Hackers Responsible for Ruining Christmas of 2014 Charged

You may recall that if you got a game or a console back in Christmas of 2014 and wanted to play online either on the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live, you were out of luck. Since many consoles require day one online patches, Christmas morning of 2014 was sad time for gamers.

Justice may soon be served, as two members of hacker group Lizard Squad, which took responsibility for the denial of service attacks, have been charged in Chicago according to a press release by the US Department of Justice.

Lizard Squad drew the attention of U.S. authorities during an investigation into website phonebomber.net, which enabled paying customers to select victims to receive repeated harassing phone calls from spoofed numbers. However, it wasn’t until after the launch of phonebomber.net, where members of Lizard Squad started a denial-of-service attack against online gaming networks and began boasted about them on Twitter.

If found guilty, the accused could receive a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.

 

 

Social Media Integration in Games Makes it Harder to Lie to the Boss

Who doesn’t love playing hooky every now and then? There’s nothing better than waking up one morning and saying fuck work/school today, I’m staying home and doing whatever I want because I’ve earned it. Sometimes you just need an unscheduled break to stay home, sleep in and to do whatever your heart desires.

I find that playing hooky requires a fair bit of planning and a bit of theatrics in my honest opinion. Sometimes, I like to plant the seed a day or two earlier at work, pre planning a hooky day, if you will, because I’m twisted. Maybe I’ll start complaining of a sore throat or have a coughing fit every now and then. That gets my coworkers thinking that I’m starting to get sick and they begin hoping that they won’t get sick, eventually leading to WHY IS HE HERE IF HIS SICK? HE’S GOING TO GET EVERYONE ELSE SICK! THAT ASSHOLE! This works surprisingly well during cold a flu season.

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Planting the seed helps build a certain amount of sympathy from your coworkers so that when the day comes when you strike and call-in sick, they’ll all go, “yeah, he’s been battling something all week, I hope he feels better.” This ultimately makes me feel better about calling out, because people feeling sorry and having sympathy for you is great and I’m a horrible person

However, there are days when you simply want to call out and you have not pre-planned or planted any seeds of illness prior. This is when I go into my old bag of tricks that works like a charm every time. What you need to do is get up ridiculously early, which for me is at the ass crack of dawn, and e-mail your boss/coworker/professor at an ungodly early hour and say that you ate something nasty and you been puking and pissing out of your ass all night long and you’ve only been able to settle down to bed just now. Then go right ahead and sleep for a few more hours, you’ve earned it.

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They will buy it, due to the profane hour you’ve sent the e-mail and how remarkably gross the situation is. No one questions diarrhea. You can even follow it up with a phone call later, just make sure that you’re giving an Oscar winning performance so that you sound sick. I like to call as soon as I reawaken. I think it helps make me sound out of it. I’M GIVING YOU GOLD PEOPLE, THIS NEVER FAILS!

Nothing feels better than getting everything straightened out with work/school and having the day for yourself. Really, you can do whatever you want, but I like to stay home or relatively local. I’m incredibly paranoid of getting busted, so I rarely venture far and regardless, hooky days are meant for relaxation and nothing is more relaxing than staying home all day, sitting around in the clothes you slept in and being a lazy shit.

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Gaming and playing hooky go hand in hand really. There is not a better feeling in the world than just sitting at home and playing a game while everyone else is breaking their asses. I have fond memories of my childhood, staying home from school and gaming all day long.  There is, however, a major difference between playing hooky and gaming back then and doing the same today. That difference is the integration of social media.

We live in an age where everything you do is broadcast to everyone. You can thank social media for that. Some people bring this upon themselves and willfully divulge every detail of their lives, giving a play by play on Facebook, checking in on FourSquare, or taking pictures of their food and posting it to Instagram, the later being the most loathsome, and there is a special place in hell devoted to the people who do that.

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This brings me to my point. Social Media integration is so intertwined with everything that we do today, that sometimes we broadcast what we’re doing and do not even realize it or ignorantly wave our rights so that businesses post to our feeds in our behalf.

Case and point, a few months ago, I played a bit of hooky from work to spend some quality time with my PS4 and the Last of Us Remastered. This is a damn fine game and was well worth taking a sick day to devote my time to it.

I was just about to start playing the Left Behind DLC, when an interesting note popped up on screen, asking me if I wanted the game to post to my Facebook account on my behalf. Not thinking, I was just about to give it permission to do so when I realized what a horribly stupid idea this was, because then everyone will know that I’m playing video games instead of working. My entire story that I gave to my boss will be blown. He thinks I’m sleeping in the bathroom to be near the toilet when the inevitable explosive bodily function takes hold.

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Even if you’re not Facebook friends with the boss, all it takes is one slip up from a friend at work and my cover is blown! I imagine the conversation would go something like this:

Co-worker:  Where’s Spieler Dad?

