Krack in simple terms

What is Krack? It's an attack that exploits all wifi devices.

Are you at risk? Yes, but not really.

Should you worry? Not really. To exploit your systems, someone needs to be at close range and even then they aren't able to exploit 'secure' content (websites with a padlock in the address bar).

What can this exploit do to you? Simply put, it can read (or inject into) insecure content in real time. In theory someone could inject a phishing form onto any unpadlocked page.

Should you do anything? Make sure all of your devices are kept up to date. Make sure there aren't any creeps sitting in your driveway on laptops. Avoid clicking things that seem dodgy. So business as usual. Keep an eye out for any devices left sitting around where they don't belong.

But my TV has wifi!? Okay, yes, so EVERY wifi device is 'at risk', but there is a point where it doesn't matter too much - what data is someone going to be able to steal from a TV? Is that data going to be worth wardriving for?

What is wardriving? Simply put, wardriving is where someone drives around a town with a laptop looking for unprotected wifi networks so they can steal data or just generally be dicks. This new exploit simply gives them another attack vector.

Do you need to change wifi password? No, the attack ignores the password and doesn't expose it.

The attack only exploits WPA - should you use WEP instead? No. Thats like saying "A keycutter saw my keys once, so he MIGHT be able to get in. Better just leave my doors hanging wide open!"

Star Trek Discovery. Thoughts on the first three episodes.

To preface this post, I'll start of by saying that I've really enjoyed my time with Star Trek Discovery so far.

The first two episodes feel like much more like a lead-in movie than the first two episodes of the show. They don't feature the titular ship at all, for example. They're obviously intended to be a double feature with a stunning hundred ship battle as the conclusion, though there is some tidying up at the end. The Klingon war-rhetoric did get a little tired by the end of the two episodes, but it wasn't enough to be offputting.

There were some inconsistencies with the background to the show. It felt weird that the Klingon leader stated that "we come in peace" is the federations battle cry, given that they haven't encountered one another often. On top of that, Michaels family was killed by Klingons, but at another point, we're told that the federation hasn't seen the Klingons at all for 100 years. I'm sure it works out - it just felt inconsistent.

As much as I enjoyed the episodes, I also had some concerns about how the rest of the series would be with them as an opening. Luckily, episode 3 changes the pace almost completely. The war that started in the first two episodes is no longer the focus, merely background noise to add emphasis to what they're doing outside of it. We're no longer in the middle of the war - we're now on a scientific mission, and we even respond to the distress call of another ship out in space. It felt a lot more like Star Trek. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series a lot more now than I was this time last week.

That said, I still don't particularly care for the show being a prequel to TOS. Why can't we just have a 'new' show. I also don't care for Michael, the main character, being adopted by Sarek. I don't mind that she, a human, was raised on Vulcan. I don't mind that she went to their school. Her being raised by Sarek feels like a weird retcon that could have just... not been.

Nintendo ARMS - Post testpunch thoughts

Since its announcement, I've had fairly high hopes for Nintendo's newest Garage developed game, ARMS. Splatoon, being the first such game set the bar very, very high.

Garage is basically a program where Nintendo employees can pitch ideas and concepts in a way that is outside of the traditional company structure - think of it like having a beer on a Friday afternoon with your boss and saying "Imagine if we made a game where ..." and the idea will get its due consideration. It's one of the best moves that Nintendo has made in years and so far has had brilliant results.

ARMS feels very much like Splatoon - it's a type of game you've played before, but completely different, with incredibly solid online multiplayer.

The characters are gorgeous, the environments beautiful. The game runs brilliantly. I love everything about this game... Except for playing it.

I'll be the first to admit that I hate motion controls. This game actually handles its motion controls very well and I quite like the way they've laid them out - they're fluid and responsive. I didn't find them particularly difficult to get used to. They feel right for the game. That said, I did have some situations where I performed actions that I wasn't really intending to. Motion Controls lack precision, one of the key things I dislike about them in the first place. I do like that a flick of the wrist is enough to punch instead of performing a whole punch motion, but at the same time, if I want to move forwards, I often ended up sending a grab attack. I did try the game with the pro controller, because as mentioned, I'm not big on motion controls. Unfortunately controlling the game with a traditional controller is something of a chore. It doesn't feel 'right', and is pretty much just tedious. It might work better with a button layout different to the default.

