Update: Politico is reporting that the White House knew that David Miranda would be stopped at London's Heathrow Airport before it happened, but it also denied any involvement in the incident.
"This is a decision that they made on their own and not at the request of the United States," White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said.
Google and Russia's biggest search engine Yandex are voicing their opposition to a new bill that would block sites accused of hosting (in some way) copyrighted material. The new bill, which has already passed Russia's State Duma, is being called Russia's version of the Stop Online Piracy Act. The bill gives intellectual property holders the ability to sue a web site that they claim is hosting copyrighted materials. The accused site then has 72 hours to remove the offending material (without the option of reviewing the claim).
The very first porn-related app for Google Glass has been banned by Google, along with any other applications that someone might think of in the future. The application created by software developer MiKandi called "Tits & Glass" allowed Google Glass users to record videos and take pictures of sexual partners and share them with other users of the app who could then rate them.
A New York Times article from earlier this week about the FBI's attempt to expand the scope of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and the subsequent response to it from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) should raise alarm bells for anyone that does anything on the Internet.
Liberal-flavored site Burnt Orange Report sheds some light on a Texas bill sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans in the House that gives law enforcement in the state broad powers to look at private Internet data without much justification.
The bill was sponsored by Texas Republican Reps. John Frullo, Allen Fletcher, and John Carona; and Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson. House Bill 2268 is described as follows:
In one of the most bizarre stories we've heard this week, Capcom's UK Marketing department will fill a swimming pool full of blood, gore and other body parts to promote the release of its next Resident Evil game in London.
The "first ever blood filled swimming pool" can hold about 55,000 gallons of water and will feature (fake, of course) human torsos as floatation devices, intestines as lane markers, and all kinds of gruesome objects floating in the water including bloody bandages, eyeballs, tendrils and blood clots. Zombie lifeguards will also be on hand...
Polygon is reporting that Silicon Knights still exists, though it is down to just a handful of employees. The company reportedly unloaded its office equipment and game assets, and has closed its offices in St. Catharines, Ontario. Last summer the company reportedly laid off most of its staff and then a core group of Silicon Knights employees including SK founder Denis Dyack created a brand new studio called Precursor Games.
Democrats and Republicans in the Senate seem to agree that requiring online retailers to collect sales tax is a great idea. A bipartisan coalition from both parties easily passed the Marketplace Fairness Act by a vote of 69-to-27. The bill was sponsored by Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) who fast-tracked the bill and avoided any committee that might have had oversight over the bill.
Update: A representative for Activision points out that Bloomberg has updated its original story, and that because Activision is a public company it has to account for compensation in the year it is granted, even though the amount of performance-based compensation Kotick would receive under the new agreement he signed in 2012 would be vested over a five year period. Here's the update from the Bloomberg story we sourced:
New Jersey State Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) plans to introduce legislation to ban violent video games in public places. The Assemblywoman has proposed a law that would ban all "M" rated and "Adults Only" games from public places such as amusement parks, movie theaters, bowling allies, retail stories and other public places. It is a move similar to what the Massachusetts Department of Transportation did on its thruways earlier this year.
On March 20 a coalition of advocacy groups, concerned citizens, academics, and web sites sent a letter to the White House urging the President of the United States to veto CISPA in its current state if it is passed by the House and Senate.
Next week when the House Intelligence Committee takes up the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA - HR 624) it will hold its markup hearing behind closed doors and away from the prying eyes of the general public and critics of the bill. Not only will this hide the discussion lawmakers have about this bill, but it will also allow them to stealthily make any amendments to the bill they like without having to worry about immediate scrutiny from anyone.
Oblivious to a Federal Trade Commission report released this week that said that only 13 percent of under-age secret shoppers it deployed (as part of a Secret Shopper Survey program in 2012) were able to buy video games from national retailers (see the story here) New Jersey Assemblyman Sean T.
Sony Online Entertainment will merge the two remaining servers for its MMO Vanguard into one big server on April 4 at 10 p.m. PDT, the company announced this week. On April 9, the European Halgar server will permanently be taken offline, following its merge with the Telon server. SOE warned players that when this happens the game will be down for a 24 hour period - but that's not the worst of it; when the two servers are merged into one server some characters may be affected.
