A semi-anonymous reader writes "In the latest blow to DNS neutrality, Comcast is starting to redirect users to an ad-laden holding page when they try to connect to nonexistent domains. I have just received an email from them to that effect, tried it, and lo and behold, indeed there is the ugly DNS hijack page. The good news is that the opt-out is a more sensible registration based on cable modem MAC, rather than the deplorable 'cookie method' we just saw from Bell Canada. All you Comcast customers and friends of Comcast customers who want to get out of this, go here to opt out. Is there anything that can be done to stop (and reverse) this DNS breakage trend that the ISPs seem to be latching onto lately? Maybe the latest net neutrality bill will help." Update: 08/05 20:03 GMT by T : Here's a page from Comcast with (scant) details on the web-jacking program, which says that yesterday marked the national rollout.
Last year, I went through a marital separation, moved into a new place with roommates, and was laid off from my job within the same week. It took me a month, but I eventually found a full-time job, and a weekend job. The damage had been done though, I was behind on bills and struggling to keep up. I had a WoW subscription going and was considering cancelling it, but the through of selling gold occurred to me as a way to help make ends meet while I wasn't work at either job. So, in order to help get out of debt and pay the bills, I started selling gold to individuals just through word of mouth, and to gold farmers when there wasn't a demand from the people I knew. Let me tell you, it was not very fun at all and really killed the game for me. For those not familiar with the game, you can do up to a certain number of "daily quests" (quests that are repeatable every 24 hours). I would do the maximum allowed and use my tradeskills (both gathering skills) and sell the goods for in-game gold, then turn around and sell the gold to whoever would buy it. I was playing probably 5 hours a day, just farming. I could make around 5-7k gold per week (Before the Lich King) and sell the gold for $10-20 per 1K. Typically I made between $3-500 per month from playing a video game. I bought the Lich King (expansion), leveled my character to level 80 and started gearing him up to farm efficiently at that level, but I was so burned out from playing every day (and finally out of debt). that I no longer saw a reason to play and cancelled my subscription. It sure as hell helped pay the bills, but the constant headaches from farming for hours at a time, killing my social life, and sucking up all my free time to do meaningful things, killed the drive to play the game. I can't imagine gold farmers (who play far more hours than I did) enjoy this at all. It's not as bad as working in a sweat shop and/or doing real labor, but it's kind of rough and really wears on you after awhile. Even so, I don't see why their government would outright ban the buying and selling of game currency. A lot of these people are really depending on that income.
InformationWeek is reporting that the Chinese government has declared a ban on the sale of virtual goods for real currency. This move is poised to shut down a several billion yuan a year business that has been growing by leaps and bounds every year. "The trading of virtual currency for real cash employs hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and generates between $200 million and $1 billion annually, according to a 2008 survey conducted by Richard Heeks at the University of Manchester. He estimates that between 80% and 85% of gold farmers are based in China. [...] Game companies typically forbid gold farming but committed virtual currency traders find ways around such rules. Some game companies have recognized the futility of trying to ban the practice and have built virtual commerce into their game infrastructure."
Henway writes "Google is adding the option to Google Maps to place your whereabouts either via cell phone towers or GPS. Think 'locator beacon.' Paraphrased: This would be good for people wanting to let their friends know where they are or for parents wanting to know where their children are at all times."
This subject is misleading. I saw the subject and thought the FCC was leaving radio.