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Thread: Any update on Steam?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlord View Post
    No sense. Anything can be hacked. The main problem with DRM is ( not only in the Linux world... in Windows it's too just not so openly spoken about ) that just have to alter code at the right place to nullify the checks. The most classic example are the above mentioned CD checks. The old trick is to NOP out the check in the EXE and you are done. Another old trick in the hat which devers seem to never learn are serials. It just takes one guy to disassemble the verify code and woopie we have another key-gen which renders your serial check code futile. Granted todays DRMs are more sophisticated but the problem is the same. In the worst case you memory hack the bitch ( most prominent example the CS:S memory hack shown on myg0t once upon time ). The only thing that can help is calling home and obtaining a key or other verification. But again there we have problems since it relies on secrecy. As we know from cryptography security based on secrecy of the algorithm is worth nothing. The old coder wisdom for MMOs applies here too: the client machine has to be considered completely unreliable and compromiseable. So anything arriving at your end coming from a client is possibly fudged. And once somebody finds out how to verifiably fudge data to fake being a legit copy you lost another DRM round. The end result is that simply all and every DRM out there can be cracked so why wasting money on it in the first place.
    Nicely worded there, Dragon.

    They do not waste any money, they pass those costs to the consumers who are the ones paying for those failed technologies in the end, and being treated as criminals, while pirates go rampant. But let us not derail this thread into those darkened corners of the informatic world (yet again). I think pretty much we all agree on the idea that DRM is bad, and the fact that there are people who want it all for free (and do so) is equally bad. If we really want to stop this piracy spree in Linux, I do believe that (much easier said than done) the Linux gaming community should come together and promote buying legally obtained copies of those games we currently have available to really support the efforts from them who actually work on the stuff and bring us more games. The problem at its root is an educational problem... And a sociological one too (as more Windows power-hacker users are drawn to Linux, who not necessarily use it for the freedom (liberty) it represents, but rather because they can have a whole load of stuff for free (gratis). We are seeing a LOT of Windows pirates turn to Linux, but still pirate those few commercial goods we have available (talk about shooting oneself on the foot, or spitting to the sky). Linux (and Open Source in general), most of us know is not about getting things at no cost or charge, but about the liberty of use and code reuse and openness. Many seem to confuse these two similar, yet fundamentally different concepts about Open Source in general and Linux in particular.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by remm View Post
    Well, it did improve, and I think it's very fine when you consider the sort of really scary DRM that sometimes comes with games on DVDs.
    I still find it odd that Steam requires a bittorrent client running in the background to run any games you've gotten from the "service" (yes, Steam uses bittorrent to handle transfers). Why can't you just run the apps normally without Steam, allowing for more available resources, better performance, and a more pleasing game experience?

    ..oh, right..

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by remm View Post
    Well, it did improve [cut]
    Except for the 56KB problem the issues that I listed were all recent: I installed HL2 just two months ago.

  4. #34

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    My two cents:

    This whole discussion over copy protection is all well and good, but developers are jumping ship to consoles due to rampant software piracy. This problem does not concern just Linux, but Windows and MacOS as well. Software copy protection is here to stay, and it has been for more than twenty years.

    As for Steam, I love it. I really don't like the idea of my money going into a system that could disappear at any time, but it brings to commercial gaming something that open source has had for years. . repositories. I don't have to worry about hunting for a Half Life 2 ISO because my DVD is lost or destroyed. Although I cant recall having any problems I imagine that it could go down at times, and the software could be better, but the benefits Steam provides are excellent. Not to mention Valve's hosting is typically pretty damn fast, too. I've seen sustained speeds of 1 megabyte per second. Which brings me to my next point. .

    Lastly. . ISDN? Dial-up? Are you kidding? I guess if you live in rural Kentucky or Tennessee, perhaps your broadband options may be limited. Even if limited some exotic connections can still be had in rural areas. A brother in law I have in Kentucky subscribes to a WiFi ISP. The company mounts a high gain directional antenna on a subscriber's property, and aims it at a service tower. This gets around signal propagation issues caused by the high 2.4ghz frequency, and it works pretty well. As long as the antennas have direct line of sight, the signal can go for miles.

