Category Archives: Comment

realID, what does it mean to me?

RealID, it’ll be with us in the EU within days, so time to think about whether it’s good, bad or simply “a something”.

So, firstly, the low down from Blizzard

Everyone read and digested?  Good.

I must use it

There’s no requirement to use RealID, seriously, you don’t have to use it, if you don’t like what it does then don’t bloody well use it.

Real names

It shows your real name to people you have connected with using RealID (or more accurately the name you have registered your battlenet account under).This isn’t a problem for me generally but I can see it will be a problem for some people, with the wider sharing of names this is going to be a deal breaker for some.

Sharing account details

The two people connecting must share their battlenet email addresses to make the connection, once connected this information isn’t displayed anywhere.

“If you are using Real ID, your mutual Real ID friends, as well as their Real ID friends, will be able to see your first and last name (the name registered to the account). You will also be able to see the first and last name of your Real ID friends and their Real ID friends. Your account name (your email address) is not displayed to other players through the Real ID friends list. In addition, players with Real ID relationships will be able to view each other’s online status, Rich Presence information, and Broadcast messages, and will be able to see which character and game their Real ID friends are playing across supported Blizzard games.”This I’m not entirely convinced about and the language is vague towards the end (at least to my rules lawyer mind).

Removing friends

Right click, click, done.

Let’s build an example

We have the following players A, B, C & D

A & B become friends
B & C become friends
C & D become friends

Real Name

A can see B & C
B can see A, C & D
C can see A, B & D
D can see C & B

B & C become RealID friends

BattleNet account name (email address)

Not shown through the system

A & B become RealID friends

This I think is vague, I suspect that they’re referring only to direct relationships, if that’s true then

A can see B
B can see A & C
C can see B & D
D can see C

Online status, “Rich Presence Information”, Broadcast messages

If however it follows the same rules as for your real name then those rules apply.

All your toons across all games on that battlenet account are shared with your friends.No opt outs, so that toon you keep for slacking, it’s now visable.  That banking toon you’ve been owning the AH with… visible.

The million dollar question

Will I use it, probably, maybe, while there are people on WoW who know my real name and there are others who can guess from looking through Facebook and put two and two together it’s not something I’ve pushed out there.  I don’t like the friend of a friend information sharing, and if that includes online status etc etc I like it less.

Is big media starting to “get it”

One of the largest complaints from the public (or those who think) about books, music, video and the way the old media companies is the way they’ve failed to really grasp to the internet and the whole host of new ways in which content is being delivered and the way people want it.

One of our regular ‘car conversations’ when travelling a long distance and I’m not the only one awake as been what book publishers could do for those of us who want paper, we like paper, but also want the ability to read the book while travelling without lugging around a crate full of paperbacks (yes she can read that many in a week).  So the thought is that with each book a code is provided to download a copy of the book in an e-format of choice, one time use or locked to a person, exact mechanism is implementation stuff.  However the core idea is that the incremental cost of providing the e-version is minimal, everything is built up on computers to start with now.

So moving on, as one of the father’s day presents from the short (well, not so short) one, was Wolverine on DVD, random SF / fantasy fare, the brain will be left on the hook and the film will be taken for what it is.  The extra here is a code provided with the DVD, shove the DVD in the drive, watch iTunes fire up, enter the code and a few minutes later I have a copy which plays on the PC and on the iDevice.

Ok, there are discussions about DRM and locking to specific devices etc etc but I think on balance the industry is starting to get creative.


On balance it appears to be a decent upgrade, though there’s some issues on my iPhone 3g.

The good

  • Google calendar integration
  • Notes > gmail storage
  • Changes to the mail interface & threading

The bad

  • I’m sure it’s more sluggish than before, slower on the response after shifting apps.  I suspect there is more checking back with the net / google / apple going on in the background.
  • Google / Apple, how about a decent todo / tasklist tool?

The evil league of evil rumour mill

  • iAds has been enabled for targetted adverts.  It is possible to opt out
  • However it appears that the location tracking being logged back to Apple Central{tm} and passed on to their “partners” can’t be opted out of.
  • It’s possible that this isn’t as evil as it sounds but there’s nothing in the formal statements / documented agreement which completely clears their name either, It’s something I’ll be watching for and commenting on as news grows on this.

Won’t someone think of the children!!

So the “bag of wind kicking tournament” is in full swing, as expected the English national team went out with the “1966, we’re going to win” and proving to (as ever) be made of complete fail.  Them going out in the first stages will fortunately mean the coverage backs off a bit and the stupid levels of hype die down and we can back on with normal life.

However, what this carefully crafted rant is about is the various schools which are apparently closing early tomorrow (England kicks off mid-afternoonish) so the school kids can watch the match.  What!?  It’s a sodding football match, closing down the school does have potential problems for parents, scheduling of pickups where required, potentially access to the family home etc etc.  I know the teachers want to watch the match but that’s not really significant.

Cue the morons on the radio with the standard lines of “it’s only once every four years”, “what a parent having to take responsibility for their children”, “but it’s football”, “chill and watch the game” and other meaningless moronisms.

So let’s look at a couple of those excuses.

“It’s only once every four years”, and in two years time we’ll have the same excuse for the olympics, the same applies to the commonwealth games etc etc.  All the major sporting world championships are on a four year cycle.  Football is nothing special, there are plenty of us in the UK who couldn’t give two farts for football.  It is when all is said and done, only a game.

“Parent’s having to take responsibility for their children”, the parent who raised the problem (who had 24 hours notice of the school deciding to close early) had taken responsibility for their offspring.  Making sure they’re ready for school, get to school, knowing when school closes for the day and having contact information with the school for if there is a major problem / illness / poor behaviour etc etc.  The school has decided to change their side of the service which they get paid to provide for an entertainment event.  Remind me, who’s the responsible one again?

I accept that there will be problems with some children faking illness, skipping school at lunch etc etc to be at home for the game, or firing up the iPhone to try and watch the game in lesson.  These are problems for the school and parent to deal with.  It comes with the territory.  For the record if the short one skipped school for this reason he’d be without television / iDevice / computer for quite some period of time.