Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Vista Already Cracked!

Less than two months after Vista's release to the public, the pirating group known as Pantheon has produced a crack that actually takes advantage of OEM licensing that's embedded in the OS. These "royalty OEM" licenses, which normally come preinstalled on OEM machines like HP, don't have to 'phone home' to Microsoft to activate, so that end users wouldn't be inconvienienced.

How this works is simple: major OEM manufacturers like ASUS, Lenovo, Toshiba, HP, and have a specific version of Vista (which undoubtedly, is available on p2p networks and the like) installed on thier machines. This version of Vista will only work on systems with a specifc hardware driver that corresponds to a specic OEM key already embedded in the OS. All a potential pirate would have to do is emulate that driver and viola! The pirate doesn't even need an OEM machine, he can build his own, download the crack, and emulate a specific driver to trick Vista. Now the user now has a 'legitimate' copy of Vista running and online, and Microsoft has no idea.

The funny thing is, Vista was supposed to be bullet-proof (and so was XP for the matter) Because supposedly, users were to be forced to activate online, there would be no way to crack it. However, since some OEM machines don't have to activate online, there is a weakness. Wheter Microsoft will do anything about this is unknown. There is probably a good number of machines, both legit and bootleg that are running this version of Vista. The only thing that could possibly be done is to shutout machines tied to the serials that apply to this version, but what would happen to legitimate customers of ASUS, Lenovo, HP and others with the same serials?

Why the Wii is the Future of Gaming

My friend, Jeff bought a Wii in January, and we've been hooked since. Even his parents are addicted. We're not even into video games. When he first got it, I thought "man, what a stupid looking way to play games." Now, I can't believe Sony and Microsoft hadn't thought of this years ago! The first game we played was Wii Sports, especially the bowling. I couldn't believe how realistic it was. Depending on just how I swung my arm, the ball went a certain way, at a certain speed. It was as if I was actually bowling! And don't even get me started on the driving games, where you simply hold the wiimote sideways like a steering wheel.

Two weeks ago, Jeff bought Splinter Cell. I'm not gonna lie, that game is alot of fun on the Wii. Like I said before, I'm not a big gamer at all. I don't even own a game console, and the only computer games I own are The Sims 2 and SimCity 4. And of course Roller Coaster Tycoon. To play Splinter Cell, you just use the joystick on the numchuck to navigate, and you use the Wiimote to aim your camera or weapons. You use the B (Wiimote trigger) button the shoot, and C (numchuck trigger) to climb. Jumping is easy--all you have to do is flick the numchuck up quickly. The controls are so intuitive, even a non-gamer like myself can play Splinter Cell.

Game controls like the Wii's are definately the wave of the future. You have to actually be involved in the games. And sports games on the Wii require you to throw, run, whatever is required. It's nearly impossible to trick the Wiimote into thinking that you're running. And shoot em' ups are alot more intuitive--and fun--to play than ever before. Gone will be the days of kids sitting on the couch just staring at the screen, moving two litle joysticks. In the Future, gamers will actually be apart of the game. Just watch and see.