Tuesday, March 23, 2010

DiRT 2 - Cheaters Paradise

So the guys at work scored a few copies of DiRT 2 and we've been having fun setting times and breaking each others records. Well those of us that have the "Time" (IE Skill) to be competitive.

The online leader board allows us to keep track of each other and download each others ghosts to race against. It's always a laugh to download the Bosses 2.08 minute time then beat it in 1.42 minutes... Don't know why that is, perhaps I'm just really petty.

But I digress the issue with the leader boards is the bloody cheaters! When you've got world record holders 20 - 40 seconds faster than everyone else you know something is amiss.

I've managed to get a hold of a ghost lap for one such record holder and about 100m from the start line he just veers of the road and cuts an enormous section off the track! CHEATING BASTARD! Well I of course tried to follow his clearly more optimal racing line but my car just reset on the road leaving me feeling frustrated and guilty for trying to cheat.

Well those feelings of frustration were short lived. For it is a well know fact when something annoys a geek he'll move heaven and earth to address the annoyance.

Fortunately for me I didn't have to move Heaven or Earth just some files.
Dig around in the games install folder and you'll never know what you'll find! Well in my case I found each track has a file called "resetlines.cqtc" if this file were to "go missing" so will the reset lines for that track. Then the user is free to drive where ever they want! So that's how they're doing it!

CHEATING BASTARDS! But at least I can see how it's done. Also I'll admit it is fun to be able to explore the tracks a little more and invent little challenges for myself.

Clearly CodeMasters don't really mind if the user twiddles with their racing sim then posts to results on the public leader boards. This is a trivially easy "mod" (IE exploit) that is just plain dumb. I take this as a sign of the games multiplatform development. But having said that how difficult is it to perform the same Exploit on a hacked XBox 360? I can't comment on that having never made the attempt but I IMAGINE it wouldn't be much harder.

For crying out loud I moved a file and was able bypass huge sections of track... It seems to me that this would be a very easy exploit to monitor and prevent. Given that it extensively diminishes the enjoyment of the online leader boards for many users, it's really just not good enough.

For shame CodeMasters FOR SHAME!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Prank

We use a Sharepoint Document Library at work. Basically this is the go to location for any work we're doing. It contains Project Plans, Change Request, Requisitions, network diagrams and thousands of other documents. I Start most mornings by clicking the link indicated below;

This morning that link redirects to this;

Yup that URL is now http://portal/sites/ti/rick.swf

"Never Gunna Give you up! Never gunna let you down!"

Ohnoes! We've been RickRolled! I nearly fell off my chair laughing.

More information on that valuable cultural phenomenon is available here;

It's great to be be able to have a laugh at work. However the boss seemed ready to crack until I created him a new link;

Friday, March 19, 2010

Remote Desktop to Support video and 3D applications!


Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 will include enhancements to Remote Desktop services that will greatly enhance the RDP experience. Apparently they're offering a Client Side GPU decoder obviously with the encode happening on the RD Server.

That's quite exciting.

I'll be able to remove the 20m DVI and USB cables that run from the Server room to the Bosses Desk!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Devil LAN

OK so have a look at this graph and tell me it doesn't look like a row of Devils!

This data is captured from the uplink on an IP camera. It looks like at dawn and dusk every day the traffic spikes and then during the night it's double what it is during the day... Creating the impression of a row of little horned creatures.

It's a interesting artifact and I can only guess at it's cause... Possibly some peculiarity in the Video Codec?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

300GB Short Stroke

Last post I mentioned a 300GB short stroke across 6 x 2TB drives.

Well anyone want to see how fast that is?

OK then here it is.



Praise be to the sweet merciful lord! This is brining me some serious happy.