    For the majority of of the world population however, Cable/DSL/Fiber broadband has been a fixture of Internet access for up to a decade. Cable modems were deployed in my area in 1998. My only use for a dialup modem these days is for Caller ID.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by divideoverflow View Post
    Lastly. . ISDN? Dial-up? Are you kidding? I guess if you live in rural Kentucky or Tennessee, perhaps your broadband options may be limited. Even if limited some exotic connections can still be had in rural areas. A brother in law I have in Kentucky subscribes to a WiFi ISP. The company mounts a high gain directional antenna on a subscriber's property, and aims it at a service tower. This gets around signal propagation issues caused by the high 2.4ghz frequency, and it works pretty well. As long as the antennas have direct line of sight, the signal can go for miles.

    For the majority of of the world population however, Cable/DSL/Fiber broadband has been a fixture of Internet access for up to a decade. Cable modems were deployed in my area in 1998. My only use for a dialup modem these days is for Caller ID.


    Well, in Italy the situation is quite different!

    ADSL started to appear roughly in 2000, but it wasn't for everyone.

    I remember it costing ~30€ a month (more or less 45 USD) 3-4 years ago for a 640Kbit down / 256 Kbit up.

    Still nowadays it costs no less than 20€ (30 USD) for a 2Mbit-7Mbit down / 320 Kbit up.

    In 2007 only 14% of the population had access to broadband at home, and still nowadays there's no broadband access everywhere. At just 2km away from my home there's no ADSL at all!! And it's a really big and populated area!

    So keep in mind that the world is not just USA. ;-)

    P.S.: In Italy and maybe (not sure) in the whole Europe we barely know what "cable TV" is...

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by divideoverflow View Post
    This whole discussion over copy protection is all well and good, but developers are jumping ship to consoles due to rampant software piracy. This problem does not concern just Linux, but Windows and MacOS as well. Software copy protection is here to stay, and it has been for more than twenty years.
    So just lay down and accept it? Sorry, but if I buy I game, I expect to be able to play it for as long as I have it, not at the whim of some company who may or may not think I'm a criminal, or at the whim of some server's up-time (this carries over to normal online games with company-controlled servers as well.. much prefer single player games, or at least the ability to host your own server).

    As for Steam, I love it. I really don't like the idea of my money going into a system that could disappear at any time, but it brings to commercial gaming something that open source has had for years. . repositories. I don't have to worry about hunting for a Half Life 2 ISO because my DVD is lost or destroyed.
    Steam is a great idea, botched up horribly. If it didn't require itself to be running to play any of its games (could you imagine having to have portage running and active to play a game on Gentoo?), and didn't assume guilt-over-innocense, my problems with it would be vastly diminished.

    Lastly. . ISDN? Dial-up? Are you kidding? I guess if you live in rural Kentucky or Tennessee, perhaps your broadband options may be limited. Even if limited some exotic connections can still be had in rural areas. A brother in law I have in Kentucky subscribes to a WiFi ISP. The company mounts a high gain directional antenna on a subscriber's property, and aims it at a service tower. This gets around signal propagation issues caused by the high 2.4ghz frequency, and it works pretty well. As long as the antennas have direct line of sight, the signal can go for miles.
    As mentioned, not everywhere in the world is so "connected". I didn't get away from 33.6kbps dial-up (on crappy phone-lines that liked dropping calls) until after 2001 when I moved. Even if we could, we simply didn't have the money to afford the cost of broadband. And personally, I'd love to live in an area with few residents (an thus having lower chances of "high-speed" connections). I'd still like some connection, but it doesn't need to be OMGFAST Cable/FiOS.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extreme Coder View Post
    Still, you have to admit that Steam on Linux would mean a lot of games for Linux, which we really need ATM And it would convince other publishers to make Linux games..
    Why would Steam on Linux mean lots of games? The whole DRM argument... Well I think some software is just fine closed source, I think some games are worth paying for... It is only their right to protect investors.

    At any rate... People don't target Linux systems for a reason... Most gamers think windows is it for gaming. That may be a vast over-generalization... But look at the n00bs you find in games these days... Look at PotC Online... I mean srsly it's a bunch of n00bs shellin out thousands of dollars their parents give them for games and hardware.

    I'm glad id releases their titles for open gl and maintains linux binaries... But I hear even they have been growing lax on it.

