10-15 years (how many more features it will lose I don’t know) before designing another.

The 360 S is great. It’s sexy, quiet (when games are run from the HDD, the optical drive is still noisy, but this is technically unavoidable due to the nature of optical drives), and is Microsoft’s way of saying, “Hey, we’ve learnt our lesson from the RRoD, and have improved.” And they have, massively. Using Pete’s S when he got it on launch I knew this was the upgrade for me. Sony can keep their pathetic featureless Blu-Ray player that takes ages loading games, I’m an Xbox man. And since I’ve never had trouble with MS consoles bar one 360 E74, and that my original Xbox 1 is modded, a nice 160GB HDD, is still going strong after 8 years, and has never had any faults, and otherwise still has stock parts, I’m proud of it!

Comments No Comments »

In 2010, we saw social networking skyrocket in popularity. We embraced a new category of tablet computer. And we rushed to new gaming systems that let us play video games without a controller. But in the technology world, not all valleys are made of silicon. While the highs were high for the tech winners this year, the low points were equally low. Even tech titans such as Apple and Google had some rough moments in 2010. And some ambitious ideas that must have made sense behind closed doors just didn’t translate well to the real world.

So here are our top “tech fails” of the year: the missteps, misdeeds and mistakes that remind us that no one — not even Steve Jobs — is perfect. What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.

1. iPhone 4 ‘Antennagate’

Apple drama — nothing brings out the diehard fans and Cupertino haters quite like this one. The newest iteration of the wildly popular smartphone was released in June.

By all standards, it’s been a huge success. All standards except one. Some people couldn’t actually use it for phone calls. OK, maybe that’s an overstatement. But the Grip of Death (caused when users covered part of the antenna in a band around the phone’s edge) was real — and a big glitch in the device’s rollout.

First Apple said the problem didn’t exist. Then they said it was a software issue. Then they kind-of admitted it existed and gave away free cases to help. Then, they said it doesn’t really exist anymore and stopped giving away the bumpers. Months later, the problem is all but forgotten and the phones show no sign of dipping in popularity. So “fail,” in this case, is a pretty relative term.

2. 3-D TV

After being all the buzz at the trend-making Consumer Electronics Show Video in January, 3-D television didn’t do much of anything this year. Three-dimension movies may have taken over your neighbourhood multiplex cinema. But how many people do you know who will pay £2,000 or more for a TV that has a limited amount of special content and makes you wear special glasses in the comfort of your own home?

That will likely change as prices fall and the technology gets better. But so far, in a market full of folks who just recently shelled out four figures for high-definition TVs, 3-D television has fallen flat.

3. Microsoft Kin

The Kin One and Kin Two (Born: April 2010. Died: July 2010) aimed to be the fun, social smartphone for kids but ended up as a sort-of iPhone Lite, with a pricier data plan than their limited functions could justify. Microsoft seemed happy to move on to the Windows Phone 7 system, so we will, too.

R.I.P. Kin. We hardly knew ye.

4. Nexus One

Speaking of phones that failed …

Google’s Android phone operating system came into its own in 2010, actually outselling phones running Apple’s system by the end of the year. But Google’s effort at making their own phone to run it, the Nexus One, fizzled fast. And here’s the thing — just about everyone who tried out the Nexus One liked it. It had features to rival the iPhone’s, and reviewers were kind.

But Google might have gone wrong by originally selling the phone only online. Apparently, folks like to get their hands on their gadgets before paying for them.

5. Facebook privacy

Nothing on the internet elicits as much squawking as a change to Facebook. Any change will do, really.

But this spring, some of the roughly half-billion users on the site got really miffed when a handful of privacy bugs, among other things, made private chat conversations briefly visible to Facebook friends. And on April 21, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new Facebook feature called the “Open Graph,” which essentially brings Facebook-like functionality to a number of websites. A few folks actually left on a protester-created “Quit Facebook Day.” Most didn’t, but the sustained anger led Facebook to eventually simplify its privacy controls and roll out some new ones.