Boss:  Oh he’s home, he ate some bad sushi from a gas station and now he’s pissing diarrhea out of his ass.

Co-worker: Really? Because I can see that he’s tearing up The Last of Us on Facebook.

Boss: Really? Where did I put that number for Human Resources? Gas station sushi my ass!

It’s bad enough now that Xbox Live and PSN is fully integrated. If you are friends with someone, they can see when you’re online or through SmartGlass.

When the next –gen was first announced, everyone freaked out how the need to be always online was a horrible idea, because if the internet goes out, you’ll be shit out of luck. However, there is an even bigger reason why always being online is a horrible idea. What if someone wants to just stay home from work, call in sick, and play video games in their underwear while two fisting a bag of Doritos? I guess you didn’t think through entirely Mr. Smartass Marketing Product Manager.

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And yes, I know that there is a way to disable how your presence is shown online, but Sony and Microsoft bury that shit in the settings. They need to make it easier to disable right from the top.

Case and point, last week, one of my co-workers was “working from home,” which means, he’s watching The Price is Right on TV while tapping the track pad his work laptop every so often so that your status says “available” on Instant Messenger.  A few hours later, one of my other co-workers said out loud, in front of his manager, of all fucking people, I wonder how much work said employee is getting done while playing Battlefield 4.

That’s a real scumbag move right there, blowing up his spot like that.  Not sure what came out about that, but the manager did not look pleased. Seriously, fuck that dude. That’s like asking your buddy if his rash has cleared up while he’s macking with a hot little number at the bar.

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It doesn’t help that many games are now going in the direction of needing to be online in order to play them as the developers intended them to be played. Titanfall and Destiny are perfect examples. These games wouldn’t function properly or at all in the case of Titanfall if you simply disconnect from the network.

Like an old man, waving his cane at the kids running through his yard, I do yearn for the simplicity of years gone by from time to time. That is why I propose to the marketing execs at Sony and Microsoft to build a hooky function into their consoles.

It will just make everyone’s life much easier to lie. I don’t want to make an even bigger spectacle out of calling out sick to play video games. I’m already being a lazy shit by staying home to play video games when I should be, you know, actually working.  All I want is to sit in my underwear for nine hours straight and game without having to jump through hoops. Is that too much to ask?

Former 38 Studios Founder Exposes Twitter Trolls

You can mess with the man, but don’t mess with his family. A couple of Twitter trolls learned that the hard way after posting some vile tweets directed at former Red Sock pitcher and 38 Studios founder, Curt Schilling and his daughter.

Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

Earlier in the week, Schilling went on Twitter to congratulate his daughter on her acceptance to college, where she will also be a pitcher on the school’s softball team. It did not take long for the replies to turn from congratulations and will wishes to vulgar and highly sexual threats. Schilling posted some examples on his blog:

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Common sense normally dictates that you ignore the trolls. Responding to them only feeds the flames and gives the instigators a sense of satisfaction that they indeed got under your skin. Schilling however, went full DAD MODE on the trolls.

Just like Liam Neeson in Taken, Schilling has a very specific set of skills, he’s also a celebrity, with a lot of contacts, and money troubles aside from the failed venture into video game development, does still wield some influence. It did not take long for Schilling to find out who these clowns were and post their details on his personal blog, as seen below:

“The Sports Guru”? Ya he’s a DJ named Adam Nagel (DJ is a bit strong since he’s on the air for 1 hour a week) on Brookdale Student Radio at Brookdale Community College. How do you think that place feels about this stud representing their school? You don’t think this isn’t going to be a nice compilation that will show up every single time this idiot is googled the rest of his life? What happens when a potential woman he’s after googles and reads this?”
“The other clown? He’s VP of the Theta Xi fraternity at Montclair State University. I gotta believe if Theta Xi is cool with a VP of one of their chapters acting like this I’d prefer to have no one I know in it. Also, does anyone attending Montclair State University have a student handbook? If so can you pass it along because I am pretty sure there are about 90 violations in this idiots tweets.”

After this was posted on Schilling’s personal blog, the Twitter accounts @Nagels_Bagels and @primetime227 were both deleted.

Turns out “Hollywood” was actually employee of the New York Yankees ticket office before schilling lowered the boom. He was quickly fired, as per Jason Zillo, Yankees director of communications, told NJ.com: “We have zero tolerance for anything like this.”

As for the Sports Guru, Brookdale Community College released a statement on their Facebook account stating that he was suspended.

Schilling defends his actions by stating “…there are repercussions to your actions in the real world.” I’d like to think that he said this in a Liam Neeson accent.

Perhaps the Sports Guru and Hollywood have learned a lesson, and that lesson is, don’t mess with Curt Schilling.