Monday, October 31, 2005

MSDN Subscription Transition Update #3

I got another response back from MSDN, and I am not happy:
Hello Dave, Thank you for writing back. I apologize for the inconvenience that you have experienced in accessing the North American Subservices Web site, so you can transition your MSDN subscription. We are aware of this issue and our Production Support team is currently working on a fix. I will inform you as soon as I hear back from them. I know how important it is to you to have this solved immediately. Thank you for bearing with us as we work to resolve your issue. Thank you, -Name removed to protect the innocent- Microsoft Online Customer Service Representative
So in short, your stuff is busted and you don't know when you are going to get it fixed. The transition site has been down since at least Friday (10/28/05) morning, it's crazy they weren't prepared for the deluge of subscribers.

Ripping DVDs to iPod with video format

I haven't personally tested this yet, but Derrick Story on the O'Reilly MacDevCenter links to a tutorial page for using Handbrake (Mac or Linux) to rip DVDs to iPod with video format that seems very straightforward. I happen to have Handbrake on my iMac G5 because a buddy recommended it, so I will test this tonight to get an idea what the effort and time is like.

MSDN Subscription Transition Update #2

I sent an email to requesting my subscription be transitioned to the biggest, baddest version of Visual Studio 2005, but instead of this problem being resovled, I have to help debug which site is down. Here is the email I got:
Hello Dave, Thank you for contacting Microsoft Customer Service. I understand that you would like to transition your MSDN Universal subscription. I apologize for the inconvenience that you have experienced in accessing the Web site, so that you can transition your subscription. To assist you with your request, I will need to know the following: 1. At what specific Web site are you attempting to transition? 2. Could you let me know what you did step by step? 3. Are you receiving any specific error message? If so, please send me a screenshot of the error. Please press Alt+PrtSc, paste into Word, and attach to your response. I know how important this issue is for you, and look forward to hearing from you soon so I can begin investigating the issue. Thank you, -name omitted to protect the innocent- Microsoft Online Customer Service Representative
The North American Subscription Services that I think I have to hit to transition my subscription is still down. I do have a backup plan. Eric tells me the product key is pre-filled, so John has downloaded the bits and will be personally delivering them tomorrow. I don't think MS ever intended for an employee to hand deliver the bits to me, but I will take it :)

Friday, October 28, 2005

MSDN Subscription Transition Update

This is getting comical. The website I am supposed to use is still down, and at Len's suggestion, I sent an email to MSDN, which ended up being the MSDN Academic Alliance Program for North America. They responded with:
This is in response to your email regarding how you can change your subscription to gain access to the Team Edition. You have reached the MSDN Academic Alliance Program for North America, which is a different program from that of MSDN. For prompt access to services for MSDN customers in the United States, please use the following contact information: email: Phone: (800) 759-5474 Technical Support: 1 800-936-5800
My mistake, I scanned this page for the first email address I could find. So I send email to because its in the response I receive and then I get this back:
Hello, You have written to a Microsoft customer service e-mail address that is no longer monitored. If you have this e-mail address saved in your address book, please delete it. We no longer receive customer submissions through direct e-mail, rather through a Web form. Our Web form will help our customer service agents gather the required information from you in order to quickly resolve or address your inquiry. To submit your question or feedback, please visit and fill out the Web feedback form. A Microsoft Customer Service Representative will assist you within 24hours. Thank you, Customer Service
LOL. So I just submitted a request through a web form at the link in the 2nd email, we will see where this takes me.

A subscriber found or this is my 100th post!

For the first time, I discover that someone is reading my blog that I don't personally know. I found this out because Len posted a comment on my Visual Studio 2005 release post. That's really cool, and I say to Len subscribed! This also happens to be my 100th post, and I think a hundred of anything must mean something. Thanks for reading and if you happen to be drinking right now, here's to the next 100. :)