6. Google Buzz

Buzz was supposed to be Google’s entry into the world of social networking in much the same way that Google Wave, which Google killed in August, was supposed to revolutionize real-time communication. But it didn’t help that, right out of the gate, Buzz’s default settings amounted to a privacy breach. Basically, if users didn’t tweak things at set-up, the people they e-mailed and chatted with the most through Gmail automatically became their followers. So, theoretically, someone only needed to take a quick look at your profile to see who you interacted with the most in forums that most people assume are private.

Google quickly patched the problem. But the tool never really caught on. In Google Land, that might be OK, though — the latest speculation is that Buzz might have been just the first step toward a networking site called “Google Me.”

7. Gawker media sites hacked

Two fails here, really. I was a victim, being a member of both Kotaku and Gizmodo.

Fail No. 1: Gawker Media sites were breached in early December, with hackers saying they got access to the user names and passwords for about 1.3 million users of sites such as Gizmodo, Jezebel, Lifehacker and Kotaku.

Fail No. 2: A published list of the most-popular passwords hacked showed that “123456,” “password,” “12345″ and “qwerty” were at or near the top of the list.

Sorry, folks. If those are your passwords, it’s awfully tough to feel sorry for you getting hacked. But, now everybody knows my internet name Tidosho, and the name of my girlfriend, plus her age 4 years ago, because I was on there too. Damn. But at least I tried to make it harder!

8. Content farms

Creating click-bait junk on the internet didn’t start in 2010. But it certainly took off in a big way. Demand Media, AOL’s Seed and Associated Content, bought this year by Yahoo!, operate on a similar “content farm” model: They choose topics people are searching for on the internet, pay a “journalist” a tiny amount to write something — anything — about it, then slap it on the Web so people will click on it.

According to a Wired article, industry “leader” Demand Media already was cranking out 4,000 videos a day in late 2009. And they were on pace to publish 1 million items a month by this summer. The magazine interviewed a videographer who has done 40,000 videos for Demand. Asked about his favorite, he said he couldn’t really remember any of them. Writing to what readers are interested in is one thing. But cranking out by-the-numbers copy, with profit as the only motive, just junks up the Web for everyone. It cynically betrays the promise of what the internet could, and should, be.

And maybe it won’t work. The Wall Street Journal has said Demand has never made a profit. And just this week, there were reports that Demand is delaying a public stock offering because of concerns about its accounting practices.

9. Digg relaunch

It’s impressive that content-sharing sites such as Digg have clung to some degree of relevancy in an era when most people share their favorite digital content on Facebook and Twitter. But, to be sure, they’ve struggled. And a revolt by some vocal members of Digg this summer didn’t help. The site got a major overhaul to make it easier for users to find content.

But the changes were buggy at first, and some old-school features such as the “Bury” button (which was eventually returned) had regulars claiming they were bolting for Digg competitor Reddit. The fallout was still clearing by year’s end, and the reasoning behind Digg’s changes — to help curate content in a more manageable way — made sense. But the change brought some headaches that Digg’s top brass no doubt would have liked to avoid.

10. iTunes Ping

There’s a whole social network set up in Apple’s iTunes store now. Didn’t know that? Well, there you go. Not all musical artists are on there. And it doesn’t integrate with Facebook. (Although Ping and Twitter just linked up). And, a lot of the time, it simply pushes you to buy music.

Needless to say, Ping hasn’t really caught on.

Hehe, there’s what you get when you put monkeys in charge of chocolate factories, so to speak. A massive mess!

Comments No Comments »

They’re always busy, but this year was even more so! Having so many family and friends has never been so fun! I love our new christmas present, Kassie sent Mika and me a brand new Samsung UN60C8000 60″ OLED 3D LCD TV, and it is the best TV I have ever seen! It isn’t available in the UK yet, only Japan and Australia, so it had quite a journey getting here, poor thing! What an amazing bit of kit, and it’s less than 4 inches thick!

