Weekend Short-Takes: 12/13/13

New Information Reveals NSA Spies Monitor Xbox Live, World of Warcraft

 

Simon Wu:

Uh, hi. I too would like a nice cushy job in the government playing GTA V on my Xbox and trying to somehow figure out if the 13 year old trash talking me is actually a terrorist practicing his escape plan. I don't think it's a partisan statement to say that the overzealousness of the various agencies to try and make the big bust caused a typical bureaucratic mess, where the agency players had to sit down and create some sort of code amongst themselves to try and make sure the NSA didn't nab the CIA in conjunction with the FBI and GCHQ. I look forward to this being hilariously satirized in the next Saint's Row.

Max Gruber:

Man, I would love to spy on people while playing video games... if it didn't totally violate everyone's sense of privacy. It's already bad enough that people can breach the security of the services, but to have spies observing our every action is really... creepy. I feel paranoid about anyone I into contact with whenever I log in to PSN, XBL, or Steam.

tribune.com

Report: Xbox One HDD maxed out at 362GB

 

Simon Wu:

Disappointingly expected. Hard drive spaces are never what they say, but this is just outrageous. When less than 75% of the space is usable, there's simply something wrong with calling it a 500 GB hard drive. This almost completely cements my decision to wait on the One until something fundamental changes. The problem is, Microsoft have committed themselves to a non-removable hard drive, and while it's not entirely impossible for them to include a removable hard drive or at the very least a bigger drive in a newer model, it took 5 years for the 360 to get refreshed. The cloud, they will say, but streaming games is still not an option, and right now, neither is using an external drive.

Max Gruber:

Once again, showcasing that the Xbox One is an Xbox Zero—Hiyo! It does make me question about the purpose of these services, since it seems like these consoles are no longer trying to be gaming consoles. You'd think that they would just have the services be available for download instead of having them be on the Hard Drive in the first place, thus saving data for future use. Combine that with the mandatory installs, and you have an HDD that will fill up before you even realize it. At least you can upgrade the HDD on the PS4 for a larger one, or even swap it for an SSD—which, I may add, is exactly what I plan on getting once I save up enough money to get one.

UPDATE: YouTube Content ID barrage discussed, creators locked into contracts despite changes

 

Simon Wu:

Anyone else moving to Twitch? It's hard for me to think of a parallel in more conventional media because that is so heavily regulated and already has agreements in place regarding copyright and use. This is just a really vivid example of the volatility of new forms of media. The worst part is revenue hits for these guys, who are all probably just getting by, who are still legally forced to produce content despite getting little to nothing for it. It is heartening to see, though, that many of the biggest companies have quickly stepped out to defend the fledgling cottage industry that has developed around their products. 

Max Gruber:

I begin to question the actual involvement from Google/YouTube for gaming on the site, as evidenced from this new change to the automated bot that erupted such a controversy. It scares me so badly about the people who have relied on YouTube as an occupation, since they're not making any money from the flagged content, and it'll be worse if this is set in stone. The problem stems from the abuse of the flagging system, as anyone can flag a video for copyrighted material, even if they don't legally own the rights to the content. One such example of this was from xcaliz0rz, where he found that a boatload of his videos were claimed by "companies" and YouTube channels like Scale Lab, IDOL, GONG, thepostgame, and even THQ. THQ, a company that no longer exists.

Leaked Documents Reveal That Fallout 4 Is Real, Set In Boston

 

Simon Wu:

I don't really know what to believe after survivor2299, but the creator of that site did recently come out and admit his motivation was to try and force Bethesda's hand to reveal Fallout 4 at the VGX. Except that Bethesda simply didn't attend VGX and continued radio silence. I think it's a forgone conclusion at this point that the next setting will be in Boston. But, Bethesda probably saw the enormous hit that Ubisoft took from having to delay Watch_Dogs. Perhaps they were in a similar position, and decided to play it safe.

Max Gruber:

Everyone run away from Simon! I think he's going to explode! These documents do seem legitimate, since these have key parts of the world, like the Commonwealth, the famous line "War. War never changes.", etc. That, and Bethesda were touring an institute in Boston, and the project name is Institute, so it could be the truth. But, on the other hand, it could be fake, mainly in part from the cleverly constructed hoax that was thesurvivor2299 site.

Kotaku  

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