Daily Archives: April 27, 2011

PlayStation Network – Hacked Before I Could Enter My Credit Card

We have had a PlayStation 3 for a little over two weeks now, and for about half of that time the PlayStation Network has been down.

Sony, along with their PlayStation branch here in the US, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), has failed miserably to keep people informed in anything like a timely or complete manner.

And even when they have attempted to be forthcoming, their statements have had the tentative, CYA tone common to corporate BS rather than anything like a frank assessment of what has happened.  This blurb is about as clear as any statement I have seen so far:

Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained.

Out of an abundance of caution?  This isn’t an advisory suggesting one wear both a belt and suspenders.  This is people’s financial information.

Not to pick on the Japanese, but we’ve seen how reluctant large Japanese corporations are to tell their customers bad news.  We saw how Toyota behaved last year which was followed up by TEPCO’s closed mouth approach to the information after the Tohoku earthquake, both of which potentially put people’s lives at risk.

So I suppose it is no surprise that Sony is dragging its feet when it is just your credit card information that might have been stolen.

As noted elsewhere, It is better to be safe than Sony.

Personally though, the melt down of the PSN has had little impact on the PlayStation 3 usage at our home.

We are still able to stream Netflix through the PS3, which is the unit’s primary function in our household.

Sony tries to make you log into the PSN when you use the Netflix streaming application.  However, once it fails a couple of times, it gives up and then Netflix runs just fine.

Go Netflix!  Way to look good!

We are also able to watch Blu-Ray and DVD movies through the unit.  In the Blu-Ray version of The Sound of Music, the hills do genuinely seem alive on our TV.

Even our gaming was undisturbed.  The Easter Bunny brought us a copy of Little Big Planet, which not only ran just fine, but which updated without a hitch, all without the PSN being active.

It is enough for us to wonder what the PSN is for, aside from distributing our personal data to hackers.  And I hadn’t even had time to enter a credit card number, so it is just personal data about me that hackers have.

Granted, we do not yet play any games that require the PSN for connectivity.  I had no plans to bother with DC Universe Online and my daughter was done with Free Realms in less time than it took to download it.  But I am sure many people miss being able to connect to those games and many more.

So I suppose we are lucky.  We are largely unaffected.

But on my list of things to do, subscribing to the PlayStation Plus program now falls somewhere behind changing my birth date.

What Would You Spend Station Cash On?

Sort of the flip side of the last post when I was wondering what we should commit ourselves to crafting as a group.  What do you think you is worth some money in the Station Cash Store?  What should we consider buying?

There are some choices.

The Categories

Appearance Items – A matter of taste I suppose.  Not sure I need a giant mushroom hat or a cosmetic pet.  But I did buy the bunny hat.

Bags – 44 slot bags are 550 to 750 SC and they actually show up on you character as backpacks.  Interesting if you want that look.  Standard bags are 50 SC for 16 slots to 150 SC for 24 slots.  A 24 slot bag is 4 gold on the broker at the moment, so I would probably buy from the broker.

Character Packs – If you want to play one of the races outside of humans, half-elves, barbarians, or erudites.  While I have played a dwarf, I generally go half-elf or barbarian.  And having a gold account at the moment, all the classes are open to me.

Consumables – Exp buffs, ability buffs, and the dreaded Wand of Obliteration.  Only 50 SC for that.

One shot, one kill

Expansions – If I want the Velious expansion, it is 4300 SC, or 9700 SC for the collector’s edition.  Seems a bit pricey, but I am a long way from needing that content, and if I wait long enough they might give me a free level 90 character.

Housing – Real money for virtual decor.  I’ll stick with in-game carpenters.

Legends of Norrath – I’ve never gotten into the game, so no draw there for me.

Mounts – I actually considered buying a fast mount for Station Case… until I saw them.  I do not feel the need to have a mount that screams “Everybody look at me!”  I’ll save up for a plain horse.

Services – Well, the guild charter came from there.  Not sure I’ll need the name/race change stuff any time soon.

Tradeskill Components – Buy a stack of 200 common harvestables for 50 SC or 5 rares for 250 SC.  I suppose, in a pinch.

Equipment – Saved for last, since these are the items that compete with trade skills.

A weapon is a possibility.  I wouldn’t invest at lower levels, where you might out grow it fast.

Sword for Sale - $1.00

But at high levels a master crafted sword for 100 SC might seem like a deal.  Shields run in the same price range, but for some reason I am not as enthusiastic about paying a buck for an in-game shield.

Armor is a little more expensive, 250 SC to 750 SC depending on the level, but again it is master crafted.

A selection of armor

And then there are arrows.  50 SC will get you 5 stacks of vendor quality arrows.

Crap arrows for you!

I’d level up a woodworker before I’d bother spending Station Cash on those.

On which items would you spend Station Cash?  Or would you spend any at all?