Visual Studio 2005 RTMs and I can't upgrade my MSDN Subscription

Microsoft finally released Visual Studio 2005. I haven't played with the Betas at all, I just didn't have time to or the hardware for it. I certainly wasn't going to install it on my production laptop, I have to get work done. But now it's RTM, in theory I should be able to install this in production :-). But I can't get the any of the Visual Studio 2005 Team Editions, which is what I really want. You can check out the different editions here. My company bought an MSDN subscription for me earlier this year, so I am eligible to transition from MSDN Universal to MSDN Premium I think, which gets you the Team Edition bits. But you have to logon and set some database flag so MSDN Subscriber downloads shows you Team Edition. I mean how lame is this whole process. Microsoft did you really think anyone would self-nerf their subscription to a lower level or not choose the biggest version of Visual Studio they could get?!?! The mind boggles. Not to mention that the place to set the flag is dependent on how you renewed/bought MSDN. Check out this matrix to hit the correct URL. I THINK mine is the North American Subscription Services but I can't tell because the site has been DOWN for 2 days now, at least since VS2005 RTMed. Now I did try the North American Licensing Services URL, because I actually received an email from Microsoft telling me to logon here and make my choice, but I logon and there is nothing for me to choose. I then have our companies volume license administrator, which might include MSDN, add me as a manager on our companies volume licensing agreement, but my MSDN Subscription is not here. Does MS actually want people to get their development tools? I can right now download the VS2005 Professional Edition because I am listed as an MSDN Universal subscriber if MSDN Subscriber downloads actually responded to download requests, but I wouldn't dare install it, I don't know what it would do to my license keys, you know I might be locked out from installing Visual Studio Uber Edition without giving blood and my first born to MS promising not to steal their development tools.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Interview w/ Christopher Nolan

Box Office Mojo has a really good interview with Christopher Nolan, the director of Batman Begins, Insomnia, and Memento. This is an extremely thorough interview. A few things really stood out:
BOM: Is it too long at two hours and 17 minutes? Nolan: It's 2:20. 2:17 has been printed, but 2:20 is accurate. Three years ago, I went to the studio, and I told them roughly what the film was going to be, and I told them it would be two hours and 20 minutes long. The reason is that to me the epic scope of the story we were aiming for, combined with the fact that, in dealing with the origins of the story, you have to spend a lot of time before you even get to Batman. And you want a number of action scenes—you basically want a two-hour blockbuster movie plus an extra movement to the piece at the end with credits—which comes out at two hours and 20 minutes as opposed to two hours and five minutes. We had to start at the very beginning of the story, treating [Bruce Wayne] as a child—and spend time doing that, not just a montage, but really embrace the story—you need that extra room. When you look at the highest grossing movies, they're really long films, whether it's Titanic or The Sound of Music or Gone with the Wind. I always want a film I work on to be as short as it possibly can, and it took a while because there's a lot of story here to cram in. There aren't any deleted scenes on the DVD, because we never removed story; we just compressed it. So it's a furiously paced film, and we're very fortunate that musicians helped us achieve a unity with the right tempo.
Again, Mr. Nolan I applaud as I did in my review sticking to the 2:20 running time. Here is another Q & A that gives me a lot of hope for the sequel, which I underhyped a bit in my review:
Nolan: ...Yet the immediate response to Batman's standing up for what's good is a proportional escalation of evil, and that's not philosophical—it's not that it will always be that way—it's about how bad things have to get before things become good. Batman is positive, but I believe that, in the first couple of years, he's going to find an increasingly negative response from society, because the truth is that, when you have a powerful, negative city like Gotham, it didn't become corrupt by accident, and those entrenched people are going to respond very vigorously. BOM: Sounds like a good sequel.
A good sequel indeed. And one last thing, which I hadn't quite thought of:
BOM: Since Batman is a means to an end, are you rooting for Batman so he can get back to being Bruce Wayne? Nolan: No, I think you're rooting for Batman at the expense of Bruce Wayne. The feeling of the end of the film is the ending, or postponement, of the relationship with Rachel [the character played by Katie Holmes]—it's the ending of the Bruce Wayne story and the beginning of Batman—Batman begins.
This is one of those times where I think my previous exposure to Batman mythology has either led me astray, or I just didn't get it. I had always conceived Bruce Wayne as using Batman as a means to balance justice in the injust Gotham that took his parents lives. Gotham had reached a point where it was so corrupt, the system itself was broken and needed a new catalyst to help restore balance. On a psychological level, I had never really thought that the persona of Bruce Wayne was the facade, instead Batman was the identity assumed to help combat evil, the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman's natural state is Bruce Wayne. That's not what Mr. Nolan is saying. Watch Batman Begins and you can see this woven through the story, Bruce's journey is from grief stricken child, to anger/remorse stricken young adult, to an adult that has assembled all the pieces he needs (identity, company, friends) to do the job of restoring justice to Gotham, to try and achieve justice. By the end of the movie, Bruce has completed his transformation into Batman, he has no emotional capacity to accept love because Bruce Wayne is either buried or no longer exists. Thinking about this reading the interview, Mr. Nolan is right and I am sure glad he was the director on Batman Begins, because he understands this material, treats it with respect, and wants to do it right. Above all, he is committed to doing the best job he can and he has the tools to make it happen. Bravo Mr. Nolan!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Tiki Bar TV

I just discovered Tiki Bar TV. You can subscribe to this video podcast in iTunes. This is some real funny stuff that is just completely off the wall. Videos are short so just go try it. I think my favorite episode is the London Fogcutter.