This Destructoid article citing a thread on NeoGAF calls into question a Kickstarter campaign to send a little girl to "RPG camp." The Kickstarter campaign, "9 Year Old Building an RPG to Prove Her Brothers Wrong!" by Susan Wilson asked for $869 to send a little girl to RPG ca
Update: PlayStation Lifestyle has an extensive trophy list (may contain spoilers) that lists the "Bros before Hos" trophy being earned by escaping the "Fury ambush," and not by simply curb stomping a Fury.
Ars Technica points out a new scam trolling internet users with legal threats demanding cash settlements for alleged incidents of infringement. An organization calling itself the Internet Copyright Law Enforcement Agency (ICLEA) recently sent out copyright infringement notices to victims warning them that "if this matter is not settled by Friday, March 1, 2013 then you may face serious potential criminal and/or civil charges filed against you.
The House cybersecurity bill that received strong criticism from the White House, privacy groups and the Internet is going to be re-introduced on Wednesday according to The Hill. House Intelligence Committee leaders Reps.
Yesterday Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) released "A Comprehensive Plan That Reduces Gun Violence and Respects the 2nd Amendment Rights of Law-Abiding Americans," which details the recommendations of the " Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force." While there are plenty of recommendations on guns and curbing gun violence, mental health issues and school safety, there is a portion of the report dedicated to violent media.
The UK tabloid The Sun is running a feature length story about a saucy calendar featuring gaming and scantily clad women that is apparently all the rage in Germany - right alongside David Hasselhoff... The article is titled "Nerd is the word," and highlights the fact that the "calendar featuring classic gaming consoles and sexy girls" is a "big hit.." We think it's a big miss personally because it objectifies women in the name of geek culture.
Dave Brevik of Gazillion, the developer behind the upcoming Marvel Heroes free-to-play MMO action game, is defending a pricey content pack for the game that costs well over $100. The pack, the Marvel Heroes Ultimate Pack, gives players every hero and costume the game, as well as in-game currency and early access prior to the game's launch. Being that this is a free-to-play title some have scoffed at the huge price tag for the package, but Brevik doesn't think it's that big of a deal.
A special edition of Dead Island Riptide announced today has put publisher Deep Silver in some hot water with fans for some extras that many consider incredibly tasteless and gross. Deep Silver announced this morning the Dead Island: Riptide Zombie Bait Edition, which comes with a myriad of extras including a statue of a bloody headless and armless bikini clad female torso wearing the Union Jack colors. Another special edition of the game called the "Rigor Mortis" edition comes packed with zombie hula girl bobble figurine, a zombie arm bottle opener, and a wooden keychain.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has removed several arcade games from a state Rest Stop after citizens complained about it because it is fairly close to Newtown, Connecticut. According to a Boston Globe report, Andrew Hyams, his wife Tracey, and their son Josh, said that hearing people playing arcade games at a rest stop in Charlton on the Massachusetts Turnpike on Christmas Eve reminded them of the of the Newtown massacre.
Trade organization the Business Roundtable issued a 32-page report this week backing the approach taken by the House of Representatives to fight cybersecurity threats. That approach, the bill called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), passed the House. The Senate proposed another bill called the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. The House bill passed, but the President didn't think it offered enough protections for American Internet users' privacy rights.
If you don't care too much for those ads on Xbox Live.. well too bad, because more are coming, according to Microsoft. Apparently taking a page from Hulu Plus where subscribers who pay a monthly subscription are still forced to watch ads, Microsoft says that the first wave of NUads (or "natural user-interface ads"), which were deployed in the fourth quarter of 2012, were "highly successful" and that it plans to put additional investment in the space.
Former Virginia Republican State Senate Candidate and online mass marketer Jason Flanary is asking the Federal Communications Commission to whitelist "political messaging" (or spam as many who receive it but don't want it call it) or declare bulk messaging and email as general protected free speech. He is doing this under the idea that limiting messaging is a violation of his free speech rights and net neutrality rules.