Here’s our older 37″ BenQ HD TV in our “socialising” room, as Kassie calls it, in Birmingham, running one of Mika’s HD Japanese channels, streamed from upstairs . It looks smaller than it really is:

Our 37″ BenQ is being put in one of the guest bedrooms, the one Jill sleeps in when she visits, when the Sammy 60″ is in a permanent home replacing the BenQ. Our 50″ Sammy plasma has had pride of place in our main living room for as long as we’ve had it, and that is going in our main bedroom replacing another BenQ SK3731 37″ we have in there currently. My camera is knackered as you know, with the lens error, so I had to use a library image of the 60″ for now:

Monster, isn’t she? According to the web, it’s worth around $4,100, which makes that ¥333,558.73 in Yen. Kassie’s so nice to us all as a little family. Here’s an old shot of our bedroom, with Kassie’s guitar in the corner and our 37″ BenQ, and Blu-Ray player. The 50″ is going to feel huge in here:

We had Rikku and Jill (complete with her full Wii kit) over for Xmas dinner, and we all had a great time trying to beat Jill at Wii bowling, after 2 years none of us can beat a 10 year old girl, even her footie player mum!! I must be getting old, what’s wrong with me?? It’s just nice to spend time with those close to you, having drinks and getting merry, rolling around laughing throwing your arms about like a wild thing playing tennis or bowling, there’s not much that can replace that close bond. It’s what makes Christmas!

A friend of mine even bought me a PS3 Slim, which was a really nice gesture, but sadly, after 3 days it has gone back in its box, and the 360 sits in its place. I cannot stand a console that will only manage 720p on 99.99% of games, on a full-HD 60″ 3D TV, the aliasing is awful, even with the upscaler on low and off. It is quiet, but puts out more heat than my ’09 360 Elite, and is god-awful slow at loading most games. The only games I have that even try 1080p are Gran Turismo and FFXIII.

I’m sorry, but after Sony’s console started out having some kind of unique selling points, and has gone so pathetically featureless (you can’t even fully install games to the 320GB HDD as with the 360), and still has crap lasers, firmware and picture quality, I can see why the fanboys are so blissfully and arrogantly ignorant. They still continue to ridicule Microsoft, and the 360 “green tinge”? What? I’ve been repairing Xboxes since the first was released, and never seen this!  I had a PS fanboy accuse me of not knowing the facts when I told someone most games only do 720p, just look on the boxes of 99.9% of PS3 games. It winds me up! Look at your “beloved” PS3 and actually see how it has gone downhill….!

Let me help you out, girls:

1. Where is your backwards compatibility?

2. Where’s your Other OS? We still have it, in the form of JTAG-ging. It’s a hack, but we can still use Linux! Neh, neh, ne ne neh!

3. Where’s your ability to install games to the HDD FULLY, rather than just texture and mesh cache?

4. Where has your card-reader and hoardes of USB ports gone?

5 Where are your MASSIVE 25-50GB games on Blu-Ray? Most PS3 games are re-engineered ports of 360, that take up no more than 7.5GB!!

6. And your 1080p res on ALL games, rather than just a paltry two, and the XMB, after nearly 5 years? Even the games that say 1080p on the box (Like my GTA4 test a few posts ago on Greg’s Sony Bravia 32″ LCD) only go to 720p!!

7. The PS3 is supposed to be all HD and 3D, supporting HDMI, yet guess what cable STILL comes with it that has since the Playstation 1? A standard SD composite AV cable!!!!!

8. Why are your lasers still failing in droves, just like the PS1 and PS2, huh? And the Slim still suffering “no video”, “not reading discs” and “no power” issues? There’s loads creeping up on eBay, isn’t there?

Yeah, PS3 fanboys, you missed those points, didn’t you? I’m a console repairer, a re-ball vacuum rework technician to boot, 13 years time served, and I know my consoles intimately. Your console is the same as what comes out of the rear of a bovine. Utter hot, curly, sloppy, steaming shite!! And you defend it to the death, you sad children. PS3 stands for Pile of Shit 3, and follows the Pile Of Shit 2, and the Pile Of Shit 1. PS1, PS2 and PS3. Piles of featureless, fault ridden, somehow-well-selling piles of steaming crap. I had all 3 personally, and got sick of repairing them when Sony told me there was no design faults and that the fault wasn’t covered. I’ll give my new PS3 Slim six months before asking my friend if she kept the reciept because there’s a fault! In fact, I better ask her now…..

Comments No Comments »