Videogame hacker punished by company — with his character’s public execution




After multiple reports that a player was using hacks to easily win player-versus-player battles in Guild Wars 2, game maker ArenaNet came to the only logical conclusion: execution.

This involved a public stripping, and forced suicide for the character within the game. Behind the scenes, ArenaNet was deleting the character completely, along with the hacker’s other accounts, from the server.

It was just composed of 0s and 1s, of course — but this strange form of capital punishment sent no less of a message for it

User DarkSide had been accused of teleporting around the game world, dealing impossible amounts of damage then easily escaping harm — all in ways that couldn’t have been possible in Guild Wars 2 Read more…

More about Entertainment, Gaming, and Guild Wars 2


US judge says it’s “regrettable” that IBM can’t be punished for knowingly aiding apartheid


ibmFrom the holocaust to apartheid, where you or I see an atrocity, IBM sees an opportunity.

Still, a US district judge has ruled that IBM cannot be prosecuted in the US for supplying computer systems to South Africa’s apartheid regime. Describing her own decision as “regrettable,” Judge Shira Scheindlin explained that the 1789 Alien Tort Statute doesn’t usually apply to behavior by companies outside of US borders.

From Bloomberg:

The judge said she was bound by earlier court rulings barring U.S. lawsuits over corporate conduct that occurs in foreign countries, including a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision in a lawsuit accusing two foreign-based units of Royal Dutch Shell Plc of facilitating torture and executions in Nigeria.

The suit against IBM has been working its way through the justice system for 12 years and also included Ford which is alleged to have supplied vehicles to the South African security forces during apartheid.

Back in 2009 the BBC reported that Judge Scheindlin would allowed claims against IBM, Ford and several others to go ahead, while others were thrown out.

[The judge] dismissed complaints against several companies but said plaintiffs could proceed with lawsuits against IBM, Daimler, Ford, General Motors and Rheinmetall Group, the German parent of an armaments maker…

“That level of wilful blindness in the face of crimes in violation of the law of nations cannot defeat an otherwise clear showing of knowledge that the assistance IBM provided would directly and substantially support apartheid,” she said.

Ahead of that earlier decision, IBM argued that it wasn’t their job to decide how customers use their products. Or in other words: IBM hardware doesn’t torture and kill people, oppressive regimes torture and kill people (and IBM hardware makes it easier than ever!)

IBM hasn’t yet responded to my offer to help them write new advertising slogans.