Monthly Archive for May, 2007

Robert Soloway, spamming scum extraordinaire, arrested

Spamming scum, Robert Soloway, one of the most notorious spammers actively spamming at the moment, has been arrested for various fraud related charges stemming from his spamming campaigns. He’s facing charges that if convicted would send him to prison for upto 65 years.

One can only hope. has more on his arrest.


New York State Senator Lanza continues to milk the Virginia Tech tragedy for political gain

The anti-video game bill championed by New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer and New York State Senator Andrew Lanza has been passed by the New York State Senate in four days after getting introduced. Looks like the debate over the bill was thorough and comprehensive. Not.

Andrew Lanza continues his blatant exploitation of the Virginia Tech tragedy to promote his misguided attempts to save the kids from these awful video games. His press release about the passing of the bill says:

“The recent release of ‘V-Tech Massacre,’ a sick game which exploits the Virginia Tech University tragedy, is a painful reminder of the culture of violence which has severe consequences on our youth and society”

Wow. That’s wrong in so many levels it boggles the mind and begs questions as to Andrew Lanza’s ability to effectively legislate the video gaming industry since is blatantly obvious he knows nothing about it.

First of all, the game was created by an Australian, so it’s rather interesting why it has any bearing on “our” society. He could’ve pulled out all the guns and dug up some Islamist game as well, but that would require him to actually have some knowledge of video games. Instead, he clings onto a sensationalist, headline gathering soundbyte to camouflage his bill as something that could’ve prevented the Virginia Tech tragedy. That’s kinda interesting as well, because the shooter did not play video games. Instead he wrote poems and plays. Let’s ban those next, eh?

Secondly, the game was created by a hobbyist and is not commercially available, so it wouldn’t be subjected by the very bill Lanza is marketing for…even if the game was made by an US citizen. Again, Lanza demonstrates shocking lack of knowledge about the subject matter he’s drafting bills for. Or he knows this and is blatantly exploiting the fact other people know even less about video games than he does. Either way, he’s unfit to legislate the video game industry either as a clueless dumbass or an unscrupulous manipulative liar.

That being said, his bill does have some redeeming qualities. It contains some elements that would increase consumer awareness and accuracy of the video game ratings present in every commercially available video game in the country. The number one problem with the video game rating system in the United States is that parents are either unaware of them or completely ignore them. The bill is doing something to address that, which is good

However, as reports, since the bill also goes on to criminalize the sale of mature rated video games to minors, it will be struck down as unconstitutional by the courts. Lanza and Spitzer must’ve been aware of this before the bill was introduced, I have absolutely no doubt about it. As such, they would’ve known it would be fruitless to introduce and pass the bill as far as making it a law goes. Therefore they must’ve had other reasons for introducing the bill. I wonder when Lanza is up for re-election again…

Anyway, as a New York State resident, I will foot the legal bills, and indirectly fund Senator Lanza’s re-election campaign. Make no mistake about it, that’s what this bill is all about. Hugging babies and saving the children have always been a popular campaigning tricks. I’m just hoping Senator Lanza would use his own money to campaign for office, instead of mine. I consider what he’s doing to be fraud.


Manifesto Games’ CEO’s open letter to Eliot Spitzer

Manifesto Games’ CEO Greg Costikyan has written an open letter to Eliot Spitzer regarding his anti video game legislation efforts. Manifesto Games is a video game retailer based in New York City. Mr. Costikyan happens to be a former classmate of Eliot Spitzer.

The letter is an excellent summary of everything that’s wrong with Spitzer’s vote buying and money wasting effort:

In summation, therefore, I urge you to eschew what would undoubtedly be a fruitless, immoral, costly, injurious, unwarranted, and inappropriate attempt to infringe on the free speech rights of game creators–and perhaps instead to consider what measures the State of New York might take to position our region as an excellent place to create and develop games.


Scientific proof that Bill O’Reilly is an asshole

Indiana University media researchers have concluded a study into Bill O’Reilly’s ranting on TV. They’ve analyzed 115 episodes of his TV shows on the Fox News channel. I would feel sorry for them having to have gone through that traumatic experience if it weren’t for the awesome results of their study.

They found dear Bill uses a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds, and that he’s frequently and consistently using known propaganda devices in his speech. He’s using fear prominently to back his insane arguments.

He’s also consistently and with no exception labeling foreigners in a negative light.

It’s no news to anyone, of course, that he is a xenophobic racist asshole. It’s just good to have scientific evidence of it.

A PDF publication of the study results can be found on the Indiana University website.


Design a video game mod – get arrested for being a terrorist

A 17-year-old high school student was arrested, his home was raided, and he was transferred to a special-ed school when the school board found out he had created a Counterstrike map of his high school. The police was called in to investigate terroristic threats against the school. There was no explicit threat. The student hadn’t written a threatening email or letter, he hadn’t talked about attacking the school, he had no weapons, nor morbid interest in anything violent. All he did was design a 3D representation of his high school in a video game.

Counterstrike is a first-person shooter (FPS) video game where you play either a terrorist (robbers) or a counter-terrorist agent (cops). It allows users to create maps over which the game can be played. Its popularity is directly related to the high number of user generated maps (or mods, as they’re called). If it wasn’t for these mods, the game would’ve long been forgotten.

What makes the story even more “interesting” is that the student is Chinese. Oh, man! Double-whammy! An Asian kid playing video games. He MUST be a mass murderer in training just like that other Asian kid, right?

But the story just keeps on getting better. When the police raided his home, apparently they found a weapon. The weapon was promptly confiscated so that it couldn’t be used against the students at the high school. The student, after all, is a suspected mass murderer. His weapon of choice? A hammer. Yes, a hammer. At someone’s home. I am not making this shit up.

Poor kid. He’s obviously gifted in computers and architecture to have been able to create the map in the first place, but instead of being encouraged to develop his talents, he’s being transported to a special-ed school. The whole thing is complete insanity.

Creating mods for the games has been popular ever since Doom first allowed it years ago. It has long been a vehicle for amateur video game designers to showcase their talents and in some cases to actually become professional video game designers. Several of the more popular mods have been commercial blockbusters making their creators rich. Creating a good mod takes considerable talent in multiple disciplines; computer graphics, 3D modeling, video game design and general computing skills. Before the Virginia Tech shooting some schools actually encouraged their students to make mods for school projects. Students were even recognized for such accomplishments.

And now that the issue has boiled over and become public, the school board is bickering about the board members’ motivations to clear this kid’s name. Some of the school board members are accusing the members who called a meeting to resolve the issue for pandering to the Chinese community in the district to buy their votes. What utter bullshit. I hope to God these assholes don’t get their kids in trouble with the school board, cause it seems it’s impossible to get them to do shit.