Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 94

April 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss how Facebook buying Oculus VR could affect the technology's future development, if politicians who commit crimes should suffer stiffer punishments (including the death penalty), and Amazon's foray into the set-top box/ micro-console space with Fire TV. Download Episode 94 now: SuperPAC Episode 94 (1 hour, 2 minutes) 71.2 MB.

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Rhode Island House Oversight Committee Chair Wants to Subpoena Key Figures in 38 Studios Deal

April 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The new chairwoman of the Rhode Island House Oversight Committee said that she wants to issue subpoenas to key figures in the 38 Studios deal including former House Speaker Gordon Fox. Rep. Karen MacBeth (D-Cumberland) said the committee could also seek to subpoena former House Finance Chairman Steven Costantino, as well as current and former employees of the Economic Development Corp.

MacBeth has been a vocal critic of the deal for quite some time and pushed hard to avoid paying back money owed on bonds related to the 38 Studios loan.

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UK Copyright Law Will Allow CD and DVD Ripping This Summer

March 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

It will soon be legal to rips CDs, DVDs, and other media in the United Kingdom, according to this TorrentFreak report. The UK government has released a guide informing its citizenry that an upcoming revision of copyright laws in the country which will make it perfectly legal to make backup copies of CD and DVDs for personal use. Those changes will be in effect this summer.

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California State Senator Leland Yee Stripped of Political Power Until Criminal Case Concludes

March 28, 2014 - James Fudge

Lawmakers in Sacramento voted today to suspend three Democratic Senators who are facing criminal charges. By a vote of 28-1, the California Senate passed a resolution to prevent Senators Leland Yee, Ron Calderon, and Rod Wright from using the power of their respective offices until criminal proceedings against them are concluded.

Senator Yee was indicted on seven different counts related to corruption, gun running, and taking money for political favors. Shortly after his indictment was unsealed, Yee's attorney announced that he had given up his bid for Secretary of State.

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President Calls for End to NSA's Bulk Phone Metadata Collection... Sort Of

March 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Today President Obama issued a statement announcing plans to push for an adjustment to the National Security Agency's collection of phone metadata, but opponents say his suggestions may not go far enough. The White House offered support for legislation to end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection, instead putting the data into the care of phone companies.

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RI Speaker of the House Relinquishing Leadership Role After FBI Raids

March 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While California State Senator Leland Yee (outspoken anti-video game crusader and author of the 2005 California video game law that was inevitability struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010) is getting a lot of press at the moment for being arrested by the FBI for alleged bribery and corruption, he is not the only state senator connected loosely with the video game industry in trouble this week.

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President Obama Plans to Call for an End to NSA Bulk Phone Data Collection

March 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

President Barack Obama is expected to put forward a proposal that would end the National Security Agency’s collection of a huge amount of data on U.S. mobile calls, according to what an unnamed Obama administration official told Politico. The proposal is a familiar one: the NSA would eliminate the database of phone data it stores, instead relying on accessing the data from carriers who would be required to store it for up to 18 months.

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Twenty-Five Tech Companies Urge Sen. Ron Wyden to Oppose TPP

March 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), 25 tech companies urged him to oppose what they consider overly broad international trade policy proposals in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Wyden has been a strong and vocal opponent of previous trade agreements like SOPA and PIPA in the past, so he likely won't need to be prodded into opposing TPP.

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White House Meeting With Tech Companies Today Over Privacy Issues

March 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Top executives from tech companies including Facebook, Google and more are meeting with President Obama today to talk about “issues of privacy, technology, and intelligence,” according to what one White House official tells Politico. The administration declined to provide a list of those attending the meeting.

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Australian Government Proposes Reforms to National Classification Scheme

March 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Australian government is tweaking its National Classification Scheme, by putting forth new legislation that makes the process of classifying content such as mobile and online games faster and more cost effective. For example, new proposals will make it so that films released in multiple formats (for example, 3D versions) won't have to go through the classification process twice. The legislation will also remove the need for reclassification when minor changes are made to video games such as software updates or bug fixes, or when new but minor content is added.

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Report: Lawmakers Close to Deal on Ending NSA Bulk Data Collection Program

March 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The House Intelligence Committee’s Republican and Democratic leaders are "close to" agreeing on legislation that would end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of U.S. citizens’ telephone data, according to what top lawmakers are telling Politico.

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National Governors Association Reiterates Support for the Marketplace Fairness Action in 2014

March 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

With the House Judiciary Committee set to hold a hearing on "Exploring Alternative Solutions to the Internet Sales Tax Issue" soon, the National Governors Association (NGA) today released a statement reiterated its strong support for the passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act.

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Edward Snowden Calls Senator Feinstein Hypocritical for Complaining About CIA Spying

March 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In a statement to NBC News former NSA contractor (currently in exile in Russia after leaking classified NSA documents about domestic and international spying programs) called Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA.) hypocritical for complaining about the CIA allegedly spying on the Senate while strongly supporting the NSA's spying programs and bills like CISPA.

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RI State Attorney Rebuffs Senator's Request for Documents in 38 Studios Case

March 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

At the end of February we reported that Rhode Island State Senator James C. Sheehan planned to seek access to depositions and documents related to the state's court case against Curt Schilling's 38 Studios.

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RI Lawmakers Want 38 Studios Lawsuit Depositions and Exhibits

February 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Rhode Island State Senator James C. Sheehan released a statement announcing that, as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Oversight, he has formally requested that the committee be provided with copies of all documents (depositions and exhibits) relating to the civil lawsuit against 38 Studios.

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Mobile Phone Unlocking Bill Gets Unwanted Last-Minute Change

February 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

What was supposed to be a bill that would allow consumers to jailbreak their mobile phones has been poisoned and watered down by lawmakers.

