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Date: Friday, 25 Jul 2014 23:54

A federal grand jury has added a racketeering charge to suspended California State Senator (D- San Francisco) Leland Yee's list of charges which includes gun-trafficking, corruption, and other felony counts. The indictment came Thursday and supersedes the charges that prosecutors filed in March against Yee, alleged Chinatown mobster leader Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, Yee campaign consultant Keith Jackson, and dozens of other defendants.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "California, Court Cases, Leland Yee, Vid..."
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Date: Friday, 25 Jul 2014 21:00

Microsoft has partnered with China's third-largest telecommunications company to sell Xbox One starting in September, according to Reuters. Reuters is reporting that China Telecom Corp. has inked a deal with Microsoft that will allow the company's 30 million customers to purchase the system by signing a contract. Xbox One systems will also be available for purchase at retail.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "China, Xbox One"
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Date: Friday, 25 Jul 2014 20:37

Verizon’s 4G networks soon will start feeling a little less unlimited for customers who don't pay for data by the gigabyte. According to GIGA OM, Verizon will start prioritizing traffic so that customers who pay for mobile data by the gigabyte get access over customers who use  Verizon’s unlimited plans. The new policies will only apply when the network gets crowded, according to Verizon.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Mobile, Net Neutrality"
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Date: Friday, 25 Jul 2014 19:34

In a recent filing with the FCC by The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (which represents Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and other broadband providers throughout the U.S.) the trade groups claims that ISPs are worried that Netflix will start charging them for access. Ironically Comcast and Verizon are currently in deals with Netflix to provider faster access to their customers.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Admittedly a Stretch, B.S., FCC, Net Neu..."
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Date: Friday, 25 Jul 2014 18:50

Marty Graham, the president of Home Entertainment at Rentrak has been elected as the new Chairman of the trade group the Entertainment Merchants Association. The election took place during the 2014-2015 EMA Board meeting on July 23. Graham replaces Bob Geistman, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Ingram Entertainment, who chaired the Board for a decade. Geistman will remain on the EMA Board as Treasurer.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Entertainment Merchants Association"
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Date: Friday, 25 Jul 2014 18:34

A leaked document from the Australian government reveals discussion points on implementing a potential online piracy crackdown. Among them, changing the law to bypass a 2012 court ruling by an Australian court that protected ISP iiNet from suffering for the infringements of its users, and new legislation to allow for ISP-level blocking of alleged 'pirate' sites.

Much of this is coming from Attorney-General George Brandis, but he faces the usual accusations about a lack of transparency during the preliminary phase of discussions by digital rights groups.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Australia, File Sharing, Piracy"
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Date: Friday, 25 Jul 2014 17:25

A cautionary tale about renting your home out to strangers for some quick, short-term cash on CNN has ties to video games. According to this CNN report, Cory Tschogl rented out her 600-square-foot condo in Palm Springs, California to two brothers, which CNN describes as video game developers - more on that later. The two brothers, Maksym and Denys Pashanin from Austin, Texas, rented the Palm Springs condo for 44 days, paying for 30 days of their stay in advance.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Admittedly a Stretch, California, Crowd ..."
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Date: Friday, 25 Jul 2014 16:30

While CD Projekt Red has not been afraid to include sexual content in its The Witcher series of action role-playing games, the Poland-based developer says that sex scenes in general should be tactful. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will contain sex scenes, according to level designer Miles Tost, but they will not be overdone or be tacky. These scenes will not be interactive either.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Game Developers, Games & Culture, Sex, s..."
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Date: Friday, 25 Jul 2014 16:18

Here's a bizarre story: apparently two developers working on Far Cry 4 witnessed an animal sacrifice while doing research for the upcoming shooter.

According to this Polygon story, two Ubisoft developers took a trip to Nepal to do research for the fictional Himalayan setting in the game - Kyrat. While there they witnessed a goat being sacrificed as an offering to Kali, the Hindu goddess of change and destruction..

