09/18/07 | PC
| Chris Martin
While we here in Seattle get to watch the Mariners crumble in what was a pretty decent year, we also get front page Microsoft news, regularly. Today, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported
that the European Court of First Instance, in a move upholding key elements of the March 2004 European Commission Decision, declared the American company responsible for misusing it's Windows monopoly. Specifically, the company packages Windows Media Player with their Windows software, a la
trojan horse, allowing market dominance of the software. Microsoft to EU court: "the decision on the Media Player opens a dangerous precedent for other companies and sectors. Airbus should start worrying about adding new features to their planes."
Another attempt by yet another state of the union to pass an unconstitutional bill prohibiting the sale of 'violent' videogames to minors has been squashed.
The bill, which would have imposed a $1000 dollar fine on any retailer if they sold a violent video game to minors, has before now seen preliminary injunction in late 2005, otherwise it would have gone into effect January 1, 2006. Since then the bill was pending investigation...
12/30/05 | XB360
| Tristan Mayshark
An Xbox 360 demo disc intended for kiosk 360's in Europe appears to lack the normal protection of other 360 games, and has been pirated on the Internet. A group known as "PI" have released statements about their progress hacking the Xbox 360's software protection, including releasing an ISO disc image of the demo disc, which contains demos found in Xbox 360 kiosks.
12/28/05 | | Shawn Rider
We reported back in October about an anti-violent videogame law passed by California legislators and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, who has starred in enough violent videogames to know something about the matter. The legislation immediately sparked a lawsuit from the Entertainment Software Association, which argues that the law is both unnecessary and impedes the First Ammendment rights of minors. Yesterday a US District Judge Ronald Whyte issued an injunction against the law, citing the likelihood of the ESA winning its case to reverse the legislation, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
11/30/05 | | Shawn Rider
Hillary Clinton and Joseph Lieberman have announced plans to introduce legislation called the Family Entertainment Protection Act (FEPA). The short story about the bill is that it would legislate the practices which are voluntary for retailers to follow under current ESRB guidelines, making it illegal to sell Mature rated games to minors, creating a formal avenue for consumer complaints, and initiating an annual review and "secret-shopper" survey of retailer compliance. The Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) is not happy with the planned FEPA, and they have issued a statement against the bill today.
10/12/05 | | Shawn Rider
The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association has released an official statement against a new California law signed into law yesterday by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who claims the law will "require that violent video games be clearly labeled and not be sold to children under 18 years old." That's not a bad thing; in fact, games are already clearly labelled and rated for both age and content. And therein lies the problem: California's law does not recognize the ratings of the ESRB, and instead imposes a vague set of guidelines which retailers will be legally bound to. Needless to say, this puts retailers in a precarious position: In some way, every title must be separately re-rated in California, but the specifics of how that would work are not there. Click here to read more about the law and retailers' statement against it.
08/19/05 | | Shawn Rider
Stephen Johnson, author of Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter (Riverhead Books), wrote a wonderful open letter to Hillary Clinton in the LA Times regarding the recent flare-up of the old "videogames are evil" controversy. He brings up just about all of the relevant counterpoints to this month's mass hysteria and political jockeying. It's really a must-read.
Candid and thoughtful.