Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ubisoft stealing from the (alleged) pirates. Haha!

I thought you should know.

There's a little irony when you read about how a big name computer game company takes code from an (alleged) hacker / pirate group and tries to pass it off for their own "patch."

(picture from www.arstechnica.com)

Shame on you Ubisoft.

The story goes like this: If you've played games on the PC, you'll be familiar with that annoying pop-up that tells you to insert your [original] CD-ROM into the drive to play. The reason companies make you go through this hassle is so they can verify that you indeed paid good money for their software.

Of course, the only people they are hassling are the people who've been faithfully paying for original copies as savvy pirates will easily download "cracks" (or replacement files) that allow them to circumvent this annoyance.

The crunch came when Ubisoft's put its game Rainbow Six Vegas 2 on sale through direct download and users who had downloaded and installed the game were told to "insert your CD", but handily had no CD in hand! For a quick fix, some Ubisoft employee posted up a "patch" which, when opened through a hex editor (screenshot above) was actually a copied "crack" from the group Reloaded.

The "patch" has since mysteriously disappeared from Ubisoft servers. Oh, the irony!


KY said...

software development is so complex, you never know how your employees code anyway, can't really blame ubisoft on this one.

Robb said...

i think the programmer would most likely be fired by now.

Nigelais said...

I read somewhere that most of our 'cracks' or 'patches' that we so often download comes from the same people that develop games. Guess its all in the family.

davidlian said...

@ky: in this case, at least lah remove the word "Reloaded" from the crack. Are you saying most coders do cut and paste job?
@robb: yes, quietly. We'd never hear about it.
@nigel: Oooh. Conspiracy theory.

yclian said...

software development is so complex, you never know how your employees code anyway, can't really blame ubisoft on this one.

There's this thing called the "Code Review" in XP / general programming. A big firm like Ubisoft should have defined and adopted to a formal release process.

I'm sure they have, but sometimes there're some idiots out there who break things reacting to an adhoc situation.