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Congresswoman Eshoo: New Net Neutrality Rules Would Put Consumers Back in the Driver's Seat

February 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Speaking on NBC's "Press:Here" show over the weekend, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said that it's a good thing that the Federal Communications Commission has decided to tackle the thorny task of tweaking the Open Internet Order (commonly referred to as "net neutrality") because it will empower consumers.

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Kongregate CEO Takes on Diminished Role at Company to Focus on Political Action Committee

February 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Kongregate CEO and co-founder Jim Greer will step down to focus on a political career of sorts, the executive announced via a blog post on Kongregate.com. Kongregate co-founder and current COO Emily Greer will be taking over as CEO of the casual and indie games website owned by games retailer GameStop.

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RI House Approves 38 Studios Settlement Bill

February 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Rhode Island House has approved a bill that will make it easier for the state to settle its lawsuit with Curt Schilling, other executives from 38 Studios, and others involved in the deal that could end up costing the state upwards of $100 - $110 million in the long-term. The RI Senate approved its own version of the bill earlier this month. With both houses of the State Assembly passing the bill, there's no doubt that Governor Lincoln Chafee will sign it into law the minute it crosses his desk (his administration pushed the legislature to pass the bill as quickly as possible).

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ECA Action Alert: Tell Congress to Restore Net Neutrality Rules

February 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has issued an action alert urging members and the internet-community-at-large to contact their elected officials in Washington D.C. and urge them to support two stop-gap measures that would restore net neutrality rules until a more permanent solution can be worked out by lawmakers. You can check out the appeal from the ECA below:

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Researcher Chris Ferguson Offers Olive Branch to Mass. State Sen. William Brownsberger Concerning Video Game Research Bill

February 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In an excellent editorial concerning video games and the moral panic that ensued after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in late 2012, Christopher Ferguson Ph.D. (and an associate professor and chair of the department of psychology at Stetson University) said that he would be willing to work with Massachusetts state Sen. William Brownsberger, the sponsor of Senate Bill 168.

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Patriot Act Author Wants Section 215 Fixed or He'll Fight Against Reauthorization Next Year

February 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The lead author of the Patriot Act said on Tuesday that he will spearhead an effort to reject reauthorization of the law (which is set to expire next year) if the White House doesn't make some serious changes to Section 215 of the law, which has led to the NSA and other government agencies collecting and storing all kinds of information on American citizens.

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California Democrats Push for Restoration of Open Internet Order Through New Legislation

February 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

California US Reps. Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo (both Democrats) submitted legislation this week that would reinstate the net neutrality rules recently struck down by a D.C Federal Appeals Court decision. Rules that were part of the Open Internet Order preventing Internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against content were vacated last month after a Federal Judge said that the Federal Communications Commission failed to properly justify its authority to implement them.

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Rhode Island Senate Passes 38 Studios Settlement Bill

January 31, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

It should come as no shock that the Rhode Island Senate today unanimously approved legislation that encourages out-of-court settlements in the 38 Studios lawsuit. The news comes from a syndicated Associated Press report. The bill, which was floated to lawmakers by Governor Lincoln Chafee's office earlier this month and supported by the lead attorney representing the Rhode Island Economic Corp.

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EDC Attorney: We Have Had Settlement Talks in 38 Studios Lawsuit

January 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Max Wistow, the attorney representing the Rhode Island Commerce Corp. (formerly known as the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp.) said that he has had settlement talks in the case against 38 Studios. He says that the Rhode Island General Assembly should pass a new bill announced last week that encourages out-of-court resolutions.

"There's been enough discussion to make it clearly worthwhile to have the legislation passed," he said.

Wistow would not discuss who specifically he might have been talking to about a settlement.

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Rhode Island Lawmakers Propose Bill to Settle 38 Studios-Related Debt

January 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On Wednesday legislation was introduced in the Rhode Island General Assembly that would resolve the the $75 million loan guarantee to 38 Studios and subsequent debt when the company defaulted on the loan and filed for bankruptcy in 2012. The proposal, which was submitted at the request of Governor Lincoln Chafee's administration, deals with Chapter 42-64-40 of the state's General Laws, which covers "court-approved settlements."

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Senator Coburn Targets Games Among Other Programs In His Wastebook 2013 Report

December 18, 2013 - E. Zachary Knight

Every year, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma publishes a list of government programs which he feels wastes tax payer money and government resources called the Wastebook. While he tops the list of wasted tax payer money with a jab at Congress itself, it is when you get into the rest of the document that you find some rather interesting spending programs. In his opening statement to the report, Coburn writes:

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NSA Will Continue Bulk Spying Despite Lawmakers Efforts

December 12, 2013 - GamePolitics staff

An interesting report on Ars Technica reveals that the National Security Agency would continue bulk spying activities even if Congress passes a law forbidding them to do so. In fact, the agency would likely take the fight to court - though which court that would be remains uncertain.

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Report: ESA Spent $3.9 Million in 2013 Fighting Against State and Federal Anti-Videogame Legislation, Lobbying

December 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a Wall Street Journal report (membership required), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) spent a considerable amount of money and effort in fighting anti-videogame laws in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey - and in Oklahoma last year. Many of the bills have either died or are locked in legislative committees waiting for approval.

The ESA is also taking aim at a federal bill, according to records and a co-sponsor of the bill.

EFF Applauds Passage of The Innovation Act in the House

December 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued a statement today praising the House of Representatives passing a bill to deal with patent trolling. The bill, the Innovation Act, was supported by a majority of House members, winning passage by a vote of 323-89. All that's left is for the Senate to take up the bill, which it plans to do before the end of the year.

While the EFF applauds the House's efforts, it also notes that the Innovation Act is by no means a perfect bill:

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MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
 

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