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Windows 10 Review for Dummies
By Ivory_Soul
Posted on 08/11/15
After all these years, and growing up with Windows 3.1, I have seen an entire evolution of computers and software. Touch screens and large resolutions were a pipe dream just 15 years ago. Now it's the norm. Going from a Packard Bell (yes, before HP) that couldn't run 3D Ultra Mini...


oblivion437 oblivion437's Blog
A Brief Assessment of the Star Citizen/Escapist Feud
Posted on Monday, October 5 2015 @ 17:41:55 PST

First a Short Time Line:

October 1, 2015 - The Escapist's Lizzy Finnegan posts an article on The Escapist: "Star Citizen Employees Speak Out on Project Woes"

October 1, 2015 - Chris Roberts responds "Chairman's Response to the Escapist"
(Ctrl+F and look for "My Response" as a section header)

Date Indeterminate (somewhere between October 1-3) - The Escapist updates Finnegan's original editorial to include Roberts' original responses.

October 2, 2015 - The Escapist responds to Roberts' response "The Escapist's Position on Our Star Citizen Story"

October 4 - Roberts' response is updated "Chairman's Response to the Escapist"

A very brief summary:
1 - Escapist prints Finnegan's article containing allegations from seven employees of CIG, some current, some former, about working conditions and behavior.
2 - The sources for this piece contacted Finnegan directly after her earlier piece showing how Star Citizen was likely in financial trouble and that was the explanation for the game being nearly a year late already.
3 - At some point in the writing and editing of the piece Roberts was contacted and prepared a response but it was not properly sent to Finnegan for incorporation with the rest of the article but the article was later revised for that reason.
4 - Roberts then prepared a separate response on his own site which resorted to unfounded allegations, revealed an unhealthy preoccupation with pinning the whole affair on Derek Smart, and contained a number of useless irrelevancies such as Gamedropping (mentioning Gamergate in a context where it's not warranted) and otherwise not addressing any of the substantive issues raised in either piece.
5 - The Escapist dug in its heels and stood by its reporter.
6 - Ortwyn Freyermuth, Cloud Imperium Games' General Council, produced an update to the response in which he crudely threatened legal action, namedropped a large law firm, and generally made a fool of himself.

Whether or not Finnegan, the editors at The Escapist, and Defy Media's legal team all failed to do proper due diligence on the piece is not firmly established one way or the other yet.  Some have called for revealing the names of these sources who only agreed to speak on the matter on the condition of anonymity.  Exposing them now would be a gross breach of journalistic ethics.  The problem would be further compounded by the nature of the industry covered.  Any exposure of these sources is virtually guaranteed to result in reprisal by the industry at large.  Those saying it would be the ethical thing to do have no idea what the ethical obligations of a journalist actually are.

Roberts and Freyermuth's respones remind me of those protest signs in Egypt during the Arab Spring.  The ones not written in Arabic.  Those signs weren't for anyone in Egypt to read.  They were for the cameras attached to international media outlets.

Likewise, that we (or more accurately Star Citizen backers) are seeing this letter at all tells what it really is meant to say.  "Stay faithful, backer, we're mighty and will not back down!  Your money is still safe with us!"  Bogus threats of litigation, name-dropping, misuse of legal language, none of it matters because most of the people seeing it won't notice and aren't meant to.  They're meant to let CIG keep their money, not seek refunds, and even give them more if possible.

The actual product slipped its date by nearly a year now.  They've revised the terms of service such that they're giving themselves a 6-month extension on refunds.  Derek Smart may be a pathetic failure whose real hobby is harassment via soft lawfare but he seems to be pretty much the only reason anyone knows about that.  In the original ToS the refund requests would have to be honored as early as next month.

At this point the only practical value in going through with threatened legal action is to get to the pre-trial discovery phase and force The Escapist to reveal its sources.  As frothing-at-the-mouth crazy as their behavior is I doubt that they will go that far because that same behavior indicates that the problems are real and pre-trial discovery would give Defy Media's lawyers the right to crawl through all relevant documentation, including documents on hiring and firing practices and all their financial records.

Prognostication from someone who is an expert in absolutely nothing and has a completely terrible track record for predicting things:
-This will die down.
-Those legal threats will go up in smoke.
-The Escapist won't back down from its position, either.
-Lacking direct evidence one way or the other people will believe whatever they want to believe.
-The game will not ship before the 18-month date slip has passed.
-Between now and then the ToS will get quietly revised once again to give them another extension on refunding backers' money.