    I think we could turn the ball here in a little bit. Make windows unnecessary as a host system through wine and some serious advancements in virtualization, and make a gamer's distro that is all sparkly and makes them think their 5k machine was worth it. Then let OpenGL NOT bomb ... hopefully, and team up with AMD in efforts to really push the limits of their hardware. I mean seriously... 3 extremely hacked g280s is what it takes to beat a single 4870x2? Mind you those hax could be duplicated on the amd side when the Stream SDK stuff gets up to speed... What would happen then? Obliteration.

    Enter the game engine that is practically run completely on gfx hardware. 2.4 Tflops for 500 bucks... Man I wish I had more monies... ah well I have a 3870...

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlord View Post
    No sense. Anything can be hacked. The main problem with DRM is ( not only in the Linux world... in Windows it's too just not so openly spoken about ) that just have to alter code at the right place to nullify the checks. The most classic example are the above mentioned CD checks. The old trick is to NOP out the check in the EXE and you are done. Another old trick in the hat which devers seem to never learn are serials. It just takes one guy to disassemble the verify code and woopie we have another key-gen which renders your serial check code futile. Granted todays DRMs are more sophisticated but the problem is the same. In the worst case you memory hack the bitch ( most prominent example the CS:S memory hack shown on myg0t once upon time ). The only thing that can help is calling home and obtaining a key or other verification. But again there we have problems since it relies on secrecy. As we know from cryptography security based on secrecy of the algorithm is worth nothing. The old coder wisdom for MMOs applies here too: the client machine has to be considered completely unreliable and compromiseable. So anything arriving at your end coming from a client is possibly fudged. And once somebody finds out how to verifiably fudge data to fake being a legit copy you lost another DRM round. The end result is that simply all and every DRM out there can be cracked so why wasting money on it in the first place.
    First off, my apologies for not replying to this sooner. I haven't been at the forums in a few days.

    Second, a point of DRM is to prevent everyone and their grandmother from copying the game and spreading it around (just ask Svartalf about that ratio). The torrent sites aren't the only place to get copies of the recent games, they're just the most popular. This way, a game with DRM limits it's cracking to the underground crackers. Downloading doesn't gurantee a 1:1 copy either, it just gives you the game data with the crack on it.

    Third, doesn't Apple use some form of code obfuscation? I wonder what we can to do implement that...

    I still like the disc-type kernel extension. it's a simple enough check for games to implement, and during the install it's a simple enough check to see if the kernel is configured with it.
    Last edited by me262; 09-02-2008 at 12:56 PM. Reason: I hate my keyboard, the spacebar isn't workall the time.

  9. #39
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    Downloading gives you a 1:1 copy of the game relevant data. CD-Check type DRM adds special sectors to CDs or append to game data but it does not alter the game data ( as else the game would not work anymore ). CD-Check removers simply disable the checks altogether so the CD-Check related data is of no interest. No 1:1 copy required there since you need only a game data 1:1 copy... and that is easy doable with anything... even cdrecord <.=.< .

    About code obfuscation... Sooner or later a CMP has to be done and a JE or company. No matter how much you obfuscate the actual checking at one point you have to test for truth... and this is where crackers apply the crowbar. The chain always breaks at the weakest link, that's the prime attack pattern. If you can't de-obfuscate the code... bypass it directly. And if this doesn't work there is for sure another weak link somewhere down the line. For the records I know no game out there ( of high enough interest by gamers that is ) that has not been cracked on eway or the other.

    What goes for the kernel: no. You can compile a kernel to not tell about it's configuration. This is a reasonable solution for some people. So if a kernel does not tell it's secrets... how know it has not been tampered with? And even if the kernel can tell you in all times how can you be sure somebody did not tamper with the kernel code in question changing the code yet make it tell the outside world it's in unmodified form? This is one of the major reasons I did not include any kind of DRM into my game engine since no matter how good you are people can possible imposter a service along the chain faking output to look valid. And a "tainted" kernel using a binary blob is not much better ( besides we have there the same problem as with CD-Checks... only worse since once cracked ALL games are cracked not just one ).

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    I still find it odd that Steam requires a bittorrent client running in the background to run any games you've gotten from the "service" (yes, Steam uses bittorrent to handle transfers). Why can't you just run the apps normally without Steam, allowing for more available resources, better performance, and a more pleasing game experience?

    ..oh, right..

    Well, there are some games you could run without Steam, but unless you like actual old-school games, you're not going to be playing them. I'm pretty sure any of the games that use DOSBOX to run could be played without Steam.

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