Epic Fail: DRM expiry date makes Gears of War unplayable


Yesterday, anyone attempting to play the PC version of Gears of War will have run into problems. The digital signature on the DRM that certifies the game as ‘legal’ expired on the 28th January, meaning that anyone trying to play runs into a message saying:

“You cannot run the game with modified executable code. Please reinstall the game.”

Currently, the only fix is to turn your system clock back. An administrator has posted a message on Epic’s forum to the effect of “We have been notified of the issue and are working with Microsoft to get it resolved”, but in the meantime, it’s another example of DRM only punishing legitimate customers. Anyone who pirated the game won’t have run up against this problem.

Forum thread (via Ars Technica)

Related posts: Apple releases the chains on iTunes DRM | EA gets more DRM lawsuits over its use of SecuROM

Seagate Fail part two: firmware fix breaks other drives


Poor Seagate. Late last week, the news broke that their Barracuda 7200.11 1TB drives were failing en masse. Admirably, the company’s already published a firmware fix, but maybe they pushed it out a little too fast because it’s causing 500GB drive owners’ discs to fail en masse.

The update has been taken offline for the moment, and users of 1TB and 750GB drives are reporting successful updates, but if you’re on a 500GB drive and you’ve downloaded but not installed the update, then I certainly don’t recommend doing so just yet.

Seagate Forum (via Tom’s Hardware)

Related posts: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives: Epic Fail | If it’s not working, don’t smash it!

Sony Ericsson Playstation phone nipped in the bud by… Sony


In the past, we’ve written a few times about the possibilities of a Playstation phone surfacing. For the moment, though, those dreams will have to be dashed on the rocks, as sources suggest that Sony refused to allow Sony Ericsson the use of its Playstation brand.

Sony Ericsson’s done quite well with its Cybershot and Walkman phones, and many assumed that a Playstation gaming phone would be next, but it’s been claimed by Sony Ericsson that Sony would only allow the use of the Playstation brand if the experience on a handset is sufficiently high enough and matches the experience of Sony’s standalone devices.

That kind of tech isn’t quite possible yet, and Sony Ericsson is in the midst of cost-cutting measures, so for the moment, I’m labeling this one “Fail”. Sorry mobile gaming enthusiasts, you’ll have to wait for the perfect gaming phone – we’re not there yet.

(via MobileToday)

Related posts: PlayStation Phone is on the cards, says Sony | Sony Ericsson PlayNow arena to sell DRM-free music, hints at PlayStation Phone

BREAKING: Zunes worldwide hit by mystery crash


This morning, I woke up and turned on my beloved Zune MP3 player. It got to the end of the loading bar, then just stopped. After the regular “hold back and up to reset” trick didn’t work, I did what any self-respecting citizen of the modern age would do, and turned to Google. Turns out there’s a lot of people with the same problem.

Across the internet, there’s a variety of threads on forums complaining that Zunes have frozen in exactly the same place, at exactly midnight PST. Given that we’re so close to the New Year, it’s likely to be a bug in the code, but I’m sure it won’t stop thousands of Mac fanboys across the land cooking up conspiracy theories along the lines of “Microsoft never expected to last this long in the market”.

More info, and a fix, as we get it.

Zune is frozen (via Google)

Related posts: New Zunephone Rumours | Zune 3.0 firmware – heavy on “the social”, light on the “useful in the UK”

Evening Standard fails in its meagre attempts to understand Twitter


Ah, the Evening Standard, that bastion of dead-tree media. The paper has written an article about Twitter – go read it now, I’ll wait. Back? Okay. There are so many things wrong with the article, but I’ll pick three out for special consideration.

Firstly, the assumption that Twitter is just another social network. It’s not. It’s not about pictures, poking or friends lists. Instead, it’s about microblogging – pushing out short updates that say what’s going on in your life.

Secondly, Nick Curtis says that Twitter messages are limited to 160 characters. He’s wrong. It’s 140. C’mon Nick, the simplest of fact checks would have spotted that one.

Lastly, and relatedly, the utter lack of effort that went into researching the article. Here’s Nick’s Twitter account – @NickCurtis. Looks like he’s made a real effort there.