Game key-selling platform assailed over stolen keys

G2A is a website where people can list and sell the codes that activate software, effectively functioning as an online pawn shop for video games. It was accused lately of allowing itself to act as a clearing house for stolen codes. Many reviewers, streamers and other influencer types are given them, such is the competition among developers to market their titles, but most codes remain unused -- and therefore valuable.

Devs hate reselling platforms so much, PC Gamer reports, that they "tell people to pirate their games instead of using G2A."

Things came to a head when indie game developer Mike Rose started a petition to convince G2A to delist specific games upon publishers' request: "G2A: Stop selling indie titles on your platform."

G2A responded to denounce the campaign and Rose himself. It claimed ethical values of honesty and transparency, offered generous remuneration in cases of proven fraud, and insisted that stolen codes were both rare and quickly acted upon when reported. It also asserted its prerogative to drive down the price of games as far as possible:

We believe that games can be cheaper. It’s the rule of thumb: the more sellers sell a particular product, the more competitive the prices become. People come to G2A because they know they can expect deals better than anywhere else.

Today, journalist and translator Thomas Faust exposed G2A as having asked him to publish an editoral under his own byline under the condition that he disclose neither the true author or its implied offer of payment. Read the rest

Nightmare footage of cruise ship emerging from fog in Venice near-collision

The Costa Deliziosa is a 92,700 tonne cruise ship, and holidaymakers along Venice's Giardini della Bienna got an up-close look at all 294 meters of its length on a foggy, sodden weekend. Too close.

Newsweek reports:

The huge vessel was being pulled along the canal by other tug boats in order to straighten itself out, narrowly avoiding hitting the dock's edge and other smaller boats near it.

During the clip, the Costa Deliziosa's emergency siren can be heard blasting as it desperately swerves to avoid a collision.

Authorities have now launched an investigation into the incident.

Pino Musolino, president of the Port Authority System for the northern Adriatic Sea, said in a statement: "We reserve the right to start a timely check to see if the ship has received the necessary permits. We also intend to evaluate the adoption of any further measures to ensure that ship traffic takes place in complete safety for the city."

A Costa Deliziosa spokesperson blamed "violent gusts". One of those cruise ships, then. Read the rest

Trump writes that "Aircraft One" may do a "low & loud sprint" over his military parade

The President's ride is called Air Force One. What, then, is "Aircraft One?"


People are coming from far and wide to join us today and tonight for what is turning out to be one of the biggest celebrations in the history of our Country, SALUTE TO AMERICA, an all day event at the Lincoln Memorial, culminating with large scale flyovers of the most modern.....

...and advanced aircraft anywhere in the World. Perhaps even Aircraft One will do a low & loud sprint over the crowd. That will start at 6:00P.M., but be there early. Then, at 9:00 P.M., a great (to put it mildly) fireworks display. I will speak on behalf of our great Country!

Google suggests it's meaningless and offers no exact results for the term from 2010 to 2018.

Fast come the quips:

Elements of Resistance Twitter claim that it's an unofficial term for the Russian President's jet, but I was was unable to find evidence of that in English news reports, at wikipedia or in machine-translated items from Russian news and the Kremlin.

Nor could I find the There is, however, a Russian documentary by that name about Putin's plane, as referred by Andrew Feinberg. Read the rest

Republican Roy Moore launches 2020 Alabama Senate campaign

Roy Moore, the former Alabama judge and failed Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, is running again.


Moore lost a safe seat to his Democratic Party opponent, Sen. Doug Jones, when sexual assault allegations crippled his 2017 campaign. Moore was allegedly banned from the Gadsden mall for bothering girls there.

In the wake of the allegations, Moore took and "likely failed" a polygraph test as part of the effort to clear his name, according to attorneys for one of his alleged victims. Polygraph tests are held to be pseudoscientific, easily fooled with practice and generally inadmissable in court. Read the rest

Adidas posts "Gas All Jews" tweet after turning account over to hashtag-parroting ad bot

The UK arm of international sports brand Adidas turned its twitter account over to an autoresponder that generated soccer kit images based on anything twittered at it, inviting senders "to the squad". The resulting soup of bigotry and warmly-welcomed Nazis could be predicted by almost anyone alive in 2019, but no-one at Adidas or "Guud Campaigns" has the slightest clue about how the internet works, so here we are.

the promotional campaign was hijacked by people with offensive or insensitive Twitter handles, including @GasAllJewss, @MadelineMcCann, and @96wasnotenough.

The images of the offensive handles on Arsenal shirts were retweeted widely.

The offensive tweets were posted from the @AdidasUK account late on Monday night and were still visible on Twitter through the early hours of the morning, but have since been removed.

In a statement, Adidas says its 'Twitter Team' is 'investigating'. Good luck figuring it out, Adidas Twitter Team! Read the rest

Jony Ive designed a toilet

Jony Ive, who is leaving Apple after decades as its design chief, once designed a toilet. Read the rest

Remains of dog-eaten chew toy resembles scene from The Philadephia Experiment

Tricksy was hungry, so she ate half a polyurethane frog. The remains appear to be misteleported into the metal worktop, reaching out in desperate frozen horror like a hapless sailor from The Philadephia Experiment.

Previously: Chew toys that last a giant dog multiple rainy days Read the rest

Busta Rhymes vs. Banjo Kazooie

In the vein of Biggie the Tank Engine, but significantly worse. Read the rest

How to wire a garage door opener

"Let's follow the power cord and see where it goes," the narrator says, and you know it's going to be good, but then find out that it's really good.