Ars Technica on the iPod with video

Ars Technica has done another good review of the iPod with video 30GB. These guys always seem to do a fair review and really dig into the device. A few points in the review stood out in my mind. Apple has clearly sacrificed Firewire support for a smaller size device and the video chip. I have no problem with this, I don't own an older Mac with a USB 1.1 port (you need a USB 2.0 port now). The second point is that outputting the iPod formatted video to SDTV actually looks just like broadcast TV. I honestly didn't consider this possible. So I opened in Quicktime the one episode of Lost I bought from iTunes and resized it to 480x360. If memory serves, SDTV has a max of 480 lines. Here is a screenshot from the show format at 480: And the same thing in original size: For that small jump in resolution, the file format seems to scale well. I am still not buying, I am planning for the transistion to HD. Still this might be "good enough" for right now since HD isn't widely deployed in the market, but I want a forward looking solution here.

Review: Batman Begins

Got Batman Begins on DVD the other day, I've watched it 2 times since in addition to the 2 times I saw it in the theater. I am a huge Batman fan, it's the comic I always come back to and pick up occasionally, I am always picking up graphic novels that put a bunch of issues together. Batman Begins is in my eyes a near perfect representation of Batman. The training, the explanation of why he is doing what he does, how he puts the cave, the suit, the car, and his relationship with Gordon together, spot on. Christian Bale is the perfect Bruce Wayne and Batman. There are people that can play either side well, but doing both well is extremely hard. Mr. Bale pulls it off with apparent ease, playing essentially 3 characters, young Bruce, current Bruce, and of couse Batman. Bale's Batman is actually scary, the scene in the rain where is has the corrupt cop hanging upside down and he growls "Swear to me!" is menacing. I remember when I saw this in the theater, people were shocking by the ferocity. The picture feels epic like a Batman origin tale should. The other striking thing is that all the main actors are fantastic, the best representations of all these characters, Alfred, Gordon, Lucious Fox, without Michael Cain, Garry Oldman, and Morgan Freeman in these roles, the picture isn't nearly as strong. Liam Neeson is also good, but he has nothing to compare to in Batman film history before. He doesn't get as high praise from me because the first half of his performance is nearly cut and paste from Star Wars Episode I, he plays the wise older teacher again. This isn't to say he phones it in, but he knows how to do this very well. That said, the other side to his performance is very good. I was very fearful that this film would be doomed for me because of Katie Holmes. I don't know what is going on with her, scientology, and Tom Cruise. I couldn't really see her as a strong female character because I only knew her from promos of Dawson's Creak while watching Smalleville on the WB. Thank goodness she is not annoying in this, far from it, I think she's good. When you watch this movie, keep in mind that a lot of the stunts and effects are practical. That's right, Batman being dragged through the city attached to the monorail, that's actually a guy on a cable! This movie is really a template how to carefully use CGI mixed with model work and practical effects for best results. The scale of the practical effects is normally huge, including nearly all the Batmobile/Tumbler work. I got the Widescreen Special Edition of the DVD, and the extras on disc 2 are good, though not exhaustive, and I can practically feel another edition coming. Chris Nolan, the Director, does not provide a commentary, which is usually the tell-tale sign. For a comic book movie, this gets 5/5 stars. For just a regular movie, this get 4/5 stars, I seriously think its that good. What's the difference between a comic book and regular movie in my eyes, the character's. In comic book movies, characters are usually pretty weak, in regular movies, at least these days, they can be weak too, but in something with a lot of effects, usually time for characters is lost in the effects, but I just don't get that feeling in this movie. I think that may also be due to its running time. The movie is 2:20. You could have easily cut 20 minutes out of this and you would have had left any run of the mill comic book movie, but applaud Chris Nolan the Warner Bros. for not cutting to get as many showtimes in as possible for the theatrical run and putting back the character work in the DVD release. Honestly, I don't think this film hits $200 million theatrical if they cut it out, people would have just felt burned by another bad Bat-flick, and bad word of mouth would have killed it. The final shots in the movie are a fantastic setup for things to come, but I have to say I am a little skeptical of everyone being able to execute on this high level again. They will natural feel like they have to top this one, and we know what's coming next. Plus, they eventually will have to deal with Robin, and no one has been able to execute that in a non-crappy way, even the Batman Animated Series ended up going more comedic with this. This movie has definitely buried Batmans 1-4 in terms of quality and characterizations. I still love Batman, but I had problems with it even when that came out, I never thought they would reboot the franchise in such dramatic fashion. After watching Batman Begins, I don't even want to go get the new Batman - The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997. Of course it's on my Amazon Wishlist, so it would make a nice Christmas present if anyone is asking :) My last thoughts are that man did I feel inadequate while watching Batman Begins. Bruce Wayne turns 30 years old in this film, same as me, so I really need to step it up to save a city from crime. I can't even save my family from dirty dishes most nights :)

