Australian Cops Seize Ecstasy Shipment Hidden inside PS2

October 14, 2008 -

Opening up your game console usually voids the warranty - especially if you then proceed to stuff it with illegal substances.

As reported by the Courier Mail, police in Australia have arrested three men after finding 3,400 ecstasy tablets concealed inside a PlayStation 2 that was shipped to their residence in Surfers Paradise.

Don't expect to see these guys hanging ten anytime soon. The maximum penalty is life in prison and/or an $825,000 fine.

53 comments

Report: Can't Play PS3 Games with Military Friends in Iraq & Afghanistan

October 14, 2008 -

We don't have much detail on this one, but a brief story on MaxConsole indicates that gamers in the U.S. are unable to use the PlayStation Network to play PS3 games online with friends and relatives serving with military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan:

A writer over at Sony Insider is asking Sony why he cannot play PS3 games over the PSN with his friends who are serving abroad the United States military.

 

According to the report: If you have a friend who lives in a different country, then its likely you will not be able to add them as a friend on your PS3. The reason why is that if you register your PS3 in a specific country, your Playstation Network is limited to that region. So, if my friend from the United States registers his/her Playstation 3 while they are on tour in Iraq/Afghanistan, then I will never be able to add them as long as I’m a US resident.

 

The writer says it is time Sony removed the restrictions of the Playstation Network and made it truly global.

The original post is not showing up at Sony Insider. It's unclear whether it was removed for some reason. MaxConsole does mention a work-around:

There is a workaround, but it is weak - if you purchased your PS3 in the USA, registered it there, and then brought it to another country you can still play your friends.

GP: It's ironic that this situation has become an issue, especially since the SOCOM commercial at left suggests that U.S. gamers could play via PS2 with overseas military gamers.

10 comments

African Press: Obama Gets it Wrong, Brownback Gets it Right on Congo Coltan and the "PlayStation War"

July 28, 2008 -

A few weeks back GamePolitics covered the so-called PlayStation War raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The issue revolves around Congo's supply of the mineral coltan, used in PlayStation 2's and many other consumer electronic devices.

In the latest development, a press release issued by the Panafrican Press Association charges that U.S. presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama just doesn't get it when it comes to the relationship between coltan and the ongoing conflict in Congo. Claiming that Obama has mistakenly portrayed the strife as ethnic, the PPA writes:

Statements... attributed to Obama, explains in part why there is such silence around the tragic situation in the Congo. The conflict is unfortunately and wrongly presented as ethnic bloodletting. The ethnic rationale... plays into long-held stereotypes that Africans are interminably trapped in "tribal bloodletting," hence, nothing can be done...

 

The central reason for the nearly six million dead in the Congo since 1996 is not "ethnic strife" but rather the scramble for Congo's enormous treasure trove of diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, coltan, tin, timber and more...

 

Beneficiaries of Congo's resource war include foreign corporations and consumers... Coltan is a key mineral that drives the conflict in the Congo and is found in our cell phones, laptop computers, digital cameras, video game consoles and many other devices. Congo has anywhere from 64% - 80% of the world's reserve of coltan.
 

GP: We were surprised to learn that conservative Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) is taking an active interest in the Congo coltan situation. Indeed, however, Brownback and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Conflict Coltan and Casserite Act in the Senate on May 23rd. Of the legislative proposal, Brownback said:

We are witnessing a grave humanitarian crisis in Congo, and we must act now to put an end to the death and suffering. Everyday, Americans use products that have been manufactured using inhumanely mined minerals. The legislation introduced by Senator Durbin and I will bring accountability and transparency to the supply chain of minerals used in the manufacturing of many electronic devices.

Sen. Durbin added:

Without knowing it, tens of millions of people in the United States may be putting money in the pockets of some of the worst human rights violators in the world, simply by using a cell phone or laptop computer. We ought to do all we can to make sure that the products we use and the minerals we import, in no way support those who violate human rights abroad.

 

Report: Rare Metal Fueled African "PlayStation War"

July 11, 2008 -

The PlayStation 2's requirement for a rare metal in its manufacturing process helped fuel a bloody, decade-long conflict in Africa's Democratic Republic of Congo, according to an investigative report on Toward Freedom.

The site alleges that demand for coltan by Sony and other personal electronics manufacturers led Rwandan troops and Western companies to exploit the people and mineral resources of Congo, with children often forced to work in mines.

Oona King, a former member of the British Parliament, told Toward Freedom:

Kids in Congo were being sent down mines to die so that kids in Europe and America could kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms. 

