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Crime

Online "Swatting" Becomes a Hazard For Gamers Who Play Live On the Internet 569

Posted by samzenpus
from the hands-up-controllers-down dept.
HughPickens.com writes Nick Wingfield reports at the NYT that practical jokers who call in bogus reports of violence provoking huge police responses have set their sights on a new set of victims: video gamers who play live on the Internet, often in front of huge online audiences. Last month, several hundred people were watching Joshua Peters as he played RuneScape from his parents' home as video showed Peters suddenly leaving his computer when police officers appeared at the house and ordered him and his family at gunpoint to lie face down on the ground after some had called 911 claiming Peters had just shot his roommate. "With the live-streaming platforms, it amplifies the entire situation," says James Clayton Eubanks who says he has been swatted about a half-dozen times while he streamed his Call of Duty sessions. "Not only do they get to do this and cause this misery, they get to watch it unfold in front of thousands of people."

Game companies like Twitch have publicly said that swatting is dangerous, but that there is little else they can do to prevent the pranks. Tracking the culprits behind the pranks is difficult. While bomb scares and other hoaxes have been around for decades, making threats anonymously has never been so easy. Swatters use text messages and online phone services like Skype to relay their threats, employing techniques to make themselves hard to trace. They obtain personal addresses for their victims through property records and other public databases, or by tricking businesses or customer service representatives at a victim's Internet provider into revealing the information. Brandon Willson, a gamer known online as "Famed God," made up a murder to get police to go to an unsuspecting west suburban resident's home last year and ended up behind bars in Nevada awaiting extradition. As part of the investigation, police traveled to Las Vegas to help local police execute a search warrant at Willson's home. Computers seized there contained evidence of the swatting incident, as well as similar incidents across the country, prosecutors claim. Willson faces up to five years in prison if he is convicted on charges of computer tampering and one count each of intimidation, computer fraud, identity theft and disorderly conduct. His mother, Brenda Willson, says her son is innocent and does not smoke, drink or have tattoos. "He would never swat," she says.

Comment: I'm stodgy (Score 1) 319

by Zecheus (#49087947) Attached to: Java Vs. Node.js: Epic Battle For Dev Mindshare
From the perspective of a stodgy enterprise java developer, I don't find the 'common language' argument compelling. The advantage is limited to common syntax and runtime model of the javascript/node environment. However, the problem space is quite different: on the client the task is user interaction, user interface design, translating user requests into backend data requests which can block and call back. On the server side, ACID data persistence and business logic including backend service integration. I think these problems create a greater separation of client and server developers than the programming language. Someone very good at user interface design may not have the chops for ACID data persistence, and vice versa, EVEN IF the programming language and runtime model are the same. After 15 years programming java, I picked up javascript rather quickly. I can do the transactional business logic development in jee with cross concerns of security and concurrency, but if I used javascript to write a user interface, I need more learning beyond javascript. I think 'full stack' developers are quite rare. Declaring oneself as such would be a mistake if one's ground to say so is only the programming language is common to both by happenstance.

Comment: Re:Kind of disappointed in him. (Score 2) 681

by Zecheus (#48691069) Attached to: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet
In answer to answer your question, "What did Jesus give us other than death and intolerance".

Please follow along: Jesus founded His Church. His Church founded centers of study and learning, and institutionalized these as colleges and universities. Among these were the colleges merged to form Trinity College where Newton studied.

Ironic.

Comment: Re:Yo, its 2014! (Score 1) 291

by Zecheus (#48469483) Attached to: Is Ruby On Rails Losing Steam?
There is only one 10 year span with relevance to the context of this post: the 10 year span that ends now. Historians would care what the highest paid programming job is in 1978, or 2011. People planning a programming career, or evaluating opportunities TODAY won't care. Reading comprehension is hard, but contextual analysis is harder.

Comment: Re:Nothing? (Score 2) 429

by Zecheus (#48335279) Attached to: Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing
No. Not turtles all the way down. That is a blunder. One turtle on top of another on top of another .... is a broken model. God is the single source of being, the single source of existence. This statement is irrational: The existence of the single source of existence depends on another source of existence.

+ - Former Assistant Secretary of Energy to Obama says: Climate Science is not settl->

Submitted by Zecheus
Zecheus (1072058) writes "Steven E. Koonin in an article published this weekend of the People's Climate March summarizes the "very, very difficult" problem for the climate science research community. There are hard questions, and the climate models today are not dependable. He warns against declaring climate science as either 'settled' or a 'hoax', because neither declarations advance the public discourse of politicians or diplomats who are developing the policies of environmental management."
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