The mechanics are simple. You can dash, jump, block, punch, grab and use a super. When you have thrown a punch, you can control the direction of the punch by tilting the joy-con. Unfortunately you can't move while you're punching. Moving is far and away the most important thing in the game, and I found that my own movement was severely lacking a lot of the time. I didn't try any of the slow-moving characters, but I can't imagine that they would by terrifically fun to use. Blocking feels a bit pointless sometimes. It'll nullify damage from punches, which is great, but when it eventually breaks, it'll disable your arms. On top of that, you're still completely vulnerable to grabs while blocking. The super feels both too strong and too weak - if you manage to actually pull off using your super, it'll do a ton of damage and probably end the game. But if you get touched while using it, it's just gone. The mechanics work well for the game, but I can't help but find them a little bit uninteresting.

The testpunch was played in party mode, which effectively means that they don't care about matchmaking or ranks, and will throw you into a lobby of ten people and then into a random game type, such as 1v1, 2v2, volleyball, basketball, etc. The alternate game modes, like volleyball and basketball are interesting, but are ultimately just a filler to try to add content. I can't say that at any point I found myself looking forward to a coming game when it was going to be one of these matches. I had the most fun when I was playing in a 1v1 game, which I suppose the bulk of ranked play would be. This might be okay if there is a good matchmaking system. The non-1v1 games were all just too frantic for my liking.

ARMS has me in a strange state of mind where I really like it, but I don't actually find myself wanting to play it. The combination of controls, frantic gameplay and relatively uninteresting mechanics feel like I'd spend some time with the game, but just not enough to warrant buying it.

Resident Evil Films

Over the past several days I've been marathon-watching all of the Paul W. S. Anderson Resident Evil movies.

I've been a longtime fan of the game franchise, but was one of the apparently few people who liked the films. Despite liking the first few, I hadn't kept up to date. For whatever reason, I missed the fifth movie, Retribution, when it was released and as a result didn't watch the final film, either.

I'm not one who gets upset when an adaption changes things from the source. I also don't think that the story from the games would actually translate particularly well into a movie. It also doesn't help matters that some of the games don't have any linking factors, which is to say that all of the characters are different - that wouldn't really work for a movie franchise. As a result, we get Alice. I'm still going to talk about links to the game series, because I find it interesting.

What I think makes these films work well is that they capture the tone of the Resident Evil games rather than trying to copy and adapt the stories directly. That said, the films go for a very much apocalyptic end compared to the games. The films end with only a few thousand survivors globally, while the games still more or less have the same amount of people as the real world. All of the incidents in the games are small and contained. The threat of Bio Organic Weapons to the everyday person is more or less the same as the real world threat of a terrorist attack, which is exactly how they're treated in universe.

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Human Resource Machine for Nintendo Switch

Human Resource Machine is an indie puzzle game from the developers of Little Inferno and World of Goo. It was originally released for Windows/OSX in 2015 and has been ported to mobile, Linux and WiiU.

This is one of the Switch games that can only be played on the touchscreen, which I didn't realise when I bought it. It's not a dealbreaker, but I paid AUD$13 for it when I could have bought it for my tablet for AUD$7. So it would have been cheaper, played identically and been on a bigger screen. I'm not too upset about this, as I'm happy to show developers that the Switch is a console that's making sales, but it does feel like I got a raw deal (though $13 isn't too expensive for the game!).

For the puzzles, you're given an inbox, an outbox, a set of commands that you can queue and some spaces on the floor where you can dump tiles. I'm a little over halfway through the game at this point and I'm not finding it particularly challenging, but I'm also a programmer and this is essentially a programming game. The difficulty ramps up pretty quickly and I imagine that it could be fairly difficult for someone without a programming background, especially as there is no hint system in the game. I did notice at one point that the game encouraged me to search online for some things. While that's definitely true to the experience of programming, I'm not sure that it should be the case for a game. This is also the kind of game where you could complete the game in 10 minutes or so by copying solutions from others - theres a fine line between telling someone to search for help and having the answer 'spoiled' for them.

The programming in the game is very low level. There isn't, for example, a multiplier command and the only 'if' comparisons you're given are 0 and negative comparison. This means that to multiply, you put both tiles on the floor, subtract from one of the tiles and add the other to your result for each subtraction that you're doing. This means that for code that multiplies two numbers, you end up with 15+ commands.

In all I'm enjoying the game, but just over half-way in, I have a bit of a feeling of "ugh now what?" when I start a level rather than wanting to actually do it. This is probably just because it feels like I'm at work, which is admittedly why I didn't try the game out when it first came out.