So, what is coltan? From the report:

After it is refined, coltan becomes a bluish-gray powder called tantalum... [which] has one significant use: to satisfy the West’s insatiable appetite for personal technology. Tantalum is used to make cell phones, laptops and other electronics made, for example, by SONY, a multi-billion dollar multinational based in Japan that manufactures the iconic PlayStation...

Researcher David Barouski commented:

[The] PlayStation 2 launch... was a big part of the huge increase in demand for coltan...  SONY and other companies like it, have the benefit of plausible deniability because the coltan ore trades hands so many times from when it is mined to when SONY gets a processed product, that a company often has no idea where the original coltan ore came from, and frankly don’t care to know. But statistical analysis shows it to be nearly inconceivable that SONY made all its PlayStations without using Congolese coltan.

A Sony rep told Toward Freedom that the company now takes steps to ensure that it does not use coltan illegally obtained from Congo in its manufacturing processes.

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E. Zachary KnightSleaker, How is that different from every other credit card company targeting high school and college students?07/30/2014 - 1:40pm
Sleaker@EZK - I think some people are concerned beacuse it's a predatory technique targetted toward younger people that don't understand on top of offering the worst interest rates of any retailer around.07/30/2014 - 11:33am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/30/europe-gets-long-detained-shin-megami-tensei-4-at-cut-price/ "Sorry you had to wait a year for SMT4, would a price cut make it sting less?"07/30/2014 - 10:29am
NeenekoI would hope not. Though it is not unheard of for store specific cards to be pretty good.07/30/2014 - 8:17am
E. Zachary KnightDoes anyone, or at least any intelligent person, expect a retail branded credit card to be anything close to resembling a "good deal" on interest rates?07/30/2014 - 7:13am
SleakerGamestop articles popping up everywhere about their ludicrous new Credit card offerings at a whopping pre-approval for 26.9% APR07/29/2014 - 10:19pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/07/podcasting-patent-troll-we-tried-to-drop-lawsuit-against-adam-carolla/ the podcasting patent troll scum is trying to turn tail and run.07/29/2014 - 9:50pm
MaskedPixelanteOf course it's improved. At launch, Origin was scanning your entire hard drive, but now it's just scanning your browsing history. If that's not an improvement, I dunno what is!07/29/2014 - 8:59pm
Papa Midnighthttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/experienced-points/12029-Has-EAs-Origin-Service-Improved-Any-Over-the-Last-Two-Years07/29/2014 - 8:25pm
Sora-ChanSo it's just a matter of having better emulation software. If it can be done with a 3DS game, with all the memory and what not it takes up, it can be done with a GBA title through emulation.07/29/2014 - 7:30pm
Sora-ChanOther VC titles for the NES and Gameboy had the same setup where you couldn't access the homescreen without quitting out of the game til a later update when those games were released for the public outside of the founder program.07/29/2014 - 7:28pm
Sora-Chanthe 3DS can, and does, run GBA games, as seen by the founder gifts, which included a number of GBA titles. As for running GBA games and still having access to the home screen, I beleive it's more of the game emulation software needs to be updated.07/29/2014 - 7:27pm
Matthew Wilsonthe 3ds already swaps os's with the original ds. plus I dont think people expect miverse interaction when playing a gba game.07/29/2014 - 6:06pm
MaskedPixelanteBut that's not the issue, the 3DS is perfectly capable of emulating GBA games. The problem is that it doesn't have enough available system resources to run it alongside the 3DS OS, and thus it doesn't have access to stuff like Miiverse and save states.07/29/2014 - 5:45pm
Matthew WilsonI am well aware that it requires more power, but if a GBA emulator could run well on a original psp, than it should work on a 3ds.07/29/2014 - 5:36pm
ZenThe reason the SNES could run Gameboy, or the Gamecube could run GBA was because their adapters included all of the necessary hardware to do it in the respective add-ons. The systems were just conduits for control inputs and video/sound/power.07/29/2014 - 4:51pm
ZenMatthew: Emulation takes more power than people realize to run a game properly. You can make something run on less, but Nintendo...as slow as they are at releasing them..makes them run as close to 100% as possible. Each game has its own emulator for it.07/29/2014 - 4:47pm
Matthew Wilsonkind of hard to believe since the 3ds is atleast as powerful as the gamecube hardware wise.07/29/2014 - 4:27pm
MaskedPixelanteYes, the 3DS has enough power to run 16-bit emulators, but not at the same time it's running the 3DS systems themselves. You could run the games, but you wouldn't get save states or Miiverse.07/29/2014 - 4:04pm
InfophileRunning GBA on 3DS shouldn't be hard. The DS had flashcarts sold for it that added just enough power to emulate GBA and SNES games, so the 3DS should have more than enough natively.07/29/2014 - 3:37pm
 

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