PSP TV or Go Read John's Blog

Engadget has an article up on the PSP2TV, a $119 dollar non-Sony authorized device that connects to your TV and lets you play games or movies, even with your PS2 controller. Modchip World has more on this device. Thanks to my buddy John for bringing me the link. He just started blogging for real at Backhand Volley. Here's the RSS. As for this device, Sony why does it take some unknown company to get this capability out the door? Are you going to break it in the next firmware update? Do you have the video chip in the PSP to output to TV like the new iPod? It may not matter for me, I am not buying UMDs, just like I am not buying video's from iTunes, until I can guarantee this stuff is usable elsewhere.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

iPod with video reaction

As probably everyone reading this blog knows, Apple released, depending on who you are listening to, the:
  • the iPod - Apple
  • iPod with video
  • iPod 5G (5th Generation)
One thing that's clear is that this new iPod, with the 2.5" diagonal screen with a 320x240 is the the Video iPod, though some refer to it even as that, but that's not right. A Video iPod would have a widescreen aspect ratio, like the Sony PlayStataion Portable (PSP), and you would be able to download movies for it, something Sony can't figure out, and Sony has the stupid movie library. No this iPod is certainly a music player first, the best iPod yet for people that want their whole collection with them, but it also does some video if you are into that sort of thing. This is a much more tentative step from Apple than I had wanted. 4 huge things are holding back this iPod, or a future Video iPod, from making me upgrade:
  1. Lack of content, you need more TV shows and movies
  2. I can't burn the things I buy from iTunes for playing in a DVD player
  3. I can't rip the content I already have from DVD
  4. The resolution of the video from iTunes is too low for me to replace buying DVDs, which is what has happened with iTunes and CDs
I understand why Apple has to take these steps, legal online distribution of TV shows or movies undermines many existing business models, so everyone is experimenting here, Apple, ABC, and the record labels with music videos. But I want what I want, and I don't want to get video content on physical media anymore or physically tied to the Tivo. If I want to watch the special features of Batman Begins, I don't want to have the disc in the DVD drive. I only want to remember to get the content into the computer once and when I am ready for it, it's there, just like my music is now. I don't have the iPod with video, but I did download two videos to test. I got the music video Kayne West's Golddigger and the 3rd episode of the second season of Lost. At their native resolutions, image clarity looks great. But that's the problem, the native resolution on a 1440x990 17" iMac makes the video from iTunes tiny. So you start doubling it or filling it full screen, and if anyone tells you otherwise there full of it, that looks like crap. You just can't build a permanent library using this as a source. Here is the deal for me, I am done buying the same content over and over again in Super Duper Extra Special Director's Extended Edition. I am not paying DirecTV for the broadcast version of Lost, then pay more for the iPod version, then maybe get the DVD version. I totally want location transparency, I don't want to be tied to even the Tivo anymore. If I go to my in-laws house for the weekend and I want to watch Lost, I want the iPod to be able to do that with stunning HD clarity. Apple seriously the size of the hard drives on the new iPods is enough you could store multiple version of the video, each customized for different format sizes, iPod, SDTV, and HDTV. Apple is keeping the size at 320x240 for three reasons:
  1. don't compete with TV Show DVD revenue (content owner's reason)
  2. Users once they get the file don't have to down-render a HD file to iPod resolution (Apple's reason)
  3. The pipes aren't big enough to have a good experience downloading and HD file
This last one actually looks like a usability problem, but its not. People are already willing to wait DAYS to get a movie from Netflix, a download over broadband is easily faster than this. Heck, Apple could even default to downloading the iPod version and then download an HD version later. I am just not going to buy this stuff over and over again. The power of having videos in iTunes though is the immediacy. With all the above said, I am seriously considering downloading an episode of Kolchak the Night Stalker to see how this show is. I don't have to wait for a re-run, I can get it anytime and watch it when I want. Music videos are potentially even a more powerful draw because just try to find videos playing on MTV now, it's like finding water in the dessert. Seriously, every time I flip through MTV, its some crap reality TV show. Hello, where are the videos! I am just done sitting around waiting for any piece of content I want to watch show up. Tivo really started this for me (Thanks Jeff!), now I want it all when and where I want it. There is very little video content that actually has to be tied to a particular schedule except mine. This is all content that is already filmed, edited, and for all intents, done and ready to be consumed. There is obviously the live event thing that needs to be solved over the Internet in a much better way than live events have been handled before, Apple please do this! How about pricing? If you think $0.99 is a fair price for a song (I do), then $1.99 for a TV show seems like nearly a steal. We are talking about roughly 42 minutes of content vs. about 4 minutes for a song, that's $0.047 a minute for the TV Show, $0.247 per minute for the song, you getting so many more minutes of content for your dollar. But until Apple ups the quality, they aren't going to get another video dime from me. Common Apple, make it happen. Dollars are standing by...

