Nvidia Chips, Lasers, Mosquitoes and Bill Gates

March 18, 2011 -

Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Nvidia are working on a joint venture that will use the same chips found in video game consoles to shoot down female mosquitoes. While it sounds like a 1980's sci-fi movie, the project is very real and is meant to shrink the disease carrying mosquito population in third-world countries.

Nvidia is working with research company Intellectual Ventures to build laser fences that recognize and shoot female mosquitoes out of the air, according to San Franisco-based television station KGO.

The fences could sell for as little as $50, according to KGO. It's an interesting use of technology and if it is effective it could eliminate the use of poisons such as DDT in some regions.

Source: Forbes

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NY Officials Concerned Over GTA IV Connection to Teen Crime Spree

July 2, 2008 -

A pair of New York State officials have raised the red flag over video game violence in a jointly-signed letter to Newsday.

Mindy A. Bockstein (left), head of the New York State Consumer Protection Board and Denise O'Donnell, commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, were prompted to take pen in hand following last week's Nassau County incident in which police linked Grand Theft Auto IV to a crime spree committed by a half-dozen teens.

In addition to expressing their concerns, Bockstein and O'Donnell took the opportunity to tout some parental resources available for game buyers in New York:

[The arrest] raises serious questions about whether violent video games desensitize our youth to violence, or glamorize violent behavior. It is essential that parents are aware of the content in the games their children play or want to play, so that they can make an informed decision on whether a particular game is appropriate...

 

With more than 5,000 game titles available, some of which contain graphic violence, sexual themes and adult content, parents must be proactive, cautious and vigilant in deciding which games their children should play.
 

GP: As GamePolitics revealed in December, it was O'Donnell's department that cobbled together a PowerPoint presentation which cited a notorious video game hoax site as a parental resource.

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Police: GTA IV Connection to Crime Spree Came From Statements Made by One of the Suspects

July 2, 2008 -

GamePolitics has been tracking the case of six teens arrested in Nassau County, New York last week following a bat and crowbar-wielding crime spree.

While the Nassau County P.D. said early on in their investigation that they had made a connection between the six defendants and Grand Theft Auto IV, the specifics of that linkage was never made clear.

GamePolitics has learned today that the information came from statements made to investigators by one of the suspects who told police that the group had been drinking beer and decided to act out as if they were playing GTA IV.

Although he would not name the particular defendant who made the statement, Detective Lieutenant Raymond Cote told GamePolitics:

It was rather shocking that these kids would mimic what they see in a fictional video game.

We inquired as to whether the GTA IV allegations would appear in any publicly-accessible court documents. Lt. Cote, however, said they would not. The Lieutenant did reveal that two of the defendants had prior arrests. One had been busted for a drug offense while another had a record for burglary and grand larceny (a crime known in some states, ironically enough, as... grand theft). 

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GTA IV Swag Baseball Bat

July 1, 2008 -

Forever pushing the envelope, Rockstar's P.R. department has apparently shipped out a Grand Theft Auto IV bat to selected media types. The bat features a GTA IV logo smeared with faux blood.

It's apparently by way of kicking off their holiday season sales push. Glenn Derene of Popular Mechanics writes:

Because they couldn’t legally send us an Uzi thorough the mail, [Rockstar] sent us the 14th most deadly weapon in the blockbuster game’s new arsenal: a metal bat... It just arrived with a press release informing us “‘Tis the Season To Swing Big and Go GRAND,” promoting GTA IV as a perfect stocking-stuffer for the Christmas season.

 

But who needs the game when you’ve got the bat? In the spirit of giving, we can now give a GTA-style beat-down to random strangers on the street, just like our favorite Eastern European criminal thug, Niko Bellic. And when the cops catch us, we can say that we never would have done it were it not for the influence of violent video games. And for the first time, we’d be right!

It's kind of ironic when one considers the Nassau Six, a dirty half-dozen juvenile delinquents busted last week for going on what police claim is a GTA IV-inspired crime spree armed with a crowbar and a baseball bat. While the cops haven't said exactly why they're pointing the long arm of the law at Rockstar's controversial game, wouldn't the mainstream media go bonkers if it turned out that the bat used by the Nassau Six was this bat? 

If There's a GTA IV Controversy WITHOUT Jack Thompson, Does it Make a Sound?

June 28, 2008 -

GamePolitics reported on a pair of tempests involving Grand Theft Auto IV this week.

First came Wednesday's report on shoot-from-the-lip comments attributed to Connecticut State Sen. Gayle Slossberg (D), who apparently used the terms Grand Theft Auto IV, rape, legislation and sociopaths [as in GTA gamers are...] in a rant that she only thought was off-the-record.

Oops...

A day later, cops in Nassau County, New York busted six teenagers for a bat-swinging, crowbar-wielding rampage that one of them apparently said was inspired by Nico Bellic, protagonist of GTA IV.

The week's happenings - in particular their sizeable publicity potential - were not lost on GTA-hatin' attorney Jack Thompson, who has waded into both situations with press releases blazing.