Here's an update from 7 years later:

Read the rest

New Dropbox uses half a gig of RAM and "sucks"

Dropbox syncs files between computers, but who wants that? The New Dropbox, announced this week, has all sorts of wonderful features to organize your cloud content, package your designs, integrate with slack, and to eat half a gig of RAM just by running on your computer.

John Gruber writes that it sucks.

All I want from Dropbox is a folder that syncs perfectly across my devices and allows sharing with friends and colleagues. That’s it: a folder that syncs with sharing. And that’s what Dropbox was.

Now it’s a monstrosity that embeds its own incredibly resource-heavy web browser engine. In a sense Steve Jobs was right — the old Dropbox was a feature not a product. But it was a feature well-worth paying for, and which made millions of people very happy.

At Hacker News, former Dropbox employee Taylor Schwimmer puts it bluntly:

Many people only use Dropbox as a backup and file share product. That's great. However, it's a terrible business, especially for Dropbox

It's always interesting to go from using a simple, single-purpose tool to being locked inside a toolshed full of rickety contraptions. You wonder what happened, then notice all the enterprise customers manacled to the walls. Read the rest

Is two enough when photoshopping women into an all-male "tech titans" group shot?

Jeff Bezos and a "dozen tech titans" enjoyed a mini-conference in a medieval Italian hamlet, reports GQ magazine. Leading the story was a group shot of the gang, which includes only two women: Ruzwana Bashir and Lynn Jurich. Problem is, Bashir and Jurich are photoshopped into the photo, as demonstrated when BuzzFeed's Ryan Mac noticed their odd poses and @benjymous found the untamperered original on LinkedIn.

I got some questions about this story on "tech titans" in Italy, and uhhh I think this photo is photoshopped? ... Look at the woman, supposedly SunRun CEO Lynn Jurich, in the background. Some weird stuff is going on with her leg, which isn't aligned with the rest of her body.

Is two women enough to photoshop into the techie trip to Umbria? They should have photoshopped in at least four. Read the rest

Forbidden Tetris

Read the rest

Rescued hiker gets the helicopter ride of their life

A hiker got into trouble out in the Arizona scrub and needed a lift out. They ended up being treated for "dizziness and nausea" first.

Cliff Castle Chopper footage shows a helicopter rescue of injured hiker from Piestewa Peak in Phoenix.

NBC News reported that the spinning was caused by the rotors' downdraft. Read the rest

The Sudan "DEMO", a phantom landscape feature only found in Google Maps

Data scientist Tim Hopper noticed that Google Maps displayed a humungous word in the outback of Magwi County, South Sudan: "DEMO".

After the discovery made it to the BBC, the DEMO sadly disappeared: a ghostly landscape feature lurking somewhere between Borges and Baudrillard on the slopes of misfortune.

Read the rest

Witcher fans mad about set photos

Fans of The Witcher are up in arms after leaked set photos suggest that ... changes ... have been made to the beloved game series' fantasy milieux.

Darren Lim Geers:

"The Witcher" Nilfgaardian armor in game on left. Netflix "adaptation" on right. I know it's a meme to shit on Netflix and their inability to adapt things to live action, but honestly... Who approved this? How does this even happen? So many questions.

It reminds me a bit of those "Book vs Show" comparisons for Game of Thrones characters, where Tywin Lannister is transformed from "300 pound Hulk Hogan clone given the power of flight by his muttonchops" into "Charles Dance." But in this case, a little more extreme: from "cosplay melting under the convention center lights" to "problematic sex toy."

Read the rest

Barges strike Arkansas River dam

There's no sound in this video, posted by KARK 4 News, depicting two barges slurped inexorably into a dam on the Arkansas River.

According to locals, the unmanned barges were loaded with fertilier and broke free of their moorings.

two runaway barges broke loose Thursday on the Arkansas River, crashed into a dam in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and sank. Police shut down major thoroughfares and ordered evacuations in the area after the barges came unmoored and threatened to crash through an Interstate 40 bridge and a dam on the bloated Arkansas River.

Read the rest

Listen to an author realize her forthcoming book contains a terrible mistake

Author Naomi Wolf has a new book coming out titled "Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love". It's about the emergence of homosexuality as a concept and its criminalization in 19th-century England.

...the story, brilliantly told, of why this two-pronged State repression took hold—first in England and spreading quickly to America—and why it was attached so dramatically, for the first time, to homosexual men.

Before 1857 it wasn’t “homosexuality” that was a crime, but simply the act of sodomy. But in a single stroke, not only was love between men illegal, but anything referring to this love became obscene, unprintable, unspeakable.

In a BBC interview with Wolf, her host, historian Matthew Sweet, points out two serious problems with her work. First, she assumes "sodomy" refers to homosexuality, but a key example she uses was a child abuser and it often refers to other sexual offenses.

Secondly, she assumes the 19th-century legal term "death recorded" (for example) means the convict was executed, when in fact it means the opposite: the sentence of death being merely recorded rather than carried out, because the prisoner was pardoned and freed. A term she thought signaled draconian punishment turns out to demonstrate leniency.

A quick look at a newspaper report from the time might have sorted things out:


Here's the tape. Sweet is polite and professional, and Wolf takes the news well, but it's very painful listening.

Fortunate that it isn't out yet (and perhaps not even printed, as the release date is months hence) so Wolf and publisher Virago can fix it. Read the rest

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