Booting Up: That UFO Might Be a Project Loon Prototype

Sure, okay.

Wall Street in the age of Twitter: Yesterday Carl Icahn tweeted about holding a position in Apple–and the stock promptly jumped. [Business Insider]

“Sitting in a conference room in Mountain View, California, he beams proudly as he runs a YouTube clip of one of the newscasts. The mysterious craft was his doing. Or, at least, the work of his Google team.” [Wired]

Looks liking Amazon is staffing up a hush-hush facility in New Jersey (wonder if any of the Real Housewives needs a gig?), which might mean grocery delivery is coming to New York City.  [AllThingsD]

Here’s an extremely aggravating story about one reporter’s exchange with Xbox Live support re: in-game harassment. [The Mary Sue]

Dave Eggers is writing a novel about someone who works at a big, creepy tech company. LOL? [Valleywag]

Play Your Video Games

Older Gamers Create Their Own Communities So They Don’t Have to Lose to ’12-Year-Old Girls from Japan’

(Photo: Old Ass Gamers)

Anyone who has ever logged onto Xbox Live is well aware of the fact that the community is littered with rage-filled tweens who think shouting homophobic epithets at unsuspecting competitors is the very height of trash talking. It’s enough to make you play all local games, especially as a woman, lest you be subjected to a slew of unimaginative insults every time you use your microphone or make a good kill. Read More

XX in Tech

Sexism in Gaming ‘Isn’t a Joke or a Meme,’ Says a Gaming Tournament Founder, Finally

(Photo: IGN)

As a pretty avid Xbox aficianado and also a person with two X chromosomes, this Betabeat reporter was unsurprised to read in the New York Times today about the seriousness of sexism in gaming culture. We gave up using a mic on Xbox Live long ago, the slew of vicious insults hurled at us just for having a girly voice not worth it when we could happily kick friends’ asses on local co-op mode, no slurs necessary.

But the Times‘s piece hammers home just how rampant the degradation is, and it’s pretty jarring. In one video clip embedded in the article, a female gamer’s coach threatens to “smell her” as punishment for losing a round in Cross Assault. It’s not the creepiest thing we’ve ever seen, but it comes damn close.
Read More

Play Your Video Games

Mass Exodus of Nerds From Basements as Xbox Live Goes Down

(Photo: Meme Generator)

Xbox Live is down. This is not a drill! We repeat: Xbox Live is down.

Gamers everywhere are chucking Xbox controllers at walls, begrudgingly rising from their butt-shaped couch holes and maybe even getting some sunlight for once because I mean would it really kill you, honey?

CNET has confirmed with Microsoft that “Xbox Live users are unable to access the online-gaming service.”

Microsoft’s Xbox Live status page states, “We are aware of the problem and are working to resolve the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience.”

It better be up by the time we get home from work, because it’s Friday and we have some robots to shoot.

Law and Order

New York Partners With Tech Companies to Purge Sex Offenders From Xbox Live, World of Warcraft


Typically online sexual predators are depicted infiltrating Facebook or chat rooms, not the equally as networked world of online gaming. That might be why it’s taken authorities awhile to identify those avatars as a potential target. In an unprecedented initiative dubbed “Operation: Game Over,” however, New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced a partnership with major tech companies that have agreed to “shed registered sex offenders from their networks, reports CNET.

Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive Media Group, Warner Bros., and Sony have all joined the effort, which has already helped purge more than 3,500 accounts of registered sex offenders in New York from platforms like Xbox Live and MMORPGs like World of Warcraft. Read More