Friday, January 30, 2009

DRM in Gears of War for PC makes the game unplayable

[caption id="attachment_1235" align="alignright" width="303" caption="A digital certificate for Gears of War expired January 28th 2009."]A digital certificate for Gears of War expired January 28th 2009.[/caption]

Here's yet another sad (and stupid) story of the inconvenience and bullshit that is DRM.

The DRM that comes with Gears of War for the PC had a digital certificate that would only validate the game until January 28, 2009.  I can't help but laugh at this because the game just came out November 6th of 2008; and now 84 days later, the game is unplayable.

Gamers whom tried to access the PC game Thursday night were greeted with an error message stating "You cannot run the game with modified executable code.  Please reinstall the game."  Reinstalling the game wouldn't make any difference because the DRM associated with the game looks at your system's clock to compare the digital certificate that allows access to the game.

Let me give you a piece of advice:

If you are one of those people that buys your games legitimately, STOP.

[caption id="attachment_1237" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="DRM speaks for itself"]DRM speaks for itself[/caption]

These companies that choose to plague their games with DRM will not learn from their mistakes until YOU legitimate buyers make a big enough fuss and stop buying their crap.  If anything, all it does is drive more people to go the route of pirating games so they don't have to deal with that shit anymore.

Until these companies finally get the picture and start selling their games without DRM, boycott them.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

YouTube to start offering video downloads directly

[caption id="attachment_1224" align="alignright" width="200" caption="YouTube will be adding in the ability for users to download videos"]YouTube will be adding in the ability for users to download videos[/caption]

If you're a frequenter visitor to YouTube, I'm sure you've asked yourself: "Is there a way I can download this video?"  Well there have always been work-arounds and/or tools to let you extract embedded videos on websites, but now YouTube is planning allowing you to download the videos directly from their website.

President-elect Barack Obama's ChangeDotGov YouTube Channel now has a "click to download" link right below the play button.  Apparently this is a feature YouTube has been testing out, and considering that Obama's channel has over 32k subscribers, it makes sense for YouTube to test something like this on one of the biggest subscribed channels they have.

Whether or not a user will be able to set download permissions for the content they upload to YouTube is unknown, most likely when it's rolled out, you'll have an option to enable/disable the download whenever you upload it.

It's uncertain when YouTube will be rolling this feature to all videos, but one things for sure, it's definately something that alot of people have requested.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Circuit City officially shutting down

[caption id="attachment_1218" align="alignright" width="129" caption="Circuit City shutting down"]Circuit City shut down[/caption]

Circuit City announced Friday, January 16th that it will be shutting its doors forever.  The company filed for bankruptcy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia which a judge approved today.

The company now has to lay off 34,000 of its employees, who will receive 60 days notice prior to termination. "We are extremely disappointed by this outcome.  We were unable to reach an agreement with our creditors and lenders to structure a going-concern transaction in the limited time frame available, and so this is the only path for our company." said James Marcum, acting CEO for Circuit City.

The company is going to start the liquidation process starting this Saturday and continue until the 31st of March, (pending court approval).  Their website and call center will shutdown after the 18th of January.

Approximately 765 of its stores in Canada will continue operation during the liquidation process.  Those stores were not affected by this bankruptcy.

So if you have any old Circuit City gift cards laying around, you better use them soon before it's too late.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jackass star Johnny Knoxville arrested for being a jackass

[caption id="attachment_1205" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Johnny Knoxville"]Johnny Knoxville[/caption]

Johnny Knoxville, star from the movie 'Jackass' was detained at LAX Airport the 15th of January for carrying a grenade with him.

The grenade was found in Knoxville's handbag when TSA discovered the grenade through the screening process.  LAX security detained Knoxville and issued him a citation.

The grenade wasn't active as it contained no fuse or explosive powder.  LAPD is currently investigating the incident.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sales Tax exemption may be over for soon

[caption id="attachment_1191" align="alignright" width="310" caption="Basically New York giving Amazon the finger. "Pay Up Bitch!""]Bascially New York giving Amazon the finger.[/caption]

A new New York state tax law (being called the "Amazon Tax") has been given the thumbs up.  New York Governor David Paterson signed a new state budget early 2008 making any online retailer accountable for collecting state sales tax for any resident of New York, as well of any New York based website that earns referrals from that retailer...  In other words what this means is that since Amazon offers  affiliate linking which allows any business (including New York) to advertise Amazon's products on their own site, they (Amazon) have to pay the sales tax.

After discovering such law was signed, Amazon filed a lawsuit against the state, claiming that the company doesn't have any offices or property in New York, or any physical representation soliciting their business there.  Anybody can join Amazon's referral program. the company does  not track the origin of each referral.

In any case, Judge Eileen Bransten dismissed their lawsuit yesterday, including one brought from  saying that their law doesn't specifically target their companies and that the state is only trying to get them to do their fair share in tax collection.

Basically, what it means is Amazon and any other large online retailer will have to start collecting sales tax on all purchased made by New York residents through their sites, regardless of whether they got there through a New York-based affiliate link or not.  I can imagine the outrage any New York resident is enduring escaping having to pay sales tax.

Amazon and Overstock are most likely planning to appeal the decisions.   In any event, considering the recession and  tighter budget every state is going through, most likely other states will follow New York in getting their fair share.

If that is the case, then there will be no other way to obtain merchandise tax free.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Doctor wants 1.5 million back from ex-wife for kidney donation

surgeryDr Richard Batista, a vascular surgeon at New York’s Nassau University Medical Centre, is asking for 1.5 million in compensation for the kidney he donated to his ex-wife in order to save her life.

Dr. Bastista's lawyer, Dominick Barbara said in a press interview "In theory we actually asked for the return of the kidney.  Of course he wouldn't really ask for that but the value of it."

Bastista was married to his wife for 10 years, but they ended up in divorce in 2005 over her having an affair with her physiotherapist.  Since being served with divorce papers, she has refused him from being able to see his 3 kids.

This particular case is the first of its kind.  It sot be heard sometime soon at the New York Supreme Court.  Getting compensated back for the value of the kidney is unlikely as the sale of organs in the US against the law.