First, Thompson dashed off a breathless paean to Sen. Slossberg:

I commend you for your concerns about the Grand Theft Auto games.  I have been on 60 Minutes about the killing of police officers by teens who train on the game to do so.  I have addressed NOW in New York about the targeting of women by the game.
 
I do not believe there is a "rape" in the game, unless it is in a mission that has yet been discovered (that is possible), but there is plenty in the game by way of forced sex, killing of women after sex, and murdering police officers that must be addressed.  I am, for better or worse, the leader of the effort against this game, and if you saw the New York Post yesterday, a gang of teens went on a crime spree on Long Island in acting out the game!  Please contact me asap, and I can help on this.
 

Miami Jack, please explain how there is no rape in the game, but there is "forced sex"?

The likely-to-be-disbarred barrister also weighed in on the Nassau Six, cc'ing GP on an exchange with someone at G4TV. Not surprisingly, the camera-cravin' Thompson hopes to grab some air time for his mug:

...G4TV, as usual, gets it wrong.  Why am I not suprised?  The headline on this story is ridiculous.  The "hoods" are not the ones blaming the game.  The cops are!  Note this from Detective Cote: "These teens have difficulty separating fact from fiction, fantasy from reality . . . It was quite alarming." 

 

...Thus, Cote has handed all of the defendants a "video game defense."  It will be used.  How do I know?  Wouldn't you like to know.
 
I think it is time for Jack Thompson to be back on G4TV, don't you all think.  There's so much disinformation on the channel and so little time to correct it all.  Somebody tell Kevin to get off his lazy butt and give me a call...  
 
 

 

172 comments

Cops Say Teens Were Emulating GTA in Robbery Spree...

June 26, 2008 -

Yesterday it was Connecticut State Senator Gayle Slossberg (D) fretting about a non-existent rape scene in GTA IV.

Today, police in Nassau County, New York allege that six teenagers charged with robbing a man at a supermarket were emulating Grand Theft Auto:

Nassau County police cops have arrested six teens for robbing a man at a supermarket... The police add the teens arrested were emualting [sic] the characters from the video game Grand Theft Auto.

 

Police say later that night they were armed with bats and a crowbar and were walking down Stewrt Ave. when they robbed a woman of cigarettes and struck a passing van with a bat.

GP: The kid has a Red Hot Chili Peppers t-shirt on. Maybe he was imitating them...

Thanks to GamePolitics correspondent Colin "Jabrwock" McInnes for the heads-up.

UPDATE: Newsday has more on the GTA angle, including a quote from Nassau County P.D. Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone:

It was determined that they were emulating the character in that Grand Theft Auto game, going on a crime spree...  We got certain admissions.

UPDATE: According to the NY Post, the kids were specifically imitating GTA IV protagonist Nico Bellic. The paper quotes Nassau County Police Detective Lt. Raymond Cote:

They decided they were going to go out to commit robberies and emulate the [lead] character Nico Belic [sic] in the particularly violent video game Grand Theft Auto... These teens have difficulty separating fact from fiction, fantasy from reality . . . It was quite alarming... They were bored and they decided this was a good idea.

The Post adds:

Police would not say specifically how they knew that the teens crimes were motivated by Grand Theft Auto, and not by some other motive. They said they discovered it during their investigation.

 

109 comments

BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

June 24, 2008 -

Moments ago the New York State Senate voted 61-1 to approve a bill proposed by Sen. Andrew Lanza, a Republican from Staten Island.

Sen. Lanza is seen arguing for passage in the photo at left. Sen. Thomas Duane (D) of New York City cast the lone dissenting vote.

The video game bill mirrors that passed yesterday by the State Assembly, a Lanza staffer told GamePolitics that the measure will now go to Gov. David Paterson for consideration. If Paterson signs the bill, it will become law in 2010.

Prior to that, however, the video game industry is likely to sue, arguing that the measure is unconstitutional.

UPDATE: We've got an mp3 of Sen. Lanza's final three minutes of argument in favor of the bill. Here's an excerpt:

If you look closely at this bill, [concerns expressed by Sen. Duane] are not valid. Let's start with speech. There's all kinds of speech. If we take an old-fashioned pinball machine and plunked it down here in the middle of the chamber, no one would call it speech. But when we put that up on a video screen, it does become speech and I acknowledge that. And it deserves protection under the Constitution... There is some confusion with respect to what this bill actually accomplishes... The word prohibition was talked about. I want to be clear. This bill does not prohibit the sale of any video to anyone...

 

This simply says that every video game sold in the state of New York simply should have a rating consistent with what the ESRB does presently in a voluntary way... it does work. But the problem with "voluntary" is that tomorrow someone can change their mind. Someone could decide tomorrow to no longer place ratings on these games. So this is not about prohibiting the sale, this is simply about providing information to parents...

 

Last year's version... that included a provision that would have made it an E-felony to sell these games, we all thought it was wrong. And we took that out. We worked with the [video game] industry. We worked with the Assembly and we do have an agreement here on a piece of legislation that I think will go a long way in allowing parents to make good decisions in regard to what is and what isn't appropriate for their chidlren...

 

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Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
 

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