So much for the death of Xbox
So much for the death of Xbox

The gaming Internet lost its shit yet again earlier this month. This time it was the turn of Xbox fans after information was leaked that Xbox were going to be making some of their exclusive titles available on Playstation and Nintendo Switch. Known for their rational and level-headed approach to speculation, Xbox Twitter quickly descended into claims that Halo, Gears, Forza, Starfield, Indiana Jones and other titles would launch on PS5 and that Xbox would completely stop making hardware and die as a brand. Phew. Xbox boss Phil Spencer added fuel to the fire by not denying the rumours and only stating Xbox would release a business update the following week. So what’s going on?

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How to open your NAT settings for Xbox LIVE on O2 Wireless Box II
Gaming How to open your NAT settings for Xbox LIVE on O2 Wireless Box II

I’ve had my fair share of issues with my broadband connection since signing up with O2 (provided by Be There) 3 years ago. Fortunately, it’s improved a great deal over that time and is now extremely stable. The biggest problem I had was playing online via Xbox LIVE, especially getting my Network Address Translation (NAT) settings right on the supplied O2 Wireless Box II (essentially a rebranded Thomson-Alcatel TG585v7).

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Workaround for the Battlefield 3 “no weapon” glitch
Gaming Workaround for the Battlefield 3 “no weapon” glitch

In my free time lately I’ve been getting into the superb online multi-player in EA and DICE’s Call of Duty baiter, Battlefield 3 on Xbox 360.  For anyone who’s not tried the series, it’s a large scale multi-player military shooter with wide open maps and a variety of land, sea and air vehicles with which to play.  While it’s enormous fun, especially if your fellow players work as a team it’s unfortunately riddled with game-breaking bugs.  Some players seem worse affected than others and the issues seem to be spread across all three of the game’s platforms; Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

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Web & technology Klout online influence scores gaining extra sway

If you’re a reasonably social media-savvy person, you’ll no doubt have heard of (and perhaps used) Klout, an innovative online service for measuring online influence via social media.  Klout’s unique selling point is their own calculation of influence, the Klout Score.  While it’s not exactly new to the social sphere, having been on the go in some shape or form since 2008, Klout have recently been engaging in a substantial push to increase the scope of their offering by adding many more social networks and features.

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How To Create Multi-Column Lists in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
Development How To Create Multi-Column Lists in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

I recently encountered a scenario where I wanted to display my report content in the form of a multi-column list. In essence, I was looking to create the SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) equivalent of an ASP.NET Repeater, to render my report content both horizontally and vertically (in this case a dynamically repeated SubReport) a number of times dictated by my source dataset. I spent a little bit of time investigating some more complicated possibilities such as building a matrix of row and column groupings when the solution finally hit me. It is simply brilliant in its simplicity. Here’s how to do it.

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Inserting Large Variable Column Data Files with SQL Server Integration Services – Part 2
Development Inserting Large Variable Column Data Files with SQL Server Integration Services – Part 2

Far too long ago, I posted part 1 of an article solving the import of large data files with varying columns using SQL Server integration Services (SSIS).  This is the belated follow up.  In part 1, I explained some example file structures and how we approach the problem of inserting these files, which all have a varying number of columns with different data types.   The solution combines a mixture of SSIS script tasks, external C# code in a referenced DLL and a flexible SQL Server DB schema.  This post will walkthrough my overall SSIS Control Flow, as well as detail how we translate a code based, dynamic object model into something well-defined which we can insert into a SQL Server DB.

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Site news Possible downtime for picnicerror.net – UPDATED

Just a quick note for anyone visiting the site that there may be some downtime and/or interruptions here on picnicerror.net over the next couple of days as I’m moving to a new hosting provider.  The site will hopefully be back up and stable by the beginning of next week.

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picnicerror.net is a personal blog where I post various ideas, thoughts and discoveries through both my day to day work in marketing technology and general hobbies and interests.

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