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Malik (5/16/11)

As I expected, the Sounders FC game against the Portland Timbers was played in a wall of non-stop water. When Saturday started, around Seattle, it was a bright and sunny day. In fact, it was a hot day when you compare it to recent weather in the region. Normally a Sounders game would start in the earlier parts of the day, but I think being the ESPN MLS Game of the Week made for a late start. Of course, that's perfect when you think of how it was nationally televised, but the East Coast was already at 11PM when the match began. So, instead of being played while the sun was out, or even when it was getting cloudy, the game started when someone turned on the faucet of the clouds and turned Seattle into a wall of watery doom.

I had trouble watching the game. On one hand, during the sunny part of the day, I was in my attic (about 110F) doing electrical work, so I was dead tired by 8PM. On the other hand, it was a painfully slow game due to so much water on the ground. The ball wasn't rolling as much as it was skidding along the turf in about one half it's normal speed. All ground based action was slow and awkward, and all air based action was confused as players seemed to fight with the wall of water running down their faces and constantly into their eyes. This was about the worst weather I've seen for a soccer match, and that sure doesn't help this being one of the most hyped games of Sounders FC history.

Anyway, when the dust cleared (as if dust could rise in this wall of water), the hyped game was a slow 1-1 draw. I guess it's not a bad result since Seattle and Portland are tied in points (although Portland has two more games to play to catch up to Seattle in games played).


Malik (5/17/11)

I said it before, and I'll say it again; Sony doesn't owe us PSN users anything. Well, they don't owe us free users anything, but an apology is good. As for the PSN Plus or MMO subscribers who use either the PS3 or a Sony controlled server (or both), they are owed some compensation in the form of refunded or credited time for their lost purchase of MMO or PSN Plus time.

However, beyond apologizing a few times, Sony keeps going beyond what's needed. I mean, to be realistic, if a free service is down, then can we really complain? I guess we can complain, but do we have the right to demand anything? No we don't. As far as seeing our personal information hit by hackers...well, it's not cool to see and the person or people behind it are asses. However, the reality of the digital world is that security is never as secure as it needs to be. In hind sight, we can all say "well, Sony should have ," but hind sight is a marvelous thing that makes the average person into some sort of condescending ass. Did we all make suggestions to Sony before the attack? No? Well, then we need to just shut the f#@$ up as a collective group.

Now I have to applaud Sony for going well beyond the required fix for the PSN attack (required meaning "nothing and not giving a damn"). They are offering some damned good incentives in their apology. Yet, despite all of the free stuff, there are still complaints. Sony is giving two free games to PS3 PSN users and a single free game to PSP PSN users. Yes, the games are a bit old, but then again, the games are more than they need to give. I mean I'd love to see some other titles since I already own LittleBigPlanet and Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty. However, to complain would be getting a free gift as a form of apology and then being a jerk about it. Then again, with the PSN being tied in to the internet, the standard rules of the internet must always be applied; anonymity breeds jackasses.

The only part of this that I have any complaint about is the free 30 days of PSN Plus. Well, complaint is the wrong word. I just don't care for this free offer. The PSN Plus material goes away when one stops paying for the service. In other words, this is not as much of a free gift as a trial offer of the premium service. I mean if you buy a Playstation game off of PSN Plus, you will usually pay below the regular price. However, if you pay you $2-$3 for a discounted game while on this trial, Sony gets your money...but you have nothing after 30 days unless you want to keep paying for PSN Plus. In other words, it is a trial offer like a subscription to a magazine or a trial of Netflix. You are meant to get hooked on the service and then continue it after the trial ends.

While I don't dig this offer, some people might enjoy it. I'm also sure Sony will enjoy some of the people being hooked since it ensures a constant stream of money in the future. It's actually a brilliant move, from a financial standpoint, for Sony to pull off. I mean they should offer a trial of PSN Plus as it is, since it brings about those who will become hooked. As for the rest of the people, who wouldn't be likely to pay for a subscription, Sony can still hope to entice a few discounted purchases, which still equals money for Sony. After all, if someone has a chance to buy a game at a discount that they normally wouldn't buy, some people will go for this "opportunity" every time. It's like how I look at my Steam library of games and am blown away by how many games I bought that I honestly didn't ever intend to buy, but did buy because Steam had a crazy limited time sale. Since digitally distributed titles don't actually cost money to produce after the game has been released, this is like a license to print money when interest fades in a game (when it's no longer new).

Anyway, Sony is doing a great job in handling this situation. They have gone far beyond what is needed of them. They have also gone far beyond what I would have expected. I just wish the service would go fully online again since I do enjoy browsing the PSN store from time to time.


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