Further Reading:
1 - "Eject! Eject! Is Star Citizen Going to Crash and Burn?" --September 25, 2015, by Lizzy Finnegan for The Escapist - This editorial effectively brought a long-brewing controversy to a boil.
2 - "Star Citizen - The Long Con" --September 22, 2015, by Derek Smart on his own blog.  This piece contains a lot of interesting information, grandstanding (but it's Derek Smart so that's about as surprising as fire burning things) and prestidigitation.  It's also the foundation of rumors that Smart was involved in some capacity in writing Finnegan's pieces or with the sources for them.

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System Shock Now Available on
Posted on Tuesday, September 22 2015 @ 01:34:32 PST

Small news announcement.  After years sitting in software library limbo Origin Systems' legendary classic System Shock, aka the game that other games still rip off when they want to be called original, is now available from right now.  It includes improvements like higher resolution support, mouse look, and...rebindable keymapping.  This officially puts all justifications for not having played it in the dustbin.

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The Human Side of the O'Donnell/Bungie Lawsuit
Posted on Thursday, September 10 2015 @ 09:43:43 PST

With the recently concluded O'Donnell/Bungie legal scrap ended in O'Donnell's favor one thing established reportage on the matter seemed to only consider en passant was the human story.  O'Donnell's being turned on by coworkers he'd known for years.  Tom Buscaglia, an attorney who specializes in Computer Game and Technology Law, wrote piece shedding light on just that, "The Story Behind the Story," and it's definitely worth a read.

I'll not offer any kind of point-for-point consideration of his post except to say it is worth a read but I will make a few general notes.
  Bungie apparently hoped to bleed O'Donnell dry by dragging the legal process until he could no longer continue.  Their counsel for the case are well known for that sort of tactic. They attempted to extort an agreement out of him by withholding pay until he signed off. A curious request by Bungie's attorneys to allow Activision to review the final award prior to release...I'll break list for some ruminations... Seeing as O'Donnell's dispute was with Bungie and Harold Ryan why would Activision have such an interest and why would Bungie's attorneys make such a request?  I'm sure someone more informed on the law could explain these things as perfectly non-sinister in nature but there's something about the whole business above and beyond what was done to O'Donnell.  To my admittedly undereducated mind there appears to be more going on here than meets the eye.

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Bethesda Jumps on Season Pass Bandwagon
Posted on Wednesday, September 9 2015 @ 09:19:39 PST

Well, it finally happened.  Bethesda's doing the season pass thing.

In their announcement, "Fallout 4 - Launch and Beyond," Bethesda details their post-launch plans for Fallout 4.  On the positive side they prom...   read more...

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Pre-Orders: A Relic of a Time Gone By Turned Malodorous
Posted on Tuesday, September 8 2015 @ 15:07:45 PST

Pre-orders date to the days when games shipped exclusively as content on physical media.  With the need to print discs or cartridges came scarcity of a physical good.  That scarcity in turn meant that a particularly desired or niche title m...   read more...

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Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics Return to GoG With Sale Offer
Posted on Wednesday, August 26 2015 @ 18:09:30 PST

CD Projekt has apparently come to terms with Bethesda again and have brought not only the old Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics releases up on GoG as before but have also brought other Bethesda titles aboard and they're all on sale with a bonus of Arena a...   read more...

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Airplay Debate Disrupted by Bomb Threat
Posted on Saturday, August 15 2015 @ 14:55:53 PST

A gathering hosted in Florida by the Society of Professional Journalists to discuss and debate the substantive issues of the Gamergate controversy in a formal context, understandable seeing as it's a controversy which centers around allegations o...   read more...

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The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt Patch 1.08 Out Now
Posted on Friday, August 7 2015 @ 10:19:27 PST

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt 1.08 patch just released today.  While not as hotly anticipated as the 1.07 patch, it does provide some things users will be glad for, such as bugfixes for quests, and workarounds for those caught flat-footed by bala...   read more...

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The Last Goddamn Straw
Posted on Friday, July 17 2015 @ 12:40:23 PST

Gawker media.  There's a phrase that should make any self-respecting activist, advertising canvasser, editorialist, journalist, editor, or reader get a slight sense of dyspepsia.  The slight will become severe if the individual should e...   read more...

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A Revised List of Cautionary Notes and Concerns About Fallout 4; a Jeremiad
Posted on Monday, July 13 2015 @ 13:46:01 PST

Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed th...   read more...

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