Madden Update: Waiting with bated breath

EA posted this on their forums on October 18, 2005:
We know that the workaround we've issued for Madden 06 PSP Franchise mode bug is working. At the same time, we're developing a longer-term solution to address the issue and make it right for our consumers. We appreciate everyone's support and will release more information as soon as we have it. Nathan
Wow, that's so helpful. So what your saying is you know the workaround to the most egregious bug is buying you time, but you won't tell us what bugs or when to expect fixed in some theoretical long term plan. Get a clue guy, until you put some dates together and tell me how to get a new build of this game, stuff like this only pisses me off.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Turned on Comment Words

Over the last month whenever I posted to the blog, I would get a few comments from either anonymous or registered Blogger users that I would definitely qualify as spam.

This stuff was coming reasonably quickly after a post, so I turned on comments words to hopefully defeat any machine generated comments. This is a pretty common technique now and for all 2 or 3 of your commenting, I hope this doesn’t stop you from commenting, I love real comments.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Madden Update: NFL knows of Madden PSP issues

I tried to return my 2nd copy of Madden 2006 for PSP last night, and I couldn't. I exchanged it for another copy, so I could start the clock running again on this defective copy. I should have returned this turkey when the guy who gave me the 2nd copy didn' strip the shrink wrap off, last night they did. I think the 2nd guy did this purposefully on reflection. The guy at the EB Games in Bridgewater, NJ basically told me to drive around to the other EB Games in the area to see if I could get anybody to give me my money back. I finally went through the work of trying the workaround posted by EA (delete all your franchise saves, then play your franchise schedule only through the Team Schedule option). On my PSP (firmware 2.01) this prevents the shutdowns so far, but I can no longer use the Assistant Coach feature to upgrade my players. This was one of the best features, because it added an RPG element to the game which is usually not included in a football game. I find that playing franchise without the assistant coach feature just isn't as enjoyable. I also turned off the Al Michael's commentary, which speeds load times. Not dramatically, its not 2x faster, but its a little better. I am so upset by this whole situation that I took to emailing the NFL. Someone on the EA boards found an email address for someone in the Communications and Public Affairs office, Jonathan Zimmer. I wrote the following email to him:
Mr. Zimmer, I have been informed that you are in charge of licensing for the NFL. I purchased the game Electronic Art's Madden 2006 for the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) since it is the only football game officially licensed by the NFL. The game is disgraceful, riddled with bugs that either cause the game to turn off the PSP or prevent the player from using the features of the game. When the exclusive licensing deal between EA and the NFL was announced, I was fearful that the monopoly on NFL games would result in decreased quality. That is exactly what has happened. If Sega had been a licensee of the game, there is no way EA would have released a game like this. I have played a lot of console games across multiple platforms, this is the worst bug filled game I have ever played. The worst part of this whole experience is that I can't get my money back. When you buy games from most places, included EB Games where I bought my copy, once you open the game packaging, you can't return it. The only thing I can do is continue to exchange the game, and this is only by store policy for "defective" media. I am on my third copy of the game. I am far from the only person experiencing these problems. You can look at user reports on EA's Forums, mboards/forum.jspa?sls=2&forumID=44 EA has only posted a workaround to one of the PSP turn off issues, also called the shutdown bug. This exposes another bug in the game preventing the player from tuning your team as an assistant coach. They seem unlikely to issue a recall or replace the game with an updated copy that fixes these issues, or issue refunds for people that want them. I hope that with enough external pressure EA will make things right by their customers. The NFL has lost a customer in me for its games as long as they continue to license them only through EA. I know the money from EA for the exclusive license must have been good, but you have damaged the brand of the NFL. Regretfully, David Murdock