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Animals, Game Developers, WTF"
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Date: Friday, 25 Jul 2014 15:51

Dedicated server hosting company RapidSwitch is helping to make a 72-hour Minecraft marathon to benefit AbleGamers this weekend a reality. The company announced that it is sponsoring the event by providing the server hardware and connectivity to enable CreeperHost to run MineThon, a worldwide online fundraiser for AbleGamers, a charity that champions "includification." - making games accessible to gamers who have disabilities.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Game-related Charity, Gamers Doing Good"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 18:03

The latest version of Oculus Rift for developers (DK2) has begun shipping to buyers, but there's some question as to whether those who purchased a DK2 will get one in this first batch of shipments. In early June Oculus VR community manager Andres Hernandez indicated that the company was unlikely to be able to fulfill all deliveries on schedule in July after receiving over 45,000 DK2 pre-orders.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Crowd Funding, Game Developers, Technolo..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 17:55

UK Prime Minister David Cameron's chief adviser on intellectual property and Member of Parliament Mike Weatherley is pushing for penalties related to theft in virtual worlds and online. According to several reports, Weatherley, an avid World of Warcraft player, has asked members of Parliament to consider new laws that would make it so that “people who steal online items in video games with a real-world monetary value receive the same sentences as criminals who steal real-world items of the same monetary value."

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Admittedly a Stretch, Crime File, Video ..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 16:40

According to Gamasutra's Game Developer Salary Survey 2014 (PDF), layoffs were on the rise in 2013. This is in contrast to prior years where the number remained slightly down or close to flat. Around 14 percent of developers surveyed said they were laid off in 2013. That's up slightly by two percent from 2012.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Game Developers, Layoffs"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 15:49

The UK video games regulator, the Video Standards Council (VSC) has appointed a new chair to take over from Baroness Shephard of Northwold who was appointed in 2005. The new Chair will be Tony Lake, who has served as a vice-chair for the organization since December 2009. According to the VCS, Tony Lake has an extensive background in law enforcement, having served for 36 years in the Police Service and working for five different police forces during his career.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Ratings, U.K., Video Standards Council"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 13:58

Sony has agreed to a settlement concerning the PlayStation Network security breach of 2011, which saw various online services related to the PS3 and PSP go offline for months after hackers compromised Sony's security on PSN and walked away with millions of customers' private data.

Under the terms of the deal PSN users get a choice of an old PS3 or PSP game, or three months of the PlayStation Plus subscription service. The PS Plus option is only available to customer that live in the U.S.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Court Cases, PlayStation 3, PlayStation ..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 23:38

He said, she said.

If you're a Verizon customer, you might have experienced less than optimal performance when trying to stream movies from Netflix.  If you're not a Verizon customer, well, word on the street is that Netflix doesn't perform so hot for Verizon customers.

Netflix says it's Verizon's fault.  Verizon says it's Netflix's fault?

Who do you think is to blame?  Netflix?  Verizon?  One of those intermediaries like Level 3 or Cogent?  Gremlins?  The Illuminati perhaps?

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Author: "Andrew Eisen" Tags: "Net Neutrality, Podcasts, Polls"
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 21:07

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), and HHF’s Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) today announced applications are now open for the second annual ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship. The program provides minority youths with an opportunity to promote social change through video games, according to the ESA. The Fellowship program will award 20 people between the ages of 15 - 25 with grants to create video games or mobile applications which seek to solve problems that face their communities.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "ESA, Gamers Doing Good, Games & Culture,..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 20:01

Film company Lionsgate Entertainment has invested an undisclosed amount of capital in Finish developer Next Games. Next Games is a game studio based in Helsinki, Finland that was formed last year by former Rovio, Disney and Supercell developers. The studio raised $6 million in its first round of public funding, and is currently working on a free-to-play mobile game based on AMC's The Walking Dead show called No Man's Land and another undisclosed project.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Business, Game Developers, Mobile, Mobil..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 19:50

Cliff Bleszinski's newly launched game development studio, Boss Key Productions, has confirmed its first round of employees. The Raleigh, North Carolina-based developer has hired senior staff members that have worked at such studios as Epic Games, Red Storm, Neversoft Entertainment and Irrational Games.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Game Developers"
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 19:20

A California judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed against the company by current and former Apple Store employees can be certified as a class action. Apple’s policies "made taking meal and rest breaks extremely difficult" and forced employees to work more than five hours without a break, noted California Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Prager in his decision to certify Felczer v. Apple, Inc. as a class-action lawsuit that covers an estimated 20,000 current and former Apple Store employees in the state.

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Author: "james_fudge" Tags: "Apple, California, Court Cases"
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