40 minutes later, I received this reply:
Dear Mr. Murdock: Thank you for your recent letter. We are now aware of the issue you referenced in your e-mail about Madden 2006 for the PlayStation Portable. We have been assured by EA that it is working to correct the problem. Thank you for your continued support in the NFL. Best, Jon Zimmer National Football League Communications & Public Affairs 280 Park Avenue New York, NY 10017
This was very gratfying to see the NFL actually caring about the issue. It is a form response apparently, as multiple people on the EA forums have have received the same reply But it seems EA is done with this issue. Nathan, the EA Rep posting in their forums, had this to say about the workaround to the shutdown problem:
> At least tell us if they are still working on the > problem or do they consider their "workaround" to be > a solution. > > Obviously the workaround does not work. The > lockups/shutdowns happen in gameplan as well as in > games. So the "workaround" doesn't even apply. > > You can at least tell us if they are still working on > the problem. > > And do they really think it is not a widespread > problem? Nobody has one that works. So not only is > it widespread, it has a 100% failure rate. Have you > communicated to them that it is indeed a widespread > problem? > > People want this game to work. That's why we are so > passionate about it. If we didn't care about the > game, we would just return it. I am being told that the work around is the solution to the shut down issue so assume that this is the final answer on this issue. We are still workingon the online slow down. The work around has been extensively tested on multiple systems and it prevents the shut down. Thanks, Nathan
At this point my only option at EB Games is to take the $30 trade-in credit, eBay the game, or keep it and hope that EA replaces the current UMD with a new one. I don't think I am being unreasonable when I expect to be able to use the features of the game without having to "give up" any so that the game doesn't shutdown the PSP. If this doesn't get fixed, I think I am done with the whole PSP. I really like the idea of portable gaming, but the execution till now has been abysmal. If the rumors of the iPod video are true and Apple gets the software and content right, I'll eBay the PSP and my current iPod to get the iPod video and perhaps a Nintendo DS. A co-worker has one and says it has been a lot of fun and with Advance Wars out for the DS and getting good reviews on Gamespot, it might be time to trade up. The PSP has been nothing but disappointment so far, I really don't need this level of grief or anxiety over something that is supposed to be enjoyable.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Don't Buy Madden 06 PSP

It's probably only a matter of time before the big news sites pick up on this, but Madden 06 for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) is horribly flawed and you shouldn't buy it. Check out the EASports Forums for Madden 06 PSP for the deluge of people that are reporting problems with this game. The worst is the game turns off the PSP most of the time after completing a Franchise mode game, and thus you lose your progress. There is a workaround of course, save your game right before the game ends, but it takes so long for Madden to load from cold boot that this ends up being a 5-10 minutes cycle to get back into the action, horrible and frustrating. There are other bugs all over the place, graphics not loading, freezes in other parts of the game, cancelling actions in Franchise mode Assistant Coach feature not working, and online play turning off the PSP. I even had the game hang just selecting a play today. I will be going back to EB Games tomorrow to see if I can get my money back or a store credit. The final straw for me was EA posting an "official" workaround on the above linked forums, which others have reported as not working. The right thing to do would be for EA to fix all the issues and ship people new builds of the game on UMD, soft patches won't work, PSP wasn't designed to allow game loading from the Memory Stick apparently, thats what someone claiming to be a game dev posted on the EA forums. This is completely disappointing, this is the game I have been waiting for, as I talked about here. I don't pay $50 for this much frustration. EA you have lost a customer for a long time, thanks for not doing the right thing for your customers.